The grounds for labelling Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite simply do not exist – says Geoffrey Alderman, Professor of Politics, University of Buckingham (in the Spectator).
In 2011 Jeremy Corbyn wrote a foreward to a new edition of J A Hobson’s Imperialism: A Study, a text first published in 1902. Recently Jeremy has come under attack and falsely accused of endorsing Hobson’s anti-Semetic views.
Responding to these mischievous representations of Jeremy’s forward, Professor Alderman’s interesting article includes the following points:
‘In a text running to almost 400 pages there are merely a dozen or so lines which we would call anti-Semitic. There was absolutely no need for Corbyn to have drawn attention to them in his foreward.’
‘The fact of the matter is that Corbyn has an impressive record of supporting Jewish communal initiatives. For instance he was recently supportive of Jewish efforts to facilitate the speedy issue of death certificates by the north London coroner. In 2015 he took part in a ceremony in his Islington constituency to commemorate the founding of the North London Synagogue. In 2010 he put his name to an Early Day Motion (tabled by Diane Abbott) calling on the UK government to facilitate the settlement of Yemeni Jews in Britain. Indeed I could fill this entire article with a list of philo-Semitic EDMs that Corbyn has signed since he was first elected as Labour MP for Islington North in 1983.
‘In 1987 the West London Synagogue approached Islington Council with a startling proposal: to sell its original cemetery to property developers, destroying the gravestones and digging-up and reburying the bodies lying under them. This cemetery (dating from 1843) was not merely of great historic and architectural interest – in the view of orthodox Jews, the deliberate destruction of a cemetery is sacrilegious. So when Islington Council granted the planning application, a Jewish-led and ultimately successful campaign was launched to have the decision reversed. I was part of that campaign. So was Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile, the then-leader of Islington Council (1982-92), whose decision to permit the destruction of the cemetery was eventually overturned, was none other than Margaret Hodge (though it is unclear whether she personally was in favour of the proposal).
‘I have deliberately omitted from this discussion any consideration of Corbyn’s attitude to Zionism and whether anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic. All I will say here – as a proud Zionist – is that in my view context is, again, paramount.’
The full article by Professor Alderman can be read here: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/05/is-jeremy-corbyn-really-anti-semitic/