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Jews and the British Left

As an American contributor to Harry’s Place I probably pay more attention to British politics than is good for me, and I know this topic has been hashed out more than once, but this piece in Tablet Magazine by Josh Glancy treats it with an immediacy and specificity that makes it worthwhile to read in full and discuss.

I feel the same way about Labour party leader Ed Miliband that other Israel supporters feel about Barack Obama– that his commitment to the defense and security of Israel is skin-deep.

(Anyone who buys the line peddled by Obama’s Republican opponents that he is now friendlier to Iran than he is to Israel should read Jonathan Chait’s level-headed explanation of why that is bullshit.)

I can’t imagine Miliband delivering a speech like Obama’s 2013 address in Jerusalem, in which he expressed a deep understanding of Zionism and said (and I believe meant): “[S]o long as there is a United States of America, Ah-tem lo lah-vahd [You are not alone].”

And as a matter of practical politics, while Obama and many other Democrats are fed up with Bibi Netanyahu, there is no strong anti-Zionist constituency in the Democratic party– as there appears to be in the Labour party.

If I lived in the UK, much as I would normally be inclined to support Labour on social and economic grounds, my vote in the coming election would probably depend on whom the Labour candidate was in my constituency.

I would have no problem voting for Louise Ellman or Anne McGuire. There is no way in hell I would vote for Jeremy Corbyn or Gerald Kaufman.

Update: Watch this terrific speech by Labour MP Michael Dugher to the 2015 “We Believe in Israel” conference.

I especially liked his remark, “The Histadrut could certainly teach our own trade unions a thing or two.” If you don’t understand what he meant by that, see here and here.

Needless to say, I would have no trouble voting for him either. Is it possible for Dugher to replace Miliband as head of the Labour party?

(Hat tip: Harvela)