He wouldn’t visit Israel’s Yad Vashem, but British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn did find it important enough to be at Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) founder Dr. Hatam Bazian‘s book signing in London.
The evening was chaired by Press TV’s Amina Taylor – as in Iran’s Press TV. I kid you not.
Hatam spoke of Israel’s illegitimacy – that is, after all, what his book is about – in front of Corbyn, who I assume was very ok with it.
He started off by saying that often when we think of Palestine we think of it in the context of the Nakbah or the ‘Six Day War’ or the protests and rallies that take place today. But the truth of the situation is that the colonial legacy of Palestine begins on 9 December, 1917. From that point, Palestine entered the colonial project because of the British and the issuing of the Balfour Declaration. This all took place at the end of World War II, when colonialism was ‘ending’ and was generally thought of as ‘unacceptable.’ ‘Palestine… It Is Something Colonial’ focuses on the need to reframe the Palestine situation through the lens of settler colonialism.
Dr Bazian also looked back to 1492 – a period he describes as critical. He places Palestine within the context of the dismantling of Ottoman structures by colonial powers. It came to be that religion was deployed as something imperial that gave authority for dispossession. Today, the settlements in Palestine are rationalised with a biblical narrative. In the same way, Zionism uses nationalism and colonialism to justify the existence of Israel. It is an ideology that replicates Eurocentricity and surrenders to anti-Semitism instead of seeking to defeat it.
Here are some more photos from the event. Corbyn looks very comfortable to be there.
As Canary Mission write:
Today’s meeting should also alarm the United Kingdom’s Jewish community. Although Corbyn has gone to great lengths to downplay and even obscure his past support for the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, his overt display of solidarity with Bazian makes clear that these moves represent only tactical political maneuverings and not a genuine ideological shift on his part. Corbyn’s open support for the demagogic founder of SJP, who once called for an intifada in the United States and created the most influential student vehicle for the delegitimization of the Jewish people’s history and very identity, shows that Corbyn is the same Corbyn he’s always been. As the UK’s opposition leader, Corbyn’s schedule must undoubtedly be overwhelming. The fact that he took the time for such a display of solidarity with Bazian indicates that he views the “Israel issue” as central to his foreign policy agenda.