Monday, 17 August 2015

Why a Corbyn Win Might be Good for the Jews

It is looking increasingly likely that Jeremy Corbyn will be elected to lead the Labour Party and this is causing concern among Britain's Jews because of Corbyn's links to antisemites. I think that a Corbyn win could be very good for the Jews precisely because of those links. Here's why.

My starting point is to ask what we're all so worried about? Yes Jeremy Corbyn has come into close contact with a significant number of people who are antisemitic and this suggests that he does not take the issue very seriously. But is there anybody seriously suggesting that Corbyn himself is antisemitic? I don't think so. And I don't think he is. So what damage can he do to Britain's Jews if elected Labour leader?

If he wins, he will be given a much stronger platform from which to spread his far-left anti-Israel position. That may, in turn, fuel higher levels of antisemitism. But we already hear that position regularly whenever there is a flare-up in the fighting. Corbyn may have a stronger platform if he wins but that platform will bring with it a stronger level of scrutiny, beyond what he is used to. His anti-Israel position will be challenged in a way it has not been before. We have already seen how badly he deals with those kind of challenges (see his Channel 4 News interview).

As a candidate and front-runner in the leadership campaign he is already coming under attack because of his links to antisemitism but so far he is getting away with not answering the questions that those links raise. He will get no such lee-way as Leader of the Opposition.

For a short time (before Corbyn is forced out) there will be an opportunity to shine a spotlight on pro-Palestinian antisemitism like never before. It might not be politically fatal to Corbyn but hopefully it will be for pro-Palestinian antisemitism.

Am I being hopelessly naive? Is this just wishful thinking? Or do you agree with my analysis? Please let me know what you think.

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