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Pete Lawrence - 27 Nov 2019


For my own mental health I am refusing to get drawn in yet again to the toxic sore that is the antisemitism row so I will get this off my chest and move on.

What I will say is that the billionaire media's narrative, headlined in the Guardian for example, that Corbyn’s "resistance to calls for him to apologise" actually look ridiculous when it might be argued that Corbyn actually went a stage further than the apologies he has already made.

Asked whether he would say sorry to Jews on behalf of his party, Corbyn actually went several steps further by declaring a blanket condemnation on all racism for all faiths: “What I’ll say is this. I am determined that our society will be safe for people of all faiths. I don’t want anyone to be feeling insecure in our society and our government will protect every community.”

As many have pointed out, in summer 2018, Corbyn said he was “sorry for the hurt that has been caused to many Jewish people. We have been too slow in processing disciplinary cases of, mostly, online antisemitic abuse by party members. We are acting to speed this process up.”

Did the BBC reporting offer that he had already apologised? Three guesses...

Did the mainstream media focus on Corbyn "refusing to apologise'?  You bet... here's today's Guardian report...

But from the feedback I'm hearing from the streets - such as listeners to yesterday mainstream Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 - the majority appeared to think this was all a construct to discredit Corbyn.  

The message that always seems to be ignored - that criticising Israel for human rights abuses does not qualify as antisemitism - appears now to have been overtaken by accusations of antisemitism towards anyone who dares to suggest that there is another strictly anti-Corbyn agenda at work here. Those highlighting the alleged antisemitism issues in their own party have all been anti-Corbyn. 

It feels shameful that someone who has consistently campaigned against all forms of racism his entire life has been subject to this level of scrutiny and abuse, much of it by far right racists who seem to sweep Johnson's racism under the carpet and ignore the huge Tory islamaphobia issue.

It is even more shameful that those defending Corbyn and Labour on this are being labelled antisemitic themselves. 

The media’s role in facilitating an avalanche of character assassination is even more deplorable and it seems more than a coincidence that this blew up on the day when Labour were unveiling their faith agenda and Corbyn's happened to be in line for a grilling from Andrew Neil on BBC1. Once again, the media furoré blows up, surely people will sense what the agenda really is all about.

I mentioned mental health at the beginning of the article. I'm surely not alone in feeling the toxicity of this and how it is being used to slice our country in two and create more division. One can only begin to imagine what the fall out will be from this row, long term. 

We must move on from this. Never before has the urgency been so obvious to me of what the real issues are. Such as the fact that the climate emergency is threatening to wipe us all out, Jews, non Jews, Muslims, blacks, whites, dogs, cats. 

These divisions being created by the media narrative are, well, divisive. Divide and rule. Not for the first time.

Always remember that underneath the squabbling, we are all one.



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