What Jeremy Corbyn’s Reelection Could Mean for Britain and Its Jews
Last month, the UK Labour Party reelected Jeremy Corbyn to be its leader.
Corbyn, a vociferous supporter of the BDS Movement, Hezbollah and Hamas, is also a strong supporter of Palestinian rights. He believes that all Palestinians, including those with refugee status in Lebanon and Syria, should have the right to return to Israel. Corbyn has also refused to visit Yad Vashem, which could imply that he is a Holocaust denier.
Corbyn has said he plans to remove antisemitism from the Labour Party, but his actions don’t match his words.
Zafar Iqbal, a Birmingham city councilor, was recently discovered to have posted an antisemitic video, produced by David Duke, on Facebook. Yet there were no consequences for Iqbal, who claimed someone else posted it. His feeble excuse was perfectly acceptable to his fellow Labour Party members.
The Home Affairs Select Committee of the British Parliament recently concluded, in a withering judgment on the Labour leader, that Corbyn has shown a “lack of consistent leadership” in tackling antisemitic abuse within the Labour Party. The report, signed by two senior Labour MPs, questioned whether Corbyn “fully appreciates” the nature of antisemitism, and said that the party was guilty of “incompetence” over its handling of serious and well-publicized allegations of antisemitism.
Do the British suffer from short-term memory loss, or do they simply agree with Corbyn’s views on Israel and the Jews? Is the Jewish vote irrelevant today in Britain, or just irrelevant to the Labour Party?
And what about Anglo-British Jewry? Where are they? Have they shown enough outrage at this disgraceful reappearance of antisemitism? Or have they quietly dismissed the issue, not wishing to bring attention to themselves? Community leaders have spoken out, but where are all the other Jews? Where are the demonstrations to show their outrage? Is British Jewry simply going to wait and see if Corbyn becomes the next prime minister?
There are thought to be less than 250,000 Jews in the UK today, half of whom are believed to be Hasidic. Jews in Britain are outnumbered by Muslims 10 to one, which deeply impacts politicians at election time.
Then there are those non-Muslim Brits who just don’t like Jews. The great Jewish (and British) philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, once quipped that the definition of an antisemite is someone who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary.
The Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and the Magna Carta, that great bastion of civil law (which has three antisemitic provisions) did nothing to save them.
Israel will survive another antisemitic European leader, but will British Jewry? Will we soon see mass immigration of British Jews to Israel?
Perhaps it’s all part of God’s plan to gather the Jews and return them to their homeland . But are we meant to concede our fate or would God prefer we fight on? British Jews must decide — before it is too late.
Howard Epstein is a political commentator and the author of: Guns, Traumas and Exceptionalism: America in the Twenty-First Century, recently published by Amazon and on Kindle.