British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday reached out to the country’s Jewish community, saying in a video greeting for Passover that more needs to be done to combat anti-Semitism.
“Passover is a time to celebrate a journey from oppression to freedom. We remember all our Jewish brothers and sisters, who have battled against discrimination and faced the most horrific acts of violence and mass murder,” he said.
“This year marks 75 years since a group of Jewish partisans in Warsaw, on the first night of Passover, discovered that the Nazis intended to destroy their ghetto. They decided to stay and fight holding out against the Nazi war machine for a month.”
“We think also about rising levels of anti-Semitism around the world,” said Corbyn, who added that it “is easy to denounce anti-Semitism when you see it in other countries, in other political movements. It is sometimes harder to see it when it is closer to home.”
“We in the Labour movement will never be complacent about anti-Semitism. We all need to do better,” he acknowledged, before adding, “I am committed to ensuring the Labour Party is a welcoming and secure place for Jewish people…In the fight against anti-Semitism, I am your ally and I always will be.”
The anti-Semitism in the Labour Party came to light again this week, when British Jews took to the streets to protest the phenomenon.
In addition to the protest, British Jewish leaders sent an open letter to the Labour party in which they wrote that Corbyn had “sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews” and stated that “enough is enough”.
Corbyn responded with a letter of his own in which he stressed to Jewish leaders and stressed that he is a “militant opponent” of anti-Semitism.
Corbyn has been criticized in the past due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.
He has since said he regretted making those remarks.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat and Passover in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)