July 18, 2019

Reut Report: How Intersectionality Poses A Threat to the Organized American Jewish Community

A Palestinian boy looks on near a graffiti boycotting Israel in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 3, 2018. Picture taken on November 3, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Farrell/File Photo

A new report by a Tel Aviv-based strategy and leadership group outlines how intersectionality is posing a threat to the organized American Jewish community. 

Published in June by the Reut Group, the report, titled “Navigating Intersectional Landscapes: Rules for Jewish Community Professionals,” argues that the American Jewish community is divided over many viewpoints on Israel and tensions are being exacerbated by those who are using intersectionality to promote anti-Israel agendas.

The 42-page report was produced with the support of the Los Angeles-based Julis Foundation for Multi-Disciplinary Thinking following a yearlong partnership between the Reut Group and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), which is made up of 125 Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) and 17 national Jewish agencies, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee. 

According to the report, the goal of the Reut/JCPA partnership is to “bolster the community relations field’s response to contemporary challenges within the Jewish community and anti-Israel campaigns. During this partnership, we identified the potential threat of intersectional movements to the Jewish community.”

What is Intersectionality?

In a 1989 paper for the University of Chicago Legal Forum, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at Columbia University and UCLA, developed a theory that African American women face a unique form of oppression that is not sufficiently explained by racism or sexism.

Crenshaw coined her theory “intersectionality,”  which the Reut report argues “holds that different forms of oppression and discrimination overlap and are experienced in a unique manner by individuals that fall within several biological, cultural and social categories, such as race, gender, religion, ability, sexual orientation, age and class.”

Today, the report states, the term intersectionality embraces more than Crenshaw’s original definition, and social justice coalitions understand it as a call to support other disenfranchised groups, even if their causes do not seem connected. 

In a Feb. 8, 2019, op-ed, “The Progressive Assault on Israel,” New York Times columnist Bret Stephens defined intersectionality as “the idea that the oppression of one group is the oppression of all others.” 

“Under intersectional umbrellas,” the report states, “members of Black, Latino and LGBTQ communities regularly stand in solidarity with anti-Israel and BDS-promoting groups.” 

In 2014, demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., protested the death of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a white police officer. That demonstration coincided with Israel’s Operation Protective Edge battle in Gaza. The report states that among those calling out police shootings of African Americans were pro-BDS protesters promoting “the #PALESTINE2FERGUSON campaign in an attempt to draw a parallel between the Palestinian struggle and the issue of police brutality against African Americans.” 

According to the report, this was a turning point in how Israel was viewed through the lens of intersectionality.

“In the recent years since Ferguson, we can see how anti-Israeli activity is seen as a right social cause and support for BDS as a legitimate solidarity cause,” Reut Group CEO Eran Shayshon told the Journal from Israel in a phone interview.

The report also links the rise of intersectionality to events including the 2017 Women’s March, led by leaders Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, who have been accused of being anti-Semitic, and the 2017 Chicago Dyke March, during which three women were told they could not march in the event because they were carrying flags with Stars of David, a “Zionist symbol.” 

All the while, support for Palestinians in the context of its conflict with Israel has become an increasing presence in intersectional coalitions, the report states, noting, “the Palestinian cause has been widely adopted as a core and prominent threshold for solidarity by many marginalized groups.” 

Where Do American Jews Fit In? 

According to the report, American Jews are often omitted from intersectional spaces, despite a history of standing with African Americans during the civil rights era, because contemporary American Jews are not seen today as marginalized but as privileged. 

“Jewish identity in America is mutating from a self-perception of being a marginalized and disempowered community to one increasingly being seen by outsiders as a privileged social group,” the report states. “As a result, Jews are often excluded from intersectional coalitions of solidarity formed among members of oppressed groups.”

Shayshon said this exclusion of Jews from intersectional spaces is anti-Semitic.

“Intersectionality in its current form mainstreams subtle anti-Semitism because it combines conspiratorial things like the disproportionate power and influence of Jews and asks Jews to renounce their privilege and claims of prejudice, and makes the Jewish cause to defend the Jewish state illegitimate,” he said. “Anti-Zionism has become a litmus test for progressive communities to make.”

Shayshon added it was incumbent on his organization to understand how intersectionality is affecting the American Jewish community because “the challenges facing the Jewish community are critical to the resilience of the Jewish people and also to Israel, and Israel has been inserted into the conversation of intersectionality.” 

Breaking Down the Report 

The report classifies the American-Jewish community’s perspectives about Israel into four categories, or tribes:  

1. Aligners, or those who “consider Israel to be an integral part of their Jewish identity and generally support the State of Israel.” 

2. Moderate Critics, who, “while pro-Israel, tend to oppose the Jewish Establishment’s traditional, unconditional support for Israel.” 

3. Harsh Critics, who “hold highly critical views of Israel’s policies, most often with regards to Israel’s continued control of the Palestinians.” 

4. Radicals, “anti-Zionists who denounce Israel.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

In the  “new anti-Semitism” that is anti-Zionism, the report states, the United States is seeing “the ‘Corbynization’ of progressive politics,” a reference to British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is, according to the report, “mainstreaming new anti-Semitism” into the ideologies of his political party.

If London is at the center of much of the anti-Israel activity in Europe, the center of anti-Zionism in North America is San Francisco, Shayshon said. “We’ve studied the dynamic of anti-Israeli groups and clearly the geographical hubs in the U.S. are metropolitan areas. In the San Francisco Bay area, there is a concentration of anti-Israeli groups, which serve as a hub for a long list of anti-Israeli groups all over North America. Clearly [UC] Berkeley is such a hub. SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), their hub is at Berkeley.” 

Stating that “we know that the anti-Israeli movements flourish in progressive hubs,” Shayshon added, “Israel has been losing its progressive credibility.”

The report states that increasing criticism of Israel among far-left members of the Democratic Party poses a “threat to the future of traditional U.S. bipartisan support for Israel.”

Among the incidents the report cites backing these claims is a 2003 episode involving a San Francisco-based rape crisis center, San Francisco Women Against Rape, that defined itself as anti-Zionist and asked potential interns and volunteers if they would be willing to take a stance against Zionism, even though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was unrelated to its mission.  

Another article the report references was published on Oct. 8, 2018, in the Forward, highlighting how Tucson Jews for Justice, while protesting President Donald Trump’s policies on child separations and the Muslim travel ban, faced bullying from far-left groups for not condemning Israel. This was part of “a national trend of harsh treatment of Jews in progressive spaces,” according to the Forward.

The report also discusses recent events involving Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose remarks on Twitter about Israel and the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were widely deemed anti-Semitic, and Mallory, the Women’s March leader, who refused to condemn what many deemed anti-Semitic remarks made by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) leaves the U.S. Senate chamber and walks back to the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., Jan. 24, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Shayshon went further, saying, “Many Israelis believe the relationship between Israel and the U.S. has never been stronger because of the Trump-[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu relationship and many talk about the possible blowback when a Democratic administration succeeds it.”

Shayshon said he was more concerned about anti-Semitism on the political left than he was with anti-Semitism from the right. “On the right, it is much more about a challenge of physical insecurity, like what happened in Pittsburgh, but anti-Semitism on the left is more threatening in the sense that it is polarizing the Jewish community. It drives a wedge between Jewish communal organizations and many young Jews and as a result loses its vitality.”

The report goes on to state that intersectionality not only is driving a wedge between members of the American Jewish community but also is threatening “Israel’s status within the U.S. Jewish community from a unifying issue into a divisive one.” 

The report also highlights how the younger generation of American Jews is distancing itself from Israel and has a distrust of Jewish communal organizations. 

Shayshon said anti-Israel movements like BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) are popular among young people who are susceptible to viewpoints masking as tikkun olam. 

“I have no doubt that most people who support BDS are not motivated by an anti-Israel view or anti-Zionism,” he said. “Many times their position is a submission to the anti-Israeli spirit of the times, which [the intersectionality] ideology aims to create.”

How to Fight Back

The report encourages Jewish groups to engage with Israel’s critics, stating, “Jewish communal broad-tent engagement efforts should specifically focus on engaging Harsh Critics who may give Israel the benefit of the doubt, maintain a meaningful connection to Israel and disapprove of the BDS movement.” 

The report goes on to say that while Jewish organizations may have a tendency to lessen its emphasis on Israel to remain relevant among young people, the better response is doubling down on Israel engagement.

In combating the growing antagonism toward Israel, the report recommends that the Jewish community broaden its tolerance for “legitimate discourse on Israel” and avoid blacklisting organizations that hold differing viewpoints on issues like the boycotting of West Bank products, stating, “There is a low likelihood of a divided Jewish community reaching common ground on several eminent issues.” 

The report also advises Jewish organization to find new allies, including Jews of color, to demonstrate that the pro-Israel movement also has diverse, intersectional support. Among some of the smaller, niche organizations the report cites that can help play a role include Moishe House, which provides subsidized living for young adult Jews who commit to holding Jewish programming in their homes, and OneTable, which provides millennials with tools and resources to hold Shabbat dinners. They too, according to the report, can be bridges between Israel’s critics, Jewish communal life and Israeli society. 

Photo by Odemirense

Moving Forward

Shayshon said the report’s focus on how intersectionality presents new challenges for the American Jewish community stems from his group’s belief that the American Jewish community relations field is the “most potent platform of the Jewish community to fight anti-Israeli movements.”

However, he added, “We don’t see the sense of urgency in the Jewish community regarding intersectionality. One of the main threats of intersectionality in its current format is it mainstreams anti-Semitism and we see how the Jewish community is unable to coalesce around fighting these issues.”

Shayshon said he hoped the publication and dissemination of the report leads to change in how the community interacts with the intersectionality question. “We are not just a think tank that publishes papers and hopes the words will take effect,” he said. “This is part of a long couple of years’ effort to strengthen the community relations field with our strategic partner for the U.S., JCPA.”

“We hope research can trickle down and become pillars of operations for the JCRC network,” he said. “That’s our plan.”

UK Labour Party Tweets ‘Happy Passover’ Photo of Leavened Bread

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party, which has been plagued by scandals of anti-Semitism under party leader Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted out a photo wishing Jews a “Happy Passover” that included a loaf of leavened bread in it.

Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg tweeted that the Labour Party account had deleted the graphic and replaced it with a different one:

The Labour Party was roundly mocked for the graphic on Twitter:

At least nine Labour members have quit the party, stating that anti-Semitism had become too pervasive under Corbyn.

Corbyn Casts Doubt on Labour Party’s Review of Anti-Semitism Complaints

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

(JTA) — British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn admitted privately that evidence of anti-Semitism in the party has been “mislaid, ignored or not used,” The Sunday Times reported.

Corbyn made the admission during a meeting in February with Jewish Labour lawmaker Margaret Hodge, which was secretly recorded.

The Sunday Times called it the first time Corbyn has cast doubt on his own staff’s ability to tackle the problem that has dogged his leadership for years and whether they have mishandled evidence of anti-Semitism and racism.

Hodge told the BBC she made the recording as an “insurance policy.”

In the recording, Corbyn discussed his intention to recruit Labour peer Lord Falconer to review the party’s complaints process.

“He will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them and the collation of the evidence before it’s put before appropriate panels… because I was concerned that it was either being mislaid, ignored or not used, and there had to be some better system,” Corbyn said in the recording.

Hodge has been a harsh critic of Corbyn and faced disciplinary action after she confronted the party leader over whether Labour would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism in full, during which she called him a “f***ing anti-Semite and a racist.”

The newspaper reported last week that the party while led by Corbyn has failed to investigate and discipline hundreds of anti-Semitism cases, according to a leak of party emails. The British Jewish Labour Movement hours later passed a motion of no-confidence on Corbyn.

Some 85 percent of British Jews believe Corbyn, who has long associated with Palestinian radicals and in at least one case a Holocaust denier, is anti-Semitic and they say he is responsible for a hostile environment in a party that for over a century was a natural home for Jews.

Serious Semite: Brexit Blues

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union (EU) on March 29 and could enter its worst period of economic turmoil in decades. As an English Jew, I’m very concerned. The Conservative government might be forced into a general election if Brexit plans fail; the opposition Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, could win power; and Britain could have its first prime minister who is regularly and openly accused of anti-Semitism. Seven members of Parliament (MP) made the bold move of leaving the parliamentary Labour Party, and one of those departing, Jewish MP Luciana Berger, said Labour has become “institutionally anti-Semitic.”

On March 29, Article 50 will be activated, allowing a member state to leave the EU. There will be severe implications if Britain fails to strike a deal and faces the “no -deal Brexit.” British voters, who approved the referendum to withdraw from the EU in June 2016, might have created the worst constitutional crisis in the U.K. for centuries.

Divorces are rarely easy. The EU has offered what it sees as the best terms, but some think that Europe is like a jilted lover, saying “Fine! You are leaving me. No, I won’t discuss who keeps the puppy, the vintage art we bought on vacation, or the Vitamix. Go on now, go! Walk out the door!”

Except we’re not discussing puppies, but borders, trade deals and workers.
What happens to the estimated 300,000 French people living in the U.K., or 153,000 Brits in France? How will Germany sell BMWs in Britain, or French winemakers get bottles to English markets? Today, I can get on a train from London to Paris on a visa-free U.K. passport, but what about tomorrow?

A no-deal Brexit would spark confusion. There would need to be some kind of customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, after 100 years of peace processes that removed walls between the two countries. Yet Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland is part of the EU, so if there is no border, then the EU has a back door entry to Britain. This threatens British sovereignty on its own land. 

If Britain stops Brexit or calls another referendum, it undermines the U.K. democratic process because the voters already approved Brexit. There is also the strange situation where the prime minister, who voted to remain in the EU, is now responsible for engineering Britain’s exit from the EU. 

“The EU has offered what it sees as the best terms, but some think that Europe is like a jilted lover.”

What if Scotland holds another referendum to leave Great Britain and rejoin the EU? Will Braveheart’s descendants build a wall?

Corbyn is the problem for British Jews.In the past, I was reluctant to call Corbyn a raging anti-Semite, reasoning that he is an old-school Marxist who dislikes Israel because it is a nation state, and Marxists don’t like nation states.

Corbyn is reminiscent of the “I am not anti-Semitic because some of my best friends are Jews” approach. He represents the new strain of anti-Semitism, typified by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that has spawned sickening “apartheid walls” on California college campuses.

There is a difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and disproportionate criticism. One is fair, the other is anti-Semitic. Why not talk more about Syria, South Sudan, Eritrea, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Libya? I won’t play the “Jewish victim” card, but this is different. Enough is enough.

If May is ousted then Britain’s best new prime minister option might be Boris Johnson, a boisterous, says-what-he-thinks, womanizing politician with unkempt blond hair. Sound familiar? I look forward to the entertainment value of “The Trump and Johnson Variety Show.” Why not have a fun distraction while Rome burns?

It is possible that Anglo-Jewry will be safe from Corbyn. Brexit will take place a few weeks before Passover, and as Jews, we know that miracles can happen.

Marcus J Freed is a Los Angeles-based actor.

Intersectionality: The New Caste System

Photo from Pexels

Making sense of today’s oddities might be easier if one could put them in the context of 19th-century romantic novels, which depict that era’s social mores of class and caste, and the tragedies that befall those who take them all too seriously.

The rigid social classes of the 1800s have been replaced with an equally rigid system of “intersectionality,” whereby a person’s power and privilege are determined by the amount of melanin in their skin. Those on the lower rungs of the new caste system must adhere to intersectional ideology in order to compensate for being born with the “wrong” skin color. Strict adherence results in high-society acceptance and a scar-free reputation. A person with high melanin tones is encouraged to opine about any subject — unless their views fall outside accepted dogma.

Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor, is accused of taking these new rules too seriously by falsely reporting himself as the victim of a racially motivated attack. Apparently, no one told him there are still lines that can’t be crossed. And really, why would he think there would be? He only took intersectionality to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, this new era’s tragicomedies are hitting Jews who are desperate to fit in. Despite the melanin in our skin, we are constantly being told that we are white, white, WHITE! As such, we must take our place in the back of the room, at a separate table, in constant repentance. We are told we have no say in anything, even — especially! — if the subject is anti-Semitism. We are encouraged to malign one another as viciously as possible. Malign a fellow Jew, gain a status point. 

“The whole point of suddenly making Jews white, white, WHITE is that we are then incapable of being targets of racism.”

It’s not surprising that such attitudes have contributed to soaring increases in reports of anti-Semitism. Yes, it is illegal in the intersectional guidebook to make a connection between the new caste system and anti-Semitism. After all, the whole point of suddenly making Jews white, white, WHITE is that we are then incapable of being targets of racism.

I know I will be duly punished for this column, both by my fellow Jews (eager to score a week’s worth of status points) and non-Jews (eager to be, well, anti-Semites). But it’s hard to look at the anti-Semitic incidents in New York City alone — reaching almost 50 in less than two months — and not come to this conclusion. 

Perhaps the saddest part of this intersectional nightmare is how it threatens to take us back to a less-perfect time. My son and his friends are living Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream. They gather at school or in Central Park, unaffected by one another’s skin color or ethnicity. The other day, as I watched them playing football with two boys from Mexico, I kept thinking of the film “The Perfect Game,” about a group of Mexican boys in the 1950s who struggled against racism when they came to the United States to play baseball. 

We have come so far since the ’50s, and yet intersectionalists are desperate to take us back. Why? I can only guess. But perhaps they need to revisit what real racism was so they can understand the horrific damage they’re doing right now.

Regardless, as Jews — because we’re Jews — we need to end this intersectional farce. As New York Times columnist Bari Weiss said during a recent speaking engagement at a Manhattan synagogue, Jews on the left no longer have the luxury of staying silent. Just as important, we need to regain pride in our heritage and our values that have brought so much light into the world. “We are used to being powerless,” Weiss said. “We now need to learn how to use our power — to create a Judaism of affirmation. This will light a fire in every Jewish soul.”

And if it doesn’t, Weiss warned with a reference to anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, who has been gaining power as the leader of Britain’s Labor Party: “A slow, insidious Corbynism is coming to America.”

Karen Lehrman Bloch is an author and cultural critic living in New York City.

UK Hezbollah Ban Passes House of Commons

Photo from Flickr.

Britain’s House of Commons approved a proposal from Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration on Feb. 26 to ban Hezbollah. This, despite skepticism from the Labour Party.

The proposal, which was announced by Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Feb. 25, stated that anyone who supports Hezbollah — be it their political or military wing —  will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The Labour Party did not oppose the measure but did issue a statement saying that Javid needed to produce evidence that Hezbollah’s political and military wings are indistinguishable:

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn also told party members that they didn’t have to express support for the measure. At a 2009 parliamentary meeting,  Corbyn called Hamas and Hezbollah “friends.” In 2016, Corbyn said he regretted using the term.

The proposed ban will now head to the House of Lords. If passed, the ban will then become law.

Corbyn: Palestinians Say Suicide Bombings Occur Because of ‘Life Under Occupation’

Britain's Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn and Labour Party's Shadow Secretary of State for Departing the European Union Keir Starmer leave a meeting with European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier (not pictured) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

A recently unearthed video of UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbym shows the potential prime minister saying in 2009 that Palestinian terrorists become suicide bombers as a result of “life under occupation.”

Corbyn, at a Cambridge Union Society debate about Israel, said that when he was visiting Nablus he asked a group of young Palestinians how they viewed suicide bombers. After being initially defensive, the Palestinians told him that they all knew someone who had been “involved with suicide bombing.”

“None of them agreed with it,” Corbyn said. “But every one of them knew why they did it. They said: put yourself in our place. A life of hopelessness. A life under occupation. A life of demoralization and bitterness. That is where it leads to.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, Corbyn’s answer was part of his argument as to why Israel doesn’t contribute enough to the peace process.

A Labour Party spokesman told the Post, “Jeremy Corbyn was reporting what was said to him by a group of young Palestinians, who all opposed suicide bombing. Jeremy, obviously, condemns suicide bombing.”

The Post’s report notes that a 2007 Hebrew University study conducted by associate public policy professor Claude Berrebi found “that Palestinians with higher income levels and a higher levels of education were actually more likely to have been suicide bombers.”

“Both higher education and standard of living appear to be positively associated with membership in terror organizations such as Hamas or PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and with becoming a suicide bomber,” Berrebi wrote.

The video comes as nine Labour Party members of parliament (MP) resigned from the party as a result of anti-Semitism plaguing the party under Corbyn’s leadership.

“I am appalled at the offense and distress Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have caused Jewish people,” MP Ian Austin, who announced he was leaving the Labour Party on Feb. 22, said. “It is a terrible that a culture of extremism, anti-semitism and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics.”

Ocasio-Cortez Pledges to Examine MP Corbyn’s Anti-Semitic Allegations

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) ensured her constituents Feb. 3 that she will get to the bottom of British MP Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic allegations after speaking with him on the phone.

Both Ocasio-Cortez and Corbyn shared that a conversation took place via Twitter.

“Great to speak to @AOC on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo,” Corbyn wrote Feb. 3. “Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded saying it was an “honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!”

Many members of the Jewish community replied to the tweet.

Tablet Magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg shared several tweets regarding Corbyn’s anti-Semitic statements.

@aoc might want to have her staff screen her calls more carefully,” he wrote.

Christina Sommers, author of “War Against Boys” also warned Ocasio-Cortez about the call and what it means for the Democratic party.

“Dear Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Corbyn is anti-Semitic.  You do not want to do to the Democratic Party what @lsarsour & @TamikaDMallory did to the #WomensMarch.”

Brooklyn based writer, Elad Nehorai, replied to Ocasio-Cortez’ tweet also in defense of the Jews.

“I’m a huge huge fan of yours. I hope you’ll take a look at the amount of Jews trying to call attention to Corbyn’s long, documented history of anti-Semitism. The left’s blind spot in this regard can still be fixed. But we need leaders like yourself to listen.”

The Bronx and Queens congresswoman thanked Nehorai and said, “We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community.”

She also told him she’d have her team reach out.

“Dialogue, people. It’s possible,” Nehorai wrote in a follow-up.

In the past, Ocasio-Cortez came under fire for using the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in a Get Out the Vote campaign, and telling PBS’ Margaret Hoover that she was “not an expert on Palestine.”  

Hijacking Holocaust Remembrance Day

Screenshot from Twitter.

“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day this past Sunday, Jan. 27, political figures across the globe tweeted out their thoughts on the commemoration of history’s greatest atrocity. Most of the messages were simple reminders that evil must be fought, that we must learn from history and that the victims must not be forgotten.

But a few directly undermined the message of the day. They did so with animus and intent. They did so by carving out the heart of the Holocaust in favor of trite, rote platitudes that could then be used as political hatchets against their political opposition. 

Leading the way was open anti-Semite and British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As National Review’s Julie Lenarz wrote, Corbyn once met with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, calling it his “honor and pleasure.” Corbyn described Raed Salah, a practitioner of the anti-Semitic blood libel, as a “very honored citizen.” He allegedly gave money to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen. He even hosted a program on the Iranian TV outlet Press TV. You can find photos of him attending a memorial for the Palestinian terrorist perpetrators of the Munich massacre. Corbyn’s anti-Semitism is so blatant and obvious that it has rent the Labour Party, even as the Conservative Party struggles to maintain control in Britain.  

None of his past actions stopped Corbyn from issuing his Holocaust remembrance message: “In memory of the millions of Jewish people, and others, who perished in the Holocaust. Let us never allow antisemitism or any other form of racism to disfigure our society.” By zooming out from the Holocaust — a massacre of 6 million Jews for the crime of being Jewish — and thus turning the Holocaust into a rote lesson on “racism” writ large, Corbyn can disassociate his own support for genocidal anti-Semites from his supposed opposition to the Holocaust itself.

“The Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.”

The same holds true for Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour is a supporter of the anti-Semitic boycott against Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” and has publicly defended radical Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. She has stated that support of Israel cannot coincide with feminism. Yet she, too, sent out a Holocaust Remembrance missive — this one curiously missing any mention of the Jews. “May the memories of those who perished inspire us to love and protect one another. May we never forget history so that we may never repeat it,” she tweeted. “May they rest in an eternal peace knowing that we will fight for each other no matter the consequences.”

Again, a message just vague enough with which to virtue-signal — all without ever having to acknowledge the real-life anti-Semitism in which Sarsour herself has engaged.

Her tweet is a convenient way of omitting the actual message of the Holocaust: first, that Jews must never again be dehumanized and murdered for political purposes; second, that anti-Semitism is not merely a subset of bigotry, but its own poisonous brand; and third, that mass murder is possible when purportedly civilized people forget the first two lessons. And yet, thanks to a deliberate campaign to obfuscate those first two lessons, enemies of the Jewish people can hijack Holocaust Remembrance Day to use as a political club. 

One time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was asked if the Holocaust could ever happen again. “Morgen in der fruh,” he answered. “Tomorrow morning.”

In a world in which Iran routinely threatens Israel’s Jews with annihilation, in which the Palestinian Authority and Hamas unite to teach their children about the eventual hope of a Judenrein Palestine, in which Jews across Europe live under the possibility of the knife, the Holocaust must be remembered. Obscuring it with platitudinous statements uttered by anti-Semites isn’t just disgusting, it’s dangerous.

Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.

Israel, the U.S. and Partisanship

There’s a trendy view these days that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed the grave sin of turning support of Israel partisan. This is the view of many on the Democratic left, who seem perturbed at Netanyahu’s close relationship with President Donald Trump. “Netanyahu refuses to even pretend that he cares what liberal American Jews think or feel about Israel,” sneers Eric Alterman of The Nation. 

But what, precisely, is Netanyahu supposed to do in the face of the left’s gradual move against Israel over the past two decades? Alterman, for all his sneering, is a harsh anti-Israel critic — he says that Israel is either practicing apartheid today or on the verge of doing so, and has endorsed the idea behind boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel on the international stage. Can that be attributed to Netanyahu?

The left’s anti-Israel move has been brewing for decades. Republicans have been somewhat more pro-Israel than Democrats since the Six-Day War — Israel’s victory in that war led to an onslaught of Soviet propaganda against the Jewish state as the Soviets attempted to consolidate the support of Muslim states. Still, until 2001, the two parties remained largely pro-Israel; in 2001, 38 percent of Democrats supported Israel against the Palestinians, with 50 percent of Republicans doing so.

Then 9/11 hit. Suddenly Republican support for Israel began to climb and Democratic support for Israel began to drop. That drop was exacerbated by the advent of former President Barack Obama’s administration, which took the line that Israel’s failure to achieve peace with the Palestinians lay at the heart of broader conflicts in the region. The American left began to parrot the line of the European left that Israel’s intransigence represented the root of imperialistic Western power politics. 

After 9/11, Republican support for Israel began to climb and Democratic support for Israel began to drop.

I attended the Democratic National Convention in 2012, where constituents booed Jerusalem in the Democratic National Committee platform; there was no doubt in the room which way the Democratic Party was moving. The Obama administration established a “daylight with Israel” policy and ran roughshod over Israel’s concerns about Iranian terrorism in promotion of a hollow Iranian nuclear deal. Today, just 27 percent of Democrats say they support Israel as opposed to the Palestinians — even though the Palestinians are governed by a three-headed terrorist monster in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad — as compared with 25 percent who support the Palestinians. Controversial Louis Farrakhan acolyte Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) nearly became the head of the DNC last year with the support of supposed pro-Israel advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader in Britain, is openly anti-Semitic. He took tea with Raed Salah, a man he called an “honoured citizen” despite Salah’s use of the actual Blood Libel; he wrote a letter defending Stephen Sizer, a now-retired vicar who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks; and he hosted “his friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah in parliament. Now, Corbyn has attempted to cover his tracks. But he’s fooling no one.

Meanwhile, the American right continues to embrace Israel at record rates. Republicans favor the Israelis over the Palestinians at a rate of 79 percent to 6 percent. Contrary to self-flattering left-wing opinion, that isn’t because of Christian millenarianism — it’s not because Christians think that support for Israel will immanentize the eschaton. It’s because religious Christians in the United States truly believe that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed; they see Israel as a representative of Western ideals in a brutal region of the world; they recognize in Israel ideological allies and religious kin. Even those on the right who aren’t particularly religious support Israel because they recognize that Israel represents the canary in the coal mine for the West; Israel’s battle against Islamic terror is part of a broader battle the West must fight.

That’s not Netanyahu’s fault. Perhaps those on the left who remain pro-Israel ought to consider that the problem isn’t Israel or Netanyahu: It’s a left wing that has lost touch with reality in favor of multicultural utopianism and flattered itself into believing that sympathizing with some of the world’s worst regimes represents standing up for human rights.

Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author and editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire.

Anti-Semitism in the UK: What Now?

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, leaves his home on the morning after Britain's election in London, Britain, on June 9. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

How do you solve a problem like Jeremy Corbyn? I just returned from England, and everyone is concerned. An anti-Zionist prime minister might be elected, and some Jews are considering emigrating.

If Jews in Britain did Facebook status updates on our feelings about the Labour Party, it would change from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.”

Fear is rising, but I am undecided. How bad is it? Auschwitz-bound trains are not waiting at London’s King’s Cross station. The primary danger at King’s Cross is tourists hurling themselves at a brick wall beneath the sign “Platform 9 3/4, direct train to Hogwarts.” Nevertheless, anti-Semitism comes in many forms, and left-wing hate is different from Nazism.

What follows is my personal perspective.

Corbyn leads Her Majesty’s opposition, the Labour Party. Eighty-five percent of British Jews think Corbyn is anti-Semitic: He has shared platforms with his self-declared “friends” Hamas and Hezbollah and laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists who slaughtered Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. He claims not to be anti-Semitic but stated in 2013 that British Zionists “have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. They need two lessons.”

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? But what do I know as a British Zionist? Even though I clearly don’t want to study history, we know anti-Zionism is an anti-Semitic trope. The United Nations resolution that “Zionism is a form of racism” was revoked but hateful seeds were planted.

Corbyn’s Labour Party poses a major threat to British Jews. Left-wing momentum activists have infiltrated regional Labour organizations, threatening to deselect any members of Parliament who criticize Corbyn. He also speaks of reclaiming empty private property to house poor people. This strategy was a hallmark of Communist Russia. The Wall Street Journal clarified it: Corbyn is a Marxist.

His opposition to capitalism includes the European Union, the U.S. and Israel. Israel’s existence goes against his beliefs because it is a nation state, the homeland for a specific people. This Communist logic explains why Corbyn can claim he’s anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic (he doesn’t apply this ‘logic’ to Palestinian nationhood). These nuances are lost on the populace, paving the way for Jew-hatred.

“Eighty-five percent of British Jews think Corbyn is anti-Semitic: He has shared platforms with his self-declared “friends” Hamas and Hezbollah and laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinian terrorists.”

This view might be an oversimplification. Life is different than its media portrayal. The English often think the United States has daily school shootings. We think most Jews have left France. Some Americans think I am from the Islamic Republic of Great Britain. There are kernels of truth, but I just spent three weeks in England and saw few hijabs. We must also be careful not to confuse peaceful Muslims with extremist Islamists.

Meanwhile, the British government pays for free Jewish schools and their security guards. A Los Angeles family with three children in Jewish schools could move to London and save $90,000 per year.

Britain also hosts the sensational Limmud Festival of Jewish learning and culture, which attracts 2,500 participants, and a further 89 groups running events in 42 countries. The influence of British Jews is phenomenal and communities thrive. Limmud LA was the reason I first came to Los Angeles in 2008.

As for the European mainland, French Jewry may be flourishing: The Jewish Agency states that after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in 2015, only 7,795 French Jews made aliyah, compared with 3,067 from the United States. Five hundred thousand French Jews choose to stay and live in France.

With this in mind, I think there are three possible doomsday scenarios:

1: The post-Brexit economy collapses. The ruling Conservative Party is defeated by the Labour Party in 2022, or earlier if they lose a parliamentary vote of no confidence. Britain becomes more uncomfortable for Jews. Perhaps things improve a few years later if Conservatives win back power.

2: Jews leave Britain en masse. This is unlikely. London’s Jewish Chronicle ran a story on how Germans ignored the early warning signs in the 1930s.

3: Nothing happens. Labour isn’t elected. Jews have good friends in former Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and there was nearly a Jewish Labour prime minister with Ed Miliband in 2015. They might work to reclaim Labour from the Corbynites.

Scenario 4: The Jewish population depletes due to assimilation, regardless of external threats. 

Perhaps Corbyn is pandering to British Muslims who dislike Israel. There are 1 million Muslim voters versus 200,000 Jewish voters, but there are also Muslims speaking out against anti-Semitism. They know that Jews are “canaries in the coal mine” and they could be next. Additionally, Muslims have their own Islamist problem.

Is it possible that Corbyn has helped British Jews? When Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks released a statement for Corbyn to “repent and recant” lest he sparks “the flames of hatred,” most British rabbis were in agreement. Jewish unification is very un-Jewish and, if we continue this behavior, we might accidentally usher in the Messianic Age of global peace.

I want to stay in the United States because I find it better as a Jew. As a religious actor, I found it hard to practice my art in England. In my experience, the culture suppresses Jewish expression. For years, I sought role models who were shomer Shabbat professional artists but found nobody. It felt lonely.

Then I discovered Los Angeles, where observant Emmy winners pray, Hollywood showrunners teach shiurim, and Grammy-winning musicians lead services. Discovering Pico-Robertson felt like finding my lost city of Atlantis. I miss London’s West End but love America’s diversity.

There but for the grace of God (and Homeland Security) go I.

But many British Jews are worried. We will see how the political landscape is affected when Britain leaves the EU on March 28, 2019. British Jews can vote Conservative in the next general election. We can go to shul and, we the people, pray for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Shanah tovah.

Marcus J Freed is a Los Angeles-based actor. 

Poll: Nearly 40% of British Jews Would ‘Seriously Consider’ Leaving Country If Corbyn Becomes PM

Screenshot from Twitter.

A recent poll from the Jewish Chronicle found that 40% of British Jewry would “seriously consider” leaving the country if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn ever becomes Britain’s prime minister.

The poll surveyed 710 Jews in Britain from Aug. 12-Sep. 4; 38.55 percent of the respondents said they would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister, while 51.71 percent said they would not. An additional 9.74% said they didn’t know.

The demographic most likely to leave Great Britain would be the 35-54-year-old age range, as 50.96% of the respondents in that age range said they would “seriously consider” leaving Britain if Corbyn became prime minister; the demographic least likely to leave would be respondents in the 18-34-year-old age range, as 28.51 percent of respondents in that category said they would seriously consider leaving.

The Jewish Chronicle report noted that the 38.55 percent figure as a massive uptick from 11 percent in January 2015, shortly after an Islamic terrorist murdered four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris.

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein told the Chronicle that the poll results were “deeply worrying.”

“Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud how we are integrated across society and public life,” Goldstein said. “The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.”

Corbyn and his Labour Party have been mired in accusations of anti-Semitism in recent weeks, which includes unearthed photos of Corbyn laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists in 2014 and in 2013 stating that Zionists didn’t understand “English irony.”

The Labour Party recently adopted the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, although with the caveat that they supported freedom of speech to criticize Israel, which some Jewish groups thought was unnecessary. Corbyn also attempted to insert language stating that calling Israel’s “policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist” isn’t anti-Semitic, but the Labour Party rebuffed him.

Corbyn’s Danger: Coddling of Terrorists, Not Only Anti-Semites

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Not a day goes by without headlines in the British media that detail the scourge of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But a deeper look at the behavior of the party’s controversial leader reveals an even more severe problem, one that would shake to its core the country’s bilateral relations with the United States  – as well as the war on terrorism.

Extreme left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in September 2015. Half a year later, the first significant accusations of anti-Semitism in the party surfaced when Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), resigned because club members made anti-Semitic remarks. It also became widely known that Corbyn had, in earlier years, been a frequent supporter of terrorists and terrorism movements. Furthermore, he supported and associated with Holocaust distorters, including Paul Eisen, also an extreme anti-Israel inciter.

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) limited publication to the summary of OULC anti-Semitism investigator Baroness Royal’s report. Additional disclosures about anti-Semitic remarks by elected representatives led Corbyn to appoint an investigator, Shami Chakrabarti, who was unfamiliar with the issue. Her report, published on June 30, 2016, was unfocused and superficial. Soon, word got out that Corbyn had offered Chakrabarti a membership in the House of Lords. She then became Baroness Chakrabarti.

Regular disclosures about anti-Semitic statements by elected Labour representatives continued. Corbyn repeatedly promised that he would fight anti-Semitism in the party, but he did nothing. All the while, several Jewish Labour parliamentarians received thousands of hate letters and other threats. One of them, MP Ruth Smeeth, arrived the party’s annual conference in September 2016 with a bodyguard in tow. At the meeting, Corbyn’s associates managed to obtain control of the NEC.

In April 2018, most Jewish Labour MP’s spoke in the House of Commons about the harassment they underwent. A non-Jewish MP John Mann – long involved in the battle against anti-Semitism – mentioned a rape threat against his wife. She also received a dead bird courtesy of a Labour extremist. Unprecedented actions by British Jewish leaders included a street protest in March 2018. A subsequent meeting of two Jewish leaders with Corbyn produced no results.

The conflict intensified when the NEC recently accepted a diluted version of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA) of anti-Semitism. The latter is commonly subject to discussion before approval. These expressions of institutionalized anti-Semitism are odious and threatening to British Jewry, but it is Corbyn’s long-term embrace of terrorists that should concern all democratic leaders and anyone committed to Western values.

Corbyn’s public friendship with terrorists – mainly Arab but also of the Irish Republican Army – dates back decades. In 2009, he invited members of Hamas and Hezbollah to the House of Commons and called them “his friends.”  On another occasion, Corbyn called Hamas “his brothers.” In November 2012, he hosted a meeting in parliament with Musa Abu Maria, a member of banned terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  

The Daily Mail recently exposed that, in 2014, Corbyn stood with a wreath next to the graves of several perpetrators of the Black September murders, which claimed 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He also once shared a platform with Black September terrorist and hijacker Leila Khaled.

It is also settled fact that terrorist supporters were among important financiers of his 2015 election campaign to become Labour leader. These included Dr. Ibrahim Hamami, a columnist for an official Hamas journal. Dr. Hamami gave Corbyn £2000.

Tedd Honderich, a retired professor at London’s University College, contributed £5000 to Corbyn’s campaign. This academic has publicly stated that Palestinians have a moral right to blow up Jews. He even encouraged them to do so by saying, “to claim a moral right on behalf of the Palestinians on their terrorism is to say that they are right to engage in it, that it is permissible if not obligatory.” Honderich has repeated such statements frequently.

According to Electoral Commission returns, previous donations to Mr. Corbyn included a gift of £2,821 from Interpal, a British charity that the U.S. designated as a terrorist organization, in 2013, due to its alleged ties to Hamas. A donation of £1,300 to Corbyn came from the Palestinian Return Centre. This organization has, in the past, faced accusations of being “Hamas’s organisational branch in Europe.”

Meanwhile, as the United States and many other Western governments are battling international and domestic terrorism mainly from Muslim perpetrators, the governing Conservative British government has great difficulty in developing a viable policy in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. As a result, Labour has a realistic chance to win the next parliamentary elections that could take place earlier than the scheduled date in 2022. A Corbyn-led U.K. could present the introduction of a big Trojan horse into their own ranks.

Corbyn’s Labour Party has now belatedly adopted the IHRA’s full definition of anti-Semitism but attached a rider allowing for continuing criticism of Israel. If this move represents the beginning of dealing with anti-Semites and anti-Semitism within the party, including anti-Semites masquerading as anti-Zionists, then the Party can begin to write a new chapter. The fact that criticism of Israel and Palestinian issue were added to the adoption could be used to subvert the agreement by those who hate the Jewish state, home to the world’s largest Jewish community.

British Jewry cannot afford to suffer the normalization of anti-Semitism in a government charged with protecting all of its citizens, and the world cannot afford to lose one of the strongest and most stalwart fighters of terrorism. The time has come for the U.S. to voice strong disapproval of a major party leader who is manifestly unfit to lead a great democracy. And to those people of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland who support Labour, we have one message: You are better than this.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean, director Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a prolific author and expert on European anti-Semitism. He is the former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Labour Party Amends Anti-Semitism Definition

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

After being plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism, the Labour Party voted on Tuesday to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, but added a “free speech” qualification that has garnered criticism from Jewish groups.

The party issued a statement accompanying the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that said that it doesn’t “undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”

Various Jewish groups denounced this caveat.

“A ‘freedom of expression on Israel’ clause is unnecessary and totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted,” Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Garber said in a statement. “Labour appears determined to provide a safe space for anti-Semites. This decision is a sad reflection on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party and the culture it has instilled.”

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who called Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite to his face, tweeted that the party’s move was “two steps forward and one step back.”

“Why dilute the welcome adoption IN FULL of the #IHRA definition of #Antisemitism with an unnecessary qualification?” Hodge wrote.

Other Jewish groups, such as the World Jewish Council, viewed the move as progress for the Labour Party, but more work needed to be done.

Additionally, Corbyn reportedly attempted to introduce language that would have stated that it wasn’t anti-Semitic to describe “Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist.” He was rebuffed by his party.

In July, the Labour Party had only adopted part of the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, but wouldn’t embrace the aspects of the definition that stated it was anti-Semitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

Corbyn himself has been embroiled in a myriad of scandals in recent weeks, including a prior speech of him saying that Zionists don’t understand “English irony” and laying a wreath at the graves of the 1972 Munich terrorists.

Corbyn in 2010: Israel Gave British MPs ‘A Pre-Prepared Script’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has found himself in yet another controversy, as the UK Daily Mail has unearthed a video of him in 2010 stating that it seemed like the pro-Israel British members of parliament were given “a pre-prepared script” from Israel.

The Daily Mail quoted Corbyn as saying that the MPs came “with a prepared script” over the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident and that he was “sure our friend [Israeli Ambassador] Ron Prosor wrote it.”

“It was rather like reading a European document looking for buzz-words,” Corbyn said, “and the buzz-words were, ‘Israel’s need for security.’ And then ‘the extremism of the people on one ship.’ And ‘the existence of Turkish militants on the vessel.’”

However, the Daily Mail was unable to find any examples of these “buzz-words” in transcripts of that parliamentary debate.

Gideon Falter, who heads the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told the Daily Mail that “Jeremy Corbyn seems to have visions of the Jewish state literally putting words into many of our politicians’ mouths.”

“Jeremy Corbyn seems to have visions of the Jewish state literally putting words into many of our politicians’ mouths,” Falter said.

This is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic scandals for Corbyn, as he has also come under fire saying in 2013 that Zionists didn’t understand “English irony” as well as laying a wreath in a 2014 ceremony commemorating the 1972 Munich terrorists.

Former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks lambasted Corbyn in an interview with the New Statesman, calling Corbyn’s recent “English irony” comments “the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism.”

And yet, the polling data suggests that Corbyn has a good chance at becoming the next prime minister of England in 2022.

Former Chief Rabbi of Britain Calls Out Corbyn on ‘Anti-Semitic’ Remarks

Photo from Flickr.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain, spoke out against Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s recently unearthed comments on Zionists not understanding “English irony” as “the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism” in an interview with the New Statesman.

In the interview published on Tuesday, Sacks decried Corbyn’s comments as “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.”

“It was divisive, hateful and like Powell’s speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien,” Sacks said.

Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech involved then-Defense Minister Powell railing against massive immigration into Britain.

Sacks added that Corbyn “has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove from Israel from the map.”

“When he implies that, however long they have lived here, Jews are not fully British, he is using the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism,” Sacks said. “When challenged with such facts, the evidence for which is before our eyes, first he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates. This is low, dishonest and dangerous. He has legitimized the public expression of hate, and where he leads, others will follow.”

The Labour Party is claiming that Corbyn was only talking about “a particular group of pro-Israel activists as Zionists,” but Corbyn’s remarks seem to have been a breaking point for some British Jews. The London Times’ Josh Glancy wrote in a Monday New York Times op-ed:

The video was a watershed for many. Daniel Finkelstein, a Tory peer and columnist for The Times of London, called the revelation “qualitatively different from anything that has come before.” Ben Judah, a Labour-voting author, said that “the nasty comment from Mr. Corbyn on ‘Zionists’ not getting ‘English irony’ has finally snapped the benefit of the doubt extended by many Jewish progressives.” 

A writer for The Guardian, Simon Hattenstone, who has repeatedly defended Jeremy Corbyn against charges of anti-Semitism, called his speech “unquestionably anti-Semitic.” And it wasn’t just the Jews. George Monbiot, a giant of the British left, described the comments as “anti-Semitic and unacceptable.”

And from Mr. Corbyn’s most vehement defenders, such as the Guardian columnist Owen Jones or the Novara Media columnist Ash Sarkar? Crickets.

“This was classic anti-Semitism,” Glancy wrote. “Here were a group of Jews with whom Mr. Corbyn has a political disagreement. And he smeared them not on the basis of that disagreement but on the basis of their ethnicity. He accused them of failing to assimilate English values, of not fitting in, of still being a bit foreign. Had they been Christian Zionists, he could not have insulted them in this way.”

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a British watchdog group, has called on Corbyn to step down from the Labour Party.

“We had hoped that the Labour Party might at some point rise to the defense of British Jews by removing Jeremy Corbyn or by demanding his resignation, but the institutions of the once proudly anti-racist Labour Party are now corrupted and will not act,” the watchdog organization said. “Instead, they merely persecute those members who stand up to anti-Semitism.”

British PM Frontrunner: Zionists Have ‘No Sense of English Irony’

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has found himself in yet another anti-Semitic controversy, as a video clip from 2013 shows him stating that Zionists have “no sense of English irony.”

Corbyn was speaking at a London conference that was promoted by Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ propaganda arm, that featured “a range of anti-Semites, homophobes and conspiracy theorists,” according to the UK Daily Mail. Corbyn said that British Zionists “don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

Other speakers at the conference included Daud Abdullah, who called for attacks against the Royal Navy and led a boycott against Holocaust Memorial Day.

Corbyn has been heavily criticized for these unearthed remarks. For instance, the UK Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone wrote on Friday that while he has been defending Corbyn in a string of recent controversies, the “no sense of English irony” comment is “unquestionably anti-Semitic.”

“To generalize about any race or religion is discriminatory,” Hattenstone wrote. “And if there were ever a clear example of somebody conflating Zionist with Jews, this appears to be it. Let’s play the traditional ‘swap the minority’ game. Instead of ‘Zionists’ let’s make it, say, Muslims or African-Caribbeans or Asians or Irish needing lessons in history or irony. Not nice, eh?”

Corbyn has also come under fire for laying a wreath at the graves of the Munich 1972 terrorists.

The Looming Deaths of Litmus Tests

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, visits the Alexander Dennis Bus Factory in Falkirk, Scotland, Britain August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Jeremy Corbyn may become Britain’s next prime minister. If so, he could become one of the most challenging political figures Israel has ever encountered. And he could become the most hostile leader ever to head a friendly country.

Corbyn could pose a diplomatic dilemma of great magnitude for Israel: What do you do when an anti-Semite, a supporter of terrorists, a vehement anti-Zionist, an enemy — yes, I think Corbyn is Israel’s enemy — takes over leadership of a country that is both important and friendly.

Israel has a long history of dealing with unfriendly leaders of other countries. Many were heads of enemy countries. They were no surprise and no real challenge — you dealt with the leader the way you dealt with his or her country. Some leaders were not heads of enemy countries but of countries whose importance for Israel was marginal. Again, they posed relatively little challenge. 

Then there were the skeptical or reluctant heads of countries that were both important and generally friendly. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was such a leader of the United States. Francois Mitterrand was such a leader of France. Israel was not always pleased when it needed to interact with these men, but no sane observer of foreign affairs would claim that they were enemies of Israel. 

Israel has dealt with anti-Semitic leaders in the past. Luckily, most of them had one of two qualities: Either they made an effort to hide their tendencies, making it possible for Israel to ignore them, or they were leaders whom Israel could fairly easily ignore, such as Kurt Waldheim of Austria. 

Corbyn is different. He is a vicious enemy of Israel and the Jewish people. He is an enemy who might head an important and generally friendly country. If he were to become Britain’s next prime minister, how could Israel deal with him? How could it not? 

Litmus tests are important. They are signs of where the political winds are blowing.

It is not always easy to draw a clear line separating the ordinary critic of Israel — say, Barack Obama — from the hostile critic. Jimmy Carter? He worked for peace. Pat Buchanan? Ron Paul? As standard America-first politicians, had they been elected to a position of great power, they would worry Israel but not make it cringe in disbelief.

Corbyn, as a politician, is a clear-cut case — the clearest cut one can make in today’s world, when stating plainly that one hates Jews and Israel is still beyond a certain pale. Yet, Britain under Corbyn would be harder to pin down. If British voters choose to elect him, it will not be because of his attitudes toward Israel and Jews or a statement of their resentment toward Israel. It will be a statement of indifference. It will be a statement of “We have priorities other than Corbyn’s views on Israel.” 

A Corbyn victory would not mean Britain is anti-Semitic. It would mean that Britain no longer has a litmus test that determines anti-Semitism to be a disqualifier of politicians (assuming it had such a test in the post-World War II era). 

Litmus tests are important. They are signs of where the political winds are blowing. That’s why I am currently interested not just in British politics but also in the candidacy of Michigan congressional hopeful Rashida Tlaib, who last week lost the endorsement of J Street. Because of her views on Israel, not even the lefty Jewish group was willing to vouch for her. Tlaib won the Democratic primary and is running unopposed in the November general election race, so she is virtually assured of becoming a U.S. congresswoman. 

To be clear, Tlaib is no Corbyn. Not close. She did not carry flowers to the graves of terrorists. She has expressed no anti-Semitic views that I am aware of. But she supports a one-state solution — in other words, the elimination of Israel. To me, this seems like a signal of the possible looming death of the Israel litmus test or the two-state-solution litmus test as we have known it.

She will not be a prime minister of a country. She will only be a congresswoman whose impact on Israel is little or none. Corbyn worries me. Tlaib doesn’t. But the erosion of a litmus test is the erosion of a litmus test in both cases.

Shmuel Rosner is senior political editor. For more analysis of Israeli and international politics, visit Rosner’s Domain at jewishjournal.com/rosnersdomain.

Britain’s Corbyn Reportedly Met With Hamas Leaders in 2010

Photo from Wikipedia.

A recent report from i24 News states that UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn met with Hamas leaders in 2010, back when he was a largely unknown member of parliament.

According to i24, Corbyn visited Hamas leaders Aziz Dweik, Mahmoud al Ramahi, Muna Saleem Mansour, Naser Abd El-Jawad and Omar Abdel Razeq in Ramallah, as well as Hamas leaders Ahmed Attoun, Khaled Abu-Arafah and Muhammad Totah in East Jerusalem. Corbyn did not meet with a single Jewish Israeli on his trip.

After the trip, Corbyn wrote in The Morning Star, “It is time to bring those Israelis who committed crimes against humanity to account and to end the EU [European Union] Israel Trade Agreement while the occupation and settlement policy continues.”

The trip was funded by Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and Friends of Al-Aqsa. The aforementioned groups provided Corbyn with £927 ($1,500), well above the £660 ($840) gift threshold in which MPs have to report to parliament. But Corbyn never reported the trip to parliament.

The i24 report is the latest in a series of Palestinian terror-related controversies for Corbyn. Photos unearthed by the UK Daily Mail showed Corbyn laying a wreath at a Tunisia ceremony commemorating the 1972 Munich terrorists. An August 21 Daily Mail report showed photos of Corbyn in 2015 speaking to Hamas supporters in Parliament, including one Hamas supporter who said he wished he could conduct a suicide bombing for “Palestine.”

Palestinian Ambassador Manuel Hassassian praised Corbyn and the Labour Party for being “principled” on their watered-down anti-Semitism rules. Hamas said they “Salute Jeremy Corbyn’s supportive positions to the Palestinians.”

Corbyn Ties Ceremony Honoring Terrorists to ‘Peace Process’

Photo from Flickr.

Photos recently unearthed by the UK Daily Mail showed UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn laying a wreath at a 2014 Tunisia ceremony commemorating the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics. Corbyn told Channel 4 News that he did so to “have a peace process.”

Channel 4’s Clare Fallon asked if he laid a wreath on or nearby the graves of the terrorists, prompting Corbyn to respond that the terrorists were killed in Israeli operations in Paris and Beirut that resulted in others dying “who were not involved in” the 1972 massacre, such as Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Abu Yusuf.

“I, along with other colleagues who were delegates at the conference, laid a wreath in memory of all those that have died in the hope that we have a peace process and peace in the future,” Corbyn said, “so those raids are never repeated.”

Corbyn added that “the way forward is of peace” and “dialogue” instead of “bombing” or “shooting civilians in Gaza.”

The Labour Party leader was asked again if he laid down a wreath; he responded that the wreath was in honor of those that died in the 1985 Israeli strike on Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters. Fallon pressed again on if the wreath was laid nearby the Munich terrorists and Corbyn said it was laid for “all those that had died.”

Corbyn was then asked if he took part in laying that wreath, and he replied by saying he “totally condemned” the 1972 Munich massacre.

Fallon eventually asked Corbyn if he ever “laid a wreath at the graves of Israelis who were killed in Palestinian attacks.”

“I’ve met many people from the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, over the years,” Corbyn responded. “I’ve indeed visited the Knesset and I met visiting Israeli delegations into Britain and, of course, anybody killed in this awful conflict has to be mourned.”

However, The Israel Project’s Julie Lenarz noted in National Review, “Corbyn time and again has missed opportunities to meet with Israeli delegates and boycotted events with Israeli officials in attendance.”

In response to Corbyn, The UK Daily Mail showed a layout of the graves to argue that the photos do indeed show that Corbyn was at the graves of the Munich terrorists, not those that died in the 1985 strike against PLO headquarters.

The controversy appears to be taking a toll on Corbyn, as in another recent interview he is seen rolling his eyes in response to a question about the wreath. He has refused to apologize for attending the ceremony.

Corbyn is also under fire over an unearthed image of him giving the Muslim Brotherhood salute at a mosque in February.


MP Corbyn Attended 2014 Ceremony Honoring Munich Terrorists

Screenshot from Twitter.

After pictures emerged over the weekend of Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn attending a wreath-laying ceremony honoring the Palestinian terrorists behind the 1972 Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics, Corbyn admitted on August 13 that he attended due to his desire to end terrorism.

Here are the pictures from the 2014 ceremony in Tunisia that were unearthed by the UK Daily Mail:

Initially, the Labour Party denied that Corbyn had taken part in the ceremony, claiming instead that he was at a memorial honoring 47 Palestinians that died in a 1985 airstrike in Tunisia. However:

But Corbyn is now admitting he attended the memorial for the 1972 Munich terrorists, although he’s claiming that he “was actually involved in” in the laying of the wreath.

“I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere, because we have to end it,” Corbyn told Sky News. “You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is by a cycle of dialogue.”

Corbyn’s explanation was not enough for Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, whose husbands died in the massacre, as they pointed out to Jewish News that Corbyn has yet to visit “the graves of our murdered fathers, sons and husbands.”

“For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity,” Spitzer and Romano said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against Corbyn for attending the 2014 ceremony:

Corbyn responded:

Netanyahu’s reference of Corbyn’s Israel-Nazi comparison appears to be in regards to a clip of Corbyn in 2013 stating at the Palestinian Return Centre that the Israeli “occupation” in the West Bank is equivalent to the “many people in Europe who suffered occupation during the Second World War, with the endless road blocks, imprisonment, irrational behavior by the military and the police.”

According to Jewish Virtual Library, 11 Palestinian terrorists who were part of the “Black September” faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) committed the 1972 massacre. Five of the terrorists initially took nine of the Israeli Olympic athletes hostage, demanding that Israel release 200 Arab prisoners in exchange for the hostages.

The plan was for the Germans to have hidden gunmen to kill the Palestinian terrorists when they came to release the Israelis at a NATO airbase, but there was just one problem – the Germans had been anticipating five Palestinian terrorists, but eight had shown up. The Germans still attempted to kill the Palestinian terrorists, but in the midst of the fight the terrorists murdered all nine of the Israeli hostages.

H/T: UK Independent

Corbyn Meets With Terror-Supporting Qatari Emir After Skipping Anti-Semitism Meeting

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn skipped a party meeting on July 23 about adopting an anti-Semitism code, but did meet with a Qatari emir that has expressed support for terror groups on the same day.

Corbyn and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani reportedly discussed the 2022 World Cup and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Al Thani has previously provided millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” to the Gaza Strip, which prompted a thank-you from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Al Thani has also reportedly defended Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which have been described by Corbyn as “friends,” although Al Thani has denied that report.

Additionally, Doha – Qatar’s capital – has recently become warm with the Iranian regime and its terror proxies, resulting in diplomatic isolation from the United States and Qatar’s Arab Gulf neighbors. Qatar has since joined in on sanctions on Hezbollah.

Doha also has a history of providing aid to terror groups like Hamas, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Labour Party members were irked that Corbyn did not attend the anti-Semitism meeting for the second week in a row and reportedly left the meeting feeling “gloomy.”

Anti-Semitism has plagued the party since Corbyn took the reins, and has become even more of an issue after Corbyn and the party leadership implemented watered-down anti-Semitism guidelines. Corbyn was even confronted by longtime Labour Party MP Margaret Hodge on the matter. The three leading Jewish newspapers in the United Kingdom penned a July 25 editorial warning that a Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn would pose “an existential threat to Jewish life in this country.”

Labour Party MP Calls Leader Corbyn Anti-Semitic; Party to ‘Take Action’ Against MP

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Hodge confronted the leader of her party, Jeremy Corbyn, and told him that he’s anti-Semitic. The Labour Party is planning to punish her for doing so.

Hodge decided to confront Corbyn after the party, at Corbyn’s urging, decided to uphold their new rules on anti-Semitism that have been criticized as being too weak.

“It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist,” Hodge told Corbyn.

Hodge defended her actions in an op-ed in The Guardian.

“Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been allowed to infect the party’s approach to growing anti-Semitism,” Hodge wrote. “It appears to have become a legitimate price that the leadership is willing to pay for pursuing the longstanding cause of Palestinians in the Middle East. Because of that, anti-Semitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Facebook, Twitter and in the post.”

Hodge noted that while she is a secular Jew, numerous members of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis, including her grandmother and uncle.

She added that the party has been uninterested in dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism and that under the new rules, party members could refer to a Jew as a Nazi and not be punished for it.

“A definition of sexual harassment agreed without the explicit endorsement of women would be unconscionable,” Hodge said. “A definition of Islamophobia that was rejected by the Muslim community would never be entertained. Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.”

The Labour Party signaled that it is planning on retaliating against Hodge for her actions.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behavior has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” a senior party official told the Guardian. “The behavior was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Seven-hundred people protested the Labour Party’s rules on July 19; no one from the Labour Party attended.

UK Labour Party Under Fire for Lackluster Anti-Semitism Guidelines

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Britain’s Labour Party has been plagued by issues of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The party has since issued some new guidelines on anti-Semitism, and they have not been well-received by Jewish organizations.

The guidelines claim to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism, stating that anti-Semitism is racism and that it’s wrong to blame Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, as well as accuse Jews of double-loyalty to Israel.

However, as the Jewish Chronicle’s Lee Harpin points out, the guidelines state that while it is anti-Semitic to use slurs like “zio,” “It is not anti-Semitism to refer to ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ as part of a considered discussion about the Israeli state.” The guidelines also discourage against comparing the actions of Israel to the Nazis, however, “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors from examples of historic misconduct. It is not anti-Semitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of anti-Semitic intent.”

This prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Jonathan Greenblatt to tweet:

Additionally, Harpin noted that the guidelines state that it’s “problematic” for Israel to call itself the Jewish state.

British Jewish organizations have criticized the guidelines for not fully embracing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, namely the parts that state it’s anti-Semitic to delegitimize the state of Israel in order to prevent the Jews from exercising “their right to self-determination.”

“It is impossible to understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal definition,” The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said. “Its actions only dilute the definition and further erode the lack of confidence that British Jews have in their sincerity to tackle anti-Semitism within the Labour movement.”

Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism, with examples of him being involved in a secret Facebook group where people posted material from David Duke and used anti-Semitic slurs like “JewNazi,” as well as him praising the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” Given how close Corbyn was to becoming prime minister of Britain, the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism is particularly important to monitor going forward.

Labour Party Member Announces He’s Leaving the Party Over Its Anti-Semitism

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leads his colleagues to the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

A Jewish member of the Labour Party announced that he will be leaving the party due to the anti-Semitism plaguing the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jamie Susskind, an author, wrote in a letter that he posted to Twitter on April 25 that he had first joined the party as a teenager and served in executive positions at various Labour clubs.

“Being Jewish, being British, and fighting for social justice are therefore all wrapped up together in my identity,” Susskind wrote. “Until recently, Labour was part of that identity too.”

And yet, while Susskind acknowledged that most Labour Party members weren’t anti-Semitic, could no longer remain in the party due to the “insults and indignities” that the Labour Party has subjected Jews to.

“I can no longer belong, in good faith, to an institution that has allowed itself to become the foremost platform for anti-Semitism in British public life,” Susskind wrote. “Holocaust deniers and racists have been emboldened by the silence (and in some cases complicity) of senior figures in the party. In part, therefore, I am leaving Labour for the same reason that I joined: because I am Jewish.”

Susskind added that he didn’t want in any way responsible for any future electoral success the Labour Party may have.

“An institution that turns a blind eye to the injustice festering in its own ranks surrenders it claim to moral leadership of the country,” Susskind wrote. “And ‘comrades’ who tacitly offer a safe space for intolerance, or turn their faces from the suffering caused by racism (or misogyny, or any of the ills that afflict Labour) are not really comrades at all.”

Susskind concluded, “There is life beyond Labour, and I will try to find it.”

Anti-Semitism has become a major problem in the Labour Party under the leadership of Corbyn, who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was once part of an anti-Semitic Facebook group.

The full letter can be read below:

H/T: Tablet

Why Israel?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. The government of Israel responded to that atrocity, as well as Iran’s use of Syria as a thoroughfare for weapons transfers to terrorist groups like Hamas, by bombing Syria’s T4 airbase. The media responded by castigating Israel: for example, the Associated Press headlined, “Tensions ratchet up as Israel blamed for Syria missile strike,” and accompanied that story with a photo of suffering Syrian children targeted by Assad, making it seem that Israel had targeted the children.

That media treatment was no surprise — the week before, the terrorist group Hamas used large-scale protests against Israel on the Gaza border as a cover for terrorist attacks on Israeli troops. When Israeli troops responded with force, the media falsely suggested that Israel had indiscriminately fired into the crowd. Meanwhile, reporters touted the story of a supposed photographer killed by Israeli forces; it turns out that the photographer was a known Hamas officer.

A few weeks earlier and some 2,000 miles away in France, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll was stabbed 11 times and her body set on fire by a Muslim neighbor who knew her well, and had convictions for rape and sexual assault. In 2017, there were 92 violent anti-Semitic incidents in France, a 28 percent year-on-year increase.

Moving across the English Channel, Israel’s Labor Party finally was forced to cut ties completely with the leader of the U.K.’s Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime anti-Semite who has routinely made nice with terrorists and defended open Jew-hatred in public. And, of course, in the United States, the alt-right’s anti-Semitism continues to make public discourse more crude and the Women’s March continues to make nice with anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan.

In other words, there is a reason for Israel to exist.

Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world.

That reason is biblical, of course: Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people and the wellspring of Jewish practice. God’s promise to the Jews is inextricably intertwined with the existence and future of the State of Israel.

But over the past few decades, too many Jews have forgotten about the practical need for the Jewish state. In the same way too many Jews ignored the Zionist movement, believing that assimilation into tolerant non-Jewish societies provided the best pathway to a decent life, too many Jews today see Israel as a remnant of a hackneyed and counterproductive ethnocentric worldview. That dislike for Israel’s very existence has led many Jews to demonstrate their “world citizen” bona fides by using every opportunity to criticize Israel.

But Israel’s existence is not about ethnocentrism. Israel is multiethnic and multicultural, of course: Judaism is a religion far more than an ethnicity, as Russian and Ethiopian Jews can attest. Israel’s existence, on a secular level, is about enshrining a state that is safe for Jews the world over — and that can defend Jews and Western values in the face of regional and international threats. When Israel stands up to Syrian atrocities, it is acting out of a Judaic commitment to prevent the degradation of human beings made in God’s image; when Israel offers a road for European Jews on the verge of extinction, it is acting not merely out of solidarity but out of decency. Israel is a decent country, because it was founded on a decent purpose — and because it was founded on the basis of a tradition of decency.

That doesn’t mean Israel’s government is mistake-free. Far from it. But Israel’s extraordinary treatment at the hands of the world community is a demonstration that Israel is an outlier — and that’s a good thing. The United Nations that condemns Israel is filled with repressive dictatorships and corrupt plutocracies; the supposed “family of nations” is more like a squabbling band of self-interested moral idiots.

When Syrian children, mostly Muslim, gasp from chlorine poisoning, it is Israeli jets that provide a possible respite. Israel doesn’t act out of the pure goodness of its heart; it acts from self-interest. But Israel’s self-interest is good for the Jews, good for the West and good for the world. Forgetting that means trusting that the better angels of others’ natures will persevere over their internal devils. Historically, that’s been a rotten bet.

Ben Shapiro is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief at The Daily Wire and host of the podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show.”

Report: Jeremy Corbyn Once Part of Anti-Semitic Facebook Group

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Times of Israel (TOI) is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, was once part of a Facebook group that was laced with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content.

Members of the Palestine Live Facebook group that Corbyn was reportedly part of frequently shared content from anti-Semites like David Duke and posted anti-Semitic slurs such as “ZioNazi” and “JewNazi.” Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews running the media and being involved in the 9/11 terror attacks permeated the group.

The group was a secret job on Facebook, meaning that members had to be invited and approved by the group admin.

There were a few instances where Corbyn posted in the group, including him lauding the UK parliament’s decision “to unilaterally recognize the state of Palestine” and referring to a Norwegian doctor who has banned from Israel as his friend. He was in the group for at least year before leaving in 2015, when he became leader of the Labour Party.

Corbyn’s spokesperson issued a statement that did not mention the group.

“Jeremy condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms in the strongest possible terms,” the spokesperson said. “He does not want the support of anti-Semites, who have no place whatsoever in the Labour movement.”

The TOI report would be the latest example of Corbyn being tied to anti-Semitic individuals and organizations. Corbyn has previously referred to the Jew-hating terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” and was supportive of Deir Yassin Remembered, which is filled with Holocaust deniers. Corbyn also once worked for Iran’s state media outlet Press TV. Anti-Semitism has also risen within the ranks of the Labour Party since Corbyn took over as leader of the party.

In June, Corbyn was dangerously close to becoming prime minister of Britain.

The stakes in the UK for Democracy and decency

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, leaves his home on the morning after Britain's election in London, Britain, on June 9. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

As British voters went to the polls in a fateful Thursday election, the results were a nail biter that left Tory Prime Minister’s House of Commons majority and prime ministership hanging in the balance.

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen a few days earlier came out in an opinion piece (“A Case for Jeremy Corbyn, June 5) outright endorsing not only the Labour Party but radical Labour Party leader PM Jeremy Corbyn.

He’s against incumbent May not only for trying to preserve the U.K.-U.S. “special relationship” during the turbulent times of the Trump Administration, but for doing so in a way that Cohen deems, let’s be frank, unseemly sucking up to President Donald Trump.

Cohen, an important columnist, has a right to his opinion. But he was sucking up to Jeremy Corbyn and this is deplorable and, indeed, despicable and a threat to democracy in troubled times.

The UK election campaign occurred in an election atmosphere not only permeated by anxieties over renewed terrorism but in a miasma of anti-Semitism.

At the Bear Pit, an outdoor popular venue in Bristol, a giant campaign banner showed Prime Minister May in Star of David-shaped earrings, which some Jewish observers called “anti-Semitic.” The banner listed positive statements about Labour Party leader Corbyn and negative ones about May. One Jewish Bristol citizen asked, “I can’t believe stuff I haven’t heard of, or seen since I was a child is now happening again. It makes me sick.”

In Surrey, Alex Goldberg, the Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surrey Police, said in a post on Facebook Sunday that he is proud of his daughter, Hannah, “for standing up to sexism, racism and religious abuse,” but was “Less proud of the police service that I have worked with for over two decades in failing to respond to three girls being attacked and racially abused.” Hannah Goldberg and her two friends, who her father said were identifiable as religious Jews due to their long skirts, were in a London-area park on May 27 when they were attacked by teens playing basketball. A bystander call the police, which did not show up for two hours, pleading a communications mix up.

According to London’s Jewish Chronicle, in Manchester, where the terrible terror attack of a few weeks ago claimed 22 lives, police reported that arson attacks on two kosher restaurants that are “anti-Semitic hate crimes” occurred within five days of each other.

The Labour campaign was also embarrassed by revelations that in 2002 Corbyn addressed a rally attended by 300 members of extremist group Al Muhajiroun where audience members shouted slogans calling for Israelis to be gassed. Khuram Butt, one of the three London Bridge/Borough Market murderers, was a supporter of and an associate Al Muhajiroun leader and jailed hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

Corbyn’s left-wing views are not the problem. It is his beyond-the-bounds apologetics for Mideast terrorism in many forms both during and after his campaign. It is fine that he is sympathetic to the Palestinians, but not that he embraces Hamas as well as Fatah, and celebrates Palestinian terrorists as martyrs. Ditto his admiration for the Tehran Mullahs. And his coddling up with U.K. Muslim incendiary preachers like those who helped inspire the recent London Bridge attack. He vilely has attacked Israel. He has impugned reporters who ask him tough questions as Jewish and suggests somehow having relatives who died in the Holocaust disqualifies them from doing so. He has equated Zionism with the Nazis and Hitler.

That such a man should become U.K. PM is unthinkable. The only historical analogy to Cohen’s endorsement we can think of comes from the 1930s when French rightists rejected Socialist Leon Blum under the slogan “Better Hitler than Blum.” Corbyn is not Hitler, but he is bad enough. Cohen’s endorsement of him is pure political nihilism.

Even those of us who usually do not take partisan positions in elections, here and abroad, sometimes do have to take a moral position.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat, also in the New York Times (“A Very British Radical, June 7), pointed out that the mainstream international press was understandably outraged by France’s right-wing presidential candidate Marine Le Pen insufficient attempts to distance herself from the anti-Semitic history of her party, France’s National Front, and her father Jean Marie Le Pen. But at the same time they treated Corbyn’s refusal to even attempt to distance himself from his anti-Semitic past I an entirely different manner: “Le Pen was cast as the madwoman in the attic, poised to set fire to the mansion. But outside Britain’s right-wing newspapers, Corbyn is portrayed more as the balmy uncle in the conservatory, puttering around with tulips and murmuring about the class struggle. Nobody exactly thinks he would be a good prime minister, but there isn’t a palpable fear that his election would be an emergency for liberal democracy.”

Roger Cohen is wrong. For the sake of democracy and decency, let us hope that Jeremy Corbyn does not squeak out an upset victory become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Historian Harold Brackman is a long-time consultant  for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The views expressed here are not the official position of either the Center or the Museum.

UK Jewish audience challenges Jeremy Corbyn on anti-Semitism charges

Facing questions from a Jewish audience about his party’s anti-Semitism problem, U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to say whether the movement will kick out one of its most often accused offenders, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Corbyn spoke about Livingstone and other issues connected to allegations of anti-Semitism on Sunday during a debate with Owen Smith, who is challenging Corbyn for the party’s leadership, at London’s JW3 Jewish community center. It was one of the most public appearances by Corbyn at a Jewish forum in recent years.

Hundreds of people attended the debate. Despite some jeering at Corbyn, it went off without incident.

Corbyn has faced allegations that his pro-Palestinian politics and endorsement of radical anti-Semites has encouraged hate speech against Jews. Livingstone sparked outrage in April when he said in an interview that Adolf Hitler was essentially “supporting Zionism” when he called for the expulsion of Jews in 1932.

When asked by a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews whether Labour intends to expel Livingstone, Corbyn was circumspect.

“OK, Ken Livingstone was suspended for the remarks he made, he’s under investigation, due process will follow,” Corbyn said.

Smith then said he suspected Livingstone will be allowed back into the party.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended and several expelled from the party since February, when the British media began scrutinizing the proliferation of anti-Semitic incidents within Labour after the election last year of Corbyn. In 2009, Corbyn called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends,” a comment he later walked back. He has also called for boycotts against Israeli settlements.

Last month, British Jewish leaders dismissed an internal party report about the problem as a “whitewash” and accused Corbyn of rewarding the author by appointing her as a lawmaker.

Shami Chakrabarti, a human rights activist and Labour member, was recommended by Labour for peerage – a term that means being appointed to the House of Lords — last month. In her report, she asserted that while there is  an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” against Jews in Labour, anti-Semitism is not prevalent in the party’s ranks. Peerage is ultimately given by the Royal House.

Corbyn reiterated during the debate his commitment to opposing all forms of racism.

London’s Muslim mayor hit with anti-Semitic messages for not backing Corbyn to lead Labour

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, has been bombarded with anti-Semitic messages since he said he would not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election.

Several of the messages suggested that he had been influenced by Jews, the London-based news website Jewishnews.uk reported.

The mayor “spends his time writing articles to help his masters in Tel Aviv,” read one tweet.

“Who owns you @sadiqkhan?” read another, which included a photo of Khan wearing a kippah while eating matzah at a Jewish community event.

Last week, Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010 and is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership. Smith previously worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC.

Khan, a Labour member, wrote an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper in support of Smith. He said in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. Khan also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.”

In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in London and in the Labour Party.

Some 500,000 ballots for the leadership race were sent out to party members on Monday; the results will be announced next month.