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August 20, 2015 3:23 pm

Report: Nearly 7 of 10 British Jews ‘Concerned’ With Corbyn’s Lead in Labour Race

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Jeremy Corbyn once defended himself on live television for calling Hezbollah and Hamas his "friends." Photo: Screenshot.

Labour leadership candidate and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Screenshot.

Nearly 70% of British Jews are concerned with the prospect of Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn becoming the new face of the country’s Labour Party, a poll conducted by the U.K. Jewish Chronicle revealed on Thursday.

According to the data, a full 67% of those questioned — a sample of about 1,000 British Jews according to the JC — said they were concerned with the prospect of Corbyn replacing acting party leader MP Harriet Harman, who stepped in after Ed Miliband resigned in the wake of a seriously failed national election bid earlier this year.

But even more than the man himself, Corbyn’s positions vis-a-vis Jewish issues — such as comments noting his “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as a vague association with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen — are of concern to 8 out of 10 British Jews, the poll revealed.

Corbyn surged ahead of fellow Labour candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall in a YouGov poll earlier this month, with 53 percent of Labour voters saying they would put him first on their list.

Labour Friends of Israel, meanwhile, offered a slightly more guarded response to Corbyn’s potential, but recognized the “serious questions which arise” from his positions.

“We hope that Labour party members and supporters will consider when they vote which candidate is best placed to ensure that the next Labour government can play a constructive and engaged role in the crucial search for a two-state solution,” they said.

Corbyn has struck back at allegations that he would knowingly associate with Holocaust deniers, calling such accusations “vile and wrong,” according to the Guardian. He said he had attended a few meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, which was founded by Eisen, but said this was before Eisen’s views on the Holocaust were public.

“Holocaust denial is vile and wrong. The Holocaust was the most vile part of our history. The Jewish people killed by the Nazi Holocaust were the people who suffered the most in the 20th century,” said Corbyn.

And he has defended his comments about “friends” in Hamas in Hezbollah, saying he believed all parties would have to be included ultimately in any arrangement to settle the conflict between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch meanwhile weighed in on the Labour debate on Thursday, predicting a win by the Islington North MP.




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