Jeremy Corbyn has appointed two MPs with anti-Israel views to lead his party’s efforts to repair relations with the Jewish community.
Kate Osamor and Sarah Champion will informally share the role vacated by Dawn Butler last month when she quit her position as Shadow Minister for Minority Ethnic Communities.
Ms Champion has been a leading critic of Israel and campaigned for the government to set up a “watchlist” of Israelis who are “known war crime suspects”.
In January last year she led a Parliamentary debate in which she accused the Israeli Defence Forces of “mass intimidation and collective punishment” of Palestinians in the West Bank. She has previously visited the Palestinian territory and said “being pro-Palestine does not make you anti-Israel”.
Ms Osamor has her own chequered history on the region. Last year she signed a letter attacking the government’s plans to curb boycotts of Israel. She put her name to the call for an end to arms trading with Israel, claiming Israel “attacks Palestinians with impunity.”
I welcome this move because it will encourage former Labour stalwarts among the UK’s Jewish community to leave the fold. One example is my 101-year-old aunt, who had voted Labour all her adult life until the last election. The left of Jeremy Corbyn is the new fascism. Sir Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts were paragons of virtue compared to the Corbynistas. They may not use real coshes, but they bludgeon us nonetheless with lies, distortions and downright mendacity. As my friend, Philip, quipped, “for a Jew to vote for Corbyn’s Labour party would be like a turkey voting for Christmas.”