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Friend of Corbyn? The anti-Zionist jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, pictured in 2007 (Richard Kaby CC BY-SA 2.0)

By the time you read this Jeremy Corbyn will be the leader of the party for which I’ve voted for the last time. He is thought to be a breath of fresh air. A man of conscience. Refreshing. Yeah, like polenta is refreshing. For refreshing, read “I see Michael Foot has come around again,” like knitting and birdwatching and baking and ballroom dancing and talent shows and vinyl, and, it goes without saying (so I’ll say it), anti-Semitism.

It’s so bloody obvious. Why do so many people fall for it? Same old, same old. At the first sniff of austerity the goat gets tethered to the familiar cliff edge and over we are expected to go. The world is in a bad way: cruelty, extremism and chaos abound. Very little of that it is the fault of the Jews. There is no conspiracy, no cabals, no secret running of governments or criminal underworlds or excessive lobbying or slipping  of blood into matzo crackers. (Ask Claudia Roden — they really wouldn’t be so beige.) We are not blowing up teenagers or gassing or beheading or expelling or drowning in cages or torturing or raping. This is all easy to prove. Yet, once again, we are the recipients of the same blind hatred and prejudice.

Mostly, when it’s survivors, Chasids or schoolboys being attacked, it goes unreported. Until it happens to artists like Anish Kapoor or elected prime ministers like Benjamin Netanyahu. There is Holocaust denial all over the internet and in the eastern bloc and some Scandinavian countries. Explain to me, please, how something as well-documented, down to the last measurement of head and tabulation of confiscated property — the legacy of German precision — and witnessed and filmed can be denied? To which part of the earth did the six million disappear — the Bermuda Triangle?

And if we are so prescient that we can warn every Jew in the World Trade Centre not to go to work on 9/11 because jihadists will be flying planes into the building then perhaps the dissenters should cease fearing and despising and find out how we do it without some yenta spilling the beans.

Meanwhile, in the left corner, we have Jeremy Corbyn to contend with. A man who sups with the devil but claims no one told him that the horned, red-skinned man at the table was, in fact, the actual devil. A man who defended conspiracy theorists such as the Rev Stephen Sizer, stood up for the anti-Semites Paul Eisen and Gilad Atzmon, and joined a protest to protect the blood libel cleric Raed Salah.  I would be grateful for any evidence that he has ever objected to the anti-Semitic rantings of these “colleagues” or  stated his own belief in the legitimacy of the Jewish state. If he is not anti-Semitic himself then he is more than happy to consort with those who are.

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Sheila Raviv
January 24th, 2018
2:01 PM
Maureen Lipman is a breath of fresh air for standing up to ignorance and clear anti-Semitism. Her talent for speaking the obvious without fear is special and her pride in being Jewish untainted. Brava

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