The British Labor Party’s Anti-Semitism Crisis Was the Fault of the Soft Left as Well as the Hard

March 1 2023

In 2019, four years after Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the Labor party’s leadership unleashed a torrent of anti-Semitism in its ranks, the MP Luciana Berger quit the party—driven out for being Jewish and for having the temerity to confront the anti-Semites. Since replacing Corbyn in 2020, Keir Starmer has striven to clean house, and recently issued a formal apology to Berger on Labor’s behalf, prompting her to rejoin in what Stephen Daisley terms “a supreme act of forgiveness.” Daisley provides some context:

Berger’s great-uncle was Manny Shinwell, Labor MP for Seaham and a straight-talking left-wing Jew. During a 1938 Commons debate, Shinwell was on his feet when the Conservative MP Robert Bower shouted: “Go back to Poland.” Shinwell paused his speech, walked across the gangway, socked Bower right in the jaw, then turned to the speaker and said: “May I make a personal explanation?” Berger is more forgiving.

The moral bankruptcy shown up by [the Corbyn-era anti-Semitism] affair was not merely of the hard left but of the soft left. The soft left of the Labor party seldom hesitates to speak out against racism. It was not slow to embrace Black Lives Matter and to take the knee. It drew attention to anti-Muslim racism within the Tory party. Labor MPs are among the first to speak on allegations of institutional racism elsewhere in society. Yet when their party was swamped with anti-Semites, many of them went silent or, worse, tried to deny it.

The only difference was that, however progressive their outward politics, these people simply did not consider anti-Semitism to be “real” racism, or as bad as other forms of racism.

So the Labor party does owe Luciana Berger an apology. It could apologize every day from now until the end of time and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK)

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan