UK Labour leader criticized for Israel, Islamic State remark

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.