It’s not the first, nor is it going to be the last time that we hear of a bizarre announcement from Camp Corbyn, as the new leader of the Labour Party attempts to stamp his brand of socialism on his party. Reports over the past 24 hours have suggested that the Labour leader intends to appoint a “Minister for Jews” in order to allay fears of his and his colleagues’ perceived anti-Semitism.
Corbyn – who has been plagued by the accusations due to his virulent anti-Israel, pro-Hamas, pro-Hezbollah, and pro-Guantanamo Bay detainee stance – is rumoured to have approached figures in Britain’s Jewish community to discuss having their own dedicated minister, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
At a number of times during his Labour leadership election campaign, the hashtag #Antisemites4Corbyn popped up, noting some of his followers’ racist views towards the Jewish community.
But Mr Corbyn has a plan to deal with all that apparently. TheJC.com says:
Rumours emanating from the Corbyn camp within the last 48 hours suggested he wanted to appoint a “Minister for Jews” – an emissary to work with the community. Is that a proposal that is likely to help?
While apparently designed as a measure to improve relations and build bridges, unveiling religion-specific portfolio holders – there would also be a Minister for Muslims it is understood – could be yet another PR disaster for the 66-year-old leader.
Would he, for example, give the Jewish minister job to a Jew? Or would it go to a non-Jew who was friendly towards the community? What about a Jew who was unfriendly towards the community? It would be a minefield.
Could left-wing veteran Sir Gerald Kaufman – now the Father of the House and 85 years old – be dispatched? He’s a Jewish MP who caused outrage in the Commons by declaring “here we are, the Jews again” when colleague Louise Ellman rose to speak. Another fine mess Mr Corbyn could get himself into.
Typically, Britain’s Jewish community tends not to lean either way in an election, with an almost 50-50 split in polling between Conservative and Labour supporters. But at the last election almost 70 per cent of Jewish people in the UK polled said they would be voting Conservative, a let down for then-leader Ed Miliband, himself from a Jewish background.
Mr Corbyn today wished his Twitter followers Shana Tova, for the Jewish New Year – perhaps a further sign that the Labour Party is worried about Mr Corbyn’s political stances chasing away Jewish support.
Shana Tova to all – have a sweet and happy New Year
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) September 13, 2015