• Islamism,  Regressive Left

    Moazzam Begg and the Guardian’s Film Critic

    On Thursday, The Guardian’s film critic Mike McCahill published a two paragraph, seven sentence review of The Confession, a new documentary about the life of one Moazzam Begg. And his review went like this: The Confession review – profound Guantánamo Bay documentary ****/5 Moazzam Begg is interviewed about his incarceration in Cuba in a documentary of great clarity and gravitas The simple framing indicates documentary-maker Ashish Ghadiali knows he has hit upon an inherently resonant modern story. For 96 minutes, here is Moazzam Begg, sitting in a mock-up interview room, describing how a lad from Birmingham wound up in Guantánamo Bay. Personal and political quickly interweave. Begg’s close-miked words, often…

  • antisemitism,  Far Left,  Labour Party,  Regressive Left

    Ken Livingstone, Lenni Brenner, and Falsified Evidence

    This is a guest post by Paul Bogdanor Attempting to defend his recent outbursts, Ken Livingstone has invoked Lenni Brenner’s book Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. Livingstone explains: The shocking thing about his book was that he revealed that not only Hitler had wanted to move all of Germany’s Jews to Israel, but that the Zionist leadership continued a dialogue privately with Hitler from ’33 when he became Chancellor from [sic] 1940-41… Lenni’s book shows a shared common belief between the Nazis and the Zionists in preserving their race from interracial marriage and things like that. They wanted to preserve their ethnic purity and that’s why they had…

  • antisemitism,  Far Left,  Labour Party,  Regressive Left

    Who is Lenni Brenner?

    This is a guest post by Paul Bogdanor Interviewed about his suspension from the Labour Party, Ken Livingstone made this comment: Everything I said yesterday [about Hitler being a Zionist] was true and I will be presenting the academic book about that to the Labour Party inquiry. The book, it turns out, is the notorious tract Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Lenni Brenner. Brenner is a lifelong Trotskyist activist and propagandist. An acquaintance from the 1960s described him as a non-student “Marxist agitator” who would stand near the Bancroft strip and rail about the Pope, the Bay of Pigs, and marijuana, indifferent to the fact that most passersby thought…

  • Islamism,  Regressive Left

    Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the JW3

    Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali first debated the motion “This House Believes Islam Is A Religion Of Peace” in 2010 for an Intelligence Squared event. They revisited the topic in 2013. Last night’s discussion – organized by the Alan Howard Foundation and staged at North London’s JW3 Jewish Community Center – was their third encounter, but the views of both participants seem to have evolved towards one another over time. The result was a discussion rather than a debate – one that covered a range of issues including multiculturalism, immigration, free speech, Cologne, honor violence, and Islamist antisemitism. Today, Maajid does not offer platitudes about Islam being a peaceful…

  • Israel/Palestine,  Regressive Left

    ‘Pinkwashing’ and Traitors to the Human Mind

    This is the opening part of a longer post I wrote for Quillette. A link to the entire article can be found here or at the foot of this extract. Last week, the neologism ‘pinkwashing’ made an unwelcome return to news headlines. On Friday January 22, protesters bearing placards denouncing Israel disrupted an event organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force as part of its Creating Change conference in Chicago. The protesters, it seems, were upset by the involvement of an Israeli LGBT organisation called Jerusalem Open House and a Jewish LGBT organization called A Wider Bridge that, the JTA reported, “seeks to build ties between gay communities in North…