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Israeli Labor Suspends Ties with UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn over Syria Attack



Israel’s Labor Party has officially suspended relations with Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of his handling of the antisemitism crisis.

The chairman of the Israeli party wrote to Mr Corbyn on Tuesday accusing the British Labour Leader of having shown “hostility” to the Jewish community.

Avi Gabbay said the temporary suspension was necessary as long as Mr Corbyn continues to “fail to adequately address the antisemitism within Labour Party UK”.

It came as the former leader of the British National Party Nick Griffin signalled he would vote Labour in support of Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on the most recent Syrian chemical weapons attack.

For weeks now, Mr Corbyn’s party has been embroiled in an ongoing row and protests from the Jewish community which flared up after the Leader gave his backing to an antisemitic London mural, something he later retracted and apologised for.

But in his letter, Mr Gabbay wrote: “It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility that you have shown to the Jewish community and the antisemitic statements you have allowed as Leader of the Labour Party UK.

“This is in addition to your very public hatred of the policies of the Government of the State of Israel.”

He added: “As such, I write to inform you of the temporary suspension of all formal relations between the Israel Labor Party and the Leader of the Labour Party UK. While there are many areas where our respective parties can and will cooperate, we cannot retain relations with you…while you fail to adequately address the antisemitism within Labour Party UK.”

In another awkward development, Mr Corbyn also gained the backing of the former BNP leader Mr Griffin, who said he will vote Labour if the party’s leader resists the “psychotic rush to [World War 3]” in Syria, following the recent chemical weapons attack in Damascus.

At the weekend, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Labour’s headquarters in London to campaign against antisemitism in the party.

On Sunday Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, said she was “frustrated” by the speed with which the party has responded to a report on antisemitism from two years ago.

The Chakrabarti report found an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” and made 20 recommendations, including procedural changes, to improve the party’s disciplinary process.

It also called for the appointment of a lawyer to give advice on issues, including disciplinary matters, and to take responsibility for instructing external lawyers.

Ms Rayner told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve been a little frustrated that we haven’t moved forward on the Chakrabarti report as fast as I would’ve liked to have seen.

“We need to make sure that the full Chakrabarti report is implemented and that we have an absolute zero tolerance.

“It can’t be right when people see on social media – and it’s not just the Labour Party but across the board – antisemitic rhetoric and they see no action taken or that action is far too slow.”