Palestinian MPs in Israel back Corbyn amid anti-Semitism accusations

Palestinian MPs in Israel back Corbyn amid anti-Semitism accusations
2 min read
03 September, 2018
A group of Palestinian lawmakers in Israel on Sunday praised British Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, calling him a principled leader opposed to "all forms of racism."
Allegations of anti-Semitism have been a problem for Corbyn since his 2015 leadership win. [Getty]

A group of Palestinian lawmakers in Israel on Sunday praised British Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, calling him a principled leader opposed to "all forms of racism."

In a letter to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Ahmad Tibi, a deputy speaker in Israel's parliament, and three members of the Joint Arab List Party said Corbyn had a "longstanding solidarity with all oppressed peoples around the world, including his unflinching support for the Palestinian people."

"We stand in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn and we recognise him as a principled leftist leader who aspires for peace and justice and is opposed to all forms of racism, whether directed at Jews, Palestinians, or any other group," they added.

Allegations of anti-Semitism have been a problem for veteran socialist Corbyn ever since his improbable leadership win in 2015.

He has also come under prolonged attack for refusing to adopt fully the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism in Labour's new code of conduct.

Critics of the IHRA definition say it conflates anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of Israel.

"When some try to force the Labour party into using as its litmus test a definition of anti-Semitism that goes far beyond anti-Jewish animus to include anti-Zionism, we must raise our voices and decry these efforts," members of the opposition Joint List wrote in the letter to the Guardian.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been accused of allowing anti-Semitism to spread in the left-wing party.

Corbyn has said that there had been 300 internal party referrals for anti-Semitism since 2015, around half of which led to expulsions or resignations.

However, he said that some of the accusations were "overheated rhetoric" and that he would not accept that a Labour government would represent "any kind of threat" to Jews in Britain.

"I do acknowledge there is a real problem that Labour is working to overcome," Corbyn wrote in a guest column in the Guardian last month.

"And I accept that if any part of our national community feels threatened, anxious or vulnerable, not only must that be taken at face value but we must all ensure that those fears are put to rest," he added.

In July, dozens of Jewish groups worldwide issued an unprecedented joint statement backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and saying that criticism of Israel's actions does not equate to antisemitism.

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