The radiation of hostility, or return of the bully boys

Israeli diplomat Abba Eban recalled in his autobiography a Zionist delegation’s meeting with Bevin in 1947.

July 3, 2019 21:56
4 minute read.
British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced that restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestin

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced that restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine would continue, sparking a violent backlash. (photo credit: UK GOVERNMENT)

‘Jeremy Corbyn isn’t an antisemite,” said a friend. And it’s true, the leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition doesn’t go around saying, “We hate Jews.” Nor does he call for anti-Jewish discrimination. OK, he hates Israel, but so do lots of Jews.

The Labour Party’s 1945 election manifesto did not include a pledge to prolong the suffering of Holocaust survivors. There was no vote at party conferences for a policy of further incarcerating the Jewish survivors of hell in a camp in Cyprus, or of returning those poor benighted souls to Germany, or of keeping them imprisoned for years on end. There was no electoral mandate to open fire on survivors who reached the shores of redemption in pre-state Israel. After six years of war, most of Britain wasn’t bothered about the Jews one way or the other. But Labour foreign secretary Ernest Bevin sure was.

Israeli diplomat Abba Eban recalled in his autobiography a Zionist delegation’s meeting with Bevin in 1947. “I had never seen a man so able to radiate hostility, not only with every word but with every movement of face and eyes. Not for one single moment did he show us any human respect, let alone diplomatic deference.” According to the hard-left Labour cabinet minister Richard Crossman, “The main points of Bevin’s discourse were... that the Jews had successfully organized a conspiracy against Britain and against him personally.”

This is the hostility that radiates in Labour today, from leadership to grassroots. You could see it in Corbyn’s surly, sulking demeanor when reluctantly meeting Jewish leaders last year. You could see it in the aggression of party grandee John Prescott after a Jewish journalist asked, off the record, whether there was anything he could do about antisemitism in the Labour Party. “Is there anything you can do about Israel and its behavior?” he ranted. “All of this is about Israel... dead children... settlers on someone else’s land.” A Labour Party member in Brighton recently advocated marching on a synagogue; in other words, a pogrom.

In 1911, more than 200 screaming miners and their families ransacked and looted the properties of 20 Jewish businesses in Tredegar, in Wales, followed by similar disturbances in nearby towns such as Caerphilly, Ebbw Vale and Bargoed. The riots lasted for nearly a week before home secretary Winston Churchill sent in the troops. It’s not hard to imagine how, under a Labour government, the police would be instructed to look the other way while a mob attacks Jews, this time on the pretext of Israel’s imagined transgressions.

IT IS one thing for Jews to reject Israel; the tradition of Jews forsaking their birthright goes back to the Bible. The tradition of non-Jews condemning the world’s only Jewish state springs from a different well. Corbyn has put forward 64 early-day motions in Parliament about Israel, compared with 23 on labor relations and workers’ rights. Why would a committed socialist devote so much time to Israel, an interest that has limited impact on his constituents in Islington, and so little time to the people he is supposed to represent?

The answer is the Palestinians. In no other group does Corbyn see such a true reflection of himself: fetishization of terror, perpetuation of victimhood, love of conspiracy theories, aversion to compromise, and demonization of the Jews, be it in a mural, a history book or every classroom in Gaza.

Corbyn and his followers are forever claiming their ignorance as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Whereas Bevin’s illiteracy could be attributed to an impoverished childhood, Corbyn defied every opportunity (much like the Palestinians) to gain two “E” grades at his A-level studies before failing to complete his degree in Trade Union Studies at North London Polytechnic. In Corbyn’s world, learning and knowledge are dismissed as the preserve of the elite, or the few. Or, one might say, the Jew.

“F*** off!” Prescott said to the Jewish Chronicle after being asked about his exchange with the aforementioned journalist. “Kneecapping might help change their minds,” laughed John McDonnell (a reference to the Irish Republican Army’s practice of punishing its own people by shooting or smashing their knees with a sledgehammer) at councilors unwilling to meet Sinn Fein. These days John McDonnell is shadow chancellor of the Exchequer. The party once represented by humane, educated socialists, such as Richard Crossman and Tony Crosland, Harold Wilson and Michael Foot, has regressed to the bully-boy mien of Ernest Bevin. And there it is stuck, on a prejudiced hostility that we Jews recognize all too well. 

In the TV series Chernobyl, a party functionary refuses to admit there’s a problem after a nuclear reactor’s core has blown up. A scientist tries to persuade him. “I’m a nuclear physicist and you used to work in a shoe factory,” she says. “And I am the one in power,” the apparatchik smirks. “Workers of the world unite.”

Corbyn and his bully-boy “workers” are surely the most terrifying threat to Britain, and its Jews in particular, since the 1940s.
The writer is a freelance journalist living in the UK. This article was originally published on The Conservative Woman website.

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