The president of the Board of Deputies has said Jeremy Corbyn should refer himself for equalities training after news emerged that he suggested renaming Holocaust Memorial Day and hosted an event comparing Israelis to Nazis.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday morning, Marie van der Zyl said Labour leader Corbyn should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism and all its examples, expel National Executive Committee member Pete Willsman for his leaked comments at a recent meeting, stop “the ridiculous show trials” of Dame Margaret Hodge MP and Ian Austin MP, who are accused of directing verbal abuse at the Labour leadership, and “refer himself for equalities training”.
She called the flurry of stories about Corbyn’s past activism in recent days “shocking,” including his idea to change the title of Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) to Genocide Memorial Day, a move supported at the time by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said HMD “already rightly includes all victims of the Nazis and subsequent genocides, but the Holocaust was a specific crime with anti-Semitism at its core… Any attempt to remove that specificity is a form of denial and distortion”.
Van der Zyl said Corbyn’s hosting of an event in 2010 in which a Jewish Auschwitz survivor compared the actions of Israelis to those of the Nazis was “a clear breach” of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which was written six years later.