November 13, 2018

Labour MP Walks Away When Confronted About Charedi ‘Costumes’ Comment

Screenshot from YouTube.

A Labour member of parliament recently said that Orthodox Jews are targeted for hate crimes due to their “costumes”; when confronted by a civilian about it she simply walked away.

Diane Abbott, who was appointed as Shadow Home Secretary in 2016, said on BBC’s “Question Time” program in April in response to a question about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, “In my constituency, I have a community of Charedi Jews that are actually subject to hate crime more than other Jews, because they wear that costume, they walk to synagogue. But because I take it seriously I’m not going to make it some sort of party political gain.”

Alex Rose, an 18-year-old London civilian, noticed Abbott was sitting in front of him last week on the London subway, so he confronted her about her “costumes” remark.

“Why did you tell us that we wear costumes?” Rose can be heard telling Abbott in a video. As Rose tells Abbott he watched her “Question Time” segment, Abbott can be seen making a face before getting up from her seat and walking away from Rose.

“It’s not called a costume, love,” Rose says to Abbott as she’s walking away. “It’s called a religious piece of clothing.”

Rose told the Jewish Chronicle that he thought Abbott’s description of charedi religious garb as “costumes” was “troubling.”

I’ve heard a lot of talk amongst left-wing figures about the need for politicians to be more accountable to voters, and not just allowing themselves to be stuck in the Westminster bubble,” Rose said. “But it was clear that Diane Abbott didn’t want to speak to me – which is a shame.”

Leading Charedi Rabbi Avraham Pinter, who was once a Labour councilor, defended Abbott’s comments, stating: “Most people don’t know what is going on in our community.” He also praised her for raising important issues with the community.

In July, the Community Security Trust (CST) found that “more than 100 anti-Semitic incidents are being recorded every month in Britain as monitors warn bigots are becoming ‘more confident to express their views,’” according to the UK Independent.

Poll: Nearly 40% of British Jews Would ‘Seriously Consider’ Leaving Country If Corbyn Becomes PM

Screenshot from Twitter.

A recent poll from the Jewish Chronicle found that 40% of British Jewry would “seriously consider” leaving the country if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn ever becomes Britain’s prime minister.

The poll surveyed 710 Jews in Britain from Aug. 12-Sep. 4; 38.55 percent of the respondents said they would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister, while 51.71 percent said they would not. An additional 9.74% said they didn’t know.

The demographic most likely to leave Great Britain would be the 35-54-year-old age range, as 50.96% of the respondents in that age range said they would “seriously consider” leaving Britain if Corbyn became prime minister; the demographic least likely to leave would be respondents in the 18-34-year-old age range, as 28.51 percent of respondents in that category said they would seriously consider leaving.

The Jewish Chronicle report noted that the 38.55 percent figure as a massive uptick from 11 percent in January 2015, shortly after an Islamic terrorist murdered four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein told the Chronicle that the poll results were “deeply worrying.”

“Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud how we are integrated across society and public life,” Goldstein said. “The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.”

Corbyn and his Labour Party have been mired in accusations of anti-Semitism in recent weeks, which includes unearthed photos of Corbyn laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists in 2014 and in 2013 stating that Zionists didn’t understand “English irony.”

The Labour Party recently adopted the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, although with the caveat that they supported freedom of speech to criticize Israel, which some Jewish groups thought was unnecessary. Corbyn also attempted to insert language stating that calling Israel’s “policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist” isn’t anti-Semitic, but the Labour Party rebuffed him.

Corbyn’s Danger: Coddling of Terrorists, Not Only Anti-Semites

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Not a day goes by without headlines in the British media that detail the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But a deeper look at the behavior of the party’s controversial leader reveals an even more severe problem, one that would shake to its core the country’s bilateral relations with the United States  – as well as the war on terrorism.

Extreme left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in September 2015. Half a year later, the first significant accusations of anti-Semitism in the party surfaced when Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), resigned because club members made anti-Semitic remarks. It also became widely known that Corbyn had, in earlier years, been a frequent supporter of terrorists and terrorism movements. Furthermore, he supported and associated with Holocaust distorters, including Paul Eisen, also an extreme anti-Israel inciter.

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) limited publication to the summary of OULC anti-Semitism investigator Baroness Royal’s report. Additional disclosures about anti-Semitic remarks by elected representatives led Corbyn to appoint an investigator, Shami Chakrabarti, who was unfamiliar with the issue. Her report, published on June 30, 2016, was unfocused and superficial. Soon, word got out that Corbyn had offered Chakrabarti a membership in the House of Lords. She then became Baroness Chakrabarti.

Regular disclosures about anti-Semitic statements by elected Labour representatives continued. Corbyn repeatedly promised that he would fight anti-Semitism in the party, but he did nothing. All the while, several Jewish Labour parliamentarians received thousands of hate letters and other threats. One of them, MP Ruth Smeeth, arrived the party’s annual conference in September 2016 with a bodyguard in tow. At the meeting, Corbyn’s associates managed to obtain control of the NEC.

In April 2018, most Jewish Labour MP’s spoke in the House of Commons about the harassment they underwent. A non-Jewish MP John Mann – long involved in the battle against anti-Semitism – mentioned a rape threat against his wife. She also received a dead bird courtesy of a Labour extremist. Unprecedented actions by British Jewish leaders included a street protest in March 2018. A subsequent meeting of two Jewish leaders with Corbyn produced no results.

The conflict intensified when the NEC recently accepted a diluted version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA) of anti-Semitism. The latter is commonly subject to discussion before approval. These expressions of institutionalized anti-Semitism are odious and threatening to British Jewry, but it is Corbyn’s long-term embrace of terrorists that should concern all democratic leaders and anyone committed to Western values.

Corbyn’s public friendship with terrorists – mainly Arab but also of the Irish Republican Army – dates back decades. In 2009, he invited members of Hamas and Hezbollah to the House of Commons and called them “his friends.”  On another occasion, Corbyn called Hamas “his brothers.” In November 2012, he hosted a meeting in parliament with Musa Abu Maria, a member of banned terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  

The Daily Mail recently exposed that, in 2014, Corbyn stood with a wreath next to the graves of several perpetrators of the Black September murders, which claimed 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He also once shared a platform with Black September terrorist and hijacker Leila Khaled.

It is also settled fact that terrorist supporters were among important financiers of his 2015 election campaign to become Labour leader. These included Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, a columnist for an official Hamas journal. Dr. Hamami gave Corbyn £2000.

Tedd Honderich, a retired professor at London’s University College, contributed £5000 to Corbyn’s campaign. This academic has publicly stated that Palestinians have a moral right to blow up Jews. He even encouraged them to do so by saying, “to claim a moral right on behalf of the Palestinians on their terrorism is to say that they are right to engage in it, that it is permissible if not obligatory.” Honderich has repeated such statements frequently.

According to Electoral Commission returns, previous donations to Mr. Corbyn included a gift of £2,821 from Interpal, a British charity that the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization, in 2013, due to its alleged ties to Hamas. A donation of £1,300 to Corbyn came from the Palestinian Return Centre. This organization has, in the past, faced accusations of being “Hamas’s organisational branch in Europe.”

Meanwhile, as the United States and many other Western governments are battling international and domestic terrorism mainly from Muslim perpetrators, the governing Conservative British government has great difficulty in developing a viable policy in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. As a result, Labour has a realistic chance to win the next parliamentary elections that could take place earlier than the scheduled date in 2022. A Corbyn-led U.K. could present the introduction of a big Trojan horse into their own ranks.

Corbyn’s Labour Party has now belatedly adopted the IHRA’s full definition of anti-Semitism but attached a rider allowing for continuing criticism of Israel. If this move represents the beginning of dealing with anti-Semites and anti-Semitism within the party, including anti-Semites masquerading as anti-Zionists, then the Party can begin to write a new chapter. The fact that criticism of Israel and Palestinian issue were added to the adoption could be used to subvert the agreement by those who hate the Jewish state, home to the world’s largest Jewish community.

British Jewry cannot afford to suffer the normalization of anti-Semitism in a government charged with protecting all of its citizens, and the world cannot afford to lose one of the strongest and most stalwart fighters of terrorism. The time has come for the U.S. to voice strong disapproval of a major party leader who is manifestly unfit to lead a great democracy. And to those people of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland who support Labour, we have one message: You are better than this.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean, director Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a prolific author and expert on European anti-Semitism. He is the former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Labour Party Amends Anti-Semitism Definition

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

After being plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism, the Labour Party voted on Tuesday to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, but added a “free speech” qualification that has garnered criticism from Jewish groups.

The party issued a statement accompanying the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that said that it doesn’t “undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”

Various Jewish groups denounced this caveat.

“A ‘freedom of expression on Israel’ clause is unnecessary and totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted,” Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Garber said in a statement. “Labour appears determined to provide a safe space for anti-Semites. This decision is a sad reflection on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party and the culture it has instilled.”

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who called Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite to his face, tweeted that the party’s move was “two steps forward and one step back.”

“Why dilute the welcome adoption IN FULL of the #IHRA definition of #Antisemitism with an unnecessary qualification?” Hodge wrote.

Other Jewish groups, such as the World Jewish Council, viewed the move as progress for the Labour Party, but more work needed to be done.

Additionally, Corbyn reportedly attempted to introduce language that would have stated that it wasn’t anti-Semitic to describe “Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist.” He was rebuffed by his party.

In July, the Labour Party had only adopted part of the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, but wouldn’t embrace the aspects of the definition that stated it was anti-Semitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

Corbyn himself has been embroiled in a myriad of scandals in recent weeks, including a prior speech of him saying that Zionists don’t understand “English irony” and laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists.

Corbyn Ties Ceremony Honoring Terrorists to ‘Peace Process’

Photo from Flickr.

Photos recently unearthed by the UK Daily Mail showed UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn laying a wreath at a 2014 Tunisia ceremony commemorating the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics. Corbyn told Channel 4 News that he did so to “have a peace process.”

Channel 4’s Clare Fallon asked if he laid a wreath on or nearby the graves of the terrorists, prompting Corbyn to respond that the terrorists were killed in Israeli operations in Paris and Beirut that resulted in others dying “who were not involved in” the 1972 massacre, such as Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Abu Yusuf.

“I, along with other colleagues who were delegates at the conference, laid a wreath in memory of all those that have died in the hope that we have a peace process and peace in the future,” Corbyn said, “so those raids are never repeated.”

Corbyn added that “the way forward is of peace” and “dialogue” instead of “bombing” or “shooting civilians in Gaza.”

The Labour Party leader was asked again if he laid down a wreath; he responded that the wreath was in honor of those that died in the 1985 Israeli strike on Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters. Fallon pressed again on if the wreath was laid nearby the Munich terrorists and Corbyn said it was laid for “all those that had died.”

Corbyn was then asked if he took part in laying that wreath, and he replied by saying he “totally condemned” the 1972 Munich massacre.

Fallon eventually asked Corbyn if he ever “laid a wreath at the graves of Israelis who were killed in Palestinian attacks.”

“I’ve met many people from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, over the years,” Corbyn responded. “I’ve indeed visited the Knesset and I met visiting Israeli delegations into Britain and, of course, anybody killed in this awful conflict has to be mourned.”

However, The Israel Project’s Julie Lenarz noted in National Review, “Corbyn time and again has missed opportunities to meet with Israeli delegates and boycotted events with Israeli officials in attendance.”

In response to Corbyn, The UK Daily Mail showed a layout of the graves to argue that the photos do indeed show that Corbyn was at the graves of the Munich terrorists, not those that died in the 1985 strike against PLO headquarters.

The controversy appears to be taking a toll on Corbyn, as in another recent interview he is seen rolling his eyes in response to a question about the wreath. He has refused to apologize for attending the ceremony.

Corbyn is also under fire over an unearthed image of him giving the Muslim Brotherhood salute at a mosque in February.

 

Labour Party MP Calls Leader Corbyn Anti-Semitic; Party to ‘Take Action’ Against MP

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Hodge confronted the leader of her party, Jeremy Corbyn, and told him that he’s anti-Semitic. The Labour Party is planning to punish her for doing so.

Hodge decided to confront Corbyn after the party, at Corbyn’s urging, decided to uphold their new rules on anti-Semitism that have been criticized as being too weak.

“It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist,” Hodge told Corbyn.

Hodge defended her actions in an op-ed in The Guardian.

“Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been allowed to infect the party’s approach to growing anti-Semitism,” Hodge wrote. “It appears to have become a legitimate price that the leadership is willing to pay for pursuing the longstanding cause of Palestinians in the Middle East. Because of that, anti-Semitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Facebook, Twitter and in the post.”

Hodge noted that while she is a secular Jew, numerous members of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis, including her grandmother and uncle.

She added that the party has been uninterested in dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism and that under the new rules, party members could refer to a Jew as a Nazi and not be punished for it.

“A definition of sexual harassment agreed without the explicit endorsement of women would be unconscionable,” Hodge said. “A definition of Islamophobia that was rejected by the Muslim community would never be entertained. Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.”

The Labour Party signaled that it is planning on retaliating against Hodge for her actions.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behavior has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” a senior party official told the Guardian. “The behavior was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Seven-hundred people protested the Labour Party’s rules on July 19; no one from the Labour Party attended.

UK Labour Party Under Fire for Lackluster Anti-Semitism Guidelines

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party has been plagued by issues of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The party has since issued some new guidelines on anti-Semitism, and they have not been well-received by Jewish organizations.

The guidelines claim to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism, stating that anti-Semitism is racism and that it’s wrong to blame Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, as well as accuse Jews of double-loyalty to Israel.

However, as the Jewish Chronicle’s Lee Harpin points out, the guidelines state that while it is anti-Semitic to use slurs like “zio,” “It is not anti-Semitism to refer to ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ as part of a considered discussion about the Israeli state.” The guidelines also discourage against comparing the actions of Israel to the Nazis, however, “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors from examples of historic misconduct. It is not anti-Semitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of anti-Semitic intent.”

This prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Jonathan Greenblatt to tweet:

Additionally, Harpin noted that the guidelines state that it’s “problematic” for Israel to call itself the Jewish state.

British Jewish organizations have criticized the guidelines for not fully embracing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, namely the parts that state it’s anti-Semitic to delegitimize the state of Israel in order to prevent the Jews from exercising “their right to self-determination.”

“It is impossible to understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal definition,” The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said. “Its actions only dilute the definition and further erode the lack of confidence that British Jews have in their sincerity to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour movement.”

Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, with examples of him being involved in a secret Facebook group where people posted material from David Duke and used anti-Semitic slurs like “JewNazi,” as well as him praising the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” Given how close Corbyn was to becoming prime minister of Britain, the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism is particularly important to monitor going forward.

Labour Party Member Announces He’s Leaving the Party Over Its Anti-Semitism

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

A Jewish member of the Labour Party announced that he will be leaving the party due to the anti-Semitism plaguing the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jamie Susskind, an author, wrote in a letter that he posted to Twitter on April 25 that he had first joined the party as a teenager and served in executive positions at various Labour clubs.

“Being Jewish, being British, and fighting for social justice are therefore all wrapped up together in my identity,” Susskind wrote. “Until recently, Labour was part of that identity too.”

And yet, while Susskind acknowledged that most Labour Party members weren’t anti-Semitic, could no longer remain in the party due to the “insults and indignities” that the Labour Party has subjected Jews to.

“I can no longer belong, in good faith, to an institution that has allowed itself to become the foremost platform for anti-Semitism in British public life,” Susskind wrote. “Holocaust deniers and racists have been emboldened by the silence (and in some cases complicity) of senior figures in the party. In part, therefore, I am leaving Labour for the same reason that I joined: because I am Jewish.”

Susskind added that he didn’t want in any way responsible for any future electoral success the Labour Party may have.

“An institution that turns a blind eye to the injustice festering in its own ranks surrenders it claim to moral leadership of the country,” Susskind wrote. “And ‘comrades’ who tacitly offer a safe space for intolerance, or turn their faces from the suffering caused by racism (or misogyny, or any of the ills that afflict Labour) are not really comrades at all.”

Susskind concluded, “There is life beyond Labour, and I will try to find it.”

Anti-Semitism has become a major problem in the Labour Party under the leadership of Corbyn, who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was once part of an anti-Semitic Facebook group.

The full letter can be read below:

H/T: Tablet

British MP Warns of Growing Anti-Semitism on Social Media

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Labour Party MP John Mann warned of growing anti-Semitism on social media platforms in a column for the New Statesman magazine.

The column, titled “I’m not Jewish but whatever I talk about I receive antisemitic abuse,” explained how Mann “received anti-Jewish abuse and an antisemitic death threat on social media” after a recent interview even though he didn’t mention anything about Jews or the Middle East in the interview.

“This isn’t the first time,” Mann wrote. “I can speak out about knife crime and drugs and the tweets come in – ‘who is paying you to do your work’ ‘Why don’t you admit you’re in the pay of the Israeli government’ and the like.”

Mann added that he has received similar attacks from supporters of the Labour Party and even from a Labour Party member; he proceeded to quote Times columnist Phillip Collins on “the problem of Left wing antisemitism and the obsessive hate of Israel.”

“It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East,” Collins wrote. “For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion.”

Mann then wrote of how online trolls denigrate those who speak out against racism and anti-Semitism.

“Anyone who calls out racism, or seeks to address anti-Jewish hatred is a target,” Mann wrote. “It’s even now the case that allegations of antisemitism are being inferred or created and attributed to Jews in order to try and diminish the charge when one has not been made. This of course, undermines victims of antisemitism and their right to define such abuse and call out the abusers.”

Mann noted that those who engage in that kind of behavior eventually descend into railing against Zionism and spewing Holocaust denialism.

“There is an antisemitic sickness, particularly afflicting the left, and it is spreading,” Mann wrote.

Mann concluded his column by noting that social media platforms have made it easier for those who embroil themselves in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to stay within “a self-edifying bubble”; he stated that he would propose a law that would punish social media companies that don’t purge racist posts from their sites and called on all politicians, including Labour Party members, to take a stand against anti-Semitism.

Read the full column here.

The stakes in the UK for Democracy and decency

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, leaves his home on the morning after Britain's election in London, Britain, on June 9. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

As British voters went to the polls in a fateful Thursday election, the results were a nail biter that left Tory Prime Minister’s House of Commons majority and prime ministership hanging in the balance.

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen a few days earlier came out in an opinion piece (“A Case for Jeremy Corbyn, June 5) outright endorsing not only the Labour Party but radical Labour Party leader PM Jeremy Corbyn.

He’s against incumbent May not only for trying to preserve the U.K.-U.S. “special relationship” during the turbulent times of the Trump Administration, but for doing so in a way that Cohen deems, let’s be frank, unseemly sucking up to President Donald Trump.

Cohen, an important columnist, has a right to his opinion. But he was sucking up to Jeremy Corbyn and this is deplorable and, indeed, despicable and a threat to democracy in troubled times.

The UK election campaign occurred in an election atmosphere not only permeated by anxieties over renewed terrorism but in a miasma of anti-Semitism.

At the Bear Pit, an outdoor popular venue in Bristol, a giant campaign banner showed Prime Minister May in Star of David-shaped earrings, which some Jewish observers called “anti-Semitic.” The banner listed positive statements about Labour Party leader Corbyn and negative ones about May. One Jewish Bristol citizen asked, “I can’t believe stuff I haven’t heard of, or seen since I was a child is now happening again. It makes me sick.”

In Surrey, Alex Goldberg, the Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surrey Police, said in a post on Facebook Sunday that he is proud of his daughter, Hannah, “for standing up to sexism, racism and religious abuse,” but was “Less proud of the police service that I have worked with for over two decades in failing to respond to three girls being attacked and racially abused.” Hannah Goldberg and her two friends, who her father said were identifiable as religious Jews due to their long skirts, were in a London-area park on May 27 when they were attacked by teens playing basketball. A bystander call the police, which did not show up for two hours, pleading a communications mix up.

According to London’s Jewish Chronicle, in Manchester, where the terrible terror attack of a few weeks ago claimed 22 lives, police reported that arson attacks on two kosher restaurants that are “anti-Semitic hate crimes” occurred within five days of each other.

The Labour campaign was also embarrassed by revelations that in 2002 Corbyn addressed a rally attended by 300 members of extremist group Al Muhajiroun where audience members shouted slogans calling for Israelis to be gassed. Khuram Butt, one of the three London Bridge/Borough Market murderers, was a supporter of and an associate Al Muhajiroun leader and jailed hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

Corbyn’s left-wing views are not the problem. It is his beyond-the-bounds apologetics for Mideast terrorism in many forms both during and after his campaign. It is fine that he is sympathetic to the Palestinians, but not that he embraces Hamas as well as Fatah, and celebrates Palestinian terrorists as martyrs. Ditto his admiration for the Tehran Mullahs. And his coddling up with U.K. Muslim incendiary preachers like those who helped inspire the recent London Bridge attack. He vilely has attacked Israel. He has impugned reporters who ask him tough questions as Jewish and suggests somehow having relatives who died in the Holocaust disqualifies them from doing so. He has equated Zionism with the Nazis and Hitler.

That such a man should become U.K. PM is unthinkable. The only historical analogy to Cohen’s endorsement we can think of comes from the 1930s when French rightists rejected Socialist Leon Blum under the slogan “Better Hitler than Blum.” Corbyn is not Hitler, but he is bad enough. Cohen’s endorsement of him is pure political nihilism.

Even those of us who usually do not take partisan positions in elections, here and abroad, sometimes do have to take a moral position.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat, also in the New York Times (“A Very British Radical, June 7), pointed out that the mainstream international press was understandably outraged by France’s right-wing presidential candidate Marine Le Pen insufficient attempts to distance herself from the anti-Semitic history of her party, France’s National Front, and her father Jean Marie Le Pen. But at the same time they treated Corbyn’s refusal to even attempt to distance himself from his anti-Semitic past I an entirely different manner: “Le Pen was cast as the madwoman in the attic, poised to set fire to the mansion. But outside Britain’s right-wing newspapers, Corbyn is portrayed more as the balmy uncle in the conservatory, puttering around with tulips and murmuring about the class struggle. Nobody exactly thinks he would be a good prime minister, but there isn’t a palpable fear that his election would be an emergency for liberal democracy.”

Roger Cohen is wrong. For the sake of democracy and decency, let us hope that Jeremy Corbyn does not squeak out an upset victory become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


Historian Harold Brackman is a long-time consultant  for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The views expressed here are not the official position of either the Center or the Museum.

London’s Muslim mayor hit with anti-Semitic messages for not backing Corbyn to lead Labour

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, has been bombarded with anti-Semitic messages since he said he would not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election.

Several of the messages suggested that he had been influenced by Jews, the London-based news website Jewishnews.uk reported.

The mayor “spends his time writing articles to help his masters in Tel Aviv,” read one tweet.

“Who owns you @sadiqkhan?” read another, which included a photo of Khan wearing a kippah while eating matzah at a Jewish community event.

Last week, Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010 and is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership. Smith previously worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC.

Khan, a Labour member, wrote an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper in support of Smith. He said in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. Khan also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.”

In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in London and in the Labour Party.

Some 500,000 ballots for the leadership race were sent out to party members on Monday; the results will be announced next month.

Jewish lawmaker in Britain threatens to quit Labour over anti-Semitism issue

Parry Mitchell, a Jewish member of Britain’s House of Lords, said he will resign if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as Labour Party leader.

Writing Tuesday in The Times of London, Mitchell said a report which found that anti-Semitism is not endemic in Britain’s Labour Party was an “insipid whitewash” and vowed to leave the party if Corbyn retains his post in a September leadership contest.

“Anti-Semitism has no part in a progressive party. I have come to the painful conclusion that were Mr. Corbyn to be re-elected next month, I will have to resign my membership of the Labour Party,” Mitchell wrote, according to the website City AM.

The report, prepared by Labour member Shami Chakrabarti in the wake of several anti-Israel statements by Labour lawmakers, found that while there is “occasionally toxic atmosphere” against Jews in Labour, anti-Semitism is not prevalent in the party’s ranks. The report was harshly criticized by British Jews.

In an interview with Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, Mitchell said there had been a “hijack” of the party by the far left and expressed hope that British Jews would back his stance.

Naz Shah, UK Labour Party Member Suspended for Anti-Semitic Posts is Reinstated

The Britain that was a reliably gray media backwater for half a century is no more. It has been replaced by a Britain in which news that normally would have made the front page for weeks—for example, the resignation of a prime minister—is replaced within minutes by other a cascade of other pressing updates, such as the resignation of almost the entire opposition. 

 

So it was this week, when news that Naz Shah, a parliamentarian who was suspended by the Labour party two months ago when her Facebook posts jokingly proposing the eradication of the State of Israel surfaced, was reinstated into the party—and welcomed by the British Jewish community. 

 

But the day of Shah’s political rehabilitation was almost immediately eclipsed by the publication of the Chilcot Report, a 7-year investigation into the British role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

 

It was a scathing condemnation of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the US invasion, concluding that “the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

 

Blair, the report asserts, deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein as he made the case for military action to the British parliament and public. Blair disregarded warnings about the potential consequences of military action, and relied too heavily on his own beliefs, rather than the more nuanced judgments of the intelligence services, the report states. “The judgments about Iraq’s capabilities … were presented with a certainty that was not justified,” Sir John Chilcot determined.

 

Fourteen years later, a regretful but defiant Blair, his voice feathery, described his decision as “the hardest, most momentous, most agonizing decision I took in 10 years as British prime minister.” 

 

In an exhausting press conference lasting over two hours, Blair said he felt “deeply and sincerely… the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq…There will not be a day when I relive and rethink what happened.”

 

But he maintained his belief that “we made the right decision and the world is better and safer.” 

 

Behind the dramatic scenes, Shah was re-admitted into the party, one of at least 20 Labour party figures who were suspended or ejected from the party in recent months, in a swirl of anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic slurs, statements and posts that have blanketed the Labour party since the 2015 election of its leader, the longtime activist Jeremy Corbyn. 

 

Last April, Shah admitted writing a Facebook post supporting the notion Israel’s population being transferred to the United States. It showed an image of Israel superimposed onto the mid-west, and Shah’s comment: “Problem solved and save you bank charges for the £3 billion you transfer yearly,” a reference to United States aid to Israel. 

 

Shah added that she’d propose the scheme to President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron as it would “save them some pocket money.” 

 

Days later, a second post emerged, comparing Israel to Nazis. Hashtag IsraelApartheid, she posted alongside the quote “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Shah, one of nine Muslims in the British parliament, was suspended the same day. 

 

“Of all those suspended by the Labour Party for anti-Semitic actions, Naz Shah stands out as someone who has been prepared to apologize to the Jewish community at a local and national level, and make efforts to learn from her mistakes,” the Board of Deputies of British Jews wrote in a statement reacting to her return. “In that regard, her reinstatement today seems appropriate and we would hope for no repeat of past errors.”

 

While visiting a Leeds synagogue in May, Shah said she hoped to make a “real apology” rather than a “politician’s apology.” 

 

“I looked at myself and asked whether I had prejudice against Jewish people. But I realized I was ignorant and I want to learn about the Jewish faith and culture. I do not have hatred for Jewish people,” she confessed.

 

Shah’s mea culpa was not universally lauded. On Twitter, a self-identified Socialist named Marcus Storm wrote that she “sold herself, her soul and her religion to the Zionists for personal gain.” 

 

“Well, that is what an anti-Semite looks like, Gary Spedding, a pro-Palestinian activist who has been fighting anti-Semitism in the political left said to The Media Line, adding that he’d been attacked online for hours after opposing such remarks. 

 

“It is important to say that I do not believe Naz Shah is in any way anti-Semitic. Having known her since before she was elected as a Member of Parliament I have always found her to be sincere and engaged in various ways when it comes to community relations,” Spedding added. 

 

Corbyn, who was elected to his post with no previous executive experience and who has referred to the Islamist militias Hamas and Hizbullah as “friends” and recently appeared to compare Israel with the Islamic State terrorist group, said earlier this week that he regretted his 2009 endorsement of Hamas.

 

During a session of the Home Affairs Committee on anti-Semitism last week, Corbyn initially denied that Hamas is anti-Semitic only to be forced to concede the point after a lawmaker read him lines from Hamas’ charter calling for killing Jews.

 

Corbyn rejected the contention that he is fostering an atmosphere of anti-Semitism within the party. 

 

“That is unfair,” he complained. “I want a party that is open for all. A long time ago there were sometimes anti-Semitic remarks made, when I first joined the party and later on. In recent years, no, and in my constituency not at all.”

 

Jonathan Sacerdoti, director of communications at the British NGO Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said “Corbyn’s evidence given to the Parliamentary inquiry was totally inadequate. It will only further worry British Jews.”

 

Hugo Rifkind, a columnist for The Times of London, told The Media Line he hoped the moment marked a de-escalation of “that scary Israel obsession which marks out the loony Corbynite left.” 

Muslim mayor wants to ‘do more to protect Jewish Londoners’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for the rooting out of anti-Semitism in his city and in his party.

Khan said he wants “to send a message around the world by being the London mayor of Islamic faith who does more to protect Jewish Londoners from anti-Semitism than any mayor in this city’s history.”

Khan, a Labour Party member who was elected May 5 and is the first Muslim to lead a European capital city, made his remarks in an Op-Ed in the Jerusalem Post Monday.

Noting that he has signed the American Jewish Committee’s Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism pledge, Khan called the recent rise in anti-Semitism “alarming” and said, “We need to send the message far and wide that anti-Semitism is totally unacceptable and can never be justified.”

“We must work together to root out anti-Semitism wherever we find it – and, yes – that includes within the Labour Party,” he added.

In explaining his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, Khan noted: “As a British Muslim, I am no stranger to prejudice. I know what it’s like to be discriminated against just because of your background or religion.”

Khan spoke out against anti-Semitism throughout his mayoral campaign and has attended numerous Jewish communal events since becoming mayor. His first public act as mayor was to attend a Yom Hashoah Holocaust commemoration ceremony on May 8. He has also said he plans to visit Israel as mayor.

Accusations of anti-Semitism have roiled the Labour Party in recent months, with dozens of members suspended in the past few weeks allegedly for making anti-Semitic remarks. London’s former Labour mayor, Ken Livingstone, was suspended for anti-Semitic remarks in late April following a series of interviews in which he claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism.

Developed by the American Jewish Committee in July 2015 and launched in Europe later that year, the mayors pledge received its first European cosignatory in Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, followed by her counterparts in Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan and Copenhagen. In all, 150 mayors from 30 European countries have signed, along with more than 300 mayors from 50 American states.

Ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, but not Nazism

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone told a Parliament committee that he does not believe Zionism or the policies of the Israeli government are at all analogous to Nazism.

Livingstone also reiterated that he regretted saying Adolf Hitler supported Zionism because of the furor his remarks sparked, not because he disavows them.

“I therefore do regret raising the historical points about Nazi policy in the1930s when the specific issue of Hitler was raised by (reporter) Vanessa Feltz,” Livingstone said in a written statement filed with the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee hearing on anti-Semitism. “I regret it because there was an hysterical response from opponents of the Labour Party and of its current leadership, which will not have aided Labour’s campaign for the 5 May elections. I am horrified by the way my remarks have been interpreted and twisted. I cannot think of a worse insult than to be called a racist or an anti-Semite. And I am sorry if what I said has caused Jewish people, or anyone else, offense. That was not my intention.”

In a radio interview in April with the BBC, Livingstone had said, “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.”

He made the remarks in defense of Labour Party lawmaker Naz Shah, who was suspended a day earlier over a Facebook post in 2014 suggesting that Israelis should be moved en masse to the United States. Days later, Livingstone was suspended from the party for the remark.

In recent months, Labour has suspended at least 20 members, including at the senior level, for anti-Semitic or vicious anti-Israel invective that critics say party leader Jeremy Corbyn had not done enough to curb.

The inquiry into anti-Semitism was launched in April to determine whether anti-Jewish prejudice has increased in the U.K. and to assess the particular dangers facing Jews.

Livingstone objected to the fact that in its questioning, the committee dwelled on the BBC interview in which he made the Hitler remarks rather than asking him about anti-Semitism and racism because of what he called his “long track record” of fighting both.

“Instead, the overwhelming majority of questions asked of me were about my views on the history of Germany in the 1930s, Hitler, the Nazis, Israel, Zionism and the Labour Party. Committee members seemed to be obsessed with these issues,” he wrote.

Livingstone also wrote: “To avoid any other misunderstanding, I do not believe that Zionism or the policies of Israeli governments are at all analogous to Nazism. Israeli governments have never had the aim of the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people, in the way Nazism sought the annihilation of the Jews.”

He did accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing, continuing: “However Israel’s policies have included ethnic cleansing. Palestinians who had lived in that land for centuries were driven out by systematic violence and terror aimed at clearing them out of what became a large part of the Israeli state.”

Livingstone served as mayor twice, from 1981 to 1986 and from 2000 to 2008.

Jewish lawmaker resigns from British shadow cabinet

A Jewish lawmaker in Britain’s Parliament has joined more than 20 Labour Party members in resigning from the opposition’s shadow cabinet — part of the fallout from the British vote to leave the European Union.

Luciana Berger, the most senior Jewish member of the shadow cabinet, according to the Jewish Chronicle, stepped down Monday as shadow minister for mental health.

“I have always served the Labour Party and our leader with loyalty. Having listened closely to local party members, loyalty to the party must come first,” Berger said in her resignation letter to party head Jeremy Corbyn. “You have shown me nothing but kindness, but we need a leader who can unite party.”

Some 32 members of the shadow cabinet, or more than half its members, quit Monday in a revolt against Corbyn’s leadership.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who tendered his resignation effective in the fall following the referendum result last week to leave the European Union, told the House of Commons on Monday afternoon that the result was not the one he wanted but that he and his Cabinet have agreed it will be respected.

In his statement, Cameron added that hate crimes and attacks on foreigners must be stamped out.

“These people have come here and made a wonderful contribution,” he said.

Foreign migrants became a focus of the vote to leave the EU.

Suspected killer of British lawmaker had history with US neo-Nazi group

The man whom authorities believe killed British lawmaker Jo Cox Thursday is said to have a history of involvement with an American neo-Nazi organization.

The New York Times reported Friday that hate group watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the suspect, who has been identified by neighbors and family members as Thomas Mair, 52, in 1999 purchased $620 worth of materials from a publishing imprint of then-leading neo-Nazi group the National Alliance.

Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed several times on the street in the northern English town of Birstall on Thursday. A member of Labour, she was a vocal advocate for Britain remaining in the European Union and openly criticized her party’s leadership for not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism within the party.

She was the first sitting member of Parliament to be killed since 1990, according to the Times.

What would have motivated her suspected murderer is still unclear.

In addition to his ties to the National Alliance, Mair was also on a 10-year-old list of subscribers to a South African magazine published by a pro-apartheid group, according to the UK’s Telegraph.

Mair also is believed to have a history of mental illness. He was quoted in a 2010 article in The Huddersfield Daily Examiner that identified him as a client at a program for adults with mental health problems.

British lawmaker shot dead, EU referendum campaigns suspended

A British member of Parliament was shot dead in the street in northern England on Thursday, causing deep shock across Britain and the suspension of campaigning for next week's referendum on the country's EU membership.

Jo Cox, 41, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party and vocal supporter of Britain remaining in the European Union, was attacked as she prepared to hold a meeting with constituents in Birstall near Leeds.

Media reports said she had been shot and stabbed.

West Yorkshire Police said a 52-year-old man was arrested by officers nearby and weapons including a firearm recovered. The motive for the attack was not immediately known.

“The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family – and indeed the whole country – will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the killing of Cox, who was married with two children and had worked on U.S. President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign, was a tragedy.

“We have lost a great star,” the Conservative prime minister said in a statement. “She was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion, with a big heart. It is dreadful, dreadful news.”

British lawmakers are not in parliament ahead of the June 23 referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU.

The rival referendum campaign groups said they were suspending activities for the day and Cameron said he would pull out of a planned rally in Gibraltar, the British territory on the southern coast of Spain.

It was not immediately clear what the impact would be on the referendum.

“It's fairly clear no one is quite sure what has happened,” said John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde. “Until it's clear who was responsible and what their motivation was or it might have been, all it does is stop the campaign when the 'Remain' side probably would not want it to be stopped.”

The pro-EU “Remain” campaign has fallen behind the “Leave” camp in pre-referendum polls.

The last British lawmaker to have been killed in an attack was Ian Gow, who died after a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded under his car at his home in southern England in 1990.

MAKESHIFT GUN PULLED FROM BAG

Police said a 77-year-old man was also assaulted in the incident and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

One witness said a man had pulled an old or makeshift gun from a bag and had fired twice.

“I saw a lady on the floor like on the beach with her arms straight and her knees up and blood all over the face,” Hichem Ben-Abdallah told reporters. “She wasn't making any noise, but clearly she was in agony.”

BBC TV and other media showed a picture of the alleged suspect, a balding white man, being apprehended by police.

Dee Collins, the Temporary Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, said a full investigation was under way into the motive for the attack.

“This is a very significant investigation with large numbers of witnesses who have been spoken to by police at this time,” she told reporters. “We are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.”

Media reports citing witnesses said the attacker had shouted out “Britain First”, which is the name of a right-wing group that describes itself on its website as “a patriotic political party and street defense organization”.

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, said the attack was “absolutely disgusting” and suggested that Britain first was a common slogan being used in the referendum campaign by those who support taking Britain out of the EU.

“We were as shocked to hear these reports as everyone else,” Fransen told Reuters. “At the moment would point out this is hearsay, we are keen to verify the comments but we can only do that when the police provide more details.”

Britain's sterling currency rose against the dollar after news of the attack, adding around two cents as investors speculated that Cox's death might boost popular support for the referendum “Remain” campaign.

The last attack on a British legislator was in 2010, when Labour member and ex-cabinet minister Stephen Timms was stabbed in the stomach at his office in east London by a 21-year-old student who was angry over his backing for the 2003 Iraq war.

In 2000, a Liberal Democrat local councillor was murdered by a man with a samurai sword at the offices in western England of lawmaker Nigel Jones, who was also seriously hurt in the attack.

Cox, a Cambridge University graduate, spent a decade working in a variety of roles with aid agency Oxfam, including head of policy, head of humanitarian campaigning based in New York and head of its European office in Brussels.

She was known for her work on women's issues, and won election for Labour in northern England's Batley and Spen district at the 2015 general election.

Fellow lawmakers from several parties expressed their horror at the attack, praising Cox as a rising star of politics.

“She's a tiny woman, five feet nothing and a lion as well – she fights so hard for the things she believes in. I cannot believe anyone would do this to her,” fellow Labour lawmaker Sarah Champion told BBC TV.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan, a critic of anti-Semitism in his party, elected first Muslim mayor of London

Sadiq Khan was elected as the first-ever Muslim mayor of London, rising above his Labour Party’s anti-Semitism scandal.

Khan won with 44 percent of the vote to Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith’s 35 percent, according to The Guardian. The remaining votes went to candidates from smaller parties, such as the Green Party.

A self-described moderate Muslim, Khan — the son of a Pakistani-born bus driver — will be the city’s first Labour mayor in eight years. His party has been roiled by accusations of anti-Semitism in recent months.

Khan, who campaigned hard in the Jewish community and has said he will be the “Muslim mayor who will be tough on extremism,” according to the Standard, has criticized his party for not doing enough to fight anti-Semitism.

On Friday, just hours before final votes had been tallied, another Labour Party member, David Watson, was suspended for anti-Semitic remarks — joining dozens of party members reported to have been so punished.

Watson, a fundraising coordinator in the London area of Walthamstow, was suspended for Facebook posts claiming the Islamic State group used Israeli-made weapons, comparing Israel’s Mossad to the Nazis and accusing Israel of perpetrating genocide against the Palestinians, London’s Jewish Chronicle reported.

He also wrote on Facebook that Zionism is a “racist ideology,” and that, “If I were a Palestinian, like most people … I’d probably want to be a guerilla fighter and liberate my people from a brutal and oppressive occupation.”

Even London’s former Labour mayor, Ken Livingstone, was suspended for anti-Semitic remarks in late April, following a series of interviews in which he claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism.

Khan, in contrast, has spoken out against anti-Semitism, condemning Livingstone’s remarks and saying he had changed his mind about his 2009 call for sanctions against Israel.

It is not clear yet how well Khan performed among Jewish voters. A poll published the day before the election showed that Jewish support for his party was at historic lows. Hundreds of London Jews, including Britain’s chief rabbi, complained Thursday of being inappropriately turned away from the polls, told they did not appear on the list of registered voters.

Khan “could not have done more than he has to address the concerns of the Jewish community on anti-Semitism and engage with it — from attending a mock seder where he donned a kippah to meeting charities and kosher shoppers in north London,” Justin Cohen, news editor for London’s Jewish News, told JTA Friday.

A practicing Muslim who, according to the Daily Mail was the first British minister to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, Khan has also been the target of Islamist death threats because of his liberal social views, particularly his support of same-sex marriage.

However, his opponent in the mayoral race criticized him for associating with Muslim extremists earlier in his career, including sharing the stage with an Islamist leader on multiple occasions. This week, according to the Daily Mail, Khan apologized for, in 2009, calling moderate Muslim groups “Uncle Toms.”

As he was declared victor, Khan pledged to be a mayor for all Londoners, the Standard reported.

He has pledged that his top priorities upon assuming office will be affordable housing and reviewing the security services’ readiness to combat terrorist attacks.

Britain’s Labour reportedly has suspended 50 members over racism, anti-Semitism

Britain’s Labour Party reportedly has secretly suspended 50 members in the past two months over anti-Semitic and racist comments.

The suspensions by the party’s compliance unit were reported in the British daily The Telegraph on Monday evening, citing a senior source within the party. Up to 20 members have been suspended in the past two weeks, the source said. Some 13 members have been publicly named since October.

On Monday, the party suspended three local lawmakers over a span of several hours for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic social media postings.

The Daily Mirror accused party head Jeremy Corbyn of playing down the issue of anti-Semitism and racism in the party after he said in an interview with the London-based newspaper: ‘What there is is a very small number of people that have said things that they should not have done. We have therefore said they will be suspended and investigated.”

On April 28, the party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for saying that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a Zionist for advocating in 1932 a policy of moving Europe’s Jews to Israel.

The following day, Labour said it would launch an investigation into anti-Semitism in the party. Corbyn also said in a statement that he would propose a new party code of conduct that would “make explicitly clear for the first time that Labour will not tolerate any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, in the party.”

Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who has called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends,” has been criticized for not doing enough to curb the rising anti-Semitic rhetoric in his party and has been accused of encouraging vitriol against Israel and Jews by not distancing himself from groups such as Hamas.

Local elections in Britain, including for mayor of London, are scheduled for Thursday in a race that Labour’s candidate, Sadiq Khan, is favored to win, which would make him the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city. Labour, however, is expected to lose tens of seats nationwide. Khan is among those who have called for Livingstone’s expulsion from the party.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Member of Parliament Naz Shah, who was suspended from the party last week for a a 2014 Facebook post called for relocating the entire State of Israel to the United States, resigned from a Home Affairs Select Committee investigating anti-Semitism in the party. The committee agreed at her request to excuse Shah “until her current issues have been resolved,” The Telegraph reported.

Israel’s Livni joins opposition head to challenge PM

Former Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni and the center-left parliamentary opposition leader will jointly challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a March election, political sources said on Wednesday.

They said Livni, whom Netanyahu fired last week as coalition rifts sank his government, would formally announce her alliance with Isaac Herzog of the Labour party later in the day.

Opinion polls predict Netanyahu's rightist Likud party will win the election, taking around 22 of parliament's 120 seats.

Labour is seen taking around 12 seats, a showing that could be improved by teaming up with Livni, whose centrist Hatnuah party has been polling at around 4 seats. One survey this week found that a joint Herzog-Livni list could defeat Likud.

Livni was dismissed along with former finance minister Yair Lapid, leader of centrist party Yesh Atid. They had clashed with Netanyahu over the government's handling of moribund peace talks with the Palestinians and a range of Israeli budget issues.