In an exclusive interview with the Jewish Journal, ELNET-UK Executive Director Joan Ryan provided more in-depth information about her fight as a former Labour MP against the antisemitism that plagued the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
As detailed in the article:
‘Whenever people ask Ryan if Corbyn is an antisemite, she replies: “I don’t know what’s in his heart but let’s judge him by his actions. He tells us Hezbollah and Hamas are his friends. He lays a wreath on the grave of the man who organized the murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich. He works for [the Iranian state-run] Press TV and takes payment from them, and he will do nothing to stand up to this virus [of antisemitism] that he has allowed to race through our party.”
But what particularly irked Ryan was seeing that Labour MPs who had provided support for the Jewish community suddenly “kept their heads down” under Corbyn’s reign. “You don’t only call out the antisemites, you call out those who look the other way as well,” Ryan said. She also learned that “you couldn’t fight antisemitism if you didn’t fight anti-Zionism,” as groups that are purportedly committed to fighting antisemitism in Labour didn’t speak up against the antisemitism cloaked as anti-Zionism in the party. Such condemnations were left to Ryan as the head of Labour Friends of Israel and two other MPs. “It’s a lonely place, but I never regretted it,” Ryan said.’