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September 24, 2019 12:16 pm

London Mayor Accosted by Labour Activists for Speaking to Jewish Group

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Credit: Flickr.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was accosted on the street on Monday by Labour party activists outraged by his speech before a Jewish organization that has been critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is widely seen as antisemitic.

The Daily Mail reported that journalist Jonathan Freedland stated he was speaking to Khan outside the party’s annual conference in Brighton after Khan spoke to the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), a century-old organization of Jewish party activists.

Two Labour members approached Khan and demanded to know why he had given the speech.

Khan replied, “To show solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

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One of the activists then said, “But they’re Zionists. Why would you show support to Israeli Zionists?”

JLM is not an Israeli organization.

Khan asked, “Why do you assume that members of the British Jewish community support every action of the Israeli government?”

Freedland recounted, “They answered that ‘these Israeli Zionists’ were trying to destabilize Labour and undermine Jeremy Corbyn: JLM should be expelled. Why hadn’t Khan gone to the Jewish Voice for Labour event, rather than supporting a group they again referred to as ‘Israeli Zionists.’”

Jewish Voice for Labour is a far-left organization founded in 2017 to deflect accusations of antisemitism against Corbyn. It is viewed by British Jews as out of the mainstream, as polls show the overwhelming majority of British Jews consider Corbyn personally antisemitic.

Khan has been outspoken about his opposition to antisemitism in the Labour party. On Monday, he told one gathering that there was a “hierarchy of racism” in Labour that excluded antisemitism and said it was wrong to denounce all forms of bigotry while “washing your hair about the rights of Jewish people.”

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