Cor­byn cab­i­net con­cern

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JC RE­PORTER

JEREMY COR­BYN has asked two MPs with crit­i­cal views of Is­rael to lead his party’s ef­forts to re­pair re­la­tions with the Jewish com­mu­nity.

It is be­lieved Kate Osamor and Sarah Cham­pion will in­for­mally share the role va­cated by Dawn Butler when she quit as Shadow Min­is­ter for Mi­nor­ity Eth­nic Com­mu­ni­ties.

Ms Cham­pion has cam­paigned for the gov­ern­ment to set up a “watch­list” of Is­raelis who are “known war crime suspects”.

Last year Ms Osamor signed a let­ter at­tack­ing the gov­ern­ment’s plans to curb boy­cotts of Is­rael. She put her name to the call for an end to arms trad­ing with Is­rael, claim­ing Is­rael “at­tacks Pales­tini­ans with im­punity”.

She was also forced to sus­pend a Par­lia­men­tary aide last Septem­ber af­ter dis­cov­er­ing the ad­vi­sor had posted an im­age on so­cial me­dia of dead chil­dren along­side a swastika im­posed next to an Is­raeli flag.

The Labour leader’s of­fice con­firmed on Wed­nes­day that the two MPs would take on the work, but there was later con­fu­sion over whether they had been ap­pointed to of­fi­cial roles.

A se­nior Jewish com­mu­nal source said: “Past track-records do not make these two ob­vi­ous can­di­dates for this sen­si­tive role. In any case, per­son­nel changes risk ap­pear­ing like mere win­dow dress­ing if the party does not tackle the prob­lem of an­ti­semitism with clear de­ter­mi­na­tion and con­crete ac­tion.”

A se­nior fig­ure in Mr Cor­byn’s of­fice later at­tempted to clar­ify the con­fu­sion over the roles but was un­able to con­firm whether there would be one ap­point­ment or two. He also ad­mit­ted Ms Butler had been “car­ry­ing on some of the work” she had ear­lier un­der­taken.

On Ms Osamor and Ms Cham­pion’s re­spec­tive past com­ments on Is­rael, he added: “Nei­ther are ‘anti-Is­rael’ but have op­posed ac­tions taken by the gov­ern­ment, as many in Is­rael and the Jewish com­mu­nity have as well.”

Sarah Cham­pion

Kate Osamor

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