It is not customary for me to write about foreign political parties or get involved in their policies. However in the case of the British Labor Party some very worrying developments have occurred amongst some of its members that gives grave cause for concern. Individual members of this party have come out with statements that go beyond anti-Zionism and moving towards delegitimizing Israel.
We must bear in mind that this phenomenon has been latent in the post-Tony Blair years especially. It has given expression in party members electing Jeremy Corbyn as their party leader by a sizeable majority. He has made some very problematic statements that point in a direction of affinity for Hamas and Hezbollah.
The following comes from The Guardian 13th August 2015:
“There is Corbyn’s apparent proximity to anti-Semitism. While I genuinely believe that Corbyn does not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body, he does have a proclivity for sharing platforms with individuals who do; and his excuses for doing so do not stand up.
Take the fact that Corbyn once described it as his “honour and pleasure” to host “our friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah in parliament. According to Corbyn, he extended his invitation to the aforementioned groups – and spoke of them glowingly – because all sides need to be involved in the peace process.
So far, so reasonable. Yet negotiation is not on Hamas’s agenda, as Corbyn ought to know. In its charter Hamas states: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.”
Most of us in Israel are in favor of negotiations with Hamas and Hezbollah in order to reach a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in the widest possible terms. This unfortunately is not the case of Hamas and Hezbollah. They have closed every door to any possible negotiation with Israel on any form of solution to the conflict. Their actions of hostility and terror towards Israel over the years are proof of that. Describing these two terrorist organizations as “friends” of Jeremy Corbyn in his own words is cynical and raises many questions of the Labor leader’s understanding of the dynamics of irreversible hate for Israel. Gorbyn’s attitude towards Israel has many questions that remain unanswered. Much is left to interpretation by many of his own party members, who have taken it a step further towards anti-Israel statements that have also slipped towards an anti-Semitic direction.
Anti-Zionists have always existed amongst the Jewish People. They have given many academic arguments against Zionism. Some points that Jewish anti-Zionist philosophy academics have made are certainly not anti-Semitic even though the methodology that they have used in arriving to their conclusions is questionable, including their sources of information.
However having said this, there is a trend within the Labor Party for anti-Semites to climb the band wagon of anti-Zionism for delegitimizing Israel for its so-called human rights abuses against Palestinians under occupation and settler expansion in the territories. Israel is by no means perfect and criticism of the Israeli Government attitude towards the occupation is legitimate and desirable. PM Netanyahu’s statement that Israel must be recognized as the nation state of the Jewish People rather than the state of all Israel’s citizens does add a question mark as to the status of the non-Jewish minorities and sounds very exclusive, rather than including them as an integral part of Israel. It does not mean that those who criticize Israel Government policy towards the Palestinians are anti-Semitic or even anti-Zionist and delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.
Jeremy Corbyn has opened the anti-Semitic Pandora Box within the Labor Party and the anti-Semitic genie has jumped out. He realizes that it will boomerang against the Labor Party. He is now applying a band-aid by suspending 50 Labor members suspected of anti-Semitism.
Two stalwarts of the Labor Party, Ken Livingstone, who was Mayor of London, and George Galloway, an ex-Labor MP, have made disparaging comments about Israel and the Jewish People that leave no doubt of their rabid anti-Semitism.
It boggles the mind how many Labor Party members are going down xenophobic street, punting for the Palestinians and making comments against Israel that have anti-Semitic overtones as well. A party that claims to fight racism seems to be going soft on anti-Semitism. How can the Labor Party support a Palestinian leadership that is enriching itself on the tragedies of the Palestinian People? Hamas wealth is well documented. The leader, Khaled Maashal is a multimillionaire; Ismail Hanniyeh and Musa Marzook are all in comfortable, luscious exile. They use their people in fighting wars and committing terrorist acts against Israel.
During the Gaza War in July-August 2014, they were not in Gaza to be near their people. They were either in luxurious hotels in Qatar or in bunkers. The long suffering Palestinian People took the flack as their wealthy, despotic leadership led them to disaster. Their rhetoric during the war was conspicuous by its total absence. Only when the war was over did this cowardly enriched mob surface as if they were victorious over Israel with their hateful rhetoric and mantras based on nothing but their fantasies.
Is this the kind of despotic, undemocratic Palestinian regime that the Labor Party supports in order to get at Israel? Are these wealthy Hamas despots “friends” of Jeremy Corbyn? Are they going to lead the Palestinians to a democratic state where human rights exist? Many of these so-called double-standard left wing hypocritical, human rights activists will say that any truth written about Hamas, Hezbollah and their Islamist terrorist allies is nothing but Israeli and Zionist propaganda. It does not suit their ideology. They believe that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes a truth. In this, the “socialist” ideology of Labor resembles the Stalin-Hitler tactics of deception.
The downhill slide of the British Labor Party into an abyss of anti-Semitism bodes evil for the party and it does not dovetail with its socialist ideology that is against xenophobia in all its forms. Jeremy Corbyn must be held accountable for this negative development within the party. If the Labor members do not work to replace him, the anti-Semitic stain will remain in the party for many years and their chances of winning an election will be remote.