Community leaders should not double down and push for Corbyn’s removal—but think carefully about where the community’s interests really lieby Daniel Levy / September 9, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
The Labour party’s reluctant adoption of a new code on anti-Semitism is an opportunity for the party to rebuild its relationship with the Jewish community. But hard as it might be to accept, it is also incumbent on the Jewish communal leadership to have a long hard think about next steps.
While some prominent Jewish leaders appear keen to double down and push for Corbyn’s removal, this would be a terrible mistake. They need to get a grip—and not become a sacrificial pawn for a broader agenda which is not about Jewish concerns and interests in the UK.
The thrust of the anti-Semitism debate, which has bubbled away since Corbyn’s election in 2015, can be broken down to two quite simple propositions.
First, the concerns regarding anti-Semitism are real, as are frustrations at the shortcomings of the Labour leadership response.
Left-wing anti-Semitism has a long and nasty history—one that predates the existence of Israel or arguments surrounding modern Zionism.
The Labour leadership’s response to the more serious and genuine of the anti-Semitism accusations has not only been slow and cumbersome but also lacked in empathy or in conveying a sense of passion in fighting anti-Semitism.