Jeremy Corbyn’s Supporters Used Libels and Conspiracy Theories to Punish Those Who Called Attention to Their Anti-Semitism

July 24 2020

A year ago, the BBC newsmagazine program Panorama ran interviews with seven former Labor-party staffers exposing the extent to which anti-Semitism had overtaken the party under the leadership of the obsessive Israel-hater Jeremy Corbyn. The party’s leaders responded by hurling accusations of journalistic malpractice at John Ware, who produced the episode, and by trying to undercut the credibility of the whistleblowers. Ware took the Labor leaders to court, and on Wednesday the case concluded with the party apologizing and agreeing to pay “substantial” damages. Explaining his decision to seek legal remedy, Ware writes:

There’s an unwritten code that says we journalists should never sue because however offensive or defamatory criticism of our journalism may be, we hold free speech sacrosanct. It was a rule with which for decades I agreed. I no longer do.

That is why my proceedings against Labor are only the first of several I have begun against alternative media outlets and individuals. I make no apology for this and fully intend to prove my claims in court. To this day, pro-Corbyn conspiracy theorists persist in repeating their falsehoods. They are convinced of the righteousness of their efforts to destroy the BBC’s Panorama for giving a voice to people who felt they had been victims of anti-Semitism and to the party officials who felt they had been frustrated in their attempts to deal with this in a climate that had become increasingly hostile to them since Corbyn won his leadership election for the second time in 2016.

Some of the wildest criticism against Panorama came from the then-chair of Momentum, [the pro-Corbyn faction within Labor], Jon Lansman, who accused me and my BBC colleagues of having “flouted basic journalistic standards from beginning to end.” He even suggested that senior Labor staffers had engaged in a long-term plot to undermine Corbyn by deliberately consulting his office by email on anti-Semitism cases in order to establish a documentary chain that could later be used to smear Corbyn by alleging that his office had interfered in complaints. This magnificent conspiracy theory has been adopted by the recently leaked Momentum-authored report [on the subject].

The pro-Corbyn [online news] outlets . . . have also piled in with multiple attempts to discredit the program [and] have dismissed anti-Semitism complaints as a smear concocted to damage Corbyn, to silence his support for Palestinians, and to prevent the success of his socialist project.

Accusations on these websites include the suggestion that the BBC had caved to “pressure from political Zionists”—in other words, that complaints about anti-Semitism originated from a Zionist conspiracy.

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Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, BBC, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), Media

 

Reengaging the Syrian Government Has Brought Jordan an Influx of Narcotics, but Little Stability

As Syria’s civil war drags on, and it seems increasingly unlikely that Bashar al-Assad will be overthrown, Arab states that had anathematized his regime for its brutal treatment of its own people have gradually begun to rebuild economic and diplomatic relations. There are also those who believe the West should do the same. The case of Jordan, argues Charles Lister, shows the folly of such a course of action:

Despite having been a longtime and pivotally important backer of Syria’s armed anti-Assad opposition since 2012, Jordan flipped in 2017 and 2018, eventually stepping forward to greenlight a brutal, Russian-coordinated Syrian-regime campaign against southern Syria in the summer of 2018. Amman’s reasoning for turning against Syria’s opposition was its desire for stability along its border, to create conditions amenable to refugee returns, and to rid southern Syria of Islamic State cells as well as an extensive Iranian and Hizballah presence.

As hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians were swiftly besieged and indiscriminately bombed from the ground and air, Jordan forced its yearslong Free Syrian Army partners to surrender, according to interviews I conducted with commanders at the time. In exchange, they were promised by Jordan a Russian-guaranteed reconciliation process.

Beyond the negligible benefit of resuming trade, Russia’s promise of “reconciliation” has resolutely failed. Syria’s southern province of Daraa is now arguably the most unstable region in the country, riddled with daily insurgent attacks, inter-factional strife, targeted assassinations, and more. Within that chaos, which Russia has consistently failed to resolve, not only does Iran remain in place alongside Hizballah and a network of local proxy militias but Iran and its proxies have expanded their reach and influence, commanding some 150 military facilities across southern Syria. Islamic State, too, continues to conduct sporadic attacks in the area.

Although limited drug smuggling has always existed across the Syria-Jordan border, the scale of the Syrian drug trade has exploded in the last two years. The most acute spike occurred (and has since continued) immediately after the Jordanian king Abdullah II’s decision to speak with Assad on the phone in October 2021. Since then, dozens of people have been killed in border clashes associated with the Syrian drug trade, and although Jordan had previously been a transit point toward the prime market in the Persian Gulf, it has since become a key market itself, with Captagon use in the country now described as an “epidemic,” particularly among young people and amid a 30-percent unemployment rate.

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Drugs, Jordan, Middle East, Syrian civil war