30 June 2019

Once again Corbyn Has Betrayed his Friends & Appeased his Enemies - Today Corbyn’s very leadership is at stake

 It should have been Tom Watson who was suspended not Chris Williamson

Defend Chris Williamson
Lobby Labour’s NEC
Tuesday 9th July
105 Victoria St, Westminster,
London SW1E 6QT
(nearest tube Victoria)

It is difficult to work out the thinking behind the resuspension of Chris Williamson. We should be under no doubt that the decision of Jenny Formby was cleared by Corbyn. I am told that John McDonnell also played a part in this abject surrender.
Yvonne Davies objected to a BNP style march and was subject to bullying by Watson
This is not about ‘anti-Semitism’ or any form of racism.  If it was then Tom Watson, a person who supported a racist St George’s Day March in Sandwell, in which BNP members were attending and then bullied a Labour councillor Yvonne Davies who suggested a more family friendly event, should put that nonsense to rest.
If they want to find examples of racism then John Mann's attack on gypsies and travellers is a good example
This is the same Tom Watson who supported ‘our  Phil’ Labour MP Phil Woolas who was removed for election offences by the High Court in 2011, (lying) after running a campaign based on ‘making the white folk angry.’
This is about Israel, the Zionist lobby and more generally support for American foreign policy in the Middle East. This is about the return to traditional bipartisanship in foreign policy and an end to any idea of mass nationalisation of the utilities and an end to austerity.  It is a return to New Labourism that is threatened.
Watson supported racist Labour MP Phil Woolas telling people he had 'lost sleep' over 'poor Phil'
Jeremy Corbyn has handled the accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’  abysmally for the last 3 years.  Instead of apologising he should have called out his accusers.  Instead he apologised, betrayed his supporters, appeased a Zionist lobby which was out for only one thing, his head and last month when the Jewish Labour Movement began grandstanding and threatening to disaffiliate from the Labour Party he begged them to stay!  They rewarded his pathetic pleas with a motion of no confidence.
No one should be under any doubt about this.  Last September when the NEC passed an unamended IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which conflated anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, it should have been clear to even the dumbest of creatures that it was Israel not Jews which was on the agenda.
Racist Labour MP Phil Woolas was defended by the racist MP below
The betrayal by Jon Lansman should make even the stupidest Momentum supporter sit up and take note.  Momentum was set up to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.  Today it is hand in glove with Tom Watson and the JLM. Either Lansman is removed, which is impossible given the lack of democracy in Momentum, or an alternative left network needs to be set up in the Labour Party.
The concern of the media for Corbyn's health is touching
The JLM was refounded in 2015 with the specific project of removing Corbyn.  The journalist who first uncovered this, Asa Winstanley has also been suspended from the Labour Party – for anti-Semitism of course! Telling the truth is also anti-Semitic!
The situation today is dangerous.  Tom Watson has gained immeasurably from the resuspension of Chris Williamson.  Corbyn has once again weakened himself by agreeing to this suspension.  The absurdity of 118 MPs writing a letter deploring political interference in the anti-Semitism disciplinary process whilst themselves doing exactly that beggars belief.

The slow-witted viciousness of Marina Hyde of the Guardian

As should be clear even to the most slow-witted journalist, the anti-Semitism campaign has and never has had anything to do with anti-Semitism.  From the very start the JLM had one purpose – to remove Corbyn.  That is why whenever they achieved one target (removal of Ken Livingstone etc.) they moved on to another.  And Jon Lansman has worked with them all the way.
It is no accident that all the papers today lead with stories on Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘unfitness’ to lead  the Labour Party. The problem is that by his continual vacillation and his refusal or inability to call out Tom Watson he has confirmed those attacks.
What can we do?
Well Labour’s NEC is holding its next meeting on Tuesday 9th July at which Chris Williamson will be discussed.  It is at Southside near Victoria Station.  Anyone who is serious in not wanting to see the Right take back control of the Labour Party should be there.
Tony Greenstein

28 June 2019

Jeremy Corbyn Must Defend Chris Williamson Instead of Appeasing Tom Watson

It is time to remove Jon Lansman – he is a stalking horse for the Right

What is happening over the restoration of the whip to Chris Williamson is outrageous. He was duly tried by a panel of the National Executive. The Right are not happy with the decision and are therefore demanding that the verdict be annulled. It’s like the prosecution having a second bite of the cherry in a court case.
Naturally the Jewish Chronicle targets a Black member of the panel which heard Chris Williamson's case
118 MPs and peers have demanded that there should be no political interference in decisions regarding anti-Semitism, blithely unaware that that is exactly what they are doing.  Once again Jeremy Corbyn, instead of defending Chris Williamson and stating loudly that he is not anti-Semitic, has pathetically restated that he is not an anti-Semite.
We should use the list of 118 (minus about 25 Lords) as a target list for deselection.  These are people whose first loyalty is to the Israeli state and Britain’s pro-American foreign policy rather than to any conception of socialism.
The Independent's headline is no different to the Daily Mail's
For over 3 years the Zionist lobby and the Jewish Labour Movement (who are one and the same thing) have mounted campaigns against a whole series of targets.  Each time Corbyn and Momentum, in the form of Jon Lansman have given way. Each time the Israeli Embassy lobby, which is what the JLM is,  have simply increased their demands. Now even telling the truth about the Israel lobby is ‘anti-Semitic’ (thus equating Jews with Israel and Zionism).
Sobel is  member of Labour Friends of Israel and should have been suspended after this tweet below
Why has there been no suspensions over a tweet welcoming the murder of Palestinians?
Even though an undercover Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby gave clear and unambiguous proof that the Israeli Embassy was deeply involved in penetrating the Labour Party and using dirty tricks.
If Corbyn had called out the weaponisation of anti-Semitism from the beginning then he would not have faced the past 4 years of hell.  If he had said ‘yes, I condemn anti-Semitism but I also condemn the false allegation of anti-Semitism against supporters of the Palestinians and anti-Zionists’ he would have lanced the boil. Instead the Zionists have been encouraged at every stage.
Corbyn e has apologised, appeased, wavered and conceded, looked hesitant and uncertain whilst displaying no appreciation or understanding of what was happening.  It is obvious, as I stated 3 years ago in a series of speeches, that what was happening was an example of state destabilisation.  It was clear to me even then that the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations, which began with the Daily Mail were not spontaneous.  They bore all the hallmarks of similar campaigns in other countries.
This is what the fake 'antisemitism' campaign is really about
We had an example of that when an unnamed General said at the beginning of Corbyn’s tenure that the army could not allow Corbyn to endanger the security of the realm.  Then we had a ‘charity’ the Integrity Initiative being funded to run a dirty tricks campaign and then last month there was US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that the US would not allow Corbyn to come to power unhindered.
For too long the Left has assumed that the allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ were made in good faith.  Jewish people like myself and Jackie Walker were expelled.  Black anti-racists like Marc Wadsworth were expelled.  Asa Winstanley, a journalist on Electronic Intifada has been suspended for writing a series of stories on the destabilisation campaign of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Israeli Embassy. Ken Livingstone was driven out.
Phil Woolas - the racist Labour MP that Tom Watson defended
Tom Watson defended 'poor Phil' and lost sleep about it
We have the absurdity of Tom Watson of all people leading the charge against Chris Williamson on the grounds that he is concerned to fight ‘anti-Semitism’. Watson is an out and out racist.  He defended Phil Woolas, a Labour MP who in the 2010 General Election ran a campaign which aimed to ‘make the White folk angry.’ The High Court removed him as an MP for electoral offences yet Tom Watson, instead of condemning this racist former Immigration Minister spoke of how he had lost sleep over ‘poor Phil.’
Or Margaret Hodge, who defended and covered up for child abusers when leader of Islington Council and who was even sent a bunch of flowers by the BNP for espousing their policies of giving council houses to white people only, is leading the ‘anti-Semitism’ charge.
But what is worse is that our so-called friends, people like Jon Lansman, the unelected leader of Momentum, have attacked Chris Williamson.  Lansman has worked with the JLM and defended them throughout. Despite the fact that the JLM are the self-proclaimed ‘sister party’ of the racist Israeli Labour Party.
If one good thing comes out of this Lansman has exposed himself.  Anyone who defends him now is of the Right not Left.  Likewise Owen Jones who has supported the suspension of Chris Williamson.  Jones is and always has been a fair-weather friend of the Left.  He too has befriended the JLM whilst pretending to be a supporter of the Palestinians.
Another media leftist Ash Sarkar has revealed her true colours in also joining in on the attack on Chris Williamson.  What this whole episode has revealed is the weakness of the Left.  Not one MP as far as I’m aware has come out in support of Chris Williamson.  The so-called Campaign Group of MPs has remained silent.  The cowardice is damning.
Can you imagine Tony Benn having remained silent whilst this witchhunt was going on or Eric Heffer?  The reality is that the present left MPs have no class consciousness or really any different politics from the rest of the Blairite rabble in the PLP.  Virtually none of them have any experience of trade unionism.  Their socialism is academic at best.  How else to explain the silence of Richard Burgon, Dianne Abbot, Cat Smith, Lloyd Russell Moyle, Ian Lavery and Laura Pidcott?
But whereas the MPs have show utter timidity it is the rank and file members of the Labour Party who have shown their support for Chris Williamson.  Most members know that he has not made any anti-Semitic comments or remarks.
Tom Watson defended 'poor Phil' as well as supporting accusing the Lib Dems of being 'soft' on asylum seekers
The fact is that those leading the charge against Chris are the same MPs who refused to vote against the 2014 Immigration Act which introduced the ‘hostile environment’ policy which led to the Windrush deportations. The concern for ‘anti-Semitism’ against a privileged white community is in stark contrast to the actual racism against Black people.
What racism have Jewish people experienced?  A few anti-Semitic social media posts at worst.  No one has died from a tweet.  Yet hundreds of people, some of whom have died, suffered from Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ policy.  In 2014 how many Labour MPs broke the whip to vote against the Tories Immigration Act?  Just 6 – Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbot, Kelvin MacKenzie (also suspended).
This is the extent of the hypocrisy over the fake and false ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations. 
Defending Chris Williamson is essential to defending the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party.  Unfortunately Corbyn himself is incapable of recognising the fact that throwing Chris overboard won’t make him stronger but weaker.  Appeasing the Right doesn’t make them go away they just become emboldened.
That is why the defence of Chris Williamson is, despite Corbyn’s cowardice a defence of Corbyn!
Tony Greenstein

27 June 2019

We welcome the reinstatement of Chris Williamson –but why are Dennis Skinner, Laura Pidcock and the Campaign Group of MPs Saying Nothing?

 When Boris Johnson condemns Williamson' Reinstatement – What More Do You Need to Know about the Fake Anti-Semitism Campaign?

The paper that supported Hitler was also outraged

 It is extremely welcome that Chris Williamson, one of the few socialist MPs, has had the whip restored.  The outpouring of hate and bile from the Zionists and racists are wholly predictable and synthetic. However unless this is defended by the Left it may be short-lived.
Margaret Hodge, who as Leader of Islington Council covered up child abuse condemned the decision as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘turning a blind eye to Jew-hate’. This is the same Margaret Hodge whom the BNP sent a bunch of flowers to as a thank you for having endorsed their policy of only housing ‘local’ i.e. White families. As the Guardian reported in an article BNP backs Hodge in housing row
Just to remind ourselves of the position of the paper of British liberalism
The British National Party has supported Margaret Hodge in calling for British-born families to take priority over immigrants in the queue for council homes.  They have seized on the Labour MP's comments as a vindication of its extremist policies. 'Labour MP Margaret Hodge deserves a word of compliment from the BNP for her efforts to raise the thorny issue of social housing for native Britons...
Like a lynch mob - Jess Phillips and company accompanied Ruth Smeeth
The Zionist campaign over 'antisemitism' has netted a lot of Black and Jewish activists

Ruth Smeeth, who was revealed to be a protected American asset by Wikileaks and a prima donna who falsely alleged anti-Semitism against Marc Wadsworth, was quoted as accusing Chris of  having
intentionally undermined, marginalised and harassed the British Jewish community and Jewish Labour Party members, which has continually brought the Labour Party into disrepute.
The bigger the lie the more it is to be believed. What Smeeth means is that Chris dared to criticise and call out the McCarthyist tactics of Zionist leaders and the Jewish Labour Movement’s false anti-Semitism narrative in particular.
Utterly predictable from the Zionist Chronicle
The Jewish Chronicle described Chris Williamson as a ‘Jew baiter’.  Of course he is no such thing. The cynicism of Zionists like the Jewish Chronicle’s ‘Liar’ Lee Harpin who writes this nonsense is unbelievable.  It trivialises anti-Semitism and makes it into a mere political bargaining chip, a cheap name to attack your political enemies with.
There were Jew baiters like Julius Streicher, the editor of the Nazi paper der Sturmer who was hanged at Nuremburg. Sir Oswald Moseley of the British Union of Fascists was another Jew baiter but Chris Williamson?  I defy the Zionists to produce even one sentence of Chris’s that is anti-Semitic.
Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman said the lifting of the suspension was “an utter disgrace”. This is the same organisation which supported Israel’s use of snipers against unarmed demonstrators protesting against Israel’s siege of Gaza. The Board is an unrepresentative Zionist group masquerading as representative of Britain’s Jewish community.

According to the Jewish Chronicle’s Political Correspondent, ‘liar’ Lee Harpin one of Chris’s offences was that he ‘claimed Tony Greenstein – who was expelled for allegations involving antisemitism – had a right to hold his “anti-Zionist views”. 
Quite amazing really.  Presumably this idiot thinks I don’t have the right to be an anti-Zionist.  I think Liar Lee has forgotten that this is not Israel, where people are gaoled for their views, but Britain.
It is difficult to disagree with the Jewish Chronicle's now editor
And what was Chris’s original ‘crime’?  To quote from the Tory supporting Politics Home: Chris Williamson told a Momentum meeting that: 
"The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.
 I have got to say I think our party's response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we've backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we've been too apologetic...
"We've done more to actually address the scourge of anti-semitism than any other political party. Any other political party. And yet we are being traduced."
But the icing on the cake of this racist hypocrisy is the reaction of notorious racist and candidate to be leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who tweeted:
"Shameful that Labour have reinstated this key Corbyn ally back into their party after his appalling remarks. We must never allow these apologists for anti-Semitism anywhere near government."
This is the man who described Black people as ‘picanninies’ and having ‘water melon smiles’ and who compared Muslim women to ‘letter boxes’ and bank robbers. Johnson whose whole campaign strategy has been guided by the viciously racist former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
The fact that Boris Johnson and the Daily Mail have gone to town over the reinstatement of Chris Williamson just shows what this is about – it has nothing to do with ‘anti-Semitism’ or ‘Jew baiting’ and everything to do with Israel and opposition to Zionism.
Jack London compared a scab and blackleg to a rattlesnake 
When Chris Williamson was suspended, Owen Jones was to the fore in stabbing him in the back, all in the name of a ‘healing process with Britain’s Jewish community.’  Of course Owen Jones was, as is normally the case, providing a left gloss on the fact that it was the Labour Right and Tom Watson who had, with Tory support, called for his suspension.
Yet what is amazing is that not one MP from the Corbynites of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs spoke out.  All of them, without exception, kept quiet.
Unsurprisingly Tom Watson and the Daily Mail are in the same boat
Richard Burgon, Dianne Abbot, Dennis Skinner, Cat Smith, Laura Pidcock, Lloyd Russell-Moyle etc. said nothing.  This cowardly silence can and will only help the Right.  Remaining silent only strengthens the Right.  The idea that this is about ‘anti-Semitism’ or Jews is for the birds.
This is about Israel, Zionism, support for shooting Gaza’s protestors, demolishing Palestinian villages whilst crying ‘anti-Semitism’ at anyone who critiques the State that does all of this.
The Jewish Labour Movement’s MPs, who are interchangeable with those of the Labour Friends of Israel, have been to the forefront in supporting the demolition of Palestinian homes, the arrest and physical abuse and torture of children and all the other abominations of Israel’s military occupation.
That is why we should welcome Chris’s reinstatement and call for Momentum and the Campaign Group of MPs to end their shameful silence.
I also sent this message to the 27 Campaign Group of Labour MPs
Dear Campaign Group MP

Today Chris Williamson unexpectedly but quite correctly had the Labour Whip restored to him.

The allegations of 'antisemitism' against him are and always were bogus. It should be sufficient in itself to note that the Board of Deputies and Labour Friends of Israel/JLM who make these charges defended and supported Israel's mowing down of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.  To say nothing of their support of the half century old military occupation of Palestine.

At a time when the Tory press, Boris Johnson, various Zionists and other assorted reactionaries are attacking Chris, is it too much to expect that you might raise your head above the parapet and publicly welcome him back?

Or is cowardice your only card?

Tony Greenstein

Members of the Campaign Group are:
Diane Abbott         diane.abbott.office@parliament.uk
Richard Burgon     richard@richardburgon.com
Dawn Butler          dawn.butler.mp@parliament.uk
Dan Carden           dan.carden.mp@parliament.uk
Jeremy Corbyn       jeremy.corbyn.mp@parliament.uk
Marsha de-Cova    marsha.decordova.mp@parliament.uk
David Drew           david.drew.mp@parliament.uk
Imran Hussain        imran.hussain.mp@parliament.uk
Ian Lavery             ian.lavery.mp@parliament.uk
Karen Lee              karen.lee.mp@parliament.uk
Clive Lewis            clive.lewis.mp@parliament.uk
John McDonnell    mcdonnellj@parliament.uk
Ian Mearns             ian.mearns.mp@parliament.uk
Grahame Morris     grahame.morris.mp@parliament.uk
Laura Pidcock        laura.pidcock.mp@parliament.uk
Kate Osamor          kate.osamor.mp@parliament.uk
Danielle Rowley    danielle.rowley.mp@parliament.uk
Lloyd Russell Moyle   lloyd.russellmoyle.mp@parliament.uk
Dennis Skinner      skinnerd@parliament.uk
Cat Smith               cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk
Laura Smith           laura.smith.mp@parliament.uk
Jon Trickett            trickettj@parliament.uk

I also sent the following letter to the Jewish Chronicle in response to its vile article

Letters Editor,
The Jewish Chronicle
28 St. Albans Lane
London NW11 7QE
Dear Sir:
The restoration of the Labour whip to Chris Williamson is to be welcomed by all those who oppose racism. Your headline ‘Outrage as Labour lifts suspension of 'Jew-baiter' MP Chris Williamson’ is itself outrageous.
Nothing Chris has said or done in any way merits the description ‘Jew baiter’. It is no surprise that neither you, Ruth Smeeth, the Board of Deputies or any other of his Zionist detractors are able to quote a single sentence or phrase that Chris has uttered which is in anyway anti-Semitic.
You are well aware that Chris Williamson signed a petition in support of Gilad Atzmon in ignorance of his anti-Semitism.  As someone who led the campaign against Atzmon, long before the Zionist movement took it up, these allegations are simply opportunist.  In any event I opposed Atzmon’s politics not his music and I support his right to play his music.
The allegation that Chris has harassed, baited, marginalised etc. the Jewish community is just poppycock. The real reason for the attacks on Chris Williamson is his anti-Zionist politics and his support for the Palestinians. Once again the Jewish Chronicle pretends that all Jews are Zionists and supporters of Israeli right or wrong, which according to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is anti-Semitic!
Lee Harpin claims that one of Chris Williamson’s offence is claiming that I have a right to hold anti-Zionist views. Is it the Jewish Chronicle’s position that I don’t have the right to be an anti-Zionist? I don’t believe even Israel makes holding anti-Zionist views a criminal offence! This is McCarthism gone mad.
Yours faithfully,

Tony Greenstein

26 June 2019

Israelis Demonstrate in Afula Against the Sale of a House to an Arab - Arabs barred from entering Afula's municipal park

What Afula Does Openly hundreds of Israeli Jewish Communities do covertly but legally

As Ofer Casif, the Jewish member of Hadash in the Knesset wrote on Twitter, "How would we define a mayor in Europe who would demonstrate against selling a house to a Jewish family?"

The answer is that we would call him a neo-Nazi although according to Labour’s racist Deputy Leader Tom Watson and its Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, we would be guilty of anti-Semitism!  Because the IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’, which the Labour Party has adopted, defines comparing Israelis to Nazis as anti-Semitism.
However for most people opposing the sale of a house to someone because of their ethnicity or, in the case of Afula, barring access to its park to people because they are Arabs, is the action of Jewish Nazis.
However we should not be too harsh on Afula.  Unlike Israel’s outraged liberals who are weeping crocodile tears, Afula is not alone.  Hundreds of Jewish communities in the Galilee and elsewhere bar access to non-Jews (and Black Jews), quite legally, under the Receptions Committees Law of 2011. This is reinforced by the Jewish Nation State Law 2018 which specifically endorses ‘Jewish settlement’.
The Jewish only city of Afula - its residents are fighting to keep its 'Jewish character'
These gated communities do not allow Arab Israelis to wander through them and have picnics in their parks.
Nor is it simply the Zionist right.  The Israeli Labour Party and Meretz are both based on Israeli Kibbutzim which have always been Jewish only communities, as have the Moshavim.  Jewish settlement and segregated housing was fundamental to the Labour Zionist policy of Jewish land, labour and produce.

But whereas in most middle class Israeli Jewish communities people are prevented from accessing the land by simply preventing the sale of land, via the Israeli Land Authority and the Jewish National Fund, in Afula, this is not possible. Afula is populated by Israel’s Oriental/Misrahi Jews. The Reception Committee Law doesn’t operate for communities above 700 people.  
The Jewish city of Afula
Afula doesn’t simply consist of JNF and ILA land, some 93% of all Israeli land, but private land.  Hence it is more difficult to prevent Arabs buying property as was the case in Upper Nazareth.  This is why Israeli newspapers can tut tut knowing that no Israeli Arab village has been built since Israel’s formation unlike hundreds of Jewish communities.

What Afula is shining a light on is the Apartheid nature of the Israeli state.  An apartheid state that the Labour Right defends and Corbyn is too timid to call out.  However what the demonstrators in Afula are doing is putting the ‘Jewish’ in the ‘Jewish state’ into practice. They are the honest racists.
The Jewish National Fund owns or controls 93% of Israeli land
Suffice to say that the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other council officials in Afula were demonstrating against the sale of a house to an Arab.  If these people had been Arabs calling for people  not to sell to Israeli Jews, they would have been arrested immediately, charged with incitement to racial hatred and face imprisonment. 
Arab Israeli poet Dareen Tatour served 5 months in prison for simply writing a poem calling on her people to resist Zionism. Raed Saleh was framed for racial incitement because he mentioned the blood of children in the context of demonstrations in Jerusalem against the attacks on worshippers at the Mosques of Omar and Al-Aqsa.
But to most people the connections between what happened in pre-1939 Nazi Germany and Israel today will be unmistakeable. Arabs are not wanted today in Israel just as Jews were not wanted back then.
Tony Greenstein
Jews are forbidden from entering this town - sign in Nazi Germany

What Netanyahu Sowed, This Northern Israeli City Reaps

Jun 17, 2019 12:36 AM
Slogans regarding the need to “preserve the Jewish character” of a place were once again heard in Afula, during a demonstration on Saturday night held in front of a home that was sold to an Arab family.
These slogans cannot hide the racist division between “our people” and “the others,” between the superior and inferior, between the holy and the unclean, that accompanies a person here from womb to tomb. The way the city fathers embraced the demonstration is indicative of the deepening cooperation between government representatives and avowed promoters of racism like the Lehava organization, whose flag was seen at the protest alongside the Israeli flag.
A demonstration to preserve the 'Jewish character' of Afula
There were several dozen people at the demonstration, including Mayor Eli Elkabetz, Deputy Mayor Shlomo Malihi and members of the city council. The Facebook page Otzma Yehudit Afula – devoted to promoting Otzma Yehudit, the Kahanist faction that contended in the April general election as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties – called on people to attend the protest.
“Our city is being sold,” the page said. “We must not lend a hand to this and we must not be silent. I ask everyone who can and to whom his country is important to come Saturday night.” In one of the responses, a party activist made the intention clear. “If you don’t wake up, Afula will fall like Upper Nazareth and your daughters will become slaves to the enemy.” As in other times in history, the dissemination of hate focuses on the “violation” of women by “the other.” Itai Cohen, one of the city council members who demonstrated, said the municipality would continue “to make sure the city preserves its Jewish character.”
In Afula’s case, preserving some imaginary purity has turned out to be worthwhile. Like many more veteran politicians than he, Elkabetz has learned to use racist dog whistles to benefit his political career. During the last local election campaign, Elkabetz promised to “preserve the Jewish character of Afula,” participated in demonstrations against selling local homes to Arabs, and on his Facebook page claimed that “the conquest of the city park,” i.e., visits to the park by Arabs from nearby communities, “must stop.”
After his victory, the municipal park was in fact opened several times solely to Afula residents. City council members, as they were sworn in, promised to “preserve the city’s Jewish character.” Last month Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit ruled that this addition to the swearing-in ceremony had no legal standing.
Bottom of Form
Afula is a racist mirror of broad sections of Israeli society, the legacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent years in office. The spirit of the nation-state law – the Netanyahu government’s crowning glory – wafts over the Afula demonstration and gives legitimacy to discriminatory, ugly behavior toward Arab citizens. Israel urgently needs local and national leadership that will facilitate ways for Jews and Arabs to live together.

Northern Israeli City Closes Park to Non-residents Over Summer Vacation

Mayor’s campaign ad states ‘Park built for Afula residents must remain theirs. … We must proudly wave Israeli flags in entire park and play music in Hebrew’

Jun 25, 2019 2:09 AM
The northern city of Afula announced Monday it will close its main municipal park to nonresidents over the summer, except on Fridays. In recent years, Afula residents have complained of Arabs from the area using the park, and have protested against Arabs buying homes in the city.
The mayor of Afula, Avi Elkabetz, was responsible for building the park during his previous terms in office from 2005 through 2013. His election campaign last year featured a slogan calling for Afula to maintain its Jewish character. Before he was elected, he took part in protests against the sale of homes in the city to Arabs. After the election, members of the city council were sworn in with an oath that they would protect the Jewish character of the city.
As part of Elkabetz’s election campaign, he wrote the following on Facebook: “The occupation of the municipal park must end. It is not a political issue. It is not an election issue. It is simply a fundamental matter of principle. A park that was built for the residents of Afula needs to remain theirs … We must proudly wave Israeli flags through the entire park and play music in Hebrew,” he wrote.
A week and a half ago, Elkabetz again participated in a protest against the sale of a house in the city to an Arab family.
The city said the municipal park was built with public funds and Afula residents pay for its maintenance. The park will be open to the general public on Fridays for free and during the rest of the week it will serve as a community center in every way, similar to other places around the country that are open to local residents only.
Residents can enter the park for free by showing their ID card and children who don’t have an ID card can purchase a wristband to identify them for a one-time fee of 10 shekels ($2.80). 
The park will be run by the city’s Shakim Afula community centers organization, which posted on its Facebook page on Monday: “Good news for Afula residents,” saying it will produce dozens of community and culture events over the summer vacation, including sporting events, shows, family get-togethers, workshops for children, a small zoo and more. It asked the public to wait patiently until it publishes its full program and details, “and not to believe rumors from unfounded reports.