Saturday, 3 October 2015

Jewish Chronicle Publishes Uncut and with Teeth Clenched Letter Rebutting Jonathan Freedland’s Lies & Distortions

Jewish Chronicle Admits that Those Who Accuse Jeremy Corbyn of anti-Semitism Were Prominent in Defending Neo-Nazi Polish MEP, Michal Kaminski

It has been pointed out to me that there is an error in the letter we sent to the Jewish Chronicle.  The quote from Jonathan Freedland “…15 years ago he attended meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.” came from a letter to the Guardian, which wasn't printed at  It was taken from another article, in The Guardian 'UK Jewish leaders seek clarification on Jeremy Corbyn's policies' by Harriet Sharwood.

This was a genuine mistake.  The letter was widely distributed beforehand to signatories and no one picked up on this.  In fact Freedland’s comments in the article were even worse than the mistaken attribution.  What he actually said was:

That the self-described Holocaust denier Paul Eisen describes Corbyn as a constant and loyal ally, one who opened his cheque-book to back Eisen's Deir Yassin Remembered group. (A quick look at Eisen's website confirms its toxicity: there are musings on the supposed physical ugliness of ultra-Orthodox Jews and on whether the key political dividing line is not between left and right but between "Jew and gentile".

Corbyn's backers have two lines of defence. The first is to brand his accusers McCarthyites, smearing him through guilt by association: surely a busy, campaigning MP cannot be held responsible for all the people he happens to have sat next to at public events. But Corbyn didn't just end up on a platform with these characters. Often he was hosting these meetings himself, inviting the guests. The letter defending Sizer was no accident: the words were Corbyn's and carefully chosen. As for Eisen, there has been no denial that Corbyn wrote a cheque; and there are photographs to prove he kept turning up at Eisen's events.'

It is nonetheless embarrassing that a quote was misattributed to Freedland which he didn’t actually make but the content of the quote, if anything underplayed what he actually wrote.  It certainly doesn't attribute to him views he doesn't hold.  

Clearly there’s not much of an editing process at the Jewish Chronicle as they didn’t pick up the misattribution either!  
Jewish Chronicle Letter 2.10.15.
It is both surprising and gratifying that the Jewish Chronicle decided to print without comment the full uncut letter which we sent them. 
The Jewish Chronicle has printed in full a letter from 80 Jewish people responding to last week's article in the Jewish Chronicle, Friends Who are Enemies by Jonathan Freedland.  It contains, without contradiction, a statement that its own editor, Stephen Pollard, the person who accused Jeremy Corbyn of associating with anti-Semites, was himself the primary Jewish defender of Michal Kaminiski, a neo-Nazi Polish MEP.  Kaminski had bitterly opposed a national Polish apology being given for the fact that Poles in Jedwabne had, under the watchful eyes of the SS, herded over 300 Jews into a barn which they then set alight.   His reasons? That the Jewish 'nation' should apologise because Polish Jews had collaborated with the Soviet Army. A terrible crime unlike the actions of those who collaborated at Jedwabne with the Nazis.

Polands' Jews, facing fierce anti-Semitism in Poland, from the Endeks and other nationalist rabble, especially in the rural areas, could be forgiven for collaborating with the Soviets, if they did.  But 90%+ of Polish Jews were exterminated in the holocaust, so this suggestion was even more outrageous.  His reference to 'the whole Jewish nation' (a mythical entity) is a typical anti-Semitic formulation.  Why, even accepting there is such a thing, should all Jews apologise for what some Polish Jews, in fear of their lives, apparently did?
'If you are asking the Polish nation to apologise for the crime made in Jedwabne, you would require from the whole Jewish nation to apologise for what some Jewish Communists did in Eastern Poland.”  Stephen Pollard, Guardian CIF 9.10.09.
Michal Kaminski MEP  the neo-Nazi MEP for Poland's Law & Justice Party and friend of the Zionists
Kaminski without the skinhead cut and looking more of a bespectacled neo-Nazi
 What is even more incredible is that this article by Pollard was in reply to Jonathan Freedland, [Once no self-respecting politician would have gone near people such as Kaminskiwho has jumped in with both boots in support of Pollard's campaign against the 'anti-Semitic' Jeremy Corbyn.  It is as if Freedland just writes stuff he either has no real belief in or his memory is that bad that he can't even remember it.

One can get some idea of what Kaminski and the Polish Law & Justice Party is like from the following report, which was contemporary with Pollard's article:
“the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS), (which) has banned gay rights marches for being “sexually obscene”. Its co-founder Jaroslaw Kaczynski has said that homosexuality will cause the “downfall of civilisation”. Another PiS MP has warned that Barack Obama’s victory would mean “the end of the civilisation of the white man”.”
The Jewish Chronicle's far-right editor Stephen Pollard.  Now reconciled with the  Daily Express's owner and Britain's largest porn merchant 'dirty' Richard Desmond.  Pollard is a member of the cold-war Henry Jackson Society and himself an ex-editor of the Express.  Has taken the JC down market and its circulation down with it.
Pollard complained that 'Jonathan Freedland attacked Michal Kaminski, the Polish MEP; Roberts Zile, the Latvian MEP; and me.'  For those who don't know, Robert Zile is even worse than Kaminski.  Every year in March, this vile reptile marches with the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS, the same creatures who manned the concentration and extermination camps.  For Zionist apologists to defend such creatures says everything you need to know about Zionism's real attitude to anti-Semitism.   And for Freedland to run with someone like Pollard, who acted as their sponsor and defender, says something about how real and deep were the beliefs that prompted Freedland's original article.    Pollard's defence of Zile was that 'I can think of no source for evidence against Zile other than those who so disgracefully besmirch Kaminski.'  Clearly he didn't look very far.  It was all over the press.   In an article defending the Tories link-up with the European Conservative Reform Group on Ian Dale's Conservative Home blog, there is a comment from 'socialist lurker' stating that Ziles and friends are supporters of the Latvian SS.  Indeed this allegation eventually surfaced in the Jewish Chronicle itself, in an article The little European problem that the Conservatives would prefer to forget by its Political Correspondent, Martin Bright, who is known to have disagreed with Pollard's defence of Euro-fascists.  Bright wrote:
Still more troubling for the Jewish community is the hard-right Latvian MEP Robert Zile, whose also sits in alliance with the Tories in Europe. Mr Zile is a long-time supporter of the Latvian “Legionnaires Day” rally which each March celebrates the Waffen SS.
Pollard - Kaminski's look alike - are they related?
But from this we can conclude that whatever motivated Pollard's attack on Jeremy Corbyn, it certainly wasn't anti-Semitism.  Pollard stated, incredibly as it might seem, that 'Kaminski is – as his record in Brussels shows clearly – one of the greatest friends to the Jews in a town where antisemitism and a visceral loathing of Israel are rife.'  Note the conflation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  What he is saying is that you are not anti-Semitic, even if you hate Jews and want them dead, if you support Israel.  Supporting Zionism makes you 'one of the greatest friends' of the Jews.  The same, of course, equally applies to our own British National Party and English Defence League, which are both holocaust denial organisations as well as avid supporters of Israel.  Such is the consequence of the 'anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism' trope of the Zionists.
Robert Ziles - Latvian MEP who marches with the Latvian veterans of the Waffen SS - Stephen Pollard was foremost in defending him
And those like Jonathan Freedland, who ran with Pollard's allegations should put up or shut up. Freedland in particular he should know better since it was the Guardian's Comment is Free which printed Pollard's apologia for Kaminski on 9.10.09.  

Perhaps I am being churlish but usually where there are more signatures than a newspaper can print (79 people signed the letter) the paper usually prints the names at the top of the list that those who sent the letter specified.  In this case the Jewish Chronicle chose its own list!  The top 9 names as submitted to the Jewish Chronicle were:

Deborah Fink
Tony Greenstein
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Antony Lerman
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover
Professor Ilan Pappe
Professor (emeritus) Jonathan Rosenhead
Sai Englert, NUS

The top 9 names that the Jewish Chronicle selected were:
Deborah Fink
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Antony Lerman
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover
Ivor Dembina
Daphne Baram
Mike Cushman

Thus emitting from our list
Tony Greenstein,
Professor Ilan Pappe
Professor (emeritus) Jonathan Rosenhead
Sai Englert, NUS

I can well understand why, given my attacks on Pollard, he would want to exclude my name from the letter, despite having drafted and co-ordinated it, but quite what Ilan Pappe, Jonathan Rosenhead and Sai Englert have done escapes me!   However it would be pedantic  to make an issue of such a small matter.

The list with the full names below is:

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Letters Editor,
The Jewish Chronicle
28 St. Albans Lane
London NW11 7QE

Dear Sir or Madam:

It must be galling for Jonathan Freedland and those who allege that Jeremy Corbyn is happiest when in the company of holocaust deniers, to find their warnings falling on stony ground.  Their problem is that despite the dog whistles, even they cannot bring themselves to accuse Corbyn of being anti-Semitic. [Friends who are enemies Jewish Chronicle September 17, 2015]

Is it any surprise that the combined efforts of the Jewish Chronicle, Daily Mail and Board of Deputies have had no discernible effect?  Why should someone who has spent his parliamentary career opposing racism develop a soft spot for holocaust denial?  This is just another case of accusing anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians of being anti-Semitic.

Jeremy Corbyn has answered these allegations repeatedly, in the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian and elsewhere but Freedland and yourselves aren’t interested in explanations but in trying to get mud to stick.

According to Freedland “…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 2004, Jeremy Corbyn and the many others attending a fund-raising concert in 2001, including rabbis and MPs, would have had to have had psychic gifts.  All these allegations rest on the word of a self-confessed holocaust denier.

What is particularly ironic is that the JC's editor, Stephen Pollard, has said of the anti-Semitic Polish MEP Michal Kaminski: ‘It would be harder to find a greater friend in Brussels.’  (JC 9.10.09.).  Kaminski was leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European parliament, a group initiated by Cameron and to which the Tories continue to belong.  He combined ardent Zionism with opposing a national Polish apology for the burning alive of 300 Jews in Jedwabne in 1941.

Notwithstanding the Jewish Chronicle’s campaign, thousands of Jews voted for Corbyn.  These so-called ‘community’ leaders do not speak for British Jews who are critics of Israel, oppose the Occupation, or support secular, rather than faith schools. We have no recollection of participating in any democratic process to elect them.

Yours faithfully,

Deborah Fink
Tony Greenstein
Miriam Margolyes OBE
Antony Lerman
Prof. Haim Bresheeth
Professor (emeritus) Moshé Machover
Professor Ilan Pappe
Professor (emeritus) Jonathan Rosenhead
Sai Englert, NUS
Barnaby Raine NUS NEC
Leon Rosselson
Ian Saville
Tony Abse
Daphna Baram
Thea Beyleveld
Rica Bird
Jay Blackwood
Mike Cushman
Ivor Dembina
Rachel Diamond;
Mark Elf
Michael Ellman
Pia G. Feig
Galit Ferguson
Shlomit Ferguson
Marilyn Finlay
Sylvia Finzi
Frank Fisher
Kenneth Fryde
Claire Glasman
Lynda Gilbert
Alex J Goldhill
Janet Yagud Hack
Abe Hayeem
Rosamine Hayeem
Tikva Honig-Parnass
Sue Hughes
David Hyatt
Yael Kahn
Michael Kalmanovitz
Paul Kaufman
Mark Krantz
Richard Kuper
Selma James
Ann Jungman
Leah Levane
Sonya Levene
Ros Levy
Les Levidow
Ruth London
Deborah Maccoby
Kate Mayer;
Mitch Mitchell
Dawn Overton Moses
Ofer Neiman
Diana Neslen
Leo Pollak;
A M Poppy
Caroline Raine
Roland Rance
Frances Rifkin
Dr Brian Robinson
Denise Robson
Michael Rosefield
Michael Sackin
Professor Raphael Salkie
Jennie Anne Sapherson
Amanda Sebestyen
Miriam Scharf
Glyn Secker
Sam Semoff
Ruth Steigman
Vanessa Stilwell
Steve Tiller
Sam Weinstein
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
Miriam Yagud
Sherrl Yanowitz
Benjamin Young

On Behalf of Jews for Jeremy

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