Their reaction to the conflict in Israel showed the complete corbynification of the left – fr

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Their reaction to the conflict in Israel showed the complete corbynification of the left – fr


When Jeremy Corbyn was thrown into well-deserved political oblivion in the 2019 election, those of us who saw him as an existential threat to Britain’s Jewish community heaved a sigh of relief. And when Sir Keir Starmer used his first speech as a Labor leader to apologize and promise to make eliminating anti-Semitism from his party his priority, we listened.

But the facts have a bad habit of hindering the rotation. And last week showed that Sir Keir’s beautiful words are just that: spin. The existential threat Corbyn posed depended on his power of victory. In Israel, Jews – and Israeli Arabs – are currently being killed by rockets fired by a terrorist organization. And what does Sir Keir say about the kind of anti-Semitism that murders Jews? Nothing.

On Monday, as Hamas rockets rained down on Israel, he posted a tweet that was positively corbynesque: “The violence against worshipers during Ramadan at the al-Aqsa mosque was shocking. Israel must respect international law and must take immediate action to work with the Palestinian leadership to defuse tensions. Sir Keir did not see fit to mention that it was these same Palestinian leaders who sent a barrage of rockets into Israel with the aim of assassinating as many Israelis as possible.

Whatever progress the Labor Party has made under Sir Keir in tackling anti-Semitism within its ranks – and there has been – was dashed in this tweet. The message was clear: dead Jews don’t matter.

Not that anyone should be surprised. Corbyn did not come out of nowhere. He might have been an obscure figure to most people when he won the Labor leadership in 2015, but he was well known within the party. The members who elected him with 59.5 percent of the vote knew what he thought about almost every major issue because he had spent decades talking about it. And for Labor, and for the left in general, Israel is a major problem.

It is now an obsession of the left that Israel is the cause of most of the world’s ills. In this context, it makes no difference that Sir Keir is clearly neither an anti-Semite nor an extremist – in fact, his wife is Jewish. He is the head of a party in which a visceral hatred of Israel is now in its DNA and which has no interest in the murder of Jews.

This is true far beyond work. Within the American Democratic Party, the “squad” (a group of six left-wing members of the House of Representatives) seizes every opportunity to castigate Israel and is acclaimed by the millennial base to which they are devoted. Rashida Tlaib, a member of the squad, said this week: “What they are doing to the Palestinians is what they are doing to our black brothers and sisters here.” I wonder who she meant by “they”? The Muslim Brotherhood is clear, praising the “Democratic representatives” this week for demanding “the protection of the Palestinians from Zionist attacks.”

Israel defends itself from terror. But for many on the left, it is those who attack Israel who must be defended.

Stephen Pollard is editor of the Jewish Chronicle

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