Israel hails Johnson win as defeat for anti-Semitism

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Israel Friday hailed the election defeat of Britain's Labour Party as a "milestone in the fight against hatred" after its leadership was accused of inaction against anti-Semitism in its ranks.

"I congratulate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK Conservative Party on a decisive victory," Foreign Minister Israel Katz said.

"This is not just a political victory, it is first and foremost a victory of values.

"The spectre of anti-Semitism loomed large over this campaign, and the British public overwhelmingly voted against it, in what is, in our opinion, a testament to British history and values.

"It serves as an important milestone in the fight against hatred."

A veteran left-winger, first elected to parliament in 1983, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has long been dogged by accusations, which resurfaced during the campaign, that he had turned a blind eye to growing anti-Semitism within the party.

Corbyn supporters countered that the 70-year-old is a lifelong opponent of racism in all its forms and was targeted because of his longstanding support for the Palestinian cause.

With almost all results declared from Thursday's election, Johnson's Conservative party had secured 362 of the 650 seats in parliament -- its biggest majority since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Labour lost 59 seats to leave it with 203, prompting Corbyn to announce plans for his departure.