JVL Introduction

JVL member Jay Blackwood captures the feelings of many in his latest  Jewish Dissident blog about the current campaign to get Corbyn, and media collusion in it.

It is extraordinary,” he says of Netanyahu’s latest meddling,  “that no Parliamentarian has raised concerns about this ongoing intervention by a foreign power  in domestic political affairs.

And he fears that if the campaign against Corbyn succeeds we will see a flourishing of antisemitic conspiracy theory, as well as the rise of a genuine neo-fascist movement here.

We have to stop it in its tracks


Israeli Interference Has Become Intolerable

It’s nice of the Israeli government, backed by their allies in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the mainstream media (MSM), to undermine all the work we’ve been doing to counter the old antisemitic trope about ‘Jewish control of the media’. Thanks for that.

On last night’s Channel 4 News the Daily Mail’s latest absurd slander against Corbyn – the affair of the wreath – was repeated without qualification, and backed by an explicit intervention in the debate by Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister, rather than face questions about Israel’s latest atrocity against the civilian population of Gaza, was instead quoted approvingly by reporter Fatima Manji alongside Luciana Berger to ‘prove’ just how egregious Jeremy’s behaviour had been.

The report might as well have been put together by the Israeli embassy. 

In a week where the main story has been Boris Johnson’s vile racist tirade about the burqa, and the subsequent infighting in the Tory Party, Channel 4 News managed to shift the spotlight once again onto Corbyn and antisemitism. Despite admitting in her report that “few here [in Walsall] made mention of Labour’s antisemitism row”, Manji was clearly determined to make that row the focus of her report.

Why? And on whose authority?

One wonders who, in the C4 News hierarchy, is making decisions about what should – and shouldn’t – feature in their broadcasts. And while that news program forfeited its liberal credentials some time ago, last night’s propaganda broadcast hit a new low.

In a sense, the back story was far more sensational than what was explicitly covered. Because we are now seeing clear Israeli interference in this country’s democratic process, rather than the covert manipulation that we have witnessed previously. Israel’s behind-the-scenes influence on Labour policy, expertly exposed in Al Jazeera’s documentary The Lobby, has now become overt. Netanyahu is confident enough of his position, and of the unassailable status of allies like Luciana Berger, to dabble his blood-stained fingers openly in British political discourse.

It is extraordinary that no Parliamentarian has raised concerns about this ongoing intervention by a foreign power in domestic political affairs.

Two things mitigate against a serious British response. The first consideration is that of policy – Israel is the prime US/Western ally in the Middle East, and is therefore subject to special treatment bordering on sycophancy. The second consideration is one of expediency, both in terms of undermining Corbyn’s position and at the same time avoiding the ubiquitous charge of antisemitism that seems to spring up nowadays whenever Israel’s actions are critically examined.

For the same reasons,  the alignment of public discourse on antisemitism and Palestine with the interests of the Israeli state is likely to continue.

The objective of course is the collapse of the Corbyn leadership, either through a PLP coup or through simple exhaustion. In the face of such a collapse it’s by no means certain that the Left of the Party will have the heart to continue the fight for a socialist government.

Would Corbyn avoid that fate if he agreed to accept the full list of IHRA examples – including the ones that effectively shut down debate on Israel? Unlikely. Such a retreat would simply encourage the circling wolves, who would no doubt raise cries of “too little, too late” in response.

Corbyn’s opponents scent blood, and they are unlikely to be satisfied with anything less than a clean kill.

If Corbyn falls it will be as the result of a lash-up between four distinct forces – the Blairite wing of the PLP, the neo-liberal MSM, the conservative wing of the Jewish establishment, and the Israeli state.

A victory for this opportunist alliance will have two consequences.

First, for those who prefer conspiracy theories to careful analysis, the destruction of Project Corbyn will provide all the evidence they need to ‘prove’ the old calumny that Jews control the media and the political mainstream. Antisemitic discourse and antisemitic incidents will soar as the most disenfranchised sections of our society look for a convenient scapegoat. Holding the line against antisemitic conspiracy theorists – already a tough ask – will become all but impossible.

Second, the collapse of a viable Left alternative to neo-liberal economic policies will open the door even further (in the wake of Trump, Brexit, Tommy Robinson et al) to a Right populism that will see the rise of a genuine neo-fascist movement in the UK. That movement is likely to teach Corbyn’s current Labour critics what a real ‘existential threat to Jewish life’ looks like.

That is the likely legacy of the current anti-Corbyn offensive – unless it can be stopped in its tracks.

We all have a role to play in that. But Corbyn and his inner circle – not least the supine leadership of Momentum – have to lead the way. Time is running out for us.