Friday, March 03, 2006

Getting the Short Shtick


As a result of the July bombings in Britain, Tony Blair announced a plan which would ban certain terror organizations from Britain, among them Hizb ut Tahrir.

In response to this, former international development secretary and current MP, Clare Short "volunteered to facilitate a meeting at the House of Commons so that Parliamentarians can decide for themselves whether the organization should be banned."

Decent of her.

The meeting took place this week and Harry's Place has an account of the proceedings from one of the people who attended it. Harry's Place has, for quite a while, been doing an excellent job of following the Hizb ut Tahrir controversy in Britain - they have a long article here discussing the movement, with lots of links.

The meeting itself is a very instructive read. Because Short, a Labour Parliamentarian, who notoriously resigned from Blair's government in an undignified snit during the build up to the Iraq war, is absolutely shameless in providing support for an organization which wants to establish a caliphate, to impose sharia law on both women and gays - with all that implies, including the death penalty for practicing gays who are caught out - and to "offer" Israel the choice of allowing the caliphate to rule it, before it destroys it by force of arms. All this is the Hizb ut Tahrir constitution. Short apparently believes that these measures are non-objectionable. Because "it's the cultural norm for the Middle East."

Evidently, to oppose it would be cultural imperialism. She is apparently happy to help it stay rooted in Britain.

According to the report, Short interjected herself to cut off just about anyone raising critical points against Hizb ut Tahrir. So, she did not allow many critical points even to be heard in full.

The fact that the left has talked itself rather openly into such alliances goes a long way to explaining why debates such as the following, scheduled for next month, are now necessary amongst Jewish leftists.

Unholy Alliance? Is the Left right - or wrong?
Plenty of long-time Jewish supporters of the Left now complain that it has lost its way, forming an unholy alliance with an anti-Zionist, anti-western, even reactionary form of radical Islam. Others say that the Left has always sided with the underdog - and today that must mean solidarity with Muslims, at the sharp end of daily discrimination at home and latter-day imperialism abroad.

Who's right – and where should Jews stand? Jonathan Freedland chairs an in-depth discussion with speakers Nick Cohen, Anthony Julius, Brian Klug and Lynne Segal.
And of course the Ken Livingstone-all-the-talk-against-me-is-just-a-Zionist-plot-by-my-enemies imbroglio is obviously creating more displacement for leftist British Jews as well.

In a related matter, Jonathan Freedland, one of the leftist panelists, writes in the Evening Standard about Livingstone.


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