British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn met last night with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) founder Dr. Hatam Bazian, at the latter’s book signing in London. Corbyn’s anti-Israel biases have been well-known, even beyond Canary Mission circles, for some time. Corbyn’s coddling of Hamas and Hezbollah has made even traditional Labour party supporters uncomfortable in the past.
The Growth of Bazian’s Power
The fact that Britain’s opposition leader took the time to attend Bazian’s event and show solidarity with one of the most notorious fathers of anti-Israel agitation in academia indicates that Bazian’s influence is increasing. This should alarm everyone concerned with the growing acceptance of anti-Jewish rhetoric on college campuses. As an activist professor at UC Berkeley, Dr. Bazian was the intellectual pioneer who perfected the technique of co-opting the values of the left for the purpose of demonizing Israel in the minds of an entire generation of progressive students. Corbyn’s display of solidarity indicates that Bazian’s stature and international relevance is on the rise.
The Implications for Britain’s Future
Today’s meeting should also alarm the United Kingdom’s Jewish community. Although Corbyn has gone to great lengths to downplay and even obscure his past support for the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, his overt display of solidarity with Bazian makes clear that these moves represent only tactical political maneuverings and not a genuine ideological shift on his part. Corbyn’s open support for the demagogic founder of SJP, who once called for an intifada in the United States and created the most influential student vehicle for the delegitimization of the Jewish people’s history and very identity, shows that Corbyn is the same Corbyn he’s always been. As the UK’s opposition leader, Corbyn’s schedule must undoubtedly be overwhelming. The fact that he took the time for such a display of solidarity with Bazian indicates that he views the “Israel issue” as central to his foreign policy agenda.
Despite the fact that Canary Mission generally focuses its attention on anti-Jewish sentiment in North America, we felt responsible to draw attention to Corbyn’s meeting with Bazian, as evidence of both Bazian’s growing stature, and the centrality that hatred for the Jewish state occupies in Corbyn’s worldview.