Saturday, 18 January 2020

Israel’s FM says he hopes Corbyn loses British election

(Reuters)

Israel’s foreign minister said on Thursday that he hopes Jeremy Corbyn loses next week’s British election, citing allegations of anti-Semitism buffeting the Labour Party leader.

With Israel in political disarray of its own after two inconclusive elections, the British contest has elicited few comments from Israeli leaders despite deep concern among British Jews over Corbyn and media reports that some might opt to emigrate if he wins.

Last week, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the Israeli government had not discussed the prospect of Corbyn’s election or the future of intelligence and security ties with Britain should the veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner become its leader.

But pressed on the issue in an Israeli Army Radio interview on Thursday, Katz was more forthcoming as the December 12 ballot approaches.

“I won’t meddle in internal elections but I personally hope that he won’t be elected, with this whole wave of anti-Semitism […] I hope the other side wins,” he said.

Labour Party spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Katz played down the prospect that security relations with Britain, which include intelligence sharing over Islamist militant activity, would necessarily be degraded should Corbyn take office.

“Leaders don’t harm their country’s own interests so fast. But we will, of course, discuss these things if they occur,” Katz said.

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