Prime Minister May blunders in attacking ‘anti-semitism’

Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares “I am a Jew”

Prime Minister Theresa May – whose devotion to the interests of the Zionist state is well known – predictably attacked her Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn in her conference speech this week.

Less predictable was the PM’s crass blunder in attempting to contrast Corbyn with his most illustrious predecessor Clement Attlee, who was Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951.

Mrs May said this week: “Would Clement Attlee, Churchill’s trusted deputy during the Second World War, have told British Jews they didn’t know the meaning of anti-Semitism?”

Someone on her staff should have told Mrs May a few basic historical facts.

Clement Attlee (along with his Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin) didn’t just criticise Zionism and its fellow-travellers among Anglo-Jewry – they were at war with them!

Future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir featured on a ‘Wanted’ poster during a British anti-terrorist campaign ordered by Prime Minister Clement Attlee

Attlee and Bevin (in response to a remorseless Jewish terrorist campaign against British military and civilian targets) ordered the destruction of Jewish refugee ships attempting to ferry illegal immigrants to Palestine. In 1946 British troops acting on Attlee’s orders raided the headquarters of the Jewish Agency and other Zionist offices. Many of Israel’s postwar political leaders were imprisoned or interned on Attlee’s orders.

Labour minister Gerald Kaufman (who was Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Foreign Secretary during the 1980s) accused Attlee of “ingrained anti-Semitism”. According to a diary entry by Attlee’s cabinet colleague Hugh Dalton, he rejected two Jewish Labour MPs for promotion because “they both belonged to the Chosen People, and he didn’t think he wanted any more of them“.

Perhaps David Aaronovitch writing in this week’s Jewish Chronicle is correct to observe that “the Jewish community’s stand against anti-semitism has actually increased it”?

It certainly doesn’t seem to have educated Prime Minister May, one of that community’s closest allies.

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