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Report: Labour's Corbyn Declines Invitation to Visit Yad Vashem

Responding to Israeli Labor Party's Herzog invitation, Corbyn says schedule full, will send another party official instead; Labour's pro-Israel caucus says visit should have been a priority for Corbyn.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn turned down an invitation by Israel’s opposition chief to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, a British newspaper reported.
Corbyn responded to the invitation, made in the spring by Isaac Herzog, the head of Israel’s Zionist Union political list, several weeks later, saying his schedule was full and that he would send either Tom Watson, the deputy party leader, or Iain McNicol, the party general secretary, in November, according to the Guardian.
The invitation from Herzog came in April after former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler supported Zionism. Already suspended from Labour for the remarks, he doubled down on them last week as he awaited a decision on whether he will be permanently expelled from the party.
The chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, British lawmaker Joan Ryan, told the Guardian that visiting Israel should have been a “priority” for Corbyn.
“I’m very disappointed Jeremy turned down the invitation to visit Israel from our sister party. Given the deep concerns about his commitment to a two-state solution, his labeling of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’, and the allegations of anti-Semitism which have occurred on his watch, such a visit should have been a priority,” Ryan said.
Labour and Corbn have been accused of doing too little to curb rampant anti-Semitism among party members. Corbyn, who has called Hezbollah and Hamas “friends,” has also been accused of fostering an atmosphere of anti-Semitism in the party.
A government inquiry into anti-Semitism was launched in April to determine whether anti-Jewish prejudice has increased in the United Kingdom and to assess the particular dangers facing Jews. In June, the inquiry determined that the party had not been with anti-Semitism.
Also over the weekend, Labour suspended prominent Jewish party donor Michael Foster, who compared Corbyn’s supporters to Nazi storm troopers last month in an Op-Ed in the London-based Daily Mail. In the last election, Foster and his family contributed more than $500,000 to the party.

News Agencies and Affiliates

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.741492Schermata 2016 09 11 alle 22.06.52

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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