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.

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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.

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

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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.

IHRA, Labour and Intent: #WeCallBS

Labour has hit back at critics of its watered-down IHRA definition of antisemitism by referring to the 2016 Home Affairs Select Committee Report which – it says – also proposed an amended definition, to include ‘intent’. To call Israel a racist State, Labour says, is only antisemitic if motivated by antisemitic intent.

No, no, no – They cannot be allowed to get away with such sophistry!

One: How can Labour possibly judge ‘antisemitic intent’ when its definition of antisemitism is wrong?

Two: Here is what the Home Affairs Select Committee Report said:

‘24.We broadly accept the IHRA definition, but propose two additional clarifications to ensure that freedom of speech is maintained in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine, without allowing antisemitism to permeate any debate. The definition should include the following statements:

#1 It is not antisemitic to criticise the Government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent.

#2 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.’

#1 goes without saying and is in the IHRA.

#2 is absurd – of course it is ‘not antisemitic to hold the Israel Government to the same standards’. The IHRA says it’s antisemitic to hold it to DIFFERENT standards!! Even if the wording was correct, it would be inconsistent with the Committee’s other recommendations. For example, it did not say that it might not be antisemitic to call Israel a racist state, if antisemitic ‘intent’ is not there.

Three: IHRA says ‘To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations’. ‘May’…………..   If Labour wanted wriggle room, there it is ….It did not have to mutilate the definition!

Anti-Trump march and rally: Intersectionality Paradise

Trafalgar Square when full takes some 35,000 people. There were perhaps 45,000 there for the anti-Trump rally on Friday (the organisers say 250,000 but organisers always exaggerate). But of course it wasn’t just anti-Trump. It was as much anti-UK government as anti-Trump – and also anti-Israel.

Jeremy Corbyn was there and spoke of course. Theresa May has had a terrible few days and the ‘Magic Grandpa’ was hardly going to resist the open goal. Holding hands with President Trump was far too tempting a target to resist.  (Another speaker accused her of appeasing Trump – unlike Macron who had given him a lecture about climate change). He was in his element, amidst the downtrodden: from Latin America, Black Lives Matter, the PSC of course, Friends of Al Aqsa … This was an Intersectionality paradise. And not forgetting Len McCluskey and other trade union leaders, and of course Owen Jones. And amidst the young – this was as good as Glastonbury. Of course we got Corbyn the global peacemaker  .. “I’ll talk to anyone, in the interest of peace” he said. Except Israelis, that is. Corbyn is little more than a campaigner and this occasion was made for him: a global platform with no opposition and no accountability or need for consistency. His speech was little more than platitudes. And here. Trump is an easy target of course. No-one can be comfortable with his statements on Muslims (and women and…and…) and to blame Sadiq Khan for the terror attacks in London was despicable.

There was a strong anti-Israel element on the march and in Trafalgar Square. Ben Jamal of the PSC and Asad Rehman of War On Want referred to ‘apartheid’, BDS and the killing of ‘innocent civilians’ (aka Hamas) on the Gaza border. Ismail Patel (Friends of Al Aqsa, FOA) also made anti-Israel comments.

There were Palestinian flags on the stage, at the base of Nelson’s Column, and the stewards were from Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA).  FOA was one of the organisers, which spoke volumes. They are one of the most vicious anti-Israel outfits. And here.

There were lots of FOA and PSC placards in the march.

Richad Burgon MP also made some anti-Israel remarks. Chris Williamson MP spoke but purely about Latin America.

Some photos I took…

trump 5trump 4
trump 2trump 3

 

trump 1trump 7

trump 8

Photo: FOA

corbyn traf square

Corbyn in his element ……………

Addendum:

David Collier’s astonishing and terrifying description of the march to Trafalgar Square is here:

http://david-collier.com/trump-london-demonstration/

Roger Waters’ antisemitic projection in Hyde Park

On Friday 6 July Roger Waters played a concert in Hyde Park. During the intermission some slides were shown with the theme ‘Resist’, to warm up the audience for the anarchic songs in the second half. This was one of the images:

roger waters

‘Resist Israeli anti-semitism’. What does it mean? It can only refer to the response ‘Arabs are Semites too’, said to those who complain about Middle Eastern antisemitism. Meaning that ‘how can Semites be antisemitic?’  Or in this context “Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is antisemitic’.

But this response is itself antisemitic. The word ‘antisemitism’ means hatred of Jews. It has nothing to do with the word ‘semite’ – which is why it is correctly spelled without a hyphen.

Hyde Park is a ‘Royal Park’.  There are special rules for the Royal Parks.  For example: ‘banners or placards may not be displayed while in the park’.

No banners and placards, yet Roger Waters is allowed an antisemitic projection?

Go figure ………..

Labour: Doubly Institutionally Antisemitic

Having gone back on adopting the IHRA Definition of antisemitism, Labour has now published a severely emasculated version of IHRA:

labour 4

It claims that the examples are not part of the IHRA – LIE

labour 5

It has excised the following four IHRA provisions:
labour 6labour 7

*Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

*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.

*Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

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

Let’s be absolutely clear. Labour members are free to make the following statements without fear of being disciplined:
– “Zionism equals racism”
– (To a pro-Israel Jew) “You are  traitor whose primary loyalty is to a foreign power”
– “Israel should know better, after what happened in Germany in the 1930s”
– “Israel acts like Nazis towards the Palestinians”

It is the fundamental right of a minority to say what it finds offensive. Labour prides itself on respecting minority rights.  Labour has failed to respect the rights of Jews to define what they find offensive. Labour is therefore DOUBLY institutionally antisemitic. Antisemites will continue to flock to Labour like bees to honey – not to claim their ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card ………. because they will never go to jail!

No decent person will want to support ANY Labour candidate in ANY election. Today saw a rubicon way crossed.

I do not see how the likes of Luciana Berger, John Mann and Louise Ellman can – in all conscience – remain in Labour now. And how come Shami Charabarti and David Feldman – the Chair and Deputy of Labour’s Inquiry – are not protesting? Shame on them and shame on Labour.