Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth - www.jonathan-cook.net

Symbols are invested with power. Don’t dismiss the importance of toppling a statue

I did not expect to be returning to this issue so soon but I was surprised, to put it mildly, to discover that my last post on anti-racists toppling a statue of the notorious slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol proved to be the most polarising article I have ever written. Given the many controversial [...]

Tearing down statues isn’t vandalism. It’s at the heart of the democratic tradition

It is easy to forget how explicitly racist British society was within living memory. I’m not talking about unconscious prejudice, or social media tropes. I’m talking about openly celebrating racism in the public space, about major companies making racism integral to their brand, a selling-point. Roberston’s, Britain’s leading jam maker, made their orange marmalade sweeter [...]

As US protests show, the challenge is how to rise above the violence inherent in state power

Here is one thing I can write with an unusual degree of certainty and confidence: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would not have been charged with the (third-degree) murder of George Floyd had the United States not been teetering on a knife edge of open revolt. Had demonstrators not turned out in massive numbers on [...]

Emily Maitlis is no media hero. She simply forgot what she and the BBC are there to do

The wrong conclusions are being drawn about Emily Maitlis’s comments on Dominic Cummings on the BBC flagship Newsnight show this week. Her remarks are not evidence of her courage, or that journalists are being gagged, or that the BBC is suddenly capitulating to the government.  The problem is caused by our desire to focus [...]

Why the left’s case for lesser evil sounds hollow

We are entering the final stages of the election to decide who will head the most powerful nation on Earth. That inevitably means the progressive and dissident left in the US are again being deluged with arguments to vote for the lesser evil candidate. It has become such a standard left argument at election time [...]

Welcome to the era of the Great Disillusionment

This is a column I have been mulling over for a while but, for reasons that should be immediately obvious, I have been hesitant to write. It is about 5G, vaccines, 9/11, aliens and lizard overlords. Or rather, it isn’t. Let me preface my argument by making clear I do not intend to express any [...]

The smearing of Ken Loach and Jeremy Corbyn is the face of our new toxic politics

The film-maker’s crime – like Corbyn’s – wasn’t antisemitism but recalling a time when class solidarity inspired the struggle for a better world Ken Loach, one of Britain’s most acclaimed film directors, has spent more than a half a century dramatising the plight of the poor and the vulnerable. His films have often depicted the [...]

The bigger picture is hiding behind a virus

Things often look the way they do because someone claiming authority tells us they look that way. If that sounds too cynical, pause for a moment and reflect on what seemed most important to you just a year ago, or even a few weeks ago. Then, you may have been thinking that Russian interference in [...]

Our leaders are terrified. Not of the virus – of us

You can almost smell the fear-laden sweat oozing from the pores of television broadcasts and social media posts as it finally dawns on our political and media establishments what the coronavirus actually means. And I am not talking about the threat posed to our health. A worldview that has crowded out all other thinking for [...]

A lesson coronavirus is about to teach the world

If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered two lessons. The first is that in a globalised world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing ourselves as islands – whether as individuals, communities, nations, or a uniquely privileged species – [...]

How ‘Bernie Bros’ were invented, then smeared as sexist, racist and unAmerican as borscht

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party’s nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let [...]

How we stay blind to the story of power

If one thing drives me to write, especially these blog posts, it is the urgent need for us to start understanding power. Power is the force that shapes almost everything about our lives and our deaths. There is no more important issue. Understanding power and overcoming it through that understanding is the only path to [...]

Antisemitism threats will keep destroying Labour

If there is one issue that denotes the terminal decline of Labour as a force for change – desperately needed social, economic and environmental change – it is not Brexit. It is the constant furore over an “antisemitism crisis” supposedly plaguing the party for the past five years. The imminent departure of Jeremy Corbyn as [...]

Duh, Jared! So who built the PA as a ‘police state’?

Maybe something good will come out of the Trump plan, after all. By pushing the Middle East peace process to its logical conclusion, Donald Trump has made crystal clear something that was supposed to have been obscured: that no US administration has ever really seen peace as the objective of its “peacemaking”. The current White [...]

The Holocaust, the BBC and antisemitism smears

Senior BBC news reporter Orla Guerin has found herself in hot water of an increasingly familiar kind. During a report on preparations for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, she made a brief reference to Israel and an even briefer reference to the Palestinians. Her reporting coincided with [...]

Corbyn’s defeat has slain the left’s last illusion

This was an election of two illusions. The first helped persuade much of the British public to vote for the very epitome of an Eton toff, a man who not only has utter contempt for most of those who voted for him but has spent a lifetime barely bothering to conceal that contempt. For him, [...]

Chief Rabbi Mirvis is helping stoke antisemitism

Chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has not only misrepresented the known facts about Labour and its supposed antisemitism crisis. He has not only interfered in an overtly, politically partisan manner in the December 12 election campaign by suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn – against all evidence – is an antisemite. By speaking out as the voice of [...]

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