UK -Jeremy Corbyn faces criticism for turning down a visit to Israel’s Holocaust Museum
I-24 NEWS – Corbyn has turned down an invitation from Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum and memorial in Jerusalem, the Guardian reports.
As the chair of Labour’s political counterpart in Israel, Herzog reached out to Corbyn in April in the wake of a row caused by a string of anti-Semitic comments from current and former Labour Party MPs.
Responding in particular to former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone’s remarks about Hitler supporting Zionism, Herzog wrote to Corbyn to say he was “appalled” by the comments.
Corbyn suspended Livingstone from the Labour Party, after which Herzog invited Corbyn to Yad Vashem.
But Corbyn, according to Labour sources cited by theGuardian, replied that he had prior commitments that prevented him from being able to go and that he would send either deputy leader Tom Watson or general secretary Iain McNicol in his stead in November.
It took Corbyn several weeks to respond to Herzog, according to the Guardian.
“I’m very disappointed Jeremy turned down the invitation to visit Israel from our sister party,” the Guardian quoted John Ryan MP, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, as saying.
“Given the deep concerns about his commitment to a two-state solution, his labeling of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends,’ and the allegations of anti-Semitism which have occurred on his watch, such a visit should have been a priority,” Ryan added.
The Labour MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting, joined in the criticism: “It is not surprising that Jeremy Corbyn is not viewed as a potential prime minister by the public when he cannot handle diplomatic issues like this,” the Guardian quoted Streeting as saying.
“This shows why so many people think he is not fit to be prime minister and why many Labour voters would prefer Theresa May.”
The revelations about Corbyn’s snub of Herzog’s invitation come shortly after a previous controversy involving the anti-Semitism row surrounding the Labour Party.
In August, it was revealed that Corbyn had nominated human rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti — who had concluded in a report two months prior that there was not a systemic issue with anti-Semitism in the party — for a peerage, drawing accusations of a whitewash.
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