Towards end of a long summer contest for UK Labour leadership between Jeremy Corbyn and challenger Owen Smith, a number of people could be seen annotating a gaudily-covered paperback book.
By Jenni Frazer | The Times of Israel
Dave Rich’s seminal primer, “The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism” could not have been published at a more appropriate time, on the heels of the leadership contest and the eve of Labour’s annual party conference.
It is no wonder audience members at speeches were using Rich’s book as a source to trace the extraordinary position in which Britain’s Labour Party now finds itself. Once the natural party to which Jews gravitated, Labour’s new toxic message has alienated Jews all over the country, disenfranchising those who had traditionally voted a straight Labour ticket all their adult lives.
At the same time, Labour’s “new politics” has attracted a groundswell of younger people, many of them disaffected from voting, but who are enthused by the ideas put forward by Corbyn and his inner circle — despite the fact that 172 of Labour’s MPs have repudiated Corbyn’s leadership.
Rich is deputy communications director of the Community Security Trust (CST) and associate research fellow at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at London University’s Birkbeck College. His book grew out of his PhD thesis and is a remarkable, methodical documentation of the growth of left-wing anti-Semitism in Britain.