As the UK continues to wrestle with the absence of a political deal to accompany its departure from the European Union on March 29, the opposition Labour Party has again clashed with the Jewish community, this time over a call to suspend arms sales to Israel.
In a letter on Thursday to British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Labour Party Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry equated Iran’s military support for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria with Israeli air strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah weapons convoys and military facilities in that country. This was followed by a list of demands that focused exclusively on punishing Israel, including the suspension of arms sales to Israel and the canceling of joint exercises between the Israeli Air Force and the Royal Air Force planned for later this year.
“It would seem utterly inappropriate for the RAF to be helping to train pilots who would then be using those lessons in a war of aggression against Iran, or in breach of Iraq’s sovereignty,” Thornberry said.
British Jewish leaders reacted furiously to Thornberry’s letter.