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SOAS meeting to downplay anti-semitism sees Israel bracketed with North Korea

This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a tiny group of Corbyn-supporting Israel-demonising anti-semitism-downplaying Jewish (they claim) Labour members, plus their supporters. See JVL Watch on Twitter. They launched in a fringe meeting at the Party Conference, notable for the anti-Zionist Miko Peled telling Labour members that they should be free to discuss the Holocaust “yes or no”.  Many of their members have moved on from other similar ‘astroturf’ far left Israel-traducing organisations such as ‘Free Speech on Israel’ and ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’.

On Tuesday evening JVL held a meeting in SOAS (appropriately…..).

It was entitled On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice. Copies of a book with that title – compiled by Jewish Voice for Peace, a US anti-Israel organisation with zero connection to JVL – were on sale (published by Haymarket).  The meeting wasn’t sponsored by a SOAS organisation so JVL must either have hired the room or found a supportive SOAS academic (not hard!) to book it for them.

On the chairs was a flyer from ‘Free Speech on Israel’ quoting the finding from the flawed Yachad survey that ‘more than 40 percent of British Jews do not identify as Zionist’. Of course it failed to quote the finding from the same survey that 93% see Israel as part of their identity as Jews. And it cites the Tomlinson critical opinion on the IHRA Definition without disclosing that his opinion was commissioned by four anti-Israel organisations: Free Speech on Israel, Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Antony Lerman spoke first (he is an outspoken anti-Zionist who left his job as Director of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (now IJPR) due to the objection of some Trustees to his support for ‘one state’). He said that anti-semitism in Labour was grossly exaggerated (he said “the anti-semitic label pinned so viciously on the Labour Party – which reached absurd levels of hysteria at the time of the party conference – has been comprehensively debunked by James Stern-Wiener”).  “The success of the Zionist project was supposed to eliminate anti-semitism” he said. He talked about “the aggressive messianic Far Right tightening its grip on the Israeli government”.  You get the picture…..  Lerman isn’t a member of the Labour Party. Since he does not accept the IHRA Definition of Anti-semitism, he sees complaints about it as grossly exaggerated.  No matter that all minorities – Jews included – have the right to define what offends them and that the IHRA Definition has become very widely accepted. This tiny group of far Left Jews arrogantly believes that they have the right to dispute it.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi’s (W-I) shtick was intersectionality. Precisely what we heard from Omar Barghouti and Malia Bouattia in Cambridge last week. She warned about Jews becoming increasingly ‘right wing’ in their support for Israel and failure to support ‘Black Lives Matter’ movements.  “The American power structure is white supremacist …. Israel is a State dominated by white European Ashkenazi Jews”.

Towards the end of September W-I was called out by Nick Ferrari of LBC for giggling about anti-semitism.

Last year she claimed that Ruth Smeeth MP’s obvious distress at the launch of Labour’s anti-semitism report (June 2016) was faked, suggesting she “participated in an attempt to completely undermine the launch of a really important report about racism”.

These callous remarks – when repeated to Alison McGovern MP on a subsequent Nick Ferrari LBC show (September 2016) – reduced her to near tears of frustration and incredulity.

Yet this oppressor had the nerve to finish her talk last night with a quote from Warsaw Ghetto uprising leader Marek Edelman (“To be a Jew means always being with the oppressed and never the oppressors”).

Later in the Q+A, W-I suggested the CST is “ramping up” fear about antisemitism and that the role of the Campaign Against Antisemitism is to “see antisemitism everywhere”!

Before the meeting descended into chaos, ending prematurely (thanks to the sizeable pro-Israel contingent who vocally protested (with flags) against the rubbish they had sat through) a South Korean audience member   launched  – incredibly – into a long, ill-focused diatribe attempting to compare Israel to North Korea!

Such are the fruitcakes that these meetings attract ……….

Are Israelis immoral for being occupiers?

When police investigate a crime you expect them to start with the victim and look for the perpetrator. When the NGO Breaking the Silence is involved the investigation (or in this case “probe”) starts with the perpetrator and ends with the perpetrator.

A few months ago the spokesman for Breaking the Silence, Dean Issacheroff, confessed on stage to beating a Palestinian man in Hebron while a serving officer in the Nahal Brigade of the IDF.

Police opened a probe into the matter, found the Palestinian man Issacheroff was referring to. He claimed he had never been beaten. The police closed their probe and politicians announced that Issacheroff was a liar spewing nonsense in order to attack the state of Israel.

Breaking the Silence is an NGO composed of former Israeli combat soldiers who campaign against the occupation by sharing stories about what their service as occupiers involved. Reservists on Duty is an NGO composed of former Israeli combat soldiers who campaign against Breaking the Silence. It is their mirror image.

Former soldiers testifying that they did what they needed to do to protect their people during their service versus former soldiers arguing that what they were did was immoral and served no purpose necessary to secure the state of Israel.

Reservists on Duty have brought out a video composed of members of the company Issacharoff served in calling him a liar. Issacharoff claimed in his speech that he beat up his victim at the command of his company commander. This commander is prominent in the video. Few of Issacheroff’s own men are featured in it. Watch it here.

I don’t know what Dean Issacharoff thought would happen when he confessed to beating up a Palestinian man. Perhaps he thought he’d be arrested and spend time in prison but he surely didn’t expect the farce that followed. Today police officially cleared him of committing a crime and the politicians waded in to condemn him. Because that’s what this government does, it finds enemies and then beats them in public.

This whole affair has so much in it to unpack. When the Israeli who didn’tbeat the Palestinian is reviled and abused by his own government.

That the Jew attempting to confess to abuses he committed is told there is no crime to confess to and shunned by the very people from whom he is asking for redemption…specifically because he asked for it.

That the Palestinian this is ostensibly about is merely a bit player in the story of Israeli occupation and Israeli justice with the Israeli military caught in the middle.

The truth is there’s nothing to see here. This is just a new sentence in the same ongoing conversation. An innocuous moment in the fight for the soul of Israel that’s been going on for 50 years in an attempt to answer the impossible question; are we moral for protecting our people or immoral for occupying theirs?

Nazreen Khan’s candidacy

Just a few quick points extracted from this recent piece in Jewish News which gives the background to Khan’s antisemitic comments. Apparently the revelations weren’t news to Labour.

Jewish News understands that the party said it would would not be able to suspend her candidature as details of her past had been known at the time of her shortlisting. Only if new information emerged could the case be reexamined, they said.

Her explanation for one of those comments is surreally perverse:

In Khan’s mea culpa in August, she is understood to have said that she originally used the term ‘Zionist’, only to change it to ‘Jews’ when she was informed the former was “a term of abuse”.

And finally:

She added that others in the party had said “as bad or worse”.

Is that the comment – given what she said – of someone fit to be chosen as an official Labour candidate?  Apparently she is now being reinterviewed.

Is David Icke Britain’s Leading Antisemite?

This is a cross-post by Marlon Solomon

If David Icke is not Britain’s leading antisemite I am yet to come across anybody else who is preaching the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to thousands of bewitched followers in sold-out arenas in Britain. Former footballer and sports presenter David Icke has been Britain’s leading conspiracy theorist for decades; hugely popular throughout the world and capable of selling out venues usually reserved for those of rock star status. Most famous for his belief in multi-dimensional reptiles but unfortunately less well known for the ancient anti-Jewish prejudice that lie at the heart of so many of his theories.

That’ll be where I come in.

The Protocols of the Elder of Zion is a notorious piece of antisemitic propaganda. A forgery concocted by Czarist Russian secret police used to incite the Russian populace against its Jewish population. It tells the story of a secret meeting in 1897 where leading members of the Jewish community throughout the world convened to discuss the trivial matter of their secret plan to take over the world (hopefully with nibbles). To accomplish this dastardly plot they would infiltrate all political parties, take ownership of the press and media in order to control ‘both sides’ of the argument; they would even disseminate pornography alcohol and drugs to corrupt decent good folk.

They would do this in order to spread dissension which would lead to revolution which in turn would lead to all-out war. Down on their luck the people’s of the world would then look to the Jews, now in control of everything, to lead them out of the darkness the evil Jews had manufactured.


The publication of the Protocols in 1919 resulted in an intensification of pogroms which claimed the lives of over 100000 Jews. By 1921 the Protocols had found their way to Germany and were quoted extensively by Adolf Hitler both in his speeches and in Mein Kampf. In America they were promoted most notably by Henry Ford in The International Jew: The World’s Problem making their way around the world to become the second biggest selling book on the planet after the bible. The result of this conspiracy theory was catastrophic, contributing significantly to the anti-Jewish agitation which led to one of humanities most heinous crimes.

It is the blueprint for all future world conspiracy theories and still widely believed all over the world today.

Unsurprisingly antisemitism got a bad name in Europe after the Holocaust however by the 1950’s the Protocolsmade their way to Egypt and are now more popular than ever throughout the Arab world; where understandable anger at the Jewish state brings a ready-made audience of millions for this most diabolic of fictions. It is quoted in the Hamas covenant and pseudo-intellectual documentaries  based on the Protocols are numerous. See this short clip from Iranian Protocol series Secrets of Armageddon for a taste.

It is a fusion of old European antisemitism and modern anti-Zionism. It makes up a large portion of David Icke’s current fare. It is the most pernicious and intoxicating form of antisemitism in the modern world.

Thus the Protocols departed Europe, received a new veneer in the Arab world and are now being fed back into European culture.

Do read the rest here

The King over the Vodka

There’s been a big stramash about Alex Salmond hosting a regular chat show on Russia Today.

Nicola Sturgeon is November frosty with him. You can read all about it here and here.

I haven’t anything to add. I only wrote this post as context for this video:

Maajid lashes out at nativist Scrooges

Cracks in the Trump Electoral Strategy

Tuesday was a good night for Democrats and a bad one for Trump. Jonathan Martin writes:

Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Mr. Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party.

The Democratic Party’s crowning success of the night came in Virginia, where Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, an understated physician and Army veteran, won a commanding victory for governor, overcoming a racially charged campaign by his Republican opponent and cementing Virginia’s transformation into a reliably Democratic state largely immune to Trump-style appeals.

It didn’t end with a centrist Democratic taking the NJ and VA governor’s offices. Pplswar detailed the number of Democratic Socialists that won public office that night, which includes Lee Carter, who won a stunning upset to take a seat in the Virginia legislature.

Democrat Lee Carter, a red-haired, 30-year-old Marine veteran from Manassas, won a remarkable nine-point victory to oust Delegate Jackson Miller, a deep-pocketed Republican incumbent who serves as House Majority Whip. Carter ran openly as a socialist—he and his supporters crooned the union anthem “Solidarity Forever” after their victory—and he won with almost no institutional support from the state Democratic Party.

Carter came to his political ideology recently—as in, just last year. “I was actually already running by the time I considered socialism as an economic philosophy,” he told me. “My introduction to it actually came through the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. He went out there and said, ‘I’m a democratic socialist. Here’s what that means: It means I believe in strong unions, health care for everybody, and an end to discrimination.’ Well, that’s what I believe in, too. I dug a little more into it, and I realized a lot of the problems we have in today’s society reflected in electoral politics are symptoms of economic problems.”

Read more »

The Finsbury Park Mosque and Hamas – A Cracking Joke

I didn’t know the Finsbury Park Mosque was good at humour. Oh my, it is, and how.

The Times has reported that one of the mosque’s trustees, Mohammed Sawalha, is a ruling member of Hamas. ITIC has much more.

Oh, say it ain’t so. Voila! From The Independent:

Asked how Mr Sawalha’s position in Hamas squared with Finsbury Park Mosque’s values, a spokesperson said: “We were not aware about this news till recently made public in [The Times].

“We are looking at the situation and the mosque will be issuing a statement in the next couple of days.

“We would like to confirm that the mosque has no relationship with Hamas.”

Perhaps the mosque could “look at the situation” by going back over a decade to a BBC Panorama report which called Mr Sawalha a “fugitive Hamas commander”. Yes, he has been it at for that long. All the way back to the 1990s, in fact, when he settled in this country.

The mosque may also wish to consult its leader Mohammed Kozbar. Here he is with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

And here Kozbar grins with the notorious Hamas hardliner Mahmoud al-Zahar (centre). The man next to Kozbar is Islam Channel owner Mohamed Ali Harrath. Just to add some “awareness”, you know.

Oh look, here is Mr Kozbar with Messrs Sawalha and Haniyeh! That should be helpful, shouldn’t it.

The picture above was taken during an Interpal “Miles of Smiles” convoy to Gaza. Interpal is a registered British charity dedicated to serving Hamas.

Let’s add a few more photos which might assist the mosque.

Meeting the next jihad generation with Haniyeh, for example.

Here is Sawalha with Ahmed Bahar of Hamas (centre). The man on the left is his fellow Hamas UK operative Zaher Birawi. Second from left is Kevin Ovenden, at the time a sad minion of George Galloway in the Viva Palestina Hamas support operation. This photo was taken in Gaza during one of the Viva Palestina convoys.

Here’s another Viva Palestina scene from Syria, in much better days for the brutal dictatorship. The man at the microphone is Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Sawalha is at the left end of the table.

Here Mr Sawalha joins Zaher Birawi, Bulent Yildirim, who is the head of the Turkish Islamist charity IHH, and hate preacher Raed Salah on the deck of the Mavi Marmara in Istanbul. The Gaza flotilla was about to set sail. Sawalha was a key player in that Hamas International operation.

I trust I have been of some assistance to the mosque. If I can provide any further help, I would be delighted to do so.

The neo-Bolsheviks: Corbyn and the alt-Right

Anne Applebaum, one of the leading historians of the horrors of Soviet Communism, writes on the 100th anniversary of the “Great October Revolution” (which, she notes, was not great, was not in October and was not a revolution):

History repeats itself and so do ideas, but never in exactly the same way. Bolshevik thinking in 2017 does not sound exactly the way it sounded in 1917. There are, it is true, still a few Marxists around. In Spain and Greece they have formed powerful political parties, though in Spain they have yet to win power and in Greece they have been forced by the realities of international markets, to quietly drop their “revolutionary” agenda. The current leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, also comes out of the old pro-Soviet far left. He has voiced anti-American, anti-NATO, anti-Israel, and even anti-British (and pro-IRA) sentiments for decades — predictable views that no longer sound shocking to a generation that cannot remember who sponsored them in the past. Within his party there is a core of radicals who speak of overthrowing capitalism and bringing back nationalization.

In the United States, the Marxist left has also consolidated on the fringes of the Democratic Party — and sometimes not even on the fringes — as well as on campuses, where it polices the speech of its members, fights to prevent students from hearing opposing viewpoints, and teaches a dark, negative version of American history, one calculated to create doubts about democracy and to cast shadows on all political debate. The followers of this new alt-left spurn basic patriotism and support America’s opponents, whether in Russia or the Middle East. As in Britain, they don’t remember the antecedents of their ideas and they don’t make a connection between their language and the words used by fanatics of a different era.

But so far, the new left, however fashionable it may be in some circles, is not in power, and thus has not managed to create a real revolution. In truth, the most influential contemporary Bolsheviks — the people who began, like Lenin and Trotsky, on the extremist fringes of political life and who are now in positions of power and real influence in several Western countries — come from a different political tradition altogether.

Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and Jaroslaw Kaczynski: although they are often described as “far-right” or “alt-right,” these neo-Bolsheviks have little to do with the right that has been part of Western politics since World War II, and they have no connection to existing conservative parties. In continental Europe, they scorn Christian Democracy, which had its political base in the church and sought to bring morality back to politics after the nightmare of the Second World War. Nor do they have anything to do with Anglo-Saxon conservatism, which promoted free markets, free speech and a Burkean small-c conservatism: skepticism of “progress,” suspicion of radicalism in all its forms, and a belief in the importance of conserving institutions and values. Whether German or Dutch Christian Democrats, British Tories, American Republicans, East European ex-dissidents or French Gaullists, post-war Western conservatives have all been dedicated to representative democracy, religious tolerance, economic integration and the Western alliance.

By contrast, the neo-Bolsheviks of the new right or alt-right do not want to conserve or to preserve what exists. They are not Burkeans but radicals who want to overthrow existing institutions. Instead of the false and misleading vision of the future offered by Lenin and Trotsky, they offer a false and misleading vision of the past. They conjure up worlds made up of ethnically or racially pure nations, old-fashioned factories, traditional male-female hierarchies and impenetrable borders. Their enemies are homosexuals, racial and religious minorities, advocates of human rights, the media, and the courts. They are often not real Christians but rather cynics who use “Christianity” as a tribal identifier, a way of distinguishing themselves from their enemies: they are “Christians” fighting against “Muslims” — or against “liberals” if there are no “Muslims” available.

To an extraordinary degree, they have adopted Lenin’s refusal to compromise, his anti-democratic elevation of some social groups over others and his hateful attacks on his “illegitimate” opponents. Law and Justice, the illiberal nationalist ruling party in Poland, has sorted its compatriots into “true Poles” and “Poles of the worst sort.” Trump speaks of “real” Americans, as opposed to the “elite.” Stephen Miller, a Trump acolyte and speechwriter, recently used the word “cosmopolitan,” an old Stalinist moniker for Jews (the full term was “rootless cosmopolitan”), to describe a reporter asking him tough questions. “Real” Americans are worth talking to; “cosmopolitans” need to be eliminated from public life.

And no one should be surprised that Trump’s former strategist and current Breitbart News chairman media cheerleader Steve Bannon once called himself a Leninist. Lenin, he said, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

What all neo-Bolsheviks have in common is a sneering contempt for old-fashioned liberal democracy at home or abroad.

Congratulations David Collier

Here at Harry’s Place we’d like to wish blogger and all around star David Collier a hearty Mazel Tov on being the subject of a smear article by the Asa “through the looking glass” Winstanley for whom no event is too innocuous to be a part of a Zionist conspiracy.

Winstanley seems to have realised what the rest of us have known for a long time, that Collier’s commendable work unmasking the sheer volume of antisemitism prevalent in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and also the Labour Party serves as a threat to antisemites everywhere. Naturally therefore Winstanly rushed in to attack him.

But he has nothing to attack him with so all we’re left to read is an article showing off just how impressive Collier’s work is.

Of course Collier saw this coming a mile away and predicted precisely what Winstanley’s article would look like.

Keep it up David!