Corbyn apologizes for ‘hurt’ caused to British Jews, launches website on anti-Semitism

The U.K.’s Labour Party launched an educational website on anti-Semitism, along with an apology video from leader Jeremy Corbyn.

By World Israel News Staff

On Sunday, the U.K.’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn admitted that his party has “a real problem” with anti-Semitism, while launching a website to educate the party’s members and supporters about bigotry.

Called “No Place for Antisemitism,” the website provides “some basic tools to understand antisemitism so that we can defeat it.”

The website includes a video of Corbyn denouncing anti-Semitism in his party. He apologized for the “hurt that has been caused to many Jewish people,” admitting that reaction to combat anti-Semitism in his party has been too slow.

Corbyn said that he spent his life campaigning for a multicultural society. He credits the Jewish people for being at the “heart of the Labour Party” and that the concerns of the Jewish community in the U.K. should not be dismissed.

People should not use anti-Semitic “poison,” in his name or the name of his party, stresses Corbyn.

He said that under his leadership, the Labour Party will take whatever measures are necessary to “support and guarantee the security of all Jewish communities and their culture.”

Corbyn said that he wants the Jewish people to “feel at home in the Labour Party.”

He also said that he is taking responsibility to root out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. “No community should feel at risk in a decent society,” he said, adding “anti-racism is at the very core of our movement.”

Criticizing Israel

Included on the website are materials that provide guidance on how to avoid anti-Semitic statements when criticizing Israel as well as an explanation of Zionism.

“That does not mean limiting legitimate criticism of the Israeli state or its policies or diluting support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice, their own state, and the rights of refugees and their descendants,” noted the website.

“The impact that the creation of Israel had and still has on the Palestinian people means the struggle for justice for them and an end to their dispossession is a noble one; Labour supports Palestinian statehood and a two-state solution to the conflict.”

The website added that “opposition to the Israeli government must never use antisemitic ideas,” including “comparing Israel to the Nazis.”

“Many Jews view calls for Israel to cease to exist as calls for expulsion or genocide. Arguing for one state with rights for all Israelis and Palestinians is not antisemitic, but calling for the removal of Jews from the region is. Anti-Zionism is not in itself antisemitic and some Jews are not Zionists,” according to the website.

In an email sent to members of the Labour movement, Corbyn wrote that the first materials his party is producing is to tackle antisemitism “recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement. Hatred towards Jewish people is rising in many parts of the world. Our party is not immune from that poison – and we must drive it out from our movement,” he wrote, according to The Guardian.

Corbyn recognized that Labour party members have denied the Holocaust, made “crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.”

The web page was developed following the Jewish Labour Movement reaching out to every member of the shadow cabinet urging them to show “real resolve” to end racism in the party, said The Guardian.

On Sunday, Layla Moran, the first Westminster MP of Palestinian descent, claimed that the focus on anti-Semitism has caused her “deep despair.”

“This is having greater consequences than the Labour leadership can imagine,” she wrote, according to The Guardian. “In particular, it is stifling the ability of commentators and decision-makers to talk sensibly about the real issues in Palestine.”

Corbyn has faced years of criticism for anti-Semitism in his party.