It looks like the UK’s Labour Party has rubbed the Jewish community the wrong way as Israel Foreign Minister wished for Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat in the upcoming general election. Since commenting on foreign elections is always a tricky area, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he personally hopes Corbyn won’t be elected and has no motive to meddle in Britain’s internal affairs. During an Israeli Army Radio interview, Katz said that his hope was based on the “whole wave of anti-Semitism”.
The Labour leader has been facing the wrath of the Jewish community, especially after chief rabbi accused him of ineffectively dealing with anti-Semitism claims. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, in his article for a British daily, said that Corbyn allowed a “new poison sanctioned from the top” to take root in the party. During a television interview, on November 26, Corbyn was repeatedly given opportunities to apologise but he rather chose to defend himself. He said that he does not want anyone to feel insecure and Labour government will “protect every community against the abuse they receive”.
Mirvis, the UK’s most senior Jewish spiritual leader, had called Corbyn unfit for the high post saying the party leadership failed to see anti-Jewish racism as a human problem rather than a political one. Chief rabbi had declined to take a position on elections and voting for a particular party, but posed a question regarding the moral compass of the country by saying that the very soul of the nation is at stake. He lambasted the party leadership since Labour members, accused of anti-Semitism, were not suspended and investigations are going on for a long period of time.
On December 4, Katz had welcomed the French parliament’s decision to adopt the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). He called on other countries to follow the footsteps and said the resolution confirms Macron's remarks that anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism. On the same day, the IHRA officially launched recommendations for teaching and learning about the Holocaust in partnership with UNESCO.