Zionism and the Israel Lobby are the Biggest Threat Today to Freedom of Speech and Democratic Rights

Zionism and the Israel Lobby are the Biggest Threat Today to Freedom of Speech and Democratic Rights









Zionism and the Israel Lobby are the Biggest Threat Today to Freedom of Speech and Democratic Rights

Peter Kyle ‘Labour’ MP for Hove and the Board of Deputies were the instigators of the threats of violence and abuse employed against the Chris Williamson meeting

When Peter Kyle pressured the Brighthelm Church & Community Centre (which is now likely to be subject to a boycott) to cancel the meeting with Chris Williamson, he gave the green light to Sussex Friends of Israel and their friends to use threats of violence and make abusive phone calls to staff at the Holiday Inn and the Quaker Friends Meeting House.

Kyle has refused to condemn the methods that were employed to force these venues into cancelling bookings. Not only that, but as Greg Hadfield makes clear, he has lied and dissembled about these threats. In reality he is party to them

Peter Kyle – right-wing Labour MP for Hove and in need of urgent deselection

For further information on the timeline of events and Kyle’s role see Greg Hadfield’s two excellent essays A first rough draft of history: Chris Williamson MP in Brighton and Hove and The sequel: A second rough draft of history and Chris Williamson

Other racists such as former Council leader, Daniel Yatescomplained that, instead of accepting the fact that Zionist thugs could intimidate venues into cancelling our booking, we had the temerity to hold a rally out in the open in Regency Square.

The pathetic Yates tweeted that ‘I’m disgusted. I hope@BrightonHoveCC look into the matter and the organisers actions.’ This is the level of the commitment of the Labour Right in Brighton & Hove to free speech..’

Yates was given short shrift on Twitter.

Are you a councillor for Labour or Israeli fascism?’

‘And what are they going to look into? Man makes speech outside’? What the police should look into is the various threats against the venues’.

Absolutely outrageous, what is disgusting is your not asking the police to investigate the threats made to the venues. Instead you abuse the victim’.

The best response was from Jo Seirer: 

You spot a victim of bullies, and can’t resist giving them an extra kick. And you say you are disgusted. You spelled it wrong. You are disgust-ING.’

According to Yates we should have had the good grace to acknowledge that the supporters of the Israeli state had the right to intimidate venues into closing down a perfectly lawful meeting

This is the pathetic reaction of Labour’s former Council leader

We . should also have accepted the characterisation of Chris Williamson as a ‘Jew baiter’ and not dared to challenge their Goebbels style propaganda.

In all the attacks on Chris no one has produced anything that merits this description.

This is the level of dishonesty of our Zionist opponents, Kyle and Yates.

It is worth looking at what Chris actually said at the fateful Sheffield Momentum meeting because liars like Kyle and Yates continue to allege that what Chris said was anti-Semitic:

“The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic…”We’ve done more to actually address the scourge of anti-semitism than any other political party. Any other political party. And yet we are being traduced.

I defy anyone to point out what was anti-Semitic in the above statement.

When I first came to Brighton I quickly became involved in anti-fascist activity. The National Front was then very active doing what the Peter Kyle’s of today are doing, which was to try and close down meetings they disagreed with. In particular they attacked meetings of CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality). No doubt Kyle is unaware of this and much else.

What is despicable is that Kyle, whose only claim to fame is that he is gay, is adopting the methods of the National Front. His attack on Chris Williamson as a ‘Jew baiter’ is an example of the Nazi propaganda technique of the big lie.

What Kyle and co. are saying is that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are one and the same. This is the libel which equates Jews with everything that Israel and Zionism does. It is itself anti-Semitic.

The term ‘Jew baiter’ seems  to be in fashion these days. Presumably Kyle and the Jewish Chronicle believe it has greater effect than the overused ‘anti-Semite’ the value of which has been devalued since it is used against all critics of Israel.

In fact ‘Jew baiter’ wasn’t used against run of the mill anti-Semites such as Oswald Moseley and the British Union of Fascists. It was reserved for ardent Jew haters like Arnold Leese of the Imperial Fascist League. But I suspect Kyle is as ignorant of the history of fascism as he is about the history of the gay rights movement.

By using Jews as a stick to beat his political opponents, the person who is guilty of ‘Jew baiting’ and anti-Semitism is Kyle himself.

What we are seeing today with Chris Williamson is an attempt to close down democratic debate by the supporters of the world’s only apartheid state. It is also an international phenomenon.

In America repeated attempts are being made to render BDS illegal.  In Germany the Bundestag witnessed the spectacle of neo-Nazis, Greens and Social Democrats voting together to condemn BDS as anti-Semitic! Indeed the neo-Nazi AfD, Alternative for Germany, complained that the other resolutions were not strong enough as they didn’t outlaw BDS

Katie Hopkins – ardent Zionist, neo-Nazi who talked of ‘final solution’ for Muslims and supported the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh – was guest of honour at the last Zionist Federation dinner

In the United States it is the most anti-Semitic elements, born again Christians and the alt-Right, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and Steve Bannon who declare their love for Israel as an ethno-nationalist state.  Here in Britain anti-Semites such as Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins pledge their support for Israel. The same Katie Hopkins who declared that refugees were ‘cockroaches’. This didn’t stop herjustifying the attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 Jews were murdered because of their support for refugees. A justification that was echoed by the Israeli far-Right and figures such as the popular rap artist The Shadow (Yoav Eliasi)

Every racist, from the White Supremacist in the White House to Kyle, Stanger and Yates opposes ‘anti-Semitism’

Israel is a model for White Supremacists and Nationalists because, like Trump, they admire Israel’s determination to keep refugees out and its virulent Islamaphobia in order to protect their ‘Jewish identity’. They admire Israel’s wall with Egypt and the determination to keep Israel racially Jewish.

When Trump pressured Israel to refuse to admit Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, this White supremacist President, who described the neo-Nazis of Charlottesville as ‘fine people’, said of Tlaib and Omar that ‘They hate Israel & all Jewish people’. Thisshould prove decisively that ‘anti-Semitism’ is a weapon of the racist right – be it Trump, Kyle or Yates

Labour Right and Zionist oddball, Luke Stanger, currently suspended by the Labour Party for harassing women and racism – was on the fringes of the meeting in Regency Square

It was of course particularly enjoyable seeing the outrage and splenetic fury of the Zionists, Yates included. Their rally mustered all of a dozen miserable creatures a few of whom hung around the periphery of our demonstration, frustrated that we had defied them and exercised our democratic rights.

What the Labour Right and the Zionists don’t understand is why 150 people, at short notice, were determined to ensure that the rally took place. That people don’t like being told what they can and cannot listen to just because the defenders of the world’s most racist state tell them to

Idiot President of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, held her own one woman protest on the fringes of our meeting

The cream of the Zionist leadership in Britain – the President of the Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyle and the Jewish Leadership Council -came down and spent the night in the Jury’s Inn Hotel! No doubt at the expense of the ‘Jewish community.’

Leah Levane and Jenny Manson of Jewish Voice for Labour have written an open letter to Ms Zyl. They describe what happened in Brighton  as representing ‘a critical threat to democracy’ and they describe the methods which have been used over the past year to intimidate venues including ‘telephoned bomb threats’ at the premiere of the Jackie Walker film Witchhunt at the 2018 Labour Party conference and

‘threats of hostile reviews for potential hotel hosts on TripAdvisor, mass heckling at meetings, and more. However to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that there have been direct threats of actual physical harm made in person to venue workers.’

When Israel began using snipers to murder unarmed demonstrators the Board of Deputies rushed to support them

JVL describe what has happened as ‘reminiscent of the tactics used during the historical rise of far-right movements, who organised violence or the threat of violence on the streets.’ They ask the Board to ‘completely disassociate themselves from such actions.’

Labour Friends of Israel supported the murder of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza this and last year by Israeli snipers

I suspect that the Board of Deputies which rushed to justify what happened last year when Israel started gunning down protestors at the Gaza fence, as did Labour Friends of Israel, are not going to condemn the fascist-like tactics of their supporters in Britain. Kosher pigs are likely to fly first.

But let us be under no illusions. The Board of Deputies only represents a minority, the most right-wing, racist section of Jews. They represent neither secular or Ultra-Orthodox Jew

Although the media has tried to cover it up, when 36 Orthodox rabbis signed a letter supporting Jeremy Corbyn and opposing the Board’s attacks on him only the alternative media such as Skwawkbox publicised it. Portraying unanimity in the Jewish community behind the Board of Deputies is in the interests of the establishment press.

The eagerness of the Board of Deputies to stop Chris Williamson is in marked contrast to their failure over the years to oppose anti-Semitism from genuine fascists.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is being widely used to inhibit support of the Palestinians and what happened with the Chris Williamson meeting took place in the context of the widening of the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel.  Only last week it was used by Tower Hamlet’s Council in order to bar the Big Ride for Palestine. It has been used to sack Stan Keable at Hammersmith and Fulham Council and it was used by Dudley Council tosuspend Paul Johnson.

The IHRA ‘definition of anti-Semitism’ has to go. Although the Green Party conference refused to accept the IHRA, rejecting the attempts of the leadership to force it through, locally all 11 Green Councillors in Brighton & Hove voted for it. One can only hope that with 8 extra councillors in addition to new Labour councillors that the present Council will reverse what is a charter for racist supporters of the Israeli state.

We should accept the advice of Kenneth Stern, who drafted the IHRA definition, who said that it chills free speech!

Last week, dissident Zionist academic Dr Geoffrey Alderman slated the IHRA definition in The Independent as being internally contradictory and not fit for purpose as he did in a submission to the EHRC investigation. His analysis is interesting because it concentrates on sections that other people have tended to ignore.

There is no academic or legal justification for the definition that is worth the paper it’s written on. The IHRA is a definition of anti-Semitism that anti-Semites are happy with.

What is needed is for the Palestine solidarity movement to build an alliance that encompasses supporters of civil liberties and human rights in order to defend our democratic right

Without any class politics Caroline Lucas has drifted to the Right with her all-women cabinet nonsense that included Tories and Liberal supporters of austerity

I have sent an Open Letter to Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion where the meeting was held and where the venues which cancelled the meeting were based, asking why she has stayed silent over what happened in her own constituency. It seems that Caroline’s journey to the right continues apace.

Tony Greenstein





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