Jeremy Corbyn showing contempt towards Jews, says major Labour donor


A major Jewish donor to the Labour Party has attacked Jeremy Corbyn for appearing to tolerate antisemitism and showing contempt towards Jews.

Michael Foster, whose family has donated over £400,000 to the party and who stood as a Labour candidate in the 2015 general election, said Mr Corbyn was “too weak” to stand up against antisemitic elements on the left.

The retired businessman, who lost eight members of his family in the Holocaust, said the Labour leader's view that there was "no crisis" over antisemitism in the party "shows only his callousness and contempt for the history of the Jews in Europe".

Jews were turning their back on the party, which, he said, “at its top levels, appears by its inaction to tolerate antisemitic speech and behaviour”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Foster said Mr Corbyn “makes no attempt at all to put at ease a Jewish community in Britain that for more than 100 years has supported Labour spiritually, politically and financially.

“The community look on in horror that a supposedly civilised man cannot understand the pain and fear that many on the Left of the Labour Party inflict without any worry of disciplinary action from the leadership.

“All Jeremy Corbyn dispenses are palliative statements, lumping antisemitism with racism.”

He added: “Why would any of these ignorant people hold back on their attacks against individual Jews and the Jewish community when all through the Labour leadership election Corbyn would not distance himself from accusations that he supported organisations calling for the destruction of Israel.

“The Jewish community has protested clearly and often, and will continue to do so. Yet I will vouch that Jeremy Corbyn will do nothing.”

It was no coincidence that the number of antisemitic incidents had increased since Mr Corbyn became leader last September, he said.

“Jeremy has emboldened these people because he clearly leans towards Hamas, the violently anti-Israel Palestinian party that governs Gaza. Hamas have included the antisemitic libel, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in their constitution.”

Earlier this week Mr Corbyn defended his brother Piers who tweeted that it was “absurd” for a Jewish Labour MP to challenge the leader’s efforts to combat Jew-hatred in the party.

Piers Corbyn claimed that ‘Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine”.

Mr Foster, who described himself as a committed socialist, said: “I have to question the very purpose of a leader who defends his brother’s racist remarks rather than be seen by his supporters as being in any way soft on Israel.”

He added that the Labour leader was "too weak to stand up against the wing of the party on whose support he relies. These people have a Pavlovian reaction to Jews and Israel: see a Jew, see an anti-Palestinian.

"They blend Israel and Zionism into the supposed demagoguery of the classic Jew, an all-controlling malevolent demon, and a rich one, intent on committing incremental genocide against the Palestinian people.”

Mr Foster, who last year hit the headlines after he heckled Mr Corbyn for failing to mention Israel in a speech to Labour Friends of Israel, said that Jewish supporters had given “almost one-third of the £9.7 million that Labour received from private donors” in the run-up to the 2015 general election.

“This year, no major Jewish donor has yet given one pound to the central Labour Party. It is, in its way, a tragedy,” he said.

But, he added: “We would be foolish to donate to a cause whose leaders view us with contempt.”

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