Chief Rabbi of Britain, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, sticks his nose into British politics by instructing people how to vote in the upcoming elections. Is this self-important autocrat finally getting too big for his boots?
By Finian Cunningham
28 November 2019
Updated by Lasha Darkmoon
with video and commentary added
LD : EPHRAIM MIRVIS (left), Chief Rabbi of Britain, plays “the anti-Semitic card” by accusing Labour Leader JEREMY CORBYN (right) of being “unfit for office” because of Corbyn’s alleged “antisemitism”. By doing so, the Chief Rabbi shows that powerful Jews are no longer afraid to show their hands but are ready to make it clear who is calling the shots in Britain and elsewhere. [LD]
It is a ludicrous situation when anyone criticizing Israeli state violations against Palestinians or neighboring countries is then instantly discredited as being “antisemitic”.
We see this in Britain and the United States all the time. Congresswomen like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have been denounced for being “anti-Jewish”, including by President Trump, simply because they protested Israeli policy of occupying Palestinian lands or for having a malign influence on US foreign policy.
In Britain, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his party have once again this week been vilified as “antisemitic” in prominent news media.
The reality is that Corbyn is neither racist or anti-Jewish. The specious allegation stems from him and sections of Labour being vehemently critical of Israel and its conduct towards Palestinians.
If elected in the general election next month, Labour says it will cut military trade with Israel and move to officially recognize a Palestinian state.
This conflation of valid criticism of the Israeli state with being “anti-Jew” is a cynical distortion which is wielded to give Israel impunity from international law. It plays on moral blackmail of critics by equating the historical persecution of Jews and in particular the Nazi holocaust with the sanctity of the modern Israeli state.
That distortion is exposed by many Jews themselves who have spoken out in the US and in Britain to defend the right of people to criticize Israeli policies. They understand the vital distinction between the Israeli state and the much wider existence of Jewishness. They understand that to be opposed to Israeli state practices is in no way to mean animus towards Jews in general.
Only in the past week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his government intends to expand annexation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The land occupied by Israeli forces since the 1967 Six Day War is illegally occupied, according to multiple UN resolutions under international law. Now Netanyahu wants to increase the violations. And with the support of the Trump administration which also announced it was no longer viewing Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as illegitimate.
Over the past month, the Israeli military has stepped up airstrikes on the Gaza Strip where nearly two million Palestinians subsist in abject poverty largely because of an Israeli blockade. One family of nine, including children, was killed by an airstrike on their home on November 14. As always the death toll among Palestinian civilians is grotesquely disproportionate to Israeli victims of rockets fired from Gaza.
Israeli forces have also been carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, including the capital Damascus, over the past year. Russia, among others, has condemned those attacks as “unlawful aggression”. Arguably, war crimes.
When Jeremy Corbyn and Britain’s Labour Party and a handful of American politicians speak out to denounce Israeli violations they are doing so to uphold international law and voice support for victims of state violence. That is a principled and honourable position.
Shamefully, the US and British governments and much of the corporate news media never do speak out. They shield Israeli leaders from international accountability by vetoing UN resolutions or by turning a blind eye to Israel’s crimes.
Pro-Israeli lobbies funnel massive donations to politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle, and to the British Conservative Party. Their silence is bought. Not only silence but outright distortion, such as when people criticize Israeli malfeasance – and there is much of that – then they are absurdly character-assassinated as “antisemites”.
Admittedly, many British Jews phoned into radio stations this week to complain that they feel unwelcome in Britain due to what they perceive as growth in antisemitism under the Labour Party. To be fair though, their claims were not backed up by hard evidence of specifically anti-Jewish behaviour. They were eliding their Jewishness with Labour’s criticism of Israel.
The claims made against Corbyn this week by the British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of being “unfit for office” because of an alleged complacent attitude towards antisemitism in his party should be put in context.
Corbyn has apologized several times for a tiny fraction (less than 0.1 per cent) of party members accused of antisemitism. Why should he be obliged to keep on apologizing, as BBC interviewer Andrew Neil imperiously demanded again this week?
Chief Rabbi Mirvis is a self-declared friend of Conservative leader Boris Johnson and an ardent, uncritical supporter of the Israeli state.
(LD: Former British prime minister, Theresa May, was an equally ardent Zionist. She had dinner with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on the very day she became prime minister. )
Mirviz got prominent media coverage for his views this week in the London Times and Daily Mail, among others. Britain’s rightwing media are owned by billionaire oligarchs who despise Labour’s manifesto for progressive wealth redistribution.
Official race-hate figures for Britain show that physical attacks against British Muslims are preponderantly more than attacks against any other religious minority, including Jews. Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have evident problems of fomenting Islamophobia. Yet we don’t see British media providing proportionate criticism on that to balance their focus on Corbyn and his alleged views.
The antisemitic card is played to shield Israel from important criticism; and by Britain’s plutocrats and their media who would rather see the public squabbling over spurious claims about antisemitism so they can keep on plundering wealth from the majority of British people.
— § —
LD: Before you watch the 4-minute video below, it would be useful if you were to read this trenchant comment by our star commenter ‘Saki’ who is, I am told, a respected published writer on the internet under another name:
SAKI: Title of video: “CORBYN REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE”.
In my view, Corbyn has nothing to apologize for. The interviewer Andrew Neil is a Zionist stooge who knows which side his bread is buttered on. He is a paid lackey of the Zionist Lobby, formerly on the payroll of Rupert Murdoch who made him editor of The Times. It does not occur to this Zionist sycophant that his repeated insistence that Corbyn should apologize ASSUMES GUILT IN ADVANCE.
ANDREW NEIL, left, to Corbyn, four times:
“Apologize! . . . Apologize! . . . Apologize! . . . Apologize!”
Andrew Neil is like the Mad Queen in Alice in Wonderland who decides to pronounce the defendant guilty first and then have a “fair trial” later on. If only the beleaguered Corbyn had countered each demand to apologize by the words: “What is my crime exactly? What do I need to apologize for?”
But he couldn’t do that. There would have been universal outrage at his suggestion that Israel was a pariah state in breach of international law, that Palestine was an illegally occupied country, that Israel was guilty of war crimes, and, above all, that the Holocaust should no longer be accepted as the canonical truth but that people have a right to question it, to doubt it, to dispute it, and to debate it.
I am not saying the Holocaust did NOT occur. I am not “denying” it. I am simply stating that the subject ought to be debatable and that skepticism in regard to its details should not be regarded as a crime. Implicit and unquestioning belief in the Holocaust under Jewish coercion has to be seen for what it is: worthless. And punishment for not believing in this quasi-religious dogma, this new religion of Holocaustianity, should be regarded as a crime against reason and human rights.
LD: These telling words by Jonathan Cook, in a new article on Truthseeker, will drive home the point that Rabbi Mirvis’s irresponsible intervention in British politics will produce an inevitable backlash, helping to fan the flames of antisemitism. It is my contention that this could be exactly what this meddling rabbi wants. As we all know, antisemitism is the glue that binds the Jewish community together by fostering the illusion of never-ending victimhood:
Mirvis’s intervention in the democratic process will drive them [British voters] more quickly and more deeply into the arms of the far-right. It will persuade them once again that “the Jews” are a “problem”.
Like Lord Balfour before them, [the Brits] will start thinking of how to rid Britain and Europe of these supposed interlopers.
This is why Mirvis was irresponsible in the extreme for meddling. Because the standard of proof required before making such an intervention—proof either that Cobyn is an outright Jew hater, or that white nationalism is no threat to the UK–is not even close to being met.
The sooner we allow our countries to be run by those we elect, and not by rabbinical bossy-boots, the better. [LD]