Around the same time that Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was pressed on his party’s record on anti-Semitism, an American pastor and supporter of Donald Trump unleashed an hour-long TV rant around what he believes is a “Jew coup” to impeach the US President. However, as far as the Western media was concerned, it was Corbyn’s grilling over alleged anti-Semitism by political heavyweight TV journalist Andrew Neil that was headline news for several days.
Voters of all faiths and none are now becoming fatigued by what Israeli columnist Gideon Levy has called a “contract” on Corbyn by the Jewish establishment in Britain and Tel Aviv’s slick propaganda machine. In their determination to silence the Labour leader and make sure that he never becomes Prime Minister, the pro-Israel/anti-Palestine lobby’s scattergun approach has now ratcheted up to a full blown carpet-bombing of Corbyn’s every move and utterance. However, as popular as Corbyn might be with left-leaning voters in Britain he has nowhere near the command, sway or influence of Pastor Rick Wiles who is anti-Semitic and who does, I would say, present a very real threat to Jewish communities around the world.
Once a fringe figure, Wiles has now become mainstream, just as the far-right Fox News phenomenon has moved from the fringes into the Oval Office. Directly and indirectly, the eccentric behaviour of the US President has emboldened and pumped up the volume in the white-dominated evangelical subculture inhabited by the likes of Wiles and his TruNews organisation.
As a former marketing executive for CBN and Trinity Broadcasting, Wiles spews out hatred from his cable, radio and online outlet, from where he reaches millions using various platforms, including social networks. Imagine the outcry if Wiles was allowed privileged access to the Labour leader’s press conferences, as TruNews has, apparently, at the White House.
However, now that the US President has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in violation of international law and world opinion; stopped funding the UN agency which helps Palestinian refugees; and given the Syrian Golan Heights to the self-styled “Jewish state”, no one from the Zionist lobby is going to criticise Trump or the company he keeps. It seems that there are some forms of anti-Semitism which friends of Israel are prepared to overlook, no matter how outrageous or wicked the claims of the anti-Semites are.
As a result, Pastor Wiles is able to go largely unchallenged on his views, including his claim that “Jews” are behind the attempt to impeach Trump. He tried to justify his outrageous claims in the most recent of his hour-long shows: “That’s the way the Jews work. They are deceivers. They plot, they lie; they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda.”
Unsurprisingly, YouTube moved quickly and banned Wiles’ show which was filled with anti-Semitic tropes, conspiracy theories and various forms of incitement against the Jewish community and its supporters. Amazingly, the ban on the so-called “Godcast” only lasted for a week, though, and it is still available to view on the TruNews website because his vile channel broadcasts online.
The hate preacher went on to predict a civil war if Trump is impeached. “We have until Christmas to take a stand because of this Jew coup in the United States,” warned Wiles. “We have weeks to stop it. That’s why I’m speaking out. That’s why I’m putting everything on the line saying this is a coup led by Jews to overthrow the constitutionally elected president of the United States.” His threat sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy-in-waiting. This is what real incitement looks like.
Neither Trump nor members of his administration seem to be concerned about TruNews — the US President called out to its correspondent by name at a press conference last year — despite its record of anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia and anti-migrant, anti-LGBTQ, racist rants. That particular press conference, in which TruNews asked about the Palestinian “peace deal” with Israel, was called on the same day that Trump rolled out the red carpet for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Several angry twitter accounts, including one calling itself @elderofziyon posed the question: “Why does the @WhiteHouse allow blatantly anti-Semitic organisation @TruNews to be part of its @whpresscorps?” One can only assume that the mainstream media and the Trump administration don’t care as long as TruNews continues to lambast and target Democrat members of Congress, including Adam Schiff, Tom Steyer, Elliot Engel, Elissa Slotkin, Nita Lowey, Brad Sherman, Elaine Luria and Steve Cohen, who are all Jews. Wiles has labelled them “seditious” and “domestic enemies”, and warns of “an American-style, Jewish-led Bolshevik revolution.”
TruNews attended one of Trump’s rallies in March at Grand Rapids, Michigan and boasted about an exclusive on the night when the US President’s eldest son and heir gave an interview to their correspondent Kerry Kinsey. As the interview drew to a close, Kinsey told Trump junior, “Would you tell your dad that TruNews loves him and we always give him a fair shake?”
Imagine if an anti-Semitic media outlet said that to Jeremy Corbyn’s eldest son Ben; we would be reading and hearing about it for the rest of the General Election campaign and beyond. Every time that Corbyn put his head above the parapet there would be shouts of, “Yes, but what about that anti-Semitic media group giving you its full support?” We would never hear the end of it.
There is, though, a major difference in all of this. Unlike pro-Israel, Zionist President Trump, Corbyn’s real sin, according to Gideon Levy, is his history of fighting against the world’s injustices, including Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestine.
The Tel Aviv-born author and journalist writes hard-hitting opinion pieces for Haaretz that often take an unflattering, no frills look at the human rights abuses meted out in the occupied Palestinian territories. It’s clear from the tone of his latest article that he is frustrated by the unrelenting onslaught and hounding of Jeremy Corbyn and the pro-Israel lobby’s allegations of anti-Semitism thrown at the Labour leader and his party.
Astonishingly, Levy accuses the Jewish establishment in Britain and the Israeli propaganda machine of taking out a “contract” on Corbyn: “The contract was taken out a long time ago, and it was clear that the closer Corbyn came to being elected prime minister, the harsher the conflict would get.” He wrote about the intervention of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, who was given an article in the Times in which he claimed that Corbyn is not fit to be Prime Minister. Rabbi Mirvis grew up in Apartheid South Africa where, he has claimed, his father preached against apartheid, and yet he went on to study in Israel, including two years in an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank where an Israeli apartheid regime is imposed on the Palestinians every day. That could explain, but not excuse, the Chief Rabbi’s blinkered approach.
Writing in a tone that very few non-Jewish journalists would dare to use, Levy says that Britain’s Jews “want a prime minister who supports Israel – that is, supports the occupation. A prime minister who is critical of Israel is to them an exemplar of the new anti-Semitism. Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. He never was. His real sin is his staunch position against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates.
“Today this is anti-Semitism. The Hungarian Viktor Orbán, the Austrian Freedom Party and the extreme right in Europe are not the danger to Jews. Corbyn is the enemy. The new and efficient strategy of Israel and the Zionist establishment brands every seeker of justice as an anti-Semite, and any criticism of Israel as hatred of Jews. Corbyn is a victim of this strategy, which threatens to paralyse and silence Europe with regard to Israel.”
No doubt Levy’s views will be discussed and critiqued by all manner of people but what sets him apart from Trump’s adoring fan Pastor Wiles is that Levy is Jewish, he’s a man of keen intellect and his articles stimulate debate not hate. In their drive to excoriate Jeremy Corbyn, Israel’s supporters and the government in Tel Aviv are overlooking the real threat to Jews and that is the far right and rabid evangelicals like Wiles. In their rush to silence Corbyn, the zealots are focused on the wrong target.
Anti-Semitism is indeed very real and should not be ignored, but I would humbly suggest that as the Labour Party is on course to rid itself of the curse of anti-Semitism within its ranks, the focus now needs to switch to the political right both in Europe and America. Jeremy Corbyn will probably never recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, or give his approval for stolen land to be handed to illegal occupiers, but neither would he lead or incite a pogrom against Jews or want anyone to suffer because of their religious beliefs, the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation or their politics. He is a very nice man into the bargain. I suggest in all seriousness that the same cannot be said of Pastor Rick Wiles.
If the Zionists are really interested in eradicating anti-Semitism, then they need to start challenging such vile right-wing propagandists. Their silence on Wiles, Orbán and — yes — Trump et al. does them no credit at all.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.