Britain’s next prime minister might well be an anti-Semite. No one can say for certain whether Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is a sincerely held prejudice or merely a matter of electoral calculation: there are now more than ten times as many Muslims in Britain as Jews, and it therefore makes electoral sense to appeal more to Muslims than to Jews. But either way, his failure to condemn anti-Semitism in his own party, his penchant for consorting in friendly fashion with extremist anti-Zionists of genocidal instincts, and his defense of a mural depicting lupine Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of naked minorities are cause for anxiety among British Jews unknown since the rise—and thankfully swift fall—of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British fascists in the 1930s.
In all the commentary about Corbyn’s anti-Semitism, real or feigned, no one seems to have noticed that anti-Semitism is perfectly logical for someone of Corbyn’s cast of mind. It has often been said that anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools; it would be more accurate to say that socialism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals (at least in modern conditions). Anti-Semitism and socialism proceed along the same lines, using the same kind of presuppositions and evidence.
A few years ago, a survey appeared breaking down household wealth in Britain by religious affiliation, and Jews came first. For someone as suspicious of and hostile to wealth and the wealthy as Corbyn, whose fundamental economic idea is that money is the product of exploitation, and that equality of outcome is desirable, attainable, and just, it is only natural to suppose that both wealthy individuals and groups must have been up to no good, grabbing by illicit means a larger slice of the economic cake than is theirs, according to his own conception of justice. It is therefore perfectly reasonable, or at least in keeping, for him to be anti-Semitic: he hates none more than the independently successful.