In a sketch aired on her BBC show this Friday, comedian Tracey Ullman, dressed up as Jeremy Corbyn, was standing in line for a cab at Heathrow and chatting to some young admirers when an Orthodox man appears and speaks sternly to the Labour leader about the rampant anti-Semitism in his party.
“I hear you,” says Corbyn. “I am all over it like cream cheese on a bagel. It’s alright to say that, isn’t it?” The Orthodox man, disgusted, takes his leave, and Corbyn turns to his fans and assures them that he’s very serious about combating Jew-hatred. “I want you to know that I am completely on top of all this Jewish stuff,” he says. “I have spoken to every single anti-Semite in the Labour party and I’ve told them, in no uncertain terms, tone it down a bit!”
It’s all downhill from there, with Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and a representative of Hamas popping up to puncture Corbyn’s desperate attempt at dodging his past and appearing respectable. But the sketch’s real punchline, in a sense, landed long after the broadcast had concluded: Dylan Strain, an actor and comedian whose Twitter profile features a photograph of himself with Corbyn, took to the social network to argue not only that the sketch was “propaganda masquerading as satire” but that it was written by a famous Jewish comedian named David Baddiel. Strain later told the Guardian that he was only kidding, but that didn’t stop George Galloway, the vehemently anti-Israel politician, from retweeting Strain’s allegation to his 289,000 followers and starting a conspiracy theory online that the Jews were using the BBC to unfairly target Corbyn.