“The state of Israel must be given recognition by all; freed from terror; know that it is accepted as part of the future of the Middle East, not its very existence under threat,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed in his keynote speech at the Labour Conference in 2001.
Now, just a little over a decade and a half later, the party is unrecognizable. Labour has become a war zone for supporters of the state of Israel. Many Jews no longer feel safe within its ranks and have departed in sheer horror.
The Labour leadership under Jeremy Corbyn is infected with a vicious and deep-rooted hatred for Israel and completely unconcerned by the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism carried into the party on their watch.
“As an ex-Labour voter — I’d voted Labour all my life all the way back to Harold Wilson in 1974 — I could never bring myself to vote for a Corbyn-led party fueled by such a pathological hate of both Israel and Jewish people in equal measure. It is now a party not safe for Jews”, a former Labour member told me in confidence.
“Back from North Korea, sorry, the Labour party conference,” one of Britain’s leading journalists tweeted on Wednesday. Nick Cohen, a man of the Left himself, made no attempt to hide his contempt for the appalling state of affairs.
Vile trolling by Corbyn supporters forced BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg to hire a bodyguard to attend the Labour Party conference over fears for her safety. It wouldn’t have been a major Labour event without at least one incident of anti-Semitism since the Corbyn Revolution. In fact, the conference offered several such moments. Israeli-American author Miko Peled defended Holocaust denial at a side event. “The Holocaust: yes or no,” he said, implying that questioning the historical accuracy of the genocide of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis is a matter of free speech and has a space in respectable public discourse.
Other speakers at the meeting called for the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) to be “kicked out” of the party, compared the treatment of Palestinians by Israel to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews, and accused Israel of “genocide” in the Gaza Strip.
One Labour MP commented that it was a “thinly veiled call to purge Jews from the Labour Party.” But it gets worse. Jews that raise concerns over institutionalized anti-Semitism are not only told that they are mistaken to detect anti-Semitism in the party. Oh, no. They are being dismissed as fantasists—there is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party—and that they make up such claims to serve their own nefarious political agenda.
Notorious filmmaker Ken Loach decried on national television that some party members sympathetic to Israel were causing “absolute mischief” over claims of anti-Semitism in the party in an attempt to destabilize Jeremy Corbyn because of his support for Palestinians. Loach told the BBC that he was suspicious of the “false stories of Antisemitism,” which had surfaced since Corbyn took over the party. When asked about the incident of Holocaust denial at the conference, Loach replied that history is there to be “discussed.”
Of course, Ken Livingstone—known for his toxic claim that there was “real collaboration” between Nazis and Jews in the run-up to World War Two—was also back on the airwaves. Responding to events at the conference, he told journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer that just because people make offensive comments about Jews “doesn’t mean they’re inherently anti-Semitic and hate Jews.” Livingstone is currently suspended from the party for claiming that Hitler supported “Zionism before he went mad and killed six million Jews.”
Under previous Labour leaders like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, individuals like Livingstone were condemned to the extreme fringes of the party, or even expelled. But under Corbyn, the fringes have taken over the mainstream with the effect that the line between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel has been blurred in its entirety.
Outside the conference hall, the “Labour Party Marxists” was handing out a leaflet repeating Livingstone’s twisted lies about collaboration between Nazis and Jews. Titled “anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism,” the leaflet quoted Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Final Solution.
And where is Jeremy Corbyn in all of this? Except for some half-hearted empty phrases, he hasn’t done much to confront the vicious anti-Semitism that is spreading inside Labour like raging wildfire since he took over the ranks. In fact, he has diminished, even covered-up, the problem at every given opportunity.
There is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, Corbyn famously declared in 2016. “There is not a problem. We are totally opposed to anti-Semitism in any form within the party,” he said. A bit rich coming from a man who calls Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and invited a Palestinian hate preacher, who sells the old Jewish blood libel, to tea in parliament.
And that was even before he launched a fraudulent inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. A leading expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, who submitted evidence to the inquiry, told The Israel Project in a conference call on September 25, that his concerns were ignored by the commission.
Dr. David Hirsh was not alone. Every expert that failed to repeat the party line was brushed off. The inquiry was a complete whitewash. Some of those who were ignored, including Hirsh, have now released a documentary about the miserable spectacle called “Whitewashed” – it makes for disturbing viewing.
The writing on the wall has been there for a long time. The Labour Party, once an institution with a proud history of anti-racism, has been taken over by the far-left, which has given rabid anti-Semites a home at the heart of power. As one of my friends summed up succinctly: Labour – for the many, not the Jew.
[Photo: Labour Party / YouTube]