The haters are right: I’m a Jew, and I don’t belong in Labour anymore

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn giving his keynote speech at the party's annual conference, October 2018. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire via Jewish News)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn giving his keynote speech at the party's annual conference, October 2018. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire via Jewish News)

I am dismayed at what the Labour Party has become in recent years. We have gone from being a party that could occupy the moral high ground to one that is rotten to the core.

Hatred and intolerance should have no place in a modern political movement and yet they have been welcomed in by our current leadership. They’ve been nurtured and have taken root and are now endemic at every level within Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn pays lip service to dealing with antisemitism. If anyone suggests that he’s in any way responsible for the growth of antisemitism within the party he replies by saying that he’s against all forms of racism and that he’s campaigned against it for years. But words are not enough.

Over time, as you might be able to perceive, I’ve grown disenchanted with both Corbyn and the Corbyn Project. He claims to be on the “right side of history” but he is not.

When Russian agents poisoned people in Salisbury he said we needed to have more proof before responding. When Hamas encourages Palestinians to storm the border fence between Gaza and Israel he calls for arms sales to Israel to stop. He says we shouldn’t interfere in decisions taken by other sovereign nations. His message is inconsistent. He says we should defend human rights and fight for the oppressed, yet he stood in Parliament and made an impassioned speech for the UK not to intervene to save the Yazidis. He was against intervention in Kosovo. He’s said nothing about the treatment meted out to Muslims or Christians by China. He always wants to intervene in Israel however.

If he’d ever apologised for holding Israel to a higher standard than any other country, then I’d think differently of the man but he hasn’t. He is taking us all for fools.

I was a delegate at Conference in Liverpool. It wasn’t a welcoming place for a Jew.

At breakfast on Monday, I was joined by two people I’d not met before. They hadn’t met each other before. They were both delegates. The ease with which they segued from talking about breakfast to agreeing that Jews were “subhuman”, “didn’t deserve to be allowed to define what constitutes antisemitism” and should “be grateful we don’t make them eat bacon for breakfast every day” stunned me. To my eternal shame I said nothing and left the table.

Many will say it’s not antisemitic to criticise the Israeli government and no it isn’t. The Israeli government under Netanyahu is a right-wing government that I do not support. That I’ve been asked in meetings to state whether or not I’m a fan of his government is antisemitic. That I’ve been asked this question, or a variant thereof many times, is shocking. What’s more shocking still is that I’ve been told “shut up Jew” when I’ve voiced an unpopular opinion.

At Conference I was fearful of the hatred that the Palestine debate would unleash. I heard cries of “Free Free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea”, a call for nothing less than the eradication of Israel, the only Jewish homeland in the world.

I voted against the Palestine motion because it was a poorly worded motion. I was one of about 15 who voted against. Delegates sitting behind me called me “child killer” and hissed at me. Not a hiss like you’d hear whilst watching a pantomime but a quiet persistent hiss like the sound gas makes when it’s escaping from a pipe.

On Wednesday I sat with another delegate I’d not met before. They were firmly of the opinion that Corbyn was being held back from power by “the rich bankers and Jews that control the media”. They told me of a huge conspiracy that was behind every war, funded ISIS, owned the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve, created HIV, caused the downfall of communism and was responsible for the slave trade. This conspiracy was so huge that it reached into every facet of our lives. This conspiracy had a name and it was Zionism. I told them that I was Jewish and they asked “yes but are you a Zionist?”.

I do not accept that those at the core of the Corbyn Project have unknowingly allowed the party to be tainted by antisemitism

They encourage JVL, who were established for one reason only and that’s to protect Corbyn. They are are crying out for a seat at the table and some might wonder if they want to remove JLM from their position as the official representatives of Jewish members.

I’ve fallen out of love with Labour.

I’ve been called a Zionazi.

I’ve been asked if I was a Zionist.

I’ve been called a Tory Jew.

I’ve been told I’m good with money.

I’ve been told that I’m “obviously” rich.

I’ve been accused of being more loyal to Israel than the U.K.

I’ve been called a child killer.

I’ve been barred from attending a JVL meeting.

I’ve been told “to shut the fuck up Jew”.

I’ve been screamed at in the street because I wanted JLM to address a local party meeting.

I’ve been told I only ever care about Jewish stuff.

I’ve been called Zio scum.

I’ve been told I’m worthless.

I’ve been told I’m a disgrace.

I’ve been told Hitler was right.

I’ve been told “it’s a pity all of your lot weren’t gassed”.

I’ve been spat at.

I’ve been threatened with physical violence.

I’ve reported every single incident.

I’ve been told it’s all lies.

I’ve been told I’m part of a conspiracy to get Corbyn.

I’ve been told I don’t belong in Labour.

They’re right about that, I’m a Jew and I don’t belong in Labour. I’m done. I resign my membership.

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About the Author
Colin is a politically left leaning Londoner, and former Labour candidate
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