The leader of the U.K. Labour Party and the British parliament’s opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, condemned MP Sir Gerald Kaufman for comments he made on “Jewish Money” taking over the governing Conservative Party. The comments are particularly noteworthy to anti-Israel stances Corbyn himself has taken in the past.
Kaufman, who is Jewish himself, told an audience at a recent event sponsored by the Hamas-linked Palestine Return Council that Israel is “executing” innocent Palestinians, and that the Conservative Party is becoming “more and more pro-Israel” because “Jewish money, Jewish donations, to the conservative party as in the general election in May, support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the conservatives.”
“Last week’s reported comments by Sir Gerald Kaufman about the Jewish community, the Conservative party and Israel are completely unacceptable and deeply regrettable. Such remarks are damaging to community relations, and also do nothing to benefit the Palestinian cause,” Corbyn said in a statement.
“I have always implacably opposed all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and will continue to do so,” he said.
The chief executive of the U.K.’s Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson, said in a statement that “the fact that Mr. Corbyn has distanced himself from Sir Gerald’s despicable comments is in itself a welcome intervention. We await a response from the Chief Whip as to whether any further disciplinary action will be taken and, of course, if Sir Gerald will apologize.”
Corbyn, elected in September, is no stranger himself to controversy with regard to Jews and Israel. The 66-year-old is known for his denunciations of the Israel Defense Forces as well as his reference to the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.”