Jeremy Corbyn was once again forced to apologise this week after being caught red-handed doing the indefensible – this time hosting an event in 2010 comparing Israeli policy to the Nazis.
But his mea culpa raises more questions than it answers. As many have been warning for years, this is simply the latest example in a pattern of behaviour from the Labour leader spanning decades. Any denial that the rot in the party is completely disconnected from the leader’s track record is simply absurd.
There is no shortage of wider questions about the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the action being threatened against Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin. But if the Labour leader is serious about building bridges with the community and fighting the rot in his ranks, he must now fill in the gaping holes in his own words…
- You say you pursued peace between Israel and the Palestinians and claim you back a two-state solution. But what exactly is the nature of these two states, given you have backed the right of return that would end any chance of a Jewish state?
- Why is it that you have repeatedly found yourself on platform with so many people with whom you claim to disagree? Can you point to cases where, in the pursuit of peace, you have hosted events with people with whom you have disagreed in the centre or right of the debate about the Middle East?
- Will you today make clear that comparing Israeli policy to the Nazis is anti-Semitic?
- You apologised for the ‘concern and anxiety caused’ by taking part in events with people with deplorable views. Do you also apologise for hosting this event and booking the room in the first place?
- Why did you not speak up during the meeting, when a speaker spoke of the “Holocaust religion” and suggested the celebrated survivor was its “high priest”?
- What did you expect to be said at the meeting when you agreed to book a room as part of a tour entitled ‘Never again for anyone – from Auschwitz to Gaza’?
- You said sorry for ‘pockets’ of anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks, expressed regret over the position you’d taken on the anti-Semitic mural and now apologise for the hurt caused by your involvement in the event on Holocaust Memorial Day. On each occasion, you have been forced into these apologies by media revelations. Are there other skeletons in your closet you’d like to proactively apologise for?