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:
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:
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:
“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:
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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