An antisemitism crisis has engulfed the Labour Party in the UK, and party leader Jeremy Corbyn is at its center. Corbyn and his supporters insist he is entirely innocent. “He does not have an antisemitic bone in his body,” one of his Labour allies has said.
Others aren’t so convinced. “What is racist bone and how do you know whether another person has one?” asked renowned British author Howard Jacobson at an Intelligence Squared debate on the Labour leader’s fitness to be prime minister. To left-wing author James Bloodworth, meanwhile, the problem isn’t in the bones. “While I genuinely believe that Corbyn does not have an antisemitic bone in his body,” Bloodworth wrote, “he does have a proclivity for sharing platforms with individuals who do; and his excuses for doing so do not stand up.”
A poll in the summer of 2018 found that an overwhelming majority of British Jews, and a plurality of the general British public, believe Corbyn is antisemitic. Even Labour members who feel there is a deliberate campaign to exaggerate antisemitism charges against Corbyn and his party acknowledge that the party has a “genuine problem” with antisemitism.
While there has been some coverage in the U.S. press of the antisemitism scandal across the Atlantic, it has rarely been detailed and comprehensive — perhaps owing to the frequency of revelations about Corbyn’s past associations and statements. This timeline seeks to fill in the gaps left by coverage of Corbyn’s antisemitism scandal (it does not focus on antisemitic comments by other Labour members and activists, although those play a significant role in the Labour crisis).