(JTA) – A former representative of the British Labour Party in parliament and a prominent author on anti-Semitism quit the party over hate speech about Jews in its ranks.
Ian Austin became the ninth MP to quit over anti-Semitism this week. He told the BBC Friday that the leadership of the party had failed to tackle the problem of hatred toward Jews, and had turned the party into a “narrow sect,” the Associated Press reported.
David Hirsh, a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of the 2017 book Contemporary Left Antisemitism announced separately his leaving Labour on Thursday, ending a decades-long membership since he was 18.
“I do not want Jeremy Corbyn to be the next prime minister,” Hirsh wrote on Facebook of the far-left politician who in 2015 was elected to lead Labour. “He is so wedded to anti-Semitic politics that he has been quite unable to address the anti-Semitic culture which he imported into the Labour mainstream.”
Corbyn in 2009 called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends. In 2013 he defended an anti-Semitic mural. He has laid flowers on the graves of Palestinian terrorists in 2014. In 2015 he said that British-born “Zionists” don’t understand British irony. He has called to boycott Israel and applauded a speaker who called for its destruction.
The Jewish Voice for Labour group on Wednesday published a letter supporting Corbyn, titled “Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is a crucial ally in the fight against anti-Semitism.”
Leaders of British Jewry called a Corbyn-led government an “Existential threat.”