Monday, August 27, 2018

British Jews are growing increasingly alarmed as evidence mounts that British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and many of his circle of high-ranking party allies have engaged in virulently anti-Israel statements and actions, some of which have at least plausibly been labeled as crossing the line from anti-Zionism over into anti-Semitism.  Corbyn and his defenders have generally stood their ground, denying the anti-Semitism charge while acknowledging their support for various stridently anti-Israel organizations--including ones, such as Hamas and PFLP, that are openly and unabashedly terrorist (not to mention anti-Semitic).

This nitpicking debate over at what point these Labour activists' virulent Israel-hatred becomes anti-Semitism quickly becomes tedious, all the more so given that it's essentially beside the point.  Hamas and the PFLP aren't evil merely because they're anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic--they're also violent, totalitarian and terrorist, and treat both Palestinians and Westerners with exactly the same ruthless, cavalier brutality that they mete out to Israelis every chance they get.  And the Corbynistas in the Labour party don't lavish their affections solely on Palestinian terrorists--they're also unstinting in their love for the brutal dictators ruling Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Russia and numerous other countries.

In fact, their anti-Israel animus is only one minor facet of an entire worldview that supports violent anti-Western totalitarians both abroad and at home, with the aim of undermining the stable, capitalist, democratic order that stands in the way of their real ultimate goal:  limitless power.  Uninterested in standard democratic politics, in which they'd have to woo British voters by promising and delivering on broadly popular, successful policies in order to earn power, they instead imagine themselves seizing control of the country much the way their Venezuelan friends did, and their other radical allies hope to do--by infiltrating and bullying unelected institutions, both government and private, into subservience; courting identity-based client constituencies particularly amenable to undemocratic (and even violent) political methods; and suppressing political rivals, by fair means or foul, to limit the alternative options available to other voters.  And that is why British Jews--and everyone else, for that matter--are well-advised to take note of Corbyn's unsavory anti-Semitic international allies when deciding whether or not to support him.


LTEC said...

I agree with you about how awful Corbyn is, and his "Labour activists" are just as bad. But there aren't very many of them, and they would be harmless without their millions of supporters. How do we explain those supporters?

Do they think this is some kind of route to power and wealth? Do they think that come the revolution, they will each be given their very own Venezuela to rule? You typically view these people as being rational in some way. I think that many people naturally and sincerely like brutal dictators. There are lots of stories (and I have some personal ones) of people dying in the gulags without losing any of their love for Stalin.

Dan said...

I don't think Corbyn and his allies would be "harmless without their millions of supporters", but it's true that garnering such a throng (or as I put it, "courting identity-based client constituencies particularly amenable to undemocratic (and even violent) political methods") helps them in their climb to power.

Chavez won over his mob by promising to loot everybody else and distribute the booty to them. This is appealing to those constituencies that assume they'll be powerless and destitute regardless of who's in government, and are therefore satisfied just to be promised a few goodies seized from others in return for lockstep support. Corbyn, like Chavez before him, works hard to expand and cultivate those constituencies, by encouraging the beliefs that lead to their formation and growth: litanies of exaggerated or fabricated grievances, combined with conspiracy theories about immensely wealthy and powerful cabals being the source of those grievances, their rapacity unstoppable except by a crusading hero ruthless and powerful enough in his own right to defeat them.

I don't think the members of these constituencies are necessarily fond of tyrants (although my impression is that some specific cultures--Russian culture, for instance--do foster such fondness). Rather, they've lost--or never had--the belief that non-tyrannical (that is, democratic) government can lead to better conditions than a tyrant who promises to be benevolent towards their particular constituency.