Right-wing cynicism laid bare: Corbyn didn’t even defend the mural. The ‘row’ hurts Jewish people

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The Establishment, after pollsters predicted the biggest local election landslide for Labour in fifty years, has latched onto Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook comment about a mural that was about to be destroyed – and is hammering it with every ounce of desperation, hypocrisy and dishonesty it can muster.

It might save the Tories a seat or two – and it’s certainly a handy distraction from the government’s Cambridge Analytica embarrassment, its embarrassment over funds from Russian oligarchs, its incompetence and its abandonment of even the attempt to pass legislation in its weakness.

In this, it has been aided and abetted by equally desperate right-wing Labour figures who see an opportunity to appear relevant again, as well as to undermine Labour’s election fortunes and therefore Corbyn’s leadership:

Perhaps the most succinct expression of the utter mendacity and cynicism of the ploy is this:

Corbyn didn’t even defend the mural – nor attack the plan to destroy it.

The Facebook furore stems from a complaint by a US artist that a mural he had painted on a house wall in London was about to be destroyed by the local council.

The council considered the mural antisemitic. The artist insists it is not.

But none of that is in his Facebook post:

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Corbyn responded:

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No defence of the mural, its themes or subject. It would be a stretch even to claim it contains any explicit criticism of the plan to destroy it. And in case anyone’s confused or misinformed, Rockefeller was not Jewish.

The exchange amounts to:

MO: They’re going to destroy my mural.

JC: Oh bad luck. Why? A socialist artist once had a mural destroyed by a billionaire.

As has been widely observed on social media, Jeremy Corbyn has as good a record as anyone in defending Jewish people and condemning antisemitism in Parliament. In fact, he has a better record than almost anyone – and a peerless track record of fighting all kinds of bigotry and prejudice outside parliament:

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But the Establishment is desperate and will stoop to any depths if it thinks it can score a hit with the help of its media arm.

Fewer than six months ago, a Jewish campaigner against antisemitism wrote this:

One of the most noble causes, of which I can think, is the anti-racist one. Over many years, a number of parliamentary champions have fought to speak and act against racism in society. Where it comes to Jews, parliamentarians such as Lord John Russell, Eleanor Rathbone and of course, Sir Winston Churchill paved the way for Jewish emancipation: opposing the notorious ‘Aliens Bill’, assisting Jewish refugees, and advancing religious equality. Thankfully that tradition continues today and Sir Eric Pickles, John Mann and a number of other MPs across the parties have faced down anti-semitism with full-force.

Regrettably, though, antisemitism can be, and sometimes has been, used for partisan or political purposes.

The author of those words was Danny Stone – and he was writing for one of the leading Tory sites.

Yet now we have the ugly scene of the Tories attacking one of the leading parliamentary champions against racism being targeted with smears of antisemitism exactly “for partisan or political purposes”.

Mr Stone – Director of the Antisemitism Policy Trust – went on to explain the danger he perceived in such a course:

..the point I am making is a simple one. The use of anti-semitism for political purposes simply draws the Jewish community into the midst of a battlefield in which it is most likely to be wounded.

..Resist the urge to politicise anti-semitism, and instead continue the trends of Churchill, Mann, Pickles and others in working with others to defeat racism. If anti-semitism becomes a political football, perversely, it will be the Jews that lose.

Mr Stone’s words are a condemnation to the Establishment, to Corbyn’s opponents on the back benches – and to the Jewish groups who have ‘piled on’, in some cases for the very political motives Daniel Stone warned about.

By choosing to manufacture outrage out of a simple comment that neither defends antisemitism nor even criticises the plan to remove a painting considered offensive, they risk harming the very community they say they want to protect.

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10 responses to “Right-wing cynicism laid bare: Corbyn didn’t even defend the mural. The ‘row’ hurts Jewish people

  1. The truth of the matter is that this is an Israeli funded (see Joan Ryan at dinner) campaign to turn the Labour Party against support of any kind for The Palestinians. The extraordinary % of newspaper columns they are generating tells you where Power lies in the media.

  2. The other piece pointing out a survey showing 40% of Tory members agreed with an anti-semetic statement was disturbing – a demo by JVL and others outside Tory Central HQ – now there’s a thought?
    So who has been trawling through JCs social media posts for a 5 year old comment?
    In a 40 year association with Labour I have only really heard one explicitly anti-semetic remark and I confronted the person to put them straight!
    A dull Guardian Commentator (Mathew D’Conna) once said that when it came to Jewish suffering for some of the Left “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing” but in much, much smaller numbers socialists, communists, trade unions, disabled people, LGBT citizens, and people with learning disabilities etc. were also killed by the Nazi’s – so in much, much smaller numbers we were victims too and perhaps a coalition of all the above including progressive Jewish citizens and other diverse human beings may offer the best hope!

    • “So who has been trawling through JCs social media posts for a 5 year old comment?”.

      Exactly. I think we can safely assume it WASN’T a supporter of JC’s Labour Party. Perhaps it was the Black Propaganda Ops Department, who have been working overtime these past two-and-a-half years!

      Funny thing is though that under normal circumstances the first thing any journalist or columnist worthy of the name would do, is ask themselves: “Who is the source that went to all the trouble to dig this out?”. Or perhaps wonder why the source didn’t just reveal themselves in the first place. The reason they DON’T of course is because they know damn well it was the Dirty Tricks Department, and they are hardly going to undermine the smear by revealing THAT to their millions of readers, and are well aware that very, very few of their so-easy-to-dupe readers would stop to ponder that at all – ie why a ‘source’ ISN’T mentioned.

      • I’m really trying to get my head round this, because I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that JC doesn’t harbour any negative feelings towards Jews. But I’m just trying to understand the sequence of events, and going by the facebook comment by Mear One (who I must admit I’ve never heard of before) and then Jeremy’s response, it must obviously be the case that Mear One – at the point when he posted his comment – of course knew the reason why the council had said they were going to remove the mural, and it would appear to be the case that Jeremy DIDN’T, and that of course is the reason he asked “Why?”. Now if Jeremy HAD known it was regarded as anti-semitic (and that was the reason it was being removed), then surely he would have said as much.

        The point I’m trying to make is that all we seem to have are these two facebook comments, and then nothing else (until now of course)………… I was intending to try and follow this to a conclusion, but the obvious has just occured to me:

        If you were an MP, and HAD been for several decades (or for however long) AND you DID secretly harbour negative feelings towards Jews, but knew it would be political suicide to ever reveal the fact, then the last thing on this Earth you are ever going to do, is do something that exposes those feelings and, as such, reveals yourself as an anti-semite. And given that this has just come out now – and implies that the trawling of his facebook account happened quite recently – and assuming that Jeremy DID at some point shortly after his interaction with Mear One learn of the reason why the mural was being removed, then surely he would have deleted his facebook comment if he in any way thought that HIS comment could be interpreted as being anti-semitic. But he doesn’t, and the reason he doesn’t is because he DOESN’T harbour any negative feelings towards Jews, and didn’t see the possibillity of his comment being interpreted – or misconstrued – as such, precisely because he DOESN’T harbour any negative feelings towards Jews.

        The point is that if someone in his position DID, then they would be fully on their guard in that respect. And vice-versa!

  3. Steve

    What email addy can I contact you at-something I’d like to mention re this?

  4. Mr Stone is quite correct.

    Synthesised accusations of anti-semitism created for purely political purposes, in this case to delegitimise the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, drag the Jewish community into a constructed battlefield and, no doubt, have a scaremongering effect on those communities.

    Brighton is a case in point.

    Brighton has an arguably unsurpassed record in the UK of tolerance and inclusion of all communities, be they black, white, Jewish, gay, rich or poor.

    Yet Warren Morgan, the former leader of the Labour Group, scaremonged the local Jewish community in Brighton by writing to Iain McNicol claiming anti-Semitism was rife during Conference.

    When challenged on these claims it transpired that three complaints had in fact been made. Two of the claims being made against Jewish people and the third claim of anti-Semitism was based on a person turning their back on a Jewish person.

    Anti-semitism, like any form of racism, is unacceptable and must be challenged whenever it raises its ugly head.

    It is made more difficult to challenge when false claims of anti-semitism are thrown around like confetti by right wing Labour MPs and their surrogates who are using the charge to score cheap political points.

    Their behaviour is reckless and immoral and dishonours the memory of those murdered during the Holocaust.

  5. Pingback: Right-wing cynicism laid bare: Corbyn didn’t even defend the mural. The ‘row’ hurts Jewish people | The SKWAWKBOX – leftwingnobody·

  6. B Heard Media

    A OPEN LETTER FROM JEWISH VOICE FOR LABOUR…

    ‘We are Jews in The Labour Party currently actively campaigning for Labour in local elections. We are appalled by the actions and statements of the Board of Deputies. They do not represent us or the many Jews in the Party who share Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for social justice and fairness. Jeremy’s consistent commitment to anti-racism is all the more needed now.

    As the British people call time on May and the Tories, they are getting more desperate. We would hope that any organisation claiming to represent Jews would be calling them to account when, to cite two examples in the last two months, the Prime Minister‘s ex Chief of Staff uses a national newspaper to dredge up an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and Havering Conservative party issues a dogwhistle leaflet hoping to mobilise racism in their local election campaign. The Board of Deputies has been silent on both. It also says nothing on the global rise of the far right and the toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric of the tabloid press, despite the imperative from Jewish history to speak out against racism and fascism.

    The Board of Deputies and those supporting them must be aware that this is an attempt to influence local elections and has nothing to do with the real and necessary task of challenging racism and anti-semitism at all levels of political life. We call on them to stop playing politics and start representing what our community needs. We believe that is best represented by the politics we fight for and hope to see win on May 3rd.

    Signed

    Jenny Mason and Leah Levane co-chairs of JVL, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Labour

    Jewish Socialist Group

    Sue Lukes Labour council candidate, Islington North CLP

    Joseph Finlay Enfield Southgate CLP

    Lev Taylor Camberwell and Peckham CLP

    Stephen Marks Oxford District Labour Party

    Richard Kuper Holborn & St Pancras CLP

    Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Chingford and Woodford Green CLP

    Cllr Mike Howard Hastings & Rye CLP

    Glyn Secker

    Dave Rosenberg Islington North CLP Convenor Cable Street 80

    Julia Bard Islington North CLP

    Ian Saville, Brent Central CLP

    Lara Johnson. Bracknell CLP

    Ivor Dembina Vauxhall CLP

    Pam Laurance, Brent Central CLP

    Pauline Laurance, Finchley and Golders Green CLP

    Miriam Yagud Stroud CLP

    Miri Franklin

    Dorothy Macedo Worthing West CLP

    Alice Bondi, Penrith and the Border CLP

    Sue Hughes Hornsey & Wood Green. CLP

    Angie Mindel Nottingham East CLP

    Paul Halas Stroud CLP

    Ruth Appleton, Holborn & St Pancras CLP

    Susan Pashkoff, Leyton and Wanstead CLP

    🔵http://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/

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