Who will stand with Jeremy Corbyn? He has nothing to apologise for and nothing to be ashamed of


Corbyn and his supporters are being witch-hunted, chased from pillar to post by a feral UK mainstream media that has entered full firing squad mode.

The febrile atmosphere whipped up over the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged anti-Semitism demands a response, and at times like this W.B. Yeats hovers into admonitory view:

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world:
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

“The worst are full of passionate intensity” is pristinely apt when attempting to place the hounding and character assassination of Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, into some kind of perspective.

The ‘worst’ in our time is a sundry crew of in the main very middle class, very affluent, and very mendacious champions of war — Iraq, Libya anyone?— and defenders of Israel’s oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people, who to all intents have been marked out as children of a lesser God.

Defenders of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians

Many of these defenders of Israel occupy prime positions within the mainstream media, within the Labour Party itself as MPs — indeed within the establishment in general — and key among them are members of a pro-Israel lobby that is committed to policing and controlling the terms of the debate when it comes to the treatment of the Palestinians.

At their behest people in Britain have been invited to enter an upside-down world in which lifelong committed anti-racists, such as Corbyn, are presented as rabid racists and anti-Semites, while they — proponents of regime change wars and defenders of apartheid — are presented as Camusian warriors of integrity and decency.

Here, by way of a brief disclaimer, allow me to establish the fact I am not a member of the Labour Party and have no intention of trying to be one. Neither am I a fulsome supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s twice-elected leader. On the contrary, I have my own criticisms of him, specifically concerning Brexit; but on this issue, his stance is one that is deserving of the solid support of all people of conscience and consciousness.

Revolution of values and learning the lessons of history

It was Fidel Castro who described revolution as a struggle to the death between the future and the past — and he was right. For in Britain right now is raging a revolution not of arms but of values. It is being waged against the dominant values of a machine under which it is prescribed that victims shall be perpetrators and perpetrators victims.

Pitted against those machine values are the values of human solidarity, espoused by Jeremy Corbyn. They are values held by those who refuse to accede to the dehumanization of the poor and the marginalized at home, or the oppressed and dispossessed abroad, regardless of creed, religion, ethnicity or culture.

Neither Corbyn nor his supporters, many of them Jewish, could care one whit about the Jewish character of the State of Israel. What they are exercised about, rightly, is the country’s apartheid character. What they will not accept is that in 2018 millions of men, women and children can be herded, besieged, molested, killed, occupied and brutalized at will.

Learning the lessons of history is non-negotiable — and there has been nothing more squalid in our history than settler colonialism, responsible for the extirpation of the Native American Indians of North America and the aborigines of Australia. Those historical comparisons are fundamental when it comes to understanding the nature of the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians in our time.

That an Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, can pass an explicit apartheid law — the country’s so-called ‘nation-state law’ — mandating and enshrining the superior status of the state’s Jewish citizens over its Arab minority of 1.8 million citizens, and do so without any international sanction, is a shameful indictment.

And this development came, you may recall, on the heels of the weeks-long massacre of Palestinians in Gaza during the Great Return March, during which Israeli army snipers shot down unarmed protestors like deer in a forest, some while cheering the results of their work if it were a sport.

Yet, no matter, we are expected to believe that it is Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters — those opposed to such egregious developments and acts — who are deserving of being witch-hunted, chased from pillar to post by a feral UK mainstream media that has entered full firing squad mode.

Corbyn has nothing to apologize for

The specific casus belli of this latest eruption of anti-Corbyn and ‘Corbyn is a rabid anti-Semite’ fever was his participation in a 2010 meeting that took place on Holocaust Memorial Day. The event was themed ‘Never again for anyone — from Auschwitz to Gaza’, at which an elderly Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Holocaust, Hajo Meyer, compared Israeli policy towards the Palestinians of Gaza to the Nazis.

Harsh, no doubt, but coming from the lips of an actual Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, can this seriously be prayed in aid as an example of anti-Semitism?

Too, conveniently abstracted from the tsunami of invective that has been unleashed against the Labour leader for daring to participate in the meeting, held in the House of Commons and which he chaired, is the actual context.

Said context begins in 2008 with the public statement of Israel’s then deputy defence minister, Matan Vilnai, during an interview with Israeli army radio, promising the Palestinians of Gaza a ‘Shoah’ (holocaust) unless the rockets being fired from the Strip — the world’s largest open prison — into adjacent Israeli towns and settlements ceased.

At the end of 2008, the year in which Mr. Vilnai promised Gaza a holocaust, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead — a devastating military assault from the air, land and sea — against the Gaza Strip. It lasted 22 days and saw UN compounds, schools and hospitals being targeted with missiles and bombs, including white phosphorous. By the end, the death toll stood at over 1400, the overwhelming majority of civilians, including babies and children, with thousands more wounded and injured.

As such, Corbyn’s participation in a meeting at which the keynote speaker was a Jewish survivor of the Nazi Holocaust — convened to warn of the need to learn from that barbarous historical event when it comes to Gaza in the here and now — was an act of exemplary solidarity with an oppressed and brutalised people, one that honoured rather than desecrated the memory of Hitler’s victims.

Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to apologize for and nothing to be ashamed of. As for those witch hunting him, they could never apologize enough.


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