When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the British Labour party in the autumn of 2015, a chill ran through the Jewish community in Britain. They were fearful not because they anticipated the anti-Semitic storm that has since engulfed the highest ranks within the party — no one expected the situation to escalate to the contentious level it has now reached — but simply because they had been paying attention.
Behind Corbyn’s polished façade — beyond the walls of the carefully constructed bubble in which he is celebrated as an anti-racist social-justice campaigner for the most deprived in the world — lies a decades-long record of extensive links with terrorists, racists, and dictators. It explains why three leading Jewish publications recently took the unprecedented step of warning, in a joint editorial, that a government led by Corbyn would pose an “existential threat” to British Jewish life.
This is a serious charge, but the evidence has been lining up. Take the fact that Corbyn once described it as his “honour and pleasure” to host “our friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah in Parliament. Corbyn praised the two internationally designated terrorist groups, devoted to the total annihilation of the Jewish state, as organizations “dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people . . . and bringing about long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region.”
Corbyn has often excused his meetings with Hamas and Hezbollah as gestures of peace, an opportunity to talk to all sides in the conflict — except when it comes to Jews. Corbyn time and again has missed opportunities to meet with Israeli delegates and boycotted events with Israeli officials in attendance. He is part of a mindset in which Zionism, the belief that Jews deserve their own homeland, is a racist endeavor — a position that, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition, is anti-Semitic.
Corbyn’s collusion with extremists goes on. He invited for tea in Parliament the Palestinian hate preacher Raed Salah, whom he described as “a very honoured citizen” whose “voice must be heard.” Saleh was found by a British court to have used the anti-Semitic “blood libel” (the fabricated assertion that Jews use the blood of Christians in religious ceremonies). On a different occasion, Corbyn accepted a free trip to meet Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, paid for by a Palestinian group that blames Jews for the Holocaust. In a similar fashion, Corbyn’s spokesperson had to disassociate Corbyn from Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, to whom he had allegedly donated money.
At the peak of his betrayal — not just of the Jewish community, but of the country he wants to lead as prime minister — Corbyn hosted a call-in program on Press TV, the state-owned propaganda outlet of Iran. For selling out his own people, the mullahs paid him a cushy salary of £20,000.
The list goes on. Last month, Corbyn missed an emergency session of the Labour party’s parliamentary delegation — called just after the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to reject key parts of the widely accepted IHRA definition of anti-Semitism — but found time to sit down with the emir of Qatar, the wealthy despot whose country has openly sponsored Hamas in Gaza.
Corbyn’s links to extremists continue to surface because Corbyn has been meeting with them throughout his entire career — they are his friends, associates, idols, even heroes. On Monday, the Labour leader was forced to deny that he laid a wreath at the memorial for Palestinian terrorists accused of being behind the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972, after the Daily Mail published photos of him at the event. The paper also revealed that Corbyn spoke at the wedding of Husam Zomlot, a PLO official who claimed that Israel had “fabricated” the Holocaust.
Corbyn would not be where he is today without his league of faithful minions, who will go to any length to explain away what is right there in plain sight — Corbyn’s long history of apathy toward anti-Semites.
Despite repeated promises to root out anti-Semitism in the Labour party, Corbyn has not once acknowledged the role he played in the drastic spike of anti-Jewish sentiment on the left. Instead, Corbyn’s latest article in the Guardian opens with a lame affirmation of his anti-racist credentials: “I have spent my life campaigning for recognition of the strength of a multicultural society.”
Yet Corbyn would not be where he is today without his league of faithful minions, who will go to any length to explain away what is right there in plain sight — Corbyn’s long history of apathy toward anti-Semites.
The political commentator and avid Corbyn supporter Owen Jones recently dismissed Labour’s racism problem as “a fringe on the left” and charged that “Corbyn and the left are being smeared.” Jones made the comment days after the NEC’s rejection of the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, which is adopted by 31 countries, including the U.K. The only other major European party not to accept the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism is Viktor Orban’s populist Fidesz party in Hungary.
The NEC is not “a fringe on the left.” It is the Labour party’s highest-ranking body. Jones, of course, knows that. But admitting it would undermine the Janus-faced strategy he and other prominent Corbynites have implemented since the Dear Leader’s rise to power: Condemn anti-Semitism in the Labour party, while at the same time washing Corbyn and his inner circle of any responsibility for the toxic climate that has been created.
Leading Corbynites — among them Jones, Aaron Bastani, and Matt Zarb-Cousin — have given birth to a culture in which accusations of anti-Semitism leveled at the party’s leadership are dismissed automatically as propaganda spread by Corbyn’s opponents to remove him from power. Corbyn’s loyalists have created a climate where references to any of the many meetings the Labour leader has held with extremists are answered with hysterical calls from supporters charging “FAKE NEWS,” “SMEARS,” and “BLAIRITE CONSPIRACIES.”
No amount of spin, however, can hide the totality of evidence. Corbyn is not a man of peace, and he is certainly no friend of the Jewish people. Veteran Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge had the chutzpah to speak to his face what many think but fear to say: that Corbyn is “an anti-Semite and a racist.” John Woodcock, a former Labour MP, called him a “national-security risk” before resigning in horror.
The problem, of course, is not just one man. The ultra-loyalists who surround Corbyn and roll out an excuse — no matter how shameful — every time he is caught whitewashing his history with extremists are just as much responsible for the morally depraved situation in which the Labour party now finds itself.
Owen Jones and his fellow travelers pretend that Corbyn is just the unluckiest, most misunderstood man on the planet. But the Jewish community in Britain knows the truth is much more sinister.
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