“Don’t argue, do as we say!” Confronted with that attitude many of us would simply slam the door. Like me, you’re probably sick to death with the unedifying spectacle of Britain’s Labour Party being bullied by the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and a handful of Labour MPs to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in full, with not one jot or tittle left out no matter how silly, and to make it a cornerstone of the party’s code of conduct.
And you’ll know by now that the IHRA definition is deeply flawed. It lacks the two important caveats recommended by the Home Office Select Committee and has been slammed by legal experts because it collides head-on with everyone’s right to freedom of expression. Corbyn resists it presumably because of the nightmare consequences of adopting it without sensible modification.
Yes, the Conservative Government accepted the definition without the caveats. It is claimed that 80% of Conservative MPs and MEPs are signed up Friends of Apartheid Israel so they happily do as they are told. The fun will come when they try to use it to punish people.
“Mr Corbyn needs to accept the IHRA definition in full, with all its examples, if he is to start to regain the trust of not just Jews but of all those genuinely opposed, as he so often claims to be, to all forms of racism.
“Three weeks ago, The Independent said that the row over the IHRA definition had gone on too long. That it is still going on is testament to the Labour leader’s stubbornness, which some of his supporters mistake for strength.
“Unless Mr Corbyn does the right thing, and quickly, they will find out what kind of weakness it really is.”
Mr Corbyn doesn’t “need to accept” anything of the sort. In the same editorial The Independent says that the Labour Party’s failure to define anti-Semitism in a way that commands the confidence of most British Jews “is extraordinary”. But what about the non-Jew majority? Shouldn’t it be acceptable to them? The row is still going on because the Jewish lobby frantically insists their opinion is the only one that matters and they’re ramming it down Labour’s throat. They should know by now that people in this country don’t take kindly to being bossed around like that. Besides, Corbyn has the confidence and support of many Jewish groups. Too bad for the Jewish Establishment if they are the ‘wrong’ sort of Jews.
This IHRA example of anti-Semitism – ‘Claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour’ – illustrates how stupid the argument has become. Leaving it out of the party’s code of conduct, says The Independent, is “a critical omission”. Really? It has been obvious for more than 100 years that the Israel Project is a racist endeavour. Why deny it when Israel has just passed new racist laws to legitimise Jewish supremacy?
The claptrap from The Independent is typical of the torrent of idiotic stuff mainstream outlets are now vomiting all over the public . No use moaning, though; we’re saddled with mainstream and Corbyn’s media strategists must get a grip on it. But they don’t even provide news feeds or briefings to sympathetic ‘alternative’ media sites. The editor of a very successful one tells me he receives nothing from Labour and knows no-one who does.
Assault on humanitarian mission is “of insufficient editorial merit” says BBC
While the mainstream, including the BBC, have been sticking the knife into Corbyn, none of them (as far as I’m aware) reported a much more serious outrage – the hijacking by Israeli Occupation Forces of two vessels heading for Gaza and the violent assault, abduction and imprisonment of the 34 people from 12 countries who were on board – one of them a British consultant from the famous ‘Barts’ Hospital in London.
The two boats, ‘Al Awda’ (The Return) and ‘Freedom’, were in international waters 42 and 49 nautical miles respectively off the coast of Gaza when raided by Israeli warships and forced into an Isreali port, say the organizers. During their unlawful detention the crew, participants and journalists were subjected to a range of physical and emotional violence. “The captain of Al-Awda was threatened with execution, 4 people were tasered, 3 people had ribs broken by the Israeli military and one person had his foot broken.
“They were all taken against their will to Israel, unlawfully imprisoned and ultimately deported. The Israeli authorities have stolen the boats and the 13,000 Euros worth of medical supplies that we were carrying as gifts, as well as many of the participants’ personal belongings (including clothes, a Bible, credit cards, IDs and mobile phones). Incredibly, they have begun to take legal action to attempt to confiscate the boats.”
There’s a mainstream media blackout on this story in the UK. The BBC, replying to a complaint, implied that piracy on the high seas against a mercy ship bound for stricken Gaza with a British surgeon (Dr Swee Ang) on board had insufficient editorial merit; but never mind, we can all “be assured there is no ulterior motive” in the state broadcaster’s decision not to run it.
Dr Swee emailed me: “I managed to get a CT of my chest confirming that I have two rib fractures. They are still painful but I am coping. Wonder if you got my interview on Russian TV?” So it is left to the likes of RT to report the sickening truth. And if it doesn’t make our Israel-loving MPs and ministers squirm I don’t know what will.
Meanwhile Dr Swee’s written account of what happened appeared in several ‘alternative’ news outlets. One of these, Redress Information & Analysis, attracted 28,000 views overnight. Within a few days the score had rocketed to an editorially insufficient 100,000.
Did Britain collude with Israel to thwart the mercy mission?
Why isn’t Corbyn taking the heat off himself by blasting Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary for not reacting to Israel’s piracy against unarmed humanitarian boats on the high seas? What has the Government done to retrieve their possessions and obtain compensation after failing to protect an important British citizen from appalling treatment by May’s Israeli ‘friends’? Has ambassador Regev been summoned and given a severe dressing-down? Have the 114 boxes of medical supplies destined for Gaza been released to Gaza?
And what gives the Israelis the right to confiscate the boats at least one of which was intended as a gift to the Gazans?
The other day in Parliament Lord Ahmed submitted this Written Question (HL9824): “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding the safety of British humanitarian workers travelling to Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla; and what responses they have received to any such representations.”
Lord Ahmad (defferent guy) answered: “On 30 July, officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv sought consular access from the Israeli authorities to a British national who was detained aboard the flotilla that was travelling to Gaza. This access was granted. Embassy officials also discussed the travelling flotilla with the Israeli authorities on 6 June. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to Gaza (including the waters off Gaza).”
“Including the waters off Gaza”? Isn’t he referring to international waters where neutral civilian vessels are entitled to free passage under the UN Conventional on the Law of the Seas? Shouldn’t unarmed aid boats, which pose no threat to anyone, be able sail international waters unmolested and claim ‘innocent passage’ in accordance with that same Law when they enter territorial waters? Is the Law of the Seas now dead? Is Britain no longer committed to keeping the sea lanes open to innocent shipping? Why is the UN not upholdings its own Convention?
And if, as Lord Ahmad says, our embassy was discussing the aid flotilla with Israel nearly 2 months before the hijacking, what were they talking about? Were they, by any chance, colluding to thwart this mercy mission? I think we are entitled to know. And Corbyn and his shadow ministers ought to be on the rampage.
Anti-Semitic remarks pale into insignificance alongside Israel’s violent acts against this and earlier humanitarian missions, on one occasion resulting in the murder of 10 people. Yet Corbyn’s media people are fast asleep. He was struggling yesterday when an over-persistent TV reporter nagged him mercilessly about his presence at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia before he became Labour leader. He had already answered the question to the point of boredom several times but was too polite to tell her to change the subject or piss off.
On top of that, he’s had to put up with terror chief and mass murderer Netanyahu using our mainstream media to intrude into UK politics by tweeting: “The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.” Actually Corbyn didn’t compare Israel to Nazis and was attending a Tunisian government-organised conference which included a memorial for those killed in a horrific Israeli air strike (on Tunisian territory) back in 1985. The funny side is that this uncalled-for meddling by a universally despised slimeball like Netanyahu has probably done Corbyn no harm at all, popularity-wise.
Let’s debate the S-word (Semitism)
But Corbyn clearly has a problem with his spin doctors and media team who should by now have deflected the orchestrated slurs and turned the tables on his detractors. He’d do well to bring on board sharper PR skills and public affairs know-how before it’s too late.
And as the S-word has been weaponised and tossed around so indiscrimately it’s time Semitism was publicly debated, turned inside out and examined more closely. The point being that hardly any of the Jews who claim Palestine is theirs and theirs only, such as Netanyahu and most of his gang, have ancestral links to Biblical Israel. Research has established, ironically, that the real Semites are the indigenous people of the Holy Land including – and especially – the Palestinians.
Perhaps Corbyn, when next accused of anti-Semitism, should simply say: “It’s hostility towards Palestinians that is anti-Semitic. As you know, the Labour Party doesn’t tolerate anti-Semitism. Good day.”
And slam the door.
16 August 2018
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography, he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.