(JTA) — A British-Jewish newspaper called on Jeremy Corbyn, the frontrunner to head Britain’s Labor Party, to address allegations that he is tied to anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers.
An editorial published Wednesday on the online edition of the The Jewish Chronicle of London said: “We are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr. Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.”
The editorial came a day after The Daily Mail reported that Corbyn had written a letter defending a controversial clergy member who had posted on Facebook an article blaming Israel and wealthy Jews for the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.
That article also said that Corbyn is friends with a Holocaust denier and has described Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.”
The Jewish Chronicle editorial said that while there “is no direct evidence that [Corbyn] has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites.” Corbyn should answer questions on this if he is “not to be regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community,” the op-ed read.
Noting that it had reached out to Corbyn with its questions earlier, only to receive no response, the newspaper asked about the Parliament member’s relationship with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen and Eisen’s pro-Palestinian organization — “an organisation so extreme that even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign refuses to associate with it.”
The newspaper also asked about Corbyn’s defense of Rev. Stephen Sizer, an Anglican minister who posted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and his feelings about Hamas and Hezbollah, among other issues.
“It is difficult not to see a pattern in Mr Corbyn’s associations, and his refusal at any point to answer the fears of the Jewish community raised by these associations,” the editorial continued.
Britain’s Community Security Trust, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, has also called on Corbyn to clarify his apparent association with individuals and groups seen as promoting anti-Semitism.
“The problem is not that Corbyn is an antisemite or a Holocaust denier – he is neither,” CST spokesperson Dave Rich wrote in an op-ed. “The problem is that he seems to gravitate towards people who are, if they come with an anti-Israel sticker on them.”
CST recently said it was pleased to learn Corbyn pulled out of an event planned for next month featuring the Brazilian caricaturist Carlos Latuff, whose also accused of celebrating anti-Semitic tropes.