February 22, 2019

The Genius of Jeremy Corbyn

“For most of his career, before being unexpectedly elected as leader of the British Labor party in September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was a backbench politician of hard-left views, an active supporter of anti-Western causes in general, and an outspoken proponent of the anti-Israel cause in particular.

His tenure as Labor leader has been no different. Since his election, he has retained his radical political platform, his deliberately cultivated bad-boy persona, his vow to “rebuild and transform” Britain in the image of Marxist-Leninist socialism—and his flamboyantly announced intention, should he someday become prime minister, to recognize “Palestine” on his first day in office.

No shortage of ink, digital and otherwise, has been spilled on Corbyn, his record, his utterances, and his meteoric rise. In what follows, I mean to explore the central role played by anti-Semitism in abetting and consolidating that rise, the adroitness of Corbyn’s management of the anti-Semitic theme, and the meaning for British politics of his success with it. I begin with some fundamentals.

At the heart of Corbyn’s political coterie sit anti-Israel organizations of both Marxist and Islamist origins. He himself personifies the program of the so-called red-green alliance, which coalesced ideologically around the principles of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The alliance holds that Israel is the “little Satan,” lesser only to the United States as the focal point of the evils that typify Western civilization as a whole. For the “red” part of the alliance, those evils are capitalism, imperialism, and racism; for the “green” part, domination by infidels.”

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