London (CNN)Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's opposition Labour Party, has come under fire after it emerged that he wrote a foreword to a century-old book that has been branded anti-Semitic.
Jeremy Corbyn under fire for foreword in 'anti-Semitic' book
The 1902 book, written by the English economist and critic of imperialism John A. Hobson, claimed that Europe's financial and political institutions were controlled by "men of a single and peculiar race" who were in a "unique position to control the policy of nations."
"There is not a war, a revolution, an anarchist assassination, or any other public shock, which is not gainful to these men; they are harpies who suck their gains from every new forced expenditure and every sudden disturbance of public credit," he wrote in "Imperialism: A Study."
Hobson also referred to the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish family who established a banking empire in the 1700s, and questioned whether a "great war could be undertaken by any European State" if the family or its connections "set their face against it?"
He added that every "great political act involving a new flow of capital" requires the "sanction and the practical aid" of these men, whom he described as a "little group of financial kings."
In his foreword to a 2011 edition of the book, Corbyn -- who was then a backbench Member of Parliament -- described the work as a "great tome" and noted that Hobson's analysis of the pressures pushing for the expansion of the British Empire was "brilliant and very controversial at the time."
Eight years later, the Labour leader is facing sharp criticism from politicians and Jewish groups alike for his perceived endorsement of the work and its anti-Semitic statements.
The Jewish Labour Movement, an affiliate of the Labour Party since 1920, expressed shock at the revelation and said Labour members had once again found that their leader "has endorsed antisemitic propaganda."
"Given how much he says he abhors anti-Jewish racism, Jeremy Corbyn must be the unluckiest anti-racist in history," a spokesman wrote in a statement posted on the organization's Twitter account.