Emily Thornberry has revealed Jeremy Corbyn was ‘too upset’ to address the Labour party’s antisemitism crisis.
The Shadow Education Secretary was jeered and laughed at as she attempted to defend Corbyn at a Jewish charity event on Thursday.
The Islington South MP said: ‘When people accused Jeremy of being an antisemite, he was so upset, and as a result he has found it difficult to deal with the problem.
Emily Thornberry has revealed Jeremy Corbyn was so upset by Labour’s antisemitic crisis that he couldn’t address it
‘He hasn’t dealt with it properly, but to call him antisemitic is wrong.’
Ms Thornberry was also mocked when she told the audience that there ‘isn’t a racist or antisemitic bone in Jeremy’s body’, Jewish News reported.
It comes after it was revealed Corbyn’s handling of the antisemitism crisis has been ranked forth in a list of the world’s biggest threats to Jews last year by a leading human rights organisation.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center ranked him three spots below the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, Neo-Nazi Robert Bowers, and warned the Labour leader posed an ‘existential threat to Jews in the UK’.
Ms Thornberry’s comments came during an on-stage interview with Jon Lansman – founder of pro-Corbyn group Momentum – at a Limmud session on Thursday.
Jeremy Corbyn’s (pictured in Parliament earlier this month) handling of the row has been ranked forth in a list of the world’s biggest threats to Jews last year by a leading human rights organisation
Ms Thornberry went on to slam the Labour party for its conduct over the summer, saying the handling of the antisemitism row was ‘shameful’.
But she defended senior party members, claiming Labour leaders ‘aren’t Gods, they aren’t perfect’.
Ms Thornberry said new far-left members who had been involved with Palestine advocacy before joining the party had brought with them ‘lazy’ views on Jews and Israelis.
She again deflected blame from Corbyn, saying Labour’s party expansion just before he was elected had allowed those people to join.
The shadow minister claimed she was ‘heartbroken’ that the party had lost the trust of Jewish people as a result.
She reassured fearful voters that a future Labour government would ‘categorically’ not cut funding for Jewish schools, following a ‘major misunderstanding’ during an interview with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Corbyn ranked ‘world’s fourth biggest threat to Jews’
Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis has been ranked fourth in a list of the world’s biggest threats to Jews last year by a leading human rights organisation.
He was ranked on the same list as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, neo-Nazi Robert Bowers, by The Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
The US group said Mr Corbyn was ‘directly responsible’ for ‘injecting the world’s oldest hatred into the mainstream of society’.
It published its top ten of the worst outbreaks of anti-Semitism in 2018, with Bowers at the top. His murder of 11 worshippers was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the US.
Labour has been dogged by claims of anti-Semitism since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader, and the scandal got so bad that Jewish groups organised a rally outside Parliament (pictured – in March this year) to demand he finally take action
It was followed in second place by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks at a rally, and in third place swastikas being daubed on US university campuses. Mr Corbyn’s entry quoted Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, who this summer branded Mr Corbyn an ‘anti-Semitic racist’.
She had told him: ‘You have proved you don’t want people like me in your party.’
Mr Corbyn has been struggling to get a grip on a wave of allegations about anti-Semitism by Left-wing activists in Labour. He came under fire over his presence at a ceremony in Tunisia in 2014 which is said to have honoured the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich terror attack, during which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and killed.
And the party leadership then caused controversy by initially refusing to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s full definition of anti-Semitism. Frank Field MP also quit the party’s group in Parliament saying the leadership had become ‘a force for anti-Semitism in British politics’. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre cited an unprecedented intervention by Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers which warned of the ‘existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Corbyn government’.
The US group said Mr Corbyn was ‘directly responsible’ for ‘injecting the world’s oldest hatred into the mainstream of society’
The entry noted Mr Corbyn’s attendance in April at a Passover event by the far-Left group Jewdas which mocks Israel. It also referred to ‘multiple photos of Corbyn embracing members of Middle East terrorist groups’ adding to fears of many Britons ‘well beyond the Jewish community’.
It went on to highlight that allegations of anti-Semitism by key Labour members and officials had ‘piled up in recent years’ as well as criticising Mr Corbyn’s handling of the anti-Semitism definition.
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said the list was ‘an utterly shocking indictment of just how bad anti-Jewish racism has become in Labour under Corbyn’.
The Metropolitan Police is investigating allegations of anti-Semitism in the party. Commissioner Cressida Dick said officers were assessing online material because it appears ‘there may have been a crime committed’.
A Labour spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community.
‘We are taking action against anti-Semitism, standing in solidarity with Jewish communities and rebuilding trust.’
Timeline of anti-Semitic scandals which have erupted under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has been accused of failing to tackle the racism among his supporters
The anti-Semitism scandal has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader in 2015.
Here is a timeline of the controversies:
Labour MP Naz Shah is suspended for anti-Semitic posts – including one in which she appeared to endorse calls for Israelis to be deported to the US.
She apologised and was given a formal warning.
Ken Livingstone goes on the radio to defend Ms Shah – but sparks fresh controversy by claiming that Hitler supported Zionism.
He is suspended by Labour but refuses to apologise and has repeated the claim many times.
He eventually quits Labour two years later, saying his suspension has become a distraction.
A two-month inquiry by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti finds that Labour is not overrun by anti-Semitism.
But the launch is overshadowed when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth flees it in tears after being accused by Corbyn supporter Marc Wadsworth of colluding with the press.
Critics accuse the report of being a whitewash and Ms Chakrabarti is widely criticised for accepting a peerage from Jeremy Corbyn shortly afterwards.
The Home Affairs Select Committee says Labour is guilty of incompetence over its handling of anti-Semitism and of creating a safe space for people with ‘vile attitudes towards Jewish people’.
It is revealed that Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural and said the offensive art should be removed.
He apologises saying he did not properly look at the picture before he made the post.
Jewish leaders take the unprecedented step of holding a demonstration outside Parliament protesting Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.
Several Labour MPs address the crowds.
Marc Wadsworth is expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism.
Meanwhile, Labour Jewish MPs tell of the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in a powerful parliamentary debate – and round on their leader for failing to tackle it.
The Labour leadership sparks fresh anger by failing to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism
Peter Willsman, a strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is secretly taped ranting that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’ invented the anti-Semitism storm engulfing Labour.
In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, he said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.
He claimed ‘some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump – they are Trump fanatics’ before shouting: ‘So I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.’
Jeremy Corbyn issues a video insisting he is committed to tackling the racism – but it is panned by Jewish leaders.
Corbynistas mount a social media campaign to get deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to quit after he criticises the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.
The Daily Mail exclusively publishes photos of Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath at a ceremony where a terrorist linked to the Munich massacre was honoured.
The Labour leader insists he was there to honour others killed – but faces fresh calls to quit over the scandal.