Anti-Semitism and the Left
(AMBERLEY PUBLISHING, 288 PP, £20)
Tablet bookshop price £18 • Tel 020 7799 4064
The well-documented evidence of the rise of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn’s accession to the leadership in 2016 is too often dismissed as “myths” and “smears”. Ian Hernon is an unusual left-winger in this regard. A former deputy editor of Tribune, he voted Labour at the last election, despite Corbyn, but his book argues that the Left, and specifically Labour, has a long history of anti-Semitism, endemic in its outlook.
But isn’t Labour the party of the oppressed, the creator of modern race relations legislation? And have not Jews always been prominent in its ranks? Indeed, can a party that is avowedly anti-fascist be anti-Semitic? The value of this book lies in its addressing these questions. It is similar to, but different from, Dave Rich’s excellent The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism (2016).