UK's Labour suspends Jewish donor for likening Nazis to Corbyn leadership

British opposition party says Michael Foster's membership had been suspended on allegations of breaching election rules which prohibit "abuse of any kind."

By
September 11, 2016 13:18
2 minute read.
 Jeremy Corbyn

Britain's leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The British Labour party has suspended a prominent Jewish donor, after he allegedly used the term "Nazi stormtroopers" to describe supporters of Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

British media reported Sunday that Labour has subsequently launched an investigation into allegations of abuse by the donor, Michael Foster, in accordance with election rules which prohibit "abuse of any kind by members or supporters".

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The comments in question were made in an article Foster wrote for the Daily Mail on Sunday, entitled "Why I despise Jeremy Corbyn and his Nazi stormtroopers."

Foster, who has reportedly donated over £400,000 to the party over the past two-and-a-half years, denied using the word "Nazi" himself, saying it was added to the headline by Daily Mail editors.

However, the German term he used for stormtrooper, Sturmabteilung, is widely recognized to refer to the Nazi Brown Shirts.

According to the BBC, Foster clarified that his remarks referred specifically to Corbyn's "leadership cadre", and that the terms "Pretorian Guard or Revolutionary Guard or Red Guard," would be just as appropriate to describe "a group there to secure the leader and his political plans".

The August 14 op-ed came after Britain's High Court ruled against a petition filed by Foster, a former MP candidate, arguing that the party's incumbent leader should not be automatically regarded as a candidate on new ballots.



"This decision advantaged Corbyn and his Sturm Abteilung (stormtroopers), but on Friday afternoon the Appeal Court handed down a big decision for British democracy," Foster wrote.

Foster also accused Corbyn and his leadership team of lacking a moral compass, and having "no respect for others and worse, no respect for the rule of law."

He also wrote, “If you are like me, a Jewish donor to Labour, you are smeared as a Blairite conspirator, plotting to falsely use the accusation of anti-Semitism to damage the Left.... Corbyn and his leadership team have no respect for others and worse, no respect for the rule of law."

Fosters' suspension means that he will be excluded from Labour's annual conference in Liverpool and will be barred from voting in the party's leadership election between Corbyn and Owen Smith.

The Daily Mail cited the outraged donor as predicting that his suspension marked the beginning of a "purge" of Corbyn opponents.

The Labor leader is expected to win the contest handily, in results which will be announced next week. "The rule of law is being ignored because of intimidation by Corbyn, backed by Momentum, his Praetorian Guard. This will presage the purge of opponents within the Labour Party and then the deselection of any MP who is not signed up to the Left’s ideology," the Mail quoted Foster as saying.

Foster’s remarks came as news almost simultaneously emerged that the Israeli Labor party was disappointed by Corbyn’s declination of an invitation to visit Yad Vashem.

Israeli Labor leader Isaac Herzog had asked his British counterpart to accompany him to the Holocaust Remembrance Center to  “witness the last time Jews were forcibly transported - to their deaths.”

Corbyn responded that prior commitments forced him to decline, but that Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson or its general secretary, Iain McNicol would go in his place.

Corbyn and his party suffered from an anti-Semitism crisis this year, resulting in several high-profile suspensions and culminating in the Chakrabarti Report on anti-Semitism within the party.
    

Related Content

Students from Rambam Mesivta-Maimonides High School protest outside the home of Jakiw Palij in the Q
August 21, 2018
U.S. deports its last known Nazi collaborator

By AMY SPIRO