The chairwoman of Labour Friends of Israel has said Jeremy Corbyn missed a golden opportunity to allay concerns about his position on the Jewish state at last week’s meeting in Brighton.
Writing in this week’s Jewish News, Joan Ryan MP expressed her “disappointment” following the new Labour leader’s short address to 500 attendees on the fringe of the party’s annual gathering.
“I am as disappointed as many others that Jeremy failed to seize the opportunity to allay the understandable concerns that many have about his commitment to the State of Israel,” she said.
It was possible both to support the Palestinian people as well as “the right of the Jewish people to their own state,” she said, adding that the two need not be in conflict.
“I do not expect Jeremy to become an ardent Zionist, but respectfully, I do expect him to acknowledge this fundamental truth.”
At the event, Corbyn spoke for six minutes, saying he wanted to “bring about long-term dialogue” but failing to mention the state by name. The omission prompted a heckler to scream: “Say the word Israel! Say the word Israel!”