Tony Greenstein | 22 July 2018 | Post Views:

To Jon Lansman and Owen Jones
racism exists in your head – it has nothing to do with politics, society or
power relations

The arrogant and narcissistic Lansman is the real author of the Jewish Chronicle heading – he has consistently failed to stand up to the false anti-semitism campaign

The Jewish Chronicle, which is a Zionist propaganda tract edited by the far-Right
Steven Pollard, has declared war. In a front page Leader, over a picture of
Jeremy Corbyn are the words ‘Anti-Semitic
and a racist.
’ Only  Momentum’s idiot fuhrer, Jon Lansman, still
pretends that the anti-Semitic smear campaign is about anti-Semitism. To
everyone with eyes to see and a brain to think it is obvious that the artificial anti-Semitism crisis of
the past 3 years has but one target – Jeremy Corbyn. Anti-Semitism is a cynical weapon. According to the JC:
Moshe Machover Interviewed on Real News Network on Labour’s New Antisemitism Code of Conduct
Dame Margaret Hodge’s
confrontation of Jeremy Corbyn in a corridor of the House of Commons, calling
him an “antisemite and a racist”, seems to have burst a dam…. there has been
an understandable reluctance in some quarters to confront the appalling reality
that the leader of the party, and our nation’s most likely next prime minister,
is indeed as Dame Margaret describes him.
Jackie Walker has been one of the principal victims of the anti-semitism witchhunt
It gives me no pleasure to say that I was right. I have repeatedly argued
that the real target of the witch-hunt is not Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth or
myself but Jeremy Corbyn. On my Scottish tour last month in Scotland I had but
one message. I have repeatedly emphasised
that ‘Myself, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth are just collateral
damage. The target is Corbyn and the Left, whether he realises it or not
This time around there isn’t even the pretext of a long-forgotten mural,
or a Facebook post. It is about removing Corbyn. The ostensible reason is the
refusal to adopt wholesale, undigested, the bogus IHRA Definition of
Anti-Semitism which Hungary’s anti-Semitic leader Viktor Orban is quite
comfortable with.
Right-wing Labour MP, Margaret Hodge, who was accused by Alan
Johnson, the Blairite Cabinet Minister of echoing BNP propaganda and who, when
leader of Islington Council deliberately covered up the rape and abuse of
children in care, accused Corbyn of being ‘a
fucking anti-Semite, a racist.’
If all you read or heard was the press or BBC you would get the
impression that Labour’s failure to adopt the IHRA meant that Labour supports anti-Semitism.
It is implied that the IHRA is a universally accepted definition of anti-Semitism
which only the political equivalent of flat earthers or anti-Semites reject. All
opposition to a ‘definition’ whose sole purpose is to conflate anti-Semitism
and anti-Zionism is simply erased.
This is anti-semitism – Netanyahu joining in the anti-semitic attacks on George Soros
Supporters of Israel don’t even pretend that this is not their object. Stephen
Pollard, the Jewish Chronicle editor, accused
Labour of being ‘institutionally
because it had failed to adopt
the entire IHRA
definition of anti-Semitism
‘instead of adopting the definition as agreed by all these
bodies, Labour has excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism
of Israel can be antisemitic.’
Zionists throw up their hands in horror when you suggest that the
‘anti-Semitism’ allegations are about Israel! Oh no these liars argue, it is
about anti-Semitism but then, at the first opportunity, they revert to Israel
and Zionism like dogs returning to their vomit.
Jon Lansman, the unelected dictator and owner of Momentum is perfectly
well aware of the racist nature of the Israeli state.  In an article Labour’s
antisemitism code is the gold standard for political parties
he made it
clear he spoke of Israel’s ‘racist
state policies, not just in relation to the occupation and settlements, but
also within Israel itself – the segregation of housing, education, employment,
and systematic economic disadvantage.’
This is real racism – hundreds of Israeli Jews demonstrate against an Arab having a house in the all-Jewish city of Afula
has a very good understanding of Israel but he is a Zionist, a Jewish supremacist.
Lansman is fully aware of the demonstrations in the northern city of Afula
where hundreds
of Israeli Jews took to the streets
to protest against the sale of a house
to an Israeli Arab, yet he is incapable of drawing the conclusion that it is Zionism,
the imperative for a Jewish state, that is responsible. 
is the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa or the Deep South at the time of
Jim Crow. If there was any political depth or integrity, to either Lansman or
Owen Jones, then they would question Israel’s claim that it is a democracy. A state
which demolishes Arab villages in order to replace them with Jewish settlements
and towns, is an ethnocracy. Yet the whole of the IHRA definition of
anti-Semitism, is predicated on the idea that Israel is a liberal democracy.
has Lansman or Owen Jones, mentioned that the IHRA is based on the idea that criticism of Israel
similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as
can criticism of Israel mirror that applied to liberal democracy when Israel is
a Jewish supremacist state? Which other European state shoots down unarmed
demonstrators or maintains a starvation siege of 2 million people?
In his recent Guardian
Lansman accepts that one of the IHRA illustrations of
anti-Semitism, ‘Denying the Jewish people
their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a
State of Israel is a racist endeavour’
can only be an attack on freedom of speech,
given that Israel is undoubtedly a racist state.  Lansman even has a dig at the Zionist Board
of Deputies:
I don’t think these organisations, many of which failed to
come out against the Blackshirts marching through Cable Street, or those that
welcomed the presidency of Donald Trump have the credibility to criticise a
political party’s robust, thorough and far-reaching code of conduct. 
However the article as a whole was dire.  Instead of pointing out that the IHRA
‘definition of anti-Semitism’
is more concerned about Israel than anti-Semitism,
Lansman bent over backwards to argue that Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code incorporates
all bar one of the IHRA illustrations.
Lansman never bothers to ask what kind of
definition is it that requires 11 arbitrarrily drawn up, barely literate illustrations?
Corbyn’s fatal mistake was in ever
adopting the IHRA.
Corbyn should have rejected it out of hand. The Right
have adopted it because it is a stick to attack the Left with and Lansman
thinks he’s being clever in joining in. Former Court of Appeal judge Sir
Stephen Sedley, who is himself Jewish made
the obvious point
that the IHRA ‘fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’
Lansman and Owen Jones seems incapable of making the connection between
Israel’s racist policies and the allegations of anti-Semitism. They seem to
believe that the latter are genuine despite the fact that there has been no
credible evidence for them. Those making the accusations, such as Jonathan
Arkush, the Trump
Tory who headed the Board of Deputies, even accused Jewdas, a
Jewish group, of being a source of virulent anti-Semitism’.
There is a simple question that puts matters into perspective which is: ‘If Jews in Britain experienced the racism that
 Palestinians undergo would they have genuine
grounds to complain about anti-Semitism’.
People like Jonathan Freedland suggest that because most Jews identify with
Israel (Freedland quoted 93% but he ignored the Yachad survey The
Attitudes of British Jews to Israel
that show 31% of Jews declare they are
not Zionists and that only 59% of British Jews define themselves so). Labour
and the left have an antisemitism problem
But even if a majority of British Jews identify with Israel so what? Challenging
an identity is not racist. What if a majority of Muslims in this country had
identified with Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie? Would that
have meant you were anti-Muslim to oppose it? Or if a majority of Africans were
to identify with FGM? Would it be racist to oppose FGM? If British Jews support
Israel then that is reactionary and racist. 
Opposing Jews as Jews is anti-Semitic but not opposing the ideas that
Jews hold.
Owen Jones – The Guardian’s token leftist  and a complete airhead
Below is an extract from an interview
that Owen Jones conducted with Lansman. It concedes everything and accepts that
‘anti-Semitism’ is a problem.  Not once
do these airheads consider that when you are defending Apartheid, the best form
of defence is to malign your opponents. 
Not once do they ask why, if the real concern is about anti-Semitism,
that Israel has the closest relations with anti-Semitic regimes such as Hungary
and Poland (the Visigrad 4). 
Since the purpose of Momentum is to defend Jeremy Corbyn, it is an
outrage that Lansman, as its Chair, is legitimising the anti-Semitism attack on
Below is the transcript of Jones interview with Lansman. Jones makes
cheesiness into an art form and sycophancy into a badge of honour. He doesn’t
try to probe Lansman’s clichés. 
Jones starts off by asserting that anti-Semitism is a ‘big problem’ on the Left and this is an
assumption throughout. The problem is the repeated assertions by the Zionist,
Labour’s Right and the mass media of this problem.  Evidence of anti-Semitism is thin.
Lansman says that people are in denial about anti-Semitism. Why is this
strange? Should they admit to something that doesn’t exist?  He says anti-Semitism is different from other
forms of discrimination whilst never saying how it is different. He then
defines anti-Semitism as something people ‘have
within them.’
This is the liberal explanation of racism. Racism is not something
that arises from the psyche. Peoples’ prejudices arise from the society they
live in. Racism is the justification for imperialism and colonialism. Refugees
come here as a result of what we have done in their countries and then racism
rears its head in opposition to immigration. This racism does not affect Jews who
are White in this society. Anti-Semitism has all but died out.
It is sickening that at a time when Black British citizens have been
deported to the West Indies, after 50+ years living here, that people like
Lansman go on about an almost non-existent form of racism, a prejudice at
worst.  This blindness to real racism,
against Black and Asian people, Roma and Gypsies, is itself racist.  It is ironic that only 8 Labour MPs voted
against the 2014 Immigration Act which created a ‘hostile environment’ that led
to Windrush scandal. When Uncle Tom Chuka Ummuna goes on about ‘anti-Semitism’
we should remember that he supported the 2014 Immigration Act.
It is no accident that the right-wing press, the Sun and the Mail who employed
Katie Hopkins as she compared refugees to vermin, are full of headlines
attacking ‘Labour anti-Semitism’.
Let us be clear. Jews do not suffer deaths in custody, stop and search, deportations,
economic discrimination etc. This is an exercise in false victimhood. The right-wing
assertion that anti-Semitism is a major problem when it is not is in itself a
form of racism. The false anti-Semitism campaign is about false victimhood.
Jones is particular facile when comparing male feminists who deny they
are sexist to those who deny they are anti-Semitic. The relationship of men to
women is not comparable to the relationship of Jews to non-Jews. Sexism exists
both on a personal and societal level. Men have relationships with women in an entirely
different way from that between Jews and non-Jews. Jones and Lansman also omit
non/ anti-Zionist Jews who have been the target of the false anti-Semitism
allegations and who have borne the brunt of the witch-hunt.
Lansman says anti-Semitism is a prejudice in ourselves’. If
that is all it is then it’s not much. Elsewhere he describes it as ‘unconscious’. If you aren’t even conscious
of it then it doesn’t exist.
suggests the problem is education which gives Lansman the excuse to suggest
that supporting the Palestinians leads people to believe that Jews are ‘bad people’. This is an example of how Lansman
can’t distinguish between Israel, Zionism and Jews. Support for the Palestinians
has nothing to with hostility to Jews
anymore than opposition to Apartheid in South Africa was about hating Whites. This
statement demonstrates that Lansman is an entrenched Zionist. If people need
education it isn’t about anti-Semitism but about Britain’s colonial and
imperial past, including Zionism.
gives two examples of anti-Semitism. Someone accused him of being a member of
the chosen race. Lansman is a Zionist, he believes that Israel was recompense
for the Holocaust and he has justified
Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 to create a Jewish state.
Clearly he accepts the Zionist notion of a chosen people or a master race which
is entitled to dispossess the natives.
second example of anti-Semitism is even more absurd. Someone said to him that
they hate Israel for pretending to speak for all Jews. It is obvious that that
person referred to the Israeli state and Zionism. Israel says it is a Jewish
state, it has just passed
the Jewish Nation State Law which means that it speaks not only for its Jewish citizens
but for all Jews. When Netanyahu spoke to the US Congress he claimed
to speak
as the Prime Minister not just of Israel but the whole Jewish people.
This is the basis of the Jerusalem
of the World Zionist Organisation. Why is this anti-Semitic?
also stated that there was a remarkable level of agreement’ on the NEC about anti-Semitism. If
so that is extremely worrying. It means that virtually the entire left of the
NEC, bar Peter Willsman, has been fooled into accepting the right-wing narrative
that Labour is an anti-Semitic party. Their failure to understand that anti-Semitism
is being weaponised is pathetic. This is testament to the remarkably low level
of political consciousness of Momentum NEC members.
Finally the reason why I describe Lansman
and Owen Jones as racists is that according to their own self-indulgent and
transparently superficial conversation, they are both racists since they themselves
hold that everyone is infected with racism.
Racial prejudice reflects society and
when society changes people change. Zionism however treats anti-Semitism, in
the words of Leo Pinsker’s Autoemancipation,
as an inherited disease, a pathology. In so far as Lansman and Jones are Zionists
they are racists.
Part of the problem is that both
Lansman and Jones, because they reject any Marxist understanding of class and racism
in favour of a petty bourgeois idealism and empiricism, are both susceptible to
Zionist identity politics which portrays the supporters of Israel as victims.
That is the depths to which these two have sunk. They are playing into the
hands of Generation and Identity, Europe’s new fascists.  They too claim they are victims, of migrants.
Zionists and Jewish supporters of Zionism are not victims.  That is why Trump and Breitbart, Bannon and
Richard Spencer all support them.
What is remarkable about these two is
despite their own self belief, how crude and simplistic their understanding of
racism really is.
OJ:   How big a problem is
anti-Semitism because it does exist on the Left and it strikes me that there is
a broader pool of people on the Left who are in total denial?

JL:     I think it is a problem
that people are in denial of it. I think that is very different from other
forms of racism and other forms of discrimination, sexism, homophobia etc.
which people recognise that they have within them, they  have to overcome. Why is it that people
recognise those things in themselves but do not recognise the possibility even
of anti-Semitism?
I also think an overglossy portrait of the Labour Party is painted by
people who say that the Labour Party has always been an anti-racist party.  Well yes it has always been anti-racist for
the most part but there have always been problems, there have always been
examples of racism within the labour movement.
OJ:    Do you think one of the
problems is for example you’ll come across the type of man who will go I’m a
feminist so I can’t possibly be sexist. In the same way you get people who are
left-wing who say I can’t possibly have any bigotry or racism because I’m
left-wing so they then don’t interrogate their own prejudices.
JL:     Every single one of us has
grown up in a society which is racist, which is sexist, which is homophobic and
every one of us is bound to have some of that within us. There is no one free
of that and we should all be looking for signs of those things in ourselves in
order to ensure that we do not act on the basis of. Our anti-racism has to
involve searching for examples of anti-Semitic prejudice in ourselves at this
moment, in the Labour Party, when we have clearly lost the support of the
Jewish community.
OJ:    Socialism has been very
weak as a mass political force certainly in this country for so long and what
happened in 2015 is that it dramatically changed very very quickly and hundreds
of thousands of people got involved interested in politics, often for the first
time or certainly for a very very long time in many cases but there wasn’t the
political education there. There’s a crisis of political education on the left
of the labour movement. How was that addressed and do you think that Momentum
is part of that?
JL:     I think it is a systemic
problem. If you come into politics for the first time and you haven’t got a
framework into which to put issues of racism or anti-Semitism then you are
likely to think of people as good people or bad people and thinking of some people
as bad people or in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict might lead you, if
you support Palestinian rights, to thinking of Jews as bad people. And that
becomes a problem. So we do have a lot of education to do. I think we need to
do direct education about the roots of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism
and discrimination but specifically in the short term anti-Semitism.
OJ:    There are some who argue
that the Labour leadership has just failed to grasp the nettle on anti-Semitism
what do you say to that and what do you think they have to do now?
JL:     I think we’ve all failed to act sufficiently quickly, deeply and
the problem is bigger than I used to think. I’ve seen it. It appears on my own
Facebook feed.
OJ:    Can you give examples?
JL:     There’s been the more overt things like someone the other day
who said ‘I suppose you think you are a
member of the chosen race’
which is overtly anti-Semitic. But there are
other people who’ve said things like ‘I
hate Israel for pretending to speak for all Jews.’
And I thought you are
saying Israel the State says that or the Israeli government? Or do you mean all
Jews?  Hate Israel?  That’s something you hate Jews for or
Israelis for?  It seems to me that’s an
It may well be that Israeli
politicians don’t speak for us. They don’t speak for me. I’m a British person
they don’t speak for British Jews actually. 
Not on matters of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They might speak for
Jews in Britain if they were making statements about the oppression of Jews in
another country. In Hungary for example. Then they might speak for other Jews
but they don’t speak for me on all matters. Of course I have strong
disagreements with all Israeli governments over at least the last 2 or 3
And yet someone says this
who appears to be a socialist who’s hating people or a country for that reason.
That can only be seen I’m afraid as anti-Semitic. Inadvertent or not.
OJ:    There was this story about leaked minutes from the National
Executive Committee suggesting you and others actually hadn’t, in some cases
had suggested actually these aren’t anti-Semitic or whatever. That had caused
divisions and that had been leaked.  What
do you say about that?
JL:     Well I haven’t actually had the benefit of seeing these leaked
minutes and I am a member of the National Executive so I can’t really comment
on what I haven’t seen. But I do remember the meeting pretty well and it wasn’t
like that at all. Actually on anti-Semitism there was a remarkable level of
agreement. I proposed because of the problems that we have been experiencing
that we review the whole process by which we consider cases of anti-Semitism
that are brought to our attention. From the point that the charges are brought
to what the rules say through how they are investigated to how they are brought
to the NEC, if they are passed on to the National Constitutional Committee
which is the final court if you like, how that handles them. And has taken much
too long to process them up to now. So that was a fantastic level of unity.
OJ:    What is your message then to people who say about the NEC of the
Labour Party which is now a majority of people on the Left that it isn’t going
to deal with anti-Semitism properly.
JL:     There isn’t one single person on that NEC who doesn’t want to
deal thoroughly with anti-Semitism. And not only that we are more united on
anti-Semitism than we are on pretty much anything else in the Party in wanting
to eradicate it. I can assure you that Left and Right and everything in
between, on the National Executive will deal with this issue. 
We note with dismay and outrage the front-page headline in
today’s Jewish Chronicle, which uncritically quotes Labour MP Margaret
Hodge’s description of Jeremy Corbyn as ‘antisemitic and a racist’. This is a
deeply offensive and very likely libellous statement. It is extraordinary that
these accusations are being hurled at a time when, contrary to much public
reporting, the Labour Party is in fact engaging very carefully and sensitively
with the issue of antisemitism, on which it has accepted the core IHRA
This inflammatory and insulting rhetoric, seemingly
supported by many leading Anglo-Jewish institutions and voices, risks bringing
our community as a whole into disrepute, and consequently fuelling real
antisemitism. We strongly urge all Jews in Britain, whatever their political
allegiances and views, to join us in repudiating the misuse of this very
serious allegation, which imperils the norms of reasonable and civil discourse
that we must all uphold.

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