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Why the Chief Rabbi was right to speak out on Labour


TALKING to a friend on Monday about the Labour party’s anti-Semitism, I expressed concern that Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has been far too quiet on Labour’s endemic racism and the threat it poses to British Jews. Yesterday Rabbi Mirvis answered me, and every other Jew fearing the election of a Labour government, with his unprecedented intervention in the Times. 

In his article, Rabbi Mirvis confirms that Jews are justified in fearing the obliteration of Jewish life in Britain should Labour win the general election. During the past four years of reporting on Labour’s anti-Semitism, I have seen it grow exponentially. A combination of complacency and denial has led to this travesty of justice and humanity. Almost every day there is another story about a Labour councillor or activist immersed in anti-Semitism.

Labour has failed to adequately deal with thousands of reports on anti-Semitism among its ranks. But its leadership, I fear, know that anti-Semitism is a vote winner, not a repellent. Labour is now is an equal opportunities provider when it comes to giving succour to a whole spectrum of anti-Semites, including neo-Nazis. 

Most within the party show that they not only despise Jews but have no understanding of anti-Semitism either, while the rest remain silent, making it impossible to combat.

Labour’s Brownshirts, often found patrolling Twitter, view criticism of anti-Semites as ‘racist’ for many reasons including the fact that they have swallowed the Islamist narrative on Israel. Their warped logic leads them to believe Jews are ‘racist’ for supporting Israel and so anyone who calls out Labour for their dire anti-Semitism must be ‘racist’ too.

No wonder British Jews are scared of Labour – they are being dehumanised, abused and lied to by a party which posits itself as ‘anti-racist’.

The Archbishop of Canterbury backed the Chief Rabbi’s intervention commendably quickly. But the cultist followers of Jeremy Corbyn responded in predicable fashion, using anti-Semitic tropes and blood libels in their miserable attempts to deny Labour’s hatred of Jews, proving his point that they pose a danger to Jews. They protested that that Corbyn couldn’t possibly be anti-Semitic because his mother was at the Battle of Cable Street, when Mosley’s facists marched through the East End: a feeble excuse given that Corbyn, not his mother, leads Labour. 

The usual suspects were paraded in various BBC studios in a combined effort to discredit Rabbi Mirvis. Jewish Voice for Labour, a lunatic fringe group, made their appearance in an attempt to subvert the truth that Labour is fast becoming the new Nazi Party. Sadly Lord Dubs, in his defence of Corbyn, shows repeatedly that he is stuck in a narrative which is out of place in a party which no longer cares for Jews. His blind loyalty to those who are riddled with anti-Semitism is pitiful to witness.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) response was similarly disingenuous in its effort to equate Labour’s anti-Semitism with the Conservative party’s ‘Islamophobia’. But the Tories deal far more effectively with anti-Muslim behaviour in their party than Labour does with anti-Semitism.  

The fact is that almost 50 per cent of Jews will ‘seriously consider’ fleeing the country if Labour is elected. Yet Muslims do not plan to flee if the Tories win and neither do Jews. Some, like me, are hoping for a Conservative majority to put the monster of Corbynism in its grave. The MCB’s petulant and unnecessary response trivialises the fears that so many Jews currently have.

Jeremy Corbyn’s unnerving refusal last night – not once but four times – to apologise for Labour’s ant-Semitism can only further exacerbate these fears.

We Jews are well versed in anti-Semitism. We know it from ancestral memory, from tales of persecution that Jewish families recount around Sabbath tables. Many of us have encountered it personally. We know the stench of it.

Rabbi Mirvis is right, the soul of the nation is at stake. But the endemic anti-Semitism that Labour has unleashed shows it might be too late. The nation’s soul is already putrefying.

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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