Who owns the anti-Corbyn front – us says Tory peer

Danny Finkelstein asks in the Jewish Chronicle ‘Is our Corbyn Strategy Working?’ The JC notes that Finkelstein is associate editor of the Times; it does not note that he is a Tory peer. So who is the ‘our’ in ‘our strategy’? Is it the Tory Party, is it the Zionist community, is it Tory Zionists? The article does not directly tell us so we have to infer ownership from the content.

Finkelstein gives three examples of alleged ‘antisemitism’; each one related to Israel and not British Jewry. He goes on to write:

For years, anti-Israel feeling has been growing on the left and it has slowly been changing into an antisemitic theory about Zionism as the ideology of worldwide imperialist occupation. By this means, every act of Western foreign policy has been linked to Israel and to Jews.

This starts from a valid premise: the left, but not only the left, has grown increasingly critical of the actions of the Israeli state. It is also true, but not noted, that it is becoming increasingly common for people who pay attention to Palestine/Israel to identify the criminality of the state to be organically linked to the Zionist ideology that led to the founding of the state and is used by it to justify its actions. However, Finkelstein then makes a daring leap into fantasy by not only identifying criticism of Zionism as an ‘antisemitic theory’ but claiming that Zionism is seen as the ideology of imperialism and that everything is blamed on the Jews. Because he is preaching to the gallery he sees no need to provide any evidence for this claim; fortunate for him as such evidence is scant or non-existent.

What is true is that Zionism sits easily with western imperialism. It is a settler-colonial project that is only legitimate within an imperialist view of the world. A view that any territory, anywhere can be alienated from its long term inhabitants for the benefit of militarily superior invaders. It is also true that Israel has geo-political interests in the Middle East and that they lobby the US and other Governments to take action that would advance Israel’s interests. A recent inconvertible example of this was Israel’s intensive lobbying to try to derail the deal to end Iran’s nuclear adventures.

None of this remotely supports the contention that ‘every act of Western foreign policy has been linked to Israel’. It is possible that somewhere on Twitter you can find a seriously misinformed, or seriously malevolent, individual who has alleged Israeli or Zionist or Jewish involvement each time a Western state has acted badly. However, Finkelstein’s claim is not about an individual misusing their keyboard: it is a claim that the mass of those challenging Zionism believe ‘it is all the fault of the Jews’. A serious but false and unsubstantiated charge.

Finkelstein declares ‘these very same people jeer when obvious examples of antisemitism are raised’. He can only write this because he cannot accept that with very few, if any, exceptions there is no obvious antisemitism once the exaggerations, misquotations and downright deceits are exposed. The jeering is for the cynical exploitation of Jewish fears not for any victim of abuse. The groans are for yet another instance of portraying the aggressor as the victim.

So who are the owners of ‘our strategy’. It is those who fear, correctly, that a Corbyn led Labour Party will challenge inequality and exploitation in the UK as well seeking the end of British exculpation of Israel’s crimes. The strategy is for the benefit of the wealthy and privileged and for the architects of Israeli apartheid. It is deeply regrettable that so many Labour Party MPs have signed up to a strategy at such sharp variance with Labour Party ideals and of such great assistance to the enemies of the Party and those it defends.

Mike Cushman

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6 thoughts on “Who owns the anti-Corbyn front – us says Tory peer”

    1. Hugo Rifkind recently blocked me on twitter just because I said that not everyone accused of antisemitism is necessarily antisemitic. The amount of hysteria that surrounds this topic is insane, and quite frightening.

  1. Danny Boy is not telling the truth.
    While any decent person is rightly critical of Israel, they are not critical of all Jews.
    Not all Jews live in Israel. Indeed, half – like Danny Boy – prefer not to live there.
    Still, it is interesting to see his panicked reaction to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn.
    He sees – clearly – that the oppression of Palestine cannot long continue.

  2. I do wonder how many Labour Party Zionists would have supported the Apartheid State of South Africa? I’m sure a few would be shocked at the mere suggestion and yet they fervently support the Apartheid State of Israel whose behaviour in its’ brutality and the routine, casual daily dehumanising of Palestinians is, if anything, much worse. (as I recall) Their consciences and moral compass have apparently disappeared in this respect. They would be greatly offended if it was suggested that they were supporting racism and were therefore guilty of racist behaviour themselves. I can almost understand, despite being appalled, that Jewish Labour Party Zionists will defend the indefensible but what is it with the non-Jewish Zionists? I don’t get it. Do they never listen to Jewish Socialist and other Jewish groups opposed to Zionism? I really don’t understand their mentality at all.
    Danny Finkelstein makes me feel sick……. but far better he does so in the UK where he belongs, rather on stolen lands in the Middle East

  3. Danny has expressed the view that your attitude to Israel is the litmus test of whether you are capable of making sound judgments about the economy, education, the health service etc etc etc.

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