As Boris Johnson hosts Viktor Orbán, we now know who the real antisemite is

Throughout his time as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn was subjected to a vicious, politically motivated smear campaign. This was based in large part on the claim that Labour had seen a dramatic increase in antisemitism amongst its membership during Corbyn’s leadership.

However, as The Canary has previously argued, of the respective leaders of the UK’s two major political parties during the 2019 general election, it was in fact Boris Johnson that had far more to answer for in terms of antisemitism. Now, that reality has been confirmed by Johnson’s latest guest at Downing Street. And this, in turn, raises the question of whether Jeremy Corbyn should be given another chance to face Johnson at the next general election.

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Sanctioning Israel wouldn’t be the exercise in hypocrisy it’s made out to be

As Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza has unfolded over the last few weeks, international outrage has injected a surge of energy into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Over the past few years, BDS has emerged as one of the most vibrant and promising tools in working towards ending Israeli apartheid and the occupation of Palestine.

In an exclusive interview with The Canary earlier in May, Prof. Ilan Pappé (himself an Israeli Jew) described BDS as “an excellent organization that galvanizes and knows how to use solidarity in the most effective way”. Naturally, figures on the political right have been aggressively mobilizing to discredit BDS and its supporters. And the hackneyed charge of antisemitism forms a large part of their toolkit. This is obviously ridiculous, not least because a significant amount of BDS supporters are themselves Jewish – including members of Jewish Voice for Peace.

There is, however, a more sophisticated criticism levelled by opponents of BDS. And that is the charge of hypocrisy towards those who support sanctions against Israel yet oppose sanctions against US adversaries such as Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Now this may be more superficially persuasive than the facile antisemitism smear. But a more nuanced analysis shows that there is, in fact, no contradiction here.

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Journalist gets fired from mainstream outlet for criticizing Israel, and it’s not the first time

A journalist was recently fired from one of the largest and most well-known media organizations in the world over her criticism of Israel. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. This is hardly the first time and probably won’t be the last either given the last few years have seen multiple journalists lose their positions at mainstream media outlets following their criticism of Israel’s actions. And this highlights both these outlets’ increasing inability to cover the conflict in Palestine effectively and the need for independent media like The Canary to fill the gap in reporting that is left in the wake of that failure.

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The one huge irony about Palestine we need to remember: Hamas is partly an Israeli creation

As The Canary has been extensively reporting over the past few weeks, Israeli military actions in the occupied Palestinian territories have left hundreds dead, including over 60 children. The assaults were prompted by Hamas rockets fired into southern Israel earlier this month. Prof. Ilan Pappé told The Canary in an exclusive interview on al-Nakba Day that Hamas was retaliating to a ‘calculated and cynical provocation’ on the part of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pappé explained that Netanyahu manufactured this provocation as part of a ploy to stay in power at “the moment he realized he’s not going to be able to form a government, and therefore might find himself on the way to court… if not to the jailhouse.”

But there’s deeper layer behind the Hamas response. Because in a bizarre irony, the Islamist group is in part an Israeli creation. Though this might seem on the surface like a conspiracy theory, there is in fact considerable evidence that Israel played a hand in Hamas’ rise from obscurity. And this reality has even been reported on in one of the most mainstream publications there is.

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The Spectator is now plumbing the depths of desperation while trying to defend Israel

The Canary has been extensively covering the situation in occupied Palestine. Heightened Israeli authoritarianism against Palestinians (described by professor Ilan Pappé as a “calculated and cynical provocation”) led to a response from Palestinian armed groups. As usual, the response from Israel has been grossly disproportionate. It’s involved airstrikes against civilian targets that included residential buildings, hospitals, and schools. So far, Israeli offensive military actions have left hundreds dead, including over 60 children.

Naturally, right-wing commentators have been engaging in desperate mental contortion to categorize Israel’s actions as some kind of ‘self-defence’. The race-to-the-bottom has been a long and predictable compendium of propagandizing, minimizing, and obfuscating. But in a competitive field, the Spectator, the house organ of the Conservative Party, might ultimately take the prize for most flagrant excuse-maker for Israel’s actions.

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Israeli historian Ilan Pappé accuses Netanyahu of ‘calculated and cynical provocation’ in Gaza attacks

15 May was al-Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the late 1940s. On that symbolic day, The Canary spoke to historian Ilan Pappé in an exclusive interview. Professor Pappé is himself an Israeli Jew whose parents settled in Israel after fleeing persecution in Nazi-occupied Europe. However, he’s a staunch critic of both the events that led to Israel’s founding in 1948 and Israeli policy towards Palestinians since then.

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Failed Venezuelan coup leader now wants dialogue. But here’s what corporate media won’t tell you.

Juan Guaidó, the leader of the US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela, is now proposing dialogue with the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. This, of course, should be welcomed, especially given the huge amount of harm that the coup attempt has led to.

But there’s an important reality that the corporate-owned press will surely leave out of their reportage on this development: Which is that the Venezuelan government has been willing to negotiate all along. This omission serves to obscure the fact that it is the opposition that has been the obstinate party. Its sudden about-face on the matter, meanwhile, amounts to nothing short of a tacit admission that the coup attempt has failed. And this is something that Washington and its minions in the corporate-owned media are desperate to avoid admitting to at all costs.

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Why I reject retrocession for DC

Last year, I had an unexpected immersion into DC politics that exponentially increased my knowledge of the issues facing the District. When I contacted the DC Statehood Green Party (whose nominees I have always voted for) to inquire about their candidate for Ward 2’s DC Council race, they said they didn’t have one and asked if I would like to throw my hat into the ring. And so it was that I entered the Ward 2 race, which had been made significantly more interesting (not to mention competitive) with the fall from grace of longtime Council member Jack Evans.

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Strife in Colombia has been brewing for decades. Here’s why we hear so little about it.

For the last week, waves of civil unrest have rocked Colombia. Intense press attention has gone alongside condemnation of the government’s response from international and regional organizations. The government now appears to be facing an existential crisis. But we need to be clear that this crisis didn’t come out of nowhere.

Colombia has suffered under one of the worst set of governments in all Latin America. This raises two obvious questions. Firstly, ‘why have we heard comparatively little from the corporate-owned media about the South American country until now?’ And ‘why does Washington seemingly give Colombia a free pass when it has such flagrant human rights problems?’

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We should never forget Bobby Sands, nor the brutality of the Thatcher government in Ireland

Note: This article first appeared at The Canary on May 5, 2020. It was republished today, May 5, 2021, to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Volunteer Bobby Sands while on hunger strike in Long Kesh.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands inside the H-blocks of Long Kesh internment camp. On 5 May 1981, Sands laid down his life for his and his comrades’ right for recognition as political prisoners. On this day, we should remember the sacrifice he made for the cause of Irish freedom. But his struggle does not just provide an example that all anti-imperialists should follow. It also serves as an important reminder of the ruthless brutality of the British government in Ireland under the leadership of then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher. And that is equally something that we should never forget.

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