The UK Jewish community will receive no apology for the anti-Semitism scandal that has engulfed the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, he confirmed Sunday.
Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, the 69-year-old declined an offer by the presenter to “look at the camera and apologise” to Jewish people who wanted to hear “personal remorse” from him.
Mr. Corbyn replied: “I’ll simply say this – I am an anti-racist and will die an anti-racist. Anti-Semitism is a scourge in any society. I will oppose it all my life and I will continue to oppose it all my life.”
He maintained Labour has since looked to better processes for “dealing with incidents,” and it was safe, welcoming and open to people from all races and creeds.
All this comes after a summer of discontent for Mr. Corbyn with countless accustions being made against Labour in general and him in particular about respective problems in dealing with the UK Jewish community.
In March he was even challenged to a debate on anti-Semitism in parliament to “explain why you defend the world’s oldest hatred.”
Enough is enough @jeremycorbyn. I’m going to ask for a debate in Parliament on anti-semitism in coming weeks. I challenge you to turn up and personally speak for the Opposition. Your opportunity to explain why you defend the world’s oldest hatred https://t.co/3heIruVBo6
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 23, 2018
Mr. Corbyn insisted to the host he was “absolutely” not anti-Semitic, before fielding questions about his bizarre assertion British Zionists did not understand irony, his attendance at a Palestinian terrorist memorial event, and Labour’s struggle to take heed of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
When pressed why in 2012 he had opposed a mural in the East End containing graphic anti-Semitic caricatures, he explained at the time of being concerned about the idea of taking down public murals but acknowledged he had “perhaps been too hasty in my judgment”.
The exchange can be viewed below:
Mr. Corbyn said he was pleased the mural had been removed and it “should never have been put up.”
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org