‘Racists are racists are racists and Jeremy Corbyn is a racist.’
Yair Lapid is not mincing his words. One of the leaders of Israel’s main centre-left party broke with protocol this morning at a conference in Jerusalem to urge British voters not to elect Jeremy Corbyn.
He said the Labour leader was an anti-Semite, but that his anti-Semitism was not the ‘new anti-Semitism’ seen in recent decades as a result of the ‘black and red coalition’ of traditional fascists and leftists. ‘This is old-school, plain anti-Semitism,’ he said.
Lapid, a former television presenter, entered politics in 2012 with a new liberal party, Yesh Atid. Earlier this year, it merged into Benny Gantz’s Kachol Lavan, which narrowly beat Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud in September elections but was unable to form a governing coalition.
Speaking to the Israel Allies Foundation conference this morning, Lapid said:
‘Usually, you’re not supposed to interfere with elections in other countries, but in this case I’m going to make an exception.
‘Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite. If you want to know something in this world, you have to come to an expert. There are experts about anti-Semites and these experts are called Jews.
‘And so I’m an expert on this. We can tell an anti-Semite when we see. This is not even a new form of anti-Semitism. We talk quite often about this black and red coalition against the Jews, but this is old-school, plain anti-Semitism, just using new excuses.
‘And everyone in his right mind should take this into consideration while walking into the polling booth, because racists are racists are racists and Jeremy Corbyn is a racist.’
Lapid is not a household name in the UK and his intervention is unlikely to sway many voters.
Labour campaigners may actually welcome his comments, calculating that the sight of an Israeli politician attacking Corbyn will galvanise their grassroots.
Either way, Lapid’s remarks underscore the horror with which the rest of the world is looking on as Britain teeters on the brink of putting an anti-Semitic party into power.