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Labour pro-diversity video fails Jews – Corbyn gives succour to anti-Semites

Anorak Monday, 2 December 2019 ()
Labour pro-diversity video fails Jews – Corbyn gives succour to anti-SemitesThere are only a relatively few Jewish voters. That might be why in the Labour Party’s video celebrating its commitment towards protecting diversity it makes not mention of Jews either specifically or my implication.

This is our strength.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 30, 2019

The Labour Party is under formal investigation by The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over whether the party has “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.” You might think it would make an effort to allay fears among the Jews that Labour gives succour to anti-Semitism. But not. The advert features a voiceover by Dawn Butler, the shadow equalities secretary. She says goes down a list of people Labour will protect.

Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, says the absence of Jews from the list of minority groups worth protecting is “extraordinary and chilling.”

I watched the BBC’s panorama programme last night and was saddened, we must acknowledge the deep hurt caused to our Jewish brothers and sisters by anti-Semitism within the Labour family. We must build bridges and fight racism together.#Panorama

— (((Dawn Butler))) (@DawnButlerBrent) July 11, 2019

So why not take the chance to mend relationships in the video?

A vote for Corbyn is a vote for anti-Semitism. The very reals fear is that Corbyn gives racists a platform. He legitimises their rabid bigotry.

Last week at a provincial train station coming back from work, a woman – 60s, white, plainly dressed – started talking with me as I flicked through the day’s papers. She detected a sneer. I said it was for Corbyn. She asked why and said she loathes Johnson for his Islamophobia. She pressed me on Corbyn. So I told her many people believe he’s a racist, and not without evidence. She then – I kid you not – told me: “But his whole life has been dedicated to fighting racism.” But not for Jews, I told her. They are beyond his love.

She then proceeded to explain what antisemitism was and how ‘Zionists’ operate. She used her fingers and lay out her point, explaining nuances between hatred of one sort of Jews (bad Jews – the left index finger) and hatred of another sort (good Jews – the right index finger). Her fingers tapped the counter we were stood close to with force. Attacking ‘Jeremy’ was, she told me, a smear cooked up by those (uniquely barbaric) bad Jews. The good Jews realise their in-house errors and seek to be better Jews (ie: realise they are bad and should learn ‘English irony’).

She was an anti-Semite. That much was plain. Her’s was the casual anti-Semitism of the English provincial parlour, of GK Chesterton and Agatha Christie; the othering of the British Jews as loyalists to a foreign land. I told her it’s not the existence of anti-Semitism that upset me – it exists; move on; grow up; call the bastards out – but the fact that Corbyn could be the country’s leader and give succour to people like her to voice their prejudice without fear of censure.

A vote for him is a vote for anti-Semitism. Simple.

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