Jeremy Corbyn's troubled relationship with many British Jews has taken another knock after it was revealed he has declined an invitation to attend a dinner with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, an historic turning point in the journey to create of the world's only Jewish state.

According to the Sunday Times, the Labour leader, a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, has refused an invitation to a formal dinner that will take place in the evening. He has asked Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, to attend in his place.

Dubbed a snub it is set to reignite the ongoing debate over allegations that the Labour Party now has a defined streak of anti-Semitism running through its ranks, linked to some members' vitriolic enmity towards the Jewish state.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to London by Theresa May to mark the Balfour centenary "with pride" on Thursday. However, Netanyahu, who heads the most right-wing government in Israel's history, is a hate-figure for many on the anti-Zionist left, particularly due his unswerving support for the expansion of Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party has been marked by a series of episodes deemed to have been tainted by anti-Semitism. At the Labour Party's recent Brighton conference a row boiled over after left-wing activists at a conference fringe meeting called for some Jewish groups to be expelled from Labour. It forced Corbyn to deny that he is in charge of "the nasty party".

Indeed, at the conference Corbyn performed another no-show avoiding a Labour Friends of Israel reception, claiming he had to work on his leader's speech — only to be spotted at three other receptions on the same night.

In the run up to last year's General Election the controversy around the suspensions of both Jeremy Corbyn's old ally Ken Livingstone, who claimed that Hitler 'supported' Zionism, and the MP Naz Shah, a rising star of the Labour Left, posted offensive material on Facebook, is believed to have cost the party dear in three or four marginal constituencies in north London.

The Balfour Declaration - signed on November 2, 1917, by Arthur Balfour, Britain's then foreign secretary - is considered the founding document of modern Israel, legitimising the claim of the Jewish people to an homeland in the lands of what was Biblical Israel. For the Palestinians, however, is considered a moment of tragedy.

The Labour leader's snub came as Israel's ambassador Marc Regev to London told The Sunday Times that those who oppose the historic declaration are "extremists" who reject Israel's right to exist and could be viewed on a par with terrorist groups such as Hamas.