Last week, Baroness Tonge finally stepped down after the Liberal Democrats suspended her over yet another antisemitism crisis of her own making. This time, she had hosted an event at the House of Lords organised by the Palestine Return Centre (PRC) at which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust. The PRC were the very same hosts of a Parliamentary event last year at which Sir Gerald Kaufmann MP claimed that “Jewish money” controlled British politicians.
It has now emerged that in 2009, Jeremy Corbyn accepted a trip to Syria at the PRC’s expense, along with Baroness Tonge, to greet and praise the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. In writing an account of the trip, he repeated a worn antisemitic conspiracy myth, in declaring that “the Israeli tail wags the US dog”, as well as characterising the Balfour declaration as “infamous”.
Mr Corbyn repeatedly claims that he “condemns antisemitism” yet he fails to act against it, and even normalises it. That was the finding of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee’s report into antisemitism, which criticises Mr Corbyn directly and makes clear that under his leadership the Labour Party has not done enough to stem a flood of antisemitism amongst its supporters. The report demonstrates that at the very heart of Mr Corbyn’s politics lies a deep and profound denial of the nature of post-Holocaust antisemitism, reflected in his disavowal of the International Definition of Antisemitism, a definition that the Committee itself recommended be formally endorsed by the Government and all political parties.
The International Definition of Antisemitism incorporates a necessary understanding of the antisemitism of the period since the Holocaust in which Islamism and the far-Left from which Mr Corbyn hails have played a well-documented part. By making his claim that an Israeli tail controls the United States dog, Mr Corbyn is guilty, in the terms of the International Definition, of “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
The denial at the heart of the Labour Party’s antisemitism problem is embodied by Mr Corbyn. He can repeat indefinitely his assertion that he condemns antisemitism, but until he acknowledges its recent history, and accepts the definition endorsed by historians, governments, our Police and his parliamentary peers, he will continue to expose himself as a man supporting notions that are increasingly exposing British Jews to persecution.