19 March 2016

ANTI-SEMITISM - Jonathan Freedland & The Zionist Campaign to Defame Corbyn and the Labour Left

Garry Speding Gives a Helping Hand to the Zionist Campaign Against the Palestinians

A Moving Play by Caryl Churchill on the links between Gaza and the Jewish Ghettos of Europe is 'anti-Semitic'
The past few weeks have witnessed a resurgence of the Zionist campaign that began during the Labour leadership campaign in the summer, when attacks on Jeremy Corbyn as ‘anti-Semitic’ reached their height.  According to the Zionists Corbyn not only supped with the devil, Paul Eisen of Deir Yassin Remembered but he attended a Palestine fundraising concert in 2013 which had been put on by DYR.  See Stephen Pollard Jewish Chronicle Editor & Apologist for Europe's anti-Semitic politicians - The Hypocrisy of Jeremy Corbyn’s Accusers 
The Guardian's & the Jewish Chronicle's Zionist journalist without a porfolio - Jonathan Freedland - never misses an opportunity to dumb down

There was then a hiatus whilst the attack diverted to the Father of the House of Commons  Gerald Kaufmann.  Kaufmann had spoken about ‘Jewish Money’ in relation to the Tory Party.  The fact that many other Jews also speak in similar tones was ignored.  GeoffreyAlderman and Gerald Kaufman –Jewish Chronicle Columnist’s Exercise in Hypocrisy 

Alex Chalmers - the Upper Class fool who alleged anti-Semitism whilst providing no examples

When normal service resumed we had the affair of Oxford University Labour Club when its upper class twit of a Chair, Alex Chalmers resigned because he held that the club had a problem with Jews.  Antisemitic? Or just against the Israeli government’s oppressive actions? 

Gerry Downing whose foolish utterances gave Zionists comfort this week

What Chalmers really meant was that the Labour club, like many others, had decided to support Israel Apartheid week, i.e. it was giving support to the Palestinians who are and have been living under a military occupation for nearly 50 years.  Some of Oxford’s privileged Jewish students i.e. those who support the racist state and wouldn’t know what oppression was if it hit them objected.  Most people would say ‘tough’.

Paul Eisen - Jewish Holocaust Denier banned from Palestine solidarity movement- used to smear Jeremy Corbyn

And then there was the affair of York University’s Palestine Society which was accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ for putting on the play 7 Jewish Children, which is incidentally on the Guardian’s own web site.   A thought provoking and stimulating play, only 10 minutes long, it draws a linkage between the Jewish child in the ghetto at risk of being murdered and the Palestinian in Gaza who is also in danger of being murdered.  None of which stopped the Jewish Chronicle running with a story Pro-Palestinian students perform 'antisemitic' play as part of Israel Apartheid Week,] 

This merited an open letter from 6 Israeli and Jewish students from York University’s Palestine society protesting that the putting on of the play 7 Jewish Children was not anti-Semitic.  Seven Jewish Children’ staged at Univ. of York despitesmear that students were promoting ‘anti-Semitic culture’ 
Caryl Churchill - author of 7 Jewish Children

Of course Jewish students supporting the play was not news.  Maybe that’s also a form of anti-Semitism.  Making certain Jewish people invisible.  But as they don’t support the Israeli state they don’t count of course being ‘race traitors’ and ‘self haters’.

It is a theme that the famous socialist and Jewish folk singer

Gary Spedding - the self-styled Palestinian activist & narcissist who no one has heard of playing the Zionist game

 Leon Rosselson takes up with his latest song ‘The Ballad of Rivka & Mohammed’ which explores exactly the same theme, ending up with Rivka, the Jewish girl in the ghetto and Mohammed, the Palestinian boy in Gaza:  "then each took the hand of the other and then they were seen no more"

Stephen Pollard - the Jewish Chronicle's Editor from the Gutter - Freedland's partner-in crime.

There has also been the trivial matter of one Vicky Kirby which Freedland and others have blown up out of all proportion.  She is or was a member of the Labour Party.  Someone who believes that Jews have big noses and believes that Hitler is the god of the Zionists, needs help rather than expulsion.  The fact that she believes that Jews and Israel are synonymous might have a lot to do with some of the people that Jonathan Freedland keeps company with. 

Indeed Freedland himself argues in his latest article in the Guardian Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem  that ‘A recent survey found that 93% of British Jews said Israel formed some part of their identity’ thus suggesting that it’s not possible to criticise Israel or the existence of Israel as a racist Zionist state without it being anti-Semitic.  It’s a case of Freedland having his cake and eating it.

Freedland’s article is the usual superficial stuff one has come to expect.  He is like the drunk who leans on a lamp post, not for illumination but support.  He skims the surface of every issue he touches, raising suspicions and caveats without ever managing to tackled a single issue meaningfully.  Never, not once, does he attempt to tackle the question what is anti-Semitism.  He makes triviality into an art form.  Freedland is almost a living example of the decline of the Guardian as a newspaper.

Questions such as whether the allegations of anti-Semitism that have been made are genuine or whether they got up by people with an entirely different agenda elude Freedland.  He informs us that the Oxford University Labour Club Chair resigned after saying the club was riddled with racism.  But what was this racism?  The only example he gives is where apparently one member of the Labour club ‘organised a group to shout “filthy Zionist” at a Jewish student whenever they saw her.’  When clicking the link this allegation is sourced to one Aaron Simons, in another Guardian Comment piece ‘It’s time we acknowledged that Oxford’s student left is institutionally antisemitic’  .  Yes the Guardian has had a deliberate Mail-style strategy for some time to inflate Zionist allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’.  Simons states that ‘It has been alleged that another OULC member organised a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout “filthy Zionist” whenever they saw her.’

We have no indication of who made the allegation, what the name of the student is who organised this shouting or indeed the alleged victim.  Bearing in mind that Jewish students who support the Palestinians are regularly abused with the terms ‘traitor’ ‘self-hater’ it is pretty small beer, even assuming there is any truth in it.

But having spread the smear Freedland moves on leaving people none the wiser. 

There was another Labour expulsion this week, of Gerry Downing.  The obvious point to make is that the expulsion is a disgrace.  Downing was expelled by post, with no notice, not told what the charges were, not invited to present a defence and told he had no right of appeal against the decision.  A Kafkaesque affair.  Freedland omits to mention all of that.

I don’t personally agree with Downing on the position he takes but I have no doubt, having met Downing, that he is not personally anti-Semitic.  The problem is he is politically confused, a confusion caused by the Zionist insistent that support for Israel is bound up with being Jewish. 

Indeed just this week I penned an article for the Weekly Worker criticising Downing’s political position, Confusing the question - Zionism, Jewish identity and the ‘socialism of fools’ http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1098/confusing-the-question/ and blogged on him too Gerry Downing, Anti-Semitism and the Socialism of Fools - Confusing the Jewish Question and Zionism http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/gerry-downing-anti-semitism-and.html

Downing is wrong to think that there is a ‘Jewish Question’ or that it has any bearing on the issue of Israel.  His belief that there is a separate Jewish component of western ruling classes is absurd and can lead in an anti-Semitic direction, but who is it who raises the question of Jews every time Israel is mentioned but Jonathan Freedland’s good friends in the Zionist movement?  Does not Israel call itself the Jewish state?  Does Israel not appropriate historic Jewish religious symbols like the Star of David as its own nationalist emblems?

Freedland reluctantly accepts that opposition to Israel ‘is not always antisemitic’ The problem is that having conceded the point he goes on to make the opposite case viz. that anti-Semitism is equivalent to anti-Zionism.

Freedland tells us that when Jews pray they face east towards Jerusalem and that they have done so for 2,000 years.  Yes the holy land held a certain religious symbolism for Jews but it had no political significance.  When the Zionist movement first arose the fiercest opposition to it came from the Orthodox Jews.  They held it was forcing the hand of god who had exiled the wicked Jews.  In fact they’d voluntarily left for pastures anew.  The fact is that Jews never sought to go to Palestine until the colonial era came along, anti-Semitism increased and Christians urged them to settle in the area of Palestine and build a state which would protect the Suez Canal.  And even then most Jews desired to go anywhere but Palestine (between the mid 19th century and 1914 of the 2½ million Jews who fled Czarist Russia some 2% went to Palestine).

Like a dog returning to its vomit, Freedland returns to his hobby horse – Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism.  Apparently Corbyn attended a fundraising concert for DYR in 2013 after Paul Eisen had been outed as a holocaust denier.  As I explained to Freedland, who queried this in an email to me.  Corbyn was never aware of the bona fides of Paul Eisen, didn’t meet with him, simply paid for a ticket, knew nothing about DYR and further it’s not at all certain that Eisen had anything to do with the concert in question anyway.  In other words the kind of McCarthyist guilt by association technique that one has come to expect of Mr Freedland and his accomplices.

Freedland’s other point is even more dishonest.  Corbyn ‘praised Islamist leader Sheikh Raed Salah’.  He may well have, but so what.  Contrary to Freedland’s assertions the British court was in no position whether or not to find that Raed Salah had ‘deployed the blood libel’.  It heard no witnesses to this event.  The passing comment of the court that in its opinion Saleh had referred to the Jewish blood libel was obiter dicta, irrelevant to the real finding that Raed Salah’s detention was illegal and he was freed as a consequence.  The Court, the Upper Immigration Tribunal also found that the evidence of Saleh having written an anti-Semitic poem was in fact faked by the Jerusalem Post and the Zionist Community Security Trust. 

Freedland is being thoroughly dishonest in his assertion.  The Jerusalem Magistrates Court found Salah not guilty of racial intent precisely because it accepted that he hadn’t used as a rhetorical device the Jewish blood libel.  On the contrary he said his reference to blood libel was to the Spanish Inquisition and its murder of children.  The decision was reversed on appeal in a nakedly political attack on Salah who has been one of the main leaders of Israeli Palestinians and a thorn in the government’s side.  The Israeli judiciary are not neutral where Palestinians are concerned.  They are part of the apartheid state.  The attack on Saleh in Israel is a racist attack on a Palestinian leader who has defended the Temple Mount against Jewish fundamentalists who would destroy the Golden Dome and Mosque of Omar.

In short there is no substance at all to Freedland’s arguments.  The whole issue of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party is a wholly contrived and got-up affair.  It is the creation of journalists like Freedland and his counterparts on the Daily Mail.  It has no basis in reality.  The real agenda is defence of the Israeli state.

There was a similar and equally inaccurate article in Ha’aretz, the normally liberal Israeli paper.  It is error ridden but I copy it below for reference.  What is most interesting about it is that a Mr Gary Spedding, who I have tangled with before, passes himself off as ‘a veteran pro-Palestinian activist, who said he has been ridiculed and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse’.

See:  Open Letter to SNP Members of Parliament – Don’t Be Fooledby False Accusations of anti-Semitism

SNP MPs Don’t Take Kindly to Criticism over Palestine & 'anti-Semitism'

The False Use of anti-Semitism - Gary Spedding, the SNP’sAdvisor on Palestine Sings the Zionist Song

Spedding isn’t Jewish.  He is an Orthodox Christian from Newcastle who joined the Northern Ireland Alliance party which is Unionist. [see below for his response to this post!] So how he can be a victim of anti-Semitism is puzzling, although there is a certain logic to his claim.  Under the ‘new anti-Semitism’ that has grown up in the USA opposition to war mongering, the arms trade, support for human rights etc. is considered anti-Semitic as it is inimical to Jewish interests!  The assumption being that being Jewish means supporting Israel and as Israel is a nasty, militarised, racist state being opposed to any of the aforementioned means being anti-Semitic!

Spedding is a fully blown narcissist who is unknown to anyone in the Palestine solidarity movement.  His only ability seems to be to blow his own trumpet and he is in good company there – with the anti-Semitic Jazzman Gilad Atzmon.

Tony Greenstein

A mounting number of recent incidents and accusations of anti-Semitism has party members and Jewish leaders wondering if Labour is still welcoming of Jews.

Daniella Peled Mar 17, 2016 1:41 PM
Britain's opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn listens to speakers at the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton, U.K., September 28, 2015.Reuters
·                U.K. Labour party suspends activist for saying Jews have 'big noses'
·                Oxford firestorm highlights heated British debate over anti-Semitism and Zionism
·                Corbyn declines to say 'Israel' at U.K. Labour meet – and keeps people guessing
A series of anti-Semitism scandals has hit the U.K.’s Labour movement in what some Jewish activists say may be a turning point for the party.

Recent controversies include the re-election of a Vicki Kirby to vice-chair of her local Labour party branch. Kirby was suspended in 2014 after a series of tweets, including one in which she suggested Hitler might be “the Zionist God.” Another tweet asked: "What do you know about Jews? They've got big noses and support [London soccer team] Tottenham Spurs lol." She has since been suspended again, and an inquiry is pending.

Only the previous week, party activist Gerry Downing, whose Socialist Fight website has published articles on “the Jewish Question” and who himself has been accused of questioning the Holocaust, was thrown out of the Labour party for the second time.

And in mid-February, Alex Chalmers, co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) resigned after the body decided to support Israel Apartheid Week, claiming that many OULC members “have some kind of problem with Jews." The scandal deepened after the Oxford Jewish Society released further allegations of harassment against Jewish students.

These incidents reflect an on-going internal struggle between a more radical left wing of the Labour Party and a more moderate sector of the party, and the conversation has spilled beyond the Jewish community, grabbing national headlines in the country's major papers.

This clash has been encapsulated by differing views on Israel and the Palestinians, not least due to party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s decades-long record as a pro-Palestinian campaigner. He has famously described representatives of Hezbollah and Hamas as his friends.

For Tal Ofer, an Israeli immigrant who ran as a Labour candidate in local elections in 2014, the trend is worrisome. “I feel sickened as a British Jew, as these are not the values of my party, the value of inclusivity and social justice,” he said.

Ofer added that he had raised his concerns with numerous senior party figures, including deputy leader Tom Watson.

“There are elements of the hard left inside the party now whose anti-Semitic views are clear," Ofer said. "As long as the party doesn't act against those anti-Semites, they feel that they have legitimacy to carry on with these views.”

Labour lawmaker John Mann, chair of the all-party group on anti-Semitism, claimed the situation had deteriorated with the influx of hard-left newcomers to the party following Corbyn’s election last year.

Others say that it is simply symptomatic of a trend infecting British politics.

Author and journalist Nick Cohen argued in his 2007 book "What's Left?" that blind anti-imperialism was transforming the left-wing into a profoundly illiberal  movement. Nothing about the current anti-Semitism scandal was surprising, he told Haaretz.

“Now it’s mainstream – the far-left have taken over. People like me were screaming about this years ago and were always told that it was just about fringe groups," he said.

“It’s not just Corbyn or a clique in the Labour party,” he continued. “The same attitudes are all across the left, any charity, any university, any vaguely middle-class and left-wing institution.”

The core concepts of this ideology, he said, are: A belief that the West was the main or the sole source of global conflict, that the only reason for trouble in the Middle East was Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, and that radical Islam should be excused rather than confronted. There was also “a rather racist cultural relativism, especially around women’s rights” and a conspiracy of Jewish control of American and European foreign policy.

In this context, Cohen said, anti-Semitism was being excused or dismissed if it appeared in a wider context of outspoken criticism of Israel.

Jeremy Newmark, the national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said he saw a distinct trend towards the “denial of anti-Semitism,” particularly among pockets of the grassroots membership.

“The party’s disciplinary system is often not robust enough to deal with this,” he lamented. “At a structural level in the party the rhetoric of zero tolerance has to be followed and matched with processes.”

Even those with strong pro-Palestinian credentials are not immune. “Some among the left have the misguided belief that anyone raising concerns of anti-Semitism are part of a Zionist ploy or pro-Israel conspiracy to discredit and defame,” said Gary Spedding, a veteran pro-Palestinian activist, who said he has been ridiculed and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse when he identified anti-Semitism within the movement.

Others argue that pro-Israel activists willingly blur criticism of Israel or Zionism itself with anti-Semitism for their own political ends.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group told Haaretz in a statement that they were “proud” to count Jeremy Corbyn as a longstanding and reliable ally and had “every confidence” that he would continue to deal effectively with any instances of anti-Semitism.

The group said Corbyn, when running for office, had faced a "vicious smear campaign based on lies, distortions and innuendo, which tried to brand him as an anti-Semite or friend of anti-Semites." The group charged the "right wing media," "cynical opponents" within Labour, and some "right wing Jews, who oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s longstanding support for Palestinian rights,” with orchestrating the campaign.

Still, communal leaders agree that Corbyn has done little since his election to squash controversies and try to build bridges with the Jewish community. For example, the party’s initial investigation into the Oxford affair has yet to be published, and Labour MPs have expressed concern that it will be subsumed into a wider enquiry about student affairs.

Corbyn did issue a statement this week after shadow cabinet minister Luciana Berger was inundated with offensive tweets after announcing that she would be attending an anti-Semitism conference in Berlin. Corbyn called the abuse "unacceptable," and said “It has no place in our society.”

Critics, however, complain that the leader won’t touch Israel-related anti-Semitism “with a barge pole,” as one parliamentary aide put it. “He fulfills his obligations by making short condemnations without any attention to nuance.”

As a result, the aide continued, many Jewish Labour activists “are actively cutting up membership cards.”

Newmark disputed this, saying he did not predict a mass exit of Jewish support from Labour. Rather, “people have redoubled their efforts to fight this within the party,” he said.

“If I don't fight for my party's future, who will do it?" said Ofer. "These are really difficult times to be a Jewish member… many people ask me to quit the party, but then how can I influence it from outside?"

Spedding's Response as emailed to me


I have no idea why you continue to write nonsense about me and I'm further puzzled as to why you include me in email threads as if this upsets or annoys me in any way.

All you have done is demonstrate exactly why members of the Jewish community feel so worried about the trivialisation and dismissing of their concerns regarding anti-semitism. You have dedicated entire articles to such aims and objectives and I frankly find your own anti-semitism rather sickening.

The reality is that nobody in the mainstream Palestine solidarity movement wants to work with you anymore. These wild statements you make about me more accurately describe yourself.

It is clear you are craving my attention or attempting to bait me in some way and so I'll not feed the troll as the expression goes.

People are laughing at you.

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