Last week, the SKWAWKBOX revealed that the Jewish Chronicle (JC) had quietly amended its claim that a letter supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and signed by twenty-nine leading Orthodox rabbis, which had been published on this blog, was fake.
The amended article admitted that three rabbis the JC had spoken to said they had signed the letter, but the piece still conveyed doubt about its authenticity and still carried a claim by the ‘nascent’ Jewish Community Council (JCC) that the letter was fake.
Earlier today, the SKWAWKBOX obtained proof that the JCC had already confirmed its opinion that the letter was genuine, in the form of a text from the founder of the JCC to a fellow member of the Charedi community:
This text had also been forwarded to the Jewish Chronicle – but its existence was not mentioned in the amended article or subsequent articles, leaving the erroneous denial of its authenticity in place.
In accordance with good journalistic practice, the SKWAWKBOX contacted JC editor Stephen Pollard to ask for comment. Note the time-stamp:
Twenty minutes later, at 16.33, the JC tweeted a link to a newly-published article:
The article – for the first time by that publication as far as can be ascertained – includes a statement from the Jewish Community Council that completely contradicts what the JC had published until then:
Note that the wording quoted by the JCC is identical, apart from a couple of spelling changes, to the text the SKWAWKBOX advised Stephen Pollard it had received – but did not send him.
Mr Pollard has still not responded to this blog’s request for comment.
The authenticity of the letter is now beyond question and as the SKWAWKBOX showed in an article earlier today, it is entirely representative of the views of most Charedim (Orthodox Jews) who make up almost twenty percent of the UK’s Jewish population – a figure expected to exceed fifty percent in less than twenty years – in spite of claims by other organisations to be speaking for at least ninety percent of UK Jews when condemning the Labour party or its leader.
The Jewish Chronicle was not the only publication to publish a misleading denunciation of the rabbis’ letter. The Jerusalem Post went so far as to stridently accuse a particular group of Orthodox Jews in the UK of forging the letter:
That article has not yet been retracted.
Seventeen minutes between the arrival of this blog’s enquiry and the publication of an article quoting a text that had been sent to the JC days ago. It’s an interesting coincidence and a long time for a misleading quote attributed to the Jewish Community Council to be presented as correct in the earlier versions of the article.
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