Britain has resoundingly rejected the politics of hate, albeit that millions still backed an institutionally antisemitic political party. However, the Jewish community must now brace itself for a potential backlash.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has urged the Jewish community to be vigilant in case, as has happened so often in Jewish history and as the last few years and months foretell, the Jews may become a scapegoat as the more ardent of Mr Corbyn’s followers, many of whom hold antisemitic views, now search for where to cast the blame.
As the Chief Rabbi, whose courageous intervention two weeks ago articulated the concerns of the Jewish community, has also noted: “The election may be over, but concerns about the resurgence of antisemitism very much remain.”
While votes were still being counted, notorious Jew-baiter Ken Livingstone already reportedly noted that “The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful”.
Labour frontbencher Dan Carden also claimed that Jeremy Corbyn is “one of the most attacked and smeared leaders of a party we’ve ever had in this country.”
Asa Winstanley, who called the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) an “Israeli Embassy proxy” and was reportedly suspended from Labour in March, pending an investigation, observed: “The manufactured ‘antisemitism crisis’ spreads from Labour to a state-backed McCarthyist witch hunt. It was a fatal mistake to indulge these lies, and indulge liars like [former MP] John Mann [the Government’s independent antisemitism advisor].”
Meanwhile, a perusal of Twitter reveals how some frustration with the result is finding expression in worrying tropes, for example a journalist at the Irish Times describing the election as a “great result for Zionism: monsters are roaring their delight”.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism has shown that Jeremy Corbyn is personally responsible for 24 incidents of antisemitic discourse, which is equal to fifteen percent of all recorded incidents involving parliamentary candidates and party leaders. Overall, Labour Party candidates for Parliament account for 82 percent of all incidents.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right, and that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is the party leader of choice for those who hold multiple antisemitic views.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.