A Visit from Ilhan Omar Shows That the Labor Party Hasn’t Yet Rooted Out Anti-Semitism

July 20 2022

Since taking over the leadership of Britain’s Labor party in 2020, Keir Starmer has done much to tackle anti-Semitism in the party ranks, which festered and spread during the leadership of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn. One would hope, then, that prominent Labor politicians would have kept their distance from the Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has a record of anti-Semitic declarations and animus toward Israel. Instead, writes Ian Austin, they “fawned over” her during her recent visit to the UK:

Unfortunately, it now seems easier for Labor’s leader to speak positively about Israel at lunches than challenge the hatred that took hold under Jeremy Corbyn. The Bradford MP and shadow minister for community cohesion Naz Shah called Omar an “inspiration.” The shadow justice minister Afzal Khan described her as “incredible,” adding: “We stand united against Islamophobia.” The London mayor Sadiq Khan said it was a “pleasure” to meet Omar, “to discuss how we keep building bridges, not walls.”

It is a disgrace that Muslim politicians are attacked because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship—but there are mainstream Democrats the mayor could work with on inclusion that have not caused offence with controversial statements like Ilhan Omar.

Labor has taken action to deal with the anti-Semitism that flourished under Corbyn. But progress has been slow and some people who ought to be nowhere near a mainstream party are given temporary suspensions when they should be permanently expelled. Starmer’s cheerleaders criticize those who make this point, but more thoughtful members of the party . . . agree it is clearly much too soon to claim, as Sir Keir did recently, that he has “rooted out the poison of anti-Semitism.”

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Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Ilhan Omar, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK)

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy