Tony Greenstein | 25 March 2020 | Post Views:

Open Letter to Jennie Formby – Who Would Have Imagined that You Would Prove to be Worse than Iain McNicol?

Disqualifying Candidates to Prevent them being Elected is not exactly new –this is how the Tyrant of Egypt, ‘President’ Sisi, was ‘Elected’

Dear Jennie,

I realise that you are unlikely to be General Secretary for much longer. However, given that you are doing your best to prepare the ground for a renewed and intensified witch-hunt of socialists, all under the pretext of combating a non-existent ‘anti-Semitism’ for which there is no evidence, I thought I might be of some help, since you appear to be suffering from a touch of the Lansmans.

When we held a demonstration outside Labour Party Conference in 2017 calling for Iain McNicol to go, little did we imagine that one day we might recall the bumbling old rogue with something approaching affection.

Even Israel’s claim to be a ‘Jewish democracy’ is a lie

Even though machiavellian McNicol did his best to prevent Corbyn standing for leader, even he didn’t try to prevent candidates winning an election once they were nominated, by the ruse of suspending them for the ‘crime’ of standing. That really is an innovation.

Jennie Formby’s model of an election candidate – Egypt’s President Sisi who presides over a regime where torture and disappearances are the norm – 

You are not however the first to have thought of it. Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the democratically elected President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi, beat you to it. In the 2018 elections Sisi managed to intimidate, harass, deport and disqualify 6 candidates for President before eventually choosing his opponent. Unsurprisingly Sisi obtained a 97% vote.

Although you also suspended 6 candidates you were forced to reinstate Jo Bird. No doubt the allegation was ‘anti-Semitism’, because in Labour’s Alice-in-Wonderland, Jews are the worst anti-Semites.

At the risk of being accused of ‘anti-Semitism’ I must point out that even Hitler didn’t disqualify candidates in the March 1933 elections.

Comparisons with Nazis – Can Something Be True & anti-semitic?

I realise that comparisons with the Nazis are ‘anti-Semitic’ even if they are true. I also understand why Zionists don’t like to be reminded of their past history but what I find difficult to accept is that something can be true and anti-Semitic.

I realise that you weren’t appointed for your intellectual prowess but surely even you should understand that whole point about anti-Semitism was that it wasn’t true. Yet by saying ‘anti-Semitism’ is what offends Jews (i.e. they mean Zionists of course) rather than what is untrue about Jews you are legitimising anti-Semitism?  This is where the fake ‘anti-Semitism’  campaign and the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism has ended up.

If something offends Jews it is now held to be anti-Semitic, regardless of whether it is true (Jews always mean Jewish Zionists). Is something that offends Muslims also Islamaphobic? So those of us who opposed the fatwa on Salman Rushdie and Satanic Verses were, according to your ‘logic’, Islamaphobic?

According to the venerable Chakrabarti Report

it is always incendiary to compare the actions of Jewish people or institutions anywhere in the world to those of Hitler or the Nazis

Perhaps you could tell me whether or not Professor Ze’ev Sternhell is anti-Semitic for writing about a ‘Growing Fascism and a Racism Akin to Early Nazism’ in Israel?

Sternhell incidentally was a child survivor of a Nazi ghetto in Poland as well as being a world authority on fascism. But why should that stop him from being an anti-Semite? Was Dr Ofer Cassif, a lecturer at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and a member of the Knesset also anti-Semitic when he said that “those who refuse to see the similarities between what is happening in Israel, specifically in the past two years, and Germany in the 1930s, has a problem…’

Certainly Professor Daniel Blatman, the Chief Historian at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum and a researcher into the Holocaust is anti-Semitic. He described Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Propaganda Museum as having

functioned as a hard-working laundromat, striving to bleach out the sins of every anti-Semitic, fascist, racist or simply murderously thuggish leader or politician like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.

Blatman was referring to Hitler worshippers like Duterte.

Unfortunately neither Blatman, Casif or Sternhell are members of the Labour Party so you can’t expel them! They are however amongst a minority of Israelis prepared to speak out against the vitriolic racism of a country whose own Prime Minister openly states that it is a state of its Jewish citizens not all its people.

When Israelis speak out about Israel’s Nazi-style racism e.g. official opposition to miscegenation, what does that say about the abject cowardice of people like yourself who bow their head to Britain’s Zionist lobbies?

Amongst those you have suspended is Mehmood Mirza, the leading candidate for the BAME position on the NEC with 75 nominations. His ‘offence’ according to the Daily Telegraph was‘sharing a cartoon which “depicted a sticker with the words “anti-Semitism” being placed across the mouth of a man who has a “free Palestine” band around his head….”

In the light of the vicious campaign by the Board of Deputies and Jewish Labour Movement against Show Racism the Red Card to destroy its funding if it continued to have Ken Loach and Mike Rosen as judges in a competition, your decision demonstrates that your decision is both racist and based on a lie.

That Zionist groups could threaten the existence of an anti-racist charity in order to attack critics of Israel shows exactly what their agenda is. Neither the Board or the JLM has ever shown the slightest interest in opposing Tommy Robinson or fascist groups in Britain.

Since you are not the sharpest tool in the box let me put it more bluntly. There isn’t a single Palestine solidarity activist in this country who hasn’t been accused of anti-Semitism. ‘Anti-Semitism’ is the first resort of those who find it difficult to defend torturing children.

Even mention of the Israel lobby is now anti-Semitic! One of the most active members of that lobby is Luke Akehurst, Director of We believe in Israel’, an offshoot of another Israel lobby group BICOM.

I’ve asked you this before and I understand your reticence to provide an answer. Why, when Akehurst justified the murder of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, including over 70 children, has he not been expelled?  

Why when Labour Friends of Israel justified Israel mowing down children and medics were they allowed to book a stall at Labour’s conference?

If someone had justified the murder of 70 Jewish children would they still be in the Labour Party?  Why the double standards?

And speaking of double standards why has Luke Stanger, who is suspended, not part of the fast-track expulsions? Apart from his habitual harassment of women he posted a tweet describing Travellers as a ‘nasty blight’. What if ‘Jews’ had been so described?

The Chilsons

Dr Tali and Cyril Chilson are an ex-Israeli couple, academics in Oxford. Both their parents were in Nazi concentration camps. Both are anti-Zionist, as were the majority of those who died in the Holocaust. Only in your Orwellian world can they be accused of anti-Semitism.

Tali resigned after 11 years membership of the Labour Party after accusations of anti-Semitism by your moronic minions. Tali wrote:

I am not clear as to how the daughter of a Jewish family who was born and raised in Israel, can be at all ‘Anti-Semitic’. The Labour Party is bringing itself into disrepute by persecuting its most loyal members.

The accusations were based on 7 year old tweets. I thought Chakrabarti had outlawed this behaviour? Tali, who specialises in Jewish studies, went on to say that

‘I am certainly better placed than my anonymous accusers to recognise authentic Antisemitism wherever it raises its ugly head.

Labour’s McCarthyists aren’t interested in genuine anti-Semitism but in defending Israel, the worlds most racist state.  That was why Lansman and friends pushed for the IHRA which at a stroke redefined anti-racism as ‘anti-Semitism’ whilst exonerating genuine anti-Semites.

I don’t know whether you’ve ever felt shame but anyone who calls themselves a socialist, should be ashamed reading Tali’s letter and the fact that she has been forced into resigning by your racist underlings.

Graham Durham and the Chief Rabbi

One of the candidates you suspended, Graham Durham, wrote:

I began fighting racism and fascism on the streets of Manningham in Bradford, Corby, and Leeds in the 1970s when the National Front could mobilise thousands. I travelled overnight several times to support Jayaben Desai and the Grunwick strike. I have campaigned for justice for Stephen Lawrence and against excessive police force against Black people, particularly the shooting of Mark Duggan. Most recently, I attended and spoke at a local rally near my home alongside rabbis when antisemitic daubing was smeared on local bus stops. I have visited both Israel and Palestine, twice meeting elected Israeli Jewish politicians as well as Palestinians. I have also visited Auschwitz and Jewish remembrance events in Berlin and Jerusalem.

Tuvia Tenenom – during a sickening lecture when he described Palestinians as overfed and living in luxury – Formby bases Pete Willsman’s suspension on his sting operation

This is similar to my own political biography yet, like so many other anti-racists, Durham was suspended in order to appease the Trump supporting Tories of the Board of Deputies. Speaking of which, isn’t it about time you reinstated Pete Willsman who was subject to a sting operation by a Zionist ‘journalist’ Tuvia Tenenbom. I suggest you watch the video of this disgusting fascist in which he says that the only suffering Palestinians experience is having too much to eat.

Graham’s offence was calling Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, a Tory! I’m not sure why this is anti-Semitic even were it untrue. Mirvis, who became a Zionist in apartheid South Africa, trained as a rabbi at Har Etzion yeshivah in the settlement of Alon Shvut, built on stolen land. Mirvis took part on Jerusalem Day 2017 in the March of the Flags in which thousands of settler youth rampage through the Arab quarter chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’ and similar slogans. 

George Wilmers was fingered for having declared that the “JLM were a front for Israel.” I suggest you visit their website where you will read that the JLM ‘organise within the World Zionist Organisation alongside our sister party … the Israeli Labor Party.’ Once again it seems that something can be true and anti-Semitic. It is also affiliated to the WZO, which has a ‘Department for Land Theft’.

Guatemala’s genocidal dictator, Rios Montt, who was responsible for the murder of 200,000 Indians – all with Israel’s help and training

How is it that anti-racists and anti-fascists are being suspended and expelled at the behest of supporters of a state that was best friends of Apartheid South Africa, supplied weapons to Pinochet, trained and equipped the Guatemalan Junta whilst it committed genocide, murdering 200,000 Mayan Indians. Today is best friends to Hungary’s Orban and Brazil’s Bolsonaro and is arming the Burmese Junta? To mention nothing of its support for India’s Narendra Modi. These are the people you are defending.

Imagine that supporters of South Africa in the 1970’s had been able to expel opponents of Apartheid? That is the situation in the Labour Party today. 

Apparently it is ‘anti-Semitic’ to call Israel and its foundation ‘racist’ but the evidence that it is is overwhelming. When the Knesset approved legislation that made it legal to bar Israeli Palestinians access to 93% of Israel’s ‘Jewish’ land, Ha’aretz’s editorial was A racist Jewish state. Presumably Israel’s Ha’aretz is also anti-Semitic?

The Knesset passed the Reception Committees Bill which allows Jewish communities to bar Arabs from living amongst them. Imagine the British parliament giving non-Jews the right not to have to live with Jews. Anti-Semitic? Not according to you and your racist friends.

The sad fact is that if British Jews experienced one-tenth of the racism that Palestinians experience then the accusation of anti-Semitism would indeed be justified.

Pauline Hammerton

I realise this is a sensitive subject for you but the death of Pauline Hammerton, Chair of Manchester Socialist Health Association, an 80 year old activist cannot be ignored or brushed under the carpet. Pauline was suspended on 4th February. She was dead by the 14th February. In her last tweet she wrote, in shock and anguish, that

I’ve been expelled from the Labour Party for retweeeting tweets critical of Israel and supportive of Palestinians and reposting similar FB posts. I can’t appeal for 5 years by which time I’ll probably be dead.’

Mike Sivier wrote

It seems she had been unaware that the party had been planning to expel her, and was left distraught by the decision… It is believed that the shock triggered a haemorrhage that killed her.

Despite her long service to the Labour movement Pauline was one of 25 people expelled in one day under the fast track procedures. Procedures which Labour Party conference was told would only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Your treatment of Pauline was shocking. At no time did your witch hunters attempt to personally contact her. Instead the letter of suspension contains a phone number which isn’t even staffed by the Labour Party. At the behest of the Israeli state your functionaries were party to causing distress to an elderly woman whose only crime was supporting the Palestinians.

It is a reasonable assumption that the shock of being expelled caused or contributed to her death. You and your staff are personally responsible for the distress that Pauline suffered and the tragedy that occurred however much you might try to wriggle.

The Election

The idea that the press and the BBC are concerned with ‘anti-Semitism’ is a fantasy yet you have continually appeased the Tory press who are apparently upset about  anti-Jewish racism. It was your attempt to appease them which led to Labour’s election defeat.

You and Seamus Milne didn’t even bother to brief Jeremy Corbyn when he was interviewed by Andrew Neil. When Neil challenged Corbyn to apologise for Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ all he needed to have said was that he had nothing to apologise for.

Corbyn could then have told Neil he wasn’t going to take lectures on anti-Semitism from someone who hired David Irving, a holocaust denier, to examine the Goebbels Diaries when he was Sunday Times Editor. If pressed he could have mentioned that the Spectator, whose Board Neil chairs, has employed Panagiotis Theodoracopulos, an open anti-Semite who subscribes to the blood libel myth. Instead Corbyn was led like a lamb to slaughter.


One of the ironies of the ‘anti-Semitism’ witch-hunt is that denial of the accusation is proof of one’s guilt! Just as during the Salem Witchhunt, denial of being a witch was proof that you were a witch. In the empty words of Rebecca Long Bailey, if accused of anti-Semitism

The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement”

Far-right Zionist organisation, the Simon Wiesenthall Centre in Los Angeles, named Corbyn the No. 1 ‘antisemite’ – presumably there are no neo-Nazis left in the world!

Presumably since Jeremy Corbyn has been named as the world’s No. 1 anti-Semite by a Zionist organisation then it is ‘anti-Semitic’ if Corbyn denies the allegation?!! Such is the absurdity of the position that you have got into.

The fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign is  based on the idea that all Jews are Zionists, itself anti-Semitic. The BOD who demanded the heads of Labour’s Palestinian supporters are the same people who held hands with anti-Semites such as Steve Bannon, Trump’s former advisor, who didn’t want his kids going to school with ‘whiny’ Jewish brats. Which didn’t stop him being the guest of honour at the Zionist Organisation of America’s gala dinner.

Or we could mention the neo-Nazi founder of America’s alt-Right Richard Spencer, who declares himself a White Zionist. Another admirer of Zionism, is India’s Prime Minister, who as Chief Minister of Gujarat, instigated pogroms estimated to have killed over 2,000 Muslims. Israel is the model ethno-nationalist state for White Supremacists the world over – from Tommy Robinson to Donald Trump. 

Ever since its formation Zionism and Anti-Semitism have been Siamese twins. Both agree that Jews don’t belong in non-Jewish society. When you retire in a few months you will be able to look back and see how you have paved the way for the Right. You devoted your time as General Secretary of the Labour Party to attacking anti-racists.

Let me quote the great Black American novelist, poet and activist, James Baldwin:

“But the state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of the Western interests.

Israel is no more Jewish than the Ulster statelet is Protestant. It is Jewish only in so far as Jews are racially privileged.

I have not mentioned the racists that you have covered for Jennie. John Mann, who wrote a pamphlet on Anti-Social Behaviour that labelled Gypsies, just as the Nazis did, as an asocial element.

Or Tom Watson who ‘lost sleep’ thinking about ‘poor Phil’ Woolas, the racist Labour MP who the High Court removed from Parliament after having run an election campaign based on ‘making the White folk angry.’ Or Margaret Hodge, who covered for child abuse as Leader of Islington Council and then libelled one of the victims.

I leave you with an excellent letter from Natalie Strecker, a Palestine solidarity activist who referred herself to your witch-hunting friends, as she is obviously guilty according to your medieval theology.

Yours as ever,

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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