John Woodcock hits back: I am not going to be bullied by silly people
The controversial MP did not quite defuse the row over whether he told people that there are ‘good Jews’ and ‘bad Jews’.
Labour MP John Woodcock has never been flavour of the month with the left of his party. But his recent comments accusing Jeremy Corbyn of "deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community" managed to net him a number of new critics.
They included the Jewish comedian David Schneider who tweeted: "'Boo! Corbyn needs to get out and meet some Jews!’ (Corbyn spends Passover with some Jews at Jewdas) ‘Boo! Not those Jews!’"
And the Jewish poet and children’s novelist Michael Rosen.
How to (not quite) defuse the row?
On his Twitter feed today, Woodcock started by insisting he was being widely misquoted.
"My timeline and inbox is fizzing with anger and abuse over me apparently telling people there are ‘good Jews’ and ‘bad Jews’. Could I save people some valuable energy, and maybe help my staff get some respite, by gently pointing out that I have said no such thing?"
But rather than leave it there, the trenchant Corbyn critic then upped the ante by suggesting that he was being bullied.
"I am not going to be bullied by anyone in pointing out that describing Israel as a ‘cess pit’ is rather extreme (as is wanting to ‘f- capitalism’) and that Jewdas’ disdain for last week’s demo organised by @BoardofDeputies and @JLC_uk is something of a minority view."
And he signed off with a forthright flourish by saying his opponents were being very silly on purpose.
"That does not mean, in the words of one of the organisation’s organisers, mean that I ‘just hate Jews’. People are being very silly, in fact deliberately silly. There are, I should point out, lots of things about which you can get cross with me without making stuff up."
It's fair to say that his critics did not all roll over in response...