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):
Jewish actor Miriam Margolyes had some words to say about Boris Johnson on Channel 4 News tonight.
She also strongly refuted the idea that Jeremy is an anti-semite. Worth listening to – instead of throwing soundbites around. pic.twitter.com/Tpo19POcCz
— Hasan Patel 🌹 (@CorbynistaTeen) November 26, 2019
The wonderful Ms Margolyes is also among the 10 Jewish voices discussing Mr Corbyn in this video clip:
A beautiful video.
RT widely! pic.twitter.com/gnbmiyzBn1
— Francesca Martinez (@chessmartinez) November 26, 2019
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.
Chief Rabbi has had nothing to say on Tories hostile environment and Windrush Scandal, nor on formal Tory links with antisemitic gov'ts in Poland and Hungary. Think he's sitting on his moral compass. #notmychiefrabbibruv
— David Rosenberg (@davidjrosenberg) November 26, 2019
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:
Today I'm feeling terrible that my religious identity is being used to argue that an obvious anti-racist is an #Antisemite. #Antisemitism is awful and must always be fought, but it is simply not the case that #Corbyn or #Labour is antisemitic. #jewsforjeremy #Jews4Labour
— Simon Goodman (@DrSimonGoodman) November 26, 2019
Off for today
I need to calm down, it’s not healthy to be this angry 😡
Too many lies and mendacious attempts to undermine the only leader I know that wants peace, equality and a fairer society for us all whilst protecting this planet we all call home
Sleep well #Jews4Labour
— Juliette emery #GTTO 🖐 (@emeryjuliette1) November 26, 2019
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.
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