Tom Watson takes Labour group to Yad Vashem after Corbyn said no thanks
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Tom Watson takes Labour group to Yad Vashem after Corbyn said no thanks

The party's deputy leader has led MPs to visit Israel's Holocaust memorial after his leader turned down an invitation to go himself.

Tom Watson at Yad Vashem
Tom Watson at Yad Vashem

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has led a delegation of the party’s MPs to visit Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial to the victims of the Holocaust after Jeremy Corbyn turned down an invitation to go himself.

Mr Corbyn was originally invited by the leader of the Israeli Labour Party Isaac Herzog in the wake of the row which erupted earlier this year over anti-Semitic comments by former London mayor Ken Livingstone.

However a spokesman for the Labour leader said he had been unable to commit to the visit due to “diary issues” but had said Mr Watson would go instead. Iain McNicol, the party’s general secretary, is also due to visit in the new year.

“They are not planning any trips outside Europe at the moment,” the spokesman said. “He could not commit to go at that time. He fully intends to go to Israel again at some point in the future.”

The spokesman added that Mr Corbyn would be meeting Mr Herzog when he visits London later this month.

Mr Corbyn faced intense criticism over his failure to tackle anti-Semitic abuse within the party after Mr Livingstone – a long time ally of the Labour leader sparked outrage with his claim that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s “before going mad and murdering six million Jews”.

A report into anti-Semitism in the party by the former director of the civil liberties organisation, Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, was denounced “whitewash” by Jewish groups, and there was further controversy when she was made a life peer by Mr Corbyn.

Mr Watson paid his respects at Yad Vashem alongside fellow Labour MPs Dame Rosie Winterton, Michael Dugher, Ruth Smeeth and Gloria De Piero.

Mr Watson was quoted as saying: “I wanted to come back to Israel and the Palestinian Territories and to pay respects on behalf of the UK Labour Party at Yad Vashem.

“We remembered those who died in the Holocaust and renewed our determination to fight racism and anti-Semitism – whatever form it takes and wherever it exists.

“We travelled to East Jerusalem to meet inspiring young entrepreneurs from both the Israeli and Palestinian communities studying together.

“I am also looking forward to meeting Isaac Herzog and other members of our sister party to build on our friendships and our determination to work for peace in the Middle East.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments