Europe

UK Labour leader criticized for Israel, Islamic State remark

  • Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Labour's anti-Semitism inquiry findings at Savoy Place, London Thursday June 30, 2016.  The opposition Labour Party is in  disarray, with leader Jeremy Corbyn facing intense pressure to resign after losing a confidence vote. He has lost the support of the party's lawmakers but claims the rank and file still back him. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)

    Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Labour's anti-Semitism inquiry findings at Savoy Place, London Thursday June 30, 2016. The opposition Labour Party is in disarray, with leader Jeremy Corbyn facing intense pressure to resign after losing a confidence vote. He has lost the support of the party's lawmakers but claims the rank and file still back him. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn smiles as he leaves his home in north London, Thursday June 30, 2016. The opposition Labour Party is in  disarray, with leader Jeremy Corbyn facing intense pressure to resign after losing a confidence vote. He has lost the support of the party's lawmakers but claims the rank and file still back him. (Lauren Hurley/PA via AP)

    Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn smiles as he leaves his home in north London, Thursday June 30, 2016. The opposition Labour Party is in disarray, with leader Jeremy Corbyn facing intense pressure to resign after losing a confidence vote. He has lost the support of the party's lawmakers but claims the rank and file still back him. (Lauren Hurley/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, speaks to the media as Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson watches, during a visit to the Polish Social Cultural Association in Hammersmith, west London, Wednesday June 29, 2016. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, speaks to the media as Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson watches, during a visit to the Polish Social Cultural Association in Hammersmith, west London, Wednesday June 29, 2016. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

Embattled Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been criticized for comments made during the release of an independent inquiry into anti-Semitism in party ranks.

Corbyn said Thursday that "Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the (Benjamin) Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations."

The party leader denied he was comparing the state of Israel to the Islamic State extremists.

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis called the comments "offensive" and said Corbyn's actions had caused "even greater concern" in the Jewish community.

Corbyn, who has lost a confidence vote by Labour Party lawmakers, had set up the independent inquiry after several party members were suspended for making anti-Semitic comments before Britain's general election in May.