Opinion

You, Jeremy Corbyn, Have Led Labour Into Authoritarianism, Mob Rule and Institutionalized Racism Against Jews

Some of your own advisors told me that they believe you’re an anti-Semite - but want to try and change you. But you can’t be changed. You've torn up Labour’s commitment to anti-racism, and now, after 13 years, I’ve torn up my party membership card

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London on February 19, 2019
AFP

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

I became a member of the Labour Party 13 years ago.

I joined as a student on the left of the party, a place in which I have remained since, including serving as an elected Councillor. I was completely assured of the shared values of the Labour Party and my own Jewish faith, community and heritage. Those values meant a complete and utter commitment to anti-racism, social justice and the eradication of economic injustice. The Labour Party no longer shares those values.

It has now become clear that under your leadership, the party has been corrupted and indoctrinated by people who are authoritarian in their approach to politics, encourage democratic structures that lead to bullying mob rule, and above all else, are racist towards Jews. That racism may well be a result of the latter two philosophies. 

History is clear to me that when political events like this begin with Jews, they never end with Jews. All minorities should, and I believe will, eventually have significant reason to worry about your rise to the leadership of the Labour Party.

There can be no racial, social or economic justice whilst anti-Semites have completed a hostile takeover of the greatest force for achieving those aims. Anti-Semitism is a corrosive conspiracy theory that blocks the achievement of all justices. 

You, Jeremy Corbyn, represent the ultimate betrayal of Labour values.

I thought naively that you could change. That very naivety, or belief in the good in people, is why I and so many others are part of the Labour Party. But you have abused and manipulated the idealism of hundreds of thousands of good people, whilst allowing the anti-Semites to become evangelists for hate.

Too many people I have known for my whole life are now asking themselves for the very first time if they have a future in this country if you win power. Those questions were unimaginable for Jewish people just five years ago. People who are committed to the same values that the Labour Party once stood for. I cannot be complicit in helping you become Prime Minister.

Mr Corbyn, you must take full responsibility for this. Prior to your leadership, anti-Semitism in this once great party was minimal. During your tenure, anti-Semites have roamed free, and spread their venom to people who previously had no experience, knowledge or feelings towards Jews.

Their  poison has turned ordinary people who genuinely believe themselves to be anti-racists into bigots—all whilst you buried your own head in the sand, because of a complete inability to comprehend a harsh reality: You yourself have been surrounded by anti-Semites for decades. In fact, you’re so comfortable in their company that it it’s hard to dismiss the conclusion that you also sympathize with anti-Semitism.

You, and the bullies at the top of the party, from Seumas Milne to Len McClusky, have allowed this culture of institutionalized anti-Semitism to develop and grow. You have fed a culture of denial that has allow this sickness to spread. You brief alt-left media such as Skwawkbox, which disseminates your message to distrust Jews en masse.

Our party has become institutionally racist on your watch in just four short years. Every complaint I have submitted about anti-Semitism in our party remains outstanding, as does the dossier of 250 specific complaints about individuals that the Jewish Labour Movement submitted.

I believe this institutional anti-Semitism cannot be eradicated on your watch. Some good people, fellow travellers of yours, do understand the issue - but they are powerless to do anything about it. Some of your own advisors have told me that they believe you to be an anti-Semite - but want to try and change you. But you cannot be changed.

Over the past year I have had too many conversations with people in and around your office and the leadership of the broad left whom, I believe, genuinely wish to eradicate anti-Semitism from our party but are fearful of raising their concerns too loudly within your office out of fear of retribution, demotion or simply being locked out of a tight-knit clique of those now running Labour. 

This is why the problem is institutional: even the people who want to fix it are powerless to because of those at the top. A top team managed by you. Under instruction by you?

I have the upmost respect for many of the people who stay on, including those in Momentum. They will come to their own conclusions in their own time. But I can have no further part in this. I can no longer look my family and friends in the face without complete shame.

My wife and I are having our first child in two weeks’ time. One day my son may ask me what I did to stop you from ever becoming Prime Minister. Well, this is a small act, but it’s what I can do. 

I will no longer pay subscriptions to an anti-Semitic movement. I will sign one pledge, and that is to stop a party led by anti-Semites from ever gaining power in this country. I will continue to live by the values on the back of my now torn-up membership card.

Please consider this my resignation from the Labour Party.

Adam Langleben is a former Labour member, political advisor and Councillor in the London Borough of Barnet, and member of the Jewish Labour Movement National Executive Committee. Twitter: @adamlangleben