Corbyn’s comments on Shalit prisoner swap mirror the tortured logic of the Guardian’s Deborah Orr

The Guardian's Deborah Orr was widely mocked for her bizarre argument that the Shalit prisoner swap with Hamas demonstrated Israeli racism, and she was eventually forced to offer an 'apology' of sorts. Corbyn's 2012 comments on Press TV mirror Orr's, and provide another illustration of the truly warped thinking which animates many anti-Zionist activists in the UK.

New revelations continue to surface about Jeremy Corbyn amidst an antisemitism scandal which continues to engulf his party. 

The latest involves a Times of London report on footage which surfaced of the Labour Party leader praising, during a 2012 Press TV show hosted by Lauren Booth, the release of Hamas terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit.  He questioned whether there was a “serious case” against any of the 1,027 Palestinian terrorists freed in the prisoner swap, ignoring the fact that they’d been convicted of the murder of almost 600 Israelis. 

Though most reports and tweets focused on Corbyn’s support for the terrorists, referring to them at one point in the interview as “brothers”, what especially caught our eye was this part of Corbyn’s comments:

Corporal Shalit apparently equals the lives of a very, very large number of Palestinian people. Well I’m glad that those that were released, were released, and I hope they’re now in safe places.”

Does Corbyn’s bizarre framing of the prisoner swap sound familiar?

Well, readers of our blog may recall that, in Oct. 2011, we commented on the moral logic of Guardian journalist Deborah Orr in her article on the Shalit deal.

Orr somehow imputed Israeli racism in this deal.

“It’s quite something, the prisoner swap between Hamas and the Israeli government that returns Gilad Shalit to his family, and more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to theirs…[which is] an indication of how inured the world has become to the obscene idea that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinian lives.”

As we’ve argued previously, you’d truly be hard pressed to find a supposition so absurd, suggesting than an asymmetrical prisoner swap demonstrates racism on behalf of the party forced to release a greater number of enemy prisoners.  Naturally, Israel would have preferred to release only one Hamas prisoner, or, ideally, not to release any Palestinian prisoners at all.  It was Hamas that demanded that over 1,000 of their terrorists be released in exchange for Shalit.  Israel’s acceptance of the deal simply proved that Jerusalem was more eager to make the deal than Hamas.  

Orr was widely mocked for her bizarre argument, and she was eventually forced to offer an ‘apology’ of sorts.

Corbyn’s 2012 comments mirror Orr’s, and provide another illustration of the warped thinking which animates many anti-Israel activists in the UK.

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