Corbyn and the Jews—now a fruitful dialogue

This week the Jewish Chronicle (JC) reports that Jeremy Corbyn, our revolutionary Labour Leader, has finally met with the UK ultra Zionist BOD (Board Of Deputies Of British Jews).

After the meeting BOD’s president Jonathan Arkush told the JC, “we had a positive and constructive meeting and were pleased that Mr. Corbyn gave a very solid commitment to the right of Israel to live within secure and recognised boundaries as part of a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

Good to know that Corbyn, a long time supporter of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), is so committed to the existence of the Jewish State.

Arkush announceed that Corbyn supports Jewish blood ritual such as ‘brit milah’ and Jewish sadistic butchery known as ‘shechitah.’ According to the JC, “Mr Corbyn affirmed his support for shechitah, brit milah and Jewish faith schools.” It is perhaps another sign of progress that the new radicals can tolerate some inhuman measures.

Two weeks ago some pro-Palestinian students opposed the appearance of Israeli war criminal Ami Ayalon in London’s King’s College, British Jews were very upset by that development. According to the JC, our proletarian leader didn’t like it either. “He (Corbyn) rejected any sort of violence or intimidation such as occurred at King’s College London last month.”

However, The UK Jewish Lobby is still not satisfied with Corbyn’s capitulation, they clearly want more. Arkush added “despite being pressed, he [Corbyn] should do more to address profound and real concerns about past meetings with people or organisations with extremist or anti-Semitic views.”

British Jews also expect Corbyn to reject BDS. ”We are also looking for the Labour leadership to show with more clarity that it will maintain its longstanding opposition of boycotts against Israel.”

I felt sorry for Mr. Corbyn, I thought that the man whom so many of us admire might feel humiliated with his back pushed against the wall. I was totally wrong, Mr. Corbyn seems cheerful. He told the JC that he was “looking forward to continuing that dialogue . . . I am a lifelong campaigner against racism and fascism in all forms, and I made it clear that I am utterly opposed to anti-Semitism in any form, including denial of the Holocaust, from any part of the political spectrum.” This is a bit puzzling; was Corbyn referring to the Jewish Holocaust or the Palestinian one?

Here is what the patron of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign told the JC about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, “I have a long interest in campaigning for peace and justice in the Middle East, and reiterated my commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to a state, and to live in peace and security.” This sounds to me like a segment from a Likud pamphlet. Actually, I would expect our long-awaited radical leader to question whether Israel has the right to exist at the expense of another people. I would expect an heroic man like Corbyn to question whether the two state solution is still a valid option. I would expect Corbyn to sound more ethical and courageous than David Cameron and more pro-Palestinian than Bibi Netanyahu.

British Jews comprise less than 0.5% of the entire British population. According to different polls, the vast majority of them oppose Corbyn and his politics. On the face of it, Corbyn’s political future is not dependent on the ‘Jewish vote.’ What is it then that pushes Corbyn to pander to the BOD? One possible answer is that Corbyn is a really nice person. He wants everybody to be happy and this includes British Jews. He goes out of his way to please them by telling them what they want to hear. Another possible answer is slightly upsetting: due to his ‘radical’ views and criticism of Israel, Corbyn’s political survival is dependent on the support of Labour’s far left and British Trotskyites. And now we have a practical answer. Labour’s far left and Trotskyites themselves comprise a little Israel—a ghetto dominated by Bundist archaic Judeo-centric tribal ideology. So it is Corbyn’s past criticism of the Jewish State that now holds him hostage to the Jewish far left.

The JC article mentions that in September BOD president Arkush called on Mr. Corbyn to “publicly reject Hamas and Hezbollah if he was to gain the trust of British Jews.” This is actually good news, it leaves Corbyn with some room to manoeuvre. He has plenty more to give away. In other words, we will see more of Corbyn’s groveling and humiliation in the near future.

Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli jazz musician, author and political activist. His new book, “The Wandering Who,” may be ordered from or

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