Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn smears

The campaign group, Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism (Lazir), considers the recent attack by the chief rabbi on Labour to be part of an ongoing campaign to prevent a Corbyn-led government being elected that would criticise Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians.

We note that Labour has been haemorrhaging Jewish support since before Corbyn became leader. It began with his (Jewish) predecessor, Ed Miliband, when he condemned Israel’s August 2014 invasion of Gaza, which killed 2,200 Gazans and wounded over 10,000 more. Israeli-supporting Jews were furious that Labour described this action as “wrong and unjustifiable”. Previously, wealthy Jewish donors had supported Blair and Brown for their pro-Israel stance – and now they were pulling their money out from Labour because it dared to criticise their colony.

Lazir also notes that Corbyn was clearly identified as a target by Israel in the 2017 documentary, The lobby, that investigated the influence of the Israel lobby in the UK. It exposed the strong links between the Israeli embassy and the Jewish Labour Movement, which became active in 2015 in response to, as its chair said, “the rise of Jeremy Corbyn”. Here was evidence that the JLM was acting as little more than a front for the Israeli embassy and that the mission it set itself was to weaken Corbyn in the hope of removing him from the leadership. Ofcom rejected complaints that the documentary series was anti-Semitic or had breached impartiality rules. (JLM was formerly the pioneering Paole Zion, which had participated in the 1948 nakba ethnic cleaning of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland.)

Early on, the JLM and other pro-Israel lobbyists understood that the most effective way to damage Corbyn and undermine solidarity with the Palestinian cause was to weaponise the charge of anti-Semitism. The Israelis had been working on this since 2004, when their scholars worked with selected Jewish NGOs and academics to create a definition that would define meaningful criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. The result was the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which has been foisted upon millions of UK citizens through its adoption by the major unions and political parties. This wholesale attack on our human right to freedom of expression was orchestrated by Zionists in the UK. On this basis, anyone who states that Israel is a racist endeavour can be labelled anti-Semitic. Since Israel passed the nation-state law in July 2018, declaring the rights of Jews superior to those of all others, one can now be called a Jew-hater for simply pointing out the truth.

Lazir would also like to highlight that the myth of a “Labour anti-Semitism crisis” has been created by a media only too willing to undermine the Labour Party. The volume of anti-Semitism-related complaints against Labour members has been cited as evidence that anti-Semitic discourse in the party is commonplace. A March 2019 survey asked the public to estimate the percentage of Labour members against whom anti-Semitism complaints had been made. The average response was 34%. In reality, as of July 2019, the proportion of Labour Party members subjected to disciplinary procedures – ie, summoned for a hearing in response to a complaint, but not necessarily found guilty – amounted to less than one-10th of one percent. This skewed view is compounded by a media which ignores statements from Jewish Voice for Labour, which, unlike the JLM, requires full members to be both Jewish and Labour – and which completely support Corbyn.

Lazir believes the UK’s mainstream media has become so terrified of pressure from the Zionist lobby that it now ignores human rights abuses by Israel as a matter of course. The recent attack on Gaza that left 34 dead, including a family of nine, who just happened to be in a building that Israel considered empty, was ignored by the BBC and hardly reported upon by major news outlets.

Lazir calls upon the media to reflect upon whose interests it is serving in allowing those from outside the UK to influence the election of our leaders, through promulgating these politically motivated and fraudulent anti-Semitism smears. Telling Jews they are at risk when they are not is fake news and dangerous misinformation. Our democracy is being undermined by Israel supporters – as enacted by rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, a man who defends every bomb that falls on Gaza. Even Tories like Sir Alan Duncan were targeted for supporting Palestine. This election is major for the British people – let’s not let Israel mess it up by smears and slander.

Written by Pete Gregson
Chairperson, Lazir


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