Sunday, 1 August 2021

The History of Zionism’s Attempts to Deny the Armenian Holocaust

 How the Israeli State Did Its Best to Destroy an Academic Conference which included the Armenian Genocide

For Zionism the Jewish holocaust is a unique event unlike any other genocide. Whilst accepting that some 1.5 million Armenians killed by Turkey was a ‘parallel, or a holocaust-related event’ Zionist historian Lucy Dawidowicz cited ‘the uniqueness of the fate of the Jews experienced’ [i] Yehuda Bauer, the dean of the Zionist historians, also argued that there was ‘an element of uniqueness in the history of the (Nazi) holocaust.’ Nazi ideology saw the Jews as being the ‘incarnation of the Devil.’ [ii]

The role that the Armenians played in the Ottoman Empire as a ‘middleman minority’ was very similar to that of the Jews. [iii] The Armenians were largely concentrated in eastern Anatolia, many of them merchants and industrialists,

Just as the Nazis had invented the stab-in-the-back legend alleging that the Jews had caused their defeat in WW1, so too did the Turks, holding the Armenians responsible for their defeats in World War 1.[iv]

On 24 April Joe Biden formally recognized the Armenian holocaust, 106 years after it happened. Israel however refuses to recognize the genocide. To the Zionists the only genocide that matters is the Jewish one.

Despite having ignored and downplayed the Jewish holocaust when it was taking place, the Zionist movement reacts angrily to holocaust deniers. Unfortunately the Zionists are not motivated by opposition in principle to genocide denial other than when it comes to the Jewish genocide. This is because the Jewish holocaust lies at the core of Zionism’s narrative of self-justification.

If the Zionists had any principled objection to genocide denial then they would apply that principle to the Armenian genocide which is widely recognised to be the first holocaust of the 20th century. Yet far from recognising and remembering the Armenian holocaust, which prefigured the Jewish holocaust, Zionism has gone out of its way to play down what happened or even pretend that it did not happen.

The Zionist whitewashing of the record of the Turkish state vs the Armenians began with the founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl. In order to secure a charter for Palestine, Herzl agreed to support Ottoman Turkey in the wake of its massacre of the Armenians in the mid-1890s. Herzl wrote how

Yesterday I telegraphed the N. Fr. Presse, a rather long Entrefilet (notice) presenting the local, undeniably critical situation in a manner friendly to the government.[v]

 

 

Bernard Lazarre, who led the campaign to exonerate Dreyfus was a prominent supporter of the Armenians. Lazare resigned from the Zionist Actions Committee as a result of Herzl’s actions. He ‘could find no place in Herzl’s essentially reactionary movement.’ [vi] In an open letter to Herzl Lazarre asked:

‘How can those who purport to represent the ancient people… extend a welcoming hand to murderers, and no delegate to the Zionist Congress rises up in protest?’’[vii] 

To be fair the Zionist Congress of 1933 in Prague didn’t rise up in protest at the rise to power of the Nazis either! Israeli diplomats and politicians supported Turkey’s opposition to a memorial day to commemorate the Armenian genocide.[viii] Israel opposed the concept of the holocaust expanding.[ix]

In How Israel Quashed Efforts to Recognize the Armenian Genocide – to Please Turkey Ha'aretz demonstrated how, in the summer of 1982, the Israeli Foreign Ministry made strenuous efforts to destroy a Conference on Genocide in Tel Aviv which included the Armenian holocaust. No expense was spared in order to please the Turkish regime.

Yad Vashem, the Zionist holocaust propaganda museum, agreed to withdraw its sponsorship of the conference.

“Our first objective is to neutralize Yad Vashem as an official national body from taking part in including the Armenians in the conference,”

a recently released Foreign Ministry document revealed.

The Ministry’s next target was Tel Aviv University rector and future president Prof. Yoram Dinstein. Moshe Gilboa reported that he met with Dinstein and explained to him “the background for our objection to the inclusion of the Armenian issue.” The result was that Dinstein’s office sent a letter detailing their concerns about the event. Tel Aviv University declined to take part.

The Ministry also attacked the funding sources of the conference and the Henrietta Szold Institute agreed not to provide funding for it. Elie Wiesel, the Auschwitz survivor and future Nobel Peace Prize winner also agreed to withdraw as Chair of the Conference. 

After Wiesel pulled out he shared internal information about the conference with the Foreign Ministry. Wiesel met with Naphtali Lau-Lavie, Israel's general consul in New York and discussed ways “to cancel the Armenian section" of the conference. One idea being “to prevent such a discussion in the plenum” and to transfer it to “workshops” on the sidelines, so it would not be given publicity.

Wiesel, together with Arthur Hertzberg of the American Jewish Committee and Yad Vashem, attempted to destroy the conference. Wiesel lobbied other delegates into not attending.[x] A number of prominent historians, including Zionist holocaust historian, Prof. Yehuda Bauer, agree not to attend. 

“We continue to act to reduce and diminish the Armenian issue to the extent of our ability by every possible means,”

according to one Foreign Ministry document from the summer of 1982.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry also tried to get the conference canceled outright. Negotiations were conducted with the conference organizers, headed by Israel Charny, an American-Israeli psychologist, who was offered compensation if he agreed to cancel it.

Turkish soldiers standing over the skulls of dead Armenian villagers

Israeli embassies around the world tried to persuade potential participants to cancel their attendance. One document stated that

“We are currently trying to dissuade the invitees from taking part.” “I propose that we instruct the general consul to contact Wiesel and request that he disassociate himself from the conference,”

wrote Elyakim Rubinstein, the legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, now a Supreme Court justice who, along with fellow judges, repeatedly rule that information on Israel’s links with repressive regimes abroad should be concealed.

Because they couldn’t prevent the conference from taking place, the Foreign Ministry proposed to plant articles in the press that would be critical of Israel’s attempts to prevent the conference from taking place. These articles would “serve as our alibi, in the Turks’ eyes,” ministry officials hoped. When the conference did eventually take place, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spied on the event and reported back.

Alon Liel, the Foreign Ministry’s representative in Turkey, warned that

“if the Armenian section is included in the conference, it will have grave implications for Israeli-Turkish relations.”

The Israeli government’s excuse was that if the conference went ahead as planned then Turkey would retaliate by not allowing Jewish emigrants to Israel to pass through Turkey. 

Professor Charny has just published a book "Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial, State Deception, Truth Versus Politicization of History." Charny argues that the Turkish threat was “an invention”. He bases this view on a 1982 document in which Israel’s general consul in Istanbul at the time, Avner Arazi, wrote that the fear of a severe Turkish reaction was highly exaggerated.

Charny described the Armenian genocide as a ‘dress rehearsal for the holocaust’. Israeli historian Bat Ye’or described how the Germans, allies of the Turks in WW1, were present at the massacres and that ‘this history lesson was remembered one generation later, when Hitler planned a genocide…[xi] Bernard Lewis a prominent Zionist historian was convicted in a French court of denying the Armenian genocide.[xii]

Michael Birnbaum, one of the founders of the US Holocaust Museum wrote in Charny's new book that people at the Israeli Embassy tried to convince him “not to include the Armenians in the museum."

Charny described how the Foreign Ministry’s conduct made him

put an end to the naivete with which we ascribe good intentions to our leadership… seeing the dirt, the contemptible behavior, the manipulations, the wickedness and destructiveness of a key division of government – it's just astounding.”

In 2007 a scandal erupted surrounding the Anti-Defamation League's refusal to support a bill calling on the Bush administration to recognize the 1915-17 Turkish massacre of its Armenian minority as genocide. The ADL itself was split over the issue; firing its New England regional director Andrew Tarsy for telling The Boston Globe that, "I strongly disagree with the ADL's national position." The ADL, which has a history of anti-Black racism, including arranging the training of US police forces by Israeli police, has a long record of attacking anti-Zionists as ‘anti-Semitic’.

How Israel Quashed Efforts to Recognize the Armenian Genocide – to Please Turkey

Decades before the U.S. president formally recognized the horrors of 1915, Israel's Foreign Ministry sought to foil an academic conference on the subject, fearing reprisal from Turkey. 'We continue to act to reduce and diminish the Armenian issue to the extent of our ability by every possible means'

Ha'aretz, Ofer Aderet, May. 2, 2021

In the summer of 1982, Israel's Foreign Ministry set to work on a special mission. “We continue to spare no effort on this issue, which is currently a central one on our agenda,” an internal ministry document says of the mission. “We shall leave no stone unturned, whether or not this thing succeeds,” another document says. “Intensive treatment that encompasses both institutions and public figures in Israel and abroad… feverish and tireless efforts… at the highest diplomatic levels,” other documents add.

The mission that so occupied the Foreign Ministry personnel 40 years ago had nothing to do with the First Lebanon War, which had just begun, but with another much larger and deadlier war: the Armenian genocide in 1915, during which an estimated 1.5 million people were killed by the forces of the Ottoman Empire.

Following U.S. President Joe Biden’s formal recognition on April 24 of the genocide, it’s particularly interesting to see how Israel not only denied the horrific mass murders – a policy to which it still adheres – but also tried to influence others to act in the same manner.

‘We continue with intensive and comprehensive efforts to get the conference canceled or to at least have the Armenian section removed from the agenda’

A recently released file from the National Archives reveals Israeli efforts during that summer four decades ago to thwart an academic conference due to be held in the country, focusing both on the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide. The documents in question offer a lesson in realpolitik and the willingness to sacrifice fundamental values of the type that any democratic society – especially one established after the calamity of the Holocaust – is supposed to hold dear, on the alter of political and security-related interests, among other reasons.

Beginning in April 1982, from the day the conference was first announced, the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to sabotage it never ceased. These efforts, which went on for two months, bore fruit.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem withdrew its initial sponsorship of the event, Tel Aviv University declined to take part, the Henrietta Szold Institute pledged not to provide funding for it, Holocaust survivor and then-future Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel resigned his post as conference chairman, and a number of prominent historians, including Prof. Yehuda Bauer, said they would not to attend. The conference did ultimately take place, but in a much watered-down and unofficial framework.

“We continue to act to reduce and diminish the Armenian issue to the extent of our ability by every possible means,” according to one Foreign Ministry document from the summer of 1982.

Removing the 'Armenian section'

“Reduce and diminish” – as if this was not about the murder of well over a million people that also involved uprooting, plunder, expulsion and death marches.

“We continue with intensive and comprehensive efforts to get the conference canceled or to at least have the Armenian section removed from the agenda,”

 the document adds. The “Armenian section” – two simple words that stand for a huge genocide.

Aside from the successful attempts to damage the prestige of the event by making the list of participants shrink significantly, the Foreign Ministry also tried to get it canceled outright. This is evident from the negotiations conducted by ministry personnel with the conference organizers, headed by Israel Charny, an American-Israeli psychologist. The talks were an attempt to reach a compromise whereby the event would be canceled, but the Foreign Ministry would provide organizers with “compensation for the actual damage – on the basis of receipts.” But the proposal didn’t go very far.

'I propose that we instruct the general consul to contact Wiesel and request that he disassociate himself from the conference,' wrote Elyakim Rubinstein

Meanwhile, the ministry enlisted embassies around the world to help persuade potential participants to cancel their attendance in the conference, as one document states: “We are currently trying to dissuade the invitees from taking part.” The most important guest was Elie Wiesel, who was supposed to chair the event. “I propose that we instruct the general consul to contact Wiesel and request that he disassociate himself from the conference,” wrote Elyakim Rubinstein, the legal adviser of the Foreign Ministry at the time, and the future attorney general, cabinet secretary and Supreme Court justice.

After Wiesel agreed to pull out, he shared internal information about the conference with Foreign Ministry personnel, and even took part in the effort to foil it. For one thing, Wiesel met with Naphtali Lau-Lavie, Israel's general consul in New York and a Holocaust survivor himself, and discussed ways “to cancel the Armenian section" of the confab. One idea proposed was “to prevent such a discussion in the plenum” and to transfer it to “workshops” on the sidelines, so it would not be given publicity. “We could say that the conference did not designate the Armenian issue as a subject for discussion,” Lau-Lavie suggested.

'Our first objective is to neutralize Yad Vashem as an official national body from taking part in including the Armenians in the conference'

Israeli ambassadors around the world were called upon by the ministry in Jerusalem to use their ties to keep the conference organizers from finding a replacement for Wiesel. “We request that you call [Lewis] Samuel Feuer and convince him not to accept the presidency of the conference,” Ambassador to France Meir Rosenne was told. Feuer, an American sociologist, has “an international reputation and broad personal authority and his non-participation in the conference will lower the level of the conference and reduce its dimensions to the minimum,” Rosenne was informed.

For his part, Lau-Lavie reported to the ministry that he had spoken with Jack P. Eisner, who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and was actively involved in Holocaust commemoration. Eisner had received an offer to chair the conference but Lau-Lavie said he turned down the offer, “ceased funding the conference and had just halted a transfer of money for the event.”

The Israeli consulate in Stockholm was asked, meanwhile, to contact Per Ahlmark, a renowned Swedish writer and politician, and to let him know that Wiesel “would be greatly appreciate it if he did not attend the conference.

Targeting Yad Vashem

The list of people whom Foreign Ministry emissaries contacted to persuade them not to participate included local officials such as Yad Vashem chairman Yitzhak Arad and Yad Vashem council chairman Gideon Hausner, the prosecutor in the Eichmann trial two decades earlier. The idea was to try to persuade the Holocaust remembrance center of the problematic nature of the conference, which, in dealing with both with the Shoah and the Armenian genocide, would detract from the uniqueness of the former.

 “Our first objective is to neutralize Yad Vashem as an official national body from taking part in including the Armenians in the conference,” one of the newly publicized documents says.

“This should be possible because the inclusion of other peoples in the same line with the Jewish Holocaust would place Yad Vashem in a controversial position in the world and in terms of international public opinion. If we succeed in getting Yad Vashem out of the conference in which Armenian issues will be discussed, it will be an important and significant achievement since no official public government body will then be standing behind it.”

The next target was Tel Aviv University rector and future president Prof. Yoram Dinstein. Moshe Gilboa, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Diaspora Department, reported that he met with Dinstein and explained to him “the background for our objection to the inclusion of the Armenian issue.” The meeting was a success, and yielded a letter from Dinstein’s office detailing concerns about the event.

Behind the scenes, Israel boasted to Turkey about its activities, according to one archival document:

“We put an emphasis on our efforts to cancel the conference completely or to at least remove the Armenian issue from it… It was explained to the Turkish representative in Israel that, in the present circumstances, the conference has shrunk to tiny proportions and will be run by a small group of private individuals, without any official government or public support.”

Ministry officials also instructed Israel’s representatives in Turkey to inform their local counterparts about the efforts being made and to add – perhaps apologetically – that “in a democratic regime, as we have here [i.e., in Israel], we cannot prevent private individuals from holding conferences and discussing any subject they wish.”

Prof. Israel Charny. Argues in his new book that the Turkish threat to holding the 1982 conference in Israel on the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide was “an invention.” Credit: Emil Salman

To assuage the Turks, the Foreign Ministry also proposed to plant articles in the press that would be critical of Israel’s attempts to prevent the conference from taking place. These articles would “serve as our alibi, in the Turks’ eyes,” ministry officials hoped.

Eventually, as in a military operation, the Foreign Ministry even “spied on” the event that was held:

“No Armenian clergy were spotted… A certain Armenian speaker gave a talk about the Armenian issue. A film on the subject that was supposed to be screened was not shown because the projector didn’t work. No more than six or seven people were seen in the conference rooms. The [Armenian] Patriarch was seen walking around,”

according to a report.

There is no one clear answer as to what was behind the Foreign Ministry’s obsession with foiling this academic conference. Officially, ministerial representatives told people that Turkey could potentially harm Jews from Iran and Syria who would try to immigrate to Israel via Turkey.

“All of the Foreign Ministry’s activity to prevent the holding of the conference is intended solely to save Jews from lands where they are in distress,” one of the archival documents says. That account is supported by another source, describing how a Foreign Ministry representative in Turkey, Alon Liel, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, in April 1982.

Elyakim Rubinstein, Foreign Ministry counsel in 1982. "There was a constraint here, a concrete interest, that we had to pay attention to, because the Turks could be tough,” he says today.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

“Turkey cannot conceive of a conference being held in Israel in which it will be presented in the same category with Nazi Germany,” Liel was told.

“The Turkish people find this especially surprising given the fact that Turkey aided Jewish refugees who managed to escape the arms of the Nazis in World War II,” the summary of the meeting says. “The Turks display extreme sensitivity, bordering on irrationality, regarding the Armenian issue, and are unwilling to admit that the events of 1915 constitutes the Armenian genocide."

The bottom line, as Liel warned in his report to Jerusalem, was that “if the Armenian section is included in the conference, it will have grave implications for Israeli-Turkish relations.”

Historian  Eldad Ben Aharon, whose areas of expertise include Israel-Turkey relations and who published a paper in 2015 about efforts to torpedo the 1982 conference, says that the reason for Israel's policy lies in how important it sees ties with Turkey, because of both defense considerations and geopolitical realities. 

'An invention'

Last week, Elyakim Rubinstein recalled his involvement on behalf of the Foreign Ministry in preventing the event from taking place. “I would have been much more comfortable, as a proponent of academic freedom, to sit on the other side of the barricade. But there was a constraint here, a concrete interest, that we had to pay attention to, because the Turks could be tough,” he told Haaretz. “I think we acted correctly. Israel has responsibility vis-a-vis the Jewish issue everywhere.”

But where did the threat to hurt would-be Jewish immigrants passing through Turkey come from? Prof. Charny, the organizer of the 1982 conference, has just published a new book entitled "Israel’s Failed Response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial, State Deception, Truth Versus Politicization of History." In it, Charny argues that the Turkish threat was “an invention.” He bases this view on a 1982 document in which Israel’s general consul in Istanbul at the time, Avner Arazi, wrote that the fear of a severe Turkish reaction to the conference was highly exaggerated.

“I would like to touch on a point that I believe served as the basis for our concerted efforts to get the conference canceled, i.e., the hints about the passage of Iranian and Syrian Jews via Turkey,”

Arazi wrote

“I was not aware of this issue. Here in Turkey, there were no signs of a connection between this issue and the conference. Anyone familiar with Turkey’s dedication to its tradition and its principles, which include not extraditing refugees, would never imagine that it could endanger Jews’ lives by turning them over to the Syrians and Iranians… At a time when Turkey is making every effort to improve its image in the world, it is not reasonable to think it would commit such an injustice and thereby also invite harsh criticism from the Free World,”

he added.

Other evidence shows that the Israeli “handling” of the confab was just one front where Israel was active on the subject of the genocide: Michael Birnbaum, one of the founders of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, writes in Charny's new book that people at the Israeli Embassy tried to convince him “not to include the Armenians in the museum."

Charny, who is today 90, told Haaretz that the Foreign Ministry’s conduct in the episode made him “put an end to the naivete with which we ascribe good intentions to our leadership,” and that “seeing the dirt, the contemptible behavior, the manipulations, the wickedness and destructiveness of a key division of government – it's just astounding.”  

See Zionist leader colluded with Armenian genocide


[i]         Lucy Dawidowicz, The holocaust and the Historians, Cambridge, p.13 cited by Vahakn Dadrian p. 159.

[ii]        Bauer, Rethinking the holocaust, p.44.

[iii]       Helen Fein, Accounting for Genocide, p. 10.

[iv]        Helen Fein, Accounting for Genocide, p.17.

[v]        Diaries p. 392.

[vi]        Hannah Arendt, The Jew as a Pariah, p. 171.

[vii]       How Herzl Sold Out the Armenians, Rachel Elboim-Dror Ha'aretz, May 01 2015, https://tinyurl.com/y7dc34cd  Herzl complained that Lazarre had written ‘“a mean, malicious article against me”Diaries of Theodor Herzl, p. 1201, ed. Ralph Patai, 13 Jan  1902.

[ix]        Holocausts and Politics, Akiva Eldar, Yediot Aharanot, 1975. See also Armenian Genocide Debate Exposes Rifts at ADL, Jennifer Siegel, August 22, 2007. https://tinyurl.com/ybzcra6c -/

[x]        Norman Finkelstein, The holocaust Industry, p. 69.

[xi]        Vahakn Dadrian, p. 159.

[xii]       Finkelstein p. 69.

 

USHM, Charny, Wiesel, Armenian Genocide, Anatolia, holocaust, Yehuda Bauer, Lucy Dawidowicz,

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

EXCLUSIVE: The Labour Party has threatened to sue me for libel because I called Regional Organiser, Scott Horner, a racist and anti-Semite!

 This is Chutzpah– after falsely accusing thousands of members of ‘anti-Semitism’ Labour sends me a 4 page solicitor’s letter - this is how Labour turns Zionists into victims

Warning - not for the squeamish!

Imagine my surprise when I recently received a letter from solicitors for the Labour Party threatening to sue me for libel. What was my crime? I had posted a blog on 27 June accusing Kim Bolton, the Chair of Hove CLP and Scott Horner, Labour’s South-East Regional Organiser, of being racists and anti-Semites. Which they are!

At this point you may feel unsteady on your feet. After expelling, suspending and putting thousands of members under investigation for the merest mention of Israel or Zionism (‘anti-Semitism’) they have the brass neck to turn round and threaten to sue me for daring to accuse them of anti-Semitism. As Thatcher once said ‘it’s a funny old world.’

So why has Starmer’s Labour to react so aggressively? Is Horner innocent? Am I unfairly traducing a young member of staff?

Condemning and sanctioning Israel for killing infants and children is 'antisemitic' according to Scott Horner

Background

Goldsmid and Hove Park branch of Hove and Portslade CLP passed the following motion at their June meeting. It read:

“Hove and Portslade CLP call upon the leader of the Labour Party and the Shadow Foreign Secretary to strongly urge the government to

(1) Call on the Israeli government for an end to its violation of the human rights of Palestinians and for an end to the illegal occupation of the Gaza strip and the West Bank

(2) Impose legal sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, and, in particular, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements”

This motion would, apparently, according to Scott Horner, threaten the safety of Jews and make them feel unwelcome.

If you call for sanctions on Israel to protect Palestinians you are making racist Jews feel 'unsafe' according to Scott Horner

According to the most recent You Gov survey, 61% of Labour members support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] and only 8% are opposed. So it is a pretty mainstream view in the Labour Party yet the Labour Right in Hove scrambled to prevent the motion being discussed. They sought the backing of Labour’s Southern Region Organiser Scott Horner, who naturally agreed. Horner wrote to Bolton stating that:

Minutes of the Executive of Hove Labour Party June 2021

“While we encourage comradely debate, I feel that this discussion would act as a flashpoint for the expression of views that would undermine the Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular Jewish Members.” (my emphasis)

Hove’s Chair, Kim Bolton then ruled that:

I support that view. The motion from Goldsmid and Hove Park branch requesting Sanctions against Israel risks opening a debate that will stir up internal conflict in our CLP and may lead to further anti-Semitic behaviour. As CLP chair , on the advise (sic!) of Scott Horner, Labour South East officer, I rule the motion on Sanctions Against Israel out of order.”

What Horner was saying was that a debate on BDS will cause people to express anti-Semitic views. In other words BDS is motivated by anti-Semitism not sympathy for the Palestinians. Horner doesn’t say this openly of course, because like all Labour’s regional mafia, he is politically dishonest.

What Horner and Bolton are doing is casting the Palestinians as the villains and the Zionists as the victims. That is the function of the ‘anti-Semitism’ libel. It reminds me of those John Wayne movies that I used to watch as a kid which showed the cowboys as the victims of the Native Indians who, for unknown reasons, kept attacking those honest, god fearing cowboys such as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

By formulating his words in this cunning and deceptive way, Horner is showing how quickly he has grasped how political language must be phrased in such a way as to hide its real objective. The art of politics lies in how best you can hide your real aims. Horner has a promising career ahead of him!

Paddy O'Keefe of Brighton Kemptown CLP was suspended for quoting an article by a child survivor of the holocaust - Ze'ev Sternhell in Ha'aretz - apparently this is anti-Semitic!

When the CIA wanted to torture people they explained it away as ‘enhanced interrogation.’ When the Nazis referred to the holocaust they used euphemisms such as ‘special measures’ and ‘special treatment’.

In 1946 George Orwell wrote an essay "Politics and the English Language" describing this phenomenon.

‘Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.’

Orwell described how

‘political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.’ That was why ‘political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.’

In 1949 Orwell wrote 1984 about a dystopian future in which terms such as Newspeak and Big Brother entered the English language.

Horner doesn’t come out and say that opposition to Israel’s war crimes and support for BDS is anti-Semitic. Instead he says that discussion of such a motion would act as a ‘flashpoint’, a suitably incendiary noun, for the expression of views that ‘would undermine the Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members.’ Adding at the end ‘in particular Jewish Members.’ Of course he never says why.

Labour Conference under Corbyn

This is a classic way in which the roles of the oppressed and oppressor are reversed. It is deeply racist. It harkens back to the days when the British Empire was called the ‘White Man’s Burden.’

What Horner is saying is that in order to prevent ‘anti-Semitism’ no support whatsoever must be given to the child languishing in an Israeli prison, having been beaten to a pulp. Palestinians whose homes have been demolished or parents whose children have been torn to shreds by Elbit’s drones must understand that ‘anti-Semitism’, the feelings of well heeld Jewish Labour Party members, must take priority. These are the same people who bitterly denied that the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations were about Israel!

Horner didn't like my last blog - he'll like this even less!

Neither Horner nor Starmer are genuinely interested in anti-Semitism. What they really want is to dispense with the idea that Labour’s foreign policy should consist of solidarity with oppressed peoples. Anti-imperialism must give way to the interests of western imperialism.

It is part of the unfinished Blair Project that on foreign affairs there should be no differences between Labour and the Tories. Foreign policy should be bipartisan just like in the United States.

What then of Jews? Well in the words of Barnaby Raine, we are the Western Establishment’s favourite pets.’ and ‘heroic colonists.’ As I wrote in my first article Jews are the moral alibi, the political football of Labour’s racist right which is unconcerned with any form of anti-racism which challenges their own political and economic interests.

There is no Israeli war crime that Peter Kyle, MP for Hove, a new LFI Vice-Chair won't support

Let us take Scott Horner at his word and accept that there are some Jews who would be disconcerted or feel unwelcome because of solidarity with the Palestinians. Clearly the racist Jewish Labour Movement and people like Peter Kyle MP and Kim Bolton would feel very uncomfortable.

The answer is so what? Is international solidarity, the essence of socialism, to be sacrificed to the subjective feelings of racists, be they Jewish or non-Jewish? Who cares about such snowflakes when compared to the agonies of families thrown out of their homes in order to satisfy the desire of settlers to see an Arab-free Jerusalem?

Imagine that in 1933 a resolution was proposed to Hove Labour Party calling for support for the Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany. The only Jews who opposed this at the time were bourgeois Jews and the Zionists, who preferred to reach a trade agreement, Ha’avara, with the Nazis.

Just suppose that there were German members of the Labour Party who said that they felt uncomfortable with the proposed motion because they said it made them feel unwelcome and that it was anti-German. No doubt Scott Horner’s ghostly ancestors would have ruled the motion out of order.

Of course any socialist worthy of the name would ask why pro-Nazi supporters were even members of the Labour Party. That should be our approach to the idea that some Jews will feel discomfited by criticism of Israel and support for the Palestinians.

If there are Jews within the Labour Party who genuinely feel that resolutions opposing Israeli Apartheid make them feel unwelcome then my response is this. ‘Why the hell are you members of a party that purports to be socialist?’ Should the views of racists be the reason for suppressing free speech and failing to give solidarity with the victims of ethnic cleansing? Yet that is what has happened.

Letter from the Labour Party’s solicitors

The letter I received was headed ‘Not for Publication’ but clearly it is in the public interest to publish it and also my reply. Labour’s solicitors listed 11 complaints regarding what I said about Horner:

(i) That he is a racist;

(ii) That he exceptionalises Jews as especially vulnerable if Israeli war-crimes are debated;

 (iii) That he is clearly and obviously anti-Semitic;

 (iv) That he assumes all Jews think the same way when it comes to Israel;

 (v) That he is also anti-Semitic for assuming Jews are uniquely incapable of rationally debating the Israel question;

 (vi) That he follows a right-wing political ideology

 (vii) That he uses Jews as a moral alibi in the same way French colonialism used Jews as intermediaries and scapegoats;

 (viii) That he stated sanctions on Israel would make Jewish members feel unwelcome;

 (ix) That he would be dismissed from his employment if Labour were a democratic party;

 (x) The (sic) he suggested Jews were especially fragile as they would be upset by discussions on Israeli human rights abuses; and

 (xi) That he engages in racist activity.

The allegations boiled down to saying that Scott Horner

i.              Is racist and anti-Semitic

ii.            Exceptionalises Jews.

iii.         Assumes all Jews think the same when it comes to Israel.

iv.         Believes that Jews are exceptionally fragile (‘the weak Jew’) and cannot rationally debate Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians without upset.

v.            Uses Jews as a moral alibi for Israel’s war crimes.

vi.         Is right-wing.

vii.       Would be dismissed if Labour were a democratic, socialist party.

For all the bluster there is no denial that Horner said that debating BDS would result in the expression of anti-Semitic views and that Jews would feel unwelcome and unsafe.

Horner assumed that all Jews, even anti-Zionist Jews, support Israel’ war crimes. What he is saying that Jews are extremely fragile and as such is making a generalisation about Jewish support for Israel. What is that if not anti-Semitism?

Horner equated opposition to Israeli war crimes with anti-Semitism. That too is anti-Semitic because it conflates Jews and Israel. Horner made no exception for anti-Zionist or socialist Jews.

It is difficult to comprehend why someone who holds anti-Semitic beliefs should profess to be concerned about anti-Semitism unless he is using Jews for another agenda altogether. In other words Jews are being used as a political football or moral alibi.

I fail to see how calling someone right-wing is defamatory. It is a matter of opinion. Likewise saying that a democratic, socialist party would dismiss Horner is a statement of the bleeding obvious!

I don’t expect the Labour Party to sue me. Not only because they have no case but because they are in a deep financial crisis thanks to Sir Starmer’s catastrophic leadership. However if I am wrong then I will be more than prepared to join battle!

The Labour Party’s letter to me was a chutzpah, a Yiddish word that doesn’t translate easily into English. Wikipedia describes it as:

a total denial of personal responsibility, which renders others speechless and incredulous ... one cannot quite believe that another person totally lacks common human traits like remorse, regret, guilt, sympathy and insight. The implication is at least some degree of psychopathy in the subject.

I can’t think of a better description of Horner and the Labour Party’s behavior when it comes to making false allegations of anti-Semitism.

However no-one can accuse solicitor, Gerald Shamash, of lacking a sense of humour. He write of Horner that ‘He acts as a facilitator of their democratic expression, rather than using his position to express his own views.’ And how did he facilitate a democratic debate on sanctions against Israel? By recommending that there be no discussion!

Sanctions

Perhaps if I was taught logic I might ask my students to see if they could reconcile the following 2 statements:

Our client has never suggested, expressly or by implication, that sanctions against Israel would make Jewish members feel unwelcome.

our client exercised the necessary vigilance of that expected of a public serving party member and advised that pursuit of the motion on sanctions would only serve to pour fuel on the fire of current tensions.

Notwithstanding this I was told that ‘Our client does not presume to know the thoughts of all Jews on the subject of Israel.’ As if recognising that he was writing total nonsense, Shamash let slip that Horner’s

true concern was that Jewish members should not be made to feel unwelcome by particular language used not in the written motion but liable to be uttered verbally during the discussion of the motion, and aggressive behaviour and body language liable to be used by members during that discussion. You are no doubt aware that there have been many reported instances of Jewish members feeling unwelcome as a result of such language and behaviour/body language in similar debates, regarding similarly anodyne written motions.

Actually I’m not aware of any Labour Party members feeling unwelcome by discussions on Palestine. Why should they? But if there are a few Jewish racists in the Labour Party so what?

But it wasn’t the motion itself that was the problem but the predicted body language! Horner has amazing foresight. But surely this must apply to all debate in the Labour Party? In other words members must stop debating issues in case someone is offended. And to be fair Starmer and his glove puppet David Evans have done their best to outlaw debate!

Of course assertions about body language are evidence free. The kind of dishonest political language that Orwell warned of.

In case anyone is in doubt as to the seriousness of these matters I was told

‘of the extremely high profile of the recent scandal concerning Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and the wider backdrop of rising Anti-Semitic hatred across the UK.’

Just as 4 legs are better than 2, so 2 lies are better than 1.

Tony Greenstein