Corbyn on Israel/Palestine: for a “safe and viable Palestinian State alongside a safe and viable Israel.”

August 3, 2015 at 7:22 pm (anti-semitism, internationalism, islamism, israel, labour party, Middle East, MPs, palestine, posted by JD, reactionay "anti-imperialism", Stop The War)

The following statement appears on the Stop The War Coalition’s website, which is of significance because the leadership of  STWC stand for the total destruction of Israel and oppose a two states solution. Corbyn’s past record of speaking at STWC events and calling Hamas and Hesbollah “friends” might suggest that he shares their anti-Semitic perspective. The statement we republish below suggests otherwise and the phrase  “a safe and viable Palestinian State alongside a safe and viable Israel” can only mean two states. In my view Corbyn needs to be a great deal more forthright and plain-spoken about his support for two states, and also needs to disavow his past warm words for Hamas and Hesbollah. But still, this statement is welcome and (hopefully) will reassure some comrades who’ve been reluctant to support Corbyn because of his record of softness on various anti-Semitic organisations internationally and in Britain (writes JD):

In July 2015, Jeremy Corbyn, candidate for the Labour Party leadership, published this statement about the Palestinian people and their continuing oppression by the Israeli state.

Peace: Support a viable peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, based on internationally recognised (1967) borders.

I am absolutely committed to a meaningful peace process between Israelis and Palestinians and that has to be one based on the 1967 borders. I am proud to have been one of the first politicians prepared to engage in dialogue with Irish republicans about a peace process in Northern Ireland in the 1980’s. The ultimate success of that process has ensured a lasting peace there. The recent re-election of Binyamin Netanyhu and the right-wing coalition he now leads presents major challenges to the prospects for peace in the Middle East. That must not deter us. With the stakes for conflagration in the Middle East increasing, all the more reason for a Labour Leader to redouble their efforts to facilitate a peace process. I would be such a Leader.

Palestinian Statehood: Reaffirm the Labour party’s commitment to the recognition of a safe and viable Palestinian State alongside a safe and viable Israel. 

Last October parliament made a historic decision to recognize the state of Palestine. As Labour Leader I would not only reaffirm that decision, I would seek to build on it by lobbying support for Palestinian statehood in the international community. This recognition is not only essential for establishing the principle of equality between Israeli and Palestinian, it is also in the long term interests of the sovereignty of Israel that we end the double standards whereby Israeli rights to nationhood are recognized, but Palestinian rights are denied.

Human Rights: Oppose violations of international human rights law, in particular the detention of children and detention of political prisoners without trial. 

I share the growing concern over the failure to stop Israel’s violation of international human rights law. Add to that the impact of the blockade in Gaza, the random and arrest without trail of civilians including children, and the harassment and humiliation of Palestinians as they go about their everyday life, it is clear that human rights violations are fuelling the conflict. These concerns are shared by respected and courageous Israeli human rights organisations like Breaking the Silence, Gush Shalom, Rabbis for Human Rights and B’tselem and international organisations like Save the Children and Oxfam. It is wrong that we continue to sell arms to Israel and I fully support the calls for an arms embargo. As Labour Leader I will be consistent on human rights at home and abroad.

The Wall: Oppose the continued construction of the Separation Wall on Palestinian land, a direct contravention of international law.

While I support Israel’s right to safeguard its citizens I agree with the views of  many Israeli human rights organisations that the route of the Separation Wall is designed to annex Palestinian land and undermine chances for a future peace settlement. In addition, it has adverse effects on Palestinian human rights by restricting movements, increasing difficulties in accessing medical and education services and water supplies.  The recent decision of Israel’s top court to block the planned extension of the wall through the historic Cremisan valley is a positive development and evidence that campaigning and international pressure can work. We need to intensify that pressure.

The Blockade: End the siege on Gaza and ensure the free flow of aid and trade

I echo the calls of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWE) that the blockade must be lifted. It is now one of the longest blockades in history and it impact on the 1.76 million people who live in the Gaza strip, the vast majority of them refugees, has been to further improvise and already desperately poor, improvised people. That impact has worsened in the aftermath of the latest military assault on Gaza, hindering recovery and reconstruct. The blockade has failed and it is rightly perceived, both by the Palestinians and internationally, as a form of collective punishment on the entire Gazan population. It continuation only fuels bitterness and hatred. Its removal enhances peace.

Illegal Settlements: Call for a complete freeze on illegal settlement growth in order to save any hope for a viable two state solution, and end all trade and investment with illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Both British and American governments have rightly criticised the illegal settlements. Not only are they in violation of international law but they a conscious policy to deliberately  undermine any prospect of a viable Palestinian state and with it any two-state solution. It is clear the only hope to stop this policy is if the international community intensify pressure. To that end I fully support the call to end all trade and investments with the illegal settlements.

35 Comments

  1. s4r4hbrown said,

    He was very supportive of the Palestine statehood vote in the HoC, I believe, and hardline opponents of Israel thought that went too far in supporting Israel’s rights to existence/security.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Most sensible people know that the end game for the Islamists is the total destruction of Israel and the Jews. People like Corbyn play the moderate and reconciliation game.
      Any Jew that that falls for the Two State solution may as well que up behind the lorries and go for a shower.

  2. Ben said,

    Corbyn supports the creation of a Jew-free Palestinian state in the West Bank, an integral part of the historic homeland of the Jewish people,and the corralling of all Jews into pre-1967 Israel, that today already has nearly 2 million Arabs, a quarter of the population. Furthermore Israel will be required by Corbyn to acknowledge the right of return of every one of the 9 million Arabs who is descended from a refugee of the 1948 war that the Arabs launched to wipe out Israel. Thus the perpetrators of aggression and attempted genocide against the Jews are to be rewarded, and the Israelis who by dint of courage and grit repulsed their would-be exterminators are to be punished, humiliated and set up for a future of rapine and murder.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      “Furthermore Israel will be required by Corbyn to acknowledge the right of return of every one of the 9 million Arabs who is descended from a refugee of the 1948 war that the Arabs launched to wipe out Israel.”

      How will he be able to achieve this?

  3. John R said,

    This must mark a first for Stop the War.

    1. Their Chair supporting a Two -State position.

    2. Their Chair supporting “Israel’s right to safeguard its citizens.”

    If Liz Kendall had said thie latter, the Stoppers would be calling her out as a Blairite warmonger.

    Who knows? With Jeremy’s political views evolving day by day, who knows what he’ll come up with next?

    Btw, did you see he recently condemned Galloway for the latter’s personal attacks on Naz Shah.

    • Boleyn Ali said,

      “With Jeremy’s political views evolving day by day….”

      I have no idea if this is a “U turn”, an evolution, or a clarification of what he has always thought – someone who knows him better might confirm.

      It is however what I was speculating about last week; even the possibility of a leadership roll, and the responsibility which attaches to that, has lead him to be more precise in what he says. I frankly do not care if it is said under sufferance because, as you note at 1 & 2, this is not an unimportant development.

      • John R said,

        It is curious though that the idea Jeremy Corbyn might support a Two State solution is newsworthy. That and he supports Israel’s “right to safeguard its citizens” will, no doubt, raise a few eyebrows among his buddies in STtW.

        To my mind, it just strikes as someone who has come out with glib phrases among his mates to get easy cheers (“my friends Hamas”). Then, when he gets interviewed about it (channel 4), he realises he hasn’t thought through his views, throws a wobbly and resurrects himself as a dove with a more sane, humane, diplomatic view.

        It’s the same with the EU. It took a few weeks before we heard that he was a “Yes” man.

        It just all comes across as bullshit, made on the hoof rhetoric from student politics. Sure, he gives people warm, cuddly feelings about anti-austerity politics but it just doesn’t seem serious.

        What is positive though is that Corbyn’s pronouncements on Two States will, hopefully, throw the cat among the pigeons and make many anti-Zionists think through their views and come to the same conclusions he has.

  4. ZINR said,

    Empty, pointless, years and years too late.

    His statement makes no demands whatsoever of any Palestinian organisations and fails in any way to condemn any of the Hamas’s actions.

    He has come to realise, far too late, that the overwhelming majority of British voters find his mollycoddling of Islamic fascists and his desire to see Israel wiped off the map repugnant. This is a lame, half-arsed attempt to portray himself as someone who gives a flying fuck about Jews’ right to exist in the Middle East, though he can’t bring himself to condemn any aspect of the Hamas’s violent anti-Semitism, their interminable, endless obstruction to any sort of peace process or the brutalisation of their own people.

    So, his speech in summary: Israelis must live on their knees, the Hamas can do what the fuck it pleases. But let’s have a two state solution, because this sudden U turn proves I’m not a fascist.

    To hell with Corbyn. I will vote against him even if it means voting for the scumbag Cameron or whichever grasping, greasy little shit follows him into power.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      I had no idea that British PMs had so much power! They seem unable to resolve all the problems that beset British capitalism but they have the power to control politics in the Middle East. Why do the Arabs & Israelis pay them so much heed?

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        The Arabs heed as they need support from fellow fascists. Israel only heeds when it is in their interest.

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    I thought this is a kite not even the conservative central office could get off the ground, but you are saying that is we vote for Corbyn (which I won’t), the Arabs will finish off what Hitler started?

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      The arabs would like to finish the job Hitler started after all the Grand Mufti was a Nazi supporter.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        I do believe though that the Grand Mufti is dead and that he died years ago!
        Unless you believe in ghosts he isn’t going to harm anyone.

  6. Political tourist said,

    The Left might win the Labour leadership so let’s attack the lefty.
    As for voting Tory then you were never a socialist to start with.
    As for Israel, does anybody really see it disappearing any time soon.
    What a bunch of flappers there is on here.
    Israel is a nuclear power ffs.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Are you a socialist and if so do explain what you mean by socialism.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        A money-less, stateless society, where production is for use and not profit!

  7. dagmar said,

    If i’m understanding this correctly, Corbyn has gone all ‘common sense’ on various issues and is escaping indentikit left orthodoxy, such as on the EU, on Israel-Palestine, even criticising Galloway in public. It’s almost as if the JC campaign isn’t being run by Simon Fletcher but by the AWL. Curious.

    • Jim Denham said,

      “It’s almost as if the JC campaign isn’t being run by Simon Fletcher but by the AWL. Curious”: Wish that was the case, dagmar.

      • dagmar said,

        I only said “almost”, Jim.

        But what is going on?

        Do such statements represent a change of tune or do Corbyn’s advisers, many of which (such as Fletcher) I presume were orginally around Livingstone/Socialist Action and have burrowed into official posts on centre-left at Labour Party HQ, realise that to be successful Corbyn (or his campaign) has to present common-sense leftish realism on the issues I mentioned, as support for Hamas, Galloway and for lining up with Ukip on the EU (in a classic Bennite manner) would put off so many people from even considering voting for him?

        Or, if they’re thinking long-term: that such positions will prevent a renewal of Labour from the left so they’re prepared to be quiet for a while for the good of ‘the movement’, which I would obviously support)?

        Who is the AWL supporting for deputy, if anyone?

  8. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Steven as that great working class hero Adams said, they have not gone away. The Grand Mufti ideology carries on regardless.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Indeed, it carries on regardless of Corbyn too.

  9. John Welsh said,

    The settlements aren’t illegal, stop mouthing the propaganda. They don’t contravene international law or any agreement with the Palestinians.

    Corbyn’s friendship with Hamas mirrors his friendship with the IRA. In the 70s and 80s they and the PLO modelled themselves as a revolutionary socialist group (complete with berets and communist salutes). That’s why a lot of the far left liked them, Jeremy was no exception. The fact that the PLO were corrupt terrorists didn’t seem to matter.

    If Corbyn is serious about peace, he’d tell the Hamas and fatah to give up their policy of perpetual aggression. Not holding my breath on that one..

    • Steven Johnston said,

      But can peace and capitalism co-exist? Won’t their always be wars over access to resources? No matter what cloak the warring faction wears (religious etc), as socialists we know that it is all about economics.

      • Jim Denham said,

        “But can peace and capitalism co-exist?”: probably not. But we must do our best within existing conditions in order to move forward: read Marx: “Man makes his own history…” etc.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      If settlements were illegal then the white Europeans should leave the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America. But of course they were Christian settlers. That is different as they are of the true faith. The Jews are a different matter as they occupy the land they were kicked out off by the Romans.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Always good to see the left backing capitalist laws…a bit like NYPD agreeing to the mafia carve up of the city.

  10. M. said,

    I think that far too much emphasis was given to Corbyns ” my friends ” statement. I think it was nothing more than a bit of cultural grovelling, akin to wearing a kaffiya . Arabs address you as “my friend ” in conversation all the time.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Indeed it is, are we really expected to believe that when Corbyn becomes PM there will be a 2nd holocaust of Jewish people?
      Perhaps those that believe this to be so can give us a timeline to this?
      Given that Thatcher described some very dodgy Islamic characters as her friends too and did secret arms deals with the Saudis I think the fuss has been blown out of all proportion.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Steven, Corbyn is hardly a friend of Israel. So a Corbyn in power could be troublesome towards them. After all he has put a lot of his time and effort towards Palestine.

  11. Phil Robinson said,

    Images like the one above are watermarked for a reason. They are copyright protected. Please visit Alamy – the site where you found this image – and pay for the appropriate licence. It doesn’t cost much.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Does that include those that inadvertently looked at it. I would have thought that a photo taken at a public event would be free for all to see and use.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Have removed that image and replaced with another.

  12. Steven Johnston said,

    Oh well, we’ve moved from the total destruction of Israel to he could be troublesome towards them.
    I guess I can forget about that timeline…

    • Ben said,

      Corbyn’s friends in Hamas and Hezbollah have not moved from working towards the total destruction of Israel.And as long as Corbyn is partial to them and denigrates Zionism and Israel it is reasonable to believe that he shares their aim even if he continues to obfuscate the fact.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Still no timeline…

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