Sickening Campaign to Silence Corbyn by Exploiting
Victims of the Holocaust
It is time to speak out against the concerted and,
loosely, coordinated effort to silence Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn and critics of Israel, by smearing
them as anti-semites. As a journalist who has been
engaged in the Israel-Palestinian conflict since I
was 20 years old, this tactic is nothing new to me.
But I have never witnessed (in the UK at least) the
kind of sustained and widespread attacks that have
happened in recent weeks. For this reason, it’s time
to put forward a powerful statement on why our team
at The Canary refuse to be censored by this
hypocritical and cynical smear campaign.
How it works
that enemies of Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive plans
for the Labour party have discovered some common
ground. Blairites within the party and the media,
along with their conservative peers and the
pro-Israel lobby, all lose out if Corbyn succeeds.
So, in short, they are seeking to take him out of
play by hitting him where it is mutually beneficial
– his long-standing criticism of Israel’s illegal
occupation of Palestine.
to deliberately confuse anti-Zionism (criticism of
the political movement to establish an apartheid
Jewish state), and anti-semitism (the prejudice and
persecution of Jewish people) are
longstanding. Israeli advocacy groups within the EU
have been attempting to formalise the bogus
definition of anti-semitism since at least 2005. As
reports for Alternet, as recently
as March 30 this year:
Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust
issues and chair of Conservative Friends of
Israel, revived the
discredited definition by publishing it on the
up this framework, such groups simply have to wait
for someone to make a criticism of Israel –
then launch their attack. Here’s how it works:
journalist or pro-Israel group
seize on an anti-Israel statement (generally
scouring social media accounts over years). They
then release it as a shocking revelation. Pundits
and political opponents then whip up some mock
outrage until they can force a resignation or
suspension – and so they go on repeating with each
In the case
of Labour activist
Vicky Kirby, the allegations of anti-semitism
absolutely bear true. Her statements were despicable
and indefensible. However, since then, the project
has expanded to include any and all expressions of
outrage at Israeli atrocities.
Naz Shah is a case in point. The contemptible
conservative blogger Guido Fawkes released a
Facebook post that Shah published during Israel’s
2014 assault on Gaza. The post stated that the
solution for the conflict would be to relocate
Israel to the US as a 51st state. Is that emotive?
Yes. Does it make a powerful political point? Yes.
Israel receives more than
$3bn every year in defense funding from the US,
which it uses to enforce a brutal and illegal
occupation of Palestine. Israel is an apartheid
state, and it was certainly not considered racist to
call for British occupiers to get out of the
colonies of Rhodesia, South Africa and elsewhere –
even those colonialists who had lived in the country
It is also
worth noting that none of these come-lately
crusaders against anti-semitism utter a word against
Israel when its statesmen and women call openly for
the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the
Palestinians. Jewish-Israeli journalist David Sheen
provided staggering testimony to the Russell
Tribunal on Palestine recently, which tore the
hasbara veil from Israel. How much of this has
ever been reported by the UK journalists currently
expressing such horror at the thought of racism,
ethnic cleansing and genocide? Answer: none.
Who are the
is, the scourge of anti-semitism is not the preserve
of the left, or Labour, or any political or social
group. Prejudice rears its ugly head everywhere, and
should be dealt with powerfully – regardless of
source. It should certainly not be used as some
political football, and turned into a point-scoring
effort. But this is exactly what the groups are
doing to Corbyn and the progressive left.
If you want
a glimpse into just how far such attackers are
willing to go to smear critics of Israel, these
examples provide a devastating insight.
2014’s Operation Protective Edge, 327 Holocaust
survivors and their descendants wrote an
open letter to Israel calling its treatment
of Palestinians by its proper name — genocide.
people, who survived the worst nightmares of the
Nazi regime, said clearly:
“Genocide begins with the silence of the world.
again’ must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”
how did Israelis react to this letter? Here are
just a sample of the responses from Jewish Israelis
Katy Morali: Holocaust
survivors who think like this are invited to go
die in the gas chambers.
Shmulik Halphon: He’s
invited to go back to Auschwitz.
Meir Dahan: No
wonder Hitler murdered 6 million Jews because of
people like you you’re not even Jews you’re
disgusting people a disgrace to humanity and so
are your offspring you are trash.
Asher Solomon: It’s
a shame Hitler didn’t finish the job.
But it isn’t just Jewish-Israeli yobs on Facebook
who denounce the memory of holocaust victims and
survivors for political ends. Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu did just the same when addressing
US Congress last year. The Israeli PM echoed a
distasteful trope – common in modern, muscular
Israeli society – that victims of the Nazi holocaust
were too weak. The libel won huge applause by
Congress and mass support on Twitter.
However, Jewish-American journalist Max Blumenthal
was quick to point out the implications of this
slight on victims of the Nazi holocaust.
Here in the
UK, Blairite columnist and Twitterati figurehead Dan
Hodges was recently approached by a Jewish person
who politely requested he stop exploiting anti-semitism
for political ends. Hodges gave a breathtakingly
anti-semitic response, denouncing him as a “useful
her advocates have long advanced this plan of
attack. Non-Jews who criticise Israel are anti-semites,
and Jews who criticise Israel are “self-hating” or
It is not
conspiracy theory, but fact, that Israel has a
propaganda department devoted to producing ‘hasbara‘
– that is positive positioning of Israel, and the
assault of critics. This is not just in the
mainstream media, and corridors of power around the
world, but on social media too. The Israeli
pays students thousands of dollars a year to
praise Israel and attack critics online. These
students report Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and
other online forums in efforts to shut down
criticism of Israel online – with accusations of
anti-semitism. As veteran Jewish-Israeli journalist
Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz last year, in
a devastatingly critical piece entitled “Israeli
Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone Except Israelis“:
propaganda shall cover for everything. We’ll say
terrorism, we’ll shout anti-Semitism, we’ll
scream delegitimisation, we’ll cite the
Holocaust;…We’ll wail that the whole world is
against us and wants to destroy us, no less.
blame the Palestinians for everything and
obscure the simple fact that this brutal
occupation is Israeli. You can tell the world
that it all belongs to us because the Bible says
so and believe that anyone will take you
seriously. You can be sure that the memory of
the Holocaust will serve us forever, and justify
paid a high price for his long term support of the
Palestinians and his role as one of Israel’s
fiercest internal critics. When I interviewed him in
2014, shortly before I entered Gaza to report on
Operation Protective Edge, the Chairman of the
governing Likud Party coalition and member of the
Knesset (Israeli parliament) Yariv Levin actually
called for Levy to be put
on trial for treason.
Levy is the lowest kind of provocateur,” Levin
told Israel’s leading Channel 2 news.
“When someone who lives among you turns himself
into an enemy mouthpiece, while spreading lies,
out of the hope that this
will undermine your ability to wage war –
this is called, in simple Hebrew, ‘treason’.
frequently accosted in the street, such as this
incident in Ashkelon, where he was mobbed
by angry fellow citizens, one of whom thrust
money into his palm and told him to put it towards a
new home in Gaza.
Bystanders yell at Gideon Levy in Ashkelon, July
14, 2014 Photo:
This is how
Israel deals with critics: it jails them, kills
them, or denounces them.
We will not be
organisation stands for the rights of Palestinians
(and Israelis) to live in peace and justice. It is
because of the lessons learned from racist, colonial
travesties of the past, including the Nazi
holocaust, that we cannot sit in silence while
something equally horrid is perpetrated in Israel.
this as an LGBT woman who’s caribbean grandfather
migrated to Britain in the 1950’s. He met and
married a white Bristolian woman, and faced
unimaginable prejudice. I am not prejudice-free, in
fact I stumble upon unacknowledged prejudices of my
own time and again. But I am committed to exposing
and ending those prejudices.
Let us be
honest, no one is more delighted by the atrocities
of the likes of Mugabe, ISIS, or indeed Israel, than
those who hold racial/religious prejudice towards
the perpetrators. It is a toxic element of the human
condition that people seek justification for their
prejudices. So let me be clear: anyone seeking to
cloak their bigotry under the petticoats of
persecution meted out to the Palestinians will find
no sanctuary here.
of Corbyn and the progressive left to leverage this
into a sickening smear campaign against all those
who stand against prejudice – to abuse the memory of
holocaust victims for their own political ends – is
almost beneath our contempt. We denounce these
appalling tactics in the strongest terms. They are
repulsive and repugnant, and they have no place in
our public conversation.
The Canary exists to
confront anti-semitism. Not only anti-semitism, but
all prejudice, whether based on race, sexuality,
gender or anything else. Which is more than can be
said for those promoting the campaign against Corbyn
and the progressive wing of the Labour party right
now. If you agree, make this stand with us. Call out
prejudice wherever you find it, and let’s have the
same policy for bullshit too.
It is unacceptable to slander, smear or engage in personal attacks on authors of articles posted on ICH.
Those engaging in that behavior will be banned from the comment section.
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)