Three pro-Israel Jewish newspapers have launched a coordinated attack on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, claiming a government led by him would pose an “existential threat” to Jewish life in the UK.
The scathing attack on Corbyn was launched by the Jewish News, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jewish Telegraph. Each newspaper produced similar front pages attacking the Labour Party’s decision not to fully adopt a controversial definition of anti-Semitism produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which claims describing “Israel is a racist endeavour” as an example of anti-Semitism.
However, the attack is seen by many as politically-motivated and orchestrated by the Israeli lobby to undermine Corbyn’s leadership because of his longstanding support for Palestine.
Their joint editorial claims Labour was the “natural home” for the Jews in the UK. However, they allege that the party under Corbyn entertains “contempt for Jews and Israel” and that the Labour Party is now confronted by the very real possibility of being seen as “institutionally racist.”
However, some argue that the three leading pro-Israeli Jewish newspapers in the UK are not reflective of the Jewish community’s thoughts on anti-Semitism, Corbyn or the Labour Party.
Anti-Zionist Jewish activist Professor Haim Bresheeth called the claims “sheer and arrogant nonsense.”
“The attack on Jeremy Corbyn is in itself a support of the racist, apartheid state in Israel, which actually has an excellent relationship with every anti-Semitic right-wing regime in Europe and of course the United States. So anyone looking for anti-Semitism and racism has to look at Israel and its friends,” Bresheeth, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, said.
Labour’s National Executive Committee has defended its actions not to fully implement the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism and said the definition they adopted “expands on and contextualises its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases.”
They added the party was apprehensive about producing a code that could be “used to deny Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem appropriate.”