Emily Thornberry – Labour’s Racist Foreign Secretary in Waiting
Emily Thornberry – Labour’s Racist Foreign Secretary in Waiting
Thornberry’s support for 2 States equals support for continuing
Imperialism in the Guise of Peaceful Progress was always the basis of
Labour Support for Empire
Emily Thornberry has, quite undeservedly, a reputation, as being on the
Left, albeit the soft-Left. This is because she was one of the few who didn’t
resign in the ‘chicken coup’ engineered by Hilary Benn in the summer of
2016. It was because stayed loyal to
Jeremy Corbyn that she has gained her
present influence and reputation. There
can however be no doubt from what Emily Thornberry has been saying and doing recently
that she is a die-hard albeit sophisticated Zionist. Thornberry is not a headbanger like Jeremy
Newmark, Louise Ellman and Ian Austin. That is what makes her so dangerous
Thornberry is also an opportunist.
She is one of 36 of Labour Friends of Israel’s sponsors who are also
supporters of Labour Friends of Palestine.
She not only supports the Palestinians but she also supports their
oppressors! That’s what’s called
Peter Edwards, Blairite Editor of Labour List refused to allow a response to the piece on Emily Thornberry because ‘it will cause huge offence to our readers’ – Edwards doesn’t mind ‘hugely offending’ his readership every time he carries an article by the execrable arms salesman Luke Akehurst – that is ‘free speech’
In an articlefor the paint strippingly
boring Labour List, the official Labour site which is run by Blairite Peter
Edwards, Thornberry stated that ‘People
who believe Israel does not have the right to exist should be drummed out of
the Labour Party.’ What she means by
Israel is not the right of Israelis to live there just like White South
Africans were welcomed to stay, but the right of a racist ethno-religious state
of Jewish supremacy.
A reminder that Thornberry is currently touring Israel and flattering the Zionist
The Balfour Declaration
Thornberry used a speech commemorating the centenary of the Balfour
Declaration ‘to condemn the “scourge” of
anti-Semitism.’ Admittedly this is
indeed a good time to condemn, not merely the scourge of anti-Semitism but the
scourge of all racism and who better to use as an example of this anti-Semitism
and racism than Balfour himself.
Arthur James Balfour was nothing if not a racist and imperialist. As Chief Secretary to Ireland he was known as
‘bloody Balfour’ for having ordered
the troops to open fire killing 3
Irishmen who were demonstrating in Mitchelstown, County Cork. In 1893, he spoke in parliament describing
how Cecil Rhodes, the godfather of white
supremacy, was “extending the blessings
of civilization.” Two years later –
then in opposition – he described Black people as “less intellectually and morally capable” than whites. [The racist
worldview of Arthur Balfour, David Cronin]
This is the reality of today’s Israel – Democracy Index Report 2017
In 1906, the British House of Commons was engaged in a debate about
the native blacks in South Africa. Nearly all members of Parliament agreed that
the disenfranchisement of the blacks was evil. Not so Balfour, who – almost
alone — argued against it.
Balfour was one of the most racist and reactionary
politicians of the imperialist age. He
was a white supremacist. It is no
accident that whilst he fought bitterly against the idea of admitting Jewish
refugees to Britain from Czarist Russia’s pogroms he also welcomed
Zionism. Zionism was seen as an
‘antidote to socialism’ in the words of Count von Plehve, the Czarist Minister
of the Interior and author of the Kishinev pogrom.
Thornberry is seen here doing her best to boost the Jewish Labour Movement – which is the ‘sister party’ of the overtly racist rednecks of the Israeli Labour Party
Balfour also didn’t like Jews very much. He told Chaim Weizmann,
the President of the Zionist Organisation and later Israel’s first President,
that ‘he agreed with some of Cosima
Wagner’s ‘anti-Semitic postulates’. These postulates were that Germany’s Jews
had “captured the German stage, press,
commerce and universities and were putting into their pockets, only a hundred
years after emancipation, everything the Germans had built up in centuries”.
Weizmann, Trial and Error, p. 153].
As Leonard Stein noted, if Balfour was an
ardent Zionist, “it was not out of a
sentimental tenderness for Jews”. When the anti-Zionist leader of British
Jewry, Lucien Wolf, appealed to him to intercede with the Russian government to
end Jewish persecution, Balfour “admitted
that the treatment of the Jews was abominable beyond all measure”, but also
went on to remind Wolf that “the
persecutors had a case of their own”.
See Tony Greenstein, Centrepiece
of imperial strategy, Weekly Worker, 3 November 2017]
Indeed it is quite natural that Zionists, in and
out of the Labour Party, should wish to pay their respects to Arthur James
Balfour. When they declare that this representative
of British imperialism is their hero we should acknowledge that they are indeed
both cut from the same cloth. What
though is an utter disgrace is that Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily
Thornberry, should be representing an anti-racist Party in paying homage to
both an anti-Semite and a white supremacist.
For anyone else it would be an expulsion offence.
Despite praising the racist Lord Balfour Thornberry is happy to give support to the false anti-Semitism narrative
One would expect nothing else than for the Jewish Labour Movement
(formerly Poale Zion) to honour the memory of Arthur James Balfour. If you want to understand why Poale Zion,
which supported a Jewish colour bar in Palestine, whereby Jewish employers who
employed Arabs were picketed out by the Zionist trade union Histadrut, was
allowed to affiliate to the Labour Party in 1921, you have to understand Labour
support for the British Empire. Whereas
the Tories never hid their desire to exploit the Empire for imperial gain,
Labour disguised their support for Empire under comforting words such as
‘Trusteeship’ – we were holding the colonies in trust for when the ‘backward
peoples’ that inhabited it would become civilised.
When Labour finally achieved a majority government in 1945 under Clement
Attlee, Labour became the most vicious of all imperialist governments. We super-exploited colonies such as Ghana for
cocoa and Malaya for tin and rubber. It
was under a Labour government that a murderous
counter-insurgency war was begun against a guerrilla insurgency in Malaya from
1948 to 1960.
It was only a minority of Labour members under people like Fenner
Brockway who supported the Movement for
Colonial Freedom (renamed Liberation) from 1947 onwards. The Attlee government built the welfare state
on the backs of Black and South Asian people, something which is forgotten
But it was amongst the Left that support for Israel was greatest in the
1940’s onwards. Tribune was a bastion of
support for the Israeli state as was the New Statesman. Israel was seen as recompense for the
Holocaust. The idea that the
Palestinians should pay for Europe’s genocide of the Jews came naturally to
those imbued with the ideas of imperialism.
People like Ian Mikardo, Harold Wilson, Jo Richardson, Tom Driberg and
most infamous of all, the nakedly racist Richard Crossman were the most
pro-Zionist of all. Indeed in those days
it was the Right of the Labour Party – from Ernest Bevin to Christopher Mayhew
and David Watkins – who were supporters of the Arabs.
The Israeli Kibbutz was seen as an oasis of socialism where there were
no private property relations and, in theory, everything was shared in
common. The fact that no Arab or non-Jew
could be a member of the Kibbutz was ignored.
The natives rarely featured in social democracy’s vision of the world. Today the Kibbutzim are no longer spoken
of. Today they are examples of collective
managerial capitalism, employing cheap Arab or Jewish labour and heavily
involved in the production of arms.
Thornberry supports ‘both sides’ the racists and the victims of racism
Thornberry is one of the sponsors of the Israeli States front organisation, Labour Friends of Israel
It was only the Lebanon War of 1982 that led to a political
realignment. Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and
others on the Left resigned from Labour Friends of Israel after the latter’s
support for the Lebanon War. Increasingly it was the Right who took up the
cudgels of Zionism. In essence this was
because of the increasingly open support for the Israeli state from
America. The Right of the Labour Party,
as symbolised by Blair’s support for Bush’s war in Iraq, has always seen
support for US foreign policy as axiomatic.
There is no place in Labour
for Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’
Thornberry made two statements that need to be challenged. If you challenge the Israeli state’s ‘right
to exist’ then you should not be in the Labour Party. Well we should challenge every racist and
ethno-nationalist state’s ‘right to exist’.
No state has a ‘right to exist’ least of all racist states. Only human beings have the right to exist. State’s are the creations of humanity and
unlike humans have no rights.
The Israeli state however is a special type of state, much like its
South Africa cousin 25 years ago. It is
a self-declared ‘Jewish state’ – which means it is a State of all Jews, not
merely Jews in Israel but throughout the world. Even when they don’t wish to be
represented by Israel. Israel is not
however a state of its own citizens.
That is the basis of the apartheid nature of the Israeli state, a state which has over 50 laws on its statute
books which directly discriminate against Israel’s own Palestinians. In the
Report brought out last year by the Pew Research Centre Israel’s
Religiously Divided Society we learnt that a plurality of Israeli Jews, some 48%
supported the physical expulsion of Israel’s own Arab citizens as compared to
46% who were opposed.
Israeli state is the most racist state in the world. The Israeli Democracy
Institute’s 2017 Report ‘Jews and Arabs: Conditional Partnership’ found that
2/3 Israeli Jews are opposed to Arabs buying land anywhere but in Arab areas
(3% of Israel’s total land) and 25% oppose them buying any land! This is the state that Emily Thornberry
defends up to the point of expelling socialists from Labour. My reply is that it is the Emily Thornberries
and other racists of her ilk who should be expelled if they refuse to reform
their racist ways.
A Palestinian State
The final sop of Thornberry is that a Palestinian state should exist
side by side with Israel. In other words
partition, segregation and ethnic cleansing.
Such a state wouldn’t even be a Bantustan. In South Africa the Bantustans or Homelands
into which the majority of Black South Africans were supposed to go, had
greater powers than the mini-enclave envisaged for the Palestinians.
After 50 years of military dictatorship in the West Bank and Gaza (as
well as the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem) there is no prospect of any
Palestinian state emerging. The newly
elected right-wing leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Avi Gabbay made his
position quite clear on October 16th in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2.
“I won’t evacuate settlements in the framework
of a peace deal, If you are making peace, why do you need to evacuate? If you are making peace, why do you need to
Without dismantling the settlements there can never be a two state
solution. Gabbay is right. No Israeli government could possibly withdraw
over ½ million settlers without a civil war. There is no political force in Israel that genuinely wants a 2 state solution. Zionism has always claimed the whole of the Land of Israel, not half or even two thirds. God gave all of it!
Thornberry is perfectly aware of this.
She knows that the settlements are here to say. She also knows that
Israel cannot give the vote or accord any basic democratic political or civil
rights to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza, who are
estimated to number over 5 million, without the end of the Jewish state.
As the Jewish National Fund, one of the main instruments of Israeli land
clear when challenged over its policy of only allocating land to Jews,
commissioned by KKL-JNF reveals that over 70% of the Jewish population in
Israel opposes allocating KKL-JNF land to non-Jews, while over 80% prefer the
definition of Israel as a Jewish state, rather than as the state of all its
words the situation in the West Bank and Gaza will continue indefinitely because
Israel is not prepared to become a democratic state at the expense of being a
Jewish state. It is a fiction even to
talk of the Occupied Territories. There is no border except in the heads of racist
hypocrites like Thornberry, between Israel and the West Bank. The Green Line
has gone. It does not appear on Israeli maps.
In its place is an Apartheid state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan
in which half the population has no rights whatsoever and a small proportion of
the Palestinian, some 1.5 Israeli citizens are seen as a fifth column in
Israel’s midst, awaiting a future move to ‘transfer’ them.
who talk of a non-existent Peace Process (Israelis call it the ‘Piss Process’)
are deliberately drawing a shroud over the real issue, democratic rights for
all Israelis and Palestinians.
often point to the assassinated war criminal and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin, who presided over the implementation of the Oslo Accords of 1993. It is
often believed that they would have led to an independent Palestinian
state. This is a serious mistake. Rabin was quite clear as to what he
Knesset debate on the Oslo Accords of 5th October 1995, Rabin made
his views explicitly
As Amira Hass noted in
Ha’aretz of 6 November 2017, in Setting the Record
Straight on Yitzhak Rabin, ‘contrary to the right-wing propaganda, the
government headed by Labor had no intention of cutting the umbilical cord by
which it was connected to its colonialist methods and goals. The argument with
opponents in Likud was never about the principles, but only about the number
and size of Bantustans to be allocated to the Palestinians.’ Rabin was
We view the permanent solution in
the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the
Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside
it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian
residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
We would like this to be an entity
which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the
Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during
the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six
Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
supporting Israel’s Right to Exist, I actively oppose any such right. The right of the Israeli state (not its
residents or citizens of course) to exist is akin to the right of the Apartheid
or the Nazi state to exist. Racist
states have no rights. The people in
them have the right to live as one in a democratic, secular and unitary state.
who oppose the idea that Israeli Jews and Palestinians can live together are
racists. They are no different from
those who argued 25 years ago that Blacks and Whites could never live together
in South Africa. Socialists did not
accept it then and we should not accept it now.
Thornberry can’t understand that human beings should not be divided on grounds
of ethnicity she should make way for a socialist and anti-racist.
believe Israel does not have the right to exist should be drummed out of the
Labour Party, Emily Thornberry said today.
foreign secretary also used a speech to mark the centenary of the Balfour
Declaration – which enshrined Britain’s support for a Jewish national homeland
– to condemn the “scourge” of anti-Semitism.
one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, was clear to repeat Labour’s
longstanding call for international recognition for a Palestinian state living
alongside an Israel in “peace and security”.
speaking after Theresa May met Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister,
before a dinner timed to recognise the Balfour anniversary tonight.
not attending the dinner and asked Thornberry to attend in his place.
look back over these past 100 years, we must also salute the resilience and
strength of the Israeli State and the Israeli people against all those who have
sought to harm and destroy them: a resilience that has had constantly to adapt
as the threats over the years have changed from the conventional warfare of 50
years ago to the ever-shifting tactics of terrorists today,” Thornberry said
the threats have changed, the underlying theme has not: it is the denial of
Israel’s right to exist, and there should be no place in modern society, and –
let me stress – no place in the Labour Party for anyone who holds that kind of
debate over the declaration has renewed in many nations in recent weeks in the
run-up to the anniversary.
regard the document as an injustice and protests were held in the West Bank
today. Israelis and Jews living around the world see it as an historic
achievement because it paved the way for the creation of the state of Israel.
Thornberry delivered a cautious judgement on the legacy of Lord Balfour’s work.
also Balfour’s promise that ‘nothing shall be done which may prejudice the
civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’.
That too remains at best a work in progress,” she said.
marking this centenary, we must also be honest and say that – until Jewish communities
all over the world are free from the threat of terror, and the scourge of
anti-Semitism, until the rights of the Palestinian people are secure and we
have a viable, secure, internationally-recognised Palestinian State, living
side-by-side, in peace and security, with the State of Israel, then the work
that Balfour started cannot be considered complete.”