When Jeremy Corbyn endorsed Zionism and the British Empire

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.

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How Idrees Ahmad Whitewashes British Imperialism in Palestine and Syria

Regime change advocates are writers or propagandists who want to alter the governments in the Global South and replace them with a government to Western likening. This can be done directly when a Western power sends its army overseas, militarily invades the nation-state and rids the country of the existing government as in Iraq or indirectly as in the case of Libya were local proxy forces were used and with the help of superior Western air power (NATO) the hitherto existing Libyan government was removed. As the world witnessed in the run up to the Iraq war in 2003, journalists, academics and think-tank professionals who advocate for these pro-Western regime change operations tend to be whitewashers, deceivers, liars or outright conmen. Naturally, these traits inevitably seep out into their published works.

In the past, this writer has dealt with the regime-change enthusiast Robin Yassin-Kassab highlighting the hoax in his book about the war on Syria. The University of Cambridge academic Dr. Priyamvada Gopal has denounced anyone who doesn’t accept Western regime change narrative on Libya and Syria as either “Gaddafists” or “Assadists”. So it was inevitable that this esteemed Cambridge don is not indifferent to a little sleight of hand analysis in her much acclaimed tome, Insurgent Empire.

Dr. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad of the University of Sterling is another enthusiastic advocate for regime change in the Global South and he too can also be found wanting in the sincerity department. Ahmad and Yassin-Kassab both edited what appeared to be an anti-imperialist website, Pulse. A website edited by two people that sprang out of nowhere which claimed or at the very least implied it was against the war in Iraq and also pro-Palestine. Yet once the upheaval in Libya began in 2011 and the British government began advocating for military intervention, Idrees Ahmad and Yassin-Kassab began denouncing anyone who opposed Western military intervention in Libya. Continue reading

Malcolm X on Zionism: Zionist Logic

First published in The Egyptian Gazette — Sept. 17, 1964

The Zionist armies that now occupy Palestine claim their ancient Jewish prophets predicted that in the “last days of this world” their own God would raise them up a “messiah” who would lead them to their promised land, and they would set up their own “divine” government in this newly-gained land, this “divine” government would enable them to “rule all other nations with a rod of iron.”

If the Israeli Zionists believe their present occupation of Arab Palestine is the fulfillment of predictions made by their Jewish prophets, then they also religiously believe that Israel must fulfill its “divine” mission to rule all other nations with a rod of irons, which only means a different form of iron-like rule, more firmly entrenched even, than that of the former European Colonial Powers.

These Israeli Zionists religiously believe their Jewish God has chosen them to replace the outdated European colonialism with a new form of colonialism, so well disguised that it will enable them to deceive the African masses into submitting willingly to their “divine” authority and guidance, without the African masses being aware that they are still colonized.

CAMOUFLAGE

The Israeli Zionists are convinced they have successfully camouflaged their new kind of colonialism. Their colonialism appears to be more “benevolent,” more “philanthropic,” a system with which they rule simply by getting their potential victims to accept their friendly offers of economic “aid,” and other tempting gifts, that they dangle in front of the newly-independent African nations, whose economies are experiencing great difficulties. During the 19th century, when the masses here in Africa were largely illiterate it was easy for European imperialists to rule them with “force and fear,” but in this present era of enlightenment the African masses are awakening, and it is impossible to hold them in check now with the antiquated methods of the 19th century. Continue reading

Palestine Amiss in Priyamvada Gopal’s Insurgent Empire

Britain has no anti-imperialist tradition. There may have been the occasional outburst from this or that literary, cultural or political figure but such outbursts have always had very limited public appeal. In recent years opinion polls have shown the British public has an overwhelming positive view of the days when the British imperialist writ ran supreme over a very good proportion of mankind. Tens of millions of souls may have perished in slavery and destitution; hundreds and thousands  of millions of pounds may have been looted from what is now referred to as the Global South. But hey, let’s look on the positive side of Empire: we did eventually abolish slavery and build the railroads in India.

The Cambridge University academic, Priyamvada Gopal over the last several years has become known as a critic of British imperialism, imperial nostalgia and also of contemporary British racism. Her latest book, Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent is apparently informed by her admiration of Edward Said. As she states, the “late Edward Said’s work continues to nourish my mind and the impact of his thought will, hopefully, be evident throughout this book.”[i] Professor Edward Said distinguished himself as one of the world’s most preeminent intellectuals in the study of imperialism. Among his much esteemed books are Orientalism, The Question of Palestine and Culture and Imperialism. His writing was no doubt influenced by his status as a refugee as a result of British imperialism’s policies in his native Palestine.

The hypothesis that drives Gopal’s book is that anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist resistance in the British Empire influenced political dissent in Britain itself. In the introduction of the book there are numerous repetitions of this claim. For example, struggles in the Global South, “were not without impact on metropolitan ideologies and practices.”[ii] And more forthrightly: Continue reading