Roger Silverman says it is time to defend Corbyn’s consistent record of resistance to racism in all its forms, Bryn Jones says the Zionist label now resembles previous intemperate use of the term ‘communist’, Richard Cooper says the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism is highly Israel-centric, and Sophie Marks says the voices that shout loudest are not always representativeAs the grandson of penniless refugees from Tsarist pogroms, one of them the victim of a racist murder in Britain, and the son of a Labour MP who in 1940 was among the first to warn the world about Hitler’s “final solution” and who subsequently protested against the Labour government’s attacks on Jewish concentration-camp survivors migrating to Palestine, I have never encountered antisemitism within the Labour party since I joined it at the age of 15.
In the rich cultural life of European Jews organised in the socialist Bund, Zionism was originally a fringe sect. It was under the shadow of the swastika that it became an expression of mass desperation. Zionism was an outgrowth of the Holocaust, and subsequently a tragic failure. Settlement in Palestine has not after all offered the Jews lasting security. Jews are no safer in Israel today than in Europe and America.