Jeremy Corbyn condemned after footage shows him appearing to agree with 'Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism' claim

Rabbi from the fringe Neturei Karta sect called Israel 'a Zionist state that has kidnapped the name of Judaism' at 2011 conference


The Board of Deputies has condemned Jeremy Corbyn after footage emerged of him nodding in agreement with the statement that "Zionism and the state of Israel has nothing to do with the religion Judaism".

The footage, published by “The Golem” Twitter account, shows Mr Corbyn at a 2011 conference in London, nodding and applauding a speech by Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a member of the fringe Neturei Karta Chassidic group, which believes the establishment of any Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah is forbidden.

Mr Weiss also called for Israel to be “dismantled” and called it a "Zionist state that has kidnapped the name of Judaism".

Mr Corbyn also briefly applauded at the end of the speech.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “The list of things for which Jeremy Corbyn needs to apologise to Jews and Israelis grows and grows.

"Applauding a speaker calling for Israel to be dismantled is endorsing yet another extremist position.”

In 2006, Mr Weiss attended the Iranian regime’s 'International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust', alongside Neo-Nazis such as David Duke and infamous Holocaust deniers and revisionists including Robert Faurisson, Gerald Fredrick Töben and Michèle Renouf.

Asa result of the speech he gave to the 2011 conference, Mr Weiss, who is American, was condemned by other orthodox Jews, banned from certain American strictly orthodox synagogues and refused service at kosher stores.

Others present at the 2011 conference included Sameh Habeeb, who was expelled by Labour last year for publishing antisemitic conspiracy theories, and Raza Kazim of the Iranian-backed Islamic Human Rights Commission, the organisers of the annual anti-Zionist Al Quds Day parade in London, where demonstrators fly flags of the terror group Hezbollah and speakers call for the destruction of Israel.

The Neturei Karta sect, which makes up approximately 0.03 per cent of the entire Jewish population, is viewed with disgust by other strictly orthodox Jews.

In his own speech, Mr Corbyn also criticised what he called the “huge mistake” of voters in Battersea to not re-elect Labour MP Martin Linton in the last election.

Just months before, Mr Linton had been forced to apologise after giving a speech at a “Friends of Al Aqsa” meeting in Parliament where he talked about the “long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends”.

Mrs van der Zyl described Mr Corbyn as having consorted with a “rag-tag band of racists, extremists, antisemites and Holocaust deniers… [who] have contributed not one iota to peace in the Middle East.

“They have served only to spread hatred against Jewish communities and to the entrenchment of hard line views that have extended the conflict.”

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