Tony Greenstein | 23 January 2020 | Post Views:

Emily Thornberry, (Lady Nugee), is standing as the racist Zionist candidate for leadership of the Labour Party

According to Thornberry – Israel is a ‘beacon of freedom, equality and democracy’ despite torture being routinely used, censorship being standard and imprisonment without trial being the norm for Arabs

Emily Thornberry has, quite undeservedly, gained 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’ of the summer of 2016. There can be no doubt however that Thornberry is a die-hard racist and Zionist.

According to Thornberry, if you don’t support a Jewish state, a state based on Jewish ethnicity, a state that excludes non-Jews from the national collective, then you are ‘anti-Semitic’.

Palestinian child imprisonment is one of Thornberry’s examples of Israeli democracy at its best

It is a sign of the political and intellectual poverty of social democracy that people like Thornberry have no understanding of history. The idea that one’s civic and political rights should depend on one’s religion went out with the French Revolution.

Britain took slightly longer than France before Jewish Emancipation was enacted. It was finally on 26 July1858 that Lionel de Rothschild took his seat as the first Jewish member of the House of Commons. He had first been elected for the City of London in 1847 but had had to swear an oath ‘on the true faith of a Christian’.

According to Emily Thornberry this is an example of why Israel is a ‘beacon of freedom’

The battle against religious coercion and for the separation of Church and State was one of the main democratic achievements of the bourgeoisie revolutions. Under feudalism rights were inherited.

Israel is a Jewish state as was spelt out by Benjamin Netanyahu in response to popular Israeli actress, Rotem Sala who exclaimed:

Dear god, there are also Arab citizens in this country. When the hell will someone in this government convey to the public that Israel is a state of all its citizens and that all people were created equal, and that even the Arabs and the Druze and the LGBTs and – shock – the leftists are human.”

Netanyahu promptly explained that

‘“First of all, Israel is not a country of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish nation,”

Netanyahu was of course correct. Israel is a state of the Jewish people not its non-Jewish citizens. According to Thornberry, if you support the same solution that was achieved in South Africa, a non-racial state for all who live there, then you are anti-Semitic.

This is what Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis has been about. That is why the IHRA ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism,that the Zionists were so insistent on, conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. According to Lady Nugee We need to get on our hands and knees and ask for forgiveness to the ‘Jewish community.’ According to Thornberry

When an expert looks into a problem you have – whether it’s a doctor, a mechanic, or a plumber – you take their advice and follow it without thinking twice.

So when the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), and imminently the Equalities and Human Rights Commission give the Labour Party specific recommendations about how we need to root out the poison of antisemitism from our movement, our starting point must not be to dispute their proposals but ensure every single one is implemented unless we can rationally explain why not.

The mind numbing stupidity of Lady Nugee beggars belief. The BOD, JLM are all political actors not technical experts. As for the EHRC they are a state body whose interference in a democratic political party should have been condemned from the beginning. The fact that Nugee welcomes the EHRC intervention demonstrates how distant she is from socialist politics.

The idea that there are any ‘experts’ when it comes to anti-Semitism is debatable. But the idea that the JLM, affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation, which funds the theft of Palestinian land is an ‘expert’ in anti-racism is obscene. The JLM are racist apologists.

In what the Independent described as ‘a warning aimed at members of Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle’ Thornberry called for staff fingered by the EHRC to be “out the door immediately”. Her comments were seen as ‘an attack on Mr Corbyn’s senior advisers, including his former chief of staff Karie Murphy’. Clearly Lady Nugee’s loyalty to Corbyn was contrived and calculated.

Thornberry is also an opportunist. She is one of 36 Labour Friends of Israel 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 even-handedness.

Substitute ‘Thatcher’ for ‘Thornberry’ and ‘South Africa’ for ‘Israel’ and you should have the measure of Lady Nugee

In an article for Labour List 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 is Israel’s right to be a racist state not the right of Israelis to live there under a non-racial regime just like White South Africans were welcomed to stay after the end of Apartheid. What matters to Nugee is Israel’s role as the West’s warrior state.

The Balfour Declaration

Similarly Thornberry used a speech commemorating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which began the process of Palestinian ethnic cleansing, to make the same point. She stated that

‘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 abhorrent view.’

It would seem that if you deny the right of a racist state, Israel, South Africa or Nazi Germany, to exist then you have no place in modern society, let alone the Labour Party! Maybe, being a lawyer, Thornberry wants to reinstate the feudal concept of the outlaw.

Of course it was somewhat ironic for Thornberry to denounce racism when praising the Zionists’ friend Arthur Balfour. Balfour when Prime Minister introduced the Aliens Act 1905 preventing Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia entering Britain was. Before become Foreign Minister he was also known as ‘Bloody Balfour’. As Chief Secretary for Ireland he ordered 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]

Clearly paying tribute to a racist and imperialist went to Thornberry’s head. Under the guise of opposing racism, she called for anti-racists to be expelled from the Labour Party and society. Let us remind ourselves of who the man was who signed the Balfour Declaration, which enabled Britain to give the land of the Palestinians to the Zionist settlers.

In 1906, the 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.

“We have to face the facts men are not born equal, the white and black races are not born with equal capacities: they are born with different capacities which education cannot and will not change.”

It is no surprise that Balfour is a hero to the Zionists. What is surprising is that he is a hero to a prominent Labour politician.

It should be noted that like most non-Jewish Zionists, Balfour also didn’t like Jews very much either. He told Chaim Weizmann, President of the Zionist Organisation and Israel’s first President, that ‘he agreed with some of Cosima Wagner’s ‘anti-Semitic postulates’. Apparently 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”. [Chaim 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 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 went on to remind Wolf that “the persecutors had a case of their own”. See Centrepiece of imperial strategy.

Corbyn apparently passed the invitation to speak to Thornberry who was only too happy to pay tribute, on behalf of the Labour Party, to someone who was both an anti-Semite and a white supremacist.

It is understandable that the Jewish Labour Movement should honour the memory of Balfour. The JLM’s ‘sister party’ the almost defunct Israeli Labour Party organised a colour bar in Palestine. Jewish employers who employed Arabs were picketed by the Zionist trade union Histadrut

Historically Labour support for Zionism and colonisation in Palestine was on a par with its support for the British Empire. 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 Asian people.

The Kibbutz was portrayed as an oasis of socialism where there were no private property relations and everything was shared in common. The fact that no Arab 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 mentioned.

It was the Lebanon War in 1982 that led to a political realignment. Tony Benn, Eric Heffer and others on the Labour Left resigned from Labour Friends of Israel after the latter’s support for the Lebanon War. It was the Right who took up the cudgels for Zionism. 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.

The Labour Left today has forgotten why Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn supported the Palestinians. Israel was seen, rightly, as the armed watchdog of US imperialism and the West, not as some kind of cuddly refuge for Jews searching for their identity.

There should be 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. I wonder if Lady Nugee would have said the same about the Apartheid State’s ‘right to exist’. 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.

The Israeli state is a special kind of state like its South Africa cousin of 25 years ago. It is a self-declared ‘Jewish state’ – which means it is a State of Jews, not merely Jews in Israel but throughout the world. A Report by the Pew Research Centre Israel’s Religiously Divided Society showed that 48% of Israeli Jews support the physical expulsion of Israel’s Arab citizens, compared to 46% who don’t.

The 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. This is the state that Thornberry calls a ‘beacon of freedom’.

A Palestinian State

Thornberry’s response 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. The Bantustans in South Africa had greater powers than the enclaves envisaged for the Palestinians.

After 50 years of military dictatorship in the West Bank and Gaza (as well as the Golan Heights) there is no prospect of any Palestinian state emerging. The leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Avi Gabbay made Labour’s position quite clear 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 evacuate?”

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 wants a 2 state solution. Zionism has always claimed the whole of the Land of Israel, not half. God gave all of it!

Thornberry is 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 5+ million Palestinians living under occupation without the end of the Jewish state.

As the Jewish National Fund, one of the main architects of Israeli apartheid made clear when challenged over its policy of only allocating land to Jews,

‘A survey 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 citizens.’

The situation in the Occupied Territories will continue indefinitely because Israel is not prepared to become a democratic state at the expense of being a Jewish state. In reality there are no 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.

Those who talk of a non-existent Peace Process are deliberately drawing a shroud over the real issue, democratic rights for all Israelis and Palestinians.If Thornberry can’t understand that human beings should not be divided on grounds of ethnicity it is she who should be expelled.

Israel uses torture routinely against Palestinian prisoners and it even uses it against children, Palestinian children of course. 60% of Palestinian children who are detained are tortured by Israeli forces.

Yet in what Asa Winstanley called ‘a groveling address in front of the Israeli ambassador at the Labour Friends of Israel annual dinner’ in November 2017, Emily Thornberry declared that

‘even today… modern Israel stands out as a beacon of freedom, equality and democracy, particularly in respect of women and LGBT communities.’

As Private Eye used to say: ‘Pass the sick bag Alice.’

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

1 Comment

  1. HLNews on 23/01/2020 at 11:36am

    Tony, wholeheartedly agree with this article and follow with interest all you have to say! Having known Thornberry personally I am very, very disappointed, to say the least, at her revealing the lily livered cow-towing to such nonsense. “Abandon hope, all who enter…” seems fitting sadly for Labour at the present – I have just penned an article on the Israel Lobby which resonates a lot of what you quote here. Interestingly enough it was my journalist great uncle who uncovered and exposed the Zionist plotters and their minions, responsible for the Crash of ’29 and was chased to the ends of the earth for such exposures.
    Here is a link to the Lobby article, if I may –

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