By Tony Greenstein
At the JW3 ‘debate’ earlier this week, Jeremy Corbyn was asked what he most admired in Israel. This was an ideal opportunity to tell the audience and the questioner some home truths about both the Occupied Territories and Israel itself.
He could have told them that Israel today is an Apartheid Society. Of the approximately 6 million Palestinians it rules over, just 1.5 million have a vote and that is increasingly circumscribed with the Arab parties in Israel under increasing attack. Balad arrests won’t be the last in Israel’s ethnocracy
Unfortunately, Jeremy felt the need to fawn and flatter his audience rather than telling them some home truths. Some people will say ‘what does it matter’. I suggest this is why. In the event Corbyn becomes Prime Minister he would, on this evidence, bow and buckle to the much greater pressure of the City of London and industrialists. But also because a strategy based on appeasement is destined to failure. You stand up to your foes you don’t hand them olive branches to hit you in the face with. This is not just true of the Zionists. It is equally applicable to his MPs. Those who refuse to accept the legitimacy of his election should be told to depart or they will be deselected and have the whip withdrawn.
I have therefore taken the liberty of drafting the answers to the question that Corbyn was asked which he should have given! It is in the hope that next time he will have the courage of his convictions.
Q: Jeremy & Owen – I wanted to find out from you what aspects of Israel & its achievements do you most admire
Jeremy Corbyn: Thank you for a most interesting questions. The things I admire most about Israel include:
Its no nonsense arrest of Palestinian children as young as 12 and their shackling in chains. In particular Israel’s willingness to assault and even torture them if necessary, as articulated by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. It really takes some nerve to do this and claim you are still a democracy. You can’t help admiring Israel for this. I have to say I particularly like the Military’s practice of getting the children to sign confessions in a language they don’t understand (Hebrew). Serves the blighters right. It’s downright anti-Semitism refusing to learn the language of the occupying power. It is pleasing to note that the Military Courts under which these brats – sorry children – are charged have a 99.7% conviction rate. That might seem rather high but on the other hand it does demonstrate that it is possible to obtain a conviction but given the genius of the Israeli military it’s not surprising that they only get it wrong about once every 300 times.
It really is irrelevant that Jewish children in the same territories are entitled to things like a responsible adult attending an interview, social workers, nice warm offices and of course that they can’t be tried if they are under 14. We really must understand that there is no comparison between Palestinian and Israeli Jewish children. Those who take umbrage at this are, as my friend Jeremy Newmark says, out and out anti-Semites and Janet Royall has already had harsh words for those who alleged Apartheid at Oxford University Labour Club.
I particularly admire the annual Jerusalem day demonstration where thousands of settler youth express their tender and loving feelings towards Jerusalem’s Arabs by shouting ‘Death to the Arabs’. You have to admire Israel’s ability to get away with this and in particular the actions of Israel’s police in arresting any anti-racist protesters out to cause trouble. I understand that this year, the slogans were more varied and included the quite novel one, ‘A Jew is a soul, an Arabis a son of a whore.’ You have to give it to Israel’s democracy, it is most inventive.
I also admire the determination of Israel to ‘cleanse’ the Negev (southern desert area) of Israel of Bedouin villages such as Al Arakabh which get in the way of those nice, Jewish towns. This process of Judaisation might upset people but we must remember this is a Jewish state.
Of course I deprecate the repeated vandalism and arson at the Hand to Hand school, one of the few mixed Jewish-Arab schools in Israel. However Israel is a Jewish state and it is understandable that State schools in Israel are segregated. It is anti-Semitic to compare this with similar schools in Apartheid South Africa. Israel is a Jewish state. South Africa was a White Apartheid state. Anyway if do gooders insist on setting up private mixed schools which encourage Jewish and Arab children to mix, thus encouraging the possibility of sinful Jewish-Arab relationships, is it any wonder that religious Jews take offence?I personally applaud the efforts of the Israeli government to discourage miscegenation. Tzipi Hotoveli, Israel’s religious nut of a Deputy Foreign Minister was quite correct, when she said that it was “important to examine procedures for preventing mixed marriages, and Lehava members are the right people for that,” It’s true that Lehava is technically a fascist organisation that hates gays, beats up Arabs and sets fire to Churches and Mosques, but it is doing important work to preserve the Jewishness of the Jewish state. Those who oppose this work are, Mr McNicol informs me, anti-Semitic and will be suspended forthwith from the LP. Continue reading “The Answers that Corbyn Should Have Given to the Question What He Most Admired about Israel”