“The Labour Party has deep historical connections with British Jewry and its sister party in Israel,” observes the Times, as the whole Labour movement becomes mired in Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism and the reality that he grasps the oppression of every minority except Jews. “Leaders including Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were attuned to the concerns of the Jewish community,” the Times reminds us. And then we get: “Mr Corbyn, by contrast, has allied with extremists. He has defended 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.”
Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn didn’t notice the sorts of sites Stephen Sizer visited. One in particular, entitled ‘9/11 Israel did it‘, was commented on by Sizer: “Is this antisemitic? If so no doubt I’ll be asked to remove it. It raises so many questions.”
A CofE vicar musing that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center…
This was simply one in a (very) long line of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, Holocaust-denying, 9/11 conspiracy theorist sites which the Rev’d Stephen Sizer visited and recommended to his Facebook friends and congregation (which was then Christ Church, Virginia Water in Surrey).
This didn’t go down very well with Jonathan Arkush, Vice-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who told the Jewish News: “Posting, and giving approval to, an article which in effect accuses Jews of responsibility for the 9/11 atrocity is unquestionably anti-semitic, just as it is beyond absurd.”
Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the then Bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill, defending Stephen Sizer against his critics:
Dear Right Reverend Christopher Hill
I am sorry to hear that problems have arisen, for Reverend Stephen Sizer, at least in part due to a technical oversight in terms of computer links, though I understand that the problem has now been rectified. I hope it was no more complicated than that.
Reverend Stephen Sizer seems to have come under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation, in particular by his very thorough analysis of “Christian Zionism”. Might I suggest that such criticism is part of a wider pattern of demonising those who dare to stand up and speak out against Zionism, a philosophy that precludes the existence of the state of Palestine?
Your own expertise, wisdom and experience will, I am sure, allow you to appreciate just how much distance exists between anti Semitism, anti Zionism, and anti Israeli government actions for that matter. Overzealous critics find it convenient to conflate them all. Active and well informed individuals such as Reverend Stephen Sizer, withstand a considerable amount of inappropriate criticism. Indeed many MPs and Peers are also attacked.
The internet is a complicated piece of technology and with the best will in the world, imperfect links are made and one would have to spend 8 hours a day “surfing” the net just to be 100% certain one’s views to not become contaminated in any way at all. Even then, connections can inadvertently be made.
I do hope you’ll take the above into consideration when meeting with Reverend Stephen Sizer today, for I do admire the excellent work that he does and personally, I would give no credence at all to any claims that he is anti-Semitic.
With kind regards
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Harry’s Place has helpfully summarised what Jeremy Corbyn was defending, namely that Stephen Sizer:
- Commended a call for the Jews to “get the Hell out of Palestine“
- Suggested that the Jews were behind 9/11
- Cited Holocaust denier Dale Crowley
- Cited Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman
- Cited 9/11 truther Michael Collins defending Holocaust denier Dale Crowley
- Travelled to Iran as a guest of the Iranian regime, having been invited by the same man who previously invited Robert Faurisson on an expenses-paid tour
- Spoke at an IHRC conference aiming towards “a new liberation theology on Palestine” – alongside Rima Fakhry of Hezbollah and terror advocate Achmad Cassiem
- Shared a platform with Holocaust denier Fred Tobin
- Supported the IHH flotilla
- Suggested a boycott of Greece after they blocked another Gaza flotilla
- Hosted a speaker at his church who thinks suicide bombers are martyrs
- Agreed that Hamas had every right to “hit back” against the West
- Linked to antisemitic website The Ugly Truth
- Had tea with Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, commander of Hezbollah’s armed forces in Southern Lebanon
- Had tea with the Blood Libel Sheikh, Raed Salah, whom Jeremy Corbyn brought into Parliament
- Had tea with the granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, Zahra Mostafavi
- Toured Malaysia speaking about Palestine, following an invite from a Holocaust denier
- Posted a link to Veterans Today, which dismisses the Holocaust as an “Israeli psy-ops operation”, denies the gas chambers, defends Hitler, sneers at “the Jewish crooks on Wall Street”, publishes pieces by Gilad Atzmon, and says of the Jews, “they should wholly be burnt in ovens”.
- Posted a blog link to the Palestine Telegraph, which supported the writings of ex-KKK leader David Duke.
Perhaps Mr Corbyn didn’t take long enough to look at the images. Perhaps he didn’t have time time to read the contents and consider their connotations. Perhaps… well, there’s always some pathetic excuse, isn’t there?
Might it just simply be that Jeremy Corbyn actually joined, visited and commented on so many anti-Semitic Facebook pages because he found succour there for his soul and bread for his own bigoted beliefs? Perhaps he really agrees with Stephen Sizer that Israel might have been complicit in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and that: “It is essential the public become convinced of what happened before and after 9/11…”
“..become convinced of what happened” doesn’t sound like much of a rational, dispassionate investigation, does it?
You may remember (as the Times evidently does) that the Rev’d Stephen Sizer was disciplined by the next Bishop of Guildford (Andrew Watson) and ordered to give assurances that he would cease sharing anti-Semitic material on social media, an agreement which he breached. Inter-Varsity Press have since withdrawn Stephen Sizer’s books, sensitive to anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Why would Jeremy Corbyn defend such a vicar?