"If it quacks like a duck…" (& Holocaust survivor brutally murdered in Paris)

March 26, 2018



There are new revelations within the last few minutes that Britain’s left-wing “prime minister in waiting” Jeremy Corbyn – already mired in scandal for his links to anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and Palestinian terrorists – is personally a member of this third anti-Semitic Facebook group (above).

 



After appearing to defend this anti-Semitic public wall mural in London by Los Angeles-based street artist Mear One, even though one of his own Labour MPs said it would not have looked out of place in Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer, Jeremy Corbyn has distanced himself from it. (The mural uses traditional anti-Semitic imagery produced in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.)

As I have outlined before on this list, since becoming head of the Labour party, Corbyn has been forced to distance himself from Labour party members and supporters who accused Jews and Israel of being behind the 9/11 attacks, from his own ten year association with the fake news anti-Semitic propaganda group founded by Britain’s leading Holocaust denier (the anti-Semitic Jewish-born Paul Eisen), from his ‘friends’ in Hamas and Hezbollah, from radical anti-Semitic Islamic sheikhs, from the honor Corbyn bestowed in memory of one of the terrorist masterminds behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, from being a member of the closed Facebook group ‘Palestine Live’, in which a number of anti-Semitic posts appeared, and so on.

 

“THE SOCIALISM OF FOOLS”

[Note by Tom Gross]

Less than 10 percent of subscribers to this email list live in the UK, and whereas left-wing anti-Semitism is now the lead story today across the British news media after the latest anti-Semitic scandal involving the head of the main opposition Labour party, this story has not been covered properly elsewhere, especially by prominent international newspapers such as The New York Times* which are largely sympathetic to the Labour party.

Despite Brexit (some might argue because of it), Britain remains a very important world power, and therefore the very real prospect that Britain’s next prime minister could be an extremist across a range of issues, should be of concern elsewhere.

Lord Stewart Wood, a Labour peer, and formerly the advisor to the previous Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, said: “The German Social Democrats had an expression in the 1890s: ‘antisemitism is the socialism of fools’. Sadly, Labour’s leadership now faces the challenge of having to convince our party and country that they will not tolerate those who confuse the two.” (Tom Gross: One might well argue socialism, even without the anti-Semitism, is itself a foolish, if perhaps on occasion well-intentioned, endeavor.)

Labour MP Ian Austin, who is a subscriber to this list, said “Jeremy would never have defended racist imagery aimed at any other group.”

 

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR BRUTALLY MURDERED

Just as Corbyn’s positions and associations with anti-Semites have not been sufficiently reported outside the UK, readers of this list outside France may not have heard about the latest murder of a Jew there in a suspected anti-Semitic attack.

An 85-year-old French-Jewish Holocaust survivor was stabbed 11 times on Friday before her apartment was set on fire on Avenue Philippe Auguste in Paris’s working class 11th arrondissement, Le Parisien newspaper reports.

Police said the victim, “Mireille K.” whose surname is being withheld for the time being, had filed police complaints against a local resident who had threatened to burn her just as her family were burned in the Holocaust

French leaders called for judicial authorities to act swiftly and not cover up the motives “for this barbaric crime.”

Last year, when 65-year-old orthodox Jewish grandmother Sarah Halimi was severely beaten in her apartment, also in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, by an Islamist assailant and then thrown to her death from her window, even though the assailant had long screamed anti-Semitic curses at her and other Jews, a French court ruled that the Halimi case would not be prosecuted as an anti-Semitic hate crime.

After President Macron personally intervened to criticize the court, the judge admitted that the motive for the unprovoked murder had been anti-Semitic.

 

ANTI-SEMITISM DENIAL, ITSELF A FORM OF ANTI-SEMITISM

Sarah Halimi is not related to Ilan Halimi, another French Jew brutally murdered about whom it took French authorities some time to admit that the motives were anti-Semitic.

As I pointed out in this article in Canada’s National Post (no British or French paper agreed to publish the article) the Paris public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, told French journalists that there was nothing anti-Semitic about the murder (before then French Prime Minister de Villepin stepped in to accuse both him and the police of covering up the anti-Semitic aspects of the murder).

And Le Figaro in Paris and The Observer in London (the Sunday edition of The Guardian with which it shares a website) reported the Ilan Halimi case while avoiding any mention of the fact that the victim was a Jew. “It is hard to imagine that The Observer, or its affiliate newspaper The Guardian, would report on an unprovoked racial attack on a black or Asian Muslim without mentioning that it was a racial attack, or who the perpetrators and victim were,” I wrote.

(See also this update on Ilan Halimi.)

 

“IF IT QUACKS LIKE A DUCK…”

Today, papers, at least in Britain, are in general more willing to allow a columnist to say that something is anti-Semitic.

I attach two articles, one from today’s Guardian and the other from yesterday’s London Sunday Times, by Rod Liddle titled “Nothing proves Corbyn is anti-Semitic – just everything he says and does”.

Corbyn “can backtrack all he likes,” writes Liddle. “But if it walks like an anti-Semite and repeatedly quacks like an anti-Semite, then it probably is an anti-Semite.”

The Guardian’s article is by one of their two token non-left-wing columnists, Matthew d’Ancona, who asks “How ‘closely’ did Corbyn have to look at the mural, which resembled a homage to the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, to spot its vicious hostility to Jews?”

 

TV CLIPS

Here are two of my short TV interviews criticizing Corbyn and the British left’s (and the British leftist media’s) extremist views on Jews and Israel, and on Corbyn’s views on the Russian and Iranian regimes.


* Updates, March 27, 2018

* There is a second dispatch on this subject here: A rally in London, a rally in Paris.

I am told by staff at the New York Times that, prompted by my remarks above on this subject earlier in the day and by my criticism of the New York Times for not sufficiently covering anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, the New York Times commissioned this piece which went on line late last night and is also on page 7 of the print edition today, May 27. Senior staff at the New York Times subscribe to this Middle East dispatch (invitation-only) email list.

*And there is a third dispatch here: Labour mayor: Israel behind US school shootings (& a hero dies, aged 107)


ARTICLES

“WHOLLY INADEQUATE”

Corbyn’s ‘regret’ over an antisemitic mural doesn’t go remotely far enough

By Matthew d’Ancona

The party leader seems to respond as though hatred of Jewish people is an irritant, rather than a issue of fundamental rights

The Guardian, Opinion

March 26, 2018

If, as August Bebel, the 19th-century German leftist, warned, antisemitism is the “socialism of fools”, then it is becoming ever more pressing to ask whether the man who fancies himself our next prime minister might be rather foolish. Jeremy Corbyn’s gift for empathy does much to explain his remarkable electoral performance last June. But his wholly inadequate response to the Tower Hamlets mural controversy suggests that this gift may have clear – and alarming – limits.

To recap: in 2012, a wall painting by the street artist Mear One in east London was designated for removal by the local authority. Using grotesquely antisemitic imagery, it depicted Jewish financiers playing a Monopoly-style board game on the backs of naked people. On the artist’s Facebook page, Corbyn posted the following response to this decision: “Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller [sic] destroyed Diego Viera’s [Rivera’s] mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

In the great discourse of left identity politics, Jews were now definitively on the wrong side of the line.

Last week, Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, asked the leader’s office for an explanation. The initial statement read as follows: “In 2012, Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. However, the mural was offensive, used antisemitic imagery, which has no place in our society, and it is right that it was removed.”

This made no sense, since the point of Corbyn’s original post was that the removal of the mural was unjustified. A second statement was issued, in which the Labour leader declared: “I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on.” Again, this fell far short of what was required. “Regret” is the word politicians use when they wish to avoid apologising. And how “closely” did Corbyn have to look at the mural, which resembled a homage to the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, to spot its vicious hostility to Jews?

At this stage of the argument, Corbyn’s supporters object in two ways. The first is to engage in furious “whataboutery”: what about racism on the right? What about Conservative prejudice? To which I reply: having spent 20 years calling out Tory xenophobia and (more recently) Brexiteer bigotry, I don’t need permission to question Labour’s attitude to antisemitism.

Second, it is customary to dismiss questions about the leadership’s response to antisemitism as wilful distraction or even a means of sabotaging Corbyn’s position and plans. Last September, Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, described previous allegations of antisemitism as “mood music that was created by people who were trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn”. The film director Ken Loach put it no less pithily: “It’s funny these stories suddenly appeared when Jeremy Corbyn became leader, isn’t it?”

The real question is otherwise: why does Corbyn – admirably proactive in tackling other forms of prejudice – seem to squirm and dither when confronted with allegations of antisemitism? As Richard Gold, a party member active in the anti-racist Engage campaign, put it in his submission to Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry into Labour antisemitism: “[It is] as though being unpleasant to Jews … should be excused or minimised, treated merely as rudeness or bad manners, rather than racist behaviour.”

In his recent book, Contemporary Left Antisemitism, David Hirsh argued that the problem was turbo-charged by three events in 2001: the collapse of the Middle East peace process, the anti-imperialist rhetoric that followed 9/11 and the UN conference in Durban at which “Zionism” was designated a form of white racism. This set the stage for, in Hirsh’s words, “an antisemitism which positions Jews themselves as ‘oppressors’ and … those who develop hostile narratives about Jews as ‘oppressed’.” In the great discourse of left identity politics, Jews were now definitively on the wrong side of the line: powerful, white, aligned with imperialism.

According to this twisted logic, Mear One’s mural could not, axiomatically, be judged racist – any more than Ken Livingstone’s outbursts, the antisemitic content posted on social media by the Labour MP Naz Shah, or the alleged hostility to Jews at the Oxford University Labour Club. The leadership might be forced by media or political pressure to take action against such conduct. But it manifestly did so with an eye to optics rather than as a matter of principle.

Antisemitism is on the rise all over the world. According to the Community Security Trust, a record number of antisemitic incidents were reported in the UK last year. Why does this bother Corbyn as little as it seems to? Does he believe in universal rights and equality of worth, or not? The fact that the Labour leader appears to regard allegations of antisemitism as an irritant rather than a fundamental issue says nothing good about him. In this respect, at least, the writing is upon the wall.

 

NOTHING PROVES CORBYN IS ANTI-SEMITIC — JUST EVERYTHING HE SAYS AND DOES

Nothing proves Corbyn is anti-Semitic — just everything he says and does
By Rod Liddle
London Sunday Times
March 25, 2018

[The first part of the piece is about another subject and is omitted here -- TG]

… It is not only women whom [Corbyn’s left-wing movement] Momentum doesn’t seem to like very much, of course. There are also Jews. Jeremy Corbyn resists the charge of anti-semitism, as you might well expect — heaven forfend, Jews are absolutely bloody marvellous, he will announce when challenged on this issue — but his other utterances, and indeed actions, tend to give the game away.

He has called the genocidal racists of Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends”, for example. He could not bring himself even to meet the Israeli prime minister last year (which must have really disappointed Benjamin Netanyahu), and a recent Labour Party fact-finding tour to Israel disdained to meet any Israeli politicians who don’t want to give their country over to the Palestinians first thing Monday morning.

Corbyn and the Momentum monkeys will undoubtedly argue that this is an anti-Zionist stance, not anti-semitic, per se. But then these lefties might ask themselves why it is Israel, of all the countries in the world, that so obsesses them, that so nurtures their hatred? Is it the only place where nasty things happen? Are there no other countries that might be the focus of their deranged and unrelenting wrath?

Then there’s the other stuff. The extraordinary tolerance shown by the party leadership to people who have said the most outrageously anti-semitic remarks. The whitewashed report into anti-semitism within the party. Jezza is also a member of a virulently anti-semitic Facebook group that accuses Jews of controlling the media, of wishing to establish a New World Order and of harvesting organs from Syrian prisoners.

Corbyn latterly claimed he’d been added to this forum without his knowledge. How’d that happen, Jezza? Most recently there’s the mural, a ghastly painting, titled Freedom for Humanity, by a talentless American graffiti artist called Mear One. It was commissioned in 2012 for a wall in east London (presumably at your expense somewhere down the line), then swiftly removed because of its quite astonishing anti-semitism. A cabal of hook-nosed money men playing Monopoly, the table resting on the backs of naked workers.

Even the Muslims in Tower Hamlets thought this was pushing it a bit: the mayor at the time, Lutfur Rahman, ordered the wall scrubbed clean, quickish. The artist complained, of course, and received immediate succour from Corbyn, who tweeted: “You are in good company. Rockerfeller [sic] destroyed Diego Viera’s [sic] mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

It is fairly clear he knew, then, why the mural had aroused offence. Now Corbyn has had to backtrack — yes, again, and again; it seems to happen every month — and disown his earlier appreciation of this garishly hideous, adolescent piece of racist trash, which, as one Labour MP put it, would not have looked out of place in Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer.

All of these recantations! I was kicked out of the Labour Party for suggesting the anti-semitism present in the party was the result of two things. First, the growing number and influence of Muslim Labour councillors (several of whom were indeed disciplined by the party for making anti-semitic posts or remarks); and second, the asinine, West-hating, Jew-baiting white far left, such as Jezza. He can backtrack all he likes. But I suspect most Jewish people will take the view that if it walks like an anti-semite and repeatedly quacks like an anti-semite, then it probably is an anti-semite.”

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.