And When He Cried the Little Children Died in the Streets


Pro-Palestinian demonstration to boycott IsraelReprinted from TimesofIsrael.com.

I was brought up in a secular, democratic socialist family and the values of freedom, equality and solidarity were engrained into me from an early age.

My parents, British Labour Party stalwarts, looked to Israel in the 1960s as exemplar of the democratic and socialist ideals they maintained. Both were on the centre left of the Labour Party, and as a result, they and their many friends were deeply committed supporters of Israel and the Zionist cause. The commitment of those British socialists of half a century ago to the cause of the national self-determination of the Jewish people was exemplary and widely shared on the British left, Jewish and Gentile alike.

Things are very different now. The left of centre is, at least in Britain, the domain of the new antisemites of the anti-Zionist movement. BDS stalks the land, not the Spectre of Communism. The left is delivered to a lethal compromise that gets into bed with clerical fascists who demand women and gays and Jews be thrown off mountains.

This modern red-brown Strasserite left spits on the socialists of yore that actually believed in such values as freedom, equality and solidarity — and does it in the name of a fictional “anti-imperialism” that is nothing but the cheer-leading of the evil and murderous. The great British writer and journalist Julie Burchill has recently written of her own similar upbringing and the sad, sad demise of that left of the past, that left of another country:

It’s easy for me to sentimentalise those days when the trade unions held sway, chiming as they did with the calf country of my communism, but whatever their beery and sandwichy limits, they were far better than what replaced them; the politics of diversity. While working-class left-wing political activism was always about fighting the powerful, treating people how you would wish to be treated and believing that we’re all basically the same, modern, non-working-class left-wing politics is about… other stuff. Class guilt, sexual kinks, personal prejudice and repressed lust for power.

And blatant, overt hypocrisy.

On March 17th, the Times of Israel carried an article about the recently published report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in DPRK (North Korea). The report is some 400 pages long and makes for harrowing reading. In its press release, the Commission asserts that

The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world [...] These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation. Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place.

What has been the reaction of the British left to news of this thumping great big report that overtly compares the North Korean neo-monarchy with Hitler’s Germany? In short, the reaction has ranged from utter indifference to insane support for the North Korean regime. The report certainly makes uncomfortable reading for the comrades who head up Britain’s fractious and minute communist movement, for example — especially as many of them spend an awful lot of time inviting members of the North Korean embassy in London to shindigs. Hardly a surprise then that the comrades have either ignored the report, or denied its findings (for a deranged and mendacious example of the latter, see here).

Much the same weary cynicism greets news that the situation in Darfur is continuing on its genocidal way. The indefatigable Eric Reeves, who has spent decades exposing the murderous ways of the Khartoum regime is certainly correct to condemn the inaction of the international community. In one of his most recent articles, Reeves highlights the escalation in mayhem in that benighted place and the utterly abysmal lack of concrete response from the world community. Writing of the thoroughly useless and widely ignored 2011 Doha “agreement” between the Darfuri rebels and the Khartoum regime, Reeves writes:

The international community—especially the UN and African Union—have been flogging this dead horse of a “peace agreement” since it was signed by factitious, unrepresentative “rebel groups” in July 2011, failing to acknowledge how very little support it has among Darfuri civil society and the major rebel groups (who must answer for their own severe abuses of the civilian population). This “support for the Doha process” has persisted long after all observers not part of the AU or the UN clearly have come to see that it is a failure. It was left for expedient international actors to pretend that “progress” was being made in negotiating an end to the Darfur catastrophe, thus giving the Doha process a credibility that could hardly be provided by its Qatari auspices. The U.S. has been front and center in this pretense, shamelessly asserting the potential success of the DDPD. Both previous U.S. special envoys for Sudan—Scott Gration and Princeton Lyman—were complicit in this diplomatic travesty.

Reading Reeves’ cataloguing of the crimes of the Khartoum regime’s janjawid mercenaries in Darfur, the trail of murder, rape, looting, arson, sickens one’s heart. It is truly appalling what is happening in Darfur. It is equally as unacceptable that, despite it being widely known that the Khartoum regime is committing genocide there (and elsewhere), absolutely nothing is being done to stop that vile and barbarous dictatorship of military men and religious fanatics in their tracks. Nothing. This absolute condemnation of the moral hypocrisy of the global movers and shakers is embellished by the discovery that the very “great and good” sent in to Darfur by organisations as allegedly august as the African Union to oversee resolutions to such intractable conflicts have spent much of their time fighting turf wars with each other whilst women and children die in the villages and desert fastnesses of Darfur. Thambo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, take a bow.

This should make the British left choke with frustrated anger. Yet fear that it might interfere with the comrades’ digestion might well also mean that they defer reading on until they have finished debating the intricacies of transgender intersectionality. Let’s be honest with ourselves, many times even if the left collectively shakes its head in despair at the evil that walks on every side and the vilest men that are exulted… they will  move to propose some daft resolution demanding immediate socialist revolution in the Sahel based on the sterling work of local jihadi and condemning Zionism for the ills of the world.

So if genocidal regimes are either to be supported, or simply ignored by those who call themselves left-wing in the UK, if the mass murder of women and children in Darfur, or the terrifying, Orwellian dystopia of North Korea does not move the brothers and sisters, what exactly does get the comrades all frothy at the chops and out on the front line where they are meant to be? — Israel and Jews. That’s what.

Sometimes I think the entire British left has dropped acid. There can be surely no other explanation for its addiction to insane, inverted political visions of a surreal quality that might suggest the left was readier for the madhouse than any sort of political power. Really though, it is not funny ha-ha. There is nothing amusing about the treachery of the modern British left, its abandonment of the values of freedom, equality and solidarity. Julie Burchill rightly rages against the modern British left’s obsessions with the hang-ups of the chattering classes; but if ever there was a collective criminal act by which the British left has betrayed its own foundational values, it is its iniquitous and venomous loathing of Israel and its denial of the Jewish people’s inalienable right to national self-determination in that land.

It is more than a delusion to condemn the only democratic and liberal state in the entire Middle and Near East as an “apartheid state”, to vilify its supporters as “Zionazis” — it is an outright slander, a defamation of the rights of an entire people. It is despicable to knowingly and falsely assert that Israel is a land without freedom and equality, when it is the only state in the entire meta-region where religious, sexual and personal liberties are not only maintained but upheld. It is an utter disgrace that the British left, almost invariably, takes the side of mass murderers of Jews, terrorists and violent antisemitic clerical fascist thugs rather than show solidarity with the Jewish State and its people. It is a betrayal of those that die in the villages of Darfur, of those that languish in the prison-state of North Korea, about whom these so-called British socialists could clearly not give a fig.

Nick Cohen, one of Britain’s most wonderful political journalists and writers, summed it up nicely: What’s left? The answer is sad, so sad: not much – a red flag stained not with the blood of our martyrs, so much as dripping with the blood of the victims of the British left’s indifference or even naked, open support for the real sources of evil and wrong in this world. The poet W. H. Auden wrote bitterly in his poem Epitaph on a Tyrant of a dictator that “When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter”. When Comrade Kim laughs, the comrades in Britain stand up and deliver him a round of applause, it would seem — lackeys all of a red-handed murderer. When al-Qaradawi demands the extermination of Jews, Red Ken Livingstone invites him to a nice slap-up meal in London and calls him a “moderate”. When Hamas and Islamic Jihad slam indiscriminately missiles into Jewish towns, the British left rambles on about a fictional “siege” of Gaza. When clerical fascist murderers saw off the heads of their victims, the British left rave about the ultimate responsibility of Zionism. And woe betide the uppity Jews of Israel should they respond to suicide bombers and Khaibar missiles and snipers – because, you see, the victims of terror had it coming – just in case they are Jewish.

I have spent plenty of time trying to get to the bottom of this evil malaise that grips the British left. I can rationalise it away as an addiction to a basically failed ideological obsession with a faulty notion of anti-imperialism, one in which the tactic of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” holds sway. Yet even accepting this, it does not explain away the sheer poisonousness and simultaneous stupidity of the British left’s hatred of Israel that seems to cut across every single value to which it claims it holds dear.

Auden’s poem ends with a line that confronts the sheer hypocrisy of his dictator, “And when he cried the little children died in the streets”. The British left is today that dictator crying its crocodile and lethal tears. What it does shout about is the absolute inverse of what it should be screaming about. What the left does rail about is completely the opposite of what should be motivating it. It defends the evil and defies the righteous. As the Psalmist had it: evil walks on every side when the wicked are exalted. The British left have become part of the problem and not its solution.

I despair.

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  • LoneRangler

    Britain has become the very thing that John Steed and Emma Peel fought against. How sad.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Diana Rigg was the ONLY and TRUE Emma Peel.

      The others were poor substitutes.

      • LoneRangler

        Agreed! She was also the only one with that name. I have a boxed set of all the episodes she was in.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Without looking it up, I thought her replacements were also named Emma Peel.

          Diana Rigg had the Style the others lacked.

  • StanleyT

    I think the British left really needs to pay more attention to discrimination against Palestinians – in Syria, where they are literally being starved to death, and in Lebanon, where they are forbidden to live anywhere but in squalid “refugee camps”, cannot work in certain professions and most certainly are not allowed to vote. And these are people who have lived in those countries for generations. Can anybody say “apartheid”?

    • Dorith Carmeli

      The real enemies of the Palestinians ~ ~ http://www.meforum.org/3766/palestinians-enemies

    • Drakken

      How can I put this as nicely as I can, oh yes, how about EFF those pali savages, they got what they deserve and more suffering is coming. If you love those goddamn wog savages, go live with them. My sympathy and empathy has run out for islam and its savage followers.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    Thank you, Mr. Jefferies, for an honest assessment of your fellow leftists. The common sense leftists of yesteryear had a grip on reality but the far left has taken over. You are right that Israel has all the virtues that the left once held in high esteem–at least far far more than the Arab nations surrounding it. Israel is a Western nation. But herein lies the problem for today’s left.

    Western nations are “us” and the left is a self-loathing movement. It is directed at hating the West and that includes the historical achievements of liberalism, both classical and modern liberalism. The left has become nihilistic. It is consumed by its own self-hate and, by default, sides with the most barbaric regimes against the West. It isn’t for North Korea, it is anti-anti-communist. It isn’t for the Taliban or Saddam, it is just against America.

    The left can ignore the vicious racist, anti-gay, and anti-women culture of Arab and Islamic movements. A single modicum of being a “victim of Western imperialism” is enough to make the most vicious culture a shining underdog to the self-loathing leftist. Having a shared hatred, for the left, is a stronger bond than shared values.

    Let’s give Horowitz credit for breaking ground on this topic in his book “Unholy Alliance.” I review it here: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2004/11/can-left-face-threat-of-islam.html

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    The British Left are the NEW FASCISTS.

    No daylight between the British SOCIALIST Left and their national SOCIALIST predecessors.

    • kikorikid

      Yes, The new Left is fascist. The article accurately describes
      the smiles of malice that they offer so readily. It is
      unmitigated malice of the quality that forced Jews into
      the showers.
      I beg you of the U.K., put
      on your Big-Boy pants and fight the Invader-Islamist
      and their Socialist, oppressor, friends!

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        The problem with the UK is that the media, the bbc, pumps socialist and islamofascist friendly ideology into the masses.

        The UK is doomed.

    • Drakken

      No they are not fascists, they are communist to the core and hate their own kind.

      • republicc

        Yes, they are fascists. Fascists are leftists.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        The nazis (fascists) called themselves national SOCIALISTS.

        The Arab fascists hate their own kind as well. 135,000+ dead in Syria is an example, as was the 8 year Iraq./Iran war, the sunni/shiite blood baths…

  • Habbgun

    So Leftism led where anti-Leftists said it would and we are supposed to believe there is a better Left? No there is a deluded Left and the Left that understands the Eurosupremacism and power lust that is really what the politics are about. Better to fight evil than to despair that the evil could have been somehow filtered into a cause for “good”.

  • ghamilton57

    I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of the cultural malaise referred to in this article. I think it is partly the product of anti-discrimination efforts that the West has been in engaged in since WWII. Check my blog: Malsi-Tung – Failure to Discriminate

    • iluvisrael

      also a firm belief in moral relativism and a dangerously naive belief that all cultures are equal

  • Jillian Becker

    For those readers who do not know: Auden was evoking a famous line from “The Rise of the Dutch Republic” by John Lothrop Motley – one of the best histories ever written. Motley says there that when William of Orange died, “the little children cried in the streets.”

  • Mickey Oberman

    “It is despicable to knowingly and falsely assert that Israel is a land without freedom and equality, when it is the only state in the entire meta-region where religious, sexual and personal liberties are not only maintained but upheld. ”
    You might as well include all the EU nations who probably act in dread and fear of their soon to be Islamic overlords.

  • Joe The Gentile

    Whatever leftism was in the past, the following is my take on what I believe now defines leftism, regardless of how they define themselves:

    1. Alienation from ones own culture and heritage; cultural, ethnic, and national self-loathing; racial self-loathing for leftist whites at least 2. Hatred of anything powerful, successful, or authoritative that is anti-leftist, not leftist, or even just not leftist enough; 3. commitment to undermining destroying such non-leftist authority and power through any means, violent or through psychological warfare of demonization; delight in any underdog to that non-leftist power, supportive of that underdog no matter how evil a dog that underdog actually is 4. A distorted narrative of world-redemption that is narcissistic–the belief that leftist (and his people) will make a heaven on earth 5. Obliviousness to (or in active denial of) the consistent leftist record of creating hell on earth; 6. having no real moral standards or commitments to ending or minimizing suffering; any means justify leftist ends; willing to break a hundred million more eggs of human lives to make a leftist omelet 7. Moral narcissism—vainglorious and hypocritical, fond of moral posturing, moral grandstanding and feeling that the leftist is a beacon of light to the world and that one becomes admirable, moral and good by fighting the leftist cause, RATHER than by hard work, law-abidingness, generosity, and being willing to sacrifice for kin and country. 8. The leftist is a kind of would-be tyrant, with the leftist movement as his alter-ego, through which he hopes to achieve his tyrannical rule.

    • Well Done

      So many dedicated young lefties in the US regularly state their belief that the Republicans will “never win another election” and that “old men will die off”. Such heinous hared and ignorance must be taken seriously. One wonders what these dim crusaders will say and do when the Repubs win the White House once again, which they of course will sooner or later. I suspect there will be shrill calls of “election fraud” with the usual cannon fodder rioting over it…

  • iluvisrael

    This from the land of ‘londonistan’, no-go zones, rioting ‘youths’, Lee Rigby, and a few honor killings – and these delusional wimps have a beef with Jews??

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The 7/7/05 London transport bombings, the bombing of Pan Am 103 and the sickening “compassionate” early release of the convicted bomber and the Libyan heroes welcome to the savage beast.

      The Brits constantly stab the US in the back.

      • Well Done

        At least one third of the US is stabbing the US in the back.

  • herb benty

    Same in Canada, America and Australia.

  • Anukem Jihadi

    What’s happened is familiar and easy to understand.
    The now antiquated liberal ideals which defined the British identity to a certain extent have been sacrificed on the alter of diversity.
    When the modern left scoffs at people who adhere to these ideals in a real sense they are scoffing at an impediment to a higher ideal.
    They scoff in the same way people like Noam Chomsky might have taught them to scoff at Israeli adherence to the principles of human rights.
    What matters is the great leveling. The undoing. Just as that is what mattered in the killing fields of Cambodia which the old left let lie unexamined until its ends had been met.
    Britain is undergoing a profound metamorphosis into something which more closely resembles something alien to itself. This is not a superficial transformation although the arguments to disguise it are often surface arguments.
    Past a certain point there is no going back.

  • tickletik

    Why despair? Pick up, move to Israel and help make things work there.

    • Joe The Gentile

      A very respectable option but open only to Jews. And even for Jews, if the world turns leftist-islamofascist Israel won’t be safe either, no matter how many nukes it has in its secret larder. Some islamofascist regimes may not mind sacrificing some of their cities to bring Israel down. The stalemate of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) does not apply. So I think Israel has something to worry about in the propagation of leftist ideas in the Western world. Keep in mind that leftism and islamofascism are mutually enabling (thought the leftists are the useful idiots for the islamofascists and will be the first to be liquidated if full-blown Jihad takes place). A big score for islamofascism in Europe is demographic–the muslims are having so many babies that the continent should start to be majority muslim in the 2050′s. If democracy is still in place, that means that muslims will have the power. Read: possible thermonuclear, not just nuclear. jihad, if France, the UK and even Russia become muslim.

      It gets worse. Anti-Israel countries could end up trying nuclear attack on Israel in ways that the attacker is not identified. One way to do this is using terrorist intermediaries. Another way is missiles launched from submarines or from what are really non-state regions of the world such as parts of Afghanistan.

      Suppose this worst-case won’t apply and MAD will end up applying again—-that doesn’t really help Israel that much. If vast armies of several modern industrial countries of several hundred million people fight against it in conventional war, it does not stand a chance.

      No, Israel has good reason to be very wary of leftism. There is more. The whole narrative of leftism does not allow for an ethnically-defined state. From its point of view, an ethnically-defined state is Apartheid.

      ‘Despair’ is not helpful, but realistic fear is essential.

      • tickletik

        Oh I agree completely. This is exactly why he has to go back to Israel.

        The reason Jews don’t go back to Israel is simple. It’s because it’s a terrifying risk on every level. That’s why to go there is an act of profound hope, trust and resilience. It’s an act of hope, trust and resilience that God truly wants us to be what he naturally created us to be. A world of families, groupings and individual nations that work together to create their destinies following His will as we all perceive it in our unique ways.

        That was the real idea behind the “pursuit of happiness” clause. Not partying, but doing what “is right in our eyes”. The eyes God gave us, not the eyes some random eurocrat wants us to see through. But as individuals who strive to understand Him in our own ways. As individuals, as families, as communities and as nations.

        When Jews pick up and leave all their money and contacts and move to country just on the basis of hope and trust, we give a message to everyone about WHY it’s important to have a nation and a people. That it is not about money, or power, or even religion, it is about love and family and trust and hope.

        Every Jew that goes back to his homeland gives you and himself and everyone else that message of hope. That your country and people and ideals are things worth fighting for. That it’s not about whether we get a great job, it’s about whether we can be a people. And all that is because we are saying that God wants us to trust and hope as a people.

        The globalists and nihilists also believe in God in their own way. They believe God hates them, hates life, and hates individuality, hates nations, hates bonds, hates families, hates hope and hates love.

        When a Jew moves to Israel he is making the most profound statement he can, that God is about family, nations, peoples, love, trust. And that everything else will follow.

        I believe this is why it is so important to Him that we live in our land as a people. This is the real idea to be an example for the nations. Not by forcing it down anyone’s throat, but by living well and openly and honestly.

        Well, that’s my rant. You inspired it. :)

        • Joe The Gentile

          That’s too be good to be called a ‘rant’! I’d be off to Israel now if I were a Jew! :)

  • Minime

    Why not adress the root cause of the change of heart of the left in the western world?

    Money.

    Once money flowed from the safes of Moscow directly to the pockets of, say, Catherine Ashton.
    Now even much bigger amounts of money flow to the same pockets from the islamofascist regimes of the Gulf and Iran. It´s a game of money and numbers. And Israel is a minority whose rights are constantly trampled in the international arena because there´s no mercy for the weak.

    Very large sectors of the left never had conscience but hungry pockets.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    They are waiting for another Lenin and Stalin!