In two days time, the UK Labour Party is likely to lose the next general election.
The party is grappling with a self inflicted dilemma; adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-semitism or stick with it’s own version which is looser on criticism of the Israeli Government’s behaviour.
For months now, Jeremy Corbyn, who is clearly not a racist, has steadfastly refused to accept that the party had an anti-semitic element. However, in early August, the Labour leader admitted there was a “real problem“.
For a brief moment, it looked like Labour might be able to move on to the pressing parliamentary business of knocking over the most despised and divided Government in a generation.
Like fish in a barrel, Jeremy, like fish in a barrel.
But, no, footage of Corbyn surfaced a week ago which showed him at his bumbling worst. Referring to English Zionists, he opined that:
“They clearly have two problems. One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, don’t understand English irony either.”
Nah, irony is leading the opposition and failing to land a blow on the weakest British PM since records began.
Corbyn’s response to the video was that he was using an accurate definition of Zionism and that attacking Zionism was not in itself anti-semitic.
And, of course, he’s right.
Zionism is racist. It’s a half arsed nationalist philosophy that claims that adherents of one particular religion are better than all the others and therefore they have a right to treat their neighbours like dirt. In terms of its intellectual heft, Zionism is up there with Scientology; both pseudo religions that appear to have been drafted in crayon.
But being technically correct about the word Zionist does nothing for Jeremy Corbyn’s claims that he is dedicated to weeding out ‘genuine’ anti-semites from Labour.
And if you really, really need to have a go at modern Zionism, it might help if you have skin in the game.
In two days, Labour’s national executive committee will decide whether to adopt the IHRA’s definition of anti-semitism and appease their critics or die in a ditch they’ve dug themselves.
Don’t know about you, but I’m picking they’ll find a way to look hopeless whatever they do.
It’s like Corbyn would rather not be Prime Minister.
The shame of it is that there is so much to criticise the right wing Government of Israel about without even needing to mention Zionism. They’re just awful people, doing awful things.
Though we shouldn’t ignore the history of anti-semitism. It goes a long way to explaining why the Israeli right is so inhumane to its fellow semites. Whenever I see another Israeli government atrocity I see a beaten child who has grown up to beat his own children.
In the meantime, let’s hope Corbyn’s Labour Party do the pragmatic thing; adopt the definition in full, expel those in the party who are genuinely racist and make peace with those Jewish Labour MP’s who have been at the sharp end of this debate.
A quick dead rat then get on with the job of dumping the Tories.
How hard can it be?