30 January 2018

LAW Public Meeting - “This anti-Semitic witch-hunt is a nonsense” – Ken Loach

‘Whatever the anti-Semitism witch-hunt is about it isn’t anti-Semitism’ Tony Greenstein

Ken Loach addressing the meeting
Over 70 people crammed into London’s Conway Hall last night (January 29) to discuss the ongoing witch-hunt against the Left in the Labour Party and what can be done to stop it. Hundreds of left-wing and pro-Palestinian members remain expelled or suspended, many of them on trumped up charges of anti-Semitism.

In the short time that LAW has been going we have attracted an amazing amount of vitriol from the ruling class’s prostitute press.  When it comes to Liberal or the Tory  press – whether it is the Mail or the Guardian/Independent - there is no difference, they are all against ‘anti-Semitism’ – at least when it comes in the form of anti-Zionism and support for the Palestinians!
LAW's first public meeting was packed out
Imagine – the Tory tabloids and racist commentators like Richard Littlejohn are all opposed to anti-Semitism whilst demonizing Black people and asylum seekers. You’d need to have a lobotomy not to realize the gross hypocrisy of these ruling class scribes.

The Jewish Chronicle and their racist Political Editor Marcus Dysch, who seems reluctant to follow up his threats to sue me for calling him a racist, seems obsessed with us.  Virtually every week there is a story about Labour Against the Witch-hunt. 
Our first successful action - the picket of Labour's NEC

Labour activist wins High Court injunction to delay disciplinary hearing on antisemitism charges

MP accuses Jackie Walker of ‘fantasy’ over claim she is being targeted by Israel

Labour hearing into activist who abused Jewish MP postponed indefinitely

Momentum director expected to get control of key Labour disciplinary committee, says party insiders

Group set up to protest against Labour's expulsion of members accused of antisemitism expels members for alleged antisemitism

Tony Greenstein in full flow
Idiot Tory MP Andrew Percy told the House of Commons recently that 
I do not wish to step into party politics too much, but it is important that in debates like this we call out campaigns such as Labour Against the Witchhunt, which has called for ‘the immediate lifting of all suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership which were…connected to the antisemitism smear campaign’.
Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker - Jeremy Newmark's nightmare

How kind of this execrable Tory, who has nothing to say about the racism of his own party, to be outraged when members of the Labour Party complain about false allegations of anti-Semitism.  It would seem that even to point out the fact that anti-Semitism has been weaponised against anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians is anti-Semitic!  Thus has free speech been outlawed. 

If this Percy is so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ then perhaps he might ask why his own party is in alliance with Poland’s Law and Justice Party in the European Conservative and Reform group in the European parliament.  The same party whose government has just introduced a bill making it a criminal offence to make mention of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.  Anna Bikont’s book The Crime and the Silence about the massacre in 1941 in Jedwabne when up to 1600 Jews were burnt alive in a barn by their fellow Polish citizens has been outlawed at a stroke.  Likewise Jan Thomas Gross’s ‘Neighbours’ yet this hypocritical scoundrel dares accuse Jewish anti-Zionists of ‘anti-Semitism’.  See Is Michal Kaminski fit to lead the Tories in Europe? And Jewish group seeks Tory assurance
Percy is a court Jew who pays homage to the Establishment.  Percy decries Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ and at the same turns a blind eye to the alliance of his own party with Holocaust deniers in the European parliament.  He has nothing to say about the inclusion in the ECR group of Robert Zile of the Latvian LNNK.  The same Zile who marches each year with the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS.

Yet it is a fact that false allegations of anti-Semitism have been made in abundance.  Indeed one of the most remarkable things about the ‘anti-Semitism’ witch hunt is that it has not uncovered any anti-Semitism.  Jackie Walker is suspended for not uttering one word ‘among’ in a casual private conversation that was broken into by the Israel Advocacy Movement.  See The lynching of Jackie Walker
Naomi, David Watson (suspended Walthamstow), Jackie & Cheryl
Ken Livingstone is suspended for telling the truth about Nazi support for the Zionist movement in Germany.  It is a fact that the Nazis did support the Zionist movement in Germany over and above the anti-Zionists.  As Zionist historian David Cesarani conceded in his book The Final Solution, (p.96) citing the Gestapo itself:  ‘The efforts of the Gestapo are oriented to promoting Zionism as much as possible and lending its support to its efforts to further emigration.’
Candidate for Deselection:  Louise Ellman MP, a supporter of the Israeli military's child abuse, deploys 'antisemitism' as a weapon against support for the Palestinians
I am suspended for, amongst other things, calling the reactionary Labour MP Louise Ellman, a supporter of Israeli child abuse, which she is.  Three times in a debate on a Report, funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and backed up by UNICEF, she intervened in a parliamentary debate to defend the Israeli military’s abuse of Palestinian children.  Ellman should long ago have been expelled from the Labour Party for her support for war crimes.

Most laughably Marc Wadworth is suspended for pricking the pretensions of the haughty Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, who is described by Wiki Leaks as an informant for the US Embassy.  Wadsworth, who challenged Smeeth at the Chakrabarti press conference for trading information with The Telegraph, is called ‘anti-Semitic’ for having called Smeeth out.  Marc didn’t even know she was Jewish and a cursory examination of the conversation bears this out – nothing that was said was anti-Semitic.  What comes across is the arrogant, elitist demeanour of Smeeth who was outraged that a Black person dare challenge her.  She was affronted in much the same way that a slave owner would be outraged by being called to account by his slave.  ‘How dare you, how absolute dare you’ was this upper class prat’s reaction to Marc.  Watch it here
Corbyn with Marc Wadsworth at the Chakrabarti press conference - unfortunately Jeremy hasn't had the spine to speak up in support of someone he's known for over 30 years as an antiracist activist

Jackie and Cheryl, with suspended member Simon Hinds at the back - Jeremy Corbyn has failed to speak up on this racist witchhunt

At the meeting Professor Moshe Machover, the Honorary President of Law spoke as did Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein and Ken Loach.

Tony Greenstein, Vice Chair of Law explained that “it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this campaign has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, but everything with destabilising Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”  When we have the far-Right, people like neo-Nazi Richard Spencer calling himself a ‘white Zionist’, when virtually every fascist party from our own BNP and EDL to Le Pen’s Front Nationale, Strache’s Freedom Party in Austria to the neo-Nazi AfD (alternatives for Germany) all loving Israel, how dare they accuse us of anti-Semitism?  Why do these fascists and racists love Israel?  Because it is the kind of state that they wish to emulate.  A state that is presently trying to deport 40,000 refugees because they are Black and not Jewish.  What is there not to like about Israel?
Jackie Walker, LAW chair and also suspended on charges of anti-Semitism, explained that, “Labour Against the Witchhunt demands that there should be no more disciplinary hearings in the Labour Party until the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report on natural justice and due process have been implemented. The current disciplinary system is contrary to the ethics of our party, which are about protecting the weak against the strong and maintaining principles of justice for all.”
Long-standing anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth - suspended for calling out Ruth Smeeth MPin the press conference that launched the Chakrabarti report – asked: Why has John Mann not faced disciplinary action? He openly attacked NEC member Ken Livingstone in front of TV cameras, using expletives, bringing the Party into disrepute.” He said that LAW has to “work hard to give the new left-wing majority on the NEC the strength, the backbone, to stand up to the witch-hunt.”
Our first public meeting was highly successful 
Moshé Machover reminded the audience that suspensions on charges of anti-Semitism amount to “character assassination”, but while he had been accused of anti-Semitism, he had actually been expelled for having articles published in the Weekly Worker and Labour Party Marxists. Under the monstrous rule 2.1.4.B for, a member or “supporter” of any political organisation which is not affiliated to Labour and which is not a Labour Party unit can be instantly expelled, with no right of appeal.

“I asked them repeatedly what ‘support’ is supposed to mean, but I got no reply.” But after an international protest campaign that saw dozens of Labour Party branches and CLP issue motions in his support, “the compliance unit suddenly decided that I did not support either organisation or newspaper, when a few weeks earlier they had decided exactly the opposite. Needless to say, nothing had changed in the meantime.” Having been expelled on October 5 2017, he was reinstated on October 30 – and is still demanding an apology from the compliance unit.

Speaking last, filmmaker Ken Loach was adamant that the witch-hunt against the pro-Corbyn left on bogus charges of anti-Semitism

“is a nonsense and we have to be clear about calling it that: nonsense. The witch-hunt is part of the right wing attempt to destabilise the Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. We need a foreign policy of peace, international law and human rights. When Jeremy became Leader, almost the entire Parliamentary Labour Party refused to serve. They brought the party into disrepute. We would have won the general election with a united party. Many local election pamphlets did not even mention Jeremy Corbyn and omitted manifesto policies. We now need to defend and extend the manifesto. We need to get a new party in parliament. And being a Labour MP is not a job for life. It is the democratic right of members to select their candidates.”

Tina Werkmann, speaking from the floor, asked why it was that Jeremy Corbyn had failed to speak up for those suspended.  Corbyn knows many of those involved yet had displayed a singular lack of backbone despite the fact that Labour Friends of Israel MPs such as Chair Joan Ryan have been  his bitterest enemies.  He is not strengthening his position by remaining silent about his friends.  Privately people tell me that the main culprit is his poisonous aide Seamus Milne, ex-Guardian journalist and veteran Stalinist.  Milne, even more than Corbyn has articulated the ‘strategy’ that if Corbyn concededs to the anti-Semitism witch-hunt then his life will be made easier.  Milne and Corbyn don’t understand that the longer they appease these racist bastards the greater will be their demands. Racists such as Jeremy Newmark need to be faced down.  My suggestion is that Corbyn ask Newmark what is the position of the jlmm regarding the deportation of African refugees from Israel and why the Israeli Labour Party is supporting Netanyahu’s racist attack on Eritrean and Sudanese refugees.

We heard a number of moving speeches from the floor from people who had been suspended.  One, David Watson, from Walthamstow had been suspended because of the Stella Creasy mafia and her abusive partner.

Another Cyril Chilsom is a former Israeli who converted to Catholicism.   Cyril is the child of a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.  His mother was an inmate in Auschwitz concentration camp.  Despite this the vile racists of the Compliance Unit and Crooked Iain McNicol suspended Cyril at the behest of Jeremy Newmark and the racist Jewish Labour Movement.

Videos of the speeches from the event will be available on our website soon. There will be another public meeting organised by Labour Against the Witchhunt tonight in Birmingham. Plans are currently being finalised for a conference in spring and an intervention at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. LAW’s founding principles can be found here.

LAW demands that the NEC, now with a left-wing majority, must introduce some urgent changes:
1. A moratorium on any new cases being referred to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC).
2. The withdrawal of all outstanding NCC cases.
3. The immediate implementation of the Chakrabarti report recommendations on Labour’s disciplinary procedures in respect of natural justice and due process.

Jackie Walker's Report
One of the best - I've EVER been to and I've Chaired and been to a LOT of meetings. It was packed. The panel - me Chairing, Tony Greenstein (Jewish blogger suspended for AS), Marc Wadsworth long time black anti-racist warrior (suspended for AS), Ken Loach (not yet suspended/villified as they wouldn't dare even though he says/said some hard hitting things), Moshe Machover (world famous expelled and re-instated Jewish anti-zionist dissident). Contributions were great, wide ranging, insightful, inspiring. Many members from Grassroots Black Left and Jewish Voice for Labour in the audience but THEN came the audience BIG TIME - ex IDF (Israeli army) son of holocaust survivor's testimony on what his suspension for AS has done to his life, people who have waited 2 years and still dont' know what they are accused of. Tales of injustice, torment and the question WHY? Why do we allow a system that has led already to one suicide, to torment, depression, to public (metaphorical) lynchings to remain? And demands - that the left on the NEC should reflect the views of those who elected them and ACT to implement Chakrabarti. It's time for the Leadership to intervene in this debate. That it's time for us to MAKE the media, not be their objects. This is the fightback. Join Labour Against the Witchhunt! Edited highlights to follow!

Tonight there was also a meeting in Birmingham - Here are a few photographs

29 January 2018

Israel bans Quaker American Friends Service Committee, the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize winners for Rescuing Jews from Nazi Germany

However Israel Extends a Welcoming Hand to Neo-Nazi & Far Right Leaders

It is one of life’s ironies that if you are a neo-Nazi and you deny that the Holocaust occurred, then you are more than welcome to enter Israel, pay homage to the dead you deny at Yad Vashem, meet government ministers and profess your joint hatred of Muslims.  However if you are Jewish and believe that Boycotting Israel is the best way to change its Apartheid economic and society then you are banned.

This is what Israel has come to.  Anti-racists are banned but racists, fascists and neo-Nazis are more than welcome.  People like Heinz Christian-Strache of Austria, who was a guest of Likud recently.  Or Geert Wilders, the Dutch bigot and parliamentarian or even Richard ‘White Zionist’ Spencer the neo-Nazi alt-Right leader. 

All of the above are welcome in Israel BUT Rebecca Vilkomerson, the leader of Jewish Voices for Peace in the United States is NOT welcome.
Israel is one of the few countries in the world who ban people not for what they do but what they think.  It is ironic that it must be the only country in the world to welcome neo-Nazis but ban the ‘wrong sort of Jews’ from entering.  I guess that is why it calls itself a ‘Jewish’ state.

Here is the list of 20 groups that have been banned – two – Palestine Solidarity Campaign and War on Want are from Britain.

Tony Greenstein 
Rebecca Vilkomerson (right) Director of Jewish Voices for Peace is now banned from Israel
Banned Groups
  • AFPS (France-Palestine Solidarity Association)
  • BDS France
  • BDS Italy
  • ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
  • FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
  • IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • Norge Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
  • Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS-Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden)
  • PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
  • War on Want
  • BDS Kampagne
United States
  • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
  • AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
  • Code Pink
  • JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
  • NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
  • USCPR (U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights)
Other groups
  • BDS Chile
  • BDS South Africa
  • BDS National Committee
Not banned - Herr Strache of the Austrian   Freedom Party visits  Yad Vashem
Philip Weiss on January 8, 2018

AFSC logo
One of the special ironies of the weekend’s news that Israel is barring 20 international organizations from entry because they support BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the appearance on that list of the venerable American Friends Service Committee, or AFSC, which was founded 101 years ago as an antiwar organization.

AFSC earned distinction and a Nobel Prize for helping Jews and other refugees escape the Holocaust. Now it is on that list because it is helping Palestinians!

AFSC is honored at Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem. From Yad Vashem’s portrait of the American Friends Service Committee:

Relief organization established in 1917 by the Quakers, also known as the Society of Friends, as a forum for doing service to humanity in a moral fashion. The Quakers make up one of the smallest religious groups in the United States.
The Foreign Service Section of the AFSC did even more than the Refugee Division. Cooperating with Jewish relief agencies, in 1939 the organization sent a delegation to Germany to check on the situation of Jews and Christians and provide relief if necessary. They mainly assisted Christian refugees, but they also helped Jews. Among other activities, they fed and saved children in France, assisted Jews who had reached Portugal, and organized the activities of relief agencies in Spain.

In 1947 the AFSC won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping refugees during and after World War II.

Mike Merryman-Lotze of the AFSC was quoted today by IMEU on the move by Israel:
Geert Vilders, Dutch Fascist leader lived in Tel Aviv
“We will continue to stand up for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine regardless of the recent Israeli announcement that staff from AFSC and 19 other organizations may be denied entry to Israel because of our support for the grassroots Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement for Palestinian human rights. 
“Our response to the Palestinian BDS call is in line with our similar support for divestment from apartheid South Africa and boycotts during the civil rights era. Our work is motivated by Quaker belief in the worth and dignity of all people, and it is that belief that has led us to support and join in nonviolent resistance to violence and oppression around the world, including the Palestinian BDS call, for a hundred years.”
Thanks to Ofer Neiman and Eitan Diamond. Oh and Haaretz also did the story. And thanks to Mondo’s co-editor Adam Horowitz– who used to do Palestinian work at AFSC.
Yad Vashem page on the American Friends Services Committee role during the War
P.S. This story feeds my spiritual understanding that Palestinians are being forced by Israel to recapitulate the history of the Jews. What we experienced in Europe, Palestinians must experience in Israel and Palestine. This time around we play the guys with the jack boots! Of course there is a big arc in that story; the group goes from being humiliated outsiders to people granted prestige by the world for their suffering. Palestinians are gaining prestige by the moment. AFSC is surely proud of being named.

28 January 2018

Thousands of Israelis - teachers, lecturers, airline pilots and Holocaust survivors act to prevent the Deportation of Black African Refugees

The Israeli Labour Party & the Jewish Labour Movement support Netanyahu’s deportation of Black African refugees

Why Rhea Wolfson should resign from the JLM and condemn the Israeli Labour Party