(June 4, 2019 / JNS) Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair declared Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn anti-Semitic, and that “some of the remarks are not explicable in any other way,” adding even though “he doesn’t think he is at all.”
If parliament and its members do not defeat anti-Semitism and root it out, “it will imperil the Labour Party—and it should,” said Blair at the Bar-Ilan University 2019 Board of Trustees gala.
“The row over anti-Semitism is shameful. Anti-Semitism is something you must confront as soon as you see it, because it is a poison throughout society,” said Blair, who himself served in the Labour Party.
He also spoke about the need to reframe global misconceptions about Zionism and Israel.
“There is an urgent need for people to go out and explain to a new generation of younger people what Zionism is,” he said. “Many people don’t know what it means, but for them it is a word that would denote something that is criticized rather than something you would accept, understand and even support. The other point of view has to be put, the argument has to be made forcefully, especially by people outside of Israel and the Jewish community.”
“Israel’s security is about our security in the West, and it is important that we support Israel, which is a nation, but it is also an idea,” added Blair. “What Israel and the Jewish community around the world stand for are creativity, innovation and giving back.”