Hanbury Street, in London's East End, looms large in the Anglo-Jewish story. Among those once resident there was Chaim Reuben Weintrop, better known as comedian Bud Flanagan; a blue plaque on the wall of number twelve marks the spot.
Last week, on a wall in Hanbury Street, accompanying the message "The New World Order Is The Enemy Of Humanity," appeared this offensive image from the brush of an American muralist who believes that Jews and Freemasons rule the world.
Sounds familiar? It is, having characterised antisemitic conspiracy theories of both left and right since the nineteenth century.
Just fancy that! A Sizer post this January.
To the best of my knowledge the first conspiracy theorist to allege a sinister collusion between the two groups was the odious renegade Jew Jacob Brafman, whose pamphlet on the subject in the mid-nineteenth century anticipated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Kalen Ockerman (aka Mear One), the muralist responsible for this excrescence, claims that it's not antisemitic but classist. Some have accepted his explanation
But the mayor of Tower Hamlets, Luftur Rahman, told the Jewish Chronicle:
"I have received a number of complaints that the mural has antisemitic images. I share these concerns. Whether intentional or otherwise, the images of the bankers perpetuate antisemitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial and political institutions.
Where freedom of expression runs the risk of inciting racial hatred then it is right that such expression should be curtailed. I have asked my officers to do everything possible to see to it that this mural is removed."
It is instructive, and somewhat disturbing, to watch this video of the mural being painted, with narration by the artist, and see how the initial antipathy by locals changes as the mural takes shape.
As is well-known, Labour MP Luciana Berger has recently asked a very pertinent question of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn regarding his reaction to that mural, with some leftwing Jewish diehards rushing (as they habitually do) to defend Corbyn from charges of antisemitism:
(to the delight of non-Jewish Israel-haters, of course).
As the Telegraph reports here, accompanied by a video featuring Board of Deputies' president Jonathan Arkush, Corbyn has belatedly apologised, echoing August Bebel in terming antisemitism "the socialism of Jews".
But words are cheap, and the antisemitic rot that bedevils the Labour Party cannot be so easily dismissed.
See this post of mine on Elder of Ziyon, for instance (illustrated here). And, well-illustrated, this
|Corbyn, 1986; See HERE|
In a hard-hitting leader yesterday, The Times, calling Corbyn's excuse ("I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on") "feeble", and noting his links to "such preposterous figures as Stephen Sizer, an Anglican vicar who spread an antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks", recalls the Labour leaders of the past who "understood the necessity and nobility of Jewish nationhood after the Holocaust".
Noting that on Sunday the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council issued an open letter accusing Corbyn of associating with antisemites, and that over the past few days Corbyn "has been exposed as belonging to three Facebook groups in which antisemitic theories, including Holocaust denial, are commonplace" and which "display posts attributing nefarious global influence to the Rothschild banking dynasty and claiming that Israeli military forces harvest the organs of dead Palestinians", it concludes:
"Antisemitism is an issue beyond party and ideology. Standing against it is perhaps the most basis test of political integrity. Labour is led by a man who fails that test. its many decent parliamentarians and supporters should abandon him to merited disrepute." (Hat tip: J.)Corbyn's defence of Sizer has now been mentioned by the influential UK blogger Archbishop Cranmer here
For a highly interesting (and, like the proverbial curate's egg, good in part) analysis of this latest Corbyn affair from one leftist's perspective see here