Disclaimer: I originally started writing this article over a year ago, when the “antisemitism crisis” was in full flow. But by the time I had come round to finish it, other topics had taken the headlines and I put the piece aside. I regret that now, because in that time this mural has been used to bash Corbyn and his supporters over and over again.
Now “Labour Antisemitism” is back in the headlines thanks to the predictably biased nonsense in the EHRC report. The hacks at the Guardian have dug out this mural again, to beat decomposing horse that is the British Left. It needs to stop.
The mural is not antisemitic, and anyone saying it is either a mendacious liar, an ill-informed fool, or an antisemite themselves.
This is the mural, THAT mural. Painted by Mear One, defended on Facebook by Jeremy Corbyn. The source of much of the “antisemitism crisis” media hysteria. We’ve discussed it, at length, in other places but it needs, and deserves, it’s own article.
We need to finally put this to bed. The constant repetitions of the same tired lies (see this Rafael Behr piece) need to end.
This article isn’t for you to read, regular reader. I know you likely share our position already. This is for you to send to, and share with, everybody out there who is still – wittingly or otherwise – spreading the myth of “Labour antisemitism”.
There is no Labour antisemitism. It is an invented narrative based on nothing. Months of quote mining and deliberate misunderstanding produced a case so thin as to almost not exist.
This mural is their prized piece of “evidence”. It is not antisemitic.
The media say it is. They say it displays “antisemitic tropes”, that it “caricatures jews”. None of that is true. It is not antisemitic, it is not intended to be so, and anybody saying otherwise is either knowingly lying, or hasn’t done their research.
The defense of the mural is simple: the artist said it wasn’t about Jews. There are six people in the picture, two of them are Jewish, but four of them are not. They are all very rich and powerful men.
If your argument is “they must be Jewish, because they’re rich and they’ve got big noses and they’re exploiting people”….well then YOU are the antisemite, not the artist.
That’s a simple summary, now let’s get more detailed.
Mear One, the mural artist who painted it, released a statement when it press furore started.
It never got much attention in the mainstream media because it didn’t fit their narrative:
It was also [the media’s] interpretation, and never mine, to point out “hook noses” “crooked noses” and other vile Nazi, Third Reich anti-Semitic propaganda, even concocting cuckoo ideas like how the naked figures under the monopoly board depicted “starving holocaust victims” when they actually represent the multi-races of humanity! As a thinking feeling human being to hear such stuff makes me sick to my stomach.
According to artist, the mural was about billionaires oppressing the poor. That holds up, given the names of the people in the picture:
I chose to depict the likenesses of such early turn of the century Robber Barons, specifically Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, Warburg, as well Aleister Crowley who was a kind of philosophical guru to the ruling elite of that time and a well-known Satanist.
Shall we go through the names? Let’s work in the order he names them.
It’s actually unclear which Rothschild Mear One is referencing, but guessing by appearance I would say it was Lionel Walter Rothschild, on the far left:
The Rothschilds are one of the richest and most powerful families to ever exist. The own and operate central banks in dozens of nations, hold title in both English and Austrian nobility, and serve as financial advisors to the Queen of England. Which ever one the artist meant, yes, they are one of only 2 people in the picture who were actually Jewish.
2. John D. Rockefeller
The original Rockefeller, possibly the richest man to ever exist, he founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870 and ended his life with a fortune worth 400 billion in adjusted dollars.
Easily identifiable by his side-swiped hair and small moustache, he was an Evangelical Protestant. He was not Jewish.
3. JP Morgan
One of the richest and most powerful men of the modern era, JP Morgan had a storied career in finace, steel, railways, and many others (not to mention spots of war profiteering). He was also a driving force behind the setting up of the Federal Reserve.
The most easily identified thanks to the huge nose, the bigger moustache and the tiny spectacles, JP Morgan was a lifelong Episcopal Christian, he was not Jewish.
4. Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest Americans to ever exist, making billions in the steel and railway industries. His later charity work notwithstanding, he was a premium example of a robber baron. His legacy lives on in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a US-backed NGO and integral part of the Deep State.
He was born in Scotland to Presbyterian parents. He was not Jewish.
5. Paul Warburg
Paul Warburg was a member of German-Jewish banking dynasty who moved to the US in 1902. He was director of the Wells-Fargo bank and then chairman of the Federal Reserve. He is considered the major driving force behind the founding of the Fed, and was a vocal supporter of central banking.
Marked by the receding hair and big moustache, Warburg – unlike almost everyone else in the picture – was actually Jewish.
6. Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley is the only subject not associated with high-finance. He was an occult figure, an author and (his biographers allege) a sometimes intelligence agent for His Majesty’s Government.
Standing out for being the only entirely hairless subject, Crowley was born to wealthy Christian parents, and then founded his own religion. He was not Jewish.
(As a “prolific Satanist”, he’s actually the only person included in the picture based on their religion, so you could argue it’s an anti-Satanic mural.)
In conclusion: The majority of the people in the mural are not jews. None of them were included for being jews. Judaism or Jewish symbols do not appear and are not in anyway referenced in the painting.
It is not antisemitic.
If you see a painting of rich man with a big nose and think “he must be jewish!”, YOU are an antisemite, not the artist.
More than that, and as I have written about before, “antisemitism” is now being used to deflect criticism away from 0.1%. The men in this painting were NOT all Jewish, but they WERE all billionaires.
Anybody who persists in using this as evidence Jeremy Corbyn – or anyone who supports him – is an antisemite is therefore either being deliberately dishonest, or speaking from pure ignorance.
Send them this article to correct them.