What Jeremy Corbyn meant at the AntiSemitism launch

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What Jeremy Corbyn meant at the AntiSemitism launch

Originally posted on No More Pencils under the title Jeremy Corbyn Spits On The Gaberdine

The Guardian reported this today about the leader of the United Kingdom Labour Party:

Jeremy Corbyn was engulfed in a fresh row over Israel when he appeared to compare the government of Binyamin Netanyahu to Islamic State at the launch of an independent review into antisemitism in the Labour party.

In prepared remarks, Corbyn said: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”

Later, in response to a question met with jeers from an audience with a strong pro-Corbyn presence, the Labour leader denied he had intended to make such a comparison.

“The point is that you shouldn’t say to someone that just because they’re Jewish you must have an opinion on Israel, any more that you say to anyone who’s a Muslim you must have an opinion on the vile actions being taken by people misquoting the good name of Islam in what they do,” he said.

There is only one way to read this. It is not OK to criticise a Jew for being Jewish, because that is antisemitism. But it is OK to criticise a Jew for supporting Israel.

Why? Because in Corbyn's view, everything is wrong with Israel. Not just some things — but everything. The only comparison he wants to make to drive home his disapproval is to compare Israel with Islamic State.

Ah no, of course not, he might say. After all, every country has something for which it can be criticised.

But for what can Islamic State not be criticised? In the eyes of the audience he was addressing, Islamic State has no redeeming features. So to draw a parallel with Israel is deeply offensive.

He might say that he just picked two countries out of a hat. It's pure coincidence. And there are not many places with a majority of Muslims are there? In fact there are a lot. He could have chosen any of these for his comparison.

Mauritania
Afghanistan
Tunisia
Iran
Western Sahara
Morocco
Tajikistan
Yemen
Iraq
Somalia
Mayotte
Turkey
Azerbaijan
Maldives
Comoros
Niger
Algeria
State of Palestine
Saudi Arabia
Djibouti
Sudan
Libya
Uzbekistan
Pakistan
Senegal
The Gambia
Mali Mali
Egypt
Jordan
Turkmenistan
Kosovo
Syria
Kyrgyzstan
Oman
Indonesia
Kuwait
Bangladesh
Guinea
Qatar
United Arab Emirates
Sierra Leone
Bahrain
Kazakhstan
Brunei
Malaysia
Burkina Faso
Lebanon
Albania

And what of his explanation of what he meant?

“The point is that you shouldn’t say to someone that just because they’re Jewish you must have an opinion on Israel, any more that you say to anyone who’s a Muslim you must have an opinion on the vile actions being taken by people misquoting the good name of Islam in what they do,” he said.

Let me see whether I have got this right. People are allowed to be Jewish or a Muslim without having an opinion on the actions of a country or a self-styled state.

So what of someone who supports Israel? Is that grounds for attacking them for being Jewish?

Is supporting Israel equivalent to supporting the "vile actions being taken by people misquoting the good name of Islam in what they do,"?

Corbyn read from a prepared speech. He knew exactly what he was saying. He had every opportunity to reflect beforehand on the parallel he drew and to recognise at least that others would see it is a parallel even if he did not.

He is not that dumb to claim that he could not see it. His remark was inflamatory and he knew it.

But he could not stop. He had to vent the spleen that he feels in his heart.

And he chose his occasion well. Not just any occasion, but the launch of an independent review into antisemitism in the Labour party.

Maybe it was a one-off. Well, no. We know what Corbyn thinks about the Israeli Government. You can read it on his website in his article on Palestine. Except that you can't because he deleted the article.

He deleted it but he didn't get the copy of the article that the WayBack Machine snapped on August 24, 2015.

Here is the link: http://web.archive.org/web/20150824001456/http://jeremycorbyn.org.uk/articles/palestine

Further Thoughts

So let's imagine it was an enquiry into anti-moslem behaviour in the Labour Party. Then Corbyn would need to say "Our Moslem friends are no more responsible for the actions of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations than our Jewish friends are for... [fill in the blank]"

And with what could we fill in the blank? It would have to be a state or organisation that institutes terror or is at the very least blameworthy. It's the only thing that makes sense.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, shows what is at the heart of Corbyn.


The Merchant Of Venice
Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.

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