World

Jeremy Corbyn Reminds Us Why Israel Exists

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech in London, England, April 2018. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)
Corbyn hasn’t merely 'tolerated' anti-Semitic attitudes. He has actively transformed Labour into a safe haven for Jew hatred.

In a now-deleted tweet, the Washington Post informed its 14 million followers that the historic condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn by the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom was triggered by Labour Party leader’s strong support for “Palestinian rights.”

As numerous people quickly pointed out, this is a detestable falsehood. Indeed, the article to which the tweet linked notes that a review of online posts by Labour members uncovered “examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one individual who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.”

Despite this, the rest of the Post’s story is something of a whitewash. Like so many others that have covered Labour’s moral deterioration, it goes out of its way to note that, “Corbyn, alongside many in the left-wing of his party, are strong supporters of Palestinian rights and fierce critics of Israel’s right-wing government.” This insinuation — that Corbynite animosity towards British Jewry is predicated on the existence of a “right-wing Israeli government” — is a myth.

For one thing, despite public perception, the right-center coalition run by Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t altered Israeli policy governing the West Bank and Gaza in any significant way from its predecessors (other than, perhaps, by offering Palestinians more autonomy). For another, even if Netanyahu had altered that policy, there has never been — and almost surely never will be — any Israeli government of the right, left, or center that would placate the average Corbynite.

The link the Post draws is nonsensical. Are we to believe that the Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition referred to anti-Semitic terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends” in a speech in front of Parliament because he was worried about final status negotiations? Did Corbyn appear multiple times on the Holocaust-denying Hamas-backing Iranian regime’s propaganda channel because he misses Yitzhak Rabin?

The man who participates in a 2014 wreath-laying ceremony for the terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics and prevaricates when asked whether it is “anti-Semitic to say that Rothschild Zionists run world governments” is no friend of the Jews.

Israel looms large in Corbyn’s worldview. The Corbyn-led Labour Party was initially unable to adopt The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of anti-Semitism until tremendous outside pressure compelled them. Why? Because the guidelines conflicted with its anti-Zionism, the most significant and consequential form of Jew hatred that exists in the world today. Anti-Zionism is now the predominant justification for violence and murder against Jews in Europe and around the world. Corbyn is one of its champions.

“It’s not anti-Semitic to be critical of Israel,” Corbynites, and their progressive ideological cousins here in the United States like to say. And, of course, they’re correct. Curiously enough, though, those who reserve special opprobrium for a Jewish state they view as an inherently racist and colonial endeavor, as most Corbynites do, also seem to have odious views about the people who democratically govern that small strip of land.

As Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis correctly points out, Corbyn hasn’t merely “tolerated” anti-Semitic attitudes — as so many publications like to claim — but rather he has actively transformed Labour, once one of the most important political parties in the free world, into a safe haven for Jew hatred. As Mirvis notes, under Corbyn, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Labour has “hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism.”

Perhaps Corbyn’s rise simply reflects a new — or is it a renewed? — reality in Europe? A recent ADL poll claims that a quarter of Europeans hold anti-Semitic views. Around 45 percent of Poles and 42 percent of Ukrainians admit to pollsters that they believe that “people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave,” a view that over 30 percent of our old friends the Austrians and Germans share. And one of the fastest growing groups in Europe, Muslims, are importing an even deeper enmity towards Jews than is found in Poland, Ukraine, Germany, and elsewhere. Muslims in Western Europe are anti-Semitic at almost three times the rate of the general population. Thus far, Corbyn has appeased, rather than tried to extinguish, this hatred.

If Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party ends up winning next month, Britain will be led by an openly anti-Semitic government. Mirvis warns that such a result is an existential threat to Britain’s Jewry. What he can’t say, but implies, is that people such as Corbyn are exactly why Israel must exist.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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