Tony Greenstein | 21 February 2020 | Post Views:

At the Zionist Leadership hustings it was hard to tell who was the worst Zionist – Thornberry, Nandy, Starmer or Long-Bailey

A personal letter to Rebecca Long-BaileyYou’re no Corbyn Continuity Candidate You’re Keir Starmer’s reflection

Last Thursday the Jewish Labour MovementLabour Friends of Israel and Jewish News jointly staged hustings for the 4 leadership  candidates. All of them tried to outbid each other in their condemnation of Labour Party ‘anti-Semitism’.

Perhaps we should put the ‘anti-Semitism’ Disinformation Paradigm into perspective. According to a new survey by former Tory Party Treasurer Lord Ashcroft, 73% of Labour Party members believe the issue of anti-Semitism has either been invented outright or wildly exaggerated by Corbyn’s opponents. Amongst socialist members of the Labour Party this rises to 90%. Just 22% of members believe anti-Semitism is a serious problem (6% of the Left)

Despite all the propaganda – 3/4 of Labour Party members believe the ‘antisemitism’ allegations were invented or wildly exaggerated

Amongst Momentum members 92% believe that the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations were an invention or wildly exaggerated.  Jon Lansman is completely out of touch, even with his own members. This is the context in which the debate last week took place. See Poll: Labour members say anti-Semitism crisis “invented”

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the ‘left’ candidate gave a toe-curlingly embarrassing display of subservience to Israel’s supporters. In the words of Sienna Rodgers of Labour List

Rebecca Long-Bailey kicked off the Jewish Labour Movement hustings… with an apology for the “hurt and anxiety” caused by Labour antisemitism … she … vowed to prioritise: a disciplinary process that is “legally independent, free from political bias or interference”; educating members; and calling out antisemitism.

You could not put a piece of paper between any of the candidates. Having been persuaded against my better judgement to support RBL, having previously described her as a wannabee Neil Kinnock, it is doubly disappointing to realise that I was right all along!

Realising that dialogue is the spice of life and the enemy of the totalitarian ideology that is Zionism, I decided to send a personal letter to Becky. Being an ex-solicitor I am sure she will have no problem in digesting the contents!

Tony Greenstein

Dear Becky,

This is, as you will appreciate, a painful letter to have to write. However knowing you as I do I am sure you will understand why I felt it necessary to put pen to paper or rather finger to keyboard.

Despite my many doubts about your recent move to the right, in particular your support for the expulsion of Chris Williamson and the Board of Deputies’ 10 Commandments (Pledges), I reluctantly accepted the argument from comrades that you were the least worst of the 4 candidates.

It was on the basis that you were still, just, a socialist, that I supported you and gave out leaflets supporting you and Richard Burgon at various meetings in Brighton and Hove.

Yesterday I was rung up by a friend in Brighton Kemptown CLP. Her question was simple. Who should she vote for? After listening to you at the Zionist hustings I couldn’t in good conscience recommend a vote for you.

It should have been obvious just by the list of sponsors what this hustings was about. Socialism isn’t just a word. It means anti-racism and anti-imperialism being an integral part of one’s politics. Any socialist worthy of the name would have refused to take part in hustings sponsored by Labour Friends of Israel.

Surely you are not so naive as to believe that an organisation which has not once condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land or its Apartheid practices could be genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism

According to the murderous ‘logic’ of Labour Friends of Israel, the responsibility for Israel shooting unarmed protesters lies with Hamas, not Israel!  RBL is quite happy to keep company with this scum

Have you forgotten the response of LFI to the news that Israeli snipers were firing at unarmed demonstrators at the Gaza fence? They blamed those who died for their own deaths.

Over 500 children have been injured and over 70 have been murdered in cold blood by the Israel’s army since March 2019. Yet what was the response by LFI? It tweeted ‘Hamas must accept responsibility for these events.’ Except that Hamas didn’t shoot those who died or who were crippled by exploding ammunition deliberately designed to disable.

Imagine that a Palestinian organisation had blamed Israel for the deaths of 70 Jewish children. Would you have spoken on their platform? If not why do you speak under LFI’s banner. Do Palestinian lives not count? It seems Becky that you need to examine your own racism before pointing the finger at others.

LFI also supported the attack on Gaza in 2014, as it has done all Israel’s wars. 2,200 Palestinians were murdered, including 551 children. Do tell me what your description would be of someone who supported the murder of 500+ Jewish children.  Racist? Anti-Semitic? Yet when it comes to the blood of Palestinian children you turn a blind eye.

LFI’s stance is not surprising as one thing Al Jazeera’s programme, The Lobby, made clear was that Labour Friends of Israel is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Israeli Embassy.

The Board of Deputies blamed those who were killed for their own deaths

The Board of Deputies too blamed the Palestinians. Their statement said that ‘the responsibility for the violence lies with Hamas’ before going on to support the murder of unarmed demonstrators: ‘Israel is defending its people from repeated violent attempts at mass invasion.’  they wrote. 

The idea that Palestinian refugees trying to return to the lands they were expelled from should be shot down in cold blood says everything about the Board. Whatever else they represent it is not the socialist traditions of British Jewry

The Board of Deputies openly supported the murder of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza yet has the gall to talk of ‘antisemitism’

21 year old medic Razan has come to symbolise the State Terrorism of Israel whose snipers picked off Razan for no other reason than that she was there

Even medics, such as 21 year old Razan Najar, have been murdered by Israeli snipers. All to the approval of the same BOD whose 10 Commandments you have agreed to. According to these 10 ‘pledges’ you must not communicate with anti-racist or socialist Jews

The Board of Deputies spent more time attacking the ANL than the National Front

I would be interested in an explanation as to how demanding that the Labour Party only communicate with the reactionary BOD, has anything to do with fighting anti-Semitism since the BOD has always opposed the fight against fascism and those who are genuinely anti-Semitic

When it came to challenging genuine anti-Semites the Board of Deputies urged Jews to keep their heads down and say nothing – only Israel concerns them

In the 1930’s the Board opposed physical resistance to the British Union of Fascists telling Jews to stay at home during the Battle of Cable Street. In the 1970’s when the National Front was growing stronger they did the same. According to Paul Holborrow, Secretary of the Anti-Nazi League

We were constantly under attack from the Jewish Board of Deputies … because of the SWP’s anti-Zionism.

The Board of Deputies has only ever been concerned about one thing, supporting Zionism and the State of Israel, opposition to which they term ‘anti-Semitism’.

You opened the hustings by paying tribute to the great Jewish MPs that Manchester has had. You might have mentioned the late Gerald Kaufmann MP, Father of the House of Commons. In 2009 he made one of the great parliamentary speeches. He said, during Operation Cast Lead, when 1,400 Palestinians were murdered that:

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.

You stated that ‘our Jewish Community just didn’t feel safe or welcome within our party.’ This is the big lie that Goebbels spoke of. There is no evidence whatsoever that even one Jew felt unsafe in the Labour Party. True the racists of the JLM, the British wing of the ILP may have felt uncomfortable when defending Apartheid but that surely is good.

What is remarkable about the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign was the number of Jews who were victims. Not only was Jackie Walker and myself expelled, but numerous anti-Zionist Jews such as Glynn Secker and Jo Bird were suspended. Professor Moshe Machover, the founder of Matzpen, the Israeli Socialist Organisation was also expelled, until Sam Matthews was forced to reinstate him

Oozing insincerity Emily Thornberry promised to expel anti-Zionists from the Labour Party – this despicable woman gained just 1.9% of the Zionist vote!

You stated that you would ‘act on the recommendations of the EHRC’ and that you find it very shameful that the Labour Party is being investigated by them. It’s not shame but outrage you should be feeling at the interference by a State body in the internal affairs of the Labour Party. The EHRC is not and never has been an anti-racist body. It is a body consisting of the great and good whose purpose is to ensure ‘diversity’ and neutralise anti-racist campaigning.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has never  condemned the Tory government over the Windrush Scandal, still less investigated it. It has remained silent over the recent deportations of Black British citizens to the West Indies and said nothing about Islamaphobia in the Tory Party or the racism of the Prime Minister. This is unsurprising since the EHRC is chaired by a Zionist, David Isaac. 

It is no surprise that no other forms of racism failed to get a mention at these Zionist hustings. Zionists are interested in defending, not combating racism.

Your response to the resignation of Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger proves that you represent the abandonment of everything Corbyn stood for. You said that it was ‘absolutely devastating & shameful that we had MPs leaving the party because they didn’t feel welcome.’ thus implying that anti-Semitism played a part in their decisions. This is a total fabrication. 

Ellman was targeted, not because she is Jewish but because she was a vitriolic right-winger who defended Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian children. Arresting children in the middle of the night, blindfolding and beating them, including sexual abuse.  All of these practices this wretch of a woman defended. Many of her political opponents were Jewish. I suggest you read ‘The Riverside Scandal’ and then apologise.

Luciana Berger was another Blairite parachuted in to Liverpool Wavertree. The Chair of her own constituency was Jewish. She was hated, not because she was Jewish but because she was a nasty right-winger who was Director of LFI from 2007-2010.

One can only presume from your fatuous remarks that you only support the deselection of MPs if they are not Jewish!

You spoke of a ‘breakdown of trust’ between the Jewish community and the Labour Party. Leaving aside that there is no single Jewish community, the facts are that the Jewish community has long deserted Labour. For over 50 years British Jews have voted Tory in overwhelming numbers. In 2015 64% of Jews voted Tory and just 15% voted Labour despite having a Jewish leader, Ed Miliband.

But even this is untrue. Jeremy Corbyn forfeited the support of British Zionists but Labour never had their support anyway. Orthodox Jewry did not criticise Corbyn and 34 Orthodox Rabbis wrote a joint letter condemning the Board’s attacks on Corbyn but of course the BBC and the prostitute press preferred not to publicise this.

As recently as last December Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, Head of the 35,000 Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations wrote a letter condemning those who called Corbyn ‘antisemitic’. Yet instead of aligning yourselves with these and other Jews you preferred to ally yourself with the most racist and reactionary section of British Jews.

The Jewish Community Hasn’t Supported Labour for 50 Years

I suggest you read Daniel Staetsky’s article in The Times of Israel, How British Jews vote and why they vote this way.  The ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign of the past 4½ years has been a wholly artificial creation whose sole aim was to remove Jeremy Corbyn.

On December 5th 2019 just 1 week before the election, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Pollard, in a letter to readers wrote that

over the next 6 weeks we will discover if the British public are prepared to put an anti-Semite into Number Ten.’

Was this a false allegation? If so then why is it antisemitic to say that similar allegations against Labour Party members are also false? According to Zionist propagandists denial of false allegations of ‘antisemitism’ is proof of one’s guilt! 

In just the same way denial of being a witch at Salem in the 17th century was held to be proof that you were a witch. I thought we had come just a little way in the past 300+ years but it would seem not. Instead Beccy you stand in the tradition of Cotton Mather and those whose false accusations led to the witch-trials which in turn led to the murder of 19 people, including 14 women.  

Elizabeth Reis wrote about the dilemmas that faced women in the witch trials: 

“During examinations, accused women were damned  if they did and damned if they did not. If they confessed to witchcraft charges, their admissions would prove the cases against them; if they denied the charges, their very intractability, construed as the refusal to admit to sin more generally, might mark them as sinners and hence allies of the devil.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey signed up to the 10 McCarthyist Demands of the Board of Deputies without a whimper

In fact the only women who were hanged at Salem were those who denied their guilt.  You stand Rebecca in the traditions of  Cotton Mather and those whose false accusations led to the witch-trials which in turn led to the murder of 19 people, including 14 women.  

Elizabeth Reis wrote about the dilemmas that faced women in the witch trials: 

“During examinations, accused women were damned  if they did and damned if they did not. If they confessed to witchcraft charges, their admissions would prove the cases against them; if they denied the charges, their very intractability, construed as the refusal to admit to sin more generally, might mark them as sinners and hence allies of the devil.”

In fact the only women who were hanged at Salem were those who denied their guilt.  

In May 2018 the President of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, stated that Corbyn ‘has anti-Semitic views.’ Clearly this was a lie but it wasn’t the only lie.  So why are you giving comfort to these racists?

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lansman’s Protege Declares She is a Zionist 

Perhaps most shocking of all was your declaration that you are a Zionist.

Israel is an ethno-nationalist state, i.e. a state not of its own citizens but of the mythical ‘Jewish people’. When Netanyahu says that Israel is ‘not a state of all its citizens’ he is right. That is an admission that racism is part of Israel’s DNA.

No state has a right to exist. Did the Apartheid, Francoist or Nazi states ‘have a right to exist’. Why?  States are not people

Keir Hardie – member of the Trilateral Commission and a friend of the secret policeman

Zionism is the racist ideology that has guided the Israeli state from its foundation. Even before 1948 the Israeli Labor Party operated a colour bar, campaigning for Jewish Labour i.e. a Boycott of Arab Labour. Today the ILP supports the deportation of Black African refugees because they are not Jewish and therefore threaten the Jewish demographic majority of Israel.

The Jewish National Fund, which owns and controls 93% of Israeli land deliberately excludes Arabs from access to it. What is a Jewish state if not a state that discriminates against those who are not Jewish?

I realise that you know nothing about the Israeli state but are you seriously suggesting that criticism of Zionism and its bastard offspring, the Israeli state, which armed and trained the death squads of Guatemala as they murdered up to 200,000 Mayan Indians, is anti-Semitic? Is criticism of Israel for arming and equipping the death squads of El Salvador, arming the Argentinian Junta (which murdered up to 3,000 Jews) and Pinochet, to say nothing about Apartheid South Africa, antisemitic?

Yes of course Israel’s supporters cry ‘anti-Semitism’.  What else can they say? If you can’t attack the message then attack the messenger.

For ‘socialists’ such as you to defend such a state because it is ‘Jewish’, as if the Holocaust entitles Israel to support neo-Nazi regimes, is shameful.

What does Zionism mean in practice? Demonstrations in Afula against the sale of a single house to an Arab. The edict by the Chief Rabbi of Safed, Shmuel Eliyahu, forbidding Jews from renting property to Arabs.  Eliyahu is a paid Israeli state official. It means the Reception Committee Law of 2011 allowing Jewish communities to ban Arabs from living there. Zionism means that maternity wards in Israel are segregated into Jewish and Arab. Education too is segregated and even Higher Education is now falling victim.

I doubt if there is a single Palestine solidarity activist in Britain who hasn’t been accused of ‘anti-Semitism’. Jewish anti-Zionists, who are the equivalent of Whites South Africans who opposed Apartheid, are called ‘self-haters’, the same term that the Nazis used against German anti-fascists.

You said, like the other candidates, that you support a 2 state solution. That is no solution. It is dead as a dodo. The only reason LFI and JLM support 2 states is because they know it won’t happen. It is a smokescreen for Apartheid. The only solution is a single state where Jews and Arabs have equal rights

Stephane Savary drops the mask.  It’s no longer about ‘antisemitism’ but Israel’s right to be a racist 

It is strange that ‘socialists’ such as yourself are unwilling to support a single state where there are equal rights for all citizens.  Because that is what the ‘antisemitism’ campaign is really about. Today Lisa Nandy is being criticised because she supports the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees.

Far from being the Corbyn continuity candidate you represent a radical break from Corbynism. Unlike Jeremy you have no record of activism. Socialist and anti-racist politics are to you abstractions.

It is clear that there is no genuine difference between you and the other candidates. It is not surprising that despite your grovelling to the Zionists when the JLM came to vote on which candidate to support you obtained a mere 1.4%! Even Jeremy Corbyn in 2016 obtained 4%!!

It must be galling that unlike Pontius Pilate you haven’t received your reward of 30 pieces of silver. Clearly the price of treachery has fallen victim to inflation.

Kind regards

Tony Greenstein

Lisa Nandy – the Zionists’ favourite

A Highlight of RBL’s Contributions

In Manchester where we have had some of the greatest Jewish MPsIt was absolutely devastating to see what they faced… our Jewish Community just didn’t feel  safe or welcome within our party. It was absolutely shameful that we were in that situation. We have to say sorry and I’ll say sorry again tonight. 

We have to have processes in the party that are legally independent, free from any political bias or interference

Education to stop the conspiracy theories and tropes that are emerging across the leftI’ve said very clearly that I’ll adopt the Board of Deputies 10 pledges. I’ll act on the recommendations of the EHRC. I find it very shameful that we are being investigated by them.

Peston: Labour did better than expected at the 2017 election and then anti-Semitism exploded as an issue… Why has it taken so long to tackle the scandal of anti-Semitism. What have you done over the last couple of years to try and eliminate the scourge of anti-Semitism. Peston says he’ll start with Becky because Thornberry suggested on Newsnight that you didn’t do enough and you were on the NEC.

RLB attributes anti-Semitism to the large influx after 2015.  We had a breakdown of trust between the Jewish communal organisations and the Jewish Labour Movement.Says she spoke ‘privately’ to people to call for ‘auto-expulsions’

So I don’t think the Party gave the right response to that programme (Panorama). As the party of workers and trade unionists we should not have called out former members of staff.  Whether they were correct or not ‘was a completely different matter’.

We also have to recognise what those particular staff were going through.

Peston: would you welcome Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman back into the party?

RLB: that was absolutely devastating & shameful that we had MPs leaving the party because they didn’t feel welcome.

Peston intervenes to point out that Berger stood against the party

RLB: What Luciana, Louise and our other colleagues have been through is absolutely shocking and how they managed to cope with that is an absolute miracle.

Peston: Is that a yes?

RLB: I would, yeah.

RLB: We’ve got to do everything the EHRC wants and more. We have to adopt the Board of Deputies 10 pledges. We’ve got to roll out a robust educational progamme with the JLM.

Question from the floor: Would any of you describe yourself as a Zionist?

Thornberry: I believe in the State of Israel therefore I’m a Zionist.

Keir Starmer:  I believe in the State of Israel, a secure Israel I also believe in an independent Palestinian state (Peston intervenes) I don’t describe myself as a Zionist but I understand, support and sympathise with Zionism.

Lisa Nandy: I believe Jewish people have the right to national self-determination. That makes me a Zionist.

RBL: On Zionism I also agree with a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state and a 2 state solution. I suppose that makes me a Zionist.  I agree with Israel’s right to exist and self-determine

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