Antisemitism charges: commercial and political vested interests attempt to counter Corbyn-Labour’s growing popularity
Strange bedfellows, the Murdoch press and Labour Friends of Israel, fear they have much to lose if they cannot reduce the growing Corbyn-led Labour Party lead in the YouGov polls (below) and the ever-growing support for the Labour leader, overtaking David Cameron this month.
Two days after John Wight’s widely appreciated Herald Tribune article was republished, Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC television, (left) mounted a weak and insubstantial attack on Jeremy Corbyn in the Times, asking Jews not to support him.
Described as a prominent figure in London’s Jewish community, Danny Cohen asserted that there was a growing problem of antisemitism in the Labour party which would make it impossible for Jewish people to support it under the present leadership: “I am deeply troubled that our main opposition party is having such frequent problems with anti-Semitism”.
Cohen’s reference can only be to a few low-profile individuals of the kind each political party will have, whose influence is minimal compared with the Labour Friends of Israel, whom he completely failed to mention.
LFI members are drawn from the former Blair establishment – many of the party’s most senior politicians, officials, and donors – who appear to believe that Israel is ‘a beacon of democracy in a region beset by extremism and barbarism’ – rather than a selective democracy in a repressive colonising regime.
UK and USA governments and most of their institutions and corporate masters see a huge commercial advantage in unconditional support for Israel regardless of its repeated violations of international law.
As Wight puts it at some length: “It is the fact that Israel’s brutal subjugation of an entire people for the crime of daring to exist is allowed to go on year after year, with the support and connivance of the political mainstream in the UK and throughout the West, which leaves us in no doubt that those who have extended themselves in exposing and rooting out antisemitism are complicit in that subjugation”.
He regards charges of anti-semitism as a response to the growing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and its success in highlighting the injustice that describes the day to day reality for the Palestinians and in breaking through the political cordon sanitaire around Israel that had long prevented any serious challenge to its right to exist as an apartheid state.
When Jeremy Corbyn emerged as the frontrunner in the Labour leadership election last year than he was subjected to an unprecedented media assault for speaking at public meetings attended by representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah while still a backbench MP.
Though Corbyn was usually not directly labelled an antisemite, Wight saw that the inference was clear enough.
London’s Jewish community judges for itself – opposite.
Members of a Jewish family, current and former constituents of Jeremy Corbyn, wrote to the Guardian to say:
“The accusations of antisemitism are, of course, political manipulations. Influential sections of the Jewish community, maybe guided by their Israeli contacts, are frightened that a notable critic of Israel’s policies and actions might attain a position of prominence in British politics”.
They drew attention to the deliberate conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and the ‘hysterical pressure to desist’ on anyone who wants to talk to Hamas and Hezbollah, as being “so destructive to the prospects of peace”.
To date, vested interest prevails: sadly, that which destroys peace is vitally important to the prosperity of prospective party donors: the multinational arms industry and its host of ancillary suppliers.