We’ve been here before. History is repeating itself and I’m again experiencing that sense of déjà vu that prompted me (just ten days ago) to write about the anti-Semitism row within the British Labour Party in the context of Theodor Herzl’s Zionist campaign, which itself was prompted by anti-Jewish mania.
As I have contemplated the ongoing controversy, I am reminded with horror of how Hitler’s rise to power seemingly came out of nowhere. In a similar way, the Hard Left of British politics have moved from apparent obscurity to centre stage in virtually no time at all. It is almost too shocking to think about.
How on earth did this happen – and so fast? As Barry Segal of the Jerusalem News Network put it, “many observers will be shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering how the worst extremists of the far-left came to take over the UK’s leading opposition party so rapidly”.
Apparently Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s closest adviser, Seumus Milne, is the one pulling the strings. A former senior editor of the Guardian newspaper, Milne is said to have described the foundation of the State of Israel as a “crime” while hailing Hamas terrorism during an anti-Israel rally held during the Operation Protective Edge Gaza campaign in 2014.
Meanwhile Mr Corbyn’s close friend, ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone, has added fuel to the fire by describing the creation of Israel in 1948 as “a great catastrophe”, according to the Daily Mail, having earlier provoked a storm of controversy over claims that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s. Mr Corbyn was already in trouble with the Jewish community – until now Labour’s natural supporters – after it emerged that he regarded Hezbollah and Hamas as “friends”.
And in Sadiq Khan, we have a Muslim Mayor of London, possibly the world’s most important and prestigious capital. Zac Goldsmith, the wealthy Conservative candidate seeking to succeed the boisterous Boris Johnson in the mayoral hot seat, has been roundly castigated (even by fellow Tories) for concentrating his campaign on Khan’s alleged links with extremists. Khan’s response was to accuse Goldsmith of ‘Islamophobia’, but such concerns are surely valid in the light of radical Islam’s ambitions for global domination, not to mention the horrific attacks – in the name of Islam – on the London transport system on July 7 2005.
One of the newest figures to step onto the British political stage is Ruth Davidson, Scotland’s new Conservative leader who has been hailed a heroine for knocking Labour into third place in elections there. The openly lesbian former Sunday School teacher has been flagged up as a possible future Prime Minister.
So how has all this happened? I’ve mentioned some of the rising stars, but they are not the cause of the trouble. They are merely the symptoms of our malaise, of a Judeo-Christian civilization collapsing all around us because the foundations have been removed.
First we betrayed Israel: we did not vote for their statehood and put obstacles in the way of Jewish refugees trying to escape the Nazis when we had it in our power to save them. Then we went a step further by dispensing with the God of Israel, even to the extent of undermining traditional marriage by legislating for ungodly liaisons between people of the same sex. Now even a once highly influential evangelical Christian leader, Rev Steve Chalke, is advocating same-sex marriage ceremonies in his own (Oasis) network of churches.
Yes, we’re reaping the whirlwind.
I have just returned from a wonderfully relaxing holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, one of the loveliest parts of England. But it was so cold at the start of the week, with snow on the hills, that we were walking around with six layers of clothing. Yet within just a couple of days, the temperature had nudged 20C (68F). “Suddenly it’s summer,” was the cry!
We in Britain know only too well that winter can descend on us just as suddenly. I think it was Mrs Thatcher who described the myriad of strikes in 1979 as the Winter of Discontent. But we’ve now entered an ice-age of madness which only prayer and repentance will melt.
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com