Michael Rosen reflects…

JVL Introduction

Michael Rosen is on fine form as he takes a jaundiced view of the posturings of Stephen Pollard, (editor), Alex Brummer, Lee Harpin and other stellar contributors to the Jewish Chronicle and even more right-wing outlets.

For those with short memories Stephen Pollard, announced in 2006 that there was a ‘battle to save Western civilisation’; that the ‘enemy’ was ‘the Left in any form’; and later, that Miliband was ‘toxic’ for Jewish voters.

Since then he and the others have only got more excitable…

This article was originally published by Facebook on Tue 12 Nov 2019. Read the original here.

Take this step by step folks.

In 2006 the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, announced that there was a ‘battle to save Western civilisation’ and the ‘enemy’ was ‘the Left in any form’.

In 2012, Pollard was ‘delighted to host’ an evening meeting with Nigel Farage.

In 2015, Pollard wrote a fiercely condemnatory article for the Daily Express about Margaret Hodge, deemed at the time to be a bit of a lefty for some quite punchy appearances as chair of the audit commission.

At around this time, one of the journalists on Pollard’s paper, Alex Brummer [CORRECTION: Geoffrey Levy] wrote the famous article in the Mail which attacked Ed Miliband’s father for being a Jewish marxist traitor. [NB Correction 2 – it was Alex Brummer who defended Levy’s article a week later in the same paper]

Pollard announced that Miliband was ‘toxic’ for Jewish voters and a good deal of publicity went into claiming (perhaps correctly) that Jewish voters had stopped voting Labour, Miliband’s views on Israel being cited as the reason.

All this was before Corbyn was elected leader.

Once Corbyn was elected, the ‘Corbyn is an antisemite’ narrative kicked in backed up by ideas that the Labour Party was itself totally and institutionally antisemitic – a narrative written up weekly by Pollard and his Political Editor, Lee Harpin in the Chronicle.

At times, I’ve argued with Harpin on twitter with the consequence that a few weeks ago he accused me of being a ‘cheerleader for Soros’. I need hardly say that I am not a cheerleader for Soros though I have noted that Soros is used as a kind of cipher for the Nazi trope that Europe was being brought to its knees by international Jewish finance.

The rise of Trump, Bannon, Farage, Johnson, Orban and others represent the rise of what Bannon called ‘economic nationalism’.

Farage has never been afraid to use classic antisemitic slurs in his radio interviews talking antagonistically about Soros, and the power of the Jewish lobby in the US etc etc. The Guardian and the Independent have highlighted these.

Now, just recently a guy called Yosef David has announced that he is going to stand for the Brexit Party (yes!) against Corbyn in his constituency of Islington North. David is Jewish. He is being given a lot of well-wishes by people who talk as if he has the hopes of the ‘Jewish community’ on his side.

Straightaway, Lee Harpin, scourge of Labour antisemitism has wished him ‘Mazel Tov’ (congratulations) on Twitter.

Think about that.

Lee Harpin, who has done all he can to expose what he sees as antisemitism in the Labour Party is congratulating someone who is supporting a leader who has come out with obvious and blatant antisemitic slurs.

David presumably thinks he’s fighting antisemitism by supporting an antisemite.

It all rather does look as if these folks were never really interested in fighting antisemitism. They were either only interested in fighting antisemitism in the Labour Party or perhaps just ‘fighting the Labour Party’ – exactly as Pollard announced that he was going to do back in 2006.

Taking a longer wider view, what’s going on here is an alignment of right wing forces which has the support of some Jews even if these right wing forces are happy to go in for classic antisemitic statements. This alignment sees Islam and the Left as ‘the enemy’ and will do battle with either or both in order to secure a new kind of nationalist capitalism – as they see it or call it (even if it’s going to be as international as all capitalism is anyway).

What’s been particularly sad and pathetic is seeing various kinds of liberal commentators eagerly gobbling up the faux fight against antisemitism, not realising that they are being taken for a ride by this new right talking antisemitism one day and claiming to fight it the next.


Comments (11)

  • Leah Levane says:

    This is so helpful. I’ve forwarded this to my local canvassing teams.

  • Stephen Mitchell says:

    We are in serious danger of coming under Far Right government than at any time in history. Look how leading Tories are embracing Turning Point whose communications director Candace Owen said in a speech that Hitler would have been acceptable if only he had confined his activities to Germany. The woman is married to a Tory donor. Paradoxically,it will be the Jewish community that will suffers most under such a government. Then there is the idea that an authoritarian government is preferable to a democratic government that is seeking change. All this is being brought together at the same time.

  • Chris Williamson is right. Labour has consistently been on the back foot when the slur of anti-Semitism is used to attack the left. In my opinion it was a mistake not to discipline Margaret Hodge for her disgraceful attack on Jeremy Corbyn in the the House of Commons. She’s on the rampage now she’s been reselected (how did that happen?) saying she agrees with ex-labour MPs calling on labour supporters to vote for Boris. Isn’t it about time she was disciplined, better still kicked out of the Party? We need a Jewish anti-Zionist Labour MP. I would offer, but I’m getting on a bit now.

  • Huw Spanner says:

    Does everyone remember when Peter Mandelson declared in 2017: “I work every single day in some small way to bring forward the end of [Jeremy Corbyn’s] tenure in office. Something, however small it may be – an email, a phone call or a meeting I convene – every day I try to do something to save the Labour Party from his leadership”?

    When I looked it up, I discovered that he made this remark to Stephen Pollard at “an event for the Jewish Chronicle”. I wonder how much he has been involved in the smear campaign.


  • Nicola Grove says:

    Thank you Mike. Can you manage to slip any of this past J Freedland in your next Guardian column….? Maybe something about the need for citizenship/ media education in schools?

  • Hugh McLean says:

    Great article? Thanks. A word about liberal commentators, they are doing what all liberals do all the time: spend every moment attacking the left, this is the key diagnostic for liberalsm.

  • PW says:

    Those behind this fake “antisemitism” slurs are now upping the ante, with the announcement by the so-called “Campaign Against Antisemitism” of a demonstration “against antisemtism” on December 8th! Interesting move for an apparent “charity” in the middle of an election campaign. I think the only possible response by Labour can be an anti-racist demonstration, perhaps highlighting in particular Priti Patel’s latest measures against Roma and Sinti people.

  • different frank says:

    This amusing short video sums up the baseless nature of the allegations of antisemitism.
    Very amusing.

  • Sue Phillips says:

    I congratulate you on your very knowledgable article exposing the right wing cabal at work to destroy the current left leaning Labour Party.

  • M Greenwood says:

    A quick correction: Margaret Hodge wasn’t the chair of the Audit Commission but of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee when she made her important calls for corporations to pay fair taxes. She was reselected (in my constituency) because of the good work she has done locally and in Parliament and because on the night she showed herself to be superior by miles to her challengers.

  • Jamal El Kheir says:

    How ‘spot on’ can one get?

Comments are now closed.