Tony Greenstein | 25 June 2017 | Post Views:

MPs sign John Mann’s EDM defining support for the Palestinians as ‘anti-Semitism’
The SNP’s new flag
When I first went youth hostelling in the Scottish
Highlands I got talking to a man in my dorm who was wearing a kilt.  I asked him if he was a supporter of the
Scottish National Party.  ‘Och no’ he replied.  ‘They’re
a bunch of Tartan Tories.’  
I mention this because today the SNP tries to give
the impression that it is a progressive, left-wing nationalist party, which is
opposed to all things Tory.  In 2015 it
attacked the Labour Party in the General Election and the execrable Blairite
leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, as ‘red Tories’
Angus Robertson, the defeated leader of the SNP in London, was a strong supporter of Israel and the new IHRA
You would therefore expect a party that represents
what, in their eyes, is an oppressed nation, the Scottish, to sympathise with
and support the Palestinians.  It’s a no
brainer.  Just as Sinn Fein, the Irish
nationalist party which represents the Catholics of Northern Ireland, have always
supported the Palestinians and opposed Zionism. 

Hungary’s Admiral Horthy with Hitler.  Horthy presided over the deportation of 437,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1944.  Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister a strong supporter of the IHRA and Israel, is leading the campaign to rehabilitate Horthy as a nationalist symbol of Hungary’s fascist past

As Ronald Storrs, the first Military Governor of Jerusalem
wrote in his autobiography, Orientations, ‘A Jewish
State will be for England a little, loyal Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile
Alex Salmond managed to combine verbal support for the Palestinians with backing Zionist Apartheid – a consummate bourgeois politician
is therefore curious that the SNP gives every appearance, apart from the odd
photo opportunity, of signing up to support Zionism and the Israeli state one
hundred per cent.  In January John Mann
MP, a rent a mouth thuggish Blairite who is fiercely hostile to Corbyn put down
an Early Day Motion in support of the International Holocaust Remembrance
Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. 
Wes Streeting another anti-Corbyn Labour MP who just loves the IHRA definition of ‘anti-semitism’
IHRA definition of anti-Semitism consists of over 420 words and has a
deliberately ambiguous and deceptive introduction which relies on 11 ‘examples’
of what anti-Semitism might be.   There is of course a very simple definition drawn up by a
Fellow of Oxford University and a Jewish academic, Dr Brian Klug.  It is
21 words, doesn’t mention Israel.

is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something
other than what they are.’

The only problem with Klug’s definition is that it doesn’t mention Israel!
Another signatory to Mann’s EDM is the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, expenses champion Joan Ryan.  She made it clear at the General Election that she prefers Theresa May to Corbyn
Despite calling itself a ‘non-legal’
definition the IHRA is increasingly being used to shut down anti-Zionist and
anti-Israel Apartheid events, to ban speakers and to infringe on free speech.
are two very excellent analyses of the IHRA and its deficiencies by Hugh Tomlinson QC and
by former Court of Appeal Judge Sir Stephen Sedley, who is himself Jewish.  Sedley wrote an article Defining
in May’s London Review of Books on the IHRA.  It is well worth reading.  Sedley’s opening paragraph sums up our
criticisms very well:
Ruth Smeeth the Blairite MP who disrupted the Chakrabarti press conference last year, portraying herself as a victim of ‘anti-semitism’
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 conflation
It is therefore bizarre that the SNP, which
purports to be a progressive party should be allying itself with the DUP, the
most bigoted, racist, homophobic and chauvinist party in the House of Commons.  Of the 59 
MPs who signed John Mann’s January 2017 EDM, 10 were from the SNP and 5
from the DUP.  They included Angus
Robertson, who sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee which originally
endorsed the IHRA last October and Alex Salmond, who has made a career speaking
out of both sides of his mouth.
Arlene Foster – the SNP’s new Loyalist friend – hates gays, abortion and Catholics but just loves Israel and Zionism
John Mann reissued another EDM on 21st June
in support of the IHRA.  It has already
garnered 5 signatures .  Apart from Mann
himself and uber Blairite Wes Streeting, there is Jim Shannon of the DUP and
Christopher Stephens of the SNP. 
A short sample of Joan Ryan’s expenses list
There have been repeated attempts to prosecute
Scottish Palestine solidarity activists for the crime of racially aggravated
hate.  In April 2010 5 activists were
cleared by Sheriff James Scott [Activists
who heckled Israeli quartet cleared of racism charge
] who said on that
“If persons on a march designed to protest
against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are
afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated
behaviour, that would render worthless their Article 10 rights,” he said
In August 2016 an Aberdeen Palestine solidarity
supporter, Alister Coutts, was prosecuted
for shouting ‘Viva Palestina’.  All the
cases so far have led to acquittals but there is another case which is pending.  In Scotland, which has its own legal system,
justice is a devolved matter.  It is the
SNP who are in essence presiding over this legal witch hunt of Palestine supporters.
It would
seem that when you scratch the SNP what you find is the old Tartan Tories.  Perhaps that is why in the last election,
Scottish voters decided to vote for the genuine article in 13 constituencies?
Below is an open letter I wrote to the SNP MPs.
Tony Greenstein

John Mann haranguing Ken Livingstone last year for telling the truth that the Nazis supported Zionism up and until they started deporting Jews in 1941

Dear Member of Parliament,
In January 2017, John Mann put down an Early Day
in support of the International Holocaust Remembrance
Alliance definition of ‘anti-semitism.  Today he is touting for signatures
to a new EDM supporting
the IHRA. I am asking you, as a Jewish supporter of the Palestinians not
to sign it and I hope that Christopher Stephens will withdraw his signature.
Out of the 59 signatures who signed last time
around, 10 of them were from the SNP.  Another 5 were from those dedicated
opponents of racism, the Democratic Unionist Party.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the SNP
today considers itself a progressive if not left nationalist party as opposed
to the Tartan Tories of old?  Why then are you getting into bed with the bigots
of the DUP and Blairite MPs like John Mann, Wes Streeting, Ruth Smeeth, Stephen
Twigg, and of course the saintly Keith Vaz?  To say nothing of Joan Ryan,
Blairite Chair of Labour Friends of Israel who holds the record for claiming
parliamentary expenses and Louise Ellman, the Zionist MP who defended the Israeli
military’s incarceration and beating of Palestinian children. 
John Mann is a non-Jewish MP who does very well out
of ‘anti-Semitism’.  Strangely enough he never raises his voice about any
other forms of racism.  Perhaps it’s not as profitable. 
The IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is a mere
420+ words.  It gives 11 examples of ‘anti-Semitism’, 7 of which relate to
Israel, not Jews.  Israel is a state.  You can’t be racist against a
state.  The fact that a state calls itself Jewish doesn’t make it racist
to criticise it anymore than it was racist to criticise Apartheid South Africa which
called itself ‘Christian’.
States based on religion disappeared from Europe with
the French Revolution over 200 years ago. 
In its place the idea of separation of state from religion took
root.  Israel is a throwback to medieval
times.  As a colonial settler state it is
the world’s most racist state. 
There is a very simple definition drawn up by a
Fellow of Oxford University and a Jewish academic, Dr Brian Klug.  It is
21 words, doesn’t mention Israel and is clear and simple.
is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something
other than what they are.’
If you are genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism, the kind
that fascists and holocaust deniers propagate, then you will understand that
conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is immensely helpful to those who really
do hate Jews, because it enables them to hide behind supporters of the Palestinians
and opponents of Israeli Apartheid.  Equating anti-Zionism with
anti-Semitism confuses people as to what anti-Semitism actually is.  It is the ‘boy cried wolf’ syndrome.  Shout ‘anti-Semitism’ everytime Israel is criticised
and eventually people will be unable to discern genuine examples of anti-Semitism.
The IHRA is an alliance of 31 governments including
the racist governments of Poland and Hungary. 
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a strong supporter of both Israel
and the IHRA definition. He is also a well known racist.  Today’s Times of Israel contains an article Jewish groups
critical of Hungarian praise for Hitler ally
.  Orban is currently trying to rehabilitate the
war-time leader of Hungary, Admiral Horthy, who not only allied himself with Hitler
throughout the war, but presided over the deportation to Auschwitz of some
437,000 Hungarian Jews.
Anti-Semites supporting Zionism is
nothing new because both believe that the place of Jews is in Palestine, not
the countries where they live.  That is
why Orban supports the IHRA.  If you are
genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism you will join the University College Union whose
Conference has just come out in opposition to the IHRA and Caroline Lucas, who signed
Mann’s original EDM.  She has changed her
mind and now rejects this bogus definition of anti-Semitism.
Kind regards
Tony Greenstein
my articles on Comment is Free Stop
conflating anti-Zionism and anti-semitism

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Tony Greenstein

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