October 05, 2015

Jews for JC in the JC

I suppose most great religious identities have their schisms.  Muslims have Sunni and Shia, etc.  Christians have Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and so on.  Well if you read Counterpunch, Harry's Place or the Jewish Chronicle you will know that Jews have been a monolithic bloc throughout the millennia.  Well not any more. Jews are now divided into for or against Jeremy Corbyn and those for Jez even have a letter in the most recent edition of the Jewish Chronicle to proving that they exist. [12:40 pm, 7/10/2015 - I just got a call asking me to point out that there is a semi-formal group calling itself Jews for Jeremy and whilst there is an overlap between its members and the JC letter's signatories, not all if its members signed and not all of the letter's signatories are members of JfJ and not all of the signatories even support Jeremy Corbyn but I thought "for Jez" was convenient shorthand.]

The JC doesn't publish its letters page on line so I'm reproducing the letter here with a link to the Jonathan Freedland article it was criticising.
Dear Sir or Madam:
It must be galling for Jonathan Freedland and those who allege that Jeremy Corbyn is happiest when in the company of holocaust deniers, to find their warnings falling on stony ground.  Their problem is that despite the dog whistles, even they cannot bring themselves to accuse Corbyn of being anti-Semitic. [Friends who are enemies Jewish Chronicle September 17, 2015] 
Is it any surprise that the combined efforts of the Jewish Chronicle, Daily Mail and Board of Deputies have had no discernible effect?  Why should someone who has spent his parliamentary career opposing racism develop a soft spot for holocaust denial?  This is just another case of accusing anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians of being anti-Semitic.
Jeremy Corbyn has answered these allegations repeatedly, in the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian and elsewhere but Freedland and yourselves aren’t interested in explanations but in trying to get mud to stick.
According to Freedland “…15 years ago he attended meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.” Since Eisen didn’t reveal himself as a holocaust denier until 2004, Jeremy Corbyn and the many others attending a fund-raising concert in 2001, including rabbis and MPs, would have had to have had psychic gifts.  All these allegations rest on the word of a self-confessed holocaust denier.
What is particularly ironic is that the JC's editor, Stephen Pollard, has said of arch anti-Semite Polish MEP Michal Kaminski: ‘It would be harder to find a greater friend in Brussels.’  (JC 9.10.09.).  Kaminski was leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European parliament, a group initiated by Cameron and to which the Tories continue to ‘belong’.  He combines ardent Zionism with opposing a national Polish apology for the burning alive of 300 Jews in Jedwabne in 1941. 
Notwithstanding the Jewish Chronicle’s campaign, thousands of Jews voted for Corbyn.  These so-called ‘community’ leaders do not speak for British Jews who are critics of Israel, oppose the Occupation, or support secular, rather than faith schools. We have no recollection of participating in any democratic process to elect them. 
Yours faithfully,
In case you're wondering, the letter was published in full much to the surprise of its signatories detailed on Tony Greenstein's blog.

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