Jeremy Corbyn must stop pandering to Labour’s Israel lobby

Jewish Voice for Labour supporters demonstrating against false claims of anti-Semitism, in London on 26 March.

For almost three years now, the Labour Party has faced a consistent barrage of allegations that it has a “problem with anti-Semitism.”

This mendacious campaign has had the same aim all along – to topple Jeremy Corbyn.

The party leader’s history in Palestine solidarity groups, and past endorsement of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, have made him the number one enemy of the Israel lobby.

This fraudulent campaign has been led by an ad hoc alliance: establishment press, right-wing Labour lawmakers and a network of front groups for the Israeli embassy.

This week it reached a crescendo, as the chair of the Jewish Leadership Council unleashed an unprecedented personal attack on Corbyn.

Jonathan Goldstein claimed on the BBC’s Today program that Corbyn is “the figurehead of an anti-Semitic political culture.” Yet again, grave assertions of anti-Semitism against a man with a long, proud history of fighting racism were made with no evidence presented.

This campaign of lies has proceeded in the same fashion all along.

When former Israel lobby intern Alex Chalmers in February 2016 claimed “a large proportion” of the student Labour club “and the student left in Oxford more generally” had a “problem” with Jews, almost the entire conservative and liberal press parroted his claims without even the most cursory checks.

And yet it was a lie deliberately calculated to cause maximum damage to the party.

Chalmers and his co-conspirator – who were part of the far-right corporate Progress faction – ultimately defected to the Liberal Democrats.

But as far as I can tell, I was the only reporter to cover these highly relevant facts. The press didn’t care about the truth – the point was that the damage to Corbyn was done.

Don’t be fooled by the latest stories about the problematic “Rothschilds” mural.

Yes it was a mistake for Corbyn to defend the mural in a comment on Facebook six years ago – even if his comment was not anti-Semitic.

But this is not news, it is a pretext for another coup attempt.

The Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who organized the right-wing demonstration against Corbyn outside Parliament in London on Monday, don’t care about anti-Semitism – they care about defending Israel at all costs.

If as the Board of Deputies claims, the demonstration was really against anti-Semitism, then why did its attendees use anti-Semitic abuse against left-wing Jews who held a counter-protest in support of Corbyn?

Ben Southern-Thomas, a young Jewish Voice for Labour member, told me he “came away crying” after anti-Semitic abuse from two attendees of the Board of Deputies demonstration. He said they told him he was “not a real Jew” and was just “pretending to be a Jew.”

Being Jewish is “a really important part of my identity,” Southern-Thomas said. He also said his cousin was told to “Go back to the ghetto.”

This kind of abuse targeting non-Zionist Jews is all too common. Another frequent epithet used by Israel supporters is to call Jews who support Palestinian rights “kapos” – a word describing Jews who collaborated with the Nazis – or saying that Hitler should have killed them.

Far from being a demonstration by the “Jewish community” as front pages claimed, it was packed with Conservatives, and their right-wing colleagues from the Labour backbenches.

A cursory glance at the relevant Twitter hashtag shows the demonstration was led by Tory party activists and attended by right-wing bigots.

Among the leading Conservative Party participants were local government minister Sajid Javid, one of his predecessors Eric Pickles, and Zac Goldsmith, who in 2016 led a campaign for London mayor which was so openly racist that even some Tories found it hard to stomach.

Other hard-right grandees showing their disingenuous concern over anti-Semitism included Ian Paisley Jr., of Northern Ireland’s notoriously anti-Catholic Democratic Unionist Party, and Norman Tebbit, one of Margaret Thatcher’s most loyal ministers with a long history of xenophobia and racial stereotyping.

At the same time as Labour launched its campaign to win May’s local elections (which it has been predicted to win) all the headlines were instead about “Labour anti-Semitism.”

The Board of Deputies’ claims of concern over anti-Semitism ring hollow when their leader Jonathan Arkush personally congratulated Donald Trump on his election as US president.

Trump’s campaign and administration frequently coddled anti-Semites and even neo-Nazis – as long as they were pro-Israel.

Leading figures in the Trump White House have included a sworn member of a Hungarian group which was allied to Hitler and a man who reportedly didn’t want his children going to school with “whiny brat” Jews.

The only defense offered for these people has been that they couldn’t possibly be anti-Semitic because they support Israel.

Far from it: Israel has long been in an increasingly open alliance with some of the worst white supremacist anti-Semites.

But for far too many on the left, the only response to this lying campaign to smear Labour and Corbyn has been appeasement. And this inaction goes to the very top.

Time and again, Corbyn has refused to speak out in support of comrades – primarily Jewish non-Zionists – who have been booted from the party by the right-wing bureaucracy on bogus pretexts.

And he has even rolled back his previous support for BDS.

The purge has targeted Corbyn supporters and Palestine activists as “anti-Semites.”

Frenzied witch hunt

Instead of openly confronting what one prominent leftist has described as a “frenzied witch hunt,” the leadership’s response has been ostrich-like.

Activists are told to hold their peace, do nothing and it will all blow over. Or they are privately told to work quietly behind the scenes to clear their names of the grave accusation of anti-Semitism – even in cases where it is completely fabricated.

Instead of calling the fraudulent “Labour anti-Semitism” story what it really is, Corbyn has for three years attempted to appease Israel lobby groups as if the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Jewish Leadership Council were genuine anti-racists.

They are not.

Their primary function is to lobby for Israel, an institutionally racist, apartheid state.

Joan Ryan, a member of Parliament who heads the lobby group Labour Friends of Israel, was even caught red-handed last year fabricating charges of anti-Semitism against a party member who questioned Israel’s policy of colonizing occupied Palestinian land.

Glyn Secker, secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, a group critical of the witch hunt, writes that he was reinstated only after “a chorus of angry voices, letters to the disputes committee, motions passed through party branches, support from senior members of the party [and] a statement signed by 100 plus.”

He was given no explanation and “no apology for the defamatory allegation” of anti-Semitism against him that led him to be suspended by the party bureaucracy earlier this month.

Others were at least given a pretext.

They cannot be appeased

Israeli anti-Zionist Moshe Machover was summarily expelled on fraudulent grounds, and only grudgingly reinstated after an intense international campaign.

Time and time again, prominent figures on the left have made concessions, and thrown former comrades under the bus.

People like former London mayor Ken Livingstone, and Jewish anti-Zionists Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, have been incessantly demonized.

Black anti-racist activist Marc Wadsworth was smeared by right-wing Labour lawmaker Ruth Smeeth, a former Israel lobbyist who issued a press release attributing to him a fake quote portraying him as an anti-Semite.

Too many on the left seem to think: if we throw them a bone by sacrificing a few token “extremists,” the anti-Semitism story will die down and we can move on to the real business of electing a Labour government.

But years later, Labour is still being beaten with the same stick.

Any close observer of Israel and its lobby groups knows this: they cannot be appeased.

For instance, after years of hesitation, European Union officials limited themselves to the timid step of merely requiring labeling of goods from Israeli settlements – rather than banning them outright. But for Israeli officials, EU leaders were still no different from Nazis.

The message time and again is that Israel and its lobby groups cannot be satisfied except through total capitulation. They want Corbyn to go.

Nonetheless, there are some encouraging signs.

Fighting back

Jewish Voice for Labour – a group less than a year old – is cutting through to mainstream media.

Graham Bash, a member of the group, told BBC television that in his experience, the Labour Party has always been a “safe haven” from anti-Semitism. He said that just once in his 50 years as a party member had he witnessed any incident of anti-Semitism.

Labour has a new general secretary Jennie Formby. She is a left-winger, a supporter of Palestinian human rights and a veteran trade unionist. Because of these three things she has, of course, been falsely attacked as an anti-Semite.

But unlike the Labour leadership, her union, Unite, strongly refuted the Israel lobby attack on her as “a lie motivated by hostility to anyone who supports the struggle of the Palestinian people for justice.”

Unite condemned “smears [which] have no place in Labour’s democracy or political culture.”

The resurrection of the smear against Formby appeared timed deliberately to foil her election as general secretary. But because Unite stood up to it, it failed.

Unite’s leader Len McCluskey last year correctly dismissed the campaign as “mood music that was created by people who were trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.”

Chris Williamson, a left-wing Labour MP re-elected last year, has also condemned “lies and dirty tricks” around the “anti-Semitism smears.”

“Many people in the Jewish community are appalled by what they see as the weaponization of anti-Semitism for political ends,” he told The Guardian last year.

Since then, Israel lobby groups have been gunning for him.

On Monday, Board of Deputies leader Jonathan Arkush demanded Corbyn discipline Williamson and McCluskey, and expel Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone, as preconditions to meet with Corbyn – who in another effort at appeasement invited them into the leader’s office.

As I wrote two years ago – the “anti-Semitism” witch hunt – whose real target is Corbyn and anyone else who supports Palestinian rights – will not end until it is either victorious or defeated.

It’s time for the whole left to finally step up to this task.

Editor’s note: This article initially stated that “Go back to the ghetto” was directed at Ben Southern-Thomas. In fact it was directed as his cousin. This has been corrected in the text.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada.

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Comments

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The only encouraging thought about the ridiculous claims about Corbin and anti-Semitism is that the right wing, and the Zionists have little else to say. No sensible comments, just emotionally laded, distorted rubbish. Yes, I agree that those who make these claims have little interest in anti-Semitism. Their goal is to defend the indefensible apartheid state of Israel, and its human rights abuses and war crimes. This does not mean that we should dismiss this fact free, intellectual rubbish as it is dangerous, hateful, and can mislead. We need to strike back, correct it and direct the attack back on the perpetrators. No doubt if we do this, we will be dismissed as anti-Semites, as Israel has redefined the meaning of this expression. Today it means anyone who opposes Israel.

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Yes, but he has been put under unbelievable pressure by the British Israel Lobby, who are very closely supported by The Guardian newspaper and only moderately less by The Independent. Those are the two "liberal" or "progressive" papers. As for the other lot, what would you expect?

Readers may enjoy the analysis here:

https://chuckmanwordsincomment...

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Lately when I reflect on examples of catastrophic appeasement of the hard right, my thoughts tend to dwell not on the case of Nazi Germany and the sell-out of Czechoslovakia, but on a more recent instance. The multiple candidacies and eventual election of Salvador Allende to the presidency of Chile in the 1970s were opposed through an array of antidemocratic methods similar to those currently directed at Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. While there can never be an exact correlation, the current phase of destabilsation against his leadership places Corbyn in a roughly analogous position, though it must be said Allende represented much stronger and more radical forces. Today as then, we are witnessing the undisguised intervention of a hostile foreign power through corrupt means, control of mass media, orchestrated campaigns of vilification, etc. As with Allende, attempts were made to prevent or disqualify his candidacy and rig voting conditions. When Allende finally was elected incontestably, the foreign power in question redoubled its efforts in conjunction with harsh right-wing elements in business circles to bring about defeat for the new government's program and the downfall of the President. We know the outcome of that tragically successful process. During that period of increasing attacks, Allende repeatedly tacked rightward, in deluded attempts to buy time by reining in the progressive forces who had put him in office and by directly appeasing those who had but one aim, the imposition of a military dictatorship. With that example in mind- a living memory for many of us still- I find it increasingly a source of worry that Corbyn appears to have adopted a strategy of appeasement to those who cannot be appeased and abandonment of those who put him in his position as party leader. This firestorm of lies will not abate once Labour forms the next government but will cascade upon Corbyn's head with devastating results unless he stops capitulating- now.

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He should never have let those Israeli led rebels back in, after they had resigned.
Then all these 'knives in the back' would never have happened.

But yes, he needs to get off his knees - he has the popular support of the British people.

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I agree with most of what this excellent article says, but lifting our game is not pandering to the Israel lobby. We defeat the Right in part by cutting off their supply lines, depriving them of ammunition. We should be scrupulous not to use any phrases that can be misinterpreted as antisemitic, setting ourselves the highest standards. This does not mean that we should refrain from criticizing Israel's racist Apartheid policies.

Asa Winstanley's picture

Backing down on BDS is definitely appeasing the Israel lobby. Agreeing to meet the despicable war criminal Netanyahu (who even the JLM — and probably not even LFI — would have met in public), as he did in the Jewish News soon after this piece was published, is definitely appeasing the Israel lobby.

The mantra of “I am not an anti-semite” has only dug the hole deeper and deeper for three years. We have to be honest and admit the complete and total failure of appeasement. 

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If he's backed down, why has he appointed someone who strongly supports BDS as shadow development minister? I disagree that you shouldn't talk to your political enemies. Appeasement is a very loaded word and I'm sure you know that Corbyn hardly comes under that rubric.

Asa Winstanley's picture

I’m glad he didn’t throw Kate Osamor under the bus when she tweeted in support of BDS. But that’s much less than the very minimum we should be expecting.

He’s also appointed Emily Thornberry as his shadow foreign minister, who strongly opposes an arms ambargo on Israel and had the pure nerve to smear BDS as “bigotry” — parroting the Israeli government. In speech to Labour Friends of Israel where she said this, she even repeated the common racist anti-Palestinian trope that there was was nothing in Palestine but “deserts” before Zionism colonized the country.

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Give the man a break. Politics is the art of the possible in a spectific context. He has to work with the materials he has. There are not many Osamors in the PLP.

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"We should be scrupulous not to use any phrases that can be misinterpreted as antisemitic."

Misinterpreted by whom? Those doing the misinterpreting cannot be won over or isolated by surrendering to them. They are ruthless, cynical agents of a powerful fascist state operating freely in Britain. The Labour Party now has 600,000 members. You cannot police every utterance and gesture of every member from birth till death, with a view to eliminating what Israel calls antisemitism. But the threat of secret denunciation, secret investigation, and public expulsion as a proclaimed racist will decimate the party. What we are witnessing is a coup. You don't fight that by giving in to the enemy's demands that you abandon your position and weaken your base. Appeasement is suicide. And I don't say that as some sort of ideological purist. If Labour enters government shorn of its purpose- to defend the rights of those who are most in need of defending- we will see a brief interregnum and a quick return to brutal Tory rule and possibly worse.

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It is strikingly disturbing to see so many people pandering to this so called anti-semitism and especially those whose work requires them to concentrate on real issues. Why this culture should be classified as special or cause such a great deal of distress to many who really do not give it a moments thought is beyond me. However, the degree of importance given to it is unrealistic and puzzling and similar to that given to Gays . Who cares whether someone is Jewish or Gay or whatever they want to call themselves and do we have to be constantly reminded that there are people who would attack and hound them given the chance ? What matters surely is that everyone should respect beliefs and cultural expressions whether they be Jewish, Gay, Black or simply outspoken. Neither side of the fence should rock boats with bombastic or provocative displays designed to upset outsiders or simply draw inane attention. The important thing is that people should respect the law set up to protect them and decry or fight against only that which is obviously damaging and needs correction if only to maintain a level of social quality in which we all participate and enjoy without having to be thinking about how and what to say in front of whom. Enough is surely enough. It all has to do with consensus and uniformity of loyalty to their overall social identity and avoid duplicity of loyalties whether they be political or religious. Barriers down , the scope for fun is unlimited - and I mean lack of prejudice and capacity to relate. Those who work against these concepts and or have their ideological anchors somewhere else have no place in the societies in which they have chosen to live. I know that running around the streets as nature intended is hardly going to be conducive to good government or to everyone´s taste, however attractive the idea may be to some, but then that is where consensus comes in and usually balances out to move the urge into other sectors e.g. privately.

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They hype their own fear, and believe their own propaganda so much, it's real to them, as much as any delusion.

This country's anti-semetism is not a speck on the islamophophia, where the main TV channels have been pumping out propaganda against Muslims who might actually believe in their faith, not to count the other media and laws who post-9/11 took all their advice from Israel.

The only inoculation to ziocane is this:
https://youtu.be/6O5zgXeCynQ
From a true man of integrity.

Corby is being played, and until he learns from Alistair Campbell - if you don't put them on the defensive, they'll just keep coming for you.

It doesn't help that so many non-Jewish people don't believe they have a right to counter, even when they're the ones being accused.

This is the first time I've thought this is (potentially) evidence corby really doesn't have it within him to fight & lead - a played gullible doormat......

Yours kindly,

MN

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Thanks to Asa Winstanley for stating the facts of Jeremy Corbyn's collapse under pressure from the Israel lobby. For instance his backing down on BDS. For instance, also, ditching his friend Ken Livingstone, who stated facts about Nazism and Zionism.
It is to be feared that Corbyn will never again support all the rights of all the Palestinians, namely by courageously re-affirming his support for BDS. This is incredibly sad. Another politician without principles - the only conclusion from the facts. Is there a real pro-Palestinian who could replace him as Party leader? Unfortunately not. Only at constituency level can more really pro-Palestinian MPs be elected, whether Labour or Tory or LibDem. Or, more likely, 'politician with principles' is an oxymoron.

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Well written and totally apposite. Jeremy and his leadership must kick back against these liars. I met JVL people at a London demo. and really liked what they are doing.
I am appalled at what is happening. I heard Lord winston on andrew neill's BBC show, 'This Week', and what an asshole he turns out to be; the usual old, 'I know Jeremy and he's a decent bloke and not personally anti-semitic' but, he has to root out these awful anti-semites like Ken Livingstone etc. neil, tory that he clearly is, did not present any alternative contradictory commentary. Don't know why I watch his stupid show.
We have to kick back. As far as I can see Livingstone merely quoted a historical fact. Of course the Holocaust happened and of course hitler presided over one of the worst excesses of inhumanity possible to imagine. But, there have been other egregious examples of the subjugation of a complete race, israel's current treatment of Palestinians being one such.
zionists won't be happy until they have completely annihilated the Palestinian Nation but it wasn't Palestinians who badly treated the Jews at any point in history.
Same with these attacks on the Labour party and Jeremy: they must be faced head on. We are the 600,000 and what are Momentum doing? Let's call out these faux Socialists: screw what winston has done in is professional life; his views and comments on politics inside/outside of the house are twisted.
Of course one has to condemn clearly racist comments but otherwise I want to see a much more forceful response to these tory/zionist/nazirael attacks on Labour.

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Well, you're misinterpreting what I said. I'm not saying we can persuade them, just don't give them ammunition for attacking us. Nor am I calling for the policing of our membership. I just want members to educate themselves as to what antisemitism is and to avoid it. Racism of any kind is terrible and not being racist is just being decent and it's not appeasing anyone. It doesn't mean that we stop fighting against the racist apartheid policies of the Israeli state.

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One of the most important concessions that Corbyn has made to the Zionists is his statement that comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany is a form of antisemitism. To those ignorant of historical scholarship on Nazi-Zionist relations and/or the realities of present-day Israel this must seem mere commonsense. Israeli policy merits criticism, says Corbyn, but comparisons with Nazism are out of bounds and naturally offensive to "Jewish feeling". In fact, there is ample basis for comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany in the prewar period (1933-39). No one is claiming that a Palestinian Holocaust is underway, though it is not unreasonable to worry about the possibility of something like that in the future. I wonder whether Corbyn has ever seen, even on video, a crowd chanting "Death to the Arabs!". So this is a very unfortunate concession on his part. We need sustained educational work.

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Thank you, Stephen Shenfield, I agree that it would not take more than a few hours of study for Corbyn to formulate a 5-sentence defence of the view that the Nazi-Jew and Israel-Palestinian cases are comparable in that they are both destruction of another group based on race (ethnicity) although different in degree. (For example, the Nazis killed far more Jews than the Zionists have killed Palestinians ('only' several tens of thousands, increased by 17 over the weekend), but the ethnic cleansing and exile of 7-10 million Palestinians has been going on much longer (70 years).)
But Corbyn also collapsed on the somewhat different issue of Nazi-Zionist collaboration, where he stabbed Ken Livingstone in the back at the Keith Vaz committee enquiry, refusing to confirm straightforwardly that Ken is his friend and denying the facts. Lenni Brenner's work documenting this collaboration is well-known. Less well-known is Francis Nicosia's 1985 book 'The Third Reich and the Palestine Question' which shows that German-Zionist cooperation started earier, in the 1920s.
Corbyn also ditched Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth (is it an accident that both are Black?) during the Vaz interrogation, but we should not ditch Corbyn, but also not excuse him for leaving his supposed principles at the door when he abjectly enters the rooms of power. And let him know that we expect more and that if a principled politician does come along we will vote to replace him.

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If a Palestinian holocaust isn’t underway – if Israel, unlike the Nazi state, is not bent on exterminating the Palestianians – then, however terrible and racist its actions are, the comparison is antisemitic, because the Nazi state was driven by an ideology that saw the Jewish people as such as the source of all evil. This notion is central to modern antisemitism. https://libcom.org/library/ant...

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Then I would respectfully ask Zionists to stop labeling us Nazis bent on the extermination of Jews because we stand up for oppressed Palestinians. When we call for equal rights under a single body of law, we're told that this would result in the collapse of the Jewish state, a state whose only purpose is to protect Jews from extinction at the hands of anti-Semites. We who issue this call for justice are thus trying to strip the Jewish people of their sole defense against annihilation- which means we are engaged in a plot to liquidate Jews. And that makes us Nazis. Nazis who believe in a non-racial state, with full equality for all citizens. Nazis who insist on the right of return for the refugees ethnically cleansed from their lands. Nazis who insist on the dignity of all persons without distinction as to race, ethnicity or religion. That kind of Nazi- promoting that kind of Holocaust.

But if we notice the startling similarities in racial attitudes, legal systems and militaristic ruthlessness between apartheid Israel and the Third Reich, we're told to shut up and go away. Frankly, people are getting sick of being told there's nothing to see here. As for requiring a properly worked-up Holocaust of the Palestinians before it's permissible to make comparisons, that's a standard I wouldn't want to hold over the heads of the people in Gaza just now. Those facing genocide are not obliged to wait for a particular model of mass murder to engulf them.

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All historical comparisons are partial. There are certain similarities between the phenomena being compared and also certain differences. That does not make a comparison illegitimate or devoid of value. The Zionist attitude to Palestinians is different from the Nazis' attitude to Jews, but in both cases the ruling ideology faced the problem of what to do with an unwanted out-group. Many of the methods used by the Nazis in the 1930s, i.e., before the Holocaust, resemble methods used by Zionism against Palestinians -- expelling them, locking them up in ghettoes, stigmatizing them as criminals or terrorists, etc. It is not inconceivable that Israel may escalate to genocide, as the Nazis did in the 1940s. That is still an open question. Those of us who make a partial comparison between Zionism and Nazism do so in the hope that it may serve as a warning and help avert developments that may yet make the comparison more complete. What is antisemitic about it?

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It’s antisemitic because the Nazis were hellbent on the systematic extermination of the Jews *as a people* because they were convinced that Jewish financiers controlled everything and were the *source of all evil*. Horrendous though the actions of the racist apartheid Israeli state towards Palestinians are, they don’t aim at their extermination nor regard them as the source of all evil. To say that i’ts ‘not inconceivable’ that they will aim at extermination is lame; pretty well anything’s not inconceivable, even a yellow logarhithm! There’s also a problem with identifying Israeli policies with Zionism, because Zionism as a tradition long predated the state of Israel, and you’re giving unnecessary offense to Jewish people in that tradition who don’t approve of the policies of the Israeli state. Using these tropes invites their use as a weapon by our enemies to bash Corbynism. Why isn’t racist, apartheid, etc., enough? You could even say ‘neo-fascist’ in my book, but not Nazi. Cf. Umberto Eco http://www.nybooks.com/article... & https://www.haaretz.com/opinio...

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I don't deny that there are big differences between the way the Nazis regarded Jews and the way the dominant majority of Israeli Jews (and their supporters abroad) view Palestinians. But there are also similarities. In both cases defenseless people are imagined as a dangerous threat. In both cases the victims are described as a cancer or as snakes or other non-human pests. The dominant ideology is obsessed with the question how can we get rid of them (Jews or Palestinians, respectively)? In the 1930s the Nazis used the same methods to get rid of Jews as the Israelis use today to get rid of Palestinians. Then with the outbreak of war those methods were no longer feasible and at the same time wartime conditions facilitated the switch to extermination. What might the Israelis do to Palestinians under cover of war? Take into account that there are many graffiti saying "Death to the Arabs!" and right-wing crowds chant that slogan. So my "not inconceivable" was perhaps too weak. To have such anxieties may be unjustified -- I hope it is -- but it hardly makes one an anti-semite. My position would only be anti-semitic if I attributed the danger to the evil nature of Jews, which of course I do not.

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I agree with you. The dissimilarities are not relevant. What is relevant that you point out are the similarities. The purpose of the persecution and attacks was to remove the Jews from Nazi held territory, the Palestinian land from Israeli held territory. The methods are similar. What I think is also important to point out is that today is a different time to the 1930s and 1940s, and while it is simply speculation, had conditions been similar, a question is whether the the occupying Israelis would have used the same methods as the Nazis. We must remember that news did not escape Nazi Germany easily, journalism was not as effective, and communications were quite primitive compared to communications today. It would be difficult today, I suspect, to hide from the world mass murder as extensive as that performed by the Nazis. The Israelis have difficulty hiding there snipers and the war crimes they commit. One must also note the language of some truly inhuman degenerates like Naftali Bennet, Ben-Dahan, Danon and Miri Regev. These people, I propose would have no issue with eliminating the entire Palestinian Arab population. Bennet himself is on record as saying that he has killed many arabs and has no problem with it. They should be locked up of course.

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It is perhaps dangerous to make too close a comparison with previous historical events and situations, after all circumstances and mores change over time; cutting somebody's tongue out in the Middle Ages likely didn't seem that horrendous and crucifixion in Roman times was fairly standard. But, seen today, they appear, and are, horrific and barbaric, obviously.
But looking at general intent; the Palestinians are a serious nuisance to zionist israel and it is wished that they really weren't there. What's to do?
What's that old saying: 'Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it', or something such like? So many get caught up in group madness that it's rather more than likely that history can and will repeat itself.

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I find it surprising that an experienced politician like Jeremy Corbyn commented favourably on a mural sporting such simple crude anti-semitic tropes. It's also unsurprising that it's been used to enflame charges of being soft on anti-semitism in the left which isn't good for Labour or the wider left.

Still this was six years ago when he had a lot less visibility and that probably accounts for it. I can't imagine that this is the kind of mistake he would have made in last couple of years.

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Well said. The mural is certainly antisemitic and it's high time people on the left stopped defending it. Apart from the imagery, don't they notice 'New World Order' on a placard? Owen Jones is right. We on the left need educating (no, not 're-educating').

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.............it is impossible to placate them. They're not interested in any debate or halfway compromises; all they want is total capitulation. Lie on your back like a good doggy and have your tummy rubbed; they don't want that, they want the dog immolated, then dead, and finally buried, as deep as possible.

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From afar, it seems to me The Guardian is a willing weapon being used against Corbyn. (This is a major reason, I have informed the paper, that I will not donate money to it.)

If the rot at The Guardian cannot be cleaned out, can progressives help build or promote an honest medium for news and opinion?

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I'm disappointed in the Guardian. I thought that they would support Corbyn to the hilt instead of undermining him.

I've been reading OpenDemocracy.Com
based in the UK.

They're a left liberal and progressive platform. Pro-Europe and Pro-Corbyn.

They have what seems an open access journalism policy with editorial control I assume to keep standards up.

They've had some interesting articles. Give it a go and see what you think.

Best
Mujib

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Any solidarity with the plight of the Palestinians is considered Anti-Semetic. It is all a ruse to distract and deflect from the austerity and failed policies of Theresa May and the BREXIT disaster. Corbyn's platform appeals to more people than the Tories so any means is used to discredit him and Labor.

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This is no doubt that there is an orchestrated campaign to politically damage Corbyn. For those within the Labour Party, it is not enough just to stamp out any sign of nascent support of Palestinian rights; nothing less than complete acquiescence to the Zionist narrative will suffice. This requires not so much Corbyn publically capitulating but Corbyn being destroyed. If this occurs, the next Labour leadership will be as pliant as the American Congress.

The threat is not only to Corbyn but also the leader after Corbyn. Surely it requires an organised response from within the party. Corbyn should be allowed to remain out of the fray and concentrate on major issues that actually resonate with the general electorate, like jobs, working conditions, health, Brexit; the things that sway the vote. How many ordinary people rate Israel, the Palestinians or A/S as a top issue? A vote changer.

Appeasement will not work. But having Corbyn try and defend himself or the Labour Party from sins against the Zionist narrative by way of twitter or facebook posts will not work either. The Zionist narrative is a slippery thing; it falls apart quickly where there is reasoned debate. It thrives in twitter/facebook sphere of one liners. Corbyn has got to be protected by an organized group of head kickers or toe cutters who take on the twitter/facebook/media fight and always bring the discussion back to Palestinian human rights. The only thing that Corbyn has to do is to move quietly behind the scenes to try and hinder those using anti-Semitism to destroy him, from occupying influential positions in the party.

Unless the I/P conflict is a major issue for most UK voters (which I doubt), I have no problem if he counters accusations with mild motherhood statements and qualified apologies. Let him be deft politician. But also have a group within the party ready to take on each and every claim of A/S; even get pro-active and hunt out the dirt on the main offenders.

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Forget Russia - Friends of Israel is the greatest danger UK democracy faces today.

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It's not difficult to beat the Israel Lobby in reasoned debate as long as you stick to specifics. It's when people make hasty generalisations that they get themselves into hot water.

Humour is also another good way of beating the LFI. They leave you alone very quickly when they realise they are being satirised.

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