A few of the Antisemitism Enablers who signed the pro-Miller letter …..

Seventeen of the 251 names are only too familiar to anyone even remotely conversant with Israel-demonising academics:

Not surprisingly academics at Bristol University (12) and at other academic institutions in the Bristol area account for another 16 names.

5 of the names are from the institutionally antisemitic SOAS and a further 4 from Goldsmiths.  Neither has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism which helps to keep Jewish students safe.   The low number from SOAS may be explained by the appointment of a new Director and resulting fear of a much needed cleanout.

At least 69 of the names are from signatories at institutions outside the UK. Eight are from Ireland.

27 of the signatories – plus David Miller – were among the 62 signatories of this letter in the Guardian in June 2017 criticising the UK’s ‘Prevent’ counter-extremism strategy and blaming the previous week’s London Bridge attack on Western foreign policy.

It is instructive to guess just why some of the names sympathise with Miller:

For example Dr Amanda Sackur – listed as an independent researcher – signed the petition supporting the antisemitic Southampton conference in 2015. So did another 16: Barry Finnegan, Brenna Bhandar, Brian Kelly, Christian Henderson, Daniel Boyarin, Des Freedman, Hatem Bazian, Les Levidow, Gareth Dale, Judith Butler, Lorna Finlayson, Mark Abel, Nick Evans, Peter Jones, Ray Bush and Seamus Deane.

Piers Robinson and John Pilger are colleagues (former colleague in the case of Robinson) of David Miller in the Organisation for Propaganda Studies, responsible for 9-11, anti-vax, coronavirus and White Helmet conspiracies.

Ismail Patel is the Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa. He has reportedly defended the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Hamas, saying: “Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. The reason that they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated to be occupied by the Israeli state and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel.”

Alex Callinicos is a Trotskyist and member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). He does not accept that antisemitism can come from the Left as well as the Right. Of course he rejects the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Daniel Boyarin has compared Israelis to Nazis, spread disinformation and defended disgraced anti-Israel Professor Steven Salaita. He is a major proponent of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and has called on UC Berkeley to adopt BDS.

Cecily Blyther is a Corbyn supporter and Antisemitism Denier:

David Price is a BDS activist. Price is a member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and was part of a group that unsuccessfully lobbied in 2016 for an AAA boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In 2016 Price co-authored an Anthro Boycott blog post which promoted the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organisation and repeatedly accused Israel of “settler colonialism.” The two authors added that Israel has committed “atrocities” and that Israel was “the most challenging political issue facing American anthropologists since the Vietnam War.”

Deepa Kumar is a frequent speaker at Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) events on US campuses. Many of her speaking events are sponsored by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. She refers to Israel as a settler colonial state. Kumar sparked outrage for a Tweet in which she declared that “the US is more brutal than ISIS.” She attempted to sanitise Hamas by emphasising its efforts to liberate Palestinians from “the continued brutality of the Israeli occupation” in a 2009 article entitled “Behind the Myths about Hamas.”

Féilim Ó Hadhmaill (University College, Cork) has reportedly been convicted for possessing IRA bombs. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison but was released after four as part of the Good Friday Agreement. He is an Israel boycotter.

Jeanette Jouili signed a BDS petition supporting the right to boycott.

Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman says that Zionism equals racism – which is antisemitic, see IHRA. Miller was the external examiner for his PhD.

Loretta Capeheart supports an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Ditto Martin Maguire.

Max Ajl (a postdoc at a Dutch university) is a hardcore Israel hater who volunteered for the Internatinal Solidarity Movement in Gaza. He writes that: ‘Anti-Zionism is not merely criticism of current Israeli policies or even the idea of a Jewish nation-state. It is a rejection of an imperially-imposed, racist, settler-colonial state.’

Miloud Chennoufi is a mendacious Israel hater:

Mohan Dutta’s anti-Israel extremism is described here.

Doctoral student Nathan Lean is reportedy an Israel-hating Leftist thug.

Oliver Boyd-Barrett thinks that warnings about the threat posed by Iran are Fake News.

Patrick Barrett keeps a low profile but this link demonstrates that he shows movies which demonise Israel in his faculty cinema at Wisconsin University.

Remi Brulin is yet another Israel Hater. He writes for the extreme anti-Israel publication Mondoweiss.

Richard Jackson is a terrorist sympathiser.

Sahar Ghumkhor is a thoroughly nasty Israel hater. Here she suggests that Israel was partly responsible for the tragic explosion and fire in Beirut in August 2020.

Sai Englert is an ex-SOAS As-A-Jew Israel Hater. He also writes for the extreme anti-Israel publication Mondoweiss. More here. Seems he’s pitched up at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Sami Al-Arian seeks Israel’s destruction. In the US he reportedly founded the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP), which served as “the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine” and raised money for the terrorist group. He was reportedly deported from the US.

81-year old Seamus Deane has long been an anti-Israel Irish activist.

Simon Dawes is a Corbyn-supporting Israel basher.

Tahir Abbas has tweeted that Labour’s problem with antisemitism is exaggerated and he has reportedly written in support of protesters against sex education in Birmingham. Here’s an example of this academic’s mesured analysis of the Middle East:

Tom O’Connor is yet another production-line Irish Israel-hating academic:

And he loves Corbyn:

And meet Michael Szpakowski, listed as ‘Independent Artist and Scholar’.

The name James Kleinfeld (‘Al Jazeera Investigative Unit’) may be familiar ….

And meet John Booth, ‘Independent Writer’ and Antisemitism Denier:

In the two years since Corbyn was elected leader, Labour’s support has grown in terms of members, supporters and voters. The claims of party antisemitism in that time have been strident, but often serving as little more than proxy attacks upon Corbyn and the direction of Labour under his leadership. Corbyn can be criticised for many things but this is best done directly and with precision. In these brittle political times to employ the devious and crude instrument of ‘anti-semitism’ is a dishonest and dangerous strategy.

http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk (Winter 2017)

And a big Shout-Out to Dr Myshele Haywood (‘Independent Researcher’) who is ex-Strathclyde University in Scotland:

http://myshelehaywood.com/racism-and-immigration-policy/

I’m sure there’s lots more to say about these antisemitism enablers – watch this space!

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Addendum:
Comparing the names in the draft letter (before they were suppressed) and the ones in the final reveals that 12 names didn’t make it. For Dr Steven Hobbs, Mr Norman Ritchie-Wood (a Corbyn supporter), Mr Ian McMeeken, Mr David Gernon, Ms S Sheriff, Dr Fiaz Ahmed, Mr Mohammad Sirwan Barzanji, Ms Ghizela Rowe and Miss Ann Thomas the explanation may be that they were not considered worthy of the accolade of ‘public intellectuals, educators and researchers’. Or maybe not.

Kate Linnegar is a former Labour Parliamentary candidate with history.

Greg Barns SC is a barrister in Australia. One can see why he might be drawn to support Miller. One wonders why he didn’t make the cut?

Fabio Corvaglia appears to be this person here.  Note that he spent five years in Beirut.

Six Elbit Activists Charged

Six people (‘Palestine Action’) have been charged with causing over £50,000 of criminal damage at the Elbit factory in Shenstone on Tuesday 23 March

Staffordshire Police have released the names :  Nicholas Georges, 69, of Hornhatch near Guildford, Surrey; Vienna Lstadt, 37, of The Avenue, West Ealing, West London; Nic Aaron, 31, of Linley Road, north London; Ruby Baker, 28, of Belmont Street, Bristol; Dexter Herd, 28, of Redland Road, Bristol; Michael Sackur, 23, of Mount Avenue, west London.

One name is very familiar to me: Vienna Lstadt. You can see her on the video which Palestine action made. A screenshot is here.

On 6 October 2018 we protested against Sandra Watfa – a rabid antisemite and Holocaust Denier – and her group ‘InMinds’ who were trying to stop people entering the Puma shop in Carnaby Street in London. Lstadt was one of them. Here is a screenshot from the video; Lstadt is in the middle

The name she was using at the time was Kajsa Anckarstrom (she is named in the screenshot above as Kajsa too). She acted as Watfa’s shield as Damon Lenszner and I were trying to approach Watfa to shout down her antisemitic lies about Israel. In her written evidence to the police she lied that I hit Watfa (she told other despicable lies about us which I am precluded from repeating). She’s a terrorist supporter:

Let’s hope that she and the other five go behind bars for their alleged crime – and in her case for lying to the police about us.  Note that these people have been charged with criminal damage and are awaiting trial. The activists claim their action is ethically justifiable. No guilt should be assumed.

The same goes for the five (also ‘Palestine Action’) who allegedly threw paint over me and the police in Kingsway on 10 October 2020:

Jocelyn Cooney, 25, Greenwich; Doone Zoe Stormonth Darling, 26, Lambeth; Flora Thomas, 26, Lullington, Somerset; Joley Thomas, 26, Hackney; Anthony Bardos, 56, Reading.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage and criminal damage. They will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Tuesday 9 March.

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Update: David Collier has identified four others of the six. They include the son of BBC journalist Stephen Sackur. A second is Nicholas Georges – an EAPPI volunteer who – horrifically – was given a platform at a school to defame Israel.

Lord Mann is Wrong

I was deeply disappointed to read Lord Mann’s view that the IHRA definition of antisemitism should not be used to assess the suitability of external speakers at Universities. University authorities are supposed to carry out a risk assessment on all external speakers. Racism – and antisemitism is racism – should surely be a part of that assessment and the IHRA definition is the yardstick of racism against Jews. Mann argues that Jewish students should not ‘be afraid of democratic debate’. That misses the point. Jewish students – or any other students – should not be put in a ‘gun at head’ position whereby either they challenge an antisemitic speaker or they do nothing. Challenging an antisemitic speaker is not just a matter of waiting patiently until the Chairperson calls you to ask your question. For a start it’s hit and miss (and often worse) as to whether you are called to ask your question. Then there is the runup and the aftermath. If the meeting involves Israel – and let’s face it, that’s what’s being debated here – and you voice your concerns, you will be stigmatised as an extremist, a fascist and possibly a supporter of baby killers. This Hobson’s Choice should not be part of a University education and it is certainly not why students pay £9000 a year for tuition. Moreover it leads to universities like SOAS which are virtually Jew-free.

Lord Mann even suggests that one reason why antisemitic speakers should not be banned is because it would increase the chance of pro-Israel speakers being banned. This makes the unforgivable mistake of assuming moral equivalence between the two. And it is cowardly. The correct response is to defend the right of pro-Israel speakers.

Lord Mann’s stance is utterly naïve.

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Addendum: A number of JCRs (=college student associations) in Oxford have passed motions in support of the Jewish students who protested at the invitation to Ken Loach from Professor Judith Buchanan, Master of St Peter’s College (the event was on 8 February). Below is an extract from the Worcester College motion.

This is what happens when antisemitic speakers are platformed:

  • Jewish students asked to justify why Holocaust relativism/denial/minimisation is antisemitc
  • Jewish students asked to ‘prove’ antisemitism
  • Absurd insulting arguments in defence of the antisemite (‘The previous Master was Jewish’)
  • Fear of a ‘PR fallout’ if the antisemite is cancelled.

Professor Judith Buchanan is an absolute disgrace. If she had any self-respect she would apologise and resign.

Addendum 2: I emailed Senior Common Room Members at St Peter’s to explain what had happened and suggest that an independent investigation needs to be set up into the organisation of the Loach meeting and Profesor Buchanan’s response to the Jewish students. Here is the response I received from Professor Christopher Foot:



Inside CAABU’s Hate Israel Virus Factory

You won’t find any mention of the Abraham Accords – the new rapprochement between Gulf Arab States and Israel – on the website of CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding. But you will find determined and repeated attempts to spread the virus of Israel hatred. No furlough for the CAABU elves – they have been hard at work as super spreaders.

The latest from CAABU is a letter to the Foreign Secretary about house evictions. These are of course perfectly legal.

The letter is signed by 84 MPs and House of Lords members. The first thing to note is that 85% (71 of 84) are the same names who signed CAABU’s letter in May last year about extending sovereignty to part of Judea/Samaria (‘annexation’). Could it be that CAABU has a list of willing signatories to its anti-Israel letters, most of whom never focus on what they are signing?

The second thing to note is the taxonomy of the signatories. 45% are Labour members versus only 6% Conservatives. 20% are LibDems and 14% SNP MPs.

Focusing on the 27 Labour MPs who signed, the third feature is to note that 25 of them (93%) have a record stained by antisemitism or extreme hatred of Israel. Only Kim Johnson and Mick Whitley have an unstained record. 19 of the Labour MPs (70%) are members of the hard Left Corbynite Socialist Campaign Group (including the suspended Webbe). 59% of the members of the Socialist Campaign Group signed.

The fourth feature is that for the 27 Labour MPs, the average proportion of Muslim constituents is 17%. The average for Great Britain is 4.5%. As was noted for the CAABU letter last May, there is a clear correlation between the proportion of Muslims in a Labour MP’s constituency and the extent of that MP’s hostility to Israel. If Sir Keir Starmer is to be successful in rooting out antisemitism from the Labour Party he will have to find a way of ensuring that all Labour MPs in constituencies with high Muslim proportions are less representative of the anti-Israel views common among those constituents and more representative of the general population. Labour’s new Antisemitism Advisory Board – take note!

Of the 54 who signed who are NOT Labour MPs, 23 have a record stained by antisemitism or extreme hatred of Israel. So out of the 84 total, 48 or 57% have a blemished record.

Horrifically of the 12 SNP MPs who signed, 10 have a record stained by antisemitism or extreme hatred of Israel. Only Stephen Flynn and Drew Hendry have unblemished records.

Diane Abbott Labour Kate Hollern Labour
Rushanara Ali LabourRachel Hopkins Labour
Tahir Ali LabourRupa Huq Labour
Paula Barker LabourIan Lavery Labour
Apsana Begum LabourTony Lloyd Labour
Clive Betts LabourJohn McDonnell Labour
Tracy Brabin LabourGrahame Morris Labour
Ben Bradshaw LabourKate Osamor Labour
Richard Burgon LabourBell Ribeiro-Addy Labour
Dan Carden LabourNaz Shah Labour
Jeremy Corbyn LabourAndy Slaughter Labour
Neil Coyle LabourZarah Sultana Labour
Julie Elliott Labour
25 of the 27 Labour MPs who signed have a history of antisemitism or extreme anti-Israel activity

Baroness Blower LabourKenny MacAskill SNP
Crispin Blunt ConservativeStewart Mcdonald SNP
Alan Brown SNPJohn Nicolson SNP
Lord Menzies Campbell LDBrendan O’Hara SNP
Alistair Carmichael LDTommy Sheppard SNP
Joanna Cherry SNPAlyn Smith SNP
Stephen Farry Alliance NIOwen Thompson SNP
Richard Graham ConservativeLord Warner Crossbench
Lord Hain LabourBaroness Warsi Conservative
Christine Jardine LDClaudia Webbe Indep Labour
David Jones ConservativePhilippa Whitford SNP
Caroline Lucas Green
23 of the non-Labour MPs and all Lords Members who signed have a history of antisemitism or extreme anti-Israel activity

Notice that Baroness Tonge appears on neither of CAABU’s letters. Presumably she is considered too extreme even by CAABU.

Here’s a challenge to CAABU. One, accept the IHRA Definition of antisemitism. Two, do not ask the Parliamentarians named above – the majority of whom violate IHRA – to sign any more of your anti-Israel letters.

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Thanks to David Collier whose profiling of MPs who signed the May 2020 CAABU letter was invaluable for this blog

Fisking The Useful Idiots’ Lies About Palestinian Schoolbooks

Naamod is the name the useful idiots and their supporters give themselves to avoid being personally shamed for mourning dead Hamas terrorists in Parliament Square in May 2018. I don’t think they should hide behind the cloak of anonymity so please remember their names. In particular Charlotte Nichols, now a Labour MP, and the abusive Amos Schonfield. They cannot be trusted to hold any position of responsibility in the Jewish Community.

They don’t like Israel and their regular demonisation and lies make Yachad look like Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party

https://twitter.com/NaamodUK/status/1359156331945549830

Their latest lie concerns Palestinian and Israeli schoolbooks. On the basis of bogus evidence they claim that Palestinian textbooks do not incite violence against Israelis or Jews.

The proof that they are lying is here.

Just one example is here:

https://www.impact-se.org/reports/palestinian-territories/palestinian-authority/

To support their case Naamod cite a State Department report from 2009.  (Naamod do not link to the report, they simply link to an earlier 2004 New York Times Report).  But that 2009 report is 11 years out of date. Beside which, the Palestinian school curriculum was revised in 2017, becoming still more extreme. References to ‘peace‘ were removed.

Naamod cite (‘the largest piece of research’) the 2013 Report of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land 2013 (the so-called Wexler Report, named after the US Professor who was commissioned to lead the study).

Let’s see what the deceitful neophytes of Naamod fail to reveal ……. To carry out the study, Wexler appointed the leftist Professor Daniel Bar-Tal from Tel Aviv University and Professor Sami Adwan from the Palestinian side. Unfortunately Bar-Tal was a terrible appointment as he appeared to come with the deranged Über-Liberal preconception that incitement in Palestinian school textbooks  is no worse than that in Israeli school textbooks. Some academics are so open-minded that their brains fall out.

In April 2013 Arnon Groiss – a member of the project’s Scientific Advisory Panel – set out just how biased it was  – you can see his report here

Groiss’s first criticism is that the Wexler Report took Haredi books (less than 15 % of population) and painted them as the Israel curriculum. Most Haredi books were probably not even approved by Israel Education Ministry at the time. 

Second, Bar-Tal’s research methodology was heavily structured – so it missed things which were ‘outside its box’. For example it didn’t allow for the fact phrases like “liberation struggle” – which implicitly calls for the liquidation of the State of Israel – are inciteful  of hatred.

Ben-Dror Yemini reports that Bar-Tal’s methodology even recorded factual discussion of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics as an example of negative portrayals of the Arab side in Israeli textbooks! Presumably any factual mention of how the Mufti of Jerusalem sought out Hitler – or how the Arabs massed to invade Israel in 1967 – would be viewed by Bar-Tal as negative portrayal of Arabs too.

Wexler Report: Mentioning the Munich Massacre is Hateful to Arabs


Listen to the truth and ask your questions

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One of Naamod’s useful idiots and mourners for Hamas, Sam Alston, was recently elected to the National Council of the Zionist Federation in a classic leftist entryist slate-voting putsch. The story needs to be told and since you won’t find it anywhere else, I’ll tell it here.

The Zionist Federation  is just that – a Federation, with both group and individual membership. For years the leftist groups have had a majority. They could have taken over the policymaking National Council but they were never that interested. But the debate last year around declaring sovereignty in part of Judea and Samaria seems to have fired them up.  

On 24 January there were elections for the National Council.  People showed up to vote who are never seen at ZF meetings.  They wouldn’t be seen dead at ZF Lobby Day for example (3 March this year).  The elections were an entryist leftist stitchup – it’s obvious from the chart.

Elected candidates shown by blue bars; H=Herut, W=Wizo

The leftist slates (all but two of the organisations that signed that letter reported in the Jewish News on 27 May: Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), Liberal Judaism, LJY-Netzer (LJYN), Meretz UK (Me), Masorti Judaism (MM) and Pro Zion – Arzenu (PZ) ) all voted for each other’s candidates. Alston of Kaddish for Hamas fame is ridiculously now on the National Council of the Zionist Federation.  So is Ruth Nyman who successfully proposed a motion (incredibly 69% voted for, 25% against, 6% abstained) gagging the ZF Executive, which is now supposed to get signoff from the leftists on the National Council for any ZF ‘political’ statement (ie everything).   Another new NC member, Jack Lubner, defended a Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate who claims to have gone on ‘Jihad’ to ‘Palestine’.

And there are two new NC members (Strawson and Joffe) representing the far Left MeretzUK which campaigned against the US Peace Plan.

Fortunately for Israel the lies of Naamod and the cynical entryism of the Jewish Left are utterly irrelevant: the Jewish State goes from strength to strength as it approaches its 75th birthday in 2023.

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Letter to UK Foreign Secretary

Dear Dominic Raab

A group of 18 MPs and Upper House Members have written to you about Issa Amro, a well-known Palestinian activist who has been charged with crimes by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

On 6 January Amro was convicted in an Israeli Military Court on six out of eighteen charges related to activities between 2010-2016. After criticizing the Palestinian Authority on social media, he was also charged in 2017 in a Palestinian court with disturbing “public order” under Palestine’s Cyber Crime Law of 2017 as well as “insulting the higher authorities”.

These 18 MPs and Peers claim Amro is a ‘principled human rights defender who should not be put on trial and convicted for his peaceful community organising.’

They are lying.  Amro is far from ‘peaceful’. He was first put on trial in 2016 on 18 charges dating back to 2010, including incitement, assaulting an Israeli and participating in a march without a permit.

There are clear indications that Amro’s group Youth Against Settlements (YAS) supports terrorism. He is close to extreme anti-Israel groups and to the Tamimi family, notorious for virulent Jew-hatred and ardent support for terrorism.

In July 2014, he posted a tweet demanding “Stop drinking our children’s blood in Qaza , Israel occupation is killing our people’s lives.” (In this and several other tweets, the links to Facebook posts do not work, either because the posts are not public or have been deleted). A few days earlier, his group Youth Against Settlements (YAS) had posted a cartoon on its Facebook page depicting Israeli prime minister Netanyahu with a gun and crushing a bleeding Palestinian child to death, while a camera man films Netanyahu’s bandaged finger. Some four weeks later, Amro accused Israel of a “genocide operation in Gaza.”

As part of their programme We Are British Jews the BBC took a group of British Jews to meet Issa Amro in Hebron.  One of the group, Damon Lenszner, can be seen here (3m 26 seconds) reporting what Amro said to the group: “When the time comes, we would expel all Jews from Hebron – from the West Bank – and those that stayed would be arrested and tried for war crimes” (the BBC edited this out).

Clearly Issa Amro is not a ‘peaceful community organiser’

The letter which the 18 MPs and Lords signed was drafted by CAABU, an anti-Israel organisation. With the exception of the Bishop of Southwark they all signed CAABU’s  letter last May opposing extension of Israeli sovereignty in Judea/Samaria (‘annexation’) as a step in the Trump Administration’s Peace Plan. One might assume that CAABU has a list of people who have given it carte blanche to sign any letter. How many of the 18 were even AWARE of this letter?

As the table below shows, thirteen of the eighteen have a record which includes anti-Israel or antisemitic activity, some including a failure to speak out about genuine human rights abuses is countries such as Iran and Pakistan, or about the atrocities suffered by the Kurds.

Nine failed to sign Ann McDonagh MP’s letter to the Chinese Ambassador expressing outrage about China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims.

So beyond the usual courtesy response, CAABU’s letter needs no action.

As ever
Jonathan

Record includes anti-Israel or antisemitism?Signed Uighur Letter?
Rushanara Ali LabourY
Tracy Brabin LabourN
Crispin Blunt ConservativeN
Alan Brown SNPY
Alistair Carmichael LDY
Sarah Champion LabourY
Joanna Cherry SNPY
Brendan O’Hara SNPY
Tommy Sheppard SNPY
Andy Slaughter LabourN
Baroness Blackstone LabourY
Lord Judd LabourY
Baroness Northover LDN
Lord Purvis LDN
Baroness Sheehan LDN
Bishop of SouthwarkN
Lord Warner CrossbenchN
Baroness Warsi ConsN

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Jews Don’t Count: Good Polemic, But ….

I started reading David Baddiel’s book Jews Don’t Count determined to pan it. He blocks me on Twitter (no idea why) alongside (they tell me) many other pro-Israel activists. My hackles rose still further on reading Keren David’s opening paragraphs in her JC report of her interview with Mr Baddiel:

If you are the sort of person who harrumphs about “snowflakes” or bangs on about “the woke brigade” then Jews Don’t Count, the new book by writer and comedian David Baddiel is not for you. Don’t even bother to read it. Forget it exists. If on the other hand you consider yourself “progressive” — this is Baddiel’s preferred word and how he defines himself — and mix in circles where identity politics are taken seriously and discussed regularly — as he does — then do read it.

I hate that word ‘progressive’. Progressing to what? They never answer.  And it’s so sanctimonious and proscriptive: the Liberal and Reform synagogue movement in the UK call themselves ‘progressive’. I’m not a member of those movements, am I RE-gressive then? It’s often used by the acceptable (ie non-Corbynite) Left to describe themselves.  Those of us not in that category but who take identity politics seriously – are we proscribed from the magic ‘progressive’ circle? Those who deem themselves ‘progressive’ do not have a monopoly of virtue – far from it.

I’m not a Baddiel fan. I am a Spurs fan. He is a Chelsea fan and putting the boot into us for calling ourselves ‘Proud Yids’ therefore serves as a double whammy for him. Jewish Spurs fans are proud that when fans of other clubs (Chelsea included) began to abuse Spurs supporters in the late 1960s as ‘Yids’, the response of our fellow fans was not to disown us but to join us as ‘Proud Yids’. There is nowhere in London where I feel safer with an Israel flag than at White Hart Lane (sorry, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium). Certainly not at Stamford Bridge and certainly not at a Stand Up To Racism rally.

Another reason I’m not a Baddiel fan is because I was sickened by his autobiographical play My Family Not the Sitcom. Sickened by the tasteless revelations about his mother’s sexlife: call me old-fashioned maybe but there are some things about a mother that a son/daughter should keep private. Had I been on my own I would have walked out.

A third reason is his attitude to Israel.  Of which more later.

So my expectations on opening the book were not exactly sky high. Plus the theme – that Jews don’t count in what David Baddiel calls the ‘sacred circle’ of minorities for whom the ‘progressive modern left ‘ are prepared to go into battle – is hardly a revelation.

But contrary to expectations, the book DID hold my attention in its 123 pages. It’s a polemic not a textbook; the ideas are not original; it’s riddled with inconsistences;  but it’s beautifully written (Mr Baddiel has a double first in English from King’s College, Cambridge), well researched and there’s plenty to hold the attention even of a seasoned counter-antisemitism activist. I loved the description of Jews as Schrödinger’s Whites (Mr Baddiel is honest enough to say it’s not original); his tip to look for the word ‘always’ when trying to decide if someone is an antisemite; and his knowledge of TV and film, particularly of the number of films where Jewish characters are played by non-Jews. And although Jews Don’t Count has a familiar theme – at least to me – I welcome Mr Baddiel’s extensive documentation of examples – for example an astonishing memo distributed by the British Ministry of Information in 1940 (which also featured in his BBC TV programme about Holocaust Deniers). I also welcome Mr Baddiel’s inclusion (p96) of a slam-dunk antisemitic Facebook post of Jenny Tonge which I hadn’t seen before – perhaps because she’s deleted it – something she hardly ever does – even she, it seems, had second thoughts about that one.

Jews Don’t Count may be about second-order antisemitism – the ‘antisemitism of the missing’ –but nevertheless it holds the reader’s attention and Keren David’s advice to those of us who are excluded (or self-excluded)  from the sacred progressive circle to ‘forget the book exists’ does it a profound disservice.

But …. (yes there are quite a few ‘buts’)

The biggest ’But’ concerns Israel. The elephant in the room. And it’s a massive one.  Israel Doesn’t Count. Mr Baddiel self-describes as an atheist and a non-Zionist. That’s different from an anti-Zionist. It’s not antisemitic. It just means he doesn’t care about Israel (or at least if he does he keeps it (somewhat uncharacteristically) very quiet).  93% of British Jews say that Israel forms some part of their identity as Jews. Mr Baddiel is in the 7%. Israel means no more to him than Belgium. Possibly less. But that’s OK.  But the way he puts it on Twitter is NOT OK. If he ‘doesn’t give a fuck about Israel’ then he does not have licence to badmouth it (‘fucking Israel’) because someone who ‘doesn’t give a fuck about Israel’ would not have bothered to interrogate the usual leftist lies about Israel  (eg ‘settler colonial’, ‘apartheid’) so if they do not ‘give a fuck’ they should refrain from comment.

But Mr Baddiel cannot resist going with the leftist flow. It’s like a membership badge.

From Labour List

Here he is on Labour List. ‘…as all Jews have to say now’ … One, he’s wrong. Two, since when is it mandatory for Jews to diss Israel? Is that what being ‘progressive’ is about? A political test? As I said, a membership badge, certainly for the Jewish Left who stuck with Corbyn but also for most of the Jewish Left who didn’t. Will it change with the new Labour leader I wonder?

Here in the book: ‘I’m not suggesting that the state of Israel hasn’t done many things to be ashamed of.’  And he says that Miriam Margolyes ‘like many left-wing Jews carries particular shame about Israel’ – Where’s the evidence, not about Margolyes but about ‘many left-wing Jews’?  And here on BBC Radio 5 on Thursday “Not for not good reason, on many occasions Israel has become pariah in terms of the behaviour of the Israeli State, for that part of the political community“. If you don’t ‘give a fuck’ about Israel then you don’t care enough to do sufficient due diligence to merit respect for your view – and it would therefore be best if you kept that view to yourself.

And another thing about Israel: Mr Baddiel’s maternal grandfather Ernst suffered terrible persecution in Germany – he was stripped of his assets and was a victim of Kristallnacht. Ernst’s wife’s brother (Mr Baddiel’s great uncle) died, either in the Warsaw Ghetto or in a concentration camp or in the Warsaw Uprising of 1943. It is surprising that someone doesn’t ‘give a fuck’ about a country which – had it been created ten years earlier – might have protected and saved their family members – and about a country which is his best safeguard of ‘Never Again’.

Incidentally the “I don’t give a F about Israel’ stance is not too dissimilar to the stance of many counter-antisemitism activists on the Left.  I saw it most in the runup to the 2019 election, the fight against Corbyn.  If it’s Holocaust denial or relativism, Rothschild Conspiracy, Soros allegation or Jewish Control allegation, they will fight it. But if it’s ‘Israel steals land’ or ‘Israel expelled 700,000 Palestinians in 1948’ they don’t want to know.  I really hope this changes with the change of Leader. If they really don’t think that Israel is at the centre of leftist antisemitism, just look at the identity of the Super Spreaders of the Vaccine Libel !

The second ‘but’ is about stereotyping. Mr Baddiel correctly says ‘To assume that I have to have a strong position on Israel either way is racist’. OK. It’s stereotyping. But what’s sauce for the non-Zionist goose is sauce for the ‘frummer’ gander (‘frummer‘ in Yiddish means highly observant Jew).  The highly observant Jews whom I know are all observing the lockdown. It is some (not all) Haredi Jews who are ‘stupid fucking’. At an informed guess maybe 5% of ‘frummers’.

Source: Twitter

And while we’re on the subject of stereotyping … Mr Baddiel apologises for mocking the appearance of footballer Jason Lee in his Fantasy Football show on BBC in the 1990s. But what about his Phoenix From the Flames show with Avi Cohen? It features an actor dressed as a Chassidic Jew wearing a Tallith (prayer shawl) to emphasise his Jewishness (prayer shawls are generally only worn when or around time of prayer) with a running joke about a Volvo. There is even canned laughter to tell the audience when to laugh! No way would that be acceptable on the BBC today. Why no expression of regret from Mr Baddiel for that? Don’t Jews count?

‘But’ #3 (not really a  ‘But’):  He should give the full source of the Table on page 111

But #4: As part of the #JewsDon’tCount argument Mr Baddiel writes about the cultural appropriation of food.  He means when people who are not Chinese cook and sell Chinese food, or mutatis mutandis non-Indians or non-Chinese. He points out that many ‘progressives’ call out these culinary cultural appropriations, whereas for appropriation of ‘Jewish’ food (eg bagels and chopped liver) there is silence. Er … perhaps that’s because both Ashkenazi and Sfardi foods (which he doesn’t mention) were themselves drawn from the places where Jews lived before they had to move on.

‘But’ #5 is quite a big one. Mr Baddiel says (p105) that there were examples in the back-and-forth about Labour antisemitism where the ‘Jewish community overreacted’.  ‘Jewish community’ must mean Board of Deputies or Jewish Leadership Council  – the only community umbrella organisations who negotiated with Labour over antisemitism. Marie van der Zyl leads the Board and Jonathan Goldstein the JLC. I challenge Mr Baddiel to find one example of them ‘overreacting’. He can’t – because there isn’t one, they were remarkably restrained.  (Remember that the EHRC ruled that denial of the claim of antisemitism is an illegal act of harassment).

Mr Baddiel goes on to state ‘No doubt also there was much weaponisation, by Labour Party enemies, of the issue [of antisemitism].’ Unlike for his disparaging of the Board and JLC, here Mr Baddiel does give an example:

Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, was filmed speaking before the 2019 election at his own constituency. He got into some trouble over the Conservative manifesto pledge to supply the NHS with fifty thousand new nurses. The crowd became restless. Desperately he reached for a trump card: Labour Party antisemitism. It was a cynical, panicky move. But the crowd’s reaction is, to my ears, astounding. On hearing Hancock’s pledge to ‘fight the antisemitic racist attitudes of Jeremy Corbyn’, the crowd boo him, they swear, they get up and take the mike from him.

Mr Baddiel’s point is that when he expressed shock on Twitter at the crowd’s reaction to the word ‘antisemitism’, he received abuse.

He’s actually ‘weaponising’ the incident himself to smear the Conservative Party. First Matt Hancock wasn’t just ‘speaking’, he was at a hustings with the other candidates. There is a big difference. Second, the Conservative manifesto pledge was NOT (as Mr Baddiel says) fifty thousand new nurses, it was fifty thousand more nurses. The figure included successfully encouraging nearly 19,000 existing nurses to stay.

Third, it was the chair of the meeting who tried to take the mike from Hancock, not ‘the crowd’. Fourth, the video shows that Hancock points with his left hand and addresses the antisemitism comment to the Labour candidate, Claire Unwin – who had never made any attempt to distance from Corbyn’s antisemitism nor to criticise it. Fifth, Unwin herself grins at the mention of antisemitism.

Sixth, it’s perfectly obvious that ‘the crowd’ who jeered Hancock was not a representative cross-section of West Suffolk voters. They were hardcore Labour activists, there to jeer at a Cabinet Minister and to film.  Hancock had a 17,000 majority in 2017; hustings in constituencies with that size majority simply do not generate either numbers or excitement. 

And finally, read this. The intimidation at those hustings in Haverhill obliged Hancock to pull out of a subsequent hustings in Newmarket. However his campaign manager Bobby Bennett (a woman) did go and was subjected to so much abuse that he reported it to the police. He alleged that Unwin and the other candidates did nothing to try to stop the abuse.

So just who is the one doing the ‘weaponising’ here?

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Tonge retires from House of Lords: Valedictory

Jenny Tonge confirmed today that she is retiring on 19 February. No doubt she will still spew her antisemitic bile about Israel but at least she will no longer have a Parliamentary platform. And the taxpayer will no longer have to meet her £305 per day attendance allowance (plus travel expenses and subsidised restaurant facilities). And if she wants to book a room for an antisemitic meeting she will have to pay for it.

My petition to expel her from the Lords was started about five years ago and has 11,000 signatures.

Other relevant blogs by me are here here here here here and here. I’ve complained about her to the Lords Standards Commissioner at least four times but no action was taken.

The Lords Code of Conduct states that ‘Save for paragraphs 17, 18 and 19, the Code does not extend to members’ performance of duties unrelated to parliamentary proceedings, or to their private lives.’ (these paragaraphs forbid members to act as paid parliamentary consultants). This is ludicrous and needs amending. If a pharmacist has to meet professional standards outside the workplace too, why should members of the House of Lords be able to indulge in antisemitism?

Extract from General Phamaceutical Council, Standards fr Phamacy Professionals

As fate would have it I wrote a fresh complaint to the Commissioner yesterday.

As a retirement gift to Tonge, I’ll publish it here.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

3 February 2021

Dear Ms Scott-Moncrieff

There is a definition of antisemitism which is accepted by the government and all major political parties. The House of Lords can therefore be assumed to accept it too. It is the IHRA definition of antisemitism. You can find it here.

The examples form part of the definition.

I request that you open an investigation into Baroness Tonge’s conduct. I submit that she has failed to act on personal honour because she has repeatedly made antisemitic comments or posts, as judged by the yardstick of the IHRA definition. Here are six examples.

1. Tonge gives credibility to antisemitic blood libel

In 2010 Israel was the first country to send assistance to Haiti after the earthquake. Antisemites propagated a conspiracy theory that the Israelis giving assistance were stealing body parts from the dead to sell on the open market for use in transplant surgery. This is an antisemitic allegation (IHRA: ‘Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis’). A politician acting on their personal honour would have denounced this conspiracy theory. Tonge gave it credibility by maliciously suggesting there should be a public inquiry into the allegation.

2. Tonge blames the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ for the result of the 2019 general election

Tonge commented on Facebook ‘The Chief Rabbi must be dancing in the street. The pro-Israel lobby won our General Election by lying about Jeremy Corbyn.’

88 House of Lords members called for her to withdraw this disgraceful claim.

This is antisemitic.

IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’.

3. Tonge calls Israel ‘America’s puppet master’

In a debate in the Lords in March 2020 Tonge called Israel ‘America’s puppet master’. This is antisemitic. IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’.

4. Tonge celebrates the death of Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson was a major philanthropist and a strong (Jewish) supporter of Israel. During the pandemic he maintained salaries for thousands of workers at his Las Vegas properties despite a massive decline in revenue. Tonge celebrated his death in January 2021.

The only reason she celebrated his death was because he was a strong supporter of Israel. Celebrating the death of a Jewish philanthropist because he supports Israel is profoundly antisemitic. How can anyone possibly maintain she ‘acts on her honour’?

IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews’.

5. Tonge suggests IDF soldier who nearly lost her life to a terrorist is lying

On 26 January a young Israel Defence Force soldier from London, Corporal Leanne Harush, managed to hold a terrorist back when he tried to stab her three times. The Commander of her force shot the attacker dead in coordination with Leanne. The assailant was identified as Atallah Muhammed Rayan (17). There were multiple reliable reports of the incident.

But Tonge cast doubt on the reports, implying Harush was a liar. To suggest that a Jewish IDF soldier who came within inches of death is lying – in other words, Tonge alleges that Atallah Muhammed Rayanthat was simply shot for no reason – is despicable and antisemitic,

IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews’

6. Tonge suggests in the Lords that Israel causes antisemitism

In the recent Lords debate on antisemitism (21 January, the link contains a link to Hansard) Tonge suggested that Israel causes antisemitism. ‘They are victims because of the illegal actions of the Israeli Government. Please will our Government investigate the connection?’

This is despicable and antisemitic. Israel was created BECAUSE of centuries of antisemitism. It is a refuge for persecuted Jews.

IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’

I request that you begin an investigation into Baroness Tonge’s failure to act on personal honour. A member of the House of Lords who crosses the line into antisemitic discourse so frequently cannot possibly be viewed as ‘acting on their personal honour’.

Yours sincerely
Jonathan Hoffman

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Update: The Mail links Tonge’s decision to retire with my petition, which has 11,000 signatures. Just waiting for the first one to say that Zionists control the House of Lords………….

Kevin Myers – Victim of Cancel Culture: Update

My regular readers will remember that in August 2017 I rushed to defend the Irish columnist Kevin Myers against a ‘pile-on’ – led by Gideon Falter of the CAA (and here) – which absurdly and libellously accused him of antisemitism. Kevin is way overdue for an apology from Mr Falter , the CST and others who wrongly accused him of antisemitism. The false accusations have had catastrophic consequences for his career and reputation.

Kevin has sent me his account of the episode and I am please to publish it. It demonstrates that Kevin is STILL a victim of ‘cancel culture’. I wish him well and am surely joined by all right-thinking people. We who are in the trenches in the fight against antisemitism have a moral duty to call out false allegations.

On 26th July 2017 I was asked by the Irish Edition of The Sunday Times to write about the row in the BBC in London over the pay differentials between male and female broadcasters.  I said I preferred not to. My page editor insisted: “Fallopia O’Whynge wants to work less hours than her male counterparts, slope off to have babies whenevs & yet be paid exactly the same. Gwan”.

I finally capitulated. My research revealed that the two best paid women were Jewish. I foolishly, but in genuine admiration of their chutzpah, wrote: “Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price.”

I filed on Thursday, nearly 24 hours early. That evening, I was asked: was I sure they were Jewish? My copy was read by at least five people before publication. Nobody objected.

The Irish edition of The Sunday Times came online at 12.01am. Minutes later, someone in London accessed it, presumably on a tip-off, and began to accuse me of misogyny and anti-Semitism, triggering an instant tidal wave of social media hatred. That morning, without any consultation, The Sunday Times sacked me, publicly declaring that I would never work for it again. This prompted worldwide on-line hysteria and I was next accused of “Holocaust denial”. The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, which has defended me throughout, protested that I had written “truths about the Holocaust the Irish people would not otherwise have known.” This did not prevent the then Taoiseach Varadkar and Tanaiste Fitzgerald, along with almost all the Irish media, from piling in.

News International, which gave the world the Page 3 girl, must have expected to be castigated in Ireland for sacking an Irish citizen without due process; instead it got a hearty round of applause for bringing international ruin upon a ‘misogynistic anti-Semite’.

I sued RTE for calling me a Holocaust-denier and won a complete apology with damages.

Neither RTE News nor The Irish Times reported this. However, two RTE programmes separately invited me to discuss my victory, but then agreed between them that only one programme should interview me. Just before that programme’s live-broadcast, I was disinvited.

My memoir about my career, Burning Heresies (Merrion) was published last September.  An invitation to discuss it with Claire Byrne on RTE radio was contingent on my rejecting invitations from rival stations. This I did, whereupon the show promptly withdrew my invitation.

The Irish Times, for which I had worked for 25 years, commissioned a review of the memoir, but it has never appeared. In January 2021, Frank Fitzgibbon the Irish editor of the Sunday Times in 2017, admitted in an interview with the on-line magazine The Currency  that Kevin was very badly done by, by people who claimed he was anti-Semitic … that was just completely, completely and utterly wrong. …his record shows and his columns show quite the opposite.”

But the two Irish organisations which were most active in my destruction in 2017, RTE and The Irish Times, ignored this stunning admission, which of course revealed the bankruptcy of the case against me. Consumers of news from either organisation, which are both charter-bound to tell the truth, have still not been told of the real facts about me or the existence of my memoir. The entire episode has been a triumph for cancel culture and a consummate defeat for truth.

*******
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Preview of PSC’s letter to Guardian. Whoops, Palestinian students’ letter I mean ……

In a postscript to my account of the House of Lords debate on antisemitism eight days ago I noted the excellent letter in the Guardian a week ago from 97 Jewish student leaders, backing the adoption of the IHRA definition by all universities. (My FOI research indicates that 56 Universities have now adopted it; this is 42% of the total).

Apparently a response letter (in the form of a googledoc) is circulating among Palestinian students in the UK, intended also to be published in the Guardian.

The initiative for the letter from the 97 Jewish student leaders came from themselves (I understand); the text was drafted by them. However the genesis of the letter from the Palestinian students is rather different.  It’s been kindly, generously and thoughtfully drafted for the students by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a Mr Lewis Backon – the PSC’s Campaigns Officer who I believe is not Palestinian – is urging the students to sign it.  How considerate of the PSC to do this for the students!  I’m sure the PSC has every intention of telling the Guardian that the letter was not actually written by the signatories. And I’m sure that when it comes to denying security to Jewish students, the Guardian is none too fussed about a spot of plagiarism.

The text of the letter (as relayed to me) begins by an affirmation that the students deplore antisemitism. As dictated by the PSC. Good for it/them – except it’s the PSC’s (sorry, the students’) own definition of antisemitism, as opposed to the IHRA one. 

The letter claims (I’m told) that the 11 examples in the IHRA definition conflates criticism of the constitutional order, ideology and structure of the Israeli state with antisemitism, erase Palestinian history and shield Israel’s far-right regime of occupation and oppression. Preventing research and public discussion on the well-established facts of our history is an act of historical erasure and denial of crimes committed against Palestinians.’

Wow.  I must re-read the definition! I thought all it said was that it’s antisemitic to ‘deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination eg by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour’; to require Israel to meet standards above those expected of any other country; to use antisemitic language about Israel – eg to accuse it of a blood libel or to use Nazi comparisons. Apart from that I thought the students can make the same criticisms of Israel that they make of other countries. If they want a lesson they can read Haaretz.

I must confess I’m at a loss to see how this ‘prevents research and public discussion’ of the history of Palestinians. I’m sure the PSC (I’m sorry – the students!) will explain!

The PSC (whoops, sorry, I mean the students!) also claims that ‘Our concerns are shared by a range of eminent individuals and bodies including; the Institute of Race Relations; leading academic experts on antisemitism Anthony Lerman and Brian Klug; 40 global Jewish social justice organisations; more than 80 UK-based BAME groups, and the most detailed academic study yet undertaken surveying the impact of the IHRA.’

I’m sure Ms Viner – the Editor of the Guardian – will want to take a look at those claims before deciding whether to publish the PSC’s letter – I’m sorry, the students’ letter, there I go again! She’s a busy lady so I thought I’d help her……….

Ms Viner, if you look on the website of the ‘Institute of Race Relations’ you won’t find any discussion of the IHRA definition. All you’ll find is a terse definition of antisemitism: ‘Discrimination against or hostility and hatred towards Jewish people, whether they be religiously or ethnically defined.’ That’s useless. For example: It doesn’t tell us whether accusing the IDF of stealing the body parts of dead Palestinians for sale on the open market is antisemitic (it is).  However if we check out what Frances Webber – the Vice Chair of the organisation – has said, we find more.  Ms Webber thinks that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) ‘never considered the EUMC antisemitism definition valid’.  She’s wrong. (The IHRA definition is drawn from the European Union Monitoring Definition. When the FRA succeeded the EUMC it dropped the definition from its website but NEVER said it was invalid). Incidentally Ms Webber supported Ken Loach as a judge of an anti-racism competition despite Loach’s history of antisemitism. She supported Corbyn’s leadership campaign in 2015. There is no evidence that she ever criticised Corbyn’s antisemitism, Ms Viner!

I’m sure Ms Viner that you will conclude that Ms Webber is an EXPERT on antisemitism, together with the illustrious Institute of which she is the Vice Chair.

What about Anthony Lerman and Brian Klug? Yes Ms Viner, both WORLD AUTHORITIES on antisemitism. You can read about Mr Lerman here. If you want to read his seminal paper on antisemitism, it’s here. Just ignore the errors Ms Viner. Lerman states that ‘Only 6 of 31 governments whose countries are members of IHRA have formally endorsed/adopted the definition.’ But the UN reported that as at August 2019, 18 countries had adopted it. By mid-2020 the total was up to 27.  (Around 20 October 2020 the total rose to 28 as Albania adopted).

Lerman states ‘the UK Government adopted the definition but not the list of examples’. Simply a lie. The examples are part of the Definition and the UK has adopted it in full. Ditto his assertion that the European Parliament only adopted the first 38 words of the Definition and not the examples. A lie. Lerman asserts that the examples are not part of the Definition. A lie.

Ms Viner, Lerman ropes in four of the most eminent and most learned legal minds on the planet for support (though he couldn’t get Lord Sumption): Hugh Tomlinson QC, Sir Stephen Sedley, Sir Geoffrey Bindman and Geoffrey Robertson QC.

  • Tomlinson was paid for his Opinion by opponents of the Definition – Free Speech on Israel; Independent Jewish Voices; Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.   Hardly surprising that his Opinion opposed the Definition….
  • Sedley suggested the completely unworkable definition that “Antisemitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews”. His criticism of IHRA effectively amounts to the Livingstone Formulation. (This is the lie – beloved of antisemites – that ‘anyone who criticises the Israel government’s policies towards the Palestinians is denounced as antisemitic.’)
  • Bindman’s criticism is here.  He states ‘the IHRA definition should only be adopted if qualified by caveats making clear that it is not antisemitic to criticise the Israeli government without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent’. Of course – and it is in the Definition! (‘ …criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’.)
  • Robertson’s Opinion was funded by the Palestine Return Centre. I fisked it here.  It  was rapidly deleted. Its worth can be deduced from Robertson’s demonstrably false statement that Israel was created  ‘to compensate for the Holocaust’.

Lerman fails to communicate the fact that the Campaign Against Antisemitism published a supportive legal opinion regarding IHRA! But why on earth should he Ms Viner? Objectivity is the hobgoblin of small minds!

How about the PSC’s (I’m sorry, the students’ – keep forgetting – silly me) other academic luminary, Brian Klug?

Well the PSC (sorry, damn – the students!) probably think that Klug’s definition of antisemitism is ‘a form of hostility towards Jews as Jews, in which Jews are perceived as something other than what they are‘. It’s a common mistake Ms Viner.  In fact Klug dismissed that formulation as ‘too simple’. It is also meaningless.  Over the ages, Jews have been accused of being thieves, manipulators, child killers, controllers of the world – but none of these are hostility to Jews ‘as Jews’.

The ‘40 global Jewish social justice organisations’? Yes they are all bona fide democratically elected representative organisations Ms Viner!   As set out by a chap called Collier here.  He says ‘When you consider that if 75% of the groups listed combined together to put all their people into a single demonstration, they wouldn’t match the regular Shabbat turn out of a single average synagogue in the UK, you begin to realise how vile and insidious this is.

 Among these 40 groups this chap Collier found :

  • Multiple signees who are members of antisemitic Facebook Group Palestine Live
  • Groups that seem to have been invented for the letter
  • People that signed more than once
  • Bloggers who call themselves organisations
  • Groups that are not actually Jewish organisations
  • Groups that share antisemitic material and even one represented by a Holocaust Denier….

The 80 UK-based BAME groups? Sure Ms Viner it’s perfectly understandable that African Rainbow Family, Eritrean Parents and Children’s Association, Min Quan – Chinatown People Rights Group and Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation think they know more about what Jews find offensive than democratically elected Jewish organisations. Same goes for Black Lives Matter UK and the Palestine Return Centre. Links with Hamas? What nonsense!

Again we see the allegation that the IHRA definition ‘silences a public discussion of what happened in Palestine and to the Palestinians in 1948, when the majority of its people were forcibly expelled.’Golly, I must re-read the definition, I don’t remember any of that! They think the majority of Arabs were expelled in 1948? Not quite accurate Ms Viner.  We know from archives that have been released that most Arabs were advised by their leaders to leave temporarily as they knew that war would break out after the UN resolution granting Israel independence. And the Mayor of Haifa begged the Arabs in Haifa to stay put. The Eritrean Parents and Children’s Association et al should read Professor Efraim Karsh, see here and here.   Around 600,000 Arabs left their homes. Only a fraction were driven by Jews/Israelis and twice as many by Arabs. The vast majority simply fled in fear, disorientation, and lack of national cohesion, Ms Viner.

How about ‘the most detailed academic study yet undertaken surveying the impact of the IHRA’?

Since the PSC – I’m sorry, the students! – don’t identify the study, it’s hard for me to help you Ms Viner. Perhaps they mean this? Well Ms Viner, like Messrs Lerner and Klug, Professor Gould is clearly a global authority on the subject of antisemitism ….clearly!

So do go ahead and print the letter Ms Viner. The PSC – DAMMIT – WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME – THE STUDENTS! – have put such a lot of hard work into ensuring its intellectual rigour!

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Update: The googledoc has been taken down but someone has passed me a screenshot:

The PSC’s letter … Whoops … The students’ letter …

Is there a Vaccine Against Antisemitic Jewbaiting (contd)?

Incredibly fourteen more MPs have signed Nadia Whittome’s antisemitic Jewbaiting EDM (I blogged yesterday about it).

Let’s look at the 27 MPs who have signed.

Only 8 signed Ann McDonagh MP’s letter to the Chinese Ambassador expressing outrage about China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims.

16 of the 27 have a history of antisemitism (including support for antisemites) or of gross Israel-bashing.

17 of them have proportions of Muslim constituents above the national average of 4.5%

History of Antisemitism
Or Support for Antisemites
Or anti-Israel?
Signed Uighur Letter?Muslim proportion (%)
Nadia Whittome LNN12.1
Claudia Webbe IndYN15.2
Sarah Owen LNN22.3
Bell Ribeiro-Addy LYN5.7
Kate Osborne LNY1.4
Zarah Sultana LYN7.4
Apsana Begum LYY33.6
Chris Stephens SNPNN4.7
Jeremy Corbyn LYN9.0
Alan Brown SNPYY0.3
Kenny MacAskill SNPYN0.5
Hywel Williams PCYN1.9
Beth Winter LYN1.0
Mohammad Yasin LNY8.2
Ian Lavery LNN0.3
John Cryer LNY23.4
Stephen Farry AllianceNY1.0
Caroline Lucas GreenYY1.8
Grahame Morris LYN0.3
Paula Barker LNN4.7
Rachel Hopkins LNN25.3
Jonathan Edwards IndYN1.5
John McDonnell LYN16.6
Tony Lloyd LYN23.6
Richard Burgon LYN10.6
Debbie Abrahams LY
N14.2
Kim Johnson LNY7.2
Great Britain4.5
The MPs who signed EDM 1386. All of the Labour MPs (plus Webbe) bar 5 (Owen, Yasin, Cryer, Lloyd, Abrahams) are members of the Socialist Campaign Group. 15 of the 32 Socialist Campaign Group have signed.

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This blog was updated on 26 January to include the two new signatories, Barker and Hopkins; and again on 27th (Edwards, McDonnell) and on 28th (Tony Lloyd); and again on 1 February (Burgon, Abrahams); and again on 25 February (Johnson).



Andrew Marr Joins the Israel Jab Conspiracists Club

No sooner had I published my blog on the flood of lies about Israel’s vaccination obligations when Andrew Marr on BBC1 TV joined the IJB Club (‘Israel Jab Conspiracists’) – and at Gold Level. He interviewed Israel’s Minister of Health, Yuli Edelstein (38:00 on the iPlayer). (Here for non-UK viewers).

The interview was recorded. It is obvious that two of the Minister’s answers were cut off.

Marr (43:04) said to the Minister “The UN says it’s your legal obligation to ensure the Palestinians under occupation have a swift and equitable access to Covid 19 vaccine. Why aren’t you doing this?” The Minister correctly responded “It’s not our legal obligation but it’s in our interest.

But Marr lied. ***The UN DID NOT SAY THAT***. Michael Lynk said it. He’s the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.  He was appointed by the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council. The Council is made up of 47 UN Members elected by the UN General Assembly (so the chance of Israel being a member is zero). Current members include such paragons of human rights as China, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Cuba, Libya and Venezuela. Lynk was obviously chosen because of his anti-Israel history. He succeeded Richard Falk.

The Minister said vaccinating the Palestinians was in Israel’s interest, to stop it spreading. His response was cut at the word ‘spreading’ (43:41). Why? The BBC should not edit the responses of Israel’s Ministers on such a sensitive topic.

Then Marr (43:50) quotes from Lynk’s statement to ‘prove’ that Israel is ‘required’ to vaccinate the Palestinians: “Israel is required under the Fourth Geneva Convention, “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”, to maintain health services in the occupied territory. Article 56 requires Israel to adopt and apply “the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics” in cooperation with national and local authorities.”

The Minister responds correctly, by saying that the Oslo Accords make the Palestinian Authority responsible for the healthcare of Palestinians.

Marr interrupts (44:17): “Again I’m sorry to interrupt but the United Nations says that international law should supercede the Oslo Accord on this“.

Nonsense. The Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply in either Gaza or Judea/Samaria because neither is ‘occupied’ according to the legal definition of the term. Gaza was returned to full Palestinian control in 2005. The only goods not allowed in are those used for making bombs. Judea/Samaria was grabbed illegally by Jordan after the 1948-’49 War that followed the end of the UK’s League of Nations/United Nations Mandate for Palestine. Israel took it back when it repelled Arab attacks in the Six Day War (1967). An offer to return it was spurned at Khartoum.

Marr lied that signatories are Israeli citizens

Finally and disgustingly Marr quotes from the petition of the NGO Rabbis for Human Rights, telling the Minister that the 200 who signed are “your own citizens”. “The Rabbis are right aren’t they?” said Marr. Look at the petition. 102 of the names – more than half – are from OUTSIDE Israel.  And judging by the UK names (with which I am familiar) the organisation is virtually entirely representative of one strand of Judaism, the less observant strand.

To say that all the 200 are Israeli citizens is a disgrace. It is Israeli citizens who pay taxes and are entitled to be vaccinated by the Israeli medical authorities. Not Jews in the US, UK, South Africa, Denmark, France or Luxembourg. It is Israeli citizens who lose out if vaccine is diverted to outside the country. Not Jews who live in London or New York. There are reports that the EU is running short of vaccine. How would Marr feel if the UK agreed to donate vaccine – paid for by his taxes – to Greece?

Moreover Marr’s error amounted to saying that all Jews worldwide have responsibility for the claimed errors of the Israeli government. Which is slamdunk antisemitic.

And the Minister’s answer is cut short by the editor – for the second time.

A disgraceful example of BBC bias against Israel

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Update: Excellent piece by Mark Pickles. He documents ago recent claims by the Democrat Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, using the vaccine-apartheid libel to prove that Israel is ‘a racist state’.

Is there a Vaccine Against Antisemitic Jewbaiting?

Israel has vaccinated nearly one-third of its population

Israel has achieved a remarkable success in the race to vaccinate against Covid. 29% of Israelis have received at least one shot of the vaccine, versus 9% in the UK.  When they became aware of Israel’s success, the cabal of viral Israel bashers convened by Zoom to choose the best conspiracy lie with which to denigrate it.  Jews control Pfizer? – Bit too crude. Only Israeli Jews are being vaccinated? No – too easy to disprove. Israel is failing to vaccinate Palestinians? Yes – “that is the Big Lie we will run with!” And they have been running with it for a month now …. all the usual suspects, Amnesty, the Guardian, Human Rights Watch, the UN’s “Special Adviser” (see here), MAP, 96 usual suspects in the WHO, BBC (and here) ……. and even some unusual suspects ….

All aboard the Israel conspiracy bandwagon!

And no matter how many times the antisemitic conspiracy theory is refuted – here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for example – STILL they are running with it.  It’s sexy, it grabs headlines: Truth be damned!

Remember the conspiracy theory that Israel was ‘harvesting body parts’ in Haiti in 2010 (Israel was the first country to send relief team after the earthquake)? The antisemites can’t bear seeing Israel successful, can they.

A bit like the medieval conspiracy theory that Jews use the blood of Christian children to bake Matzos. That’s been running for over 500 years so 4 weeks for the Great Vaccine Libel is really nothing on the scale of blood libels against Jews.

Political affiliation is no bar to joining the IJB Club (‘Israel Jab Conspiracists’).  Remember Alan Duncan? The Tory anti-Israel conspiracy theorist par excellence. And Nicholas Soames? ) (of whom a girlfriend once described having sex with him as akin to “lying in bed when suddenly the wardrobe topples over and falls on top of you with the key still in the lock”).

These charmers joined the IJB Club with a letter that the Telegraph was idiotic enough to print (here’s the ZF’s response, scroll down for the letter). I wonder why neither of them has been offered a Peerage …

And at the opposite end of the political spectrum, the latest conspiracy theorist is the youngest MP, a 25 year old Labour Corbynite, Nadia Whittome. She has tabled an EDM (Early Day Motion) to ask the UK government to ‘use all diplomatic and foreign aid routes’ to ensure that Israel vaccinates Palestinians in Gaza and Judea & Samaria (the ‘West Bank’).  (Note: EDMs don’t have any impact on legislation, they are simply a means of conveying MPs’ views).

Here are the lies in the EDM:

1. The fourth Geneva Convention does not apply in either Gaza or Judea/Samaria because neither is ‘occupied’ according to the legal definition of the term. Gaza was returned to full Palestinian control in 2005. The only goods not allowed in are those used for making bombs (and sometimes cement, for making terror tunnels). Judea/Samaria was grabbed illegally by Jordan after the 1948-’49 War that followed the end of the UK’s League of Nations/United Nations Mandate for Palestine. Israel took it back when it repelled Arab attacks in the Six Day War (1967). An offer to return it was spurned at Khartoum.

2. Under the Oslo Accords, healthcare in the disputed territories is administered by the Palestinian Authority. Israel is responsible for its own citizens not anyone else’s. Despite this Palestinians in East Jerusalem are being vaccinated though the take up is low.

3. Israel has offered vaccination assistance to the Palestinian Authority but the PA has not officially requested assistance from Israel.  Palestinian terrorists in Israel prisons who have murdered Israelis are being vaccinated.

Let’s look at the 12 MPs who have signed the EDM – unfortunately there is no vaccine against Israel hate (yet ……..). They care about the Palestinians but do they care about genuinely oppressed people – the Uighur in China for example? One of the last acts of the Trump Administration was to rule that the treatment of the Uighur amounts to ‘genocide’. So of course the 12 would have signed Ann McDonagh MP’s letter to the Chinese Ambassador expressing outrage about China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims. Er…..No. Only 3 of them signed it.

And of course these human rights warriors would care about the human rights of Jews, wouldn’t they? Er …No – 8 of them have a history of antisemitism (including support for antisemites) or of gross Israel-bashing.

And of course they are not simply playing to their Muslim constituents by bashing Israel, right? The fact that 8 of them have proportions of Muslim constituents above the national average of 4.5% is sheer coincidence. Isn’t it……

History of Antisemitism
Or Support for Antisemites
Or anti-Israel?
Signed Uighur Letter?Muslim proportion (%)
Nadia Whittome LNN12.1
Claudia Webbe IndYN15.2
Sarah Owen LNN22.3
Bell Ribeiro-Addy LYN5.7
Kate Osborne LNY1.4
Zarah Sultana LYN7.4
Apsana Begum LYY33.6
Chris Stephens SNPNN4.7
Jeremy Corbyn LYN9.0
Alan Brown SNPYY0.3
Kenny MacAskill SNPYN0.5
Hywel Williams PCYN1.9
Great Britain4.5
The MPs who signed EDM 1386

When derogatory lies about Israel persist for a month in direct contravention of the facts, there’s a name for it: Antisemitic Jewbaiting.

Shame On You!


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House of Lords debates campus antisemitism

Today the House of Lords debated the CST Report on campus antisemitism. You can read the debate in Hansard. Baroness Deech achieved the debate and made an excellent opening speech. She mentioned the Noah Lewis case at SOAS.  More: “How ironic that the practice of no-platforming is so acceptable in universities but not when it comes to antisemitic speech.” Other speakers were confined to just one minute. Good speeches were made by Lord Pickles, Baroness Altmann, Baroness Ludford (who rightly observed that her (and my) alma mater LSE has failed to adopt IHRA) , Lord Grade (outstanding), Lord Austin, Lord Palmer (who rightly singled out SOAS), Lord Mann, Lord Leigh and Lord Wolfson (the Minister responding).

Baroness Falkner (a Peer since 2004) is the newly appointed Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Committee (you can see her confirmatory hearing here) Her view of the IHRA definition is wrong:It [the IHRA definition] directly conflicts with the duty on universities to protect free speech.” Has she read it: “Criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”. As Lord Mann noted, there is not a  single example of the IHRA definition hindering free speech. Her opposition to IHRA seems to be rooted in a fear that other minorities eg Muslims will want to follow and that free speech will be further stifled. It’s a not unexpected view from a Libdem of long standing (she resigned in July 2019, reportedly due to a policy disagreement) – but it’s wrong. Lord Palmer (also LibDem) declared himself ‘shocked’ by her opposition. She is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. Secularism could also be a factor in her hostility to a measure to combat antisemitism.

Inevitably Tonge got her one minute. Disgustingly (but not unexpectedly) she blamed antisemitism on Israel. It is not the done thing for their Lordships to snipe at each other but for Tonge an exception is rightly made. Anticipating her speech Lord Polak said “I am certain that Jewish students up and down the country will take some comfort from today’s debate—although I am unsure how a one-minute contribution from the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, will be sufficient to put right a career of repeating old, medieval tropes.” Afterwards Lord Austin said “it is completely wrong for the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, to blame racism against Jewish people in Britain not on the racists responsible but on Israel; Lord Grade said “I was especially interested to hear what the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, would have to say in this debate, given her form on anti-Semitism. I have to say that it was predictable” and Lord Palmer said “there are no excuses for antisemitism“.

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Postscript: Two days later this letter by 97 Jewish student leaders was published, backing the adoption of the IHRA definition by all universities

Reflections on Riley v Sivier

Many congratulations to Rachel Riley and her legal team (John Stables and Mark Lewis of Patron Law Ltd) for their result yesterday in the libel case against the hard Left Corbynite Mike Sivier. The judgment is here.

The case centred on Sivier’s ludicrous allegation that Ms Riley had abused and harassed a 16-year-old girl ‘Rose’ during Twitter exchanges in December 2018 and January 2019. Ms Riley (and the actress and her friend Tracy-Ann Oberman who supported her and was an early party to the case) are in the frontline of the fight against antisemitism, but the case was not really about that. It definitely was not about Israel or Zionism. Neither is mentioned a single time in the judgment of Mrs Justice Collins Rice.

Contrast that with the supporter comments in Sivier’s crowdfund.  Not only are they vile about Ms Riley and Ms Oberman, some of them are plain antisemitic. This is what Corbyn and his cronies aided and abetted. Yet again we breathe a sigh of relief that they lost the election thirteen months ago. The comments only underline the need for brave people like Ms Riley and Ms Oberman to be willing to be in the frontline of the fight against antisemitism.

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IHRA Refusers: The List Of Shame

Here is the provisional list of UK Universities that have failed to adopt the full IHRA Definition of Antisemitism. It is sourced from my own FOI enquiries (some of which await a response) and UJS’s research.

The government says they will suffer funding cutsDonors should also stop funding – there is no excuse for failing to adopt a definition which can help protect Jewish students who appallingly are forced to choose their university by the extent of antisemitism they might encounter.

Only two Scottish Universities (Edinburgh and Glasgow) have adopted. Thirteen (highlighted) have not. Shocking.

Of the English Universities on the blacklist, several are only too predictable:  Brunel, Kingston, LSE, SOAS, Solent, Westminster.

NB If these universities decide to adopt, I will update the blog.

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UNTERMENSCH: How UCL’s Enemies of IHRA Dehumanised a Jew (Me)

The backlash against the IHRA definition of antisemitism from leftist academics continues. Because they want to be free to violate it. 

According to my Freedom of Information enquiries, 46 of the 133 UK Universities have thus far adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism. 19 of the 24 Russell Group Universities have adopted it: within Russell, Cardiff and LSE failed to adopt it, FOIs are still out to Queen’s Belfast, Sheffield and Southampton (all Russell) and several others.

The Senior Management Team at University College London agreed to adopt IHRA in November 2019. This was despite the efforts of 44 UCL academics who had written an open letter urging against adoption. 

UCL academics who opposed IHRA. The four underlined in black have anti-Israel or pro-antisemitism history. The four underlined in red went on to join the Academic Board Working Group which is recommending that UCL should revoke the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism

The 44 included Philippe Sands. Sands was a Board Member of the Tricycle Theatre when it refused to host the Jewish Film Festival unless it distanced from funding from the Israel Embassy. He defended the decision on BBC TV. Commendably the Festival stood its ground and has never returned to the Tricycle. I boycott the Tricycle and many others do likewise. Another is Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. More about her later. She signed a petition stating ‘Israel’s policies have brought Gaza to the brink of economic, social and ecological collapse’ (the truth is that it is Hamas which is the obstacle to progress in Gaza) and that Israel ‘inflicts collective punishment on the people of Gaza’ (the truth is that Israel acts to defend its citizens from rocket fire and only restricts the import of items which can be used to make weapons). She also was at SOAS – the well-known incubator of Israel demonisation and antisemitism – for two years in research and teaching jobs. A third signatory is Harvey Goldstein. He’s the Corbyn-supporting statistician who cited false facts to ‘prove’ that antisemitism is worse on the Right than the Left. A fourth is Haim Yacobi. He’s a former academic in Israel who voices the apartheid lie.

UCL’s decision to adopt IHRA has prompted an academic backlash in the grossly misleadingly-titled form of the ‘Academic Board Working Group on Racism and Prejudice’ (henceforth abbreviated to WG).  The Guardian (who else?) covered it here (scroll down).

Adoption of IHRA is non-negotiable. Every minority has the right to set out what it considers offensive and this is the response of mainstream Jewish organisations, all of which have democratic or representative legitimacy. Anyone who tries to reject IHRA is simply an accessory to antisemitism.

How necessary it was for UCL to adopt IHRA was shown by a survey of antisemitic experiences on campus done by UCL Jewish Society in January 2019. 78 Jewish students were surveyed. 72% of them said they had experienced antisemitism on campus. The WG Report includes the responses as Appendix E. The typeface is not very clear so I have included it as an Appendix to this blog. The comments are heart-rending. For example:

“Yes – being told I have “a small nose for a jew”, being asked if my parents earn lots of money, being asked if I want to kill Palestinian children, being told I am lieing about the holocaust having happened”

The Chair of the WG is Dr Seth Anziska (and here and here), a US-born Jew. He was one of the 44 opposing IHRA adoption. Three others on the WG were also in the 44: Prof Garb (Israel born), Dr Guesnet and ex-Israeli Prof Suissa. So 5 WG members were not in the 44. One, Prof Saprai, dissented from the majority WG view that UCL should jettison IHRA.

Harry Goldstein of North London Friends of Israel (supported by UK Lawyers for Israel) rapidly did a good job of deconstructing  the WG’s anti-IHRA Report. He points out that neither of the two UCL Student Union representatives nominated to the WG were Jewish! But it’s worse than that – One of them, Aatikah Malik, wants a full boycott of Israel! IHRA rules that to demand this without demanding a boycott of any other nation is antisemitic.

He also notes the fringe views of David Feldman, credited as advising the WG. Feldman was the Deputy Chair of the infamous Chakrabarti (non) Report into antisemitism in the Labour Party. I recently blogged about Feldman’s unsuitability to lead the UK’s foremost academic institute for the study of antisemitism. Three other supposed experts are credited for inputs into the WG. There’s Sir Geoffrey Bindman. He recently wrote to the Guardian to defend Richard Burgon MP who said “The enemy of the Palestinian people are Zionists, and Zionism is the enemy of peace and the enemy of the Palestinian people.” That rules him out as a reliable adviser on antisemitism, because ‘charging Jews with conspiring to harm humanity’ is antisemitic qua IHRA. Then there’s Philippe Sands (see above) who objects to cultural funding from the Israel Embassy. The third is Yair Wallach. We recently met Wallach in this blog. Wallach thinks it’s appropriate for a Centre for Jewish Studies to host antisemites, see here and here – see the blog for more colour on him.

Harry Goldstein’s critique of the WP Report is thorough. He points out the absurdity of describing IHRA as ‘notoriously problematic and politically controversial’ when it has been so widely adopted worldwide (At least 42 UK Universities have adopted it – I am auditing with FOIs). He identifies the almost complete failure to mention the appalling anti-Israel hatefest when Hen Mazzig was due to speak in 2016. And he rightly calls out the WP authors for citing the shameful IJV Canada Report which I fisked here.

But in addition I am calling out the WP Report’s contention (p48) that ‘reasonable people can contend that the legal framework of the State of Israel is or always has been intrinsically racist’. Look at the evidence they use to justify that statement. It’s in footnote #66 on page 48. It’s that old chestnut the Adalah Database so expertly fisked by David Collier here. Here’s what Collier says: Adalah’s discriminatory laws list is a scam’.

Now to the ‘Up Close And Personal’. As Harry Goldstein observes, the WP Report smears me (bottom of page 79). The Report uses as a ‘case study’ my complaint in August 2019 about an exhibition at UCL which contained anti-Israel propaganda. (David Collier also tweeted about it).  Who was one of the creators? Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh – see above.  

The authors cannot dispute the substance of my complaint. So they smear me:In June 2019, Hoffman was convicted for aggressive, bullying behaviour during a 2018 demonstration in central London for hectoring a pro-Palestinian activist.Now let’s have the truth. I merely shouted at one of the worst antisemites in the UK. In a political trial I chose to take a minor conviction rather than incur legal fees of thousands of pounds to go to appeal. That’s what happens in the UK to people who protest about antisemitism – they are victimised. And that’s precisely why the climate around antisemitism needs to change. Which – yes dear Reader – is precisely why we need the IHRA definition.

But look at the vile way in which Anziska and his fellow nine aiders and abetters of antisemitism[1] weaponise their smear of me: ‘Such an act of bullying by a convicted offender should have given UCL’s Senior Management Team ample reason to avoid engaging seriously with this critic’. Let’s get this straight: If you shout at an antisemite and appear in a political trial in Court, you lose the right to complain about antisemitism. You become a non-person. An Untermensch.

Who else forced Jews to become Untermenschen?

Anziska and Co spend pages alleging falsely that IHRA ‘Chills free speech’ but look what they wish to do to the free speech of a campaigner against antisemitism! Utter hypocrisy.

Do they really expect anyone to take their views on antisemitism seriously?

G-d help any Jewish student who has the misfortune to be supervised by any of these eight UCL academics who not only deny them protection from antisemitism, they dehumanise campaigners against antisemitism: Seth Anziska, Celia Caulcott, Tamar Garb, François Guesnet, Farid Panjwani, Alan Sokal, Judith Suissa and Sean Wallis.


[1] I exclude Saprai who dissented

Appendix – UCLU Jewish Society Survey Information (p151)

Antisemitic comments on campus made to UCL Jewish students:

“I have had peers make comments such as “Jews own all the big businesses” and “the perks of being Jewish society president is that it makes you rich”. As president of UCL Jewish society from 2017-2018, we also had to deal with speakers being invited to campus who had tweeted things like “jews are dirty, sleazy thieves” and “holocaust, yes or no?”. Despite several meetings with the vice provost we were unable to prevent these speakers coming to campus since we were told there is no working definition of anti semitism.”

“A student who is well clued up on politics and is a very strong Pro-Palestine campaigner was shocked to find out that I was Jewish. (I am on a committee with them) The way that she responded to this was shrowed with a negative tone on my identity as a Jew and it was assumed that I was Pro-Isreal and therefore a horrible person. Nobody in the room even flinched at how she said this to me and noone even thought it was anywhere near wrong. This is a very small incident but I can imagine how bad it may be on a larger scale. ”

“Often people will say things like ‘so jewish’ or ‘typical jew’ whenever money gets involved in anything, assuming Jews are all rich (even though completely not true – or applicable to me (I am Jewish, not extremely rich)). Whether it’s wanting to go out for lunch or even getting a coffee, racial slurs associating Jews and money are prevalent. I find this ridiculously offensive. I usually just to brush it off or fake a laugh but it does hurt inside knowing that people are judging me based on my religion. ”

“People making holocaust references and saying ‘death to Jews’ in my earshot”

“Calling me Jew boy for not showing my answers in a test”

“Being yelled at for wearing a Star of David necklace”

“Cloaking Jewish hatred through anti-Israel rhetoric”

“Students telling me oh you’re jewish? So you take all the water from gaza ? ”

“Yes being told I have “a small nose for a jew”, being asked if my parents earn lots of money, being asked if I want to kill Palestinian children, being told I am lieing about the holocaust having happened”

“Mainly hostility from fellow students which impacted directly with a group project we had to work on. There is a very uncomfortable response when representing the Jewish Society. I walk around campus petrified to be a Jew. UCL NEEDS to adopt this definition. Racism is racism and the Jewish community have contributed HUGELY to UCL (who do you think Barnard Katz and Wolfson were???). This topic makes my blood boil. ”

“In a what started as a friendly conversation about Israel/Palestine it was mentioned that the Jews control the media, the United States politics and were racist for wanting a state for the Jews (not having mentioned that that would not mean that Palestinians couldn’t feel home in the same state as well). It was kind of assumed that Jews hated Palestinians and that we didn’t care about the welfare of them. The discussion then swiftly turned into Israeli’s being child killers (which I felt a comparison could be made with the centuries old blood libel). I don’t walk arround with a kippa as I feel prejudice against Jews would then define my life at UCL here and not my actions as a human being, I also hide me being Jewish from most of my classmates. ”

“Before the workshop for all the UCL Society’s new welfare officers one of the girls there said to me that it was funny that the price of membership for the Friends of Israel Society was higher than that of the Friends of Palestine, hereby implicating that Jews are rich and care a lot about money. ”

“I honestly self identify as BME. I am part of a marginalised minority. Therefore I should feel represented by our BME officers. Especially last academic year I felt really unsafe, as our own BME officer took the lead in making this campus unsafe for Jews. For example saying: “comparing Israel to Nazis is not just a valid critique but it is a true statement to make.” Herewith downplaying the atrocities of the holocaust.

https://pimediaonline.co.uk/news/former-bme-officer-and-nus-committee-member-accused-of-anti-semitism/  ”

“I am a international student who experienced firsthand anti-antisemitism directed at me more than 20 times in my home country, I partly decided to go to UCL because of all the advertisement it made saying that at UCL you could be who you want to be and that it was such a safe space. Now I know that it is a numbers game; if you are part of the “big” minorities you can feel kind of at home and feel represented, but if you are not there is nothing that can be done for you because the so called “democracy” here at the UCLU only cares about the [truncated] ”

“Students – of Faith and non-faith – have made derogatory comments about Judaism in passing, during social situations. Such comments would be ignored by Jewish students as humour, but would be opposed I.e. as ‘Islamophobia’ it made to students of Islamic faith. I don’t see why Anti-Semitism is not taken seriously. ”

“Have been told that all Jewish are rich and all the richest people are jews so there is no reason to be complaining”

“Have been told that by wearing a Star of David I support an apartheid state”

“Tell me I should renounce my Israeli citizenship because of the crimes of Israel. ”

Being called Gid- a slur for jew in Russian. ”

“I’ve been told that I must have lieces cause all jews do. My friend has been called “a smelly dirty Jew” cause in shabat he was walking around with a kippah

“When I was speaking to somebody about antisemitism, due to its prevalence in current affairs, I gave an example of antisemitism by saying that it is a common line used by antisemites that Jews control the world/media; to which the person I was speaking with responded with “well that’s not entirely wrong though is it?”

“Yes I felt a great deal of antisemitism in the room during the student union vote for the IHRA definition. The booing and disrespect was certainly antisemitism. Besides that, I have had arabic people in my dorm at garden halls tell me that they are supposed to hate me when I say I am an israeli, and I have endured endless holocaust, jew jokes. ”

“Note: I am not a Jewish student at UCL (in fact, I am a practicing Muslim) and some of the incidents detailed below are not some in which I have been personally involved, but some that I have witnessed: 1) The chant “From the river to the sea, palestine will be free” is heard frequently on campus and is used often, though not exclusively, by members of the UCL Friends of Palestine Society. This chant openly and unambiguously calls for the destruction of Israel as a state. This constitutes anti-semitism under the IHRA definition and indeed any sensible definition. 2) At the October 2016 event featuring Hen Mazzig, Jewish students were forced to leave the venue with cries of ‘Shame’ being shouted by protestors. This constitutes the denial of the Jewish peoples’ right to self determination and suggests that Jewish people should be ashamed of their identity. Protesters, including most notably UCL student, laughed as one particular Jewish student was brought to tears. When Mazzig returned to UCL in January 2018, this same student was again confronted by who said he ‘remembered’ them from the previous event, laughing once again. He then proceeded to direct abuse at this student, accusing them of being complicit in the so-called ‘crimes’ committed by Israel. 3) Holding Jewish students at UCL responsible for the actions of the Israeli government constitutes discrimination, solely on the grounds of one’s identity. This is racist and anti-Semitic in the purest sense. It must be noted that Judaism is not solely a religion, but an ethnicity which is so intrinsically linked to Israel as a nation. 4) At the recent general assembly vote on the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, a group of students behaved very aggressively towards Jewish students in attendance. In particular, during one of the speeches for the motion, the speaker was finishing a sentence when their time was up and they were asked to stop speaking by the chair. As the speaker continued, the audience erupted and begun to heckle the speaker. One Jewish student in the audience said to themselves “he’s just finishing a sentence”. Immediately, a group of students sitting nearby said “your people never play by the rules”, referring to the Jewish people. This was followed by a further exchange in which the group of students became very aggressive. This is pure and blatant anti-semitism as it directs hate at one very particular group of people. 5) As a Muslim student at UCL that is outspoken in my support of Jewish students on campus, I have often been subject to discrimination from other Muslim students on campus. In particular, I have been called a ‘race traitor’ and have been accused of engaging in ‘respectability politics’. On one occasion, during a protest organised by the UCL Friends of Palestine in the main quad, I was physically attacked by a student for expressing my views. I was later threatened by the student to remove a video containing evidence of this which was posted The also contacted me (via Facebook messenger) threatening me with disciplinary action after they said they had received complaints about me from a number of students. No formal complaint was lodged and no action was taken, yet sent me threatening messages in an attempt to silence me from speaking out in support of Jewish students. ”

“I was jokingly told that I didn’t need to apply for internships, because I’d have a guaranteed job at a bank. The fact that I was Jewish being the suggestion. ”

“Chased down a street while being shouted at for being a Jew ”
“There have been several experiences – being told that my grandfather’s experience in the Holocaust was a lie and that it didn’t happen; I was told at an anti-Israel protest that I was a dirty Jew; I was singled out as a Jew in a class about the Holocaust; I was told to “go back to the gas chambers and die, you dirty f-ing Jew” by someone at university. These are just a few incidents – perhaps the worst – but incidents of this nature occur frequently for me on campus. ”

“Having the IHRA definition – a concrete and unequivocable line that cannot be crossed and can be prosecuted – will create more reassurance of protection on campus for Jews who experience anti-semitism.

 “Yes I was called a dirty Jew and other derogatory terms by someone in a social setting, not someone I knew. He had guessed by looking at me that I was Jewish.

“I was told on campus by a fellow UCL student that Jewish people kill so many innocent people. ”

“During the student Union IHRA vote, when Jewish society president was describing the need for a definite definition of anti-Semitism on campus as Jews wearing kippot (skullcap) need to be able to walk around without being verbally harassed, one girl from behind me yelled out loudly, “that doesn’t happen, nobody cares!” To which the people surrounding her laughed. The irony of this blatant racism by denying obvious anti-Semitism whilst during a vote for the need for more protection of Jews on campus”

“A fellow student on my University course asked me where I live, I replied in North-West London to which he asked if that was Hampstead, because he knows lots of Jews live there as it is a more affluent area. He then asks if my dad is a banker, to which I replied no an accountant and he said he thought it must be something to do with money. Followed by asking if my mum worked, when I said she did he acted very surprised. Finally he asked me if I come in by the train everyday, to which I replied yes and he said ‘oh right of course you can afford that’ and if I charge more for tutoring in my area because the jews will pay more. I felt deeply offended by this incident. It was stereotypical, untrue and quite frankly very uncomfortable. ”

“Holocaust jokes, woke up to find a penny outside my bedroom door. ”

“Physical assault, verbal abuse, social media abuse etc”

“Someone said they didn’t want to talk to me because I was “supporting war criminals and a fascist state” as they knew I was Jewish and supported Israel

“During exam seasons in May 2018 I experienced anti semitism in the cruciform hub at UCL. I was studying in a shared room when I overheard a group of five people next to me starting to discuss Israel. They said things like “it’s a sad world to be accused of anti semitism for being against Israel”, then another student continued with “yes they should’ve all just burnt in the concentration camps”. The whole group laughed out loud. I graduated now but as a Jewish student listening to this I did not feel safe. ”

“Comments made to me by fellow students that insinuated I was greedy because I was a Jew”

“Too many to describe”

“People saying hurtful things/ mocking my identity”

“Yes I often experience people making inappropriate and unacceptable Jewish jokes that stereotype and patronize. This lack of consideration for my religion is deeply offending as I am proud of who I am and where I came from. It hurts me to know that in this day and age prejudice against Judaism is still prevalent… I think education and awareness is necessary in order to change the public’s misconceptions… and to better the student life at UCL. ”

“Spat at for wearing a Star of David necklace. Called a dirty jew terrorist for being half Israeli. Been told Israel shouldn’t exist and the Holocaust wasn’t as bad as Jews say. Etc”

“Incidents of being shouted at on campus, and once a car honked and shouted derogatory things at me. ”

“Maybe At the IHRA vote, when examples of antisemitism where mentioned like calling Jews names etc, I heard someone say ‘that doesn’t happens, it doesn’t exist’ and lots of other mutterings from the people against the motion to deny that Anti-semitism occurs”

“I was walking through malet place with a Kippah on my head and I heard someone in a large group call me a “fucking Jew” under their breath”
“I asked a member of staff to move an assessed presentation that fell on a Friday afternoon. He did move it but “informed” me that in the real world people will not change their schedules because of my religious beliefs. ”

“As a PhD student on a limited budget, found fund I could apply to, was told by supervisor he’s unsurprised of my success in obtaining the funding given how “your people are so good with money”. ”

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Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism
.

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Postscript: More on Anziska in David Collier’s excellent piece here about the contamination of academia.

Anziska is a ‘revisionist historian‘ who has defended the BDS boycott movement.  He did his PhD at Columbia. He also spent some time at a university in Beirut. His PhD supervisor was Rashid Khalidi.

Khalidi was allegedly a spokesperson for the PLO in Beirut at a time when the PLO was shocking the world with its terrorism. No stranger to antisemitism, Khalidi recently stated during a radio interview that Israel supporters would “infest” the American administration.

When Daniel Pipes launched an attack on Khalidi’s appointment at Columbia, it was none other than his faithful student Anziska, who came to his defense.  When Rashid Khalidi wrote his book Anziska helped him with the launch. In return when Anziska wrote his book ‘Preventing Palestine’ guess who helped him launch the book – you guessed it – his old supervisor Rashid Khalidi.

This means that the person who was chosen to lead UCL’s examination of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, spent years being academically shaped by an ex-PLO spokesperson.

Postscript 2: I complained to UCL about the dehumanisation of me. Here’s the Provost’s response:

Dr Spence says antisemitism ‘is, appropriately, an issue around which passions are raised’.

He has clarified (email to me): ‘By way of clarification, the passions to which I was referring were yours and those of the Jewish community and all those right-thinking people who oppose antisemitism.’

I welcome his assertion that Anziska and Co were entirely wrong to seek to deny me the right to object to the exhibition.

Eight Authorities on Antisemitism? Pass the Sick Bucket ….

Today’s Guardian (7 January) has a letter from eight ‘lawyers and retired Judges’ attacking the IHRA definition of antisemitism, on the basis that it suppresses criticism of Israel. This is nonsense: the definition specifically says that criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Regarding the 11 examples within the definition, the lawyers claim that “the majority of these examples do not refer to Jews as such, but to Israel”.   This is a ridiculous lie. Nine of them do refer to Jews. The remaining two catch antisemites who think that it’s not offensive to make Nazi comparisons about the Jewish State or to hold it to different standards than any other democratic country.

The lawyers cite Professor David Feldman in their support. Big mistake! The invalidity of all three of Feldman’s arguments against the definition was explained here.

So let’s take a closer look at the depth of understanding of antisemitism of these eight legal luminaries …

Bowring is a Livingstone supporter. He supports boycotts against Israel. He appears to be a Labour Member. There is no evidence that he has ever criticised Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Lord Hendy is a Labour Peer – thanks to Jeremy Corbyn.  There is no evidence that he has ever criticised Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Sir Anthony Hooper is a retired Court of Appeal Judge. As an eight-year-old boy he recalls seeing the horrific pictures of the liberated concentrated camps of Belsen and Auschwitz. ‘Those images are seared into my memory’.’ Not sufficiently seared – it seems – to accept that (like any minority) Jews have the right to be respected when they say what offends them.  And not sufficiently seared to persuade him to criticise Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Michael Mansfield has been accused of antisemitism so it may not be too surprising that he challenges the definition. He has a long anti-Israel history. In 2010 he appeared to condone the actions of protesters who forced the closure of Ahava, a Dead Sea Products shop, in London. Mansfield defended Ken Livingstone and supported Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Stephen Sedley has suggested the completely unworkable definition that “Antisemitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews”. His criticism of IHRA effectively amounts to the Livingstone Formulation. (This is the lie – beloved of antisemites – that ‘anyone who criticises the Israel government’s policies towards the Palestinians is denounced as antisemitic.’).  There is no evidence that he has ever criticised Corbyn’s antisemitism. In fact he denied it.  

Hugh Tomlinson wrote an Opinion criticising IHRA – for which he was paid by a number of anti-Israel organisations: Free Speech on Israel; Independent Jewish Voices; Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.  Sorry Mate – I know times are hard for you QC chaps but I have a real problem with you feathering your nest at the expense of the safety of Jews.

Frances Webber thinks that the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) ‘never considered the EUMC antisemitism definition valid’.  She’s wrong. (The IHRA definition is drawn from the European Union Monitoring Definition. When the FRA succeeded the EUMC it dropped the definition from its website but NEVER said it was invalid). Webber supported Ken Loach as a judge of an anti-racism competition despite Loach’s history of antisemitism. She clearly doesn’t understand antisemitism. She supported Corbyn’s leadership campaign in 2015. There is no evidence that she has ever criticised Corbyn’s antisemitism.

Bindman’s criticism of IHRA is here.  He states ‘the IHRA definition should only be adopted if qualified by caveats making clear that it is not antisemitic to criticise the Israeli government without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent’. Of course – and it is in the Definition! (‘ …criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’.)

Bindman doesn’t like it up him. He wrote to the Guardian (with Sedley) to defend Richard Burgon MP who said “The enemy of the Palestinian people are Zionists, and Zionism is the enemy of peace and the enemy of the Palestinian people.

Eight authorities on antisemitism? Pass the sick bucket …..


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Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.

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How Shindler Missed: The CarCrash Limmud Interview with Ambassador Hotovely

Limmud has posted the video of this session.

Colin Shindler is a former Professor at SOAS.  His questions to the Ambassador of Israel Tzipi Hotovely were simply rude, crass and asinine; they did nothing except to signal his virtue as a Leftist and to reveal his own prejudices. Ambassador Hotovely dealt with them brilliantly, making him look thoroughly bovine. Do watch – it’s a Master Class.

Shindler began by asking whether the fact that 75% of Jews don’t vote for Trump  – despite his warmth towards Israel – signifies a rift between the “illiberal” Israeli government and the “liberal” diaspora! Subtlety and nuance are a foreign language to this guy it seems.

He then asked whether in view of the fact that US evangelicals heavily support Trump , does PM Netanyahu “prefer Jesus over Moses”!

Come on, are you serious? Apart from anything else, you think an Israel Ambassador is going to comment on US elections?

Shindler then misrepresented what Ambassador Hotovely said to the Board of Deputies: “You recently told British Jews that the Naqba was all lies”. She never said that, why can’t he get his facts right?

At 10:55 you can see Shindler claim that Israel ignores the ‘expulsion of Arabs in 1948’. Ambassador Hotovely gives that ridiculous suggestion short shrift: Many Israeli historians (eg Benny Morris, Efraim Karsh) have written about the events of 1948.

At 16.15 Shindler said that Trump Peace Plan (‘Peace to Prosperity’) mandated a Palestinian State four years after ‘annexation’, if that were to happen. It’s simply a lie, no other word for it. Not only is it a lie: the Plan stipulates what must happen before the US will support a Palestinian State: Palestinian leaders must recognise Israel as the Jewish state; must reject terrorism; must allow for special arrangements that address Israel’s and the region’s vital security needs; must build effective institutions and must choose pragmatic solutions. Also Israel is to maintain security responsibility and control of the airspace west of the Jordan River.

Shindler’s interview becomes still more bizarre. He suggests that if Israel rejects a ‘two state solution’ (which it hasn’t and won’t) that would violate the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Why? There is no connection whatsoever.

Ambassador Hotovely’s response is suitably dismissive: “Do you want to see progress or do you just want to say things that sound good?”

The Ambassador’s comment at 24:28 is worth documenting.  The most expansive peace offer to the Palestinians was made by Ehud Olmert. He even offered to give up the Western Wall. But (as reported by Raviv Drucker) Mahmoud Abbas walked away. The Ambassador said that Condoleeza Rice reports in her book  why Abbas rejected the offer. Here is what he said: “I’m 80 years old. This is about the Right of Return. I want 5 million Palestinians back in Israel”.

Shindler claims that the Israeli Democracy Index found that only 24% of Israelis favoured extension of sovereignty into Judea and Samaria.  No idea where that figure comes from: The truth is double that number, at around 50%.

It’s hard to choose the crassest Shindler interview question but a strong contender comes at 30:00.  Speaking about the fight against antisemitism, he noted how easy it was to access things that Corbyn had said in the past.   So – he suggests – it’s a mistake appointing a politician as Israel’s Ambassador rather than a diplomat, because a politician has history which the ‘enemies of Zionism’ can access and publicise.

Quite frankly this was grossly insulting to the Ambassador. If she was not so charming and diplomatic she would have said so. May the day never come when Israel chooses its Ambassadors according to their acceptability to antisemites!

Finally at 42:00 Shindler chooses a question from ‘Joe of Dulwich’ (Joe Millis?) accusing Ambassador Hotovely of ‘welcoming’ Lehava into the Knesset. Come on – we know she didn’t. She responds robustly, calling Lehava ‘extreme’. She didn’t invite them, the Knesset did as part of a factfinding excercise. But since when did facts ever bother the Ambassador’s Leftist detractors?

Tzipi Hotovely is proving to be a fantastic Ambassador for Israel. Limmud’s choice of interviewer was completely inappropriate. I can think of at least seven people who would have done a way better job: Jonathan Sacerdoti, Jonny Gould, James Marlow, Professor Daniel Hochhauser and Simon Barrett.  Or how about a woman? Emily Schrader, Melanie Phillips?

Limmud programmers please note! Your Pavlovian devotion to the Left severely backfired!

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Update: Watch how Tzipi Hotovely as Deputy Foreign Minister responded brilliantly to Mehdi Hasan’s hostile Al Jazeera interview (February 2016)

Alex Brummer’s Disgraceful Ill-Informed Attack on the Israel Ambassador

Alex Brummer is a reasonable financial journalist. But that’s where it stops. In October 2014, when he was Chair of the International  Division of the Board of Deputies, he wrote of the Jewish Community’s response to the wave of antisemitism which followed Operation Protective Edge that “much of the Jewish reaction to all this was unnecessarily panicky”. Imagine him saying this after the negativity directed at Muslims after the Charlie Hebdo shooting: “Much of the Muslim reaction to all this was unnecessarily panicky.” He wouldn’t dare, would he?

In November 2014 he voted for Yachad to join the Board. In 2015 Jonathan Arkush beat him to become Board President.   Brummer could have used his position at the Mail to call out Corbyn’s antisemitism but apart from a few articles (one of which was two weeks before the election and  on the coat-tails of the Chief Rabbi) he was silent.

Now he has letters in both the Jewish News and the Jewish Chronicle suggesting that more than 700,000 Palestinians ‘were forcibly displaced’ in 1948 and criticising the new Israel Ambassador for supposedly calling this a lie.

JC
Jewish News

What Tzipi Hotovely said at the recent Board of Deputies meeting was 100% correct. She did NOT suggest that it was a lie that some Arabs were forcibly displaced. What she criticised was the distortions of the ‘Naqba’ – the Arabs chose to fight rather than accept the Jewish State, lost and then fabricated a story about mass displacement to try to destroy the Jewish State.

The statement that ‘700,000 ‘Palestinians’ were forcibly displaced‘ is sheer malevolent nonsense. First they were Arabs not Palestinians. Second we know from archives which have been released that most were advised by their leaders to leave temporarily as they knew that war would break out after the UN resolution granting Israel independence. And the Mayor of Haifa begged the Arabs in Haifa to stay put. Brummer needs to read Professor Efraim Karsh, see here and here.

Around 600,000 Arabs left their homes. Only a fraction was driven by Jews/Israelis and twice as many by Arabs. The vast majority simply fled in fear, disorientation, and lack of national cohesion.

In his (longer) JC letter Brummer claims that ‘renowned Jewish and other commentators and historians‘ support his Naqba history – that over 700,000 Arabs were forcibly displaced by Jews. Like who? Ilan Pappe?

The lies of the ‘Naqba narrative’ include that European Jews were imposters in Israel and that there should be no Jewish State in the Middle East. Brummer should be attacking these lies,not implicitly endorsing them.

If he is unwilling to do this let him stick to financial shmoozing at the annual IMF meetings in Washington.

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Update:

Four good letters in the JC (31/12) exposing Brummer’s idiocy, well done Gary Mond and Richard Millett and Lyn Julius and Robert Stone. Here’s the letter I sent:

” As a leading financial journalist it is especially disappointing that Alex Brummer misreported what Ambassador Hotovely said. She did NOT deny “the forcible displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians”. But if she had, she would have been correct: Around 600,000 (not 700,000, see Professor Efraim Karsh) Arabs left their homes; only a fraction were driven out by Jews/Israelis and twice as many by Arabs. The vast majority simply fled in fear, disorientation, and lack of national cohesion. Mr Brummer claims that ‘renowned Jewish and other commentators and historians’ confirm what he erroneously states that the Ambassador denied (that 700,000+ Palestinians were forced out by Jews/Israelis). My request for names and references of these ‘renowned historians’ has thus far received no response.It is clear from the context that the Ambassador’s reference to the Nakba lie was to the genocidal falsehoods that followed the Arab failure to accept UN Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan): namely, the lies that European Jews were imposters in Israel; that there should be no Jewish State in the Middle East; that Zionism is racism; and that there was moral equivalence between the events of 1948 and the Holocaust. How refreshing to have an Israel Ambassador unafraid to court controversy in the interest of truth: surely an object lesson for Mr Brummer. “

Nazim Ali: High Court Asked to Quash Decision!

Remember the appalling decision (5 November) of the Fitness to Practise Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council regarding Nazim Ali? I and David Collier were called as Witnesses and I sat through all the hearing after my testimony and blogged comprehensively about it.  After the case I found that there is a regulator of the health service industry regulators (the Professional Standards Authority) with the power to refer decisions to the Court if it considers that the public interest has not been served.

The Professional Standards Authority has statutory powers, under Section 29 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002.

I wrote to them; so did UKLFI and CAA.

They had until 31 December to respond … but today we received the good news.

ZeroTolerance for antisemitism … always …

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Index to my blogs 2007-2020

Posts which are cited the most frequently are asterisked.

Blogs published on other sites:

No moral lessons from someone who said Kaddish for Gaza 28 May 2020

Soviet style antisemitism funded by UK taxpayers  22 September 2018

QC says ‘Israel created to compensate for Holocaust’ * 2 September 2018
Sir Mick’s five straw man arguments in the row over Zionism 4 July 2018

An open letter to Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Chronicle 13 February 2018
Deconstructing From Balfour to Banksy “From Balfour to Bigots” 22 November 2017

Naturally the Guardian lauds Jackie Walker’s play The Lynching  20 November 2017

SOAS meeting to downplay antisemitism sees Israel bracketed with North Korea  17 November 2017

LSE breaks own rule on neutral chair for external meetings  7 November 2017

Running with the fox and hunting with the hounds  26 October 2017
OFCOM on The Lobby: A wrong decision and a profound disservice to the Jewish Community * 14 October 2017

Ofcom decision plays into the hands of haters  12 October 2017

Brent councillors disgracefully distort the IHRA definition of antisemitism  21 September 2017

JPR anti-semitism survey: wide open goal for Corbyn * 18 September 2017

Three own goals in three weeks …     13 September 2017

Hate and errors: Anatomy of a deeply nasty book  * 5 September 2017
JLC scores spectacular own goal 5 September 2017

Hate and Errors: Anatomy of a deeply nasty book * 4 September 2017

Is Kevin Myers really an anti-Semite?   * 1 August 2017

Balfour’s Shadow 28 July 2017

Young Vic: Should it be reviving Rachel Corrie?  * 26 July 2017

PalExpo: Outside and Inside  10 July 2017

Medieval disputation in a London church – in 2017 * 29 June 2017

“You Are The Zionist Jack Ruby”  20 June 2017

Digital Terrorism and Hate 15 June 2017

After Manchester we need action not banalities 24 May 2017

If my aunt had balls  9 May 2017

Queuing up to tell Jews what they should find offensive * 3 May 2017

Baroness Tonge removes antisemitic cartoon, claims she thought it was two figures trying to escape Gaza  6 May 2017

Israel vilified in Parliament, four Jews protest and get thrown out * 26 April 2017

Breaking the Silence shortlisted for freedom of expression award  20 April 2017

The Irish hate caravan moves on, to planet oxymoron 10 April 2017

Ken Livingstone’s dishonesty  5 April 2017

“Raus!”: How Jews were ejected from an anti-Israel meeting in Parliament   * 29 March 2017 (Warner)

My question to Jackie Walker: Setting the record straight * 24 March 2017

Anti-Semites score victory at London School of Economics 21 March 2017

The Lies of Rajah Shehadeh To Commemorate SOAS’s Centenary   * 12 March 2017

Am I an antisemite?   9 March 2017

Something is rotten in the state of academia * 5 March 2017

No safe space for Jews at KCL 1 March 2017

UCL in la la land    1 March 2017

Baroness Tonge: Why the Lords Report is wrong * 19 March 2017

An open letter to Baroness Amos, Principal of SOAS  * 14 March 2017

Israel’s ban on BDS activists: Welcome and justified  9 March 2017

Book Review: ‘Reporting on Hitler’ by Will Wainewright 6 March 2017

UK’s national Holocaust memorial and learning centre 23 February 2017

Charity Commission investigating anti-Semitic Suarez meeting at SOAS  * 18 February 2017

Anti-semitism: A meaningless lecture  14 February 2017

Promoting antisemitism is not covered by Lords code of conduct * 2 February 2017

Baroness Tonge posts anti-semitic article 22 January 2017

Al Jazeera ‘Lobby’: Voyeurism For Antisemites * 14 January 2017

Employee of Israel Embassy does job  8 January 2017

Yachad: A Cuckoo in the Anglo-Jewish Nest  * 4 January 2017

The wisdom of the Kiwi foreign minister 2 January 2017

Time to go, Professor 29 December 2016

Tonge under investigation 18 December 2016

Jewish Students – Please Remember Your ABC! 1 December 2016

Good Jews v Bad Jews 24 November 2016

The book which lies and distorts 14 November 2016

Christians who regret Balfour: The caravan stops at Southwark * 8 November 2016

No to antisemitic discourse in British Parliament * 8 November 2016

The Protocols of the Elders of SOAS Palestine Society  4 November 2016

Daniel Hannan – Button It! 31 October 2016

No to antisemitic meetings in Parliament! * 29 October 2016

LFI must think again! 27 October 2016

Attack on John Mann: Glatt kosher or treif? 23 October 2016

SOAS sees sense 19 October 2016

Defend Gina Miller  16 October 2016

What’s Sauce for the Gandz 7 October 2016

The cesspit where Momentum and the PSC intersect 28 September 2016

Hinde Street Church: Now take down that wall!  * 23 September 2016

Is Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite?  * 20 September 2016

Labour and ISIS 18 August 2016

British children volunteer for ISIS because of austerity…  15 August 2016

Own goal over Sir Philip Green 1 August 2016

Defending remainers from Melanie Phillips 27 July 2016

Why Brexit won’t happen 27 July 2016

Deputies Have Short Memories …. 18 July 2016

Reasons for voting Leave in the referendum … * 11 July 2016

EU Referendum: Turnout of young people 5 July 2016

EU Referendum: We must remain for the economy, jobs and security * 18 June 2016

Referendum: The guide for the perplexed * 14 June 2016

New mayor accepts EUMC definition of anti-Semitism  13 June 2016

Update on methodology used in Yachad poll of British Jews  * 18 November 2015

Yachad Poll on UK Jews and Israel * 15 November 2015
Board Executive and Oxfam: Moving the Red Line * 30 May 2013

Oxfam and the Board – What should happen if the red lines are crossed * 19 May 2013

These Pears are Rotten * 30 April 2013

A Stain on LSE  27 April 2013

Fraser versus UCU  * 26 April 2013

Board of Deputies links with Oxfam stays despite Miftah blog * 25 April 2013

Yet again, British Justice fails British Jews * 2 April 2013

Lord Sacks wows AIPAC with a terrific speech * 17 March 2013

The speech that sent Galloway packing 17 March 2013

Yachad’s ZF application: A cynical publicity stunt * 14 March 2013

What happened inside Middlesex University’s closed doors * 6 March 2013

Board of Deputies and David Ward MP  21 February 2013

Shlomo’s away with the fairies  20 February 2013

Oxford Union Triumph – Near 40% say ‘Israel Force for Good in Middle East’ 1 February 2013

Nick Clegg equivocates about David Ward’s antisemitic comment 31 January 2013

Steve Bell defends Scarfe cartoon on BBC 29 January 2013

Libdem MP’s antisemitic message re Holocaust 25 January 2013

Israel elections wrongfoot usual suspect Lefties 22 January 2013

Why the Board should vote No to Oxfam  * 21 January 2013

Oxfam links: Why we shouldn’t  * 3 January 2013

2012 Awards 1 January 2013

East Jerusalem: The Truth  30 December 2012

Middle East Weapons Salesman (ex FCO) thinks Israel “on path to assisted suicide” 24 December 2012

Lord Phillips: Jews on suicide path 15 December 2012

Is this ‘Antisemitism Institute’ part of the problem? * 7 December 2012

William Hague – You cannot be serious!!  4 December 2012

What I saw during Operation Pillar of Defense 27 November 2012

Veolia and Batsheva  22 November 2012

Vile Israel question on BBC Any Questions 21 November 2012

Pears Foundation funds Israel Boycott Lobby * 21 November 2012

Speech at rally to support Israel’s ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’ * 15 November 2012

Rally to support Israel’s right to self-defence 14 November 2012

Deprogramming students from the Palestine Solidarity Cult 13 November 2012

#BDSFail in Brighton 10 November 2012

Child Abuse Palestinian Style 6 November 2012

Bibi’s Awesome UN Speech: Transcript and Video  28 September 2012

19 lies the BDS mob say about Israel and how to respond to them 23 September 2012

Veolia: New Report Exposes the BDSers’ Lies About The Effectiveness of their Actions 22 September 2012

The Post-Self-Destructivism of Judith Butler  10 September 2012

Morning Star Demonises Israel  7 September 2012

“My deep shame at this bigoted [Edinburgh] festival protest”  3 September 2012

Artistic Antisemitism is Still Racial Hatred…..   3 September 2012

Cultural Terrorists Hit Edinburgh  31 August 2012

Rachel Corrie’s death still being exploited by Israel haters 26 August 2012

Response to Shimon Cohen and Matthew Gould  24 August 2012

How many have to die to achieve ‘One State’?  22 August 2012

Tribute to Aly Raisman  15 August 2012

PressTV says UK Olympics “Under Influence Of” Zionism  14 August 2012

Jacques Rogge’s Guildhall speech for Monday night has leaked!  * 6 August 2012

Reform Is Misguided on JNF/Lieberman  21 May 2012

How does Shamnesty’s Kate Allen Keep A Straight Face?  18 May 2012

Adieu Ken Livingstone  6 May 2012

Ben White proves the hypocrisy of the Israel haters  * 1 May 2012

Taking Back Our National Sovereignty Again [Steinberg article]  23 April 2012

“Good Riddance” [Bindman meeting] 19 April 2012

Colonel Eisner: War Hero  17 April 2012

Terrific Response to Emma Thompson and the other BDS Luvvies  2 April 2012

Remember Crewe and Nantwich! Class Politics Doesn’t Work…  31 March 2012

Jews in the UK  25 March 2012

Leeds J Soc: JLC Majority Did Not Sign Support Letter  23 March 2012

Leeds J Soc’s Shame [for cancelling Brooke Goldstein] 15 March 2012

Locked Out! [QMU Tamimi meeting] 28 February 2012

Open Letter to Vice Chancellor, Middlesex University [Meeting with O’Keefe, Karmi, Tonge] 24 February 2012

What Comes Around, Goes Around #2 [Swords] 30 January 2012

What Comes Around, Goes Around [Swords] 27 January 2012

Who guards the Guardians?  17 January 2012

Discrimination against Palestinians is Rife in Arab countries  9 January 2012

Richard Silverstein Exposed! 29 December 2011

PSC/ISM Successfully Neutralised at Natural History Museum   4 December 2011

EUMC Definition [no ambiguity] 1 December 2011

Response to a Labour MP’s antisemitic comment  [Paul Flynn] 1 December 2011

Smeared by PSC’s Salim Alam 26 November 2011

How to most effectively advocate for Israel on campus * 23 November 2011

RMT senior official directs tirade of antisemitic abuse at Israel advocate [Hedley] 25 October 2011

Malcolm Grant: £375,000 of public money per year but thinks that campus extremism is ‘made up’… 20 October 2011

Whose “Human Rights” does Shamnesty NOT support? Defenders of Israel …  18 October 2011

The Cold War On The Truth  * 13 October 2011

Welcome Tsipi Livni to London today!  5 October 2011

Antisemites hound Jewish-owned shop out of London  21 September 2011

PSC Turns Proms Audience pro-Israel * 2 September 2011

Something you didn’t know about Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman  17 August 2011

Jewish News Editors: Bow Your Heads In Shame  4 August 2011

Hacked by Yachad 21 July 2011

“Go Back To Bloody Russia!” 19 July 2011

JC gets its facts wrong  14 July 2011

Israel’s bill to combat boycotts deserves our full support  14 July 2011

Eat Your Hearts Out, Would-Be Flytilla Israel Haters …. 7 July 2011

Jihad Jenny Threatens to Quit the LibDems over Salah Detention 30 June 2011

How Palestinians became the baby seals of the Western human rights lobby 28 June 2011

Amnesty is NOT asking for Gilad’s Release 26 June 2011

“Ahava is going to play its ‘Jewish’ card”  16 June 2011

Taking the Mick – Again!  * 11 June 2011

Shame on the Extremist Muslims who are making the East End a No-Go Area  28 May 2011

BBC Biased In Favour of Israel???  26 May 2011

Philo’s new apology for a book and Joy Wolfe 24 May 2011

Col Richard Kemp’s speech to ‘We Believe in Israel’ Conference – London, 15 May 23 May 2011

Israel Must Return to the Pre-67 lines: Obama is Right!  20 May 2011

Pears and Forward Thinking: Letter sent to JC but not published 20 May 2011

No to Hate at Amnesty next Monday! – Sign the Petition Now! 17 May 2011

Pears caught with its pair of pants down…… 16 May 2011

Ahava London: Colin George of ‘The Loft” 2 April 2011

Rabid Animal Mauls Israel Supporter at SOAS 21 March 2011

Further developments regarding Mick Davis  15 March 2011

“Is it OK to be Jewish and criticise Israel?” 4 March 2011

“The Promise” – ZF Press Release 28 February 2011

“The Promise” / “The Independent” / Christina Patterson 27 February 2011

Dennis Ross: Pull Out of J-Street Conference! 24 February 2011

Christina Patterson again … (on The Promise) 23 February 2011

University Hate Speech Report: A Whitewash 19 February 2011

Davis et al – continued   18 February 2011

Guardian owns up to falsifying Livni Quote – but how about all the other wilful deceptions? 15 February 2011

What the West Needs to Understand About the Muslim Brotherhood  6 February 2011

The Lies of the Israel Haters – continued [Ahava] 5 February 2011

Bibi’s Knesset speech yesterday, on Egypt (excerpts)  3 February 2011

“The Promise” – Begins Sunday, UK Channel 4  3 February 2011

Statement of Egypt Working Group 2 February 2011

Foreign Government NGO Funding Transparency Bill 1 February 2011

Shame on Amnesty International for its Biased Israel-Bashing Agenda  31 January 2011

Locked out of Israel Hate Meeting with Hajo, the “Dancing Bear”, at Rutgers University   30 January 2011

Holocaust Memorial Day: Bibi’s speech to the Knesset  28 January 2011

Neturei Karta are the dregs of the dregs  26 January 2011

John Lewis Threatens Legal Action if PSC Continues To Lie  26 January 2011

The Duplicity of The Guardian and Al Jazeera  25 January 2011

Turkel Unanimous: Israel acted within Law on Flotilla and on Gaza Blockade…  23 January 2011

Tony Blair “Gets It”, So Many Do Not .. 23 January 2011

Sedition at Ben Gurion University: Parents start to vote with their feet  18 January 2011

Board of Deputies votes down Executive motion on Israel  16 January 2011

Blame the Jews………….  9 January 2011

The Board of Deputies’ appalling lack of [moral] clarity in response to the Kairos document 6 January 2011

Tear Gas: the Truth and the Lies  6 January 2011

“How Can You Defend Israel?” – David Harris  2 January 2011

Ben Gurion University: Economical with the Truth 1 January 2011

Seven Jewish Children, back again * 3 December 2010

58 Lambast Davis: Letter in JC * 25 November 2010

The de-Zionization of Anglo Jewry, by Isi Liebler in the Jerusalem Post 25 November 2010

Superb speech by George Osborne to Board of Deputies’ Dinner last night 24 November 2010

+++CENSORED++++++CENSORED++++++CENSORED+++ 9 November 2010

No Kangaroo Court at the Law Society! 31 October 2010

Pallywood: Faking Olive Tree Destruction & Damage  30 October 2010

SAUDI EMPLOYER HAMMERS 24 NAILS INTO SRI LANKAN MAID 30 October 2010

UNRWA official dares to suggest that the Palestinians might never exercise the “right of return”….  29 October 2010

Julie Burchill on Lauren Booth  27 October 2010

Free Speech for Israel? Not at Queens University Belfast! 18 October 2010

Support David Hallam!  17 October 2010

The miners were underground for only 69 days …. 17 October 2010

Obama and the US-Israel alliance – Caroline Glick  16 October 2010

Havardi on Tutu  15 October 2010

Are we partly to blame for Islamic terrorism? 11 October 2010

Are we partly to blame for Islamic terrorism? 10 October 2010

Bathurst-Norman Censured for Political Bias in EDO Trial * 7 October 2010

Hajo Meyer event called ‘offensive’ by Conservative UK Government * 29 September 2010

Flotilla: Biased BBC Compounds Biased UN HRC ‘Report’ 23 September 2010

Vanessa and Lin-Manuel’s Wedding, 5 September 2010: To Life! 22 September 2010

The Barons: An Everyday Story of the Struggle for Workers’ Rights in Merrie England 16 September 2010

Yvonne Ridley: In Breach of the Terrorism Act? 11 September 2010

Aznar’s speech last week 7 September 2010

Terrorist Supporters March Freely Through London 4 September 2010

De Gucht: A Bigot from Belgium 3 September 2010

BBC Panorama: Letter to BBC Director General 22 August 2010

Ahava counter-demo 14 August: Phone interview with The Guardian 16 August 2010

What the ISM Does Not Tell Its Female “Peace Activists”……….. 8 August 2010

UK Parliament: “Only Righteous Jews Allowed In” 28 July 2010

Wham Bam – Cam Slammed! 28 July 2010

The Judge Who Thought He Was Defence Counsel: CIFWATCH SCOOP * 14July 2010

The Judge who thought he was Defence Counsel * 14 July 2010 (cross)

Libya’s Bateau Provocateur 13 July 2010

A Methodist Breaks Rank … 7 July 2010

The Board of Deputies’ Critique of the Methodists’ Report “Justice for Palestine and Israel” 5 July 2010

Judge George Bathchair-Nobrain Takes Delegitimisation of Israel in the UK to new depths * 2 July 2010

Inside documents of the Free Gaza movement seized from the Marmara 27 June 2010

New Israel Fund Invites Rabbis to eat non-kosher and meet a “One-Stater” 27 June 2010

The letter the Guardian never published…….. 9 June 2010

ZF and EDL: Letter in Guardian 4 June 2010

Greenstein lies and smears 3 June 2010

Speech to Israel Support Rally – London 31 May * 1 June 2010

Flotilla Guerillas Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Mavi Marmara – Footage 31 May 2010

Flotilla turns violent – Latest 31 May 2010

Gaza Flotilla Supported by Terrorists and Antisemites 27 May 2010

Well Done, Professor Alan Dershowitz!12 May 2010

Birmingham students vote to accept EUMC Definition of Antisemitism 5 May 2010

The Nightmare Shidduch 1 May 2010

Nick? Don’t Let Him Clegg You Over! 27 April 2010

LibDems and Israel: Follow the Money! 25 April 2010

Ahava Needs Your Love 25 April 2010

The Lib-Dems 22 April 2010

Vote Clegg or Brown, don’t get Tsipi 20 April 2010

ZF: Pledge Card for the Parliamentary candidates 15 April 2010

Mira Awad – ZF press Notice 13 April 2010

Death threats: Mira Awad pulls out of ZF Yom Ha’atzmaut event 9 April 2010

Dieudonné in London 8 April 2010

The Mendacity of the Anti-Zionists 5 April 2010

The mud is flying and the starting gun has not even been fired 3 April 2010

Pope Benedict the “new Jew”? I think not. 3 April 2010

“The UK’s Disproportionate Response” – as observed by CiFWatch 28 March 2010

Was Moses a war criminal? (by Gerald Steinberg) 26 March 2010

“My particular flawed pedigree and personality” [Travers] 17 March 2010

More Channel 4 Demonisation of Israel on Monday night 14 March 2010

Vicar of Christ Church [Sizer] suggests Hilary Clinton’s criticism of Israel motivated by desire for revenge over Monica Lewinsky 14 March 2010

Israel and the OECD – The Truth 9 March 2010

Vote Eric Lee, to restore objectivity to Amnesty’s Israel coverage 27 February 2010

Vote for Eric Lee for Amnesty Board  24 February 2010

What makes Cif different? – By Hawkeye of CiF Watch 20 February 2010

The Darkness Closes In On British Academia 19 February 2010

Oxford Union Society Statement on the Danny Ayalon talk last night 9 February 2010

“Taking The Jack” [Straw] 7 February 2010

Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society 4 February 2010

A Terrible Decision [Cambridge U Israel Society] 3 February 2010

“Progressive” …. Not 31 January 2010

“Defamation” … of Truth, of Victims and of Antiracists 16 January 2010

Campus Extremism: University Heads are “Taking the Mick” – Time for Government to Step In … 16 January 2010

IJPR Survey: A Missed Opportunity? 8 January 2010

Viva Veritas! [Guardian lies] 6 January 2010

Viva Veritas!      6 January 2010

Extremism in Universities – ZF Press Notice 2 January 2010

MCB: How Wrong Can You Be? 24 December 2009

Romain mythology and JFS  23 December 2009

Antisemitic meeting at SOAS   15 December 2009

Hoffman takes on the bigots * 15 December 2009

ZF Letter sent to DEFRA 13 December 2009

Stay Away from Gordon Brown’s Chanuka Candle Lighting on Wednesday… 13 December 2009

Subhumans commit an appalling crime  12 December 2009

Israel bashing behind closed doors 10 December 2009

Never mind the facts … lie back and think of Brittain 9 December 2009

New Charity Commissioner may not be good news for campaigners against anti-Israel Charities  4 December 2009

Carols with Caryl and more  2 December 2009

Miles’ Vile Bile 24 November 2009

Ex-Ambassador Thinks Jewish Historians Can’t Be Trusted … 23 November 2009

Response to Brian Fox 20 November 2009

Stephen Sackur demolishes Shlomo Sand 20 November 2009

What ‘Dispatches’ Tonight Won’t Tell You………. 16 November 2009

“The Iran Lobby” by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer 14 November 2009

An Open Letter to Peter Oborne and Channel Four  12 November 2009

Pondlife buried in the sand 12 November 2009

Shlomo the Sandlout 10 November 2009

ZF co-Vice Chair Blasts Board’s ‘Macavity’ – by JC Muckraker 7 November 2009

Amnesty’s Well of Truth is brackish     1 November 2009

Seven Jewish Children in Bolton 25 October 2009

Enforcing the Guardian World View through misrepresentation 8 October 2009

Review of A State Beyond the Pale by Robin Shepherd  3 October 2009

TUC and Israel: When you need a cause why let facts get in the way? 4 September 2009

Bad Odour in Clubland  2 July 2009

Guilty of false equivalence  29 June 2009

A work of fiction  19 June 2009

Where is the ‘Prevent’ cash going? (continued) 14 April 2009

Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea   3 March 2009

The 43 Group’s final reunion * 16 February 2009

Seven Jewish Children * 8 February 2009

Israel: Galloway plumbs new depths 30 January 2009

What is the point of the Press Complaints Commission?  26 January 2009

The Press Complaints Commission: How ‘high’ is high?   24 December 2008

Professor Sir Bernard Crick 20 December 2008

Antisemitism on Guardian ‘Comment is Free’  (PDF) July 2008

Lycra Loonies   20 February 2008

Register now to stop the BNP 14 January 2008

Faith, Ken’s hope and the charities  5 January 2008

A proper boycott  12 June 2007

Daniel Pipes survives Livingstone’s Lions’ Den 21 January 2007

Antisemitism at UK Universities

CST has published a chilling report on antisemitism at UK Universities over the past two years.

Here are my blogs on the same topic over the last thirteen years:

Bristol
SOAS
SOAS
Kings
UCL
UCL
UCL
SOAS
LSE
LSE
Bristol
SOAS
Kings
LSE
SOAS
LSE
LSE
SOAS
UCL
UCL, KCL, Brunel
KCL
UCL
SOAS
SOAS
LSE
Middlesex
London
Queen Mary
Middlesex
SOAS
SOAS
Manchester
All
SOAS

The following 48 Universities have adopted IHRA in full: Aston, Bath Spa, Birkbeck, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire New, Bolton, Bristol, Cambridge, Chester, Coventry, Durham, East Anglia, Edge Hill, Edinburgh, Essex, Exeter, Glasgow, Gloucestershire, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Imperial College, Institute of Education, U. of London (part of UCL), King’s London, Lancaster, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, Manchester, Manchester Met, Newcastle, Northumbria, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Plymouth, Plymouth Marjon, Queen Mary University, Royal College of Music, Royal Veterinary College, Salford, Surrey, Sussex, Trinity Laban, UCL, Warwick, West London, Winchester, York, York St John.

[Updating list as FOIs come in]

There are 133 Universities in the UK.

Awaiting response to Freedom Of Information Requests: Arts, London Hygiene, London Met, Worcester. And these:


Therefore some 90 Universities face funding penalties for not adopting IHRA by Christmas.

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Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.

The fetid antisemitic lies of Kerry-Anne Mendoza

Kerry-Anne Mendoza co-founded The Canary (a far left Corbyn-supporting online media source, though she left Labour) in 2015, and is its first editor-in-chief. She has appeared on BBC Question Time and Any Questions?

On Saturday Mendoza was in a panel on the subject of free speech. Recording here. Antisemitism spewed from her foul mouth like viscous faeces in a bad case of food poisoning ……….
           
At timestamp 24:50 she says: Zionism is an explicitly and unapologetically racist ideology

1. IHRA definition of antisemitism: Calling an Israel a racist endeavour is antisemitic

25.46: Israeli society is built around White Supremacy: Ashkenazim are at the top of the privilege pile; then Sefardim; then (a big big drop) Mizrachim;  way down the bottom are black Jews particularly African Jews , one of the most prominent is Ethiopian Jews.

2. IHRA: Calling an Israel a racist endeavour

An Ashkenazi Jew might go on a Birthright tour when they are 16, be invited into the country. Invited to have lots of kids, help us deal with this demographic timebomb.  But how did Israel welcome the Ethiopian Jews? When they arrived they were thrown into something called an Absorption Centre.

Comment: Israel’s success in absorbing waves of immigrants – the biggest of which in recent years came from Russia and Ethiopia – has been nothing short of miraculous. No other country has achieved anywhere near this success with this number in relation to the existing population. In the 49 years from 1969 to 2018 Israel received 1.26m migrants from the Former Soviet Union and nearly 93,000 from Ethiopia, making around 1.35m just from those two areas. That’s around 15% of the current population.  Neither the US nor the UK – nor indeed any OECD nation – have ever absorbed anything like that increase in that timespan.

Immigration from Ethiopia

By saying thrown into something called an Absorption Centre the loathsome liar gives an indication of what’s coming next .………

Rightly, Israel’s Absorption Centres are a matter of great national pride. They provide temporary living quarters which give a soft landing and supportive framework to a new immigrant. The furnished rooms are rented at substantially subsidised rents. Ulpanim (intensive Hebrew classes) are available at most Absorption Centres and they are staffed by highly professional teams who have long-term experience in assisting new immigrants.

From Ha’aretz
Ha’aretz cotinued

But look what this obnoxious POS says next – it is profoundly antisemitic:

27.24 I see very little difference between that and a concentration camp. Extreme levels of control bordering on torture and just a few years ago we found out thanks to an undercover report. The Ethiopian Jews were being forcibly compelled to … they were basically given these longterm contraceptive injections called Depo-Provera .. just breathtaking .. Any of us who are listening to this who are aware of the Holocaust and other systems of repression have things brought back to us when we hear things like this.

3. IHRA: Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Comment: Let’s look at Mendoza’s vile suggestion that Ethiopian female immigrants were forced to receive contraceptive injections. It’s a lie – a lie repeated innumerable times by far left and Islamist antisemites.  Depo-Provera was a contraceptive popular in Africa. When Ethiopian women came to Israel they  wanted to limit the size of their families since the optimal family size in a developed nation is significantly below that in a rural Third World African nation. So they were given Depo-Provera (as some had been in Ethiopia, by the JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee)).  As this article says, ‘Might some Israeli health workers have been patronizing or racist, assuming that Ethiopian women could not be relied upon to take pills every day? Of course these are possibilities. But, is it true, as Gabai says to one of her interviewees, an Ethiopian mother of four, “they told you [having children is] forbidden in Israel”? The mother, who said she intends to have more children, replied: “No, why forbidden? There are loads of children. What, why forbidden?” ‘

28.29 Israel is and always has been an apartheid state.  In 2011 the Israeli Supreme Court declared that there is no such thing as an Israel citizen. Why? Because if there were to be a universally agreed Israeli citizenship, they would need to be accorded equal rights and equal responsibilities. And of course that can’t happen and Israel continue in its current form.

4. IHRA: Calling an Israel a racist endeavour

Comment: More antisemitic lies from Mendoza.  Every Israeli of whatever religion and ethnicity is entitled to an Israeli passport. All are citizens of Israel. Mendoza is lying. Every citizen has equal rights, under the Basic Laws. What is true is that Identity Cards carry ethnicities and religions: Jewish for Jewish citizens, Arab for Arabs, Christian for Christians and so on. Israel is not like West European nations. Israel was founded as a refuge for Jews from antisemitism.  Just as a women’s refuge in London is a place for women and not men, so a state founded as a refuge for Jews has every right to preserve its Jewish character – while guaranteeing equal rights for all.

30.13 Why did I view Palestinians’ right of self-determination … as any different to the rights I would accord to black South Africans or any other group? It was because even I .. had still been socialised into this dehumanisation of the Palestinian People, into accepting the unjust solution put forward by people who don’t see Palestinians as fully human…..

5. IHRA Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews

Comment: Black South Africans are citizens of the country. It is mendacious to compare them with Palestinians in Gaza and Judea/Samaria – who are NOT citizens of Israel. And the allegation that Israeli Jews do not ‘see Palestinians as fully human’ would not be out of place in Der Stürmer.

35.36 One of the most offensive aspects of the Witchhunt is Creation of a Holocaust hierarchy. There are people who behave as if Jewish people who are the only victims of the Holocaust.

Comment: This is classic ‘straw man’. Who are these ’people’ responsible for calling out antisemitism in Labour (the ‘Witchhunt’) who ‘behave as if Jewish people are the only victims of the Holocaust’? It’s classic conspiracy theory.

But one thing we agree on is that Mendoza has the right of free speech. Just not on the BBC, any MSM, any university campus or in any local authority-owned building. Because racists must be no-platformed.

To the new Director of SOAS: Speak to Sir Keir!

Dear Professor Habib

I read that you will become the new Director of SOAS starting next month. Welcome to London and I wish you every success. In many ways you are in the same position as Sir Keir Starmer, the new(ish) Leader of the Labour Party, the official Opposition Party here. Both of you lead an institution which is institutionally antisemitic and running out of funds (SOAS is ahead of Labour in this respect but give it time). Both of you are ’pooper-scoopers’ tasked with clearing up the mess left by your predecessors  (though while Sir Keir’s predecessor is heading for oblivion, yours has been rewarded with the Mastership of University College Oxford).   So your PA might want to book you for a chat with Sir Keir (and David Evans, Labour’s General Secretary) to compare notes.

No doubt you will be meeting the staff at SOAS.  I offer some briefing on one of them by the name of Yair Wallach. He’s the Chair of the Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS. You might think he’s a good guy with whom to talk about  SOAS’s antisemitism problem. A word of warning. He isn’t. He’s part of the problem. Putting him in charge of any ‘Jewish’ academic department is like appointing Dr Harold Shipman as CEO of AgeUK.

Professor Habib, I’m sure you agree that those who block someone on Twitter in order to insult them consequence-free free are lowlife cowards.   Wallach (I won’t credit his with his academic title of ‘Dr’, you’ll soon see why) likes nothing better than to troll me on Twitter, thinking I can’t see his tweets because he blocked me:

Smeared by SOAS’s Chair of Jewish Studies

A less appropriate person to chair a Centre for Jewish Studies it is hard to imagine (Jeremy Corbyn?).

Professor Habib, someone whom I very much respect in South Africa speaks very highly of you:

We are devastated to lose Professor Habib. Not only has he saved Wits University through difficult times for Higher education in our country over the past years, but he has also been outstanding in terms of providing `safe spaces’ for all Wits students, including Jewish students.

He has taken strong stances on many issues including the disruption of a piano concert with an Israeli musician, ensuring the students involved were disciplined and that another concert be held with Israeli musicians that was fully protected. He dealt decisively with an incident of antisemitism in 2015.

Our students have been given the space to provide counter IAW campaigns and have always been given the opportunity to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut on campus.

This is a case of `our loss is your gain’.

I would therefore hope that you will move quickly to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism which makes universities safer for Jewish students. At least 28 have adopted. Wallach opposes it.

Wallach opposes adoption of the definition of antisemitism which makes Jewish students safer

Wallach thinks it’s appropriate for a Centre for Jewish Studies to host antisemites, see here and here

He has also smeared academic colleagues who challenge his demonisation of Israel. 

Wallach organised the smear campaign against ‘Word Crimes’

In summer 2019 the Journal Israel Studies published (Volume 24 Issue 2) a special edition entitled Word Crimes.  The issue’s guest editors were Association for Israel Studies President Professor Donna Robinson Divine, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Executive Director Asaf Romirowsky and Professor Miriam F. Elman of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. In the context of the wilful demonisation of Israel in many Humanities disciplines in academia, the volume exposed how certain words and phrases have become distorted in the hands of leftist academic Israel traducers. Professor Habib, it’s a great read –it must be in SOAS’s library and it’s available online in the British Library if you obtain a Reader’s ticket (it’s simple to register).   Here’s a taster (by Professor Donna Robinson Divine):

From Word Crimes – Israel Studies 24/2

Here’s a selection of the topics covered: BDS, Settlements, On Three Anti-Zionisms, Tracing the Funders of anti-Zionism, Pinkwashing, Intersectionality, Islamophobia, Israel Lobby, Zionism, Human Rights, Arab-Palestinian Refugees, Holocaust Inversion, Apartheid, Terrorism, Occupation, colonialism, Indigineity. Authors include Professor Miriam Elman, Professor Gerald Steinberg,  Professor Gabriel Brahm, Lesley Klaff, Professor Efraim Karsh, Professor John Strawson and Professor Donna Robinson Divine.

‘…petulant, anti-intellectual bullies.’

Wallach was a prime mover in the smear campaign which followed.  As Jonathan Tobin writes, ‘This is one academic feud in which all decent people—scholars and laypeople alike—have a stake.’

Over to you, Professor Habib.  From South Africa to SOAS: May You Always Live In Interesting Times (the Sinologists at SOAS will tell you that the attribution of this curse to China is erroneous).

Sincerely
Jonathan Hoffman

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Addendum: At last SOAS is to be investigated for antisemitism

The ASHamed Jew who heads the UK’s foremost Antisemitism Institute

We have met the disgraceful David Feldman in my blogs before. Here, here, here and here. (The title is a reference to Howard Jacobson’s wonderful book The Finkler Question).

He’s the Director of the UK’s leading academic Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, funded by the Pears Foundation. But – thanks to him – the Institute is not part of the solution to antisemitism. It’s part of the problem:

  • He was Vice Chair of Labour’s whitewash antisemitism inquiry (the Chakrabarti Report);
  • He was silent about Corbyn’s antisemitism and continues silent about antisemitic incidents at Universities;
  • He gave a Lecture slanting the results of polls on antisemitism, presumably in order to ‘prove’ his case against the IHRA definition of antisemitism;
  • He gives a platform to boycotters and to Israel traducers such as Jacqueline Rose who makes antisemitic comparisons between Jews and Nazis;
  • He uses the Livingstone Formulation to smear supporters of Israel.

Only 23 of the UK’s 133 Higher Education Institutions[i] have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism in full. In October the government rightly threatened the funding of universities that fail to adopt by Christmas.

Appallingly Feldman had an Op-Ed in the Guardian yesterday telling universities why they should NOT adopt the IHRA definition. He has three arguments:

#1. Adoption of IHRA gives Jews privilege over other minorities;

#2. The IHRA definition is too opaque and anyway unnecessary as antisemitism can be dealt with via the Equality Act, vide the EHRC report on Labour;

#3. It is unclear whether BDS is antisemitic according to the IHRA definition.

David Hirsh was quick to take up the cudgels. He points out the nauseating craven obscenity of Feldman’s claim that Jews are searching for privilege by merely spelling out what is offensive to them (#1). It is perfectly open to other minorities to similarly define what offends them.

Moving to #2, the IHRA is perfectly clear. If you call for the end of the State of Israel, it’s antisemitic. Similarly if you claim that Jews control the media or the Federal Reserve Board; if you blame all Jews for the actions of a few; if you claim that Israel is racist; if you attack Israel for something but fail to attack other countries for the same thing; if you use Nazi language about Israel. It really isn’t complicated. As for the Equality Act, while being Jewish is regarded by the Courts as a ‘Protected Characteristic’, the flipside – namely, supporting the existence of the world’s only Jewish state – should be, but thus far isn’t. And why should Jewish students have to go to Court to defend themselves from antisemites?

On #3, Feldman is thoroughly disingenuous. To evidence his claim, he cites two publications of the Antisemitism Policy Trust. From the first he quotes the statement that ‘Boycotts are not covered by IHRA’. But he interprets the second as saying the opposite. To fisk this is candy from a baby. The two publications serve different purposes!

The two publications serve different purposes

The first (March 2020, bottom right) is simply a short (7 page) description of the IHRA definition and its origins. It briefly examines some criticisms and responses. It is NOT an ‘operational’ document. And no, the definition does not explicitly mention boycotts.  The second publication (also 2020, top centre), however, IS operational. It’s much longer (19 pages) and goes through each of the 11 IHRA examples in turn, giving case studies for each. Under the ‘applying double standards’ example, it points out that calling for a boycott of Israeli goods when you ignore genuine violations of human rights eg by Turkey (occupation of part of Cyprus) or Morocco (occupation of Western Sahara) or China (persecution of the Uighur) or Iran (numerous violations) is antisemitic. Plus BDS is often combined with other forms of antisemitism eg comparing the IDF with Nazis or depriving Jews of kosher food.

Feldman exhibits all the manifestations of Howard Jacobson’s ASHamed Jew. He’s ashamed of Israel.  Here’s what he said in his 2017 lecture: “Israel is widely seen to encompass expropriation, occupation and discrimination”.  That is why he doesn’t like the IHRA definition.

When Jewish 17 year olds make their University choices, uppermost in their minds is not the course content or the academics who will teach them. It’s the extent of antisemitism.  It’s the extent of the gauntlet they will have to run during the obscenely antisemitic ‘Israel Apartheid Week’.  It’s their assessment of the likelihood that they will be abused if they say anything positive about Israel. It’s the extent of the Jewbaiting.

For the Director of the Institute for the Study of Antisemitism to write an Op-Ed telling Universities NOT to do something which might help those 17 year olds is obscene. Either he should stick to arcane historical subjects or he should be obliged to make way for someone (like David Hirsh) who DOES care passionately about antisemitism.  


[i] Birmingham, Buckinghamshire New, Bolton, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Institute of Education, U. of London (part of UCL), Kings London, Lancaster, Manchester Met, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Plymouth, Plymouth Marjon, Queen Mary, Surrey, UCL, Warwick, York, York St John. UJS have identified 19 more on the basis of FOIs and research by J Socs. However at least one of these (LSE) has not adopted the Definition in full and in three others (Essex, Lincoln, Liverpool) the published data is not conclusive. Leeds only say they will ‘take the definition into account’. For the rest, UJS have not provided links to relevant University Board meetings – so I am unable to include them. I will try to submit FOIs to the ones that are unclear, requesting documentation and an assurance that the Definition has been adopted in full (Arts, Bath Spa, Chester, Coventry, Edge Hill, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucestershire, Imperial, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool, London Hygiene, London Met, Manchester, Newcastle, Royal College of Music, Sussex, Worcester).

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Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.

Postscript: David Collier has set the Feldman Op-Ed in the context of a number of related recent attacks in the Guardian on the IHRA definition and on the EHRC.

Anglo-Israel Association hosts Abraham Accord discussion with Three Ambassadors

Ambassadors of UAE, Israel and Bahrain

This afternoon there was a historic and very upbeat Zoom meeting. The London Ambassadors of UAE, Israel and Bahrain came together under the auspices of the Anglo-Israel Association to speak about the Abraham Accords. It was also the first major appearance of the new Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely. You can see the whole meeting here. It was introduced by Lord Bew who chairs the Association. Lord Finkelstein moderated the meeting.

Lord Finkelstein was the Moderator

Here are the main points I jotted down.

The Bahraini Ambassador, HE Sheikh Fawaz al Khalifa, said that Bahrain is very open to all cultures and religions. The strengthening of relations with Israel started some time ago. Bahrain hosted the Peace for Prosperity Conference in 2019. The synagogue in Bahrain is over 100 years old. There are more Middle East countries which might join Bahrain, the UAE and Sudan in signing Accords with Israel. They are waiting for the Biden Administration. Asked by Lord Finkelstein whether the Accords would help or hinder the Palestinians, he responded that while they are the Number One Middle East issue for Bahrain, Bahrain itself is the Number One strategic issue and the Accord offers major commercial and scientific progress. Asked about BDS, Sheikh Fawaz said that the Arab boycott office in Bahrain was closed 15 years ago. Asked about the possibility of student exchanges he said that he had spoken at a Jewish school in Leeds (where 30% of the children are Muslim) and facilitated a link with a Christian school in Bahrain.  Asked about opposing antisemitism in the UK he mentioned the King Hamad Centre in Bahrain. Through this centre Bahrain was the first Middle East country to sign an Memorandum of Undertanding on antisemitism with the US.

The Israel Ambassador, HE Mrs Tzipi Hotovely, neither confirmed nor denied that PM Netanyahu met Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia on Sunday. She said she was born in 1978, the year of the peace agreement with Egypt; this song “I was born to peace” was playing then (the beautiful words are by Uzi Hitman, translation here). Almost everyone had welcomed the Abraham Accords. Only Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas opposed them. They want to take the region backwards. Asked about the timing of the Accords, Ambassador Hotovely said that her government keeps a close watch on opinion about Israel in the Arab world and there has been a dramatic shift towards a desire for cooperation. Social media allows people in Arab countries to see the scientific and economic advances of Israel and especially young people want to connect, they want a future of prosperity. Asked about the Palestinian question, she said there has been a ‘paradigm shift’. There are big interests in the Middle East apart from the Palestinians. If one paradigm is proved not to work, people cannot wait forever. There is no question that the Biden Administration will be supportive of the Accords route. Regarding an agreement with the Palestinians, it cannot be imposed but at present the leadership of the Palestinians is divided between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Asked what the UK can do, she said that the UK’s value-added is its long relations with the Gulf States. She mentioned an upcoming Conference in Cambridge where the three Ambassadors will meet.

The UAE Ambassador, HE Mansoor Abulhoul, was the first speaker. He emphasised that the Accord was more than just a document; it heralded complete cooperation across the board. Tomorrow would see that start of twice daily flights between the two countries. Biotech companies are already working together on Covid19. The two countries are the most dynamic economies in the region. Young people want peace. Decades of non-co-operation brought no benefits for the cause of peace. The Accord has benefitted the Palestinians by taking ‘annexation’ off the table. There was no change in the UAE’s stand as regards the Palestinians. The Accord allows the UAE to lobby from a stronger position. Asked by Lord Finkelstein about the timing, Ambassador Abulhoul said (like the Bahraini Ambassador) that the Accord with Israel did not come out of the blue. Israel had been invited to Expo2020 and to the UAE’s Golden Jubilee 2021. The Accord had not been driven solely by the commonality of opposition to Iran. But there was a need to confront narratives of hate. Iran’s bellicose behaviour had helped the Accord process. Asked about student exchanges he spoke of Israel’s world class education. Asked about antisemitism in the UK he said that there is no excuse for it, if Arabs can embrace Accord in the Middle East. The UAE had shattered the glass ceiling by inviting the Pope.

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Priti Patel and the Corbots who prioritise hatred of Israel over saving human life

The Israel-hating misogynist Corbots who are baying for the blood of Priti Patel point to her trip to Israel in 2017 (she had to resign on a technicality – she didn’t inform the Prime Minister that she had meetings in Israel with the Prime Minister).

(Jess Phillips MP said on BBCR4 ‘Any Questions?’ that Patel ‘broke the Ministerial Code’ in 2017. Chris Mason the moderator corrected her – she didn’t).

Let’s remind ourselves of the purpose of those meetings. Priti Patel – who was then the Minister for Overseas Development – wanted to send DFID money to support an IDF programme treating wounded Syrians in the Golan Heights. Humanitarian assistance. During a family holiday in Israel – paid for entirely by her – she had meetings with Israeli officials.

“Take, for example, a Syrian mother who comes with her children. At the end of the day, she leaves the clinic with healthier children and an aid kit from the State of Israel that includes food, basic hygiene products, and medicine. A day at the clinic also includes, time in the playroom and a hot meal. The Syrians also understand that the State of Israel is doing a great thing for them.”

‘…. forceful expression, including some occasions of shouting and swearing’ (Sir Alex Allen) is NOT repeat NOT ‘Bullying’. Name me a boss who is innocent and I will name you a liar!

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Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.


Postscript: Terrific piece by Brendan O’Neill

Manson’s Carcrash Newsnight Interview

Jenny Manson has stated that she only declares she is Jewish in order to supposedly turbocharge her demonisation of Israel in the eyes of the unknowing world.

This was part of Kirsty Wark’s interview of Jenny Manson of JVL in BBC2 Newsnight 17 November, after Corbyn had been readmitted to Labour:

KW: Why couldn’t Jeremy Corbyn simply apologise for what he said when the EHRC Report was published??

JM: He did not reject the findings of the EHRC Report.

KW: He said accusations of antisemitism in the Party have been dramatically exaggerated…..  I’m asking you that straightforward question.

JM: Because ….. many of us know that these claims HAVE been exaggerated. I’m Jewish too. There’s a lot of talk about the Jewish Community just now and how offended they are, and how Kier is very worried about them … nobody seems to remember that there are about 250,000 or 300,000 Jews in this country …. A very large number of ours ..

KW: Make your point about the numbers

JM: There is many, many Jewish Communities and they are not all upset about Jeremy being back in the Labour Party – An awful lot of us are very happy that he is back in the Party and a lot of us would say – like he said – that the allegations were over-exaggerated partly by the media so the figure he mentioned … in a book called ‘Bad News for Labour’ they discovered that people out there think that 30% of Labour Party members have been investigated…… the actual figures are something like 0.00 … can I also say that many of those allegations according to the EHRC were not correct.

KW: You talk about many Jewish people are behind Jeremy Corbyn. 84% of the British Jewish Community believe there’s a specific threat to British Jews according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s yearly study …. That is a substantial number ….. You know that the British Board of Jewish Deputies [JM: I don’t know which figure…] overwhelmingly think that this is a retrograde step and you don’t represent them!

JM:  About 10-20 years ago Jews stopped voting Labour … so there’s a considerable feeling about 80% of people don’t …… Secular Jews often don’t get invited to these surveys as they are not even registered. … All I can tell you is that the Charedi community, it does not feel like that, secular Jews don’t feel like that …

KW: You cannot lump all secular Jews like that, as if you know homogeneity of that group …

JM I’m not lumping any more than anyone else is …


Manson claimed to know that all Charedi Jews and all secular Jews support Corbyn. That is utter nonsense and a downright lie. There are many non-observant Jews who are repulsed by Corbyn’s antisemitism and the hatred that he unleashed in Labour – and many Charedi Jews likewise.

And like Corbyn, Manson quoted the statistically questionable 30% figure from ‘Bad News for Labour’.

And to claim that complaints of antisemitism ‘have been exaggerated’ is a criminal offence of harassment, as set out in the EHRC’s investigation of antisemitism in Labour (p27):

How telling that Manson was best Corbyn-supporting Jew that the Newsnight researchers could rustle up!

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Nazim Ali: Determination published

The GPhC  judgment (‘determination’) which was read out at the hearing on Thursday is on the website. It is every bit as bad as I wrote then, based on my notes.

David Collier (p51) is not considered an impartial witness in identifying antisemitism because he had recently returned from Israel and his daughter had volunteered for the IDF.

As for me, I am also not (p51-52) considered an impartial witness in identifying antisemitism because I am Jewish; because I have a conviction for shouting at an antisemite; and because I visited Nazim Ali’s pharmacy in order to expose the hypocrisy of an Israel hater who nevertheless stocks Israeli products.

IN OTHER WORDS THE EVIDENCE OF ANY JEW IN IDENTIFYING ANTISEMITISM IS UNRELIABLE AND MUST BE IGNORED!

(Of course a Neturei Karta Jew or a Jewish Voice for Labour Jew denying antisemitism would not only be believed, but embraced……….)

This is a version of the Livingstone Formulation which says that supporters of Israel knowingly falsify charges of antisemitism in order to suppress criticism of Israel. Indeed in writing off the evidence of two Jews on antisemitism, the committee is committing a criminal offence (harassment), as stated (p28) in the recent EHRC Report on the Labour Party.  Suggesting that complaints of antisemitism are fake or smears is harassment. It’s akin to the Corbynites who claim (still) that allegations of antisemitism in Labour are false, being designed to undermine Corbyn because of his support for the Palestinians.

The ugly truth is that David and I were inconvenient obstacles to the committee’s intention to exonerate Ali on the antisemitism charge. So we were dumped.

And piling absurdity on absurdity …. the fact is that when David wrote his Witness Statement (not long after the march in June 2017) he had not been to Israel for 13 years and his daughter was a 16 year old intending to do A levels and go to a UK university.

#1 It’s in their genes. The Zionists are here to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code.

And more: In assessing comment #1 for antisemitism, the committee ruled that Ali’s justification for the ‘genes’ comment (that it was a metaphor, like David Cameron speaking of the Conservative Party) ‘was not simply a post hoc rationalisation’. Why come to that conclusion? It is blatantly obvious – given the hatred we saw on the march – that it was a pretext cooked up with the help of his lawyer.

(see here for an explanation why the four statements ARE antisemitic).

The Committee’s assumption that antisemitism should be judged by a ‘reasonable person’ [1](who is definitely NOT Jewish, p53) leads to some ridiculous conclusions:

#2 European alleged Jews. Remember brothers and sisters, Zionists are not Jews.

Instead of concluding what any activist against antisemitism knows – that ‘alleged Jews’ refers to the Khazar trope beloved of Jew haters – – the Committee concludes that it cannot be antisemitic because the reasonable person wouldn’t understand it!

#3 Any Zionist, any Jew coming into your centre supporting Israel, any Jew coming into your centre who is a member of the Board of Deputies, is not a Rabbi, he’s an imposter.

They say much the same about this one: the ‘reasonable person’ ‘would trouble to seek to understand the underlying context’.

#4 They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.

And for this one they conclude that it’s not antisemitic because it’s criticism of the government!

The committee gets thoroughly confused (pp 58-59) about ‘intention’. It claims it’s inconsistent to (on the one hand) claim that the four comments are antisemitic regardless of Ali’s intent but on the other to say that he deliberately made antisemitic comments.

This is sheer legalistic crap. It is perfectly consistent to say that a statement is antisemitic regardless of intent and at the same time to say that the same statement was made with antisemitic intent.

Finally the committee says the four statements are offensive but not antisemitic. Eh? If they’re offensive to the mythical ‘reasonable person’ (not Jewish) then they are CERTAINLY offensive to Jews. Which means they’re antisemitic!

An appalling determination which cannot go unchallenged!

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[1] The oral references were all to ‘reasonable man’ but the written determination corrects this sexist reference

Addendum: Phenomenal detective work by David Collier (published 15 November)

Open letter to the Fitness to Practise Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council

Dear Mrs Bonnet, Mr Cannon and Mr Parekh

As you know last Monday I appeared as a Witness for your hearing regarding Nazim Ali’s amplified statements as leader of the 2017 Al Quds march (18 June) .

I told you in my Witness Statement that I am Jewish and that the Al Quds march is the worst event of the year in London as regards open antisemitism. Here is more of my Statement:

As the protestors were assembling I heard the registrant say, ‘many innocents were murdered by Theresa May’s cronies, many of whom are supporters of the Zionist ideologies’; he then said, ‘some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the conservative party are Zionists, they are responsible for the murder in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party’. Before the march started I heard the registrant say ‘Zionists give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high rise blocks, the Zionists are known to go for dinner with the heads of the BBC to make sure that there is no unnecessary exposure, on the innocent victims of the Zionist terrorism’.

When the march was on the way I heard the registrant say the following, ‘we are fed up of the Zionists, we are fed up of their Rabbis, we are fed up of their synagogues, we are fed up of their supporters’. ‘Judaism Yes, Zionism no, the state of Israel must go’. I heard the registrant say, ‘their supporters give money to the Tory Party, Zionists who give money to the Tory Party, to kill people in high rise blocks’. I also heard the registrant say, ‘Zionism is a fascist evil ideology’. I heard him say ‘everyone knows that Zionist Israel and ISIS are the same, they are brothers in arms’. He also said ‘IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is a terrorist organisation that murdered Palestinians, Jews and British soldiers’.

I told you in my Statement that Ali’s comments were antisemitic; that I would not wish to have any professional dealings with Ali; and that hearing those words made me very angry and sad. I told you that when Ali said that Zionists were responsible for the Grenfell murders (which happened just four days before the march) the inescapable meaning is that Jews are responsible – exchanging the two words is a well known device of antisemites. I told you that to say ‘Zionists’ instead of ‘Jews’ in no way weakens the charge of antisemitism.

WITHOUT INFORMING ME you selected just four of Ali’s statements, even though many more were also antisemitic. When I took the stand I was thus unable to explain WHY the four statements were antisemitic, as I was not aware that you had chosen them!

You selected these:

#1 It’s in their genes. The Zionists are here to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code.

#2 European alleged Jews. Remember brothers and sisters, Zionists are not Jews.

#3 Any Zionist, any Jew coming into your centre supporting Israel, any Jew coming into your centre who is a member of the Board of Deputies, is not a Rabbi, he’s an imposter.

#4 They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.

After I agreed to be a Witness I offered you education in antisemitism, necessary because this hatred can take many different forms, some of which need explaining to a professional having to assess it for the first time. I understand that an expert  organisation made the same offer. Here is the email I sent you:

This case is very important for the Jewish Community. It may turn on whether it is offensive to use the word ‘Zionist’ in place of the word ‘Jew’. The Crown Prosecution Service ruled that it was NOT offensive, see my blog.

In my view and the view of many other Jews, that was the wrong decision. Would it be in order for an official body of the Jewish Community – the Community Security Trust – to submit a paper to the hearing on this question? Or even to appear as a Witness?

I can argue the case as a Witness but it will carry more weight if it comes from an ‘official’ body.

Many thanks, regards
Jonathan

You refused:

Thank you for your emails. They have been reviewed by the lawyer presenting the case and he is confident that the witness statements and exhibits already obtained will be enough for a Fitness to Practise Committee to understand the case and decide on whether or not Mr Ali has breached his professional duties as a pharmacist, and if so what action is needed.

And when I appeared before you as a Witness you (and the GPhC’s barrister Andrew Colman) failed to ask me ANYTHING about Ali’s statements, eg why I regarded them as antisemitic. The same applies to David Collier’s oral testimony.

Each of those four statements is antisemitic as follows:

#1. This (IHRA) is a mendacious and stereotypical allegation about Jews. With maybe one exception the counter-demonstraters were Jews. The statement suggests that Israeli Jews are genetically programmed to ‘occupy’. A vile statement. Ali’s defence was that ‘in their genes’ was just a figure of speech, like saying of a footballer ‘scoring goals is in his genes’. Obviously that spurious ex-post justification was dreamed up on the advice of Ali’s barrister David Gottlieb.

#2. Ali said ‘European alleged Jews’ was something he picked up from Ahron Cohen, the self-styled ‘Rabbi’ from Neturei Karta. And that he didn’t understand what it meant.

You never had the decency to ask a Jewish authority what it means, did you?

It refers to the ‘Khazar Myth’ beloved of antisemites.  For the most part Jews divide into two groups. Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Yiddish-speaking Jews. Sephardi Jews descend from those in Spain, Portugal, the Middle East and North Africa.   Khazaria was a Kingdom in the 9th Century in the Caucasus Mountains between the Caspian and Black Seas. Some senior members of the Khazar Court did convert to Judaism. Part of the motivation is thought to have been to establish political neutrality for the Khazar kingdom, which faced potential threats from the powers of both Christendom and Islam.  The ‘Khazar Myth’ holds that modern day Ashkenazim, and especially the European leadership of the Zionist movement, are not Jews at all in the racial sense, but rather descendents from non-Jewish Khazars; therefore, the Khazar “theorists” claim, Zionists and Israelis have no legitimate claims to the Land of Israel. The Encyclopedia of Judaism (1989) states,”The notion that Ashkenazi Jewry is descended from the Khazars has absolutely no basis in fact.”

Nazim Ali claimed that ‘European Alleged Jews’ was a phrase he heard Aron Cohen say. But there is no indication that Cohen or Neturei Karta believe the Khazar Myth. Their opposition to Israel is based on theology, not on the Myth.  Ali can only have picked it up from an antisemite or an antisemitic website or publication.

The statement ‘Zionists are not Jews’ is also antisemitic. Zionism is the establishment and maintenance of the country called Israel which is grounded in Judaism. To seek to deny the Jewish character of Israel is tantamount to denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (IHRA).

#3. Again, this seeks to deny the Jewish character of Israel and is therefore antisemitic.

#4. This is blatantly antisemitic (‘mendacious allegations’ – IHRA). Not only is it an antisemitic lie, it is also redolent of the ‘Jewish control and power trope.

Appallingly in your determination (which will be on your website within a week) you stated that NONE of these four statements is antisemitic. And even more appalling was the fact that you dismissed the insistence of two Jews that all in all, Ali’s statements WERE antisemitic.

Who were those two Jews?

Jonathan Hoffman and David Collier. You stated in your determination that we were ‘not entirely impartial’ because my Witness statement said I was Jewish and David told you in oral evidence that he had just returned from Israel visiting his daughter.

Not entirely impartial’ – You do not get how insulting and hurtful that is, do you?

Try this: “Trevor Phillips, we do not trust your judgment on racism towards blacks because – being black – you are not entirely impartial”

It is the fundamental right of a race (and the law considers Jews a race) (a) to say what offends it and (b) to decide what is and is not racist. Not the responsibility of your ridiculous ‘reasonable man’ (not Jewish, you said) who (you said) would not understand the ‘alleged Jews’ remark (your reason for ruling it not antisemitic!!).

If the case was about racism towards Blacks or Muslims I bet you would have taken them at their word, not denied their oppression with the ludicrous non-existent ‘reasonable man’ (who is not black and not Muslim) artefact.

And in any case your ‘reasonable man’ – though not Jewish – would respect the opinion of mainstream Jews (I do not include the tiny fringe Neturei Karta) regarding what is and is not antisemitic. Wouldn’t he? Even if he did not understand the antisemitic references in the four statements, he would trust his Jewish friends. Wouldn’t he? I can name you hundreds of such ‘reasonable (not Jewish) men’ whom I know.

In finding those statements offensive but not antisemitic and – as a result – in imposing the mildest of sanctions (a mere warning) on Nazim Ali, you have done a huge disservice to Jews in the UK. And in failing to accept the offer of expert advice and suggesting that my testimony on antisemitism is worthless because as a Jew I am ‘not entirely impartial’, you have simply demonstrated your disinterest, crass ignorance and lack of comprehension. If you had bothered to ask me (or to read my blogs) you would know that I also call out false cases of antisemitism – see here and herehow much more ‘impartial’ can I be?

You have been referred to the EHRC.

Shame on you.

In sadness
Jonathan Hoffman

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Addendum: The Committee’s determination should be on the GPhC’s website within a week. Here is what it will say (taken from my notes as it was read out so it should not be regarded as word-for-word accurate):

“Mr Collier and Mr Hoffman were genuine and credible witnesses. But Mr Collier said he had just returned from seeing his daughter in Israel so he is not totally reliable. Mr Hoffman said he is Jewish so he is not wholly impartial either. Ms Caplan is not totally reliable. There is no reason to doubt the witnesses but they cannot be said to be “reasonable people”. “

NB The phrase ‘reasonable man’ is obviously sexist, anyone who uses it should say ‘reasonable person’.

Nazim Ali hearing: Day 6

Yesterday was Day Six of the Nazim Ali hearing  at the Fitness to Practise Committee of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) The Committee must decide whether Ali’s fitness to practise is impaired by his antisemitic tirade when leading the pro-Hizbolla Iran-sponsored Al Quds march on 18 June 2017.

(My tribunal reports are necessarily rough and incomplete because they from notes and the sound quality in the room is poor).

The charge against Ali specifies four of his utterances on the march:

It’s in their genes. The Zionists are here to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code.

European alleged Jews. Remember brothers and sisters, Zionists are not Jews.

Any Zionist, any Jew coming into your centre supporting Israel, any Jew coming into your centre who is a member of the Board of Deputies, is not a Rabbi, he’s an imposter.

They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.

The charge is that these are (a) abusive and (b) antisemitic.

The day began with the Committee’s response to the submission by David Gottlieb, Ali’s barrister, to halt the proceedings by a  ‘Stay for Abuse of Process‘, on the grounds that his client’s human rights would be violated. The Committee rejected the submission, determining that the proceedings were lawful and necessary. The precedent of Kahn v Bar Standards Board was cited. It was determined that the case was sufficiently important for the Council to consider; that the measure was reasonable in view of the objective; and that no less intrusive measure was available. The fact that there was no universally agree definition of antisemitism did not make the case exceptional; juries regularly make decisions in similar circumstances. Neither did the fact that it was an ethical issue make it ‘exceptional’ ; regulators often consider ethical issues.

Gottlieb’s next ruse was to try to change the charge, from ‘are antisemitic’ to ‘could be antisemitic’. The rationale was that Ali had admitted that his utterances could be viewed as antisemitic, though he did not consider them so. If Gottlieb could get the charge changed he could argue that (a) it was one with which his client agreed and (b) there was doubt as to whether they are antisemitic. The GPhC barrister Andrew Colman opposed the proposal. The GPhC needs a clear charge, he argued. And it was up to the Committee how it tested the antisemitism charge. To introduce ‘could’ would lower the bar and introduce uncertainty. The GPhC needs a Standard. The Committee might want to ask this question: Would most reasonable people conclude that the words were on balance antisemitic?

Gottlieb’s submission to change the charge was rejected.

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Corbyn grossly misrepresented antisemitism poll in his response to EHRC

In a Channel 4 interview on Thursday, after the EHRC report was published, Corbyn said

“The public perception in an opinion poll last year was that one third of all Labour Party members were somehow or other under suspicion of antisemitism. The reality is that it was 0.3% of Party members had a case against them which had to be put through the process”.

The ‘one third’ figure is from a poll for the book Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief. I blogged about that book and the poll here.

Here is what I wrote:

First 29% – nearly one-third – of respondents said that they didn’t know what percentage of Labour members had accusations of antisemitism made against them. Second, it is well known (Statistics #101) that outliers drive a wedge between the mean of a distribution and the mode. The mode of this distribution is just 0-9%, well below the mean of 33% (on my calculation).

Nazim Ali hearing: Days 4 and 5

While you were no doubt celebrating the long awaited EHRC Report and the long overdue suspension of Corbyn, important things were happening  at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in Canary Wharf.   Thursday and Friday were Days Four and Five of the Nazim Ali hearing. The Fitness to Practise Committee must decide whether Ali’s ‘fitness to practise’ is ‘impaired’ by his antisemitic tirade when leading the pro-Hizbolla Iran-sponsored Al Quds march on 18 June 2017.

Caveat: My hearing reports are necessarily rough and incomplete because they are from notes and the sound quality in the room is poor.

The two days were almost entirely taken up with the attempt by Ali’s barrister, David Gottlieb, to halt the case (‘Stay for Abuse of Process‘) because it supposedly infringed Ali’s human rights. No surprise then that on Thursday Gottlieb told the tribunal that he had read the EHRC report to see if there were lessons for the hearing – but (he said) there weren’t.

He was wrong:

Page 26 of the EHRC Report (ECHR is the European Convention on Human Rights)

In other words Gottlieb’s attempt to stop the hearing is a complete red herring and the past two days have been a total waste of the committee’s time. As is the weekend and Monday, because the committee has to come to a decision and give written reasons. And on day 5 (Friday) Gottlieb said ‘IHRA has no justification in terms of regulatory function’. So how come it was the yardstick used by the House of Lords Standards Commissioner for the investigation into Jenny Tonge? Is Gottlieb seriously saying it’s right for Parliament but wrong for the GPhC?

But it’s even worse than that……. Ali admits that what he said was offensive but refuses to admit it was antisemitic.  In his shameful attempt to halt the hearing, Gottlieb himself sailed very close to the Corbynite wind of antisemitism. Look at this statement for example:

To use antisemitism as a means to attack a man’s convictions is quite vindictive

As the EHRC report (p28) says, the suggestion that complaints of antisemitism are fake or smears is unlawful harassment under the Equality Act 2010.

And Gottlieb produced this disgraceful analogy to Ali being investigated for antisemitism:

What’s the position of a young black pharmacist if he walks past a neo-Nazi demonstration and loses his temper?”

Quite apart from the moral inversion here (Jewish counter-demonstraters (full disclosure: including me) against the pro-Hezbollah Al Quds marchers being compared to neo-Nazis!!!), this completely ignores that fact that much of Ali’s antisemitic diatribe comes BEFORE the counter-demonstraters stopped the march!

Gottlieb said that the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s (CAA’s) private prosecution of Ali was ‘purely political’ and that the GPhC ‘has lost all sense of proportion’. Here is what he absurdly said about Andrew Colman’s suggestion that the hearing should continue – and not be terminated as he wants:

You’re on the 10:05 train to Plymouth. There is an explosion ahead of you and a huge crater opens up in front of the train. It’s like the Inspector who insists that the train continues in order to get to Plymouth by 10:05”.

Gottlieb of course has a history of absurd legal arguments in defence of the indefensible.

Gottlieb said that the IHRA definition of antisemitism is ‘controversial’. It’s only ‘controversial’ because the Israel haters and antisemites don’t like it. He claimed that the Home Affairs Select Committee had reservations about it. Not true. It said ‘We broadly accept the IHRA definition.’ One of its reservations was unnecessary, the other didn’t make sense. (I would add to my blog that this (‘….or to take a particular interest in the Israeli Government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent’) is also a nonsense. Applying double standards as between Israel and other democratic countries is by definition antisemitic – no additional evidence is needed!

And then there were the character references. Guess who came first? “Rabbi” Aharon Cohen.  Andrew Coleman, the GPhC’s barrister, was quick to point out that he’s Neturei Karta.  The fact that Ali and Gottlieb think a testimonial from Cohen is an ASSET speaks volumes. This is the man  who went to Iran for a Conference on Holocaust Denial, expenses paid by the Mullahs. This is the man who thinks that the victims of the Holocaust deserved it.  This is the man who goes to meetings with Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis. And he backed Pete Gregson. Cohen styles himself ‘Rabbi’ but it stops there. No Jewish group outside the tiny Neturei Karta would recognise him as a Rabbi.

Jewish News

With friends like that ….!!

Who were the other character referees? At least one was from Ali’s health business. You’re hardly going to give a bad reference to your employer are you? Another was Massoud Shadjareh of the pro-Iran IHRC which organises Al Quds Day. And funny how many of the references said Ali was ‘not racist or antisemitic’ … Just like Corbyn, who can never condemn antisemitism without adding ‘and other racisms’.  You could be forgiven for wondering if the referees had been given a template. Gottlieb emphasised that the referees had appended the GPhC’s charges yet still gave glowing references. Mr Coleman pointed out that the GPhC encourages referees to append the charges. At this point the tribunal chair, Alistair Cannon, began to lose patience with Gottlieb: “Is there anything different is what you are going to read?” he asked.

Gottlieb noted that the witnesses (David Collier and myself) had not complained about the ‘alleged Jews’ comment, thus proving that Ali had not said anything antisemitic.  This is ridiculous – there were lots of offensive quotes we didn’t include!

Gottlieb constantly argued that the test of whether a statement is antisemitic should not be ‘could’ a reasonable person think so, but the tougher ‘would’. Several times he said that the hearing had ‘gone off the rails’ and he asked if the hearing was becoming ‘a tool for one side’. He complained that the GPhC had not published ‘guidance’ on the IHRA definition of antisemitism! My response: It’s really simple. It doesn’t need ‘guidance’.

Gottlieb twisted the fact that I found an Israeli product in Ali’s pharmacy. He suggested it was a sign that Ali’s animus against Israel did not affect his professional competence. No. The fact is that pharmacists who serve NHS patients HAVE TO stock all NHS medicines – including those developed in Israel. They have no choice.

I scribbled down these Gottlieb-Balls classics:

  • If a pharmacist wants to be an activist, what should they do: Dress like Gerry Adams in black?
  • It’s not our business to say that it is or isn’t antisemitic. We’re not word arbiters.
  • Moral issues are not for this Committee.
  • The reason why people think that antisemitism needs to be tackled is because at the heart of the Jewish religion is the desire for Justice.
  • Referring to Ali’s antisemitic tirade … “It was a political speech”.

Oh right … these are just ‘political’ comments ….:

Zionists were responsible for the Grenfell tragedy.
Zionists give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high rise blocks.
Be careful of the Rabbis in the Board of Deputies, they have blood on their hands, don’t let them enter your mosques.
The BBC never reports the death of Palestinian civilians; the Zionists have dinner with the Chairman of the BBC in order to ensure that Zionist terrorism goes unreported.
The State of Israel must go.
Judaism yes. Zionism no.
Israel and ISIS are the same.
Zionists don’t know what justice is.
Zionists are occupying Regent Street, it’s in their genes – European alleged Jews.
Zionists are not Jews.
The true Rabbis are Neturei Karta and they are with us.

Most Jews would consider these statements profoundly antisemitic. Both Counsel have agreed that the appropriate test for antisemitism is what a ‘reasonable man’ thinks. In the case of racism, it’s the views of the victims that should be paramount. If most Jews feel that a statement is antisemitic then the ‘reasonable man’ surely must take them at their word.

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Nazim Ali does standup comedy as a sideline. Maybe David Gottlieb should join him in a double act. Britain’s Got Talent here they come. How about a trio, to include a fake Rabbi? I’ve even got a website for them, to give them a flying start ………

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Nazim Ali hearing: Day 3

Yesterday (Wednesday) was Day Three of the Nazim Ali hearing at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The hearing tribunal must decide whether Ali’s fitness to practise is impaired by his antisemitic tirade when leading the Al Quds march on 18 June 2017.

As for Day Two, I will start simply by reporting what happened, without comment. My report is necessarily rough and incomplete because it is from my notes and because the sound quality in the room is poor. But unlike my blog of Day Two, I will not offer any comments (apart from two matters of fact). I think you will see why…………   

The day started with a question to Nazim Ali from the Chair of the GPhC Tribunal, Alastair Cannon. David Collier who took the stand on Monday had asked why it had taken over three years for Nazim Ali to offer an apology. Mr Cannon asked Nazim Ali whether he was advised to apologise by his lawyer. He said in response that when the GPhC dropped the case two years ago, his lawyer advised him NOT to apologise.

Then there was discussion of the importance of ‘Intention’ in the case. Mr Gottlieb argued that it was important that Nazim Ali had not intended to be offensive. Andrew Colman QC, acting for the GPhC, disagreed: “The objective meaning of words cannot be determined by the intention of the speaker – calling an orange ‘green’ does not make it green” and it is not in the charge against Nazim Ali that he intended to be antisemitic (four of his statements are listed and the charge is that they are (a) antisemitic and (b) offensive).  

The rest of the day was given over to a submission from Nazim Ali’s barrister, David Gottlieb. Mr Gottlieb submitted that although the hearing was still at the ‘finding of facts’ stage, it should nevertheless be terminated because Nazim Ali’s human rights would be infringed if it proceeded further.   Nazim Ali’s behaviour to his customers has been exemplary – there is no risk to members of the public. The public interest has been upheld by Nazim Ali’s behaviour since 18 June 2017 and by his apology. His personal integrity is beyond reproach. If the GPhC decided a sanction was appropriate, this would have a chilling effect on the ability of professionals to participate in public life. Mr Gottlieb agreed that Nazim Ali’s ‘European alleged Jews’ statement was antisemitic. But neither Jonathan Hoffman nor David Collier had cited this statement in their witness  statements. This shows that they are not the typical ‘bystander’ who should be judging whether Nazim Ali’s statements were antisemitic. [The implication being I guess that we are obsessed with Israel and only Israel] . Tabatha Caplan was an ‘unreliable witness’ because she wrongly stated that Nazim Ali blames Zionists and Jews for the Grenfell fire, whereas he didn’t mention Jews.(1)

During the Al Quds march Nazim Ali stood next to a man who was obviously a Rabbi (2) and he was not distressed. If Nazim Ali was an antisemite surely he would have been distressed. Nazim Ali made it clear that there were Jewish people on his side, so how could he be an antisemite? The transcript shows that Nazim Ali knew he was being filmed – would someone who knew they were being filmed make antisemitic remarks? Nazim Ali was provoked – eg the marchers were compared to ISIS. Maybe provocation caused him to make the offensive statements? The transcript and video show give-and-take on both sides (reference to the counter demonstration). David Collier said that Ali was inciting hatred – but the transcript shows him trying to calm the anti-Israel marchers down when the counter-demonstraters stopped the march.

This statement is not about Jews, it’s about Israel.

This statement is about Zionists, not Jews – he says, Zionists are not Jews.

Can the stewards please ensure that the Zionists are removed from the front. They’re not happy enough occupying Palestine, they’re trying to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code. European alleged Jews.

David Cameron spoke about the DNA of the Conservative Party. The use of the word ‘genes’ is a figure of speech, it is not to be taken literally.

The Al Quds march and the counter-demo were like two rival football teams, Bolton v Manchester United. Football supporters often abuse their rivals. If a Bolton football supporter was a pharmacist and abused a Manchester United supporter and someone complained to the GPhC, would they too be brought before a misconduct hearing? In which case the GPhC would have so many hearings, it would be impossible to cope.

Comments

(1) Mr Gottlieb’s statement that Ms Caplan was an unreliable witness appears to be based on the assumption that she was in Duchess Street. But she says she was ‘around the Grosvenor Square area’ when she saw and heard Nazim Ali speaking.  It is possible she was referring to a statement of Nazim Ali in Grosvenor Square where the march ended. The call her an ‘unreliable witness’ on this basis is completely unacceptable

(2) First the ‘Rabbi’ was Neturei Karta (see my Day 2 blog for more about this microscopic-sized Jewish sect). Of course he and Nazim Ali were all smiles – they both want the destruction of Israel. Second he was not a ‘Rabbi’ – no mainstream Jewish body would accept anyone from Neturei Karta as an authentic Rabbi.

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Nazim Ali hearing: Day 2

Today was Day Two of the Nazim Ali hearing at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The hearing tribunal must decide whether Ali’s fitness to practise is impaired by his antisemitic tirade when leading the Al Quds march on 18 June 2017.

I will start simply by reporting what happened, without comment. My report is necessarily rough and incomplete because it is from my notes and because the sound quality in the room is poor. You may draw your own conclusions about what was said. Later I will offer my conclusions.

One of the young men present happened to make some remark against the Zionists. Dr. King snapped at him and said, “Don’t talk like that! When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism!”

What happened?

The day started with a discussion involving the GPhC’s legal adviser (Ms Sadia Zouq), the Tribunal Chair (Alastair Cannon) and the two barristers (Andrew Colman QC for the GPhC and David Gottlieb for Nazim Ali) about precisely how the Tribunal should decide whether what Nazim Ali said over the loudhailer was antisemitic. Mr Colman (I think) said the test should be if on balance of probability the tribunal thought that a reasonable man could think Ali’s comments were antisemitic. Mr Gottlieb thought it should be ‘would’ not ‘could’. Mr Cannon thought the test should simply be ‘are they antisemitic?’

Nazim Ali’s oral witness statement was preceded by Mr Gottlieb saying that Ali felt he has a right to a  private life and that the GPhC should not be conducting an inquisition into it.

Ali had completed a written statement, part of which he read out (after some personal details: DOB 22.11.68, 2 children age 14 and 19; born in Pakistan, family came to UK 1969, settled in Bolton, father a tailor). He deeply regretted the offence he had caused and apologised unreservedly. He is not and never has been antisemitic. He never wanted to cause pain. He accepts that what he said was insensitive. None of his Jewish customers has ever complained that he is antisemitic. His family lived in a back-to-back in Bolton and he experienced extensive discrimination when he was a child. There were no Jewish children at his primary school but he went to a private secondary school and there was a Jewish boy called Stephen [I didn’t hear the surname] with whom he had debates about the Middle East but always friendly.  He became President of the Palestine Society at Sunderland University [when he was there it was Sunderland Technical College]. He wanted to study medicine but all the interview questions he was asked were racist. There was a Jewish Society with which the Palestine Society had debates. After he qualified as a pharmacist he worked for Boots in Brent Cross London, in the middle of a Jewish area. After moving to manage a pharmacy in Edgware Road he opened his own pharmacy in Streatham. David Collier yesterday had alleged that he had a history of antisemitism but there had been no complaints in the past.

His intention at the Al Quds march had been to highlight the plight of the Palestinians. His comments were unscripted. The reaction was horrible. The Al Quds marches had never been controversial and he never dreamed that his utterances over the loudhailer would be reported so widely.

David Collier yesterday had asked him why it had taken three years to apologise. His response was that he had never appeared in Court or a hearing before – so had not had the opportunity.

Andrew Colman QC started the examination of Ali. After the Israel supporters had gathered at the front of the Al Quds March to stop it in Regent Street, Ali had said:

Can the stewards please ensure that the Zionists are removed from the front. They’re not happy enough occupying Palestine, they’re trying to occupy Regent Street. It’s in their genes, it’s in their genetic code. European alleged Jews.

Ali was adamant that there was no connection between Judaism – a religion – and Zionism – an ideology. Zionists did not have to be Jewish and many Jews were not Zionists. How then, asked Mr Colman, could Ali speak of Zionists as having a  ‘genetic code’? Ali said that was just a figure of speech. It was like saying top class footballers have football in their genes. Mr Colman then accused Ali of saying that all Jews are occupiers. Again Ali responded by drawing  a sharp distinction between Jews and Zionists.

What – asked Mr Colman – did Ali mean by “European alleged Jews”? After a long pause, Ali referred to ‘interfaith’. Muslims are asked to have interfaith relations with Jews. “But” (he said) “we do have a problem with Zionists”. Rabbi Beck of Neturei Karta (NK) had made a comment in a Vice documentary to the effect that Zionist Jews are not real Jews, that they are alleged Jews. Ali didn’t know the ins and outs of that, he was just repeating what Rabbi Beck said. He wasn’t sat in a seminar and he had been called a ‘paedo’ several times.

Mr Colman asked if NK is representative of the majority of Jews: “No. Jews who support Israel are not Rabbis.”

Mr Colman said that the Grenfell Tower inferno (14 June 2017) happened four days before the Al Quds march. Nazim Ali blamed “the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party” for the fire … “It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks”. Ali agreed it was offensive. Mr Colman suggested it was an antisemitic trope about Jewish control and power. Ali disagreed: not all Jews are Zionists, he said.

There was then a break. The hearing resumed at 12:45 with questions from the tribunal members. Mr Cannon wanted to clarify Ali’s comment about ‘European alleged Jews’. Was Ali simply reporting Rabbi Beck’s words? Yes. In a  documentary in 2015 Rabbi Beck said that Jews who support Israel are not real Jews.

And what about the comment that Rabbis should be excluded from ‘your centres’?

Careful, careful, careful, of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who’ve got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres

Ali again referred to interfaith activities. Muslims should not be talking to Jews who support Israel.

The second tribunal member, Raj Parekh, asked Ali if he felt he had breached any of the standards of conduct set out by the GPhC, particularly #6:

Nazim Ali said he had not breached any of them. His views on the Middle East are part of his private life and he has never sought to indoctrinate others with them (Standard #1). Mr Parekh asked how Ali’s patients would perceive his outbursts at 2017 Al Quds? Ali said they would view  them badly but if they knew the context they would understand. 

The third tribunal member, Mrs Claire Bonnet, asked Ali what impact his outbursts had on the pharmacy profession and its members. “Embarrassing” he replied. Mrs Bonnet asked, was that all?

Analysis

One: Regarding the initial discussion of the judgment of antisemitism: No, Ms Zouq, Mr Cannon, Mr Colman and Mr Gottlieb: It is not down to the ‘reasonable man’ to make that call – It is down to the victims, ie Jews! It is the fundamental right of a minority to state what it finds offensive and then to judge if the line has been crossed. I’ll make it easy for you. ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews‘ is antisemitic, by IHRA definition. At the 2017 Al Quds march, Nazim Ali crossed this line 24 times.

The lack of expertise in antisemitism and Jewish Affairs among the decision makers and their advisers in this hearing is a real problem. In combination with similar errors, it could even lead to the wrong outcome!

Two: Incredibly Ali seemed unfamiliar with the GPhC’s Standards of Conduct! When they were placed before him it seemed that he was reading them for the first time and he maintained that they only apply to his worklife – which is wrong. How is it possible for a pharmacist to be unaware of the Standards set by his regulator – even when he is up for a disciplinary hearing?

Three: Ali’s explanation as to why it took three years to apologise is derisory.

Four: He denied he has a history of antisemitism – but what is marching with Hezbollah flags for twenty years, if not antisemitic? Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation whose aim is the destruction of the Jewish State.

Five: He suggests that the links between Zionism and Judaism are at best tenuous. That’s ridiculous. Israel is the only State of Jewish character; Jews pray to Jerusalem four times a day; over 90% of British Jews have close links to Israel; more Jews live in Israel than anywhere else. Most Christian Zionists support Israel BECAUSE of these factors. Anti-Zionist Jews like NK are a tiny extremist fringe.

Six: Despite the lack of proper advice from experts in Judaism and antisemitism, the Tribunal must dismiss Nazim Ali’s references to NK as supporting him. NK is a tiny sect, numbering 5,000 worldwide at most or 0.03% of the world’s Jews. There are no ‘Rabbis’ in NK – at least no ‘Rabbis’ that are recognised as such by mainstream Judaism. The vast majority of Jews abhor NK. NK attends Holocaust Denial ‘conferences’ in Iran – whose leaders are sworn to drive Israel into the sea. NK rejoiced when a Rabbi from Israel was murdered by terrorists in Mumbai: NK were never better shown for the scum they are than by the leaflet they put out after the murder of Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife in the Mumbai terrorist massacre in November 2008.

What might be the outcome?

Here are the possibilities

Nazim Ali does not accept that anything he said was antisemitic. His apology has clearly only come because he fears consequences for his pharmacy business. Anything less than suspension will be yet another kick in the teeth for the UK Jewish Community.

Nazim Ali hearing: Day 1

The Nazim Ali hearing at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) began yesterday. The hearing tribunal must decide whether Ali’s fitness to practise is impaired by his antisemitic tirade when leading the Al Quds march in 2017. He blamed ‘Zionists’ for the Grenfell Tower inferno. And this:

Careful, careful, careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who’ve got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.

Ali’s barrister is David Gottlieb. Gottlieb was the barrister who attempted (singularly unsuccessfully) to argue that the killer of Lee Rigby did not have a fair trial because the judge misdirected the jury, ruling out Adebolajo’s defence that he was attempting to fight a battle for Islam.

Yesterday David Collier and I – who provided witness statements to the GPhC – were cross-examined by Gottlieb.  His strategy was to attempt to convince the tribunal that we are agents of the government of Israel.  His first question to David was “Are you independent?” and his second – appallingly – was “Where is your daughter and what does she do?” (David’s daughter is in Israel on the pre-IDF course). Then he asked me about discovering an Israeli product in Ali’s pharmacy, accusing me of “snooping“!

Alistair Cannon and the other two tribunal members (Raj Parekh, a pharmacist, and Claire Bonnet, a lawyer) did not seem terribly impressed.

In the afternoon the tribunal was shown the video of the march and David Collier’s video. Helpfully CAA’s 66 page transcript of the longer video was in the documents pack given to the tribunal (as was the IHRA definition of antisemitism).

Remember that appallingly the CPS failed to prosecute Ali and then when the CAA brought a private prosecution, they took it over and then dropped it.

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The barbaric beheading of Samuel Paty

David Collier has written about how this horrific murder was premeditated and organised by Islamists.

Jerry Gordon is Producer and co-host of Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix and is a senior editor at the New English Review. He has posted this important interview about the murder with Nidra Poller. She is is a long term American expat in Paris, writer translator, journalist and author.

It is a long interview so I will summarise the points of note, to add to the information in David’s blog.

All teachers in France are required to give lessons in Civics including Freedom of Speech.

The 13 year old whose father complained after Samuel Paty showed the cartoons to his class was not even in the class when it happened – she had been expelled for bad behaviour and absenteeism. The father said that Paty asked Muslim children to leave the classroom and that his daughter refused. Two lies: One, she was not even in the classroom (having been expelled), two, Paty said that Muslim children could leave if they wished to – he did NOT ask them to leave.

The father – a fulltime extremist agitator – started a campaign against Paty, with the help of an even bigger agitator, Abdelhakim Sefrioui (Ms Poller calls him Mohammed Sefrioui) (as David notes). Sefrioui was also part of Dieudonné’s campaign office in 2006.  Dieudonné is a vile antisemitic “comedian”.

In 2009, Sefrioui tried to intimidate the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, after his remarks calling for friendship with the Jewish Community.

In 2010, he violently opposed the Imam of Drancy, Hassen Chalghoumi, who was close to the Jewish community and who had just approved a law limiting the wearing of the full veil. The following year, Chalghoumi was placed under police protection after threats made by Sefrioui and his supporters.

Ms Poller says that In 2014 Sefroui was one of the organisers of the antisemitic riots against Jews in Sarcelles close to Paris.

Paty went to the police to complain about defamation by the father.

Gérald Darmanin the new Muslim Interior Minister is well-placed to tackle Islamism as his family has Algerian roots. His father and grandfather took the side of France during the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962).

(Correction: Darminin, is Catholic, not Muslim. His maternal grandfather, Moussa Ouakid, was a brave, handsome, French Muslim patriot born in Algeria, who fought with the French Résistance in 1944 and remained loyal to France during the Algerian liberation war).

Ms Poller says that the murder is a definitive moment in the defence against Jihad and Islamism in France. 80 people who expressed support for the murderer on social media are having their homes searched.

Dear Vice Chancellor, don’t let Robert Cohen bully you into failing to adopt IHRA

Dear Professor Schofield

RE: The Secretary of State’s request that Lancaster University adopts the International Holocaust Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

You have received a submission from Robert Cohen, a part-time mature student at Lancaster. Mr Cohen asks you ‘not to be bullied by Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, into adopting the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism’.

Before I critique Mr Cohen’s submission, you need to be aware of his background. He may have been born Jewish but his links with the established Jewish Community and Jewish practices are at best tenuous and possibly non-existent.   Married to a Christian Vicar, he is happy to work for the Co-Op which has a virtual complete boycott of goods from Israel, the world’s only Jewish majority nation.  Such is his drive to vilify Israel that he is even willing to besmirch the memory of Anne Frank to promote his personal Crusade.  And – appallingly – he blames Israel for antisemitism. Israel does not cause antisemitism. Antisemites cause antisemitism. If Israel had been created ten years earlier, millions of Jews might have been saved from going to the gas chamber.  Israel is a refuge from antisemitism. Only an antisemite says that Israel causes antisemitism! No wonder that Cohen opposes the IHRA Definition.  Suggesting that ‘Israel causes antisemitism’ is a blatant violation of the Definition: It is in breach of this IHRA example:  Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective.

Professor Schofield, every minority has the right to specify what offends it.  The IHRA Definition is widely accepted by Jewish representative bodies, both in the UK and internationally.

A critique of Mr Cohen’s objections to IHRA follows:

  • Mr Cohen picks up on the IHRA’s description of the Definition as ‘working’. He claims that means ‘not to be considered final or definitive in any way’.  This is nonsense. ‘Working’ in this context means a definition that institutions can *work* with, a definition that *works*. The eleven examples are included in the Definition precisely for that purpose. If the Definition had only been the first 38 words (‘Antisemitism may be expressed as hatred towards Jews’) it would be a worthy but *unworkable* tautology.
  • Mr Cohen resorts to a hackneyed argument so beloved by Corbynites: that the Definition does not include the eleven examples. That’s simply a lie.
  • Referring to the IHRA’s statement that applying the examples should take into account ‘the overall context’ Mr Cohen criticises the supposed ‘failure to evaluate any context’. But that’s the whole point about ‘context’, Professor Schofield.  It’s impossible to predict what a specific ‘context’ might be – it’s a matter of using one’s judgement in a specific case.  Take for example the person who believes there should be one government for the entire world. If s/he called for the end of the State of Israel along with all other nation states, that would obviously not be antisemitic.
  • Mr Cohen criticises this IHRA example:

    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.

    Mr Cohen asks ‘Is national self-determination a protected right for every individual?’ Easy. Yes – provided it commits to recognising the right of its neighbours to exist and to live peacefully with them.

    What happens if its application denies another group its own national self-determination?’ he asks.  If Mr Cohen is suggesting that Israel does not permit Palestinian self-determination, this is a lie. The Palestinians have been offered a State four times including over 95%  of what they wanted at Camp David in 2000 (see Dennis Ross ‘The Missing Peace’).

    Mr Cohen asks ‘Are we confusing categories by making criticism of Jews and criticism of a nation state synonymous? To change the context, would we be comfortable saying it’s wrong for a native American to describe the creation of the United States as a racist endeavour? And if they did, would it automatically mean they are being racist towards individual Americans?

    Again it’s down to Jews to define their oppression – not down to Mr Cohen. Israel is the world’s only nation embedded in Judaism. More Jews live there than anywhere else. Religious Jews mention Israel in their prayers four times a day. Mr Cohen’s analogy regarding American Indians is irrelevant and anyway invalid.
  • Mr Cohen suggests that IHRA prevents a Palestinian studying at a British university from recounting their history. A ludicrous suggestion. IHRA simply says it’s antisemitic to deny Jews the right to self-determination in Israel; that applying double standards to Israel is antisemitic; that likening Israeli policy to Nazism is antisemitic; and that to malevolently lie about Israel is antisemitic. It is perfectly possible for a Palestinian to recount their history without crossing the line into antisemitism.
  • Mr Cohen’s next criticism can be similarly dismissed (‘Understanding of Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel cannot be the exclusive right of Jewish people’).  In truth it’s ludicrous. There is no ‘official’ Jewish view of the creation of the State of Israel. Regarding the number of Arabs who were forcibly driven from their homes in 1948, for example, you will find wildly different histories, comparing Professor Karsh with Professor Pappe. That’s not what IHRA is about. Obviously.
  • Mr Cohen lied to you that Kenneth Stern was the sole author of the original IHRA text. He wasn’t. It was drawn up by the European Union Monitoring Committee on Racism and Xenophobia in 2005. The subcommittee that framed the Definition comprised national representatives of each EU Member State together with representatives of Jewish NGOs. Stern was just one member. Stern has no problem with the text of IHRA, simply with giving it legal status.  Professor Schofield, no-one is suggesting that IHRA should become law!
  • Mr Cohen suggests that the adoption of IHRA will cause ‘academics and students to self-censure themselves’.  But that’s not bad, it’s good – they should not be crossing the boundary into antisemitism, should they, Professor Schofield?  He cites as evidence a 2017 meeting at the University of Central Lancashire that was cancelled by the university administration.  Let’s look at that meeting.  It was part of ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ which is itself an antisemitic title: non-Jews have full rights in Israel. It featured as speakers Ben White who supports the dismantling of the State of Israel, itself an antisemitic policy; and Huda Ammori who is part of a group, Palestine Action, which breaks the law in order to attack Israeli-owned targets. 

    Does Mr Cohen seriously think that such a meeting should have gone ahead, in the interest of ‘free speech’?

    Maybe as part of his studies at your University he will lean about Article Ten of the European Convention of Human Rights. It states that free speech ‘carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
  • Mr Cohen suggests that the IHRA is being championed by ‘professional advocates for the State of Israel around the world’. My cheque must have got lost in the post.
  • Finally, Professor Schofield, Mr Cohen draws your attention to ‘many other concerned Jewish voices on this matter, and they write with considerable authority and expertise.’
    Let’s take a look at them, shall we? Brian Klug first (whose name Mr Cohen misspells).
  • The Toronto speech by Klug to which Mr Cohen links has a fundamental error. In discussing the sentence in IHRA which states that  ‘However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’ Klug states that ‘it implies that excessive criticism of Israel is, in and of itself, antisemitic’.  Wrong. It’s nothing to do with the volume of criticism. It’s to do with those criticisms which are a normal part of discourse. For example, it’s not antisemitic to say that ‘the Israeli football team is rubbish’ (though it’s wrong, Scotland only won on penalties). 
  • The September 2018 paper by Anthony Lerman to which Mr Cohen links does not help his cause, because it is mostly not a criticism of IHRA.  Rather it is a history of how IHRA came to be so widely adopted.  It is also very misleading.  Lerman states that ‘Only 6 of 31 governments whose countries are members of IHRA have formally endorsed/adopted the definition.’ But the UN reported that as at August 2019, 18 countries had adopted it. By mid-2020 the total was up to 27.  (UPDATE: Around 20 October the total rose to 28 as Albania adopted).

    Lerman states ‘the UK Government adopted the definition but not the list of examples’. Simply a lie. The examples are part of the Definition and the UK has adopted it in full. Ditto his assertion that the European Parliament only adopted the first 38 words of the Definition and not the examples. A lie. Lerman asserts that the examples are not part of the Definition. A lie.
  • Lerman adduces in his support four lawyers: Hugh Tomlinson QC, Sir Stephen Sedley, Sir Geoffrey Bindman and Geoffrey Robertson.
    • Tomlinson was paid for his Opinion by opponents of the Definition – Free Speech on Israel; Independent Jewish Voices; Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.   Hardly surprising that his Opinion opposed the Definition….
    • Sedley suggested the completely unworkable definition that “Antisemitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews”. His criticism of IHRA effectively amounts to the Livingstone Formulation. (This is the lie – beloved of antisemites – that ‘anyone who criticises the Israel government’s policies towards the Palestinians is denounced as antisemitic.’)
    • Bindman’s criticism is here.  He states ‘the IHRA definition should only be adopted if qualified by caveats making clear that it is not antisemitic to criticise the Israeli government without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent’. Of course – and it is in the Definition! (‘ …criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’.)
    • Robertson’s Opinion was funded by the Palestine Return Centre. I fisked it here.  It  was rapidly deleted. Its worth can be deduced from Robertson’s demonstrably false statement that Israel was created  ‘to compensate for the Holocaust’.
  • Of course Lerman fails to communicate the fact that the Campaign Against Antisemitism published a supportive legal opinion regarding IHRA!
  • The third so-called ‘expert’ that Mr Cohen cites. Professor Schofield, is Professor Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. Feldman has been a longstanding opponent of the IHRA Definition and its predecessor, the EUMC Definition. He said in a lecturethere is confusion over what anti-semitism is’ and attempted to prove his point by citing a poll which found that 52% failed to agree that ‘hating Israel and questioning its right to exist is antisemitic’.   But that was 52% of EVERYONE, not just of Jews, Professor Schofield. Whereas of course it is the right of Jews to say what offends us – just as it is the right of any minority to define prejudice against itself. And the same poll says that taking only Jews, only 6% of them failed to agree that ‘hating Israel and questioning its right to exist is antisemitic’. Moreover this 6% did not disagree – they were neutral.
  • Finally Mr Cohen cites a critique of IHRA by ‘the Canadian branch of Independent Jewish Voices’. This publication is a disgrace. It contains multiple Livingstone formulations, thus:
    • the IHRA Definition is ‘a handy cudgel with which to beat back criticism of Israel
    • Seven of its [IHRA’s] eleven examples label criticism of Israel or Zionism as antisemitic.
    • The primary goal of those promoting it [the IHRA Definition] is to ban or criminalize criticism of both Israel and Zionism, along with support for Palestinian rights.
    • Labelling critics of Israel’s laws, policies or actions as antisemites is designed to divert attention from the fact that Israel is an oppressive military superpower that is occupying Palestinian lands and subjecting Palestinian citizens of Israel to a range of discriminatory laws.
  • And it contains lies as follows:
    • in 2017, the European Parliament called on all European nations to adopt the definition, but without its examples.
    • It is unclear whether the examples and notes are meant to be an integral part of the definition, or simply additional materials.
  • And look at how Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) defines antisemitism: ‘as hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews because they are Jews.That is absolutely NOT what antisemitism is, Professor Schofield.  It is discrimination against Jews because they allegedly control the international banking system or allegedly sell the body parts of dead Palestinian terrorists or allegedly test weapons on Palestinian children or allegedly poison wells or allegedly bake Matzos with the blood of Christian children.  It has many manifestations and those manifestations change over time.  I refer you to this brilliant piece by Anthony Julius and Deborah Lipstadt in The Times.

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There you have it Professor Schofield. My critique is even longer than Mr Cohen’s submission to you, but I make no apology for that. The factors that determine the choice of a university by Jewish students should include things like the course content, the quality of the teaching, the reputation of the institution and the location.  They should NOT include the amount of antisemitism that s/he might encounter. But at present that is undoubtedly a factor. Fifty years ago when I was applying Manchester was the most popular choice for Jewish students. No longer. It is a matter of deep shame that Jewish students have to consider the extent of antisemitic abuse they will receive when it comes to choosing a university.

I trust that Lancaster University will soon adopt IHRA and that Mr Cohen’s submission will be filed somewhere appropriate. Happy to advise further.

Sincerely, Jonathan Hoffman MA (Oxon), MSc (LSE)
Former elected member, Defence Division, Board of Deputies of British Jews
Former Vice Chair, Zionist Federation

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Update: Useful clarification of Ken Stern’s role in the framing of the EUMC Definition (January 2021)

Labour’s Campaign Group: Anti-Israel, ambivalent on Chinese atrocities and fighting terrorism

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill passed through the House of Commons this week.  The bill authorises undercover agents and informants to commit crimes as part of their work.  Every foiled terrorism plot in recent years has involved some kind of covert intelligence – such as this plan to bomb Downing Street or this plot to bomb synagogues.

The bill does not authorise new activity, it simply puts existing practice on a clear and consistent statutory footing. It is necessary to stop ‘human rights’ lawyers from obstructing the combating of terrorism and other offences. Covert activity will have to be reviewed by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

However  34 Labour Campaign Group MPs, plus suspended Claudia Webbe, defied the whip to abstain on the bill.  Jeremy Corbyn was one. In the debate on the bill he claimed “The proceedings on this Bill today are an absolute travesty of parliamentary accountability”.

Let’s look at the recent record of the 35 …….

  • All the 21 Labour MPs (bar Webbe) who signed the Campaign Group’s letter demanding sanctions on Israel if sovereignty was extended into Judea/Samaria also voted against this bill;
  • 14 (plus Webbe) of the 35 signed the CAABU letter also demanding sanctions if sovereignty was extended;
  • 27 of the 35 failed to sign Ann McDonagh MP’s letter to the Chinese Ambassador expressing outrage about China’s attempt at ethnic cleansing of the Uighur Muslims.

Anti-Israel and ambivalent on Chinese atrocities and fighting terrorism …. Sir Keir Starmer sure has a long way to go to make Labour electable again.

Golden Alliance – led by Embassy of Israel – succeeds in making and delivering 1,000 meals to the needy in under 24 hours

Superlative Alert ….

Today (15 October) I was lucky enough to be part of a fantastic initiative from the Israel Embassy in London. They partnered with the amazing City Harvest London (and here) and  the incredible Eran Tibi of Bala Baya restaurant to cook 1,000 mouth-watering meals for the needy in London.  They will have the meals for World Food Day tomorrow. As Eran explains, the meals are going to women’s shelters, children’s charities, community centres, the elderly, those in food poverty and soup kitchens for the homeless. 

Labels on the meals

The project got off to a  great start with an endorsement from the marvellous Dame Maureen (I did warn you about the superlatives … ). After a safety briefing from Eran we went into the kitchen at New City College to start preparing the meals. David Saunders (Gooner but nevertheless a nice guy) and I were on Pumpkin Duty, including one of meteorite size which almost scraped the ceiling.

Incredibly a handful of volunteers worked their socks off and managed to meet the absurdly ambitious 1,000 target by 5pm.

A few photos:

Amazingly all the food was donated to City Harvest, including food that had been over-ordered by supermarkets. COO Nikki Tadema (a former chef herself) was on hand to tell us about this brilliant Charity which incredibly delivers 170,000 meals each week.

We were fabulously hosted by Justin McNamara and the chefs and third year students at New City College, thank you so much. They all worked hard to make the day a success.

Above all, thank you to Vivi Aisen, Director of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy, who masterminded the project so imaginatively and efficiently.

Addendum: The Embassy has released a video

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IHRA: Government grasps the academic nettle at long last ……

British Universities are incubators of antisemitism. Time and again we have seen Islamist and leftist extremists radicalised at university. Remember Abdullmatallab, the so-called ‘underpants bomber’ who tried to bring down a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009? He was head of the Islamic Society at University College London.  At that time I noted that three of the last four heads of this society had been indicted for terrorism offences.  And just yesterday outside Elbit’s office in London, there were many in the anti-Israel contingent of student age or slightly older.

So it’s vital that universities adopt the full IHRA definition of antisemitism in order to combat demonising lies about Zionists and Zionism on campus.

But the Union of Jewish Students recently noted that – disappointingly – out of 133 UK universities, only 29 have adopted the IHRA definition (the page includes a link to the data, gleaned from a combination of FOIs and J Soc enquiries). But even this might be an overestimate. For example UJS’s data table suggests that LSE adopted IHRA in December 2017.  After the antisemitic Falk meeting at LSE earlier that year I was in protracted correspondence with the university (I hold a Master’s degree from LSE). As of November 2017 they had NOT adopted IHRA – and were showing no signs whatsoever of doing so.

And my information from a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Education some months ago was that only six universities had adopted IHRA (Kings London, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Liverpool, Essex and Bristol). It would be surprising if a further 23 had adopted since then. And ‘adopted’ means the FULL definition including the examples which are an integral part of it, see below. Sometimes it is wrongly asserted that the opening 38 words constitute the IHRA definition (‘Antisemitism may be expressed as hatred toward Jews’). But they are simply an operationally useless tautology – which hasn’t stopped some local authorities adopting them and claiming that they have adopted the definition eg Liverpool and Manchester :

Email to me from Manchester Council

Has UJS checked that the 29 have adopted the FULL definition, including the examples? For example Essex University’s Harassment and Bullying Policy suggests that only the meaningless first 38 words have been adopted. The same holds true of Lincoln University (Press Notice 5 June 2019). And of Liverpool University:

Minutes of Liverpool University Senate meeting

And UCL’s Press Notice announcing adoption sets out this caveat:

It is not antisemitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.

But that effectively rejects one of the IHRA examples: ‘Applying double standards [of Israel] by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.’ It is antisemitic, by definition – no ‘additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent’ is necessary!

Incidentally the response regarding Oxford is bizarre. It states

‘The University has not formally adopted the IHRA Definition and there are currently no plans to change this. The University follows the government’s definition of antisemitism which, since 2016, has been informed by the IHRA Definition.’

The government’s definition is NOT ‘informed by’ the IHRA Definition. It *IS* the IHRA Definition!

Perhaps as a result of UJS’s research, the Secretary of State for Education emailed all University Vice Chancellors on Friday, threatening action:

……………………………

Professor Geoffrey Alderman promptly went into print opposing the letter and the definition.

Professor Alderman (a historian) acts as an adviser to Shraga Stern. (I have asked him if he is paid – no response). Stern is a member of the Satmar sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews who do not accept the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish majority State (because they believe there can be no such State until the coming of the Messiah). Like Neturei Karta, this (possibly inter alia) leads Stern to be a supporter of Corbyn (indeed a recently published book ‘Left Out’ revealed that Corbyn’s wife Laura Alvarez and Stern formed an unlikely friendship).

It’s hardly surprising that Professor Alderman has published an ill-informed attack on the IHRA Definition of Antisemism.

Alderman writes ‘there is some confusion as to whether these “examples” actually form part of the definition.’

There is no confusion whatsoever. As he knew, because I had drawn to his attention to two documents which confirm this.

The first document is this statement from seven members of the UK Delegation to the IHRA. 

The second is this email to me from two IHRA Chairpersons, one of whom was the Chair at the time of the Bucharest Plenary which adopted the definition:

Alderman questions how it can be antisemitic to compare Israeli policy to that of the Nazis if it is not antisemitic to compare China’s treatment of the Uighurs to that of the Nazis?

The answer is simple. It is wrong to compare ANY country’s policies to those of the Nazis, so horrific were the latter’s crimes. But the Rohingya and the Uighurs were not the victims of the Nazis. Unlike six million Jews.

Another of the examples says that it is antisemitic to accuse Jewish citizens ‘of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.’

Alderman suggests that some Jews have ‘acted in the interests of Israel rather than the UK’- and so, he asks, how can it be antisemitic to point that out?

It obviously is.  For example, had I been present at Hampden Park on Thursday, I would have cheered for the Israeli soccer team who played against Scotland.  But that does NOT mean I am ‘more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of [my] own nation[s].”

A third example says it’s antisemitic to make “stereotypical allegations about . . . the power of Jews as a collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about Jews controlling the media.”

Alderman says that he has pointed out that in the early 20th century ‘there was a case to be made in support of the view that Jews controlled large parts of the British film industry. But of course they had no Jewish “agenda” in mind.’

First note that Jews didn’t control ‘large parts’ of the British film industry pre-WW2. As  Andrew Spicer has written:

Thus although Jewish entrepreneurs did not control the pre-war British film industry, they did much to help shape it, providing the energy, ambition, financial acumen, willingness to take risks and vision essential in building a modern industry that was, despite severe difficulties, sufficiently robust to survive ferocious American competition.

And this is hardly the same as suggesting that ‘Jews control the media’ since the British media even in the early 20th century comprised far more than simply the film industry! And when antisemites suggest ‘Jews control the media’ they don’t just mean in the UK!

The fourth example criticised by Alderman says that it is antisemitic to use ‘the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.’

Alderman protests that it’s antisemitic to make such claims of ANY Jew, not just one who lives in Israel – and (risibly) that the framers of the IHRA definition have ‘not yet found the courage to say so’.  But the definition SAYS it’s antisemitic to accuse ANY Jew of killing Christ or to repeat the blood libel about ANY Jew, describing these tropes as ‘classic antisemitism’.  Presumably the reason why the IHRA authors thought that ‘Israel and Israelis’ needed spelling out was that antisemites so often suggest that the IDF sells body parts of Palestinians who die as a result of its necessary actions. The trope is so common that a member of the House of Lords even suggested there should be an Inquiry into the allegation!

As I noted at the outset, many British Universities are incubators of antisemitism. For far too long Vice Chancellors have used ‘academic freedom’ as an excuse for inaction.

At long last the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP, has grasped the nettle. He is to be warmly congratulated.

‘This Land’ by Owen Jones

This is a well-written and fascinating insider’s account of the rise and fall of Corbyn. 

The progressive drift into chaos of the Labour Party, culminating in the heavy defeat on 12 December 2019 (what a wonderful birthday present that was …), is graphically illustrated by the liberal use of the ‘F’ word by Jones’ interlocutors. I started counting on p199. By p319 (the end of the final chapter) I counted 17 occurrences.

However the chapter on antisemitism is profoundly self-contradictory.  Jones deplores the Labour Party’s failure to properly address the issue, but then he repeats many of the slurs about Israel which fuelled the antisemitism.

The book contains several revelations (at least to me).  Alan Johnson, the likeable former postman who became an MP and a  Minister under both Blair and Brown, headed the Labour Remain campaign for the 2016 referendum.  At the parliamentary vote in December 2015 on approving military action in Syria, the Corbyn-supporting MP Clive Lewis saw Johnson sitting on a  step and greeted him.  Johnson responded “Fuck off, and tell your fucking Momentum mates who are plastering my surgery with shit to fuck off as well. You’ve ruined this party.”

And later in the book Jones reveals that Simon Morris, the former CEO of Jewish Care, was approached by Karie Murphy (who headed Corbyn’s Office) to help smooth the antisemitism crisis as a paid LOTO adviser.  Funding for the post and a job description were signed off.  However before meeting Corbyn, Seamus Milne and Andrew Fisher, Morris suggested that Corbyn should visit Israel. The appointment never happened, Corbyn ‘doing his disappearing act routine to avoid awkward conversations’.  It was a similar story with Daniel Levy, Lord Levy’s son, whose politics are close to those of Corbyn. He ‘showed no interest in meeting him’.

In July 2018 Margaret Hodge MP let fly at Corbyn over antisemitism. On the initiative of Karie Murphy, Hodge was sent a Notice of Investigation, the first step in suspension.  John McDonnell tried to broker a compromise and prevent further escalation. But Corbyn stubbornly refused. It caused a rift between Corbyn and McDonnell that lasted weeks. In August here came a predictable climbdown: The disciplinary action against Hodge was dropped without her offering Corbyn’s demanded apology.

As you might expect Jones has little time for Boris Johnson. However the invective he uses to describe Johnson is completely OTT: ‘untrustworthy, with  record of dishonesty and lies, and a history or racism, homophobia and bigotry’ ; ‘record of overt homophobic, Islamophobic and generally racist behaviour’; ‘a right wing charlatan with record of deceit, whose sole guiding principle was the pursuit of power, with a history of whipping up bigotry against minorities ranging from Muslims to gay people.’ Having campaigned for Johnson against Livingstone in 2008 and having worked at the GLA when Johnson was Mayor, this opprobrium is ridiculous.

Jones’ 46 page chapter on antisemitism (‘The Antisemitism Crisis’) cannot pass without comment:

Jones says that the antisemites who harassed Luciana Berger were ‘predominantly on the far right’. True that of the six people convicted of offences against her, four were from the political right and two from the left.   But particularly after she spoke out about antisemitism in Labour, she received many letters signed by self-declared Corbyn supporters delivered to her office by hand, warning that she would be raped, stabbed and covered in acid. In her resignation statement she called Labour ‘institutionally antisemitic’. Here is what she said in the Commons on 17/4/18:

That is why I have no words for the people purporting to be both members and supporters of our party and using the hashtag JCforPM who have attacked me in recent weeks for my comments, for speaking at the rally against anti-Semitism, and for questioning the remarks of those endorsing the anti-Semitic mural. They say I should be de-selected, and they have called it all a smear.”

And she had to have police protection at the 2018 Labour Party Conference.

The chapter begins by citing the 2015 CAA/YouGov poll on antisemitism in the UK (the Antisemitism Barometer).   It found, for example, that 25% believe that Jews ‘chase money more than other British people’. The conclusion Jones draws (supported by a quote from Jon Lansman) is that  if there’s lots of antisemitism in the population at large then it follows that there must be lots in Labour.  But the antisemitic statements polled in that survey  excluded most of the Israel-based examples in the IHRA. Same applies to the ordering of political parties in that poll, which put Labour in third place, behind the Conservatives.    Polls which reflect IHRA more accurately find that Israel-based antisemitism is highest on the far Left and in Labour, when it was led by Corbyn.  For example the 2019 CAA/YouGov Antisemitism Barometer found that 60% of far Left respondents agreed with the statement ‘Israel treats  the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews’ and that among the main political leaders in the UK,  Corbyn was the choice for many antisemites. The 2017 Jewish Policy Research Survey bore this result out. CAA also tracks antisemitism among current and former MPs, Parliamentary candidates and Members of the House of Lords. The Conservatives have had 11 incidents, the LibDems 31 incidents (17 of which were down to Baroness Tonge, no longer a member). Labour is easily the worst offender on this measure with 130 transgressions (again some transgressors have been expelled, notably Williamson with 26 offences).

Jones describes Israel’s settlements in Judea and Samaria as ‘illegal’. No they are not. The San Remo Conference (1920) drew up rules for the British Mandate. Article 6 charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and close settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan. It has never been revoked so remains valid today.

Jones states that “the brutality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands is undeniable”. There is no “brutality”. Israel is obliged to use force to defend itself from terror but has never used disproportionate force. And Israel respects human rights, for example treating children with cancer in Gaza at Israeli hospitals.

On p220 Jones writes ‘Some cynically deploy the charge of antisemitism to shut down legitimate criticisms of oppressive policies pursued by Israeli governments’. This is the well worn ‘Livingstone Formulation’ used time and time again by the Left – who never cite any evidence for the charge, for a good reason – there isn’t any. Jones suggests that Netanyahu’s description of BDS as ‘antisemitism in a new garb’ proves his point.  No it does not. IHRA says that applying standards to Israel which you don’t apply to any other democratic nation is antisemitic. If you want to boycott Israel but do not want to boycott eg Turkey or Russia, that’s antisemitic.

On the same page Jones says that ‘the establishment of a unified secular state of Jews and Palestinians is a legitimate belief‘. Wrong. It’s antisemitic to call for the end of  a Jewish State (‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination’ is antisemitic according to IHRA). And such a state would not simply be ‘established’.  It would have to be imposed, with the loss of tens of thousands of Israeli lives.

Still on page 220, Jones writes of the ‘theft of land’ and ‘state-sponsored racism’. Neither is true. In the 19th and early 20th centuries land for Jewish immigrants was bought by philanthropists such as Baron Rothschild.  In 1948 the Arabs attacked the Jewish areas but were defeated and as is accepted in the Law of War the Jewish armies made land gains. The same happened in 1967 – in fact the lands were offered back, but the offer was met by the ‘three No’s’ at Khartoum.

On page 222 Jones brackets Israel together with Saudi Arabia and Turkey as human-rights-abusing regimes. This simply shows his ignorance about Israel, in common in fact with all Corbynites. Human rights are sacrosanct in Israel. In the event of an international disaster such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Israel is always among the first countries to provide practical assistance. How can Jones possibly compare Israel with Turkey, which has attacked the Kurds, or Saudi Arabia, where there is no free speech or right of assembly and where the death penalty is regularly used for a wide range of crimes, including drug offences?  Members of the Shi’a minority have been executed following grossly unfair trials. Is Jones serious……

Then we read ‘Unquestionably, Corbyn’s unstinting support for the Palestinians is one reason why some of his enemies regarded him as an unacceptable Labour leader from the outset.’ Wrong. Corbyn was unacceptable from the outset because of his history of antisemitism – referring to Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’; constantly appearing on PressTV; agreeing to be  a Patron of the antisemitic PSC; praising Raed Salah, jailed for inciting violence in Israel; defending the reportedly antisemitic Hamas supporter Stephen Sizer…. The list goes on for pages.

Jenny Manson is the Chair of Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation set up to whitewash antisemitism in the Labour Party.  I have debated against her on BBC World News and can confirm that she’s not terribly bright.  Interviewed for the book by Jones, she said – trying to suggest that Jews cannot be antisemitic (of course they can) – “You don’t get black people accused of anti-black racism; it’s quite extraordinary”. (I’m told that fellow choristers in Hampstead Garden Suburb have even refused to sing with her).

On 25 April 2018 there was a meeting of the Board of Deputies with Corbyn. It went nowhere. Incredibly Jones writes ‘It did not help that some members of the Board brought the subject of Israel into the proceedings’.  Again Jones demonstrates his wilful ignorance about the antisemitism problem in Labour. The delegitimisation and demonization of Israel was CENTRAL to it. To criticise the Board of Deputies for wanting to talk about it is like criticising climate change lobbyists for wanting to talk about global warming. It’s ludicrous.

Jones states that Labour adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism on 12 December 2016. No it did not. The definition includes eleven examples. Labour only adopted the first 38 words which are simply a platitude (‘Antisemitism may be expressed as hatred towards Jews’ …. No shit Sherlock!).

Jones states that the Nation State Law passed in 2018 downgraded the rights of Arabs.  No. The law simply established in law most of the provisions of the 1948 Declaration of Independence. It changes little. For example the statement that the state’s language is Hebrew is a statement of the de facto position. The statement recognising that the Arabic language has a special status in the state and will be regulated by law is substantial recognition of the second language. The additional statement that this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect makes clear that Arabic is retaining its status. All relevant official documents continue to be published in Arabic as well as in Hebrew.

And the statement that ‘The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people’ accords with the general principle of nation states which declare or assume that no other people will take it over as their nation state.  Because of the history of persecution of Jews, those who care about the welfare of Jews recognise the need for Israel to protect its Jewish character.

Finally, Jones states that Manuel Hassassian was the ‘Palestinian ambassador’ to the UK. No – he was the diplomatic representative.  ‘Palestine’ is not recognised as a country by the UK government.

****

Jones endorses the argument in the leaked Labour draft submission to the EHRC – that the slowness in dealing with cases of antisemitism was down to the Labour staff who wanted to undermine Corbyn.  Will the Equality and Human Rights Commission agree? We will soon find out.

*************


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How even Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post Turned the Tables Against One Activist ……

Executive Summary

Matthew Berlow is a Glasgow-based lawyer. He was one of the founders of the Glasgow Friends of Israel street stall which can be found in Buchanan Street every Saturday. Because he is openly pro-Israel he has long been hounded by stalkers, including in an antisemitic manner. He formed a plan to entrap one of them. An accomplice had already posed on social media under an assumed name as an anti-Israel activist, in order to gather intelligence on threats to the street stall. The stalker had approached the accomplice’s alter ego.

The plan was that the accomplice in his alter ego guise would propose to the stalker that they daub anti-Israel graffiti over Berlow’s house. After the stalker played along, he would be exposed.

The plan was successful. The morning after the fake graffiti operation the accomplice reported it on social media – as if it really happened. Berlow commented that it was ‘typical SPSC behaviour‘ (SPSC is the rabidly anti-Israel Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign). But the stalker had no connection to the SPSC – so Berlow’s throwaway comment opened the door for a complaint to the Scottish Law Society by the SPSC.

The Scottish Daily Record reported the case completely devoid of context, effectively smearing Berlow. Astonishingly Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post based their stories on the Record’s report without bothering to research the story properly. The Jerusalem Post even published a photo of antisemitic graffiti, encouraging the casual reader to believe that Berlow had conspired to cover his own home with antisemitic graffiti!

Scotland is a tough place to be an Israel Activist. Journalists – most particularly those from media covering Jewish affairs – have a responsibility to tell the truth and not to be captured by the enemies of Jews.  The slanted reports of the Berlow case have only served to further fuel antisemitism.

What happened?

In the latter part of a very recent piece about an antisemite in Scotland who fakes a Jewish identity with the sole purpose of embellishing her antisemitism, David Collier writes about the case of Matthew Berlow who carried out a sting plan against his alleged stalker Neil McPherson, also a lawyer. Berlow and an Israel-supporting colleague, Ed Sutherland (using the pseudonym ‘Steve Harrison’ and posing as an anti-Israel activist) lured McPherson into supporting an (entirely notional) plan to daub anti-Israel graffiti on Berlow’s house.

David Collier writes ‘much of the other side of this story will soon come out’. Here goes.

Sutherland set up the ‘Steve Harrison’ account in 2017 – in order to monitor and expose antisemites – after Glasgow Friends of Israel began to receive threats because of its pro-Israel street stall in Buchanan Street.   Berlow was not involved in the creation of the ‘Steve Harrison’ account and was unaware of its existence until Sutherland told him that McPherson had initiated contact with it, believing it to be a real person with a grudge against Berlow.

 In 2018 Berlow set up a crowdfund to cover expenses to appeal to the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal against a decision by the Law Society of Scotland that he needed ‘diversity training’ (in tandem with their decision that he used ‘intemperate language’ on social media about the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign).

Berlow’s punishment lacked all recognition that the SPSC is even more extremist than the PSC, see here.  Many of its adherents are hard core antisemites. They hounded an Israeli-owned business (owned by a friend of Berlow) out of Scotland.  But the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal showed no appreciation of that whatsoever, despite the fact that Scotland has adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism.

Thanks to Adam Solomon QC – who acted pro bono and who Berlow describes as ‘brilliant’- the absurd requirement for Berlow to undertake ‘diversity training’ was rescinded.  So even though the crowdfund was cancelled (by ‘Ceit Munro’, an alias thought to belong to McPherson, with Israel haters) it was not in the end needed.

But in the social media exchanges linked to the crowdfund, contact was made (via ‘CeitMunro’, see below) between Neil McPherson and ‘Steve Harrison’.  Berlow recounts that McPherson and his son David have harassed and intimidated him for years. In 2008 McPherson – then unknown to Berlow – overheard him in polite discussion with another lawyer about a legal matter at the Israeli Supreme Court. McPherson leant over and allegedly whispered to him “The Jews are the cause of all the problems in the world because they believe they are the chosen people”. Subsequently it is alleged that whenever Berlow is in court and McPherson is close (and no-one is within earshot) McPherson whistles the music of the German National Anthem, glaring malevolently at Berlow.   When asked about this by the Law Society, McPherson denied this but admitted that he often whistles the tune as it is from a hymn that he likes in Church.

It is indeed the music of a hymn, ‘Glorious Things To Thee Are Spoken’. The music was
written in 1797 by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn as an anthem for the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria . While this hymn is indeed sung to this music, it is more commonly sung in the UK to a tune called Abbot’s Leigh, for example at the wedding of Princess Eugenie

But McPherson’s response only underlines the malevolence of his motive.  For the music of the German National Anthem is the same as it was in the 1930s, though only the third verse is sung.  Why on earth would McPherson shy away from admitting that he was whistling the National Anthem of a close ally of the UK? There can only be one reason.

In December 2013 and for no apparent reason, Berlow claims that he began to receive abuse from David McPherson, Neil’s son (also a lawyer). These included derogatory references to the size of his nose and to his parents being brother and sister (so ineligible to marry).

Toward the summer of 2016 Berlow recounts that David McPherson was still sending him abusive messages, some containing specialist knowledge and making no effort to hide his identity.  The abuse became so bad that Berlow had no alternative but to go to the police. McPherson was not charged – though Berlow complained about flaws in the investigation. 

On May 23 2017 a man by the name of John Higgins made contact with Berlow. Higgins was a former client of McPherson. Higgins showed Berlow messages from David McPherson (the son) received after he had changed lawyers. McPherson used a pseudonym “cuke olurry” which is an anagram of Luke O’Curry (a friend of Berlow, a solicitor from Airdrie with whom the McPhersons had a falling out). Berlow was able to trace the pseudonym to David McPherson because of the IP address and the URL. The Law Society has these messages which allegedly contain threats of violence, sexually abusive innuendo, sectarian abuse and antisemitic abuse.

They refer to Berlow as “wigged Palestine” and “adolf berlow”.

So Berlow again reported David McPherson (the son) to the police as now there was an evidential link to the original messages received by Berlow from David McPherson.  The abuse intensified.

In 2018 a new abuser of Berlow appeared with the name of ‘Ceit Munro’ (Ceit is the Gaelic equivalent of Kate and the Munros are the Scottish mountains over 3000 feet high). ‘Ceit Munro’ connected with ‘Steve Harrison’ in the social media exchanges linked to Berlow’s (later cancelled) crowdfund.  According to Berlow the URL revealed that the owner of the ‘Ceit Munro’ account was Neil McPherson’s wife Dorothy. Berlow suspects the account is at least partly run by Neil McPherson or David McPherson – for one thing ‘Ceit Munro’s’ crowdfund contact with ‘Steve Harrison’ was immediately followed by Neil McPherson contacting ‘Steve Harrison”.

Throughout 2019 the abuse from ‘Ceit Munro’ continued including antisemitism, false allegations of embezzlement (see above) and references to court cases in which Berlow was involved. Above is ‘Ceit Munro’s’ allegation that Berlow would steal crowdfund money.

The abuse was accompanied by offensive illustrations and cartoons including of men in prison garb, with Fagin references. There have also been numerous attempts to ‘set Berlow up’.

In February 2020 Below claims to have been assaulted at court by Neil McPherson. This is now under investigation. There is said to be CCTV evidence and a witness.

Let’s return to where we began: the plan hatched by Berlow and “Steve Harrison” to expose Neil McPherson (the ‘Sting’, see above). 

McPherson fell right into it, making the initial contact with ‘Steve Harrison’.

McPherson offers to send ‘Steve Harrison’ details of his complaints to the Law Society about Berlow:

Which he does later with an email from his office address.

Then ‘Steve Harrison’ pretends to McPherson that he intends to commit the crime of vandalism on Berlow’s house:

Knowing this. McPherson offers “Steve Harrison” Berlow’s address, his car registration number and even the registration number of his wife’s car together with descriptions.

McPherson offered to assist with the “graffiti-daubing” (‘Any probs give me a bell and I’ll point it out’).  There is even a “Hill Street Blues” reference (Neil McPherson is an ex-policeman) –
Be careful out there”- words of encouragement and a reminder not to get caught.

The Aftermath

On 19 January 2019 ‘Steve Harrison’ posted on Facebook: A certain Jewish lawyer woke up this morning to find “Free Palestine” spray painted rather prominently – no idea who was responsible.

To which Berlow responded Idiocy. Typical SPSC behaviour. criminal.  

Mick Napier, Secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, promptly complained to the Law Society that Berlow had ‘falsely and recklessly smeared and lied about SPSC in order to discredit the organisation’.

A report has been drafted (dated 28 August) as the basis for the Professional  Conduct Subcommittee to decide on Napier’s complaint. Both Parties to the complaint have received it.

The Media

On 7 September a Scottish newspaper, the Daily Record, published an article about Napier’s complaint, written by Mark McGivern. Berlow (with the support of a friend who knew the story) gave McGivern all the information to publish the background spelled out here – both before the story appeared and after (hoping in vain for a followup).

McGivern fobbed Berlow off: “You’re going to have to endure the first story” (knowing damn well there would not be a second one to set the record straight) and “There’s an intensity about your messages that I’m finding disconcerting alongside the fact you’re in denial about doing anything wrong”.

Sure enough the story was framed to smear Berlow:

i) Berlow is said to have ‘faked a vandalism attack’. No – Berlow and ‘Steve Harrison’ executed a plan to expose an alleged antisemite who had harassed Berlow – an open supporter of Israel – for years. And they succeeded.

ii) McGivern (or a subeditor) writes of a ‘plot to frame Palestine group’ and ‘ a plot to discredit a Palestinian pressure group’.  No – McPherson has no known link to the SPSC and it wasn’t a ‘plot’ (which has sinister connotations especially when used about Jews) – it was a ‘sting’ to expose an alleged antisemite.

iii) McGivern must have had the Law Society’s report when he wrote the story – presumably Napier gave it to him. In that report it states that Neil McPherson wanted to assist with the graffiti crime and provided ‘Steve Harrison’ with details of Berlow’s home and family vehicles. And that Berlow viewed McPherson as an antisemite. Why was this excluded from the news report?

iv) Where is any mention of the years of abuse Berlow received from the alleged antisemite McPherson? Why no mention of how he was serenaded in Court by someone who wanted to upset him?  Why no mention of Napier’s conviction for aggravated trespass?

The report in the Jerusalem Post (no byline!) was even worse. It was very similar to the Daily Record report except it added a photo – of antisemitic graffiti on an Australian Jewish café. Why? There was no graffiti on Berlow’s house!

The Times of Israel report by Stuart Winer was equally bad. He didn’t even bother to interview Berlow. And he wrote that Berlow was ordered to undertake ‘diversity training’ in 2018, failing to even realise that this ruling was overturned on appeal (see above).

Slanted and vitriolic reporting such as this has a human cost and fuels antisemitism. It is at least partly responsible for a petition calling for Berlow to lose his livelihood as a lawyer. Berlow reports that ‘Ceit Munro’ is sending the petition and the Daily Record report far and wide including to the Scottish legal fraternity. Here is just one antisemitic comment by a signatory:

McPherson relishes the vitriol and hounding of Berlow:

And why is it that newspapers with a predominantly Jewish readership feel obliged to hang out to dry Jews who – in responding to antisemites – receive no understanding from tribunals or Judges? I know this only too well. The Jewish Chronicle report of our 2019 trial failed to note that it was based on lies of Sandra Watfa and there was zero recognition of the degree of antisemitism and demonisation of Israel that we were opposing. Like Berlow, the report of our case was totally devoid of context.

Why does the ‘Jewish Press’ feel the need to rush to virtue signal in this way?

I have written before about the appalling way that the Jewish Press sometimes denigrates activists! Being an activist is stressful enough anyway – especially in Scotland – and it is the DUTY of the Jewish Press if not to support us then at least not to add to the stress.

There is no depth to which the Israel haters will not sink in their attacks on us. They even accuse us of sex crimes knowing that we cannot publish their names because accusers of sex crimes have anonymity for life, even if their allegation is a complete and utter LIE.


’Twas ever thus – On 4 February 1949 (see below) the 43 group disrupted an Oswald Moseley fascist meeting in Kensington by letting off tear gas bombs in the balcony of the hall. The JC’s reporter wrote ‘The cry went up: ‘Look what the filthy Yids are doing’ and this was repeated as a number of people with streaming eyes left the meeting.’ The JC editorial (see below) was entitled ‘Stupid Tactics’ and decribed the activists  as ‘hot-heads’: ‘Thanks to thoughtless young people in our midst, a meeting which would have attracted no attention whatsoever has been blazoned in every newspaper in the Metropolis, while all that the general public knows of the rights and wrongs of the case is that ‘the Jews’ refused to allow a political speaker to state his views in the accepted democratic manner’.

If activists against antisemitism cannot rely on the Jewish Press for understanding and support, upon whom CAN they rely?

JC 4 February 1949 – Oswald Moseley holds fascist meeting in Kensington
JC Editorial 4 February 1949

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Addendum 1: David Collier’s email to the Daily Record Journalist.

Addendum 2: Please sign and share my Petition

Parliament’s Israel Obsession

On 1 May CAABU published a letter to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary demanding that they tell the government of Israel that the ‘annexation’ of any part of Judea and Samaria ‘will have severe consequences including sanctions’.  I wrote about it here.  UK Media Watch covered it here and David Collier here.

Recently a Labour MP, Siobhain Ann McDonagh, has gathered signatures for a letter to the Chinese Ambassador expressing outrage about China’s attempt at ethnic cleansing of the Uighur Muslims.

Israel postponed the application of Israeli law to part of Judea and Samaria as part of the peace agreement with the UAE.  But there is nothing illegal about Israel’s presence in Judea/Samaria. The San Remo Conference (1920) drew up rules for the British Mandate. Article 6 charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and close settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan. It has never been revoked so remains valid today.

Contrast that with China’s treatment of the Uighur. As Siobhain McDonagh states, around one million have been detained in detention camps. Those who escape give horrifying testimony of religious persecution, physical abuse and torture. There are allegations that Uighur women are facing forced sterilisation, forced abortion and forced removal of their wombs.

You would think that far more Parliamentarians would sign the letter about the Uighur than the one about Israel, since the latter’s proposed action involved no human rights transgression or illegality.  Well you’d be wrong.  The CAABU letter attracted 140 signatures of Parliamentarians whereas Siobhain McDonagh’s letter attracted 136 (including her own).

But far more telling is the comparison of the two sets of signatories. 92 or 66% of the anti-Israel signatories failed to protest about the treatment of the Uighur. Here is the breakdown by Party:

Two-thirds of the anti-Israel Labour MPs are unmoved by the plight of the Uighur and the same applies to ALL of the Conservative MPs and to MORE THAN HALF of the SNP MPs.

Notably the following anti-Israel Parliamentarians failed to protest about the treatment of the Uighur:  Diane Abbott MP; Mhairi Black MP; Baroness Blower; Crispin Blunt MP; Ben Bradshaw MP; Lord Menzies Campbell; Jeremy Corbyn MP; Lord Hollick; Baroness Kennedy; Afzal Khan MP; Stephen Kinnock MP; Andrew Mitchell MP; Grahame Morris MP; Lord Patten; Bel Ribeiro-Addy MP; Naz Shah MP; Andy Slaughter MP; Zarah Sultana MP; Lord Warner; Baroness Warsi; Claudia Webbe MP.

I know that “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” – but this is far, far worse than mere inconsistency………….

92 MPs and Lords have demonstrated a total lack of integrity………….

Just who do they think they are kidding?

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Never Again – Review of ‘Left Out’: The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn

Anyone with even a passing interest in the nuts and bolts of democracy will be riveted by this book.  The details revealed by Pogrund and Maguire are simply breathtaking, the product of 100 or so testimonies (only 15 of which were on the record).  The detail even runs to the menus at key meetings: In August 2017 at Luton Hoo Chris Leslie and Gavin Shuker ate sea bass; at Fair Oak Farm in January 2018 12 Corbynsceptic MPs ate home-made profiteroles; in March 2018 they met again there, this time ‘Gavin Shuker cooked a Nigel Slater recipe of smoked mackerel, panzanella salad and chicken supreme’ followed by cheeseboard and they drank Tesco Finest Argentinian Malbec, gin and prosecco; in May 2018 the ‘Fair Oak Five’ (Shuker, Umunna, Leslie, Smith and Berger) met to plot their split, sustained by Shuker’s barbecue of beefburgers, peri-peri chicken fillets and salads.  Keir Starmer always had orange juice and avocado on toast at a café in Kentish Town.

An Army marches on its stomach and so do Corbynsceptic MPs apparently…….

Indeed it’s a shame that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t have Pogrund and Maguire’s attention to detail. Just one of the many revelations is that when the Shadow Cabinet Brexit subcommittee discussed Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement , Corbyn asked “What’s this backstop?” (!)

Of course Brexit and antisemitism are the two major themes running through the book.  As someone who campaigned equally passionately against Brexit and against antisemitism in Labour – but who in the end could not vote for an institutionally antisemitic Party in December 2019 (on my birthday), even though it offered a second referendum – this book was totally engrossing. Even having followed every twist and turn and witnessed many of the events in the book, there’s a lot I didn’t know. For example I hadn’t appreciated that the bad blood between LOTO and Southside goes right back to Corbyn’s election as Leader in September 2015. The book spells out the general disappointment of Labour staff at the June 2017 election result when Corbyn did much better than expected.  We learn of the complete disarray of Labour in the weeks before the election on 12 December 2019. The book quotes an aide thus: “Nine-tenths of my bloody day was spend communicating on behalf of people who wouldn’t communicate directly with each other”

Me at Labour’s eve-of-poll rally at Hoxton Docks

On 26 November, 16 days before the 2019 election, Chief Rabbi Mirvis published an article in The Times. While it didn’t  mention Corbyn by name, there could be no doubt about its message: ‘A new poison – sanctioned from the top – has taken root in the Labour Party.’ Incredibly the book reveals that the Labour Peer Lord Levy had advised Mirvis not to speak out, lest Corbyn won the election and then took revenge. Was there ever a better example of a ‘Jew with trembling knees’? Thank heaven the others advising Mirvis disagreed. Lord Levy threatened to quit Labour several times … but never did.

The book also reveals just how nasty the Corbynites could get.  I always suspected there was a crude electoral calculation regarding antisemitism; Pogrund and Maguire spell it out: ‘Corbynites had often consoled themselves with the knowledge that the UK’s Jewish Community was sufficiently small as to be of negligible importance in all but a dozen or so constituencies. Now [during the 2019 election campaign] MPs in seats well outside of the Jewish hubs of London and Manchester reported hearing the allegations repeated to them on the doorstep.’ 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is corbynbanner2019.jpg

Another horrific example occurred at the 2019 Labour Party Conference in Brighton.  On the Sunday morning a clearly antisemitic poster had been placed at the entrance to the Conference area. At 10.08am a tweet from Corbyn robustly condemned it and the police removed it. The tweet was written and posted by Jack Bond, Corbyn’s social media manager.  Incredibly Seamus Milne was angry with Bond for posting the Tweet!  He complained (to LOTO colleagues on WhatsApp) that Corbyn had not seen the cartoon and that the Tweet had ‘led to a conflict with pro-Palestinian groups and Mondoweiss [an anti-Israel news website]‘.  Cry Me A River! Milne reminded colleagues that he needed to sign off on such messages!  In 2009 Milne told a rallyHamas is not broken and will not be broken because of the spirit of resistance of the Palestinian people.” The idea that he had to sign off on all Labour messaging regarding antisemitism is akin to asking (before he died!) Dr Harold Shipman to sign off on all complaints about cruelty to old people!

And on whom did Corbyn rely for education on antisemitism? On Sue Lukes, a Labour Councillor in his Constituency and a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation set up to whitewash antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Remember Corbyn’s cringeworthy Rosh Hashana video a year ago? It featured Lukes.

We read in the book: ‘Corbyn would refuse to so much as tweet about anti-Semitism without the green light from Lukes in particular …One person recalled: “Jeremy was scared to say no to her”.’ 

The same Sue Lukes who approvingly tweeted a piece entitled the “Jewish ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain” and reportedly wrote an article to “honour” former NUS president Malia Bouattia, who described the University of Birmingham as a “Zionist outpost”.

The former Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson comes out reasonably well in the book (despite his support of Carl Beech, the fantasist who fooled the police into investigating the non-existent Westminster paedophile ring).  It is to Watson that LOTO staffer and whistleblower Sam Matthews turns with his cache of emails demonstrating Labour’s mishandling of antisemitism claims.

Yet another revelation is that Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez, ‘forged an unlikely friendship’ with Shraga Stern, a Charedi member of the Satmar sect who oppose the existence of Israel‘.  Stern is strongly suspected to have orchestrated the mysterious letter from ‘Rabbis’ supporting Corbyn.

These astonishing disclosures just scratch the surface of the book – you won’t be disappointed.

Good as it is, the book isn’t perfect. Why is the font of the Index so tiny? The antisemitic Facebook group Palestine Live (of which Corbyn was a member) is mentioned twice – why is David Collier – the investigative reporter who uncovered the group – not credited? Corbyn’s attendance at the appalling 2018 Jewdas Seder is mentioned – but why no observation that the ‘Seder’ was held on the wrong day? And who on earth told Pogrund and Maguire that ‘the politics and irreverence [on display at the ‘Seder’] were well within the Jewish tradition’? Surely not Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner who is namechecked in the acknowledgements and who attended the event? The Jewdas “Haggadah” (!) said Fuck the Police … Fuck the Armies’…….. Nothing could be further removed from ‘the Jewish tradition’!

The discussion of the IHRA definition of antisemitism fails to make it clear that the examples are part of the definition. Without them it is no more than a discursive statement of generalities with zero operational content.

And there are a number of typographical errors. Adam Langleben’s second name is misspelled. Ditto James Libson’s. ‘Antisemitism’ should be spelled without a hyphen. The BNP was not ‘investigated’ by the EHRC in 2009. There was nothing to investigate. The EHRC took legal action against the BNP for its Constitution that effectively barred non-whites from membership.

But all in all, this book is well-written, painstakingly researched and a fascinating read, especially shortly before the EHRC report is published.  Labour thoroughly deserved to be annihilated in December. Not just because of the antisemitism but also because of the indecision on Brexit and the profligate spending proposals with funding that was nothing short of laughable. To see that exit poll at 10pm was the best birthday present  I could have had, after 14 hours of campaigning in the pouring rain. It compares only to  waking up from a nightmare. Never again must a major political Party in the UK become a refuge for antisemites!

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Bristol Professor ‘Spits In the Face of Jews’

On 29 July there was a Zoom meeting where one of the Speakers was Professor David Miller.

Professor Miller contravened the IHRA definition of antisemitism seven times, as follows:

One: At 42.30 he says “The Zionist movement is not interested in dialogue and truth and finding out how best to tackle antisemitism.

Zionism is a historic term which refers to the movement to establish a majority Jewish state in what was then called Palestine.  It moved into history in 1948 when the State of Israel was declared. The 21st century role of Zionism is to support and encourage Jews who want to move to Israel and to defend Israel against baseless attacks in the mainstream media and on social media. Most of the activists in the Zionist movement are Jewish. So Professor Miller is effectively saying “Jews are not interested in dialogue and finding out how best to tackle antisemitism”. This is clearly antisemitic (IHRA: Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’)

Two: At 43:04 on the recording you can hear him say that Labour Against Antisemitism is “backed by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in Israel, of course”.

The allegation is an antisemitic conspiracy theory.  It seems that Professor Miller believes that all opposition to antisemitism must be funded by Israel (note that in the same sentence he refers to ‘the Zionist Movement, @GnasherJew, the Jewish Labour Movement’). He cannot accept that people who have no connection with Israel – let alone, who are not in the pay of the Israeli government – abhor antisemitism and actively oppose it. Clearly he does not believe that antisemitism is on a par with other racisms and that those who complain about it are in the pay of the Israeli government in order to suppress criticism of Israel.

This is deeply antisemitic – the IHRA definition of antisemitism which Bristol University has adopted says that “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective” is antisemitic.

Three: At 44:00 he says “CST – an organisation which has been at the forefront of pursuing the witchhunt [his term for identifying Labour members who have been antisemitic] – a group which is unable to distinguish between antisemitism and anti-Zionism.and which purposely blurs together these two concepts to pursue the Left. That’s been its raison d’etre from the very beginning.”

The CST is the Community Security Trust, a charity that works for the protection and defence of British Jews. To describe the identification of antisemites as a ‘witchhunt’ suggests that Professor Miller does not believe that antisemitism is on a par with other racisms. In other words, that Jewish people act in bad faith when they complain about racism.  ‘Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such’ is by definition (IHRA) antisemitic. His comments about the CST are a complete lie (that it cannot distinguish between antisemitism and anti-Zionism; which “blurs” (?) these concepts “to pursue the Left”; “that’s been its raison d’etre from the beginning”.  CST is complaining about Miller to Bristol University.

Four: At 44.30 he speaks of “the racist foundation of the Israeli state, founded on ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism”. To claim that ‘the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour’ is antisemitic. Israel was not ‘founded on ethnic cleansing’ See the historian Ephraim Karsh: Most of the Arabs who fled in 1948 were told to flee by their leaders. As for ‘settler colonialism’, Jews fled to Israel in the early 20th Century to escape persecution and later to escape from the Nazis. ’Settlers’ have a choice of where to live: these Jews had no choice. And Israel was a product of colonialism (the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire post-World War One) so how can it be ‘colonial’? And the sign of a colonial power is that many people speak the language eg English, French, Spanish. Outside Israel no-one speaks Hebrew as a first language. And colonies have parent-states (England, France, Spain, Turkey) and capitals – where is Israel’s parent state?

Five: At 47.20 Professor Miller says that “the Zionist movement and the Israeli government are the enemy of world peace“. Again ‘Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such’ is by definition antisemitic.  Not only is it antisemitic, there is not a grain of truth in it.

Six: At 1 hour 41 minutes Professor Miller says “I mean … I think …I think there is a strategic problem in discussing this under the rubric of free speech on Israel or Zionism or antisemitism. I mean, there isn’t free speech for racists. No-one ever thinks it’s acceptable for racists to intimidate, coerce and threaten people. There are laws against it, it’s against the law. Nobody believes in free speech for racists (although I did hear Norman and Tony perhaps saying that they do). The problem with defending the principle of freedom of speech on this issue is that we don’t have the freedom of speech and they have the freedom of speech and we’re never going to get the freedom of speech because they’re in power. What we should be talking about is not counterposing our conception of Zionism as racism (which I think most of us are agreed on) with their conception that we’re all antisemites, because that’s a balance which is based on falsehood and is based on a racist understanding of how things are. It’s not acceptable for them to call us racists. It’s untrue. What we should be saying is not how we create slightly more space for the Left to say slightly more things about Palestine and Israel while they at the same time are using their speech to destroy people’s lives, careers, mental health and jobs – as Jackie mentioned – what instead we should be saying is no, we’re not here to end freedom of speech, we’re here to end Zionism………. We cannot win a battle against the racist ideology of Zionism without telling anyone what Zionism is and explaining what it is, how it [inaudible] ideology, and how it requires the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for its function.”

Zionism is a historic term which refers to the movement to establish a majority Jewish state in what was then called Palestine, an area which was administered by the Ottoman Empire before World War One.

Zionism was supported by political leaders such as Lloyd George and Churchill as well as by all Prime Ministers since World War Two. To call these people ‘racists’ is absurd. Professor Miller’s call for the end of Zionism is a call for the end of the State of Israel. ‘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’ is  – by definition (IHRA) – antisemitic.

Seven: In the above passage see how Professor Miller taps into all the shadowy tropes about Jewish Power; “they’re in power”, “using their speech to destroy people’s lives, careers, mental health and jobs”. This is deeply antisemitic.

There have been previous complaints about Professor Miller’s bizarre conspiracy theories, specifically his statement that “parts of the Zionist movement are involved in funding Islamophobia”.

The IHRA Definition must be acted upon. Or did Bristol University adopt it merely to pay lip service to it as a virtue signal?

When the record of an academic is deterring Jewish students from applying to a University – let alone wanting their thesis supervised by them – it is time for action.  Professor Miller must go.

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ADDENDUM:

Miller has given the following quote to Jewish News

Miller August 2020

This is the vilest of antisemitism. He must go and go quickly.

 

 

 

Another Banana Skin at the Board

On Friday The Times reported that Heshmat Khalifa – a trustee and director of the charity Islamic Relief Worldwide – had resigned after the newspaper’s Investigations team found antisemitic comments (in Arabic) on his Facebook page.  Jewish News covered the story, including responses from Community organisations – CST, JLC, CAA and the Board of Deputies.

Here was the Board’s comment: ‘Mr Khalifa ought to be ashamed of these disgraceful racist comments, which attempt to pit two minorities against each other. Muslims and Jews must unite to fight racism together, rather than propagate lies about each other.’

Could the comment have been more misguided?

Attempt to pit two minorities against each other‘ – This reads as if relations between Muslims and Jews were wonderful until Khalifa appeared with a mission to change that. Utter nonsense. There is a body of polling evidence suggesting that antisemitism among British Muslims is significantly higher than in the population overall. For example the 2019 ADL poll found that 54% agreed with 6 or more antisemitic statements, versus 11% for the population overall.  See also polling for the Campaign Against Antisemitism charity (April 2016) which found that 42% of British Muslims thought that Jews were more loyal to Israel than the UK versus 24% for the population overall. And ICM polling for Channel 4 in 2015 which found that 40% of British Muslims thought that Jews had too much power in international financial markets and 42% thought that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the UK. When Heshmat Khalifa described Jews as ‘the grandchildren of monkeys and pigs‘ he wasn’t trying to sour a happy relationship. He was simply expressing a sentiment which is very common in the Arab Middle East and far too common among British Muslims.

Muslims and Jews must unite to fight racism together‘ – With one honourable exception (Muslims Against Antisemitism, founded by Fiyaz Mughal OBE) Muslim organisations do not recognise the widely accepted IHRA definition of antisemitism – so how can they be a suitable partner for fighting it?

Propagate lies about each other‘ – This is the most offensive part of the Board’s comment. I challenge the Board to provide evidence that hatred of Muslims in the Jewish Community comes anywhere near the scale of Muslim antisemitism. Or indeed even exists at all – which is why there is no polling evidence about it.

This reminded me of the previous incident concerning ‘false moral equivalence’ at the Board that I wrote about only this morning. In August 2014 during Operation Protective Edge the Board – at the initiative of the then President Vivian Wineman – issued a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain suggesting (absurdly) that Israel targeted civilians – not just at all, but to the same extent as Hamas!

BoD 2014

sugarman 1
Could the ‘Board Spokesperson’ who issued the statement on Khalifa possibly be the same chap who libelled Melanie Phillips? I think we should be told.

A Jewish representative body which – in the interest of political correctness – ignores Muslim antisemitism does a disservice to the community and is not fit for purpose.

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The unctuous disingenuity of Vivian Wineman

Vivian Wineman castigates the UK Jewish Community and UK Jewish media for supposedly caring more about George Floyd than about Eyad Hallaq, a resident of East Jerusalem who was killed by a policeman in Jerusalem a few days after the Floyd killing.

His thesis is baseless. Here’s why.

First how does he know the extent of concern regarding the two deaths among the 263,346 Jews in the UK? Has he commissioned an opinion poll? To gauge it from relative prominence in the Jewish Chronicle is ludicrous. The Floyd death sparked outrage and protests across the world. The Hallaq death didn’t, for reasons I’ll come onto. Newspaper editors have to choose stories that will sell.

Why didn’t the killing of Hallaq spark protests across the world?

Simply because Jerusalem is a City where members of a minority carry out frequent terrorist attacks on the majority. See for example here, here and here.  Whereas Minnesota is NOT such a City.  The Police in Minnesota are not called upon 24/7 to defend its citizens from terror. In Jerusalem they are.

Wineman attempts to defend his misguided thesis (that to everyone bar him, ‘Palestinian lives do not matter’) with an anecdote which is risible. He says that after 2014’s Operation Protective Edge the (nameless) Chair of a Jewish Charity emailed his Board lamenting the loss of IDF soldiers, but saying nothing about the ‘more than 2000 Gazans who were killed’.

Maybe that was because:
(i) over half of the 2000 were terrorists from Hamas and other groups (IDF estimate);
(ii) 2000 died but some were not ‘killed’: In a population of approximately 1.8 million, over a 50-day period many would have died of causes unrelated to the fighting;
(iii) Some died when Hamas’s attacks against Israel went wrong;
(iv) Hamas murdered at least twenty-three people in Gaza during this period, and tortured dozens more (Source: Amnesty);
(v) The remaining deaths were the tragic inevitability of defending against an enemy that deliberately carries out attacks from within the civilian population;
(vi) Hamas and its terrorist associates, as the aggressors and the users of human shield, were responsible for the overwhelming majority of deaths in Gaza (Source: the high level international military group that visited Israel in May 2015).

The same applies to the deaths of the Suwarka family. Islamic Jihad and Hamas place their rocket launchers in the heart of the civilian population and deliberately act from within densely populated civilian areas.

The lunacy of Wineman’s article continues. He asks “If Hallaq had been Jewish and acting suspiciously, would the police have simply executed him?” The obvious response is that it is not Jews who have perpetrated the terror outrages in Jerusalem.

Wineman’s virtue-signalling in his final paragraph is obsequiously unctuous.

And why does Wineman choose Eyad Hallaq as his news coverage comparator to George Floyd?

How about Romina Ashrafi? Killed by her father in an Honour Killing in Iran four days before Floyd?

I think I know why. Because Wineman could not use that killing to vilify Israel, could he?

Let’s remember the disasters in Wineman’s Board of Deputies Presidency. The worst was the failure to notify Deputies of his decision to partner with the anti-Israel Charity Oxfam. Then there was the whitewashing of the Muslim Council of Britain, an organisation with which the government had severed relations. The Board issued a joint statement with the MCB which many including the MCB took to say that Israel deliberately targeted civilians. Two former Presidents called on him to resign. And Yachad joined the Board on his Watch. Hardly recommendations for a well-balanced, well-informed article about Israel!

Wineman’s article appears in a publication closely allied to Yachad and Naamod, whose activists said Kaddish for dead Hamas terrorists two years ago. On the basis of this piece I’m surprised he wasn’t there. How many mainstream publications rejected it before he found a buyer, I wonder?

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Appalling Miscarriage of Justice at Solent University

Those who call out antisemitism have an obligation to also call out false accusations of antisemitism. Call it a ‘moral’ obligation if you will – but I just consider it an obligation. That’s why I was adamant (in the face of many assertions to the contrary, for example from the CAA) that what Kevin Myers wrote about Jewish presenters at the BBC was NOT antisemitic.

There was another example widely reported yesterday. In late March 2019 Stephen Lamonby, 73, a part-time lecturer at Solent University, remarked to a colleague, Dr Janet Bonar, that people from different countries had become good at certain things owing to “high exposure”.  He said that Germans are good at engineering because they are “exposed to a high level of industry from an early stage in their lives”. When Dr Bonar, a US-born engineering lecturer, mentioned her degree in physics, Mr Lamonby said that Jewish people had “a particular gift” for the subject. He used Albert Einstein as an example and asked Dr Bonar if she was Jewish. She took offence and called Mr Lamonby a racist. He replied: “I believe that the Jewish are the cleverest people in the world. They are much maligned because of it. I asked if you were Jewish because of your ability with maths/physics et cetera. Which is a speciality of theirs.” He also said: “I have a soft spot for young black males. I do think that they are underprivileged and many [are] without fathers et cetera [and] need all the help they can get.”

Dr Bonar (who in fact was Mr Lamonby’s new boss) reported him to the University Administration. He was put through their disciplinary procedure and sacked in June 2019.  On 22 June 2020 an employment tribunal dismissed his claim for Unfair Dismissal.

The sacking was ludicrous and was yet another example of the ‘Woke’ regime which is gripping academia. There is nothing whatsoever ‘offensive’ about saying that different nationalities have different comparative advantages. It is a basic precept of international trade. Economists learn it at undergraduate level. The UK has a comparative advantage in financial services. France has a comparative advantage in wine. Germany has a comparative advantage in engineering. If there was no such thing as comparative advantage, there would be no international trade (assuming equal costs of production). (In fact Mr Lamonby told me that he said that three countries (Germany, Japan and the US) stand out in engineering but that his detractors only quoted Germany to make him look worse).

Neither is there anything offensive about saying either that Jews are clever or that Jews are good at Maths and Physics. It isn’t a stereotype because Mr Lamonby was obviously not claiming that EVERY Jew is good at Maths or Physics. Neither is it derogatory – the opposite. It was a statement of fact. Although Jews account for less than 0.2% of the world’s population, at least 20% of all Nobel Prizes have been won by Jews, including 56 winners of the Physics Prize – nearly half of the total. Neither was it in the least offensive to ask Professor Bonar if she is Jewish. Obviously it was meant positively, in view of her ability with Maths and knowing that she has a physics degree. Her bio says that at Solent she has ‘taught maths at foundation and at level 4, as well as performing action research in maths teaching’.

How about Mr Lamonby’s comment about young black males?

Family breakdown fuels poverty. In the US today, only 44% of black children have a father in the home. It’s little different in the UK.  And here and here. Why on earth should it be taboo to say it in a university conversation? If Professor Bonar has evidence to the contrary, she should have offered it to Mr Lamonby – not reported him!

And for heavens’ sakes … Mr Lamonby made the point in a caring way, not a derogatory way! ( “…soft spot  ……..need all the help they can get”).

Appallingly at the employment tribunal Judge CH O’Rourke rejected Mr Lamonby’s case. But the judgment is bizarre in several places. First the Judge says ‘I am not permitted to substitute my judgment for that of the employer’, citing section 98 of the Employment Rights Act. In other words he thought he only had jurisdiction over the process of the dismissal, not the substance (the rights and wrongs of the dismissal). That’s nonsense. Section 98 says he can ‘determine whether the dismissal is fair or unfair’, depending on whether the employer acted ‘reasonably or unreasonably’ and ‘in accordance with equity and the substantial merits of the case’.

And in his submission Mr Lamonby mentioned that in Professor Bonar’s anger at him (he said she has a reputation for a short temper) she shoved some chairs around in the canteen, presumably when she got up to leave. The Judge noted that he had not made this point in his email to her after the meeting nor at the University investigation meeting. Look at this: ‘I find that this comment is a belated embellishment on his evidence  …. done to attempt to discredit Dr Bonar and which reflects poorly on his credibility.’ So because he didn’t immediately record the shoving of the chairs it is therefore antisemitic to say that Jews are good at Physics and Maths? Utterly ludicrous!

Google reveals four recent cases where Judge CH O’Rourke’s decisions have gone to Appeal.  In three of them (marked with red crosses) it is stated that he made an error of law.

lamonby 5 july 2020

lamonby 6 july 2020

lamonby 7 july 2020

lamonby 8 july 2020

And what you don’t read in the judgment (but what Mr Lamonby told me) is that Judge CH O’Rourke appeared as some points to be acting as Defence Counsel. He told Angus Gloag (Mr Lamonby’s barrister) that he was being too aggressive. He accused Mr Lamonby of giving ‘evasive’ testimony. Mr Lamonby told me what was behind that comment. Having regard to his age (he is now 73) the Judge asked him if he was ‘part of the Brexit generation’, with the intimation (which he took) that he was a bigoted Brexit voter. Mr Lamonby was so taken aback that he didn’t know how to respond – so he was marked down as ‘evasive’.

A Judge who is (i) ageist (ii) assumes the political affiliation of a claimant (iii) assumes that all Brexit voters are racist. Hmmmmm …………… (Mr Lamonby told me that he didn’t vote in the 2016 Referendum as he is strictly apolitical).

I hope that Mr Lamonby appeals. Judge O’Rourke’s verdict must be overturned on appeal. Mr Lamonby is no racist, how dare Solent University suggest that he is! Maybe Professor Hall of Solent University – who testified against Mr Lamonby in the Tribunal – could tell us why Solent has not (to the best of my knowledge) adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, since they claim to know so much about antisemitism?

And Mr Lamonby is dedicated to teaching – he told me ‘Knowledge not passed on, is knowledge lost’.

Mr Lamonby must be given a public apology so that he is not stigmatised as a ‘racist’. He must be given compensation and offered his job back. The compensation must reflect the fact that he is unlikely to wish to return to Solent.

Please sign and share my petition.

Addendum 1: Nick Ferrari interviewed Mr Lamonby on LBC on Wednesday. You can hear it on catchup on the LBC App at 01:19:45 and here.

Addendum 2: Excellent piece in Mail On Sunday.

Addendum 3: “Marched out in front of my students like a thief”by three women from the university’s HR department: Jenni Fraser in the JC.

Addendum 4: “Victim of the Cancel Culture” – Here’s the take of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Addendum 5:  Listen to Stephen Lamonby telling his story to broadcaster James Marlow on Jonny Gould’s Jewish State podcast.

Addendum 6:
Private Eye ….

lamonby private eye
Addendum 7: My column in Jewish Weekly this week

lamonby jewish weekly

Addendum 8: Fabulous anonymous response (by a Rabbi) in this week’s Jewish Weekly (p14) to my OpEd last week (see Addendum 7 above).

lamonby for blog 3

lamonby for blog 2

lamonby JW letter 2 14 aug 2020

Addendum 9: One of the many supportive letters Mr Lamonby has received
Lamonby S Letter

Addendum 10: The most detailed analysis thus far, by Professor Richard Landes and myself.

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Reductio Ad Absurdum from Professor Alderman

Alderman Times July 2020
The Times today has published a ludicrous letter from Professor Geoffrey Alderman. There is no parallel whatsoever between Shamima Begum and a British Jew.

Begum can claim Bangladeshi citizenship through her mother. Unless their parents have an Israeli passport, a British Jew cannot claim an Israeli passport as of right. They may be able to apply through their Right of Return but that is entirely different.

And of course Begum volunteered to support a homicidal terrorist group utterly opposed to British values. Seeing beheaded heads in the rubbish bin bothered her no more than banana skins.

To suggest that a UK Prime Minister would attempt to deprive 290,000 Jews of citizenship belongs in the realm of academic idiocy, human rights lawyers and Philip Roth-style shockjock fiction (‘The Plot Against America’).

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Fisking Beth Winter’s Op-Ed

Bethan Winter is a Welsh Labour Party politician. She has been the Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley since the 2019 general election.

Ms Winter has signed all three of the recent statements opposing extension of Israeli law into part of Judea and Samaria: the CAABU letter, the Socialist Campaign Group statement and the European Parliamentarians’ letter. She doesn’t have a record of anti-Israel or antisemitic statements but has recently written an op-ed in the Western Mail full of anti-Israel bias and factual errors. (She reproduces it on her Facebook page).

Let’s examine this op-ed………..

First Ms Winter refers to ‘Annexation of the West Bank’. Wrong. One, there is no such things as ‘annexation’, you cannot annex what’s already yours by law. Consequent on the San Remo Accord, the League of Nations designated the West Bank for a Jewish homeland in 1922.  The international legal doctrine of uti possidetis juris granted Israel sovereignty over Judea and Samaria upon its independence in 1948. Jordan illegally conquered and annexed the territory during its 1948 attempt to destroy Israel. Israel defended itself from Jordanian aggression in 1967. If Israel applies civilian law in Judea/Samaria that is NOT ‘annexation’.   Two – No-one is proposing a change for any area other than the Jordan Valley – That is, part of Area C (agreed under the Oslo Accord) adjacent to where Israel is narrowest currently

Why are checkpoints there? Ms Winter fails to say. They are there to save lives.  All lives, Jewish, Arab, all lives.  Over time, at least 742 civilians have been killed and 4,899 wounded by suicide bombings in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (data from University of Chicago). Nevertheless Israel reduces the number of checkpoints to as low as possible. In May 2013 there were 13 checkpoints in the West Bank, down from 40 in 2008.

Ms Winter writes that the security fence is ‘illegal’. Wrong, it is perfectly legal. No Court of law has ever found it illegal. The International Court of Justice issued an Advisory Opinion in 2004 deeming it ‘illegal’ but the ICJ isn’t a genuine legal Court, it is a creature of the UN General Assembly. Israel had no representation among the Judges. Like the checkpoints, the fence saves lives!

Ms Winter mentioned roads in Judea/Samaria that cannot be used by vehicles without Israeli licence plates. Israeli Arabs can use them, and so can foreigners, including Arab and Muslim foreigners. Palestinians were once able to drive on them but have not been allowed to do so since the second intifada, when suicide bombers used them to penetrate Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in order to kill people.

If Wales was a separate country and the English were firing missiles into Cynon Valley and English suicide bombers were killing her constituents, would Ms Winter not expect the Welsh government to take measures to protect her? Yes? So why can’t Israel protect its citizens in the same way? To require Israel to behave differently from any other democracy under attack from terrorists is antisemitic, by definition (the IHRA definition, accepted by Labour!).

Ms Winter calls the Israeli presence in Judea/Samaria ‘illegal occupation’. Wrong. The Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply because as part of Mandatory Palestine, Judea and Samaria never belonged to any sovereign state, but were occupied and administered illegally by Jordan between 1948 and 1967, after the Arab war of aggression against Israel in 1948.

Ms Winter says that ‘annexation means life will get harder’ for Palestinian women and their families. A straight lie.  The Palestinians in the areas affected will be offered full Israeli citizenship with concomitant access to first class medical care and education. In other areas the lives of Palestinian women will be no different from now.

Canavan 1 july 2020Canavan 2 july 2020

Ms Winter seems to get her information from Mairead Canavan who represents Wales on the Executive of the National Education Union.  Canavan – see above – is hardly a reliable source of information regarding either Israel or antisemitism – she is a supporter of Ken Loach, the film director who said that Labour MPs who joined the ‘Enough is Enough’ protest outside Parliament against antisemitism in Labour were “the ones we need to kick out.” And the NEU (or at least its predecessor the NUT) hosts the antisemitic Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Perhaps the nastiest demonisation from Ms Winter is the lie that Israel ‘attempts to censor textbooks’ of Palestinian children. Presumably this comes from Canavan. It shows the lies which NEU visitors to Judea and Samaria are fed.  And at home the NEU (in truth its prececessor the NUT) is in bed with the antisemitic Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

What is in Palestinian textbooks? Well an 11th grade history book described the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre by Palestinian terrorists in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered as ‘a strike at Zionist interests abroad.’  As for Mathematics, calculus is taught by counting the number of dead Hamas terrorists in Palestinian uprisings.  Is calling out the perversion and antisemitic violence in Palestinian text books what Canavan and Winter mean by ‘attempts to censor’?

Demonisation of Israel – in the form of straight lies, or omitting the security rationale, for example for checkpoints or the security fence – has been the breeding ground of much of the antisemitism evident in the Labour Party. If Keir Starmer is serious about tackling it then he must come down hard on Labour MPs like Bethan Winter who give currency to the demonising lies. This should be a recommendation of the EHRC. But we all know it won’t be ……………

Addendum: An edited and updated version of this blog has been published by CAMERA UK

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Talk to the hand

A letter opposing application of Israeli law to part of Judea/Samaria has been sent to European leaders, signed by 1080 members of European Parliaments.

Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld – the emeritus Chair of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs – has written about the hypocrisy of the letter here.

As Dr Gerstenfeld says, the country with the most Parliamentarians signing the letter is the UK, accounting for 23% of the signatories (245). Of the British signatories, 43% (106) are from the Upper Chamber, the House of Lords, leaving 57% (139) from MPs in the House of Commons.  139 equates to 21% of the total of 650 MPs.

The breakdown of the MPs by Party is as follows:

euro mps july 2020

The Scottish Nationalist Party is sympathetic to the Palestinians because it sees them (wrongly) as an oppressed People under the yoke of a colonial power and therefore it identifies with them.

Notably among the UK signatories:

  • 6 of the 7 Irish Sinn Fein MPs signed, despite not taking their seats in the House of Commons;
  • Dr Gerstenfeld rightly expresses surprise that Lord Michael Howard signed. Equally if not more surprising is the signature of Margaret Hodge.  She is Jewish (“Jeremy Corbyn made me Jewish”) and was one of the most outspoken Labour MPs about Corbyn’s antisemitism.  Yet here she is signing this letter (and before that the CAABU letter) alongside many with a very poor record on antisemitism.
  • Despite the long and painful history of Christian antisemitism, the letter was signed by 5 Bishops of the Church of England (The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester and 21 other Bishops sit in the House of Lords). Mark Pickles writes of ‘the whining bishops of the Church of England, having revived the tradition of self-flagellation into a kind of intellectual onanism‘.
  • A notable absentee was Jenny Tonge. No question that she would have signed if approached. Maybe she was considered a disincentive to even Sinn Fein and Podemos signing?

In my blog on the CAABU letter I noted the correlation between an MP’s hostility to Israel and the proportion of a constituency’s population that is Muslim.   The same is true of the Labour MPs who signed this letter. The average proportion of Muslims in their constituencies was 13.3%. The average for the 118 Labour MPs who DIDN’T sign was 7.6%.  

The MPs for 8 of the ten constituencies with the highest Muslim proportions –ranging between 35.7%  and 52.9% – signed the letter.

Either Labour selection committees are matching the most anti-Israel of candidates to seats with a high Muslim population or the MPs of those seats are mirroring the hostility to Israel of their Muslim constituents – or maybe both.

It’s instructive to note that 34 of the 84 Labour signatories have poor records on antisemitism.  This means that their views on the policies of the world’s only Jewish State can be safely ignored.

Debbie Abrahams Jeremy Corbyn Rebecca Long-Bailey Bell Ribeiro-Addy
Rushanara Ali Neil Coyle Shabana Mahmood Naz Shah
Tahir Ali Julie Elliott Seema Malhotra Andy Slaughter
Clive Betts Lilian Greenwood John McDonnell Wes Streeting
Tracy Brabin Kate Hollern Ian Mearns Sam Tarry
Ben Bradshaw Imran Hussein Grahame Morris Claudia Webbe
Richard Burgon Afzal Khan Charlotte Nichols Catherine West
Dan Carden Clive Lewis Kate Osamor
Sarah Champion Tony Lloyd Yasmin Qureshi

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, the former Labour Party Leader and Deputy Leader, signed……………..

The government of the world’s only Jewish State will take about as much notice of them as they did of the mainstream UK Jewish Community during those five awful years.

corbyn oct 19

 

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More on the 120 Jewish Lawyers …. (136 now)

I wrote here about the misapprehensions of these lawyers regarding the possibility of application of Israeli law to part of Judea and Samaria.  And later I wrote about one of the signatories who supports BDS and delights in meeting Hamas.

If Lords Collins, Dyson, Woolf and Sir Michael Burton thought they were signing a dispassionate, objective legal opinion, they were wrong.  Six of the signatories (Crewe, Kentridge, Leibowitz, Livingston,  Myerson, Smith) have also signed Yachad statements or petitions [Update: Add Metzer x2 who signed the Yachad letter published on 13 July].  Danny Friedman was previously on the Yachad Board.   Yachad is a leftist British organisation which denounces Israel to British Ministers.  Yachad was closely linked with the despicable Kaddish for Hamas. 22 of the 49 (45%) who said they were going to the event also signed the Yachad letter lambasting the Board of Deputies’ excellent Gaza statement.  Twenty-four of the signatories are New Israel Fund donors and/or voluntary office holders and/or former Board members  (Grodzinski, Labaton, Lesh, Levine, Levinson, Lichtman, Margo, Pliner, Raday, Resnick, D Richman, H Richman, Schaffer, Schneyer, Segal, Stevens, Stolzenberg, Stone, Strauss, Subrin, Taylor, Waldstein, Wicks, Wilder).   The organisations that the New Israel Fund supports in Israel are involved in BDS and demonisation of Israel.

52 of the signatories are academics.  I emailed one of them. He assured me that he believes in Israel’s right to exist!  After 72 years ………….. I wonder if he also believes in France’s right to exist?

Jeanney Kutner is a J-Street activist.  J Street is not a pro-Israel organisation.

One of the signatories does not appear to exist.  I could find no “Professor Hannah Lieberman” at Berkeley Law School, University of California or indeed anywhere else.

Assuming there are not two, James I Meyerson signed a petition supporting the right of a New York bookshop to stock a children’s book, “P is for Palestine”,  that is ‘an insidious attempt to indoctrinate kids against the State of Israel.

I repeat, I certainly don’t think Israel should be too bothered by a letter signed by such people.

Do you?

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How not to do ‘interfaith’

If you want to send my blood pressure into the stratosphere, you can do no better than to show me an ‘interfaith’ Jew who  misrepresents Israel to other faiths.  Thank you to Lucille Cohen, the estimable former President of Manchester’s Zionist Central Council who made Aliya in 2014. Here is Lucille’s (slightly edited) letter in today’s ‘The Tablet’. The Tablet is the Catholic Weekly magazine with an estimated readership of at least 30,000. It is read throughout the English speaking Catholic world – and distributed free to UK MPs!
kessler 4 july 2020
We encountered Dr Ed Kessler of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge last month.  He’s the one of Mick’s mates who accused Jews who challenge antisemitism in the Church of England of “going over the top” (and here).

Lucille’s letter is in response to his Op-Ed in The Tablet of 20 June………….

kessler 1 july 2020

Dr Ed (described in the blurb above the Op-Ed as ‘a leading British Jew’ (!)) tells the Catholics that Israel is proposing ‘annexation’. Wrong. You can’t annexe what’s already yours (see here).

Particularly disingenuous is Dr Ed’s virtue-signalling tear-jerking protestation that he is concerned that speaking out will fuel antisemitism (‘For a long time – perhaps too long – I have stayed quiet, failing to make public my concerns about the direction being taken by the Government of the State of Israel. Like many Jewish friends of Israel, I have not wanted to stir internal division within the Jewish community or give fuel to its anti-Zionist (and sometimes anti-Semitic) enemies’).

Which is precisely what he does by proceeding to misrepresent the proposals of Israel’s democratically elected government …

kessler 3 july 2020

‘…….full annexation………..’  Nobody is proposing that, which surely Dr Ed knows full well. The proposal is only to apply Israeli law to one part of Area C, the Jordan Valley.

Further, we get this: ‘They [President Trump and PM Netanyahu] calculate that their political weakness, combined with the unwillingness of the Arab states to offer them tangible ­support, gives them an opportunity to trample over the fundamental rights of Palestinians, with a jaw-dropping disdain for the values of equality, freedom and self-determination to which they give lip service.

Where to start ……. The proposals are the first step in the US Peace Plan which ends with the creation of a Palestinian State. That is hardly ‘trampling over the fundamental rights of Palestinians’. And (as MK Sharren Haskel confirmed on BBC R4 Today on Wednesday) Palestinians in affected areas will be offered full Israeli citizenship.Unwillingness of the Arab States….. ??’ Well relations between Israel and the Sunni Arab States have never been so good, mainly because of the common threat of Shia Iran. Three such States – Oman, the UAE and Bahrain – even had their Ambassadors present in the White House when the Peace Plan was unveiled.

‘Interfaith’ activity can only be of merit if done from a position of strength and honesty. Badmouthing Israel in order to win friends is useless – and moreover dangerous.

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Signatory of Jewish Lawyers’ letter supports BDS and revels in meeting Hamas

I wrote about this letter here.

lawyers letter june 2020

One of the signatories is an American lady, Kathleen Peratis

Ms Peratis supports BDS

She co-chairs Human Rights Watch’s advisory committee on Middle East and North Africa.  HRW has a “deep seated ideological bias against Israel” according to NGO Monitor.

Peratis met Hamas.

Even J-Street distanced itself from Peratis after she met Hamas.

The Washington Post described how she recounted her experience with Hamas “as a fun-filled joy fest spent with friends.” “She quoted one smuggler as saying: ”Please tell your friends that Hamas people are ordinary people. We are not barbarians.” ”

I doubt whether Ms Peratis would be allowed entry to Israel. I certainly don’t think Israel should be too bothered by a letter signed by such people.

Do you?

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Since when did 120 Jewish lawyers ever agree on anything ………..

Some 120 Jewish lawyers say that reassertion of sovereignty by Israel in Judea/Samaria would amount to ‘annexation’ and would therefore be illegal. On a quick count 59 of the signatories (letter here) are resident in the US, 34 in the UK, 14 in Israel, 12 in Australia, 2 elsewhere.

They are wrong.  Consequent on the San Remo Accord, the League of Nations designated the West Bank for a Jewish homeland in 1922.  The international legal doctrine of uti possidetis juris granted Israel sovereignty over Judea and Samaria upon its independence in 1948. Jordan illegally conquered and annexed the territory during its 1948 attempt to destroy Israel. Israel defended itself from Jordanian aggression in 1967. If Israel applies civilian law to part of Area C, that is NOT an attempt to gain sovereignty over another country’s territory!

Most of the signatories are not from the UK. I’ll leave it for others in their jurisdictions to comment on why they would sign a factually incorrect letter.

As for the UK signatories, let’s start with Adam Wagner. He thinks that saying Kaddish for Hamas terrorists is simply expressing a ‘range of opinions’. And he promoted (tweet since deleted) a vile article attacking Labour Against Antisemitism, the wonderful organisation whose volunteers worked unceasingly to defeat Corbyn in December.wagner luis june 2020

Wagner even opposed the conviction of Alison Chabloz for her obscenely antisemitic songs!

wagner luis 2 june 2020

Five of the signatories are from Matrix Chambers, the group of human rights barristers which ‘formed strong links’ with Phil Shiner, the disgraced lawyer struck off after he ‘hounded British soldiers with false murder and torture claims’. Hugh Tomlinson is also a member of Matrix. He wrote a hostile opinion of the IHRA definition of antisemitism for which he was paid by four anti-Israel organisations: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, ‘Free Speech on Israel’, Independent Jewish Voices and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

Sarah Sackman was was the Labour Party candidate in Finchley and Golders Green in the 2015 General Election. In its manifesto for the 2019 general election Labour promised to impose an arms embargo on Israel and to recognise a Palestinian State if it gained office. Fortunately it didn’t.

Philippe Sands was a Board Member of the Tricycle Theatre when it refused to host the Jewish Film Festival unless it distanced from funding from the Israel Embassy. He defended the decision on BBC TV. Commendably the Festival stood its ground and has never returned to the Tricycle. I boycott the Tricycle and many others do too.

Simon Myerson is a signatory of Yachad, the far left organisation which denounces Israel to British Ministers.  Yachad was closely linked with the despicable Kaddish for Hamas. 22 of the 49 (45%) who said they were going to the event also signed the Yachad letter lambasting the Board of Deputies’ excellent Gaza statement. Myerson is no ‘youth’ but recently signed a ‘communal youth letter’(signature subsequently deleted)

Several other signatories – eg Harold Paisner and Justin Crewe and Mark Phillips
and David Leibowitz – are commercial lawyers with no known expertise in matters of national sovereignty. As for Lords Collins, Dyson, Woolf and Sir Michael Burton – not impressed.  The Age of Deference is long dead.  I tried to find examples of them speaking out for Israel or against antisemitism.  I found  this. Three days before the election and all he could say was ‘There’s a powerful case that Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite‘.  Please don’t stick your neck out, m’Lud.  Maybe he should go back to selling vacuum cleaners

34 Jewish lawyers in the UK and 59 in the US signed the letter. Thousands of Jewish lawyers in the UK, the US, Israel, Australia and South Africa  DID NOT SIGN.

If you were a Jewish lawyer who was approached to sign the letter and refused – Thank You!

If you’re one of the 34 in the UK who DID sign, how come you’ve never volunteered to help UK Lawyers for Israel, if you’re so concerned about the country?

Addendum: Natasha Haudorff (a barrister and a Director of UK Lawyers for Israel, who has clerked for the President of the Israeli Supreme Court) has published this excellent reference piece.

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Marie van der Zyl’s JC article

I read Marie van der Zyl’s recent article in the JC  (‘Saying ‘all lives matter’ belittles a genuine call for equality’)

She uses several arguments not supported by the evidence and potentially damaging to the UK Jewish Community.

First she asserts that in America there is ‘clear and systemic racism against black people’. America had a black President for eight years, there have been black Supreme Court Justices, black Secretaries of State and any number of black Professors. Her statement is unevidenced. There are many reasons for inequality besides racism.  Particularly when antisemites accuse Israel of being ‘systemically racist’, we are surely right to expect the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to be more careful as regards such accusations. Labour under Corbyn was systemically racist as was apartheid South Africa. Most mainstream commentators and academics would not agree that the United States should be bracketed with these two.

Second, Marie disparages those who say that ‘all lives matter’; she claims that it belittles their call for equality. That response itself belittles those Jews who – whilst caring about injustice – are unwilling to endorse the rallying cry of a movement which is deeply antisemitic. M4BL had a specifically anti-Israel platform until as recently as 2017.  It accused Israel of practising systematic discrimination and bought into the ‘apartheid lie’. A BLM leader has suggested that Zionism is a white supremacist movement. And of course the concept that ‘all lives matter’ is core to our religion and to the Torah. Caring for example about the three gays murdered in Reading last week does not in any way render concern for BAME inequality any less. There is no hierarchy of inequality of opportunity!

Third, in response to complaints about antisemitism, Jeremy Corbyn inevitably belittled the complaints by responding that Labour was acting ‘against antisemitism and other forms of racism’ – mendaciously and disingenuously suggesting that antisemitism in Labour was no worse than other racisms. It is completely wrong to assert – as Marie does – that the quid pro quo of our anger at Corbyn is that we shouldn’t say ‘all lives matter’. Antisemitism in Labour was sui generis and exclusive; inequality of those of Black African or Black Caribbean ethnic groups is clearly neither of those things.

This isn’t the first example of inaccuracy from Marie. In December she signed a letter in the JC criticising Melanie Phillips for something she didn’t do(deny the existence of anti-Muslim hatred).

Marie called out Rebecca Long-Bailey for insufficient due diligence before she went into print.  She too has a responsibility to make sure that what she writes – or what is published in her name – is accurate.

Addendum: For anyone who does not believe Black Lives Matter is shot through with antisemitism …

blm uk june 2020

Black Lives Matter UK has raised over £1 million in three weeks from over 34,000 donors. None of them knows how their money will be spent. BLM UK is not a charity so they have no guarantee of accounts or an Annual Report.  This is what they stand for: “We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world. “ Incredible.

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The Wokeocracy of the Board of Deputies

What a bizarre June this has been in London. No cricket, weddings, Glyndebourne, Wimbledon, Trooping the Colour or Royal Garden Parties. Premier League football in empty stadia with drinks breaks for the players. The statue of Churchill – the leader who saved Britain from the Nazis – boarded up to protect it from the deranged extremist Marxist mob. And corporates, organisations and individuals falling over themselves to respond to the Woke Inquisition of supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, completely ignoring its streak  of antisemitism.

BLM is a movement, not an organisation. The umbrella organisation for the advancement of blacks is the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL).  M4BL had a specifically anti-Israel platform until as recently as 2017.  It accused Israel of practising systematic discrimination and bought into the ‘apartheid lie’. A BLM leader has suggested that Zionism is a white supremacist movement. See here too.
blm blog 1 june 2020
A few weeks ago, rioting in Los Angeles following the murder of George Floyd saw a number of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues vandalised with Free Palestine grafitti, and a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis, daubed in antisemitic slogans.  Last week, at a BLM rally in Paris, placards and stickers read such jewels as “Israel, laboratory of police violence”, “Who is the terrorist?”, “Palestine to the Palestinians! Boycott Israel!’’, and “Stop collaboration with Israeli State terrorism.” Protesters wore T-shirts reading “Justice for Palestine” and waved Palestinian flags.

Astonishingly the Premier League joined the rush to kneel before BLM; for the first 12 matches of the resumed season players must wear the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ in place of their names on the backs of their shirts and they can genuflect before the match in a gesture of support for BLM is they wish to – and woe betide anyone who abhors racism but shuns the antisemitism of BLM, choosing (like the British Foreign Secretary) not to kneel. The words ‘Kick It Out’ would have been just as effective and without endorsing antisemitism. Appallingly even clubs with Jewish Chairmen (Spurs and Chelsea) succumbed to the groupthink. Chelsea – the club which has adopted IHRA and which organised a Conference on antisemitism (postponed in the lockdown).

Inevitably the Wokeocracy in the Board of Deputies has joined the kneelers. At Sunday’s meeting (57:50) JNF deputy Gary Mond – after voicing disgust at the murder of George Floyd – said “Of course I’m absolutely sure that all of us agree that black lives matter, as do Asian lives, African lives, Jewish lives and all lives.” He went on to talk about how many of the BLM events have descended into antisemitism. And mentioned the threats against members of the Campaign Against Antisemitism by Kerry-Ann Mendoza, the far Left editor of a hard Left newssheet and BLM supporter.  He mentioned the desecration of the Raoul Wallenberg statue in Los Angeles with antisemitic slogans. Finally Mond said that no Jewish group should have anything to do with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Surely no Deputy would be sufficiently craven to argue with that. But …………The first to take issue with Mond’s assertion that “all lives matter” was Adrian Cohen (1:24:45). He asserted that blacks are more likely to suffer police brutality in the UK. In terms of simple population share he’s right but that’s not the right number to look at. As Gerard Baker pointed out in The Times (4 June) the relevant statistic when considering what happens to people at the hands of the police is not total population but the numbers of people who come into contact with police. Using data for 2017/18, blacks accounted for 9.6% of arrests but 6.4% of deaths in custody (excluding those who died from shootings or traffic accidents). On this (correct) measure, Cohen is wrong. (Gerard Baker observed that the same is true in the US. Blacks account for around 25% of those killed by police in the past three years, a lower percentage than the proportion of murders committed by blacks (39%) or of robberies (54%)).

blm blog 2 june 2020

Cohen then criticised Mond for saying that “all lives matter.” But the analogy he used was truly absurd. He said that if a house is on fire, you concentrate on extinguishing the flames in that house, you don’t point to a house which is not on fire and say “all houses matter”. But of course it’s not just inequalities with respect to blacks that we should care about. In the Middle East alone, there is discrimination against Christians, Kurds and Yazidi;  against the Uyghurs in China and gays in Russia; against any number of minorities in Iran; against Christians murdered in Pakistan; against the many millions of girls subject to female genital mutilation in nations such as Somalia, Egypt and Mali. The houses of many minorities are on fire!

It got worse. Cohen suggested that as Jews we have to be particularly sensitive to the supposed ‘all lives matter’ error because Corbyn always insisted he was fighting ‘antisemitism and other forms of racism’ thus belittling the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party. If the only inequality in the world concerned blacks, the argument would be correct. But it is far from the only inequality in the world!

Cohen’s erroneous comments were then praised by Laura Marks (who initiated the Board’s secret partnership with the anti-Israel charity Oxfam in 2012). Next Yachad Trustee Ella Rose (Bushey United Synagogue) said that ‘all lives matter’ is a ‘very offensive phrase’ and asked for Deputies to have ‘unconscious bias training’.

And on Twitter after the meeting we got Amos Schonfield, the Yachad Deputy, and Ella Rose again:

blm blog 3 june 2020

Schonfield’s comment was particularly misplaced, in view of the fact that he promoted the deplorable Kaddish for Hamas two years ago. Just where do dead IDF soldiers come in his hierarchy of oppression?

I recently wrote about the appalling letter sent by 32 Labour MPs to the Home Secretary Priti Patel.

I commented that they were playing ‘Oppression Olympics’.

Precisely the same applies to those Deputies who criticised Gary Mond on Sunday.

If anyone needs ‘unconscious bias training’ ……………… it’s them!

Addendum 1: Read what Ben Bradley MP has to say about the Premier League’s decision to put ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the players’ shirts ……..

Addendum 2:  Board President saysResponding to this with ‘all lives matter’ is dismissive, it detracts from black people’s concerns, and belittles their call for equality. We don’t stand for it when our complaints about antisemitism are belittled with “all forms of racism are bad”. And we Jews shouldn’t engage in such ‘whataboutery’ when it comes to the racism faced by black people.’  No it doesn’t detract from black people’s concerns. It is possible to care about eg the persecution of the Yazidi by ISIS as well as discrimination against blacks. And it’s not ‘whataboutery’. Antisemitism in Labour was EXCLUSIVE therefore we were right to be upset when Corbyn said he abhorred ‘antisemitism and other forms of racism’.   By contrast, the issues with Blacks ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE, other minorities also have issues.

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Index to my blogs 2007-2020

Posts which are cited the most frequently are asterisked.

Blogs published on other sites:

No moral lessons from someone who said Kaddish for Gaza 28 May 2020

Soviet style antisemitism funded by UK taxpayers  22 September 2018

QC says ‘Israel created to compensate for Holocaust’ * 2 September 2018

Sir Mick’s five straw man arguments in the row over Zionism 4 July 2018

An open letter to Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Chronicle 13 February 2018

Deconstructing From Balfour to Banksy “From Balfour to Bigots” 22 November 2017

Naturally the Guardian lauds Jackie Walker’s play The Lynching  20 November 2017

SOAS meeting to downplay antisemitism sees Israel bracketed with North Korea  17 November 2017

LSE breaks own rule on neutral chair for external meetings  7 November 2017

Running with the fox and hunting with the hounds  26 October 2017

OFCOM on The Lobby: A wrong decision and a profound disservice to the Jewish Community * 14 October 2017

Ofcom decision plays into the hands of haters  12 October 2017

Brent councillors disgracefully distort the IHRA definition of antisemitism  21 September 2017

JPR anti-semitism survey: wide open goal for Corbyn * 18 September 2017

Three own goals in three weeks …     13 September 2017

Hate and errors: Anatomy of a deeply nasty book  * 5 September 2017

JLC scores spectacular own goal 5 September 2017

Hate and Errors: Anatomy of a deeply nasty book * 4 September 2017

Is Kevin Myers really an anti-Semite?   * 1 August 2017

Balfour’s Shadow 28 July 2017

Young Vic: Should it be reviving Rachel Corrie?  * 26 July 2017

PalExpo: Outside and Inside  10 July 2017

Medieval disputation in a London church – in 2017 * 29 June 2017

“You Are The Zionist Jack Ruby”  20 June 2017

Digital Terrorism and Hate 15 June 2017

After Manchester we need action not banalities 24 May 2017

If my aunt had balls  9 May 2017

Queuing up to tell Jews what they should find offensive * 3 May 2017

Baroness Tonge removes antisemitic cartoon, claims she thought it was two figures trying to escape Gaza  6 May 2017

Israel vilified in Parliament, four Jews protest and get thrown out * 26 April 2017

Breaking the Silence shortlisted for freedom of expression award  20 April 2017

The Irish hate caravan moves on, to planet oxymoron 10 April 2017

Ken Livingstone’s dishonesty  5 April 2017

“Raus!”: How Jews were ejected from an anti-Israel meeting in Parliament   * 29 March 2017 (Warner)

My question to Jackie Walker: Setting the record straight * 24 March 2017

Anti-Semites score victory at London School of Economics 21 March 2017

The Lies of Rajah Shehadeh To Commemorate SOAS’s Centenary   * 12 March 2017

Am I an antisemite?   9 March 2017

Something is rotten in the state of academia * 5 March 2017

No safe space for Jews at KCL 1 March 2017

UCL in la la land    1 March 2017

Baroness Tonge: Why the Lords Report is wrong * 19 March 2017

An open letter to Baroness Amos, Principal of SOAS  * 14 March 2017

Israel’s ban on BDS activists: Welcome and justified  9 March 2017

Book Review: ‘Reporting on Hitler’ by Will Wainewright 6 March 2017

UK’s national Holocaust memorial and learning centre 23 February 2017

Charity Commission investigating anti-Semitic Suarez meeting at SOAS  * 18 February 2017

Anti-semitism: A meaningless lecture  14 February 2017

Promoting antisemitism is not covered by Lords code of conduct * 2 February 2017

Baroness Tonge posts anti-semitic article 22 January 2017

Al Jazeera ‘Lobby’: Voyeurism For Antisemites * 14 January 2017

Employee of Israel Embassy does job  8 January 2017

Yachad: A Cuckoo in the Anglo-Jewish Nest  * 4 January 2017

The wisdom of the Kiwi foreign minister 2 January 2017

Time to go, Professor 29 December 2016

Tonge under investigation 18 December 2016

Jewish Students – Please Remember Your ABC! 1 December 2016

Good Jews v Bad Jews 24 November 2016

The book which lies and distorts 14 November 2016

Christians who regret Balfour: The caravan stops at Southwark * 8 November 2016

No to antisemitic discourse in British Parliament * 8 November 2016

The Protocols of the Elders of SOAS Palestine Society  4 November 2016

Daniel Hannan – Button It! 31 October 2016

No to antisemitic meetings in Parliament! * 29 October 2016

LFI must think again! 27 October 2016

Attack on John Mann: Glatt kosher or treif? 23 October 2016

SOAS sees sense 19 October 2016

Defend Gina Miller  16 October 2016

What’s Sauce for the Gandz 7 October 2016

The cesspit where Momentum and the PSC intersect 28 September 2016

Hinde Street Church: Now take down that wall!  * 23 September 2016

Is Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite?  * 20 September 2016

Labour and ISIS 18 August 2016

British children volunteer for ISIS because of austerity…  15 August 2016

Own goal over Sir Philip Green 1 August 2016

Defending remainers from Melanie Phillips 27 July 2016

Why Brexit won’t happen 27 July 2016

Deputies Have Short Memories …. 18 July 2016

Reasons for voting Leave in the referendum … * 11 July 2016

EU Referendum: Turnout of young people 5 July 2016

EU Referendum: We must remain for the economy, jobs and security * 18 June 2016

Referendum: The guide for the perplexed * 14 June 2016

New mayor accepts EUMC definition of anti-Semitism  13 June 2016

Update on methodology used in Yachad poll of British Jews  * 18 November 2015

Yachad Poll on UK Jews and Israel * 15 November 2015

Board Executive and Oxfam: Moving the Red Line * 30 May 2013

Oxfam and the Board – What should happen if the red lines are crossed * 19 May 2013

These Pears are Rotten * 30 April 2013

A Stain on LSE  27 April 2013

Fraser versus UCU  * 26 April 2013

Board of Deputies links with Oxfam stays despite Miftah blog * 25 April 2013

Yet again, British Justice fails British Jews * 2 April 2013

Lord Sacks wows AIPAC with a terrific speech * 17 March 2013

The speech that sent Galloway packing 17 March 2013

Yachad’s ZF application: A cynical publicity stunt * 14 March 2013

What happened inside Middlesex University’s closed doors * 6 March 2013

Board of Deputies and David Ward MP  21 February 2013

Shlomo’s away with the fairies  20 February 2013

Oxford Union Triumph – Near 40% say ‘Israel Force for Good in Middle East’ 1 February 2013

Nick Clegg equivocates about David Ward’s antisemitic comment 31 January 2013

Steve Bell defends Scarfe cartoon on BBC 29 January 2013

Libdem MP’s antisemitic message re Holocaust 25 January 2013

Israel elections wrongfoot usual suspect Lefties 22 January 2013

Why the Board should vote No to Oxfam  * 21 January 2013

Oxfam links: Why we shouldn’t  * 3 January 2013

2012 Awards 1 January 2013

East Jerusalem: The Truth  30 December 2012

Middle East Weapons Salesman (ex FCO) thinks Israel “on path to assisted suicide” 24 December 2012

Lord Phillips: Jews on suicide path 15 December 2012

Is this ‘Antisemitism Institute’ part of the problem? * 7 December 2012

William Hague – You cannot be serious!!  4 December 2012

What I saw during Operation Pillar of Defense 27 November 2012

Veolia and Batsheva  22 November 2012

Vile Israel question on BBC Any Questions 21 November 2012

Pears Foundation funds Israel Boycott Lobby * 21 November 2012

Speech at rally to support Israel’s ‘Operation Pillar of Defence’ * 15 November 2012

Rally to support Israel’s right to self-defence 14 November 2012

Deprogramming students from the Palestine Solidarity Cult 13 November 2012

#BDSFail in Brighton 10 November 2012

Child Abuse Palestinian Style 6 November 2012

Bibi’s Awesome UN Speech: Transcript and Video  28 September 2012

19 lies the BDS mob say about Israel and how to respond to them 23 September 2012

Veolia: New Report Exposes the BDSers’ Lies About The Effectiveness of their Actions 22 September 2012

The Post-Self-Destructivism of Judith Butler  10 September 2012

Morning Star Demonises Israel  7 September 2012

“My deep shame at this bigoted [Edinburgh] festival protest”  3 September 2012

Artistic Antisemitism is Still Racial Hatred…..   3 September 2012

Cultural Terrorists Hit Edinburgh  31 August 2012

Rachel Corrie’s death still being exploited by Israel haters 26 August 2012

Response to Shimon Cohen and Matthew Gould  24 August 2012

How many have to die to achieve ‘One State’?  22 August 2012

Tribute to Aly Raisman  15 August 2012

PressTV says UK Olympics “Under Influence Of” Zionism  14 August 2012

Jacques Rogge’s Guildhall speech for Monday night has leaked!  * 6 August 2012

Reform Is Misguided on JNF/Lieberman  21 May 2012

How does Shamnesty’s Kate Allen Keep A Straight Face?  18 May 2012

Adieu Ken Livingstone  6 May 2012

Ben White proves the hypocrisy of the Israel haters  * 1 May 2012

Taking Back Our National Sovereignty Again [Steinberg article]  23 April 2012

“Good Riddance” [Bindman meeting] 19 April 2012

Colonel Eisner: War Hero  17 April 2012

Terrific Response to Emma Thompson and the other BDS Luvvies  2 April 2012

Remember Crewe and Nantwich! Class Politics Doesn’t Work…  31 March 2012

Jews in the UK  25 March 2012

Leeds J Soc: JLC Majority Did Not Sign Support Letter  23 March 2012

Leeds J Soc’s Shame [for cancelling Brooke Goldstein] 15 March 2012

Locked Out! [QMU Tamimi meeting] 28 February 2012

Open Letter to Vice Chancellor, Middlesex University [Meeting with O’Keefe, Karmi, Tonge] 24 February 2012

What Comes Around, Goes Around #2 [Swords] 30 January 2012

What Comes Around, Goes Around [Swords] 27 January 2012

Who guards the Guardians?  17 January 2012

Discrimination against Palestinians is Rife in Arab countries  9 January 2012

Richard Silverstein Exposed! 29 December 2011

PSC/ISM Successfully Neutralised at Natural History Museum   4 December 2011

EUMC Definition [no ambiguity] 1 December 2011

Response to a Labour MP’s antisemitic comment  [Paul Flynn] 1 December 2011

Smeared by PSC’s Salim Alam 26 November 2011

How to most effectively advocate for Israel on campus * 23 November 2011

RMT senior official directs tirade of antisemitic abuse at Israel advocate [Hedley] 25 October 2011

Malcolm Grant: £375,000 of public money per year but thinks that campus extremism is ‘made up’… 20 October 2011

Whose “Human Rights” does Shamnesty NOT support? Defenders of Israel …  18 October 2011

The Cold War On The Truth  * 13 October 2011

Welcome Tsipi Livni to London today!  5 October 2011

Antisemites hound Jewish-owned shop out of London  21 September 2011

PSC Turns Proms Audience pro-Israel * 2 September 2011

Something you didn’t know about Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman  17 August 2011

Jewish News Editors: Bow Your Heads In Shame  4 August 2011

Hacked by Yachad 21 July 2011

“Go Back To Bloody Russia!” 19 July 2011

JC gets its facts wrong  14 July 2011

Israel’s bill to combat boycotts deserves our full support  14 July 2011

Eat Your Hearts Out, Would-Be Flytilla Israel Haters …. 7 July 2011

Jihad Jenny Threatens to Quit the LibDems over Salah Detention 30 June 2011

How Palestinians became the baby seals of the Western human rights lobby 28 June 2011

Amnesty is NOT asking for Gilad’s Release 26 June 2011

“Ahava is going to play its ‘Jewish’ card”  16 June 2011

Taking the Mick – Again!  * 11 June 2011

Shame on the Extremist Muslims who are making the East End a No-Go Area  28 May 2011

BBC Biased In Favour of Israel???  26 May 2011

Philo’s new apology for a book and Joy Wolfe 24 May 2011

Col Richard Kemp’s speech to ‘We Believe in Israel’ Conference – London, 15 May 23 May 2011

Israel Must Return to the Pre-67 lines: Obama is Right!  20 May 2011

Pears and Forward Thinking: Letter sent to JC but not published 20 May 2011

No to Hate at Amnesty next Monday! – Sign the Petition Now! 17 May 2011

Pears caught with its pair of pants down…… 16 May 2011

Ahava London: Colin George of ‘The Loft” 2 April 2011

Rabid Animal Mauls Israel Supporter at SOAS 21 March 2011

Further developments regarding Mick Davis  15 March 2011

“Is it OK to be Jewish and criticise Israel?” 4 March 2011

“The Promise” – ZF Press Release 28 February 2011

“The Promise” / “The Independent” / Christina Patterson 27 February 2011

Dennis Ross: Pull Out of J-Street Conference! 24 February 2011

Christina Patterson again … (on The Promise) 23 February 2011

University Hate Speech Report: A Whitewash 19 February 2011

Davis et al – continued   18 February 2011

Guardian owns up to falsifying Livni Quote – but how about all the other wilful deceptions? 15 February 2011

What the West Needs to Understand About the Muslim Brotherhood  6 February 2011

The Lies of the Israel Haters – continued [Ahava] 5 February 2011

Bibi’s Knesset speech yesterday, on Egypt (excerpts)  3 February 2011

“The Promise” – Begins Sunday, UK Channel 4  3 February 2011

Statement of Egypt Working Group 2 February 2011

Foreign Government NGO Funding Transparency Bill 1 February 2011

Shame on Amnesty International for its Biased Israel-Bashing Agenda  31 January 2011

Locked out of Israel Hate Meeting with Hajo, the “Dancing Bear”, at Rutgers University   30 January 2011

Holocaust Memorial Day: Bibi’s speech to the Knesset  28 January 2011

Neturei Karta are the dregs of the dregs  26 January 2011

John Lewis Threatens Legal Action if PSC Continues To Lie  26 January 2011

The Duplicity of The Guardian and Al Jazeera  25 January 2011

Turkel Unanimous: Israel acted within Law on Flotilla and on Gaza Blockade…  23 January 2011

Tony Blair “Gets It”, So Many Do Not .. 23 January 2011

Sedition at Ben Gurion University: Parents start to vote with their feet  18 January 2011

Board of Deputies votes down Executive motion on Israel  16 January 2011

Blame the Jews………….  9 January 2011

The Board of Deputies’ appalling lack of [moral] clarity in response to the Kairos document 6 January 2011

Tear Gas: the Truth and the Lies  6 January 2011

“How Can You Defend Israel?” – David Harris  2 January 2011

Ben Gurion University: Economical with the Truth 1 January 2011

Seven Jewish Children, back again * 3 December 2010

58 Lambast Davis: Letter in JC * 25 November 2010

The de-Zionization of Anglo Jewry, by Isi Liebler in the Jerusalem Post 25 November 2010

Superb speech by George Osborne to Board of Deputies’ Dinner last night 24 November 2010

+++CENSORED++++++CENSORED++++++CENSORED+++ 9 November 2010

No Kangaroo Court at the Law Society! 31 October 2010

Pallywood: Faking Olive Tree Destruction & Damage  30 October 2010

SAUDI EMPLOYER HAMMERS 24 NAILS INTO SRI LANKAN MAID 30 October 2010

UNRWA official dares to suggest that the Palestinians might never exercise the “right of return”….  29 October 2010

Julie Burchill on Lauren Booth  27 October 2010

Free Speech for Israel? Not at Queens University Belfast! 18 October 2010

Support David Hallam!  17 October 2010

The miners were underground for only 69 days …. 17 October 2010

Obama and the US-Israel alliance – Caroline Glick  16 October 2010

Havardi on Tutu  15 October 2010

Are we partly to blame for Islamic terrorism? 11 October 2010

Are we partly to blame for Islamic terrorism? 10 October 2010

Bathurst-Norman Censured for Political Bias in EDO Trial * 7 October 2010

Hajo Meyer event called ‘offensive’ by Conservative UK Government * 29 September 2010

Flotilla: Biased BBC Compounds Biased UN HRC ‘Report’ 23 September 2010

Vanessa and Lin-Manuel’s Wedding, 5 September 2010: To Life! 22 September 2010

The Barons: An Everyday Story of the Struggle for Workers’ Rights in Merrie England 16 September 2010

Yvonne Ridley: In Breach of the Terrorism Act? 11 September 2010

Aznar’s speech last week 7 September 2010

Terrorist Supporters March Freely Through London 4 September 2010

De Gucht: A Bigot from Belgium 3 September 2010

BBC Panorama: Letter to BBC Director General 22 August 2010

Ahava counter-demo 14 August: Phone interview with The Guardian 16 August 2010

What the ISM Does Not Tell Its Female “Peace Activists”……….. 8 August 2010

UK Parliament: “Only Righteous Jews Allowed In” 28 July 2010

Wham Bam – Cam Slammed! 28 July 2010

The Judge Who Thought He Was Defence Counsel: CIFWATCH SCOOP * 14July 2010

The Judge who thought he was Defence Counsel * 14 July 2010 (cross)

Libya’s Bateau Provocateur 13 July 2010

A Methodist Breaks Rank … 7 July 2010

The Board of Deputies’ Critique of the Methodists’ Report “Justice for Palestine and Israel” 5 July 2010

Judge George Bathchair-Nobrain Takes Delegitimisation of Israel in the UK to new depths * 2 July 2010

Inside documents of the Free Gaza movement seized from the Marmara 27 June 2010

New Israel Fund Invites Rabbis to eat non-kosher and meet a “One-Stater” 27 June 2010

The letter the Guardian never published…….. 9 June 2010

ZF and EDL: Letter in Guardian 4 June 2010

Greenstein lies and smears 3 June 2010

Speech to Israel Support Rally – London 31 May * 1 June 2010

Flotilla Guerillas Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Mavi Marmara – Footage 31 May 2010

Flotilla turns violent – Latest 31 May 2010

Gaza Flotilla Supported by Terrorists and Antisemites 27 May 2010

Well Done, Professor Alan Dershowitz!12 May 2010

Birmingham students vote to accept EUMC Definition of Antisemitism 5 May 2010

The Nightmare Shidduch 1 May 2010

Nick? Don’t Let Him Clegg You Over! 27 April 2010

LibDems and Israel: Follow the Money! 25 April 2010

Ahava Needs Your Love 25 April 2010

The Lib-Dems 22 April 2010

Vote Clegg or Brown, don’t get Tsipi 20 April 2010

ZF: Pledge Card for the Parliamentary candidates 15 April 2010

Mira Awad – ZF press Notice 13 April 2010

Death threats: Mira Awad pulls out of ZF Yom Ha’atzmaut event 9 April 2010

Dieudonné in London 8 April 2010

The Mendacity of the Anti-Zionists 5 April 2010

The mud is flying and the starting gun has not even been fired 3 April 2010

Pope Benedict the “new Jew”? I think not. 3 April 2010

“The UK’s Disproportionate Response” – as observed by CiFWatch 28 March 2010

Was Moses a war criminal? (by Gerald Steinberg) 26 March 2010

“My particular flawed pedigree and personality” [Travers] 17 March 2010

More Channel 4 Demonisation of Israel on Monday night 14 March 2010

Vicar of Christ Church [Sizer] suggests Hilary Clinton’s criticism of Israel motivated by desire for revenge over Monica Lewinsky 14 March 2010

Israel and the OECD – The Truth 9 March 2010

Vote Eric Lee, to restore objectivity to Amnesty’s Israel coverage 27 February 2010

Vote for Eric Lee for Amnesty Board  24 February 2010

What makes Cif different? – By Hawkeye of CiF Watch 20 February 2010

The Darkness Closes In On British Academia 19 February 2010

Oxford Union Society Statement on the Danny Ayalon talk last night 9 February 2010

“Taking The Jack” [Straw] 7 February 2010

Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society 4 February 2010

A Terrible Decision [Cambridge U Israel Society] 3 February 2010

“Progressive” …. Not 31 January 2010

“Defamation” … of Truth, of Victims and of Antiracists 16 January 2010

Campus Extremism: University Heads are “Taking the Mick” – Time for Government to Step In … 16 January 2010

IJPR Survey: A Missed Opportunity? 8 January 2010

Viva Veritas! [Guardian lies] 6 January 2010

Viva Veritas!      6 January 2010

Extremism in Universities – ZF Press Notice 2 January 2010

MCB: How Wrong Can You Be? 24 December 2009

Romain mythology and JFS  23 December 2009

Antisemitic meeting at SOAS   15 December 2009

Hoffman takes on the bigots * 15 December 2009

ZF Letter sent to DEFRA 13 December 2009

Stay Away from Gordon Brown’s Chanuka Candle Lighting on Wednesday… 13 December 2009

Subhumans commit an appalling crime  12 December 2009

Israel bashing behind closed doors 10 December 2009

Never mind the facts … lie back and think of Brittain 9 December 2009

New Charity Commissioner may not be good news for campaigners against anti-Israel Charities  4 December 2009

Carols with Caryl and more  2 December 2009

Miles’ Vile Bile 24 November 2009

Ex-Ambassador Thinks Jewish Historians Can’t Be Trusted … 23 November 2009

Response to Brian Fox 20 November 2009

Stephen Sackur demolishes Shlomo Sand 20 November 2009

What ‘Dispatches’ Tonight Won’t Tell You………. 16 November 2009

“The Iran Lobby” by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer 14 November 2009

An Open Letter to Peter Oborne and Channel Four  12 November 2009

Pondlife buried in the sand 12 November 2009

Shlomo the Sandlout 10 November 2009

ZF co-Vice Chair Blasts Board’s ‘Macavity’ – by JC Muckraker 7 November 2009

Amnesty’s Well of Truth is brackish     1 November 2009

Seven Jewish Children in Bolton 25 October 2009

Enforcing the Guardian World View through misrepresentation 8 October 2009

Review of A State Beyond the Pale by Robin Shepherd  3 October 2009

TUC and Israel: When you need a cause why let facts get in the way? 4 September 2009

Bad Odour in Clubland  2 July 2009

Guilty of false equivalence  29 June 2009

A work of fiction  19 June 2009

Where is the ‘Prevent’ cash going? (continued) 14 April 2009

Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea   3 March 2009

The 43 Group’s final reunion * 16 February 2009

Seven Jewish Children * 8 February 2009

Israel: Galloway plumbs new depths 30 January 2009

What is the point of the Press Complaints Commission?  26 January 2009

The Press Complaints Commission: How ‘high’ is high?   24 December 2008

Professor Sir Bernard Crick 20 December 2008

Antisemitism on Guardian ‘Comment is Free’  (PDF) July 2008

Lycra Loonies   20 February 2008

Register now to stop the BNP 14 January 2008

Faith, Ken’s hope and the charities  5 January 2008

A proper boycott  12 June 2007

Daniel Pipes survives Livingstone’s Lions’ Den 21 January 2007

Labour plays Oppression Olympics

On Monday (8 June), in response to a question from Labour MP Florence Eshalomi in the House of Commons (”Black lives matter, and we need to see the Government doing something about that”) Home Secretary Priti Patel said  “I am really saddened that she has effectively said that this Government do not understand racial inequality. On that basis, it must have been a very different Home Secretary who as a child was frequently called a Paki in the playground; a very different Home Secretary who was racially abused in the streets or even advised to drop her surname and use her husband’s in order to advance her career; and a different Home Secretary who was recently characterised in The Guardian—if I may say so, Madam Deputy Speaker—as a fat cow with a ring through its nose, something that was not only racist but offensive, both culturally and religiously. “

There was absolutely no need for a response to this but look what happened ….

The following day (9 June) Brendan O’Neill wrote an excellent column castigating the ‘woke Left’ for their response to Patel: ‘The Labour MP Nadia Whittome shamefully stirred up racial antagonism by accusing Patel of using ‘her identity as an Asian person to silence Flo Eshalomi as a black person’. So when Eshalomi speaks about racism it is genuine and important, but when Patel does it, it is opportunistic and distracting. Whittome is getting very close to saying that Asian people’s experience of racism matters less than black people’s experience of it. …. In recent years we have seen very clearly that the supposedly anti-racist left has a serious problem with both Jews and Indians.’

On Thursday (11 June) Patel received a horrific letter from 32 mostly BAME Labour MPs.
patel letter
They accused her of ‘using your heritage and experiences of racism to gaslight the very real racism faced by Black people and communities across the UK’. (Gaslighting refers to the act of psychologically manipulating someone into doubting their own experiences). They suggested that she had tried to ‘silence’ Eshalomi in particular and black people in general. Both accusations are patently ludicrous. The deeply unpleasant truth is that these Labour MPs do not accept that a Conservative can be a victim of racism, especially a Hindu, and that they are supported in this lunacy by many in their disproportionately high Muslim electorates.

As O’Neill noted (before he had seen the letter) ‘In recent years we have seen very clearly that the supposedly anti-racist left has a serious problem with both Jews and Indians.’

Maybe even O’Neill felt the heavy hand of political correctness on his shoulder, because the truth is that the letter reflects additionally the hostility of Muslims towards Patel, who is a Hindu.  41% of the signatories are Muslims. Relations between Labour and the Hindu Community became strained after the 2019 Labour Conference passed a motion criticising India’s actions towards Muslim-majority Kashmir, though Keir Starmer has changed this policy. There are other tensions too, reflecting tensions in India.  30 of the 32 MPs have a larger than average proportion of Muslims in their constituency; the average is 18.1% versus the overall GB average of 4.5%. Only Claudia Webbe (Leicester E) has more Hindus than Muslims – for most of the 32 MPs, the Muslim proportions are much higher than their Hindu ones.

patel blog chartSource: 2011 Census

But here’s the nub. O’Neill writesIn recent years we have seen very clearly that the supposedly anti-racist left has a serious problem with both Jews and Indians.

Here’s the tarnished record of 19 of the 32 as regards Israel-based antisemitism:

Naz Shah

Imran Hussain

Rushanara Ali

Shabana Mahmood

Apsana Begum

Afzal Khan

Kate Osamor

Dawn Butler

Claudia Webbe

Yasmin Qureshi

Seema Malhotra

Sir Mark Hendrick

Diane Abbott

Rupa Huq

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Zarah Sultana

Marsha de Cordova 

Clive Lewis

Kate Osamor

Racism is racism, whether it’s against Muslims, Jews or Hindus. There’s no hierarchy of racism. 

To quote O’Neill again ‘My experience of oppression takes precedence over yours – that’s what was really being said in this bizarre outburst of the Oppression Olympics we witnessed in the aftermath of Patel’s comments in the Commons.’

Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.

New Israel Fund starts defamatory crowdfund to subvert the elected government of Israel

In a blog published yesterday I noted that four of the signatories of the ‘Davis Letter’ to Ambassador Regev (opposing resumption of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria)  (Lord Beecham, Sir Trevor Chinn, Martin Paisner and Clive Sheldon) are Trustees of the New Israel Fund.  A fifth signatory, Lord Jon Mendelsohn, resigned as a NIF Trustee in 2014.

And that the organisations NIF funds in Israel are involved in BDS and demonisation of Israel.

Today the New Israel Fund (a registered UK Charity that enjoys tax-free status) started a fund to subvert the policy of the elected government of Israel.

Someone saw fit to post my name as a donor – note the amount. This is tantamount to defamation and I will be consulting the best defamation lawyer in the UK.

just giving defamation june 2020

 

Please consider donating through my Patreon page. Every penny will go toward Israel advocacy and fighting antisemitism.

How the Ambassador responded to the Davis letter

Although Ambassador Mark Regev’s excellent reply to Team Davis has not been formally published, you can read practically all of it in the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News. The only bit they haven’t published is this: ‘By comparison [with the obduracy of the Palestinian leadership, who ‘dogmatically cling to one-sided UN and EU ‘peace plans’ that consistently ignore Israel’s vital concerns] in adopting Rabin’s dictum that a genuine solution must be anchored in reality, Washington is not only advancing peace, but also enhancing Israel’s security and helping to protect its existence as a Jewish and democratic state.

Jenni Frazer in Jewish News says ‘Mr Regev’s toughly-worded response fails to address any of the specific concerns of the letter’s signatories’. Just not true. Far from being ‘toughly worded’, the letter is simply factual, setting out the policies of successive governments regarding the unsustainability of the pre-1967 borders, supported by many in the international community including President Bush, writing to Prime Minister Sharon in 2004. And the letter DOES address those of the concerns of the signatories which it is appropriate for Mr Regev to address.

Davis+41 Ambassador Regev
Proposal on sovereignty not ‘a constructive step’ Advances peace, as set out in the US Peace Plan
Grave consequences for Palestinians Secure borders help peace
Israel’s international standing will suffer Israel’s friends understand need for secure borders
Perceived as evidence of rejection of negotiated peace & 2SS US Plan advances peace
Threatens Israel as Jewish and democratic Policy of elected Unity government
Damage to international reputation Israel’s friends understand need for secure borders
Encourages BDS Policy of elected Unity government
Negative impact on diaspora Jewry Policy of elected government

Davis+41 state ‘We proudly advocate for Israel but have been helped in doing so by Israel’s status as a liberal democracy, defending itself as necessary but committed to maintaining both its Jewish and democratic status.  A policy of annexation would call that into question, polarising Jewish communities and increasing the divisive toxicity of debate within them, but also alienating large numbers of Diaspora Jews from engaging with Israel at all.

We proudly advocate for Israel’Where’s the evidence? Lord Finkelstein has spoken out about leftwing antisemitism but if you check the House of Lords debates on Israel, he’s not there. Lord Winston occasionally speaks on Israel in the House of Lords.  Lord Beecham has mentioned Israel in the House of Lords only 6 times in 9 years and most of these have been to criticise the settlements. Luciana Berger only mentioned Israel in the House of Commons 5 times in her 9.5 years as an MP and 2 of those occasions were related to the antisemitism she suffered towards the end of her stint.

Howard Jacobson has been terrific rebutting Israel-related antisemitism and I loved The Finkler Question but again, you won’t find him taking on the Co-Op’s Israel boycott or the institutional Israel-based antisemitism at SOAS. As for the others, there’s no evidence. Philanthropy does not equal taking on the lies of the PSC head-on, as the likes of Richard Kemp and David Collier do. And I’ve never seen any of them on the streets, eg on Al Quds Day, countering the vicious antisemitic lies.

At least 9 of the 42 are lawyers. If they ‘proudly advocate for Israel’ they should surely be volunteering for the estimable organisation ‘UK Lawyers for Israel’ along with Baroness Deech, Jonathan Turner and Natasha Hausdorff  (for example – there are several others). None of the names appears as either a Patron or a Director (though I believe some have assisted).

And they should be making the case for Israel at University debates, as Professor Daniel Hochhauser did so brilliantly at LSE some years ago. Or Alan Dershowitz at Oxford. To the best of my knowledge none has (I did do a BBC1 Big Questions with Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner some years ago).

Moreover if the 42 ‘proudly advocate for Israel’ they should have Twitter accounts and should be combating the hate and lies there. Twitter is a multilateral platform where comments cannot be deleted. It has therefore become the top social media crucible for the unceasing cognitive war over Israel. Only 10 of the 42 even have Twitter accounts and one of these – Stephen Grabiner – protects his tweets. Only Lord Parry Mitchell (occasionally) and Simon Sebag-Montefiore (very occasionally) challenge lies about Israel on Twitter. Apart from on antisemitism, Simon Schama’s tweets are mostly finding fault with the Israel government, on the Nation State Law for example. And he supports the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
davis 2 june 2020Many of the 42 are philanthropists and all credit for that. Dr Arabella Duffield is Chair of Weizmann UK. But Israel advocates?  No – not in my book.

‘A policy of annexation would call Israel’s Jewish and democratic status.into question’. Not true for the very limited move that is likely.

…alienating large numbers of Diaspora Jews from engaging with Israel.‘ Again, where’s the evidence? And even if it were true, it is not the business of the Ambassador to respond to it. Israel does what is right for Israel, not what is right for Davis+41.

Four of the signatories – Lord Beecham, Sir Trevor Chinn, Martin Paisner and Clive Sheldon – are Trustees of the New Israel Fund.  Lord Jon Mendelsohn resigned as a NIF Trustee in 2014.  The organisations NIF funds in Israel are involved in BDS and demonisation of Israel. No-one associated with NIF can claim to “proudly advocate for Israel”.

Anyone who is not yet convinced of the excellence of the Ambassador’s response to Davis+41 need only look at the response it got from Yachad signatory Simon Myerson and NIF CEO Adam Ognall …………..

davis 3 june 2020

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42 prominent British Jews want to dictate to Israel ……

A draft of Ambassador Mark Regev’s response to the letter to him, published in Haaretz, has fallen into my hands …..

Dear Sir Mick Davis

Many thanks for the letter from 42 prominent British Jews criticising the policy of my elected government. I assume it was you who wrote and coordinated the letter?  Because 10 of the 42 are people who defended you in November 2010 (Celia Atkin, Sir Trevor Chinn, David Cohen, Stephen Grabiner, Maurice Helfgott, Isaac Kaye, James Libson, Jon Mendelsohn, Lord Parry Mitchell and Sir Harry Solomon). Isaac Kaye’s son Steven also signed the recent letter as did Maurice Helfgott’s father (Ben) and Harry Solomon’s son-in-law Alan Jacobs.

Could it be that they are as wrong now as they were then, Sir Mick?

You were roundly criticised for those 2010 comments eg by Lord Kalms and Isi Leibler and by 26 signatories in a  letter in the JC.  They said your accusation that my Prime Minister lacks courage was shameful, given his distinguished service in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit of the IDF. And they were lost for words at your suggestion that my Prime Minister’s policies have as much impact on you, sitting in Hampstead, as on Jews in Israel. To the best of my knowledge, Sir Mick, Hampstead is not within target of Iran or Hamas missiles, nor do the Jews who live there have to send their children to defend the Jewish State for three years.

Two of the signatories are partners in a law firm that has worked for you (James Libson, Anthony Julius).

8 further signatories are Labour Party members or former members or sympathisers (Lord Beecham, Lord Winston, Lord Mendelsohn, Luciana Berger, Howard Jacobson, Lord Mitchell, Clive Sheldon, Vivian Wineman). Plus Isaac Kaye (already mentioned). Remember that Labour’s manifesto for the 2019 general election included an arms embargo on my country and immediate recognition of a Palestinian State, should they have been elected. Despite this Lords Beecham, Winston and Mendelsohn continue to take the Labour Whip in the Lords.

Lord Beecham even said that the Chief Rabbi “somewhat over-reacted” in his Times column before the 2019 election calling out Labour for antisemitism!

Vivian Wineman and Laura Marks were Honorary Officers of the Board of Deputies which undertook the ill-fated partnership with the anti-Israel charity Oxfam.

Laurence Brass is a LibDem who abused his platform as Board of Deputes Treasurer to repeatedly criticise Israel. His claim that this position forced him to “repeatedly hold back” caused me to choke on my cornflakes.

3 of the signatories have Portland Trust connections with you (Sir Ronald Cohen, Nicola Cobbold, Douglas Krikler – as well as Sir Harry Solomon, already mentioned).

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner mistakenly thinks that resumption of sovereignty in a small part of Judea and Samaria make a Palestinian State impossible. On the contrary, it is an explicit part of the US Peace Plan.

I note a sprinkling (if that is the correct collective noun) of academics amongst the signatories, including historians Sir Simon Schama and Simon Sebag-Montefiore. I respect them greatly for explaining the past but wonder why this should give then any credibility in solving the current problems of the Middle East.  Dr Edward Kessler has accused Jews who challenge antisemitism in the Church of England of “going over the top” (and here). He also failed to respond to representations on behalf of Jewish students who were concerned about a proposed antisemitic talk by Thomas Suarez in Cambridge.  I do not therefore feel inclined to give much weight to Dr Kessler’s views on my government’s policies. Another signatory, Martin Paisner, is a former Trustee of Dr Kessler’s Woolf Institute.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been a good supporter of Israel but I’m afraid we part company on the JCPOA Iran Nuclear Deal which he supported.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenborg has made some questionable judgments in the past.  I don’t regard him as a Middle East expert.

All in all Sir Mick that makes 31 of the 42 signatures which leave doubts in my mind, for one reason or another.

Many of the names are of business people. They therefore understand that to have influence on a company you need to be a shareholder, you need to have skin in the game. Whilst many of your signatories have holiday homes in Israel and have even been great philanthropists, that does not make them Israeli citizens and does not entitle them to influence over my government’s policies. It is Israeli children manning the borders, Israeli lives living under those rockets and Israeli families who are the targets of terrorists.  As such you will I hope understand that my government is not unduly concerned about the views of British Jews.

Indeed if my government were to be influenced by British Jews that would be grist to the mill of the antisemites, as Baroness Deech and Baroness Altmann have wisely observed.

But do keep writing Sir Mick. I know that both Haaretz and the Guardian are very appreciative of your articles……….

With very best wishes
Mark

(NB to avoid misunderstanding … I wrote this …. but the Ambassador is welcome to use it)           smiley

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Open antisemitism in petition to UCal, signed by thousands

Justice for Black Lives: Petition to University of California

Look at the explicit antisemitism in this petition, signed by thousands of organisations and individuals……………..

As students and workers at the University of California, we demand an end to all university contracts with police on our campuses, the abolition of their departments, and the redistribution of their resources to provide for community members in need. Policing is rooted in anti-Black racism, slavery, lynchings, and “protecting and serving” a system of racial dominance and exploitation. It is rooted in Indigenous genocide and settler colonization. No longer will we tolerate our tax dollars and institutions of higher education supporting an institution that systematically and unequivocally devalues and destroys Black life. The UC cannot claim to “serve society as a center of higher learning” as its “distinctive mission” while at the same time defend its contracts with institutions that disproportionally murder and incarcerate Black and Brown men, women, and non-binary folks in California with impunity. It does so while simultaneously claiming it does not have funds to pay its graduate students, lecturers, food and service workers, librarians, researchers, technical, clerical, or health workers a living wage. The UC cannot claim to “create an educated workforce” when it finances and instructs law enforcement to suppress and terrorize alumni, students and workers for being Black and Brown or who protest.  The UC – like all of higher education in America – is complicit in racism.

This complicity goes beyond domestic policing. We also call on the UC to divest from companies that profit off of Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine, investments that uphold a system of anti-Black racism in the US. We know the Minneapolis police were also trained by Israeli counter-terrorism officers. The knee-to-neck choke-hold that Chauvin used to murder George Floyd has been used and perfected to