Corbyn fans angry over BBC sketch mocking handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism row
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Corbyn fans angry over BBC sketch mocking handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism row

Skit on the new series of Tracy Breaks the News depicted the Labour leader being snubbed by an irate Orthodox Jew, before being driven off in a cab by a Hamas member

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

A clip from the sketch, of Jeremy Corbyn being confronted by a visibly Orthodox Jewish man, who complains about his handling of the anti-Semitism row
A clip from the sketch, of Jeremy Corbyn being confronted by a visibly Orthodox Jewish man, who complains about his handling of the anti-Semitism row

Jeremy Corbyn supporters have reacted with anger to a BBC comedy sketch poking fun at his handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism row.

The skit, shown on the new series of Tracy Breaks the News, shows impressionist Tracey Ullman as Corbyn trying to appease an Orthodox-Jewish man irate at the Labour leader’s failure to “do more about the anti-Semites.”

Corbyn responds: “I hear you. I’m all over it like cream cheese on a bagel.”

He then turns back to two supporters who stopped him for a selfie, and continues: “I want you to know, I’m completely on top of all this Jewish stuff, lads. 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 that he has “always been very careful about the company I keep,” he has an awkward run-in with Irish nationalist Gerry Adams, before escaping into a taxi and being greeting warmly by the driver, “Ismael from Hamas”.

Watch the clip here:

Following the broadcast on Friday night, some Corbyn supporters took to Twitter to denounce the sketch as “propaganda”.

@DylanStrain wrote: “I see @Baddiel wrote Tracey Ullman’s Corbyn sketch last night. More BBC propaganda masquerading as satire. Tip for Tracey – sitting in make up for hours to look a bit like Corbyn is a waste of time if you can’t do the voice or mannerisms, or comedy.” 

George Galloway, who as the former MP for Bradford West declared his constituency an “Israel free zone”, also vented his anger.

He tweeted: “The latest #BBC outrage -Tracey Ullman – is grotesque, utterly unfunny, decades outdated, and of course as politically loaded as a #Newsnight special. It’s #FrankieBoyle without even the poor excuses. Lucky licence payers!”

In another tweet about the show, Galloway described the “smear of anti-Semtism” as “baseless, shameless and harmful to all concerned” and included the hash-tag of Britain-Jewish comedian David Baddiel, incorrectly implying he was involved in writing the sketch.

Others erroneously suggested that Tracey Ullman made the skit because she is Jewish.

In response to these claims, Jewish actress Tracy Ann Oberman wrote: “@TraceyUllmanTV labelled a Jewish Zio stooge, @Baddiel the Jew who wrote it. And all by @jeremycorbyn ‘s diehard fans. Tracey Ullman is NOT jewish. Baddiel did NOT write the sketch. Jeremy’s fans call this #FakeNews. I call it racism.”

Meanwhile, Baddiel told The Guardian that he was surprised to find his name attached to the sketch.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

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