23 November 2016

Open Letter from Jewish Members of the Labour Party to Jeremy Newmark and the Jewish Labour Movement

Jewish demonstrators in New York protest against Zionist Organisation of America's welcome to the anti-Semite Steve Bannon of Breitbart News

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Dear Mr Newmark,

We write to you as Jewish members/supporters of the Labour Party concerning the recent election of Donald Trump.  The Jewish Labour Movement, of which you are the Chair, describes the Israeli Labor Party [ILP] as its sister party.  
Whereas Jeremy Corbyn has criticised Trump for the politics of racism and scapegoatism, the Leader of the ILP, Isaac Herzog, welcomed his election, offering “Warm congratulations to the president of the most powerful nation in the world: Donald J Trump!”  Herzog praised Trump as:
“an American leader who showed the commentators and the skeptics that we are in a new era of change and replacing the old elitist regimes!... the defense and financial alliance with our strongest and most powerful ally will continue with a vengeance under your presidency.”
Throughout his campaign Trump welcomed the support of white supremacists and anti-Semites.  For example the Arguments for America advert featured prominent American Jews as part of a wealthy financial cabal controlling the world financially and politically.
Trump has now appointed Steve Bannon the ex-CEO of Breitbart News, as his Strategic Advisor.  According to Ben Shapiro, its former News Editor, Bannon has made Breitbart ‘a cess pool of the alt-Right’.  For example on March 29th the site featured a lengthy piece by Milo Yiannopoulos praising the alt-right. Yiannopoulos is of the opinion that Jews run the banks and the media.
Breitbart’s combination of anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia with strong support for Israel is similar to the position of European fascist leaders such as Geert Wilders, Heinz Strache and Marine Le Pen.  The difference is that the latter 3 are not in power.  As the Jewish Forward’s Naomi Zeveloff recently observed, it is quite possible to be pro-Israel and anti-Semitic.
American Jewish groups, with the exception of the Zionist Organisation of America, have reacted with fury to Bannon’s appointment.  David Duke former Ku Klux Klan’s comment was that Bannon’s appointment was ‘excellent.’
We call on you to repudiate as unacceptable the comments by Isaac Herzog, Leader of your sister party in Israel.  Herzog himself has a habit of making racist comments, recently saying that the Israeli Labour Party should not be seen as an ‘Arab lovers party’ and that his nightmare was a Palestinian Prime Minister in Israel.
Yours sincerely,
Sue Bard                                                              Edinburgh East CLP
Graham Bash                                                     South Thanet CLP
Haim Bresheeth                                                Hornsey and Wood Green CLP
Brian Chinnery -                                                Enfield Southgate CLP
Mark Elf                                                               Barking CLP
Sylvia Frinzi                                                         Holborn and St. Pancras CLP
Kenny Fryde                                                      South Cambridgeshire CLP
Tony Greenstein                                              Brighton and Hove DLP /B&H Momentum
Lynda Gilbert                                                    Milton Keynes North CLP
James Hall                                                           Cambridge CLP
Abe Hayeem,                                                    Harrow East CLP
Lorraine Huddle                                                Waltham Forest NUT
Rosamine Hayeem                                          Harrow East CLP
Richard Kuper                                                    Holborn and St Pancras CLP
Leah Levane                                                       Hastings and Rye CLP
Rachel Lever                                                      Hastings and Rye CLP
Professor (Emeritus) Moshé Machover,                Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Miriam Margolyes                                           Clapham Labour Party
Gill McCall                                                           Wimbledon CLP/Momentum
Elizabeth Morley                                              Ceredigion CLP
Diana Neslen                                                     Ilford South CLP
Susan Pashkoff                                         Unite Trade Union affiliate/Representative Redbridge TC
Roland Rance                                           Unite Retired Members; former Secretary, Waltham Forest Trades Council
Dr Brian Robinson,                                           Milton Keynes South CLP, Momentum, Milton Keynes
Leon Rosselson                                                 Brent Momentum
Amanda Sebestyen,                                       Holborn & St Pancras CLP and Camden Momentum
Glyn Secker                                                        Dulwich and West Norwood CLP
Sam Semoff                                                       Liverpool Riverside CLP
Jackie Walker                                                     South Thanet CLP
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi                               Chingford and Woodford Green CLP 

We demand that you condemn & dissociate yourself from Israeli Labour leader Herzog’s Welcome for Trump

Note the difference between Corbyn and Herzog's reaction to the election of Trump
When Donald Trump was declared the winner of the US Presidential election, no one was quicker off the starting block to welcome his victory than Isaac Herzog, leader of the Israeli Labour Party.  Herzog wrote on his Facebook page:
Isaac Herog - the racist face of Israeli Labour that the JLM refuse to condemn or criticise
“Warm congratulations to the president of the most powerful nation in the world: Donald J Trump!” Herzog writes in Hebrew on Facebook.
“Today American democracy chose … an American leader who showed the commentators and the skeptics that we are in a new era of change and replacing the old elitist regimes!” he says. “You did the unthinkable, against all the odds, polls, research and the prophets of the old era. I’m convinced that the defense and financial alliance with our strongest and most powerful ally will continue with a vengeance under your presidency.”
Isaac Herzog is no slouch when it comes to racism and bigotry.  He recently declared that his nightmare was waking up to find that Israel had a Palestinian Prime Minister and 61 Palestinian Members of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament).  Herzog also declared that he wanted to dispel the false impression that the ILP were ‘Arab Lovers’ .
The JLM was most concerned that my expulsion wasn't proceeding quickly enough and that I had the temerity to publish the transcript of my investigative hearing - open democracy is not their forte!
Jeremy Newmark of JLM, who has nothing to say about anti-Semitism of Trump's team, looking forward to my expulsion!
Jeremy Newmark took particular exception to my comparison between the JLM and Nick Griffin of the BNP.  All I said was that having the JLM teaching anti-racism was like inviting Griffin to do the same!
The Jewish Labour Movement, which is the British section of the Israeli Labour Party or as it styles itself, its ‘sister party’, has led the fake media-orchestrated ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations against socialists and anti-racists in the Labour Party.  They have repeatedly accused anti-Zionists, especially Jewish anti-Zionists, of ‘anti-Semitism’.  When I obtained via a Subject Access Request, emails from the Labour Party I discovered, despite attempts by Labour’s apparatchiks to redact them, that the JLM was doing its best to speed up my expulsion.
During the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, at a so-called ‘training session’ on anti-Semitism, Jackie Walker, the Black-Jewish anti-racist activist and Momentum Vice-Chair, was secretly filmed.  Her remarks questioning the Zionists’ ‘Working Definition’ of anti-Semitism, which conflates criticism of Zionism and Israel with anti-Semitism and her queries regarding whether Holocaust Memorial Day acknowledged other victims of genocide, were distorted so as to accuse her of ‘anti-Semitism’.
Curiously though, the JLM has been very silent concerning the ILP’s welcome for Donald Trump and the anti-Semites he has brought with him.  Steve Bannon, the ex-CEO of Breitbart News’ appointment as Strategic Advisor has given a signal to the alt-Right White Supremacists, that Trump is on their side.  Breitbart is a cesspool of racist, anti-Semitic and misogynist views. 
It features creatures like Milo Yiannopoulos who openly argue that Jews do control the banks and the media.  Yiannopoulos dismisses comments such as take a hike, kike” as ‘a mischievous, dissident, trolly generation’.
Jewish Americans have been outraged that the anti-Semitism they thought had been confined to the political dustbin has been resurrected by the election of Trump.  Breitbart’s defence against allegations of anti-Semitism essentially amounts to this.  We can’t be anti-Semitic because ours was “the strongest pro-Israel platform ever.”  In their attempt to turn the tables, they even ask why there were no complaints about ‘the Israel-hating, George Soros?’ 
Soros has long been a target for American anti-Semites and it’s no surprise that Breitbart, in its defence, would fix him in their sights.  Glenn Beck, the ex-Fox News presenter, who addressed Israel’s Knesset, ran a two-part “exposé” on Soros, whom Beck called “The Puppet Master,”.  It was described as ‘a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles.’ Even Fox News found him too much and sacked him soon after.
Note Breitbart’s conflation of ‘anti-Semite/Israel hater’.  Neat that!  As many an anti-Semite has demonstrated, it is not only possible to be an anti-Semite and a Zionist but it’s a positive advantage.  Anti-Semites and Zionists share a common outlook on Jews who refuse to emigrate to Israel.  As Yaron London wrote in Ynet only two days ago:
Israel does not appear shocked by the appointment of racist anti-Semites to senior positions in US President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.... a world view which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests.... all forms of Zionism hold the perception that a certain extent of anti-Semitism benefits the Zionist enterprise. To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism.... we have a secret hope in our hearts that a moderate anti-Semitic wave, along with a deterioration in the economic situation in their countries of residence, will make Diaspora Jews realize that they belong with us.... Is proof even necessary? No one will protest the assertion that the rise in anti-Semitism in France gave us some satisfaction, in the sense of “we warned you, didn’t we?... In order to remove these malignant doubts, it would be good to have some anti-Semitism in America.’
And there you have it.  Historically Zionism has never had any problem with anti-Semitism.  On the contrary it welcomed it!  All this ‘left anti-Semitism’ nonsense was for the birds, or the gullible!
It has even begun to dawn on some liberal Zionists that being an anti-Semite and a Zionist is not only possible but highly logical.  For example Naomi Zeveloff of the liberal Zionist Forward writes about how, although ‘it would seem impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not as contradictory as they appear.’

But back to the JLM.  Since they have waged a campaign against ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party we might expect them to condemn, without hesitation or prevarication, the ILP for its open welcome of Trump and its refusal to criticise his anti-Semitic friends.  However they seem remarkably reluctant to say anything.  It would appear that the only ‘anti-Semitism’ they are interested in is that which relates to criticism of Zionism and Israel. 

In the United States, the Jewish community has long been the excuse and the pretext for America’s support for Israel.  Instead of rationalising support for Israel on the basis of the US’s strategic interests in the Middle East, it was felt better to justify it on the basis of support for a ‘Jewish’ state and America’s determination to prevent a second Holocaust.  Now it is becoming clearer that support for Zionism and Israel can go hand in hand with Jew hatred.

America’s Jewish community, for good historical reasons, is the most liberal section of the White population.  Whereas 58% of Whites voted for Trump compared to 37% for Clinton, the situation was reversed when it came to American Jews.  70% of Jews voted for Clinton and only 25% for Trump.   It is this disparity which is at the heart of Breitbart and the alt-Right anti-Semitism.  Most Jews are liberals, they are not really White.  Did they not support the Blacks in the 1960’s during the civil rights protests?
The Zionist Organisation of America leapt in to defend Steve Bannon from charges of anti-Semitism
Jewish demonstration outside Zionist Organisation of America

When the Zionist Organisation of America decided on Sunday night to invite as a guest speaker to its annual gala in New York the anti-Semitic Steve Bannon, hundreds of Jews took to the streets to protest outside the venue.  Bannon decided that discretion was the better part of valour and he decided to stay away!  This is a remarkable political victory for Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow.

The question is whose side the JLM is on?  Is it with the ZOA or JVP and IfNotNow?  Below is a letter from Jewish members and supporters of the Labour Party to the JLM.  We will be interested to hear Jeremy Newmark’s answer!

Tony Greenstein

Article on Israel's YNet states openly that most Israelis welcome anti-Semites in the White House and anti-Semitism in America

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