A Threat to Britain’s Jewish Community



For several months, actions and statements regarding Israel by Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party, have been criticized as not only unfair to the Jewish State but a thinly veiled effort to denigrate Britain’s Jewish community.

Now, the possibility of Corbyn becoming prime minister has heightened concerns. 

Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, the UK umbrella organization for major Jewish groups, told the Times of Israel that Corbyn’s elevation to the top spot would be an “existential threat” to the security and well being of Jews in Britain. 

At first, Corbyn’s increasingly shrill critiques of Israel and British Jews were dismissed as the views of a crank political leader who had no chance of becoming prime minister.  But with the Conservative Party government of Prime Minister Theresa May embroiled in an escalating controversy over Britiain’s Brexit vote, some polls indicate that a Labour Party victory has become not only possible but probable.

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Corbyn’s latest run-in with the British Jewish community was his back-and-forth response to accusations that he placed a wreath at a cemetery in Tunis to honor members of the Palestinian Black September terrorist group, which murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Several members of Black September were later killed by agents of Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence agency.

At first, Corbyn tried avoiding answering questions about whether and how he might have participated. Then the Daily Mail published photos of him holding a wreath in a Tunis cemetery in 2014, a spot that the newspaper said was near graves of Black September members.

Pressed to describe his role at the wreath laying, Corbyn said, “I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it.” 

That statement invites ridicule, coming from a man who has called members of Hamas and Hezbollah his friends. 

Corbyn never misses an opportunity to issue criticism of Israel while excusing any terrorist actions against Israel in the conflict across the border with the Gaza Strip. He has also been accused of attempting to water down the official British definition of anti-Semitism. 

He recently compared Israel’s blockade of Gaza to Nazi Germany’s sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad during World War II.  An Associated Press story said the dispute boiled over after the Labour Party proposed adopting a new definition of anti-Semitism that would eliminate language of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which says it is anti-Semitic to compare currentIsraeli policies with those of the Nazis.  

Recently, all three major British Jewish newspapers published identical editorials warning of dire consequences for British Jewry and relations with Israel if Labour wins the next general elections and elevates a vehementlyanti-Israel and accused anti-Semitic politician to head its government. Not once since the end of World War II has it been thought possible that such a rabid politician could head the government of a major NATO ally.

Corbyn’s quest should be thwarted by the good people of the United Kingdom to bolster its long and special relationship with the United States as democracies and opponents of tyranny and bigotry throughout the world.