THE BLOG

More Ridiculous Attacks on Corbyn, Please!

21/08/2015 13:57 BST | Updated 20/08/2016 10:59 BST

How did this anti-Semitic supporter of Islamic jihad infiltrate Labour in the first place?

You can tell Jeremy Corbyn is doing well in the polls, because the mud slinging is getting good now. If any of it actually sticks, it will be by virtue of the sheer quantities of it that are currently washing over the Islington North MP, like a flash flood, while he stubbornly hangs on, and tries to distract the public from his sinister past by talking about policies, and other inconsequential matters.

News that a man who was heavily involved with the Northern Ireland peace process and in diplomatic negotiations in the Middle East, would find himself in the same room as Hamas and members of the IRA, must be shocking to many. News that he has friends who are anti-Semites and holocaust deniers certainly would be shocking, if that was true. As Corbyn said on Channel 4 news recently, Raed Salah - suspected anti-Semite, who was detained in the UK in 2011 - was free to travel in Israel at the time Corbyn had been due to meet him at an event for the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and he had delivered a lecture at Tel Aviv university the month before. If anyone is likely to be soft on anti-Semitism, of course, it's the Israelis.

Corbyn also had dealings with a holocaust denier - Paul Eisen - some years before he decided to deny the holocaust.

Anything else?

Yes! Year-old footage has now emerged of Corbyn comparing the actions of the United States military in Iraq with the actions of the Islamic State. Speaking on Russia Today, he said of IS:

"Yes they are brutal, yes some of what they have done is quite appalling, likewise what American forces did in Fallujah and other places is quite appalling."

If by "other places" Corbyn means the rest of Iraq, then he is referring, no doubt, to the half million or so Iraqi civilians that have been needlessly slaughtered as a direct result of the US-led 2003 ground invasion. How did this sea of humanity meet its end? How does anyone die in war. Brutally. Sometimes quickly, often not. Losing one's head doesn't require a hooded maniac standing nearby with a knife; a missile will do it. Any kind of so-called smart munition, stamped with the insignia of the US air force, will do a devastating job of separating men, women and children from their heads.

The argument often used against principled humanitarians - like Corbyn - when they point out this offensive hypocrisy that all too readily goes unchallenged in the west, is that "intentions" somehow make one act of mass murder better than another. Well, talk of "intentions" is a luxury that is usually afforded by the citizens of rich, stable countries. It is the duty of all such people to take a leap of imagination and step outside their own cosseted environments and imagine what life, and death, must really be like for the people who are suffering, and have suffered, in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Yemen, and all the other blighted regions of the Middle East. Our own military involvement - both through war, and arms trading - has helped to cause this, and I look forward to the day when the Prime Minister of the UK will have the courage to admit that, so that we can begin to work with international partners, and steer a better course for the future.

Needless to say, there is only one man for that job.