Tom Gross

Does Corbyn know who wrote this about Jerusalem?

The Labour leader appears neither to know nor care about the history of Jerusalem

September 27, 2018 14:50

In the main Labour Party conference hall in Liverpool on Wednesday it seemed there were more Palestinian flags being waved than at a Hamas rally in Gaza, or at the opening session of the Palestinian Parliament at Ramallah.

The vote by party members to debate Palestine was the fourth most popular after housing, schools, and justice for the Windrush generation. The subject of “Palestine” gained more votes (188,000) than Brexit and the National Health Service.

The chanting by Labour activists included the Hamas and Islamic Jihad slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free” (i.e. from the river Jordan to the Mediterranean sea, including Tel Aviv, all of Israel should be destroyed).

One of the many lies told about Israel among left-wing Labour activists is that there were almost no Jews there before the Holocaust.

But I wonder how many of them (including Jeremy Corbyn) know who wrote the following in 1854?

“The sedentary population of Jerusalem numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans [Muslims] and 8,000 Jews. The Mussulmans, forming about a fourth part of the whole, and consisting of Turks, Arabs and Moors, are, of course, the masters in every respect, as they are in no way affected with the weakness of their Government at Constantinople.

“Nothing equals the misery and the sufferings of the Jews at Jerusalem, inhabiting the most filthy quarter of the town, called hareth-el-yahoud, the quarter of dirt, between the Zion and the Moriah, where their synagogues are situated – the constant objects of Mussulman oppression and intolerance, insulted by the Greeks, persecuted by the Latins, and living only upon the scanty alms transmitted by their European brethren.”

That was Karl Marx, writing in the New York Daily Tribune, in 1854.

Does Corbyn know this? Does he care?

Marx was part of a small fringe of antisemitic self-hating (or self-loving, depending how you look at it) Jews, who have attached themselves to antisemites throughout history, of the kind that Corbyn likes to associate himself with today.

To cite one example of Marx’s antisemitism, in an article in 1856, he wrote: “We find every tyrant backed by a Jew…if there were not a handful of Jews to ransack pockets. Here and there and everywhere, there is ever one of these little Jews ready to…place a little bit of a loan.

“Thus do these loans, which are a curse to the people, a ruin to the holders, and a danger to the governments, become a blessing to the children of Judah.”

Marx was not alone among antisemitic Jews. The spiritual father of the fanatical incitement that led to the Spanish inquisition was Abner of Burgos, a Jew who converted to Christianity. Abner wrote “the Jews must be deprived of the easy livelihoods…they must be deprived of their autonomy and that they must be terrorized and subjected to harsh laws. Only then would they merit redemption.”

There were even some deranged Jews who supported Hitler and Stalin.

And there are still some today, including Britain’s leading Holocaust denier, Paul Eisen, with whom Corbyn has shared a platform (and even reportedly donated money).

At Labour conference there were no mass flag wavings for the Kurds or Tibetans or Baluchis or Catalans or Abkhazians or South Ossetians or Western Saharans or Nagorno-Karabakh Azeris or Chechens or Papuans or the more than 100 other independence movements throughout the world.

(In case the BBC forgot to report on it, over 500,000 Papuans have been killed, and thousands more have been raped, tortured and imprisoned by the Indonesian military in the last 50 years.) 

There were no British flags anywhere to be seen.

So the question is: for a party that claims it does not want to be thought of across the world as the most antisemitic mainstream political party in Europe today, why do you keep promoting those that wish to kill Jews?

This is not helpful for the promotion of Middle East peace, as Britain’s first MP of Palestinian descent, Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, told the BBC earlier this month in regard to other anti-Israel slogans plastered on London bus stops by left-wing Corbyn supporters.

“I’m a Palestinian,” she said. “The fact that this has come from a group that purportedly is speaking for Palestinians, I take great offence at myself, because I think it is blatantly antisemitic.”

Tom Gross is a former Jerusalem correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph.


September 27, 2018 14:50

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