A lot has been written about the current antisemitism crisis that has engulfed the labour party, in fact, probably too much. And before you ask, yes, I do see the irony in writing this piece. But the thing is, I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant stream of antisemitism stories when I wake up and when I go to bed, I’m tired of being told that antisemitism is nothing more than a right-wing smear, and I’m tired of fighting a losing battle.
For years now, the Jewish community and their allies have been raising their concerns about the antisemitism that has been coming from the Labour Party. The stories ebb and flow from one week to the next, just waiting for that next Labour councillor who has posted holocaust denial on their Facebook, or the next Labour candidate who has tweeted that Israel carried out 9/11. It has turned into a circus – but this is no joke.
In all of the media coverage and reporting it can be hard to cut through all the noise. But let me tell you what you will find once you do. You will find a small community that is scared to death and fearful of what Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has brought and what him becoming Prime Minister might bring. Perhaps the fear is irrational, perhaps it is all an overreaction, but good-luck telling a Jew that their fear of antisemitism is irrational and an overreaction.
Corbyn has emboldened the most fringe elements of the left – conspiracists, obsessive Israel haters and Islamists, those who for all their lives have been consigned to the extreme political fringes. They used to meet in dingy pubs and left-wing bookshops; now they’re running the show.
These are the people who carried Corbyn to his leadership. We thought he may leave them behind when he became leader, he didn’t. We don’t hold much hope that he will leave them behind if he becomes Prime Minister.
As much as I would like to say that the recent stories have turned the tide (or at least stemmed it), it has done the opposite. The vitriol has increased and the Jeremy Corbyn supporting Facebook forums are more active than ever. Their resolve has not been weakened, it has only been strengthened, their anger has not been dampened, it has only been intensified. His leadership is nothing more than an obsessive cult, and yet that is why it is so strong.
So I finish with this – I hope you are proud Mr Corbyn. I hope you are proud of your supporters that have harassed, bullied and intimidated their political opponents. I hope you are proud of emboldening and legitimising antisemitic conspiracy theorists. And I hope you are proud of marginalising and dividing the UK’s small Jewish community.