Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

'I learnt a lot. Isn't that good?' Corbyn defends anti-Israel event

'I learnt a lot. Isn't that good?' Corbyn defends anti-Israel event

John Woodcock, a Labour member of parliament who has criticized Corbyn in the past, said his attendance was "irresponsible and dangerous" and said it was "deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism".

They have also criticised a "narrow Conservative clique" at the head of the Jewish community's major bodies.

Labour MP John Woodcock, a leader in the Labour Friends of Israel group, said Corbyn's attendance was "irresponsible and unsafe".

Mr Lansman replied: "I think we all should".

He posted on Twitter: "I've no time for Jewdas and their disgraceful accusations that Labour anti-Semitism is all a smear".

Speaking during a visit to Swindon, Corbyn said the event was "a celebration of Passover, which I celebrate with young Jewish people from my own community and my own constituency".

A spokesman for the Labour leader confirmed Mr Corbyn had attended the Seder event, a ritual service held on Passover, in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the party.

Will he now introduce stricter rules for Labour Party members that are still making anti-Semitic statements, particularly on social media?

Mr Lansman, who is Jewish, said: "It was his night off, he had nothing in his official diary, his office didn't know he was there".

Asked if he had any regrets about being at the Jewdas event, the Labour leader said: "Not in the slightest".

His attendance at the Jewdas event comes amid Labour's anti-Semitism row.

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The Jewish Labour Movement, who has already criticized Corbyn's relations with the Jewish community, said the Labour leader's presence at the event "topped off the worst week on record of terrible relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community".

The Jewish Labour Movement said Mr Corbyn's attendance at the Jewdas event "topped off the worst week on record of terrible relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community".

The group said: 'We are proud to be Jews and proud of everyone who attended, whether they were Jewish or not.

Mr Arkush also claimed Jewdas are "not all Jewish" and branded the group "lifelong campaigners against the Jewish community to whom they show the upmost disregard and contempt".

"Given the antisemitism crisis engulfing the Labour Party, there is absolutely no way that Mr Corbyn can claim that this too was an oversight. Isn't that a good thing?"

Some critics believe Mr Corbyn's association with Jewdas is a sign that he is not committed to tackling anti-Semitism.

'Jeremy was invited to a Passover Seder with Jewish members of his local community, ' said the spokesman.

In remarks that were implicitly critical of the Labour leader, Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, said this morning that the group's description of Israel as "sewage" was "not helpful" for efforts to tackle antisemitism within Labour.

Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, claimed that Corbyn's meeting was "clearly deliberate".

Jewdas responded to the criticism on Twitter, posting: "This has been a hard week to be a lefty Jew".

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