31 October 2021

Stan Keable’s Victory is Not Enough – UNISON Must Answer for Why They Supported the Employer and not its Member

Steve Terry, UNISON's Scab Official, Must Be Dismissed 4 Refusing to Support a Worker's Right to Free Speech 

On 26 March 2018 the Board of Deputies held a demonstration outside Parliament to protest about Labour ‘anti-Semitism’. Jewish Voice for Labour organised a counter demonstration.

Stan Keable was one of those who protested against the Zionist ‘anti-racist’ demonstration. A demonstration which included those well known anti-racists Norman Tebbit, Ian Paisley and Sajid David.

The Evening Standard article that set the ball rolling

In its 260 year history the Board has never held an anti-racist demonstration. Not against Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists, not against the National Front or any other fascist or anti-Semitic group. In October 1936 the Board told Jewish people not to demonstrate against the fascists.

In the course of a conversation Stan mentioned the fact that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. Stan also said that anti-Semitism was not the  sole cause of the holocaust. This too is true. There have been many anti-Semitic regimes but only one led to mass genocide. 

BBC 2 Newsnight ‘journalist’ David Grossman was covertly filming the exchange and he uploaded it to Twitter where it was seen by Greg Hands MP who retweeted it to the leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Stephen Cowan.

Steve Cowan - Hammermith & Fulham's right-wing leader

On 27 March Cowan sent an email to Council officials including Mark Grimley, the Council’s Director of Corporate Services “LBFH employee Stan Keeble making anti-Semitic comments.” Cowan stated that:

“I’ll let Mr Keeble’s words speak for themselves. I believe he has brought the good name of LBFH into disrepute and committed gross misconduct. Please have this looked at immediately and act accordingly and with expediency... Please advise me at your earliest opportunity what action you have taken.”

Stan was immediately suspended and the suspension letter informed him that:

“ .. The following serious allegation(s) which, if substantiated could constitute gross misconduct … (1) that you made inappropriate comments which have subsequently been circulated on social media which are deemed to be insensitive and likely to be considered offensive …; (2) that these comments have the potential to bring the council into disrepute.”

An ‘investigation’ was carried out by Peter Smith, Hammersmith's Head of Policy and Strategy. The bias of the Report can be judged by the following:

Zionism is not a religion, although it is closely related to Judaism, but it is a belief in the right of the Jewish people to have a nation state in the ‘Holy Land’, their original homeland.

Apparently the ‘Holy Land’ is my original homeland, itself an example of anti-Semitism! Smith held that Stan’s comments, 

‘that the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis and that Zionists accept that Jews are not acceptable here, do not promote inclusion nor treat everyone with dignity and respect.’ 


In other words you can’t say anything which might possibly offend anyone. Hammersmith’s ‘Equality’ policies were used to attack freedom of speech. To Smith freedom of speech was meaningless. 

As Orwell observed, ‘If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”. Smith concluded: 

It is my belief that in attending the counter demonstration at Westminster on 26th March and in making the comments that subsequently appeared on social media, Mr Keable has failed to avoid any conduct outside of work which may discredit himself and the Council.’

Smith went on to say that

That, in attending a counter demonstration... on the 26th March 2018, Stan Keable knowingly increased the possibility of being challenged about his views and subsequently proceeded to express views that were in breach of the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and the Council’s Code of Conduct.’

Not only had Smith driven a coach and horses through Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights on free speech, but he had abolished Article 11 on freedom of assembly and association. Not bad for an Equalities policy!

The Disciplinary Hearing was chaired by the Director of the Council’s Residents Service, Mr Austin. There was never a chance that Austin was going to contradict the express wishes of the Leader of the Council and Stan was duly fired.

I represented Stan at the hearing being an accredited Brighton & Hove UNISON steward. Of course this was unsatisfactory. Stan should have been represented by a UNISON official. That's what they are paid to do. Stan was a member of UNISON and was entitled to representation.

Steve Terry - full-time UNISON official - in any other job he would have been given his cards since he is clearly incompetent

However the London Regional Official, Stephen Terry was also a right-wing member of Progress as well as Chief Whip on Waltham Forest District Council.

When I rang Terry he made it clear that he did not understand the concept of freedom of speech when it contradicted his own views. His recommendation was that Stan should apologise and plead guilty. When I pointed out that he had done nothing wrong, Terry became confused and garbled.

Terry made it crystal clear that he would give Stan no support. He would attend the disciplinary but say nothing, thus making it clear that UNISON didn’t support him! Needless to say his kind offer wasn’t accepted since it would have made Stan’s position worse.

On 8 May 2018 Terry wrote to Stan outlining his position:

The course that you should take is to indicate that you regret any offence caused by your remarks and plead mitigating circumstances, relying on your unblemished record in relation to conduct to receive a sanction short of dismissal. ... You have decided both not to follow my advice and to appoint another representative.... UNISON regrettably is no longer able to provide you with advice and/or assistance in this matter.

Thus this scab official washed his hands of Stan’s case. Terry was supporting the employer’s attack on a worker’s right to freedom of speech. On 23 May Stan made a complaint to UNISON:

At my case meeting with Steve Terry on April 27th, he made it clear that he did not support my case: that I should plead guilty as charged; that I should not have attended the March 26 demonstration; that I should apologise for the political views I expressed; and that I should promise not to attend controversial demonstrations and should avoid expressing my political views in future. 

He also gave me an ultimatum if I did not follow his bad advice: either Unison support would be withdrawn forthwith, or he was willing to attend my disciplinary hearing as a silent Unison rep while I presented my own case - which obviously would have shown the employer that Unison did not support my case.

On 29 May Beth Bickerstaffe, Director of the Executive Office, wrote back. Beth who? Yes that’s right. Beth is the daughter-in-law of former General Secretary Rodney Bickerstaffe! UNISON at heart is a family affair and they like to keep the best paid jobs in the family.

Of course there was little point in Stan writing to one official to complain about another official since the whole point of the Complaints system is to enable officials to complain about members, not the other way around. Beth did what comes naturally to her and rejected Stan’s complaint, writing:

You were provided with advice and offered representation by UNISON but you did not agree with the advice, decided not to accept it and appointed a different representative to Mr Terry. This is a choice that you are free to make. However, the union’s rules are clear that in those circumstances it will withdraw from acting for you.

Given that you decided both to take a different route from the one advised and appointed an external representative the union has made it clear to you that it is unable to act for you and it will not therefore be seeking legal advice about your dismissal.

Beth explained that ‘normally’ UNISON does not use solicitors in disciplinary matters because ‘Regional Organisers use their knowledge and experience’ to advise members. As can be seen from the decision of both the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Terry’s advice was wrong.

Picket Outside UNISON against naked union electoral corruption

This miserable bureaucrat didn’t bother to consider that Terry’s advice was wrong. After all UNISON’s primary purpose in her eyes was to provide a safe and secure environment for its officials. Questioning their judgement does not come within her remit. The idea of a second opinion, as Stan requested was simply ignored.

I have some experience of Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal having spent well over a decade defending workers in them. I appeared 5 times before the EAT and was successful in all 5, see for example Lucas v Chichester Diocesan Housing Association, an early whistleblowing case.

Any union adviser worth their salt would have realised at once that when issues arise concerning the interplay of the Human Rights Act with Employment Law then full-time officials will be out of their depth. Discrimination law can be extremely complex which is one reason why success in discrimination cases is less than half that in unfair dismissal cases.

When Stan was dismissed he appealed against the decision. London regional UNISON then set about ensuring that I was not able to represent Stan at the appeal hearing as is evident from para. 82 of the Employment Tribunal decision.

UNISON officials were determined not to give Stan Keable any support whatsoever. Now that the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled in Stan’s favour (see here for the full judgment) it is to be hoped that finally UNISON admits their culpability and makes amends.

The Zionist Demonstration in Favour of Racism

UNISON has a left-wing Executive for the first time so one hopes that they make amends by paying Stan’s lawyers. Although they acted pro bono there was no reason why they should have had to. UNISON should agree, as a rich union, to make an ex gratia payment to both Iqbal Sram, the lawyer at the Employment Tribunal and Dave Renton, the barrister at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

But the matter does not rest there. I reported extensively on the case and on UNISON’s abysmal failures. See here, here, here, here and here. Now there is no greater crime in UNISON’s rule book than criticism of an official by a member. It is a hanging offence. The union is there to protect its officials and their perks from its members, not the other way around as some misguided people believe.

The useless official who conducted the investigation

So, quite understandably in the circumstances, an investigation was launched into my conduct conducted by UNISON’s South-East official Tony Jones, also a right-wing councillor and Gail Adams. The only time I had seen Jones in over 20 years was when he came to a branch meeting to defend calling off industrial action. It had become too successful and Prentis, UNISON’s corrupt General Secretary, wanted out.

You can read the whole investigation interview here or you can listen to the tape of the interview here.

Mark Fischer

Unsurprisingly the investigation did not go in my favour and a disciplinary hearing was conducted by Mark Fischer, a member of UNISON’s Executive and a Prentis loyalist. Fischer's only concern was protecting Terry. The fact that a worker had been stabbed in the back was of no consequence. This is the mindset of UNISON’s officials.

Fischer took care not to have the hearing recorded and insisted on my phone and that of my silent witness, Bill North, being handed in. However I had anticipated such a move and I had taken care to conceal another recorder on my person which you can listen to here!

Difficult as it is to believe, Ferncombe is as thick as she looks!  However that is NOT a disadvantage amongst UNISON officials.  Indeed some might say it is a positive advantage

What made the hearing unfair was that the complaint against me was made by Maggie Ferncombe, London Regional Secretary. This presented me with a problem since the person who I had allegedly intimidated and reduced to a gibbering wreck, Steve Terry, was not available for cross-examination. I had apparently humiliated him but he was not giving evidence. Anyone who was fair minded would have dismissed the case but Fischer was a rubber stamp not an impartial arbiter. The relevant part of the cross-examination is below, although you can look at the full transcript here or here:

Imagine that in a court of law, you are accused of harassing someone but it’s not that person who gives evidence but someone who talked to him. This is UNISON’s idea of justice. The relevant part of my cross-examination was as follows:

TG: [54:00] You made the complaint about me?

MF: I did

TG: ... and yet the obvious thing would have been for him to have made the complaint. Would it not?

MF: I can’t speak for Steve.

TG: But you spoke to him.

MF: I can’t speak for Steve whether it’s obvious or not for him to make a complaint. What I can say is that Steve raised it with me because of the subject matter. He believed that it was an issue that I needed to be aware of... because we must be prepared to have a response. He raised it with me and I then read your blog and once I had read your blog that is when I decided I would make a complaint.

TG: Can you enlighten us as to why he did not make a complaint?

MF: I don’t know.

TG: You spoke to him but you have no idea why, you did not ask him?

MF: No.

TG: You weren’t interested?

MF: No.

TG: You did not invite him to make a complaint?

MF: No

TG: You did not think it was necessary for him to make a complaint?

MF: I think that was down to the member of staff (TG: clearly) I took my responsibilities as a senior manager of the region to determine that I didn’t think this was appropriate, I thought it was outside of our norms fact

TG: I realise that

MF: and I took the decision to make the complaint. And in fact I informed Steve that I had made the complaint.

TG: But Steve had the right to make the complaint if he was aggrieved. Did he not?

MF: All members of staff have the right to make a complaint.

TG: So you have no idea, on the basis of your relationship with him, why he chose not to make a complaint?

MF: (after some considerable delay) I can only say that it is highly highly unusual in my experience for a member of staff to make a complaint about a member.

TG: Well maybe this case is maybe highly unusual so it wouldn’t be exceptional?

MF: I can’t speak for Steve.

TG: What was the nature of your conversation with ST?

MF: I just explained that he said that there was an issue that was happening in that particular branch, regarding a member and that he was going to be advising and that he thought that I needed to be aware of it on the basis that it might attract interest from the press and therefore we might be contacted ...

TG: The charges against me today are ... that I was disrespectful, intimidating, I exposed him to ridicule, embarrassment and contempt and it violated his dignity. If we go through those. Did he say that I disrespected him?

MF: I did not have a great deal of conversation regarding how Steve felt regarding the blog at all.

TG: So you weren’t curious as to how he felt?

MF: Steve didn’t offer how he felt when I had a conversation with him. Steve offered that there was an issue I needed to be aware of in one of our branches that I would need to be prepared for should the media decide to

TG: Sorry he didn’t come to you and say ‘I’m feeling intimidated as a result of the behaviour of Mr Greenstein?’

MF: No.

TG: Did he say that he felt ridiculed or embarrassed or felt that I held him in contempt?

MF: No.

TG: Did he say that I had violated his dignity?

MF: No.

TG: So would you agree that these charges are entirely speculative? That they have no basis or foundation and are not the subject of an allegation.

MF: No, I don’t agree with that.

TG: But nonetheless he did not make any complaint as to this nature did he?

MF: No but the charges talk about conduct which may and I believe your conduct

TG: So it may have exposed him but there is no evidence to suggest that it did expose him

MF: Well I haven’t really done an investigation into what...

Mark Fischer, was not happy with my cross-examination. His favourite phrase was ‘Let’s stick to the facts.’ On one occasion I responded that ‘Well I’m giving you the facts. You may not like them but I can’t give you any others!’

The recommendation was that I be suspended for 3 years with a loss of membership rights. Short of expulsion this was the maximum penalty. The Jewish Chronicle naturally crowed about the decision.

Racist, corrupt, machievellian and not very bright - what is there not to like about John Stolliday?

On 4 December I received a letter from John Stolliday, Head of UNISON’s Members Liaison Unit, informing me of the date of the hearing, 16 December 2019. I rubbed my eyes and wondered if I had mixed up my correspondence. In March 2016 I had received another letter of suspension from Stolliday suspending me from the Labour Party!

This racist, corrupt bureaucrat (see here) who was quoted as saying that ‘Letting members have a say is the worst thing that happened to the Labour Party’. (p.112) and referring to Ed Miliband by his nose (‘beaker’) had been hired by Prentis. Clearly his attitude to UNISON members is no different to his attitude to Labour Party members.

One thing is certain -  Dave Prentis owed a lot to Linda Perks.  When she retired, Prentis wasn't far behind

Mark Fischer pretended that my case was all about my having broken the rules.  Yet Linda Perks above, flagrantly broke union election regulations on behalf of UNISON's corrupt General Secretary Dave Prentis. Her reward?  She was promoted!!!

Because the appeal hearing was not heard until over a year later I applied for an injunction from the High Court to prevent the hearing but this was unsuccessful. However I refused to pay the £4,000 costs which were awarded against me!

For UNISON's full-time officials corruption is a way of life.  Those who are honest tend not to last too long

At the Appeal hearing I applied to have an email of 18 May 2018 from Beth Bickerstaffe admitted. I had made a complaint against Terry in respect of his treatment of Stan Keable but Bickerstaffe had refused to accept my complaint because only the member himself could complain. My application to admit her email was refused. In her email Bickerstaffe had written that:

‘In your letter you seek to make a complaint against Steve Terry in relation to his handling of another member’s case. Should that member want to raise a complaint he may do so under our published procedures.

In other words I was not allowed to make a complaint about another member but Maggie Ferncombe was allowed to make a complaint on behalf of Terry. It was one rule for an official and another for a member. It was clear that the hearing was going to be a formality and I walked out since it would have been a waste of my time.

Although he purported to support Corbyn, Prentis was in league with the Jewish Labour Movement's Adam Langleben

On 17 December I received a letter informing me that the decision to suspend me for 3 years had been upheld. I promptly resigned and joined UNITE. It was with regret that I was no longer a member of the Brighton and Hove UNISON branch but I had no choice.

Now that the Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld the decision of the Employment Tribunal that Stan Keable was unfairly dismissed it is time for UNISON to revisit the refusal of Stephen Terry to support the right of a member to exercise free speech.

The continuation in employment of a scab official, Stephen Terry, is a disgrace and a stain on UNISON.  It is one that needs to be speedily remedied.

Tony Greenstein

28 October 2021

Report on Picket of Julian Assange Extradition Hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice


There is Only One Decision – No Extradition chanted the crowd and the Judge in the crowd.  However extradition is a real possibility unfortunately. There was a crowd of a few hundred.  I noticed that there were no members of the usual left groups like the Socialist Workers Party present. I guess there were no recruits in it.

There were also no Labour MPs present – no Jeremy Corbyn, no John McDonnell – indeed none of the spineless Socialist Campaign Group. There was no Labour Party presence, no Momentum but there were still activists who care about freedom of the press and lots of journalists though what makes it into the press remains to be seen.

In the picture above, the man with the peaked cap is 84 year old  Stephen Kapos, a survivor of the Budapest Ghetto that the Hungarian Nazis, the Arrow Cross/Nyilas set up in November 1944. Stephen is a holocaust survivor  as well as being a member of Camden Momentum.

Stephen must be a tempting choice for Herr Sturmer to expel from the Labour Party.  Not only is he Jewish but he got away from the death camps.  Herr Sturmer hopes to succeed where the Nazis failed.

Credit must go to Chris Williamson who did attend the picket, travelling down early from Derby at some expense.  Julian’s father John Shipton was also there.

We have seen how the Guardian, having benefitted from Julian’s work abandoned him and yellow gutter journalists like Luke Harding deliberately lied about him.

Anyway here is a video of the proceedings and some photos.

Tony Greenstein 

27 October 2021

Blaming the Victims of Racism & Exonerating the Perpetrators - The Upside Down World of David Renton

 Book Review – Labour’s Anti-Semitism Crisis

What the Left Got Wrong and How to Learn From It

David Renton

Routledge, Oxon, 2022

I have emailed David Renton, challenging him to debate the conclusions in his book, but for some reason he hasn't responded!  You could try reminding him on  please be polite.

It is an iron rule which allows few exceptions, that those who leave the SWP drift to the right. Dave Renton is no exception.

Renton joined the SWP in 1991, leaving in 2003 only to rejoin in 2008. In 2013 he left the SWP because of the rape scandal.[i]

The details of this scandal are well known. A woman who alleged that she had been raped appeared before the SWP’s Disputes Committee, which consisted of friends of the alleged rapist, National Secretary Martin Smith. Smith was cleared of all the allegations. Instead, it was the victim who was pilloried and questioned about her sexual history and drinking habits. A second woman who supported her was harassed and suspended. The victim herself wasn’t even allowed to attend the conference called to discuss the matter.

Dave Renton has written movingly of his experiences in the SWP and about what happened in 2012/13.[ii] Together with others, he formed RS21.

Renton’s book makes it clear, though, that he has abandoned any form of Marxist or class politics in favour of a subjective identity politics which divorces the politics of race from class.

Renton, as his Wiki[iii] biography makes clear, was a prolific author of books on anti-fascism, racism and Marxism. He wasn’t a run of the mill member of the SWP whose political consciousness is low and confined to sloganeering activism. Possibly his weak point was an understanding of imperialism but the question I ask myself is how can he have been so comprehensively fooled by the false and confected ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign into believing that anti-Semitism was a genuine problem in the Labour Party?

How can Renton have got into bed with Stephen Pollard, the foul neo-liberal editor of the Jewish Chronicle who was a founder member of the Henry Jackson Society? This society’s membership includes Douglas Murray and others who support White Replacement Theory. It is genuinely and overtly racist, representing the far Right of the British Establishment – people like Islamaphobe Baroness Cox.

Does Renton really believe that someone like Pollard is genuinely interested in fighting anti-Semitism as opposed to tarring anti-racists with that brush? Renton’s Damascene conversion to the Right (because that is what it is) is a mystery. In the absence of a cogent explanation I can only explain it as being a return to his class origins.

By his own admission, Renton’s political sympathies during the anti-Semitism witchhunt were with Jon Lansman, a figure who, more than any other, bears responsibility for the defeat of the Corbyn project.

Not once does Renton entertain the idea that Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis might have been manufactured, confected and weaponised in order to remove Corbyn, despite the evidence. Instead he writes that

‘Part of the reason why so few people come out well from Labour’s antisemitism crisis is that we were dealing with the revival a form of racism in relation to which many people had forgotten how to act.’

The whole of the British and US military and political establishment was united in wanting to see an end to Corbyn. For example, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was recorded as saying:

“It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.” [iv]

Israeli involvement in Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations was copiously documented in the Al Jazeera documentary, ‘The Lobby’.[v]

The weaponisation of ‘anti-Semitism’ had first been tried out against the Sandinistas and then against Hugo Chavez.[vi] The advantages of such a tactic are obvious. It gave the racist right-wing of the Labour Party and the political establishment the moral high ground. They weren’t attacking Corbyn for his opposition to NATO or austerity. Good gracious no. They were opposing anti-Semitism!

You had the absurdity of Thatcherite journalist Andrew Neil asking Corbyn whether he would apologise for Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ at the last general election. This was the same Andrew Neil who, as editor of the Sunday Times, employed holocaust denier David Irving to translate the Goebbel’s Diaries as well as employing an overt anti-Semite, ‘Taki’, a supporter of the Greek Golden Dawn neo-nazi party, as a columnist on the Spectator.

One of the ironies of Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis was that even the worst racists could become opponents of ‘anti-Semitism’ simply by declaring their support for Zionism and Israel. Not once did Renton explain how papers like the Daily Mail could oppose ‘anti-Semitism’ while simultaneously employing the neo-Nazi political commentator Katie Hopkins as a columnist.[vii]

If Renton had any claim to being a socialist, let alone a Marxist, then surely he would have considered the fact that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Britain’s second major party, in the United States’ closest European ally must have set off alarm bells both in Langley Virginia (CIA HQ) and Tel Aviv. Was Renton unaware of the US’s political record in Latin America and Asia? Had he not read Phil Agee’s Inside the Company? [viii]

According to Renton, Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ spontaneously broke out just as Corbyn was elected leader. It seems as if Renton believes that anti-Semitism is inherent in anti-capitalism.

Throughout the ‘anti-Semitism’ affair, over two-thirds of Labour members, including Jewish members, rejected the false ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations. Their everyday experience in Labour was of a complete absence of anti-Semitism.[ix] Jews had always made up a disproportionate number of its activists. Renton disregards the views of these members with all the contempt an Old Etonian can muster.

The book itself is error-strewn. Renton says that the ‘first sustained attempt’ to accuse Corbyn’s Labour of anti-Semitism occurred in April 2016. He omits the affair of Oxford University Labour Club, when the Chair, Alex Chalmers – a former intern for Israeli lobby group BICOM – accused fellow members of anti-Semitism on the basis that they had supported Israel Apartheid week.

The first sign that ‘anti-Semitism’ was being weaponised was in August 2015, even before Corbyn was elected, when the Mail accused Corbyn of associating with a holocaust denier Paul Eisen.[x] It progressed from there to attacks on, first, Gerald Kaufman MP and then Vicki Kirby. Renton’s book is marred by sloppy research.[xi]

Smeeth stormed out of the Chakrbarti press conference to fetch the whip for Marc Wadsworth before remembering that slavery had ended

Renton describes Ruth Smeeth as storming out of the Chakrabarti press conference ‘in tears’, repeating the lies of the yellow press.[xii] A cursory examination of the video shows that there were no tears. ‘How dare you’ Smeeth cried as if she had been upbraided by her Black slave and was leaving to fetch the whip. Smeeth later claimed that she had been sent 25,000 hostile messages. This was a lie. The main recipient of abuse was Dianne Abbot, not Smeeth.[xiii]

Renton has a whole chapter on the ‘bullying’ of Luciana Berger. He doesn’t mention that she was a former Director of Labour Friends of Israel nor that Smeeth had worked for BICOM before entering parliament. For Renton, the Israel connection is irrelevant.

Berger is portrayed as the victim of vicious anti-Semitism. It is true that four fascists were convicted and gaoled for sending her hate mail but no one on the left, least of all in the Labour Party, was convicted or accused of anti-Semitism against her. Berger had a long record, dating back to her days on the National Union of Students Executive, of making false accusations of anti-Semitism.

Berger had been parachuted into the Liverpool Wavertree seat by Blair. She had no connection with Liverpool. Yet what was Renton’s take? ‘The clash between Wavertree CLP and Luciana Berger weakened the left and diminished our moral standing.’

But it is Renton’s treatment of the most prominent victims of the ‘anti-Semitism’ purge – figures such as Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and myself – that demonstrates his Zionist sympathies.

Renton’s way of dealing with my own expulsion is to avoid mentioning it! It is as if the case of the first Jewish anti-Zionist to be expelled from the Labour Party was too difficult for him to handle!

Renton’s treatment of Jackie Walker is racist. Not once does he ask why one of the few Black Jewish women in the Labour Party should have been targeted by the Jewish Labour Movement. He mentions some of the vile racist abuse she received but never once considers Jackie a victim, still less asks why those purportedly opposed to ‘anti-Semitism’ should engage in racist abuse far worse than anything Berger experienced.

Not once does Renton describe the circumstances in which a private Facebook conversation was broken into by the Israeli Advocacy Movement, a far-Right Zionist group. All of us during private conversations may omit the odd word. On the basis of one missing word, that Jews were among the chief slave owners, Jackie was pilloried for months. Even when she was reinstated, the JLM continued their racist campaign.

When John McDonnell spoke with Jackie at an LRC fringe meeting at the TUC Conference, the JLM removed him as a speaker from their meeting. Two weeks before the 2016 Labour conference, it was clear that the JLM were gunning for Jackie.[xiv]

In another error, Renton says that Momentum immediately removed Jackie as Vice-Chair. Not so. When Jackie was suspended in May 2016, not only Momentum but even Owen Jones supported her. It was only following that year’s Labour Party conference, months later that Lansman and his cronies removed Jackie as Vice Chair.

On Wadsworth, Renton has less to say but he still blames a long-standing Black anti-racist who had played a key role in the Stephen Lawrence campaign, introducing his parents to Nelson Mandela. Renton sides instead with a supporter of Apartheid. Wadsworth didn’t even know that Smeeth was Jewish, yet Renton quotes uncritically Smeeth’s attack on Marc for ‘invoking antisemitic stereotypes of Jewish conspiracy’ and then says that he should not have used an event intended to prove Labour’s commitment to fighting antisemitism to attack a Jewish MP.’ The Chakrabarti Report was about racism in the Labour Party, not just about anti-Semitism. One more error.

It is over Ken Livingstone and his comment that Hitler supported Zionism that Renton excels himself. Renton asserts that the purpose of Ha’avara, the trade agreement between the Nazis and the Zionists, was to save Germany’s Jews rather than their wealth. Contrary to Renton’s assertion, people who had capital of £1,000 at their disposal (£50,000 today) would have had no difficulty in finding refuge. To poor and working class Jews, Ha’avara was a disaster because it relaxed the pressure on Nazi Germany to stop the violence.

Renton says that the agreement was ‘condemned by both left- wing (Socialist) Zionists and right- wing (Revisionist) Zionists’. Wrong again. It was the ‘left-wing’ Zionists who negotiated Ha’avara. It was the ‘right-wing’ Zionists who opposed it.

In 1933, very few, least of all the Zionists, thought that Nazism would lead to a holocaust. The idea that the Zionists main motivation was to rescue Jews is absurd. Even when Jews were in mortal danger, Zionism opposed rescue to any country bar Palestine.

Werner Senator of the Jewish Agency Executive warned that if the German Zionists ‘did not improve the quality of the “human material” they were sending, the number of immigration certificates would be cut.[xv] Candidates above the age of 35 would receive certificates ‘only if there is no reason to believe that they might become a burden.’[xvi] German Jews who entered “merely as refugees” were considered ‘undesirable human material’.[xvii]

The point that Renton misses is that Ha'avara was agreed to by the Nazis as a way of destroying the international Jewish and anti-fascist boycott of Germany which was aimed at toppling the Hitler regime.

As the Investor’s Review reported, ‘authoritative opinion is that Hitlerism will come to a sanguinary end before the New Year.[xviii] David Cesarani suggested that those who doubted the viability of the regime ‘were not engaged in wishful thinking’; the Nazi regime, he said, was beset by enemies coupled with a chronic balance of payments deficit.[xix]

Edwin Black, another Zionist historian, wrote that Ha’avara was ‘a reprieve for the Third Reich, a let-up in the anti-German offensive… (it) could not have come at a more decisive moment.’ [xx] Far from rescuing German Jews, Ha’avara condemned them to Auschwitz.

Baruch Vladeck, the Bundist editor of the Yiddish Forward and Chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, described how

The whole organized labor movement and the progressive world are waging a fight against Hitler through the boycott. The Transfer Agreement scabs on that fight.

Vladeck contended that ‘The main purpose of the Transfer is not to rescue the Jews from Germany but to strengthen various institutions in Palestine.’ He termed Palestine ‘the official scab agent against the boycott in the Near-East’.[xxi]

It was the Zionist Executive itself that declared that Ha’avara was ‘the sole way of bringing into Palestine the maximum amount of German Jewish capital.’ [xxii] It was Zionist activists who spoke of ‘saving the wealth’ and ‘rescuing the capital from Nazi Germany.’ [xxiii]

When Karl Sabbagh suggested that the Zionists were concerned, not with saving Jewish lives but Jewish wealth, Renton accused him of ‘falling into old ideas of Jewish perfidy.’ This shows the depths that Renton has plumbed in his attempt to defend Zionism.

In another error, Renton writes that ‘the pact saved 53,000 lives.’ In fact Ha’avara saved 20,000 German Jews, most of whom would have found refuge elsewhere. Most German Jews came to Palestine on ordinary immigration certificates.

According to Renton, Livingstone was ‘finding excuses to blame the victims.’ He was suggesting that Jews had contributed to the holocaust and that Jews were in fact among the perpetrators of genocide. In other words, by treating Zionism as a political movement that collaborated with the Nazis, Livingstone was accusing Jews of engineering the holocaust.

Using Renton’s ‘logic’, if you criticise Quisling or Petain then you are blaming the Norwegians or the French for the Nazi occupation of their countries. It is not only politically dishonest but anti-Semitic. It blames all Jews for the actions of the Zionists.

The German Zionists at the time represented no more than two percent of German Jews. Jews in Weimar Germany referred to the Zionists as ‘volkish Jews.’[xxiv] The Nazis singled out the German Zionists for favourable treatment. In 1919 Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi’s main theoretician, who was hanged at Nuremburg, had written:

‘Zionism must be vigorously supported in order to encourage a significant number of German Jews to leave for Palestine or other destinations.’[xxv]

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a leader of the German Zionist Federation, admitted that:

“It was morally disturbing to seem to be considered as the favoured children of the Nazi Government, particularly when it dissolved the anti-Zionist youth groups, and seemed in other ways to prefer the Zionists. The Nazis asked for a ‘more Zionist behaviour.’”[xxvi]

Zionism has always sought an end to the Jewish diaspora, not its perpetuation. The German Zionist Federation [ZVfD] asserted that the Jews were a separate nation, which was exactly what the Nazis themselves said.

Kurt Blumenfeld, the ZVfD Secretary, stated in a letter to Walter Rathenau, the German foreign minister who was assassinated in 1922, that: ‘Under no circumstance does a Jew have the right to represent the affairs of another people.’[xxvii]

Donald Niewyk asked whether Zionist assertions of ‘racial and national otherness’ might ‘hasten the day when the Nazis might seek to make Germany judenrein?’[xxviii] The historian Rabbi Jacob Bernard Agus asked if

‘the Zionist programme and philosophy contribute(d) decisively to the enormous catastrophe of the extermination of 6 million Jews by the Nazis by popularizing the notion that the Jews were forever aliens in Europe?’[xxix]

Zionist historians Lucy Dawidowicz and Francis Nicosia described how, in May 1935 Schwarze Korps, newspaper of the SS, wrote that

‘the Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state.... The assimilation-minded Jews deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be Christians because they have been baptised in order to subvert National Socialist principles.’[xxx]

Non-Zionist youth organisations were banned from 1936, whereas Zionist youth groups remained legal up until 1939.[xxxi]

The Zionist leadership welcomed Hitler to power. They saw the rise of Hitler as a golden opportunity.[xxxii] Francis Nicosia spoke of the ‘illusory assumption’ that Zionism ‘must have been well served by a Nazi victory’. Hitler’s victory ‘could only bolster Zionist fortunes.’ [xxxiii]

“So positive was its assessment of the situation that, as early as April 1933, the ZVfD announced its determination to take advantage of the crisis to win over the traditionally assimilationist German Jewry.” [xxxiv]

To Ben Gurion, Israel's First Prime Minister the rise of the Nazis was a Golden Opportunity

The Zionist leadership in Palestine was positively enthusiastic. Berl Katznelson, David Ben Gurion’s effective deputy, saw the rise of Hitler as “an opportunity to build and flourish like none we have ever had or ever will have”. [xxxv] Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, was even more enthusiastic: ‘The Nazis’ victory would become “a fertile force for Zionism.”’[xxxvi]

Ben Gurion’s official biographer, Shabtai Teveth wrote that

If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’  [1]

Etan Bloom quoted Emil Ludwig (1881-1948), the famous biographer, as saying that:

‘Hitler will be forgotten in a few years, but he will have a beautiful monument in Palestine. You know, the coming of the Nazis was rather a welcome thing. … Thousands who seemed to be completely lost to Judaism were brought back to the fold by Hitler, and for that I am personally very grateful to him.’ [xxxvii]

The Zionist national poet Chaim Nachman Bialik volunteered that ‘Hitler has perhaps saved German Jewry, which was being assimilated into annihilation.[xxxviii] This was somewhat ironic given what happened.

Today, when neo-Nazis and fascists praise the Israeli state for its hostility to Muslims – and when Israel supplies the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine with weaponry – Renton has become yet another apologist for Zionism’s far-Right alliances. Geert Wilders, the leader of the fascist Dutch Freedom Party, explained why Israel is seen as a model ethno-nationalist state by the far right:

‘If Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Muslims, Athens and Rome will be next.[xxxix]

In discussing Chris Williamson’s suspension, Renton excels himself. He writes:

At its heart were complaints that he had used his social media account to promote the standing of other people who had been accused of antisemitism.’

This is mendacious. What led to the suspension of Chris was the deliberate distortion of a speech he made to Sheffield Momentum, portraying it as its exact opposite. In the words of the Independent: Chris Williamson: Labour MP filmed telling activists party is too 'apologetic' about antisemitism.[xl] What were Chris’s actual words?

We are not a racist party, are we? We’re not an anti-Semitic party. We are the party that stood up to racism throughout our entire history... It was Labour that was the backbone of the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970s when we confronted the anti-Semites, the racists, the Islamaphobes on the streets ... And now we – Jeremy, me and others – are being accused of being bigots, of being anti-Semites. And it’s almost as we’re living within the pages of Orwell’s 1984. You know the Party that’s done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.

And I’ve 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’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic. What have we got to apologise for? For being an anti-racist party? And we’ve done more to actually address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any other political party. And yet we are being traduced.’

It is quite clear that Chris was not saying that the Labour Party had been too apologetic about anti-Semitism but too weak in standing up to the false accusations of anti-Semitism. The bourgeois media stitched Chris up and Dave Renton, the ex-revolutionary is happy to go along with it. So obvious is it that Chris was stitched up that Renton does not even mention the Sheffield speech.

The most dishonest part of this book relates to Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon is a former Israeli who became a supporter of the Palestinians. He is also an anti-Semite who internalised Zionism’s Jewish self-hatred and saw in Israel the actions of a Jewish state as opposed to a settler colonial one. Atzmon is also a world famous jazz musician.

The email I received from Martin Smith to our demands that the SWP dissociate themselves from Atzmon

In 2005, I organised a Jews Against Zionism picket of Bookmarks, the SWP bookshop, in protest at Atzmon speaking there.[xli] It took until 2012 for Palestine Solidarity Campaign to take the issue of anti-Semitism seriously enough to expel an Atzmon supporter and holocaust denier at my behest.

SWP statement on Gilad Atzmon

For seven years, I led the campaign against Atzmon alongside many of those whom Renton criticises in Jewish Voice for Labour. Renton doesn’t mention this but cites, in a footnote, my article in The Guardian of 19 February 2007, ‘The Seamy Side of Solidarity.’ Renton omits the fact that from 2004 until 2011, the SWP, of which he was a member, hosted Atzmon at its events. The SWP defended Atzmon in a statement of 21 June 2005 which is here.[xlii] There is also a useful timeline of the SWP’s relationship with Atzmon.[xliii]

I wrote numerous articles criticising the SWP, such as Time to Say Goodbye.[xliv] Even my bitter enemies in the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty ran an article Defend Tony Greenstein! after I had been banned by Indymedia.[xlv]

The SWP, which today appeases Zionists over 'antisemitism' used to promote a virulent anti-Semite

What is curious is that despite the fact that the SWP were still promoting Atzmon, Renton had no problems rejoining the SWP! And for three long years he kept his mouth shut about the SWP’s association with an open anti-Semite. This suggests that Renton’s interest in fighting anti-Semitism is of recent origin and has more to do with his redefinition of anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism.

Renton attacks Chris Williamson for having tweeted support for a petition complaining that Atzmon had been prevented from playing jazz on Islington Council premises. This is dishonest. Having never previously heard of Atzmon, Chris immediately deleted the tweet and apologised.

In my view, his apology was completely unnecessary. I both signed the petition and attended Atzmon’s gig in Brighton. Let me explain. For the seven years that we campaigned against Atzmon, we made it clear that we were not trying to stop Atzmon’s gigs. We had no argument with his music. Jazz was detested by the Nazis as ‘nigger music’ and they fought an ongoing campaign against anti-fascist German youth, like the Edelweiss Pirates, who used jazz and swing music as part of an anti-Nazi subculture.[xlvi] Momentum and the JLM behaved like fascists in pressurising venues to cancel Atzmon’s gigs.

Even David Toube of Harry's Place site was unsure if the mural was anti-Semitic

Renton deals abysmally with the long-erased mural by Mear One that was resurrected in 2018 by Luciana Berger. He writes that

The most important step in the re-emergence of Labour antisemitism crisis was the re-discovery that, several years before, Corbyn had supported an artist Mear One (Kalen Ockerman) after his mural was effaced for its antisemitic associations.’

This mural was not an innocent discovery. It had been held in reserve in order to attack Corbyn and the Labour Party at an opportune moment.

People have different views as to whether or not the mural was anti-Semitic. It wasn’t obvious to me and nor was it obvious to the Jewish Chronicle in 2015, when it referred to the mural as ‘having anti-Semitic undertones’, a view which it ascribed to others.[xlvii] When the pro-Zionist Harry’s Place ran an article about the mural, David Toube wrote:

‘I’ve seen the mural, in person. It is clearly a conspiracist work…. But were the men with beards supposed to be Jews? Well, possibly – but I’ve seen more obvious stereotypes of Jews deployed in antisemitic art.’[xlviii]

Despite subsequent emphasis on the six bankers’ noses, only two of whom were Jewish, Toube emphasised their beards not their noses. Yet Renton saw the mural as representing the archetypal Jewish financier.

The central fault with Renton’s book is an almost total inability to understand the relationship between race and class. Renton uses the terms ‘prejudice’ and ‘racism’ interchangeably yet they are not the same. Jews in Britain today do not experience structural and institutional racism deriving from the state. What they experience, to some degree, is prejudice based on the past. It is Blacks and Muslims who experience the full force of state and fascist racism and violence.

Renton treats Jews as if they were same people who launched the Great Tailor’s Strike of 1912 and who stopped Oswald Moseley at the Battle of Cable Street in October 1936. The fact is that British Jews have changed enormously since the 1940s. That is highly relevant to their understanding of what they see as anti-Semitism.

In 1945, Phil Piratin was elected as a Communist MP in the Mile End constituency. Half his votes came from Jews. In 2015, under Labour’s first Jewish leader, Jews voted by 69% to 22% for the Tories.[xlix]

Renton speaks with derision about those who posit that Jewish support for Zionism is explained by ‘sociological theories’ (“Jews are all rich, or middle- class… Such theories say little about Jews and more about their speakers”).

Renton tries to caricature any materialist analysis. Nonetheless, it is a fact that Jews have become the most privileged section of the White population. It is this that has led to their move to the right politically. This was symbolized for me by the closure of Blooms restaurant in 1996 in Whitechapel. Blooms had been at the centre of East End Jewish life. It closed because the Jews had moved to the suburbs to be replaced by Bengali immigrants.[l]

William Rubinstein, former President of the Jewish Historical Society, wrote about

‘the rise of Western Jewry to unparalleled affluence and high status  (which) has led to the near-disappearance of a Jewish proletariat of any size; indeed, the Jews may become the first ethnic group in history without a working class of any  size.’ [li]

Rubinstein concluded that British Jews ‘are arguably more bourgeois now than at any time since the mid-nineteenth century.’ Geoffrey Alderman, the historian of the Jewish community, wrote that by 1961,

‘over 40 percent of Anglo-Jewry was located in the upper two social classes, whereas these categories accounted for less than 20 percent of the general population.’[lii]  

By Renton’s logic, Alderman and Rubinstein must be anti-Semitic!

Renton repeatedly demonstrates his ignorance of Zionism as a political movement and ideology. He writes that it was the Dreyfus Affair ‘which caused Theodor Herzl to write The Jewish State and launch the Zionist movement.’ If Renton had read the pamphlet then he would know that there isn’t one single mention of Dreyfus in it. In Herzl’s four-volume Diaries, Dreyfus is only mentioned in passing. The conclusion that Herzl drew from the Affair was that:

‘In Paris... I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to “combat” anti-Semitism.’[liii]

As Jacques Kornberg, another Zionist historian, wrote:

‘The dramatic and engaging notion that Herzl “converted” to Zionism in the wake of the Dreyfus trial is unacceptable.’[liv]

Herzl’s claim was self-serving and only made in 1899, by which time even the army had accepted that Dreyfus was innocent.

Renton questions whether ‘there is a thing “Zionism” which is the same in 2016 as it was in August 1933.’ Elsewhere he writes that

‘Undoubtedly, Israel has changed. The country’s politics are different: with the left in every government until 1977, and the right almost as consistently afterwards.’

Renton clearly has no understanding of what Zionism is. The differences between ‘left’ and ‘right’ Zionism have always been tactical. It was the ‘left’ Zionists of Mapai and Mapam who carried out the Naqba, who placed Israel’s Arabs under military rule for the first 18 years and who began the process of settlement in the Occupied Territories. There is nothing that Likud has done that the Israeli Labor Party hasn’t done. Ariel Sharon, the butcher of Sabra and Chatilla, came from the Labour Zionist movement. Perhaps it has escaped Renton’s notice that today’s far-Right Israeli government contains both the ILP and Meretz (formerly Mapam).

Because Renton refuses to accept that the ‘anti-Semitism crisis’ was confected he finds it difficult to understand why it is that the same people who were campaigning against ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ were at one and the same time tolerant of genuine anti-Semitism.

Renton writes that when the fascist philosopher Roger Scruton defended the anti-Semitic attack by Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister on George Soros,

‘Scruton was rescued from the taint of antisemitism by the Jewish Chronicle’s Stephen Pollard, who accused his critics of having “outrageous[ly] distort[ed]” Scruton’s words.’

Renton should not have been surprised. When, in 2009, the Tories were criticised for entering a coalition with fascists and anti-Semites in the European parliament and for the invitation by Conservative Friends of Israel to Michal Kaminski, the anti-Semitic leader of Poland’s Law and Justice Party, it was Pollard who defended him on the grounds that he was a strong supporter of Israel.[lv]

It is on record that a large number of ex-UKIP members joined the BNP. When Nigel Farage (who has also indulged in anti-Semitic attacks on Soros) was invited to speak to a Jewish Chronicle gathering, Renton notes that Pollard failed to ask Farage why this was so, confining himself to the observation that ‘The question was not asked and could not have been, not when Farage’s talk had been billed as a meeting of friends.’ Renton is incapable of asking how it is that Pollard, who drove the false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign, was friends with a virulent racist and anti-Semite.

Renton elides over the fact that Israel's supporters today are from the White Supremacist Right

Another example of this failure to understand that Zionism has never had a problem with genuine anti-Semites was how he treated Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his attitude to Donald Trump. Renton described Mirvis’s intervention just before the 2019 election when he advocated a vote for the Tories as ‘shocking’. Renton writes that:

the Chief Rabbi was unable to say clearly even what he had acknowledged a year before: that Trump was a racist. He began from a weaker position than he had in 2016, and he went further than he had on that occasion in seeking to excuse and justify the behaviour which he was also criticising.’

Mirvis wasn’t the only one. Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, had positively welcomed Trump to power.[lvi] As did the leader of the ILP and now Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog:

“Warm congratulations to the president of the most powerful nation in the world: Donald J Trump!” [lvii]

This is the same Arkush who, when he heard that Corbyn had spent Passover with Jewdas, a leftish Jewish group, described them as a ‘source of virulent anti-Semitism’. Given that Arkush had accused Corbyn of anti-Semitism, anyone with a socialist bone in their body might have drawn the appropriate conclusions.

Another anti-Semite that Pollard excused was Jacob Rees-Mogg who had tweeted in support of Alice Weidel, the leader of Germany’s neo-Nazi AfD. Mogg had attacked two fellow Jewish Tories, Sir Oliver Letwin and John Bercow as “Illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves.” Yet the Jewish Chronicle said nothing. Michael Berkowitz, Professor of Modern Jewish History at UCL wrote:

‘With his nod to “Illuminati” – pointed at Letwin and Bercow – Rees-Mogg is knowingly trafficking in the portrayal of Jews as underhanded and sinister. … he has exhumed, embellished, and rebroadcast one of the most poisonous antisemitic canards in all of history.’

Yet what was Renton’s comment on these double standards? Did he question the concern with supposed ‘left’ anti-Semitism coupled with indifference to genuine anti-Semitism? Not a bit of it.  Renton writes that:

‘Stephen Pollard, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, a journalist who is cited several times in this book for the care he took to expose left-wing antisemitism, ran to Rees-Mogg’s defence. “It is not antisemitic to mention the name of a Jew”’.

The Jewish Chronicle has been the subject of numerous successful complaints to IPSOS and has been the subject of four successful libel actions.[lviii] The JC is little more than a propaganda rag, yet Renton praises the ‘care he took to expose left-wing anti-Semitism’. Unbelievable.

What Renton does not understand is that the Zionist movement has never opposed anti-Semitism. As Herzl explained in his Diaries,

‘the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.[lix]

Renton also attacks Jewish Voice for Labour:

‘The problem in leaning on JVL to provide an objective view of the crisis was that no matter how bad the allegations were, it always found a way to excuse those who were criticised: each of Walker, Williamson, and Livingstone was defended by JVL.’

Renton accuses Glynn Secker of JVL of supporting a ‘conspiracy theory’ for tweeting that Israel had purchased oil from ISIS. Rubbish. Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, General Herzi Halevy, said exactly that.[lx] Israel admitted arming al-Nusra (Al Quada) in Syria and other jihadi groups.[lxi] Assad was the main enemy of Israel. Turkey, too, was heavily involved in ISIS’s oil trade. Renton has conspiracy theories on the brain.

What Renton won’t face is that there never was a problem of Labour anti-Semitism. Of course in a party of 600,000 there will be a few anti-Semites. Labour no doubt has a few paedophiles but does that mean there is a paedophile problem?

It is the Labour Right that has always been the well-spring of anti-Semitism. Wartime Home Secretary Herbert Morrison kept out thousands of Jewish refugees trying to escape from Nazi occupied Europe. Poale Zion said nothing because the Zionists, too, were opposed to letting in Jewish refugees.

In October 1942, Morrison received a delegation of eminent public figures asking for visas for 2,000 Jewish children and elderly in Vichy France. Morrison refused. Anti-Semitism ‘was just under the pavement.’ A month later, the Nazis overran Vichy France and these Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Like the Zionists, Morrison was said to doubt that there was a holocaust.[lxii]

Morrison was only following Zionist policy, which was that Jewish refugees must go to Palestine or nowhere. And if they couldn’t, then they could not be helped. The Zionists were fiercely opposed to the kindertransport, the decision to admit 10,000 Jewish children to Britain after Kristalnacht. Fortunately the BOD in 1938/9 was still controlled by anti-Zionists. Ben Gurion in a speech of 9 December 1938 explained:

‘If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.’[lxiii]

The culmination of the fake anti-Semitism campaign was the complaint to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Renton fails to critique the EHRC and their motives for opening an investigation. How come a body that ignored Islamaphobia in the Tory Party, which had done nothing about the Windrush Scandal and whose first chair was the Islamaphobe Trevor Philips, was so concerned about Labour ‘anti-Semitism’?

This was clearly an intervention in internal Labour Party affairs by the state. The EHRC is not an anti-racist body. Its treatment of its Black staff demonstrates that it is riddled by racism.[lxiv] Renton, however, ignores this. His criticism of the EHRC was entirely different. The problem in his view was that ‘The EHRC report did little to convey the extent of antisemitism within the Labour Party.’ In other words, the EHRC findings should have been more damning! Renton even fails to mention that the Commissioner who produced the EHRC Report, Alasdair Henderson, tweeted in support of Roger Scruton and attacked the use of the term ‘misogyny’. Henderson is clearly of the far-right.[lxv]

Particularly disgusting is Renton’s attack on Raed Salah, a Palestinian leader from Israel’s outlawed Northern Islamic movement. Salah has been subject to horrific persecution by Israel including being framed on charges of racism. In Israel, only Arabs ever get charged with racism. Salah was issued with a banning order by Theresa May in 2011. He was nonetheless admitted in error to Britain before being arrested by the police. However, at the Upper Immigration Tribunal he succeeded in overturning his deportation order. The charge of anti-Semitism against him rested on a doctored version of a poem that the Community Security Trust had given to the Home Office.[lxvi]

Renton says that the Tribunal ‘concluded that Salah’s words’ at a speech in Jerusalem opposing Israel’s attack on worshippers at the Al Aqsa mosque, ‘did invoke the blood libel.’ Renton is a barrister and he knows full well that the Tribunal’s observations were obiter dicta, in other words, superfluous to the judgement. The conclusion itself is open to question as Salah, in an emotive speech after repeated attacks by the Israeli police on worshippers, never even mentioned Jews and Salah himself maintains that they referred to the Spanish Inquisition. However, Renton failed to quote any other aspects of the judgement.[lxvii]

But let us just suppose that Renton is right and that Saleh did make reference to the medieval blood libel accusation. Was Saleh leading a Christian mob at Easter seeking to butcher and maim innocent Jewish villagers? No he was confronting armed Israeli troops who were firing rubber bullets and using stun grenades against unarmed worshippers. His anger would have been understandable. What was worse? Making an anti-Semitic comment or Israeli troops taking out the eyes of three Arab worshippers as happened last May at Al Aqsa mosque?

This is not academic. Irish peasants, when faced with British savagery, also engaged in anti-British racism. Do we therefore shift the focus to blaming them for ‘racism’. No, socialists understand reflective racism as being a product of the low political consciousness of the oppressed. Salah was not leading an anti-Jewish pogrom.  He was the subject of Israeli police pogroms.

The Upper Immigration Tribunal was several degrees to the left of Renton in its judgment. In para. 54, the tribunal found that

‘We consider, however, that, as in the poem, the intemperate language in the sermon is addressed towards the Israeli state rather than Jews as such. Further, the appellant refers at the beginning of the sermon to the Islamic acceptance of Moses and Jesus as prophets. He expresses the inclusive concept of Jews, Christians and Muslims all being “People of the Book” who should “come to common terms”.’

Hardly the stuff of anti-Semitism. The Tribunal also stated (para. 59)

‘We agree with Professor Pappe that the purport of the sermon as a whole was against the actions of the state of Israel towards the al-Aqsa mosque and that the focus was not on the blood libel.’

The Tribunal noted that

‘the sermon was given on a somewhat turbulent day when the appellant had been refused permission to pray at one of the holy sites of his religion, one that he genuinely fears is under threat from the Israeli authorities.’

The Tribunal concluded (para. 78) that:

‘there is no reliable evidence of the appellant using words carrying a reference to the blood libel save in the single passage in a sermon delivered five years ago.... The absence of other evidence is striking, for at least two reasons. The appellant is a prominent public figure and a prolific speaker. The first indictment shows that his speeches are of interest to the authorities in Israel. In these circumstances we think it can fairly be said that the evidence before us is not a sample, or ‘the tip of the iceberg’: it is simply all the evidence that there is.’

Renton did not refer to any of the above. He was only interested in backing up the Islamaphobes of the Community Security Trust who had handled forged evidence.

Renton ends with warm words for Jon Lansman – who had managed to consistently maintain their support for Palestinian rights’ while opposing ‘anti-Semitism’. But this is also untrue. In May 2016, Lansman wrote in Left Futures that the the Left must stop talking about ‘Zionism’.  [lxviii] He prioritised ‘anti-Semitism’ without so much as a cursory glance at the racism of the JLM. People such as Margaret Hodge, the JLM’s parliamentary spokesperson, had advocated all-white housing shortlists which led to the BNP sending her a bunch of flowers.[lxix] Lansman supported the IHRA, whose only purpose was to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Usually, when reviewing a book, I try to bring out the best in what the author has written. In the case of David Renton’s book there is literally nothing in it worthy of praise. It is dishonest and selective in its facts and ignores that Black and Muslim people were the main victims of the ‘anti-Semitism’ witchhunt.

Renton has become just another in the long line of figures who started out on the left and ended up on the right. Educated – like our own Prime Minister – at Eton, it seems that Renton is returning to his aristocratic roots. It need not have been like this. Tam Dalyell, the anti-war Labour MP, was also an old Etonian but he was an anti-imperialist and one of the finest Labour MPs to have sat in the Commons. Renton, however, has decided to take the road to Tel Aviv rather than, as Tam did, the road to Baghdad.

Tony Greenstein

[i]            Tom Walker, SWP's Tom Walker: Why I am resigning, Weekly Worker, 27.12.12., https://tinyurl.com/262r7eb2 Mark Steel, Oh Good Lord what has the SWP gone and done now, https://tinyurl.com/43v35na2

[iv]           Guardian 9.6.19., Mike Pompeo tells Jewish leaders he would 'push back' against Corbyn, https://tinyurl.com/f34cdc

[v]           The Lobby, Al Jazeera, https://tinyurl.com/yu2rf4tt

[vii]             Guardian 24.9.15. Katie Hopkins leaves the Sun to join Mail Online, https://tinyurl.com/u2sfmj56 

[viii]             Phil Agee, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Agee

[ix]              JC 30.3.21., https://tinyurl.com/4ncmkk9u EXCLUSIVE: 70% of Labour members still think the party has no problem with Jew hate and don't want Corbyn expelled

[x]           Mail Online, 7.8.15., Jeremy Corbyn's 'long-standing links' with notorious Holocaust denier and his 'anti-Semitic' organisation revealed, https://tinyurl.com/mf94bbsx

[xi]              Guardian 15.3.16., Labour suspends activist Vicki Kirby over antisemitism claims, https://tinyurl.com/ufv66bb3. Guardian 3.11.15. Gerald Kaufman's 'Jewish money' remarks condemned by Corbyn https://tinyurl.com/w7fysr4r

[xii]              Independent 30.6.16., Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth leaves antisemitism event in tears after being accused of 'colluding' with media, https://tinyurl.com/3d37tjjn

[xiii]             The Lies of Ruth Smeeth MP led to the suspension of Marc Wadsworth, https://tinyurl.com/ksxjx6cb.

[xiv]         17.9.16. ‘The Jewish Labour Movement and its Political Lynching of Jackie Walker’ https://tinyurl.com/ykura96p

[xv]          Segev p.44 citing Werner Senator to the Palestine office in Berlin, 30.1.35, CZA S/ 7 142.

[xvi]         Segev p.44 citing Summary of meeting, 6.1.35.  CZA, S/25 2576.

[xvii]         Segev, p.44, Dobkin to Martin Rosenblut. 15.1.36. CZA, S/6 3637.

[xviii]        Edwin Black, p. 266-267 citing ‘Hitler hard up’ JC 11.8.33.

[xix]         Cesarani, Final Solution pp. 81-82.

[xx]          Edwin Black pp. 209, 210-213.

[xxi]         Lenni Brenner, pp. 92-93, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis’, Barricade Books, 1972.

[xxii]         Zionist Executive Defends Ha'avara, JC, 13.12.35.

[xxiii]        Edwin Black, pp. 257-258.

[xxiv]        Donald Niewyk, p.139.

[xxv]         Francis Nicosia, TRPQ, p.25 citing Die Spur 1920 p.153.

[xxvi]        Joachim Prinz, Zionism under the Nazi Government, Young Zionist (London, November 1937), p.18 cited in Lenni Brenner, 51 Documents, p. 101.

[xxvii]       Nathan Weinstock p. 135.

[xxviii]       Donald Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany’, p. 139, Manchester University Press, 1980.

[xxix]        J B Agus 'Meaning of Jewish History', New York, 1963 Vol 2 p.447.

[xxx]         Randolph Braham, The Politics of Genocide – The Holocaust in Hungary, p. 484, fn. 94., 5.5.35. Lucy Dawidowicz, p.118.

[xxxi]        Merilyn Moos and Steve Cushion, Anti-Nazi Germans

[xxxii]       Tony Greenstein, https://tinyurl.com/y5qrom6b

[xxxiii]       Francis Nicosia, The Yishuv and the Holocaust, p. 534.

[xxxiv]       Francis Nicosia, ZANG p.146.

[xxxv]       Francis Nicosia, ZANG, p.91. Segev, p.18 attributes this quote to a report by Moshe Beilinson, a cofounder of Davar, to Katznelson.

[xxxvi]       Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, p.18.

[xxxvii]      Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and Modern Hebrew Culture, p.417 see also https://tinyurl.com/y4bqt3wf

[xxxviii]     Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, pp. 415, 417.

[xxxix]       Geert Wilders: Change Jordan's name to Palestine, YNet, 20.6.10., https://tinyurl.com/2uz8mgk see also 'Israel is West's first line of defense', 18.6.09. https://tinyurl.com/kv2vn36 see Tony Greenstein, Israel’s anti-Semitic friends The Electronic Intifada 3 November 2009, https://tinyurl.com/yyqhelax  

[xl]           Independent 26.2.19. https://tinyurl.com/5387bceb

[xli]          Labournet, 27.6.05., Statement from Jews Against Zionism on the SWP and Gilad Atzmon, https://tinyurl.com/4p77jerz

[xlii]         https://tinyurl.com/b4jywh62 It has disappeared from the SWP website. See also https://tinyurl.com/5yfhzvhw

[xliii]         Gilad Atzmon and the SWP: a brief chronology, 5.10.11., https://tinyurl.com/4pnrtjtk.

[xliv]         Weekly Worker 709, 21.2.08. https://tinyurl.com/447u682w

[xlv]         Defend Tony Greenstein, 14.2.08. https://tinyurl.com/7dw7w7ce

[xlvi]         Anti-Nazi Germans: Enemies of the Nazi State from within the Working Class Movement (Merilyn Moos)

[xlvii]        JC 6.11.15. https://tinyurl.com/a4hr4fuv

[xlviii]           5.10.12. https://tinyurl.com/3ancz2fp

[xlix]             JC, 7.4.15. Huge majority of British Jews will vote Tory, JC poll reveals, https://tinyurl.com/9hsnsa

[l]            JC 17.6.10. Blooms: The kosher icon that got marooned in the past, https://tinyurl.com/wbsjdums

[li]           William Rubinstein, ‘The Left, Right and the Jews’, p.51.

[lii]           Geoffrey Alderman, ‘The Jewish Community and British Politics’, p. 137.

[liii]          Diaries of Theodor Herzl, Gollancz, London 1958 p.6, May 1895.

[liv]          Jacques Kornberg, p. 228, Theodor Herzl: A reevaluation,

[lv]           Guardian 9.10.09. Poland's Kaminski is not an antisemite: he's a friend to Jews, Stephen Pollard https://tinyurl.com/y8agk89p

[lvi]          JC 9.11.16., Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush under fire after message congratulating Trump, https://tinyurl.com/4744t26r

[lvii]         Times of Israel, 9.11.16., Herzog to Trump: Your win shows elites are thing of past, https://tinyurl.com/vcjx6fkw

[lviii]            Press Gazette, 6.8.21. IPSO faces calls to launch first standards investigation into JC, https://tinyurl.com/kxdhcjde

[lix]          Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, pp. 83/84.

[lx]              Antiwar.com 21.6.16, Israeli Intel Chief: We Don’t Want ISIS Defeated in Syria, https://tinyurl.com/7vm7jpbb, Israeli Military Make it Clear that They Support ISIS, https://tinyurl.com/2cppvm87 See Globes, 30.11.15., Israel buys most oil smuggled from ISIS territory – report, https://tinyurl.com/4mzmd4rr, Middle East Monitor 27.8.16., Asa Winstanley, So-called Islamic State "a useful tool" says Israeli think tank https://tinyurl.com/49n8rbf2


[lxi]              Ha’aretz 3.2.19. Israel Just Admitted Arming anti-Assad Syrian Rebels. Big Mistake, https://tinyurl.com/mp9c2snk Israel Just Admitted Arming anti-Assad Syrian Rebels. Big Mistake

[lxii]         Lesley Clare Urbach, Excuses excuses! The Failure to Amend Britain’s Immigration Policy 1942-1943, European Judaism, Vol. 52, No. 2, Autusm 2017.

[lxiii]         Yoav Gelber, ‘Zionist policy and the Fate of European Jewry, Yad Vashem Studies (1939-42) p.199, see also Segev, p.28, Teveth, p.855, Piterberg, p.99. 

[lxiv]            Guardian 5.3.17., Equalities body accused of targeting BAME staff for redundancies, https://tinyurl.com/49adytxc

[lxv]             Guardian 30.11.20, EHRC board member under scrutiny over social media use, https://tinyurl.com/p7cm2fvv

[lxvi]            May warned of weak case against Sheikh Raed Salah, Guardian 26.9.11. https://tinyurl.com/4uhwfsen

[lxvii]        Raed Salah Mahajna -v- The Secretary of State for the Home Department,


[lxviii]       Why the Left must stop talking about ‘Zionism’, May 2016, https://tinyurl.com/ndsd369x

[lxix]             Guardian 27.5.07., BNP backs Hodge in housing row, https://tinyurl.com/rsztdsvu