Jeremy Corbyn Supports Hamas and Hezbollahn

“The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people, and bringing about long term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region, should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government, is really a big, big historical mistake”

More on Harry’s Place.

17 Responses to “Jeremy Corbyn Supports Hamas and Hezbollahn”

  1. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    This man clearly either hasn’t read the Hamas and Hezbollah charters or doesn’t give a damn about the upfront antisemitism contained therein. I’m not about to guess which, publicly. I don’t really fancy being sued for libel.

  2. Brian Robinson Says:

    I just put this on Harry’s Place, although it hasn’t appeared yet.
    I’ve added a phrase here and there.

    As far as I can see from the above, nobody has addressed one of Corbyn’s main points, which is that you have to talk to terrorists, even to people who are disgusting and appalling (of course Corbyn didn’t use those words, but you know what I mean). Unless you think there’s no point in talking? See for instance “The readiness of Islamist movements in the middle east to engage with democratic ideas is evidence that the region is ready for substantive democratic change” at:
    http://tinyurl.com/crrxc3 I loathe everything that Hamas and Hizbollah stand for and agree with Peter Tatchell http://tinyurl.com/b9u94d “Hamas no, Human Rights yes” (CiF, recently).

    I think one of the biggest weaknesses of much pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel (not always the same) discussion is the refusal to take political Islam (radical, fundamentalist) seriously, i.e. at their word. There’s also a shocking ignorance of history and in many cases a refusal even to read any. For example, consider what’s never mentioned in discussions about the single, secular, democratic, binational state – “the state for all its citizens” – are we to forget dhimmi status and the jizya, to name no worse?

    However, having said that, what’s the alternative? More war? More destruction? If Ian Paisley could sit down with Martin McGuinness (and vice versa) shouldn’t we (whoever ‘we’ is here) talk to the Islamists? Unless you think their mission to Islamize the world and redress the defeats of 1683, of the reconquista, of what Ataturk did to the caliphate, are simply non negotiable … In theory of course they should be non negotiable, but since when did theory overcome pragmatism when people decided the latter was in their interests?

  3. Omri Says:

    You might mean that, but Corbyn does not. He supports these organizations outright.

  4. john Strawson Says:

    Brian Robinson is quite right. The critical issue is not a competition to denounce Islamist organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah. Nor is it an issue of reading their founding texts – which certainly with Hamas are full of the most clear anti-Semitism. Nor can either organization be reduced only to terrorist organizations. Both orgnizations carry out vicious terrorist attacks against civilians in contravention of both International Law and Islamic Law (al-Siyar). However, the main activities of these organizations are political and social – campaiging in elections, building clinics and providing a range of services. Nor is it the case the all the members of the organizations or their supporters act consistently in an anti-Semitic manner. Israel and the the rest of the international community should engage with these organizations knowing full well their ideology and terrorist activities but also appreciating their other roles. These are also broad social movements with various different trends which can evolve politically. The boycott of Hamas has of course produced quite the opposite effect. It has been a failure. It is not a question of prettifying Hamas – or Hezbollah – it is a question of dealing with with them realistically in a manner than can encourage political change.

  5. azazel Says:

    I agree with Brian about talking to these organisations, but there’s a big difference between that and praising their sense of “peace” and “justice.”

    • benw Says:

      John, what is your evidence that “the main activities of these organizations are political and social – campaiging in elections, building clinics and providing a range of services”? I think it’s clear that the basic reason these groups exist is to achieve military aims; the social services are there to build support among the people in furtherance of their military aims. For example, just read the Hamas charter — it does *not* say that the main reason for Hamas’s existence is to provide social services. Even its name — “Islamic Resistance Movement” — is a clear indication that its primary purpose is military. I think you are making exactly the mistake that Brian R. is describing — you’re refusing to take organizations like Hamas at their word. They say their basic purpose is military, their actions consistently subordinate social and political concerns to military ones — why is this so difficult to accept?

      • benw Says:

        Sorry, I meant to reply to John.

        BTW, AFAIK Israel *does* engage these groups — just not officially. There is no need to officially engage with a group that won’t play by the most basic rules. Of the 3 basic rules that Hamas is required to abide by before they get official diplomatic recognition (recognize Israel, renounce violence, recognize previous agreements), you could argue that “renounce violence” should conceivably not be a precondition, but I don’t see how the other two can be waived, and Hamas hasn’t agreed to a single one.

  6. j.r. Says:

    the main activities of these organizations are political and social – campaiging in elections, building clinics and providing a range of services.

    rather like the sicilian maffia. However the classic use of nihilistic violence designed to terrorise the civilian populations in lebanon, gaza and israel is a departure from the maffia business plan.

    • Bill Says:

      Let’s also not forget that Hamas’s (and Hezbollah’s) main activity and strategic goal, like all authoritarian organizations, is securing their power so they can go on to bigger things (like killing Jews and anyone else that stands in their way). And true to form, they do this not only by eliminating their opponents (such as Fatah and trade unions) but also by buying support from the community, generating patronage slots (key people who become not just loyal to the PA but specifically to Hamas, e.g., the Chicago or Tammany machines, but with a higher body count), as well as moral laundering (as opposed to money laundering) of their homicidal and exterminationalist goals so their apologists can dishonestly excuse their intentions to exterminate all jews that hide behind takling rocks, and go on about their “charities” (patronage building) and opposition to [anyone but Hamas’s own] corruption.

      I suspect that Gotti, too, ran an effective plumbing supply business and maybe even sponsored a little league team or two — all of which is as critical to the mafia (or terrorist) business plan as terrorizing the populations of Lebanon, Gaza, Israel and NYC.

  7. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Further to the above comments (especially in addition to those of benw), some of those who urge (presumably formal and open) negotiations with Hamas and Hezbollah may be forgetting or not taking into account one of Hamas’s most critical statements. They said they were prepared to negotiate with Israel (this _was_ before the recent Gaza incursion), but only once Israel had withdrawn to the Green Line. Well, as far as Gaza is concerned, Israel _has_ withdrawn to the Green Line, but there was no overt sign of a willingness to negotiate.

    So, however much those such as Brian R. and John S. might urge Israel to negotiate with Hamas, etc (and they’re absolutely right, in principle), everyone has to note the above statement by Hamas, and ask whether they are actually serious about this.

    And, of course, withdrawing to the Green Line (including with relation to the West Bank) is what the _final_ settlement is about (plus all the asscoaited peace treaties, etc). It’s not the _starting_ point.

  8. john Strawson Says:

    Benw asks what evidence is there that Hamas is mainly a social and political organization – I would suggest reading:
    Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas; Vision, Violence and Coexistence (Columbia University Press, 2006).

    • Bill, vacationing on BizzaroWorld Says:

      And the KKK is a hunting club.

    • Bill Says:

      And let me clarify…

      Any organization can push a heavy PR campaign to “reinvent,” “rehabilitate” or “reimagine” itself for whatever gain. David Duke of the KKK’s mandate was to “reform” the KKK to make it more attractive to racist and even mainstream elements in the southern middle class for example. It never took – for good reason, a white trash in a sheet is white trash in sheet no matter how much bleach you use.

      Similarly, any organization (let’s delimit a thought experiment to a small domain and make it a college club) can have bake sales, babysitting networks, night escort services, pep bands, other service-oriented trappings and still have, in their founding charters submitted to the university or student governance, material that is totally unacceptable, like rants over the protocols of the elders of zion, drooling over the days that rocks will tell them where the Jews are so they can kill them, rants about the blacks diluting the gene pool through miscegenation, how asian students are blowing the grade curves, how the only thing a woman is good for is a good time on a saturday night and if they’d bring back the home ec program cooking and cleaning, and gays are only good for bashing. And all PR from their “service activities” are leveraged by buying a reputation on campus as the step-up and go-to guys that do what the university should be doing on its own. And all of the proceeds from their activities go towards advancing their noxious charter-dictated goals.

      Now you know that such an organization would never be allowed to fly. Yet for Hamas, there are apologetics and water carrying galore.

      Unacceptable at college, unacceptable on the world stage.

  9. Brian Robinson Says:

    Yes but look, leopards and spots … I know there are huge differences between the Turkey of the 19th century and Gaza and Lebanon today, but may I ask to try to make a point by quoting from Bernard Lewis, “What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response”? It’s from chap 4, “Modernization and Social Equality” and Lewis is discussing the Islamic attitude to slavery.

    “From a traditional Muslim point of view, to abolish slavery would hardly have been possible. To forbid what God permits is almost as great an offense as to permit what God forbids. Slavery was authorized and its regulation formed part of the shariʼa; more important, of the central core of social laws, which remained intact and effective even when other sections of the Holy Law, dealing with civil, criminal, and similar matters, were tacitly or even openly modified and replaced by modern codes. It is thus not surprising that the strongest resistance to the proposed changes came from conservative religious quarters and particularly from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In their view they were upholding an institution sanctified by scripture and law, and one moreover necessary for the maintenance of the traditional structure of family life.”

    And yet: “The reduction and effective abolition of the slave trade in the Ottoman Empire was in the main accomplished in the course of the nineteenth century. The process of emancipation seems to have begun in 1830 … The movement against slavery in the Islamic lands was due only in part to Western influence …” But: “In all those parts of the region that were subject to European rule or dominance, slavery was in time abolished …”

    OK it wasn’t abolished in Yemen and Saudi Arabia until 1962, but the point I’m trying to make is that even the laws of God can be, what?, reinterpreted — where needs must … Maybe a bit of religious narcissism here could be exploited if God’s spokesmen could be convinced of the benefits for all both in this world and the next. (Things don’t always have to be true, or even real, in order to work – cf Hans Vaihinger’s “The Philosophy of As-If”. As long as, at the same time, we take care to be mindful of when we’re in ‘as’ mode as distinct from ‘if’.)

  10. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    To John S., you may well be correct about that part of the Hamas and Hezbollah charters and practice re-social welfare, but we all also know of the section(s) that are clearly antisemitic, and their actions hardly give anyone confidence that these aspects are mere rhetoric. Further, what of Hamas’ open statement as to the organisations preparedness for negotiations with Israel, if…Not much sign of their willingness to actually talk, is there?

  11. Toby Esterhase Says:

    This discussion is all very interesting but the post was about Corbyn’s claim that Hamas is

    “… an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people, and bringing about long term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region…”

    That is not the same thing at all as making an argument that Israel should negotiate with Hamas or that Hamas contains both nationalists and totalitarians, both Jew-killers and social workers.

  12. NIMN Says:

    Have we really descended to the level of “Yes, but Hitler built great motorways” and “The USSR put a man into space?”

    And in the DDR there was no unemployment and a magnificent programme of atheletic training, particularly in the womens’ field events?

    Hamas says it wants to kill Jews and it kills Jews at every opportunity. During the Gaza conflict Hamas put out a public declaration that it thought Jewish children all around the world were fair targets and it would try to kill them.

    Hamas believes in the protocols of the elders of Zion.

    Hamas fighters strut around doing the Nazi salute.

    Hamas was set up in order to torpedo the peace process – that is its raison d’etre. And it says in its charter that peace negotiations violate the rules of Islam.


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