Corbyn rejects Herzog invitation to visit Israel

Labour leader promises zero tolerance for anti-Semitism.

June 23, 2016 20:17
1 minute read.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) and UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn . (photo credit: REUTERS)

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, on Thursday, turning down his invitation to come to Israel.

On April 30, Herzog wrote Corbyn a letter inviting him to Jerusalem, to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and “better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.” The invitation, Herzog said, was issued after incidents within Corbyn’s party that “sicken all those of moral conscience to the core” and “must act as a red alert and prompt immediate action.”

The letter from Herzog came after former London mayor Ken Livingstone told the BBC that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist and Labour lawmaker Naz Shah suggested Israelis should be moved en masse to the United States.

Corbyn thanked Herzog for his letter and the invitation but said “my existing commitments make it impossible for me to take up your offer in the immediate future.” He said he asked his party’s deputy leader Tom Watson and general secretary Iain McNicol to go instead.

In his letter, Corbyn vowed zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry.

He said every allegation of anti-Semitism in his party had led to immediate action.

Corbyn said he initiated an inquiry into anti-Semitism in Labour, whose recommendations will be ready next week, and submitted a new code of conduct adopted by the party’s national executive committee last month. The code says anti-Semitism and Islamophobia will not be tolerated.

“Labour has been the leading political force against racism in Britain since its inception.”

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