French far-left leader blames Israeli ruling party for Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat


(JTA) — Jeremy Corbyn said he lost Thursday’s elections due to hostile media and his refusal to commit to Brexit.

“Media attack,” the Labour Party leader wrote, has “an impact on the outcome.”

Corbyn’s critics dismissed his explanation as “delusional,” citing instead his radical left-wing views, calling Hamas and Hezbollah “his friends,” and perceived failure to address the florescence of anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks under his leadership.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, a far-left politician from France who is often described as Corbyn’s counterpart there, had a different take: On Friday, posting on his Facebook page, Melenchon blamed “networks of influence from Likud,” the Israeli ruling party, before inveighing against French Jews.

“Instead of attacking” these networks and the chief rabbi of Britain, who said in a newspaper op-ed that Corbyn was “complicit in prejudice” against Jews, Corbyn “kept apologizing, giving the accusation play,” wrote Melenchon, who won 19 percent of the 2017 French presidential elections.

(In reality, contrary to Melenchon’s viewpoint, Corbyn refused to apologize for the anti-Semitism in Labour before acquiescing near the election with an apology he had made in 2018.)

Labour received 202 seats in Parliament out of 650, its worst showing since 1935 and a loss of 60 seats from the 2017 election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party won a comfortable majority with 365 seats — up by 48 seats.

Melenchon was adamant he would not back down, as he perceived Corbyn did.

“I’ll never cede,” he wrote. “Never a point-system retirement, a German neoliberal Europe, green capitalism or kneeling before arrogant dictates by the sectarians of the CRIF.”

CRIF, the umbrella Jewish group in France, in a statement Monday called Melenchon’s rhetoric “reminiscent” of anti-Jewish propaganda by French Nazi collaborators.

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