13 May 2018

An Open Letter to John McDonnell – You Need Weep No More Over ‘Anti-Semitism’

The Chutzpah of Adam Langleben & the Jewish Labour Movement

Dear John,

 According to an old Yiddish joke an example of chutzpah is when a man who, having killed his father and mother, asks the court for mercy because he is now an orphan. This perfectly describes the behaviour of former Labour Zionist Councillor Adam Langleben.

It is a chutzpah because no one did more to instil in peoples’ minds the idea that the Labour Party is riddled with antisemitism than Langleben and the Jewish Labour Movement. Langleben’s electors believed him and therefore refused to vote for him. Some would call that poetic justice.
Not only did the Israeli Labour Party leader Herzog welcome Trump's election victory but they have even adopted the same language
In the wake of his defeat Langleben did a tour of TV and radio studios seeking to blame his defeat on everyone bar himself. I am however surprised that when Langleben first started whinging about ‘alt-Left’ conspiracy sites, i.e. Canary and Skwawkbox, that you rushed to appease him.  Not once have you met with Jewish members of the Labour Party who are socialists and don’t make false allegations of anti-Semitism.

In his conspiratorial rant of a video, besides getting all his facts wrong, Langleben called for the shutting down of what he termed the ‘Alt-left’ media sites.  Perhaps he thought he was in Israel where censorship is alive and kicking.  Langleben is not the first person to use the term ‘Alt-left’. This was how Donald Trump described the anti-fascist opponents of his neo-Nazi friends at Charlottesville.
Adam Langleben's rant on the 'Alt-left' media
Langleben is a member of the JLM, which describes the Israeli Labour Party as it ‘sister’ party. The ILP is not only historically a party of ethnic cleansing but to this day it is racist to the core. If the Labour Party bore any resemblance to the racism of the ILP then there would be just cause for complaint.  As one of its leaders, David HaCohen explained:

‘I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism, to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my Trade Union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they should not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there... to pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash Arab eggs they had bought... to buy dozens of dunums from an Arab is permitted but to sell God forbid one Jewish dunum to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild the incarnation of capitalism as a socialist and to name him the ‘benefactor’ – to do all that was not easy.’ (Ha’aretz, 15.11.69.)

The ILP’s last leader Isaac Herzog declared that his nightmare was waking up to find that Israel had an Arab Prime Minister and 61 Arab Members of Israel’s Knesset. Herzog also declared that he wanted to dispel the impression that the ILP were ‘Arab Lovers.’  Imagine that someone had denied that Labour was a ‘Jew lovers party.’

Herzog’s successor Avi Gabbay is even worse.  He declared that he would not join a coalition with members of the Joint List, parties representing the Arab citizens of Israel. He raised no objections however to a coalition with the nakedly anti-Arab far-right parties Yisrael Beteinu and Habayit Hayehudi.

Gabbay followed up declaring that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us” and that Israel need never evacuate any of its settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.  According to Gabbay ‘Settlements represent the ‘beautiful face of Zionism’.

In May 2012, Herzog wrote challenging arguments by human rights groups that Eritreans in Israel deserved protection as refugees. Today the ILP under Gabbay supports Netanyahu’s attempt to deport 40,000 Black African refugees.  Yet despite this Gabbay recently wrote to Jeremy Corbyn cutting his links with him on the spurious grounds of ‘anti-Semitism’.
The more McDonnell buys into the narrative of Labour 'antisemitism' the more he undermines Corbyn's leadership

As someone with a background of support for the Irish Republican movement you cannot be unaware of the fact that Protestant Supremacists in Northern Ireland identify with Zionism just as Republicans support the Palestinian struggle.  The recent ‘anti-racist’ Zionist demonstration outside Parliament included members of the DUP (& Norman Tebbit)!

In the words of Sir Ronald Storres, the British Military Governor of Jerusalem (1920-25) the Zionist project would be ‘one that blessed him that gave as well as him that took by forming for England “a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of hostile Arabism.’ [Orientations, Nicholson & Watson, London 1943, p.345] 

Report by Daily Mail journalist Dan Hodges to divert attention from an award winning documentary

You declared last year that you could weep' over Labour anti-Semitism row.  I can only suggest that you save your tears John.  If ‘anti-Semitism’ were really a problem in the Labour Party do you really think that Marc Wadsworth and myself would have been expelled?  That Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone would be facing expulsion? Why do you think Black and Jewish anti-racists are the ones being disciplined?

The JLM protest of course that the ‘anti-Semitism’ smears have nothing to do with Israel but if that is so why do they push the 450 word IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism when anti-Semitism can be summed up in a few words i.e. ‘hatred of Jews as Jews’?  If Labour was indeed consumed with anti-Semitism do you really think that the Sun, Mail and Express press would be so concerned?
Rushing to appease Labour's Zionists is like digging your own grave
As long as you and Jeremy try to appease those who accuse the Labour Party of anti-Semitism, the more you will endanger your own position.  This fake campaign has but one target.  It is not to rid Labour of ‘anti-Semitism’ but to remove you and Jeremy from the leadership.  Marc, Jackie, Ken and myself are the collateral damage.

Adam Langleben’s JLM voted by 92% to 4% to support Owen Smith in the leadership election.  They are on Labour’s far-Right.  What you and Jeremy should be asking is why do we allow to operate, inside the Labour Party, the Labour Friends of Israeli Apartheid?
Langleben secretly videod Jackie Walker at a JLM 'training event' - she was suspended shortly after
The JLM does not represent all or even most Jews in the Labour Party.  Jews opposed to Zionism and the Israeli state are no different from Whites in South Africa who opposed Apartheid.  Would Labour then have identified with the Nationalists?

When Jonathan Arkush of the Board of Deputies attacked Jewdas, the Jewish group that Jeremy spent seder night with, he accused them of being ‘a source of virulent anti-Semitism.’  When Zionists talk of ‘anti-Semitism’ what they normally mean is anti-Zionism.  If you really want to be the first left-wing Chancellor of the Exchequer since Sir Stafford Cripps, you have to stand up to these racists not sing from the same song sheet.

In solidarity,

Tony Greenstein

Langleben thinks that everyone but him is responsible for him losing his seat - when he was the author of his own misfortune

Some serving councillors lost their seats in last Thursday’s local elections. Many of those losing were from UKIP, and some were Tories. But although Labour gained ground, some of their councillors were among those losing. One of those was Adam Langleben, who had served on the council in the London Borough of Barnet.

The problem for Langleben is that he has been unable to accept defeat without blaming others, to the extent of making allegations which he will have significant trouble standing up. These have been made in a video he has posted. Here are some of the claims.

After saying “we just lost Barnet”, when Labour didn’t hold the council in the first place, he continues “we have conspiratorial anti-Semitism”, and then asserts “Right now, as I’m filming this, an alternative left-wing news website called Skwawkbox is going through all of the Tweets attacking me, as a Jewish Labour Party member … that accuses me of being a Mossad agent, that accuses me of trying to undermine the leadership”.
There was more. A lot more. “Accuses me of all sorts of things, and it is … propagating Labour anti-Semitism. Now, the Labour leadership can do something very simple and easy. It should say that these alternative fake news websites do not speak for them. Skwawkbox, The Canary … they are propagating conspiracy theory in the Labour Party. They allow it to fester. They spread the message”. And he wasn’t done yet.

 “Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, both have close links to these groups, to people who run these websites. They should say loudly and clearly that any conspiracy theory that these websites spread are false. They should be shut down. They do not have the support of the Labour leadership. And it’s a very very simple thing to do. John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, come and speak out about these fake news websites”.

While it is entirely understandable that Langleben is unhappy about losing his seat, he has a problem here: much of what he claims is not merely untrue, but actionably so.

Consider the two New Left Media outlets he has accused.

The Canary has never mentioned Adam Langleben.

Skwawkbox has never mentioned Adam Langleben.

Neither Skwawkbox, nor The Canary, has linked Langleben to the Mossad, or of undermining the Labour leadership (as they haven’t mentioned him at all).

The only Twitter interaction between Skwawkbox and Adam Langleben is one reply from the former to the latter, inviting him to DM them.

There is no evidence whatever to support the claim that Skwawkbox is “going through all of the Tweets attacking me”. Indeed, that is itself a conspiracy theory.

As to the “close links” that Jezza and McDonnell are alleged to have to those sites, let me restate what Zelo Street had to say to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog when they tried to make that accusation last year.

 “Skwawkbox has NEVER had any contact with Jeremy Corbyn’s office. There is NO contact between Evolve Politics and Corbyn’s office … The Canary has NO contact with Corbyn’s office.” Got that? No contact. At all.

And as to the idea that sites which displease Adam Langleben, or indeed anyone else, “should be shut down”, the sinister overtones are simply breathtaking. That’s the kind of behaviour that gives totalitarian dictatorships a bad name.

Not surprisingly, Skwawkbox has already registered its displeasure at Langleben’s totally untrue claims. The Canary may be following along shortly. There has been talk of legal action, and understandably so. But there is a straightforward solution here.

And that is for Adam Langleben to stop, think, realise he is wrong, and say sorry. Skwawkbox did not lose him his council seat. Nor did The Canary. Nor did any other New Left Media site. The only person who lost that seat is Adam Langleben. That is all.

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