Discussions of antisemitism in the Labour Party inevitably include the assertion that Jeremy Corbyn himself is NOT an anti-Semite.
Take this by Jonathan Freedland for example:
Which brings us to Jeremy Corbyn. No one accuses him of being an antisemite.
This is despite Mr Corbyn’s associations with self-confessed Holocaust Denier Paul Eisen, his willingness to defend the disgraced Vicar Stephen Sizer, his description of Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘our friends’ and his preparedness to host meetings in the Parliamentary precinct which contain anti-Semitic content.
Yet the Chakrabarti Inquiry failed to identify a definition of anti-Semitism.
Its Deputy Chair, Professor David Feldman, does not accept the most widely respected definition of anti-Semitism (despite being the Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism).
That definition is the EUMC Definition, accepted for example by the National Union of Students, the US State Department and the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.
As regards Israel-based anti-Semitism– which is the kind that has featured in all the incidents in the Labour Party – the provisions of the EUMC Definition are as follows:
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
- Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
On Sunday Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith appeared at JW3 in the last hustings of the leadership election, hosted with the Jewish News.
You would have thought – given the doubts surrounding his commitment to fighting anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, his many distasteful associations with anti-Semites and the widespread criticism of the Chakrabarti Report as a ‘whitewash’ – that the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition would have seized with open arms the opportunity to endorse the most widely respected definition of anti-Semitism – especially at a leadership hustings before a mainly Jewish audience.
So I gave him the opportunity do so. See the video at 1:09:52.
Now see his response (1:10:58):
No I do not accept it
Would someone who is NOT an anti-Semite dismiss the most widely respected definition of antisemitism so summarily?