Bundists behaving like Stalinists – JSG Leaders Remove Critics of Lansman from Jews 4 Jeremy FB Group
|Jackie Walker - subject to a racist witchhunt by the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement aided by Jon Lansman. The JSG is like the 3 monkeys - it neither sees, hears nor says anything|
|The JSG's censor-in-chief Julia Bard|
Below are just some of the vile racist tweets attacking Jackie Walker which the JSG leadership have condoned by their silence and support for Lansman and the Momentum leadership.
|This is what passes for Zio humour - calling a Black anti-racist 'Nazi scum' is a good example of how Zios trivialise anti-Semitism|
|Naturally anyone who is an anti-Zionist is a 'Jew hater' unlike the Zionists who worked hand in hand with anti-Semites from Herzl onwards|
|Burning Black people was an integral part of KKK lynching in the United States|
|notice how this racist Zio emphasises the word 'black'|
|'hanging' Black people was also something that the KKK specialised in and Zionists salivate about|
|A good combination of sexism and a neo-Nazi style denial of Jackie as Jewish|
|No need for an explanation to this piece of vile race hatred|
|Once again the Zionist desire to emulate their KKK brothers and burn someone who is Black|
Given the predominance of right-wing Zionist and conservative politics in the once radical Jewish community the JSG once stood out for its dissent with establishment Jewish politics. To a large extent it has been overtaken with the formation of groups like Jews 4 Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Jewdas etc .
JSG came to the fore with its support for the anti-fascist movement in the 1970’s. When the Board of Deputies and the Union of Jewish Students opposed, in the late 1970’s, the Anti Nazi League, which at that time was a mass movement not an SWP front, the JSG was prominent in fighting a bourgeois Jewish leadership who saw the fight against anti-Zionism as more important than the fight against the National Front. At that time the National Front, which was overtly anti-Semitic, was a credible political force, forcing the Liberals into 4th place in by-elections in Birmingham Ladywood and Stechford in 1977 and gaining 119,000 votes in the 1977 GLC elections.
|Debate with Julia Bard in 1993 on the Oslo Accords which she supported|
The JSG’s position on Israel has always been one of 2 states whilst avoiding the question of Zionism and the nature of the Jewish state. At the time of the 1993 Oslo Accords in a debate with Julia Bard in Labour Briefing, she supported the Accords.
|Ian Saville speaking on behalf of Jackie Walker in May 2016|
Dave Rosenberg says in his statement below that the JSG encompasses a wide variety of left-wing opinion. However this did not prevent the JSG, despite its recent inactivity (Jewish Socialist, which used to come out quarterly now appears less than once a year) being involved in the setting up of the Jews for Jeremy group in the Summer of 2015. When the false anti-Semitism campaign was at its height, the JSG supported Jackie Walker, before her removal as Vice Chair of Momentum, when she was suspended in May 2016. Ian Saville appeared as a JSG speaker on an LRC/Momentum platform in Brighton alongside Jackie at a meeting specifically called to oppose the anti-Semitism witchhunt.
|Free Speech on Israel picket of Momentum Steering Committee which removed Jackie Walker|
Jackie was re-suspended in September last year after the Labour Party Conference. There had been a sustained and vitriolic campaign by the Jewish Labour Movement. Two weeks before the LP Conference I had posted The Jewish Labour Movement and its Political Lynching of Jackie Walker in which I wrote that:
‘Jackie was reinstated after an investigation but the Zionists have refused to accept her acquittal and have waged a campaign of vilification against her ever since.... The Jewish Labour Movement ... has run a disgraceful, race baiting campaign against Jackie. It has been part and parcel of a Zionist attack on her which has questioned her Jewish ancestry on the basis that she is Black. A large section of the Zionist movement refuses to accept that Black people, for example the can also be Jewish.’
|Jeremy Newmark - racist liar-in-chief of the JLM|
The JLM’s Chair, Jeremy Newmark criticised John McDonnell for speaking on an LRC platform with Jackie at the TUC Conference in September. He was quoted as saying of McDonnell that:
"He must explain his defence of Walker which is inconsistent with his call for zero tolerance. This raises serious questions. Our members expect him to explain himself."
|The discussion on the slave trade by Jackie Walker that prompted the racist attacks on her|
The JLM campaign was based on the lie perpetrated by Marcus Dysch in the Jewish Chronicle that Jackie ‘claimed Jews caused ‘an African holocaust’. In fact what she said, in a private and complex Facebook discussion with an Israeli Zionist friend, was that
‘“Many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice.”
Clearly what she was saying was that many Jews were among the chief financiers of the slave trade, which is a statement of historical fact. On the basis of the omission of one word, which was clearly implied by the context, Jackie has been vilified and demonised.
Since September when Jackie was suspended for a second time from the Labour Party, the JSG has maintained an embarrassed silence. It has not only failed to criticise Jackie’s suspension, but it has also failed to criticise or even comment on the complicity in this racist attack by one of their own members, Jon Lansman. Indeed it has gone out of its way to support him.
I spoke on Thursday night at a public meeting in Brighton with Jackie Walker. The meeting was called to discuss the attack on free speech and the suppression of the Palestinian voice by the Zionist movement and their Israeli Embassy paymasters. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which was adopted by Theresa May and which Corbyn decided to follow, has become the Zionists’ principal weapon.
The whole purpose of the IHRA definition is to conflate genuine anti-Semitism, i.e. hostility to Jews as Jews, with criticism of Israel, which is anti-Semitic in itself, since it implies an association between Jews and Israel. This week it has been used to prevent the holding of Israel Apartheid week at the University of Central Lancashire and yesterday all students and academics at Sussex University were sent an email by the Vice Chancellor attacking Israel Apartheid Week on campus.
|More racist tweets by Zionists|
At UCL banning Israel Apartheid Week was justified by the Prevent counter-terrorism duty. Support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism is being conflated with ‘terrorism’ as we always said it would. Of course the definition of ‘terrorism’ excludes Israeli state terrorism. Once again Prevent is being used to clamp down on free speech.
|One of many racist tweets that Jackie Walker has received|
Jackie, told of how she had been the recipient of dozens of vitriolic racist tweets, of which those above are but a sample, as a result of the Zionist campaign against her. She is rightly fearful for her own physical safety. One of the reasons this has occurred is that she is Black and Jewish. Many of the tweets are concerned with her Jewishness since for many in the Zionist movement being Jewish is a European affair. Arab Jews are bad enough compared to White Russians but Black Jews are beyond the pale. It is for this reason that Ethiopian Jews in Israel suffer from extreme racist hostility.
Normally if someone says they are Jewish I take them at their word. But to Zionist racists, it is very important to investigate someone's lineage because in Israel being Jewish determines your entitlement to privileges. When investigating whether someone is entitled to come to Israel under the Law of Return, recourse has even been had to Nazi records to determine whether or not someone is Jewish. Similarly the Zionists have employed someone to investigate Jackie’s family lineage and draw up a family tree to prove she isn’t Jewish. 80 years ago in Germany the same people would have found employment proving that people were Jewish.
The Silence of the JSG
Critics of Lansman’s coup in Momentum or those questioning why the JSG are suppressing criticism of him have been removed from the Jews for Jeremy and JSG Facebook groups. A similar fate has befallen those criticising why the JSG has remained silent over the removal of Jackie Walker as Vice-Chair of Momentum and her suspension from the Labour Party.
Why has the JSG’s leadership, in particular David Rosenberg and Julia Bard, moved to what is effectively a Stalinist position of suppressing political discussion? For a group that traces its political lineage from the Bund, it is ironic that it is behaving more like the Bund’s historic political enemy.
David Rosenberg, in a statement to the Free Speech on Israel group (see below) throws what is the political equivalent of a tantrum but fails to answer any questions about Jackie beyond saying that the JSG moderators of the J4J FB page have blocked ‘anti-Corbyn material’. Most people would assume that means criticism from the Right and Progress, i.e. from those hostile to Corbyn. This is dishonest because the critics who have been debarred are not hostile to Corbyn but fearful as to how long he will last given his present political trajectory.
What David really meant is any critique as to whether for example Corbyn is right to appease the Right, disavow reselection of Labour MPs and say that support for free movement of workers should be sacrificed on the altar of Brexit. In categorising any criticism of Corbyn and McDonnell as ‘anti-Corbyn’ what David is doing is indulging in a personality cult, which was also the hallmark of Stalinism. Lack of debate weakens not strengthens Corbyn. We should be under no illusions that Corbyn’s position at present is not a strong one.
In the JSG statement David Rosenberg’s position was that ‘Our group is anti-Zionist but does not go in for gratuitous and childish demonisation of those who identify as Zionists.’
I am not aware that the JSG has ever identified itself as anti-Zionist in any published material. Presumably what Rosenberg means is recognising and understanding the role of Zionist groups such as the JLM in the attack, not only on Corbyn and the Left but in the witch-hunt more widely. Zionist groups are our political enemies, not cuddly multi-culturalists. The Bund historically considered Zionism as its main enemy in the Jewish community not something it could cosy up to.
As the Al Jazeera programmes ‘The Lobby’ revealed, there is a well organised Zionist lobby in Britain, serviced and funded by the Israeli embassy, whose role is to destabilise and undermine the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party and those like Malia Bouathia in NUS, who oppose the Israeli state or who support the Boycott of Israel.
One of the principal signatories to the letter purportedly criticising Arkush is Ella Rose, who directly transferred from working at the Israeli Embassy to becoming Director of the JLM. She was also recorded as threatening to ‘take out’ Jackie Walker.
Posting The Strange Silence of the Jewish Socialists Group over Jackie’s suspension got me removed from the JSG’s Facebook page some months ago. There was no warning or message. Prior to that Julia Bard had removed a link I had posted to a blog post critical of Lansman. When we organised a letter to the Guardian supporting Jackie Walker, JSG member Ruth Appleton was told in an email by Julia Bard to remove all reference to the JSG even though she wasn’t writing on behalf of the group. Clearly the JSG is embarrassed by any association with the campaign to support Jackie.
|Debbie Fink made the cardinal error of posting an article of mine to the J4J FB page - worse still it attacked Jon Lansman's putsch|
Asking why Lansman, a member of the JSG, had not been called to account for his removal of Jackie Walker as Momentum Vice-Chair, an act which even Cecile Wright, Lansman’s supporter on the Momentum Steering Committee has described as a ‘political lynching’, merited the following message on the Free Speech on Israel list in reply to Debbie Fink. According to Rosenberg, her question was:
‘‘based on ignorance and vituperation, they were not worth responding to. The JSG is solely accountable to its members, not to you, nor to FSOI, nor to any other groups we may or may not be connected with or work with.’
|Julia Bard in full censorship mode|
Which was more of a political tantrum than an answer. When Debbie committed the cardinal sin of posting an article on Lansman's Kitchen Coup on the J4J FaceBook group asking why the silence over Jackie Walker, she was summarily removed, as others have been since then. All removals have been conducted by Julia Bard, the JSG’s Political Commissar.
I was removed from the J4J group last year when I sent a letter to the Guardian on behalf of J4J supporting the new Black President of the National Union of Students against the racist attacks of the Zionist Union of Jewish Students. Attacks which we now know from Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby’ were co-ordinated with the Israeli state and its Embassy in London.
I made a conscious decision, given the lack of any democratic mechanisms within J4J, to send a letter defending Malia to the Guardian. In my naivety I didn’t realise that the JSG’s commitment to anti-racism stops short of defending Black anti-racists when they are accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ by Zionists.
|Original letter to the Guardian from Jewish supporters of Jeremy Corbyn - not a member of JSG in sight|
The 3 moderators of the J4J group are all members of the JSG and include the David Rosenberg and Julia Bard partnership, as well as Ian Saville. The reason Dave gives in his statement below for this situation is that the JSG set up J4J. But this not true. The genesis of J4J began over the summer 2015 when a group of us sent a letter to the Guardian, which was printed on August 20th 2015 during the leadership elections, supporting Jeremy Corbyn. Debbie Fink and myself from J-Big were responsible for organising the letter and I personally sent it off from Normandy where I was on holiday!
|Letter in Jewish Chronicle from Jews for Jeremy - it was organised by J-Big members not the JSG|
This letter was the genesis of the idea that Corbyn needed Jewish members of the Labour Party to rebut the fake allegations of anti-Semitism. Allegations that originated in the Daily Mail and Jewish Chronicle that Corbyn had worked with a holocaust denier Paul Eisen. On the 2nd October 2015 I organised another Jewish letter, signed by about 80 people, which was printed by the Jewish Chronicle, rebutting theirs and Jonathan Freedland’s accusations that Corbyn was anti-Semitic. This letter was printed in the name of Jews 4 Jeremy. The suggestion in David Rosenberg’s bad-tempered response that J4J was a JSG initiative is a falsehood. It was a coming together of a whole number of Jews from J-Big, JfJP, the JSG and independents. The seizing of control of the Facebook group by the JSG was an act of sectarianism at which the SWP usually excel. We are now seeing its effects in Bard’s purge of dissenters.
The J4J group has done nothing in the past year. Despite the defamatory anti-Semitism campaign by the Zionists it has remained silent. J4J’s inactivity is the result of the JSG’s organisational stranglehold. It is Momentum writ small. What should happen is that the group, which could have played a much larger part in the fight against the witch-hunt and against Zionist attacks on Jeremy, should be relaunched with some form of democratic control.
On 12th January Debbie Fink posted my article on Lansman's coup in Momentum to the J4J blog and she posted the statement below, on Monday 16th January to the Free Speech on Israel list.
|Lansman's clones spreading the word about Jackie Walker|
'As the subject of Lansman has come up again, here's an article that might be of interest. This is the one the Jews for Jeremy moderators removed without explanation, throwing me off the list when I challenged it, again without explanation. To date, I have received no explanation for this nor answers to questions that I'm sure, we all want: why the JSG are covering for Lansman and not speaking out against the treatment of Jackie; why they are guilty of the same censorship as the Israel lobby and why they are loyal to Lansman, a Zionist who's colluding with the JLM rather than Jackie, a Socialist.
The JSG won't talk to me but maybe they will at least have the decency to speak to someone else here.'
David Rosenberg was sufficiently stung to post a reply to FSOI.
Statement of Clarification re Debbie Fink’s questions re JSG, Jews for Jeremy, and John Lansman. This is for information. We won’t be making further comment on this matter as we have more important work to do.
Jews for Jeremy (J4J) was set up mainly by JSG members in the summer of 2015 to defend Jeremy Corbyn from attack by those seeking to undermine him (Conservatives, Blairites, Zionists), and especially those using false accusations of antisemitism to attack Corbyn and his supporters.
The J4J page is NOT a place for those who wish to attack, disparage, abuse or insult Corbyn and the political stance he represents. It is NOT a place to fight proxy sectarian wars or settle political scores on other matters.
Very soon after the page was set up it had to block a number of people who joined up for nefarious purposes. They fell mainly into two categories:
• Holocaust-denying antisemites
• Trouble-making Zionists
On a very few occasions since then we have, reluctantly, had to block people for misusing our page by posting anti-Corbyn material, abusive sectarian political material, or re-posting material by those who they know have been blocked from the page. It is for these reasons that J4J collectively decided to block Debbie Fink. Having stated that she was not going to attack the JSG publicly, her continued abuse about the group and Corbyn in her emails and Facebook posts since she was blocked, her conspiracy theories and fantasies involving the JSG, Jon Lansman and Jeremy Corbyn, and her continued re-posting of material by a person who was blocked, leads us to believe that if we unblocked her now, we would be opening the page to more of the same.
Any organisation that sets up a Facebook Page has the right to ensure that its page and participants are not abused. That is what we have done. She can post her views freely elsewhere but not on this page.
The JSG membership spans people from the middle of the Labour Party to the far left within and beyond the Party, to Greens and anarchists. We organise together on the basis of shared values, principles and democratically agreed policies.
Our group is anti-Zionist but does not go in for gratuitous and childish demonisation of those who identify as Zionists. We know from long experience that many of the most effective Jewish anti-Zionist campaigners today once identified as Zionists. We are simultaneously in the business of opposing Zionism and trying to persuade those beginning to have doubts. You don’t do that by insulting them as “zios”. On an earlier occasion we had to ask Debbie to take down ranting posts that about why we should call people “zios”. On this specific issue the JSG completely agrees with the view expressed by Shami Chakrabarti in her report.
Re Jon Lansman: JSG members are also active individually in a range of groups, organisations, and campaigns. We do not police what they say and do in such groups. They are only accountable to the JSG for what they say or do in the name of the JSG.
Jon Lansman has been a member of the JSG for many years but has never been an active member. We know him as a longstanding and consistent supporter of Palestinian rights.
The JSG is not affiliated to Momentum and does not hold or express a JSG view about Momentum’s internal affairs. We are aware that those currently opposing, and in some cases demonising him, include both pro-Zionist AWL supporters as well as anti-Zionists. We personally know Jewish Momentum members on all sides of this debate, but that is an issue for Momentum members. It is not an issue for the JSG as the JSG.
Some JSG members are members of the Labour Party (LP) too, but the JSG is not affiliated to the LP. We have expressed a strong view on accusations of antisemitism directed against Labour Party members which we have issued as public statements and in talks and articles by JSG members, eg:
The key elements of this are:
• We recognise that “ordinary Jewish people are rightly concerned and fearful about instances of antisemitism. We share their concerns… But we will not support those making false accusations for cynical political motives”
• We believe that: “Accusations of antisemitism are currently being weaponised to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party with claims that Labour has a “problem” of antisemitism.”
• We reject “any attempt, from whichever quarter, to place legitimate criticism of Israeli policy out of bounds…We stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and Zionism.”
• We urge the LP “to develop clear and transparent compliance procedures for dealing with allegations of antisemitism and racism. If a member is being investigated for a charge of antisemitism/racism they must be told what they are being accused of and given an opportunity to retract or explain what they meant. If disciplinary procedures are being applied, bans must be a last resort… The aim should be as far as possible to deal with such problems through education.”
The JSG continues to uphold these principles. We do not give blanket support to all individuals caught up in what we recognise generally as a deliberately manufactured campaign to undermine Corbyn and his supporters because we know that, amongst them, a few genuine cases of antisemitism have been unearthed. These include LP members who have been sharing antisemitic Jewish conspiracy material from far right sites, thinly veiled as pro-Palestinian material; cases of members professing their innocence who have been sharing material about “Rothschild bankers”; and those who think there is something called “Jewish capitalism”. While we support those who have been unfairly accused, this does not imply unconditional support for every utterance of every individual who has been excluded. All who have been targeted by the Compliance Unit but who express sincere views that are not antisemitic have our continued support.
As stated at the beginning, this statement is for information only. We do not intend to engage in debate and will not be making further comment on it. Our priority is practical, assertive campaigning that supports the Palestinians in their fight for justice and not to be diverted by sectarian infighting.
David Rosenberg’s statement is disingenuous on a number of levels:
· It ignores the key issue which is that Lansman, a JSG member, was instrumental in the removal of Jackie Walker as Vice Chair of Momentum at the behest of the JLM. This move precipitated her suspension from the Labour Party. Does JSG really have nothing to say about racism involving one of its own members? The JSG has also kept remarkably quiet about the Zionist attacks on Marc Wadsworth and Malia Bouattia.
· Lansman has admitted that he works closely with the JLM’s Chairperson, Jeremy Newmark. Newmark is an Israeli state operative and the JLM works with its 'sister' party, the racist Israeli Labour Party.
· On the one hand David says that ‘On a very few occasions since then we have, reluctantly, had to block people for misusing our page by posting anti-Corbyn material’ and on the other ‘The JSG is not affiliated to Momentum and does not hold or express a JSG view about Momentum’s internal affairs.’ Presumably if JSG has no particular view on the Labour Party or Momentum why are they blocking criticism of Corbyn on the J4J list, which they describe as ‘our page’?
· David’s defence of Lansman’s complicity in the attack on Jackie Walker is interesting. He doesn’t mention it! Instead David talks about the ‘demonisation’ of Lansman, whereas the only demonisation that has occurred to date is that of Jackie Walker, as the tweets above demonstrate. It is Jackie Walker, not Lansman, who has been the recipient of the vilest race hatred. It is a curious way to deal with racism to say that it is the perpetrators who have been demonised.
· David says that ‘J4J collectively decided to block Debbie Fink’. When was the vote? Was Debbie informed? What David means is he consulted his partner Julia Bard and perhaps Ian Saville. And why is it an offence to post the material of someone who is blocked? That seems like guilt-by association. It’s one thing to take exception to a particular article but to censor anything by a particular person smacks of McCarthyism.
· David says of Jon Lansman that ‘We know him as a longstanding and consistent supporter of Palestinian rights.’ This again is disingenuous. Lansman has never been involved in the Palestine solidarity movement. Instead during the present anti-Semitism witch-hunt, Lansman penned an article excusing the Nakba, the expulsion of ¾ million Palestinians in 1948, by relativising it. Labour and the Jews: from ethnic cleansing to truth and reconciliation. And he also posted another article, reflecting the JLM’s concern that we shouldn’t mention Zionism, the ideology and movement that established apartheid in Israel. Why the Left must stop talking about ‘Zionism’
· David Rosenberg refers us to 3 statements by the JSG on recent anti-Semitism controversies and in particular the statement on fake anti-Semitism. Statement on “Labour’s problem with antisemitism”. They are mostly unobjectionable but you judge someone not by what they say but what they do and the JSG’s refusal to defend Jackie Walker and its defence of Lansman, demonstrates that these words are pious utterances.
· David says that ‘a few genuine cases of antisemitism have been unearthed’ and these include LP members who have been sharing antisemitic Jewish conspiracy material from far right sites and material about “Rothschild bankers”. If there are a few such cases then the present witch-hunt is the worst way to deal with them. It is noticeable that there has been no trawl for Islamophobic material.
If some people’s reactions to Zionism and Israel’s behaviour has taken an anti-Semitic form, then the answer is political education not administrative and bureaucratic methods, including expulsion. It is an unfortunate fact that Zionist claims about Jewish responsibility for what happens in Israel/Palestine will inevitably produce an anti-Semitic reaction in some people.
· What should be of concern is that the JLM, which describes itself as the Israeli Labour Party’s is put in charge of ‘anti-racist’ training in the Labour Party. Defence of an apartheid state and its regime is far more serious than a few nuts who believe that the Rothschilds sponsored the Russian Revolution.
The leader of the JLM’s ‘sister party’ Isaac Herzog is an out and out racist who recently declared that his nightmare was waking up to find that Israel had a Palestinian Prime Minister and 61 Palestinian Members of Israel’s Knesset . Herzog also declared that he wanted to dispel the false impression that the ILP were ‘Arab Lovers’. Just imagine if someone had said that their nightmare was to wake up and find Britain had a Jewish Prime Minister or that the Labour Party was not a ‘Jew lovers’ party. Such terms used to be part of the language of the National Front and BNP.
· Although only a minor matter, David’s attitude to the use of the term ‘zios’ is also significant. He said that ‘You don’t do that by insulting them as “zios”.... On this specific issue the JSG completely agrees with the view expressed by Shami Chakrabarti in her report.’
It is interesting that an ‘anti-Zionist’ group should agree so wholeheartedly with Chakrabarti. Chakrabarti referred in her report to peoples’ ‘rich range of self-descriptions of both Jewishness or Zionism’ Chakrabarti also advised people ‘to use the term "Zionist" advisedly, carefully and never euphemistically or as part of personal abuse.’ Chakrabarti clearly understands nothing about Zionism, a rapacious and racist settler colonial movement. To her it is part of our multi-cultural tapestry. ‘Zio’ is of course short for ‘Zionist’ – and both Jews and non-Jews are Zionists. It cannot therefore be a racist term. The whole question of ‘Zios’ is a deliberate Zionist talking point, part of the invention of a synthetic ‘anti-Semitism’.
It is a great pity that the JSG, by its attitude to the anti-Semitism witch-hunt in the Labour Party and its association with Jon Lansman wishes to sully its past record.