Corbyn's Labour, Zionism, Anti-Semitism and the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.
Far be it for me to defend Jeremy Corbyn or the Labour Party, but the strident claims of the so-called mainstream media in Britain – that Corbyn leads an anti-Semitic party – are ridiculous.
If the press really want to find bigotry within the UK Labour Party, they need look no further than the organisation's British nationalism. Corbyn is every bit as much a British nationalist as Theresa May or Boris Johnson: he will always embrace British imperialism in order to exert England's continued control over Scotland.
In reality, rather than there being anti-Semitism within any mainstream political party, leaders of the global Jewish faith actually exert great influence over politicians, most of whom fear doing or saying anything that could see them labelled as anti-Semitic.
It is absolutely right that respect for followers of the Jewish faith is something that must be supported in every democratic country. However, this instilled respect for Judaism can also lead to the Zionist State of Israel getting a free-pass in terms of criticism, even when, as has become the normal state of affairs, Israeli soldiers are murdering unarmed Palestinians.
Criticism of Zionism, the belief that followers of a religion – Judaism - have the right to occupy land and exist as a self-governing state, is not criticism of Jews or of anyone practising the Jewish faith. There are many Jews, both inside Israel and across the world, who openly criticise the actions of Israel, particularly with regard to the treatment of Palestinians who have been driven from their homes and lands in order for Israel to exist.
It is a wilful conflation of 'Jewish' and 'Zionist', orchestrated by the proponents of Israeli propaganda and fully embraced by western mainstream media, that has led to Corbyn and others being accused of anti-Semitism. Criticism of Israel and its actions are not evidence of a hostility to, or prejudice against, Jews. Israel is, rightly, criticised because it occupies Palestinian land and imposes a military blockade around the areas in which Palestinians are allowed to live, in severe deprivation and poverty. The criticism levelled against Israel is not because it is a Jewish state, but because it is a toxic and delinquent state.
Corbyn, like many on the left of politics, has criticised the Zionist State of Israel. He has not criticised anyone's right to practice the Jewish faith. It is not anti-Semitic to condemn the murdering atrocities of Israel.
Currently, right-wing 'Blairites' in the Labour Party – many of whom are members of Labour Friends of Israel - are colluding with right-wing, Tory supporting newspapers and broadcasters in an attempt to discredit Corbyn and the Labour Party he leads. Their aim, of course, is to drag UK Labour away from the political left and to reinstate a Tory-clone 'New' Labour Party. Britain's media is only too happy to help by running endless smears against the Left, the latest of which are the claims of anti-Semitism
Let me give an example of the influence exerted over politicians by leaders of the Jewish faith in my own country, Scotland. Back in 2005, the Scottish Parliament was deliberating on the Family Law Bill, which updated a series of laws relating to aspects covering family relations. One of those laws related to divorce.
During deliberations at the committee stage, an amendment relating to civil divorce laws in Scotland was tabled by Labour MSP Ken Macintosh (left), now the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.
The Macintosh amendment was carried in committee, with just one MSP opposed. The aims of the amendment were subsequently accepted by the Labour/Lib Dem Scottish Executive (government) and appeared as a new clause - 13a - in The Family Law Bill when it was debated by the full parliament at Stage 3.
The effect of Clause 13a was to provide powers to a Sheriff so that civil divorce proceedings could be delayed if it was the case that a religious divorce had not been agreed between the divorcing couple.
This clause had regard to Jewish religious 'law', which states that a Jewish woman wishing a divorce must receive written consent from her husband. In other words, a Jewish woman cannot divorce without her husband's permission. In circumstances where a civil divorce in Scots law was granted by a court, but where a Jewish husband had not given permission to his wife for the divorce to go ahead, the couple would be legally divorced, but the woman could not remarry in a Jewish ceremony because her religion did not recognise the decision of a Scottish court.
The Macintosh amendment, and adoption of the principle by the Labour/Lib Dem Scottish Executive, sought to enter into Scots law recognition of Jewish religious 'law', and to delay civil legal proceedings until a religious accommodation had been reached.
Despite the fact there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, when this clause was voted-on by the Scottish Parliament, only seven MSPs sought to reject the intrusion of Jewish religious 'law' into Scots civil law. In total, 118 MSPs backed the proposal, with one abstention.
The outcome of this vote in 2005 means Scottish courts hearing civil divorce cases are expected to pause any proceedings where the situation arises that a Jewish woman seeking divorce does not have her husband's permission. The pause is to give time for the husband to provide his written consent. In Jewish circles, wives who find themselves in this position are described as 'chained women'. It is also acknowledged that some husbands can withhold permission for a divorce in order to exert pressure on a wife, perhaps with the view to securing a financial payment.
After this law was passed in December 2005, it emerged the amendment submitted to the Scottish Parliament committee by Ken Macintosh had actually been written by members of the Scottish Council for Jewish Communities.
Despite there being a long-established principle that religious 'laws' should not interfere with Scots civil law, the vast majority of MSPs supported a clause that allowed religious 'law' to actually pause civil legal proceedings.
Fear of being accused of anti-Semitism was undoubtedly a factor in only seven MSPs being prepared to stand against the wishes of the Scottish Council for Jewish Communities in having Jewish religious 'law' inserted into Scots civil law.
No religion should have such power over civil national law.
Legitimate criticism is not anti-Semitism, but let's see how long it is before I am accused of being anti-Semitic for writing this article.