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Pro-Palestinian, Without the Corbynist Kneejerk anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

13 23 4

In normal times, the election of the leader of Her Majesty's opposition would be front-page news in Britain. In the age of the coronavirus, Sir Keir Starmer's election as Labour party leader was more of a media whimper.

Yet it spelled the end of the far Left's control of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn and signals a shift to more rational policies – not least on anti-Semitism and Israel. Indeed, during the campaign for the leadership, most candidates criticized the party's inability to deal with anti-Semitism, distanced themselves from Corbyn's inadequate and tarnished approach and even proclaimed themselves as "Zionists" - because they accepted the existence of the State of Israel.

Starmer himself publicized his wife's Jewish family and her extended family members living in Tel Aviv. But it was his surprise appointment Sunday of Lisa Nandy – his rival in the leadership contest – as shadow Foreign Secretary that was most intriguing. Nandy, viewed widely as an articulate and principled politician, is the chair of the parliamentary group Labour Friends of Palestine.

A long-time supporter of the Palestinian cause, especially focussing on the treatment of minors, she worked with refugee children before entering the House of Commons in 2010.

Lisa Nandy's appeal is that she could disentangle pro-Palestinian views from disdain for Jews. That may seem unremarkable in other contexts, but Nandy is challenging the idea originating on the far Left, and which became core Corbynista dogma, that the 'canard' of accusing the party or leader of racism was merely a devious technique to attack Corbyn's support for the Palestinians.

Indeed, Nandy has explicitly condemned the distortion and weaponization of the idea and terminology of 'Zionism'. That was all too much for some on the far Left; for........

© Haaretz