“Writing columns often involves difficult choices. What you write about reflects your opinions and priorities. Every time I sit down at my laptop to construct a column I agonise over what to write about from a huge list of worthy topics and current affairs issues.”
By Tommy Sheridan
Published on Sputnik News, Feb 24, 2019
Today I simply cannot ignore the corrosive effect of the very powerful and well financed pro-Israel lobby which is at the heart of the concerted campaigns of vilification against Jeremy Corbyn over the last four years and is responsible for the ridiculous association of Corbyn and socialists within the Labour Party with anti-Semitism.
Every newspaper, news bulletin, political TV show and newspaper review segment on Sky News, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and other mainstream outlets associates Corbyn, his Labour Party leadership and rifts within the Labour Party with anti-Semitism. It is sickeningly inaccurate, bereft of evidence, informed by political bile and promoted by imbeciles with an agenda. That agenda is not to oppose anti-Semitism, racism or Islamophobia but to fuel popular belief that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and a racist. The idea that a man whose whole adult life has been devoted to politically campaigning against racism, Semitism, injustice and inequality is actually a racist and anti-Semite is so pathetically untrue that the only way it can gain a morsel of traction and credibility is through a powerful and deceitful campaign of lies and distortions via the mainstream media and paid for idiots and bought off lackeys.
It is a matter of debate whether it was George Orwell or Antonio Gramsci who coined the phrase about it being ‘a revolutionary act to tell the truth during times of reaction’ but regardless of its origin let us be courageous enough to truthfully state categorically and without fear of contradiction or reprisals that Israel is a rogue nation which daily subjects the Palestinian people to brutal repression. Israel has created and developed an apartheid system of state terror which should be categorically exposed, condemned and campaigned against by any human being with a belief in democracy and freedom. The Boycott, Disinvest and Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. It is a movement which deserves support but is instead attacked and even outlawed in 24 States of America.
Expressing opposition to what the Israeli state is doing to the Palestinians and supporting the increasingly popular BDS Movement does not make you an anti-Semite it makes you a compassionate human being.
The ridiculous allegations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn are the thin end of a very thick wedge. The narrative which is promoted daily and consistently by the billionaire owned press and media across the West is of an Israeli state under constant fear of attack and forced to defend itself and its borders with whatever means and force necessary. It is a false and deceit laden narrative that is rarely if ever deviated from by the mainstream media. America has designated Israel as its puppet state in the Middle-East and therefore it is showered with aid, arms, missiles and a blank cheque to commit human rights abuses in abundance without fear of condemnation or reprisals.
The truth about Israel and its illegal, immoral and illegitimate actions must be spoken on behalf of the Palestinian people and all who adhere to the human values of compassion, fairness and justice.
In discussing the works of Israeli historian and avowed Zionist, Benny Morris, the American academic Norman Finkelstein quotes directly from his work;
“The conclusion of Righteous Victims, Benny Morris’s sweeping “history of the Zionist-Arab conflict,” opened with a quote from Zionist leader (and Israel’s future first prime minister) David Ben –Gurion.”
“The “conflict” with the Arabs, Ben-Gurion said in 1938, “is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves.”
“Morris then observed: Ben-Gurion, of course, was right. Zionism was a colonizing and expansionist ideology and movement…. Zionist ideology and practice were necessarily and elementally expansionist.”
“Insofar as “from the start its aim was to turn all of Palestine…. Into a Jewish state,” he went on to elaborate, Zionism could not but be “intent on … dispossessing and supplanting the Arabs”.
In black and white from the words of one of Israel’s foremost historians and defenders of Zionism we have the truthful admission that Zionism was indeed from its inception ‘expansionist’ and intent on the creation of a Jewish state through the ‘dispossessing and supplanting’ of the indigenous Arab population who would have no choice but to defend themselves against the occupiers and colonisers. That historical reality of Zionism and then Zionist Israel being the aggressor, occupier and dispossessor is conspicuously absent from the Israel/Palestine conflict narrative promoted by today’s mainstream media.
In order to further underline my argument in this column please forgive me for presenting even more extensive quotations from another well-known Israeli citizen and man of considerable insight and knowledge in relation to Israel. Gideon Levy is a distinguished author, writer and political commentator who was born in Tel Aviv, served for several years in the Israeli army and worked for four years with Shimon Peres while he was leader of the Israeli opposition before going on to serve as Israel’s prime minister twice between the 1970’s and 1990’s and Israel’s President between 2007 —2014.
Addressing a National Press Club event in Washington DC, April 2015, under the title; ‘Does Unconditional Support for Israel Endanger Israeli Voices’? Gideon said:
“The Israeli society has surrounded itself with shields, with walls, not only physical walls but also mental walls. I don’t want to get into it because it’s another lecture. But I’ll just give three principles which enable us Israelis to live so easily with this brutal reality;
A) Most of the Israelis, if not all of them, deeply believe that we are the chosen people. And if we are the chosen people, we have the right to do whatever we want;
B) There are more brutal occupations in history. There were even longer occupations in history, even though the Israeli occupation gets to quite a nice record. But there was never in history an occupation in which the occupier presented himself as the victim – not only the victim, but the only victim around. This enables any Israeli to live in peace, because we are all victims ….
C) … And here, I get to the third set of values that enable us Israelis to live in peace with the occupation. This is maybe the most crucial one and the worst one. We say victimisation, we say chosen people. When I say victimisation, it goes without saying, we have to mention the Holocaust and the unforgettable Mrs Gold Meir that the American jury had exported to Israel. She said once – this unforgettable woman- that after the Holocaust the Jews have the right to do whatever they want. But the third set of values is the most dangerous one. This is the systematic de-humanisation of the Palestinians, which enables us Israelis to live in peace with everything, because if they are not human beings like us, then there is not really a question of human rights. And if you scratch under the skin of almost every Israeli, you will find it there. Almost no one will treat the Palestinians as equal human beings like us.”
Please if this column makes you do nothing else go and read the whole of Gideon Levy’s presentation to the National Press Club in Washington DC in April 2015. It will hopefully open your mind to what is really going on in Israel and Palestine but which is hidden from our view or distorted beyond recognition by the compliant mainstream media.
Think about the statement from Gideon Levy above, “the systematic de-humanisation of the Palestinians”. That is indeed what Israeli apartheid, brutality and distortion of the truth via the mainstream media is all about. I defy you to watch the videos which are posted daily on Twitter and Facebook which involve Israeli Defence Forces shooting unarmed civilians, torturing and beating up children and elderly Palestinians for no cause other than perverted fun and not be convinced that such depravity on a daily basis can only be conducted by a group of individuals who have indeed been convinced by the ‘systematic de-humanisation of Palestinians’ that their actions are acceptable because their victims are less than human.
Read Norman Finkelstein’s account of what Israel Defence Forces did last May alone:
“ISRAEL HAS ONCE again conducted a premeditated, full-scale massacre in broad daylight, in front of the cameras of the world. Once again, it took place in Gaza.
Israel has made it clear that it believes that it has the right to systematically murder Palestinians for the crime of continuing to exist”.
The article above was written under the title: “BLACKLISTED ACADEMIC NORMAN FINKELSTEIN ON GAZA, ‘THE WORLD’S LARGEST CONCENTRATION CAMP”. Please go and read it in full and then ask yourself why on earth does the state of Israel get away with such indiscriminate murder and brutality and why does a man who spends time and energy to courageously expose such human atrocities find himself ‘blacklisted’ when his work should be promoted and made required reading in schools, colleges and households across the world.
You probably don’t know that an incredibly strong defence of Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership of the Labour Party was penned by 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour Party on Wednesday last week. Two hundred Jews, including 16 Professors, 9 doctors and a QC wrote of their support for Jeremy Corbyn, the apparent ‘anti-Semite’, to the Guardian newspaper. Part of the letter stated:
“We believe that the Labour party under the progressive leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is a crucial ally in the fight against bigotry and reaction. His lifetime record of campaigning for equality and human rights, including consistent support for initiatives against antisemitism, is formidable. His involvement strengthens this struggle”.
Compare those words with the shrill and pathetic assaults on his credentials and integrity as a committed anti-fascist and campaigner against anti-Semitism by the Democratic Charlatans with zero credibility who left Labour last week but refuse to face the public accountability of by-elections. They are cowards with agendas dictated by their allegiance to the Israeli Labour lobby and they should be called out as the cowards, democratic charlatans and mouthpieces for Israeli brutality that they are. The 200 Jews who wrote to the Guardian last week had it spot on. Corby is an “ally” in the fight against racism, reaction and anti-Semitism not an enemy of that fight.
United Nations Reports have labelled the Israel state as “racist” and an “apartheid regime” and Nelson Mandela’s grandson has condemned the rogue nation for subjecting Palestinians to “the worst version of apartheid” so we will take no lectures from the political pygmies that have finally left a socialist party they did not belong in last week, or from those like Margaret Hodges, John Mann and Ian Murray MPs who will surely follow, on anti-Semitism and how to confront it.
Racism, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are all on the rise across the UK, Europe and the world. That is a consequence of the capitalist economic system that necessitates division and hatred between different races and cultures promoted and stoked by the boss class who understand full well from history that the way to maintain the status quo of obscene inequality of wealth and power is to divide the working classes and get them fighting each other instead of the economic system and boss class that abuses and exploits them. The way to conquer such racist division and anti-Semitic hatred is the promotion of genuine socialist policies which deliver real and fundamental improvements in the lives of ordinary people through real and sustained redistribution of wealth and power from the billionaires to the billions.
The tenor of this article has been serious and sober given the subject matter but let me give the last word to a comic and author who has the unique ability of being able to mix humour with hard hitting social comment. Alexei Sayle is Liverpool born and bred and his mother and her family were of Jewish stock. His support for Jeremy Corbyn and opposition to the manufactured witch-hunts against the likes of Marc Wadsworth, the black anti-racist expelled by Labour last year, and the black Jewish socialist Jackie Walker, suspended by Labour and facing a final hearing on March 26th has been exemplary. Here is what he has had to say about the anti-Semitic slurs cast against Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party:
“… the search for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is the Weapons of Mass Destruction of our age. I think there is the same absolute lack of evidence; there is the same substitution for emotion rather than rational debate and in many cases it’s the same fucking people doing it … Tony Blair weighing in to support Tom Watson’s call for the Wavertree CLP to be suspended…”.
Alexei is spot on. Anti-Semitism and Jeremy Corbyn are as synonymous as Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are both fake and manufactured narratives to serve the purposes of the ruling classes. And Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, is proving as useful as a chocolate teapot and loyal as a scorpion in the midst of the attacks on his leader Jeremy Corbyn. He really should shape up politically and start supporting Corbyn or re-visit his former Blairite allegiances and ship out.
In the name of compassion and basic human justice keep attacking Israel for its racist apartheid policies and brutal treatment of the Palestinians. Support the BDS Movement and various ‘Solidarity with Palestine’ campaigns. Supporting Palestine is an indication of your humanity not a sign of anti-Semitism. Opposing Zionism is not anti-Jewish or anti-Semitic.