The official mouthpiece of the British Jewish community has again printed another hit piece against Tommy Robinson. Once again they are pleading with Jews in the UK not to have any contact with Tommy Robinson. After his trip to Israel last November they published an opinion piece by Marcus Dysch, which I answered. This time, they are attacking in the guise of “news” following a private talk Tommy gave to a Jewish audience in Manchester:
Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson holds secret meeting with Manchester Jews
JLM members had been left “outraged” after learning of the event.
Tommy will always be the “former EDL leader” in much the same way as I am a former teenager. And what is the “JLM” — honestly I have no idea, I’ve never heard of it, it’s not mentioned again in the article as an acronym and all that springs to mind is Jewish Lives Matter (which it isn’t I’m pretty sure).
Members of Manchester’s Jewish community held a secret meeting with Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League.
The controversial meeting, which took place in Prestwich last week, was billed as a charity fundraiser, but also saw Mr Robinson deliver a speech outlining his extreme views on Islam.
Obviously the Jewish Chronicle provides no details of the defendant’s “extreme views on Islam” or gives any evidence that they even know what he spoke about. After a couple of sources confirmed that the meeting took place (on condition of anonymity backed by threat of legal action), the Jewish Chronicle calls its first witness for the prosecution, a Mr Anthony Dennison, residing in Manchester:
Mr Dennison said: “We find some of Tommy Robinson’s opinions abhorrent. Unfortunately in our community there are a small number of people who are attracted his policies.
Mr Dennison and the Jewish Chronicle did not elaborate here on Tommy Robinson’s “abhorrent” opinions.
The second witness for the prosecution, a Mr Jeremy Newmark of Boreham Wood, is then called to offer the following:
Jeremy Newmark, Jewish Labour Movement chairman, confirmed local activists from his organisation had been left “outraged” after learning of the event.
Mr Newmark told the JC: “No ifs, no buts, Tommy Robinson is an enemy of our community. He is part of the same political tradition as the National Front and the BNP.”
Ah, wait, here’s the clue to the cryptic JLM in the sub-heading! JLM is the “Jewish Labour Movement.” That would be the Labour Party of Jeremy Hezbollah Hamas Corbyn (excoriated this week for Jew hatred in a new video). It would appear that neither Mr Newmark nor Mr Dennison actually attended the meeting with the defendant, and are offering their uninformed opinions based on hearsay, prejudice and probably the prior, slanted reporting of the Jewish Chronicle.
The line that Tommy is part of the “same political tradition as the National Front and the BNP” I believe to be slander. Tommy has from the very beginnings of his political activities declared his contempt for race-based politics. Tommy has filmed himself burning swastikas. The EDL while he led it was insistent on excluding, banning or ejecting anyone espousing race hate. Tommy eventually left the EDL because his political persecution and imprisonment made it difficult for him to keep these elements out of the organisation he had founded. If Mr Newmark has evidence of Tommy’s “political tradition” outside of what I know, I’d like him to present it. And if Tommy Robinson wasn’t so busy doing other useful work, I’d suggest he consider legal action.
Back to the writing of the Jewish Chronicle “journalist.” We rejoin him expressing an unsubstantiated allegation:
Mr Robinson has long attempted to court British Jews and has travelled to Israel, proclaiming himself to be a “Zionist”.
It is a fact that Tommy Robinson travelled to Israel. I should know, I organised the trip and spent seven days with him and his (mixed race) friends. As to whether this was part of an ongoing effort to “court British Jews” I can’t say, but the Jewish Chronicle hasn’t presented any evidence that they would know his state of mind. Tommy did proclaim himself to be a Zionist in tweets, because he is one. He’s also better informed about Israel than many of the Jews in the UK, because I know what he saw while he drove up and down Judea and Samaria with me.
Next up, the Jewish Chronicle attempts to “out” a Jew as a Tommy Robinson supporter for having appeared in a Rebel Media video:
In a video posted on the right-wing Youtube outlet Rebel Media on June 30, Mr Robinson is filmed introducing lawyer Robert Festenstein, a director of the Jewish Human Rights Watch group, in a feature about a Sunderland shopkeeper who was told to remove an anti-terrorism sign from the front of her shop.
Mr Festenstein told the JC: “I was interviewed by Mr Robinson in connection with a matter where I am instructed by a client who has a potential dispute with Sunderland City Council. Mr Robinson is not my client and I have no association with him.
“As far as any meeting in Manchester with Mr Robinson was concerned, I was not invited, nor did I attend such a meeting.”
Clearly rattled by the accusation that he might not find Tommy Robinson to have “abhorrent” views, Mr Festenstein (a Jewish lawyer) issues the demanded denunciation for which he was approached. We’ll put Mr Festenstein down as an indicted co-conspirator who appears to have managed to clear his name (for now).
Next up as another witness for the prosecution: the highest representatives of all Jews in the United Kingdom: the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
In a statement, the Board of Deputies condemned last week’s meeting saying: “Tommy Robinson’s record of anti-Muslim provocation means that he could never be a partner of a respectable or mainstream Jewish organisation.”
“Never” is a particularly strong point: this is the same Board of Deputies, remember, which signed a joint declaration with the Muslim Council of Britain. A 2015 UK Government report admitted that the Muslim Brotherhood exerted a strong influence over the MCB. They’re OK to work with, but Tommy Robinson can never be allowed to partner with (approved, respectable) Jews.
Next up for the prosecution comes the Twitter account “Jewish Voice,” presenting another worthless opinion uninformed by any direct contact with the defendant.
If the Jewish Chronicle made any attempt to contact the defendant, no evidence of such is given; they merely quote from a number of his tweets:
Mr Robinson confirmed on Twitter that the meeting took place.
“This was from the talk I gave to Manchester Jewish community. Thank you guys for the donations,” he wrote.
In a further post today, Mr Robinson added: “People actually think I’m a Jew. I’ve gone full 360 over last 8 yrs. From people thinking I hate Jews to people thinking I am a Jew.”
The event raised £400 for the AmeliaMae Foundation – a charity raising funds for people affected by the neuroblastoma condition.
This is followed, again, by the final witness for the prosecution, Mr Mark Gardner of the paramilitary “Community Security Trust” organisation. (Yes, I can play at devious and evil mischaracterisations too; especially when I borrow from former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who described Mr Gardner’s organisation thusly in 1984).
Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust said: “CST and our partner groups firmly oppose any such meeting between Jews and the likes of Tommy Robinson.
“We should be clear, however, that a gathering of 12 people does not change the Jewish community’s overwhelming rejection of dead-end politics that only divide and damage British society.”
In normal acts of journalism, it is at this point (or preferably well before) that a real journalist would have attempted to at least get some comment speaking against the thrust of the piece. Well, this was no normal act of journalism. This was a written assault with intent to smear. The quote from paramilitary leader Mark Gardner (oops I did it again) ends the piece.
As I wrote the last time the execrable Jewish Chronicle attacked: your organ’s article about Tommy constituted the worst of prejudice and even lashon hora. You presume to ascribe the very worst motives to a man you’ve never bothered to listen to.
Tommy’s time in Israel and the years I’ve known him have confirmed to me that he is on the right side of a fight that will define Europe. On which side will British Jews line up? That remains to be seen.