(JTA) – A major Jewish donor to Britain’s Labour Party said no big Jewish donor has given money to the party this year because they are “concerned about the direction the party is taking.”
Michael Foster, whose family gave the party more than $570,000 during the 2015 general elections, wrote in an op-ed in the Daily Mail that party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s view that there is “no crisis” over anti-Semitism in the party “shows only his callousness and contempt for the history of the Jews in Europe.”
“Jeremy Corbyn continues to ignore the problem – and that shocks me,” Foster wrote. “He makes no attempt at all to put at ease a Jewish community in Britain that for more than 100 years has supported Labour spiritually, politically and financially. The community looks on in horror that a supposedly civilized man cannot understand the pain and fear that many on the left of the Labour Party inflict without any worry of disciplinary action from the leadership. All Jeremy Corbyn dispenses are palliative statements, lumping anti-Semitism with racism.”
Foster wrote that it is no wonder that elements of the party are attacking Jews when the party leader appears to approve of their messages.
“Why would any of these ignorant people hold back on their attacks against individual Jews and the Jewish community when all through the Labour leadership election Corbyn would not distance himself from accusations the supported organizations calling for the destruction of Israel?” he wrote.
“The Jewish community has protested clearly and often, and will continue to do so. Yet I will vouch that Jeremy Corbyn will do nothing,” Foster said. “He is too weak to stand up against the wing of the party on whose support he relies. These people have a Pavlovian reaction to Jews and Israel: see a Jew, see an anti-Palestinian.”
Corbyn last week defended a remark by his brother, Piers, dismissed as “absurd” allegations that Labour was not properly handing anti-Semitism, adding that “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”
Since Corbyn’s election to head Labour in September, the party has seen a string of scandals involving alleged anti-Semitism, including at its Oxford University chapter, which is now the subject of a party probe. Last week, Labour activist Bob Campbell said on Facebook that the ISIS terrorist group is run by Israel. He was reported to have been suspended as a party member, though he has denied the action has taken place.
Separately, a Labour lawmaker in Parliament, Vicki Kirby, was suspended after it was revealed she suggested in a series of social media posts that Adolf Hitler might be a “Zionist god,” saying Jews have “big noses” and asking why ISIS was not attacking Israel.
The party over the weekend suspended a Muslim municipal lawmaker over anti-Semitic tweets written before she was elected, including one praising Adolf Hitler as the “greatest man in history.”