Jeremy Corbyn pronounces Jeffrey Epstein’s name CORRECTLY after coming under fire for making paedophile sound more Jewish in ITV debate
- Labour leader sparked fury in ITV debate for calling the sex offender ‘Epschteen’
- Looked to shake off fierce charges of anti-Semitism made by high-profile Jews
- At his manifesto launch today, he said: ‘Revelations about Epstein are appalling’
Jeremy Corbyn was careful to pronounce Jeffrey Epstein’s surname correctly today after he was accused of making the billionaire paedophile sound more Jewish in the ITV leaders debate.
The Labour leader sparked fury earlier this week when he referred to the disgraced financier as ‘Epschteen’ in his showdown with Boris Johnson.
Under pressure to shake off the fierce charges of anti-Semitism made against him by high-profile Jews, Mr Corbyn pivoted back to pronouncing the surname as it is spoken in common parlance – with a soft ‘s’.
He addressed the Epstein scandal in response to a question about whether Prince Andrew should cooperate with the US police investigation.
Speaking at the launch of his election manifesto in Birmingham this morning, Mr Corbyn said: ‘The revelations about Epstein are appalling and I think we should start with the principle that there are victims here, desperate young women who were abominably treated and they should be first and foremost in our consideration.
‘And the second consideration should be bluntly and clearly this, nobody is above the law and anybody who has committed something should be open to investigation about it.’
Why are people saying ‘Epschteen’ is anti-Semitic?
Critics have accused Jeremy Corbyn of making dead paedophile Jeffrey Epstein appear ‘more Jewish’ by pronouncing his name ‘shtein’.
The Germanic pronunciation traces its roots to the 19th century – when the Prussian and Austro-Hungarian empires forced Jews to take a German surname.
Jewish groups have suggested that by using the German pronunciation, Corbyn emphasized the American Epstein’s Jewishness by linking his name to the persecution of the Jews in Europe.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘Mr Corbyn’s abhorrent record on Jews certainly raises questions as to whether the Labour leader was attempting to underscore Mr Epstein’s Jewishness.’
During Tuesday night’s head-to-head between the two would-be prime minister’s, comedian David Baddiel led the criticism of Mr Corbyn, saying: ‘Every Jew watching noticed that’.
Jewish Tory peer Lord Finkelstein said that ‘calling me Finkel SHTEIN is one of my tests’ for anti-Semitism.
And 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 ”Epschteen”.
‘Mr Corbyn’s abhorrent record on Jews certainly raises questions as to whether the Labour leader was attempting to underscore Mr Epstein’s Jewishness.’
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.
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.’
Under pressure to shake off the fierce charges of anti-Semitism made against him by high-profile Jews, Mr Corbyn pivoted back to pronouncing the surname as it is spoken in common parlance during his manifesto launch in Birmingham today
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.’
And chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement Peter Mason was scathing about his party leader’s ‘disgraceful’ response to internal 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.