British Jewish Newspapers Unite To Warn Of 'Existential' Corbyn Threat

Ian Austin has been a strong critic of Jeremy Corbyn

Image Ian Austin has been a strong critic of Jeremy Corbyn

But he lashed out at leader Jeremy Corbyn in an interview on BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, saying: 'Somebody with views and history like his isn't really suited to the leadership of a mainstream political party'.

Dame Margaret told Mr Corbyn he is an "anti-Semite and a racist", adding: "You have proved you don't want people like me in the party".

'That I'm so anxious about his plans to nationalise the railways or something that I would invent all this stuff?

"It's actually the other way around".

"Anti-Semitism is racism, the Labour Party should accept that, Jeremy Corbyn should accept that and we should all sign up, as the Conservative Party has done, to the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and all its annexes".

MSPs Monica Lennon, Jackie Baillie, Anas Sarwar, Daniel Johnson and Colin Smyth have all expressed their support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition to be accepted in its entirety, including a list of examples. While most Jewish organisations in the United Kingdom back the IHRA code, critics claim it could be used to restrict criticism of Israeli policy-an especially fraught issue for those who, like Corbyn and his press chief Seamus Milne, have been trenchant critics of Israel for decades.

After initially stumbling over his words and describing Labour as "a party that is anti-racist and anti-Semitist", he told Today: "We are are against anti-Semitism, we are a party that attacks anti-Semitism wherever it is, either in our party or in our community".

Mr Austin said that allegations he "screamed abuse" at chairman Ian Lavery are false, but admitted a "heated discussion" had taken place.

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Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secretary, said he hoped Austin's case could be resolved with an amicable outcome, and a member of Corbyn's front bench appeared to hint that he believed the NEC decision should be overturned.

"I felt not pleased about it, I felt upset about it but as always I am very calm and treat people with a great deal of respect", he said. Yes I am. And I'm upset as well about the leadership's failure, I think refusal really, to deal with this properly.

We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the last few days had been "utterly shameful for the party".

Still, Labour has been wrestling with accusations that it has been tolerant of anti-Semitism among some of its members, and in April leaders of Britain's 270,000 Jews organised a protest accusing Corbyn of failing to address their concerns.

Pulling no punches, the editorial in the papers continues: The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty's Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.

But, a party spokesman added the NEC had "agreed to re-open the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups, in order to better reflect their views".

"We have concerns about one half of one of the IHRA's 11 examples, which could be used to deny Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem appropriate".

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