Wednesday, November 2, 2016

826 Lobby invents 'anti-Semitism crisis' in UK Labour, to smear Ken Livingstone & unseat Corbyn

Lobby invents 'anti-Semitism crisis' in UK Labour, to smear Ken
Livingstone & unseat Corbyn

Newsletter published on 13 May 2016

(1) London mayoral race pits poor Muslim vs Jewish billionaire
(2) Jews welcome London Mayor Sadiq Khan, but condemn Corbyn 'anti-Semitism'
(3) Sadiq Khan  criticizes Corbyn over 'anti-Semitism'
(4) Anglo-Jewry confronts Labour anti-Semitic surge - Isi Leibler
(5) UK Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis - invented by the Israel lobby
(6) Philip Giraldi - Tie yourself in Knots to avoid the anti-Semitism label
(7) Ken Livingstone on Hitler's Zionism - is criticism of Israel
(8) Absurd claims about Ken Livingstone being an anti-Semite - Jonathan Cook

(1) London mayoral race pits poor Muslim vs Jewish billionaire

In London’s Mayoral Race, Candidate Rejects ‘Extremism’ Barb

By Associated Press | May 1, 2016

Last Updated: May 1, 2016 9:25 am

LONDON—One is a bus driver’s son who grew up in social housing, the
other a billionaire’s son raised in a mansion. They are two very
different London success stories, and one is about to become the city’s
next mayor.

The contrast between Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party and Conservative
candidate Zac Goldsmith is resonant in a booming city where rocketing
rents and property prices are squeezing out the middle class and
increasing extremes of poverty and wealth.

But the election on Thursday has been overshadowed by allegations that
Khan, who is Muslim, has links to extremists—and counterclaims that
Goldsmith is trying to frighten and divide voters in one of the world’s
most cosmopolitan cities.

Goldsmith has used words such as "radical" and "dangerous" to describe
Khan, and said in a campaign speech that his opponent had given
"platforms, oxygen and even cover—over and over again—to those who seek
to do our police and capital harm."

Prime Minister David Cameron took up the criticism, accusing Khan of
appearing "again and again" on platforms alongside Sulaiman Ghani, an
imam Cameron called an Islamic extremist.

Khan fought back, vowing to be "the British Muslim who takes the fight
to the extremists" and accused Goldsmith of running a "nasty,
dog-whistling campaign."

Khan says before he entered politics he was a human-rights lawyer and
sometimes shared platforms with people whose views he opposed. His team
has produced photos of Ghani with Goldsmith and other senior
Conservatives, and pointed out that Khan helped remove Ghani as the imam
of a London mosque because of his radical views.

The spat has left a sour taste in a multicultural metropolis where more
than 1 million of the 8.6 million residents are Muslims. Goldsmith has
been accused of heightening tensions in a city where authorities have
foiled several Islamic extremist terrorist plots since suicide bombers
killed 52 people on the London transit system in July 2005.

Tony Travers, a local government expert at the London School of
Economics, said "British politics is used to robust exchanges and
accusations," but Goldsmith’s tactics have left some people feeling uneasy.

They may also backfire. Despite the allegations, 45-year-old Khan is
bookies’ and pollsters’ strong favorite to win Thursday’s election and
become London’s first Muslim mayor.

In the final week before the vote, Khan’s campaign has been tinged by
claims Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism, inflamed when a former
London mayor, Ken Livingstone, claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported
Zionism before he came to power. Khan quickly condemned the remarks but
said his chances of winning have been damaged.

The winner will be only the third mayor in the city’s modern history;
the post was established in 2000. The two previous office-holders were
left-wing Labour politician Ken Livingstone and Conservative
attention-grabber Boris Johnson.

Both Goldsmith and Khan are born-and-bred Londoners. Khan grew up with
seven brothers and sisters in a three-bedroom social-housing apartment,
the son of a bus driver and a seamstress from Pakistan. He practiced law
before being elected to Parliament in 2005, representing the area where
he grew up.

London "is the greatest city in the world. It gave me the helping hand I
needed to fulfill my potential," Khan told voters at a recent rally.

Goldsmith, 41, said his family is "as diverse as this great city." He
has Jewish ancestors who fled fascism in Europe, and his financier
father James Goldsmith was both a French member of the European
Parliament and an anti-EU British politician. And he has Muslim
nephews—his sister Jemima is divorced from Pakistani
cricketer-politician Imran Khan.

Goldsmith attended the elite boarding school Eton until he was expelled
for marijuana possession. A lifelong environmentalist, he edited the
Ecologist magazine—owned by his uncle—before being elected to Parliament
in 2010.

For many voters, Goldsmith’s barbed attacks on Khan are a distraction
from the most important election issue: housing. Europe’s largest city
is growing increasingly unaffordable for many of its residents. The
average London home price is 530,000 pounds ($770,000), 10 times the
average annual household income.

Sky-high house prices are a sign of the city’s success. London’s
financial district attracts the world’s billions, and the city’s homes
draw wealthy buyers from China, Russia and other countries looking for a
safe haven for themselves and their money.

And after decades of post-World War II decline, London’s population is
growing fast—due in part to migration from other countries in the
28-nation European Union, whose citizens have the right to live and work
in Britain.

Unrestricted immigration is a major issue in another big vote that
looms—Britain’s June 23 referendum on whether to stay in the EU—and a
vote to leave the bloc could have a huge impact on London. Goldsmith
advocates leaving and Khan wants to remain, but the issue has played
little part in the mayoral campaign.

Despite their differences, the two candidates agree on the need to
tackle the cost of housing and on the other major challenges facing the
city: crime and terrorism, overburdened transport and persistent air

Both have promised to build 50,000 new homes each year, double the
current rate.

At a recent rally, Khan said he would give Londoners "first dibs for
homes, rather than investors from the Middle East and Asia." Goldsmith
agreed that London had "a housing crisis for a generation" but said "we
have to be honest about how difficult it will be to solve it."

Solving the housing riddle is easier said than done in a city where land
is at a premium and a legally protected green belt limits suburban sprawl.

London’s mayor controls a 16 billion-pound ($23 billion) budget, but has
less authority than their counterparts in New York or Paris since they
share power with the city’s 32 boroughs and financial district.

But if there is no solution, London risks losing residents like Madi
Simpson, a 36-year-old mother of three young children. She and her
husband have moved four times in six years in the struggle to find an
affordable home. They have a solid middle-class income but still spend
half of it on rent.

"We’re clinging on to London because our church community is here, our
families are here," she said. "I don’t want to see London hemorrhage
families and young people. I don’t want a piece of real estate—I want a

(2) Jews welcome London Mayor Sadiq Khan, but condemn Corbyn 'anti-Semitism'

London Jews cautiously optimistic about first-ever Muslim mayor

Why, despite the anti-Semitism scandal rocking his Labour Party, are
London's Jews hopeful about Mayor Sadiq Khan?

By Ari Soffer

First Publish: 5/8/2016, 3:06 PM

Despite receiving a nationwide drubbing in local elections, the UK
Labour Party did claim a major scalp in the UK capital, with Sadiq Khan
becoming London's first-ever Muslim Mayor, ending eight years of
Conservative Party control.

But while you might expect London's Jewish community to be worried - and
indeed, some Jewish leaders have expressed concern over Labour's success
in spite of the anti-Semitism scandal rocking the party - Jewish
Londoners are in fact heartened by their newest mayor.

The race for Mayor of London - the most powerful directly-elected office
in Britain - was a dirty one, with Khan and his opponent Zac Goldsmith
trading barbs and accusations of racism and extremism. Khan's own past
associations with a string of Islamist figures was one of the topics of
controversy, which had many British Jews particularly concerned given
the ongoing Labour scandal.

Khan for his part has claimed he only associated with those figures in
his capacity as a human rights lawyer - a contention some have
questioned - and pointed to his liberal voting record as proof that he
himself is an avowed moderate.

But his past record aside, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which
officially represents the UK's roughly 270,000-strong Jewish community,
enthusiastically congratulated the new Mayor of London.

Noting that "his first public engagement will be the Yom HaShoah
commemoration" on Sunday, the BoD expressed "hope that this will set the
tone for his mayoralty's engagement with our community."

"We look forward to working with him in his new role," it added.

The UK Zionist Federation - the country's largest pro-Israel
organization - also sounded an optimistic note.

"We are hopeful that he is mayor we can work with," said ZF Chairman
Paul Charney.

"He is moderate and pluralistic, he has shown a clear stance against
anti-Semitism in his own party, even to the extent of distancing himself
from Corbyn," Charney stated.

And there is much reason for London's Jews to feel positive about their
new mayor, BoD President Jonathan Arkush told Arutz Sheva.

Indeed, rather than some of his questionable past associations, London's
170,000-strong Jewish community have been far more interested in his
particularly high-profile stance against anti-Semitism in general, and
Jew-hated emanating from his own party in particular.

Khan's outspokenness against anti-Semitism within Labour is not to be
taken for granted. As illustrated by the disturbing popularity of
anti-Semitic MPs and councilors in regions - such as Bradford - with far
larger Muslim communities than Jewish ones, it may well have been more
politically-expedient for Khan to avoid the issue as much as possible,
rather than wading in to so strongly criticize anti-Zionist extremists
within his own party. London's Muslim community is similarly far larger
than its Jewish population.

Echoing the BoD's official statement, Arkush - himself a Londoner - also
cited the fact that the new Mayor's first official engagement will be to
participate in Holocaust commemorations, and further noted that he would
be sharing the podium with the UK Chief Rabbi and Israeli Ambassador in
the process - a strong snub to the hard-left within the Labour Party.

"I am hopeful about him," said Arkush. "I think that in the run up to
the election, he was exceptionally friendly in his dealings with the
Jewish community."

"He was one of the leaders of the charges within Labour that were very
critical of Jeremy Corbyn," he continued, adding that he firmly believed
Khan's sentiments towards the Jewish community were sincere.

"I don't see any of that as being purely for electoral reasons," he
insisted. "On the contrary, I think Sadiq Khan's commitment to genuine
middle-ground politics and friendship towards all communities -
certainly including the Jewish community - are entirely genuine."

Arkush went even further, voicing hope that Khan could act as a
counterweight to extremist leaders within the Muslim community, and that
as Mayor he could help bridge the divide between London's Jewish and
Muslim communities.

"I would like to think that if Sadiq Khan indeed develops further into a
moderate, tolerant, enlightened politician from the Muslim community,
that he could stand as an important role model for British Muslims, who
currently lack such figures. Time will tell."

Addressing the anomalous Labour victory in the capital, against the
backdrop of an otherwise terrible election day for the leading
opposition party, Arkush cautioned against drawing wider conclusions
about the public's perception of Labour under its current far-left

"Labour was always going to win a majority in London," he noted, though
he estimated the Jewish vote for a Labour candidate had likely dropped
sharply, as it did on the local level. London has always been a Labour
stronghold, with Khan's predecessor Boris Johnson's success hinging to
no small degree on his "pure force of character," he said.

And Arkush emphasized that, overall, the British electorate had
delivered a fairly resounding message against the Labour Party's current
extremist trajectory - on everything from anti-Zionism, to the economy
and British national security.

"Although to the Israeli press with the Labour controversy it seems like
the UK is anti-Semitic, the reality is different," he insisted.

"These people who have been suspended from Labour are not new
anti-Semites. Most of them were there all along - some of them are just
more emboldened now to say what they are saying."

On the contrary, he asserted, the fact that they have all been suspended
- if often far too slowly - and the fact that the British media and
public have reacted so negatively to extremism within Labour, bodes well
for the future.

And after such a disastrous local election, Corbyn's days may well be

(3) Sadiq Khan  criticizes Corbyn over 'anti-Semitism'

London mayoral candidate blasts Labour's anti-Semitism

Sadiq Khan calls on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be trained about
anti-Semitism in order to crack down on it within the party.

By Ben Ariel

First Publish: 4/7/2016, 6:13 AM

London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan has criticized Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn and said he should be "trained about what anti-Semitism is" in
order to crack down on it within his party, Newsweek reported Wednesday.

Khan, the minister for Tooting in south London, said the Labour party’s
failure to tackle anti-Jewish sentiment was "unacceptable". The comments
came in a speech Tuesday night organized by Jewish News and the London
Jewish Forum.

"If it needs senior members, including members of the NEC (National
Executive Committee), of my party to be trained about what anti-Semitism
is, then so be it," Khan said, according to Newsweek.

"I said from the outset, I'm embarrassed, I'm sorrowful about
anti-Semitism in my party," he added. I think the Labour leadership
could have taken a tougher stance—and should have taken a tougher stance."

"There is no hierarchy when it comes to racism—racism is racism," added

The Labour party in Britain has come under continuous criticism due to
the anti-Semitic comments by its members.

In March, Vicki Kirby, a party organizer banned for calling Hitler "a
Zionist god" and ridiculing Jews for having "big noses," was readmitted
into the party.

Last week Bob Campbell, a party activist, was criticized for suggesting
that Israel was behind the ISIS terror organization.

Even Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire for comments
in which he called the Hezbollah and Hamas organizations his "friends."

Most recently a former mayor of Bradford and Labour member, Khadim
Hussain, posted comments on Facebook decrying Holocaust education and
alleging that Israel had armed ISIS.

Even Khan has come under fire after it was revealed that he pushed for
sanctions against the State of Israel in the past despite his claims
that he opposes the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Khan said in his speech Tuesday that the use of the term "Zio" had
become a way to attack Jews in the say way the term "homo" is used as a
slight on gay people.

"That sort of education is needed in my party, I'm not proud to say," he
said, according to Newsweek. "That is the state we have reached.

"Anti-Semitism has risen by 60 per cent over the past 12 months. It's
not just a problem for the Jewish community, it is a problem for
society," he continued. "If there's anti-Semitism in our society,
there's a problem with society. That is why it is so important for it to
be a mainstream issue."

Khan, who is a slim favorite to triumph in the May poll, said he wanted
to be a unifying mayor for all of London if elected.

"I know what it is like to suffer hate crime because of your ethnicity,
your religion," he added.

On Sunday, Labour leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John
McDonnell told his fellow party members that the time had come to take
the problem of anti-Semitism within Labour seriously.

"As soon as Jewish people start telling us there is anti-Semitism in our
party, we’ve got to sit up and listen," McDonnell told BBC, calling for
members expressing anti-Semitic views to be ousted from the party.

(4) Anglo-Jewry confronts Labour anti-Semitic surge - Isi Leibler

Anglo-Jewry confronts Labour anti-Semitic surge

Isi Leibler

April 13, 2016

Ten years ago, I was accused of pandering to hysteria when I praised
Melanie Phillips’ groundbreaking book, "Londonistan," detailing the
alarming growth of anti-Semitism in the U.K. and predicting further
deterioration unless the British government drastically altered its

Many British Jews, especially those living in Jewish enclaves, were in
denial, simply unwilling to face reality. Their attitude is brilliantly
portrayed in Howard Jacobson’s 2010 Man Booker Prize-winning novel, "The
Finkler Question," which satirically portrays a British Jew desperately
seeking to become socially acceptable.

The Anglo-Jewish establishment has frequently been referred to as
"trembling Israelites." They were "shtadlanim" (court Jews) who, to
quote a former president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews,
crafted a policy based on "Why must one shout when a whisper can be
heard?" Their overriding concern was to avoid rocking the boat by
minimizing public protest wherever possible.

Those who assailed Melanie Phillips as an extremist 10 years ago today
would concede that her analysis has been absolutely vindicated, and
alas, her predictions of intensifying anti-Semitism were understated.

Who then would have dreamed that the alternate government in the U.K. –
the Labour Party – would not only be riddled with anti-Semites, but
would elect a leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who praises Hamas; maintains that
Hamas and Hezbollah are committed to peace; calls for a boycott of
Israel; accepts Islamic demonization of Israel; and associates with
Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, whom he defends as "far from a dangerous
man"; and endorses Raed Salah, who employed the medieval blood libel to
justify Palestinian terrorism?

It should therefore not be surprising that Corbyn refuses to purge the
increasingly vocal anti-Semites from his party, despite widespread media
exposure and repeated pleas from distraught members.

Jews are also shocked with the extension of this hatred which has
penetrated leading universities, including Oxford. The depiction by Alex
Chalmers, former head of the Oxford University Labour Club, of the
anti-Semitism he encountered and the support of Hamas that obliged him
to resign, is chilling. The Sunday Times disclosed that during the TV
coverage of funerals for those murdered in the Paris kosher supermarket,
the members mocked the Jewish victims, sang songs about rockets over Tel
Aviv, and related to Auschwitz as a "cash cow" for Jews.

Not surprisingly, many Jewish students feel intimidated. To retain their
social standing, a number choose to endorse the anti-Zionist chic,
others recuse themselves. Some argue that Jewish student bodies should
not even engage in Israel advocacy and should restrict themselves to
religious, cultural and social activities.

Although Jews living in predominately Jewish areas are less affected,
there has been an exponential growth of public anti-Semitic incidents,
including acts of violence.

Today in Britain there is open chatter that the creation of Israel was a
mistake and there are intensifying calls to end the "apartheid Jewish

These events have shattered the myth that anti-Semitism in the U.K. is
restricted to Muslims and fringe indigenous elements. The BBC is not
controlled by Islamists but its extreme bias and double standards have
molded public opinion toward the demonization of Israel. Much of the
anti-Israelism that initially emanated from Trotskyite elements has now
become intrinsic to the DNA of many left-wingers. The boycott,
divestment and sanctions movement is primarily promoted by indigenous
leftist activists.

Indeed, in some respects the situation is worse than the 1930s, when at
least liberal and left-wing groups defended the Jews. Admittedly, the
current prime minister, David Cameron, is a friend of Israel and the
Jewish people, but opinion polls indicate that half the population
considers Israel a rogue state. In a democracy, such trends ultimately
impact on policy.

The current communal leadership is responding courageously, in contrast
to its predecessors. Last year, the Board of Deputies elected as its
47th president, Jonathan Arkush, a traditional Jew and a passionate
Zionist, who dismissed the "court-Jew" policy of relying almost
exclusively on "silent diplomacy".

He was, from the outset, respectfully outspoken in his condemnation of
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to confront anti-Jewish
bigotry in his party. Indeed, Arkush could well serve as a role model
for many American Jewish leaders who in the past made a point of
ridiculing British leaders for their timidity, but have been singularly
silent in relation to President Barack Obama’s outbursts against Israel.

Arkush stated: "If Labor is to be credible in exorcising its
anti-Semitic demons, its leader must first clearly demonstrate that that
these relationships are problematic."

He added: "Failing to oppose terrorism at the Jewish community by the
likes of Hamas and Hezbollah; singing a song called "Rockets over Tel
Aviv"; indicating support for the Holocaust or denying it happened;
denying or finding excuses for the problem of contemporary
anti-Semitism; indulging in theological anti-Semitism – tying the
current problems in the Middle East to prejudices about Jews learnt from
the texts or traditions of Christianity or Islam; repeating Jewish
conspiracy theories about malevolent Jewish power and control, including
the "blood libel" – all these things should be obviously unacceptable
behavior. But sadly, they have not been obvious enough to some."

Last week, Corbyn defended his brother Piers who dismissed allegations
of anti-Semitism as "absurd," claiming that "Zionists can’t cope with
anyone supporting rights for Palestine". Corbyn’s defense of   Piers’
remarks is all the more problematic considering they were uttered
directly in aftermath of the exposure of a number of incendiary
anti-Semitic outbursts by Labour politicians. For example:

* Labour’s shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s website was exposed as
having "paid tribute to suicide bombers," shared links to websites
promoting boycott of Israeli goods, compared Israelis to Nazis and
posted an article stating that Israel should be "dismantled." Only after
media exposure did McDonnell withdraw the offending websites.

   Labor MP, Vicki Kirby, implied that there was a sinister reason why
ISIS failed to attack "the real oppressors", Israel, stated Adolf Hitler
could be regarded as a "Zionist God" and that Jews have big noses;

   Labour MP Gerry Downing was expelled from the party for the second
time, but only after Prime Minister Cameron drew attention to his views,
which included re-opening "the Jewish Question" and stating that
terrorism was the legitimate response of the oppressed;

   Former Labour mayor of Bradford, Khaddim Hussain condemned Holocaust
education and accused Israel of arming ISIS;

   A Labour councillor in Luton, Aysegul Gurbuz, last week referred to
Hitler "as the greatest man in history" and expressed the hope that a
nuclear Iran "would wipe Israel off the map."

Arkush described Corbyn’s insistence that his brother was "not wrong "in
dismissing allegations of anti-Semitism, as "belittling" the issue and
"deeply disturbing." He stated: "We cannot imagine any other minority’s
concerns would be dismissed in this way. In the last few weeks, we have
witnessed a stream of clear-cut cases of anti-Semitism in the Labour
Party which can’t just be fobbed off as differences over Israel. Most of
the Jewish community, numerous Labour peers, and Labour’s London mayoral
candidate are crying out for their leader to take action on
anti-Semitism. It would be incomprehensible for Mr. Corbyn to remain
inert and refuse to take this form of racism in his party seriously." He
stated explicitly that, "Frankly, most people in the Jewish community
can’t trust Labour."

Although a few hard-core Jewish Labour supporters have criticized Arkush
for publicly stating that Jews were losing trust in the party, the
majority of Jewish leftists unequivocally condemned Corbyn’s attitude
and were no less damning of the rampant anti-Semitism in the party than
the Board president.

One might hope that public exposure might shame Labour leaders into
taking remedial action. Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle,
is pessimistic. He noted: ’If your politics are anti-imperialist,
nothing else matters. So Mr. Corbyn happily describes Hamas and
Hezbollah representatives as ‘friends’, despite their penchant for
murdering Jews … and with the party leader openly – proudly – alongside
these people, anti-Semites swarm to Labour, assured of a warm welcome
from their fellow anti-imperialists. This isn’t political debate – it’s
racism. And it’s Labour’s racism."

British Jews should unite and support their lay leadership. These
shocking developments affect all Jews, bridging the entire political
spectrum, secular and religious, ultra-Orthodox to Reform.

According to the Daily Mail, over the past two decades, Jewish support
for Labour has plummeted from 70% to 25%. In last May’s General
Election, it was reported that Jews contributed a third of the 9.7
million pounds donated (approximately $13.7 million) to Labour by
private donors. This year, no major Jewish donor contributed.

If Arkush has the support of the community and if the so-called "Jewish
Leadership Council," an unelected body mainly comprising wealthy Jews,
which frequently undermines the representative role of the Board of
Deputies, sets aside personal egos and backs the elected Jewish
community leadership, Anglo-Jewry will act with dignity and maximize its
ability to reverse the tide.

At the very least, the leadership will demonstrate to the next
generation how, as proud Jews, they will not be intimidated or run for
cover but stand up for their rights.   Isi Leibler may be contacted at

(5) UK Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis - invented by the Israel lobby

How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis

Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada 28 April 2016

Former London mayor and long-time Palestinian rights campaigner Ken
Livingstone is the latest victim of the UK Labour Party’s witch hunt
over alleged anti-Semitism. TLA WENN Photos

Last year, socialist stalwart Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership of the
UK’s Labour Party by a landslide.

Since then, there has been a steady flow of claims by Israel’s
supporters that Corbyn has not done enough to combat anti-Semitism.

This has only accelerated in the lead-up to a major test for Corbyn, the
UK local elections on 5 May.

Even as this story was in preparation, two more victims were claimed in
the war against his leadership.

Lawmaker Naz Shah and the former mayor of London, long-time Palestine
campaigner Ken Livingstone, were also suspended from the party – within
hours of being accused of anti-Semitism.

But an investigation by The Electronic Intifada has found that some of
the most prominent stories about anti-Semitism in the party are falsified.

The Electronic Intifada can reveal that a key player in Labour’s
"anti-Semitism crisis" covered up his involvement in the Israel lobby.

Most Labour members so accused are in reality being attacked for
expressing opinions in favor of Palestinian human rights and
particularly for supporting the boycott of Israel.

Labour activists, many of them Jews, have told The Electronic Intifada
that false accusations of anti-Semitism are being used as a weapon
against Corbyn by the party’s right-wing.

Corbyn has been active in the Palestine solidarity movement for more
than three decades. In an interview with The Electronic Intifada last
year, he endorsed key elements of the Palestinian call for a boycott of
Israel. For example, he urged an end to weapons trading with Israel.

His election represented a radical shift in Labour, a popular revolt at
the grassroots membership level.

Although Labour’s membership has grown since Corbyn’s victory, he has
been under constant attack from right-leaning politicians within the
party. In an attempt to weaken his position, some of his critics have
manufactured a "crisis" about alleged anti-Semitism.

Attacks on Corbyn have escalated in the lead-up to next week’s local
elections. Poor results would be seized upon by his enemies within the

Witch hunt

Charley Allan, a Jewish member of the party, and a Morning Star
columnist, has described the current atmosphere in the press and Labour
Party as a "witch hunt."

It has reached such an absurd volume that any usage of the word
"Zionist" is deemed to be anti-Semitic – although tellingly not when
used by self-described Zionists.

Where real instances of anti-Jewish bigotry have come to light, the
leadership and party machine have taken robust action.

According to The Spectator, the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol
told a recent meeting of Labour lawmakers that everyone who had been
reported for anti-Semitism had either been suspended or excluded.

Corbyn has responded to the media storm by repeatedly condemning
anti-Semitism and saying that anyone making an anti-Semitic remark is
"auto-excluded from the party."

John McDonnell, the shadow finance minister and a long-standing Corbyn
ally, told The Independent that any party member found by an
investigation to be expressing anti-Semitic views should be expelled for
life. "If people express these views, full stop they’re out," McDonnell


Smears of anti-Semitism against Corbyn started even before he was elected.

During his leadership campaign in the summer of 2015, the establishment
media worked itself into a frenzy of anti-Corbyn hysteria, led more than
any other paper by the liberal Guardian.

One of the recurring themes in this campaign was Corbyn’s long-standing
support for Palestinian human rights.

Because of this, attempts were made to say outright, or to imply, that
Corbyn was a secret anti-Semite, or that he associated with, or
tolerated "notorious" anti-Semites.

Although these hit jobs gained some traction, they were soon debunked,
and ultimately seemed to have little impact on the leadership election.

This dishonest theme is now being revisited. In February, the slow drip
of anti-Semitism scare stories burst into a flood.


An "anti-Semitism scandal" erupted in the Oxford University Labour Club
– an association of student supporters of the party.

In a public Facebook posting Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the club,
resigned his position over what he claimed was anti-Semitic behavior in
"a large proportion" of the student Labour club "and the student left in
Oxford more generally."

But as evidence he cited the club’s decision, in a majority vote, to
endorse Oxford’s Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual awareness-raising
exercise by student groups which support Palestinian rights.

This connection was clearly designed to smear Palestine solidarity
activists as anti-Semites – a standard tactic of the Israel lobby.

In fact, the similarity was no coincidence.

The Electronic Intifada can reveal for the first time evidence that
Chalmers himself has been part of the UK’s Israel lobby.

Chalmers has worked for BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and
Research Centre.

Funded by the billionaire Poju Zabludowicz, BICOM is a leading
pro-Israel group in London.

Chalmers once listed an internship with BICOM on his LinkedIn profile,
although the page was deleted some time in February.

But even were this key fact not known, Chalmers’ accusations were not

No one specific was named in his Facebook posting. He claimed that
shortening the word Zionist to "Zio" and expressing support for the
Palestinian political party and resistance organization Hamas were
enough to prove anti-Semitism.

Chalmers did not reply to an emailed request for comment. He set his
Twitter profile to private the day after the email was sent by The
Electronic Intifada.

One of his tweets from 2014 sought to smear The Electronic Intifada with

Chalmers has also been accused of disseminating a false allegation that
a left-wing Labour student at Oxford had organized people into a group
to follow a Jewish student around campus calling her a "filthy Zionist,"
and that he had been disciplined as a result.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the accused student said that he had
reason to believe Chalmers may have been behind the dissemination of
this smear.

Paul Di Felice, the current acting principal of the Oxford college in
question, confirmed to The Electronic Intifada the authenticity of a
statement from its late principal denying all the allegations. "I have
found no evidence of any allegations being made to the college about"
the student "involving anti-Semitism, or indeed anything else, during
his time at the college," the statement read.

The Electronic Intifada put all this to Alex Chalmers in an email, but
he failed to reply.

Dirty tricks

The Oxford University Labour Club responded with a statement saying it
was "horrified" at the accusations and would fully cooperate with an
investigation launched by the party organization Labour Students.

It did not take long, however, for someone to leak names to the
right-wing press.

Citing an anonymous "source at the club," The Telegraph named two
left-wingers at Oxford who were supposedly "being investigated over
alleged anti-Semitism at Oxford University."

Again, there were no further details. Chalmers’ dubious and obviously
politicized accusations were raised in general terms.

One of the two, James Elliott, was a vocal advocate at Oxford University
of BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel,
and was photographed in the Telegraph article sitting next to Corbyn.

But in an email to a Daily Mail journalist, seen by The Electronic
Intifada, Chalmers privately admitted that Elliott wasn’t involved. "I
haven’t heard any allegations relating to him," Chalmers wrote.

Both activists named by The Telegraph are part of Momentum, the grouping
founded by Labour left-wingers in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s election
victory to support his leadership.

The Electronic Intifada has seen evidence of a whispering campaign
against the activists at Oxford. A dossier of allegations against the
student Labour club is said to have been filed with the union’s Jewish

That society has posted a summary of the dossier on Facebook.

Asked in an email if he had been behind the dossier or the press leaks,
Chalmers did not reply.

Hit pieces

Alex Chalmers’ Facebook post resigning from the Oxford University Labour
Club was seized on by anti-Corbyn forces aiming to influence key
internal elections to the Labour Party’s youth wing, in which the
Momentum pair were both candidates.

On 19 February, the Guardian reported that Momentum candidates had swept
the board in Young Labour’s elections, conducted by online ballot.

The Telegraph published its highly dubious hit piece four days later.

At the Young Labour conference the following weekend, several other
positions remained to be elected. Elliott stood for the youth
representative on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

After the smear campaign against him, Momentum candidate Elliott lost to
right-wing Labour First candidate Jasmin Beckett – by only a tenth of a
percentage point.

But Beckett was caught carrying out a dirty tricks campaign against Elliot.

As a result, a formal complaint has been submitted calling for her to be
disqualified from the NEC.

The smear campaign drew on right-wing media insinuations against the
Momentum pair at Oxford.

Beckett did not reply to an emailed request for comment.

"Go hard"

As first revealed by Morning Star, Beckett urged supporters to "get a
few people tweeting" allegations against Elliot.

But because such negative campaigning is against Labour rules, Beckett
cautioned supporters to distance themselves from her. She asked her
supporters to remove "twibbons" – promotional badges for her election
campaign – from their social media accounts before making allegations
against Elliot.

One supporter, Josh Woolas – son of former Labour MP Phil Woolas –
cautioned it "needs to look like a genuine complaint about racism and
not a smear campaign!"

In a Facebook group chat titled #TeamJB (viewable in full on the Labour
blog Left Futures, edited by the chair of Momentum), Beckett encouraged
other young Labour members to share unsubstantiated hit pieces on
Elliott from right-wing media.

She asked "do you actually want an anti-Semite as NEC rep?" She
suggested her friends "get a few people tweeting saying ‘shocked my
union GMB are supporting James Elliott who is anti-Semitic’ or something."


The complaint against Beckett was subsequently rolled into another
investigation into Chalmers’ allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford, one
ultimately taken over by Janet Royall, the Labour leader in the House of
Lords, the unelected upper chamber of the UK parliament.

Labour Students conducted a hasty investigation into the Oxford
allegations. But, Labour activists told The Electronic Intifada, it was
so obviously botched that it was not credible.

That investigation was led by Michael Rubin, Labour Students’ national
chairperson – who happened to be the boyfriend of one of Beckett’s
allies, Rachel Holland. Holland was part of Beckett’s dirty tricks
campaign, expressing support for it in the #TeamJB group chat.

Elliott told The Electronic Intifada he could not comment until the
Royall investigation is concluded.

That seems unlikely to happen until after the crucial local elections at
the earliest, and probably not until the summer, the BBC says, when
Beckett is due to take her seat on the NEC.

The witch hunt expanded.

"Fresh row"

In March, Huffington Post talked up a "fresh row over Labour anti-Semitism."

The website referred to how union official Jennie Formby had allegedly
pointed out at a meeting of Labour’s NEC that Royall once took part in a
sponsored trip to the Middle East organized by Labour Friends of Israel,
a pressure group within the party.

Formby has successfully pushed at the NEC to have private security firm
G4S banned from Labour conferences, due to its supply of equipment to
Israeli prisons that practice torture against Palestinians.

The Jewish Chronicle claimed Unite’s Jennie Formby was "to be moved from
her role partly as a result of her anti-Israel activism." It cited no

The paper claimed the move represented a demotion by the union, the UK’s

But the report was instantly denied by Formby and her union.

Formby said she never questioned Royall’s ability to conduct the

In fact, Formby said, she was appointed to the new job long before
Chalmers made his allegations on Facebook.

     @stephenkb JF applied for the post 5 months ago. It is a promotion.
She will remain on the NEC. Please check facts.     — Unite the union
(@unitetheunion) March 11, 2016

The Jewish Chronicle swiftly edited the online text and headline of the
article to water down its claims (a copy of the original can still be
found online).

But the narrative was already out there.

Tony Greenstein

In March, the witch hunt reached Tony Greenstein, a Jewish anti-Zionist
well known in Palestine solidarity circles.

Despite supporting other left-wing parties in the past, Greenstein had
joined the Labour Party after the election of Corbyn, hoping it would
take a new, leftward direction.

But on 18 March he received a letter from the party’s Compliance Unit
(also known as the Constitutional Unit) saying that his membership had
been suspended pending an investigation into a possible breach of party

"These allegations relate to comments you are alleged to have made,"
wrote John Stolliday, head of the unit. Greenstein asked to see the
allegations against him, but his request was denied.

Although the party refused to let Greenstein know what he was being
accused of, further vague allegations were leaked to the right-wing press.

In April, The Telegraph published a story citing Greenstein’s admittance
to the party as the "latest anti-Semitism scandal" to hit Labour.

Greenstein says he is considering legal action.

The Telegraph later added a "clarification" saying it wanted "to make
clear that we had not intended to imply that Tony Greenstein is

It would, however, be difficult to read the article as intending to do
anything else.

Ironically, Greenstein has been at the forefront of moves to combat
genuine cases of anti-Semitism on the fringes of the Palestine
solidarity movement.

"I’m going to fight"

For years Greenstein has been perhaps the most vocal foe in the UK of
Gilad Atzmon – an Israeli jazz musician based in London who claims to
express solidarity with Palestinians, even while opposing the BDS
movement and relentlessly attacking activists.

Four years ago, Atzmon was criticized by prominent members of the
Palestine movement over racism and anti-Semitism in his work.

Also in 2012, a Holocaust denier was expelled from the UK’s Palestine
Solidarity Campaign.

Greenstein has written that he is the person who had first reported the
Holocaust denier to the PSC.

The Compliance Unit has also been behind the expulsion of many new
Jeremy Corbyn voters accused of being "hard left" or "infiltrators."

In February, John McDonnell, the shadow finance minister, called for the
unit to be scrapped.

"I’m going to fight it of course," Greenstein told The Electronic
Intifada. He also accused the Compliance Unit itself of being behind the
leaks – The Telegraph article cited "evidence compiled" by the unit.

Labour’s general secretary wrote to Greenstein denying this.

"Corbyn hasn’t got a grip on the [party] machine, that’s part of the
problem," said Greenstein.

Israel lobby

One of the people at the forefront of the witch hunt has been Jeremy
Newmark, now the chairperson of the Jewish Labour Movement.

The JLM is affiliated to the UK Labour Party, the Israeli Labor Party
and the World Zionist Organization – according to the UN, the latter
pumps millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its
settlement division.

Newmark has for years been active in the Israel lobby’s anti-Palestinian
campaigns in the UK.

He was previously the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council,
an anti-Palestinian lobbying group behind numerous attacks on BDS.

During his tenure, the group invested huge efforts in an attempt to sue
the University and College Union for "anti-Semitism" after some members
proposed discussing the academic boycott of Israel.

Newmark was left with egg on his face, however, when in 2013 a tribunal
judge ruled against the case on all counts.

The judge found it was "devoid of any merit" and "an impermissible
attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means."

The judge criticized Newmark personally for a "disturbing" attempt to
crush free speech in the union. He also found that that Newmark’s
evidence to the tribunal was "preposterous" and "untrue."

Given all this, media should treat Newmark’s claims about anti-Semitism
in Corbyn’s Labour Party with caution.

Instead they’ve been buying it all.

In The Telegraph hit piece on Greenstein, Newmark claimed the affair was
a sign of Corbyn being "impotent" over anti-Semitism.

He also told BBC Radio 4’s influential Today program this month that the
party was not doing enough about anti-Semitism.

None of these journalists disclosed Newmark’s long-standing role in the
Israel lobby, or his record of lying about anti-Semitism. Right-wing Labour

There is a large crossover between right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour and
the pro-Israel lobby within the party.

Right-wing Labour MP Wes Streeting has participated in Israeli
government efforts to cast Palestine solidarity as "evil." (The
Leadership Foundation/Flickr)

One example is Labour lawmaker Wes Streeting, also an Israel lobby stalwart.

Streeting appeared on the same radio segment as Newmark. The right-wing
Labour MP claimed that "we’ve now got a problem" that people think the
party is "apathetic to anti-Semitism."

Streeting has a long history in Progress, a right-wing faction within
the party that continues to support former prime minister Tony Blair.

One of Progress’ leading supporters has described the group as "an
unaccountable faction" dominated by the "secretive billionaire" Lord

In 2009, when he was president of the National Union of Students,
Streeting attended an anti-BDS working group in Jerusalem.

The visit was organized by the Israeli foreign ministry, which slandered
the BDS movement as "evil."

As an MP, Streeting has been consistently hostile to Corbyn. Term of abuse

Streeting and Newmark are arguing for tougher action and changes to the
party’s rules.

The head of Progress proposed rule changes in the Mirror which would put
"a modern understanding of anti-Semitism" into the party. "It is not
acceptable to use the term ‘Zionism’ as a term of abuse," the article
stated, arguing for people who did so to be expelled.

This proposal echoes efforts pushed by Israel lobby groups, including at
the University of California, to legislate that opposition to Zionism –
Israel’s state ideology – is itself a form of anti-Semitism.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Labour Party staffer told The
Electronic Intifada that, even were the rule change to pass, such
expulsions would still have to be approved by the NEC.

The staffer emphasized that for many within the party, concerns about
incidences of anti-Semitism were genuine.

But the member of staff said that for the "non-Jewish Zionists" in
groups like Progress, "anti-Semitism is just a tool" in "a field of
battle" to "smash up Jeremy at all costs."

"Whatever gets agreed will not be good enough" for them, the member of
staff said.

Streeting did not reply to emails requesting comment.

Five cases

Labour is a mass membership organization, which now has more than
380,000 full members, according to party figures.

The staff member said that, amid all the politicized attacks in recent
months, there had been about five actual cases of alleged anti-Semitism
within the party.

A 2015 survey by Pew found that seven percent of the UK public held
"unfavorable" views of Jews. By contrast, about a fifth held negative
views of Muslims and almost two-fifths viewed Roma people unfavorably.

There’s no evidence to suggest that such views are any more prevalent in
the Labour Party – and the tiny number of anti-Semitism complaints
suggests they may well be less so in a movement many of whose activists
have been in the frontline of anti-racist struggles.

The staff member said that in the five or so cases that had come to its
attention, the party had taken swift action to expel, or suspend the
membership of those alleged to have made anti-Semitic comments.

One of the most prominent of these was Vicki Kirby, a Labour Party
candidate in Woking who is alleged to have tweeted that Israel is "evil."

She also reacted to Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza by tweeting in August:
"Who is the Zionist God? I am starting to think it may be Hitler.

That assault resulted in 2,251 dead Palestinians, including 1,462
civilians, 551 of whom were children, according to an independent
inquiry commissioned by the UN.

Kirby’s comments led to her suspension from the Labour Party in 2014.

Speaking to the media for the first time, Kirby told The Electronic
Intifada that her choice of words had been "awful" and "appalling." It
was "a reaction. I didn’t think it through. I’m not a born politician,"
she said.

Later, still under the leadership of Corbyn’s predecessor, Kirby’s
suspension from the party was lifted. But, after Corbyn became leader,
somebody leaked a photo of Kirby posing with Corbyn to the party’s
enemies in the media. Doctored tweet

The hard-right gossip blogger known as Guido Fawkes, then proceeded to
trawl through her entire Twitter backlog. He found a Tweet from 2011, a
time when Kirby says she was not even in the Labour Party.

Guido Fawkes then doctored a screenshot of the tweet, making it appear
as if she had tweeted "What do you know abt Jews? They’ve got big noses
and support spurs lol." The screenshot of the Tweet on Guido’s site has
clearly been cropped.

But Kirby says this was one of a series of tweets of quotes from the
2010 comedy film The Infidel.

Kirby provided The Electronic Intifada with evidence – a portion of a
spreadsheet of her Twitter archive – showing that the original tweet
concluded with the hashtag #TheInfidel.

The writer of the film David Baddiel confirmed this on Twitter at the
time, even tweeting this to a Guido Fawkes blogger.

     @WikiGuido That first one: she's quoting a character from my movie
The Infidel.     — David Baddiel (@Baddiel) March 14, 2016

The wider press then ran with the story and started to use Kirby as a
stick to beat Corbyn.

Kirby says she has received "death threats" to her and "hate email" from
around the world, including the wish that "your children get cancer and
die." She says she even had to take legal actions against a constant
barrage of journalists door-stepping her and harassing her family.

Despite swift party action to suspend Kirby once again, the incident was
still weaponized by the right.

"Jeremy Corbyn needs to answer some serious questions," Streeting told
the Mirror.

Stoking the flames

Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Momentum founder Jon Lansman – a key
Corbyn ally – said that "my Jewish identity and anti-Semitism are at the
core of my left Labour politics and so I welcome an investigation into
anti-Semitism at Oxford University."

But Lansman cautioned that "within the Labour Party, some people have
factional reasons for stoking the flames."

He acknowledged that "racism, including anti-Semitism" had historically
been part of the Labour movement. "It was not until the 1980s that the
efforts to eradicate it became serious, and that was thanks in part to
Ken Livingstone as leader of the Greater London Council," Lansman added.

During that period, Livingstone, and what the right derided as the
"looney left" in local government, became the prime targets of
Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But with her party unable
to defeat Livingstone at the ballot box, she simply abolished London’s
city-wide government altogether.

It wasn’t until the Blair years that the capital once again had a
London-wide government and Livingstone was elected mayor. It would now
seem that with his suspension, the Thatcherite campaign against
Livingstone has resumed, but this time from within the Labour Party.

Ian Saville, who started the group Jews For Jeremy and then later joined
the party, told The Electronic Intifada that "some in the Labour Party,
who do not have an understanding of the complexities of the situation,
take [the accusations of prejudice] at face value, and quite
understandably wish to oppose anti-Semitism."

He said that "unfortunately, this ‘opposition’ to anti-Semitism has
support of Israel and Zionism bundled in with it, so it fulfills the
double purpose of isolating the left and supporting Israel uncritically."

Greenstein wrote that "false allegations of anti-Semitism are akin to
the boy who cried wolf. They immunize people against the real thing. As
a Jewish anti-Zionist my main experience of anti-Semitism is from
Zionists … I have even been told that it was a pity I didn’t die in

Back foot

In the Tony Blair years, the Labour Party took a major rightward shift.

Blair notoriously led the UK into a war of aggression against Iraq in
2003 – which even he later admitted was a major factor in the emergence
of Islamic State.

Blair is also staunchly pro-Israel.

The 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon killed 1,191 Lebanese, "the
overwhelming majority of them civilians" according to Amnesty
International. But Blair stood strongly behind Israel in that war. He
later admitted in his memoir this caused him political damage. "I
suffered accordingly," he wrote.

For career-minded, rising Labour MPs, joining Labour Friends of Israel
was long seen as the place to be. That has been slowly changing.

Under Blair, Jeremy Corbyn was a backbench MP, and a gadfly of the big
business and war-friendly clique that had captured Labour’s leadership.
He voted against Blair’s party line hundreds of times.

The scale of Corbyn’s victory – almost 60 percent of 422,664 voters –
last summer put the right on the back foot.

So now they are resorting to ever more desperate tactics, blaming
alleged anti-Semitism in the party on Corbyn’s leadership.

Michael Levy, a Labour member of the House of Lords who was a key
fundraiser for the party during the Tony Blair years, is a strong
supporter of Israel. He has made a number of media appearances in recent
weeks denouncing Corbyn for supposedly not doing enough against

Left-wing Jewish activists say that anti-Semitism has become the "weapon
of choice" against the left.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, a local Labour Party activist and founder of
Jews For Boycotting Israeli Goods, told The Electronic Intifada that it
has become a "really pernicious … pincer movement" by the Israel lobby
and the Labour right.

"Maybe the’ve overstepped themselves" this time, she said, before
cautioning that what happens would depend on how well activists fought
back and educated people on the true nature of anti-Semitism and Zionism.

For the moment, the manufactured anti-Semitism crisis shows no sign of

The same day Ken Livingstone was suspended from the party, BICOM
appealed to the mob, posting a tweet with the words: "save your pitch
fork for Corbyn."

     'Save your pitch fork for Corbyn'. Alan Johnson on Naz Shah, Labour
and AntiSemitism in @Politics_co_uk     — BICOM
(@BritainIsrael) April 28, 2016

It appears the witch hunt will not stop until it is either victorious or
is defeated.

Editor’s note: This article initially stated that Jenny Formby is a
Unison official. In fact, she works for Unite. This has now been corrected.

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with
The Electronic Intifada.

(6) Philip Giraldi - Tie yourself in Knots to avoid the anti-Semitism label

Purging the Palestinians

The British try out a new version of free speech

Philip Giraldi

May 3, 2016

Political purges are not new. Trotsky was purged from the Soviet
Communist Party and Ernst Rohm was purged by the Nazis. Currently we are
witnessing the spectacle of "progressive" groups ostensibly dedicated to
the cause of Palestinian rights turning on long time advocates of that
cause because they are not viewed as sufficiently engaged in
demonstrating that they are not anti-Semitic. Indeed, demonstrating
one’s anti-anti-Semitic credentials seems to have become a sine qua non
for establishing the bona fides of any friend of Palestine, apparently
more important than actually doing anything for the Palestinians, who
have been losing land continuously to the Israelis and regularly getting
killed whenever they resist.

That the Palestinians have been victimized by the self-designated Jewish
State funded by Jewish organizations and enabled through Jewish
manipulation of America’s legislature and media would appear to be an
irrelevancy to the self-righteous standard bearers adhering staunchly to
what they choose to describe as their "anti-racist principles." In a
recent disagreeable incident involving the Students for Justice in
Palestine at Stanford University a Nakba survivor Palestinian woman
speaker was actually disinvited because it was feared that she might
verbally challenge the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of her
former home. One wonders if the students would have censored an
anti-Apartheid speaker from South Africa in a similar fashion in the 1980s?

I have sometimes noted how the Zionist conspiracy is international in
nature, with hate crime legislation strictly enforced in places like
France to sanction any criticism of Israel, which has been conveniently
and incorrectly conflated with anti-Semitism. The latest focal point for
making any critique of the Zionist enterprise unacceptable is Britain,
and more particularly in the Labour Party, which once upon a time was
viewed as the most progressive of the country’s three major parties. It
also has long included Jewish Britons in senior party and government
positions and is home to two formidable pressure groups, the Labour
Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Some recent Labour Party history is required. In September 2015 Jeremy
Corbyn was elected leader of the parliamentary Labour Party to replace
Ed Milliband. Corbyn, who has a long history as a human rights advocate
and anti-interventionist in his foreign policy views, was considered a
long shot when he began his leadership campaign but eventually won with
nearly 60% of the vote due to "anti-establishment" fervor similar to
what is taking place in the United States currently. Along the way, his
campaign was assailed by a number of Jewish organizations in Britain
based on allegations that he was hostile to Israel.

Corbyn had indeed been outspoken on Middle East policy as a member of
the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, condemning the Israeli handling of
the conflict in Gaza and denouncing what he describes as apartheid in
Israel. He has supported a selective boycott of Israel and believes that
weapons sales to it should be blocked. Asked on by an interviewer in
July 2015 why he had referred to both Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends",
Corbyn replied, "I use it in a collective way, saying our friends are
prepared to talk. Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No.
Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No. What it means
is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to
people with whom you may profoundly disagree … There is not going to be
a peace process unless there is talks involving Israel, Hezbollah and
Hamas and I think everyone knows that."

Corbyn also supported the lifting of sanctions as part of a negotiated
agreement to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program, and the initiation
of steps to place Israel’s nuclear arsenal under Non-Proliferation
controls. Though one would think that the statements were pretty mild
stuff relatively speaking, Corbyn continues to be assailed as being
tolerant of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party as a consequence.

Observers in Britain believe that much of the behind the scenes
anti-Corbyn agitation within the Party is being orchestrated by former
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who wants to see Corbyn replaced by someone
closer to his brand of political centrism. One longtime Blair supporter
and major Labour donor David Abrahams apparently agrees, ending his
financial support of the party over its alleged anti-Semitism, declaring
it "a plague that has to be stamped out."

Britain is going to the polls on Thursday in local and municipal
elections. It is perhaps no coincidence that the attacks on Labour have
intensified in the past several weeks and polls are now suggested that
the Party might well lose "hundreds" of local government seats at least
in part due to the apparent turmoil reflected in media coverage of the
anti-Semitism issue.

The wave of attacks on Labour members deemed to be too hostile to Israel
actually began in August 2015 with widely publicized but later
discredited claims that the Oxford University Labour Club was dominated
by anti-Semites. As it turned out, Alex Chalmers, the student who made
the allegations, was a member of Britain’s Israel lobby. Currently it is
being fueled by appearances in the national media by Israel’s Ambassador
Mark Regev and also by former associates of Tony Blair who are demanding
a thorough review of possible anti-Semitism within the party. They have
focused on two Labour notables, Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, "Red" Ken,
who have been suspended over comments and social media postings relating
to Israel.

Naz Shah, a member of Parliament, reportedly made a Facebook post before
she was elected to office that copied a graphic of Israel superimposed
on to a map of the United States with the message "Solution for
Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States" with the
additional notation by Shah "Problem Solved," a joke intended to
demonstrate that if the U.S. and Israel love each other so much they
should collocate, solving the Middle East conflict as a consequence. The
graphic was copied from American professor Norman Finkelstein’s blog.

Shah has apologized four times for her transgression.

Ken Livingstone reportedly told the BBC that Adolph Hitler had supported
Zionism in that he negotiated with German Zionists to transfer Europe’s
Jews to Palestine in the event of a German Army defeat of the British in
the Middle East, a victory that never materialized. Livingstone, well
known for inserting his foot in his mouth, was, in fact correct in his
comment, which he later declared as "historical" in nature. Under
attack, Livingstone defended himself by declaring that the truth about
Hitler and Zionism is "not taught in Israeli schools."

Corbyn and other members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet have repeatedly
stated that any party member who makes anti-Semitic or racist comments
will be expelled. He has responded to the demands in the media and from
within the party by initiating an official inquiry into possible racism
headed by Shami Chakrabarti, a highly regarded former head of a civil
rights charity called Liberty.

The disturbing aspect of the current purge underway in Britain is not
only about racism, if that is indeed how one should define
anti-Semitism. It is over the extent to which one can criticize the
state of Israel without suffering consequences and also over the degree
to which any such criticism should or can be equated with anti-Semitism.
It is in the interest of Israel and its supports to make the two issues
one and the same and they have had considerable success in making the
distinction between the two largely invisible. Corbyn’s comments on the
Middle East are decidedly progressive but not necessarily wrong. Naz
Shah played with a graphic on Facebook expressing her views, which were
not genocidal or racist, in a silly fashion that most Facebook users
have likely emulated at one time or another. Ken Livingstone has a
history of shooting from the lip and turning him into a whipping boy for
an ill-advised comment that had no racist overtones or that did not in
any way call for violence is more than a bit of overreach. None of the
three attacked Jews either as an ethnicity or as a religion but they
were criticized as if they had done so.

Critics of Israel in the United States, possibly to include the Stanford
University Students for Justice in Palestine, should learn from what
happens in Europe. Once you start your critique with an apology lest you
offend someone you have already lost the argument. Refusing to listen to
speakers who just might upset part of the audience is self-censorship,
designed to go along to get along and in the end it is self-defeating.
If you want to tie yourself in knots over avoiding the anti-Semitism
label, which is routinely used to silence and destroy critics including
yourself, you will never see a country called Palestine or a United
States that is free from the manipulation by the Israel Lobby.

(7) Ken Livingstone on Hitler's Zionism - is criticism of Israel

Why a British Fight Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Matters to the Rest of Us

Robert Mackey

Apr. 30 2016, 6:05 a.m.

Updated | May 1, 2:14 p.m.

At first glance, the heated argument two members of the British Labour
Party conducted in front of reporters’ iPhones on Thursday, sparked by
accusations that one of their colleagues posted anti-Semitic comments on
Facebook, seems like a story of interest mainly to political junkies in

When the debate is unpacked, however, it becomes clear that what’s at
stake is something much broader: whether critics of Israel, who question
its government’s policies or its right to exist as a Jewish state, are
engaged in a form of coded anti-Semitism. That matters because attempts
to disqualify all critics of Israel as racists are widespread across the

In the United States, for instance, supporters of a movement to boycott
Israel until it grants Palestinians full civil rights have recently been
condemned as anti-Semites by Hillary Clinton; last month, the University
of California, adopted a policy on discrimination that implies
anti-Semitism is behind opposition to Zionism, the political ideology
asserting that the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in
historic Palestine.

But how did this issue come to dominate the political debate in Britain,
a week before important local elections?

The uproar in began on Tuesday, when Paul Staines, a right-wing
political blogger who writes as Guido Fawkes, reported that a Labour
member of Parliament, Naseem Shah, had shared a Facebook meme in 2014
suggesting that Israelis should "relocate" en masse to the United States.

As Shah scrambled to explain and apologize, pointing out that she
endorsed the meme "before I was elected as an MP" and "at the height of
the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high," Staines
uncovered two more anti-Israel comments she posted on Facebook that same

One of Shah’s Facebook posts, from late July, 2014, pointed to an
article by a former deputy prime minister, John Prescott, who argued
that Israeli air strikes on Gaza that month were "so brutally
disproportionate and so grossly indiscriminate" as to constitute "war
crimes." At the time, Shah urged her Facebook followers to voice their
agreement with Prescott in an online poll at the foot of the page
because, she said, "The Jews are rallying to the poll at the bottom and
there is now 87% disagreeing."

In another Facebook update discovered by Staines, Shah had added the
comment #APARTHEID ISRAEL to a repurposed meme created by an American
Tea Party group. The meme displays a mugshot of Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. taken after his arrest during the 1956 Montgomery bus boycott above
a quote from his 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The words are part
of King’s justification for breaking unjust laws through civil
disobedience: "never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany
was ‘legal.'"

The meme, clearly intended in its original form to equate Obama to
Hitler — and so justify disobeying American laws considered tyrannical
by the far-right — was used by Shah to suggest something else: that
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is akin to the way Nazi Germany
treated its Jewish population and Apartheid-era South Africa subjugated
black Africans. (The meme also omits what comes next in King’s letter:
"It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so,
I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided
and comforted my Jewish brothers.")

Staines, who functions like an opposition researcher for conservative
causes, correctly reported that Shah had compared Israel to Hitler’s
Germany. But as the story spread across the British press, several
journalists mistakenly referred to the meme as evidence Shah had claimed
Hitler’s persecution of the Jews was not objectionable because it was legal.

In the context of British politics, the timing could not have been worse
for the Labour party, coming just a week before local elections and amid
an investigation into allegations that Oxford University’s student
Labour club had supported Israeli Apartheid Week on campus because of
what one former member called "some kind of problem with Jews."

As some observers, including Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera, noted, claims
that the party was a haven for anti-Semites seemed at odds with the fact
that, at the time Shah made her comments, and was then chosen to run for
Parliament, Labour’s leader was Ed Miliband, the son of Jewish refugees
who had experienced Hitler’s persecution firsthand.

One Labour activist, Jon Lansman, told the BBC that he suspected
Conservative opposition researchers had been "trawling Twitter feeds and
Facebook pages looking for evidence which has been stored until a week
before the local elections and the London mayor elections."

Shah, who is of Pakistani Muslim origin, apologized at greater length on
Wednesday, in print and in the House of Commons, acknowledging that
"referring to Israel and Hitler as I did is deeply offensive to Jewish
people." She was also suspended by the party. Still, some of her
colleagues continued to defend her.

Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, denied that Shah’s posts
were anti-Semitic in a BBC radio interview on Thursday. "She’s a deep
critic of Israel and its policies," Livingstone said. "Her remarks were
over the top but her remarks were not anti-Semitic."

Livingstone, whose far-left politics and affection for his pet newts
have made him a figure of ridicule for the right-leaning press for
decades, added that he was defending his colleague because of a wider
principle. "There’s been a very well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel
lobby to smear anybody who criticizes Israeli policy as anti-Semitic,"
he told the BBC. "I had to put up with 35 years of this."

But when he was asked why Shah’s use of the meme about Hitler was not
anti-Semitic, Livingstone veered off-topic, into an over-simplified and
misleading account of German history that enraged many of his own
colleagues. "Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932, his
policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel — he was supporting
Zionism," Livingstone claimed. "This was before he went mad and ended up
killing six million Jews."

Within minutes, as Livingstone’s comments were reported in shorthand by
the right-wing press as "Hitler was a Zionist," senior members of his
party, including Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate in next week’s London
who is also of the son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, called for him to
be expelled for what sounded like an absurd attempt to smear Israel by
numbering history’s most infamous anti-Semite among the ranks of its

Then, as he was walking along the street, and conducting another radio
interview by phone, Livingstone was suddenly confronted by John Mann, a
Labour MP who has been lauded for his work by the American Jewish
Committee for his leadership of a parliamentary group fighting

That exchange, which made for riveting viewing, started with Mann
calling his colleague "a disgusting Nazi apologist," for suggesting that
Hitler had supported efforts to establish a Jewish state in Palestine
during his 1932 election campaign. As Mann stressed, Hitler had, in
fact, derided Zionists as charlatans in his 1925 memoir, "Mein Kampf,"
arguing that a Palestinian Jewish state would be just a haven for
criminals bent on world domination.

Livingstone, for his part, acknowledged that "Hitler was a mad
anti-Zionist, he wanted to kill all Jews," but insisted that "his policy
in ’32, when he won that election, was to deport Germany’s Jews to
Israel, and the Zionist movement had secret meetings with his
administration talking about that." Mann, Livingstone said, should
"check your history."

Although the expulsion of German Jews to Palestine was certainly a trope
of Nazi literature, Hitler was not, of course, elected in 1932 because
he promised to move Jews to Israel, a state that would not exist until
16 years later and be populated, in part, by survivors of the Holocaust.

The vile things the Nazis were actually saying about the Jews that year
is captured in a chilling propaganda pamphlet produced by Goebbels which
called for "A solution to the Jewish question," through "the systematic
elimination of foreign racial elements from public life in every area."
A Nazi government, the platform said, would introduce "a sanitary
separation between Germans and non-Germans on racial grounds
exclusively, not on nationality or even religious belief." There was no
endorsement of the Zionist project or plan to expel German Jews there.

So what was Livingstone talking about? He appears to have been using
"Hitler" as shorthand for the Nazi government and referring to a real
instance of cooperation between Germany and the Zionist movement that
began in 1933 — an episode Livingstone discussed at length in his 2011
memoir, "You Can’t Say That." Just months after Hitler came to power, in
1933, the Zionist-led Jewish Agency in British-administered Palestine
did strike an agreement with the Nazis to facilitate the emigration of
about 20,000 German Jews to Palestine over the next decade. As the
Israeli historian Tom Segev described it in his book, "The Seventh Million,"

     The haavara ("transfer") agreement — the Hebrew term was used in
the Nazi documents as well — was based on the complementary interests of
the German government and the the Zionist movement: the Nazis wanted the
Jews out of Germany; the Zionists wanted them to come to Palestine.

Segev notes that the agreement, which remained in force until the middle
of World War II, was a point of contention between the Zionist
leadership in Tel Aviv and Jewish leaders in the United States, who
still hoped in 1933 that an international economic and diplomatic
boycott of Germany could "force the Nazis to halt their persecution, so
that Jews could continue to live in Germany."

(Given the current furore in London, it is interesting to note that
Segev presents evidence in another book, "One Palestine, Complete," that
the senior British officials who committed their government to the
creation of a Jewish homeland in 1917 were, "in many cases,
anti-Semitic." Those officials, Segev argued, agreed to help the
Zionists, because of they had embraced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
so fully that "They believed the Jews controlled the world.")

In his book, Livingstone recounts learning of this history from "Zionism
in the Age of Dictators," by the Jewish-American activist and writer
Lenni Brenner. That book, which was published in Britain because Brenner
could not find an American imprint, also described a 1937 visit to
Palestine by a Nazi official, Adolf Eichmann, when the SS briefly
considered and then rejected the idea of deporting Germany’s Jews there.
"Brenner’s book helped form my view of Zionism and its history,"
Livingstone wrote, "and so I was not going to be silenced by smears of
anti-Semitism wherever I criticized Israeli government policies."

In a phone interview on Friday, Brenner told The Intercept that he has
been friends with Livingstone since a U.K. book tour in 1983. He added
that he was certain that when the former mayor said Hitler "was
supporting Zionism," that was "shorthand for ‘the Nazis supported'" the
Zionist project in 1933 through the haavara agreement, which also
permitted the transfer of some Jewish wealth to Palestine. "A German Jew
would give money to the Nazi government," Brenner explained, "the Nazi
government would then send German goods to Palestine, where the Zionists
would sell them, then give most of the money to the German Jew when he
arrived in Palestine."

"Hitler had to know some of that," Brenner argued, "you don’t do things
like that in a dictatorship without the dictator knowing — and on so
central an issue to them as the Jews."

Needless to say, it take a remarkably selective reading of history to
argue that the Nazis were "supporting Zionism" by allowing 20,000 Jews
to emigrate to Palestine, in the decade before they murdered six million

In subsequent television interviews on Thursday, Livingstone tried to
avoid questions about Hitler and return to his argument that Shah’s
criticism of Israel was not anti-Semitic.

"We can’t confuse criticizing the government of Israel with
anti-Semitism," he told the BBC. "If you’re anti-Semitic, you hate Jews
— not just the ones in Israel, you hate your neighbor in Golder’s Green,
or your neighbor in Stoke Newington. It’s a deep personal loathing, like
racism. And one of my worries is that this confusion of anti-Semitism
with criticizing Israeli government policy undermines the importance of
tackling real anti-Semitism — the attacks that are made on Jews."

After that interview, as he made his way out of the BBC’s Milbank
Studios in London, Livingstone was surrounded by reporters, including
the BBC’s John Sweeney, demanding to know why he brought up Hitler in
the first place.

It seemed like a fair question, but Livingstone, who was suspended by
his party later in the day, tried to dodge it, by claiming that he was
just responding to a question about Shah’s Facebook post. In reality, it
seems fair to say that Livingstone was trying to discredit Zionism as a
form of extreme nationalism by reminding listeners that its leaders had
once cooperated with Hitler’s government. After all, as an ardent
defender of Palestinian rights, Livingstone comes from a part of the
British left that supported the effort to have Zionism condemned "as a
movement based on racial superiority" at a United Nations conference on
racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

While that language was never adopted, thanks in part to pressure from
the United States and Israel, in Britain today there is still sympathy
for the position that Zionism is a racist ideology, since it underpins
laws that deny Palestinians civil and political rights on the basis of
their ethnicity. According to Jim Waterson, BuzzFeed UK’s politics
editor, on Thursday night, the top comments on the Facebook pages of
almost every major British news organization were "very, very strongly

As Livingstone’s defenders were quick to point out, Hitler is also
regularly used by Israeli officials in rhetorical attacks on their enemies.

Just five months ago, for instance, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
baffled historians when he claimed that, as late as November of 1941,
when the Nazi leader met with an anti-Semitic Palestinian official,
"Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to
expel the Jews." Netanyahu went on to claim, despite a total lack of
evidence, that it was Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of
Jerusalem, who convinced Hitler to "burn" rather than simply expel the
German Reich’s Jewish population, out of fear that they would emigrate
en masse to Palestine.

Like Livingstone, Netanyahu brought up Hitler, or a fictional version of
Hitler, as part of an attempt to smear his ideological opponents. In
Netanyahu’s case, it was in support the claim, regularly put forth by
his government, that Palestinian hatred and violence is in no way a
reaction to any Israeli action, but simply an expression of a
pathological hatred of Jews by Muslim fanatics equal to if not greater
than that of the Nazis and their European collaborators.

In response to Netanyahu’s bizarre "fairytale about Hitler," which
strangely dovetails with Livingstone’s, Tom Segev observed in the
Guardian that the actual history of the period is more complex, and
reflects badly on extremists of all sides:

     The mufti’s support for Nazi Germany definitely demonstrated the
evils of extremist nationalism. However, the Arabs were not the only
ones who were seeking a deal with the Nazis. At the end of 1940 and
again at the end of 1941, before the Holocaust reached its height in the
extermination camps, a small Zionist terrorist organization – Fighters
for the Freedom of Israel, also known as the Stern Gang – made contact
with Nazi representatives in Beirut, hoping for support for the struggle
against the British. One of the Sternists, in a British jail at the
time, was Yitzhak Shamir, a future Israeli prime minister.

Shamir, who had emigrated from Poland to Palestine two years after
Hitler came to power in Germany, was Israel’s prime minister in 1991,
when he asked a newly elected member of his Likud party, Benjamin
Netanyahu, to work in his office as an aide.

In processing this history, and what it might say about the argument
that anti-Semitism lurks behind all criticism of Israel, including its
self-definition as a nation state for Jews, it seems worth recalling
what a contemporary critic of the Zionist movement, Hannah Arendt, wrote
at the time.

Having fled Nazi Germany for New York, Arendt wrote skeptically about
Zionism as a form of extreme nationalism in columns for the
German-language newspaper Aufbau throughout the 1940s. In 1944, she
argued that a binational federation of Arabs and Jews was the only hope
for a future Palestine that would not be defined by ongoing war or
totalitarian rule, and observed that even though Zionism was originally
a reaction to the anti-Semitism of European nationalists, its
underpinning ideology was "nothing else than the uncritical acceptance
of German-inspired nationalism."

In the crucial year of 1948, Arendt railed against attacks on Arab
civilians by Zionist "terrorist groups," like the Stern Gang and the
Irgun — whose leaders went on to found the Likud party — and despaired
at the growing acceptance by American Jews of what she called a
"traditionally Zionist feeling… the cynical and deep-rooted conviction
that all gentiles are anti-Semitic, and everybody and everything is
against the Jews, that, in the words of Herzl, the world can be divided
into verschämte und unverschämte Antisemiten," or, coy and brazen

That worldview, Arendt argued, "is plain racist chauvinism."

Later that year, when Menachem Begin, the leader of the Irgun who would
later become the first Likud prime minister of Israel, visited the
United States to rally support for his new political party, Arendt
drafted a letter to the editors of the New York Times signed by
prominent Jewish refugees, including Albert Einstein, "urging all
concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism." Decrying
the massacre of Arab civilians that year in the village of Deir Yassin,
Arendt and the other signatories warned the American public not to
support a party "closely akin… to the Nazi and Fascist parties," that
"preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and
racial superiority."

Top Photo: Ken Livingstone was surrounded by reporters on Thursday as he
left a BBC studio in London.

(8) Absurd claims about Ken Livingstone being an anti-Semite - Jonathan Cook

From: Paul de Burgh-Day <> Date: Thu, 5 May 2016
16:35:03 +1000

The True Anti-semites, Past and Present

By Jonathan Cook

May 04, 2016

We are desperately in need of some sanity as the British political and
media establishment seek to generate yet another "new anti-semitism"
crisis, on this occasion to undermine a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party
before the upcoming local elections.

Corbyn and his supporters want to revive Labour as a party of social
justice, while Britain’s elites hope that – in a period of unpopular
austerity – they can turn the Labour leadership’s support for the
Palestinians into its Achilles’ heel. This is nothing more than a class
war to pave the way for a return of the Blairites to lead Labour.

Israel and its supporters in the UK are only too willing to help fuel
the hysteria, given their own fears that a Corbyn-led government would
be bad news for an Israel committed to destroying any hope of justice
for the Palestinians.

I have analysed earlier efforts to foment panic about a "new
anti-semitism", including during the early years of the second intifada,
when Israel’s popularity plummeted. As now, Israel tried to deflect
attention from its increasingly clear abuses of Palestinians – and its
lack of interest in peace-making – by suggesting that the problem lay
with critics rather than its policies. You can see my articles about
<>here and

Then, the chief targets of the "new anti-semitism" smear were supposedly
leftist elements in civil society and the media who were concealing
their true goal – vilification of Jews – behind criticism of Israel. The
campaign, despite being patent nonsense, was successful enough that it
cowed the few newly emerging critical voices in the media – and
terrorised senior editors at the BBC into supine compliance with
Israel’s narrative.

That’s why we should take this current campaign seriously and worry that
Corbyn, who is already on the back foot, is in real danger of conferring
credibility on this whole confected narrative of an "anti-semitism
problem" in Labour simply by giving it house room. The only suitable
response is derision. Instead Corbyn has suspended leading members of
his party and has announced an inquiry.

We should be particularly wary of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. The
Guardian’s Jerusalem bureau chief Peter Beaumont, for example, was
set the task of bolstering absurd claims against Ken Livingstone for
being an anti-semite after he stated – admittedly clumsily – a
historical truth that for a period of time Hitler and the Zionist
movement shared enough common ground that they held negotiations about
transferring Jews to Palestine.

Livingstone said the following on radio:

When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews
should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad
and ended up killing six million Jews.

There’s a lot of information about this out there – Lenni Brenner even
wrote a book on the subject. Livingstone’s mistake was both to express
himself slackly in the heat of the moment and to refer to a history that
was supposed to have been disappeared down the memory hole. But what he
is saying is, in essence, true.

He could have gone further, in fact. A century ago, many European
anti-semites, including most members of the British government that
formulated the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to create a "national home"
for Jews in Palestine, upheld the same logic as the Zionist movement.
They saw the Jews as a race apart. They thought in terms of a "Jewish
question", one that needed solving. And for many, the solution was to
export that "problem" far away, out of Europe.

This was not surprising because Zionism emerged both in reaction to
Europe’s ugly ethnic nationalisms – where it was normal to speak of
"races" – and mirrored these nationalisms’ failings. The Zionists wanted
to claim for themselves the same traits as other European "races":
nationhood and territory. And the European anti-semites were only too
happy to oblige -– especially if the primary victims were going to be
brown people in the colonies, whether in Uganda or Palestine.

Fortunately, there is an antidote to Beaumont’s kind of stenographic
journalism, apparently written up after an afternoon at Israel’s
Holocaust museum Yad Vashem, in the form of this
with Norman Finkelstein. It is full of profound insights.

Finkelstein puts into perspective both Livingstone’s comments and the
orginal "offending" Facebook post by Labour MP Naz Shah that triggered
the latest hysteria. Finkelstein notes that the post (one dredged up
from two years ago), which shows a map of the United States with Israel
superimposed, and suggests resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict by
relocating Israel to the US, was clearly intended to be humorous rather
than anti-semitic.

   I would make a further point. It is also obvious that the true target
of the post is the US, not Jews or even Israel – making the
anti-semitism claim even more ridiculous.

The post’s implicit argument is that, if the US government and ordinary
Americans are really so committed to the creation of a safe haven for
Israeli Jews, then would it not be far wiser to locate them inside the
US rather than supporting at great expense a garrison state in the
Middle East that will always be at war with its neighbours? This is
classic satire, and the fact that almost no one in the British media and
political establishment can see this – or, in the case of Corbyn and his
allies, afford to admit it – is the real cause for concern.

In addition, Finkelstein concludes with a very powerful argument that
the "new anti-semitism" canard is likely – and possibly intended – to
fuel the very anti-semitism that it claims to be exposing and challenging.

Here is what Finkelstein says:

Our Corbyn is Bernie Sanders. In all the primaries in the US, Bernie has
been sweeping the Arab and Muslim vote. It’s been a wondrous moment: the
first Jewish presidential candidate in American history has forged a
principled alliance with Arabs and Muslims. Meanwhile, what are the
Blairite-Israel lobby creeps up to in the UK? They’re fanning the embers
of hate and creating new discord between Jews and Muslims by going after
Naz Shah, a Muslim woman who has attained public office. They’re making
her pass through these rituals of public self-degradation, as she is
forced to apologise once, twice, three times over for a tongue-in-cheek
cartoon reposted from my website. And it’s not yet over! Because now
they say she’s on a ‘journey’. Of course, what they mean is, ‘she’s on a
journey of self-revelation, and epiphany, to understanding the inner
antisemite at the core of her being’. But do you know on what journey
she’s really on? She’s on a journey to becoming an antisemite. Because
of these people; because they fill any sane, normal person with revulsion.

Here is this Muslim woman MP who is trying to integrate Muslims into
British political life, and to set by her own person an example both to
British society at large and to the Muslim community writ small. She is,
by all accounts from her constituents, a respected and honourable
person. You can only imagine how proud her parents, her siblings, must
be. How proud the Muslim community must be. We’re always told how Muslim
women are oppressed, repressed and depressed, and now you have this
Muslim woman who has attained office. But now she’s being crucified, her
career wrecked, her life ruined, her future in tatters, branded an
‘antisemite’ and a closet Nazi, and inflicted with these rituals of
self-abasement. It’s not hard to imagine what her Muslim constituents
must think now about Jews. These power hungry creeps are creating new
hate by their petty machinations.

Jonathan Cook is a Nazareth - based journalist and winner of the Martha
Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism -

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