Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is involved in yet another antisemitism scandal as it emerged he is being sued by Jewish blogger Richard Millet for defamation and for making antisemitic comments.
Westminster gossip blog Guido Fawkes revealed Thursday that the case being made against Mr Corbyn is based on comments he made about “Zionists” in a speech to the Palestinian Return Centre in 2013. Mr Corbyn is reported to have said that Zionists have no understanding of English irony and that they did not want to study history.
The Labour leader had also claimed that two pro-Israel activists had been “very abusive” to the Palestinian ambassador, one of the individuals being identified in the media as Mr Millet.
Corbyn had allegedly made defamatory comments in his 2013 speech when he is reported to have said:
The other evening we had a meeting in Parliament in which Manuel made an incredibly powerful and passionate and effective speech about the history of Palestine, the rights of the Palestinian people.
This was dutifully recorded by the -– thankfully silent -– Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion and then came up and berated him afterwards for what he’d said. They clearly have two problems: one is they don’t want to study history; and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.
Jewish Leaders Condemn Corbyn’s ‘Meaningless’ Response to Labour Party’s ‘Institutional’ Anti-Semitism https://t.co/0Lb3uRSw8V
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 4, 2018
Mr Millet said in response in 2018 that Mr Corbyn should have offered an apology and should have said: “‘I’m sorry for that racist comment.’ It’s almost implying that I’m not English, Jewish people are not necessarily part of this English milieu that he has been part of, I am not part of his Britain.”
Mr Corbyn had appeared on the Andrew Marr Show and was asked about the 2013 speech, saying of Mr Millet’s alleged actions: “Well, I was at a meeting in the House of Commons and the two people I referred to had been incredibly disruptive, indeed the police wanted to throw them out of the meeting, I didn’t, I said they should remain in the meeting, they’d been disruptive of a number of meetings.
“At the later meeting when Manuel spoke they were quiet but they came up and were really, really strong on him afterwards and he was quite upset by it. I know Manuel Hassassian quite well and I was speaking in his defence. Manuel, of course, is the Palestinian Ambassador to this country.”
Mr Millet is seeking £100,000 in the defamation lawsuit against Mr Corbyn.
Revealed: Majority 85% of British Jews Believe Jeremy Corbyn Is Anti-Semitic https://t.co/slIsVAw2RP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 14, 2018
The incident is the latest in a long line of antisemitic instances involving the Labour leader and his party. It recently came to light that in 2009 Corbyn had written an article talking about the “unbelievably high” levels of influence that Israel has over the British media. The idea of Jews or Israel controlling the media is an infamous antisemitic trope.
A recent poll found that over half (51 per cent) of the country think that Labour and Mr Corbyn have a ‘serious’ antisemitism problem.
It was also announced this month that the Equality and Human Rights Commission was to launch an investigation into antisemitism in the party, the first political party to be investigated for racism since the British National Party (BNP).