Despite their traditional loyalty to the far left, just 8.5 percent of Jews in Britain plan to vote for the Labour Party in the upcoming general election in that country—solely because that party supports the rights of Palestinians.
According to an opinion piece published in the Times of Israel, prominent far-left Jewish Labour Party activist Robert Philpot said that “many of the bonds between the [Labour] party and Britain’s Jews have snapped.”
“While historically the party held close ties with Jewish voters, it’s lost support for appearing to be anti-Israel. With Corbyn at the helm, that’s set to get worse,” Philpot, who is a director of the extremist leftist “Progress” lobby, said.
“American Jews have remained, alongside African-Americans, one of the Democratic party’s most loyal constituencies,” Philpot continued.
“This historic party loyalty prompted essayist Milton Himmelfarb to quip that ‘Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans.’
“Britain’s Jews, however, have long since become detached from their traditional moorings on the political left.”
Philpot went on to recount the political history of Jewish immigrants to Britain, saying that their first concentration in the East End of London and similar inner-city parts of Leeds, Manchester, and nearby Salford, all provided solid bases of support for the Labour party.
“When Labour won its first parliamentary majority under Clement Attlee in the 1945 general election, seats with large Jewish populations voted overwhelmingly for the party,” he said.
Nonetheless, as they climbed Britain’s socioeconomic class system, some started looking toward the Conservative Party.
“These socioeconomic factors were overlaid and complicated by Britain’s relationship with Israel,” he explained, before going into a detailed history of how government policy toward the Jews-only state has always been the overriding principle governing the Jewish vote.
The Attlee government’s betrayal of the Zionist cause which Labour had hitherto steadfastly advocated, coupled with Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin’s notorious hostility to the young Jewish state, angered and offended many British Jews.So, too, did the party’s stance during the Suez crisis in 1956 when Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell compared Britain’s actions to someone helping “the burglar [Israel] shoot the householder [Egypt].”But, in its greatest hour of need in October 1973, it was Labour who was to prove the Jewish state’s better friend, attacking Edward Heath’s government for imposing an arms embargo on both sides and urging solidarity with “democratic socialist” Israel.A few months later, the country went to the polls. Where their votes counted, Jewish voters punished Conservative MPs who had backed the government’s stance and rewarded those who had rebelled against it.Indeed, Labour has provided three of Britain’s most pro-Israeli prime ministers of the past four decades: Harold Wilson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.Nonetheless, Labour has too often forced Jews who might naturally vote for it to choose between their party and their support for Israel in a manner that the American Democratic party has never done.The US “kosher vote” has remained steadfastly loyal, in part, because the Democratic party has never succumbed to the virulent hostility to Israel which became fashionable in some sections of the European left during the 1970s.
It was when the far left started demanding that Israel adopt the policies of integration and racial integration—those same policies that the Jewish lobby always demands of non-Jewish states—that the breakdown in relations between Jews and the Labour Party started, he continued.
That tide of anti-Zionism swept over Labour in the early 1980s when, in the wake of Thatcher’s election in 1979, the hard left attempted to seize control of the party.
Labour’s lurch to the left extended well beyond the arena of foreign policy in general and Israel in particular.
But difficulties for Labour in the community were compounded by the fact that virulent opposition to Israel was one of the hallmarks of the hard left, while attacks on the Jewish state became a mainstay of debates in many local parties.
As a result, Philpot continued, large numbers of Jews switched to the Conservative Party, particularly under former Prime Minister Margaret who had a “longstanding support for Israel” and a “close relationship with then-Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits.
As Philpot pointed out:
Such was the affinity that in 1988 the pro-Conservative Sunday Telegraph admiringly declared that “Judaism has become the new creed of Thatcherite Britain.”
Philpot continued by saying that the far left, which seized control of the Labour Party after Tony Blair, had become even more stridently “anti-Zionist”—or, closer to the truth, pro-Palestinian human rights—and that from there, the last bonds linking Jews to that party had been broken.
A poll among Jews, in 2015, Philpot said, found that 73 percent of Jewish voters said the parties’ approach toward Israel and the Middle East was “very” or “quite” important in determining how they would vote.
The election of “veteran anti-Israeli activist” Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party has been the final straw.
Corbyn’s hostility to Israel is deeply entrenched. As Dave Rich wrote in his recent book, The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism, he came of age politically during the era of decolonization.Rich argued that to Corbyn’s generation of leftists, Zionism is “a racist, colonialist ideology, and Israel an illegitimate remnant of Western colonialism in the Middle East.”
This leftist “anti-Zionism” as Philpot and others call it, is of course not “anti-Semitic” at all, but merely a demand that the Jews-only state stop being just that—a racially-based state designed to preserve Jewish genetic homogeneity.
This is a policy which should in fact be adopted by all states seeking to preserve and protect their peoples’ racial identities—but the Jewish lobby has spent decades prepping the far left to oppose racial politics—and has now found to its horror that this far left seeks to apply that same standard to Israel.
This then, is the origin of the “anti-Zionism” which is now forcing the hypocritical Jewish lobby to abandon the Labour Party: it is a question of “do as I say, not as I do.”