Corbyn Apologizes for Speaking at Event That Compared Israel's Actions to Holocaust

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader / Getty
Jeremy Corbyn / Getty
August 1, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the United Kingdom's Labour Party, apologized for the "concerns and anxiety caused" after he participated in a 2010 event that compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

The event, called Never Again for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza, featured Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of the Aushwitz concentration camp, who repeatedly likened Israel’s policy towards Gaza with the Holocaust, The Guardian reports.

"The main speaker at this Holocaust Memorial Day meeting was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor," Corbyn said. "Views were expressed at the meeting which I do not accept or condone." He further acknowledged that in the past, he has "on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject."

Labour has struggled with accusations or incidents of anti-Semitism for several years now. Last week, the U.K.’s three main Jewish newspapers released the same front page declaring "United We Stand" and argued Corbyn represented an "existential threat" to Jewish life in Britain.

Peter Willsman, a prominent Corbyn ally on Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) recently blamed Jewish "Trump fanatics" for "making up" allegations of anti-Semitism against the party. Labour is facing increased pressure to formally discipline the NEC member for his comments.

Willsman has since apologized for his remarks, saying he recognizes "the offensive nature of my comments and that in diminishing the experiences of those who face antisemitism in our party and society I showed a lack of the sensitivity required for discussions around racism."

In 2016, Corbyn expressed regret for describing members of Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends" at a meeting in 2009. Earlier this year, Corbyn admitted he was wrong to have supported in 2012 an artist who painted a mural in London depicting Jews playing Monopoly on the backs of naked people.

Published under: Israel , United Kingdom