Jeremy Corbyn has become ‘the figurehead for an anti-semitic political culture.’ So says Jonathan Goldstein of the Jewish Leadership Council and headlined in The Daily Mail. He adds that the Labour leader sides with anti-Semites because of “the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism”.
If opposition to Israel is a definition of anti-semitism then add me to the list along with Corbyn’s mum and my dad. She was blocking Mosley’s fascists at Cable Street in the 1930s, while Rothermere’s Daily Mail was lauding Mussolini and Hitler. My dad was one of the first Allied medics to enter Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when it was liberated and the photographs he showed me of the camp’s inmates resulted in my early-in-life street battles with the British Movement, forerunners of the British National Party and the National Front.
If alive today, Einstein, Freud and the leader of the Jewish Warsaw uprising would join us in this so called ‘anti-semitic political culture’.
This is what they had to say about Israel.
Einstein, “The (Israeli) state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and a narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad.”
Freud, “I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.”
Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the 1943 Warsaw uprising opened his letter of solidarity with the Palestine resistance, with these words, “Commanders of the Palestine military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestine fighting organisations ….”
This is all about Israel and the fear of Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. More immediately it is about putting the breaks on a Labour landslide in the May local elections.
I have been active on the Left for 60 years and am well aware that fascism and anti-semitism nestles in the minds, actions and words of those who now attack Corbyn and the left.
The Jewish leadership Council should take account of this and read these words from my friend Shirley Franklin, “The anti-Jeremy rhetoric is sickening. As a peace and health campaigner, and as a Jew (whose great great uncle, Herbert Samuel shamefully signed the Balfour Declaration) I know it is utter rubbish to declare Jeremy Corbyn to be antisemitic. To argue for a just world for all in Palestine, Gaza and Israel is NOT antisemitic.”