Smearing campaigners against antisemitism ………

smear jan 19 1

As I said in a blog last week, supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are becoming increasingly vocal and abusive as the Article 50 date approaches (29 March) and as the prospect looms of an early election (I rate this as unlikely). The abuse and smears have particularly targeted those of us who support the estimable ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’:

lapsley smear

 

smear jan 19

The most recent example was a long piece by Shaun Lawson; David Collier has responded to the smears about him here. Other Jews smeared by Lawson are Gnasher Jew; Stephen Pollard; Rachel Riley; Sussex Friends (Jews and others), Tracy Ann Oberman and Emma Picken (who isn’t Jewish). I’m proud to be in such illustrious company.

A common accusation made against me is that my political views are far right. In truth my record of fighting far-right racism is pretty good and goes back many years – see this link from 2007 (posted in full below). The most frequent smear is that I am associated with the EDL.

Nine years ago, anti-Israel campaigners repeatedly picketed an Israeli-owned shop in London. I led the counter-demonstrations, and requested that the police separate us from any EDL supporters as I did not wish to be associated with them (see here). However at one of these demonstrations, a photo was taken of me in the proximity of someone who had been involved with the EDL. On the basis of this one photo I have been repeatedly smeared as an EDL supporter/member/sympathiser. It surely does not need to be said but I cannot be held responsible for who is in my proximity on the street. If I was photographed in the same frame as Dr Harold Shipman that does not mean I support the murder of the elderly.

Most of the people who have smeared me have (of course) been anonymous. An exception is Tony Greenstein, now generally discredited and one of the few who have been expelled from the Labour Party.

Other smears suggest that I turn a blind eye to atrocities in Judea/Samaria. Also not true.

I completely reject these smears. They speak volumes about those willing to indulge in them and propagate them, whether against me, Mark Lewis, David Collier or any of the Jewish people who put their heads above the parapet to fight antisemitism.  They are the tactics of the Soviet school of antisemitism circa 1960 and they are despicable.

This blog is published not in my own interest – the smears are like water off a duck’s back – but in the interest of allies in LAAS and elsewhere (e.g. in the Remain campaign, which I also support) who I understand are taking heat from the abusers for associating with me. I would add that while I welcome their defence of me, I do not rely on it. If you want to smear me, please do it directly (@jhoffman1) and I will respond. I am happy to clarify where I stand on any matter. On the other hand if you have blocked me (as @enrages has done, see above) then don’t bother smearing me: you can’t have it both ways.

oxford union irving 2007 1
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