19 February 2019

Why is Stand Up To Racism and the SWP Welcoming Racist Zionist Groups onto an anti-racist march?

A simple message to the SWP/SUTR You cannot Oppose Racism & Allow Racists on an anti-Racist march

Update - Scottish Muslim Council for Britain has decided to Boycott the SUTR March

You couldn't make it up. The Socialist Workers Party and their SUTR front group are holding a march against racism and they are allowing overtly racist groups, Glasgow Friends of Israel and Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland to participate.

40 years ago when the neo-Nazi National Front was kicking its way into the headlines and threatening to become Britain’s fourth major party, the Anti-Nazi League and the anti-fascist movement invited Jewish organisations which were also Zionists, to work with them. They refused and the Board of Deputies of British Jews and their allies launched a vicious attack on the ANL alleging it that it was more dangerous than the fascists.

I described what happened in Return No. 5, December 1990, in REDEFINING ANTI-SEMITISM - The False Anti-Racism of the Right,
          ‘the anti-Zionism of the SWP and Peter Hain, who formed part of the leadership of the Anti-Nazi League was treated as more important than the growth of a fascist party. Zionists who did participate, like Miriam Karlin, faced extreme hostility: "I'm branded a leftist extremist for being on the steering committee of the ANL, which seems to be the only group standing up against racism.. It really hurts when people I thought knew better accuse me of disloyalty. '  [Jewish Chronicle 14.8.81.] 

      When the ANL was formed, almost immediately a right-wing Zionist Labour MP, Maurice Orbach withdrew as a sponsor. Orbach "felt that the appointment of Mr Peter Hain as Press Officer of the League was questionable in view of Mr Hain's known support for the Palestinians and anti-Zionist causes. " [JC 18.11.77.] And in reply to a letter from Hain, the SWP's Paul Holborow and Neil Kinnock MP (!) argued for the overriding importance of anti-fascist unity, [JC 25.11.77.]  Orbach wrote that "/ still believe that the blackest day since Hitler was the appearance at the UN of Yassir Arafat. " [JC 2.12.77.]  Searchlight anti-fascist magazine, observed that "In the face of mounting attacks against the Jewish community both ideologically and physically, we have the amazing sight of the Jewish Board of Deputies launching an attack on the Anti Nazi League with all the fervour of Kamikaze pilots... It was as though they were watching a time capsule rerun of the 1930's, in the form of a flickering old movie, with a grim determination to repeat every mistake of that era. " Searchlight 41, November 1978.
The racists of GFoI, fresh from working with open holocaust deniers and fascists are 'looking forward' to working with SUTR - you couldn't make it up
The disgrace of SUTR and SWP that open racists boast that it 'was nice to chat'
     Searchlight, then edited by Maurice Ludmer and the widely accepted journal of the anti-fascist movement, attacked the Board of Deputies in no uncertain terms.  Unfortunately Ludmer died prematurely and it was taken over by Gerry Gable, an overt Zionist.

in the film above NW Friends of Israel openly works with the fascist English Defence League when Palestinian supporters picketed the Israeli Kedem shop
Today however the situation is entirely different. The Zionist movement is unashamedly on the far-Right. Zionist organisations, especially those who call themselves ‘Friends of Israel Groups’ work with fascist groups and individuals, e.g. Manchester Friends of Israel has worked openly with the EDL. Sussex Friends of Israel demonstrate with far-Right Christian Zionists and work with the Jewish Defence League (it was the EDL's Jewish wing). 

People like Jonathan Hoffman, former Deputy Chair of the Zionist Federation openly work with fascists to the extent that we saw him standing side by side, outside Palestine Expo 2017 with the former Intelligence Officer of Britain First, Paul Besser.
Paul Besser (with flat cap) with Jonathan Hoffman to this left and Gemma Sheridan of the neo-Nazi JDL stuck in between
The Politics of Genocide on GFOI FB page
Todays Zionists do not bother to hide their far-Right affiliations and open racism. On the front of their Facebook Page SFOI have a photo starkly saying ‘There is no such thing as the Palestinians.’ This is the politics of genocide. First you deny that there is a people then if you wipe them out they never existed in the first place.
Zionism today represents the most visceral and atavistic racism. Yet the SWP, for whom nothing changes and which claims, at least on paper, to be anti-Zionist, are totally unable to make the connection between the racism of Zionism in Israel and the racism of Zionism in Britain. Anti-racism at home and abroad just never meet up.  The racist of Empire doesn't seem to have any connection with racism in Britain. It was said of the late President Ford of the United States that he couldn't chew gum and walk at the same time.  The SWP also find it difficult integrating more than one campaign into their overall analysis.
An uncomfortable conversation between Matisyahu Berlow of Glasgow FOI and Hope not Hate about the fascists and antisemites that they attract to their stall 
One of the reasons for this is that the SWP believe that that all but a handful of British Jews are Zionists and therefore to connect with British Jews one must work with Zionist organisations. Instead of working with those Jews who are anti-Zionist the SWP believes that something is to be gained by working with bourgeois Zionist groups. The actions of the SWP, because that is what Stand up to Racism really is, is thus to reinforce the claim of Zionism to speak on behalf of all Jews and that anti-Zionism is therefore a form of anti-Semitism.
Donald Trump has cut off aid to UNWRA which helped feed the Palestinian refugees - GFOI openly applaud this and call it 'terrorism' and the refugees 'fake' - this is what the SWP's support for Palestine amounts to. In essence the SWP are capitulating to social chauvinism and imperialism
40 years ago was a time when many people were not clued up about Zionism and when the Zionists themselves were often on the Left (for example MPs  Tony Benn, Eric Heffer, Ian Mikado and Jo Richardson were members of Labour Friends of Israel). Those days have gone.  Today the Zionists are openly racist, open supporters of the Israeli Right and far-Right and in the Labour Party they are almost exclusively to be found in opposition to Corbyn.
The instances of open collaboration between the Zionist movement in Britain, the fascist Right and supporters of Tommy Robinson are legion, as this blog has repeatedly documented.
That is why Palestine solidarity supporters everywhere condemned the SWP and Scottish SUTR when last year they refused to bar the Confederation of Friends of Israel in Scotland (COFIS) from taking part in their annual anti-racism march virtually welcoming them. Unfortunately for the SWP/SUTR Scottish anti-racists refused to accept the dictat of the SWP’s Central Committee and they ensured that COFIS were unable to march.   
The SWP were widely condemned for their behaviour by the Left in the labour movement, for example by the Morning Star.
Max Dunbar ex-BNP (left) and Sammy Stein Chair of Glasgow Friends of Israel harass Scottish PSC stall
Sammy Stein, Chair of Glasgow Friends of Israel, made an appearance at the Scottish PSC stall in Glasgow in January together with Max Dunbar, ex-Treasurer of the British National Party in Glasgow and now Treasurer of Brittanica.
It is only when Scottish PSC pointed out who their fascist friends were that GFOI dissociated themselves from the fascists - the real question is why the Zionists and GFOI are so attractive to fascists and anti-semites in the first place
Sammy Stein, who defends every Israeli massacre and Israeli Army abuse of Palestinian children, came to an SPSC stall on Buchanan Street to lounge with his camera pointed at the stall. Dunbar had earlier sidled up to the SPSC stall to request a leaflet, then walked away saying "I am pro-Israel". As Mick Napier said

it is ‘time for SUTR to repudiate the repeated declarations by the degenerate Glasgow Friends of Israel of their alliance with SUTR. Silence in the face of a public claim will be widely understood to be acceptance of that claim.

According to Hope not Hate Dunbar was Treasurer of Glasgow BNP and is now Treasurer of Britannica, a tiny new far-right party, first registered in August 2011. They comprise ex-members of Glasgow BNP. The party is essentially the core of the BNP Glasgow branch under a new name. According to their Leader, Charlie Baillie, “the recent decade of mass immigration…..damaged the identity and integrity of the British”. He objected to “persons who come from Africa” and claimed that “..the term racist is a meaningless word”. Dunbar has stood as a BNP candidate on many occasions over the years within the Glasgow area also attending English Defence League demonstrations. Hope not Hate on Dunbar and Glasgow Friends of Israel

This was reported by the Ferret as ‘Pro-Israel group ‘disassociates’ itself from former BNP member Jan 24 2019.’  The National reported that ‘Former BNP member infiltrates Glasgow Friends of Israel group’. Dunbar is also a regular at events organised by A Force For Good, run by Alistair McConnachie, a former Ukip candidate who believes there is no evidence the Nazis used gas chambers to murder Jewish people.’
Scottish PSC sent an Open Letter to SUTR about what had been happening but all the indications are that the SWP, just as over the rape crisis affair in their organisation four years ago, are once again intent on ignoring the views of everyone but themselves.
Racist filth Friends of Israel are Importing into SUTR
Last year Glasgow Friends of Israel (GFI) and Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (COFIS) joined the Stand Up To Racism organised march in Glasgow. This demonstrates incredible audacity considering their sole purpose is to support and promote an apartheid state (Israel) that has more than 40 racist discriminatory laws on its statute. Many individuals and organisations made their opposition to GFI/COFIS participation known to you. You state that it was not your policy to invite or authorise the participation of specific unaffiliated groups and you stated that you were not in dialogue with these groups. This year (2019) according to GFI they are in dialogue directly with you. GFI have stated “we would like to thank members of the SUTR committee for once again confirming our participation”.
Maybe you are unaware of the nature of the material that this organisation publishes and how they demonise certain ethnicities and belittle the plight of refugees. Sometimes they claim to be a secular organisation and at other times they imply that they are being targeted because they are a Jewish organisation. How strange then that they should publish a vile anti-Semitic tweet about the ex Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Katie  Hopkins, was a guest at the last Zionist Federation dinner. The Zionists seem all over her like a rash

Your organisation has enjoyed long standing support from the labour leadership especially the current leader Jeremy Corbyn. Maybe you are unaware of the relentless and libellous abusive campaigning that GFI have carried out online against Jeremy Corbyn. Here are a few examples of their online abuse:

Are you really welcoming an organisation which promotes Katie Hopkins?
[The term 'Pally' for Palestinian is the equivalent of 'Paki' and Nigger.  It is a vile racist term and the fact that the SWP/SUTR work with these virulent racists is or should be a source of shame - TG].

In June 2018 a tragedy unfolded in Gaza when a young 21 year old nurse called Razan al-Najjar was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as she attended to the wounded on the Great March of Return in support of Gaza refugees right of return.
SUTR and its supporters are well known for their humanity and compassion for the rights of refugees. Below we see how the organisation you are now linked with dismissed the death of this young woman as somehow fake news.
Glasgow Friends of Israel’s next tactic on this proved to be much more vile and sordid. They pinned a tweet suggesting that the young girl Razan was raped and coerced into being at the Great March of Return for refugees.
If you think this coverage of the death of civilians is morally corrupt, GFI decided to plumb the depths even further by injecting humour into their coverage of the deaths of Palestinians. ‘Pallywood’ is the concept invented by Israel supporters to suggest that the journalistic coverage of human rights abuses carried out by Israel on Palestinians is all fake.

Social media was ‘set alight’ when the young Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier who was on her family property. She was sentenced to jail by the world’s only military court for children (non-Jewish children) in the occupied West Bank. Again the GFI went to work in order to de-humanise this young girl by portraying her as a terrorist. Here they make a slap into a terrorist offence, juxtaposed to their jokey off-hand dismissal of the killing of civilian Palestinians.
When a group of young Jewish people were threatened by a thug and abused for holding a religious ceremony outside the House of Commons for people killed in Gaza, the GFI thought the assault was hilarious.
GFI have an ongoing smear campaign against ordinary folk who campaign for the plight of the Palestinian people. Dismissing them as benefit scroungers, mental health patients, racists and Jew haters.
Here we see an example of what they think of campaigners against the arms trade.
As for the plight of refugees GFI are campaigning in support of Donald Trump’s racist policies to end UN support for Palestinian refugees.

In light of these examples from GFI and COFIS does SUTR really think that they are suitable organisations to be working with on an anti-racist march. Organisations that exhibit anti-Semitism, trash the image of a young Muslim nurse killed by soldiers, dismiss refugees as fake and who think that the killing of Palestinians is “funny” will surely de-legitimise the anti-racist movement in Scotland and the UK.
Gerry Coutts
5th February 2019

It might be understandable that a Jewish organisation which whose main concern is for example Holocaust remembrance but is nonetheless a liberal Zionist group might be welcome on an anti-racist demonstration. For example we would not object to the Jews who said Kaddish, the prayer for the dead for the victims of Israel’s murder of Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza and who were roundly abused for so doing. They are politically misguided but they aren’t fascists or open racists.
COFIS/Glasgow Friends of Israel however have absolutely nothing to do with anti-racism.  Their sole reason for existence is to support Israeli and Zionist racism of the most vile concern.
COFIS/GFOI are thoroughly reactionary organisations which make the most vile accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.  What twisted form of 'Marxist' politics are the SWP engaging in that they think that an alliance with these racist vultures has anything to do with fighting racism in Britain?
If SUTR again give the green light to COFIS/GFI to march this year, people from England and Wales should join our comrades in Glasgow to ensure that once again the Zionists are kept away from the march.  NO PASARAN
I also urge members of SUTR and anti-racists in England to make it plain that the decision of Scottish SUTR, backed as it is by the SWP nationally, is condemned as being unacceptable.

See also Who are Friends of Israel by Richard Haley of Scotland Against Criminalising Communities

Tony Greenstein


The SWP are obviously finding the criticism hard to take because Scottish SWP have put up on their Facebook page a long and pathetic justification entitled '**Building the anti-racist movement in Scotland**

I therefore submitted a reply in the normal comradely traditions of debate, the SWP immediately took it down.  I have therefore got a friend to repost it - no doubt the SWP will take it down again because they are unable to respond to the points I make so what other course of action is open to them but censorship?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please submit your comments below