On the censorship of Michael Hoffman’s books by Amazon

On the censorship of Michael Hoffman’s books by Amazon

The Saker

September 13, 2018

[This article was written for the Unz Review]

A couple of months ago I did an interview with one of the foremost scholars of rabbinical Judaism, Michael Hoffman. The occasion was the release of his latest book “The Occult Renaissance Church of Rome”. At the time I did not expect to have to ask for a follow-up interview with him, but when I learned that Amazon had censored his books (please see Hoffman’s own account of this here). Specifically, the ban is on three of his books. A complete ban (Kindle + printed book) on Judaism’s Strange Gods: Revised and Expanded, as well as The Great Holocaust Trial: Revised and Expanded, while his textbook, Judaism Discovered, has been removed from the Kindle. I felt that I had to talk to him again and he kindly agreed to reply to my questions. I submit to you the full text of our Q&A which I will follow-up with a short commentary.

*******

The Saker: Please summarize what happened to your books and Amazon and tells us what specific explanations were given to you. Did Amazon ever offer you a “page and paragraph” list of “offending” passages? Do you have any means of knowing exactly what your book is being banned for?

Hoffman: Whether it is Facebook, Google or Amazon, the excuse most often cited for suppression is “content guidelines’ violation.” Amazon notified us on August 13 that two of our titles, which they have been selling for years and in thousands of copies, Judaism Discovered, our 1100 page textbook published in 2008, and Judaism’s Strange Gods: Revised and Expanded, published in 2010 — were being permanently removed after “review” by the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) unit of Amazon. A facsimile of the KDP notice can be viewed here:

https://www.revisionisthistory.org/page8/page8.html

In their e-mail they told us that “…we found that this content is in violation of content guidelines.” In studying their content guidelines one encounters a vague, generic statement about not permitting that which is “offensive.” There is no guidance as to what “offense” has suddenly arisen after these books were sold on Amazon for several years. Like the Red Queen in Wonderland who declared to Alice that, “A word is anything I say it is!” — that which “offends” is anything Amazon says it is. A third book, The Great Holocaust Trial: The Landmark Battle for the Right to Doubt the West’s Most Sacred Relic, was also forbidden.

Does Amazon have the chutzpah to publicly categorize these books as “hate speech” or some other alibi for censorship that could be contested? No, they do not. They leave authors and publishers twisting in the wind, making it more difficult to appeal the decision and report to the public on the tyranny. Although since they allow no appeal, it’s a moot point. Personally, I have no doubt concerning why my books were censored.

The Saker: What is, in your opinion, the true intent behind the ban on the sales of your book? What is Amazon’s interest in this?

Hoffman: I don’t believe Amazon has much interest in this. It is more likely that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLC) is the interested party. Last August 7 the New York Times online published a revealing piece by David French in which he wrote: “We live in a world where the Southern Poverty Law Center, a formerly respected civil-rights organization, abuses its past trust to label a host of mainstream organizations (including my former employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom) and individuals as ‘hate groups,…based sometimes on…outright misreadings and misrepresentations of an individual’s beliefs and views…Amazon recently booted Alliance Defending Freedom from its AmazonSmile charity program because of the center’s designation.”

At around the time in 2017 that the SPLC was trying to interfere with the business operations of people such as myself, by intimidating banks and credit card processors into refusing to process payments for books, Paypal notified us that due to the contents of our website (www.RevisionistHistory.org) we were an embarrassment to their brand and they were terminating our account. As long as Paypal was owned by libertarians, all was well and we had a high customer satisfaction rating for our integrity and dependability. The original Paypal mainly cared about whether you were a responsible seller. A politicized administration eventually took over Paypal and in 2017 we were terminated, very likely on the “advice” of the SPLC.

To return to Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos founded it in 1994. It was very much a libertarian book operation from the start. From 1994 until a year or two ago, Amazon only refused to sell hard core pornography and books that constituted direct appeals to violence or law-breaking, which is how it should be. Every other type of book was sold, without censorship, which is one reason for Amazon’s early success and increasing market share. Then last year, after Mr. Bezos had reached the status of one of the world’s wealthiest persons, and Amazon’s total value was beginning to approach that of Apple and Google, Amazon staged a huge purge and eliminated more than a hundred World War II revisionist history books published by Germar Rudolf’s CODOH organization (books smeared as “Holocaust denial”). This year it was my turn. Next year it might be any author not part of the university press syndicates or the major houses. Such is the heedless power and immunity of Amazon.

It’s important to note that the thought police who removed three of my books were based in the digital division of Amazon, where the electronic Kindle books are marketed and managed. A Kindle permits anyone connected to the Amazon website to read approximately the first thirty pages of any Kindle book free of charge. Consequently, my Judaica scholarship was on display around the world and therefore it was much harder to lie about me and mischaracterize my Talmud and Kabbalah research under those circumstances.

We were also beginning to sell ever increasing numbers of these Kindle books to people in Asia, particularly India and Japan. It’s my hunch that Big Brother is not half so worried about printed books as the digital kind. Removing the three books from the Kindle was the primary objective.

To be banned by Amazon is not equivalent to being banned by any other private business. Most publishers will admit that Amazon has replaced Bowker Books in Print as the industry’s authoritative guide to what books in English have been printed in the past and what is in print now. Amazon is currently the reference source. For a book to be forbidden by Amazon renders it largely invisible. It is equivalent to burning the book. So this is not a matter of Amazon exercising the prerogative of private enterprise. Amazon is a monopoly. It has no rival. If your book doesn’t exist on Amazon, then for most people who are not research specialists, your book doesn’t exist. The consequences for the pursuit of knowledge are ominous.

There is a problem here for Amazon as well. The more Amazon excludes books that embody facts and ideas that constitute radical dissent, the more it becomes a narrow censor’s aperture rather than a reliable bridge to the entire range of the Republic of Letters.

Apologists for censorship of radicals and authentic conservatives often claim that no First Amendment rights are violated when Amazon bans books, therefore it is not a civil rights issue, merely an inconvenience of the capitalist system. In the 1950s however, when the privately-owned movie studios banned certain directors, actors and screen-writers judged to be Leftists or Communists, that action on the part of private enterprise was inscribed in the rolls of the culture wars as the infamous “Blacklist,” and we are still reading and weeping over it sixty-five years later. So it depends on whose ox is being gored.

My Judaica studies are free of “Jew hate,” as anyone who peruses the sections in both books titled “To the Judaic Reader” knows. There we state that the books are dedicated to pidyon shevyuim (redemption of the captive), i.e. rescuing those Judaic persons who are in bondage to the Talmud and the Kabbalah.

Our enemies easily turn to their advantage books containing hatred of “The Jews.” What they absolutely have no credible answer to is a critique predicated, as our books are, on a sincere foundation of true Christian love. Boundary-breaking scholarship united to compassionate concern for the welfare of Judaic people is almost unprecedented in this field. This approach makes my studies of Judaism among the most powerful and effective because they are free of the “hate speech” which is the pivot upon which turns the machinery of liberal-approved censorship. For that reason, making Judaism’s Strange Gods: Revised and Expanded, and Judaism Discovered available on the Kindle undercut decades of hatred and libel. Therefore those volumes had to be suppressed.

The Saker: Since this ban was put in place – what reactions have you heard? who has spoken in defense of your scholarship and right to be heard? has anybody taken your defense or spoken up for you?

Hoffman: Ron Unz allowed me to publish a note on the ban at unz.com and you, the Saker, have taken an interest. Our many friends, readers and subscribers have expressed outrage on Twitter and in e-mail. Meanwhile we have contacted everyone from a columnist for Taki’s website to the legacy media, to no discernible effect thus far. The Washington Post, which is owned by Mr. Bezos, has as its motto, “Democracy dies in darkness.” Yet it is in that very darkness where Amazon’s book-banning dwells, due to the apathy of the media and the American Library Association. To ban books by a vulnerable independent scholar is not exactly a daring move in this age where “hate speech” is anything that offends someone’s cherished myth. The definition is so loose it functions as an inquisitor’s sword.

On the positive side, we have seen an uptick in orders to our own online store for the printed books which Amazon has banned [https://truthfulhistory.blogspot.com/2016/02/judaica-books-and-resources.html]. There is no replacement for the banned Kindle editions, however.

The Saker: What do you believe could be done to resist this state of affairs? what can we all do to put at stop to this kind of censorship?

Hoffman: In a general, the supporters of the lies of the Overlords wage spiritual and psychological warfare with far more dedication, commitment and self-sacrifice than the purported allies of God’s truth. The Cryptocracy’s defenders are 24/7 militants resolved to contend with their perceived foes with every ounce of their being. Whereas on the side of Christian conservative renewal, with honorable exceptions, I find mainly armchair warriors and folks so enormously distracted by the choices offered by the Internet’s deluge of words and images, that they are nearly paralyzed by the spectacle.

Compare the reception Judge Kavanaugh received in the Senate hearings with that of recent Supreme Court nominees Kagan and Ginsburg. The Republicans were too cowed to seriously confront those ladies. Maintaining decorum was the chief concern of the timid GOP at the time, while Kavanaugh faced a near riot in the visitor’s gallery and extremes of withering interrogation and contempt from defiant Democratic senators.

When CODOH’s books were banned we reported the case extensively online and in our printed newsletter. We contacted an executive with the American Library Association to elicit his response and express our outrage. We did what we could even though we have almost no relationship with CODOH. We would do the same for any person of good will who is denied the right to advance human learning with suppressed facts and ideas. This was formerly a truism in America, up until the rise of the punks of social media who seem to be more like a branch of Antifa than an intellectual class invested in discovery and enlightenment.

Advances in human knowledge are achieved on the basis that “error has rights,” for the reason that enshrined dogmas are often wrong and demonized dissidents are sometimes the bearers of rare discoveries. But the epigram of our time is “Error has no rights,” which was the doctrine of the fiery Inquisition, of the head-chopping French Revolution and of the Bolsheviks and Maoists. If error has no rights then neither does truth, in that what is denounced as hateful error by the mob is sometimes a destabilizing, necessary and even cosmic truth.

*******

Reading Hoffman’s words I thought that what happened to him is so typical of the Orwellian world we live in where the what I call the “Skripal rules of evidence” (aka “highly likely”) have replaced even basic evidentiary notions, a world in which false flag attacks are announced weeks in advance, a world in which the Planetary Hegemon has declared urbi et orbi that nothing in the body of international law applies to the “indispensable nation” (or to the parasitic host feeding off it) and where “might makes right” has become the motto by which everybody lives. Of course, the censorship of a book cannot be compared to the initiation of a war of aggression (which is the “supreme international crime” under international law: this was the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trial on this topic: To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole). Still, there is something uniquely devious and evil about the censorship of Hoffman’s books by Amazon, several things in fact:

  1. What is attacked in not a person or even a group, but ideas, arguably the most precious attribute of mankind. This is therefore not only an attack on a human being, but an attack on the very notion of humanity as such
  2. While the method is different, the intention here is no different from the book burnings of the Nazis or the Papacy except that in these latter cases it was obvious who ordered the burning of putatively “degenerate” or “heretical” books. Thus the ideological motive of the Nazis and Papists was always clear whereas in the case of Hoffman this ideological motive is hidden (even if obvious with anybody with a modicum of intelligence).
  3. The ultimate hypocrisy lies in the fact that most so-called libertarians (from the Left to the Right) have nothing to say about this because this is not a case of censorship by government but the action of a corporation which has the “right” to do as it wishes, nevermind that the result is still a clear de-facto infringement of Hoffman’s First Amendment rights and the freedom of academic scholarship.
  4. The US government and Congress, by allowing monopolistic corporations such as Amazon to have that kind of power are basically engaging in what I would call “censorship by proxy” which is to be expected from a deep state which now does almost everything by proxy in order to bypass fundamental US and international laws (“extraordinary renditions” anybody?).
  5. Unlike the government which does have to produce at least some evidence before it can censor an individual or organization, a US corporation does not even have to justify itself by a single word. This is viewed as a triumph of deregulation by mindless libertarians who would gladly surrender all their freedoms as long as it is not to the state. In the real world, of course, they still end up handing over their freedoms to the state, except that the state is hiding behind their beloved corporations.

It is also pretty obvious that those who might, at least in theory, have something to say about this kind of censorship by proxy remain silent because, at least according to them, Hoffman is an “anti-Semite” (which, having read many of his books, I can attest is a total falsehood; by way of evidence here are sample pages from his book: https://twitter.com/HoffmanMichaelA/status/1039159686233088000) and thus he is undeserving of support. So-called “anti-Semites” are, along with the pedophiles, the “consensus villains” of the day (I explain that in detail here) but what the anti-anti-Semites fail to realize is that each time a “consensus villain” is deprived from his rights, this sets a precedent for everybody else. This is why Yehuda Bauer warned us when he wrote: “Thou shalt not be a victim, Thou shalt not be a perpetrator, And above all, Thou shalt not be a bystander”. To no avail, alas: we live in society of silent bystanders apparently! And when YouTube decides to silence all the Syrian state channels to better prepare for a false flag chemical attack, everybody looks away – “ain’t my problem”…

We all know that in Europe (and in Russia) you can be jailed and your books banned if a court finds them to be “revisionist” or “anti-Semitic” or “hateful” and the like. But at least in Europe (and in Russia), you get your day in court and you can defend yourself against accusations which the state has to prove. In Russia, just last week, a man accused of “rehabilitating National-Socialism” (for reprinting an article by another author!) was found non guilty by a majority of jurors (5 to 3) (the punishment he was facing was a fine and several years in jail). Thank God, in the “home of the brave” no such thing could happen, right?!

True, Hoffman does not risk jail (yet!). But in terms of crushing crimethink, I submit that the US system is much more effective because it allows the deep state to hide behind the veil of corporate malfeasance. There have been plenty of revolutions against a state, but I don’t know of any revolutions against the corporate dictatorship.

You tell me: which is worse, the absence of freedom or the illusion of freedom?

Personally, I find the latter *much* worse.

I never expected the corporate presstitutes to really care about our freedoms, ditto for the libertarians and the progressive Left. They are all too busy with their narrow ideological agenda. As for the US academic world, it has shown its true face when it allowed the persecution of Professor Norman Finkenstein. But I have to say that I am shocked by the fact that the blogosphere and the so-called “alternative media” has remained so silent in the face of such a blatant censorship by proxy by the deep state against one of the foremost US historians.

I urge all those reading these lines to speak up on Hoffman’s behalf and to support him by purchasing his superb and censored books. This is how every one of us can resist the Hegemon and his rule!

The Saker

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YOUTUBE IS CENSORING SF’S NEW 1.5-HOUR LONG VIDEO “RUSSIAN MILITARY CAMPAIGN IN SYRIA 2015-2018”

South Front

YouTube is censoring SouthFront’s new 1.5-hour long video “Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018“.

This video is a detailed summary of military and political developments in Syria since the start of the Russian military operation until now. It was released by SouthFront on August 11.

Less than 2 hours after the release, this video was placed behind an age restriction because it allegedly includes “violent or graphic content that appears to be posted in a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner”. The age-restriction clearly impacts a possible reach of the video because it does not allow people without YouTube accounts to watch it.

YouTube Is Censoring SF's New 1.5-Hour Long Video "Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018"

Click to see the full-size image

SouthFront immidiately appealed this age restriction. Our video “Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018” includes no “graphic content” and was made solely for informational purposes. So, it does not violate any rules.

After the further review, YouTube found that SouthFront’s video “does not violate” Community Guidelines. However, the video remained age-restricted because “it may not be appropriate for a general audience”.

YouTube Is Censoring SF's New 1.5-Hour Long Video "Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018"

Click to see the full-size image

Summing up: The video violates no YouTube Community Guidelines, but despite this, a manual decision was made to age-restrict the video in order to limit its possible reach of the audience. This situation can be considered as another example of censorship imposed against alternative media and an independent point of view.

SouthFront has repeatedly faced various sophisticated attacks aimed at censoring it on YouTube [systematic ‘false flagging’ and other hostile actions] or damaging its website.

For example, about a year ago, SouthFront became a target of preplanned campaign to damage its work:

In mid September 2017, SouthFront’s YouTube channel received two community guidelines strikes and its work on this platform was temporairly frozen. Then, thanks to public support of our audience and partners, SouthFront was able to restore its channel and continue releasing videos on YouTube.

Separately, the projet faced a new wave of propaganda aimed at damaging it in the MSM. In October 2017, Military.comThe HillMcClatchyDC and The Daily Beast united their efforts arguing that SouthFront among few other websites targets “US military personnel and veterans with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other forms of junk news about military affairs and national security issues.

The recent developments on YouTube may indicate that a similar campaign could be launched against SouthFront once again soon.

Update

SITUATION WITH YOUTUBE AND IMPORTANT PROJECT NEWS

Venezuelanalysis: Official Statement on Facebook’s Removal of Our Page

Via The Saker

August 10, 2018

On Thursday morning our Facebook page was arbitrarily “unpublished” by Facebook with no warning or explanation, apart from a standard message informing us that we had allegedly violated the company’s terms and conditions. The timing of such a move is concerning for several reasons. Firstly, there is the international context, in which Facebook appears to be targeting independent or leftwing sites in the wake of Russiagate. However, in terms of our own coverage, in the days leading up to our removal, we had published important pieces which challenge the corporate mainstream media narrative on Venezuela. Specifically, we published an article giving details on the assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as well as a very popular analysis criticising the mainstream media’s coverage of the attack. In addition, Venezuelanalysis has also been covering the growing international campaign to End US and Canadian Sanctions against Venezuela which are unilateral, coercive economic measures that are illegal under the Organization of American States as well as United Nations charters. The campaign recently released a Call to Action for individual and organizational sign-ons condemning this act of economic strangulation, and has organised International Days of Action on August 14th 2018 to mark the one year anniversary when the Trump administration heightened economic sanctions and referenced military intervention as a possibility in Venezuela.

Venezuelanalysis.com is the only independent English language website covering news and analysis on Venezuela from a progressive perspective, and which platforms leftist grassroots voices from within Venezuela. It is run by committed journalists, authors and academics, & praised by renowned journalists and intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Marta Harnecker, Oliver Stone, and so on. We cannot help but feel that the removal of our page is related to an attempt to stifle the alternative and progressive perspectives that we feature on Venezuela. Though our page was suddenly reinstated on Thursday evening, following our official appeal, as well as people expressing their support for us on Twitter, media interviews and an article on the issue in Sputnik International, Facebook has still not responded with any explanation for what happened, nor to inform us which terms and conditions we allegedly violated. The whole thing is extremely mysterious, to say the least.

The VA Collective

About the Alex Jones & Infowars ban by US corporate giants

Alex Jones Purge: US Tech Giants Meddle into 2018 Midterm Elections

The Saker

Let me immediately begin that I have really no use for Alex Jones or for Inforwars.  I do recognize the very important and positive role they played in the 9/11 Truth movement, but the rest of their agenda and ideology is really not my cup of tea, to put it very mildly.  Their constant hysteria about Islam and China is particularly stupid and, worse, misleading (Israel, for some reason, totally escapes their scrutiny).  But the way US corporate giants banned them sets a very dangerous precedent.

Exactly as I have been warning in my “First they came for the Nazis and pedophiles” article last year, those who hate freedom in all its forms always begin by censoring what I call a “consensus villain“: Nazis, racist nutcases, White/European supremacists, pedophiles, etc.  This way, if you speak up, you are immediately guilty by association.  The problem with that is simply that when the state or the corporations (they are really one and the same, something libertarians always fail to understand) crack down on “consensus villains” they are developing a tool which they can then turn against anybody they want.

Furthermore, this is all taking place while President Trump has appointed a Supreme Court Justice who is totally in favor of handing over the Internet to US corporations (brainwashed Trump fans don’t realize that the Second Amendment has no political value whatsoever without the First one, while the Clinton-bots don’t realize that the opposite is also true!).

What we are witnessing is a major and long-time effort to re-take control of the only media which the rulers of the AngloZionist empire do not currently control.  Personally, I am very pessimistic due to the sheep-like mentality of most of the western public who neither understands nor cares about these issues.  And, just to make things worse, neither Russia, nor China nor Iran are any better in terms of understanding and upholding Internet freedoms.

Lastly, I want to add a word of caution: be very careful not to jump to the other extreme and assume that those who do get censored are either “good guys” or correct in their ideological views.  I am absolutely convinced that what we could loosely call the “Alt-Right constellation” is backed by the US deep state and that the so-called “European nationalist” movements are also controlled by European special services (just as most so-called “Islamic terrorists”).  Remember that in order to crush a “consensus villain” you often must first create one.  So please don’t be fooled by the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” fallacy: look not only at what they say, but also at what they do and the function they serve in society!

The Saker

Exposed! How Britain’s anti-Semitism Scaremongers Operate

Source

This article about the British charitable organisation, the Campaign against Anti-Semitism (CAA), and its officers, Gideon Falter and Steve Silverman, examines events in England but ought to serve as a cautionary message for Canadians and Americans.

The article will delve into the corrosive methods of the CAA; review the manner in which this ultra Zionist group “discovers” anti-Semitic “incidents”; examine their inaccurate statistical “studies” and see how they seek to intimidate political parties, venues, the press and others; and look at the court cases which the CAA has prosecuted. In the guise of fighting anti-Semitism, the CAA has managed to manoeuvre British society into abdicating its core liberal values, intimidate the prosecutorial and judicial system, and silence criticism of Israel in both social media and the mainstream media.

The CAA does not just attempt to limit speech; it openly follows a scorched earth policy “that if someone commits an anti-Semitic act in the UK (including criticism of Israel)” the CAA “ensure[s] ruinous consequences, be they criminal, professional, financial or reputational”.

For example, in the last 18 months Britain’s largest political party, the Labour Party, has suspended and expelled over a hundred of its members for expressing their views on Israel or Jewish history. Presumably these dismissals act as a deterrent to others who might also wish to express their opinions. Hard as it is to believe, in 21st century Britain people have been imprisoned for trying to be funny…

The CAA’s “success” in Britain is not irrelevant to Americans. Despite the First Amendment, rules limiting speech have been creeping into our society, notwithstanding our constitutional protections.

Organisations not unlike CAA have been operating in the US for some time. In South Carolina criticising Israel is essentially prohibited on public university campuses, and in other states support for BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) will prohibit one from getting a government job or contract. Similar laws have been proposed in the US Congress. It is crucial that we resist this slide into controlled speech at the expense of our crucial values of free expression and tolerance.

Rowan Laxton

In 2006 Rowan Laxton was using an exercise bike alone on the mezzanine floor of a London gym when he saw a television report about an elderly Palestinian man killed by the Israeli assault on Gaza. Laxton allegedly exclaimed: “F…..g Israelis! F…..g Jews!” Gideon Falter (now head of the CAA) and William Lemaine, who were on a lower floor using weights, claimed to have overheard Laxton, and complained to staff at the gym.

The police were going to let Laxton off with a caution but, before it could be arranged, Falter found out that Laxton was a senior Foreign Office official and brought the story to half a dozen newspapers. The police decided to proceed with a prosecution.

Laxton was initially found guilty of “using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour… within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby…” aggravated by using abusive words that had a racial or ethnic element. Laxton was fined and removed from his Foreign Office position.

Laxton exercised his right to an appeal and a rehearing wherein the Crown Court found that Laxton did not say “f…..g Jews”, the comment on which the prosecution was based and which he had always denied. The court also found, as an alternative ground, that Laxton would have thought no one was within earshot.

The Daily Mail played a key role in ensuring that the case received national attention and went to trial, but seems not to have reported the appeal and acquittal at all. It is an open question of how Falter heard Laxton’s alleged outburst, if at the time no one was within earshot of Laxton. One reasonable assumption is that the court did not believe that Falter actually heard Laxton’s statement.

Eight years after the Laxton incident, Gideon Falter founded the Campaign Against Anti-Semitsm, a hardcore Zionist charity that advocates zero tolerance of, and vows to ensure “criminal, professional and reputational consequences”, to those it decides are anti-Semites.

Stephen Silverman

Stephen Silverman is the CAA’s “Director of Investigations and Enforcement” and has dedicated much of his time to ruining the intellectual and artistic careers of others. Silverman is himself a musician wannabe, and runs a music school in a London suburb.

In the last few years Silverman and the CAA have engaged in a relentless assault against artists, intellectuals, religious leaders and elected politicians operating in or visiting England. The “Director of Investigations” does not like ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone, nor does he approve of a list of academics or church ministers who care for human rights or dare to disagree with Israel. The self-appointed inquisitor despises the hugely popular Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Silverman has made a number of attempts to ruin the music careers of both Alison Chabloz and Gilad Atzmon. In addition, Silverman takes it upon himself to write and call music venues demanding that they cancel Atzmon concerts claiming that Atzmon is a notorious anti-Semite.

Stephen Silverman, was exposed in open court in December 2016 as having been the Twitter troll @bedlamjones. As a Zionist troll, Silverman abused anti-Zionists, particularly women. His sadistic posts called for arrest and imprisonment in response what he considered to be “anti-Semitic” comments.

Silverman has also determined that Gordon Nardell, the man who has taken on the unenviable job of policing anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, is insufficiently sensitive to anti-Semitism. Apparently, according to Silverman, “Nardell has also turned his sights on Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, stating that our work to combat hatred directed at Jews by Labour members is “revolting” and results in anti-Semitism being “abused and belittled”.

For Nardell’s sin of distrusting the CAA, the CAA has demanded that “an independent and transparent disciplinary process… be instituted in the Labour Party”. The CAA’s website does not explain why the Labour Party need justify its own campaign against anti-Semitism to the CAA.

What is anti-Semitism?

UNESCO’s definition of racism is that it is “a theory of races hierarchy which argues that the superior race should be preserved and should dominate the others. Racism can also be an unfair attitude towards another ethnic group. Finally racism can also be defined as a violent hostility against a social group.” The traditional definition of anti-Semitism is the “criticising of, or discriminating against Jews for being Jews”. This definition is not substantially different from UNESCO’s definition of racism.

However, despite the fact that enforcing hate speech laws based on a traditional definition of racism would protect Jews as well as others, in December 2016 the United Kingdom followed other countries in adopting the “international definition of anti-Semitism”, which begins by saying: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The new “international definition” is troubling because it specifically targets speech and thoughts and fails to define what a “certain” perception of Jews is, and an expression of hatred towards Jews is cited, not to make the definition more precise but only as one possible example.

It is well worth reviewing the “examples of anti-Semitism” included in the “international definition” which are extremely broad and include, among other things, accusing a Jewish person of valuing Israel or his fellow Jews over his home country and the seemingly paradoxical provision prohibiting speech denying that Jews have the right to self-determination through Israel.

But if racism against one group is to be fought on a broader basis than other forms of racism, that extra protection ought to be to aid a group uniquely needing the state’s protection – an allegedly poor, downtrodden and persecuted group. It is of note that, in contrast to the downtrodden, Jews as a group have been extraordinarily successful at utilising the media and the courts and obtaining the power to “hold the feet of the government to the fire”.

If UNESCO’s definition aimed at defining racism as a universal problem, the “international definition” adheres to the idea that Jews are not a part of the universal, they are somehow different, their plight is unique.

Why do the Jews in particular need a broader definition of racial hatred? Why do Jews see a need to create a category of hatred that applies only to them? What is lacking in the UNESCO definition that is covered by the “international” one? The answer is that the “international definition” serves to restrain speech and restrict thought. It conflates the Jewish State of Israel with Jews as it vets a range of discourses such as criticism of Israeli politics, Jewish culture, Jewish history and Zionist ideology.

It is not surprising that this definition is espoused by some Zionist institutions. However, its adoption by so many countries is perplexing and begs an explanation. In a world in which free speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion are valued, there is a real question of why such a broad definition of anti-Semitism is appropriate and what exactly it is designed to accomplish.

Then there is the CAA, for whom the international definition is only a starting point. Their accusations of anti-Semitism go beyond even the very broad and over-inclusive definition of the “international definition”. If you find anti-Semitism in t-shirts, major party political gatherings or stupid pet videos, then the definition is very expansive indeed. Why would an organisation dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism be so interested in finding anti-Semitism in every possible utterance? It is clear that the CAA wants to stop any discussion of Jews, Israel or Jewish history in any but its prescribed manner. In its aggressive policing of speech, the CAA and others work to enforce Jewish power precisely as it is defined by Gilad Atzmon: “the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power”.

Freedom of t-shirt

While freedom of speech may be evaporating throughout the English-speaking world, at least we are assured that freedom of t-shirt is still protected in England.

Last year, the CAA’s website bemoaned that Edinburgh-based law graduate Sophie Stephenson won’t face criminal charges for wearing a Hezbollah t-shirt. The CAA wrote that: “On 1 July 2017, Stephenson tweeted a photograph of herself wearing a Hizballah t-shirt, explaining: “Went out to dinner with my family tonight wearing a Hizballah t-shirt.” And then, even worse, Stephenson confirmed: “I have a flag too.”

The CAA, in its zeal to fight anti-Semitism, reported Stephenson to the police, alleging that she had committed an offense under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000. But despite the CAA’s urging, Scottish Police declined to act against the young “rebel”.

The CAA “considered undertaking a private prosecution” against Stephenson. However, its website lamented, “we were unable to secure enough funding to do so”. Following its report of the supposedly anti-Semitic/terrorist-loving Stephenson, the CAA called upon the public to “consider making a monthly donation to help fund Campaign Against Anti-Semitism” presumably to allow it to continue to harass Britons, accusing them of anti-Semitic behaviour, and interfering with their elementary freedoms including the right to wear rebellious t-shirts. Disturbingly, asking for donations in this context suggests that the CAA is attempting to cash in from its dubious anti-Semitic claims. Not exactly the ethical conduct you might expect of a charity.

Methodology, it is not!

The CAA claims to run “methodological” “research into anti-Semitism in British political parties”. Trolling and spying on elected British politicians on social media and public meetings, the CAA keeps a “record” of allegedly “anti-Semitic discourse and discourse that enables anti-Semitism, by officials and candidates in political parties”. This means that a Jewish organisation with a clear political agenda endeavours to monitor the British political discourse to restrain certain political opinions. The CAA’s actions prosecuting its farfetched “findings” are dangerous enough, but more troubling is its success in terrorising the British political universe into compliance with its dictates.

What are some “examples” of discourse that the CAA has claimed enable anti-Semitism and the dissemination of anti-Semitic ideas?

Ken Loach

Internationally acclaimed film-maker and Labour supporter Ken Loach told the BBC’s Daily Politics programme that he had been attending Labour meetings for 50 years and had “never in that whole time heard a single anti-Semitic word or a racist word”, and that allegations of anti-Semitism were a fallacy “without validation or any evidence”.

The CAA claimed that Loach’s statement brought to light a “discourse that enables anti-Semitism and the dissemination of anti-Semitic ideas”. How is Loach’s statement racist? Does it target Jews, identify Jews as a collective or advocate discrimination against Jews or anyone else? Is there even a criminal category or a showing of bias in which “not witnessing” conduct implicates one in that very conduct? How does not witnessing anti-Semitism make one into an anti-Semite? Does not witnessing a murder makes one a murderer? Under the CAA’s “rationale” anyone who fails to see the anti-Semitism they do is an anti-Semite.

Diane Abbott

Abbott ran afoul of the CAA when she said: “It’s a smear to say that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism. It is something like a smear against ordinary party members.” The CAA claimed that “Abbott’s comments were widely condemned. The overwhelming majority of UK Jewish community bodies have expressed public concern about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, including the chief rabbi.” Whether or not this statement is accurate, how is it that Abbott’s statement was misinterpreted as a criticism of Jews when it is clearly a defence of the Labour Party?

Ken Livingstone

The CAA has a long file on former London Mayor Livingstone, beginning in 1982 when the paper, the Labour Herald, of which Livingstone was co-editor, ran an unfavorable cartoon of the then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. According to the CAA, Livingstone’s most egregious anti-Semitic remark was his claim that in 1932 (Hitler came to power in 1933) Hitler had championed Jewish emigration to Israel (actually, then Palestine) and was “supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”. The United States Holocaust Museum website generally supports Livingstone’s statement and reveals that until 1941, Germany encouraged Jews to emigrate and that 60,000 Jews left Germany/Austria for Palestine, a number second only to the number of Jews who went to the United States.

Livingstone rejected claims that he had brought the Labour Party into disrepute and said he was not guilty of anti-Semitism, but resigned from the party and acknowledged that his comments had upset Jews and offended others. “I am truly sorry for that,” he said.

Some of Livingstone’s critics were not satisfied with his apology for his truthful statement. Ruth Smeeth, a Labour lawmaker, described his behaviour as “grossly offensive to British Jews”. MP Smeeth’s reaction is bizarre. Is it anti-Semitic for Livingstone to discuss Jewish history? The Transfer Agreement between Hitler’s Germany and the Zionist Congress may be embarrassing for some Jews, but how is recounting history hate speech? MP Smeeth, the CAA and others claiming to be offended managed by ousting Livingstone to enforce their ironclad rule that certain Jewish history is “off limits”.

War on Labour

Following its anti-methodology, the CAA came to the conclusion that the British Labour Party is “eight times worse than any other party”. Not 5, 6 or 8.3 but exactly 8. What “evidence” supports this “finding?”

The CAA’s website publishes an “enemies list” of sorts, chronicling the alleged anti-Semitism of 39 members of the Labour Party. A striking number of the CAA’s complaints address statements about Israel, not about Israel as Jews, but about the actions of the country. To date, about 150 members of the Labour Party have been expelled for alleged anti-Semitism and there is a backlog of cases.

Dubious cases such as those cited here are treated by the CAA as “anti-Semitic incidents” that help the CAA feed the idea that England is rife with anti-Semitism. The British media have failed to do their job of investigating alleged incidents of anti-Semitism, and instead accept the CAA’s claims without questions.

Fiddling with numbers

Fiddler on the Roof may be emblematic of Eastern European Jewish folklore but fiddling with numbers is a symptom of contemporary Zionist politics in general and of the CAA in particular. The CAA compiles and disseminates information on anti-Semitism, basing its claims on methodology that is patently unreliable.

The “anti-Semitism audit” produced by the CAA purports to track incidents of anti-Semitism on an annual basis. The audit is a deeply flawed document, relying on data known to be unreliable and subjected to no proper statistical analysis.

Even the CAA’s use of the term “audit” is inappropriate. An “audit” is defined as “an official inspection of an… organisation’s accounts, typically by an independent body”. The CAA has no official or professional status as an auditor, nor would its methods be accepted by anyone in a position to conduct a professional audit.

The CAA has been advised by police forces that comparing police reports across jurisdictions and years leads to misleading results. The CAA’s anti-Semitism audit was heavily criticised in the Jewish media by statistics experts who noted that the CAA’s “methodology” was “flawed”, “amateurish” and “misleading”. But none of that stopped the CAA from promoting its manufactured “findings” in the mainstream media.

The CAA based its audit on gathering data from the police. But the CAA doesn’t enjoy free access to police files. Instead, it uses different techniques to gather information. This haphazard “methodology” creates crucial problems:

  1. Police forces in different regions of Britain use different standards to gather data regarding hate crimes.
  2. Police forces in Britain are presently in the process of revising how they collect their hate crime records so that data from one year may show different results than data from a different year even if the number of hate crimes remains constant.
  3. The CAA basically gathers information on the volume of incidents recorded that it considers to be anti-Semitic. But the CAA itself is actively engaged in increasing this volume. It frequently reports incidents to the police and urges other members of the Jewish community to follow suit. An interested body that actively contributes to the rise of reported anti-Semitic incidents cannot also claim to be objective in its “audit” that measures the rise of anti-Semitsm.
  4. While the CAA’s audit of anti-Semitism shows a nationwide rise of 14.9 per cent in anti-Semitic incidents between 2016 and 2017, this is based on data gathered by the CAA half of which shows wild year to year fluctuations of up to 1050 per cent. Such fluctuations defy any rationale. These statistical anomalies beg careful analysis that the CAA not only fails to apply – the CAA fails to address this drastic shift in number of reported incidents. The CAA’s study aggregates divergent data collected in different ways and calls that an “audit” of anti-Semitism in Britain. The flawed study was released to the British public with the help of the disgracefully gullible British media. The BBC, Sky, the Guardian and others reported the amateurish statistical “audit” to the British public without raising a single question as to its reliability.

The 2016 audit

In July 2017 the CAA published its 2016 annual audit of anti-Setmitic crimes in the UK. The audit’s first pages raise serious questions as to its reliability:

On page 4 it reads: “2016 was the worst year on record for anti-Semitic crimes”, reporting a 14.9 per cent rise in crimes “targeting Jews” nationwide. But a few lines below, the audit states that during the same period “violent anti-Semitic crimes fell by 44.7 per cent”. This difference in incidences appears contradictory.

The CAA admits that it doesn’t have an explanation for the drop in violent crimes: “We have considered various explanations; however at this point we do not find them persuasive.” (page 6). This drop occurred even though the CAA inflated the number of “violent incidents” by expanding the Home Office definition of violent incidents. (page 16) The CAA defined violent anti-Semitic acts as the combination of the Home Office categories of “homicide” or “violence with injury”, and the heretofore non-violent “assault without injury” and “racially or religiously aggravated assault without injury”.

This means that the audit conveyed the good news that, even using the CAA’s inflated category, the number of “violent anti-Semitic incidents” dropped. Strangely, the Jewish pressure group does not write that the drop in violent anti-Semitic crime is a positive finding.

Fishing for J words

Since the CAA doesn’t have an access to each police force’s records, it derives its statistics from police reports. When a police force does not flag anti-Semitic incidents, the CAA asks that police force to conduct a keyword search of its files:

For the purposes of this research, the keywords used were the following whole words: Jew, Jews, Jewish, Judaism, Semite, Semitic, Semitism, antisemite, anti-Semitic, anti-Semitism, Yid, Yids, Yiddo, or Yiddish. (page 17)

Some police forces made the CAA aware that their keywords method is not a reliable way to find anti-Semitic crime. “Not all incidents where ‘Jew’ is mentioned are anti-Semitic,” wrote the Northumbria police force. It also refers to the CAA exercise as a “fishing expedition”. The CAA ignored this caution and simply used as the number of incidents the data they had been warned were incorrect.

Duplicity vs methodology

The CAA employs inadequate and inconsistent methods of information gathering not only in its audit, but in its information gathering from Jews.

In 2017 the CAA made some shocking revelations:

  • “One out of three British Jews were considering leaving the kingdom.”
  • “Four out of five Jews saw anti-Semitism disguised as comments about Israel.”
  • “Four out of five saw Labour as anti-Semitic.”
  • “Half of British Jews didn’t trust the Crown Prosecution Service.”

And the source of these disturbing feelings? They came from the results of an online questionnaire found on the CAA’s website. The CAA’s findings were not even from as unbiased sample as the average FaceBook poll. Instead of revealing what British Jews think, the CAA “survey” revealed the opinions of its Zionist readers. It is outrageous to label the results of this exercise “statistics”. In fact, Jewish leaders who criticised the CAA’s duplicitous use of the “poll” were brutally silenced and slandered. Probably the most problematic result of the poll was that the British press reported it but did not point out that the CAA’s findings were based on a self-selecting sample.

Stupidity or duplicity?

Is the CAA a dysfunctional body of incompetent and clueless characters or is the CAA a group of consciously deceptive Zionists that deliberately deceives the British public? The following evidence suggests the latter.

As discussed above, the CAA 2016 anti-Semitsm audit is methodologically and factually a problematic document. The CAA was warned of this by different law-enforcement bodies such as the Northumbria police. The CAA audit uses its questionable data to show an increase in the volume of reported anti-Semitic incidents but still fails to prove an increase in anti-Semitsm. Does that mean that the CAA intended to produce a deceptive audit?

The CAA audit’s raw data (from page 24 onward) reveals extreme fluctuations in anti-Semitic incidents reported by police forces from 2015 to 2016, with year to year increases of up to 1050 per cent in some categories and drops of 80-90 per cent in others.

In Derbyshire, for instance (page 34), the audit shows an increase of 1050 per cent in non-criminal anti-Semitic incidents: from two in 2015 to 23 in 2016. This would mean that non-criminal anti-Semitic incidents rose in Derby 70 times more than the CAA’s own nationwide rate of 14.9 per cent. On paper, the situation in Derbyshire is almost a Shoah scenario. Did the CAA try to verify, as even elementary statistics would require, this enormous increase? Was there a pogrom reported in Derbyshire?

In Hertfordshire (page 44), they show an increase of almost 400 per cent in anti-Semitic crime and a surge of 800 per cent in non criminal anti-Semitic incidents. Again, there is no indication that the CAA tried to look into the cause of this improbable increase.

The explanation of the unreasonable rise was known to the CAA. West Yorkshire police notified the CAA that the recent rise in numbers of hate crime incidents “are predominantly associated with administrative change in relation to force crime-recording processes”. It was an administrative change, not an increase in anti-Semitism that led to the huge increase in the number of hate crimes recorded. So, despite the CAA’s knowledge of the reasons for the wild fluctuations, the CAA still dispensed the misleading numbers to the British public.

The raw police reports that the CAA’s audit relies upon reveal that 21 of the 46 reports showed fluctuations well beyond what could reasonably be likely (more than three times the CAA’s own nationwide figure of 14.9 per cent rise in anti-Semitic incidents). The CAA could claim that its mistakes were due to incompetence, that they simply copied and pasted police reports without thinking. But the last page of the audit reveals that this is not the case.

The CAA does admit that the numbers reported by Wiltshire police (page 73) were unreliable, as they showed a radical rise from one incident in 2015 to 139 incidents in 2016. This is an increase of 13,900 per cent in anti-Semitic incidents in a region with fewer than 540 Jews. The CAA discarded the data from Wiltshire as unreliable. But by deciding not to include the Wiltshire police report the CAA reveals that it doesn’t just copy and paste police data.

So, the CAA included some data and discarded others with no apparent standards. What statistical methodology did the CAA use when it decided to discard a rise in 13,900 per cent in anti-Semitic incidents in one jurisdiction and to include a rise in 1000 per cent, 400 per cent or even 50 per cent in others?

It is a basic tenet of statistical analysis that statistics from different sources cannot be combined or meaningfully compared without properly adjusting for different data gathering systems and methods. Deriving an overall percentage increase by averaging data derived by different systems is patently absurd. Nor is it accurate to compare different years from the same data source unless the gathering methodology is the same. The CAA’s audit compiles apples, oranges and bananas and treats them as identical. The extreme fluctuations in police reporting reveals that police force systems did exactly as the police force said it did and underwent significant reporting changes as the CAA admits in its introduction (page 3).

The alerts from the police forces that collection methods had changed means that the CAA should have known that its audit was flawed. This was also pointed out to the CAA by experts within the Jewish community who were highly critical of the audit.

Michael Pinto Duschinsky, a well respected political scientist, wrote a devastating commentary in the Jewish Chronicle about the CAA. As a holocaust survivor, Duschinsky writes, I have two commitments: “to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and to avoid trivialising it by misleading allegations”. Duschinsky denounced the CAA for its “deeply flawed”, “misleading” and “amateurish” methods.

Of the self-selected CAA poll, Duschinsky wrote:

It was completely predicable that the questionnaire would produce the conclusion that one in four British Jews had considered leaving the UK… This was because the questions were so slanted and tendentious and because anyone who wished could complete the questionnaire… Not only did CAA incorrectly characterise its amateur questionnaire of Jewish opinion as a “poll” (thereby suggesting a statistically-valid sample), it then used overblown language in reporting it results.

Abuse of the judicial process

The hysteria over alleged anti-Semitism has led to trials and convictions for the crime of “anti-Semitism”. Cases that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to prosecute two years ago have now been brought by the CPS after action from the CAA. Is the change in prosecutions a sign that the CPS now realises that it can obtain convictions it thought unlikely, does it result from a change in what the state considers to be “speech” crimes, or is the CPS placating the CAA?

Gideon Falter and the CAA have been instrumental in utilising a variety of techniques to force prosecution of “anti-Semitism”. Their campaign to restrain speech previously thought permissible has been successful in England as the following sampling of cases shows.

Jeremy Bedford Turner

Turner was recently sentenced to a year in jail after a jury convicted him of stirring up racial hatred during a 2015 speech in which Turner criticised Shomrim, a Jewish-only police unit funded by Britain, whose job it is to protect only Jewish neighbourhoods. Turner further opined the racist sentiment that he wanted Jews out of England.

The CPS declined to prosecute Turner’s speech as incitement to racial hatred. There is an “incitement to racial hatred” clause in the statutes but it is not all-encompassing, and it did not come close to making “anti-Semitism” illegal. The CPS’s policy guidelines on cases involving “incitement” clearly state that the language employed by a defendant must have been “threatening, abusive or insulting“. The courts have upheld the right to freedom of speech even when behaviour is, as in this case, “annoying, rude or even offensive without necessarily being insulting”.

Falter requested a “victim’s right to review” in reponse to the CPS’s decision not to prosecute. The request was denied on the basis that Turner hadn’t mentioned Falter, Falter did not personally hear Turner’s speech and therefore Falter couldn’t claim victim status. The CAA then instituted the process for judicial review of the CPS over its decision not to prosecute and, on the eve of a hearing in the High Court, the CPS agreed to quash its original decision, put a more senior lawyer on the case and proceeded to prosecute and convict Turner.

CAA head Falter claimed the verdict was a “damning indictment” not only of Turner, but of the CPS and its outgoing head, Alison Saunders. Falter said: “The real question is why the director of public prosecutions and CPS got this so dismally wrong.” Falter’s question conflates a jury verdict of “guilty” with proof that the CPS was misinterpreting the law.

Further in 2015, when Turner gave his speech, the United Kingdom had not yet signalled its willingness to stifle speech by adopting the “international definition” of anti-Semitism.

Alison Chabloz

Alison Chabloz, 54, of Derbyshire, was recently convicted on two counts of causing an offensive, indecent or menacing message to be sent over a public communications network. District Judge John Zani said he was satisfied the material was grossly offensive and that Chabloz intended to insult Jewish people.

The CPS initially declined to prosecute Chabloz’s speech, presumably because it was both satirical and political. The CAA launched a private prosecution against Chabloz. Private prosecutions are undertaken in the British system as a direct way for a citizen to institute a criminal case. The rules are intricate, but until recently such prosecutions generally dealt with complex business questions.

Under constant pressure from the CAA, the CPS took over the prosecution of Chabloz. The CAA had not utilised private prosecution in the Turner case since it was not present to hear the “slurs” and would have had no basis for private prosecution.

The songs that provoked Chabloz’s prosecution had been performed at a London Forum event (hardcore nationalist gathering) in 2016 and uploaded to YouTube. They included one song describing the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz as “a theme park” and the gas chambers a “proven hoax”. This is a pretty clear example of provocative speech that most of us disagree with. However, does the state need to criminalise such speech? Won’t the “marketplace of ideas” call out Chabloz? I suspect the internet world would not allow her lyrics to go unchallenged.

Prosecutor Karen Robinson told the court: “Miss Chabloz’s songs are a million miles away from an attempt to provide an academic critique of the holocaust. They’re not political songs. They are no more than a dressed-up attack on a group of people for no more than their adherence to a religion.”

But is it a legal requirement that political song lyrics provide an “academic critique”? Must political satire be clearly defined as found by a court? It’s not clear that “Alice’s Restaurant” or “Fortunate Son” would pass this test.

Adrian Davies, defending, argued that: “It is hard to know what right has been infringed by Miss Chabloz’s singing.” The singer has defended her work as “satire”, saying many Jewish people found the songs funny.

The focus of the private prosecution brought by Falter was Alison’s comments criticising the narratives of Elie Wiesel, Irene Zisblatt and Otto Frank, in her song Survivors.

The authenticity of the tales of these three holocaust victims have been the subject of academic debate. The Anne Frank foundation recently admitted the diary had not been solely authored by Anne. Elie Wiesel’s wartime saga has been called into question over a number of issues. Under cross-examination, Falter was forced to admit that he had not actually read Zisblatt’s book, and so knew nothing about its accuracy, despite having brought a private prosecution to protect it from ridicule.

There are no specific laws against holocaust denial in the UK, even if that is what this was. Britain has resisted attempts to enforce a European Union directive outlawing holocaust denial. Falter seemed to differ from the Crown which said that the prosecution was not against mere questioning of the holocaust. Falter indicated that those who question the new holocaust religion should be prosecuted under the law and attacked professionally: that is, ruined financially.

Falter also claimed that it was “intrinsically offensive” for Chabloz to refer to Palestine being reclaimed “from the river to the sea”. But, of course, the question of whether Palestine ought to be reclaimed for its indigenous people is a political question and not one of race, so what exactly was her crime? Falter openly stated that he is intent on shielding Israel from criticism, and said of the pro-Palestinian aspects of Chabloz’s songs: “You want to silence her and stop her putting those messages out.”

All of this left inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case with regard to whether the truth/falsehood of Chabloz’s criticisms of Zisblatt, et al, were relevant, or whether instead the Crown was enforcing an unspoken law that no-one claiming to be a holocaust survivor can be ridiculed, regardless of truth/falsehood.

Adrian Davies, Chabloz’s lawyer, told Judge Zani that his ruling would be a landmark one, setting a precedent on the exercise of free speech. This is a particularly egregious precedent limiting speech since it is not clear what speech led to Chabloz’s conviction and the case therefore provides no insight to others on what speech must be avoided.

Gilad Atzmon

The case against Atzmon illustrates that in the present environment in Britain, you can be liable not only for anti-Semitism, but for questioning the methodology by which anti-Semitism is determined.

Falter appeared on Sky News on 16 July 2017 to explain how he, on behalf of the CAA, had brought a law suit against the Crown for failure to prosecute the anti-Semitic speech supposedly uttered by Jeremy Bedford-Turner. Falter further complained that his statistics on the incidence of anti-Semitism showed far more anti-Semitic incidents than the CPS claimed. Falter claimed, “our view [on anti-Semitism] is right and the Crown is wrong”.

Writing in response to Falter’s appearance, Atzmon wrote on his own website that: “We are asked to choose between two versions of the truth, that delivered by Falter who leads the CAA and basically makes his living manufacturing anti-Semitic incidents and the judicial approach of the CPS: a public body, subject to scrutiny and committed to impartiality.”

Atzmon pointed out that “Falter interprets condemnation of Israel and Jewish politics as ‘hate crimes”. Atzmon commended the CPS for upholding “freedom of expression”, and this in free speech’s most cherished exercise – political speech.

Atzmon noted that Zionism also benefits from anti-Semitism (even though it does not intentionally cause it) since Israel claims that it exists to provide shelter to all Jews. Comparing Falter and the CAA to Israel, Atzmon noted, “since a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents [could have] fatal consequences for Falter and his CAA’s business plan. They need anti-Semitism and a lot of it.”

Falter filed a suit against Atzmon, claiming libel and defamation. Falter’s complaint reads, in part: “In order to justify the existence of, and raise funds for, the CAA the Claimant (Falter) dishonestly fabricates anti-Semitic incidents, that is to say he characterizes conduct as anti-Semitic when he knows it is not, and knowingly exaggerates the prevalence of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic activity.”

Falter complains that he was called a “devious fraud and a hypocrite”, even though neither word appears in Atzmon’s article. Falter further interprets Atzmon: “He [Falter] publicly campaigns against anti-Semitism but in reality his business plan is that he wants Jews to be hated so that he can make money.” In fact, Atzmon made the claim that Falter is a covert Jew hater who pretends to campaign against anti-Semitism.

In addition, Falter claimed that unless restrained, Atzmon would continue to publish similar words. Here Falter openly reveals that his lawsuit is not only against the words complained of, but an attempt to muzzle Atzmon.

The first stage of the lawsuit was a hearing before Justice Nicklin of the British High Court to define the issues created by the language complained of. In his ruling, the judge went beyond the complaint to determine that Atzmon’s words said that the claimant obtained funds through “fraud”.

Atzmon had not claimed that Falter committed fraud, and it was not clear that Falter’s misuse of statistics rose to the level of fraud, i.e. involving a criminal intent. The ruling made clear that a further defence before this justice would be pointless. The parties settled: Atzmon had to issue an apology and pay Falter £7,500 in damages, plus an additional amount in legal fees. The irony of forcing Atzmon to pay Falter based on the allegedly false claim that Falter seeks money for anti-Semitism begs recognition.

The Nazi pug

Earlier this year Mark Meechan, aka “Count Dankula”, was convicted and fined £800 for posting on YouTube a video of a dog he had trained to give a Nazi salute in response to the phrases “gas the Jews” and sieg heil. In case viewers worried that he was trying to turn canines into Nazis, one pug dog at a time, Meechan stated in the video that he wasn’t himself a Nazi but thought that what he had done was funny. It is a reasonable interpretation of this video that it ridiculed Hitler supporters as much as it was offensive to others.

The Scottish police arrested Meecham and charged him with posting “grossly offensive, anti-Semitic and racist material”. Sheriff O’Carroll said the right to freedom of expression was very important but “in all modern democratic countries the law necessarily places some limits on that right”.

Meecham pleaded not guilty but was convicted under the Communications Act in a crime that the court found was aggravated by “religious prejudice”. Although Meecham’s video was certainly tasteless and offensive, it is not clear how it fell into the obscure category of “religious prejudice”.

Meecham’s lawyer, Ross Brown, stated of Meecham, his difficulty, “it seems, was that he was someone who enjoyed shock humour… and went about his life under the impression that he lived in a jurisdiction which permitted its citizens the right to freely express themselves”. This perception is understandable; British humour is famous for its tastelessness. Monte Python mocked the church, Little Britain mocks the disabled and so on.

Why did Scottish law enforcement prosecute a silly offensive video of a dog? Is Scotland so crime-free that this is a matter worthy of its crime-fighting resources? It’s hard not to wonder if the same case would have been brought five years ago.

The First Amendment

In the United States, our freedom to speak is guaranteed by the First Amendment, which forbids Congress from making a law abridging free speech (now held to apply to the states as well). The First Amendment was enacted primarily as a defence against government power. The founders were concerned that the federal government exercise only enumerated powers and no more. Still, free speech is not unlimited: the United States limits some speech, including false commercial speech, defamation and incitement to violence.

No reasonable person enjoys confronting hate speech, but allowing free speech, even at its most obnoxious, frees us from self-appointed guardians of the discourse. Who would any of us choose to decide what speech ought to be allowed? Congress? Trump? Obama? The FBI? The NSA? Scientists? The courts? Or the CAA or ADL (Anti-Defamation League)?

The United States government has spent more money on Israel than on any other foreign country, and it is reasonable for Americans to be free to comment on where their money is spent. And yet we have laws that punish those who speak out against Israel, even though we have no such laws for criticising our own government or to protect the people whom we formerly enslaved.

While speech against Israel is not illegal per se, the US government, and states such as New York and Texas (among others) have chosen to punish criticism of Israel as anti Semitic. They do this by prohibiting state funding or business with any group that advocates boycotting Israel.

Canada also protects speech, but not “hate” speech. Under the urging of B’nai B’rith, Canada has prosecuted “anti-Semitic” speech as hate speech. As in the cases in England, it is difficult to ascertain which particular speech was forbidden. In a trial against blogger Arthur Topham, the prosecution cited all of Topham’s writings that were unfavourable to Israel or Jewish culture and hoped some of them stuck. They did, and Topham was convicted.

Despite Canada’s enforcement of its hate speech laws, Falter urged Canadian Jews to follow his example of aggressive prosecution. He stated, “I believe that Canadian [Jews] increasingly will be looking at their situation and asking, ‘Do we have a future in this country?’ And that’s a question they shouldn’t be having to ask at all.” Where is Falter’s evidence that Canadian Jews are asking if they have a future in Canada? Is he trying to lay seeds of alienation so that Jews in Canada will feel less like a part of Canada?

This raises the question of whether the CAA intensifies anti-Semitism by urging Jews to find anti-Semitism everywhere and to prosecute perceived anti-Semitism and “to ensure ruinous consequences, be they criminal, professional, financial or reputational”. The CAA uses the judicial system to achieve its aims, but its use of the law seems cynical as in its legal machinations the CAA deliberately disrespects the principle of freedom of speech that is ingrained in the law of Britain, the United States and Canada.

Eve Mykytin is a writer, editor and former financial lawyer

 

Report: Pro-Israel Groups Demand Changes to Virginia Textbooks

Posted on 

Grant Smith and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) have released a report on efforts by Israel advocacy groups to effect changes in textbooks used in public schools in Virginia. According to IRmep, the requested changes include:

  1. Deletion of references to Israel “occupying” territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting “controlled.” International conventions clearly outline the responsibility of occupying powers and the illegality of collective punishment and population transfers.
  2. Changes to maps to recognize Israel’s declared “annexation” of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. and most other countries do not officially recognize Israeli annexation of either territory.
  3. Substitution of references to “occupied territories” to “captured areas.”
  4. Substitution of references to “Jewish settlers” and “settlements” with “building of homes and communities.”
  5. Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan.
  6. Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi.
  7. Substitution of an editorial cartoon titled “The Mideast Peace Game Rules” with a cartoon of an Arab suicide terrorist holding a  “Road Map to Peace” game hostage.

A group calling itself the “Institute for Curriculum Services” proposed the changes to the Virginia Department of Education on February 28. You can go here to see a summary of IRmep’s findings, and here to access a more detailed review that includes documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

IRmep also outlines a number of “common themes” which emerge in the requested textbook changes. These include eliminating or replacing historical artwork created for predominantly Christian audiences; deletion of all references to “Palestinian territories”; as well as characterization of Judaism, i.e. Old Testament theology, as “God’s covenant” while relegating the tenets of Islam to mere expressions of “Muslim religious belief.”

Apparently the changes being sought in Virginia textbooks are a part of an overall nationwide effort. IRmep cites a spokesperson for the “Institute for Curriculum Services” who claims to have successfully made more than 11,000 changes to textbooks in US public schools.

The Israeli lobby has long had yokes locked around the necks of our Congress men and women. Now it seems they are trying to solidify their control over our public education system as well. If you think the millennials of today are daft, succored as they have been on identity politics, imagine what the next generation will be like after being fed a steady diet of Israeli propaganda in their school textbooks. Any school teachers who attempt to explain the truth about Israel and its genocidal occupation policies doubtless will risk being fired.

This is how the people of America are being robbed of the power of independent thought. Pretty soon, the only free countries left in the world will be those that don’t have Israeli lobbies.

Gilad Atzmon Needs Your Immediate Support!

March 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

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I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s chairman Gideon Falter. I have made the decision to fight this crucial battle for freedom of expression even though this fight poses a real risk of bankrupting me and my family.

I choose to fight their suit because I believe that the CAA and its chairman and its use of libel laws pose a danger to freedom of speech and the future of this country as an open society. Enough is enough!

Mr. Falter has sued me for comments I made on my own website.

My comments were made in the context of expressing my opinion about the situation where, last July, The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) attested that there had been no increase in anti-Semitism in Britain, and Gideon Falter and the CAA refused to accept the CPS’s verdict. Falter and the CAA insisted that anti Semitism was on the rise. Sky news reported on the discrepancies between the findings of CPS and the CAA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2LgDoRqgN8

My article focused on the choice examined by Sky News between two accounts, one maintained by Falter and the CAA, an NGO that is dedicated to prosecuting antisemitism with “zero tolerance”, and the judicial approach of the CPS: a public body, subject to scrutiny and committed to impartiality.

My comments about the CAA are the basis of their lawsuit. I believe that I have the right to express my opinions on my own website: freedom of political expression is at the heart of freedom of speech. Mr. Falter claims that my criticisms of him do not amount to an opinion at all, and is seeking an order that would stop me from saying anything similar about him again, as well as paying him huge sums in libel damages and legal costs.

The CAA has contacted Jazz venues, community centres, concert halls and even overseas companies demanding that my events be cancelled. They have now escalated this battle and if they win this will ruin me financially.

I can not fund my defence alone.  I am obliged to ask every peace loving human being who cares about freedom and ethics for funds to help me defend this case. Fighting  this battle may cost tens of thousands of pounds. I am going to need some four figure donations to find the ludicrous amount required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.

If you have ever enjoyed my writing – join the fight. If you don’t agree with me yet support freedom of speech – my fight is your fight. If you support the right to point at the truth without being labeled ant-Semitic – this lawsuit is the battle ground,   my fight is your fight.

I appreciate any help you can give.

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