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Saturday, 22 September 2018

The Sad and Steady Decline of the World’s Oldest Jewish Newspaper


In his efforts to destroy Jeremy Corbyn Stephen Pollard has Destroyed the Reputation & Circulation of the Jewish Chronicle



Even by the feral standards of Britain’s tabloid press, the Jewish Chronicle is in a class of its own.  Under former Daily Express editor, Stephen Pollard, the favoured son of Britain’s largest pornography publisher and EDL/UKIP supporter, Richard Desmond, the JC has staggered from the gutter to the sewer. Even the Sun and the Mail make occasional attempts at separating news from commentary. The JC sees no purpose in even pretending to be neutral (or even accurate).
The Jewish Chronicle has, over the summer, behaved like a demented cat on hot tiles. Its one and only abiding theme is that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite. It has failed of course to provide even a smidgeon of proof to back up this libel. What it lacks in evidence it more than makes up for in shrieking, screaming headlines.
Pollard's screeching has not done the JC's circulation any good
It is little wonder that its circulation has declined since Pollard took over in 2008 from over 32,000 to 20,000 today. It also appears to be in considerable financial difficulty which might explain why Pollard has become the journalistic version of a rabid dog.
The Jewish Chronicle's absurd Goebbel's like propaganda
Things were not always like this.  Even though the paper has long supported the Zionist cause it has, in the past sought to achieve a modicum of balance.  Historically it was the paper of the Jewish Establishment and dull as ditchwater. Its main problem used to be how to keep its readers awake long enough to read it. (see British Jewry’s Family Newspaper:A Century of the “Jewish Chronicle”)
When the Zionist movement was first founded by Theodor Herzl at the end of the 19th century, the Jewish Chronicle reflected the position of the Jewish Establishment which was hostile to this attempt to suggest that after having won the battle for Emancipation, British Jews didn’t belong in Britain. It described Zionism ‘as ill-considered, retrogressive, impracticable, even dangerous.”
The JC demonstrates its visceral racism in this headline. The continuous death of Palestinians murdered by the Israeli military is not considered 'violence'.  The death of a settler by contrast 'raises fears of fresh violence' in a Gaza which saw 160 people mown down by sniper fire
It was only the mass influx of Jews, fleeing the Russian pogroms, which caused a section of the Jewish Establishment to have second thoughts about Zionism. Palestine’s attractions lay in keeping the East European Jewish hordes from British shores and what they saw as the accompanying anti-Semitism. Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler summed up their attitude when he refused to condemn the 1905 Aliens Act, introduced by the Zionists' hero Arthur J Balfour. 'We must frankly agree' he wrote to Herbert Bentwich, 'that we do not desire to admit criminals and that there is force in the argument against the admission of those [Jews] mentally or physically afflicted.' [Geoffrey Alderman, Modern British Jewry]
The key battle in the struggle within the Jewish Establishment over Zionism came when Claude Montefiore and David Alexander of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Conjoint Committee sent a letter to The Times on 24th May 1917 opposing Zionism and the movement to create a Jewish state. It caused a split in the Board and a vote to disown the letter.
The Jewish Chronicle takes Zionism to its logical antisemitic conclusion - Jewish MPs should separate themselves off
Margaret Hodge and Zionist Anti-semitism

Fast forward a century to Margaret Hodge’s outburst in the House of Commons when she called Jeremy Corbyn ‘a fucking anti-Semite and racist’ on account of his lack of sympathy for Zionism. This caused a rush of blood to Pollard’s head. Pollard called for Jewish MPs to leave the Labour Party. Jewish Labour MPs must quit the party and form a new bloc of independents.
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Pollard that calling for Jewish MPs to leave the party they are a member of on the basis of their religious affiliation is itself anti-Semitic! We have to go back nearly a century to Poland where, as a result of the Minority Treaties a block of Jewish MPs sat as Jews in their own right.
Those who advocate the separation of Jews from  mainstream parliamentary parties are usually anti-Semites. The practice of Jews sitting apart on ghetto benches in universities in pre-war Poland was a consequence of the vicious antisemitism amongst Polish students. Yet this is what the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle was advocating when he urged Jewish MPs to separate themselves off from non-Jews. All in the name of fighting anti-Semitism!
Hodge’s behaviour had been triggered by the refusal of Corbyn and Labour’s NEC to adopt wholesale the IHRA‘Definition’ of Anti-Semitism. Pollard complained that ‘instead of adopting the definition... has excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.’  When we criticise the Zionists' false anti-Semitism campaign as really being about Israel we are condemned as ‘anti-Semitic’!
Pollard, in his enthusiasm for the dramatic, spoke of how ‘one extraordinary, unplanned event has indeed changed the dynamics. Dame Margaret Hodge’s confrontation of Jeremy Corbyn in a corridor of the House of Commons, calling him an “antisemite and a racist”, seems to have burst a dam.’
A week later the Jewish Chronicle, together with two other Jewish newspapers, in a collective act of madness, published a joint front page which spoke of ‘the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.’
The Jewish Chronicle all but accused Jeremy Corbyn of seeking to build concentration camps and why?  Because he refused to endorse a 'definition' of anti-semitism which has been universally panned  by legal and academic critics. 
The Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism Professor David Feldman, who was also Vice-Chair of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, described the IHRA as‘bewilderingly imprecise.’
Sir Stephen Sedley, a former Judge in the Court of Appeal who is also Jewish wrote that the IHRA ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’
Hugh Tomlinson QC in an Opinion declared that the IHRA had a potential chilling effect on public bodies which, in the absence of definitional clarity, may seek to sanction or prohibit any conduct which has been labelled by third parties as antisemitic without applying any clear criterion of assessment.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, a renowned human rights lawyer described the IHRA as 'not fit for purpose'.
Are all of these people vicious anti-semites whose pronouncements pose an 'existential threat' to the Jewish community today? The hysteria of Britain's Zionist press defies rational explanation.  Racism does strange things to people.  Yet these are the forces driving the Labour Party into declaring that opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitism.
The Jewish Forward
In one fell swoop the Zionist press in this country demonstrated not only how little difference there is between them but how they are little more than  propaganda sheets.  Contrast this with America's main Jewish paper The Forward which has a broad range of articles and themes on political issues, including from Jews who are not Zionists and even, God forbid, Palestinians!
It's a question that the JC avoids - why are so many anti-Semites such ardent fans of Israel?
Whereas the Jewish Chronicle has refrained from criticising the anti-Semites and racists that make up the Trump Administration, the Forward  has had a series of eviscerating headlines such as Naomi Zeveloff’s How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time. The Forward’s liberal editors and writers have been forced to confront the fact that the Trump regime is both anti-Semitic and ardently pro-Zionist at one and the same time.  The Forward has articles questioning the relationship between American Jews and Israel, a topic that the JC wouldn't even go near for fear of attracting a lightning bolt.
The JC simply does not mention the phenomenon of real antisemitism in the Trump Administration despite the presence of people like Sebastian Gorka, a fully-fledged fascist and member of the neo-Nazi Vit├ęzi Rend who was Deputy Assistant to Trump.
Whereas The Forward is not afraid of taking up debates about matters of concern to the American Jewish community regardless of Zionist sensitivities, the Jewish Chronicle ploughs the ever more shrill and hysterical furrow of a bogus and fabricated ‘anti-Semitism’.
You are unlikely to read an article such as American Jewry Is Israel’s New Opposition Party in the JC. Editor Jane Eisner writes about how 'the two largest, most important Jewish population centers on the planet are drifting dangerously apart.'  Eisner is a liberal Zionist.
Kaminski 
Michal Kaminski of Poland's Law & Justice Party, who openly wore the Chrobry Sword, the symbol of the anti-Semitic National Radical Camp (ONR) is defended as a 'friend' of the Jews by Pollard!

Pollard has never hesitated to defend anti-Semites who support Israel. His concern is the ‘Jewish State’ not the Jews. Pollard went out on a limb to defend the Tories' membership of the European Conservative and Reform group alongside anti-Semitic parties and members. Pollard defended one fascist in particular, the Chair of the ECR, Michal Kaminski, who had defended villagers in Jedwabne who had herded up to 1,600 Jews into a barn which was then set alight in 1941.
This did not stop Pollard in the Guardian of 9.10.09. writing that Kaminski was ‘one of the greatest friends to the Jews in a town where antisemitism and a visceral loathing of Israel are rife.’ Kaminski, even if he didn’t like Jews very much loved the State of Israel. Poland's Kaminski is not an antisemite: he's a friend to Jews
A good example of the dishonest and distorted coverage of anything related to Corbyn is the story in this week’s Jewish Chronicle ‘Corbynites in plot to unseat pro-Jewish MPs.’ Most readers would assume that this meant a campaign to target Jewish MPs because they are Jewish. The first paragraph of this article talks about ‘A co-ordinated and targeted hard-left plot to threaten and destabilise Jewish MPs and their supporters in the Labour Party.’
In fact Joan Ryan, the MP who was no-confidenced by her own Labour Party Enfield North last week is not Jewish or for that matter pro-Jewish (whatever that means).  Ryan is the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel and is well known for her greed and dishonesty having claimed the most expenses of any MP in 2006-7 and having been runner up in 2005-6, to say nothing of having tried to frame Labour delegate Jean Fitzpatrick as an antisemite at the 2016 Labour Party Conference. [See The Lobby - Episode 3 'An Antisemitic Trope]
The letter from 29 Jewish Rabbis supporting Jeremy Corbyn
The affair of the letter which was signed by 29 Orthodox Jewish Rabbis last week, dissociating themselves and their communities from the Chief Rabbi’s letter attacking Corbyn, is another example of the Jewish Chronicle’s dishonesty. When the letter first surfaced the Jewish Chronicle of 10th September claimed that the letter had been ‘condemned as fake’. Two days later it owned up to the fact that it was in fact genuine although it still tried to discredit it. Organisations distance themselves from ‘letter from Charedi rabbis’ defending Corbyn ran the headline. Because of course a letter from Jewish rabbis opposing its own campaign of vilification doesn’t quite square with the image of Corbyn that the Jewish Chronicle has portrayed.
In other words the JC now accepted that the letter was genuine.  However at no point did the JC follow normal journalistic practice which notes at the bottom of any article just what if any changes have taken place since the article first appeared.
 Skwawkbox, which has covered this issue in depth, noted that The JC appears to use software to prevent any archiving of its pages.’ Not only had the headline changed but the content of the article had also changed.  Now it was being alleged, not that the letter was a fake but that the rabbis who signed it had been ‘misled’ as to its contents.
A spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Communities in response to these allegations by the Jewish Chronicle commented that ‘This is a sad state of affairs and a commentary on the lengths to which some people will go. Of course the letter is genuine.’ And of course the Zionist organisations behind the anti-Semitism campaign have a vested interest in pretending that they represent the whole Jewish community. To them being Jewish is synonymous with being a Zionist.
Shraga Stern, the Haredi Jewish activist who helped organise the letter from twenty-nine Orthodox rabbis sent a letter to the JC in response to their attempts to portray the letter as either a fake or unrepresentative. Not surprisingly the Jewish Chronicle has not published it.  It is reprinted below.
It now appears that Haredi Jews, who are sick of the attacks in their name on Jeremy Corbyn by the Board of Deputies are now planning their own protests outside the Board's annual fundraising dinner in November.
Clearly the Board of Deputies have been stung by this demonstration by Haredi Jews that the Board does not speak for them.  The JC has acted as their faithful mouthpiece. In the Jewish Chronicle this week the Board condemned what they called the “divide and rule” tactics of a “small group of malcontents”. The Board’s anger boiled over adding that “The Charedi community has had no better ally than the Board of Deputies” and that they “should be protesting against antisemitism, not against attempts to fight it.”
This is doubly ironic as the Board has never organized against genuine anti-Semitism.  From the campaign against Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascism in the 1930’s to the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970’ the Board’s position has always been to appeal to Jews not to confront the fascists and anti-Semites.  Only when it comes to critics of Israel does the BOD gird its loins!
The Haredi community, because it is visibly different in how it dresses stands out as distinctly Jewish. Uniquely among Jews it experiences racist and anti-Semitic attacks. This was the one section of the Jewish community that was comprehensively ignored by the Report of Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee on Anti-Semitism which was issued in October 2016.
As the letter below from Shraga Stern makes clear, the Board of Deputies represents a minority of Jews in Britain.  The Board's claims have been supported by the BBC and the British media precisely because it is in their interests to support Israel.
Unpublished Letter from Shraga Stern to the Jewish Chronicle
We believe that the anti-Semitism smear and witch hunt against Jeremy Corbyn is a Zionist agenda and has all the footprints leading to that direction. It is being promoted by the Board of Deputies and by the self-made unelected JLC, who are a well-known pro-Israel bodies-  and it’s completely cruel and unjustified.
The Board of Deputies and JLC do not represent Charedi Jews, who do not have voting rights at BoD elections and number today over fifty thousand in the UK, of which 30,000 live in Stamford Hill. According to a 2007 study by Dr Markov Wise at the University of Manchester, almost three out of every four Jewish births in the UK – home to the largest strictly Orthodox community in Europe – are in the Charedi community.
The strange thing here is that they are 263,000 Jews living in UK according to the 2011 census. Half of them do not belong to a synagogue according to BoD population statistics, so this half would not have voting rights in the BoD elections.
Add this up with 50,000 Charedi Jews it equals 181,000 out of 263,000 who will not fall under the BoD and the BoD do not represent them. So how on earth can the BoD have the chutzpah to say they represent the Jews in UK? BoD is a pro-Israel body and only represent a very particular part of Jews who are pro-Israel.
Charedi Jews and most mainstream Jews in the UK are only interested in Anglo Jewry matters and do not get involved in Israel politics. However saying this we do recognise that real anti-Semitism is an issue all over the country and in all political parties. We are convinced that Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best to tackle real anti-Semitism in his party while still giving his people of his party freedom of speech to criticize Israel.
However, we are nowhere near to fleeing this country because of this. As a Charedi Jew I can say that Charedi Jews are the most vulnerable to anti-Semitic attacks as they dress differently and one can see that they are Jewish, therefore this support letter from leading Charedi rabbis from Stamford Hill including Chief Rabbi Padwa from the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) says it all.
Jeremy is a long friend and neighbour of the Charedi community here and everyone who knows him personally says that he loves Jews and is against real anti-Semitism, and this is what he has done all his life.
Times have changed and we will not stop here. We will not be hijacked by the BoD and JLC. We will go further then this to make it clear to all the government bodies and to the press, not to fall into the trap of the BoD and JLC who are extremist Zionist bodies and do not represent mainstream Jews.
Discussions are now taking place that I’m personally aware of and talks are in place on considering setting up a new body of Board of Deputies of mainstream British Jews that will focus only on anglo-jewish matters and will represent the entire Jewish population no matter if they are associated to a BoD synagogue or not and act for the many Jews not the few.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Jewish Chronicle survey finds that 85% of British Jews are stupid and gullible

Poll finds that 56% of Israelis Believe They are the Chosen People (Herren Volk) rising to 79% amongst Right-wingers



 Last week’s Jewish Chronicle front page More than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic was based on an opinion poll by Survation which the JC commissioned. The aim and purpose of the poll was to test whether the anti-semitism campaign which the Zionist press, the JC in particular had been waging, together with the mainstream media, against the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn had been effective.

Given that there are now two definitions of antisemitism - the Oxford English Dictionary definition 'hostility to or prejudice against Jews' and the IHRA definition of hostility to Zionism and the racist Israeli state, it might have been more honest to make it clear what it meant by 'antisemitism'.

If one is to believe this poll then clearly the Zionist campaign has been successful in filling the minds of Jewish people in this country with garbage.  If the opinion poll is measuring anything it is measuring the susceptibility of Jewish people to being bombarded with propaganda.  In other words it is a measure of the gullibility and stupidity of British Jews. 

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, one can fool some of the people all of the time. On the surface it would appear that 85.9% of British Jews combine both stupidity and gullibility in equal measures, which is an exceptionally high figure for any group of people. The question is whether it is true?

Certainly the mainstream Jewish community in Britain is right-wing and has been so for close on half a century.  That is not surprising since 30 years ago William Rubinstein in his Right, Left and the Jews found that British Jews were twice as likely to be represented in social classes A&B as non-Jews. Jewish Chronicle columnist Geoffrey Alderman in his book The Jewish Community in British Politics reached similar conclusions. The richer and more privileged you are the more likely you are to be on the right of politics.

However I would urge a word of caution.  There is no evidence given of how the 710 Jews who were interviewed were chosen. What was the methodology of the survey? Were they self-defining?  How representative were those questioned? Were they based on synagogue attendance or self-identification? Many if not most Jews who are secular do not identify as such but are no less Jewish. What was the number of Haredi (ultra Orthodox) Jews? This survey should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

What is most interesting is the 9th question in the survey. Jews are asked whether they would consider leaving the country if Corbyn becomes Prime Minister and 38.5% say yes and 51.1% say no.  It would be interesting to see, if Jeremy does become Prime Minister, how many of those saying ‘yes’ would actually go? My guess is very few if any.

This question was not asked of any other leader as presumably it was not thought likely that Gerald Batten of UKIP or Vince Cable of the Lib Dems was likely to become Prime Minister!

One amusing example of how anti-Semitism is being manufactured out of thin air is Stephen Pollard, Editor of the JC, tweeting on hearing that Jeremy Corbyn had blamed the bankers for the economic crash that this was a none too subtle attack on Jews. The implicit assumption being that 'bankers' are a euphemism for 'Jews' which is what one expects from racists and anti-semites.

This provoked a furious storm on Twitter before the hapless Pollard owned up not only to his own stupidity but the fact that it was he who was drawing the equation that Jew=Banker.

This survey is reminiscent of a similar survey that the Campaign Against Anti-semitism conducted in 2015. The CAA employed Yougov for their survey who contacted 2,230 people, more than three times the poll sample used by the Jewish Chronicle.  The conclusioin was that  Well over half of British Jews (58%) believe Jews may have no long-term future in Europe.’ and that ‘1 in 4 British Jews has considered leaving the country in the past two years because of rising antisemitism.’

At the time the JC contested this nonsense. It commissioned its own poll which found that 88% of British Jews had no intention of leaving Britain.  Now the JC resorts to the same tactics as the far-Right CAA.

It would seem that whenever British Zionists want to stoke up people’s fears about anti-semitism they commission a poll which is specifically designed to elicit the answers they want viz. that Jews are scared out of their wits.  

Survey by Campaign Against Anti-semitism in 2015 which the Jewish Chronicle attacked - now they are doing the same thing

The same CAA poll that found most British Jews didn’t think they had a future in Europe any longer. It also found that ‘More than half of all British Jews feel that anti-semitism now echoes the 1930’s.’


Jews in Britain today ‘exhibit a disconnect from reality which borders on hysteria’Ha’aretz 14.1.15.


This provoked the normally placid and sane Zionist Anshell Pfeffer in an article U.K. anti-Semitism Report Highlights Disturbing Trend - Among British Jews, to write of the finding that 56 percent of British Jews believed they were living through a repetition of the 1930's:

If the majority of British Jews and the authors of the CAA report actually believe that, then it’s hard to take anything they say about contemporary anti-Semitism in their home country seriously. If they honestly think that the situation in Britain today echoes the 1930s... then not only are they woefully ignorant of recent Jewish history but have little concept of what real anti-Semitism is beyond the type they see online.
Jews are represented in Britain in numbers that are many times their proportion of the population in both Houses of Parliament, on the Sunday Times Rich List, in media, academia, professions and just about every walk of public life. To compare today’s Britain, for all its faults, with the Jews’ situation in 1930s exhibits a disconnect from reality which borders on hysteria. 
However there were also other opinion polls of Jews that the Jewish Chronicle preferred to ignore. Last week the Haaretz-Dialog poll found that a majority of Israeli Jews, some 56%, also believed that they are the chosen people. It would seem to me that in a situation where the  Palestinians live under occupation, the fact that over half Israeli Jews believe in Palestinian racial inferiority, should serve as a reminder as to who it is who is really oppressed and it’s not British Jews. 79 Percent of Right-wingers Believe Jews Are the Chosen People. Are You for Real?
Tony Greenstein

Sunday, 16 September 2018

NW Friends of Israel, Tommy Robinson and the EDL, are Holding a Demonstration Against ‘Anti-semitism’ in Manchester this Sunday

The Board of Deputies and the JLM are Supporting this racist hate fest!  Support the JVL and Jewish  Anti-Fascist/Anti-Racist Opposition to the March


Tommy Robinson - Friend of the Zionists, Fascist  and anti-Semite


UPDATE
The Jewish and Palestinian counter-demonstration, which had less than a week to mobilise, mustered over 200 people whereas the anti-Semitic Zionist demonstration mustered in the low hundreds.  It would seem that the majority of Manchester Jews (and a couple of coaches were hired from London) don't like being part of a demonstration organised by supporters of Tommy Robinson.

Shame on Louise Ellman MP and other Jewish Labour Movement supporters who prefer fascist supporters of Zionism to antiracist Jews.  One more reason to deselect her

This post is the seventh most popular that I have posted in over 10 years of blogging, attracting to date over 16,000 hits!

You couldn’t make it up.  Board of Deputies President Marie Van der Zyl, the Jewish Labour Movement’s Louise Ellman MP, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mervis and Blairite former Home Office Minister, Beverly Hughes, known for her hatred of asylum seekers, as well as other establishment worthies are taking part in a demonstration against ‘anti-semitism’ organised by a group that is friends of the British far-Right including the English Defence League and Football Lads Alliance.  Step forward the NW Friends of Israel.
This demonstration has nothing to do with anti-semitism and everything to do with supporting Israeli Apartheid. Those organising it stand full square behind a racist ‘Jewish’ supremacist state that bars Palestinians from hundreds of Jewish only communities.
Like most neo-Nazis these days, the EDL combine love of Israel with love of Hitler!  And yet there are some fools who see support for Israel and Zionism as compatible with anti-racism and anti-fascism
Should anyone need any reminding, the EDL, formed by Tommy Robinson aka Steven Yaxley-Lennon, was an organisation of Islamaphobic and racist bigots which managed to combine support for Israel with Hitler salutes. Tommy Robinson himself is popular with Zionists these days and completed a tour of Israel with his Zionist fan Dr Brian. [Why Israeli Fanboys Back a U.K. Far Right anti-Muslim Campaigner]
That NW Friends of Israel welcomed the EDL on their demonstrations is not in dispute.  In its opposition to Palestine solidarity demonstrations outside the Israeli Kedem shop protest in Manchester in 2014, NWFOI worked with the EDL as the video of 6 August 2014 demonstrates.  [See Why the U.K.'s neo-Nazis Are Posing With Israeli Flags]
As a report at the time observed: ‘NWFOI  warmly welcome the English Defence League to their demonstrations.’ The accompanying commentary by Natan Levinson of NWFOI, explained that:the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  
It is probably worth pointing out that these days support for Tommy Robinson and various neo-Nazis extends to the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel.  No less than Hananya Naftali Netanyahu’s, Jews 4 Jesus deputy social media adviser recently tweetedFree Tommy Robinson!” And why you might ask shouldn’t he.  Steve Bannon another great supporter of Israel and a 24 carrot anti-semite is also a supporter of Tommy Robinson.
And Netanyahu, as is well known, counts amongst his best friends people like the anti-semitic Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban and the Poland’s anti-semitic government.
Robert Festenstein alongside Tommy Robinson and assorted bigots and racists
But it gets worse, much worse.  Solicitor Robert Festenstein of RF Solicitors is also active in NWFOI.  Festenheim is a very busy fellow.  He also formed Jewish Human Rights Watch in 2015. In case you get the wrong idea rest assured that it has nothing to do with human rights. It’s not even a Jewish organisation. It just watches over groups that are concerned with human rights, especially Palestinian human rights (which it opposes).  Suffice to say Festenheim works closely with another far-right group, the ‘charity’ Campaign Against Anti-semitism.
JHRW was particularly active a year ago campaigning with the CAA against Palestine Expo 2017, a 2 day festival of Palestinian culture, politics, art and history which was held at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre.  JHRW opposed what it termed a ‘Jew hate event.’
However there are some Jew haters that Festenheim is quite at ease with. Take Tommy Robinson. Festenheim appeared in a promotion film with Tommy Robinson about a shopkeeper who had been told by the Police to take down an Islamaphobic poster. Festenheim was pictured laughing and joking with Robinson.
Reports simultaneously emerged of a meeting in Manchester between a dozen members of the local Jewish community and Robinson.  A Board of Deputies spokesperson was quoted in the Jewish Chronicle as saying that ‘Tommy Robinson’s record of anti-Muslim provocation means that he could never be a partner of a respectable or mainstream Jewish organisation’.
Which is of course a lie because the Board of Deputies put out a press statement, after Israeli snipers had murdered over 50 unarmed demonstrators in Gaza supporting the action.  That was the action of fascists and they justified it because they were members of a Muslim group, Hamas.
Antony Denison co-chair of NWFOI
The strange thing is that Festenstein represents Prestwich Hebrew Congregation on the Board of Deputies yet they have taken no action against him.  Antony Dennison of NWFOI denied that the organisation had been amongst those meeting with Tommy Robinson but that is not our understanding.  NWFOI is up to its ears in support for Robinson and his new organisation the Football Lad Alliance. Antony Dennison of NWFOI is also an interesting character. He is a former solicitor struck off by the High Court for having defrauded his former partner.  All in all quite a suitable person to chair this far-Right Zionist group.
The demonstration that NWFOI is calling has nothing to do with anti-semitism and everything to do with opposition to Palestinian rights. The fact that Festenstein and his colleagues don’t even recognise the Palestinians as a people should tell you something about their motives.

We are told that Dave Rich's Community Security Trust will be 'securing' the demonstration. This roughly translates as securing it from any anti-fascists and the Left.  Let us hope that the CST don't follow their usual practice and allow the EDL or other fascists on their 'anti-racist' march.  Indeed if the CST were really to do what Dave Rich, their Deputy Director always boasts about, they might consider excluding Robert Festenstein from the march, except they would then have to exclude North-West FOI, the very people who have organised this racist bean feast.  It's a funny old world when racists pretend to be anti-racist!
Please support the Jewish and Palestinian counter-demonstration. Below is a report from a blogger about NW Friends of Israel.
Tony Greenstein
North West Friends of Israel are a more substantial organisation than SFI, but equally rabid, with an equally casual relationship with anything approaching truth, and with equal contempt for established civil liberties in this country.
NWFOI  warmly welcome the English Defence League to their demonstrations on the grounds that “ the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
See committee member Natan Levinson on the subject……
NWFOI gain their impetus from counter demonstrating outside the Manchester store, Kedem. However, the aims and objectives extend well beyond the fate of Kedem. As they cheerfully admit, the aim is get the Public Order Act “strengthened” to take the sting out of demonstrations against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, and to have currently peaceful and legal demonstrations, declared illegal. To this end they encourage, and campaign for, the repeal of the Human Rights Act. In this they have the support of the mainstream Jewish Organisations, particularly the Community Security Trust. Further, to this end they look to provoke and have arrested, pro Palestinian demonstrators
Again there is a fair sprinkling of criminal minds in the organisation, notably the Jewish Chronicle’s favoured spokesperson, Anthony Dennison. Dennison is co chair of NWFOI.
He is an ex solicitor that the High Court ruled should be struck off. He was closely involved in the ” no win, no fee” scam, and, essentialy, was held to have defrauded his own partners in the then law firm, Rowe Cohen. Dennison appealed his striking off, and The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, finding that Dennison represented ” a substantial risk to the public”. He certainly does. Not least those pro Palestinian demonstrators he and his comrades manage to get framed.
His fractured character seems to permeate into the most minor details of Dennison’s life .He is the ” manager” of Maccabbi, an under sixteen football team in Manchester. Last year his team were involved in a game they were losing 9-2 with ten minutes to go. At this point there was something of an incident. Two players got involved in a bit of a fracas, common in football games. However, there seems to have been an exchange of racist epithets. Dennison seized the opportunity to haul his team off the pitch, representing the spat between two players, one from each side, as his team being subjected to wholesale anti semitic abuse. The Manchester FA  were less than impressed by Dennison’s antics. The two players were suspended and Dennison was fined and suspended for foul and abusive behaviour.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Open Letter: No, Jennie Forby, we will not be informers! These are the methods of the Gestapo and the Stasi!

Labour’s General Secretary writes to Labour and Corbyn Facebook Groups asking them to Report Members  to the Compliance Unit




Jenny Formby, the new General Secretary of the Labour Party, whom Tom Watson is trying to remove, has written to the Admins and Moderators of pro-Corbyn and Labour Party Facebook groups asking them to inform on members of those groups and report them to Labour’s Compliance Unit where ‘anti-semitism’ is suspected.  Naturally no other form of racism is mentioned because unlike 'anti-semitism', Islamaphobia, anti-Roma and anti-Black racism in Britain is just not a problem.


You might be forgiven for thinking that Stephen Lawrence had been Jewish.  That the Windrush victims were Jewish and had been sent 'back' to Israel, that Darren Osborne had driven his minibus at members of the St John's Wood synagogue and of course that the Jewish youth of Golders Green had held a demonstration outside the local cop shop complaining of the stop and search of people wearing kippas, to say nothing of the number of Jewish dead in police custody and of course John Mann MP had written a quasi-legal handbook explaining how to get the Police to move on Jewish pests who insisted on camping out in parks and greens.

Of course none of this happened which is why anti-semitism has been prioritised by the Labour Party. Does this privileging of a non-existent antisemitism make sense?  Yes but only if you think Israeli Apartheid needs defending.
Labour Against the Witchhunt has issued an open letter to Ms Formby deploring the culture of informing and reporting that is growing up in the Labour Party.  We do not need a Labour Thought Police.
Luke Akehurst of Labour First defends the massacre of now 160 unarmed demonstrators in Gaza by Israel. Would Akehurst defend the massacre of unarmed demonstrators in London?  If not then he is a racist who should be immediately suspended
We have to overcome the atmosphere of suspicion and mutual distrust that has grown up as a result of the false accusations of ‘anti-semitism’ from pro-Israeli and Zionist lobby groups such as Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement.  If Jennie Formby wishes to root out racism in the Labour Party perhaps she would start with the suspension and then expulsion of Luke Akehurst, who openly defending Israel's gunning down of  unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.  Akehurst would not do this if the Palestinians in question had been white demonstrators in London.  If Jenny really wants to root out racism she should suspended Luke Akehurst immediately.
The Labour Against the Witchhunt/JVL Lobby of Labour's NEC on 4th September
It is noticeable that Ms Formby hasn’t asked people to report those who write supporting the Israeli state and its apartheid system, including the recent murder of 160 unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.  Palestinian lives don’t appear to count.
In the Jewish religion, nothing was more reprehensible than being an informer. Tale bearing and informing, Lashan Hara, were considered by the rabbis of classical Judaism as worse than the cardinal sins of murder, immorality and idolatory. This attitude was fully borne out during the Nazi occupation of Europe when thousands of Jews who were living in hiding underground were betrayed to the Gestapo by informers, many of them unfortunately Jewish.
No one supports anti-semitism however the way to overcome it is NOT by reporting those few individuals who have made anti-semitic comments but by engaging with them.  It should only be very rarely that people are expelled for racist comments for the simple reason that racism is part and parcel of this society and the way to defeat racism is not by expelling racists but by winning them over to class and socialist politics.
Strange as it seems, John Mann's anti-Gypsy racism hasn't got him into trouble - only antisemitism counts
This is especially the case with the fake ‘anti-semitism’ controversy that has found people running for cover for fear of being accused of ‘anti-semitism’.  It is noticeable that when it comes to racism against Gypsies and Roma then the Labour Party has been virtually silent. Where was the condemnation of John Mann who in his Bassetlaw anti-social behaviour handbook’, described Gypsies as just one more social nuisance?
Before her appointment, Jennie Formby was being accused of 'antisemitism' by the far-Right Labour Against Antisemitism
Ironically, it is the false antisemitism witchhunt, which is now targeting Jeremy Corbyn himself, which is responsible for increasing antisemitism.  Many people will see organisations, which say they represent British Jews, attacking Corbyn and make the assumption that all British Jews which are responsible for this shameful campaign.

Tony Greenstein

Sign this open letter here:
No, Jennie Formby, we will not be informers!


We, the undersigned, are greatly concerned about recent communication from Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby aimed at Facebook groups which have ‘Labour Party’ or ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ in their title (the full letter is here). We are particularly outraged by the following passage which states “posts and conversations with antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content” should be emailed to “complaints@labour.org.uk with screenshots and links […] if you believe the individual who has posted them may be a Labour member so that this can be investigated by the Party.”

As Facebook users, we reject any attempt to make us informers to Labour’s dysfunctional disciplinary processes. Social media and Facebook are effective because they allow the exchange of ideas, even if at times clumsily expressed. Most Facebook groups police themselves adequately, without the assistance of a compliance unit, whose targets to date have almost exclusively been
  • on the left of the Party
  • supporters of Palestinian rights
  • critics of Israel and Zionism
  • and disproportionately black and Jewish
Given the Labour Party’s recent adoption of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism published by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which in the words of the Jewish former Court of Appeal judge, Sir Stephen Sedley, is “calculatedly misleading" and the IHRA’s purposeful conflation of criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Semitism, we have no confidence that free speech to criticise Israel will be guaranteed, if this approach is accepted across social media.

What constitutes anti-Semitism remains disputed. The traditional definition, as per the Oxford English Dictionaryis, "hostility to or prejudice against Jews". The IHRA definition on the other hand takes up over 500 words, many of which refer to Israel.

For example, John McDonnell stated in a recent interview with Jewish News: “What we’re saying is it’s anti-Semitic to oppose a Jewish state". We disagree. Opposing a state that systematically, and constitutionally, marginalises and demonises Palestinians while subjecting them to discrimination is by definition a form of apartheid. 
It is not ant-Semitism to state this fact.

Your letter, as an attempt to make Facebook users responsible for the conduct of other group members, displays the same method used by the media to smear Jeremy Corbyn when he did not speak up against (the very few) people posting nonsense in a group he happened to be a member of.

We believe the ongoing witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters is bringing the party into disrepute. Your email will yet again fan the flames of this toxic climate, leading to ever more malicious and vexatious allegations and complaints.

We believe that open and democratic debate, without fear of being reported, is the best way to educate people and fight prejudice and racism. This new intrusion on free speech can only undermine the extraordinary effectiveness of social media as a tool to support the leader and the left in the party.

We will oppose any attempt to outsource education on anti-Semitism to the Jewish Labour Movement, which is the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party and covertly filmed and leaked a video of Jackie Walker at a closed training event in order to damage the party.
  • We remain determined to eradicate all forms of discrimination from our Party.
  • When we see prejudice or hate, we always speak up.
  • When we see discrimination, we always oppose it.
  • When we are asked to behave unjustly, we always refuse.

Full communication from Jennie Formby
I’m writing to you as I understand that you are an admin or moderator of a Facebook group which refers to the Labour Party or Jeremy Corbyn in its title.
The use of the Party’s name or Jeremy Corbyn’s name can give the false impression that the Party is responsible for these groups and that they have some kind of official status. We are therefore writing to request that – if your group has not already done so – you:
Make clear, in the “about” section or title of the group, that the group is unofficial and not affiliated with the Labour Party and/or Jeremy Corbyn.
Take active measures against antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content, which can make Jewish people and others feel unwelcome in these spaces.
Antisemitism is an evil that permeates our society, and our Party is not immune from that. We have seen members make disgusting antisemitic comments and promote antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories in relation to left wing discourses, particularly around Israel and Palestine, and capitalism and globalisation. They may be a small proportion of our membership, but one is too many.
Recently Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one individual who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.
Some comments and images propagating such antisemitic tropes have been posted in a number of Facebook groups. The majority of posts in Facebook groups that have been reported to us are made by people who are not Labour members. However, where the Party is notified of such posts made by Party members, we investigate and take action as appropriate.
As Jeremy has said, we all have a responsibility to help drive this evil out of our movement. And, of course, the vast majority of members want to use Facebook groups and other forums to share ideas and experiences about campaigning, debate Party policies and discuss current affairs.
Effective moderation is essential to providing welcoming and respectful environments in which such discussions can take place. We understand that you are engaging in these online communities voluntarily, and the sheer number of posts and comments may be hard to moderate. However, we would like to emphasise the utmost importance of ensuring that fellow party members and supporters feel welcome and respected, and of rooting out any antisemitism or otherwise discriminatory comments and behaviour.
Here are suggestions about ways you can effectively moderate your groups to ensure that these online spaces do not tolerate or enable the promotion of antisemitic or otherwise hateful or discriminatory views.
  • Add more administrators/moderators so that there is greater capacity to monitor posts and comments. Try to check posts and comments in the group every day, or more as required.
  • Use Facebook’s group moderation options to create up to ten rules for your group. These should clearly set out that antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content will not be tolerated and those making such comments will be removed from the group and reported to the Labour Party. Set the tone of the debate you’d like people to engage in: friendly, open-minded, fair and respectful.
  • Take seriously all reports and complaints about comments which are seen as misogynist, racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, discriminatory towards people with disabilities, or otherwise prejudicial.
  • Be proactive: screenshot then remove posts and conversations with antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content, and block individuals from the group who post such content.
  • Encourage group members to use the “Report to admin” feature, and take these reports seriously. Frequently review the reported content using Facebook’s moderation sidebar. Screenshot then delete posts with antisemitic or otherwise discriminatory content, and block the user responsible.
  • Email complaints@labour.org.uk with screenshots and links to antisemitic or prejudicial comments or posts if you believe the individual who has posted them may be a Labour member so that this can be investigated by the Party.
  • Change settings if necessary to allow administrators to approve or deny requests to join the group, so that you have greater control over who is in the group.
  • Comment or post in the group regularly reminding people that posts or comments which include antisemitic or otherwise hateful or prejudicial content will be removed and the users will be blocked, and encourage members to report any posts they see which are offensive or inappropriate.
  • Maintain a pinned post in the group explaining the above policies and emphasising the importance of maintaining a welcoming and respectful environment.
To reiterate, please email complaints@labour.org.uk with screenshots and links to antisemitic or prejudicial comments or posts if you believe the individual who has posted them may be a Labour member. This will then be investigated by the Party.
The Party will soon be launching a political education programme to foster deeper understanding and awareness of antisemitism within our movement. This will include videos and other online resources. We would greatly appreciate if you could share such content, once published, in Facebook groups and other forums, to help us raise greater awareness about this important issue.
Please reply confirming receipt of this letter and confirming that the requests the Party has made will be adhered to. If they will not be adhered to, I request that you remove any reference to the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn from the title of your Facebook group.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Yours sincerely,
Jennie Formby
General Secretary
The Labour Party