Jeremy Corbyn’s recent inability to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah - the Islamic political groups which he notoriously invited to the House of Commons and called friends - undermines the struggle against theocracy, oppression and corruption.
In 2005 Bethlehem was in the grips of an election. Its most revealing discussions took place over Christmas, where a vastly under-reported advance by the Hamas political party underscored their crude ambitions against the Palestinians.
The Leader of the Hamas group on Bethlehem City Council outlined his vision for non-Muslims, including the large minority of Palestinian Christians who tend to vote for secular and liberal parties. Females, he boldly stated, were to be banned from greeting men with a handshake. Not content with control over women's bodies, Hamas also wanted financial control. Their vision was to impose the al-Jeziya, or dhimmi, which is a non-believer tax. The minorities of Palestinians that believe Mohammed is not their prophet or that morality isn’t anchored to celestial orders and ancient texts, were to be taxed. The Jewish population also: taxed. Arabs: taxed. Only Muslims were to be exempt.
Undeniably this would cause mass corruption, oppression, and would signal an illiberal march against freedom of faith and liberty of the sort that ISIS has masterly executed.
But, their inability to achieve victory at the polls did not stop their insidious march. Hamas put to work a gang of unemployed, disenfranchised, and quite often mentally ill and vulnerable young men to do their Ottoman Empire styled tax collecting. The aggressively obtained al-Jeziya tax filled the coffers of the party and helped fund their rise.
The rise of this party in Palestine does not liberate oppressed minorities – as I predict many on the hard left believe, including Corbyn– it instead keeps the freedom of minorities, which the left is supposed to champion, well and truly imprisoned. Women’s rights, freedom of faith, and liberty are sacrificed on the altar to defend Islamic extremism, so as to not to appear Islamophobic. Labour activists (and now indeed their Leader Corbyn) aggressively bash business tax reliefs, whilst turning a blind eye to the al-Jeziya of Hamas.
The fundamental problem with the relationship with the left and Hamas is that Muslim’s are absolute in a celestial right to feel aggrieved to land and the left feels sympathy with their struggle against American British and Zionist supposed attempts to stop that. Corbyn and Labour now represent an odious manifestation of those that believe the problem is Western Civilization, not the existential Islamic threat to it. This enforces indoctrination on the left that purports criticism of Islamic extremism, such as the al-Jeziya, to be Islamophobic. It capitulates sense and sensibility by arguing that Israel’s right to self-determination is an annoying obstacle in the struggle of Hamas ‘activists’.
It’s these very self-proclaimed Hamas activists that are the brute and the bully against Palestinians that suffer under Hamas subjugation. The real struggle is to liberate these from the shackle of Islamic and Jewish theocracy. Both Arabs and Jews have a large liberal and secular sect, which are exhausted to see their vision of a two-state solution hijacked by the theocrats that are unmoving in their Godly claim to land. To Hamas, Palestine is a Wagf, and is rightly Allah’s – no one can renounce it, abandon it, or claim it as their own. Only Allah can possess it, and it is every Muslim’s right to fight for their claim.
Corbyn has ensured that Labour is shoulder to shoulder with Hamas and their Jihadist struggle to fight against those Western imperialists, which have ‘usurped’ part of their godly land. Labour now stands in support with Islamic Fascism, not against the misogyny, homophobia and brutality that Hamas represents. Instead Corbyn mistakes the struggle of the Palestinian people as the struggle of Hamas, but his support of them doesn’t ensure peace, it prohibits it.
I fear now the Labour Party has consigned itself to a path it can not come back from; deep roots of anti-Semitism have snaked itself round the leadership and it has sacrificed the liberal values it was birthed to champion. Even as a Conservative I know the British Labour Party are historically strong on such issues. To see it collapse and crumble under the enveloping shadow of a green and white Hamas flag is a depressing day in everybody’s fight against theocratic oppression – including the Palestinians.
Ben Brittain is Conservative Party activist and works for the mental health service. He has previously served as a Local Elected Authority Governor, as well as a committee member on the Birmingham Governors Network.