In Warrant For Genocide, his classic study of antisemitic conspiracy theories, Norman Cohn made an astute observation: “There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility.”
Such a moment is now upon us with the landslide election of left-wing extremist Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. Corbyn, who was chosen by a quarter of a million Labour members, is the embodiment of the half-educated fanatic described by Cohn.
A dogmatic socialist who was quick to appoint a supporter of Castroite Cuba as his spokesman on the economy, Corbyn has backed the “titanic struggle” of the Ba’athist and Islamist mass murderers responsible for the slaughter of scores of thousands of civilians, as well as thousands of American and British troops, in post-Saddam Iraq. He is an apologist for the dictatorship of the ayatollahs in Iran. He is a patron of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and an advocate of the Palestinian “Right of Return” to Israel. He is a longstanding associate of the antisemitic organisation Deir Yassin Remembered, which is run by Holocaust deniers. He described the genocidal criminals of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends.” He championed the Islamist cleric Ra’ed Salah, a proponent of the Blood Libel.
When Corbyn’s political proclivities and his involvements with all manner of bigots and fascists came to light, his supporters characterised the information as “smears.” Corbyn himself insisted that he had only met with Hamas and Hezbollah for the sake of advancing the “peace process.” And he claimed to have broken off contact with Deir Yassin Remembered as soon as he found out about the Holocaust deniers in its ranks.
These excuses were lies. Corbyn’s struggle for Middle East peace has never extended to seeking contact with terrorists if they happen to be Jewish. It is only when terrorists demand the extermination of the world’s Jews that Corbyn greets them as friends. As for his links to Deir Yassin Remembered, as early as 2006, one of its founders, Daniel McGowan, boasted of visiting the jailed neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel; Corbyn attended the group’s meetings as recently as 2013.
The real reason for Corbyn’s gallery of antisemitic associations was given by a “well-placed source” in his campaign team: he is “casual about Jewish concerns,” and he knows that “hostility to ‘Zionist neocons’ plays well to his constituency.”
This is true. For an unknown but significant number of Corbyn’s quarter of a million enthusiasts, hatred of “Zionist neocons” is a badge of honour and a statement of political identity.
Consider the conduct of Corbyn’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign. At last week’s PSC demonstration against Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to London, a marcher held a sign depicting the Israeli Prime Minister as a horned Devil (complete with “666” insignia) and castigated Zionists as “blood-drinking swine.”
A second demonstrator was asked, “You said you want six million Jews in the sea?” She replied, “I want them out of Israel.”
“You’ll have to kill them all,” said her challenger.
“Well, so be it,” she answered.
A third PSC loyalist, a self-declared supporter of Hamas, was more moderate: he merely encouraged Israeli Jews to “go back to Poland.” And a fourth produced a coin and started taunting Jewish counter-demonstrators: “That’s all you understand… you understand money.”
For Britain’s “Palestine Solidarity” obsessives, such behaviour is nothing unusual. PSC activists have at various times republished material from neo-Nazi websites; blamed Jews for the Holocaust; opposed Holocaust education for creating “a culture of gentile guilt and Jewish victimhood in British schools”; charged Jews with controlling the media; attacked observant Jews as “enemies of humanity”; and so on.
The Scottish branch of the PSC accused murdered yeshiva students of learning to poison wells and steal the internal organs of non-Jews. The allegation of harvesting organs from Gentiles was also mentioned by Corbyn’s colleague at the PSC, Baroness Jenny Tonge. And PSC patron Caryl Churchill has authored a short play unmasking Jewish parents as evil sadists who lie to their families in order to justify child murder.
That these are not the ravings of a fringe group, but the sentiments of a political movement, can be ascertained from the enormous numbers voting for Corbyn as Labour leader, all of whom are at best indifferent and at worst sympathetic to his well-publicised links to antisemites and terrorists. It can be verified by witnessing the outpourings of hate that take place on Britain’s streets whenever Israel is in the news – marches at which Hamas and Hezbollah banners are almost always on display.
When Britain’s new opposition leader and candidate for Prime Minister panders to those who vomit forth their loathing for “Zionist neocons,” he knows exactly what he is doing. He is placing himself at the head of Britain’s “Palestine Solidarity” lynch mobs.