Charlotte Tobbit — Press Gazette July 26, 2018
Three rival Jewish newspapers in the UK have united in an “unprecedented” front page collaboration to speak out about their fears of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Jewish Telegraph have all run with the same splash headline: “United we stand”, above the same leader, with the same background image and the logos of all three newspapers.
An exchange of emails between the newspapers’ three editors led to close collaboration over the wording of the headline and editorial.
Explaining their decision in “speaking as one”, the papers wrote: “We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.
“We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel.”
Labour has responded by saying the party and its leader are “fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations”.
In a statement, given below in full, it added: “The next Labour government poses no threat of any kind whatsoever to Jewish people.”
The paper’s front page display of unity comes as Labour MP Margaret Hodge is embroiled in a dispute with the party after calling leader Jeremy Corbyn “a racist and an anti-Semite”.
The MP for Barking, London, has said her outburst followed Labour’s refusal to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, which the newspapers called the “most sinister yet” of a “series of alarming lows” in the party.
Hodge has sought legal advice after Labour opened an investigation into allegations of “abusive conduct in Parliament” made against her.
Jack Sommers, head of news at the Jewish Chronicle, told Press Gazette the front page collaboration was “unprecedented, not just in terms of our history but in newspaper history”.
He compared it to a hypothetical scenario in which the Mirror and the Guardian ran the same front page copy and headline on Brexit.
“We are all quite entrenched rivals. We are not aligned in any way. We compete for stories like all other papers do,” he said.
Richard Ferrer, editorial director at the Jewish News, said the collaboration was “three years in the making” – ever since Corbyn was appointed leader of the Labour party in 2015.
“Ever since Jeremy Corbyn came to power the Jewish community has watched aghast as things have played out time and time again that should have been dealt with and they were left to stew and grow and worsen…
“It got to last week after the Labour party decided to reject the IHRA when I think finally we could take no more.”
Ferrer said the collaboration had gone ahead “for the simple reason it’s every newspaper’s job to stand up for its readers and our readers are very scared and very anxious of what Corbyn’s Government would be”.
The Jewish Chronicle also caused a stir last week when it ran a front page (pictured below) using an image of Corbyn alongside Hodge’s words calling him “anti-Semitic and a racist”.
Sommers said: “It captured the state of the argument very well, and the anger. We’re now showing how widespread the anger is and showing how unprecedented it is.”