Lord Phillips of Sudbury thinks Jews complain about antisemitism too much

Our old friend Lord Phillips of Sudbury (LibDem) (“America is in the grip of a well-organised Jewish lobby“) has been quiet for some time – he retired from the Lords in 2015. But up he popped on BBC Radio 4 World at One today (24:16)  He was at the Tunisia Conference that Jeremy Corbyn attended.  Presumably he called the BBC to tell them, jumping at the chance to voice his repugnant views on the BBC.

He defended Corbyn laying the wreath for the Black September terrorists who were complicit in the Munich massacre in 1972.  “It was part of a very busy … very crushed programme .. I could quite imagine he was asked to go along and lay a wreath …… I could absolutely imagine that he was drawn into this slightly shambolic, huge meeting and laid a wreath that he thought just for the people who died, and then got caught up in what he’s now caught up with – and of course we live at a moment in time when the sort of antisemitic thing has in my view grown out of all control and good sense.

A LibDem Peer defending the Labour leader for an act which has been pretty much universally condemned …….. Demonisation of Israel makes strange bedfellows,


Rosenberg’s libel in the Morning Slur

Yesterday the Communist newspaper Morning Star published a revolting mendacious article by David Rosenberg.  The piece is built on the libel that the Jewish leadership is unwilling to sit down with Corbyn. What is missing is the question of what is the point of another meeting, when Corbyn abjectly ignored that leadership in a previous meeting. See here. Just to underline where he is coming from, Rosenberg throws a quote from Jesus at the Jewish leadership ….. Well right back at you, Mr Rosenberg:

‘And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.

Then we get the ridiculous and offensive trope from the Corbot lie machine that Jewish allegations of antisemitism in Labour are fabricated in order to stop a supporter of a Palestinian State becoming Prime Minister. Would Rosenberg say that Muslim anger with Boris Johnson is fabricated, in order to divert attention from Labour’s antisemitism crisis and help bring down the Conservative government? Of course he wouldn’t.  So why are Jews fair game for his Stalinist malice?

Ah …. it’s because they are not Corbots (‘….the false outrage of a few loud, but actually unrepresentative, self-defined Jewish leadership bodies, who are a bit top-heavy with Conservative supporters in any case’). One, how does he know? Two, even if he is right, does he not think that Labour’s institutional antisemitism might have something to do with it?

Rosenberg is also a lazy researcher because his bile is packed with elementary mistakes. The JLC is not ‘unelected’. Its Council is its executive branch, comprised of members of its constituent organisations. Many of these ARE ‘elected’ eg the President of the Board of Deputies, the Chair of the ZF, the President of UJS. Only these Council members have a vote. Up to three Trustees can be co-opted. They also have a vote. Co-opting a limited number of executives is accepted corporate governance practice. While we’re at it, since when do Communists respect the democratic process? The very notion of a ‘class struggle’ is inimical to the democratic process.

Rosenberg hasn’t even bothered to check his facts (since when do Communists care about those….). There is no synagogue which denies its female members a vote for its Deputies. Membership of the Board is not confined to synagogues. Any Jewish organisation can apply for membership. At least 15 non-synagogue bodies are members eg Yachad, AJEX, ORT, Jewish Women’s Aid, Limmud, UJS, Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. ‘Decisions of the Board are made by paid officers not ordinary elected members’ he writes: so how come there was a vote on Yachad’s membership or on the Board’s project with Oxfam? All important decisions are made by Deputies or by their elected Honorary Officers (full disclosure: I was a Deputy from 2009-2015).

Here is Rosenberg on the concerns of Jewish leaders about antisemitism: ‘Probably the least of their nefarious activities is how they have cheapened and devalued that term to the point where ordinary people outside the community are getting dangerously tired of hearing about it and might not react to actual cases.’

The opposite! In one week, Theresa May’s lead over Corbyn has risen by seven points. The Conservatives now have a four point lead over Labour, versus level pegging last week. This is Corbyn’s lowest rating and Labour’s lowest voting intention since last year’s election.  Corbyn’s failure to oppose antisemitism is proving to be the most crass political mistake since the inclusion of the ‘dementia tax’ in the Conservative  2017 election manifesto.

There’s more of this drivel. Rosenberg defends the timing of Corbyn’s Guardian article (just a few hours before Shabbat) by saying that the Jewish Chronicle is also published on a Friday.  Doh ……… Comparing apples with pears is a no-no even for a Commie: One is a weekly newspaper, the other was a controversial policy statement regarding the Jewish community from the so-called ‘Leader’ of the so-called ‘Her Majesty’s Opposition’.

And why are these pesky Jews banging on about antisemitism? Why can’t they discuss the appropriate role of the State with Jezza? (‘And then he brings up transport and asks for the Jewish community view on renationalisation of the railways ….).’ Why indeed. I think we should be told what the Jewish view is of the failure of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise. And why stop there? We could discuss with Corbyn whether the UK should remain in the single market. Or whether the motorway speed limit should be raised to 80mph. Much more relevant to the Jewish community than boring old antisemitism …

Of course Jezza can do no wrong by Mr Rosenberg.   How’s this for economy with the truth:

Back in April he had a very relaxed encounter with 100 young Jews. He spent four hours at a Seder night to mark the festival of Passover with them and a few older ones, like me.

The reference of course is to the Jewdas ‘Mocking Seder’. Not only was it held on the wrong night, the Jewdas ‘Haggadah’ was a string of obscenities which had no connection with Judaism whatsoever:

jewdas haggadah 2
A while ago I met someone who had seen Mr Rosenberg on a Stop The War march.  Immediately in front of his Jewish Socialist Group delegation, a group was chanting: “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud” which means “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.”

The person I met asked Rosenberg to read about the chant and asked him whether he was going to object to it. The response? “No. We are in a position of solidarity with comrades on the March and it was not our place to do so.”

It says it all about Communists, doesn’t it…


Corbyn’s response to the antisemitism at HMD 2010: ‘Carry On…’

Jeremy Corbyn’s involvement with the vile antisemitic hatefest in the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day 2010 (where I was present) was extensively covered in the media last week. See here, here, here, here, here, and here (7:00) for example. I blogged in 2010 after the meeting, republished here. On Wednesday I published my email exchange with Mr Corbyn before the meeting, warning him about what he was hosting.

But the credit for triggering this particular smoking gun goes to the excellent, unassuming academic historian Dr James Vaughan on Twitter on Monday (his twitter feed is highly recommended).


In January 2010, Hajo Meyer (85) was being paraded around the UK by the viciously antisemitic extremist group IJAN whose Charter states ‘Zionism is not just racist but anti-Semitic’. (The hate tour was co-sponsored by the equally repulsive SPSC). Hence my description at the time of Meyer as the ‘amazing dancing bear’. Yesterday I listened to the recording of the meeting and watched the video of a similar hatefest on the Scotland leg of the tour (it’s unclear where the video was shot – he spoke at Glasgow University (!) on 21st, Dundee University (!) on 22nd and at a church (!) in Edinburgh on 23rd).

There is also a video on the In Minds site of Meyer’s speech at Goldsmiths on 26 January 2010. I have watched that too (I was there – see 10/12 here, at the start – Meyer answers me by rejecting the EUMC definition of antisemitism (the precursor of IHRA) and saying that Europe has been ‘blackmailed’ by Israel!) .  Despite all the coverage, no-one has undertaken a forensic analysis of what Meyer said – and Mr Corbyn’s reaction.

I had good reason to warn Mr Corbyn about Meyer. In 2009 I was persuaded (against my better judgment) to be on the panel for a debate organised and chaired by the antisemite Alan Hart, a former BBC reporter (he died in January). On my side was Carol Gould. On the other side, Ilan Pappe (and here) and ….. Hajo Meyer. (You can see the Q+A here in five parts).

alan hart 2

Hart had promised that half the audience would be pro-Israel. Of course it wasn’t. As a Chair he was outrageously biased. Not only was he a third anti-Israel speaker, he called on Pappe and Meyer far more often than me and Carol and he allowed them virtually unlimited speaking time while shutting us down quickly. Here’s what Hart wrote after the programme:

alan hart 3
But it allowed me to get the measure of Meyer………..who like Alan Hart was a raging antisemite. The fact that he was in Auschwitz for ten months is entirely irrelevant (it goes without saying that IJAN and SPSC hoped that this fact would not only make him immune from criticism as an antisemite but it would even add to his stature in vilifying Zionism and Israel).

The audio of the HMD meeting is not distinct. But since Meyer read the same speech in Scotland and at Goldsmiths, it is safe to assume the London speech was also the same.  Indeed that is my recollection (having been at Goldsmiths too on 26/1/2010). Here are profoundly antisemitic quotes from the London and Scotland sources (additionally the speech was replete with lies but I haven’t included these unless they were antisemitic). Unless indicated, they were said by Meyer:

Judaism in Israel has been substituted by the Holocaust religion, whose high priest is Elie Wiesel

In September 2009 Netanyahu did not feel ashamed to mention the numbers on our arms – my arms – while addressing the United Nations and he misused our dehumanisation by the Nazis in order to justify an attack on Iran

Judaism and Zionism are completely different

Israel causes antisemitism and without antisemitism Zionism is nowhere

Israel looks like Germany in 1933

Hardly any of the victims of the Second World War had any sympathy for Zionism. Zionism never had any sympathy for the victims during and after the Second World War. They were ashamed of them, they didn’t want them in their country. Ben Gurion called us “unusable human material” … “unusable human material”. [simply a LIE, he never said or wrote that] The victims were Jews and not Zionists.

Zionism is the antipode of Judaism

Political Zionism is based on the terrible books of Joshua and others who are the father and the mother of ethnic cleansing.

Political Zionism is xenophobic, nationalist, colonialist and racist

Balfour didn’t want to see the refugees from Kishinev pogroms coming past his window – one of the great antisemites was Lord Balfour

Judaism has been substituted by the Holocaust Religion

The Jews are genetically one of the most mixed groups. The may be united by belief but no way are they united by coming from Palestine and no way by having the same genes.

Colonialism is one of the main tenets of Zionism, they call the Palestinians ‘cockroaches’.

Jews in Israel have left Judaism and have accepted the Holocaust religion of the High Priest Elie Wiesel

They think ‘We Jews have the monopoly on suffering’ – they really believe that no-one ever suffered or will suffer like the Jews did. Therefore ‘whatever we do to the Palestinians is less than what we have suffered and can be done without feeling guilty. They are so paranoid and so obsessed by the Holocaust religion that they will do anything, even dropping an atom bomb on Tehran.’

In Israel there is systematic indoctrination through schoolbooks propaganda. It is the ‘battered child syndrome’. The elders were dehumanised so they dehumanise the Palestinians.

Zionism is racist.

Zionism is entirely antisemitic.

Plus this quote from Haidar Eid, a Palestinian activist (who spoke by phone from Gaza):

“The world was absolutely wrong to think that Nazism was defeated in 1945. Nazism has won because it has finally managed to Nazify the consciousness of its own victims.”

And this one from ‘Jonathan’, an Israeli who refuses to serve in the IDF: He refers to Gaza as ‘A concentration camp of 1.5 million people’

The day before the meeting in the Commons Meyer spoke at Goldsmiths University in London (a replacement for UCL which cancelled). Here are two of the slides he used. The material in them is identical to some of the quotes I have set out above (‘Holocaust Religion’), reinforcing the conclusion that this hate was voiced at the London meeting.



So what was Mr Corbyn doing while this farrago of hate was spewing forth? Well – the audio shows that the meeting descended into chaos no fewer than nine times, as we protested. Did Mr Corbyn tell Meyer to stop his antisemitic diatribe? Of course not. He can be heard on the audio saying to Mayer “Carry On. Carry On. Carry On”

Look at the two of the four examples of antisemitism that Labour has excised from the IHRA Definition:

*Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

*Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

Labour says they have been excluded in order to allow Palestinians to freely criticise Israel. That’s  clearly nonsense. It’s obvious from my description of the 2010 hatefest – and other similar meetings – that they were excluded in order to protect Corbyn and the people around him from accusations of antisemitism.

As Henry Zeffman said in Saturday’s Times:

‘There are too many individual incidents, though, for Mr Corbyn to deal with one by one. The only thing that would stem the tide would be if he recanted the worldview that has landed him in this trouble in the first place. He cannot do that because it is what he believes. It is a worldview he acquired in his youth and has kept with him throughout 35 years in the Commons. It is a worldview that performed unexpectedly well last June and could land him in Downing Street.’

The vast majority of Jews in Britain are praying that it won’t.


My emails with Jeremy Corbyn before the antisemitic meeting in the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day, 2010

From: Jonathan Hoffman

Sent: 23 January 2010 14:37

To: CORBYN, Jeremy

Subject: meeting on wednesday

Dear Mr Corbyn

Why are you hosting a meeting on Wednesday in the Boothroyd Room (Portcullis House) which will be a farrago of lies about Israel, will demonise Israel and may wel contain elements of antisemitism?

And why are you opposing a change to stop Universal Jurisdiction being abused to arrest Israelis who come to the UK?

Sincerely Jonathan Hoffman

From: CORBYN, Jeremy [mailto:CORBYNJ@parliament.uk]

Sent: 24 January 2010 23:07

To: Jonathan Hoffman

Cc: PETERSEN, Nicolette

Subject: RE: meeting on wednesday

Dear Jonathan,

thank you for writing.

How on earth do you know what will be said at a meeting yet to be held?

I support universal jurisdiction for people who have evidence against them of human rights abuses. Thje concept of universal jurisdiction was decided by the Law Lords in 1998 whilst dealing with the Pinochet case. My EDM tries to protect that principal, and not allow the decision to issue an arrest warrant, or not, as the case may be, to be taken away from a District Judge and passed to the Attorney General.

I am sure that you agree judicial and political powers ought to be separated.

With thanks again for writing,


Jeremy Corbyn
From: Jonathan Hoffman
Sent: 25 January 2010 08:11
To: ‘CORBYN, Jeremy’
Cc: ‘PETERSEN, Nicolette’
Subject: RE: meeting on wednesday

You wouldn’t host a meeting that was offensive to the vast majority of Muslims —- so how come you think it’s OK to host a meeting that’s offensive to the vast majority of Jews…………..?

Judicial and political powers have never been separate nor is it possible to separate them. That is why the  Attorney-General is a political appointee. Universal Jurisdiction is being abused to arrest innocent people who have every right to visit the UK.

I know pefectly well what will be said on Wednesday – (i) I have “debated” with Meyer before (ii) He is on a tour through the UK and the first meetings – in Scotland – have already been reported:


Comparisons of Israeli actions with those of the Nazis – which is what he will make – are antisemitic, see the EUMC Definition which is accepted by the Parliamentary Committee on Antisemitism:


You are hosting a meeting in Parliament on Holocaust Memorial Day which will contain antisemitic references – what a disgrace.

Sincerely, Jonathan Hoffman



Holocaust Memorial Day 2010: Corbyn chaired meeting where antisemitism ran free

I published this in my JC blog on 27 January 2010 – Holocaust Memorial Day – after attending a meeting in Parliament chaired by one Jeremy Corbyn. James Vaughan has uncovered news reports and the CST report of the event so I wanted to add some detail.

The blog was called ‘Too extreme for UCL but OK for Parliament ….’

You can see that on that day, Corbyn chaired a meeting where:

– Zionist Jews were blamed for the Holocaust
– Zionism was said to be racist
– Israeli Jews were said to use the Holocaust as a reason for ‘invading other countries’

It is little wonder then that Corbyn has removed parts of the IHRA definition of antisemitism for Labour’s definition:

*Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

*Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.


I wrote a few days ago about the group of renegade Jews which is parading its performing trophy Israel-hating Holocaust survivor the length and breadth of the UK, with the assistance of the SPSC. Last night’s meeting had to be switched from UCL to Goldsmiths, presumably because it was too extreme for UCL in the wake of the Abdulmatallab revelations. But tonight’s meeting in Parliament – on Holocaust Memorial Day – nevertheless went ahead.

I had already written to Jeremy Corbyn, who hosted tonight’s meeting, to protest. Here’s the exchange:

‘Why are you hosting a meeting  … which will be a farrago of lies about Israel, will demonise Israel and may well contain elements of antisemitism?’

Corbyn’s Answer:

‘How on earth do you know what will be said at a meeting yet to be held?’

My riposte:

‘You wouldn’t host a meeting that was offensive to the vast majority of Muslims —- so how come you think it’s OK to host a meeting that’s offensive to the vast majority of Jews…………..?’

Fortunately the antiracists were there in force tonight. (There was also one pathetic Neturei Karta muppet, mute  as they always are – unusually he was sat at the back and not at the front like a prize heffer for all to see).

We got all the usual antisemitic lies and defamations: “Jewish victims in central Europe had hardly any sympathy for Israel”; “Zionists picked and chose the best ones to escape to Palestine”; “Zionists had no sympathy for holocaust victims, they referred to them as pieces of unusable material”; “Zionism is the antipode of Judaism”; “pre-World War II Judaism was humanitarian and universalist, Jews and Muslims lived happily together.” But “political Zionism is the opposite. It is xenophobic, nationalistic, colonialist, and racist.”

There’s more. “Zionists justify themselves by saying they are innocent because the Palestinians started it al”. “Zionists use the Holocaust to justify Israel’s invasions of other countries”. Mayer spoke of the ‘Dahiya Doctrine’ which he explained as Israelis saying “We can do what we want because of the Holocaust” [utter nonsense]

But this time we fought back. Every lie was met with a chorus of protest and the truth. Every calumny was resisted. Every racist statement was met with protest. I am proud of those who stood up for truth, decency and antiracism tonight.

Jeremy Corbyn had to leave in the middle so handed over the chair to Brian Iddon MP, secretary of the Britain-Palestine group. Iddon was the MP who hosted the launch of Ben White’s book “Israeli Apartheid: a Beginner’s Guide” in Parliament and then distanced himself from the meeting (“I played no part in the invitation of the speaker”). He proceeded to throw four (maybe five) of us out tonight for protesting about the antisemitism in the talk. Seems that when it comes to protesting about antisemitism, Jews don’t have ‘free speech’ in the Palace of Westminster. Welcome to London in the Age of Unreason.

Now the freakshow is off to Ireland, so the torch of truth passes to our antiracist friends there:

Friday 7pm The Grosvenor Hall, 5 Glengall Street, Belfast

Saturday 7pm The Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin

After that they are in Europe but I do not have the schedule.


Addendum: The Times (1/8/18) headlining this story.

Robert Cohen’s Disingenuous War Against Jews

Robert Cohen claims he was born Jewish. But he married a Christian Vicar and plays no part in Jewish communal life. A former BBC journalist, he’s head of communications for the Co-Op – which has an almost complete Israel boycott.

He even besmirches the memory of Anne Frank to promote his War against Israel.

Late last week he published a vile, disingenuous piece about the UK Jewish leadership, pretending to be the Righteous Jew who will save his co-religionists. 

It reads exactly like the kind of Soviet antisemitism which culminated in the ‘doctors’ plot’ in 1952 and in the vicious antisemitism in Komsomolskaia Pravda (the newspaper of the Young Communist League) in 1967, echoed in Moscow State University.

Here is a precis, with my comments in emboldened italics, plus links that call out Cohen’s antisemitic lies:

Jews lie about antisemitism in Labour:The UK is a wonderful place for Jews. But they are lying about antisemitism in the Labour Party, because they don’t like Corbyn’s support for the Palestinians.. For their own protection, we need to call out their lies to try to stop them. Otherwise there might be a wave of genuine antisemitism, in revulsion at their lies.’

‘I’m yet to see a credible piece of evidence that demonstrates that antisemitism is rife in the Labour Party. ‘

Tomlinson was paid by four anti-Israel organisations:The IHRA definition is the ‘gold standard’ for the Jewish community. The NEC was wise to cut out part of the IHRA referring to Israel. They were guided by the opinion of a famous QC, Hugh Tomlinson. ‘

What other minority is told that it cannot define what oppresses it? ‘It should not be up to Jews to decide what oppresses them. David Rosenberg has called Corbyn an anti-racist – so he must be. So have Klug and Lerman.’

‘She [Margaret Hodge] has cynically drawn on her family’s direct experience of the Holocaust to bolster her special right to pronounce on the subject.’

Rosenberg’s Morning Star article last week about Margaret Hodge disgracefully accused her of exploiting her family’s experience of the Holocaust.

Jews are selfish and don’t care about social problems:
Jews don’t care about ‘ending economic austerity, funding for the National Health Service, affordable housing, safer communities, and care for the elderly.’ All they care about is ‘Israel, and how best to protect it from criticism.’ This attitude risk causing genuine antisemitism and I want to protect them before it’s too late.’

Cohen doesn’t realise that the Nation State bill was revised to remove the protection for separate communities  ‘The Nation State law makes it impossible to defend Israel  –  it supports ‘creating apartheid communities’.’

Jews use the charge of antisemitism to suppress free speech (the Livingstone formulation) ‘When non-Jews criticise the Jewish establishment’s “War Against Corbyn” they are accused of antisemitism. That’s why Jewish Voice for Labour and Independent Jewish Voices are so “vital to our long-term well-being in the UK” . ‘

It is Cohen – with his ‘War Against Israel’ – who stokes up antisemitism!


Tisha Ba’Av at Tolpuddle

David Collier has written a magnificent blog about the TUC’s Tolpuddle Festival that we both attended at the weekend: He strikes precisely the right balance between the positive and negative. There are just a few things to add from my own perspective.

As David says, the Festival is mostly great fun, this year enhanced by the fabulous weather. For politics junkies it’s Nirvana. Apart from the trade union stands, there was a mobile cinema, a Cuba stand, a stand of the Marx Memorial Library, a stand for Debt Relief, stands for organisations that assist immigrants. And people are in a beautiful neutral environment, relaxed and with time to talk.

We were there with a specific purpose however: organised by Rosalind Schogger and supported by the ZF, to restore an informed Israel presence to the Festival, for the first year since 2015. If antisemitism is to be contained, this has to happen. Otherwise the field on the left is wide open for the PSC, War On Want, Medical Aid for Palestinians and Jewish Voice for Labour, all of which were in the ‘Martyrs’ Marquee’ on Sunday (apart from JVL, all were there on Saturday). Here was the flyer we gave out – the message being that trade union cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians (which is not generally known by UK union members) is happening and can be an an enabler of peace.

tolpuddle flyer 2018

On Saturday I was in the Festival area, outside the marquee where the PSC and War On Want stands were located. I gave out 500 of the fliers, in about four or five hours. For the first few hours, it was excellent. People were smiling and interested in the information. A few even thanked me for being there. They had good questions, including a few that reflected the anti-Israel propaganda they had imbibed, inter alia from the four organisations mentioned above. Examples:

“I want to donate to the Palestinian trade union. How do I do this and how do I ensure that the money does not go to Hamas?”

“Isn’t the new act that was passed this week racist?”

“Why does Israel treat the Palestinians so badly?”

“Is Jeremy Corbyn antisemitic?”

Celia Dignan came to talk. She’s the Momentum Chair of Hornsey & Wood Green Constituency Labour Party. She wrongly insisted that Labour had adopted the entire IHRA.  They did in 2016 – but then they reneged in 2018.

As David notes, in mid-afternoon the woman from Red Notes returned to berate me about the four Gazans who were killed in the retaliation for the shooting on Friday (20 July) of Staff Sergeant Aviv Levi. Other anti-Israel Festival attendees quickly piled in. Watch David Collier’s video here.

We had had a conversation in the morning, but she had subsequently learned about Friday’s retaliation. She starts by saying “loads of people were killed”. In fact four were killed  – but I didn’t know the number, I had listened to the news but the incident was not mentioned. She then said “hundreds of Palestinians have been killed or injured”. Only afterwards was it clear that she had switched from talking about Friday to talking about the entire period since the ‘Return Marches’ began.

Here’s a commentary on the video:

0.37: A man (‘Black Hat Man’ BHM) joins in, saying about Hamas: “That’s resistance for stealing Palestinian land

0.47: ‘Red Note Woman’ (RNW) says it was disproportionate. Wrong. ‘Proportionality’ in the law of war says you can use enough force to achieve your aim, it isn’t a numbers game.

1.24: BHM calls the Israeli government ‘terrorists’. He accuses me of smearing ‘us’ as antisemites. I deny it. RNW says ‘What are you doing here?’ and suggests our fliers are ‘lies’.

2.56: Enter WBTM (‘Welsh Black T-shirt Man’). In a baritone Richard Burton voice, he says that Israel uses Dum Dum bullets. A well-worn lie, Dylan Thomas voice or no Dylan Thomas voice.

dum dum israelSource: ‘Customary International Humanitarian Law: pt. 1-2. Practice’ edited by Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Louise Doswald-Beck, Carolin Alvermann. Regrettably Mr WBTM I did not have this book upon my person at Tolpuddle……..

4.00: WBTM asks me what I think about “what happened”. I assume he means the retaliation for Aviv Levi’s death. But he’s referring to the entire ‘Return Marches’ saga. For a while we talk at cross purposes. Then he claims that Hamas did NOT say that 50 of the 62 shaheeds of 14 May were members of terrorist groups. Of course they did.

5.20: Richard Burton aka Dylan Thomas aka WBTM tells me that ‘independent observers’ were present on 14 May and they say that the 50 were not Hamas members. Sorry boyo but VAR has not yet arrived at the Gaza border, Mark Clattenburg could not be enticed from Saudi Arabia.

7.01: His forefinger is now going up and down like the proverbial whore’s drawers: “No wonder so many Jewish people around the world are falling out of love [with Israel]”.

7.32: I attempt to return to giving out the fliers … I kind of sense that this has all been set up as a sting (a) to censor me (b) to provoke me so that I am asked to leave.

8.50: Enter SHM (‘Shaven Headed Man’) wearing a Rosa Luxemburg T-shirt. He wrongly says that Palestinians working in Israel are not allowed to join a trade union.
histadrut palsHe suggests the Histadrut buys land – he’s confusing it of course with the JNF. He then wants to know how many Palestinians are Histadrut members. It’s in the thousands — but I did not have a more precise figure and I was not going to guess.

10.12: Red Note Woman objects to ‘people like this’ (me) being allowed in. Perhaps we should wear a yellow star – as a warning that we might tell the truth about Israel.yellow star

Thank you so much to the bearded security officer – who reminds her that we still cherish free speech in the UK. RNW then says that Israel is not entitled to defend itself from terrorists. Would she expect the UK government to defend her from a terror attack? “I would defend myself” (!) Good luck with that, Madam.

12:33: Red Note Woman is asked for the source of her comment (see above) that loads of Palestinians were killed on Friday. She says her friend told her. Then she explains why the ‘true’ figure hasn’t appeared in the media: “They always play it down because of the power of the Israeli government in this country…..” Pure antisemitism.

The event security (who were excellent) then calm things down. They give me timeout in the ‘Green Room’, the area in the marquee behind the stage. Jerry – a probation officer in Portsmouth – if you are reading this, thank you for being so nice. A real Mensch. After about 20 minutes I was allowed back and gave out the remaining 70 or so fliers without incident.

The Sunday of the Tolpuddle Festival sees coachloads of trade unionists arrive for the famous procession to the Methodist Chapel at the eastern end of the village, then back again. This year it was also Tisha Ba’av, the ninth day of Av in the Hebrew calendar.  For Jews it is the saddest day, when the more religious fast and pray.  Tisha Ba’av is the culmination of the Three Weeks, a period of time during which Jews mark the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Both Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date. The First Temple was burned by the Babylonians in 423 BCE and the Second Temple fell to the Romans in 70 CE unleashing a period of suffering. Jews still suffer today from those (see above) who persecute Israel with lies. So it was timely to be at Tolpuddle, countering the lies of the Israel-bashers. I joined Bournemouth Israel Action with a banner, flags and fliers on the pavement near the Chapel so that we could be seen by everyone in the procession. There were a few shouts of “Free Palestine” and ‘Apartheid” but most of the marchers did not shout at us. Several smiled.

Before the procession David and I went to the pub, The Martyrs’ Inn. In the sunshine on the terrace we entered into conversation with two men, one around early 20s, the other a bit older, wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt. che guevaraWe had a very amicable conversation, answering their questions about antisemitism, Zionism and Israel. They were not closed-minded Israel bashers – far from it – but nevertheless they had clearly absorbed some of the worst tropes about Jews, for example, the Khazar tropePitifully – as we shook hands – they told us that none of their Jewish friends in Labour had ever given them such comprehensive and informative answers – and that the basic information that we had related was all new to them.

After the procession though hot and tired I stayed to hear Corbyn speak. He had one hilarious joke: “Jacob Rees Mogg is thinking very seriously about the future, he’s got so far up to the 19th century, he hasn’t progressed beyond that yet…..” But then (21.38) we got “We will not allow antisemitism in any form …” Of course he meant ‘in any form that Labour recognises…………….…’

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were only pardoned because their supporters did not remain silent. In the face of the lies and intimidation from the present day Squire Framptons (eg the four anti-Israel outfits present at Tolpuddle) we too must not remain silent. We must attend these kinds of events and engage with the people there, provided safety is assured (again I want to thank the organisers and the excellent security staff). But I cannot overstate this – most of the people we met were decent and thoughtful. Labour (and the TUC) have simply been hijacked by a small minority of Israel bashers.

Surely that’s the lesson – of both Tolpuddle and Tisha Ba’Av…………

Postscript: Thanks to this reader for his comment: ‘I doubt if many know anything about Dum Dum bullets now. They are named after an arsenal of the British Indian Army. They do not explode but mushroom on impact and are very easy to improvise by filing the tips of modern copper sheathed bullets calibres 7mm to 8mm (.3″) of the eighty years prior to the Viet Nam War 1965 -75 during which both the US and the USSR changed to a .22″ bullet to carry more rounds to compensate for higher consumption by auto weapons – the M16 (5.56mm) and AK 74 (5.45mm). Both bullet designs were proportionately longer to fly more accurately. They cartwheel on impact. This is what makes thee ripping wounds. They being small can also fragment on impacting bones.