Sunday, 1 November 2020

If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

Keep saying it, because it is important. We have lived through the most successful coup in Britain since 1688. Now, coups are the norm in Britain. It is vanishingly rare to become, rather than to remain, Prime Minister by leading a political party to an overall majority at a General Election. That last happened in 1997, having then last happened as long as 1979. But this is something else.

Luciana Berger was a Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament last year. That Keir Starmer telephoned her with advance notice of the EHRC report’s contents is grounds for his expulsion from the Labour Party. But a foreign state has pushed opinions that were well within the mainstream of all parties five and half years ago, so that they were always represented at every level of each of them, to the point where they are incompatible with mere membership of any party, and well on the way to full criminalisation. 

All of this is in order to prevent any discussion of the possibility of economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends. To admit of that possibility is now not only to be an anti-Semite by definition, but also, within the Labour Party, to be an entryist. You may have been a Labour MP for 37 years, but a man who could not have been a member of any party eight years ago is entitled to call you an entryist and to kick you out for it. He himself is in close touch with at least one recent Lib Dem parliamentary candidate. Yet some of us will not be cowed. Who needs the Labour Party?

It is wrong to tell Israelis to “go home” when the State of Israel was founded in the year that the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. The Oxford English Dictionary sufficiently defines anti-Semitism as “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews”. The IHRA Definition is a denial of BAME, migrant and refugee, and therefore working-class, experience redolent of the Windrush scandal and of the fire at Grenfell Tower. In curtailing criticism of a foreign state, the IHRA Definition is incompatible with national sovereignty.

The denial of the ancient indigenous Christian presence in the Holy Land, where it created modern Palestinian identity, contributes significantly to the worldwide persecution of Christians. The Palestinian Christians’ ancestors predated the Israelite Conquest, they founded Jerusalem, and they became Christian when or before the Roman Empire did. One’s attitude to the Palestinian struggle is the litmus test of one’s attitude to the specific phenomenon of white violence against people of colour throughout the world, including in Britain.

On this basis, unless I had heard otherwise by six oclock in the evening of Sunday 8th November, then the Campaign Patrons of my Independent candidacy for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham would include the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, the Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, the Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Maronite Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Palestine, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, the Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem, and the Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Amman.

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