We recently commented on a June 15th Guardian report which benignly characterized Jeremy Corbyn MP (who’s competing for Labour Party leadership) as a “leftwinger” despite his well-documented record of support for decidedly reactionary (aka, right-wing extremist) terror groups.
The report failed to include even a word about Corbyn’s pro-terror sympathies.
The following day, the Guardian published a 2500 word interview with Corbyn (by features writer Simon Hattenstone) which similarly didn’t include any questions about the MP’s extremist sympathies.
However, far worse was a June 17th op-ed at The Independent by Simon Kelner (the Indy’s former editor) titled ‘You may disagree with him, but Jeremy Corbyn has a key role in Labour’s leadership race’. Kelner mocks a British tabloid’s description of Corbyn as a “radical” and “a terrorist-loving firebrand”, yet fails to critically examine the accusations.
The only sentence in his apologia for Corbyn which even mentions the issue of terrorism is in this passage:
And then there’s the matter of Mr Corbyn himself. Here’s a few facts about the MP for Islington North. He opposes the renewal of Trident and is a long-time member of CND. He was arrested at the South African Embassy in 1984 for protesting against apartheid. He thinks the national minimum wage should be £10. He defied Ed Miliband by opposing further austerity measures. He says that rail franchises should be taken back into public ownership. He believes there is a value in opening a dialogue with terrorists, and invited Gerry Adams to the House of Commons in the 1980s.
That’s what makes him “a terrorist-loving firebrand”.
The IRA of course, even during the worst periods of violence, as Eammon MacDonagh persuasively argued in reply to those who liken the IRA to Palestinian terror groups, IRA leaders (unlike Hamas and Hezbollah) “did not advocate the genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Protestant majority” and “were not motivated by an ideology of racial or religious supremacism”.
If Kelner was honest, he would have at least acknowledged the problematic nature of the following quote by Corbyn about Hamas, the designated terror group which openly calls for the murder of Jews.
“The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people, and bringing about long-term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region, should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government, is really a big, big historical mistake.”
He may have explained Corbyn’s decision to be a guest speaker at an event hosted by Palestine Return Centre, a British group associated with Hamas.
Or, he could have addressed the fact that Corbyn hosted an event in the British House of Commons with Mousa Abu Maria, an activist with ties to the designated terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
And, Kelner may have examined why the “leftwing” MP has passionately defended antisemitic, pro-Hamas extremist preacher Raed Salah – who’s argued that Jews use the blood of gentiles to bake their holy bread – against “accusations” of racism.
The fact that he didn’t address this evidence suggests that Kelner never seriously considered the accusations against Corbyn, nor why he’s been accused of being a “terrorist-loving firebrand”.