15 November 2016

Israeli Labour Party Leader Isaac Herzog Extends a Warm Welcome to Donald Trump

Jewish Labour Movement refuses to condemn leader of its Israeli sister party

Note the Contrast
What a contrast between the reaction of Jeremy Corbyn to the election of Donald Trump and that of Isaac Herzog, the leader of Israel's Labour Party.  Corbyn wrote that “Many in Britain and elsewhere will be understandably shocked by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the rhetoric around it and what the election result means for the rest of the world, as well as America." and that it was 'an “unmistakable rejection” of the political establishment and an economic system that has delivered escalating inequality.'

Contrast this with the Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Israeli Labour Party:

“Warm congratulations to the president of the most powerful nation in the world: Donald J Trump!” Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog, wrote on his Facebook.' Herzog to Trump: Your win shows elites are thing of past

This poses a dilemma for the Jewish Labour Movement, which is the British wing of the ILP.  The JLM only recently brought over ILP members to the Labour Party conference.  The JLM likes to portray itself as the 'Jewish section' of the Labour Party, despite its exclusion of non-Zionist/anti-Zionist Jews.  It has even obtained a representative on the Party's Equalities sub-committee.

Almost 200 Jews, including members of the JLM (but not its Chair Jeremy Newmark) sent a letter criticising the statement by the President of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush welcoming Trump's election Board president defends congratulating Trump amid criticism.  Even the JLM's Director Ella Rose, a recent transfer from the Israeli Embassy, tweeted her criticism of the statement. However the JLM has maintained a stony silence about the welcome for Trump by Herzog.  

Indeed the JLM has said nothing at all about the wall to wall welcome in Israel for Trump's election. The only Zionist party not to have welcomed Trump's election is the tiny Meretz Party, which has 5 seats in the Knesset.

It is doubly ironic that Herzog should welcome Trump and his anti-Semitic Breitbart entourage given that it was not so long ago that he wrote to Jeremy Corbyn to say that he was ' "appalled and outraged” that the Labour Party tolerated 'anti-Semitism' i.e. anti-Zionism in the British Labour Party.  Indeed he threatened to sever links between the ILP and the Labour Party.  Unfortunately he didn't follow up on his threat!

Isaac Herzog himself is no slouch when it comes to racism and bigotry.  Herzog recently declared that his nightmare was waking up to find that Israel had a Palestinian Prime Minister and 61 Palestinian Members of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament).  Who needs the Right when we have Isaac Herzog?  Herzog also recently declared that he wanted to dispel the false impression that the ILP were ‘Arab Lovers’ Herzog slammed for remark about ‘Arab lovers’ 

Bigotry runs right through the Israeli political system - every Government Minister is a Donald Trump
Imagine if someone in Britain had said that their nightmare was waking up to a Jewish Prime Minister in this country?  Or if people talked of ‘Jew lovers’.  Anti-fascists used to get accused by the neo-Nazi National Front of being ‘nigger lovers’.  Herzog's rhetoric however goes virtually unnoticed in a country where Prime Minister Netanyahu talks about Arabs outside Israel being ‘wild beastsNetanyahu plans fence around Israel to protect it from 'wild beasts'
Leading by example - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
When it comes to racism in Israel you are spoilt for choice.  The Deputy Defence Minister Eli Dahan talks about Arabs thus:   To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human.”

Eli Ben Dahan, who is evidently an expert when it comes to the racial hierarchy of souls, also told Ma'ariv that homosexual Jews were superior than gentiles — gay or straight.  “A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual,” he said.  New deputy defense minister called Palestinians ‘animals’
Deputy Defence Minister Eli Dahan is an expert in the racial hierarchy of souls
Herzog gushed that “Today American democracy chose … an American leader who showed the commentators and the skeptics that we are in a new era of change and replacing the old elitist regimes!” he said “You did the unthinkable, against all the odds, polls, research and the prophets of the old era. I’m convinced that the defense and financial alliance with our strongest and most powerful ally will continue with a vengeance under your presidency.”

Note the words ‘financial alliance’.  Even the best anti-Semites would be hard put to better that.  And why shouldn’t Herzog flatter Trump.  After all the Israeli Labour Party was the founding party of racism in Israel.  Their trade union, Histadrut barred Arabs from membership from 1920-1959 and even then put them into a separate Arab section, under the leadership of a Jew!

At every election the Labour Party warns Netanyahu of the consequences of not reaching a peace settlement based on the bantustanisation of the West Bank.  The Arabs will continue to multiply until the Jewish state is swamped.  Their policy with regard to the Palestinian Arabs is one of segregation. It is a party which would not have been out of place in the Deep South of America.  That is why they support reaching a ‘peace’ settlement.

Contrast this with Jeremy Corbyn’s principled statement that sexism and racism have no place in politics.  Yet the Jewish Labour Movement under Jeremy Newmark, which is formally affiliated to the World Labour Zionist Movement, an organisation in name only, and the settlement funding World Zionist Organisation, is a socialist society affiliated to the Labour Party and entitled to send delegates to Labour Party conference and constituency Labour Parties.  It even has a representative on the Labour Party’s Equalities sub-Committee!  Mind there is a weird kind of logic in having representatives of racist organisation on anti-racist committees.  It helps us to get to know them better!

Tony Greenstein

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