Antisemitism in Political Parties



Piers Corbyn

2021: Leader, Let London Live

2021: Let London Live candidate for London Assembly elections; Let London Live candidate for Greater London Authority mayoral election


Incidents

  1. On 3rd April 2016, Piers Corbyn replied to a tweet which shared an article in which Merseyside MP Louise Ellman was reported to have said: “The leader [Jeremy Corbyn, who had been elected on 12th September 2015] has spoken out clearly that he is against antisemitism, but it is not just about words, there has got to be some action, and we haven’t seen enough of that.” Ms Ellman had witnessed and experienced antisemitic abuse in her constituency Labour Party, which led, ultimately, to her resigning her membership of the Party, citing the rise of antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.Mr Corbyn responded: “Absurd! JC and all #Corbyns are committed #AntiNazi. #Zionists cant cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine.”
  1. On or around 20th January 2017, Mr Corbyn retweeted a post from another Twitter account (which has since been suspended) which stated: “They will force Trump in to [sic] war What do you think happened to Hitler? Bilderberg CIA IMF Banker Gangsters They are the problem”, and included a composite of four images.[a] The largest image showed the financier and philanthropist Lord Jacob Rothschild against a background including the Nazi flag, with captions stating: “Hi, I’m lord Jacob Rothschild. I’m head of the Bilderberg group. That means I control your president. I’ve decided Syria needs a centralized bank. My fellow Bilderberg members have approved my war in Syria. I could [sic] care less about Obama he is my puppet. Anybody that gets in my way will be killed in a timly [sic] mannor [sic]. My war crimes mean nothing to me for I own your government. My families [sic] estimated worth is over 500 trillion dollars. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

    [b] The second image showed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, flanked by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Lord Jacob Rothschild and Israeli flags. All three had Stars of David superimposed on their foreheads. Additionally, Mr Netenyahu was portrayed as a puppeteer controlling the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), via the Israeli Intelligence Service (Mossad). Responsibility was imputed to Israel for bombing in Syria, and the Islamist terrorist attacks which took place in Paris in November 2015.

    [c] A third image, captioned “Know your enemy. These men rule the world!”, showed a dozen individuals — principally financiers, economists and politicians, including members of the Rothschild family, George Soros and Henry Kissinger — almost all of whom are of Jewish heritage, and who were claimed to be “Heads of the World Order”.

  2. On 17th October 2018, Mr Corbyn responded to a tweet warning of the dangers of climate change made by Jewish US Senator Bernie Sanders by writing that Senator Sanders was “the single greatest fake progressive double agent for Wall Street” and that by promoting what Mr Corbyn described as “the global warming climate hoax”, Senator Sanders was a “deluded, deranged dud” who “took [Hilary] Clinton’s 30 pieces of silver”.

Analysis

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Mr Corbyn’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.

By sharing images citing conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family, which promote the trope that a Jewish family dynasty secretly controls governments and banks [2a][2b][2c]; by sharing an image which promoted the conspiracy theory that Israel controls ISIS [2b]; and by sharing an image which claimed that a number of Jewish individuals were deemed to be secretly controlling the world [2c], he was “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

By asserting that accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, as highlighted by a Jewish MP, were the work of “Zionists [who] can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for…Palestine” [1], he was deploying the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation’, by accusing Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so, when there is clear evidence that there have been breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. This further constitutes “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

By characterising Senator Bernie Sanders as a treacherous “double agent” who had taken “30 pieces of silver”, thereby invoking the ancient antisemitic trope of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus [3], he was disseminating a classic antisemitic trope.

Outcome

On 5th April 2016, it was reported that then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been asked to comment on his brother’s assertions in [1].

On 13th November 2016, it was reported that Mr Corbyn had appeared at an event hosted by the Keep Talking group, alongside a Holocaust denier and a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

On 21st January 2017, Campaign Against Antisemitism reported on Mr Corbyn’s retweet in [2].

On 24th September 2017, it was reported that the Labour Party had refused Mr Corbyn’s application for membership (having previously resigned from the Party in 2002), although the reason is not given.

On 23rd October 2018, it was reported that the Jewish writer Lee Kern had drawn attention to Mr Corbyn’s tweet in [3] and another in which Mr Corbyn had inveighed against politicians attending an anti-Brexit march, which he characterised as a “Goldman Sachs-Super Rich-Wall-Street-EU-4th Reich” rally, calling on the Labour Party to respond and requesting that Jeremy Corbyn condemn “the antisemitic rhetoric of his brother”.

On 12th May 2020, Mr Corbyn appeared on the Richie Allen show alongside the notorious antisemite Gilad Atzmon, who has denounced what he calls “the Holocaust religion”; has suggested that burning down a synagogue might be a “rational act”; and has suggested that the Grenfell fire was the work of ‘Jerusalemites’. His claim that Campaign Against Antisemitism fabricated cases of antisemitism for financial gain led to his being successfully sued for libel. The notion of supposed “Jewish power” is a recurrent theme in his writing.

Richie Allen is a video blogger whose show purports to discuss “…that which the mainstream media won’t”. It is broadcast on his own website and is also available elsewhere, including on Davidicke.com, the site of writer and conspiracy theorist David Icke, who has also appeared on Mr Allen’s show. The show has hosted Gilad Atzmon on numerous occasions.

On 21st October 2020, it was reported that an anti-vaxxing social media forum associated with Mr Corbyn was one of those discovered to harbour antisemitic conspiracy theories.

On 1st February 2021, it was reported that the police were being called upon to investigate Mr Corbyn over anti-vaccination leaflets for which he shared responsibility. The pamphlets diminished the nature of the Holocaust, showing an image of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp festooned with needle imagery; the infamous gates had been adapted so that the sign read “Vaccines are safe path to freedom” instead of “Arbeit macht frei” (“work sets you free”). The pamphlet had reportedly been delivered to a number of Jewish homes, where they had caused “upset and concern.”

On 4th February 2021, it was reported that Mr Corbyn had been arrested on suspicion of “malicious communication and public nuisance”. However, he described accusations of antisemitism as “completely absurd”, citing his 22-year-long marriage to “a Jewess”, and going on to say: “I’ve also employed Jewish people in my business Weather Action, one of whom was a superb worker.”

In May 2021, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to Mr Corbyn, but did not receive a response. Given Mr Corbyn’s position within the Party, any disciplinary action being taken against him seems unlikely.

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