Today the Jewish MP, Ruth Smeeth, revealed that she has received 25,000-odd pieces of abuse following the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party. Ms Smeeth said that 20,000 abusive messages were received in the first twelve hours after the launch event at which she herself received antisemitic abuse from a Momentum member who subsequently left joking with a smiling Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Smeeth was clear that the abusers were acting in the name of Jeremy Corbyn. Following the launch, Ms Smeeth declared that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn “cannot be a safe space for British Jews” and called on him to resign.
Asked on the Victoria Derbyshire programme for examples of the abuse, Ms Smeeth said that one message read: “The gallows would be a fine place for this dyke piece of Yid s*** to swing from,” adding that this was “one of the worst, not the worst” of the abuse. She said that such abuse had become “seemingly acceptable” and that although she was sure Jeremy Corbyn would condemn it, this was insufficient, and called again for firmer action.
After Young Labour’s report into Oxford Antisemitism was succeeded by the suppression of Baroness Royall’s report, it could only be imagined that Chakrabarti’s whitewash represented the one of the lowest points for Jews in this country in recent decades. However, for tens of thousands of individual messages of abuse to be levelled at a Jewish MP after she herself did nothing more than protest clear and public antisemitism, represents the current level of virulent mob antisemitism. What makes it so dangerous is that this is not being fomented by fringe fascists, but by our own polity.
We call for politicians of all parties, and our public institutions to intervene as powerfully as they can to protect the Jews of this country from a growing racist movement that is clearly out of control.