Wednesday, 21 Aug 2019 - 20 of Av, 5779

Labour MEP to speak at anti-Israel in the European Parliament: Jewish leader challenges Jeremy Corbyn by asking to distance himself

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“If you find appropriate that a Labour Party MEP takes part in such a blatantly biased event, then you can rest assured that your statements, your pronouncements and your efforts to distance you and your party from accusations of anti-Semitism will be rendered worthless, pointless, devoid of meaning, substance and fraudulent, and will be judged as such by European Jewry.’’

BRUSSELS— The head of a European Jewish group has challenged Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to fight antisemitism by asking him to distance himself with a Labour MEP who will speak next week at an anti-Israel event in the European Parliament.

In a letter to Corbyn, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), an umbrella organization representing Jewish communities across Europe, demanded that MEP Julie Wrd stands down from speaking at the event next Tuesday. ‘’She would share the stage with  convicted IRA terrorist and Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson, who has described Israelis as “a rash”, and a journalist David Cronin who glorifies Hamas actions in his blog on the ‘Electronic Intifada’ website and who tried unsuccessfully to make a citizen’s arrest for former Labour Leader Tony Blair for alleged war crimes,’’ Rabbi Margolin wrote.

His call comes as Labour seeks to distance itself from accusations of anti-Semitism masked behind criticism of Israel.

Tuesday’s event in the European Parliament, called “Nation State Law – Occupation and discrimination in Israel”, is organised by the Europal Forum, a group that advocates for Boycotts and Sanctions against Israel and incites students on campus to take action.  

 

Julie Ward has a long record of attacking the Jewish state. She is a vocal proponent of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and sanctions) movement and was an initiator of a 2014 petition calling on the EU to suspend trade agreements with Israel. That petition notes that BDS “takes its inspiration from the successful boycott campaign” against “the South African apartheid regime,” promoting the vile and false comparison between Israel and apartheid. Outrageously the petition claims “Israel would not be able to carry out its brutal mass killings and maintain its repressive regime without the support by the EU and the United States.”

In his letter to Mr Corbyn, Rabbi Margolin said that ‘’“despite many statements from you and your party regarding your commitment to fight anti-Semitism the actions of your members continue to fly in the face of such assurances.’’

He added : “If you find appropriate that a Labour Party MEP takes part in such a blatantly biased event, then you can rest assured that your statements, your pronouncements and your efforts to distance you and your party from accusations of anti-Semitism will be rendered worthless, pointless, devoid of meaning, substance and fraudulent, and will be judged as such by European Jewry.’’

“If on the other hand, having one of your MEPs speak at such an event, with such people alarms you, then you must demand that this senior representative of the Labour Party remove herself and your party name from this event, or remove herself from the party in whose name she will be advocating with those who support Hamas and the IRA and who make repeated vile and patently false statements about Israel and its citizens,’’ Rabbi Margolin concluded in the letter.

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