Update: This article should be read in conjunction with our subsequent article.
Jeremy Corbyn today wrote a statement in the Holocaust Educational Trust memorial book which outrageously omits Jews and antisemitism from his reflections on the message of the Holocaust.
The far-left of the political spectrum, where Mr Corbyn is at home, has a history of diminishing the Holocaust. It is a softcore form of Holocaust denial. On the subject of the Holocaust, the far-left chips away at the truth rather than denying it outright, and attempts to rob it of its potency. Mr Corbyn’s political ally of old, Ken Livingstone, strives to tie Zionism with Hitler, Nazism and the subsequent fate of the Jews. Jackie Walker, a friend of Mr Corbyn’s and former Vice Chair of his Momentum power base, has been threatened with expulsion for antisemitism a second time after an outburst in which she claimed that marking Holocaust Memorial Day excluded other genocides. A Labour Party conference meeting of the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour group that Mr Corbyn glowingly cites, called for Holocaust denial to be permitted at then Party’s conference. Just this week, when Mr Corbyn spoke in remembrance of the Holocaust in Parliament, one of his most supportive former councillors tweeted to compare the Holocaust with the supposed effects of Conservative cutbacks, just after being told by Labour’s governing committee that he would not be sanctioned for his past antisemitic comments. Now, Mr Corbyn has added himself to the sorry roll-call, subtracting the Jews from a genocide of Jews.
The Holocaust was a genocide in which the Nazis and their collaborators systematically murdered two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. This is what we remember. Through studying, teaching and memorialising this disastrous episode in the history of mankind, the world is reminded of what we are capable of if we permit those with evil inclinations to reach power, and indeed Holocaust Memorial Day is now also a day of remembrance of subsequent genocides, including Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
However, to omit the Jews from the remembrance of the Holocaust is a contradiction in terms. For by cutting the Jews and antisemitism out of the story, we remember nothing.
Following the justified outrage that followed statements by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016 and US President Donald Trump in 2017, which failed to mention the Jews, Mr Corbyn’s failure to even mention Jews and antisemitism, especially considering the antisemitism problem within his own Party, is appalling. We call on Mr Corbyn to apologise and issue a new statement, and we call on all other Jewish community groups and leaders to stand beside us and call this out for what it is: a disgraceful forgetting at a ceremony purposed for remembering.