The words 'extremism' and 'extremists' have been dominating the news recently, conspicuously associated with Jeremy Corbyn and his campaign for Labour leadership, one which according to all the polls, along with the momentum it has generated, is set to romp home miles ahead of the competition on September 12, when the new leader is set to be announced.
Corbyn has found himself under a sustained attack over past interviews he has given and platforms he has shared, with the clear inference that he is a decidedly dodgy character with some decidedly dodgy views, who has kept company with some nefarious individuals. In the process the dread-word 'antisemitism' has reared its head, that dark cloud of calumny beneath which no self respecting politician, candidate, or public figure dare find him or herself, condemning those who do to the status of political and public outcast. Antisemitism is far too serious to be as frivolously implied as it has when it comes to Corbyn and his poiitical associations, causing him to be hounded on more than one occasion by, in particular, Channel Four News.
We know we are living in an upside down world when a man who has spent his entire adult life campaigning and speaking up against the extremism of British foreign policy going back many years - wars, occupation, alliances with dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia, and its continued support for Israel, which in its decades-long occupation of the West Bank and its expansion of settlements in the West Bank is in clear and flagrant violation of international law. And this is without mentioning the siege of Gaza, which has been in place since 2005 and punctuated by military assaults that have seen schools, hospitals, UN compounds, and residential areas deliberately targeted - at least, that is, according to those well known terrorist sympathiser, Human Rights Watch.
This is why at time of writing a petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for war crimes. Thus far it has attracted more than 60,000 signatures and counting, illustrating yet again the gulf in understanding that exists between the political and media class and a growing section of the public at large when it comes to the government's foreign policy and links to extremists and extremism.
Jeremy Corbyn has consistently identified and railed against the aformentioned record of injustice, one that British governments, past and present, have been associated with.
The transparent nature of this coordinated smear campaign, waged against the only man standing for election as Labour leader who can sing the party anthem, the Red Flag, without blushing, has been most instructive. He has singlehandedly turned a consensus of anti politics and disaffection with the political system and democracy into a mood of hope and belief that at last the glaring injustices and inequities of the status quo can actually be overcome.
Those who have pushed hardest in attacking Corbyn over his foreign policy are the most hypocritical, defending Israel's right to murder and massacre Palestinians, to deny them their right to self determination, while attacking and smearing anyone who dares speak up against it. For make no mistake this is their real motivation, confirming that it is not for anything bad that Corbyn has done that is responsible for attracting their ire, but for the good he has done and is doing.
Only a foreign policy underpinned by the universal application of international law and human rights, rather than the exceptionalism and might is right that currently underpins it, is capable of making serious inroads into reversing the spread of terrorism, radicalisation, and extremism that has scarred and blights our world.
Thus, it is not Jeremy Corbyn who has questions to answer, it is those who supported the war in Iraq, the bombing of Libya, who provide unquestioning support to Israel, and little or nothing to say over Britain's shameful relationship with Saudi Arabia - it those people who have questions to answer, with some undoubtedly justified in being expected to answer them from the dock at the Interntional Criminal Court at The Hague.
Democracy and organised hypocrisy is not the same thing, with one the very antithesis of the other, and in committing to apologising for Britain's participation in the destruction of Iraq, Jeremy Corbyn has proved that not only is he qualified to lead the Labour Party, he only confirms it is essential that he do so.Suggest a correction