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Tariq Ali – Israel encourages antisemitism

Tariq Ali has accused Israel of  encouraging antisemitism. The veteran activist made the comments whilst addressing a pro-Palestinian rally opposite Downing Street on Saturday. He said that Israel was a purveyor of antisemitism and to blame for producing a ‘crude form of antisemitism‘. Without any hint of irony,  in the same speech Ali stated his belief that allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party are made up. Its the full double whammy – the Jews are to blame for antisemitism and it is also all made up. Work that one out.

Here is the comment in full:

That the purveyors of antisemitism today, those who have encouraged antisemitism are the Israeli government. Killing Palestinians the way that they do it, targeting children as they have done, this is what produces a crude form of antisemitism. And the support given to this by right-wing Zionist organisations in Europe and America doesn’t help challenging antisemitism either

So remember this the next time a Synagogue in Sweden is firebombed or Jews are murdered in Paris in the name of Palestine, Tariq Ali believes that Israel is to blame.

Ali also had some advice for his “old friend and comrade” – Jeremy Corbyn. To fight back against the “slanderers and liars“.

The ten minute tirade can be watched here.

A man is known by the company he keeps”….

Anti Assad Protest

Trump calls out Putin. Now what?

For those who don’t think I give credit where credit is due when it comes to Donald Trump:

I want to acknowledge that after the Syrian regime’s latest horrific chemical weapons attack on civilians, he has finally tweeted something critical about Vladimir Putin.

Given Trump’s willingness to publicly humiliate his own attorney general, among countless others, his readiness to overlook or downplay Putin’s role in undermining American democracy and murdering opponents seemed rather suspicious. It was almost as if Putin had something on Trump. (It’s entirely possible that Putin does have something on Trump, so stay tuned.)

The Assad regime’s atrocity (which of course it denies) comes a year after Trump ordered a cruise missile assault on a Syrian military airfield in retaliation for an earlier chemical massacre.

If that one-time response was an effort to deter Assad from launching similar attacks in the future, it clearly did not have the desired effect.

Of course Barack Obama’s decision to back off from his “red line” on Syria’s use of chemical weapons was one of the low points of his administration. And Trump may have a point here:

But Obama at least made a half-hearted effort to arm and train anti-Assad Syrian rebels (a program which Trump ended). And Obama stopped being president more than 14 months ago. What if anything will Trump do to make “Animal Assad” history?

What will the “Big price” be?

Update: And of course Corbyn can’t bring himself to assign blame.

Strangely he has no problem doing so when it comes to Israel.

It’s a telling commentary on Corbyn that in this instance, he manages to make Trump look good by comparison.

Jewish Community Condemned at Pro Gaza Rally

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council were accused of trying to bring about the political lynching of Jeremy Corbyn in Westminster today.

At a demonstration organised by the Palestine Forum in Britain Glyn Secker, Secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, attacked the two main representative bodies of the Jewish community, he did so to great applause.

Secker said of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council that;

“Their purpose is transparent, to bring down Corbyn because he is on the side of justice for Palestinians”

Watch the full 4 minutes speech below;

Of course such demonstrations attract only the highest quality activists such as possibly the only activist even Tony Greenstein could call antisemitic, Gerry Downing. Here he is, complete with a brand new beard, chilling with some Momentum types while giving out his Socialist Fight leaflets;

The inevitable Nazi discourse was present;

Naturally Britain is being run from Tel Aviv says Thomas Suarez (H/T Jonathan Hoffman);

And of course the other side of the sign says;

And naturally at a demonstration for Gaza you’ve gotta complain that there’s a purge of the Labour Party…haven’t you? Well you do if you’re with Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker’s outfit Labour Against the Witchhunt. Was there anyone at the demonstration who wasn’t either a member of the Labour Party or a member of the Labour Party on the verge of being booted out?

Here’s another one;

You’ve gotta love the homemade banners the most;

Tough Times for Jewish Corbynistas

The life of a Jewish Corbynista is not an easy one. Michael Segalov is finding it tough to get the message across to the thousands of Labour members for whom Labour membership is pointless if you can’t attack Jews;

Labour NEC member Rhea Wolfson on the other hand can’t see antisemitism when it’s right in front of her face. She’ll continue to be useful to the Corbyn gang.

In case anyone has forgotten the email that was Christine Shawcroft’s downfall was her defence of a Labour Council Candidate who had been tweeting and otherwise arguing antisemitic discourse. Did Jon Lansman or Rhea Wolfson do anything about the email when they saw it? Doubt it.

Did Rhea Wolfson just argue that MPs who are taking on the cause of countering antisemitism in the Labour Party are a part of the problem?

Of course she did and anyway there’s loads of racism across the political spectrum so why look at Labour? Of course there’s antisemitism in Labour she says (like it’s not weird that a party dedicated to fighting racism should have an issue with it) but that’s not the real problem, the real problem is the people who keep hi-lighting it and when people do hi-light it that just emboldens all of the other antisemites in the Labour Party;

“Nobody sensible denies there is a problem with antisemitism in the Labour Party: Momentum’s statement on the way forward is both measured and instructive on the issues at stake. But a number of people have cynically exploited the very real problems that exist in order to attack factions within Labour, or the party as a whole: often the same people with a deeply chequered and murky history when it comes to prejudice themselves. The harm this causes is manifold: the small band of naysayers who have dug their heels in and refuse to admit anti-Semitism exists in the Labour movement and needs to be combatted latch onto these people as examples of questionable, hypocritical motives. The cranks will gesture to the cynically manipulative and argue their insincerity is proof there is no issue, that the row is purely confected and part of a wider conspiracy of political attacks via the media.”

Of course one wonders why it is that in the Labour Party antisemitism is defended at the highest levels. In an ordinary political period the head of the opposition attending any kind of meeting, let a lone a Far Left Jewish one, where the head of the Board of Deputies of British Deputies was attacked by name and where the following was said would be a scandal in and of itself;

Please God smash the State of Israel. Smash it in the abundance of your love. Strengthen the hands of those who seek to liberate our Holy Land that is not actually ours at all.’ The poem contains the cry: ‘And f*** the Queen, especially f*** Prince Philip. Burn down Parliament.

But of course these are not ordinary times.

Jackie Walker, the Worst Anti-Racism Campaigner Ever?

You can read the comment thread to this post here on Facebook.

Make sure you’re not of a sensitive disposition first.

The Socialist Workers Party stand against antisemitism…..yeah right!

As the cases of antisemitism continue to emerge from the Labour party and the Jewish community continues to battle against the tide of hate, our friends over at the Socialist Workers Party will be hosting a number of events across the country about how they can defend Jeremy Corbyn against these “attacks”, and why “such suggestions” of antisemitism are really about “undermining the left’s support for Palestinians“. Because remember folks, allegations of antisemitism against the left can never be done in good faith. Its all about Palestine and those free-speech hating, colonialist loving Zionists. Well, that is what the SWP are saying anyway.

The events will be taking place this evening in London, as well as in Manchester and Oxford. One other event in London will be taking place next week.

South London:

The below comment on the event discussion page probably gives a good indication as to what kind of spirit the event will be conducted in.


Tower Hamlets:


The Corbynites continue to belittle antisemitism in the name of Jeremy Corbyn. When will he come out and tell them to stop?

I hope you are proud Mr Corbyn

A lot  has been written about the current antisemitism crisis that has engulfed the labour party, in fact, probably too much. And before you ask, yes, I do see the irony in writing this piece. But the thing is, I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant stream of antisemitism stories when I wake up and when I go to bed, I’m tired of being told that antisemitism is nothing more than a right-wing smear, and I’m tired of fighting a losing battle.

For years now, the Jewish community and their allies have been raising their concerns about the antisemitism that has been coming from the Labour Party. The stories ebb and flow from one week to the next, just waiting for that next Labour councillor who has posted holocaust denial on their Facebook, or the next Labour candidate who has tweeted that Israel carried out 9/11. It has turned into a circus – but this is no joke.

In all of the media coverage and reporting it can be hard to cut through all the noise. But let me tell you what you will find once you do. You will find a small community that is scared to death and fearful of what Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has brought and what him becoming Prime Minister might bring. Perhaps the fear is irrational, perhaps it is all an overreaction, but good-luck telling a Jew that their fear of antisemitism is irrational and an overreaction.

Corbyn has emboldened the most fringe elements of the left – conspiracists, obsessive Israel haters and Islamists, those who for all their lives have been consigned to the extreme political fringes. They used to meet in dingy pubs and left-wing bookshops; now they’re running the show.

These are the people who carried Corbyn to his leadership. We thought he may leave them behind when he became leader, he didn’t. We don’t hold much hope that he will leave them behind if he becomes Prime Minister.

As much as I would like to say that the recent stories have turned the tide (or at least stemmed it), it has done the opposite. The vitriol has increased and the Jeremy Corbyn supporting Facebook forums are more active than ever. Their resolve has not been weakened, it has only been strengthened, their anger has not been dampened, it has only been intensified. His leadership is nothing more than an obsessive cult, and yet that is why it is so strong.

So I finish with this – I hope you are proud Mr Corbyn. I hope you are proud of your supporters that have harassed, bullied and intimidated their political opponents. I hope you are proud of emboldening and legitimising antisemitic conspiracy theorists. And I hope you are proud of marginalising and dividing the UK’s small Jewish community.

“Boo! Not those Jews!”

This is a cross post from David Schneider

“Boo! Corbyn needs to get out and meets some Jews!”

[Corbyn spends Passover with some Jews at Jewdas]

“Boo! Not those Jews!”

Yes, it’s time for another post about Labour and anti-semitism.

First up, to paraphrase D:Ream’s New Labour anthem (oh God, am I Blairite?), things have got a lot better. Corbyn has admitted there’s a problem, McDonnell has admitted there’s a problem, so have Momentum, the PLP, prominent Corbynites, even my cousin Michael (and believe me, if he’s admitted it, there’s definitely a problem). So if you’re still saying “it’s all smears! Show me the evidence!” then you are most likely part of the problem we’re trying to tackle.

Next, let’s talk about Jewdas.
“Why did Corbyn go to this far-left group for Passover!”, I hear people shout. Well, first of all, can we dispense with the belief that there are “good Jews” and “bad Jews”. Jews are not a monolithic body. One of my favourite Jewish jokes is this one:

A Jew is stranded for years on a desert island. The people who rescue him are amazed he’s built 2 synagogues. He tells them: “this is the one I pray in. And the other is the one I wouldn’t be seen dead in”

MORAL: There are lots of different types of Jews. There are religious Jews, atheist Jews, leftie Jews, Tory Jews, Zionist Jews, anti-Zionist Jews, tall Jews, short Jews, Jews who like Coldplay and Jews who listen to nothing but Motorhead (I think I might need to update my musical references). Corbyn should meet as many of them as possible, including Jewdas, who speak to a lot of Jews who don’t feel part of mainstream Anglo-Jewry.

As I understand it, Corbyn has reached out to the groups behind the demo outside Parliament, most notably the Board Of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, but they’ve set out preconditions for meeting him. I presume his team will be looking at those preconditions but I wish there weren’t any. Come on, Jewish leaders, to combat anti-semitism in the Labour party, you should meet Corbyn and his team. Educate them. Explain how you feel. Don’t do preconditions. This isn’t a barmitzvah where you’ll only attend if they get the right caterer. And you can’t say “how dare Corbyn not meet us!” while telling him he can’t yet meet you.

It’s very possible that the Jewdas date was arranged a while back. Can you imagine the hoo-hah if Corbyn had pulled out of the event last night: “Corbyn pulls out of Jewish event, the anti-semite!” etc etc. The timing wasn’t great, especially given the Jewdas statement on the Antisemitism-in-Labour-gate, dismissing it as a smear. But hoo-hah, shmoo-hah, it was probably always going to be lose-lose for Corbyn.

I’m not saying Corbyn is the messiah. In fact, recent events have shown that he’s sometimes been a very naughty boy. But I do believe that now, finally, the Labour leadership realises there is a real problem with anti-semitism and is preparing to tackle it. Jew and non-Jew, leftie or not, we should do all we can to help.

Please enjoy my picture of Corbyn arriving at the Jewdas event.

The Toughest Sell Ever, Unilateral Israeli Withdrawal

I think Israel must leave the West Bank for the good of the country and the Jewish people.

I don’t think that leaving the West Bank will end our problems. I actually think it will create more.

The West Bank will inevitably fall into the hands of Hamas or a group even more radical.

The world will not thank us for leaving and may even argue that we still occupy areas we have withdrawn from as they do with Gaza.

I know that when we leave the West Bank Jewish holy places will be off limits to Jews to pray in and that I am effectively calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jewish people from the very parts of biblical Israel that are the most important to our great religion.

And there’s very little I can say that we’re going to get in return. In fact there is absolutely nothing tangible Israel is going to get in return. In this I concede that every argument made for hanging on to the West Bank is correct. Our fears of a dictatorial state hell bent on hurting us would likely, though not certainly, come to pass. The airport would be in range (it is now though and our occupation didn’t stop Hamas firing missiles from Gaza).

But there is one intangible thing the lack of which hovers over Israel and the Jewish people as an ever present shadow wherever we go. Our righteousness.

“The fate of Israel depends on two things,” Ben-Gurion once said. “On her strength and on her righteousness”. (from Michael Bar-Zohar’s biography of Ben Gurion)

At the moment we are strong but we are not righteous. Palestinians are condemned to live in one large prison. Israelis are condemned from birth to be their gaolers. So far as the ruling Likud Party is concerned we are currently living the solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

The racism of Israeli settlers will continue to be well documented and posted online for all to see, except by Israeli officials who will decry a smear campaign against the state of Israel.

It’s not surprising that Jews in the diaspora are almost as miserable at the prospect of having to defend Israel as Israelis are at having to spend three years of their lives keeping Palestinians in gaol.

There’s no righteousness to our argument.

We are not plucky little Israel just trying to survive we are bullying powerful Israel picking on people who can’t do anything about it.

In my own lifetime the definition of a terrorist has changed from being a Soviet trained, keffiyah wearing paramilitary armed with a Kalashnikov to a 15 year old girl armed with a knife she stole from her Mum’s kitchen.

I’ve watched as Israel gave Elor Azaria a token prison sentence for bravely shooting an incapacitated terrorist in the head. I watched the video of a bunch of Jews courageously abusing a girl — terrorist — lying on the ground bleeding to death from a bullet wound. I’ve watched hundreds of other smaller incidents of violence from uprooting olive trees to throwing stones at Palestinian kids and on and on courtesy of youtube.

I know that the statistics in 2010 for the conviction rate of a Palestinian brought into an Israeli military court was over 99% and that in 2015 only 7.4 percent of West Bank Israeli police investigations following complaints from Palestinian victims of offences committed against them or their property by Israeli civilians resulted in indictments. If you’re a Jew you’re innocent if you’re a Palestinian you’re guilty.

I know that a withdrawal from the West Bank will result in additional Israeli deaths. I know that it will create rifts in Israeli society, particularly among those religious Jews who can’t even contemplate a Jewish state that’s prepared to remove Jews from living in the lands our forefathers lived in and where the miracles of our holy books took place. Especially when they know that the righteousness I speak of is mocked and held up as a weakness by the very people who seek to destroy us and that their lack of righteousness is rarely criticised by anyone.

Yet my concern is for my people and my country.

The other day we shot dead 16 Palestinians on our border with Gaza. Yet we don’t really know where our borders are. I wrote defending our actions because I feel that no country on earth can be expected to allow tens of thousands of people who wish to destroy the country simply march through their border. But when you have a country who fudges the issue of where its borders are it’s difficult to argue that we have a right to defend them.

It’s also difficult to criticise the opposition when I know that my own politicians are sitting on their hands rather pleased with the current situation.

Our much vaunted military that fared so poorly against Hezbollah in 2006, (though rather better against a badly equipped Hamas), is wasting away as a paramilitary force experienced only in making arrests and guarding settlements. It has little time to train and faces the strain of having to defend a growing populace in hostile surroundings.

At the moment in France Jews are being murdered in their homes. In the UK Jews are hated as an elite stopping Jeremy Corbyn from becoming Prime Minister. In the United States the Far Right are marching in front of synagogues with their rifles.

We need Israel more than ever before. But we are allowing our state to decay from the inside out. Within the Green Line 80% of Israeli citizens are Jews. Including the West Bank that figure drops to the point at which it becomes clear that there won’t be any Jewish state if Israel attempts to annex the territory and imposes an openly separate regime or is forced to by the international community and offers Palestinians citizenship in one country that means the end of a Jewish homeland.

But it is about more than that. It’s about righteousness.

Are we a force for good in the world or are we merely Palestine’s gaolers?