PA backs Labour party on anti-Semitism

PA official expresses support for UK Labour party’s refusal to accept IHRA's definition of anti-Semitism.

Ben Ariel ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

The Palestinian Authority (PA) supports the British Labour party’s stance on anti-Semitism which refuses to include criticism of Israel in its principles, a PA official said on Monday, according to i24news.

The Labour party has been criticized over its refusal to adopt in full the definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Labour’s definition omits at least four points featured in the original one, including accusing Jews of “being more loyal to Israel” than their own country; claiming that Israel’s existence is a “racist endeavor”; applying a “double standard” on Israel; and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy” to that of the Nazis.

Manuel Hassassian, the PA envoy to the United Kingdom, on Monday called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn not to “give in” to pressure while hailing him for his “principled stance” on the matter, reported i24news.

His comments follow a report by The Guardian newspaper last week which said that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has indicated openness to adopting the full and complete definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the IHRA.

“Pro-Israeli interest groups in Britain are using the anti-Semitism row to silence criticism of Israel,” Hassassian said on Monday.

The PA envoy said he agreed with the notion that “accusations of racism against Israel could be deemed anti-Semitic.”

“Labour rightly judged that this example could be used as a tool to challenge criticism of nationalist tendencies and violations of human rights in Israel and legitimize its prolonged occupation of the Palestinians rather than protecting Jews worldwide,” he added.

Labour’s possible willingness to adopting the IHRA definition comes amid continued scandals surrounding the anti-Semitism in the party.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders. He 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.

Just last week, the Daily Mail published photos of him at a cemetery in Tunisia holding a wreath near the graves of some of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists who were responsible for the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The Labour leader said he would not apologize for attending the event at the cemetery because he was trying to “promote peace in the Middle East”.

Days later, a picture emerged of Corbyn apparently making a salute linked to the Muslim Brotherhood organization.

A spokesman for the Labour leader explained he had been “standing up for democracy” when he used the Rabbi’ah symbol.

Another report published on Sunday said Corbyn attended a conference with a convicted Hamas leader who was jailed in Israel for his role in orchestrating a string of terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people.