Jeremy Corbyn's olive branch to British Jews falls short

The Labour leader is calling for dialogue, but the community has already made its wishes clear. 


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In an attempt to quell Labour’s crisis over antisemitism, Jeremy Corbyn has written an article for the Guardian on the issue.

The piece contains the strongest language yet deployed by the Labour leader on the issue, but falls short of the central ask of the majority of British Jews and the leadership of the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and the Jewish Labour Movement: to incorporate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism in full, including all 11 relevant examples.

Instead Corbyn commits the party to further dialogue with British Jewish community groups. But the difficulty is that as far as the bulk of those groups are concerned, they have had dialogue and made their wishes plain. An unparalleled coalition of diverse theological, social, economic, and political opinions within British Jewry have spoken up and their preference is clear: for Labour to implement the full, unamended IHRA. And while Labour is unwilling to accede to that request, the bad feeling between the Opposition and British Jews will continue. 

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.