Double standards abound in the press, especially when it comes to its treatment of Jeremy Corbyn. What sustains these double standards is of course a one-sided, ahistorical viewpoint that avoids counter facts. Why, this attitude has now even found expression in Benjamin Netanyahu’s own comments on the Corbyn wreath laying nonsense! I thought I would look into some background, and given his award of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Anwar Sadat, I thought Menachem Begin would be as good a subject as any if we want to understand why mock outrage in the UK press is pathetic. We start with Begin’s funeral in 1992 (the connecting factor of the three pieces below is Irgun):
“Mr. [Menachem] Begin's body was carried to the site [the Mount of Olives] by former comrades in the guerrilla movement, Irgun Zvai Leumi, which fought in the 1940's for a Jewish homeland in what was then British-mandated Palestine.” (New York Times, March 1992)
“He had asked to be buried there instead of Mount Herzl, where most Israeli leaders are laid to rest, because he wanted to be buried beside his wife Aliza, as well as Meir Feinstein of Irgun and Moshe Barazani of Lehi, who committed suicide in jail while awaiting execution by the British.” (Wikipedia)
“The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi attacked Deir Yassin, a Palestinian Arab village of roughly 600 people near Jerusalem. The assault occurred as Jewish militia sought to relieve the blockade of Jerusalem during the civil war that preceded the end of British rule in Palestine.
According to Irgun sources, the village guards felt surprised by "the Jews" entering their village at night and opened fire on the Irgun force. The village fell after fierce house-to-house fighting. During and after the battle for the village, at least 107 Palestinians were killed, including women and children—some were shot, while others died when hand grenades were thrown into their homes. Despite an original boast by the victors that 254 had been killed, Aref al-Aref counted 117 victims, 7 in combat and the rest in their homes. According to a count conducted by International Red Cross representative Jacques de Reynier, apart from bodies left lying in the streets, 150 corpses were found in one cistern alone, among them people who had been either decapitated or disemboweled. Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote that there were also cases of mutilation and rape. Several villagers were taken prisoner and may have been killed after being paraded through the streets of West Jerusalem. Four of the attackers were killed, with around 35 injured.” (Wikipedia)
It doesn’t take five minutes to discover that one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. The guerrilla fighters of Irgun are commemorated in Israel, along with all members of the Israeli Defence Forces who have died over the course of the country’s history. Just as we commemorate our dead. Corbyn’s mistake clearly was attending the wrong commemoration ceremony. But perhaps it’s a good job he wasn’t spotted at Begin’s funeral. Begin after all was a leader of Irgun when it bombed the King David Hotel – HQ of the British forces – in 1946, when 91 people were murdered.