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October 29, 2020 1:38 pm

Jewish Groups Hail UK Labour Party’s Suspension of Former Leader Jeremy Corbyn

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters / Phil Noble.

Top Jewish groups expressed strong support on Thursday for UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer’s suspension of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn, a far-leftist with a long history of hate toward Israel and its supporters, was suspended after he issued a statement claiming the findings of an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on antisemitism in the Labour Party was the result of a conspiracy against him.

The EHRC found that Labour under Corbyn was responsible for illegal antisemitic harassment and discrimination.

“One antisemite is one too many,” Corbyn said on Thursday, “but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”

The Labour Party said in a subsequent statement, “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.”

Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl said, “We welcome the decision of the Labour Party to suspend Jeremy Corbyn.”

“Having presided over the descent of a proudly anti-racist party into a party that broke equalities law in its treatment of Jews, his shameless comments today showed that he remains part of the problem and is an obstruction to the resolution of the issue,” she added.

The Jewish Labour Movement, which had fought antisemitism from within the party during Corbyn’s tenure as leader, said, “Denial of antisemitism is part of the problem. Keir Starmer made that clear and said that he would act and that it would have no place in the Labour Party. He has taken responsibility and the Labour Party has acted.”

Joe Glasman, the head of Political and Government Investigations at the advocacy group Campaign Against Antisemitism, which registered a complaint against Corbyn’s statement earlier on Thursday, commented, “This is a hugely significant turning point and an indicator of real change and accountability at last.”

“Mr. Corbyn is part of the problem, and at last our complaints against him and other sitting Labour MPs who seemed untouchable are now being acted upon,” he added.

Praise came from the US as well, with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, saying, “Thank you Keir Starmer for taking a principled stance and making clear antisemitism, and its whitewashing, have no place in Labour or politics in general.”

Shortly after his suspension, Corbyn tweeted, “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me.”

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