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Labour leader hosted event comparing Israel to Nazis

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Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn hosted an event in Parliament in 2010 on Holocaust Memorial Day that compared Israeli policies in Gaza to the Nazi holocaust.

According to a report in the Times, Corbyn hosted and spoke at the event that was called: “Never Again-for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza”. Corbyn shared a platform with Hajo Meyer, a Jewish Auschwitz survivor who repeatedly made the comparison between the Nazi regime and Israeli policy, and Haidar Eid, a Palestinian activist, who told the meeting: “Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”

When asked about the story, Corbyn said:  “Views were expressed at the meeting which I do not accept or condone. In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject. I apologise for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”

The story added to the ongoing controversy of the Labour Party’s refusal to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism which has been adopted by the British Government and Crown Prosecution Service, amongst others. The IHRA definition includes  “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as one of its working illustrations of antisemitism.

John Mann MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that hosting an event on Holocaust Memorial Day with the title of ‘Auschwitz to Gaza’ does breach antisemitism rules and “breaches any form of normal decency” but he is pleased that Corbyn has apologised. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said: “This event was an appalling misuse of the Holocaust. It trivialised the suffering of millions of Jews by making inappropriate and offensive comparisons.” The Trust called on the Labour leader to make clear “without delay, that he regrets chairing this appalling event.”