FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2021
LONDON, U.K. – TORONTO, ON – A small group of activists within the NDP are helping to bring Jeremy Corbyn, disgraced former leader of the U.K. Labour Party, to Canada virtually.
In response, Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said:
“We were astonished to learn that members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Canada have invited disgraced former leader of the UK Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, to talk to progressives about “building solidarity”. The absurdity of this is hard to fathom.
“Corbyn presided over the creation of a toxic environment in Labour that was condemned by the U.K.’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). In their report, the EHRC stated flatly that under Corbyn’s brand of toxic and incompetent leadership, the party was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act: political interference in antisemitism complaints; failure to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism complaints; and harassment, including the use of antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of antisemitism were fake or smears.
“The report went on to say, “The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”
“Shortly after the report was released, Sir Keir Starmer, the new Labour leader, said the publication of the EHRC report had brought “a day of shame” for the party. By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn shamelessly sought to dispute the EHRC’s findings, which resulted in the extraordinary but correct step of Labour withdrawing the whip from him, meaning he no longer even sits as an MP for the party he used to lead.
“The New Democratic Party in Canada should view what happened here as a cautionary tale. Because fringe activism infused with Jew hatred was allowed to take root, the Jewish community was targeted and forced out of the party, antisemites in broader society were emboldened, and Labour fell to its worst electoral result since 1935. Corbyn profoundly failed progressives and the issues they seek to advance.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) added:
“Jeremy Corbyn is toxic. The invitation to the disgraced leader is more evidence that Svend Robinson, Niki Ashton, Libby Davies and a few others want to take the NDP in a direction that is antithetical to basic Canadian values. This small group is actively undermining NDP leadership which is working hard to keep the NDP focused on the very important issues that Canadians care about.
“It is staggering that given the litany of catastrophic, consequential issues before us, including the pandemic, that this is where some in the NDP want to spend the party’s capital. What is at stake here is the soul of NDP, nothing less. During the upcoming convention, the NDP must ask, does it want to be a serious mainstream political party contributing to Canadian society? Or is it going to be a radical, irrelevant noise maker?
“Corbyn’s brand of politics creates space for antisemitism and hate to take root. That devastated the Labour party in the UK. Anyone who stands against that must stand against importing it into Canada. There are sitting members of the NDP who want to go in the other direction, serve their constituency, and advance the noble ideas that characterize the NDP in Canada.
“The country will be watching as the NDP convenes to determine its future.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is the voice of the British Jewish community, the first port of call for government, the media and others seeking to understand Jewish community interests and concerns.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.