The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council have accused Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn of repeatedly “siding with anti-Semites rather than Jews” and ignoring concerns over his personal reaction to antisemitism, in an open letter.
The letter – to be presented to the Parliamentary Labour Party chair tonight during an unprecedented demonstration in Parliament Square – was published hours after Mr Corbyn apologised for the first time for what he described as “pockets” of antisemitism within the Labour Party.
The letter begins: “We’ve had enough of hearing Jeremy Corbyn ‘opposes antisemitism’, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews, and their concerns, are ignored by him and those he leads”.
It attacks an “institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism” – citing the Chakrabarti report, which two years ago concluded that the Labour party did not have a major problem with antisemitism, as a “glaring” example.
The letter states that Mr Corbyn “personifies the problems and dangers” of antisemitism on the hard left, and “he issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it”.
It adds: “We conclude he cannot seriously contemplate antisemitism because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities”.
“Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy”.
“Rightly or wrongly, those who push this offensive material regard Corbyn as their figurehead. They display an obsessive hater of Israel alongside conspiracy theories and fake news. These repeated actions do serious harm to Jews and the Labour Party. Corbyn is the only person with the standing to demand that all this stops. Enough is enough”.
Click here to read the letter in full.