Israeli Labor Party Breaks Off Relations With Britain's Corbyn

Ken Loach

Ken Loach

"I wish that they would understand that we are utterly determined in every way to drive out anti-Semitism from our society and where it exists in any party to drive it out, including my own", said the Labour leader.

A letter sent to Corbyn, who is avowedly pro-Palestinian, also stated that his "public hatred" of Israel's state policies acted as a deterrent to any constructive relations.

Avi Gabbay said in a video posted online that he wrote to Corbyn, informing him of the "temporary suspension of all formal relations".

"It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour party UK", Israeli Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay wrote in a letter to Corbyn, distributed to the media. "I think they should have done me the courtesy of asking me first".

It comes after Mr Corbyn has faced protests and widespread criticism for turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism among his supporters.

Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, Joan Ryan MP, wrote urgently to the Labour leader today demanding he visit Israel, saying she was "ashamed at the news".

Mr Corbyn said he was "determined" that there would be "no racism in any form" within the Labour Party.

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"While there are many areas where our respective parties can and will cooperate, we cannot retain relations with you, leader of Labour Party UK, while you fail to adequately address the antisemitism within Labour Party UK".

The message was read Saturday at a demonstration in support of the Palestinians outside of the prime minister's office on Downing Street and posted on Corbyn's Facebook page.

"Jewdas" the group organizing the Passover event describes itself as providing a "radical voice for the alternative diaspora" and is well-known for its outspoken views on the Jewish State.

In his letter, Mr Gabbay, the leader of Israel's main opposition party, hails its "long history of friendship" with UK Labour.

The two organisations proposed an agenda that centred on the need for personal leadership from Corbyn to tackle the issue, swift action on outstanding antisemitism disciplinary cases, and a programme of education for party members.

Film star Maureen Lipman joined hundreds of furious protesters outside Labour HQ, at the weekend where she said that "Corbyn made me a Tory". "He has failed to respond to their repeated offers of dialogue, including invitations to host him at Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust museum". "Clearly this proves that the Jewish Labour Movement's work is more important than ever, and we're not going anywhere".

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