British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by a party branch of personally engaging in anti-Semitic acts on nine occasions.
The accusation was featured in a damning 53-page report filed by the Labour Jewish Movement, one of the oldest societies affiliated with the party, to the body tasked with probing anti-Semitism within the UK’s main opposition party and its failure to adequately deal with complaints about the matter.
Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a far-left politician, of allowing a massive rise in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead it. The party is currently being formally investigated by the UK’s anti-racism watchdog.
British media reported the filing of the document Thursday, a week before general elections in which Corbyn is running against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party.
The Jewish Labour Movement report said the party harbored “endemic, institutional anti-Semitism” and that there is “overwhelming evidence that anti-Semitic conduct is pervasive at all levels of the party,” detailing countless such cases.
Corbyn himself “has repeatedly associated with, sympathized with and engaged in anti-Semitism,” the report said in an 11-clause section that listed nine such cases.
They included writing the foreword for a book that claims Jews control banks and the press, expressing support for a self-described Holocaust denier and others accused of anti-Semitism, and laying a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.
The extensive report was based on the testimonies of 70 current and former Labour staffers.
One of them listed 22 occasions of anti-Semitic abuse during party meetings, where he was called a “child killer,” “Tory Jew” and “Zio scum” and was told he’s “good with money” and that “Hitler was right.”
Another Labour employee said they heard a comment that “the only reason we have prostitutes in Seven Sisters is because of the Jews.”
Meetings were held during Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, even after complaints that Jews could not attend them, another testified.
The report accused Labour of trying to “maintain secrecy surrounding the scale of the number of anti-Semitism claims it has failed to address” and of attempting to hinder the investigation into the matter.
A Labour spokesperson responded to British media, saying: “This document includes baseless assumptions about current staff’s workload and the untrue allegations about outstanding cases. The Labour Party is not institutionally antisemitic and complaints relate to a small minority of our members. We have significantly reformed our procedures over the past year.”
Much of the worry over Corbyn is spurred by revelations about his record that have emerged since he became Labour leader. These include him describing Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”; defending an anti-Semitic mural in East London; and a seeming willingness to associate with alleged anti-Semites, terrorists, and Holocaust-deniers.
Israel’s foreign minister said Thursday he hoped Corbyn doesn’t get elected in the upcoming vote.
“I personally hope he doesn’t get elected,” Israel Katz told Army Radio regarding the December 12 poll. He cited a wave of anti-Semitism that Corbyn “doesn’t deny” as the reason for his opinion.