A rejoinder to Mehdi Hasan
Mehdi Hasan has berated those on the Left whose support for Ken Livingstone has been absent. Is he serious?
This was the second occasion in recent times that Mehdi Hasan has made me choke on my morning coffee. The first occasion was several months ago when good old Mehdi decided to lend his support to the Iranian nuclear programme.
But this week the former offensive Imam, managed to take time out from his busy schedule of propagandizing that non-Muslims are animals, to instead berate his fellow left-wing opinion formers in The Guardian for their omission of support for Ken Livingstone in the upcoming London Mayoral election. Not only did I choke on my coffee this time, but I was already reaching for some Beta-Blockers before I’d finished the first sentence.
Amongst his usual mediocrity, Mehdi took aim at The Guardian’s, Jonathan Freedland, attacking his personal difficulty in voting for a man because of Livingstone’s ‘alleged comments about Jewish voters’.
Whilst Mehdi brushed over the issue here with the use of the word ‘alleged’, it is however, worth briefly reminding ourselves of Red Ken’s relationship with ‘The Jews’.
‘At various points in the discussion Ken used the words Zionist, Jewish and Israeli, interchangeably, as if they meant the same, and did so in a pejorative manner (…) When discussing Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi's extreme views on homosexuality, Ken said "one would expect the same views on homosexuality from extreme Christians, Muslims and Israelis" and using the word "Zionist" as an adjectival negative to criticize much more widely than what can be attributed to the ideology of Zionism. He also stated "I am not against Israel, I am against Zionists"’.
They further added ‘that he did not expect the Jewish community to vote Labour as votes for the left are inversely proportional to wealth levels, and suggested that as the Jewish community is rich, we simply wouldn't vote for him’.
Homogenizing an entire race of peoplecannot be considered anything other than racist, and it must be seen in this context.
But this is nothing new in Livingstone’s relationship with the Jewish people, as Freedland pointed out – for example, he made appallingly crude remarks regarding the Reuben brothers, as well as the episode when he disgustingly compared a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard.
However, worst of all is his cosy relationship with Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi - An Islamic scholar who supports the indiscriminate murder of Israeli civilians including women and children, as well as female genital mutilation, and the slaughtering of all homosexuals.
Would Mehdi support Livingstone if he had claimed that Muslims would not vote for him because they are too rich?
Would he maintain support if Livingstone was chummy with an extremist Rabbi from Hebron who called for the indiscriminate slaughtering of Palestinian women and children?
All forms of prejudice should be abhorred.
But Mehdi seems to miss this. Rather, he instead believes Livingstone will somehow rescue all Londoners from living in poverty, despite a recent report suggesting under Livingstone’s promises, council tax will actually increase by £348 per household.
So that’s more expensive taxation, anti-Semitism, tax dodging, association with a misogynist homophobic extremist, oh and a figure who takes money from the Iranian regime – Are there any boxes that haven’t been ticked for today’s left?
Benjamin Lazarus is a political analyst with a particular interest in the Middle East and Islamic extremism
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