search

Corbyn supporters cry foul over TV sketch on anti-Semitism controversy

Comedian Tracey Ullman portrays Labour leader telling youths: ‘I’ve told anti-Semites in no uncertain terms — tone it down a bit’; backers falsely claim skit written by a Jew

Supporters of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reacted angrily over the weekend to a sketch on a BBC comedy program which lampooned the anti-Semitism controversy in his party.

In the sketch on Tracey Ullman’s “Tracy Breaks the News,” Ullman-as-Corbyn says he’s “completely on top of all this Jewish stuff,” and claims he’s told the party’s anti-Semites “in no uncertain terms — ‘tone it down a bit.'”

Some Corbyn supporters took to Twitter to lambaste the sketch as biased and a piece political propaganda, with a certain subset claiming falsely that Ullman was Jewish and a Zionist.

Actor Dylan Strain then set off a small storm by claiming, apparently in jest, that the sketch was written by Jewish comedian David Baddiel, leading to attacks on the latter.

Anti-Israel British lawmaker George Galloway slammed Ullman and Baddiel in a tweet.

Baddiel told the Guardian he was surprised to find himself in the middle of the controversy.

“Then it becomes clear to me — in an incredibly ‘Jew plus Jew equals seven’ way — that the Corbynistas had decided that I wrote this Tracey Ullman sketch.”

Baddiel, who has previously spoken out about anti-Semitism in Labour, said “The idea seems to be that if I have said something to call out anti-Semitism in the Labour party, then if there’s something or someone else doing that then I must be behind it in some way. At a deeper level, that speaks about myths of Jewish conspiracy, of Jewish control of the media etc.”

Comedian David Baddiel (YouTube screenshot)

In the sketch, Corbyn is taking selfies with a group of young people at the airport when he is confronted by an Orthodox Jewish man, who tells the Labour leader he’s “very angry” over his failure to “do more about the anti-Semites” in the party.

“I’m all over it, like cream cheese on a bagel,” Corbyn says. “It’s alright to say that, is it?”

Corbyn then tells the youths he is “completely on top of all this Jewish stuff.

“I’ve spoken to every single anti-Semite in the Labour party and I’ve told them in no uncertain terms — ‘tone it down a bit.'”

After noting awkwardly that he has “always been very careful about the company that I keep,” Corbyn is approached by Irish nationalist Gerry Adams who laudes him as “a great supporter of the Republican armed struggle.”

The flustered Corbyn then rushes off with the young men into a taxi, where he is greeted warmly by the driver, “Ismael from Hamas.” Corbyn mutters “Oh, bloody hell” as the taxi drives off, with Ismael reminiscing about the time Corbyn invited him to the House of Commons along with “those guys from Hezbollah.”

Allegations of Labour anti-Semitism have grown since Corbyn, a pro-Palestinian socialist, was elected leader of Britain’s main opposition party in 2015.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressing the TUC Conference in Brighton, England, September 15, 2015. (Mary Turner/Getty Images/JTA)

Some in the party say Corbyn, a longtime critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, has allowed anti-Jewish abuse to go unchecked.

Corbyn, before being elected Labour leader, once referred to the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups as his “friends.” He has since said he regrets those comments.

A recent furor erupted over a six-year-old Facebook post by Corbyn supporting the artist who painted a street mural that included anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Corbyn said he regretted not looking closely at the “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic” mural before offering support to the artist.

Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN)

In response, around 1,500 protesters massed outside the British parliament in March in an unprecedented rally organized by the usually publicity-averse Anglo-Jewish leadership.

In what appeared to be an attempt to heal the rift, Corbyn met with Jewish leaders last month to discuss anti-Semitism in his party; however, according to an account of the meeting leaked to the Mail on Sunday earlier this week, Corbyn appeared “bored, uninterested and condescending.”

In an interview with the Telegraph published Thursday, Jonathan Arkush, the outgoing president of the Board of Deputies, Anglo Jewry’s main representative organization, alleged that the Labour leader has anti-Semitic views and that he is causing British Jews to question their future in the country.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed