The Real News on the Israel Lobby’s Attempt to Discredit Dr Cornel West

Earlier this morning I put up a piece commenting on a post Mike published yesterday about a piece in the Mail. This was another smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in Momentum. They were, once again, accused of being anti-Semitic and compared to the SA, the radical paramilitary wing of the Nazis, who were massacred by the SS in the infamous ‘Night of the Long Knives’. As I’ve said before, this is a gross libel. Those accused of anti-Semitism included principled anti-racist, anti-Fascist campaigners, many of whom, like Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, another Labour activist, are Jewish. They have been smeared as anti-Semites because they have dared to stand up to the Israel lobby over the persecution of the Palestinians.

It’s not just in this country that the Israel lobby is desperately trying to discredit its opponents with such smears. The major Zionist political group in America is AIPAC, the American-Israel Political Action Committee. This works to promote Israeli interests amongst American politicians, including through political donations. And they’ve been smearing those on the American Left as anti-Semites also when they’ve dared to criticise Israel and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. One of Bernie Sanders’ staff, the woman in charge of the Jewish Outreach part of his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, was sacked after she was also smeared as an anti-Semite. This was despite the fact that she was not only Jewish, but also very active in her community.

One of the others Left-wing politicians on the other side of the Pond, who also was the victim of an attempt to discredit him, was Dr. Cornel West. Dr. West is a Black Christian theologian and politician. He was one of the major figures in Bernie Sanders’ election team. He’s everything the Republicans despise – anti-Racist, pro-welfare, pro-working class, anti-poverty, pro-feminist, pro-environment. I would also imagine that it drives them mad to hear this coming from a Christian theologian, when they want to have the absolute monopoly on Christian opinion in the United States. Dr. West angered AIPAC because he made a speech stating that the safety of ‘our dear Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel’ could not be secured with the occupation of Palestine, and that events in Gaza, the West Bank and other Palestinian areas had shown that for too long the humanity of ‘our dear Palestinian brothers and sisters’ had been denied. Dr. West describes everyone as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, following the pattern of the rhetoric in some Christian churches, though I don’t think it’s just rhetoric either, but a sincere expression of his desire to live in love and peace with the rest of humanity. He was also very clear in condemning anti-Semitism. He declared that it had gone hand in hand with every Christian civilisation, and many Islamic. And it was to be condemned.

So, a critic of Israel, but not an anti-Semite, nor even hostile to Israel. He stated clearly that Israel’s occupation of Palestine was acting against the safety of the Jewish people there. But it was too much for AIPAC. in this piece from The Real News, the anchor talks to Glen Ford, a Black newsman, about a letter condemning West’s comments from 50 Black Democratic politicians. Ford comments that this is common tactic of the opponents of Left-wing Black politicians – to set one Black man to discredit another. The letter was written by Bakari Sellers, a Black activist who is also a member and activist for AIPAC. The letter is mostly quotations from Hillary Clinton praising Israel, with approving comments from AIPAC through Sellers. Ford and the anchor agree that the real issue, as the letter seems to acknowledge, is West’s advocacy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign, which Sellers/ AIPAC denounce as a new form of anti-Semitism, and accuse it of going behind the back of official attempts to find a peaceful solution through negotiations. They state that peace can only come through these official overtures, and not private protests.

Ford and the anchor also discuss how the majority of Black politicians are supporters of AIPAC, but also afraid of them too. As are White politicians, and those of other ethnicities. Ford says that AIPAC isn’t afraid of, and actually boasts about, destroying politicians. He even compares them to ISIS. The willingness of Black Democratic politicians to support the Zionist lobby contrasts very much with the attitude of younger, more radical Blacks, such as the activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. This young people draw parallels between the American police’s brutal treatment of Blacks, and the brutal treatment of the Israeli state towards the Palestinians. This linking of the struggle for Black civil rights in America and the struggle of the Palestinians for dignity and independence was made as far back as 1967. This was when the student activists at the Student Non-Intervention Co-ordinating Committee – SNICC – expressed their solidarity with the Palestinians at the time of the Six Day War. However, since then AIPAC has been actively recruiting Black supporters on College campuses. One of these was Bakari Sellers, although his father was one of the pro-Palestinian members of SNICC.

Here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rvn87ozUBw

This is what’s really going on: the Zionist lobby, both here and in America, are bullies, attempting to destroy any politician or activist, Black or White, Jewish or Gentile, who dares to criticise their atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. They’re doing it to the Labour Left; they did it to Bernie Sanders, and his staff, including Dr. West. It makes no difference if you are sincere anti-racist, who has actively campaigned against anti-Semitism, and faced racial hatred yourself, as many of those, who’ve been smeared by the Zionists have. Many of the Jews and people of Jewish heritage, who’ve been libelled as such have been the victims of anti-Semitic abuse themselves. one of these was the Scots lady, who found her election to the NEC scuppered by Jim Murphy, because she was connected to Momentum, who were ‘anti-Semitic’.

These allegations of anti-Semitism are to direct attention away from, and render out of bounds, all criticism of Israel and its butchery and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine. The Palestinians the Israelis have expelled also include thousands of the country’s indigenous Jewish population. It’s a European-American colonialist settler state. And one reason the denunciations of anti-Semitism are now being made so frequently and so shrilly is that an increasing number of people, including Jewish Americans, are becoming aware of this and demanding change.

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