The malevolent guest at London’s Balfour dinner

When Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend this week’s dinner in London to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, a dinner to which Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited as the guest of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Corbyn said Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry would attend in his place.

Now remarks made by Thornberry inescapably imply that, like Corbyn, she too regrets the fact that Israel was ever created. Instead she supports its mortal enemies whose agenda remains Israel’s destruction.

In an interview published today with the Middle East Eye news site, Thornberry said the UK should not celebrate the Balfour Declaration, which pledged Britain’s support for a Jewish national home, because there is not yet a Palestinian state.

“I don’t think we celebrate the Balfour Declaration but I think we have to mark it because I think it was a turning point in the history of that area and I think probably the most important way of marking it is to recognise Palestine.” 

And she went on to blame Israel for the fact that there was no state of Palestine.

The fact that she paid the usual lip-service to “two viable secure safe states” cuts no ice whatsoever. If she believes that the original commitment by the British government to restoring the Jewish people to their own rightful homeland is not something to be celebrated in itself, the deep hostility to Israel as a Jewish state that this inescapably implies vitiates any pious backing for “two viable states” side by side.

Her support for the existence of Israel is, by her own lights, conditional on the existence of a state of Palestine. She thus displays her profound ignorance of Jewish, Arab and Middle Eastern history by assuming that people called the Palestinians were entitled to the same promise of a national homeland.

There was never, of course, any “Palestinian” people.The reason the Balfour Declaration promised the former land of Israel to the Jews was that they are the only people for whom that land was ever their national kingdom, the only extant indigenous people of that land and who were merely to be restored to their own homeland from which they had been exiled by succeeding waves of occupiers.

By wrapping herself in the Palestinian cause, Thornberry is associating her party once again with an agenda of colonialist aggression (the Palestinians remain committed to the destruction of Israel), racist ethnic cleansing (the Palestinians repeatedly declare that no Jews would be allowed to live in a state of Palestine) and antisemitism (the Palestinians attempt ceaselessly to write the Jews out of their own history and religion and use Nazi-style imagery and blood libels to incite their children to anti-Jewish hatred).

And of course, a Palestine state alongside Israel has been on offer repeatedly since 1936 – yet it has been the Arabs and “Palestinians” who have refused it while the Jews have always accepted it. There could be a state of Palestine tomorrow if the Palestinians would accept Israel’s right to exist alongside it. Instead, they want such a state solely in order to destroy Israel altogether.

This is plain from their history, their policies, their speeches, what they teach their children, their maps and insignia. It takes a high level of malice not only to pretend all that doesn’t exist but to blame Israel instead for not submitting to its own destruction.

Emily Thornberry has once again revealed the vicious reality of the Labour party and the malevolent threat to the Jewish people that it has become.

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