Friday, 19 June 2020

Hundreds at Zoom Meeting Say – Stand up to Starmer Help Build the Campaign for Free Speech on Palestine & Zionism in the Labour Party


The Cowardice of the Campaign Group of MPs and the ‘revolutionary’ Counterfire


Chris Williamson - Chair of the meeting


Last night hundreds tuned in to Youtube, Facebook and Zoom to a meeting called by the main victims of the Anti-Semitism witchhunt.  You can listen to the meeting here
It was chaired by former Labour MP, Chris Williamson. Speaking were Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein and Max Blumenthall from the United States.
White supremacist Richard Spencer and other racists, such as Keir Starmer, just love Israel
The witchhunt has taken a heavy personal burden on many people.  Many have become depressed and ill because of the false allegations. When people who have devoted their life to anti-racism are accused by racists of ‘anti-Semitism’  then it can be extremely depressing.
Some, like Pauline Hammerton, died because of the callousness of Labour’s witchhunters.  It was a witchhunt directed solely at the pro-Corbyn left.  Yet despite this Corbyn signed up to an anti-Semitism campaign designed to remove him.
This is what Starmer and the Labour Right are defending - open apartheid in Israel
Corbyn was both cowardly and stupid.  Despite 30+ years of work over Palestine Corbyn never got it.  Never understood how malicious and vindictive the Zionist movement is.  Never understood that Zionism isn’t a nice friendly form of Jewish identity but it is the ideology that dictates the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
This is the Israel that Keir Starmer is defending
Corbyn voluntarily adopted the IHRA after Theresa May because he thought he was being clever to wear the Crown of Thorns. He came to realise that the crown can be a heavy burden.
Corbyn introduced the fast-track expulsion procedure and lied that it would only apply to the most ‘egregious’ cases whereas it applies now to every ‘anti-Semitism’ case.
All of us have borne a heavy load but we are determined that the fake anti-Semitism narrative will not win out. Truth will prevail.
Marc Wadsworth speaking tonight
Marc Wadsworth described in detail the events of that June day at the Chakrabarti press conference when Ruth Smeeth MP didn’t like to be challenged over her dealings with a Telegraph journalist.  She walked out shouting ‘how dare you’ ‘how dare you’ like the spoilt brat she was. Almost unbelievably Index on Censorship has just made this harridan its Chief Executive.  I hope people protest and ensure that this fake NGO doesn’t receive another penny in donations.
Tony Greenstein speaking to a large picket at the Marc Wadsworth hearing
I described the background to the witchhunt and also made passing mention of the cowardice of the ‘socialist’ Campaign Group of MPs, all of whom we had invited to speak to the meeting but none had responded.
Jackie Walker speaking to the meeting
Jackie Walker spoke next and described the anti-Semitic nature of the witchhunt.  25 Jewish members of the Labour Party are currently suspended.  Why?  Because they are anti-racists who detest what the Israeli state is doing to the Palestinians.
Max Blumenthall gave a riveting description of events on the other side of the pond and Chris Williamson gave us some background on how he had been stabbed in the back by fellow ‘socialists’ in Parliament.
Max Blumenthall speaking to the meeting
Unfortunately Ken Livingstone, who is 75 today, was unable to be with us.  However we intend to insure that at future meetings that Ken is with us.
The meeting is intended as a start.  We have to roll back these attempts by a foreign state, Israel, through its agents, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Board of Deputies, to try and roll back civil liberties and democratic freedoms in this country.
Tony Greenstein speaking
That is why the Campaign for Freedom of Speech is the beginning not the end.
Unfortunately sections of the far-left, including Stand Up to Racism and in particular Counterfire and their front organisation, Stop the War Coalition, although they oppose the ‘anti-Semitism’ witchhunt in theory, in practice they accept its dictates.
Ad for Birmingham StWC Meeting which sparked off the Statement from Lindsey German
In the case of Stop the War Coalition, when I was invited to speak to Birmingham StWC, Salma Yaqoob was forced to withdraw because of the pressures on her.
Most racists today - from Tommy Robinson to Ian Austin support Israeli Apartheid
StWC put out a statement defending Salma but including the following 2 lines:
Local StWC groups act autonomously in deciding their platforms, but we note that Tony Greenstein has never been asked to address a national StWC meeting.  StWC rejects both anti-Semitism and abusive language in political debate.
The behaviour of Counterfire is naked cowardice and I have written an Open Letter to Lindsey German the Convenor of StWC demanding that this statement is amended.  Lindsey German, who with her partner John Rees, left the SWP 10 years ago have retained its method of opportunism and having no fixed principles.
2 racists together - Smeeth and Berger
When they were in Respect they urged that their supporters in the SWP vote against a woman’s right to choose an abortion. When in the SWP, despite their protestations about ‘anti-Semitism’ now, they worked with an open anti-Semites Gilad Atzmon for 5 years.  At one stage Jews Against Zionism had to picket a meeting that the SWP had put on for Atzmon.  His topic on the night was Otto Weininger, who was described apocryphally by Hitler as ‘the only good Jew – he killed himself’.
Stop the War Coalition's Cowardly Statement
Thursday June 18 2020
Dear Lindsay German,
Further to our previous correspondence regarding the Stop the War Coalition [StWC] statement in defence of Salma Yaqoob.  This statement came about as a result of an invitation to me to address a meeting of Birmingham StWC on May 12th.
Salma was also asked to speak to the meeting and it was advertised as such.
Almost immediately the political rattlesnake that goes by the name of Ian Austin, the former warmongering MP, called on the Labour Party [LP] to suspended Salma for speaking on the same platform as myself, an expelled member. Being seen with the ‘wrong sort of Jew’ is, according to Zionist Doublethink another example of the ‘anti-Semitism’ pandemic.
Lindsay German - there are no principles that Lindsay isn't willing to trade - abortion/gay rights they're all up 4 sale
My objection is to the final 2 sentences of your statement which reads:
Local StWC groups act autonomously in deciding their platforms, but we note that Tony Greenstein has never been asked to address a national StWC meeting.  StWC rejects both anti-Semitism and abusive language in political debate
The real meaning of your statement is that anyone who is expelled or suspended will not be welcome on StWC platforms . The statement is a disgrace. It not only betrays those who have been expelled or suspended but it sells out the Palestinians. The whole point of the purge is to chill debate on Palestine and opposition to Zionism as even Kenneth Stern, the person who drafted the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism now admits.
The final sentence of your statement: ‘StWC rejects both anti-Semitism and abusive language in political debate’ clearly refers to me. ‘Abuse’ was the pretext for my expulsion. 
FYI the major example of ‘abuse’ was me calling Louise Ellman, a supporter of Palestinian child abuse. Not once but twice, during debates in Parliament on the treatment of Palestinian children – arrests in the early hours, blindfolding, beatings, sexual assault of girls, torture, refusal of access to parents and lawyers – Ellman defend the Israeli military.  My expulsion hearing deemed this ‘abuse’.  I’m surprised Counterfire should be in agreement.
Your statement says that StWC ‘refuse to accept that criticism of the Israeli government and its policies can be construed as anti-Semitic’ Most Zionists would agree with you! The IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism explicitly states that ‘criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’. The IHRA’s main purpose is to outlaw criticism of the specifically Zionist i.e. Jewish supremacist nature of the Israeli state.
Solidarity is the ABC of socialism. You have shown a complete lack of solidarity as we were attacked by a full spectrum of the Establishment media. What you should have said was that
‘Tony Greenstein is welcome to appear on a national platform. We refused to be bullied and blackmailed by the supporters of Zionism and Israeli Apartheid.’
Tonight we held a large zoom meeting with Max Blumenthall, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and myself. It was chaired by Chris Williamson.  Ken Livingstone was unfortunately ill.  We are determined to resist the Board of Deputies and Keir Starmer. I’m sorry that Counterfire won’t join us.
When I emailed StWC asking them to delete the last 2 sentences of the statement, Lindsey German, StWC Convenor and founding member of Counterfire responded:
In response to your communications: We are not changing the statement issued, which made no allegations against you.  We will not engage in any further correspondence on this issue.
The statement that I have never spoken on a national StWC platform is curious. Most organisations advertise who is speaking on their platforms, not who is not speaking! This is virtue signalling to the witchhunters that StWC will abide by their conditions and and that you won’t do anything to embarrass Campaign Group MPs by hosting those who have been suspended/ expelled from the LP. This is betrayal not solidarity.
Kate Connelly, the Editor of Counterfire, spoke Wednesday night at a meeting of Brighton & Hove Labour Left Alliance [LLA]. I therefore asked Kate how she reconciled Counterfire’s theoretical opposition to the Zionists’ ‘Anti-Semitism’ Campaign, which led to Corbyn’s defeat, with your complicity with that campaign. Unsurprisingly Kate had no answer.
During the leadership contest Keir Starmer agreed the Zionists’ 10 Commandments, No. 5 of which states ‘thou shalt not speak or otherwise associate with those suspended or expelled’. This is a slight change from the previous version, to ‘love, honour and obey’ one’s parents.
The Labour Right and the Zionists are seeking to purge the LP of its anti-imperialist elements. Clearly Palestine is at the centre of this. I am amazed that a group that calls itself revolutionary and Marxist does not understand the connections between British foreign policy, imperialist war and the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party.
The reason for the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign was Corbyn’s opposition to NATO’s wars, Trident and his support for the Palestinians. Unfortunately, like Counterfire, Corbyn did not understand Zionism, the ideology and movement, behind the establishment of Israel.
What is glaringly absent from your statement is any condemnation of the McCarthyist campaign of the Zionists. The attempt to create a category of ‘banned persons’ as per the Internal Security Act in Apartheid South Africa should be fought tooth and nail.  It closes down free speech for the Left. Jewish anti-Zionists and Black anti-racists.
Instead of signalling to Labour’s witchhunters that expelled and suspended members won’t appear on StWC platforms, what you should have done is to say that those who have been falsely accused of anti-Semitism are welcome to appear on StWC platforms.
Instead of reinforcing the political cowardice of patrons who are Campaign Group MPs or trade union officials, you should have been encouraging them to resist this state sponsored campaign. You should have encouraged your patrons to issue a collective statement repudiating Starmer’s McCarthyism whilst he is still weak. 
Instead you pandered to the same political cowardice that led to the Campaign Group dissociating itself from Chris Williamson. Your behaviour to date is shameful. You are revolutionary in theory and reformist in practice.
I look forward to an apology, a deletion of the offending parts of the statement and a clear statement saying that you will not co-operate, in any shape or form with Labour’s purge.
Twice in the past 8 months Brighton and Hove LLA have invited speakers from Counterfire to address our meetings. I understood that you rejected the opportunism of the SWP, from which you came. The SWP allows far-Right Zionists to take part in marches against racism.
Clearly we were wrong and until you clarify your position I am opposed to inviting any further speakers from Counterfire or having anything else to do with you or StWC.
Yours in solidarity

Tony Greenstein



No comments:

Post a comment

Please submit your comments below