28 July 2022

Racist PayPal has Removed My Account of 15 Years Without Any Warning Whatsoever

PayPal is a signed up supporter of the Apartheid State of Israel and that it would appear is the reason for Removing My Account

PayPal's policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is a form of digital discrimination, whereby Palestinians cannot access the service, while Israeli settlers in illegal settlements a few miles away can. PayPal also deprives Palestinians of their right to access the global economy. Even users who manage to sign up are often deplatformed once their identities are discovered.

It was an innocuously headed email ‘We need some information regarding your PayPal account (Ref ID - 3236271647)’ but like most things from United States Corporations it was a lie.  They didn’t want or require any information. Quite the contrary. After 15 years of having an account, PayPal had decided to remove my account –without warning.   


As is always the case with corporate liars they gave a generic excuse: 

Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal's User Agreement. As a result, we have placed a permanent limitation on your account.’

And what were the nature of my activities? Perhaps the money I had sent to organisations in Gaza in order that the recipients might survive Israel’s starvation blockade?  Surely not.  After all the good ol’ United States supports democracy and freedom in the world – well everywhere bar Palestine anyway! 

It is of course a mystery but in reality it is no mystery in so far as it is clear that the reason for my removal is clearly political or as they put it ‘the nature of your activities’.

I protested and appealed and their first instance response was ‘Please be advised that due to the violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy, your account will remain permanently limited.’
The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy.’

Which is about as clear as mud because they provide no information as to what I have done which violates their User Agreement. I therefore sent PP the following appeal:

26/07/2022 11:58


Dear Paypal,


Today you have today closed my account for an alleged infringement of terms after 15 years with you. You have given me absolutely no reason bar the generic one

Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal's User Agreement.

You have given me no indication as to what these ‘activities’ that you object to are. The reality is that I have been subject to a complaint by person or persons unknown. It does not take much guesswork to work out who. I have been subject to malicious complaints by racists unknown and you have jumped accordingly like an obedient dog.

If there was any serious complaint or infringement by me then you would have informed me and asked for my response but corporate  ‘justice’ is to ask no questions but simply to rule accordingly.

This is of course outrageous.  You haven't told me the slightest detail of what my supposed infringement is.  You have just said there is one.  The suspicion must be that this is political not a breach of terms. Of course you have absolute power to do this but this is an abuse of power for which US financial corporations are well known and I shall treat it as such and publicise it as an attack on a well known Jewish anti-Zionist blogger.

It would seem that my real offence is opposing the world's only Apartheid state, Israel. 

It is strange that you have never brought any breach of terms to my attention before in the 15 years I have had a Paypal account. I have done nothing today that I haven't done in the past.

Your very inability to provide me with a specific and detailed account of my breach suggests that there isn't one and that you are simply operating on behalf of Israeli/United States foreign policy which is to support the dispossession of the Palestinians, the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, the theft and demolition of Palestinian homes and much more.

I also note that you have done the same to the accounts of many Palestinian human rights activists so I should take your action as some kind of compliment.  I will of course notify all those who have ever had any transactions with me on the account, which fortunately I have always recorded.

This decision is shameful and if you have any shame, which is unlikely for a financial mega corporation, you will reverse this decision, apologise and provide suitable compensation for the waste of my time.

Yours faithfully,

They promised to get back to me within 24 hours but what is one lie amongst many?  Since then I have been researching PayPal’s policy towards Palestine and Palestinians.  It appears that it is PayPal’s policy not to provide Palestinians with any facilities whatsoever in Occupied West Bank but to provide the Zionist settlers there with all the facilities they want.   In other words PayPal is actively complicit in the oppression of the Palestinians and actively supportive of the occupation.

As an international payment organisation it is very difficult to boycott PP.  I understand that but given their extreme pro-Zionist partiality, something common of course to all US social media and financial corporations it is important that we give publicity to their nefarious activities and consider how best to respond to their behaviour.

I have posted on my blog appeals for donations to help with the upkeep of my  blog such as hosting costs, protection etc.  At the moment they ask people to send it via   PayPal. Obviously this is not longer possible.

I would therefore ask people to make any donations in the future to the following account:

Name of Account:         Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre

Account No:                  0409 3879

Sort Code:                     09-01-50

Reference:                     Web donations 

I post below a number of articles as to the nature of PayPal’s racism:

Tony Greenstein

Why Is PayPal Denying Service to Palestinians? 

By Jillian C. York

October 12, 2021

For many years, Palestinian rights defenders have championed the cause of Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are denied access to PayPal, while Israeli settlers have full access to PayPal products. A recent campaign, led by Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh, calls on PayPal to adhere to its own code of business conduct and ethics, by halting its discrimination against residents and citizens of Palestine. 7amleh has also published a detailed report on PayPal’s actions in Palestine. 

This is not the first time PayPal has denied service to a vulnerable group; the company routinely cuts off payments to those engaged in sex work or the sale of sexually explicit content, and last year, PayPal division Venmo was sued for blocking payments associated with Islam or Arab nationalities or ethnicities.

Just four months ago, EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] and 21 other rights groups wrote to PayPal, taking the company to task for censoring legal, legitimate transactions, and calling on both PayPal and Venmo to provide more transparency and accountability on account freezes and closures. Our coalition's demands included a call for regular transparency reports, meaningful notice to users, and a timely and meaningful appeals process.  These recommendations align with the Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation, developed by free expression advocates and scholars to help companies protect human rights when moderating user-generated content and accounts.

It is unclear why PayPal chose to deny service to Palestinians, but they're not unique. Many American companies have taken an overly broad interpretation of anti-terrorism statutes and sanctions, denying service to entire groups or geographic areas—rather than narrowly targeting those parties whom they are legally obligated to block. This practice is deeply troubling, causing serious harm to those who rely on digital services for their basic needs.

PayPal is among the most global of payment processors, and for many it is a lifesaver, allowing people to sidestep local banks' extortionate overseas transfer fees and outright prohibitions. PayPal is how many around the world purchase goods and services from abroad, pay freelancers, or send money to family. By denying access to Palestinians, PayPal makes it hard or even impossible to engage in the normal commerce of everyday life.

We call on PayPal to explain their decision to deny services to Palestinians. And we renew our call—and that of our co-signers—for PayPal to review its practices to implement the Santa Clara Principles and permit lawful transactions on its platform, halting its discrimination against marginalized groups.

PayPal closes pro-Palestinian group’s account in collusion with Israeli government

World Socialist Web Site

Jean Shaoul

9 August 2018

PayPal has closed the account of the French web site Agence Media Palestine in response to a global campaign by Israel to organise a crackdown on Palestinian supporters and critics of Israel, using fabricated claims of anti-Semitism.

The closure of the account by the American payment-processing corporation poses difficulties for Palestinians and Palestinian journalists, as there are few other international payment mechanisms. It marks a dangerous new stage in the ongoing campaign to isolate the Palestinians, criminalise political expression and censor freedom of speech on the Internet.

Agence Media Palestine, a Palestine solidarity organisation, publishes articles on Palestine in French, translating many from sources published elsewhere. It lists as its supporters prominent figures in France, such as the late author and concentration camp survivor Stéphane Hessel, Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan and human rights activist Mireille Fanon-Mendès France.

Within hours of Agence Media Palestine receiving notification from PayPal that it had closed its account, without citing any reason or violations of the terms of agreement, the web site received an email from Benjamin Weinthal, saying, “Your organisation lists PayPal as a donation method, but the payment is blocked.”

He asked, “Did PayPal close your account? If so, what was the reason for the closure?”

“Is your account in violation of France’s anti-discrimination law?”

Weinthal was gloating. He is a Berlin-based journalist and research fellow for the American neo-conservative group, the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies (FDD). The FDD works closely with the Israeli government and has sought to discredit the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights by linking it with terrorism, Hamas and Iran. The Jerusalem Post, along with a host of right-wing media organisations, regularly publish his articles.

According to the Electronic Intifada web site, Weinthal described the smear tactics he uses to engineer crackdowns on individuals and organisations that he claims are anti-Semitic because of their criticisms of Israel at a meeting of Israel lobbyists in Europe in 2016.

Outlining a playbook that will be familiar to the thousands of workers and young people in the UK now seeing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn slandered, he said, “You have to exaggerate to get these ideas across, because they don’t understand what contemporary anti-Semitism is, many of them.”

He admitted to using smear tactics as an essential component of his work and boasted of getting the journalists Max Blumenthal and David Sheen banned from the German parliament in 2014. He explained how he had compared Blumenthal, who is Jewish, to Horst Mahler, a former left-wing activist who became a Nazi.

Weinthal also described how he had tried to put pressure on PayPal and banks to close the accounts of human rights and civil society groups, focusing on groups across France, Germany and Austria.

The FDD functions as a front for the Israeli government, as Sima Vaknin-Gil, Israel’s director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, admitted.

Speaking on an Al-Jazeera undercover investigation into the Israel lobby in the US that has yet to be aired--due to pressure by Israel on the Qatari government which funds the news channel--Vaknin-Gil stated that the FDD was “working on” projects for Israel including “data gathering, information analysis, working on activist organisations, money trail.”

“We have FDD,” and “We have others working on this.”

According to the documentary, the FDD operates as an agent of the Israeli government, despite not being registered as such in accordance with US law.

The day after PayPal closed Agence Media Palestine’s account, Weinthal authored an article falsely claiming that organisations supporting the BDS campaign are “in violation of the Lellouche Law, which makes it illegal to target Israelis based on their national origin.” This is the same claim he used in January after PayPal closed the account of another campaign group, Association France Palestine Solidarité.

Agence Media Palestine accused Paypal of an “arbitrary act,” saying it was impossible to “ignore the links between PayPal and the extreme right-wing propagandist Benjamin Weinthal.”

It added that unless PayPal justified its action, it “reserves the right to take legal action.”

The web site said that it might launch an “information campaign about this discriminatory act for the benefit of a state that has just passed an apartheid law,” a reference to Israel’s recent nation-state law that privileges the rights of Jews above Israel’s other citizens.

PayPal has yet to reply substantively to Agence Media Palestine ’s letters.

PayPal processes more than $300 million in sales transactions every day, around 18 percent of the world’s e-commerce sales, and has a market capitalisation of some $100 billion. It has a long record of using its position to conduct political censorship on behalf of the US state and its allies.

Recently, the corporate giant blocked sales of the World Socialist Web Site pamphlet, The Struggle Against Imperialism and for Workers’ Power in Iran.

PayPal, along with MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Western Union and Bank of America, also collaborated with the Obama administration in 2010 by imposing a more than seven-year-long financial blockade on the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks, preventing it from receiving donations.

PayPal has also blocked the sale of publications and the use of its services by organisations linked with Iran, under the pretext of abiding by the US-led sanctions regime, imposed by the US and European powers to cripple Iran’s economy and destabilise its government.

PayPal’s action is part of a broader censorship drive by the US technology and social media giants, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter, that work closely with US intelligence agencies as well as Israel and its military intelligence organisations. In effect, they have given Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government the power to censor criticism by removing it from the Internet.

Last January, the New York Times confirmed an earlier report from Al-Jazeera that said, “Israel submitted 158 requests for Facebook over the past few months to remove what Israel deemed as ‘inciting content,’ and the company complied with 95 percent of those requests.”

The Times’s chief White House correspondent Peter Baker wrote, “Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider incitement,” and “Facebook has responded by removing most of them.”

Palestinian and international human rights groups have challenged Facebook over its role in censoring Palestinian voices online and sharing information with the Israeli government, which has arrested hundreds of Palestinians over Facebook posts.

In September 2016, Facebook executives met Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who heads the campaign against the BDS movement, to improve “cooperation against incitement to terror and murder.” Since then, it has worked closely with Israel to silence Palestinian criticism of Israel.

Israel’s Ministry of Justice published a report a year later, stating that its cyber unit handled 2,241 cases of online content and succeeded in getting 70 percent of it removed.

Jordana Cutler, Facebook’s head of policy and communications in Israel, admitted that the social media company works “very closely with the cyber departments in the justice ministry and the police and with other elements in the army and the Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security service].” She was previously a senior adviser to Netanyahu.

Unit 8200, the Israel Defence Forces’ cyber spy agency, monitors social media and other forms of electronic communication. It employs Israeli soldiers and students as well as “scouring Jewish communities abroad for young computer prodigies willing to join its ranks” to spread propaganda online and try to get content inimical to Israeli interests banned. Many such individuals work voluntarily and independently.

In addition, the government funds or sponsors projects that seek to place pro-Israel content throughout the Internet and remove information Israel does not want people to see.

Last December, an Israeli report stated that the Strategic Affairs Ministry had a budget of some $70 million to “stand at the forefront of the battle against delegitimisation, adopting methods from the fields of intelligence and technology.”

PayPal freezes out Palestine activists in France

Electronic Intifada

PayPal brushes-off request from Palestinian tech firms to access the platform


PayPal is Facilitating the Colonization of Palestine, ACT NOW!


27 July 2022

Palestine Action Takes Action Against Death “R”Us Elbit Factory at Shenstone amid Nablus aggression

 Can you Identify this Racist Scumbag in Cheadle Who Attacked an Indian Man Today

Does anyone know who this racist scumbag is?

As you may know in the past 6 months Palestine Action has closed down 2 of Elbit’s 10 sites in Britain, at Oldham and their HQ in London. We have them on the run and now is not the time to let up.

·         On Sunday afternoon, a team of Palestine Action activists took to UAV Engines LTD. – a factory belonging to Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, descending on the site and inflicting significant damage to facilities.

·         Produced at the site are the components that make up Elbit’s military drones – including the Hermes 450 and 900, put to extensive use in surveillance and attacks on the captive population of Gaza, Palestine.

·         In recent months, site operations have been halted numerous times by Palestine action. The factory has long been a target by pro-Palestine activists, and is frequented by locals who protest the site’s operations weekly.

·         Also manufactured by Elbit is the Watchkeeper drone – modelled on the Hermes 450 and supplied to the British military, border force and other governmental agencies, at home the Watchkeeper is used for policing British citizens and monitoring migrants attempting to cross the English Channel.

On Saturday night, Israeli military forces raided Nablus, killing two Palestinians and injuring 9 others, armed with stun grenades and ammunition. Today, members of Palestine Action descended upon Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems’ factory in Shenstone, smashing and striking at the site exterior, throwing red paint, a message to the Israeli occupation and those who uphold it – the day has passed where your violence will go unchecked, prepare to be met with resistance every step of the way. Activists took action today seeking to dismantle an industry built on occupation, dispossession and warfare across the globe.

The site in question is UAV Engines LTD. and has faced extensive action in the past, owing to its manufacture of components used in Elbit military drones such as the Watchkeeper UAV. A direct action campaign for site closure has been fought for nearly two years under the #ShutElbitDown banner, and longer by activists taking sporadic action. It has been waged by dozens of activists who have faced arrest and loss of liberty, alongside mass support from locals who wish to see an end to a brutal industry that starts on our doorsteps. After huge successes for the broader campaign, its use of direct action and community organising culminating in the closure of two of Elbit’s sites in London and Manchester, Palestine Action is working to permanently close UAV Engines LTD.

Elbit’s clientele spans much of the world – its military goods are sold on and used for anything from violent repression en masse, to the surveillance of both sky and sea. For many years, the Hermes 450/900 drones have been a staple of life in Gaza. They hold a constant presence in the skies, made ever known by their distinct buzzing, the threat of bombing always lurking. As Elbit themselves have said, the drones are “battle-tested” on Palestine – inaugurated through testing on Palestine’s captive populations, then sold back to militaries across the world.

Elbit drones are sold on to Israel in huge numbers (Elbit drones make up 85% of Israel’s drone fleet) and used to keep entire populations living in fear, under permanent siege-mentality – 91% of children in Gaza suffering from PTSD. Today’s action has been taken in their name, with a promise of resistance until victory – an end to Britain’s complicity, and a Palestine free from the horrors of occupation and state terror.

A Palestine Action spokesperson said: “Elbit drones are made in Britain, tested on Palestine then sold back to the British military, amongst others. The British military hold deep ties with Elbit – Britain is an accomplice in an international industry built on occupation, one where technlogy is suited not to meet human needs, but to further repression and terror. We can only cut these ties with direct action taken by the masses – ordinary people, willing to make sacrifices in order to end our collective complicity.”

See After Israel Invades Nablus, Palestine Action Storms an Israeli Drone Factory

Can You Identify this Racist Scumbag?

I saw this violent racist attack on an Indian man (who he kept calling a 'Paki') today on Twitter.  It needs to be given the widest publicity so that Cheadle Police are forced to arrest and charge him.


How Trans Nazis Targeted A Jewish Anti-Zionist Candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee with their demands for a Loyalty Oath

 Since when is the Mantra that a Transwoman is a Woman the Litmus Test for Who to Support on the Left?

Firstly to avoid any misrepresentation my reference to ‘trans Nazis’ is to be taken in the same way as references to ‘food Nazis’ which the Urban Dictionary defines as someone ‘who insists on dictating what others should call themselves based upon their diets.’

‘Trans Nazis’ refers to those who insist that support for trans rights and opposition to discrimination isn’t enough. People must sign up to the whole baggage of gender ideology such as ‘a transwoman is a woman’ and self-identification even though both are by definition subjective.

Both of these beliefs are and should be the subject of rational debate. A substantial section of feminists and the women’s movement object or have serious doubts about them because, to state the obvious, a transwoman is not a woman biologically, especially one with male genitalia. Merely saying that you are a woman doesn’t change your sex. Gender of course is fluid and can be anything you want it to be and is socially constructed. The question is why people want to identify as a gender which is opposite to the sex they were born into.

Likewise the idea that self-identification alone is sufficient makes the definition of sex entirely subjective whereas differences in sex are a material reality. This is not to doubt gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia but the solution is not to pretend that the answer is to redefine someone with these conditions as being biologically of the opposite sex to that they were born into.

Equally it is unlikely that a man would say they are a woman unless that was how they felt. However that should not be to ignore that there are men, however few is open to question, who will do so for opportunistic reasons such as gaining access to vulnerable women in for example rape crisis or domestic violence refuges. To say that all men in all circumstances who say they are women must be taken at face value is to discount the fact that some women have been raped by men claiming they are women in situations such as prisons.

Academic studies have found that ‘‘male-to-females . . . retained a male pattern regarding criminality. The same was true regarding violent crime.’ One can argue about this and there are differences of opinion but to exclude all discussion a priori on the basis that it does not fit some predetermined ideological disposition owes more to religious fundamentalism than rational argument. See Evidence and Data on Trans Women’s Offending Rate

I mention this because it was only last week that Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi, the Secretary of Jewish Voices for Labour was supported by Momentum as part of the Grassroots 5 candidates for election to Labour’s National Executive. Immediately there was a backlash by the Lansman supporting Momentum Organiser Group, Momentum staff and others on the Lansmanite wing of Momentum whose opposition to Naomi has nothing to do with Naomi or JVL’s position on gender ideology (they don’t have one) and everything to do with the fact that  Lansman and Momentum have long supported the weaponisation of ‘anti-Semitism’ as  part of the right’s attacks on anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians.

Momentum under Jon Lansman had an appalling record of anti-Palestinian racism and support for Zionism, and the Jewish Supremacist State of Israel (which some would also characterise as White Supremacist). False allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ were used repeatedly to attack supporters of the Palestinians, not least Jewish anti-Zionists.  I was the first but no means the last victim of Lansman and Momentum’s racism. Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, both long standing Black, and in Jackie’s case Jewish, anti-racists were expelled at the behest of the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement with the full support of Momentum and Lansman.

Lansman’s attacks on the non-Zionist Jewish Voices for Labour were endorsed by the Momentum National Co-ordinating Group. Writing in the Jewish Chronicle ‘Liar’ Lee Harpin wrote about how

Jon Lansman has launched an angry attack on Jewish Voice For Labour, writing that they are "part of the problem and not part of the solution to antisemitism in the Labour Party."

In leaked correspondence, the Momentum founder also stated it was his "observation... that neither the vast majority of individual members of JVL nor the organisation itself can really be said to be part of the Jewish community."

Jon Lansman and Luke Akehurst who justified Israel using snipers to fire on unarmed Palestinian demonstrators

The ‘logic’ of Lansman being that because most British Jews support Israel then socialists should distance themselves from those Jews who are anti-Zionist and who do not support Israeli Apartheid. A more craven response to racism and imperialism is hard to imagine.

Over two-thirds of Labour members refused to accept that anti-Semitism was a problem in the Labour Party but Lansman and Momentum insisted on supporting the attack of Tom Watson, Ian Austin, John Mann and the Labour Right on the supposed ‘anti-Semites’ in Labour. In so doing they destroyed the Corbyn Project.

Yet far from repenting of these views Momentum, even under its Forward Momentum leadership adopted them. When Jeremy Corbyn was suspended by Starmer what was the response of Momentum’s Chair Andrew Scattergood?  This ‘undermined the fight against anti-Semitism’!

Yet instead of coming clean and disavowing their past anti-Palestinian racism, Momentum is using the issue of trans rights as a pretext for continuing along the same path. Naomi is not the real target so much as a convenient political scapegoat. Since when is trans gender ideology the litmus test of who to support on the left? Since when has one’s position on anti-imperialism and anti-racism got to be viewed through the lens of gender ideology?

Naomis candidature as part of the Grassroots 5 attracted widespread, indeed virtually unanimous support from the Left with statements issued by a host of people including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Dianne Abbott, Richard Burgon and Ian Lavery as well as Ruth Hayes, Reederwan Craayenstein of Labour Black Socialists, Miriam Margolyes, Maxine Peake and the former Jewish ANC MP Andrew Feinstein.

Watch the video of Jeremy calling for support for Naomi and the other four

The 13 organisations supporting all 5 candidates are

Ø Campaign for Socialism

Ø Jewish Voice for Labour

Ø Kashmiris for Labour

Ø Labour Assembly Against Austerity

Ø Labour Black Socialists

Ø Labour Briefing (Co-op)

Ø Labour CND

Ø Labour Representation Committee

Ø Labour Women Leading

Ø Northern England Labour Left

Ø Red Labour

Ø Welsh Labour Grassroots

Ø Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

It was welcome that Momentum, which at its height had 40,000 members but which today has little more than a quarter of that, had agreed to support left unity in the wake of the unprecedented witchhunt and attack on the left by the neo-liberal Starmer Junta. It seemed that the era of Jon Lansman, scabbing on fellow socialists and allying with Zionists and assorted racists was finally over.

It seems however that our optimism was premature. There were those in Momentum who, not satisfied with having destroyed the Corbyn Project through their acceptance of the false ‘anti-Semitism’ narrative and the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism were determined to continue the attack on JVL and anti-Zionist Jews. How  did they manage this?  By adopting the slogans and dogma of the most extreme trans activists.

Momentum and an unrepresentative transactivist clique decided to break left unity and insist that people should accept every dot and comma of gender ideology, even though it is obvious that the left is divided on the issue as is the womens’ movement. You have to be blind not to notice that thousands of feminists and women activists refuse to accept that someone born a male can simply call themselves a woman and be accepted as such without question.

It is one thing to agree that any form of discrimination against trans people is wrong and unacceptable and must be fought like any other form of discrimination. It is quite another to insist that you have to accept the gender ideology that trans activists have foisted on people like some holy mantra. 

Although Lansman has gone his baleful influence still lingers and that was the primary reason why, having supported Naomi earlier in the week Momentum backtracked in the face of a strike threat by the Lansman leftovers amongst their staff. Which is reminiscent of the behaviour of the Labour Party’s own staff.

In the wake of the long-awaited Forde Report which recommended that JVL be involved in ‘anti-Semitism training’ (something I oppose anyway as racism cannot be fought by training, even assuming that anti-Semitism today is a form of racism, as opposed to a prejudiceds) the Zionist press began its own campaign.

The Jewish Chronicle led with The Forde Report distorts the battle against Jew hate explaining that ‘Three letters render the Forde Report into the leaking of a Labour document on antisemitism worthless: JVL.’. They were outraged

‘by the proposal that Jewish Voices for Labour, a group set up by Corbynites solely to push the idea that the party did not have a problem with antisemitism, should now be responsible (along with the Jewish Labour for training in antisemitism.  JVL should be proscribed, not embraced.

JVL issued a statement in response to Momentum’s attempt to justify its decision. Momentum’s ‘explanation’ sought to explain why they reversed their decision to support a unified left slate for the NEC. (see below)

On conducting a united left NEC campaign

Statement by Jewish Voices for Labour

Sat 23 Jul 2022

Statements are circulating on social media advising that Momentum has reversed its decision to support the Grassroots5 slate for the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee elections which includes JVL member, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. We deeply regret Momentum’s decision to separate itself in this way from the united position which virtually all other left organisations have committed to.

As a candidate, Naomi has been asked by several interest groups to declare her position on a number of issues that are not consensual in our movement, nor within the coalition of 13 organisations backing Grassroots5. She has been asked to state her view on Proportional Representation, to express support for the Labour Women’s Declaration and to sign a written commitment drafted by Momentum on gender self-ID.

JVL’s position as part of the G5 coalition is that it is not helpful for candidates to sign statements or answer questionnaires during an election, that have not been agreed by the groups collectively.

We are all agreed on fundamental principles to do with freedom of expression, democracy and human rights, international solidarity, equality, working class liberation and an end to all forms of discrimination against people for being who they are. We are not all agreed on the details of how that liberation is to be achieved.

This is what we have said to those who requested a policy commitment in each of the above cases.

This is not to accept or reject the views expressed by those approaching us or our candidate – simply to explain that it would require agreement by JVL and the other G5 coalition members for us to do so. Some of these views relate to complex, nuanced subjects that require extended reflection and respectful debate – something that cannot realistically occur in the heat of an election campaign.

Naomi will be pleased if she can contribute to creating an atmosphere within our movement that will facilitate such reflection and debate in the longer term. If elected to the NEC, she would hope to have productive discussions with like-minded CLP, TU and other NEC representatives, developing principled positions on issues as they arise in consultation with the supporting groups.

Meanwhile we ask comrades to understand that Naomi is not in a position to act independently of the key groups supporting the slate.

Our goal is to bring members together around issues that unite us, not to split over those that could divide us.

Naomi’s, and our, priority is to mobilise with allies in the party to win the greatest possible number of seats for the left on the NEC. We urge all groups and individuals who share this goal to get behind the Grassroots5 candidates – Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Gemma Bolton, Yasmine Dar, Mish Rahman and Jess Barnard.

See these links for up to date information on how to support the G5 campaign and cast your votes in the ballot. (Note the party has announced a delay in the start of voting which is now likely to begin in the week commencing August 1).

JVL issued this statement in response to Momentum’ attempt to justify their breaking of ranks (yet again) whose sole effect is to give comfort to Luke Akehurst and the right-wing candidates who are overt racists and misogynists. As is always the case with Momentum they haven’t issued this openly and subjected it to the normal debate one might expect of socialists. Instead they have  circulated it to a select group of its key activists because Momentum have contempt for their own passive membership, barely 3,000 of whom participated in the latest elections to their NCG. They sought to explain why they reversed their decision to support the unified left slate that has the best chance of securing a strong left-wing presence on the NEC.

In the process according to Skwawkbox CLPD and its representatives on Momentum’s NCG have broken with Momentum. It seems that Momentum are destined to disappear in a sectarian cesspool of its own making.

Momentum's actions undermine the fight against Starmer

Momentum Weasel Worded Statement on Why They had Decided to Break with Left Unity

We recognise and salute the good work that Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi has done standing up for Palestinian rights and defending the rights of Jewish people to hold anti-Zionist positions.

It was because of this that on Saturday the NCG initially voted to endorse Naomi for the NEC election. It was also agreed that Naomi be contacted to discuss concerns that had been raised in that meeting relating to trans rights. These concerns arose from previous Left slate negotiations for Labour’s National Women’s Committee – which Naomi participated in – where the issue of self-ID became a sticking point: a candidate who was open about not supporting self-ID was strongly supported and in the end endorsed against Momentum’s wishes. As such Momentum could not support the full slate. Once elected, that candidate subsequently argued for these trans-exclusionary views publicly, before then quitting Labour.

Following Saturday’s NCG meeting, Momentum attempted to approach Naomi to discuss this and get a firm guarantee in writing of a commitment to trans rights, so we could assure key stakeholders, including trans socialists and other candidates, that all those we endorse fully support the rights of trans people to self-identify their gender.

Naomi declined a direct meeting and her representatives were unable to provide a guarantee that Naomi supports self-ID. As such an emergency meeting of the NCG was called and a democratic vote to withdraw the endorsement passed.

We make no claim as to what views Naomi does or does not hold, but in light of our concerns remaining unaddressed, we could not in good faith maintain our endorsement.

This is not an abstract issue. For years there has been a concerted attempt to marginalise trans people and exclude them from public life, now reaching a horrifying crescendo in the Tory leadership contest. This consensus against trans people stretches from the liberal to the right-wing press and, shamefully, from the Tory Party to the upper echelons of Labour, as Momentum has condemned in recent weeks. The next NEC will have a role in approving the next Labour Party manifesto. It is critical, therefore, that our candidates are open and firm in their commitments to the rights of trans people.

Momentum’s approach to the issue of candidate endorsements and what we expect of candidates may differ from other organisations in the CLGA and we do not intend to make this a point of conflict in this election. These organisations remain our allies – and we look forward to continuing our work with them to build socialism in Britain and beyond.
N.B. As standard practice we do not usually disclose the details of negotiations for slates, but due to the briefing against Momentum and the misleading version of events provided we felt clarity on this issue was vital.

Imagine what Momentum’s response would be if the demand arose that before a left candidate could be endorsed they must agree that Zionism is a form of racism and that Israel is an Apartheid state! It would seem obvious that a society which oppresses a whole people on the basis of their ethnic origin is a somewhat higher priority than a question of identity politics and a clash between two oppressed groups – women and transwomen – yet Momentum would jump up and down if Zionism was made a litmus test. After all a large section of their leadership are pro-Zionist.

 What they have done is nothing more than self-indulgence prioritising the concerns of a few trans activists over someone who has always taken a principled position over the world’s only apartheid state.

There is a need for a serious debate on Trans Ideology and Transrights

In the interests of opening up debate I am including two articles below. One, which is slightly cut, is by a gender critical feminist and another is a response I did to an article by a member of the Institute of Race Relations Collective which sought to conflate gender critical feminists with the far-Right’s opposition to trans people.

A response to “the Fight for Trans rights” - the UCU Left statement

As a socialist, I stand with all oppressed people and agree with the statement “improved rights for one oppressed group should never be conditional on the oppression of other groups”. 

I understand that the biology of sex is complex but I am not aware of any basis for calling into question the material reality that human beings, like other mammals, are a sexually dimorphic species and sex is essentially binary with the population almost exclusively identifiable as male or female dependent on their potential role in biological reproduction.  This is what I mean when I say sex is a biological fact.  Gender by contrast is socially constructed which means that I do not believe that there is anything other than cultural about gender and gender roles - these are social constructions overlaid onto (not reducible to or determined by) biological differences between human males and females and their different roles in biological reproduction designed to enforce the reproductive labour of women within the family.   Even if sex were not actually, completely, inevitably binary, this would be irrelevant to the gender question.  The gender binary has arisen out of a social understanding of sex as binary and like other socio-cultural phenomena serves the interests of the dominant group and maintains that dominance through socialisation.  As a feminist, I reject this gender binary.

Homosexuality and gender non-conformity are a threat to a social order which depends on the adherence to gender roles within a particular socially contingent notion of family. As a consequence, they are subject to oppression and discrimination in the form of homophobia and transphobia which, whilst having similar roots to sexism are not identical or reducible to it.  I am subject to sexism because I am socially read as belonging to the female sex class and the oppression of sexism functions in part through the social coercion to conform to feminine gender roles (along with other factors such as fear of male violence).  I abhor the oppression caused by the construct of gender roles and the liberation we seek must include the freedom to have consensual sex with anyone we choose and to be free of gendered expectations in the development of our social identity.  Gendered identities do not precede but emerge from and within sexist societies in which individuals are gendered according to their sex.  I don’t see my gendered identity as a woman as a matter of self-identification, but as the result of having been and being socially read as a woman which includes assumptions about my biological sex. 

Gender identity is defined as a feeling or ‘sense of oneself’, often deeply held and although I have heard some trans advocates argue that it is “more than a feeling”, I have never seen a clear articulation of what that “more” is.  Accepting the concept of gender identity as a deeply held sense of being a man or woman or non-binary, begs the question of the source of this deeply held sense.  I would reject (as the UCU Left statement does) any appeal to a material base for gender identity such as gendered brain just as I would reject any appeal to justification of gender on the basis of biology.  The notion of gender identity being linked to a gendered brain is clearly as sexist as saying that gender roles are determined by physiology.  But if there is not a material base, what is the source of this immutable deeply held sense of oneself, is it a kind of innate immaterial essence, a kind of ‘soul’? Because I am a materialist I reject this too.

I don’t believe I have a soul or that I have an immaterial deeply held sense of my gender identity. I do not claim to have the soul of a woman (how would I know?).  All I lay claim to is feeling like me in my sexed body having lived in a sexist society all my life.  I am, to a greater or lesser extent, conscious of the ways in which I conform to gendered expectations even as I reject the idea that there should be any expectations of me which relate to my presumed biological sex and try to resist them. My oppression as a woman is independent of whether or not I claim the gender identity ‘woman’ and in childhood it preceded any emerging sense of my social identity.  Could I disguise my way out of that oppression to the extent that I could ‘pass’ as a man?  Would this eradicate the legacy of oppression previously experienced?  I think I cannot simply self-identify my way out because my gender identity is not just a question of self-identification but of social identification. 

Rejection of gendered social norms and resultant social identities is the basis of feminism and I understand how rejection of the gendered social identities foisted on us all might lead some of us to want to escape one gender identity by taking on an alternative gender identity. I believe in the distress and suffering gender dysphoria causes and it is because I think it is important to minimise this distress and suffering that I think it is important that we seek to understand it and its causes. That an individual’s sense of self should be at odds with their sexed body and its associated social identity is a symptom not an explanation and insisting on affirmation precludes any questioning of possible causes of dysphoria.  I think this is important because in a highly gendered society such as ours the phenomena of men rejecting a masculine and taking on a feminine gender identity and women doing the reverse are not equivalent.  It is not the case that gender critical feminists who critique the concept of gender identity “rarely consider trans men, non-binary and other gender nonconforming people in their analysis of trans people’s experience” as the statement suggests, quite the opposite.  It is noticeable, however, that trans men are much less visible and vocal in promoting the primacy of gender identity than some trans women have been.

Feminists are well aware that throughout history women have taken on masculine gender identities and sought to ‘pass’ as men.  This was not necessarily the result of a deeply held sense of gender identity but often, more prosaically, to escape various forms of sexist oppression and access some of the privileges of manhood (including being able to live in a socially accepted way with their female partner). Yet, in the last decade, the gender identity service dealing with all UK candidates for a sex change under 18 saw a rise in referrals from 77 in 2009 to 2728 in 2019 with the vast majority of these more recent referrals being female. How does insisting on affirmation help, or might it even prevent, us from seeking to understand this phenomenon and its causes?

As Vaishnavi Sundar has said “In this dystopian world where misogyny is rampant and womanhood is commodified, being female comes at a cost. […] It is no surprise that young girls are fleeing womanhood like a house on fire”.  There is nothing progressive about accepting that if young women feel they can’t conform with the version of womanhood this society requires of them they can seek an individual solution by becoming a man.  There is nothing progressive or challenging of the gender binary in accepting that discomfort or distress caused by one’s designated gender can be resolved by claiming the other (I distinguish this from self-identification as ‘non-binary’ to which I refer later).  This is so not least because it is not a solution for many as the growth in detransitioner organisations and groups testifies.  The cost of de-pathologising gender dysphoria is the pathologizing of the healthy body and here I am troubled by the similarities I see between a woman having her breasts removed in an attempt to attain a better physical match with her gender identity and a woman having her breasts enlarged for the same reason.  I see both as the result of the oppression of gender and both as seeking a solution through individual transformation rather than through social revolution.

Gender identity (which I see as a symptom of oppression) conflates gender and sex and denies the way in which our sexed bodies are the root cause of our oppression.  This inevitably leads to the erasure of women as a sex class subject to sexism and misogyny....

While we live in a sexist society, sex is an important and meaningful social and political category which must not be erased.  At the same time, I also recognise the nearly limitless variation in gender identity that can emerge from the interaction of biology and society.  There are thousands of ways of being a man and as many of being a woman each involving infinite variations in degrees of gender (non) conformity.  I cannot, therefore, accept the ontological position that trans women are women and trans men are men for the reasons outlined above and because it accepts and confirms the gender binary.  However, I applaud and stand in solidarity with those who take the political position of self-identifying as non-binary.... 

In solidarity,


Feminism, biological fundamentalism and the attack on trans rights

Dear IRR Collective,

As you know I have had links with the Institute going back to the days of Anti-Fascist Action in the 1980s. I have always been an admirer of your work and in particular of your late Director Siva. That is why I am writing to express my concern over the article by Sophia Siddiqui, Feminism, biological fundamentalism and the attack on trans rights. It seems to represent a disturbing departure from your approach to identity politics, best articulated by Jenny Bourne’s pamphlet Homelands of the mind: Jewish feminism and Identity Politics.

The issue of transrights vs gender critical feminists (or TERFS) is it seems to me one of identity politics. It is founded on a disagreement between two oppressed groups and I see no reason why the IRR or anti-racists more broadly should take a position on an issue which both divides the left, the women’s and anti-racist movements.

The piece by Sophia effectively conflates the politics of the far-Right to the position on trans and gender issues of large sections of the women’s movement, the left (& others). This is dangerous and the analysis is simplistic. This is dangerous and its only effect could be pushing people into the arms of the far-Right.

The way that the far-Right treat Black people and migrants is not the same as their treatment of sexual minorities and women. Simply confusing different forms of oppression does not help us understand the strategies of the far-Right.

The attitude of the far-Right is in any case not uniform. In France the Front Nationale is led by a woman. In other parts of the far-Right attitudes to sexual minorities have changed, for example in The Netherlands with Pim Fortyn. Today gay rights for example is used as a way of demonstrating how Muslims are not part of the Judeo-Christian heritage. The EDL have also done this to some extent.

When the far-Right in Spain and Hungary campaign around the slogan ‘If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you will continue to be so’ they are not simply referring to accepted biological facts any more than racists do when they place Black and Muslim people outside the national collective. Clearly what they mean is that men will perform the roles men have traditionally played and women likewise. In other words physical differences translate into different functional and cognitive roles and abilities. This is not what the debate around trans rights is about amongst feminists.

Of course attacks on trans-people by whoever are to be condemned without reservation. The same with any sexual minority but it does not for example follow from that that transwomen are women.  Leaving aside the question as to what we mean by a woman.

Sophia says that ‘gender critical’ feminists play into the hands of far-right street forces and extreme-right electoral parties which would like to abolish anti-discrimination protections altogether.’ I am not aware that any section of gender critical feminists are calling for the abolition of sections of the Equality Act. What they do want is to preserve those sections that protect women’s space.

The article says that ‘‘gender critical’ feminism often represent trans people as sexual offenders and threats to the safety of women – arguments that hinge on their belief that trans women are not  women.’ This is confusing a number of different arguments.

I know of no one who suggests that all or most trans people represent a threat to womens’ safety. However there is a real issue about whether, when a man declares that he is a transwoman, that that must be taken as the end of the matter. Is it seriously suggested that there are no men who would not act in bad faith in order to gain access to vulnerable women? The actions of Karen White are well known but there have been several other attacks on women in prisons. Likewise transwomen in male prisons are equally vulnerable  That would suggest the need for special units for trans prisoners rather than placing them in womens’ prisons.

There was also the attack by trans activists on women in Hyde Park in 2017. When I looked at the video I saw men in skirts not women doing the attacking. Just as in Nazi Germany there were gays in the Nazi party who were not only extreme anti-Semites (Rohm and the SA leadership) but were wedded to a masculinist ideology of extreme misogyny.

You say that some women ‘use the same biological arguments that a ‘man is a man, a woman is a woman’, to debase the rights of trans, intersex and non-binary people’. But if what you say is true does that not equally apply to trans women who are claiming to be women. If they haven’t had gender change surgery and transitioned on what basis do they claim to be women? That they conform to traditional sexual stereotypes?

Of course anyone has the right to claim to be a woman but you cannot claim the right to insist that other people accept that claim. This is remarkably similar to another example of identity politics when Zionist Jews claim the right to define what they claim is their own oppression when we all know that what they are really doing is defining the oppression of Palestinians.

By definition such claims are subjective and metaphysical. There is no rational method or rule to differentiate between bogus and genuine claims to be oppressed unless they are seen in terms of class and race. Otherwise it results in conceptual chaos, which is at the heart of identity politics. Sophia states that

Just as scientific racism centred on supposed biological differences to classify humans in a rigid racial hierarchy, ‘gender critical’ feminists are propelling biological arguments that essentialise sex and its relation to gender identity, contending that sex is purely biological depending on what reproductive organs you have.

It seems to me that you are confusing separate things. It goes without saying that there are biological differences between men and women.  Just as there are obvious differences such as colour between Black and White people. This is not the issue.

The problem is that racists use these differences to classify people as inferior or untermenschen on the basis of physical or racial/religious differences. What they are doing is extrapolating from physical difference in order to assert that Black, Jewish etc. people are cognitively or behaviourally different, thus justifying discrimination and worse.  No one that I know argues that transwomen possess different innate abilities by virtue of physical or gender differences.

Of course we must be vigilant to ensure that transwomen (& men) are not discriminated against but that doesn’t mean that their gender identity has to be accepted by other women and men without question.  The definition of gender according to the World Health Organisation is ‘the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed.’ Whereas the definition of sex refers to ‘the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.’ In essence reproduction of the human species.  So when Sophia talks of ‘gender norms’ I wonder what, in an age of gender self-identity she means. The socialisation of the female gender is for example child care. How does this fit with defining trans women as women?

I find it surprising that you are criticizing the EHRC for intervening in a case where someone is dismissed for asserting that  women must have the right to question transgender identity without being abused, stigmatised or risking losing their job’. Are you really saying that students at Sussex University were right to demand that Professor Kathleen Stock should be dismissed for her beliefs?

Would you agree with the (Zionist) Jewish students at Bristol University who have just secured the dismissal of Professor David Miller because his view are also a ‘threat’ to their ‘safety’ as they define it?  This is a very dangerous road you are going down.

Sophia asserts that ‘What happens to trans rights today will have ramifications for anyone who lives outside of gender norms.’ Why? This assumes that gender critical feminists are all in favour of boys and girls, men and women, conforming to traditional stereotypes.  One could equally ask what trans rights activists mean by asserting that they are women?  In what respect? Are they not defining a woman in traditional terms?

It would seem to me, no doubt in my innocence, that the obvious solution would be for trans women and men to define themselves in terms of a trans gender identity.

I asked a friend who was a delegate at the Labour Party conference who has been involved in refugee and anti-racist work most of her life for her take on this and her response was that:

‘You did ask me and I said I struggled with the idea that biology could be transcended by self ID. I was talking to XXX XXX about it in Brighton. She said free speech is being shut down just the same as the anti -Semitism smear. As you point out victims of the anti-Semitism smear are treated very differently. 

For better or worse the left is divided over the issue of transrights vs women’s rights and what is called gender critical feminism.  There needs to be a debate over these issues not attempts to close down free speech by crying ‘TERF’ or ‘bigot’.

Finally can I ask you whether Sophia’s article represents the collective view of the Institute?

With best wishes,