I hate to see MPs, who are elected and sent to Westminster by the good people in their constituency, grovelling to the grubby diktats of the party mafia.
Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside, had the impudence to ask prime minister Rishi Sunak in Parliament about “human rights violations” against Palestinians, calling the new government in Tel Aviv fascist. She also dared to quote Amnesty International’s conclusion that Israel is an “apartheid state”, which is entirely correct.
She was immediately humiliated by her party bosses and forced to apologise and acknowledge that the word ‘fascist’ is “particularly insensitive” given Israel’s history. New Israel only goes back as far as 1948 and throughout that short time has behaved with unbelievable savagery towards its neighbour making Palestinian lives a misery.
Nevertheless, Ms Johnson said in her apology that “while there are far-right elements in the government, I recognise that the use of the term in this context was wrong”. The fact is, Netanyahu’s government has already shown itself to be a loathsome rag-bag of dangerous psychopaths, some with a criminal record.
Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesman said her remarks were “unacceptable” and she was told by party whips to apologise. The irony of barring a Labour MP from using the word ‘fascist’ in connection with the Israeli regime is lost on Starmer. He says he supports Zionism “without qualification” and famously wrote a grovelling letter to the BoD (Board of Deputies) on the very day he took over leadership promising to “tear out the poison of anti-Semitism” from the Labour Party. Their president Marie van der Zyl triumphantly displayed Starmer’s servile missive like a trophy scalp on the BoD’s tepee.
Ms Johnson, of course, told the truth when describing the new Israeli government and she has the right of freedom and expression without interference to ruffle a few feathers and offend those who think Israel’s brutal and illegal occupation, massacres and confiscation of Palestinian lands and resources for the last 70+ years is somehow fine and dandy. She has no reason to apologise except to appease a Labour Party whose leadership has itself turned towards fascism… as this incident demonstrates.
Sunak too showed weakness by criticising Ms Johnson for “failing to mention the horrific attacks on civilians inside Israel as well”. But why should she? They are insignificant compared to the huge numbers of Palestinians (including women and children) slaughtered in their homeland by the marauding Israeli military. If he’s referring to the recent shooting near a synagogue, I’ve seen a report that it happened in an illegal settlement (i.e. squat) and not in Israel. So-called settlers are intruders and have no legal right to be on Palestinian territory.
Sunak also says:
“It is important in this matter to remain calm and urge all sides to strive for peace, and that is very much what I will do as Prime Minister and in the conversations that I have had with the Israeli prime minister.”
Urging calm and striving for peace hasn’t solved the problem…. which is that the occupation is ILLEGAL under international and humanitarian law and Western leaders are too corrupted or cowardly to do what’s necessary.
Everyone and his dog knows there can be no peace without that key ingredient justice, which is conspicuously missing in the Holy Land’s foul-tasting cake mix. With Sunak’s feeble attitude nothing will change, only get worse. He’s in a position to make a difference but won’t. But he’s very brave in baying for Putin’s blood.
How pathetic is an Opposition leader like Starmer, a former Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (which is the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions), who won’t force the pace and uphold international law considering how Britain was largely responsible for the horrific Palestine situation in the first place? And – don’t laugh – he previously served as a legal officer for the campaign group Liberty.
No, you couldn’t make it up.
© Stuart Littlewood – 2 February 2023
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