Lapid accuses UK Labour leader Corbyn of ‘old-school, plain anti-Semitism’
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'Racists are racists and Jeremy Corbyn is a racist'

Lapid accuses UK Labour leader Corbyn of ‘old-school, plain anti-Semitism’

Blue and White MK says he usually wouldn’t interfere in foreign election, but is making an exception for Thursday’s vote because ‘we can tell an anti-Semite when we see one’

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

MK Yair Lapid addressing the Israel Allies Foundations conference in Jerusalem, December 9, 2019 (Avi Hayun)
MK Yair Lapid addressing the Israel Allies Foundations conference in Jerusalem, December 9, 2019 (Avi Hayun)

MK Yair Lapid on Monday called UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a racist and anti-Semite, urging British voters to keep that in mind as they vote for a new government later this week.

“Usually you’re not supposed to interfere with elections in other countries but in this case I’ll make an exception. Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite,” Lapid declared at a Conference of the Israel Allies Foundation, which brings to Israel lawmakers from across the globe who are supportive of the Jewish state.

“The experts on anti-Semitism are Jews. We can tell an anti-Semite when we see one,” said Lapid, who is the centrist Blue and White list’s designated candidate for foreign minister.

“This isn’t even a new form of anti-Semitism. This is old-school, plain anti-Semitism, just using new excuses. Everyone should take this into account going into the voting booth because racists are racists and Jeremy Corbyn is a racist.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far kept mum on the expected outcome of Thursday’s general election in the UK, carefully avoiding speaking on the record about the possibility of Corbyn becoming prime minister.

But Foreign Minister Israel Katz last week said about Corbyn, “I personally hope he doesn’t get elected.”

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the launch of the Labour Party race and faith manifesto, in London, Tuesday Nov. 26, 2019. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

Corbyn, who has been leader of the opposition since 2015, has been engulfed in various anti-Semitism scandals and is known to be very critical of Israel. If elected, he vowed to immediately recognize a Palestinian state and to halt arms deals with Israel.

Furthermore, officials in Jerusalem are worried about a Corbyn victory, citing the very close defense relationship between Israel and the UK, including the regular sharing of sensitive intelligence.

Speaking at the Israel Allies Foundation, Lapid also briefly addressed the current political situation within Israel.

“Let me start with where we do not differ with Likud: There is complete consensus on the fight against BDS [the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement], complete consensus on the Golan Heights, and I sat here with tears of joy a year ago when the American embassy opened here in our capital Jerusalem,” Lapid said.

“The differences are on domestic issues — corruption, how we allocate budgets, the fight against religious coercion.”

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