Smears won’t work

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Bereft of arguments, those opposed to Jeremy Corbyn being elected leader of the Labour Party have resorted to smears – accusing him of anti-semitism !

I have known Jeremy for 30+ years and have never heard him utter anything that could be construed as anti-semitic. He has excellent relations with people of all faiths and ethnicity in his own community – which is why his majority has quadrupled over the 30 years he has represented Islington North.

In common with a majority of people and nations throughout the world, Jeremy disagrees with Israeli government policies towards Palestine. This in no way makes him anti-semitic – just as his opposition to the US/UK invasion of Iraq (also in common with most people and nations throughout the world) in no way makes him anti-British.

Letter in the Jewish Chronicle:

Dear Letters Editor

As Jewish constituents of Jeremy Corbyn for nearly two decades we have met him many times, both through his day-to-day work supporting people in his constituency, and through his wider campaigning work, especially in support of migrants and refugees and against racism, fascism and war.

Those who know him personally cannot take seriously the campaign of smears, wild distortions and innuendo against him, through which newspapers such as the Jewish Chronicle, Daily Mail and Sunday Express are trying to paint him as an antisemite or a friend of antisemites.

Memories are depressingly short. In 2013, the Daily Mail, which regularly publishes lurid scare stories about migrants and refugees, tried to undermine the previous Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, in the minds of anti-immigrant readers, by reminding them that Miliband’s father was an East European refugee. Furthermore, it claimed that Miliband senior was disloyal and insufficiently grateful to Britain. In the late 1930s, when Miliband’s family were desperately trying to escape from Nazism, it was the Sunday Express which complained in an editorial “…just now there is a big influx of foreign Jews into Britain. They are over-running the country.”

Last weekend we stood outside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre protesting the inhuman treatment of women detained there. Jeremy Corbyn was the only leadership candidate to send a message of support.

His real crime, of course, in the eyes of the Jewish Chronicle, is that he has been a longstanding supporter of justice for the Palestinians and a negotiated peace based on an end to the occupation.

But as he said in the JW3 hustings recently: “Does questioning the behaviour of the Israeli state towards Palestinians lead to antisemitism? No, it mustn’t and shouldn’t … Whether it’s a synagogue or a mosque under attack we must all come together … as one in confronting it.”

We are proud that our MP has stood for the Labour leadership on a platform of challenging austerity, enhancing democracy, combating racism and giving support and hope to the most vulnerable members of society.

David Rosenberg and Julia Bard

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All the way with Jeremy

Jeremy_Corbyn I’ve just returned from an inspiring 1000+ meeting in Cardiff addressed by Jeremy Corbyn and leading supporters in South Wales. It was the most inspiring political meeting I have attended since 1945.

Jeremy said everything far more eloquently than I have in my blogs and, were he to become Labour Leader, I will not be able to justify not becoming a member.

Indeed, had he led the Labour Party in May, I would have not needed to contest (q.v. my blog of 6 May).

Unlike the pundits who predicted he would come last (some still do!), I said from the outset that “he could win” (June 15). This was because my experience in the General Election made it clear that acceptance of austerity was the overwhelming reason for Labour’s loss of electoral popularity.

The high-profile pundits encased within the Westminster bubble have no idea what real people think. If Jeremy becomes Leader, Labour could win the next General Election with anti-austerity and anti-Trident policies.

The enthusiasm for such policies was evident at the public meeting tonight and gives me hope that the labour movement will recapture the post-war spirit.

Meeting