TEL AVIV — Former UK prime minister Tony Blair on a visit to Israel said current Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite who isn’t aware he is one.
Blair described the anti-Semitism scandal plaguing the party he used to lead as “shameful” and said the party was no longer recognizable.
“To be frank, this anti-Semitism row, it’s a shameful thing,” said Blair, addressing an event at Bar Ilan University.
“If you told me, not merely back in May 1997, but at any point in the next 10 years, that the party I led for 13 years would have a problem with anti-Semitism, I would literally not have credited it, or believed it, and yet it is, and it’s there today,” Blair said.
Blair answered in the affirmative when asked if he thought Corbyn was an anti-Semite.
“Some of the remarks are not explicable in any other way, I’m afraid, and that is sad,” said Blair. “Does he think he is? No, he doesn’t think he is at all.”
UK Opposition Leader Corbyn Makes Simon Wiesenthal Anti-Semitism List https://t.co/k5j6dyiAS3
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 28, 2018
The former prime minister founded the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a racism watchdog that last week launched a formal inquiry into the anti-Semitism allegations against Labour.
“When I established [the EHRC], I never dreamed it would be investigating the Labour party,” Blair said.
Anti-Semitism has rapidly risen from being a fringe issue in Britain, in most cases a dangerous relic of 20th-century politics abandoned by serious parties, to a major concern within the Labour Party in a matter of just a few years.
The general public is worried, too.
As Breitbart News reported in April, more than half — 51 percent — of Britons believe that the Labour Party has a serious antisemitism problem — up from more than one-third (34 percent) in July 2018.
Over half (54 percent) believe Corbyn’s failure to deal with anti-Jewish racism undermines his claims of being anti-racist, while 56 percent believe the party leader is unable or unwilling to stamp out antisemitism.
Last year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center ranked Corbyn in fourth place on the list of the ten worst antisemitic incidents worldwide in 2018, with the list determining that the leftist “stands directly responsible” for “injecting the world’s oldest hatred into the mainstream of society.”