Allegations that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn suddenly became antisemitic are not, of course, new. They began almost as soon as Corbyn shocked the Establishment – in and out of the party – by his landslide first leadership election victory in 2015.
In 2016, the Commons Home Affairs Committee (CHAC) convened to investigate and report on the claims.
The investigating MPs on the committee were all opponents of Jeremy Corbyn – six Tories, one SNP and two ‘centrist’ Labour MPs, of whom one had called on Corbyn to resign a couple of months earlier and the other had resigned from the front bench as soon as Corbyn became leader, rather than serve the party under him:
Those MPs had no incentive to find Labour blameless. At least some of them positively wanted to find Labour guilty of an ‘antisemitism problem’ – and went to the media afterwards to try to ‘spin’ the committee’s findings against the party.
But in their official report – the formal record of their findings that they could be held accountable for in future – this was their conclusion:
Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party.
Six Tories, one SNP, two Labour MPs with close connections to Israel – and they had to conclude that there was no evidence of a Labour ‘antisemitism problem’.
Of course, Labour has people with antisemitic attitudes among its members. Society has such people and Labour draws its members from it.
But no evidence that there is a ‘higher prevalence’.
In fact, there is significant evidence that Labour has less – the Campaign against Antisemitism (CAA) recently found that forty percent of Tory members hold antisemitic attitudes, much higher than Labour.
Yet the CAA is one of the groups now calling for protests against the Labour Party – not against the Tories.
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