29 January 2022

Open Letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Christopher Husbands

Shahd Abusalama is Another Academic to Have Fallen Foul of Zionism's McCarthyist Lobby

To:       c.husbands@shu.ac.uk

Dear Professor Husbands,

On January 21 Shahd Abusalama, a PhD student, was suspended by Sheffield Hallam University on the eve of teaching her first class. Shahd has been subject for the past 4 years to harassment from the Zionist lobby and its fetid supporters for the fact of being a Palestinian willing to speak out about Israel’s war crimes.

Shahd was told that a complaint had been lodged with the university but was not told who made the complaint or what the substance of the complaint was, although that was not hard to guess. It was of course ‘anti-Semitism’.

Of one thing Zionists are certain. Just because Israel demolishes their homes or evicts them to make way for Jewish settlers as well as arresting and imprisoning their children, if not killing them outright, the Palestinians have no reason to resist the Occupation or the other foul misdeeds that they get up to. No the only reason why Palestinians still resist a 55 year old occupation is because they hate the Jews out of some unique pathological condition that they suffer from.

According to the CAA this is anti-Semitic. In fact it is literally true. The Talmud has been used to justify Israeli atrocities, see e.g. https://reformjudaism.org/blog/torat-hamelech, a book by 2 rabbis which justified the murder of children and infantsTorat Hamelech

It therefore follows that anyone who supports the Palestinians must also do so because of anti-Semitism. Even anti-Zionist Jews who are widely recognised as the ‘wrong sort of Jew’, in so far as they are recognised as Jewish at all, are also susceptible to this ‘anti-Semitism’. After all anti-Semitism is a virus.

Rather than going through all the details to Shahd’s case and what happened there is an excellent article on Electronic Intifada, UK Israel lobby takes aim at Palestinian university lecturer.

Below I copy my letter to Sheffield Hallam’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Chris Husbands.

Tony Greenstein 

This is the real agenda of those who targeted Shahd but  Professor Husbands is either too stupid or too malevolent to understand this

Dear Professor Husbands,

I write concerning your (now revoked) suspension of Shahd Abusalama from her role as a lecturer because of an anonymous complaint against her. After over a week Shahd stated that she still hasn’t had sight of the allegations. When you announced the investigation into her you didn’t even inform her of this fact. This is Kafkaesque.

It was on the evening of 21 January, just prior to her first class, that Shahd was informed that she had been suspended. No reason was given. Shahd’s suspension has now been revoked because of ‘issues’ with how you handled her case but no further details have been provided.

Shahd is a refugee from Gaza. She was born and raised in Jabalia refugee camp and witnessed at first hand Israeli bombing raids on the camp and attacks on unarmed civilians in Gaza. What she says makes uncomfortable reading for the Zionist lobby in this country and it is that, not anti-Semitism, that is the reason for her suspension.

According to the 'Israeli war room' opposing the IRHA is itself antisemitic!

As Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam you have a responsibility to defend academic freedom and freedom of speech. In this you have lamentably failed. Your behaviour is reminiscent of the failure of Martin Heidegger, Rector of Freiburg University to speak out against the dismissal of his mentor Edmund Husserl and other Jewish academics.

When Victor Klemperer was dismissed from his post at Dresden University he recounted in his diaries that the only person to say farewell was the cleaner. It is unfortunate that most academics are afraid to speak up against injustice however you do not have Nazi terror as an excuse for your cowardice.

Shahd has long been under attack by supporters of the Israeli state. Her ‘crime’ according to the so-called Campaign Against Anti-Semitism is having defended another student who used the term ‘Palestinian Holocaust’ whilst saying that she would not use such a term. If you or your protégés had bothered to access her Twitter feed then you would have seen a nuanced and thoughtful exposition. Something entirely lacking in your own explanations.

The attacks on Shahd have come about because of her insistence on speaking out against Israeli Apartheid, conclusions both B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have reached. It has nothing to do with comparisons between Israel and the Holocaust. They were merely the pretext. You are directly responsible for this state of affairs because it was you who insisted that Sheffield Hallam bow to the dictates of the Tory government and Gavin Williamson when you adopted the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism in February 2021.

The vile Islamaphobic CAA has been to the forefront of the campaign against Shahd, led by racist Gideon Falter, who is Vice-Chair of the ethnic cleaning JNF

Perhaps you might recall the statement which you put out at the time? It read:

The definition is a useful tool for understanding what constitutes antisemitism and investigating allegations. Freedom of expression is an integral part of our values, therefore we are committed to promoting and protecting free speech. The ability to rigorously discuss and challenge ideas goes right to the heart of what it means to be a university.

This was a lie, wasn’t it? You adopted the IHRA not to protect freedom of speech but to destroy it. The IHRA has no other purpose. It is certainly not a definition of anti-Semitism. Your adoption of this ‘definition’ was an act of political expediency. You adopted it despite criticism from many distinguished legal and academic scholars.

Former Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Stephen Sedley, who is himself Jewish, wrote that the IHRA ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite’. Human rights barrister, Geoffrey Roberson QC said the ‘IHRA definition of antisemitism is not fit for purpose’. Another prominent barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC described the IHRA as having:

a potential chilling effect on public bodies which, in the absence of definitional clarity, may seek to sanction or prohibit any conduct which has been labelled by third parties as nti-Semitic without applying any clear criterion of assessment.

An observation that perfectly describes your actions. Kenneth Stern, who drafted the IHRA definition, in testimony to Congress described the use of the IHRA by the CAA to try and effect the dismissal of Rachel Gould, a Jewish lecturer at Bristol University, as ‘chilling and McCarthy-like’.

A child could have told you that you don’t need to have a definition of anti-Semitism in order to recognise it. The Oxford English Dictionary definition: ‘hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people’. is perfectly adequate. My father who took part in the Battle of Cable Street against Moseley’s fascist thugs didn’t need a definition of anti-Semitism to know what he was fighting. As Justice Potter Stewart remarked ‘I know it when I see it.’ The real purpose of the IHRA, with 7 of its 11 illustrations of ‘anti-Semitism’ mentioning Israel, is to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

It is of course 'antisemitic' to compare what Israel does with the holocaust. Only Zionists are allowed to do that. Note the assumption that the holocaust is a Jewish only event from which the disabled and Gypsies and others are excluded

The specific allegation which led to Shahd’s suspension was comparisons of Palestinian oppression to that of the Jews under Hitler. There is nothing anti-Semitic about such a comparison. It might be right or wrong but comparing Israel to the Nazis is not anti-Semitic.

There are many Jews, including Holocaust survivors, who make just such a comparison. Perhaps you can explain why it is anti-Semitic to compare mobs in Germany shouting ‘Death to Jews’ with mobs in Israel chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’?

If you are right then Hannah Arendt, herself a refugee from the Nazis, was also anti-Semitic for comparing Israel’s marriage laws to the Nuremberg Laws in Eichmann in Jerusalem.? Just like Nazi Germany, it is forbidden in Israel for a Jew to marry a non-Jew.

Perhaps Deputy Chief of Staff in Israel Yair Golan was wrong to compare Israel with Nazi Germany?  And maybe Professor Ze’ev Sternhall of the Hebrew University, a child survivor of the Przemsyl Ghetto in Nazi occupied Poland, was also anti-Semitic to write of a ‘Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism’ in Israel?

Yehuda Elkana, a child survivor of Auschwitz and Rector of the Central University of Europe was, by your standards, also anti-Semitic when he wrote that

the deepest political and social factor that motivates much of Israeli society in its relations with the Palestinians is not personal frustration, but rather a profound existential "Angst" fed by a particular interpretation of the lessons of the Holocaust

When the IHRA says that making such comparisons is anti-Semitic what it is doing is providing elites with an excuse to close down discussion on topics that question their own war mongering. The question is a simple one.  Do you or do you not support the censorship of political debate and thought? If you do then you are in the wrong job.

Holocaust education today is used, not to draw universal lessons, such as opening our borders to refugees, but in order to legitimise the racism of the British and Israeli states, not least the oppression of Palestinians. But according to you and those who suspended Shahd it is anti-Semitic for Palestinians to reply in kind.

As Gideon Levy wrote in Ha’aretz:

I have yet to hear a single teenager come back from Auschwitz and say that we mustn’t abuse others the way we were abused. There has yet to be a school whose pupils came back from Birkenau straight to the Gaza border, saw the barbed-wire fence and said, Never again. The message is always the opposite. Gaza is permitted because of Auschwitz.

The lying Jewish Chronicle led the attack against Shahd

The context to all of this is the recent dismissal of Professor David Miller at Bristol University, also after a concerted series of attacks by the pro-Israel lobby. The Jewish Chronicle’s reaction was that ‘Miller’s sacking should be the beginning, not the end’. That is what  Shahd’s suspension was really about – a Zionist witchhunt.

I am aware of who it was who was responsible for making the complaint against Shahd. The person in question is an open supporter of Jewish Supremacy. Your suspension of Shahd was no different to suspending a Black student after a complaint from a member of the British National Party. You should hang your head in shame, assuming you understand the meaning of the word. There are however a number of steps that you can take to make amends.

Firstly you owe Shahd Abusalama an apology and compensation for the hurt she experienced.

Secondly you should immediately ditch the IHRA. If you really need a definition of anti-Semitism then the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism is more suitable as it avoids equating anti-Zionism and hostility to Israel’s Apartheid State with anti-Semitism.

Thirdly, given your role in this affair, the honourable thing to do would be to resign as you are clearly unfitted for the role of Vice-Chancellor. I realise that today politicians don’t resign unless they are dragged out of their office but to paraphrase Malcolm in MacBeth, nothing would become your office like the leaving of it.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Greenstein

In this Twitter thread Shahd explains her position on the use of the Holocaust when criticising Israel

26 January 2022

This Blog and others like it are Slowly Being Strangled by Facebook and the Social Media Giants – We Need Your Help

The use of Algorithms will Lead to the Demise of Alternative Media if they are Starved of an Audience unless Readers also take on Responsibility

This blog is 14 years old. It began on January 29th 2008 with An Open Letter to Indymedia asking why they were allowing anti-Semitic articles by Gilad Atzmon to be posted. I was myself suspended from posting on UK Indymedia. The political incoherence of Indymedia, its failure to distinguish between right and left in the case of Atzmon and its lack of class politics or perspective, coupled with state repression and the growth of social media, led to its death in 2016.

Gilad Atzmon - the anti-Semitic Jazzman

I ended 2008 with 11 articles which represent a fair summary of the kind of article this blog has carried. Charles Tannock - Zionist and Apologist for anti-Semites showed how a far-right pro-Zionist Tory MEP, Charles Tannock, had defended an openly anti-Semitic Ukrainian paper, " Silski visti (Village News). Silski visiti published a paid for article ‘Jews in Ukraine Today: Reality Without Myths’ which stated that ‘some 400,000 Jews had taken part in the Nazi invasion of the Ukraine?’ That anyone could really believe such garbage is in itself breathtaking.

This story was consistent with many blogs which I have published since. It describes how Zionists and supporters of the Israeli state have no hesitation, like Israel itself, in backing open fascists and neo-Nazis whilst at the same time crying ‘anti-Semitism’.

The 11 articles included one comparing the Warsaw Ghetto to the Gaza Ghetto during Operation Cast Lead. Another took Atzmon to task for writing stuff that the neo-Nazi Red Watch site had printed wholesale.

Ali Abunimah, Editor of Electronic Intifada

Contrary to the allegations of the Zionists that the struggle against Zionism and in support of the Palestinians is anti-Semitic, it was the statement Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon by Ali Abunimah, Joseph, Massad, Omar Barghouti and a host of other Palestinian and Arab personalities that delivered the coup de grâce to Atzmon and his anti-Semitic supporters.

Another article mourned the passing of Harold Pinter (is it really that long ago that he died?). Another supported the Shministim, Israeli youth who refused to serve in Israel’s occupation army. I have always tried to highlight those brave few Israelis who stand up against Israeli Apartheid just as socialists stood with White South Africans who rejected Apartheid a generation ago.

The Arab baby that wasn't wanted by Jewish parents in Tel Aviv

An article on the Arab baby that wasn’t wanted at a kindergarten by racist Jewish parents set the tone for hundreds of articles that followed. Institutionalised Israeli racism. I quoted YNet about

Parents at (Tel Aviv’s) Hatikva neighborhood' s Hagalil School outraged by decision to integrate Arab students in classes, say their concerns are for school's academic level, not racially motivated.’

Bernie Madoff

The blog also had its lighter side. An article ‘Bernie Madoff - It's an ill wind that blows no good!!’ on one of the major collapses in the banking crisis took a more benevolent view of the malefactor. I wrote

Never was someone more appropriately named. Bernie literally made off with the proceeds of others' ill-gotten gains!’ To listen to some people the collapse of Bernie Madoff's $50 billion dollar investment operation, in reality the world's largest pyramid scheme, is the end of capitalism. Chance would be a fine thing. In fact it seems that the hand of providence is upon us. To listen to the squeals coming from the Jewish Chronicle it is the poor and vulnerable, the beneficiaries of Jewish charities, who are going to suffer.

I pointed out in mitigation that

this may be the best thing that has come out of the financial crisis. Zionist operations in both the USA and Israel have, in some cases been crippled

Many of those who had lost money were Zionist institutions!

In the intervening years I have written over 3,000 posts and there have been some 6¾ million hits. The blog started off quite slowly and built up to a crescendo in 2018 when I had over ¼ million hits in one month. For a long period I had around 100,000 hits a month. Today it is between 30 and 40,000 a month. The decline for other social media groups like The Canary has been even more pronounced. From some 7.5 million page views at the time of the 2017 General Election it has about 700,000 today.

Total Number of Hits Over Time

A Statistical Analysis of Tony Greenstein’s Blog

Over the 14 years 22.35% of all hits have come from Facebook. Today that number is 8.5%, a decline of two-thirds.

A third of hits have come from the UK, with 21.8% from the United States and 13.9% from Germany, followed by France, Norway and Russia.

In the last year there has been a slight decline in UK hits from a third over the whole period to 30.59%. In second place is France with 22.9% compared to 4.9% over the 14 years. The number of hits from the United States has declined from 21.8% over the whole period to 14.8% now. Germany has declined from 13.9% to 4.4% now. Make of these what you may. Japan has gone from 19th to 4th. Taiwan is 10th today have not even registered 13 years ago. Likewise Romania is now 12th having not figured in the statistics before.

Another blogger with similar problems is Jonathan Cook, an ex-Guardian journalist. Two days ago Jonathan wrote on a similar theme: Is it already too late to say goodbye?

My blog posts once attracted tens of thousands of shares. Then, as the algorithms tightened, it became thousands. Now, as they throttle me further, shares can often be counted in the hundreds. “Going viral” is a distant memory.

What distinguishes this blog from all others?

I have tried, not always successfully, to concentrate not only on current events but also to analyse those events and provide a theoretical background. A number of themes have come to the fore:

i.              Unlike many pro-Palestinian blogs (I except Electronic Intifada) I consistently defended Ken Livingstone when he referred in passing to the Nazis’ support for Zionism. This is a matter of historical fact and I am currently bringing out a heavily footnoted book on the subject. Indeed the Zionist record was far worse than Livingstone gave them credit for.

ii.            I have always insisted that you can’t understand what Israel is doing to the Palestinians if you don’t have an analysis and understanding of Zionism as a settler, colonial movement. It is this refusal to draw conclusions from Zionism, that from the start it sought to colonise the whole of Palestine, that led the Palestinians and PLO into making the fatal error of agreeing to the Oslo Accords. [see my article debating the Oslo Accords with Julia Bard of the Jewish Socialists Group in 1993].

iii.         I have always opposed anti-Semitism in the Palestine solidarity movement because genuine anti-Semitism is the ally of Zionism. Literally they are Siamese twins. Although Zionism is not in the least concerned with genuine anti-Semitism it welcomes manifestations (rare as they are) in the Palestine solidarity movement as ‘proving’ that their opponents are motivated by hatred of Jews rather than hatred of what Israel does to the Palestinians. There was no better friend of the Zionist movement than Hitler. Without the flood of immigrants from Germany and elsewhere, the Zionist movement would have found great difficulty in achieving a critical mass in Palestine.

Noah Lucas, a critical Zionist historian in the Founding of Modern Israel observed that:

As the European holocaust erupted, Ben-Gurion saw it as a decisive opportunity for Zionism... In conditions of peace,… Zionism could not move the masses of world Jewry. 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.

Ben Gurion wrote, in October 1941, 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. [Shabtai Teveth ‘The Burning Ground 1886-1948’ p.853]

Other themes have included a focus on Israelis opposed to Zionism and who refuse to serve in the IDF, a focus on Israel’s abuse and torture of Palestinian children.

My blog is, as it says, socialist, anti-racist and anti-Zionist.  In no particular order! My most popular blogs may come as a surprise to people but for the first time I publish a list of them.

Which were the most popular posts?

The most popular with an incredible 165,000 hits was in April 2018 Winston Churchill – a Mass Murderer to whom history was very kind. Quite why this was so popular I simply do not know. Maybe it caught the mood of the time and the attacks on this war criminal’s statue.

The second most popular blog, on New Year’s day 2018 was Feminist silence over Ahed Tamimi exposes the racist consensus at the heart of western feminism with 105,000 hits. Ahed Tamimi was the 16 year old girl who slapped an Israeli soldier and was put in prison for 8 months.  It highlighted the imprisonment of Palestinian children and the racism at the heart of their lack of justice system since no Jewish child would have served a single day. Both these blogs appeared within 4 months of each other.

My third most popular in April 2012 was Israeli Shop Sodastream (Ecostream) Opens in Brighton to Large Picket with 51,900 hits. I am an activist not just a writer and I was involved from the start in the campaign to remove Sodastream’s shop from Brighton.

My 4th most popular blog was Open Letter to John Mann MP from a 90 Year Old Jewish Dr Glatt in October 2016 with 35,900 hits. Dr Blatt, a Jewish doctor who has since died, was so angry that he wrote a letter to John Mann, the Tory Lord and anti-Corbyn Labour MP who had alleged that Glatt’s letter criticising him was in fact written by Alan Madison, a Momentum supporter. Mann put up a Facebook post which blatantly lied. I produced Glatt’s letter on my blog and Mann was shamed into taking down his lying post.

The 5th most popular blog was a curious one The Framing of Kelvin Hopkins MP with 18.9K on 5 November 2017 which drove holes in the allegations of a member of Progress Ava Etemadzadeh  that she had been sexually assaulted by this staunch left-wing MP. Unfortunately Corbyn abandoned Hopkins just as he did so many others. Despite criticism from some on the left I was convinced the allegations were false.

The 6th most popular blog in November 2018 with 17.8K was NW Friends of Israel, Tommy Robinson and the EDL, are Holding a Demonstration Against ‘Anti-semitism’ in Manchester this Sunday. The Zionist didn’t like that one but what I said came true with a vengeance last May when Tommy Robinson was given a hero’s welcome at the Board of Deputies demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy.

The 7th most popular blog in October 2017 was Professor Moshe Machover Israeli Anti-Zionist Expelled from Labour today for ‘anti-Semitism’ with 16,300 hits.

The only blog from 2021 to make it into the top 10 at number 8 is May Day 2021 – Brighton & Hove Trades Union Council Says Stop the Police Bill with 15,000 hits.

Number 9 was Israel is not only the world’s most racist state it is a nation of murderers from September 2019 with 14.9K hits.

Number 10 was a humorous How do you tell if someone is a Nazi? with 14.2K hits in August 2017.

There is just one blog in the top ten from last year and 2019. None made it in 2020. By contrast there were 3 in 2017 and 3 in 2018 with 1 each in 2012 and 2016.

In the past 12 months, apart from the blog on the Trades Council demonstration against the Police Bill, the only ones to gather more than 5,000 hits were Defend Bristol University’s Professor David Miller – Defend Academic Freedom – Defend Free Speech in February 2021 with 7.65K and Open Letter to the Guardian's Editor Kath Viner & its Zionist Gatekeeper, Jonathan Freedland on December 28 2021 with 5.07K.

Numbers 11-20 were:

A Desperate John Mann MP Tries to Undermine 90 year old Jewish Doctor's Letter by Falsely Alleging It was a Forgery October 2016

Destroying the Myths of Israel’s Birth – the Mass Gang Rape & Murder of an Arab Child, July 2017

Support Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, January 2011

Brighton & Hove Labour Party Suspended by National Labour Party, July 2016

Open Letter to the Lying Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Warren Morgan, October 2017

The Zionists admit that the IHRA is about defending Israel NOT Jews, September 2018

Owen Jones – the Final Betrayal - Supporting Zionist Apartheid & the Jewish Labour Movement, February 2017

Labour’s Expulsion of Cyril Chilson, a Child of Holocaust Survivors, Says Everything You Need to Know About Labour's 'Antisemitism' Witchhunt, April 2018

Torture couldn’t happen to a Jewish child - 16 year old Ahed Tamimi’s Detention is Extended by Israel's Military Court, December 2017

Crooked Iain McNicol Revives the Noble Nazi Role of Informer, August 2016

There was one post from 2011, three from 2016, four from 2017 and two from 2018. So of the top 20 posts:

1 was from 2011,

1 was from 2012,

4 were from 2016,

7 were from 2017

5 were from 2018

1 was from 2019 and

1 was from 2021

It is clear that the peak number of hits were from 2016-2018 and then there was a decline coinciding with the effect of Facebook's tampering with its algorithms as it affected other social media.

What Can You Do To Combat Social Media Censorship?

It is clear that after the shock of the 2017 General Election which Corbyn nearly won, with The Canary getting more hits than the mainstream media sites, that the corporate social media and Mark Fuckerberg’s Facebook have altered their algorithms in order to weed out people like Jonathan and me. Writing about Palestine is not welcome in the corporate boardrooms.

Part of the reason why this blog has weathered the storm better, proportionately than many other similar blogs, is because I post links to a large database that I have built up over the years. So one thing you can do, if your name is not already on it, is to send your email address to azvsas@gmail.com and I shall add you to it.

Another thing you can do is to share my blogs so as to overcome the dirty tricks of Facebook and Twitter. Twitter even banned me after I had responded to Zionist trolls abusing me. Calling a Jewish person anti-Semitic is not an offence in Twitter’s eyes but calling your detractors racists is.

Many people, like Jonathan Cook, depend on their blog for an income. I don’t. However it does cost money to maintain. I employ a local charity Sussex Community Internet Project. It isn’t cheap but without them the site would be vulnerable to attack. At the moment they are redesigning my site.

I should point out that I have two sites – Google’s blogspot www.azvsas.blogspot.com  but also  www.tonygreenstein.com. I took the decision in around 2017 to set up a mirror site because of threats from Zionists that they would get Google to remove my blog altogether. It was a precaution but it didn’t come cheap.

I also discovered that some posts had simply disappeared. Google had never notified me about them but they were no longer there. If the Zionists had hacked the site then they would have simply erased everything. For example one post on the activities of a particularly nasty Tammi Rossman Benjamin disappeared. Fortunately I have backed up all files on disc and shall be replacing it in the course of time.

There are 3 things you can do:

i.                   Share, share, share

ii.                Get added to my mailing list. No amount of algorithms can get round that!

iii.             Donate what you can afford, however little or however much, to my web appeal. I am happy to write articles (I know there have been fewer in the past few weeks but I am heavily involved in the production and editing of my forthcoming book on the Nazis and Zionists). You can donate in 3 ways:

a.     Straight to my Paypal account tonygreenstein111@gmail.com

b.    By bank transfer to

Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre,

Sort Code 09-01-50

Account Number: 04094107

but please put in the reference ‘Web’ or ‘Blog’

c.     By snail mail to:

BUWC, PO Box 173, Brighton, BN51 9EZ

Tony Greenstein