James O’Brien (left) questioned the credentials of a deceased Jewish Holocaust survivor in order to make a specious political point about Jeremy Corbyn (right).
I used to think LBC radio host James O’Brien was one of the good guys but his disrespect for a deceased Jewish survivor of the Nazi Holocaust is utterly unacceptable.
O’Brien was referring to the 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day event at which Hajo Meyer, a Jewish Holocaust victim who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, attacked Israeli government behaviour towards Gaza, comparing it with that of the Nazis.
It seems the presenter considered such a comparison, by somebody who should know, to be unacceptable and he claimed Mr Meyer made his speech behind the “camouflage” of being a Holocaust survivor.
How utterly despicable.
For O’Brien to attack a man who is not only dead, and therefore unable to respond, is bad enough.
But to diminish the suffering Mr Meyer endured in life by claiming he was under “camouflage” is beyond the pale.
It is also, quite clearly, anti-Semitic: Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of Nazi Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
Has Mr O’Brien ever been forced to endure persecution because of his race, religion, skin colour, ethnic group or any other such distinguishing feature?
Has he ever been forced into a concentration camp, worked like an animal and starved nearly to death?
Has he ever had to live in fear of being murdered alongside a multitude of people like him?
No. He hasn’t.
But he took it on himself to insult the memory of a man who had, in order to score a cheap political point against Jeremy Corbyn, who has apologised for appearing at the event in which Mr Meyer made his speech, even though he was not responsible for its content.
And what did Mr O’Brien do, when he was challenged over his behaviour by a listener? Did he apologise?
Not a bit of it. See for yourself:
James said: “Get lost, seriously. You honestly think when you’ve got the leader of the Labour Party sharing a platform with people who compare Jews to Nazis, you think my vocabulary is the most interesting and important element of this story?
“You, pal, are the problem.You’re the reason why this country is on its knees. You are the reason why the nastiest, most vindictive Tory administration we’ve seen in decades is still hanging on to power.
“You are the reason why, because you’ve got a party led by a man who has the moral integrity of a Kit Kat and yet somehow has managed to persuade significant swathes of decent people that he speaks for decency.
“No he doesn’t, he’s a disgrace. And if the Labour Party was led by anybody else it would be 20 points ahead in the polls.”
Can you see any solid evidence to support his vile claims about Mr Meyer in that vicious rant?
Neither can I.
All I can see are ad hominem attacks and insults on a listener who is perfectly entitled to their opinion, and on the leader of the Labour Party.
This is behaviour that falls well below the standard expected of people in public life.
Perhaps this makes matters clearer: It turns out Hajo Meyer is the person who said an anti-Semite was no longer a person who hated Jews but a person who is hated by Jews. No wonder the Campaign Against Antisemitism is keen to besmirch his memory.
Of all the accusations by the fake “anti-Semitism” accusers, this has to be the lowest yet. Why has Jeremy Corbyn apologised?
It seems Mr Corbyn has been accused of anti-Semitism because he appeared at an event in 2010 when Hajo Meyer, a Jewish Holocaust victim who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, repeatedly compared the behaviour of the Israeli government in Gaza to that of Nazi Germany.
It’s just This Writer’s opinion but, as a person who has witnessed the crimes of the Nazis first-hand, he should know!
To show how ridiculous the accusation is: The implication by the Campaign Against Antisemitism is that Mr Meyer was an anti-Semite. These people are accusing a Holocaust victim of anti-Semitism – or they would, if he hadn’t died in 2014.
The fact that this has been dredged up now raises a couple of questions.
Firstly, did the Campaign Against Antisemitism conduct any research into the feelings of the wider community of British Jews before making its claim? This is an event that happened eight years ago, so there has been plenty of time.
Why was no accusation made in 2010? It seems that would have been the appropriate time. Why has no objection been made until now? Is it because it is politically expedient to do so now?
The CAA has referred the party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has exhibited little interest, saying it will consider what action is needed – “if any”.
The CAA’s letter to the EHRC claims that Labour has created an atmosphere of discrimination against Jewish members and/or associates through years of failure to enforce its own rules. Which rules? Isn’t it strange that they never come out with any actual evidence?
So we find that Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for being present when a Jewish Holocaust survivor passed an opinion that he was perfectly entitled to hold – at an event eight years ago, to which (to the best of our knowledge) the wider Jewish community in the UK does not object.
He should not have done so. In fact, he should have told his accusers to clear off – in no uncertain terms. Until he actually does this, he will never be free of them.
Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for speaking at an event where the actions of Israel in Gaza were compared to the Nazis.
The Labour leader acknowledged he had appeared with people “whose views I completely reject” when he hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event in 2010, while he was a backbench MP. He apologised for the “concerns and anxiety” it had caused.
The main talk at the event, called Never Again for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza, was given by Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He repeatedly compared Israeli action in Gaza to the mass killing of Jewish people in the Holocaust.
Corbyn said: “The main speaker at this Holocaust Memorial Day meeting was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor. Views were expressed at the meeting which I do not accept or condone.
“In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject. I apologise for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”
Campaigners say a socioeconomic perspective can only come from somebody with experience and understanding of how communities like North Kensington operate [Image: AFP/Getty].
It is relatively easy to sympathise with Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s desire not to be seen as biased towards the residents of Grenfell Tower, in his inquiry into the circumstances of the fire that claimed at least 80 (cue derisory laughter) lives.
But if his inquiry is to be impartial, he must find somebody to sit on it who can provide insight into the interests of tower block residents who had little influence on the decisions that were made about their safety.
He needs a resident of another tower block.
Better still, he needs an unemployed tower block resident.
Not only would that provide good publicity for the inquiry, but it would be a fantastic opportunity for whoever was chosen. This Writer has no idea how much the members of a committee of inquiry are paid but my guess is that they don’t come cheap.
And if the chosen candidate makes a good fist of it, the experience could be life-changing.
But will Sir Martin have the wisdom to make such a choice?
If he doesn’t, then he’s the wrong choice to chair the inquiry after all and the heckles he has attracted will have been well-deserved.
The chairman of an inquiry into the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower has refused calls to allow a survivor of the disaster to be part of a team assessing evidence.
Retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who is leading the probe, acknowledged survivors’ concerns about the impartiality of the investigation, but said they could only provide evidence to the inquiry.
Issuing an opening statement at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, Sir Martin said: “To appoint someone as an assessor who has had direct involvement in the fire would risk undermining my impartiality in the eyes of others who are also deeply involved in the inquiry.”
Instead, Sir Martin, a former judge at the Court of Appeal, said he would approach candidates who were entirely separated from the disaster.
Grief: Mourners at a vigil for the victims of the Grenfell fire [Image: Getty Images].
Everybody in the UK should be ashamed of the small-minded creeps who have showered abuse on survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, just because they have been offered free seaside trips to help recover.
It seems the abusers, who often refer to incidents that have harmed them, have deliberately ignored the main fact of the Grenfell disaster:
The residents of Grenfell Tower had absolutely no control over the conditions that led to the inferno.
In fact, they had spent years trying to convince the authorities of the danger presented by the unsafe cladding that turned the tower into an inferno.
Were any of the abusers similarly powerless in the situations they describe? It seems doubtful.
Personally, I agree with Ben, a friend of a friend on Facebook, who wrote:
“Let me guess
“‘I wish my kids got free trips to the seaside!’
“Do you wish your kids were trapped in a burning building, with screaming, dying people and animals in every direction? Do you wish their lungs would fill with smoke? Do you wish they would witness people running past them on fire? That Mum, or their mate Billy, or Spot the cat would die and your child’s last memory of them would be them screaming in agony and possibly begging to be killed?
“Now shut the f— up.
“Signed, a bloke who lost most of his possessions in a house fire but still doesn’t think he has suffered half as much as these kids.”
Families who survived the Grenfell Tower inferno have become the target of vile online abuse after they were offered free trips to the seaside.
People left homeless in the wake of the huge fire which ripped through the 24-storey tower block in west London leaving 80 people dead have been offered days out and trips away to help them recover from the horror.
However, online trolls slammed the kind gesture, organised by Facebook group, Grenfell Tower Holiday appeal.
One person wrote on Twitter: “Right.. I’m burning my house down tonight. I’m in need of a holiday and new house and even some cash.”
Another added: “Why are the Grenfell tower residents getting a free holiday? Who’s paying? I don’t recall any of the Somerset flood victims getting anything.”
One man said: “#grenfell I didn’t get a free holiday when I had a home fire. This is getting totally out of hand.”
Another woman wrote: “Next door’s dog has just killed one of my hens and I’m heartbroken. Can I go? I need cheering up.”
It came as a survivor of the blaze, known only as Lilian, told the BBC that former residents now felt “scared” to admit they were from the tower because of the abuse people have suffered.
Serious task: New Zealand High Court Judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed as the third chair of the inquiry into historical child sex abuse.
Did anybody notice this in the mainstream media? It was reported, but not very strongly.
New Zealand High Court judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed as the third chair of Theresa May’s much-aborted inquiry into historical child sex abuse in the United Kingdom.
She has told the Commons Home Affairs select committee she wants to have the troubled inquiry “up and running” by early April and would aim to revisit past wrongs, clarify what happened and ensure children were protected from sexual abuse.
She also said she intended for the inquiry, which she has been told could take three to four years, to have a “truth and reconciliation” element to it, which would allow survivors to speak about their experiences in private if necessary – as well as an investigative function.
And she said she has no links to the establishment, telling MPs: “We don’t have such a thing in my country.” This last claim may be suspect!
Concerns have been raised about her record. According to one site, while heading the NZ Independent Police Conduct Authority, Justice Goddard concealed a number of serious complaints against police and, while Deputy Solicitor General, refused to release evidence that former judge Michael Lance was guilty of perverting justice in a police prosecution of his son Simon’s business partner, claiming it was not in the public interest to allow the prosecution.
But she dismissed allegations made by New Zealand bloggers by pointing out that her prime accuser has been officially certified a “vexatious litigant” and stressing that her record on child abuse included passing the longest sentence in New Zealand judicial history on a man who abused and murdered two girls.
So that’s all right then. Is it?
One of her first moves has been to end Theresa May’s experiment to put child abuse survivors on the panel. She said: “There are inherent risks in having people with personal experience of abuse as members of an impartial and independent panel.”
Blogger David Hencke, who has far more experience in these subjects than Yr Obdt Srvt, commented: “Frankly the row and bitter campaign by some organisations, l am afraid like the Survivors Alliance, against people appointed to the panel has ended in excluding survivors voices in the writing of the report. They have shot themselves in the foot.
“There will obviously be some appointed to an advisory panel, but no one should kid themselves that they will have the same influence as a member of the panel. It will be up to the judge to decide how often and how much they will be consulted but up to her and her QC adviser, Ben Emmerson, to decide what will appear in the report.
“A radical experiment in setting up an inquiry to deal with one of the nastiest and most persistent blots in British public life – the exploitation of children by paedophiles – has been killed with the help of the very people who suffered that fate.” [bolding mine]
Survivors will still be able to speak to the inquiry and also to the new People’s Tribunal now in the process of being set up, which has survivors on its steering committee.
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