James O'Brien's Vital Monologue On Anti-Semitism And Jeremy Corbyn

1 May 2019, 12:18

This is James O'Brien's important take on the controversy surrounding Jeremy Corbyn writing a foreword for an anti-Semitic book.

The Labour leader wrote the foreword to Imperialism: A Study, written by John Atkinson Hobson in 1902, which he labels "brilliant".

In the book, Hobson argues that Europe’s banks and press were controlled by Jewish people.

James said this was his last straw over the anti-Semitism allegations that have dogged Mr Corbyn and said that he and his followers no longer have the excuse that they were criticising Israel and not Jews.

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "Israel did not exist in 1902, so endorsing a book which talks of finance in Europe being controlled by men of a single and peculiar race is not criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu, it's not criticism of Israeli foreign policy, it's not criticism of the treatment of the Palestinian people, it's not criticism of the Likud party.

"It is racial hatred of 'a single and peculiar race'. And it's endorsed by the leader of the Labour Party.

"Which means that today is the day you choose between the evidence of your own eyes and ears or between blind cultish devotion.

"He writes in the foreword that the book is 'correct' and 'prescient, railing against the commercial interests that fuel the roll of the popular press with tales of imperial might'. He is the leader in this country of the party which is supposed to represent the interests of the oppressed and the discriminated against and the minority.

"And here he is."

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

A Labour spokesperson said: “Jeremy praised the Liberal Hobson’s century-old classic study of imperialism in Africa and Asia. Similarly to other books of its era, Hobson’s work contains outdated and offensive references and observations, and Jeremy completely rejects the antisemitic elements of his analysis.”

James had one simple question for Mr Corbyn: "Why didn't Jeremy mention this in the introduction that he wrote?

"Why didn't Jeremy mention that he completely rejects the anti-Semitic elements of an analysis that he described in black and white as 'brilliant'?

"And why are you letting him get away with it? You, who are committed to a party which stands up for the rights of the discriminated against and the oppressed.

"Why are you sticking up for a man who has described as 'brilliant' a book which runs through the vilest and oldest of anti-Semitic tropes as if they were going out of fashion?"

His full monologue is incredibly powerful. Watch it at the top of the page.

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