Jeremy Corbyn Turns Down Invitation To Visit Yad Vashem

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn turned down an invitation by Israel’s opposition chief to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, a British newspaper reported.

Corbyn responded to the invitation, made in the spring by Isaac Herzog, the head of Israel’s Zionist Union political list, several weeks later, saying his schedule was full and that he would send either Tom Watson, the deputy party leader, or Iain McNicol, the party general secretary, in November, according to the Guardian.

The invitation from Herzog came in April after former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler supported Zionism. Already suspended from Labour for the remarks, he doubled down on them last week as he awaited a decision on whether he will be permanently expelled from the party.

The chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, British lawmaker Joan Ryan, told the Guardian that visiting Israel should have been a “priority” for Corbyn.

“I’m very disappointed Jeremy turned down the invitation to visit Israel from our sister party. Given the deep concerns about his commitment to a two-state solution, his labeling of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’, and the allegations of anti-Semitism which have occurred on his watch, such a visit should have been a priority,” Ryan said.

Labour and Corbyn have been accused of doing too little to curb rampant anti-Semitism among party members. Corbyn, who has called Hezbollah and Hamas “friends,” has also been accused of fostering an atmosphere of anti-Semitism in the party.

A government inquiry into anti-Semitism was launched in April to determine whether anti-Jewish prejudice has increased in the United Kingdom and to assess the particular dangers facing Jews. In June, the inquiry determined that the party had not been with anti-Semitism.

Also over the weekend, Labour suspended prominent Jewish party donor Michael Foster, who compared Corbyn’s supporters to Nazi storm troopers last month in an Op-Ed in the London-based Daily Mail. In the last election, Foster and his family contributed more than $500,000 to the party.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Jeremy Corbyn Turns Down Invitation To Visit Yad Vashem

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close