Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The new leader of Britain’s Labor party who has been accused of tolerating anti-Semitism said he has some Jewish ancestry.
Jeremy Corbyn told The Church Times that while his immediate family is Christian, he has a “Jewish element” in his background, the United Kingdom’s Jewish News reported.
In the interview with the Christian publication, he described himself as “not anti-religious at all,” adding, “I go to churches, I go to mosques, I go to temples, I go to synagogues. I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting.”
Corbyn’s election earlier this month has generated unprecedented concern in British Jewry’s ranks, where many resent his Israel-critical views. Corbyn in the past has called terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah "friends." The far-leftist has also been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism
The 66-year-old has held a pro-Palestinian stance since entering Parliament, specializing in delivering fierce and often very direct criticism of Israeli policies. One of the popular leaders of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, his contribution to foreign affairs debates include diatribes about the behavior of Israeli troops or abuses of Palestinian human rights.
Four years ago, he actively supported the right of Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch in Israel, to address meetings in Britain despite clear Home Office opposition. English courts accepted that Salah had previously invoked anti-Semitic blood libel, but arrangements to deport him fell apart.Reuters contributed to this report.