To Jeremy Corbyn, Hating Jews Can’t Be Racist because Jews Are the Source of Racism

Sept. 12 2018

On December 7, the English novelist Howard Jacobson delivered a speech in favor of the proposition that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labor party, “is unfit to be prime minister.” Responding to the numerous examples of Corbyn’s hatred for Israel, sympathy for terrorists dedicated to murdering Jews, and frequent associations with Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites, Jacobson addresses the question of whether Corbyn is himself an anti-Semite. He makes particular reference to the recently resurfaced video of Corbyn, while speaking to a group of Israel-haters, stating that despite “having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, [British Zionists] don’t understand English irony.”

Something tells me you’re expecting me to call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite. . . . But I’m not going to call him anything. He says he isn’t an anti-Semite, Hamas says he isn’t an anti-Semite, the white supremacist David Duke says he isn’t an anti-Semite, and that’s good enough for me. Am I being ironical? Ladies and gentlemen, I’m incapable of irony.

We know what an anti-Semite looks like. He wears jackboots, a swastika armband, and shouts Juden ’raus; Jeremy Corbyn wears a British Home Stores vest under his shirt and is softly spoken. Anti-Semites accuse Jews of killing Jesus; Corbyn is an atheist and seems not to mind if we did or didn’t. Whether that’s because Jesus was Jewish and killing him meant one less Jew in the world, is not for me to say. . . .

Jeremy claims to be a peacemaker. A peacemaker brings warring parties together. Why then do we only ever see him taking Palestinians to tea? Could it be that he just can’t remember to ask the Israelis? “Oh, bugger, I’ve forgotten to invite the Jews again.” Unless—perish the thought—it isn’t peace he wants after all, but the triumph of those he calls comrades and the destruction of those he doesn’t.

According to his supporters, Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Just a question, but what is a racist bone and how do you know whether another person has one? [Besides], anti-Semitism isn’t quite a racism. It’s closer to a superstition: embedded in theology, shrouded in medieval irrationality, updated to suit leftist economics, and exhumed whenever a single explanation for all the evils of the world is sought. To talk of anti-Semitism as racism is a contradiction in terms for Jeremy Corbyn, since in his eyes Jews are neither downtrodden nor exploited but are—as usurers, colonialists, and conspirators—the very source and fount of racism themselves. Once one hold Jews to be racist, and Zionism a racist endeavor, then no anti-Semite can ever be a racist himself. And any definition that says otherwise must be amended.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, David Duke, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

The Reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Staying Power

Nov. 20 2018

This week, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have narrowly avoided the collapse of his governing coalition despite the fact that one party, Yisrael Beiteinu, withdrew and another, the Jewish Home, threatened to follow suit. Moreover, he kept the latter from defecting without conceding its leader’s demand to be appointed minister of defense. Even if the government were to collapse, resulting in early elections, Netanyahu would almost certainly win, writes Elliot Jager:

[Netanyahu’s] detractors think him Machiavellian, duplicitous, and smug—willing to do anything to stay in power. His supporters would not automatically disagree. Over 60 percent of Israelis tell pollsters that they will be voting for a party other than Likud—some supposing their favored party will join a Netanyahu-led coalition while others hoping against the odds that Likud can be ousted.

Opponents would [also] like to think the prime minister’s core voters are by definition illiberal, hawkish, and religiously inclined. However, the 30 percent of voters who plan to vote Likud reflect a broad segment of the population. . . .

Journalists who have observed Netanyahu over the years admire his fitness for office even if they disagree with his actions. A strategic thinker, Netanyahu’s scope of knowledge is both broad and deep. He is a voracious reader and a quick study. . . . Foreign leaders may not like what he says but cannot deny that he speaks with panache and authority. . . .

The prime minister or those around him are under multiple police investigations for possible fraud and moral turpitude. Under Israel’s system, the police investigate and can recommend that the attorney general issue an indictment. . . . Separately, Mrs. Netanyahu is in court for allegedly using public monies to pay for restaurant meals. . . . The veteran Jerusalem Post political reporter Gil Hoffman maintains that Israelis do not mind if Netanyahu appears a tad corrupt because they admire a politician who is nobody’s fool. Better to have a political figure who cannot be taken advantage of than one who is incorruptible but naïve.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics