Europe

Corbyn’s Ascendance: A Dark Day for the UK

The U.K. election is over and Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has failed in a spectacular fashion to win a majority. The result has been announced as a hung parliament, meaning that not a single party can govern alone. May met with the Queen to seek permission to form a minority government with the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party.

She called a snap election two months ago, risking her government’s fragile majority for the chance to win a bigger majority against an apparently hopeless opposition led by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn. With the Conservatives 20 points ahead in the polls, a landslide victory that would have equipped May with a stronger mandate seemed in the cards. But after one of the most dramatic collapses in British political history, the country has been plunged into chaos just ten days before crucial Brexit negotiations are scheduled with the European Union.

Astonishingly — most of all in light of the horrific terrorist attacks in Manchester and London — millions of British voters decided that May’s total lack of charisma and the Conservative’s botched election campaign deserved more punishment than Corbyn’s decades-long record of betraying the interests of the U.K., during which he hosted, promoted, and vigorously defended terrorists, Islamic extremists, bloodthirsty dictatorships, and vicious anti-Semites. In other words, Corbyn is the repudiation of everything Britain is supposed to stand for.

So what went wrong? Corbyn is a veteran campaigner. Long years of activism have equipped him with skills that helped him win over voters on the campaign trail. May, on the other hand, looked like a being from a different universe, unable to connect with ordinary people. Labour combined Corbyn’s personal appeal with a manifesto that promised everything without explaining how it would be done, thinking they could get away with it since they had no chance of winning the election anyway. And it worked. Especially young voters turned out in large numbers to lend their support to Labour.

This is of course not the first time that an opposition party has done well based on false promises. The shift is not so much political. But what has shifted is the country’s moral compass.  Corbyn has set a new standard. Apparently you can for decades rub shoulders with extremists and get away with it in a general election.

Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour has abandoned its tradition opposition to all kinds of racism. Anti-Semitism has become institutionalized and socially acceptable in many Labour circles, including local councils and Labour student societies.

Corbyn enjoys massive support on British campuses, where students readily buy into his simplistic narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In their mind, Hamas is a legitimate resistance movement, Israel a genocidal apartheid state.

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party rose to such appalling levels under his tenure that he was forced to set up an inquiry. It ended in disaster. At the inquiry’s launch, Corbyn showed how utterly ignorant he is of the concerns of the Jewish community. During his speech, he said Jews were “no more responsible” for Israel’s actions than Muslims were for “those various self-styled Islamic states”.  Later, Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth left the event in tears after being accused of conspiring with the media against Corbyn. Shami Chakrabarti, who led the supposedly independent inquiry, was made a Labour peer 35 days later.

Every year on Holocaust Memorial Day we say “never again”, and yet a significant number of British voters have just voted for a man who is linked to individuals and groups that preach exactly that: the mass murder of Jews.

Hamas, his “friends”, in their charter explicitly call for genocide against the Jewish people. Hezbollah, also his “friends”, are right now stocking up their arsenals to launch a new war and kill Israeli civilians. Corbyn took 20,000 pounds from the Islamic Republic, a regime that, in its own words, wants to erase Israel from the map. He has donated to an organization led by a man who denies the slaughter of 6 million Jews at the hand of the Nazi regime.

When casting their ballots, British voters were motivated by a variety of concerns – Brexit, the economy, education and health. But make no mistake, a vote for Corbyn was an endorsement for him and the values, or rather the lack thereof, he stands for.

After the election result, any hopes for Labour to regroup under a different leader have been destroyed. Corbyn and his clique are not going to go anywhere and will change the Labour Party beyond recognition.  This is not just a sad day for Jews. It is a dark day for the country.

[Photo: Chatham House ]