Israel’s opposition Labor party said Tuesday it was suspending relations with British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of showing hostility to the Jewish community and allowing anti-Semitic statements and actions from his party officials.
Labor leader Avi Gabbay sent a letter to Corbyn informing him of the decision. The suspension of ties applies only to Corbyn’s office and not the party as a whole.
“It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility that you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour Party UK,” Gabbay wrote.
“This is in addition to your very public hatred of the policies of the Government of the State of Israel, many of which regard the security of our citizens and actions of our soldiers — policies where the opposition and coalition in Israel are aligned.”
Acknowledging the long history of friendship between the two parties and their previous leaders, Gabbay said that on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day he had no choice but to halt all formal relations with the British opposition leader.
“As Israel approaches Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day this week, we are reminded of the horrors of anti-Semitism in Europe and our commitment to combating anti-Semitism of all forms and in all places,” Gabbay wrote. “As such, I write to inform you of the temporary suspension of all formal relations between the Israel Labor Party and the Leader of the Labour Party UK.”
לאור התנהלותו של ג'רמי קורבין, מנהיג הלייבור הבריטית, אשר אינו ממלא את תפקידו בבלימת תופעות אנטישמיות בסביבתו וזאת בנוסף להצהרות ציבוריות שלו הנושאות מטען של שנאה כלפי ישראל -לפני שעה קלה שיגרתי אליו מכתב המודיע על ניתוק הקשר ושיתוף הפעולה בינינו. pic.twitter.com/kChW6fYH7F
— Avi Gabbay אבי גבאי (@GabbayAvi) April 10, 2018
Corbyn has been accused of not doing enough to deal with what is seen as a serious problem of anti-Semitism in his party. He has himself faced questions about his own links to known anti-Semites, past comments on Israel, and associations with vehemently anti-Israel figures.
Earlier this week Corbyn called for Britain to review its arms deals with Israel amid a series of escalating events along the Gaza border and slammed the “silence from the international powers.” He also said the UK must investigate the latest “illegal and inhumane” incidents carried out by the Israel Defense Forces there.
Last week he faced sharp criticism from some of his own lawmakers for attending a Passover event hosted by a Jewish far-left group that has dismissed claims of anti-Semitism in Labour as “faux-outrage” and called for Israel to be “disposed of.”