In an op-ed at The Times, Gabrielle Rifkind, a psychotherapist and “Middle East specialist in conflict resolution”, argues that British Jews and Jeremy Corbyn need to “reconcile” their ‘differences’.
The piece, “We need a path towards reconciliation for Labour and British Jews”, Dec. 3, includes the following:
There is now a need to hold morally complex ideas together that both abhor antisemitism but are also even-handed and capable at looking at constructive solutions and outcomes to the Palestine-Israel conflict. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader has exacerbated the problem as his sympathies lie with the Palestinians. Whilst it is understandable that one identifies with the weaker party, to resolve conflict it is essential to engage with all sides to find solutions.
Jeremy Corbyn is seen as hostile to the state of Israel. More accurately, he is a critic of the current Likud government. He had a close relationship with the progressive activist Uri Avnery who was on the political left in Israel and his natural homeland is the politics party Meretz.
Before we get to the most egregiously inaccurate claim (in bold), we should briefly note Rifkind also errs in associating Avnery, the late Haaretz columnist, with the Israeli Meretz Party. In fact, he’s far left of the Zionist Meretz Party, having founded the radical left group Gush Shalom which calls for the full Palestinian right of return, and having personally promoted BDS.
But, Rifkin’s assertion that Corbyn is not hostile to Israel, but only a “critic of the current Likud government” is risible, and obviously contradicted by the fact that the Labour leader has spent his entire political life demonising and delegitmising Israel, and supporting those who espouse antisemitism and advocate for the state’s total destruction.
The examples of Corbyn’s hatred for Israel, which often crossed the line to antisemitism, are too numerous to cite, but here are a few:
- Corbyn hosted Hezbollah official at an event hosted by an antisemitic extremist.
- Corbyn expressed sympathy for Palestinian suicide bombers.
- Corbyn hosted an event on Holocaust Memorial Day to compete with memorials of the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews, and event which included the comparison of Israel to the Nazis.
- Corbyn suggested that speeches by British MPs were directed by Israel’s ambassador to the UK.
- Corbyn gave a rave review for an antisemitic book.
- Corbyn co-sponsored a motion in Parliament downplaying the unique roll antisemitism played in the Holocaust and calling for the elimination and replacement of Holocaust Memorial Day in the U.K.
- Corbyn was a co-keynote speaker with Leila Khaled, best known for hijacking planes as a member of the PFLP terror organisation in the 1970s.
- Corbyn has expressed opposition to Zionism (the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state).
- Corbyn applauded a rant by a Neturei Karta member which included a call for the “dismantlement” of Israel.
- Corbyn expressed support for an antisemitic mural.
- Corbyn defended anti-Semite Stephen Sizer.
- Corbyn praised and advocated on behalf of Islamist Raed Selah, despite the fact that Selah was found in a British court to have peddled the antisemitic libel that Jews bake bread with the blood of non-Jews.
- Corbyn praised Hamas terror leaders responsible for deadly suicide bombing attacks.
- Corbyn peddled the conspiracy on PressTV that Israel was behind a jihadist terror attack against Egyptian police in Sinai.
- Corbyn called convicted Hamas terrorist Abdul Aziz Umar a “brother” and expresses happiness that he was released. (Umar took part in the preparation for a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem cafe in which seven Jews were killed.)
- Corbyn ‘othered’ British Jews by saying: “having lived in this country a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony.”
- Corbyn attended events organized by Holocaust-denier Paul Eisen.
- Corbyn laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists responsible for the murder of 11 Olympic athletes.
The claim that Corbyn has nothing against Israel per se, but is merely a critic of Benjamin Netanyahu, is a lie of epic proportions.