The Staggers Support for Zionism and Apartheid is bolstered by the fake anti-Semitism narrative
Emblazoned across the New Statesman’s masthead is the slogan ‘Free thinking since 1913’. Unsurprisingly it is a lie but all organisations like to wrap themselves in a comfort blanket. In the 1930’s it was best known for its support for Stalinism, the purges included. Its commitment to ‘free thinking’ did not extend to publication of George Orwell’s dispatches from the Spanish civil war, because they criticised the Stalinist attacks on the Anarchists and POUM.
|The junk Zionist article that Jasper Jackson refused to allow a reply to|
Born in the womb of Fabianism, the New Statesman soon abandoned even a token relationship to socialism, hence why its current editor Jason Cowley claims it is ‘celebrated for its progressive and liberal politics.’ The New Statesman does not do socialism or anti-capitalism, though a couple of its contributors would probably claim a passing attachment to socialist politics.
The New Statesman was formed in 1913 by Beatrice and Sydney Webb and it was as devoted to the British Empire as the Tories. Unlike the Tories who made no secret of their belief that they intended the Empire to last forever, a source of perpetual unearned riches, they were the moral wing of imperialism which held that colonialism was an act of self-sacrifice. The New Statesman believed that Britain was holding the colonies in trust for the natives as and until they had reached the requisite stage of civilisation.
|Laurie (Red) Penney has been defanged - a lifestyle columnist|
Sydney Webb was the prime representative of this wing of moral imperialism. As Lord Passfield, he was Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Dominions in the 1929-31 MacDonald government. In this capacity he issued the Passfield White Paper in response to the Report of the Hope-Simpson Report which arose out of the 1929 Arab riots. It recommended drastic reductions in Jewish immigration to Palestine. For anyone wanting to understand the background to the apartheid nature of the State of Israel today then this Report is required reading.
|Crossman was the most ardent Zionist of all the New Statesman's editors|
|In A Nation Reborn Crossman regrets that the Zionist settlers didn't achieve their goals earlier since then they could have wiped out 'the aboriginal population'|
The New Statesman has a long and inglorious record of support for Zionism. Perhaps its most openly racist editor was Richard Crossman (1970-72, though Paul Johnson runs him a close second), who served as Housing Minister in the Wilson government. In a memorial lecture to Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President, in 1959 Crossman regretfully noted in respect to the colonists, that “No one”, at least until the 20th century, had
“seriously challenged their right, or indeed, their duty, to civilise these continents by physically occupying them, even at the cost of wiping out the aboriginal population”.
If only the Zionist settlers had “achieved their majority before 1914, they would have been accepted without any compunction of any kind”.
|Owen Jones - the Guardian's tame left correspondent plies his wares at the Staggers|
Crossman’s views about the rights and duties of settler colonialism fitted in with the moral debt that the civilised nations owed to their backward brothers. Settler colonialism, be it in southern Africa or the Middle East was seen as the most efficacious means by which the natives might be civilised. If that meant wiping out some of them, as a way of teaching good manners, then that was a price worth paying.
|Sydney Webb/Lord Passfield the New Statesman's founder later became Colonial Secretary|
Zionism was the bastard offspring of the New Statesman’s political and cultural outlook. It was seen as redressing an age old wrong, fitted in with the romantic imperialist view of the ‘restoration’ of the Jews and of course was of benefit to British imperial interests in the Middle East.
|Kingsley Martin - The New Statesman's longest serving editor|
It was only under the editorship of Bruce Page (1978-82) and his successor Hugh Stephenson (1982-86) that the Palestinians began to get more sympathetic coverage in the New Statesman, in part because of the Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 when over 20,000 Lebanese were killed.
Supporting Zionism today
Although the New Statesman carries a few articles today on particular Israeli outrages, it is a firmly Zionist publication. What the New Statesman will never do is question the reasons why Israel behaves as it does. It will not question Zionism, the ideology and movement that created the Jewish, i.e. Apartheid nature of Israel. It is perfectly happy to carry articles on the Gaza massacres, when Israel gunned down over 120 unarmed Palestinians, especially when penned by the far-Right editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, but it won’t ask why there is land and education segregation in Israel.
|The New Statesman really think its being clever to get the Jewish Chronicle's far-Right editor to issue a mild rebuke to Israel - the New Statesman preferred White liberals to Black spokesmen for the liberation movements in South Africa too|
Pollard is well qualified to write articles on the murder of Palestinians being a member of the cold war Henry Jackson Society, former Editor of the Daily Express and someone who declared that Polish anti-Semite Michal Kaminski was ‘one of the greatest friends to the Jews in a town where antisemitism and a visceral loathing of Israel are rife.’
Kaminski supported the campaign to rehabilitate the name of Jedwabne, a village in Poland where, in 1941, up to 1600 Jews had been herded into a barn which was then set alight, by their fellow Poles. As Pollard explained, although an anti-Semite Kaminski was also a strong supporter of Israel.
Supporting the Anti-Semitism Witchhunt in Labour
It is no surprise that the New Statesman has been one of the most fervent supporters of the right-wing Labour Zionist campaign to paint the Labour Party as overrun by anti-Semitism. What is surprising is that this dedication extends to providing PR coverage for different factions within the Jewish Labour Movement, the British wing (or sister party) of the racist Israeli Labour Party.
Early last week a report appeared in the Jewish Chronicle stating that the JLM’s war criminal Chair, Ivor Caplin (Defence Minister at the time of the Iraq War), after having met with Labour’s General Secretary, Jennie Formby, was happy with the Labour Party’s new And so he should have been since it rested on an amended form of the fake IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
However when news of this leaked out Caplin was subject to furious attacks by his fellow Zionists. What his opponents objected to in the new Code was best put by Pollard:
‘instead of adopting the definition as agreed by all these bodies, Labour has excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.’ [The Jewish Labour Movement did not approve Labour’s anti-Semitism guidelines. Here’s why]
|The Staggers Corporate Editor - Jason Cowley|
Caplin had clearly forgotten that the anti-Semitism witchhunt had nothing to do with anti-Semitism as opposed to Zionism and Israel. Even worse he didn’t seem to grasp that the purpose of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt was that it had to continue unti Corbyn’s resignation.
You might expect that the New Statesman would cover these things fairly and accurately. That would be naive. Instead it ran a PR puff on behalf of Caplin’s critics The Jewish Labour Movement did not approve Labour’s anti-Semitism guidelines. Here’s why.
The article by Katz and Langleben, the latter a councillor who had managed to wage a successful campaign to convince the electors in West Hendon that Labour was anti-Semitic. So successful was he that they decided to oust him! Their article is a classic example of what Noam Chomsky called the manufacturing of consent. It rests on the taken for granted assumption that there is, what the authors call an ‘anti-Semitism crisis’ in the Labour Party. The only crisis is the continuing levelling of false accusations by the Israeli states surrogates.
For the past three years the Labour Party has been the subject of a concerted campaign of false and bogus accusations of anti-Semitism. It began with allegations that Corbyn had associated with a holocaust denier and its most recent manifestation was the bogus issue of Corbyn having defended an allegedly anti-Semitic mural on the grounds of free speech.
What is the role of the New Statesman? Has it ever critically evalued the false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign which stretches from those well known anti-racist papers, the Sun and Mail to the neo-liberal Guardian and the BBC? Is the New Statesman’s role simply to echo the ‘anti-Semitism’ drumbeat of the mass media?
There seems to be an open door in the New Statesman to any propaganda which reinforces the wall to wall media consensus that the Labour Party is overrun with anti-Semitism.
It is no surprise that in the wake of the attack and pending demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, to say nothing of Israel’s gunning down of over 120 unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, that Zionist organisations should resort to the tried and trusted tactic of alleging anti-Semitism.
The JLM, of which Langleben and Katz are senior officers, is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation, whose Land Settlement Division funds the settlement expansion in Palestine that dictates the demolition of Palestinian villages. Did it ever occur to the New Statesman that this might have some bearing on the PR puff that constituted Langleben/Katz’s article? Did it ever occur to Jasper Jackson. who commissioned the article to ask how the JLM’s affiliation to the WZO squares with their professed support for a two state solution?
When I spoke to Jasper he didn’t seem to have a clue about the issues. He was unable to even comprehend what the significance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism was and why Zionist groups were so keen on it rather than the 6 word definition in the OED.
I therefore submitted a response to the Katz/Langleben’s PR puff. According to Jasper it was unsuitable. Why? Well of course he had no answer.
Although flawed Labour’s Anti-Semitism Code at least makes an attempt to distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism
I can quite understand why Mike Katz and Adam Langleben of the Jewish Labour Movement are busily trying to repair the damage caused by their Chair, Ivor Caplin giving his assent to Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct. However the internal difficulties of the JLM are less important than the principal issues at stake such as the weaponisation of anti-Semitism in the battle against the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party.
Anti-Semitism is remarkably easy to define. It is not a mystery. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it is ‘Hostility to or prejudice against Jews’. According to the definition drawn up by Oxford academic Dr Brian Klug “Antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.” If you ask the man (or woman) on the Clapham Omnibus what is anti-Semitism they will tell you that it is someone who doesn’t like Jews and they would be right. Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with opposition to Zionism or criticism of Israel.
Katz, Langleben and the pro-Israel Board of Deputies are insistent that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism is the only definition that matters. Why? It is a strange definition that is over 450 words long. As Sir Stephen Sedley, the Jewish former Court of Appeal Judge wrote, the IHRA definition ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’
The reason why the IHRA is so long is because it attempts to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. It is therefore not at all surprising that the Zionist movement in this country has reacted furiously to Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct which removes 4 of the 11 ‘illustrations’ of anti-Semitism in the IHRA.
In the words of Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard, the problem is that instead of adopting the complete definition ‘Labour has excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.’ For all of Katz and Langleben’s sophistry, their concerns relate to this one central point.
Katz and Langleben refer to the widespread adoption of the IHRA whilst failing to mention that the University College Union and Liberty have both rejected it because of the threat to freedom of speech that it poses. Anti-racist and Muslim groups have also opposed it because it does nothing in the fight against racism. The fact that the College of Policing has adopted it, given the record of police racism in this country, is not encouraging.
Yes it is true that 31 countries have adopted it, but the fact that these countries include the anti-Semitic governments of Hungary and Poland, to say nothing of the V-4 Visegrad Group should be a source of shame not pride. What conclusions should we draw about a definition of anti-Semitism that Viktor Orban can sign up to? This is the same Orban who believes that Admiral Horthy, the pro-Nazi ruler of Hungary during the war, who presided over the deportation of nearly half a million Jews to Auschwitz, was an ‘outstanding statement’.
The government of Poland too, which made it a criminal offence to mention the fact that thousands of Poles collaborated with the Nazi murder of Jews is also happy with the IHRA.
Perhaps Katz and Langleben would care to read Chemi Shalev’s, Menachem Begin Would Be Ashamed of Netanyahu’s Whitewash of Hungary’s anti-Semitism, Poland’s Holocaust Revisionism? in Ha’aretz. Shalev was referring to the recent endorsement, by the Prime Minister of Israel, of an accord with Poland’s anti-Semitic government which endorses a policy of covering up small matters like the burning alive of 1,600 members of the Jewish community of Jedwabne , who 77 years ago were herded into a barn by fellow Poles. This is the real anti-Semitism that Katz and Langleben are silent about.
I don’t hear the JLM protesting about the invitation that Netanyahu has extended to his friend Viktor Orban, to make a state visit to Israel later this summer. Meanwhile Jan Tomasz Gross, Anna Bikont and the other historians who uncovered what happened in Jedwabne, Radzilow and other villages in Poland face being sued in Polish courts.
Katz and Langleben’s allegation that ‘The Jewish community have clearly outlined their own definition of Jew hatred’ by which they mean the IHRA is simply untrue. If you were to stop most Jewish people in the street and ask them what anti-Semitism was they would say hatred of Jews not criticism of Israel. What Langleben and Katz mean refer to as the Jewish community is the Zionist movement.
Nor is it true that Poale Zion/JLM have been the Labour Party’s Jewish affiliate since 1920. It has been Labour’s Zionist affiliate. This is part of the shameful record of Labour’s support for the British Empire. Unfortunately the Labour Party supported the colonisation by the Zionist movement of Palestine as it did many other colonial adventures. The JLM is not a group that anti-Zionist and anti-racist Jews are able to join. Indeed the JLM is open to non-Jews who are Zionists.
Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct has many flaws, not least the fact that it rests on a cut down version of the IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Instead of amending the definition they should have junked it altogether. Anti-Semitism is not a mystery that needs a special definition.
At a time when the far-Right in Britain, Europe and America overwhelmingly supports the Israeli state and Zionism and when the founder of the alt-Right, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer declares himself a White Zionist the attempt of Katz and Langleben to pretend that their opposition to Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct has anything to do with fighting hatred of Jews is risible.
The original article by Mike Katz and Adam Langleben isThe Jewish Labour Movement did not approve Labour’s anti-Semitism guidelines. Here’s why