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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

As the Guardian's 'anti-Semitism' campaign against Corbyn continues its time to BOYCOTT the Guardian

Howard Jacobson’s blindness to Zionist racism in the cause of fake anti-Semitism

Howard Jacobson - blind to the Palestinians

Zionist lobby group boasts of its success in neutering Guardian coverage of Zionism & Palestine
There was a time when the Guardian had the best Middle East correspondent of any paper, David Hirst, who wrote an excellent book, The Gun and the Olive Branch.  Now they have Jonathan Freedland, a thriller writer, who cannot see beyond his Jewish identity to understand that Zionism is a murderous,  racist settler colonial movement.
The Guardian carries Jacobson's junk article which speaks about support for Israel and omits to mention the Palestinians
Where once the Guardian and its Comment is Free column was an arena of lively debate, today anti-Zionists are effectively barred.   A decade ago I contribute a number of articles such as an article on the Royal Family's reception for the Jewish National Fund [Israel's Royal Welcome]  Such is the state of affairs at the Guardian, that the Zionists openly boast about how they have cleansed CIF of anything remotely opposed to Zionism and the Israeli state.
French fascist leader Marine Le Pen, combines anti-Semitism with a devotion to Israel
UK Media Watch, formerly CIF Watch, which is devoted to suppressing favourable coverage of the Palestinians or unfavourable coverage of Israel and Zionism in the media, boasts of its success with the Guardian.
'partly due to our efforts, the Guardian’s malign obsession with Israel had somewhat abated, and their legitimization of antisemitic tropes (above and below the line) had at least diminished.
The latter improvement in editorial decisions... occurred both as the result of our relentless naming and shaming of Guardian contributors who expressed such Judeophobic views, and at least two important decisions by the paper’s readers’ editor which had the effect of institutionally delegitimizing these narratives.  The readers’ editor we’re referring to is Chris Elliott ."
Geert Wilders - leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, virulently anti-Islamic and sees Israel as a bastion of the West
The one newspaper which could be relied on for objective coverage of Palestine and Zionism has now gone over to the dark side.  It is time that socialists and supporters of the Palestinians boycotted the Guardian.  In many ways its coverage is worse than paper such as The Daily Mail precisely because people expect The Guardian to be more balanced and fairer.
In its latest propaganda article, The Guardian has commissioned an article, Let’s be clear – antisemitism is a hate apart, from Howard Jacobson.  In his attempt to show that anti-Zionism is really a modern form of an ancient plaint, anti-Semitism, Jacobson’s literary talents seem to desert him.  His arguments are wooden and stilted as his hackneyed phrases betray a poverty of imagination. 
Heinz Christian Strache - leads the Austrian Freedom Party, which was formed to rehabilitate Austrian Nazis - a welcome guest of Likud to Israel recently
How can one write about Israel without once mentioning the Palestinians?  Israel is a state that receives the largest amount of aid of any country, despite its small population, from the United States.  It is a state armed to the teeth, with nuclear weaponry, whose military has ruled over 4.5 million people for 50 years.  Palestinians live in the same territory as 600,000 settlers yet unlike them they are subject to a different legal system of Military Law.  By any definition this is Apartheid.  At the hundreds of checkpoints that cover the West Bank there are separate entrances for Jewish settlers and Palestinians,  yet Jacobson has convinced himself that our reasons for opposing Israeli Apartheid is because of anti-Semitism!
Jacobson may be a distinguished novelist but there is nothing original in what he writes about anti-Semitism and Zionism.  Jacobson offers us no special insights that cannot be gained from Israeli hasbara (propaganda).  For Jacobson criticism of the Israeli state can be explained by the fact that ‘in the matter of the existence of the State of Israel... all the ancient superstitions about Jews find a point of confluence.’  Apparently criticism of Israel and Zionism has nothing to do with land discrimination and theft, the underfunding of the Arab education sector, the Judaisation of areas of Israel where there are not enough Jews, extra-judicial executions, torture of children or house demolitions.  It’s all because we are anti-Semitic!
Jacobson though is but the latest Guardian sock puppet.  In the past year it has run a series of articles about ‘anti-Semitism’ with the aim of portraying Labour under Jeremy Corbyn as a party in the grip of a tsunami of anti-Semitism.  Articles it has printed include The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti‑Semitism and Why I’m becoming a Jew and why you should, too which is a rewrite of an earlier article in the Jewish Chronicle  Hatred is turning me into a Jew by Nick Cohen, Why Jews in Labour place little trust in Jeremy Corbyn by Joshua Simons,  Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem and My plea to the left: treat Jews the same way you’d treat any other minority by Jonathan Freedland Antisemitism is a poison – the left must take leadership against it by Owen Jones, which he rewrites annually.  The Guardian has refused to print articles rejecting the idea in the above articles that anti-Zionism is a modern form of anti-Semitism.
Howard Jacobson made his name as a comic novelist.  It is a genre that he should have stuck to because there is little that is amusing or revealing in his discursions into anti-Semitism.  Jacobson pronounces that the Chakrabarti Report into racism and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was ‘a soft inquiry’ and ‘was stillborn’.  Instead of explaining what it is he disagreed with in the Report he insinuates that the elevation of Shami Chakrabarti to the House of Lords was the payment of a bribe .  The Chakrabarti Report was a serious attempt to investigate the spurious anti-Semitism allegations of the Labour Right, the Tory press, and the Zionist movement.  Chakrabarti found that the Labour Party was not overrun by anti-Semitism. 
Indeed it is one of the curious aspects of the anti-Semitism allegations that no hard evidence has ever been produced.  The one serious attempt to investigate these allegations by Asa Winstanley How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis showed that the evidence for the allegations was spurious, fabricated and in the specific case of Oxford University Labour Club, set in motion by a former intern, Alex Chalmers, for BICOM, Britain’s main Israeli propaganda organisation.
Howard Jacobson’s theme is anything but novel.  It is that anti-Semitism is ‘unlike other racisms’.  It ‘exists outside time and place and doesn’t even require the presence of Jews.’  In response to the Russian pogroms of 1881, Leo Pinsker, the founder of the Lovers of Zion, likewise wrote that ‘Judaephobia is then a mental disease, and as a mental disease it is hereditary, and having been inherited for 2,000 years, it is incurable. [Pinsker, Autoemancipation,  Berlin 1882 p.5.]
The logical conclusion is that if anti-Semitism cannot be explained then it cannot be fought.  It doesn’t even require Jews.  It exists in the realm of the metaphysical like all those other racial myths.  After all ‘when Marlowe and Shakespeare responded to an appetite for anti-Jewish feeling in Elizabethan England, there had been no Jews in the country for 300 years.’  Jacobson is wrong, there were Jews in England but the memory of the Jews and the roles they performed in society had not disappeared.  It is all too easy to characterise Marlowe and Shakespeare’s productions as anti-Semitic when they simply reflected not only popular perceptions but the actual role that Jews played in medieval society.
As Abram Leon, the Trotskyist leader who died in Auschwitz observed:
‘Zionism transposes modern anti-Semitism to all of history and saves itself the trouble of studying the various forms of anti-Semitism and their evolution.’..[Abram Leon, The Jewish Question - A Marxist Interpretation, p. 245. Pathfinder, New York, 1970]
Anti-Semitism was seen by Zionism as a permanent feature of Jewish relations with non-Jews, an immutable fact beyond history and time itself.  In June 1895, barely six months after the framing of the French Jewish Captain Alfred Dreyfuss for treason, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism wrote in his Diaries (p.6) that ‘In Paris ...I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism.   Since anti-Semitism was a natural phenomenon, it could not be fought.  You might as well fight the tides.
Jacobson’s claim that anti-Semitism is a unique form of racism is a truism.  All forms of racism have unique characteristics but anti-Semitism is not a unique form of racism.  There has always been racism against groups who were seen as better off and prosperous, be it the Huguenots, the Biafrans, the East African Asians or Koreans in the United States.  The Chinese of South-East Asia were known as the ‘Jews of the East’.  Racism against the Roma is just as persistent and deadly as anti-Semitism if not more so. 
Jacobson tells us apropos of anti-Zionism that ‘The presence of a Jew in any movement no more guarantees it to be innocent of antisemitism than guilty.’  The same can be said, with somewhat more justification of Zionism.  Anti-Zionism was a product of Jews not non-Jews.  It is noticeable that far-Right and fascist groups are some of the most ardent supporters of Zionism.  As Ruth Smeed, a spokeswoman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews admitted ‘‘The BNP website is now one of the most Zionist on the web – it goes further than any of the mainstream parties in its support of Israel.  Members of the English Defence League combine the Hitler salute with flying the Israeli flag at its demonstrations.[2] 
Far-Right European parties such as Geert Wilder’s Dutch Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache’s Austrian Freedom Party and Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale all combine virulent Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism with support for Zionism, without a murmur of concern from Jacobson and the witch finder generals of Zionism.   Was it not Pastor John Hagee, President of Christians United for Israel who informed us that Hitler was a hunter sent by God to drive the Jews to Israel?  Although John McCain was forced to disavow Hagee when he ran against Barak Obama in the 2008 Presidential election this did not stop Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League praising Hagee. ‘We are grateful’ Foxman said, ‘that you have devoted your life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the State of Israel,” 

Nor was Foxman alone.  One of the leaders of the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign is the neo-con editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard.  Pollard sees no contradiction between attacking Corbyn for ‘anti-Semitism’ and defending Michal Kaminski, former MEP for Poland’s far-Right Law and Justice Party.  Kaminski opposed, in 2001, a national Polish apology for the burning alive of up to 900 Jews by fellow Poles in the village of Jedwabne in 1941.  Kaminski suggested it was the Jews who owed the Poles an apology.  Pollard however insisted that Kaminski was one of the greatest friends to the JewsbecauseFar from being an antisemite, Mr Kaminski is about as pro-Israel an MEP as exists.’
Far from anti-Zionism being a disguise for anti-Semitism it is Zionism which has most in common with anti-Semites. From Edouard Drumont, the leader of the anti-Dreyfussards to Alfred Rosenburg to the BNP’s Nick Griffin, anti-Semites saw no contradiction in supporting Zionism.
Jacobson and the Guardian have great difficulty in accepting that criticism of the State of Israel is not on account of some ancient hatred of Jews but because it is a state that has racism woven into its DNA.  A ‘Jewish’ state in the context of settler colonialism means a Jewish supremacist state.  Whereas Britain being a Christian state is a constitutional adornment, in Israel Jews have real privileges over non-Jews.  Israel is a state where the ‘demographic question’ is the engine of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. [see When will Israel stop seeing Palestinians as a 'demographic threat?']
Jacobson is not above deploying his literary skills in order to misrepresent his adversaries.  He says that according to anti-Zionists ‘Jews have only one motive in labelling anti-Zionism antisemitic and that is to stifle legitimate criticism of Israel. This assertion defames Jews’.  Well it would if it were true but it ignores that foremost amongst these defamers are Jews themselves!  It is the Zionist movement, Jewish and non-Jewish, who use ‘anti-Semitism’ as a weapon to deflect criticism of Israel.  Just as anti-Semites use the term ‘Zionist’ and ‘Jew’ interchangeably so too do Zionists.
Jacobson says that ‘Zionism originated as a liberation movement’.  Perhaps he could enlighten us as to when Zionists first described themselves so?  When Herzl founded the Zionist movement he wrote to Cecil Rhodes, the British imperialist after whom Rhodesia was named asking ‘how then do I happen to turn to you since this is an out of the way matter for you.  How indeed.  Because it is something colonial.’ [Diaries of Theodor Herzl, p.1,194].  In ‘Rebirth and Destiny’ [New York 1954] David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, refers throughout to colonization and colonies.  This was because, in the first half of the last century, colonialism was seen as a good thing.  Today’s zeitgeist demands that colonialism is transformed into national liberation. 
Jacobson says we need to talk of Zion.  I disagree.  We need to talk about Zionism and what it has done to the Palestinians.  The Holocaust is no excuse for the dispossession of the Palestinians.
Tony Greenstein

Monday, 24 October 2016

Complaint Against John Mann MP for Harassment

Let us see how quickly Iain McNicol acts on a complaint against the Right?

Graham Martin complains on Facebook about harassment from John Mann MP
Dr Sam Glatt, the 90 year old Jewish doctor who told John Mann to stop using anti-Semitism for political and Zionist ends and to stop undermining Jeremy Corbyn
What began with a letter from a 90 year old Jewish doctor, Sam Glatt to John Mann, complaining at his weaponising of anti-Semitism against Labour Party anti-racists such as Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and myself ended up with false allegations by Mann that the letter was a forgery and that Dr Glatt had not written it.  The clear implication of what Mann wrote on his Facebook page was that Dr Glatt, being Jewish and 90 years old, was not capable of writing the letter.

Instead John Mann attributed the authorship of the letter to a Momentum activist, Graham Martin whom Mann laid into.  Whilst he, Mann, was inviting Dr Glatt to the House of Commons to see how democracy works, he wouldn’t be inviting someone who had written this ‘hate mail’ because ‘in a democracy you should have the courage to say things yourself and not masquerade as a 90 year old doctor.’
John Mann in fine form alleging wickedness all round lays into Momentum supporter Graham Martin - shortly after Dr Glatt's second letter appeared, this FB was mysteriously deleted from Mann's FB page!

In other words the letter was a crude forgery.  As we now know from my follow up post A Desperate John Mann MP Tries to Undermine 90 year old Jewish Doctor's Letter by Falsely Alleging It was a Forgery, the letter was anything but a forgery.

John Mann has now deleted the post from his Facebook page, which is an admission that the only skulduggery was on Mann’s part.

Graham Martin, who was unfairly vilified by Mann and harassed by him, has now filed a complaint with the Labour Party in respect of the harassment by John Mann.  Let’s see if the General Secretary of the Labour Party, Iain McNicol, acts with his customary speed when it comes to complaints against the Left.

Tony Greenstein
The letter from Dr Glatt that convinced John Mann that the game was up 
 Letter of Complaint from Graham Martin to Jeremy Corby
From: Graham Martin
Sent: 22 October 2016 14:36
Cc:;; Fiona Stanton
Subject: Complaint re; John Mann MP

Dear Mr Corbyn,
I refer to matters in connection with the open letter sent to  John Mann and copied to you by Dr Sam Glatt, which I distributed on the internet.

Yesterday, John Mann made an unsolicited call to Sam Glatt: where he got the telephone number from, I don't know. During the call, he, apparently expressed concern that Sam had used the word 'despise' in his letter: Mr Mann had clearly misread, or failed to understand the word derision, which was in the letter. Sam called me to let me know he had been on the phone and that he had given him my number.

At this point I checked my facebook account and within the space of only a few minutes, John Mann had,  left 7  messages in the public domain, one of which accused me of actually writing the letter myself and, by implication, manipulating an elderly gentleman. He was clearly attempting to 'troll' me from his nominated account, i.e. that account where his identity as a public figure is acknowledged. I blocked him from accessing my account. Isn't it coming to something when you have to block an MP in this way?

Shortly afterwards I got a telephone call from a number I did not know.... 07513610348. I rang it back to get John Manns' Secretary. I was busy explaining to her that I did not wish to speak to him, when he suddenly came on the line. I explained to him that I had no wish to talk to him unless he issued an apology for his statement regarding the supporters of Jackie Walker being expelled from the party and desisted from his malicious activity. I put the phone down on him. Despite me making my position crystal clear he persisted by trying to ring me again from the same number; I did not answer. This action I consider to be harassment.

Mr Manns' behaviour brings the Labour Party and Parliament itself, into disrepute. He can not be allowed to continue in this way. In addition to the issues of harassment, and the public questioning of my integrity,  he has been outrageously ageist. I was forced to put the following reassurance on my page:

 "Let us be clear, Sam is a man of his own mind, his [90]years notwithstanding.... He drives still and is a regular attender at Labour and now Momentum meetings. I have known him for many years and he was a well known figure in the village in which I lived, given that he was the local GP. He knew my parents too, as they were members of the local Labour League of Youth. "

I look forward to hearing from you further on this matter.

Graham Martin BA Hons Dip SW

Sunday, 23 October 2016

A Desperate John Mann MP Tries to Undermine 90 year old Jewish Doctor's Letter by Falsely Alleging It was a Forgery

Mann Suggests that 90 Year Old Dr Sam Glatt Wasn’t Capable of Writing the Letter that Condemned his Wrecking Tactics

Dr Sam Glatt at a Newcastle Labour Party dinner last year with Jeremy Corbyn

The Ubiquitous John Mann - or 'rent-a-mouth' as he is known in the trade
Following this post, John Mann rang Dr Glatt again today to try and get him to retract!!  He denied saying that supporters of Jackie Walker should be expelled and challenged Sam for the source of his allegation.  Well Sam is 90 and not as quick as he used to be so he referred Mann, whose actions are those of a bully and coward, to Graham Martin.
It is however understandable that Mann couldn't remember what he said, so I will remind him.  In an article in Politics Home, Mann said:
enough is enough” and argued it was time for Labour to cut ties with her.
Though she claims impunity for many reasons, Jackie Walker’s behaviour is discriminatory, provocative, offensive and by any standard unacceptable in a modern political party,” ....
“Not only has she caused offence personally, she has inspired waves of anti-Semitic and racist backlash including Holocaust denial.
“Not only must she be expelled from the Labour party immediately but all those abusing others in supporting her must go too.
“Temporary suspensions are not good enough, these people must be given permanent bans and no platform to express their antisemitism anywhere in the Labour party, if we are to be serious about opposing anti-Jewish hatred.”

Mann has now taken the whole Facebook post accusing wicked anti-Zionists of forging Dr Glatt's name on the letter down!  Instead Jonathan Hoffman, the former Zionist Federation co-Vice-Chair who is happy to work with the Jewish and English Defence Leagues, has leapt to his defence with a blog for The Times of Israel.

Two days ago I published an Open Letter from a 90 year old Jewish doctor, Dr Sam Glatt, to John Mann MP.  Even by parliamentary standards, John Mann is widely seen as a boorish, conceited loudmouth.  A rent-a-mouth who is attracted to publicity like a moth to the light.  But not even I imagined that instead of coming to terms with Dr Glatt’s trenchant criticisms and rethinking what Dr Glatt termed his McCarthyite behaviour, Mann would instead decide to rubbish the letter by claiming it was a forgery.

The thrust of Mann’s argument was that a 90 year old man wasn’t capable of writing such an articulate and thoughtful letter.  A letter that attracted (so far) over 33,000 hits on this blog alone.  One would think that someone who is so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ would think twice about ageism and bigotry to the old.  But as we all know, John Mann isn’t concerned about opposing anti-Semitism but supporting the Israeli state, an armed superpower in the Middle East, the recipient of the largest amount of US aid of any country and a state that maintains a viciously racist and oppressive regime over the Palestinians.

John Mann conveniently denied that the letter was genuine
Following reports today that the letter which I had published on my blog from Sam Glatt, a member of the Labour Party, had been forged by Graham Martin, a Momentum member, I took steps to ascertain whether or not I had published a forgery.  It would certainly have been embarrassing if I had.  Lots of posts had begun arriving from gleeful Zionists saying exactly that! 
If the letter was a forgery then this was a very stupid, as well as dishonest, act.  Whoever was responsible should have realised that the truth would soon be revealed.  As I was preparing a response accepting I had made a genuine mistake, I was made aware of a tweet from a Dr Alan Maddison, a friend of Dr Glatt, who insisted that the letter was genuine.  At first I was sceptical as John Mann’s explanation seemed convincing. 
After corresponding with Dr Maddison it was clear that there were grounds for questioning whether the the letter was a forgery.   Alan gave me the phone number of Dr Glatt and I spoke to both him and Graham Martin.  It became clear to me very quickly that the original letter was not a forgery and I copy below both the first letter and a second draft letter, which Dr Glatt has written backing up the first.
Even John Mann is going to have difficulty alleging that the second letter is a forgery since it is written, in best doctor’s handwriting (!) by Dr Glatt himself.  I just hope that Mr Mann is hungry as he has an awful lot of humble pie to consume. 
John Mann’s allegations of a forgery are classic Zionist tactics.  It's all an anti-Zionist conspiracy!  Attack the messenger and avoid the message.  Instead of coming to terms with what Dr Glatt was saying, that he was falsely accusing people like Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone of anti-Semitism and also destroying the chances of Labour electorally, Mann did what we have come to expect from him.  He sought to evade the message by attacking the man.  Further comment on Mann’s behaviour would be superfluous. 
Mann was so annoyed he had been rumbled that he repeatedly phoned Graham Martin, a friend of Dr Glatt, who helped him compose the letter.
Below is:
i.                A draft of the second letter which Dr Glatt wrote
ii.              An biographical article by Dr Alan Maddison about his friend, Dr Sam Glatt
iii.            The original letter which John Mann MP believes is a forgery  
A typical Zionist tweet gleefully announcing that it was us wicked anti-Zionists who had invented this calumny against the saintly John Mann MP

Draft Letter From Dr Sam Glatt to John Mann MP

Dear Mr Mann, 
Thank u for your letter.  First let me say that my previous letter was a joint letter with Graham Martin.  If the language appears to be robust in places I can only reply that the incidents you were involved seriously undermined the character of 2 people, Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone and diminished the chances of victory in the forthcoming general election. 
Graham Martin shared my concerns and was a great help in assembling the facts in such a case.  It is physically difficult for me to visit people but I am in full possession of my mental faculties.  I am not a puppet of Graham’s. 
There is one word in your letter which is a sheer invention.  I’ve  never said that I despise you or hate you as you suggested.  I find your views that people should be expelled from the party for supporting Jackie Walker abhorrent and your propagation of them incomprehensible to me.  This has to stop.
In my opinion this undermining of Corbyn and supporters by weaponising anti-Semitism repeatedly has to stop.  It damages the Labour Party and offends many of its members.  If a forthright letter from me can stop this I will have achieved my objective. 
Yours sincerely,

Dr Sam Glatt
A sample of the many messages I received today from the Zionists.  All of them KNEW that Dr Glatt's letter was a forgery because Israel is beyond criticism and anti-Semitism is ubiquitous in the Labour Party

An 89 year old Jewish friend finds anti-Semitic attacks on Corbyn ludicrous. By Alan Maddison

August 21, 2015 Author by PoliticalSiftPosted in Guest Posts  in
Alan Maddison · @alanmaddison20
I asked Sam, a retired Jewish GP, for his reflections as he happens to be a Jeremy Corbyn supporter.
He, like many other Corbyn supporters are understandably dismayed at what they see as this ‘smear campaign’ with no convincing basis in fact, against this man of principle and peace. They see their hopes being hi-jacked by these attacks. Some Corbyn supporters have launched a campaign publishing photographs of many other British politicians with characters such as Pinochet (allegedly involved in state torture and murder), members of the Saudi royal family (allegedly involved in creating ISIL and ignoring human rights) with the heading ‘Guilty by Association’ to make their point.
‘Twitter’ exchanges about Corbyn’s meetings with those who encourage terrorism, have not been very helpful. The fact that Corbyn has never encouraged, nor condoned violence, and for decades has been a genuine promoter of peace, cuts no ice with his Jewish critics. Neither has it helped when Corbyn explains that in order to have peace you have to talk to people whose view you do not share, as was necessary for Northern Ireland. Nor does is help that he thinks the Holocaust was the most vile event in history and that he says he is not anti-Semitic.
Last night I went to see Sam, a wise old (89 years) Jewish friend. Sam is a very intelligent and thoughtful man whom I admire enormously. I was interested in getting his reflections on this disturbing conflict of views regarding their claim that Corbyn is an anti-Semite. Sam is a retired GP and a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn would you believe? 
Sam told me that father was a refugee from Hungary in 1900 and his family lived in the East End of London. They were very poor and not always treated well by the local ‘gentiles’, but Sam said it was a case of a punch in the face rather than a knife attack as can happen to other immigrants (rarely) today. At the time of the Moseley marches in the 1930’s he was only 13 years old, but he remembers that the only support the Jewish community got was from the Communist party, all the other parties turned a blind eye, and some on the right were even supporters of fascism. 
Apparently Jeremy Corbyn’s parents were themselves in movements showing solidarity with the Jewish community at this time – ironic that the child of such rare friends to our Jewish community is now treated in this way by some of our own.
Sam, of course, talked about the horrors of the war. The hopeless fleeing of fascism, the dreadful concentration camps, the millions slaughtered so cruelly by the fascists, including innocent children. He said “ do you know they actually made these poor victims pay a fare before putting them on these cattle-wagon trains to take them to the concentration camps?”
After the war, in which all his family in Europe were lost, Sam said that the fear of the Jewish people was that the holocaust could be repeated. No country had opened their door to the Jews fleeing fascism before the war. This is why they are vigilant for any rebirth of anti-Semitism that could eventually grow so that history is repeated. There is understandably a lot of strong emotion when anti-Semitism is suspected and it makes rational dialogue in the case of these unfair slurs on Corbyn almost impossible. 
This terrible fear of Jews, that history is repeated, is why the birth of Israel was so important and why its protection today is vital for them. Sam adds though that it was so unfair to punish Palestinians for what German fascists had done to European Jews! 
Many Jews also do not now accept the brutality too often used by Israel government against the Palestinian people. Many Jews desire, as most of the World, the protection of the State of Israel alongside a separate viable State of Palestine. 
The only means by which this can be achieved is by the sort of dialogue that Jeremy Corbyn undertakes. He should rather be thanked. It is ludicrous to describe Jeremy Corbyn as anti-Semitic, rather ask how could he fail to be moved by the plight of the people of Gaza?
In trying to help an oppressed minority, as his parents did for the Jews, he is also trying to facilitate a peace that would reduce the anxieties and victims of Israelis under the threat of attack. 
These unjustified attacks on our friend, Jeremy Corbyn, can only create tensions between the Jewish people, here or in Israel, and the peaceful Corbyn supporters whose vision, ironically, is for a fairer, kinder Britain.
By Dr Alan Maddison • @alanmaddison20
Please comment, share, follow this blog and follow me on Twitter @PoliticalSift 
Original Letter to John Mann MP 
Dear Mr Mann, 18/10/2016 
It is with a sense of deep distaste personally, and an even deeper concern for the future of our freedom of speech, generally, that I have viewed your recent antics. In my opinion, your behaviour appears both narcissistic and attention-seeking, in the extreme. Whether it is at a level at which one could view it as pathological, I am not sufficiently qualified to say, but it is my view that ‘the man on the Clapham omnibus’ may, reasonably, harbour suspicions. 
Your ambush of Ken Livingstone, with pre-arranged media presence is a case in point. Any less reasonable man may have told you to ‘clear off’. Instead he tried, in a calm manner, to point out the historical evidence to support what he had said. His words fell on (your) deaf ears, for you, of course, had decided already that he ‘would float if you threw him in the river’ (the test applied, historically, vis a vis witchcraft). Cynical observers too, may, possibly, take the view that you are attempting, on behalf of others, to airbrush history, in the name of anti-Semitism.

Are you not aware of the potential of historical resonance here? Let’s, for the sake of argument, turn history on its head and assume that the Nazis had won WW2. You can imagine, can you not, that they would want to stamp out any reference to the ‘Final Solution’? After all, political opponents in actual historical fact had already gone to the extermination camps, along with the mentally ill, those with learning difficulty, Roma and the Jewish community. So, one might imagine that the Nazis might encourage the denunciation of those who would wish to speak the truth, as ‘Jew lovers’ and make them targets for ‘neutralisation’. Do you take my point? Thankfully, such a situation never came about, thanks to the sacrifice of over 400,000 people, including my own brother, (and many more from other nations) who gave their lives to preserve our freedom of speech.

Let me now refer to matters In connection with Jackie Walker, the former vice-chair of Momentum and with whom we share membership of the Labour Party. I do not wish to refer to the specifics of the matter as her appeal against suspension from the Party is pending, (although the issue of the circumstances of her ‘entrapment’ and ‘denunciation’, are deeply worrying to me). However, your comments that all Labour members who supported her “should be expelled from the Party,” which were reported in the media, absolutely appalled me. The implied ‘guilt by association’ is akin to the ‘fellow traveller’ accusations made during the McCarthyite era in the USA. Shame on you. 

There seems to be a desire, on your part, to conflate (i.e. run together as if they represent the same meaning), the words and concepts of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Or perhaps you are just confused? I never have been. To me anti-Zionism represents political opposition to a style of social and political expression stemming from a particular religious interpretation of Judaism. Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, refers to a dislike of Jews, which is rooted in the same xenophobic soil as other forms of racism. When this is openly displayed, we, in Britain have anti-discrimination laws, including those relating to hate speech. Now...the application of and efficacy of our legislation is a matter open for debate and is something you can, potentially, influence as an MP. Why then, at this present time, are you focusing your attention on the Labour Party? 

That brings me to the issue of the political motivation for your actions. It has been suggested that your prime motivation, given your position on the right-wing of the Labour Party, is to attempt to undermine the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for. I was a committed and experienced member of the Socialist Medical/Health Association (affiliated) since 1946 and have been a member of the Labour Party since 1972, or thereabouts. As such, I find it difficult not to agree with such a conclusion, in the current circumstances. No doubt your fairly regular visits to Israel (as a consequence of your documented links with organisations and individuals there) must be enjoyable for you on a personal level, but would not, surely, be sufficient incentive, in of themselves? 

No.... my view is that, to use military terms, you represent a sniper with a long range rifle, ‘softening up’ the enemy, causing confusion in the opposing ranks, picking off individuals and making people afraid of putting their head above the barricades. You are, however, in my view, waiting for your ‘General’ a.k.a. Tony Blair to come and rally the troops for a counter-offensive. I admire your loyalty to him, but would point out that he doesn’t have an awfully good record militarily. That poor record had quite a lot to do with the allies he chose, or was coerced by (in that regard it was interesting to see Mr Blairs’ presence, almost as if he were still a head of state, at the recent funeral of Shimon Peres, in Israel). 

So there we have it....I have concern about the nature of your personal behaviour: I am a Corbyn supporter, and have great sympathy with the situation of Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker, to whom I offer my solidarity: I am also not afraid to look to history for lessons and I view your actions as being ‘McCarthyite’ in nature: I refuse to conflate Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and I see through your cloak of justification and heap scorn upon your underlying political motivation...... 

So, please feel free to denounce me, though, I suspect, that you lack the moral and political courage to do so. 

Throughout my 90 years, I have always held to a belief in the essential goodness of people. That belief has been severely tested in recent times, as I have witnessed your machinations and those of the Labour PLP. 

Today, the mere demands of day to day living tax me greatly, but with all the energy I can muster, at the age of 90 years, I offer you, Sir, unfortunately, not fraternal wishes, but my heartfelt derision. 


British, Socialist Jew.

John Mann MP,

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Cc Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party,

Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker

Friday, 21 October 2016

Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s silence over the Zionist ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign is as deafening as it’s embarrassing

Like the 3 wise monkeys, PSC Executive neither sees, hears nor speaks of anything going wrong

PSC Executive's attitude to the anti-Semitism tsunami  
One of the problems with the leadership of PSC is that they are sometimes intoxicated by their own rhetoric.  They are convinced that, under their brilliant leadership and following the guidance of their own small political organisations, the Palestine solidarity movement is going from strength to strength in an inexorable and unstoppable wave upwards.  In their view there are no setbacks, nothing to be worried about.  Everything can only get better.

In the past year, the Zionist movement, in conjunction with the Labour Right and the establishment media, especially the Guardian, has waged a war against Jeremy Corbyn using ‘anti-Semitism’ as its chosen weapon.  The lack of any evidence of ‘anti-Semitism’ has not been a hindrance to an Establishment consensus that anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has grown like the weeds in an untended garden.
Brighton PSC demonstrator againt BBC coverage of Palestine
There has also been a rebellion in the Zionist ranks in Britain which has completely bypassed PSC Executive.  Previously the staid Board of Deputies, a bourgeois organisation dating back to George III in 1760, mounted the odd demonstration in support of Israel but did very little to combat what was seen by Zionist activists as an assertive and growing Palestine solidarity movement.  The first signs of a rebellion was when Jonathan Hoffman was elected as co-Chair of the Zionist Federation in or around 2009.  Hoffman was not a particularly bright chap and he accused the Chair of the Jewish Leadership Councillors, Sir Micky Davies, of various misdemeanours including being hostile to Israel.  Davies doesn’t tolerate fools or upstarts easily and he threatened a libel action before Hoffman made a grovelling apology.  This resulted, in 2012, in Hoffman being removed from office in the Zionist Federation but his advocacy of opposing Palestine solidarity activists on the street took root.  An example of the debate within the Zionist movement is contained in the newssheet of the Jewish Israel News Network In support of the Zionist Federation Vice Chairman and other activists

In 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, when Israel murdered 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza, including 551 children, the Board of Deputies mounted what was considered a feeble response.  Its demonstration in London barely mustered a couple of thousand people in comparison with the time when they got 25,000 on the streets.  In reaction the Young Turks, grouped around the misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism mounted a demonstration against ‘anti-Semitism’ outside the Royal Courts of Justice.  Board of Deputies speakers were booed for what was considered their inactivity.  Thousands turn out for London rally against antisemitism Around the same time there was formed activist Zionist groups such as Sussex and North-West Friends of Israel, both consisting of the Zionist far-Right.  Sussex FOI were formed in reaction to the campaign against the Sodastream shop in Brighton.  They were determined to prevent a repeat of what happened in London when Palestine solidarity activists closed down Ahava in Covent Garden, which traded in stolen Palestinian beauty products.  Nonetheless the Sodastream shop, in a major victory, was shut down, but Brighton PSC received little help from PSC nationally in mounting weekly demonstrations which came under sustained and vitriolic abuse and which faced a hostile Police presence.
Demonstrators on a PSC demonstration
The ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party first began with Jeremy Corbyn himself when it was alleged, by the Daily Mail and the Jewish Chronicle, that he kept the company of anti-Semites.  It then resurfaced with a vengeance this January with the bogus allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ at Oxford University Labour Club.  Its Chair, Alex Chalmers, a former intern for the Israeli propaganda organisation, BICOM, resigned claiming anti-Semitism because the Labour Club had decided to support Israel Apartheid Week.  In March I was suspended, although given no reasons it was leaked to the Telegraph and Times, that the reasons were ‘anti-Semitism’.  In May Jackie Walker was suspended and, having been cleared of the allegation that she blamed the Jews for causing the slave trade, she was again suspended this month for remarks made in a Jewish Labour Movement ‘training event’ at Labour Party Conference..  In between Ken Livingstone was suspended for having remarked that Hitler supported Zionism.

In between we had the Chakrabarti Report which the Zionists at first welcomed but, as part of their campaign against Corbyn, later denigrated.  Coupled with that was the fake incident of ‘anti-Semitism’ at the Chakrabarti press conference with Ruth Smeeth MP weeping crocodile tears.  The latest event in the false anti-Semitism campaign has been the Report of the Home Affairs Select Committee on anti-Semitism.  The Report consciously confuses anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  By redefining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism it seeks to criminalise opposition to Zionism by saying that using Zionism in an ‘accusatory’ or ‘abusive’ manner should be a matter for the criminal law. See Manufacturing Consent On ‘Anti-Semitism’
Over 100 people came to a talk I gave on anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  A number of Zionists were able to speak and put their view across including Lara Gantz below.  This is unlike Zionist meetings where dissenters are physically ejected or shouted down, but holding such a discussion was 'anti-Semitic' according to Ms Gantz
What has been remarkable throughout this bogus campaign, manufactured to order in the Israeli and US Embassies, is that the Executive of Palestine Solidarity Campaign has behaved like the 3 wise monkeys – they have neither seen, heard nor spoken out about what is happening.  They act like an alcoholic in denial.  The opening paragraph in the notice that has gone out about the forthcoming PSC AGM in January 2017 reads:

Thank you for your support over the past year. We have had a hugely successful year with actions and events across the country highlighting the situation Palestinians face. But there is still so much more we can do and our AGM is a key time for you, our members, to feed into our plans for the year.’
PSC Demonstration in London
One is reminded of what Bob Dylan wrote in Love Minus Zero/No Limit‘There’s no success like failure and failure’s no success at all’.  The worse things get for PSC Executive the better they are. The statement unconsciously gives witness to the problem.  The AGM is a key time 'for you, our members, to feed into OUR plans for the year.'  The role of the membership is to serve the Executive and its plans.  It has no active role in determining what the priorities are.

There are a number of reasons for this but in my view it is primarily because of the politics of what has become a self-perpetuating clique that runs the Executive.  They have depoliticised the struggle of the Palestinians and turned what is a political struggle into one of human rights.

There are many campaigns in the world over human rights.  The struggle of the Palestinians is not exceptional in that regard.  However bad the plight of the Palestinians is there are many countries where the situation is far more dire – Syria, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.  What makes the Palestine struggle unique is that Israel is the world’s only active settler colonial state.  It is the world’s only apartheid state.  It is a state that is at the centre of the West’s military ad strategic presence in the Middle East.
In response to the decision of the Israeli High Court that the Jewish National Fund could not refuse to rent or lease land to Israeli Palestinians, the JNF put on its website a statement that 70% of Israeli Jews opposed this decision and that 80% of Israeli Jews prefer a Jewish state to a state of all of its citizens.  Could it be any clearer?
PSC is an organisation that supports BDS and the struggle for Palestinian rights but it is not an explicitly anti-Zionist organisation.  It has no critique of the Israeli state as an inherently racist, Jewish supremacist state which is based on the racial subjugation of the Palestinians.  Indeed its support for a 2 State solution effectively means it supports the continued existence of a ‘Jewish’ state within the 1948 armistice borders.  It supports the quisling Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, whose ‘President,  Mahmoud Abbas believes that repressing the Palestinian resistance and supporting the Israeli security forces and providing them with intelligence is ‘sacred’.  This is a regime which acted last year to actively prevent a third intifada, which brutally attacks all resistance demonstrations and activities, which uses torture as a matter of course and arrests and hands over to the Israeli military Palestinian activists.  PSC says nothing about this regime, whereas the Anti-Apartheid Movement never had any problem in criticising the leadership of the Bantustans or Buthulezi, the client Zulu leader.

It is because PSC has no analysis or understanding of Zionism, the ideology and movement which gave birth to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and the refugee problemthat they have no answer to the attacks by the media and the Zionists on ‘anti-Semitism’ other than to say that supporting the Palestinians is not anti-Semitic.  They have precious little to say about the racism that Israeli Palestinians experience either.

There is a belief in PSC that the false and fake ‘anti-Semitism’  campaign is an internal Labour Party matter in which they should not get involved.  This is utterly myopic.  The Israeli Embassy, which has effectively seconded one of their staff members to be Director of the Jewish Labour Movement certainly doesn’t take the same attitude.  It intervenes in every area where there is anti-Zionist or Palestine solidarity campaigning.  What is happening in the Labour Party is not confined to the Labour Party.  The affair at Oxford University was about supporting an Israel Apartheid Week.  The suspension of Labour Party activists has been on account of their criticism of Israel and Zionism.  The Home Affairs Select Committee Report which is recommending the criminalisation of criticism of Zionism is an alliance of the Labour Right and Conservative MPs.  We are heading for a situation as in France where BDS is all but illegal.  In Scotland a Palestine solidarity activist was prosecuted for shouting ‘Viva Palestina.’   To treat what is happening in the Labour Party as an internal matter is an illustration of the political weaknesses of the current PSC leadership.

The other political weakness of PSC which is allied to its lack of a clear anti-Zionist politics, is its support for 2 States.  It’s Boycott activities relate primarily to settlement goods.  It plays down a Boycott of Israel itself even though the settlements in the West Bank only exist because Israel ‘proper’ supports them.  Indeed PSC is about the only organisation to recognise the Green Line between Israel and the West Bank.  Israel certainly make no such distinction.  A 2 States solution today is a position supported by all Zionist organisations in Britain – from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Labour Friends of Israel and Tory politicians.  Why?  Because the Zionists know that a Palestinian state will never be formed.  They can therefore afford to support it.

The Peace Process is a war process.  It provides the cover for the continuing expansion of the settlements at the same time as it provides a pretext for the denial of any civil or political rights to the Palestinians.  Israel is today a single state, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, but if it gave the vote and full civil and political rights to the Palestinians under occupation the Jewish state would be faced with a position in which Palestinians were in the majority.  So Israel has to maintain the present Apartheid situation which is why it prefers to maintain the fiction of 2 states.

If we contrast Stop the War Committee with PSC we see where the lethargy and inactivity of PSC have led us.  The former have kept close to Corbyn and not allowed him to water down his anti-nuclear weapons positions.  Corbyn was also a PSC patron.  He has attended virtually every PSC Conference in the past decade, or at least up to his election as Leader of the Labour Party.  Since then?  The words ‘Palestine’ have barely crossed his lips. 

But Corbyn has patronised Labour Friends of Israel and attended its fringe meetings two years in a row.  This year, by all accounts, Corbyn’s presence at the LFI meeting was marked by his friendliness to Israel’s uncritical apologists for all things Israeli.  Luke Akehurst, an unsuccessful candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee wrote in the Times of Israel that Corbyn at the LFI reception surprised everyone with a carefully worded and balanced speech on both Israel and antisemitism, in sharp contrast to the car crash last year where he would not even say the word “Israel”.’

Corbyn has also spent the year denouncing anti-Semitism without ever once condemning the use of anti-Semitism as a weapon which has been deployed against the Left and supporters of Palestine.

Internal Problems on PSC Executive

In addition PSC has been going through a number of problems, all of which it has tried to hide from its members.  I am reliably told that Hugh Lanning, Chair of PSC resigned earlier this year and was reluctantly persuaded to withdraw his resignation.

On 23 May 2016 Lanning resigned as Chair of PSC with immediate effect in an e-mail which he sent to the vice-chair and copied to all PSC Exec members and the staff in the PSC Office.  The resignation came without any prior warning and the Exec decided to ask him to revoke his resignation.  Lanning did retract his resignation but only some 3 weeks later.  At no point have the branches been informed of these problems which come in addition to the problematic resignation of Sara Colborne, the previous Director of PSC. 

I am told that the reason Lanning resigned was that he felt the atmosphere on the Executive was negative and not supportive enough of him as Chair.   By all accounts the Executive was shocked at the way he resigned not least because of the timing which was right in the middle of the anti-semitism attacks on the whole movement when PSC should have been trying to push back on the attacks. Lanning has been on the 'let's keep our heads down and hope it will all go away' faction on the  Exec.  The PSC Executive is worried that Lanning will bale out again when he thinks the going gets tough. Apparently PSC Executive took weeks to decide he should come back but it is not clear under what terms . I have a copy of the resignation but I am not making it public at this time.

On April 11th of this year I wrote an Open Letter to the National Secretary of PSC, Ben Soffa.  I detailed the Zionist attacks on supporters of the Palestinians and anti-Zionists, including my own suspension.   

I wrote that PSC prided itself on being the largest solidarity organisation in Britain and that it had boasted in its Annual Report that it had contacted 1,042 candidates at the General Election, yet it hasn’t seen fit to contact any Labour parliamentarians to speak up against the attacks of the Zionists and MPs like John Mann and Louise Ellman.  I asked why it hadn’t organized any public meetings with people like Ken Livingstone (who of course was later suspended himself) or called press conferences, written articles etc.  I wrote that ‘PSC is renowned for its caution and timidity but there must be some limits to this.’  Unfortunately I was wrong.  There were no limits.  I pointed out that PSC had resources that other groups did not.  It has paid staff, media contacts, contacts with MPs etc. and that it was ‘inexcusable that it has done absolutely nothing to respond to the Zionists daily attacks.’   Whereas I and others had organised joint letters from Jewish groups to the Guardian and Independent and complained about the biased BBC coverage,  PSC had simply ignored what was happening. 

I wrote that ‘The ceaseless political attack by the Zionists on support for the Palestinians in the LP cannot simply be ignored.  They will not go away because their campaign is linked with the determination of the Right in the LP to remove Corbyn.  ‘Anti-Semitism’ is their weapon of choice.’  It pains me to say that I have been proved right.  I also predicted that ‘Until Jeremy Corbyn firmly rebuts his critics he will continue to come under attack.  Appeasement rarely works.  It is no use Corbyn saying that he opposes anti-Semitism because what he means by anti-Semitism and the Zionists mean by it are two different things.  Their ‘anti-Semitism’ is, as they freely admit, anti-Zionism.  Until Corbyn speaks out saying that yes he opposes anti-Semitism but yes he supports the Palestinians, including the Boycott of Israel, giving chapter and verse on why Israel is a racist and apartheid state, then the attacks will continue.’

On 20th April Ben Soffa responded to my letter.  The gist of his reply was contained in the following paragraph:

“Many recent attacks reflect the strategy set out by the Israeli strategic thinktank the Reut Institute in their 2010 report, which because of our successes, largely focused on PSC: 

"A central objective is to change this situation by forcing them to 'play defense'.  This means systematically exposing information about delegitimizers, their activities, and the organizations that they operate out of. The goal is to eventually frame them, depending on their agendas, as anti-peace, anti-Semitic, dishonest purveyors of double standards."

Although Ben accepted that ‘the upsurge in attempts to link support for the rights of the Palestinian people with anti-Semitism requires a new a concerted response’ referring me to a recent branch forum in Birmingham in March and promising to ‘significantly increase the priority and resources devoted to this area’ in practice  nothing at all has happened. 

The reason is clear.  PSC Executive’s idea of a response was to inform me that ‘we will shortly be launching an initiative proudly declaring not only the legitimacy of campaigning for Palestinian freedom, but our urgent duty to speak out against the onslaught faced by those living with occupation, siege and exile. This will include national press advertising, online publicity and other political initiatives.  Prominent within this will be an assertion of the right to boycott. We will be explicitly refuting the absurd allegation that refusing to buy, or declining to invest in goods, arms or services from entities due to their complicity in breaches of international law is in any way racist.’  Ben further informed me that ‘We have already begun discussions with partner organisation how we can better co-ordinate our work challenging the attempts to smear our movement. We will be seeking to bring together a co-ordinating group of organisations working in this area in the very near future.’
Ben concluded by adding that ‘I make no apology for the fact that we do not engage in every debate some would wish to involve us in. As the Reut Institute set out, there is a plan to force us to 'play defence' on the terrain chosen by those wishing to preserve the status quo in Palestine. We must not fall into the trap of allowing our opponents to set our agenda, which is precisely why PSC chooses to make the intervention we feel are most helpful to the situation, rather than seeking to make every intervention which might be possible.

There are a number of glaring problems with this.  In the first place, just because your opponents threaten to put you on the defensive, it is no reason to therefore ignore them.   If someone attacks you then sometimes you have to respond.  How you respond is a different question. The fact is that the Zionists have mounted a very concerted and successful campaign in the past few months.  The Vice Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement Mike Katz got a standing ovation at Labour Party Conference.  The reason for this is because the Zionists have launched their attacks in conjunction with the Labour Right, backed up by the Tory Party and the organs of the state. 

Whereas previously the Zionist organisations in the Labour Party and in particular Poalei Zion/JLM were largely defunct, they have recently been revived.  To ignore the Zionists in this situation is to do nothing about their attacks.  It is in essence to adopt a position of pacifism.  Not responding is tantamount to retreating.

The second problem with this is that it ignores the central thrust of the Zionist attack.  Simply declaring the ‘legitimacy of campaigning for Palestinian freedom’ is not enough.  It is effectively to ignore the thrust of the Zionist campaign.  The Zionists aren’t saying that you can’t campaign for Palestine.  On the contrary they say they support 2 states and an end to the Occupation (which of course is a lie but that is what they say).  What they are doing however is to use ‘anti-Semitism’ as a specific weapon to attack the anti-Zionist Left.  They have therefore taken out people like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Charley Allan and myself.  They have made a particular target of Jewish anti-Zionists.  In such a situation to simply say nothing other than to repeat that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism is politically negligent if not worse.

As for holding discussion with partner organizations and ‘seeking to bring together a co-ordinating group of organisations working in this area in the very near future’ this is and was mere words.  Nothing whatsoever has been done.  The main group which has fought the ‘anti-Semitism’ attack has been Free Speech on Israel.  It has not been contacted by PSC.  Whereas FSOI has been consistently hamstrung by lack of funds and resources, PSC has these in abundance.

FSOI consists mainly, though not entirely, of Jewish anti-Zionists who have played a prominent part in rebutting the claim that opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitic.  On October 2nd I posted a short message on the Boycott Israel Network:

‘ Corbyn has backtracked on BDS and PSC has said absolutely nothing the whole past year on the anti-Semitism attack by the Zionists.  PSC's behaviour is outrageous as they have made no attempt to keep Corbyn in line’.  I referred people to an article I’d written on how Corbyn had effectively abandoned 30 years of support for the Palestinians.  Someone by the name of Salim replied taking issue with my statement:

 Tony, You say ‘PSC has said absolutely nothing the whole past year on the anti-Semitism attack by the Zionists’ .  In fact the following was issued by PSC on 3 May 2016 and publicised.’

It is true that PSC issued a statement.  The problem is that this was all that they did.

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, who is an activist with both FSOI and also Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods responded thus:

‘I am a PSC member, and I have seen nothing in their postings that isn’t just a routine and uninspired recital of assurances that PSC, and the solidarity movement is anti-racist and certainly not anti-Semitic.

 Meanwhile a firestorm has been raging, alleging rampant antisemitism in the Labour Party in an attempt to unset Jeremy Corbyn. PSC has nothing to say about this?! Corbyn has been an excellent and committed friend of Palestine over decades. The attack on him is at least partly (ie the Zionist part) precisely because of this.

 None of the many pro-Israel Jewish Community organisations is holding back – from attacking him. They have funding, offices, staffing, media contacts. PSC is the only Palestine support organisation that has these assets, but does nothing with them. It leaves the defence against hyped and invented claims of antisemitism to be contested by voluntary organisations – BIN, Free Speech on Israel, Jewish Socialist Group – which have nothing but their enthusiasm and energy to throw into the breach.


And in these 3 paragraphs Jonathan Rosenhead set out eloquently the case against the passivity and inertia, indeed paralysis of PSC Executive.

Another activist in FSOI and J-Big, Les Levidow, also responded and again I quote what he wrote in toto:

After Salim's message there was little response on this list. Why? Perhaps because most of us have given up on PSC doing anything more than ritual repetition, so why bother complaining?  Anyway this problem should be made more explicit.  Let us review the recent history.

With the Oxford Union Labour Club conflict, the 'antisemitism' smear campaign began in February and soon escalated.  Spearheaded by the Jewish Labour Movement, all the pro-Israel forces were throwing their resources into intervening in the Labour Party. Regardless of whether we are members, we all recognised the necessity of a coherent counter-strategy, especially against the JLM and its allies.  We set up FSOI to do so. 

Some of us also asked PSC to deploy its significant resources for such a counter-campaign.  After several weeks delay, PSC issued the 3rd May statement below.  This does not even name the smear campaign.  It could have been the start of a counter-campaign, but instead it was a perfunctory gesture: end of story. 

When Bernard Regan was a speaker at a Haringey public event (probably in May), I distributed the FSOI flyer and spoke from the floor, asking everyone to help counter the smear campaign.  His reply was basically, "They want us to stop talking about Palestine, so we will continue raising the issue."  Some PSC people said to me that we need not (or even should not)  involve ourselves 'in internal disputes within the Labour Party'.  This response mis-recognised the enemy attack in several respects, thus justifying no change in PSC's activities and targets.

With our scant resources, FSOI has tried to oppose the JLM agenda in many ways. We have regularly sent letters to the press, but only a few get published.  We have tried to contact, defend and link LP members who were suspended for supposedly antisemitic comments.  We organised interventions against the smear campaign at the Liverpool LP conference. Given PSC's much greater resources and paid staff, what has been its contribution?

As a symptom of a deeper problem, we have just seen a Zionist press report on pro-Palestine fringe meetings during the LP conference.

The pro-Palestinian fringe meetings were downbeat, focused only on settlements, not on any broader agenda. The MPs who spoke from the platform at these events took a moderate and considered line. In fact, most of them are people who spent the summer trying to unseat Corbyn as leader.

Judging from this and other reports, such events gave anti-Corbyn, LFI-affiliated MPs a convenient cover, e.g. by merely criticising settlements, supporting official recognition of Palestine, advocating a 2-state solution, etc.  Apparently little or nothing was said about BDS, much less the colonial-settler character of Israel (except by Manuel Hassassian).  So MPs can be pro-Israel and pro-Palestine at the same time! The Zionist lobby had little to fear from such events.

Those events symptomise a general political approach which weakens the solidarity movement.  A minimalist agenda helps our enemies to distinguish between 'legitimate criticism of Israel' (e.g. settlements) and 'antisemitism', e.g. opposition to Zionism.  What was PSC's role in influencing those fringe events?  How it will try to correct the above problem?


Despite talk of 'partner organisations' PSC Executive is highly sectarian.  It works with virtually nobody.  It hasn't even bothered to contact FSOI about how it might help.  It opposed last year working with 'Together Against Prevent'.  This has to change.

What Can Be Done?

The key figures on PSC Executive belong to a secretive political group, Socialist Action or associated splinters from the old International Marxist Group.  They are uncritical of bourgeois nationalism and reject direct action or much political activism.  Hence PSC has been completely uncritical of Mahmoud Abbas’s quisling Palestinian Authority, even though it is a sub-contractor for the Israeli Defence Forces.  This is in contrast say to Electronic Intifada which hasn’t hesitated to criticise what it terms the Vichy administration in Ramallah. See for example The Palestinian Authority stands in the way of the Palestinian struggle

PSC has become an organisation which simply engages in routinism – an annual lobby of Parliament, a week around the Nakba or the Hewlett Packard  boycott, worthy in themselves but they are incapable of adapting to what is a changed political climate.  In a situation where the Zionist movement is on the attack, simply confining oneself to routine activities represents an abandonment of politics. 

At the forthcoming PSC AGM it is essential that a number of people from the branches stand for election to the Executive.  There urgently needs to be some new blood and new ideas on the Executive.  I am myself prepared to stand for election although I had hoped that having served in the formative period of PSC in the 1980’s that I wouldn’t have to stand again.

In addition there is a need for a serious review of the way PSC operates.  It has a number of paid staff but they don’t seem to be used in a particularly productive way.  PSC rests on the activity of its branches but the organisation as a whole is less than the sum of its parts.  Although the constitution (which is no longer available on-line)  makes provision for regional representatives on PSC Executive, the Executive has in the past consciously sought not to implement this clause.

There is an urgent need for a dedicated Branch Development Officer to encourage the growth of new branches and to consolidate and help existing branches and indeed to try to co-ordinate things like speakers’ tours.

It is clear with the attacks on the new President of NUS that there is an urgent need for some co-ordination and support for existing Palestine societies, given the amount of support and funding that goes to the Union of Jewish Students, which is a wholly Zionist outfit.

I want to suggest a Review of PSC is immediately set up from this Conference consisting of 6 people, including the National Secretary and one other Executive member, which can make proposals for the future operation of PSC.  It is long overdue when there was a systematic investigation into how PSC is working, its faults, failures but also successes and how things can be improved.

Such a review would look at existing fundraising and improving it, the deployment of staff and any other matter that can lead to an improved and functional PSC.

It is also crucial that the Executive consist primarily of activists and not those whose days of activity have long since gone.  It is crucial that within the next year, a regional structure of PSC is implemented and that regional representatives, elected by the branches, take their position on PSC Executive.  The days when PSC Executive is seen as the monopoly of one or other political grouping must end.  This is crippling PSC’s effectiveness.  This doesn’t mean a witch hunt of any political group  but a recognition that PSC belongs to its members.

The most crucial problem with PSC is not organisational but political.  I suggest a number of things:

i.               It is long overdue that PSC junked its 2 state position and came out clearly in favour of a democratic and secular unitary state.  Israel today is a single state, there is no green line, but it is a state where half the population – the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza – have no civil or political rights. 

No doubt this will need fighting for in the trade union and labour movement but we cannot avoid this fight.  Yes people are comfortable with the idea of 2 states.  It sounds as if it will satisfy everybody but in practice it satisfies only one side – the Zionists. 

ii.             A 2 state solution omits the question of Zionism.  Zionism, the movement which established the Israeli state does not and never has recognised a shared sovereignty over what it terms the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael).  No member of the Israeli government supports a 2 state solution but Netanyahu is happy to pay lip service to the idea, despite rejecting it at the 2015 Israeli general election because he knows and the Americans know, that verbal acknowledgment of 2 states allows settlement building to proceed apace.  Further it allows Israel to maintain a situation of apartheid whereby for another 50 years, Palestinians will live under a separate system of laws and military rule.
Tzipi Hotoveli - Israel's religious nutcase of a Deputy Foreign Minister
When Tzipi Hotoveli, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Secretary saidThis land is ours. All of it is ours. We expect as a matter of principle of the international community to recognize Israel’s right to build homes for Jews in their homeland, everywhere.”  We should believe her.  Even if a 2 state solution were desirable, which I don’t accept, it is no longer feasible.  That is why all Britain’s Zionist organizations, from the Jewish Labour Movement to the Board of Deputies support it!  PSC at present is utterly stupid for not being able to recognize reality. 

iii.           We should also explicitly reject the idea of a Jewish state.  A Jewish state in the context of a settler colonial state can only mean that the state is inherently racist.  Being Jewish means possessing apartheid-style privileges.  PSC should be an explicitly anti-Zionist organisation.  If we are sincere in saying that Israel is an apartheid state we have to oppose the ideology of that state, Zionism.

iv.           PSC needs to recognize that the outcome of the Oslo Accords in 1993, when the PLO and Israel reached an agreement, is that Israel has been able to subcontract out, a considerable part of the repressive activities of the Israeli state to the Palestinian Authority.  The PA quite consciously acts as the arms of the Israeli Defence Forces.  For this it receives aid money.  We should be quite clear about the nature of the PA.

These are just a few proposals as to resolutions to PSC Conference.

Tony Greenstein