When does discrimination become antisemitism?

PART of the problem in determining whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic lies in the definition of antisemitism itself.

For many, simply because he states that he is not antisemitic there is no further need for inquiry.

For others, his declaring Hamas as his friends is enough to certify him as a dyed-in-the-wool Jew-hater.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has produced a comprehensive definition of antisemitism which includes examples, such as denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.

The Labour Party has refused to adopt the definition as a whole. In other words, it refuses to accept that denial of Jewish nationhood is antisemitic.

And therein lies the root of the problem.

The Labour Party leadership in general — and Mr Corbyn in particular — do not accept that the Jews are permitted to decide for themselves what is or is not conduct which discriminates against them.

They know better, and the reason is that they only treat Judaism as a religion.

When Mr Corbyn claims he is not antisemitic, it is that sort of discrimination to which he refers — freedom of worship.

Similarly, when the Palestine Solidarity Campaign says it opposes antisemitism, that is what they mean — it is permissible to pray but not permissible to claim a right to nationhood.

The PSC, on their website and promotional literature, make their position perfectly clear.

When they speak of the Zionist occupation of Palestine, they mean the entire area of the former British mandate.

When the PSC talk of the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli state from the occupied territories, they mean the whole of Israel.

When they speak of returning to their land, they mean destroying the modern State of Israel.

Their literature leaves absolutely no room for any mistake — the PSC’s aim is the destruction of the Jewish homeland.

Which takes us back to Jeremy Corbyn. He is, and has been for some years, a patron of the PSC. He is a patron of an organisation which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.

In the event of antisemitism getting to the stage where my life and that of my family is under threat, Mr Corbyn wants us to have nowhere to go.

He positively wants my safe haven to be destroyed. He wants the safety net for Jews worldwide removed. Permanently.

Now tell me that Jeremy Corbyn is not antisemitic.

Robert Festenstein,
Board of Deputies Representative,
Prestwich Hebrew Congregation,

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