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J’accuse . . . It may seem impudent to use Émile Zola’s famous opening to his defence of Alfred Dreyfus. And yet, as on that occasion, the issue of anti-Semitism has become intertwined with wider political questions, in this case a party leader who consorts with terrorists in Ireland and the Middle East and admires repressive regimes in Cuba and Venezuela, and a party whose members (including Members of Parliament) are being intimidated by extremists whose loathing for Israel has spilled over into contempt for Jews. This crisis has developed without much more than a murmur from the man at the top, although many, not just those on the Left, were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, assuming that his blindness to anti-Semitism within the Labour Party was another example of the chaotic management of his party that characterised the first year of his reign. But more recent revelations have shown clearly that Jeremy Corbyn is very much part of the problem; he passionately believes what Ken Livingstone or indeed George Galloway believes: that the history of Zionism and of Israel proves his case, and he is happy to keep the company of the Iranians and others who propose to wipe Israel off the map.


(COVER ILLUSTRATION BY MICHAEL DALEY)



His silence was not indolence, incompetence or stupidity, but the silence of one who is content to look the other way and cannily let things develop in the direction he has always wanted. Hence his own lack of fury at what are quite astonishing statements repeated again and again in the press and by public figures that he, the Leader of her Majesty’s Opposition, is an anti-Semite, statements that with any other senior politician would be countered by angry, vigorous, firm denial, a dose of righteous (or unrighteous) indignation, and maybe even recourse to the courts. He should also be aflame with rage at the extraordinary threats and slurs that those professing to be his supporters have flung into the ether by way of social media, some of the most revolting of which are now under investigation by the police for racist incitement. Indeed, it is now reported that the Labour Party itself is under police investigation for sitting on stomach-turning comments about the Holocaust and about exterminating Jews that were apparently supplied by its own members.

Of course, his way of thinking should have been obvious from the moment that he installed Shami Chakrabarti and her colleagues on his commission to examine the presence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. The most significant feature of their conclusions was the way references to anti-Semitism were wrapped up alongside other forms of racism — in other words, it was always being relativised, shown to be inherently implausible because it was inconceivable that a party committed to anti-racism and the fight against Islamophobia would be hostile to Jews. Far from generating action, the report was seen as an opportunity to declare that action had been taken.
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amcdonald
October 12th, 2018
12:10 PM
Today on BBC Politics Live we were actually presented with an accurate, short but parsimonious summary of the Brexit/Corbyn/Islam war. Toby Young,the UKIP leader , a photo of Tommy Robinson with a group of army cadets,a clip from last night`s Newsnight about the predatory muslims raping white girls, and the dogmatic assertion by the female presenter that Islam is a religion not an ideology. She doesn`t wear a BBC burka but she is one. Andrew Neil will be presenting Sharia Politics Live next ?

Lawrence James
October 7th, 2018
10:10 AM
Jewish settlement in Palestine was approved by the last Ottoman sultans and confirmed by the Balfour declaration made shortly before British, Indian, Dominion and French forces conquered the province. Jewish settlement was, therefore, legitimate Before and after the Allies arrived,and there was no lack of Arabs of the effendiya class willing to sell land to the incomers. A small but important point to add to a lucid and formidable article.

amcdonald
October 4th, 2018
2:10 PM
The 17.4 million who voted Leave are the intelligent majority. Theresa May`s dance and speech hit all the right notes. She`s doing the 17.4 million proud and will make a success of it all domestic and foreign. Hard luck for `Islamised` Jeremy Corbyn. If it ain`t got that swing it don`t mean a thing.

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