Did Corbyn spin doctor Seumas Milne’s 2014 speech breach antisemitism definition?

Yesterday, the Labour Party adopted – at least for the time being – the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism with all its examples, though with a caveat which Labour Friends of Israel claimed had the potential to undermine the example which labels antisemitic calling “the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor”. 

One example from the IHRA definition recently approved by the Labour Party not directly related to Israel seems relevant in light of a 2014 speech by Seumas Milne – currently Jeremy Corbyn’s communications chief and then Guardian associate editor – that we highlighted in a post at the time.

The IHRA example defines as antisemitic the following:

Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion

Now, here’s Milne on Aug. 9, 2014, during Israel’s war with Hamas, speaking to tens of thousands of anti-Israel protesters at Hyde Park in London:

(See the full speech here.)

His speech was consistent with a Guardian op-ed he wrote several weeks earlier which similarly defended the Palestinian ‘right’ of armed resistance, while arguing that Israel, as the ‘occupying power’, had no such right to defend itself against Hamas.

Let’s remember that Milne wasn’t referring to the Palestinian “right of resistance” in the abstract, but in the context of an ongoing war between Israel and the terrorist group, Hamas, a group which was launching, and had previously launched, deadly attacks on Jewish civilians in Israel – attacks inspired by an extremist ideology.

Here’s the IHRA example again:

Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

To those who’d argue that Milne didn’t technically violate the definition because Hamas was attacking ‘Israelis’, and not Jews qua Jews, remember that, despite claims for Western media consumption that their problem is only “Zionism”, not Jews, remember that the Hamas charter quotes Islamic religious texts to justify killing the Jews, regardless of whether they’re in Israel or elsewhere.  One article (28) also makes it quite clear their desire to eliminate Israel is inspired by the fact that its Jewish and has a Jewish population.

Whether or not Milne ran afoul of the working definition in that 2014 speech, his justification for the intentional killing of Israelis by a terror group certainly runs afoul of even the broadest definition of moral decency. 

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8 replies »

  1. The UKs Corbyn and Milne. Suddenly it’s news about these two individuals? NOT NEW! (Oops!, Sorry, I’ve just done a Trump!) I’ve been writing about Milne for some time and twice this year. Here, read my article of May 03, 2018, where I mention Adam Levick and then check out my article of September 05. Thanks. Please share. >>>

  2. Milne is a nasty anti-Semite but in his defense he basically hates everyone who is white and not a radical lefty.

  3. Even without the IHRA definition, anyone with any common sense would understand intuitively that Hamas’ targeting of civilians, whether or not you stick to Milne’s Zionist vs. Jews fussy fictional distinctions, is murderous criminal behavior, as is its annihilationist program. When Mr. Milne tells people that these are actual rights, he is simply lying. Such rights do not exist. They are completely outside the law. When he says that Israel has no right to defend itself from such criminal behavior, again he is lying. That right exists well within the law. When he states as justification that Israel is occupying Gaza, again he is lying. And if Israel were occupying Gaza, Hamas’ targeting of Israeli civilians would still be criminal. There is simply no such right. There is no right to slit a sleeping child’s throat no matter how much Mr. Milne and tens of thousands of his detestably hate-filled ignorant fans at Hyde Park wish otherwise.

    Conclusion: Mr. Milne lies a lot. He carries water for a movement which is clearly antisemitic in both its rhetoric and ‘national aspirations’. He is a POS and the dregs of the 20th century’s worst failures.