THE views of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn represent a new high in resurgent anti-Semitism, said Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, as he delivered the 35th Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) Gandel Oration.
Introduced by ADC chair Dvir Abramovich to a capacity audience at St Kilda Town Hall on Monday night, the former Israeli UN ambassador, whose oration was titled, Battling the Evil of Global Anti-Semitism, declared, “Anti-Semitism is back … It may be argued that it never went away.”
Gold, who advised Israeli prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu, and served as director-general of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, devoted much of his address to rising anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party in a country that was “the cornerstone of the spread of the democratic ideal”.
Quoting deputy party leader Tom Watson that British Labour “is in danger of disappearing into … a vortex of eternal shame” over anti-Semitism, Gold noted a joint editorial in three British Jewish newspapers describing “an existential threat” to UK Jewish life if Corbyn formed government.
Gold related Corbyn’s 2009 description of Hamas and Hezbollah, dedicated to Israel’s destruction, as “friends”, although “he later said he regretted using those words” and noted Corbyn laid a wreath at a Tunisian cemetery where Black September terrorists are buried.
He said the Labour leader rejected key elements of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, refusing to acknowledge that accusing Jews of dual loyalties and comparing Israel’s policies to Nazism is anti-Semitic, and that denying Jews the right to national self-determination is racist.
Spreading falsehoods that the Israel army deliberately kills Palestinian civilians is another form of resurgent anti-Semitism, said Gold, who was briefed by the IDF on its elaborate early-warning measures to Gazans storing offensive weaponry in their houses that air strikes were imminent, including phone calls and roof knocking technology.
“Do you think a country that goes through all of that effort to make sure people are warned … is killing civilians deliberately? This isn’t Chechnya, this isn’t the Russian army, this is the Israeli army,” he said.
Gold said UNESCO’s bid to erase Judaism’s ties to Jerusalem’s sacred sites is another new form of anti-Semitism, denying historical and biblical connections that even Arab community leaders had acknowledged decades earlier.
Ahead of his oration, Gold was called to the podium to receive the ADC’s inaugural Medal of Honour “for distinguished service to the Jewish people and Israel” from philanthropist John Gandel.