Jeremy Corbyn has been put through the rags for the last week or so over a Facebook comment he made in 2012 on an image of a mural by an artist. Majority of the media, Conservative Party and anti-Corbyn Labour MPs have been running with the story of calling him an anti-Semite, the problem is that he is not an anti-Semite and has apologised along, yet there seems to be zero let up for him whilst Conservative members can seemingly get away with anything after a day of outrage.

The first point of call is the fact that Mr Corbyn is one of the 8% of MPs who have consistently signed motions condemning and calling on more to be done about anti-Semitism.

But there are many in the public who equate anti-Zionist and anti-Israel with anti-Semitism.

The anti-Semitism political tool

Corbyn has been a vocal opponent of the Israeli government and their treatment of Palestinians, which leaves anyone who thinks alike open to being called an anti-Semite despite them being different, they do not equate with each other. However, opponents will use this to run a long smear campaign to attempt to convince the public that these two concepts are equitable, this however will only see the increase of anti-Semitism, through the normalisation of the idea and affect the ability to combat it within society because it is still an issue no matter where your ideals lay.

The tool used by the Israeli government and its allies is anti-Semitism and this allows them to continue their genocide of the Palestinians. But in Britain, real anti-Semitism still exists despite it being comparatively low compared to other countries. In September 2017, the Institute of Jewish Policy Research published a report entitled ‘Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain.

There is a lot of detail and it goes into various groups and is certainly an interesting read.

A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel

What is concerning is according to the report 1% of British society believe that violence against the Jews is “often” justified when defending their religion or political beliefs, furthermore, 3% believe that it is “sometimes” justifiable.

But what struck me was the section that detailed the extent of anti-Semitism within the different parts of the political spectrum.

The report states that within the left, which includes the far-left, slightly left-centre and basically all aspects of the left, the levels of anti-Semitism are “indistinguishable” from those found in the general population. However, this is where it gets mixed and used to demonise anyone on the left, there are higher levels of anti-Israelism. But being anti-Israel does not equate to being anti-Semitic, the former is being against the state and the latter is being prejudice against anyone who is Jewish.

What strikes as ironic is that this report explicitly states that the most anti-Semitic group identify as the far-right (hardly surprising to anyone with a semblance of historical knowledge) and that attitudes of anti-Semitism is 2 to 4 times higher than the general population on the right, and it is largely those who are on the right that are making a fuss over Corbyn.

Importantly, the number of people who are anti-Semitic in Britain does remain very low but it is an issue because Britain itself was born and grew through the exploitation and prejudice of minorities, so there is an ingrained element nonetheless and they must be tackled but there is no doubt that the Jeremy Corbyn furore is nothing more than playing politics with people’s lives to keep the status quo.

“Political debates both within and beyond the Jewish community often focus on groups perceived as especially anti-Semitic, but the role of various groups in relation to any phenomenon is not only a matter of the concentration of this phenomenon within these groups but is also related to the actual size of the groups within the population as a whole.” – (Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain, A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel, L. Daniel Staetsky)