Tony Greenstein | 07 June 2017 | Post Views:

Open Letter to New Labour’s Anneliese Dodds MEP Does Europe’s Far-Right really opposes racism?

In Israel – relationships between Arabs and Jews are condemned by all Zionist parties

 It’s not a good idea to underestimate the stupidity of Labour MEPs and what passes for social democracy these days.  However the decision to support the bogus International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism alongside nearly all of Europe’s far-Right parties, marks a new low, even for people like Dodds.

Last Wednesday
a motion on Combating Anti-Semitism was tabled at the European Parliament.  Naturally all good men and true are against
anti-Semitism and indeed all forms of racism. 
That was why Hungary’s Jobbik and Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden
Dawn parties opposed the resolution.
UKIP – like most racists and anti-Semites they support Zionism
However part of
this motion, Clause C2, called on Member States and EU Institutions and
Agencies to adopt and apply the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
Readers of this
blog will know that the IHRA is a bogus definition of anti-Semitism whose only
purpose is to conflate and confuse anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, [see Bogus
Definition of Anti-Semitism Suffers Its First Defeat at the University Colleges
Union Conference
I therefore
wrote to the only Labour MEP in the South East, Anneliese Dodds,
to ask her not to vote alongside an assortment of reactionaries and racists to
‘oppose’ the Zionist definition of anti-Semitism.
kindly, Ms Dodds replied almost immediately. 
She didn’t agree with me but, I thought, at least she took the time and
trouble to respond.  Imagine my surprise
when a friend up north received an identical response from Labour’s
North East EU office!  Leaving aside
coincidence, it would seem that Ms Dodds in incapable of explaining, in her own
words, how she voted last Wednesday. 
course I expect no better from a brain dead New Labour MEP however that didn’t
deter me from responding to ‘her’ letter.
Empty headed – Anneliese Dodds – New Labour MEP for South-East
Letter to Anneliese Dodds, Labour MEP for the South-East

When I received
your email last Sunday, explaining why you were going to vote to support the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, I was of course disappointed that you
didn’t engage with my arguments. However
I accepted that there will always be times when socialists, if that is not too
strong a word for you, disagree.
You will
therefore imagine my surprise when a friend received an identical letter, from
Jude and Paul at the North East
Labour Office
. I realise that brilliant (& stupid) minds work alike,
but this was, as I am sure you will agree, a coincidence too far.  It would seem that you are either incapable of
or unwilling to defend your decision to vote against deleting Clause C2 of the motion, which included the IHRA definition of
anti-Semitism.  I would be interested to
know whether it is normal practice for you to rely on a letter written by
others when you correspond with your electorate and whether you inform correspondents that the letter is not in fact your own?
The Islamaphobic Danish People’s supported the IHRA
You will
I am sure understand why I am copying this letter to other people as it demonstrates
your lack of integrity and dishonesty in passing a standard letter as
your own.  You
will I am sure understand why I will pass up your offer to subscribe to your
newsletter since it is probably written by someone else anyway.
You state that
the EU Parliament resolution on Fighting Antisemitism calls for a working
definition of antisemitism.  Why is this a problem? Anti-Semitism is quite a simple concept.  Most people have no problem understanding what anti-Semitism is.  Anti-semitism is hostility or hatred directed against Jews as Jews.  
Dr Brian Klug of
Oxford University, an academic expert on anti-Semitism drew up an equally simple definition
of anti-Semitism.  In his lecture ‘What Do We Mean
When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’? Echoes of shattering glass’
 given at the
Conference “Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts” held on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, at the Jewish
Museum, Berlin in 2014, Klug came up with a 20 word definition of anti-Semitism: Anti-Semitism is:

a form of hostility towards Jews as Jews, in
which Jews are perceived as something other than what they are

is 20 words in total. You say the
development of the IHRA definition is a ‘tool to help
practitioners and law enforcement officers to identify antisemitic incidents.’
   I fail to understand how a ‘definition’ of some 420 words can be of greater use than a simple 20 word definition in helping law enforcement. What are they
supposed to do before arresting someone? Write a thesis?
There is one
and only one reason why the IHRA is 420 words long and that is because its main
purpose is to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It is no coincidence that the IHRA definition
contains 11 ‘examples’ of anti-Semitism of which 7 are directly concerned
with criticism of Israel and/or Zionism.
One such
example is ‘Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the
 Hannah Arendt in her book ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ drew attention to the
fact that Jews and non-Jews cannot marry in Israel.  In Israel, relationships between Jews and Arabs are actively discouraged because in a society based on Jewish racial supremacy, intermarriage threatens the established social and racial order.  Hence was why the Education Ministry banned from the high school syllabus Dorit Rabinyan’s book Borderlife, which portrayed a relationship between Arab and Jewish teenagers.  Israel Bans Novel on Arab-Jewish Romance From Schools for ‘Threatening Jewish Identity’
Arendt compared this situation to the Nazis’ Nuremburg laws.  But according to this
idiotic definition of anti-Semitism, the greatest Jewish
political philosopher of the 20th century, herself a refugee from
Nazi Germany, is anti-Semitic.  There are
plenty of other comparisons between Israel and the Nazis prior to 1941, e.g. segregation of education, housing, social amenities etc.
equally fatuous example of ‘anti-Semitism’ is ‘Holding Jews collectively
responsible for actions of the state of Israel.’
  I agree this is terrible but Zionist
organisations continually say that Israel is the embodiment of modern Jewish identity.  If that is the case then clearly Jews are responsible for Israel’s actions.
In an article for the Telegraph the Chief
Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis held that ‘One
can no more separate it [Zionism] from Judaism than separate the City of London
from Great Britain.’ 
He is wrong,
there is a very clear distinction between the two but is it really the case
that the Chief Rabbi of British Jewry is an anti-Semite?  Surely that is a bit strong?
You, or rather
your ghost writer also state that the IHRA definition is not legally binding.  Perhaps this is true at the
moment, but its adoption by the European Parliament makes it one step nearer to it becoming legally binding.  There is already a clear attempt, along the lines of what has already happened in France, to make Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel illegal.  
If Israel’s supporters have their way then the tactics used successfully against Apartheid South Africa will be rendered illegal if used against Apartheid Israel.  What you are doing is
supporting a form of McCarthyism in which legitimate free speech and solidarity action is outlawed.
However I
forgot the clinching argument in your email. Apparently ‘the definition
specifically states that criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as
One of the problems of
having others do your writing and thinking is that you end up putting
your trust in spin doctors and other varieties of the common fool. 
If you had
bothered to actually read the IHRA definition you would know that it doesn’t say that criticism of Israel
cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.  If
that were the case then why does the IHRA give examples of where criticism of
Israel is anti-Semitic?  
What the IHRA
does say is that ‘criticism of Israel
similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as
  In other words you
can’t criticise Israel unless you criticise other countries in the same
Or as the
Parliamentary Select Committee Report on Anti-Semitism stated
‘Israel is an
ally of the UK Government and is generally regarded as a liberal democracy,…
It is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli Government to the same standards as
other liberal democracies.’
 [Paras. 23 and 24]
In other words,
if you criticise the world’s only Apartheid state, a state which defines
itself as a Jewish state, a state not of its own citizens but Jews worldwide, then that is
according to the IHRA anti-Semitic.  Anyone with an ounce of grey matter will immediately recognise that the
IHRA definition has nothing to do with the popular perception of anti-Semitism,
i.e. hatred, violence or discrimination against Jews.  Its purpose is to protect Israel, the West’s
main ally in the Middle East.
How can
criticism of Israel be similar to that against other countries when Israel is unlike any other country?  Perhaps you can name any other country which
deliberately sought to engineer the ethnic composition of its population by
expelling 80% of the people living there, in this case the Palestinians?  Or a country which has ruled over 3 million
residents for 50 years without giving them any civil or political rights
and which characterises all opposition as ‘terrorism’?  A state which has two separate legal systems
operating in the West Bank – one for non-Jewish Palestinians and another for
Jewish settlers.  This is the
quintessential definition of Apartheid as even John Kerry all but admitted
last year.
The third
paragraph of ‘your’ letter is tautological and engages in a circular
argument.  You say that ‘The IHRA
definition does not … limit freedom of expression. This is because the definition
is not legally binding and because it specifically states that criticism of
Israel as such cannot be regarded as antisemitic.’ 
I have already dispensed with the
latter point.  The fact that the definition is not, at the moment, legally binding,
does not prevent it from being part of a well funded and well organised attempt
to inhibit freedom of speech. 
The rest of
your letter is an example of verbal incontinence.  I would suggest
that if you are seriously interested in combating anti-Semitism as opposed to
acting on behalf of the Israeli Embassy, then you read the article in May’s
London Review of Books by Sir Stephen Sedley entitled ‘Defining
.  You might then
understand exactly what it is you have voted for and why crying wolf over
anti-Semitism, is the best way of giving succour and support to genuine
anti-Semites.  The article begins:

Shorn of philosophical and political refinements,
anti-Semitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews. Where it manifests itself in
discriminatory acts or inflammatory speech it is generally illegal, lying
beyond the bounds of freedom of speech and of action. By contrast, criticism (and
equally defence) of Israel or of Zionism is not only generally lawful: it is
affirmatively protected by law. Endeavours to conflate the two by
characterising everything other than anodyne criticism of Israel as
anti-Semitic are not new. What is new is the adoption by the UK government (and
the Labour Party) of a definition of anti-Semitism which endorses the

You might also want to read the Opinion of Hugh Tomlinson QC re the IHRA where he states:

21.      In my view any public authority which sought to apply the IHRA Definition to decisions concerning the prohibition or sanctioning of activity which was critical of the State or Government of Israel would be acting unlawfully if it did not require such activity also to manifest or incite hatred or intolerance towards Jews.  If an authority applied the IHRA Definition without such a requirement it would be in  breach of  Article 10 of the Convention and would,  therefore,  be acting unlawfully under domestic law in the United Kingdom.

Voting Alongside an Assortment of Racists and Fascists

The breakdown of the vote last Wednesday in support of Clause C2 of the anti-Semitism resolution is very interesting.  
All the members of that well known anti-racist party UKIP voted to
support the IHRA.  
The far-Right European
and Conservative Reform Group
voted by 57-4 to support the IHRA.  This included the racist and anti-Semitic Polish Law and Justice Party.  Perhaps you don’t remember when David Miliband, as Foreign Secretary in 2009 , ‘tore into the Waffen-SS sympathisers in
the Latvian party Cameron had also embraced.

Michal Kaminski fit to lead the Tories in Europe?
Robert Ziles of the Latvian LNNK – loves Israel and loves anti-Semitism
Miliband was referring to Robert Ziles, of the
Latvian LNNK, who last Wednesday voted like you to support the IHRA.  Ziles likes to spend a weekend in March
paying tribute to Latvian members of the Waffen SS and marching with them.  Ziles too apparently condemns ‘anti-Semitism’.
Amongst other supporters of the IHRA were Le Pen’s Europe of Freedom & Direct
Democracy Group
, which voted by 25-5 to support the IHRA.  All members of the Front National and Herr
Strache’s Austrian Freedom Party (formed as a neo-Nazi party) voted to support
the IHRA.
Victor Orban’s Fidesz hates refugees, loves Hungary’s war time Nazi collaborators but supports the IHRA
We should not, of course, forget that
other well-known anti-racist party, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s
Fidesz, which apart
from its enlightened policies when it comes to refugees and asylum seekers smiles
benignly on the growing rehabilitation of Admiral Horthy, the ruler of Hungary
under the Nazis from March 19th until July 7th when some
437,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. 
Fidesz has openly tolerated and played
with anti-Semitism in Hungary yet 10 of its
MEPs had no hesitation in voting in favour of the IHRA.
Perhaps I could refer you to an article by Randolf Braham, the historian of the Hungarian Holocaust, The Reinterment and Political Rehabilitation of Miklós Horthy
As Donald Trump has demonstrated, White Supremacists like Donald Trump’s Strategic Advisor, Steve Bannon and Breitbart News demonstrates, support for Zionism and Israel goes hand in hand with anti-Semitism.  After all if you don’t want Jews in your own country why not support their removal to the ‘Jewish’ state of Israel.  

I guess congratulations are in order for having voted alongside almost
all the racists and anti-Semites in the European Parliament in support of a
Zionist definition of anti-Semitism. 

Given all these allies that you have made in the fight against ‘anti-Semitism’ have you
ever considered forming another parliamentary group, ‘Anti-Semites against

Yours sincerely,
Tony Greenstein
 Letter from Ms Dodds and others in Defence of Their Vote to Support the IHRA
Sunday 28 May
Dear Tony,
Thank you for
your email concerning the European Parliament’s Resolution on Fighting
Antisemitism. This Resolution is intended to contribute to countering the rise
in antisemitic attacks in the EU. It calls for a working definition of
antisemitism, promotes the security of Jewish communities, and calls for the
appointment of special envoys and all-parliamentary groups on fighting
The Resolution
calls for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
(IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. This definition is not legally
binding and serves as a tool to help practitioners and law enforcement officers
to identify antisemitic incidents. The definition specifically states that
criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as antisemitic.
We acknowledge
concerns regarding freedom of speech and would not accept any attempt to equate
antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The IHRA definition does not do this,
nor does it limit freedom of expression. This is because the definition is not
legally binding and because it specifically states that criticism of Israel as
such cannot be regarded as antisemitic. The definition was adopted by the UK
Government with the support of the Labour party in December 2016.
Labour MEPs
support the European Parliament’s resolution as it is an important measure to
counter the rise in antisemitic attacks in the EU. Language or behaviour that
displays hatred towards Jews is antisemitism, and is as repugnant and
unacceptable as any other form of racism. This Resolution condemns this and
calls on EU Member States to take further action to actively protect Jewish
Labour MEPs
will continue to raise these concerns and monitor the definition in practice.
Thanks again
for getting in touch; If you are interested in keeping updated on my work, both
here in the South East and in the European Parliament, you can sign-up for my
report back e-newsletter here
Yours sincerely
Anneliese Dodds MEP

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Tony Greenstein

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