The sick, anti-Semitic hounding of an MP who is not even Jewish takes the scandal within the British Labour Party to a new low.
Former Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan has suffered death threats since resigning from the party over what she termed its “culture of anti-Semitism”. She has also been branded a “Jew whore” who should burn “in the ovens”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s attitude to Israel and the Jews has been brought into sharp focus by Tom Bower in his book Dangerous Hero (William Collins, £20) – an absorbing, shocking read that begs the question of how it is that a man with little intellect or understanding of the world has been raised up as a potential leader of one of the greatest nations on earth.
Over many years as a backbench MP, his overt Marxism went largely unnoticed and ignored as irrelevant since he was expected to remain on the fringe of the political scene.
But these are not normal times. For this ‘man of peace’ who opposes military intervention has at the same time shown consistent support for blatantly violent organisations like the IRA, PLO, Hezbollah and Hamas – the latter three committed to the destruction of Israel.
Much of the electorate seem blind to such hypocrisy, also demonstrated by the unholy alliance between Corbyn’s extreme left cronies and far-right Islamists who would be happy to stone adulterers and throw gay people off roofs.
It is clear that on many issues, including Marxism, he holds a very blinkered and simplistic view. He also has no concept of Israel’s long history of persecution or, indeed, any understanding of its emergence as a modern state.
For example, he insists that all conflicts should be settled by the United Nations, but fails to see that it was the UN that legitimised Israel in the first place.
As for Communism, he seems oblivious to the fact that it has been consistently discredited wherever it has been practiced, and he keeps flagging up Venezuela as a wonderful example of Marxist management even while its people are starving with inflation running at 1,000% despite rich oil reserves.
As for Communism closer to home in the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, a friend of mine who has been helping Jews escape to Israel since those days described to a gathering last weekend the appalling conditions experienced there, with people forced to live in crumbling, stinking apartments amidst communities where food was scarce and money virtually worthless.
He recalled with horror the pitiful sight of a child lying on a step, frozen to death in its own urine. “Life under communism was brutal. And it was the Church – along with the prayers of Christians – that changed society in Eastern Europe, not politics. It was these brave people of faith who changed world history, not Gorbachev or Reagan.”
Fred Wright’s action-packed adventures in aiding Aliyah (immigration to Israel) over the years is the subject of a forthcoming book.
But the story of Corbyn’s rise to power is a tragedy, not a triumph. Out of an apparently chaotic, dysfunctional domestic life, he focused his vision and energy on imposing similar disorder on the rest of us – by replacing capitalism with a paradise of equality in which the poor were lifted up and the rich dispossessed.
But it is political ideology, not people, he evidently loves. His purpose for living seems to have been driven by fury for wealth creators and innovators, and of all middle class folk out to improve their lot, more than by a genuine love for the vulnerable – promising ‘friendlier’ politics, but delivering back-stabbing aggression instead.
It has clearly been a miserable existence constantly plagued by strife, dissension, vengeance and division even among those who sing from the same hymn-sheet as him.
So why, and how, has hate-filled, anti-Semitic, anti-bourgeois thuggery like that suffered by Joan Ryan gained such unprecedented popularity in this sceptred isle?
Whether you approach this from the perspective of the far-left, or that of Islamists, or that of the far-right, the collective picture should leave us in no doubt that we are witnessing a furious battle for the soul of our nation. The forces of darkness are arrayed against those wishing to defend the Judeo-Christian values which alone have raised us above other nations in the past.
Jesus is the litmus test of all truth (John 14.6) and the devil is the father of lies for whom lying is his native language (see John 8.44, 1 John 2.22). It is no surprise, therefore, that it should feel quite natural for those who peddle godless ideologies – of whatever nature – to lie, deceive and act dishonestly.
It should also alert us to the fact that any ideology (however noble) which rejects the truths of Scripture will inevitably join the war on God, his truth, and those who bear his name.
The Jewish people are God’s chosen – eternally and irrevocably. Even today, Christians the world over – some 1.5 billion of them – worship the ‘God of Israel’ who, in the fullness of time, sent his beloved Son, the Jewish Messiah, to save his people (and all believing Gentiles) from their sins.
The devil is out to destroy the image of God in this world, which means we would ultimately all lose out if he succeeded, because we are all made in God’s image. Our enemy’s thinking is that, if he can destroy the Jewish people (God’s chosen) as well as non-Jews who believe in God (Christians), then he will have won the battle for men’s souls.
The truth, then, is that anti-Semitism is effectively one of the ultimate expressions of rebellion against God. And God himself, I believe, has allowed it to be exposed.
Jesus said that the devil is out to “kill, steal and destroy”, but that He had come that we might have life in all its fullness (John 10.10). The Bible also says that “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” (Psalms 14.1 & 53.1)
The miserable life led by Corbyn and his cronies is not what God has purposed for us. If you are fulfilled by endless political rows and confrontations, stoked by a hate-driven, destructive ideology, that is truly a tragedy. But Jesus came to turn tragedy into triumph and, by his resurrection from the dead, has proved once and for all that he holds the answer for every hopeless cause.
He will turn your ugliness into beauty, your darkness to light, your hell to heaven, your grief to joy, your pain to purpose, your hate to love. Please pray for Joan Ryan and her colleagues. And, yes, for Jeremy Corbyn too!
PHOTO: Seven Labour MPs quit the party last month after Corbyn not only failed to address antisemitism within its ranks, but seemed content to continue encouraging it.
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; and A Nation Reborn, available from Christian Publications International