British Jewish newspapers warn against Corbyn government

Britain’s three Jewish newspapers united in publishing editorial warning of threat to British Jewry by Labour-led government.

Ben Ariel ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Britain’s three Jewish newspapers, despite usually being vigorous competitors, have united in publishing a front-page editorial warning of the “existential” threat to British Jewry that a government led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose, JTA reported on Wednesday.

“We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel,” the editorials said, referring to Corbyn’s Labour Party.

“The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015,” it added.

The three newspapers are The Jewish Chronicle, long the community’s flagship newspaper; the Jewish News, a relative newcomer; and the Jewish Telegraph, which has editions in many of Britain’s northern cities.

The editorials outlined a series of scandals and controversies that have beset Labour relating to anti-Semitism, culminating in a policy on anti-Semitism that omits Israel-related definitions that have become standard elsewhere.

“Under its adapted guidelines, a Labour Party member is free to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavour and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless ‘intent’ – whatever that means – can be proved,” the editorials said. “‘Dirty Jew’ is wrong, ‘Zionist b**ch’ fair game?”

The newspapers noted the political disarray in the country following the 2016 Brexit referendum mandating the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.

“There is a clear and present danger that a man with a default blindness to the Jewish community’s fears, a man who has a problem seeing that hateful rhetoric aimed at Israel can easily step into anti-Semitism, could be our next prime minister,” they said, according to JTA.

The Labour Party continues to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism. Over the last several years, dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders. Corbyn has also been criticized for calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

Corbyn has maintained that Labour will not tolerate racist rhetoric by its members. However, the party has kept on many Labour members whom Jewish community leaders said engaged in anti-Semitic hate speech.

In recent months, Corbyn for the first time has encountered protests over his party’s anti-Semitism problem during work visits abroad.