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Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Reuters
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi and Jeremy Corbyn
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky, Reuters
Israel's Arab MPs back UK's Corbyn amid anti-Semitism accusations
In letter to Britain's Guardian, four members of Arab Joint List praise Corbyn as 'a principled leftist leader who aspires for peace and justice and is opposed to all forms of racism.'

A group of Arab lawmakers in Israel on Sunday praised British Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been battling accusations of anti-Semitism for months.

 

 

In a letter to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Ahmad Tibi, a deputy speaker of Israel's parliament, and three other members of the Joint Arab List party said Corbyn had a "longstanding solidarity with all oppressed peoples around the world, including his unflinching support for the Palestinian people."

 

Since unexpectedly becoming Labour leader in 2015 after decades spent on the left-wing fringes of the party, Corbyn has repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic comments in the party and among groups he supports.

 

Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi and Jeremy Corbyn (Photo: Reuters, Alex Kolomoisky)
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi and Jeremy Corbyn (Photo: Reuters, Alex Kolomoisky)

Incredibly, instead of taking that government to task for (Israel’s) unadulterated racism, the British political class ignores the Palestinian historical plight, and attacks and abuses the British and European leader who vocally supports the Palestinian cause of peace and equality,” the letter in the Guardian read.

 

Corbyn has responded to protests by meeting Jewish community leaders, reassuring Jewish people they are welcome in the party. He has previously apologized for what he has described as "pockets" of anti-Semitism in his party.

 

However, several Jewish Labour politicians have slammed Corbyn for what they believe is his turning blind eye to anti-Semitism, with one Jewish MPcalling him a "f***ing anti-Semite" in July.

 

One of the longest-serving Labour lawmakers, Frank Field, this week attacked its leadership for becoming "a force for anti-Semitism" and said he will no longer vote with the party in parliament.

 

Further pressure was piled on Corbyn when Britain's former chief rabbi warned that Jewish people are thinking about leaving the country because of anti-Semitism.

 

Corbyn at wreath-laying ceremony
Corbyn at wreath-laying ceremony

 

Israel's own Labour party suspended relations with Corbyn in April, accusing him of sanctioning anti-Semitism and showing hostility towards Israeli policies.

 

In August, Corbyn acknowledged that he was present at a wreath-laying to Palestinians allegedly linked to the murder of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

 

In their letter, the Arab members of Israel's parliament said they recognize Corbyn as "a principled leftist leader who aspires for peace and justice and is opposed to all forms of racism, whether directed at Jews, Palestinians, or any other group."

 

Some opinion polls put Labour ahead or level with Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives, meaning he is a potential British leader, although the next election is not due until 2022.

 

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

 


פרסום ראשון: 09.03.18, 09:02
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