Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Lord Sacks, has used his considerable intellectual heft to weigh into the debate over allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party by unequivocally going after Jeremy Corbyn. The problem with his intervention is that it is based on deliberately reimagining what Corbyn actually said in the now infamous video where he talks about a group of disruptive people whom he called “Zionists”.
It's the way I tell 'em
Zionism, as has been previously pointed out, is not equivalent to Judaism, and indeed to assert thus is to invoke an equally infamous anti-Semitic trope. But that did not stop Rabbi Sacks going there anyway: “When he implies that, however long they have lived here, Jews are not fully British, he is using the language of classic pre-War European anti-Semitism”. But Jezza did not say “Jews”. Oh dear!
Rabbi Sacks also told “The recently disclosed remarks by Jeremy Corbyn are the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell's 1968 'Rivers of Blood' speech … It was divisive, hateful and like Powell's speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien”.
It was strong stuff. But Rabbi Sacks is standing in an extremely draughty glasshouse when it comes to talking about racism, as London Assembly Member Tom Copley pointed out: “I'm sorry, but someone who describes Israel's racist nation state law as ‘just correcting a lacuna’ is not someone who should be lecturing others about racism”.
Also pointing out that Rabbi Sacks had significant previous in this area, Ronan Burtenshaw told “Speaking of offensive, Rabbi Sacks led a march through Palestinian east Jerusalem which Haaretz described as ‘a gender-segregated, extreme-right, pro-occupation religious carnival of hatred’ in which participants chant ‘Death to the Arabs’ and ‘Al Aqsa will be burned down.’” And guess who has featured him as a guest speaker?
Yes, it’s the Islamophobic Gatestone Institute once more: Rabbi Sacks spoke to them last October. The thought occurs that perhaps some selective racism is being practised here, and that thought is transformed into a racing certainty by his own video endorsement of none other than Doug Murray The K, the Islamophobic bigot who asserted “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”.
Look who's on the good Rabbi's reading list
Rabbi Sacks not only commends Murray’s book The Strange Death Of Europe to his YouTube followers, he actually muses “If Europe dies, and hands over to the barbarians”. That, in Murray’s book, means “Muslims”. And that is selective racism writ large. Plus there is one more problem for Rabbi Sacks in endorsing Douglas Murray.
The Strange Death Of Europe favourably cites none other than Enoch Powell and the speech to which Rabbi Sacks so clearly objects. Small wonder so many are becoming tired and cynical at assaults on the Labour leader which so easily unravel.
The campaign to remove Jezza from the Labour leadership isn’t going too well, is it?
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