British Jews slam McCarthyite smear campaign against Corbyn

images-2Morning Star

DOZENS of Jewish campaigners sent an open letter to the Jewish Chronicle yesterday blasting the paper’s “McCarthyite” smear campaign against Labour leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn.

The group of 47 people — including poets, actors and university lecturers — accused the newspaper of branding Mr Corbyn an “anti-semite” by touting supposed links to Holocaust deniers.

“Your assertion that your attack on Jeremy Corbyn is supported by ‘the vast majority of British Jews’ is without foundation,” said the letter.

“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.”

“There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique,” it added.

It follows an article published by the Chronicle the week before listing seven “concerns” that Mr Corbyn “must answer” in relation to attending events and sharing platforms with groups such as the Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) campaign and Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard — also a Daily Express columnist — told Channel 4 News: “I think there is a deep sense of foreboding in the Jewish community about some of the people Jeremy Corbyn associates with.

“I’m not accusing him of being an anti-semite. What we want to know is answers to the question ‘why have you associated yourself with some of these people?’”

Self-confessed Holocaust denier Paul Eisen and cleric Raed Salah — who was jailed for accusing Jews of using children’s blood to make bread — founded DYR.
Mr Corbyn told Channel 4 that he once made a donation around 15 years ago for the village of Deir Yassin — where zionist paramilitaries murdered at least 600 Palestinian people — but said claims that he “put his chequebook on the table” and supports the founders are wrong.

In Monday’s interview C4 hack Cathy Newman badgered the Islington North MP by repeatedly asking questions he had already answered.

He warned her against “putting an awful lot of words into [his] mouth” after she kept asking him whether it was a “misjudgement” to throw money in a collection bucket — despite him having made it clear that there was no evidence the founders were anti-semitic at the time.

He told Ms Newman: “I have no contact whatsoever now with Paul Eisen and DYR. I did attend a number of events concerning DYR some years ago.
“The only donation, if I made any, would have been in the collecting bucket when it went around the room.”

He went on to say: “Holocaust denial is vile and wrong. We have a duty to oppose racism wherever it raises its head, in whatever form.”

Ms Newman — who was exposed for misleading her Twitter followers with claims of being “ushered out” of a mosque earlier this year — was criticised on social media for her interviewing style.

People called for Channel 4 to dismiss her for attempting to “manipulate” viewers during the “attacking interrogation.”

17 comments on “British Jews slam McCarthyite smear campaign against Corbyn

  1. Pattern setting in – if it hasn’t already.

    Jeremy Corbyn was on BBC R4 World at One today for listeners’ quis. The programme is hosted by Martha Carney, someone who I’m sure the Daily Mail considers representative of the BBC at its most left liberal. I once heard her site (or is it cite?) a Guatemalan women’s activist as a great inspiration. Sufficiently distanced, but at home I would think that she’s firmly New Labourish. Anyway, the first qui from a Labour member was about whether or not the Labour Party could win back former Labour voters in marginal seats at the next election. Fair enough qui. But really without seemingly listening to what Corbyn had to say the questioner was allowed to sign off by saying that Labour couldn’t win with JC as leader. Recurring theme: unelectable. Then it was on to an articulate caller with a well honed point (more than question) not about Israel/Palestine, but about JC referring to a HAMAS rep as a ‘friend’ at a parliamentary meeting. Recurring theme: soft on terrorism. Then another point about holocaust denial with extended cross questioning and repeated interruption from Carney. Recurring theme: anti-Semitic.

    The remaining questions about real issues like housing seemed perfunctory, boring matters of little concern to a lofty journalist like Carney. The show finished after the rest of the news with Carney signing off with something like, ‘Controversy over terrorism and the holocaust denial continues to dog the campaign of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Leadership contest’.

    PS Just joined the Labour Party. Yes, I really should have joined last week but there you go.

  2. Vanya,

    “Dignified and calm” seems to be Corbyn’s signature response to the absolute bullshit being thrown at him from multiple directions.

  3. I hope that no one is naïve enough to be surprised at the treatment Jeremy is receiving from various shills and lackeys, paid and unpaid. This is only the beginning. The Left in Britain needs to steel itself, show unity and not be cowered by the attacks against the best chance we’ve had in a couple of generations for a truly progressive government.

  4. Israel has had links to various anti-Semitic groups such as the military junta that ran Argentina in the 1970s.

    Here is a great prediction from the Daily Telegraph:

    Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran Labour MP and vocal anti-Trident campaigner, joined the leadership race on Wednesday pledging to offer a “proper choice” to members.

    As vice-chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament he will be the only anti-Trident voice in leadership hustings strong but is not expected to be a serious strong challenger.

    By Ben Riley-Smith, Political Correspondent

    10:13AM BST 05 Jun 2015

  5. John Haylett on said:

    Tony: he will be the only anti-Trident voice in leadership hustings strong but is not expected to be a serious strong challenger.

    Well, he was 50 per cent right, which isn’t bad.

  6. judd seuss on said:

    To take a slightly longer view – last night I reread the thread here from Andy’s Guardian 2011 article on Atzmon; when it was published, some failed to see the wisdom in it, to put it mildly, but I hope the Corbyn/Eisen scandal-that-wasn’t clarifies the issue.

    Corbyn was quick to instantaneously distance himself from Eisen; more tellingly, no one on the left stepped up to defend Eisen. Ten years ago, when the SWP was still Atzmon-besodden, the matter might have instead devolved into a long melée about whether or not Eisen was actually really truly antisemitic or merely being smeared by vengeful hasbarists “for having questioned the Zionists’ Holocaust narrative.”

    Andy’s position, then and now, was that repudiating antisemites within the anti-Zionist camp strengthened rather than weakened the anti-Zionist cause, and we have now seen that play out in Corbyn’s resilience and failure to be torpedoed by the Eisen business. Actions against the DYR circle circa 2012 were the jab that, a few years later, has kept Corbyn from catching something quite nasty.

  7. Excellent article in today’s Morning Star on the latest attempt to smear JC, this time with regard to his views on the assassination of Bin Laden.

    Apparently the view that it’s preferable to arrest people and put them on trial when they’re accused of crimes is a bit controversial.

  8. #12 Btw the author is none other than John Wight.

    Perhaps it should go up as a post on here?

    Or better still, people should buy a copy 🙂

  9. Vanya: Btw the author is none other than John Wight.

    Perhaps it should go up as a post on here?

    Or better still, people should buy a copy

    Cheers. People should buy the Star. It gets better and better imo. Its role in supporting JC’s campaign has been exemplary. Michael Meacher’s piece today was superb also.

  10. Karl Stewart on said:

    On tonight’s C4 leadership discussion, Corbyn was asked: “If Russian tanks are rolling into Lithuania, what do you do?”

    The only time Russian tanks “rolled into” Lithuania was to liberate Lithuania from the Nazis.

    What a pity they’re not “rolling into” Kharkov, Mariupol, and Odessa to liberate those people from today’s Right-Sector Nazis.

  11. Karl Stewart: The only time Russian tanks “rolled into” Lithuania was to liberate Lithuania from the Nazis.

    Excellent point Karl. I also watched the debate. JC has conducted a long and immense campaign. He must be knackered. We should not underestimate the pressure he’s been under. Nothing can prepare you for the kind of scrutiny, popularity, and hope that he has attracted.

    I hope he has a well earned rest planned for after Sept 12.

  12. Pingback: Jeremy Corbyn and British Labour Friends of Israel | Dear Kitty. Some blog