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Jamie Stern-Weiner

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Faced with claims that Labour antisemitism poses an existential threat to Jews, on the one side, and arguments that antisemitism is neither widespread nor institutionalised in the party, on the other, it might be tempting to split the difference and assume that the truth lies somewhere in between. But Jamie Stern-Weiner and Alan Maddison say the truth of this controversy lies not in the middle but at one pole: there is no ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unprecedented victory in a NY congressional district was followed by her endorsement of the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, generating angry criticism from leftwingers who seek one democratic state. But she is now in a position to give voice to the victims of US foreign policy, not least the Palestinian people. It would verge on criminal to saddle her with a position that dooms her to political irrelevance, writes Jamie Stern-Weiner.

Mainstream Israeli political parties are united in rejecting the international consensus for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but they are divided over “the Kerry Plan” which would see Israel annex its major illegal settlement blocs on critical chunks of Palestinian territory, redraw its border roughly along the route of the illegal Wall and nullify the refugees’ right of return. Whereas Netanyahu is content to maintain the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion, the pro-Kerry camp seeks its legal consecration through a US-brokered deal. If Netanyahu forms Israel’s next government, Palestine’s foreseeable future will resemble its unbearable present. But if Netanyahu loses, the decisive obstacle to securing formal Palestinian capitulation to US-Israeli terms may be removed with him.

After British MPs moved overwhelmingly to recognise the State of Palestine, the governments of Britain and Israel affected indifference in an attempt to undermine the vote’s significance. These dismissals mask a deep and growing anxiety about the direction of political traffic. “There is indeed reason to worry”, a senior Israeli diplomat acknowledged. “Not because it’s going to be translated into actual government policy, but because it’s a public opinion setter. It does create a trend”. But trends don’t set themselves, and fortunately for Israel, rather than mobilising to publicise and build on last week’s achievement, significant tendencies within the Palestine solidarity movement are working instead to undermine and contain it. Instead, we need to accept the victory and build on it.