We’re delighted to hear the Jewish Chronicle is finally getting serious about fighting racism!
We’re really looking forward to their no-doubt-forthcoming campaigns against the demonisation of migrants in Calais, against Islamophobia, and against unequal legal systems in the West Bank.
Presumably those will get started sometime after Rosh Hashanah. (Elul’s a busy month, after all)
In the meantime, the JC is focussing its progressive zeal on Jeremy Corbyn, previously mostly noted in anti-racism circles for being a committed anti-racist campaigner. Probably it’s because they have a special bond, sharing the same initials.
This week they put seven questions to Corbyn – maybe one for each day of the week, maybe one for each of the seven heavens? Profundity is never an accident at the Chronicle
They all concern dubious individuals who Corbyn is alleged to have associated with.
The JC writers have been careful to say that that ‘there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews’. We can only assume that they are about as genuine about this as they are when they say ‘The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves’ as they seem to do the latter on a pretty much weekly basis.
Because if you weren’t implying that Jeremy Corbyn was antisemitic what would be the point? Otherwise the coverage would be simply reporting a set of associations that you’d presume happened out of ignorance.
If say, the chief rabbi was found to have attended an event at which an anti-Semite was speaking, you’d assume that this was an error. If this happened a few times you’d think his office was really shit at doing background research and should get some better office staff. If you pointed out that a range of Liberal Rabbis (Jeffery Newman, Danny Rich, John Rayner Mark Solomon in case you’re interested) attended Deir Yassin remembered event in 2002-2003 (in the period when Corbyn is alleged to have given money) it would be self evident that they did so because they had no idea that the organiser was in private a holocaust denier. In these cases you’d normally start from the assumption that said person wasn’t an anti-Semite, and that instead they’d either not had all the information or they’d just not done the research. Especially when that person has been an anti-racist campaigner for 30 years, and has swathes of Jewish friends and supporters (as befitting an MP for Islington).
What’s that you say? Oh that person has a strong record of defending Palestinian rights, and thus should be suspected of antisemitism more than other people. Oh I see, right. So if that person didn’t concern themselves with the Palestinian course you’d be willing to put those meetings down to error rather than malice. Got it.
That must be right because Tony Blair was chummy with and received money from tons of extremists such as Hosni Mubarak, Gadaffi, the Saudi Royal Family and President Nursaltan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan all of whom have something of a record on ansemitism. But you see, because Tony is such an ardent supporter of Israel there’s no need for suspicion and certainly no need for exposes in the JC.
We could draw attention to some other associations.
We could point out that Jewish Chronicle editor is soon to host a discussion with his former boss, pornographer Richard Desmond
We could mention that Gerald Ronson, founder of the CST, was convicted of fraud
But we wouldn’t want to do that. We’re all on the same side aren’t we? Fighting the good fight against prejudice.
Hopefully this friday the JC might return to focussing on simchas and warring rabbis. Hell, they could even investigate the impact of austerity on the Jewish community.
But If they continue to prioritise this issue we’d start to think that Stephen Pollard wasn’t really concerned with antisemitism at all and was simply using accusations of anti-Jewish prejudice to serve a neo-con agenda and to discredit a popular left wing politician.
Now that would really be antisemitic.