Israel’s stooges in Britain’s Labour Party
Writing in Mondoweiss, British journalist James Elliott reminds us of the Israel pimps-in-waiting, the Zionist elite running Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, a preposterous misnomer given their overwhelming loyalty to the state of Israel.
The annual meeting of the Labourite branch of the UK’s Israel lobby was well-attended as ever. Senior shadow cabinet members present included Ed Balls, Stephen Twigg, Liam Byrne, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander himself, who was delivering the keynote address, a role that Ed Miliband has performed in previous years, when he addressed a room that also included Alan Johnson, Yvette Cooper and Tessa Jowell.
While Miliband had been hesitant in the past on announcing full-throttle support for all Israel is and does, Douglas Alexander wooed supporters in Labour’s latest desperate scramble with the Tories to impress the Israel lobby. In his speech Alexander said:
“I do not want Israel’s existence to be tolerated or simply accepted, but recognized and celebrated.”
Elliott reminds us of a fact which some on the British left would rather forget, especially when Labour is not in government.
There is in fact a very long history of collusion between Zionists and the Labour Party, and one that shames the working-class origins and socialist sentiments of the latter, while making a mockery of the humane pretensions and “Jewish democracy” of the former. For many years Zionist mythology held that Britain, and Foreign Secretary Ernie Bevin in particular, had conspired to destroy Israel during its war of independence. Oxford-based Israeli professor of international relations, Avi Shlaim has demonstrated otherwise, writing, “Bevin indirectly helped to ensure that the Palestinian state envisaged in the UN partition plan would be stillborn.”…
In his highly-acclaimed The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, the Israeli professor Ilan Pappe has documented how Hugh Stockwell, a British army officer, actually allowed the ethnic cleansing of Haifa by removing the buffer zone of British troops between the Jewish paramilitaries and the 75,000 Palestinians in the city, who Stockwell then encouraged to leave.
The complicity of Labour governments in that initial injustice is a damning mark against Clement Attlee’s halo that makes him the most mythologised of all Labour prime ministers. The actions of men like Bevin and Stockwell helped Jewish paramilitaries ethnically cleanse 700,000 Palestinians from the country between 1947 and 1949, a cruel and barbaric operation well-documented in David Ben-Gurion’s diaries as a deliberate attempt to create an ethnically pure Jewish state.
As we all know, the British Labour Party’s circle of complicity in Israel’s crimes was closed under its most recent prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. As Elliott says, Blair and Brown
were both members of the Labour Friends of Israel, and as journalist David Cronin notes, “With Tony Blair at the helm, Britain’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict became virtually indistinguishable from that of the United States.” Labour actually allowed arms exports to increase during the brutal repression of the Second Intifada, while failing to criticize Israel’s wars in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-09.
We fully share Elliott’s frustration that despite the UN Human Rights Council accusing Israel of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, “much of the Labour movement are resistant to the kind of direct action, in the form of boycotts, divestment and sanctions, that were used to such great effect in South Africa”.
“It is not for the soul or the moral cleanliness of the Labour Party that we should seek justice for the Palestinians by opposing Israeli oppression,” Elliott argues. “It is for the dignity of the Palestinians themselves that we should press forward on the great moral issue of our time.”