Mischievous and malicious attack on Labour

JVL introduction

The coordinated assault by the UK’s Jewish media (Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph) on the Labour party has plumbed new depths.

In a joint statement they talk of “the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government”, of “a clear and present danger”.

They suggest, wilfully, that using phrases like “Dirty Jew” and “Zionist bitch” is now acceptable within Labour. They know this is untrue. Hundreds of thousands of Labour party members, Jewish and non-Jewish, know it is untrue.

They write: “”Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.”

They are playing a dangerous game.

Three Jewish papers take the unprecedented step of publishing the same page on Labour antisemitism

25 July 2018

This article is followed by David Rosenberg’s Facebook critique

Today, Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers – Jewish News, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph – take the unprecedented step of speaking as one by publishing the same front page.

We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel.

The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.

From Chakrabarti to Livingstone, there have been many alarming lows. Last week’s stubborn refusal to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, provoking Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge to call her leader an anti-Semite to his face, was the most sinister yet.

Labour has diluted the IHRA definition, accepted in full by the government and more than 130 local councils, deleting and amending four key examples of anti-Semitism relating to Israel.

Under its adapted guidelines, a Labour Party member is free to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavour and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless “intent” – whatever that means – can be proved. “Dirty Jew” is wrong, “Zionist bitch” fair game?

In so doing, Labour makes a distinction between racial anti-Semitism targeting Jews (unacceptable) and political anti-Semitism targeting Israel (acceptable).

The reason for this move? Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.

With the government in Brexit disarray, there is a clear and present danger that a man with a default blindness to the Jewish community’s fears, a man who has a problem seeing that hateful rhetoric aimed at Israel can easily step into anti-Semitism, could be our next prime minister.

On 5 September, Labour MPs vote on an emergency motion, calling for the party to adopt the full IHRA definition into its rulebook.

Following that, it will face a binary choice: implement IHRA in full or be seen by all decent people as an institutionally racist and anti-Semitic party.

After three deeply painful years for our community, September is finally make or break.

David Rosenberg, Facebook post

The concocted hysteria generated by a small but loud, privileged, rabidly Zionist, section of the Jewish community about the prospect of a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn has descended into complete farce with this “unprecedented step” of three Jewish newspapers with declining readerships all about to publish the same page, declaring that a Corbyn-led government will be an “existential threat” to the Jewish community. The politician who is the most consistent and committed anti-racist, human rights supporter, champion of the homeless and oppressed, fighter against poverty in the House of Commons is painted in this way. it is phenomenal nonsense. Alice in Wonderland stuff.

Every time Labour takes the lead in opinion polls and the Tories descend into another crisis, like clockwork, the barrage of slurs about Corbyn and antisemitism appear. And the real antisemitism alongside increasing everyday racism against Muslim communities, the Windrush generation, Roma, refugee communities– from the political right and far right – grows unhindered and kept out of the headlines.

Nigel Farage and the current leader of UKIP Gerard Batten come out with more and more antisemitic innuendo. The former is very chummy with Alt-Right leader Steve Bannon (who doesn’t want his daughters to attend a school with Jews) and the latter is making common cause with the street fascists supporting Tommy Robinson. The Tory led-Traditional Britain Group whose leaders hob-nob with Holocaust deniers, who have Oswald Mosley and other fascists writing openly recommended on their website’s reading list, are not worthy of comment by the three pro-Zionist Jewish newspapers who have joined forces in this transparent politiical attack and vendetta. The Tory Party who are formally linked with a number of antisemitic, Islamophobic and anti-Roma political parties in the Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament get a free pass.

Meanwhile the needs of the considerable number of ordinary Jews, whose socio-economic position is not the same as the editors of these papers – (who are unemployed, single parents, struggling pensioners) – those who would really benefit from a Labour government seriously committed to social and economic justice, are ignored in an effort to maintain the Tories in power, and maintain a government that will support an Israeli state that has effectively, from just over a week ago, formally declared itself an apartheid state.

If the editors of these three “newspapers” are anti-racist at all, it is a very selective anti-racism, that stops and turns around at the doors of the Conservative Party, that stops at the borders of Israel. And what is the weapon that they are wielding against Corbyn in this latest cycle of cynical propaganda? it is that Labour has not taken on board word for word the deliberately foggy and mischievously drafted examples of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance statement on antisemitism, that conflate antisemitism with comment on Israel/Palestine /Zionism, despite being instructed to by the unrepresentative Board of Deputies, the self-defined Jewish “Leadership” Council and the Jewish Chronicle – all bodies dominated by Tory supporters. (Those who thought decisions on Labour policy were the prerogative of Labour members are obviously under a misapprehension). How powerful is the IHRA document as a tool against antisemitism in the world, as a tool against racism, as a tool for better community relations? Well, judge for yourself. Here is a list of some of the countries who have signed up for it and then tell me in which of these countries antisemitism and other forms of racism are declining: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, USA…

Comments (11)

  • Linda Edmondson says:

    For me the most appalling aspect of this ludicrous attack was today’s online Guardian, which reported the stunt as its first item (later shunted to the side, but still prominent). Most comments it reported were from the usual suspects, Jewish and non-Jewish, from Labour Friends of Israel. I expect the JC to carry poisonous pieces about Corbyn and only slightly less poisonous pieces about JVL and other ‘dissidents’, but for a once responsible newspaper to print this tosh without any attempt to distance itself from the rabid attack seems to me a new low. This entire affair, beginning three years ago with Corbyn’s election, is utterly depressing. The only humour, unintended, was the use of that clapped out phrase “clear and present danger”, as though the writers had not yet shaken off their euphoria when Iraq was invaded (15 years ago!). So, thank you JVL for all your posts and a particular thank you to Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi for your articulate and convincing interview with the BBC a few days ago.

  • Teresa Steele says:

    Deeply worrying that anti Semitism is being wilfully used in this sorry way. I never thought the establishment was this crooked. To say this speaks for everyone in all Jewish communitues is quite simply a lie. I have never seen the sort of comments used as examples of anti Semitism on any Labour forum. One can only assume they are fabricated to cause trouble. I’m heartfelt sickened by this and what it means for my Jewish comrades. They must be hurting.

  • Mike Scott says:

    Even I, a hardened cynic/realist, am shocked by this joint attack, which moves the campaign against the LP from appalling to completely outrageous. And is it a coincidence that it takes place just after the Israeli government has explicitly declared itself to be an apartheid state?

    What it shows all too clearly is the pointlessness of trying to reach any sort of agreement with these people: being conciliatory is just seen as weakness and encourages even more ludicrous allegations. The only answer is for the leadership of the party to fight back and to use our experience and expertise to do so. It would be messy and unpleasant, but it couldn’t possibly be more messy and unpleasant than where we are now.

    Everyone reading this needs to talk to anyone they know with influence at the top of the party and get JC to convene an urgent meeting with JVL and other socialist Jews to plan the fight back. we simply can’t allow this sort of utterly rabid attack to continue.

    How about it?

  • Haya says:

    What happened to Rosenberg’s facebook post, says ‘unavailable’ now.

  • Alan says:

    Its a gift.

    All Labour has to do now is showcase this nonsense on a PPB explaining who is doing what and why, cutting from “Clear and Present Danger” of today back to the “Clear and Present Danger” Iraq. Cutting from allegations of antisemitism to the antisemitism.uk statistics showing Tories worse, cutting from Parliiamentary applause f or Smeeth to dignified shot Diane Abbott who said nothing about being top of the racist abuse league.

  • Jan Brooker says:

    You cannot hope
    to bribe or twist,
    thank God! the
    British journalist.
    But, seeing what
    the man will do
    unbribed, there’s
    no occasion to,

  • Jan Brooker says:

    These ‘papers’ know their arguments are straightforward LIES and/or they are just unread/incompetent propagandists for the right and Zionism. Only last year the Jewish IPR and CST reported on their own research: *Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain* “Looking at the political spectrum of British society, the most antisemitic group consists of those who identify as very right-wing. In this group about 14% hold hard-core antisemitic attitudes and 52% hold at least one attitude, compared again to 3.6% and 30% in the general population. The very left-wing, and, in fact, all political groups located on the left, are no more antisemitic than the general population. This finding may come as a surprise to those who maintain that in today’s political reality, the left is the more serious, or at least, an equally serious source of antisemitism, than the right.” p.64 https://cst.org.uk/public/data/file/7/4/JPR.2017.Antisemitism%20in%20contemporary%20Great%20Britain.pdf

  • John Lincoln says:

    one positive aspect of the desperate drive to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and Labour with this asinine but dangerous campaign in rightwing media is to highlight the distinction between anti-semitism and criticism of the Israeli government when appropriate to do so.

    It is clear from reading the many articles flooding the printed and online news organisations articles on this issue that this distinction is constantly repeated and I am sure that is not what was intended by those that instigated the campaign.

  • Martin Davidson says:

    They are not three Jewish papers – they are three Tory papers.

  • David Jones says:

    May I as a non-Jew bring in a religious aspect? Judaism bequeathed to the world’s moral store the famous Ten Commandments (or Decalogue). One of them, the ninth (in the Jewish tradition), says, basically, “Never accuse anyone falsely”. Or, in a more formal translation of the original Hebrew, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Exodus 20:16; whereas, significantly, when the Decalogue is repeated more or less word for word in Deuteronomy 5, in verse 20 it becomes “dishonest witness”).

    As far as I know, most Jewish scholarship is in agreement that this precept in the Jewish Torah is not limited to formal legal action only, but prohibits as well any false or dishonest statement damaging to one’s neighbour. Moreover, by “neighbour” the Mosaic Law covers anyone with whom a Jew has contact. That would include the likes of Jeremy Corbyn.

    I wonder if any Jewish scholar would care to comment on what seems an undeniable fact: a considerable number of prominent people identifying themselves as Jews and claiming to speak for the Jewish community – including rabbis, journalists, newspaper editors and MPs – have knowingly yet shamelessly smeared the reputation of someone who least deserves it, by making up grossly false accusations against him and then publicising them as widely as possible, thus ignoring a fundamental tenet of Judaism.

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