Tony Greenstein | 05 July 2023 | Post Views:

This Law Has One Purpose – To Protect Israeli War Crimes – This is why Starmer & Labour’s Cowardly MPs Support It

When justifying the Government’s Anti-Boycott Bill, Michael Gove stated that BDS leads to “appalling antisemitic rhetoric and abuse.” Not one iota of evidence was tendered in support of this lie nor could there be. It simply doesn’t exist.

Gove is not unfamiliar with racist rhetoric and abuse. He authored Celsius 77 which argued that terrorist incidents were not the product of the West’s invasion of countries like Iraq but ‘“a conveyor belt” linking religious conservatism and terrorism’. Using bogus statistics Gove argued that ‘a sizeable minority of Britain’s 1.8 million Muslims hold rejectionist Islamist views’.

Peter Oborne

In the words of Peter Oborne, former Chief Political Commentator of The Telegraph, Gove ‘is best known as the unsung commander-in-chief of the Islamophobes inside the Conservative Party’. Gove was one of the founders of the racist Henry Jackson Society whose Director William Shawcross stated in 2012 that “Europe and Islam is one of the greatest, most terrifying problems of our future”.

The HJS’s Associate Director Douglas Murray was the author of The Strange Death of Europe whose theme was summed up in its title:

‘Europe is dying — being murdered, in fact — by hordes of Muslim immigrants, aided in their task by craven liberal politicians’.

douglas murry, henry jackson society

Murray gave an intellectual veneer to the neo-Nazi White Replacement Theory which found its voice at the Charlottesville rally when anti-fascist Heather Heyer was murdered as the marchers chanted ‘The Jews Shall Not Replace Us’.

This is who the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in its support of the Anti-Boycott Bill, is allying with. Intellectual fascists like Murray. See SOAS Policy Briefing on the new Anti-Boycott Bill

A Brief History of Boycotts

Contrary to the assertions of Gove and the Zionists,  BDS has always been the weapon of the weak and powerless, from the Boycott of Slave Grown Sugar in the Carribean, to the Boycott of Capt. Boycott in Ireland to the Boycott, Sanctions and Disinvestment campaign against South Africa, which Israel defied.

The Zionists point to the ‘boycott’ by the Nazis of Jewish shops on April 1 1933. However this wasn’t a peaceful boycott so much as a siege of the shops by SA thugs. The closest comparison is with Israel’s siege of Gaza, except unlike the Nazis it has been going on for 17 years.

Gove & Starmer’s Claim That They Oppose BDS Because of ‘Anti-Semitism’ Is A Lie

On 19 June I sent a letter to the Guardian opposing the Anti-Boycott Bill. I didn’t expect it to be published. Although the Guardian used to publish letters from me, since 2019 the letters column has been Freedlandised (after Jonathan Freedland).

In my letter I pointed out that when Thatcher opposed sanctions against the Apartheid regime in South Africa she did not pretend that she was doing it in order to fight racism! She and her husband, who had considerable investments in South Africa, were perfectly content with White Supremacy.

Instead of Gove and admitting that he is happy with the colonisation of the Palestinian territories and Jewish Supremacy he prayed in aid ‘anti-Semitism’ using British Jews as convenient fall guys. Government lying did not disappear with Boris Johnson.

I argued that Councils who support a boycott of Israel are not engaging in their own foreign policy. They are simply expressing solidarity with an oppressed people. Those who say that there is something anti-Semitic about this are really saying that British Jews support the occupation and terrorisation of Palestinian civilians. If anyone is anti-Semitic it is Michael Gove.

I also sent a letter to the Jewish Chronicle! Not because I expected it to be published but because it’s useful, once in a while, that this Zionist rag is confronted with the truth! Whereas the JC has given wholehearted support to the Bill its counterpart, Jewish News has opposed the Bill, along with some Zionist youth organisations. Even some Tory MPs have expressed reservations about Gove’s Bill. Not Labour’s Tory leader, Keir Starmer.

The Jewish Boycott of Hitler

What Gove and the Board of Deputies ignore is the Jewish Boycott of  Hitler 90 years ago. This would have been illegal if the anti-Boycott Bill had been law. This is the irony of Gove’s claim that his motive is in fighting against anti-Semitism.

The anti-Nazi Jewish Boycott is a boycott that the Zionists never mention. But for the fierce opposition of the Zionist Organisation, which concluded a trade agreement, Ha’avara, with the Nazi state, Hitler could have been overthrown by the winter of 1933.

On 30 January 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenberg at the behest of Germany’s conservatives. At that time Hitler was supported by Churchill, Lloyd George and the British Establishment who saw Hitler as a bulwark against German Communism.

‘Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.’

Churchill 1937

On 5 March 1933, in the last, unfree elections, the NSDAP secured a working majority together with the Deutsche National Volks Party.

The reaction of Jewry world wide was swift. They launched a Boycott of Nazi Germany. The reaction of the Zionists was to do their best to undermine the Boycott. They wanted to take advantage of the rise of the Nazis not oppose them. Why? Because their priority was establishing a ‘Jewish’ State.

On 21 June 33, the German Zionist Federation sent a memo to Hitler.

‘Boycott propaganda… is in essence fundamentally unZionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’ [Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader, pp. 150-153].

But in Jewish working class areas of the East End the Boycott 

‘spread like a bush fire. After businesses closed on Friday 24 March thousands of Jews marched from the East End to the German Embassy.’ [David Cesarani, Final Solution, pp. 41-2].

On 3 April 70,000 Greek Jews gathered in a mass protest and in Panama 15 leading Jewish firms cancelled all German orders. On 4 April there were Jewish protests in Bombay. In Polish Upper Silesia anti-German boycott violence was so extensive that the German Foreign Ministry threatened to complain to the League of Nations. In Britain the police in London and Manchester threatened to prosecute storeowners displaying boycott posters.

In the first few days of April thousands of orders for German goods in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were cancelled. In response the ‘socialist’ Zionists of Mapai launched a campaign against the boycott. On Kol Yisrael, on 18 May they broadcast that ‘Screaming slogans calling for a boycott… are a crime’. Referring to a recent arson attack on the German consulate they said, ‘We have no quarrel with the representatives of the German government in Palestine.’ [Black p.144] It was amongst the Kibbutzniks that opposition to Boycott was greatest. [Arendt, Zionism Reconsidered, The Jew as Pariah, p. 139]

By mid-April England had supplanted Germany as the largest exporter to Denmark and Norway. Sales to Finland were drastically down. German exports were 10% down in April. German industrialists submitted a memo to the Government ‘drawing attention to the heavy withdrawal of orders for German goods’ Bosch had lost the whole of its South American market. [Hilberg, p. 35]

Trade statistics showed that the export surplus of the first quarter showed a decrease from £28.4m in 1932 to £11.8m in 1933, a drop of over 50%. [‘The Anti-German Boycott Works’, Jewish Chronicle, 19.5.33]. In June the export surplus was down by 68% compared to May.

Massive Jewish Veterans Parade Supporting a Boycott in New York

For the entire first half of 1933 exports were down 51% even though the anti-Nazi boycott had not really begun until late March.’[Black, p.223] Exports to France decreased by 25%. Egypt had an almost complete Boycott. Exports were down 22% to the USA.

The German diamond industry, which employed 5,000 workers, faced total collapse. [Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews]

Goering stipulated that those who disseminated atrocity propaganda faced the death penalty. Nonetheless he soon drew the conclusion that the only way to stop the atrocity propaganda was to stop the atrocities. The Boycott forced the Third Reich to restrain anti-Jewish violence.

‘Germany simply could not afford further export reductions’ and without exports ‘there would be economic death.’ [Black, p.24]

In Britain mass demonstrations started in Manchester and swept through Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow. The protests culminated in an overflow rally on 16 May at London’s Queen Hall.

When news spread that goods labelled ‘Made in Germany’ were found in the warehouse of Isaac Angel in Stepney, 1,000 protestors surrounded the store and mounted police had to be called in. Even the Archbishop of Liverpool urged Catholics to join the Boycott!

Reich leaders realized that boycott agitation was accelerating, especially in Great Britain. Placards proclaiming BOYCOTT GERMAN GOODS spread infectiously throughout London, and were now in the windows of the most exclusive West End shops.

By June 1933 the specter of collapse was hovering over the Third Reich. The Reichsbank had only RM 280m in gold and foreign-exchange reserves, less than half that of 1932.

On 20 July in London a ‘monster’ Boycott demonstration took place. Over 50,000 people took part. Both the TUC and the Labour Party supported it. The TUC instructed its affiliates to support the Boycott. Three of the speakers were from the Board of Deputies, although not representing it, because ‘that body has taken no part in the demonstration and indeed has used strenuous efforts to prevent it.’ [Monster Jewish Protest Demonstration’, Jewish Chronicle  21.7.33]

A letter from Max Morris, a future President of the National Union of Teachers, attacked the BOD’s ‘mockery of democracy’ writing that

‘at no point in our history has there been evidenced such widespread discontent at our so-called leadership’ over their opposition to the Boycott. [Max Morris, ‘Our Leaders:  A Mockery of Democracy,’ JC 28.7.33].

When it comes to fighting genuine anti-Semitism the BOD has always opposed doing anything. It’s only when the fight is against anti-Zionism that the Board is concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’.

At a meeting of the World Alliance for Combating Anti-Semitism on 28 March 1933 Mendel Wood said that the Boycott was:

the only weapon that they had and it had already proved a great success. Until recently Goering would not deign to reply but the boycott had elicited from him a denial of atrocities. It had made the Nazis call a halt to physical violence. Their duty was to strengthen the boycott by any means.

A resolution was moved declaring that ‘the Board of Deputies doesn’t represent Anglo-Jewry.’ 2000 East End Jews and non-Jews held a mass meeting organised by the Anti-War Council at the Mile End Baths. Even the Union of Young Israel Societies supported the boycott. [Intensifying the Boycott – The Deputies Failure’, JC, 31.3.33.] But the BOD voted 110-27 against a Boycott.

This was a reprieve for the Third Reich, a letup in the anti-German offensive… (it) could not have come at a more decisive moment. [Black]

The Investor’s Review of 5 August 1933 reported that ‘authoritative opinion is that Hitlerism will come to a sanguinary end before the New Year.’ [Hitler hard up’, JC 11.8.33] Cesarani, a Zionist historian, suggested that those who doubted the viability of the regime ‘were not engaged in wishful thinking’ and that it was beset by enemies coupled with a chronic balance of payments deficit. [Final Solution, pp. 81-2]

Robert Ley, leader of the Nazi Labour Front, warned that Germany was a ‘besieged fortress’ on the verge of collapse. Goebbels pleaded:

‘Was it to the interests of other nations to bring Europe to chaos by a world boycott of Germany just because the Jewish minority wished it?’ [Tribute to Jewry’s Boycott Defence War.’  JC 8.9.33].

The Zionist movement found itself in a profound conflict between transfer and boycott and between the needs of the Zionist movement and the Jewish people. Unsurprisingly the former came first.

Despite being uncoordinated the Boycott was having a dramatic effect on the German economy. People instinctively avoided purchasing German goods and American dockers were refusing to handle German goods.

The Yishuv’s [Jewish Palestine] leaders opposed the Boycott because

Zionist priorities… awarded precedence to the realization of Zionist goals and the building of Palestine over the struggle to preserve Jewish civil rights in the Diaspora.

Dov Hoz, a leading Labor Zionist, observed, ‘In these negotiations, we are reaping the fruit of the boycott we oppose.’ [Weiss, The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement, p. 24]. But for the Boycott there would have been no Ha’avara .

On 7 August 1933 agreement was reached… ‘Ha’avara was a Zionist idea and initiative, not a Nazi one.’ the Nazi party and the Zionist Organization shared a common stake in the recovery of Germany. If the Hitler economy fell, both sides would be ruined. [Weiss, The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement,  p. 253]

Ha’avara may have saved Hitler from being overthrown. In return for Ha’avara the ‘Zionists would halt the worldwide Jewish-led anti-Nazi Boycott that threatened to topple the Hitler regime in its first year.’ [Weiss, The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement,  p.xix]

The leaders of Germany realized that the anti-Hitler boycott was threatening to kill the Third Reich in its infancy, either through utter bankruptcy or by promoting an imminent invasion of Germany…The destruction of Hitler’s tenuous regime… loomed as the crisis of the hour in Berlin … [Black pp. 110, 130]

As Moshe Shertok, Israel’s second Prime Minister proclaimed:

‘It is Zionism’s fate to be cruel toward the Diaspora at times […] when this is necessary in order to build the country.’ [Weitz pp. 25-7]

The Jewish Chronicle, a Zionist paper, attacked Ha’avara:

We say that that is aiding and comforting one of the most savage oppressions, even in Jewish history…. It breaks the united Jewish boycott front, a front let it not be forgotten, with which non-Jewish sympathisers were also aligned. [The Unclean Thing,’ JC, 27.12.35]

Michael Gove – A Racist and a Liar

Ha’avara accounted for 60% of total capital investment in Jewish Palestine. [Jewish Frontier, May-June 1998] Whole industries in Palestine, such as Printing and Brewing were founded as a result.

After the Nazi Party took office, eleven of the world’s leading musicians, led by Arturo Toscanini and Fritz Reiner, announced a boycott of German cultural events. In Paris filmgoers cheered a band of Jewish youth who disrupted a German film. In Latvia the German embassy ‘sought court restraint for Jewish student groups urging a boycott of German films.

The staunchest supporters of the agreement in the Yishuv did not see the saving of lives as an independent goal at that time, rather they sought to extract German Jewish property for the benefit of the Yishuv. [Eshkoli-Wagman, p. 31, Yishuv Zionism, Modern Judaism, V. 19:1, February 1999]. 

Both Tom Segev and Moshe Zimmerman, stressed ‘the cynical abandonment of German Jewry out of Palestinocentric Zionist considerations’. [Eshkoli-Wagman, p. 31, Yishuv Zionism, Modern Judaism, V. 19:1, February 1999]. The Zionist activists spoke of ‘saving the wealth’ and ‘rescuing the capital from Nazi Germany.’

So when the Zionists oppose BDS today they are being consistent with what they did in 1933 when they opposed boycotting Nazi Germany. The only boycotts that they do agree with is a boycott of Palestinians.

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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