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Thu Nov 7, 2019, 09:54 AM

Jewish Chronicle: 'The vast majority of British Jews consider Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite'

Yet, while we see all this, we also see an election being fought in which antisemitism in the Labour Party, inspired by its leader, is mentioned only occasionally as an afterthought. Brexit, austerity, the NHS, education and myriad other issues are, of course, vital. But how can the racist views of a party leader — and the deep fear he inspires among an ethnic minority — not be among the most fundamental of issues?

That is why we are seeking your attention. If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark: that our dismay that he could ever be elevated to a prominent role in British politics, and our fears of where that will lead, are irrelevant.

We will have to conclude that those fears and dismay count for nothing.

But we think you do care.

We believe that the overwhelming majority of British people abhor racism.We ask only that, when you cast your vote, you act on that.


Ouch. That is going to burn. This will give some moderate voters for Labour pause for thought.
And they are not wrong, when any ethnic minority has 47 % thinking they will leave the country if he gets in, that must ring serious alarm bells for all of us who push for genuine equality in our country.

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Reply Jewish Chronicle: 'The vast majority of British Jews consider Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite' (Original post)
Soph0571 Nov 2019 OP
still_one Nov 2019 #1
Beakybird Nov 2019 #2
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #3
Soph0571 Nov 2019 #4
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #6
Celerity Nov 2019 #7
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #8
Celerity Nov 2019 #10
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #12
Celerity Nov 2019 #13
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #9
Celerity Nov 2019 #11
T_i_B Nov 2019 #5
T_i_B Nov 2019 #14
T_i_B Nov 2019 #15
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #16
T_i_B Nov 2019 #17
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #18
T_i_B Nov 2019 #19
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #20

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 10:00 AM

1. and I suspect among non-Jews that opinion would be split, which is just another reason I don't think

he represents a good leader for labor

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 10:09 AM

2. Labour shoots itself in the foot keeping this demagogue in power.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 01:29 PM

3. Genuine question from somebody who isn't really a Corbyn fan:

What exactly are "the racist views of a party leader" in Corbyn's case in this context?

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 02:28 PM

4. I think the big one for me is

When he said that Jews did not understand British irony - if you are Jewish he does not see you as British - you are other...

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Response to Soph0571 (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:04 PM

6. I believe, back in 2013, he actually referred to "British Zionists", not Jews as a bloc,

as not understanding British irony.

Would I have expressed myself as Corbyn did? No. To allow him his defence and definitions of terms back in 2018:

Mr Corbyn nonetheless stood behind the comments, insisting that he was referring to a specific group of “pro-Israel activists” and had not used the term Zionist as a “euphemism” for the Jewish community.

He said he had spoken at the conference to “defend the Palestinian ambassador in the face of what I thought were deliberate misrepresentations” from people “for whom English was a first language, when it isn’t for the ambassador.

“I described those pro-Israel activists as Zionists, in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people – and that is made clear in the rest of my speech that day,” he said. “I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by antisemites as code for Jews.”


I've learned over the years to try to avoid discussions of Israeli issues online, particularly on boards where there are a lot of American posters, as it almost never ends well and usually ends up with a lot of antagonism and nobody's mind being changed.

I'll break my little rule for, I think, the third time while I've been posting on DU.

The Board of Jewish Deputies and the Jewish Chronicle represent one particular school of thought among Jewish people. I could compare the Jewish Chronicle to media outlets on the political spectrum occupied by the Telegraph, Mail, and at its extremes, the Express. It doesn't speak for all Jewish people, nor does the Board of Jewish Deputies.

I've also learned not to use the lazy term "Zionist" as it has several meanings, including (1) supporters of the existence of the state of Israel, (2) a more generalized one, as the Jewish Chronicle is trying to appropriate, as code for "all Jews", which I consider contemptible, and (3) another which refers to supporters of the hardline - and often illegal - policies of successive right-wing Israeli governments in their support of land grabs by settlers, disproportionately violent reactions to threats from Palestinians etc.

If the Jewish Chronicle wants to label me an "anti-Semite" because I oppose the horrible policies of the right-wing Israeli governments under definition (3), well, it can go ahead, and I'll treat the accusation with all the gravitas and credibility it deserves. I can't think of any other country whose government behaves as it does where it wouldn't be entirely valid, if not expected, for most on DU to condemn it. In fact, that would be in solidarity with many Israeli citizens and Jews around the world who feel the same way.

If it or any of the vested interests who want to stir this particular pot for their own agendas want to claim that "all Jews" think a certain way, that would seem to me the very definition of racism, and a very dangerous tack.

If somebody on the strength of all this thin evidence wants to label Corbyn a "demagogue", as another poster on this thread has chosen to do, with no explanation of supporting evidence, then I'll ask what terms we can meaningfully use for the true demagogues who afflict our politics nowadays, and there are plenty.

The whole debate would be a bit less muddied if we didn't have hard evidence of Israeli lobbyists seeking to destabilize Corbyn's leadership with a tidy slush fund to direct towards certain politicians, some within the Labour Party, who'll parrot the line of widespread "anti-Semitism" with Corbyn at its heart (I can fish out the footage if I must, but one such "diplomat" was recalled very rapidly by the Israeli government not that long ago when his activities were exposed). We also have politicians like Priti Patel - last seen manifesting as our Home Secretary, heaven help us - going covertly freelance on foreign policy by meeting in secret with Israeli officials, which was seen as serious enough that even Theresa May felt driven to demand her resignation.

It's thin evidence all told. All I've seen about Corbyn specifically is the (mis)quote you objected to, gripes about his use of the term "friend" in the context of trying to be diplomatic at a gathering discussing the prospects for peace in the Middle East etc. The rest seems to be complaints about how some hotheads in Momentum etc. have conducted themselves, and the hamfisted and often flat-footed way Labour has tried to deal with the situation in the face of a concerted media onslaught.

Anti-Semitism is real. It exists in many of our political parties and among the wider public. At the moment, if the sanitized UKIP that is the Brexit Party gains seats at the next election, we could see bona fide, no argument, overt anti-Semites as MPs.

By conflating many complex issues to further its own agenda, editorials like the Jewish Chronicle's do Jews as a whole no favours and actually feed the othering of Jewish people, wherever they live.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:49 PM

7. superb reply

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Response to Celerity (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 04:56 PM

8. Well, thanks.

I did wonder for a minute if my own prejudices meant I was being a bit unfair to the Jewish Chronicle and where it sits on the political spectrum.

Then I did a little digging on its editor, Stephen Pollard, who - you may have guessed by now - "writes frequently for the Daily Express, and also writes for the Daily Mail, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph."

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 05:27 PM

10. yes, the JC is a RW publication with very a very dodgy track record of support, agendas, and attacks

They were amongst the biggest UK backers of Operation Protective Edge, and Operation Cast Lead.


Editorial position

Pollard accepts that the paper does not present a comprehensive picture of events, saying in 2009, "But don't forget who our readership is. They are interested in getting the news about Israel. It's not a biased view. We are presenting one aspect of all the news that is going on. Nobody gets all their news from the JC; we're a complementary news source."

In 2014, the editor apologised on behalf of the paper for running an advertisement by the Disasters Emergency Committee appealing for funds for humanitarian relief for Gaza. He said that he and the paper did not support the appeal and were "entirely supportive" of Operation Protective Edge. He disputed the reported number of civilian casualties and asserted that many were terrorists.

In June 2019, Pollard said "I think in the last few years there’s certainly been a huge need for the journalism that the JC does in especially looking at the anti-Semitism in the Labour party and elsewhere” and "there’s such a huge need for our proper crusading independent journalism". Kessler Foundation chair Clive Wolman said: “In the end, we and the JC Trust decided that our primary consideration had to be to preserve the editorial independence of the JC, particularly at a time when its journalists are playing such an important role in exposing anti-Semitism in British politics. In July 2019, a Jewish Chronicle editorial declared that "We want to see (the current Labour Party leadership) removed from any significant role in public life."

Lawsuits, rulings and criticism


In 2009, a peace activist accepted £30,000 damages and an apology from the paper over false claims that he had harboured two suicide bombers.

In May 2012, Dr Othman Moqbel, Dr Hussein Nagi and Mr Mohamad Yousef of Human Appeal International received an apology and substantial damages from The Jewish Chronicle following articles published in February of that year in the newspaper and on its website, suggesting that Human Appeal International, a British charity, had been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US government and had diverted donations to fund terror and to support the families of suicide bombers. An apology was published in the newspaper on 31 May and on its website on 30 May.

In August 2015, dozens of prominent Jewish activists signed an open letter criticising the paper for what they viewed as its "character assassination" of Corbyn. They wrote: "Your assertion that your attack on Jeremy Corbyn is supported by 'the vast majority of British Jews' is without foundation. We do not accept that you speak on behalf of progressive Jews in this country. You speak only for Jews who support Israel, right or wrong." They continued, "There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique. Jeremy Corbyn's parliamentary record over 32 years has consistently opposed all racism including antisemitism." Signatories to the letter included Laurence Dreyfus, Selma James, Miriam Margolyes, Ilan Pappé, Michael Rosen and Avi Shlaim.

In August 2017, the Jewish Chronicle published a ruling by The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) that an article it had published earlier that year about a court case was in breach of the Editors' Code of Practice by identifying family members of the defendent. The Judge did not accept the defences of the Jewish Chronicle that the family members were prominent members of the community or that the family had been referenced in the proceedings, albeit without identifying individual members.

In February 2018, The Jewish Chronicle falsely reported that Mike Sivier, a blogger and Labour Party member, was a holocaust denier. IPSO upheld a complaint by Mr Sivier that the newspaper had misrepresented online comments he had made.

In April 2019, the Jewish Chronicle published a ruling by IPSO that articles it had published on May 2017 and April 2018 about an author critical of Zionism contained inaccuracies regarding venue denial activity by Jewish organisations and the author's views on the relationship between Zionism and Nazi Germany and that it had failed to issue a timely correction. The Jewish Chronicle said that they had relied on comments made by the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

In August 2019, Interpal received an apology and damages of £50,000 after The Jewish Chronicle implied that the charity had links to terrorist activity. On 23 August, the paper published the apology in full, together with an article by Ibrahim Hewitt, chair of trustees of Interpal.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 06:02 PM

12. As those libels show, Pollard also has a tendency to project "anti-Semitism" on others,

sometimes in ways that reveal his own heinous prejudices.

This is from the Canary, but the string of tweets quoted speaks for itself:

A newspaper editor claims Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic for calling out inequality

Jeremy Corbyn

Ten years ago today the financial crash began.

The people who caused it now call me a threat. They’re right.

Labour is a threat to a damaging and failed system rigged for the few.

[Twitter video]

Since 2009, the top 1,000 families in the UK have increased their fortune by over 155%. Meanwhile, real wages for ordinary people fell 10.4% between 2007 and 2015.

But Pollard suggested that Corbyn was actually talking about an elite Jewish conspiracy in the video:

Stephen Pollard

Been hesitating to tweet this bevause I keep thinking it can't be, surely it can't be.
But the more I think about It, the more it seems it really is.
This is 'nudge, nudge, you know who I'm talking about don't you?'
And yes I do. It's appalling …

Facing a huge backlash on social media, Pollard backtracked:

Stephen Pollard

I accept all the criticism of this tweet, and that I may be way off beam.
But this is what happens when antisemitism is allowed to flourish - and when an antisemite leads a party. You start to read his every word through that prism. Even if the words aren’t about Jews. …


Matt Wain no longer scary @TheMattWain

Im struggling to decode this one. Corbyn was clearly talking about casino banking and other unsavoury banking practices. Pollard seems to be indulging in antisemitic tropes of global banks=jews and then blaming Corbyn for making him say it? We're at peak crank here …

Frank Owen's Legendary Paintbrush @WarmongerHodges

If @jeremycorbyn conflated the bankers who caused the 2008 crash with Jews he would rightly be called an antisemite. Yet that's precisely what Stephen Pollard has done. Surely his job as editor of @JewishChron is now untenable. He's clearly unfit for such an influential position.


As for Corbyn's words about "British irony" that Sophie objected to, an American author - and no ready apologist for Corbyn, at first jumping to condemn him - did a better job that I can of explaining the full context:

The Missing Information That Exonerates Jeremy Corbyn

On seeing the video, I, too, concluded that Corbyn’s remark was damning. Linking to a New York Times op-ed (“Getting off the fence about Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism” by the Sunday Times of London’s Josh Glancy), I wrote on Facebook, “I have to agree with this op-ed 100%, both with the writer’s not wanting to view Corbyn as an anti-Semite and his conclusion that this latest revelation makes it unavoidable.”

But I wrote this without being aware of the context of Corbyn’s remark, which was missing from Glancy’s op-ed and so much of the coverage of the video. Once I learned of that context, I retracted my opinion.

Knowing to whom and to what Corbyn was referring in his “English irony” remark makes it impossible, in my view, to consider it anti-Semitic in any way.

He was referring to an exchange that had taken place recently at a conference on Gaza that he hosted in Parliament. One of the speakers there, Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.K., reportedly said, “You know I’m reaching the conclusion that the Jews are the children of God, the only children of God and the Promised Land is being paid by God! I have started to believe this because nobody is stopping Israel building its messianic dream of Eretz Israel to the point I believe that maybe God is on their side.”

Clearly, he was not being serious; he was being ironic.

Just as clearly, Hassassian is not a native Englishman. He was born and raised in Jerusalem, didn’t live in London until he was over 50. He speaks with an Arabic accent.

This is the crucial thing to know in order to understand what Corbyn says later at the Palestinian Return Centre about the Zionists in question and English irony.

As seen in the video, Corbyn recalls that after Hassassian’s speech in Parliament, some Zionists in the audience “berated” Hassassian for what he said. He then makes his infamous comment, but he does so in direct comparison with Hassassian, noting that those who berated the ambassador “don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, don’t understand English irony either.” By comparison, Corbyn went on, “Manuel does understand English irony, and uses it very effectively.”

This context reveals that Corbyn was not calling out Jews; he was not even calling out Zionists in general. He was calling out those particular Zionists who’d berated Hassassian.

He was not ridiculing them for being alien, for failing or refusing to acculturate themselves to such things as English irony, which would have indeed been a classic anti-Semitic remark. Instead, he was simply ridiculing them for being, as an Englishman might put it, relatively thick.


Now, unless somebody else joins in, I think that's quite enough defending Corbyn from me for one day!

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 06:35 PM

13. thank you for all the input


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Response to Celerity (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 05:21 PM

9. Oh, and while I'm here, my reply above was getting rather long, so I didn't post these:

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 05:30 PM

11. +1

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Thu Nov 7, 2019, 03:29 PM

5. This gives Labour a serious credibility problem

How can Labour credibly take a stance against bigotry, discrimination, hate and intolerance if they have a problem with anti-Semitism?

And we desperately need our main opposition party to be a strong credible force on these issues. Especially with the Tories having been overrun by the far right. At present Labour are failing.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:41 AM

14. Labour candidate pulls out of election over 'Shylock' remarks

To think that Clacton had a Labour MP from 1997 to 2005! You would have thought they could at least have found a local candidate in the first place.


A Labour parliamentary candidate has withdrawn from standing in the general election following accusations that he used the insulting term “Shylock” at a meeting where a Jewish councillor was present.

Gideon Bull, a councillor from the London borough of Haringey, was supposed to be the party’s parliamentary candidate in the Essex seaside town of Clacton in December. He has withdrawn from standing for the seat after referring to the Shakespearean Jewish moneylender at a meeting in July that included a Jewish Labour councillor. He denies any intention to insult but has apologised for making the remark.

Labour is investigating a complaint from Bull’s fellow councillor, the deputy council leader, Zena Brabazon.

The alleged antisemitic incident occurred at a meeting of cabinet members in July at which plans for the redevelopment of council-owned land in south Tottenham, known as the Red House scheme, were discussed.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:47 AM

15. Senior Labour Politician Sang "Hey Jews" To The Song "Hey Jude"

Having attended Cheltenham literary festival a couple of years ago, the thing that surprises me is that anyone would think it a good opportunity to get tipsy!


A senior Labour politician changed the lyrics of the Beatles song “Hey Jude” to “Hey Jews” while his MP colleague repeatedly used the word “poof” during a late-night bus journey last year, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

Dan Carden, who is a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn and serves in his shadow cabinet as the shadow international development secretary, sang the adapted version of the song while on a raucous coach trip back from Cheltenham festival. At the time he was a junior shadow minister.

The incident happened on the evening of Thursday March 15 2018. This reporter was sitting behind Carden and McGinn on a private bus back to London from Cheltenham races. Also present were other Labour MPs as well as MPs from other parties. As he and Labour colleagues played music from their phones throughout the two-and-a-half hour ride back to the capital, Carden repeatedly sang the chorus of “Hey Jude”, replacing the word “Jude” with “Jews”. When the chorus reached the word “Jude”, Carden chanted at the top of his voice: “Jews, Jews, Jews”.

Carden’s spokesperson did not deny any of the specifics of the night in question when approached by BuzzFeed News. They insisted that he would never “intentionally” engage in racist or anti-Semitic behaviour.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 08:10 AM

16. Refuted by Dan Hodges, who's usually hostile to Labour, especially on anti-Semitism.

He says he's not been able to find any evidence this ever happened.

(((Dan Hodges)))

I'm no fan of Dan Carden. But I was told about the bus chant story soon after the incident was supposed to have happened and checked with a number of people who were on the bus. No-one corroborated it.

Alex Wickham, who wrote your story, is ex-Guido Fawkes, and seems to be reverting to sort now he's bedded in at BuzzFeed.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 02:38 PM

17. Didn't stop the ludicrously pro-Corbyn Swawkbox from tweeting the worst hot take ever about this!

Jeez, I wonder which other group of Scousers sang that song!

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:09 PM

18. If I remember right, they were roundly ridiculed for that and deleted it.

It's not a worse take than claiming something happened that no witnesses have come forward to confirm did actually take place, I guess, and does at least have a desperate hint of plausibility (listen to certain Liverpool accents, and you'll hear the terminal "d" sound is pronounced "ds" ), but if there was anything in the story, I think we'd have heard more about it at the time.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 05:40 PM

19. No no no, that was a completely different ridiculous tweet...

...from another Corbyn fanboy site, Evolve Politics

The fact that all the Corbyn fanboys pile on with this sort rubbish whenever Labour falls into yet another anti-Semitism scandal tells you all you need to know really. This sort of nonsense from Momentum supporters is a major turn off.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 12, 2019, 05:46 PM

20. Yes, you're right, T_i_B.

I belatedly realized that some time after I posted!

To be more than fair, kneejerk defences aren't by any means restricted to Labour supporters. And it doesn't sound like this particular allegation has any truth behind it.

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