There was a terrifying meeting in London last night (21 August).
Terrifying because Israel hate – much of which was antisemitic – flowed freely.
Terrifying because like a Nazi rally, there was no-one allowed in who might voice opposition to the hate- and no journalists!
Terrifying because of the thunderous applause that greeted each speaker.
Terrifying because EIGHT Jews who had waited patiently in the queue to enter were prevented from attending. They were: Ambrosine Shitrit , Mandy Blumenthal , Sharon Klaff , Joseph Cohen , Terri Spector , Mike Abramov, Melanie Gharial, me.
Terrifying because the organisers must have prepared a dossier – with photographs – of ‘Jews to be Refused Entry’ (WHO ELSE WAS IN THAT DOSSIER? HOW MANY JEWS? WAS CORBYN’S PERSONAL SECRETARY INVOLVED IN DRAWING UP THIS LIST TOO?)
Terrifying because this book was on open sale on the Communists’ table outside the venue (the home of the ‘Ethical Society’, what an irony) :
Terrifying because of the physical violence used on Sharon Klaff when she saw the book and took it to examine it and photograph it :
Terrifying because of the antisemitism voiced by several of the 50 or so Corbyn supporters who arrived after the hall was filled to capacity (400), several of whom remained outside. It is reasonable to assume this was representative of several of the 400 inside as well.
I’ve been through the organisers’ video and here are the lies (some antisemitic, others not) that we were prevented from witnessing……… (The video is incomplete – the Chair Christine Blower also said there would not be time for questions). I don’t provide evidence but it is easily available.
Richard Kuper (JVL): Labour’s Code of Conduct goes further than IHRA. IHRA says that criticism of Israel is likely to be antisemitic unless proved otherwise. The EUMC definition of antisemitism was found to be ‘not fit for purpose’. IHRA is ‘not a document that can stand the weight that has been put on it’. IHRA puts the onus on critics of Israel to justify the fact that they don’t have ‘ulterior motives’. The aim of IHRA is to introduce the notion that criticism of Israel is probably antisemitic. Israel refuses to define its borders and has been in illegal occupation of another people’s land for over 50 years.
Bernard Regan (PSC): [This was particularly vicious] The people who most delegitimise Israel are the Israeli politicians. 85% of the deaths in Gaza in Operation Cast Lead (2008-9) were non-combatants [The true figure was 50% – Israel achieved the lowest ever proportion of non-combatants to combatants in asymmetric warfare]. Antisemitism has no place in the PSC. [A straight lie. It’s riddled with antisemitism]. In the 2014 ‘Protective Edge’ Operation, 83% of the casualties were non-combatants [the true figure was around 40%, less than half this number] Israel committed “genocide”. East Jerusalem is surrounded by settlements that are being absorbed into the body of the Israeli state. There is carte blanche for settlers to attack Palestinians. The situation in Israel is worse than apartheid in South Africa. The Israeli ‘ruling class’ doesn’t want the Palestinians.
Lindsey German (Stop The War, ex-SWP): Antisemitism in Labour far less of a problem than Islamophobia in the Conservatives. “Supposed” antisemitism in Labour. Those who criticise Corbyn for antisemitism are in reality terrified of a Labour leader opposed to the way Israel treats the Palestinians. Israel has just passed a law that makes it even more of a state where Palestinians are discriminated against. Israel is a state built on discrimination. The descendants of Palestinians do not have the right to go there [Truth: Arabs who fled in 1948 did have the right of return; few wanted to come back to a Jewish state]. Israel shot 60 people for daring to demand the right of return [Truth: most of those shot at the border were terrorists trying to break into Israel, presumably to kill] “I don’t know how much the Israel Embassy was involved in these attacks on Jeremy Corbyn” [an appalling dog-whistle with zero evidence]. “There is a major operation linking antisemitism with the question of opposing what Israel is doing.”
Huda Elmi (Somali-born JC9 Momentum Candidate for Labour NEC) : Have to see the antisemitism debate through the links to colonialism; erasing indigenous populations.[Here comes intersectionality….] Israel is a settler-colonial state [of course ….] Palestine is important because the era of colonialism is not over. The money of the IMF and the World Bank is stained with blood. “The IHRA definition is trying to subvert our ability to be loud and unapologetic about being anticolonial” [!] “Banning kosher meat does not fall foul of the IHRA” [Yes it does – IHRA: ‘Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’]. The IHRA criminalises Palestinian activism.
Salma Karmi-Ayyoub (British-Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer): Israel spearheaded the campaign to silence criticism of Israel. The campaign is about Israel trying to solve its legitimacy crisis. Israeli propaganda says ‘the new antisemitism is really anti-Zionism.’ Corbyn is too much of a threat to be tolerated. She referred to ‘the land of Palestine’.
Rob Ferguson (Jewish SWP member, Steering Committee Free Speech on Israel): The process of dispossession and exclusion of the Arabs began before 1948. Ahad Tamimi harks back to pre-1948 “when Jew, Christian and Arab could live happily in a state of equality, free from oppression”. ‘They’ are terrified of this argument getting a hearing.
Glyn Secker (Secretary, Free Speech on Israel): We don’t need lectures from the Mail, which sided with Mosley’s Fascists [Truth: Mail proprietor Rothermere saw Hitler as defence against Germany falling to the Communists. But Rothermere was far from completely fooled by Hitler’s propaganda. In October 1934 he wrote to Neville Chamberlain (then Chancellor of the Exchequer) describing the Nazi leadership as ‘dangerous and ruthless oligarchs’].
Tariq Ali: For many years, European citizens have rated Israel as the country which most threatens peace. [Truth: there was just one such survey, in 2003!]. Policies of “driving the Palestinians out” have been followed by politicians in Israel from 1948 onwards. Netanyahu is responsible for cold-blooded murder of Palestinians. 46-48% of young Jews in the US are not interested in Israel [This is pure fiction. The 2013 Pew survey estimated that of the 18-29 age group, only 19% said that Israel was not an important element of being Jewish and only 11% said they were not at all attached to Israel]. Raul Hilberg said Norman Finkelstein hadn’t gone far enough [Truth: He never said this. He did call Finkelstein’s book ‘The Holocaust Industry’ “a breakthrough” and he did state that Finkelstein “was on the right track” in his description of how the World Jewish Congress negotiated with the Swiss banks. However he was alone among scholars in this assessment of ‘The Holocaust Industry’. The scholar whose work on the Holocaust was the “stimulus” for the book, University of Chicago Professor Peter Novick, warned: “No facts alleged by Finkelstein should be assumed to be really facts, no quotation in his book should be assumed to be accurate, without taking the time to carefully compare his claims with the sources he cites … Such an examination reveals that many of those assertions are pure invention.”]
Tariq Ali (contd): It’s not antisemitic to oppose Israel, any more than it’s Islamophobic to oppose the monstrous regime in Saudi Arabia. [Truth: IHRA does not say ‘it’s antisemitic to oppose Israel’. To suggest that human rights in Israel are on a par with those in Saudi Arabia is ludicrous. And it is not hard to think of expressions of distaste for the rulers of Saudi Arabia which WOULD be Islamophobic].