Jacobson ac­cuses Cor­byn of a show of con­tempt

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

The au­thor said he was shocked that the Labour leader nom­i­nated Shami Chakrabart­i for a peer­age

HOWARD JACOBSON has sug­gested that Jeremy Cor­byn gave Shami Chakrabart­i a peer­age to show his con­tempt for those who com­plained about an­ti­semitism within Labour.

The au­thor said: “I’m quite shocked by the giv­ing of a peer­age to Chakrabart­i. I’m shocked by the speed of it and shocked by what that sug­gested about Cor­byn”.

Hold­ing up his middle fin­ger to dis- play an ob­scene ges­ture, he said: “That was what Cor­byn was say­ing to all of us who com­plained”.

The Man Boooker Prize-win­ning writer made the com­ment at Mon­day night’s pre­miere of White­washed, a doc­u­men­tary about last year’s Labour in­quiry into “an­ti­semitism and other forms of racism” headed by the sub­se­quently en­no­bled Baroness Chakrabart­i.

The book on which the doc­u­men­tary is based, which was also launched on Mon­day, in­cludes 13 per­sonal sub­mis­sions made to the Chakrabart­i in­quiry, in­clud­ing Mr Jacobson’s.

Speak­ing to a ca­pac­ity au­di­ence of over 250 peo­ple at the JW3 com­mu­nity cen­tre in north-west Lon­don, he said: “We will never feel con­vinced that the prob­lem of an­ti­semitism is be­ing dealt with if the peo­ple deal­ing with it of­ten can­not talk about an­ti­semitism with­out at the same time say­ing ‘and all other forms of racism’.

“Cor­byn has never yet said an­ti­semitism with­out also say­ing ‘all racism’ — as though he has to apol­o­gise to every­body else be­fore he can apol­o­gise for an­ti­semitism.”

Three Labour MPs — John Mann, Louise Ell­man and Joan Ryan — were present for the screen­ing of the doc­u­men­tary and the dis­cus­sion after­wards, which took place be­tween Mr Jacobson and aca­demic David Hirsh, who nar­rated the film.

Mrs Ell­man re­ferred to anti-Zion­ism and an­ti­semitism in Labour as “a great stain and a shame on the party. “There are many peo­ple in the Labour Party — both MPs and not MPs — who are fight­ing what is hap­pen­ing, who are dis­gusted and ap­palled at what is hap­pen­ing.”

Joan Ryan, the par­lia­men­tary chair of Labour Friends of Is­rael, de­scribed the Chakrabart­i Re­port as “at the very best, a missed op­por­tu­nity.

“We wanted to see in that re­port clear lines drawn, where crit­i­cism of Is­rael becomes an­ti­semitic”, she said.

“And we did not get that, we were to­tally dis­ap­pointed with that”.

Re­spond­ing to an au­di­ence question, John Mann, the chair of the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary Group Against An­ti­semitism, de­scribed Mr Cor­byn as “a man who claims he’s ded­i­cated his en­tire life to racism — he’s not pre­pared to make a speech ex­clu­sively, ex­plic­itly, just on an­ti­semitism, to out­line why it is the worst of racisms, and why any­one who is an an­ti­semite should be called by him, the Labour Party and every­body else, a racist.

He was adamant that he would re­main­ing in the party. “We’re going nowhere”, Mr Mann said. “This isn’t Cor­byn’s party, this is my party.

“We will play our role in com­bat­ing an­ti­semitism un­til we wipe it out of our party.

View the doc­u­men­tary at https://www. thejc.com/white­washed


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