In 2010 Hannah Rosenthal, the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, explained how the department defines antisemitism.
Our State Department uses Natan Sharansky’s framework for identifying when someone or a government crosses the line – when Israel is demonized, when Israel is held to different standards than the rest of the countries, and when Israel is delegitimized. These cases are not disagreements with a policy of Israel, this is anti-Semitism.
So when Jeremy Corbyn (shown here auditioning for the role of a deer caught in headlights) responded to the release of a report on antisemitism in the Labour party by essentially comparing Israel to the Islamic State, it was hard to see how that did not fit the US government’s definition.
The report, authored by Shami Chakrabarti at the behest of Corbyn after a number of ugly incidents, includes nothing like the State Department’s definition– which renders it worthless as a tool against contemporary antisemitism.
Instead all we get is this evasion:
A further complexity still arises from those people who are uncomfortable with criticism of the State or Government of Israel or who are suspicious of repeated criticism of Israeli policy in a way that they see as disproportionate or out of synch with human rights abuses by other states and governments around the region or the world.
Perhaps that is why Corbyn felt comfortable making the obscene comparison.
It didn’t help matters when Corbyn did nothing while a hard-left Corbyn supporter at the release of the report accused Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth of “colluding” with the right-wing media, causing her to leave in tears.
A willingness to openly confront hatred within one’s own ranks is a true test of leadership. Today Corbyn utterly failed that test and outed himself as a craven coward.
Update: Statement by Labour MP Ruth Smeeth:
“This morning, at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism, I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’. It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing.”
“People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed. Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews. I have written to the General Secretary of the Labour Party and the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party to formally complain about this morning’s events.”
“No-one from the Leader’s office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.”
Corbyn's words imply a serious lack of moral judgement. Just as all Muslims are not to blame for ISIS, not all Brits are to blame for Corbyn
— ציפי לבני (@Tzipi_Livni) June 30, 2016