Fury over Canadian politician's plan to appear alongside ‘toxic’ Jeremy Corbyn

Jewish organisations have raised concerns about his talk with Canadian deputy Niki Ashton later this month


HULL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn steps off a train from Leeds as he tours the North of England by rail today on September 3, 2018 in Hull, England. Labour under Mr Corbyn are proposing a 'Crossrail for the North' linking the North East and North West of England with a new rail line. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

An upcoming online event featuring Jeremy Corbyn and a Canadian lawmaker has sparked an outcry from Jewish groups.
Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Board of Deputies both described the former Labour leader as "disgraced" while the latter said he “presided over the creation of a toxic environment in Labour.”
The two Jewish organisations raised concerns about his talk with Canadian deputy Niki Ashton to be hosted later this month by left-wing group Progressive International.
Mr Corbyn’s tenure and 2019 general election campaign were overshadowed by a row over antisemitism and repeated criticism from Jewish groups. He now sits as an independent MP, having recently launched his “Peace and Justice Project”. 
Last year’s Equality and Human Rights Commission report on antisemitism found “a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it". 
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said she was “astonished” by the invitation and urged Ms Ashton’s left-wing New Democratic Party to “view what happened here as a cautionary tale.
“Because fringe activism infused with Jew hatred was allowed to take root, the Jewish community was targeted and forced out of the party, antisemites in broader society were emboldened, and Labour fell to its worst electoral result since 1935. Corbyn profoundly failed progressives and the issues they seek to advance,” she said.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, meanwhile, said Mr Corbyn was "toxic" and warned against “importing” Corbynism into Canada. 
“Corbyn’s brand of politics creates space for antisemitism and hate to take root. That devastated the Labour party in the UK. Anyone who stands against that must stand against importing it into Canada,” CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel said.
Progressive International criticised "ongoing efforts to slander Jeremy Corbyn, a genuine internationalist and an inspiration to progressive people around the world."

A spokesperson said: "As fierce opponents of antisemitism — and as an International that includes many Jewish members across the planet — we abhor the weaponisation of Jewish pain against the project of socialism and justice for the Palestinians. A principled defence of Jewish communities demands we distinguish between empathy for genuine pain and cynical attempts to use it for political reaction. We know Jeremy Corbyn is under attack because of his lifelong fight to transform Britain, to dismantle empire, and to advance social justice, peace and freedom."

Ms Ashton told the National Post that Mr Corbyn had “fought for peace and justice and against racism of all forms, throughout his life.”
According to the outlet, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said Ms Ashton had not sought the party’s permission before accepting the invitation and added that his party was committed to tackling antisemitism. 

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