Why does Jeremy Corbyn gravitate towards people who are anti-Semitic? And why do some individuals on the extreme Right admire the Labour leadership candidate?
By Richard Mather…
It is no secret that Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn is a man of the militant left and a friend of Hamas and Hezbollah. But what is less well known is that Corbyn is an inspiration to some individuals on the Far Right – not just ultra-conservative Islamists who believe adulterers should be stoned to death but the kind of extreme right-wingers who believe the gas chambers are a myth.
In a recent article, I outlined Corbyn’s links to extremist organisations/persons that seek Israel’s destruction. Corbyn has taken thousands of pounds in gifts from organisations closely linked to Hamas. He is also patron of the Palestine Solidarity Committee . And in 2009 he declared that it was his “pleasure and honour to host an event in Parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking,” before adding: “I’ve also invited our friends from Hamas to come and speak as well.”
Corbyn has shared a platform with Black September hijacker Leila Khaled and hosted a meeting with a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. And he is favourably disposed towards the paranoid anti-Semite Sheikh Raed Salah who believes Jews use the blood of gentile children in the preparation of holy bread.
Some of Corbyn’s supporters were angry and upset about my article – not because they were ashamed of their man’s attraction to anti-Semitic organisations and individuals, but because I had dared to criticise him in the first place. Corbyn’s ability to generate such a slavish and unquestioning following perhaps explains why some people on the far Right have found themselves mesmerised by the great populist.
Take Paul Eisen, the self-hating Jew who is so extreme that he questions the existence of the Nazi gas chambers and endorses David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. Eisen is a huge supporter of Corbyn, whom he has dubbed “the finest man in British politics.” This is from Eisen’s blog:
I just heard that Jeremy Corbyn is going to stand for the leadership of the British Labour Party. I hate all politics and I hold the hopelessly compromised and Zionised Labour party in particular contempt. But if Jeremy Corbyn does stand for leader I’m going to join that party so I can give him my vote.
One issue he most certainly does support is that of Palestine solidarity and one evening fifteen years ago I cycled over to see him. I was just beginning to establish Deir Yassin Remembered in the UK and I wanted him to join. I’d hardly begun my feverishly-rehearsed pitch before his cheque book was on the table. From that day on, without fuss or bother […] he attended every single Deir Yassin commemoration.
As part of an investigation into Corbyn’s links with Eisen, The Daily Mail has published a photograph that apparently shows Corbyn sitting attentively at one of Eisen’s Deir Yassin Remembered events in St John’s Wood Church in 2013. If true, this shows a serious lack of judgement on Corbyn’s part. As the Mail explains, Eisen’s views about the Holocaust are so awful that even some members of the Palestine Solidarity Movement are embarrassed to be associated with the organisation.
Disturbingly, it is not just the ultra-right-wing blog of Paul Eisen that celebrates the Corbyn ascendency. The far Right ex-Jew Gilad Atzmon (who also questions what he calls the “Holocaust narrative”) recently told Iran’s Press TV:
It is very clear that British public is tired of these Zionist wars. It is tired of fake left and fake Labour. And the success of Jeremy Corbyn is probably the most positive sign we see in British politics for decades.
Then there is the disturbing far Right website deLiberation, which hails Corbyn as the “antidote to the Blairite virus and Zionist snake-bite”:
Many certainly can see Corbyn as Prime Minister – a very different and totally new style of PM, to be sure – with open-neck shirt, a cloth cap on occasion and sleeves rolled up ready for grass-roots action. At least he’s a man to look up to and identify with…. and a man who is not tempted by the Israeli shekel. If any of his opponents lands the leadership Labour will remain under the yoke of Zionist ambitions and enslave by the gangster regime in Tel Aviv.
To get an idea of the kind of Judeophobic rubbish published by deLiberation, consider the titles of some of the website’s articles: ‘Dismantling French Culture to Make It Jew Friendly’, ‘Uruguay’s Judaization,’ and ‘Jewish Inquisition in Argentina,’ the last of which condemns the “the global tentacles of Jewish power and its effects on the Western nations.” What would Corbyn think if he knew his name was being associated with anti-Semitic propaganda inspired by Goebbels? Would he care?
If Corbyn wants to be taken seriously as the (potential) leader of a mainstream political party, he needs to do something about the anti-Semitism swirling around him. Rejecting Jew-hatred in theory is not enough: he must maintain a healthy distance between himself and the likes of Hamas and Sheik Salah. After all, a man is known by the company he keeps. The fact that Corbyn is so comfortable in the presence of people who hate Jews is deeply troubling.
And Corbyn ought to be concerned that his political rhetoric and his ongoing associations with anti-Zionist organisations/individuals are being applauded by the extreme Right – not just the Islamist far Right but the fascist far Right.
An ex-member of the neo-Nazi British National Party (who wants to stay anonymous) told me that his former colleagues and the far Left have a shared language when it comes to Zionism, Westminster politics, corporatism and nationalisation. “They believe in the same things like bringing the bankers under control and nationalising industries. They don’t agree on immigration but there’s agreement on the dangers of Zionist Jews and Israel.”
I am not accusing Corbyn of being a right-wing extremist in disguise. Not quite, anyway. But it has to be said there is a family resemblance between both ends of the political spectrum, which are connected by a series of overlapping similarities. It cannot be denied that the far Left and the far Right both have a populist hatred of austerity and of establishment politics, and both are anti-Zionist, anti-capitalist and anti-American. Rhetoric on both sides is inflammatory and radical; action is often militant and menacing.
So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Corbyn is so attractive to the far Left and the far Right. As support for his campaign grows, Corbyn may find that flitting from the populist far Left to the populist far Right is like going next door: it is no distance at all.