Thursday, 27 February 2020

Resisting the Censors - Electronic Intifada Podcast – Interviews with Tony Greenstein and Abby Martin


Tony Greenstein Interview with Redline – New Zealand Marxist Blog on Zionism and latest developments in Palestine

Both of these interview, one with a relatively unknown Marxist blog in New Zealand and the other, an interview with Asa Winstanley and Nora Barrows-Friedman of the Palestinian web site Electronic Intifada.
Both these interviews concern the attacks on freedom of speech on Palestine. Abby Martin, a well known photo journalist was interviewed first. Abby was invited to speak, on an unrelated subject, to Georgia Southern University. Before being allowed to do so she was told she had to sign a contract to get paid and part of this contract was a provision in   she had to undertake not to support or advocate for BDS.  Abby refused and is now suing the state of Georgia under Amendment 1 of the American constitution.
Asa’s interview with me was wide ranging, concerning the attacks on free speech in the Labour Party and related subjects. The witchhunt, and the concentration on Jewish targets in the Labour Party, ironically given its supposed to be about ‘anti-Semitism’.


On episode 15 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, filmmaker and journalist Abby Martin discusses her recent free speech lawsuit against the state of Georgia and its anti-BDS law.
Later in the episode, activist and writer Tony Greenstein explains the state of anti-Zionist politics following the struggle over false allegations of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party.
Abby was invited to be the keynote speaker at a conference at Georgia Southern University. But officials demanded she sign a contract which stated: “You certify that you are not currently engaged in, and agree for the duration of this agreement not to engage in, a boycott of Israel.”
Abby refused to sign the Israel loyalty oath and her keynote was canceled, as was the entire conference.
Georgia is one of 28 US states to pass a draconian anti-boycott measure. Most recently, South Dakota’s governor signed an anti-BDS measure into law by executive order in mid-January.
These laws aren’t “even necessarily meant to be implemented,” Abby tells The Electronic Intifada Podcast. “It’s meant to censor and control political speech and scare people into not participating in the BDS movement, to not participate in divestment campaigns, and to not participate in, let’s just say, street actions.”
Abby is joined by her lawyer Gadeir Abbas, who is part of a team of civil rights attorneys behind the lawsuit.
Later on in the episode, veteran left-wing Palestine solidarity activist and Jewish anti-Zionist Tony Greenstein joins us to discuss the state of the UK Labour Party.
Tony is the author of a fascinating and excoriating blog.
He tells us, “Yes, Jews are undoubtedly disproportionately represented amongst those who have been victimized” in the Labour Party witch hunt over anti-Semitism.
Articles we discussed
Production assistance by Sharif Zakout
Subscribe to The Electronic Intifada Podcast on Apple Podcasts (search for The Electronic Intifada). Support our podcast by rating us, sharing and leaving a review, and you can also donate to fund our work.



Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The Torture of Chelsea Manning is Payback for Having Revealed US War Crimes

As Julian Assange's Hearing Continues Chelsea Manning Continues to be held in Coercive Custody

 
Today I attended a noisy demonstration by a few hundred people outside the combined institution of Belmarsh prison and magistrates court. Belmarsh court is contained within Woolwich court.
Here is the strange thing. It was actually Westminster magistrates court, which was where the  proceedings were originally brought, which is sitting. All the judges are from Westminster.  Why then hold it at Belmarsh?  Because it is an ‘anti-terrorist’ court although Assange is not charged with terrorism.
To the State what Assange did, in leaking their secrets, was worse than terrorism.  It threatened the security state with letting in some sunlight.
High steel railings surround the complex and the atmosphere is  one of a siege. The demonstrators outside the security ring and the Defendant inside.



There is an excellent report of what happened by Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 1. Murray wrote of the presiding magistrate that:
Murray wrote of Horthy ‘Baraitser makes zero pretence of being anything other than in thrall to the Crown, and by extension to the US Government.’
Roger Waters at demonstration
Baraitser’s intention is to humiliate Assange, and to instill in the rest of us horror at the vast crushing power of the state. The inexorable strength of the sentencing wing of the nightmarish Belmarsh Prison must be maintained. If you are here, you are guilty.

It’s the Lubyanka. You may only be a remand prisoner. This may only be a hearing not a trial. You may have no history of violence and not be accused of any violence. You may have three of the country’s most eminent psychiatrists submitting reports of your history of severe clinical depression and warning of suicide. But I, Vanessa Baraitser, am still going to lock you up in a box designed for the most violent of terrorists. To show what we can do to dissidents. And if you can’t then follow court proceedings, all the better.

Murray described the Prosecutor James Lewis QC addressing the majority of his remarks, not to the Court but to the Press. He even handed out copies of the speech to the press.
James Lewis QC made the opening statement for the prosecution. It consisted of two parts. The first and longest part was truly remarkable for containing no legal argument, and for being addressed not to the magistrate but to the media.
His original statement was provided in cut and paste format to the media. His contradiction of it would require a journalist to listen to what was said in court, understand it and write it down. There is no significant percentage of mainstream media journalists who command that elementary ability nowadays. “Journalism” consists of cut and paste of approved sources only. Lewis could have stabbed Assange to death in the courtroom, and it would not be reported unless contained in a government press release.
In other words the average MSM journalist was too stupid to understand for example that Baraitser had pointed out to Lewis that his statement that Assange’s prosecution could mean any journalist could be extradited for having published material covered by the Official Secrets Act or the American equivalent was simply not reported.
Press prostitutes are not very good when confronted with such detail as Lewis was forced to admit, contrary to his press release, that anyone publishing US secrets concerning their war crimes could be extradited.
There were also about a dozen gilet jaune protesters who had travelled from Paris overnight to join the demonstration.
According to the report in the Guardian the demonstration was clearly heard in the court.  However Craig Murray suggests that was not true but that this was an excuse for that the magistrate Baraitser used to explain why Assange couldn’t hear. The real reason being the bullet proof cage he was held in.
Baraitser had previously refused to accede to a request to postpone proceedings because Assange had had difficulty preparing his case or even gaining access to his lawyers.
Prior to November the Judge in the case had been Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate who is enmeshed in a conflict of interest. Her husband Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former British defense minister, “has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.” Her ladyship had also received gifts “including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks.”
In other words this was the British Establishment at its corrupt worst.  But although Baraitser has taken over the case, according to the UK courts service, the chief magistrate is ‘responsible for… supporting and guiding district judge colleagues.’”
The Torture of Chelsea Manning
However I want to focus not on Julian Assange but Chelsea Manning who isn’t receiving the same attention. This incredibly brave woman has been locked up for most of the past 2 years for refusing to testify before an institution known as a Grand Jury.
In 2013, Chelsea Manning, a former US army intelligence analyst was convicted of violating America’s Espionage Act and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. In January 2017 Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence to end in May 2017.
Manning was responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents relating to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. These were subsequently published by WikiLeaks,
Manning’s most infamous war crime exposé was the video of a US Army helicopter in Baghdad firing on civilians, including a Reuters photographer and his driver. The crew also fired on a van that stopped to rescue one of the wounded men, killing a father and severely wounding two of his children to the whoops of delight of the murderers, who of course were not prosecuted.
In March 2019, Manning was compelled to testify to the WikiLeaks grand jury. She refused to do so. It was as she later explained a matter of principle. Consequently, she was imprisoned. She was released on May 9th, but re-arrested a week later for refusing to testify before a new Grand Jury and returned to jail. She was fined $1,000 a day and gaoled for the duration of the new Grand Jury’s term. Manning commented:
I have been separated from my loved ones, deprived of sunlight, and could not even attend my mother’s funeral. It is easier to endure these hardships now than to cooperate to win back some comfort, and live the rest of my life knowing that I acted out of self-interest and not principle.
The Institution of the Grand Jury

The institution of the Grand Jury is unique to the United States and Liberia. Countries that have abandoned it include England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Belgium, Japan and Sierra Leone.

Letter from Chelsea Manning to Judge Anthony Trenga

On May 28 2019 Chelsea Manning wrote to the Judge who had imprisoned her about how:

Early grand juries acted independently... Now, the grand jury process means the prosecutor decides what the grand jurors see – and what they don’t see. The grand jury imagined by the drafters of the fifth amendment – which did not involve a prosecutor – bears no resemblance to what we see today, where more than 99.9% of indictments sought are granted.
Grand juries have been historically used against activists, They are an institution that is used to undermine due process ‘even when used as intended.’ They have now become an
unbridled arm of the police and prosecution in ways that run contrary to the grand jury’s originally intended purposes. ...
She described them as institutions which ‘could indict a ham sandwich.’
The second problem with grand juries is that ‘they don’t indict law enforcement.’ This was vividly demonstrated in November 2014 when a grand jury refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson for having killed Michael Brown, an unarmed youth in Ferguson, Missouri, for the crime of being Black. Historically grand juries
were used to indict abolitionists, but not people capturing and re-enslaving people seeking freedom from bondage. They were used to indict reconstructionists, while actively protecting lynch mobs. Both the ‘ham sandwich’ statement and selective indictment happen because of grand jury secrecy....
The original grand jury was more than an investigator; they were supposed to protect citizens not just from unjust indictments but from unjust laws. In England, grand jurors who even allowed a prosecutor to come into the grand jury room were seen as having violated their oath....
In 2019, the federal grand jury exists as a mockery of the institution that once stood against the whims of monarchs. It undermines the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of due process.....
Even the Department of Justice released a report acknowledging that “grand juries are notorious for being ‘rubber stamps’ for the prosecutor for virtually all routine criminal matters.”
Manning observed that ‘it is more than six times as likely that you will be struck by lightning than that a federal grand jury will decline to indict.’
in the Antebellum South, grand juries routinely indicted anti-slavery activists for sedition, while those in the North sometimes refused — but charges would re-presented to new grand juries until they stuck.
Manning wrote that the Grand Jury
bears far more resemblance to the Court of the Star Chamber than to its intended role as a bulwark against arbitrary state power. Apart from the fact that the grand jury itself does not impose punishments, the biggest difference between the grand jury and the Court of the Star Chamber is that Star Chamber proceedings were in fact largely open to the public...
The investigative grand jury as we know it was developed in the wake of McCarthy, during the Nixon years. It was developed purportedly to battle organized crime, but was promptly used to subpoena members of anti-war groups, the women’s movement, and black liberation groups.
Chelsea Manning ended her letter by saying that
I understand the idea that as a civil contemnor, I hold the key to my cell – that I can free myself by talking to the grand jury. While I may hold the key to my cell, it is held in the beating heart of all I believe. To retrieve that key and do what you are asking of me, your honor, I would have to cut the key out, which would mean killing everything that I hold dear, and the beliefs that have defined my path.
Manning’s lawyers have issued a motion, arguing that their client is incoercible and so should be released. Coercive confinement is considered a violation of international law.
An investigation by Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard has revealed extensive links between former home secretary Sajid Javid, who signed the US extradition request, and leading US political figures who called for the murder of Assange.
Manning is a recipient of many awards, including the Guardian’s Person of the Year and the Sean MacBride Peace Prize

Chelsea Manning Spent Most of the Last Decade in Prison. The U.N. Says Her Latest Stint Is Tantamount to Torture.

The Intercept 2 January 2020

It is the very definition of torture to submit a person to physical and mental suffering in an effort to force an action from them. Since May, Manning has been held in a Virginia jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury...

On New Year’s Eve, as personal reflections on the last decade flooded in, Chelsea Manning’s account tweeted that she had spent 77.76 percent of her time since 2009 in jail. That same day, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer publicly released a letter accusing the USA of submitting Manning to treatment that is tantamount to torture.



It is the very definition of torture to submit a person to physical and mental suffering in an effort to force an action from them. Since May, Manning has been held in a Virginia jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. Manning has not been charged with or convicted of a crime. And her imprisonment on the grounds of “civil contempt” is explicitly coercive: If she agrees to testify, she can walk free. If she continues to remain silent, she can be held for the 18-month duration of the grand jury or, as the U.N. official noted, “indefinitely with the subsequent establishment of successive grand juries.”
Each day she is caged, Manning is also fined $1,000. Manning has made clear, she would “rather starve to death” than comply with the repressive grand jury system, a judicial black box historically deployed against social justice movements.
“Such deprivation of liberty does not constitute a circumscribed sanction for a specific offense, but an open-ended progressively severe measure of coercion,”
Melzer’s November letter stated that Manning’s imprisonment fulfills “all the constitutive elements of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and “should be discontinued or abolished without delay.” The letter asks that the U.S. government provide factual and legal grounds for Manning’s ongoing imprisonment and fines, “especially after her categorical and persistent refusal to give testimony demonstrates the lack of their coercive effect.”
Manning’s supporters and legal team have long stressed that no such legal grounds exist. Manning has proven again and again that her grand jury resistance is unshakeable; the coercive grounds for imprisonment are thus undermined and her jailing is revealed to be purely punitive. Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, who ordered Manning’s torturous incarceration, should be compelled to release her as a point of law, regardless of U.N. censure. This is not to say, however, that coercive incarceration is defensible in cases where it works to compel testimony — it is not. Manning’s resistance has highlighted the brutality of the practice tout court. 
In a statement from jail, Manning said, “I am thrilled to see the practice of coercive confinement called out for what it is: incompatible with international human rights standards.” The grand jury resister is, however, under no illusions about the U.S. government’s willingness to flout its purported human rights obligations. As she put it, “even knowing I am very likely to stay in jail for an even longer time, I’m never backing down.”



Indeed, as the U.N. special rapporteur noted, his predecessor wrote a number of appeals to the U.S. government from 2010 onwards regarding the cruel and torturous treatment to which Manning was subjected prior to and during her confinement in military prison. Yet her 35-year sentence was not commuted until 2017 by President Barack Obama. Manning noted in her New Year’s Eve tweet that she spent 11.05 percent of the last decade in solitary confinement and over half of her years behind bars “fighting for gender affirming care.” She attempted to take her own life twice during her time at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
If Melzer’s letter fails to sway the government, it should, at the very least, serve as a public reminder to support a political prisoner. Though the last decade of Manning’s life has been marked by torture, she has responded with fierce resistance and struggle for liberatory social justice at every turn. In the tweet tabulating her last 10 years, Manning ended by noting that she devoted “0.00%” of her time “backing down.” The U.N. special rapporteur’s recognition of her refusal to be coerced is welcome. Our solidarity is more than deserved.
(This article has been edited)
Natasha Lennard is a contributing writer at The Intercept. Her work covers politics and power and has appeared in Esquire, The Nation, and the New York Times opinion section. Her book "Violence," with Brad Evans, will be released this year.



Sunday, 23 February 2020

Malek Issa, a Palestinian child aged 8, loses his eye after being shot by Israeli police - Israel is 'considering' an investigation

If you call Israel a racist state for targeting Palestinian children then Jennie Formby, Laura Murray and Jon Lansman will suspend you for ‘anti-Semitism’

The report below from Mondoweiss is about a boy 8 years old, Malek Issa, who was shot last week in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by a policeman whilst he was out buying a sandwich. 

As the video shows it was a normal bustling Saturday afternoon in Jerusalem when the child was attacked by a psychopathic policeman.
Rather than the officer being arrested and charged, as would be the case in a liberal democratic state, which Israel pretends to be, the usual lies about ‘riot control’ were provided by the Police PR department .
As the video demonstrates there was no riot. Just an out of control Israeli animal. The fact that the Police have already provided a series of lies as justification guarantees that there will be no consequences or prosecution.  After all the child is not Jewish so what does it matter? Israel is a Jewish state and democratic rights, even for children, only apply to Jews.
Let us be reasonable and not make too much of a fuss. Otherwise you may find yourself accused by the Jewish Labour Movement and its Siamese twin Labour Friends of Israel of ‘anti-Semitism’ for ‘singling out Israel’ and operating ‘double standards’ by only criticising Israel.
The IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ which the Labour Party has adopted is quite clear:
‘Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
is anti-Semitic.
Have you criticised The Netherlands because its police blinded a child with a rubber bullet?  No?  Then you are anti-Semitic. It’s no use protesting that Netherlands police don’t shoot children in the face. That is irrelevant.  You have to treat Israel in exactly the same as a liberal democracy and if you don’t you are ‘anti-Semitic’.
And if you are a Labour Party member then Jennie Formby and her familiar, Laura Murray, backed up by Jon Lansman, will suspend you for ‘anti-Semitism’.  Because it is naturally assumed that all Jews in Britain will be offended by criticism of the Israeli Police. 
You will probably say at this point that associating British Jews with what Israel does is also anti-Semitic. Well it is but so is criticising Israel, since it is a Jewish state.  Since British Jews identify with Israel they make ‘take offence’.  And guess what? Being offensive to Jews, even racist Jews, is also ‘anti-Semitic’!
Justifying the murder of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, on the pretext they are members of Hamas, an Islamic party, is perfectly acceptable in the party of Formby, Lansman and Laura Murray
Confused?  Well of course you are because the Zionists are allowed by the Right to have their cake and eat it. If you criticise Israel in a way that is not the same as your criticism of other countries then that is anti-Semitic.
Of course defining criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic means Jews have an interest in Israeli oppression. And that is certainy anti-Semitic! And just to confuse matters even further the Board of Deputies, whose pledges the abysmal Long-Bailey has signed up to, regularly issues statements supporting Israel’s latest war crime.
The death of Palestinian children is not unusual. 56 were killed in 2018. In 2019 33 were killed. Although I don’t have the figures for children injured it must be in the hundreds, perhaps over a thousand since on just one day in October, the 80th Great Return march, 43 children were shot in Gaza.
As Nir Hasson of Ha’aretz reported, in 2014, the police swapped their softer, blue sponge-tipped bullets for the tougher black ones that cause more serious injuries. Quite understandable as Palestinians are known to be thick-skinned. Although Police regulations forbid officers from shooting at upper parts of the body, and they are not permitted to shoot minors with these bullets, not a single police officer has been charged with illegally shooting sponge-tipped bullets.
The Justice Department announced that it has yet to decide whether to open an official investigation or summon the officer in question just in case you were concerned.
The Labour Right’s ‘anti-Semitism’ offensive and by Right, I include Lansman, Murray and Formby, is designed precisely to prevent criticism of Israel as a racist state. Because it is only a racist state that singles out the children of one ethnic group for this special treatment.
I have previously written to Jennie Formby asking why ex-NEC member Luke Akehurst, Director of We Believe in Israel, a Zionist lobby group, has not been suspended for supporting Israeli snipers maiming and killing Palestinian demonstrators, children included (over 70 have been killed in the Great Return demonstrations). Formby has not responded which is not surprising since her position is indefensible.
However although supporting the murder of Palestinian children is acceptable in today’s Labour Party, posting a cartoon of a Palestinian being silenced by cries of ‘anti-Semitism’ is considered anti-Semitic. This is the reason that Mehmood Mirza, the socialist candidate for a BAME position on the NEC, is the latest left candidate to be suspended by the crooks and gerrymanders of Southside.
It is clear that the witchhunt of socialists in the Labour Party is a racist one and it is led by 3 racists – Formby, Lansman and Murray.

Palestinian boy, 8, loses eye after being shot by Israeli police in Jerusalem

The story of a Palestinian boy who lost an eye after being shot in the face by Israeli police has angered Palestinians across the occupied territories who see the incident as another tragic example of Israel’s wrongful targeting of Palestinians with excessive force.
Eight-year-old Malek Issa was on his way home from buying a sandwich on Saturday afternoon in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya when he was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by an Israeli police officer.
Issa’s family told local media that the boy had left a restaurant and was headed home when he was shot by police, allegedly at point blank range.
While Israeli police claimed that their officers were engaging in “riot control” measures in Issawiya, video footage of the moments before the shooting, published by Haaretz, shows what appears to be normal activity in the street.
Amid a number of unassuming pedestrians and vehicles, a child in a blue hoodie, purportedly Issa, can be seen dashing across the street and disappearing around the corner, out of sight of the camera.
Moments later, all the pedestrians in view of the camera suddenly duck their heads, seemingly in response to the gunshots, and beginning running. A group of young men are then seen rushing out from the side street where Issa had entered, carrying his flailing body into a civilian car to be taken to the hospital.
By Tuesday, the family of Issa reported that his condition had stabilized, but that he had lost sight in his left eye, and would be needing surgery likely to remove his eye and to stop internal bleeding.
In a video published by the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Palestinian NGO in the neighboring town of Silwan, Issa’s father Wael says his son “escaped death” and that there was likely no brain damage — something the family feared would happen due to the severity of his injuries.
#العيسوية #اصابة الوالد: " اصابة مالك كانت قاتلة… نجا من الموت.. لكنه فقد بصره في العين اليسرى "آخر تطورات الحالة الصحية للطفل مالك عيسى 8سنوات والذي اصيب السبت بعيار مطاطي وهو في طريقه الى منزله عائدا من مدرسته .. برفقة شقيقاته حاملا حقيبته المدرسية وبعض السكاكر!! #تفاصيل#Issawiya#InjuryThe child's father: "Malek's injury was fatal … He survived … but he lost his sight in the left eye."The latest development of the health condition of the boy, Malek Issa, 8 years old, who was wounded with a rubber bullet on his way home from school .. accompanied by his sisters, carrying his school bag and some candy !! #details

Wael added that there was fear that if doctors could not control the internal bleeding, the inflammation from Malek’s left eye could spread to his right eye.
No stone throwing or ‘rioting’ preceded shot
Israeli police told the media that the officer in question claimed to have fired his weapon at a wall for “calibration” purposes, and that he thought Issa was hit by an alleged Palestinian stone-thrower.
In a report, Haaretz quoted eyewitnesses who said Israeli policemen were just “standing there” in the neighborhood, and that no stone throwing or “rioting” was happening.
The witnesses said that the officer was knowingly aimed at the boy and fired directly at him. One witness, a local bus driver, said that when he confronted the officer over what he had done, “he told me to move on,” while his fellow officers threatened to beat the bus driver up.
According to Haaretz, the Justice Ministry’s unit for investigating police officers took statement from eyewitnesses, but was not yet undertaking an official investigation, but rather a “probe” into the incident.
As of Wednesday, the policeman in question had not yet been summoned by the ministry to give an official statement on the matter.
It remained unclear if the officer was still on active duty following the shooting.
An all too common occurrence
The shooting of Issa struck a chord with Palestinians across the occupied territory due to the chilling familiarity of the incident.
Stories like Issa’s are not uncommon: a 10-year-old boy suffered severe brain damage after being shot in the head with live ammunition in Kafr Qaddum last fall; a 14-year-old boy lost his leg after being shot while playing soccer with his friends last spring; a 15-year-old boy lost a portion of his skull after being shot in the head in 2018.
In each of the cases listed above, the Palestinian boys who were injured were reportedly engaged in mundane activities, like Issa, and were still targeted by Israeli forces. Additionally, in each case, no wrongdoing was found on part of the soldiers or officers responsible.
Palestinians and human rights groups have long criticized Israel for its excessive use of force against Palestinians and the lack of accountability for the Israeli soldiers who commit such crimes.
In East Jerusalem, residents complain of over policing of their neighborhoods by Israeli police, unnecessary stops and searches of minors and young men, and frequent raids and arrests.
Over the past year, Issawiya has been subject to an increased Israeli police presence, daily raids, including on schools, and the forceful arrest of residents.
In June, a 21-year-old youth from the town was shot dead during protests. Rights groups later said that he posed no direct threat to soldiers at the time.
Locals alleged that the number of arrests in the last half of 2019 is as high as 600, with child arrests in Issawiya making up 41 per cent of all child detentions recorded in East Jerusalem.

See

Palestinian Boy May Lose Eye After Jerusalem Police Shoot Him With Sponge-tipped Bullet

Jerusalem Mayor Visits Palestinian Boy Who Was Shot in the Face by Policeman

Friday, 21 February 2020

At the Zionist Leadership hustings it was hard to tell who was the worst Zionist – Thornberry, Nandy, Starmer or Long-Bailey

A personal letter to Rebecca Long-Bailey You're no Corbyn Continuity Candidate You're Keir Starmer’s reflection



Last Thursday the Jewish Labour MovementLabour Friends of Israel and Jewish News jointly staged hustings for the 4 leadership  candidates. All of them tried to outbid each other in their condemnation of Labour Party ‘anti-Semitism’.
Perhaps we should put the ‘anti-Semitism’ Disinformation Paradigm into perspective. According to a new survey by former Tory Party Treasurer Lord Ashcroft, 73% of Labour Party members believe the issue of anti-Semitism has either been invented outright or wildly exaggerated by Corbyn’s opponents. Amongst socialist members of the Labour Party this rises to 90%. Just 22% of members believe anti-Semitism is a serious problem (6% of the Left).
Despite all the propaganda - 3/4 of Labour Party members believe the 'antisemitism' allegations were invented or wildly exaggerated
Amongst Momentum members 92% believe that the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations were an invention or wildly exaggerated.  Jon Lansman is completely out of touch, even with his own members. This is the context in which the debate last week took place. See Poll: Labour members say anti-Semitism crisis “invented”
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the ‘left’ candidate gave a toe-curlingly embarrassing display of subservience to Israel’s supporters. In the words of Sienna Rodgers of Labour List
Rebecca Long-Bailey kicked off the Jewish Labour Movement hustings... with an apology for the “hurt and anxiety” caused by Labour antisemitism ... she ... vowed to prioritise: a disciplinary process that is “legally independent, free from political bias or interference”; educating members; and calling out antisemitism.
You could not put a piece of paper between any of the candidates. Having been persuaded against my better judgement to support RBL, having previously described her as a wannabee Neil Kinnock, it is doubly disappointing to realise that I was right all along!
Realising that dialogue is the spice of life and the enemy of the totalitarian ideology that is Zionism, I decided to send a personal letter to Becky. Being an ex-solicitor I am sure she will have no problem in digesting the contents!
Tony Greenstein
Dear Becky,
This is, as you will appreciate, a painful letter to have to write. However knowing you as I do I am sure you will understand why I felt it necessary to put pen to paper or rather finger to keyboard.
Despite my many doubts about your recent move to the right, in particular your support for the expulsion of Chris Williamson and the Board of Deputies’ 10 Commandments (Pledges), I reluctantly accepted the argument from comrades that you were the least worst of the 4 candidates.
It was on the basis that you were still, just, a socialist, that I supported you and gave out leaflets supporting you and Richard Burgon at various meetings in Brighton and Hove.
Yesterday I was rung up by a friend in Brighton Kemptown CLP. Her question was simple. Who should she vote for? After listening to you at the Zionist hustings I couldn't in good conscience recommend a vote for you.
It should have been obvious just by the list of sponsors what this hustings was about. Socialism isn't just a word. It means anti-racism and anti-imperialism being an integral part of one's politics. Any socialist worthy of the name would have refused to take part in hustings sponsored by Labour Friends of Israel.
Surely you are not so naive as to believe that an organisation which has not once condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land or its Apartheid practices could be genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism?
According to the murderous 'logic' of Labour Friends of Israel, the responsibility for Israel shooting unarmed protesters lies with Hamas, not Israel!  RBL is quite happy to keep company with this scum
Have you forgotten the response of LFI to the news that Israeli snipers were firing at unarmed demonstrators at the Gaza fence? They blamed those who died for their own deaths.
Over 500 children have been injured and over 70 have been murdered in cold blood by the Israel’s army since March 2019. Yet what was the response by LFI? It tweeted ‘Hamas must accept responsibility for these events.’ Except that Hamas didn’t shoot those who died or who were crippled by exploding ammunition deliberately designed to disable.
Imagine that a Palestinian organisation had blamed Israel for the deaths of 70 Jewish children. Would you have spoken on their platform? If not why do you speak under LFI’s banner. Do Palestinian lives not count? It seems Becky that you need to examine your own racism before pointing the finger at others.
LFI also supported the attack on Gaza in 2014, as it has done all Israel’s wars. 2,200 Palestinians were murdered, including 551 children. Do tell me what your description would be of someone who supported the murder of 500+ Jewish children.  Racist? Anti-Semitic? Yet when it comes to the blood of Palestinian children you turn a blind eye.
LFI's stance is not surprising as one thing Al Jazeera’s programme, The Lobby, made clear was that Labour Friends of Israel is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Israeli Embassy.
The Board of Deputies blamed those who were killed for their own deaths
The Board of Deputies too blamed the Palestinians. Their statement said that ‘the responsibility for the violence lies with Hamas’ before going on to support the murder of unarmed demonstrators: ‘Israel is defending its people from repeated violent attempts at mass invasion.’  they wrote. 
The idea that Palestinian refugees trying to return to the lands they were expelled from should be shot down in cold blood says everything about the Board. Whatever else they represent it is not the socialist traditions of British Jewry.
The Board of Deputies openly supported the murder of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza yet has the gall to talk of 'antisemitism'
21 year old medic Razan has come to symbolise the State Terrorism of Israel whose snipers picked off Razan for no other reason than that she was there
Even medics, such as 21 year old Razan Najar, have been murdered by Israeli snipers. All to the approval of the same BOD whose 10 Commandments you have agreed to. According to these 10 'pledges' you must not communicate with anti-racist or socialist Jews.
The Board of Deputies spent more time attacking the ANL than the National Front
I would be interested in an explanation as to how demanding that the Labour Party only communicate with the reactionary BOD, has anything to do with fighting anti-Semitism since the BOD has always opposed the fight against fascism and those who are genuinely anti-Semitic.
When it came to challenging genuine anti-Semites the Board of Deputies urged Jews to keep their heads down and say nothing - only Israel concerns them
In the 1930’s the Board opposed physical resistance to the British Union of Fascists telling Jews to stay at home during the Battle of Cable Street. In the 1970’s when the National Front was growing stronger they did the same. According to Paul Holborrow, Secretary of the Anti-Nazi League
We were constantly under attack from the Jewish Board of Deputies ... because of the SWP’s anti-Zionism.
The Board of Deputies has only ever been concerned about one thing, supporting Zionism and the State of Israel, opposition to which they term ‘anti-Semitism’.
You opened the hustings by paying tribute to the great Jewish MPs that Manchester has had. You might have mentioned the late Gerald Kaufmann MP, Father of the House of Commons. In 2009 he made one of the great parliamentary speeches. He said, during Operation Cast Lead, when 1,400 Palestinians were murdered that:
My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.
My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.
You stated that ‘our Jewish Community just didn’t feel safe or welcome within our party.’ This is the big lie that Goebbels spoke of. There is no evidence whatsoever that even one Jew felt unsafe in the Labour Party. True the racists of the JLM, the British wing of the ILP may have felt uncomfortable when defending Apartheid but that surely is good.
What is remarkable about the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign was the number of Jews who were victims. Not only was Jackie Walker and myself expelled, but numerous anti-Zionist Jews such as Glynn Secker and Jo Bird were suspended. Professor Moshe Machover, the founder of Matzpen, the Israeli Socialist Organisation was also expelled, until Sam Matthews was forced to reinstate him.
Oozing insincerity Emily Thornberry promised to expel anti-Zionists from the Labour Party - this despicable woman gained just 1.9% of the Zionist vote!
You stated that you would ‘act on the recommendations of the EHRC’ and that you find it very shameful that the Labour Party is being investigated by them. It’s not shame but outrage you should be feeling at the interference by a State body in the internal affairs of the Labour Party. The EHRC is not and never has been an anti-racist body. It is a body consisting of the great and good whose purpose is to ensure 'diversity' and neutralise anti-racist campaigning.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has never  condemned the Tory government over the Windrush Scandal, still less investigated it. It has remained silent over the recent deportations of Black British citizens to the West Indies and said nothing about Islamaphobia in the Tory Party or the racism of the Prime Minister. This is unsurprising since the EHRC is chaired by a Zionist, David Isaac. 
It is no surprise that no other forms of racism failed to get a mention at these Zionist hustings. Zionists are interested in defending, not combating racism.
Your response to the resignation of Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger proves that you represent the abandonment of everything Corbyn stood for. You said that it was ‘absolutely devastating & shameful that we had MPs leaving the party because they didn’t feel welcome.’ thus implying that anti-Semitism played a part in their decisions. This is a total fabrication. 
Ellman was targeted, not because she is Jewish but because she was a vitriolic right-winger who defended Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children. Arresting children in the middle of the night, blindfolding and beating them, including sexual abuse.  All of these practices this wretch of a woman defended. Many of her political opponents were Jewish. I suggest you read ‘The Riverside Scandal’ and then apologise.
Luciana Berger was another Blairite parachuted in to Liverpool Wavertree. The Chair of her own constituency was Jewish. She was hated, not because she was Jewish but because she was a nasty right-winger who was Director of LFI from 2007-2010.
One can only presume from your fatuous remarks that you only support the deselection of MPs if they are not Jewish!
You spoke of a ‘breakdown of trust’ between the Jewish community and the Labour Party. Leaving aside that there is no single Jewish community, the facts are that the Jewish community has long deserted Labour. For over 50 years British Jews have voted Tory in overwhelming numbers. In 2015 64% of Jews voted Tory and just 15% voted Labour despite having a Jewish leader, Ed Miliband.

But even this is untrue. Jeremy Corbyn forfeited the support of British Zionists but Labour never had their support anyway. Orthodox Jewry did not criticise Corbyn and 34 Orthodox Rabbis wrote a joint letter condemning the Board's attacks on Corbyn but of course the BBC and the prostitute press preferred not to publicise this.
As recently as last December Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, Head of the 35,000 Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations wrote a letter condemning those who called Corbyn 'antisemitic'. Yet instead of aligning yourselves with these and other Jews you preferred to ally yourself with the most racist and reactionary section of British Jews.
The Jewish Community Hasn't Supported Labour for 50 Years
I suggest you read Daniel Staetsky’s article in The Times of Israel, How British Jews vote and why they vote this way.  The ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign of the past 4½ years has been a wholly artificial creation whose sole aim was to remove Jeremy Corbyn.
On December 5th 2019 just 1 week before the election, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Pollard, in a letter to readers wrote that
over the next 6 weeks we will discover if the British public are prepared to put an anti-Semite into Number Ten.’
Was this a false allegation? If so then why is it antisemitic to say that similar allegations against Labour Party members are also false? According to Zionist propagandists denial of false allegations of 'antisemitism' is proof of one's guilt! 
In just the same way denial of being a witch at Salem in the 17th century was held to be proof that you were a witch. I thought we had come just a little way in the past 300+ years but it would seem not. Instead Beccy you stand in the tradition of Cotton Mather and those whose false accusations led to the witch-trials which in turn led to the murder of 19 people, including 14 women.  
Elizabeth Reis wrote about the dilemmas that faced women in the witch trials: 
"During examinations, accused women were damned  if they did and damned if they did not. If they confessed to witchcraft charges, their admissions would prove the cases against them; if they denied the charges, their very intractability, construed as the refusal to admit to sin more generally, might mark them as sinners and hence allies of the devil."
Rebecca Long-Bailey signed up to the 10 McCarthyist Demands of the Board of Deputies without a whimper

In fact the only women who were hanged at Salem were those who denied their guilt.  
In May 2018 the President of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, stated that Corbyn ‘has anti-Semitic views.’ Clearly this was a lie but it wasn't the only lie.  So why are you giving comfort to these racists? 
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lansman's Protege Declares She is a Zionist 
Perhaps most shocking of all was your declaration that you are a Zionist.
Israel is an ethno-nationalist state, i.e. a state not of its own citizens but of the mythical ‘Jewish people’. When Netanyahu says that Israel is ‘not a state of all its citizens’ he is right. That is an admission that racism is part of Israel's DNA.
No state has a right to exist. Did the Apartheid, Francoist or Nazi states ‘have a right to exist’. Why?  States are not people.
Keir Hardie - member of the Trilateral Commission and a friend of the secret policeman
Zionism is the racist ideology that has guided the Israeli state from its foundation. Even before 1948 the Israeli Labor Party operated a colour bar, campaigning for Jewish Labour i.e. a Boycott of Arab Labour. Today the ILP supports the deportation of Black African refugees because they are not Jewish and therefore threaten the Jewish demographic majority of Israel.
The Jewish National Fund, which owns and controls 93% of Israeli land deliberately excludes Arabs from access to it. What is a Jewish state if not a state that discriminates against those who are not Jewish?
I realise that you know nothing about the Israeli state but are you seriously suggesting that criticism of Zionism and its bastard offspring, the Israeli state, which armed and trained the death squads of Guatemala as they murdered up to 200,000 Mayan Indians, is anti-Semitic? Is criticism of Israel for arming and equipping the death squads of El Salvador, arming the Argentinian Junta (which murdered up to 3,000 Jews) and Pinochet, to say nothing about Apartheid South Africa, antisemitic?
Yes of course Israel's supporters cry ‘anti-Semitism’.  What else can they say? If you can't attack the message then attack the messenger.
For ‘socialists’ such as you to defend such a state because it is ‘Jewish’, as if the Holocaust entitles Israel to support neo-Nazi regimes, is shameful.
What does Zionism mean in practice? Demonstrations in Afula against the sale of a single house to an Arab. The edict by the Chief Rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, forbidding Jews from renting property to Arabs.  Eliyahu is a paid Israeli state official. It means the Reception Committee Law of 2011 allowing Jewish communities to ban Arabs from living there. Zionism means that maternity wards in Israel are segregated into Jewish and Arab. Education too is segregated and even Higher Education is now falling victim.
I doubt if there is a single Palestine solidarity activist in Britain who hasn’t been accused of ‘anti-Semitism’. Jewish anti-Zionists, who are the equivalent of Whites South Africans who opposed Apartheid, are called ‘self-haters’, the same term that the Nazis used against German anti-fascists.
You said, like the other candidates, that you support a 2 state solution. That is no solution. It is dead as a dodo. The only reason LFI and JLM support 2 states is because they know it won’t happen. It is a smokescreen for Apartheid. The only solution is a single state where Jews and Arabs have equal rights.
Stephane Savary drops the mask.  It's no longer about 'antisemitism' but Israel's right to be a racist 
It is strange that 'socialists' such as yourself are unwilling to support a single state where there are equal rights for all citizens.  Because that is what the 'antisemitism' campaign is really about. Today Lisa Nandy is being criticised because she supports the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees.
Far from being the Corbyn continuity candidate you represent a radical break from Corbynism. Unlike Jeremy you have no record of activism. Socialist and anti-racist politics are to you abstractions.
It is clear that there is no genuine difference between you and the other candidates. It is not surprising that despite your grovelling to the Zionists when the JLM came to vote on which candidate to support you obtained a mere 1.4%! Even Jeremy Corbyn in 2016 obtained 4%!!
It must be galling that unlike Pontius Pilate you haven’t received your reward of 30 pieces of silver. Clearly the price of treachery has fallen victim to inflation.
Kind regards
Tony Greenstein
Lisa Nandy - the Zionists' favourite
A Highlight of RBL’s Contributions
In Manchester where we have had some of the greatest Jewish MPs
It was absolutely devastating to see what they faced... our Jewish Community just didn’t feel  safe or welcome within our party. It was absolutely shameful that we were in that situation. We have to say sorry and I’ll say sorry again tonight.
 We have to have processes in the party that are legally independent, free from any political bias or interference
Education to stop the conspiracy theories and tropes that are emerging across the left
I’ve said very clearly that I’ll adopt the Board of Deputies 10 pledges. I’ll act on the recommendations of the EHRC. I find it very shameful that we are being investigated by them.
Peston: Labour did better than expected at the 2017 election and then anti-Semitism exploded as an issue... Why has it taken so long to tackle the scandal of anti-Semitism. What have you done over the last couple of years to try and eliminate the scourge of anti-Semitism. Peston says he’ll start with Becky because Thornberry suggested on Newsnight that you didn’t do enough and you were on the NEC.
RLB attributes anti-Semitism to the large influx after 2015.  We had a breakdown of trust between the Jewish communal organisations and the Jewish Labour Movement.
Says she spoke ‘privately’ to people to call for ‘auto-expulsions’
So I don’t think the Party gave the right response to that programme (Panorama). As the party of workers and trade unionists we should not have called out former members of staff.  Whether they were correct or not ‘was a completely different matter’.
We also have to recognise what those particular staff were going through.
Peston: would you welcome Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman back into the party?
RLB: that was absolutely devastating & shameful that we had MPs leaving the party because they didn’t feel welcome.
Peston intervenes to point out that Berger stood against the party
RLB: What Luciana, Louise and our other colleagues have been through is absolutely shocking and how they managed to cope with that is an absolute miracle.
Peston: Is that a yes?
RLB: I would, yeah.
RLB: We’ve got to do everything the EHRC wants and more. We have to adopt the Board of Deputies 10 pledges. We’ve got to roll out a robust educational progamme with the JLM.
Question from the floor: Would any of you describe yourself as a Zionist?
Thornberry: I believe in the State of Israel therefore I’m a Zionist.
Keir Starmer:  I believe in the State of Israel, a secure Israel I also believe in an independent Palestinian state (Peston intervenes) I don’t describe myself as a Zionist but I understand, support and sympathise with Zionism.
Lisa Nandy: I believe Jewish people have the right to national self-determination. That makes me a Zionist.
RBL: On Zionism I also agree with a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state and a 2 state solution. I suppose that makes me a Zionist.  I agree with Israel’s right to exist and self-determine