“Just sitting in the early morning light, looking out over my beautiful garden, and thinking how much I love this country that gave my family refuge in 1906,” Judith Ornstein — the co-producer of the joint book/documentary project “Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party” — wrote to me in an email today. “I don’t know how it has come to this.”
Most British Jews who have been, or are still, members of the Labour Party will have an inkling of how Ornstein feels. For decades, loyalty to the Labour Party was a defining feature of British Jewish life. But in the era of Jeremy Corbyn, the days when someone like the late Jewish parliamentarian Ian Mikardo could be dubbed a “left-wing firebrand” while still remaining a committed and active Zionist, seem as part of a distant, misty past.