1st Edition

Labour's Antisemitism Crisis What the Left Got Wrong and How to Learn From It

By David Renton Copyright 2022
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Between 2015 and 2020 the Labour Party was riven by allegations that the party had tolerated antisemitism.

    For the Labour right, and some in the media, the fact that such allegations could be made was proof of a moral collapse under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Sections of the left, meanwhile, sought to resist the accusations by claiming that the numbers of people accused of racism were few, that the allegations were an orchestrated attack, and that those found guilty were excluded from the party. This important book by one of Britain’s leading historians of anti- fascism gives a more detailed account than any yet published of what went wrong in Labour. Renton rejects those on the right who sought to exploit the issue for factional advantage. He also criticises those of his comrades on the left who were ignorant about what most British Jews think and demonstrated a willingness to antagonise them.

    This book will appeal to anyone who cares about antisemitism or left- wing politics.

    1. Introduction

    2. The Uniqueness of Antisemitism

    3. Naz Shah and the Cause of Palestine

    4. Ken Livingstone and the Crimes of Zionism

    5. Jews and the Slave Trade

    6. Seeing No Evil: Trump and the US Right

    7. Seeing No Evil: Corbyn and the Mear One Mural

    8. Jewdas and the Figure of the Bad Jew

    9. The Labour Left and the Israel Lobby

    10. The Labour Right and Anti-Zionist Jews

    11. The Bullying of Luciana Berger

    12. Fighting the Rich, Without Fighting Jews

    13. From the Edge of the Anti-War Movement

    14. Israel’s Eastern European Allies

    15. On Gatekeeping

    16. Antisemitism and Black Emancipation

    17. Conclusion


    David Renton is a British historian and barrister. His other books include No Free Speech for Fascists: Exploring ‘No Platform’ in History, Law and Politics (Routledge 2021) and Never Again: Rock against Racism and the Anti- Nazi League 1976– 1982 (Routledge 2019).

    "Many on the left won’t like this book, but everyone should read it if we are to do better in future." Mike Phipps, LabourHub.

    "The definitive work for me on this most vexatious of subjects by the longstanding leftwing writer on fascism and antifascism, David Renton. Definitive in scope, politics and writing style this is a hugely impressive piece of writing and puts the Keir Starmer era Labour Party’s own pitiful efforts at antisemitism training to shame." - Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football.

    "It was fair to expect the party under Corbyn to have acknowledged the challenge and taken its share of responsibility. David Renton's call to do just that makes his book a valuable contribution to the debate on left-wing antisemitism." - Keith Kahn Harris, Times Literary Supplement.

    "David Renton’s excellent new book...demonstrates [that] acknowledging real antisemitism on our own side was absolutely necessary if we were to show that we were principled anti-racists. And, more importantly, if we were to be principled anti-racists." - Ian Saville, LabourHub.