Jeremy Corbyn is embroiled in another antisemitism row after it emerged he wrote the foreword to a book suggesting finance in Europe was controlled by Jews.
Corbyn described JA Hobson’s ‘Imperialism: A Study’ – originally published in 1902 – as a “great tome” when it was reissued in 2011.
The book claims banking on the continent was controlled “by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience”.
It also asks: “Does anyone seriously suppose that a great war could be undertaken by any European State, or a great State loan subscribed, if the house of Rothschild and its connections set their face against it?”
The book also suggests the “great financial houses” have “control which they exercise over the body of public opinion through the Press”.
In his foreword, Corbyn hails the “correct and prescient” passages “railing against the commercial interests that fuel the role of the popular press with tales of imperial might”.
The Labour leader’s praise for the book was discovered by The Times columnist and Conservative peer Lord Finkelstein.
A Labour Party spokesman said: “Jeremy praised the Liberal Hobson’s century-old classic study of imperialism in Africa and Asia.
“Similarly to other books of its era, Hobson’s work contains outdated and offensive references and observations, and Jeremy completely rejects the antisemitic elements of his analysis.”
When the controversy was put to Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she attempted to laugh off the row.
That prompted an angry tweet from Labour MP Wes Streeting: “My advice to any Labour MP today: refuse to defend Jeremy Corbyn lauding a book containing classic antisemitic tropes. If he wants to defend the indefensible he should go on the airwaves and defend himself. He has a responsibility to explain himself.”
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