Late last year, the Independent hired Rivkah Brown, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and self-professed “non-Zionist Jew”, as Senior Commissioning Editor and Columnist. Brown is also an activist for ‘Na’amod: British Jews Against the Occupation’, an organisation that, in May 2018, organised a protest in which young Jews recited the Jewish mourning prayer for the fatalities of a Gaza border riot – most of whom were affiliated with Hamas.
Since her appointment as Indy senior editor, she’s used her position to attack the Jewish right, the Jewish establishment and others she deems enemies of progress, both on the pages of the Indy and on Twitter.
In one tweet early in the year, for example, she bizarrely suggested our blog was somehow responsible for the Labour Party’s decision to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.
Yep, under pressure from bad faith actors like you, who defend the Israeli government's interests, and not British Jews'.
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) January 1, 2020
In another tweet, she legitimised comments by a Labour MP charging that Zionism is “the enemy of peace”:
Burgon's crime is calling Zionism the enemy of peace – a sentiment with which many Jewish people agree. https://t.co/02kvkYrFgP
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) February 4, 2020
And, in an especially insidious tweet, she charged that the mainstream British media is cowed by the Jewish media into adopting a critical stance against Corybn – out of fear of being branded antisemitic.
What it also, more terrifyingly, shows is that non-Jewish media are being cowed by Jewish media into adopting an almost uniformly Labour-critical stance, for fear of being accused of antisemitism themselves.
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) November 17, 2019
In the most recent example, she engages in an especially ugly smear.
The Jewish establishment is perpetuating rape culture, and we're letting them get away with it. https://t.co/LHaExmEn5t
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) May 15, 2020
Brown paints the entire Jewish establishment as perpetuating rape culture, based entirely on two incidents by two Jewish individuals – neither of which, by the way, have any merit. Pollard’s piece doesn’t even minimally try to minimize the seriousness of rape, but merely gives a positive review of Woody Allen’s autobiography whilst also noting the evidence undermining charges by Mia Farrow that the filmmaker raped her daughter.
The other example involves Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, senior rabbi to the Reform Movement, who has been criticised for using her position to defend her late father, who was accused of rape.
Criticism of Janner-Klausner may or may not have merit, but the assertion that the actions of her and Pollard represent evidence that the Jewish establishment is “perpetuating rape culture” is preposterous. Brown’s charge is baseless, and maligns not only mainstream Jewish institutions as guilty of providing succor for the horror of sexual violence, but, arguably – especially in the minds of anti-Semites – the broader Jewish community as well.