Tony Greenstein | 20 September 2019 | Post Views:

The Lib Dem Leadership Wages War on the Palestinians and their supporters as they welcome Chuka Ummuna and Luciana Berger

Contrast the silence of Layla Moran, the Lib Dem’s ‘Palestinian’ Quisling with Rashida Tlaib’s brave fight against Trump and AIPAC

In March this year the Lib Dems suspended their Friends of Palestine group. As the issue of Palestine and Zionism has become the symbol of the Right’s hatred of Corbyn so the Lib Dems leadership have all but outlawed any criticism of Israel and Zionism.As Israel veers to the extremes of the racist right, with two prominent Rabbis (Cashtiel and Radler) even telling their students at a pre-military Yeshivah that Hitler was right, he just got the wrong victims, the Lib Dems outlaw any criticism of Zionism and the idea of a ‘Jewish’ racial state.

As Israel’s recent election witnessed a competition between the two major Zionist parties as to who was more hostile to Israel’s Palestinian minority, the Lib Dems have ensured that Labour’s traitorous Zionist rejects feel welcome and at home

the late Louis Eaks, pro-Palestinian Chair of the Young Liberals

It was not always like this. In 1970 the Young Liberals supported a democratic, secular state in Palestine and even the abolition of the Israeli state as a Jewish state. The late Louis Eaks, their Chairman, went on to edit Free Palestine. Indeed Dave Rich, the CST Deputy Director in his atrocious book ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism’ attributed the rebirth of anti-Zionism on the Left to Eaks and the Young Liberals. Rich wrote that Eaks ‘did more than anyone else to make Palestine a mainstream issue for the British left.”

Rashida Tlaib, US Congresswoman of Palestinian origin has been forthright in support of the Palestinians unlike Moran

Today the Liberal Democrats have abandoned any pretence to be a centre left party. Their new leader Jo Swinson, who was a Minister under David Cameron and personally responsible for the introduction of massive Employment Tribunal fees, as well as going along with all the attacks on claimants and refugees, local authority funding cuts and tuition fee increases, has pledged never to support Corbyn. She and the rest of her yellow Tories have adopted wholeheartedly the libel that to support the Palestinians and oppose Zionism is antisemitism.

At a time when ‘anti-Semitism’ is the weapon of choice of the Right in their attack on Corbyn then it is no surprise that Swinson should embrace it. And what better way to demonstrate that you oppose ‘anti-Semitism’ than to ban and prevent the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine from having the right to organise in your party? Free Speech means nothing to these ‘liberals’

Former leaders Farron and Cable – Farron is an evangelical Christian Zionist

The Party of freedom and civil liberties has, when it comes to Israel, adopted a slavish attitude of support for a state which has just barred 4.5 million Palestinians from taking part in an election as to who governs them and which keeps them under a Military Law which incarcerates and abuses hundreds of children.

Whereas the supporters of Zionism and Jewish supremacism in the Lib Dems have no obstacles placed in their path, supporters of the victims of Israeli racism and occupation are not allowed to organise. This is the Lib-Dem version of free speech and the right of association.

Tom Watson’s mate, Luciana Berger, finds a welcome amongst the Lib Dems

Twelve members of the Lib Dem Friends of Palestine [LDFOI] wrote an Open Letter to their party leadership in June and when that was ignored they wrote an article on Open Democracy. What they have written demonstrates that the Lib Dems are a deeply reactionary and undemocratic party.

The LDFOI were suspended after they posted an article by Electronic Intifada journalist Asa Winstanley, who wrote that Sir David Garrard, a ‘multi-millionaire pro-Israel lobbyist’ was funding the Independent Group of MPs. As they said ‘We see no evidence that Winstanley’s assertion is untrue, or in any way antisemitic.’ Apparently the truth is now antisemitic!

The assertion is obviously true, as a cursory search of people like Tom Watson or Ian Austin’s entry on the parliamentary register of MPs demonstrates. Garrard funds a number of right-wing pro-Israel politicians.

Their letter also argued that the Lib Dems should ditch the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance ‘definition’ of anti-Semitism and ‘revert to a simple definition, such as that in the Oxford English dictionary: hostility to or prejudice against Jews.

‘Despite asking for a response to their letter none has been forthcoming. They complain in their Open Democracy article that:

We did not get any response from the Party leadership, but tried to get the topic discussed on four different Lib Dem online forums, only to find ourselves shut out of one platform after another. On one of them, Party activists and officers subjected us and others to troll-like abuse. We have formally complained about our treatment but, having seen no action since 16 June, are not holding our breath.

The federal board has now reinstated LDFP, but under unjustified and humiliating conditions that will make it much harder for it to speak truth to power and question the IHRA definition.

The false ‘anti-Semitism’ narrative is a ruling class narrative and the reactionary Jo Swinson is not going to allow any opposition in the party to surface to Israeli Apartheid and its supporters. Swinson has gone out of her way to endorse the attacks on the Labour Party as ‘anti-Semitic’. Those who dissent from this are being silenced. The Lib Dem leadership don’t do debate

When you think that the Israeli state is currently arming and equipping the Burmese regime in its genocide of the Rohinga, just as it armed the Hutu regime in Rwanda at the time of the genocide there, to say nothing of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion in Ukraine and it supports any number of reactionary regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Narendra Modi then you have to be particularly dumb to think that this is about anti-Semitism. 

The Lib Dem’s posture is solely about UK support for a foreign policy in the Middle East that is indistinguishable from that of Donald Trump. Support for Israel is the bedrock of western foreign policy in the Middle East

Jo Swinson attacks BDS and the Palestinians

Swinson has gone out of her way to attack BDS. The Jewish Chronicle writes that Swinson condemned BDS whilst supporting the two state solution. 2 States is an apartheid solution. It provides Israel with a justification for depriving Palestinians, who have lived for over half a century under military occupation, of any civil or political rights. You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to notice that Israel is not, under any circumstance, going to grant Palestinians a state.

In this week’s election, the ‘left’ Zionists of the Democratic Party (formerly Meretz) and the Israeli Labour Party gained 11 out of 120 seats in the Knesset. In Israel’s first election in 1949 the two labour Zionist parties obtained 65 seats. Today Israel is ruled by a group of open racists and fascists yet Swinson is happy to condemn the only means of pressurising Israel into changing its behaviour.

Perhaps it was more Black and White when sanctions and disinvestment were the main weapons employed by activists against Apartheid South Africa. In 1933 world Jewry (the Zionists excepted) mounted a Boycott against Nazi Germany. No doubt if Swinson had been around then she would have joined Thatcher in her opposition to sanctions on South Africa and the Zionists when they decided to trade with rather than boycott Nazi Germany. They called it Ha’avara.

The Lib Dems and the Liberals before them have always been pro-Zionist but never as strongly as they are today. The Lib Dems have recently welcomed Zionist defectors from the Labour Party. Ben Rich wrote in this week’s Jewish Chronicle that Luciana Berger’s decision to join the Lib Dems could be a game changer.

This is wishful thinking. The idea that these New Labour leftovers represent anything or anyone is a political fantasy. However what is true is that it has become almost impossible to be a supporter of the Palestinians still less an anti-Zionist in the Lib Dems.

David Ward, who was the Lib Dem MP for Bradford from 2010-2015 was suspended for questioning Zionism in 2013 and the fact that the suffering of Jews in the Holocaust hasn’t led to Israel changing its behaviour. He said that

“Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Karen Pollock, the Zionist CEO of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said she was “deeply saddened” that the MP had “deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust”.

Given the way the Holocaust is repeatedly used to justify and defend Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, Pollock’s comments can only be described as a chutzpah. The Holocaust is Israel’s main ideological weapon of defence.

The other victim of the Lib Dem leadership’s Zionism is Baroness Jenny Tonge who was forced to resign from the party for daring to challenge the existing consensus. Like David Ward, she was penalised for dissenting from the leadership’s pro-Zionism

Layla Moran – the Lib Dem’s Palestinian Zionist

Layla Moran – Palestinian by origin, Zionist by politics

You might though have expected that Layla Moran, the first British parliamentarian of Palestinian origin, to have stood up for and defended the right of the Lib Dem’s Friends of Palestine group to organise. Not a bit of it. Moran is a Palestinian Judas. Not a word of protest has come from this collaborator

Contrast Layla Moran with the four Black Congresswomen and their support for Palestine

On the contrary she has used her Palestinian origins to lend her support to the idea that supporters of Palestine are anti-Semitic. Without attempting to provide a scintilla of evidence, because throughout the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign evidence has been conspicuous by its absence, she uses the Guardian to bolster her establishment credentials. She wrote:

So, to all the vile antisemites out there: clear off from the Palestinian quest for freedom and justice. Take your odious Jew-hatred elsewhere and do not think for one second that your views help champion Palestinian rights.

Moran thus buys into the idea that the Palestine Solidarity movement, which she has never been a part of, is riddled with anti-Semitism. In fact the exact opposite is the case but Moran, who trades on her origins and little else, knows nothing about what actually happens.

It is difficult to find a parallel to her treacherous behaviour. At a time when Palestinians under Occupation face increasing house demolitions and land thefts as well as violence from settlers and Israeli abuse of their children, where the king maker Avigdor Lieberman after Israel’s elections has long campaigned for the transfer of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, Layla Moran deems it appropriate to slander and libel a movement she has never contributed anything to.

You can get some measure of just how much of a worm Moran is by the description of her by the Jewish Chronicle’s poisonous Political Correspondent Marcus Dysch as “rare, and pretty classy”. Rare she certainly is, since being a Quisling is not a normal occupation.

The Jewish Chronicle which has consistently defamed the Palestinians, which has led the campaign against Corbyn and which has never allowed a glimpse of the reality of Israel’s occupation or its apartheid structure to reach its readership, in stark contrast to America’s Jewish Forward, nonetheless sees fit to praise Layla Moran. Dysch’s praise says everything you need to know about this opportunist.

Moran’s treachery recalls Jack London’s Ode to a Scab’. London wrote that:

After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a scab. A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a waterlogged brain, and a combination backbone made of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.

I couldn’t have put it better myself!! Contrary to Moran’s assertion anti-Semites have always been the best supporters of Zionism. Zionism accepted and still accepts that Jews’ real home is in Israel not where they live.

That is why it is the anti-Semites who are among the biggest supporters of the State of Israel, led by Trump himself. When Trump told 4 Black Congresswomen to ‘go back home’ he also added for good effect the admonition that they ‘they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA!’

Not only Trump, who regularly tells Jews that Israel is their country, but Steve Bannon, Tommy Robinson, ‘white Zionist’ and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer all love Israel. And why not? Israel is a model state if you are a racist and ethno nationalist. It is a place to send unwanted Jews.

Layla Moran understands none of these things because she is an opportunist who trades on her ancestry for political advantage, in the process stabbing in the back those she purports to be part of.

Contrast Layla Moran with Rashida Tlaib, the first US Congresswoman who is a Palestinian. Tlaib has been to the forefront in supporting the Palestinians and BDS and in the process she has been banned from visiting Palestine by Netanyahu. Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are respected throughout the Palestinian territories whereas Layla Moran is just another in the list of Palestinian traitors through the ages.

In Israel’s ‘democratic’ elections, there was a concerted attempt to suppress Palestinian voting – of course only about 20% of Palestinians can vote anyway

Moran is one of those rare Arab creatures who is welcomed by the Israeli state. You can get some idea of the Uncle Tommery and scab like behaviour of Moran by the fact that when posters went up on London bus stops condemning Israel as a racist endeavour Moran condemned them as ‘blatantly anti-Semitic’.

The ruling this week from the Chair of Israel’s Elections Committee, Judge Melcer, forbidding an Israeli NGO from transporting Bedouin women voters from ‘unrecognised’ villages in the Negev to polling stations is an example of how deep racism in Israel is. Only to vile creatures like Moran is calling Israel a racist state ‘antisemitic’.

‘Unrecognised’ Arab villages, which constitute half of the Arab villages in Israel, have no public transport, running water or other facilities. The mere fact that these villages are ‘unrecognised’ i.e. liable to be demolished at any time and without any of the facilities that Israeli Jews take for granted is proof in itself of the inherent and systemic racism of the Zionist state. But Moran doesn’t like the term ‘Zionist’ either.

You can read the article on how the Zionist state actively discourages Arab voters from voting in the Middle East’s ‘only democracy’ in Ha’aretz. It is but one, small example. Hundreds of Jewish communities are legally permitted to ban Arabs from living in them under the Admissions Committee Law. But to this foul creature to call Israel racist is itself ‘anti-Semitic’. It is as if Israel were a Jew. But perhaps I’m reading too much into this opportunist who has probably never given a moment’s thought to these issues.

Although I have great admiration for Jonathan Coulter, who I know, and the other signatories to the letter and article I have to say that they are wasting their time. The only principle that the Lib Dems adhere to is having no principles. It is one of the tragedies of the Jeremy Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party that he has allowed the Lib Dems to stake out a position against Brexit and thus allow the Lib Dems come back from their near death experience of gaining just 8 seats in 2015. Nonetheless we should support that small minority in the Lib Dems which isn’t willing to go along with the Trump-Johnson-Swinson consensus and support for the most racist state in the world.

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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