British Jews challenge community leaders over Corbyn

On Thursday 17th September 2015, The Guardian published a piece that unquestioningly reproduced demands from so-called leaders of the Jewish community that Jeremy Corbyn clarify claims that originated with a self-confessed Holocaust denier. Jeremy has answered these allegations numerous times, but our self-appointed spokespersons simply repeat them again and again, and The Guardian seems happy to be a willing vehicle for this attempted witchhunt.
This is the letter Jews for Jeremy sent in response to that article. We have included some additional names that arrived late, and it has now been signed by 88 people. We know that other individuals also wrote responses to that article.
The Guardian has chosen not to expose itself to questioning or criticism, so we are publishing our letter here and on our Facebook page, and encourage people to share it as widely as possible.

Dear Letters Editor
The UK Jewish “leaders” who “seek clarification” from Jeremy Corbyn know that he has already answered their questions, again and again – in the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian, Channel 4 News and elsewhere. But in their desperate attempt to undermine him, they continue to repeat these smears like mantras.
One such mantra is that “…15 years ago he attended meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.” Since Eisen didn’t reveal himself as a Holocaust denier until 2005, Jeremy Corbyn and the many other audience members, including rabbis and MPs, would have had to be psychic to know this in 2001. Indeed, in going to the press, Eisen himself seems to share the intention of these Jewish “leaders”, to taint him with the accusation of antisemitism.
Jeremy Corbyn is well able to answer this mischief-making on his own behalf, but we want to challenge the assumption that the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council speak for all Jews in Britain.
The article claims that the “Community wants ‘straight answers to straight questions’.” Apart from the patronising and insulting tone towards the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, these so-called leaders are not “the community”. They do not speak for British Jews who are critics of Israel, oppose the Occupation, or support secular, rather than faith schools.
Many Jews are delighted that Jeremy Corbyn has won such a clear democratic mandate to lead the Labour Party. In contrast, we have no recollection of being invited to participate in any democratic process to elect these people who claim to represent us.
Yours faithfully
Julia Bard, David Rosenberg, Ian Saville, Steve Tiller on behalf of Jews for Jeremy, plus
Daphna Baram
Haim Baram
Nick Barnett
Shereen Benjamin
Jay Blackwood
Geoffrey Bindman
Jenny Bloom
Alice Bondi
Danny Braverman
Councillor Barry Buitekant
Mandy Carr
Julian Peter Clegg
Norma Cohen
Ron Cohen
Shaun Cohen
Judith Cravitz
Miriam E David
Ivor Dembina
Michael Ellman
Sai Englert
Professor Debbie Epstein
Rayah Feldman
Deborah Fink
Joseph Finlay
Sylvia Finzi
David Freedman
Dr Ophira Gamliel
Dr Sarah Garfinkel
Lillian Gerber
Max Gerber
Mike Gerber
Lynda Gilbert
Claire Glasman
Murray Glickman
Tony Graham
Tony Greenstein
Sue Gutteridge
Michele Hanson
Abe Hayeem
Rosamine Hayeem
Sue Hughes
Anthony Isaacs
Selma James
Dan Judelson
Ann Jungman
Eran Kahane
Michael Kalmanovitz
Sue Katz
Sarah E Kosminsky
Mark Krantz
Richard Kuper
Warren Lakin
Dave Landau
Antony Lerman
Leah Levane
Sonya Levene
Hope Liebersohn
Sue Lukes
Ruth Lukom
Deborah Maccoby
Stephen Marks
Karen Merkel
Jonathan Meth
Dr Gabriel Moshenska
Mica Nava
Judith Nesbitt
Diana Neslen
Dan Ozarow
Susan Pashkoff
Charlotte Prager
Naomi Paul
Roland Rance
Ronne Peltzman Randall
Brian Robinson
Michael Rosen
Jacob Bard-Rosenberg
Reuben Bard-Rosenberg
Raphael Salkie
Andrew Samuels
Joel Samuels
Elizabeth Segal
Lynne Segal
Michael Shade
Sappho Shapoznik
Henry Stewart
Sam Weinstein
Miriam Yagud
Binnie Yeates
Benjamin Young

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2 thoughts on “British Jews challenge community leaders over Corbyn

  1. My letter to the Guardian was also unpublished. (I’m very grateful to Moshé Machover and Diana Neslen for most helpful conversations last year (2014) on this topic. Here’s the letter that the Guardian didn’t like:

    Comments by Jonathan Arkush and Simon Johnson, as quoted in Harriet Sherwood’s report (UK Jewish leaders seek clarification on Jeremy Corbyn’s policies 17th September, online) are not about antisemitism despite what they say, they’re about Israel.
     
    Israel claims – falsely – that it represents all Jews around the world and acts on their behalf. Some people take this false claim at face value (Zionists can hardly complain when people take their claims seriously) and blame every Jew for Israel’s crimes, assuming that he or she is complicit in them. This is an antisemitic response and has been called the anti-Zionism of fools and must be condemned; but Israel’s false claims, together with the almost unqualified support offered by Jewish leaderships around the world, are clearly responsible for creating a level of confusion in the minds of some.
     
    This confusion is in danger of being worse confounded by the continued conflation of ‘anti-Israel’ with ‘antisemitic’, as evidenced by the reported comments. It is not only false, it is dangerous, to continue insisting that being Jewish entails automatic support for Israel in all circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

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