A month after Britain’s Jewish leadership began a campaign to expose anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, the bottom line is clear. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has no intention of acting against the anti-Semitism in his party, even as he inches closer to power.

The campaign began on March 26 with an unprecedented protest rally outside Parliament by the Jewish community and Labour MPs against the anti-Semitism that has accompanied Jeremy Corbyn’s far-left takeover of Labour. Subsequent public pressure forced Corbyn to seek a meeting with Britain’s Jewish leadership.

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council said that such a meeting would have to focus on concrete steps: there must be “action, not words.” They demanded a speedy investigation into anti-Semitic comments made by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, and a commitment that Labour MPs wouldn’t share a platform with others suspended or expelled for anti-Semitism.

But at last week’s meeting, Corbyn refused to commit to specific steps. In a press conference outside Parliament, community leaders called the parley a “disappointing missed opportunity,” and said they would continue to hold Labour to account.

Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush told Mishpacha afterward that behind the scenes there has been some movement. “Although he didn’t say so at the meeting, we’ve been briefed that they intend to deal with Livingstone within three months. And Keir Starmer, a Labour figure close to Corbyn, told Radio 4 that those who deny that the party has a problem with anti-Semitism ‘are part of the problem.’ What we’ve achieved is that in decent public opinion, Labour’s vices have been exposed.”

But it’s precisely public opinion that makes Corbyn’s response so worrying. Although his tepid remarks on the anti-Semitism allegations and the Russian spy poisoning have dented his popularity, recent YouGov polls show that support for Theresa May stands at 37%, not far ahead of Corbyn at 26%. Moreover, support for Corbyn’s Labour stands at 40%, equal to the governing Conservatives.

The anti-Semitism issue has pitted moderate MPs from Labour’s centrist old guard against the party’s far-left insurgents. Louise Ellman, a Jewish MP from Liverpool, says fellow MPs John Mann and Wes Streeting are some of the non-Jewish Labour members who have taken a stand. Their strategy, she tells Mishpacha, is “to keep up the pressure. Jeremy Corbyn understands that he has to act.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 708)