Jeremy Corbyn’s chief of communications urged pro-Palestinian activists act to counter Zionist activists who “bombard the media with their obsessive campaigns,” newly uncovered video has revealed.
Speaking at a conference titled “the Nakba: Sixty years of dispossession, Sixty years of resistance” in February 2009, Seumas Milne, then a journalist, responded to a question from the audience about the “Western media”.
He said: “There is a view among pro-Palestinian people often that the Zionist movement has a grip on the media, in a way that I think sometimes exaggerates the mechanisms through which that influence is exerted.”
In the footage, uncovered by investigative reporter Iggy Ostanin, Mr Milne went on to say “Zionist movement activists” were “incredibly hard-working and dedicated, and they bombard the media, day in and day out, with their obsessive campaigns”.
Speaking at a 2009 event, Milne elaborated on the antisemitic slur that Jews and Israel control the media, saying the view that “the Zionist movement has a grip on the media… sometimes exaggerates the mechanisms through which that influence is exerted”, pic.twitter.com/QDJwy0IJj2— Iggy Ostanin (@magnitsky) April 24, 2019
He called on the “large population of Arab origin” in the UK to exert a similar sort of campaign “on the other side”, saying that “it is happening, to some extent, but it needs to happen a lot more.”
Later, Mr Milne responded to a question about the honorary knighthood which had been awarded the previous year to Shimon Peres, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and at the time Israel’s president.
“Will we see figures like Gerry Adams and Omar al Bashir, the president of Sudan, knighted, given Shimon Peres’s knighthood?”, the audience member asked.
Mr Milne replied: “I think what that illustrates is where the interests lie. It’s what we’ve been discussing.
"And why Shimon Peres has been given this welcome is entirely to do with the British state’s national alliances system and has nothing to do with the merits of the case.”
Mike Katz, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the video showed that "once again, trading in AS [antisemitic] tropes beats tackling racism.
"A year ago, Milne accompanied his boss, Jeremy Corbyn to meet with the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust, following the Jewish community's demo in Parliament Square.
"One year on, Labour hasn't addressed one of their six requests."