About a month after the British Labour party had been engulfed in a crisis that saw the suspension of at least 50 Labour members for anti-Semitic comments, party leader Jeremy Corbyn is receiving heavy criticism for a remark he made that seemingly compared Israel to the Islamic State terror group. Corbyn made the comment at an event presenting the party’s promised inquiry into anti-Semitism within its ranks.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel than our Muslim friends are for the self-styled Islamic State,” said Corbyn, whose Labour leadership was called into question on Wednesday after his party’s Members of Parliament gave him a no-confidence vote by a margin of 172-40. Just days earlier, almost all of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet resigned following the United Kingdom’s referendum decision to leave the European Union.
At the same event on Labour anti-Semitism, Jewish Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North Ruth Smeeth was forced to leave the room in tears after being verbally attacked by pro-Corbyn activists. She later called for Corbyn’s resignation, describing the remarks she faced in the room as “traditional anti-Semitic slurs,” adding that one pro-Corbyn activist accused her of participating in a ‘”media conspiracy.”
“It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people,” she said, the Jerusalem Post reported.