DOUBTLESS it was a complete coincidence, but a conference of the Jewish Labour Movement at the weekend passed a motion of “no confidence” in Jeremy Corbyn on the very day that the front page of the Sunday Times screamed: “Labour’s hate files expose Corbyn’s anti-semite army.”
According to the latter, the leaked contents of a mystery hard drive and database reveal a backlog of delays, obstruction and improper interference in the party’s investigation into complaints of anti-semitism against hundreds of Labour Party members.
According to JLM delegates, this confirms that the party is “institutionally anti-semitic” and that Jeremy Corbyn is “unfit for office” as a prospective prime minister.
This first charge is not new, the JLM having already submitted it as a complaint to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
It can only be a matter of days, therefore, before the JLM disaffiliates from the Labour Party as a matter of the most profound principle.
After all, no decent-minded person would want to remain in a voluntary organisation that is guilty of much more than espousing objectionable policies, for instance, which can presumably be changed?
If the JLM is to be believed, Labour is led by a racist, contains many hundreds of racists and is itself institutionally racist.
Whether Jeremy Corbyn actually recruits and organises Jew-haters in his own “anti-semite army” is perhaps an issue best referred to m’learned friends in the libel courts.
Certainly, Labour Party officials have moved quickly to point out that key statistics in the Sunday Times report — since repeated across the mass media in Britain and Israel — are out of date where not downright inaccurate.
Equally quickly, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson and other anti-Corbyn MPs have rushed to give credibility to the Sunday Times story, with no complaints about its headline or the resolutions of the JLM.
What appears to be undeniable is that no action has yet been taken against some individual party members whose comments about Jews or Israel are reprehensible, whether born of ignorance, prejudice or both.
Such cases must be speedily resolved in order to protect Labour more effectively against toxic ideas and toxic media coverage.
Yet it must also be recognised that combating anti-semitism is not the primary motivation of many of Corbyn’s enemies, whether inside the Parliamentary Labour Party or outside.
Otherwise, they would not be grossly exaggerating its presence in the party or seeking to destroy the reputation of a leader who has an exemplary record of opposing all forms of racism, including anti-semitism.
On the contrary, they would be spending a much bigger proportion of their time combating far higher levels of anti-semitism in the Tory Party, the mass media and in society at large.
No, their prime motivation is becoming clearer by the week. It is to prevent a rare parliamentary champion of the rights of the Palestinian people from achieving the highest political office in Britain.
This has been the common aim of leading lights in the JLM and Labour Friends of Israel and their associates in the Israeli embassy such as notorious ambassador Mark Regev and disgraced former agent Shai Masot.
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