In a 2010 speech on Gaza, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously compared the actions of Israelis to Nazis when he spoke of the sieges of Leningrad and Stalingrad.
Amid an anti-Semitism row on Corbyn, footage has been revealed showing his speech from 2010 which he gave outside the Israeli embassy in London where he had indeed mentioned the 1940s sieges.
Additionally, this has also come up during a time where the party itself is facing a great deal of scrutiny for not adopting an internationally recognised and accepted definition or real life examples of anti-Semitism.
As part of the new party code of conduct, it has been found that the Labour party has eliminated a number of examples in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s list which includes the comparison of Israeli policies to those of the Nazis.
Labour has stated that the examples were not copied word for word which has resulted in critics questioning the reason to why they have not been reproduced in full.
Jeremy Corbyn’s 2010 speech included the following:
“I was in Gaza three months ago. I saw the mortar shells that had gone through the school buildings, the destroyed UN establishments, the burnt-out schools, the ruined homes, the destroyed lives, the imprisoned people, the psychological damage to a whole generation who’ve been imprisoned for as long as the siege of Leningrad and Stalingrad took place… This is a war crime that is being undertaken, but this time on live television.”
Members of the Labour party have come forward and tried to insist that Corbyn had not compared contemporary Israeli actions to those of the Nazis but had instead spoke of “the conditions of civilian populations in besieged cities in wartime.”
Six months prior to the speech, Corbyn hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event where speakers have stated that he indeed did compare Israeli action in Gaza to the likes of Hitler’s regime. Corbyn has come forward and apologised for this on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Mr McDonnell said that the anti-Semitism crisis the party is facing has “shaken us to the core.”
The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has referred the party to deal with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The chairman of the CAA has stated:
“Jeremy Corbyn has spent his political career sharing stages with anti-Semites and honouring them. This apology rings utterly hollow. Mr Corbyn did not merely attend the event, he chaired it, and in response to the criticism of the Jewish community in 2010 he did not apologise.”