The Jewish Chronicle is trying to guilt-trip us into voting for a racist government

JVL Introduction

We have to ask in all seriousness what the Jewish Chronicle, the JLM and other anti-Corbyn figures like Ian Austin MP think they are doing.

The vast majority in our society, groaning after a decade of austerity, insecure employment, rising levels of racism and intolerance, deteriorating public services and more, have a once-in-a-generation chance of radical change.

And the JC and others don’t simply pretend to be indifferent to the outcome. They would actively prefer to return a racist-led Tory government. They should be careful what they are wishing for.

Here a gay woman of colour, Kerry-anne Mendoza of the Canary, tells them to get stuffed.

This article was originally published by The Canary on Thu 7 Nov 2019. Read the original here.

The Jewish Chronicle is trying to guilt-trip us into voting for a racist government

The Jewish Chronicle has issued a front page calling on all non-Jews to refuse to vote Labour, on behalf of all Jews. It’s a new low for this conservative muckspreader of a publication. First, it’s a call they have no right to make; the Chronicle speaks only for itself, not all Jews. Worse, it shows contempt for the experiences of LGBTQI+ people and people of colour, because these groups have been facing down the very real discrimination and racism of successive Conservative-led governments. The Chronicle is weaponising bogus accusations of antisemitism, to hand us all over to very real racists. And all because they’d prefer a Conservative government. On behalf of this gay woman of colour, they can get well and truly stuffed.

The place to start is this: there is less antisemitism in the Labour Party than in most other political parties. And this includes the Conservative Party:

YouGov Poll 2017 No other party has investigated racism in its ranks. In fact, Boris Johnson has kicked such plans firmly into the long grass. But Labour held the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism and other forms of prejudice in the party, which concluded:

The Labour Party is not overrun by antisemitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law. However, as with wider society, there is too much clear evidence (going back some years) of minority hateful or ignorant attitudes and behaviours festering within a sometimes bitter incivility of discourse. This has no place in a modern democratic socialist party that puts equality, inclusion and human rights at its heart.

The party also capitulated to the press-run smear campaign, with the quickfire ouster of virtually anyone accused. There has been a McCarthyite air about the whole thing. ‘Being accused is being guilty. No proof is required of guilt, and no amount of evidence is satisfactory to prove innocence.’

It’s no longer about being antisemitic, but about ‘contributing to an atmosphere’. These contributions seem to amount to criticising Apartheid Israel, or advocating for more sharing. Because these are the two priorities of the Jewish Chronicle: protect the racist Israeli government, and promote Conservative politics. These are the most important identities to the Jewish Chronicle, not Judaism. This is evident, given its fanatical hostility toward left-wing, anti-zionist Jews.

The racist history of the Jewish Chronicle

Perhaps the most odious element of the smear campaign is the anti-Palestinian racism that seems to drive it. As independent journalist Asa Winstanley highlights in a Twitter thread, the Jewish Chronicle is front and centre on that.

In 2009, the Jewish Chronicle was forced to pay out £30,000 in damages to Raphael Cohen. The Chronicle had published false accusations that the peace activist harboured not one, but two, suicide bombers.

In 2010, editor Stephen Pollard was forced to apologise and pay damages after falsely accusing an Islamic conference of being “a racist, fascist and genocidal organisation”. It was Islam Expo, a well-respected-and-attended conference of exhibitions and debates around Muslim life and culture.

In 2014, a summer-long Israeli bombardment of Gaza killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, including 500 children. The Jewish Chronicle was forced to correct a report claiming Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) director Sarah Colborne had “acknowledged” that protests against the bombardment been used to “peddle hatred” against Jews. Colborne had actually said:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and racism directed against Palestinians whether living in the West Bank and Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel.

And just this year, the Jewish Chronicle again paid out damages for anti-Palestinian libel. This time to Interpal, a British charity providing aid to Palestinians. After another round of false allegations, the Chronicle was forced to “accept that neither Interpal, nor its trustees, have ever been involved with or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind”.

The paper routinely libels charities and individuals that seek to mitigate the atrocities which the Israeli state perpetrates against Palestinians. And it weaponises Islamophobia and antisemitism to do it.

The very real racists

The thing is, you don’t need to squint or bang your head repeatedly against a wall to see what’s racist about Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. Theresa May explicitly stated her mission was to create a “hostile environment”. And she did, with the help of her entire party. The Windrush scandal saw Caribbean immigrants of my grandfather’s generation deported, after decades building lives and families in this country. Dexter Bristol fell to the ground and died of a heart attack while the Home Office attempted to force him out of the country. Others were refused NHS treatment for terminal illnesses due to the change in their immigration status. All without a word of warning, and scarcely an apology.

In June 2017, we watched 72 people die at Grenfell Tower. And it was clear to everyone watching that the anti-immigrant, pro-austerity policies of the Conservative-led government created the conditions for the fire.

Boris Johnson himself has referred to burqa-wearing women as “letterboxes”, gay men as “bumboys”, and Black people as “piccaninnies” with “water-melon smiles”. There was no mass-media assault on racism in the Conservative Party. There was no inquiry. And the reason for that speaks volumes about the real versus imagined burden of racism in this country.

Any racism, against any group, by anyone, is unacceptable. That’s the position of any bona fide anti-racist. But the Jewish Chronicle is not running an anti-racist campaign. It’s a racist campaign, leveraging the language of anti-racism to shield itself from criticism. And that is beneath contempt.

Get stuffed

The Jewish Chronicle is asking me, as a gay woman of colour, to vote for homophobic racists. Not to protect Jews from antisemitism; because only an idiot would believe Jeremy Corbyn is an existential threat to Jewish life. This is political. It’s pushing for a Johnson government that will cut the taxes of the wealthy and renew Britain’s support for Apartheid Israel. Neither of these positions are universally-held among British Jews. The Jewish Chronicle is speaking for its editorial team alone. But it’s weaponising antisemitism and Jewish identity itself – in support of not one, but two racist governments.

Or maybe they’d like me to vote for the Liberal Democrats? Sure, the party once elected a leader who thinks gay sex is a sin. And yeah, during their time in the Coalition government their health and social care policy was linked to the deaths of 120,000 people. Oh and of course they’ve recently welcomed homophobic and racist Tory defectors. But hey, Corbyn wore a cardigan once so, you know… six of one, half a dozen of the other!

For English voters, Labour is the least racist, least homophobic mainstream party we can hope to vote for right now. That’s before we even get into saving the NHS, schools, our police and firefighters, or solving the crises in housing and the environment. And this smear campaign is just a last-ditch attempt to prevent that anti-racist, socialist party forming a government.

The Jewish Chronicle is trying to shame us into voting for elitist, homophobic racists, and weaponising minority status to do so. This is a new low. And with the record of this particularly bilious rag, that’s quite an achievement. On behalf of this gay woman of colour, they can get well and truly stuffed.


Comments (10)

  • Catherine Tanner says:

    “The Jewish Chronicle is trying to shame us into voting for elitist, homophobic racists, and weaponising minority status to do so. This is a new low. And with the record of this particularly bilious rag, that’s quite an achievement. On behalf of this gay woman of colour, they can get well and truly stuffed.”

    Well said!

    The right wing of the Labour Party has accused me of antisemitism. The basis of their accusation was my anger at the cruelty inflicted on Palestinian children!

    They can expel me but they cannot stop me from supporting the Labour party. I have congenital heart failure I can’t do much for the party any more…
    …but I can put Labour posters in my window and I can VOTE LABOUR!!!

    They cannot stop me from doing that!!

  • Richard Hayward says:

    In behaving in this way, is the Jewish Chronicle itself ‘antisemitic’ in the sense of exploiting the Jewish community as stereotyped cannon fodder for its editorial politics whatever their actual interests may be?

    (BTW – The methodology and presentation of the ‘YouGov’ survey quoted may be guilty of amplifying the problem rather than describing the reality).

  • Ros Clayton says:

    Do you have an email contact address for the JC? It’s not on their website. Suggest all JVL members send them a brief courteously worded email.

    [Web ed: There are contact details for the JC online, if not easy to find – here]

  • prof Ellie Palmer says:

    Professor Richard Curtice lauded BBC pollster pundit is complicit in all this. He has invariably referred to Labour’s AS ‘row’ or ‘problem’ as though it were a reality rather than the most perfidious example of exaggerated fake news to have undermined the integrity of our democratic voting system in post war political history.

  • Stephen Williams says:

    Perhaps it would help if the party stopped giving-in? perhaps it could try supporting its friends rather than appeasing it enemies? perhaps even telling the truth about Palestine for once? and about the motives of the party’s detractors?
    One thing is certain; it’s policies at the moment on this issue are remarkably unsuccessful. The more it hides, the more vicious the attacks become.
    One question; has Jeremy met with JVL? has anyone associated with the leadership asked for its views?

  • RH says:

    It is worth remembering that it isn’t just the predictable Jewish Chronicle. Leaving aside the obvious media suspects, Jonathan Freedland carries his despicable propaganda into The Guardian with absolute carte blanche to propagate them further.

    In collusion, the editorial policy of that paper solidly operates a policy of ‘omerta’ over the massive accumulation of contrary evidence, unconsciously satirizing its begging-bowl strap line that its reporting ‘changes the story’.

    As for the BBC ….!

    Journalism at large in the UK is best compared to situations like that in Turkey.

  • Roshan Pedder says:

    I was heartened to read about all the successful legal victories against Pollard and the Jewish Chronicle, that is, until I noticed that the last date is 2014. Why have there not been more legal cases brought against them since then and why does the Labour party not have the guts to confront these vicious untrue accusations against it in court. I suspect they would win. But as Stephen Williams above says, there is only a constant and unsuccessful attempt to appease it’s enemies.

  • Prof Ellie Palmer says:

    The Labour Party leadership need to confront the BBC to demand a transparent debate involving leaders of JVL, political scientists Greg Philo et al, Shami Chakrabarti et al to clarify the unprecedented level of misinformation to which the public has been subjected bythe MSM over the course of 2 years. Exposure after the election will be too late.


  • Anthony Baldwin says:

    In the end the question as to why the Jewish Chronicle hasn’t been censured in a meaningful way is perhaps because a tsunami of complaints haven’t been received by IPSO.
    Their web site gives you access to their complaints procedure and given the clarity of the above comments I would have thought that IPSO would have a great deal of difficulty in ignoring them. Mine has already been sent.

  • Relevant to this, my letter to the Guardian: “How odd that in Jonathan Freedland’s article (Many Jews oppose Brexit, but how can we vote for Corbyn? 9 November) he only mentions Zionists once and then in inverted commas. Why so coy? He knows that it is the Zionist lobby (not “Britain’s Jews”) aided by the media, that has sought to undermine Corbyn from the moment he was elected Labour Party leader. Why? Because he has been a campaigner for justice for Palestinians. Corbyn is not antisemitic – the examples Freedland gives have already been effectively rebutted – nor is the Labour Party rife with antisemitism, as he will know if he has read the analysis by 5 academics in the book ‘Bad News for Labour’. And nothing Chris Williamson has said is remotely antisemitic. But none of that matters to the Zionists who would rather inflict a Boris Johnson government on the nation than accept as Prime Minister a man who has spoken up against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. If they succeed in their mission, they will never be forgiven.”

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