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Every day this summer marked another development in the moral death of the Labour Party. Perhaps lowest was the squabble over whether Jeremy Corbyn had lain a wreath at the grave of the perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacre. Suddenly Corbyn’s supporters had to scramble to pretend they were experts on the precise grave arrangements in Tunis and contest whether being photographed holding a wreath equals being involved in any wreath-laying. The Labour press office was happy to deflect attention from this serious charge by saying “But Israel . . .”. And Corbyn’s few die-hard supporters in the mainstream press fought hard to get their man off. This was no easy task.

A  great giveaway for false sentiment is the use of false language. One example during this depressing episode was provided by (who else?) Owen Jones in  the Guardian (where else?). Explaining that Corbyn’s wreath-laying was no big deal and in any case lots of people have laid wreaths, Jones clearly felt a need to balance his case by making a complementary condemnation of anti-Semitism. “And here’s where moral clarity is needed,” he began promisingly. “Anti-Semitism exists, it is a menace, and frightens Jews traumatised by the all too recent Holocaust.”

“All too recent.” It’s been a while since I’ve come across a line so false that it is painful to read.

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The decision to go for “Islamophobia” in the Conservative Party as the counter-attack for the endless string of  anti-Semitism embarrassments in Labour is revealing in itself. Tactically speaking, if Labour is being accused of anti-Semitism the obvious thing to do would be to say, “Well, why doesn’t the Conservative Party get its own house in order before accusing us of anti-Semitism?” It is the obvious move to make, and one which could (if Labour were remotely bothered about tackling anti-Semitism) do some good. Questions could obviously be raised about Sayeeda Warsi, who resigned from the cabinet over the British government’s support for Israel and has spent recent years arguing that British dual-nationals who are in the IDF should be treated like British nationals who join IS. I can also think of at least one Conservative close to the Prime Minister who has very fanatical and bigoted attitudes against the Jewish state, and who is currently in a position of greater importance than Corbyn and Co. have ever reached.

But the Labour Left clearly aren’t remotely interested in dealing with anti-Semitism in their own party or any other. They are interested in covering over their own shame and pressing a political advantage on behalf of their preferred interest groups.
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