Jewish peer resigns from British Labour Party
Lord Parry Mitchell announced he would resign if Jeremy Corbyn was once again elected to lead the British Labour Party; ‘I gave it a year and the situation is worse,’ Parry tells Ynet. ‘If I didn’t take this decision, I am not sure I’d be able to look myself in the mirror.’
During an interview with Ynet Radio, Mitchell explained his reasons for his resignation, citing Corbyn’s long-standing anti-Israel stance and rampant anti-Semitism within the party itself. “If I didn’t take this decision, I am not sure I’d be able to look myself in the mirror,” he said.
Prior to the Labour leadership elections, Mitchell declared that he would tender his resignation if Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected due to what he described as his failed complaints on the issue of anti-Semitism in the party.
Mitchell, 73, also told Ynet that despite his opposition to Corbyn, he had been willing to give him a chance. “Corbyn was absolutely not the person I wanted leading the Labour Party but I decided to give it a year just to see how it went and a year has come and a year has gone and in my view the situation in the Labour Party has got worse.”
Corbyn has been fighting repeated battles over allegations of anti-Semitism and extremely hostile comments which he has expressed about Israel throughout his political career.
Beset by a political rebellion staged by even his closest allies, dividing its supporters over hard-line socialist policies and having lead the party into almost unparalleled disarray, Corbyn still managed to clinch 62% of the vote in Saturday’s leadership elections leaving his opponent Owen Smith with a meagre 38%. Indeed, the mandate Corbyn received this time round only served to consolidate a tenuous grasp on power.
Mitchell went on to say that the Labour Party had been infiltrated by a group of young radical leftists, who did not represent the core of the party’s supporters. Nor did the leader, he insisted, reflect an inherent anti-Semitic sentiment within the party itself.
“I speak to lots of Israelis and it would be a big mistake to assume that the Labour party is anti-Semitic...In fact I think England is a pretty good place to be Jewish,” Mitchell said.
Asked whether he thought Jeremy Corbyn was sympathetic to anti-Semitism, Mitchell responded, “I don’t know if (Corbyn) is sympathetic to anti-Semitism. In the minds of anybody who hates Israel — which he does — anyone who supports Israel is therefore bad...He does not see anti-Semitism as racism…He can’t mention the word Israel. It is very hard for him.”