In an interview in the UK ‘Times’ today the UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has accused Jeremy Corbyn’s dog of antisemitism, making the comments two weeks before Britons vote in the general election. Mirvis made it clear that he had no desire to influence the outcome of the election.
The Chief Rabbi denied ever having held any right wing views, let alone having been a lifelong heartfelt reactionary; on the contrary he had always had a secret yearning to see a socialist government in Britain. Furthermore, his accusation had nothing whatever to do with the fact that as Chief Rabbi of Ireland before the opening of an Israeli Embassy there, he had represented Israel’s interests at government level and in the media.
As Chief Rabbi, he affirmed his complete neutrality in matters political. Corbyn’s support for the Palestinian cause and his criticisms of the Israeli state were not relevant to the issue about his dog – adding that virtually any criticism of Israel was per se antisemitic, as enshrined in the latest IHRA definition thereof.
Mirvis explained that Israelis, defending themselves against a dreadful occupation by a group of terrorists who insist on calling themselves Palestinians, had the right to murder as many of them as they wished to.
Asked why he believed Corbyn’s dog to be antisemitic Mirvis said the dog’s very association with the likes of Corbyn was sufficient evidence. Pressed further on why he thought Corbyn himself was an antisemite the Chief Rabbi retorted – how could anyone who has an antisemitic dog not himself be antisemitic? When told that Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t have a dog Mirvis replied that the question whether Corbyn had a dog or not was completely irrelevant to the issue.
Mirvis was vague on the question of whether he himself has a dog, or has ever had one, antisemitic or otherwise. However, unlike some politicians who are reputed to lie even to their domestic animals, he vehemently denied ever having lied to his dog.