The desperation at the heart of the anti-Semitism accusations against Jeremy Corbyn is getting embarrassing now.
The latest anti-Corbyn campaigner to humiliate himself is Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle. Mr Pollard, it seems, was infuriated after Labour Party leader (and constant victim of anti-Semitism accusations) Jeremy Corbyn tweeted the following:
Ten years ago today the financial crash began.
The people who caused it now call me a threat. They’re right.
Labour is a threat to a damaging and failed system rigged for the few. pic.twitter.com/ez2Ms8yKE2
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 15, 2018
In response, Mr Pollard wrote, “Been hesitating to tweet this because I keep thinking it can’t be, surely it can’t be.
“But the more I think about It, the more it seems it really is.
“This is ‘nudge nudge, you know who I’m talking about don’t you?’
“And yes I do. It’s appalling.”
Editor of the @JewishChron assumes bankers = Jews in an attempt to prove Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic, thus being more antisemitic than all of the still unresolved geniune incidents of antisemitism in the Labour Party 🤔🤔🤔😫 pic.twitter.com/Sa9Cmm5JMM
— jewdⒶs // ייִדהודה (@jewdas) September 16, 2018
The implication is that Mr Corbyn was referring to that staple of the anti-Semitic stereotypes, the ‘international Jewish banking conspiracy’.
This is made explicit in a follow-up tweet by Mr Pollard, which we’ll consider below.
But let’s start by making one thing plain. As David Rosenberg states: “Stephen Pollard and Jeremy Corbyn. One of them seems to think all bankers are Jews. Clue: it is not Jeremy Corbyn.”
Stephen Pollard and Jeremy Corbyn. One of them seems to think all bankers are Jews. Clue: it is not Jeremy Corbyn.
— David Rosenberg (@davidjrosenberg) September 15, 2018
You know the bank that Mr Corbyn mentions specifically in his video message? Morgan Stanley?
That bank is run by one James P Gorman. I don’t have an explicit statement about his religion but, as he appears to have attending a Catholic school in Australia, I think it is safe to conclude that he isn’t Jewish.
So Mr Corbyn could not be making any kind of reference to the ‘international Jewish banking conspiracy’ trope.
Commentators were quick to point this out, and to provide their own explanations for Mr Pollard’s faux pas: Anti-Semitism of his own.
Completely unhinged right-wing Zionist fanatic editor of the UK's leading anti-Palestinian newspaper here indulges the antisemitic conspiracy theory that the banking system is run by Jews — purely to smear Corbyn as an antisemite.
Utterly disgusting and dangerous. pic.twitter.com/pFsDujwKNg
— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) September 17, 2018
My new favourite genre of self-own Tweets is people so desperate to smear Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite that they resort to extreme displays of anti-Semitism themselves.
Using "bad Jew"/"self-hating Jew" tropes is one type. Stephen Pollard's 'banker = Jew' Tweet is another.
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) September 16, 2018
I'm not hesitating to tweet this. I will call out AS when I see it. I will also call out the weaponisation of AS when I see it & that's what this is. Corbyn is talking about bankers which is code for… Wait fot it…. Bankers! You know, the ones who caused a big financial crash! https://t.co/FkY4PMDxQw
— Chelley Ryan – #FindBertie (@chelleryn99) September 15, 2018
Doesn't the invocation of the trope about bankers mean Pollard is in breach of IHRA?
— Martin Frowd (@caldyr99) September 15, 2018
"Basic Regulation of the financial sector so people don't lose homes and pensions is…"
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) September 15, 2018
I think Polllard has fallen into that big barrel he's scraping https://t.co/ml8H4Cd1QY
— Revolution Breeze (@suejonessays) September 16, 2018
Mick, below, then asked the obvious question: “Why does this not lead to a lawyer’s letter?”
The response he received was, “Because Pollard has carefully worded it in such a way to avoid outright libel. He frames it as a question… Old journalist trick!”
Actually he didn’t. And his follow-up tweet makes the anti-Semitism clear:
Stephen Pollard, editor of the right-wing Jewish Chronicle, accuses Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism – for attacking the bankers
So, Stephen Pollard is now using antisemitism to prevent criticism of the bankers because – according to him – they are Jewish…
The man is an idiot pic.twitter.com/Qmgcb7Wsv7
— Socialist Voice (@SocialistVoice) September 15, 2018
It certainly isn’t the most intelligent thing in the world to follow up a tweet that implies an anti-Semitic stereotype with another that makes it overt. But that’s what Mr Pollard did when he tweeted: “I accept all the criticism of this tweet, and that I may be way off beam.
“But this is what happens when antisemitism is allowed to flourish – and when an antisemite leads a party. You start to read his every word through that prism. Even if the words aren’t about Jews.”
He accepts that Mr Corbyn wasn’t referring to Jews and therefore there could be no reference to the ‘international Jewish banking conspiracy’ stereotype.
But he also accepts that he was implying anti-Semitism and, given the context, this can only have been done with reference to that trope.
With Mr Corbyn out of the picture, the only person here who could be suggesting an international banking conspiracy run by Jews is Stephen Pollard.
And that puts him in a highly actionable position.
Not only that, but Mr Pollard has compounded his error by continuing to claim anti-Semitism by Mr Corbyn, even though he has admitted that he has no evidence on which to base the claim.
Stephen Pollard says;
"I accept all the criticism of my tweet"
But then bizarrely blames Jeremy Corbyn for the words he has written this tweet.
— Protect our NHS & Care workers (@WestonPark88) September 16, 2018
Hold on, you are using an antisemitic trope by suggesting that all bankers are Jewish and therefore it is antisemitic to criticise them and you blame Corbyn for it?? Have a word with yourself, Stephen! https://t.co/Rj4QhWyRLg
— Audrey (@AudreyAurus1) September 15, 2018
This isn’t an apology. An apology requires ownership and accountability.
“Corbyn made me falsely accuse him of antisemitism because he’s such an antisemite” doesn’t cut the mustard.
This is just a desperate attempt at damage control. Too little too late. https://t.co/6UsdzvrR2x
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈🏴 (@TheMendozaWoman) September 16, 2018
No, this is what happens when the scumbag editor of a Tory/Israel propaganda rag uses antisemitism as a political weapon to destroy a lifelong anti-racist. This is classic boy who cried wolf shite. In the fight against genuine antisemitism, Stephen Pollard is now the enemy. #Marr pic.twitter.com/Kjdnds8u8o
— Frank Owen's Legendary Paintbrush (@WarmongerHodges) September 16, 2018
He was never anything else.
And we can throw his tweets in the pile with all the other false accusations. Here are a couple of recent examples:
Here's a cast iron example of people lying about anti-Semitism to attack Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn clearly accused a small group of abusive Zionist extremists who were disrupting an Israel-Palestine meeting of not understanding irony, not "all Jews". https://t.co/0V26VdfLZo
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) September 17, 2018
I think we can all agree that the speech in the video clip above is a pack of lies from beginning to end, not just the part referencing Mr Corbyn’s comments on “irony”.
How about this, from Canary supremo Kerry-Anne Mendoza?
During a media debate, I described Israeli soldiers’ routine kidnap & torture of Palestinian children.
My pro-Israel opponent responded by accusing me of exploiting an antisemitic “Jews eat babies” trope.
Shameless weaponising of antisemitism to defend the indefensible. Stop it https://t.co/SCr70bp7FU
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza 🏳️🌈🏴 (@TheMendozaWoman) September 16, 2018
That’s a classic tactic of the accusers, by the way – claiming one thing is something completely different that happens to be anti-Semitic.
That’s lying – exactly the kind of lying that has created the ‘anti-Semitism’ row that has been festering for more than two years.
How hypocritical of Mr Pollard that he can claim his own anti-Semitism occurred accidentally but then find it (falsely) in the words of others – and demand that it must be intentional.
I seem to recall the Jewish Chronicle making that kind of claim about myself. How did that turn out, again?
I’m heartened by two other tweets that were published in the last couple of days. The first refers to the accusations against Mr Corbyn and the reaction of the general public:
I want to send a message of solidarity to @jeremycorbyn .We,'ordinary' members; 'ordinary'voters,know your life's work.Your brave campaigning on many issues,over many years, including anti racism+ anti-Semitisms .These truths cannot be undone+we see what's being done to you.
— Sara (@tigerfish4) September 15, 2018
The truth of this is self-evident from the recent Labour NEC elections in which supporters of Mr Corbyn increased their presence on the party’s ruling committee, with the support of the party membership at large.
And then there’s this:
The schism between much of the Jewish community and Corbyn’s Labour could be mended
BOTH sides feel they have been treated vilely by the other
Dialogue in good faith could solve things but first people need to trust each other
Meeting one to one or small groups would be a start
— Tom London (@TomLondon6) September 17, 2018
And this too is true. The differences between the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and that part of the Jewish community that has taken issue with it could be mended very easily because they are based on falsehoods.
Discussion of the evidence supporting each side’s arguments – in good faith – could result in an epiphany.
Isn’t it worth a try?
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