Labour’s response to Corbyn’s endorsement of a book rife with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories so far has been to release a statement defending the book as a “classic study of imperialism” and sending Rebecca Long-Bailey out on a broadcast round to laugh about the issue. Labour candidates have been suspended for sharing Rothschild conspiracy theories online, this is their woeful response to Corbyn endorsing an entire book of them:
“Jeremy praised the Liberal Hobson’s century-old classic study of imperialism in Africa and Asia. Similarly to other books of its era, Hobson’s work contains outdated and offensive references and observations, and Jeremy completely rejects the antisemitic elements of his analysis.”
Labour MPs have called on Corbyn to explain himself directly, instead of sending out other MPs to defend him and hiding behind statements. Wes Streeting says that “if he wants to defend the indefensible he should go on the airwaves and defend himself”:
My advice to any Labour MP today: refuse to defend Jeremy Corbyn lauding a book containing classic antisemitic tropes. If he wants to defend the indefensible he should go on the airwaves and defend himself. He has a responsibility to explain himself. https://t.co/ioOVhJJ1O3
— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) May 1, 2019
Stephen Kinnock is “deeply concerned” and calls on Corbyn to “make a public statement or do an interview about the issue”, Ruth Smeeth retweeted the Jewish Labour Movement’s statement calling for Corbyn to “consider his position”. Other moderate Labour big beasts like Tom Watson have ignored the issue altogether so far. Will they stand up and call out something they know is wrong or just turn a blind eye?