Sour Sugar crystallises an unpalatable truth

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Alan Sugar has tweeted a photoshopped picture showing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn alongside Hitler, behind a craven attempt to pass it off as ‘jest’. We will not reproduce the vile image here.

Sugar’s disgraceful tweet prompted an avalanche of outrage, with even John Mann – who is not given to restraint in his accusations – remonstrating with him and urging him to remove it and apologise:

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Sugar anything but sweet

Sugar’s unrepentant arrogance was clear in his response to a criticism from the OBE-holding honorary vice-Chair of the British Medical Association, Dr Kailash Chand:

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Sugar is a disgrace – a role in the TV series ‘The Apprentice’ seems not to be Sugar’s only point of similarity to Donald Trump. But his tweet is the tip of a large, ugly iceberg.

He was not the first person to link Corbyn with Hitler on Saturday.

The CAA data – and a Hitler comparison in spite of it

On Friday, the SKWAWKBOX revealed exclusively that data collected by YouGov for the Campaign against Antisemitism – which has been among the vocal critics of Corbyn over the last week – showed that antisemitism has dramatically declined among Labour supporters since Corbyn became the party’s leader.

In spite or because of that revelation, the CAA put out a ridiculous video of its ‘Head of Political and Government Investigations’ comparing Labour under Corbyn with the emergence of the nazi party and Hitler.

The video is pathetic to the point of ridiculousness – but was a serious attempt to portray a lifelong peace and anti-racism activist with the murderer of millions of Jews and others.

Sugar’s ‘jest’ was not the only example of behaviour that ‘demeans’ and ‘damages the fight against antisemitism’.

This behaviour is especially vile because it seeks to exploit the legitimate concerns of the Jewish community about the serious dangers of antisemitism – and in doing so to attack a man so obviously not antisemitic that it risks undermining the credibility of genuine accusations of hatred against Jewish people.

And the tactic of attempting to portray those who challenge that narrative as antisemitic themselves makes it all the more despicable.

The media

The attacks this week have been amplified by many of the very same right-wing outlets that, not too long ago, made political capital out of mocking the appearance of Labour’s Jewish leader and vilifying his refugee father:

Others have given unfettered voice to Corbyn’s critics, in spite of obvious deficiencies in their claims. One today even gave a platform for the risible Progress director Richard Angell to attack Corbyn for not controlling a Facebook group that the article even acknowledges has nothing to do with the Labour Party.

The human cost

Many people have reported depression, severe mental distress and even suicidal feelings as a result of the unprecedented and undeserved assault aimed at a leader who has given them hope of a change from the predations of the Tory government.

Many have reported feeling afraid to speak up in his defence because of the likelihood of one of a number of despicable troll accounts accusing them of antisemitism for daring to speak out against the attacks, inciting ‘dogpiling’ to discourage dissent from the prevailing narrative.

At the same time, the Tories have used it to distract from their own guilt about the ‘outing’ of a gay Muslim man for political gain, the unfolding saga of their involvement with Cambridge Analytica and the bitter hurts and humiliations they continue to inflict on the vulnerable people of this country.

This damage to those least able to bear it seems not to be an issue to many of those making the most noise – particularly those within the Labour Party who, ironically, have bleated about the ‘intimidation’ of being asked a question.

In addition, the determination of a few to perpetuate the narrative that Corbyn is bad or dangerous is such that they have labelled Jewish members and supporters who challenge it as ‘self-hating Jews’, fake Jews and even the loathsome ‘kapos’.

The dangers

Sugar’s tweet and the CAA’s video – and much of the hyperbole this week over a six-year-old Facebook comment – carry clear risks, to the point that they can fairly be characterised as reckless.

There is a serious risk of incitement: that someone will use it as justification for physical action against Labour’s leader or members, just as the criminal who killed a Muslim man by vehicle attack had hoped for an opportunity to kill Corbyn, after right-wingers described Corbyn in terms of betrayal.

They also carry a clear risk to our Jewish citizens: that some right-wing fanatic – because in spite of the current narrative it is the right where most antisemitism lies – will exploit the current situation to perpetrate an individual attack or larger atrocity.

Those risks increase when hatred is fanned by hyperbolic language – as Labour knows only too well, having lost one of its MPs to a right-wing attack in the very recent past.

And by using the legitimate concerns of Jewish people as cover, a small number of individuals threaten to damage – as avowed opponent of antisemitism John Mann points out above – undermine the real fight against real antisemitism for the sake of political advantage.

Sugar crystallises

The dangers and wrongs of the last week or so – the ridiculousness of the notion that one of our greatest and most committed fighters against hatred and racism is antisemitic and is encouraging antisemitism – risk damaging the Jewish community and the righteous fight against antisemitism.

They risk prolonging and deepening the harm done to our whole society and all our people of any religion and none. They put Jewish people, Jeremy Corbyn and others in physical danger – and they are already inflicting psychological harm on vulnerable people.

Those risks did not start with Alan Sugar’s disgusting, disgraceful tweet, nor with the CAA’s ridiculous video.

But it’s just possible that Sugar’s disgrace – by being so obviously and unequivocally vile and ridiculous – will serve to crystallise and expose a cynical exploitation of our Jewish citizens and their honest concerns for what it is.

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20 responses to “Sour Sugar crystallises an unpalatable truth

  1. What do you expect from somebody who has to make his living pretending to be Donald Trump?

  2. Regards the CAA (Campaign Against Antisemitism), it’s more-than-a-little interesting that they should have vehemently criticised JC last month for not mentioning ‘Jews’ in his Holocaust Memorial Day message. The following is from the Belfast Telegraph:

    Campaigners against anti-Semitism responded with outrage after it emerged that Mr Corbyn’s entry in a Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) memorial book did not mention Jews.

    The Campaign Against Antisemitism demanded an apology from the Labour leader, describing his message as “appalling”, while the Jewish Leadership Council said it displayed “a complete lack of sensitivity”.

    And later in the article:

    Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “It is hard to believe anybody can neglect to mention Jews when writing a Holocaust Memorial Day message, let alone the Leader of the Opposition.

    “Mr Corbyn displays a complete lack of sensitivity to those who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust and its impact on the Jewish community.”

    A spokesman for the Campaign Against Antisemitism described it as “a disgraceful forgetting at a ceremony purposed for remembering”, adding: “We call on Mr Corbyn to apologise and issue a new statement.”

    A Labour source said: “Jeremy was clearly referring to the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust and their descendants.”

    The source pointed out that neither Prime Minister Theresa May nor Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable mentioned the Jews in their own messages.

    (Ends)

    Yes, you just read that right – ie neither did Theresa May or Vince Cable – but THAT’S OK cos we don’t mind at all it THEY didn’t, but we’ll attack Corbyn with all the virulence we can muster because he is critical of Israel for the way it has treated the Palestinians during the past forty years or more:

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/apology-offered-to-corbyn-amid-controversy-over-holocaust-comments-36534967.html

  3. Proud to say I’ve never watched His Shallowness on TV or bought any of his crappy products.
    Such bandwaggoning is no surprise from someone like him – I’m genuinely surprised and disappointed at Robert Winston falling for the same hype though.

  4. My apologies for posting so many individual comments, but if I put more than one link per comment, it has to wait until it has been cleared by the moderator before it comes up in the Comments section, and THAT could take hours (and I am NOT being critical of the fact, I can assure you).

    Anyway, re what KL said in his interview, what we are dealing with in the way it has been covered ever since by the MSM is tantamount to a Big Lie and a Gargantuan Deception that Hitler and Goebbels would have been proud of. And every time Ken defends himself, they go into overdrive again and falsely report that he is repeating his claim. And the point is of course that those disseminating this falsehood KNEW in advance that very few of the millions of people they were misleading and deceiving would check up on what he actually said and, as such, that only a minority would ever get to know the truth of the matter.

    Anyway, whilst searching for a transcript of the full dialogue of the Feltz/Livingstone interview earlier, I came across the following article, which is well worth reading from start to finish:

    http://www.studentnewspaper.org/tom-greenstein-on-his-defence-of-ken-livingstone/

  5. In another article I came across about JC and his Holocaust Rememberance Day message (on the US Cleveland Jewish News website), they also point out that the chief rabbi of Britain didn’t make any direct reference to Jews either. That said, they then go on to sort of half justify why JC was singled out (having mentioned further on in the article that neither did Theresa May or Vince Cable).

    So according to them, it’s justified, sort of, to condemn and vilify JC for inadvertently not doing so – although it’s crystal clear in his message that he was of course refering to the Jews (I mean who else would you be referring to when referring to the millions who died in the Holocaust!) – but no problem at all if the chief rabbi of Britain and the PM and Vince Cable didn’t happen to. Talk about turning logic and reason on it’s head! It’s not only pathetic beyond words, but so glaringly disingenuous and transparent:

    https://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/world_news/jeremy-corbyn-and-britain-s-chief-rabbi-didn-t-mention/article_87750745-00dc-5345-8fc3-7b7d2a21608b.html

  6. It should be Mann and all the others who have used, exaggerated and blown this issue all out of proportion for political reason, that should be apologising. The likes of Sugar were always going to jump on the bandwagon and go over the top.

  7. OK bring on the next line of attack , probably from Mrs Miggins cat at the local dry cleaners in Timbuctoo what believes Labour or Corbyn has discriminated against it cos it s fucking cat .
    Many folks I have talked to whilst out campaigning don’t give a shit about this but are more concerned about the pot holes in their roads the fact they can’t get to see their Dtr for a week or more and what the heck is going on in their kids school .

  8. I see ‘arbeit macht frei’ when used in relation to the DWP draconian sanctioning regime is now ‘antisemitic’ according to some.. Most likely those who’ll stay silent about sugar”s tweet.

    These same people forget that the disabled and the ‘workshy’ were also murdered by the nazis…

    And skwawkbox has just drawn my attention to ‘the loathsome kapos’

    There’s a valid reason for MY use of ‘arbeit macht frei’ and ‘kapos’

    There’s a lot of front-line DWP staff who also claim ‘in-work benefits’ . Some are in the job ONLY because they stop enough payments/claims of those who are medically UNABLE work, or whose ‘crime’ is that there are no suitable jobs.

    See the similarity? See why some feel the need to use the term?

    I see the sick & disabled being forced into work. I see the poor having their rights stripped and dereliction almost to the point of ghettoisation creeping in.; as well as ‘social cleansing’…

    But I don’t see Corbyn’s SA going around beating up on Jews

    We’re told to learn from history…But some jews are outraged if you mention anything else other than antisemitism. I’m sorry around 6m Jews were massacred…They MUST accept there were other minority groups exterminated, too.

    So if sugar – or any one else for that matter – is allowed to compare Corbyn to hitler… Just why do they become offended when others make far more appropriate comparisons?

  9. Pingback: Sour Sugar crystallises an unpalatable truth | The SKWAWKBOX | sdbast·

  10. Like Rob says, this controversy is not the concern of the majority of the public. They’ve got enough to complain/worry, about other than the hysterical reverberations within the M25 bubble. Corbyn and Labour have the Establishment running scared and the next smear is all ready, believe me. If the Left keep doing what they are doing, do not retaliate, keep working for a Corbynite UK in these May/future elections, WE WILL WIN. It’s going to get worse than this, so get the message out there, be strong and don’t let the bastardsgrind us down.
    WE ARE MANY and CHANGE IS COMING!

  11. Excellent piece SB and I have no problem with a spotlight being shone on our humanity but perhaps we need to explore other parties too to root out Barbarianism!
    John McDonnell was excellent today.
    So hold on tight brothers and sisters and ‘the stars will rise the storm’.
    Oh and any news on the Right Wing Israeli Govt. and it’s threat to deport 10,000 Black migrants from Israel which some suggest is racist?
    The Right Wing Israeli Culture Minister is reported to have said: ” We need to remove this cancer from our body.”
    If you love diverse humanity “Rise up with me (peacefully and democratically) against the organisation of misery.”
    Solidarity!

  12. Perhaps we should be grateful to Sugar for this reductio ad absurdum. At least it has caused John Mann to tell us what he considers a step too far in the vilification of Corbyn.
    As I see it there are two aspects to this campaign against Corbyn, one reassuring, one horrifying. It is reassuring that most people don’t believe a word of it. It is horrifying that most people nowadays wouldn’t give a toss anyway.
    The Zionists are not helping themselves in that way!

  13. Jeremy Corbyn is right, in his interview with the Jewish Voice, to speak of the need to recognise anti-semitism in Europe in Poland and elsewhere. This to be precise is the antisemitism of those nationalists who chose to blame “the” Jews like Marx and the great Yiddish revolutionary tradition for landing Catholic populations like Poland with Soviet occupation and atheist culture. Even the Gestapo invading Lithuania, for instance, were reputedly surprised at how the locals were ahead of them in pursuing instant pogrom slaughter of thousands. (Robert van Doren: Undigested Past: the Holocaust in Lithuania) But these are the same nationalist antisemites whom people like David Cameron and the Conservatives have had no problem whatever in forming parliamentary alliances with against the Russia of today.

    The truth is that there have been two prices to be paid for the supposed haven of Jewish Israel. One has been the price paid and continuing to be paid by the Palestinian population. The other is that “the” Jews have been “given” the haven of Israel on the price as now that it forms the crux and anchor of Western control of Middle East resources: the resources on which Western industrial society is built.

    It’s here it seems to me that Nato is playing a significant role in all of this. As Pilger said, “A carefully constructed narrative.” Sometimes the pages in that narrative are blank – like the front web pages of the Scotsman and the Herald last night and this morning: blank, that is, of any mention of seventeen Palestinians killed and a thousand injured. We are living through a very crucial time. At least we have been given the privilege for some of the time of being led by an honest and truthful political leader of remarkable example. How they do hate him. But at least they are having to show whose side they are on. It is not the many!!

  14. Enough is enough..Can we please draw a line under this topic?..Jeremy and his Shadow Cabinet is H.M.official opposition…So, oppose then~ not yourselves~ this Government. And be quick about it!..

  15. To help inform ourselves as human beings it is often useful to read something/someone you often disagree with.
    So today (31/3/18) I actually read Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian.
    Jonathan argues that to question those Jewish citizens protesting against Labour’s (alleged) anti-semeticism as insincere is in itself anti-semetic living up to all the common stereotypes of Jewish human beings.
    But it could be argued Jonathan may have at least one thing in common with Donald Trump; Trump the Barbarian I would argue has an homogenous view of beautiful Muslim human beings (they are all the same) re his Travel Ban and equally it could be suggested Jonathan perhaps takes an homogenous view of beautiful Jewish human beings too.
    Of course Jewish citizens like most human beings are sincere but like all groups they are diverse – Jewish citizens are Left Wing, Right Wing, Liberal, Middle of the Road, political and non- political, and even undecided.
    Jewish citizens are also sincere in opposing anti-semitism but some human beings often have other MOTIVES too?
    The Right Wing in Labour may be sincere in opposing anti-Semetism but many of us suspect they are also using this as their MOTIVE to try to get rid of JC when perhaps their record of fighting racism in all of its forms is not perhaps up to filling JCs boots!
    As Jewish writers have argued the “unrepresentive” mainly Tory Jewish leaders of The British Board of Deputies (who in 1936 told Jewish citizens not to take part in ‘The Battle for Cable Street) are also sincere in in opposing anti-semetism but perhaps is their MOTIVE to want to get rid of JC and help the Tory Party too?
    The Right Wing Israeli Govt with it could be suggested the covert aid of the Right Wing UK Israeli Ambassador are also sincere in opposing anti-semetism but is their MOTIVE to aid the Right Wing Govt. in Israel by interfering in British Democracy as they are losing the global PR battle post Gaza bombing?
    Another Guardian journalist, Matthew D’Ancona once wrote that the Left seemed ignorant of the suffering of Jewish people “And a little bit of knowledge was a dangerous thing” but Mr D whilst 6m Jewish citizens were the victims of Nazi Barbarianism, in much, much smaller numbers so too were communists, socialists, social democrats, trade unionist, LGBT citizens, Disabled people, people with mental health difficulties and minorites; so you see Mr D in much, much smaller numbers THE LEFT WERE VICTIMS TOO!
    The human tragedy of the current situation is that from a Coalition of Right Wing forces it could be suggested we seem to have the descendants of the vast majority of the victims being set against the descendants of the minority of victims and my concern is these Right Wing forces could be frightening Jewish citizens when we need as John Lennon sang to “Come together.”
    Labour (along with trades unions ) and yes even the Left outside of Labour need to state clearly that if the Far Right Barbarians ever rise again we will be willing to put our lives on the line standing alongside Jewish citizens, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Chinese, Irish et al and LGBT and Disabled citizens – WE ARE THE MANY THEY ARE THE FEW!
    I have no problem in the light of Veritas being shone upon Labour and our humanity but I appeal for the brightest beam to also be shone on the Conservatives too!
    Now let’s win the local elections!
    Diiverse working people join Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour!!

  16. OHHH FUCK FUCK FUCK IZARD IS ON THE NEC this stupid rule that lets a looser slip into a vacant position has GOTTO GO.
    Where the heck was my vote in all this shit.
    Fucking rightwingers are partying tonight

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