Sunday, 2 December 2018

The Dissection of a Lie - Harper’s Tale of Deceit and Deception

The Journey to Golgotha as Tanya Gold Walks ‘Among Britain’s Anti-Semites’

It was an off the cuff remark from Jackie Walker, the Black-Jewish activist who was suspended from the Labour Party for ‘anti-Semitism,’ that first alerted me to Tanya Gold. Gold was working on a story on Britain’s Jewish Anti-Zionists for Harper’s Magazine and she wanted to interview me.
I was vaguely aware of Harper’s. It has a radical tradition. It published Seymour Hersh’s exposure of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. It lambasted the American invasion of Iraq. It has also published some relatively insightful articles on Palestine and Israel, especially from Bernard Avishai. Perhaps it was this reputation, more than anything else, which caught me off my guard.
On reflection, especially when it comes to Israel and Zionism, I should have been more wary and remembered that most journalists have the same relationship to the truth that Myra Hindley had to child protection. I count myself fortunate in that I got off lightly at Tanya’s hands. She didn’t quote anything I said!  

Gold is a freelance journalist who writes for mostly right-wing media including The Guardian, Mail, Independent, Telegraph, Sunday Times, and Spectator where she is a restaurant critic.
Gold’s description of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice’s ‘vanity, foolishness and lack of self-awareness’ is a remarkably apt description of her own self. Having interviewed me over the phone, Gold wanted to speak to me in more depth. We agreed to meet at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Soho last April. Since Harper’s was picking up the tab I had no objection (although it wasn't kosher)!
The reason why I have titled this article ‘deceit and deception’ is that for the two hours or so that we talked, Gold gave no indication that she was a died-in-the-wool Zionist with a fixed and determined hostility to anti-Zionists whom she terms ‘anti-Semites’. She came across as someone who was relatively progressive and even open-minded.   Why the subterfuge? Why the dishonesty? Was she afraid of a direct confrontation with her real views? Did she not have confidence in her own beliefs?  Probably not.
Tanya Gold - Deceit and deception are the tools of her trade
Tanya was very good at hiding her views.  She reminds me of the police from the Special Demonstration Squad who infiltrated the environmental activists’ movement and who entered into what were effectively relationships of rape with female activists. When you open yourself up to someone else about things personal to how you developed politically, you expect that person to be open and honest. The problem with Zionists is that, with very few exceptions, they have no morality since everything is subordinated to their nationalist zealotry.  And that applies as much to the 'left' which is what Tanya Gold probably sees herself as, as the Right.
When I finished reading Among Britain’s Anti-Semites I sent Gold an email to which she didn’t respond. What shocked me even more than the deception was her sheer banality. I wrote:
What is remarkable for an article so long in gestation is its sheer superficiality and lack of insightful comment. What is sad is how bland and mundane it is. It is as if you lack even one original thought or idea.’

I copied my email to Jackie Walker who responded: ‘Well done Tony - her deception was deep as was Harper’s.’ Since nothing I said to her during the interview was used I have to assume that she didn’t feel capable of distorting anything I said to ‘prove’ that I too am an ‘anti-Semite’.
The article Among Britain’s Anti-Semites’ was a studied exercise in deception and dishonesty. It begins with the photograph of a demonstrator at the Zionist Enough is Enough demonstration on March 26th holding up a poster ‘For the many not the Jew.’ This choice of a graphic is instructive.
This ‘joke’ first coined by Howard Jacobson in an article for the New York Times could have been culled from Goebbels. It essentialises ‘the Jew’ as something apart and special. It is a form of exceptionalism.  The Jew does not belong, which in Zionist eyes is true. 

It distorts a slogan which emphasises that the Labour Party stands for the poor and oppressed as opposed to the wealthy minority into an anti-semitic meme. By positing Jews as being counterposed to the poor and needy it is
inherently anti-Semitic. Jews, all of them, are conflated with the tax dodging rich. It has a long pedigree. The North American Congress of Latin America described how ‘the U.S. press tends to portray left-leaning Latin American governments as hotbeds of anti-Semitism.’ Discrimination against the rich is held to be discrimination against the Jews.  And then they accuse us of antisemitism!
The Zionists have repeatedly attacked Black Lives Matter because to them Black and Palestinian lives don't and never have mattered
It implies a Jewish exceptionalism that places Jews on a pedestal of their own. It is a reflection of the Nazi idea of the 'Eternal Jew', (Der Ewige Jude) an example of how Zionism mirrors its antisemitic twin.
Jacobson wrote that Zionism ‘is integral to the Jewish mind and imagination. Those who say they are against Zionism but not Jews are speaking in riddles.’ The only riddle is why people take Jacobson seriously when he has so little to say. If Jacobson weren't such a lightweight intellectually and a proud ignoramus he would know that until the Holocaust Zionism was a tiny minority amongst diaspora Jewry.  Zionism was seen as a form of Jewish anti-semitism. The ability to read history backwards through today’s media prism is a common failing.
The Article
Tanya Gold’s opening sentence begins with a lie, ‘this is the story of how the institutions of British Jewry went to war with Jeremy Corbyn.’ Not so. Those who went to war with Corbyn were Zionist organisations representing at best one-third of British Jewry. The Board of Deputies neither represents secular Jews nor the Haredi and Ultra-Orthodox.
One of the features of pundits and political commentators in Britain is how they feed off and reinforce each other’s talking points. It is one reason why they convinced each other that Corbyn was going to be humiliatingly defeated at the General Election, whereas someone like me, because I managed to ignore their  bilious verbiage, got the result about right. An example of this is when Gold mentions Corbyn calling Hezbollah and Hamas speakers ‘friends’ as if that has anything to do with anti-Semitism.
Corbyn’s crime according to Gold was that he ‘invited the Islamist leader Raed Salah, who has accused Jews of killing Christian children to drink their blood, to Parliament.’ If true, then Corbyn’s behaviour would be appalling. However Gold is content to repeat as fact the lies of others. If she had investigated the circumstances surrounding Raed Salah then, she could not have written this nonsense. I covered this in depth three years ago in Stephen Pollard Jewish Chronicle Editor & Apologist for Europe's anti-Semitic politicians. This lie is illustrative of Gold’s method. Unfortunately it always takes longer to refute a lie than to tell it.
In June 2011 Raed Salah was banned from entering Britain. However as no one was notified of this, he entered the country for a speaking tour before being arrested. Theresa May sought to deport him on the grounds that he had made a series of antisemitic statements and that his presence in Britain was not conducive to the public good. 

When it came to court the case was judged ‘very weak’ by Justice Ockleton, Vice-President of the Upper Immigration Tribunal. Theresa May was ‘misled’ as to a poem by Salah and this deception was perpetrated by the Community Security Trust, a Zionist charity which combines two roles – defending Jewish premises from attack and attacking Jewish opponents of Zionism.
David Hearst's article [Theresa May's haste to ban Raed Salah will be repented at leisure] quotes Professor David Miller of Strathclyde University who submitted a report to the court referring to the CST’s “controversial monitoring of pro-Palestinian activists” suggesting that it has a “tendency to treat denunciation of Israel or Zionism as evidence of anti-Semitism.” 
Robert Lambert, a retired head of the Metropolitan police 's Muslim Contact Unit noted that the CST:  
"failed to distinguish between antisemitism and criticism of the actions of the Israeli state and therefore gives an unbalanced perspective."  [Palestinian activist wins appeal against deportation]
Justice Ockelton concluded that the original text of a poem by Salah was “completely different” from how it appeared in a government order banning him from UK territory. [Raed Salah deportation case disintegrates in UK court, but verdict still to follow] According to Ockelton, the decision by Theresa May to ban Salah had been based on the “Jerusalem Post’s inaccurate summary” of the poem, Civil Liberties. The JP had added the words “you Jews” to the poem, making it appear anti-Semitic. The original text of the poem later emerged. Rosenorn-Lanng, a Home Office caseworker admitted that the UK Border Agency had not sought the original text of the poem, relying instead on Internet sources.
Salah was clear that the poem was addressed to all perpetrators of injustice, regardless of religion, race or group. He pointed out that his poem also addressed Arab oppressors. Salah had said that “God is not a racist,” This was confirmed by Dr. Stefan Sperl an expert in Arabic poetry from the School of Oriental and African Studies who described it as being addressed to all “perpetrators of injustice,” whether Jewish or not.  
Aside from the poem, the other main accusation was a speech Salah gave in Jerusalem in 2007, in which he had talked about Israeli soldiers shedding the blood of Palestinians. The citation had reportedly included the line: “Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the holy bread.”
Hostile press coverage in Israel inserted the word “Jewish” in square brackets before the words “holy bread” (“Islamic Movement head charged with incitement to racism, violence,Haaretz, 29 January 2008).
Contrary to Gold’s lie Raed Salah did not accuse Jews of killing Christian children to drink their blood nor was he convicted of making blood libel allegations against Jews. He was convicted of racist incitement by a government that has just made Israel an officially Apartheid state. Even according to the Jerusalem Post, Raed Salah’s ‘conviction was a reversal of an acquittal on those charges by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court in 2013 when that court convicted him of incitement to violence, but acquitted him of racist incitement.’  In other words the evidence was not strong enough to convict him before the lower court.  He was found guilty on appeal in a nakedly political decision by the Jerusalem District Court. Clearly the evidence was not unambiguous.  Islamic Movement leader Salah convicted of racist incitement on appeal.
When the Home Office’s Neil Sheldon QC accused Salah of invoking the blood libel, Salah denied it explaining that his purpose had been to liken the Israeli occupation forces to the Inquisition which used to shed the blood of children, and which also used religion to perpetuate injustice.  UK government conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism in Salah trial
Tanya Gold’s article took some 6 months to write.  Long enough for her to research assertions such as that about Raed Salah. She could have referred to the suspicion that the Israeli military tried to assassinate him on the Mavi Marmara and murdered someone else in his place or that he led the resistance to the encroachment of Zionism’s messianic fanatics on the Golden Dome and Al Aqsa mosques in Jerusalem. Instead she preferred to mouth Israeli government propaganda and dress this up as a well researched article. The real question is why Harper’s commissioned this hatchet job.
A good example of Gold’s mendaciousness is her observation that Corbyn is a patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign at whose rallies the chant ‘From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free’ is heard. She complains that ‘there is no rhyme for what will happen to the Jewish population in this paradise.’. Does there need to be? Is there a rhyme for Arabs in Safed who try to rent housing but find it impossible because the Chief Rabbi, a paid state official, issued an edict forbidding Jews from renting to Arabs?

Isn’t a unitary democratic non-racial state, the same as South Africa is today, obvious? Does it need a rhyme? Gold's argument is similar to that of what were called the 'bitter enders' in South Africa.
What is depressing is that Gold never rises above the trite. She is a walking Israeli government press release. She criticises the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign because it ‘delegitimises’ Israel and even worse would ‘end its existence as a Jewish state.’ as if that were a self-evident evil.
Boycotts have long been the weapon of the oppressed and dispossessed. Examples include the bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama, the boycott of slave grown sugar in the West Indies, the boycott of Irish landowners and Captain Boycott, the Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany and the Boycott of South African Apartheid. All of these boycotts were accused of ‘delegitimising’ the oppressor. Of course the Zionist movement was consistent in that it opposed the Boycott of Nazi Germany, so much so that they entered into Ha'avara, the Transfer Agreement in August 1933.
Not once does Gold ask herself what a Jewish State actually means? In Israel being Jewish is a national/racial category. Hence when the wedding of TV announcer Lucy Aharish and Tsahi Halevy was announced Zionist politicians vented their spleen. The leader of the ‘centrist’ Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid announced “I have a problem with mixed marriage: “We haven’t recovered from the Holocaust yet.” Oren Hazan MK, blamed Aharish for the crime of “seducing a Jewish soul with the goal of harming our country.”
But it’s not just the Israeli Right. Isaac Herzog, former leader of the Israeli Labour Party and now Chair of the Jewish Agency declared that mixed-marriages were a ‘plague’. Herzog told how We are talking about every (Jewish) family in the US, millions,"  Herzog is not a religious Jew yet he had no doubt that ‘we have to rack our brains and see how we solve this great challenge."
The Orthodox objection to intermarriage was a form of religious chauvinism. But when the State pursues such a policy because it wants to preserve the purity of the ruling group, Jews, that is racist. 
Three years ago Israel’s Education Ministry banned a book, Borderlife, from the high school English syllabus because it depicted a relationship between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian. Senior Education officials explained that
intimate relations between Jews and non Jews, and certainly the option of formalising them through marriage and having a family... is perceived by large segments of society as a threat to a separate identity
Only in a state based on the principle of racial purity can the idea that people who marry for love be condemned as a threat to national identity. But to Gold, any challenge to such a state is inherently anti-Semitic.
Gold was obsessed and puzzled by Jackie Walker, who has twice been suspended by the Labour Party for ‘anti-Semitism’. When Jackie exclaimed that it would be ‘wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust.’ Gold’s response was ‘I paused on the word ‘wonderful.’ She gives no further explanation but of one thing she was sure: ‘I had never seen it (anti-Semitism) until Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party.’
For 42 years she had never experienced anti-Semitism but ‘now I hear it every day.’ One wonders what it is that Tanya Gold hears that is so frightening. Is it the sound of her own conscience?
Gold is particularly troubled by Jackie Walker’s statement that ‘Anti-Semitism is no more special than any other form of racism.’. When a Black woman mentioned ‘police genocide’ Gold’s response is to ask ‘why should that minimise anti-Semitism? Does that mean the Labour Party does not have a problem with anti-Semitism.’ It is as if Gold is oblivious to Britain and America’s actual day to day racism against Black people. For her only ‘anti-Semitism’ has any meaning. What she deems to be antisemitism is, in reality, any threat to her own privilege.
One wants to cry out, where are the Jewish deaths in Police custody or the Jewish Windrush deportations? Where is the Police stop and search of Jewish children and the racial violence against Jews? As Jabotinsky once said, it is a question of appetite vs hunger. Even genuine, as opposed to the mostly fake anti-Semitism, is only a marginal form of racism compared to the state racism that Black, Muslim and Roma experience. Gold has difficulty coping with the fact that Jews in Britain today are a privileged White minority.

I wonder what Gold's response to the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh was? Perhaps she too thought that American Jews should 'go home' to Israel and do the bidding of American anti-Semites?  That was the advice of the leader of Israel's Labor Party, Avi Gabbay.
Bizarrely Gold considers a call for Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London and a man who pioneered anti-racist programmes in local government, to be reinstated in the Labour Party as a call for Nazis to be called Zionists and Zionists Nazis. Without pausing for breath she quips ‘I do not know why calling Jews Nazis is so irresistible.’ 

The habits of writing for the Daily Mail die hard. What Livingstone referred to in his comments to Vanessa Feltz was the well-known support of the Nazi government for the German Zionist movement in preference to non-Zionist Jews. As the late David Cesarani noted in his book The Final Solution (p.96), quoting the Gestapo, ‘The efforts of the Gestapo are oriented to promoting Zionism as much as possible and lending support to its efforts to further emigration.’ What this has to do with calling Jews Nazis is unclear.
State Racism that Jews simply don't experience
Gold was equally dismissive of the Report of Shami Chakrabarti into Racism and Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Because Chakrabarti had had nothing to say about whether ‘calls for an end to the Jewish state, however oblique, were anti-Semitic’ her Report was ‘essentially worthless.’ So Chakrabarti’s call for the adoption of due process and natural justice in Labour’s disciplinary processes, her analysis of the MacPherson Report’s description of a racial incident and the experience of Muslims in the Labour Party were all worthless because Chakrabarti hadn’t defended the existence of a Jewish state. 

What is depressing is that not once does Gold actually tell us what she means by a ‘Jewish state’. Probably it hasn't even occurred to Gold to ask whether or not it is a state with some sense of Jewish values. Things like Leviticus 19:34 where it is written:
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Perhaps Gold could tell us how this compares with the determination of Likud and Israeli Labour to forcibly deport 40,000 Black African refugees for the double sin of being Black and not Jewish? Or is a Jewish state a state where Jews are privileged over non-Jews as in present day Israel? Is it a state where the 20% non-Jewish minority are confined to 3% of the land and scapegoated for natural disasters such as wildfires? Gold doesn’t tell us. In fact Gold tells us very little about what her devotion to Israel actually means.
Tanya Gold is nothing if not a junkie for every trite and shopworn phrase. It is the sheer lack of originality or evidence of any deep thought which is the most frustrating thing about her article.  It is as if Gold had assembled every last cliché as she set out to repel her imagined critics. ‘Anti-Semitism’ she tells us ‘is the only racism that must not be defined by those who experience it.’ Racism isn’t ‘defined’ but described by its victims. Definitions are best left to experts in linguistics. Almost in the same breath she attacks Jewish Voice for Labour for their denial that they are anti-Zionist asking ‘I wonder if this is tactical’ Clearly some self-definitions are preferable to others!
Tanya Gold is dishonest. Not all Jewish self-definitions are to be treated equally because Jewish anti-Zionism is ‘demonic’. One wonders whether Gold would have treated claims of racism by Afrikaners and Ulster Protestants with equal seriousness?
Unlike fake 'antisemitism' Black people face genuine and murderous racism as with Eric Garner, choked to death in New York by the Police
If there is one thing worse than someone who doesn’t listen to their opponents is someone who forgets what they have written. The idea that racism is entirely subjective and dependent upon who shouts the loudest is absurd. Victims of racism do not speak with one voice nor do they share the same experiences. The experience of Chuka Ummuna is not that of a Black teenager at the hands of the Brixton Police. Racism is objective. Its proof lies in Fergusson and the death of Michael Brown or the cry ‘I can’t breathe’ of Eric Garner.
Claiming to be a victim of racism doesn’t make you one. When Abe Foxman declares that anti-Semitism equals anti-Zionism we are entitled to interrogate that assertion and ask if that extends to Khan al Ahmar. Is the demolition of Palestinian homes and villages what Jewish self-determination means? If the alt-Right declares that it is the White man who is oppressed should we take that too at face value? Should every assertion of victimhood be accepted?
Gold is particularly exercised by the presence of Ken Loach at the launch of JVL. She reminds us that in 1987 he directed Jim Allen’s play Perdition which was based on Israel’s trial of Rudolf Kasztner, leader of Hungarian Zionism in the war. The play was she informs us ‘a monstrous libel’ for criticising Kasztner’s ‘bargain with the Nazis that saved 1,684 Jews in 1944.’ Gold doesn’t tell us why Eichmann agreed to such a bargain.
Perhaps Dr Rudolph Vrba, who together with Alfred Wexler, escaped from Auschwitz on April 10 1944 in order to warn of the preparations being made to exterminate Hungarian Jewry was also guilty of a monstrous libel when he wrote in the Daily Herald of February 1961:
“I accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war. This small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler's gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them was Dr Kasztner.”
When Kasztner was accused of collaboration with the Nazis by survivors of the Hungarian Holocaust he sued them in an Israeli court in 1954. Judge Benjamin Halevi found that the charges of collaboration were proven and that Kasztner had ‘sold his soul to the devil’.
Gold tells us that when researching her article she was told that Zionists had opposed the Kindertransport, which saved 10,000 Jewish children in England. She concludes that ‘a few merely said they would prefer the children to be settled in Palestine.’ It would appear that her research didn’t even extend to reading the speech of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister and then Chair of the Jewish Agency, of 9th December 1938. It can be found in Shabtai Teveth’s official biography of Ben Gurion (The Burning Ground, p. 855). Most decent libraries stock it but Gold didn't manage to obtain a copy.

If Gold had read the Ben Gurion's biography she would have found the final chapter on the Holocaust, Disaster Means Strength fascinating. Because to the Zionist movement, the disaster of the Holocaust meant a strengthened Zionist movement and a future Jewish state. Ben Gurion wrote at the time, in the wake of Kristallnacht:
‘If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.’
Ben Gurion openly declared that he would sacrifice half of Germany’s Jewish children if they could come to Palestine rather than England. To gloss over this is a form of historical revisionism on the scale of David Irving. The Zionist movement fought against providing a haven for Jewish refugees other than Palestine. The refugee question was used as a battering ram to open the gates of Palestine to Jewish immigration. This undoubtedly led to the death of many thousands of Jews who would otherwise have been saved.
Gold denies the claim of Jackie Walker’s Jewish partner, Graham Bash, that the JVL demonstration on March 9th represented thousands of Jews who were not Zionist. ‘Anti-Zionists are a fringe movement... 93% of British Jews say that Israel forms part of their identity.’ Which is almost word for word the argument of the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland. In 2015 Yachad commissioned a survey The Attitudes of British Jews Towards Israel. The percentage of those identifying as Zionists (59%) had dropped 12% since a previous study five years before. 31% said they were not Zionists. Israel forms part of my identity but I'm not a Zionist!
Gold confesses to being fascinated by Jackie and accepts that her play The Lynching is ‘a shocking story of racism’ and then concludes that ‘the insinuation (is) that the Jews – or a similar evil – destroyed her mother.’ One wonders for the sanity of someone who can draw such a conclusion, literally out of thin air. Perhaps the only true statement in her whole article is when Gold concludes that ‘The door of Walker’s psychology is closed to me, utterly.’ Never a truer word spoken in jest, except this was more a mea culpa.
Whilst accepting that Jackie ‘is terribly abused by some Zionist Jews’ in other words she is the recipient of KKK style racism, she nonetheless ‘wondered whether she is just another narcissistic and intractable Jewish female, like so many I have loved.’ One gets the feeling that Gold is projecting her own inability to empathise onto Jackie whom she accepts is ‘warm and emotional’.
When Jackie complains that ‘anti-Semitism’ is being used to displace concern about anti-Black racism and Islamaphobia, Gold concludes that what Jackie is saying is that there is a limited space for justice and the Jews took it all. One wonders whether Gold is being deliberately obtuse. What Jackie is saying is that ‘anti-Semitism’ is counterposed to other forms of racism and it has become the acceptable anti-racism of the Right. In addition Zionism reinforces racism against Blacks and Muslims.
In perhaps her only poetic moment Gold describes Corbyn at the debate on ‘anti-Semitism’ that the Tories sponsored, as someone through whom ‘the wind seems to blow.’ Perhaps this was because the plaints of Ruth Smeeth and Luciana Berger were hollow.
On the controversy over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’, Gold’s ire was reserved for the fact that Labour had amended some of the IHRA’s examples. She complained that accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel than their own nations ‘is now “wrong” ‘ rather than anti-Semitic. Perhaps Gold is oblivious to another IHRA example in which ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination’ , e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.’ is anti-Semitic. Only nations have the right to self-determination and if Jews are a nation and Israel is their nation state then surely it is right to claim Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own nations, not least because they aren’t a member of ‘their own nations’.
Logic however is not Tanya Gold’strongest point! Which is why at the end of her monologue she complains that in 2010 Corbyn hosted a meeting in Parliament entitled ‘The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes.’ Yes Tanya and what is worse a survivor of Auschwitz, Hajo Meyer spoke at it. No doubt he too was one of the ‘anti-Semites’ that you spent time with.
Tony Greenstein  
This is the email I sent to Tanya Gold on reading her article for the first time (4th October 2018)
Tanya

I sent you a text message a few weeks ago but did not receive a reply concerning your article which you interviewed me for. I wrote then about the rumours I had heard about how abysmal your article was but, as is often the fate of Jews, I lived in hope.  Your failure to respond however confirmed my worst fears. Being disillusioned is also a Jewish condition.

It would have been a small courtesy to send me a copy of your article in advance although, having now read your article online, that omission is perhaps understandable.

I guess I should be grateful that you didn't quote me in it as you would undoubtedly have got everything I told you wrong.  A feat you managed with just about everyone else, especially Jackie Walker.  When we met in that Soho restaurant you did at least manage to hide your inner feelings.  What I told you must have grated with you badly so I guess I should congratulate you on your ability to hide your feelings, which is not something Jews are renowned for.

To say that you comprehensively failed to understand that which you wrote about, namely the 'antisemitism crisis' in the Labour Party would be an understatement. What is remarkable for an article so long in gestation is its sheer superficiality and lack of insightful comment. What is sad is how bland and mundane it is. It is as if you lack even one original thought or idea. To take but one example. You state, apropos the right of the oppressed to define their own oppression

'Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.'

What is this racism that Jews today are victims of?  Concretely what?  Which Jews?  All Jews? Isn't that anti-semitic? An article which was sold to me as being about the viewpoint of non-Zionist Jews, seems to omit the fact that not all Jews think alike.  Strange that.  Oh and if 93% of Jews say Israel forms part of their identity, as it does with  me, it doesn't mean they are Zionists.

If you had bothered to read up on the 2015 Yachad sponsored Attitudes of British Jews to Israel produced by City University's Sociology Department you would find that 59% of British Jews define themselves as Zionist and 31% don't.  I guess it would have been too much to expect you to do more than quote (unacknowledged) Jonathan Freedland's windy rhetoric.

Instead of trying to understand where this crisis in the Labour Party came from you instead projected your own feelings and frustrations.  You simply turned the commonplace rhetoric of everyday hasbara into a glossy article, fit for the coffee table but little else.

Perhaps it was too much to expect you to do anything else but simply recycle the same hackneyed cliches and phrases, including that racist poster 'for the many not the Jew' (do you really not understand why it is so revolting to suggest that society is compartmentalised into 'the Jew' and all others, that this is a reflection of the Nazi idea of the 'Eternal Jew' - (Der Ewige Jude)?  Yes this is another example of how Zionism unconsciously mirrors its antisemitic twin.

I shall prepare a fuller response to this atrocious hatchet job which you have produced. That you have comprehensively misunderstood the Kasztner Affair is perhaps little comfort given that you have comprehensively misunderstood just about everything else that you touched.  It seems that journalistically you have the midas touch in reverse.

Tony Greenstein

Letters in Reply in the current edition of Harpers




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