Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Campaign for Free Speech holds Packed Zoom Meeting - 'Say No to Labour McCarthyism


400 people listen to Norman Finkelstein, Tariq Ali, David Miller, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein and Chris Williamson


For the past 5 years the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and other Zionist groups have intimidated venues and the owners of meeting halls into cancelling meetings on Zionism and Palestine. Only a brave few, like the Rialto Theatre in Brighton, have withstood the threats and abuse that those standing up to these racist freaks bombard them with.
Notoriously last September Waterstones bookshop cancelled the book launch of Bad News for Labour (whose co-author Prof. David Miller was a speaker tonight) because of the threats and abuse they received – all in the name of fighting ‘anti-Semitism’. The CEO of Waterstones, James Daunt later admitted that Waterstone’s decision had been wrong and that customers had reacted strongly against the decision.
Anthony Silkoff - the Board of Deputies Censorship Officer
The Board of Deputies even had a full time worker, Anthony Silkoff, doing little else but attempt to close down free speech on Israel and Palestine. It was called ‘interfaith’ work.
Last year in Brighton the MP for Hove, Peter Kyle and a host of Zionist trolls abused and threatened 3 venues – the Brighthelm Centre, the Holiday Inn and the Quaker Friends Centre – into cancelling a meeting with Chris Williamson. In the end we were forced to hold an open air meeting with Chris in Brighton’s Regency Square where over 200 people turned up.
The Board of Deputies Tweet Attacking the Rialto - everything they attack is 'hate' - yet these opponents of 'hate' tweeted in support of Israeli snipers killing unarmed demonstrators in Gaza - nothing hateful there!
So the Zionists must be gnashing their teeth in fury as meetings double and triple the size of our normal meetings on Palestine and Zionism are being held with almost monotonous regularity featuring international speakers like Norman Finkelstein. 
All of the Zionist efforts to close down free speech were in aid of the fight against ‘anti-Semitism’ of course.  Naturally their targets were on the Left not the Far Right.  So eat your heart our Zios! 
The COVID-19 crisis has at least had one good side-effect.  People have turned to Zoom in the absence of physical venues and meetings and far more people have tuned into listen to our ideas.
I won’t even attempt to summarise last night’s meeting, but everyone who went said that it was excellent.  It was ably Chaired by Tina Werkmann of the Labour Left Alliance/ Labour Against the Witchhunt and it featured 7 speakers in all.  Ken Livingstone was forced to pull out for medical reasons but we hope to feature him in a future meeting.
Tina has slightly edited the video but we hope that if you didn’t attend last night that you will take the time to watch it. Norman Finkelstein was his normal controversial self and there was a vigorous debate between the panellists. Unlike Zionist meetings we do debate and aren’t afraid of the free exchange of ideas.
We were also not opposed to Zionists attending and maybe learning something but when Luke Stanger, a troll who is currently suspended from the Labour Party for harassment of women and calling Gypsies and Travellers ‘a nasty blight on society’ began abusing everyone as ‘anti-Semites’ he was removed.
Petition
We are also sponsoring a petition for Labour Party members to sign saying that they will not abide by the Board of Deputies’s 10 Commandments, the 5th of which is that
‘Thou shalt not speak on the same platform as anyone who has been expelled or suspended as part of the ‘anti-Semitism’ witchhunt.  Those disobeying the Zionist gods will be suspended forthwith from the Labour Party.’

All those who believe in freedom of speech on Israel and Palestine and who reject the idea that we should not criticise Israeli Apartheid should sign. Starmer’s support for censorship on the question of Palestine, all in the name of combating ‘anti-Semitism’ stands in stark contrast to his refusal to discipline and remove from the Shadow Cabinet Rachel Reeves, a Labour MP who tweeted praising Nancy Astor, an MP who openly supported Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, whom she called ‘killers of christ’.  It seems that the only form of anti-Semitism that Keir Starmer has nothing to say about is the kind that consists of hostility to or hatred of Jews.  Strange that!
Tony Greenstein

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Peter Beinart’s Bombshell Decision to Abandon Support for a Jewish State in favour of a Single Democratic Binational State Shows that Zionism has lost the Political and Moral Argument

The Recognition by Liberal Zionism’s Apostle that Democracy and a Jewish State are Incompatible is a Breakthrough that cries of ‘anti-Semitism’ won’t silence


Peter Beinart is a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at City University, a former Editor of New Republic and the Editor-at-large of Jewish Currents. Beinart is at the heart of the liberal Zionist establishment in America. His recent support, in Jewish Currents, for a single binational state, not a Jewish state, has sent shock waves around the Zionist blogosphere.
Beinart argued in the New York Times that For decades I argued for separation between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, I can imagine a Jewish home in an equal state.’
Liberal Zionists have vented their fury with Beinart for this ‘treachery’. Beinart still considers himself a Zionist but is he?
Yitzhak Laor, Israel’s finest poet, wrote in ‘The Myths of Liberal Zionism’ that there never was such a creature as a liberal Zionist. Liberal Zionism is an oxymoron. It is like supporting a democratic dictatorship.  At least when Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister expresses his wish to create a Christian ethno-nationalist state he calls it for what it is – an ‘illiberal Christian democracy’.’
Zionism is based on creating a Jewish state in which the Palestinians are guests. Its intention, from the very beginning, was to exclude the indigenous population.  As Herzl wrote in his Diary
This is what a Jewish State results in
‘When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country.’ (Diaries pp. 88,90)
This was as much the policy of Labour Zionism as it was of the Revisionists. The only difference was that the latter were more honest. The Revisionists believed that only a policy of force, an Iron Wall would convince the Arabs that Zionism was here to stay. As Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote in his famous essay of the same name:
My readers have a general idea of the history of colonisation in other countries.  I suggest that they consider all the precedents with which they are acquainted, and see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonisation being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.
The liberal Zionists sought to cajole the Arabs, by guile and sweet honeyed words, that Zionism would benefit them but the reality was all too obvious. Wherever Jewish settlements were established, the Arab workers were expelled from the land rather than being re-employed as wage labour. As Tony Lerman wrote, Liberal Zionism’s only role is to act as a
‘fig leaf for the only Zionism that does have political agency today—right-wing, messianic, ethnonationalist settler Zionism—it’s positively harmful.’
Although Labour Zionism has almost died in Israel, it is alive and kicking in the British Labour Party where it is leading the McCarthyist anti-Semitism’ campaign, whose purpose is to demonise the critics of the State of Israel.
There have been predictable attacks on Beinart such as that of David Weinberg for whom Beinart is a ‘a shill for Israel’s enemies’, a ‘woke and deracinated American Jew’ whose concern for the Palestinians is akin to understanding Nazi SS stormtroopers!
Another leading Zionist who invoked the Nazi analogy is Alan Dershowitz, a right-wing American lawyer. Dershowitz’s thoughtful analysis in Newsweek was ‘Beinart's Final Solution: End Israel as Nation-State of the Jewish People’. The same Zionists who insist that any comparison between Israel and the Nazi state is anti-Semitic never hesitate to compare their enemies to the Nazis.
The reaction of ‘liberal’ Zionist Daniel Gordis, was little different. Gordis described Beinart as a traitor to the Jewish people’ for calling for an end to Israel as a Jewish state. Beinart's position is in line with many anti-Semites.’ Gordis asks rhetorically “Are you in the same camp as Ilhan Omar and in the same camp as Rashida Tlaib?" declaring that “if you are in that camp, then we should treat you the way we treat them...  we call you an “enemy” of our people.”
The Stab in the Back meme was used by German nationalists to portray Jews as disloyal and traitors - this is now used against Jewish anti-Zionists

Talk of ‘traitors’ and ‘enemies of the people’ is part of the lexicon of the far-Right yet it comes naturally to ‘liberal’ Zionism.
In End the Jewish State? Let’s try some honesty, first Gordis vents his anger. Beinart is accused of stringing together ‘an astonishing array of sleights of hand and misrepresentations’ Gordis speaks of ‘dozens of misrepresentations’ but thankfully spares us the detail.
He does though engage in a few sleights of hand himself, such as his assertion that ‘the miracle of Israel is that we no longer worry about annihilation’. Which is strange given Zionism’s weaponisation of the Holocaust. Idith Zertal wrote that there hasn’t been a war involving Israel ‘that has not been perceived, defined, and conceptualized in terms of the Holocaust.’ Israel has mobilised the Holocaust ‘in the service of Israeli politics.’ [Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood, p.4]
Begin described Yasser Arafat as Hitler in his bunker during the siege of Beirut. The examples of how the Holocaust informs Israel’s settler siege mentality are legion. Yet according to Gordis Israel is
a grand experiment in the cultural, intellectual, historical, linguistic and religious rebirth that can unfold when a people is restored, with sovereignty, to its ancestral homeland.’
Which is as good an example as any of the maxim that scratch a liberal Zionist and you will find the same old racist. Beinart’s heresy is that he ‘cares more about the future of the Palestinians than he does about the future of Judaism’s richness.’  Gordis ‘grand experiment’ is at the expense of 2 million Palestinians caged in Gaza and a military rule in the West Bank. The culture that Gordis speaks of exists on the back of torture, child imprisonment, settler violence and racism. This is the Liberal Zionism that Beinart has betrayed.

Israeli soldiers interacting in the West Bank last month with a Palestinian woman protesting the demolition of an unapproved animal shed.Credit...Abed Al Hashlamoun/EPA, via Shutterstock
Gordis’s final insult is that Beinart is ‘much more American than Jewish.  This really is a sin that cannot easily be washed away in the eyes of Zionism.  In Gerald Kaufmann’s phrase, Beinart is a ghetto, gutter Jew. He is part of Zionism’s despised Jewish Galut.
Beinart links the dehumanisation of the Palestinians to the way that Zionism has internalised and instrumentalised the Holocaust. The attribution of genocidal aspirations to the Palestinians is a latter day abuse of the Holocaust and a consequence of this dehumanisation. Beinart quotes Holocaust survivor Yehuda Elkana’s essay in Ha’aretz, The Need to Forget’ that relations with the Palestinians are mediated by ‘a particular interpretation of the lessons of the Holocaust’ which sees everyone as against us. Not only is it a lesson that is nationalistic and militaristic but it paints Zionism’s enemies as modern-day Nazis.
Beinart describes the results of Zionist colonisation but refrains from describing Zionism as a settler-colonial movement. Instead he describes the dehumanization of Palestinians as ‘a cancer’ which
‘not only turns Palestinians into Nazis, it turns anyone who takes up the Palestinian cause into a Nazi sympathizer, guilty of antisemitism until proven innocent.’
And now, as if on cue, Beinart himself has now attracted such accusations.
Thus the enmity of the Palestinians for Zionism has nothing to do with the actions of Israel. Rather the Palestinians are motivated by anti-Semitism. It is as if the Irish were motivated by racial hatred of the English rather than Drogheda and Bloody Sunday.
It was left to Gideon Levy to draw out the significance of Beinart’s conversion on the road to Damascus. American Jews, he wrote ‘are beginning, if belatedly, to take a clear-eyed look at Israel, its darling.’ American Jews have become increasingly disenchanted with an Israel which does things to Palestinians that they would call anti-Semitic if done to them. Beinart is the voice of an increasingly alienated American Jewish youth.
What has particularly angered liberal Zionists is that Beinart has belatedly recognised that the 2 state solution is dead. Levy describes it as a ‘delusional mirage. For 53 years there has been a single state here’ an ‘apartheid regime’. The fiction of 2 States and the ‘Peace Process’ has enabled Apartheid in the West Bank to be justified.

Alan Dershowitz
The blackmail used against a single state is the same as that which was employed in southern Africa, the settler fear that it would unleash a tidal wave of violence from their victims. Yet as Levy points out ‘when a government of equality is established’ then ‘all its inhabitants win freedom and can exercise their rights’. It is part of Zionism’s culture of violence against the Palestinians.
Jonathan Leiter writes that it’s likely that most liberal Zionists will continue to choose the path of denial’ referring to the major American Jewish Organisations. American Jewish groups are not going to fold because of Beinart’s insights yet nonetheless he has, like Tony Judt before him, challenged the basic premises of Zionism in a way that will resound with younger American Jews. Beinart has posed two very clear alternatives – a democratic or a racist, exclusivist Israel. Liberal Zionism has chosen the latter.

8 liberal Zionist Jewish organizations gave the game away when they declared that annexation would prove that the Israeli government no longer seeks a two-state solution, and that it has chosen a system of permanent repression and inequality over liberal democracy. Their complaint was based on the consequences for the Israeli state:
Such action will drive further the wedge between many American Jews and Israel. It would undercut the bipartisan nature of support for Israel in the United States and risk triggering serious international diplomatic consequences.
It is the attachment of liberal Zionists to ‘the peace process’ that has enabled Israel to consolidate its territorial gains. At least the right-wing Zionists were more honest. Leiter concludes by arguing that
‘The lack of a viable two-state solution does not mean that American Jews will stop believing in one. Political fictions of such existential importance take a long time to die.’
Just as there are some people who deny the Holocaust or who believe in a flat Earth there are those who will cling to the idea that an ethnic Jewish state can be democratic. Ideas persist beyond the material circumstances that gave birth to them. [see Marx and Engels. Selected Correspondence. p. 498]
Jonathan Cook describes the development of Beinart’s disenchantment with the Israeli state and how his rejection of the ‘most fundamental tenet of liberal Zionism’ the need for a Jewish state verges on the sacrilegious. Netanyahu’s annexation proposals ripped the ‘comfort blanket’ out of the liberal Zionist hands.
Cook quotes Ha'aretz’s Anshel Pfeffer its ‘in-house liberal Zionist’ who argues that Israel doesn’t need a moral narrative since its existence is one of pragmatism. This is a glaring admission that Zionism has lost the war of narratives. As Cook notes, the issue isn’t what Israeli Jews think but what Israel’s western sponsors demand.  
Like many Jews before him, Beinart has fallen out of love with Israel. A state based on a single ethnicity, especially one defined by religion, cannot be other than a racist state. Today India is becoming the new Hindu Israel. Beinart is aghast at what Israel has become and how it has transformed the Palestinians into the Jews’ historical enemy:
‘Through a historical sleight of hand that turns Palestinians into Nazis, fear of annihilation has come to define what it means to be an authentic Jew.’
Racist Comments by Israel's Chief Rabbis are two a penny
Israel, Beinart notes, views its relations with the Palestinians through a ‘Holocaust lens’. For example on the eve of the invasion of Lebanon, Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared that ‘The alternative to this is Treblinka’.
As Peter Novick and Norman Finkelstein have argued, the Holocaust has become the new Jewish religion. However it is a religion in the service of a state. Instead of drawing universal, anti-racist lessons from the Holocaust Zionism drew nationalistic conclusions. Racism was only wrong when Jews were the victims. Those Jews who rejected Zionism could not complain about anti-Semitism. One of the barbs thrown at anti-Zionist Jews is that by embracing the Arab ‘enemy’ they deserve to have been murdered by Hitler.
For Zionism anti-Semitism was the understandable reaction of non-Jews to the Jewish stranger in their midst. As Jacob Klatzkin, Editor of Die Welt,(1909-1911) explained:
 ‘If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-Semitism we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism... Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-Semites who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends, who desire to defend our rights.’
Zionism concluded that Jews must have their own militaristic state based on the same principles that led to the persecution of the Jews. Except that this time it wouldn’t be the Jews who were the victims. The opponents of that state, the Arabs, were cast as the new Nazis.
This was what Rabbi Kashtiel of the Bnei David pre-military training college argued

Some like Rabbis Kashtiel and Radler went so far as to conclude that Hitler was ‘100% correct’.  His only mistake was to choose the wrong target! In the hands of the Jews Hitler’s racist ideology would be correctly applied - to the Arabs. Kashtiel and Radler were ‘educators’ at the Bnei David military prep school and Eli Yeshivah, which is closely connected to Rafi Peretz, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs.
Netanyahu, with his address to the 2015 World Zionist Congress, exonerated Hitler claiming that it was the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem who was responsible for the Holocaust. According to Netanyahu, Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said 'If you expel them, they'll all come here (to Palestine).', Hitler then asked: "What should I do with them?" and the Mufti replied: "Burn them."
What a member of the fascist Lehava, which the new Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotoveli funded, proclaimed
Beinart describes the apartheid discrimination that Palestinians experience in the West Bank, complete with Jewish only roads and settlements. He also observes that the Green Line dividing pre-1967 Israel from the West Bank rarely appears on most Israeli maps and that with some 650,000 settlers colonising the West Bank and Jerusalem, there is now no possibility of a two-state solution. This is the background to the question which provides the theme to the essay,
‘whether the price of a state that favors Jews over Palestinians is too high. After all, it is human beings—all human beings—and not states that are created b’tselem Elohim, in the image of God.
Beinart declares that
It is time for liberal Zionists to abandon the goal of Jewish–Palestinian separation and embrace the goal of Jewish–Palestinian equality.
This is where Beinart effectively marks his break with Zionism, although he still doesn’t recognise the implications of what he is saying. It is a long-standing Zionist fiction that Israel can defy the laws of logic and be both a democratic and a Jewish state.
How can a state based on one religion not discriminate against those who are not of that religion? How can defining nationality on the basis of religion not be racist? Unfortunately Beinart does not ask these questions explicitly. He is an empirical non-Zionist. Beinart maintains the fiction that you can be a Zionist and support equality. The history of Israel proves otherwise.
In 1948 Israel solved its ‘demographic problem’, having too many Arabs in the Jewish state by the simple expedient of expelling them. In 1967 it was unable to expel the Palestinians of the West Bank although about 300,000 were expelled. Beinart fears, quite rightly, that annexation will provide the political opportunity for another mass expulsion and quotes Israel’s Democracy Institute that over half of Israeli Jews, in the event of Area C in the West Bank being annexed, favour the expulsion of its Palestinians. According to the IDI:
The Jewish public’s preferred solution for the Palestinians who live in Area C, in case it is annexed, is to transfer them to the areas under the Palestinian Authority’s control. The solution preferred by the Arabs is to grant full citizenship rights... 
Annexation is ‘a waystation on the road to hell.’ It is this which has led Beinart to the conclusion that a Jewish state cannot be other than a racist state. Beinart’s Zionist critics place the blame for the failure of the 2 State Solution squarely on the victims, the Palestinians as colonialism has always done. This is why those hoping for any major rupture inside the Zionist movement are likely to be disappointed.
Beinart has belatedly reached the same conclusion that increasing numbers of American Jews have reached. The only alternative to apartheid and ethnic cleansing is equality. It is this which drives his Zionist critics mad. To them, equality is genocide. The idea of a state with equal rights for all its inhabitants is anathema to Zionism because such a state cannot be a Jewish ethnic state. It is the death of a nation.
What particularly infuriates his liberal Zionist critics is that Beinart criticises Apartheid within 1948 Israel. He quotes the leader of the Joint List, Aymen Odeh, in which he describes a situation in which “700 Jewish towns and not a single Arab town” have been built in Israel since its founding. It is an abiding principle of the Zionist ‘left’ that pre-1967 Israel was a haven of equality. They forget that from 1948-1966 Israel’s Arabs lived under military rule.
Rabbi Dahan was Deputy Defence Minister in Netanyahu's 2015 Government
Beinart’s comparisons between Israel and Apartheid South Africa, breaks new ground for a liberal Zionist critique. Some Zionists will concede that the situation in the Occupied Territories is like Apartheid but they fiercely resist its application to pre-1967 Israel.
Despite its eloquent wording with its obscure Yavne metaphor, the essay is intellectually incoherent in one respect. Beinart still hesitates in cutting the umbilical chord to liberal Zionism. Beinart argues that embracing the goal of Jewish–Palestinian equality does not require abandoning Zionism and observes that when in 2018 the Knesset passed the Jewish Nation State Basic Law which determined that only Jews have the right to national self-determination in Israel, several 'members of the Joint List proposed an alternative, which affirmed “the principle of equal citizenship for every citizen.” The Zionist parties however rejected equality in favour of Jewish supremacy.
Dealing with the argument that hatred between Israeli Jews and Arabs is intractable, Beinart notes that the same excuse was used in respect of southern Africa: ‘progress often appears utopian before a movement for moral change gains traction.’ He observes that what lies behind such arguments is a dehumanisation of the colonised, otherwise ‘it would be obvious that they, too, prefer not to kill or be killed when they can achieve their rights in more peaceful ways.’
Despite making the comparison with post-Apartheid South Africa Beinart shies away from its example of a unitary non-racial state. Beinart argues that the ANC ‘never saw itself as representing a separate Black nation, but rather the South African nation.’ This is true but instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that Palestinians should include Israeli Jews under the umbrella of Palestinian nationhood, Beinart argues for a binational state.
Beinart attempts to rewrite the history of Zionism so as to suggest that at one time the Zionist movement was benevolent and inclusive, that it did not envisage statehood.  He argues that
‘the demand for a Jewish state did not define Zionism until the 1940s. This wasn’t only true for “cultural Zionists” like Ahad Ha’am. It was also true for “political Zionists” like Theodor Herzl, Leon Pinsker, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and even, for much of his life, David Ben-Gurion.’
This is simply not true. It is rewriting history. In 1896 Herzl published a short book, ‘The Jewish State’. Statehood was Herzl’s aim and he set about achieving this by attempting to secure the backing of the imperialist powers. Chaim Weizmann, the President of the Zionist Organisation declared, not in 1940 but at the 1919 Peace Conference that “the Zionist objective was gradually to make Palestine as Jewish as England was English”. That was why Ben-Gurion and the Zionist movement consistently opposed any democratic representative institutions in Palestine until they achieved a majority.
If the Zionists did not oppose a binational state until the 1940s why, from 1920 onwards did Histadrut, the Labour Zionist colonising agency, support a campaign of Jewish Labour and Jewish Land? In deliberately creating an Arab-free economy, Zionism was sowing the seeds of transfer.
When Beinart says that ‘The early Zionists were concerned, above all, with creating a place of Jewish refuge and rejuvenation.’ this again is untrue. Zionism’s goal was the preservation of the Jewish race/nation. Hence their hatred of assimilation which, according to former Education Minister Rafi Peretz “is like a second Holocaust.” Their chosen instrument was statehood.
Zionism never was a refugeeist organisation. Barely 1% of Jews fleeing the pogroms of Czarist Russia went to Palestine. In Palestine itself Arthur Ruppin and the Jewish Agency had a strict policy of selecting immigrants. Two thirds of Jews who wanted to immigrate to Palestine in the 1920s were denied certificates of entry.
Beinart is wrong to state that ‘it was the Holocaust that fundamentally transformed Jewish thinking about sovereignty’. The 1919 King-Crane Commission that Woodrow Wilson set up found that ‘the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.’ [Tom Suarez, ‘State of Terror – How terrorism created modern Israel’, p.44. In May 1911, Arthur Ruppin, the Director of the Palestine Office, ‘suggested in a letter to the Zionist executive a limited population transfer’ of Arabs dispossessed by Jewish land purchases to other lands near Aleppo and Homs.
Of course, whilst they were still a minority, the Zionists talked in euphemism’s about a ‘Jewish national home’ and more ambiguously a ‘Jewish Commonwealth’ but the idea of statehood was fixed from the very beginnings of Zionism.
At the Zionists’ Biltmore Conference in New York in May 1942 the demand was first made explicitly for a Jewish state. This was when the death mills of Auschwitz were in full operation. As Noah Lucas observed Ben Gurion was determined that
‘The forces unleashed by Hitler in all their horror must be harnessed to the advantage of Zionism. ... By the end of 1942… the struggle for a Jewish state became the primary concern of the movement.’
The Holocaust took second place to statehood. Ben-Gurion’s strategy was that
‘Disaster is strength if channelled to a productive course. The whole trick of Zionism is that it knows how to channel our disaster, not into despondency or degradation, as is the case in the Diaspora, but into a source of creativity and exploitation.’ [The Burning Ground, p. 853]
Beinart observes that the Zionist movement views activists who boycott Israel ‘as a greater threat to Jewish life than white supremacist politicians whose followers attack synagogues’ without reaching any conclusions as to the nature of Zionism itself.
Beinart instinctively grasps that Zionism cannot be reformed internally and that Israel is headed on a path that will lead to it becoming a pariah. However he still clings to the myths of Zionism and its origins. It is this which leads him to characterise the situation as a conflict of 2 people, to be solved by a binational state.
None of his Zionist critics comes to grip with Beinart’s arguments as to the consequence of Israel’s occupation. They prefer to attack the messenger. However a binational state would simply replicate the present problems of racism and segregation it would not overcome them. It would channel religious sectarianism into legal channels.
The only solution is on the lines of South Africa. A single unitary state enabled joint Black-White participation in political movements. That is what is necessary in a new Israel/Palestine. Jews and Arabs should be members of political parties because, like most of the world, they share the same political beliefs.  Their ethnicity or religion should be irrelevant but in a Jewish state or even a binational state you would have Jewish and non-Jewish parties.
The significance of Beinart’s article is considerable but lies not in terms of heralding a split in the American Zionist movement. What it does do is provide legitimation for the increasing number of Jews who have become disillusioned with Israel. It helps to bring the argument for de-Zionisation of Israel into the mainstream.
The same rules apply to Israeli society as any other class society. If you give power and privilege to one section of the population and base the very existence of the state on that section, don’t expect the outcome to be any different from that in any other racist states. As in Israel today, ruling elites will always deploy racism as a method of ensuring the loyalty of the masses.
Beinart’s analysis still shies away from understanding that Zionism was flawed from the outset, not simply in terms of the Palestinians but for Jews too.  Zionism began by an acceptance of anti-Semitism and this was its original sin, its mark of Cain.
Tony Greenstein


Sunday, 26 July 2020

Defending Free Speech on Palestine and Israel with Norman Finkelstein and Tariq Ali – Meeting Tuesday July 28th 7.00 p.m.

Why I Have Submitted a Complaint Against Keir Starmer to the Labour Party for his anti-Semitism and racist attacks on the Palestinians

Today we are witnessing a wholesale attack on Free Speech in the Labour Party by its new leader ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer. On 30th April Starmer reprimanded Dianne Abbot and Bell Ribeiro-Addy for speaking in the same zoom meeting as Jackie Walker and myself, two Jewish anti-Zionists!
On 24th June Starmer sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting Maxine Peake’s statement that American Police learnt the neck hold that killed George Floyd from the Israeli Police. This despite the abundant evidence that Israeli Police, who have trained hundreds of thousands of US Police, regularly use the neck hold.
More recently he removed Lloyd Russell-Moyle from the Shadow Cabinet for saying, in 2009, that Zionism was a nasty and dangerous form of nationalism.  A statement of the obvious.
Both Moyle and Bailey were expressing their opinions about Israel and Zionism. It had nothing to do with Jews, yet they were sacked.
Contrast this with Starmer’s toleration of Shadow Cabinet member Steve Reed’s use of the anti-Semitic term ‘puppet master’. As Tory MP Andrew Percy recognised
“Alluding to Jews as puppet-masters is an age old antisemitic trope and for a Shadow Cabinet member to use this trope is totally unacceptable. If Keir Starmer was serious about tackling antisemitism he would sack Steve Reed on the spot.’
Even worse was the tweet by Rachel Reeves, also a member of the Shadow Cabinet, in support of notorious Hitler lover, Nancy Astor.
Astor once told MP Alan Graham that "only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me". Astor also told US ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it would take much more than Hitler giving "a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before Britain entered the war.
Yet despite this Reeves has refused to delete the tweet. Starmer refused at the last National Executive Committee to even discuss the matter.
Skwawkbox's take on Starmer's attitude to Rachel Reeve's praise of a Nazi supporter 
Starmer’s toleration of anti-Semitism at the same time as he calls any support for the Palestinians or opposition to Zionism ‘anti-Semitic’ is unacceptable.
That is why the Campaign for Free Speech in the Labour Party is organising, next Tuesday, the second in a series of meetings as part of a campaign in defence of democratic rights and free speech in the Labour Party. It is unacceptable that anti-Semitism is now acceptable under Starmer whilst anti-Zionism is outlawed.  We refuse to accept that racists can determine who can and cannot speak on Israel and Zionism.
Steven Reed - used antisemitic trope 'puppet master'
We have 7 speakers (Ken Livingstone has been forced to pull out). Top of the bill is Jewish anti-Zionist Norman Finkelstein, author of the Holocaust Industry and a renowned academic. Finkelstein, both of whose parents were concentration camp survivors, has been a fierce critic of the fake Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party.
Tariq Ali, famous for his leadership of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign and a long standing Marxist, film maker and author will also be speaking.
Professor David Miller of Bristol University, co-author of Bad News for Labour, who was recently suspended under Starmer’s witchhunt and has now resigned from the Labour Party will also be speaking.  Also speaking is ChrisWilliamson, former MP for Derby North. In addition Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Marc Wadsworth, all of who were expelled from the Labour Party under the ‘anti-Semitism witchhunt will be speaking.
If you wish to attend, and places are limited, please register here.
Anti-Semitism Complaint Against Sir Keir Starmer MP and Rachel Reeves MP
Complaints
The Labour Party
Southside
105 Queen Victoria St,
London SW1E 6QT

Dear Sir or Madam,
I wish to submit a complaint against Keir Starmer, who is currently the leader of the Labour Party. When Starmer was elected as leader in April he promised to root out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Instead he has made it clear that not only is he happy to tolerate it but that he himself is anti-Semitic.
Instead Starmer has redefined anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism whilst giving a carte blanche for the Shadow Cabinet to repeat anti-Semitic tropes and praise notorious anti-Semites.
On 30th April Starmer’s reprimanded Dianne Abbot MP and Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP for breaching the McCarthyist 5th of the Board of Deputies’ 10 Commandments, which stipulates that members of the Labour Party must not speak on any platform with members suspended or expelled for ‘anti-Semitic incidents’. This was despite the fact that the 2 expelled members Abbot and Ribeiro-Addy spoke with, Jackie Walker and myself, are Jewish.
On 24th June Starmer sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting Maxine Peake’s statement that American Police learnt the neck hold that killed George Floyd from the Israeli Police. Starmer called this an ‘anti-Semitic trope’ despite the fact that the Anti-Defamation League, one of the main US Zionist groups openly boasted of arranging the training US Police forces by the Israeli Police.
Starmer obviously has difficulty understanding the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Even if the statement by Peake was wrong it clearly wasn’t anti-Semitic unless he considers Jews and Israel as being synonymous. If that is the case then Sir Keir is breaching the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism which states that: Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’ is anti-Semitic. Clearly Starmer is in need of anti-Zionist training as equating all British Jews with the Israeli state is anti-Semitic.
My complaint focuses however on Starmer’s toleration of anti-Semitism amongst members of the Shadow Cabinet and his own past record in protecting a prominent paedophile.
1.     Steve Reed, the Shadow Communities Secretary tweeted on 4th July a reference to Richard Desmond, who is Jewish, as a ‘puppet master’. ‘Puppet Master’ has been repeatedly used against George Soros and is associated with Jewish financiers pulling the strings behind the scenes. It is unacceptable to say, ‘Steve deleted the tweet and did not mean to cause any offence.’ An example should have been made of Reed.
2.     The other example of Starmer’s toleration of anti-Semitism is more serious. On 24th February Rachel Reeves tweeted a tribute to a Nazi supporter, Nancy Astor.  She once told MP Alan Graham that "only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me". Astor also told US ambassador Joseph Kennedy that it would take much more than Hitler giving "a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before Britain entered the war.
Despite this veneration of a Nazi Reeves has refused to delete or apologise for her tweet. Starmer, who promised to crack down on anti-Semitism, refused to dismiss Reeves from the Shadow Cabinet.  NEC member Lara McNeill asked Starmer “Are you going to continue to allow Rachel Reeves to serve after her campaign to erect a statue to Nancy Astor?” Starmer respondedI’m not going to discuss an individual member of cabinet on a zoom call”.
Clearly Starmer doesn’t know the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Even worse it would appear that he is sympathetic to anti-Semitism. The fact that the Board of Deputies and all the usual Zionist suspects have said nothing is irrelevant. Zionist groups have never had any problem with genuine anti-Semitism.
I am therefore calling for the immediate suspension of Starmer. In view of his egregious behaviour I am requesting that he is dealt with under the Labour Party’s fast-track procedures so that he can be expelled as quickly as possible. It is incredibly damaging for the Labour Party to have an anti-Semite as its leader.
Was Jimmy Saville Protected by Keir Starmer?
I also wish to raise the issue of Starmer’s behaviour with respect to the prominent paedophile and child rapist, Jimmy Saville. Starmer was the Director of Public Prosecutions who oversaw the decision not to prosecute Saville. In 2013 Starmer issued what was called a ‘personal apology’ for the failures of the Crown Prosecution Service whilst he was in charge. It is clear that there was a Police and CPS cover-up of Saville’s crimes and that Starmer was at least in part responsible.
Given the circumstances, the presence of Sir Keir as leader of the Labour Party can only be incredibly damaging. It sends a message that the Labour Party does not take rape or child sexual abuse seriously.
I look forward to your confirmation that Sir Keir Starmer has been suspended pending investigation and expulsion. I would hope that the previous leader, Jeremy Corbyn, would agree to take over as Labour’s caretaker leader. Clearly he cannot do worse than someone who, despite Britain having the highest European death rate from COVID-19, has not laid a glove on Boris Johnson.
I look forward to your reassurance that this matter is being dealt with expeditiously.
Yours faithfully,
Tony Greenstein