(JTA) – A Jewish member of the British House of Lords threatened to quit the Labour Party unless it works harder to address anti-Semitism within its ranks.
“Anti-Semitism in any political party cannot be tolerated, and it is for the leadership to make that absolutely clear,” Michael Abraham Levy said Monday during an interview on Sky News. “If they don’t make that clear, I will start to question that myself and actually question my being a Labour peer and a proud member of the Labour Party.”
Levy’s comments came after a party activist was suspended last week, for a second time, for slurring Jews – the activist said Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed” – and two leaders of the Oxford Labour Union Club resigned after leveling charges of anti-Semitism and discrimination against the party-backed organization.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to Levy’s charges, saying he “clearly hasn’t been listening to the seven times since I became leader I’ve absolutely condemned anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, any form of racism.”
“It is absolutely something I totally passionately believe in and I’m disappointed that Lord Levy has made these remarks,” Corbyn said in an interview on Sky News that followed Levy’s.
Corbyn has been accused of being anti-Israel because of past comments, including describing the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.”