Anorak

Anorak | Corbyn exposed and isolated by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem

Corbyn exposed and isolated by Labour’s anti-Semitism problem

by | 18th, April 2018

David Lammy told us that “when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas”. The Labour MP was talking about the ordeal faced by the Windrush children, transformed from British citizens into criminals by a lazy and callous immigration policy. Lammy was linking that story to what he sees as Tories pandering to racist right-wingers and Brexit. What, then, does he think of his own party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has called Jew-haters his “friends” and presided over a Labour Party rife with anti-Semitism? Ever the nuanced and slippery figure, nothing really stuck to Corbyn, not even the fleas. Until something did.

When Corbyn made a Facebook comment about a hideous mural in East London, the story shifted from being about his Jew-hating “friends” to his own prejudices. Corbyn offered his support to the mural’s artist, which many of us consider to be anti-Semitic in tone and subject. The then Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfar Rahman, ordered council officials to “do everything possible” to remove the mural, arguing that “the images of the bankers perpetuate anti-Semitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial institutions”. But Corbyn liked it and wanted it to remain on view.

That was 2012.

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and who could be his fellow former Press TV presenter Yvonne Ridley both like the mural.

 

In 2018, Corbyn said he should have looked “more closely” at the massive mural that covered the entire end of a building – the mural he now finds to be “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”. Corbyn said “sorry” for not having studied the content of the mural more closely”. Tom Watson, Corbyn’s deputy, called the artwork a “horrible anti-Semitic mural”.

 

 

Hugo Rifkind adds:

Corbyn is also reported to have been a member of two Facebook groups, and perhaps a third, where such things were widespread. Did he never look closely? Above his comment is one by Yvonne Ridley. This, presumably, would be the journalist Yvonne Ridley, who once wrote that David Miliband was “a gutless little weasel who lost more than his foreskin when he was circumcised”. She also used to host a show on the Iranian PressTV on which Corbyn was a guest. Did they never speak? When Corbyn speaks of the “pockets within the Labour Party” in which antisemitism has occurred, what he leaves out is that, for the first 30 years of his career, these were the pockets he was in.

Yesterday, Labour’s antisemitism problem was debated in the Commons. Dame Margaret Hodge, 73, the Labour MP for Barking and the daughter of Jewish refugees, told her peers that she felt like “an outsider in the party I have been a member of for 50 years… I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for antisemitism to go unchallenged.”

 

 

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said: “I have no words for the people who purport to be both members and supporters of our party, who use that hashtag JC4PM [Jeremy Corbyn for prime minister], who attacked me in recent weeks for my comments; they attacked me for speaking at the rally against antisemitism… who say I should be deselected.”

Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, read out a message she’d received:”First job for Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, expel the Zionist hag bitch Ruth Smeeth.”

Tom Watson was not sat by Corbyn at the front – he moved from his usual spot in the Commons to sit between Berger and Smeeth. He sees the problem. Do you?

Here’s Labour MP John Mann. He gets it. People are scared. Anti-semitism is rife. If you acquiesce to it, if you make anti-Jewish comments, if you don’t speak out when you hear it, if you turn a deaf ear to it, if you don’t think it’s worth bothering about, you’re wrong. It’s dangerous:

 



Posted: 18th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink