Unafraid: Jews respond to Chief Rabbi’s (and other) claims that they fear a Corbyn Labour government

Ephraim Mirvis: On the eve of the Labour Party’s “race and faith” manifesto launch, he made a fact-free rant claiming that the party has not done enough about anti-Semitism. It is nonsense.

British people don’t like being told what to think, it seems – especially British Jews.

The day after the Chief Rabbi tried to tell them to vote “with your conscience” for Boris Johnson and against Jeremy Corbyn, telling them they were afraid of a Labour government, they were already telling him where to stick his vote.

Within hours, I saw this letter from a British Jew circulated on the social media. It states:

“Dear Chief Rabbi, you have shamed your office today and rendered the Jewish people even more vulnerable to real antisemitism by reinforcing the fake, media-induced antisemitism that you recklessly impute to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

“To interfere politically at this point in an election in a way that could affect the only party that could bring hope and social justice to this country is beyond contempt and renders you unfit for office.

“As a Jew and a Labour Party supporter, I am proud to be part of a venture that I see as a continuity of so many of my Jewish forbears who have fought for social justice here and in Europe.

“You talk about ‘the soul of the nation being at stake’ yet have you not noticed what has happened to that soul over the last nine years where: 1. The poor have been vilified 2. The ill have been attacked 3. The mentally ill have suffered 4. Inequality has soared. 5. Greed and financial rapaciousness has flourished 6. Austerity has been unnecessarily applied after a financial crisis brought about by an out of control finance sector that has benefited the wealthiest.

“Where was your voice about the nation’s soul then?

“Yet you inveigh against a decent and honest man who, even now, maintains integrity in the face of manifest manipulation, deceit and digital sleight of hand from the Tories.

“You have shamed your office, the justice-loving tradition of the Jewish people and laid the grounds for future tensions in the most irresponsible way. You seem to lack the acuity of intellect to even spot the most obvious use of this bogus antisemitism as a political weapon.

“Justin Schlossberg of the Media Reform Coalition called the antisemitism saga ‘a disinformation paradigm’ and made a detailed study of the issue. The great scholar, Norman Finkelstein, likewise, sees this a purely politically motivated attack.

“How dare you, amateurishly intervene in this, betraying the great Jewish scholarly tradition of intellectual and analytical acumen embodied in the Talmud and the exegetics of the Chumash.”

The letter is signed, “With profound sadness and considerable disgust.”

While Andrew Neil on BBC1 was enjoying the sound of his own voice a little too much as he tried to gaslight Jeremy Corbyn himself into an apology he had neither any need nor intention of offering, Miriam Margolyes was defending him on Channel 4 (from the anti-Semitism accusation, at least):

The wonderful Ms Margolyes is also among the 10 Jewish voices discussing Mr Corbyn in this video clip:

The Chief Rabbi’s comments have also come under closer scrutiny after evidence was revealed that he is a Conservative and a friend of Tory leader Boris Johnson. Further revelations were to follow.

Indeed. And why did he have nothing to say about two Conservative candidates who recently faced charges of anti-Semitism?

Saddest to note has been the effect on ordinary British Jews, who feel that – well, don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:

The good news is that, as I mentioned at the top of this article, British people don’t like being told what to think: Labour has enjoyed an upward leap in the opinion polls.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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  1. Robbo November 27, 2019 at 3:32 am - Reply

    “Labour enjoyed an upward leap in the opinion polls”. In the interests of fairness so too, according to Polltracker, did the Conservatives.

    • Mike Sivier November 27, 2019 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Is that right? Golly.

  2. SteveH November 27, 2019 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Jews speak out in support of Corbyn

    Rabbinical Executive of United European Jews write to Jeremy Corbyn dismissing UK media commentary as ‘propaganda’

    Yesterday the Director of the UK Rabbinical Executive Board wrote a letter to Jeremy Corbyn which, it said, represented the views of the United European Jews organisation. The letter said that the organisation “reject and condemn in no uncertain terms” the recent comments in the media, claiming that the “majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety” at the prospect of a Labour government.


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