Corbyn campaign’s ‘anti-Semitism’ video withdrawn after communal anger

Corbyn campaign’s ‘anti-Semitism’ video withdrawn after communal anger

Film sparked furious response across Jewish community, including Board of Deputies, Jewish Labour Movement and Community Security Trust.

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

A screenshot of the video which was posted and promoted on Jeremy Corbyn's social media
A screenshot of the video which was posted and promoted on Jeremy Corbyn's social media

A pro-Jeremy Corbyn video that sparked anger after supporters were shown dismissing and deflecting claims of anti-Semitism has been removed from social media by the campaign.

The news comes after a furious response to the film from all sides of the Jewish community including the Board of Deputies, Jewish Labour Movement and Community Security Trust.

Board chief executive Gillian Merron earlier spoke to Momentum chief Jon Landsman, who expressed his deep regret at the video’s content.

Merron told Jewish News: “The dismissive video was a ‘slap in the face’ for the Jewish community. Having spoken directly to Campaign Director Jon Lansman, the Jeremy for Labour campaign now recognises the inappropriate message conveyed and has committed to remove the video and apologise. This is the right result.

“It has been a bruising year for relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community. Whatever the result of the leadership election on Saturday, we will continue to demand that antisemitism is opposed across our politics with the requisite force and conviction.”

The film, which was tweeted by the leader, saw fans of the Labour chief tackling five questions they are tired of answering, including: “Do you promote anti-Semitism?”

While one backer acknowledged there was anti-Semitism in society which must be eradicated whether in Labour or elsewhere, another simply pointed to how the Tory government of the 1930s blocked Jewish refugees from coming to the UK.

Another suggested accusations were coming from people who are “losing the political argument”. A third simply chucking the piece of paper containing the question behind him, saying: “So that’s gone as well.”

Jeremy Newmark, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement said: “We are pleased that Jeremy’s campaign have responded to the concerns that we expressed and acted by withdrawing this video.  We hope that those responsible for producing and promoting it will be sent to attend the training session on ‘confronting antisemitism and engaging with Jewish voters’ being delivered by JLM and the Labour Party at Party Conference next week.”

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “Does Jeremy Corbyn believe, as he has said publicly many times recently, that the Labour Party will do everything it can to expunge anti-Semitism from the Labour Party?”

He continues: “Mr Corbyn needs to answer these questions urgently so that we know whether he really is a committed anti-racist or whether, astonishingly, he endorses a sentiment that gives a free pass to racism against Jews.”

The Community Security Trust’s Mark Gardner said: “This film is worth watching because it accurately shows the attitude of most Corbyn supporters to communal concerns about antisemitism.”

A spokesperson for the Jeremy for Labour campaign said: “Those taking part in the video were expressing their views on the allegations made that as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn they are somehow soft on anti-Semitism, something which Jeremy Corbyn has a record of campaigning and acting against, and has repeatedly and consistently said he takes extremely seriously and will not tolerate.”

Supporters were also asked is Corbyn unelectable and if they hate Europe.

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