Last week, an 860-page internal Labor-party document on the problem of anti-Semitism in its ranks was leaked to the press. The report, composed in March, admits that hostility toward Jews is indeed a “problem in the party,” that those in control were too slow to respond to the problem, and that when they did address it they did so poorly. At the same time, it praises the erstwhile Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn—himself one of the worst offenders—for his handling of anti-Semitism from 2018 on. Moreover, the report concludes that the “abnormal intensity of factional opposition . . . inhibited” the party’s ability to deal with the problem; in other words, Corbyn’s opponents, not the anti-Semites, were the real problem. David Hirsh comments:
The report rules out in advance the possibility that anti-Semitism in the Labor party was connected to the politics of the Corbyn faction. It doesn’t even address it. It doesn’t say anything about the way that hostility to “Zionism” became the litmus test of who was inside and who was outside the community of the good. It doesn’t say anything about Stalinist anti-Semitism or about the anti-Semitism of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel, or about the Corbyn faction’s record of jumping to the defense of anti-Semites against Jews.
It says that the Corbyn faction tried to expel the anti-Semites, . . . but that its opponents [within the party] sabotaged the procedural moves against the anti-Semites in order to facilitate the “myth” that Corbyn had a political problem of anti-Semitism. [In short], it blames the opponents of Corbyn—the opponents of anti-Semitism—for the anti-Semitism.
[The report’s account] is a classic stab-in-the-back myth. It claims that the reason the Corbyn movement didn’t win in 2017 was because it was betrayed by its enemies within the party. If it had not been stabbed in the back it would have won.