Raymond Simonson, the chief executive of the JW3 Jewish community center in London, received “abusive messages believed to have come from within the Jewish community” for hosting a debate featuring British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, The Jewish Chronicle of London reported Monday.
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The debate, which was held on Sunday evening, provided a forum at which the party’s current leader, Jeremy Corbyn, faced challenger Owen Smith. The Jewish Chronicle reported that “emails and Facebook messages sent to JW3 accused Raymond Simonson and other JW3 staff of being ‘apologists for terror’ for hosting Corbyn, who was described in the messages as “a known collaborator with Hamas and Hezbollah”.
According to The Jewish Chronicle, there were also a small number of Facebook messages containing apparent veiled threats in reference to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir. The Chronicle quoted Simonson as saying the comments were in the nature of “look what happens when a Jew associates with a known anti-Semite. Look what happens. Look what happened to Rabin who associated with, shook hands with Arafat."
Corbyn has come in for considerable criticism for his alleged association with extremist figures, including representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah whom he hosted in parliament as a backbench lawmaker. He is at the helm of a party now grappling with a number of cases of alleged anti-Semitic comments by party representatives.
At the end of the debate on Sunday, Simonson, the community center’s director, told the audience that the event would not have gone ahead without the work of the police and the British Jewish community’s security organization, the Community Security Trust, “because of some of the abuse I and others were taking over the last week; unfortunately, including from members of the Jewish community,” The Jewish Chronicle reported.