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No one is claiming that the party itself is an anti-Semitic institution, although the fact that 70,000 members voted for Peter Willsman in the NEC elections, despite his outrageous comments linking Jews to Trump, does give one pause for thought, as do the comments now under investigation. Given the size of party membership, the presence of violent anti-Semites is statistically likely; but they are only part of the problem — there is also the failure to deal with them, which was among the issues prompting Frank Field to resign the Labour whip in Parliament. And at present the main issue is whether its leader is himself an anti-Semite, and whether his closest advisers (among whom the newspapers have singled out his éminence grise, Seumas Milne) have gained a purchase on the Labour Party that has given a respectability to anti-Semitism that the Left has long disavowed. The Left certainly has its own potent tradition of anti-Semitism — with the Webbs, most obviously — and Marx’s essay on the Jewish question approvingly conjures up all the stereotypes of which Marx’s own ancestors were regularly accused. Corbyn’s constant refrain that he opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism is, as we shall see, seriously complicated by his belief that most British Jews are in effect racists, insofar as the great majority support the existence of the State of Israel, making them, in a very broad sense of the term, Zionists. Meanwhile, it would be more than helpful if Corbyn cited chapter and verse to show that he has indeed fought anti-Semitism throughout his career.

The matter will not end if the Leader of the Opposition issues an abject apology for his behaviour and for that of far too many of his supporters. It has not ended with the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism by the NEC, either. As Margaret Hodge has pointed out, we need action, not words. There is no reason to believe that any apology would be in any way sincere; and Corbyn complicated the NEC debate with his typically obstinate demand that it should still be acceptable to describe Israel as a racist enterprise. When we have John McDonnell stating on Andrew Marr’s programme that the voices of both sides must be heard we have to ask: both sides? Anti-Semites and Jews? And McDonnell

cannot resist intruding a comment about the rights of the Palestinians, without mentioning the security of Israel. So apparently by “both sides” he means Palestinians and Israelis — but Corbyn does not bother to meet the Israelis. (Asked by a prominent Jewish figure whether he could say anything at all that is good about Israel, Corbyn is said to have remained silent.) McDonnell’s worry is clearly that his political party is in crisis as a split in the parliamentary party threatens, not that Labour has wandered into a dark and dangerous place and needs to rethink its moral foundations.
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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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