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Yet no such animosity greeted the unprecedented (though by no means spontaneous) flag waving that erupted at the Labour Party Conference last month. Not that any member of what was once the party of Clement Attlee and Tony Blair would be seen dead waving a Union Jack. No, the eruption of flags brandished by the far-left delegates who now dominate the largest “progressive” party in Europe elicited no censure. That’s because they were Palestinian flags.

The flags alone were disturbing enough. But the context made them even more provocative. The Labour Party has been embroiled in the burgeoning scandal of left-wing anti-Semitism ever since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015. Last summer new revelations of institutional prejudice against Jews or extreme attitudes to Israel, together with attempts by the leadership to suppress criticism or to purge the critics, made the front pages almost daily. So it was striking that Labour was so indifferent to the pain of the Jewish community, not to mention the damage done to its own reputation, that it could mount a pro-Palestinian demonstration at its annual gathering.

It wasn’t just the flags. In his speech to the conference, Corbyn announced that his first act on becoming prime minister, on day one, would be to unilaterally recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. This was to add injury to insult. For he gave no indication of where the borders of this Palestinian state would be. Many Palestinians would prefer a one-state to a two-state solution. While some genuinely envisage a binational state, many more dream of erasing Israel and its Jewish inhabitants from the map. Corbyn identifies not just with the Palestinians, whom he sees as the great cause of our time, but with the most radical elements within their leadership.

One indication of how far he might go is the row over Raed Salah, a prominent Palestinian who in 2011 was leader of the Islamic Movement, an extremist organisation in Israel close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. This man was deemed so dangerous by the then Home Secretary, now Prime Minister, Theresa May, that she banned him from entering the UK. One example of Saleh’s repertoire must suffice: in 2007 he gave a speech in Jerusalem in which he endorsed the medieval blood libel, accusing Jews of mixing the blood of “the children of Europe” in their “holy bread”. Yet such a man was invited by Corbyn to “take tea on the terrace” of Parliament. He and his friends mounted an ultimately successful campaign to have the ban on Saleh lifted, accusing Theresa May of prejudice and suggesting that her decision could have been influenced by Jewish donors to the Conservative Party. So those who object to the public propagation of the most ghoulish fiction in the whole demonology of anti-Semitism are themselves targeted as sinister manipulators of the political system.
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December 7th, 2018
1:12 PM
"And even in Western Europe the only values that offer hope of restoring equilibrium are the biblical ones..." How correct. Solzhenitsyn said where the 20th century went wrong was that it forgot God. (It got Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, instead.) Society seems to be wanting to try everything else first, before it comes back to that realization.

Donald M Coder
December 7th, 2018
12:12 PM
Islam has spoken clearly that they intend to destroy Israel, USA, and Western civilization. They will disappear into the dustbin of history because this means they oppose the God of Creation! And the bigoted, anti-Semitic UN will join them.

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