It now seems a near certainty that Jeremy Corbyn will become leader of the Labour Party in just under a month.
How the Labour Party chooses its leader, and who it chooses, is its own business. But as Leader of the Opposition, Mr Corbyn will hold a formal constitutional role, and will hold a hope — however realistic or otherwise — of becoming Prime Minister.
The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves. We are just a newspaper. But in this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.
Because, although there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites.
If Mr Corbyn is not to be regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community, he has a number of questions which he must answer in full and immediately. The JC asked him earlier this week to respond. No response has been forthcoming.
1. Did you donate, as alleged by its founder, to Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), a group that publishes open antisemitism, run by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen — an organisation so extreme that even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign refuses to associate with it?
2. Have you, as Mr Eisen claims, regularly attended DYR’s annual conference?
3. Why have you accepted an invitation to appear at a conference on August 22 alongside Carlos Latuff, the notorious anti-Semitic cartoonist?
4. Why did you write to the Church of England authorities to defend Rev Stephen Sizer, a vicar banned from social media because of his habit of posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, telling them that Rev Sizer was “under attack” because he had “dared to speak out over Zionism”?
5. Why do you associate with Hamas and Hezbollah and refer to them as your “friends”?
6. Why have you failed to condemn the anti-Semitic posters and banners that dominate the annual Al-Quds Day rally, sponsored by the Stop The War Coalition, which you chair?
7. Why did you describe Raead Salah, a man convicted of the blood libel, as an ‘honoured citizen’?
It is difficult not to see a pattern in Mr Corbyn’s associations, and his refusal at any point to answer the fears of the Jewish community raised by these associations.
In a nation where, thank heavens, racism and extremism are now regarded as beyond the pale, it is little short of astonishing that a man who chooses to associate with racists and extremists is about to become leader of one of our two main parties and could conceivably become Prime Minister.