The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has accused Jeremy Corbyn of hiding from the antisemitism crisis engulfing the Labour party and called on him to “come out of hiding” and face up to the issue.
Marie van der Zyl said Corbyn had “seemingly disappeared” since last weekend, when he released a video and comment pieces, as she repeated a call for Labour to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in full.
“He is in hiding from the media and refuses to face the obvious difficult questions. He is clearly just hoping it will go away. I’ve got some bad news for him. Unless he does what he needs to do, it won’t,” Van der Zyl wrote in an article for Jewish News.
Corbyn condemned antisemitism over the weekend, writing that it was “Labour’s responsibility to root out antisemitism in our party” in a piece published by the Guardian on Friday evening.
But despite speculation that the party might move to adopt three of the four outstanding examples, Labour’s formal position has not changed. Corbyn is on holiday and was pictured at Lion Rock Tea Rooms in Cheddar, Somerset.
Van der Zyl said Corbyn needed to resolve the issue and Labour should adopt all 11 examples in the IHRA code, open up the party’s disciplinary process to independent scrutiny and acknowledge “the problematic nature of his own past actions”.
“You cannot lead through invisibility,” Van der Zyl concluded. “I call on Jeremy Corbyn to come out of hiding and do the right thing. Surely, by now, enough is enough.”
Labour said it was studying Van der Zyl’s article and would respond shortly.