- Jewish newspapers harmonised their front pages this week to condemn Labour
- Jewish groups have claimed a Corbyn government would be an ‘existential threat’
- many Jewish people have spoken out against these claims
- mainstream media have largely ignored those voices in their presentation of the issue
- a Jewish professor spoke four months ago predicting this ‘MSM’ treatment and said the media would be treating all Jewish people as if they are the same – a common antisemitic trope
Earlier this week, three Jewish newspapers published the same front page claiming that Jeremy Corbyn represents ‘an existential threat’ to Jewish people, in response to Labour’s elaboration of the ‘IHRA working definition’ of antisemitism.
The move has been treated as hugely significant by the mainstream media and by groups unfriendly to the Labour Party or its leader.
But the articles also suggested that a significant part of the agenda in the presentation of this issue is indeed to divert or prevent criticism of Israel when they claimed Labour is indulging:
political antisemitism targeting Israel.
Many Jewish people have spoken out powerfully about what they perceive as the exaggeration and motivation of these attacks, including well-known author Michael Rosen and writer Shaun Lawson.
But a video from four months ago has also been widely viewed because of its pertinence to the current circumstances. In March, when the Labour right and Tories joined forces with the Board of Deputies and others to mount a protest against the Labour leader in Parliament square, Jewish Labour members also gathered to support him.
One of them, Professor Annabelle Sreberny, gave a filmed interview in which she spoke passionately about her own experience of the Labour Party and of her and her family’s personal experiences with Jeremy Corbyn.
And she essentially said that if the media continued to present Jewish people as if they all have the same view and the same voice, they would be guilty of antisemitism:
It would be hard to deny that this is exactly what the ‘MSM’ has been doing in their eagerness to attack the Labour leader – and other Jewish groups and individuals have made a similar point to Labour’s clarifications of the IHRA ‘working definition’ or have felt compelled to condemn Israel’s behaviour this week in passing race laws:
Yesterday I said that the battle over the IHRA code is a proxy battle between LIkud and liberal Jews. And along comes Barenboim showing us the battle lines: ‘Israel is now an apartheid state.’ The IHRA code is unworkable. You can’t ban statements like that.
— Michael Rosen (@MichaelRosenYes) July 23, 2018
Tragically, many of those speaking out have been attacked as themselves antisemitic or with the vile epithet, “self-hating Jews”.
When will the mainstream media give all Jewish people their voice on this issue?
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