From the beginning, Corbyn has flailed, unable to navigate the grey area of the anti-Semitism within the ranks of his own party. As a campaigner and backbencher, he long had the luxury of defining his career by what he rebelled against. Anti-war. Anti-nuke. Anti-Zionist. Now, though, people ask him more difficult questions. He still wants the benefit of the doubt, and gets testy when he doesn’t get it.
According to polling by the Jewish Chronicle, 85 percent of British Jews now think Corbyn is anti-Semitic. And that was before this week’s bombshell: documents obtained by the Sunday Times showing Labour failed to investigate hundreds of anti-Semitism complaints, and let hundreds more slide. Not only did the documents show that Labour’s procedures for investigating anti-Semitic incidents were—despite public assurances to the contrary—dismally sub-par, but also that members of Corbyn’s office directly intervened in more than one in 10 investigations, despite having claimed they were impartial.
A council candidate who said Jewish MPs were “Zionist infiltrators” was allowed to continue his campaign. Out of 863 alleged incidents detailed in the files, only 29 resulted in a party member being expelled. 145 resulted in a “formal warning”—which is largely meaningless—and 191 cases were resolved as requiring no action. The rest, the Times reports, are unresolved, including 249 which haven’t even been opened.