Labour dismisses former Chief Rabbi's 'absurd' criticism

Britain’s Labour Party criticizes former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks after he condemned Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite.

Ben Ariel ,

Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Yoni Kempinski

Britain’s Labour party on Wednesday criticized former British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a day after he condemned Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite.

Rabbi Sacks had accused Corbyn of having "given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove from Israel from the map” in an interview with the New Statesman.

The rabbi’s comments were in response to Corbyn's 2013 speech, which was exposed by the Daily Mail last week, in which Corbyn suggested that Zionists are not true Britons.

Rabbi Sacks called those remarks "the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech."

He called Corbyn’s speech "divisive, hateful and like Powell’s speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Labour party branded Rabbi Sacks’ remarks “absurd and offensive”, according to the British Jewish News.

“This comparison with the race-baiting Enoch Powell is absurd and offensive. Jeremy Corbyn described a particular group of pro-Israel activists as Zionists, in the accurate political sense, not as a synonym or code for Jewish people,” said the spokesperson.

“Jeremy Corbyn is determined to tackle anti-Semitism both within the Labour Party and in wider society and the Labour Party is committed to rebuilding trust with the Jewish community,” the spokesperson added.

The 2013 speech is just one in a series of controversies to have plagued the Labour leader, who has, in the past, called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends”, in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago, the Daily Mail published photos of the Labour leader 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.

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

That week, the Times of London published a picture of Corbyn meeting with the leader-in-exile of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization, only weeks before its members carried out an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which six people were murdered.

Last week it was revealed that 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 between 2001 and 2002.

On Tuesday, the Daily Mail exposed remarks made by Corbyn in 2010 in which he hinted that Israeli officials were controlling the speeches made by British MPs.