Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

"Say The Word Israel!": Jeremy Corbyn's elephant in the room (includes video)

An Israel-demoniser reacts...
"Who had the dishonour of welcoming Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Friends of Israel meeting tonight Not sure who are the worst hypocrites, Labour Friends for inviting him or him for accepting Just what do LFI think they have gained from this farce. Maybe just to expose that nothing has changed and he is as anti Israel as ever with no compromise or effort to tone down now he is leader of the Party"

'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:


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