Saturday, 30 March 2019

The Idiocy and Dishonesty of the British Press is Highlighted by Simon Kelner, former Independent Editor

Kelner of the 'i' is either a fool or a knave (or both) when he attacks Derek Hatton for ‘Anti-Semitism’

I confess the times have long since gone when I purchased a daily paper.  Even when I was on the dole I regularly bought a copy of The Guardian.  Before it went tabloid, physically and politically, it was a good newspaper with some excellent columnists such as Jonathan Steele, John Palmer, David Hirst, and the late, great Michael Adams, their Middle East correspondent and the first western journalist to tell the truth about the brutality of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. A journalist whom their present Zionist correspondent-in-chief Jonathan Freedland isn’t fit to wipe the boots of. 

Today I take the ‘i’.  Not because it is a particularly good paper. It isn’t.  The local hotel always has free copies so I take one! Apart from Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn it has nothing to recommend it.  Simon Kelner, former Editor of The Independent has a column. Kelner’s articles are always a boring slog, excelling only in the mundane. However the 'i' is no better or worse than the Guardian or Times and it is free! 
However my eye caught the headline of a recent article of Kelner's about Corbyn and Anti-Semitism and so I read further.  Kelner excels in taking his time to say nothing, however I noticed his attack on Derek Hatton, the former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council. Hatton had apparently tweeted in 2012 that ‘Jewish people with any sense of humanity need to start speaking out publicly against the ruthless murdering being carried out in Israel.’

It is true that if you blame Jewish people for all the ills of Israel that is anti-Semitic. But Hatton wasn’t doing that.  He was associating the Israeli state with Jews, which is quite understandable.  Israel calls itself a state of the Jews, not just Israeli Jews but all Jews.  Zionists defend Israel as a Jewish state. Indeed they proclaim in Israel's defence that it is the only Jewish state in the world, as if this gave it some unique merit.

Israel also quite uniquely for a state does not have a nationality.  There is a good reason. Israel is a state not of its own citizens but Jews all over the world, in theory anyway.  That means that I can ‘return’ to a place I’ve only visited once whereas Palestinians who were born there have no such right.  In anyone’s book that is racism.  As Netanyahu recently proclaimed Israel is not a state of all its citizens but of Jews only.

Michael Adams was a pioneering journalist on the Guardian - the first Middle East correspondent who accurately reported the truth from Palestine and who was called an antisemite repeatedly - if only Corbyn could remember that antisemite is a term of abuse not a term of racism any longer
In 1972 in a case George Tamarin v State of Israel Tamarin was an Israeli Jew who wanted to change his nationality from “Jewish” to “Israeli.” Justice Agranat ruled that he couldn’t. He said:
‘the desire to create an Israeli nation separate from the Jewish nation is not a legitimate aspiration. A division of the population into Israeli and Jewish nations would … negate the foundation on which the State of Israel was established.’ 
The court ruled that
‘There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish People. The Jewish People is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewry.’ 
So now we have it.  According to Simon Kelner the State of Israel is an anti-Semitic state!  And this is true.  The idea that Jews belong in Israel is an anti-Semitic idea.  But being a fool and a knave, Kelner is unlikely to accept or even understand this.
Below is the letter I have sent to the ‘i’.  I somehow doubt they will print it! (they didn't)
Tony Greenstein 


Thursday, 28 February 2019
Letters Editor,
The ‘I’
Dear Sir or Madam,
I know that Simon Kelner was the Editor of the Independent and is now a columnist on the ‘i’ but either he is a knave or a fool or possibly both.
In yet another column on the fake anti-Semitism campaign in the Labour Party ‘How has Corbyn survived the anti-Semitic storm?’ Kelner manages to take up a whole column saying nothing.
However even I was taken aback by Kelner’s dissimulation.  Kelner quotes Derek Hatton as saying:
Jewish people with any sense of humanity need to start speaking out publicly against the ruthless murdering being carried out in Israel.’
This seems to me to be a very reasonable comment given that Israel calls itself a Jewish state. The Jewish Nation State Law passed last summer makes it explicit that Israel is a State of the Jewish People, all the Jewish people, wherever they may reside.
That is why when Netanyahu went to France in 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders and those of 4 Jews in the Hypercacher Supermarket he was quoted as saying that ‘"I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people.’
Was Netanyahu being anti-Semitic? Did Kelner accuse him of this?
Quite amazingly Kelner says of Hatton’s statement that: ‘The connection between all Jewish people and the actions of the State of Israel is clearly anti-Semitic’.  But the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which Kelner has also previously supported, states that an example of anti-Semitism is:
‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.’
  If Israel is the outcome of Jewish self-determination then clearly Jewish people, all Jewish people, are responsible for the actions of the Israeli state.
Kelner knows full well that the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which styles itself the representative organisation of British Jewry, regularly speaks on behalf of British Jewry. When the BOD supports Israeli actions it speaks or claims to speak on behalf of all British Jews.  Has Kelner accused them of anti-Semitism, if not why not?
Only last May the Board of Deputies issued a statement supporting Israel’s use of snipers to murder unarmed demonstrators in Gaza. The statement read: ‘“The responsibility for the violence lies with Hamas’ .  According to Kelner, anyone believing what the Board said was anti-Semitic.
Did Kelner attack the Board as anti-Semitic? I doubt it because Kelner is just one more media muppet willing to say whatever pleases the powers that be.
Yours faithfully,

Tony Greenstein

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