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Israeli Labor Party reconsiders ties with UK counterparts over anti-Semitism

The head of Israel’s Labor Party last night suggested that he is reconsidering ties with the British Labour Party over the claims of antisemitism which have engulfed the party.

Isaac Herzog was responding to the revelations of antisemitism that has recently included three UK Labour councillors being suspended by the party, pending investigation. Two called for Israeli Jews to be relocated to the United States, while one claimed that Israel was behind terror attacks carried out by ISIS. It follows the suspension last week of Bradford MP Naz Shah and former-London Mayor Ken Livingstone who claimed that Hitler was a Zionist.

The furore has been covered prominently in the Israeli media while Israeli politicians have expressed outrage over the apparent antisemitism. Last night, on Channel Ten, Herzog, who heads the Zionist Union and its Labor Party faction, said that he is “considering suspending relations” with the UK sister party and that “it’s possible there may be no other resort.” He added that he believes the antisemitic views expressed are “only a small and loud minority” within the UK Labour Party.

Herzog’s comments follow a letter from fellow Labor MK Nachman Shai, who urged ending ties as “there is a toxic atmosphere of hatred and fanaticism in British Labour” and consequently “it is no longer a sister Party with which we can have close relations and coordinate policy.” Former-Labor leader and current MK Amir Peretz said that UK Labour is suffering from “a moral collapse that requires immediate and unequivocal action.” Meanwhile, senior Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni wrote in the Telegraph that the recent revelations “represent a disturbing trend which requires urgent and comprehensive intervention” for the sake of Britain’s core values.

Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen told Maariv, “‎It is sad to see what has become of the left wing of Britain, which once raised the banner of liberalism.” Meanwhile, Likud Minister Gilad Erdan lamented “it’s shocking how immoral these stances are,” adding that the recently publicised comments by Labour members are not legitimate criticism of Israel, but “hatred and racism.”