The British Labor Party’s Sham Response to Anti-Semitism in Its Ranks

Following a series of scandals involving anti-Semitic comments by Labor politicians, the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has suspended several offenders and initiated an official investigation. According to Douglas Murray, these efforts are merely for show:

In the run-up to his election as Labor party leader, Corbyn was often asked about his tendency to hang around with Holocaust deniers, anti-Semitic hate-preachers, and others of a similar ilk. Apart from not quite owning up to his connections to such people, the other technique he employed at this time was to put on a look of extreme affront and say that he had spent his entire life “fighting racism.” Whenever the specific question of anti-Semitism was raised, he would say how opposed he was to all forms of racism “including Islamophobia.” It has apparently proved impossible for Corbyn to realize the specific nature of anti-Semitism; whenever it has come up, he has used the opportunity to talk not about racial hatred against Jews but what he believes to be an epidemic of hatred toward Muslims. . . .

Even now, Corbyn supporters are trying to distract attention from their own party’s very evident problem and turn racism allegations around on the Conservative party. None of which suggests any serious desire to get on top of their problem.

We can already predict what the conclusions of the . . . inquiry will be. . . . Will [Shami Chakrabarti, the human-rights advocate appointed by Corbyn] be able to explain that the main originator of anti-Semitism in the Labor party today comes from its growing Muslim base? If she does identify that, will she then need to have an inquiry into herself for such flagrant “Islamophobia”? More likely she will find the party entirely blameless. Just a few dozen bad apples, and so on. . . .

The Labor party has a serious problem, and it is in institutional denial. Things can only get worse.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

Iran, America, and the Future of Democracy in the Middle East

Nov. 23 2022

Sixty-two days after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s police, the regime has failed to quash the protest movement. But it is impossible to know if the tide will turn, and what the outcome of the government’s collapse might be. Reuel Marc Gerecht considers the very real possibility that a democratic Iran will emerge, and considers the aftershocks that might follow. (Free registration required.)

American political and intellectual elites remain uneasy with democracy promotion everywhere primarily because it has failed so far in the Middle East, the epicenter of our attention the last twenty years. (Iraq’s democracy isn’t dead, but it didn’t meet American expectations.) Might our dictatorial exception for Middle Eastern Muslims change if Iran were to set in motion insurrections elsewhere in the Islamic world, in much the same way that America’s response to 9/11 probably helped to produce the rebellions against dictatorship that started in Tunisia in 2010? The failure of the so-called Arab Spring to establish one functioning democracy, the retreat of secular democracy in Turkey, and the implosion of large parts of the Arab world have left many wondering whether Middle Eastern Muslims can sustain representative government.

In 1979 the Islamic revolution shook the Middle East, putting religious militancy into overdrive and tempting Saddam Hussein to unleash his bloodiest war. The collapse of Iran’s theocracy might be similarly seismic. Washington’s dictatorial preference could fade as the contradictions between Arab tyranny and Persian democracy grow.

Washington isn’t yet invested in democracy in Iran. Yet, as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has often noted, American hostility toward the Islamic Republic has been damaging. If the theocracy falls, Iranians will surely give America credit—vastly more credit that they will give to the European political class, who have been trying to make nice, and make money, with the clerical regime since the early 1990s—for this lasting enmity. We may well get more credit than we deserve. Both Democrats and Republicans who have dismissed the possibilities of democratic revolutions among the Muslim peoples of the Middle East will still, surely, claim it eagerly.

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Arab democracy, Democracy, Iran, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy