GETTYJonathan Arkush became President of the Jewish Board of Deputies in 2015
Jonathan Arkush became President of the Jewish Board of Deputies in 2015, which is the same year Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party.
He has never previously directly accused the Labour leader of anti-Semitism but in an interview just before he steps down from his role on Friday, he said Mr Corbyn “has views which are anti-Semitic and he has problematic views”.
He added: “With the election of Jeremy Corbyn, it seemed people who had a habit of participating in anti-Semitic discourse thought some sort of space had opened up for them when they could say things that previously they knew they couldn’t.”
Mr Arkush was one of two Jewish leaders who met with Mr Corbyn to discuss the problem last month.
He spent two hours with the Labour leader along with President of the Jewish Leadership Council Jonathan Goldstein.
Mr Arkush said he confronted Mr Corbyn about his views and asked: “Why is there nothing good you can say about Israel? And he couldn’t answer.
"He was silent.”
The outgoing Jewish leader said it is time for Mr Corbyn to recognise “his real views about Israel”.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he added: “His associations are clear. He is a patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign – if you look at its logo and language, it’s quite clear its world picture has no room for Israel.