Jeremy Corbyn reminds me of of that beloved children’s board game Snakes and Ladders. Just as it looks like Corbyn’s “new old fashioned” Labour party appears to be making peace with its Jewish constituency the Leader simply jumps off message finding the inviting neck of the snake and the downward ride offered irresistible.
Yet it all happened so quickly that only those with their hearts and minds intimately involved in following Labour’s “Jewish problem” would have noticed.
Here was Corbyn at the end of a nearly two hour speech, which he obviously enjoyed, going through a short run through of world affairs.
There was the usual condemnation of Western military adventures in the Middle East, a ticking of for the Burmese leader ,and Trump of course, when he suddenly out of the blue spoke of the fifty year long “oppression of the Palestinians” and of the illegal settlements in their lands. He did pay lip service to a two state solution but then the moment was over and gone.
He never once mentioned the word Israel or made any connection from her to the democracies he earlier. spoke of. Nor did this pacifist condemn those whose families are paid for maiming and murdering Jews by the Palestinian Authority.
Yet just 24 hours earlier this conference, more disciplined than perhaps it had ever been, passed a strong worded motion against Antisemitism by a margin of 96%. It was the sort of majority dictators in Africa and South America used to enjoy in days gone by. Then recalling how the conference had decided not to debate Brexit because it was divisive you wondered how many of the delegates had been whipped into line to vote for a motion to shut the troublesome Jews up.
The conference ended with the audience singing Jerusalem. Few if any saw the irony in it.