This is the full text of the open letter from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council:
Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough. We have had enough of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn “opposes anti-Semitism”, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews, and their concerns, are ignored by him and those he leads.
There is a repeated institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism, with the Chakrabarti Report being the most glaring example of this.
Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it.
We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.
When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hezbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hezbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas.
The Board of Deputies and JLC have joined forces to call for community members “and all those who oppose anti-Semitism” to join the ‘#EnoughIsEnough’ protest in Parliament Square tomorrow afternoon at 5.30.
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) March 25, 2018
Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views, but claims never to hear or read them.
Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.
When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Jews expressed sincere and profound fears as to how such politics would impact upon their wellbeing. Our concerns were never taken seriously. Three years on, the party and British Jews are reaping the consequences.
- Sadiq Khan turns up heat on Corbyn: Labour anti-Semitism ‘depressing, saddening and unacceptable’
- Corbyn siding with anti-Semites rather than Jews, say community leaders
- Jewish leaders refuse to meet Corbyn as relations reach new low
- Jeremy Corbyn: I’m sincerely sorry for pain and hurt caused by ant-Semitism
- Sajid Javid challenges Jeremy Corbyn to debate anti-Semitism in Parliament
- OPINION: Jews on the left deserve better than this sorry mess
Routine statements against anti-Semitism “and all forms of racism” get nowhere near dealing with the problem, because what distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of racism is the power that Jews are alleged to hold, and how they are charged with conspiring together against what is good.
This is not only historic, or about what Jeremy Corbyn did before being party leader. It is also utterly contemporary. There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews.
We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that ISIS terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.
Rightly or wrongly, those who push this offensive material regard Jeremy Corbyn as their figurehead. They display an obsessive hatred of Israel alongside conspiracy theories and fake news. These repeated actions do serious harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn is the only person with the standing to demand that all of this stops. Enough is enough.