How did it come to this? Here we are, in 2018, in modern, democratic, fair-minded Britain, and what happens when it turns out the leader of the Labour Party was a member of a secret Facebook group awash with anti-Semitic comments? Not a lot really.
As the political editor of the Jewish Chronicle, I have been writing about Jeremy Corbyn’s associations with anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and radical clerics since long before he became leader of the opposition. I have also lost count of the number of stories I have written on Labour MPs, councillors, activists and supporters linked to Jew-hate since the summer of 2015.
When I saw the work of David Collier – an unassuming, quiet, personable researcher – on Wednesday morning, I have to admit, even I reacted with a shrug. His exposé of hundreds of offensive and anti-Semitic posts from the Palestine Live Facebook group uncovered the sort of material I have seen countless times before from such collectives – how the Rothschilds ‘invented the Holocaust hoax’, Mossad carried out the 9/11 attacks, and an article titled ‘why the Jews are the unrepentant destroyers of all that’s decent on the planet’.
Except this time there is one key added feature – not just the presence, but the active participation, of Mr Corbyn. Cue media scrum, right? Wrong.
First the Jewish media covered it online. Some commentators picked it up, and by Wednesday evening there were the first national newspaper pieces, tucked away inside. But since then there has been little further coverage and little further reaction – from Labour moderates, the Tories or anyone else – aside from the usual Twitter storm. Certainly by this lunchtime, more than 48 hours after the story broke, I have seen no sign of any coverage on mainstream BBC or ITV television news bulletins.