Letter from Jewish Board of Deputies re Corbyn

September 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm (anti-semitism, Human rights, Judaism, labour party, LGBT, posted by JD, reformism, zionism)

This was published in The Times yesterday (Sept 18): JC would be well advised (in the light of reports like this) to respond in an equally courteous and frank manner:

Board of deputies.svg

Sir, We would like to congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his election as Labour leader. We always seek to establish constructive working relationships with the major parties and we hope this will be the case with Mr Corbyn.

There are some key questions on which British Jews will be looking for reassurance. There are concerns about Mr Corbyn’s apparent past openness towards organisations and individuals involved in violent extremism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. These have included Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are proscribed terrorist organisations, overtly anti-Semitic, have hateful policies towards women and LGBT people and total contempt for human rights. We hope he will affirm and implement a “zero tolerance” stance towards racists, extremists, Holocaust deniers and homophobes.

We also hope Mr Corbyn will pursue contact with the mainstream Israeli and Palestinian political parties, with the aim of advancing peace and security for both national communities. We look to him to reaffirm long-established Labour party policy against boycotts, which are stigmatising, divisive and counterproductive. We will also be asking for support on a range of key religious freedoms important to Jews, Christians, Muslims and others.

President, Board of Deputies of British Jews


  1. Jim Denham said,

    This video of Corbyn’s present views has been drawn to my attention. He makes clear his support for Kurds, Gush Shalom and Palestinian 2 staters, Tehran bus workers trade unionists. It’s not perfect: generally pacifistic rather than socialist but nothing like how he is portrayed by the Mail and some on the Eustonite “left”.

    Despite this, he still needs to do more to reassure the majority of UK Jews, given his unfortunate past support for Hamas and Hezbollah, etc: a positive response to the Deputies’ letter would be excellent.

  2. kb72 said,

    Why should Corbyn bother with a small minority when a lot of his supporters think (a) Israel is the worst country ever and any tactics against its existence are justified: (b) any accusations of anti-semitism are merely a ruse covering up Israel’s nefariousness. He might win over a few anxious Jews but would piss off a lot of his fervent supporters.

    “So far, you have treated allegations of antisemitism as a dirtier trick than antisemitism itself.”


  3. kb72 said,

    Oh, and Jenny Tonge “organ harvester” is thinking of defecting to honest Corbyn. I think you can guess what attracted her.


    Earlier this week, Tonge tabled a written question in the House of Lords in which she asked “Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights.”

    Tonge’s question, which comes against the background of rising antisemitism in the UK, was quickly condemned by Jewish campaigners.

    Jonathan Sacerdoti of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which recently published a disturbing survey about the current levels of antisemitism in the UK, told The Algemeiner that the “widely accepted” definition of antisemitism coined by the European Union Monitoring Center “specifies that it is antisemitic to hold Jews collectively responsible for any action of the State of Israel.”


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