Corbyn supporters post vile racism and he says nothing

November 24, 2016 23:31

Did Twitter break the Labour party?

I am not being facetious. There is a certain gallows humour in joking about the wave of online antisemitism from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.

Twitter has given voice and focus to a loud, dedicated minority among Mr Corbyn’s wider support; those who dislike, hate or even loathe Jews.

Social media is a double-edged sword. It is through social media that Mr Corbyn’s links to the antisemite Paul Eisen were exposed. It was through Twitter that I discovered Jeremy Corbyn’s “friend”, the racist and homophobe Abou Jahjah, whom he had invited to Parliament. Abou Jahjah has said “every dead British soldier I consider a victory”. Twitter pointed me to CEC, the La Rouche antisemitic cultists whom Corbyn brought into Parliament to interview him just this spring. So it was, in that sense, useful.

But the more Mr Corbyn’s embrace of Eisen, Raed Salah, Hamas and Hizbollah was exposed , the better he did in the swollen selectorate that has swamped real Labour members two to one (600,000 now vs 200,000 at the start of the race). And instead of decrying his links to antisemites, the left broadly shrugged their shoulders — or rejoiced that Mr Corbyn had given them comfort.

The majority of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are not antisemites but hundreds, maybe even thousands, of them are. Antisemites form a significant minority of Corbynites and they are among the loudest online. Abuse and Jew-hatred is rife.

First you have the open loathers of Jews like Alison Chabloz, a performer at the Edinburgh Fringe who tweeted a quenelle then said that Jewish people brought pogroms on themselves . You have those who said Liz Kendall was “a servile zionist cow”. You have Fred Litten, who tweeted “Hitler was right and we were wrong”. You have the commenter on my blog reporting on Mr Corbyn’s meetings with antisemites who said that the Holocaust was fake but added, wistfully: “I wish there were six million less of them”.

Next, you have people who are antisemitic but do not know they are. Perhaps these are more worrying. “What, are you saying that all Jews, not just the business owning rich ones, hate Corbyn?’ one man asked me. “Nothing wrong with denying the Holocaust, history is written by the victors,” said another. “Zyklon B was used for delousing." Another, a Scottish nationalist who likes Mr Corbyn, replied to a tweet saying he had called for an inquiry into 'Jewish donors to the Conservative party' with 'About time!'. (In fact, Mr Corbyn had supported an inquiry into 'Zionist' donors to the Conservatives, but every name mentioned at the event when he endorsed this was Jewish.) The antisemites are drawn to Mr Corbyn like a moth to a flame. “The Nuremberg trials were for show,” said Matthew Lees. Susan John-Richards, a deselected Tory councillor in 2010, now supports him because of her antisemitism. “All Jews are intermarried anyway,” she says. “Jews and Zionists own the whole world.” She also believes in the blood libel and that “9/11 was an inside job”.

Respect Party suppporters of George Galloway have flocked to back Mr Corbyn. Adnan Sadiq, for example, condemned by the Corbyn campaign in the Sunday Times for his tweeting, worked for Mr Galloway in Bradford. Joanne Stowell, formerly a staunch Respect supporter, is now a huge Corbyn fan. “We’ve had the Holocaust rammed down our throat by by Zionists forever ensuring only Jewish suffering counts”, she said.

“Holocaust ‘denying’ [is] research and fact-finding,” she insists.

Is Mr Corbyn complicit? He must answer for the known antisemites he invited to Parliament and donated to. But he is not responsible for the tweets of his supporters. Yet he is responsible for the shabby silence with which he has greeted this tsunami. All he says is “no rudeness”.

Holocaust denial is not “rudeness”. #F**kJews as Peter Farquhar, a Corbyn supporter, tweeted, isn’t rudeness: “f**k israel and f**k jews, they are the c**ts ruining the planet #F**kJews”, he said helpfully. This is hatred, not rudeness.

If Mr Corbyn hates racism and has fought it all his life as he tells us, then he is failing to keep that up at this moment.

The Corbyn campaign has called unearthing these facts a smear. Yet Mr Corbyn is a hypocrite, for he himself said of Nick Griffin of the BNP: “No one should share a platform with an avowed racist”. That is his standard. We are simply holding him to it.

Mr Corbyn has shared platforms with racists countless times. In 2005 he attended a Deir Yassin Remembered celebration with the antisemites Eisen and Gilad Atzmon. Now Atzmon is tweeting that Jeremy Corbyn should be voted in because Jews fear him. He wrote a blog post to that effect; antisemites who support Mr Corbyn are now re-tweeting it again and again.

What can we say of Mr Corbyn’s silence? It is not good enough. Were his parents silent at Cable Street?

Mr Corbyn can at best say in the face of the evidence that he never knew his collaborators were racists. But what does that tell us? It says he does not think the Jewish people are worth even a basic check — that his taxpayer-funded staff should have Googled his guests. In spring of this year he gave an interview in Parliament to the antisemitic La Rouche cultist group CEC. Now his campaign says it is “concerned” to hear of the La Rouche links. But the name La Rouche is in bold red letters on the group’s front page. If Mr Corbyn says he didn’t know, then that itself shows no regard for British Jews, because he is an MP with an office, with a staff, with plenty of resources to check.

He has not defended his fellow Labour MP Liz Kendall in the face of tweets like “Kendall would serve Israel before you or your family”. He has done nothing, said nothing — other than a vague platitude or two. Where is his thundering speech in defence of the Jewish community? Nowhere. Nothing. It is pathetic.

This is no smear. This is Mr Corbyn’s record in meeting antisemites ; and it is the record of antisemitism of a large, vocal minority of his support.

On Tuesday, matters changed. Yvette Cooper slammed Mr Corbyn for meeting racists and homophobes (Abou Jahjah is both). And the Labour supporter J K Rowling retweeted an article decrying the left’s feeble response to antisemitism because they don’t think it is a problem. It will be tough for Mr Corbyn to say either Yvette Cooper or J K Rowling are smearing him.

Britain’s Jewish community should act. They should log all instances of antisemitism they find and report them to the police (I use to capture tweets). And they should keep logs of the incident numbers.

If I were being political,I would not have written the piece that exposed Mr Corbyn and Abou Jahjah which dominated UK media last week . For Tories like me, Jeremy Corbyn is a dream leader, politically. But I don’t want to win elections if the price is a rise in antisemitic sentiment. Hence I have done my best to expose that sentiment to Labour voters.

Yet if Labour do elect Mr Corbyn, the gloves are off. The Conservatives will have more ammunition than they know what to do with. If David Cameron faces Jeremy Corbyn at the dispatch box, I expect him to show no mercy. I do not care if Mr Corbyn thinks of himself as a “nice man”. I don’t agree. I prefer his observation that nobody should share a platform with an avowed racist.

When I hear “never again”, for me it is more than just a platitude. The only good thing I can say for the Corbyn candidacy and the rise of online antisemitism is that it has shocked Britain out of its complacency, and dragged the nasty underbelly of the left out into the light.

Racism, sadly, is no longer a preserve of the ultra-right. As we can now see, it belongs also to the ultra-left. And it is up to all of us to fight it, hard. Mr Corbyn has not yet begun to address the issue online. But it is never too late to start. And if he will not, then the rest of us will.

November 24, 2016 23:31

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