Much has been made recently of the scandal of anti-Semitism within the labor party. The finger of blame is being pointed at Jeremy Corbyn. As the democratically elected leader of the opposition he has much to answer for. At best for not doing enough to stamp it out of the party, and at worst simply turning a blind eye to it.
This being said however, the question must be asked of the labor party, and British society in general: how far does the rot go?
Despite being considered by many as a dark horse going into the labor leadership elections in September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn swept to power amidst a swell of support from the far left of the Labour party with 59.5% of the vote.
Corbyn then survived a challenge to his leadership in September 2016, eventually winning the election with 61.8% of the vote, in what turned out to be a landslide victory.
It should be noted that in the last general election in 2017, Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected to parliament with a majority of around 33,000 (or 73% of the vote) an increase of around 10,000 votes in what was a ringing endorsement of his policies. Although Labour lost the general election, it managed to gain 21 seats in parliament, and win a moral victory over the Conservative party which lost its majority in parliament.
These successes have coincided with a record report of anti Semitic abuse in 2016 as recorded by the CST. In 2017 the figure rose by a further 3% to 1382 incidents of reported anti-Semitism nationwide from 2016. An analysis of these figures shows that the number of violent assaults increased by 34%, from 108 in 2016 to 145. A report by the CST indicated an overall increase in hate crime after the EU referendum, as well publicity surrounding anti-Semitism within the Labour party as possible causes of the rise.
If these statistics are correct, as they seem to be, therer exists a direct correlation between the Labour party’s successes, and a spike in antisemitism. It is almost as though there exists a symbiotic relationship between these antisemitic MPs and the general public that elected them to parliament. In other words, these MPs are being emboldened by the public who elected them to parliament, and these MPs are in turn adding further fuel to the fire by their overt antisemitism. Unless drastic action is taken immediately, this situation has the potential to spiral out of control.
These statistics provide a damming indictment of not only the Labour party, but British society and the general public as a whole. They indicate a larger problem of a pernicious and virulent anti-Semitism, that is ubiquitous and endemic throughout society today and which is also being fuelled by the media. It is, after all, the media which has gorged the public on a diet of biased reporting of the middle East conflict for decades, the and the public which has devoured the Palestinian narrative because it relates to their own inherent antisemitic beliefs.
And while Mr. Corbyn and his antisemitic MPs must be held to account for their inherently antisemitic positions, it is the general public that must also be held to account for electing them as their chosen representatives to parliament in the first place.
With Theresa May’s hold on power looking increasingly tenuous, and her conservative government in disarray over Brexit, the possibility of a Labour government in the near future is not beyond imagination. A Corbyn led Labour government would almost certainly spell disaster for Britain’s Jewish community, and may lead to a mass exodus of Jews from the UK.
I fear for the future of British Jewry, unless much is done to educate the public as to the scourge of antisemitism on a grass roots level, uproot it entirety from society, and prove once and for all that it is not socially acceptable to be antisemitic in 21st century Britain.