Humiliation for Corbyn: Labour leader squirms over Maureen Lipman's quit calls

Jeremy Corbyn

Gabbay criticised Corbyn for the "very public hatred" he had shown towards Israeli policies and for his failure to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

In his letter to the BoD and JLC leaders, Corbyn said: "I appreciate and understand the anger you express, and reiterate my determination to fight anti-Semitism within the Labour party and society at large".

During an interview on LBC radio, Mr Corbyn five times refused to say whether he agreed with Miss Lipman over anti-Semitism in Labour.

Mr Corbyn said the Labor Party should have had the "courtesy" to have spoken to him before severing relations.

Israeli Labour is part of the "Zionist Union" faction in Israel's Knesset that controls 24 of the legislature's 120 seats.

In 2009, before becoming UK Labour leader, he invited members from the Hamas and Hezbollah militant groups to speak before Parliament, referring to them as "friends".

Labour Friends of Israel's Director Jennifer Gerber said today: "We fully understand why the Israeli Labor Party has chose to suspend relations with Jeremy Corbyn".

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The announcement was made via a statement by a party spokesperson, who quoted a letter written by leader Avi Gabbay to Corbyn.

He says there will be a "temporary suspension of all formal relations" between the two parties, saying they can not continue "while you fail to adequately address the anti-Semitism in the Labour Party".

But Labour was hit y a fresh anti-Semitism scandal yesterday after it emerged one of the party's minorities officers posted images comparing Israel to the Nazis.

Demonstrators carried placards demanding "Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism" and "Labour hold Corbyn to account". "I am a strong believer that engaging in meaningful dialogue is crucial to finding effective solutions and resolving disputes, and I am clear that such a meeting would be just the start of a fruitful ongoing exchange on eradicating antisemitic behavior and discourse within the Labour Party".

Ethan Schwartz, the Jewish Labour Movement's International Officer added that: "International solidarity is a central foundation of socialism".

Gabbay's step came three days after Corbyn called for a review of arms sales to Israel in a message condemning its "illegal and inhumane" actions against Palestinians protesting on the border with Gaza.

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