Corbyn has ‘crossed the line’, says former Israel Labour leader

JEWISH Agency chairman Isaac Herzog has accused Jeremy Corbyn of crossing the line into antisemitism through what he described as the Labour Party’s demonisation of Israel.

“It is legitimate to criticise any government, Mr Herzog said in a letter to Mr Corbyn. “I have done so myself as leader of the opposition, from within the Knesset — as vibrant and as vivid a democratic parliament as you may find in any liberal democracy.”

Mr Herzog, who served as chairman of the Israeli Labour Party from 2013 to 2018, added: “But it is racist to attribute to a whole ethnic or religious group negative characteristics, which are supposedly innate.

“It is antisemitic to demonise Israel and Israelis in general as inherently evil. It is antisemitic to apply double standards to Israel, that is: to hold it to standards to which no other nation is held.

“And it is antisemitic to delegitimise the Jewish people's right to a sovereign state of its own — and to apply this denial exclusively to Jews and to no other people.

“All of this relies heavily on ages-old anti-Jewish prejudice, stereotypes and bigotry. The new mask of this old hatred fools no one.”

Mr Herzog noted that he had invited Mr Corbyn to visit Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based Holocaust memorial and museum.

“It is a shame that you did not respond to this invitation as many other leaders did,” he wrote.

Mr Herzog urged the Labour leader to establish an independent commission of inquiry into antisemitism to “allow British Jews to feel safe and wanted once again within Labour, as they have in the past”.

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