The UK Labour Party has long been chastised for allegedly tolerating anti-Semites in its ranks, with the most recent wave of criticism targeting the party’s new code of conduct, which initially failed to include a widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism.
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), an avowed democratic socialist, spoke with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over the weekend in a bid to stretch a liberal progressive discussion across the Atlantic.
Their discussion, Corbyn said, was devoted to “challenging the status quo”, as well as wealth taxes, environmental policies and migration.
“Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet,” Corbyn tweeted following their talk.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, said in response that she had a “lovely and wide-reaching” conversation on peace, prosperity, and social justice.
Despite the 40-year age gap, the two politicians share a lot in common, with social justice being at the heart of their discourse. Ocasio-Cortez advocates a 70 per cent marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans — a proposal that saw a pushback from conservatives — as well as a so-called Green New Deal, an ambitious programme that aims to mitigate climate change thorough massive investment in green jobs and infrastructure.
Jeremy Corbyn, who took the helm of the Labour Party in 2015, has since championed the party’s ideological shift to the left. He has waged a war on “greed-is-good” capitalism and vowed to kick-start a “green jobs revolution” post-Brexit if he takes office.
Corbyn’s leadership has been mired by accusations of anti-Semitism from the Jewish community, which again surfaced after Labour approved new guidelines which failed to incorporate a widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism. The outcry, however, later prompted the party to include the full definition of anti-Semitism cited by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
Corbyn pledged to “work to eradicate the social cancer of antisemitism wherever is surfaces, including in our own party.”
Commenters were nevertheless quick to remind Ocasio-Cortez about Corbyn’s record of anti-Semitism accusations.
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) February 4, 2019
I know you did this with the best of intentions, and it is normal for Congresspeople to engage with likeminded leaders abroad, but you should know @jeremycorbyn is incredibly problematic.
He is pro-Brexit and very problematic for British Jews.https://t.co/JOP88kOKuF
— Hayley On Democracy (@HayOnDemocracy) February 4, 2019
“I hope you’ll take a look at the amount of Jews trying to call attention to Corbyn’s long, documented history of anti-Semitism,” Jewish writer Elad Nehorai told Ocasio-Cortez.