Sunday, 29 November 2020
On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Keir Starmer promises to readmit to the Labour Party those who had stood against it at a General Election not yet a year ago because it was not then sufficiently anti-Palestinian for them.
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 experience redolent of the Windrush scandal and of the fire at Grenfell Tower. It imports the New York practice of branding as “anti-Semitic” any uppity black or other challenge to the metropolitan liberal elite. It establishes a hierarchy of race.
It has led to the expulsion of Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Tony Greenstein, anti-racist activists of many decades’ service who had been party members in good standing even under Blair. Thousands more expulsions and suspensions are openly being planned by the entryists, led by a man who could not have been a member of any political party eight years ago. Say it again that the Labour Party is about to readmit people who stood against it at last December’s General Election.
One’s attitude towards the Palestinian struggle is the test of one’s attitude towards the specific phenomenon of white violence against people of colour throughout the world, including in Britain. Labour has failed that test since 4th September 2018. It would now be expulsionable from the Labour Party to criticise an Israeli nuclear attack on Britain. The defeat of Starmer’s Labour Party is the principal Palestinian political objective outside the Middle East, and the principal anti-racist political objective in the Global North.
Nor should conservatives view this as private grief. 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.
That is why I am honoured that the Campaign Patrons of my Independent candidacy for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham now 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. What are you doing?