Boycott the Co-Op (contd) …… The Co-Op’s Catch-22

I wrote about the Co-Op’s Israel boycott policy here.

co op meeting october 2018
On Wednesday I went to the Co-Op members’ meeting in London. I spoke in opposition to their Israel boycott.   I got the usual brush-off (from Sir Christopher Kelly, ex-HMT).

However a number of Co-Op staff and Council and Board members were there and a few of them seemed supportive in 1-1 conversation after the formal proceedings.

NED Stevie Spring suggested that I bring a motion at the 2019 Co-Op AGM to reverse the boycott. She explained that the boycott was originally implemented as a result of a democratic vote of Co-Op members so it can only be reversed by a similar vote.

There is a glaring hole in your argument, Stevie.  It was THE CO-OP BOARD which in April 2012 hardened the boycott to cover distributors who source from Judea/Samaria. If the Board can make policy, it can unmake policy. It doesn’t need an AGM motion.

Nevertheless after the meeting I looked at the rules for proposing  a motion at the AGM.  They are here (page 23). It needs 100 ‘qualified members’.

And what is the definition of ‘qualified’? It’s on page 25. You have to have spent a certain amount at the Co-Op.

And what is that amount, determined by the Co-Op Board and Council? It’s set out here (click on ‘Purchase Regulations’). You have to have spent £250 in 12 months at the Co-Op; have insurance with the Co-Op; use Co-Op Legal Services; buy a Co-Op funeral plan; or have an active Co-Op bank account.

In other words, Catch-22.  No Israel supporter is going to spend this kind of money at the Co-Op.

So come on, Co-Op Board and Council.  This is a blatantly discriminatory policy which is based on lies. And it’s damaging your business. You are opening several branches in areas of NW London where the Jewish population is significant.

Over to you!

 

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We’ve got a little list #2

I went to this meeting last night.  It was in the Old Fire Station in Mayton Street, London – now a neighbourhood centre and a charity part funded by the Islington council tax payer.  The building is on the north side of Mayton Street, on the corner with Hertslet Road. It is in Islington North, the constituency of Jeremy Corbyn:

islington oct 18 map

It was the followup to this meeting. The hard left (Momentum, SWP, PSC, Stop The War) are trying to tell Jews what they should find offensive and trying to build opposition to the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism.

I walked into the room at about 7:10 and was immediately bodily ejected.  So I stood outside on the pavement with an Israel flag and about five other counter-antisemitism demonstraters.

Later Ambrosine Shitrit was asked to leave for filming. Her video is here.

At about 8:15 two girls walked up to us, from Hertslet Road. They had intended to go into the meeting but they didn’t want to be filmed. One of the girls was clearly violent.  I sensed trouble and so went to lock my flag and rucksack in the car round the corner.  When I returned (after about 3 minutes) fellow campaigner Sharon Klaff (age 70) was lying down concussed, half on the pavement, half on the road, between two parked cars. The violent girl had grabbed Sharon’s hair, pulled her to the ground and kicked her in the back and on her head and face.

There were no police at the start of the meeting. I called 101 when I was thrown out. Eventually one policeman came and then I think he went. But after Sharon was assaulted, loads of police came. There must have been 30 of them to escort the people out of the antisemitic meeting at 8:50 when it ended.

With four others I went to the Whittington Hospital to make sure Sharon was OK. She was discharged around midnight.

David Collier’s blog here, setting out the appalling responses from the Corbynite antisemites. Here’s another:

islington oct 18

Report in the Mail here, published last night

The Refuseniks: The Case of the Missing 74 seconds

If you look carefully at the ‘official’ video of the Manson/McDonnell event on Thursday, you will notice that at -0.19 (so 19 seconds from the end) there is an (almost imperceptible) break.

jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 4

It comes after the Chairperson says “Jenny just wants to say a few words”, which in turn comes after John McDonnell has finished speaking (about Labour’s fiscal rule). The next thing on the video is Jenny Manson saying “I really want to thank Carl behind the camera”.

Here is an audio.

Listen at 4m 50seconds. McDonnell finishes speaking and you indeed hear the Chairperson say “Jenny wants to say a few words”. But then Ida Symons protests about the many people (mostly Jewish) who had their tickets cancelled. Here is what she says:

There’s some people outside who you have banned from coming in who are Jewish and I want to know why you have banned them from coming … You say you are not antisemitic yet you have banned ….. stopped people coming in”

A man – presumably the Chairperson – says “There are alternative forums

Ida persists: “With tickets. Why have you banned people with tickets?

Then the audio continues at 6:04 with Manson saying “I really want to thank Carl behind the camera” (as per the ‘official’ video).

Everything on the audio from 4m 50 seconds to 6m 4 seconds has been excised from the video.

So………….Selected Zionist Jews and their supporters excluded; the audience told that if they raise the subject of antisemitism, they will be thrown out; and the official record doctored.

Is this what Jeremy Corbyn meant by a “kinder, gentler politics”? My comparison with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 50 years ago seems every more appropriate.


jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 refusenik

The Refuseniks: Weeding out the Zionists from a would-be Labour candidate’s meeting

jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 refusenik

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/john-mcdonnell-head-to-head-with-jenny-manson-tickets-50610442195

jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 1

Jenny Manson is Chair of Jewish Voice for Labour. JVL is an organisation that appears to lend legitimacy to antisemitism by giving it the ‘kosher seal of approval’. JVL is led by a handful of vocal Jews from the far-left fringe, who have been accused of using their Jewish identity to render antisemitism acceptable. Its membership includes a large number of non-Jews, many of whom have been accused of antisemitism.

Manson herself has said “When I began to identify as a Jew in order to argue against the State of Israel and its behaviour and its conduct, my mother supported me, which was very welcome”

(Palestinian Women Speak Out, LMC, 19th March 2018)

In other words the only reason she identifies as-a-Jew is because she believes it gives her credibility in traducing Israel.

I recently (representing the excellent Labour Against Antisemitism organisation) debated with Manson in a BBC World News debate. To say that her performance was an execrable car-crash would flatter it.

Manson mistakenly believes she can win a NW London seat for Labour.  Her campaign begins tonight with a ‘head-to-head’ with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. But like her Party she is making the mistake of thinking it’s astute political strategy to lock out those of us (plus supporters) who fight antisemitism from within the mainstream of the UK  Jewish Community. Thus far the following have had their tickets cancelled. Please tell me if you want your name added:

Jonathan Hoffman
Harry Goldstein
Joanne Bell
Colin Appleby
Euan Philipps
Ambrosine Chitrit
Richard Millett
Martin Hizer
Rosalie Julius
Deborah Markham
Jonathan Glass
David Collier
Damon Lenszner
Judy Weleminsky
Sidney Myers
Nir Finch-Cohen

In addition Jenni Frazer – a journalist for Jewish News – had her ticket cancelled because of a claimed accreditation issue:
jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 2

Addendum: The JC has also been barred   

Update: Journalists now admitted

Except ….
jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 etan smallman

jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 etan 2

Update: Colin Appleby was admitted after intervention by McDonnell, see his Tweets here. Finch-Cohen (a schoolboy!) was admitted after intervention by liberal Rabbi Rich.

And Ida Symons in the Q+A dared to raise the banned topic of antisemitism in Labour – and the microphone was promptly removed from her.

Update: Protesting outside, we saw Tapash Abu Shaim going into the hotel.  Allegedly a racist, you can read about him in David Collier’s exposé of the PSC.  

What kind of meeting welcomes Abu Shaim but excludes 16 campaigners against antisemitism?

jvl manson mcdonnell oct 2018 3

 

 

 

Momentum and JVL: They don’t want the truth about antisemitism voiced at their hatefest …

 

“Labour, Britain’s Jews and Antisemitism – A Different Perspective”

 

redbridge momentum    redbridge momentum 2redbridge momentum 3

LIST OF OTHERS REFUSED ENTRY:  (Please tell me if you are refused entry and I will add you to the list)

1. David Collier
2. Cheryl Conway
3. Deborah Markham
4. Anonymous
5. Anonymous
6. Sharon Klaff
7. Andrew Peacock
8. Shirley Collier
9. James Windsor
10. Anonymous
11. Judy Wright
12. Y Botchin

Postscript

Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of the Council, refused to cancel the meeting despite it contravening IHRA and Redbridge’s Equality Policies. Another Councillor commented:

‘If this meeting goes ahead in a public building it will be an embarrassment to our Borough and make a mockery of the Council’s commitment to stand up to hate. The Council should not be providing a venue for Anti-Semites if they do it is an insult to all of our Jewish residents. Labour also cannot claim this is separate to them. I do not care what structures this grubby organisation has, it is linked to Labour as it was set up to support the Labour Leader and actively campaigns for Labour. This Labour Council needs to sort this out.

If the Council doesn’t its words on Anti-Semitism will ring hollow. They are already pretty hollow after the appalling answer to [xx]’s question during our last full Council. [xx] raised a legitimate point and all he got was a rant about him only raising it for political purposes and that other forms of racism were worse. It was a shabby answer, no one from ANY community should have their concerns belittled in the way that they were. Well done [xx] for raising it. Redbridge Labour like to have the Labour brand when standing in elections, but seem to thing they are immune to the failings of their national party. Redbridge Council is not independent it is a Labour Council and as such is not separate from the Labour party nationally.’

We demonstrated outside the meeting. We were joined by former Mayor Ashley Kissin. Attendees included former Mayor Barbara White, Cllr Andy Walker and Deborah Fink.   It was chaired by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. Good conversations with a bright Year 13 girl who wants to read International Relations at University and later with a semi-retired Muslim guy who volunteers with the homeless in Redbridge.

A Council Officer spoke to us. He was also locked out!

 

 

 

‘Labour, Antisemitism and the News’: Fisking JVL Research

Jewish Voice for Labour is promoting this academic research on its website, by Dr Justin Schlosberg and Laura Laker.

The methodology is utterly shameful and shoddy:
1. State hypotheses which are clearly biased towards the Corbynite take on antisemitism;
2. Examine media reports to test conformity with these hypotheses;
3. Claim media bias when it is found not to conform to the hypotheses.

An analogy: ‘It is a fact that Mossad was responsible for 9/11.  All the media commentary that says otherwise is biased towards Israel.’

The jiggery-pokery begins on page 4 where the authors claim that a ‘Cohen’s kappa statistic’ score of .91 ‘indicates highly reliable findings’. No it does not!  It merely indicates that, using the skewed hypotheses, the two researchers come to similar conclusions about the 258 media units which they analyse.

Quel surprise. Of course this result has nothing to do with the bias of the hypotheses. Neither can it be explained by the inexperience as a student of antisemitism of Laura Laker, whose claim to fame is for cycling journalism. Highly unlikely that she would disagree with her colleague (a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, which exists to whitewash antisemitism in the Labour Party).

(NB the foregoing paragraph is ‘irony’ – which Zionists are not supposed to understand …….).

So what are the skewed hypotheses?

1. ‘Since its original formulation by the EUMC, the [IHRA] definition has been subject to considerable controversy and criticism by prevailing academic and legal opinion,  as well as dozens of Jewish organisations around the world.’

This is a lie. Critical legal ‘opinions’ have been commissioned by anti-Israel organisations: the Palestine Return Centre from Geoffrey Robertson QC;  Free Speech on Israel, Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign from Hugh Tomlinson QC.  Sir Stephen Sedley published a critical opinion which was not commissioned.  On the other side, the Campaign Against Antisemitism published a supportive legal opinion.  I am not aware of academic studies but if there are any, it’s a safe bet that they are hostile, given the prevailing anti-Israel rhetoric among humanities academics in the UK.  They would therefore be of little consequence.   As for ‘dozens of Jewish organisations around the world’, presumably he is referring to these: ‘Almost all the groups in the letter support BDS and are fighting to remove Israel from the map’.

2.  ‘According to an official response from the Labour Party, prior to 5 July the development of its code of conduct took place against the backdrop of “an open and inclusive consultation” in which “a range of Jewish communal organisations, rabbis, academics, lawyers, trade unions, Palestinian groups, local Labour parties and members took part”.’

A straight lie. Even if it was not a lie, what is the point of going through the motions of ‘consulting’, knowing full well that you are going to ignore the response?

3. ‘According to an official party spokesperson, the revised code of conduct was “positively received” by the Jewish Labour Movement (the largest Zionist Jewish group affiliated to the Labour Party) prior to 5 July.’Another falsehood.

Yet another example of the shoddy, blatantly biased anti-Israel drivel that is all too common from humanities academics at UK universities.

 

 

The Lynching: The anti-Israel herd at the Labour Conference yesterday

Yesterday the Labour Conference debated an anti-Israel motion.  The motion was passed though not unanimously. It isn’t necessarily binding on a future Labour government (though beware, Corbyn says he will be bound by Conference motions).  Of course it’s an ignorant nonsense:

1. It seeks an arms embargo on Israel. Israel has always acted in self-defence and within the law.

2. It seeks an end to the ‘illegal blockade and closure’ of Gaza. There is no ‘blockade’ or ‘closure’, truckfuls of  goods arrive every day, see the COGAT website.


Labour conf 2018 israel cogat
The only goods not allowed in are those used in making weapons – which is not an ‘illegal’ blockade, Israel has the right to defend its population.

3. It seeks an ‘independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators’. We have information that at least on one day, 80% of the ‘demonstrators’ were members of terrorist organisations attempting to infiltrate into Israel and kill. There is no reason to believe that the composition of the ‘demonstrators’ on any other day was any different. Anyone with peaceful intentions would have known this and – if they valued life – should not have put themselves in danger.

4. It seeks higher UK contributions to UNWRA. UNRWA regards the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the 1948 refugees as refugees also: The only refugee category in the world whose status is perpetuated in this way. My great grandparents were refugees from Russia. I would not dream of claiming taxpayer-funded assistance from the UN.

But this blog is not about this absurd Israel-demonising motion.  It is about the PSC’s manipulation of the delegates who voted for it and their willingness to be manipulated. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has hijacked the Labour Party and the TUC. Its Chair, Hugh Lanning, was Deputy General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), one of the largest trade unions. With many Jewish members having quit Labour and many who remain choosing to stay away from Conference, there was no-one to speak yesterday to expose the lies. Israel hate has become the glue that keeps the Corbynite left together, the totem pole around which it rallies, orchestrated by 50+ year olds who remember the campaign against apartheid and make entirely false comparisons with it.

If you want to see this manipulation illustrated, look no further than the two photos below.

labour liverpool 2018Labour conf 2018 Intl Affairs 4

The first one shows the Israel lynching sessions yesterday (well done to Paul Wilkinson who pointed out from the podium that it was against the rules to bring the flags into the hall, especially when he wasn’t allowed to unfurl an EU flag earlier in the day). Contrast it with the second one, which shows the attendance at the International Briefing on Monday morning, with at least two Shadow Cabinet members on the podium to answer questions (Emily Thornberry and Kate Osamor – does anyone know who the other two are? Nia Griffith?). The hall is virtually empty. 

Labour conf 2018 Intl Affairs
If delegates were really interested in the Middle East, would they not have gone to the International Briefing to increase their knowledge and ask relevant questions of the Shadow Ministers responsible? They could for example have asked Ms Thornberry about Labour’s policy towards Christians in the Middle East who are persecuted by Islamists, or about the genocide of the Yazidi on Mount Sinjar, or about the persecution of the Druze in Iraq and Syria, or about the demonisation of the Kurds by President Erdogan of Turkey. They could have enquired about Labour’s policy towards all these persecuted minorities in the Middle East. She might even have responded that the safest place for minorities in the region is …………….. Israel (I hear you laughing cynically – but miracles do sometimes happen, even for Labour Shadow Ministers). If those who waved Palestinian flags yesterday were genuinely interested in the Middle East, that is what they might have done, isn’t it?

But no. The plain fact is that the delegates who voted for the anti-Israel motion yesterday were a lynch-mob, a flock of sheep cynically manipulated by the PSC, waving the £6000 worth of flags they were given and voting to lynch Israel because either (a) they lacked the guts not to follow the herd or (b) they could not be bothered to learn the facts.

More photos here……..