George Galloway and Prof. Michael Rosen Attack Margaret Hodge’s Anti-Semitism Smear against Corbyn

A few days ago, Dame Margaret Hodge stood up in Parliament to denounce Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite, who didn’t ‘want people like me in the party’ because the Labour leader had failed to bow to the pressure of the Israel lobby and adopt the full definition of anti-Semitism now being foisted on everyone by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. This attempts to outlaw as anti-Semitic criticism of Israel.

The media have just lapped up Hodge’s denunciation, and reacted with horror at the possibility that she might be disciplined for attacking her party leader in Parliament. A highly biased report in the I did its best to leave its readers with no doubt whatsoever that Corbyn was anti-Semitic, like the rest of the British press. In support of this the papers mentioned that Hodge was not only Jewish, but like very many Jews had lost family in the Holocaust. Further on in the I their columnist, Simon Kelner, wrote a piece arguing that Labour should adopt the I.H.R.A.’s definition of anti-Semitism, because it was formulated by Jews, who were the people best placed to realise what anti-Semitism is. This is all despite the fact that very many Jews reject the I.H.R.A’s definition of anti-Semitism. According to what I’ve heard, 36 Jewish organisations from around the world concerned with protesting and combating Israel’s brutalisation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians gave messages of congratulation to Corbyn because he hadn’t caved into pressure and adopted the definition in toto. But you won’t hear that from the biased British press. Nor will you see it on TV. On the Andrew Marr Show, the eponymous presenter seemed to get very irritated and insistent with a spokeswoman from the Labour Party, Rebecca Long-Bailey, because Labour hadn’t adopted that definition of Anti-Semitism like everyone else. And then in parliament yesterday we had the revolting spectacle of right-wing Labour MPs standing up one after the other to denounce Corbyn as an anti-Semite.

The piece below, which was posted by Galloway’s radio talk show, The Mother Of All Talk Shows on YouTube on July 21 2018, is a conversation between George Galloway himself and Professor Michael Rosen. Rosen is a children’s poet, and a frequent guest on radio programmes as well as writing the occasional piece for the press. I think he has been voted Children’s Poet Laureate, if I’m not mistaken, and is now professor of children’s literature. Galloway gives him a warm introduction, saying that he would have a place in a British senate, and is every father’s, mother’s and grandfather’s favourite author, and that he has stacks of his books in his own house. Rosen and Galloway have also known Jeremy Corbyn for a very long time, and Rosen himself is a Labour supporter, though not a member of the party. He’s also Jewish, and has a very different perspective on the accusations of anti-Semitism against Corbyn, which you certainly won’t read in the press. He and Galloway both state very clearly that knowing Corbyn for as long as they have, they know that he is certainly not anti-Semitic.

They go on to discuss Hodge’s splenetic attack in parliament. Rosen says that it sounds very much like it was staged to cause maximum exposure. He states that if Hodge really felt that Corbyn was an anti-Semite, she would instead have raised the issue through the organs within the Labour party itself set up to deal with such grievances. She hasn’t. Nor has she made this complaint before.

The two also go on to discuss Hodge’s own checkered reputation with the press. She’s a Blairite, and when she first was elected she was ‘an Islington luvvie’. There was also a time when she went through a bad patch, for reasons they were reluctant to discuss. Then after doing reasonably well, she was attacked again by the Jewish Chronicle, who declared that she was disgraceful and that for everyone’s good she should resign. This was only a little while ago. Now, in Rosen’s words, she now appears like a Jewish Joan of Arc!

They also talk about the way she brought into the accusation the murder of members of her family in the Holocaust. Rosen states that many Jews have lost family during the Nazis’ murderous reign from 1933 and 1945. And yes, many Jews, including himself, do like to remind people of it. But Hodge has used this personal tragedy as a ploy to draw Corbyn into it metaphorically, to make him appear one of those culpable through the accusation of anti-Semitism. But Rosen says there are other Jews, who have also lost family in the Shoah, but no-one mentions them. The statement ‘I have lost family in the Holocaust and I support Corbyn’ never appears, and seems odd.

Rosen also makes the point that this part of the civil war initiated by the Blairites in the Labour party to split the party, as they would rather destroy it then have Jeremy Corbyn in No.10. He describes how a while ago Alistair Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor, was phoning round TV celebs asking if they wanted to be members of their new party, and how the right-wing Labour MPs were preparing to split. He also has a go at John Woodcock, another Blairite, who took it upon himself to resign suddenly without giving any warning. Rosen states that it shows Woodcock’s contempt for his own constituents and local party that he gave no word he was going to do so. He also characterises him as a ‘goysplainer’, a term much used in the Jewish community. It’s modelled on ‘mansplainer’, a feminist term to describe a man, who patronisingly explains things, particularly women’s issues, to women. A ‘goysplainer’ is a gentile – goy – who patronises Jews by telling them what they should do and believe as Jews. He also mentions that Stephen Pollard, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, is also trying to split the Labour party by calling on all the party’s Jewish MPs, who may number about 10, to leave it.

Rosen and Galloway also talk about how the vitriol directed at Corbyn changes according to whether he’s behind or ahead of the Tory party in the polls. If he’s behind, then he’s a loser. If he’s ahead, then he’s an anti-Semite.The attacks against him have previously been that he looks like an old geography teacher, because he’s got a slightly worn jacket. But now they’ve changed as he’s pulled ahead.

This latest attack is because the Tory party is split and eating itself over Brexit. And Rosen states that both of them hope this will go on, and allow Jeremy Corbyn to take office in No. 10 as part of a genuine, reforming government. He also describes how anti-Semitic and vile the Tories’ supporters in the DUP are. They go further than just Creationism. There are two or three, he says, who are genuine anti-Semites. They believe in a version of Christian Zionism in which all the Jews are to move to Israel or be put to the sword so that Christ can return. And then these same DUP members of the devolved Northern Irish government have then had the audacity to turn up at the ‘Enough’s Enough’ demonstration against anti-Semitism in Labour.
They then talk about the nub of the issue, which is the definition of anti-Semitism itself. Rosen makes the point that it is, quite simply, hatred of the Jews as Jews. He talks about prejudice, giving an example of the kind of prejudice he means a conjectural insult he could make about Galloway because he’s Scottish. But the I.H.R.A. definition of anti-Semitism goes way beyond this by include criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. Rosen states that this definition would not stand up anywhere, as it’s possible to insult Iceland, America and other countries without being accused of racism, so long as you don’t advocate committing a hate crime. Rosen then moves to talking about Ruritania as a way of illustrating prejudicial speech as applied to countries in order to avoid offending people.

He goes on to explain how the adoption of the I.H.R.A.’s definition of anti-Semitism would mean that he would be thrown out of the Labour party, if he were a member. And it came just after Netanyahu passed a law which firmly discriminates against the Palestinians, who comprise 1.8 million of his country’s own people. And many liberal Zionists, including Israelis, are outraged by it. Galloway mentions here the Israeli paper, Ha’Aretz, which has decried this legislation. And one liberal Zionist writer in the Washington Post has barely been able to restrain his disgust at the law. He wrote an article against it, and those who passed it, but obviously did not use the anti-Semitic tropes.

Rosen also mentions that other Jews have supported Jeremy Corbyn’s rejection of the clauses within the I.H.R.A.’s definition of anti-Semitism, which considers criticism of Israel anti-Semitic. He states that the philosopher, Brian Klug, who is also Jewish, wrote a piece in the Guardian explaining that Corbyn was right, and it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel.

Galloway and Rosen then demolish another accusation used by the Israel lobby to promote their legal suppression of criticism of Israel: that Israel is somehow singled out for criticism. But as Galloway and Rosen agree, they don’t single out Israel for criticism. They criticise a range of brutal and despotic nations, including Saudi Arabia. This is a very repressive regime, which has produced much of the Islamist terrorism now spreading over the Middle East. And to whom Britain certainly should not be selling arms.

This is a very good refutation of the extremely biased reporting about Hodge and her smear of Corbyn as an anti-Semite in the British lamestream media. They also make it clear that even Blair did not accuse Corbyn of being a Jew hater. This might be because he’s outside parliament, and so did not have immunity from the libel laws. Rosen also says that he believes that Hodge’s attack is a moment from which there can be no way back.

As for Hodge herself, the dubious episode that Galloway and Rosen were reluctant to delve into is probably when she tried to suppress reports and allegations of child abuse in Islington, which got to the point where she verbally attacked one of the victims herself. Tony Greenstein has a description of this vile episode in his own criticism of Hodge’s denunciation on his website. Nor is that the only controversial thing Hodge has done. She also appeared in the pages of the Guardian declaring that Whites may sometimes be right to complain about discrimination when members of ethnic minorities are given council or social housing ahead of them. This had her critics declaring that she was using the rhetoric of the BNP.

In short, Hodge is a vile individual, who is libelling Corbyn as anti-Semite simply to prevent a genuine Socialist getting into No. 10. And she is supported by the Blairites in the Labour party, the Tories and the mainstream media. And it’s about time this stopped, and was exposed for what it is. Now.


3 Responses to “George Galloway and Prof. Michael Rosen Attack Margaret Hodge’s Anti-Semitism Smear against Corbyn”

  1. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  2. Eric Hampshire Says:

    Of course Galloway criticises Hodge…he is another well known anti semite

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