Jewish groups’ objections spur cancellation of discussion with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn


Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London, Dec. 14, 2017. (Daniel Leavl-Olivas/Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) — A roundtable discussion of Jewish groups and British Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn was canceled after the country’s two main Jewish umbrella groups objected to the list of participants.

The meeting, billed as a “Respect and Engagement” event, had been set for Wednesday to address charges of anti-Semitism and hostility to Israel in the Labour Party. It was to take place some 24 hours after talks scheduled between Corbyn and the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council to discuss the issue.

But both Jewish groups called on mainstream community organizations to reject the invitation to the roundtable meeting, which, according to the Jewish Chronicle, they viewed as an attempt to split the Jewish community by including what they described as fringe groups such as Jewish Voice for Labour, an anti-Israel group that has derided the “myth of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” and the “anti-Semitic smear campaign” supposedly waged against Corbyn and his backers.

Corbyn’s office had sent out invitations to the event.

Labour sources told the Jewish Chronicle that the meeting had never been confirmed and had been canceled because it “didn’t work logistically.” The Jewish Chronicle also reported that instead of the roundtable meeting, Corbyn will work to hold separate meetings with Jewish groups and individuals in the coming weeks.

Corbyn has vowed to kick out any Labour member caught making racist or anti-Semitic statements. Dozens have been expelled, but many others accused of these actions were allowed to stay or were readmitted.


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