Labour Member Says Jewish Donors Shunning Party Over Rise in Antisemitism; Blames Corbyn’s ‘Crass, Hateful, Ignorant’ Leadership
Major Jewish donors are turning their backs on Britain’s Labour Party, according to an op-ed in the Daily Mail over the weekend.
Labour member and donor Michael Foster, who wrote the piece, attributed this to antisemitism within the party, which he said has increased under its current leadership.
“The growing number of incidents since Jeremy Corbyn took over the party machine is too great to be a coincidence,” wrote Foster. “Jeremy has emboldened these people because he clearly leans towards Hamas, the violently anti-Israel Palestinian party that governs Gaza. Hamas have included the antisemitic libel, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in their constitution.”
As a result, he said, so far this year, “No major Jewish donor has yet given one pound to the central Labour Party.” The Jewish community, which according to Foster “donated almost one-third of the £9.7 million that Labour received from private donors” during last May’s General Election, is protesting their dismay over Corbyn’s “crass, hateful and ignorant” leadership. Foster, whose own family donated £400,000 to the Labour party during the previous election, says he now believes Corbyn is “too weak” to fight against antisemitic elements in his own party.
Corbyn has recently come under fire for the antisemitic behavior of Labour officials. On Thursday, following comments by Labour MP Louise Ellman on the need to crack down on antisemitism, Corbyn’s brother Piers tweeted: “All #Corbyns are committed #AntiNazi. #Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine.” The Labour chief defended his brother’s tweet and the use of the term “Zionists,” telling The Sun, “My brother has his point of view, I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree — we are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.”
As The Algemeiner reported on Friday, Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews issued a statement in response to what he called Corbyn’s “deeply disturbing” defense of his brother’s “belittling of the problem of antisemitism.”
On Sunday, the Daily Mail reported on the discovery of antisemitic Twitter posts by Labour Councillor Aysegul Gurbuz, in which she called Adolf Hitler the “greatest man in history.” In a January 2013 post, Gurbuz wrote: “The Jews are so powerful in the US it’s disgusting.” The tweets, which were posted by the 20-year-old Muslim between 2011 and 2014, were uncovered by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. Gurbuz denied posting the tweets and has since been suspended from the party pending an investigation, a Labour spokesman told the paper.
In other recent cases, Vicki Byrne, the deputy chairman of Labour’s Working branch, was suspended for the second time last month after antisemitic tweets from 2011 and 2014 resurfaced. She posted that Jews “slaughter the oppressed” and have “big noses.” Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, was suspended in March for sharing a Facebook post complaining that the deaths of African school children are not taught in schools but “your education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the six million Zionists that were killed by Hitler.”
Corbyn responded to criticism over his handling of antisemitism, telling the BBC last week, “If anyone reports any form of antisemitism within our party, it is investigated immediately and cracked down upon. Antisemitism is vile and wrong as is any form of racism.”