(August 29, 2018 / JNS)
When I woke up on Tuesday, I learned about a new chapter in my autobiography: It turns out that as well as being Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2011, I was also chief speechwriter for senior members of the British Parliament.
While this is very flattering, it is best if we focus on who made this accusation: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
According to Corbyn, the Jews are in control of the British media. Jews, and hence the Israeli ambassador, force the prime minister and other legislators to do their bidding on the public airwaves. The Jews also have a strong grip on the global economy.
Despite saying all this, Corbyn insists that he is not an anti-Semite. As President Abraham Lincoln once said, you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
I met Jeremy Corbyn for the first time in 2008, against the backdrop of “Operation Cast Lead” in the Gaza Strip. He was spearheading a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in London that was replete with Hamas and Hezbollah flags. He was vocal in his opposition of Israel’s efforts to defend itself, insisting that the rocket attacks on Israeli communities were a result of the “occupation” of the Gaza Strip. He could not be bothered with the fact that thousands of rockets were being fired at Israeli communities or that Israel had left Gaza several years earlier.
In 2010, as I was about to leave London to become Israel’s envoy to the United Nations, I was impressed by Corbyn’s way of proving he was no anti-Semite when he compared Israel to the Nazis. and said that Israel’s military blockade against the terrorist entity in Gaza was as bad as Hitler’s siege on Stalingrad.
As anyone who has spent some time in the United Kingdom knows, the British media levels some of its harshest criticism on Israel. London is one of the most demanding posts for any Israeli diplomat.
I hope that the latest statement unearthed from Corbyn’s past will generate enough public outrage to culminate in his ousting. However, it is most likely that we are only at the beginning of a long fight to prevent this very dangerous man from entering 10 Downing Street.
Ron Prosor is head of the Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations.