At long last, the British government has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Ministers previously banned only its military wing, pretending that Hezbollah also had a legitimate political function in the government of Lebanon. This week, however, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was no longer possible to distinguish between Hezbollah’s “already banned military wing and the political party.”
About time. Hezbollah is a murderous proxy for the Iranian regime, through which it destabilizes and effectively controls the Lebanese government.
It is responsible for numerous murderous attacks around the world against Jews, Americans and other Western interests, and threatens to attack Israel with some 120,000 missiles it has embedded among Lebanon’s civilian population.
It is also fueled by deranged Jew-hatred. “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion,” said Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, “we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say ‘the Israeli.’”
The ban shone an unwelcome spotlight on the far-left Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who infamously called Hezbollah his “friends” (something he later said he regretted), and in 2015 said there wouldn’t be a Middle East peace process without talks involving Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas.
True to form, Corbyn’s response to the ban was equivocal. While he didn’t oppose it, he allowed his MPs to not support it and said it wasn’t backed by “sufficient” evidence.
His refusal to take a stand against one of the world’s most vicious and murderous anti-Jewish groups took place, moreover, during the escalating crisis in the Labour Party over Corbyn’s reluctance to deal with the eye-watering antisemitism in its ranks.
At the start of last week, nine Labour MPs left the party in protest over three issues: the hard-left Corbynite takeover, the party’s failure to oppose Brexit, and its refusal to deal with antisemitism and the bullying of Jewish members of Parliament.
Decent Labour MPs have been in anguish as they watch their party succumb to the moral corruption of Jew-hatred.
Yet the departure of the nine was followed by a number of developments that merely deepened the crisis still further.
One Labour MP, Ruth George, suggested that Israel could be secretly funding the MPs who had quit the party – a conspiracy theory for which she lamely apologized.
This week another Labour MP, Chris Williamson, was suspended after a string of perverse and inflammatory actions. He had supported antisemites who had claimed there was a Zionist plan for world domination, and that Jews were responsible for the African slave trade.
After he was found to have complained that the party had been “too apologetic” over antisemitism, he was finally suspended – an action which Corbyn reportedly tried to block, retreating only when furious members of his front-bench team threatened to resign.
Such outrage shows there are still decent members of the Labour Party. They say they are fighting from within to rescue it. But it cannot be rescued.
The immediate problem is that Corbyn and his hard-left cadre have seized control of the party machinery; and like Corbyn himself, his most senior acolytes also have form in singling out Israel for double standards and irrational hatred.
In 2014, the current deputy leader John McDonnell suggested that any British citizens who served in the Israeli Defense Forces should be stripped of their British citizenship.
Most troubling of all is Corbyn’s spokesman Seumas Milne, the former Guardian journalist who is said by moderate Labour MPs to be Corbyn’s “brain” and to have exercised “undue influence” on the leadership’s mishandling of the antisemitism crisis.
A report in last week’s Mail on Sunday newspaper revealed that Milne had been a dedicated supporter of the PLO during his time at Oxford University in the ‘70s.
He set up and ran a campus campaign to spread PLO propaganda, arguing there could be “no peace or justice” in the region following “the establishment and perpetuation of an exclusively Jewish state where the majority of the population were non-Jews, as the Zionists like to refer to the Palestinians.”
Over the years, Milne’s views have hardened still further. In 2009, he wrote that “the idea that Israel is a racist state is largely uncontroversial” and it was “built on ethnic cleansing.’’ In 2012, he wrote that Hamas had “regained credibility as a resistance force,” and noted with apparent approval that rockets fired from Gaza now had the range to hit targets in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
The antisemitism crisis, however, goes far beyond the Labour Party. Jew-baiting and Israel-bashing are rampant on campuses across Britain and America.
The arrival in the US Congress of three Democratic Party representatives with a history of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish comments, along with toleration and even support of the vicious antisemite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, shows similarities with the Corbynized Labour Party.
In France and other European countries, Jews are being regularly intimidated and attacked.
So what is the reason for this global eruption of the oldest hatred?
It’s coming from three sources: the Left, neo-Nazis and the Islamic world. Of these, while the Islamic world is the most violent and murderous, the Left is the most significant. That’s because it is the overwhelmingly dominant force in Western culture and, crucially, it facilitates and encourages antisemitism.
It does this in particular through three key elements of its ideological agenda: its supposed “anti-racism,” its suppression of “Islamophobia” and its support for “Palestinianism.”
These elements mean the Left refuses to acknowledge the rampant Jew-hatred within radicalized black and Muslim communities. More fundamentally still, its endorsement of the Palestine cause has served to legitimize and fuel Jew-hatred.
Palestinianism is based upon the eradication of the Jewish people from its own history in the land of Israel. Public Palestinian discourse demonizes not just Israel but also the Jewish people as a source of cosmic conspiracies and evil intent.
Mahmoud Abbas – viewed by the Western Left as a statesman-in-waiting – has a doctorate in Holocaust denial, explicitly venerates the Palestinian Nazi-ally Haj Amin al-Husseini who undertook to slaughter every Jew in the Middle East in the event of Hitler’s victory, and uses his media outlets to transmit medieval and Nazi-style demonization of the Jews.
His followers claim the Jews were behind 9/11, that Israel is out to destroy the Islamic world, and that the Jews control the world’s media, finance and US foreign policy.
So why should Labour Party members who support the Palestinians with their agenda of Holocaust denial, attacks on Judaism and unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish power now be so shocked that Labour Party members are themselves coming out with Holocaust denial, attacks on Judaism and unhinged conspiracy theories about Jewish power?
Antisemitism, which is always with us, is kept down only by unequivocal social disapproval. Support for Palestinianism, however, has served to legitimize it. This has not just encouraged its brazen expression on the Left. It has also created a climate which has emboldened neo-Nazis and their ilk to crawl out from under their stone.
There are of course other reasons behind the epidemic of antisemitism: cultures that are fragmenting or dying, a Western world that has lost confidence in modernity and reason, and a Europe that cannot bear the guilt of the Holocaust.
Ultimately, though, the scapegoating of the Jews signals a fundamental loss of moral compass. That this is now taking place across the world should terrify not just Jews but everyone.