Tony Greenstein | 09 December 2020 | Post Views:

Solidarity is the Bread and Butter of Socialism – That’s Why I Called Out the Participation of Novara Media in a Celebration of Jewish Radicalism

An Injury to One is an Injury to All – Rivkah Brown’s Attack on Chris Williamson as a ‘Jew Baiter’ Causes Jewish Voice for Labour to Withdraw

It was two days ago that Becky Massey, an expelled comrade in Brighton & Hove Labour Left Alliance sent round a What’s App message about a meeting ‘A Celebration of Jewish Radicalism’ next Tuesday. 

Such meetings are, of course, to be welcomed given that Starmer and his glove puppet Evans operate on the basis that the only Jews that matter are racists, Zionists and reactionaries like themselves. However the description of one of the speakers, Rivkah Brown of Novara Media as ‘radical’ is highly questionable.

Her attack on Chris Williamson as a ‘Jew baiter’ is outrageous. Despite being asked, numerous times, Rivkah has not provided a sliver of proof. If she knew anything about anti-Semitism or racism she would know that the term ‘Jew baiter’ is reserved for those few people who are not merely common and garden anti-Semites but pathological haters of Jews.

The JLM repaid Corbyn by voting no confidence in him!

Chris Williamson was someone that I and other Jewish people were happy to campaign for at the last election. There is nothing he has said that is at all anti-Semitic. This charge by the racist Zionist Board of Deputies is entirely without merit.

It is another example of how the Zionists, in order to defend the Apartheid State of Israel not only demonise their critics but drain all meaning out of the term anti-Semitism. That Rivkah Brown makes this charge, without even a sliver of proof, demonstrates that despite her alleged criticism of Israel as an apartheid state, she is borrowing her vocabulary from the Zionists she purports to oppose.

Given what Chris Williamson has been through and his demonisation at the hands of the right-wing of the Labour Party and the British press, the least he is entitled to is solidarity. The failure of Rivkah Brown and indeed the whole of the Novara Media group to extend any solidarity to Chris is shameful.

Peter Mandelson strangely enough has not been suspended for disagreeing with the EHRC Report Recommendation

It was solidarity or the lack of it from the British working class that led to the defeat of the Miners 35 years ago. It is the lack of solidarity among the Labour Left, epitomized by the role of Jon Lansman and Owen Jones in attacking Jewish socialists, which led to the crushing defeat at last December’s General Election.

There is no need to go into why the issue of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party was always a confected and false narrative that bore no relationship to reality. For those who are interested in the details see my Open Letter to Members of Labour’s National Executive Committee.

When it came to genuine racism Labour’s Right had no problems, it was just ‘antisemitism’

Suffice to say that if the Left had stood up to the suspensions and expulsions from the very start then Jeremy Corbyn could be Prime Minister today. If the false narrative of ‘anti-Semitism’ from a right-wing that has been riddled with racism (including anti-Semitism) for decades had been called out at the start, then the anti-Corbyn campaign could have been halted in its tracks. Labour’s Right even failed to oppose the Immigration Act 2014 which introduced the ‘hostile environment policy which in turn led to the Windrush Scandal.

Let us remember that the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign began with that well known anti-racist paper the Daily Mail, the paper which employed Katie Hopkins of ‘refugees are cockroaches’ fame.

‘Antisemitism is a menace’ is a cliche of Jones and his identity politics – Google how many times he uses it

However the poisonous legacy of identity politics, in which Jews are held to be oppressed just like Black and Muslims triumphed.  People like Lansman and Owen Jones counterposed White privileged Jews in British society to those who are really at the sharp end of racism.

Anti-Semitism must of course be fought, not with expulsions but by challenging it whenever it rears its ugly head. I have done so tonight with a racist on Twitter and have never failed to challenge holocaust denial but not because Jews are in any danger but because racism divides us and gives false solutions to the problems of capitalism.

There is no Jewish Windrush Scandal

But to pretend that Jews are oppressed or exploited in the same way as Black people in this society is a falsehood. There is no crime of driving whilst Jewish, Jews don’t face Stop and Search, economic discrimination, disproportionate imprisonment or the institutional racism of the Police force. Being Jewish in British society is not a disadvantage which is why even Boris Johnson professes a concern for ‘anti-Semitism’ (whilst being the author of a novel 72 Virgins which is anti-Semitic).

McDonnell never stopped appeasing the Zionists

If the Left of the Labour Party had shown resolve, if Corbyn hadn’t sulked and thrown his friends under the bus and instead addressed the false narrative, if John McDonnell hadn’t appeased the Right, if Jon Lansman hadn’t obsessed about ‘unconscious anti-Semitism’ and Owen Jones hadn’t been concerned to flatter his own ego then things might have been different. However we are where we are.

Floating in the shadows in the past few years has been an outfit called Novara Media. I was never very sure as to what they stood for or represented or indeed what they did. Aaron Bastani, their founder, addressed a Brighton Momentum meeting a couple of years ago and managed to say very little of relevance as far as I can recall but he didn’t attack Chris Williamson and Jackie Walker.

Ash Sarkar I had seen on television and I can remember she used to have a Twitter account which boast that she ‘fucked like a champion’ which struck me as somewhat odd as I wasn’t aware that fucking was now a regulated sport. I am told that this particular boast has now been taken down.

What I was unaware of, until Becky drew my attention to it, was the attack by Novara Media on Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson.  According to Rivkah Brown, of whom I had heard nothing until now, he was a ‘Jew baiter’. Ash Sarkar described Jackie Walker as a ‘crank’ and also supported removing the whip from Chris Williamson (alongside Ian Austin, Tom Watson et al). Aaron Bastani was all in favour of expelling Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker.

Clearly this was a Lansmanite style set up without a principle in sight. Ash Sarkar ventured that ‘characterising proceedings as a witch-hunt helps absolutely no one’ which rather begs the question, how would she characterise the expulsion and suspension of hundreds if not thousands of activists?  The mad hatter’s tea party?

I therefore wrote 2 days ago to leading members of Jewish Voices for Labour asking that they disown the meeting, which they were down as hosting, alongside Red Labour.

Well today I was told by JVL that they had indeed withdrawn their sponsorship of the meeting, although Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi would be speaking in a personal capacity.

I also contacted some of the speakers, including Leon Rosselsson, Alexei Sayle, Andrew Feinstein and David Rosenberg to let them know who they were appearing besides.

The previously unknown Rivkah Brown attacks the one MP who stood up to those under attack

Only tonight I have learnt that Paddy O’Keefe, a long standing peace activist and who represents Equity on Brighton & Hove Trades Council has been suspended for the third time. Nearly all of the 24 pages of the allegations against Paddy relate to postings which predate his original suspension and reinstatement in Feb 2019. This is Starmer’s justice.  Someone should tell this ‘Racist without Qualification’ that there is a rule called double jeopardy. If someone has been reinstated after an investigation into a set of charges you can’t resuspend them on the basis of the same allegations!

Novara Media are the Establishment’s acceptable face of the Labour Left. We should make it clear that they are unacceptable to us as long as they feed the witchhunt of socialists.

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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