Jeremy Corbyn & the Retreat from Palestine

Jeremy Corbyn & the Retreat from Palestine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Jewish Chronicle report of Corbyn Backing Down Over Israel/Palestine
Appeasing Zionism and Ignoring the Palestinians
I have know
Jeremy Corbyn for over 30 years.  When I
was the Chairperson of the Labour Committee on Palestine and Labour Movement
Campaign for Palestine Jeremy Corbyn was a regular speaker at our fringe meetings
at Labour Party conference.  Jeremy also spoke
at a number of other meetings and helped out in other ways. There was no more
dedicated a supporter of the Palestinians than Jeremy Corbyn. 
Jeremy subsequently
became a patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which I was a founder
member and he has been a regular speaker at their AGMS.  About 7-8 years ago Jeremy was the main
speaker at Brighton PSC’s annual conference. 
Fabian Hamilton MP – Arch Zionist appointed by Corbyn to Shadow Junior Foreign Office Minister
Jeremy’s
accession to the Labour Party leadership was greeted with ill-disguised horror
and contempt by the Zionist movement.  The
Zionists and their friends in the British press, notably the Daily ‘Hate’ Mail smeared
Jeremy as a companion of holocaust deniers and the wretched Paul Eisen in
particular.  See The Paper that Supported Hitler Accuses Jeremy Corbyn of Supporting Holocaust Deniers
Stephen Pollard, Jewish Chronicle Editor, member of
the far-right Henry Jackson Society and former editor of the Daily Express, is
an apologist for a raft of Europe’s anti-Semitic politicians.  Pollard waged a nasty little smear campaign
against Corbyn during the Labour leadership campaign accusing him of
anti-Semitism. Ironically Pollard is the best
friend of the genuine anti-Semites.  
Pollard described
Michal Kaminiski, a Polish Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the
European Conservative & Reform Group (which the Tories belong to), as the
best friend the Jews could hope for.   ‘Far from being an antisemite, Mr
Kaminski is about as pro-Israel an MEP as exists.’
Pollard was
being typically disingenuous because he knows as well as anyone else Zionism
and anti-Semitism are different sides of the same coin.  Both the BNP and EDL are enthusiastic supporters
of Israel as well as being holocaust denying organisations.  Pollard said of Kaminski that he was ‘‘one of the greatest friends to the Jews in a town
[Brussels] where antisemitism and a visceral loathing of Israel are
rife.’ 
  Poland’s New anti-Semitic Government -Israel Keeps Silent 

Kaminski campaigned against a national apology to Poland’s Jews for the burning alive of up to 900 Jews in
a Polish village Jedwabne in 1941.  It
wasn’t carried out by the Nazis but by non-Jewish Poles.  Kaminski said that it was Poland’s Jews who
should do the apologising! The Hypocrisyof Jeremy Corbyn’s Accusers 
Rebecca Simon attacks Jeremy Corbyn as ‘rubbish’
Then there was a
debate during the Labour leadership campaign hosted by Labour Friends of Israel [LFI] and chaired by Jonathan Freedland. 
Jeremy did his best to avoid the question of the nature of the Israeli
state and wittered on about dialogue until it came out of his ears.  Jeremy gave the impression of having
forgotten virtually everything about the nature of the oppression that
Palestinians experience in the ‘Jewish’ state.  He seemed oblivious to the fact that Palestinians
are the oppressed and the Israeli state is the oppressor.  He even opposed the boycott of Israeli goods although
he eventually partially rowed back from that position when he said that he
supported the boycott of Israeli universities who participate in military
research and help the Israeli army in its repressive role.
At the Labour
Party Conference Jeremy attended, for the first time ever, a LFI fringe
meeting.  At the end of his speech he was
heckled for not mentioning the word ‘Israel’. 
There is no obvious reason why he should have agreed to attend a meeting
of a group whose sole purpose is to support the repression of the Palestinians. 
An article in
the Jewish Chronicle of 30th November 2015 exemplifies not only the
weakness of Corbyn’s politics on Israel and Palestine but the pitfalls
in being pro-Palestinian without, at the same time, being anti-Zionist.  Headed Corbyn admits: ‘I will always recognise Israel’
it is one long series of concessions. 
The question is
not whether one recognises Israel – it is clearly there – but what does one
recognise the Israeli state as?  A normal
western state or a racist settler colonial enterprise?  Corbyn is quoted as saying that he remained
committed to a ‘comprehensive peace in
the Middle East based on a two state solution…a secure Israel alongside a
secure and viable state of Palestine.’
 
One might
equally aspire to a moon made of cheese, because it’s not going to happen.  Zionism, the movement that formed Israel as a
‘Jewish’ state was based on the exclusive rights of the Jewish ‘nation’ to the
whole of the Land of Israel.  Palestine
is the Promised Land and the promise was made to the Jews not the
Palestinians.  Zionism recognises no
shared sovereignty in Palestine.  If it recognised
the national claims of the Palestinians, Zionism would have to abandon its own
founding ideology.  This is common to
both Likud and the Israeli Labour party.
As Tzipi
Hotoveli, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister explained:
‘This land is ours. All
of it is ours. We expect as a matter of principle of the international
community to recognize Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their
homeland, everywhere.
”  The Guardian,
22/5/15 
Today when there
are 600,000 settlers in the West Bank, it is an exercise in self-deception to
pretend that a genuinely sovereign Palestinian state is a possibility. 
Nor is it a question of one, maverick cabinet
member.  It was Netanyahu himself who
declared during the 2015 election campaign that “Whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to
withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic
terrorist attacks against Israel,”
  When asked if that meant a Palestinian state
would not be established if he remained prime minister, he said: “Indeed.”  Netanyahu says no Palestinian state as long as he’s prime minister, Reuters
16.3.15.  
There was a time
when Jeremy Corbyn agreed with the motion passed at the 1982 Labour Party
conference in support of a democratic, secular state in Palestine.  Perhaps he still does agree with it but fears
the repercussions if he says it out aloud. 
More likely Palestine isn’t a political priority. 
However Jeremy
needs to understand that advocates of the two states position today are
effectively endorsing Israeli apartheid.  The only reason that western leaders don’t
condemn Israel for refusing to grant the same political and civil rights to the
Palestinians that Israelis enjoy, is that the prospect of governing themselves
in an independent state is held out.  The
Palestinians have been living under military rule for nearly 50 years.  The situation on the West Bank is one whereby
the settlers and the Palestinians are governed by two sets of laws.  The settlers are governed by Israeli law,
whereas Palestinians experience military law and the ‘justice’ of military
courts with a 99.7% conviction rate. 
This is clearly Apartheid yet there are those who pretend that this is a
temporary phenomenon. 
Not one member
of the Israeli cabinet supports a 2 state solution.  The peace process is a cover for Israeli apartheid.  2 States is a mirage, a conjuring trick
intended to deceive.  In 50 years there
will still be those who talk about 2 states.
Jeremy
Corbyn and much of liberal social democratic opinion supports the Palestinians on human
rights rather than political grounds they fail to make the distinction between an oppressed people
and an oppressor people.  In short they
support the Palestinians but they don’t oppose the Zionist movement which caused
their dispossession and oppression and which presides over it today. 
And however much
Jeremy Corbyn appeases the Zionist lobby in the Labour Party he will never be acceptable
to them unless he dances the hora. 
Rebecca Simon Vice-Chair of LFI said of Corbyn‘no one
wants to vote for a leader they think is rubbish.  And he is rubbish – never mind about the
Israel stuff, he is just not a credible opposition.’
JC 30.12.15.
What though is
inexplicable is Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of  Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North-East as a shadow
Foreign Office Minister,.  He is a
Blairite who was put into the constituency after Liz Davies was selected and
then deslected under Tony Blair’s regime.
In an article in Jewish News New shadow
minister: Boycotting Israel and not vile dictatorships is anti-Semitic 
 January 13, 2016
Hamilton
said boycotting the Jewish state without
taking action against other countries is “simply anti-Semitic”,
  This was the fall back position
of supporters of Apartheid in South Africa. 
Why are you boycotting us when the Black African states surrounding us
have a much worse human rights record. 
The conclusion they drew, just like Fabian Hamilton, was that people
were either communists or simply anti-White.
The answer to
this stupidity was given by Albert Luthuli, the first African Nobel Peace Prize winner, who
said that you can change your political views but never the colour of your
skin.   But given that Hamilton’s views were no secret,
the question is why Jeremy Corbyn appointed him at all.  In  his
interview Hamilton was that it was ‘a “huge surprise” to receive the call informing him of his
promotion to Jeremy Corbyn’s top team after nearly two decades in the Commons.’  Hamilton was quite explicit:

“I will continue to support the State of Israel and defend my views on Israel. I don’t think I’ll have to defend them much because I can’t think anybody in the team I’m in is going to say we should go for a single state solution or that Israel has no right to exist – that’s absolutely not on the cards. The fact is the foreign affairs team will decide policy and there’s no way the team is going to be anti-Israel. Hilary (Benn) and I are pretty much on the same page regarding the two-state solution.”

Fabian Hamilton’s first reaction was to
ask ‘if his support for Israel was a problem, he was told by Corbyn’s office in
clear terms it wasn’t.’
  If that is true
then there are serious questions to be asked of Jeremy Corbyn.  Hamilton admits that his first reaection ‘was
they wanted to change the perception of the Labour Party by having a Jewish MP
who is strongly pro-Israel and also pro-Palestinian state in that position….
Hamilton ‘was absolutely staggered’ to receive a phone calling him to serve in
the Shadow Cabinet.’  
Given that there are large number of
Labour MPs who are sympathetic to the Palestinians, why did Jeremy Corbyn choose
an out and out Zionist to serve along the tarnished Hilary Benn?  Hamilton believes that ‘power has caused him
to modify his positions, pointing to some of the moderates he had appointed to
his top team.’
So far Corbyn has done nothing to suggest
that Hamilton’s remarks are in any way untrue. 
In politics you
cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

Tony Greenstein 

 

 

 

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