May 30, 2008

Jewish Chronicle fails to correct its "mistake"

What's with the Jewish Chronicle? They smear named individuals and deny rights of reply and they refuse to correct the most outrageous falsehoods. Last week Alex Brummer, finance editor of the Daily Mail and media commentator at the JC repeated a load of Dershowitzian falsehoods about Norman Finkelstein. I wrote the following letter:
Dear Sir

Alex Brummer proves Johann Hari's point that high profile Zionists campaign to smear Israel's critics rather than simply agree with each other.

He suggests that it is ludicrous that Alan Dershowitz could be in cohoots with someone on the other side of the Atlantic and then, from our side of the Atlantic, he goes on to repeat all of Alan Dershowtiz's smears against Norman Finkelstein. Of course, Alex Brummer could have simply read Dershowitz's work on the internet but his readiness to "agree" with various demonstrable falsehoods suggests a campaign no less than if Dershowitz wrote to Brummer personally to ask him to "agree".

Norman Finkelstein is not a Holocaust revisionist He tends not to write about the Holocaust as such but when he does he usually draws on the work of Raul Hilberg, the doyen of Holocaust historians. Finkelstein has said that zionists use the Holocaust to insulate Israel from criticism and he says that a bunch of "huckster" lawyers have exploited the very real pain and suffering of Holocaust survivors by lining their own pockets at the expense of those survivors. He is particularly incensed because his own parents were Holocaust survivors. The Jewish Chronicle itself has published on its front page, details of exorbitant fees paid to Holocaust compensation lawyers.

More scurrilous still, Brummer claims that "Finkelstein’s views have been tested in the High Court in London and found wanting." Norman Finkelstein has never been in the UK's High Court, though of course that day may come. Alex Brummer is either confusing Finkelstein with the Holocaust denier, David Irving, or hoping his readers will do the same. Disgraceful isn't the word; actionable might be.

Yours faithfully


Mark Elf
Now I'm not so precious as to think that just because I wrote in then I ought to get published but this happens week after week at the Jewish Chronicle. Deliberate mistakes are made, deliberate falsehoods are told and the victims of the smears are denied rights of reply and corrections are rarely made. And this from the paper that used to style itself, until it seemed obscene to do so, the organ of British Jewry!

Oh no! It gets worse. Brummer has a regular weekly column at the Jewish Chronicle. Well he's on his hols this week. So who's standing in? David Toube of Harry's Place. Great!

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