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Labour Leader Corbyn Under Fire from His Own Party, Rabbis for Anti-Semitism

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by his own MPs of being an “anti-Semite and a racist,” who turns a blind eye to anti-Jewish sentiments in the Party, Sky News reported on Wednesday.

Corbyn was labelled an “anti-Semite and a racist” by a veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge on Tuesday night as the party was plunged into a fresh anti-Semitism row.

Dame Margaret made the comments three hours after Labour’s highest governing body ignored pleas of the Jewish community and rejected the internationally recognized definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Instead, the party’s executive committee signed-off on a watered-down code of conduct drafted by party officials.

Dame Margaret told Corbyn: “You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.” The MP’s grandmother and uncle were murdered in the Holocaust. On Wednesday, a spokesman for Corbyn confirmed that “action will be taken” against her.

Earlier on Wednesday, John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, resigned from the party and called Corbyn a “clear risk to UK national security.”

“The party for which I have campaigned since I was a boy is no longer the broad church it has always historically been,” Woodcock wrote in his resignation letter. “Anti-Semitism is being tolerated and Labour has been taken over at nearly every level by the hard left, far beyond the dominance they achieved at the height of 1980s militancy.”

Woodcock concluded that “there is little chance of returning the Labour party to the inclusive, mainstream electoral force my constituents desperately need.”

On Monday, more than 60 rabbis from across the Jewish community in Britain signed a joint letter saying Labour has “chosen to ignore the Jewish community.” Some of the country’s most senior rabbis – including from ultra-orthodox and progressive congregations – charged, “The Labour party’s leadership has chosen to ignore those who understand antisemitism the best, the Jewish community. By claiming to know what’s good for our community, the Labour party’s leadership have chosen to act in the most insulting and arrogant way.”

Labour MPs voted overwhelmingly on Monday night at a private meeting of backbenchers to accept the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, but were overruled by the party’s national committee on Tuesday. Corbyn was present when the decision was taken and approved the move.

[Photo: Garry Knight / Flickr ]