Failing to see the Wood for the Trees – A Response to Brian Klug’s The Left And The Jews

Failing to see the Wood for the Trees – A Response to Brian Klug’s The Left And The Jews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Sophistry in the Service of Zionism The Flight of the Liberal Intelligentsia

Professor
Avi Shlaim of St Anthony’s College, Oxford University being interviewed by Haim
Bresheeth

Brian
Klug’s The
Left And The Jews
is
depressing and disappointing. How can such a talented academic succumb so easily to the Zionist
campaign of defamation and denigration? It’s not as if Brian hasn’t himself
been the subject of a similar campaign.
In response to an invitation , in November 2013, to address a Conference on
Anti-Semitism[1]
a dossier
of ‘International Scholars and Authors’ was drawn up by the so-called Berlin International Center for the Study of
Antisemitism.[2]
These ‘scholars’ included Jonathan Hoffman and Richard Millett. According to Dr
Clemens Henri, Brian ‘‘uses his
Jewishness to endanger other Jews in Israel’.
Professor Mordechai Kedar, an advocate of rape in war,[3] described Brian as a ‘court Jew’ intent on making
himself ‘acceptable to Jew-haters’
 
Prof. Ephraim Karsh found it ‘mind boggling’ that a proponent of anti-Semitism should be
invited at all.
This is the anti-Semitism that Zionism has no problems with, because after all the Jewish diaspora should not be living outside its ‘real home’ anyway – Brian Klug has difficulty understanding why genuine anti-Semitism will never be a concern of Zionism
The false anti-Semitism juggernaut seems to have
impaired Brian’s critical faculties. His article is badly written, poorly
argued, contradictory and at times incoherent. This is not the Brian Klug I got
to know and like for over a decade. It represents blind intellectual panic in
the face of a powerful political campaign.
Last
Sunday was Polish Independence Day and President Andrzej Duda of the Law & Justice Party marched,
together with 200,000 Poles, through the centre of Warsaw. The march
was organised by the government and the neo-Nazi National Radical
Camp
. (ONR) Amongst the slogans was Poland,
white and Catholic.”
 Still this
was probably an improvement over last
year
when Pray for Islamic Holocaust’ competed
with “remove Jewry from power”.
Brian Klug speaking at the SWP’s Marxism
2017

It was at the SWP’s Marxism festival, where Gilad Atzmon used to be made welcome, that Brian Klug first began rehabilitating Zionism
None
of this prevents Tory MEPs from being part of the European Conservative
Reform group in the European Parliament alongside the L&J. If
‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party were a real issue then this would
be a cause célèbre for those doughty
fighters against ‘anti-Semitism’ at the Board
of Deputies
? Brian’s article simply ignores this wider dimension.
Good friends – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Benjamin Netanyahu
The
Israeli government is such good friends with Poland’s government that it agreed
to endorse
a new Holocaust law which makes it an offence to say that some Poles took part
in the Holocaust. Netanyahu agreed to drop
Israel’s opposition to the law in return for minor concessions. The headline
in YNet was ‘Holocaust survivors feel betrayed by Polish-Israeli statement’.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is on
record
as saying that the Jews were in part responsible for the
Holocaust yet the leader of the Israeli Labour Party Avi Gabbay was more worried
about Corbyn’s ‘anti-Semitism’.
One
of the main protagonists in the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against Corbyn, Jewish
Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard, defended Michal Kaminski, the former Chair of
the ECR, who had excused those who burnt alive 1600 Jews at Jedwabne in 1941, calling
him
one of the greatest
friends to the Jews’.
This is the background to Brian Klug’s recent essay,
which is a good example of T.S. Elliot’s aphorism that most of the evil in the
world is done by those with the best of intentions. Brian is an Oxford academic
specialising in anti-Semitism. He isn’t evil and he has the best of intentions.
Nonetheless his essay in Jewish Quarterly
gives comfort to those who are.
Even
the title of his article ‘The Left and the Jews’ is misleading,
implying that Jews are not part of the Left. What it should be called is The
Left and Zionism. The subtitle ‘Labour’s
Summer of Discontent’
is little better.
Nowhere does Brian contextualise this ‘discontent’. In a phrase reminiscent of the
Communist Manifesto,[4]
Brian states that ‘the spectre of
anti-Semitism has haunted Labour ever since Corbyn’s election as leader of the
party.’
But has it? If that were true why would a paper like the Mail,
which employed Katie Hopkins, who advocated a ‘Final
Solution’
for refugees, be so concerned about this spectre? The same paper which waged an anti-Semitic
c
ampaign against Ed Miliband.
It’s not necessary to possess the gift of foresight in order to display some
imagination. How will the period we are now living through be seen in 20-30
years? Does Brian really think that history will look on what is happening today
as the recrudescence of anti-Semitism or a Very British Coup? 
To
ask the question is to answer it. All the
fake anti-Semitism allegations and the microscopic examination of conversations
from years past will evaporate. Eventually evidence will accumulate of a determined
attempt by a combination of the American, Israeli and British States to overthrow a man who was seen as a threat to the Western
alliance. Corbyn came to the leadership of Britain’s second largest party, the
US’s closest ally in Europe, on an anti-nuclear, anti-NATO platform. He was
simply unacceptable to the security establishment. It is a mark of the poverty
of Brian’s analysis that not only does he fail to consider these questions but he doesn’t even ask them. Instead he was trapped in the tired minutiae of Zionist accusations.
I
first met Brian at the founding meeting of Independent
Jewish Voices
in February 2007. We met each other occasionally for dinner until
about two years ago when the Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign caused Brian to
drift away from his analysis of how Zionism has used anti-Semitism as a false
metonym.
Theoretically Brian’s understanding of what
is and is not anti-Semitism is second to none. The lecture he gave in 2013 at
the Jewish Museum, in Berlin, What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’? – Echoes
of shattering glass
 on the 75th
anniversary of Kristallnacht,
is a wonderful exposition of what is anti-Semitism and his definition of
anti-Semitism as ‘a form of
hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than
what they are’
is infinitely superior to the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
definition. [5] Brian’s
opening statement was prescient.
‘What do we
mean when we say ‘antisemitism’? Do we know
what we mean? Does it matter?’
The word
matters because the thing matters.
It matters because unless we use the same word in the same way we will be
talking at cross purposes
.’
That has been the problem for the past
3 years. When Corbyn was accused of anti-Semitism he denied it but it had no
effect because the ‘anti-Semitism’ he was being accused of was a different
creature from that which he denied. His critics denied that they were really concerned
about Israel but they would wouldn’t they? That this was a lie is evidenced by
their insistence that Labour should accept a definition of anti-Semitism which conflated
anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.. The IHRA’s author Kenneth Stern described
how ‘the
idea for a common definition was first articulated by Dina Porat in April 2004.’
[6]
Porat is the principal historian at
Israel’s Yad Vashem, an institution that distorts the Holocaust through a Zionist
prism. She recently gave
her blessing
to Netanyahu’s agreement with Poland’s government.
Brian is living proof of Marx’s warning
that “philosophers have only interpreted
the world… The point, however, is to change it.”
[7] The
unrelenting ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign of the past 3 years has also demonstrated the
truth of another of Marx’s observation:
‘The ideas of
the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is
the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling
intellectual force.’
[8]
We see this in the way in which the
IHRA has been imposed despite it lacking even been a shred of intellectual
justification. It has been savaged by academic and legal scholars alike: it has
been called ‘bewilderingly
imprecise
’,
not
a definition: it is indefinite.
unfit
for purpose’
and likely ‘to chill or ban criticism of Israeli
policy…

Anti-Semitism is not difficult to define, the Oxford English Dictionary definition takes 6 words: ‘Hostility to or
prejudice against Jews’
.
Brian accepts that the IHRA definition is ‘vague and rambling’, ‘not fit for purpose’ and a ‘flawed,
initiative, based on a document itself deeply flawed’
yet Labour’s still-born Anti-Semitism Code,
which incorporated 95% of the IHRA was nonetheless attacked
by the Jewish Chronicle as a cynical excercise (sic!) in Jew
hatred’
.[i]
All 3 Zionist papers rejected
this Code of Conduct in a joint front page. Brian asks
What is this really about? Why the absence of
measured criticism and reasoned debate? Why the blanket rejection of the NEC
code… and insistence upon the IHRA definition
tout
court
? Did it signify an alliance
of forces with an anti-Corbyn and anti-left agenda? Or did it express a
profound disquiet that Jewish people feel?
Brian
chooses both answers! Yet Pollard,
who branded Labour as ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’
was quite open. The problem was that ‘Labour has excised the parts [of
the IHRA] which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be
antisemitic.’
Despite this Brian
prefers to give credence to this alliance of forces with an anti-Corbyn and
anti-left agenda.[ii]
Brian suggests that ‘A legitimate grievance has sunk in so deep that it is
impossible to accept that … this grievance has at last been taken on board by
the party ….
[iii]
In other words the attacks on Corbyn and the Labour Party over the past 3 years
were part of a ‘legitimate grievance’.
No doubt Jonathan Arkush’s attack on Jewdas were part of the ‘community of concern’
So when BOD President, Jonathan Arkush, welcomed
[iv]
Donald Trump to power whilst condemning
Jewdas, the Jewish group with whom Corbyn spent a Seder, as a ‘source of virulent anti-Semitism’ Brian
sees no reason to challenge the bona
fides
of Corbyn’s accusers.[v]
A large Jewish demonstration mounted by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow led to Bannon staying away from the 2017 ZOA dinner though in 2018 he attended
You
might have thought that after Pittsburgh, the product of Trump’s campaign
against refugees, that Brian might have rethought the notion that Zionism is
concerned about anti-Semitism. Israel immediately sent the uber-racist Naftali
Bennett to defend
Trump to American Jewry[vi]
despite his overt anti-Semitism, see e.g. Dana Millbank.[vii]
Or perhaps Brian has been persuaded that Trump can’t
be anti-Semitic because ‘some of my best
friends are Jewish’
? Was the decision of the Zionist
Organisation of America
to invite Steve Bannon and neo-Nazi Sebastian Gorka
to its annual gala dinner an aberration? Has Brian forgotten what Theodor Herzl
wrote?
In Paris…, I achieved a
freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand
historically and to pardon. Above all, recognise the emptiness and futility of
trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.[viii]
Theodor Herzl, founder of Political Zionism, began the tradition of Zionist cooperation and collaboration with anti-Semites.
The Zionist
movement has never been concerned with opposing anti-Semitism, which it sees as
inherent in the non-Jew and ineradicable. It has been a shock to American Jewry
to learn, with the advent of Trump, that anti-Semites can be ardent Zionists. Naomi
Zeveloff
 declared that ‘though it would seem
impossible to hate Jews but love the Jewish state, these two viewpoints are not
as contradictory as they appear.’
[ix] The
love affair between Zionism and Anti-Semitism is a long if not beautiful one.
If Brian has any doubts then he should consult Chaim Weizmann’s autobiography
and his praise for William Evans-Gordon, the founder of the British Brother’s
League, the precursor of Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists. Arthur
Balfour, the author of the Aliens Act 1905 is another hero to the Zionist
movement.[x]
Although
Marx wrote
that ‘It is not the consciousness of men
that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines
their consciousness.’
[xi] we
have seen an ideological and political offensive which has in itself become a
material force. The ‘debate’ on the IHRA has been one in which logic and argument
are irrelevant.
When
the Zionists insisted that the ‘Jewish
community’
had the right to ‘self define’ anti-Semitism what they were really
saying was that the IHRA was indefensible through reasoned and rationale argument. All that
mattered was the subjective, namely who supported the IHRA, although most Jews
will never have read a definition drawn up at the instigation of the Israeli
state. This is a specious argument.
What
if another community were to argue that FGM is acceptable or that the Burka
should be made compulsory because their community supported it. Would Brian
reach back into history for a justification? If the so-called Jewish right to self-determination
conflicts with the rights of another group, the Palestinians then it is
illegitimate.
The
false anti-Semitism campaign waged against the Labour Party for the past 3
years has rested on bogus
and contrived allegations
,[xii]
yet Brian ignores all of this as he speaks of a ‘community of concern’ about ‘anti-Semitism
on the left
.’ These are weasel words. This ‘community of concern’ stretches from those well-known anti-racist
papers, the Sun and the Daily
Mail
through to the BOD, a body which historically has opposed any
mobilisation against anti-Semitism. In 1936 it called on Jews to stay at home
when Moseley’s BUF tried to march through the East End in what became known as the
Battle
of Cable Street
.[xiii]
In the late 1970’s it opposed the formation of the Anti-Nazi League.
Brian’s
spectre of anti-Semitism’ rehashes
all the tired and familiar allegations. Brian refers to the ‘drip-drip of toxic posts’ on social
media. No one has died from or been deported because of a Facebook post. There
is no evidence that anti-Semitism in Britain is increasing. Compared to
anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia is 4 times greater and anti-Roma racism is over 6
times as high yet we hear little about these forms of racism.[xiv] Indeed
it is Muslims and Black people who have borne the brunt of the false
anti-Semitism campaign.
It
is depressing that Brian uses as examples of ‘anti-Semitism’ Corbyn’s description of Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’. Hamas, are virtually the
creation of the Israeli state.[xv] They
are a conservative Palestinian resistance group but they are not anti-Semitic.
They have always made a distinction between Jews as a religion and Zionism
which is remarkable since Israeli soldiers kill their children in the name of ‘the Jews’. Hamas condemned
the recent Pittsburgh murders.[xvi]
Hezbollah is the only military force to have successfully driven Israel out of
Arab territory. The fight of both these groups has never been against Israelis
as Jews but as occupiers. Neither organisation has ever attacked Jewish people
outside of Israel and the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ against them is
groundless.
Brian
refers to a 6 year old mural brought out of the closet by Luciana Berger MP in
time for the local elections last May. Opinions differ as to whether it was
anti-Semitic but it was defended by Corbyn on free speech grounds. Brian
describes the bankers in it of having ‘huge
noses’
yet most of the criticism has been of ‘hooked noses’.[xvii]
Brian
describes as ‘very troubling’  a 5 year old remark about a group of Zionist thugs
being told that they lacked a sense of ‘English
irony’.
Brian chooses to echo Jonathan Sacks’s nonsense. Corbyn’s remark compared
the Palestinian Ambassador’s sense of irony to people who had been living here
all their lives. The fact that Brian gives credence to this suggests that he
has too has lost all sense of irony.
Having
agreed that the IHRA definition was ‘not
fit for purpose’
Brian alights on a quite novel explanation for the
controversy around it. He accepts that it was about Zionism but ‘the grounds for disquiet
go deep and they go back a long way.’
In fact they go back 42 years to UN
Resolution 3379 which declared that ‘Zionism is a form of racism.’ Brian
declares that this rendered Zionism as ‘evil’.
Zionism, like South
Africa Apartheid and Nazism, did not originate with the Devil but is a product
of human society. To the residents of Khan
al-Ahmar
, who are waiting for bulldozers to destroy their school of tyres,
Zionism is indeed evil. It is Zionism, the ideology of Jewish Supremacy which dictates
that the homes of the native population of Palestine must be destroyed to make
way for Jewish settlers.
The inhabitants of
the Negev village of Umm
al-Hiran
saw their homes demolished and their school teacher murdered,
because they were not of the right race yet Brian Klug sitting in his Oxford college
sees Zionism as an ideology of liberation.
Brian’s attempt to
rehabilitate Zionism began with a talk[xviii] he gave to the SWP’s
Marxism Festival in July 2017.[xix] It was a curious venue
given that the SWP has previously hosted Gilad Atzmon.[xx] Brian based his critique
on an article by Aurora
Levins Morales, an Ashkenazi Puerto Rican feminist in a book On Antisemitism produced by Jewish Voice for Peace. Aurora
refers to “a three-cornered argument” between
the Orthodox, Zionists and socialists/communists in her grandmother’s shtetl
about the solution to the pogroms. Brian uses this to suggest that Zionism is
Janus faced, both an ideology of emancipation as well as oppression.
There was no more bitter enemy of the Bund than the Zionists who accommodated to anti-Semitism and the reactionary parties
It is true that there were debates amongst the
Jews of the Pale of Settlement but they were settled decisively in favour of
the Left. Most Jews joined the Bund or the revolutionaries not the Zionists.
Zionism was discredited because of its uncritical attitude towards the Czarist
regime.
When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Czarist
regime Poale Zion splintered and its Left abandoned Zionism. The same happened
in Poland with Left Poale Zion. If there had been no colonisation in Palestine
then Zionism would have been just another utopian and messianic movement not
dissimilar to Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa movement
which in effect was arguing for the self-deportation of American Blacks.
However Zionism did colonise Palestine. Some 2.5
million Jews emigrated from Russia, 98% of whom chose to go to the USA or
Britain not Palestine. Brian plunders Aurora’s article selectively but fails to
mention her comments that
the three-cornered debate
turned lopsided under the weight of despair, and the Zionist minority of my
father’s childhood has grown to dominate all debate, aggressively silencing
debate.
and its relevance to what is happening now. The
Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party is about silencing Black
and Jewish anti-racists like Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker and myself. What it
is not about is anti-Semitism.
Brian also omits Aurora’s own personal
experience of Zionists ‘who write to tell
me that I should have died in a Nazi concentration camp before living to
denounce the crimes of Israel…’
This is what Brian’s ‘emancipatory’ Zionism has turned into. Aurora’s essay is a very
moving one and her concluding remarks are that ‘When I speak out for the humanity of Palestine I am defending the
humanity of everyone, including all Jews.’
Instead of looking for the obvious explanation
of what has been happening, the weaponisation of ‘anti-Semitism’, Brian reaches
for his very own conspiracy theory. UN resolution 3379, passed in 1975, declaring
that Zionism is a form of racism ago ‘flattened
a national movement.’
This is total nonsense. There is no evidence that a UN Resolution which no
one remembers has had any impact on the debates. In any event Zionism has never
been a Jewish national movement since the Jews are not a nation.
The Zionist movement was a very distinct
minority in pre-Holocaust Europe. In 1938, in the
last free elections
in Poland, the anti-Zionist Bund won 17 out of the 20
Jewish Council seats in Warsaw with 61.7% of the vote compared to one seat for
the Zionists. In the second city Lodz they won 57.4% of the vote and 11 out of
17 seats.
Zionism in Poland and Russia was a movement of
collaboration with anti-Semitism. Theodor Herzl visited Count von Plehve, the
Czarist Interior Minister in 1903, barely 4 months after the Kishinev pogrom
which he organised. Herzl promised that the Jews would not oppose the Czarist
regime if Zionism was a legal movement. At the Zionist Congress not a word of
criticism of  the Czarist regime was
allowed. As Isaac Deutscher wrote:
… the great majority of East European Jews were,
up to the outbreak of the second World War opposed to Zionism… the most
fanatical enemies of Zionism were precisely the workers, those who spoke
Yiddish… they were the most determined opponents of the idea of an emigration
from East Europe to Palestine,… of an exodus from the countries in which
they, had their homes and in which their ancestors had lived for centuries,
the anti-Zionists saw an abdication of their rights, a surrender to
anti-Semitism. To them anti-Semitism seemed to triumph in Zionism, which
recognised the legitimacy and the validity of the old cry ‘Jews get out!’ The
Zionists were agreeing to get out.[xxi]
Brian argued in his talk to the SWP that
Zionism belongs to two opposite histories at one and the same time.’  It is both ‘part of the story of British imperialism’ and on the other ‘it was the exodus from Europe of a
persecuted people.
.’ Zionism ‘spoke
the language of colonization but it was
colonization for the sake of emancipation.’
Zionism began from a rejection of Emancipation.
Herzl wrote in The Jewish State that
In the principal
countries where Anti-Semitism prevails, it does so as a result of the
emancipation of the Jews
.’[xxii]
Max Nordau, Herzl’s deputy, similarly attacked Emancipation in his address to
the first Zionist Congress in 1897.[xxiii]
Zionism saw its future as lying in an alliance
with one or other imperialist powers. Herzl spent his life trying to persuade various
European rulers, the Pope included of the merits of Zionism. When he met the
Grand Duke of Baden, uncle of the Kaiser ‘His chief misgiving was that if he
supported the [Zionist] cause, people would misinterpret this as anti-Semitism
on his part
.[xxiv]
The idea that Zionism was ‘colonization for the sake of emancipation’ is a
contradiction in terms. Colonisation is no more emancipatory than rape or
genocide and often involves both. Brian writes that ‘the radical left places Zionism… among the
rich and powerful, two classic antisemitic tropes: the capitalist class with
its imperialist ambitions.’
Elsewhere he speaks about a ‘demonising
discourse about Zionism.’
This is dishonest and lazy.
From its inception Zionism sought an
alliance with the rich and powerful not least Jewish magnates such as the Rothschilds,
although Herzl was none too successful: ‘I
consider the house of Rothschild a national misfortune for the Jews.’ [xxv]

The Jewish
State
was written in response to the failure of his meeting with Baron
Maurice de Hirsch, a railroad magnate, the George Soros of his time.[xxvi]
In 1917 when the Balfour Declaration was issued, the British Empire was the
richest and the most powerful Empire in the world. It sponsored Zionism in the
same way as US imperialism does today. Brian himself admits that ‘Zionism is indeed implicated, in more ways than one, in the history of European
imperialism and colonialism’.[xxvii]
Is this too
anti-Semitic or just incoherent?
Brian refers to ‘sinister talk of a
Jewish or Zionist lobby that wields … influence out of all proportion to its
small size.’
Perhaps but the Zionist lobby certainly claims they are powerful
and they are perceived as such.  In
1997, in a Fortune magazine survey of
members of Congress and their staffs, AIPAC was ranked second behind the
American Association of Retired People, but ahead of the NRA.[xxviii]
There is absolutely  no doubt that
the Zionist lobby groups, both in the United States and now in this country, often
in alliance with the far/alt-Right are attacking basic freedoms of speech and
assembly via the IHRA. Kenneth Stern, who drew up the IHRA, in testimony to the House of Representatives in November 2017, warned
that the IHRA ‘was being employed in an attempt to restrict academic freedom
and punish political speech’
Brian Klug is playing the part of Zionism’s
useful fool by giving today’s McCarthyism his blessing. What is sinister is the
gathering of personal information on Palestine solidarity activists by Canary
Mission
 [xxix]
and allied groups in order to compile blacklists and prevent them gaining future
employment. Either Brian is out of the loop or being tenured, doesn’t quite
appreciate what this means. As the newly released Al Jazeera films show, Canary
Mission has been funded by a number of Jewish
Federations and charities
.[xxx]
The clincher in Brian’s argument about ‘left’
anti-Semitism is the story of Daphne. Brian likes it so much that he included
it in his SWP talk as well as his article. Daphne is a ‘Jewish anti-Zionist, fiercely opposed to Israel’s occupation of the
West Bank and the siege of Gaza (as, incidentally, many self-described Zionists
are too).’
Just stop there Brian.  That’s not true. Very few Zionists are
opposed to the siege of Gaza. Who? I haven’t heard them condemn the barbarous
treatment of Gaza, which is best typified by the careful
calculation of the daily intake of calories
needed to keep Gaza ‘on a diet’. Perhaps Brian is unaware that
in the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto the Nazis also calculated the daily intake of
calories allowed the inmates. Admittedly the Israeli calculation allows a bare
existence but the principle is still the same.
Members of the Jewish Labour Movement, the British section of the Israeli Labor Party, gather outside Ken Livingstone’s hearing hoping for his expulsion. Ella Rose 2nd from the left, was a direct transfer from the Israeli Embassy and Jeremy Newmark, the subject of fraud allegations is 2nd from the right.
At her
local Labour Party meeting Daphne proposed a motion
criticising Ken Livingstone ‘for linking
Hitler and Zionism.
’  Daphne
explained that her motion had nothing to do with Livingstone’s views on Israel
but people did not agree. Everyone who spoke against the motion “suggested that it was part of a plot by
Israel or that it was an attempt to prevent discussion of Israel
”. Daphne felt
like “an agent of the Israeli state”.
Leaving aside that this is all hearsay, Daphne was wrong. The attacks on Livingstone had everything to do
with Israel. Why else did the Jewish
Labour Movement
make it their major campaign? Why did the Zionist movement single out Livingstone for its vitriol?
It wasn’t because he kept newts. The JLM gathered
like vultures
outside his disciplinary hearing.[xxxi] 
Despite being a target of the Zionist lobby for years, Daphne was surprised that she was seen as doing the work of Israel
Daphne
objected to ‘linking
Hitler and Zionism’
because “the Holocaust, is part of the identity of all Jews, whatever they may
feel about Israel
”. The Holocaust is part of Jewish identity but it is also
instrumentalised by Zionism, as Israeli historians Tom Segev and Edith Zirtal have
documented as justification for Zionism’s colonisatory project. As Brian knows it
was wielded against Aurora in the most disgusting of fashion, accused “of betraying the Jews who died at the hands
of the Nazis’ because she believed that Jewish safety lay in solidarity with
other working people
.’ If Daphne seriously believes that we must preserve
the Holocaust in aspic, then she is living on another planet. Livingstone’s statement that the
Nazis supported Zionism is a fact easily provable historically. 
Brian argues that ‘the word “Zionist” has
a life of its own, independently of anyone’s intentions.

Even if that were true it would be meaningless. Clearly the far-Right use the
term ‘Zionist’ to mean ‘Jew’ but then so do Zionists. Zionism is as Zionism
does. It is the ideology of the current Israeli state. Israel is the most
racist state in the world and Zionism is called in evidence whenever it
justifies its most appalling deeds. When a plurality of Israeli Jews want to expel
Israel’s Palestinian citizens they do so as Zionists.[xxxii]
When Netanyahu argues that ‘illegal
African immigrants threaten identity of Jewish state’
[xxxiii]
and the Israeli Labour Party supported
him in this, they did it in the name of Zionism and a demographic Jewish majority.[xxxiv]
Zionism is not a ghost in a long-forgotten Jewish shtetl. It is an apartheid, nuclear
state, militaristic, and on the far-Right politically
When supporters of Israel defend the imprisonment of Palestinian children,
Jewish only towns, segregated and unequal education they do this by crying
anti-Semitism’. It would seem that Brian Klug has now crossed the border and
is endorsing these blasphemers. It has been a tough three years and when the
going gets tough academics are often the first to get going.  Brian, with all his erudition and
sophistication has abandoned those of us who are not willing to throw in the
towel. He has abandoned the most oppressed for the sake of Jewish chauvinism dressed up as a concern about ‘antisemitism’.  Perhaps the last word should be that of Avi Shlaim, an Israeli and
Professor of International Relations at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford
University:
Anti-Semitism is not a real
phenomenon within the Labour Party or any of the other major political parties.
There are anti-Semitic incidents but they are usually related to Israel’s
behaviour, Israeli brutality.  So every
time there is an Israeli attack on Gaza and there have been 3 in the last 7
years there is a rise in anti-Semitic episodes and incidents in Britain.
Fundamentally Israel and the Israeli propaganda machine and Israel’s friends in
England and the Israel lobby in Britain deliberately confuse or conflate, and I
stress they do it deliberately, anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. Anti-Semitism
is hatred of the Jews as Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Israel as a
colonial power and as an exclusive Jewish state.[xxxv]
Tony Greenstein
This article can be downloaded here

[1]           Antisemitism in Europe Today: the
Phenomena, the Conflicts, https://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-23374

[3]           Israeli Professor’s ‘Rape
as Terror Deterrent’ Statement Draws Ire, Ha’aretz 22.7.14., https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-prof-s-words-on-stopping-terror-draws-ire-1.5256331

[4]           A spectre is
haunting Europe — the spectre of communism, Communist
Manifesto
, 1848.
[5]           For some inexplicable reason, the Report of this conference
is dated November 2014. However it is definitely November 2013 and Klug refers
in his speech to the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which is
2013.

[i]            Labour’s new guidelines show it is
institutionally anti-Semitic, Jewish
Chronicle, 5.7.18.

[ii]           Jewish
Chronicle 24.8.18. Labour’s new
guidelines show it is institutionally anti-Semitic, https://www.thejc.com/comment/comment/labour-s-new-guidelines-show-it-is-institutionally-antisemitic-1.466685

[iii]           The Code of Conduct for
Antisemitism: a tale of two texts, Open Democracy, 17 July 2018, https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brian-klug/code-of-conduct-for-antisemitism-tale-of-two-texts.

[iv]           Jewish Chronicle 9.11.16. Board of
Deputies president Jonathan Arkush under fire after message congratulating
Trump, https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/board-of-deputies-president-jonathan-arkush-under-fire-after-message-congratulating-trump-1.54660

[v]           Jonathan Arkush claims Jewdas is ‘a
source of virulent antisemitism’, Jewish Chronicle, 28.3.18. https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/jonathan-arkush-claims-jewdas-is-a-source-of-virulent-antisemitism-1.461817

[vi]           Naftali Bennett: ‘Very Unfair’ To
Blame Trump For Pittsburgh Bloodbath, Forward 31.10.18., https://forward.com/news/breaking-news/413225/naftali-bennett-very-unfair-to-blame-trump-for-pittsburgh-bloodbath/

[vii]          Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone
of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody, Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 7.11.16., https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/anti-semitism-is-no-longer-an-undertone-of-trumps-campaign-its-the-melody/2016/11/07/b1ad6e22-a50a-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?utm_term=.3a6c70487fb1

[viii]         Diaries of Theodore Herzl,
Gollancz, London 1958 p.6.
[x]           Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, pp. 90-91.

[xvi]         Statement ‘Hamas
condemns terror attack on Pittsburgh Synagogue’ http://hamas.ps/en/post/1646/hamas-condemns-terror-attack-on-pittsburgh-synagogue
28 October 2018.

[xvii]         Labour
fury as it emerges Jeremy Corbyn once defended ‘anti-Semitic’ public mural
showing a group of ‘hook-nosed’ men around a Monopoly board, Daily Mail,
25.3.18., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5538549/Labour-fury-Corbyn-defending-anti-Semitic-public-mural.html

[xix]         Zionism, Antisemitism and the Left
Today, https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/blog/zionism-antisemitism-left-today/,
Marxism 2017, London, 8th July , 2017

[xx]          ‘Anti-Zionist’ holocaust
denier, Weekly Worker, 10.3.11., https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/856/anti-zionist-holocaust-denier/

[xxi]
        Isaac Deutscher, ‘The Non Jewish
Jew ‘ & Other Essays-The Russian  Revolution
and the Jewish Question’ pp.66/7
[xxiii]        Max Nordau, Failure of Emancipation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Nordau#Failure_of_emancipation
[xxiv]        Reverend
William H. Hechler – The Christian minister who legitimized Theodor Herzl, By Jerry Klinger, http://www.jewishmag.com/145mag/herzl_hechler/herzl_hechler.htm
[xxv]         A History of Zionism, Walter Lacquer, p.102, 1972.

[xxviii]       The
Israel Lobby, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, LRB, March
2006 https://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby.

[xxx]         REVEALED: Canary Mission Blacklist Is
Secretly Bankrolled By Major Jewish Federation, Forward, 3.10.18. https://forward.com/news/national/411355/revealed-canary-mission-blacklist-is-secretly-bankrolled-by-major-jewish/,
Josh Nathan-Kazis.
[xxxiv]       Ha’aretz, 22.11.17., Labor Party’s Support of Deportation, Imprisonment of Asylum Seekers
Cheapens the Israeli Opposition,
https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/labor-party-s-support-of-deporting-asylum-seekers-cheapens-the-israeli-opposition-1.5467572

 

 

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This