U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday lashed the hard-left UK Labour Party’s efforts to tackle antisemitism in its ranks as a “national disgrace” in an unusually harsh appraisal of the internal politics of an ally.
Addressing the U.S. pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, Pompeo denounced a rise in antisemitism around Europe, the Middle East and in the United States but reserved excoriating criticism for the opposition Labour Party.
“In Britain, the Labour Party’s tolerance of antisemitism in its ranks is a national disgrace,” Pompeo said, before confirming it was legitimate in a democracy to criticize policies of Israel but not the very existence of the Jewish state.
“Let me go on record: Anti-Zionism is antisemitism,” Pompeo said to a standing ovation. “The Trump administration opposes it unequivocally and we will fight it relentlessly.”
The Labour Party made strong gains in Britain’s 2017 elections under leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist and supporter of pro-Palestinian causes.
Mr. Corbyn has long vowed that he is not antisemitic, however his entire party has been engulfed in those very claims – from inside and without – since he took on the leadership in 2015.
Nine members of the party have quit since then, with many citing alleged anti-Jewish racism. One of them, Jewish lawmaker Luciana Berger, said she received death threats amid a slew of abuse and concluded that the party had become institutionally antisemitic.
WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn Tries to Stem Defections over Labour Anti-Semitism https://t.co/bzqACtlyqB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 21, 2019
Breitbart News reported in December at the end of a bruising year of antisemitism scandals for Labour that Mr. Corbyn had made the Simon Wiesenthal Center list of ‘top-10’ worst anti-Jewish incidents worldwide for 2018.
It stated that the prospect for a Corbyn-led British government was an “existential threat to Jews” and that the rising tide of antisemitic incidents in Labour was “injecting the world’s oldest hatred into the mainstream of society.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation that researches the Holocaust and contemporary antisemitism, said of the rise of such incidents within Labour: “Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stands directly responsible.”
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