The dust still hasn’t settled since last week’s early parliamentary election called by Conservative (Tory) British Prime Minister Theresa May. May thought she could increase her outright parliamentary majority, giving her a stronger hand as she negotiates Brexit (Britain leaving the European Union) and more, but instead lost seats, with Labour gaining seats, forcing her to form a coalition government.
What I have learned over the years is that sovereign nations around the world don’t care what Shia Altman thinks or wants. Of course I want stable governments with which I can agree on a host of issues, especially the issue of Israel. I certainly don’t want to see governments that are hostile to the Jewish state.
For example, last year, Canada didn’t listen to me, and voted out its very pro-Israel Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative party, and replaced him with so-far-OK-to-Israel Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party. In my book, Trudeau doesn’t pass the “kishka test” when it comes to Israel – Harper did and then some – and I have my worries about the new PM and his cabinet, but we shall see. Oy, Canada.
Now here we go in the UK. Not only have the pro-Israel May and her party been hurt, but the Labour party, and its leader who fared much better than expected, is as anti-Israel as they come for a Western democracy. For those who support Israel, this is frightening and worrisome.
Jeremy Corbyn, who identifies himself as a “democratic socialist” (gee, where have I heard that before?) became head of Britains’s Labour party in the fall of 2015. I was appalled but not too terribly surprised that the opposition party in the UK chose such a leftist to be their leader; the party had veered more and more left after Tony Blair exited the Labour stage, and the party was always the one that represented powerful labor unions.
This column shows a curriculum vitae of Corbyn’s terrorist bona fides. It lists Corbyn’s associations with the terrorist Irish Republican Army, his calling Osama bin Laden’s death a tragedy, his praising of a racist Islamist who claimed Jews were behind 9/11, his celebrating the mullahs taking over Iran, and his calling Hamas and Hezbollah friends (although he now regrets saying that, but most willingly took the money for travel/gifts Hamas has given him).
There is more. During the Israel/Hamas war in 2014, Corbyn and other Labour Members of Parliament signed a Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Corbyn is a member) letter demanding a British arms embargo against Israel, with Corbyn saying the following when proudly delivering the letter to the UK Prime Minister’s residence, “… it’s time that this (UK – Israel) relationship was brought to an end since Israel is now under investigation for war crimes over the bombing of Gaza.”
Here is Corbyn at an anti-Israel rally angrily ranting about Israel and even blasting President Obama for letting (?) “Israel build a missile defense system.” The video starts at a certain point. But go back and watch all Corbyn has to hatefully say about Israel from the beginning of the four minute clip. He talks about Israelis being murderers and war criminals. It really is incredible and outrageous.
And yes, Jeremy Corbyn supports the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) movement, including not just arms research and sales, but even goods and services.
If there has been or is a far left, radical leader or cause on the planet, the extremist Corbyn has been out in front in support.
OK, now we know about the head of the snake. What about the snake? A year ago, the Labour party suspended 50 party members for making anti-Israel and racist statements.
It is no coincidence that ever since Corbyn became Labour’s leader, Jew-haters within the party and in the country lost any inhibitions, if they had any, about not just making nasty hateful remarks about Jews and Israel, but committing hate crimes against Jews as well.
A UK House of Commons, non-partisan Commons Select Committee report put out last October said the following: “… we believe that his (Corbyn’s) lack of consistent leadership on this issue, and his reluctance to separate antisemitism from other forms of racism, has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people. This situation has been further exacerbated by the (Labour) Party’s demonstrable incompetence at dealing with members accused of antisemitism …”
The report also listed key facts, which include:
– Commons Select Committee-recorded antisemitic incidents in London rose by 62% between the first six months of 2015 and 2016
– a survey of British Jewish people by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research found that a fifth of respondents had experienced at least one incident of antisemitic harassment during the previous 12 months
– a self-selecting survey of British Jewish people found that 87% believed that the Labour Party is too tolerant of antisemitism among its MPs, members and supporters
– and, [talk about denial] a survey of Labour Party members who joined after the 2015 General Election (when Corbyn took over) found that 55% agreed with the notion that antisemitism is “not a serious problem at all, and is being hyped up to undermine Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, or to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel”
Clearly, the fish rots from the head down.
As with the Democratic party in the US, Labour in Britain typically attracts the majority of Jewish voters for the same reasons, liberal views. But not since Corbyn. According to a poll taken days before the election, only 13% of British Jews intended to vote Labour, 77% for the Conservatives, the fear and anger about Corbyn and his party making it obvious even liberal Jews were voting Conservative.
In fact, formerly Labour, London Jewish voters made it easier for Theresa May to keep more seats making her bid for a coalition easier. Pro-Israel voters knew and know that any Labour win would be beyond terrible for Israel.
So with all this, what happened? Younger voters were the key. They did not know or care about Corbyn’s and his party’s nasty past and present, they liked his giveaway promises, and Labour’s tech savvy team used social media and even celebrities to the max. Eighteen to 34 year-olds came out in big numbers and gave a whopping 60% of their votes to Labour.
So what’s the bottom line? The Conservatives still hold many more seats than Labour. But the left wing party has become so fringe and so obviously abhorrent, one would think it could never garner one seat, let alone the 266 it did. And how could anyone vote for a terrorist lover after recent terror attacks? (The Tories won 318 seats, with 326 needed for an absolute majority, but miscalculating and losing seats as she did was considered devastating and might very well spell the end of Theresa May. The knives are out within her own party.)
The numbers show that many in Britain put ideology and worthless freebie promises ahead of common sense. Free everything! Hmm, where else does that happen?
Speaking of Bernie Sanders, the US anti-Israel, leftist hero, said he was “delighted” at the UK election outcome. Of course he was.
A silver lining here is that the nasty head of the snake and the snake don’t hide their venom and insanity, and are still there for all to see. Had Corbyn been thrashed he would have stepped down. Also, young people eventually get older and wiser and with unabashedly hateful crazies like Corbyn, the naïve youthful ones will hopefully soon see what they have wrought. Promises and rappers and Facebook and bright colors and shiny objects can only go so far.
I hope. Gulp.