One naturally assumes by virtue of the vitriol aimed at the former leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn there was indeed, inter alia, a heroic anti-imperialist leader ready to take over the helms of the British state and begin to pull the nation away from centuries of imperialist foreign policy and the attendant gung ho military belligerence. The simple logic behind this assumption is that if the right-wing media despise you with the venom shown to Mr. Corbyn during his leadership between 2015 and 2020, then there must be something worthy of this vitriol or at the very least he must be beholden to convictions genuinely hostile to the old British imperialist order.
Among the pejoratives and derogations thrown at him over the course of his five-year tenure was that he was somehow an anti-semite or a facilitator of anti-semitism. The accusation continues to be insinuated and made against Corbyn and the way he ran the Labour Party even after a new leadership has now taken over the helm and direction of the party. In this essay, I show that far from being any kind of anti-Zionist, Corbyn was very loyal to the Labour Party’s historic position on Zionism.
Before becoming leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Corbyn could always be seen opposing British and American military campaigns and showing solidarity with oppressed groups. Among the latter are the Palestinians who were mostly ethnically cleansed from their lands by British trained Zionist militias in 1947-48 to create the new state of Israel. Zionist supporters have adopted a strategy to deflect attention away from the ethnic cleansing foundations of the Zionist state and its continued campaigns of occupation and argue most criticism of the Zionist colonial entity is anti-semitic.
Between twenty-five to thirty years ago the only political groupings that guaranteed a fair hearing for the Palestinian cause are those that were and are commonly referred to as the “far left”. The Labour Party had always been an overwhelmingly pro-Zionist organisation until very recently. For Muslim or Islamist groups, Palestine wasn’t a major rallying issue for them back in say the late 1980s or early 1990s.
But even within the so-called “far-left” especially amongst the multitude of Trotskyist organisations one constantly encountered strong pro-Israeli sentiment which continues to this very day. Anyway, it was within this political environment that I came across a magazine called “Living Marxism” published by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a Trotskyist organisation whose leading guru was Frank Furedi. This organisation had ultimately split from the parent Trotskyist organisation that was headed by Tony Cliffe called, Socialist Workers Party (formerly International Socialists). Living Marxism had stood out from the other Trotsky magazines or journals because it took up more pro-Palestinian or pro-Arab positions than the others vis-à-vis the Zionist occupying entity and also during the first war on Iraq in 1991. Continue reading
“The British government have promised that what is called the Zionist movement shall have a fair chance in this country, and the British Government will do what is necessary to secure that fair chance…We cannot tolerate the expropriation of one set of people by another or the violent trampling down of one set of national ideals for the sake of erecting another…”
Winston S. Churchill to an Arab delegation, 30 March 1921.
“I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time…I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…I do not think the Red Indians had any right to say, ‘The American Continent belongs to us and we are not going to have any of these European settlers coming in here’. They had not the right, nor had they the power.”
Winston S. Churchill to the Peel Commission on Palestine, 12th March 1937.
By the end of the official British presence inPalestinein mid May 1948, four hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs Continue reading