Fair play – at least Private Eye had the guts to publish this letter from my brother the Beast, in full, without trying to justify itself in any way.
Letter in @PrivateEyeNews (issue 1556, p 25) re Labour Party "witch-hunt" from Dr David Sivier, writer of the "Beast Rabban" blog and brother of Vox Political writer Mike Sivier @MidWalesMike. pic.twitter.com/YTJ14JeILQ
— leftworks #WeAreCorbyn #IStandWithCraigMurray (@leftworks1) September 16, 2021
The scan is a bit faint and I know some of you won’t be able to read it, so here are the salient parts:
“I have followed with interest your coverage of the mass accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party and the purges of those accused. I regret to say that I have found this coverage to be almost wholly one-sided.
“You have given little opportunity for the victims of what can only be described as a witch-hunt to speak for themselves.
“Worse, you seem to have blindly followed the media groupthink and automatically assumed that the Labour Party did have a severe antisemitism problem, that Jeremy Corbyn was an antisemite, and that those accused were indeed guilty.
“This left me somewhat perplexed, as your magazine has a strong tradition of criticising Israel and standing up for those who have been falsely accused. I am offering you the opportunity to correct this bias.
“Yesterday I received a message from the Labour Party Complaints Team informing me that I was being investigated for antisemitism based on an article I had published on my blog.
“In this I agreed with another blogger, Tony Greenstein, a proud Jewish critic of Zionism, that Zionism was an internalised Jewish version of antisemitism and that Israel is indeed a racist, colonialist state.
“The argument is supported by solid historical scholarship, quoting reputable historians and the major figures in Zionist history themselves.
“I am not an antisemite, a form of racism that I find particularly abhorrent, and have published very many pieces on my blog attacking it and other forms of racism, as well as its political expressions, Fascism and Nazism.
“I am determined to fight these false accusations and this attempt to suppress reasonable criticism of Israel by automatically equating it with genuine despicable hatred of Jews.
“BA (Hons) History, MA History PhD Archaeology”
Please don’t get sidetracked into speculation that my brother is a modern version of Indiana Jones. The relevance of his qualifications is that, when he discusses Israel, Zionism, anti-Semitism, Fascism and Nazism, he knows exactly what he is discussing.
So it will be very interesting to see if his missive receives any responses in subsequent Eye letter columns – and to examine, with the Beast himself, the quality of those responses.
We all know – don’t we? – that none of the arguments matter. Labour has accused Dr Dave and the fact that he knows far more about this subject than his accusers won’t stop them from expelling him from the party as soon as they get the chance.
They’re utterly ignorant, but they have a quota to meet, or masters to obey, or whatever excuse it is today.
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Ah, antisemitism under Corbyn. I’ve found that a pretty good question to ask the accusers is something like this. “We had about four years of almost daily media accusations. So considering how much has been written and said in the press, can you give me a figure, a rough one will do, about what the level of AS under Corbyn actually was?
For some reason, probably Ian Hislop’s obvious personal animosity towards him, Private Eye completely failed to live up to its normal standards when dealing with Jeremy Corbyn and the issues surrounding his leadership of the Labour Party. That said, so did just about every other supposedly satirical programme / magazine. HIGNFY was obviously compromised by Hislop’s input, but Mock the Week was equally culpable – all these supposedly trendy lefty comedians from the nineties and noughties showing that once they start getting money their “principles” quickly wash away.
What they all did was amplify the lies and misrepresentations made by the right-wing media, Labour saboteurs and the Tories, rather than satirising the liars and fraudsters perpetuating the myths. The idea that anti-Semitism is 1) rife in the Labour Party and 2) only appeared after Corbyn became leader is laughable in the extreme.
Corbyn has to carry some blame: he should have stood up to the liars and taken legal action to establish that he is not a racist or an anti-Semite. I am sure that you are well aware of someone he could have taken to the cleaners, unfortunately / fortunately he is not as unpleasant and vindictive as that person.
Labour is being kettled by the issue of anti-semitism driven by a well planned Jewish trojan horse delivered courtesy of the Tory Party dirty tricks department
“Jewish” trojan horse? Israeli, perhaps. Don’t ever allow the two to be intermixed in your mind.
And it would be handy to implicate the Tories in it somehow – we know the Board of Deputies of British Jews are a bunch of Tories – but I would need to see a lot of hard evidence before I would be convinced.