Reply to Mark Cowling
By Brendan Clifford
Mark Cowling does not consider whether the relentless campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, alleging either that he is Anti-Semitic himself or is reluctant to condemn those who are, might be connected with the difficulties Zionists in Britain are experiencing because of the increasingly undeniable racist character of Jewish policy in the Jewish State.
Whether or not one considers Hamas to be a terrorist organisation is beside the point in this matter. The Jewish State, which is oppressing the Palestinian Arab, was founded by Jewish terrorism, first against the British administration (which had given life to the Zionist project of colonisation of Palestine); and then, when Britain submitted to terrorism, against the Palestinian population.
The great ‘Anti-Semite’ in British Labour Party history is Ernest Bevin. When he became Foreign Secretary in 1945 he found he was committed by Resolutions, heedlessly adopted at Party Conferences during the inter-War years, to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. As one of the earliest Anti-Fascists, he did not see his way to doing this. It was too reminiscent of what the Germans were being punished for. And he did not see the establishment of a religion as a state over an already-inhabited territory as being compatible with the Liberal-democratic socialist principles for which he thought the World War had been fought.
He tried to delay, and hold the ring against the Zionist assault, and to give effect to British assurances to the Palestinian population.
His position at the Foreign Office was subverted by his assistant, Richard Crossman, who became a fanatical Zionist overnight. Bevin was denounced as an Anti-Semite. And an attempt was made to murder him in the House of Commons.
Crossman went on to say that Britain, as a final act of Imperial power, should have ethnically-cleansed part of Palestine of Palestinians, so that the Jewish colonists should be spared the task of doing it themselves. He also said that all Gentiles were born Anti-Semites and that the only remedy was to confess it.
The crunch point in the Zionist campaign against Corbyn seems to be his refusal to copy one item in the Jewish self-definition of Anti-Semitism into the Party’s Code of Conduct: the item which says that it is Anti-Semitic to describe the foundation of Israel as “a racial endeavour”. Does Mark Cowling deny that the foundation of Israel was an act of colonial conquest, and that the first major action of that state was large-scale ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and that the project continues?
It can be assumed that the Palestinians hated the Jews who were displacing and tormenting them. Is that hatred Anti-Semitic?
Mark Cowling says that the writings of Noam Chomsky and other Jews, who described the foundation of Israel in terms of colonial conquest and ethnic cleansing as “open to challenge”. They have been challenged, of course, by Zionists, in the sense of being condemned. But their books are full of detail. We do not know of any Zionist refutation of them in detail. It is enough to condemn them as “self-hating Jews”, whose self-respect has been subverted by their Gentile environment.
If Hamas takes notice of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, why might that be? Could it be that their experience at the hands of Jewish colonialism in the era of the United Nations, and their observation of the complacency with which the world regards it, does not tend to discredit the idea of an international Jewish conspiracy in their eyes.
If the idea that Jewry is a national body dispersed among the nations, and retaining overall coherence in its dispersion, and exerting influence disproportionate to its size wherever it exists, is Anti-Semitic, then Anti-Semitism was the incentive for the Balfour Declaration. The purpose was to bring the great international influence of Jewry over to the British Empire in the Great War, and to turn it against Germany. And its other purpose was to reduce Jewish influence in the Diaspora by gathering the Jews into a state of their own. (See the writings of Balfour and Churchill.) And the Manchester Guardian, a strong supporter of the Balfour Declaration, said the precedent of Jewish States in the past gave no grounds for optimism about another one, if it was left to its own devices. But it would not be left to its own devices. It would not only be enabled by the British Empire, but would be guided and disciplined by it. But of course it wasn’t.
Many states have been founded by colonial conquest, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Israel was founded by the first two of these. But it was only partially founded by its conquest of 1948. It gained only a part of Joshua’s conquests, and not the most important part. Tel Aviv was never its object. It was under ideological compulsion to expand, which it did at every opportunity. Expansion was followed by further colonisation, in gross breach of the supposed ‘International Law’ but unpunished by it. The colonists live as a special people with their own facilities and even with their own roads.
The comparison that springs to mind must not be uttered. And still the final limits of what is to be the Jewish State have not been set out.
Balfour’s Zionist project achieved its immediate object of turning the Jews against Germany. But it did not reduce the Jewish presence in Britain, or internationally.
Jewish nationalism, by choosing to colonise a territory inhabited by another people, did not create a “safe haven” for itself. In order to be reasonably secure, it had to establish absolute military dominance over the Arab population, not just of Palestine but of the Middle East—which Britain had agreed to recognise as a unified Arab State in return for assistance in its war on Turkey, only two years before issuing the Balfour Declaration. And, in order to establish itself as the military superpower of the region, and carry out continuous colonial encroachments on Arab life, it needed the active support of a strong Zionist presence in the Diaspora.
Is there any real doubt that the intense campaign against Corbyn that has now been whipped up has the purpose of distracting attention from the overtly racist legislation directed against the Arab minority in the older Zionist conquest who are supposedly citizens of Israel?
If Corbyn submits to the demand that any account of the foundation of the Israeli state as a Jewish colonial conquest should be denounced as Anti-Semitic, the Labour Party will make itself the agent of the Zionist colonialism which it fears to describe. That is what it has been informally ever since it surrendered to Jewish terrorism in 1948. It is now being put in the position where it must abase itself formally before Zionism, or else confront it formally on the issue raised by Zionists—how exactly the Jewish State was formed in 1948.
And Mark Cowling, before condemning Corbyn for failing to deal adequately with allegations of Anti-Semitism, should say whether he considers the statement that Israel was founded as a colonial conquest achieved by terrorist warfare is a) Anti-Semitic; b) historically accurate; or c) Anti-Semitic though historically accurate.
The issue of Hamas and terrorism is of comparatively little importance. It represents a remnant of the Palestine population that refuses to die out though actively encouraged to do so. Golda Meir denied that Palestinians exist, but they do. The Gazans, confined in a Reservation, have the will to live. The casualty rate in the last major encounter was 100 to 1 against them, but they continue to assert their existence with an occasional pin-prick at Israel. It is impossible that they should defeat Israel, but, if by some miracle they raised a terrorist force against Israel and destroyed it by the same means that founded Israel, where would the moral difference lie?
Israel, on the other hand, is still an active militarist colonial state with expansionist aims, and it seems eager for war with weaker neighbours. It is not a victim but a victimiser.