Jeremy Corbyn risks fuelling the anti-Semitism row engulfing his party by refusing to attend an official dinner with the country’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Labour leader was invited to attend the event which is being thrown to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which helped pave the way for a Jewish state.
But he has reportedly snubbed the invite and is sending his shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry instead.
Labour has been dogged by allegations that some within the party’s ranks are guilty of anti-Semitic abuse.
Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the party for saying Hitler was a supporter of Zionism, while the row resurfaced at Labour’s party conference last month when anti-Semitic remarks were made at a fringe event.
Theresa May, pictured with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Downing Street in February, has invited him back for a dinner on Thursday to mark centenary of the Balfour declaration
Mr Netanyahu has been invited to London by Theresa May to mark the Balfour centenary ‘with pride’ on Thursday.
But Mr Corbyn, who has been a long-time supporter of the Palestinian cause, has refused an invitation to the formal dinner.
Israeli ambassador ambassador, Mark Regev told the Sunday Times there is a ‘vocal minority’ of British students and academics are still intent upon the destruction of Israel, 70 years after the country came into being.
The Balfour Declaration was signed on November 2, 1917, by Arthur Balfour, Britain’s then foreign secretary.
It pledged the UK government’s support for a Jewish ‘national home’ in Palestine.
The document is seen as a crucial landmark on the way to the creation of a Jewish nation state.
Mr Regev, the son of a Holocaust survivor, said: ‘Those who oppose the Balfour Declaration are exposing themselves for the extremists they are.’
He added: ‘Britain was on the right side of history.’
Jeremy Corbyn, pictured at hte Scottish Party conference yesterday, has turned down an invite to the dinner and is sending Emily Thornberry in his place