from Pressure Points

Jeremy Corbyn's Cynical Anti-Semitism

August 23, 2018, 8:00 am (EST)

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There are about 260,000 to 280,000 Jews in the United Kingdom, and about 2.8 million Muslims--ten times as many, or more.

So what? So this gives us a further insight into the anti-Semitism of Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

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Corbyn's appalling conduct is analyzed here in Foreign Policy and here in The New Yorker. Joan Ryan, a Labor Party Member of Parliament who chairs Labor Friends of Israel, wrote this on August 21st: 

[T]he last four weeks have been dominated by stories about our leader attending ceremonies at the graves of those behind the Munich massacre, presiding over Holocaust Memorial Day meetings where Israel was compared to Nazi Germany, and casting doubt on the guilt of Hamas terrorists.

Consider the past week’s revelations alone.

Jeremy Corbyn was photographed next to the leader of the PFLP, a month before they claimed responsibility for the 2014 axe murder of seven rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue. He spoke at a conference in Doha in 2012 alongside Hamas terrorists and called their speeches “fascinating and electrifying”. And he enjoyed a takeaway dinner in 2010 with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, who is on Britain’s terror sanctions list.

Ryan also notes that Corbyn and his team are intent on not fixing this problem: "the party has had multiple opportunities since to tackle the scourge of antisemitism. It has missed every one of them." Now why would that be?

The usual answer is that Corbyn and his associates at the top of the Labor Party believe in what they are doing. That is, they truly are anti-Semites. I agree with that explanation. But there is a second explanation, and it is found in the numbers I cited. Corbyn thinks he has a winner in hatred of Jews and Israel. He thinks the anger and fear of British Jews is good for him because it may attract Muslim voters. As Ed Husain (my former colleague at CFR and now writing from London) wrote in The Daily Telegraph, “There are at least 30 seats where the ‘Muslim vote’ can help Labour win.” So Corbyn’s refusal to back away from his anti-Jewish past is both ideological and deeply cynical dirty politics. 

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Will it work? It certainly displays a low opinion of British Muslims, because it assumes that the best way to earn their votes is not through a positive program of any sort but is instead by suggesting that a vote for Labor is a vote against the Jews. I've been unable to find any poll data that tells us whether it is working--whether, that is, Corbyn's support from Muslim voters rises when he is criticized by British Jews or accused of anti-Semitism.

Whether it works or not, it tells us a great deal about Corbyn. If you thought the anti-Semitism was bad enough, add to that a deep and unprincipled cynicism.  


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