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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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Daniel Bamford
November 8th, 2018
6:11 PM
Thank you for publishing David Abulafia’s feature-length article on Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic sympathies as your main cover story for October 2018. I agree that the wilful and defiant complicity of the Leader of the Opposition with anti-Semitic terrorism and agitation is a national disgrace, which must be countered by sustained condemnation throughout civil society with no regard for political partisanship. One important area where I disagree with Prof. Abulafia is his cursory single paragraph on Muslim anti-Semitism. Islamic law (sharia) has permitted far worse treatment of supposedly ‘protected’ (dhimmi) Jews and Christians than he implies, while popular misconceptions of Islamic Spain have been dealt with most recently by Dario Fernández-Morera in ‘The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise’ (ISI Books, 2016). Most seriously, Prof. Abulafia claims that ‘no one is suggesting the abuse is a speciality of the Muslim community…’ I would like to take this opportunity to make that suggestion and I am far from being the first to do so, because a genocidal hatred of Jews lies at the core of Islam in the personal example set by its founding prophet, who destroyed the Jewish communities of the Hijaz through expulsion, slaughter, rape and enslavement. Aside from the various denunciations and accusations in the Koran, Muslims have been left in no doubt about their ultimate duty to kill all Jews by an additional ‘hadith’ (saying of Mohammed). This ‘hadith’ is preserved and corroborated by eight separate traditions in the authoritative collections of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Malik Muwatta, which have the status of holy scripture equal to the Koran. This same ‘hadith’ is quoted by some of Jeremy Corbyn’s “friends” in the 1988 Hamas Charter. There is no such scriptural imperative behind what remains of Christian anti-Semitism, despite the flippant and dismissive assumptions exhibited by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran in her TV clash with UKIP Leader Gerard Batten MEP on BBC2’s ‘Daily Politics’ (1st May 2018). Playing identity politics with her Palestinian Arab Christian ancestors did not conceal Layla Moran’s wilful ignorance regarding the scriptures and histories of both Christianity and Islam. It is therefore unfortunate that you chose Layla Moran as an example for British Muslims to follow in denouncing Jeremy Corbyn. No sincere denunciations will come until British Muslims are willing to repeat Mehdi Hasan’s startling admission that Muslim anti-Semitism is ‘routine and commonplace’ and then follow this by clearly disowning the bloodthirsty anti-Semitism that lies at the heart of their religion. As with many other abhorrent aspects of Islam, this will require a drastic reappraisal of the historical record and the authority of their scriptures. A few brave reformers have set themselves this unenviable task and we cannot afford to pretend that the problem does not go this deep. P.S. Complete Sahih Muslim - Book 41, Number 6985: ‘Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.’ http://hadithcollection.com/sahihmuslim/169-Sahih%20Muslim%20Book%2041.%... HAMAS Covenant, Article 7: ‘The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).’ http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

untenured
October 29th, 2018
5:10 PM
Labour is just another brand in the Sunni portfolio.

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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