Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) and UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli lawmakers expressed outrage at UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s statements comparing Israel to the Islamic State Thursday, ironically made at a discussion of a report on allegations of anti-Semitism in his party.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu than Muslims are for the self-styled Islamic State,” Corbyn was quoted as saying by several journalists present.
In Labour’s Israeli sister party, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said: “Corbyn’s suggestion of moral equivalence between Israel and ISIS is outrageous, unacceptable, and a betrayal of global Labor values.”
Herzog compared Corbyn to former Labour minister Ernest Bevin, who was foreign secretary when the State of Israel was established.
“Corbyn represents a consistent stance of hatred toward Israel, like the infamous Ernest Bevin, and like Bevin, who failed, Corbyn will fail, as well,” Herzog said.
Earlier this year, amid allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour, Herzog invited Corbyn to see Israel for himself; Corbyn declined.
Zionist Union, MK Itzik Shmuly said that “Corbyn has finally gone insane and his leadership shames Labour.”
Shmuly called on Labour MPs to oust Corbyn, because he “lost touch with reality,” and does not care about facts; rather Corbyn “is only interested in anti-Semitism and hatred for Israel.”
“If he cared about facts, [Corbyn] would surely know that most of the slaughter of Muslims in the world is perpetrated by other Muslims in distant places that have nothing to do with Israel... It is bizarre that while countries, including the UK, are cooperating to fight jihadist terror, the head of a party in Britain makes such a shocking statement,” Shmuly added.
MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union) said that, following Corbyn’s statements, Israeli Labor and UK Labour are “no longer in the same family.”
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) pointed out that Corbyn in the past talked about having “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah.
“Only someone who is connected to such murderous terrorist organizations could speak in such an anti-Semitic way,” Dichter said. “Corbyn has learned nothing from the history of the British people, Israel or the Jewish people.”
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called for Israel’s Labor Party, the main constituent of the Zionist Union, to cut all ties with its British counterpart until Corbyn is replaced.
“It is unacceptable that on such a difficult day for the State of Israel, when an innocent young girl was murdered in a terror attack by an evil terrorist just because she was a Jew, the leader of the opposition in the UK compares Israel and ISIS, made worse by being [said] at the launch of a report on anti-Semitism in his own party,” Lapid said.
Corbyn’s comparison is “pure anti-Semitism” and “evidence of his ignorance,” he added, pointing out that “the State of Israel is governed by democratic values, morality and justice and fights every day against terror organizations who are sworn to the murder of innocents.”