The most dangerous man in the world is not some Iranian fanatic salivating over a nuclear bomb, a terrorist leader plotting in a bunker under a Gazan hospital or a trigger-happy Middle Eastern general. No, for our community, the most dangerous man in the world is the leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition in the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn is on the brink of tremendous power. In the turbulent, unpredictable mess that is British politics, he is constantly just a vote or two away from toppling Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s coalition government.
He could well be Britain’s next prime minister: in last year’s general election, 40 per cent of Britons supported his Labour party, compared with 42 per cent for the victorious Tories.
Back then, the British Jewish community was already uneasy. In 2015, when Corbyn won the leadership of the party and simultaneously became leader of the Opposition, London’s thoughtful and even-keeled Jewish Chronicle wrote that “there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright anti-Semites.”
Indeed, there was. By then, it was well known that Corbyn had called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends,” but he had many other lesser known, but equally repulsive, dealings. For instance, after it was revealed that an organization called Deir Yassin Remembered had been founded by a Holocaust denier, even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign cut its ties with the group. But not Corbyn. He even appeared at one of its events.
He was involved in many other incidents like this before he became Labour leader, including defending a Christian preacher who linked Israel to 9/11 and a Muslim preacher accused of asserting the blood libel.
But all this was before he became leader of the Opposition, and the question became: would Corbyn remain true to his detestable ways, or would his quest for power moderate them?
Well, we now have an answer – and it’s unambiguous. For several weeks, we’ve peered into a bottomless cesspool of his nauseating behaviour and learned more: Corbyn hosted an event that compared Israel to Nazi Germany, joined multiple anti-Semitic Facebook groups, defended art depicting Jews as money-grubbing conspirators getting rich off the misery of humanity, honoured the memory of the Munich Olympic terrorists, used code words to question the very legitimacy of British Jewry and more – much more.
In fact, there have been so many stories of Corbyn’s Jew hatred that the BBC is now publishing an online guide just to track the latest twists and turns in this endless saga, with Corbyn’s explanations ranging from empty to idiotic.
And it’s getting worse, not better. There is just no denying Jeremy Corbyn’s true feelings about the Jewish community.
He hates Jews. It’s not any more complicated than that. It’s just that he is tantalizingly close to having astonishing power over British Jewry.
This is a huge shift. Jews have been welcome in the United Kingdom since 1655. For fleeing Jews from all over the world, including my own family, Great Britain was a lifeline.
Acceptance, security and prosperity have been the hallmarks of the British Jewish experience. I experienced this as a student in England in the 1990s and it continued until just recently. In 2013, for instance, so many French Jews crossed the English Channel in search of a safer future that one London shul set up a French minyan, weekly French study classes and monthly French lectures.
But with Corbyn on the brink of true power, the U.K.’s historic role as a haven for our community may end. After centuries of Jews’ fleeing to the U.K., they may well begin fleeing from it.
The future of one the world’s most enduring, successful and secure Jewish communities hangs in the balance. And if British Jewry is imperilled, then every Diaspora community is imperilled. Could ours be next?