Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Israel Lobby is Leading in Attack on Corbyn

by Oui Sat Aug 11th, 2018 at 11:00:32 AM EST

Well, my instinct and analysis wasn't far besides the truth ...

War On BDS, Progressive Left Under Attack
Gaza Politics: Controlling a Sustained Depravity

Article published on August 8th:

The Israel lobby is leading a witch hunt against Corbyn. It has to stop | Middle East Eye | by Richard Silverstein

Britain seems to be going through a period of ritual flagellation. The Labour Party is tearing itself apart in order to assuage charges of anti-Semitism that seem to rain down on it from all sides.

    In order to understand the true motivation
    behind Labour's anti-Semitism charges, it's
    important to focus less on the actual charges
    and more on the organisations making them

Continued below the fold ...

No systematic anti-Semitism

Any dispassionate review of the UK Labour Party will not find any systemic anti-Semitic rhetoric among its leadership, though there have been instances among individual members and low-level local officials.

The real origin of the anti-Semitism scourge is in the UK's Israel lobby - including groups like the Board of Deputies, BICOM, the Jewish Chronicle, and Community Security Trust - and its enablers in the British press and the Israeli embassy.  

As a Jew myself, I'm bemused to learn that charges of anti-Semitism against one party member are based on the claim that he stated that the campaign was the product of the Israel lobby.

Those who fomented this campaign don't fear anti-Semitism. Rather, they fear Jeremy Corbyn. He has shown that to lead the Labour party you don't have to be re-formed in the image of Tony Blair, the corporate politician who seeks power for its own sake and makes common cause with dictators and American presidents intent on waging war.

Even more pointedly, Corbyn has always supported the cause of Palestinian rights. He has always viewed Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians sceptically. To the Israel lobby this is tantamount to anti-Semitism.

    Corbyn breaks the Blaririte mould of knee-jerk
    support for Israel. He is a politician who will
    question old orthodoxies and try new ideas

You may ask: how does criticising Israel come to be labelled as anti-Semitism? A good question: to answer it you must understand the role that Israel has come to play within Diaspora Jewish communities in the US and Britain.

Israel vs Judaism

At one time, Diaspora Jews had a strong cultural, ethnic and religious identity. Though many felt an affinity for Israel, it was considered only a single factor among many determining Jewish identity. But as Jews have become increasingly secular, they have disaffiliated from the traditional institutions that were once the loci of Jewish life: synagogues, community centres, Zionist groups and defence organisations.  

In response, some of the wealthiest, most conservative voices in the community have issued a call to arms. Their view of the crisis is that the community is on life support and the only way to save it is by replacing the diffuse version of Jewish identity with a single central unifying principle: Israel.

Yair Lapid: Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer a defender of Israeli democracy | The Times of Israel |

And while Lapid goes to considerable lengths to challenge Netanyahu's persuasive assertion of Israel's economic and foreign relations renaissance, and to highlight Netanyahu's failures in tackling the threats posed by Iran, he says it is Israel's domestic cohesion that is most threatened by the prime minister's hold. What worries him most, as Israel turns 70 and he wonders how the country will fare in the years to come, is Israelis' capacity "to work together towards a common good" -- a critical factor in Israel's survival and one he claims that Netanyahu cynically undermines by fueling division for narrow political gain.

Therefore, if elected prime minister, Lapid, 54, promises he'll pass legislation mandating a two-term prime ministerial limit. And he'll pass it early, he says, before he too succumbs to the typical Israeli prime ministerial delusion that the country's very existence depends on him retaining the post, and that all means can be sacrificed to that end.

Under Netanyahu, Lapid asserts, the determination to retain power at all costs is coming to threaten Israel's very democracy -- with the courts, law enforcement and the media all under sustained attack. Asked what's wrong with legislation, currently contemplated by Netanyahu, that would prevent the High Court from striking down Knesset legislation it finds to be undemocratic, he answers starkly, with a rather unhappy laugh: "Because if tomorrow the 66 members of the coalition vote through a law saying we're hanging the other 54 opposition members of Knesset from a tree, who are we going to go to?"

Netanyahu and his government, he further charges, are exhibiting a "failure to understand politics as an ongoing process, in which sometimes you're in power and sometimes you're not, and that you have to protect the rights of the people who are not in power, including minorities." Lapid's most devastating critique? That Netanyahu is no longer a defender of Israeli democracy.

Lapid praises Trump as US president announces fresh tariffs on Turkey
Lapid says Netanyahu must 'admit failure' for not thwarting Iran nuclear deal | JPost - Sept. 2015 |

Exactly what has been happening, wealth buys influence, not only in corporate media, political lobby groups, pro sports but also inside the United Nations. The Iraq War pushed up the oil wealth of the Gulf States and we're suffering the consequences ever since. Well done Bush family, Clintons and the Saudi Royals ... you are all united now! Iran overthrow next?

Saudi Arabia Mocks the World with the Help of Its Wealth... and Some Help from Trump

The leaders of Saudi Arabia mock western values with supreme confidence by virtue of their money power. Democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom to protest, freedom of expression, and other freedoms are treated as norms imposed by the West. If you wish to violate these sacred principles, all you have to do is pay!

The monarchy also defied the UN when in September 2017 a small group of Western nations sought to create a commission of inquiry to investigate its human rights violations in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East where millions face death, disease and famine because of western-supported Saudi bombing. And last but not least, a Saudi state media account, which promotes the Saudi Information Ministry's propaganda and is often retweeted by the ministry, appeared to explicitly threaten a 9/11 style attack featuring a plane headed towards a skyscraper in Toronto, Canada. The tweet was a response to the Canadian Foreign Ministry's tweet, expressing grave concern about recent arrests in Saudi civil society and official attacks on women's rights activists.

Samar Badawi Receives an International Women of Courage Award (U.S. State Dep't)

Saudi accuses Canada of what it calls "interference in its domestic affairs". This from the country which routinely advocates "change" in domestic affairs of others: its Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir threatened "ad nauseam", throughout the many years of war in Syria, that President Bashar al-Assad "will be removed by force." Saudi leaders have advocated regime change in Iran (the same Twitter account called for the death of the Supreme Leader of Iran earlier that day), held a Lebanese Prime Minister hostage (the French president intervened to obtain his release), and are bombing Yemen daily as the world looks impotently on, killing thousands of civilians and destroying a country whose only crime is to refuse to submit to Saudi rule and Wahhabi ideology. The world looks on these Saudi abuses with impotent eyes.

Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has tried - with little obvious success, despite the support from Western media - to portray the kingdom as a country undertaking reform. But he has not been able to put a modern face on the extremist Wahhabist doctrine, Saudi Arabia's official religion. This doctrine is the "main source of global terrorism" and the same teaching followed by groups like al-Qaeda and the "Islamic State" (ISIS). These groups share Takfiri ideology with most of the kingdom's inhabitants. This teaching is notable for its rigidity, intolerance and willingness to kill infidels, whether defined as followers of other religions, secular people, or even Muslims who do not agree with a return to the practice of Islam by the sword.

Operation Wooden Leg - Israel strikes PLO HQ in Tunis (1985)

Jeremy Corbyn: I was present at wreath-laying but don't think I was involved

Jeremy Corbyn said he was present but not involved at a wreath-laying for individuals behind the group that carried out the Munich Olympic massacre, a partial admission that led to a row between him and Israel's prime minister.

The controversial events took place at an event at the Palestinian martyrs' cemetery in Tunisia, during a visit by Corbyn in 2014, a year before he became the party's leader. There is a memorial to the victims of the 1985 bombing at the cemetery, although it is described as being 15 yards away from where Corbyn is pictured.

A couple of metres behind where Corbyn and the group of people are standing are four graves of senior members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. One of those belongs to Atef Bseiso, the PLO's head of intelligence, who was assassinated outside a Paris hotel in 1992, and was allegedly killed by the Israeli secret service in revenge for the 1972 attack.

Another is the grave of Salah Khalaf, also known as Abu Iyad, who was the second in command in the PLO at the time of his death and is the most senior Palestinian figure buried in the Tunisian cemetery. Khalaf, who is believed to have been a key figure behind Black September, was killed in Tunis in 1991, alongside two other figures who are also buried in the graveyard.

Netanyahu slams Corbyn for honoring Munich terrorists, comparing Israel to Nazis | Times of Israel |

[Photo posted on the Facebook page of the Embassy of Palestine in Tunisia, in October 2014, of Jeremy Corbyn's visit to the Cemetery of the Martyrs of Palestine, Tunis. Photograph: Embassy of the State of Palestine in Tunisia]

The Irgun Zvai Leumi: From Terrorists to Politicians
Abbas Decorates Killer of 125 Israelis

So, bloodshed will likely continue as no party is in search for peace ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 03:05:41 AM EST
Palestinian gunmen of the 1972 Olympics massacre: 5 were killed by German police in botched attempt to free hostages. The bodies were released and transported to Libya for a heroes' burial. "Bodies flown from Germany to Libya Tripoli's Martyr's Square Sidi Munaidess Cemetery." Not Tunisia! Three were captured alive and later freed when a Lufthansa passenger plane was hijacked. All Palestinians responsible for the hostage taking in Munich were assassinated by the Israeli Mossad.

The 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon (known as Operation Spring of Youth, Hebrew: מבצע אביב נעורים, Mitzva Aviv Ne'urim) took place on the night of April 9 and early morning of April 10, 1973, when Israeli army special forces units attacked several Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) targets in Beirut and Sidon, Lebanon. The operation is generally considered to part of Operation Wrath of God, Israel's retaliation for the Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics in 1972.

    In Israel, government leaders decided they would take responsibility for hunting down the terrorists as well as the leaders of Black September and make them pay with their lives. They marked 14 Black September members for death--the three terrorists and 11 others believed to be instrumental in planning the siege on 31 Connollystrasse. The task of hunting down and assassinating the terrorists fell on the Mossad--an arm of the Israeli Defense Force.

Ali Hassan Salameh assassinated with explosives in 1979 by the Mossad killing four bodyguards and four bystanders, buried in Beirut, Lebanon.

Abu Daoud: Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the 1972 Olympic massacre dies in Damascus (2010)

The photos, which were posted on the Palestinian embassy in Tunisia's Facebook page, show Corbyn also standing near the graves of Black September founder Salah Khalaf, his aide Fakhri al-Omari and PLO chief of security Hayel Abdel-Hamid. [Source: Ynet News]

There were 8 Munich Terrorists - NONE are buried at the Tunis Cemetery that Jeremy Corbyn visited

However, the four men were categorically NOT the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich atrocity, as has been widely suggested by many mainstream media pundits and, most notably, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night.

Netanyahu falsely alleged on Twitter that Jeremy Corbyn laid a wreath "on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre" - which, as proved by the research shown above, is a categorical lie.


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 06:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite interesting ...

On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky

In this interview at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, I sat down with Laureate Professor Noam Chomsky to discuss electoral politics, the prospects for progressives in upcoming primaries, and the difficulties candidates face with their internal party apparatus, the media and big money challengers, as well as navigating complicated foreign policies and positions. Chomsky weighs in on the continued aftershocks of the Sanders campaign as well as the problematic issue of BDS and how progressives and third parties can reorganize and repurpose forward thinking stances to refocus on future elections.


The amazing thing about 2016 was the Sanders campaign.  It's the first time in American history that a candidate probably could have won, if it hadn't been for party managers who kept him out, with no funding from the corporate sector, and no funding from the wealthy, and no media support.  So, it's a real breakthrough, but to carry out [a potential eclipse of the donor class] moving forward is going to be really hard because there's also going to be a mobilized effort on the part of the entire capitalist class, Republican and Democrat, to prevent that from happening.  In fact, if Sanders had run I think he would have been slaughtered by the propaganda, and it would have been massive propaganda about this Jewish, atheist, communist that wants to bring immigrants in to kill everybody.

It's kind of like what you see with Jeremy Corbyn.  I mean, both the Tories and the Labour Party -- the Labour Parliamentarians, the Blair guys, the media, like The Guardian -- they're all trying to destroy him. These latest attacks on him for anti-Semitism are just insane, but they'll do anything to try to destroy his chances because he's trying to create a political party in which people actually participate; not just the rich and powerful guys who tell you what to do, and that's intolerable.  So, I think maybe it's going to be a real fight.

h/t AG @BooMan

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 05:36:46 PM EST
I read this interview in Counterpunch this morning and came away more annoyed with Chomsky --and acquired éminence Grise-- than usual. I've a few of his books, on linguistic theory and political tracts disputing US gov benevolence, and had noticed a few years ago recycling pet peeves.

In this episode, he's evidently traded anarcho syndicalism for a US presbyterian organization model of --not even civil disobedience-- but unspecified investment rules in order to criticize the BDS movement as if Israeli "social capital" were worthless.

What. up. wit. dat?

He's neither a good teacher nor charismatic "leader". I think, his time is past.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Aug 14th, 2018 at 08:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a discursion, The Problem With Chomsky's "Anarcho-Syndicalism", fallen from an ivy turret

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 16th, 2018 at 03:36:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is Netanyahu, not Corbyn, who deserves 'unequivocal condemnation' | Middle East Eye |

How Netanyahu works

Here's where things get really interesting: Netanyahu has weighed in and attacked Corbyn as an anti-Semite. To understand what this means, you have to understand how Netanyahu works. His modus operandi is to work behind the scenes to achieve his objective. He waits until he has done so, and when the moment is right he makes a dramatic entrance to close the deal.

All this raises the question: what role has the Israeli government played in this campaign? Those who've seen the four-part Al Jazeera documentary, The Lobby, know that an Israeli spy using diplomatic cover organised infiltrations of both the Labour and Conservative parties in order to sabotage the careers of those deemed "enemies of Israel".

They not only conspired against Conservative minister Alan Duncan, but against Corbyn as well. The TV programme unmasked the spy and subsequently the Israeli embassy sent him packing. But the game wasn't over by any means.

Theresa May's government did nothing after it found out that the Israeli administration was meddling in domestic British politics. Israel paid no price. So of course the machinations continue. No one knows what specific role Israel is playing in the current charade also known as the anti-Semitism witch hunt.

But you can rest assured that it is playing a significant one. My guess is that the Tunisia card is one engineered by Netanyahu. He allowed it to play out for a day or two and then made his dramatic entrance. He entered the fray as the Protector of the Jewish People by denouncing Corbyn (in the above tweet). Corbyn has counterattacked in his own tweet replying to Netanyahu:

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 18th, 2018 at 07:13:15 PM EST
The chimera of British anti-Semitism (and how not to fight it if it were real) | Mondoweiss by Norman Finkelstein |

The current hysteria engulfing the British Labour Party resolves itself into a pair of interrelated, if discrete, premises: Anti-Semitism in British society at large and the Labour Party in particular have reached crisis proportions. If neither of these premises can be sustained, then the hysteria is a fabrication. In fact, no evidence has been adduced to substantiate either of them; on the contrary, all the evidence points in the opposite direction. The rational conclusion is that the brouhaha is a calculated hoax--dare it be said, plot?-- to oust Jeremy Corbyn and the principled leftist politics he represents from British public life.

But even if the allegations were true, the solution would still not be to curb freedom of thought in the Labour Party. At its worthiest, the Left-Liberal tradition has attached a unique, primordial value to Truth; but Truth cannot be attained if dissentients, however obnoxious, are silenced. Given the fraught history of anti-Semitism, on the one hand, and its crude manipulation by Jewish elites, on the other, an objective, dispassionate assessment could appear beyond reach. Still, it must be attempted. The prospect of a historic victory for the Left might otherwise be sabotaged as, thus far, Corbyn's supporters, whether it be from fear, calculation, or political correctness, dare not speak the name of the evil that is afoot.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 21st, 2018 at 01:59:11 AM EST
Indeed "truth" is (signifies) agreement among people.
Truth cannot be attained if dissentients, however obnoxious, are silenced.

"Truth" in itself is neither true nor false in fact agreed.

just sayin'.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Aug 24th, 2018 at 05:38:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Giuliani Correct? Is Truth Not Truth? is a nifty essay --differentiating conditional statements "true", "false", "truth" -- which rounds about european tradition with practical application and without overweening attention to self-serrvin' epistemology.

Reflection: From time to time, the truth that Giulani and Trump belong in the same pigsty is not true.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Aug 24th, 2018 at 05:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In post-rational politics, power is whatever you can get away with.

As a rational progressive educated in the choicest elements of the Enlightenment tradition, you may find this objectionable.


by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 26th, 2018 at 12:18:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel's symbol of the hard Left, Uri Avnery, passes away at age 94 | Ynet News |

The prominent journalist, peace activist, fierce critic of Israeli policies, and former MK Uri Avnery--who became the symbol of Israel's hard Left--passed away at age 94 overnight Sunday after suffering a stroke ten days ago.

Avnery was the editor in chief for 40 years of the weekly magazine HaOlam HaZeh (This World) which ceased publication in 1993.

He served as an MK in the sixth and seventh Knesset for the "HaOlam HaZeh-Koah Hadash" movement, a small radical left-wing political party known as Meri. He also served in the ninth Knesset for the political party known as the Left Camp of Israel.

Avnery was a member of several organizations calling for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and was one of the founders of the Gush Shalom peace group established in 1993. Throughout his career, he remained a staunch supporter of the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel and was the recipient of numerous international awards for his efforts toward that goal.

Over the course of the last two decades, Avnery remained at the forefront of the political scene, and continued to polish his reputation as a symbol of the far Left in Israel.

In 1999, he led a group of around 100 Gush Shalom activists in a march to Orient House in eastern Jerusalem that served as the headquarters of the PLO in the 80s and 90s where he submitted a declaration to the prominent Palestinian politician, Faisal Husseini "recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to the entire West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."

Avnery also opposed the construction of Israel's security barrier and participated in protests against it, arguing that it was a precursor to annexing Palestinian territory.

He also took part in demonstrations against IDF activities during the intifada in the territories conquered during the Six-Day War.

In 2004, Avnery became a laureate of the Israeli journalism Sokolov Award and continued to conduct interviews and express opinions largely at odds with the mainstream Israeli public.

Avnery also took his political battles to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) submitting in 2011 a Gush Shalom-sponsored petition against Boycott Law.

The petition's authors argued that the law harmed the basic principles of democracy and that boycotting Israel is a legitimate tool in a democratic society, the use of which cannot be curtailed.

President Reuven Rivlin expressed his condolences following the news of Avnery's passing.

"Avnery was an advocate of Jabotinsky's idea that 'silence is filthy,' and his campaign for state recognition of Irgun fighters and a war he waged for freedom of expression paved the Israel's way as a young state," Rivling said.

"We had strong disagreements, but they were dwarfed by our desire to build a free and strong society here. May he rest in peace," he concluded.

Gush Shalom also issued a statement mourning the passing of what it described as the organization's founding father.

"Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World.

"He did not get to the end of the road, did not live to see peace come about. We--the members of Gush Shalom as well as very many other people who were directly and indirectly influenced by him--will continue his mission and honor his memory," the statement continued, before slamming the current government for entering into indirect negotiations with the Hamas terror group.

Related reading ...

Cracks in the Wall: Nearly half of all Democrats believe Israel is a "racist country"

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 21st, 2018 at 02:24:22 AM EST
by generic on Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 09:08:16 AM EST
I couldn't quite catch the discussion ... more here

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 10:52:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say the specific discussion is pretty immaterial. I just found that description pretty apt. There is a lot of abuse on social media and the broader internet of course, but there are also a lot of people who still can't get over the idea that the plebs can talk back now.
by generic on Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 11:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where did it go wrong?

For the plebeians ... panem et circenses

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 02:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK Polling Report
Overall, 16% of those who were aware of the story (that's 16% of 74%, so about 12%) say it has made them think worse of Corbyn, but 68% say it has made no difference (21% because they had a good impression of Corbyn and still do, 47% because they had a negative impression of Corbyn and still do). Even that 16% is mostly made up of Conservative and Lib Dem supporters, who presumably were not Corbyn admirers to begin with. So while this affair may entrench existing negative views of Corbyn among those who already held them, it seems unlikely to do much to reduce his support. Full tabs for the YouGov polling are here.

Meanwhile there are two new voting intention polls from the last couple of days (note they were both conducted mostly or wholly before the wreath controversy).

BMG for the Independent have topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 5% (tabs here)
NumberCruncherPolitics have topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 40%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 5% (tabs here.

by generic on Fri Aug 24th, 2018 at 09:07:38 AM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]