Corbyn is clueless about UK Labor’s anti-Semitism crisis

AT the risk of sounding tedious, the UK Labor Party barely manages to squeak through a week without an anti-Semitism scandal splattering further egg over the beard of its new, model leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Frankly, I’d lost count of the number of members, some of senior rank, under scrutiny for broadcasting views vilifying Jews. Then – lo and behold! – another one crawls out of the cesspit, is summarily suspended and sent to join the procession on the naughty step, pending judgement from the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
Prima facie, the case of Nassem ‘Naz’ Shah is little different from the other miscreants, who resorted to using the overcooked cipher of ‘anti-Zionism’ as a handy device to shield their real venom.
The evidence against Shah is a Facebook post she endorsed in 2014, when she was a senior Labor activist and shortly before she became MP for Bradford West, a constituency in northern England, which boasts a significant Muslim population.
Featuring a graphic of the USA, with tiny Israel superimposed on its center, the message was headlined: ‘Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict: Relocate Israel into United States.’
It went on to suggest Israelis – presumably only the Jewish ones – would be welcome and safe there, while the ‘transportation cost’ would be less than three years' worth of Washington's aid for Israel’s military.
‘Problem solved,’ crowed Shah, mockingly endorsing the plan further by saying it might ‘save them [America] some pocket money.’
To add further tinder to the already raging flames, it emerged that the MP had also compared ‘Apartheid Israel’ to Hitler.
In most sane, unprejudiced opinions this vile bile amounted to nothing less than the ramblings of a vehement anti-Semite…except the purblind Corbyn, Palestinian sympathizer, self-proclaimed ‘friend’ of Hamas and Hezbollah, and associate of Holocaust deniers, begged to demur.
Hence, the Labor leader’s knee-jerk reaction wasn’t to show Shah the party’s exit door, but – like a headmaster ticking off an errant pupil caught craftily puffing a Marlboro behind the bicycle shed – having ‘an MP to MP’ discussion with her.
Then, in a despicable abuse of semantics, a Corbyn spokesman crassly insisted, ‘What Naz said was anti-Semitic, but she isn’t an anti-Semite.’
This ludicrous excuse is becoming pat for many Corbynistas, who clearly lack the nous to see the demarcation line between being critical of Israeli government policy and plain, old-fashioned Jew-hatred, dolled up in voguish, new-fangled anti-Zionism.
However, at least some in Labor can distinguish between politics and racism, which is why a flood-tide of outrage engulfed Corbyn and, U-turning his earlier decision, the leader was finally forced to suspend Shah, as he should have done in the first place.
For her part, the Muslim MP resigned as parliamentary secretary to Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell – who, to his credit, is unambiguous that anti-Semitism has no place in his party – then issued no less than FOUR apologies, including a statement of contrition in the House of Commons.
All were along the lines of, 'Sorry. I don't believe what I used to believe - believe me.'
However, the brouhaha was far from over. Because it then emerged Shah employed an aide – local councilor, Mohammed Shabbir – who posted anti-Semitic tweets, called Israel a genocidal, terror state, and blogged that Russian Orthodox Jews are involved in sex-trafficking and that many ultra-Orthodox Jews are regular clients of brothels.
But worse – much worse! – was to come, as ex-London mayor, Ken Livingstone, waded headlong into the fray and in defense of Shah, claimed she was a victim of a ‘well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticized Israeli policy as anti-Semitic.’
The arrogant motor-mouth and far-Left icon has been regarded by British Jewry as a long-standing antagonist and, in 2005, was embroiled in an anti-Semitism rumpus, after asking a Jewish reporter if he was a ‘German war criminal’ and telling him, ‘You are just like a concentration camp guard.’
On Thursday, Livingstone – one of Corbyn’s closest allies – insisted on BBC Radio that the Fuhrer was a Zionist, saying, ‘Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.’
Immediately 20 furious MPs, including the London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, and shadow cabinet member, Luciana Berger, called for Livingstone’s sacking from the party after intensifying its anti-Semitism crisis.
And John Mann, chairman of a UK parliamentary committee currently investigating Jew-hatred, confronted Livingstone on live TV, angrily calling him a ‘******* disgrace’ and a ‘Nazi apologist.’
Demanding Livingstone’s expulsion, he told Sky News that the controversial Labor veteran’s comments were ‘insane’, branded him an ‘anti-Semite’ and accused the one-time lawmaker of having ‘gone totally mad.’
Mann added it was clear Labor had a problem with anti-Semitism and that Livingstone, a member of the NEC, was part of it.
As the so-called People’s Party implodes into all-out civil war – anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism being at the top of a long queue of contentious issues – for, arguably, the first time in his short reign as leader Corbyn was forced to act expeditiously, adding Livingstone to the growing list of those suspended.
Labor’s problem, however, isn’t likely to disappear so long as Corbyn – or 'Red Jez' as he’s become popularly known – is in charge, insist critical MPs.
A career, back-bencher rebel with a record of voting over 600 times against his own party, many feel he lacks the intellectual credentials to be a leader and his credo of socialist extremism is looking back to the future.
Meanwhile, despite Corbyn’s many declarations of being ‘against any form of racism, including anti-Semitism’, his lack of vigorous, emphatic, affirmative action to stamp out any scent of Jew-hatred isn’t evidenced by his pussy-footing deeds.
And if the leader himself cannot discern that anti-Zionism equates to anti-Semitism, Labor will continually be at the mercy of racists in its ranks, who believe that under Corbyn’s watch it’s open season on all Jews.