|When I criticised those Zionists who associated Jews with Israel's attack on Gaza (2008-9) Gardener of the CST was one of those who objected!|
|Gardener of the CST - Happy to associate with bigots like Richard Littlejohn|
Should We Walk or Should We Stay? Neither it would appear!!As I have documented time and again, the primary agenda of the self-appointed, private charity headed by ultra-Zionist rightwinger, Gerald Ronson, is to paint anti-Zionist and support for the Palestinians as ‘anti-Semitic’.
Unsurprisingly the CST, which styles itself as the defence wing of the Jewish community and is honoured as such by the Metropolitan Police and people like Michael Gove MP, is no stranger to working with Islamaphobes and anti-Muslim racists.
In particular, over the summer, it devoted its time to supplying false and misleading information to the Home Office concerning Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Northern Islamic League in Israel. Sheikh Salah, whom the Israelis tried to murder on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, has been a thorn in the side of Israel’s leaders. The CST’s misinformation led to the arrest and attempted deportation of Sheikh Salah before the Senior Immigration Appeal Tribunal, noting the false nature of the charges against him, ordered his release.
Community Security Trust Supplies False Information to Deport Sheikh Raed Salah
Immigration Appeal Tribunal's Racist Order to Deport Raed Salah
How the Zionist Community Security Trust and Theresa May Colluded at the Behest of Racists to Deport Raed Salah & Prevent Free Speech
Indeed it is impossible today to be a pro-Israel advocate and a Zionist without also being an Islamaphobe. Support for Israel and anti-Arab racism are inseparable.
It was only last week that I picked up on a tweet from Dave Rich, second-in command at the CST, who accused Professor Baruch Brent, a child refugee of nazism, of 'Antisemitism!' for daring to compare the Nazi bombing of Guernica with that of Gaza.
What attracted Rich's attention was that I happened to mention that the CST had paid no regard to the fact that a demonstration that they had stewarded, in support of the killing of 9 activists on the Mavi Marmara, had also been supported by the EDL and some of their members. Dave Rich wrote back furiously stating that
‘I personally (and my colleagues), have made our position on the EDL and similar Islamophobic groups very clear on the CST Blog, for example:…..
We have also done so to the wider Jewish community via the Jewish Chronicle:…..
Regarding CST's policies regarding securing demonstrations , we have stated publicly that we will not provide security for demonstrations where the EDL are present: http://blog.thecst.org.uk/?p=2556
Your allegation that CST was content for the EDL to join a pro-Israel demonstration in June 2010 is not true and is contradicted by the media reporting at the time:
…. CST has provided security advice to mosques that faced Islamophobic demonstrations and I personally act as an advisor to the Tell MAMA campaign that monitors anti-Muslim hate crime.
Mr Rich said it was untrue to say that they were not content for the EDL to join the pro-Israeli demonstration and that they don’t steward events where the EDL is present was contradicted at the time. Even the overtly pro-Zionist Bob from Brockley in an article ‘The English Defence League and the Gaza Flotilla’ accepted that ‘A tiny number of English Defence League members turned up at a pro-Israel demonstration, some possibly from the semi-fictitious "Jewish Division" of the EDL (it also has a "LGBT Division" and of course prominent Sikh members).’
Dave Rich may indeed be an adviser to Tell Mama but by all accounts, this Government funded initiative is ‘Not Off to a Good Start!’ Since the government has been one of the main sources of the demonisation of Arabs and Muslims these are not particularly spectacular credentials.
But the CST demonstrated its real concerns with its campaign to deport Sheikh Salah. It was a thoroughly racist campaign (or perhaps I have failed to notice the CST campaign to have Avigdor Liebermann deported – from memory I seem to recall that they helped guard his meetings!).
To get Raed Salah deported, the CST quoted uncritically from racist Hebrew University Professor Raphael Israeli (see e.g. The Community Security Trust cites the racist Hebrew University Professor Raphael Israeli to denounce the ‘anti-Semitism’ of Sheikh Raed Salah.
Professor Raphael Israeli makes the British National Party and National Front seem mild by comparison. For example ‘When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia." and ‘Australia should cap Muslim immigration or risk being swamped by Indonesians.’
Sydney Morning Herald, 16.2.07. ‘Limit Muslim migration, Australia warned. The CST's Professor Israeli was also quoted as saying that ‘Muslim immigrants had a reputation for manipulating the values of Western countries, taking advantage of their hospitality and tolerance.’ ‘"French people say they are strangers in their own country. This is a point of no return.’
It wasn’t no long ago that you could have substituted ‘Jewish’ for ‘Muslim’ to receive the approval of the owner of the Daily Express (today's owner Richard Desmond is a funder/supporter of the CST and his papers are equally defamatory and racist to Muslims as they once were to Jewish immigrants). Yet when I phoned Mark Gardener about Professor Israeli, his only response was ‘no comment.’
The primary purpose of the CST has not been to defend the Jewish community against anti-Semitism in the normally accepted and understood sense of the term, but to categorise opposition to Israel’s actions as ‘anti-Semitic’. There is no doubt that some people, taking Israel’s rhetoric at face value, do react to its behaviour in an anti-Semitic way. Indeed it is an undoubted fact that the source of most anti-Semitism in the West today originates from the actions of Israel – the ‘Jewish’ state apparently set up to make them feel secure! But irony is lost on the CST. What matters is the anti-Semitism, not its causes.
Even worse, despite supporting the Zionist inspired European Union Monitoring Committee definition of ‘anti-Semitism’, which states that ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the State of Israel’ is anti-Semitic, there is no recorded occasion when the CST has upbraided or even commented when leading Zionists and Jewish religious leaders expressed unanimous ‘Jewish’ support recently for the attack on Gaza. Unanimous UK Jewish communal organisations support for Israel over Gaza fighting
Symposium on ‘anti-Semitism’
It was therefore with some surprise that I read on Jewsansfrontieres that the CST had walked out of a symposia on ‘anti-Semitism’ at which some of the most dedicated anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigots you could hope to find were speaking. Proud to be ashamed to be associated with islamophobes or ashamed to be proud?
By chance I had recently done a post on this exact conference, cross-posting from Tony Lerman’s Another faulty, pseudo-academic antisemitism initiative Lerman wrote about how
‘The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism: a home for the ‘new antisemitism’ notion. The JSA is a privately funded periodical founded four years ago. It has no institutional base and is privately published. … Even a cursory glance at the journal’s list of Board Members reveals a great preponderance of neoconservatives, Islamophobes, advocates of the notion of the ‘new antisemitism’, pedlars of the ‘self-hating Jew’ accusation against Jewish critics of Israeli policies and out-and-out political propagandists. The individuals funding the event are Daniel Pipes, Mitch Knisbacher and Jeff and Evy Diamond.So the Jewish Chronicle article ‘Walk-outs over ‘Islamophobia’ at antisemitism symposium’ came as something of a surprise, especially as these 'walk-outs' were headed by the CST. Maybe I had been unfair on Dave Rich after all. According to the JC,
The three panellists will find much to agree on. For decades Bat Ye’or has been banging the drum about the ‘Muslim hordes’ who were about to take over Europe. Rather generously referred to as a ‘self-taught Jewish intellectual’, she now believes that Europe is dead, and in its stead ‘Eurabia’ has risen. Richard Landes, director and co-founder of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, told the Herzliya IDC conference in 2007:
European democratic civilization can fall before the Islamic challenge. Do not say that this will never happen in Europe and that Islam will not be able to take control of Europe. If Europe continues its current path, the fall will be sooner.
Winston Pickett was the director of the now non-functioning EISCA. He lavishes unreserved praise on Professor Robert Wistrich for his huge tome, Antisemitism From Antiquity to the Global Jihad, a book that, as its title suggests, sets out to justify the notion of the ‘new antisemitism’.
In panel 2, Mark Gardner of the CST and Robert Wistrich, who heads the Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), should feel comfortable with each other’s role in justifying and promoting the notion of the ‘new antisemitism’, though it would be only fair to acknowledge that Wistrich’s influence in this regard far outstrips that of Gardner’s. Wistrich restated the classic definition of the ‘new antisemitism’ in a talk at the Hebrew University Jerusalem in June 2011 entitled ‘From blood libel to boycott: changing faces of British antisemitism’. … Gardner’s use of the ‘new antisemitism’ argument is clearly apparent in his and Dave Rich’s analysis of Caryl Churchill’s short playlet Seven Jewish Children. … http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/04/caryl-churchill-antisemitism-play
‘A seminar meant to highlight problems in dealing with antisemitism ran into trouble when audience members walked out — alleging Islamophobia on the part of some speakers.
At the forefront were leaders of the Community Security Trust, who challenged remarks made by the Egyptian writer Bat Ye’or, and Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld, a founding member of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, which sponsored the seminar, held at London’s Wiener Library.
Bat Ye’or told the audience: “The source of antisemitism is the organisation of the Islamic corporation.”
But when Dave Rich, the CST’s deputy communications director, expressed concern that such a comment could be construed as Islamophobic, she responded: “Islam is denying the root of Judaism and Christianity with a profound belief in Jihad.”
David Hirsh, editor of anti-racist website Engage, left the room during Dr Gerstenfeld’s lecture.
He explained: “I was appalled by Gerstenfeld’s characterisation of Muslim culture as inferior. Nearly all the speakers on the day, including me, stressed that antisemitism must be understood and opposed within an anti-racist framework.
“I am as appalled by the Islamophobia which creeps into some opposition to antisemitism as I am by the way antisemitism also creeps into ostensibly anti-racist spaces.”
But Dr Gerstenfeld said later: “I am touching upon the taboos that have to be broken, because a totally false narrative has been created in Europe.”
“The idea that all cultures are the same is absurd. If there is no hierarchy in culture, then Nazi culture is equivalent to democratic Western culture. There are Islamic groups which are equivalent in their language and ideology to Nazis. And I have no problem in saying that, because it is true.”
Mark Gardner, director of communications for CST, said after the seminar: “A minority of speakers said things about Britain, Europe and Muslims that we found to be incorrect, unacceptable and self-defeating. We made our concerns clear with a number of interventions and were correct to do so.”
David Feldman, director of the Pears Institute, and Philip Spencer, director of research in politics at Kingston University, also walked out in protest.
Mr Feldman said: “Unfortunately, the unfounded arguments of some speakers and expressions of religious prejudice from others did a disservice to Jews and others seeking to combat antisemitism.”
It was therefore appropriate that ‘At the end of the event, the former Labour MP, Denis MacShane, was given an award for his work in fighting antisemitism.’ Who better to reward this fallen pillar of Zionist hypocrisy than a bunch of anti-Arab and anti-Islamic racists?
But just consider some of these arguments. According to Dr Gerstenfeld there is a ‘hierarchy’ of cultures. An interesting concept, one wonders how one can measure cultures? He cites the ‘western democratic’ as opposed to the ‘Nazi’ culture. But Nazism had no culture, unless the gentle art of book burning constitutes such – in which case Michael Ben Ari MK’s ripping up of the New Testament recently is a good example of Zionist culture. Nazism hated culture and stood in opposition to it. It was 'anti-cultural'. But racism today is not primarily biological. The campaign to repatriate Black people in Britain is recognised, even by most fascists, as a lost cause.
Racism in the biological sense has transmuted into a ‘battle of cultures’ in which Arabs and Third World refugees are seen as the bearers of ‘backward’ cultures. That is why fascists who, 20 years ago, were engaging in 'gay bashing' now contrast the hostility of Islamic Orthodoxy to the 'backwardness' of Arabs/Muslims rather than seeing such hostility as an integral part of all orthodox religions.
When Dr Gerstenfeld says that ‘I am touching upon the taboos that have to be broken’ then he is doing no more than repeating the refrain of white racism through the ages – that there are ‘taboos’ that need to be broken, it needs to be ‘cool’ to be racist again. It is a long-standing theme from the Daily Mail and its most virulent racist commentator, arch-Zionist Melanie Phillips. Gert Wilders and a host of racist and chauvinistic European politicians dedicate their lives to breaking these ‘taboos’. The hierarchy of ‘race; has been replaced by the hierarchy of ‘culture’. Yet there is no ‘culture’ such as they speak of.
Lerman also notes that the funding sources for the symposia includes ‘Daniel Pipes, Mitch Knisbacher and Jeff and Evy Diamond. Pipes, the president of the right-wing Middle East Forum (MEF), is widely described as an ‘Islamophobe’. In 2009 his MEF established a legal defence fund for the far-right, populist, Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Pipes reportedly claimed that President Obama is a former Muslim who ‘practised Islam’. Knisbach, who is the founder and owner of 800response (America’s leading provider of shared-use 800-number services), is active in the right-wing Israel lobby AIPAC and funds Tazpit News Agency, a service set up primarily to popularize a positive view of settlement activity in the West Bank. Jeff Diamond, who heads the Jeff Diamond Law Firm, which has six offices in New Mexico and Texas, was installed in January as chair of the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Board of Directors.’
As Mark Elf wrote on Jewssansfrontieres ‘And here's the bit I just don't get. Mark Gardner, David Hirsh and Dave Rich must have known about the other speakers because they were listed in the information blurb for the event. How offended can they really have been when they only heard what they must have expected to hear? Are they proud to be ashamed to be associated with a ragbag of zionist islamophobes? Or they are ashamed to be proud of the association?’
Actually it’s far worse, because despite the bigotry and racism of the platform speakers, as Tony Lerman points out ‘the CST officials didn’t walk out. They stayed. ‘We challenged the speeches we objected to’, they tweeted in a response to me. I then put this to them: ‘Surely u wouldn’t participate in a symposium with white racists. Why attend one with Jewish racists?’ Their response: ‘we behaved honourably and have nothing to answer to you for’. I’m not so sure that’s such an easily defensible position.
Rich and Gardener are janus faced . If someone had said that “The source of anti-German hatred is the organisation of the Jewish corporation.” as of course Nazis used to, then one would clearly recognise this as a staple part of the anti-Semitic diet. The world Jewish conspiracy theory no less. Yet when Bat Yeor says that “The source of antisemitism is the organisation of the Islamic corporation.” there is apparently a walk-out, or was it just a polite disagreement, from the session in question. Would the CST walk out of a session at which David Duke elaborated on Jewish ‘crimes’ yet remained content to participate and even be guest speakers at other sessions of the Conference on Jewry?
According to the Jewish Chronicle David Hirsh, editor of anti-racist website Engage, left the room during Dr Gerstenfeld’s lecture. What a noble gesture! And what was he doing there in the first place is what those he has accused of anti-Semitism in UCU might like to know.
But if one looks at Rich and Gardener’s comments above, concerning Dr Gerstenfeld and Bat Yeor, then one notices just how lukewarm their criticism really was.
Dave Rich suggested that Bat Ye’or’s comment concerning the ‘Islamic Corporation’ ‘could be construed as Islamophobic’. That is a strange way of putting it. How about if someone started speaking of the ‘Jewish Corporation’ and how Jews control the world through it? I suspect, given Rich and Gardener’s record in detecting the signs of ‘anti-Semitism’ in even pro-Jewish places like Carol Churchill’s play, that he would have been somewhat more forthright in his views. It says a lot for the government's ‘Tell Mama’ that Dave Rich is an advisor.
Mark Gardner, director of CST communications was equally forthright:
“A minority of speakers said things about Britain, Europe and Muslims that we found to be incorrect, unacceptable and self-defeating. We made our concerns clear with a number of interventions and were correct to do so.”
Clearly there was no walk-out, just a ‘number of interventions’. And the virulently racist nonsense espoused? Well this was ‘incorrect’. So when anti-Semites (and Zionists) such as Glenn Beck go on about the Rothschilds being the source of the world’s economic crisis [see Is Glenn Beck an anti-Semite? Fox host slammed by Anti-Defmation League for attack on George Soros] he is presumably ‘incorrect’ or mistaken.
What is more telling is Gardener’s use of the term ‘self-defeating’. What it demonstrates is that Gardener and the CST see themselves as part of one big tent, a Zionist tent, which inevitably includes the most virulent anti-Arab and Islamaphobic racists. What they are doing is offering friendly criticism to those who share the same outlook but choose to express it differently. It is a minor tactical difference of opinion amongst comrades. The real game is defaming the opponents of Zionism through the use of wild allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’.