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 Jonathan Cook Archives

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Asked by the ex-footballer who his allies against antisemitism are, the Jewish comedian was flummoxed. That’s because he has thrown his lot in with the racists You may not have heard of the Jewish comedian David Baddiel or the black ex-footballer Jason Lee. You may not care about either of them. But their first-ever meeting... Read More
One of the biggest problems for the left, as it confronts what seems like humanity’s ever-more precarious relationship with the planet – from the climate emergency to a potential nuclear exchange – is that siren voices keeping luring it towards the rocks of political confusion and self-harm. And one of the loudest sirens on the... Read More
Aside from his genuine passion for the environment, Monbiot’s position on every major issue chimes precisely with that of his employer, the Guardian. He is not his own man. He’s owned Guardian columnist George Monbiot is, by his own admission, a very busy man. Dedicated as he is to issues such as soil loss, he... Read More
If Washington was involved, it would mark a dangerous new stage not only in the Ukraine war but in Europe’s acceptance of vassal status The sabotage of the two Nord Stream pipelines leaves Europeans certain to be much poorer and colder this winter, and was an act of international vandalism on an almost unimaginable scale.... Read More
The same ‘market discipline’ currently giving Britain’s PM a bloody nose would have crushed a Corbyn programme if he’d won power There are two lessons to learn from the UK’s current economic meltdown – and commentators are obscuring both of them. The first, and more obvious conclusion, is that Britain has a completely dysfunctional political... Read More
New Al Jazeera documentary reveals a covert alliance between the Labour right and hardline pro-Israel activists to purge the left as antisemites For many years, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have claimed that he, and they, were targeted in a coordinated attack from the right of the party, comprising a majority of Labour MPs... Read More
Anyone in the UK who imagined they lived in a representative democracy – one in which leaders are elected and accountable to the people – will be in for a rude awakening over the next days and weeks. TV schedules have been swept aside. Presenters must wear black and talk in hushed tones. Front pages... Read More
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Interviews with Volodymr Zelenskiy, Keir Starmer and Sam Harris strip away the illusion that we control our political system rather than it controls us As westerners, we are deeply attached to the idea not only that we live in democracies but that our way of life is economically, socially and morally superior to that of... Read More
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Nothing I am about to write should be read as diminishing in any way my sympathy for Salman Rushdie, or my outrage at the appalling attack on him. Those who more than 30 years ago put a fatwa on his head after he wrote the novel The Satanic Verses made this assault possible. They deserve... Read More
I published yesterday an analysis of the long-delayed report of the Forde Inquiry, pointing out that its “both sides are equally to blame” approach was actually a continuation of the very factionalism the report excoriates. However, I gave Martin Forde QC credit for recognising that antisemitism was weaponised by Corbyn’s opponents in the party, even... Read More
In moving from Nazareth back to the UK, I have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire
[This is the transcript of a talk I gave to Bath Friends of Palestine on 25 February 2022.] Since I arrived with my family in the UK last summer, I have been repeatedly asked: “Why choose Bristol as your new home?” Well, it certainly wasn’t for the weather. Now more than ever I miss Nazareth’s... Read More
“Why is Boris Johnson making false claims about Starmer and Savile?” runs a headline in the news pages of the Guardian. It is just one of a barrage of indignant recent stories in the British media, rushing to the defence of the opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer. The reason? Last week the British prime minister,... Read More
It seems we may have reached the moment when it is time to say goodbye. It has been fun, educational and sometimes cathartic – for me at least. I hope you got something from our time together too. I am not going anywhere, of course. Not for now at least. I love to write. For... Read More
When I criticize meddling in Syria by Britain and America, or their backing of groups there that elsewhere are considered terrorists, it does not follow that I am, therefore, a cheerleader for the dictatorship of Bashar Assad or that I think that Syrians should be denied a better political system. Similarly, when I criticize Joe... Read More
This was the Christmas my young daughter finally cornered me into admitting that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. I felt a small pang of regret that she had taken another step towards graduating into the less colourful world of adulthood, but also a larger sense of relief that I could now stop lying to her. What... Read More
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When did parts of the left get so contemptuous of the principle of “bodily autonomy”? Answer: Just about the time they started fetishising vaccines as the only route out of the current pandemic. Only two years ago most people understood “bodily autonomy” to be a fundamental, unquestionable human right. Now it is being treated as... Read More
Of course, I expect a backlash every time I write. It comes with the territory. There is no point being a Bari Weiss or a David Frum and crying out against “cancel culture”. Dissension is part of the rough and tumble of a modern world in which everyone – at least, for a little longer... Read More
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In these posts I try to highlight how our social, cultural and political structures are rigged to reflect the interests of an economic elite and maintain their power. Because the forces that shape those structures are largely invisible – we mainly notice the people and buildings inside these structures – the way power operates can... Read More
How things have changed since Donald Trump came and went as US president. Until then, I was able to identify myself as firmly on the progressive left. Now – with the Covid pandemic only reinforcing the post-Trump trauma – I find myself in some weird no-man’s land, trapped and squeezed between two ballooning ideological tribes... Read More
The Jewish Chronicle warns that the dismissal of Prof David Miller is ‘just the beginning’
The Israel lobby appears to be readying for a campaign to root out leftwing academics in the UK critical of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinian people – echoing its efforts against the previous leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. As with the attacks on Corbyn, the assault on academia is being led by... Read More
The enthusiasm with which much of the media and political establishment have characterised Frances Haugen as a “Facebook whistleblower” requires that we pause to consider what exactly we think the term “whistleblower” means. Haugen has brought to the surface a fuzziness in what many of us understand by the idea of whistleblowing. Even Russell Brand,... Read More
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A Yahoo News’ investigation reveals that, through much of 2017, the CIA weighed up whether to use wholly extrajudicial means to deal with the supposed threat posed by Julian Assange and his whistleblowers’ platform Wikileaks. The agency plotted either to kidnap or assassinate him. Shocking as the revelations are – exposing the entirely lawless approach... Read More
Do you know what “leaky vaccines” are? There’s a good chance you don’t because discussion about them has been mostly shunted to the fringes of the web, with videos on the subject even excised from Youtube. The subject is treated as though it is something only tinfoil hat-wearing loons would take seriously. But leaky vaccines... Read More
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There seems to be a glaring illogic to official arguments about the need to vaccinate British children against Covid that no one in the corporate media wishes to highlight. Days ago the British government’s experts on vaccinations, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, withstood strong political pressure and decided not to recommend vaccinating children... Read More
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The left is currently dividing very publicly over a viral clip on social media of AOC – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – arriving on Monday night at an exclusive gala event in New York in a slinky, white satin, off-the shoulder, Marilyn Monroe-style gown with large red writing across the back demanding: “Tax the Rich.” Maybe “divided”... Read More
In some of these blogs I have been trying to gently highlight what should be a very obvious fact: that “the science” we are being constantly told to follow is not quite as scientific as is being claimed. That is inevitable in the context of a new virus about which much is still not known.... Read More
The Jewish Chronicle, a weekly newspaper that was saved from liquidation last year by a consortium led by a former senior adviser to Theresa May, has been exposed as having a quite astonishing record of journalistic failings. Over the past three years, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the misnamed and feeble “press regulator” created... Read More
Craig Murray, a former ambassador to Uzbekistan, the father of a newborn child, a man in very poor health and one who has no prior convictions, will have to hand himself over to the Scottish police on Sunday morning. He becomes the first person ever to be imprisoned on the obscure and vaguely defined charge... Read More
Trump happened – and put the left’s priorities to the test
There’s been a new public fracturing of the intellectual left, typified by an essay last week from Nathan J Robinson, editor of the small, independent, socialist magazine Current Affairs, accusing Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi of bolstering the right’s arguments. He is the more reasonable face of what seems to be a new industry arguing... Read More
A year ago, the idea that Covid-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan – a short distance from the wet market that is usually claimed to be the source of the virus – was dismissed as a crackpot theory, supported only by Donald Trump, QAnon and hawks on the right looking to escalate tensions dangerously... Read More
Here is something that can be said with great confidence. It is racist – antisemitic, if you prefer – to hold Jews, individually or collectively, accountable for Israel’s crimes. Jews are not responsible for Israel’s war crimes, even if the Israeli state presumes to implicate Jews in its crimes by falsely declaring it represents all... Read More
No one should be surprised that Britain’s rightwing prime minister, Boris Johnson, has had barely anything to say about Israel’s pummelling of Gaza, with nearly 200 Palestinians reported to have been killed by airstrikes and many hundreds more seriously wounded. Nor should we be surprised that Johnson has had nothing to say about the fact... Read More
My talk at the International Festival of Whistleblowing, Dissent and Accountability on May 8. Transcript below.
Britain’s corporate media are suddenly awash with stories wondering whether, or to what extent, the UK’s prime minister is dishonest. Predictably in the midst of this, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg is still doing her determined best to act as media bodyguard to Boris Johnson. In a lengthy article on the BBC’s website over the weekend,... Read More
Back in the 1880s, the mathematician and theologian Edwin Abbott tried to help us better understand our world by describing a very different one he called Flatland. Imagine a world that is not a sphere moving through space like our own planet, but more like a vast sheet of paper inhabited by conscious, flat geometric... Read More
A few lessons to be learnt from the wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip’s death in the British media: 1. There is absolutely no commercial reason for the media to be dedicating so much time and space to the Prince’s death. The main commercial channel, ITV, which needs eyeballs on its programmes to generate income from... Read More
Welcome to the age of fear. Nothing is more corrosive of the democratic impulse than fear. Left unaddressed, it festers, eating away at our confidence and empathy. We are now firmly in a time of fear – not only of the virus, but of each other. Fear destroys solidarity. Fear forces us to turn inwards... Read More
This is an extraordinary – and dangerous – five minutes of “mainstream” TV. It is five minutes of a black women’s rights activist trashing Piers Morgan to his face and on his own show, Good Morning Britain, as he tries to defend the Royal Family from the fallout of the Meghan and Harry interview. Shola... Read More
Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry is a perfect case study of how an important political debate about the corrupting role of the monarchy on British life gets shunted aside yet again, not just by the endless Royal soap opera but by supposedly progressive identity politics. As so often, a focus on identity risks... Read More
There is an entirely predictable but ugly political atmosphere developing in the two states where vaccination is most advanced: Israel and the UK. I currently live in one, Israel, and was born and spent the majority of my life in the other. As each country moves closer to vaccinating a majority of its population, national... Read More
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I have spent the past several years on this blog trying to highlight one thing above all others: that the institutions we were raised to regard as authoritative are undeserving of our blind trust. It is not just that expert institutions have been captured wholesale by corporate elites over the past 40 years and that,... Read More
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It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment... Read More
The revelation that a leftwing journalist, Nathan J Robinson, has been sacked as a Guardian US columnist for criticising Israel on Twitter – and that he was pressured to keep quiet about it by Guardian editors – should come as no surprise. He is only the latest in a long line of journalists, myself included,... Read More
The instinct among parts of the left to cheerlead the right’s war crimes, so long as they are dressed up as liberal “humanitarianism”, is alive and kicking, as Owen Jones reveals in a column today on the plight of the Uighurs at China’s hands. The “humanitarian war” instinct persists even after two decades of the... Read More
It is a fitting end to four years of Donald Trump in the White House. On one side, Trump’s endless stoking of political grievances – and claims that November’s presidential election was “stolen” from him – spilled over last week into a mob storming the US Capitol. They did so in the forlorn hope of... Read More
Anyone who believes locking President Donald Trump out of his social media accounts will serve as the first step on the path to healing the political divide in the United States is likely to be in for a bitter disappointment. The flaws in this reasoning need to be peeled away, like the layers of an... Read More
There was a fascinating online panel discussion on Wednesday night on the Julian Assange case that I recommend everyone watch. The video is at the bottom of the page. But from all the outstanding contributions, I want to highlight a very important point made by Yanis Varoufakis that has significance for understanding current events well... Read More
There was a hope in some quarters after Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled on Monday against an application to extradite Julian Assange to the US, where he faced being locked away for the rest of his life, that she might finally be changing tack. Washington has wanted Assange permanently silenced and made an example of –... Read More
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The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a US super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply. Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep... Read More
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The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has run a fascinating long report this week offering a disturbing snapshot of the political climate rapidly emerging across Europe on the issue of antisemitism. The article documents a kind of cultural, political and intellectual reign of terror in Germany since the parliament passed a resolution last year equating support for... Read More
PastClassics
From the Leo Frank Case to the Present Day
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement