Jones knows better than Chomsky
Posted by Ian M on September 20, 2020, 5:59 pm, in reply to "Sean O'Hagan: "The antisemitism crisis, which you recount in painful detail...""
What @OwenJones84 is doing is erroneous, opportunistic, & damaging. Labour’s own reports show how anti-Semitism smears were weaponized by centrist members whose open aim was to destroy Corbyn’s movement. Listen to Chomsky (who never sells out his cause for mainstream approval):
'The way charges of anti-semitism are being used in Britain to undermine the Corbyn-led Labour Party is not only a disgrace but also — to put it simply — an insult to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The charges against Chris Williamson are a case in point. There is nothing even remotely anti-semitic in his statement that Labour has ‘given too much ground’ and been ‘too apologetic’ in defending its record of addressing ‘the scourge of anti-semitism’ beyond that of any other party, as he himself had done, on public platforms and in the streets.' - https://thegrayzone.com/2019/07/10/the-guardian-censors-chomsky-open-letter-corbyn-labour-mp-chris-williamson/
Media Lens @medialens
· Sep 18
Owen Jones, blaming the victims of a truly monstrous smear campaign:
'Those who insisted the antisemitism crisis was a smear campaign and nothing else... not only caused pain to Jewish people but also helped strip away Corbynism’s idealistic sheen.'
I hugely respect Noam Chomsky but don't agree with him on everything, and neither do you. The authors of the famous leaked Labour report have the exact same position as me. These are screenshots from the report. Chris Williamson was suspended by the then ruling Labour left.
[image text as follows: 'This report thoroughly disproves any suggestion that antisemitism is not a problem in the Party, or that it is all a “smear” or a “witch-hunt”. The report’s findings prove the scale of the problem, and could help end the denialism amongst parts of the Party membership which has further hurt Jewish members and the Jewish community.
This report reveals a litany of mistakes, deficiencies, and missed opportunities to reform, develop and adapt a clearly failing disciplinary system. Since Jennie Formby became General Secretary in 2018, the Party has taken extensive measures to create a functioning disciplinary system capable of dealing with antisemitism complaints at considerable volume and in an appropriate manner, with a high standard of investigations and decision-making. However, this report shows that some problems still continued during this period, and so further extensive work was undertaken in 2019 to improve processes and revisit decisions taken in previous years.
6.7.3 Chris Williamson
Former Labour MP Chris Williamson had engaged in a pattern of behaviour, in which he engaged in conduct which was widely regarded as offensive and as baiting the Jewish community. As a Labour MP, complaints about Williamson were forwarded to the Whip's Office, the system for such complaints at the time. Williamson was consequently reminded of the conduct expected of him as an MP by both the Chief Whip and LOTO Political Secretary Amy Jackson on a number of occasions across 2018 and early 2019. Jennie Formby also personally warned Williamson of "how inappropriate it is for him as an MP to publicly campaign with people who are either in the process of being disciplined or who have gone through the process and been expelled".]
The correct position on the antisemitism crisis is that antisemitism is a genuine problem and there were failures to deal with it - as the leaked Labour report goes to great lengths to emphasise - and the episode was cynically used by Corbynism's opponents, too.
Taking antisemitism seriously has absolutely nothing to do with seeking mainstream approval, and your own position is driven by a straightforward refusal to engage with the facts. Have you even read the leaked Labour report?
That he takes the clearly biased findings of this report seriously speaks volumes...
More condescending character references in this New Statesman article:
'Jones devotes an entire chapter to Labour’s anti-Semitism problem, recalling the anti-Semitic mural in east London that Corbyn defended in 2012. I asked him whether he came to believe that the former Labour leader is an anti-Semite.
“I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic in the slightest, I never have,” Jones replied. “I don’t think for a second – and these are people I’m close to in the leadership, people like James Schneider [former director of strategic communications], people like Carl Shoben [former director of strategy] – I really do not think senior members of staff who were Jewish would have felt comfortable at any point working for someone they genuinely thought was anti-Semitic.”
But, Jones added, “Corbyn ended up in a situation where anti-racism is so core to his identity that the more he was attacked and criticised and called an anti-Semite the more defensive and upset he got. And that completely clouded his judgement on how you get on the front foot to deal with this.” ' - https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2020/09/owen-jones-i-begged-john-mcdonnell-stand-labour-leader
Luckily he had you to defend him at the time. Oh wait...
'Personifying the political paranoia that now grips Labour is the party’s one-time wunderkind, Owen Jones – possibly the only early champion of Corbyn in the corporate media. He used his Guardian column to fight back against the first wave of slurs – that Corbyn was unpatriotic, unstatesmanlike, a former Soviet spy, and so on.
But then, as the smears failed to inflict significant damage on Corbyn, a second line of attack was pursued. It claimed that Corbyn’s lifelong and very prominent activism as an anti-racist was in fact a cover story. Depending on who was spinning the narrative, Corbyn was either a secret Jew hater or a man who endlessly indulged antisemitism within his inner circle and in the wider party. Jones’ colleagues at the Guardian joined the rest of the corporate media mob in baying for Corbyn’s blood. Long wedded to a rigid form of identity politics, Jones was soon publicly wavering in his support for Corbyn. Then, as an election neared in 2017, he abandoned him entirely.
Unfortunately for the corporate media, the election result did not follow their shared predictions. Far from presiding over an unprecedented electoral disaster, Corbyn came within a hair’s breadth of overturning the Tory parliamentary majority. He also increased the party’s share of the vote by the largest margin of any post-war Labour leader. Jones changed his tune once again, promising to be more wary of the group-think of his corporate media colleagues. Of course, his new-found resolution soon crumbled.
Like a mouse chasing the scent of cheese, Jones headed into the trap set for him. He refused to accuse Corbyn himself of antisemitism, unlike many of his colleagues. Instead he gave his blessing each time a Labour activist was targeted as an antisemite – oftentimes, over their support for Palestinian rights.
Forced onto the back foot
As the media attacks on Labour for supposedly welcoming antisemites into the party’s ranks intensified (flying in the face of all the evidence), Jones acquiesced – either actively or through his silence – in the resulting wave of suspensions and expulsions, even of Jewish members who were hounded out for being too critical of Israel. Jones’ hands may have looked personally clean but he acted as lookout for those, like Labour MP Jess Phillips, who were determined to carry out their promise to “knife Corbyn in the front”.' - https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2020-02-12/antisemitism-threat-labour/
And this is the guy we're supposed to look to for 'a nuanced understanding of events and to help chart a new course' (apparently his own self-description, the byline in the graun article hawking his book, see thread below: https://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/thread/1600433940.html )? What a joke.
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