(JTA) – British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said party must recognize that anti-Jewish bigotry has become part of the movement and drive out antisemitism.
“The evidence is clear enough. The worst cases of antisemitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood,” Corbyn said in an email to party members announcing the launch of an educational website on antisemitism.
The website, titled “No Place for Antisemitism,” says that “Antisemitism has no place in our Party. Hatred towards Jewish people has no place in our society.”
Corbyn said in the email that “the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry. Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognizing that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement. Hatred towards Jewish people is rising in many parts of the world. Our party is not immune from that poison – and we must drive it out from our movement.”
Many British Jews believe Corbyn, who has long associated with Palestinian radicals and in at least one case a Holocaust denier, is antisemitic and that he is responsible for a hostile environment in a party that for over a century was a natural home for Jews.
Labour, which has seen more than a dozen lawmakers resign under Corbyn, is facing an official probe by the government’s Equality and Human Rights Commission over its handling of antisemitism complaints.