Green Party Votes to Oppose the Jewish National Fund –
Green Party Votes to Oppose the Jewish National Fund –
Mira Vogel and Green Engage are Decisively Rejected
Stop Press – Despite all the frenetic activity on the Internet, when push came to shove ‘Green Engage’ the Zionist lobby within the Green Party, failed to even try to defend the JNF. And who can blame them? How do you justify an organisation that refuses to allow non-Jews to use its land? And when that land is 93% of the total in Israel it’s called apartheid. Even Mira Vogel is not a clever enough academic to spin that one!
And the EUMC definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ which is itself anti-Semitic, (holding that Jews have the right to self-determination whilst any attempts to associate Jews with Israel’s barbarities are nonetheless anti-Semitic!) was decisively rejected by the Green Party Conference in Liverpool.
One has to wonder why Vogel even bothers. Not only is the Green Party not naturally friendly territory but their attempt to defend the indefensible is, at the best of times, impossible.
It is no wonder that they didn’t even bother to put up a single speaker in favour of the JNF. Just how do you defend an organisation which won’t allow Arabs to use its land and which deliberately plants forests and woods over the ruins of Arab villages whose inhabitants have been expelled? How do you justify the destruction, 30 times, of the village of Al Arakabh in the Negev by the JNF in order that they can beautify another area of ethnic cleansing?
Well done Debbie Fink, Terry Gallogly, and Shahrah Ali for good speeches against this attempt to portray anyone who supports the Palestinians as being ‘anti-Semitic’.
The Green Party of England and Wales condemns the Jewish National Fundfor its activities in excluding non-Jews from Israeli land and denouncesthe organisation for claiming to be an ecological agency.
The GPEW endorses the international call for action against the JNF andsupports efforts to revoke its charitable status in the UK.
After this, Liverpool Green Party, which contains supporters of Greens Engage, proposed a motion which advocated a brand new ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism. Clearly it is based on the old discredited EUMC (European Union Monitoring Committee) Definition of anti-Semitism and attempts to label criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic whilst appearing not to.
When procedural motions to take it in parts and refer it back were defeated the debate went ahead with 4 speeches for and against. Our Debbie Fink was the first speaker to speak against . Only 8 were in favour of the motion so it was heavily defeated.
No doubt we can expect some fallout in the Jewish Chronicle, with predictable cries of ‘anti-Semitism’ but even by the Zionists’ own torturous standards, it is pretty deficient. Apparently anti-Semitism is ‘recklessness about possible damage to the lives, welfare or feelings of Jews.’ What all Jews? Why Jews? Doesn’t everyone have feelings or are Jewish feelings especially precious? What about the feelings of an Israeli Jewish torturer? Is it wrong to upset him by eg. comparing him to the Gestapo? Would that be anti-Semitic?
Apparently it is ‘antisemitic to have special expectations of Jews that are different from the general population, for example expecting a Jew to be more knowledgeable about the affairs of Israel or to be more willing “as a Jew” to criticise any action of the government of Israel, or to respond in a particular way.’ So if you expect someone to be more knowledgeable about the ‘Jewish State’ then you are being anti-Semitic? But since the Israeli state claims responsibilities on behalf of all Jews, does this make it too anti-Semitic?!
Then notice the weasel words of point 7: ‘Criticism of the state of Israel is not necessarily antisemitic.’ Ah, the lawyer’s touch here. It isn’t necessarily anti-Semitic to criticise Israel for e.g. allowing Rabbis to publish books calling for the murder of non-Jews, but it is normally anti-Semitic. Not sure where you get a dispensation from….
And in a spirit of generosity, our Zionist Greens say that ‘it is not a requirement on any critic of Israel that they must first locate and criticise any other state which has done worse things than has Israel. Criticism of Israel may be antisemitic if the critic applies harsher judgements on Israel than they would apply to the actions of any other state.’
Tricky this one. You can criticise Israel but you mustn’t be harsher on its torturers than those of another state. You can criticise its racism but not if you are stricter than with say Colombia. But what if someone who has been evicted from their home in the West Bank and deported does indeed, from personal experience, criticise Israel much more harshly than s/he does the Central African Republic? Is Mahmoud being anti-Semitic? Well he would say he’s never been to the CAF, but that surely can’t be an excuse.
And of course ‘Use of language can be antisemitic. Awareness of the history of the Holocaust… should preclude making any equivalences between that regime and the current government of Israel.This should not prevent any criticism of any deed by the government of Israel, but the Nazi allusion adds nothing and serves only to cause distress.’
What if I disagree? What if I were to say that the Nazi law banning Jews from owning property and land in 1939, yes it took 6 years, is no different in principle from the JNF’s modus operandi? Am I anti-Semitic. And if I point out that hostage taking and reprisals against the civilian population are the norm in Israel and I make a comparison with the Nazis in this respect, is that too anti-Semitic? But Israeli soldiers nicknamed their units the Auschwitz Squad and Mengele Commando. Clearly they saw some form of identification and in fact Israelis regularly abuse each other with the term ‘Nazi’. Are most Israelis anti-Semitic?
And does Ms Vogel and co. not see any comparisons between chants of ‘Death to the Jews’ in Poland and Nazi Germany and ‘Death to the Arabs’ in Israel today? What about ‘Arabs to the gas chambers’ which is scrawled in graffiti in Hebron? Is it anti-Semitic to point it out?
I give up. It’s easier just to say that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic rather than having to jump through these rhetorical hoops!
Zionist Motion Defining anti-Semitism from Liverpool Greens The motion offers a new working definition for antisemitism in order to help avoid antisemitic statements in political discourse. The motion does not create or change any Green Party policy on Israel and Palestine.
Conference reaffirms its decision of Autumn 2008 that “Members should at all times, including when proposing and implementing policy, be sensitive to the fact that the Green Party does not and will not endorse or tolerate antisemitism, or discrimination of any form.” Conference endorses the following definition of antisemitism and requests its spokespersons be guided by it.
Green Party working definition of antisemitism
(1) Antisemitism is hostility to, resentment of or suspicion of Jews.
(2) Antisemitism may express itself as discrimination against Jews and this is analogous to other forms of racial or sex discrimination.
(3) Antisemitism also arises in recklessness about possible damage to the lives, welfare or feelings of Jews. When a course of action is proposed that would damage Jews, the proposer should be taken in good faith if he or she was unaware of those consequences. However, summary dismissal of evidence or argument of damaging consequences to Jews would amount to antisemitism.
(4) Antisemitism can vary in seriousness. It is antisemitic to have special expectations of Jews that are different from the general population, for example expecting a Jew to be more knowledgeable about the affairs of Israel or to be more willing “as a Jew” to criticise any action of the government of Israel, or to respond in a particular way.
(5) Antisemitism can be expressed as stereotypes about Jewishness and in references to international Jewish conspiracies.
(6) Antisemitism can be promoted by uncritical platform-sharing or co-operation with groups and individuals which are themselves antisemitic. It would set too high a standard to require perfect knowledge of any group’s or individual’s record on antisemitism. However the criterion should be that there should be an equal level of scrutiny of potential antisemitism as there would be of any other potential racialism.
(7) Criticism of the state of Israel is not necessarily antisemitic. Further, it is not a requirement on any critic of Israel that they must first locate and criticise any other state which has done worse things than has Israel. Criticism of Israel may be antisemitic if the critic applies harsher judgements on Israel than they would apply to the actions of any other state.
(8) Use of language can be antisemitic. Awareness of the history of the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazi regime, should preclude making any equivalences between that regime and the current government of Israel.This should not prevent any criticism of any deed by the government of Israel, but the Nazi allusion adds nothing and serves only to cause distress.