I have had time to look back on perhaps the most momentous 48 hours of my professional career. Our meeting on Tuesday with Jeremy Corbyn and his team had been preceded 24 hours earlier by a “pre meeting” that Gillian Merron, Dave Rich and I had held with Jennie Formby (General Secretary) and Jeremy Corbyn’s key adviser, Seumas Milne.
We felt that these meetings would be significant for the community. And the community felt that too. I really felt the support of the community for the position that we were taking.
The meetings were indeed held in a positive and convivial spirit, apart from when we discussed one issue. When we asked them to adopt and promote the IHRA Definition on antisemitism, with all its examples. That part of the discussion was decidedly tense. That is because it revealed their ideological block when anti-Zionism becomes antisemitism. It was what we had said in our very first letter just before the #EnoughisEnough demonstration.
Four weeks of focus, front page news coverage, a Parliamentary debate and they still have an ideological block to taking the steps necessary to truly challenge antisemitism on the left.
So, where do we now go?
Well, we as a community should seize on the unity and support that we have seen over the last month. It seems we have been a negative story for a month. Let’s bring some pride back to our community.
Those who hate us have had plenty to say. We have stood united. Now it is time for us to show our pride in who we are; our joy in our community. We can do that by turning out, in force, to celebrate Israel at 70 for Platinum at the Royal Albert Hall on May 24th. Let’s show that while the anti-Semites have only hate, we have only joy, pride and happiness.