Nick Cohen has a piece in today’s Observer, warning of the risks inherent in Labour allying with political forces founded on ‘identity’. But he spoils an interesting piece by this vastly disingenuous statement:
Labour might have explained to conservative Muslims that Starmer’s policy on Israel was no different in theory to Jeremy Corbyn’s: a two-state solution.
Yes but …. That’s not all is it?
On 9 June in PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) Starmer called for recognition of a Palestinian State as well as saying that the settlements are illegal (they aren’t):
……..will the Prime Minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed international agreement to finally recognise the state of Palestine, alongside a safe and secure Israel; to stop the expansion of illegal settlements.
No-one had any doubt that with this comment he was courting the Muslim vote in Batley and Spen (18.8% of the electorate).
And during the campaign Labour put out this leaflet:
It lies about Sheikh Jarrah (the evictions are for non-payment of rent); lies that Gaza is ‘blockaded’ (everything is allowed in except materials that can be used to make weapons or terror tunnels); lies that Israel attacked worshippers in Al Aqsa; and misrepresents the culpability for the conflict, which was started by Hamas and not Israel.
And look at Labour’s manifesto for the 2019 election (pages 98-99): It calls for an arms embargo on Israel, lies that there is an ‘illegal blockade’ on Gaza; and calls for immediate recognition of a Palestinian State.
Even though he recognises the existence of Muslim extremism and warns of the risk of identity politics, Cohen disingenuously fails to acknowledge just how far Labour is willing to go to attract and keep the Muslim vote. Had Kim Leadbeater and Keir Starmer simply stuck to the ‘two state solution’ mantra, she surely would have lost the seat – despite the Conservatives’ inept campaign – and Galloway would have won far more than 8264 votes.
And does anyone really think that a Labour government would have pulled the UK out of Durban4?
The truth is that despite Corbyn’s demise, Israel is not safe with Labour.