Corbyn-supporting journalist demands lawyer apologise for saying he 'suggested it was fine to celebrate anti-Jewish terrorism'

Owen Jones has described the accusation as 'a sickening, repulsive lie and smear'


A left-wing commentator has demanded an apology from a barrister who accused him of "suggesting it was fine to celebrate anti-Jewish terrorism”.

Owen Jones, an author and opinion writer for the Guardian, called Jolyon Maugham's comment a “sickening, repulsive lie and smear.”

Mr Maugham's claim referred to when Mr Jones said "no one has been killed by a wreath", during a row over Jeremy Corbyn's attendance at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia in 2014, which caused a storm of outrage this summer when it was claimed terrorists were among those honoured.

Mr Maugham, a prominent QC, tweeted: “I’m afraid that when Owen suggested it was fine to celebrate anti-Jewish terrorism, he crossed a line from which there is no easy returning.”

Mr Jones demanded Mr Maugham apologise and withdraw the comment, as well as donate £250 to both Hope Not Hate and the far-left Jewish fringe group Jewdas, “then I’ll consider the matter closed and we can move on.”

Mr Maugham later responded to one of Mr Jones’s colleagues, who had claimed that his claim was “clearly libellous and defamatory” by saying: “I’m happy to let a court decide on that.”

Mr Jones had tweeted in August: “The British government arms Netanyahu’s administration as it slaughters innocent civilians, just as it arms the Saudis as it massacres little kids in Yemen. Does a wreath have to be laid for this to be a national scandal.

“Let’s be clear. Saudi Arabia is a terrorist state. It slaughters innocent people for political ends. It exports extremism. It is armed and backed by the British government. No one has been killed by a wreath. Countless civilians have been killed by British supplied bombs.”

He went on to say: "If I thought Corbyn condoned or incited terrorism against innocent civilians, then yes, that would be unforgivable. Despite all the attacks, there is no evidence whatsoever of this.

"There is ample evidence of his accusers facilitating state terrorism, including killing kids."

The wreath-laying ceremony became the subject of a huge number of press articles in the summer, during a standoff between the party and Jewish community leaders over the party's refusal to adopt the internationally-recognised definition of antisemitism.

The party reported a number of media organisations to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, over their coverage.

But it ended the complaints process last month, claiming that an e-mail leak showed “the complaints process was unacceptably compromised”.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive