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Friday, 16 November 2018

SHORTS: Breaking News: Mexico agrees to pay for wall – Israel’s Proposed Death Penalty is for Palestinians only - Save Ahmed from being hanged

Scottish Police Arrest Protestor For Holding “Nae Nazis” Sign at Bannon Event

There has been a history of Scottish Police and the Scottish Legal Establishment trying to demonise the Palestine solidarity movement. When the Jewish Quartet played in Edinburgh the concert was disrupted. The same happened elsewhere in Britain. In London 6 of us disrupted the JQ  at the Wigmore Hall in London.  However in Scotland the authorities have made every effort to criminalise Palestine protestors as ‘anti-Semitic’. Charges of “racially aggravated conduct” levelled at 5 members of the Scottish Palestine Scottish Camapign were thrown out by Sheriff James Scott at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday 8th April 2010.
Scottish Police say it is illegal to call fascists Nazis
Scott said the prosecutor's "attempts to squeeze malice and ill will out of the agreed facts were rather strained". The sheriff upheld the defendants' arguments that their protests, in which they accused Israel of genocide in Gaza, were simply against the behaviour of a state and its army, not an attack on Jews or any ethnic group.
The protesters had clear rights to attack a state's behaviour under the European convention on human rights, he said.
"If persons on a march designed to protest against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated behaviour, that would render worthless their Article 10 rights," he said.
Mick Napier of Scottish PSC said demonstrations against Israel's policies would continue.
"As long as the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues, Israel's political, cultural, and sporting ambassadors will face boycott protest similar to that faced by the racist apartheid South African regime in the last century,"
The fact that the Scottish legal authorities  failed is immaterial to the fact that they tried very hard to prevent Palestine protest actions.  It seems that the Police are once again acting as the long arm of the Zionist movement.
BBC gives American fascist Steve Bannon a platform
When a protest was held at a media conference in Edinburgh this week, when the BBC interviewed Stephen Bannon, the former editor Breitbart and an open fascist who is attempting to co-ordinate European far-Right parties, which was yet another example of the BBC giving publicity to racists and fascists, a protest was held.
Bannon, the former chief exec of Trump’s presidential campaign, and the strategist behind Trump’s attack on refugees, was given the oxygen of publicity by the BBC.
In 2010 Scottish Police arrested PSC activists demonstrating at the Jerusalem Quartet concert in Edinburgh
About 100 protestors assembled outside the Edinburgh International Conference Centre this week.  Bannon was one of the star speaker’s at the European Broadcasting Union’s annual News Xchange conference. Nicola Strugeon withdrew from it when Bannon’s attendance was brought to light by The Ferret. Sturgeon blasted the BBC – who helped to organise the event – as running the risk of the “normalisation” of fascist views. The BBC tried to justify his inclusion by telling the First Minister that he is “powerful and influential figure… promoting an anti-elite movement”. There is nothing anti-elitist about fascism although Hitler and many other fascists have always made this bogus claim.
The BBC’s report “Man arrested at Steve Bannon protest in Edinburgh”. revealed that a 56 year old man was “arrested and charged with threatening and abusive behaviour” holding a sign saying “Nae Nazis”.
“We were both asked to put them away by the police because it could constitute an offence.” They wouldn’t specify which offence,” a woman said. “When I put my sign down, another guy picked it up and was arrested by police immediately.”
“The police dragged the guy off further down the road and I don’t know what happened over there, although a large crowd were watching and filming.”
It’s understood the man was told he was being arrested for breach of the peace, which – unlike England – is a catch all offence in Scotland with no limit on the potential sentence. It is absurd that describing a fascist as a ‘Nazi’ should be considered threatening and abusive behaviour, and is an outrageous attack on freedom of speech. ‘We will, of course, keenly await the howls of outrage from all the free speech bros, Spiked columnists and assorted liberal commentators about it though.’
Inside, Bannon was pitted against the BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith. As this thread from Buzzfeed’s Ryan Broderick shows, Bannon spent the entire time talking over her, evading questions, and bringing up his pet subjects, like ‘racism: actually good’, while Smith tried to nitpick about inaccurate things Trump had said.
“Bannon is basically delivering a monologue about the wonders of enthonationalism and sometimes asking Smith a question,” tweeted Broderick. Bannon rounded it off by calling the entire audience “the opposition” and saying how excited he is for the European elections – the same elections for which he is making a big shown of co-ordinating far right parties across the continent.
The man was arrested under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2000. It would be logical to assume that police officers were briefed ahead of the event over what would and would not be allowable in terms of protest signs and flags. The real question now is – who passed down orders that “Nae Nazis” is a breach of the peace?

Adalah: Israel's proposed death penalty intended for Palestinians only

Well of course it makes sense that the proposed death penalty for ‘terrorism’ in Israel will only be applicable for Palestinians.  As we know that nothing Israel does is ‘terrorism’.  It is law and order and in any event you cannot expect a Jewish state to execute a Jew.
As the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee prepared to debate the first draft of the "Death Penalty for Terrorists" bill, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel feared it was intended for Palestinians only and demanded that it be struck down for violating international law and Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
Haneen Zoabi of Balad speaking in the Knesset 
Adalah sent a letter on Tuesday, 13 November 2018 to committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky MK demanding that he shelve the bill.   However, unlike the Bill which was proposed by Balad to make Israel a state of its own citizens and which was rejected as unfit to be debated even before it got to the Knesset floor, this Bill has been approved. Knesset Council Bans Bill to Define Israel as State for All Its Citizens
Israel is the kind of democracy that is happy to discuss a racist death penalty for Palestinians only but which believes that the idea of a state where all are equal is unconstitutional.  But this doesn’t stop racist idiots like Labour MPs Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson signing up to this.
In his letter to Slomiansky, Adalah Attorney Rabea Eghbariah argued that the death penalty is an example of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and therefore contradicts the spirit of international law and the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
Furthermore, the legislation of a death penalty would potentially lead, practically, to discrimination based on ethnicity and national belonging. The law would be imposed by the Knesset on the Israeli military courts in the occupied West Bank – in contradiction of the provisions of international law – and would create different norms of application on Palestinian residents of the West Bank."
Adalah Attorney Rabea Eghbariah commented on the bill:
"At a time when countries around the world are ridding themselves of the death penalty, Israel is seeking to legitimize it. This is a draconian bill that is not only futile in its declared purpose of creating a deterrent effect, but contradicts core legal rights and is overtly aimed at Palestinians exclusively."
Of course there is nothing in the Bill itself which says it will not apply to Jews.  It’s just that it can only be applied by the Military Courts in the West Bank. And who is subject to the Military Courts?  Why of course Palestinians as Jewish settlers are subject to the normal Israeli civil and criminal courts.
Ironically despite the Israeli government  introducing a Bill supporting the death penalty in the Occupied Territories, at the UN Israel supported a motion calling for the ending of  the death penalty! Clearly when it comes to hasbara the Israeli state is happy to oppose the death penalty.
Meet Ahmed: the schoolboy who was sentenced to death in Egypt for a crime that took place 21 days after his arrest
Meet Ahmed. He was just 17 when he was abducted by Egyptian police and tortured until he "confessed" to taking part in an assassination attempt.
But here's the thing: the attempt took place 21 days AFTER Ahmed's abduction. He couldn't have done it.
This is his story.
On 2 March 2015, armed officers kicked down the door of Ahmed’s family home in the middle of the night and took Ahmed from his bed. There was no warrant.
He was taken to an undisclosed location, where he was held for nearly three months. He was not allowed to contact a lawyer or even his family – who didn’t know if he was alive or dead.
While in detention, Ahmed was beaten with metal rods and subjected to electric shocks until he confessed to crimes he didn't commit.
The most serious alleged offence – involvement in an attempted assassination – took place on 23 March 2015, 21 days after Ahmed’s abduction. Ahmed simply could not have been involved in the assassination attempt, because he was already in custody and being tortured as it happened.
After 80 days, Egyptian authorities finally acknowledged Ahmed's detention and "officially" arrested him.
If you thought that Ahmed would be able to clear his name at trial, you’d be wrong. Ahmed was sent to a mass trial of 30 people, nearly all adults.
Officially, children in Egypt should be tried in special juvenile courts. But the authorities exploited a loophole in the law that allows children to be tried alongside adults in mass trials.
Mass trials are not fair trials – scores or even hundreds of people stand in the dock at once, unable to present an individual defence. This leaves children especially vulnerable.
Ahmed was convicted in a mass trial on the basis of his forced confession obtained through torture, which the court failed to exclude.
Ahmed has now been sentenced to death. Under Egyptian and international law, children should never be sentenced to death. Yet in Egypt, this is regularly ignored. Courts have recommended death sentences for at least 10 children since 2013.
A final appeal in Ahmed’s case is in December. But in the meantime, we’ve launched a campaign to end the appalling abuses like those Ahmed has suffered.
We’re calling on Egypt to release children sentenced to death, close the Child Death Penalty Loophole, and end the use of mass trials. You can read more and join the campaign to #EndMassInjustice here:
You can sign the petition to end mass trials and death sentences for children here:

You don’t have to be anti-Semitic to be a Zionist but it certainly helps

Katie Hopkins backs up the Pittsburgh murderer- Jews are Responsible for using refugees to undermine the White nations

By their friends shall ye know them
Katie Hopkins is a byword for racism and bigotry.  What is in the throat of the tabloid leader writers is on the Twitter feed of Katie Hopkins.  There is no neo-Nazi insult that is too vile or genocidal for Katie Hopkins.  Hence why the Mail took her on from the Sun.
However Hopkins has managed to excel herself with her latest tweet justifying Robert Bowers, the murderer of 11 Jews at Pittsburgh. In his last message Bowers tweeted ‘HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch our people get slaughtered. Screw your optics I’m going in.’ HIAS being the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Hopkins tweeted:
‘Watching the pin-the-blame on the donkey after #PittsburghSynagogue. Gab. Trump. White Supremacists. The Media. Muslims. Look to the Chief Rabbi and his support for mass migration across the Med. There you will find your truths.” #Pittsburg
It’s not clear which Chief Rabbi she is talking about. Britain’s Chief Rabbi, the hapless Ephraim Mirvis, has never supported mass migration, but it is a useful myth. The Chief Rabbi is a metonym for Jews. In other words the Jews are responsible for the refugees which Trump railed against in the recent Congressional election campaign.
Katie Hopkins anti-semitic comment on Ed Miliband's wife, Justine
The Jewish Chronicle engaged in some synthetic outrage Katie Hopkins condemned for blaming Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting on 'Chief Rabbi's support for mass migration, but they carefully refrained from publicising her support for Israel.
It is a favourite theme of the neo-Nazi Right that the ‘problem’ of refugees is the ‘fault’ of the Jews. It would seem that Katie Hopkins, who spends increasing time in the company of the far-Right, has adopted this meme. '

Hopkin’s  reaction to the suicide bomb at Ariande Grande’s concert in Manchester, when 22 people were killed, was to call for a ‘Final Solution’ of Muslims, which led to her departure from LBC.
Katie thinks the world of Tommy Robinson aka Yaxley Lennon
Katie Hopkins is however a consistent bigot.  She may be the highest profile racist in Britain today, apart from her good friend Tommy Robinson, but she is also a sincere and dedicated Zionist.
When it comes to BDS, as opposed to bombing, Katie is full of concern for Palestinian jobs - no matter that they deliberately stifle the Palestinian economy
Palestinians, the original inhabitants are 'rodents' i.e. vermin - neo-Nazi language from the Sun and Mail's former columnist

Katy Hopkins concern for Israeli families contrasts with her disinterest in the victims of the aerial bombing of Gaza's infrastructure
She visited Israel and went out of her way to praise the Israeli military and the settlers and demonise the Palestinians.  However none of this prevented her from being an anti-Semite. Quite the contrary to her diaspora Jews must seem pitifully weak.
Let us recall other comments that went virtually unnoticed by the Zionists until she picked on the Jews. As thousands of refugees were drowning in the Mediterranean, as they tried to flee civil war and famine in Africa, Katie Hopkins, took a pride in demonstrating how ‘tough’ she was.  One of her most infamous quotes was
“Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors”
Courtesay of the Daily Mail, Katie Hopkins went out to meet fellow fascists
UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, pointed out that the term “cockroaches” was used by both the Nazis and those behind the genocide in Rwanda. In the Sun she wrote
No, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.’
Katie Hopkins with holocaust denier Peter Sweden
Hopkins joined the C-Star in Sicily, which had been crowd funded by the fascists, whose purpose it was to prevent the rescue of drowning refugees. Ironically the fascist ship broke down and had to be rescued by the German ship Sea Eye which was there to rescue refugees! It was whilst meeting the group Defend Europe in Sicily that she posed for photographs with Peter Sweden, who is a holocaust denier. Sweden tweeted that
the globalists (mainly Jews) are the ones bringing in the Muslims to Europe, they seem to work together” and “it is the Vatican and the Jews who are behind the NOW [New World Order]
The collected sayings of Peter Sweden
Marie van der Zyl, the President of the Board of Deputies wrote that
“It is distressing to see Katie Hopkins posing for a photograph with a Holocaust denier, as part of her trip to support the ‘Defend Europe’ campaign,”
It must be distressing for Zyl, who fully supports the equally bigoted policy of Israeli Ministers when it comes to refugees.
After all it wasn’t all that long ago when Katie Hopkins was an honoured guest at the annual dinner and dance of the Zionist Federation.  And who could possibly object to her presence when Israeli Minister Gideon Saar was the guest speaker?  Saar even had the chutzpah to claim that Israel didn’t deport asylum seekers.  Even as dedicated a Zionist as Rabbi Lea Mühlstein was walked out. The Jewish Chronicle claimed that the dinner was ‘marred by the heckling of Gideon Sa’ar'. Katie tweeted
Lovely to spend time with friends & supporters @ZionistFed celebrating 70 years of Israeli Independence. Go Bibi. Go Israel”
Katie Hopkins was a hit with those who attended the Zionist Federation dinner
Katie seems to have had a wonderful time having her photo taken with fans and of course the chief ghoul himself, Mark Regev.
This provoked Daniel Sugarman, a hack journalist to complain that Katie Hopkin’s presence at the Zionist Federation’s Gala Dinner was akin to a pork chop at a Friday Night Dinner. Most unfair to pigs. Katie Hopkins, Tommy Robinson, and why Israel needs to up its media game. Daniel ran through some of Katie’s more unsavoury comments on “cockroaches”, the need for a “final solution” and her letter “dear black people: if your lives matter, why do you shoot and stab each other so much?”
Katie  Hopkins enthusiasm for Poland's antisemitic government comes as no surprise
All of the above is true of course but how is this different from referring to African refugees as a ‘cancer’.?  This is exactly what Miri Regev, Israel’s Minister of ‘Culture’ (as in Goebbels) did.  Admittedly Regev apologised for using the term – that is she apologised to cancer patients for having compared them to refugees. An Opinion Poll conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute found 52% of Israelis supported her comments, and 33% supported violence against refugees. The moral of the story is that Katie should emigrate to Israel where she can convert to membership of the Jewish race and can then join the Israeli government. Sugarman found it
infuriating but, sadly, not surprising. There are unfortunately some within the wider Zionist movement who appear to believe that any amount of loathsome behaviour is bearable, as long as a perceived support of Israel is there.’
Katie had tweeted about how she had “pencilled him in” (Mark Regev) as her fourth husband.  Clearly it would be a match made in hell. But Sugarman is being a hypocrite. There is nothing that Katie said that has not been said every day by Israeli politicians. 
For those interested there is a fascinating interview in the November 2018 edition of the Israel Today magazine with Katie Hopkins which informs us that she is ‘one of the few willing to speak truth to ills in our societies, irrespective of the consequences of doing so’.
Tony Greenstein

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Failing to see the Wood for the Trees – A Response to Brian Klug’s The Left And The Jews

Sophistry in the Service of Zionism The Flight of the Liberal Intelligentsia

Professor Avi Shlaim of St Anthony’s College, Oxford University being interviewed by Haim Bresheeth

Brian Klug’s The Left And The Jews is depressing and disappointing. How can such a talented academic succumb so easily to the Zionist campaign of defamation and denigration? It’s not as if Brian hasn’t himself been the subject of a similar campaign.
In response to an invitation , in November 2013, to address a Conference on Anti-Semitism[1] a dossier of ‘International Scholars and Authors’ was drawn up by the so-called Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.[2] These ‘scholars’ included Jonathan Hoffman and Richard Millett. According to Dr Clemens Henri, Brian ‘‘uses his Jewishness to endanger other Jews in Israel’. Professor Mordechai Kedar, an advocate of rape in war,[3] described Brian as a ‘court Jew’ intent on making himself ‘acceptable to Jew-haters’  Prof. Ephraim Karsh found it ‘mind boggling’ that a proponent of anti-Semitism should be invited at all.
This is the anti-Semitism that Zionism has no problems with, because after all the Jewish diaspora should not be living outside its 'real home' anyway - Brian Klug has difficulty understanding why genuine anti-Semitism will never be a concern of Zionism
The false anti-Semitism juggernaut seems to have impaired Brian’s critical faculties. His article is badly written, poorly argued, contradictory and at times incoherent. This is not the Brian Klug I got to know and like for over a decade. It represents blind intellectual panic in the face of a powerful political campaign.
Last Sunday was Polish Independence Day and President Andrzej Duda of the Law & Justice Party marched, together with 200,000 Poles, through the centre of Warsaw. The march was organised by the government and the neo-Nazi National Radical Camp. (ONR) Amongst the slogans was "Poland, white and Catholic."  Still this was probably an improvement over last year when Pray for Islamic Holocaust’ competed with “remove Jewry from power”.
Brian Klug speaking at the SWP’s Marxism 2017

It was at the SWP's Marxism festival, where Gilad Atzmon used to be made welcome, that Brian Klug first began rehabilitating Zionism
None of this prevents Tory MEPs from being part of the European Conservative Reform group in the European Parliament alongside the L&J. If ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party were a real issue then this would be a cause célèbre for those doughty fighters against ‘anti-Semitism’ at the Board of Deputies? Brian’s article simply ignores this wider dimension.
Good friends - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Benjamin Netanyahu
The Israeli government is such good friends with Poland’s government that it agreed to endorse a new Holocaust law which makes it an offence to say that some Poles took part in the Holocaust. Netanyahu agreed to drop Israel’s opposition to the law in return for minor concessions. The headline in YNet was ‘Holocaust survivors feel betrayed by Polish-Israeli statement’. Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is on record as saying that the Jews were in part responsible for the Holocaust yet the leader of the Israeli Labour Party Avi Gabbay was more worried about Corbyn’s ‘anti-Semitism’.
One of the main protagonists in the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against Corbyn, Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard, defended Michal Kaminski, the former Chair of the ECR, who had excused those who burnt alive 1600 Jews at Jedwabne in 1941, calling himone of the greatest friends to the Jews’.
This is the background to Brian Klug’s recent essay, which is a good example of T.S. Elliot’s aphorism that most of the evil in the world is done by those with the best of intentions. Brian is an Oxford academic specialising in anti-Semitism. He isn’t evil and he has the best of intentions. Nonetheless his essay in Jewish Quarterly gives comfort to those who are.
Even the title of his article ‘The Left and the Jews’ is misleading, implying that Jews are not part of the Left. What it should be called is The Left and Zionism. The subtitle ‘Labour’s Summer of Discontent’ is little better.
Nowhere does Brian contextualise this ‘discontent’. In a phrase reminiscent of the Communist Manifesto,[4] Brian states that ‘the spectre of anti-Semitism has haunted Labour ever since Corbyn’s election as leader of the party.’ But has it? If that were true why would a paper like the Mail, which employed Katie Hopkins, who advocated a ‘Final Solution’ for refugees, be so concerned about this spectre? The same paper which waged an anti-Semitic campaign against Ed Miliband.
It's not necessary to possess the gift of foresight in order to display some imagination. How will the period we are now living through be seen in 20-30 years? Does Brian really think that history will look on what is happening today as the recrudescence of anti-Semitism or a Very British Coup? 
To ask the question is to answer it. All the fake anti-Semitism allegations and the microscopic examination of conversations from years past will evaporate. Eventually evidence will accumulate of a determined attempt by a combination of the American, Israeli and British States to overthrow a man who was seen as a threat to the Western alliance. Corbyn came to the leadership of Britain’s second largest party, the US’s closest ally in Europe, on an anti-nuclear, anti-NATO platform. He was simply unacceptable to the security establishment. It is a mark of the poverty of Brian’s analysis that not only does he fail to consider these questions but he doesn't even ask them. Instead he was trapped in the tired minutiae of Zionist accusations.
I first met Brian at the founding meeting of Independent Jewish Voices in February 2007. We met each other occasionally for dinner until about two years ago when the Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign caused Brian to drift away from his analysis of how Zionism has used anti-Semitism as a false metonym.
Theoretically Brian’s understanding of what is and is not anti-Semitism is second to none. The lecture he gave in 2013 at the Jewish Museum, in Berlin, What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’? - Echoes of shattering glass  on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, is a wonderful exposition of what is anti-Semitism and his definition of anti-Semitism as ‘a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are’ is infinitely superior to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition. [5] Brian’s opening statement was prescient.
‘What do we mean when we say ‘antisemitism’? Do we know what we mean? Does it matter?’The word matters because the thing matters. It matters because unless we use the same word in the same way we will be talking at cross purposes.’
That has been the problem for the past 3 years. When Corbyn was accused of anti-Semitism he denied it but it had no effect because the ‘anti-Semitism’ he was being accused of was a different creature from that which he denied. His critics denied that they were really concerned about Israel but they would wouldn’t they? That this was a lie is evidenced by their insistence that Labour should accept a definition of anti-Semitism which conflated anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.. The IHRA’s author Kenneth Stern described how ‘the idea for a common definition was first articulated by Dina Porat in April 2004.’ [6]
Porat is the principal historian at Israel’s Yad Vashem, an institution that distorts the Holocaust through a Zionist prism. She recently gave her blessing to Netanyahu’s agreement with Poland’s government.
Brian is living proof of Marx’s warning that “philosophers have only interpreted the world... The point, however, is to change it.” [7] The unrelenting ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign of the past 3 years has also demonstrated the truth of another of Marx’s observation:
‘The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force.’ [8]
We see this in the way in which the IHRA has been imposed despite it lacking even been a shred of intellectual justification. It has been savaged by academic and legal scholars alike: it has been called ‘bewilderingly imprecise’, not a definition: it is indefinite. unfit for purpose’ and likely to chill or ban criticism of Israeli policy...Anti-Semitism is not difficult to define, the Oxford English Dictionary definition takes 6 words: ‘Hostility to or prejudice against Jews’.
Brian accepts that the IHRA definition is ‘vague and rambling’, ‘not fit for purpose’ and a ‘flawed, initiative, based on a document itself deeply flawed’ yet Labour’s still-born Anti-Semitism Code, which incorporated 95% of the IHRA was nonetheless attacked by the Jewish Chronicle as a cynical excercise (sic!) in Jew hatred’.[i] All 3 Zionist papers rejected this Code of Conduct in a joint front page. Brian asks
What is this really about? Why the absence of measured criticism and reasoned debate? Why the blanket rejection of the NEC code… and insistence upon the IHRA definition tout court? Did it signify an alliance of forces with an anti-Corbyn and anti-left agenda? Or did it express a profound disquiet that Jewish people feel?
Brian chooses both answers! Yet Pollard, who branded Labour as ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’ was quite open. The problem was that ‘Labour has excised the parts [of the IHRA] which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.’ Despite this Brian prefers to give credence to this alliance of forces with an anti-Corbyn and anti-left agenda.[ii]
Brian suggests that ‘A legitimate grievance has sunk in so deep that it is impossible to accept that ... this grievance has at last been taken on board by the party .... [iii] In other words the attacks on Corbyn and the Labour Party over the past 3 years were part of a ‘legitimate grievance’.
No doubt Jonathan Arkush's attack on Jewdas were part of the 'community of concern'
So when BOD President, Jonathan Arkush, welcomed [iv] Donald Trump to power whilst condemning Jewdas, the Jewish group with whom Corbyn spent a Seder, as a ‘source of virulent anti-Semitism’ Brian sees no reason to challenge the bona fides of Corbyn’s accusers.[v]
A large Jewish demonstration mounted by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow led to Bannon staying away from the 2017 ZOA dinner though in 2018 he attended
You might have thought that after Pittsburgh, the product of Trump’s campaign against refugees, that Brian might have rethought the notion that Zionism is concerned about anti-Semitism. Israel immediately sent the uber-racist Naftali Bennett to defend Trump to American Jewry[vi] despite his overt anti-Semitism, see e.g. Dana Millbank.[vii] Or perhaps Brian has been persuaded that Trump can’t be anti-Semitic because ‘some of my best friends are Jewish’? Was the decision of the Zionist Organisation of America to invite Steve Bannon and neo-Nazi Sebastian Gorka to its annual gala dinner an aberration? Has Brian forgotten what Theodor Herzl wrote?
In Paris..., I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti-Semitism.[viii]
Theodor Herzl, founder of Political Zionism, began the tradition of Zionist cooperation and collaboration with anti-Semites.
The Zionist movement has never been concerned with opposing anti-Semitism, which it sees as inherent in the non-Jew and ineradicable. It has been a shock to American Jewry to learn, with the advent of Trump, that anti-Semites can be ardent Zionists. Naomi Zeveloff declared that ‘though it would seem impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not as contradictory as they appear.’ [ix] The love affair between Zionism and Anti-Semitism is a long if not beautiful one. If Brian has any doubts then he should consult Chaim Weizmann’s autobiography and his praise for William Evans-Gordon, the founder of the British Brother’s League, the precursor of Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists. Arthur Balfour, the author of the Aliens Act 1905 is another hero to the Zionist movement.[x]
Although Marx wrote that ‘It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.’ [xi] we have seen an ideological and political offensive which has in itself become a material force. The ‘debate’ on the IHRA has been one in which logic and argument are irrelevant.
When the Zionists insisted that the ‘Jewish community’ had the right to ‘self define’ anti-Semitism what they were really saying was that the IHRA was indefensible through reasoned and rationale argument. All that mattered was the subjective, namely who supported the IHRA, although most Jews will never have read a definition drawn up at the instigation of the Israeli state. This is a specious argument.
What if another community were to argue that FGM is acceptable or that the Burka should be made compulsory because their community supported it. Would Brian reach back into history for a justification? If the so-called Jewish right to self-determination conflicts with the rights of another group, the Palestinians then it is illegitimate.
The false anti-Semitism campaign waged against the Labour Party for the past 3 years has rested on bogus and contrived allegations,[xii] yet Brian ignores all of this as he speaks of a ‘community of concern’ about ‘anti-Semitism on the left.’ These are weasel words. This ‘community of concern’ stretches from those well-known anti-racist papers, the Sun and the Daily Mail through to the BOD, a body which historically has opposed any mobilisation against anti-Semitism. In 1936 it called on Jews to stay at home when Moseley’s BUF tried to march through the East End in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street.[xiii] In the late 1970’s it opposed the formation of the Anti-Nazi League.
Brian’s ‘spectre of anti-Semitism’ rehashes all the tired and familiar allegations. Brian refers to the ‘drip-drip of toxic posts’ on social media. No one has died from or been deported because of a Facebook post. There is no evidence that anti-Semitism in Britain is increasing. Compared to anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia is 4 times greater and anti-Roma racism is over 6 times as high yet we hear little about these forms of racism.[xiv] Indeed it is Muslims and Black people who have borne the brunt of the false anti-Semitism campaign.
It is depressing that Brian uses as examples of ‘anti-Semitism’ Corbyn’s description of Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’. Hamas, are virtually the creation of the Israeli state.[xv] They are a conservative Palestinian resistance group but they are not anti-Semitic. They have always made a distinction between Jews as a religion and Zionism which is remarkable since Israeli soldiers kill their children in the name of ‘the Jews’. Hamas condemned the recent Pittsburgh murders.[xvi] Hezbollah is the only military force to have successfully driven Israel out of Arab territory. The fight of both these groups has never been against Israelis as Jews but as occupiers. Neither organisation has ever attacked Jewish people outside of Israel and the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ against them is groundless.
Brian refers to a 6 year old mural brought out of the closet by Luciana Berger MP in time for the local elections last May. Opinions differ as to whether it was anti-Semitic but it was defended by Corbyn on free speech grounds. Brian describes the bankers in it of having ‘huge noses’ yet most of the criticism has been of ‘hooked noses’.[xvii]
Brian describes as ‘very troubling’  a 5 year old remark about a group of Zionist thugs being told that they lacked a sense of ‘English irony’. Brian chooses to echo Jonathan Sacks’s nonsense. Corbyn’s remark compared the Palestinian Ambassador’s sense of irony to people who had been living here all their lives. The fact that Brian gives credence to this suggests that he has too has lost all sense of irony.
Having agreed that the IHRA definition was ‘not fit for purpose’ Brian alights on a quite novel explanation for the controversy around it. He accepts that it was about Zionism but ‘the grounds for disquiet go deep and they go back a long way.’ In fact they go back 42 years to UN Resolution 3379 which declared that ‘Zionism is a form of racism.’ Brian declares that this rendered Zionism as ‘evil’.
Zionism, like South Africa Apartheid and Nazism, did not originate with the Devil but is a product of human society. To the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, who are waiting for bulldozers to destroy their school of tyres, Zionism is indeed evil. It is Zionism, the ideology of Jewish Supremacy which dictates that the homes of the native population of Palestine must be destroyed to make way for Jewish settlers.
The inhabitants of the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran saw their homes demolished and their school teacher murdered, because they were not of the right race yet Brian Klug sitting in his Oxford college sees Zionism as an ideology of liberation.
Brian’s attempt to rehabilitate Zionism began with a talk[xviii] he gave to the SWP’s Marxism Festival in July 2017.[xix] It was a curious venue given that the SWP has previously hosted Gilad Atzmon.[xx] Brian based his critique on an article by Aurora Levins Morales, an Ashkenazi Puerto Rican feminist in a book On Antisemitism produced by Jewish Voice for Peace. Aurora refers to “a three-cornered argument” between the Orthodox, Zionists and socialists/communists in her grandmother’s shtetl about the solution to the pogroms. Brian uses this to suggest that Zionism is Janus faced, both an ideology of emancipation as well as oppression.
There was no more bitter enemy of the Bund than the Zionists who accommodated to anti-Semitism and the reactionary parties
It is true that there were debates amongst the Jews of the Pale of Settlement but they were settled decisively in favour of the Left. Most Jews joined the Bund or the revolutionaries not the Zionists. Zionism was discredited because of its uncritical attitude towards the Czarist regime.
When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Czarist regime Poale Zion splintered and its Left abandoned Zionism. The same happened in Poland with Left Poale Zion. If there had been no colonisation in Palestine then Zionism would have been just another utopian and messianic movement not dissimilar to Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa movement which in effect was arguing for the self-deportation of American Blacks.
However Zionism did colonise Palestine. Some 2.5 million Jews emigrated from Russia, 98% of whom chose to go to the USA or Britain not Palestine. Brian plunders Aurora’s article selectively but fails to mention her comments that
the three-cornered debate turned lopsided under the weight of despair, and the Zionist minority of my father’s childhood has grown to dominate all debate, aggressively silencing debate.
and its relevance to what is happening now. The Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party is about silencing Black and Jewish anti-racists like Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker and myself. What it is not about is anti-Semitism.
Brian also omits Aurora’s own personal experience of Zionists ‘who write to tell me that I should have died in a Nazi concentration camp before living to denounce the crimes of Israel...’ This is what Brian’s ‘emancipatory’ Zionism has turned into. Aurora’s essay is a very moving one and her concluding remarks are that ‘When I speak out for the humanity of Palestine I am defending the humanity of everyone, including all Jews.’
Instead of looking for the obvious explanation of what has been happening, the weaponisation of ‘anti-Semitism’, Brian reaches for his very own conspiracy theory. UN resolution 3379, passed in 1975, declaring that Zionism is a form of racism ago ‘flattened a national movement.’ This is total nonsense. There is no evidence that a UN Resolution which no one remembers has had any impact on the debates. In any event Zionism has never been a Jewish national movement since the Jews are not a nation.
The Zionist movement was a very distinct minority in pre-Holocaust Europe. In 1938, in the last free elections in Poland, the anti-Zionist Bund won 17 out of the 20 Jewish Council seats in Warsaw with 61.7% of the vote compared to one seat for the Zionists. In the second city Lodz they won 57.4% of the vote and 11 out of 17 seats.
Zionism in Poland and Russia was a movement of collaboration with anti-Semitism. Theodor Herzl visited Count von Plehve, the Czarist Interior Minister in 1903, barely 4 months after the Kishinev pogrom which he organised. Herzl promised that the Jews would not oppose the Czarist regime if Zionism was a legal movement. At the Zionist Congress not a word of criticism of  the Czarist regime was allowed. As Isaac Deutscher wrote:
... the great majority of East European Jews were, up to the outbreak of the second World War opposed to Zionism... the most fanatical enemies of Zionism were precisely the workers, those who spoke Yiddish... they were the most determined opponents of the idea of an emigration from East Europe to Palestine,... of an exodus from the countries in which they, had their homes and in which their ancestors had lived for centuries, the anti-Zionists saw an abdication of their rights, a surrender to anti-Semitism. To them anti-Semitism seemed to triumph in Zionism, which recognised the legitimacy and the validity of the old cry ‘Jews get out!' The Zionists were agreeing to get out.[xxi]
Brian argued in his talk to the SWP that Zionism belongs to two opposite histories at one and the same time.’  It is both ‘part of the story of British imperialism’ and on the other ‘it was the exodus from Europe of a persecuted people..’ Zionism ‘spoke the language of colonization but it was colonization for the sake of emancipation.’
Zionism began from a rejection of Emancipation. Herzl wrote in The Jewish State that ‘In the principal countries where Anti-Semitism prevails, it does so as a result of the emancipation of the Jews.’[xxii] Max Nordau, Herzl’s deputy, similarly attacked Emancipation in his address to the first Zionist Congress in 1897.[xxiii]
Zionism saw its future as lying in an alliance with one or other imperialist powers. Herzl spent his life trying to persuade various European rulers, the Pope included of the merits of Zionism. When he met the Grand Duke of Baden, uncle of the Kaiser His chief misgiving was that if he supported the [Zionist] cause, people would misinterpret this as anti-Semitism on his part.[xxiv]
The idea that Zionism was ‘colonization for the sake of emancipation’ is a contradiction in terms. Colonisation is no more emancipatory than rape or genocide and often involves both. Brian writes that the radical left places Zionism... among the rich and powerful, two classic antisemitic tropes: the capitalist class with its imperialist ambitions.’ Elsewhere he speaks about a ‘demonising discourse about Zionism.’ This is dishonest and lazy.
From its inception Zionism sought an alliance with the rich and powerful not least Jewish magnates such as the Rothschilds, although Herzl was none too successful: ‘I consider the house of Rothschild a national misfortune for the Jews.’ [xxv] The Jewish State was written in response to the failure of his meeting with Baron Maurice de Hirsch, a railroad magnate, the George Soros of his time.[xxvi] In 1917 when the Balfour Declaration was issued, the British Empire was the richest and the most powerful Empire in the world. It sponsored Zionism in the same way as US imperialism does today. Brian himself admits that ‘Zionism is indeed implicated, in more ways than one, in the history of European imperialism and colonialism’.[xxvii] Is this too anti-Semitic or just incoherent?
Brian refers to ‘sinister talk of a Jewish or Zionist lobby that wields ... influence out of all proportion to its small size.' Perhaps but the Zionist lobby certainly claims they are powerful and they are perceived as such.  In 1997, in a Fortune magazine survey of members of Congress and their staffs, AIPAC was ranked second behind the American Association of Retired People, but ahead of the NRA.[xxviii] There is absolutely  no doubt that the Zionist lobby groups, both in the United States and now in this country, often in alliance with the far/alt-Right are attacking basic freedoms of speech and assembly via the IHRA. Kenneth Stern, who drew up the IHRA, itestimony to the House of Representatives in November 2017, warned that the IHRA ‘was being employed in an attempt to restrict academic freedom and punish political speech’
Brian Klug is playing the part of Zionism’s useful fool by giving today’s McCarthyism his blessing. What is sinister is the gathering of personal information on Palestine solidarity activists by Canary Mission [xxix] and allied groups in order to compile blacklists and prevent them gaining future employment. Either Brian is out of the loop or being tenured, doesn’t quite appreciate what this means. As the newly released Al Jazeera films show, Canary Mission has been funded by a number of Jewish Federations and charities.[xxx]
The clincher in Brian’s argument about ‘left’ anti-Semitism is the story of Daphne. Brian likes it so much that he included it in his SWP talk as well as his article. Daphne is a ‘Jewish anti-Zionist, fiercely opposed to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza (as, incidentally, many self-described Zionists are too).’
Just stop there Brian.  That’s not true. Very few Zionists are opposed to the siege of Gaza. Who? I haven’t heard them condemn the barbarous treatment of Gaza, which is best typified by the careful calculation of the daily intake of calories needed to keep Gaza ‘on a diet’. Perhaps Brian is unaware that in the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto the Nazis also calculated the daily intake of calories allowed the inmates. Admittedly the Israeli calculation allows a bare existence but the principle is still the same.
Members of the Jewish Labour Movement, the British section of the Israeli Labor Party, gather outside Ken Livingstone's hearing hoping for his expulsion. Ella Rose 2nd from the left, was a direct transfer from the Israeli Embassy and Jeremy Newmark, the subject of fraud allegations is 2nd from the right.
At her local Labour Party meeting Daphne proposed a motion criticising Ken Livingstone ‘for linking Hitler and Zionism.’  Daphne explained that her motion had nothing to do with Livingstone’s views on Israel but people did not agree. Everyone who spoke against the motion “suggested that it was part of a plot by Israel or that it was an attempt to prevent discussion of Israel”. Daphne felt like “an agent of the Israeli state”.
Leaving aside that this is all hearsay, Daphne was wrong. The attacks on Livingstone had everything to do with Israel. Why else did the Jewish Labour Movement make it their major campaign? Why did the Zionist movement single out Livingstone for its vitriol? It wasn’t because he kept newts. The JLM gathered like vultures outside his disciplinary hearing.[xxxi] 
Despite being a target of the Zionist lobby for years, Daphne was surprised that she was seen as doing the work of Israel
Daphne objected to ‘linking Hitler and Zionism’ because “the Holocaust, is part of the identity of all Jews, whatever they may feel about Israel”. The Holocaust is part of Jewish identity but it is also instrumentalised by Zionism, as Israeli historians Tom Segev and Edith Zirtal have documented as justification for Zionism’s colonisatory project. As Brian knows it was wielded against Aurora in the most disgusting of fashion, accused of betraying the Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis’ because she believed that Jewish safety lay in solidarity with other working people.’ If Daphne seriously believes that we must preserve the Holocaust in aspic, then she is living on another planet. Livingstone’s statement that the Nazis supported Zionism is a fact easily provable historically. 
Brian argues that ‘the word “Zionist” has a life of its own, independently of anyone’s intentions.’ Even if that were true it would be meaningless. Clearly the far-Right use the term ‘Zionist’ to mean ‘Jew’ but then so do Zionists. Zionism is as Zionism does. It is the ideology of the current Israeli state. Israel is the most racist state in the world and Zionism is called in evidence whenever it justifies its most appalling deeds. When a plurality of Israeli Jews want to expel Israel’s Palestinian citizens they do so as Zionists.[xxxii]
When Netanyahu argues that ‘illegal African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state’ [xxxiii] and the Israeli Labour Party supported him in this, they did it in the name of Zionism and a demographic Jewish majority.[xxxiv] Zionism is not a ghost in a long-forgotten Jewish shtetl. It is an apartheid, nuclear state, militaristic, and on the far-Right politically
When supporters of Israel defend the imprisonment of Palestinian children, Jewish only towns, segregated and unequal education they do this by crying ‘anti-Semitism’. It would seem that Brian Klug has now crossed the border and is endorsing these blasphemers. It has been a tough three years and when the going gets tough academics are often the first to get going.  Brian, with all his erudition and sophistication has abandoned those of us who are not willing to throw in the towel. He has abandoned the most oppressed for the sake of Jewish chauvinism dressed up as a concern about 'antisemitism'.  Perhaps the last word should be that of Avi Shlaim, an Israeli and Professor of International Relations at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University:
Anti-Semitism is not a real phenomenon within the Labour Party or any of the other major political parties. There are anti-Semitic incidents but they are usually related to Israel’s behaviour, Israeli brutality.  So every time there is an Israeli attack on Gaza and there have been 3 in the last 7 years there is a rise in anti-Semitic episodes and incidents in Britain. Fundamentally Israel and the Israeli propaganda machine and Israel’s friends in England and the Israel lobby in Britain deliberately confuse or conflate, and I stress they do it deliberately, anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. Anti-Semitism is hatred of the Jews as Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Israel as a colonial power and as an exclusive Jewish state.[xxxv]
Tony Greenstein
This article can be downloaded here

[1]           Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts,

[3]           Israeli Professor's 'Rape as Terror Deterrent' Statement Draws Ire, Ha’aretz 22.7.14.,

[4]           A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism, Communist Manifesto, 1848.
[5]           For some inexplicable reason, the Report of this conference is dated November 2014. However it is definitely November 2013 and Klug refers in his speech to the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which is 2013.

[i]            Labour's new guidelines show it is institutionally anti-Semitic, Jewish Chronicle, 5.7.18.

[ii]           Jewish Chronicle 24.8.18. Labour's new guidelines show it is institutionally anti-Semitic,

[iii]           The Code of Conduct for Antisemitism: a tale of two texts, Open Democracy, 17 July 2018,

[iv]           Jewish Chronicle 9.11.16. Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush under fire after message congratulating Trump,

[v]           Jonathan Arkush claims Jewdas is ‘a source of virulent antisemitism’, Jewish Chronicle, 28.3.18.

[vi]           Naftali Bennett: ‘Very Unfair’ To Blame Trump For Pittsburgh Bloodbath, Forward 31.10.18.,

[vii]          Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody, Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 7.11.16.,

[viii]         Diaries of Theodore Herzl, Gollancz, London 1958 p.6.
[x]           Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, pp. 90-91.

[xvi]         Statement ‘Hamas condemns terror attack on Pittsburgh Synagogue’ 28 October 2018.

[xvii]         Labour fury as it emerges Jeremy Corbyn once defended 'anti-Semitic' public mural showing a group of 'hook-nosed' men around a Monopoly board, Daily Mail, 25.3.18.,

[xix]         Zionism, Antisemitism and the Left Today,, Marxism 2017, London, 8th July , 2017

[xx]          'Anti-Zionist' holocaust denier, Weekly Worker, 10.3.11.,

[xxi]         Isaac Deutscher, 'The Non Jewish Jew ' & Other Essays-The Russian  Revolution and the Jewish Question' pp.66/7
[xxiii]        Max Nordau, Failure of Emancipation,
[xxiv]        Reverend William H. Hechler - The Christian minister who legitimized Theodor Herzl, By Jerry Klinger,

[xxv]         A History of Zionism, Walter Lacquer, p.102, 1972.

[xxviii]       The Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, LRB, March 2006

[xxx]         REVEALED: Canary Mission Blacklist Is Secretly Bankrolled By Major Jewish Federation, Forward, 3.10.18., Josh Nathan-Kazis.

[xxxiv]       Ha’aretz, 22.11.17., Labor Party's Support of Deportation, Imprisonment of Asylum Seekers Cheapens the Israeli Opposition,