Google+ Followers

Monday, 25 July 2016

Water Discrimination Against Palestinians

How Would You Cope in the Heat Without Water?
Palestinians, approximately 3.5 million on the West Bank receive less water than the 600,000 Palestinans.  Last week the Israeli Army blew up 3 Palestinian wells.

Palestinians have seen their water stolen and then sold back to them at exorbitant prices whereas the settlers receive unlimited water.
video

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Gary Spedding - The Zionist Cuckoo in the Palestine Solidarity Nest

Flattered by Zionists - The Walter Mitty of Palestine Politics

Spedding also can't take criticism!  Hence I'm Blocked!
Gary Spedding combines support for the Palestinians with a close working relationship, according to his accounts, with Zionist groups like the Community Security Trust and he also praises overt Zionists and neo-cons like John  Mann and his Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism.
I have, unfortunately, had more than one occasion to write about his antics. See:

Like the Guardian’s resident airhead, Owen Jones, Spedding sees Zionist accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ as having nothing to do with Palestine solidarity despite the fact that it is anti-Zionists and Palestinian solidarity activists who get targeted by accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ not members of the far-Right.

Spedding's bad faith
Zionist advocates openly argue that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism.  Spedding however ignores this.  Like Owen he is oblivious to the ‘new anti-Semitism’ which redefines anti-Zionism and opposition to the Israeli state as ‘anti-Semitic’ on the spurious grounds that Israel is the ‘new Jew’ among states.  This idea which originated with Irwin Cotler, a former Minister in the Canadian government, , argues that people oppose what Israel does, not because it the only Apartheid state in the world, but because it is Jewish.
Spedding's arrogance is only matched by his ignorance
Spedding is an appalling narcisist who judges everything by his own ego.  Spedding therefore launched an unwarranted attack on Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian who is the Director of the Electronic Intifada site, by far the best anti-racist Palestinian solidarity web site there is.  Ali was responsible for the marginalisation of Israel Shamir, a notorious fascist and anti-Semite who wrote of Auschwitz that it was:

perceived as an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross … If it were bombed, the internees would die … This idea of “bombing Auschwitz” makes sense only if one accepts the vision of “industrial extermination factory”, and it was formed only well after the war. [Who needs Holocaust?]

Together with Hussein Ibish. Ali penned an article Serious Concerns About Israel Shamir which was written in 2001 that led to the discrediting of someone who had gained a considerable following on account of his flowery style of writing: 
'We do not have any need for some of what Israel Shamir is introducing into the discourse on behalf of Palestinian rights, which increasingly includes elements of traditional European anti-Semitic rhetoric.’’  [see Blind eye to anti-semitism

Gilad Atzmon, a close associate of Shamir, who considered him a ‘unique and advanced thinker’ [see Shamir’s A Reply to Tony Greenstein's Reply....]  gained an even wider following than Shamir, primarily due to the fact that he attained a certain fame as a jazz player.  Atzmon was also supported initially by the Socialist Workers Party.  A letter  was initiated by Ali Abunimah and signed by many of the most well-known Palestinians in the solidarity movement, people such as Omar Barghouti of the Boycott National Committee and Joseph Massad of Colombia University, entitled Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon put paid to Atzmon’s influence in the movement.
Spedding has pronounced on the 'intimidation' of the Eagle
Nonetheless Spedding engaged in a completely unprovoked and unwarranted attacks on Ali calling him a fool, despite as Ali put it conducting a private conversation with him in good faith.
Spedding has cosied up to the virulently anti-Palestinian group, the Zionist Community Security Trust and praised the work of John Mann’s Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism.  [see The False Use of anti-Semitism - Gary Spedding, the SNP’s Advisor on Palestine Sings the Zionist Song in which Spedding is quoted as saying that ‘In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.’
Spedding sees no harm in writing an article We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism for Ha’aretz [see below] which defames and traduces the Palestine solidarity movement.

According to Spedding ‘Toxic conspiracy theories, group-blame and stereotyping are becoming a serious problem in the Palestine solidarity movement – and it’s undermining our struggle.’  In this article he tells us that to my disappointment, I have found that some fellow solidarity activists are failing to take anti-Semitism seriously, to the extent that they’re prepared to believe every concern raised is a false accusation designed to smear the movement for Palestinian rights.’

Anti-Semitism in Britain is a marginal prejudice.  Jewish people aren’t attacked because they are Jewish.  Jews don’t suffer from state racism.  The mass media, at the same time as ignoring Stop and Search of Black people, deaths of Black people in custody or the rape of refugees in Yarl’s Wood is always ready to talk of ‘anti-Semitism’ when Israel is on the agenda.

We see this bogus concern with ‘anti-Semitism’ in the current attacks on the Left in the Labour Party.  I have been suspended from the Labour Party because of this attack by the Right, despite my long record as an anti-fascist activist.  The Zionist movement in this country has never been involved in anti-fascist or combating anti-Semitism of the far-Right.  Nor for that matter has Spedding, but that doesn’t stop him writing articles which are only of help to racist Zionism.

Apparently what bothers this fake solidarity activist is that at a meeting of his local PSC group ‘an audience member announced to the room that the term anti-Semitism was incorrectly used: "Arabs are also Semites."   Spedding idiotically took this to mean that ‘we should have a free pass to ignore Jews when they accuse us of anti-Semitism.’

This is a non-sequitur. The last statement does not logically follow on from the first.  The term anti-Semitism is, through usage, the term used for anti-Jewish hatred.  It is true that many people get hung up on a literal interpretation of ‘Semitism’.  In fact, as Spedding should know but obviously doesn’t, the term was first coined by a German anti-Semite, Wilhelm Marr, in 1879.  He like most racists of the time was seeking to put their racism on a ‘scientific’ as opposed to a religious basis.  It was the age of rationality. 

Marr therefore defined Jews as ‘Semites’ even though Semitic applies to a language group not a race or ethnicity.  He based it on the false assumption that most Jews spoke Hebrew, a semitic language.  In fact they spoke Yiddish, which was mainly German with some Hebrew terms.  Of course Arabs also speak semitic languages.

This causes confusion but it is in no way anti-Jewish.  However Spedding, who perfectly illustrates the old saying that a little knowledge can be dangerous, explained that ‘to my dismay, as the dismissive rant continued many in the room were nodding in agreement. I myself felt too insecure to raise my own voice.’

One suspects his insecurity derived from the fact that he knew nothing about the origins of the term anti-Semitism coupled with the fact that he is widely disliked and distrusted wherever he goes.
 But to Spedding ‘This toying with semantics is sinister in nature - by redefining anti-Semitism in a way that erases the fact this term specifically denotes hatred and discrimination against Jews.’
Now it might be irritating the way that some people take ‘anti-Semitism’ literally, for all the aforementioned reasons, since if one were to set out afresh to define anti-Jewish racism, ‘anti-Semitism’ would not be the best term to invent.  However there is nothing sinister in questioning a term coined by Wilhelm Marr, who was after all an anti-Semite.

Spedding however can’t handle this.  He writes that Palestine solidarity activists went ‘as far as to redefine the term in order to avoid being labeled anti-Semitic, even when anti-Jewish - as opposed to anti-Israel - language is used.’  The only problem is that Spedding doesn’t give us any examples of this ‘anti-Jewish’ language.

Spedding makes the unremarkable observation that ‘For me, being equipped to recognize and call out anti-Semitism can only strengthen my Palestine advocacy.’
Possibly.  The only problem is that Spedding doesn’t recognise anti-Semitism.  He is totally confused.  He says that ‘Having a clear definition of anti-Semitism helps to reassure the Jewish community and means our activism is less susceptible to the false accusations of anti-Semitism by Israel advocacy groups’.

This is nonsense.  The Jewish community, which includes Zionists, doesn’t have a single definition of anti-Semitism.  As the late Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz put it, ‘Formerly an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.

The definition of anti-Semitism is contested territory with Zionist groups vying to redefine anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism.

We get to the heart of Spedding’s agenda when he says ‘We should also stop viewing Zionism as a catch-all term. It isn't. There are multiple strands of Zionism and varying political directions - some of which are indeed racist and ultra-nationalist, whilst others are not.’

This really is utter rubbish.  Spedding demonstrates that whatever he is, he is not an anti-Zionist.  He is trying to reconcile Zionism with support for the Palestinians (of a sort) and falling flat on his face.  All strands of Zionism held that  the Jews were a nation entitled to colonise and settle Palestine.  All agreed on the creation of a Jewish state where Jews would be privileged.  All strands of Zionism were signed up to the dispossession and expulsion of the Palestinians just as all strands except the miniscule Meretz today are in agreement with the Occupation of the West Bank.

Spedding tells us that ‘Some activists have tried to hide their intentions, again playing semantics, by replacing the word "Jew" with "Zionist."   In fact it is Zionists who deliberately conflate the two and opponents of Zionism who insist on separating them.  He complains that the ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta say that "real Jews" reject "Zionism."  Quite what that has to do with anti-Semitism is not clear.
Spedding’s real beef is that ‘When people like me raise concerns about anti-Semitism we are often told that we are "useful idiots" for the Zionists and their agenda.’  The problem is that this is a good description of Spedding though how useful he will be to them is not clear.  This is why Ha’aretz published Spedding’s boring drivel.  He writes of  how, ‘When I drafted a U.K. Parliamentary Early Day Motion condemning anti-Semitism, I was told I was being used in a Zionist ploy, one that deliberately connects Palestine solidarity with anti-Semitism.’

I assume he is referring to my previous critique of his activities for the SNP.   Spedding mentions that but otherwise draws no conclusion from the fact that Zionism weaponises anti-Semitism against BDS.  In writing his article for Ha’aretz Spedding is allowing himself to be used by the Zionists, as the comments underneath his article demonstrate.  Anti-Semitism hasn’t disappeared but it is a vestigial form of racism.  It is almost wholly used to put western policy in the Middle East and its support of Israel in a good light. 


Tony Greenstein 

The False Use of anti-Semitism - Gary Spedding, the SNP’s Advisor on Palestine Sings the Zionist Song

Strange - Twice this Blog Post has    Fortunately It Is Kept on Disk and Mirrored 

‘In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.’



 the very real anti-semitism that keeps happening in some sections of Palestine Solidarity.”  No examples have ever been given.  In fact the Palestine Solidarity movement has been very careful to weed out anti-Semites from the movement. 
Gary Spedding - someone who people in the PS movement should give a wide berth to
In a recent Facebook comment, Gary Spedding, who claims some attachment to the SNP, though they are loathe to admit it, spoke of ‘

Despite purporting to oppose anti-Semitism in the Palestine solidarity movement - Spedding attacks Ali Abunimah who has done more to oppose anti-Semitism than any other activist - Jewish or Palestinian
Indeed this blog was set up to combat the anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon, Paul Eisen and Mary Rizzo 8 years ago.  That is the meaning of its url – azvsas – anti-Zionism vs anti-Semitism.  In 2012 we worked with others in the executive of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, including its Secretary Ben Soffa, to eradicate the present of the holocaust deniers and anti-Semites.  This included the expulsion of an open holocaust denier from Brighton, Frances Clarke-Lowes.  We worked with Palestinian comrades who understood the dangers of anti-Semitism to the Palestine solidarity movement and shortly after Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti and Professors Joseph Massad and Naseer Aruri, plus many others issued a statement Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of GiladAtzmon 
‘Anti-Semitism’ is the theme tune of the Zionist movement though.  It is an allegation made against every single Palestine solidarity activist.  What is the effect?  Tony Lerman, the founder of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research, before being witch hunted out of it by Zionist capitalists like Lord Kalms for being  a dissident, put it like this:
 ‘‘The anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism argument drains the word anti-Semitism of any useful meaning. For it means that to be an anti-Semite, it is sufficient to hold any view ranging from criticism of the policies of the current Israeli government to denial that Israel has a right to exist as a state, without having to subscribe to any of those things which historians have traditionally regarded as making up an anti-Semitic world view: hatred of Jews per se, belief in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, belief that Jews generated communism and control capitalism, belief that Jews are racially inferior and so on. Moreover, while theoretically allowing that criticism of Israeli government policies is legitimate, in practice it virtually proscribes any such thing.’
If indeed anti-Semitism was prevalent in the Palestine solidarity movement,  Spedding would provide us with specific examples.  Instead he makes vague allegations in exactly the same manner as Zionist propagandists.  It demonstrates not only a general sloppiness, politically and factually, but a political style borne more of personal and political opportunism than any commitment to the cause of Palestine.
It also suggests that Spedding is not even concerned about anti-Semitism and that he has other fish to fry.  As I wrote in the Seamy Side of Solidarity 

 ‘Like the boy who cried wolf, the charge of "anti-semitism" has been made so often against critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people now have difficulty recognising the genuine article.’  In other words, if you are seriously concerned about anti-Semitism, then you should be very careful not to make false allegations of anti-Semitism because it merely immunizes people to the real thing.

When I campaigned to expose the undoubted anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon the most frequent comment I got from people is that allegations of anti-Semitism were just a Zionist refrain.  People were sick and tired of being accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ so much so that they no longer recognised the real thing.  That is why false accusations of anti-Semitism are so dangerous and why incidentally Zionists actually don’t care at all about anti-Semitism.  Their concern is the Israeli state and for that they are quite prepared to risk the safety of Diaspora Jewish communities.

My attention was also drawn to a series of Twitter comments by Spedding regarding the Zionist Community Security Trust.  The CST are a wholly Zionist outfit with close links to Israel's Mossad, as well as the British state.  They tried to fit up the leader of Israel’s Northern Islamic Leagues, Raed Salah, by providing false information to the Home Office on alleged anti-Semitic comments that Raed Salah had made in Israel.  In fact the evidence they supplied consisted of a doctored poem, printed in the Jerusalem Post which had the words You Jews’ added to it to make it appear anti-Semitic.  

Although the first stage Immigration Tribunal upheld the deportation order of Theresa May, the Upper Tribunal quashed May’s order and Raed Salah was freed.  CST which had boasted of supplying the original information kept quiet about Justice Ockleton’s devastating judgment.

In a tweet to Timothy Horgan, Gary Spedding wrote:

'I've never had any issues with the CST. In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.'

In response to an attempt of the CST to foist the discredited European Union Monitoring Committee Definition of anti-Semitism on Amnesty International, a definition which the Europe Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency has now scrapped from its website, Gary Spedding wrote that ‘The Parliamentary group does excellent work on anti-semitism. If you'd like, just ask’

The Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism was led by the far-Right Labour MP John Mann MP who is most famous for his staged attack on Ken Livingstone on TV and the the former MP Dennis MacShane.  It is a wholly Zionist outfit and MacShane and Mann got their come uppance at the Fraser v University College Union Employment Tribunal, where an attempt was made to suggest that the Boycott of Israeli Universities was ‘anti-Semitic’ and discriminatory.  The Tribunal ruled against the Zionists holding that:
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…. 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.’

These two characters were and are responsible for the ‘excellent work’ of the Parliamentary sub-committee on anti-Semitism!  John Mann has been in the forefront of allegations that supporters of Corbyn, including Corbyn himself, are anti-Semitic.  The fact that Spedding should ally himself with the so-called Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism should be enough for genuine Palestine Solidarity activists to steer clear of him.

Spedding said of the CST, a vehemently Zionist group that ‘I've never had any issues with the CST. In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.’

With friends like these….

Below are the relevant e-mails (hat tip Timothy Horgan) and the continuous correspondence that Gary Spedding foists on me.

Gary Spedding @GarySpedding Apr 21
@TimothyHorgan1 @AG_ThorpeApps I've never had any issues with the CST. In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.

Timothy Horgan @TimothyHorgan1 Apr 21
@GarySpedding Parliamentary Group on anti-semitism endorses dodgy Zionist EUMC definition - Thorpe-Apps motions tried to foist this on AI
0 retweets 0 likes

Gary Spedding @GarySpedding Apr 21
@TimothyHorgan1 The Parliamentary group does excellent work on anti-semitism. If you'd like, just ask @AG_ThorpeApps directly his view?

Timothy Horgan @TimothyHorgan1 Apr 21
@GarySpedding @AG_ThorpeApps It lacks credibility after MacShane. Also relies too much on questionable CST.

Gary Spedding @GarySpedding Apr 21
@TimothyHorgan1 @AG_ThorpeApps I've never had any issues with the CST. In fact the CST has been incredibly helpful to me in my work.

GS=Gary Spedding    TG=Tony Greenstein

(GS)  This is starting to look a bit like one of those childish games where two kids continually pass the same insult back and forth until one of them gives up.

(TG)    I thought you promised not to write anymore?

(GS)  For someone as advanced in years as you

(TG)  Ageism as well as opportunism and unionism.  You do get around!
(GS)  My activism is a matter of public record. I don't need to defend such in an email exchange with you.

(TG)  So why are you then?

(GS)  I'm not trying to prove anything to you. The people that matter - my Palestinian and Israeli colleagues - all know my record and that I work hard each and every day fighting for justice, accountability and peacebuilding.

(TG)  Yes I’m sure that most people in the world, bar myself, know of your wonderful record.  Do you know the meaning of narcissism? 

(GS)  You've never come across me because you're part of a fringe that no longer plays any serious role in Palestine solidarity in the UK or elsewhere. As I said, the people who really matter all know who I am and the work I do.

TG:  Indeed. The very definition of ‘people who really matter’ is that they know about you.

(GS)  It doesn't bother me in the slightest that you do not.

(TG)  It would appear that it does though!

(GS)  it is not an SNP motion.

(TG)  No it’s just signed by 28 SNP members out of 33.  Strange that.

(GS)  It is not my fault that you choose to remain blind to the anti-semitism that blights our movement.

(TG)  I see.  Anti-Semitism is now a ‘blight’ on the Palestine solidarity movement.  Details?  Anti-Semitism is marginal.  Mainly because groups like Jews for boycotting Israeli goods and   Palestine Solidarity Campaign dealt firmly and effectively with anti-Semitism when it reared its head.  Perhaps when we were exorcising Gilad Atzmon, Paul Eisen and his acolytes you were in short trousers telling your granny to suck eggs.  See 

(GS)  The Palestinians certainly aren't ignoring the errors of internationals that damage the just cause of Palestine by spreading conspiracy theories and promoting anti-semitic tropes.

(TG)  I see.  An attack on internationals now?   You certainly seem to be playing a few Zionist tunes.  Which internationals might they be?  ISM? 

(GS)  You haven't exposed anything. All you did was make a fool out of yourself and prove beyond any doubt that you couldn't care less about the issue of anti-semitism. That you couldn't care less about the concerns of Palestine solidarity advocates such as myself.

(TG)  True, I’m not that much concerned about you.  That’s the problem with narcissism – you can never understand why others don’t think of you in the same ways you do.  I care about the people I work with, people I know are genuine and often anonymous Palestine solidarity activists, not self-seeking publicists with nothing to say.

(GS)  That you don't respect the voices of Palestinians who are concerned about anti-semitism damaging the movement.

(TG)  Not true.  I have the greatest respect for Ali Abunimah and those who signed the statement calling on the movement togrant no quarter to Gilad Atzmon, who you seem unaware of.  I also admire Ali for his previous statement regarding Israel Shamir.  I also have great respect for the Electronic Intifada which Ali edits.  

(GS)  That you don't give a damn about the core principles of Palestine solidarity being anti-racist (including against anti-semitism).

(TG)  I suggest you read the last sentence of my article Seamy Side of Solidarity  It is quite clear:  ‘You cannot oppose racism against the Palestinians and turn a blind eye to anti-semitism.’

(GS)  It really doesn't matter how many times you repeat the lie; but the motion has nothing to do with Gerald Kaufman - except perhaps to demonstrate that anti-semitic rhetoric such as what he used in the meeting at Parliament is not part of any legitimate Palestine solidarity that we in the Palestine solidarity movement recognise.

I'm proud to have raised the issue of Gerald Kaufman's remarks directly with my colleagues in the Labour Party. This issue needed to be dealt with and now it has been. But the problem of anti-semitism within some of the Palestine solidarity movement still persists and must be challenged at every level.

(TG)  So it does have something to do with Gerald Kaufman.  I did a  search of the Jewish Chronicle’s archives.  There were over 50 mentions of ‘Arab money’.  Racist?  Indeed I found over 30 instances of ‘Jewish money’ before losing patience.  So it’s a storm in a teacup, grist to the mill for those whose characterisation of Palestinians far exceeds anything Sir Gerald said.

(GS)  Given your words to me I get the feeling that you are deeply upset that nobody in the mainstream Palestine Solidarity movement listens to you any more - I'm not confusing myself with the movement, it is you that seems to think being a founding member gives you some kind of ultimate authority. You aren't.

(TG)  You shouldn’t attribute your own fears and feelings to others.  Clearly you listened to me as I’ve been deluged with your verbal diarrhoea ever since.

(GS)  My position on Northern Ireland is nothing to do with this discussion. I support the principle of consent and believe that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future either as remaining part of the United Kingdom OR becoming part of a United Ireland in the future. It is their choice on the matter and nobody elses. Only once people have worked on building peace and reconciliation to a point where those people are comfortable enough with each other that they refuse to resort to violence.

(TG)  On the contrary there are very close comparisons with Ireland.  As the first Military Governor of Jerusalem under the British Mandate said, the Zionist  settlement was a ‘little loyal Ulster in a sea of hostile pan Arabism.’  The principle of ‘consent’ means a Unionist veto on a United Ireland.  In other words a continuation of British gerrymandering.  The decision on Partition is a decision for all Irish people, not just those who see their legacy as lying in the  Plantation of Ireland.

(GS)  Again, it is the people that matter who have confidence in me and the work I carry forward in order to push for social justice and human rights.

(TG)  Me, me, narcicisstic me.
I'm not going to sit here and list all the work I have done in solidarity with Palestine.

(TG)  That’s a relief

(GS)  Suffice to say though that it certainly exceeds drafting a few Early Day Motions for submission to Parliament. As for BDS - I take my direction from the Palestinians at the core of the BDS movement. Not from an individual like yourself.

(TG)  Good.  I notice you don’t have much to say about it though.  No doubt ‘anti-Semitism’ is a more important topic.

(GS)  Again this is clearly about playing the 'better activist' game

(TG)  No I just question the motives about someone who claims to be a Palestine solidarity supporter and who witters on about anti-Semitism knowing nothing about it.

(GS)  I'm not on any 'Zionist bandwagon' - all serious Palestine solidarity activists laugh each and every time nobodies such as yourself accuse us of being Zionists.

(TG)  I wish I could claim to know what ‘all serious Palestine solidarity activists’ laugh or cry about.  But who is the ‘us’?  The royal we?

(GS)  Lastly, I would advise you to heed the disclaimer that is quite clear in my signature. You do not have permission to publish, disseminate, distribute or copy this email or any attachements found herein.

(TG)  Ok then I’ll just have to publish it without your permission!
(GS)  Further contact will be considered harassment.

(TG)  If you’re so concerned about harassment then you don’t need to reply
(GS)  Also stop emailing MPs about this EDM. We are all laughing at you.

(TG)  Your concern about MPs is touching.  I suspect it wasn’t laughter that led you to contact me.

11th November 20.30

Tony,

This is starting to look a bit like one of those childish games where two kids continually pass the same insult back and forth until one of them gives up.

For someone as advanced in years as you I should have thought playground antics were very much a thing of the past. My activism is a matter of public record. I don't need to defend such in an email exchange with you. I'm not trying to prove anything to you. The people that matter - my Palestinian and Israeli colleagues - all know my record and that I work hard each and every day fighting for justice, accountability and peacebuilding.

You've never come across me because you're part of a fringe that no longer plays any serious role in Palestine solidarity in the UK or elsewhere. As I said, the people who really matter all know who I am and the work I do. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that you do not.

To respond directly about the EDM - it is not an SNP motion. It is a Palestine Solidarity motion that makes clear that anti-semitism has no place in our movement. That criticism of Israel is entirely legitimate. Criticism of Zionism is entirely legitimate. It is not my fault that you choose to remain blind to the anti-semitism that blights our movement. The Palestinians certainly aren't ignoring the errors of internationals that damage the just cause of Palestine by spreading conspiracy theories and promoting anti-semitic tropes. You haven't exposed anything. All you did was make a fool out of yourself and prove beyond any doubt that you couldn't care less about the issue of anti-semitism. That you couldn't care less about the concerns of Palestine solidarity advocates such as myself. That you don't respect the voices of Palestinians who are concerned about anti-semitism damaging the movement. That you don't give a damn about the core principles of Palestine solidarity being anti-racist (including against anti-semitism). By claiming that this is 'Zionist sectarianism' you are simply confirming that people such as yourself are willing to dismiss instances of anti-semitism - and thus be complicit in it. The motion does not attack Jeremy Corbyn over Gerald Kaufman's grotesque statements. The motion was drafted MONTHS ago. I speak to Jeremy Corbyn when I'm in Parliament. I send him my briefings every week. I'm non-party political and work with all those who will promote Palestinian human rights, peacebuilding, conflict transformation and most importantly justice.

It really doesn't matter how many times you repeat the lie; but the motion has nothing to do with Gerald Kaufman - except perhaps to demonstrate that anti-semitic rhetoric such as what he used in the meeting at Parliament is not part of any legitimate Palestine solidarity that we in the Palestine solidarity movement recognise.

I'm proud to have raised the issue of Gerald Kaufman's remarks directly with my colleagues in the Labour Party. This issue needed to be dealt with and now it has been. But the problem of anti-semitism within some of the Palestine solidarity movement still persists and must be challenged at every level.

Given your words to me I get the feeling that you are deeply upset that nobody in the mainstream Palestine Solidarity movement listens to you any more - I'm not confusing myself with the movement, it is you that seems to think being a founding member gives you some kind of ultimate authority. You aren't.

My position on Northern Ireland is nothing to do with this discussion. I support the principle of consent and believe that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to determine their future either as remaining part of the United Kingdom OR becoming part of a United Ireland in the future. It is their choice on the matter and nobody elses. Only once people have worked on building peace and reconciliation to a point where those people are comfortable enough with each other that they refuse to resort to violence.

I'm also not a refugee. Nor am I an 'advisor to the SNP' - I'm an independent cross-party volunteer in the UK, Irish and European parliaments on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Whether you think I'm qualified or not is again of no real consequence. Again, it is the people that matter who have confidence in me and the work I carry forward in order to push for social justice and human rights.
I'm not going to sit here and list all the work I have done in solidarity with Palestine. Suffice to say though that it certainly exceeds drafting a few Early Day Motions for submission to Parliament. As for BDS - I take my direction from the Palestinians at the core of the BDS movement. Not from an individual like yourself.

Again this is clearly about playing the 'better activist' game - the whole thing about your activism surpassing my own? You seem desperate to be validated.

As for your claim that I 'use MPs' or that this in some way is for the 'strengthen' my own career... I study Biology. My future is in the field of nature and the natural world. I don't have a career in the field of Israel-Palestine. There is absolutely no benefit or incentive for me in doing the work that I do except knowing that it furthers the causes of justice, equality and human rights.
I'm not on any 'Zionist bandwagon' - all serious Palestine solidarity activists laugh each and every time nobodies such as yourself accuse us of being Zionists.

Lastly, I would advise you to heed the disclaimer that is quite clear in my signature. You do not have permission to publish, disseminate, distribute or copy this email or any attachements found herein.
Further contact will be considered harassment. Also stop emailing MPs about this EDM. We are all laughing at you.

Mr. Gary Spedding

From: Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com>
Sent: 11 November 2015 18:53
To:
Gary Spedding
Subject: Re: Anti-semitism and Palestine Solidarity (Early Day Motion 652)

Gary,
You said:

(GS)  Now we get to the real issue I think. This is yet another case of activist egotism on your part.
(TG)  There's certainly no activism on your part, just egotism.

(GS) I've seen it many times before.
Not all of us have your experience of course

(GS) The reality is I don't need a high opinion of myself.
That's just as well.  But why do you keep mentioning it then?

(GS) Other people hold these high opinions about me and the work I do.
Strange.  I've never come across one such person.  You might think, as one of the original founders of national Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a member of Brighton PSC and a co-founder of Jews Against Zionism and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods I might, having spoken at dozens of meetings over the years and having met with hundreds of fellow activists, that I would have heard of you.  Strange to say I've not once come across you or heard mention of you.

(GS)  It's one of the reasons why I don't feel threatened by you in the slightest.
I realise you have difficulty in both reading and comprehending at the same time, but I have no desire or wish to threaten you nor have I.  Of course just because you're obviously paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you - just count me out!

(GS)  I know enough about your so-called work from these exchanges and also from what you have done over the past week.
You mean calling out an SNP Early Day Motion drafted by you which talked about the 'anti-Semitism' of the Palestine solidarity movement.  Yup.  I did expose this nasty little bit of Zionist sectarianism, which tried to attack Jeremy Corbyn over the Gerald Kaufmann affair.  Indeed you boast of the part you played in it on your FaceBook page.

(GS)  Your dismissive attitude reveals that you aren't interested in strengthening Palestine Solidarity in the UK or elsewhere.
You confuse yourself with the movement.  Is a refugee from the Unionist Alliance Party in Northern Ireland and an unpaid adviser to the SNP is in a position to judge these things?  My record on Palestine solidarity and BDS (something you don't mention) in Britain stands on its own merits.  It's just that I don't like to see people use the struggle of the Palestinians to strengthen their own careers. 
Having taken part in the disruption of supermarkets, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, the closure of Ahava and Sodastream and been prosecuted and threatened with prosecution for these activities, despite being seriously ill, I think my record of activism surpasses that of yourself, which consists primarily of drafting Early Day Motions for SNP MPs.
I'm surprise that SNP MPs, despite most of them being relatively new, would allow someone like you to use them in this way.

(GS)  If you were, then I think you'd not be so nonchalant about the very serious reality of anti-semitism. 

As someone who is Jewish, I am in a better position to decide whether anti-Semitism is a 'serious reality' or not.  Only the Zionists have an interest in talking up 'anti-Semitism' as part of their campaign to deflect attention away from the Palestinians.  It's the old case of 'kill Palestinians, shout 'anti-Semitism'.  It doesn't work any longer despite opportunists like you trying to hop on the Zionist bandwagon.

(GS)  Your opinion of me matters very little. My performance is judged on how threatened the Israel advocacy groups feel by the work I do and I can tell you that they're terrified. Absolutely terrified.
Yes the sound of them quaking in their shoes is deafening.  Scotland has produced some fine comedians - Billy Connolly and Frankie Boyle to name but two.  Have you ever thought of changing your profession?
Have you ever heard of the term 'narcissism'?

(GS)  It is by no means the only measure. 

Anyway, I have nothing further to say to you
That's a relief

(GS)  except that you should stop dismissing anti-semitism and start being part of the movement that is making real change for Palestinian rights.
Have you always told your granny how to suck eggs?
PS:  Please do assume that everytime you put your foot in it and write such rubbish, that I will reserve the right to put it out on my blog and in public.
Tony Greenstein
On 11 November 2015 at 09:34, Gary Spedding <gspedding01@qub.ac.uk> wrote:
Tony,

Now we get to the real issue I think. This is yet another case of activist egotism on your part. I've seen it many times before. 

The reality is I don't need a high opinion of myself. Other people hold these high opinions about me and the work I do. It's one of the reasons why I don't feel threatened by you in the slightest.

I know enough about your so-called work from these exchanges and also from what you have done over the past week. Your dismissive attitude reveals that you aren't interested in strengthening Palestine Solidarity in the UK or elsewhere. If you were, then I think you'd not be so nonchalant about the very serious reality of anti-semitism. 

Your opinion of me matters very little. My performance is judged on how threatened the Israel advocacy groups feel by the work I do and I can tell you that they're terrified. Absolutely terrified. 

It is by no means the only measure. 

Anyway, I have nothing further to say to you except that you should stop dismissing anti-semitism and start being part of the movement that is making real change for Palestinian rights.

Mr. Gary Spedding
gspedding01@qub.ac.uk
Mobile: +44 7476 369469
On 11 Nov 2015, at 05:33, Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com> wrote:
Gary
you have a high opinion  of yourself which isn't matched by your actions.
You should not ascribe motives to others which properly belong to you and you alone
You know nothing of my work for Palestine solidarity over the years.  Absolutely nothing.  You are just a jumped up student opportunist who has travelled round the houses by all accounts.
I have no wish to damage you. You are doing a good job on your own account.
There was nothing to indicate your correspondence was private nor did you state that it was so.  If you had done then I would have treated it so.  Otherwise everything is in the public domain - whether it is you or Atzmon (who made similar complaints).
Your arrogance is demonstrated by your belief that one's attitude to you is the measure by which one's contribution to Palestine solidarity should be judged.  It isn't.  Your work is damaging not helpful.
tony greenstein

On 11 November 2015 at 03:41, Gary Spedding <gspedding01@qub.ac.uk> wrote:

Tony,

You did not have my permission to publish correspondence between myself and yourself.

This really needs to stop now. I'm tired of your condescending attitude. I have real work to be getting on with that actually does something for Palestinian rights and justice rather than the petty squabbles that you clearly feed on. 

You need to understand that nothing you say damages me. Not one thing. All you have done is damage yourself with your attacks against me. 

The breach of my privacy through the publication of private correspondence is not a political dispute. It is a legal one. And I have already sent the relevant letters and documentation to a solicitor who will decide what to do from this point. 

Everything you have written is based on your own twisted interpretation of things and the attempt to smear me through defamation of character. 

All this experience you claim to have counts for nothing where I'm concerned. It means nothing. It is nothing. 

You aren't in this to promote Palestine solidarity. It's evident from your postings (and your interactions with me) that you are in this to serve your own agenda and your own interests. It's deeply insulting to the Palestinian people when so-called 'activists' like yourself come out the woodwork. 

I'll continue working at the high standard and level I am so that one day Palestine will be free. I'll continue collaborating with Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists from a wide range of NGOs. I'll also continue fighting anti-Semitism in all its manifestations and building trust with the UK's various Jewish communities. 

As I have already said; nothing you have written, nothing you are doing and nothing you have said is going to damage me. Israel advocacy organisations have tried exactly the same thing as you are doing now. It's almost as if you are an Israel advocate yourself. You use the same tactics as they do; lies, false assumptions and misrepresentations.

You have also embarrassed yourself in front of a wide range of individuals and groups. As I said; this really needs to stop now. 
Mr. Gary Spedding

On 11 Nov 2015, at 03:24, Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com> wrote:
Gary,
Having practised in employment tribunals for over a decade and having been a legal advisor for the same time, your solicitor holds out no terrors.  I also have experience of the libel courts having helped bring a successful action against The People some years ago as well as successful actions against David Aaronovitch and the Trades Union Congress.
Publishing conversations, private or otherwise, is not defamatory.
You say you do not wish to hear from me further.  Fine.  I was only responding to your email, just as I only responded to your use of FB's chat facility.
I don't generally advise trying to settle political differences in the law courts but be aware you will find libel a costly game and remember that not only is the truth an absolute defence but fair comment is also a defence following the Reynolds case.  I only suggest this so that you don't waste your money.
My political points remain.  Assuming you genuinely mean what you say, and I have no way of knowing this, then you need to reconsider your position.

tony greenstein