To reiterate a point I made in my earlier post, the following is from a piece in Tablet magazine by Yair Rosenberg, who probably doesn’t study the BBC as intently as some of us do….
(H/T Fernanda @ Harry’s Place)
“What he doesn't say - perhaps because he is genuinely unaware - is that the lack of acceptance that antisemitism is real and rife in the Labour Party is frequently shared by the BBC itself. “
…..he watched the interview between Jo Coburn and Ken Loach on the Daily Politics.
I do hope it’s okay to reproduce a few large chunks of his article.
“Today, BBC anchor Jo Coburn interviewed noted filmmaker and Corbyn backer Ken Loach about this state of affairs, and he proceeded to unintentionally demonstrate just how dire matters have become.
Loach began by forcefully denying the presence of anti-Semitism not just in the Labour party, but on the left in general. “I’ve been going to Labour party meeting for over 50 years,” Loach said. “I’ve gone to trade union meetings. I’ve gone to meetings of left groups and campaigns. I have never, in that whole time, heard a single anti-Semitic word or racist word. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t exist in society.”
Awkwardly, Loach then followed up this assertion of anti-Semitic innocence by rattling off a series of extremely anti-Semitic claims. First, he declared that progressive Jews, including Labour members of parliament, were inventing anti-Semitic incidents for political purposes, to tarnish Jeremy Corbyn. “It’s funny these stories suddenly appeared when Jeremy Corbyn became leader, isn’t it?” he mused. His BBC interviewer Coburn countered, “Well, they would explain that perhaps Jeremy Corbyn has allowed the oxygen for those sort of views.”
I don’t know how Andrew Neil would have conducted this interview. If he was on form he might have made his interrogee squirm. To be generous, Jo Coburn rattled him a little; but not a lot. We’ve heard it all before. This is the theme-tune that Len McCluskey and Diane Abbott are fond of. It’s a catchy liddle tune that goes something like this: “Accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party are mere smears, designed to delegitimise Jeremy Corbyn.”
If you didn’t follow the link in my earlier post, do it now. (Apologies if you haven’t got access to the Spectator) William Cook says of the socialist filmmaker and his political opinions :
“I guess the point I’m trying to make is that great artworks are diminished when you know the artist’s politics. Sure, we can draw our own conclusions from a work of art, but that’s quite another thing. The best way for an artist to preserve the quality of their creation is to keep shtum.”
“But Loach’s ugly insinuation that Jews fabricate their own oppression for personal gain—a staple of anti-Semitic invective for centuries—was just the beginning. When asked by Coburn about a fringe session at the Labour conference where a panelist called for open “yes or no” discussion of the Holocaust, the filmmaker point-blank refused to condemn Holocaust denial, demurring that “history is for all of us to discuss” before going off on an unrelated rant about Israeli evil. Here’s the exchange:
COBURN: There was a fringe meeting yesterday that we talked about at the beginning of the show where there was a discussion about the Holocaust, did it happen or didn’t it… would you say that was unacceptable?LOACH: I think history is for us all to discuss, wouldn’t you?COBURN: Say that again, sorry, I missed that.LOACH: History is for all of us to discuss. All history is our common heritage to discuss and analyze. The founding of the state of Israel, for example, based on ethnic cleansing is there for us all to discuss. The role of Israel now is there for us to discuss. So don’t try to subvert that by false stories of anti-Semitism.”“Yet in the span of two minutes on public television, this leading leftist light managed to (a) deny clear and documented instances of anti-Jewish bigotry, (b) claim that Jews fabricate anti-Semitism to manipulate others, (c) refuse to condemn Holocaust denial, and (d) justify such bigotry against British Jews with wild hand-waving at completely different Jews in the Middle East.
Such extraordinary prejudice coupled to extraordinary lack of self-awareness perfectly encapsulates Britain’s left-wing anti-Semitism problem. After all, the first step to dealing with a problem is admitting it exists. But like Loach, too many on the U.K. far-left are not only unable to acknowledge anti-Semitism in their midst, but are actively complicit in it. Change will only come when such individuals accept Jews as authorities on their own experiences of prejudice, and start listening to Jewish accounts of anti-Semitism rather than dismissing them as bad faith fables.