The Sad and Steady Decline of the World’s Oldest Jewish Newspaper

The Sad and Steady Decline of the World’s Oldest Jewish Newspaper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

In his efforts to destroy
Jeremy Corbyn Stephen Pollard has Destroyed the Reputation & Circulation of
the Jewish Chronicle


Even by the feral standards of Britain’s tabloid press, the Jewish
Chronicle is in a class of its own.  Under
former Daily Express editor, Stephen Pollard, the
favoured son of Britain’s largest pornography publisher and EDL/UKIP supporter,
Richard
Desmond
, the JC has staggered from the gutter to the sewer. Even the Sun
and the Mail make occasional attempts at separating news from commentary. The
JC sees no purpose in even pretending to be neutral (or even accurate).
The Jewish
Chronicle
has, over the summer, behaved like a demented cat on hot tiles.
Its one and only abiding theme is that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite. It has
failed of course to provide even a smidgeon of proof to back up this libel.
What it lacks in evidence it more than makes up for in shrieking, screaming
headlines.
Pollard’s screeching has not done the JC’s circulation any good
It is little wonder that its circulation has declined
since Pollard took over in 2008 from over 32,000
to 20,000 today. It also
appears to be in considerable
financial difficulty
which might explain why Pollard has become the
journalistic version of a rabid dog.
The Jewish Chronicle’s absurd Goebbel’s like propaganda
Things were not always like this.  Even though the paper has long supported the
Zionist cause it has, in the past sought to achieve a modicum of balance.  Historically it was the paper of the Jewish
Establishment and dull as ditchwater. Its main problem used to be how to keep
its readers awake long enough to read it. (see British
Jewry’s Family Newspaper:A Century of the “Jewish Chronicle”
)
When the Zionist movement was first founded by Theodor Herzl at the end
of the 19th century, the Jewish Chronicle reflected the position of
the Jewish Establishment which was hostile to this attempt to suggest that after
having won the battle for Emancipation, British Jews didn’t belong in Britain.
It described
Zionism ‘as ill-considered, retrogressive, impracticable, even dangerous.”
The JC demonstrates its visceral racism in this headline. The continuous death of Palestinians murdered by the Israeli military is not considered ‘violence’.  The death of a settler by contrast ‘raises fears of fresh violence’ in a Gaza which saw 160 people mown down by sniper fire
It was only the mass influx of Jews, fleeing the Russian pogroms,
which caused a section of the Jewish Establishment to have second thoughts
about Zionism. Palestine’s attractions lay in keeping the East European Jewish
hordes from British shores and what they saw as the accompanying anti-Semitism.
Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler summed up their attitude when he refused to condemn
the 1905 Aliens Act, introduced by the Zionists’ hero Arthur J Balfour. ‘We
must frankly agree’
he wrote
to Herbert Bentwich, ‘that we do not desire to admit criminals and that
there is force in the argument against the admission of those
[Jews] mentally
or physically afflicted.’
[Geoffrey Alderman, Modern British Jewry]
The key battle in the struggle within the Jewish Establishment
over Zionism came when Claude Montefiore and David Alexander of the Board of
Deputies of British Jews and the Conjoint Committee sent
a letter
to The Times on 24th May 1917 opposing Zionism and the
movement to create a Jewish state. It caused a split in the Board and a vote to
disown the letter.
The Jewish Chronicle takes Zionism to its logical antisemitic conclusion – Jewish MPs should separate themselves off
Margaret Hodge and
Zionist Anti-semitism

Fast forward a century to Margaret Hodge’s outburst in the House
of Commons when she called
Jeremy Corbyn ‘a fucking anti-Semite and racist’ on account of his lack
of sympathy for Zionism. This caused a rush of blood to Pollard’s head. Pollard
called for Jewish MPs to leave the Labour Party. Jewish
Labour MPs must quit the party and form a new bloc of independents
.
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Pollard that calling for
Jewish MPs to leave the party they are a member of on the basis of their
religious affiliation is itself anti-Semitic! We have to go back nearly a
century to Poland where, as a result of the Minority Treaties a
block of Jewish MPs sat as Jews in their own right.
Those who advocate the separation of Jews from  mainstream parliamentary parties are usually
anti-Semites. The practice of Jews sitting apart on ghetto benches in
universities in pre-war Poland was a consequence of the vicious antisemitism
amongst Polish students. Yet this is what the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle
was advocating when he urged Jewish MPs to separate themselves off from
non-Jews. All in the name of fighting anti-Semitism!
Hodge’s behaviour had been triggered by the refusal of Corbyn and
Labour’s NEC to adopt wholesale the IHRA‘Definition’
of Anti-Semitism
. Pollard complained
that ‘instead of adopting the definition… has excised the parts which
relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.
’  When we criticise the Zionists’ false
anti-Semitism campaign as really being about Israel we are condemned as
‘anti-Semitic’!
Pollard, in his enthusiasm for the dramatic, spoke
of how ‘one extraordinary, unplanned event has indeed changed the dynamics.
Dame Margaret Hodge’s confrontation of Jeremy Corbyn in a corridor of the House
of Commons, calling him an “antisemite and a racist”, seems to have burst a
dam.’
A week later the Jewish Chronicle, together with two other Jewish
newspapers, in a collective act of madness, published
a joint front page which spoke of ‘the existential threat to Jewish life in
this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.’
The Jewish Chronicle all but accused Jeremy Corbyn of seeking to
build concentration camps and why?  Because he refused to endorse a ‘definition’
of anti-semitism which has been universally panned  by legal and academic critics. 
The Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism
Professor David
Feldman
,
who was also Vice-Chair of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, described the IHRA as‘bewilderingly imprecise.’
Sir Stephen Sedley, a former Judge in the Court of Appeal
who is also Jewish wrote
that the IHRA ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’
Hugh Tomlinson QC in an Opinion declared that the IHRA had
a potential chilling effect on public bodies which, in the absence of
definitional clarity, may seek to sanction or prohibit any conduct which has
been labelled by third parties as antisemitic without applying any clear
criterion of assessment.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, a renowned human rights lawyer described the IHRA as ‘not fit for purpose’.
Are all of these people vicious
anti-semites whose pronouncements pose an ‘existential threat‘ to the
Jewish community today? The hysteria of Britain’s Zionist press defies rational
explanation.  Racism does strange things
to people.  Yet these are the forces
driving the Labour Party into declaring that opposition to Zionism is
anti-Semitism.
The Jewish Forward
In one fell swoop the Zionist press in this country demonstrated
not only how little difference there is between them but how they are little
more than  propaganda sheets.  Contrast this with America’s main Jewish
paper The Forward which has a broad
range of articles and themes on political issues, including from Jews who are
not Zionists and even, God forbid, Palestinians!
It’s a question that the JC avoids – why are so many anti-Semites such ardent fans of Israel?
Whereas the Jewish Chronicle has refrained from criticising the
anti-Semites and racists that make up the Trump Administration, the Forward  has had a series of eviscerating headlines
such as Naomi Zeveloff’s How
Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel and Anti-Semitic at the Same
Time
. The Forward’s liberal editors and writers have been forced
to confront the fact that the Trump regime is both anti-Semitic and ardently
pro-Zionist at one and the same time.  The
Forward
has articles questioning the relationship between American Jews and
Israel, a topic that the JC wouldn’t even go near for fear of attracting a
lightning bolt.
The JC simply does not mention the phenomenon of real antisemitism
in the Trump Administration despite the presence of people like Sebastian Gorka, a
fully-fledged fascist and member of the neo-Nazi Vitézi Rend who
was Deputy Assistant to Trump.
Whereas The Forward is not afraid of taking up debates
about matters of concern to the American Jewish community regardless of Zionist
sensitivities, the Jewish Chronicle ploughs the ever more shrill and hysterical
furrow of a bogus and fabricated ‘anti-Semitism’.
You are unlikely to read an article such as American
Jewry Is Israel’s New Opposition Party
in the JC. Editor Jane Eisner writes
about how ‘the two largest, most important Jewish
population centers on the planet are drifting dangerously apart.’ 
Eisner
is a liberal Zionist.
Kaminski 
Michal Kaminski of
Poland’s Law & Justice Party, who openly wore the Chrobry Sword, the symbol of the anti-Semitic National Radical Camp (ONR)
is defended as a ‘friend’ of the Jews by Pollard!
Pollard has never hesitated to defend anti-Semites who support
Israel. His concern is the ‘Jewish State’ not the Jews. Pollard went out on a
limb to defend the Tories’ membership of the European Conservative and Reform
group alongside anti-Semitic parties and members. Pollard defended
one fascist in particular, the Chair of the ECR, Michal Kaminski, who had
defended villagers in Jedwabne who had herded up to 1,600 Jews into a barn
which was then set alight in 1941.
This did not stop Pollard in the Guardian of 9.10.09. writing that
Kaminski was ‘one of the greatest friends to the Jews in a town where
antisemitism and a visceral loathing of Israel are rife.’
Kaminski, even if
he didn’t like Jews very much loved the State of Israel. Poland’s
Kaminski is not an antisemite: he’s a friend to Jews
A good example of the dishonest and distorted coverage of anything
related to Corbyn is the story in this week’s Jewish Chronicle ‘Corbynites
in plot to unseat pro-Jewish MPs
.’ Most readers would assume that this
meant a campaign to target Jewish MPs because they are Jewish. The first
paragraph of this article talks about ‘A co-ordinated and targeted hard-left
plot to threaten and destabilise Jewish MPs and their supporters in the Labour
Party.’
In fact Joan Ryan, the MP who was no-confidenced by her own Labour
Party Enfield North last week is not Jewish or for that matter pro-Jewish
(whatever that means).  Ryan is the Chair
of Labour Friends of Israel and is well known for her greed and dishonesty
having claimed the most
expenses
of any MP in 2006-7 and having been runner up in 2005-6, to say
nothing of having tried to frame Labour delegate Jean Fitzpatrick as an
antisemite at the 2016 Labour Party Conference. [See The
Lobby – Episode 3 ‘An Antisemitic Trope
]
The letter from 29 Jewish Rabbis supporting
Jeremy Corbyn
The affair of the letter
which was signed by 29 Orthodox Jewish Rabbis last week, dissociating
themselves and their communities from the Chief Rabbi’s letter attacking
Corbyn, is another example of the Jewish Chronicle’s dishonesty. When the
letter first surfaced the Jewish Chronicle of 10th September claimed that the
letter had been ‘condemned as fake’. Two days later it owned
up
to the fact that it was in fact genuine although it still tried to discredit
it. Organisations distance themselves from
‘letter from Charedi rabbis’ defending Corbyn
ran the headline. Because of course a letter
from Jewish rabbis opposing its own campaign of vilification doesn’t quite
square with the image of Corbyn that the Jewish Chronicle has portrayed.
In other words the JC now accepted that the
letter was genuine.  However at no point
did the JC follow normal journalistic practice which notes at the bottom of any
article just what if any changes have taken place since the article first
appeared.
 Skwawkbox, which has
covered this issue in depth, noted
that ‘The JC appears to use software to
prevent any archiving of its pages.’
Not
only had the headline changed but the content of the article had also changed.  Now it was being alleged, not that the letter
was a fake but that the rabbis who signed it had been ‘misled’ as to its
contents.
A spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Hebrew
Communities in response to these allegations by the Jewish Chronicle commented
that ‘This is a sad state of affairs and a commentary on the lengths to
which some people will go. Of course the letter is genuine.
’ And of course
the Zionist organisations behind the anti-Semitism campaign have a vested
interest in pretending that they represent the whole Jewish community. To them
being Jewish is synonymous with being a Zionist.
Shraga Stern, the Haredi Jewish activist who
helped organise the letter from twenty-nine Orthodox rabbis sent a letter
to the JC in response to their attempts to portray the letter as either a fake
or unrepresentative. Not surprisingly the Jewish Chronicle has not published
it.  It is reprinted below.
It now appears that Haredi Jews, who are sick of
the attacks in their name on Jeremy Corbyn by the Board of Deputies are now
planning their own protests outside the Board’s annual fundraising dinner in
November.
Clearly the Board of Deputies
have been stung by this demonstration by Haredi Jews that the Board does not
speak for them.  The JC has acted as
their faithful mouthpiece. In the Jewish
Chronicle
this week the Board condemned what they called the “divide and rule” tactics of a “small group of
malcontents”.
The Board’s anger boiled over adding that “The Charedi
community has had no better ally than the Board of Deputies”
and that they
should be protesting against antisemitism, not against attempts to fight
it.”
This is doubly ironic as the Board has never
organized against genuine anti-Semitism. 
From the campaign against Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascism in
the 1930’s to the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970’ the Board’s position has always
been to appeal to Jews not to confront the fascists and anti-Semites.  Only when it comes to critics of Israel does
the BOD gird its loins!
The Haredi community, because it is visibly
different in how it dresses stands out as distinctly Jewish. Uniquely among
Jews it experiences racist and anti-Semitic attacks. This was the one section
of the Jewish community that was comprehensively ignored by the Report of
Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee on Anti-Semitism which was issued
in October 2016.
As the letter below from Shraga Stern makes
clear, the Board of Deputies represents a minority of Jews in Britain.  The Board’s claims have been supported by the
BBC and the British media precisely because it is in their interests to support
Israel.
Unpublished Letter from Shraga
Stern to the Jewish Chronicle
We believe that the anti-Semitism smear and
witch hunt against Jeremy Corbyn is a Zionist agenda and has all the footprints
leading to that direction. It is being promoted by the Board of Deputies and by
the self-made unelected JLC, who are a well-known pro-Israel bodies-  and it’s completely cruel and unjustified.
The Board of Deputies and JLC do not represent
Charedi Jews, who do not have voting rights at BoD elections and number today
over fifty thousand in the UK, of which 30,000 live in Stamford Hill. According
to a 2007 study by Dr Markov Wise at the University of Manchester, almost three
out of every four Jewish births in the UK – home to the largest strictly
Orthodox community in Europe – are in the Charedi community.
The strange thing here is that they are 263,000
Jews living in UK according to the 2011 census. Half of them do not belong to a
synagogue according to BoD population statistics, so this half would not have
voting rights in the BoD elections.
Add this up with 50,000 Charedi Jews it equals
181,000 out of 263,000 who will not fall under the BoD and the BoD do not
represent them. So how on earth can the BoD have the chutzpah to say they
represent the Jews in UK? BoD is a pro-Israel body and only represent a very
particular part of Jews who are pro-Israel.
Charedi Jews and most mainstream Jews in the UK
are only interested in Anglo Jewry matters and do not get involved in Israel
politics. However saying this we do recognise that real anti-Semitism is an
issue all over the country and in all political parties. We are convinced that
Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best to tackle real anti-Semitism in his party while
still giving his people of his party freedom of speech to criticize Israel.
However, we are nowhere near to fleeing this
country because of this. As a Charedi Jew I can say that Charedi Jews are the
most vulnerable to anti-Semitic attacks as they dress differently and one can
see that they are Jewish, therefore this support letter from leading Charedi rabbis from Stamford Hill
including Chief Rabbi Padwa from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations
(UOHC) says it all.
Jeremy is a long friend and neighbour of the
Charedi community here and everyone who knows him personally says that he loves
Jews and is against real anti-Semitism, and this is what he has done all his
life.
Times have changed and we will not stop here. We
will not be hijacked by the BoD and JLC. We will go further then this to make
it clear to all the government bodies and to the press, not to fall into the
trap of the BoD and JLC who are extremist Zionist bodies and do not represent
mainstream Jews.
Discussions are now taking place that I’m
personally aware of and talks are in place on considering setting up a new body
of Board of Deputies of mainstream British Jews that will focus only on
anglo-jewish matters and will represent the entire Jewish population no matter
if they are associated to a BoD synagogue or not and act for the many Jews not
the few.

 

 

 

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