The Herzlian party has campaigned vigorously in the British General Election, reaching virtually every household in the country. Four days before polling day the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was widely reported in the British mass media as attacking Jeremy Corbyn for alleged anti-Semitism. “Jeremy Corbyn is the biggest global threat to Jews, warns Simon Wiesenthal Centre – the world’s leading Nazi-hunting organisation – as Boris Johnson urges voters to save Britain from a ‘nightmare’” wrote the Mail on Sunday, adding bullet points:
- Anti-Nazi hunting organisation says Corbyn is the worst anti-Semite on the planet
- The Simon Wiesenthal Centre says Corbyn would turn Britain into a pariah state”
- PM says Corbyn’s immigration policy would “put even more pressure on the NHS”.
Earlier the UK’s Chief Rabbi weighed in with a strong attack on Corbyn, also denouncing him for “anti-Semitism”. Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis had written an article in the Times headed “What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?”. It began thus::
Elections should be a celebration of democracy. However, just weeks before we go to the polls, the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety. During the past few years, on my travels through the UK and further afield, one concern has been expressed to me more than any other. Of course, the threats of the far right and violent jihadism never go away, but the question I am now most frequently asked is: What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labour Party forms the next government? This anxiety is justified. Raising concerns about anti-Jewish racism in the context of a general election ranks among the most painful moments I have experienced…
Anti-Jewish racism? It was a Jew who first pointed out to me that Jews are not a race, and that that terminology comes from the Nazis. Actually, it’s older than the Nazis, but the point was still valid.
The Evening Standard reported on this under the heading: “Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis warns Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism makes him unfit for high office”, and quoted from the article: “Jewish community has watched with incredulity as supporters of the Labour leadership have hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism”. Oh really? Not the other way round? This became the lead story in that evening’s BBC flagship news analysis television programme. It interviewed the pro-Zionist Jewish Labour Movement, but not its rival group, Jewish Voice for Labour, which supports Jeremy Corbyn. and this was written up on the BBC News website:
The Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Empire is “a title that bears some formal recognition by the Crown, even though his rabbinical authority is recognised by only slightly more than half of British Jews”, states Wikipedia. I checked the numbers out with the reference provided, which was a report by the the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research titled “Synagogue membership in the United Kingdom in 2010“. I concluded that was a gross exaggeration.
The Chief Rabbi is the rabbi of the United Synagogue, which states: “The US has a Zionist commitment to strengthening its members’ bond with the land and state of Israel; a central feature in our beliefs and prayers”, and so this confirms that the United Synagogue is a political organisation.
There’s been a lot of criticism of the Chief Rabbi in the alternative media. This was summed up quite well by Stuart Littlewood, writing in Redress Information & Analysis, in an article headed “UK Chief Rabbi’s pious bid to sabotage Corbyn. But what of his own record on fighting racism?”. He also reported that when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted his approval a leading campaigner against racism immediately resigned from a Church of England advisory body in protest. Gus John wrote to the Church of England’s national adviser on minority ethnic issues: “Those who occupy houses clad with stained glass should perhaps be a trifle more careful when they join others in throwing stones,” the article reports.
Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party there has been a relentless campaign from within the party to unseat him. The head of the Herzlian party’s headquarters in London was filmed by an undercover team from AlJazeera talking to his supporters at a Labour Party conference. Ambassador Mark Regev told them: “We’ve got to say in the language, I think, of social democracy, these people are mysogenistic, they are homophobic, they are racist, they are anti-Semitic, they are reactionary. I think that’s what we need to say. It’s an important message”.
The documentary series showed how the Herzlians had been organising to undermine Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party leader, as well as a government minister who had been critical of Israel over Palestine. Britain’s then foreign minister was Boris Johnson, who told the House of Commons that the Israeli ambassador had apologised, and so the matter was over.
Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party
Shortly after the polling stations had closed on 12 December, one commentator said there had been two reasons for the exit polls to show a swing towards the Conservatives. One was over the issue of Brexit, and the other was that Jeremy Corbyn was “toxic”. This was a measure of the success of the Herzlian party’s influence in the UK’s parliamentary General Election. Word had gone around that Jeremy Corbyn was “anti-Semitic” or at least that he was allowing “anti-Semitism” to thrive in his party.
Yet there has indeed been “anti-Semitism” in the parliamentary Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn has not had a free hand in his leadership, but has been obliged to follow the decisions of his National Executive Committee. As a result he had become a spokesman rather than a leader. His opponents within the Labour Party were Herzlians, supporters of the Zionist aspirations which Theodor Herzl advocated. In his diaries, Herzl wrote of “rich Jews” and “poor Jews”, and advocated the expulsion of “poor Jews” from Russia and Germany, so that they would be channelled into Palestine, ready for the creation of a “Jewish state”. His complete diaries clearly show this, but they weren’t published until 1960, and even then the publications were difficult to get hold of. Recently they have appeared on the internet, and the case that Herzl was anti-Semitic was made out in the Unz Review in UK’s Labour anti-Semitism split: Just what the doctor prescribed“. Herzl described his ideas as a “military campaign”, and it seems that the Herzlians are following that philosophy to this day.
At the last count, the Parliamentary Labour Party included 80 members of the Herzlian party’s Labour Friends of Israel, and the Parliamentary Conservative Party included 80 per cent members of the Herzlian party’s Conservative Friends of Israel. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel, though he did on one occasion manage to criticise Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians without being targeted, as another Conservative minister was, and as Jeremy Corbyn has been since he was elected leader of the Labour Party. That may be because he also lavished praise on Israel. I suspect that the Herzlian party would have preferred Michael Gove, who had previously blocked Boris Johnson in becoming prime minister, but they were more dedicated to blocking Jeremy Corbyn, who had been a vociferous long-term critic of Israel.
Leading adherents of the Herzlian party must be aware of the policies of their founder, Theodor Herzl, and that his policies were extreme in their “anti-Semitism”. Thus, the “anti-Semites” in the Labour Party are the adherents of the Herzlian party, who simply project their own “racism” onto their critics.
The battleground has been in the Labour Party because in the party as a whole the Herzlians are outnumbered, and they were losing their hold on the Parliamentary Party. In the Conservative Party they hold a firm grip.
With their campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn they succeeded in making his name “toxic”, thus helping to ensure a victory for the Conservative Party. The Herzlian party are thus the winners in Thursday’s [12 December] General Election, and will oversee British politics for the foreseeable future.
Ian Fantom is an information scientist with MSc in Physics. Organises monthly meetings for Keep Talking in London and Keep Talking email discussion groups in English and Esperanto. Popularised Esperanto in the 1970s.