Jeremy Corbyn, who heads the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, has denied that his party has an anti-Semitism problem amid a rash of controversial statements by party members.
“There is not a problem. We are totally opposed to anti-Semitism in any form within the party,” Corbyn said, The Guardian reported. “The very small number of cases that have been brought to our attention have been dealt with swiftly and immediately, and they will be.”
Labour members have triggered outrage in the British Jewish community, and within their own party, for their statements about Israel. Labour lawmaker Naz Shah was suspended by the party this week for the revelation of how she suggested in a 2014 Facebook post that Israel should be relocated to the United States as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Following Shah’s suspension, former London mayor Ken Livingstone, another Labour member, told BBC Radio that Hitler initially “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews,” and that the “Israel lobby” is trying to “smear” all critics of the Jewish state as anti-Semites. Livingstone was also suspended for his comments.
Corbyn himself has come under fire in the past for calling the Hamas and Hezbollah terror group “friends,” and for his connections to a Holocaust denier.
“It’s not a crisis. There’s no crisis. Where there is any racism in the party, it will be dealt with and rooted out. I have been an anti-racist campaigner all my life,” Corbyn said.