Two separate articles about the Corbyn phenomenon and anti-Semitism in Britain
The Sharks Circling Around Corbyn Scent Blood
By Jonathan Cook
(LD) British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is in trouble with Big Jewry who accuse his party of institutionalized anti-Semitism. Corbyn is an ardent supporter of the Palestine cause and many Labour party member are not only Muslims but passionate anti-Zionists who have expressed negative sentiments about Jews, including ‘Holocaust denial’. Many Labour party members are regularly vilified as “extremists” and “Nazis”. Corbyn is doing his best to keep the damage control to a minimum and sound like a responsible leader who deplores anti-Semitism. It seems the Jews are out to get Corbyn and make him unelectable as Britain’s new Prime Minister. He has been compared to a new Hitler in the waiting. (LD)
After a short reprieve following Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected success in Britain’s general election last year, when he only narrowly lost the popular vote, most of the Labour parliamentary party are back, determined to bring him down. And once again, they are being joined by the corporate media in full battle cry.
Last week, Corbyn was a Soviet spy. This week we’re in more familiar territory, even if it has a new twist: Corbyn is not only a friend to anti-semites, it seems, but now he has been outed as a closet one himself.
In short, the Blairites in the parliamentary party are stepping up their game. Corbyn’s social justice agenda, his repudiation of neoconservative wars of aggression masquerading as “humanitarianism” – lining the coffers of the west’s military-industrial elites – is a genuine threat to those who run our societies from the shadows.
The knife of choice for the Labour backstabbers this time is a wall mural removed from East London in 2012. At that time, before he became Labour leader, Corbyn expressed support on Facebook for the artist, Kalen Ockerman, known as Mear One. Corbyn observed that a famous anti-capitalist mural by the left-wing Mexican artist Diego Rivera was similarly removed from Manhattan’s Rockefeller Centre in 1934.
Interestingly, the issue of Corbyn’s support for the mural – or at least the artist – originally flared in late 2015, when the Jewish Chronicle unearthed his Facebook post. Two things were noticeably different about the coverage then.
First, on that occasion, no one apart from the Jewish Chronicle appeared to show much interest in the issue. Its “scoop” was not followed up by the rest of the media. What is now supposedly a major scandal, one that raises questions about Corbyn’s fitness to be Labour leader, was a non-issue two years ago, when it first became known.
Second, the Jewish Chronicle, usually so ready to get exercised at the smallest possible sign of anti-semitism, wasn’t entirely convinced back in 2015 that the mural was anti-semitic. In fact, it suggested only that the mural might have “antisemitic undertones” – and attributed even that claim to Corbyn’s critics.
And rather than claiming, as the entire corporate media is now, that the mural depicted a cabal of Jewish bankers, the Chronicle then described the scene as “a group of businessmen and bankers sitting around a Monopoly-style board and counting money”. By contrast, the Guardian abandoned normal reporting conventions yesterday to state in its news — rather than comment – pages unequivocally that the mural was “obviously antisemitic”.
IS THIS MURAL “ANTI-SEMITIC’?
Not that anyone is listening now, but the artist himself, Kalen Ockerman, has said that the group in his mural comprised historical figures closely associated with banking. His mural, he says, was about “class and privilege”, and the figures depicted included both “Jewish and white Anglos”. The fact that he included famous bankers like the Rothschilds (Jewish) and the Rockefellers (not Jewish) does not, on the face of it, seem to confirm anti-semitism. They are simply the most prominent of the banking dynasties most people, myself included, could name. These families are about as closely identified with capitalism as it is possible to be.
There is an argument to be had about the responsibilities of artists – even street artists – to be careful in their visual representations. But Ockerman’s message was not a subtle or nuanced one. He was depicting class war, the war the capitalist class wages every day on the weak and poor. If Ockerman’s message is inflammatory, it is much less so than the reality of how our societies have been built on the backs and the suffering of the majority.
Corbyn has bowed to his critics – a mix of the Blairites within his party and Israel’s cheerleaders – and apologised for offering support to Ockerman, just as he has caved in to pressure each time the anti-semitism card has been played against him.
This may look like wise, or safe, politics to his advisers. But these critics have only two possible outcomes that will satisfy them. Either Corbyn is harried from the party leadership, or he is intimidated into diluting his platform into irrelevance – he becomes just another compromised politician catering to the interests of the 1 per cent.
The sharks circling around him will not ignore the scent of his bloodied wounds; rather, it will send them into a feeding frenzy. As hard as it is to do when the elites so clearly want him destroyed, Corbyn must find his backbone and start to stand his ground.
This piece in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz by their senior columnnist Anshel Pfeffer sums up a lot of the sophistry (intentional or otherwise) underscoring the conflation of leftwing critiques of neoliberalism and globalism with rightwing ultra-nationalism and anti-semitism.
The conspiracy theories of globalist bankers utilizing mainstream media and corrupt neoliberal politicians to serve their selfish sinister purposes, rather than those of ordinary people, are identical whether from left or right.
And on either side, most of the theorists will never admit to being anti-Semitic. They are just “anti-racist” or “anti-imperialist” if on the left, or “pro-Israel” on the right. And most of them really believe they have nothing against Jews, even while parroting themes straight out of the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion].
Notice the problem here. If you are a radical leftist who believes, as generations of leftists before you have done, that military, political, media, and financial elites operate in the shadows to promote their interests, to wage class war, then not only are you a conspiracy theorist, according to Pfeffer, but you are by definition anti-semitic as well. If you believe that an Establishment or a Deep State exists to advance its interests against the great majority, you must hate Jews.
The logic of Corbyn’s critics has rarely been articulated so forthrightly and so preposterously as it is here by Pfeffer. But make no mistake, this is the logic of his critics.
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‘Jeremy, Get on your Knees!’
By Gilad Atzmon
Leading Jewish groups demand that Corbyn publicly rejects Hamas and Hezbollah
and condemns them as terrorist groups.
Corbyn refuses, seeing Hamas and Hezbollah as legitimate freedom fighters
living in the shadow of an oppressive, apartheid and land grabbing Israeli state.
Millions of Brits agree with Corbyn and are openly hostile to Israel. (LD)
In their response to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) claim to ‘propose an agenda of actions for discussion’ between the Labour party and those who claim to ‘represent’ British Jews.
In practice the two Zionist institutions have managed to produce one of the most disgusting documents in modern Jewish history. A text that is little more than an ode to the self-defamation of its own authors and to the community they claim to ‘represent’: it is rude, authoritarian, and disrespectful to a democratically elected leader of Europe’s biggest party.
Read the BOD/JLC’s public address to Corbyn here
When you read some of the extracts below, remember that despite BOD and the JLC claims to ‘represent’ British Jewry, these two organisations managed to pull just 1500 members of their community into their ‘Enough is Enough’ anti-Corbyn demonstration earlier this week. We are talking about 0.5% of British Jewry. The BOD/JLC’s authoritarian document outlines a set of humiliating conditions for Corbyn to meet. The text proves how detached these Jewish institutions are from British values, specifically, and the Western ethos, in general. In fact their vision of the political arena is Orwellian in nature and tyrannical in practice.
Apparently, if Corbyn expects to meet with the demands of these self-appointed ‘Jewish leaders’ he must appoint a watchdog who will take care of the so called ‘antisemites’ in his party and, of course, under the supervision of these two ardent Zionist bodies. He must also meet a strict time-frame defined by Judea.
“Outstanding and future cases (of alleged antisemitism) are to be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale. An independent, mutually agreed upon ombudsman should be appointed to oversee performance, reporting to the Party, as well as to the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council.”
Consistent with the spirit of Talmudic herem (excommunication) and totally in contradiction to notions of British openness and Western tolerance, these Jewish institutions insist that “MPs, councillors, and other party members should not share platforms with people who have been suspended or expelled for antisemitism and CLPs should not provide them with a platform.” The Jewish institutions also suggest how to penalise the sinners. “Anybody doing so should, themselves, be suspended from membership; in the case of MPs, they should lose the party whip.” Maybe someone should make the effort to explain to the Jewish leaders that the labour party is an established political institution. It is not a ghetto, I mean, not as yet.
The Jewish bodies insist on dominating the language as well as boundaries of political discussion. Criticism of Israel should be completely restricted. The words ‘Zio’ and ‘Zionist’ as terms of abuse should be eradicated. I actually believe that if the BOD/JLC truly wanted ‘Zionist’ to not be used as a ‘term of abuse,’ they should simply stop abusing Corbyn in the name of Zion as their first step forward.
The British Jewish ‘leaders’ clearly know how to distinguish between the ‘good Jews’ and the bad ones. Corbyn is told to “engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations who wish to obstruct the Party’s efforts to tackle antisemitism.” And I wonder, how exactly the BOD or the JLC are ‘representatives’ of British Jews. When were they elected and by whom? And if these two organisations are ‘representative of British Jews,’ how is it that they so selectively call upon Labour to ignore the voice of Jewish collectives they don’t agree with?
The Jewish institutions talk at Corbyn as if he is a schoolboy. “These changes must be sustained and enduring.” Corbyn better quickly meet the Zionist demands before a meeting with The Lobby can materialise. “We firmly believe that this must happen urgently, and certainly before we meet.”
The BOD and the JLC express hope in starting a process of “constructive anti-racist” work within the Labour Party. Talking about racism, we better hear from both the BOD and the JLC how many Muslims and Blacks are members of their executive boards. I ask because, unlike those ‘Jews only’ institutions, the Labour party is, actually, a multi-ethnic and multi-racial political body. If Jewish institutions want to counter racism, they are more than welcome to do so. The racist ‘Jewish State’ is where they should start.