Corbyn blasted for ignoring Herzog's letter

Labour MPs criticize leader Jeremy Corbyn for failing to reply to Israeli Labor leader's concerns over anti-Semitism in the British party.

Ben Ariel ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is once again in hot water, this time over his failure to reply to Israeli Labor leader MK Yitzhak Herzog’s concerns of the anti-Semitism in the British party.

The Guardian reported on Saturday that Corbyn is facing criticism from members of his own party over his handling of anti-Semitism allegations, after Israel’s Labor party said it had had no reply to a letter Herzog sent to Corbyn a month ago expressing dismay and inviting him to Jerusalem to see the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

Labour MPs said they were shocked that no response had apparently been sent to Herzog and added that it was further evidence of the party leadership’s slow and inadequate response to the crisis.

After former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party at the end of April for making highly controversial remarks about Hitler and Zionism, Herzog wrote to Corbyn, saying he was “appalled and outraged by the recent instances of anti-Semitism by senior Labour party officials in the United Kingdom”.

Livingstone has since been fired from his radio show over the anti-Semitic remarks.

Herzog in his letter invited Corbyn to bring a delegation to Yad Vashem to witness that the last time the Jews were forcibly transported “it was not to Israel but to their deaths”.

An Israeli Labour party official confirmed Saturday that it had “not had a reply” after rumors circulated in the Jewish community in London that no response had been received in Jerusalem or issued from London, according to The Guardian.

Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, who was one of several MPs who held a private meeting with Corbyn last week to discuss anti-Semitism, said in response: “It should be a matter of common courtesy to reply to a letter from the leader of one of our sister parties, particularly on an issue as important as tackling antisemitism. But this is fairly typical of the flat-footed and lackadaisical attitude that we’ve seen from the outset. It is simply unacceptable.”

Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North, said he was shocked that the party had not sent Herzog a reply, according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile on Saturday, suspended Labour member Jackie Walker was reinstated to the party, following an investigation into what were described as anti-Semitic statements that had led to her suspension.

Walker was suspended earlier this month following controversial comments condemning Jews as enablers of the “African holocaust”. On Saturday a Labour UK spokesperson released a statement regarding Walker’s status within the party.

“Following the outcome of an investigation, Jacqueline Walker is no longer suspended and remains a member of the party.”