JVL attacks ‘manufactured outrage’ over timing of Corbyn article – and why

Jeremy Corbyn’s landmark ‘op-ed’ piece in the Guardian has been widely praised for addressing the fears of Jewish people about antisemitism and for its firm commitment to deal with the issue – including an unequivocal confirmation that any Labour members expressing antisemitic views do not speak for him.

Corbyn has, of course, frequently made that clear in his comments that he is against antisemitism and all forms of racism, but today’s explicit statement has been welcomed.

However, a small number of right-wingers reacted to the article by attacking its timing, claiming that ‘most’ Jewish people would be unable to read or respond because of its proximity to the Sabbath, which begins on Friday nights:

swinford timing

Right-wing faction Progress echoed the comment.

This claim, however, met with derision from Jewish Voice for Labour, who dismissed it outright as ‘manufactured outrage’ and laid out the reasons for the assessment:



The Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) publishes statistics on religious observance among the UK’s Jewish population. While no specific statistic is provided on smartphone use, the BoD states that fewer than one in five Jewish people refrain from switching lights on or off during Shabbat:

bod observ.png

Sabbath began today at slightly different times around the country, but roughly between 8.20pm and 8.45pm, according to Orthodox Jewish organisation Chabad.

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard retweeted a tweet by right-wing “anti-Palestinian fanatic” David Collier – who has referred to Palestinian refugees as a ‘weapon’ – in which Collier made a similar attack on Corbyn’s article:

pollard collier

“Anyone, and I mean anyone.” Hard-hitting stuff.

However, on Friday last week, Stephen Pollard – editor of a leading Jewish newspaper – tweeted a link to an article he considered important and which was clearly relevant to the Jewish community:

pollard 757

On that day, the Sabbath candle-lighting, according to Chabad, was just an hour later or less.


It certainly looks like there was some cynicism on display on Friday evening.

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  1. Open letter to whomsoever it may concern.

    I’m only dimly aware of the intricacies of Jewish, Christian, Muslim or any other faith – having been a committed atheist since age six nothing could be of less interest to me.

    I’m a tolerant person so I leave you all in peace to waste your lives as you wish – in return I only insist you refrain from wasting my time with your proselytising ways.

    Demands from your leaders that others observe your customs – rather than merely respecting your right to practise them – is something I haven’t previously noted.

    Anyone trying that shit on me or mine will receive a free cult recovery intervention if I have to tie them to a fucking chair for a month to save them.

    Yours respectfully etc.

    1. I was only joking last weekend that I will start my own cheese religion and demand everyone eat 2 slices of cheese every Monday 4.11pm and the Chedder word should not be mentioned at a weekend. I’m sure everyone in the Jewish comunity would be respectful of my requests.

      1. Not blog fredds, me again.

        Okely dokely. I find my own religious visions are much enhanced by consuming the Host immediately before retiring though.
        Just a suggestion, Lord.

  2. All this venom towards Corbyn could actually turn more people against the Jewish people in this country. A lot may well just read the headlines but after a while I think most rational people will start to think – hang on, is all this really happening?

    1. Isn’t that the purpose of the British Board of Deputies? As the % of real jews in Israel declines – overwhelmed by the arab population stats, the number of pretend jews from russia who emigrated to get a better lifestyle than the suburbs of Novrogod, and the numbers leaving Israel, all contribute to a desperate need to convince Jews in Europe that they really should leave because they are in real danger. Fearmongering is the media’s most advanced skill.

  3. Once again Jeremy Corbyn is being blamed for something someone else did. He’s only responsible for writing it. The Guardian is responsible for publishing it. Blame Katharine Viner, with something as important as this, she will have had a hand in deciding exactly when it got published. I smell fish.

  4. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who believes this nonsense can damage Corbyn, has got their head so far up their arse they are never going to be able to extricate it.

    1. Yep – Head’s so far up their arse they’re looking for the light switch…before deciding whether or not to switch it on.

  5. I could be wrong but for failing to recognise the ancient festival of the star Mira on the 3rd Aug I’m pretty sure Corbyn has also upset the Jedi.

  6. Good grief the twists and turns of it all. Corbyn extends opportunity to talks at Jewish Museum , BOD rejects it , Corbyn tries again with this latest statement , BOD rubbishes it again for trivial reasons , like a child who gets the ice cream but throws a tantrum because its got what it wants ,,,, pathetic !
    It just proves that the intent of the organisations complaining most , BOD, JLM , LFI etc are not genuine , as if most rational people can’t already see this , but simply to remove Corbyn at all costs in order to protect the actions of the apartheid Govt of Netanyahu.
    It’s obvious that the vastly pro Conservative membership who make up the BOD is well and truly using the AS to it best advantage in taking the heat off the Tories right now.
    They have very successfully controlled the whole narrative and established the fake and false innuendo that Labour has a massive AS problem , it hasn’t and the facts prove this . That JC is Anti-semtic , he isn’t , his actions and voting record prove this , the sad fact is that these organisations will inure the public , and a lot of the Labour membership , to ignore any future calls of AS even if they are genuine.
    I admire JC with his incredible tenacity and efforts to appease these organisations it disproves their accusations that he is not listening.
    BUT there comes a point where further appeasement simply encourages more and more outlandish demands , similar to the JLM demanding Pete Wilsman is kicked out of Labour , so to the ultimate goal of JC resigns as Leader….. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN B.O.D . The back lash would be immense against those in the PLP orchestrating this , and I hope that this episode has guaranteed that at this yrs Conf the membership votes overwhelmingly for mandatory 5 yr reselection to remove those MPs who would rather see Labour split and destroyed than see a JC lead Govt who wants to help the many and not the State Of Israel .

    1. Rob, you hit every nail there. The conclusion has to be, regarding the JLM and the LFI – appeasement DOESN’T WORK so don’t bother.

      1. Agreed ,Jack T , perhaps of interest is this blog that further forensically dissects the whole issue around the IHRA and how it’s being used against Labour
        Ive not been able to establish who the blogger is , so ,,, but a reasonable argument anyway


      2. Rob, the blog is by Mark Elf, JEWISH anti-Zionist.

        And this raises the point, the BBC and others keep saying that the Jewish ‘community’ are annoyed by this or that as though there is only one opinion among Jews. There are Zionist Jews and non Zionist Jews whose opinions on Corbyn and Israel are completely different and this is purposely hardly ever highlighted.

  7. Anti Semitism is of course wrong just as non criticism of Israel is wrong. But surely the actual thing going on here is that we are talking about manufactured BS instead of tackling the very real problems that are facing almost everyone in this country and the world at large, which is of course exactly what ‘they’ want . . .

    1. yes , yes and yes again , and it vital that we on the left keep reminding everyone that is exactly what is going on with this AS campaign by the Tory elements within the Jewish community , it’s cynical , untruthful and destructive to any real AS that may now be ignored .

  8. Pollard is a far right Tory who hates unions and supports privatisation.

    I suspect his anti-Corbyn agenda is motivated by other things – he threw the same idiotic nonsense at Ed Miliband after all.

    1. This is one of the main problems – wherever anyone who is Jewish writes an article or complains about Corbyn, their political motivations are never examined, which gives people with an agenda a blank cheque to say whatever they want without being challenged. This is not to say that all accusations are politically motivated or that there is not some truth in what they say or cases of genuine anti-semitism, just that the people who have no morals and are prepared to use it as a stick to beat Corbyn can get away with it.

      1. Exactly.

        Pollard is presented as a moderate voice, despite his hard right anti-trade union views (called for unions to be prosecuted) and support of privatisation of public services. He also did the whole “back to the 70s” tiresome script at Ed Miliband – painting a fairly moderate figure as hard left.

        Pollard’s motives are not exactly altruistic. I am convinced that even if Dan Jarvis was leading the party but proposed a few left wing economic positions, he’d be slamming him too.

  9. The Labour Party’s biggest mistake is to believe or act as if it believes that a) this is really about antisemitism and b) that people like Berger, Pollard are acting in good faith when they make these accusations. This is a political attack on Corbyn and should be responded to as such. A good old fashioned witch-hunt doesn’t end when the witch apologises – it ends when the witch is burnt.

    1. Yes, Corbyn has still not apologised for being alive in the first place!

      Incidentally, what is truly sickening is the way in which the MSM are facilitators to this. For example, Sky news had a discussion the other day in which one person demanded that Willsman be expelled and that was ‘balanced’ by someone else who thought he should just be suspended!

    2. Very well said, LBG. All fair minded people can see that this is a witch-hunt by the Blairites/right-wing PLP/big-business axis under expert guidance of the current right-wing Israeli government. The only positives out of these smears are that:
      a) at least we have come to learn about JC’s consistent record AGAINST anti-semitism in the House of Commons and without
      b) it has raised awareness about anti-semitism among Labour Party members. We are now aware of documents like the IHRA definition – its strengths and its deficiencies as recognized by the NEC
      c) we have come to learn that not all Jews are in agreement that the Labour Party under JC is anti-semitic as portrayed by the MSM, and last but not least,
      d) the British people have seen the Blairites/right-wing PLP/big-business axis for what they are: people so willing to stoop so low in their attacks against their political opponents that they have no qualms in trivializing one the most atrocious acts in human history in order to get at their opponents.

      We stand with JC in his unimpeachable stand against anti-semitism and all forms of racism and bigotry and his fight for equality and fairness in societies, not just in UK, but across the world, throughout his political life.

  10. David Collier is mentioned above in a retweet from Stephen Pollard, it rang a bell and then I realised why. Last year, after the Labour conference, Collier published on his blog a pitiful attack, claiming ‘raw antisemitism at the Labour Party conference’ this for anyone who remembers was because the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign had done such a fantastic job at publicising the barbarity of Israel, which obviously upset Collier.

    I responded to Collier in the comments section of his blog and in the end his arguments petered out because when challenged, he couldn’t produce one example of antisemitism: http://david-collier.com/antisemitism-labour-party/

    1. Isn’t David Collier the one who trawled back through 10y of social media to uncover Corbyn’s response to the mural? I remember seeing a lot of congratulations from CAAS types to the person who did it …

      1. Yes, indeed. He is also the one who claimed to have infiltrated a secret FB group ‘Palestine Live’ where he said antisemitism was evident. What he means is that anyone who supports the Palestinians is antisemitic.

        This is exactly the reason all the Zionist groups are claiming rife antisemitism in Labour when in fact it is pro Palestinian support.

  11. Explanation please Skwawkbox – having trawled through Stephen Pollard’s twitter feed (not a pleasant experience) the Freedland tweet you quote has an 11:57 AM timestampt, not the 7:57 PM you claim. How is this so?

  12. This all sickens and depresses me. These people behaving so badly and claiming to act in the name of Jewish people are doing a lot of damage. They should be completely ashamed of themselves.

  13. This is getting more and more ridiculous by the day.
    The Jewish community need to stop joining in with the Right Wing rhetoric. Unless of course, they want a continuation of a Tory Government that is wreaking havoc on all( apart from the wealthy) sections of our society !!

    1. Only 13% (c26,000) vote Labour whilst 63% vote Consrvative. Please feel free to draw your own covlutions.

  14. If anti-Corbyn AS lies enable the Tories to steal power for another parliament deprivation approaching that of the 1930s – the very conditions in which minority-blaming racism flourished – could easily arise again.

    Austerity having rendered useless (in neoliberal theory) every economic tool in the box bar “inward investment” even more massive social spending cuts and far harsher austerity will be needed to pay for the corporate tax cuts and golden handshakes to bribe the foreign carpetbaggers.

    Social media may not survive in its present form for fear of our organising – censorship and monitoring will likely be massively expanded.

  15. If the full implementation of the IHRA Code and examples is, as the RW so loudly proclaim, absolutely critical to the Labour Party’s fight against anti-Semitism then why didn’t McNicol and the RW implement it whilst they had control of the NEC for over 2.5 years of Jeremy’s time in office.

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