My attention has been drawn to an article (“The thought of Jeremy Corbyn as PM has Jewish investors running for the hills”) in the Jewish Chronicle (27th Dec.) by Alex Brummer, who now writes as City Editor for the Daily Mail but was formerly a Guardian journalist. I feel sure that had this article appeared anywhere else it would have been damned as anti-semitic, not least by the Daily Mail itself. At first I thought it must have been satirical or at least intended as an ironic piece, but on re-reading it I cannot sustain such a thought.
The gist of this article is clear from the headline, even though much of its substance relates tales of general City finance fears and behaviours which have more to do with Brexit than Labour. The sub-heading tells us “The possibility that John McDonnell could soon run the economy and set taxes has prompted several Jewish businessmen to divest from the UK” and as Brummer reports it, some have already taken up in Israel. If one were to conclude from this article that these people had more loyalty to Israel than to the UK, one would be had up on a charge of making an anti-semitic statement under the examples of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism. And why are these (handful, it has to be said) of Jewish businessmen considering leaving the country? Brummer says:
“Mr Corbyn’s failure to clamp down on the anti-Zionism and antisemitism in his party is frightening enough for many in British Jewry. But of equal concern — not just for Jewish business people but everyone who believes in free markets — are Labour’s economic and financial proclamations. Aside from the threat of wholesale nationalisation, from the railways to the big six energy companies and land banks held by housebuilders, Labour wants to overhaul property rights and taxes.”
So nationalisation of the railways is ‘frightening enough for many in British Jewry’ – it is of ‘equal concern’ as anti-semitism Brummer says. But Labour's policies have shown themselves to be popular with the British public (c.f. 2017 manifesto). Are we conniving in some nationalisation threat to ‘many in British Jewry?’ The proposition is absurd, but it seems it can go unchallenged in the Jewish Chronicle and presumably by the Daily Mail. Brummer conflates an economic policy with anti-semitism for a purpose. It gets worse. Brummer equates National Socialism with moderate left-wing governments, because they, the latter, sought to curb gross wealth inequalities. This section is worth quoting at length:
In the 1920s and 1930s, the confiscation of Jewish assets in Germany and elsewhere signalled the start of the Holocaust, a period that is built into Jews’ DNA. The late Sir Siegmund Warburg, scion of one of Europe’s great merchant banking families, arrived in the City of London almost penniless as a result of Nazi attacks on Jewish banks. He ended up recreating one of the great investment banks of the post-war period. Baron David de Rothschild, the effective head of the famous banking dynasty, saw his family’s French wealth all but destroyed by the late President Mitterrand nationalisation of the banking system. He had to rebuild from the ground up under Mr Mitterrand’s successors. More recently Francois Hollande’s government (2012-17) raised the top rate of tax to 80 per cent, triggering a large-scale migration of Jewish French nationals from Paris to London as they sought to escape the blight of unconscionably high taxes.”
We can only take it from Brummer that these policies, although affecting all seriously wealthy people without reference to race, were really closet attacks on Jews - which led to a large scale migration of Jewish French nationals. Well, that’s what he’s saying isn’t it? That Hitler, Mitterand and Hollande all behaved in the same way? Why else bracket them together? And now Corbyn too, who will lead ‘Labour’s marauders’ in a vast plundering of Jewish wealth. I suppose we should be grateful Brummer stopped short of referring to Labour’s ‘Kristallnacht’ – I guess even his sub-editor would baulk at such a reference.
In his last paragraph Brummer actually gets round to mentioning Brexit worries as being among those driving this flow of Jewish wealth out of the country:
“Clever money already has moved offshore and Jewish property developers have in some cases been liquidating portfolios. Individuals are establishing boltholes in Israel and Florida to make sure they are out of reach of wealth taxes, Brexit turmoil and antisemitism. In making such difficult choices they have history on their side.”
Anyone with half a brain can see what’s going on here – I don’t need to spell it out. Sadly, this appears to be the depth a free press will plummet to when it sees democracy rearing its head.
Brummer’s full-on crap can be accessed here.