Tony Greenstein | 17 July 2018 | Post Views:

It’s a sad commentary on the Guardian which once boasted journalists like Michael Adams and David Hirst that it employs a Zionist Presstitute  

When I read anything by Jessica Elgot I am reminded of that old
cannot hope
bribe or twist,
God! the
seeing what
man will do
no occasion to
You cannot expect every journalist to have the talents of a John Pilger or Jonathan Cook.  However you do expect a certain ethical integrity, to say nothing of intelligence.  Unfortunately Jessica Elgot possesses neither.
What used to
distinguish ‘journalists’ on the tabloids from the quality press was the
ability to separate fact and opinion. The
latter were confined to the Editorial or Comment pages. Jessica Elgot wouldn’t even understand this proposition. She is a propagandist. Every piece she writes is biased against understanding. She mistakes cliches for prose from the latest press release.
Today Labour’s National Executive Committee
discussed a new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct. Apparently it has stuck to its
guns and rejected the Zionist attacks. Labour
NEC defies Chief Rabbi to adopt new anti-Semitism code
I have already made it clear,
as has Labour Against the Witchhunt, which picketed the meeting today, that the new Anti-Semitism Code is weak, based
as it is on the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
definition of anti-Semitism.
Elgot’s pathetic propaganda masquerading as journalism
The Zionist movement
in this country has been waging a
campaign against the Code.  After crying about ‘antisemitism’ for the past 3 years it is afraid that Labour might take it seriously and forget to confuse it with anti-Zionism.

Their complaint is that Labour hasn’t adopted the complete IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism. Instead the most egregious examples of the conflation of anti-Semitism
and anti-Zionism have been either omitted or toned down.  The Zionists therefore demand that Labour adopts the whole of this Liar’s Charter.

For Elgot
and her Zionist compatriots this is unacceptable.  In the words of the Jewish Chronicle’s far-Right
editor, Stephen Pollard, the problem with the new Code is that 

instead of adopting the definition as agreed by all these bodies, Labour has
excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be

Lord Bracadale’s Recommendation – anti-Zionism is not a hate crime
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are two completely different things.  Don’t
take my word for it. Retired Senior Scottish Judge Lord Bracadale has just
completed an Independent
Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland
.  In his review Lord
Bracadale, an Establishment Judge par excellence, no radical he, concludes that
you can’t make criticism of Israel and Zionism into a a Protected
Characteristic and therefore a hate crime.  You hate people not
states.  To make it a criminal offence to criticise Israel would be
an outrageous attack on freedom of speech and contrary to Article 10 of the
European Convention of Human Rights. 
In the words
of Hugh Tomlinson QC this would have ‘a
potential chilling effect’
on free speech. 
Of course Zionists and Elgot aren’t in the slightest bit interested in
free speech.  All they are bothered about
is protecting their bastard offspring, the apartheid State of Israel.
One of the illustrations of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the IHRA is describing Israel as a ‘racist
.  As Ahmed  Tibi, an Arab member of Israel’s Knesset asks in Middle
East Eye
,  how else do you describe a
state where nearly 1,000 towns and communities are Jewish only, where a Bill is
before the Knesset to legalise the segregation of communities and where attempts by Arabs to buy
houses in ‘Jewish towns’ are met with demonstrations by the residents
wanting to keep their towns all White Jewish.  A situation where 93% of the land is
national, i.e. Jewish national land.

One wonders what Elgot and the Board of Deputies would say if, in Britain, there was a Christian National Fund which owned and controlled 93% of land and refused, on principle, to sell or lease its property to Jews or non-Christians.  Ant-semitic or merely defending Christian identity?

Israel is a state where mobs chant ‘Death to the
without any penalty whatsoever, whereas an Arab poet, Dareen
is facing a lengthy prison sentence for talking about ‘resistance’ in a poem.  Racist?  You judge. 
But to the despicable Elgot, who masquerades as a journalist, none of this matters. She
like her editors is devoted to one thing only – selling Israeli Apartheid as a
Western Democracy.
For reasons unknown Jessica decided to block me
It is no surprise, that
in the course of researching this article, I found that Ms Elgot had blocked me
on Twitter even though we have never
exchanged a single word.  I can’t imagine
why should want to block me but I’ll take it as a compliment that I have been blocked by a racist.
The moral of the
story?  As long as the Guardian employs
people like Elgot no self-respecting anti-racist or socialist should buy The
Below is a letter I have
sent to the Guardian on Elgot’s latest piece. 
I don’t expect it to be published!
Letter I have sent to the Guardian concerning Elgot’s fake news article
Knesset member Ahmad Tibi urges Labour not to change its definition of
anti-Semitism at its meeting on Tuesday
The British Labour Party’s recent efforts to define anti-Semitism, and
to put clear water between a racist act (which is a criminal offence) and
legitimate criticism of Israel, is deeply appreciated by those who strive
for truth and justice.

Conversely, the push by
supporters of Israel to bully and browbeat the Labour Party into adopting a
distorted definition of anti-Semitism is sad and disheartening.
It is impossible to
understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal
 complained the
Board of Deputies of British Jews and the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council.
The definition’s
controversial examples are not even accepted as such by the man who wrote it
The second half of this
sentence is patently false. These groups’ desired definition, through
politically slanted examples, is most definitely not a universally accepted
test to decide which statements should be struck from the political discourse –
and for good reason.
Five years ago, the Fundamental Rights Agency – the European
Union body dedicated to combatting racism and discrimination – dropped
the definition
 from its website.
In fact, the definition’s
controversial examples are not even accepted as such by the man who wrote it.
As Kenneth Stern, the lawyer
and lead
author of the document
 explained in a 2016 op-ed in the New
York Times, the text was only ever “intended for data collectors writing
reports about anti-Semitism in Europe. It was never supposed to curtail

fog of ‘whataboutery’
Now on to the first claim,
that it is “impossible to understand” why the UK Labour Party, or any body
dedicated to human rights and opposed to racial hatred, would reject the
definition or associated examples championed by pro-Israel groups.
Allow me, a Palestinian
citizen of Israel and member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to explain
why this definition of anti-Semitism is problematic in the extreme, and why it
amounts to an attempt to muzzle public discourse on the rights of Palestinian
Anger at the Labour Party
stems not from its decision to accept the broad definition of anti-Semitism
written by the International
Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
, but its refusal to accept
four examples of anti-Semitism which relate explicitly to Israel. These are:
  • “Applying double standards by requiring of it a
    behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation”
  • “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to
    Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the
    interests of their own nations”
  • “Denying the Jewish people their right to
    self-determination, eg, by claiming that the existence of a State of
    Israel is a racist endeavour”
  • “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli
    policy to that of the Nazis”
The first of these examples
is just an eloquent ”whataboutery”. Responding to reports about state
racism, Israel’s defenders cry out: “What about Syria? What about Saudi
Arabia? What about Iran?”
Of course, these aren’t
honest appeals to discuss the alleged crimes of those other countries, but
rather, efforts to derail discussion of Israel’s. No victim of racism should
ever be required to compile lists of other equally reprehensible acts of
racism, just to earn the right to describe their own suffering.
If other countries are
guilty of similar or worse crimes, they should also be called out for those
crimes. The responsibility to do so, however, falls on every single citizen,
every political actor.
Any effort to burden those
who would advocate Palestinian rights with the demand that they first lobby for
the rights of every other aggrieved group in the world is nothing more than a
strategy to silence them, and to ensure Israeli impunity.
are rights for Palestinians?

Another way Palestinians are
being silenced is with the assertion that those who accuse the State of
Israel of inherent racism, of being a “racist endeavour“, are really
inciting hatred of Jews in general and wherever they happen to live. Founding
the state was the common wish of Jewish people, say supporters of Israel:
denying that wish amounts to anti-Semitism.
In fact, creating a state
that would give preferential treatment to Jews over others, including over the
indigenous Palestinian people, was a minority opinion among Jews around the
world before Israel was established.
Since the state’s founding
in 1948, admittedly, Jews who support a territory of their own in Palestine
have grown in number and proportion.
Still, no right of
self-determination could ever supercede the right to equal treatment of every
other person living on the land. Why should support for Israel – even if such
support was unanimous among Jewry around the world – absolve Israel of racism
at its core? 
At the time of Israel’s
creation, its founding fathers drove out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,
and did not permit them to return when hostilities had ended. They refuse a
right of return to this day. In the seven decades that followed, there was only
a single year in which Israel did not control the Palestinian masses that
remained by military occupation.
Palestinians now make up a
majority of the population in all the territories Israel controls, but only a
quarter of those people are accorded citizenship, and even they are subject to
discrimination by at least 66 state laws.
1,000 villages
 and towns in Israel – more than three-quarters
of the total – do not permit non-Jews to live within them.
To ensure that Israel’s High
Court cannot quash any of these laws that discriminate against non-Jews, the
Netanyahu government is now advancing new
 which would sanctify the superior status of Jews in
These and many more
travesties of justice are not bugs of the Jewish state; they are features of
it. Where then are the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination, after
the State of Israel has systematically eliminated them?
hatred against Palestinians and others

In recent years, though, the
elected and appointed leaders of Israeli Jews have incited
 against Palestinians, African refugees, non-Jews in
general, even against Israeli Jews who are not sufficiently nationalist in
their eyes.
It gives me no pleasure to
write this, but it must be clearly stated for the record: of late, top Israeli
political and religious leaders have even incited genocide against the
Palestinian people. Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef ruled in March that non-Jewish
people, including Palestinians, have no right
to live in the country
Justice Minister Ayelet
Shaked said in May 2015 that all
Palestinian people
, including mothers and babies, are enemies who
must be destroyed.
Most worrisome, this racist
rhetoric is increasingly influencing the Israeli public, shifting it further
and further to the far right. What human rights horrors could this lead to, if
left unchecked?
In May 2014, Israel’s most
highly respected author, Amos Oz, used a variation on the N-word to describe
the country’s Jewish supremacists. “We also have Hebrew neo-Nazi groups,” Oz said.
There is nothing the modern-day neo-Nazis in Europe do that those groups don’t
do here.”
Baby  Ali Dawabsheh was burnt alive with his parents and his surviving brother when his home was firebombed by neo-Nazi settlers – at the trial this month of the perpetrators, his supporters turned up to taunt his grandfather ‘Ali is dead, Ali is on the grill’ – the Police chose not to intervene
Just weeks later, some of
those neo-Nazis kidnapped Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian teenager in
Jerusalem, beat him, forced gasoline down his throat, and burned him to death
from the inside out. In July 2015, another group of Hebrew neo-Nazis firebombed
a Palestinian home in the West Bank, murdering the Dawabsheh family’s father,
mother and one-year-old baby.
In recent weeks, I
accompanied the baby’s grandfather to court to support him in his quest for
justice. Meanwhile, my fellow deputy speaker of the Knesset, Bezalel Smotrich,
accompanied to court the young Israeli men on trial for committing the murders.
Khan al Ahmar where Israeli soldiers are grapping with residents whose homes they are intending to demolish
Two years ago on Yom HaShoah
– Holocaust Remembrance Day itself – the Israeli army’s deputy chief of
staff, Major
General Yair Golan
, told a group of assembled soldiers: “If
there’s something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance, it’s the
recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and
particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs
of them here among us today in 2016.”
Golan’s harsh observations
were not divorced from reality, but rather, reflected it accurately. A Pew poll published
just two months earlier found that four-fifths of Israeli Jews want the state
to accord them more legal rights than Palestinian citizens of Israel, and half
– half! – of Israeli Jews want to strip non-Jews of their citizenship, and to
outright deport them.
free speech ensures racism continues

This state of affairs is
nothing to be happy about; like other public figures, I regret to inform you of
it. But I am left with no choice: unless you are made aware of these
frightening facts, there is no chance that these trends can be curbed, and
reversed, so that ultimately, everyone living in the land can enjoy the equal
rights they are entitled to, Jew and Gentile, Israeli and Palestinian.
The Labour Party’s new
statement, which slams anti-Semitism but defends criticism of Israel, is a huge
improvement over the anti-Palestinian policy that preceded it, and should be
praised as such.
Attempts by the Labour Party
or any other body to stifle free speech about Israeli racism will only ensure
that the racism continues and increases unabated.
Ahmad Tibi is the most senior Arab MK, having served since
1999. He is one of the founders of the Arab Movement for Renewal (Hatenua
Ha’Aravit le Hithadshut, or Ta’al) and a member of the Joint List (Hadash,
Ra’am, Balad, Ta’al). In 1993, after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Yasser
Arafat, then-chairman of the Palestinian Authority, appointed Tibi as his
special adviser. Since his election to the Knesset, Ahmad Tibi has managed to
pass 12 laws, most of which focus on social, economic and consumer issues. In
2010, Tibi gave a speech about the Holocaust, which then-Speaker Reuven Rivlin
called “the finest speech ever given in the history of the Knesset”.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily
reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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Tony Greenstein

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