I'm not blinkered by anything and Corbyn is not 'my man', as I'm a Green voter. I'm looking at this from the outside and think Corbyn is being greatly maligned by this manufactured anti-Semitism row, pushed by people who have wanted to remove him as Labour leader from day one. It's a tactic to end his leadership. If it wasn't alleged anti-Semitism, the same people would have used something else, anything else. Corbyn has spent his political life fighting bigotry of all forms; he does not hate Jews, he just happens to support the Palestinian cause, in the same way many Jews do themselves. It's the old tactic of the Pro-Israel lobby to conflate anti-occupation politics with anti-Semitism, in order to quash analysis and debate of Israeli illegality. It is Israel that runs an illegal and racist system in the occupied territories, yet somehow it's those who point out this fact who become the racists. Many of those politicians who are calling Corbyn a racist are very happy to sell weapons to Israel; weapons which are used to break international law. They are very happy to support a terrorist state, then have the gall to accuse Corbyn of sympathising with terrorists. The racism the Palestinians suffer every day under occupation is racist, yet we aren't having that debate.
The issue is the occupation; it's the issue the Israel lobby doesn't want to discuss, so they create this sideshow of a false controversy around Corbyn. It's shameful stuff; politics at its shabbiest. I think Professor Finkelstein's analysis of what is at play here is very astute: a combination of (a) people who would never even support Labour and (b) those within Labour who won't accept the mandate Corbyn has as leader, are determined to do whatever is necessary to remove him, because he represents a threat to the neoliberal consensus.
Saying he is a terrible leader is a legitimate opinion; those calling the guy a racist are out of order.
Corbyn's bumbling approach has turned him into Israel's greatest ally according to this piece. It's a reasonable assertion:
Yes he'll be instantly dismissed by the Corbynista as a 'Blairite' and yes, this report is from the Jewish Chronicle, but Gordon Brown makes some valid points about Corbyn's half-hearted reponse to this ongoing issue:
Attacking the failure of Labour’s leadership to consult with the Jewish community over the IHRA definition, Brown added: "Would you produce a document on sexism produced by men only? “Or would you produce a document on racism without consulting the black community? “'Would you produce a document on homophobia without consulting the LGBT community?"
A rare defeat for the blessed Jeremy as he's forced to accept Labour adopting the international anti-Semitism definition in full.
And yet...while his own suggested anti-Israel caveat was apparently rejected, the needless addition of a statement 'protecting free speech' shows he just doesn't get it and ensures this saga will run and run:
If Jeremy Corbyn were not so invested in his self-image as a life-long anti-racist campaigner, and therefore so convinced by his own sanctity, his dispute with Britainís Jewish community would have been resolved long ago. Instead, surrounded by disciples rather than supporters, he has allowed the Labour party to be shamed by an indifference to anti-Semitism which would have staggered all his predecessors.
This week saw the Labour leaderís latest efforts to escape a mess entirely of his own making. Yet again he fluffed it. Labourís ruling national executive committee met on Tuesday to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Allianceís full definition of anti-Semitism with all its associated examples. His allies had originally blocked moves to adopt the full text, arguing that it would restrict legitimate criticism of Israel. But after months of tension, culminating in Jews protesting over the fears Labour now evokes in their community, Mr Corbyn has been forced to give ground.The party has finally taken the obvious mainstream route by adopting the IHRA text.
This is welcome, albeit long overdue. Even so Mr Corbyn could not bring himself to do so without qualification. A rider, protecting the rights of free speech on Palestine, was added after lengthy rows in which the Labour leader tried to further water down the very examples he had agreed to. The appendix was unnecessary: there is nothing in the IHRAís definition that curtails legitimate criticism of Israel.His approach will exacerbate the bad faith. It does not instil confidence in the new policy or the opposition leaderís commitment to policing it. Mr Corbyn has framed the debate as an attempt to undermine him for his decades-long support for the Palestinian cause. For the bulk of British Jews, it was about combating the clear and rising tide of anti-Semitism unleashed by Mr Corbynís accession and which he has, for too long, refused to tackle.
As an obscure backbench MP, the Labour leader marinated on the leftward fringes of British politics for over four decades. He was steeped in a world view that flirts with anti-Semitism, where criticism of international capitalism and Israel easily spills over into anti-Jewish rhetoric. He was undiscriminating in his choice of allies, too often attending events with Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites. Much of the partyís present travails stem from his own troubling past. Mr Corbyn has always argued that his motivation is to bring peace to the Middle East. But his claim to be a peacemaker rings hollow; he has consistently engaged only with one side of the debate.
More recently his own rhetoric has come back to haunt him. His remark that Zionists ďdonít understand English ironyĒ crossed a line for many, raising questions about his own ability to judge anti-Semitism.This speaks to the core of the dispute. A leader whose good faith towards the Jewish community was not in doubt would not have found himself in this position. But Mr Corbynís inability to see any failing on his part means there is little trust. Furthermore, his allies treat all criticism as politically motivated.
A leader intent on solving this problem would include a consultation with community leaders and an apology for his insensitive remarks. His failure to offer either leads to the suspicion that he seeks only a political fix. He has shown himself to be inflexible, doctrinaire and lacking in empathy.The issue is intertwined with Mr Corbynís suitability for high office. Last yearís election pointed to a mood for change in the UK. His radical policy programme spoke to that. But this row casts doubt on whether he is a suitable leader for the country. Judged on his response to the anti-Semitism crisis, the conclusion must be that he is not.