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No one is claiming that the party itself is an anti-Semitic institution, although the fact that 70,000 members voted for Peter Willsman in the NEC elections, despite his outrageous comments linking Jews to Trump, does give one pause for thought, as do the comments now under investigation. Given the size of party membership, the presence of violent anti-Semites is statistically likely; but they are only part of the problem — there is also the failure to deal with them, which was among the issues prompting Frank Field to resign the Labour whip in Parliament. And at present the main issue is whether its leader is himself an anti-Semite, and whether his closest advisers (among whom the newspapers have singled out his éminence grise, Seumas Milne) have gained a purchase on the Labour Party that has given a respectability to anti-Semitism that the Left has long disavowed. The Left certainly has its own potent tradition of anti-Semitism — with the Webbs, most obviously — and Marx’s essay on the Jewish question approvingly conjures up all the stereotypes of which Marx’s own ancestors were regularly accused. Corbyn’s constant refrain that he opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism is, as we shall see, seriously complicated by his belief that most British Jews are in effect racists, insofar as the great majority support the existence of the State of Israel, making them, in a very broad sense of the term, Zionists. Meanwhile, it would be more than helpful if Corbyn cited chapter and verse to show that he has indeed fought anti-Semitism throughout his career.

The matter will not end if the Leader of the Opposition issues an abject apology for his behaviour and for that of far too many of his supporters. It has not ended with the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism by the NEC, either. As Margaret Hodge has pointed out, we need action, not words. There is no reason to believe that any apology would be in any way sincere; and Corbyn complicated the NEC debate with his typically obstinate demand that it should still be acceptable to describe Israel as a racist enterprise. When we have John McDonnell stating on Andrew Marr’s programme that the voices of both sides must be heard we have to ask: both sides? Anti-Semites and Jews? And McDonnell

cannot resist intruding a comment about the rights of the Palestinians, without mentioning the security of Israel. So apparently by “both sides” he means Palestinians and Israelis — but Corbyn does not bother to meet the Israelis. (Asked by a prominent Jewish figure whether he could say anything at all that is good about Israel, Corbyn is said to have remained silent.) McDonnell’s worry is clearly that his political party is in crisis as a split in the parliamentary party threatens, not that Labour has wandered into a dark and dangerous place and needs to rethink its moral foundations.
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C MacDonald
November 24th, 2018
10:11 PM
There is a place for the Jews, in Corbyn's mind. Madagascar.

Daniel Bamford
November 8th, 2018
6:11 PM
Thank you for publishing David Abulafia’s feature-length article on Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic sympathies as your main cover story for October 2018. I agree that the wilful and defiant complicity of the Leader of the Opposition with anti-Semitic terrorism and agitation is a national disgrace, which must be countered by sustained condemnation throughout civil society with no regard for political partisanship. One important area where I disagree with Prof. Abulafia is his cursory single paragraph on Muslim anti-Semitism. Islamic law (sharia) has permitted far worse treatment of supposedly ‘protected’ (dhimmi) Jews and Christians than he implies, while popular misconceptions of Islamic Spain have been dealt with most recently by Dario Fernández-Morera in ‘The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise’ (ISI Books, 2016). Most seriously, Prof. Abulafia claims that ‘no one is suggesting the abuse is a speciality of the Muslim community…’ I would like to take this opportunity to make that suggestion and I am far from being the first to do so, because a genocidal hatred of Jews lies at the core of Islam in the personal example set by its founding prophet, who destroyed the Jewish communities of the Hijaz through expulsion, slaughter, rape and enslavement. Aside from the various denunciations and accusations in the Koran, Muslims have been left in no doubt about their ultimate duty to kill all Jews by an additional ‘hadith’ (saying of Mohammed). This ‘hadith’ is preserved and corroborated by eight separate traditions in the authoritative collections of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and Malik Muwatta, which have the status of holy scripture equal to the Koran. This same ‘hadith’ is quoted by some of Jeremy Corbyn’s “friends” in the 1988 Hamas Charter. There is no such scriptural imperative behind what remains of Christian anti-Semitism, despite the flippant and dismissive assumptions exhibited by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran in her TV clash with UKIP Leader Gerard Batten MEP on BBC2’s ‘Daily Politics’ (1st May 2018). Playing identity politics with her Palestinian Arab Christian ancestors did not conceal Layla Moran’s wilful ignorance regarding the scriptures and histories of both Christianity and Islam. It is therefore unfortunate that you chose Layla Moran as an example for British Muslims to follow in denouncing Jeremy Corbyn. No sincere denunciations will come until British Muslims are willing to repeat Mehdi Hasan’s startling admission that Muslim anti-Semitism is ‘routine and commonplace’ and then follow this by clearly disowning the bloodthirsty anti-Semitism that lies at the heart of their religion. As with many other abhorrent aspects of Islam, this will require a drastic reappraisal of the historical record and the authority of their scriptures. A few brave reformers have set themselves this unenviable task and we cannot afford to pretend that the problem does not go this deep. P.S. Complete Sahih Muslim - Book 41, Number 6985: ‘Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.’ HAMAS Covenant, Article 7: ‘The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).’

October 29th, 2018
5:10 PM
Labour is just another brand in the Sunni portfolio.

October 12th, 2018
12:10 PM
Today on BBC Politics Live we were actually presented with an accurate, short but parsimonious summary of the Brexit/Corbyn/Islam war. Toby Young,the UKIP leader , a photo of Tommy Robinson with a group of army cadets,a clip from last night`s Newsnight about the predatory muslims raping white girls, and the dogmatic assertion by the female presenter that Islam is a religion not an ideology. She doesn`t wear a BBC burka but she is one. Andrew Neil will be presenting Sharia Politics Live next ?

Lawrence James
October 7th, 2018
10:10 AM
Jewish settlement in Palestine was approved by the last Ottoman sultans and confirmed by the Balfour declaration made shortly before British, Indian, Dominion and French forces conquered the province. Jewish settlement was, therefore, legitimate Before and after the Allies arrived,and there was no lack of Arabs of the effendiya class willing to sell land to the incomers. A small but important point to add to a lucid and formidable article.

October 4th, 2018
2:10 PM
The 17.4 million who voted Leave are the intelligent majority. Theresa May`s dance and speech hit all the right notes. She`s doing the 17.4 million proud and will make a success of it all domestic and foreign. Hard luck for `Islamised` Jeremy Corbyn. If it ain`t got that swing it don`t mean a thing.

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