Friday, May 19, 2017

Corbyn Blinked

The UK is gearing up for a general election on June 8. In the lead-up to such things, it's usual for parties to formulate new, or tweak old, policies. One might legitimately have expected, therefore, in the case of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, a new, world's-best-practice, policy on Palestine/Israel. Needless to say, expectations, often as not, end up dashed.

We'll come to UK Labour's final policy on Palestine/Israel in a minute. For now here's its first draft:

"Labour is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution - that means a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine. The expansion of Israeli settlements on the Palestinian West Bank is not only wrong and illegal, but represents a threat to the very viability of the hopes of securing a successful outcome of the peace process. We cannot accept the continued humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and we will support Palestinian recognition at the UN."

Keep in mind that this is 2017, 100 years after imperial Britain created the Palestine problem by flooding the country with European Jewish settlers, bent on turning an Arab land into a Jewish state ASAP (in the words of the then leader of the Zionist movement, Chaim Weizmann, making Palestine "as Jewish as England is English"), despite the wholesale opposition of Palestine's Arab majority of over 90%.

Injustices don't come much bigger than this. But, of course, it didn't end there; every year since 1917 the injustice done by Britain to the people of Palestine has only grown - to the monstrous proportions we see today.

Keep in mind too that the British Labour Party supported this misbegotten settler-colonial project from its inception in 1917.

So, here it is, 100 years on from Britain's infamous Balfour Declaration, which declared Britain's support for a Jewish national home, aka a Jewish state, in Arab Palestine, and this is the best policy on Palestine/Israel Labour - under Corbyn, mind you, not Blair - can come up with: support for an illusory two-state solution - without, note, reference to Israel's 1967 borders - and without reference to the rights of the bulk of the Palestinian population, exiled from its homeland now for over 69 years. No wonder the phrase 'peace with JUSTICE' is conspicuous by its absence in the text.

But even this pathetic sop to the Palestinians was too much for Labour's Zionist fifth column, aka the Jewish Labour Movement, in its current iteration, who deemed it - you guessed - unbalanced.

So these charmless champions of the apartheid state went to work on the draft, ensuring not only that Israel escaped all censure ("wrong & illegal"), but that the victims of Israeli apartheid and genocide, actually got some fucking stick!

Hence the deplorable result, UK Labour's final Palestine/Israel policy:

"Labour is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution - a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine. There can be no military solution to this conflict and all sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve. That means both an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements, and an end to rocket and terror attacks. Labour will continue to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations leading to a diplomatic resolution. A Labour government will immediately recognise the state of Palestine."

FYI: See Israel lobby claims 'win' over Labour manifesto changes, Asa Winstanley,, 17/5/17.

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