by Hugh Fitzgerald
Keith Ellison, a former US Congressman and deputy Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has just met with the head of Britain’s Labour Party, the antisemitic Jeremy Corbyn, who has described members of Hamas and Hezbollah as his friends, and on a trip to Tunisia attended a solemn ceremony at a cemetery to honor the terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Appalled at the antisemitism of Corbyn, expressed in word and deed over the last few years, sometimes couched as “merely” anti-Israel criticism (but that criticism is full of ill-conceived pathological hostility), more than ten members have quit the party. People from the far-left wing of the party, who see Israel as a “colonial-settler” state, have taken control at every level, so that even were Corbyn to disappear, others, just like him in their antisemitism and anti-Israel animus, would take over.
The Labour Party contends it is now investigating these charges of antisemitism in the party. One of its members, Christine Shawcroft, quit — no one forced her out — the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee, but not the party itself, after a row over her endorsement of a Holocaust denier. Another Labour party member, Peter Willsman, claimed that the crisis over antisemitism in the party was “all lies” and that party staffers investigating the charges of antisemitism were “linked” to the Israeli embassy. He also said that an article by 68 rabbis criticizing Labour’s handling of the antisemitism scandal in the party was “obviously organised” by Israel. There was no truth to any of these claims, and Willsman, in a rare sign of semi-decency in the party, was forced to resign.
Then there was the election of Lisa Forbes as Labour MP from Peterborough. Forbes, it was discovered, had clicked the Facebook like button on a video showing solidarity with victims of the Christchurch terror attack, and that included an appended text accusing Theresa May of having a “Zionist slave masters agenda.”
She also commented under a post whose author claimed that Islamic extremists were the creation of the CIA and Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, writing: “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much.” Though she has been widely criticized, Jeremy Corbyn has backed Lisa Forbes to the hilt.
Last week there was yet another antisemitism scandal.. Leading UK Jewish groups and a member of Parliament criticized a Labour MP for planning to host in Parliament a representative of the Houthis, the virulently antisemitic Shi’a group in Yemen.
The full story is here.
Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle invited Ahmed Alshami — a representative of the Iran-backed Houthi group, which has been fighting an insurgency against the government of Yemen for several years — to appear at an event for the far-left Stop the War Coalition in parliament.
The Houthis’ official slogan is, “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam.”
Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, a prominent critic of antisemitism within the party, commented to Jewish News that “The antisemitic language and actions of the Houthi group, who will be represented at this event, are sickening.”
“Inviting an organization whose slogan states ‘death to Israel, curse the Jews’ to Parliament will do nothing to reassure the Jewish community that Labour takes the fight against antisemitism seriously,” she said.
“Lloyd Russell-Moyle should think again,” she added.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ Vice President Amanda Bowman said, “Hosting an organization in the Houses of Parliament whose official slogan includes the phrase ‘death to Israel, curse the Jews’ is utterly unacceptable.”
“Lloyd Russell-Moyle should immediately disavow his support for this event,” she urged.
The Jewish Leadership Council issued a statement, saying, “The Houthis drove the Jews of Yemen out of their homes, destroying the ancient community. The Houthi flag and slogan says ‘a curse on the Jews.’”
“Peace in Yemen is vital, but nobody should roll out the red carpet for a Houthi spokesperson without challenging his antisemitism,” the group noted.
Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, asserted, “It is utterly appalling that a Labour MP would host in parliament the mouthpiece of a violent, Iranian-backed terror group which preaches hatred against Jews and the State of Israel.”
“In the fight against antisemitism in the Labour party, there are only two sides and Lloyd Russell-Moyle has again shamefully chosen to ally himself with those who defend and propagate anti-Jewish racism,” she added.
Russell-Moyle told the UK daily The Sun, “Labour supports all efforts to bring about a peace settlement in Yemen, which means encouraging dialogue with people on all sides, however much we disagree with their views — a task made harder by the UK government supporting and arming the Saudi-led forces.”
The Yemeni government is fighting the Houthis with the aid of Saudi Arabia along with, among others, British military advisers.
Independent MP John Woodcock, a former member of Labour [who resigned over the party’s antisemitism], called it “staggering that a Labour MP is welcoming this virulently antisemitic terror group into parliament.”
“Time and again, Corbyn and his allies welcome in Jew haters and side with the extremist enemies of the UK,” he said.
“The decent MPs left in the Labour party need to stop this event from happening on Tuesday,” he continued.
That’s a lot of baggage whirling on the Labour Party’s antisemitic carousel: the inimitable Jeremy Corbyn himself; Catherine Shawcroft, with her defense of a Holocaust denier; Peter Willsman, with his conspiratorial claims about “the Israelis” who are orchestrating from their London embassy the campaign against (presumably nonexistent) antisemitism in the party; Lisa Forbes, the newly-elected MP who was deeply impressed by the claim that Islamic extremists were the creation of Mossad and the CIA; Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who thought it would be just the thing to invite to the Mother of Parliaments a representative of the Houthis, whose heartfelt slogan is “God is great [actually “Allah is greater”], death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam.” Russell-Moyle said he had invited the Houthis because he wanted “to encourage dialogue with people on all sides.” Yes, of course, nothing says “encouraging dialogue” like “death to Israel, curse the Jews.”
Advice to Jeremy Corbyn at 105 Victoria Street, Westminster, and to those many people in the Labour Party who think as he does about Israel and Jews (bad) and Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Houthis (all good): When you are in a hole, don’t keep digging.
First published in Jihad Watch.
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