A left-wing outlet has been forced to apologise over a segment accusing Labour’s new antisemitism board of not being “anti-racist.”
Novara Media, a Corbynite outlet, aired the discussion last Wednesday on members of Labour’s antisemitism advisory board where its commissioning editor Rivkah Brown made the allegations.
Brown, who also edits Jewish media platform Vashti, later said she believed the majority of the panel would set back the fight against racism in the party by “lightyears.”
Novara Media has this week issued a correction, and the clip appears to have been deleted from social media.
Speaking on the TskySour podcast, host Michael Walker apologised for Brown’s comments in relation to the Jewish Leadership Council’s joint chief executive and a former JLC board member.
“It was mentioned that members of the JLC believe that the concept of Islamophobia is moronic,” said Walker of the segment.
“That was a reference to a specific tweet by a specific person, Claudia Mendoza, who is co-chief executive of the JLC.
“She tweeted a quote from Sam Harris that Islamophobia was a word created by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons.
“Of course, such a statement has no bearing on the beliefs of (former JLC board member) Leo Noe and we apologise if such an inference could have been drawn.”
Other board members had previously told of their anger at the clip, with Mark Gardner of Community Security Trust telling Jewish News: “If anybody is surprised by this, they obviously weren’t paying attention to Labour’s antisemitism problem.”
Ms Brown, who has been contacted for comment by Jewish News, said on social media: “I’ve definitely succumbed to the temptation of antagonism and vitriol this week – and to be honest, I have regrets.”
She added she believed it was “counter-productive” to over-focus on individuals of the board.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.