Rosen takes Riley to task over ‘typical Jew’ comments

Writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen has taken TV presenter Rachel Riley to task over her comments during a ‘car crash’ Channel 4 interview last night.

Riley told Channel 4’s Krish Guru-Murthy:

A clearly upset Rosen quickly took to social media to ask challenge Riley’s comment and ask her publicly what she meant:

Rosen’s assessment of Riley’s comment was unequivocal:

But it wasn’t just Riley. As seen immediately above, numerous Twitter users jumped in to defend Riley and her comment – a comment that would have seen a very different reaction had a left-winger made it – and Rosen was quick to highlight the double standards:

But just as conspicuous, at the time, was the complete absence of condemnation from some of the names that would be all over the comments had they been made by a left-winger. Rosen challenged them, too:

At least one of the above wrote praising Riley’s interview without any mention of the antisemitic slur. When some of them eventually did respond and mention Riley’s comments it was – all too predictably – to attack Rosen, as did a number of the worst online ‘antisemitism trolls’, including non-Jews.

The sheer contortions conducted by some who wanted to defend Riley or dismiss her comment that brought some of dark humour to the fore:

But underlying it all was a genuine pain at the implications of the comment:

Rosen told the SKWAWKBOX:

Rachel Riley said ‘I don’t look like a typical Jew or anything like that.’ There is a beauty league table in the West with the championship usually going to white western blondes.

Many Jews have been mocked in many different ways for our appearance…not conforming to the western top spot. Ms Riley has used that and sided with the divisive competitive logic of that league table.

But at the end of the day who is this ‘typical Jew’? A fantasy in the minds of Nazi cartoonists? Does Rachel Riley believe that those cartoonists got us right? What about Sammy Davis Jnr? Goldie Hawn? Kirk Douglas? Tony Curtis?

Rachel Riley was invited to comment, but had not responded by the time of publication.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Rosen asked whether the response – or lack of it – from some of those who have been loudest in attacking the Labour meant that some of them are motivated by politics rather than a genuine concern to fight all antisemitism. It’s a fair question.

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    1. Since reading this quote from Riley I have been wondering what a “typical Jew” looks like. All I know from Riley is, not like her… erm?

      Michael Rosen is constantly having to call out such comments and he does so very effectively.
      I know from my own personal experience there is no such thing as looking like a “typical Jew”.

    1. Afterthought: It would be interesting to ascertain WHEN Rachel Riley posted her comment about Noam Chomsky being an anti-semite, and when HE posted his comment in defence of Jeremy – ie did HER’S follow in the days and weeks after HIS? I wouldn’t be surprised if it DID!

      1. Going by the Rachel Riley tweet reproduced in the zelo street article I linked to above – which is dated Jan 8th (the tweet, that is) – it is obviously the case that she called NC an anti-semite in a tweet just a day or two or so earlier. As such, I don’t need to know when NC ACTUALLY made his comment in defence of JC, because I know for a fact that it was weeks ago – if not MONTHS ago – because I came across it at least several weeks ago AND I’m pretty sure I quoted it in a comment I posted on skwawkbox at the time.

        So she – Rachel Riley – has apparently dug something up from almost fourty years ago – ie did some research on NC to try and find some dirt on him and, having found something that caused a bit of controversy at the time (in France, anyway) AND, as such, NOW accuses him of “promoting anti-semitism”, and of course this explains why he – Noam Chomsky – is supporting and defending Jeremy – ie it’s one (Jewish) anti semite supporting and defending ANOTHER anti-semite.

        Of course if she WERE to do a bit of similar research regarding the claims made about Ken Livingstone*, she would find that when he said Hitler supported Zionism, he was in fact referring to an historical fact – ie the Haavara Agreement of 1933 which led to the lifting of the Zionist boycott of Nazi Germany, and contined for the following five or six years – AND, as such, ALL the attacks on Ken and the furore were fake and phony and contrived. And for the obvious reason! But then again, I have little doubt that she DOES know, but she’s hardly gonna say as much because THAT doesn’t fit with her agenda of course.

        * AND many others!

      2. And you can be 100% certain she has seen The Lobby (the Aljazeera investigation)…… and ALL three parts of it!

      3. What Riley doesn’t seem to understand is Chomsky supports American policy in Syria. Because of his support for the Kurds, he doesn’t want America to leave, even though they’re there illegally. Therefore, Chomsky is also supporting Israeli policy in the region. Riley probably thinks Chomsky is a left winger, when he’s really a Liberal.

      4. In October and November I posted links to ‘The Lobby’ videos on Riley’s twitter feed, hoping she’d recognise the truth when she saw it.
        Now having watched K G-M’s interview I still think she’s probably a nice young woman – just not as bright as her facility for mental arithmetic suggests.
        Letting her speak without interruption was well-judged.
        She showed herself unable to form any kind of coherent argument – just regurgitated the AS hearsay she’s clearly been spoon-fed by the usual suspects – the bastards who don’t care who they ruin to further their agenda.
        I wouldn’t want to be her when she realises she’s been fleeced like a tourist.

  1. The above video is crass but the following part of the video where Riley is given a very easy ride when she spouts off about a couple of occasions in a lifetimes work” where Corbyn is speaking or remembering people who have a questionable past is disgusting and she has either led a very sheltered life is not very bright or is being malicious. The worst bit is at minutes 19.minutes 10secs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-f6suP-Ojo

    1. When I first checked on the video that Tim links to above four or five hours ago, it had had seventeen thousand and something views. It now has just under 23,000. I didn’t actually watch/listen to it at the time, but left the page/tab up to check out later. I DID read through about fifty or sixty comments though (there are over 500 at the time of writing) and it’s reassuring to see that many of those leaving comments are aware that whole thing is contrived and manufactured (apart from a handfull of cases), and that it was all designed to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership AND demonise HIM and the LEFT.

  2. Holocaust theft is a real problem – the use of pseudo-victimisation for political ends. Those who understand the real horrors perpetrated by the Third Reich, and the realities of racism today will be ashamed of this sort of distortion.

    We should thank Michael Rosen for his consistent opposition to this sort of fraud – his has been one of the most rational and consistent analyses of this vicious right-wing distortions.

    Of course, as seen in this incident, it is this sort of nonsense that is ultimately ‘antisemitic’ – not the principled defence of Palestinian rights.

    1. Just an additional thought. David McNiven comments about Riley that :

      “she’s probably a nice young woman – just not as bright as her facility for mental arithmetic suggests.”

      Which is quite possibly true. Facility in arithmetic and exposure on t’tele doesn’t guarantee wider perceptiveness. But … therein lies the problem. How many others are gulled by the constant repetition of the ‘antisemitic’ slurs?

      The whole basis of this propaganda initiative has – ironically – a notable progenitor : one Josef Goebbels, who new a thing or two about how to spread falsehoods by repetition. It’s the essence of propaganda.

      And the Hasbara initiative *is* successful. It has shut down rational debate and the exposure of factual information about the situation in Palestine. Remember – the NEC, in the end, caved in to pressure over the IHRA definition, despite all credible legal and rational analysis showing it as a dangerous mess.

      How many people are actually aware of the devastating evidence contained in Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby’? How many actually understand the distinction between Judaism and Zionism – let alone their histories? How many actually understand what has happened since British colonial rule ended in Palestine?

      I was struck by a recent interview with Rowan Williams. He’s an intelligent and thoughtful person (and, no, I have no allegiance to his religion), and had no problem with calling out Universal Credit. But when asked about ‘antisemitism’, (not specifically about the Labour Party, but implied in the mix) he immediately rehearsed the sort of indiscriminate and unfocused endorsement of the current media line.

      I have no simple answers to this, with journalists and politicians running scared as soon as intelligent evidence on the issue is raised (and – no – it’s not just an issue with the instincts of the MSM. But the propaganda is manifest and dangerous – and, of course, there are also victims of the slurs who remain suspended etc.

      But the Labour Party shouldn’t think that it’s put the issue to bed by bending to pressure over the IHRA issue.

  3. Regards my comment in the initial skwawkbox post about Rachel Riley, in which I started by saying that she’d be a great asset to the Tories, on reflection it occurs to me that she is of course MORE effective in her ‘campaign’ against JC and the left if she is perceived as being non-political and having NO party political affiliations. In other words, I doubt that the Tories will be signing her up anytime soon, although I have little doubt that she is liasing with them behind the scenes.

    Anyway, here’s a link to her twitter account (which I just this minute checked out for the first time), and Skwawkbox gets a mention about twenty to thirty tweets down the page (at the time of writing).


    1. Shortly after posting the above comment I went back to Rachel Riley’s twitter feed (I had left off when and where I came to the tweets referring to Skwawkbox and added the link to my comment), and further down there’s a tweet in which she links to the ‘story’ – ie the article in the Independent – about the “refusal to condemn the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh”. Now if only she followed Skwawkbox, then she would have learnt that it was right-wingers who set it up and got the motion – proposed by two JC-supporting left-wingers – voted down on the spurious grounds (and with malicious intent as soon became apparent) that it mentioned “anti-semitism” too many times.

      Then again, she probably knows exactly what happened!


    1. I understand she is a Channel 4 Countdown number putter upper aka co-host of a number/maths based TV game show. I also understand she is a maths graduate.

    2. She’s a stunted version of someone in that dancing bash. Best I can do I’m afraid. Cheers.

  4. A further postscript : The Grauniad has a disgraceful record on promoting ‘antisemitism’ scams, coupled with suppression of contrary evidence. I have no idea of where the pressure on the paper specifically comes from, but it is manifest, and corrupts its reporting in a significant way.

    What we do have, from ten years ago, in a Dispatches documentary by Peter Oborne (hardly a left-wing scion), is Alan Rusbridger, on film, describing how he, as the previous editor was leaned on heavily by Israeli interests. All we know about the current supine state of the paper is that Kathryn Viner appears to just roll over without complaint.

    The latest dodgy ‘news’ story, today, on this front is a survey of Google responses that – allegedly – outlines ‘antisemitic’ searches.

    Now – there may well be people with antisemitic views searching Google – but you won’t learn much about how many in this report from the CST – an organisation whose main function seems to be not critical examination and exposure, but rather to keep fears about rampant antisemitism alive.

    The’evidence’ is a dog’s dinner of assumptions, with possible nuggets of antisemitic intent buried under piles of irrelevance, such as :

    “The United Kingdom ranks third in the world for searches about Zionism, behind only Israel and Lebanon. Searches for Zionism are 29 per cent higher in the United Kingdom than in the United States. “Hitler Zionism” is the fourth most popular search about Zionism in the United Kingdom. Searches related to Zionism rose 25-fold in April 2016, shortly after former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone was suspended by the Labour Party for claiming that Hitler “was supporting Zionism.”

    Given the way in which the right has manipulated the ‘antisemitism’ trope, it is hardly surprising that people have searched for more information, particularly as Livingstone had been vilified for outlining (albeit cack-handedly) a documented historical fact about Zionism).

    Then there are interesting statements that tend to cut across the notion that antisemitism is a particularly common form of discriminatory behaviour – let alone amongst the left-inclined :

    ” There is a direct correlation between these searches and those mocking other minorities: someone who searches for “Jew jokes” is 100 times more likely to also search for “n****r jokes.”

    We are getting into dangerous territory when the Hasbara initiative begins to determine what web searches can be made, and imputes motivations without any validation.

    Most importantly, it becomes the story of the boy who cried ‘Wolf’, and, through exaggeration, confuses the issue of real prejudice.

  5. A typical jew comment…….from Hodge to Berger; Friedland to Rosen, desperate to show how sensitive they are because they are jewish. I am more sensitive than thou, more deeply hurt; a more sensitive human being than you because I am more jewish? Keep shining the badge.

    1. Gee! Thanks for gifting the scammers with a dick-head comment.

      I’m sure JC and those victims of the scams will be overwhelmed with gratitude.

      You could be a Lexiteer with that sort of judgment!

    1. Excellent article by Shaun Lawson Chris (I’m about half way through it and will read the rest later – many thanks for the link – and then check out your own piece).

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