Exclusive: The Complete Moral Collapse of Labour Friends of israel @_LFI ‏

Exclusive: The Complete Moral Collapse of Labour Friends of Israel

John Wright — Off-Guardian May 17, 2018

Labour Friends of Israel1

It is hard to imagine anything so nauseating as a group of affluent liberals defending the mass murder of poor colonized people in the name of democracy and security. Though a species of moral turpitude associated with 19th century colonial tropes, in 2018 it remains very much alive under the banner of the UK Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).
In response to the shocking scenes of violence unleashed by Israeli security forces against Palestinian protestors on the boundary of the besieged Gaza Strip, resulting in the deaths of at least 58 people, including children, and the wounding of a further 2700, international condemnation of Israel has been near total.
Given that this latest body count raises to over 100 the number of Palestinians killed over the six weeks of Great Return March protests, organized to demand the right of return of refugees to their homes, along with a total of 10,000 wounded and injured, over 100, there is no doubting the willingness of Israel’s security forces to unleash lethal force against civilians.
Yet, as if to confirm the truth that colonialism is the toilet of the human soul, Labour Friends of Israel – a group of avowed Israel-supporting Labour Party MPs and officials – in a tweet subsequently removed amid the deluge of criticism it incurred, sought to defend this massacre by raising the spectre of Hamas.

Labour friends of Israel2

It reads:
Tragic events on the Gazan border; all civilian deaths are regrettable. Hamas must accept responsibility for these events. Their successful attempt to hijack peaceful protest to attack Israeli border communities must be condemned by all who seek peace in the Middle East.”
Language is important, for it is the key to unlocking consciousness, and the language deployed by LFI in its response to Israel’s massacre of unarmed Palestinian protestors in Gaza confirms that for them the world is defined by a hierarchy of human worth, thus assuaging the groups collective conscience in defending the indefensible.
But though LFI constitute a particularly egregious example of moral collapse when it comes to mitigating this unconscionable massacre, there are other culprits whose foray into the swamp of equivocation is worthy of condemnation.
Consider, for example, the BBC’s coverage.
In its reporting of the massacre the word ‘clashes’ predominated, conjuring the image of two equal sides engaged in a battle of some sort.

 

Thus for the typical Oxbridge-educated BBC journalist and editor, a Palestinian wielding a slingshot is the moral equivalent of a Kevlar-helmeted Israeli soldier wielding an advanced sniper rifles – moreover, a sniper rifle that may well have been supplied by the UK.
As for CNN, that bastion of US liberal news propaganda (oops, sorry, coverage), here again it’s not a massacre it’s clashes, as in ‘Dozens of Palestinians killed In Gaza clashes as US Embassy Opens’.
Speaking of which, the extent of the contempt in which the rights of the Palestinians are held, and thus the contempt in which they as a people are held, was measured in the juxtaposition of the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem with Palestinians being mown down by gunfire in Gaza. The headline carried on the front page of the New York Daily News, excoriating Ivanka Trump’s attendance at the event on behalf of the administration, spoke for millions.
There is no longer any hiding place when it comes to the brutal injustice of the plight of the Palestinian people. Too, the attempt to deploy Hamas as the terrorist bogeyman, used to justify Israel’s asphyxiating blockade of two million people in Gaza, is a perversion of both the history and the reality of the issue.
Hamas is a product of Israel’s brutality and violence, Israel’s brutality and violence is not and never has been a product of Hamas. Further, the roots of this latest bout of lethal violence on the part of the Israeli security forces do not lie in the stance of the Netanyahu government, or indeed any Israeli government. Instead its roots lie in Israel’s mode of existence as a settler colonial apartheid state, a key component of which is the dehumanization and subjugation of the Palestinians.
Desmond Tutu, the first black archbishop if Cape Town, South Africa, and who received the Nobel Prize for his role in the struggle against South African apartheid, understood this all too well. In 2014, he is reported to have said:
I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”
He goes on:
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”
It is no accident that the post-apartheid South African government peremptorily announced the withdrawal of its ambassador from Israel in light of the massacre in Gaza. After all, on the most prosaic of levels, who more qualified to recognize today’s victims of apartheid than yesterday’s victims of apartheid?
Labour Friends of Israel, a key pole of opposition to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, has plumbed new depths of indecency with its mealy-mouthed apologia for Israel’s dreadful and appalling massacre of Palestinian protestors in Gaza.
Shakespeare was right:
Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

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Jewish Boomerang

May 07, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

jewish boomerang.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

If political terror is defined as the use of fear to achieve political aims then the activities of the self-elected British Jewish Zionist pressure groups seem to fit that definition. Some of these groups have openly tried to coerce political parties by threatening them, setting ‘ultimatums’ and harassing individuals. Political activists have lost their jobs and been ejected from their political institutions merely for criticising Israel or for citing historical facts deemed by some to be anti semitic.

Yet, the recent Local elections in Britain proves that the Brits are strong people, not easily deterred by political terrorism.  Despite the relentless campaign against the Labour Party and the vicious slander of Corbyn and his supporters, the Party didn’t lose power. In fact, Labour saw its best London results since 1971. A BBC statistical exercise that applied the local election results to a possible parliamentary election predicted that the Conservatives would  lose 38 seats while Labour would gain 21!

bbc.png

The message to the Israeli Lobby is clear. Your game appears to be counter effective. Further,  if these threats are viewed by the public as political terrorism they could lead to a backlash against British Jews and perhaps others.  Despite your efforts, Labour voters stayed with Corbyn. By now they are likely frustrated by your relentless activity. The British are not blind to your lobbying, and how could they be? The Zionist pressure games are  openly aired in public.

UK silence on israel’s detention of Palestinian children

UK silence on Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

UK silence on Israel’s detention of Palestinian children

Israel has received international condemnation for its system of military detention for Palestinian minors [File: Mohammed Ballas/AP]

Some UK politicians are getting fed up with Israel’s disregard for international law on the rights of children. 6 years after a damning report on “Israel’s widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees,” next to nothing had improved, and Israel refused an additional follow-up visit.
But even as some are calling for tough measures, the UK voted against a resolution on Israeli accountability at the UN Human Rights Council last March.

by Ben White, Al Jazeera

In 2012, a report by a UK government-sponsored delegation of lawyers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories found Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in military detention to be in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Six years on, however, and Israel has made only modest changes; according to government minister Alistair Burt, speaking in the Houses of Parliament earlier this year, Israel has implemented just one of 43 specific recommendations made by the lawyers.

At the time, Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer at Defense for Children International-Palestine, told Al Jazeera the report was “a particularly useful tool that provided a cogent case study of the separate and unequal legal framework Israeli authorities operate in the occupied West Bank”.

“The report established the UK government as a critical voice on Israel’s widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian child detainees.”

But with so few substantial changes made to the system of Israeli military detention, many are calling into question the wisdom of a UK government strategy limited to, as Burt told Parliament in the same debate, “regular dialogue” with Israeli officials.

“It is time for ‘urging’ to be turned into concrete actions,” Parker said, actions “centred on ending physical violence against Palestinian children and holding Israel accountable to international law norms to end Israeli ‘exceptionalism’.”

Jailing children

There are currently some 300 Palestinian children in Israeli jails with Israel “the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts each year”. About half of child detainees are held outside the occupied territories in violation of international law.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told Al Jazeera the issue “remains a human rights priority for the UK, and as such, we will continue to raise the matter with Israel”.

Citing “some improvements/progress by Israel”, such as the establishment of “separate juvenile courts”, the spokesperson added: “We are clear that there is still more to do, and that is why we continue to engage with the Israeli authorities, including offering them expert support.”

According to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, however, changes made in recent years by Israeli authorities are “useful for propaganda” but “have not improved the protection of minors’ rights”. In a new report published in March, the NGO said the juvenile court “changed nothing of substance”.

“The changes that Israel has made remain painfully inadequate,” Labour MP Richard Burden told Al Jazeera, “and the international mechanisms that are available to require Israel to make more substantial changes on the specific issue of children in detention are sadly weak.”

However, if anything, the trend is going in the opposite direction. In February 2016, a follow-up mission by UK lawyers was cancelled because Israeli authorities withdrew cooperation. According to the Foreign Office, “there are no current plans for these lawyers to make a return visit.”

‘Culture of impunity’

Meanwhile, despite acknowledging Israel’s continued ill-treatment of Palestinian children in military detention – in addition to other policies such as settlement expansion and home demolitions – the UK voted against a resolution on accountability at the UN Human Rights Council in March. The official explanation was this was “a vote against the council’s disproportionate focus on Israel”.

Burden, who chairs the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, described it as “more than disappointing” that the UK government decided to “prioritise making a political point” at the council “over holding Israel accountable for breaches of human rights”.

“It can only add to the culture of impunity which characterises the government of Israel’s approach to its responsibilities under International law,” he added.

According to Parker, whose colleagues work on the ground with Palestinian children and their families, “the UK government and others are choosing to react to the loudest ‘voice’ at the expense of increased protections or justice and accountability for Palestinian children.”

Questioned about the UK vote in Geneva, the Foreign Office spokesperson insisted that government officials “continue to raise children in detention and matters of accountability both bilaterally and multilaterally to hold Israel to account”, such as in Israel’s Universal Periodic Review in January.

Robust approach

Clearly, however, such an approach isn’t working. For parliamentarians such as Burden, a long-time campaigner on Palestinian rights, “it is important that the international community puts in to practice mechanisms which can hold to account both Israel itself and institutions which are complicit in breaches of international law.”

The Labour MP added “the establishment by the UN of a database of companies with commercial links to settlements illegally built in the occupied territories can be an important contribution to that”, and he urged the UK government to “drop its opposition to that initiative.”

Burden also said the European Union should insist “that Israel abides by the principles of the human rights that underpin the EU-Israel Association Agreement”.

For now, the UK government shows no signs of going beyond the current combination of occasional public criticism and “engagement.” But among MPs, from across party lines, there is clearly an appetite for a more robust approach.

A motion tabled in parliament last November condemning the “widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody” gathered 141 signatures.

Meanwhile, a separate motion tabled last month urged “the government to exert meaningful and decisive political, diplomatic and economic pressure on the Israeli authorities” to halt the demolition of Palestinian homes, a call to action that to date has attracted the support of more than 50 MPs.

Anti-Semitism. Orchestrated Offensive against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK

Anti-Semitism. Orchestrated Offensive against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK

Jonathan Cook – Orientxxi May 8, 2018

corbyn & the Js

Britain’s opposition leader should have plenty on his plate at the moment, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is spending much of his time instead putting out fires as he is attacked from within and without his party for failing to get to grips with a supposed “anti-semitism crisis” besetting Labour.

Late last month leading Jewish groups organised a large “Enough is enough” march on parliament, attended by prominent Labour MPs, to accuse Corbyn of siding with anti-Semites.

In response to the rally, Corbyn issued a statement acknowledging that “anti-semitism has surfaced within the Labour Party,” apologised and promised “to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end.”

Under Media Attack

But there are no signs that Corbyn’s problems are about to end. On April 17, he had to endure the bizarre spectacle of a parliamentary debate on anti-semitism convened by the Conservative government in which his own backbenchers spent hours lambasting their party and him as leader.

In fact, 18 months earlier, Britain’s parliamentary home affairs committee had found “no reliable, empirical evidence” suggesting Labour had more of an anti-semitism problem than any other political party.

But the anti-semitism claims should be understood in a wider context: of the backlash to Corbyn-led Labour Party.

From the moment of his surprise election by party members nearly three years ago, Corbyn has found himself under relentless attack from the British media, including the state broadcaster the BBC and the liberal Guardian newspaper.

His chief offence seems to be that he harks back to an era before Margaret Thatcher stamped a neoliberal orthodoxy on British politics, requiring the Labour Party under Tony Blair to reinvent itself as “New Labour” by renouncing its socialist, and even social democratic, roots.

Corbyn’s election as leader brought a surge of new members into the party, making it now the largest political party in western Europe.

Nonetheless, Corbyn’s MPs, most of them survivors from the Blair era, have been in near-permanent revolt, even forcing him in 2016 into a rerun of the leadership election, which he again won decisively.

But despite the attacks and dismal ratings, the Labour leader shocked his critics in the June 2017 election by nearly overturning the large Conservative majority. He won the largest share of the vote for Labour since 1997, when Blair enjoyed a landslide victory

Holes in the Narrative

For a while, Corbyn’s media critics and the Labour parliamentary party were stunned into silence. But in recent weeks they have revived concerns about anti-semitism more aggressively.

There is an unstated implication in the so-called “anti-semitism crisis”: that it has been triggered by Corbyn’s long-standing support for the Palestinian cause, his vehement opposition to imperial wars, and his historical sympathy for third-world liberation movements.

His critics have mostly left it unclear whether they are suggesting his worldview stoked a previously dormant anti-semitism in the party, or whether he has been secretly encouraging Jew hatred, despite his long and well-known record on anti-racism.

Though there have been isolated examples of anti-semitism among Labour party activists, as there are in any walk of life, Corbyn’s critics are making a far stronger claim. They argue that the Labour Party under Corbyn is uniquely vulnerable to, and infected with, anti-semitism.

But there were holes in the anti-semitism narrative from the outset.

Many of the alleged examples highlighted after Corbyn’s election as leader predated his rise to power. These cases were identified after critics scoured the social media accounts of Corbyn supporters, often focusing on the period during Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza in late 2014 when online tensions were at a peak.

Though it is rarely mentioned, a significant proportion of those who were summarily suspended, or expelled, for anti-semitism by a Labour party bureaucracy still dominated by anti-Corbyn Blairites was Jewish or had Jewish ancestry, such as Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Cyril Chilson and Glyn Secker.

In one case, a respected Israeli Jewish academic based in the UK, Moshe Machover, found himself expelled until an outcry forced party leaders to grudgingly reinstate him.

The thread connecting these high-profile cases was that all of them were vocal critics of Israel.

Livingstone Comes a Cropper

Ken Livingston. Click to enlarge

Ken Livingston. Click to enlarge

The biggest scalp in the anti-semitism row, however, was Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London who was seen as firmly in Corbyn’s ideological camp. Livingstone, we should recall, was so reviled by Thatcher that she abolished London’s main local government body in the mid-1980s to be rid of him.

Livingstone has been indefinitely suspended from the party, and there are angry calls from many Labour MPs for his expulsion.

His case became the defining moment in Labour’s “anti-semitism crisis,” which is a reason to examine it a little more closely than has generally been done.

Livingstone is an outspoken, independent-minded politician by nature, and so can hardly be said to represent the general state of Labour. But even so, the attacks on him highlight the ideological muddle, and possibly bad faith, of those advancing claims of an “anti-semitism problem” in Labour.

During a radio interview on anti-semitism in May 2016, Livingstone ventured on to incendiary historical ground: “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

There were lots of problems with Livingstone’s foolhardy statement. The date should have been 1933; there was no Israel then, it was Palestine, and the phrase “went mad” implied that Hitler’s earlier expulsion policy might be seen as sane.

But the mix of inaccuracy and clumsiness of Livingstone’s off-the-cuff remarks are not what got him into trouble: it was the claim that Hitler “was supporting Zionism.” Almost immediately the media reformulated Livingstone’s statement as “Hitler was a Zionist”, even though it seemed patently obvious that was not a fair summary of what he said or meant.

In English, the formulation “Hitler was supporting Zionism” is ambiguous and could mean either that Hitler liked or sympathised with Zionism as an ideology, or that he assisted or facilitated Zionism’s aims, possibly unintentionally.

The distinction is important because there are plenty of respectable historians of that period who would agree with the second meaning and almost none who would concur with the first. Certainly, the second meaning is no proof of anti-semitism.

But no one in the media or among Corbyn’s critics was interested in raking over the troubling but documented ties between early Nazis and sections of the Zionist movement, even though it was the key to understanding Livingstone’s remark.

Toxic Row Brews

Corbyn hoped to draw a line under the mounting row about anti-semitism by setting up an internal review in June 2016. Barrister Shami Chakrabarti concluded that the party was “not overrun” by anti-semitism, as critics claimed, but that there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” which needed to be addressed.

The conference where these findings were issued, however, was overshadowed by just such a toxic row, this time provoked by a Jewish Labour MP, Ruth Smeeth. She made a very public exit from the conference in tears.

She accused a Corbyn supporter, Marc Wadsworth, a black activist and founder of the Anti-Racist Alliance, of promoting “vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people” at the event by accusing her of leaking stories to the right-wing press to harm Corbyn. Wadsworth argued that he didn’t know that Smeeth was Jewish, but was suspended for anti-semitism nonetheless. It was hard to avoid the conclusion that Smeeth was implying that because she was Jewish, criticism of her was anti-semitic by definition.

For good measure, she dragged Corbyn into the fray, saying he “stood by and did absolutely nothing . . . a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.”

Smeeth later claimed to have received 25,000 abusive messages online, most of them via Twitter, in the days immediately following the spat over the Chakrabarti inquiry’s findings.

But a study by the Community Security Trust], a UK Jewish lobby group, in March 2018 blew a large hole in her claim. It identified only 15,000 anti-semitic tweets for the whole of the UK in a 12-month period that included June 2016.

Nonetheless, following a hearing this week attended by Smeeth, to which she was ostentatiously escorted by some two dozen Labour MPs serving as a “bodyguard”, Wadsworth was expelled for “bringing the party into disrepute.”

The concern is that Corbyn’s opponents in the party have made common cause over anti-semitism, a charge of such gravity that they know party members will be reluctant to come to the defence of those accused. The media has seemingly been an enthusiastic accomplice.

Corbyn’s supporters argue that the main Jewish lobby groups in the party, most notably the Jewish Labour Movement, the UK’s sister organisation of the Israeli Labour Party, dread a future in which a Corbyn government may become the first in Europe to prioritise the Palestinians over Israel.

And the dominant faction of Blairite MPs fear losing their party to someone they view as a political dinosaur and a threat to the political and economic order they champion.

There is a substantial overlap between these two interest groups, with some 80 prominent MPs also members of Labour Friends of Israel.

These suspicions appeared to be confirmed early last year when the Qatar-based satellite channel Al Jazeera aired four episodes of a documentary into the role of the Israeli lobby in the UK. Three were on the lobby’s role in the Labour Party, while a fourth dealt with Israeli embassy efforts to “take down” a Conservative government minister, Alan Duncan, highly critical of Israel’s settlements.

Significantly, Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter exposed the intimate and covert ties between the leadership of two key Labour groups—the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI)—and Shai Masot, of the Israeli embassy in London. Both organisations, which are seen voicing their hostility to Corbyn, have been at the forefront of the campaign to claim that Labour under the new leader has an anti-semitism problem.

Although Masot claimed to be an embassy official, there were strong indications that he actually worked for a secretive unit of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry.

According to the Israeli media, the unit is charged with carrying out smear campaigns against overseas Palestinian solidarity activists, especially those in the growing boycott (BDS) movement.

It also emerged that the director of the JLM, Ella Rose, previously worked at the Israeli embassy and has boasted of her close ties to Masot.

Conference Clash

The Al Jazeera documentary created surprisingly little fallout. Masot was removed by Israel, but no investigation was launched by the Labour Party into the activities of the JLM or LFI.

In reaction to the unchallenged dominance of the JLM as the voice of Jews in the Labour Party, a new breakaway group, one that was pro-Corbyn, launched at the Labour party conference last October called Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). The new group quickly found itself tarred with claims of promoting hate speech at the conference.

There were wells of general resentment among a section of delegates towards the JLM for its role in seeking to discredit Corbyn that had been exposed by Al Jazeera. There were even a few calls for the JLM to be expelled from the party.

This context was entirely missing from media coverage, serving instead to offer yet more proof of the party’s anti-semitism problem.

At the heart of the dispute between the JLM and JVL were efforts by the former to broaden the definition of anti-semitism to include “the holding of beliefs” that might be “perceived” as offensive. Corbyn supporters and others warned that the move would create “thought crimes”.

The JLM also hoped to incorporate more fully into the party rule book a controversial definition of anti-semitism formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an inter-governmental body.

Faced with resistance from party members at the conference, the JLM was forced to water down its proposals.

The JVL and its supporters, such as the award-winning film director Ken Loach, also found themselves dragged into yet another anti-semitism row—this time over reports that a fringe meeting had included a speaker arguing that people should have the right to question whether the Holocaust happened.

The allegations again looked deeply mischievous. The speech was not made at a JVL event, and there was no recording of it. But more significantly, the speaker in question was not a Labour activist but Miko Peled, a well-known Israeli whose father had been one of the country’s most famous generals.

Friend with the “bad” Jews

Nonetheless, the conference clash helped to clarify what was at stake for many of those involved. Jonathan Freedland, a senior columnist at the Guardian, waded in to support the JLM, arguing that the traditional definition of anti-semitism—that it was a hatred of Jews for being Jews—was too limited.

Instead, he claimed, it was a mood that could be perceived only by its victims, even if there was no tangible evidence that outsiders could detect. Further, anti-semitism included attacks on Jewish identity. And because Israel was now central to most Jews’ identity, attacks on Israel could be evidence of anti-semitism too.

The implications of Freedland’s argument came fully to the fore early this month when Corbyn, hoping to dampen the tensions sparked the march on parliament, enjoyed a seder meal with Jewdas, a group of left-wing (and satire-loving) Jews who are highly critical of Israel. They had been among those warning that the recent anti-semitism protests in London were “cynical manipulations” organised by the Jewish establishment.

Corbyn found himself facing a barrage of criticism for spending time with Jewdas, which was used as further evidence of his indulgence of anti-semitism. Corbyn, it seemed, was friendly with the wrong kind of Jews.

Critique of Capitalism and Caricature of Bankers

Where is this “anti-semitism crisis” heading for Labour? A clue was provided by recent attacks that have dragged Corbyn deeper into the fray.

He was accused last month of having exposed his own anti-semitism in a social media post from 2012. In it, he supported an artist, Mear One, whose London mural was about to be removed following complaints to the local authorities. Corbyn did so, he originally said, in defence of public art and free speech.

For the first time, however, the sustained attacks forced Corbyn decisively on to the back foot, eventually agreeing that the mural was anti-semitic, apologising for his post, and promising to work harder to root out anti-semitism in the party.

The mural that sparked the furore. Click to enlarge

The mural that sparked the furore. Click to enlarge

It was a given in all the mainstream reporting that the mural was blatantly anti-semitic, portraying “Jewish bankers” seated around a Monopoly-style game board supported on the backs of workers. Mear One, however, insisted instead that it was a radical critique of capitalism, and that the “bankers” portrayed were caricatures of real-life capitalists, most of whom were not Jewish.

The expedience of the mural row to Corbyn’s critics soon became clear. It could be exploited to launch a wider assault on his political programme, cementing the alliance between Labour’s ardent Israel supporters and its neoliberal Blairites.

Two academics used the pages of the liberal New Statesman magazine to argue that much of the language traditionally used by the radical left to critique capitalism and imperialism was actually code, concealing its anti-semitism.

Corbyn had fallen into the trap of backing the mural, they argued, because of “deep-seated theoretical underpinnings of left critiques of capitalism that have anti-semitism as their logical consequence.” When socialists or Occupy movements critiqued globalisation—speaking of “global elites,” “a rigged system,” “a parasitic 1 per cent”—they were not just indicting a ruling class. According to the authors, they were also echoing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery claiming that Jews controlled the international financial system.

The advantage of this line of attack for a capitalist class keen to maintain its privileges hardly needs pointing out. Any effort to articulate a programme for radical change, for socialism, becomes inherently vulnerable to the charge of anti-semitism.

Daniel Finn, editor of the New Left Review, recently set out what the stake is. The primary goal of the Blairites and the Israeli lobby in Labour—and his opponents in the British establishment—“is to destroy Corbyn altogether.”

And if that fails, a secondary aim is to get him to capitulate on Palestinian rights. “If we can’t hold the line in defence of Corbyn’s eminently moderate stance on Palestine, we certainly won’t be in any condition to resist the pressure that is still to come.”

In short, his critics inside and outside the Labour Party need Corbyn crushed or tamed. And the inexhaustible anti-semitism crisis offers a route to one or the other solution.

 

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Britain in the grip of the Zionist lobby: Living in an Orwellian dystopia, the truth is forbidden

Britain in the grip of the Zionist lobby: Living in an Orwellian dystopia

Britain in the grip of the Zionist lobby: Living in an Orwellian dystopia

Gilad Atzmon writes:

It is puzzling to witness the speed and ferocity with which Britain is deteriorating into an Orwellian nightmare.

The Evening Standard reported last month that “a London council worker has been suspended after being caught claiming Zionists ‘collaborated’ with the Nazis”.

Stan Keable was removed from his duties as an environmental enforcement officer for Hammersmith and Fulham Council after saying, “The Nazis were anti-Semitic. The problem I’ve got is the Zionist government at the time collaborated with them. They accepted the ideas that Jews are not acceptable here.”

Keable made the comments, shared in a posting on Twitter, at a  pro-Corbyn demonstration outside the Parliament. I guess that in the Britain of 2018 you can lose your job simply for expressing an opinion.

It seems that some British Jews are disturbed by parts of their history. They try to suppress any speech about the Haavara Agreement. Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party for mentioning that collaboration between Hitler and Zionism. And, disturbingly, in the Labour Party’s discussion of Livingstone’s case the party general secretary, Iain McNicol, “made it clear in a letter to the former mayor that the case against him was not about the historical facts, but whether his conduct was ‘grossly detrimental’ to the party…”

The Transfer (Haavara) Agreement between the Nazi regime and the Palestine Zionist leadership is an accepted historical fact. In his superb book, Final Solution, the British Jewish historian David Cesarani examines the agreement and quotes German Zionist voices that approved of the Nazi regime and even welcomed the Nuremberg Racial Laws because they pushed for segregation. But evidentiary truth is not a defence in the Britain of 2018. I guess this disregard for truth is just another symptom of our removal from the Athenian ethos.

Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham Greg Hands said: “I am shocked someone expressing hateful opinions could have a job meeting vulnerable tenants. The council leader should launch an inquiry into whether there are others of his ilk in the council.”

I can’t see a drop of hatefulness in Keable’s comment. But I would like to advise the Conservative MP and other ignorant Tories that while the Haavara Agreement was signed as an attempt to save German Jews, the Conservative government here in Britain did little for German Jews and other Jewish refugees.

Mike Katz, of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “To try to twist the history of the Nazis to fit an anti-Zionist narrative is offensive.” It may be offensive but the Haavara Agreement and the collaboration between Zionist organisations and Nazi officials from 1933 till the end of the war are part of Jewish history, and political terrorism will not wipe out that history.

When contacted by the Evening Standard, Stan Keable said: “I am sorry for any offence I may have caused. But the Nazi regime and the Zionist Federation of Germany collaborated, through the Haavara Agreement, in the emigration of some 60,000 Jews to Palestine between 1933 and 1939.” He said he did not insinuate that Jews collaborated with the Nazis

“Friends of Apartheid” UK Labour MP Ruth #Smeeth was funded by Israel lobby

UK Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was funded by Israel lobby

Asa Winstanley Lobby Watch

Ruth Smeeth (second from right) meeting Israeli politician Isaac Herzog (third from left) as part of a Labour Friends of Israel delegation. (LFI/Twitter)

A lawmaker in the UK’s Labour Party who played a key role in this year’s manufactured anti-Semitism crisis maintained ties to the Israel lobby once she entered Parliament.

Official records show that Ruth Smeeth was funded by two ultra-wealthy figures from the same pro-Israel organization she once worked for. But these relationships have been overlooked by the British press, which have extensively reported on her allegations of anti-Semitic abuse at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

The register for legislators’ financial interests shows that Smeeth declared a donation of £5,000 ($6,200) from Poju Zabludowicz’s company Tamares Real Estates in June last year. She declared a donation worth £2,500 ($3,100) from Trevor Chinn, former chair of the Kwit-Fit chain of motor garages, at the same time.

The financial link was first noted in the new issue of investigative magazine Notes From the Borderland.

Zabludowicz is the billionaire property speculator who was once reported to own 40 percent of downtown Las Vegas. He used his wealth, inherited from his Israeli arms dealer father, to establish BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

Chinn, who sits on BICOM’s executive committee, has long been a Labour donor, and has funded leadership rivals to left-wing, pro-Palestinian Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Smeeth did not reply to The Electronic Intifada’s requests for comment.

Fabricated crisis

Smeeth was BICOM’s director of public affairs and campaigns between late 2005 and mid 2007.

Before she ran for office in May 2010, she joined the Community Security Trust, an anti-Semitism watchdog charity known to have links to Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Smeeth made headlines in June this year when she walked out of the launch of a report into alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, claiming she had been the victim of bigotry at the event.

Corbyn had asked the lawyer and civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti to examine the allegations, which have dogged him since he became leader last year.

The allegations have been exaggerated and weaponized by Corbyn’s political enemies – and in some cases outright fabricated.

In the most high-profile case of fabrication, former BICOM intern Alex Chalmers claimed in February that there was anti-Semitism coming from “a large proportion” of his student Labour club “and the student left in Oxford more generally.”

Chalmers resigned as co-chair, kicking off much of the anti-Semitism controversy that has plagued the Labour Party all year.

“Media conspiracy”

Smeeth issued a statement immediately after the press launch of the report, claiming that a “Jeremy Corbyn supporter” had “used traditional anti-Semitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy.’”

This was a reference to campaigning journalist Marc Wadsworth, who had spoken out at the launch to challenge attacks on Corbyn by the press and right-wing Labour lawmakers.

The latter were at the time engaged in a coup attempt against Corbyn. And Smeeth herself had participated in the coup by resigning from a minor position assisting Labour’s shadow cabinet, in an attempt to pressure Corbyn into stepping down.

But video of Wadsworth’s comments demonstrates that he did not say “media conspiracy” and said nothing at all about Jews.

As reported by The Electronic Intifada at the time, Wadsworth in fact said: “I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP, so you can see who’s working hand in hand.”

Smeeth would later claim that “the audience started shouting at me” when she loudly responded “how dare you.”

The video demonstrates that the only person shouting seems to have been Smeeth herself. The footage shows her walking out of the room as Wadsworth continues: “If you look around this room, how many African, Caribbean and Asian people are there? We really need to get our house in order, don’t we?”

Wadsworth, chair of the National Union of Journalists’ Black members council, released his own statement slamming Smeeth’s claims as “poisonous libel” and insisting that he had not even known Smeeth is Jewish.

“I don’t participate”

Some left-wing Labour activists have expressed skepticism about Smeeth’s attempt to portray the party under Corbyn as a cesspit of anti-Jewish hate.

In September, Smeeth claimed to have experienced 25,000 incidents of “abuse” since the Chakrabarti report launch, “most of it on Twitter.” She did not claim all of these incidents were anti-Semitic, but strongly implied most were.

One message she received was reported to the Metropolitan police’s counterterrorism unit on 13 July. According to The Sun, which published part of the post, it was a 1,000-word, viciously anti-Semitic rant calling for her to be executed.

The Sun claimed it was sent by a “Jeremy Corbyn supporter” without presenting any evidence to show that, while Smeeth told the right-wing newspaper “I very much hold Jeremy personally responsible.”

In a long interview, Smeeth claimed to the London Evening Standard, which omitted mention of her links to Israel lobby groups, that “I don’t talk about Israel or Palestine. This is not about anything I’ve said on Middle East politics. I don’t participate.”

Yet earlier this month, Smeeth was part of a Labour Friends of Israel delegation to Israel, along with the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson. The group met and posed for photos with Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Israeli Labor party.

The aim of the meeting was to “strengthen the bonds of friendship between our parties,” Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said at the time.

During the last Israeli election, Herzog’s faction ran a commercial featuring Israeli spies boasting that the country’s Labor leader – a former spy himself – “understands the Arab mentality” and “has seen Arabs in all kinds of situations,” including “in the crosshairs.”

Before entering Parliament in 2015, Ruth Smeeth worked in the public relations industry, later moving into work for anti-racist groups Searchlight and Hope Not Hate. The register of MPs’ interests shows that Smeeth is still a board member of Hope Not Hate.

A 2009 cable published by Wikileaks reported that “Ruth Smeeth (strictly protect)” had given US diplomats information about Gordon Brown, then the UK prime minister, and his thinking on when an election should be held. The cable noted that “this information has not been reported in the press.”

Smeeth responded that she had “no recollection of saying what has been attributed to me. I would not consider myself to be a source for the US government.”

 

Corbyn Prevailed

April 25, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

corbyn-1-1.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

The BBC reported last night that Britain’s self-appointed ‘Jewish leaders’ continue to be disappointed by Jeremy Corbyn. Following a meeting with the Labour leader, the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) announced that Corbyn “did not agree to any of the concrete actions they asked for.” This must have been upsetting for them.

The ‘leaders’ provided the commands that Corbyn rejected.

They wanted Corbyn to commit to “a fixed timetable to deal with anti-Semitism cases.” I suppose that teaching ‘Labour type’ Goyim that time is of the essence is not such a bad idea.

They wanted Corbyn to “expedite the long-standing cases involving Mr. Livingstone and suspended party activist Jackie Walker.” This command is understandable; bearing in mind centuries of Jewish suffering, the time is ripe for a bit of revenge.

Consistent with Talmudic Herem  (excommunication) culture, the British Jewish ‘leaders’ insisted that “No MP should share a platform with somebody expelled or suspended for anti-Semitism.” This sounds reasonable so long as thieveswar criminals and sex offenders remain on the kosher list so that British MP can share platforms with Israeli prime ministers and presidents.

The Jewish leaders complained that Corbyn has yet to “adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.”  I imagine that this is troubling as it indicates that Corbyn still regards Jews as ordinary people. Following some bizarre universalist ethical perception, Corbyn refuses to accept the primacy of Jewish suffering.

I guess that sooner or later Brits will have to decide whether they prefer to live in a United Kingdom or in an occupied territory…

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