The Chakrabarti Inquiry failed the test of intellectual self- examination and marked the moment when antisemitism in the Labour Party and, inevitably, in wider society, ceased to be a matter for censure.
My submission criticised the dilution of the original terms of the inquiry by adding “other forms of racism”, thereby allowing it to slide into generalities and avoid facing up to the real causes of antisemitism. Apologists say “all forms of racism are unacceptable”, and we have learned that to label oneself a non-racist is self-absolution of the charge of antisemitism.
I asked the inquiry to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which usefully distinguishes between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and antisemitism.
I called for acceptance of Israel as a vital component of the identity and beliefs of most Jews, and for the tiny minority of “as a Jews” to be ignored.
The inquiry ignored my reference to the embarrassing conclusion that some of the politicians who made antisemitic comments were making them in a misguided attempt to court voters in constituencies with a large Muslim population.
I raised the illegality of the BDS movement, and rampant campus antisemitism, for example the Labour Club affair at Oxford, examined by Baroness Royall in her exemplary report — but ignored by Chakrabarti.
The inquiry did not take up the core issue of the association of the left with hatred of Jews.
“Whitewash” is a technique associated with the excesses of the worst international regimes. Unfortunate, but perhaps not surprising, that it applies to the Corbyn regime as well.
Baroness Deech is a cross-bench peer