In Farce news today: Labour Chief Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday apologized for his 2010 participation in an event in which Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer compared Israel to Nazism. Meyer’s talk at the House of Commons was titled “The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes.”
Hajo Meyer, who died in his sleep in 2014 at the ripe old age of 90, was a Jewish German-Dutch physicist and a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Zionist. In 1938, Meyer abandoned his parents and fled from Nazi Germany to the Netherlands, where he went into hiding, was eventually caught and spent ten months in Auschwitz. Needless to say, his parents, who were sent to Auschwitz from Germany, did not survive.
Meyer wrote The End of Judaism in 2003, accusing Israel of usurping the Holocaust to justify crimes against the Arabs. A member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, he participated in the 2011 “Never Again – For Anyone” tour. He claimed Zionism predated fascism, and that Zionists and fascists had a history of collaboration. He also accused Israel of fomenting anti-Semitism in the world to encourage more Jews to make Aliyah. And, needless to say, he was a dedicated advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
On Holocaust Memorial Day 2010, Meyer was invited to an event at the Parliament, where he compared Israeli policy to the Nuremberg laws.
Labour MP John Mann told BBC Radio it was “extraordinary” for an MP to have hosted such an event. “It breaches any form of normal decency,” he said.
Those Brits, how eloquently they put things. As British expat Archibald Leach (a.k.a. Cary Grant) once put it, also eloquently: “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”
At the same Holocaust memorial, an Arab anti-Israel activist named Haidar Eid, told the participants—which included James Corbyn: “The world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945. Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”
On Wednesday, Corbyn recalled that at the event in question views were expressed which he did not “accept or condone,” and explained that “in the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject. I apologize for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”
Incidentally, “I apologize for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused” was the concluding line of Theodor Herzl’s speech at the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897.