Ken Coates has a proper British far left record, stretching all the way back to the 1960s.
Like some of his comrades, of late his bête most noire appears to be Israel.
As chairman of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, one of his platforms is The Spokesman, the foundation’s house journal.
Coates’s opening editorial pulls no divine punches. It is titled “The Second Coming of Herod”. Here’s an excerpt:
It was the Roman Senate which made him King, and provided him with the military assistance to enable him to grasp the throne. His dependence on Rome was thereafter unquestioned, although Rome allowed him considerable leeway in the determination of domestic matters. But this flexibility was insufficient to assuage the suspicions of so many of the Jews that his rule was marked by outbursts of strong discontent, culminating in a period of naked repression and sheer terror.
Herod’s assumption of power over the Jews was bathed in blood, and he ruled through the liberal use of foreign armaments.
It’s not hard to see where he is going with this, is it. Just in case you’re wondering, here you go:
Herod’s mercenaries would have found it a painfully difficult labour to slaughter all the infants of Bethlehem and its environs. Today’s Herod has not been dependent on old-fashioned butchery with its exhausting exertions involving swords and knives, but can instead call up massive assistance from the modern Rome, which supplies unlimited numbers of bombs containing phosphorus and depleted uranium, and augments them with DIME munitions and F-16s.
Further in there’s this:
From the point of view of the victims, modern technology has been less of a boon than ancient customs. There have been no warning angels to guide Joseph’s footsteps into Egypt. Indeed, the border with Egypt has been closed, allegedly to prevent Palestinians from smuggling weapons. This gave rise to a maze of tunnels which have been devised to facilitate the movement of food and basic necessities (and possibly some weapons) into Gaza. The slaughter of Palestinians has been greatly aided by the closure of Gaza’s borders, and the rigorous exclusion of foreign journalists from the area. Admission has been largely confined to the slaughterers, although at a late stage in the conflict inadequate numbers of truckloads of aid were allowed to enter Gaza each day through selected checkpoints.
I love the “possibly some weapons” bit.
So. Israel is massacring innocents, in the evil Bible style, with no divine intervention for innocents this time round.
What a piteously ugly rhetorical end of yet another British Marxist political career.
Mr Coates and Co. have already appointed themselves judges of Israel’s unholy deeds. In March they set up the “Russell Tribunal on Palestine” at a meeting in Brussels. It was at that meeting that Ken Loach said this:
“Nothing has been a greater instigator of anti-Semitism than the self-proclaimed Jewish state itself. Until we deal with that, until that is acknowledged, then racism, I’m afraid, will be with us.”
Yes, if people are racist or bigoted towards blacks or Muslims, for example, well, what can be done? There are so many black criminals and Muslim terrorists, don’t you know. Here he is (the quoted remark is at 5 minutes in):
Furthermore, according to this article, while Loach was in Brussels he had this to say about an Austrian human rights group’s report on rising antisemitism in Europe:
But the director, who has spoken out against Israel in the past, branded the report as a “red herring” designed to “distract attention” from Israel’s recent military actions.
So if you report on antisemitism, you are engaged in deception for Israel. This is what one might call the Caryl Churchill manoeuvre.
This Saturday, Coates spoke at a London meeting about Gaza titled “Collateral damages or premeditated attacks?”. The meeting was held at (where else) Friends House.
Another scheduled speaker was Gonzalo Boye, a Chilean radical.
In 1988 he helped the Basque terrorist group ETA to kidnap a Spanish businessman, Emiliano Revilla. Revilla was held for 249 days in a room under a garage that measured 2 metres by 1 and was just 1.8 metres high. He was only released when a ransom reported to be 1 billion pesetas (€6 mn) was paid to ETA.
Boye was found, arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison. How’s that for radical chic, eh?
Boye studied law in prison and has defended ETA suspects since his release.
The London meeting was organised by a group called the “Alliance for Freedom and Dignity” (AFD).
AFD identifies with and is closely linked to Justice and Spirituality, a Moroccan Islamist movement headed by Abd Esslam Yassine. The AFD’s founding statement is open about this. It says “…we want, here and now, to recognise the debt we have towards the founder of Justice and Spirituality, Mr Abd Esslam Yassine. That man of wisdom, whose thought it is high time to discover.”
Here is some footage from a demonstration called by the AFD in January 2009 in Brussels. Note the numerous Israelis-are-Nazis slurs and Hamas and Hezbollah flags.
The AFD itself is fond of the Nazi slur. There is a whole presentation on its web site comparing Israeli operations to the Holocaust, should you care to see for yourself.
As for Abd Esslam Yassine, have a look at his web site to see where he is coming from.
Here is a sample.
Spoiled child of Protestant America so fervent in its Biblical mythologies, the state of Israel and its formidable propaganda apparatus in the U.S.—press, radio, and television channels in particular—inflated the number of Hitler’s victims at will and drew from common Biblical sources such motivational themes as Exodus and Shoah.
The slogan “a land without people for a people without land” made of Palestine a no man’s land, a waste ground and lost heritage found again by the chosen people.
A recovered “promised land,” Palestine is only the beach-head for the expansion of a “greater Israel” depicted on published Zionist maps, embracing a large part of the Arab East: Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt. Israel acts, confident and certain of its allies. Its principal ally is the profound sense of guilt developed after the so-called Holocaust.
Thanks once again to Jewish propaganda, Hitler, the enemy of the human race and the instigator of a war that had fifty million victims— twenty million of whom were people of the Soviet Union—passed into history merely as a slaughterer of Jews. At Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the numbers are gently reduced so as to be believable; the six millions long sung and lamented have become four million, and this is pared back to a million and a half. This is the official tally engraved on the commemorative steles.
Sounds like a good political match for certain Kens of the British far left.