On Thursday 17th September 2015, The Guardian published a piece that unquestioningly reproduced demands from so-called leaders of the Jewish community that Jeremy Corbyn clarify claims that originated with a self-confessed Holocaust denier. Jeremy has answered these allegations numerous times, but our self-appointed spokespersons simply repeat them again and again, and The Guardian seems happy to be a willing vehicle for this attempted witchhunt.
This is the letter Jews for Jeremy sent in response to that article. We have included some additional names that arrived late, and it has now been signed by 84 people. We know that other individuals also wrote responses to that article.
The Guardian has chosen not to expose itself to questioning or criticism, so we are publishing our letter here and on our Facebook page, and encourage people to share it as widely as possible.
Dear Letters Editor
The UK Jewish “leaders” who “seek clarification” from Jeremy Corbyn know that he has already answered their questions, again and again – in the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian, Channel 4 News and elsewhere. But in their desperate attempt to undermine him, they continue to repeat these smears like mantras.
One such mantra is that “…15 years ago he attended meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.” Since Eisen didn’t reveal himself as a Holocaust denier until 2005, Jeremy Corbyn and the many other audience members, including rabbis and MPs, would have had to be psychic to know this in 2001. Indeed, in going to the press, Eisen himself seems to share the intention of these Jewish “leaders”, to taint him with the accusation of antisemitism.
Jeremy Corbyn is well able to answer this mischief-making on his own behalf, but we want to challenge the assumption that the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council speak for all Jews in Britain.
The article claims that the “Community wants ‘straight answers to straight questions’.” Apart from the patronising and insulting tone towards the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, these so-called leaders are not “the community”. They do not speak for British Jews who are critics of Israel, oppose the Occupation, or support secular, rather than faith schools.
Many Jews are delighted that Jeremy Corbyn has won such a clear democratic mandate to lead the Labour Party. In contrast, we have no recollection of being invited to participate in any democratic process to elect these people who claim to represent us.
Julia Bard, David Rosenberg, Ian Saville, Steve Tiller on behalf of Jews for Jeremy,
Councillor Barry Buitekant
Julian Peter Clegg
Miriam E David
Professor Debbie Epstein
Dr Ophira Gamliel
Dr Sarah Garfinkel
Sarah E Kosminsky
Dr Gabriel Moshenska
Ronne Peltzman Randall