Saturday, 26 June 2021

Kim Bolton, Hove Labour Party's racist Chair, thinks nothing of using Jews as a political football in pursuit of her right-wing agenda

Bolton decided that debating a motion on Sanctions Against Israel would make Jews feel ‘unsafe and unwelcome’ –why should that be? Are they not British?



Soldiers enter Hebron homes at night, order to wake children, 24/02/15

Goldsmid and Hove Park branch of Hove and Portslade CLP passed the motion below at their meeting last week:

 “The Hove and Portslade CLP call upon the leader of the Labour Party and the Shadow Foreign Secretary to strongly urge the government to (1) Call on the Israeli government for an end to its violation of the human rights of Palestinians and for an end to the illegal occupation of the Gaza strip and the West Bank (2) Impose legal sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, and, in particular, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements”

Support for Sanctions against Israel, as with South Africa in a previous era, is hardly controversial in the Labour Party. A survey by You Gov in March 2021 found that 61% of Labour members support BDS against Israel against only 8% opposed to it. (even if the Survey Questionnaire called it ‘Boycott, Diversity and Sanctions’ movement)

The faces of the child victims of Israel's latest attack on Gaza - American Zionist leader Abe Foxman accused the NYT of a 'blood libel'  i.e. anti-Semitism

Even Keir Starmer, Labour’s Zionist leader without qualification’, as far as I know, hasn’t claimed that 61% of Labour Party members are anti-Semitic. Perhaps the purge is about to take on new dimensions.

In the normal course of events democracy would take its course and the motion would have been discussed at the next General Committee of Hove Labour Party. However, led by their pro-privatisation MP Peter Kyle, the Zionists immediately sought to stop the motion from even being discussed.

Peter Kyle is also Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel which, as Al Jazeera’s documentary The Lobby demonstrated, is both funded and controlled by the Israeli Embassy.

The child victims whose murder Kim Bolton is defending

The Political Education Officer of Hove is Jon Pike, a Zionist fanatic and member of Engage, a group formed directly as a result of the Association of University Teachers (UCU) supporting the Academic Boycott in 2005.

One of the characteristic features that distinguishes the Left from Right in the Labour Party is their attitude to democracy. I know of no example where the Left has banned the Right from moving a motion.

What we are seeing, both locally and nationally in the Labour Party, is an attempt by the Right to clamp down on all discussion and debate. And always the excuse is... the Jews!! We have become the Right’s political football, pawns on their chessboard.

This is what Kim Bolton & Peter Kyle MP are defending

In Israel the Police use tear gas, water cannon, bullets and batons against government opponents if they are Palestinians. Palestinians cannot demonstrate without the dogs of war being let loose upon them. 3 worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque lost an eye when the Israeli police invaded firing sponge tipped bullets directly at them.

The Labour Right don’t shoot their opponents, at least not yet. They simply forbid the discussion of certain topics. They even outlaw motions calling for freedom of speech! Regional Officials literally pull the plug on zoom meetings they don’t like. You might remember the days when they called us ‘conspiracy theorists’ for suggesting that ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations were really about Israel.

This is what Bolton & Kyle are defending

Kim Bolton’s Outlawing of Discussion of BDS on the grounds of ‘Anti-Semitism’ is itself Anti-Semitic

Kim Bolton prevented the Goldsmid resolution from even being discussed. In the Executive Committee minutes it states:

"“As CLP chair , on the advise (sic!) of Scott Horner , Labour South East officer, I rule the motion on Sanctions Against Israel out of order

Scott’s email stated

“While we encourage comradely debate, I feel that this discussion would act as a flashpoint for the expression of views that would undermine the Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular Jewish Members.” (my emphasis)

I support that view. The motion from Goldsmid and Hove Park branch requesting Sanctions against Israel risks opening a debate that will stir up internal conflict in our CLP and may lead to further anti-Semitic behaviour. At a branch level it maybe a safe space can be created to debate this motion.

That will not be the same in the CLP GC meeting"

Another casualty of Israel's 'right of self defence' which Bolton & Kyle are defending

Exceptionalising Jews in this way as especially vulnerable if Israeli war-crimes are debated (has this ever been applied to resolutions on other oppressive states?) is clearly and obviously anti-Semitic. It assumes that Jews form one monolithic bloc. That Jews all think the same way when it comes to Israel. This is the continuation of the idea of the ‘wrong sort of Jew’.

But of course it’s not about Jews at all. It’s about British foreign policy in the Middle East which is based on Israel’s role as a strategic watchdog and its industrial-military complex

How you might ask does a resolution calling for sanctions against Israel make Jewish people in Britain feel unsafe? In The Attitudes of British Jews to Israel survey in 2015 of British Jews and their views on sanctions against Israel, 24% supported sanctions and 66% were opposed. But amongst secular Jews this rose to 40% and amongst under 30s support for sanctions was 41%.

Palestinians also face repression from Israel's subcontractor - the Palestinian Authority

So the reactionary non-Jew Kim Bolton decided that she knows better than British Jews themselves what is and is not anti-Semitic. Some might say that this kind of arrogance is, in itself, a demonstration of racial supremacy.

According to the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism that was foisted on the Labour Party, ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel’ is anti-Semitic. That is the one of the few things in the IHRA we can agree on.

It therefore follows that saying that Jews will suffer from some kind of trauma if sanctions against Israel is discussed assumes that they bear some responsibility for what Israel does. Bolton is hoist by her own petard.

Minutes of Hove CLP's Executive Committee

If Bolton had any integrity or honesty she would resign forthwith along with the rest of her Executive Committee. But in the present purge, when lies and dissembling become the new truth, integrity and honesty among Labour’s Right is as rare as snow in the Sahara.

Bolton and Scott Horner are also anti-Semitic for assuming that Jews, are uniquely incapable of debating the question of Israel rationally. What is shocking is how Jews are treated by the Right as their moral alibi. This is how Jews were used by French colonialism as intermediaries and scapegoats in Algeria.

Members of Hove Labour Party's Executive Committee

Imagine that there was a debate on Northern Ireland becoming part of a United Ireland. Northern Ireland was a Protestant Supremacist State just as Israel is a Jewish Supremacist State (see the recent B’Tselem Report). Would anyone rule out the motion on the grounds it would offend Protestants? So why the pretence that Jews would be offended if sanctions aganst Israel were discussed.

The real question is what have Bolton and Kyle got to hide?  And the answer is, of course, quite a lot. How do you defend the military arresting, blindfolding and beating, in the middle of the night, children as young as 12? You don’t. You cry ‘anti-Semitism’.

Both B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have this year described the Israeli regime as one of Apartheid. Imagine 30 years ago a motion calling for sanctions on South Africa being ruled out of order because White people might be offended.

The racist Right, not just in Britain but in Germany too, carry around with them guilt about their role in the holocaust. They relieve their consciences on the backs of the Palestinians who are caricatured as the new Nazis.

In Germany Alternative for Germany, a far-Right party which contains neo-Nazis, pushed for legislation making BDS illegal. Whilst many of their members deny the holocaust altogether it nonetheless describes itself as ‘Israel’s one true friend in parliament’. I have no doubt that Kim Bolton would find a home in the AfD!

Jews today are seen as a stand-in for the holocaust dead, whereas the truth is that to most Jews the holocaust is a memory kept alive by the way Zionism uses it politically as a justification for its war against the Palestinians.

Scott Horner - Labour's racist Regional Organiser

If Labour was a democratic party Horner would be dismissed. Hove Labour Party members should take steps to remove an open racist from being Chair. I was told by one member that:

Goldsmid and Hove Park Labour Party branch discussed a motion calling for the Israeli government to end its violation of the human rights of Palestinians. 

After a good and healthy discussion it passed with a huge majority. 

As a result Labour Party rules mean the motion should go to the General Committee of the Hove and Portslade Labour Party for members to discuss and vote upon. 

The CLP Chair (Kim Bolton) ruled that members are not even allowed to discuss this motion. Regional Labour Party backed up Kim Bolton. 

What a sad day for “democracy” in the Labour Party. 

Kim Bolton was also the chair of the November 2020 meeting of Hove Labour Party where she took the decision to ban a resolution of the Unite SE/6246 branch calling for the reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn. Bolton simply left it off the agenda and didn’t bother to inform members that such a resolution existed. When challenged by Unite delegate Ben Armstrong, she then explained why she had not tabled the motion as part of the agenda. It was not ‘competent’.

The decision of Bolton was later condemned unanimously by Brighton and Hove Trades Union Council at its 2021 A.G.M which demanded free speech for trade unionists.

The excuse given by David Evans, the unelected General Secretary of the party, for ruling that motions supporting Corbyn are ‘non-competent’ was that Jews might be offended! The assumption that Jews are all right-wing bigots in hoc to nonentities like Evans (who previously suggested that the Labour Party should dispense with members and simply have supporters) is also anti-Semitic.

Those of us with longer memories in Brighton and Hove remember Jewish councillors like the late Jo Townshend who considered himself anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionism has always been strong amongst Jewish socialists in the Labour Party. Supporters of Poale Zion (JLM) have always been in a minority for the simple reason that if you are a Jewish racist the Tory Party is your natural home.

The video below shows the routine search, in the early hours of the morning, of a Palestinian home. This happens to thousands of Palestinians each year. They have no recourse against this behaviour. Children are expected to get out of bed. This is what is called a ‘training’ exercise whose sole purpose is to intimidate the population.

The idea that Jews will be upset by criticism of such behaviour is anti-Semitic. If there are some Jews who are upset by exposure of Israel’s war crimes, so what? They deserve to be offended and left to ask simple questions such as whether they would like it if they and their families were subject to such behaviour.

Today the majority of Jews in Britain are right-wing and pro-Zionist. That is why they voted for the Tory Party by large majorities even before Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

Under Ed Miliband, Labour’s first Jewish leader, 69% of British Jews voted Tory and only 22% Labour. That reflects the fact that British Jews are overwhelmingly White, prosperous and privileged.


Soldiers enter Hebron homes at night, photograph kids, 24/02/15

The documentation of Israeli human rights abuses is commonplace today. The idea that Jews will be upset by such discussion suggests that Jews are especially fragile. See for example the latest Amnesty Report in the Guardian.

Streatham Labour Party, which is controlled by the right wing, unanimously passed last Thursday a resolution supporting sanctions on Israel. The All Member Meeting was attended by over 250 members. Even this group of Starmer loyalists realised that Labour can’t abstain from calling for justice and peace in Palestine.

Perhaps there are no Jews in Streatham?  Or maybe they are made of sterner stuff?  Who knows but I haven’t heard of any Jews fleeing Streatham in terror!

 Streatham AMM welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Palestine/Israel and a halt to the deaths of civilians

This AMM notes that the ceasefire does not address the incidents that triggered the recent round of fighting and the serious underlying issues it revealed.

1.       The attempted seizure of Palestinian homes in Shaikh Jarrah by militant Israeli settler organisations while Palestinians are denied rights to tier property seized by Israel following the Nakba

2.       The attack on rights to religious observance by assaults on worshippers in the Al Aqsa mosque

3.       The intimidation of Palestinians by denial of the right to assemble in the open space by the Damascus Gate

4.       The deep and pervasive inequality in ‘48 Israel that led to unprecedented uprisings in the Al Aqsa Damascus Gate, and the the deep and pervasive inequality in ‘48 Lydd, Yafa and other ‘mixed cities’

5.       The failure of Israeli Police to defend Palestinian citizens of Israel against violent assault by ultra-right-wing Jewish mobs.

6.       The continuing immiseration caused by the blockade of Gaza and the intensification of misery resulting from the destruction of so much property and infrastructure by the recent bombardment

This AMM believes that progress can only result from negotiations but that negotiations in good faith will not happen while Israel feels it has external support from Europe and the US for its intransigence.

Consequently this AMM proposes that the Labour leadership put pressure on Israel to negotiate a settlement that enshrines the rights of Palestinians in Israel, the Occupied territories and the diaspora as well as the rights of Jewish Israelis to a peaceful life whether through one-state, two-state or any other arrangement. The leadership should:

1.       Support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

2.       Call for the end of arms sales to and from Israel

3.       Support the ICC in investigating war crimes by all parties in the conflict.

4.       Demand an immediate end to the settlement programme

5.       Support Palestinians who are seeking immediate free and fair elections to the Palestinian Authority

There are a couple of other articles on the racist activity of Bolton and Horner. There is a short report in Skwawkbox and an article by Asa Winstanley Labour bans Israel sanctions debate on Electronic Intifada which points out that it was Hove CLP that in 2019 proposed a landmark motion on Palestine to Labour Party conference, which passed almost unanimously.

Asa also quoted Becky Massey, a former member of Hove CLP, who was expelled from Labour after the Board of Deputies of British Jews – a pro-Israel lobby group – sent the party a hit list of activists. The Board demanded that she be kicked out of Labour. Now some would say that the BOD, by calling for the expulsion of left activists on behalf of all Jews is doing its best to promote anti-Semitism.

Tony Greenstein

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