Letter sent to the Independent:
Actress Sarah Solemani made a strong pitch for interested parties in the Labour Leadership election to vote for Yvette Cooper. (“Forget Corbyn: Yvette Cooper is the only one to lead Labour to victory,“ 19 August, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/voting-for-jeremy-corbyn-is-deluded-for-the-love-of-labour-pick-yvette-cooper-10461186.html)
But she spoiled her promotion of Cooper by making ad hominem, inaccurate and misleading attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.
She asserts when the British people were getting increasingly concerned over the rise of ISIS/ISIL “Corbyn tuttered about Israel,’ while Cooper was campaigning “in Parliament energetically” against ISIS extremism
Corbyn has rightly been critical of the policies of the current Israeli government, not least the way it treats the Palestinians, but he has not been silent on ISIL. It may be the media has up to now ignored his views.
Just before the summer recess in Parliament he asked defence secretary Michael Fallon: “What specific discussions has he had with Saudi Arabia about what happens to the arms supplied to it? Are any of them leaking through and ending up with ISIL forces or, indeed, any other weapons supplier in the region?
Secondly, what is happening about the oil that is clearly sold from the ISIL area of Syria to someone else and the money that then flows back to support it? How effective is the sanctions regime conducted by the western forces, with the co-operation of other Governments, to stop arms and money flowing to ISIL?
Mr Fallon responded:.” I am not aware of significant leakage of Saudi arms into the conflict in Iraq or Syria.” (Hansard, 20 July: Column 1242;http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm150720/debtext/150720-0002.htm#1507202000715)
Yet your own excellent middle east expert, Patrick Cockburn wrote a year ago in US magazine, Mother Jones (21 August 2014) how US made arms sold to Saudi Arabia found their way to ISIS in Syria and Iraq (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/how-us-helped-isis-grow-monster-iraq-syria-assad, recording : “Iraqi officials confirm that they have captured sophisticated arms from ISIS fighters in Iraq that were originally supplied by outside powers to forces considered to be anti-al-Qa’ida in Syria.
For me, facts matter more than political propaganda in debate.
Ms Solemani adds mockingling while ISIS conquer territory bigger than the size of the UK “Corbyn suggests with a straight face to consider a disarmament campaign.”
I think making constructive proposals towards halting the finances and arms supplies to ISIS is very sensible.