TREASURER Josh Frydenberg has distanced himself from British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a speech in London.
Taking questions after addressing the UK Policy Exchange think-tank, Frydenberg was asked about Corbyn, who has been accused of antisemitism personally and of failing to tackle antisemitism within his party.
“It’s fair to say a number of his positions have been very much at odds to what I consider good policy,” Frydenberg said.
“Put it this way, I am not lining up with Hezbollah and Hamas.’’
The comments come weeks after Australia’s Jewish roof body urged new Labor leader Anthony Albanese to ensure his party does not go down the same route as Labour in the UK.
“We would welcome a statement making it clear that the ALP totally rejects the antisemitism wracking its UK counterpart, and has no intention of going down the same foreign and defence policy path as that taken by UK Labour under Jeremy Corbyn,” the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said.
In a column published in The AJN on Thursday, Gideon Falter, the chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism in the UK, noted that Corbyn has “played an outsized role in enabling the torrent of antisemitic incidents flowing from the once anti-racist Labour Party”.
“He has his own history of antisemitism: He has blamed Islamist terrorist attacks on Israel, defended an appalling antisemitic mural, called for Holocaust Memorial Day to be renamed Genocide Memorial Day, participated in a ceremony honouring the Black September terrorists, described British Zionists as having ‘no sense of English irony’ and much more,” Falter wrote.
“So far, nine members of Labour have quit the party in protest as it slides into what one New York Times opinion writer described as Corbyn’s ‘rule by diktat’.”