An ostensibly independent report in June 2016 declared Labor free of systemic anti-Semitism, and Corbyn gave the author a peerage the month after. But the issue hasn’t gone away, and last week it boiled over.
Video surfaced of Corbyn saying, in August 2012, while on the Iranian state-controlled Press TV channel, that the “hand of Israel” was behind a jihadist terrorist attack in Egypt. A day later it was revealed Corbyn had compared Israel’s policies in Gaza to those of the Nazis at Stalingrad and claimed terrorists in Israeli prisons were part of a “political game.”
First, this took an ax to the root of the oft-made claim in Corbyn’s defense. Yes, he had kept dubious company. He referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”; supported the Irish Republican Army; was an asset for the Communist secret police in Czechoslovakia; and on and on.
But, it was said, he was naïve or trying to bridge divides; he was himself not an extremist.