A few people have asked what, if anything, Jeremy Corbyn could do to defuse the current antisemitism issue. Here are some thoughts. (Thread)
He might consider giving a speech. But for such a speech to succeed it would need to do a few, very difficult things.
It would need to be personal and self-critical. On the mural, he would need to admit that he looked at a nakedly antisemitic image and could not see the racism. That his response to hearing it was coming down was to ask, "Why?"
He would need to admit that he was an active member of three separate Facebook groups drenched in anti-Jewish imagery and themes and yet said nothing. He would need to explain how, to quote a colleague, he stood knee-deep in a sewer and somehow didn't notice the stink.
He would need to admit that, for some reason, he has repeatedly stood with or defended antisemites, including Holocaust deniers and 9/11 conspiracy theorists shunned by the wider left (Some details on the Sizer and Eisen cases here) thejc.com/comment/column…
That he has an extensive and documented record of looking past antisemitism if it comes from a source he deems sound on Israel/Palestine - and that this is a habit shared by others on the left
He would need to reckon with all that – and he would need to say that many of his closest allies have repeatedly got this issue wrong too.
That, for example, Len McCluskey was wrong to dismiss complaints of antisemitism as “mood music” - and that others are wrong to suggest now that Jews are making this stuff up, or exaggerating it or “weaponising” it to damage him.
Indeed he would need to say that such a claim is itself antisemitic because it suggests Jews do not act sincerely, but always with an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.
He would need to accept that current Jewish anguish is real - and that he has played a part in causing it.