British Paper Highlights Son of Labour Leader’s ‘Badass’ Role in Staging of University of York Play Viewed as Antisemitic
A new Telegraph profile of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s son noted his “badass” role last year in staging a play at his university that some have condemned as antisemitic.
The Telegraph‘s description of Tommy Corbyn’s participation in the University of York Palestinian Solidarity Society’s (PSS) production of a play called “Seven Jewish Children” was caught by popular blog IsraellyCool, though the article has since been edited to label Corbyn’s actions a “controversy.”
The profile, titled “Hello Comrade! Everything you need to know about Tommy Corbyn, the new heartthrob of the left,” included a section labeled “He’s prompted much finger-wagging,” which currently reads:
No pin-up is complete without a side portion of controversy. Have we mentioned his role in the Palestinian Solidarity Society? Last year, the group prompted national outcry for their production of Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children, a play shrouded in anti-semitic controversy.
Described by journalist Christopher Hart as ‘straight-jacketed, political orthodoxy,’ the 10-minute play consists of seven scenes set over 70 years in which a group of Jewish adults discuss how best to tell their children about modern Jewish history.
It prompted a vehement response from York’s Union of Jewish Students, who said at the time : “The decision to host the anti-semitic play Seven Jewish Children takes them beyond criticism of Israel and deep into the territory of anti-semitism.”
York University said: “Caryl Churchill is an award-winning playwright . . . The proposal for staging the play went through our normal procedures. As an institution we are committed to the principles of free speech.”
Churchill’s eight-minute play is comprised of seven scenes depicting Jewish parents in different time periods discussing how to educate their children about world events, including the Holocaust and the politics of the modern State of Israel.
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic called the play a “blood libel,” while British journalist Howard Jacobson characterized it as a “wantonly inflammatory piece” that shows “the Jews drop in on somewhere they have no right to be, despise, conquer, and at last revel in the spilling of Palestinian blood.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews described the play as “horrifically anti-Israel.”
Corbyn, who served as the PSS events manager before graduating last summer, helped put on the play as part of York’s February 2016 Israel Apartheid Week.
The Telegraph also noted, “Back at university, Tommy was known for throwing ethically-minded parties: club nights in aid of the families of Palestine, where doctrine would mix with alcohol.”
The 23-year-old Corbyn has gained increased public attention since his father’s unexpectedly strong showing in the recent UK parliamentary elections.
The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has faced a barrage of antisemitism allegations, including charges of anti-Jewish sentiment among key Labour advisers, as well as controversy over Corbyn’s positive descriptions of the Hamas terror group.