|An Israel-demoniser reacts...|
'His words were political "double speak" he muttered platitudes about peace but it was clear that he doesn't want a 2 state solution, what he envisages is the mistaken utopia of one state where Jews and Arabs live together in peace.'
"Awful ! Can't bring himself to mention Israel !!! Or rocket attacks from gaza !!! And the people who applauded him !!! ???? Makes me sick"
Those are just three of the responses from British Jews on Facebook sharing their impressions of Jeremy Corbyn's speech to a meeting of Labour Friends of Israel during the Labour Party Conference at Brighton on 29 September.
At the end of the speech, a heckler (reportedly Michael Foster, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Falmouth and Camborne, I've been told) demanded of the new Labour leader "Say the word Israel!" – and got bundled out by security men for his pains.
London academic David Hirsh, a staunch and active Zionist but certainly not a rightwing one, writes, inter alia:
'He refused to utter the word “Israel”. He refused to say that he was for the right of Israel to exist, even within the ’67 borders.
He said: “I want us as a party, to be a party for peace and progress in the Middle East in the best way that we can, by linking up with all those groups in the Middle East that want peace and progress.” But he also said that he wants to “talk to everybody”. In this way he avoided saying anything about his previous stated support for Hamas and Hezbollah, both antisemitic, both terroristic, both annihilationist of Israel.
Corbyn said that the “situation is dire in many ways”, he talked about the “siege of Gaza”, he talked about the plight of refugees “across the region”. He veered from talking about Palestine to talking about the region, maybe Syria, maybe Iraq – there was, more than once, a studied ambivalence; some of what he said could be interpreted to relate to Israel and Palestine, or it could be interpreted to relate to anywhere else in the Middle East.
He articulated his clear opposition to Antisemitism. But:
1.he couldn’t utter the word without first mentioning all racisms and Islamophobia
2.he illustrated his opposition to antisemitism only by talking about the threat of the far-right
3.he failed to concede the existence of antisemitism on the left or in the world of Palestine solidarity; he failed to oppose it.
Corbyn did not show that he understands why the campaign to boycott Israel is so menacing to Jews in the UK; he did not reassure us that he understands the, albeit complex, relationship between campaigning to boycott Israel and antisemitism.'Read all of David Hirsh's analysis here
And, if you've never seen them before, please take a look also at some of Hirsh's previous posts on that site, some of which are about Corbyn.
How Corbyn treated Jewish MP Ivan Lewis, rightly concerned about antisemites: