Video: BBC antisemitism with “hook-nosed Jews” assumption

On today’s Daily Politics programme, the BBC’s Jo Coburn interviewed Jewish Voice for Labour‘s co-chair Jenny Mason about the ‘Mear One’ mural and Corbyn’s Facebook comment about defaced art:

The interjection by the host was problematic:

If you look at that picture even for a split-second it is a picture of six men with hook-noses, stereotypical Jewish men playing a board of bankers’ monopoly on the broken backs…of workers. Which bit of that is not antisemitic?

The US artist who painted the mural, Kalen Ockerman, has identified the men it depicts as, from left to right, “Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Aleister Crowley, Carnegie & Warburg“.

Of the six men, only the first and last in the list were Jewish. One, Aleister Crowley, was noted for his antisemitic views.

But the programme assumed the six men were Jewish – because it said they have ‘hook-noses’ and were bankers – and seemingly did not bother to check.

The idea that Jewish people look alike and that therefore you can identify a Jewish person by his or her appearance is a well-known antisemitic trope – as is the stereotype of ‘Jewish financiers’.

We asked the BBC about its assumption. The ‘response’ – though substantively non-responsive (emphases added by the SKWAWKBOX):

Jo Coburn was offering the interviewee, Jenny Mason, the chance to comment on a mural which has been widely condemned as anti-semitic. Her reference to the appearance of the men in the picture was based on its crude use of anti-semitic stereotypes.

We challenged the BBC’s failure provide a substantive answer about its assumptions, but the Corporation’s only further answer was:

That’s our final response.

Ms Coburn told Jenny Mason that a ‘split second’ would be enough to identify the themes and problems of the mural.

But the BBC made a lazy, casually antisemitic and fundamentally incorrect assumption about the content of the mural – after having days to examine it.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

37 responses to “Video: BBC antisemitism with “hook-nosed Jews” assumption

  1. Excellent approach, Skwawk. The smear itself is anti-semitic, not the mural. These things will backfire as long as Jezza puts his dukes up and keeps showing the world what he’s done to fight racism for 40 years. One part of that backfire is that now this mural is being seen by the wider world. Can’t wait for them to try to claim Bernie Sanders is anti-semitic on our side of the pond. They’ll certainly try, no doubt about it!

    • My apologies for posting this several times on this thread, but it totally exposes the ‘Mural’ outrage for what it is – ie a black propaganda op to discredit and smear and demonise Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to the local council elections on May 3rd.

      The following is an extract from an article by Jonathan Cook on March 26th entitled: ‘The sharks circling around Corbyn scent blood’. As you will see, this is not the first time the ‘Mural’ story has seen the light of day, only the LAST time, in 2015, no-one paid it too much notice:

      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”.

      https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-03-26/the-sharks-circling-around-corbyn-scent-blood/

  2. What a racist comment for Jo Coburn to make.

    It is exactly the same type of claim a racist would make about black people or Chinese people looking the same.

  3. Coburn was a disgrace during that interview as opposed to Jenny Mason who was calm and dignified.

    On this evenings news, Laura Kuenssberg was no better than Coburn.

    The BBC have become no more than an extension of the ‘Mail’

  4. I too saw the program, along with the host Joe Coburn and Labour MP who both made their right-wing remarks about Jeremy, but wouldn’t except what the Jewish lady was saying about how Jeremy is a gentleman and didn’t have an anti-semitic view in his vocabulary.

      • Check out the video the artist, Mear One, made about the painting of the mural. It is on his YouTube channel and also his Facebook page. He mentions three of the bankers he had in mind in it: Morgan, Rockefeller and Rothschild. First two are Christian and last one Jewish.

        His YouTube channel has a series of interviews with him. He describes himself as an anarchist. Mother was a 60s hippy.

      • Regards the Daily Politics, one would have thought it would have been an obvious thing for their researchers to do – ie ascertain from the artist who is depicted in the mural. Perhaps you could contact him again and ask him if he has had many such enquiries and from who, and also when.

        Surely the thing to do now is for us to be contacting the editors of daily newspapers – along with regional and local papers – and providing them with said information as to who is dipicted in the mural, and/or writing letters to them for publication. And how about a letter to The Guardian signed by as many groups as possible, including perhaps Mear One himself. And perhaps some ‘celebrities’ also. Lets get the truth out there for JC, who with the continual barrage in recent weeks and months must be really beginning to feel it…… As is THEIR objective of course.

        Basically just spread the truth on as many platforms as possible. Time to catch up to the lie!

      • The following is an extract from an article by Jonathan Cook on March 26th entitled: ‘The sharks circling around Corbyn scent blood’. As you will see, this is not the first time the ‘Mural’ story has seen the light of day, only the LAST time, in 2015, no-one paid it too much notice:

        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”.

        https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2018-03-26/the-sharks-circling-around-corbyn-scent-blood/

      • is there a link to where the artist himself explains the list of names? i’m mystified that Skwawkbox names one as the notorious 20th Century mystic/ magician Aleister Crowley. So, not all bankers then?

      • That’s the list direct from the artist. Doesn’t appear to be a link – he emailed it at our request

      • In this video the artist chronicles the creation of his artwork and mentions the names of some of the bankers he is depicting he also confirms that iconography is masonic. it is also worth bearing in mind that this was posted in 2012, long before the current manufactured uproar. Judge for yourself

        MEAR ONE – FALSE PROFITS (London, 2012)

  5. I have complained to the BBC about the offensive language of Jo Coburn. Her stating that anyone could see at a glance that the 6 men were Jews was because that is what she saw through her antisemitic viewpoint of what Jews look like with hooked noses and counting money. With her more than quick glance she saw what she saw. With a bit of research she would have found out who the artist had actually painted.
    I was shocked when she said the words and at that time I didn’t realise that only 2 of the men represented Jewish figures.
    Thank you Skwarkbox

    • As always, its not just the images shown on TV MSM news and comment, but the commentary that tells the viewer what you are supposed to see. Any one at all surprised – its been going on since Orgreave and way before that too.

  6. SB or a fellow commentator here who knows where to look should seek to have this Kalen Ockerman fought for pro-bono by a left leaning lawyer on the grounds of defamation. Not only are they tarnishing Labour and Corbyn’s reputation, but his also.

  7. if Jeremy had not apologised maybe the non story would have stayed a non story. Don’t give them anything, they will beat you up with it.

  8. What’s not anti-Semitic about Jo Coburn?, What a dreadful woman she bullied that Lady. She should be sacked asap.

  9. In the run up to elections and here we are again the RW are quite happy to bring the party into disrepute with their faux outrage. Odd that whilst expressing how outraged they all are about the lack action on investigations into anti-Semitism that they conveniently ignore the fact that the NEC (not JC) is responsible for disciplining members. An NEC that until very recently was under the control of the RW. They also (surprise, surprise) forget to mention that it was McNichol that blocked the implementation of the Chakrabarti Report. One could be forgiven for thinking they want to sabotage the elections and undermine the best opportunity this country has had in decades.
    Sometimes I f…ing despair.

    • Me too, Steve. This feels as bad as, and possibly worse than, the Chicken Coup, and that was very bad. This time, the air of coordinated, fraudulent outrage is almost overpowering.

      Here’s a timely piece by Paul Mason: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2018/03/we-need-destroy-election-rigging-industry-it-destroys-us

      I think we’re seeing precisely the forces Paul mentions at work in this latest attack on Jeremy.

      Jeremy is a thoroughly decent human being who opposes all forms of racism, discrimination and violence … yet that’s actually why he’s being attacked!

      It says something about his detractors, especially those within the PLP, that many of them are well aware of this but are still happy to jump on the bandwagon because their primary allegiance is not to their constituents, or even the Labour party.

      I’d go as far as to say that this incident has already demonstrated that the animus revealed during the leadership challenge is just as strong now as it was then and that, if Labour hopes to govern effectively on what might well be a relatively small majority, the animus of the anti-Corbyn faction should be reciprocated in full.

      Widespread deselection and selection of new candidates in good time for the next general election. It should be easy enough to draw up a list, they’re all over the media right now.

      • This article says that the Mercers and Bannon are the actual bosses of CA. They may have employed them, but I find it a bit ridiculous to stretch that to the point that they are the bosses of the company. It discredits the entire article by making wordplay appear as fact.
        If the Mercers and Bannon owned CA it would be huge. To try and plant the idea in the head of the reader that they did when they didn’t is just rubbish.

      • Excellent article by Paul Mason, Kay. Thanks for the link and for drawing it to our attention.

  10. I didn’t see anything antisemitic about until it was explained. That’s probably because I’m not antisemitic and don’t see jewish people as being any different; I’m around the same age as Jeremy Corbyn so maybe that’s why he didn’t see something offensive that others appear to be searching for. Now it has been pointed out and I’ve looked more closely, I’m wondering if the freemasons will take offence at having the “All seeing eye” overseeing it

  11. I thought this comment from someone called Jo was very instructive (Labour Students again!):

    British Jews are overwhelmingly tory. Even when Labour had a Jewish leader more than 3/4 of British Jews supported the tories. This is particularly true of religious Jews who are those represented by the board of deputies. The pipeline for entry into the Labour party (especially the parliamentary party) these days is through the student movement. That’s where friendships and alliances are first formed. And the Union of Jewish Students has long allied itself with the National Organisation of Labour Students, which for the last couple of decades has represented the Blairite wing of the party, as well as being fervent supporters of Israel. If you look at the prominent Labour MPs supporting the attacks on Corbyn, whether Jews or non-Jews, they mostly cut their teeth in that (febrile) environment. All this is not to allege some sort of over-arching conspiracy; that is neither likely nor necessary, just that there is a political dimension to this and political hay being made out of genuine (and in some cases gob-smackingly awful) anti-semitic incidents, many of which took place before Corbyn was even in charge. No Labour party treasurer should be told it’s good that they’re in charge of the money because they’re Jewish, nor should anyone describe the memorial to the victims of the Shoah as “too Jewy” (as has been reported). It’s nevertheless been transparently clear in interviews with people like Lord Levy that underlying a lot of this is opposition to socialism. One anti-semitic incident is one too many, and Labour should be better at dealing with it, and I’m disappointed it’s taking so long to change things.

  12. Pingback: Jeremy Corbyn and ’anti-Semitism’ – making sense of the hysteria·

  13. Pingback: Here’s what Skwawkbox has been doing. Please support us if you can | The SKWAWKBOX·

  14. Pingback: Here’s what Skwawkbox has been doing. Please support us if you can | RedZine·

Leave a Reply