{"176158":{"id":"176158","parent":"0","time":"1593510000","url":"http:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/uk-labour-partys-antisemitism-sacking-meant-protect-israel-not-jews-starmer","category":"Murs","title":"Keir Starmer's 'antisemitism' sacking is a signal that Israel is safe in his hands","lead_image_url":"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/img\/newsnet_176158_02b49b.jpg","hub":"newsnet","url-explicit":"keir-starmer-s-antisemitism-sacking-is-a-signal-that-israel-is-safe-in-his-hands","admin":"newsnet","views":"29","priority":"3","length":"23818","lang":"en","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/users\/jonathan-cook\"\u003E\u003Cimg style=\" width:100px;\" src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/\/img\/newsnet_176158_8ebcd7.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/users\/jonathan-cook\"\u003EJonathan Cook\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey from the UK shadow cabinet - on the grounds that she retweeted an article containing a supposedly \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/uk-labour-rebecca-long-bailey-fired-antisemitism-allegations\"\u003E\"antisemitic\"\u003C\/a\u003E conspiracy theory - managed to kill three birds with one stone for new Labour leader \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/labour-keir-starmer-chance-become-uk-prime-minister\"\u003EKeir Starmer\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EFirst, it offered a pretext for him to rid himself of the last of the Labour heavyweights associated with the party's left and its former leader, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/topics\/jeremy-corbyn\"\u003EJeremy Corbyn\u003C\/a\u003E. Long-Bailey was \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/labours-next-leader-has-already-betrayed-left\"\u003Erunner-up\u003C\/a\u003E to Starmer in the leadership elections earlier in the year and he had little choice but to include her on his front bench.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EStarmer will doubtless sigh with relief if \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/politics\/2020\/jun\/26\/keir-starmer-faces-backlash-from-leftwing-mps-over-rebecca-long-bailey-sacking\"\u003Ethe outpouring of threats\u003C\/a\u003E on social media from left-wing members to quit over Long-Bailey's sacking actually materialises.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ESecond, the move served as a signal from Starmer that he is a safe pair of hands for the party's right, which worked so hard to destroy Corbyn from within, as a recently leaked internal review \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/how-top-labour-officials-plotted-bring-down-corbyn\"\u003Erevealed\u003C\/a\u003E in excruciating detail. Despite the report showing that the Labour right sabotaged the 2017 general election campaign to prevent Corbyn from becoming prime minister, Starmer appears to have \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.newstatesman.com\/politics\/staggers\/2020\/04\/why-keir-starmers-response-leaked-party-report-anti-semitism-right-one\"\u003Eburied\u003C\/a\u003E its contents - as have the British media.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003ELong-Bailey's sacking provided the perfect opportunity for Starmer to publicly light a peace pipe with the Israel lobby after its long battle to tar Corbyn, his predecessor, as an antisemite\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003EHe is keen to demonstrate that he will now [\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.jacobinmag.com\/2020\/06\/labour-party-uk-keir-starmer-rebecca-long-bailey\"\u003Esteer Labour back\u003C\/a\u003E to being a reliable party of government for the neoliberal establishment. He intends to demonstrate that he is the Labour party's Joe Biden, not its Bernie Sanders. Starmerism is likely to look a lot like Blairism.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAnd third, Long-Bailey's sacking provided the perfect opportunity for Starmer to publicly light a peace pipe with the Israel lobby after its long battle to tar Corbyn, his predecessor, as an antisemite.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe offending article shared by Long-Bailey referred to Israel's \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amnestyusa.org\/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel\"\u003Edocumented\u003C\/a\u003E and controversial role in training and helping to militarise US police forces. It did not mention Jews. By straining the meaning of antisemitism well past its breaking point, Starmer showed that his promised \"zero tolerance\" for antisemitism actually means zero tolerance of anyone in Labour who might \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.standard.co.uk\/news\/politics\/keir-starme-labour-antisemitism-a4408826.html\"\u003Eantagonise the Israel lobby\u003C\/a\u003E - and by extension, of course, the Israeli government.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EBy contrast, back in February Rachel Reeves, an MP on the party's right, \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1231886779982151680_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E celebrated\u003C\/a\u003E Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in the UK parliament and a well-known Jew hater who \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.counterfire.org\/articles\/opinion\/20735-the-problem-with-nancy-astor\"\u003Esupported\u003C\/a\u003E the appeasement of Hitler. None of that appeared to bother the Israel lobby, nor did it dissuade Starmer from \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk\/news\/politics\/leeds-mp-rachel-reeves-back-shadow-cabinet-sir-keir-starmer-picks-team-2529969\"\u003Ewelcoming\u003C\/a\u003E Reeves into his shadow cabinet weeks later.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EFeeble handwringing\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EDoubtless, the move against Long-Bailey felt particularly pressing given that this week the door will open to the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/nakba-palestine-Israel-climax-occupation\"\u003Eannexing\u003C\/a\u003E swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank in violation of international law, as sanctioned by \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/topics\/done-deal\"\u003EDonald Trump's \"peace\" plan\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003EStarmer is keen to demonstrate that he will now steer Labour back to being a reliable party of government for the neoliberal establishment\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003ECorbyn joined more than 140 other MPs last month in sending \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1260299764035465224_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E a letter\u003C\/a\u003E to the British prime minister urging \"severe consequences including sanctions\" on Israel should it carry out annexation.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EStarmer, by contrast, has voiced only \"concerns\". Sidelining the gross violation of international law annexation constitutes, or the effects on Palestinians, he has weakly \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/jewishnews.timesofisrael.com\/keir-starmer-opposes-annexation-but-refuses-to-be-drawn-on-sanctions\"\u003Eopined\u003C\/a\u003E: \"I don't agree with annexation and I don't think it's good for security in the region.\"\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIt looks like Starmer has no intention of doing anything more than feeble handwringing - especially when he knows that the Israel lobby, including advocacy groups inside his own party like the Jewish Labour Movement, would move swiftly against him, as they did against Corbyn, should he do otherwise.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cfigure\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/img\/newsnet_176158_02b49b.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003Cfigcaption\u003EThen Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer attend a general election campaign meeting in Harlow, Britain on 5 November 2019 (Reuters)\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cp\u003ESacking Long-Bailey has offered the Israel lobby a sacrificial victim. But it has also removed a potential loose cannon from his front bench on Israel and annexation-related matters. It has sent an exceptionally clear warning to other shadow cabinet ministers to watch and closely follow his lead. He has made it evident that no one will be allowed to step out of line.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EA smooth ride\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAll three audiences - Starmer's own MPs and party officials, the billionaire-owned media, and the Israel lobby that claims to represent Britain's Jewish community - can now be relied on to give him a smooth ride.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EHis only remaining challenge will be to keep the membership in check.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/killing-jeremy-corbyn\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/\/img\/newsnet_176158_378ffa.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E The killing of Jeremy Corbyn\u003Cbr \/\u003E\n\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/killing-jeremy-corbyn\"\u003ERead More \u00bb\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EStarmer understands only too well the common policy priorities of the various audiences he is seeking to placate. In fact, the article Long-Bailey retweeted - and which led to her ousting - was highlighting the very interconnectedness of the problems these establishment groups hope to ringfence from examination.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe article \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.independent.co.uk\/arts-entertainment\/films\/features\/maxine-peake-interview-labour-corbyn-keir-starmer-black-lives-matter-a9583206.htm\"\u003Epublished\u003C\/a\u003E in the Independent was an interview with \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/mpeakeofficial?lang=fr\"\u003EMaxine Peake\u003C\/a\u003E, a left-wing actor and Palestinian solidarity activist. As Long-Bailey shared the article, she \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1276078311215677440_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E called\u003C\/a\u003E Peake, one of her constituents, \"an absolute diamond\".\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EPeake had used the interview to warn: \"We're being ruled by capitalist, fascist dictators.\" Establishment structures to protect capitalism, \"keeping poor people in their place\", were so entrenched, she wondered how we might ever \"dig out\" of them.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThose who rejected Corbyn in the 2019 general election because he was seen as too left-wing, she observed, had no place complaining now about an incompetent Conservative government there to serve the establishment rather than the public.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"twit track\" id=\"1252968364957470720\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"nbp\"\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_card_lisanandy_');\" class=\"popbt\" title=\"@lisanandy\"\u003ELisa Nandy\u003C\/a\u003E \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/lisanandy\/status\/1252968364957470720\" class=\"small\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-chain\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E 22\/04\/2020 16:31:51\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1252968364957470720_rpl');\" title=\"answers\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-dialog\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cspan id=\"fav1252968364957470720\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-heart\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E952\u003C\/span\u003E\u003Cspan id=\"rtw1252968364957470720\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-repost\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E226\u003C\/span\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-users\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E 179607\/3271\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('1252968364957470720_app___twit_recache_1252968364957470720');\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-reload\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"tog_jb('yndtwt57470720_yandex,calltw___1252968364957470720_fr-en','yndtwt57470720_twit,playtxt___1252968364957470720','bt606981')\" id=\"bt606981\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-language\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca href=\"plug\/twit\/1252968364957470720\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-url\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"panel\"\u003E\u003Cdiv id=\"yndtwt57470720\"\u003EToday I’ve written to the Foreign Secretary to seek his assurance that the British Government will use its diplomatic influence to prevent any annexation of the West Bank, and continue to work constructively with all parties in pursuit of a peaceful resolution. \u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cp\u003EHer brief, offending comment about Israel - the one that has been widely mischaracterised as antisemitic - was immediately prefaced by Peake's concern that racism and police brutality had become globalised industries, with states learning repressive techniques from each other.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EShe told the interviewer: \"Systemic racism is a global issue. The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd's neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.\"\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EThe Palestinian lab\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EStarmer and the Israel lobby both wish to deflect attention away from the wider point Peake was making. She was referring to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.amnestyusa.org\/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel\"\u003EIsrael's well-known role\u003C\/a\u003E in helping to train and militarise other countries' police forces with so-called \"counter-terrorism measures\". Israel \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/israel-us-police-training-end-knee-neck-protests\"\u003Ehas been doing so\u003C\/a\u003E since the early 1990s.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003EIsrael has effectively turned the occupied Palestinian territories into laboratories in which it can refine oppressive systems of control that other states desire for use against sections of their own populations\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAs Israeli journalists and scholars have \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.gumfilms.com\/projects\/lab\"\u003Enoted\u003C\/a\u003E, Israel has effectively turned the occupied Palestinian territories into laboratories in which it can refine oppressive systems of control that other states desire for use against sections of their own populations.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EBut Starmer and the lobby chose to hoist Long-Bailey - via Peake's interview - onto the hook of a single unprovable assertion: that Israel specifically taught Minneapolis police the knee on the neck chokehold that one of their police officers, Derek Chauvin, used for nine minutes on George Floyd last month, leading to his death.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EPeake was right that Israeli security services regularly use that type of chokehold on Palestinians, and also that \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/morningstaronline.co.uk\/article\/minnesota-cops-trained-israeli-forces-restraint-techniques\"\u003EIsraeli experts had held a training session\u003C\/a\u003E with Minneapolis police in 2012. All that can be proved.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe specific claim that this particular chokehold was taught on that occasion, however, may be wrong - and we are unlikely ever to know, given the lack of transparency regarding Israel's influence on other police forces' strategies and methods.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cfigure\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/img\/newsnet_176158_567c5c.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003Cfigcaption\u003EIn the days following George Floyd's killing, pictures of Israeli army taking similar positions over the necks of Palestinians have begun appearing across social media (Reuters)\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cp\u003ESuch opaqueness and a lack of accountability in police practices is the norm in Israel, where the security services \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.seedsofpeace.org\/wp-content\/uploads\/2011\/12\/Or-Commission-Report-Summation-English.pdf\" target=\"_blank\"\u003Etreat Palestinians as an enem\u003C\/a\u003Ey - both in the occupied territories and inside Israel, where there is a large minority with degraded Israeli citizenship. US police forces, on the other hand, profess, often unconvincingly, to be driven by a \"protect and serve\" ethos.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003E'Global pacification'\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIn taking action against Long-Bailey, Starmer, a former lawyer known for his forensic skills, made a telling, false allegation. He \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.bbc.com\/news\/uk-politics-53183085\"\u003Etold\u003C\/a\u003E the BBC that the Peake interview had indulged in antisemitic \"conspiracy theories\" - in the plural. But only one Israel-related claim, about the knee on the neck chokehold, was made or cited.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003EEvery year since 2007, the Global Militarisation Index has crowned Israel the most militarised nation on the planet\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003EFurther, Peake's claim, whether correct or not, is patently not antisemitic. Israel is neither a Jew nor the representative of the Jewish people collectively - except in the imaginations of antisemites and the hardcore Zionists who people the Israel lobby.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EMore significantly still, in condemning Peake, Starmer wilfully ignored the wood as he pointed out a single tree.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIsraeli scholar Jeff Halper, a veteran peace activist, has \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.plutobooks.com\/9780745334301\/war-against-the-people\"\u003Edocumented\u003C\/a\u003E in great detail in his book \u003Ci\u003EWar Against the People\u003C\/i\u003E how Israel has intentionally positioned itself at the heart of a growing \"global pacification industry\". The thousands of training sessions held by Israeli police in the US and around the world are based on their \"expertise\" in repressive, militarised policing.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ETiny Israel has influence in this field way out of proportion to its size, in the same way that it is one of the top 10 states - all far larger - that profit from the arms trade and cyber warfare. Every year since 2007, the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.bicc.de\/publications\/publicationpage\/publication\/global-militarisation-index-2019-933\"\u003EGlobal Militarisation Index has crowned\u003C\/a\u003E Israel the most militarised nation on the planet.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EA senior analyst at the liberal Israeli Haaretz newspaper has described Israel as \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.haaretz.com\/israel-news\/business\/.premium-welcome-to-the-country-known-as-israeli-securityland-1.5381652\"\u003E\"securityland\"\u003C\/a\u003E - the go-to state for others to improve their techniques for surveilling, controlling and oppressing restive populations within their territory. It is this expertise in \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/features\/endless-war-terror-we-are-all-doomed-become-palestinians\"\u003Emiddleeasteye.net\u003C\/a\u003E \u00a7\"securocratic warfare\"] that, according to Halper, has allowed tiny Israel to hit way above its weight in international politics and earned it a place \"at the table with NATO countries\".\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EWestern bad faith\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIt is on this last point that the Labour left, including many of the party's half a million members, and the Labour right decisively part company. A gulf in worldviews opens up.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003EIsrael symbolises for the Labour left some of the most visible hypocrisies and excesses of a neoliberal global agenda\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAlong with the climate emergency, Israel symbolises for the Labour left some of the most visible hypocrisies and excesses of a neoliberal global agenda that treats the planet with slash-and-burn indifference, views international law with contempt, and regards populations as little more than pawns on an updated colonial chessboard.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIsrael's recent history of dispossessing the Palestinians, its unabashed promotion of \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/george-floyd-us-america-republic-white-supremacy\"\u003EJim Crow-style\u003C\/a\u003E ethnic privileges for Jews in the form of \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/israeli-curriculum-palestinians-nation-state-law\"\u003Ethe nation-state law\u003C\/a\u003E, its continuing utter disregard for the rights of Palestinians, its hyper-militarised culture, its decades-long occupation, its refusal to make peace with its neighbours, its deep integration into the West's war industries, its influence on the ideologies of the \"war on terror\" and a worldwide \"clash of civilisations\", and its disdain for international humanitarian law are all anathema to the left.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EWorse still, Israel has been doing all of this in full view of the international community for decades. Nonetheless, its crimes are richly subsidised by the United States and Europe, as well as obscured by a sympathetic western media that is financially and ideologically embedded in the neoliberal establishment.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"twit track\" id=\"1276967586849316865\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"nbp\"\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_card_OwenJones84_');\" class=\"popbt\" title=\"@OwenJones84\"\u003EOwen Jones 🌹\u003C\/a\u003E \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/OwenJones84\/status\/1276967586849316865\" class=\"small\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-chain\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E 27\/06\/2020 21:56:12\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1276965422408105984_thread');\" title=\"parents\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-topo\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1276967586849316865_rpl');\" title=\"answers\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-dialog\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cspan id=\"fav1276967586849316865\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-heart\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E782\u003C\/span\u003E\u003Cspan id=\"rtw1276967586849316865\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-repost\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E79\u003C\/span\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-users\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E 1004880\/5715\u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('1276967586849316865_app___twit_recache_1276967586849316865');\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-reload\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca onclick=\"tog_jb('yndtwt49316865_yandex,calltw___1276967586849316865_fr-en','yndtwt49316865_twit,playtxt___1276967586849316865','bt608048')\" id=\"bt608048\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-language\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Ca href=\"plug\/twit\/1276967586849316865\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-url\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"panel\"\u003E\u003Cdiv id=\"yndtwt49316865\"\u003ELabour's foreign policy should be ambitious and courageous: not just with Israel, but standing up to human rights abusing tyrannies which are armed and supported by the West, from Israel and Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cp\u003EFor the Labour left - for Peake, Long-Bailey and Corbyn - Israel is such an obvious example of western bad faith, such a glaring Achilles' heel in the deceptions spread on behalf of the neoliberal order, that it presents an opportunity. Criticism of Israel can serve to awaken others, helping them to understand how a bogus western \"civilisation\" is destroying the planet through economic pillage, wars and environmental destruction.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIt offers an entry into the left's structural, more abstract critiques of capitalism and western colonialism that it is otherwise difficult to convey in soundbites to a uniformly hostile media.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EAntisemitism redefined\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe problem is that the stakes regarding Israel are understood by the Labour right in much the same way. Their commitment to a global neoliberal order - one they characterise in terms of a superior western civilisation - stands starkly exposed in the case of Israel.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/labour-silencing-critical-voices-israel-and-palestine\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/\/img\/newsnet_176158_02b6ec.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E How Brighton became Labour's Israel-Palestine battleground\u003Cbr \/\u003E\n\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/labour-silencing-critical-voices-israel-and-palestine\"\u003ERead More \u00bb\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIf the idea of Israel is made vulnerable to challenge, so might their other self-delusions and deceptions about western superiority.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EFor each side, Israel has become a battleground on which the truthfulness of their worldview is tested.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe Labour right has no desire to engage with the left's arguments, particularly at a time when the climate emergency and the rise of populism make their political claims sound increasingly hollow. Rather than debate the merits of democratic socialism, the Labour right has preferred to simply tar the Labour left as antisemites.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EWith Corbyn's unexpected rise to lead Labour in 2015, that crisis for the Labour right became existential. The backlash was swift and systematic.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe party's right-wing scrapped the accepted definition of antisemitism and imposed a new one on Labour, formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), to ensnare the left. It \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/israels-hand-behind-attacks-jeremy-corbyn\"\u003Efocused\u003C\/a\u003E on criticism of Israel rather than hatred or fear of Jews.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel group, was revived in late 2015 to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/electronicintifada.net\/blogs\/asa-winstanley\/jewish-labour-movement-was-refounded-fight-corbyn\"\u003Eundermine\u003C\/a\u003E Corbyn from within the party. It was all but sanctified, even as it \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/politics\/2019\/oct\/31\/jewish-group-removes-campaigning-support-for-labour-in-election\"\u003Erefused\u003C\/a\u003E to campaign for Labour candidates and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.thejc.com\/news\/uk-news\/jlm-submits-bombshell-document-on-labour-hate-to-equality-watchdog-investigation-1.493993\"\u003Ereferred\u003C\/a\u003E the party to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for a highly politicised investigation.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe Labour right openly conflated not only the left's anti-Zionism with antisemitism but even their socialist critiques of capitalism. It was \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/labourlist.org\/2019\/03\/siobhain-mcdonagh-links-anti-capitalism-to-antisemitism-in-labour\"\u003Eargued\u003C\/a\u003E that any references to bankers or a global financial elite were code words for \"Jews\".\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EIsrael's planned annexation of the Jordan Valley: Why it matters\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/ss=\"mee-boxout-ex\"\u003E+ Show\u003C\/a\u003E \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/ss=\"mee-boxout-coll\"\u003E- Hide\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/palestine-israel-annexation-jordan-valley-why-it-matters\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/\/img\/newsnet_176158_5d81fa.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cbr \/\u003E\nIsrael's planned annexation of the Jordan Valley: Why it matters\u003Cbr \/\u003E\n\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/news\/palestine-israel-annexation-jordan-valley-why-it-matters\"\u003ERead More \u00bb\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe annexation of the Jordan Valley could effectively kill whatever hopes remain for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict as it would render completely impossible the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIn April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement with his rival Benny Gantz to form a unity government that seek to impose Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Legislature could be discussed from 1 July.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe Jordan Valley accounts for around one-third of the occupied West Bank (almost 2,400 square kilometres), where 30 Israeli agricultural settlements house around 11,000 settlers.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ESome 56,000 Palestinians also reside in the Jordan Valley, including in the city of Jericho, where their daily lives are deeply impacted by Israeli occupation policies.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe area is rich in minerals and agricultural soil and is a highly strategic area, as it lies along the Jordanian border.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EJordan, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and senior officials in the European Union openly oppose the annexation plan, while the administration of US President Donald Trump has encouraged such moves.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAfter this lengthy campaign helped to destroy Corbyn, the candidates to succeed him, including Long-Bailey, opted to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.timesofisrael.com\/keir-starmer-elected-uk-labour-chief-apologizes-to-jews-for-party-anti-semitism\"\u003Edeclare\u003C\/a\u003E themselves Zionists and to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/uk-israel-lobby-new-ten-commandments\"\u003Esign up to \"10 Pledges\"\u003C\/a\u003E from the Board of Deputies, the UK's main Jewish leadership organisation. Those demands put the board and the Jewish Labour Movement in charge of determining what antisemitism was, despite their highly partisan politics on Israel and their opposition to democratic socialism.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbig\u003EPolitical charlatans\u003C\/big\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe problem for the Labour right and Israel's lobbyists, and therefore for Starmer too, is that Israel, egged on by Trump, is working overtime to blow up the carefully constructed claim - proposed by \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/how-ihras-anti-semitism-definition-threat-british-democracy\"\u003Ethe IHRA definition of antisemitism\u003C\/a\u003E - that Israel is just another normal western-style state and that therefore it should not be \"singled out\" for criticism.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cblockquote\u003ELike Johnson, Starmer will play his allotted role in this political game of charades - one long understood and tolerated by Israel and its UK lobbyists\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIsrael is on a collision course with the most fundamental precepts of international law by preparing to annex large areas of the West Bank. This is not a break with Israeli policy; it is the culmination of many decades of settlement activity and resource theft from Palestinians.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThis is a potential moment of crisis for those on the Labour right, who could quickly find themselves exposed as political charlatans - the charlatans they always have been - by Israel's actions over the coming weeks and months.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EStarmer has indicated he is determined to tightly delimit the room for criticism of Israel within Labour as the annexation issue unfolds. That will leave him and the party free to issue their own carefully crafted, official condemnations - similar to Johnson's.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ELike Johnson, Starmer will play his allotted role in this political game of charades - one long understood and tolerated by Israel and its UK lobbyists. He will offer some sound and fury, the pretence of condemnation, but of the kind intended to signify nothing.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThis has been at the heart of UK foreign policy towards a Jewish state built on the theft of Palestinian land for more than a century. Starmer has shown that he intends to return to business as usual as quickly as possible.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003EThe views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.middleeasteye.net\/opinion\/uk-labour-partys-antisemitism-sacking-meant-protect-israel-not-jews-starmer\"\u003Emiddleeasteye.net\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}}