David Goldstein (of the JLC) and Helen Lewis (New Statesman) offered a strong response to Corbyn’s latest on the Today programme earlier this morning. Goldstein opened by making the important point that Jewdas has a right to its views and represents a (minority) section of Jewish opinion.
When I first came across Jewdas a few years ago it struck me as a maverick group, better humoured than others on the anti/non-Zionist left, and unambiguously concerned about antisemitism. However I did take issue with their recent post on Corbyn (although it didn’t surprise me that they took this stance).
The problem here is that Corbyn attended a seder held by a group that has so strongly asserted that much of the concern about antisemitism in Labour is confected. (By contrast Momentum has conceded that the problem is more widespread than had been thought and should not be brushed aside as smears.)
Goldstein rightly said that Corbyn should instead be standing up for those MPs who are now being targeted by some local members because they attended the recent demonstration.
Jon Lansman, also speaking on the Today programme, seemed to find it difficult to see this as anything other than an unhelpful development:
‘It’s certainly not helpful to Jeremy or the cause of opposing antisemitism in the Labour Party’
This was also rather a telling detail:
It was his night off, he had nothing in his official diary, his office didn’t know he was there.