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July 10, 2019 6:33 am

Why Did The Guardian Publish a Pro-Corbyn Letter Whose Signatories Include Antisemites and Neo-Nazi Sympathizers?

avatar by Adam Levick

Opinion

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers the keynote speech at a Labour conference in Liverpool, Britain, Sept. 26, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Phil Noble.

The Guardian published a letter this week that was signed by 100 “Jews” (see below) objecting to a previous letter by over 100 Labour MPs protesting the Labour Party’s decision to readmit Derby North MP Chris Williamson, a Jeremy Corbyn ally, back into the party after he was temporarily suspended for suggesting Labour was “too apologetic” about antisemitism.

The letter (“Jewish support for Chris Williamson,” July 8) repeats the familiar smear that the real aim of Jews and others who accuse Corbyn and his supporters of antisemitism is to undermine the Labour Party’s leadership and “all pro-Palestinian members” — a version of what’s known as the “Livingstone Formulation.”

This term, coined by Professor David Hirsh, refers to a line of argument insisting that Jews raise the issue of antisemitism cynically and dishonestly in order to silence criticism of Israel.

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The full list of signatories to the letter included extreme (non-British) anti-Israel, pro-terrorist voices such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, antisemitic conspiracy theorist Richard Falk, and anti-Zionist British Jews who’ve been expelled from Labour for antisemitism, such as Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker.

Most notably, it also included hardcore antisemites, such as Michael Morgan (though his name was subsequently deleted from the list) and Elleanne Green — neither of whom, by the way, is Jewish.

As many no doubt recall, Green is the founder and administrator of the now infamous pro-Corbyn antisemitic Facebook group “Palestine Live.” In addition to the anti-Jewish hate (including Holocaust denial) found on the Facebook group she administers, research by David Collier and Campaign Against Antisemitism revealed that Green has used the group to personally express antisemitic beliefs and disseminate (or “like”) extreme antisemitic material and conspiracy theories — including at least one neo-Nazi article.

While it’s not uncommon for The Guardian to publish op-eds and letters about Israel and antisemitism by Jews who represent a minuscule anti-Zionist fringe within the community, the extremism of many of these signatories is especially troubling.

Though The Guardian occasionally acknowledges — albeit perfunctorily — the profound fears of the Jewish community amidst a Labour Party that has become institutionally antisemitic, their editorial decisions more often than not suggest an ideological inclination to legitimize those racist voices within the hard left who believe the entire row is some sort of anti-Corbyn plot hatched by “Zionists.”

UPDATE 1: See a scathing editorial by The Jewish Chronicle about The Guardian letter here, and a statement by the Board of Deputies here.

UPDATE 2: At some point after our post, the letter was deleted from The Guardian’s site “pending investigation.”

Adam Levick covers the British media for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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