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JEWISH Establishment organisations which spread the myth that “the Jewish community” has a single point of view — their own — will certainly not risk taking up Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti’s invitation to engage with the party.
The pro-Israel lobby, which has shown itself to be more concerned with silencing critics of Israel than combating anti-semitism, knows that its allegations could not withstand any level of debate.
The likes of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the self-appointed Jewish Leadership Council, Labour Friends of Israel, Labour Against Anti-Semitism and a bevy of anti-Corbyn MPs, whether Jewish are not, have seen the issue not as a threat to Jewish people but as a means of undermining Jeremy Corbyn.
They prefer to operate the “empty chair” mode of negotiations where their complaints against Labour and demands for further concessions are amplified and broadcast by the mass media.
Whatever statements are issued by the Labour Party on economic policy, trade union rights, tackling homelessness, fire safety, leaving the EU or whatever, radio and TV reporters, in particular, can be relied upon to demand a response to the latest rumours and accusations.
It is a one-way street of denunciation and insistence in which Corbyn must apologise for previous statements or malicious constructions put upon them.
As long as the accusers refuse to “come back into the room for discussion,” as Chakrabarti puts it, they don’t have to answer for their own actions or political partiality.
Former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks can get away with hyperbolic nonsense bracketing Corbyn with Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech and can rely on its repetition by anti-Labour media.
On the other hand, the BBC2 Newsnight comment by Lord Alf Dubs, a Kindertransport refugee from nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia 80 years ago, that Sacks went “over the top. He actually lost the argument by saying that” is unlikely to be heard by anyone who missed Wednesday’s broadcast.
Likewise, Margaret Hodge, who berated Corbyn publicly as “a fucking anti-semite and a racist,” was spared disciplinary action and then belittled the horrors of nazi persecution by comparing her father’s fraught experiences of fleeing Germany with her own receipt of a letter from Labour’s disciplinary committee.
She accuses the Labour leader now of having “sullied” NEC adoption of the IHRA definition by insisting on the right to free speech about Israel.
Her position, shared with the Jewish Leadership Council, was demolished justifiably by David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists’ Group, which backs Corbyn.
“If our opponents are reduced to complaining about Labour’s commitment to free speech, it makes their agendas of promoting censorship and outlawing views other than their own even more transparent,” he observed.
Hodge’s obsessive antipathy to Corbyn was apparent before the NEC vote when she said accepting the IHRA definition would make no difference because Corbyn himself is the problem.
Indeed, she has form in this area, having first volunteered to stand against him when he insisted that the June 2016 EU referendum people’s vote must be respected.
Labour’s only successful way ahead is to refuse to be beaten up in a one-sided tag match against the pro-Israel lobby and the mass media.
The idea voiced by decent, well-meaning people that adoption of the unfettered IHRA definition ought to draw a line under months of turmoil is a dangerous illusion.
Labour’s enemies, including its most embittered fifth column, have tasted blood and won’t end their attacks until Corbyn is hung out to dry.
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