Labor marks critique "absurd" after ex-chief rabbi beats Jeremy Corbyn

The Labor Party faces a new storm for anti-Semitism after Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has compared Jeremy Corbyn's comments on Zionists with Enoch Powell's flare-up "Blood Flow" speech.

Lord Sacks's devastating remarks, branding Mr. Corbyn as an "anti-Semite" supporting "racists, terrorists, and haters," reacted angrily to Labor.

The Crossbench-Peer's condemnation of the opposition leader, who served as chief rabbi between 1991 and 2013, comes just a week before Labor's National Executive Committee (NEC), which revisits its anti-Semitism code of conduct.

Labor rejected the comments by branding them as "absurd and offensive".

Lord Sack's remarks came after film footage from 2013 surfaced in which Corbyn had attacked a group of British Zionists who had criticized Palestinian ambassador Manuel Hassassian.

Mr. Corbyn said, "You clearly have two problems.

"For one, they do not want to study history, and for another, they've lived in this country for a long time, probably their entire lives, and they do not understand English irony."

Lord Sacks told the New Statesman, "The recent statements by Jeremy Corbyn are the most offensive statement made by a high-ranking British politician since Enoch Powell's 1968 blood-flow speech.

"It was divisive, hateful, and like Powell's speech, it undermines the existence of a whole group of British citizens, portraying them as essentially alien.

"We can only judge Jeremy Corbyn with his words and actions.

"He has given support to racists, terrorists and hate dealers who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.

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"When he suggests that Jews, even if they have lived here for a long time, are not entirely British, he uses the language of classical European anti-Semitism before the war.

"When confronted with facts whose evidence is before our eyes, at first he denies, then exposes, then veils.

"That's low, dishonest and dangerous.

"He has legitimized the public expression of hatred, and where he leads others will follow.

"Now, in the memory of the Holocaust and while Jews are being murdered in Europe because they are Jews, we have an anti-Semite leader of the Labor Party and Her Majesty's Opposition.

"That's why Jews feel so much threatened by Mr. Corbyn and those who support him."

A Labor Party spokesman said, "This comparison with racial agitator Enoch Powell is absurd and insulting.

"Jeremy Corbyn has described a certain group of pro-Israel activists as Zionists, in the strict political sense, not as a synonym or code for Jewish people.

"Jeremy Corbyn is determined to tackle anti-Semitism both within the Labor Party and in society, and the Labor Party is determined to restore confidence in the Jewish community."

The Labor leader has previously said that his statements defended the ambassador from "what I thought was deliberate misrepresentation" by people "for whom English was a first language, if it is not the ambassador."

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