Wednesday, 12 August 2015
An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn in Left Foot Forward by Alan Johnson
An interesting article that deserves wider readership.
Here's an extract, the bit relevant to Jeremy Corbyn's choice of 'friends':
'... But you won't get my vote.
You won't get it because Labour's best traditions also include anti-fascism and internationalism while your support – to me, inexplicable and shameful – for the fascistic and antisemitic forces of Hezbollah and Hamas flies in the face of those traditions. In particular, your full-throated cheer-leading for the vicious antisemitic Islamist Raed Salah is a deal-breaker.
Why did you lend your support to Raed Salah? No, he is not a 'critic of Israel', but a straight-up Jew hater.
You said in 2012, 'Salah is far from a dangerous man', even though the left-wing, anti-Netanyahu Israeli newspaper of record, Ha'aretz, reported that Salah was first charged with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence in January 2008.
You said 'Salah is a very honoured citizen', even though Salah was found guilty of spreading the blood libel – the classic antisemitic slander that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make their bread. He did so during a speech on 16 February 2007 in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Joz.
I mean, just listen to Salah: 'We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children's blood', he said. 'Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the holy bread.' (The UK Appeal Court decided that 'We do not find this comment could be taken to be anything other than a reference to the blood libel against Jews.' It also decided that this would 'offend and distress Israeli Jews and the wider Jewish community.')
You said: 'Salah represents his people extremely well', even though after the 9/11 terrorist attacks Salah wrote this in the October 5, 2001 issue of the weekly Sawt al-Haq w'al-Huriyya (Voice of Justice and Freedom): 'A suitable way was found to warn the 4,000 Jews who work every day at the Twin Towers to be absent from their work on September 11, 2001, and this is really what happened!
Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent [from their jobs] by chance, or was there another reason? At the same time, no such warning reached the 2,000 Muslims who worked every day in the Twin Towers, and therefore there were hundreds of Muslim victims.'
You said 'Salah's is a voice that must be heard' even though he has called homosexuality a 'great crime' and recently [preached that 'Jerusalem will soon become the capital of the global caliphate' which will 'spread justice throughout the land after it was filled with injustice by America, the Zionist enterprise, the Batiniyya, reactionism, Paganism and the Crusaders.' i.e. everyone who does not follow his brand of Sunni Islam.
You said 'I look forward to giving you tea on the terrace because you deserve it!', even though the Islamic Movement [the northern branch of which Salah heads] has eulogised Osama bin Laden and Salah has incited Muslims against Jews by writing incendiary lies such as this: 'The unique mover wanted to carry out the bombings in Washington and New York in order to provide the Israeli establishment with a way out of its entanglements.' Who do you think he meant by 'the unique mover'?
Why is that kind of conspiratorial antisemitism, dripping with threat and menace, worthy of tea on the terrace?
And it isn't just a problem with Salah, is it? You said it was 'my pleasure and my honour' to host 'our friends from Hezbollah and our friends from Hamas' in the Commons.
Why do you not care that the Hamas Charter states that 'Islam will obliterate Israel' and enjoins all good Muslims to kill Jews, whom it blames for all the wars and revolutions in classic antisemitic fashion?
Why don't you challenge your 'friends in Hamas' about the inclusion in their Charter of this canonical Hadith: 'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'
And why are Hezbollah your friends? They are an antisemitic Islamist goose-stepping 'Party of God' who persecute (and assassinate) liberals and democrats in Lebanon whenever they can. The Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said 'If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.' (NY Times, May 23, 2004, p. 15, section 2, column 1.) Your 'friends' were enthusiastically slaughtering Syrian civilians on behalf of the Assad regime long before ISIS or Jabhat Al-Nusra joined the fray.'
Plenty there that interviewers from the British media could raise with Jeremy Corbyn but you won't hear a squeak from the institutionally anti Israel BBC.
More of that open letter here http://leftfootforward.org/2015/06/an-open-letter-to-jeremy-corbyn/