The Records of a Secret Facebook Group Show How Deeply Mired Jeremy Corbyn Is in Anti-Semitism

March 14 2018

Since assuming the leadership of the British Labor party in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn has faced one anti-Semitism-related scandal after another. Mostly, these have involved party members making hate-filled statements about Jews, with the party establishment then responding too slowly and too tepidly. Corbyn’s record of praising Hamas and Hizballah, and visiting the graves of terrorists in North Africa, has hardly helped. Now information has surfaced about his membership in a secret, by-invitation-only Facebook group called “Palestine Live”—thus raising the stakes. Dave Rich writes:

Palestine Live is a secret Facebook group that has been running since 2013 and has around 3,000 members who use it to share news stories, to organize events, and to network with like-minded people. You may have heard of some of its members: Jeremy Corbyn, Baroness Jenny Tonge, . . . and many of the leading activists in pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel campaigning in [Britain]. . . . [Several] of the active members of the group—the ones who have posted most frequently and who use the group for their offline activism—hold anti-Semitic views. . . .

Indeed, of the three “administrators” who run the group, one—the group’s founder—is a conspiracy theorist who shares material from Holocaust-denial websites; a second identified himself as a “9/11 truther” and posted an article that dismissed the “fictional account” of six million Jews dying in the Holocaust, claiming instead that “somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 people perished in Auschwitz, mainly as a result of disease and starvation”; a third administrator posted an article in the group titled “Israel Control of USA Government” [sic] that quoted approvingly from Mein Kampf. . . .

[B]ecause the most active members of this Facebook group also tend to be the more anti-Semitic ones, their views set the tone for the group as a whole. Meanwhile, the other members of the group, including several Jewish anti-Zionists, rarely object to the anti-Semitism posted there. Instead, they just get on with using the group to organize their activities and encourage their comrades. This is how a political culture becomes anti-Semitic, even if most people who share in it are not, themselves, anti-Semites.

Needless to say, many of the group’s members support Jeremy Corbyn and have joined the Labor party since he became its leader. Corbyn has responded, as he always does, by saying he condemns anti-Semitism. But until he understands that the political culture with which he associates himself fosters the very anti-Semitism he claims to condemn, this problem will only get worse.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Facebook, Holocaust denial, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), Politics & Current Affairs


The Danger of Hollow Fixes to the Iran Deal

March 20 2018

In January, the Trump administration announced a 120-day deadline for the so-called “E3”—Britain, France, and Germany—to agree to solutions for certain specific flaws in the 2015 agreement to limit the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Omri Ceren explains why it’s necessary to get these fixes right:

[Already in October], the administration made clear that it considered the deal fatally flawed for at least three reasons: a weak inspections regime in which the UN’s nuclear watchdog can’t access Iranian military facilities, an unacceptable arrangement whereby the U.S. had to give up its most powerful sanctions against ballistic missiles even as Iran was allowed to develop ballistic missiles, and the fact that the deal’s eventual expiration dates mean Iran will legally be allowed to get within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear weapon. . . .

A team of American negotiators has been working on getting the E3 to agree to a range of fixes, and is testing whether there is overlap between the maximum that the Europeans can give and the minimum that President Trump will accept. The Europeans in turn are testing the Iranians to gauge their reactions and will likely not accept any fixes that would cause Iran to bolt.

The negotiations are problematic. The New York Times reported that, as far as the Europeans are concerned, the exercise requires convincing Trump they’ve “changed the deal without actually changing it.” Public reports about the inspection fix suggest that the Europeans are loath to go beyond urging the International Atomic Energy Commission to request inspections, which the agency may be too intimidated to do. The ballistic-missile fix is shaping up to be a political disaster, with the Europeans refusing to incorporate anything but long-range missiles in the deal. That would leave us with inadequate tools to counter Iran’s development of ballistic missiles that could be used to wipe Israel, the Saudis, and U.S. regional bases off the map. . . .

There is a [significant] risk the Trump administration may be pushed to accept the hollow fixes acceptable to the Europeans. Fixing the deal in this way would be the worst of all worlds. It would functionally enshrine the deal under a Republican administration. Iran would be open for business, and this time there would be certainty that a future president will not act to reverse the inevitable gold rush. Just as no deal would have been better than a bad deal, so no fix would be better than a bad fix.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Donald Trump, Europe, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy