Jeremy Corbyn Yanks Video Downplaying Anti-Semitism Claims
— A video in support of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s reelection to the post was withdrawn after Jewish leaders complained that it made light of allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.
The video, “Five questions Corbyn supporters are tired of hearing,” was removed on Wednesday night from YouTube, but it still remains on Corbyn’s personal Facebook page, under the videos section though not on the news feed. It has garnered nearly 200k views.
Gillian Merron, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, complained about content of the video Wednesday to the head of Corbyn’s leadership campaign, who apologized and said a public apology would be issued, the Jewish Chronicle reported. No such apology was issued as of Thursday.
“The dismissive video was a ‘slap in the face’ for the Jewish community,” Merron told the JC. She said its removal from some social media “is the right result.”
Voting for the party leadership closed on Wednesday, with results expected over the weekend.
Among the questions on the video are: “Do you hate Europe?” and “How many croissants have you eaten today?” The final question is: “Do you promote anti-Semitism?”
The speakers on the video remind viewers that “It was the Conservative government in the 1930s that stopped a large number of refugees from Austria and Germany, Jewish refugees, coming into Britain,” though it is not clear how that is relevant to anti-Semitism today. Another speaker indicates that the accusations of anti-Semitism are coming from opponents who do not have anything more substantial to pin on the party. She balls up a paper with the question written on it and throws it on the floor.
Corbyn has faced allegations that his pro-Palestinian politics and endorsement of radical anti-Semites has encouraged hate speech against Jews. He been accused of doing too little to curb rampant anti-Semitism among party members and lawmakers, some of whom have been suspended for making racist and anti-Semitic statements in public or on social media.
He was grilled about issues connected to allegations of anti-Semitism on Sunday during a debate with Owen Smith, who is challenging Corbyn for the party’s leadership, at London’s JW3 Jewish community center.