RNA - Labour politicians and other notable political and social figures called on Corbyn to apologize for a foreword he wrote to a book first released in 1902 and re-published in 2011.
In his foreword to John Atkinson Hobson's 'Imperialism: A Study', Corbyn said the economist’s description of how a certain Jewish household controlled banks and newspapers were “brilliant”, “very controversial at the time” and “a great tome.”
The book mainly argues that men of a singular and peculiar race use centuries of financial experience to control finance in Europe. It says that the dominance puts the Jews “in a unique position to control the policy of nations” and gives them a control that “they exercise over the body of public opinion through the press.”
However, pro-Israeli activists and politicians labeled Corbyn’s endorsement of the idea as a clear form of support for antisemitism and asked him to apologize.
“Jeremy Corbyn endorsed book that peddles racist stereotypes of Jewish financiers and imperialism as “brilliant” and a “great tome”,” said former Labour MP Ian Austin.
"The revelation Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword for a reportedly deeply antisemitic book is damning and damaging,” said Euan Philipps, of the campaign group Labour against antisemitism.
Corbyn, well known for his support of the Palestinian cause, has repeatedly been described by pro-Israeli lobbies in Britain as a threat to the life of Jews in the country if he takes office. He has denied having anything against the Jews and has sought to sort out differences with the Jewish community in the UK.
A senior Labour lawmaker said on Wednesday that Corbyn’s endorsement of Hobson’s thoughts in economy and politics was not antisemitic.
“I haven't read the book myself but as I understand it, Jeremy like many politicians, has quoted this relevant political thinker,” said Rebecca Long-Bailey, a Labour frontbencher, adding, "I think he was looking at the political thought within the whole text itself, not the comments that were antisemitic in any shape or form.”