Watch Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein take down the smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn

Norman Finkelstein
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The Canary has been consistently exposing the shameless use of antisemitism as a political football to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. In recent weeks, for example, ex-MP Clare Short and Jewish-Canadian psychologist Gabor Maté have come to Corbyn’s defence. Prof Norman Finkelstein, a prolific scholar of the Israel-Palestine conflict and son of Holocaust survivors (whose entire extended family died in Nazi death camps), has also been outspoken on the issue. And he recently issued a searing attack on the smear campaign’s orchestrators.

British ruling elites protecting the status quo

Speaking at an event at the Portland State University in Oregon in April, Finkelstein said:

There has been a very sinister alliance between the Jewish groups who are acting as Israeli agents in British society and British ruling elites who dread the prospect of a Corbyn victory.

He added:

What you have in the UK is an unusual phenomenon. Because historically…, the mainstream Jewish groups, they play the antisemitism card every time Israel faced a public relations debacle for one of its periodic massacres [of Palestinians]. And it would start charging all the critics of being antisemitic, which is a familiar and old tune. However, now, in the case of Corbyn, the British ruling elites decided, ‘let’s join in with these Jewish groups who are acting at Israel’s behest, but let’s use that charge to try to discredit Corbyn so that he won’t get elected’ – [and they’re doing it] not because they care about Israel, but because they care about preserving a status quo from which they have benefited.

Finkelstein also pointed to how the mainstream media, across the political spectrum, has essentially gone along with this narrative:

From the Guardian newspaper on the so-called left, to the Daily Mail on the so-called right, and everything in between – BBC, Sky News, the Times – they’re all claiming that Jeremy Corbyn is a dyed-in-the-wool antisemite, and that antisemitism has been ‘institutionalised’ in the Labour Party… which is kind of looney if you know you he is and what he stands for.

Read on...

Criticism of Labour

Finkelstein, however, was critical of Corbyn’s Labour for not being strident enough in denouncing the smears against it. He said:

Right now in the UK, the Labour Party – in order to deflect the allegation of antisemitism – has been carrying on all these purges of alleged antisemites in the party, many of whom I know by reputation, and the allegations are completely nuts. But the Labour Party, in my opinion, [has gone along] stupidly believing you can appease these forces and stupidly believing it has anything to do with antisemitism. It has nothing to do with antisemitism.

He also suggested that a similar process is likely to take place in the US against Bernie Sanders:

what’s happening in the UK is basically a dress rehearsal for what’s going to happen here [in the US against Bernie Sanders].

“Corbyn is the real deal”

Finkelstein also praised Corbyn’s policies and political CV, stating:

Corbyn is the real deal. Bernie [Sanders] is basically ‘Corbyn-lite’, which is not bad because Corbyn’s really, he’s the real deal. He doesn’t like the idea of homelessness in this world. He’s not the kind of guy who thinks it’s enough to put a dollar in their cup on your way to [your holiday house].

Finkelstein’s words won’t stop the ongoing smear campaign against Corbyn. But someone with his stature and background coming to the Labour leader’s defence surely chips away yet again at that campaign’s credibility.

Featured image via YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Yes it is time for Labour to fight back and stop caving into these false A/S allegations. Finkelstien is a Jewish academic who lost his whole family as a result of the Holocaust. He knows exactly what A/S is about,. Me of Jewish Descent have been ashamed at some so called members of LP like Hodge Watson using it as a weapon to get at Corbyn calling him A/S and demeaning what is real A/S out there. Yes as Finkelstien says A/S is being used as a Political weapon by Labour Friends Of Israel LFI. James O’Brian LBC token lefty is a strident critic of Corbyn using his program to get at Labour under Corbyn only allowing Corbyn critics from P LP right any real air time to spout their bile against Corbyn and LP. People like Alistair Campbell are given 2 hours of his program to denounce Labour party and Corbyn.. Any person who challenges O’Brian is cut short or regularly interrupted. .
      one wonders If LBC would allow any body like Finkelstien or Jewish voice for Labour JVL to present alternative views. But for O’Brian and LBC that would be to much of a risk,
      the same could be said to the so called left leaning Guardian Newspaper .The BBC well forget them .
      Labour should come out and honestly say what it knows is true. They know what is going on and why. This misuse of A/s for political purposes is disgraceful. It undermines the Labour party under Corbyn . That is of cause its purpose. So people like Williamson and others are sanctioned unfairly called A/S and got rid of. Labour just caves into this obvious anti Corbyn campaign instead of fighting back against Guardian LBC BBC. These anti Corbyn people will never be appeased until they achieve their aim to destabilise Corbyn and any person that supports him. Yet let Hodge et,el get away with bringing LP into disrepute with out any real sanctions .They must be confronted and exposed for what they are.

    2. Thanks, good article. available to see for some time

      Why has Labour taken the A/S punishment lying down? Their exemplary plans for the future and rebuilding the UK go unnoticed while Labour members engage in a program of self destruction. Put these issues aside and become elected then root out the several hundred A/S members of the party!

      EMBRACE REMAIN Corbyn! Get off the fence and rejoin our European neighbours to create a fair and prosperous environment for workers and businesses alike.

    3. hi burton yes Corbyn needs to get off fence . But there is the question of over 30 seats in the north who voted remain so there is a problem. But I agree Corbyn needs to campaign aggressively for remain. Re A/S need to be very careful here. There are many false claims made about A/S you know criticism of Israel even Watson would you believe. I think that Williamson was right when he said that Labour does not need to apologise about how it has dealt with A/S Before that he said that the Scourge of A/S must be routed out I think I understand what he meant, but it was badly put…… so there has been quite a lot selected reporting. Me of Jewish descent have found that the use of A/S as a weapon quite disturbing. There is serious A/S out there > me in over 40 plus years as a a member on and off in different constancies have never come across A/S.
      So things must be kept in proportion. There is a lot of misinformation out there, a lot is political. Also because of the semantics involved in A/S people ignorantly make A/S remarks with out really understanding. So there is a need for education.

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