Posted tagged ‘Jeremy Corbyn’

And more on Antisemitism on the British Left

February 8, 2018

And more on Antisemitism on the British Left | Anne’s Opinions, 8th February 2018

I apologize if I seem to be banging on about this subject of the antisemitism that has taken over the British Labour Party, but every time I think they have hit bottom, they dig some more.

Here are a few articles worth reading, and what makes a couple of them stand out is that they were written by non-Jews. The antisemitism has reached such levels that even the Gentiles are protesting.

Labour MP John Mann (who has a respectable record fighting antisemitism in his party and is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism) writes “I’m not Jewish but whatever I talk about I receive antisemitic abuse“:

Labour MP John Mann

I made my Question Time debut last week as a Labour MP. I was asked about Theresa May, about Brexit, about allegations of rape and how to deal with them and about statues of Margaret Thatcher. I talked about my work as a constituency MP, and as the longest-serving member of the Treasury Select Committee. I discussed my work against child sexual exploitation and abuse and spoke about the economy and immigration. And yet, when I looked at my phone, I found I had received anti-Jewish abuse and an antisemitic death threat on social media. I am not Jewish, I didn’t talk about Jews and I didn’t discuss the Middle East.

This isn’t the first time. I can speak out about knife crime and drugs and the tweets come in – “who is paying you to do your work” “Why don’t you admit you’re in the pay of the Israeli government” and the like. It is not just tweets though. One Labour party member called me a “CIA *******” for dealing with the “antisemitism nonsense” following an appearance I made on the Daily Politics at Labour party conference talking about the Brexit. Not all, but the vast majority of these attacks have come from self-identified “left-wing” activists or Labour party supporters.

Anti-Jewish hate and invective is becoming so obsessive, so fervent that irrespective of what an anti-racist activist is discussing, antisemitism is the online reaction. Last week, Phillip Collins, in the Times, highlighted the problem of Left wing antisemitism and the obsessive hate of Israel. He pointed out that most of the statements people make are not actionable. The death threat I received will be, but much of the abuse fell into the other category. As he said: the “tone of voice, the severity, the passion, the elevation of an issue that should be one among many to a defining idea of political identity.” ”It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East. For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion.”

But now it’s one step further. There’s a group-focussed enmity. Anyone who calls out racism, or seeks to address anti-Jewish hatred is a target. It’s even now the case that allegations of antisemitism are being inferred or created and attributed to Jews in order to try and diminish the charge when one has not been made. This of course, undermines victims of antisemitism and their right to define such abuse and call out the abusers.

I expect Labour to call out the anti-Semites. When someone with a public platform in the party tweets a racist slur or alleges antisemitism is fabricated, they must be called out. Each and every Labour MP has a duty to speak. We cannot ask other party’s to deal with issues of antisemitism in their parties if we don’t call it out in our own.

We all have a responsibility to call out antisemitism. Any MP should be able to appear on a public show about the key policy issues of our time without being subjected to racist abuse. If we can’t defeat racism, then it’s not the politicians we need to be questioning but rather our future as a civilised society.

Philip Collins in the London Times, quoted above in John Mann’s article, writes that Labour’s Antisemitism is worse than it looks (£): (h/t Benji P). He begins his piece with a reflection on Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, and continues (emphases are added):

The political left in Britain has a serious problem with the Finkler question and it erupted again this week. A dispute has broken out which has the unlikely cast of the renowned cat-impersonator George Galloway, the comedian and writer David Baddiel and the founder of Momentum and member of the Labour Party governing body, Jon Lansman. Mr Galloway started it by calling Baddiel “a vile Israel-fanatic” which accusation he later refined to suggest that Baddiel was prone to using the label of “antisemite” as a slander. Mr Lansman waded in to declare his solidarity with Baddiel who, as a “non-Zionist” is neither vile nor a fanatic.

Mr Galloway responded to Mr Lansman’s implication that he was antisemitic with a threat to sue for defamation. If this unseemly case ever wastes the time of British justice I will root without equivocation for Mr Lansman. That said, this brief exchange was by no means a contest between a knight and a knave and, if Mr Lansman is to become a power in the land, we need to understand the full implications of his position.

Mr Galloway signed off with a threat that revealed his confidence that his view is widely shared on the left. He suggested that he would call Jeremy Corbyn as a witness in his defence. Indeed, Mr Galloway is right to suppose that Mr Corbyn shares a less vehemently expressed version of his own confused certainty. Mr Galloway is never overtly antisemitic — he is far too canny for that. Instead, he alleges that Israel is a country born of colonial conquest which means that the Zionists are the racists. To this historical fiction, the Galloway leftists usually add a critique of acquisitive capitalism which elides neatly with the perennial tropes of antisemitism: the usurious, monied, wandering Jew. You can get a glimpse of a whole pathology without anyone ever actually spelling it out.

This is a familiar and dismal story yet perhaps it was Mr Lansman’s contribution that was the more intriguing, and not just because he is now a central figure in Labour’s command structure. Mr Lansman leapt to support Baddiel on the stated proviso that the latter was not a Zionist. The implied logic here is that, if Baddiel were vocal about the right of Israel to exist, then solidarity with him might be withdrawn. He merits support, in other words, not because calling someone a vile Israel-fanatic is diabolical but because he is on the right side of the imperial argument.

Zionism, which in fact originated as a liberation movement and the search for a place of safety, is recast, by Mr Lansman’s implication, as an ideology of oppression rooted in an act of conquest in 1967. The two thousand years of migration, the sense of the return as a spiritual as well as a geographical exercise, are ignored. This looks like power politics pure and simple. Baddiel has shown himself not to be complicit and has therefore proved his credentials as someone worthy of solidarity. Not as a Jew but as a “non-Zionist”. As Howard Jacobson has said, “those who say they are against Zionism but not Jews are speaking in riddles”. It seems to me that Mr Lansman reveals as much with his defence as Mr Galloway does with his attack.

The Labour Party is led, indeed, by a man who only ever talked to one side, who called himself a friend of Hamas, a body which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state; a man who happily took money from Press TV, a channel owned and controlled by the Iranian government which denies the truth of the Holocaust. The home affairs select committee concluded that institutional antisemitism thrived in the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn did commission a report into the issue but it proved to be a lot better at getting Shami Chakrabarti into the Labour Party than getting antisemites out.

This is not the sort of prejudice that can be settled in court. Only the true cranks voice straightforwardly actionable statements of hatred.

Here are the key words which were quoted by John Mann:

The left’s antisemitism is in the tone of voice, the severity, the passion, the elevation of an issue that should be one among many to a defining idea of political identity.

It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East. For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion. The ingenious ones among them even sound as though they arrive at their argument with great reluctance. This is the mindset that might one day inform British foreign policy and, if that is a realistic prospect, then it is the errors hidden in Mr Lansman’s world view that will matter more than the errors evident in Mr Galloway’s.

Since Mr. Collins cites Howard Jacobson’s book, it is only fitting to quote Howard Jacobson in his own New Statesman article on modern antisemitism: To truly remember the Holocaust, we must stay alert to prejudice”:

Modern antisemitism – same as the old

The modern anti-Semite is more subtle than his great-grandparents. He doesn’t smash our windows or our bones. He insinuates himself into consciences that are already troubled and works on spirits that are already half-broken. And we are too responsive to his serpent insinuations. When the history of Jew-hating in our time comes to be written, Jewish collusion in it will feature heavily.

To the question I don’t have – but is something like, “How do any of us, as Jews, fulfil the great task imposed on us?” – here is my part-answer: stop apologising and resist the sirens who would lure you on to the rocks of guilt and self-dislike, singing of Jewish materialism, Jewish legalism, Jewish exclusivism, Jewish supremacism, Jewish imperialism, Zionism…

Decisive in Corbyn’s emergence as a folk hero is the triumphant amnesia of the young. Of the history of socialism in the 20th century, of the dogmas that still exert a hold on ideologues such as Corbyn, causing him to turn his face away whenever words such as Jew, Israel or anti-Semitism are spoken – some boast of knowing nothing. What does it matter? We weren’t there. “What you don’t understand about my generation,” one young journalist wrote after last year’s election, “is that we don’t know or remember who Gerry Adams or Hezbollah were – so when you tell us that Jeremy Corbyn was their friend, we don’t care.”

Considering how easy the Internet has made it to find out about the past, such ignorance is surprising. But every promise of enlightenment the Internet has made, social media has broken. It revels in the selfish minutiae of the now; having neither eyes nor ears, its stock in trade is malicious rumour. People retweet what they will not take the time to confirm – a slander; a conspiracy theory, of which the Holohoax is just one; or a malevolent meme such as that posted by a Labour politician three years ago – “I have often said the Holocaust victims who died with dignity must be turning in their graves at the horrors done in the name of Judaism.”

How are we to describe the obscenity of that? Can the tweeter truly be so ignorant of what went on in the camps that she can speak, nostalgically, of Jews dying in them with dignity? Or is there method in the ignorance, truth playing second fiddle to propaganda – Jews dying with dignity in the horrorless Holocaust only to show up how little dignity Jews of our age grant those they kill in horror-filled Israel?

Thus the moral seesaw on which Holocaust relativists love to frolic – the contestable atrocity that was the Holocaust now rising, now falling, but always ultimately outweighed by the incontestable outrage that is Zionism. It was played upon again in a fringe meeting at last year’s Labour Party Conference where that prize catch, an Israeli anti-Zionist, argued for the necessity for the party to discuss everything openly, including the Holocaust. “Holocaust yes or no?” he posited, as though the truth of Auschwitz waited on a thumbs up/thumbs down decision. Holocaust: like or dislike? It was a line of enquiry that was given a definitive thumbs up later in the day when a distinguished British film director and member of the Labour Party appeared on the BBC to defend it.

And one more item to finish up (for now – this appears to be an unending subject): it emerges that during the debate in the British Parliament about whether to ban Hezbollah in its entirety or “only” its “military wing“, the Shadow Home Secretary, Labour’s Diane Abbot, ordered Labour MPs to oppose a total ban of Hezbollah!

Jeremy Corbyn famously called Hezbollah “friends” during a meeting in Parliament in 2009.

Ahead of the debate the Shadow Home Secretary sent a briefing note to Labour MPs urging them to not to back the motion because it would hinder peace talks in the Middle East.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

 

The document – obtained by the Jewish Chronicle – read: “There is a balance between making absolutely clear our abhorrence of using violence to achieve political ends and at the same time encouraging organisations down an effective democratic path.

“Full proscription could be a move against dialogue and meaningful peace negotiations in the Middle East.”

Jennifer Gerber, head of Labour Friends of Israel, slammed the Labour frontbench for actively ordering its MPs to block the banning of Hezbollah.

She said: “It is sadly unsurprising that the Labour frontbench would issue a statement on Hezbollah which fails to support banning the terror group in its entirety, and which makes no reference to its virulent antisemitism, its desire to annihilate Israel and its appalling role in propping up Assad’s murderous regime in Syria.

“It is, moreover, utterly delusional to think that, having wreaked death and destruction throughout the region, Hezbollah can play any role in promoting peace. We would urge Labour’s leadership to listen to this afternoon’s debate and reconsider its position.”

Reading the stories above, wading through pages of antisemitic tweets, comments and facebook posts from people who are “only anti-Zionist, I have nothing against Jews”, I don’t know whether to boggle at their ignorance, their stupidity or their malice.

The West’s shameful response to the Iran protests

January 9, 2018

The West’s shameful response to the Iran protests | Anne’s Opinions, January 8th 2018

Iran protests continue

In my earlier post about the Iran protests I mentioned the limp response from both Western governments and Western media. Melanie Phillips picks up on the weak institutional response from the West, saying:

… utterly risible the gloss initially put on these protests by the western media – those outlets, that is, that even bothered to report the demonstrations when they first erupted – that the issue which has brought Iranians onto the streets is merely economic privation.

They said this because the media reflects the European/Obama view that the Iranian regime is not an enemy but an ally. How then can they acknowledge that the Iranian people are rising up against oppression?

The Obama/EU axis and its media supporters have consistently dismissed or denied Iran’s role as the world’s principal sponsor of terrorism. They have ignored or downplayed its march to regional hegemony. They procured or applauded the shocking nuclear deal which enables this fanatical Islamist regime –– which has been at war with the west since 1979 and which openly declares its genocidal intent to wipe out out Israel – to become a nuclear armed power in ten or fifteen years’ time: a deal which, though sanctions relief, has also funnelled money to the regime to enable it to step up its terrorism and embed itself further in the region.

The result has not been merely that the free world has been placed in hugely increased danger. The European/Obama axis also abandoned and betrayed the Iranian people who have been suffering under the cruel tyranny of a regime which oppresses women, jails dissidents and hangs gay men from cranes.

If people are to rouse their courage to pit themselves against the might of a regime that can kill and crush them, the support of the rest of the world is absolutely crucial. So far, though, Trump is alone in offering such support. Apart from Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson feebly and pointlessly tweeting his “concern”, Britain and the EU have been silent. They are not supporting the people of Iran against the regime. They are not trying to weaken it. How can they? They have helped empower it. As have their cheerleaders and Obama sycophants in the media.

Melanie Phillips continues on this theme in a further post on Europe’s shameful silence on the Iran protests, in which she also excoriates Barack Obama and his administration for empowering the Ayatollahs through the nuclear deal:

The people have been calling for “Death to Khamenei,” Iran’s supreme leader, “Death to Rouhani,” Iran’s supposedly moderate president, and to “End the clerical regime!” Revolutions against tyrannical oppressors require extraordinary levels of courage and determination. We know from Soviet Union dissidents how desperately such people need to know the world is with them and to hear their oppressors put on notice that their behavior is being watched.

Support for the protestors from London

 

The very worst thing for those pitting their lives against tyranny is silence from the rest of the world. That’s what tyrants depend upon to stamp out the sparks of freedom.

President Trump stepped up to the plate by repeatedly tweeting support and encouragement to the protesters and issuing warnings designed to undermine and weaken the regime.

But from all those progressive folk in the West who never stop parading their anti-fascist credentials and signaling their support for the persecuted and for human rights there has been… silence.

The media tried to dismiss the uprising as merely an economic protest. Instead of condemning the regime for killing and jailing protesters, the media condemned Trump for supporting them.

The British and EU governments, with their vast and sordid financial ties to the regime, have given zero support to the revolt, offering merely bromides about the need to avoid loss of life. In the US, former Obama administration staffers have been desperately playing down the uprising.

Obama’s Middle East coordinator Philip Gordon called on Trump “to keep quiet and do nothing” in response to the protests.

The Iranians, he claimed, wouldn’t want Trump’s support. His threat to end the nuclear deal, his unconditional support for “Iran’s biggest adversaries, Saudi Arabia and Israel” and his recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would give the Iranians reasons to unite against him.

Gordon thus stupidly conflated the Iranian people with the Iranian regime.

It’s the regime that is against America on all these issues. The Iranian people, by contrast, have no intrinsic prejudice against Israel, have no reason to reject the recognition of Jerusalem and are unlikely to lose sleep over the ending of the nuclear deal, nor America’s alliance with the regime’s foes in Saudi Arabia.

For the protesters were also shouting: “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon! Our life only for Iran!” They don’t support the regime’s aim of regional and global domination. They want Iran to be run for the benefit of Iranians.

For this, they desperately need Trump’s support. They want to know that the US won’t support the regime. Obama did that, and it hurt the Iranian people.

Obama thus bent over backward to give Iran a free pass. According to Politico, his administration stymied an FBI-led operation to shut down Hezbollah’s drug-running, terrorism- financing racket.

In the 2016 prisoner swap deal with Iran, he released several men who his own law enforcement agencies believed posed a danger to national security.

And in the 2009 Green Revolution, Obama abandoned the Iranian people by refusing to give the protesters support.

All of this was to secure the nuclear deal – which has merely empowered Iran to use the money released by sanctions relief to strengthen its terrorist infrastructure and step up its malign and aggressive meddling in the rest of the region.

If the Iranian uprising is stamped out, it will be because of the absence of support from Britain and Europe. Their silence makes them complicit with a genocidal regime at war with the West and has caused them shamefully to betray a brave people fighting for its freedom.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, himself a former Prisoner of Zion at the hands of the brutal Soviet regime, agrees with the Melanie Phillips’ position, writing in the Washington Post that the West should stop dithering and support the Iranian protestors:

As an opinion piece in the New York Times recently put it, the best way for the U.S. government to help the Iranian protesters is to “Keep quiet and do nothing.”

Fortunately, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have already shown themselves unwilling to follow this advice. Even so, it is vital to understand why failing to support the protesters at this critical juncture would constitute a moral and strategic mistake — one of potentially historic proportions.

Consider what happened in 2009, when Iranians came out in large numbers to denounce their country’s rigged presidential election. The response they received from the American government was decidedly tepid. The priority of then-President Barack Obama was to reach an agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program, and he and his advisers feared that they would alienate the regime by vocally supporting its detractors.

Yet subsequent events have proved these views completely wrong. This policy of non-interference discouraged protesters and reinforced the regime at the very moment when the opposite could have led to genuine change.

My experiences as a political prisoner and my decades of involvement with democratic dissidents around the world have shown me that all democratic revolutions have some elements in common. It is the drive of ordinary citizens to free themselves from government control over their thought, speech and livelihoods — to shed the burden of having to conform in public despite their private misgivings and grievances against the regime — that has propelled dissidents and revolutionary movements around the world, from Communist Russia to the Arab Spring to today’s Islamic Republic of Iran.

Any regime that refuses to respect its citizens’ most basic rights, and especially the right to think and speak freely, can maintain its power only by intimidation and force.

Dissidents know the penalties of speaking out but are compelled more by the desire for freedom than by fear. They are willing to brave the consequences, including the loss of their livelihoods, physical freedom and even their lives, to gain the liberty to speak their minds. Revolutions take place when enough people simultaneously cross that fateful line between silent questioning and open dissent, between cowering in fear and standing up for freedom. Once they do so, the regime can no longer contain the upsurge of opposition and must either begin to liberalize or collapse.

This is why a policy of silence on the part of world leaders is so misguided. What matters to Iranians debating whether to cross this decisive threshold is how much they dislike their own government, as well as their knowledge that the free world — those who share the basic principles for which they are fighting — stands behind them in their moment of truth.

… Our leaders must not be misled by the argument that publicly siding with Iran’s dissidents will give the regime an excuse to blame the protests on foreign meddling or crack down even harder on dissidents. The government in Tehran will do these things no matter what, since a regime as threatened as Iran’s is right now will take any steps in its power to deflect and suppress opposition.

Yet, world powers should go even further than this. They should warn Tehran — and thereby reassure protesters — that it must respect its citizens’ rights if it wishes to continue receiving benefits from their countries. Articulating a clear policy of linkage would put pressure on the regime to make genuine changes and give hope to protesters that their sacrifices will not be in vain.

These sterling words from Natan Sharansky stand in stark contrast to the utterly pathetic reaction from Britain’s establishment, particularly the Labour Party whose leader has never met a terrorist he couldn’t like.

Here’s a tweet from a spoof Jeremy Corbyn account, but the link is no spoof:

And more:

Even the leftist Independent calls on Britain to support the protestors and condemns the equivocation of the Labour Party:

Anyone with a conscience, meanwhile, knows that the Iranian government hangs gay people, tramples on women’s rights, has a poor human rights record and sponsors terrorism. It is not difficult, in a contest between such a regime and the right to free expression, to know which side is wearing the whiter hat.

Ms Thornberry’s warning that Westerners should not “simply impose our views” on other countries is the most appalling moral cowardice. There is nothing “Western” about universal human rights, and all representatives of the British people should stand up for them.

But let’s not just concentrate on the Labour Party who, after all, are not in power. What about the British government itself?

Allister Heath in the Telegraph laments Britain’s non-response:

What’s wrong with us? Why isn’t there loud, universal support from all shades of political opinion, in Britain and across the West, for the anti-regime protesters in Iran? Why such reluctance to encourage these brave young men and women who are risking their lives by taking on the theocrats?

Have we forgotten the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, or is it that our elites are now so embarrassed by Western values that they can no longer relate to those in other countries who also yearn for freedom and democracy?

Scandalously, but unsurprisingly, Mr Corbyn has yet to speak out about the protests: he was quick to condemn Donald Trump’s commonsensical recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but has nothing to say about the murder of dozens of Iranians.

So much for the hard-Left. Why are the Tories and the (clearly hopeless) Foreign Office almost as silent, in effect aligning themselves with the worst of European foreign policy, despite the liberating potential of Brexit?

Why has Boris Johnson been so uncharacteristically mealy-mouthed? Why is the British government still clinging to the absurd notion that the Iranian nuclear deal was a good idea, rather than a shameful exercise in appeasement which ended up propping up an illegitimate regime while lining the pockets of a few European companies?

I understand that Boris feels he must tread carefully after the disastrous Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe affair, but it is deeply disappointing that Mr Trump’s foreign policy towards Iran is far more ethical than Britain’s. We need a Kennedy-esque oration, a “we are all Tehranis” moment from our Foreign Secretary to give the rebels the kind of moral support they desperately need.

The Americans get this: Mr Trump – yes, Trump, the president despised by so-called liberals the world over – has adopted exactly the right tone in recent days, and Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the UN, has been superb and now looks like a future Republican presidential contender.

The reality is that there is no moral ambiguity when it comes to the Iranian protests, no shades of grey, no trade-off to be had for reasons of realpolitik. There are the good guys – the young, brave counter-revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the brutes who have ruled their country for so long – and then there is the regime, a barbaric and corrupt mob that has brought a once great society to its knees.

The protests were precipitated by economic chaos, as is often the case, but quickly mutated into open attacks on the regime. … In social terms, there has been an explosion in drug abuse, mental illness, depression and atomisation.

Most encouragingly, the protesters are furious that the regime is spending so much on financing terrorism and on its wars in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, rather than on its own people. They have been saying so, clearly, in demonstrations around the country.

This remarkable message – a powerful counter-blast to the pernicious idea that the Middle East is somehow different, that none of its people want democracy, individual liberty or toleration – is far more radical than the demands made during the 2009 uprising. If any country is ready for a real dose of modernisation, it’s Iran.

True, the protesters are disorganised and they disagree about much, but they deserve our support, and that of all of the global bodies supposedly concerned with human rights which have been pretending not to notice what has been going on (they are only interested in the “right” kinds of rights violation, that is those by Western countries).

We cannot be sure that a new, successful counter-revolution would not lead to chaos, but Iran doesn’t need an authoritarian regime to prevent tribal warfare and the Islamists are totally discredited, so the omens are better than they were in Afghanistan or Libya.

What is certain is that we’ve failed the Middle East appallingly in recent decades. We mustn’t also betray Iran again. Its dissidents need a clear signal that the world would be delighted to work, when the time is right, with a new government in Tehran. Foreign Secretary, are you listening?

The only foreign representative who does seem to be listening and is not afraid to express an opinion is the US Ambassador to the UN who overtly threatened the Iranian regime:

Let’s just hope that the world does not restrict itself to just “watching”.

The horrifying scale of antisemitism in the British Labour Party

November 8, 2017

The horrifying scale of antisemitism in the British Labour Party | Anne’s Opinions, 7th November 2017

Although this isn’t news any more, (I have written about it on this blog several times) it still bears repeating and stressing: antisemitism in Britain’s Labour Party is rising to unprecedented levels, to a stage where Jews do not feel welcome any more in what was once their natural political home.

The Daily Mail writes about the alarming scale of antisemitism within the Labour Party:

The scale of anti-semitism within Labour has prompted training sessions for 1,200 party members in a drive to stamp out the vile online abuse.

Labour’s Jewish wing is holding the events that use a slide show of hate-filled messages posted on the internet by the party’s own activists.

The Daily Mail has chosen to reproduce the comments despite their shocking content in order to highlight the enormity of the problem.

The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide.

Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’

One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world.

Last night MP John Cryer, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said that the tweets were ‘stomach-churning’ and ‘awful’.

I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party,’ he said.

‘The Labour Party has been at the forefront of confronting Nazism right from the 1930s – so what possesses these people to become members I don’t understand. I have seen tweets like this at our disciplinary body and what I know is these people are quickly suspended and expelled.’

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) held a training session at September’s Labour conference – itself blighted by accusations of anti-semitism – in a doomed attempt to nip the problem in the bud. Some 1,200 members have attended the official Labour Party sessions, which are carried out by the JLM, in the past 14 months.

The event said that among elected Labour representatives ‘denial of anti-semitism is particularly common’, as was the idea that ‘Jewish people are wealthy or interested in wealth or finance’.

Another message from an unknown Labour councillor contained ‘echoes of the blood libel’, the JLM events are told.

The tweet showed an Israeli flag dripping with blood along with the words: ‘The genocidal murderers of innocent women and children: Moses must be proud of you.’ The message was headlined: ‘Israel is evil, long live Palestine.’

A councillor shared a picture saying: ‘The modern state of Israel was created by the Rothschilds, not God – and what they are doing to the Palestinian people now is exactly what they intend for the whole world.’ Alongside a picture of a child in a hospital bed, it said: ‘Today it’s a Palestinian child: soon it will be your child.’

One member wrote: ‘I see the corrupt “master race” side-stepped into this graphic,’ to which another replied: ‘Lol [laugh out loud] be careful you might get accused of being anti-semitic.’

This led to a discussion about ‘paid disinfo agents’ and Blairites ‘running to the MSM [mainstream media]’ with mention of the Zionism ‘problem’. ‘Just look at who owns what,’ one said.

The notes also said that ‘denial of anti-semitism is known as the Livingstone formulation’ in a reference to comments by former London mayor Ken Livingstone in which he said that anyone critical of Israel was accused of anti-semitism.

A JLM spokesman said: ‘The training programme is starting to have an impact across the country. The examples used are actual samples of anti-semitism, and are regularly updated.

‘They are anonymised in order not to prejudice ongoing disciplinary cases.’

The issue of anti-semitism overshadowed the Labour conference after activists at an anti-Zionist fringe event demanded the JLM be expelled.

Jeremy Corbyn was forced to deny he was leading the new ‘nasty party’, and the Labour leader of Brighton council threatened to ban the party from holding its conference in the town unless it cracked down on racism amongst activists.



Jeremy Corbyn can deny his own or his party’s antisemitism and anti-Westernism till he is blue in the face but it will be to no avail since the proof is there for all to see.

Journalist Tom Gross found this little item in the satirical magazine Private Eye which highlights Corbyn’s hypocrisy with two opposing statements:

In this vein, the political blogger Guido Fawkes has done a thorough research job and found 100 times that Jeremy Corbyn has sided with terrorists: – not only Palestinian but Irish and others. Below is just a partial list:

  • Invited two IRA members to parliament two weeks after the Brighton bombing.
  • Attended Bloody Sunday commemoration with bomber Brendan McKenna.
  • Attended meeting with Provisional IRA member Raymond McCartney.
  • Hosted IRA linked Mitchell McLaughlin in parliament.
  • Spoke alongside IRA terrorist Martina Anderson.
  • Attended Sinn Fein dinner with IRA bomber Gerry Kelly.

Jeremy Corbyn standing with the Hezbollah flag some years ago

  • Put up £20,000 bail money for IRA terror suspect Roisin McAliskey.
  • Didn’t support IRA ceasefire.
  • Said Hamas and Hezbollah are his “friends“.
  • Called for Hamas to be removed from terror banned list.
  • Called Hamas “serious and hard-working“.
  • Attended wreath-laying at grave of Munich massacre terrorist.
  • Attended conference with Hamas and PFLP.
  • Photographed smiling with Hezbollah flag.

There is much more in this revolting litany of cosying up to terrorists.

The rise in antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism in the Labour Party has alarmed even such liberal Jewish stalwarts as Howard Jacobson, Simon Schama and Simon Sebag-Montefiore. Here is their letter to the editor of the Times in which they decry such bigotry:

Letter to the Times protesting antisemitism in the Labour Party (click to enlarge)

Unfortunately these three eminent personalities concede the validity of the Palestinian “narrative” which dilutes their entire argument. The Elder of Ziyon takes issue, correctly, with the writers’ ceding the validity of Palestinian claims to any history in the Land of Israel, whether they did so out of genuine belief or because they feel their message will be more palatable to the British public if they dilute it with support for the Palestinian narrative:

Even if you give these writers the benefit of the doubt and say that they are only making this claim to allow their message about antisemitism to be easier to swallow by British anti-Zionists – doesn’t that mean that they don’t really believe that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism? It dilutes their argument, instead of strengthening it.

No self-respecting Zionist can accept any part of the Palestinian Arab claims – because the very acceptance of those claims negates Jewish claims. That is the entire point of Palestinian nationalism since the 1910s – to delegitimize Zionism and Jewish peoplehood altogether. If there was no Zionism, there would have never been Palestinian nationalism which exists to combat Zionism. (Where were the Palestinian nationalists demanding self-determination in the territories between 1948 amd 1967?)

If Schama and Montefiore disagree, please, I would love to hear their arguments. I have looked for years for any evidence of a “Palestinian” nation and culture and people that predate Zionism, without luck.

I have no doubt that these three writers love Israel, but they seem very unaware of how much damage they can unwittingly cause to the nation they love by embracing the narrative of those who want to destroy Israel.

The Elder is correct that in order to counteract this constant delegitimization, we must stay on-message and speak with one voice, at least in public.

But to return to the Labour Party, some of them have even turned on their own members if they are viewed as too pro-Israel, or not anti-Israel enough. The British Jewish grass-roots organization Campaign Against Antisemitism reveals that a Labour councillor who took action against antisemitism was the victim of a social media attack that was endorsed by a Shadow Minister:

Shadow Minister Chris Williamson has tweeted a blog article entitled “Revealed: The Labour Party activists behind the ‘antisemitism’ smears”, which he commended as “really interesting”. Despite its grand use of terms such as “raw data” and “the power of weak links”, the article does little more than to insinuate – on the flimsiest of evidence – that a small number of social media users constitute a “network of hate” and to accuse Councillor Warren Morgan – the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council whose brave stand against antisemitism we applauded in September – of lying, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, and “regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism”. It was written by internet millionaire and former Daily Mail journalist Greg Hadfield, whose membership of the Labour Party is currently suspended.

The article notes how extraordinary it is for a Shadow Minister to turn on one of his own party’s members so publicly, and continues:

In the UK, it is accepted that an incident perceived as racist should be investigated as such. The idea that one particular ethnic group — and one particular ethnic group alone — cannot be trusted to recognise racism when directed against itself is incompatible with the Macpherson principle that underpins the British approach to racism. It would be regrettable indeed if the endorsement of Mr Hadfield’s article by such a senior politician as Mr Williamson were to have the effect of intimidating party members from coming forward with or responding to complaints about antisemitism. The Labour Party’s new rules on hate speech, adopted by near-unanimous vote after a highly controversial conference debate, cannot begin to have an impact on the Party’s undeniable antisemitism problem unless whistleblowers are able to speak out without fear of reprisals.

In the light of all this bigotry and racism, we are all wondering what is the root of the deep antisemitism now prevailing in its ranks. Melanie Phillips posits a theory as to the roots of Labour’s antisemitism:

… the Labour party is still in denial about the deep roots of this scourge within its own ideology. It still wrongly believes that the examples which have publicly surfaced over the past few months are some kind of aberration. John Cryer MP, the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party who described these tweets as “stomach-churning” and “awful”, demonstrated the problem when he said: “I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party”.

But they hold them precisely because they are members of the Labour party – because they are committed to the thinking that has become an article of faith on the left, which has turned the “Palestinians” into the signature cause for progressive people on the utterly false grounds that aggressive, brutal, colonialist Israel has deprived them of their historic right to a Palestine state.

This thinking uses precisely the same uniquely deranged and obsessional charges – diabolical cosmic power, covert conspiracy against the world, crimes of which the accused is not only innocent but is in fact the victim, expectations of standards of behaviour applied to no other people and overall demonisation based on systematic falsehoods – which have characterised hatred against the Jews as people and now identically characterise hatred against the collective Jew in Israel.

Antisemitism goes far beyond the left. Tragically, it is the prejudice that never dies. But what the left has done is provide the means of sanitising it through support of Palestinianism which provides plausible deniability by couching the venom as being anti-Israel instead of being overtly anti-Jew.

Sadly, none of this analysis provides us with a method for combatting this irrational hatred. All that we can do is keep on pounding away with the truth and facts. We pro-Israel activists must also be much more pro-active on the social and mainstream media in order to counteract the floods of hatred that swamp the media.

No Tolerance for Extremism

June 16, 2017

No Tolerance for Extremism, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, June 16, 2017

What May plans to do will take us far, but not far enough. Her weakness, set against Corbyn’s show of strength, undermines the likelihood of any serious changes to how Britain tackles the Islamic threat. Bit by bit, the political fear of appearing xenophobic or “Islamophobic” will reassert itself. Labour will make sure of that. Members of parliament with substantial numbers of Muslim constituents will answer calls to water down any legislation that can be labeled as discriminatory to Muslims. It is only when we come to terms with the fact that terrorist attacks are not being carried out by Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is, Quakers or the members of any religion except Islam.

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At the moment, the bar for taking extremists out of circulation is set ridiculously high. People known for their own extremism that reaches pre-terrorist levels should not be walking the streets when they have expressed support for Islamic State (ISIS) or tried to head to Syria or called for the destruction of Britain and other democracies or allied themselves to people already in prison. Their demand for free speech or freedom of belief must never be elevated above the rights of citizens to live safely in their own towns and cities. It is essential for parliament to lower the bar.

Is this to be the political landscape for the future, where groups of people demanding death and destruction are given the freedom of the streets whilst those wishing to hold a peaceful celebration are prevented from doing so?

To see extremist Islam as a “perversion” of Islam misses an important point. The politically correct insistence that radical versions of Islam somehow pervert an essentially peaceful and tolerant faith forces policy-makers and legislators, church leaders, rabbis, interfaith workers and the public at large to leave to one side an important reality. Flatly, Islam in its original and classic forms has everything to do with today’s radicals and the violence they commit. The Qur’an is explicit in its hatred for pagans, Jews and Christians. It calls for the fighting of holy war (jihad) to conquer the non-Muslim world, subdue it, and gradually bring it into the fold of Islam. Islam has been at war with Europe since the seventh century.

On the Sunday morning after the terrorist attacks in London the night of June 3, British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the nation in a powerful speech. It deserves to be read in full, but several points stand out and call for a response.

We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change and they need to change in four important ways.

First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism.

It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.

Lower down, she enhances that by saying:

Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.

No one who has watched the endless stream of radical Muslim preachers who appear on YouTube or who post extremist, anti-Western, anti-democratic, or anti-Semitic opinions on Facebook would object to May’s stricture. But given earlier attempts to rein in the providers of so many internet spaces in a demand for better scrutiny and the removal of radicalizing material from their sites, we must remain pessimistic about how far May or any other Western leader can bring effective pressure to bear. Without strong financial disincentives, these rulers of the internet will pay little heed to the concerns of the wider public and our security services.

Perhaps May’s strongest statement comes some lines later:

While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is — to be frank — far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations.

Here, she puts her finger on the most sensitive yet compelling reason for our vulnerability. The democracies have been and still are weakened by the very things that in other contexts give us strength. May speaks rightly of our “pluralistic British values”. But those values include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, open-mindedness, and tolerance — things that are not held as desirable values in any Muslim country. Such values are key to our survival as free and tolerant people unrestricted by any overarching ideology. Yet May is right. Even toleration has its limits. While allowing Muslims to live in our societies with full freedom to live their lives according to the tenets of their faith is desirable expression of our openness and love for humanity, we have been tolerant of radical Islam and even traditionalist and conservative Islam where it leads into radicalization and an extremism that erupts in physical assaults, fatalities, and, as intended, widespread public fear.

For years, we have known the identities of radical Islamic preachers and extremist organizations, but we have allowed them to bring their hatred for us onto university and college campuses, into mosques and Islamic centres, and even onto our streets, where they set up stalls to speak and hand out literature. Scroll down here or here to find long lists of radical individuals and organizations, few of which have even been banned. Few terrorist suspects have ever been deported. In a Telegraph article from 2015, one reads:

Here is an astonishing figure to mull over. In the past 10 years, the UK has deported just 12 terrorism suspects from its shores under its Deportation with Assurances (DWA) scheme. In the same period, France deported more than 100 more. The British figures come from a review of the DWA programme that is unlikely to be published until after the general election. It suggests, as we have always suspected, that the UK remains a soft touch for foreign-born jihadists.

It took eight years, 15 court cases and a £25 million bill to keep the hate preacher and terrorist fighter Abu Hamza and his huge family in the UK before he was finally deported (to the United States) in 2012, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In that same year, Theresa May (then Home Secretary) was frustrated because another sinister figure, Abu Qatada, could not be deported to Jordan because the European Court of Human Rights had ruled against it for fear of his being tortured there. But in 2013, once Jordan agreed not to do so, he was sent there only to be tried and set free. Last year, he used Twitter to urge Muslims to leave the UK for fear of persecution and “bloodshed” — a possible encouragement to would-be jihadis to head abroad. May spoke vehemently against the Strasbourg ruling:

It is simply isn’t acceptable, that after guarantees from the Jordanians about his treatment, after British courts have found that he is dangerous, after his removal has been approved by the highest courts in our land, we still cannot deport dangerous foreign nationals.

The right place for a terrorist is a prison cell. The right place for a foreign terrorist is a foreign prison cell far away from Britain.

We constantly undermine ourselves by our need to be principled. This is an ongoing problem in politics. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, is frequently described as a man of principle, and in many ways that judgement seems fair. Certainly, he has stuck by his socialist principles even if they have led him to adopt positions not well aimed at creating security for Britain. He has supported the IRA; refused many times to condemn their terrorist attacks; has called Hamas and Hizbullah his “friends” and invited their representatives to the British parliament. If that were not enough, he has boasted of his opposition to every piece of anti-terrorist legislation parliament has tried to pass.

In a 2015 interview just shown by the tabloid newspaper The Sun, Corbyn spoke with the Bahrain-based LuaLua Television. Although The Sun is not a reliable source, the clip from the interview shows Corbyn speaking in English with an accurate Arabic translation in subtitles. The interviewer speaks in Arabic. What are alarming are Corbyn’s statements, including a criticism of the UK government laws preventing would-be fighters who have travelled to Syria and from returning to the UK:

The British government’s response has been to try to make it impossible for them to travel, to restrict their ability to travel, to take upon themselves the ability to remove passports and, strangely, to deny people the right of return – which is legally a very questionable decision.

Surely no responsible politician would want to make it easy for jihadi fighters to come and go between Syria and the UK, especially while Islamic State is encouraging jihadis who leave to go back to European countries to carry out acts of terror — which seems to be exactly what has been happening.

In 2002, Corbyn addressed a large anti-Israel rally in London attended by Hizbullah supporters, several radical preachers including Abu Hamza, and 300 members of al-Muhajiroun, a banned extremist organization. According to one left-wing newspaper:

None of these groups called (openly at least) for the destruction of the state of Israel. It was a different story though for the ultra-reactionaries of such organisations as Al Muhajiroun, who held placards reading, “Palestine is muslim”. They chanted, “Skud, Skud Israel” and “Gas, gas Tel Aviv”, along with their support for bin Laden. Two would-be suicide posers were dressed in combat fatigues with a ‘bomb’ strapped to their waists. This section accounted for no more than 200-300, but they made a noise far out of proportion to their numbers.[1]

Stories concerning Corbyn’s support for jihadis was plastered on the front pages of several newspapers one day before the general election on June 8. He may never take charge of our national security, but following the results of the election, which proved disastrous for May and her Conservative party, it is now not entirely unimaginable that he may yet form a minority government. Overconfidence in her party’s strength, a hardline stance on Brexit, and a lack of concern in her Manifesto for public sensitivities concerning the National Health Service, social care and pensions led May to lose the confidence of much of the public, especially some, such as the elderly, who were traditional Tory voters. The campaign she ran turned out to be very badly handled. The two advisers who worked on it have just resigned, and large numbers of citizens, including 60% of Conservatives, are calling on her to resign. She no longer commands the large parliamentary majority of which she was so sure when she called the election, in fact she has no majority at all without pairing with the backward-looking Democratic Unionist Party, founded by bigoted Ian Paisley in 1971 and now the largest party in Northern Ireland. Many predict that the alliance will soon founder.

Whoever remains in power in coming months, the threat of terrorism has risen to the top of the agenda as a public preoccupation. Except that almost nobody talked much about it in the days after the London Bridge attack leading up to the election. Alarmingly, large numbers of young people rushed to vote for the leader of the one party that will do the least to combat that threat. The abolition of student fees or other right-on issues mattered so much more. And yet, in a matter of months, the British people have grown frightened of a beast our political correctness and laxity helped create, a Frankenstein monster that has risen from its slab and shows no signs of lying back down again. This beast has, in a few fell swoops, changed the nature of politics in Britain as it has elsewhere.

Jeremy Corbyn is the last person to whom we should entrust our future safety, yet he is now in a position to water down or cancel any legislation that might ensure more preparedness and better control. Theresa May, whatever her political disaster, has at least promised firmness in our relations with the Muslim community, identifying the problem and calling for action.

That promise of action is exemplified in her statements that:

If we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorist-related offences — even apparently less serious offences — that is what we will do. Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say “Enough is enough”.

On June 6, addressing party supporters in Slough, and again speaking about resistance to terrorism, she went farther, saying:

I mean longer prison sentences for those convicted of terrorist offences.

I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries.

And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.

And if our human rights laws get in the way of doing it, we will change the law so we can do it.

Clearly, not even May can ride roughshod over essential human rights values and legislation, things put in place to protect the public. Now, with Corbyn looking over shoulder, tough and measured action is in jeopardy. It is clear nonetheless that an excessive concern for the rights of dangerous individuals and hostile communities has served to take away vital protections for the lives of British citizens. This misguided generosity is linked to a growing worry that we have been too relaxed about individuals who have later gone on to commit atrocities in our midst. Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who murdered 22 concert-goers, including several children, during an Ariane Grande concert in Manchester, had been reported to the authorities no fewer than five times, yet had been allowed to walk free enough to take forward his mission to kill and maim.

Youssef Zaghba, one of the three attackers on London Bridge and Borough Market on June 3, had been stopped in Bologna in 2016 carrying terrorist literature while trying to fly to Istanbul en route for Syria. He told officers “I am going to be a terrorist”, was arrested but later released. His name was flagged on an international terrorism database and the Italian authorities notified the British security services. Allowed to go to the UK, he helped kill seven people and injure more.

Even more alarmingly, his accomplice, Khuram Butt, a Pakistani-born British man, was well above the horizon. He had been reported to the security services and was alleged to have been an associate of Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher now serving time in jail for his support for Islamic State. Butt had defended Choudary by calling a Muslim opposed to the preacher an apostate (murtadd); and in 2016, he had appeared in a Channel 4 television documentary where he was seen with others in a park holding an ISIS flag and at two events attended by radical preachers who had been arrested for radicalizing others. One of those preachers, Mohammed Shamsuddin, has said: “Our message is deadly, we are calling for world domination, and for Sharia for the UK.”

In 2015, MI5, the UK’s domestic intelligence service, stated that it had 3,000 extremists on its watchlist. According to Business Insider:

There are 6,000 employees at GCHQ and 4,000 at MI5. But there are up to 3,000 terror suspects in the UK. At the French ratio, you would need 60,000 officers to track them all. That’s almost half of Britain’s total number of police officers, 127,000.

What this means, in effect, is that thousands of potential terrorists are left free to live with little interference from the police or MI5. Raising the number of police, as Jeremy Corbyn demands, would place a heavy strain on the economy of a country sailing into uncharted waters as it leaves the EU. The answer must be, as May suggests, a different approach to human rights legislation. At the moment, the bar for taking extremists out of circulation is set ridiculously high. People who are known for their own extremism that reaches pre-terrorist levels should not be walking the streets when they have expressed support for Islamic State or tried to head to Syria or called for the destruction of the UK and other democracies or allied themselves to people already in prison. Their demand for free speech or freedom of belief must never be elevated above the rights of citizens to live safely in their own towns and cities. It is essential for parliament to lower the bar.

That the police and security services are avoiding any real confrontation with Islamists is clear from the contents of this letter, sent on June 7 to the Daily Mail by pro-Israel activist Clive Hyman. It makes troubling treading:

On 18th June, Muslims will be holding a march in central London to celebrate Al-Quds Day. In previous years these marches have called for the destruction of Israel and death to the Jews, and the marchers have carried signs to this effect and flags supporting Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS. Despite requests from both the Christian and Jewish communities for this march to be cancelled because of the violence it will incite amongst those participating and their followers, Mayor Khan and the Metropolitan police have refused to do so, their reason being that there has been no violence at these marches in previous years.

By comparison, an event to honour Israel organised by Christians United for Israel for 22nd June has been cancelled apparently because Mayor Khan and the Metropolitan Police cannot guarantee the safety of those who wish to attend.

Is this to be the political landscape for the future, where groups of people demanding death and destruction are given the freedom of the streets whilst those wishing to hold a peaceful celebration are prevented from doing so?

As might be expected, leftists have rejected May’s appeal for changes in human rights legislation. They argue that she will need to declare a state of emergency, something that can only be invoked when the life of the nation is under threat. This is not incorrect, since all democracies have to avoid potential dictators using changes in the law to give themselves powers they might not otherwise have. But that is not the whole story.

What May plans to do will take us far, but not far enough. Her weakness, set against Corbyn’s show of strength, undermines the likelihood of any serious changes to how Britain tackles the Islamic threat. Bit by bit, the political fear of appearing xenophobic or “Islamophobic” will reassert itself. Labour will make sure of that. Members of parliament with substantial numbers of Muslim constituents will answer calls to water down any legislation that can be labelled as discriminatory to Muslims. It is only when we come to terms with the fact that terrorist attacks are not being carried out by Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is, Quakers or the members of any religion except Islam.

Regrettably May herself fell into a politically-correct trap in her speech, when she said in reference to Islamic radicalism, “It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.” It is easy to see what she means by this — that she wants to distance radicalism and terrorism from the majority of decent Muslims in the UK, the ones like Sara Khan who work to create a British Islam based on the best Islamic values in alliance with the British values May rightly extols. However, to see extremist Islam as a “perversion” of Islam misses an important point. The politically correct insistence that radical versions of Islam somehow pervert an essentially peaceful and tolerant faith forces policy-makers and legislators, church leaders, rabbis, interfaith workers and the public at large to leave to one side an important reality. If not tackled head-on, that reality will not go away.

In a June 3 speech, British Prime Minister Theresa May regrettably fell into a politically-correct trap, when she said in reference to Islamic radicalism, “It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.” (Photo by Hannah McKay/Pool/Getty Images)

Flatly, Islam in its original and classic forms has everything to do with today’s radicals and the violence they commit. The Qur’an is explicit in its hatred for pagans, Jews, and Christians. It calls for the fighting of holy war (jihad) to conquer the non-Muslim world, subdue it, and gradually bring it into the fold of Islam. Muhammad himself led his followers into battle and sent out expeditions out of Arabia before his death in 632. The astonishing Islamic conquests that followed in the Middle East, Europe, and far beyond into Central Asia and India turned a swathe of territories into Islamic fiefdoms, and most of these remain under Muslim rule today. The Ottoman Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 not only destroyed the Eastern Orthodox Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire), but is still regarded by Muslims as a turning point in the history of the world. The subsequent Ottoman conquests across eastern Europe were only halted when the King of Poland John III Sobieski (1629-1696) defeated a massive Turkish army under the command of Sultan Soleiman I outside the city of Vienna.

In 2015, after Islamist attacks in Paris, French president François Hollande declared that “We are in a war against terrorism, jihadism, which threatens the whole world.” But Islam has been at war with Europe since the seventh century. The beheadings, crucifixions, massacres and demolitions of towns and churches carried out by Islamic State today are replicas of wider atrocities carried out by the Muslim conquerors of Spain in the 8th century.[2]

Jihad wars against the Byzantines were carried out twice a year. Spain and Portugal were occupied for centuries until the Christian kingdoms of the north drove the Muslims out, in a process that itself took some centuries. The Ottomans continued to be a threat down to their defeat in the First World War. From the sixteenth to late eighteenth centuries, the Muslim slavers, known as the Barbary pirates, dominated the Mediterranean and took more than a million Christian slaves to North Africa. In the nineteenth century, jihad wars against European colonists were frequent.[3] Today, Europeans and others are fighting wars against Islamic radicals from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria, and on the streets of our own cities.

To be at war is justification for extreme measures. Deportation and internment are unattractive, just as the measures Western countries have been forced to take against their enemies in other wars. But set next to the threat of unending terror in our cities, and given the nature of the people we will deport or intern, they are probably not as bad as the alternative. We will not execute terrorists (just as Israel has never executed the thousands of terrorists who have murdered its citizens) nor torture them or harm their families. Minor adjustments to our human rights laws and the lowering of the bar a bit on what we consider unacceptable are all we need. But that will not stop Jeremy Corbyn and his terrorist-supporting friends crying that such measures will be a “slippery slope” that will set back community relations by decades.

Dr. Denis MacEoin has recently completed a large study of concerns with Islam. He is an Arabist, Persianist, and a specialist in Shi’i Islam. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

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[1] See also here.

[2] See Darío Fernández-Morera, The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise, Wilmington, 2016, chapters 1 and 2.

[3] See Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, especially chapter 3.

The British Election: Will Voters Opt for Intolerance and Xenophobia?

June 4, 2017

The British Election: Will Voters Opt for Intolerance and Xenophobia?Alan M. Dershowitz, June 3, 2017

(If the Labour Party wins a majority in Parliament, what will it mean for BREXIT? — DM)

On June 8, British voters will head to the polls, three years early. When Prime Minister Theresa May called last month for a snap election, the assumption was that she would win easily and increase her parliamentary majority. Recent numbers, however, show the gap closing between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn – who was given 200:1 odds of when he ran for the party leadership in 2015 – is doing surprisingly well again. This is despite the fact that Labour has been under fire for anti-Semitism in its ranks, and Corbyn himself has been accused of anti-Jewish bigotry. Corbyn denies having a problem with Jews, claiming that he is merely anti-Israel. Even if it were possible to hate Israel without being anti-Semitic – and I am not sure that it is – Corbyn’s words and deeds demonstrate that he often uses virulent anti-Zionism as a cover for his soft anti-Semitism.

For example, in a speech last year, he said that Jews are “no more responsible” for the actions of Israel than Muslims are for those of ISIS. In 2009, he announced: “It will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. I also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well.”

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 03: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn greets supporters at Beeston Youth and Community Centre he visits the East Midlands during the final weekend of the General Election campaign on June 3, 2017 in Nottingham, England. If elected in next week’s general election Mr Corbyn is pledging to create a million new jobs and to scrap zero-hours contracts. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The company that Corbyn keeps, too, suggests that at best he gives a free pass to bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism within the ranks of his own party, and at worst, he espouses them. He has shared speaking platforms and led rallies with some of the most infamous Jew-haters. He has attended meetings hosted by 9/11 conspiracy theorist Paul Eisen, author of a blog titled: “My Life as a Holocaust Denier.” He has been associated with Sheikh Raed Salah – leader of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, a blood libel perpetuator convicted for incitement to violence and racism – whom he referred to as a “very honoured citizen” whose “voice must be heard.” Corbyn was also a paid contributor for Press TV, Iran’s tightly controlled media apparatus, whose production is directly overseen by anti-Semitic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

One of the biggest criticisms of the “Corbynization” of British politics has been the mainstreaming of traditional anti-Semitism. The country’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has called the problem within the Labour party “severe.”

Consider the late Gerald Kaufman, a Labour veteran and close political associate of Corbyn’s who touted conspiracy theories about Jews throughout his political career. When speaking at a pro-Palestinian event, Kaufman said: “Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives.” While Corbyn condemned this remark, he refused to yield to widespread demands for disciplinary action against Kaufman. This is in keeping with what a key former adviser to Corbyn, Harry Fletcher, wrote: “I’d suggest to him [Jeremy] about how he might build bridges with the Jewish community and none of it ever happened.”

Let’s be clear: I do not believe that Corbyn’s rise in the polls is due to his hatred of Jews and Israel, but rather in spite of it. May called for elections and then refused to debate her opponents. She is running a lacklustre campaign somewhat reminiscent of U.S. Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton’s last year. For his part, Corbyn is a populist, like U.S. President Donald Trump. Although politically polar opposites, they have much in common, such as a penchant for shooting from the hip and unpredictability.

Furthermore, many British voters are unaware of Corbyn’s anti-Semitic associations. Others know, but don’t care. Those on the hard-Left, such as union activists and academics, include knee-jerk opponents of the nation state of the Jewish people and supporters of academic and cultural boycotts of Israel. Many of these favor trade and engagement with such egregious human-rights violators as Iran, Cuba, China, Russia, Belarus and Venezuela. Singling out Israel – the Middle East’s only democracy, with one of the world’s best human-rights records, rule of law and concern for enemy civilians — for boycotts itself is a form of anti-Semitism.

Corbyn himself has called for boycotts of the Jewish state. He has advocated for an arms embargo, citing Israel’s supposed “breach” of the human-rights clause of the EU-Israel trade agreement. He also led the call to boycott Israel’s national soccer team in the European Championship in Wales. (Ironically, Israel only plays in this league because it was expelled from the Asian Football Confederation due to the Arab League’s boycott.)

Corbyn, as well, has been a vocal supporter of the so-called Palestinian “right of return,” something that would lead to an Arab majority and Jewish minority within Israel, and render the two-state solution completely obsolete.

Whether anti-Semitism is the cause or effect of the Labour party’s problem is not important. What is relevant is that Corbyn not only has not stemmed the tide, but has played a big part in perpetuating it.

British voters now have the opportunity to choose where they will go as a nation. Will they opt to move away from stability, rationality and tolerance toward simple mindedness and xenophobia? I sincerely hope not.

Bernie Sanders has already made his choice. He is campaigning for Corbyn despite his record on anti-Semitism. Sanders will have to explain why a Jew is helping to elect a bigot with the views Corbyn holds about the Jewish people and their nation state.

Antisemitism Updates

June 1, 2017

Antisemitism Updates | Anne’s Opinions, 1st June 2017

The celebrations and festivities are over (for now) and it’s back to normal programming. I’ve not been online much these past few weeks (family stuff) so it’s time to catch up on all the horrible stuff out there (not necessarily in chronological order).

The worst act of antisemitic violence in recent weeks was the vicious murder of Dr. Sara Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman, by a Muslim attacker in Paris. The attack has been compounded by the lackadaisical approach by the French police which has enraged the French Jewish community:

As further details emerge of the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in a Paris suburb at the hands of a Muslim assailant last month, French Jews are increasingly worried and angered by what one prominent member of the community called an “organized silence” surrounding the case.

Dr. Sara Halimi Hy’d, murdered by a Muslim terrorist in Paris

Dr. Sarah Halimi — a 66-year-old pensioner living in the Paris suburb of Belleville — was murdered in the early hours of April 4 by Kada Traore, a 27-year-old immigrant from Mali. After breaking into the neighboring apartment of another Malian family at 4:25 a.m. — whose terrified inhabitants locked themselves away as they heard him recite verses from the Quran — Traore jumped over the balcony and forced his way into Halimi’s apartment. As he beat the elderly lady savagely, her screams prompted neighbors to call the police.

Three officers arrived at 4:45 a.m. But on hearing Traore yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Shaitan!” (Arabic for ‘Satan’), they feared a terrorist attack was taking place, and called for backup. Anti-terror officers did not arrive until 5:00 a.m., by which time Halimi had been thrown by her attacker from the window of her third-floor apartment to the ground below. Traore, reported to be a drug dealer and addict with a criminal record, then returned to the apartment of the Malian family where he resumed his prayers, and was not taken into police custody until almost 6:00 a.m.

Shock over the barbaric nature of the murder has been compounded by the reluctance of both the media and French authorities to recognize it as an antisemitic hate crime — even after a silent march of remembrance on the Sunday after the murder was met by local youths chanting “Death to the Jews” and “We Own Kalashnikovs.”

In an open letter to new French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine — a French journalist and expert on antisemitism — charged that “in the advanced decadence that reigns today in the country of (antisemitic comedian) Dieudonné, for whom ‘the Jews are dogs’ (and people laugh hysterically), it seems that a run-over dog deserves more attention than a murdered Jewish woman.”

Laignel-Lavastine also quoted William Attal, Halimi’s brother, who stated, “I have waited seven weeks before I said anything. The absolute silence about my sister’s murder has become intolerable.”

Since the murder, official and media accounts of what transpired have played up claims that Traore was suffering from mental illness, while virtually ignoring the antisemitic element of the crime.

A common theory is that the recent French election encouraged — in the phrase of Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris — an “organized silence” around the Halimi murder.

“Such a story would benefit the Right and the National Front,” Gurfinkiel said. “Everyone is convinced this is why there has been such an organized silence around the story.”

But as more time passes in the wake of Halimi’s murder, the calls to recognize its antisemitic nature are growing. Interviewed by the Le Parisien newspaper last week, the lawyers for the Halimi family, Jean-Alex Buchinger and David Kaminsky, said in no uncertain terms that Sarah Halimi had been “targeted, tortured and killed by her assailant because she was Jewish.”

Halimi’s murder robbed the Jewish community in Paris of one of its most loved figures, known for her work as a doctor and as a kindergarten teacher. “She was very well known and respected, a great person,” Gurfinkiel said. “The tragedy is that she was living in that part of Paris where Jews are gradually leaving, since the security doesn’t exist anymore.”

It also brought forth reminders of the 2006 kidnapping and murder of a young French Jew, Ilan Halimi — no relation to Ruth Halimi — whose body was left for dead by a mostly-Muslim gang who seized him out of the belief that Jews were wealthy and willing to pay ransom money.

“The French police were of no help during the whole (Ilan Halimi) episode, rejecting any idea that antisemitism could have played a role in the affair and preferring to believe the absurd notion that this was the result of some war between rival gangs,” Laignel-Lavastine noted in her letter about Ruth Halimi to French Interior Minister Collomb. “Ten years later, we have reached the same point.”

This story is shocking on so many levels that it’s hard to take in: the viciousness of the attack, the helplessness of the police and the stonewalling by the judicial system are each condemnable in their own right. When taken together, it is an outrageous attack on Jewish human rights. If the French really do not want to see their Jewish community fleeing en masse, they are going the precisely wrong way about it.

May the memory of Dr. Sara Halimi be for a blessing and may her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Moving to the UK, in the wake of the horrific Manchester bombing, in which 22 young people leaving a pop concert were murdered by a British-Libyan jihadi, it did not take long for people to blame a Jewish conspiracy for the bombing:

Whilst politicians urged unity and “#WeStandTogether” trended on social media, people from around the world took to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to claim that the suicide bombing was a plot by Jewish conspirators to fuel wars against oil-rich Muslim states, or some other variant of the depraved conspiracy myths that place Jews at the centre of the world’s every ill.

You can read multiple examples of this virulent antisemitism at the CAA’s post.

Still in the UK, in very unsurprising news, it has been revealed that in 2014, the execrable head of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn visited the grave one of the Munich Olympics terrorists in Tunisia:

Jewish community leaders in Great Britain expressed shock and outrage Monday after it was revealed over the weekend that UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had attended a ceremony honoring a Palestinian terrorist partly responsible for the 1972 Munich killing of Israeli Olympians.

Corbyn posing with Hezbollah flag

Corbyn, who is currently campaigning to become Britain’s next prime minister, reportedly traveled to Tunisia in October 2014 to visit the grave of Atef Bseiso, the former head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization and direct accomplice involved in the Munich terrorist attack.

Jewish leaders called the revelation, reported by the Sunday Times, “beyond the pale,” and demanded Corbyn make his views known about Palestinian acts of violence.

“In light of today’s news reports, it is high time that Jeremy Corbyn clarify his views regarding Palestinian terrorism,” said Simon Johnson, the CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Corbyn had described visiting Bseiso’s grave in a column he had written for the communist- founded Morning Star newspaper, recalling that “wreaths were laid… on the graves of [those] killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991,” while commenting that the day was “poignant.”

This was too much even for members of his own party:

Members of Corbyn’s own party also lashed out at the faction leader, with Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, stating: “It is almost unbelievable that any Labour MP would participate in a ceremony honoring a man involved in the vicious murder of innocent Israeli athletes. Unfortunately, this appears to be part of a very disturbing pattern of behavior, and we are seeking urgent clarification from the leader’s office on this matter.”

My question is why haven’t the Labour Party members thrown out their leader already?

In the international arena, the UN doesn’t give up on its demonization of Israel. Their latest outrageous act was for the World Health Organization (WHO) to ignore a positive report about Israel in order to condemn it once again at the behest of that oh-so-enlightened and civilized and human-rights supporting country – Syria! UN Watch reports:

GENEVA, May 26, 2017 – The U.N.’s World Health Organization “decided to hide a positive report on Israel from the public eye” under pressure from Syria’s Assad regime, according to Israel’s representative, Ambassador Aviva Raz-Shechter, as the world body’s annual assembly adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Syria yesterday that targeted Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution, which will cost $10 million to implement, renews the annual naming and shaming of Israel by renewing a special agenda item on the country at next year’s session, as well as mandating a report by WHO’s director-general, measures of scrutiny applied to no other country.

In an unusually refreshing turn of events, civilized Western countries sprang to Israel’s defence – only to be ignored:

Confirming Israel’s account, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and 10 other countries (see list below) took the floor to express regret that while Israel co-operated with a WHO mission to the Golan, “the report of that mission was not published, not even the parts which had already been completed.”

“This is clearly due to the Syrian behavior,” said the EU countries, “which we can only condemn in the strongest terms. This is particularly deplorable in view of the abysmal health situation in other parts of Syria. According to the UN, last year alone, more than 300 medical facilities in Syria were targeted.”

WHO hid the positive report “rather than standing up to the brutal Syrian regime,” tweeted Raz-Shechter. In its report, the WHO—falsely, it would appear from the EU statement—blamed its omissions on “time constraints” and “additional information needed.”

The vote to maintain the WHO spotlight on Israel for next year was 98 to 7, with 21 abstentions. (See full voting chart at bottom.)

The UK changed its vote from last year, switching from Yes to No, joining Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel and Togo in the opposition.

Those abstaining were Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, East Timor, and Tuvalu.

“For the U.N. to allow Syria’s Assad regime to influence its focus on health conditions is absurd,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a monitoring group accredited with consultative status at the United Nations.

“It is the height of cynicism for Syria to introduce a resolution on the health of Druze residents of the Golan Heights, who in fact live very well under Israeli jurisdiction, even as Assad bombs his own hospitals, ambulances and medical workers. The U.N. should reject the hijacking of its world health agenda by Arab regimes and allied dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.”

“Notably, the UN assembly will not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor will it pass a resolution on any other country in the world.”

“Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focuses on a specific country. And the only mention of Syria is not focused on Syria, but rather on Israel.”

“The U.N. discredits itself by enacting a resolution which effectively accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, when in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

It is staggering to think that anyone, even the UN, would bow to Assad’s Syria rather than listen to the EU and other Western countries. This leads me to wonder what hold has Assad got over the WHO? I think an international investigation should be started. It boggles the mind to think that Syria should take precedence over the West – even if Israel is part of that region.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? The UN has no use at all except to promote global warming through all the hot air it generates.

It therefore comes as no surprise at all that the Palestinians should consider the UN the right place to turn to in order to complain about the “Judaization of Jerusalem“. Please stop guffawing. Yes, I know that’s like complaining about the Catholicization of the Vatican or the Islamization of the Ka’aba, but you know the Palestinians – never accepting reality, even when it bites them on the nose.

Since we’re on the subject of compulsive, repetitive antisemitism, here is our old “favourite” the (British) Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) doubling down on their previous resolution in 2011 to reject the then-accepted international definition of Antisemitism, the EUMC working definition of antisemitism. That definition has now been updated into the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition – and the UCU, true to form, has once again rejected it. You see, they obviously know better than the Jews what antisemitism really is – and according to them it has nothing to do with them at all! After all, if they “only” hate Israel, they can’t possibly be antisemitic!

An academics’ union has passed a motion distancing itself from a controversial new definition of anti-Semitism at its annual congress.

University and Colleges Union (UCU), which has 110,000 members, rejected the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, because it “conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel”.

Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the motion was “an attempt to discredit the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism” and while “deeply offensive,” he said it came as no surprise.

“UCU has a history of attempting to define anti-Semitism on behalf of the Jewish community as opposed to consulting with them,” he said.

“Thankfully UCU find themselves fighting a losing battle with the IHRA definition having been officially adopted by the Government as well as the Opposition, National Union of Students, the Greater London Assembly, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and numerous other local authorities.

Board of Deputies’ president Jonathan Arkush condemned the motion, calling it “retrograde and deeply disappointing, not least because of similar motions in the UCU in the past.”

“Despite past form, it beggars belief that anyone in the UCU would want to dictate to Jews what constitutes anti-Semitic abuse against them.”

“This resolution seeks to deny victims of anti-Semitic abuse the right to call it out for what it is – particularly when it is dressed up as extremist and dangerous demonisation of Israel or when Jews are harassed or intimidated because of their connections with Israel.”

These smug, self-righteous bigots wouldn’t dream of telling blacks what racism really is, or telling Muslims what Islamophobia is. The only acceptable racism in British academia today is antisemitic racism. And yes, I do include anti-Israel racism in that, for you cannot deny the Jews what is acceptable in any other race: the right to define for themselves what is hatred against themselves.

And to finish off this sad post, academia is no less biased on the other side of the pond, where City University of New York (CUNY) has invited the anti-Israel, pro-terror activist Linda Sarsour to speak at their graduation ceremony:

For its June 1st commencement, The CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy has invited Linda Sarsour. Sarsour’s record is replete with anti-American values, degradation of feminists and others who disagree with her, unbridled hatred of the State of Israel and those who support it, and the promotion of violence. This shocking choice of speaker, by a City University, should be changed.

Linda Sarsour, anti-Semite, anti-Israel, bigot

In the United States, violence and terror are not recognized as legitimate means to accomplish goals. Sarsour’s support of violence and terror include: praise of the intifada- the Palestinian terror war against Jews in Israel, through suicide bombings, car rammings, stabbings, bus bombs and other attacks,—as “invaluable on many fronts;” warm words of endorsement for convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two college students in a supermarket bombing in Israel (Odeh will be deported for concealing her terrorist crimes on her US immigration forms); and admiration of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers as “the definition of courage.” In our civilized society, these are the definitions of crimes. Sarsour supports barbaric methods that are incompatible with American law.

Regarding feminism, a woman’s right to bodily integrity is a fundamental right. Yet Sarsour denigrates feminists who speak out against the role Islam plays in tolerating the abuse of women, such as genital mutilation and honor killings. She urges, in a tweet, a “whippin” of Somali human rights activist Aydan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation, who speaks out against Islam’s acceptance of abuse of women. Sarsour tweets Ali doesn’t “deserve to be a woman.” Sarsour’s attempted delegitimization of women who speak out against abuse is incompatible with feminism.

Additionally, Sarsour defends Saudi Arabia’s oppressive treatment of women. In Saudi Aarbia, women cannot vote, study, work, marry, or open bank accounts without permission from male guardians. Women’s clothing is strictly regulated (they must be covered from head to toe, and only eyes and hands may show). Yet Sarsour tweets Saudi Arabia “puts us to shame” by providing “10 weeks of PAID maternity leave … and ur worried about women driving.” Sarsour’s defense of subjugation of Saudi women disqualifies her as a feminist.

Ironically, Sarsour excludes Jews and other Israel supporters from the feminist movement. This is anti-Semitic and spreads a lie about Israel’s treatment of women. There is absolutely no conflict between Zionism and feminism. In Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, all citizens have equal social and political rights, regardless of gender, religion or race. All citizens of Israel, be it Arab, Christian, or Jew, no matter what gender, have equal access to voting, transportation, hospitals, universities, swimming pools, public restrooms, etc. Israeli Arabs are Supreme Court Justices and have seats in the Knesset, and these positions can be held by men or women. Israeli Arab women have won or been runner-ups in The Voice (Israel), Master Chef, and Miss Israel. Moreover, sexism and discrimination perpetrated by Palestinian men against Palestinian women is pervasive, as described in a recent New York Times article, “In Gaza, Bicycles Are a Battleground for Women Who Dare to Ride,” February 22, 2016.

Sarsour’s unbridled hatred of Israel is prevalent. She advocates for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel, which seeks to cripple and delegitimize the State of Israel, while she ignores the world’s many countries with egregious human rights violations. Further, Sarsour tweets: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism;” and “(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is a waste of a human being.” When Sarsour was justifiably criticized for extolling throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, she tweeted, “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it.”

CUNY in particular should be sensitive to anti-Semitism. Last year, Jewish students at CUNY suffered many anti-Semitic incidents. At a CUNY rally sponsored by Students for Justice for Palestine, protestors screamed at Jews to “go back home and get the (expletive) out of my country” and chanted “Jews out of CUNY” and “death to Jews.” Given these recent events, it is all the more appalling that a CUNY school would invite a divisive person with Sarsour’s record to deliver the commencement address.

Knowing all this, CUNY’s refuses to rescind Sarsour’s invitation. It would be atrocious for CUNY to host a commencement speaker with a history of bigotry towards the LGBTQIA community, African Americans, women, or Hispanics. CUNY should treat Sarsour’s hate-mongering towards Jews and Israel in the same manner.

If the above hasn’t sickened you enough, Michael Cohen of the Simon Wiesenthal Center adds more, calling Sarsour “an arsonist in our midst”:

Last September, I stood along with many of my colleagues at a New York City Council Public Hearing on that body’s resolution to officially condemn the BDS movement — a hearing at which all those in favor, including myself, were shouted down as “Jewish pigs” and “Zionist filth” from provocateurs strategically placed in the audience. It was Linda Sarsour who was at the forefront — manipulating the camera shots and sound bites. It was Linda Sarsour who sat for hours listening with great satisfaction to the libelous rants and screamed obscenities alleging that Israelis murder Palestinian babies. It was Sarsour who nodded approvingly and congratulated individuals who were kicked out of the hearing room for being out of order, for walking in front of individuals providing testimony in support of the resolution, and for shouting down our supporters with anti-Semitic slurs — all in the name of protecting free speech.


However, inviting an obvious antagonist of the world’s largest Jewish community outside of Israel, an individual who doesn’t shirk from using controversial tactics against Israel’s supporters, to speak at CUNY is a bewildering act by its leadership sure to inspire only more hate, harassment and confrontations perpetrated against the Jewish student body. CUNY’s invitation to such an individual, an invitation I remind you not requested by students but rather by the administration itself, will provide cover to those seeking to legitimize her message. Her commencement speech belies CUNY’s stated commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.

CUNY owes an explanation and a huge apology to its Jewish students and alumni – but I doubt any will be forthcoming. For shame!

The UK’s Broken Labour Party

July 20, 2016

The UK’s Broken Labour Party, Gatestone Institute, Douglas Murray, July 20, 2016

(As the morass continues, how will the UK deal with its exit from the European Union? — DM)

♦ With the prospect of another Labour leadership election now gathering pace, tens of thousands more activists have joined the Labour party. It seems unlikely that they will be “moderates.”

♦ The election of an Islamist-sympathising, terrorist-sympathising, Israel-bashing hardliner at the head of the second largest party in the House of Commons undoubtedly changes the parameters of political discourse in the UK.

♦ However solidly Theresa May’s new Conservative government performs, it will always seem the point — so long as Corbyn is in office — that you are either for Britain or against it, for the Conservative party or against the country.

♦ A fractured and in-fighting opposition also means that there is no meaningful, organised voice challenging the government in Parliament. That principle — the principle on which our system is based — needs to work well even (perhaps especially) if you support the government of the day, because the government of the day needs to be kept alert to error and on top of sensible criticisms if it is going to pass the best legislation it can for the country.

 

Herbert Stein’s law, “Things that cannot go on, won’t,” is one of the best laws of politics. It works for fiscal issues and it usually works for politics as a whole. The British Labour party, however, is currently working to try to disprove this rule. To do them justice they are having a good stab at doing so, which suggests that the maxim should perhaps be re-written: “Things that cannot go on sometimes do.”

Consider the latest developments in the party’s recent unhappy history. Earlier this month the party’s specially commissioned inquiry into anti-Semitism within the party found the party not guilty of this bigotry for the second time in six months. Yet at the launch of these findings, a grassroots member of Jeremy Corbyn’s wing of the party verbally bullied a female Jewish Labour MP until she left in tears, and Jeremy Corbyn himself appeared to compare the Jewish state with ISIS. Although this episode captured some headlines, it was a mere footnote alongside the other catastrophes in the Labour party.

1678UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) appears at a press conference with left-wing campaigner Shami Chakrabarti (right), to present the findings of an inquiry into the Labour party’s anti-Semitism, June 30, 2016.

At the same time as this was going on, Labour MPs attempted a coup to get Jeremy Corbyn out of his position as head of the party. A carefully orchestrated set of resignations from his Shadow Cabinet came in every couple of hours until almost all of the Shadow Cabinet had resigned. Corbyn also lost the support of the deputy leader of the party, Tom Watson. A no-confidence motion saw 172 Labour MPs vote to say that they had no confidence in their party leader, while only 40 Labour MPs supported the party leader. This move meant that Jeremy Corbyn began to have significant trouble finding enough supporters in the Parliamentary Labour party to fill up his shadow cabinet. The joke in Westminster was that those few who did stay loyal to him would find themselves having to hold multiple briefs, so that somebody might easily find themselves being appointed Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Foreign Secretary.

The trouble appears that all of Corbyn’s politics has a distinctly unfunny, nasty air. It emerged this week (from another declaration of no confidence in the leader) that earlier this year the Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire was both appointed and then sacked as the party’s Culture spokesperson, all within 24 hours and all without even being told, while she was undergoing treatment for cancer. Such stories of non-communication and cruelty towards individual MPs have fanned the rather understandable feeling that Jeremy Corbyn may not be suited to the highest peaks of politics.

Unfortunately for the Labour party, it is not only MPs who have a say. Under new rules unwisely drawn up under Corbyn’s predecessor, Ed Miliband, the Labour party can now be joined by anyone with £3 to spare. All such people then have the right to vote on who the Labour leader should be. Although the idea of having a say in any political party’s future for little more than the price of a cup of coffee may sound appealing, it also leaves a party open to the possibility of a hostile takeover from the most fanatical people in the country — whether they have the Labour party’s interests at heart or not. This is exactly what happened last year when Mr. Corbyn entered the Labour leadership race. Tens of thousands of people from the grassroots, who were soon to form themselves into the ‘Momentum’ movement, saw their chance to bring hard-left politics into the UK mainstream. Jeremy Corbyn won almost 60% of the vote in that election. In recent weeks, despite the formal no-confidence vote of the Labour MPs, this grassroots support for Corbyn only appears to have galvanised further. With the prospect of another Labour leadership election now gathering pace, tens of thousands more activists have joined the Labour party. It seems unlikely that they will be “moderates.”

Nevertheless, two “moderate” candidates for leader stepped forward, inevitably splitting the anti-Corbyn vote, until they seemed to realise this and one dropped out. Nevertheless, polls of party members suggest it looks overwhelmingly likely that in the coming weeks Corbyn will entrench his position by winning a landslide in a second ballot of the party’s members within a year.

Why does this matter? For two reasons. First, because the election of Corbyn has poisoned British politics. The election of an Islamist-sympathising, terrorist-sympathising, Israel-bashing hardliner at the head of the second largest party in the House of Commons undoubtedly changes the parameters of political discourse in the UK. However solidly Theresa May’s new Conservative government performs, it will always seem the point — so long as Corbyn is in office — that there is no party of the decent left available for the large proportion of voters who would like such a thing. This leaves countless patriotic, left-wing voters without a meaningful voice in Parliament.

A fractured and in-fighting opposition also means that there is no meaningful, organised voice challenging the government in Parliament. That principle — the principle on which our system is based — needs to work well even (perhaps especially) if you support the government of the day, because the government of the day needs to be kept alert to error and on top of sensible criticisms if it is going to pass the best legislation it can for the country.

The other reason why this principle matters is because it suggests that vested interests matter more than truth. Herbert Stein’s dictum lacked one crucial ingredient: people’s desire to look after themselves. There are Labour party MPs already looking for a way out, including looking to found a new party or parties. But they fear that way lies electoral oblivion. So they stay, in a party wracked with in-fighting and led by the most corrosive person their party has ever chosen in what had been a noble history. And all the while that person in charge of their party is busily mainstreaming the worst bigotries of our time. When pushed to decide between their morals and their careers, the dictum holds in the Labour party that things that cannot go on, find some way to do so.