League of Ireland club Bohemians is using Jeremy Corbyn to promote its jerseys, despite the MP being embroiled in an anti-Semitism scandal.
he club has been called on to explain its association with the former UK Labour Party leader, which “raises serious questions about Bohemians’ motivation and judgement”.
Mr Corbyn has been suspended from the UK Labour Party following a highly critical report on anti-Semitism within the party. The UK human rights watchdog found UK Labour responsible for “unlawful” harassment and discrimination during Mr Corbyn’s time as leader. Keir Starmer, the party leader, says Mr Corbyn will not be a candidate for the party at the next general election.
But former justice minister Alan Shatter has called on Bohemians to explain why it is associating with the left-wing MP. Bohemians has declined to respond to Mr Shatter’s questions when it was put to the official club spokesperson by the Irish Independent.
The League of Ireland club has championed a number of social causes over recent years, including support for refugees in this country. Its special away shirt is in partnership with Sport for Life Palestine. The club says 10pc of proceeds from the shirt will help support children in the city of Tulkarem in the West Bank.
Bohemians’ official social media says the jersey has been dispatched to “recent Dalymount visitor Jeremy Corbyn” with a link to the club shop. The accompanying photo shows Mr Corbyn wearing the jersey and giving a thumbs up.
But Mr Shatter, who is Jewish, says the Dublin club needs to explain its position on Mr Corbyn and anti-Semitism. The former Fine Gael TD praises the club for supporting children in Palestine. His issue is not with the jersey, but he objects to Mr Corbyn.
“Bohemians encouraging Palestinian children to play football and providing financial support is a good thing.
“Palestinian children deserve something better than a Palestinian education structure and textbooks that laud a martyrdom culture, that encourages them to risk and sacrifice their young lives by engaging in terrorism; celebrates atrocities which result in the murder of Jewish men, women and children.
“Importing Jeremy Corbyn into their narrative, however, raises serious questions about Bohemians’ motivation and judgement,” he said.
Mr Shatter pointed to the accusations against Mr Corbyn and the fallout from the anti-Semitism report.
“The club should explain why it is proudly associating itself with a former leader of the British Labour Party widely condemned as an anti-Semite, who presided over a party condemned for its anti-Semitism by the UK Human Rights Commission; which persecuted and drove out of that party almost all its Jewish MPs, lauded anti-Semitic art works and attended commemorations of Palestinian terrorists,” he said.
“Are Bohemians so desperate to promote their jersey that they are using their picture of Corbyn in the hope that some of the global anti-Semites who target Jewish people on social media will buy one?”