Gary Spedding – the Self-Proclaimed Expert on ‘anti‑Semitism’
Gary Spedding – the Self-Proclaimed Expert on ‘anti‑Semitism’
Spedding Attacks Black and Jewish anti-racist activist Jackie Walker
Apart from the fact that everything centres on him, Spedding gives no concrete example of anti-Semitism other than the fact that he was attacked – Spedding forgets he is not Jewish!
Spedding’s self-serving egotistical attack on the Palestine solidarity movement in Ha’aretz
This blog was set up primarily
because an anti-Semitic current was developing on the fringe of the Palestine solidarity
movement. Because Palestine Solidarity
activists are routinely accused by Zionists of anti-Semitism, it was possible
for genuine anti-Semites to hid behind the camouflage that the Zionists had given them, viz. that they were really only anti-Zionists. Time and time again when I argued that people like Gilad Atzmon were anti-Semitic, people would say that that is what all Zioists say. It is the ‘boy cried wolf’ syndrome.
I seem to have annoyed Spedding as he’s blocked me!
These anti-Semitic fringe clustered
around an organisation Deir Yassin Remembered and took it over. Deir Yassin was the site of the most famous
of the many massacres of Palestinians during Nakba, the expulsion of the Palestinians,
in April 1948.
People like Dan MacGowan,
Paul Eisen and Jeff Blankfort brought into the Board of Advisors Israel Shamir,
a noted holocaust deniers and fascist who argued in Who Needs Holocaust
that Auschwitz wasn’t a death camp but an internment camp.
‘The Holocaust too has come under assault. Over
the last fifty years, revisionist scholars have amassed a formidable body of
substantial evidence, which runs in direct opposition to the traditional
Holocaust narrative. “Where is the evidence,” they say, “for
this alleged gargantuan mass-murder? Where are the documents? Where are the
traces and remains? Where are the weapons of murder?” These revisionists
all acknowledge of course, that there was a terrible assault on Jews on the
part of the National Socialist government, but disagree as to the scale,
motive, and methods cited in the typical narrative, a narrative that most of us
choose or are obliged to accept.
Eisen wrote a
pamphlet, Holocaust Wars, which was a paen of praise to the notorious holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel, a neo-Nazi
gaoled in Germany for 5 years for incitement to racial hatred.Indeed it was a fulsome tribute to the Nazi movement in Germany. In Britain, Eisen was joined in his
efforts by a well-known jazz player Gilad Atzmon, who obtained an audience on
the fringes of the Palestine solidarity movement.
This led to an exodus of anti-racist anti-Zionists from the Board of Advisors of DYR, such as Lea Tsemel, Michel Warshawski and Geoff Halper, although people like Ilan Pappe and Lea Tsemel are still listed as being on their Board.
The reason why Atzmon
gained an audience was because of the incessant propaganda of the Zionist movement
that support for the Palestinians was anti-Semitic. As I wrote in an article for the Guardian’s Comment is Free The
Seamy Side of Solidarity
‘Like the boy who cried
wolf, the charge of “anti-semitism” has been made so often against
critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people now have difficulty
recognising the genuine article.’
The battle against Atzmon,
who at the time was sponsored by the SWP [see Time to say
goodbye] was a long and arduous one.
For example in 2006 Jews Against Zionism picketed a talk by Atzmon on Otto Weininger, an anti-Semitic Jewish philosopher about whom Hitler is reputed to have said, probably apocryphally, that he was the only good Jew and he is dead, at the
SWP bookshop, Bookmarks. In 2007 we
brought a motion to Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s AGM calling for them to
have nothing to do with and to dissociate themselves from DYR.
Unfortunately the Executive at the time, led
by the Secretary Betty Hunter, decided for nakedly sectarian reasons to oppose
the motion and in the process did political damage to PSC. This utterly stupid action led to the Zionists
gloating that PSC had endorsed DYR. [see Atzmon’s Triumph
by David Taube on the Zionist pro-war Harry’s
By 2011 it was clear
to all that the stupidity of people like Betty Hunter had only encouraged Atzmon
and his followers. In Brighton PSC a
supporter of Atzmon, Frances Clarke-Lowes came out as a holocaust denier and was
promptly expelled by the local group. PSC nationally then suspended Clarke-Lowes, at my instigation, for holocaust denial and he was immediately suspended and at the 2012 AGM expelled. In September 2011 PSC had of its own
volition issued a statement making clear
its opposition to anti-Semitism and holocaust denial. At the PSC AGM in 2012 Omar Barghouti of the Boycott
National Committee was the guest speaker.
Omar spoke out strongly against anti-Semites and those who would tarnish
the Palestine solidarity movement with anti-Semitism and holocaust denial.
Following this in America, the noted Palestinian activist and Director
of the Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, repeated what he had done a few years
previously when he had issued a statement Serious
Concerns about Israel Shamir which drove the nail into the coffin of this Swedish
fascist who had masqueraded as a Palestinian supporter. In 2012 the US Palestinian Community Network
issued a statement signed by Abunimah,
Joseph Massad and Omar Barghouti amongst other notables, entitled Granting No
Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad
Atzmon. From here it was
downhill all the way for the rag tag and bobtail of conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites
who sought to harness their racism to the struggle of the Palestinians against
racism. There have been sporadic
outburst such as the Jewish Voices for Peace refusal to work with Alison Weir
Americans Knew, who has repeatedly appeared on platforms and been
interviewed by white supremacists. [see Jewish Voice for Peace Statement on our
Relationship with Alison Weir]
I am giving all this background because at no time in the fight against a small anti-Semitic fringe
that surrounded the Palestine solidarity movement did Gary Spedding play any part. At no time did we ever come across Mr Spedding. His claims today that he played any part are those of a rank opportunist.
Spedding finds solace with another opportunist – Owen Jones
self-proclaimed fighter against anti-Semitism in the Palestine solidarity
movement, played no part whatever in opposing anti-Semitism. The same
goes for another self-publicist Owen Jones. [see my critique of Owen Jones’
Reveals the Empty and Vacuous Heart of Owen Jones’s writing and Owen Jones’ Obsession with ‘anti-Semitism’]. What bothJones and Spedding
have done is to take advantage of the attack by the right-wing of the Labour Party – Progress, John Mann MP and the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement to
paint the Left as anti-Semitic.
of Jones standing up to the ‘anti-Semitism’ witch hunt and calling it out for
what it is, an attempt by the media to paint Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters
as ‘anti-Semitic, he has tried to ride the tiger. Jones is a rank opportunist and someone who is mesmerised by identity politics. Anyone can claim an identity of oppression even if they identify with oppressors.
Any objective analysis of the allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’
shows that the evidence doesn’t stack up.
It consists of unearthing years old tweets, written in specific
circumstances and twisted out of all recognition.
An example was Vicky Kirby’s infamous
tweet about ‘big Jewish noses’ – clearly
an anti-Semitic stereotype unearthed by the Tory blogger Paul Staines of the
Guido Fawkes blog. Except, as Asa
Stanley has shown in How
Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis what Kirby
was doing was quoting the dialogue from a comedy play, ‘The Infidel’ as its author, the Jewish playwright David Baddiel
confirmed: The Infidel is described
as ‘An identity crisis comedy centred on Mahmud Nasir,
successful business owner, and salt of the earth East End Muslim who discovers
that he’s adopted – and Jewish.’
As Badiel tweets, ‘Vicky Kirby may well be an anti-Semite. But this is a quote
from The Infidel, demonstrating Mahmud’s ignorance.’
Instead of rebutting the use
and abuse of anti-Semitism as a weapon against supporters of the Palestinians,
Spedding & Jones both used the attacks of the Zionists to sanitise their
own guilt-ridden consciences. For Jones
it is a way to find an exit door from left activism. I have no doubt that this wonder boy of the
Guardian, the bright new star of Chavs, is
setting out on a road which will end up with him facing the same way as another
erstwhile star of the left, Nick Cohen.
Those with short memories
might forget the days when Cohen was the darling of the Tribune left. No greater critic of New Labour and its
policy on refugees was there than Cohen.
He notably opposed the institution of Holocaust Memorial Day when Blair
announced it, for all the right reasons.
Then something happened and he jackknifed to the right after 9/11 and
ended up one of the most vehement supporters of the Iraq war and one of the
Owen Jones, with his most
recent attempt to sow doubt and disillusion in the Jeremy Corbyn for leadership camp, without
at any stage pointing the way forward against the unremitting attack of the
Establishment against Corbyn [see Questions
all Jeremy Corbyn supporters need to answer] is performing much the same
task. Yes there are weaknesses in Corbyn’s
campaign and record, yes there is a lack of a detailed strategy but what does
Jones offer other than negative criticism.
The same is true of his and his admirer Spedding’s
attitude to the anti-Semitism furore. Instead
of asking why it is that those who defend the apartheid State of Israel are so
concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ instead of analysing the actual examples of
so-called anti-Semitism, they give lectures about how terrible anti-semitism is
without ever giving a specific example of this phenomenon
I think he’s referring to me! Libel writs are awaited with baited breath
Spedding has described himself to me as an advisor to
the SNP group of MPs at Westminster, drafting their Early Day Motion on Palestine
and anti-Semitism. Three times he has
managed to have Google and WordPress take down an article I wrote on his smearing
of Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semitic. In the article I described how he openly
worked with and praised the right-wing Zionist organisation, the Community
Security Trust, which has long been in the business of opposing Jewish anti-Zionists
in particular and policing Zionist events whilst stirring fears of anti-Semitism. Despite Spedding’s best efforts I am reposting
the article a fourth
time. Please share widely and if possible put iton your own sites where
possible. This is the best antidote to
his attempts to innoculate himself from criticism and attack free speech.
On 23 July Spedding wrote an article for Ha’aretz, We in the Palestinian
Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism which is subtitled ‘Toxic conspiracy theories, group-blame and
stereotyping are becoming a serious problem in the Palestine solidarity
movement – and it’s undermining our struggle. In the article Spedding falsely describes himself as an activist in
the Palestine solidarity movement and a fighter for 10 years against anti-Semitism.
Spedding, who has never lifted a finger to fight racism, defames Jackie Walker
Spedding is ‘deeply troubled’ by a private conversation about Jackie Walker’s ancestors, some of whom were involved in the slave trade
Spedding doesn’t take kindly to criticism
Spedding is a fantasist and a narcissist. It is no surprise that a Zionist paper should
seek to both boost his credentials and use him as a stick with which to beat
genuine Palestine solidarity activists. His only achievement to date is getting
himself refused entry to Israel. Not a
difficult task which many people have managed to achieve. He even wrote his own
entry in Wikipedia before the editors pulled it!
In the latest batch of tweets he attacks the Black-Jewish
anti-racist activist Jackie Walker.
Whilst Jackie has been out on the streets opposing violent fascist thugs
in Dover, toe rags like Spedding are attacking her on Twitter.
It is indeed ironical that Spedding accuses others of engaging in games of egos
Spedding ignores comment that FB comment was discussion not a statement