Athletes run past a mural depicting the Palestinian Leila Khaled, the 1970 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) El Al aircraft hijacker, drawn along Israel's controversial separation barrier in the biblical town of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank during the 7th International Palestine Marathon on March 22, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party chief and leader of the Opposition in the UK since 2015, has blasted the government of Israel on more than one occasion for its despicable and inhumane actions against the people of Gaza. In reference to the situation there, Corbyn stated that Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp. People in Gaza are living under constant attacks and pressure in an open-air prison.

Coming from a western leader, a show of sympathy often rare and wanting for Palestinians, his remarks underscored the height of brutality that the Israelis have risen to in recent years with their unchecked crimes against humanity. However, to silence him, there has been a tidal wave of protests against what his opponents call his anti-Semitic views, meticulously engineered by pro-Zionist groups whose main agenda today is to silence any voice against the crimes of humanity being committed against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Now, UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt states the UK will oppose motions criticising rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza being brought to the UN’s human rights council over Israel’s activities in the occupied territories. He said that a “disproportionate and discriminatory focus on Israel undermines the credibility of the world’s leading human rights forum and obstructs the quest for peace in the Middle East”.

This politically motivated statement is obviously aimed at increasing support from within the British Jewish community for the Conservative party while some members of the Labour party are under attack on trumped-up charges of ‘anti-Semitism’.

What is perplexing is that the US, a country founded on democratic principles, continues to support the apartheid regime of Israel (which is similar to the apartheid state of South Africa before Nelson Mandela came to power). At the time, South Africa was shunned by most of the civilised world. They didn’t have the American-Israeli Public Relations Committee (Aipac) and a powerful Zionist group working diligently for them.

Aipac had played a key role in fomenting support for the US invasion of Iraq. Neocons on its payroll who had an influence in the US government alarmed the world with their constant noise about weapons of mass destruction, a charge never substantiated, but which came at a tremendous cost to the Iraqi nation.

An organisation dedicated to the promotion of Zionism, Aipac had also heavily lobbied the US Congress to support the Annexation Wall surrounding Palestinian villages and lands, thus depriving them of their basic needs to work, receive proper medical care, and harvest their own land.

In 2009, Judge Richard Goldstone, a South African Jewish jurist was appointed by the United Nations to a fact-finding mission on the Israeli war on Gaza. It was almost immediately rejected by an Aipac-orchestrated US House Resolution No 867, which attacked the Goldstone Report and dismissed Israeli war crimes against the people of Gaza, yet another example of Aipac’s influence in US politics.

Israel refused to cooperate with Goldstone and his team and denied them access to understand Israel’s war motives in attacking the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Israel also denied the team entry to Gaza from Israel, forcing them to travel via Egypt.

The embargo on Goldstone was endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister at the time. While the team was there, in an effort to show that the Israelis were right and just, they started a sham investigation into reported war crimes such as “the shooting of civilians carrying white flags, the shelling of a United Nations school which was being used as refuge and the killing of 29 members of one Palestinian family.” The court subsequently dismissed all charges against the apartheid regime.

Aipac today boasts of over 100,000 members and counting, many in key US departments and the US media. And it is these silent soldiers who promote the blueprints that promote Zionist interests within US governments past and present, manipulating and distorting facts and spreading enough misinformation to create fear and achieve their goals. It was Aipac that began a series of doomsday scenarios resulting in Iraq being crippled and other Arab countries seen as a threat to Israel following suit.

America is better than Aipac’s machinations. There is hope that better angels will prevail and Zionist designs shall not succeed.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Twitter: @talmaeena.