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Corbyn's "AntiSemitic pronunciation" of Epstein

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  • 21-11-2019 4:23pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭


    If there is one episode likely to expose as utter bullsh1t the notion that the British Labour Party is intrinsically antisemitic it is the fake hysteria surrounding Jeremy Corbyn's (utterly correct) pronunciation of the disgraced Jeffrey Epstein's surname during his recent TV debate with Boris Johnson.

    Corbyn pronounced the second syllable the way it should be pronounced in German, (it is after all a German surname) namely as "shtine." In America, and to a lesser extent in Britain, germanic surnames ending in -stein are often pronounced "steen".

    Cue some outraged comment from a Daily Mail journalist from whom I would expect no less, and an "ooh-er missus" tweet from comedian David Baddiel, from whom I would normally expect a lot more.

    Both allege that Mr Corbyn was snidely trying to make Epstein sound "more Jewish" by pronouncing his name in that way. .

    This is nonsense for so many reasons.

    For a start, Epstein is not a "Jewish" name, any more than are names like Schwartz, Weiss, Green, Fuchs, Wolf, Hirsch, Zimmerman, Schneider, Steiner, Goldschmitt, Silberschmitt, Baum, Applebaum, Greenberg, Goldberg etc etc

    They are all utterly mundane Germanic surnames being simply the words for trades, colours, animals or everyday natural physical objects like stones, mountains or trees. Anyone with a Junior Cert knowledge of German would know that.

    True, if you meet someone with such a surname in an English-speaking country they are likely to have some European Jewish heritage but it is by no means certain. Many non-Jews from German-speaking countries would have such common surnames.

    By pronouncing the name as he did, Corbyn was if anything trying to make Epstein sound "more German".Pronunciation rules in the German language are altogether more rigid and consistent than in English where the same letter or group of letters can have many different pronunciations, often in the most arbitrary fashion. Think of the letter grouping -ough, for example. Now say bough, cough, dough, tough, through, thorough and there are even a few others that I can't think of from the top of my head.

    Corbyn was being very English, by using a varied pronunciation of a particular letter grouping, while adhering to the rather more strict German pronunciation and for so doing, he gets called a racist!!!!

    And if you think it is unusual in the English language to pronounce the name as he did, then answer this quickly and without thinking: What was the name of The Beatles' famous first manager?

    Need some help? Have a look at these clips

    Number 1 Go to 2 min 16s or 4 min 11s
    or
    Number 2 Go to 47s


    In fact if you can find any clips in which his name is pronounced to rhyme with "mean" I'd be most surprised.

    The anti-Labour crowd are really trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel with this one. Shame on you David Baddiel!


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Johnson has been well documented with racist and homophobic comments, but he makes the big boys money, or tries to.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,063 ✭✭✭riemann


    comedian David Baddiel

    lol

    The guy is a professional outrage merchant.

    Not a comedian, although I am presumably now labelled anti-semetic for such a comment on someone who happens to be Jewish.

    Amazing he's not funny when you think about it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    Baddiel wasn't so touchy when he mounted a sustained campaign of ridicule against black footballer Jason Lee because Lee had a distinctly black hairstyle with dreadlocks tied back.

    That campaign had distinctly racist undertones.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Baddiel wasn't so touchy when he mounted a sustained campaign of ridicule against black footballer Jason Lee because Lee had a distinctly black hairstyle with dreadlocks tied back.

    That campaign had distinctly racist undertones.

    I think he was trying to be funny.

    The gag in 'Young Frankenstein' on the pronunciation is about the pronunciation and him distancing himself from his father. As far as I know it's literally just a matter of pronouncing it, no antisemitic undertones. If anything it gave a German connotation.

    They really let Boris off the hook and are desperate to attack Corbyn. It's pathetic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,856 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    I've heard several commentators from America the UK and Ireland pronounce it "-stine". Same with Harvey Weinstein.

    As an aside, in my mind if I heard "stine" I'd assume more German, but "steen" sounds more Jewish.


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  • Posts: 25,611 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    "Steen" to me sound modern-American-Jewish from TV and online culture, "Stein" sounds more plain German.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,939 ✭✭✭20Cent


    Whatever Corbyn does the right wing press will attack him. He wants them to pay their fair share of tax.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,826 ✭✭✭✭Danzy


    Corbyn and Labour would have some defence 8f they had been willing to push expulsion of people who were denying or denigrating the holocaust, calling Jews big noses, money grabbers, parasites etc.

    That is where they gave credence to the charges that they are or at least have a tolerance of anti Semitism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭tdf7187


    Baddiel wasn't so touchy when he mounted a sustained campaign of ridicule against black footballer Jason Lee because Lee had a distinctly black hairstyle with dreadlocks tied back.

    That campaign had distinctly racist undertones.

    Wasn't aware of that. I thought Baddiel was somewhat funny in the 1990s but has become a tiresome professional SJW warrior.

    David Schneider, also Jewish, is a Corbyn supporter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,580 ✭✭✭✭Sand


    What is the motivation of those attacking Corbyn on this topic? It's mildly amusing to see people get worked up about this type of banality but it is part of a trend of hysterical attacks going back to before the IHRA definition row last year. Corbyn's reticence on the IHRA definition appeared to be that it rules out criticism of Israel on the grounds of it being a racist endeavour. Rightly or wrongly, Corbyn's views appear to be anti-zionist, rather than anti-semitic.

    Other than Corbyn's clearly established distaste for Israel what is the main objection of those attacking him? It was amusing for a while to see the socialist saviour dragged down into the muck by the 2 minutes hate mob, but its getting quite odd now. The IHRA definition was ultimately adopted. But still the attacks continue. What sort of end goal is sought here?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Sand wrote: »
    What is the motivation of those attacking Corbyn on this topic? It's mildly amusing to see people get worked up about this type of banality but it is part of a trend of hysterical attacks going back to before the IHRA definition row last year. Corbyn's reticence on the IHRA definition appeared to be that it rules out criticism of Israel on the grounds of it being a racist endeavour. Rightly or wrongly, Corbyn's views appear to be anti-zionist, rather than anti-semitic.

    Other than Corbyn's clearly established distaste for Israel what is the main objection of those attacking him? It was amusing for a while to see the socialist saviour dragged down into the muck by the 2 minutes hate mob, but its getting quite odd now. The IHRA definition was ultimately adopted. But still the attacks continue. What sort of end goal is sought here?

    Basically vested interests are rightly worried they'll lose money if he gets in so antisemitism or whatever to smear him. The right love holding the left to a higher standard than they hold themselves. For example Johnson is a recorded homophobe and has made racist comments. They've zero on Corbyn like that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    Danzy wrote: »
    Corbyn and Labour would have some defence 8f they had been willing to push expulsion of people who were denying or denigrating the holocaust, calling Jews big noses, money grabbers, parasites etc.

    That is where they gave credence to the charges that they are or at least have a tolerance of anti Semitism.

    That seems very general.

    Can you specify specific incidents which have not been dealt with?

    Meanwhile 60% of the Tories have Islamophobic views and the party still refuses to launch an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party.

    Nobody ever said there was no anti-Semitism in the Labour party, that would obviously be absurd, the point is that only anti-Semitism in the Labour party is being weaponised by the media, and only anti-Semitism from those deemed to be Corbyn supporters.

    This no doubt does exist to some degree, as does anti-Semitism in all political parties, but accusations so far have mostly been very lacking on detail and neglect to mention that just 0.1% of Labour members have been accused of anti-Semitism, with a majority of these accusations proving to be groundless.

    Meanwhile, anti-Semitism from sources other than Corbyn supporters goes unchecked and unmentioned by the media and other political parties.

    Michael Gove's tweet two weeks ago where he conflated British Jews with Israel is a clear example. The Tories also had a candidate exposed as a Holocaust denier.

    Given all this, the inescapable conclusion is that is that the overriding aim and narrative here is not to combat anti-Semitism at all, but to damage a political party and leader who have taken a particular political stance, namely that of supporting the Palestinian cause, a perfectly legitimate one to take.

    In terms of tolerance, it seems to me that Labour have actually been much more intolerant of anti-Semitism than the Tories, ie. that they have actually done more to eradicate it.

    At the time in July 2018 when there was controversy about Labour signing up to the IHRA protocol, the Tories' code of conduct made no mention of anti-Semitism whatsoever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man


    I say it like St-I-ine am I a racist?

    According to that silly woman from the Daily Mail: yes you are.

    (So, no. You're really not!)

    Here is (some of) what she said:

    "Mr Corbyn's Germanic diction drips with memories of the ghetto — when, during World War II, six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

    Hearing EpSHtein spoken by someone not Jewish can't be dismissed as an avuncular drop of Yiddish — as it would if a Jewish person had said it. Also, it had a way of 'othering' Jewish people. To mark them out as something foreign, alien.

    Most of all, it was as if Corbyn was making sure — lest we forget — that the heinous paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, was also a Jew. It felt as if he was taking a great deal of effort to imbue the surname with stereotypical Jewishness. Such Shylockian contempt was breathtaking."

    She also added:
    "I don't know a single Epstein in any English-speaking country who pronounces our surname Corbyn's way."

    To which I once again say, and apologies if you're under 30 and not as au fait with the Beatles as someone of my more advanced years, what was the name of the Beatles' famous manager?

    And I challenge you to find any audio or video clip where someone pronounces it "steen".


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,727 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Sand wrote: »
    What sort of end goal is sought here?

    It's because those who oppose him have nothing. The Conservative party is running the most deceitful and hateful campaign that I've ever seen them run and I think it's because they'll have people who know that they have no positive argument whatsoever to win people over with. They've paid Google to promote a fake Labour manifesto and they masqueraded as "FactCheckUK" for Wednesday's televised ITV debate. What we're seeing here are its death throes. It has nothing but a dire record for it's last 9 years in power and they know it.

    I don't really know a great deal over whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite to categorically see that he either is one or not. However, when the press barons have to resort to something like this, it strongly implies the latter.

    The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

    Leviticus 19:34



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    The funny thing here is that the fake outrage and the allegations of racism being thrown at Corbyn are so obviously absurd and over the top, that it's backfiring badly on conservatives.

    Rather than having the intended effect of turning people off Corbyn, it's turning people off the Tories. Malcious and open lying about your opponents has long been a feature of US politics, but the UK up until recently has been more used to high-brow mudslinging; dragging up someone's record on a topic and misrepresenting it, or bringing some irrelevant, but salacious skeletons out of closet.

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel and just making sh1t up probably works on the Telegraph and Mail readers, but the middle ground voters are not responding well to it. The Tories could end up giving the election to Labour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,348 ✭✭✭✭LuckyLloyd


    I want to believe you seamus (and most certainly agree with you) but then polls don’t show that thus far


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man


    I've just re-read that silly woman's article and it beggars belief. Here's one of the things she said.

    "Hearing EpSHtein spoken by someone not Jewish can't be dismissed as an avuncular drop of Yiddish — as it would if a Jewish person had said it. Also, it had a way of 'othering' Jewish people. To mark them out as something foreign, alien."

    Shift context for a little bit, if you will. I have noticed, as I'm sure have many of you, that Americans, even Irish Americans, frequently mispronounce Irish names. Or rather, they put their own American slant on names that we would utter differently.

    So Americans would say "MorAHN" or "MulKAYHEE" or "MaHOANY" where we would pronounce Moran, Mulcahy and Mahony, or even Mahoney, much differently. And closer to the original Gaelic pronunciation. What this woman is saying is it would be fine for somebody from Ireland to do that but that if a non-Irish person said the names the correct way, they would be guilty of "othering" and "alienating" Irish people!
    Can she be for real?

    And if I pronounce the name of the university located in South Bend Indiana whose football team is nicknamed the "Fighting Irish" the way I normally do, which is much closer but not identical to the original French pronunciation instead of the awful American equivalent of No Turr Dame (as in "there's nothiing like a .....") am I being guilty of "othering" because I'm not French enough to attempt it properly?

    This really is the silliest of controversies. I think, like Seamus, this could backfire spectacularly on the Tories and on those who are trying to smear Labour with Anti Semitism.

    The author of the article is trying to insult people''s intelligence by encouraging them to fake outrage.

    People tend not to like that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    The BBC use to regularly pronounce Haughey, Hockey. How hard was it to have one person over the many years he was about to ask someone or hear it said at events etc.?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭sid waddell


    The BBC use to regularly pronounce Haughey, Hockey. How hard was it to have one person over the many years he was about to ask someone or hear it said at events etc.?
    Bush talking about "Prime Minister Bertie Ay-hern" was the one that really got me.

    I was outraged by the war in Iraq, but that was dwarfed by my outrage at that pronunciation.

    I had to be dragged back from protesting outside the American embassy.

    Oh, I properly lost the rag over it, so I did.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,580 ✭✭✭✭Sand


    It's because those who oppose him have nothing. The Conservative party is running the most deceitful and hateful campaign that I've ever seen them run and I think it's because they'll have people who know that they have no positive argument whatsoever to win people over with. They've paid Google to promote a fake Labour manifesto and they masqueraded as "FactCheckUK" for Wednesday's televised ITV debate. What we're seeing here are its death throes. It has nothing but a dire record for it's last 9 years in power and they know it.

    I don't really know a great deal over whether or not Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite to categorically see that he either is one or not. However, when the press barons have to resort to something like this, it strongly implies the latter.

    That doesn't explain why Labour figures are co-operating with the narrative though. The Jewish Labour Movement has withdrawn support for Labour and will not campaign on the party's behalf for the first time in 100 years. Labour figures like Ellman and Berger have publicly left the party citing Corbyn as the primary cause. The attacks on Corbyn seem to be more than mere electoral advantage.
    Nobody ever said there was no anti-Semitism in the Labour party, that would obviously be absurd, the point is that only anti-Semitism in the Labour party is being weaponised by the media, and only anti-Semitism from those deemed to be Corbyn supporters.

    This no doubt does exist to some degree, as does anti-Semitism in all political parties, but accusations so far have mostly been very lacking on detail and neglect to mention that just 0.1% of Labour members have been accused of anti-Semitism, with a majority of these accusations proving to be groundless.

    Meanwhile, anti-Semitism from sources other than Corbyn supporters goes unchecked and unmentioned by the media and other political parties.

    Michael Gove's tweet two weeks ago where he conflated British Jews with Israel is a clear example. The Tories also had a candidate exposed as a Holocaust denier.

    Given all this, the inescapable conclusion is that is that the overriding aim and narrative here is not to combat anti-Semitism at all, but to damage a political party and leader who have taken a particular political stance, namely that of supporting the Palestinian cause, a perfectly legitimate one to take.

    This seems to fit the facts better. I did google Boris Johnson and Israel to see what his record was and one of the first results was this political primer in the Jerusalem Post.

    A couple of points stick out: Firstly it gets a dig in early on Corbyn.
    Many British Jews believe that this would pose an existential threat to their community because of the explosion of anti-Semitism in Labour since Corbyn became its leader in 2015.

    Second, Boris is apparently of (distant) Jewish descent himself.
    Johnson’s maternal great-grandfather, Elias Avery Lowe, was a Moscow-born Jew born to a textile merchant. Johnson confirmed this in a 2007 interview for the Jewish Chronicle.

    “I feel Jewish when I feel the Jewish people are threatened or under attack, that’s when it sort of comes out,” Johnson said. “When I suddenly get a whiff of anti-Semitism, it’s then that you feel angry and protective.”

    He also has described himself as a passionate Zionist, which the paper notes is rare for a British politician.
    He apparently tried to balance those remarks in the run-up to elections in the Conservative Party, which has seen a surge in support by Jews who have left Labour over its anti-Semitism problem, by calling himself a “passionate Zionist” who “loves the great country” of Israel.

    Generally speaking, Zionist groups are going to prefer a "passionate Zionist" as UK PM as opposed to a passionate anti-Zionist. This is a perfectly reasonable position for them to hold. Equally, its perfectly reasonably for Corbyn to be anti-Zionist.

    The paper balances these nominally positive judgements with a warning that Boris has supported policies which have hindered the interests of the Israeli state. Ironically, in an article which proposes to explain Boris's record with the British Jewish community they introduce his record on Israel issues, conflating Jewish and Israeli interests. This in itself is anti-semitic under the terms of the IHRA definition as it presumes that British Jews give any consideration to how a British politician interacts with a foreign country.

    If even the JP falls afoul of the IHRA definition, it vindicates Corbyns view that the IHRA definition is not fit for purpose. But it seems like reason has exited the building when people are writing columns about how is pronunciation outrages and offends them. Surely a shark has been jumped?


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