I saw neither, and was unaware until today that Barbenheimer is even a thing. But I did finally get to see the Oh, Jeremy Corbyn! The Big Lie. This is something of an achievement, because the film has been struggling to find venues and when it has, it has provoked suspensions and expulsions of Labour party members in the audience.
According to Campaign Against Antisemitism, the film is both antisemitic and antisemitism-denying.
Having seen it, I can confirm that it is neither. In fact, there is little which has not been made public previously in The Labour Files or in Asa Winstanley’s Weaponising Antisemitism. But that won’t stop the activities of both right and left, Jew and Gentile, from joining the call for censorship.
Paul Mason believes it to be ‘a full-blown conspiracy theory about Corbyn’s opponents, conflating Zionists, Jews and Israel’.
Billy Bragg also criticised the film, but as he hadn’t seen it, paraphrased Paul Mason.
Another prominent member of the left who admitted he hadn’t seen the film but was happy to criticise it is - of all people - Novara’s Michael Walker: “Normally, I’m very against clamping down on any open discussion about what happened in and to labour between 2015 and 2019" he said. "But calling your film ‘the big lie’ is, at best, really, really dumb”.
FYI, ‘the big lie’ is a propaganda technique used by the Nazis and, in the film, is quoted by Professor Moshé Machover, an Israeli Jew who was expelled from the Labour Party after publishing an article entitled Anti-Zionism does not equal Antisemitism.
And that statement is at the heart of this issue and this movie.
The core criticism of the CAA is that the film alleges ‘a nefarious campaign’ to oust Corbyn, orchestrated by the Jewish community. But the only way this disingenuous claim can be made is by conflating Zionists, Jews and Israel, which is what they accuse the film of doing.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Goebbels is alleged to have first said it:
‘Accuse the other side of that of which you are guilty.’
Today from the everysmith vaults: Between the close of play in the test match and the first pitch in San Francisco last night, I watched Bomsori Kim, the sensational South Korean virtuoso, make her Proms debut, performing Bruch’s first violin concerto. It's on repeat on catch-up.