It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s Labour Party. Jewish leaders in the UK penned a lengthy letter about the anti-Semitism problem that’s increased in intensity since Corbyn took over.
“There is a repeated institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism, with the Chakrabarti Report being the most glaring example of this,” wrote the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council:
Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.
On March 26, the BBC reported that Corbyn apologized for his apparent lethargic reaction to addressing Labour’s anti-Semitism. In a statement, he said:
I recognize that anti-Semitism has surfaced within the Labour Party, and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples.
"This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain.
"I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused, and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end."
EXC: Jeremy Corbyn attended an event tonight hosted by a far-left group that has called for the destruction of Israel, dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “cynical manipulation” and labelled Corbyn’s Jewish critics “non-Jews”https://t.co/WE32BZIqY9 pic.twitter.com/SxAUQhD5kt— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) April 2, 2018
EXC: A leaked audio recording reveals Corbyn was present tonight at an event held by “Jewdas” in Islington, where guests shouted “f*ck capitalism” and booed the names of mainstream Jews https://t.co/WE32BZIqY9— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) April 2, 2018
EXC: This is 'Jewdas', the group Corbyn chose to meet tonight. They are a fringe group that despises and is despised by mainstream Jews. This is going to be very, very difficult for Corbyn to explain. https://t.co/WE32BZIqY9 pic.twitter.com/vG0PtrPLMJ— Alex Wickham (@WikiGuido) April 2, 2018
This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism. And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are ok. Irresponsible and dangerous https://t.co/NORQQiFq8J— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) April 2, 2018
This is politics—and talk is cheap. After all of that, Corbyn decided to spend Passover with an anti-Israel group that calls for the destruction of the Jewish State (via Reuters):
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn risked further souring his relationship with the Jewish community by attending a Passover event with a left-wing Jewish group that has called for the destruction of Israel.
Corbyn spent Monday evening at a ritual feast hosted by Jewdas, a group which described Israel in December as a “steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of”.
The group also called recent protests against Corbyn for failing to tackle anti-Semitism “faux-outrage greased with hypocrisy and opportunism”.
A spokesman for Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel, said he attended the event in his London constituency in a personal capacity and not in his role as Labour leader.
The Guardian reported that Corbyn learned a lot at the event:
The group – which runs alternative Jewish parties, events and a satirical website – said in a statement last week over the Enough Is Enough protests that much of the furore over antisemitism in Labour was “the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative party and the right wing of the Labour party”.
Speaking during a visit to Swindon, Corbyn said the event was “a celebration of Passover, which I celebrate with young Jewish people from my own community and my own constituency”.
“It was very interesting talking to a lot of young people about their experiences of modern Britain and I learned a lot. Isn’t that a good thing?”
Well, if there’s one thing about Corbyn, he’s certainly got…chutzpah—and I don’t mean that in a good way, especially on this issue.