BBC host Andrew Neil has weighed in on the antisemitism row. But he seems to have forgotten that he once paid a six-figure sum to a holocaust denier while editor of The Sunday Times.
Andrew Neil has had a lot to say on the supposedly ‘endemic’ antisemitism within the Labour Party.
"That, dear viewer, is anti-Semitism. At its deadliest and most depraved. Which is how it always ends up. Which is why it can't be tolerated. Those still in doubt need to educate themselves. Fast." @afneil opening #bbctw pic.twitter.com/MFi7pYorkB
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) March 29, 2018
Any and every condemnation of antisemitism is welcome. But sadly, unless you’re against racism by anyone to anyone, you’re not an anti-racist – you’re an opportunist. This opportunism is highlighted by the reaction of a toxic coalition of the Labour right, the right, and the far right of UK politics over the weekend. When Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sat down for Passover Seder with left-wing Jewish group Jewdas, the far-right Guido Fawkes blog ran a hit piece. The antisemitic rant stripped Jewdas members of their Jewish identity, for the sake of attacking Corbyn. It was truly foul.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
EXC: Jeremy Corbyn attended an event tonight hosted by a far-left group that has called for the destruction of Israel, dismissed the Labour anti-Semitism scandal as a “cynical manipulation” and labelled Corbyn’s Jewish critics “non-Jews”https://t.co/WE32BZIqY9 pic.twitter.com/SxAUQhD5kt
— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) April 2, 2018
Jews on the UK left were quick to point out the antisemitic nature of the attack:
Galling to see non-Jewish Labour MPs weigh in and decide who is a good Jew and who isn't. This is not the way to solve antisemitism. This is not how we make the Jewish community feel welcome in our party. https://t.co/34Zq0NDE9A
— Jon Lansman (@jonlansman) April 3, 2018
Why are you suggesting there is no such thing as Good Jews and Bad Jews? Why divide Jewish people into such group? What you are saying would be considered by a lot of my friends to be Anti-Semitic. https://t.co/1y3HDSWvo0
— Shlomo (@hapoel2018) April 3, 2018
“Boo! Corbyn needs to get out and meets some Jews!”
[Corbyn spends Passover with some Jews at Jewdas]
“Boo! Not those Jews!”
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 2, 2018
No it isn't. They are just Jews who disagree with other Jews. Which means: Jews. https://t.co/N2D3uxdbzq
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) April 2, 2018
Despite this, the Labour right joined the attack, with Labour MP Angela Smith unable even to spell ‘Seder’.
Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas seber reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour. #EnoughisEnough
— angela smith (@angelasmithmp) April 2, 2018
This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism. And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are ok. Irresponsible and dangerous https://t.co/NORQQiFq8J
— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) April 2, 2018
The entire establishment media, including the BBC, leapt on the Guido story as fact. And so did a host of pundits who have seized on the issue in efforts to oust Corbyn. This means Britain’s liberal commentariat acted as cavalry in a charge against the left led by Guido Fawkes. Guido. Fawkes.
By driving traffic to the Guido Fawkes website the BBC are exposing license payers to the worst kind of anti-Semitism, racism and misogyny guilty of funding far right wing hate. It's intolerable. They should get their own reporters to do the work.
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) April 3, 2018
Only in the UK, and only when it comes to the eagerness of Blairites to sleazily exploit anything, no matter how sensitive (e.g. cynically invoking anti-semitism as a political weapon), can *having dinner with a group of Jews* be deemed further proof of one's anti-semitism.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 3, 2018
Enter Andrew Neil
Neil bought into the Guido smear too, promoting and legitimising the hit job.
I’m baffled by this, on two fronts.
1. Why would Mr Corbyn go there, especially after the last couple of weeks?
2. Where do all these nutters come from? https://t.co/CaL78Sp963
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) April 3, 2018
But he may live to regret it. Because people in glass houses should lay off the stone throwing.
Andrew Neil is the host of the BBC‘s Daily Politics and Sunday Politics shows. He is also chairman of Press Holdings – a company registered in the tax haven of Jersey. The company (owned by the billionaire Barclay brothers) owns a number of conservative media outlets, such as The Telegraph and The Spectator. Neil was formerly a political adviser for the Conservative Party, and an executive editor of Fox News in the US. So when it comes to fake news, Neil is a veteran.
He was also once editor of the The Sunday Times. While there, he reportedly paid a six-figure sum to infamous holocaust denier David Irving. The Hitler apologist denies the basic facts of the holocaust, stating that “the gas chambers were a figment of British propaganda”. And when Neil was criticised over the decision, he argued that Irving was only an “amateur Nazi”.
OpenDemocracy editor Adam Ramsay and others were quick to point out Neil’s hypocrisy on the issue:
What I'm baffled by is why someone who once paid a 'six figure sum' to holocaust denier David Irvine to write about Nazis in the Sunday Times would feel he has any authority in this debate. https://t.co/XuqLSz4GFZ
— Adam Ramsay (@AdamRamsay) April 3, 2018
You once hired David Irving, a Holocaust denier. You have no moral authority on this whatsoever, and should apologise, in full, for a) hiring a Nazi apologist and b) denouncing a Jewish group you don't like as "nutters". https://t.co/4Zb5FlRoXA
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) April 3, 2018
I'm baffled as to why @afneil knowingly employed the holocaust denying, anti Semite Nazi David Irving. Then defended that appointment by stating that he (Irving) was only "an amateur Nazi"https://t.co/NefMtmpf6k
— jon kelly (@jaderunner888) April 3, 2018
Enough is enough
It’s difficult to overstate the wrongness of journalists and politicians declaring who is a ‘good Jew’ and who is a ‘bad Jew’. This despicable situation is only exacerbated by privileged non-Jews playing Chief Rabbi, laying down the law to Jewish people. Especially when their support of the Jewish community is contingent upon political allegiances. Enough really is enough.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via YouTube screengrabSupport us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.