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Friday, 31 August 2018

Debating with Gilad Atzmon, the anti-Semitic Jazzman

For both anti-Semites and Zionists, to be a Jew is to be a Zionist






Just because 99% of supporters of the Palestinians are anti-racist it doesn’t mean that occasionally a supporter of the Palestinians is found to be anti-Semitic. Gilad Atzmon, a former Israeli Jew is one such person.  My first encounter with him was way back in 2005 when he wrote informing me Paul Eisen, that a Holocaust Denier, had written a ‘great text’ entitled Jewish Power and describing a Swedish fascist and resident of Israel, Israel Shamir, as a ‘unique and advanced thinker.’  
Eisen, the British director of the now-defunct Deir Yassin Remembered, went on to publish such insightful essays as Why I Call Myself a Holocaust Denier.  Shamir has gone one better.  In Who Needs Holocaust? he described Auschwitz as an 'internment facility, attended by the Red Cross’. Lest this be thought of as guilt-by-association Atzmon has also questioned whether the Holocaust has occurred'
Pictured here is Israeli Marxist Moshe Machover - Atzmon has developed a unique concept of Jewish as opposed to non-Jewish Marxism!
In Truth, History and Integrity Atzmon described how
‘It took me years to accept that the Holocaust narrative, in its current form, doesn’t make any historical sense. ... If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein - free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war? I am left puzzled here, if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators? I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative... We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place.’
Atzmon went on to ask
‘65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz we should reclaim our history and ask why? Why were the Jews hated? Why did European people  stand up against their next door neighbours? Why are the Jews hated in the Middle East, surely they had a chance to open a new page in their troubled history?’
When I challenged him on this passage Atzmon retorted that this essay had been integrated into his book The Wandering Who and if it had suggested Holocaust denial then ‘the book would’ve been  banned and I’d have been arrested” when he set foot in Germany since Holocaust denial is illegal there. What Atzmon omitted to say was that everything before ‘65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz..’ had been omitted from the book!
Blowing his own trumpet
In 2005 Jews Against Zionism held a picket outside the SWP’s Bookmarx shop when Atzmon was invited to speak to the collective faithful.  I have published a number of articles on Atzmon such as Guide to the Sayings of Gilad Atzmon and Time to say goodbye.
In mid-July Tony Gosling, who hosts a community radio station in Bristol invited me to debate Atzmon for the first time on a programme. Despite finding it difficult at times to hear everything he said, it was clear why Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Professor Joseph Massad and many other Palestinians had issued a joint statement Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon six years ago. (see below for statement).
From the Palestinian Ali Abunimah to the Zionist Alan Dershowitz everyone is out to get Atzmon
Atzmon’s paints all those who are what he calls politically Jewish as one and the same.  To him, regardless of whether your are an anti-Zionist or a Zionist if you are what he terms politically Jewish you are all the same. He takes particular exception to Jewish groups which are formed to oppose Zionism.  This is apparently a specific example of Jewish supremacy.
Atzmon is one of those few anti-Semites who opposes Israel, not because it is a settler-colonial state but because it is Jewish. Historically most anti-Semites supported the idea of a Jewish state as it was an ideal place to send all their unwanted Jews.
Throughout the debate Atzmon insisted that he cannot be anti-Semitic because he never mentions the word 'race', even though he consistently accuses anti-Zionist Jews of being 'racially oriented.'  It is clear to me that if you assert that all Jews are Zionists, i.e. politically the same, because they are Jewish, then you are invoking an anti-Semitic stereotype which says that all Jews share the same beliefs and opinions because they are Jewish. It is clearly as assertion of race by any other name.
In Not in My Name Atzmon declares that

By contrast, I really do not understand those who fight Zionism in the name of their secular Jewish identity. I have never understood them. I have never really understood what secularism means for the Jewish people.... To demand that Jews disapprove of Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity is to accept the Zionist philosophy. To resist Zionism as a secular Jew involves an acceptance of basic Zionist terminology, that is to say, a surrendering to Jewish racist and nationalist philosophy. 
As Atzmon conceded in the debate, Jewish identity is not and never has been fixed.  The idea that Jewish identity can only take the form of Zionism or Orthodox Judaism is an essentialist view of what it is to be Jewish.  In stating that to be Jewish is to be a Zionist Atzmon mirrors what Zionist ideologues themselves say. To say, as Atzmon says above that to oppose Zionism as a Jew is to accept basic Zionist terminology only makes sense if you accept that being Jewish and Zionist are interchangeable.

In Saying NO to the Hunters of Goliath Atzmon repeats a theme that he is particularly fond of.  The Jews were exterminated by the Nazis because they were ‘unpopular’. Nothing to do with fascism, racism, the need for a scapegoat.  And now Israel is ‘at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago.’ In other words it not because Israel is a settler colonial state, rather Jews behave badly wherever they are. After all Israel is a Jewish state and being Jewish is a timeless quality. Atzmon wrote that:
Jews are now more than welcome in Germany and in Europe, yet, the Jewish state and the sons of Israel are at least as unpopular in the Middle East as their grandparents were in Europe just six decades ago. Seemingly, it is the personification of WW2 and the Holocaust that blinded the Israelis and their supporters from internalising the real meaning of the conditions and the events that led towards their destruction in the first place.
In the present climate when false accusations are the principal weapon of the Labour Right and the Zionists in their attempt to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership of the Labour Party, then people like Atzmon can point to what is happening as an example of what he calls ‘Jewish Power.’

Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon

For many years now, Gilad Atzmon, a musician born in Israel and currently living in the United Kingdom, has taken on the self-appointed task of defining for the Palestinian movement the nature of our struggle, and the philosophy underpinning it. He has done so through his various blogs and Internet outlets, in speeches, and in articles. He is currently on tour in the United States promoting his most recent book, entitled, ‘The Wandering Who.’
With this letter, we call for the disavowal of Atzmon by fellow Palestinian organizers, as well as Palestine solidarity activists, and allies of the Palestinian people, and note the dangers of supporting Atzmon’s political work and writings and providing any platforms for their dissemination. We do so as Palestinian organizers and activists, working across continents, campaigns, and ideological positions.
Atzmon’s politics rest on one main overriding assertion that serves as springboard for vicious attacks on anyone who disagrees with his obsession with “Jewishness”. He claims that all Jewish politics is “tribal,” and essentially, Zionist. Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project, but a trans-historical “Jewish” one, part and parcel of defining one’s self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. We could not disagree more. Indeed, we believe Atzmon’s argument is itself Zionist because it agrees with the ideology of Zionism and Israel that the only way to be a Jew is to be a Zionist.
Palestinians have faced two centuries of orientalist, colonialist and imperialist domination of our native lands. And so as Palestinians, we see such language as immoral and completely outside the core foundations of humanism, equality and justice, on which the struggle for Palestine and its national movement rests. As countless Palestinian activists and organizers, their parties, associations and campaigns, have attested throughout the last century, our struggle was never, and will never be, with Jews, or Judaism, no matter how much Zionism insists that our enemies are the Jews. Rather, our struggle is with Zionism, a modern European settler colonial movement, similar to movements in many other parts of the world that aim to displace indigenous people and build new European societies on their lands.
We reaffirm that there is no room in this historic and foundational analysis of our struggle for any attacks on our Jewish allies, Jews, or Judaism; nor denying the Holocaust; nor allying in any way shape or form with any conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities. Challenging Zionism, including the illegitimate power of institutions that support the oppression of Palestinians, and the illegitimate use of Jewish identities to protect and legitimize oppression, must never become an attack on Jewish identities, nor the demeaning and denial of Jewish histories in all their diversity.
Indeed, we regard any attempt to link and adopt antisemitic or racist language, even if it is within a self-described anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist politics, as reaffirming and legitimizing Zionism. In addition to its immorality, this language obscures the fundamental role of imperialism and colonialism in destroying our homeland, expelling its people, and sustaining the systems and ideologies of oppression, apartheid and occupation. It leaves one squarely outside true solidarity with Palestine and its people.
The goal of the Palestinian people has always been clear: self determination. And we can only exercise that inalienable right through liberation, the return of our refugees (the absolute majority of our people) and achieving equal rights to all through decolonization. As such, we stand with all and any movements that call for justice, human dignity, equality, and social, economic, cultural and political rights. We will never compromise the principles and spirit of our liberation struggle. We will not allow a false sense of expediency to drive us into alliance with those who attack, malign, or otherwise attempt to target our political fraternity with all liberation struggles and movements for justice.
As Palestinians, it is our collective responsibility, whether we are in Palestine or in exile, to assert our guidance of our grassroots liberation struggle. We must protect the integrity of our movement, and to do so we must continue to remain vigilant that those for whom we provide platforms actually speak to its principles.
When the Palestinian people call for self-determination and decolonization of our homeland, we do so in the promise and hope of a community founded on justice, where all are free, all are equal and all are welcome.
Until liberation and return.
Signed:
Ali Abunimah
Naseer Aruri, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Omar Barghouti, human rights activist
Hatem Bazian, Chair, American Muslims for Palestine
Andrew Dalack, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Haidar Eid, Gaza
Nada Elia, US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Toufic Haddad
Kathryn Hamoudah
Adam Hanieh, Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon! Canada
Monadel Herzallah, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Nadia Hijab, author and human rights advocate
Andrew Kadi
Hanna Kawas, Chair person, Canada Palestine Association and Co-Host Voice of Palestine
Abir Kobty, Palestinian blogger and activist
Joseph Massad, Professor, Columbia University, NY
Danya Mustafa, Israeli Apartheid Week US National Co-Coordinator & Students for Justice in Palestine- University of New Mexico
Dina Omar, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine
Haitham Salawdeh, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Sobhi Samour, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Khaled Ziada, SOAS Palestine Society, London
Rafeef Ziadah, poet and human rights advocate

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

If Anyone Resembles Enoch Powell it’s Rabbi Sacks NOT Jeremy Corbyn

In 2017 Rabbi Sacks marched with thousands of settler racists through Arab East Jerusalem chanting 'Death to the Arabs'


The Daily Mail in its pro-Hitler days warns against Jewish refugees entering 'through the back door'

In an interview with the New Statesman, the house journal of the Labour Right and the anti-Corbyn campaign, former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks engaged in a piece of vitriol worthy of Goebbels himself.  Not surprisingly, the Daily Mail, which in the 1930’s campaigned against the entry of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany to Britain and which latterly employed Katie Hopkins as its columnist, cheered him to the rafters.
The Mail quoted Sacks as saying that Corbyn’s criticism of Richard Millett, an open fascist, was the most offensive remark by a British politician since Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech in 1968. Outrageous and absurd hyperbole seems to be the Zionist substitute for anything approximating to rational thought and polemic.  Less than a month ago, Britain’s 3 Zionist papers published a joint editorial which spoke of ‘ the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government’ with barely a murmur from rational people.
An existential threat literally means a threat to someone’s life.  What these 3 propaganda rags were saying was that Corbyn was literally a threat to the Jewish community along the lines of Adolf Hitler.  Presumably under a Jeremy Corbyn administration the British version of Auschwitz would be opening its doors for business. And then these Zionists complain about comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany and via the IHRA denounce those who make such a campaign as ‘anti-Semites’.
The Daily Mail, which backed Enoch Powell in 1968, now has the audacity to compare Corbyn with its erstwhile hero
Of course given that the Blessed Margaret Hodge of child abuse fame compared the threat of disciplinary proceedings to the experiences of her father who fled the Nazis, it would seem that exaggeration and hyperbole are the main fare of Zionism these days.
It would seem that in their defence of the State of Israel, British Zionists have lost all sense of proportion.  The idea that someone who was arrested outside South Africa House protesting against Apartheid has now become an SA stormtrooper is too silly for words.  However this is understandable.  How else do you defend a state where Arab life is cheap, where Arab homes are demolished to make way for Jewish homes and where Arab and Jewish are segregated in maternity wards if not by demonising your opponents and engaging in the type of abuse that would be better suited to Smithfields market?  It says a great deal about Zionist intellectuals that they have to get down into the gutter in order to defend the racist Rottweiler that is the Israeli state.
This is the reason for Jonathan Sack's libellous attack on Corbyn - how else do you defend Israeli Police helping the bulldozers to demolish a Palestinian village unless you attack your opponents as 'antisemitic'?
Sack’s remarks remind me of the response of Ha’aretz’s Anshel Pfeffer to the virulently anti-Corbyn Campaign Against Antisemitism which claimed that in an opinion poll more than half of British Jews felt that anti-Semitism today echoed that of the 1930s. Pfeffer witheringly observed that if the CAA and British Jews “actually believe that, then it’s hard to take anything they say about contemporary anti-Semitism in their home country seriously.”
Pfeffer added that such a belief showed “a disconnect bordering on hysteria … not only are they woefully ignorant of recent Jewish history but have little concept of what real anti-Semitism is.” Which just about sums up Jonathan Sacks too.
Jonathan Sack’s comparison of Corbyn with Enoch Powell is not only extraordinarily offensive but it is in itself anti-Semitic. What he and the rest of the empty chorus of Zionist propagandists are doing is to belittle and minimise the experience of Jews who in the past faced real anti-Semitism.  To compare opposition to Zionism and Israeli Apartheid with anti-Semitism simply minimises and trivialises the bloody pogroms of Czarist Russia to say nothing of the tribulations of German and European Jewry under Nazi occupation.  It is somewhat ironic that the Zionist movement which never fought anti-Semitism and in the case of Nazi Germany actively collaborated with it now dons the mantle of the opponents of anti-Semitism.
My dad fought in the Battle of Cable Street, a battle that the Board of Deputies explicitly told British Jews to stay away from. They and the English Zionists told Jews to avoid the fascists and keep their heads down. They repeated this in the 1970’s in the fight against the National Front.  The reason Zionism has never fought fascism or anti-Semitism  is because it shares too much in common with anti-Semitism to ever fight it.   As one of Israel’s foremost novelists and poets, A B Yehoshua observedeven today a real anti-Semite must also be a Zionist.’ Both agree that Jews ‘real home’ is not where they are living but in Israel.
Sacks’s argument, such as it was, was that at a speech in 2013, Corbyn said of a group of British “Zionists”:They clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”
Sacks then drew the conclusion from these throwaway remarks that Corbyn had threatened the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.’  Now Sacks is an erudite fellow with a clutch of degrees.  For him to make cheap and populist remarks like this, in order to gain the plaudits of the right-wing anti-immigrant British press (and the BBC of course) is a measure of how Zionist intellectuals will prostitute their talents for the sake of Zionism and petty nationalism. This is a measure of how far Zionism will go as it debases the currency of political debate.
Jeremy Corbyn was referring to a couple of far-Right British Zionists not Jews. He never mentioned their religion.  It was entirely irrelevant to him.  The whole of Sack’s intellectual edifice is based on this assumption, an assumption that is the staple diet of Zionism, that being Jewish means being a Zionist.   Corbyn however made his position quite clear.  In a statement to the Guardian  Corbyn said he had used the term Zionists “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”. He also added: “I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by anti-Semites as code for Jews.  On this Corbyn is wrong  Anti-Semites tend to do this less and less now.  It is Zionists who insist on conflating Jew with Zionist and then drawing the conclusion that to be a Jew is to be a Zionist.
It is not for nothing that the most virulent anti-Semites, like the neo-Nazi founder of America’s alt-Right, Richard Spencer, defines himself as a White Zionist. Nor is Spencer alone.  Think of any major far-Right or neo-Nazi political leader or movement in Europe today and almost without exception they are pro-Israel and pro-Zionist.  Le Pen, Strache, Geert Wilders, Alternative for Germany, Matteo Salvini – today’s far Right are focused on Muslims and in the process they too have become philo-Semitic.
Sacks is one of the few erudite rabbis in Britain, certainly in comparison with his almost embarrassing successor, Ephraim Mirvis.  It is a sad commentary on the corrosive effects of Zionist nationalism that it makes Philistines out of otherwise learned Jews!  Nothing is more contemptible than seeing an intellectual like Jonathan Sacks lower himself in order to make cheap and demagogic points and play to the populist crowd. That is precisely what Enoch Powell, a classics scholar did with his Rivers of Blood speech.  Ironically if anyone resembles Enoch Powell it is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks himself.
Tony Greenstein
As a key modern Orthodox leader, think again about joining Jerusalem Day marchers who scream ‘Death to Arabs’, promoting one of the most contentious of all Israeli settlements, and the consequences for Diaspora Jews
May 17, 2017 5:07 pm

Growing up in Bnei Akiva in the UK in the 80s and 90s I was entirely ignorant of the occupation. There were no dotted lines on our maps of Israel, no Palestinians seeking self-determination, only millions of hostile Arabs wanting our land. Supporting Israel meant supporting Israel’s control of the whole land; I knew of no other option.
Israeli authorities order Palestinian businesses to close for the Jerusalem Day "March of Flags" through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. May 6, 2016 Olivier Fitoussi
Through such education the occupation was normalized for many Orthodox British Jews of my generation. It is common even now in both formal and informal settings to reject the use of that word to describe the situation in the West Bank.

This environment enables Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, member of the House of Lords, a high-profile member of both Yeshiva University and New York University’s faculty, and one of the most eminent modern Orthodox rabbis of his generation, to extend a “personal invitation” to Diaspora Jews to join him on a trip to Israel which includes “leading” the March of the Flags on Jerusalem Day and “dancing with our brave IDF soldiers” in the radical settler enclave inside the city of Hebron. The trip, marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, is run by Mizrachi Olami, the parent organisation of Bnei Akiva.

The March of the Flags, which celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem, passes through the Old City’s Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem and proceeds through the Muslim quarter. In his promotional video for the trip Rabbi Sacks quotes Psalms: “Jerusalem is rebuilt like a city that is compact together” and goes on to say, “of course that’s what we see each time we visit Jerusalem today”.
The Israeli authorities enable this wilful blindness to the reality of a divided city by issuing closure orders to Palestinian businesses along the route, and preventing Palestinian residents from being on the streets.

The march, largely attended by bussed in yeshiva students, is associated with hate speech and violence. Haaretz’s Bradley Burston describes it as “an annual, gender-segregated extreme-right, pro-occupation religious carnival of hatred, marking the anniversary of Israel's capture of Jerusalem by humiliating the city's Palestinian Muslims marchers vandalized shops in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter, chanted "Death to Arabs" and "The (Jewish) Temple Will Be Built, the (Al Aqsa) Mosque will be Burned Down," shattered windows and door locks, and poured glue into the locks of shops forced to close for fear of further damage.” 

On their trip to Hebron, as well as praying at the Cave of the Patriarchs, the group will visit one of the most contentious of all the settlements. It comprises a few hundred Jews in the centre of a city of 150,000 Palestinians, heavily guarded by the Israeli army and causing huge ongoing disruption to the Palestinian population. ‘Dancing with soldiers’ in the streets of this settlement enclave is an unequivocal show of support for the settlers’ presence there, and of disregard to local Palestinians living under a form of perpetual siege.  
Residents clean a Palestinian house that was attacked by Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron, December 5, 2008.REUTERS
The Western Wall and the Cave of the Patriarchs were inaccessible to Jews between 1948 and 1967. Celebrating renewed Jewish access and praying at these holy places is understandable; however Mizrachi’s planned activities venture beyond celebration into highly contentious territory and provocation, mixing political acts with religious celebrations. The trip aims to tacitly reinforce the same lesson I was taught in my youth: that supporting Israel’s presence in the entire land is an intrinsic and necessary part of supporting Israel.

It is surprising that Rabbi Sacks is promoting this trip. His most recent book, Not in God’s Name, discusses the importance of interpreting religious texts and obligations in a way that is consistent with peace and tolerance. He has earned a reputation for being thoughtful, measured and conciliatory. Last year he won the prestigious Templeton Prize in recognition of his appreciation and respect towards all faiths, for promoting the importance of recognizing the values of each of them, and for his inter-faith work.

In a 2002 interview Rabbi Sacks expressed serious concerns about the occupation, remarks for which he was much criticised by some in the Orthodox community.

For Rabbi Sacks and other religious leaders to endorse the message that to support Israel must require supporting the occupation, and some of its most radical settlers, has serious consequences. Many in the Diaspora accept this message, impeding real dialogue about how we can best support Israel, and about the plurality of views. Others see how Judaism, Zionism and the occupation are being presented as an indivisible whole and reject the former as well as the latter, at great cost to our community.
Jerusalem Day at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on May 20, 2012.Olivier Fitoussi
To the wider communities in which we live, the promotion of these events by one of the world’s most respected rabbis sends a message of normalization and acceptance of the occupation by the mainstream Jewish community. Many Jews in the Diaspora work hard to emphasize that being Jewish is not synonymous with supporting the Israeli government, and that supporting Israel’s right to exist is not synonymous with supporting the occupation. Rabbi Sacks’ actions risk undermining these messages.

A group of British Jews currently living in Jerusalem has prepared an open letter  to Rabbi Sacks, expressing our concern at the implications of his trip on Diaspora communities, and asking that he reconsider his involvement in these events. We hope that together we can work towards a more honest dialogue about Israel, one in which we directly engage with the occupation rather than airbrushing it out.

Anna Roiser is a British lawyer and a New Israel Fund New Gen Activism Fellow for 2017/2018 currently living in Jerusalem. Follow her on Twitter: @12AnnaBanana     



Israel youth walk during Jerusalem Day March held by Israeli nationalists that celebrate 48 years for the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, in Jerusalem’s old city, May 17, 2015. The march is termed by the nationalists the Flag March. Activestills.org

Jerusalem Day is approaching, and with it my anxiety. Since I was a young boy, Jerusalem Day, in which Israelis mark what they call the “reunification” of West and East Jerusalem, is a difficult and strange day for me. A day of rage, grief, and lack of security.

In my childhood I witnessed right-wing Israelis violently rampaging through the Old City, and especially in the Muslim Quarter where I lived. These rampaged only intensified over the years, due to the security situation as well as the leniency of the authorities. Those who celebrate Jerusalem Day know full well that these kinds of actions are an outright provocation toward the city’s Muslim inhabitants. This is especially felt in the Muslim Quarter.

Take the day off

The violence usually takes place right under the nose of Israeli security forces. Right-wing extremists provoke us by aggressively banging on our doors and target young Arabs. The reason is simply: they know that the young are easily riled up. And if anyone dare think of responding, we all know who the police will believe. The rampages end with a giant march through Damascus Gate, during which Israelis are accompanied by a large police presence. The truth is they don’t need the police; most of them are armed with automatic rifles, and can eliminate any threat. After all, they already have permission to do so.

My parents would forbid me from leaving the house on Jerusalem Day. They told me that the intense heat could give me heat stroke. I do not know how my mother thought that this was going to convince a child like myself; after all, it was clear to me as a young kid that the weather was perfect for, say, a family outing. I know that there was something wrong with their claim, and the Hebrew songs being sung under our home, along with a dramatic increase in traffic in our neighborhood, was enough of a reason to understand that this was far more serious that a “hot day.” Over time I understood that my family forbade me from going outside because they wanted us to protect our home. It was no coincidence that my father took a day off on Jerusalem Day, spending all day in front of the television and the window with a newspaper and cup of coffee.

Today I try to avoid Jerusalem on this day. I do my best to go places that can help me forget the fact that I live in Jerusalem. Two years ago, I spent the day with a Hebrew book on the beach, reading and translating all the new words I was learning. But now I developed a new habit that has changed my life: I take my computer, go to the beach, and write every thought that comes to mind.

Like a cancer




Israeli policemen arrest as Palestinian youth, outside Jerusalem’s old city, as Palestinians protest against the flags march, May 17, 2015. The march marks 48 years for the occupation of East Jerusalem.
I know that the demonstrations, the racist marches, the anti-Arab slogans (“Jews have a soul, Arabs are sons of bitches”) will never end on this day. The police is not interested in confronting the extremists, meanwhile the government doesn’t want to be seen as sympathetic to Arabs. Thus, no one takes any proactive steps to stop the incitement, which only causes the situation to worsen. In fact, at the end of Jerusalem Day, the police set up a giant, blue human wall to prevent confrontations between Palestinian residents and the celebrants, who paralyze an entire city to celebrate this day.
On Jerusalem Day, you will be able to hear politicians on both the right and the left who pretend to celebrate this day, emphasizing that Jerusalem is a special city, despite those who don’t see it as a unified city. I, on the other hand, invite all these politicians to take a short tour of Jerusalem to show them the obvious: that Jerusalem is not unified — it is shattered to pieces. One side enjoys modernization, while the other is the victim of deliberate policies of neglect, poverty, and crime that take over the Arab neighborhoods like a cancer in the body.

Suleiman Maswadeh is an activist who studies political science and communications. This article was originally published in Hebrew on Local Call.

Why Rabbi Sacks Is Wrong: Palestinians Don’t Have to Be anti-Semites to Be anti-Zionists

The former British chief rabbi is a wise and brilliant man, but his recent essay does to Palestinians what anti-Semitism does to Jews: it dehumanizes them.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Banned by Amnesty International for Harassment - How the BBC turned Zionist Thug Richard Millett from a Zero into a Hero

Without a trace of shame - The Times, which refused to criticise Hitler, calls for Corbyn's Resignation for 'anti-Semitism'!


A Summary of  Corbyn's Anti-semitic Attack on Zionist Thug Richard Millett
-- Did you hear that Jeremy Corbyn, in a speech in 2013, said that British Jews weren't really British even if they were born there?

 -- Really? He said that?

-- Well, he intimated that British Jews couldn't grasp British irony and didn't understand history."

-- Really? He was referring to Jews?

-- Well, he didn't SAY Jews, but he said that about UK Zionists, which is a leftwing code term for British Jews.

-- Hang on, he made a reference to UK Zionists as a group?

-- Well, not exactly. Actually, he was referring to some pro-Israel members of the audience who came up and started arguing with the Palestinian ambassador who had presented the history of Palestine and used irony, which Corbyn thought these guys didn't get. He specifically referred to "the Zionists in the audience."

-- So, you mean to say he did not refer to British Zionists as a whole, but he was saying that the Palestinian ambassador, who is Armenian Palestinian, had a greater grasp of British irony, than these Brits who had lived their all their lives?

-- Yes, that's about it.

-- So, in effect, he accused pro-Israeli members of the audience, whom he referred to as "Zionists", which they are, and who argued with the Palestinian ambassador, with being humorless and misunderstanding history, compared with the Palestinian ambassador.

-- 
 Yep.

-- Well, that makes the man clearly an anti-Semite, doesn't it?”



Last week Richard Millet became the hero of the BBC and the media ratpack in their war against Jeremy Corbyn.  Millett appeared on the BBC’s 6 O’Clock News last Friday as a victim of ‘anti-Semitism’. Millett was even the cause of a splutteringly dishonest Leader in The Times last Saturday ‘Labour’s Moral Vacuum’.
What was the cause of this rise to media prominence? At a Palestine meeting in Parliament in 2013, which he tried to disrupt, Millett was told by Jeremy Corbyn that he should study some history and for good measure get a grip on English irony. For these mild comments, The Times attacked Corbyn as ‘straightforwardly antisemitic’. '
Satire is almost redundant when The Times begins to give Jeremy Corbyn lectures on antisemitism 

According to The Times Corbyn ‘used the word “Zionists” as a synonym for “Jews” and as a term of casual abuse.’ which is a good example of how the sins of the British press are visited on their victims. It is The Times and the rest of the yellow press which can’t distinguish between ‘Jew’ and ‘Zionist’. The Jewish Chronicle’s far-Right editor, Stephen Pollard also asserted that ‘the Labour leader 'used the word "Zionist" obviously to mean "Jews". There is nothing obvious about this at all of course.  Corbyn was careful to distinguish between Jews and Zionists, unlike the Jewish Chronicle.
Corbyn's innocent remarks made five years ago make Luciana Berger feel unwelcome in the Labour Party - what makes her feel unwelcome is a socialist leader!
Richard Millett is one of the best known Zionist thugs and bully boys amongst a group of Zionists whose sole purpose is to disrupt Palestinian and anti-Zionist meetings in London. In December 2017 I did a feature on 31 of these Zionist fascists, misfits and assorted thugs.
Richard Millett was number 13 on the list and the piece on him was accompanied by a picture of him with Paul Besser, former Intelligence Officer for the neo-Nazi Britain First group. So much for his opposition to anti-Semitism! Absurdly the Times article quotes Millett as claiming that he was frightened of recriminations if Corbyn was toppled as a result of the row. “I don’t know what will happen,” he said. “I am scared on a physical level and the Jewish community is upset about what they see is happening. I think we are all scared.”  Likewise the Mail claimed that Millett and the Jewish community was 'scared on a physical level' because of the false accusations of Labour anti-Semitism.

Millett and  fellow Zionist thugs and fascists demonstrated with Tommy Robinson’s Football Lads Alliance at the Al Quds demonstration last June yet they have the chutzpah to claim they are physically frightened of their opponents! It is a sign of the degeneration of the British press and the BBC that they take these claims at face value without even doing a cursory investigation into their background.
On Millett’s blog there is a piece about him being evicted from the Commons in April last year. Both Millett and the Daily Mail’s reporter Jake Wallis-Simons lied, stating that Millett was evicted by "armed police". This is untrue.  According to a witness I have spoken to the following was actually what happened:
The incident happened just a few weeks after a policeman was murdered at the House of Commons. There was an increased armed police presence.Mark Hendricks MP called the police (he did not ask for "armed police" as Millet implies. Because of the increase security immediately after the murder an armed police detail was closest and first to arrive. However, and this is what is important, the armed police explained that they would not remove the disrupters and called for regular police to deal with the situation. I was there and clearly heard all this as Millet also did.
In the original Mail on-line story by Jake Wallis Simons last Thursday Corbyn is quoted as saying that
'[British Zionists] clearly have two problems. One is they don't want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don't understand English irony either.'
This apparently is anti-Semitic according to the paper which supported Hitler before the war!  Clearly Zionists don’t want to study so much as rewrite history and their appreciation of any form of irony is close to zero.
Blumenthall and solicitor Mark Lewis were recently on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme explaining how 'antisemitism' was forcing them to emigrate to Israel. Even a cursory investigation would show that she is a leading Zionist,  a member of Herut .  The whole basis of Zionism is that Jews don't belong in this country and should emigrate to Israel.
Although the Mail does not mention Millett the video link is from Millets blog where he is seen and heard shouting throughout. The DM journalist, Jake Wallis Simons, is a virulent Zionist who is close to Mandy Blumenthal, organiser for the far-Right semi-fascist Herut group who featured at Number 28 on my list of Zionist fascists. Wallis-Simons is the go-to guy for Blumenthal whenever she or the misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism want publicity about emigrating to Israel, anti-Semitism etc.
Millett harassing visitors to Amnesty events
What the BBC, the Mail and The Times didn’t tell their readers was that Millett has been banned, along with Jonathan Hoffman, for harassing people at Amnesty International events as the 3 videos I am putting up show. Millett is clearly no shy and fearful Jew in these videos, rather a loud mouthed bully.
Although Millett claims his concern is with anti-Semitism he has demonstrated, like most Zionists, that he has no objection whatsoever to anti-Semites who are pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. Millett is like Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard, who once wrote that Polish anti-semite Michal Kaminski MEP was 'one of the greatest friends to the Jews ' 
Eight years ago there was a campaign in London against a shop Ahava in Covent Garden.  It sold stolen products from the West Bank.  We picketed it every other week and eventually they were evicted from the premises because fellow shop owners were fed up with the constant pickets.
here is Millett excusing overtly anti-semitic comments about Jews being Christ Killers yet he objects to references to English irony - you couldn't make it up except that that is exactly what the BBC and Britain's venomous press does every day
Israeli shop assistant accuses demonstrators of Killing Jesus to Millett's approval
Millett was active, with Jonathan Hoffman in supporting the shop. In the course of a demonstration one day, a staff member at the shop accused Jewish protestors against the shop of being ‘Christ killers’ and when asked to explain this remark she said that it was 'because you are Jewish’. What was the reaction of Richard Millett to this vile anti-Semitic trope, an accusation that has led to thousands of Jewish dead in Easter pogroms? An accusation which was at the heart of Christian anti-Semitism for centuries?
Did Millett demand that the woman be sacked for antisemitism from what is after all an Israeli shop?  We are always told that Israel and Jews are one and the same! Not a bit of it.  In a blog Ahava’s female staff suffer continued bullying Millett’s concern was about the ‘bullying’ of the anti-Semitic shop assistant. In fact this like much else that Millett says was a lie.  The staff were never targeted. It was the shop which was the object of the demonstrations not the staff who worked there.  Millett told his readers that:
As you can see at the beginning of the video the woman is angry that the activists are now specifically targeting her!

Her apparent remark about Jews killing Jesus (although, no where in the footage do we actually hear her say that) is a remark to a male, Jewish activist who spends large proportions of his sad life hanging around outside the Ahava shop.

This is disingenuous as we can clearly hear in the video a Jewish demonstrator asking why she had called them 'Christ killers'. She didn’t deny it.  Her response was ‘Because you are Jewish’ thereby accepting that this was what she said. There was therefore nothing ‘apparent’ about the remark.  Millett clearly has no problem with anti-semitism when it is directed at the 'wrong sort of Jew'.
I don’t blame her for an off-the-cuff remark when confronted by a group of bullies.
It was an 'off the cuff remark' as was Jeremy Corbyn's suggestion that he brush up on his history and English irony.  However Corbyn is the worst anti-Semite since Adolf himself according to Millett and the Zionist chorus in the press. 
Thus we see that the only concern of Millett is to protect an Israeli shop, trading in the stolen minerals of Palestine, from being closed down.  Anti-Semitism is only a useful propaganda tool for this racist thug.
In my post of this incident Zionists Defend Ahava Staff Who Accuses Jews of Being ‘Christ Killers’ I noted that the accusation of being a Christ Killer was at the heart of some of the most bloody pogroms and violence against Jews.  Norman Cohn in Pursuit of the Millenium wrote that:
‘For generations the laity had been accustomed to hear the Jews bitterly condemned from the pulpit - as perverse, stubborn and ungrateful, as bearers also of a monstrous hereditary guilt for the murder of Christ.’ p.77 (my emphasis) 
Abe Foxman as ardent a Zionist as anyone was quite clear about the implications of accusing Jews of being Christ Killers. In his talk, ‘Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ:" Could It Trigger Anti-Semitism?’ Foxman, speaking as the National Director of the ADL on February 6, 2004 at Palm Beach, Florida stated that:
‘For almost 2,000 years in Western civilization, four words legitimized, rationalized, and fueled anti-Semitism: "The Jews killed Christ….
For hundreds of years those four words - acted out, spoken out, sermonized out - inspired and legitimized pogroms, inquisitions and expulsions.
Hitler, in 1934, visited the Oberammergau Passion Play, and when he left, he proclaimed (and I paraphrase): "The whole world needs to see this Passion Play, for then they will understand why I despise the Jewish people."
Many during the Holocaust who killed Jews from Monday to Friday went to church on Sunday and there was no disconnect for them, because, after all, all they were doing was killing "Christ killers."
So when the press report that Millett was upset by Corbyn's 'antisemitism' we should take this with a very large dose of salt.
The concern of the Daily Mail and The Times about anti-Semitism contrasts with their indifference to racist violence against Muslims, Gypsies and other minorities in this country.  The same Daily Mail which employed Katie Hopkins who described migrants as “cockroaches” is apparently concerned with ‘anti-Semitism.  
The Mail's concern didn’t extend to anti-Semitic attacks on Ed Miliband, Labour’s Jewish leader, because of his Marxist father, Ralph Miliband or his inability to eat a bacon sandwich, stands in contrast to their record in the Hitler era.  The Daily Mail’s support for the British Union of Fascists, Hitler and its opposition to the immigration of Jews from Nazi Germany is well known.  See for example When the Daily 'Hate' Mail Supported Hitler
What is less well known is that The Times, throughout the period from 1933-39 was not only an advocate of appeasement of the Hitler regime but that its editor Geoffrey Dawson adamantly refused to cover the growing persecution of Jews in Germany. Dawson was a member of the pro-Hitler Anglo-German Fellowship which was a Tory pressure group formed by influential personalities in British society, among them the banker and industrialist Ernest Tennant, a ‘personal friend of Joachim von Ribbentrop, then ambassador of the Third Reich in the United Kingdom.’ In 1946 Ribbentrop was hanged at Nuremburg having been found guilty of war crimes.  Amongst other things The Times supported Himmler’s annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia as part of the appeasement of Hitler.
Will Wainewright, in his book Reporting on Hitler: Rothay Reynolds and the British Press in Nazi Germany described how Times  reporter Norman Ebbutt struggled with his editor, Geoffrey Dawson, ‘who agreed with his chums in clubland that Britain had to be at peace with Hitler’. Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Churchill wrote in Prophet of Truth: Winston S. Churchill, 1922–1939 (London: Minerva, 1990), p. 850  how Dawson explained to Lord Lothian on 23 May 1937:
"I should like to get going with the Germans. I simply cannot understand why they should apparently be so much annoyed with The Times at this moment. I spend my nights in taking out anything which I think will hurt their susceptibilities and in dropping little things which are intended to soothe them
So when we hear The Times or the Mail today telling us how aghast they are the ‘anti-Semitism’ of Jeremy Corbyn, when we know that their attitude to the Roma, Muslims and refugees has not changed one iota, it is fair to draw the conclusion that what they are concerned with is not racism against Jews but opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel. 
See also Skwawkbox's article Two ‘zionists’ criticised by Corbyn called ‘rude yobs’ – by RIGHT-wing, pro-Israel Streeting on the time when right-wing MP Wes Streeting called Millett and Hoffman 'rude yobs' for trying to disrupt a meeting he was chairing on Palestinian human rights.
See below the full review of Will Wainewright’s book on Hitler and the British press.
Reviewed by Roger Boyes, February 18 2017 The Times
Norman Ebbutt, The Times’s well-respected correspondentJAY WILLIAMS

Put foreign correspondents together, beer in hand, and chatter will soon shift from the news of the day towards the casual brutality of editors; their failure to spot the significance of a story, their talent for inserting precisely the wrong word in a crafted text. Editors, eh, don’t you just love them.
In the 1930s a remarkable bunch of aggrieved reporters met at a Berlin Stammtisch — a pub table reserved for regulars. The men from the Daily Express and Daily Mail were saddled with intrusive proprietors who thought Adolf Hitler was exactly what Germany needed. The reporter from The Times
struggled with an editor, the Yorkshireman Geoffrey Dawson, who agreed with his chums in clubland that Britain had to be at peace with Hitler. The Manchester Guardian correspondent had no problems persuading his boss to publish accounts of Nazi persecution, but try as he might could not talk him into an editorial policy in favour of arming up for a war against the Third Reich.
The reporters saw what was going on around them in Germany — the Jews humiliated and beaten on the street, the persecuted churchmen and communists, the opening of the first concentration camps, the histrionic rallies — and choked back their frustration.
It did not help that Gestapo snitches sat next to their Stammtisch. Or when the Nazi foreign ministry sent a smooth official to their table to give a positive spin on new restrictions on Jews. “There are, I think, times when a correspondent should be a diplomat,” the official told them.
Soon enough there wasn’t any need for these ghoulish visits. The Nazis could count on the likes of Lord Rothermere. By the time Hitler came to power, the Daily Mail proprietor had been running the paper for more than a decade. One new sub-editor taken on in the late 1920s noted: “The day-to-day production of the paper was carried on under the system of bullying and insult.”
The Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere's paen of praise to Hitler and the Nazis

Rothermere travelled to Germany in July 1933 and was entranced, writing an editorial headlined “Youth Triumphant”. There was an unfettered national spirit, soon Germany would rival Mussolini’s Italy as the best-governed country in Europe. He struck up what he considered a friendship with Hitler.
Imagine then how the Mail’s Berlin correspondent, Rothay Reynolds, must have squirmed. Will Wainewright tells his story in this fascinating book, a short study in conscience denied. Reynolds is a distant relative and Wainewright stumbled on a letter written by him after the outbreak of the Second World War, by which time he was both safely out of Nazi Germany and the Mail.
The story that emerges after a bit of digging is of a devout man, an Anglo-Catholic who took Holy Orders, was sent as a young assistant chaplain to the British community in St Petersburg, and after a while chose to become a Roman Catholic. That meant leaving his job and since he was 33, good at languages and Russia in 1905 was in ferment, he decided to become a stringer for the Daily News. While there he befriended Hector Hugh Munro, the writer Saki.
By the time he landed the job of Daily Mail reporter in Germany in the 1920s, Reynolds had done some war work, writing propaganda fake news for MI7, the disinformation wing of the Secret Service. The full scope of Wainewright’s problem as a biographer becomes clear by this stage: Reynolds arrived in Germany as a middle-aged man having, it appears, chosen to be a foreign correspondent because it suited his solitary nature. We find out almost nothing about him. There is a girl called Jane whose hand he touches, but nothing comes of it. He may or may not have had dealings with the Secret Service in Berlin. Faced with some of the most dramatic unfurling events in 20th-century history, he fails to find a journalistic voice.
And while, in hindsight, he can blame his lame texts on the bias of Rothermere, it is also clear that he was a pretty duff reporter. When Hitler launched a bloody purge of his brown-shirted colleagues in 1934, the Night of the Long Knives, he swallowed the official version. “We were told for instance, that General von Schleicher, revolver in hand, had tried to resist arrest and had therefore been shot down,” Reynolds said years later after leaving the Mail. “In fact, the former chancellor and his wife had been murdered in cold blood.” His piece in the Mail did not so much pull its punches as give an ovation: “Swiftly and with inexorable severity Hitler has delivered Germany from men who had become a danger to the unity of the German people and to order in the state.”
Rothermere’s Führer-love bought access to Hitler, but he did neither his newspaper nor his country any good. Had Reynolds been more gifted he might have been able to find himself a niche between an overbearing proprietor and an evil regime. Instead, he made some token acts of solidarity, publicly reciting the rosary in the street, for example, but he did not distinguish himself.
Almost everyone seems to stand out more strongly than Reynolds By contrast Sefton Delmer, of the appeasement-supporting Daily Express, demonstrated some rat-like cunning. Delmer arrives at the Reichstag after it has been set ablaze before Reynolds, but after a reporter for The Times, Douglas Reed, who has just been kicked out of the building by Hermann Goering. Delmer sees Hitler’s Mercedes approach and enters parliament in the Führer’s slipstream, landing a suspiciously long and coherent quote from him about setting the whole continent ablaze.
Around the Stammtisch, almost everyone seems to stand out more strongly than Reynolds. Eric Gedye of the Daily Telegraph, visiting from Vienna, had few illusions about the Nazis. After his expulsion from Austria he started work on a fiercely anti-appeasement book, promising the unvarnished truth. The Telegraph, upset that he was going to criticise the paper (though it rar ely interfered with his copy), sacked him. The paper said he had left by mutual consent. “That is correct,” said Gedye. “It is equally correct that Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia by ‘mutual arrangement’.”
Reynolds’s real admiration was for The Times’s correspondent Norman Ebbutt. The wrestling between correspondents, Dawson and some of the leader writers about appeasement has already been well chronicled. Yet the author has dug deep in The Times’s archives and come up with some blistering reports.
Here’s Ebbutt on the 1936 “election” held just after Hitler had sent his troops into the Rhineland, in breach of the Versailles Treaty. The work of the Hitler regime, he said, had “been done at the expense of freedom, truth and justice as these are conceived in the western world, and some who feel bound to support the Führer tomorrow on the patriotic issue will do so in fear and trembling that they are delivering Germany over to a new wave of National Socialist fanaticism”.
That’s telling it as it was, even if that day’s leader struck a rather more emollient note. Ebbutt was thrown out in the summer of 1937 (“By far the best correspondent here left this evening,” wrote the American reporter William Shirer) and he was seen off at the station by 50 correspondents who knew that their days were also numbered. Wainewright doesn’t know if Reynolds was there. The Nazis had warned the reporters not to give Ebbutt a send-off so perhaps Reynolds decided that discretion was the better part of valour. That seems to have been his watchword.