Corbyn criticised for endorsing book claiming Jews control banks

Corbyn criticised for endorsing book claiming jews control banks

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire after it emerged that he wrote a foreword to book which argued that banks and newspapers were controlled by Jews.

The new edition of economist JA Hobson's Imperialism: A Study was published in 2011 – originally written in 1902 – in which Mr Corbyn described it as “a great tome”.

Labour has denied that his comments amounted to an endorsement of sections of the book which have been regarded as antisemitic.

In the book, Hobson suggested that finance in Europe was controlled "by men of a singular and peculiar race who have behind them many centuries of financial experience" and "are in a unique position to control the policy of nations".

Mr Corbyn wrote in his foreword: "Hobson's railing against the commercial interests that fuel the role of the popular press with tales of imperial might, that then lead on to racist caricatures of African and Asian peoples, was both correct and prescient."

Conservative peer Lord Finkelstein, who uncovered the foreword in The Times, has said that “Jewish people are in despair” over how the Labour Party has handled allegations of antisemitism.

He told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “It is possible that he endorsed the book without reading it but given all the others times that he has done this you have to say that his fundamental analysis of capitalism – driven by a conspiracy of financiers – does lend itself to antisemites.

“It is not surprising that he ends up getting into trouble.”

The Conservative peer added that he believes Mr Corbyn “does not recognise the seriousness of the antisemitism comments”.

“He endorsed the thrust of Hobson’s argument so the best you can say is that he endorsed an argument that he did not comprehend or had not read,” Lord Finkelstein said.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "Jeremy praised the Liberal Hobson's century-old classic study of imperialism in Africa and Asia.

"Similarly to other books of its era, Hobson's work contains outdated and offensive references and observations, and Jeremy completely rejects the antisemitic elements of his analysis."

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