Two members of parliament (MPs) who left the UK Labour Party criticized the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, for institutionalizing “anti-Semitism” in the party during Sept. 10 speeches at the House of Commons.
MP Ivan Lewis, who donned a yarmulke during his speech, accused Corbyn’s leadership of turning Labour into “the party of institutionalized anti-Semitism. So much so Mr. Speaker that a majority of Jews feel they would not be safe in the event of [Corbyn] becoming prime minister.” Lewis, who was accused of sexual harassment in 2017, left Labour in December.
MP Ian Austin explained in his speech that he bolted from Labour in February “to shine a spotlight on the disgrace it’s become under [Corbyn’s] leadership,” adding that “extremists” who sometimes work with and defend “terrorists and anti-Semites” have taken over the party.
At least nine MPs have resigned from the Labour party in 2019, with many stating that the party has become plagued with anti-Semitism under Corbyn. More recently, Labour MP John Mann resigned from parliament on Sept. 7, telling the Jewish Chronicle (JC) that Corbyn has become “an enabler” of anti-Semitism.
A JC poll in Sept. 2018 found that more than 85 percent of British Jews view Corbyn as anti-Semitic.
“The poll was conducted after the Labour leader was at the centre of further rows,” the JC wrote at the time. “In July, photos of Mr Corbyn surfaced from a 2014 event in Tunis, where he laid a wreath commemorating the terrorists behind the Munich massacre of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. In August, a video emerged of him speaking at a 2013 event, during which he said of British ‘Zionists.’”
Corbyn has denied that anti-Semitism is a serious issue in his party.
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