Understanding the controversy around Nupes and Jeremy Corbyn, accused of complacency with anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn, who participated in the campaign of Danielle Simonnet and Danièle Obono (La France insoumise-Nupes) in Paris, is regularly accused of complacency with anti-Semitism.

A major political fault, in the middle of an election? This is the accusation brought against Danielle Simonnet and Danièle Obono, both legislative candidates under the banner of the New Popular and Social Union (Nupes) and from La France insoumise (LFI). Outgoing MP, M.me Obono was re-elected in the first round, Sunday June 12. During the campaign for the first round of the French legislative elections, these two Nupes candidates in the 15e and 17e districts of Paris, showed upon June 6, alongside Jeremy Corbyn. “A lot of emotion and pride to receive, this evening, Jeremy Corbyn, MP for London”welcomed Mme Simonnet.

The former Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, denounced on RTL, on June 14, a “complicity” of the Nupes “with all that is most nauseating”, castigating “anti-Semitic speech and thought” of the MP for London. In this between-two-turns, the figure of Mr. Corbyn is used by the presidential majority to denounce the supposed sympathies of the radical left for extreme conspiratorial movements.

But this invitation has been more widely criticized, by the Licraby many intellectuals jewsby editorial writers, and up to the left, by Lamia El Aaraje, spokesperson for the Socialist Party (PS) and outgoing MP deprived of nomination by Nupes in favor of Danielle Simonnet. The latter replied on Twitter : ” Shame on you. Jeremy Corbyn never made a single anti-Semitic statement but was the victim of a crude manipulation because he embodied the left wing. »

Read also UK: Jeremy Corbyn accused of anti-Semitic complacency within Labor

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

Jeremy Corbyn, 73, is an English politician, who was leader of the Labor Party (or Labour, the British left) from 2015 to the end of 2019. A defender of the rights of sexual minorities as much as of the Palestinian cause, he has very regularly been singled out for his complacency with movements hostile to the State of Israel, including certain negationist groups or Islamists.

When he was head of the British left, several Jewish community newspapers denounced “Corbynist contempt for Jews and Israel”. On October 29, 2020, he was temporarily suspended from the Labor movement after the publication of an independent report, accusing him of having failed to act against anti-Semitism in the ranks of Labour.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers ‘Corbyn made the party a haven for anti-Semites’: UK Jewish community turning away from Labor

If Jeremy Corbyn has always declared himself a stranger to all anti-Semitism, several of his positions and political acts have caused trouble.

  • In 2009, he described Hezbollah and Hamas as” friends “, drawing the ire of the Jewish community and conservative David Cameron, years later. He justifies, in 2015, this qualifier by the desire to bring together Israel and its enemies, in order to arrive at a peace process. In 2016, he declared that he “I regret using that term”.
  • In 2012 he expresses his opposition to the erasure of a wall fresco depicting traditional conspiratorial motifs of anti-Semitism: bankers having fun under the eye of an Illuminati pyramid. In 2018, he said to himself “sincerely sorry for not having taken a closer look at the image”, whose content he describes as “deeply shocking and anti-Semitic”.
  • In 2013, during a speech at a meeting organized by an association close to Hamas, Mr Corbyn derided the “British Zionists”. Faced with the controversy, he claims to have used these terms “in a specific political sense and not as a euphemism for the Jewish people”, while now saying ” more careful “ in his job.
  • In 2014, he attended a pro-Palestinian charity event organized by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. The English Tabloid DailyMail claims that the links between Jeremy Corbyn and the latter are old, and that he hid them in 2016 from the Committee of Inquiry into anti-Semitism within the Labor Party. Faced with these accusations, he explains that he was not aware of the views of Paul Eisen, describes Holocaust denial as “vile and ignoble”and expresses its regret for having contributed to its financing.

Apart from his ambivalences, he was also accused of not having been able to stem the rise of anti-Semitism in his party, with reactions that were too late or insufficient.

  • In 2018, the Times notes more than two thousand anti-Semitic, negationist or Nazi messages posted and unmoderated on Facebook pages in favor of the leader of the Labor Party, “Jeremy Corbyn’s hate factory”. Groups without the slightest official link with the party, disputes the spokesperson for Labour.
  • The same year, his faithful fellow traveler, former London Mayor Ken Livingston, resigned from the Labor Party after suggesting that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist before becoming a genocidal madman. Jeremy Corbyn talks about his departure as a “good thing to do”.
  • In 2020, an independent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds shortcomings “inexcusable”, his team downplaying or ignoring numerous complaints and alerts from Jewish Labor. Jeremy Corbyn was then suspended from Labor by its new leader, Keir Starmer.

Mr Corbyn described the EHRC findings as “grossly exaggerated” what also say LFI candidates today. “The Labor Party had to apologize and reinstate him, explains Danielle Simonnet. There are enough real anti-Semites to fight to invent others. »

He was, in fact, reinstated a month later by decision of the National Labor Executive Committee, itself the target of this report, in a disavowal of Keir Starmer’s choice to exclude him. Butme Simonnet forgets to specify that the former Labor leader is no longer authorized by his party to sit in Parliament as a Labor MP.


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