JLC leader says Corbyn was ‘mute on anti-Semitism’ during conference speech

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

JLC leader says Corbyn was ‘mute on anti-Semitism’ during conference speech

Jonathan Goldstein criticises the Labour leader for not denouncing comments as 'anti-Semitic' during his 75-minute address

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn  

Photo credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn Photo credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council has criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not denouncing comments described as “anti-Semitic” during fringe meetings at the party’s conference.

Jonathan Goldstein, who replaced Sir Mick Davis earlier this year, said Corbyn had been “mute on anti-Semitism” during his 75-minute speech to the conference in Brighton, calling it a “glaring omission”.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Goldstein referred to “anti-Semitic” comments made during a fringe meeting by Jews, including Israeli anti-Zionist Miko Peled and Jewish Voices for Labour activist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi.

The former said free speech should extend to questioning the Holocaust and the latter called for pro-Israel groups such as Labour Friends of Israel and Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) to be thrown out of the party.

Jonathan Goldstein
Jonathan Goldstein

“The party leader’s deafening silence over anti-Semitism on the left is deeply concerning,” wrote Goldstein, arguing that the Jewish community was “angry, disappointed, and at our wits’ end”.

Conference delegates voted overwhelmingly to endorse a rule-change put forward by JLM to make it easier to stamp out racism and anti-Semitism, and JLM was itself awarded a prize for its campaigning, but Goldstein said this had been “eclipsed” by comments made on the conference fringe.

Organisers said the fringe meetings had no link to the Labour party, but Goldstein was also angry at comments from Labour supporters including film-maker Ken Loach and union leader Len McCluskey, who downplayed talk of anti-Semitism.

Goldstein said Corbyn should have mentioned these comments in his speech, “yet he remained mute on the anti-Semitism that continues to engulf the party under his leadership”.

He added: “To the Jewish community, this is a deafening silence and tacit endorsement from a potential prime minister. Can he not see that we are deeply offended? Does he not care?

“As we begin a new Jewish year, perhaps Jeremy Corbyn will appreciate and take stock of the harm he has caused and the offence his silence has brought.

The opportunity to begin anew is still there but time is running out.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: