Jewish campaigners tore into Jeremy Corbyn today after he mis-pronounced the name of notorious society paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in front of millions of people on live television.
The Labour leader was accused of trying to make the American child abuser – who killed himself in prison earlier this year – sound ‘more Jewish’ in the ITV leaders’ debate.
During the prime time show last night he called the convicted sex offender ‘Ep-schtine’, sparking fury on social media – after Boris Johnson pronounced Epstein correctly.
It came up when they were asked about the scandal surrounding Mr Epstein’s friend Prince Andrew after a car-crash interview at the weekend.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s risible attempt to deceive viewers about his handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis was compounded by his bizarre and inconsistent pronunciation of the Jewish surname of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, referring to him at one point as ”Ep-shtein”.
‘Mr Corbyn’s abhorrent record on Jews certainly raises questions as to whether the Labour leader was attempting to underscore Mr Epstein’s Jewishness.’
The programme was watched by more than seven million people at its peak, with an average audience of 6.7million.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticised last night for the way he pronounced ‘Epstein’
The Labour leader’s tenure has been dogged by an anti-Semitism crisis.
The Labour leader and Prime Minister answered questions on the billionaire predator and his relationship with Prince Andrew during the live head-to-head.
Both expressed sympathy for the victims of Epstein, the convicted sex offender who killed himself while facing trafficking charges.
David Baddiel led criticism of Jeremy Corbyn for his pronunciation. When Twitter user Alec Feldman speculated that the Labour leader had made Epstein sound ‘more Jewish’, the comedian and writer tweeted: ‘Every Jew watching noticed that.’
And Jewish Tory peer Lord Finkelstein said that ‘calling me Finkel SHTEIN is one of my tests’ for anti-Semitism.
Viewers at home branded Corbyn an anti-Semite, with one nicknaming him ‘Jezbollah’ in a reference to his past remarks about his ‘friends’ in the Islamist paramilitary group Hezbollah.
Why are people saying ‘Epshtein’ is anti-Semitic?
Critics have accused Jeremy Corbyn of making Jeffrey Epstein appear ‘more Jewish’ by pronouncing his name ‘shtein’.
The Germanic pronunciation traces its roots to the 18th century – when the Prussian and Austro-Hungarian empires forced Jews to take a German surname.
Critics says by using the German pronunciation, Corbyn emphasized the American Epstein’s Jewishness by linking it to the persecution of the Jews in Europe.
As some people leapt to the politician’s defence, Twitter user @leekern13 wrote: ‘To the idiots saying we should pronounce things the way they are spoken in their country – He was an AMERICAN.
‘He was born in New York. He wasn’t German of generic ‘Jew’- he was American and his name was Epstein. Corbyn tried to emphasise aliens. He otherised Jews. Again.’
During the debate, Mr Corbyn tried to squash accusations that his party has failed to root out anti-Semites.
The Labour leader said anti-Semitism was ‘an absolute evil and scourge within our society’ while insisting the party was treating the issue ‘very, very seriously’.
But to many people, his promises fell flat and were rounded upon by both rivals and members of his own party.
Mr Johnson confronted his opposite number on the ITV stage about the issue, claiming: ‘It’s a complete failure of leadership what’s happened with anti-Semitism, but the failure of leadership is even worse when you look at what is happening on their Brexit policy.’
Chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement Peter Mason was scathing about his party leader’s ‘disgraceful’ response to internal racism.
And chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement Peter Mason was scathing about his party leader’s ‘disgraceful’ response to internal racism.
Reacting to a clip of Mr Corbyn insisting he has ‘taken action’ to rid Labour of anti-Semitism, he tweeted: ‘This is a lie There are at least 130 outstanding antisemitism cases, some dating back years, that still haven’t been dealt with.
‘The Party haven’t bothered to investigate the cases properly or make decisions.
‘Corbyn and Labour’s total failure to deal with antisemites has seen it be investigated by the EHRC [Equality and Human Rights Commission] for institutional anti-Jewish racism.’
Accusations of anti-Semitism have dogged Mr Corbyn since he became leader in 2015, and earlier this year saw six Labour MPs quit the party.
The fury came after Johnson and Corbyn refused to back Prince Andrew when asked whether of not he is fit for purpose during their leadership debate.
During a quickfire round the last segment of the debate on ITV, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were asked about the Duke of York.
Pictured: Prince Andrew and his friend, Jeffrey Epstein walking through New York
It comes as the prince is facing heavy criticism this week over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Hosting Tuesday night’s leadership debate in Salford, Julie Etchingham asked the Labour and Tory leaders: ‘Is Prince Andrew fit for purpose?’
Corbyn said: ‘Before we discuss Prince Andrew, I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein was doing and I think there are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.’
Johnson said: ‘All our sympathy should be with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the law must certainly take its course.’
It came as follow-up to a question sent in by a viewer watching at home. The original question sent in to ITV was: ‘Is the Monarchy fit for purpose.’
Corbyn fired back that it ‘needs a bit of improvement’ but Johnson followed with ‘the institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach’.
Since Andrew’s Newsnight appearance five huge names – including Aon and KPMG – dropped their financial backing for his charity. He spoke with Emily Maitlis in the interview, which aired on the BBC on Saturday.
In the interview, Andrew denied having sex with Epstein trafficking victim Virginia Roberts, who said she slept with when she was 17.
Johnson (left) said the institution of the Monarchy is beyond reproach but Corbyn (right) said the Monarchy could do with some improvements
In his car crash interview, Andrew questioned whether a picture showing him with Ms Roberts – now Giuffre – was accurately showing him with his hand around her waist at the London home of Epstein’s girlfriend.
Viewers responded with fury at his claims, which included that he wasn’t sure whether it was taken in London because he wasn’t wearing a full suit.
Crunch ITV election debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn was watched by 6.7million people – with the peak coming just before I’m A Celebrity… started
The audience figures for the head-to-head peaked between 8.50pm and 8.55pm – just before the start of hit show I’m A Celebrity, which typically brings in more than 10million viewers.
It was the first time that the two candidates for PM have faced off on TV during a campaign.
But the level was slightly below the 7million recorded for the seven-way ITV debate in the 2015 election – and significantly short of the 9.4million when David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg faced off in 2010.
The details emerged after polls suggested Mr Johnson was the winner on the key Brexit battleground – although Mr Corbyn was regarded as more trustworthy.
After the Labour leader refused nine times to say whether he backed Leave or Remain, nearly two-thirds of viewers said Mr Johnson triumphed in the clashes over EU policy. Just 27 per cent thought Mr Corbyn came out on top.
The Tory leader was also a long way ahead on who was more ‘prime ministerial’ – by 54 per cent to 29 per cent, according to a snap YouGov poll in the wake of the hour-long ITV special. He was also regarded as more ‘likeable’ and better on government spending.
The audience figures for the head-to-head debate between Boris Johnson (left) and Jeremy Corbyn (right) peaked between 8.50pm and 8.55pm
A snap YouGov poll found the pair fought each other effectively to a standstill, with 51 per cent of those surveyed saying Mr Johnson was victorious and 49 per cent Mr Corbyn
However, in a warning sign for the Tories, Mr Corbyn was seen as slightly more trustworthy – by 45 per cent to 40 per cent and much more in touch with ‘ordinary people’.
He also outperformed Mr Johnson in the NHS exchanges, by 54 per cent to 38 per cent.
Overall the poll found the pair fought each other effectively to a standstill, with 51 per cent of those surveyed saying Mr Johnson was victorious and 49 per cent Mr Corbyn.
As the campaign for the election on December 12 stepped up a gear last night, the PM insisted he was determined to ‘get Brexit done’, and warned that all Labour had to offer was ‘dither and delay, deadlock and division’ by calling a second referendum.
‘We don’t know on which side Mr Corbyn will campaign. Will he campaign for Leave or Remain?’ he demanded, saying there was a ‘void at the heart of his policy.’
The audience in Salford laughed when Mr Corbyn claimed to have been ‘clear’ despite repeatedly ducking the question on which side he would support in a new ballot.
After the Labour leader refused nine times to say whether he backed Leave or Remain, nearly two-thirds of viewers said Mr Johnson triumphed in the clashes over EU policy. Just 27 per cent thought Mr Corbyn came out on top
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Jewish campaigners accuse Jeremy Corbyn of 'trying to underscore' dead paedophile 'Jeffrey Epstein's Jewishness' as Labour leader's pronunciation of 'Epschtine' blows up into ANOTHER full-blown anti-Semitism row have 1800 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at November 20, 2019. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.