Nadav Lawrence

Jeremy Corbyn: The Man Behind the Smokescreen

Three weeks today the British people will go to the polls in the hope of electing a parliament that can finally push forward in resolving the country’s Brexit mess. If the last three and a half years are anything to go by, that may well be an unachievable pipe dream.

What may, however, be a more likely possibility is that the leader of the country’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, manages to cobble together a working coalition and seize the keys to Number 10. Should this scenario come to pass, and Jeremy Corbyn does indeed become Britain’s next prime minister, the UK will be led by a man who has consistently demonstrated that  he has more in common with Latin American dictators, Islamist terrorists and Arab despots than he does with the champions of liberal democracy, civil liberties and human rights for all. None of this is new of course; it has been well documented and discussed ever since Corbyn took leadership of the Labour Party in 2015. Yet with the UK once again going to elections, and the prospect of Corbyn becoming the country’s next prime minister being a real – if rather distant – possibility, it is worth reminding ourselves of the utter moral bankruptcy which has marked this man’s political career.

Far from defending democracy and its associated principles such as freedom of the press, respect for elections, and freedom of expression, Corbyn has consistently voiced support for Latin American autocrats as they have attempted to subvert democratic processes and cement their own grips on power. Most recently, Corbyn took to Twitter to brand the ousting of Bolivian president, Evo Morales, as ‘appalling’ and a ‘coup against the Bolivian people’. Of course, what was really a ‘coup against the Bolivian people’ was the fact that Morales was attempting to grant himself an additional term in office, despite this being prohibited by the Bolivian constitution and the Bolivian people voting against allowing him to do so.

In yet another display of support for Socialist strongmen, following the death of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, Mr Corbyn once again used Twitter to shower praise on socialist despotism. “He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world”, Corbyn tweeted of Chavez. Some of Hugo Chavez’s ‘massive contributions’ included quashing judicial independence and turning the judiciary into a political tool to cement his grip on power, restricting press freedom and aggressively intimidating dissenting voices into keeping quiet. During Chavez’s time in office, every indicator measuring freedom, political rights and civil liberties showed Venezuela in decline. If this is what passes for ‘massive contributions’ in the mind of Jeremy Corbyn, then it demonstrates what utter contempt the man has for democratic process and civil liberties when they stand in the way of his ideology.

In the arena of world peace and human rights for all, Corbyn’s record is even worse. The Labour leader’s supporters like to propagate the illusion that he is a peacemaker, someone who brings people together. His actions paint a very different picture. In 2014, Corbyn willingly attended a memorial ceremony in Tunisia at the graves of those who orchestrated the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In an article he himself wrote following the event, Corbyn made not one mention of the fact that the people he was memorializing and honoring had innocent Israeli blood on their hands. He even had the audacity to claim that the dead terrorists were the ‘victims’ of the story.  You don’t have to be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize to recognize that supporting Palestinian statehood as a solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict and honoring the murderers of innocent Israeli athletes are not the same thing.

In case Corbyn’s participation in honoring terrorists was merely a blip, he made a 4-day visit to Israel and the West Bank in 2010. Yet during his visit to the only country on earth where the majority of people are Jews, the leader of the Labour Party didn’t manage to meet with a single Jew. Instead, his entire trip was dedicated to meeting with various Islamist groups and representatives and cementing the view that only the Arab narrative of the conflict is legitimate and the Jewish narrative is illegitimate. Did Corbyn meet with his political opponents on the Israeli right? No. Did Corbyn meet with members of the Israeli left who support a two-state solution? No. Did Corbyn visit a ‘Hand in Hand’ joint Jewish-Arab school? No. Did Corbyn meet with grassroots organizations that work to build Israeli-Palestinian coexistence and peace from the ground up? No. Far from meeting those who are investing in true peace-building, Corbyn met only with those propagating a one-sided narrative, incitement, hatred and ultimately violence. Far from bringing conflicting peoples together and being the harbinger of peace, Corbyn knows exactly who he supports. He shares his worldview, particularly in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with those whose idea of ‘peace in the Middle East’ is a region in which Jews, a people indigenous to the region, live under Arab and/or Islamist hegemony, or simply have no place at all.

Corbyn’s friendly relations with Islamist despots go far beyond the Israeli-Arab conflict. Speaking at an event honoring Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Corbyn heaped praise on the “tolerance and acceptance” that the Islamist regime shows to “other faiths, traditions and ethnic groupings”. I don’t know which Iran Corbyn was talking about, but the Islamic Republic of Iran that has existed since 1979 is a regime that dedicates its entire existence to the building of an Islamist empire across the Middle East. It is a country where converting out of Islam can be punished by death, where women appearing in public are required to cover their hair and gays are hung from cranes, where members of the Baha’i faith have been denied official recognition and subjected to incessant persecution, and where openly declaring one’s atheism leads to the denial of political rights, imprisonment and even the death penalty.

Still, none of this stopped Mr Corbyn from taking £20,000 from that regime in exchange for presenting on its English-language propaganda channel, Press TV, multiple times between 2009 and 2012. Far from being the moral defender of human rights his supporters claim he is, Corbyn speaks out against human rights abuses only when they’re perpetrated by those he doesn’t like, namely western democracies. When it’s those who he considers his bedfellows in the fight against western liberal democracy doing the persecuting, the torturing and the executing, Corbyn is only too happy to throw the oppressed under the bus.

Behind the smokescreen of left-wing populism, Jeremy Corbyn is a man who has spent his entire political career championing socialist autocrats, Islamist theocrats and Arab despots, not because he wants to persuade them to change their ways, or to advance peace or trade, but because he actually agrees with much of what they stand for. Whether it’s the suppressors of democracy, the silencers of dissenting voices, the murderers of innocent civilians, the slaughterers of Jews, the hangers of gay people, or those attempting to cleanse the Middle East of anyone but the right kind of Muslim, Corbyn has been there holding the hands of them all. That is what makes the man and his ideology such a dangerous threat to anyone who believes in genuine democracy, civil liberties and peace. That is why his election as the Prime Minister would represent a dark stain in the history books of the United Kingdom.

About the Author
Nadav is a Jerusalem-based researcher and writer. All views expressed are his own.
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