The UK’s Labor Party Has Made Progress, but It’s Still Divided over Israel and Jews

During the last week of September, Britain’s Labor party held its annual conference—a more substantive event than an American party convention. A year and a half have passed since the more moderate Keir Starmer took over the party leadership from the hard-left, obsessive Israel-hater Jeremy Corbyn, but the issue of anti-Semitism is still a live one, as Luke Akehurst reports, and indeed has come to symbolize the struggle between Corbyn’s faction, known as Momentum, and Starmer’s more mainstream supporters:

Even though Israel was only the subject of part of one short one-hour floor debate and a few fringe meetings, everything else the party does at its annual meetup reflects a political division in which the handling of anti-Semitism, and particularly anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, is a major factor. . . . The easiest way to work out which faction someone supports is the lanyard they are using to hold their conference pass. An unofficial Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) lanyard and you know the wearer is very likely to back the Corbynite group Momentum, an official one . . . and you know he is more likely to back Keir Starmer and the Labor to Win grouping.

Even the notorious hecklers during Starmer’s speech, though their slogans may have focused on the £15 minimum-wage demand, held up red cards distributed by “Labor against the Witch-hunt” (of anti-Semites), and a placard saying “Stop the Purge” (of anti-Semites).

[Thus they continue the] rhetoric of three years ago around anti-Semitism being a “scam,” “purges,” “witch-hunts,” and Zionist conspiracies to stop Corbyn from becoming prime minister. They may be increasingly marginalized and removed from power within Labor, but even if they are in the political wilderness, it’s not a healthy thing for them [to remain part of] the British body politic.

Starmer also managed to enact a series of procedural reforms that will make it far more difficult for a figure like Corbyn to take over the party again. Moreover, the conference passed a general policy statement—over the objections of the Corbynites—that condemned both Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and Israeli air strikes on Hamas rocket-launchers. Although this is surely an improvement over Corbyn speaking of Hamas and Hizballah as his friends, perhaps the new-and-improved Labor party isn’t quite a friend of the Jewish state either.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), United Kingdom

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy