An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn

As the most left-wing candidate you should get my vote. But you won't. And here's why.

 

Congratulations!

By securing a place on the ballot to become the next Labour leader you have put a spring in the step of many party members and trade unionists who feel that you embody their values better than any other candidate. (You embody only some of mine, trampling on some others, but I will get to that.)

You represent a clear alternative to the suffocating consensus that says there is no alternative to neoliberalism: marketisation, deregulation, privatisation, financialisation, an assault on the bargaining power of labor, regressive tax regimes, and cuts to welfare.

You will not tell us to be ‘intensely relaxed’ about people getting ‘filthy rich’ and you will not sneer at the trade union movement.

You are acutely aware that the transformation of European social democracy into a political force pursuing only a slightly kinder and a slightly gentler neoliberalism has caused the erosion of the emotional connection between the party and the working-class.

And you know that neoliberalism has eroded local democracy and the public realm, pushing aside actors other than those at the center, and then micro-managing Britain through a grim and relentless bureaucratising cult of quasi-government bodies.

On that basis you will secure the votes of many party members and trade unionists.

But you won’t get my vote.

You won’t get it because Labour’s best traditions also include anti-fascism and internationalism while your support – to me, inexplicable and shameful –  for the fascistic and antisemitic forces of Hezbollah and Hamas flies in the face of those traditions. In particular, your full-throated cheer-leading for the vicious antisemitic Islamist Raed Salah is a deal-breaker.

Why did you lend your support to Raed Salah? No, he is not a ‘critic of Israel’, but a straight-up Jew hater.

You said in 2012, ‘Salah is far from a dangerous man’, even though the left-wing, anti-Netanyahu Israeli newspaper of record, Ha’aretz, reported that Salah was first charged with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence in January 2008.

You said ‘Salah is a very honoured citizen’, even though Salah was found guilty of spreading the blood libel – the classic antisemitic slander that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make their bread. He did so during a speech on 16 February 2007 in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Joz.

I mean, just listen to Salah: ‘We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood’, he said. ‘Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the holy bread.’ (The UK Appeal Court decided that ‘We do not find this comment could be taken to be anything other than a reference to the blood libel against Jews.’ It also decided that this would ‘offend and distress Israeli Jews and the wider Jewish community.’)

You said: ‘Salah represents his people extremely well’, even though after the 9/11 terrorist attacks Salah wrote this in the October 5, 2001 issue of the weekly Sawt al-Haq w’al-Huriyya (Voice of Justice and Freedom): ‘A suitable way was found to warn the 4,000 Jews who work every day at the Twin Towers to be absent from their work on September 11, 2001, and this is really what happened! Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent [from their jobs] by chance, or was there another reason? At the same time, no such warning reached the 2,000 Muslims who worked every day in the Twin Towers, and therefore there were hundreds of Muslim victims.’

You said ‘Salah’s is a voice that must be heard’ even though he has called homosexuality a ‘great crime’ and recently [preached that ‘Jerusalem will soon become the capital of the global caliphate’ which will ‘spread justice throughout the land after it was filled with injustice by America, the Zionist enterprise, the Batiniyya, reactionism, Paganism and the Crusaders.’ i.e. everyone who does not follow his brand of Sunni Islam.

You said ‘I look forward to giving you tea on the terrace because you deserve it!’, even though the Islamic Movement [the northern branch of which Salah heads] has eulogised Osama bin Laden and Salah has incited Muslims against Jews by writing incendiary lies such as this: ‘The unique mover wanted to carry out the bombings in Washington and New York in order to provide the Israeli establishment with a way out of its entanglements.’ Who do you think he meant by ‘the unique mover’?

Why is that kind of conspiratorial antisemitism, dripping with threat and menace, worthy of tea on the terrace?

And it isn’t just a problem with Salah, is it? You said it was ‘my pleasure and my honour’ to host ‘our friends from Hezbollah and our friends from Hamas’ in the Commons.

Really?

Why do you not care that the Hamas Charter states that ‘Islam will obliterate Israel’ and enjoins all good Muslims to kill Jews, whom it blames for all the wars and revolutions in classic antisemitic fashion?

Why don’t you challenge your ‘friends in Hamas’ about the inclusion in their Charter of this canonical Hadith: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’

And why are Hezbollah your friends? They are an antisemitic Islamist goose-stepping ‘Party of God’ who persecute (and assassinate) liberals and democrats in Lebanon whenever they can. The Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said ‘If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.’ (NY Times, May 23, 2004, p. 15, section 2, column 1.)  Your ‘friends’ were enthusiastically slaughtering Syrian civilians on behalf of the Assad regime long before ISIS or Jabhat Al-Nusra joined the fray.

Yes, you will say I am part of the Israel lobby and people should pay no heed. Yes, I work at the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre. But here’s the thing. I have the same views now about the Israel-Palestine conflict as I did when I was a member of the Socialist Organiser Editorial Board and you were with Labour Briefing back in the 1980s. (I think our two organisations may have even ‘fused’ at some point, though those days are a bit hazy now.)

My views have not changed since I was a member of the editorial board of Historical Materialism. They are the same views I had when we debated each other at Birmingham University some years ago: I believe in two states for two people, a secure Israel and a viable Palestine, a democratic solution to an unresolved national question based on mutual recognition and support for the right to national self-determination of both peoples.

I edit a journal, Fathom, which publishes many voices critical of the current Israeli government, from the Israeli left, from Israel’s Arab citizens, and from Palestinians.

I just do not understand how you can support so unthinkingly those political forces which oppose to their dying breath everything  – literally, everything – the labour movement has ever stood for: trade union rights, freedom of speech and organisation, women’s equality, gay and lesbian rights, anti-racism, the enlightenment, and reason.

But as long as you do support those forces you will not get my vote. As long as you do, I will just have to remain politically homeless. Which is a pity, because there you are on the TV screen, talking with élan like a proper social democrat about full employment.

I want to cheer you on. Can you respond in such a way that I can?

Alan Johnson is the editor of Fathom – For a deeper understanding of Israel and the region, and works for the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM)

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505 Responses to “An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn”

  1. Boleslaw Bierut

    Rationalist? Maybe in the sick world of Lingo Chopskey.

  2. Bayesian_Rationalist

    You’ve failed to provide a logical argument against the points I made in my previous reply. Please do so in your next reply, otherwise don’t waste my time, and yours, with pointless replies such as the one above. Unfortunately, even skeptics and atheists appear to get overly emotional and make irrational arguments when it comes to politics, as evidenced by your article.

  3. Jonathan Lyon

    So the Zionists wont be voting for Corbyn. I don’t think that will make any difference. lol

  4. Tim Dwelly

    well said alan

  5. TheWanderer91

    The labour party keep saying how great it is that Jeremy Corbyn made it as a leadership candidates but they dont think about how it looks to other people. Firstly it makes the labour party seem like even they dont know what they stand for. But more importantly it makes it seem like the labour party arent really bothered about anti-semetism and holocaust deniers. Jeremy Corebyn has no problem jumping into bed with both. Hes even appeared on PressTV run by the Iranian Goverment, who are known how peddling holocaust denial and Jewish conspiracey theories. Jeremy Corbyn is a perfect example of someone who has taken anti-zionism to the point where hes sympathetic to anti-semticism, holocoust denial and islamism. He makes the labour party seem like a joke.

  6. elsieb66

    Bravo. And that’s why he’s not getting mine either.

  7. redwood05090

    The signs were on the wall in the late 60’s!
    The U.K allowed all sort of characters from the
    “Commonwealth” to enter, next came the flood of
    “human rights refugees”. or in Labor speak: Our voters!
    Good luck with that!

  8. andywade

    How to destroy the Left in one easy step:

    Israel, lefties, Israel!

    *stands back and watches the fireworks*

  9. KarlRodgers

    This is possibly the biggest load of nonsense I have ever read on this site. Corbyn doesn’t support Hamas or Hezbolla… but don’t take my word for it: http://www.channel4.com/news/jeremy-corbyn-i-wanted-hamas-to-be-part-of-the-debate

  10. EnosBurrows

    So is ethnonationalism

  11. grace issagaro

    That there is an ocean of political difference between Johnson and Corbyn regarding the Middle East, is hardly newsworthy or surprising. What is astounding is that Johnson should imply that his position might be that of a Corbyn supporter ‘if only’ this difference did not exist. When Johnson says ‘As the most left wing candidate you should get my vote’ we know this is hogwash. Johnson is New Labour through and through and it goes without saying that Corbyn most definitely is not. It is wholly disingenuous of Johnson to imply that there is a swathe of common ground between him and Corbyn . Whilst I can respect his attempt to express disagreement on this or any other issue, the duplicitous approach with which he does this here, is just one more example of what so many Labour Party members and supporters are fed up with. There is always the feeling when a Blairite opens his or her mouth, that there are machinations afoot and I suspect that one of the reasons why Corbyn is popular is because he is so much more straightforward than that. Whether you agree with him or not, he has a sincerity of approach that has sorely been lacking within the Labour Party for the last twenty years. I think it is vital that we discuss the Middle east and all that is happening there, but I would rather have that debate with trustworthy folk who express where they are coming from with honestly and with clarity.

  12. Pat Short

    israel is hugely diverse in ethnicity. It is the (only) jewish state, use your logic.

  13. Someone132

    I expected the anti-Hezbollah slant, but this is truly pathetic. Your BBC link refers to an instance where Hezbollah fought and killed five ARMED rebels, losing 3 of their fighters in process, not “slaughtering civilians” as you so disingeniously claim. Since then, they’ve been one of the most crucial elements in fighting the actual jihadists that threaten us all, doing as much if not more work than the oh-so-beloved Kurds.

    And of course, let’s use a single Nasrallah quote said 11 years ago, and ignore the things group has actually done, which include open cooperation with the Lebanese and Syrian Christians, and backing the reconstruction of the oldest synagogue in their own country: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3757917,00.html.

    I do agree that Hamas is hopeless, though, and I never knew or cared about that Sunni Islamist or mention. Nevertheless, have you considered that perhaps Corbyn is actually aware of the things you wrote, and simply does not share what, to me, is one Western left’s biggest ideological weaknesses? It’s almost morbidly funny to watch how many progressives like yourself are simultaneously convinced that their diverse, inclusive, democratic vision is the best way forward for humanity (and, I must say, you have good reason to believe it.)

    Yet, whenever confronted with the prospect of meeting ro working aongside who doesn’t share your views (in this case, an Islamist) the only possible outcome you can imagine is the corruption of a progressive. Somehow, you don’t believe that a reverse is possible, and an Islamist can become more and more liberal over time, simply by the virtue of becoming more reliant on said liberal’s support. If you’re truly convinced your vision is the strongest, and based on real facts, then what I just described should be happening more often than not. So, what’s the problem? Is your ideological core so flimsy it can be unseated by something wirrten in the 12th century 9 times out of 10?

  14. MrL0g1c

    I support him even more now because unlike you he recognises the plight of the Palestinians.

  15. Alec Lomax

    No prescription charges, no tuition fees, free personal care for the elderly…I take it these policies are regressive ?

  16. Alec Lomax

    I can’t remember the Blair – Brown governments taking railways back into public ownership. Your mob got their backsides kicked by the electorate back in May, to use the New Labour cliche: it’s time to move on.

  17. Alec Lomax

    Don’t hold your breath.

  18. JAMES MCGIBBON

    The personal care was Lib/Lab. I think students who are funded by the less well off should pay more when they collect their huge salaries. If they do not earn enough then they do not pay back. Free prescriptions also go to the rich who are getting richer under the Tories and the Tartan SNP Tories. Council services are being cut due to the freeze. So the rich are getting richer and the cuts to services hardly effect them. The SNP do not give a shit about austerity. They are siitting watching food banks grow and will not tax the rich to alleviate the situation. Scoundrels and liars.

  19. Neil Orange peel

    And this is why I too do not support Corbyn. Such a shame. He’s got everything else needed, but supporting Hamas is a big no-no for me. Too many on the left are blinded by a leftish ‘what is the coolest cause?’ concept.

    There are videos on YT re:Hamas. Listen to one of the ex top dogs who left Islam and Hamas speak about them (and how they use human shields/usually kids/why they set up rocket mortars in built up residential areas and do not allow the people to move to safety..despite Israel giving advance warnings with leaflets, louspeakers etc). Watch the video of the Muslim wedding party gatecrashed by Hamas (clad in outfits just like ISIS). They shot the guests and decapitated the groom. It’s all on video. Their crime? Playing music.

    He should also read Hamas’ and Hezollah’s mission statements. Some on the left feel all the Palestinians want is to be left alone and have their land back. Probably due to various collections on campus for the ‘poor oppressed Palestinians’. That money goes to Hamas. Well done. Here is the news. Hamasand co are not interested in peace or land as their main objective. They want all Jews dead. Repeat. All. Jews. Dead.

    He’s either far too stupid to be Britain’s PM (probably this to be honest) or is a rampant anti-semite who will put Jews in real danger and help fund Hamas’ growth (which in turn helps ISIS, which in turn makes the west more open to attacks).

    To support Hamas is not left. It’s fascist.

  20. Neil Orange peel

    Educate yourself. Here is a video from the son of a Hamas leader (he left Hamas).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11ff6yVw478

    And this may help. Peace.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG1C7gorfQA

  21. MrL0g1c

    At the end of the day I don’t vote for a UK leader based on their middle-east support, I would vote for Jeremy primarily because he’s clearly held onto his morals whilst the rest of the labour candidates are such a bunch of corporate brown-nosers they can’t see straight any more.

    Jeremy Corbyn is in keeping with what the labour party was created to do – supporting working people, poor people, sick people. A large chunk of society appears to be sick, sick with greed and uncaring for their fellow man, kick people while they are down and wilfully ignorant of actual issues.

    Tony Blair, ten times worse than Corbyn will ever be, starting a war based on lies, leaving a million dead, using depleted uranium in munitions. Blair neglected housing in the UK, look at the mess we are in now.

  22. MrL0g1c

    2nd Video, the guy is lying, Israel have fought tooth and nail to stop the Palestinians from having an internationally recognised state. The man is 100% extremely biased against Palestinians from the get-go. UN had no right in 1948 to hand half of a peoples country to someone else. How much of the land mass is in Palestinian hands now?

    If half of Britain was suddenly handed over to Iraqi refuges, how would the British feel about that?

  23. James Pitt

    “Netherlands have age of consent about 13 the last time I checked.” … http://lmgtfy.com/?q=age+of+consent+netherlands
    Why didn’t you just check?

  24. meqmac

    How do you negotiate with Hamas? Have you read the Charter? Here’s one example. In Article 13, it reads: ‘There is no solution to the Palestinian question except through Jihad’ (la hall li’l-qadiyya al-filastiniyya illa bi’l-jihad). It calls all forms of negotiation, peace conferences etc. ‘a waste of time’. It is based on a total commitment to jihad law and fundamentallist Islamism. To negotiate, you have to be willing to compromise. How can Hamas compromise on anything without undermining their own most basic tenets? Jews are condemned in the Qur’an and rendered subject to Muslims (as dhimmi non-citizens) in shari’a law. No Muslim can call the Qur’an false or condemn God’s laws. According to Dutch academic Rudolph Peters, the Islamic equivalent of Western international law (Westphalia onwards) is the system of regulations governing jihad, both in its execution in military terms and in its application to conquered people. It is a basic doctrine of this law that any territory once conquered by Islam (through jihad or conversion) must remain Miuslim in perpetuity. Countries that have broken free of Islamic rule (Spain, Portugal, Kashmir, etc) must, in the end, be reconquered by force, guile, or conversion. Israel is deemed to have been Islamic territory since 634. For it to be ruled by Jews (of all despised people) is an affront to all Muslims, and a crime that must be expiated by its return to the Muslim fold. There can be no compromise on such matters, no criticism of the Qur’an, the ahadith, the canon of shari’a law, or the prophetic biography. And if there can be no compromise on such basic matters, how can non-Muslims negotiate with an organization like Hamas? Or Hizbullah. Or the Islamic regime in Iran. The answer is what Israel has achieved so far. Defeat your enemies in battle when they attack you. Create a democracy in which rights and citizenship are given to Muslims. Prove that Muslim can benefit more from living in a Jewish state than in a jihadist or fundamentalist state. Offer a generous peace to the Palestinians as long as they meet the conditions of UN Resolution 242 and other legal instruments. Improve their economy even under occupation. It is not perfect, but it is the better option. Beyond that, what is needed is a world community willing to tackle groups like Hamas in order to put them out of business for good. Because negotiation is not a possible route.

  25. meqmac

    Actually, plenty of Muslim historians agree that he married A’isha when she was 6 and consummated the marriage at nine. There are many apologetic accounts of how this was possible, justifying it on the grounds that it was the norm in Arabian society of the time. You may be confusing the marriage (under 9) and the consummation.

  26. verticalaudio

    This article is helping keep me sane. On Twitter I’ve just been called a racist because i challenged the left’s support for Hamas as an undemocratic, racist, illiberal, regressive force. My abuser said: “I don’t believe that the oppressed have a responsibility to choose representation congruent with my ego-ideal.” I feel like we’ve fallen into a rabbit hole of political nonsense that desperately just wants to shout out “I hate bloody Jews and Israel alike”, but knows it probably can’t.

  27. James 'Jamo' Moulding

    I think I would rather have a decent shot at some type of left-leaning socialist Labour Party or even government, than focus on issues like this. Israel bombs the shit of the surrounding regions and treats palestinians like subhumans… Groups like Hezbollah fight them and wage war – it’s a vicious circle – at the very least he has a better understanding of it than anyone else, but would you rather Yvette Cooper and austerity lite to Jeremy Corbyn, really?

  28. Ed

    And how many Jews want to expel the others from it, eh? And why are all the non-Jews in Gaza denied a vote? I guess that doesn’t matter because the others are all Islamic baddies.

  29. Duncan_McFarlane

    Tell
    me why it is, if it’s impossible to negotiate with Hamas, that lots of
    former heads of Israeli intelligence agencies, like Efraim Halevy, the
    former head of Mossad, and Shlomo Gazit, the former head of Shin Bet
    (Israeli Military intelligence) say Israel’s government can and should
    negotiate with Hamas without preconditions like full recognition?

    Negotiation is a possible route as many senior members of Hamas have made statements like “The Charter is not the Koran. Historically, we believe all Palestine
    belongs to Palestinians, but we’re talking now about reality, about
    political solutions … The realities are different…I don’t think
    there will be a problem of negotiating with the Israelis. (Mohammed Ghazal 2005)

    In April 2008 Khaled Meshal of Hamas said
    Hamas would accept the result of any referendum of Palestinians that
    decided to accept Israel’s existence, including on some land taken in
    the 1967 war.

    In January 2009 Ghazi Hamad of Hamas said “We accept a state in the ’67 borders…We are not talking about the destruction of Israel.”

    Now you might legitimately point out that sometimes they have said the opposite, in Arabic, to their own supporters – but the same is true of the Irseli Prime Minister and his government ministers. In a speech during the last Gaza “war”, Netanyahu , talking in Hebrew, made it clear there would be no sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, ever, while he was PM, by saying “I
    think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there
    cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish
    security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”

    Naftali Bennet said in January 2013 that
    “I will do everything in my power, forever, to fight against a Palestinian state being founded in the Land of Israel”

    Yari Leven, the Likud chairman in the Knesset in January 2013 said “In
    this way, we will try, slowly but surely, to expand the circle of
    settlements, and to afterwards extend the roads that lead to them, and
    so forth. At the end of this process, the facts on the ground will be
    that whatever remains [of the occupied West Bank] will be merely
    marginal appendages”

    Uzi Landau, then Israeli Minister for tourism said “One
    thing must be clear: A Palestinian state is not the solution. The
    state of Israel made a harsh mistake when it created the impression
    that it is prepared to accept two states for two nations.”

    Ze’ev Elkin, then foreign Minister of Israel, said in July 2012 that “This
    is our land, and it’s our right to apply sovereignty over it.
    Regardless of the world’s opposition, it’s time to do in Judea and
    Samaria [the occupied West Bank] what we did in [occupied East]
    Jerusalem and the Golan”

    Tzipi Hotovely, Israeli Deputy minister for Transportation, said in December 2012 that “We
    are opposed to a Palestinian state… [Netanyahu’s declaration of
    support for a Palestinian state at Bar-Ilan University was] a tactical
    speech for the rest of the world”

    Avi Wortzman, Deputy Minister of Education, said in February 2013 that “The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. We oppose a two-state solution”

    And every Israeli government calls the West Bank – all that’s left to form the core of a Palestinian state (and then only if the settlements were withdrawn and Israel stopped annexing more of it) – “Judaea and Samaria” – the Biblical name of the area at the time of the biblical Kingdom of Israel – which makes them just as much religious fanatics claiming “God gave the land to our religion by right of conquest” as any Islamic Jihad loon.

    Israel has offered the Palestinians nothing so far in negotiations – a few Bantustan inner city islands of territory surrounded by Israeli settlements and Israeli troops, with Israel controlling the vast majority of vital farmland and water supplies in the West Bank – and no soveriegnty – no control of their own territory in military or legal matters for the Palestinians, so no security whatsoever. Israeli troops can go into Palestinian territory at will and arrest anyone and jail them without any more than a military court martial – or sometimes no trial at all. But no Israeli can be charged or arrested by Palestinian police or courts for anything they do in nominally “Palestinian” territory.

    And unarmed Palestinian protesters, or kids throwing stones, are routinely shot dead with live ammunition by Israeli forces even in the “peaceful” West Bank. Like the two shot dead just before the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli soldier before the last Gaza war
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/12/autopsy-palestinian-teenager-wounds-consistent-live-ammunition

    On top of that Israel refuses to allow any Palestinians ethnically cleansed from their homes during the 1948 or 1967 wars to return, or any of their children or grandchildren claiming “we’re a tiny country and can’t absorb those numbers” while simultaneously having a “Law of Return” that allows anyone who is Jewish, has a Jewish partner, or one Jewish grandparent to become an Israeli citizen no questions asked.

    And you call all this “generous”?

    And since when did Israel implement UN Resolution 242’s terms itself? Never. It has never withdrawn to the pre-1967 war boundaries as resolution 242 says it should. And even Hamas are not demanding exactly the pre-1967 boundaries – they are prepared to negotiate on the final borders, but the Israeli government won’t.

  30. Pat Short

    Gazans can vote for who they like, they voted for hamas. As for Israel, have you been there? Do you know anything about it? Obviously not. Arabs live there peacefully (most of the time). I don’t know why I bother

  31. Pat Short

    Are you saying that muslims are baddies? Not very nice ed

  32. Sam

    To be honest I am pretty tired of this facile argument. The context in which he called them friends was a diplomatic one. He has never said he actually supports either Hamas, Hizbollah or the IRA in their use of appalling violence against civilians. Just as the Uk speaks to plenty of world leaders with shameful jhuman rights records, Corby simply suggests we at least talk to non state actors too. As history has shown, talking is the only thing that has ever really worked in bringing about lasting peace agreements

  33. Miriam Dwek

    I am totally with you Alan. This is why the left has lost the vote of many Jewish people. Myself included.

  34. Kuner1

    The left has opened pandora’s box with the alliance with radical islam. This won’t go away anymore. It’s too late. Europe will turn hard right and times will get really unpleasant.

  35. Alan Day

    Hitler was elected too

  36. Alan Day

    But that misses the point completely.

  37. Duncan_McFarlane

    So was multiple war criminal Netanyahu, who’s overseen targeting of civilians in Gaza. Ditto for Olmert before him. And Ariel Sharon was a serial war criminal from his personal participation in the massacre of the entire population of the village of Qibya in Jordan in 1953 to the massacre of Egyptian prisoners during the 1967 war, to organising fascist Lebanese Christian militias being allowed into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli-occupied Lebanon to massacre civilians in 1982 (the conclusion of the Israeli government inquiry was that he bore direct responsibility for the massacre as Defense Minister), to (as Prime minister) overseeing the massacres of civilians by opening fire on them in the street and burying them alive in their houses and using them as human shields in ‘Operation Defensive Shield’ in Jenin and Nablus in 2002.

    The Israeli government and military’s actions are no better than those of an Palestinian terrorist group – they include both targeting civilians in many cases and making no attempt to avoid killing them in many others.

    So if you don’t think anyone should negotiate with Hamas (and Efraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad , disagrees with you on that, as does Shlomo Gazit, the former head of Shin Bet (Israeli military intelligence), then no one should negotiate with Israel either and there should be sanctions on Israel too.

  38. verticalaudio

    Sam – Corbyn is not a diplomat and has not taken the quiet path of diplomacy, rather he has taken an expressly and highly visible partisan position as a politician. That’s fine, it’s what politicians do. But to describe it as “diplomatic” is to wilfully misrepresent reality.
    A group or individual with a diplomatic or conflict resolution role engages quietly with both sides and works to understand all positions and find opportunities to bring common understanding, narrow perception gaps and find compromise.
    You don’t do that by spending 30 years draping yourself in the flag of one group, repeating uncritically their position and repeatedly attacking and undermining the legitimacy of another party to the dispute.
    If you can find evidence that Corbyn has been “talking” to representatives of Israeli state and non-state actors on a regular and “friendly” basis, has made 9 trips to Israel and can regularly be found wearing the Israeli national flag over his shoulders, then I guess we’ll all have to reconsider our position on this.

  39. UKLawman

    Thank you for this superb article, which has increased my knowledge.

    Like you, I am attracted towards voting for Mr Corbyn as leader. However, I had read of his associations with fundamental Islamists. I was unclear as to the degree to which he agreed with and supported them, and which fundamentalists were involved.

    This blows the lid on it. Mr Corbyn’s friends are simply evil racists, whose views and actions are contrary to everything for which Labour stands.

    I do not understand how an apparently intelligent reasonable man can support such diabolical views. Shame on him.

  40. John Keane

    er,.. Bloody Sunday in Derry? Ballymurphy? Give us a break….

  41. Daz K

    Do you think Bloody Sunday was a policy of the British Army?

    What utter ridiculous hyperbole, we are obliged by the Geneva convention.

  42. Jack Murray

    But Israel is an extreme right wing state that steals land off and murders innocent people? And the U.S. And UK have killed hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent Muslims in recent decades, some of which in illegal wars. How is trying to engage in talks with extreme Islamic resistant groups, that have come about as a direct result of the wests war mongering in the Middle East, supporting facism? Jeremy Corbyn stands for equality, peace and justice and if you think as a nation we will ever get that by ignoring the extreme damage we have caused in the Middle East, Muslim world you are completely deluded. This article is one sided and completely misses the point of what people like Jeremy Corbyn are attempting to do by welcoming the likes of Hezbollah in for talks.

  43. Supreme Allied Condista

    I too have a critique of Jeremy Corbyn leadership from a left perspective – revolutionary & freedom-fighting republicanism. (You know, with guns and things, not so much the flowers. LOL)

    The message that Corbyn’s team are trying to suppress ….

    Chilcot Iraq War Inquiry – the biggest damp squib in history.

    Jeremy Corbyn and the peaceniks before the Iraq War
    “Don’t . . . . attack,
    don’t attack Iraq.
    Let . . . . . Saddam
    Murder who he likes”

    Jeremy Corbyn and the peaceniks on extending RAF air-strikes over Syria
    “Don’t . . . . attack,
    don’t attack Syria.
    Let . . . . . ISIS
    Murder who they like”

    Oh says Jeremy Corbyn, speaking to Newsnight – “I’m not a supporter of military intervention. I’m a supporter of isolating ISIS and bringing about a coalition of the region against them”, says he.

    Well the regional powers like Saudi Arabia and the gulf monarchies have been secretly funding ISIS. ISIS are the secret agent proxy terrorist group of Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabia denies that and claims it has isolated itself from ISIS. But then they would say that about their secret agents wouldn’t they?

    Saudi Arabia are only going to isolate themselves in reality from their own secret agent proxy terrorist groups –

    * if and when Saudi Arabia are either sanctioned and bombed into isolating themselves from ISIS, regime-changed even, which takes military intervention, or

    * if and when Saudi Arabia have won all their terrorist wars and the whole world lies at their feet surrendering to the Saudis’ every demand – as Jeremy Corbyn would surrender to the Saudis every demand – such as Sharia Law in Britain, chopping heads off people for not converting from Christianity to Islam as dictated from Mecca – only when the Saudis rule the world would they comfortably isolate ISIS by choice, because they would have won and didn’t need ISIS any more

    * if and when ISIS is smashed to bits militarily and doesn’t exist for the Saudis to support in secret like they do now.

    So really Jeremy Corbyn is completely out of his depth in defence issues and in no way is he a fit person to become Prime Minister. The man is a menace to the security of Britain, our NATO allies and the free world!

    Well then Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP, how about suggesting that Britain and its allies in NATO pursue regime-change of “Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and a number of other places” to whom the UK sells weapons from oppressive, absolute monarchies imposing an oppressive religious police state into into liberal, secular democracies, where an Arabian democratic socialist Labour party, twinned with the British Labour Party, could be elected to government?

    Or does the faction of the Labour Party which Mr Corbyn represents not have enough courage of their democratic socialist principles to be prepared to fight a war for them and are they fatally compromised by a pacifist tendency that would never fight for anything?

    Hey peaceniks! Get you heads out of the Arabian sand! ISIS will be defeated only by force of arms.

    The way to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia is to stop Saudi Arabia buying arms from ANYONE by regime-changing Saudi Arabia.

    I DON’T support selling arms to oppressive Middle East regimes but the notion that by Britain stopping selling arms to them and maybe having a conference of others who won’t sell them arms to them is somehow going to stop them buying arms elsewhere and giving them to ISIS – is so stupid that anyone suggesting that as a way to stop ISIS murdering people, should NEVER run for political office, Mr Jeremy Corbyn!

    Why is Jeremy Corbyn MP seemingly happy to represent the interests of ISIS to be free to murder anyone including any democratic socialist in Iraq or Syria they don’t like in police custody?

    Is it for the same reason Jeremy Corbyn is happy to represent UNISON the trade union for civilian police workers who want their police to be free to arrest or murder in police custody anyone including any democratic socialist in Britain they don’t like?

    Does Jeremy really like it when real democratic socialists get murdered because it stops them embarrassing him for never speaking out against police murders in Syria, Iraq or Britain?

    The real democratic socialists are those who follow in the tradition of the International Brigade who fought Nazi-backed Franco and his fascists in the Spanish civil war.

    http://herefordheckler.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ib-banner.jpg

    Real democratic socialists are warriors.

    Jeremy Corbyn isn’t a warrior, he is a peacenik and no doubt he’d have a fine speech ready as and when he allowed us all to be ordered at gun point to our deaths at the hands of the likes of ISIS that he wouldn’t ever fight because he doesn’t fight, he just lets people get massacred.

  44. Supreme Allied Condista

    The message that Corbyn’s team are trying to suppress …. (part 2)

    What is it that is so scary about Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader?

    The scare is very real and the scare is that dangerous things that need changing will not be changed. Dangers will not be effected in the slightest and that is a very scary thing.

    For example, the police will still be abusing their authority making wrongful arrests, injuring and killing people while arresting them or in police custody – that’s scary.

    The civilian workers in the police, UNISON members, will be turning a blind eye to abuses – that’s scary.

    Prosecutors will be prosecuting people for political activity that should not be a crime a free country – that’s scary.

    Judges will be locking people up for political activity – that’s scary.

    All these scary things will happen because Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader will not have the slightest effect on anything.

    What we need is a better leader who will break the cosy Westminster consensus that never challenges the independence of the kingdom’s police, prosecutors and courts to do whatever they like, no matter how unjust.

    The cosy Westminster consensus which passes human rights law into law but turns a blind eye when the police, prosecutors and courts ignore human rights law to suppress political freedom, a suppression that the Westminster consensus is comfortable with because it is suppression of the political freedom which exposes their hypocrisy.

    We need a Labour Leader who will go to war, not just against ISIS but against the enemies of freedom in this country, starting with the police, prosecutors and judges.

    So Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will lead to more terrorism – at home by the UK against the legal rights of the people that the legal system hates to uphold and abroad by ISIS.

  45. Junis

    Nothing wrong in hating those who support Israel whether they’re Jewish or not. This publication called left-foot forward isn’t a true left leaning one. It is masquerading as one and in truth New Labour is neo-conservative and anti socialism

  46. Daz K

    ‘Neo-conservative’ is nothing but a catch all cliche used by people devoid of rational argument.

    The problem is people like you demand the left be one homogenous block of loathing at Israel, whilst acting apologist for other thugs, it is irrational and a betrayal of progressive principles.

  47. Daz K

    ‘Neo-conservative’ is nothing but a catch all cliche used by people devoid of rational argument.

    The problem is people like you demand the left be one homogenous block of loathing at Israel, whilst acting apologist for other thugs, it is irrational and a betrayal of progressive principles.

  48. Supreme Allied Condista

    Agreed but the weakness of Corbyn will also embolden the far-right in the UK too. Osborne will wet himself laughing as he dramatically intensifies austerity and uses the police or far-right thugs to shut up Corbyn’s whiners.

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