The Corbots are getting increasingly vocal and abusive as we move towards the ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit later today (15 January). Perhaps they think there will soon be an election. They are wrong of course. The government will lose the vote on the Prime Minister’s deal and Corbyn will call a vote of confidence. Which Labour will lose, because the one thing that all Conservatives and Ulster Unionists agree on is that a Corbyn government would be a disaster for the UK. Given the government’s travails over Brexit, Labour should be way ahead in the polls. The fact that it isn’t demonstrates what the electorate thinks about Corbyn’s competence and about Labour’s institutional antisemitism. Not to mention his disappearance for most of the 2016 referendum campaign and his fence-sitting since, hiding behind Labour’s amorphous and unmeasurable ‘six tests’.
The latest salvo of abuse has come from one Shaun Lawson, a ‘liberal leftie’ who lives in Uruguay. The estimable David Collier has valiantly been through all 11,500 words of what is essentially a cut and paste job from work by expelled Labour member Greenstein and others. As David notes, Lawson’s vituperative bile was quickly retweeted by such luminaries of the Left as Aaron Bastani.
There are some terrific fighters against Corbynite antisemitism and Lawson takes a pop at them all – @GnasherJew, David himself, Stephen Pollard, Tracy Ann Oberman (wasn’t she wonderful as Golde in Fiddler at Chichester) and the wonderful Rachel Riley, the Countdown star and Man Utd supporter with an Oxford Maths degree. I’m not going to respond to Lawson’s smears on them; David did that and besides they are more than capable of responding themselves. But he was good enough to include me alongside these superstars – gee thanks Shaun, I’m truly honoured – so I will address his lies about me, if that’s OK. But I’ll start by addressing some of his non-ad personam lies.
The first is his assertion that Kenneth Stern ‘highlighted huge problems with several of the examples in the IHRA definition’. Lie. Read Stern’s written testimony to Congress. He ‘encouraged the Department of State’s first Special Envoy for Antisemitism to promote the definition as an important tool.’ He simply believed that universities were a special free speech environment, see this thread by the CST’s Dave Rich.
The second of Lawson’s whoppers is the assertion that a Jewish Policy Research Report in 2017 found more antisemitism on the right than on the left. I blogged about the flawed methodology of this study at the time and predicted (correctly of course) that it nevertheless would be championed by the Corbots. Who cares about methodological niceties when you can trumpet such a wonderful and counter-intuitive result!
The third whopper is Lawson’s unqualified assertion that Israel’s PM Netanyahu blamed the Holocaust on the Mufti. Within a few days Bibi clarified his earlier remarks. When did Corbyn ever walk back his antisemitic remarks – for example that British Zionists “don’t want to study history, and …. don’t understand English irony?”
Now to the ad personam. David Collier addresses Lawson’s libels of me:
Shaun plays at being McCarthy again. He has a picture of Jonathan in the same street at the same time as someone who is allegedly an EDL activist. Think about this level of association. Jonathan needs to know about every single member who may be in a crowd at a demo. For failing to do this he becomes a far-right racist to be smeared. And yet on the other hand, Corbyn can stand on platforms with some of the most odious people on the planet. He can lay wreaths at ceremonies attached to horrific terror attacks and he can call radical Islamist groups his friends. Yet Corbyn is fit to be PM and Hoffman is the devil.
That photo of me in the street in the proximity of the alleged EDL activist was dismissed as meaningless more than eight years ago, here. Yet still the Corbot antisemites dredge it up – why? – because they have nothing more substantial or more recent and because lies and smears are their stock-in-trade.
Lawson goes on to accuse me of “intimidating the late Holocaust survivor Hajo Mayer”.
Hajo Mayer was a despicable antisemite. Just look at some of things he said:
Judaism in Israel has been substituted by the Holocaust religion, whose high priest is Elie Wiesel
Judaism and Zionism are completely different
Israel causes antisemitism and without antisemitism Zionism is nowhere
Israel looks like Germany in 1933
Hardly any of the victims of the Second World War had any sympathy for Zionism. Zionism never had any sympathy for the victims during and after the Second World War. They were ashamed of them, they didn’t want them in their country. Ben Gurion called us “unusable human material” … “unusable human material”. [simply a LIE, he never said or wrote that] The victims were Jews and not Zionists.
Zionism is the antipode of Judaism
Political Zionism is xenophobic, nationalist, colonialist and racist
Balfour didn’t want to see the refugees from Kishinev pogroms coming past his window – one of the great antisemites was Lord Balfour
Judaism has been substituted by the Holocaust Religion
Colonialism is one of the main tenets of Zionism, they call the Palestinians ‘cockroaches’.
Jews in Israel have left Judaism and have accepted the Holocaust religion of the High Priest Elie Wiesel
They think ‘We Jews have the monopoly on suffering’ – they really believe that no-one ever suffered or will suffer like the Jews did. Therefore ‘whatever we do to the Palestinians is less than what we have suffered and can be done without feeling guilty. They are so paranoid and so obsessed by the Holocaust religion that they will do anything, even dropping an atom bomb on Tehran.’
In Israel there is systematic indoctrination through schoolbooks propaganda. It is the ‘battered child syndrome’. The elders were dehumanised so they dehumanise the Palestinians.
Zionism is racist.
Zionism is entirely antisemitic.
That is why we protested when anti-Israel organisations revoltingly paraded Mayer on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2010, in the House of Commons – chaired by Corbyn. And Lawson’s limp-wristed condemnation of me for doing so proves conclusively (if proof were needed) that as far as antisemitism in Labour is concerned, he is unequivocally part of the problem.