The latest instalments in the ongoing saga of Labour’s antisemitism crisis have at times seemed like something out of the film, Life of Brian, with disputes between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea for legitimacy.
Last week, Jeremy Corbyn described the fringe group Jewish Voice for Labour as “good people” and equated them with the Jewish Labour Movement. Then on Monday it emerged that he had attended a so-called “third Seder” organised by the radical left group, Jewdas. This news was then followed with arguments as to who Jewdas represents.
For outsiders, this must all be baffling: Jeremy Corbyn attended a dinner with Jews. Isn’t this a good thing? Is the Jewish community split?
Jewdas are, of course, entitled to whatever views they wish. And they certainly do represent a distinct and legitimate strand within our community. But the game of divide and rule is as old as politics and it is clearly being played by Mr Corbyn’s supporters.
It is important to remind ourselves — and, crucially, non-Jews — that with all but a few exceptions (such as JVL and Jewdas) there is unanimity among British Jews that Labour has a problem with antisemitism that must be addressed.
The idea that this is some Conservative and “Blairite” smear implies that the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council have hoodwinked almost the entire community into believing a series of lies, which is self-evidently ridiculous. Not least because Mr Corbyn’s own support group, Momentum, also now says that the allegation of a smear campaign is wrong — and indeed has urged the Labour leader to undergo training in antisemitism awareness.
United we stand.