14 November 2019

Esther Solomon – her lies and distortions qualify her as Israel’s Jonathan Freedland

Ha’aretz attacks Jeremy Corbyn – it may be liberal by Israel’s standards but it is still a Zionist neo-liberal paper by normal standards

Because of Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, Ha’aretz has earned a reputation for opposing Zionist racism and the horrors of Israel's military occupation.  However there is a danger that people will believe that Levy and Hass represent Ha’aretz. They don’t.
Ha’aretz is politically a free market, neo-liberal newspaper hostile to any form of socialism or the working class. It is also a longstanding Zionist paper and has never questioned either Zionism or a Jewish state. It sees no contradiction between an ethno-nationalist state and democracy and it certainly isn't anti-imperialist.
Ha’aretz and its editor Aluf Benn are hostile to BDS and the Right of Return. Essentially Ha'aretz wants its cake and to eat it. A nice, non-racist Jewish Israel where Arabs know their place. It also wants to bask in the warm glow of liberal Zionism's overseas appeal (because in Israel liberal Zionism has all but disappeared with its party Meretz).
Ha'aretz has a neo-liberal Opinion Editor in Esther Solomon.  She has an interesting background in the English upper classes, St Paul's Girl's School and Cambridge.
Under her tutelage Ha’aretz has waged an ongoing campaign against Corbyn, via a series of one-sided racist opinion pieces which have acted as an echo chamber of the British press and its 'anti-Semitism' campaign.
The racists' anti-racist demonstration that even Norman Tebbit took part in
I first encountered Solomon when I responded to a piece by Alona Ferber, not a name I had encountered.  It was of a piece with hundreds of similar pieces in the British press. It was titled Corbyn’s Labour Will Never Stop Gaslighting Jews. It was not the first such piece by Ferber.  A year previously she had published 'Shame on You, anti-Semites': U.K. Jews Demand 'Zero Tolerance' From Corbyn's Labour focusing on the ‘anti-racist’ demonstration the Zionists held outside Parliament on March 27th 2018. A demonstration which was attended by those well known anti-racists Norman Tebbit, Ian Paisley and Sajid David amongst others.
You can get some indication of Alona Ferber’s politics from the fact that she is Managing Editor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Born in Israel but living in London she is part of the neo-liberal consensus.
Back in March this year I emailed Solomon with a piece rebutting Ferber’s Gaslighting article and she responded saying she wasn’t interested. In response to Solomon’s own poisonous article I sent her a letter (below) but I haven’t yet had a response although, being optimistic, I always live in hope! 
What this shows is that however radical Ha’aretz may be on some aspects of its coverage of the Palestinians oppression and the turn of Israel to the far-Right, when it comes to Zionism and support for Israel as a Jewish state then Ha’aretz can be as racist and right-wing as the next Israeli paper.
Without doubt we would all be poorer but for the articles of Ha'aretz contributors like Gideon Levy, Daniel Blatman and Ze’ev Sternhell on Israeli racism and fascism. Ha’aretz publishes many thoughtful articles, however we should never forget that it is a Zionist paper.
This idiot Zionist finds posters telling the truth about Israel 'frightening' - and if it's frightening it must be antisemitic!
When it comes to current events and living struggles, Ha’aretz almost as a default position falls on the side of the oppressor.  Gideon Levy, who openly supports Jeremy Corbyn, is very much the exception that proves the rule.
Tony Greenstein
Luciana Berger - made a career out of faking antisemitism and making false accusations
Dear Esther Solomon,
An Israeli friend and one of the founders of Matzpen, Moshe Machover, sent out your Opinion Piece on his email list, The Great British Disenfranchisement of the Jews with a warning:  Read if you can stomach this poison...’.
Your article is nonsense, from start to finish.  It is also dishonest in not mentioning that Jackie Walker is herself Jewish or that other Jewish members of the Labour Party like myself have been expelled. What you are describing is not anti-Semitism but anti-Zionism and it is that which you and others object to.
It is and you know it false of you to say that before Jeremy Corbyn became leader approximately 33% of Jews supported the Labour Party.  Really?  Did you just make this up?
According to the Spectator in April 2015 How Ed Miliband lost the Jewish vote it quoted a Jewish Chronicle Survation poll that just 22% of British Jews supported the Labour Party. See also the Telegraph’s Labour’s first Jewish leader is losing the Jewish vote.
Indeed according to one newspaper The Boundaries of Ed Miliband’s Loyalty to the Jews just 13 percent of Jewish voters consider Miliband a future prime minister who would be good for the Jews.’ In case you are not aware of which paper that is, perhaps I should let you in on the secret. It was the paper you write for, Ha’aretz.
But in fact it was even worse than 22%.  According to The Times of Israel’s Daniel Staetsky’s How British Jews vote and why they vote this way just 15% of British Jews voted Labour.
But unlike your superficial, inaccurate and impressionistic article, Staetsky understood that In fact, even before the rise of Corbyn, support for the Labour party among British Jews was limited.’ The evidence is copious of a historic decline in Jewish support for Labour since the 1960’s.
British Jews vote overwhelmingly for the Tories not because of ‘anti-Semitism’ or Israel but because they are the most privileged and prosperous section of the White British community.  They vote primarily according to how they perceive their class interests.  The minority of Jews on the left in the Labour Party are predominantly opposed to Zionism and belong to groups like Jewish Voice for Labour.
I suspect you are aware of all this and more yet you chose to write a deliberately slanted, biased and distorted article whose purpose was to give vent to your own prejudices. You presented throughout a series of binary opposites – a genuinely anti-Semitic Right vs an anti-racist Left which is remarkably free of even a trace of anti-Semitism.
You Ms Solomon are by way of contrast a Zionist.  Zionism as Israel amply demonstrates is a form of racism. If British Jews like myself were told that we could not rent, lease or buy 93% of British land because the British Land Authority and the Christian National Fund did not rent to Jews that would be seen, quite rightly, as anti-Semitic.  Yet you are happy to tolerate such a situation in reverse in Israel whereby the JNF doesn’t rent to Arabs.
Couple this with the situation in Safed where, backed up by dozens of Israeli rabbis, the Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu has issued an edict banning the renting of Jewish homes to Arabs and the 2011 Reception Committee Law allowing Jewish communities to bar Arabs (& other undesirables) from living in their villages and you have a situation that is normally known as Apartheid.
It is this that you are defending with your attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. I have no doubt Ms Solomon that you are doing so consciously. Your suggestion that it is to do with anti-Semitism is for the birds.  If Jews in Britain experienced a tenth of the discrimination that Arabs do in Israel then I would be the first to cry ‘anti-Semitism’.
You are the Opinion Editor of Ha’aretz. Your job, as I understand it, is to publish a broad range of views on subjects, not merely your own prejudices. Repeatedly Ha’aretz has printed one-sided attacks on Jeremy Corbyn resulting in your own readers not being aware that he is the most anti-racist leader the Labour Party has ever had, arrested picketing the South Africa Embassy in Britain and a supporter of a wide range of national liberation movements including the Palestinians.
I am therefore throwing out this challenge as I have done previously. I am prepared to send you an article of equivalent length as a response to your own.  Let the readers decide who is right or wrong.  What are you scared of? Having anyone challenge your opinions? That would suggest that you are not so confident in what you write as you make out.
Let us see whether you are too frit.
Tony Greenstein

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