Watch this BBC investigative report on anti-Semitism in the U.K. Labour Party

One of the longest-running and most shameful modern anti-Semitism scandals has been unfolding on the British left

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The numbers are stark: 87% of British Jews believe that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour party, is anti-Semitic. For some, this means they think he harbors personal prejudice towards Jews as individuals or a collective. For others, this means they believe that Corbyn has enabled a culture where Jews are targets for political advantage, whether or not he personally harbors such animus.

The famous saying goes, “two Jews, three opinions.” But incredibly, when it comes to Corbyn and Labour, British Jews are nearly unanimous. Ultra-Orthodox rabbis have signed letters decrying the Labour party’s conduct alongside progressive female rabbis they’d otherwise not even recognize. Jewish Labour MPs have quit the party, dubbing it “institutionally anti-Semitic.” Just 13% of British Jews told pollsters they would vote for Corbyn, the same paltry percentage of American Muslims that voted for Donald Trump.

This week, the BBC’s Panoroma program aired a bombshell investigative report that helps explain why. In it, veteran journalist John Ware speaks to eight non-Jewish whistleblowers from the Labour party, some of whom originally voted for Corbyn as leader. These former high-ranking officials expose how the party became overrun with anti-Semitic individuals, and how its leadership actively intervened to protect the bigots from sanction. The head of Labour’s complaints division, tasked with policing racism, was so dismayed by this constant interference that he says he was driven to contemplate suicide. These confessions are devastatingly juxtaposed with Corbyn’s own public boasts of his anti-racist credentials and calls for a “kinder, gentler politics.”

In advance of the report, Labour attempted to intimidate staffers into refusing to cooperate with the BBC by issuing legal threats. When this failed, they resorted to labeling the journalism “fake news” (in British) while it aired:

Unfortunately for them, in the middle of this online campaign, another Labour whistleblower commandeered the party’s press account:

I highly recommend you watch the BBC report in full, and pass it and this newsletter primer on to others who might not be familiar with these disturbing developments within one of America’s most important allies. As Louise Withers Green, one of the whistleblowers who broke a non-disclosure agreement to speak out, put it: “I am genuinely quite scared about what the rising rhetoric of anti-Jewish racism means for Jews and for the country. The thought of things getting worse, and me not speaking out when I could, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.”


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Questions? Comments? Want to blow the whistle on this or any other anti-Semitic incident? Reply to this email, or drop me a line at yrosenberg@tabletmag.com. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.