AS Jeremy Corbyn discovered last week in his clumsy attempt to build bridges within the Jewish community, good intentions are no guarantee of good results.
Corbyn is struggling to deal with accusations of anti-Semitism within his party. And it is messy. There are many agendas and just as many sensitivities.
So, a starting point. Anti-Semitism is wrong. It is an anathema to a modern, liberal democracy that regards racism as a crime and where prejudice and discrimination have no place, not least in a party of the left.
But bigots do exist everywhere and that includes within the very institutions that should have equality baked-in.
Corbyn has apologised for the pain this has caused. But for some, he is wrong, even when he is doing right.
And last week’s attempt to prove he does not condone anti-Semitism by attending a Jewish event spectacularly backfired when it emerged Jewdas, the group hosting the Passover Seder had previously suggested that allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour were a right-wing plot aimed at discrediting the party.
The Labour MP John Woodcock, a constant critic of Corbyn, tweeted Corbyn was “deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community” and Angela Smith, the Labour MP for Penistone & Stocksbridge, said Corbyn’s attendance at the event read “as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour”.
So, wrong Seder. Wrong Jews. With comrades like these, for whom Corbyn can do no right, who needs enemies?
But members of the left-leaning Jewdas also rail against the extreme right and neo-Nazis, Islamophobia and economic austerity.
Most of the people at the alternative Seder were young, many belonged to the LGBT community, and the evening included a prayer for prisoners and refugees and a toast to women and others oppressed in a patriarchal society.
They are bright, engaged and, importantly, satirical.
This should be bread-and-butter to the Labour Party and its leader. These are Corbyn’s kind of people. And they are Jews.
So how him attending their Seder can reinforce the view that he suffers anti-Semites defies logic.
But that is where his critics are; blinded by fury.
And, unforgivably, the moderates within Labour who are cynically exploiting an opportunity to leverage against a very real problem of anti-Semitism on the far-left and attach it to Corbyn are helping reignite stereotypes and amplify prejudice that go far beyond the party and thereby helps the bigots win.
Corbyn’s credentials on fighting racism and discrimination cannot genuinely be challenged – they earned him the accolade of being in the “Loony Left” during the ’80s by the same newspapers that now accuse him of turning a blind eye.
But the debate is riddled with nuances and traps and you cannot be a little bit racist or slightly anti-Semitic.
It is no coincidence that the anti-Corbyn rhetoric ramps up alongside his ratings but all the noise is no excuse.
The Labour leader must tackle ant-Semitism head-on, wherever and however he finds it.