Oh dear. On Tuesday evening, Jeremy Corbyn met with Jewish leaders to discuss his party’s anti-Semitism problem. The meeting didn’t sound as though it would be the most harmonious affair what with the Labour leader accused of not taking the concerns of the Jewish community seriously – and his decision to meet with the ‘radical’ fringe group Jewdas first.
So, there was much relief when Corbyn issued a post-meeting statement heralding a ‘positive and constructive’ meeting:
‘We will continue to engage and work with Jewish community organisations to deal with this issue. Our party will not fail our Jewish brothers and sisters.’
Only, it seems the Jewish representatives at the meeting don’t agree. They released a statement in stark contrast to Corbyn’s – slamming the occasion as a ‘disappointing missed opportunity’:
‘Mr Corbyn’s proposals fell short of the minimum level of action which our letter suggested.’
Adding to the confusion, Stephen Pollard of the Jewish Chronicle has published several attendees’ accounts of what was said:
‘Jonathan Goldstein of the JLC told Mr Corbyn that his parents had attended their first ever demonstration last month in Parliament Square. When they were nearby they were jeered by supporters of the Labour leader. “Why won’t you stop these people?”, Mr Goldstein demanded.
“It’s not in my name”, Mr Corbyn replied.
“So why are you not saying that loud and clear, with the passion you have shown over the Windrush scandal?”, Mr Goldstein responded.
Mr Corbyn is said to have shrugged.’
Either Corbyn was actually at a different meeting or the Labour leader needs a dictionary – pronto.