Op-ed at The Times: Corbyn is merely a ‘critic of the Likud government’

Of course, beyond 'merely' his hatred of Israel, the overwhelming majority of British Jews (87%) believe that Corbyn is personally antisemitic, which renders Rifkind's suggestion, towards the end of her op-ed, that it's the responsibility of the Jewish community to reach out to and reconcile with Labour a moral inversion of the highest order.

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.

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  • Excellent piece. If only the UK national media would print something so well-researched and damning.

    One could make similar list for his association with IRA terrorists.

  • “capable at looking at constructive solutions and outcomes to the Palestine-Israel conflict”

    It is really none of their business and the thought of Corbyn and well-meaning but foolish Jews like this Rifkind meddling in the matter is horrifying.

    The idea that Corbyn’s “close relationship with the [late] progressive activist Uri Avnery” would give him any standing with 99% of Jewish Israelis, and, I suspect, Arab Israelis, is so ridiculous as to be almost tragic.

  • He is hostile toward the Jewish community of the UK as well.

    * He has repeatedly defended and promoted openly (often violently or genocidally) antisemitic partisans.
    * He has repeatedly defended and promoted blatantly antisemitic books, murals, articles and so on.
    * He has refused to condemn attacks on Jews.
    * His office has repeatedly stifled attempts to address antisemitism within Labour.
    * The terrorists that he supports have murdered not only Israelis but Jews abroad.
    * When Jewish MPs are hounded out of his party, he makes no move to deal with the issue.
    * When antisemitic verbal attacks upon a Jewish MP occur right in front of him, he stands by as the Jewish MP leaves in tears, and he does nothing. Nor does he evidence even the slightest shred of empathy for the victim.
    * He promotes a punitive double standard in which British Jews are not allowed to defend themselves but others are encouraged to attack them.
    * He has attempted to redefine antisemitism instead of addressing it.
    * He has repeatedly appeared on extremely antisemitic Iranian state TV.
    * He has refused to meet with the British Jewish leadership for well over a year.
    * For many months, he repeatedly refused to apologize for his flagrant antisemitic party. His apology now is obviously forced and insincere.
    * He says that he believes that British Jews have no sense of irony or humor.
    * He wrote a forward for an extremist antisemitic tract.
    * He shows absolutely no remorse for any of this, and absolutely no interest in learning about any of this.

    • “British Jews don’t understand British irony”.
      Nothing more is needed. That in itself is enough to condemn him as a racist.
      If he’d said it about anyone but ‘whites’ (cf. the Abacus pondscum) or Jews, e.g. about Pakistanis/Jamaicans/Poles and so on, he’d raise a wall-to-wall tsunami of condemnation across the whole political spectrum, even from the Morning Star loons. But Jews? Feh … He is a poor misunderstood vilified saint.
      Anyone supported by the vile Michael Rosen is, of course, a vile reeking monster.

  • A ” Middle East specialist in conflict resolution”? Has she resolved any conflicts yet? If so I’d like to hear all about it.
    If not, maybe a good place to start would be – not lying about the /real/ nature of a conflict and its roots.
    (Hint: it isn’t really about Netanyahu).

    Me- in Israel, still waiting for a resolution. (And I have a feeling It won’t come from the direction of Ms. Rifkind) .

  • Meretz operating in alliance with even smaller groups as the Democratic Union (Meretz, Israel Democratic Party, Labor defector Stav Shaffir, and the Green Movement) won only 4.34% of the total vote. This puts it perilously close to the qualifying electoral threshold to enter the Knesset, which is 3.25%.

    Avnery was never a member of Meretz or any of the parties (Ratz, Mapam and Shinui) that joined together to form it.

    However Avnery, Corbyn and Meretz do share a connecting feature. All enthusiastically embraced their countries declared enemies. Democratic Union candidates Noa Rothman and Esawi Frej met with Abbas before the elections, Avnery crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yassir Arafat, the first time the Palestinian leader met with an Israeli. Of course, Corbyn’s known interactions with enemies of Britain are numerous.

  • Corbyn was the main protagonist in the campaign to Free Alami and Botmeh – the convicted bombers of the Israeli Embassy in London and Jewish Communal Offices in 1994 who were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment followed by deportation in December 1996.
    See
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11837454/Jeremy-Corbyn-campaigned-for-release-of-Embassy-bombers.html
    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/jeremy-corbyn-support-for-those-convicted-of-terror-attacks-on-jews-in-the-uk-1.468297

    this should be added to the list – the case went to the UK Court of Appeal and the EU of Human Rights and was rejected

  • How is this argument different than the one that starts with Pro Islamist and socialist groups that support BDS not because they hate Jews just Zionists. And hope tat Palestine will eradicate Israel and the Jews? They always take the long way around to say what they truly mean.

  • This very silly article by Gabrielle Rifkind was not in the print edition of ‘The Times’. Which is just as well, as it would have been more suited to ‘The Morning Star’.

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