'Just When My Relations With Jews Were Going So Well.' Corbyn's Secret Diary Revealed

With the U.K. Labour Party leader under fire for his handling of an anti-Semitism scandal, Haaretz imagines what his recent journal entries might look like

Adrian Hennigan
Adrian Hennigan
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Corbyn illustration
Illustration: Bloomberg and Haaretz
Adrian Hennigan
Adrian Hennigan

The following is intended as satire

The week starts badly with a live interview at the shamelessly pro-Israel British Broadcasting Corporation. I mean, it’s right there in the bloody name – the “Bibi” C. Ostensibly I am there to discuss my views on Brexit, but since I don’t have any, the “journalist” tries to grill me on my links to Hamas and Hezbollah.

I assure him I am not on the Christmas card list of either organization and, furthermore, that photo of me dressed as Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah at our recent office party was obviously just a bad Photoshop job. “What photo?” the reporter responds, so I quickly move on to how I favour a softy Brexit. Good work, Jezza, got away with it again.

After a mere 253 days, I have decided to tackle this so-called anti-Semitism “crisis” head-on by attending a meeting with some of those pesky British Zionists. Pleasantly surprised to hear people doing that chant about me as I enter the building, but am later informed they were singing “Boo! Jeremy Corbyn.”

I reassure the miserable kvetchers that I cannot possibly be anti-Semitic, because I have seen every single episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” grow Jerusalem artichokes on my allotment and frequently use words like “kvetch.” They then proceed to lecture me on what anti-Semitism means, as if they would know better than yours truly. The chutzpah! (I rest my case.) After grinding my teeth for the duration of the meeting, I now need to see my – Jewish! – dentist again.

It’s visiting day, so I take a few hours out of my busy schedule to catch up with Kenny L. – or “the mayor who’s a ’mare,” as we now call him. I’ve been warned that he’s been feeling blue since I kicked him out of the party and had him committed, so I try to cheer him up by telling him a joke I heard about us now rating our anti-Semites on a scale of 0 to Ken. He doesn’t laugh. Instead, he starts ranting about how Hitler was a card-carrying Zionist and that there’s no such thing as Holocaust denial. I don’t have the heart to call him a Holocaust denier denier, so bid him a swift farewell, impressed by his continued ability to talk despite that Hannibal Lecter mask over his face.

Pop into my local Whole Foods Market and am appalled to see a 2-for-1.75 offer on some Israeli hummus – a product no doubt made in some god-awful settlement, where the chickpeas were crushed by the feet of some poor impoverished Palestinians. I demand to see the manager, but apparently he’s on a course teaching workers to keep a straight face while quoting prices. Instead, I tell anyone who will listen – two pensioners; well, one by the end – about culinary appropriation and then try to hide as many tubs of hummus as possible behind the artisanal Cheddar (red, of course).

My favourite moment of the week: meeting beloved constituents at my local surgery in Islington (and, sure, the odd craft beer also helps pass the time). A party member takes the opportunity to complain that she's being investigated for alleged anti-Semitism – after tweeting that matzot contain secret messages in braille about Jewish plans for world domination, and that the Jews are putting something in Jaffa oranges to control Gentile minds. I tell her this is all arrant nonsense, but concede she might be onto something with her bagel theory.

Wake up to find what I assume is a Mossad agent or Daily Mail reporter going through my bins, but scare them off by inviting them in for a chat about renationalisation. In the new spirit of entente cordiale, I then visit what I am told is my local synagogue. I reach out and ask the congregation if there’s anything I can help them with. A sweet old lady stands up and says she’s concerned about the overfishing of gefilte fish in the wild. I promise to look into it, which seems to go down well with the assembled crowd. With such small steps are mighty obstacles overcome.

Kenny calls from the institution and tells me he feels like a new person, which is why he’s decided to adopt a new identity – from now on he’d like to be known as Andy C. Mite. Shit, and just when my relations with British Jews were going so well.

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