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.

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

 

Syria’s Downing of a Russian Plane Put Israel in the Crosshairs

Sept. 21 2018

On Monday, Israeli jets fired missiles at an Iranian munitions storehouse in the northwestern Syrian city of Latakia. Shortly thereafter, Syrian personnel shot down a Russian surveillance plane with surface-to-air missiles, in what seems to be a botched and highly incompetent response to the Israeli attack. Moscow first responded by blaming Jerusalem for the incident, but President Putin then offered more conciliatory statements. Yesterday, Russian diplomats again stated that Israel was at fault. Yoav Limor comments:

What was unusual [about the Israeli] strike was the location: Latakia [is] close to Russian forces, in an area where the IDF hasn’t been active for some time. The strike itself was routine; the IDF notified the Russian military about it in advance, the missiles were fired remotely, the Israeli F-16s returned to base unharmed, and as usual, Syrian antiaircraft missiles were fired indiscriminately in every direction, long after the strike itself was over. . . .

Theoretically, this is a matter between Russia and Syria. Russia supplied Syria with the SA-5 [missile] batteries that wound up shooting down its plane, and now it must demand explanations from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That won’t happen; Russia was quick to blame Israel for knocking over the first domino, and as usual, sent conflicting messages that make it hard to parse its future strategy. . . .

From now on, Russia will [almost certainly] demand a higher level of coordination with Israel and limits on the areas in which Israel can attack, and possibly a commitment to refrain from certain actions. Syria, Iran, and Hizballah will try to drag Russia into “handling” Israel and keeping it from continuing to carry out strikes in the region. Israel . . . will blame Iran, Hizballah, and Syria for the incident, and say they are responsible for the mess.

But Israel needs to take rapid action to minimize damage. It is in Israel’s strategic interest to keep up its offensive actions to the north, mainly in Syria. If that action is curtailed, Israel’s national security will be compromised. . . . No one in Israel, and certainly not in the IDF or the Israel Air Force, wants Russia—which until now hasn’t cared much about Israel’s actions—to turn hostile, and Israel needs to do everything to prevent that from happening. Even if that means limiting its actions for the time being. . . . Still, make no mistake: Russia is angry and has to explain its actions to its people. Israel will need to walk a thin line between protecting its own security interests and avoiding a very unwanted clash with Russia.

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More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war