August 05, 2018

The Corbyn Affair

What is it about rejection that we Jews don’t get?

You pick up the courage to ask a girl out on a date and she says she’s washing her hair. The next time you ask, she’s studying for exams. Next it’s her grandma is in the hospital. By the tenth time she’s telling all her friends about this creepy guy she simply cannot get rid of. 

Let’s face it, the only time she’s going to be calling you is years later when you’re running a 10 billion dollar hedge fund with homes in Barbados, Monte Carlo and Davos.

For months we’ve been watching the seedy little creep Corbyn and his unwashed band of supporters giving the finger to British Jews. He is effectively saying: I don’t like you, my party doesn’t need your support and I certainly don’t need your minority votes to get where I’m going. 

Now he seems to be saying: I detest your shitty little state and no Holocaust organisation is going to stop me or my Labour party from vilifying and defaming it whenever we choose.
I’d call that pretty solid rejection.

So why is our community leadership and media still calling him?

Our people have not stopped churning out statements and op-eds saying how outrageous he is, how offended we are and how important it is for him to apologise and behave himself. 

Where will that get us? 

Imagine that tomorrow Corbyn apologises and accepts the IHRA definition of antisemitism – would that be any different to when Yasser Arafat renounced terrorism? Speaking through one side of his mouth, whilst the other side said Itbach Al Yahud?

We all know what Corbyn is. Like we know what Livingstone is, and Galloway is - and what Jenny Tonge is. Nothing they ever ‘clarify’ or walk-back will make any difference to us.
Labour MPs also know what Corbyn is. But with very few exceptions, they’ve failed to stand up and be counted. I am not saying they all share Corbyn’s prejudice, but the majority of Labour MPs do seem to fit with Edmund Burke’s maxim that evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

My own view, as previously expressed on this site, is that Corbyn and his supporters actually see antisemitism and hatred of Israel as vote-getters. I am not saying these would necessarily be Muslim votes; they are more likely to be anti-Israel votes from white Anglo-Saxon academics and trades unionists who have been in the forefront of the BDS movement, students soaked in Palestinian propaganda on university campuses and of course the good old elites of the British chattering classes.

And this is not just a Labour problem. Surveys have shown there is more antisemitism in the Tory ranks than in Labour. The difference is that Conservative leaders don’t wear it like a badge of honour.

So I come back to the essence of this rejection. 
Just as with the girl rejecting your dates, let us finally get the message, and let’s move on!

As a London-born Jew who has lived and worked in this country for over 60 years I’ve internalised the message of the Corbyn gang over this past year as simply: Juden sind hier nicht erwünscht . 

Labour MPs may not have voted with their feet, but I most certainly will if Corbyn or his Jew-baiting ideology ever make it to mainstream government. Why on earth would I want to pay taxes to a government that brazenly abuses my people and its nation state?

In ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, the shtetel milkman Tevye explains the destiny of Jews as always having to move on from place to place. He adds jokingly: “Maybe that’s why we always keep our hats on”.

In Tevye’s time there was no state of Israel. No national home flowing with milk and honey, with a world-beating economy and a Jewish government ruling from Jerusalem. 

So what’s our excuse today?

If Zev Jabotinsky were alive today, he might be lecturing Jews to leave, just as he did in 1938 when he said those famous words: Ehr Kumt! Yidn farlawst ayer shtetl ! (He’s coming! Jews abandon your city.) 

He would be telling us to make Aliyah with our families and to take our talents and skills to a place where Jews are wanted, respected and appreciated. 

A place called home.

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