UK Jewish newspapers warn Corbyn poses ‘existential threat’ to British Jewry

In a rare instance, Jewish newspapers published a joint editorial issuing a powerful warning of the “existential” threat that Corbyn poses to British Jewry.

By: World Israel News Staff and AP

The United Kingdom’s Jewry has combined forces to take a stand against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his mishandling of the anti-Semitism in his party.

In a rare instance, various Jewish groups got together and published a joint editorial in the three leading Jewish newspapers in the UK, issuing a strong warning of the “existential” threat that they say Corbyn poses to British Jewry.

Under the headline “United we stand,” The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph wrote in their Thursday editions that they have taken the “unprecedented step of speaking as one by publishing the same front page.”

“We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel,” the editorial read.

“The stain and shame of antisemitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015,” they charged.

“Three leading Jewish newspapers in the UK have put aside their fierce rivalry to stand united,” Jewish News editor Justin Cohen told i24NEWS. “It speaks volumes about the strength of feeling on the issue.”

Labour’s long-running anti-Semitism scandals

The long-running dispute in Britain’s opposition Labour Party over racism in its ranks has bubbled over again amid complaints that the party’s new anti-Semitism code does not go far enough.

There is also a dispute over whether leading Jewish lawmaker Margaret Hodge should face a disciplinary review for calling Corbyn an anti-Semite.

Hodge, who has long roots in the Labour Party, lost family members in the Holocaust. She has challenged Corbyn in recent days and told the BBC she would not leave the party despite a spate of abuse.

“I am going to fight within the Labour Party, and it is terrible that in 2018 I have to do that,” she said, adding that she had been slow to conclude that Corbyn was an anti-Semite but will not back down.

“I have always in the past disagreed with the people who have called him an anti-Semite but, at the end of the day, people have to be judged on what they do and not what they say. They have to be judged on their actions and not their words,” she said.

The current crisis in Labour’s ranks was spurred after the party’s executive committee proposed a new definition of anti-Semitism that in large part embraces the position taken by the widely recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) but excludes several examples that the alliance cites as anti-Semitic, specifically those pertaining to Israel.

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The alliance, for example, says it is anti-Semitic to accuse Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than to their home country, an example not picked up by Labour. The alliance also says it is anti-Semitic to compare contemporary Israeli policies to the policies of the Nazis, a view Labour did not endorse.

Corbyn, who claims the proposed code shows Labour will not tolerate anti-Semitism, has called for Monday’s meeting of his party’s lawmakers to be delayed until the autumn.