In Car Crash Interview, UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Declines to Apologize over his party’s Antisemitism
“Labour leader’s approach to anti-Semitism remains a failure of leadership.”
In what is being described by British newspapers as a car crash interview, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly refused to apologize over antisemitism claims against him and his party.
Talking to BBC interviewer Andrew Neil on Tuesday evening, Corbyn declined four times to apologize to British Jews over his handling of antisemitism within the party since he became party chief four years ago.
Neil asked Corbyn, how British Jews could trust him when “they’ve seen you share platforms with some of the world’s vilest anti-Semites”?
The Labour leader dodged the question, quibbling instead over the use of the term “they.”
“80 per cent of Jews think that you’re anti-Semitic. That’s quite a lot of British Jews.” Neil quipped.
Refusing to address the issue of rampant antisemitism in his party, Corbyn responded with meaningless phrases: “I don’t want anyone to go through what anyone has gone through.”
Antisemitism is “poisonous and divisive just as much as Islamophobia or far-right racism,” he said. “I want to work with every community to make sure it’s eliminated. That is what my whole life has been about.”
That’s not what sums up Corbyn’s whole life. It has been about fraternizing with Jew-killing Palestinian terrorist groups, calling them his ‘friends,’ and laying a wreath at the grave of terrorists with the blood of Jews on their hands.
British Jews have left the party in droves since Corbyn took over the helm, including leading Jewish members of parliament (MPs). Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger needed police cover to attend her party conference after months of vile antisemitic threats. Lord Triesman, Labour’s general secretary from 2001 to 2013, admitted that the party under Corbyn has become “institutionally antisemitic.”
The BBC interview took place on the day when Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis penned an op-ed, calling Corbyn “unfit for high office.” Earlier this month country’s leading Jewish newspaper Jewish Chronicle published a blistering front-page editorial urging non-Jewish electorates not to vote for Corbyn. The newspaper called out his “racist views” and talked of “the deep fear he inspires among” the Jewish minority of Britain.
Nearly half of the British Jews are “seriously considering” leaving the country if Corbyn comes to power in the December 12 election, a recent opinion poll showed.
British newspapers across the board slammed Corbyn’s disastrous interview.
“Jeremy Corbyn throws away opportunities to address Jewish concerns,” The Irish Times commented. “Labour leader’s approach to anti-Semitism remains a failure of leadership.”
Labour leader “dodged questions of why Labour had not suspended party members accused of sharing anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and holocaust denial,” The Sun noted.
Even the left-wing paper The Guardian had to admit that it will “be difficult to shake [the accusations of antisemitism] after Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Neil last night, in which he repeatedly resisted calls to apologise to the Jewish community.” The interview came at a time when “Labour was seeking to brand itself as the party of equality and compassion,” the newspaper added.
The Daily Express was less forgiving towards the Labour leader’s dismal TV appearance and asked: “Has Corbyn’s horror show gifted Boris keys to No 10?”
“It’s very, very hard to watch that interview and not come to the conclusion, and I don’t like to say this, that Jeremy Corbyn must be anti-Semitic,” British TV presenter Piers Morgan said.
The UK newspaper Evening Standard reported Corbyn’s car-crash interview:
The Labour leader declined to apologise four times to the Jewish community as he was questioned on the BBC on Tuesday.
He also hit out at the Chief Rabbi, who today claimed “a new poison” had “taken root” within the party, saying he was wrong to accuse Labour of failing to tackle anti-semitism.
Mr Corbyn was quizzed by Andrew Neil on Brexit, his tax plans and borrowing as part of a series of BBC interviews with those vying to become the next prime minister.
But much of Tuesday’s discussion with The Andrew Neil Interviews focused on anti-Semitism after Ephraim Mirvis’s unprecedented intervention warning Mr Corbyn was unfit to lead the nation. (…)
The Labour leader was challenged over Rabbi Mirvis’s allegation that Labour’s claims it is doing everything to tackle anti-Jewish racism was a “mendacious fiction”.
“No, he’s not right. Because he would have to produce the evidence to say that’s mendacious,” Mr Corbyn replied.
He insisted he has “developed a much stronger process” and had sanctioned and removed members who have been anti-Semitic.
Mr Corbyn also denied that the blight increased after he took over the party, saying: “It didn’t rise after I became leader.
“Anti-Semitism is there in society, there are a very, very small number of people in the Labour Party that have been sanctioned as a result about their anti-Semitic behaviour.”
But he repeatedly refused to apologise when asked by Mr Neil.
Unprecedented consensus : All papers headlines today are about @jeremycorbyn refusal to apologise to British Jews for #LabourAntisemitism. #votelabourvoteracism #nevercorbyn pic.twitter.com/55iTS1QJrR
— Tal Ofer טל עופר تل عوفر (@TalOfer) November 27, 2019
With less than three weeks to go until the December general election, the Corbyn-led Labour Party trails by double digits in the polls behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. “Boris Johnson’s Tories have established their biggest lead over Labour for two years,” The Telegraph reported, citing polls released over the weekend.
Desperate to narrow the gap, the Labour leader is rolling out a multi-billion government handout plan, offering free high-speed internet to every home and cheap housing. The party is trying to woo the migrant vote by promising to loosen immigration rules and making it easier for them to get their families over.
Corbyn’s antisemitism won’t sit well with most British voters, but it will endear him among the country’s radicalized Muslim population. Losing support of the dwindling Jewish community as part of the cynical payoff won’t harm his political ambitions.
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