UPDATE: I e mailed the Jewish Chronicle editor asking about Cortiglia’s status as a JC blogger. No one replied, but Ben White has noticed that the BNP leader’s posts are no longer publicly available on the site. So the response to my inquiry must’ve been to take the posts down. Their approach seems to hush this up so the embarrassment will not be too public. Hopefully, we can disabuse them of that notion.
Another JC reader notes that apparently any JC reader can set up their own personal blog on the newspaper’s website, which is what Cortiglia did. I’ve corrected my post title and text accordingly. Finally, Cortiglia’s four posts
are were still available using these links (here and here). Whether or not Cortiglia was a featured blogger or a reader-blogger on the JC site, the fact remains that they published four of his posts, made them publicly accessible for eight months, and gave him a platform he wouldn’t otherwise have enjoyed.
UPDATE I: The JC has totally removed Cortiglia’s four blog posts, but we have screenshots for every one. The JC editor, Stephen Pollard, is lying when he told the Guardian’s Hug Muir that Cortiglia’s blog was taken down in September. The accompanying screenshot disproves this, as the four posts were on the site and freely accessible till yesterday. Such lies only exacerbate the offense of the JC hosting BNP PR for eight months. I don’t understand why, when faced with embarrassment, people don’t admit to the offense and move on. Lying only focuses more attention on the matter.
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Stephen Sizer reports that the UK national Jewish community’s Jewish Chronicle has offered a blog-column to Carlos Cortiglia, a leader of the British National Party, the nation’s leading white supremacist political party. Cortiglia is the BNP candidate in the London mayoral race.
I asked Electronic Intifada’s Asa Winstanley to put BNP’s politics in a U.S. context, and whether it could be compared to the Tea Party. He replied that BNP carries more political weight, but its politics are more extreme:
Although they have moved towards a focus on Islamophobia and the counterjihad movement in recent years, their background is in the more traditional European neo-Nazi context and the National Front…
They used to be solidly anti-Semitic and it’s said [their national leader, Nick] Griffin used to deny the Holocaust. In recent years and especially since 9/11, they’ve decided they hate Muslims more than Jews or blacks so have put the focus on agitating against Muslims…
As part of their appeal to unite against Islam, they’ve made more recent attempts to distance themselves from anti-Semitism (although it can’t be far underneath the surface). Interestingly they are also now very pro-Israel.
This seems part of the growing convergence of the European far-right and pro-Israel ultranationalists. A perfect representative of this is of course Anders Breivik, who’s just gone on trial for murdering 77 young Norwegians. I’ve also written here about a group of Russian neo-Nazis who were welcomed to the Knesset by two far-right Jewish MKs. The operative concept here seems to be that the enemy of my Muslim enemy is my friend, even if he’s a Nazi.
But white supremacists? Is this how low the mainstream UK Jewish leadership are prepared to go? To make common cause with those who only a decade or so ago admired Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust?
On a somewhat related subject, Electronic Intifada reports that the faux progressive UK Jewish rights group, Engage, surreptitiously accepted funding from the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in order to mount an anti-BDS campaign. All the while Engage touted itself as an independent Jewish progressive voice, when it was a paid shill of the monied pro-Israel interests of the UK Jewish leadership. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have you develop a sense of smell about groups like this. They make a pretence of believing one thing and do something entirely different. Engage is one, as is StandWithUs.