“In an apparent softening of party tone, Corbyn’s warm-up man, the journalist Owen Jones, recently reprimanded the Left for its ingrained anti-Semitism. Welcome words, but they will remain only words so long as the Corbynite Left – and indeed the not-so Corbynite Left – refuses to acknowledge the degree to which anti-Semitism is snarled up in the before and after of Israelophobia. The Stop The War Coalition is a sort of home to Jew-haters because its hate music about Israel is so catchy. It simplifies a complex and heartbreaking conflict, it elides causes and effects, it perpetuates a fable that flatters one side and demonises another, it ignores all instances of intransigence and cruelty but one, inflaming hatred and enabling the very racism it declares itself opposed to.
Let’s forget whether or not anti-Semitism is the root of this. It is sufficient that it is the consequence. Face that, Corbyn, or the offence you take at any imputation of prejudice is the hollow hypocrite’s offence, and your protestations of loving peace and justice, no matter who believes them, are as ash.”
Read the full text of author Howard Jacobson’s “Corbyn may say he’s not anti-Semitic, but associating with the people he does is its own crime” on The Independent‘s website.
A note: I’m sorry that the final “Words of the Week” entry for 5775 is not exactly upbeat. But as a writer, I found that Jacobson’s piece took on greater urgency for me because just as I discovered it I also ran across news of a “Poets for Corbyn” project. And then, this morning, came the news from Britain that Corbyn has been elected Labour Party leader.