November 12, 2018

Israel, the U.S. and Partisanship

There’s a trendy view these days that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed the grave sin of turning support of Israel partisan. This is the view of many on the Democratic left, who seem perturbed at Netanyahu’s close relationship with President Donald Trump. “Netanyahu refuses to even pretend that he cares what liberal American Jews think or feel about Israel,” sneers Eric Alterman of The Nation. 

But what, precisely, is Netanyahu supposed to do in the face of the left’s gradual move against Israel over the past two decades? Alterman, for all his sneering, is a harsh anti-Israel critic — he says that Israel is either practicing apartheid today or on the verge of doing so, and has endorsed the idea behind boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel on the international stage. Can that be attributed to Netanyahu?

The left’s anti-Israel move has been brewing for decades. Republicans have been somewhat more pro-Israel than Democrats since the Six-Day War — Israel’s victory in that war led to an onslaught of Soviet propaganda against the Jewish state as the Soviets attempted to consolidate the support of Muslim states. Still, until 2001, the two parties remained largely pro-Israel; in 2001, 38 percent of Democrats supported Israel against the Palestinians, with 50 percent of Republicans doing so.

Then 9/11 hit. Suddenly Republican support for Israel began to climb and Democratic support for Israel began to drop. That drop was exacerbated by the advent of former President Barack Obama’s administration, which took the line that Israel’s failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians lay at the heart of broader conflicts in the region. The American left began to parrot the line of the European left that Israel’s intransigence represented the root of imperialistic Western power politics. 

After 9/11, Republican support for Israel began to climb and Democratic support for Israel began to drop.

I attended the Democratic National Convention in 2012, where constituents booed Jerusalem in the Democratic National Committee platform; there was no doubt in the room which way the Democratic Party was moving. The Obama administration established a “daylight with Israel” policy and ran roughshod over Israel’s concerns about Iranian terrorism in promotion of a hollow Iranian nuclear deal. Today, just 27 percent of Democrats say they support Israel as opposed to the Palestinians — even though the Palestinians are governed by a three-headed terrorist monster in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad — as compared with 25 percent who support the Palestinians. Controversial Louis Farrakhan acolyte Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) nearly became the head of the DNC last year with the support of supposed pro-Israel advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader in Britain, is openly anti-Semitic. He took tea with Raed Salah, a man he called an “honoured citizen” despite Salah’s use of the actual Blood Libel; he wrote a letter defending Stephen Sizer, a now-retired vicar who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks; and he hosted “his friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah in parliament. Now, Corbyn has attempted to cover his tracks. But he’s fooling no one.

Meanwhile, the American right continues to embrace Israel at record rates. Republicans favor the Israelis over the Palestinians at a rate of 79 percent to 6 percent. Contrary to self-flattering left-wing opinion, that isn’t because of Christian millenarianism — it’s not because Christians think that support for Israel will immanentize the eschaton. It’s because religious Christians in the United States truly believe that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed; they see Israel as a representative of Western ideals in a brutal region of the world; they recognize in Israel ideological allies and religious kin. Even those on the right who aren’t particularly religious support Israel because they recognize that Israel represents the canary in the coal mine for the West; Israel’s battle against Islamic terror is part of a broader battle the West must fight.

That’s not Netanyahu’s fault. Perhaps those on the left who remain pro-Israel ought to consider that the problem isn’t Israel or Netanyahu: It’s a left wing that has lost touch with reality in favor of multicultural utopianism and flattered itself into believing that sympathizing with some of the world’s worst regimes represents standing up for human rights.


Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author and editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.

Anti-Semitism in the UK: What Now?

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, leaves his home on the morning after Britain's election in London, Britain, on June 9. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

How do you solve a problem like Jeremy Corbyn? I just returned from England, and everyone is concerned. An anti-Zionist prime minister might be elected, and some Jews are considering emigrating.

If Jews in Britain did Facebook status updates on our feelings about the Labour Party, it would change from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.”

Fear is rising, but I am undecided. How bad is it? Auschwitz-bound trains are not waiting at London’s King’s Cross station. The primary danger at King’s Cross is tourists hurling themselves at a brick wall beneath the sign “Platform 9 3/4, direct train to Hogwarts.” Nevertheless, anti-Semitism comes in many forms, and left-wing hate is different from Nazism.

What follows is my personal perspective.

Corbyn leads Her Majesty’s opposition, the Labour Party. Eighty-five percent of British Jews think Corbyn is anti-Semitic: He has shared platforms with his self-declared “friends” Hamas and Hezbollah and laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists who slaughtered Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. He claims not to be anti-Semitic but stated in 2013 that British Zionists “have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. They need two lessons.”

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? But what do I know as a British Zionist? Even though I clearly don’t want to study history, we know anti-Zionism is an anti-Semitic trope. The United Nations resolution that “Zionism is a form of racism” was revoked but hateful seeds were planted.

Corbyn’s Labour Party poses a major threat to British Jews. Left-wing momentum activists have infiltrated regional Labour organizations, threatening to deselect any members of Parliament who criticize Corbyn. He also speaks of reclaiming empty private property to house poor people. This strategy was a hallmark of Communist Russia. The Wall Street Journal clarified it: Corbyn is a Marxist.

His opposition to capitalism includes the European Union, the U.S. and Israel. Israel’s existence goes against his beliefs because it is a nation state, the homeland for a specific people. This Communist logic explains why Corbyn can claim he’s anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic (he doesn’t apply this ‘logic’ to Palestinian nationhood). These nuances are lost on the populace, paving the way for Jew-hatred.

“Eighty-five percent of British Jews think Corbyn is anti-Semitic: He has shared platforms with his self-declared “friends” Hamas and Hezbollah and laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists.”

This view might be an oversimplification. Life is different than its media portrayal. The English often think the United States has daily school shootings. We think most Jews have left France. Some Americans think I am from the Islamic Republic of Great Britain. There are kernels of truth, but I just spent three weeks in England and saw few hijabs. We must also be careful not to confuse peaceful Muslims with extremist Islamists.

Meanwhile, the British government pays for free Jewish schools and their security guards. A Los Angeles family with three children in Jewish schools could move to London and save $90,000 per year.

Britain also hosts the sensational Limmud Festival of Jewish learning and culture, which attracts 2,500 participants, and a further 89 groups running events in 42 countries. The influence of British Jews is phenomenal and communities thrive. Limmud LA was the reason I first came to Los Angeles in 2008.

As for the European mainland, French Jewry may be flourishing: The Jewish Agency states that after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in 2015, only 7,795 French Jews made aliyah, compared with 3,067 from the United States. Five hundred thousand French Jews choose to stay and live in France.

With this in mind, I think there are three possible doomsday scenarios:

1: The post-Brexit economy collapses. The ruling Conservative Party is defeated by the Labour Party in 2022, or earlier if they lose a parliamentary vote of no confidence. Britain becomes more uncomfortable for Jews. Perhaps things improve a few years later if Conservatives win back power.

2: Jews leave Britain en masse. This is unlikely. London’s Jewish Chronicle ran a story on how Germans ignored the early warning signs in the 1930s.

3: Nothing happens. Labour isn’t elected. Jews have good friends in former Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and there was nearly a Jewish Labour prime minister with Ed Miliband in 2015. They might work to reclaim Labour from the Corbynites.

Scenario 4: The Jewish population depletes due to assimilation, regardless of external threats. 

Perhaps Corbyn is pandering to British Muslims who dislike Israel. There are 1 million Muslim voters versus 200,000 Jewish voters, but there are also Muslims speaking out against anti-Semitism. They know that Jews are “canaries in the coal mine” and they could be next. Additionally, Muslims have their own Islamist problem.

Is it possible that Corbyn has helped British Jews? When Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks released a statement for Corbyn to “repent and recant” lest he sparks “the flames of hatred,” most British rabbis were in agreement. Jewish unification is very un-Jewish and, if we continue this behavior, we might accidentally usher in the Messianic Age of global peace.

I want to stay in the United States because I find it better as a Jew. As a religious actor, I found it hard to practice my art in England. In my experience, the culture suppresses Jewish expression. For years, I sought role models who were shomer Shabbat professional artists but found nobody. It felt lonely.

Then I discovered Los Angeles, where observant Emmy winners pray, Hollywood showrunners teach shiurim, and Grammy-winning musicians lead services. Discovering Pico-Robertson felt like finding my lost city of Atlantis. I miss London’s West End but love America’s diversity.

There but for the grace of God (and Homeland Security) go I.

But many British Jews are worried. We will see how the political landscape is affected when Britain leaves the EU on March 28, 2019. British Jews can vote Conservative in the next general election. We can go to shul and, we the people, pray for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Shanah tovah.


Marcus J Freed is a Los Angeles-based actor. 

Poll: Nearly 40% of British Jews Would ‘Seriously Consider’ Leaving Country If Corbyn Becomes PM

Screenshot from Twitter.

A recent poll from the Jewish Chronicle found that 40% of British Jewry would “seriously consider” leaving the country if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn ever becomes Britain’s prime minister.

The poll surveyed 710 Jews in Britain from Aug. 12-Sep. 4; 38.55 percent of the respondents said they would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister, while 51.71 percent said they would not. An additional 9.74% said they didn’t know.

The demographic most likely to leave Great Britain would be the 35-54-year-old age range, as 50.96% of the respondents in that age range said they would “seriously consider” leaving Britain if Corbyn became prime minister; the demographic least likely to leave would be respondents in the 18-34-year-old age range, as 28.51 percent of respondents in that category said they would seriously consider leaving.

The Jewish Chronicle report noted that the 38.55 percent figure as a massive uptick from 11 percent in January 2015, shortly after an Islamic terrorist murdered four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein told the Chronicle that the poll results were “deeply worrying.”

“Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud how we are integrated across society and public life,” Goldstein said. “The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.”

Corbyn and his Labour Party have been mired in accusations of anti-Semitism in recent weeks, which includes unearthed photos of Corbyn laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists in 2014 and in 2013 stating that Zionists didn’t understand “English irony.”

The Labour Party recently adopted the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, although with the caveat that they supported freedom of speech to criticize Israel, which some Jewish groups thought was unnecessary. Corbyn also attempted to insert language stating that calling Israel’s “policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist” isn’t anti-Semitic, but the Labour Party rebuffed him.

Corbyn’s Danger: Coddling of Terrorists, Not Only Anti-Semites

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Not a day goes by without headlines in the British media that detail the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But a deeper look at the behavior of the party’s controversial leader reveals an even more severe problem, one that would shake to its core the country’s bilateral relations with the United States  – as well as the war on terrorism.

Extreme left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in September 2015. Half a year later, the first significant accusations of anti-Semitism in the party surfaced when Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), resigned because club members made anti-Semitic remarks. It also became widely known that Corbyn had, in earlier years, been a frequent supporter of terrorists and terrorism movements. Furthermore, he supported and associated with Holocaust distorters, including Paul Eisen, also an extreme anti-Israel inciter.

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) limited publication to the summary of OULC anti-Semitism investigator Baroness Royal’s report. Additional disclosures about anti-Semitic remarks by elected representatives led Corbyn to appoint an investigator, Shami Chakrabarti, who was unfamiliar with the issue. Her report, published on June 30, 2016, was unfocused and superficial. Soon, word got out that Corbyn had offered Chakrabarti a membership in the House of Lords. She then became Baroness Chakrabarti.

Regular disclosures about anti-Semitic statements by elected Labour representatives continued. Corbyn repeatedly promised that he would fight anti-Semitism in the party, but he did nothing. All the while, several Jewish Labour parliamentarians received thousands of hate letters and other threats. One of them, MP Ruth Smeeth, arrived the party’s annual conference in September 2016 with a bodyguard in tow. At the meeting, Corbyn’s associates managed to obtain control of the NEC.

In April 2018, most Jewish Labour MP’s spoke in the House of Commons about the harassment they underwent. A non-Jewish MP John Mann – long involved in the battle against anti-Semitism – mentioned a rape threat against his wife. She also received a dead bird courtesy of a Labour extremist. Unprecedented actions by British Jewish leaders included a street protest in March 2018. A subsequent meeting of two Jewish leaders with Corbyn produced no results.

The conflict intensified when the NEC recently accepted a diluted version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA) of anti-Semitism. The latter is commonly subject to discussion before approval. These expressions of institutionalized anti-Semitism are odious and threatening to British Jewry, but it is Corbyn’s long-term embrace of terrorists that should concern all democratic leaders and anyone committed to Western values.

Corbyn’s public friendship with terrorists – mainly Arab but also of the Irish Republican Army – dates back decades. In 2009, he invited members of Hamas and Hezbollah to the House of Commons and called them “his friends.”  On another occasion, Corbyn called Hamas “his brothers.” In November 2012, he hosted a meeting in parliament with Musa Abu Maria, a member of banned terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  

The Daily Mail recently exposed that, in 2014, Corbyn stood with a wreath next to the graves of several perpetrators of the Black September murders, which claimed 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He also once shared a platform with Black September terrorist and hijacker Leila Khaled.

It is also settled fact that terrorist supporters were among important financiers of his 2015 election campaign to become Labour leader. These included Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, a columnist for an official Hamas journal. Dr. Hamami gave Corbyn £2000.

Tedd Honderich, a retired professor at London’s University College, contributed £5000 to Corbyn’s campaign. This academic has publicly stated that Palestinians have a moral right to blow up Jews. He even encouraged them to do so by saying, “to claim a moral right on behalf of the Palestinians on their terrorism is to say that they are right to engage in it, that it is permissible if not obligatory.” Honderich has repeated such statements frequently.

According to Electoral Commission returns, previous donations to Mr. Corbyn included a gift of £2,821 from Interpal, a British charity that the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization, in 2013, due to its alleged ties to Hamas. A donation of £1,300 to Corbyn came from the Palestinian Return Centre. This organization has, in the past, faced accusations of being “Hamas’s organisational branch in Europe.”

Meanwhile, as the United States and many other Western governments are battling international and domestic terrorism mainly from Muslim perpetrators, the governing Conservative British government has great difficulty in developing a viable policy in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. As a result, Labour has a realistic chance to win the next parliamentary elections that could take place earlier than the scheduled date in 2022. A Corbyn-led U.K. could present the introduction of a big Trojan horse into their own ranks.

Corbyn’s Labour Party has now belatedly adopted the IHRA’s full definition of anti-Semitism but attached a rider allowing for continuing criticism of Israel. If this move represents the beginning of dealing with anti-Semites and anti-Semitism within the party, including anti-Semites masquerading as anti-Zionists, then the Party can begin to write a new chapter. The fact that criticism of Israel and Palestinian issue were added to the adoption could be used to subvert the agreement by those who hate the Jewish state, home to the world’s largest Jewish community.

British Jewry cannot afford to suffer the normalization of anti-Semitism in a government charged with protecting all of its citizens, and the world cannot afford to lose one of the strongest and most stalwart fighters of terrorism. The time has come for the U.S. to voice strong disapproval of a major party leader who is manifestly unfit to lead a great democracy. And to those people of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland who support Labour, we have one message: You are better than this.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean, director Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a prolific author and expert on European anti-Semitism. He is the former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Labour Party Amends Anti-Semitism Definition

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

After being plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism, the Labour Party voted on Tuesday to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, but added a “free speech” qualification that has garnered criticism from Jewish groups.

The party issued a statement accompanying the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that said that it doesn’t “undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”

Various Jewish groups denounced this caveat.

“A ‘freedom of expression on Israel’ clause is unnecessary and totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted,” Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Garber said in a statement. “Labour appears determined to provide a safe space for anti-Semites. This decision is a sad reflection on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party and the culture it has instilled.”

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who called Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite to his face, tweeted that the party’s move was “two steps forward and one step back.”

“Why dilute the welcome adoption IN FULL of the #IHRA definition of #Antisemitism with an unnecessary qualification?” Hodge wrote.

Other Jewish groups, such as the World Jewish Council, viewed the move as progress for the Labour Party, but more work needed to be done.

Additionally, Corbyn reportedly attempted to introduce language that would have stated that it wasn’t anti-Semitic to describe “Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist.” He was rebuffed by his party.

In July, the Labour Party had only adopted part of the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, but wouldn’t embrace the aspects of the definition that stated it was anti-Semitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

Corbyn himself has been embroiled in a myriad of scandals in recent weeks, including a prior speech of him saying that Zionists don’t understand “English irony” and laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists.

Corbyn in 2010: Israel Gave British MPs ‘A Pre-Prepared Script’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has found himself in yet another controversy, as the UK Daily Mail has unearthed a video of him in 2010 stating that it seemed like the pro-Israel British members of parliament were given “a pre-prepared script” from Israel.

The Daily Mail quoted Corbyn as saying that the MPs came “with a prepared script” over the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident and that he was “sure our friend [Israeli Ambassador] Ron Prosor wrote it.”

“It was rather like reading a European document looking for buzz-words,” Corbyn said, “and the buzz-words were, ‘Israel’s need for security.’ And then ‘the extremism of the people on one ship.’ And ‘the existence of Turkish militants on the vessel.’”

However, the Daily Mail was unable to find any examples of these “buzz-words” in transcripts of that parliamentary debate.

Gideon Falter, who heads the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told the Daily Mail that “Jeremy Corbyn seems to have visions of the Jewish state literally putting words into many of our politicians’ mouths.”

“Jeremy Corbyn seems to have visions of the Jewish state literally putting words into many of our politicians’ mouths,” Falter said.

This is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic scandals for Corbyn, as he has also come under fire saying in 2013 that Zionists didn’t understand “English irony” as well as laying a wreath in a 2014 ceremony commemorating the 1972 Munich terrorists.

Former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks lambasted Corbyn in an interview with the New Statesman, calling Corbyn’s recent “English irony” comments “the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism.”

And yet, the polling data suggests that Corbyn has a good chance at becoming the next prime minister of England in 2022.

Former Chief Rabbi of Britain Calls Out Corbyn on ‘Anti-Semitic’ Remarks

Photo from Flickr.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain, spoke out against Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s recently unearthed comments on Zionists not understanding “English irony” as “the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism” in an interview with the New Statesman.

In the interview published on Tuesday, Sacks decried Corbyn’s comments as “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.”

“It was divisive, hateful and like Powell’s speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien,” Sacks said.

Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech involved then-Defense Minister Powell railing against massive immigration into Britain.

Sacks added that Corbyn “has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove from Israel from the map.”

“When he implies that, however long they have lived here, Jews are not fully British, he is using the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism,” Sacks said. “When challenged with such facts, the evidence for which is before our eyes, first he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates. This is low, dishonest and dangerous. He has legitimized the public expression of hate, and where he leads, others will follow.”

The Labour Party is claiming that Corbyn was only talking about “a particular group of pro-Israel activists as Zionists,” but Corbyn’s remarks seem to have been a breaking point for some British Jews. The London Times’ Josh Glancy wrote in a Monday New York Times op-ed:

The video was a watershed for many. Daniel Finkelstein, a Tory peer and columnist for The Times of London, called the revelation “qualitatively different from anything that has come before.” Ben Judah, a Labour-voting author, said that “the nasty comment from Mr. Corbyn on ‘Zionists’ not getting ‘English irony’ has finally snapped the benefit of the doubt extended by many Jewish progressives.” 

A writer for The Guardian, Simon Hattenstone, who has repeatedly defended Jeremy Corbyn against charges of anti-Semitism, called his speech “unquestionably anti-Semitic.” And it wasn’t just the Jews. George Monbiot, a giant of the British left, described the comments as “anti-Semitic and unacceptable.”

And from Mr. Corbyn’s most vehement defenders, such as the Guardian columnist Owen Jones or the Novara Media columnist Ash Sarkar? Crickets.

“This was classic anti-Semitism,” Glancy wrote. “Here were a group of Jews with whom Mr. Corbyn has a political disagreement. And he smeared them not on the basis of that disagreement but on the basis of their ethnicity. He accused them of failing to assimilate English values, of not fitting in, of still being a bit foreign. Had they been Christian Zionists, he could not have insulted them in this way.”

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a British watchdog group, has called on Corbyn to step down from the Labour Party.

“We had hoped that the Labour Party might at some point rise to the defense of British Jews by removing Jeremy Corbyn or by demanding his resignation, but the institutions of the once proudly anti-racist Labour Party are now corrupted and will not act,” the watchdog organization said. “Instead, they merely persecute those members who stand up to anti-Semitism.”

British PM Frontrunner: Zionists Have ‘No Sense of English Irony’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has found himself in yet another anti-Semitic controversy, as a video clip from 2013 shows him stating that Zionists have “no sense of English irony.”

Corbyn was speaking at a London conference that was promoted by Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ propaganda arm, that featured “a range of anti-Semites, homophobes and conspiracy theorists,” according to the UK Daily Mail. Corbyn said that British Zionists “don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

Other speakers at the conference included Daud Abdullah, who called for attacks against the Royal Navy and led a boycott against Holocaust Memorial Day.

Corbyn has been heavily criticized for these unearthed remarks. For instance, the UK Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone wrote on Friday that while he has been defending Corbyn in a string of recent controversies, the “no sense of English irony” comment is “unquestionably anti-Semitic.”

“To generalize about any race or religion is discriminatory,” Hattenstone wrote. “And if there were ever a clear example of somebody conflating Zionist with Jews, this appears to be it. Let’s play the traditional ‘swap the minority’ game. Instead of ‘Zionists’ let’s make it, say, Muslims or African-Caribbeans or Asians or Irish needing lessons in history or irony. Not nice, eh?”

Corbyn has also come under fire for laying a wreath at the graves of the Munich 1972 terrorists.

The Looming Deaths of Litmus Tests

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, visits the Alexander Dennis Bus Factory in Falkirk, Scotland, Britain August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Jeremy Corbyn may become Britain’s next prime minister. If so, he could become one of the most challenging political figures Israel has ever encountered. And he could become the most hostile leader ever to head a friendly country.

Corbyn could pose a diplomatic dilemma of great magnitude for Israel: What do you do when an anti-Semite, a supporter of terrorists, a vehement anti-Zionist, an enemy — yes, I think Corbyn is Israel’s enemy — takes over leadership of a country that is both important and friendly.

Israel has a long history of dealing with unfriendly leaders of other countries. Many were heads of enemy countries. They were no surprise and no real challenge — you dealt with the leader the way you dealt with his or her country. Some leaders were not heads of enemy countries but of countries whose importance for Israel was marginal. Again, they posed relatively little challenge. 

Then there were the skeptical or reluctant heads of countries that were both important and generally friendly. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was such a leader of the United States. Francois Mitterrand was such a leader of France. Israel was not always pleased when it needed to interact with these men, but no sane observer of foreign affairs would claim that they were enemies of Israel. 

Israel has dealt with anti-Semitic leaders in the past. Luckily, most of them had one of two qualities: Either they made an effort to hide their tendencies, making it possible for Israel to ignore them, or they were leaders whom Israel could fairly easily ignore, such as Kurt Waldheim of Austria. 

Corbyn is different. He is a vicious enemy of Israel and the Jewish people. He is an enemy who might head an important and generally friendly country. If he were to become Britain’s next prime minister, how could Israel deal with him? How could it not? 

Litmus tests are important. They are signs of where the political winds are blowing.

It is not always easy to draw a clear line separating the ordinary critic of Israel — say, Barack Obama — from the hostile critic. Jimmy Carter? He worked for peace. Pat Buchanan? Ron Paul? As standard America-first politicians, had they been elected to a position of great power, they would worry Israel but not make it cringe in disbelief.

Corbyn, as a politician, is a clear-cut case — the clearest cut one can make in today’s world, when stating plainly that one hates Jews and Israel is still beyond a certain pale. Yet, Britain under Corbyn would be harder to pin down. If British voters choose to elect him, it will not be because of his attitudes toward Israel and Jews or a statement of their resentment toward Israel. It will be a statement of indifference. It will be a statement of “We have priorities other than Corbyn’s views on Israel.” 

A Corbyn victory would not mean Britain is anti-Semitic. It would mean that Britain no longer has a litmus test that determines anti-Semitism to be a disqualifier of politicians (assuming it had such a test in the post-World War II era). 

Litmus tests are important. They are signs of where the political winds are blowing. That’s why I am currently interested not just in British politics but also in the candidacy of Michigan congressional hopeful Rashida Tlaib, who last week lost the endorsement of J Street. Because of her views on Israel, not even the lefty Jewish group was willing to vouch for her. Tlaib won the Democratic primary and is running unopposed in the November general election race, so she is virtually assured of becoming a U.S. congresswoman. 

To be clear, Tlaib is no Corbyn. Not close. She did not carry flowers to the graves of terrorists. She has expressed no anti-Semitic views that I am aware of. But she supports a one-state solution — in other words, the elimination of Israel. To me, this seems like a signal of the possible looming death of the Israel litmus test or the two-state-solution litmus test as we have known it.

She will not be a prime minister of a country. She will only be a congresswoman whose impact on Israel is little or none. Corbyn worries me. Tlaib doesn’t. But the erosion of a litmus test is the erosion of a litmus test in both cases.


Shmuel Rosner is senior political editor. For more analysis of Israeli and international politics, visit Rosner’s Domain at jewishjournal.com/rosnersdomain.

Britain’s Corbyn Reportedly Met With Hamas Leaders in 2010

Photo from Wikipedia.

A recent report from i24 News states that UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn met with Hamas leaders in 2010, back when he was a largely unknown member of parliament.

According to i24, Corbyn visited Hamas leaders Aziz Dweik, Mahmoud al Ramahi, Muna Saleem Mansour, Naser Abd El-Jawad and Omar Abdel Razeq in Ramallah, as well as Hamas leaders Ahmed Attoun, Khaled Abu-Arafah and Muhammad Totah in East Jerusalem. Corbyn did not meet with a single Jewish Israeli on his trip.

After the trip, Corbyn wrote in The Morning Star, “It is time to bring those Israelis who committed crimes against humanity to account and to end the EU [European Union] Israel Trade Agreement while the occupation and settlement policy continues.”

The trip was funded by Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and Friends of Al-Aqsa. The aforementioned groups provided Corbyn with £927 ($1,500), well above the £660 ($840) gift threshold in which MPs have to report to parliament. But Corbyn never reported the trip to parliament.

The i24 report is the latest in a series of Palestinian terror-related controversies for Corbyn. Photos unearthed by the UK Daily Mail showed Corbyn laying a wreath at a Tunisia ceremony commemorating the 1972 Munich terrorists. An August 21 Daily Mail report showed photos of Corbyn in 2015 speaking to Hamas supporters in Parliament, including one Hamas supporter who said he wished he could conduct a suicide bombing for “Palestine.”

Palestinian Ambassador Manuel Hassassian praised Corbyn and the Labour Party for being “principled” on their watered-down anti-Semitism rules. Hamas said they “Salute Jeremy Corbyn’s supportive positions to the Palestinians.”

Corbyn Ties Ceremony Honoring Terrorists to ‘Peace Process’

Photo from Flickr.

Photos recently unearthed by the UK Daily Mail showed UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn laying a wreath at a 2014 Tunisia ceremony commemorating the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics. Corbyn told Channel 4 News that he did so to “have a peace process.”

Channel 4’s Clare Fallon asked if he laid a wreath on or nearby the graves of the terrorists, prompting Corbyn to respond that the terrorists were killed in Israeli operations in Paris and Beirut that resulted in others dying “who were not involved in” the 1972 massacre, such as Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Abu Yusuf.

“I, along with other colleagues who were delegates at the conference, laid a wreath in memory of all those that have died in the hope that we have a peace process and peace in the future,” Corbyn said, “so those raids are never repeated.”

Corbyn added that “the way forward is of peace” and “dialogue” instead of “bombing” or “shooting civilians in Gaza.”

The Labour Party leader was asked again if he laid down a wreath; he responded that the wreath was in honor of those that died in the 1985 Israeli strike on Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters. Fallon pressed again on if the wreath was laid nearby the Munich terrorists and Corbyn said it was laid for “all those that had died.”

Corbyn was then asked if he took part in laying that wreath, and he replied by saying he “totally condemned” the 1972 Munich massacre.

Fallon eventually asked Corbyn if he ever “laid a wreath at the graves of Israelis who were killed in Palestinian attacks.”

“I’ve met many people from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, over the years,” Corbyn responded. “I’ve indeed visited the Knesset and I met visiting Israeli delegations into Britain and, of course, anybody killed in this awful conflict has to be mourned.”

However, The Israel Project’s Julie Lenarz noted in National Review, “Corbyn time and again has missed opportunities to meet with Israeli delegates and boycotted events with Israeli officials in attendance.”

In response to Corbyn, The UK Daily Mail showed a layout of the graves to argue that the photos do indeed show that Corbyn was at the graves of the Munich terrorists, not those that died in the 1985 strike against PLO headquarters.

The controversy appears to be taking a toll on Corbyn, as in another recent interview he is seen rolling his eyes in response to a question about the wreath. He has refused to apologize for attending the ceremony.

Corbyn is also under fire over an unearthed image of him giving the Muslim Brotherhood salute at a mosque in February.

 

MP Corbyn Attended 2014 Ceremony Honoring Munich Terrorists

Screenshot from Twitter.

After pictures emerged over the weekend of Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn attending a wreath-laying ceremony honoring the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics, Corbyn admitted on August 13 that he attended due to his desire to end terrorism.

Here are the pictures from the 2014 ceremony in Tunisia that were unearthed by the UK Daily Mail:

Initially, the Labour Party denied that Corbyn had taken part in the ceremony, claiming instead that he was at a memorial honoring 47 Palestinians that died in a 1985 airstrike in Tunisia. However:

But Corbyn is now admitting he attended the memorial for the 1972 Munich terrorists, although he’s claiming that he “was actually involved in” in the laying of the wreath.

“I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere, because we have to end it,” Corbyn told Sky News. “You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is by a cycle of dialogue.”

Corbyn’s explanation was not enough for Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, whose husbands died in the massacre, as they pointed out to Jewish News that Corbyn has yet to visit “the graves of our murdered fathers, sons and husbands.”

“For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity,” Spitzer and Romano said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against Corbyn for attending the 2014 ceremony:

Corbyn responded:

Netanyahu’s reference of Corbyn’s Israel-Nazi comparison appears to be in regards to a clip of Corbyn in 2013 stating at the Palestinian Return Centre that the Israeli “occupation” in the West Bank is equivalent to the “many people in Europe who suffered occupation during the Second World War, with the endless road blocks, imprisonment, irrational behavior by the military and the police.”

According to Jewish Virtual Library, 11 Palestinian terrorists who were part of the “Black September” faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) committed the 1972 massacre. Five of the terrorists initially took nine of the Israeli Olympic athletes hostage, demanding that Israel release 200 Arab prisoners in exchange for the hostages.

The plan was for the Germans to have hidden gunmen to kill the Palestinian terrorists when they came to release the Israelis at a NATO airbase, but there was just one problem – the Germans had been anticipating five Palestinian terrorists, but eight had shown up. The Germans still attempted to kill the Palestinian terrorists, but in the midst of the fight the terrorists murdered all nine of the Israeli hostages.

H/T: UK Independent

Corbyn Meets With Terror-Supporting Qatari Emir After Skipping Anti-Semitism Meeting

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn skipped a party meeting on July 23 about adopting an anti-Semitism code, but did meet with a Qatari emir that has expressed support for terror groups on the same day.

Corbyn and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani reportedly discussed the 2022 World Cup and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Al Thani has previously provided millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” to the Gaza Strip, which prompted a thank-you from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Al Thani has also reportedly defended Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which have been described by Corbyn as “friends,” although Al Thani has denied that report.

Additionally, Doha – Qatar’s capital – has recently become warm with the Iranian regime and its terror proxies, resulting in diplomatic isolation from the United States and Qatar’s Arab Gulf neighbors. Qatar has since joined in on sanctions on Hezbollah.

Doha also has a history of providing aid to terror groups like Hamas, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Labour Party members were irked that Corbyn did not attend the anti-Semitism meeting for the second week in a row and reportedly left the meeting feeling “gloomy.”

Anti-Semitism has plagued the party since Corbyn took the reins, and has become even more of an issue after Corbyn and the party leadership implemented watered-down anti-Semitism guidelines. Corbyn was even confronted by longtime Labour Party MP Margaret Hodge on the matter. The three leading Jewish newspapers in the United Kingdom penned a July 25 editorial warning that a Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn would pose “an existential threat to Jewish life in this country.”

Labour Party MP Calls Leader Corbyn Anti-Semitic; Party to ‘Take Action’ Against MP

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Hodge confronted the leader of her party, Jeremy Corbyn, and told him that he’s anti-Semitic. The Labour Party is planning to punish her for doing so.

Hodge decided to confront Corbyn after the party, at Corbyn’s urging, decided to uphold their new rules on anti-Semitism that have been criticized as being too weak.

“It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist,” Hodge told Corbyn.

Hodge defended her actions in an op-ed in The Guardian.

“Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been allowed to infect the party’s approach to growing anti-Semitism,” Hodge wrote. “It appears to have become a legitimate price that the leadership is willing to pay for pursuing the longstanding cause of Palestinians in the Middle East. Because of that, anti-Semitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Facebook, Twitter and in the post.”

Hodge noted that while she is a secular Jew, numerous members of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis, including her grandmother and uncle.

She added that the party has been uninterested in dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism and that under the new rules, party members could refer to a Jew as a Nazi and not be punished for it.

“A definition of sexual harassment agreed without the explicit endorsement of women would be unconscionable,” Hodge said. “A definition of Islamophobia that was rejected by the Muslim community would never be entertained. Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.”

The Labour Party signaled that it is planning on retaliating against Hodge for her actions.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behavior has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” a senior party official told the Guardian. “The behavior was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Seven-hundred people protested the Labour Party’s rules on July 19; no one from the Labour Party attended.

UK Labour Party Under Fire for Lackluster Anti-Semitism Guidelines

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party has been plagued by issues of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The party has since issued some new guidelines on anti-Semitism, and they have not been well-received by Jewish organizations.

The guidelines claim to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism, stating that anti-Semitism is racism and that it’s wrong to blame Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, as well as accuse Jews of double-loyalty to Israel.

However, as the Jewish Chronicle’s Lee Harpin points out, the guidelines state that while it is anti-Semitic to use slurs like “zio,” “It is not anti-Semitism to refer to ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ as part of a considered discussion about the Israeli state.” The guidelines also discourage against comparing the actions of Israel to the Nazis, however, “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors from examples of historic misconduct. It is not anti-Semitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of anti-Semitic intent.”

This prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Jonathan Greenblatt to tweet:

Additionally, Harpin noted that the guidelines state that it’s “problematic” for Israel to call itself the Jewish state.

British Jewish organizations have criticized the guidelines for not fully embracing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, namely the parts that state it’s anti-Semitic to delegitimize the state of Israel in order to prevent the Jews from exercising “their right to self-determination.”

“It is impossible to understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal definition,” The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said. “Its actions only dilute the definition and further erode the lack of confidence that British Jews have in their sincerity to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour movement.”

Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, with examples of him being involved in a secret Facebook group where people posted material from David Duke and used anti-Semitic slurs like “JewNazi,” as well as him praising the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” Given how close Corbyn was to becoming prime minister of Britain, the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism is particularly important to monitor going forward.

Labour Party Member Announces He’s Leaving the Party Over Its Anti-Semitism

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

A Jewish member of the Labour Party announced that he will be leaving the party due to the anti-Semitism plaguing the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jamie Susskind, an author, wrote in a letter that he posted to Twitter on April 25 that he had first joined the party as a teenager and served in executive positions at various Labour clubs.

“Being Jewish, being British, and fighting for social justice are therefore all wrapped up together in my identity,” Susskind wrote. “Until recently, Labour was part of that identity too.”

And yet, while Susskind acknowledged that most Labour Party members weren’t anti-Semitic, could no longer remain in the party due to the “insults and indignities” that the Labour Party has subjected Jews to.

“I can no longer belong, in good faith, to an institution that has allowed itself to become the foremost platform for anti-Semitism in British public life,” Susskind wrote. “Holocaust deniers and racists have been emboldened by the silence (and in some cases complicity) of senior figures in the party. In part, therefore, I am leaving Labour for the same reason that I joined: because I am Jewish.”

Susskind added that he didn’t want in any way responsible for any future electoral success the Labour Party may have.

“An institution that turns a blind eye to the injustice festering in its own ranks surrenders it claim to moral leadership of the country,” Susskind wrote. “And ‘comrades’ who tacitly offer a safe space for intolerance, or turn their faces from the suffering caused by racism (or misogyny, or any of the ills that afflict Labour) are not really comrades at all.”

Susskind concluded, “There is life beyond Labour, and I will try to find it.”

Anti-Semitism has become a major problem in the Labour Party under the leadership of Corbyn, who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was once part of an anti-Semitic Facebook group.

The full letter can be read below:

H/T: Tablet

Why Israel?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. The government of Israel responded to that atrocity, as well as Iran’s use of Syria as a thoroughfare for weapons transfers to terrorist groups like Hamas, by bombing Syria’s T4 airbase. The media responded by castigating Israel: for example, the Associated Press headlined, “Tensions ratchet up as Israel blamed for Syria missile strike,” and accompanied that story with a photo of suffering Syrian children targeted by Assad, making it seem that Israel had targeted the children.

That media treatment was no surprise — the week before, the terrorist group Hamas used large-scale protests against Israel on the Gaza border as a cover for terrorist attacks on Israeli troops. When Israeli troops responded with force, the media falsely suggested that Israel had indiscriminately fired into the crowd. Meanwhile, reporters touted the story of a supposed photographer killed by Israeli forces; it turns out that the photographer was a known Hamas officer.

A few weeks earlier and some 2,000 miles away in France, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was stabbed 11 times and her body set on fire by a Muslim neighbor who knew her well, and had convictions for rape and sexual assault. In 2017, there were 92 violent anti-Semitic incidents in France, a 28 percent year-on-year increase.

Moving across the English Channel, Israel’s Labor Party finally was forced to cut ties completely with the leader of the U.K.’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime anti-Semite who has routinely made nice with terrorists and defended open Jew-hatred in public. And, of course, in the United States, the alt-right’s anti-Semitism continues to make public discourse more crude and the Women’s March continues to make nice with anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan.

In other words, there is a reason for Israel to exist.

Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world.

That reason is biblical, of course: Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and the wellspring of Jewish practice. God’s promise to the Jews is inextricably intertwined with the existence and future of the State of Israel.

But over the past few decades, too many Jews have forgotten about the practical need for the Jewish state. In the same way too many Jews ignored the Zionist movement, believing that assimilation into tolerant non-Jewish societies provided the best pathway to a decent life, too many Jews today see Israel as a remnant of a hackneyed and counterproductive ethnocentric worldview. That dislike for Israel’s very existence has led many Jews to demonstrate their “world citizen” bona fides by using every opportunity to criticize Israel.

But Israel’s existence is not about ethnocentrism. Israel is multiethnic and multicultural, of course: Judaism is a religion far more than an ethnicity, as Russian and Ethiopian Jews can attest. Israel’s existence, on a secular level, is about enshrining a state that is safe for Jews the world over — and that can defend Jews and Western values in the face of regional and international threats. When Israel stands up to Syrian atrocities, it is acting out of a Judaic commitment to prevent the degradation of human beings made in God’s image; when Israel offers a road for European Jews on the verge of extinction, it is acting not merely out of solidarity but out of decency. Israel is a decent country, because it was founded on a decent purpose — and because it was founded on the basis of a tradition of decency.

That doesn’t mean Israel’s government is mistake-free. Far from it. But Israel’s extraordinary treatment at the hands of the world community is a demonstration that Israel is an outlier — and that’s a good thing. The United Nations that condemns Israel is filled with repressive dictatorships and corrupt plutocracies; the supposed “family of nations” is more like a squabbling band of self-interested moral idiots.

When Syrian children, mostly Muslim, gasp from chlorine poisoning, it is Israeli jets that provide a possible respite. Israel doesn’t act out of the pure goodness of its heart; it acts from self-interest. But Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world. Forgetting that means trusting that the better angels of others’ natures will persevere over their internal devils. Historically, that’s been a rotten bet.


Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

Report: Jeremy Corbyn Once Part of Anti-Semitic Facebook Group

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Times of Israel (TOI) is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, was once part of a Facebook group that was laced with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content.

Members of the Palestine Live Facebook group that Corbyn was reportedly part of frequently shared content from anti-Semites like David Duke and posted anti-Semitic slurs such as “ZioNazi” and “JewNazi.” Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews running the media and being involved in the 9/11 terror attacks permeated the group.

The group was a secret job on Facebook, meaning that members had to be invited and approved by the group admin.

There were a few instances where Corbyn posted in the group, including him lauding the UK parliament’s decision “to unilaterally recognize the state of Palestine” and referring to a Norwegian doctor who has banned from Israel as his friend. He was in the group for at least year before leaving in 2015, when he became leader of the Labour Party.

Corbyn’s spokesperson issued a statement that did not mention the group.

“Jeremy condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms in the strongest possible terms,” the spokesperson said. “He does not want the support of anti-Semites, who have no place whatsoever in the Labour movement.”

The TOI report would be the latest example of Corbyn being tied to anti-Semitic individuals and organizations. Corbyn has previously referred to the Jew-hating terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was supportive of Deir Yassin Remembered, which is filled with Holocaust deniers. Corbyn also once worked for Iran’s state media outlet Press TV. Anti-Semitism has also risen within the ranks of the Labour Party since Corbyn took over as leader of the party.

In June, Corbyn was dangerously close to becoming prime minister of Britain.

The stakes in the UK for Democracy and decency

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, leaves his home on the morning after Britain's election in London, Britain, on June 9. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

As British voters went to the polls in a fateful Thursday election, the results were a nail biter that left Tory Prime Minister’s House of Commons majority and prime ministership hanging in the balance.

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen a few days earlier came out in an opinion piece (“A Case for Jeremy Corbyn, June 5) outright endorsing not only the Labour Party but radical Labour Party leader PM Jeremy Corbyn.

He’s against incumbent May not only for trying to preserve the U.K.-U.S. “special relationship” during the turbulent times of the Trump Administration, but for doing so in a way that Cohen deems, let’s be frank, unseemly sucking up to President Donald Trump.

Cohen, an important columnist, has a right to his opinion. But he was sucking up to Jeremy Corbyn and this is deplorable and, indeed, despicable and a threat to democracy in troubled times.

The UK election campaign occurred in an election atmosphere not only permeated by anxieties over renewed terrorism but in a miasma of anti-Semitism.

At the Bear Pit, an outdoor popular venue in Bristol, a giant campaign banner showed Prime Minister May in Star of David-shaped earrings, which some Jewish observers called “anti-Semitic.” The banner listed positive statements about Labour Party leader Corbyn and negative ones about May. One Jewish Bristol citizen asked, “I can’t believe stuff I haven’t heard of, or seen since I was a child is now happening again. It makes me sick.”

In Surrey, Alex Goldberg, the Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surrey Police, said in a post on Facebook Sunday that he is proud of his daughter, Hannah, “for standing up to sexism, racism and religious abuse,” but was “Less proud of the police service that I have worked with for over two decades in failing to respond to three girls being attacked and racially abused.” Hannah Goldberg and her two friends, who her father said were identifiable as religious Jews due to their long skirts, were in a London-area park on May 27 when they were attacked by teens playing basketball. A bystander call the police, which did not show up for two hours, pleading a communications mix up.

According to London’s Jewish Chronicle, in Manchester, where the terrible terror attack of a few weeks ago claimed 22 lives, police reported that arson attacks on two kosher restaurants that are “anti-Semitic hate crimes” occurred within five days of each other.

The Labour campaign was also embarrassed by revelations that in 2002 Corbyn addressed a rally attended by 300 members of extremist group Al Muhajiroun where audience members shouted slogans calling for Israelis to be gassed. Khuram Butt, one of the three London Bridge/Borough Market murderers, was a supporter of and an associate Al Muhajiroun leader and jailed hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

Corbyn’s left-wing views are not the problem. It is his beyond-the-bounds apologetics for Mideast terrorism in many forms both during and after his campaign. It is fine that he is sympathetic to the Palestinians, but not that he embraces Hamas as well as Fatah, and celebrates Palestinian terrorists as martyrs. Ditto his admiration for the Tehran Mullahs. And his coddling up with U.K. Muslim incendiary preachers like those who helped inspire the recent London Bridge attack. He vilely has attacked Israel. He has impugned reporters who ask him tough questions as Jewish and suggests somehow having relatives who died in the Holocaust disqualifies them from doing so. He has equated Zionism with the Nazis and Hitler.

That such a man should become U.K. PM is unthinkable. The only historical analogy to Cohen’s endorsement we can think of comes from the 1930s when French rightists rejected Socialist Leon Blum under the slogan “Better Hitler than Blum.” Corbyn is not Hitler, but he is bad enough. Cohen’s endorsement of him is pure political nihilism.

Even those of us who usually do not take partisan positions in elections, here and abroad, sometimes do have to take a moral position.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat, also in the New York Times (“A Very British Radical, June 7), pointed out that the mainstream international press was understandably outraged by France’s right-wing presidential candidate Marine Le Pen insufficient attempts to distance herself from the anti-Semitic history of her party, France’s National Front, and her father Jean Marie Le Pen. But at the same time they treated Corbyn’s refusal to even attempt to distance himself from his anti-Semitic past I an entirely different manner: “Le Pen was cast as the madwoman in the attic, poised to set fire to the mansion. But outside Britain’s right-wing newspapers, Corbyn is portrayed more as the balmy uncle in the conservatory, puttering around with tulips and murmuring about the class struggle. Nobody exactly thinks he would be a good prime minister, but there isn’t a palpable fear that his election would be an emergency for liberal democracy.”

Roger Cohen is wrong. For the sake of democracy and decency, let us hope that Jeremy Corbyn does not squeak out an upset victory become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


Historian Harold Brackman is a long-time consultant  for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The views expressed here are not the official position of either the Center or the Museum.

UK Jewish audience challenges Jeremy Corbyn on anti-Semitism charges

Facing questions from a Jewish audience about his party’s anti-Semitism problem, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to say whether the movement will kick out one of its most often accused offenders, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Corbyn spoke about Livingstone and other issues connected to allegations of anti-Semitism on Sunday during a debate with Owen Smith, who is challenging Corbyn for the party’s leadership, at London’s JW3 Jewish community center. It was one of the most public appearances by Corbyn at a Jewish forum in recent years.

Hundreds of people attended the debate. Despite some jeering at Corbyn, it went off without incident.

Corbyn has faced allegations that his pro-Palestinian politics and endorsement of radical anti-Semites has encouraged hate speech against Jews. Livingstone sparked outrage in April when he said in an interview that Adolf Hitler was essentially “supporting Zionism” when he called for the expulsion of Jews in 1932.

When asked by a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews whether Labour intends to expel Livingstone, Corbyn was circumspect.

“OK, Ken Livingstone was suspended for the remarks he made, he’s under investigation, due process will follow,” Corbyn said.

Smith then said he suspected Livingstone will be allowed back into the party.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended and several expelled from the party since February, when the British media began scrutinizing the proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents within Labour after the election last year of Corbyn. In 2009, Corbyn called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends,” a comment he later walked back. He has also called for boycotts against Israeli settlements.

Last month, British Jewish leaders dismissed an internal party report about the problem as a “whitewash” and accused Corbyn of rewarding the author by appointing her as a lawmaker.

Shami Chakrabarti, a human rights activist and Labour member, was recommended by Labour for peerage – a term that means being appointed to the House of Lords — last month. In her report, she asserted that while there is  an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” against Jews in Labour, anti-Semitism is not prevalent in the party’s ranks. Peerage is ultimately given by the Royal House.

Corbyn reiterated during the debate his commitment to opposing all forms of racism.

London’s Muslim mayor hit with anti-Semitic messages for not backing Corbyn to lead Labour

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, has been bombarded with anti-Semitic messages since he said he would not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election.

Several of the messages suggested that he had been influenced by Jews, the London-based news website Jewishnews.uk reported.

The mayor “spends his time writing articles to help his masters in Tel Aviv,” read one tweet.

“Who owns you @sadiqkhan?” read another, which included a photo of Khan wearing a kippah while eating matzah at a Jewish community event.

Last week, Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010 and is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership. Smith previously worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC.

Khan, a Labour member, wrote an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper in support of Smith. He said in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. Khan also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.”

In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in London and in the Labour Party.

Some 500,000 ballots for the leadership race were sent out to party members on Monday; the results will be announced next month.

Jewish lawmaker in Britain threatens to quit Labour over anti-Semitism issue

Parry Mitchell, a Jewish member of Britain’s House of Lords, said he will resign if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as Labour Party leader.

Writing Tuesday in The Times of London, Mitchell said a report which found that anti-Semitism is not endemic in Britain’s Labour Party was an “insipid whitewash” and vowed to leave the party if Corbyn retains his post in a September leadership contest.

“Anti-Semitism has no part in a progressive party. I have come to the painful conclusion that were Mr. Corbyn to be re-elected next month, I will have to resign my membership of the Labour Party,” Mitchell wrote, according to the website City AM.

The report, prepared by Labour member Shami Chakrabarti in the wake of several anti-Israel statements by Labour lawmakers, found that while there is “occasionally toxic atmosphere” against Jews in Labour, anti-Semitism is not prevalent in the party’s ranks. The report was harshly criticized by British Jews.

In an interview with Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, Mitchell said there had been a “hijack” of the party by the far left and expressed hope that British Jews would back his stance.

Jeremy Corbyn says he regrets support for Hamas, Hezbollah

Britain opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said he regrets supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, and that comments by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone asserting that Hitler supported Zionism were “wrong.”

Corbyn testified on Monday before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee hearing on rising anti-Semitism.

Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends” after inviting representatives from both terrorist groups to visit the British Parliament as his guests, is accused of encouraging vitriol against Israel and Jews by not distancing himself from groups such as Hamas.

“It was inclusive language I used which, with hindsight, I would rather not have used,” he said of using the term “friends” to describe Hezbollah and Hamas activists. “I regret using those words. I have done so on many occasions.”

Corbyn was asked about remarks that Livingstone made in April during a radio interview, in which he asserted that Hitler’s policy when he was elected in 1932 that Jews should be moved out of Europe and be moved to Israel was  “supporting Zionism.” Livingstone was suspended from the party for the remark.

“Ken Livingstone made remarks that are wholly unacceptable and wrong,” Corbyn said.

Corbyn rejected a question about whether he was fostering an atmosphere of anti-Semitism in the Labor Party that he heads.

“That is unfair. I want a party that is open for all,” Corbyn asserted. “A long time ago there were sometimes anti-Semitic remarks made, when I first joined the party and later on. In recent years, no, and in my constituency not at all.”

He rejected reports saying that he compared Israel to the Islamic State in a speech against anti-Semitism delivered last week.

It is reported to be the first time that an opposition leader has given testimony to a select committee hearing.

Brexit splits UK from Europe and Labour from its party leader

Only a week ago, Jeremy Corbyn seemed to have survived his biggest public relations debacle as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party:  the proliferation of anti-Semitic rhetoric among its members.

Yet this week, the British vote to leave the European Union achieved what Corbyn’s opponents failed to do in their attacks against him over anti-Semitism.

On Tuesday, 172 Labour lawmakers among the total 229 in the Parliament said they had no confidence in Corbyn, opening the door to a challenge that if co-signed by 51 lawmakers will lead to internal elections.

The previous day, the party’s leadership abandoned Corbyn in a mass walkout over his perceived failure to effectively lobby against the Brexit, which a majority of voters supported in Thursday’s referendum.

Relying on strong popular support in the Labour rank-and-file and ignoring calls to resign by former supporters who quit in protest of his leadership, Corbyn is holding on to his seat. Critics say he risks splitting and ruining a party that used to be a natural political home for British minority groups, including many from the Jewish community.

On Monday and Tuesday, 24 Labour shadow ministers – senior lawmakers who hold key portfolios within the opposition party – resigned their roles, citing Corbyn’s handling of the Brexit vote. A former Euro-sceptic, Corbyn led a “stay” campaign that was so lackluster and low-key that he faced accusations within his party of deliberately sabotaging the party position.

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative who campaigned vigorously for a stay vote, announced his resignation following the referendum’s result, citing a need for leadership that reflects the will of the majority of British voters.

Corbyn, however, dug in his heels. After the walkout and no-confidence vote, he issued a defiant statement saying he would not betray those who voted for him by resigning.

“I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60% of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today’s vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy,” he said.

Among the Labourites bolting over the Brexit issue was Luciana Berger, a Jewish lawmaker who had resisted repeated calls by Jews and non-Jews to distance herself from Corbyn over the anti-Semitism issue in the party.

“I have always served the Labour leader and our party with loyalty,” Berger wrote in her resignation letter, in which she also noted Corbyn “always served with great principle” and has shown her “nothing but kindness.” Berger, the shadow minister on mental health, said she was resigning “with deep sadness” because “loyalty to the party must come first” and because “we need a Labour leader who can unite our party.”

Like other senior Labour lawmakers, Berger stuck with Corbyn throughout the anti-Semitism controversy “because she wanted to make a difference in her field of political engagement,” David Hirsh, a British Jewish columnist and prominent sociologist at the University of London, told JTA.

She was able to do so, added Hirsh, who is a Labour member and critic of Corbyn, because “while the anti-Semitism issue certainly hurt Corbyn, he had temporarily defused it” by setting up an internal inquiry. But the Brexit vote “has led to such a political and economic crisis in Britain that Corbyn’s Labour opponents did not feel they could remain silent any longer.”

With the Conservative Party in turmoil over Cameron’s resignation, elections may be around the corner, possibly this year. Corbyn is widely seen as too radical to be voted into a position of power.

“Corbyn cannot win a general election, so Labour politicians no longer feel they have the luxury of waiting to see what happens. They feel they need to act now,” Hirsh said.

The attempted coup against Corbyn comes amid a widening split within Labour between its moderate center and the left-of-center camp supporting Corbyn. A hard-core socialist that has major traction with anti-establishment voters, Corbyn used to vote left of Labour before he came to lead the party. His rise within Labour coincided with an influx into the party of tens of thousands of his supporters – a process that many observers said also led to the proliferation of anti-Semitic speech and conspiracy theories.

Under fire by senior party members who accused him of either doing too little to curb the phenomenon or of contributing to it with his open endorsement of anti-Israel terrorists, Corbyn took a serious beating in the mainstream media. The pressure mounted after Ken Livingstone, a former mayor of London, said Adolf Hitler was a Zionist. Livingstone was suspended from the party.

Hirsh said the influx of left-of-center supporters may mean that Corbyn is correct in asserting that he represents the majority of Labour members. But the growing gap between his supporters and a substantial part of Labour’s leadership and establishment risks tearing apart Labour, splitting it into centrist and radical factions, he added.

The concern over a split in the Labour Party into a radical and moderate wing also exists for the Conservative Party, which is also divided on the Brexit issue.

If radical Conservatives prevail, it will be at the expense of Cameron’s camp, which many British Jews credit with leading an essentially liberal democratic line and resolute opposition to racism. A right-of-center victory could encourage xenophobia – a prospect the Board of Deputies of British Jews already warned about in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Corbyn himself has stressed that he rejects all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. But like many British Jews and the community’s leadership, Hirsh insists that “the Corbynite wing of the Labour Party carries anti-Semitic ways of thinking.” To the extent that it is successful in mainstream politics, he added, “it will carry that with it into British political life.”

Britain’s Labour reportedly has suspended 50 members over racism, anti-Semitism

Britain’s Labour Party reportedly has secretly suspended 50 members in the past two months over anti-Semitic and racist comments.

The suspensions by the party’s compliance unit were reported in the British daily The Telegraph on Monday evening, citing a senior source within the party. Up to 20 members have been suspended in the past two weeks, the source said. Some 13 members have been publicly named since October.

On Monday, the party suspended three local lawmakers over a span of several hours for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic social media postings.

The Daily Mirror accused party head Jeremy Corbyn of playing down the issue of anti-Semitism and racism in the party after he said in an interview with the London-based newspaper: ‘What there is is a very small number of people that have said things that they should not have done. We have therefore said they will be suspended and investigated.”

On April 28, the party suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for saying that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a Zionist for advocating in 1932 a policy of moving Europe’s Jews to Israel.

The following day, Labour said it would launch an investigation into anti-Semitism in the party. Corbyn also said in a statement that he would propose a new party code of conduct that would “make explicitly clear for the first time that Labour will not tolerate any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, in the party.”

Corbyn, a harsh critic of Israel who has called Hezbollah and Hamas activists “friends,” has been criticized for not doing enough to curb the rising anti-Semitic rhetoric in his party and has been accused of encouraging vitriol against Israel and Jews by not distancing himself from groups such as Hamas.

Local elections in Britain, including for mayor of London, are scheduled for Thursday in a race that Labour’s candidate, Sadiq Khan, is favored to win, which would make him the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city. Labour, however, is expected to lose tens of seats nationwide. Khan is among those who have called for Livingstone’s expulsion from the party.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Member of Parliament Naz Shah, who was suspended from the party last week for a a 2014 Facebook post called for relocating the entire State of Israel to the United States, resigned from a Home Affairs Select Committee investigating anti-Semitism in the party. The committee agreed at her request to excuse Shah “until her current issues have been resolved,” The Telegraph reported.

British political donor: Jews quit giving to Labour because of anti-Semitism ‘problem’

A major Jewish donor to Britain’s Labour Party said no big Jewish donor has given money to the party this year because they are “concerned about the direction the party is taking.”

Michael Foster, whose family gave the party more than $570,000 during the 2015 general elections, wrote in an Op-Ed in the Daily Mail that party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s view that there is “no crisis” over anti-Semitism in the party “shows only his callousness and contempt for the history of the Jews in Europe.”

“Jeremy Corbyn continues to ignore the problem – and that shocks me,” Foster wrote. “He makes no attempt at all to put at ease a Jewish community in Britain that for more than 100 years has supported Labour spiritually, politically and financially. The community looks on in horror that a supposedly civilized man cannot understand the pain and fear that many on the Left of the Labour Party inflict without any worry of disciplinary action from the leadership. All Jeremy Corbyn dispenses are palliative statements, lumping anti-Semitism with racism.”

Foster wrote that it is no wonder that elements of the party are attacking Jews when the party leader appears to approve of their messages.

“Why would any of these ignorant people hold back on their attacks against individual Jews and the Jewish community when all through the Labour leadership election Corbyn would not distance himself from accusations the supported organizations calling for the destruction of Israel?” he wrote.

“The Jewish community has protested clearly and often, and will continue to do so. Yet I will vouch that Jeremy Corbyn will do nothing,” Foster said. “He is too weak to stand up against the wing of the party on whose support he relies. These people have a Pavlovian reaction to Jews and Israel: see a Jew, see an anti-Palestinian.”

Corbyn last week defended a remark by his brother, Piers, dismissed as “absurd” allegations that Labour was not properly handing anti-Semitism, adding that “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”

Since Corbyn’s election to head Labour in September, the party has seen a string of scandals involving alleged anti-Semitism, including at its Oxford University chapter, which is now the subject of a party probe. Last week, Labour activist Bob Campbell said on Facebook that the ISIS terrorist group is run by Israel. He was reported to have been suspended as a party member, though he has denied the action has taken place.

Separately, a Labour lawmaker in Parliament, Vicki Kirby, was suspended after it was revealed she suggested in a series of social media posts that Adolf Hitler might be a “Zionist god,” saying Jews have “big noses” and asking why ISIS was not attacking Israel.

The party over the weekend suspended a Muslim municipal lawmaker over anti-Semitic tweets written before she was elected, including one praising Adolf Hitler as the “greatest man in history.”

British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said Osama bin Laden was framed for 9/11

Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of Britain’s Labor Party, claimed more than a decade ago that Osama bin Laden was framed for 9/11.

Corbyn wrote in a 2003 article for the London-based Morning Star newspaper that the United States and Britain made it look like bin Laden, the head of al-Qaida, was responsible for the attacks in order to allow the West to go to war in Afghanistan, the British daily newspaper The Telegraph reported over the weekend.

“Historians will study with interest the news manipulation of the past 18 months,” Corbyn wrote in 2003 in the Morning Star, a Socialist publication. “After September 11, the claims that bin Laden and al-Qaida had committed the atrocity were quickly and loudly made. This was turned into an attack on the Taliban and then, subtly, into regime change in Afghanistan.”

Corbyn, who has been accused of being anti-Israel, was criticized in the days before winning the Labor leadership on Sept. 12 after saying it was a “tragedy” that bin Laden was killed before he could be put on trial for the 9/11 attacks.

He has called Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends,” and recently defended an Anglican minister who posted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online. Corbyn also has publicly endorsed a blanket arms embargo on Israel and the boycott of Israeli universities involved in weapons research.

The publication of Corbyn’s comments came as the Labor Party was preparing for its annual conference, which runs Sunday to Wednesday. A number of Labor Party lawmakers are expected to use the conference to publicly state that the party is unelectable under Corbyn, according to the Telegraph.

Corbyn succeeded Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, as the opposition party’s leader.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn and British Jewry may need to make up

Jeremy Corbyn, the new head of Britain’s opposition Labor Party, has many of the makings of a hero for British Jews.

A Labor lawmaker with over 30 years of experience, Corbyn passionately and eloquently defends blue-collar Britain, multiculturalism and a left-of-center notion of social justice. These are issues that resonate with Britain’s 250,000-strong Jewish community, which has historically leaned Labor.

Yet Corbyn’s election earlier this month has generated unprecedented concern in British Jewry’s ranks, where many resent his Israel-critical views and endorsement of anti-Semitic enemies of the Jewish state, including Islamist militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Following an acrimonious exchange of allegations during Corbyn’s campaign for Labor leader, he and representatives of British Jewry may now find they need to mend fences and figure out a way to work together.

“The problem is not that Corbyn is an anti-Semite or a Holocaust denier – he is neither,” said Dave Rich, a spokesperson for the Community Security Trust, British Jewry’s main watchdog. But Corbyn “seems to gravitate towards people who are, if they come with an anti-Israel sticker on them.”

Corbyn, 66, who has visited the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel nine times, publicly endorsed a blanket arms embargo on Israel and the boycott of Israeli universities involved in weapons research.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, a Jewish political commentator and journalist, said Corbyn’s election “and failure to convincingly and definitively distance himself from his endorsements of anti-Semitic entities is sure to embolden the anti-Israel camp, and its anti-Semites.”

Ambrosine Shitrit, co-founder of Yad B’yad, a right-leaning British anti-Semitism watchdog, called Corbyn’s election “one of the most tragic things to have happened to Labor.”

Corbyn’s Jewish critics have said that if he is to be trusted, he must first clarify or backtrack from a string of gestures he made toward anti-Semitic individuals and groups.

Famous among those gestures was his use during a speech he made in 2009 of the term “friends” to describe activists from Hezbollah and Hamas.

“Tomorrow evening it will be my pleasure and my honor to host an event in parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking,” Corbyn said of members of the Shiite Islamist militia and political party, whose leaders have made numerous anti-Semitic statements.

On Hamas — a Palestinian Islamic military and political group whose charter proclaims “a very great and very serious struggle against the Jews” — Corbyn said, “I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well. Unfortunately the Israelis would not allow them to travel here.”

Labeling Hamas a terrorist group, Corbyn added, was “a big, big historical mistake.”

In another widely cited incident, Holocaust denier Paul Eisen wrote that Corbyn donated money to his Palestinian advocacy group, Deir Yassin Remembered.

Corbyn denied the claim and said during a television interview in July that he did not agree with Hamas and Hezbollah. He called them friends only, he said, as a figure of speech. He defended his talks with militant Islamists by comparing them to right-wing Israelis, “who have the same view possibly that the state of Israel should extend from the river to the sea.”

His explanations failed to convince supporters of Israel and Labor Jews, including lawmaker Ivan Lewis, who following Corbyn’s election quit his Labor position as shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

Lewis challenged Corbyn to attend a meeting on anti-Semitism on the political left, and Corbyn accepted this week. The meeting, Lewis said, is meant in part to address “Jeremy’s support in the past for people who have used anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

Corbyn faces a chorus of other Labor critics, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who say the Labor leader’s radically socialist views on the economy will either split Labor, make it unelectable as a ruling party or both.

One of the most dramatic twists in Corbyn’s strained relationship with British Jewry’s establishment unfolded on Aug. 14, when The Jewish Chronicle — neither a right-wing publication nor one prone to making unfounded claims — warned in an editorial that Corbyn risked being “regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community.”

Speaking for what the paper said was “the vast majority of British Jews,” the Chronicle’s unusually harsh-worded editorial spoke of “deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr. Corbyn’s election as Labor leader.”

Yet British Jews also have an interest in working with Corbyn, as evidenced in a Sept. 12 statement by Simon Johnson, CEO of Britain’s Jewish Leadership Council, an umbrella group with representation by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Despite “a number of concerns regarding some of Mr. Corbyn’s past connections,” Johnson wrote, “We will, as we always have, find ways of working with Her Majesty’s Opposition on matters relevant to us.” He added, “We hope that the Labor movement remains a welcoming environment for members of the Jewish community, many of whom have lifelong commitments to it.”

Johnson’s statement reflects a mutual need by Corbyn and the British Jews for cooperation. This need will prevail — perhaps through a succession of low-key, trust-building encounters — over the current atmosphere of distrust, according to Keith Harris-Kahn, a London-area Jewish sociologist and editor of the Jewish Journal of Sociology.

“It’s a very bad idea for the Jewish community to not have workable relationships with the major opposition party,” Harris-Kahn said, citing the community’s need to avoid partisanship and promote its interest in various British parliaments.

For Corbyn, Harris-Kahn said, “as a politician aspiring to be the prime minister of a multicultural country, it’s a very bad idea for him to be alienated from the majority of one significant British minority.”