It is hard to believe, but since the middle of last week, Britain’s news cycle has been dominated by an anti-Semitism scandal. That story has been on the front page of every newspaper, it has been the leading story on prime time news, and it has been raised in Parliament on numerous occasions. British politics, so often mediocre and measured, has been electric with charged tempers. We saw Labour MP John Mann screaming, “You’re a Nazi apologist” as he accosted former mayor of London Ken Livingstone in a stairwell. We have seen a press pack mob Livingstone and pursue him through the streets of Westminster, shouting questions about Hitler. We have seen the Prime Minister lecturing Labour leader on anti-Semitism in the House of Commons, and we have seen Corbyn himself flee the press even while out on campaign.

There have been a string of anti-Semitism scandals in the Labour party in recent months. But this week’s began with revelations that Labour MP Naz Shah had made several anti-Semitic posts on Facebook, including one calling for Israel to be relocated to the U.S., and another in which she warned, “The Jews are rallying.” For decades, white racists in Britain have talked of wanting to deport British Muslims like Naz Shah back to Pakistan. So it is all the more sickening to see Shah jesting about the transportation costs for relocating Jews from Israel.

Once exposed Shah apologized and after considerable pressure Corbyn had her suspended from Labour. But despite her own apology, the next day former London Mayor Ken Livingstone caused his own scandal when he not only defended Shah and insisted she wasn’t anti-Semitic, but also chose to claim that Hitler supported Zionism.

Livingstone has been questioned repeatedly on why he would ever have raised the subject of Hitler in the first place. There is, of course, a very simple explanation for why Livingstone said what he did. This was a clear attempt to suggest guilt by association. In the deranged minds of those on the far-Left such as Livingstone, Zionism is an evil ideology that indeed belongs in the same moral category as Adolf Hitler. That notion was expressed far more succinctly the following day when, just as Ken had waded in to support Naz Shah, so former MP George Galloway (who lost his seat in the Commons to Shah last year) marched into the debate to defend Livingstone. And along with insisting that his fellow leftist comrade had done no wrong, Galloway asserted, “Zionism and Nazism were two sides of the same coin.”

For years, a handful of commentators have warned of the rise of anti-Semitism on the extreme Left. Finally, events have aligned so that the media and political mainstream are treating this as a matter of urgency. Still, in almost every television discussion and interview on this subject, you will hear British journalists asking “but legitimate criticism of Israeli government policy must still be allowed, mustn’t it? There is a distinction between that and anti-Semitism, isn’t there?” The question isn’t unreasonable in itself, but why on earth bring it up now? No one is suggesting that there can’t be debate about the decisions of the Israeli government. That, however, is really beside the point. In what way is claiming that Hitler was Zionist a criticism of the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu? In what way does warning that in Britain “the Jews are rallying” amount to a critique of IDF operations? Which Israeli policy was being criticized when Shah discussed the transportation costs for Israeli Jews? That wicked Israeli policy to survive, perhaps?

The other question that British commentators have been clumsily attempting to grapple with is the relation between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Although, one senses that many of those speaking have hardly grasped what Zionism even is. And few Jewish voices have been willing to make the argument strongly enough that, maybe, if anti-Zionists are singling out the Jews as uniquely ineligible for the basic right of self-determination, then that is anti-Semitism.

Having first denied there was any problem, Jeremy Corbyn has now been forced to set up an enquiry. Setting up enquiries is what you do in politics when you want to make things disappear. But Corbyn is himself an expression of Labour’s anti-Semitism problem which proliferates among much of the grassroots of the party that voted for him, even while the more centrist parliamentary Labour party despairs of his unelectable extremism. And the question persists, how can a man who described Hamas and Hezbollah as his friends, and who invited a blood libel promoting Islamist hate preacher like Sheikh Raed Salah for tea in Parliament, possibly be taken seriously when it comes to quashing anti-Semitism.

There is no sign that the Livingstones or Galloways are about to stop saying what they’ve been saying all along. And while Ms Shah has apologized before Parliament, that apology remains hollow so long as she fails to tell us whether she now supports the right of the Jewish state to continue to exist in its rightful location of the Jewish people’s historical and spiritual homeland.

Of course, if Naz Shah were to come out with such an endorsement it is questionable whether she would ever be elected again. Shah is the parliamentary representative for Bradford that also elected Galloway. And then there was Bradford’s other infamous parliamentarian, David Ward. He was the Liberal Democrat MP who along with accusing Jews of having not learned the lessons of the Holocaust, also suggested that if he lived in Gaza he too would fire rockets into Israel.

Three anti-Semitic members of parliament, what must be in the water in Bradford? The difficult to discuss truth is that Bradford not only has a sizable Muslim population, but more importantly it is a Muslim population with elements that have struggled to integrate and that has produced several high profile cases of Islamic extremism in recent years. If communities like these, allied with the far-Left, are increasingly becoming the Labour party’s base then it is hard to imagine that this will have been Labour’s last anti-Semitism scandal.

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