The Israel Lobby has long had the United States well under control; multiple lop-sided votes in Congress and the twenty six standing ovations given to Netanyahu in 2015 attest to that. In the last presidential election, the fanatically pro-Israel Sheldon Adelson was the largest single contributor to Trump’s campaign, while the Israeli Haim Saban of ‘I’m a one issue guy and that issue is Israel’ was the largest single donor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, giving under two names. Indeed, fourteen of the top twenty donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign were ardent Zionists.
Israel has the United States nicely sewn up. Whoever won the election in 2016, Israel was going to come out on top.
Now she appears to have accomplished close to the same with Great Britain. Of course the Conservatives have long been in Israel’s pocket. Already by 2009, eighty percent of the Conservative MP’s were members of ‘Conservative Friends of Israel.’
That left Labour. Of course neither Labour nor Jeremy Corbyn were anti-semitic; no one has ever presented any substantial evidence in support of this canard. However, if further evidence of the lack of any foundation for the accusation is needed, the link below should furnish it:
Corbyn however, has dared to make some critical remarks about Israel in the past. He stated that he ‘supports targeted boycotts aimed at undermining the existence of illegal settlements in the West Bank,’ referred to the activities of the Israel Lobby in Britain as ‘improper interference in this country’s democratic process, and condemned ‘ongoing human rights abuses by Israeli forces, including the shooting by Israeli forces of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.’
To judge by the examples provided, though, Corbyn’s criticism would seem to have been decidedly measured.
Nevertheless, he was hounded from office. Accusations of anti-semitism dominated the election and his subsequent announcement that he would step down as the head of Labour.
‘Wiesenthal Center names UK’s Corbyn top anti-Semite of 2019’
‘Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite’
‘Take it from this expert: Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite’
Now it would seem that the victory is to be made permanent. In the aftermath of Labour’s defeat, the Board of Deputies of British Jews demanded that the party adopt the following ‘ten pledges’ to address Labour’s purported anti-semitism.
1. Resolve outstanding cases. All outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale.
2. Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent. An independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism.
3. Ensure transparency. Key affected parties to complaints, including Jewish representative bodies, should be given the right to regular, detailed case updates, on the understanding of confidentiality.
4. Prevent readmittance of prominent offenders. It should be made clear that prominent offenders who have left or been expelled from the party, such as Ken Livingston and Jackie Walker, will never be readmitted to membership.
5. Provide no platform for bigotry. Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.
6. Adopt the international definition of antisemitism without qualification. The IHRA definition of antisemitism, with all its examples and clauses, and without any caveats, will be fully adopted by the party and used as the basis for considering antisemitism disciplinary cases.
7. Deliver an anti-racism education programme that has the buy-in of the Jewish community. The Jewish Labour Movement should be reengaged by the Party to lead on training about antisemitism.
8. Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups. Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.
9. Communicate with resolve. Bland, generic statements should give way to condemnation of specific harmful behaviours – and, where appropriate, condemnation of specific individuals.
10. Show leadership and take responsibility. The leader must personally take on the responsibility of ending Labour’s antisemitism crisis.
Note (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6) in particular. An ‘independent provider’ — not the Labour Party itself — shall investigate all complaints of anti-semitism. ‘Jewish representative bodies’ (one assumes this means the Board of Deputies itself) shall vet these investigations. Any members of the Party who have already left as a result of accusations of anti-semitism may never be readmitted. Any who defend such members shall themselves be suspended. The IHRA definition of antisemitism — that defines condemnation of Israel as ‘antisemitism’ –shall be used as the basis for conducting these investigations.
The Labour Party is to be purged. Jewish bodies will vet the purging. No one may defend those who are purged. Since the IHRA definition of anti-semitism defines several possible criticisms of Israel as ‘anti-semitism,’ members who have condemned Israel may well be purged too.
If it wouldn’t assure Labour support for Israel in the future, it would certainly make its members loathe to criticize it. After all, if one violates that ol’ IHRA definition — it’s going to be pretty much all she wrote. The IHRA includes in its definition of anti-semitism the following:
‘Claiming that Jews control the government, economy, or the media.’ It would seem, for example, that the observations I made in the first two paragraphs of this blog entry would constitute anti-semitism.
‘Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel than to their own country.’ For example, the American casino tycoon and heavy political donor, Sheldon Adelson, has stated that he wishes he had served in the Israeli Army rather than the American military. If I construe this as expressing greater loyalty to Israel than to the United States, that would be anti-semitism.
‘Claiming that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor.’ If one observes that Israel herself claims to be the ‘nation state of the Jewish people’ and that it denies citizenship to the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Jerusalem, wouldn’t that be claiming Israel is a racist endeavor?
‘Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.’ This one, of course, is tantamount to saying that if any other state anywhere has committed a given act, the speaker must first condemn that action by that state before he can object to Israel committing it as well. I cannot, for example, object to Israel expelling Palestinians from their homes unless I can show, say, that I also objected to Myanmar expelling the Rohingya from their homes. Otherwise, apparently, my statement would constitute anti-semitism.
‘Comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.’ It’s amusing to realize this would make Israel about the only entity that may not be compared to the Nazis. I can, for example, compare American actions to those of the Nazis; at worst I am guilty of hyperbole. But woe betide me if I compare Israeli actions to those of the Nazis. That would be anti-semitism.
‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.’ Surely if one supports a given body, one is assuming responsibility for its actions. The overwhelming majority of Jews offer Israel at least qualified support; is one barred from pointing this out?
Obviously, one would have to be quite moderate and circumspect in one’s criticisms of Israel — which would seem to be precisely the idea. Israel can shoot unarmed demonstrators, carry out assassinations in Iran, bomb Syria as she pleases, vigorously oppress, abuse, and expropriate her Palestinian subjects, subvert our domestic political institutions and so on — and we must think very carefully before we make more than the most timid objections, for if we do, we may commit ‘anti-semitism,’ and if we commit ‘anti-semitism,’ then we can be expelled from the party forthwith.
And none may appeal the verdict. See (5) above.
I imagine that from now on, very little criticism of Israel indeed will be emanating from the Labour Party. In fact, all the leading candidates for the leadership of the Party have already accepted the ten conditions laid down by the Board of Deputies.
Not, of course, that this implies that Jews — making up one-half of one percent of the population of Britain — are exerting control over the Labour Party. To assert that would be anti-semitic. See the IHRA definition above.