Pompeo said he wouldn’t wait to “push back” on Corbyn’s anti-Semitism.
By World Israel News Staff
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he wouldn’t wait for U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister to “push back” against him over his party’s anti-Semitism, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Pompeo’s comments were provided to the Post in a leaked recording made during an off-the-record meeting with Jewish leaders in New York.
The Post reports that Pompeo was asked at the meeting, if Corbyn “is elected, would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the U.K.?”
Pompeo replied, “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best.” His response was met with “fervent applause from attendees,” the Post reports.
“It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened,” he said.
A Labour party spokesman reacted sharply to Pompeo’s comments, according to British newspaper The Guardian. “President Trump and his officials’ attempts to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister are an entirely unacceptable interference in the U.K.’s democracy,” the spokesman said, adding that Labour is “fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community and is implacably opposed to anti-Semitism in any form.”
The Labour party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, has come under criticism for anti-Semitism. Most recently, Corbyn defended newly elected MP Lisa Forbes, who had liked a Facebook post which had accompanying text that said British Prime Minister Theresa May had a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda.” Forbes also said, “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much,” on a post that claimed the Mossad and CIA were behind ISIS.
Corbyn said Forbes was “not a racist in any way.”
It is just the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents for the Labour party that stretches back years, with thousands of cases being reported of anti-Semitism in its ranks since Corbyn’s rise to the party’s leadership in 2015.
Perhaps most damaging to Corbyn was the revelation by The Daily Mail that he was present at a wreath-laying to Palestinians linked to the murder of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He had taken part in the ceremony in Tunis in 2014, a year before becoming Labour party head.
During a recent visit to Israel, former British Prime Minister and Labour leader Tony Blair said, “If you told me, not merely back in May 1997, but at any point in the next 10 years, that the party I led for 13 years would have a problem with anti-Semitism, I would literally not have credited it, or believed it, and yet it is, and it’s there today.”