Brighton and Hove’s Green Councillors Betray the Cause of Anti-Racism as they get into bed with the Tories and New Labour
Brighton and Hove’s Green Councillors Betray the Cause of Anti-Racism as they get into bed with the Tories and New Labour
Brighton’s Labour Group Proposes IHRA Motion as part of its war on the
Left and Corbyn and the Greens join in
an interview with The Times of Israel
reported that Israel’s Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, had stated that ‘he would instruct the IDF to shoot and kill any
Palestinians who cross into the country from Gaza’. When
questioned as to whether or not that would also apply to children Bennett
responded ‘“They are not children — they
are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves. I see the photos.”Bennett
says IDF should shoot to kill Gazans who cross border [8.10.18]
The statement of Bennett, who is the leader of HaBayit HaYehudi
(Jewish Home), a religious settlers’ party, is that of a Nazi. It is reminiscent
of Himmler’s speech to Nazi leaders in the Polish city of Posnan on October 6th
1943 when he explained why
the killings had to include Jewish children: “I did not assume to have the right to exterminate the men… and have the
avengers personified in the children to become adults for our children and
Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, p.259]
children to Bennett are no different from Jewish children to Himmler. To both they
represent the devil in child form. That was why Israeli polymath and orthodox religious
scholar, Professor Yeshayahu
the settlers as Judeo-Nazis. Naftali Bennett is a prime example of a Judeo-Nazi.
He subscribes to a racial philosophy of Jewish supremacism no different from Nazi
under the IHRA
definition of anti-Semitism ‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli
policy to that of the Nazis’ can be anti-Semitic even though Israelis regularly make such comparisons
themselves. For example even Deputy Chief of Staff General Yair Golan at a Holocaust
Remembrance Day commemoration two years ago caused a storm when he stated that
Another member of Netanyahu’s
Cabinet, Defence Minister Avigdor
Liberman remarked that he would like nothing more than to see the drowning of thousands of
Palestinian prisoners in the Dead Sea. Again the label Judeo Nazi would be apt.
His Deputy as Defence Minister, Rabbi Eli Dahan is also no slouch. In a radio
interview he explained
that to him Palestinians ‘“are
like animals, they aren’t human.” and that “A Jew always has a much
higher soul than a gentile [non-Jew] , even if he is a homosexual,”
Anti–Gypsy Signs in Barns Green, West Sussex
understand the full import of the above it is important to recognize that for
Orthodox Jews being gay is an abomination which merits the death penalty, but
even a gay Jew has a ‘much higher soul’
than a non-Jew. These are just some of the people who inhabit the present Israeli
cabinet. Yet to call them what they are, Judeo-Nazis is anti-Semitic under the shabby,
incoherent and contradictory collection of words that goes under the title of
the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
amazingly enough, the IHRA ‘definition of anti-Semitism’ is what Phelim
McCafferty and the Green Group on Brighton & Hove Council has signed up to.
A defence of Israel which renders
criticism of racists like Naftali Bennett antisemitic.
The Latvian Waffen SS are lauded by the LNNK Party which the Tories are allied to in the European Parliament
Next Thursday Brighton and Hove Council is set
to be the latest right-wing Council to adopt the IHRA definition of
anti-Semitism. It is a definition whose
main purpose is not to combat anti-Semitism but to demonise support for the
The arguments against the IHRA have been well
rehearsed for example in my most recent Open
Letter to Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion. Simply put there
is a very simple definition of anti-Semitism.
It is the OED: ‘hostility
to or prejudice against Jews.’ The IHRA is 500+ words because that is how
much it needs in order to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Tony Janio – leader of the Tories professes opposition to antisemitism but has never criticised the link-up of the Tories in the European Parliament with antisemitic parties
The actions of the Labour Group, which consists
overwhelmingly of supporters of Progress and the Labour Right, in moving the
IHRA have more to do with their opposition to Jeremy Corbyn than any concern
about anti-Semitism. Likewise the Tories
are supporting the motion, not because they are worried about anti-Semitism but
for similar reasons to Labour. They too
want to see an end to Jeremy Corbyn. What
is surprising is that the Green Party Councillors are playing #me2.
What kind of political
degeneracy and stupidity leads anyone on the Left to sign a motion against
racism with the Tory Party? Phelim McCafferty comes from Southern Ireland. He knows
full well the bloody record of the Tories in Ireland. The Tory Party is the
party of the British Empire and racism is its bread and butter. Racism was the justification
for Empire through the belief that those we conquered were less civilised than
ourselves. Racism isn’t an illness you catch or some moral deficiency, it is the
oil that makes the wheels of imperialism turn – from the Atlantic slave trade
to the Amritsar massacre and the starvation of Bengal. What kind of moral
turpitude and political opportunism is it that leads the Greens of Brighton to
get into bed with a party for whom racism is second nature?
For sure the Tory party now has some Black and
Asian MPs just as it now has some Jewish MPs. The British in India also relied
on native collaborators to maintain the Raj but their rule was no less racist or
bloody because of this. Today Sajid David presides over the Windrush scandal
and the Tories ‘hostile environment policy’ towards migrants.
Most people think of the Green Party as some
kind of anti-establishment party on the left of British politics but Brighton
Greens when in power have shown a remarkable ability to adapt to the prevailing
Up to 2015 the Green Party
ran a minority administration in Brighton.
Because that administration was widely seen as a disaster, their
representation fell from 21 to 11in 2015 and the Council is now run by Labour.
The Greens during their time in power came into conflict with the refuse
workers and together with the Tories imposed the hideous Eyesore (I-360) on Brighton.
We were led to believe that
with the replacement of the previous leader, Jason Kitcat by Phelim McCafferty,
that the Deep Greens had been put to bed.
By seconding the IHRA resolution to Council with the Tories the Greens have
demonstrated their political shallowness.
Anyone serious about
anti-racism would ask why it is that ‘anti-Semitism’ is being singled out. Jews may be a minority but they are not
racially oppressed. According to the Pew
Research Centre 7% of British people have unfavourable attitudes to Jews,
compared to 26% and 50% with respect to Muslims and Roma respectively.
Daniel Yates – right-wing leader of Brighton Labour Group
There are no Windrush-style deportations of Jews. Jews are not stopped and searched on the
street or likely to die in police custody nor do they suffer from racial
attacks or economic discrimination. Jews
are not overrepresented in prisons and under-represented in Parliament. Jews are
a privileged part of the White population.
The idea that passing the IHRA resolution has something to do with opposing
racism against Jews is fanciful. It is
about a political narrative concerned with Israel, Zionism and Jeremy Corbyn.
The mere fact that
‘anti-Semitism’ is being privileged above any other form of racism is itself
racist. It is a slap in the face of
those groups who really do suffer from racism.
The Tories are the traditional party of
anti-Semitism. At the beginning of the 20th century they opposed the
immigration of Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia and in 1905 under the ardent
Zionist Arthur Balfour they introduced the Aliens Act to keep Jews out. In the 1930’s they opposed the immigration of
Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, supported by the Times, Telegraph, Mail and Express.
The war-time government of Churchill adamantly refused to admit Jewish refugees
who were able to escape Nazi occupied Europe because they were considered enemy
An email from Jewish Green Party member Les Levidow to Phelim McCafferty
Message to Phelim McCafferty from Debbie Fink, a Jewish member of the Green Party
Of course as the Jewish community has moved
upward socially and politically to the Right the Tories have shed their overt
anti-Semitism which resulted in someone like Michael Howard having to face over
40 selection contests before becoming an MP.
But although the Tories are
ardently pro-Zionist and anti-Palestinian they have not shed all their
attitudes. They are allied with the European Conservative and Reform Group in
the European Parliament. This is a group
consisting of a number of anti-Semitic parties such as the Swedish Democrats,
Poland’s Law and Justice Party and Latvia’s LNNK/For Fatherland and Freedom. The
LNNK for example has one MEP, Robert Zile, who on one Saturday every March demonstrates
alongside veterans of Latvia’s Waffen SS.
Over 95% of Latvia’s Jews
perished in the Holocaust, the second highest of any European country. Part of the reason was the hostility of the
native population many of whom joined the Waffen SS, the section of the SS
responsible for running the concentration camps. Yet the Tories, including
ex-Conservative Friends of Israel Chair Eric Pickles ardently defend their tie
up with overtly anti-Semitic parties.
See Monica Lowenberg’s Riga,
Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?for a
description of the Tories friends in Latvia. If Tony Janio, the Tory leader in
Brighton Council were sincere in his opposition to anti-Semitism then he would challenge
his party’s membership of the ECHR group in the European parliament. Otherwise he is just being the normal Tory hypocrite.
For the Green Party to ally
itself with right-wing Labour and the Tories use of ‘anti-Semitism’ as a stick
to beat supporters of the Palestinians demonstrates how shallow their support
for the Palestinians really is. Whenever the Greens gets their hands on the
levers of power, they behave no different to their Labour/Tory counterparts.
It remains to be seen
whether all 11 of the Green Party councillors follow the lead of Phelim
McCafferty into the lobby with Warren Morgan and the Tories.
Let us be clear what this
is about. The IHRA states
“Manifestations [of antisemitism] might include
the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity.
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country
cannot be regarded as antisemitic. ”
In other words if you
criticise Israel because it is fundamentally different from a normal state, from
an anti-Zionist perspective, because it is a state based on ethnic supremacy,
then you are antisemitic. This is
what the Green group and the Labour group have signed up for. This is anti-Palestinian
racism, pure and simple. Tony
Open Letter to Phelim McCafferty – Leader of Green Group on Brighton
and Hove City Council
I wrote to
you earlier today regarding the fact that you had jointly seconded, with Tony
Janio of the Tories, the IHRA resolution that is going to the next meeting of
Brighton and Hove Council. You have chosen not to respond.
I sent you
and the Green Councillors over the weekend a letter explaining why the IHRA has
nothing to with opposing anti-Semitism and everything to do with undermining
support for the Palestinians. No one has yet explained why a ‘definition’ of
anti-Semitism of 500+ words is required when the Oxford
English Dictionary definition‘hostility
to or prejudice against Jews’ consists of just 6. The fact that the IHRA definition
of anti-Semitism is based on ‘hatred’ rather than ‘hostility’ demonstrates it
has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.
Even the IHRA’s principal author Kenneth Stern
its use to chill free speech on campuses. The IHRA has been the subject of withering
criticism by a variety of legal and academic figures, such as former Court of
Appeal Judge Sir
Stephen Sedley, Hugh
Tomlinson QC and Geoffrey Robertson QC who has described
it as ‘not fit for purpose.’
why the Labour Group is proposing this pernicious statement owes more to their
hostility to Jeremy Corbyn than any concern with racism against Jews or others.
Hostility to Corbyn is also the prime motive of the Tory group. It is stretching credibility to believe that a
Tory Party which has deported possibly hundreds of Black British Windrush
Citizens under their ‘hostile environment policy’ is seriously concerned about
racism against Jews.
Party which, when Jewish refugees were fleeing from the pogroms in Czarist
Russia, introduced the 1905 Aliens Act and which also opposed the admission of
Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany is now apparently concerned about anti-Semitism.
This is the same Tory Party which is in alliance with anti-Semitic parties in
the European Parliament and whose MEP’s have just supported
the racist Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary.
this even more sordid is that you led people to believe that the Green group in
the Council would not be supporting this wretched motion.
effect of adopting the IHRA will be to threaten the free speech of Council
employees and others. For the Green
Group to support such an anti-democratic resolution is shameful. The IHRA has
been used to close down Israel Apartheid week on university campuses. A staff
member of Hammersmith & Fulham Council was dismissed for contravening the
IHRA. Clearly your support for civil
liberties is skin deep.
resolution is also racist. You have ignored the letter written to the Council
by some 18 Black and migrant groups in this city opposing the IHRA. By what
right do you privilege opposition to anti-Semitism, which is a marginal
prejudice, compared to racism against Black people, Muslims and Gypsies? There is no state anti-Semitism in Britain
and where it does exist, in Poland and Eastern Europe, the Zionist movement has
nothing to say because these regimes are also the most ardently pro-Israel.
attitudes to Roma in this country are over 7
times higher than that against Jews and anti-Muslim racism is over 3
times as high. It is clear that it
wasn’t anti-racism which motivated this resolution.
have fondly imagined that the Green Party and its councillors represent a break
from the traditional two parties and their mode of operation. In supporting
this racist resolution, not least in the way you led people to believe that you
would be opposing the IHRA, it is clear that your real goal is for a greater
share of the spoils rather than a desire for fundamental change in society. Some of us had hoped that the Green
councillors had broken from the Jason Kitcat era. Clearly we were wrong.