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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Rachel Riley - Pants On Fire

Yesterday’s decision by five representatives of Labour’s NEC to lift the suspension of former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s membership has provided an opportunity for those who will not be satisfied until they see him punished, well, very severely indeed to rock up to the studios of any and every broadcast media provider and pass adverse comment on him.

This, to no surprise at all, included Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, who was a guest of Gammon Emeritus Nick Ferrari on LBC. She made this claim: “under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership complaints about anti-Semitism skyrocketed … And they chose not to deal with them”. That would be why anti-Semitism was made a disciplinary offence under Corbyn’s leadership - and this was supported by the Jewish Labour Movement.

As to not dealing with complaints, new party General Secretary Jennie Formby overhauled the procedure for dealing with those complaints so that they could be dealt with more rapidly. And “skyrocketed”? Until Ms Formby arrived, as she told MPs, “there was no consistent and comprehensive system for recording and processing cases of antisemitism”. Until she took over, and made sure they were recorded.

So it would be interesting to see where Ms Riley got the idea that the number of complaints “skyrocketed”. What would be yet more interesting would be her ponying up evidence to back up this claim: “He's travelled across the world to lay wreaths for terrorists who murdered Jews”. Because as far as is known, he hasn’t.

This is most likely referring to Corbyn’s visit to Tunisia in 2014. Here's what the BBC explainer says: “The Labour leader has said he visited the cemetery to honour innocent people killed in a 1985 Israeli air strike. But he has faced criticism because the event took place near memorials for people who were accused of having links to a terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games”. Who were accused of having links to the attack.

There was more. “During the trip, Mr Corbyn took up an invitation to join a delegation paying respects to those killed in a 1985 Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) headquarters in Tunis. Photographs suggest a wreath was laid at the base of a large statue erected in memory of the victims and that Mr Corbyn was next to the memorial, mostly in the background, not holding a wreath”.

It would have been difficult for Corbyn, or anyone else present at that event, to “lay wreaths for terrorists who murdered Jews”, because the terrorists concerned, the Black September group responsible for the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes and a West German Police officer in 1972 at the Munich Olympics, are buried in Libya.

Corbyn was honouring the (at least) 47 people killed as a result of the IDF on the PLO Headquarters in Tunisia. The action was condemned by the UN Security Council; the USA did not exercise its veto, but abstained. He was not honouring Black September.

Ms Riley would do well to choose her words more carefully in future. Just a thought.

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Winegums said...

Not like her to tell porkies

Jonathan said...

Hope she's got the Secret Barrister's no on speed dial, cos that's bare faced libel.

Anonymous said...

Far right tories like Riley have completely debased the term "antisemitism".

Now it has simply become a recognised far right propaganda tool.

In those cases it tells you more about the propagators - like Riley - than they want you to know. For instance I'm willing to bet the BoD is composed mostly of far right tories. "Jewishness" becomes meaningless. Moreover it becomes an obscene, corrupt soap-opera hiding cowards behind the very real horror of the Holocaust and centuries of equally real persecution of Jews.

Riley and her ilk are mere bit part players in this sick charade. The real culprits are the bribers and bribed caught on camera accepting their 30 pieces of silver from the apartheid regime in Israel.

Ironically, the upshot is greater public awareness of the oppression and torture of the Palestinian people by the far right government of Israel - something the propagators would rather avoid.

Sooner or later history will have its way. And it's likely to be the complete opposite intended by the propagandists, liars and just plain corrupt.

Malcolm Armsteen said...

Won't matter.

Corbyn won't sue. He sued once, bizarelly, and seems to leave everything else alone. Maybe Riley has been quite clever pre-election, but I don't see Corbyn breaking the habit of a lifetime.

He absolutely should. He has a case.