Adam Robertson Charlton responds to the Chief Rabbi’s criticism of Corbyn.
On the 25th November, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis penned an article in the Times, in which he blamed Jeremy Corbyn for allowing a “poison sanctioned from the top” to corrupt the Labour Party. The poison in question was anti-Semitism. Mirvis went on to describe the party as “incompatible with British values… of dignity and respect for all people”. Where the Chief Rabbi has got the impression that he is in any position to judge dignity and respect is a little hard to fathom. After all, this is a man who has campaigned against the appointment of female rabbis and fought the legalization of gay marriage. Jeremy Corbyn has spent his entire adult life campaigning for civil rights. Ephraim Mirvis has spent his fighting for the other side.
If my grandma, who survived the Holocaust is voting for Corbyn, that should be good enough for the goyim
I have written about anti-Semitism and the Labour Party before in Exeposé. In that article, I rather reluctantly mentioned my Jewish heritage; the fact that my grandmother escaped the Warsaw Ghetto as it burnt down, and that her mother was murdered by the Nazis at the Majdanek concentration camp. Yet it feels necessary this time to push that identity to the fore, and to challenge the impression given by the Rabbi and people like him that all British Jews are scared of electing Corbyn. As David Rosenberg – a Jewish supporter of the Labour leader – has observed; despite his title, the Chief Rabbi’s denomination only represents about 20% of Jews in this country, although it certainly includes the most conservative and reactionary elements. Is it really even newsworthy that a deeply conservative individual, who represents a deeply conservative community, is alarmed by a progressive party with a progressive leader? I do not doubt that Mirvis has some genuine concerns – as I do – about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But that is not the sole pathology at work.
As I have attested in a previous article, anti-Semitism does exist on either extreme of the political spectrum, and is present among a tiny minority on the hard left of the Labour Party. Yet to claim that Labour poses a threat to Jews is an insidious exercise in fear mongering. If you are voting Conservative because tolerance is your primary concern, then you are a humus dip voting for Hanukkah. In his article, Mirvis asked with rhetorical tragedy “what will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country?”. Well, allow me to answer. A Labour victory would mean a house for every homeless person, a refusal to implement arbitrary immigration targets, and government by compassion. It is rather telling that Mirvis, so lauded for his kind words about refugees by the establishment media, is tacitly endorsing the party that gave us the Windrush scandal and the hostile environment policy. If my grandma, who survived the Holocaust is voting for Corbyn, that should be good enough for the goyim.
Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal began when Ken Livingston made the factually accurate observation that the Israeli state had supported the Nazis, because the exodus of European Jewry was an important means of growing the Jewish population in Palestine. This is not anti-Semitism, but an extremely uncomfortable truth. Compare this with comments unearthed this month from a Tory candidate for parliament, who claimed that aspects of the Holocaust were “fabricated”. For that matter, where was the condemnation, either from the Chief Rabbi, or Boris Johnson’s crowd when Jacob Rees Mogg likened Jewish members of the Conservative Party to an “illuminati taking power into their own hands”? By comparison, Corbyn was lambasted after he admitted he was wrong for supporting a graffiti artist whose leftist mural indulged in anti-Semitic tropes. We never did get an apology from Rees Mogg. He, like Prince Andrew, belongs to the unapologetic class.
Jews have a strong socialist tradition, for which the Chief Rabbi does not speak
Mirvis even mimicked the Tory attack line that Corbyn is a terrorist sympathizer, mischaracterizing his association with groups that “incite hatred against Jews”, and the now infamous moment that Corbyn addressed members of Hamas as “friends”, whilst sharing a stage with them. Calling Hamas friends to their face may speak to an instinct for self-preservation, but it’s also the kind of personal language that Blair used about the IRA when he met with them before the Good Friday Agreement. The purpose of such language is to deescalate and to find common ground upon which a lasting peace can be built. If there is ever going to be peace in Palestine, Israel is going to have to talk to Hamas. I doubt any such negotiations will begin with the Israeli delegation addressing the representatives from Hamas as “Jew murdering scum”.
The thing is, people like Mirvis know all this. For the first time in decades, a revolution in the way our society works and who it works for is available at the ballot box. Jews have a strong socialist tradition, for which the Chief Rabbi does not speak. It is wholly unsurprising that, in the face of real societal progress, the religious establishment has aligned with the wealthy classes to oppose it. it has happened before in this country, and in every other country in Europe. I for one do not appreciate having my heritage weaponized in defence of the status quo.