May 19, 2019


Here's another article by Geoffrey Alderman in the Jewish Telegraph which, like the previous one will probably be overwritten by the next.  So off to the Wayback Machine go I and I'm posting the article here too.


LAST month an important conference took place to mark the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport.
Two leading researchers — Dr Louise London and Professor Paul Weindling — presented what was reportedly regarded as shocking evidence relating to the choice of unaccompanied German and Austrian children who were — or were not — permitted to enter the UK under the Kindertransport scheme.

Children were refused places if it was thought that they had ‘disabilities’ or had ‘too Jewish’ an appearance. What was wanted were children who were not religious and so could be all the more easily integrated into British society.

Prof Weindling cited the case of a Viennese Jewish boy whom the authorities described as “very well behaved but very slightly mentally backward”.

The application made on his behalf was rejected. We do not know what fate befell him.
As Dr London remarked, the “problem of what to do with the Jews took precedence over efforts to save them”.

I describe the evidence presented by Prof Weindling and Dr London as “shocking”. Unfortunately, those of us who have researched the Anglo-Jewish response to the Holocaust cannot have regarded it was shocking at all.

Key to the choice of Kindertransport children was the Jewish banker Otto Schiff, head of the London-based Jews’ Temporary Shelter and ‘Overseer of the Poor’ of the United Synagogue.
Schiff worked hand-in-hand with the Aliens Department of the Home Office, so that, in practical terms, Jewish refugees from Nazism were allowed into Britain — or were refused entry — on his authority.

The Home Office trusted Schiff because it knew that, in his approach to this task, he would bring to bear prejudices and preferences of which the government approved.

The Viennese boy was not rejected by the British government, but by Kindertransport officials in London. That is to say, by fellow Jews!

Is there a case to be made in defence of Schiff and his colleagues?

Anti-Jewish prejudice appeared to be on the rise in the UK at that time. With a handful of notable exceptions, the Anglo-Jewish leadership — at the head of which was the then-Board of Deputies president, Mancunian barrister Neville Laski — believed that allowing more foreign-born Germanic-speaking Jews into this country would add fuel to the fire.

Laski had no qualms in publicly articulating the view that Jews, by their conduct, fostered antisemitism. In his book Manchester and the Rescue of the Victims of European Fascism (published 2011), the late Manchester Jewry historian Bill Williams reminds us that in December, 1935, the Manchester-based Women’s Lodge of Bnai Brith resolved that “the spread of antisemitism in England is largely brought about by ourselves”.

But I need to stress that what was true of Manchester was equally true of London.
Indeed within British Jewry this view was widely shared. And because it was widely shared, during the 1930s the official organs of Britain’s Jewish communities did their best to ensure that the least possible number of Jewish refugees were admitted to the UK, and that, as far as possible, only those were admitted who might be judged to be the most easily inclined to assimilate into the host society.

Beyond that, the fewer foreign-born Jews who were permitted to enter the UK, the better.
And what of those heavily traumatised children lucky enough to be chosen for the Kindertransport? Had they all been found billets in Jewish homes, their sufferings might have been lessened.

But in 1943, Dayan Dr Isidor Grunfeld, of the United Synagogue’s Beth Din, recalled how in 1938, when the Kindertransport began arriving, Jews who had been only too willing to donate money to refugee causes “showed themselves very reluctant to take Jewish refugee children into their homes”.

While a case can be made in defence of Otto Schiff and his colleagues, it strikes me as weak.
As for Schiff himself, I never cease to be amazed at the praise still lavished upon him. I noted with dismay that as part of the 2018 Holocaust Memorial Day events, a number of posthumous awards were made to ‘Heroes of the Holocaust’.

Among the recipients was Otto Schiff, upon whose activities the then-Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, waxed lyrical.

Indeed, so preciously revered is Schiff’s memory in certain circles that a Jewish Care home in Golders Green actually bears his name. I am outraged.


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The original of this article can be seen at the Wayback Machine.

May 18, 2019

Geoffrey Alderman on Jeremy Corbyn in Jewish Telegraph

I'm sad to say that The Jewish Telegraph website is a cheap and not very cheerful affair. I don't know if they maintain an archive but I couldn't find it if they do. Geoffrey Alderman came to the defence of Jeremy Corbyn just recently in the article you see below. He wrote another similar one in The Spectator. I just wanted a quick reread of the Jewish Telegraph article but, alas, it has now gone. This is the url for the original article Click it now and it takes you to his latest article with no pointer to his previous stuff.

Well thank goodness for the Wayback machine.  The Wayback machine is a way of archiving web pages that you think might change or disappear. Simply take a web page's url and paste it into the box marked "Save Page Now" and Wayback saves the page as it was when you do it.  Well as luck would have it, someone did just that with this  And so I can bring you this:

It is the only Jewish Telegraph page ever saved to the Wayback machine, so far anyway.

So now, if you see a web page that you think is going to disappear or change and you want the original, screengrab and archive in the Wayback Machine.

Now read on....



WE live in interesting times. Earlier this month, our beleaguered prime minister, Theresa May, invited into 10 Downing Street Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

Her purpose in extending this invitation — which he graciously accepted — was to enlist his support in the current crisis over the precise terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you about Brexit.

My purpose, rather, is to focus on the person of Jeremy Corbyn, whom we must now clearly regard as a potential prime minister.

The opinion polls, which for months have been showing the Corbyn-led Labour Party trailing the May-led Tories, are now announcing a Labour lead.

I would be the last person to insist that we must trust the polls. We mustn’t. But if a general election was held soon, it is entirely possible that Labour would win more seats than the Conservative Party, whose back has been well and truly broken on the Brexit wheel.

In that scenario, the Queen would be bound to call on Corbyn to form a minority government.
What, from the point of view of British Jewry, would such a government hold in store?

In spite of numerous scare stories, I honestly can’t see such a government banning shechita or brit mila. If Diane Abbott, currently Shadow Home Secretary, found herself actually in charge of the Home Office, would she outrage her many charedi constituents by closing down synagogues and moving to deprive Jews of the rights of British citizenship?

Of course not.

We might indeed see a Corbyn-led government cosying-up to the BDS movement. Labour is already committed to recognising a Palestinian state “immediately” it forms a government, so such a recognition is a probability.

Would Israel then sever diplomatic relations with the UK? I doubt it. The recognition of a Palestinian state would remain a symbolic but, in practical terms, meaningless gesture.

Corbyn’s Foreign Secretary (the tactless Emily Thornberry) might enjoy striding on to the podium at the UN Security Council to support — perhaps even to propose — some blood-curdling resolution denouncing the Jewish state as a neo-colonialist plot.

She would do so safe in the knowledge that American president Donald Trump would veto it. And let’s remember that on December 23, 2016, in the dying days of the Obama-led administration, a UN Security Council resolution condemning in the most explicit terms Jewish control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem — including the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the Western Wall — was adopted with the full-hearted consent and approbation of Theresa May and her tactless Foreign Secretary, one Boris Johnson.
The Tory-controlled UK government could have abstained. It could even have exercised its veto. It chose to do neither.

Reacting to that act of betrayal, I outlined in this column on January 13, 2017, a number of concrete measures that those who order the affairs of British Jewry might have taken to signal the community’s anger.

I suggested that May and Johnson could be disinvited from all communal events, and that Jewish groups should withdraw from co-operation with May’s government — for instance over security issues and the anti-terrorism “Prevent” agenda.

A communal macher took me aside and pointed out that these bold suggestions would never be acted upon, because those who order the affairs of British Jewry would never forego the chance of a Downing Street photoshoot and the yichus that such an opportunity apparently confers.

He’s right. By the same token, our narcissistic communal leadership would positively salivate on receiving, and being able to courteously accept, an invitation from Prime Minister Corbyn to take morning coffee or afternoon tea at No 10.

As a matter of fact, Jeremy Corbyn has an impressive demonstrable record of supporting Jewish communal initiatives.

In 2010, he put his name to an Early Day Motion — tabled by Diane Abbott in the Commons — calling on the UK government to facilitate the settlement of Yemeni Jews in Britain.

He was supportive of Jewish efforts to facilitate the speedy issue of death certificates by the North London coroner.

In June, 2015, he took part in a ceremony in his Islington constituency to commemorate the original site of the North London Synagogue.

Of course, there’s another side to this story. In relation to Jewish sensitivities, Corbyn has on too many occasions acted foolishly, I suspect without thinking through the long-term consequences of his actions.
The fact remains that he is a prime minister “in waiting”. We must learn to accept that reality.


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May 03, 2019

Transcript of Professor Cain and Tristram Hunt discussing the antisemitism in Hobson's Imperialism on Radio 3

You will have seen or heard another antisemitism smear of Jeremy Corbyn doing the rounds about how he blurbed a book called Imperialism by J.A. Hobson.  The book contains a an antisemitic reference to Jews by way of an ugly stereotypical description

Here is the BBC Radio 3 Podcast of a discussion between a Professor Cain and Tristram Hunt on the now notorious book, Hobson's Imperialism. 

Anyway, my typing is very poor so it took me forever to type this because there are some people who ought to know better and indeed do know better trying make out that the antisemitism is central to the thesis and that Professor Cain and Tristram Hunt said as much in the podcast.  Needless to say, they didn't.  They said the opposite.

Ok? It starts at about 7:33 into the podcast:

Transcript of Professor Cain & Tristam Hunt discussing Hobson's Imperialism on Radio 3

Tristram Hunt:  Here we see a cartoon in front of us from the Illustrated London News of top-hatted city gentlemen throwing their hats into the air and it says "The reaction on the Stock Exchange to the news of the Boer surrender at Paardeberg 1900".   But there's rather an interesting figure on the far right of it, isn't there?

Professor Cain: Well there's a figure who is clearly drawn as a kind of Jewish financier if you like. And there's no doubt about it that Hobson was quite ambivalent about this side of financial imperialism.  He did show some kind of antisemitic strain.

Tristram Hunt: And the figure we see before us is physically larger than the others. There's the crooked caricature Jewish nose, sideburns and he's not celebrating, he's overlooking it as if to suggest "well this was all in the plan". And is this meant to be in a sense a symbol not so much of a Rhodes as of a Rothschild?

Professor Cain: Yes, I think so and I think the implication is that, although Rhodes is a very prominent figure, it's the senior men in The City who are fundamentally in charge of this operation, this imperialist operation.

Tristram Hunt: Surely there was more than enough to critique in the imperial project and its links with The City without going down the semitic [sic] route.

Professor Cain: [This is at 9 minutes in]  Yes, I think it was a mistake.   What it reflected is the very widespread antisemitic sentiment amongst English intellectuals at that time.  But the fact is that the theory worked perfectly well without invoking any kind of Jewish conspiracy.  What you have fundamentally is what Hobson thinks of as a City conspiracy, not a Jewish conspiracy as such and the theory will work perfectly well without introducing the antisemitic element.

Tristram Hunt: Either way when we look at the power on display at the Stock Exchange and we look at the politicians, the financiers behind the imperial project it suggests some of the strength of the consensus that Hobson was up against, doesn't it?

Professor Cain: Oh yes.

The End

May 02, 2019

A Day in the Life of Hobson's Imperialism on Wikipedia

In common with many people when I woke up yesterday I noticed yet another manufactured antisemitism scandal was in full swing. I knew it was manufactured because of the prominence of the words "antisemitism" and "Corbyn" in the headlines.

It turns out that Corbyn wrote an introduction to a book called Imperialism by a chap called Hobson.  I'd never heard of the book, described by Corbyn, apparently. as "brilliant".  It was The Times's Daniel Finkelstein who led the charge yesterday, typically for the antisemitism smears, the day before local elections.

It didn't take long for the poison to spread throughout the media. The words "peculiar race" popped up as the unambiguous description of Jews in Hobson's book.  In one of the anti-Corbyn threads someone very helpfully gave a link to a searchable copy of the book (without Corbyn's intro) online.

Good old  They have a searchable copy of the book right here:

There's only one throwaway reference to Jews by way of the words, "peculiar race" and they're so buried as to be barely even "peripheral" to the entire book. That's me moaning that I now have to search every chapter to then search the words I'm looking for.  The fact is, it is a deeply antisemitic throwaway passage but not a deeply antisemitic book.

So, go to Chapter IV and search for "peculiar" and what do we see:
These great businesses – banking, broking, bill discounting, loan floating, company promoting – form the central ganglion of international capitalism. United by the strongest bonds of organisation, always in closest and quickest touch with one another, situated in the very heart of the business capital of every State, controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, chiefly by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience, they are in a unique position to control the policy of nations. No great quick direction of capital is possible save by their consent and through their agency. Does any one seriously suppose that a great war could be undertaken by any European State, or a great State loan subscribed, if the house of Rothschild and its connections set their face against it?
Again in common with a great many people I had to google "Hobson's Imperialism" because I'd never heard of it and out came Wikipedia on top. I noticed it had sections on its influence on Liberalism and its influence on Marxism but nothing about its antisemitism.  Very strange given its description in "newspapers of record" like The Times and The Guardian as a "deeply antisemitic book".

Now I remember from the great Zio "controversy", Zionists are quite adept at creating a controversy out of nothing and then zipping over to Wikipedia to have a bit of a tamper.  When I first noticed Zionists complaining that the word "Zio" is a putdown for Jews as Jews I googled "Zio". Lots of Italian restaurants popped up because Zio is Italian for uncle. I checked Wikipedia and found in the disambiguation that Zio was coming in at the botttom. A quick check of the edits and, what do you know? Zio as a "pejorative abbreviation of Zionist, often regarded as antisemitic" only appeared at the bottom of a list on 15 March 2016.  The "controversy" began in February of the same year. I think that might have been the actual start of the smear campaign.

Anyway, so I dashed over to Wikipedia to see what it had to say about Hobson's Imperialism.  Here are the contents of the page I saw early yesterday:


Today I looked again because the Hobson's Imperialism controversy is still rumbling on and, what do you know?  Look at the contents now:

See what the smear merchants did there? They've inserted "Antisemitism".  Now, let's see what the entry on Hobson's Imperialism lacked for the past 14 years:

 [edit]Hobson's antisemitic views have been described as influential,[11][12] and while Imperialism does not contain the "violent anti-Jewish crudities" of his prior works,[13] it asserts that Jews dominated international finance in Europe.[14][15] According to history professor Norman Etherington this section on financiers seems irrelevant to Hobson's economic discourse, and was probably included since Hobson truly believed it.[16]

It's very scrappy, isn't it? Let's check the edits history.


I hope you can see that ok but what happened is, I looked at the page first thing yesterday. There was nothing about Hobson's antisemitism nor the one passage in the book Imperialism that was antisemitic.  Yesterday was 1 May 2019. The last update to the page was 30 April in the evening but it had nothing to do with antisemitism. So sometime yesterday when lots of people were starting to realise that Danny Finkelstein's scoop was yet another rightist fantasy, someone calling themselves Icewhizz decided they had better take notice of what no-one had noticed on a Wikipedia entry in 14 years of edits, re-edits and de-edits.

Well, I suppose we are lucky that Zionism is racism or Zionists might start to notice that the "lower races" of Africa and Asia get more mentions than the "peculiar race" which gets just one mention in the fourth chapter of the book.