October 16, 2017

Fake Twitter Account Alert

I got a tweet just yesterday purporting to support my own tweet and Ken Loach.  It was clearly antisemitic.  Here it is:
I wasn't sure what to do at first.  I checked the account and saw there were 4 of my mutual followers (ie I follow them and they follow me) and I alerted them by DM.  Two unfollowed, the other two don't seem to check their accounts regularly.  All four seem to routinely follow the accounts that follow them and this fake account only intersperses tweets with antisemitism.

Here's a screengrab of terry45336188's account:

One of the people who did respond to my DM said that a lot of these bogus accounts use 8 numerics after a name as this terry45336188 did.

I noticed that the account "joined April 2012".  So it appears it wasn't founded specifically to undermine Corbyn but it is definitely a bogus account.

Moral of the story, never just follow an account because it follows you, always scan the profile and a few tweets of an  account you are liking, retweeting or following.  Sorry to come across as censorious but Zionists are jumping through hoops to smear their critics, opponents and victims as antisemitic.  This is all they have because there is, of course, no case for Israel.  Their claims are getting increasingly desperate and ludicrous but they are still space and time consuming so a little bit of due diligence can stop these time and space wasters, er, wasting time and space. N'est pas?

Thank you!

PS: I just checked the account again and I am blocked.  They're determined, these people. Can they be a genuine Corbyn supporter and an antisemite?  It's very doubtful.  If they were sincere in their antisemitism they would surely have remonstrated with me to persuade me that antisemitism is ok.  If they didn't realise that slagging off Jews qua Jews is antisemitic then still they might have put an argument together or simply apologised having seen the error of their ways.  But instead of that, I get this:

I looked at their account with another account of mine and they're just as shrill but there was nothing explicitly antisemitic but he really wants an endorsement from Ken Loach.  See this:

And this:

Don't these Jew haters just love Ken Loach, the high profile anti-Zionist, Zionists have had in their cross hairs since the Labour Party Conference.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.....

Another Letter by Loach, Another Lie by Rich

Ken Loach has had a letter published in the New York Times refuting demonstrably false claims made about him by Howard Jacobson.

Here's the letter:
To the Editor:
Re: “Now Labour is the Enemy of the Jews,” (front page, Oct. 7-8):
Howard Jacobson alleges that I defended questioning the Holocaust. I did not and do not. In a confused BBC interview, where question and answer overlapped, my words were twisted to give a meaning contrary to that intended. The Holocaust is as real a historical event as World War II itself and not to be challenged. In Primo Levi’s words: “Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.”
Exaggerated or false charges of anti-Semitism have coincided with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Discredit his supporters, and you weaken his leadership. The Jewish Socialist Group wrote: “accusations of anti-Semitism are being weaponised to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party.”
We will not be intimidated. The Labour Party will continue to assert “the values of peace, universal rights and International law” as proclaimed in its manifesto.
And here's what he was refuting:
In a moment that will live in infamy, the distinguished film director Ken Loach defended questioning the Holocaust. “I think history is for all of us to discuss,” he said, dodging the question of why the Labour Party should have chosen the Holocaust, of all historical events — and not slavery, say — to subject to scrutiny. 
But the defaming of Ken Loach didn't start with Howard Jacobson and didn't end with him either.  Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust thought he detected a claim of victimhood in Loach's letter.  He tweeted:
I immediately knew he was lying but I was pleased Ken Loach had another chance to answer his slanderers so I followed the link and word searched "victim".  Obviously, you don't have to use the word "victim" to claim to be one.  But on reading the letter and re-reading it, there was nothing there to suggest that he was claiming that he was a victim.  Scroll back up.  See what he wrote.  Any sign of self-pity?  This is a guy who supports the Palestinian cause.  It's inconceivable that he would claim victim status when the only reason he's being smeared is because he supports the cause of a victimised nation.  Of course, Ken Loach has been victimised but I think he has enough self-awareness to refrain from complaining about it.  He was simply setting the record straight.

So did he write anything at all that could be construed as claiming victimhood?  Let's take it line by line.
1.   Howard Jacobson alleges that I defended questioning the Holocaust.
Nothing there.
2.  I did not and do not.  
Nope, not there.
3.   In a confused BBC interview, where question and answer overlapped, my words were twisted to give a meaning contrary to that intended. 
 Nor there.
4.   The Holocaust is as real a historical event as World War II itself and not to be challenged.
Hmm, nothing in that line about Ken at all.  I'm starting to think Dave Rich made this up.  Surely there was a kernel of truth, as Goebbels used to say.  Let's keep looking:
5.   In Primo Levi’s words: “Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.”
Aha!  Now I could give Dave a bit of a pass here and say that he might have thought that in agreeing with Primo Levi, Loach was actually likening himself to Levi.  See if he tries that one.  It would be all he's got because, well, let's see some more...
6.   Exaggerated or false charges of anti-Semitism have coincided with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
Nope, that's about Corbyn, not Ken.
7.   Discredit his supporters, and you weaken his leadership. 
Again. mostly about the leadership but also about the supporters.  Discrediting isn't necessarily victimising.  Dave to me is an utterly discredited figure.  He's hardly a victim.
8.   The Jewish Socialist Group wrote: “accusations of anti-Semitism are being weaponised to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party.”
Now that's not a claim of victimhood, in fact it looks like Dave's job description.

Ok, to the final paragraph and what have we here?
9.   We will not be intimidated.
What we have here is a flat contradiction of what Dave Rich is claiming Ken Loach said.  What's extremely concerning is that Dave was so confident that his followers would "agree" with him, he even helpfully provided the link to the letter that he so flagrantly lied about.  If you look at the tweet, look at the replies too.  Last I checked I was the only one pointing out that Dave was misrepresenting what Ken Loach had said.

So to the last line:
10.  The Labour Party will continue to assert “the values of peace, universal rights and International law” as proclaimed in its manifesto.
And so we see, er, nothing to see.  And that is Dave Rich, one of the UK's most prominent antisemitism hunters.

But I did say in the headline, "Another Lie by Rich". So what else have we.  How far before yesterday do we have to go.  Well, the day before yesterday.  Really.  Check out this exchange between Rich and Jamie Stern-WeinerHere's a tweet that sums up the whole thing but there's a whole thread above and below it:
And from exactly one year ago, here's Dave smearing Jonathan Rosenhead of  Free Speech on Israel.

And here's what he was referring to on Free Speech on Israel:
It is impossible to know from the outside exactly what and who have made this moral panic [the antisemitism smear campaign] go with such a swing. Key individuals may well be Jeremy Newmark, well-placed in JLM, though only just in time, to fan these flames. The wily Mark Regev took up his post as Israeli ambassador in London at the start of April. In July Ella Rose left her job as public affairs officer at the Israeli Embassy to become Director of JLM. Who knows? Organisationally, judging by their public pronouncements there is an at least informal coalition of forces involving JLM, Progress (the Blairite pressure group), and Labour Friends of Israel which have all been promoting the idea that the left is permeated with antisemitism.
 See that?  Dave was clever here. He put the word "wily" in quotes but not the word "Jews".  So he could, and did, claim that he wasn't actually misquoting.  Again check out the thread.

And this is Dave Rich's job and, apparently his hobby too.

Dave Rich is just one player in this annoying and damaging game.  He's not a particularly bright one by any means, in fact, a sure sign that Rosenhead wasn't generalising about wily Jews is that, whilst many of the merchants of smear can be justly accused of fabrication, Dave Rich and many others can never be accused of being wily.

September 28, 2017

Misappropriation of Del Singh Memorial award by Zionists casts shadow over good Labour Conference for Palestine

All in all Palestine had a good Labour Party Conference 2017.  Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and Leah Levane both swatted away 2 years worth of false allegations of antisemitism here and here, and Free Speech on Israel had a fringe meeting that was so successful Zionists had to stoop to falsely accusing them of Holocaust denial.

The Holocaust denial thing was just one of the false allegations of antisemitism directed mostly at Jews at the conference.  But one thing that marred the mostly triumphant return of Palestine to the centre of the left's (left of centre? No, centre of left) consciousness and activism was the granting of the Del Singh Memorial Award to the Zionist, so-called Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), led by the notorious liar and smear merchant, Jeremy Newmark.

See the home page of the Del Singh Foundation to see where Del Singh stood on Palestine:
Del Singh Foundation was created in January of 2014 immediately following Del’s tragic and untimely death in Kabul, Afghanistan while working with the British Department of International Development. Del dedicated his life to fighting for human rights across the world and sought justice for those whose voice could not be heard. He channelled his passion in to every project he was involved in, from his international development work to supporting local community projects at home. His vision, moral courage and fortitude helped Labour Friends of Palestine (LFPME), a human rights group that Del helped to found, become an organization that could champion the cause for justice for Palestine more effectively within the UK parliament.
See Del Singh's family statement on the misappropriation of the award by the combined efforts, it seems, of Iain McNicol (rightist Labour apparatchik) and JLM:

This is how the Jewish Chronicle reported on the family's dismay at the award going to people who supporters of the racist state that barred Del Singh from entry (that's Israel of course):
The family of a murdered Labour activist is demanding an apology from the Labour Party for having given an award named after him to the Jewish Labour Movement, saying the award should be withdrawn.
It concludes quotes from Del Singh's family:
The statement, which was made in the name of Dishi Kaur-Umfleet, the sister of Mr Singh, talked of the “exploitation and manipulation of… my brother’s name… disrespecting his memory and everything he stood for”.
 And from Jeremy Newmark:
Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the JLM, responded by saying that he “had the privilege of meeting Del Singh on a number of occasions at Labour Party meetings and events.
“Whilst we clearly had different perspectives on elements of the Middle East conflict we also had much in common on both this and other issues, including commitment to human rights, equality and social justice.  Del always talked about the importance of listening to narratives other than our own.
“It is in that spirit that we are proud to have received this award. I have communicated this to Del's family and very much hope to have the opportunity to meet with them in due course. "
"Communicated this to Del's family"?  Note the chumsy first name terms.  Also note the "communicated this to...."  Because here on Twitter is Del Singh's family:
In fairness to the most notorious liar in the Zionist movement (a lot of competition, I know) that tweet was 2 days ago but now the conference is over the family is still awaiting answers as to how the supporters of the last of the colonial settler states received an award in the name of one of the founders of Labour Friends of Palestine.
All very sad for the family for now but I do believe the award will quietly or noisily be taken away from the Zionist enemy within the Labour movement.

Oops, an apology. I had said in the first para that the inaugural meeting of Jewish Voice for Labour attracted the false allegation of Holocaust denial.  It was actually Free Speech on Israel.

September 27, 2017

So-called Jewish Labour Movement has no right to speak for me says Jewish activist Leah Levane

Wow, a video clip of a non-Zionist Jewish Labour Party activist, Leah Levane, has made it to the Telegraph Facebook page without the obligatory false allegation of antisemitism in the comment underneath.

I've captured the clip in case it does a disappear:


Don't accuse people of anti-Semitism when they criticise Israel, Leah Levane urged during the Labour Party conference.
See that?  55,000 views.  

September 26, 2017

Free Speech on Israel rebuts claims of Holocaust Denial

 A brief statement from Free Speech on Israel:

  • Miko Peled did not endorse Holocaust Denial
  • Entrapment and character assassination tarnish political life

Allegations that have been made that Free Speech on Israel, a Jewish-led organisation, is complicit in holocaust denial are a signal episode in the manufacture of fake news. 

They are distortions based on highly selective quotations, ripped out of context, from a strong and principled speech by celebrated Israeli Army veteran and author Miko Peled at our fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. These allegations, too readily re-broadcast by an insufficiently critical press, misrepresent the meaning and intention of his talk. His words, read in the flow of his speech, offer no support at all to holocaust denial. These tactics of attempted entrapment and character assassination tarnish the integrity of political life in Britain.

Free Speech on Israel always challenges Holocaust denial whenever it rears its head, just as we are resolute in our opposition to antisemitism. Like Miko we are equally determined to fight false accusations of antisemitism and their use to silence criticism of Israeli crimes or to suppress support for Palestinian rights.

So there we have it. A fairly standard Zionist smear.  It's sad that the busting of it had to be released before the Labour Conference was even over but since Jeremy Corbyn did so well in the general election the opportunists in the Labour Party, who thought he was an electoral liability, have gone to ground leaving the smearing to Blairites and Zionists.

It's my guess that after the conference has ended, we'll be hearing more in the mainstream media about antisemitism than we'll be hearing about socialist Labour Party policies. There's no case for Israel and no case for austerity and antisemitism smears are their only tactic.

September 25, 2017

Zionists spin in other people's graves

The antisemitism smear campaign against Corbyn and the left has been given such prominence in the media many people will not have noticed that Corbyn and his advisers have pandered to the Zionist movement at every turn in order to make them stop the smearing and start campaigning for a Labour victory.  I won't list out the twists and turns so far but the latest has involved Jeremy Corbyn granting the Del Singh Memorial Award to the Jewish Labour Movement, the prime movers behind the smear campaign.

Del Singh Foundation was created in January of 2014 immediately following Del’s tragic and untimely death in Kabul, Afghanistan while working with the British Department of International Development. Del dedicated his life to fighting for human rights across the world and sought justice for those whose voice could not be heard. He channelled his passion in to every project he was involved in, from his international development work to supporting local community projects at home. His vision, moral courage and fortitude helped Labour Friends of Palestine (LFPME), a human rights group that Del helped to found, become an organization that could champion the cause for justice for Palestine more effectively within the UK parliament.
And this is what the Palestinian ambassador to London said of Del Singh:

Del was a true champion of human rights; he was and remains a source of inspiration to many people, in his fight against injustice and aparthied.
So how did supporters of the racist war criminals of The State of Israel get to receive such an award?  Del Singh's family want to know.  They tweeted:

The family point out that it is not just the irony of Singh's involvement with Labour Friends of Palestine that makes this award to Zionists remarkable, it is the fact that he was actually banned from Palestine because of his anti-racism and support for human rights.

Many of Jeremy Corbyn's compromises with the Zionist movement can be worked around and have gone largely unnoticed by the public and unthanked by the Zionist movement.  This compromise too far will have to be different. Del Singh's family have been hurt by this and  Corbyn needs to put it right, preferably before the Labour Party Conference 2017 is over.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi addresses the Labour Party Conference 2017

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi helping to restore Labour's credibility as an ant-racist internationalist party after many recent betrayals of the Palestinian cause and its supporters since Jeremy Corbyn came under attack from Blairites and the Zionist movement upon becoming Labour leader.


Here's a transcript of the speech I've just nabbed from Tony Greenstein's blog:

Naomi: Thank you, thank you Chair. My name is Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. Despite my grey hairs I am a virgin in terms of the Conference, first-time delegate, hooray. I'm from Chingford & Woodford Green, the newly marginal constituency, where we are going to unseat Iain Duncan Smith. [loud cheers and applause] Thank you, but don't take up too much of my three minutes. Come and help us bring about a sweet Portillo moment, when the time comes.

Now, I'm here today because although I care deeply about Brexit and the debate has been excellent in some respects, I want to welcome the insertion into the NPF Annual Report section on the Middle East of the key paragraph from our ground-breaking Manifesto which referred to Israel's occupation and settlement of Palestinian land [cheers and applause]. I am so pleased that this section has been put back in after being inexplicably omitted from the NPF Report. Let me tell you my perspective on this. I'm Jewish; I come from the tradition of anti-racist and anti-colonialist struggle, a Socialist Labour tradition of international solidarity with oppressed people. [applause] This is not some meaningless David Sparks slogan out of the pages of Private Eye. It's a fundamental feature of our traditions as a party committed to justice and equality.

Oppression and discrimination are rampant in today's world. So why Palestine? Well it's not only that this year marks 50 years of Israeli occupation and illegal settlement. It's not only that this year marks 10 years of the siege of Gaza with intermittent military onslaughts against its people. This year also marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, when a British foreign secretary promised the land of Palestine to the Jewish people, my people. The civil rights of the existing population, that's the Palestinians, were meant to be protected, but that turned out to be an empty promise. We Brits, all of us, have a responsibility for what occurred. Despite huge misgivings and even outright opposition from many Jews, our leaders, British leaders, facilitated founding a state which privileges Jews such as myself over non-Jews. [applause] Thank you. I've only got half a minute. Seventy years ago, 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in what for them was a catastrophe, that they call the Nakba. More than 450 towns and villages were destroyed, the world's longest-running refugee population was created. We Brits need to take responsibility for the on-going Palestinian tragedy dating from Balfour's pledge.

So in this Policy Report we call for an end to Israel's blockade on Gaza, an end to occupation and settlements [loud cheering and applause -warned that her time is up she says: damn, I'm nearly there, nearly there, thanks - more applause - OK, I've got two more sentences and my time is up, so please indulge me] and endorsement of a Palestinian state. This is the very least that we should be doing. I say this as a Jew, as an anti-racist and as a dedicated member of this revived Socialist internationalist Labour Party. And Comrades, I'm not an anti-Semite, [cheering] and Conference, and Conference, this party does not have a problem with Jews. Thank you. [prolonged cheering, applause, standing ovation] [4:45' duration of speech]

The section of the Labour Party Conference 2017 that Naomi addressed was titled something like BREXIT and Internationalism.  Apparently Naomi waved a banner identifying her (and Ian Duncan-Smith's) Chingford & Woodford Green constituency and it caught the Chair's eye and she was called to speak almost by chance.

And what a speech!  She covered most of the main points.  She covered how a manifesto pledge on Palestine disappeared and reappeared. she mentioned the key anniversaries, Gaza blockade: 10 years, occupation: 50 years, Balfour: 100 years, Nakba: 70 years and, it shouldn't have needed saying but she made it clear that the Labour Party does not have a problem with Jews.  And it is just possible that her speech was the only one for Palestine that was main event and not fringe.

So what next?  I'm guessing Labour Zionist leader, Jeremy Newmark, will take the opportunity to reprise his disgraceful attempt to close down discussion of Israel/Palestine at the University and College. So let's just see if the so-called Jewish Labour Movement tries to prevent a situation where random activists can be called to speak for internationalism at the Internationalism section of the Labour Party Conference 2018.

This is a serious point. The Labour leadership has been pandering to the Zionist movement at every possible turn and in spite of that, Naomi managed to slip through the net for an open mic spot.  My guess is that the Zionists will try to close that loophole by the time of the next conference, but let's just see....

September 20, 2017

When Zionists spoke out against the Anti-Zionism = Antisemitism Equation

I'm going to post articles I find arising out of the old Ronnie Fraser vs University and College Union (FUCU) case where Zionists actually had the decency to be embarrassed over a scathing ruling where some of the UK's leading Zionists tried to make out that Palestine solidarity activism amounted to antisemitic or racial harassment of those Jews (in this case Ronnie Fraser) who support The State of Israel.  One reason for doing so is that they lift the spirits in troubled times and another is that the former critics seem to change their minds and their own old articles get harder to find.  In this case I've already posted the article before but I want them in roughly one place.

This one is by Adam Wagner.  I remember Jews for Justice for Palestinians were quite excited by his article because they mistook him for one of their own, and maybe he was.  He is now an ardent supporter of the bogus IHRA working definition of antisemitism if he recent tweets are anything to go by.  Now read on....

 Legal Ruling Shines Unflattering Light on the Anti-Zionism Equals Racism Campaign
By Adam Wagner, Cartoon Kippah
April 05, 2013
Sometimes we need an outsider’s perspective to bring into focus uncomfortable truths about ourselves. Just before the Passover festivities, the Employment Tribunal released a 45-page judgment full of Biblical fury which did just that.
The judgment was about a legal claim brought by a maths teacher, Ronnie Fraser, against his teaching union. He claimed that the Union had harassed him in breach of equality laws due to its handling of the Israel-Palestine debate.
The full judgment can be read here (PDF). If you have any interest in Jewish communal politics and in particular how the Israel-Palestine debate is handled, I highly recommend you read it. Perhaps set aside half an hour over a well-earned post-Passover sandwich – it’s worth it, I promise.
I won’t try to summarise Employment Judge Snelson’s findings here, but I would like to draw out a few points. The main one is that the Claimant, represented by solicitor Anthony Julius, lost in a big way. This was a total, unqualified demolition job. As an outcome, it really was ten plagues bad.
The language of the judgment is harsh and at times sarcastic. As a lawyer, you can take it from me that it doesn’t get much worse than this. This was a “sorry saga”, the Tribunal “greatly regret that the case was ever brought”, at its heart the case was “an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means”. Perhaps worst of all, the claim showed a “worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression.”
Let’s just step back for a moment. Just because a judge rules on something doesn’t mean they are right. Judgments get appealed and overturned. Reading this one, and not having been in court for the weeks of evidence, there are at least two possibilities. First, that the Tribunal has taken an irrational or perverse dislike to the claimant, his lawyers and some of his witnesses – that is a real possibility, given how scathing the judgment is. The second is, however, is that the Tribunal has got it broadly right, having listened to the extensive evidence and nonetheless dismissed the case out of hand.
As I said, I wasn’t there – this is an evidence heavy case so you really have to have sat through it to reach a proper conclusion. But assuming for the purpose of this article that the Tribunal did get it right, there is a lot here to be worried about.
Let’s take just a single paragraph, number 148. Here the Judge is summarising his conclusions on the claimant’s witnesses who included British Jewish luminaries such as the author Howard Jacobson. Some gave “careful, thoughtful, courteous evidence”. Others however, “seemed more disposed to score points or play to the gallery rather than providing straightforward answers to the clear questions put to them.” Again, ouch.
Particular criticism was reserved for Jeremy Newmark, the Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, a committee of community grandees:
We regret to say that we have rejected as untrue the evidence of Ms Ashworth and Mr Newmark concerning the incident at the 2008 Congress… Evidence given to us about booing, jeering and harassing of Jewish speakers at Congress debates was also false, as truthful witnesses on the Claimant’s side accepted. One painfully ill-judged example of playing to the gallery was Mr Newmark’s preposterous claim, in answer to the suggestion in cross- examination that he had attempted to push his way into the 2008 meeting, that a ‘pushy Jew’ stereotype was being applied to him. The opinions of witnesses were not, of course, our concern and in most instances they were in any event unremarkable and certainly not unreasonable. One exception was a remark of Mr Newmark in the context of the academic boycott controversy in 2007 that the union was “no longer a fit arena for free speech”, a comment which we found not only extraordinarily arrogant but also disturbing.
Wow. Here are some words you never want to hear in litigation: “untrue”, “false”, “preposterous”, “extraordinarily arrogant”, “disturbing”. To recap, this is the Chief Executive of an organisation which is arguably now the main ambassador of the Jewish Community to the wider British community. This may all be unfair and perverse, but if it is not then we should be worried about the implications.
Then came the MPs. Not just any MPs, but Denis MacShane and John Mann, both well known to the Jewish community; Mr MacShane chaired the The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, Mann authored the Football Association Taskforce on Tackling Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Again, it’s bad:
We did not derive assistance from the two Members of Parliament who appeared before us. Both gave glib evidence, appearing supremely confident of the rightness of their positions. For Dr MacShane, it seemed that all answers lay in the MacPherson Report (the effect of which he appeared to misunderstand). Mr Mann could manage without even that assistance. He told us that the leaders of the Respondents were at fault for the way in which they conducted debates but did not enlighten us as to what they were doing wrong or what they should be doing differently. He did not claim ever to have witnessed any Congress or other UCU meeting. And when it came to anti- Semitism in the context of debate about the Middle East, he announced, “It’s clear to me where the line is …” but unfortunately eschewed the opportunity to locate it for us. Both parliamentarians clearly enjoyed making speeches. Neither seemed at ease with the idea of being required to answer a question not to his liking.
As I said, wow. These are MPs who have been lionised by the Jewish community, and in particular the Jewish Chronicle (perhaps not incidentally, Anthony Julius chairs the JC board, a point highlighted by the Judge). ”And on the topic of that Parliamentary Committee”
157… The Respondents defended themselves courteously but robustly against treatment by the Parliamentary Committee the fairness of which was, to put it at its very lowest, open to question.
The sarcasm drips off that final sentence, doesn’t it? Ultimately, the Tribunal concluded that contrary to the claimant’s arguments, the Union’s meetings were “well-ordered and balanced” and that almost the entire case was “manifestly unmeritorious”. Most importantly, the Tribunal rejected out of hand the argument that “a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel or any similar sentiment” can amount to a protected characteristic.
Lessons not learned
Where does this leave us? It is tempting to see this “sorry saga” as no more than an unfortunate and hubristic litigation fail, or an “act of epic folly” as the Jewish Chronicle’s ‘Ask the QC’ QC Jonathan Goldberg commented. But I think there are wider lessons here which we would ignore at our peril.
Anyone who follows Jewish communal politics and reads the JC will recognise many in the cast of characters as well as the arguments. Anti-Zionist or pro-Palestinian campaigners are regularly branded as anti-Semites. Despite the good work of organisations like Yachad, this is still a regular and well-supported narrative at the centre of much of the Jewish communal response to criticism of Israel. But that approach – which really amounts to communal comfort food – has clearly failed. And yet it is still wheeled out: watch, for example, this stirring but flawed recent speech by the Chief Rabbi to AIPAC, an American pro-Israel lobby. They hate us, so they would say that. Etc.
Of course, some criticism of Israel is linked to or motivated by anti-Semitism, but isn’t it time to stop using vast resources to paint legitimate debate as racial hatred? As well as failing miserably as an pro-Israel argument, this approach also risks fatally undermining work against real anti-Semitism. Aren’t we just a little bit ashamed for major communal leaders and organisations to have backed a claim showing a “disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression”?
In a prediction of Michael Fish quality, the JC originally said of the case that unless UCU repented its “clear antisemitic behaviour”:
we could be set for this decade’s version of the Irving trial – a specific case which acts to crystallise broader themes and issues
It certainly did crystallise broader themes and issues. But not the ones the cheerleaders hoped for. As said above, it is possible that this Tribunal reached a perverse decision. No doubt some will say so once the recriminations begin to fly. I imagine some will even accuse the Judge of anti-Semitism. But assuming for a moment that he was right, we should, as a community, be embarrassed by this ruling. It involved not just the looney fringe but central figures in the community, who have been branded exaggerators, manipulators and arrogant liars. More importantly, the ‘anti-Zionism equals racism’ argument is plainly bankrupt and has no purchase in wider society. We should move on to something which might actually work. And that is the lesson of this sorry Passover saga.
Adam (@adamwagner1) is a barrister specialising in human rights & medical law. He is founding editor of UK Human Rights Blog….”

The Cartoon Kippah website linked in the headline is now gone.

September 09, 2017

The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism in Full

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” 

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to: 

1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

2. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 

3. Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews. 

4. Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust). 

5. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. 

6. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. 

7. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. 

8. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. 

9. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. 

10. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. 

11. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel. Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews. Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries. 


September 05, 2017

Arjan El Fassed's Mandela Memo was a spoof not a hoax

This will never go away.  Once upon a time a chap called Arjan El Fassed wrote a spoof "Memo to Thomas L.Friedman from Nelson Mandela".  The memo was clearly a spoof and was run in El Fassed's own name. However its descriptions of Israel and the obvious comparisons with South African apartheid were so real that the memo itself was genuinely mistaken for real.  A little checking showed that the memo was not from Mandela at all but some seem to believe that El Fassed was truly trying to deceive people in spite of him having signed off the memo in his own name.  And of course there are anti-Arab racists who have a stake in discrediting any and every Palestinian.

The latest person to mistake the memo for being by the real Nelson Mandela is the Labour MP Chris Williamson and The Jewish Chronicle can't conceal its glee.
Labour MP Chris Williamson is embroiled in further controversy after sharing on social media a notorious faked Nelson Mandela quote that compared Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.
Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow fire minister – who last week described antisemitism allegations within his party as “bulls**t” – tweeted the quote, which was made up by an anti-Zionist website, as part of an announcement that he had joined a “Picnic For Palestine” event in his Derby constituency last Saturday.
The tweet displayed a photo of Mr Williamson alongside pro-Palestinian activists and included the full version of the quote which has regularly been attributed to Mr Mandela by anti-Israel campaigners.
The quote was revealed as fake in 2007 by Joel Pollack, an American political writer, who found that it was actually written as a spoof memo by Arjan El Fassed, a co-founder of the anti-Zionist Electronic Intifada website.
In the same paragraph as the Mandela "quote" is described as "fake" it is also described as a spoof.  A fake is clearly aimed at deceiving people whereas a spoof is a joke.

I've read all about El Fassed's explanation about how people got the wrong idea about his spoof memo on his own blog which includes Ha'aretz deliberately smearing him as a hoaxer in 2001.  The Jewish Chronicle however seems to be hedging on whether the memo was a spoof or a hoax.  Sure, they call it a spoof but they say "the quote was revealed as a fake in 2007 by Joel Pollack".  And that's the bit I don't understand.  The memo was written and signed off in the name Arjan El Fassed in 2001.  He and others wrote to many newspapers to explain the spoof and to point to the byline, Arjan El Fassed, in the original.  So how and why did it take Joel Pollack six years to discover that it wasn't from the real Nelson Mandela? And if Ha'aretz was denouncing the spoof  in 2001, why does Joel Pollack get any credit in this at all (including in El Fassad's Wikipedia entry)?

I can't answer the Joel Pollack question but I suspect if anyone thought the spoof memo was really from Nelson Mandela it must be the very real similarities between The State of Israel and apartheid South Africa.

September 02, 2017

QC on 2 CEs at the JLC

The QC here is one Jonathan Goldberg QC and the JLC is the Jewish Leadership Council.

I remember Goldberg as one of a few high profile Jews speaking out against the ragbag of Zionist hucksters who brought the case of Fraser v The University and College Union.

At the time of the FUCU case he said some very interesting stuff in The Jewish Chronicle about what he called an "epic folly".  The FUCU case involved Ronnie Fraser arguing that the UCU's support for the Palestinian cause amounted to harassing him as a Jew.  He brought ten counts and they all failed.
Here's what Jonathan Goldberg said at the time:

A main premise underpinning the claim — that the union was responsible in law for anti-Israel views promulgated by individual members in its annual congresses and in-house internet chatroom — was held wrong in law. Nor was that by any means the only error of law.
The underlying notion that a commitment to Zionism should be a “protected characteristic” in English employment law was in my view almost as fanciful as suggesting that supporting Tottenham Hotspur should be a protected characteristic, because so many Jews do so.
But it gets better.  See what he has to say about Jeremy Newmark:
Who is qualified to say, unless they sat through the 20 days of evidence, that the particular criticisms made of the evidence of Jeremy Newmark [untrue] and two MPs [glib] were not reasonable. And just as important, why did Mr Newmark and the others ever voluntarily place themselves in a position to be so criticised in support of a claim brought on such dubious legal foundations?

At the time Newmark was the chief exec of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Well now there's been a bit of a to-do over a video made by the current  chief exec of the JLC, Simon Johnson.  In the video Johnson took a hefty swipe at the zionist Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) for exaggerating the incidence and effects of antisemitism.  CAA reacted angrily and the video was pulled as was the tweet touting it:

I managed a screengrab.

So what has this to do with Jonathan Goldberg QC?  I saw the Jewish News today and it had the recent saga on its front page under an "apologise or resign" headline.  Deep down in the article Jonathan Goldberg is quoted thus:
“The sheer smug complacency of Simon Johnson in this matter is appalling.”
He added: “All credit to the unpaid young volunteers of the CAA for calling it how it is unlike the cosy back-slapping club of our Jewish establishment organisations.”
That's some beef he's got with the JLC. When it comes to false allegations of antisemitism, they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.

August 21, 2017

Kultur Kampf?

This is a straight lift from the Free Speech on Israel website:

FSOI rejects antisemitism smears against artists boycotting Pop-Kultur 

As so often occurs, allegations of antisemitism are being leveled at artists who have taken a principled decision not to participate in a cultural event which receives sponsorship from the Israeli state.

The 6th artist to withdraw from Berlin’s Pop-Kultur festival on August 23-25, Annie Goh, issued a statement via Facebook on August 20 explaining the reasons for her cancellation, criticising misinformation put out by Pop-Kultur’s organisers regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and describing as ‘despicable’ smears against four Arab artists who withdrew from the festival.

Goh is the second UK Pop-Kultur participant to pull out following a call from Artists for Palestine UK, supported by Brian Eno and Roger Waters, to respect the Palestinian boycott call. Israeli citizens have also lent support to the boycott call.

Free Speech on Israel rejects the attacks on the Arab artists whose statements to the festival, cited in the APUK letter, make clear the humane and principled reasons for their protest.
By accepting sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy, Pop-Kultur festival enables Israel to use culture to sanitise and normalise an apartheid regime.

The cultural boycott is an anti-racist protest against that racist endeavour. In this case, the Israeli funding was kept secret until just before the festival, perhaps anticipating and hoping (as it turned out mistakenly) that they could avoid performers withdrawing from the festival in protest.

By falsely accusing them of antisemitic motives, festival organisers try to cover up their own complicity with the racist agenda of the ongoing “Brand Israel” campaign.

As a Jewish-led campaign, Free Speech on Israel asserts: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel is not antisemitic.

April 08, 2017

Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah

Here's an article on Ken Livingstone by David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialist Group.  In it he seems to come on the side of those seeking Ken's expulsion from the Labour Party:
If  Livingstone had had the nous, he would have simply noted Shah’s acknowledgement that she had crossed a line into antisemitism, welcomed her apology and then used all the weight of his background in anti-racism in London to utterly condemn the Tories for their thoroughly racist campaign against Khan. That could,  and should, have been the story. Instead he tried to excuse Shah’s tweets as “completely over the top but … not antisemitic”. Immediately after this came his infamous remarks about Hitler and Zionism.
David goes on to take exception to Ken invoking Lenni Brenner as a source for his Hitler/Zionism remarks.  David finds Brenner's work wanting.
Brenner’s book reads much more like tabloid journalism than any serious academic study. It makes crude allegations of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, treats the actions of some Zionists as representing all Zionists, and utterly distorts the power relations between Zionists and Nazis.
Within the same article David mentions the main victims of Zionism who have been absent from most of this bogus antisemitism campaign, the Palestinians:
this whole effort to try to find evidence of Zionists behaving badly in the 1930s in order to expose the way Zionism behaves today, is such a poor way of supporting the Palestinians and their just demands. It rests on too many crude generalisations. You do not have to go back to Hitler and the 1930s in order to expose and challenge the oppression of Palestinians by Zionist ideology and practice today.

I have a few problems with David Rosenberg's take on all this and here's something I wrote elsewhere:
Did Naz Shah actually apologise specifically for saying "the Jews are rallying" for Israel or was it a more mealy mouthed showtrial sort of apology couched in terms that failed to pinpoint what she had actually said that was antisemitic?  I thought it was the latter. In fact the more she apologised the more she seemed to be saying something like, "I'm sorry I said whatever I said, I had no idea of the extent to which the Jews rally for Israel".

And did Ken Livingstone actually make an intervention? Or was he invited to a radio interview with Vanessa Feltz? I thought that was the latter.

The first mention of Hitler was by Feltz and Ken responded.  He seemed to be pointing up the hypocrisy of the Zionist movement on the whole question of Nazi Zionist collaboration or of comparisons between Israel and the Nazis.

Certainly Ken invoked Lenni Brenner as a source but there are many sources to support the idea of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis including some that say that Hitler himself must have intervened to maintain Ha'avara when other leading Nazis were against it.

I think to gift the Zionists by throwing Ken under the bus when the NCC seems to have deliberately avoided examination of what Ken (and by extension, Naz Shah) actually did say would be a major mistake not least because if Ken's offence in the eyes of the NCC was to defend Naz Shah then what becomes of people who defended Ken?

My own view is that the NCC didn't expel Ken and avoided discussion of the "historical facts" because, as David said, most of what Naz Shah said wasn't antisemitic and what she did say that was antisemitic was no different from what most Zionists say (and indeed did say at that appalling select committee).  

The NCC avoided what Ken said about Hitler, Nazism and Zionism because what Ken said was broadly correct regardless of whether we run with Lenni Brenner as a source or not.  (eg, see this)

Of course this isn't now simply about the NCC charges. Ken is now being condemned for defending himself whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Regarding whether or not an exposé of Zionist collaboration with antisemitism or nazism is good or bad for the Palestinians is irrelevant given that Ken isn't being accused by JLM or the NCC of not being good for the Palestinians and if he was being good for the Palestinians no doubt he'd be accused of antisemitism for that.

So I don't think we have to twist or ignore facts to support Ken Livingstone. We should welcome a more forensic examination of all of the facts of both Ken and Naz Shah's cases.
For a more detailed examination of the case of Ken Livingstone and the NCC see this article, Compulsory Lies by Mike MacNair in the Weekly Worker.

December 05, 2016

Bob from Brockley on Ben Gidley and Jackie Walker: Charity for he but not for she

I had some correspondence with a chap called Ben Gidley on the weekend. It was regarding a post on the Bob from Brockley blog which is run by Ben Gidley under the pseudonym, Bob Gordon.

Ben Gidley is currently a Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck University.  The photo here is on his Birkbeck page:

He tweets in his own name as @BenGidley.  And here's the pic from that account which leaves me wondering if the above pic is actually him:

And here's the @BobfromBrockley twitter account and the pic that pretentiously adorns it:

Well I suppose there is something Orwellian about his output.

Oh and here's a picture of Jackie Walker which has appeared on many a zionist smear site including, of course, Bob from Brockley:

Bob/Ben had posted something about the Brockley Festival of Ideas which was going to be addressed by Jackie Walker.  I noticed the @BobfromBrockley twitter account tweeting and retweeting against Jackie Walker in the run up to the festival.  I won't replicate all that here.  I just want to post a comment here that won't pass moderation at the Bob from Brockley blog together with the correspondence between us.  Well actually I'll just post the correspondence as my first email to Ben Gidley at Birkbeck includes the disallowed comment:
Ben Gidley

I left the following comment on your Bob from Brockley blog a few days ago:
"Jackie Walker, the Labour left activist with local links who has stirred considerable controversy in the past year with a series of comments on social media and in public interpreted by many as antisemitic"?

You're too modest Bob.  You have been part of this racist inspired and often expressly racist smear campaign against Jackie Walker.

You even took the opportunity of that post to smear the Jewish activists who support Jackie because she has been wronged as merely and somehow wrongly providing her with "cover".

True, you haven't used your own name to smear Jackie on Twitter. There is overlap between your eponymous and pseudonymous Twitter accounts but as far as I've seen you haven't used your real name, Ben Gidley, to smear Jackie Walker. As BfB you've run the worst possible interpretations of Jackie Walker's remarks, all of which you know to have been lifted out of context and all of which were perfectly reasonable when taken in context.

I notice in your post you're continuing the smearing of Ken Livingstone.  He didn't say anything about "Hitler being a Zionist", he said that Hitler was supporting Zionism in the 1930s.  You've had it pointed out to you on Twitter by Riz Mokal that Ken was actually right in what he was saying and you seemed to accept that.  I should have known you didn't and don't have the integrity to stick to what you know rather than promote the smear line complete with bogus quote.

Of course that Boffy chap pointed the (deliberate) error in your earlier post on Ken's remarks http://brockley.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/lenni-brenner-says-kens-wrong.html

But once you're in smear mode there appears to be no stopping you even when you appear to take a pause.

But Ken has a higher profile and a bigger/wider platform than Jackie Walker and of course Ken is white and non-Jewish.

The character assassination of a Black Jewish activist without Ken's profile has been far easier to accomplish. It seems too that it has been far more important to the zionist movement to banish Jackie from mainstream politics than it has to even banish Ken.  But Jackie is being hounded at the grass roots level too.  She has been smeared by the Zionists of the so-called Alliance for Workers Liberty and now she is going to be further smeared by them running a blog post by you on their Clarion website which of course advertises itself, not as an AWL site, but as a Momentum/Labour left site.

And as the post above mentions you too have been actively hounding Jackie within her and your local community in Brockley.

So Bob, without bogus paraphrasing, what has Jackie Walker actually said that warrants the vilification she has attracted and to which you are a party?  And what detailed "free advice to" Jackie would you offer to end this local and national campaign against her?

I had assumed you were simply refusing to approve it but when I saw you inviting comments from Jackie Walker or others I thought the links in the comment might have landed it in your spam filter.  I left another comment without links simply drawing attention to the previous one but still no show. So now you have the comment at your blog and in this email I should be grateful if you would either approve the original, copy and paste the one in this email or reply to this email telling me I can repost the original.
The response I got was from a Bob from Brockley email address under the name Bob Gordon and is a one hit master class in sheer hypocrisy:
I'm very happy to post your criticisms of my position and your claims that I'm part of a campaign  - and maybe try to answer them if I ever find time. What I am not happy to do is give you a platform to attempt to "out" me or whatever the right word is, as I have a number of good reasons for blogging pseudonymously, not least the number of threats I get as BfB from Britain First/EDL types and assorted fascists. I am trying to decide what to do, but haven't had the time to think it through. 

Here's my response:
I've noticed and commented on your sanctimoniousness many times. I had no idea how unselfconscious you were about it until just now.

Now you might want to consider the impact you and your cohorts have had on Jackie Walker's personal safety.

Your role was worse than others because you brought the smear campaign down to her and your local level.

I copied Jackie Walker into my email to Ben Gidley and she was broadly happy with it but, after he claimed security concerns, knowing how unpleasant it is to have your safety compromised, in her case, by such public vilification, especially when the campaign has been brought down to a local level, she wasn't thrilled about outing Bob from Brockley as Ben Gidley. Personally I have no such qualms because I simply don't believe anyone is threatening him and given his penchant for pseudonymous smears he deserves to be outed.

Ben Gidley used to be based at Goldsmiths where he was happy to boast about his blog. I know this because friends of mine have been on the staff there.  I already mentioned that on Bob from Brockley he uses the name Bob Gordon.  I remember years ago when I already knew that Bob was Ben someone emailed me to say that Bob from Brockley was actually a Robert Gordon of Goldsmiths. There is a Robert Gordon still at Goldsmiths.  My correspondent was wrong but if people are trying to harm or harass the Bob from Brockley blogger in any way then surely Robert Gordon would have drawn some heat by now.  I'm not aware that he has.

There's a lot more that could be written about Bob from Brockley and Ben Gidley and the former's smears and the latters' vulgarisations. I suppose I should note again that the zionist self-styled trotskyist group Alliance for Workers Liberty is planning on running one of Bob's smear jobs of Jackie Walker on their Clarion mag site which its editor Sacha Ismail claims is a Momentum/Labour left site.

But really I just want Ben Gidley to live and be well and stop being a dick.