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British chief rabbi plays Antisemitic Card against Corbyn, from Peter Myers

(1) British chief rabbi warns against Labour victory(2) Ephraim Mirvis in London Times(3) "Damning new evidence of Labour's anti-Semitism"(4) The Antisemitic Card, by Finian Cunningham(5) Lobby campaign via Labour Friends of Israel, to undermine Corbyn because he supports Palestinian rights(1) British chief rabbi warns against Labour victory unprecedented intervention, British chief rabbi warns against Labour victoryBY	CNAAN LIPHSHIZNOVEMBER 26, 2019 5:21 AM(JTA) — In an unprecedented move, Britain's chief rabbi warned ahead of the country's general elections that the Labour Party's anti-Semitism problem means that the "very soul of our nation is at stake."Ephraim Mirvis made his intervention, which is an unusual foray into partisan politics for a chief rabbi, on Tuesday in a column published in the online edition of The Times of London."It is not my place to tell any person how they should vote," Mirvis wrote, adding: "I regret being in this situation at all." But in the column, he listed anti-Semitism scandals involving only Labour and its leader since 2015, the far-left politician Jeremy Corbyn."Many members of the Jewish community can hardly believe that this is the same party that they proudly called their political home for more than a century. It can no longer claim to be the party of diversity, equality and anti-racism. This is the Labour Party in name only," he wrote.Mirvis then wondered "how complicit in prejudice would a leader of Her Majesty's opposition have to be in order to be considered unfit for high office," adding: "Would associations with those who have openly incited hatred against Jews be enough? Would support for a racist mural, depicting powerful hook-nosed Jews supposedly getting rich at the expense of the weak and downtrodden be enough? Would describing as ‘friends' those who endorse and even perpetrate the murder of Jews be enough? It seems not."Come the December 12 election, "the very soul of our nation is at stake," he wrote.The Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England, and the Muslim Council of Britain expressed sympathy for the Jewish communities' sentiments as expressed by Mirvis.His column "highlights the real fear many British Jews have, regarding the unacceptable presence of anti-semitism in Britain and in politics today," the Muslim Council wrote in a statement, in which it reiterated its concerns about alleged anti-Muslim sentiment expressed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his right-leaning Conservative Party. The archbishop, Justin Wells, wrote on Twitter that the fact that Mirvis "should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews."Corbyn in 2013 defended a mural depicting Jewish men playing monopoly on the backs of dark-skinned men. In 2014, he laid a wreath on a monument commemorating Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends in 2009.Under Corbyn, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel vitriol proliferated in Laour's ranks, prompting the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a government watchdog, to launch its first inquiry into the handling of racism in any mainstream British party.Corbyn has denied harboring or encouraging any anti-Semitic bias.Amanda Bowman, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said Mirvis' call is unprecedented, adding that it is "sadly reflective of how many British Jews feel." They are "fearful that if Labour has allowed antisemitism to take hold in this way while in opposition, that things will become worse if they are in government," she wrote in a statement Tuesday.(2) Ephraim Mirvis in London Times 25 2019, 10:00pm, the timesEphraim Mirvis: What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?ephraim mirvisElections should be a celebration of democracy. However, just weeks before we go to the polls, the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety.During the past few years, on my travels through the UK and further afield, one concern has been expressed to me more than any other. Of course, the threats of the far right and violent jihadism never go away, but the question I am now most frequently asked is: What will become of Jews and Judaism in Britain if the Labour Party forms the next government?This anxiety is justified. Raising concerns about anti-Jewish racism in the context of a general election ranks among the most painful moments I have experienced since taking office. Convention dictates that the Chief…(3) "Damning new evidence of Labour's anti-Semitism" 26, 2019Can Britain's Chief Rabbi Convince Voters Not To Support Anti-Semitic Labour?Liam HoareNovember 26, 2019 Sugarman (@Daniel_Sugarman)November 25, 2019Though in 2018, Chief Rabbi Mirvis's predecessor, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks labelled Corbyn an anti-Semite, comparing him with the notoriously racist Conservative politician Enoch Powell, Rabbi Sacks would not have written such an oped. Chief Rabbi Mirvis's op-ed is, then, entirely without precedent, and a sure a sign as any that, as if it were possible, the Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis and relations between the party and British Jews have reached a new nadir.Britons will go to the polls two weeks from now and the conversation among those engaged on one side or the other regarding Labour's institutional anti-Semitism has become evermore polarized and entrenched. ...Within the bubble, minds are made up. There is for Corbyn supporters no critique of the man that can be made in good faith.The heat of the campaign, a time when minds are concentrated and the prospect of a Corbyn-led minority government does indeed seem more real, is clearest in the media and online. Throughout November, damning new evidence of Labour's anti-Semitism was uncovered, including Corbyn's embrace in 2008 of a speaker who claiming Zionism made Jews "immoral" and a Labour Member of Parliament who reportedly sang "Hey Jews" to the tune of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" during a raucous, late-night bus journey in 2018.(4) The Antisemitic Card, by Finian Cunningham Antisemitic CardBy Finian CunninghamNovember 27, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -It is a ludicrous situation when anyone criticizing Israeli state violations against Palestinians or neighboring countries is then instantly discredited as being "antisemitic".We see this in Britain and the United States all the time. Congresswomen like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib have been denounced for being "anti-Jewish", including by President Trump, simply because they protested Israeli policy of occupying Palestinian lands or for having a malign influence on US foreign policy.In Britain, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his party have once again this week been vilified as "antisemitic" in prominent news media.The reality is that Corbyn is neither racist or anti-Jewish. The specious allegation stems from him and sections of Labour being vehemently critical of Israel and its conduct towards Palestinians.If elected in the general election next month, Labour says it will cut military trade with Israel and move to officially recognize a Palestinian state.This conflation of valid criticism of the Israeli state with being "anti-Jew" is a cynical distortion which is wielded to give Israel impunity from international law. It plays on moral blackmail of critics by equating the historical persecution of Jews and in particular the Nazi holocaust with the sanctity of the modern Israeli state.That distortion is exposed by many Jews themselves who have spoken out in the US and in Britain to defend the right of people to criticize Israeli policies. They understand the vital distinction between the Israeli state and the much wider existence of Jewishness. They understand that to be opposed to Israeli state practices is in no way to mean animus towards Jews in general.Only in the past week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared his government intends to expand annexation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank. The land occupied by Israeli forces since the 1967 Six Day War is illegally occupied, according to multiple UN resolutions under international law. Now Netanyahu wants to increase the violations. And with the support of the Trump administration which also announced it was no longer viewing Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as illegitimate.Over the past month, the Israeli military has stepped up airstrikes on the Gaza Strip where nearly two million Palestinians subsist in abject poverty largely because of an Israeli blockade. One family of nine, including children, was killed by an airstrike on their home on November 14. As always the death toll among Palestinian civilians is grotesquely disproportionate to Israeli victims of rockets fired from Gaza.Israeli forces have also been carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, including the capital Damascus, over the past year. Russia, among others, has condemned those attacks as "unlawful aggression". Arguably, war crimes.When Jeremy Corbyn and Britain's Labour Party and a handful of American politicians speak out to denounce Israeli violations they are doing so to uphold international law and voice support for victims of state violence. That is a principled and honourable position.Shamefully, the US and British governments and much of the corporate news media never do speak out. They shield Israeli leaders from international accountability by vetoing UN resolutions or by turning a blind eye. Pro-Israeli lobbies funnel massive donations to politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle, and to the British Conservative Party. Their silence is bought. Not only silence but outright distortion, such as when people criticize Israeli malfeasance – and there is much of that – then they are absurdly character-assassinated as "antisemites".Admittedly, many British Jews phoned into radio stations this week to complain that they feel unwelcome in Britain due to what they perceive as growth in antisemitism under the Labour Party. To be fair though, their claims were not backed up by hard evidence of specifically anti-Jewish behaviour. They were eliding their Jewishness with Labour's criticism of Israel.The claims made against Corbyn this week by the British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirviz of being "unfit for office" because of an alleged complacent attitude towards antisemitism in his party should be put in context.Corbyn has apologized several times for a tiny fraction (less than 0.1 per cent) of party members accused of antisemitism. Why should he be obliged to keep on apologizing, as BBC interviewer Andrew Neil imperiously demanded again this week?Chief Rabbi Mirviz is a self-declared friend of Conservative leader Boris Johnson and an ardent, uncritical supporter of the Israeli state.Mirviz does not represent all British Jews, as many other Jewish groups came out voicing their support for Corbyn and his valid right of free speech to criticize Israel.Mirviz got prominent media coverage for his views this week in the London Times and Daily Mail, among others. Britain's rightwing media are owned by billionaire oligarchs who despise Labour's manifesto for progressive wealth redistribution.Official race-hate figures for Britain show that physical attacks against British Muslims are preponderantly more than attacks against any other religious minority, including Jews. Boris Johnson's Conservatives have evident problems of fomenting Islamophobia. Yet we don't see British media providing proportionate criticism on that to balance their focus on Corbyn and his alleged views.The antisemitic card is played to shield Israel from important criticism; and by Britain's plutocrats and their media who would rather see the public squabbling over spurious claims about antisemitism so they can keep on plundering wealth from the majority of British people.(5) Lobby campaign via Labour Friends of Israel, to undermine Corbyn because he supports Palestinian rights 27, 2019  98Kit KnightlyThe rapidly approaching General Election means accusations of antisemitism are back on the menu, and the mainstream media are eagerly ladling out healthy portions to any and everyone.It hit the headlines again most prominently yesterday when the Times headlined "Labour antisemitism: Corbyn not fit for high office, says Chief Rabbi Mirvis".The possibilty that Rabbi Mirvis may not be completely unbiased has yet to make on to a mainstream frontpage.The Guardian are, as always, in pole position when it comes to large-scale distribution of propaganda. They have a piece, published today, headlined: "Antisemitism and Labour: everything you need to know".However, The Guardian editorial staff – or whichever over-keen but under-trained intern was tasked with assembling this quick hit-piece – made a couple of key omissions and errors.Here's everything you REALLY need to know about antisemitism and Labour.Firstly: There isn't any. At least, none worth speaking of.Labour incidents of antisemitism account for 0.08% of the membership. That's one-third of the rate it occurs in the everyday population of Britain. In short – Labour is 66% LESS antisemitic than the general public.Racism is, of course, an unpleasant fact of life. There will, unfortunately, always be people who hate other people for wildly non-sensical reasons surrounding their identity. But limiting it to less than a tenth of a per cent is pretty good going, wouldn't you say?In fairness to the Guardian, it does reluctantly point this out (although they do feel the need to round up):Labour says that while such incidents must be dealt with robustly, the context is that complaints connected to antisemitism amount to 0.1% of party membershipHowever, since this fact renders every other word in the article moot, we would suggest it be in bold, at the top…rather than squirrelled away behind some qualifications deep in the middle."But", I hear you say, "if there's so little antisemitism in Labour, why is it always in the news?"Well, that's an easy question to answer: because of two very awkward facts.A. The recently adopted, and much-hyped IHRA definition of "antisemitism" is incredibly broad, and essentially allows criticism of Israel to be included under the umbrella of "antisemitism".ANDB. The Israeli lobby launched a campaign, funded by their embassy and working through the Labour Friends of Israel, to undermine Corbyn because of his stance on Palestinian rights. This was documented in the Al Jazeera film "The Lobby".That is why "antisemitism" is always in the headlines. Because powerful people want it to be.…and that's it. That is literally everything you need to know about Labour's "antisemitism":It is statistically insignificant. There was a paid campaign to pretend otherwise. That's really all that needs be said.