h1

A year on since Corbyn’s anti-semitic mural row and the issue continues to plague LAB and its leader

March 11th, 2019

This could cost LAB more than just Jewish votes

It was in March last year that the antisemitic row within LAB gathered media traction following the revelation of his positive response on Facebook in 2012 to what was clearly an anti-semitic mural on the wall of a building in East London. That led amongst other things to demonstrations in Parliament Square against him and the party.

Commenting at the time under the heading “Corbyn’s ‘regret’ over an antisemitic mural doesn’t go remotely far enough” the Guardian columnist Matthew D’Ancona wrote:

“…. why does Corbyn – admirably proactive in tackling other forms of prejudice – seem to squirm and dither when confronted with allegations of antisemitism? As Richard Gold, a party member active in the anti-racist Engage campaign, put it in his submission to Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry into Labour antisemitism: “[It is] as though being unpleasant to Jews … should be excused or minimised, treated merely as rudeness or bad manners, rather than racist behaviour…

…Antisemitism is on the rise all over the world. According to the Community Security Trust, a record number of antisemitic incidents were reported in the UK last year. Why does this bother Corbyn as little as it seems to? Does he believe in universal rights and equality of worth, or not? The fact that the Labour leader appears to regard allegations of antisemitism as an irritant rather than a fundamental issue says nothing good about him. In this respect, at least, the writing is upon the wall.

In spite of all that has happened since D’Ancona’s observations are as relevant today as they were a year ago.

The hard fact is to the LAB leader this form of racism has the potential to dog him as long he survives in the job. Whenever any issue related to antisemitism comes up his response continues to be closely monitored and highlighted.

His ultra loyal supporters, of course, shout “smear” and blame the media but that has little impact.

If there is an early election, and with TMay’s precarious parliamentary position that is a risk at all times, Corbyn’s less than convincing position on antisemitism looks set to be massive distraction to the LAB campaign and will influence more than just Jewish voters.

  • The Marf cartoon above first appeared in the Jewish Chronicle

    Mike Smithson