Jeremy Corbyn: Why the British Labour Party is no Longer a Safe Place for Jews-David Publishing Company
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Author(s)

Lesley Klaff

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ABSTRACT

On September 12, 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party despite his history of jumping to the defence of blood libellers and conspiracy theorists, his friendship with Holocaust deniers, and his political embrace of antisemitic organisations. With Corbyn‟s election a phenomenon known as “anti-imperialist campism” became a prominent feature of the Labour Party. “Anti-imperialist campism” is characterized by stereotyped, disproportionate, and irrational hostility to Israel and Zionism. This caused the majority of Jewish Labour supporters to feel unsafe and in the new Labour Party both because Israel is a non-contingent aspect of Jewish identity and because “anti-imperialist campism” is considered to be antisemitic. Yet Jewish members who raised concerns about antisemitism in the Party were accused of dishonestly “playing the antisemitism card” in order to prevent criticism of Israel or to smear the Labour Party and undermine Corbyn‟s leadership. This response prevented antisemitism within the Party from being addressed and made those who had raised concerns feel excluded from the Party and the community of good, progressive people. Corbyn‟s failure to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party continued until April 2016 when he reluctantly suspended two prominent members of parliament for antisemitism. An independent enquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party was set up in May and its report is keenly awaited.

KEYWORDS

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, anti-imperialist campism, antisemitic anti-Zionism, the Livingstone Formulation

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