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Anorak | Jeremy Corbyn has “antisemitic views” says Jewish expert

Jeremy Corbyn has “antisemitic views” says Jewish expert

by | 31st, May 2018

Corbyn anti-semitism

The Mail’s photo choice is interesting

 

Jeremy Corbyn has “antisemitic views”. So says Jonathan Arkush. Arkush is the outgoing president of the board of deputies. He says the Labour Party leader “has views which are antisemitic, and he has problematic views”. Arkush tells the Daily Telegraph that British Jews are asking: “Do we have a future here?”

Under a country governed by Corbyn: yes, of course Jews will continue to live in the UK. One remarkable characteristic of Jewish history is the persistence with which they are persecuted. Some Jew always stays on to light the lamp, denying Mohammed and Jesus’s claims of divine destiny by waiting for the true Messiah. Will derelict synagogues in London, Leeds or Manchester become stopping points on tourists walks, like those in India, Cuba, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, the Czech Republic, Syria, Italy and all other places where the Jews were dispossessed and expelled? Will the country under Corbyn do its bit for the deep history of Jewish victim hood? No. Well, not yet.

The future for British Jewry might not be a vibrant one. Better, of course, if British Jews become the right sort of Jews. But Arkush does not speak for all British Jews, even if the Mail does bill him as ‘The Tribe’s’ “chief”. The bilge that ethnic minorities in the UK have ‘community leaders’ who speak for their kind sticks in the craw. Don’t lump us all in together. Don’t divide us into groups. You don’t need to be Jewish to see that Corbyn’s Labour has a little problem with Red Sea Pedestrians. Arkush speaks for himself. And we can listen. Jews, after all, are often rather good at spotting Jew haters.

“He was a chairman of Stop the War, which is responsible for some of the worst anti-Israel discourse,” says Arkush. “If he shares the prevalent discourse about Israel, then that view is unquestionably antisemitic… I think we are all entitled to some clarity on his real views about Israel.”

Corbyn is too nuanced and slippery to let the electorate know his real views on much. But he does have a spokesman to tell everyone that Arkush comments are “personal attacks without any evidence to support them… Jeremy has been absolutely clear that he is a militant opponent of antisemitism and is committed to driving it out of our movement.”

He is? Got any evidence of anything he’s done to prove it?

“Jonathan Arkush’s attempt to conflate strong criticism of Israeli state policies with antisemitism is wrong and undermines the fight both against antisemitism and for justice for the Palestinians,” the spokesman adds. “It should be rejected outright.”

Rhea Wolfson, a member of Labour’s national executive committee, is shocked by the comments. Her words take up half the Guardian’s story on the matter. The paper offers no words in support of Arkush’s view. “Jeremy Corbyn is not antisemitic, he does not hold antisemitic views,” Wolfson tweeted. “I cannot understand what Arkush is trying to achieve here but I know it isn’t about being constructive.

“Jonathan Arkush has never spoken for me, for many other young, progressive Jews, and he doesn’t in this article. We have a lot of work to take a lot of poison out of the debate… around Israel and Palestine, making blanket accusations isn’t constructive and doesn’t move towards a better debate or solutions.” So much for Corbyn being militant. It’s a debate he wants.

The Guardian story is headlined: “Jeremy Corbyn’s views ‘could drive Jewish people from UK’.” So if you’re a bigot, vote Jez, right? The paper finds no space to report what Arkush also said. This from the Tele:

Mr Arkush said: “We have always felt Britain is a generous, fair-minded, exceptionally tolerant, mutually respectful country where Jews have been secure, well accepted and in return they have contributed vastly.

“That is why I am so troubled that, particularly in the last few months, there is an increasingly widespread question asked over the dinner table – which is, do we have a future here, and what’s that future going to look like? In its current, widespread form, it is very new.” Asked if he attributes this new anxiety in the community to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, he said: “Yeah. I do.”

You do wonder how any British Jew can vote for Corbyn, or, indeed, be a member of the Labour Party he heads. But it takes all sorts to make a ‘community’. And – get this – not all Jews are the same.



Posted: 31st, May 2018 | In: News, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink