Jeremy Corbyn holds “antisemitic views” which could drive Jewish people to leave Britain if he becomes prime minister, one of the UK’s most senior Jewish leaders has said.
Jonathan Arkush, the outgoing president of the board of deputies, said Corbyn “has views which are antisemitic, and he has problematic views”.
He also criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who should have had a “stronger, clearer voice” in support of the Jewish community, he said.
Arkush, who was among senior Jewish leaders who met Corbyn in April to discuss concerns about antisemitism, told the Daily Telegraph that British Jews were asking: “Do we have a future here?”
“Delegitimising the state of Israel is antisemitic,” Arkush told the newspaper. “He was a chairman of Stop the War, which is responsible for some of the worst anti-Israel discourse.
“If he shares the prevalent discourse about Israel, then that view is unquestionably antisemitic.”
Arkush said Corbyn would need to tell Jews that he “will not accept a discourse which denies the existence of their own land to the Jewish people … I think we are all entitled to some clarity on his real views about Israel”.
Corbyn’s spokesman said the comments were “personal attacks without any evidence to support them … Jeremy has been absolutely clear that he is a militant opponent of antisemitism and is committed to driving it out of our movement”.