1. Exquisite Tweets from @Freedland

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    A few people have asked what, if anything, Jeremy Corbyn could do to defuse the current antisemitism issue. Here are some thoughts. (Thread)

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    He might consider giving a speech. But for such a speech to succeed it would need to do a few, very difficult things.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    It would need to be personal and self-critical. On the mural, he would need to admit that he looked at a nakedly antisemitic image and could not see the racism. That his response to hearing it was coming down was to ask, "Why?"

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    He would need to admit that he was an active member of three separate Facebook groups drenched in anti-Jewish imagery and themes and yet said nothing. He would need to explain how, to quote a colleague, he stood knee-deep in a sewer and somehow didn't notice the stink.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    He would need to admit that, for some reason, he has repeatedly stood with or defended antisemites, including Holocaust deniers and 9/11 conspiracy theorists shunned by the wider left (Some details on the Sizer and Eisen cases here) thejc.com/comment/column…

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    That he has an extensive and documented record of looking past antisemitism if it comes from a source he deems sound on Israel/Palestine - and that this is a habit shared by others on the left

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    He would need to reckon with all that – and he would need to say that many of his closest allies have repeatedly got this issue wrong too.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    That, for example, Len McCluskey was wrong to dismiss complaints of antisemitism as “mood music” - and that others are wrong to suggest now that Jews are making this stuff up, or exaggerating it or “weaponising” it to damage him.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    Indeed he would need to say that such a claim is itself antisemitic because it suggests Jews do not act sincerely, but always with an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    He would need to accept that current Jewish anguish is real - and that he has played a part in causing it.

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland

    Such a speech would be very hard for any politician to give. It would require soul-searching and honesty. But his supporters insist he is a truly extraordinary, almost saintly man. So maybe he is capable of it (ends)

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    Freedland

    Jonathan Freedland