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Jewish Groups slam UK Labour MP for inviting Houthi terror group rep to parliamentary event

Supporters of the Houthi movement shout slogans as they attend a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, March 26, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Khaled Abdullah.

Leading UK Jewish groups and a member of parliament slammed a Labour MP for planning to host a representative of a virulently antisemitic Yemenite terrorist group in parliament.

Since far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader in 2015, the party has been beset by antisemitism scandals, to the point that many critics consider the party institutionally antisemitic.

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle invited Ahmed Alshami — a representative of the Iran-backed Houthi group, which has been fighting an insurgency against the government of Yemen for several years — to appear at an event for the far-left Stop the War Coalition in parliament.

The Houthis’ official slogan is, “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam.”

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, a prominent critic of antisemitism within the party, commented to Jewish News, “The antisemitic language and actions of the Houthi group, who will be represented at this event, are sickening.”

“Inviting an organization whose slogan states ‘death to Israel, curse the Jews’ to Parliament will do nothing to reassure the Jewish community that Labour takes the fight against antisemitism seriously,” she said.

“Lloyd Russell-Moyle should think again,” she added.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Vice President Amanda Bowman said, “Hosting an organization in the Houses of Parliament whose official slogan includes the phrase ‘death to Israel, curse the Jews’ is utterly unacceptable.”

“Lloyd Russell-Moyle should immediately disavow his support for this event,” she urged.

The Jewish Leadership Council issued a statement, saying, “The Houthis drove the Jews of Yemen out of their homes, destroying the ancient community. The Houthi flag and slogan says ‘a curse on the Jews.’”

“Peace in Yemen is vital, but nobody should roll out the red carpet for a Houthi spokesperson without challenging his antisemitism,” the group noted.

Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, asserted, “It is utterly appalling that a Labour MP would host in parliament the mouthpiece of a violent, Iranian-backed terror group which preaches hatred against Jews and the State of Israel.”

“In the fight against antisemitism in the Labour party, there are only two sides and Lloyd Russell-Moyle has again shamefully chosen to ally himself with those who defend and propagate anti-Jewish racism,” she added.

Russell-Moyle told the UK daily The Sun, “Labour supports all efforts to bring about a peace settlement in Yemen, which means encouraging dialogue with people on all sides, however much we disagree with their views — a task made harder by the UK government supporting and arming the Saudi-led forces.”

The Yemenite government is fighting the Houthis with the aid of Saudi Arabia along with, among others, British military advisers.

Independent MP John Woodcock, a former member of Labour, called it “staggering that a Labour MP is welcoming this virulently antisemitic terror group into parliament.”

“Time and again, Corbyn and his allies welcome in Jew haters and side with the extremist enemies of the UK,” he said.

“The decent MPs left in the Labour party need to stop this event from happening on Tuesday,” he continued.

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