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Witch-hunters: I still like this image because it paints the Labour Party anti-Semitism fakers as cartoon characters.

As a victim of the witch-hunt, I am delighted to see that people aren’t meekly accepting the mainstream interpretation of it any more.

We’re currently seeing a backlash against the ‘establishment’ view that anybody accused of anti-Semitism must be guilty, with three notable contributions in the last few days:

More than 200 Jewish women, incensed by The Guardian‘s insistence on assuming that MPs like Margaret Hodge must be telling the whole truth about the situation, wrote to the newspaper to point out that this Dame’s claims fall far short of journalistic standards of accuracy.

They pointed out that Margaret Hodge had claimed to have submitted 200 complaints of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to general secretary Jennie Formby – but on investigation, those complaints concerned 111 individuals of whom only 20 were party members. Those involving the other 91 people were nothing to do with the Labour Party’s disciplinary procedure and her submission of those complaints was a waste of the party’s time.

Having established that Margaret Hodge’s grasp of the facts is not what it should be, the letter’s signatories went on to suggest that her latest claims – that Labour branches should be shut down, for supporting Chris Williamson against those who want him removed from the party over his own stance on the issue, or for refusing to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition and examples of anti-Semitism over Labour’s own version – should be treated as similarly suspect.

The Guardian refused to publish the letter on the grounds that it said nothing new, which is bitterly funny in hindsight as the criticism is more appropriately attached to the words of the MP than to her critics.

The ensuing coverage of the letter in the social media has made fools of Margaret Hodge and The Guardian – and may have reached more people as a result of the newspaper’s decision not to publish it.

Not only that, but 12 Holocaust survivors wrote a letter, published by The Sunday Times, stating that they “do not believe that any prejudice against or hostility towards Jews is being perpetrated by Labour; and if any exists within the party, it is minimal and no more prevalent than in any other political party… Jeremy Corbyn has in fact bent over backwards to help Jewish people”.

The letter continued: “Media attention on the Labour Party in general, and on Corbyn in particular, is being generated by anti-Labour and anti-Corbyn mischief makers, who unfortunately are over-represented within the so-called Anglo-Jewish leadership — a leadership whose legitimacy is not recognised by the mainstream Haredi (strictly Orthodox) Jews.”

The letter has been criticised by the Jewish Chronicle – but readers of This Site will know that the JC has a distant relationship with the facts, as far as the anti-Semitism row is concerned, and it has been suggested that it used false information – fake news – to trash the claims of these Holocaust survivors. Just read this Skwawkbox article for an explanation.

Finally, we have seen the online launch of the documentary film WitchHunt, by John Pullman, which examines the attack on innocent Labour Party members by those who corruptly accuse them of anti-Semitism.

I haven’t seen it yet. I wonder how closely it will mirror my own experiences. But I would certainly encourage you to watch it.

The mainstream – the ‘establishment’ – will try hard to regain the initiative; we have seen one attempt already in the response of the Jewish Chronicle. The best advice you can take is to use your own intelligence and make up your own mind, based on the evidence available and the reliability of those providing it.


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