Europe

Ex-Labour MP Joan Ryan: Corbyn Poses “an Existential Threat” to British Jews

Joan Ryan, one of eight Labour politicians who resigned from the party this week over anti-Semitism, wrote in an exclusive article for The Jewish Chronicle on Wednesday that a government led by Jeremy Corbyn “would be, as British Jews have claimed, an existential threat to the community.”

She said Labour now has “a culture in which Jews are abused and their tormenters are able to act with impunity. I am sickened and ashamed of what has become of my former party.” In a blistering attack, she called the party “institutionally antisemitic.”

The politician, who now sits as an independent MP in parliament, compared the hard-left machine around Corbyn to the “European far-right” and warned it “would be turned against any enemies of the Corbyn project, Jew and non-Jew alike.”

Ryan added: “I fear it poses a danger to the cohesion of our society, the safety of our citizens, and the health of our democracy.” Therefore, she said, her decision to leave the party reflects her promise that “whatever the personal cost, I would stand by the Jewish community in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour party.”

The MP also warned that a Corbyn government would embolden the terrorist regime in Iran, destroy Britain’s partnership with Israel, and encourage acts of terrorism.

“I know, too, that a Corbyn government would rupture Britain’s friendship with Israel. It would work with those who seek to demonise and delegitimise the world’s only Jewish state,” Ryan charged. “And it would aid and appease Iran, an expansionist power that wishes to wipe out Israel, dominate the Middle East, and bring terror to the streets of Europe.”

Ryan was a member of the Labour Party for 40 years and has served as the MP for Enfield North from 1997 to 2010 and since 2015. She also served as a minister under Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Before resigning from the party, Ryan was chair of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and has been a noted critic of Corbyn. On September 6, 2018, hard-left members in her constituency passed a motion of no confidence in Ryan. It accused the MP of making false accusations of anti-Semitism and of fueling a “trial by media” to smear Corbyn.

Ryan resigned from the Labour Party on February 19, 2019, to join the Independent Group of former Labour and Conservative MPs, accusing Corbyn and the “Stalinist clique which surrounds him” of “presiding over a culture of antisemitism and hatred of Israel.”

[Photo: Chris McAndrew / WikiCommons ]