Don’t support the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism that Conflates anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism
On Wednesday the European Parliament is going to debate a motion, ‘Combating anti-Semitism’ that includes support for the bogus International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
|Caroline Lucas MP supports a definition of anti-Semitism which brands BDS as 'anti-Semitic' thus proving that when they get near power, the Green Party jettisons its radicalism|
Victor Orban, the racist Prime Minister of Hungary, who has villified and demonised asylum seekers at the same time as seeking to rehabilitate the anti-Semitic rulers of Hungary in the pre-war period, has no problems supporting the IHRA definition precisely because it has nothing whatsoever to do with opposing anti-Semitism.
|On the picket line in Brighton but breaking the BDS picket line|
I am therefore even more surprised to find that Britain’s only Green MP, Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, who has previously claimed to support the Palestinian cause, has signed up to support this bogus definition of anti-Semitism which the far-Right Zionist Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has campaigned for. Already the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism has been used to stop Israel Apartheid Week at one university, has meant restrictions at Exeter University and UCL and has led to repeated attempts by Zionist organisations in this country to prevent speakers such as Jackie Walker and Tom Suarez speaking.
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is a menace to freedom of speech and liberty. In the wake of the Manchester bombing there are increasing attempts to curtail our liberty in the name of fighting terrorism. I realise that being a Green means that you have no guiding compass politically. Capitalism for most people in the Green Party is something that can be tamed and reformed. It is this lack of basic political principles that can lead to someone like Lucas giving support to the Zionist attempt to clamp down on support for the Palestinians.
Another example of Green cowardice was the performance of Lucas's co-leader Jonathan Bartley on Question Time earlier this year. As the rest of the Establishment hacks lined up to call for Ken Livingstone's expulsion from the Labour Party for daring to tell the truth, Bartley demonstrated what a political pygmy he is when he joined the mob.
Jonathan Bartley - co leader of the Green Party - joined the rest of the panel in supporting the expulsion of Ken Livingstone for telling the truth about Nazi-Zionist relations - a particularly pathetic performance
I hope that others in the Green Party will give Ms Lucas a hard time. Like most Greens who get elected into positions of power, she has already become part of the British establishment. In Germany Die Grunen when it formed a coalition with the SPD with Joshka Fischer as Foreign Minister, became the first German government to send troops into battle in a foreign country, Afghanistan. Without any class politics the Greens are destined to drift politically as Caroline Lucas demonstrates.
Below is an Open Letter to Ms Lucas taking her to task over her support for this fake definition of anti-Semitism.
|Professor Daniel Blatman, a Holocaust researcher at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is according to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, an anti-Semite|
House of Commons
London SW1 1AA
Sunday 28th May 2017
As you will be aware, following the Home Affairs Select Committee Report Antisemitism in the UK, Theresa May adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. This Report was widely considered as politically motivated, lacking any evidential base and a hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn by Chuku Ummuna of the Labour Right and the Tory members of the Committee. The Committee had no terms of reference and it criticised a number of people from whom it had refused to take evidence.
This Wednesday the European Parliament will be debating a Motion on Combatting Antisemitism which also recommends adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. I am pleased to hear that the Green group in the European Parliament has decided to vote against it.
I am therefore extremely surprised to hear from friends in the Green Party that you support this bogus and racist definition of anti-Semitism. Racist because it proceeds from the basis that Zionism and Israel represents all Jewish people.
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is another name for the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism which the Fundamental Rights Agency removed from its web site in 2013 because it conflated support for the Palestinians with anti-Semitism. It has now been given a new lease of life. It deserves to be put back to sleep again, this time for good.
No one doubts the evils of anti-Semitism although the concentration on this form of racism to the exclusion of, for example, racism against Romanis or Islamaphobia, raises suspicions that the government’s real motive is to use peoples’ opposition to anti-Semitism to underpin its foreign policy alliances in the Middle East.
The IHRA, is an intergovernmental organisation consisting of 31 countries. It includes a number of countries which tolerate anti-Semitism, such as Poland under its far-Right Law and Justice government. Hungary’s government under Victor Orban, whose racist attitude to refugees needs no elaborating, is set on rehabilitating Admiral Horthy who presided over the deportation of some 430,000 Jews to Auschwitz between March 19th and July 9th 1944. [The Reinterment and Political Rehabilitation of Miklós Horthy, Randolph Braham]. Orban though has had no difficulty signing up to the IHRA because like many anti-Semites he is ardently pro-Zionist. That in itself should give you pause for thought.
The IHRA definition has nothing to do with opposing anti-Semitism. Its sole purpose is to conflate opposition to Zionism and the Apartheid State of Israel with anti-Semitism. Seven of its eleven examples of anti-Semitism mention the State of Israel. By identifying Jews with the actions of Israel, the IHRA is likely to increase not diminish anti-Semitism.
Brian Klug, when giving a talk What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’? Echoes of shattering glass’ at the November 2014 International Conference at the Berlin Jewish Museum “Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts” produced a definition of anti-Semitism in 21 words: ‘antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’ The IHRA definition needs 409 words, because its purpose is not to define anti-Semitism but to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism includes ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’. Ironically that is the main purpose of the definition.
|According to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, this article in Israel's Ha'aretz paper is 'anti-Semitic'|
The IHRA definition states: ‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’ is anti-Semitic. Presumably Professor Daniel Blatman, a Holocaust researcher and head of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem is also anti-Semitic for comparing the Nuremburg laws with the raft of racist laws targeting Israeli Arabs in Ha’aretz. Heading Toward an Israeli Apartheid State. Indeed Professor Blatman is doubly anti-Semitic because he also transgresses another IHRA example of ‘anti-Semitism’: ‘claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.’
Anyone who is seriously concerned about anti-Semitism and indeed any form of racism, should be determined to separate off Jewish people from the actions of Israel. To associate Jews with the actions and policies of Israeli state, is to invite anti-Semitism.
If calling out Israel as a racist endeavour is anti-Semitic, as the IHRA definition states, then we should be honest and admit that telling the truth can be anti-Semitic.
In a 2012 opinion survey 59 percent of Israeli Jews wanted preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to government jobs and 49 percent want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arabs. 42 percent don't want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don't want their children in the same class with Arab children. ‘Only’ a third wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and 69 percent would oppose giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank. In last year’s Pew Research Centres survey Israel’s Religiously Divided Society, a plurality of Israeli Jews, 48% supported the physical expulsion of Israel’s Arab citizens.
The prevalence of racism amongst Israeli Jews reflects the racist nature of the Israeli state. There is nothing anti-Semitic in stating that openly.
The IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is designed to keep the truth about Israel and Zionism under wraps. It has already been used in Britain to close down Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Central Lancashire and to prevent activities at other universities. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is already having a chilling effect on free speech.
I would hope that you reconsider your support for this bogus definition of anti-Semitism. .