Tony Greenstein | 02 September 2021 | Post Views:

PART 2: The Union of Jewish Students Portrays Itself as the Voice of Jewish Students – It isn’t – It is the Voice of the Israeli State on British Campuses

For 40 Years UJS has been Weaponising Anti-Semitism & Harassing Anti-Zionist Jews – now it’s turning its attention to Anti-Zionist Academics

In my blog on Bristol University’s use of a kangaroo court to effect the dismissal of Professor David Miller by using the vitriolic attacks of the British Establishment, I pointed to the role played by UJS. UJS portrays itself as a cuddly organisation whose sole concern is the ‘safety’ of ‘vulnerable’ Jewish students who are ‘upset’ by lecturers who hold anti-Zionist views.

This is the image as portrayed by the British press and the BBC. However the reality is entirely different. What is never mentioned is that UJS’s constitution specifically commits it to ‘inspiring’ Jewish students ‘to make an enduring commitment to their Jewish identity, Israel, and the community.’

UJS is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation via the World Union of Jewish Students. The WZO is a funder and co-ordinator of the settlements in the West Bank. It has a ‘land theft division’. Of this UJS says nothing.

If Jewish students in Britain were subject to the persecution that Palestinian students face on the West Bank, including arrests on campus, beatings and torture, then they would have just cause to complain of anti-Semitism. As it is we should treat members of UJS for what they are – spoilt White racists.

Al Jazeera’s documentary ‘The Lobby’ showed how Adam Schapira, a candidate for the Presidency of UJS openly admitted that UJS was funded by the Israeli Embassy.

The campaign against David Miller has been waged on behalf of the Israeli state. That is why a raft of MPs, none of whom have ever had the slightest concern about racism, like Ian Paisley, signed a letter to Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady, demanding the dismissal of David Miller.

I understand from sources at Bristol University that the panel which will be hearing his case is nothing more than a formality. That a consensus has already been formed that in order to relieve the pressure on the university, Miller must go.

Among the racist signatories to the letter are Baroness Cox and Bob Blackman, Tory MP for Harrow East.

Cox is the Queen of anti-Islamic bigots. In February 2009, Cox and UKIP peer Lord Pearson invited the fascist leader of the Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders, who supports banning the Islamic religion outright, to show the anti-Islam film Fitna at the House of Lords. Wilders was banned from entering Britain.Cox accused the Government of appeasing militant Islam.

In 2010 Cox and Pearson hosted Wilders and his film with 200 members of the fascist EDL marching in support of the screening. Cox said in a speech in Israel that “Islam is using the freedoms of democracy to destroy it”

Cox is prominent in the Henry Jackson Society and is a director of the far-Right Gatestone Institute which hosts her writings online. In 2007, she told the Jerusalem Summit, of which she has been co-president since 2005, that “Britain has been deeply infiltrated” by Islamist extremists, who have converted the country into “a base for training and teaching militant Islam”. She added that “Britain’s cultural and spiritual heritage are under threat.”

Cox also told the Jerusalem Post she was concerned about “the disturbing alliance between the Islamists and the Left in the UK,

According to Craig Murray, Cox is “a prominent supporter of organisations which actively and openly promote the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians from Gaza.’

Bob Blackman MP is the most racist member of the House of Commons. And this is a hotly contested title. MP for Harrow East, Blackman was accused of Islamophobia after posting an anti-Muslim article on Facebook for which he subsequently apologised. Blackman had shared a story: “Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children ‘part of their culture’.”

Blackman had previously retweeted an anti-Muslim post by Tommy Robinson. Vice revealed that Blackman had been a member of several far-right Islamophobic Facebook groups such as “Britain for the British”, “For Britain Political Party” and “Pendragons Fight Back”.

“Britain for the British” is administered by BNP supporter Steven Devlin. It features numerous pro-Hitler comments and others which wish violence upon London Mayor Sadiq Khan, accusing him of being an “Islamofascist” and “traitor“, and hoping that he dies.

Blackman is also a patron of the racist far-right Zionist group the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Blackman is a supporter of the BJP Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. When the Conservative Friends of Kashmir began, Blackman urged Boris Johnson not to recognise them.

When the BJP declared martial law and occupied Kashmir, Blackman wrote to Johnson describing it as an ‘excellent decision’. It would, he said allow the Kashmiri people ‘to enjoy the benefits of being part of India.’ Strangely enough the people of Kashmir weren’t so appreciative!

Blackman also hosted Hindu racist Tapan Ghosh in the Commons. Ghosh called for the UN to control the birth rate of Muslims, praised the genocide of Rohingya Muslims and said that Muslims should be forced to leave their religion if they come to a western country.

The Milli Gazette described Blackman as a ‘rabidly pro-Hindutva Tory MP’. Untouchables in India are treated as sub-human yet Blackman sought to remove protection against caste discrimination in the Equality Act. Blackman succeeded in this.

Blackman also opposes ‘Hinduphobia’. Anyone who challenges caste discrimination or supports Kashmiri self-determination is a ‘Hinduphobe’. They have taken a leaf out of the Zionists’ book.

Baroness Cox – a bigot for all seasons

TheyWorkForYou described how Blackman almost always voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.

Ø On 18 Jul 2019: Blackman voted not to legalise abortion under any circumstances in Northern Ireland.

Ø On 9 Jul 2019: Blackman voted not to permit same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Ø On 26 May 2016: Blackman voted to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998.

Ø On 16 Apr 2013: Blackman voted against making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste

In Bob on caste as a protected characteristic Blackman revealed how

‘MPs received a written ministerial statement making it clear that this protected characteristic is going to be removed from the Equality Act. Bob urged the Minister to bring forward, without delay, proposals to remove this unnecessary, ill-thought-out and divisive move in the Equality Act 2010.’

Sunny Hundal of the Hindustan Times ‏tweetedAstonishing. Tory MP in London playing Hindu divide-and-rule caste politics with leaflets for Hindus. Nasty”. See Blackman not supported!

These are some of the supporters of dismissing David Miller at Bristol University. But what of the Union of Jewish Students?

The Experiences of Emma Clyne, Chair of SOAS J-Soc

Emma become Chair of the Jewish society at SOAS in 2006-7 despite not being a Zionist. Emma described the ‘intense pressure’ from UJS:

Before she became the chair of the SOAS Jewish Society, she had found it was like an Israel Society…. She took over the chair on condition that there was to be a clear distinction between the Jewish Society and the Israel Society. This led to a furious reaction from UJS which told her: “That’s not what the Jewish Society does. You can’t separate Israeli politics from Jewish identity. It is all the same.”

The antagonism reached a peak after she went to the launch of Independent Jewish Voices in 2007 and found the speakers “honest articulate and inspirational.” When she invited some of the speakers [like Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC] to a meeting at SOAS to discuss “the impact of nationalism on Jewish identity” the pressure on her increased, and she was told that UJS and the Israeli Embassy were very concerned about the meeting.

I described in an article for the Guardian’s Comment is Free [before Jonathan Freedland banned anti-Zionists] what happened next:

According to… Emma Clyne, posters for a meeting the society put on were repeatedly torn down. Ms Clyne told a meeting of Independent Jewish Voices on May 15 that she had to put new ones up every day.

A clue as to the reason for its silence might lie in an article in the Jewish Chronicle of April 27 (“Students in censorship row over IJV debate”).

The then Chair of UJS, Mitch Simmons, made clear “It is the view of the UJS that certain views are not acceptable under free speech.” This is what UJS really stand for. My own experiences were similar.

Despite having been Vice-President of Brighton Polytechnic Student Union for 2 years, on the National Union of Students Polytechnics Committee, also for 2 years and a delegate to NUS Conference 13 times, UJS tried to ban me from campuses.  Why?  Because I was anti-Semitic! 

Some of the delightful material I was regularly sent

No matter that I was a founder member of Brighton & Hove Anti-fascist Committee, Secretary of Brighton Anti-Nazi League from 1979-1982, on the Executive of Anti-Fascist Action from 1986 onwards and the victim of a number of attacks by fascists (some of whom were convicted of assault), that I received regular death threats from fascists including making a guest appearance on Red Watch, a neo-Nazi site which prints details of anti-fascists in order that they can be attacked.  

I am even the author of the only book on the Fight Against Fascism in Brighton and the South Coast. According to UJS I am anti-Semitic! This is from people who have never lifted a finger to fight fascism.

Meeting at the LSE 5 November 1986

Throughout the Lebanon invasion and its aftermath I spoke up and down the country at Student Union Union General Meetings and on campuses. UJS never failed to try to get me banned! Being Jewish most people cottoned on to what they were trying to do and they failed without exception.

But it was at the London School of Economics in 1986 that UJSs tactics came unstuck. I had been invited to speak to a meeting of the Palestine society and sure enough, the well oiled-machinery of UJS sprang into action.

I was portrayed as a racist and anti-Semite. Why? Because the then NUS President David Aaronovitch, who is currently the pro-war neo-liberal columnist for The Times but who was then in the Communist Party (although equally right-wing!) had banned me from NUS Conference.

Naturally the LSE J-Soc expected everyone to take their word for it that I was what they said I was. The problem was that the local Labour society decided to investigate for themselves and quickly found out that UJS were not telling the truth. Comrades in Anti-Fascist Action such as Unmesh Desai, (who is now a right-wing Blairite on the Greater Labour Assembly but was then a socialist), testified that I was anything but a fascist. So too did friends at the Institute of Race Relations and in other campaigns.

The result was that the Labour Club printed a leaflet which gave both sides of the story which was the last thing UJS and LSE J-Soc wanted. UJS often forgets that this is not Israel. There is still, at least the remnants of free speech in Britain. There is no such thing as a ‘gag order’ or censorship in Britain unlike Israel.

As an anti-fascist organiser I was subject to a number of physical attacks – whereas UJS spend most of their time defending Israeli fascists

I was grateful for what UJS did, both at the LSE and on other campuses, because they helped to build my meetings! Instead of 20+ people over 100 people crowded into the lecture theatre where I was speaking. The Zionists were shown up for the liars they were.  What was their reaction? Judging by the letters in the Beaver of 10.11.86. extremely angry. [See the Report]

James Paget described how a friend of his was accosted by 5-6 Zionists: ‘When he turned around he was greeted with a viciousness I have rarely seen.’ When Paget defended him he too was labelled a fascist. Paget described how his friend

Has been a supporter of anti-fascist organisations since he was 16 and he has been a strong and fervent activist against all forms of racism. To accuse someone who has fought so clearly and consistently against racism of being a racist naturally causes great distress and I can only describe it as disgusting. My friend was apparently abused because he was involved in the Labour Club’s examination of the Tony Greenstein affair.’

The Labour Club Executive itself issued a statement on this affair and it is worth reprinting in its entirety because it casts a light, not only on what is happening in Bristol with the attack on David Miller but the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations which played such a pivotal part in undermining Jeremy Corbyn.

Dear Editor,

Regarding the Friends of Palestine meeting with Tony Greenstein the Labour Club was approached by several members of the UJS. We contacted several national organisations for information about Tony Greenstein and as a result produced a leaflet with the two contradictory accounts of his views and activities. We distributed this outside of the meeting where a speech was made condemning the Labour Club for being racist and anti-Semitic. The members who heard this left in a distressed state after the insults and the ruthless accusations.

One of the Labour Club members who had left earlier was approached in Houghton St. by several members of the UJS who proceeded to insult him publicly, calling him a racist, anti-Semitic, fascist. He was deeply distressed and grossly insulted as he has been involved in anti-fascist groups for nearly 10 years.

We are firmly opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. We utterly condemn this slanderous public intimidation of members of our club.

The LSE Labour Club Executive

What happened at the LSE is standard tactic of the UJS. If you don’t agree with them then you too are a racist. It is an example of racists calling anti-racists ‘racist’. I was often called a racist by members of the National Front who said I and my comrades were ‘anti-White’. There is nothing new in this form of abuse and people should stopped falling for this. They wouldn’t have done so when it came to Apartheid in South Africa and they shouldn’t because supporters of Israeli Apartheid are Jewish. They trade on the memory of the Holocaust.

Tony Greenstein

See Guardian Comment is Free Vetting in Practice

OPEN LETTER TO CAROLINE LUCAS MP – Why Have You Signed a Parliamentary Letter Attacking Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech in Support of Apartheid Israel?

The alliance between Israel, Zionism and Hindu Nationalism is based on a shared belief in ethnic cleansing and ethno-nationalism  and UK: Corbyn, the Hindu far-right and Israel’s partisans

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Tony Greenstein

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