Great Britain: where anti-Semitism is real
OXFORD, England — It is becoming crystal clear to most Jews in Britain that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, is not a friend to the Jewish people. He appears not to like them whether they are Zionists, Israelis, or merely Jewish. In fact, according to many observers, he is in fact an anti-Semite no matter how cleverly he is able to package himself or his views.
Regardless of all his public efforts to remove any whiff of the ugly smell, Corbyn appears unable to avoid exhibiting the signs and signals of anti-Semitism. What is clear, however, is that he is determined to maintain the leadership of the opposition party in Great Britain, even though he received an overwhelming vote of no confidence from Labour Party members in the House of Commons. Counting on the continued support of the party rank and file — including the preponderance of trade union workers — barring an actual defeat, he appears to have no intention to resign.
Specifically, he and the entire Labour leadership seem reluctant to consider the drift of his party. When the non-Jewish head of the Labour Party student club at Oxford resigned due to the anti-Semitic acts conducted by the group — reportedly including backing Hamas terrorists’ efforts to kill Jews, singing about rockets over Tel Aviv, and discussing the international Jewish domination conspiracy — an investigation chaired by Labour politician and former opposition leader Baroness Janet Anne Royall was launched to assess the situation. After extensive deliberations and testimony, essentially no charges were brought, and the body of the report was submitted to the Labour Party. When an enormous hue and cry was raised demanding release of the actual report, Royall did just that, despite party objections. Rather than a slap on the wrist, the report actually annotated the clear presence of anti-Semitic bias and prejudice shown by the student group toward Jews and Israel.
Similarly and even more devastatingly, after an array of Labourites, from MPs to councilors to mere members, were suspended or reprimanded for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany or to Hitler or to apartheid South Africa or for accusing Israel of committing genocide, the Labour Party launched an investigation. This self-examination was chaired by Shami Chakrabarti, a barrister, human rights advocate, and director of Liberty (an ACLU-like human rights organization), where she had campaigned against anti-terrorist legislation. (Coincidentally, shortly before her appointment, she became a member of the Labour Party.)
This group took extensive testimony, including from Jewish scholars, rabbis, and organizational leaders, all of whom cited chapter and verse of the party’s ugly anti-Semitic activities. The committee produced a report in record time exonerating Corbyn and the party leadership from any culpability. As a result, Corbyn proceeded to reinstate the suspended Labourites.
Adding further transparency to the sham report, it also turns out that Chakrabarti is to receive a lifetime peerage from outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron as recommended by Corbyn in the list presented to the queen. There are now accusations — denied by the party — that Corbyn predicated her being recommended based on the “expectation” of the type of report she would produce.
At the end of the day there is another, equally troubling, phenomenon that has been underscored by the blatant anti-Semitism emanating from the behavior of the Labour Party. Aside from the usual defenders of Jews and Israel, there is a dearth of public figures, journalists, and political leaders speaking out to slam the views espoused by Labour. This emphasizes the continuing strong anti-Semitic tendencies — not necessarily pro-Muslim sympathies — prevalent in the UK. These long-established anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel feelings in Britain cannot be attributed solely to Labour Party enthusiasts.
Britain has always just tolerated its Jews. The only pogrom against Jews occurred in the middle of the 12th century in Norwich. While Jews were expelled from England for 350 years, their return never precipitated serious physical attacks — even during the pro-fascist marches through Whitechapel during the 1930s. Nevertheless, there has always been an uneasy type of truce or understanding between them and the established society. Therefore, it is hardly surprising to see the general lack of direct response to the anti-Semitic drivel that Corbyn has been permitted to express. (The recent push-back against Donald Trump for tacitly — at least — tolerating anti-Semitic displays from some of his supporters is evidence of a difference between the United States and Britain.)
Great Britain may well be scared of terrorist attacks and radical Muslim supporters gaining political support, but generally when it comes to blaming the Jews or the Zionists or the Israelis for generating this response, they remain consistently quiet.