Open Letter to Brighton & Hove Green Councillors – Don’t Betray the Palestinians

Open Letter to Brighton & Hove Green Councillors – Don’t Betray the Palestinians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PROTEST!
Hove Town Hall – Thurs 18 Oct at 3.30pm Demonstrate opposition to the city
council’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism


Like the Zionists, the Neo-Nazi Britain First accuse Black people, their victims, of racism – chants of 
‘What do we want? Racist filth off our streets’

Open Letter to Brighton
& Hove’s Green Councillors – Don’t Betray the Palestinians – Don’t Support
the IHRA
 
Brighton and Hove Council will, barring a miracle,
be another right-wing Labour Council to approve the IHRA definition of
anti-Semitism come Thursday night. The arguments against it are very simple and
are contained in the following posts:

Open
Letter to Caroline Lucas – You can’t run with the Palestinian hare and hunt
with the Zionist hounds – You are either with the Oppressed or the Oppressor

The Zionist poster that inverts the neo-Nazi message
In short. The definition, as a definition of
anti-Semitism is not
fit for purpose
. It is 500+ words when the 6 words of the OED, ‘hostility to or prejudice against Jews’ are
more than adequate. Anti-Semitism is a marginal form of racism in this country
compared to Islamaphobia or racism against Roma or Black people yet the only
form of racism that the Labour Party and the Tories are concerned about is ‘anti-Semitism’.
That in itself should be enough to put people on notice that the IHRA debate is
not about Jews but Palestinians.
Hove Town Hall is the venue for the IHRA resolution
A coalition of 17 anti-racist groups wrote to the
Council protesting against the adoption of the IHRA. There will be a large anti-racist
demonstration outside the Council meeting at Hove Town Hall this Thursday at
3.30 p.m to protest this racist exceptionalism. It is supported by Brighton and
Hove Trades Council, Brighton and Hove UNISON Local Government Branch, UNITE, Stand
Up To Racism and many others.  If you are
around please join us.
Below is an open letter to the Convenor/Leader of
the Green Group, Phelim McCafferty. Phelim was, until recently, seen as being
on the left of the local Greens after the disastrous Green Council (2011-2015)
led by Jason Kitcat which entered into conflict with the Refuse workers and
built what is now known as the Eyesore (I-360).
The IHRA is aimed at BDS
Phelim was, until he was elected to the Council a
member of Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign. As someone who came from
Derry, a nationalist stronghold in the north of Ireland which was the scene of
Bloody Sunday and the Battle of the Bogside, Phelim of all people should know
what the racism of settler-colonialism is about.
Phelim’s sponsorship of the IHRA resolution with the
leader of the Conservative group, Tony Janio, is beyond parody.  The Tory party’s full name, as Theresa May
emphasised when reaching her deal with the DUP, is the Conservative and
Unionist Party. Not only is Phelim betraying the Palestinians but he is also
betraying those he lived with and grew up with.
It is to be hoped that anti-racist Green councillors
and those who support the Palestinians will break ranks with their opportunist
leader and oppose this racist (and anti-Semitic) motion from the Tories and New
Labour.
Tony
Greenstein 
The Campaign Against Antisemitism demonstration outside Labour Party HQ – the real purpose of the IHRA campaign is the removal of Jeremy Corbyn
Open Letter to Phelim McCafferty and the Green
Group on Brighton and Hove City Council
Dear Councillor,
Attached is an Open Letter to Phelim McCafferty, Convenor of the Green
Group, who has co-sponsored a resolution on the IHRA to the Council meeting with
Tony Janio, Tory group leader. I will not rehearse the arguments as to why the
IHRA is unfit
for purpose
.
You can read the arguments here and here.
Motion 34(2) on Hate
Crime
,
which is the quid pro quo for this
sordid deal, offers a ‘glossary of
terms or definitions’
to help the victims of hate crimes!! 
The Zionists’ ‘antiracist’ demonstration outside Parliament on March 26 that included Norman Tebbit and the DUP
Whatever else motivates the IHRA motion it
is not anti-Semitism. Levels of racism against Muslims, Roma and other
minorities are far higher than anti-Semitism, yet this is of no concern.
The real
reason why this motion is being moved by right-wing Labour councillors, many of
whom won’t be there after next May, is Jeremy Corbyn. It is part of an internal
battle in the Labour Party. That is why the Tories are so keen to support the
IHRA. It is shameful that the Greens should be prepared to join those who went
to war in Iraq, demonised asylum seekers and supported the 2014 Immigration Act
which led to the Windrush Scandal.
Jeremy Corbyn is the real target of the IHRA resolutions
Anti-Semitism in Britain is not a form of state racism. Jews are not
deported, they don’t die in Police custody, they are not subject to deportation
as Jews nor do they bear the brunt of racial violence.
Jews and
‘anti-Semitism’ is being used as a convenient stick with which to beat the Left
The same happened with leftist regimes in South America. I am surprised that
Green councillors, especially in view of the refusal last week of your Conference
to agree to the IHRA, should be supporting the IHRA which, in so far as it
defines Jews as a separate people, is itself anti-Semitic.
I hope that there will
be sufficient anti-racist Green councillors this Thursday prepared to rebel
against Phelim McCafferty’s appeasement of the local political establishment.
Tony Greenstein 
Phelim McCafferty in more radical days alongside Caroline Lucas MP
Dear Phelim,
I am writing to you regarding your
decision to jointly sponsor with Tony Janio, Leader of the Conservative Group,
the IHRA motion to Council
this Thursday.
I have lived in Brighton for over
40 years. During that time I cannot remember having experienced a single
instance of anti-Semitism other than from supporters of Israel/Zionism, for
whom I am a ‘traitor’ (to Israel presumably). 
As a founder of Brighton & Hove Anti-Fascist
Committee and then Secretary of the Anti-Nazi League I helped lead the fight
against the National Front and assorted fascist groups. We did not need a 500+
word definition of anti-Semitism in order to recognise what it was we were fighting.
Nor do I recall your new found friends in the Tory Party giving us any
support.  Quite the contrary they
defended the ‘freedom of speech’ of
the fascists!
This was a time when the Tory MP
for Brighton Pavilion, Julian Amery, was an open supporter of Apartheid in
South Africa and a member of the Monday Club.
What I do remember though is the
death of Jay Abadan and the abysmal failure of a racist
police force
in Brighton to investigate the case. I also remember
the failure of the same police
force
to prevent the racial harassment of the Degayes family which
led directly to the sons joining jihadist forces in Syria and to their deaths.
Orthodox Jews demonstrate their opposition to the IHRA outside Labour Party HQ
Anti-IHRA demonstration outside Labour Party HQ – prominent is Brighton and Hove Momentum and IJAN
deaths.
Why is it that anti-Semitism is such
a pressing concern when racism against Muslims and Roma is between 4 and 6½  times higher? I have included a chart from the
Pew Research Centre above since you seem to have difficulty comprehending the
written word.
I wrote to you last week concerning
the IHRA definition and how it has been savaged by people like the Jewish former
Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Stephen Sedley, Hugh Tomlinson QC and Geoffrey
Robertson QC, who called it ‘unfit for
purpose’
.
You chose not to respond to either
myself or the Secretary of Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign. I
can well understand your embarrassment. When you were elected you pledged to do
all you could to support the Palestinians. Supporting a definition of
anti-Semitism which brands criticism of Zionism as anti-Semitic is a strange form
of support.
What I cannot understand is how you
can join forces with the Conservatives on a matter such as anti-racism. Do you
really think that the party which introduced the 1905 Aliens Act to keep out Jewish
refugees from the pogroms or which set its face against the admission of Jewish
refugees from Nazism has changed its spots? Is the Tory Party today refugee
friendly?
In 2014 the Conservatives
introduced an Immigration Act whose purpose was to create a ‘hostile environment’ for asylum seekers fleeing
persecution. 
In that
time at least 70 and possibly hundreds of Black British citizens have been
deported. New Labour, which is proposing the IHRA resolution, gave the Bill its
tacit support in the House of Commons by abstaining. Jeremy Corbyn was one of 8
Labour MPs to break the whip and vote against the Bill, as was Caroline Lucas.
Have you
asked your new found friend Tony Janio whether he and the Tory group now
support the repeal of this racist Act or is their opposition to racism only
confined to anti-Semitism?  If the latter
is the case has it ever occurred to you that this motion is more about
opposition to Jeremy Corbyn and support for Israel than concern about
anti-Jewish racism?
You used to
live in Derry in Northern Ireland. You will no doubt remember the presence of
British colonial troops and the anti-Irish racism that the British presence
engendered. People back in Ireland will find it difficult to understand why you
have joined forces with the Conservative and Unionist party, to give it its
full title. The same party that is in alliance nationally with the DUP.
Perhaps I
should remind you that the British sponsored not only Protestant Supremacy in
Ireland but Jewish Supremacy (Zionism) in Palestine. As Ronald Storres, the
first Military Governor of Jerusalem wrote in Orientations, a Jewish state was seen as “a
little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of hostile Arabism.
What the
IHRA is really about is branding as ‘anti-Semitic’ those who are anti-racist.
This is not a new phenomenon. The National Front and BNP used to run ‘Rights
for Whites’ campaigns. Only a few days ago the neo-Nazi Britain First group
held a demonstration outside Didsbury Mosque in Manchester and chanted ‘racist scum off our street’ to Muslims.
You can view the video here.
Both you
and the Green Group on Brighton and Hove Council have two days in which to
reconsider your decision to hold hands with the Tories and New Labour in
proposing a definition of anti-Semitism which is incoherent, contradictory, a
threat to freedom of speech as well as being anti-Semitic.  I hope you choose wisely.
Tony
Greenstein 

 

 

 

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