No, the Israel Lobby Does Not Permit ‘Reasonable Criticism’ of Israel

July 18, 2018

This is more comment on some of the rhetoric and material on the Labour charge sheet against Mike accusing him of anti-Semitism. The charge sheet states that it is because he criticising Israel on his website. It then goes on and declares, rather piously, that reasonable criticism of Israel is permitted.

This leads to the obvious question of what? When?

I’ve come across this bland statement about ‘reasonable criticism’ always being permissible in an internet debate before. I can’t remember what it was about, but it may even have been about criticising Israel. It’s to disguise the fact that the person making the statement almost certainly wants to close down debate. And the comment made after this pious declaration was made, was that those making such bland statements about the permissibility of ‘reasonable comment’ don’t give examples.

The Israel lobby certainly does not, and indeed has done all it can, to stop negative reporting of Israel’s vile persecution of the Palestinians. Peter Oborne a decade or so ago made a documentary for Channel 4’s Despatches about the power of the Israel lobby. He discussed the way the Israel lobby had tried to shut down the news of massacres committed by Israel and its allies, in this case the Christian Phalange in Lebanon, by accusing reporters of anti-Semitism. These disgraceful libels had been directed against such respected Beeb journos as Jeremy Bowen and Orla Guerin. When David Dimbleby had weighed in to condemn these accusations as smears, he was accused and investigated in turn as an anti-Semite. Other organisations, such as the press and broadcasting watchdogs, were called in to investigate their reports, and concluded that they were substantially factually correct. And Middle Eastern experts on the programme stated that what they said was true.

Oborne also talked to the editor of the Groaniad, Alan Rusbridger. Rusbridger, who really does look a bit like Harry Potter, was under constant pressure from the Israel lobby every time he published articles on Israeli racism and ethnic cleansing. He described how, after his paper published one such article, he was visited by two people, one representing the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the other a Zionist lawyer, who bitterly complained about the article. The lawyer even tried arguing that its publication would encourage people to attack Jews.

The veteran anti-Fascist, anti-racist and anti-Zionist campaigner, Tony Greenstein, has also put up on his site examples of how flexible the charge of anti-Semitism is when used to silence opponents of the Blairites and the Israel lobby. One Labour party member was accused and expelled as an ‘anti-Semite’, because he’d reposted on social media an image of the jobcentre’s sign with the words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’.

This is the notorious slogan above the walls of Auschwitz. it means ‘Work Makes (you) Free’. But its use here cannot be considered anti-Semitic. The comment was not made about Jews. Greenstein also explained that the slogan was first used in a concentration camp, where the majority of the inmates were gentiles.

It is also fair comment on the DWP and its odious leadership. The man in charge at the time was Iain Duncan Smith, who had used that slogan approvingly in a newspaper article. Furthermore, the DWP’s determination to get people into work, or rather, simply off benefit, has resulted in unjust pronouncements of ‘fitness to work’, and benefit sanctions, resulting in a massive rise in the number of people using food banks and starving to death.

Nor is it anti-Semitic to accuse the callous, murderous and dictatorial in authority of behaving like Nazis. People do it all the time. Petty, jumped up authoritarians full of their own importance have always been called ‘little Hitlers’. And I remember hearing on Radio 4 in the 1990s a description by men and women serving in the army as sergeant majors that there was one such NCO who used to show a cardboard cut out of Hitler to new recruits, declaring that this was who he was related to. No-one at the time consider this anti-Semitic, as indeed it is not.

But let’s turn the issue round and ask the Israel lobby themselves what they have done to criticise Israel. It’s perfectly possible to be a friend, and yet object to another’s faults. At the level of ordinary, personal friendship people warn each other against taking such actions, and tell them it was wrong for them to act a certain way. Remember the anti-drunk driving campaign on American TV which had the slogan ‘Friends don’t let friends drive drunk’?

How about ‘Friends don’t let friends commit crimes against humanity’?

So, what representations and criticism have pro-Israel groups, like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, the Jewish Labour Movement or the Board of Deputies of British Jews, made to the Israeli authorities about the murder, summary imprisonment, massacre and seizure of Palestinian lands and homes?

If they have made any criticism or complaints, then I shall be delighted to hear of it, and will certainly post it here.

But to my knowledge they’ve made none. Zip. Nada. Zero. To my knowledge, every time the IDF or Israeli state commits another atrocity, the above scurry to defend them. The latest massacre of the protesters in Gaza was another example. The Board then tried to excuse the massacre by claiming that the murdered people had all been put up to it by Hamas, and were all terrorist sympathisers. It was a classic case of blaming the victims.

If they’re friends, who welcome reasonable criticism of Israel, then they’re very poor friends indeed.

But of course, they don’t allow ‘reasonable criticism’ of Israel. They back the Israeli state and its brutalities 100 per cent, and share its goal of ethnically cleansing Eretz Israel of its indigenous Arabs. And they brook no criticism or reporting of Israel’s horrendous crimes in doing so.

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Netanyahu’s Racist Apartheid Legislation and the Republican’s Desire to Repeal the Civil Rights Act

July 18, 2018

Yesterday, Mike put a piece reporting and criticising Netanyahu’s attempts to introduce blatantly racist legislation, which would allow communities to discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race perfectly legally. It would also remove Arabic as an official language, and, in certain circumstances, allow Jewish religious law to replace secular legislation. This vile piece of legislation has the misnomer of the ‘Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People Bill’. Mike writes

This Writer’s attention was brought to the issue by a long-term friend who posted, on Facebook [boldings mine]: “This is a bill to make Israel clearly and definitively a racist and religious state. It permits neighbourhoods to block people of specific nationalities or religions from moving in, removes Arabic as an official language, and directs judges to look for precedents from Jewish legal rulings in instances where Israeli law offers no guidance.

This legislation is aimed at securing votes from the Israeli far right, and Netanyahu has been trying to get it through the Knesset for the past five years. He wants to get it passed now, because there’s an election looming next year in 2019.

Of course, not all Israelis are fans of the bill by any means, and there have been demonstrations against it in Tel Aviv. Amir Fuchs, of the Israel Democracy Institute, has been highly critical of the bill, and is quoted in Mike’s article.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/07/17/israeli-prime-minister-demands-support-for-racist-apartheid-law/

This legislation not only affects ethnic minorities in Israel, but could also serve as encouragement to the extreme right in the West and their attempts to repeal racial equalities legislation.

The Alt-Right, for example, are huge fans of Israel. Richard Spencer, its leader, described himself on Israeli TV as a ‘White Zionist’. They see Israel as the kind of racially exclusive ethno-state that they would like to remake America into, but for Whites.

There are also elements in the Republican party that would dearly love to undo the Civil Rights Act, and give employers, schools and landlords once again the legal freedom to deny jobs, education and homes to people of colour. The far right American Republican/ Canadian Tory/ British Tory blog, Five Feet of Fury, was arguing for this a few years ago. The blog’s author, Kathy Shaidle, was arguing for it under the guise of reintroducing personal liberty, using George Wallace as an example. Wallace was an opponent of desegregation in the 1960s. Shaidle argued that Wallace wasn’t racist, and claimed that he was a member of the NAACP – the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People – and that he had desegregated his own department store. But he opposed the civil rights legislation on the ground that it denied others the freedom to do what they liked with their own businesses.

This is irrelevant. Segregation was a monstrous injustice, and did result in massive poverty and deprivation amongst Blacks simply because of their colour. There is no way it, or similar legislation, should be reintroduced in America or any other country, including Israel.

Such legislation has also affected members of our family. One of our uncles is Irish, a skilled mason, who has worked on some of the greatest buildings in the Bristol and Somerset area, including Brunel’s history Temple Meads Station. But he himself suffered racial discrimination in Britain, before the passage of racial equality acts over here.

Back then, it really was a case of ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’. He was in charge of a gang of other workmen on a job far from their homes, and he had to find overnight accommodation for them. He managed to find somewhere which would take them, but it wouldn’t take him because he was Irish. Fortunately, it was able to find his own accommodation elsewhere.

This is the society that the Tory right, the Republicans in America and the Kippers over here would like to reintroduce. Natanyahu’s bill to introduce it in Israel will encourage and inspire them. And it can’t be allowed, for the sake of justice, democracy and equality everywhere.

Scots Legal Expert Judges Attempts to Outlaw Criticism of Israel Attack on Free Speech

July 18, 2018

I found this interesting snippet about the legal validity of considering criticism of Israel a hate crime on Tony Greenstein’s blog. Greenstein is a Jewish activist against racism and Fascism, and a fierce critic of Zionism because of its racism and persecution of the Palestinians. He was written a book on the struggle against Fascism on the south coast, as well as blogged about how Jews and anti-Fascists fought against Oswald Mosley’s BUF when the Fascists tried holding their noxious rallies in Brighton. He’s obviously very proud that they were beaten off, and went back to London with their collective tails between their legs.

He is not by any stretch of the imagination an anti-Semite, and only the dementedly political motivated would think he was. Unfortunately, the dementedly politically motivated had him suspended and expelled from the Labour party as such in yet another case of politically motivated kangaroo courts deciding that critics of Israel are automatically anti-Semites.

But the attempts to criminalise criticism of Israel, led by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, is on very dodgy constitutional grounds. As this piece from Greenstein’s blog shows, a retired senior Scottish judge, Lord Bracadale, has ruled that you can only be racist to people, not nations, and that it is an attempt to close down free speech and so contravenes EU legislation. Here’s the quote

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are two completely different things. Don’t take my word for it. Retired Senior Scottish Judge Lord Bracadale has just completed an Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland. In his review Lord Bracadale, an Establishment Judge par excellence, no radical he, concludes that you can’t make criticism of Israel and Zionism into a a Protected Characteristic and therefore a hate crime. You hate people not states. To make it a criminal offence to criticise Israel would be an outrageous attack on freedom of speech and contrary to Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

In the words of Hugh Tomlinson QC this would have ‘a potential chilling effect’ on free speech. Of course Zionists and Elgot aren’t in the slightest bit interested in free speech. All they are bothered about is protecting their bastard offspring, the apartheid State of Israel.

Quite so. People like Tony Greenstein and Mike criticise Israel, not because they are anti-Semites, but because they are concerned and outraged as the human rights abuses it perpetrates against the indigenous Arab population. Reporting of which is regularly suppressed or attacked by the Israel lobby through spurious accusations of anti-Semitism. This has resulted in a massive witch-hunt in the Labour party to root out critics of Israel under the spurious pretext of expelling anti-Semites. Those expelled have included veteran anti-racist activists like Marc Wadsworth, who in the 1980s and 1990s also worked with the Board of Deputies of British Jews to combat anti-Semitism after a spate of attacks on Jews by the BNP. But this doesn’t matter to organisations like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism or the Jewish Labour Movement. All they care about is protecting Israel from criticism, not defending Jews from anti-Semitism and assault. That’s just very cynically used as a pretext to silence their opponents.

It’s time to end this vile charade. No-one should be punished for criticising Israel, or any other racist, persecuting state. The witch-hunt should be stopped, those unjustly expelled reinstated, and an investigation instead launched into the organisations responsible for instigating their persecution.

The snippet can be read, with Greenstein’s comments, at:
http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2018/07/meet-jessica-elgot-guardian-and-former.html

More on How Judaism Does Not Equal Zionism

July 16, 2018

Earlier today I put up a two-part piece attacking the attempts by the Israel lobby in the Labour party to smear Mike as an anti-Semite by claiming that his posts against Israeli atrocities are anti-Semitic because they deny the right of the Jews to self-determination. I quoted Carl Ehrlich, a professor of the Hochschule fuer Judische Studien at Heidelberg in Germany, in the Oxford Companion to the Bible, who stated that there had always been debate over the nature of Judaism, including whether it was a religion or a nation. Samuel Montague, the Jewish member of Balfour’s cabinet who opposed Balfour’s declaration in support of a Jewish state, did so because he believed that Judaism was a religion, not a nation. He believed that British Jews were simply Brits of a different religion, and that the Declaration would increase anti-Semitism by automatically making Jews the citizens of a foreign country. And he wasn’t alone. Other Jewish communities throughout Europe held the same view.

I have found another quote, similar to Ehrlich’s, describing Jewish opposition to Zionism, in the article ‘Zionism’, in The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, edited by John Bowker (Oxford: OUP 1997), p. 1068. This contains the lines

Early Zionism was not supported wholeheartedly by the Jewish community. Many of the Orthodox believed that the return to Zion would only be effected by divine intervention, and that it was wrong for human beings to anticipate divine providence. At the other extreme, members of the Progressive movements were anxious to play down the ethnic and nationalistic aspirations of Judaism and were convinced of their successful future in the countries of the diaspora.

I have repeatedly blogged about the Orthodox Jews, who still oppose Zionism because of their conviction that it should only be brought about by the Messiah. These include members of the ‘Old Jewry’ in Israel itself, who have been severely persecuted by the Israeli state for their beliefs and opposition. At the same time, there are very many Jews, who continue to reject Zionism because they wish to be equal citizens of the countries in which they were born and have lived for centuries with their non-Jewish compatriots, and despise Zionism for its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Tony Greenstein is just one of these Jews.

Given the deep debate within Judaism over its nature and relationship to Zionism, it is grotesque and simplistic for the Israel lobby to try to claim that opposition to, or criticism of the state of Israel, constitutes anti-Semitism. Especially when it leads to the smearing of sincerely anti-racist gentiles like Mike, and self-respecting, secular and Torah-observant Jews. As I have pointed out ad nauseam, very many of these have suffered real abuse and assault for their religious/ethnic identity.

No, Israel Lobby, ‘National Aspirations and Self-Determination’ Are No Justification for Ethnic Cleansing

July 16, 2018

This is a further examination and refutation of the charge against Mike that he is somehow an anti-Semite for blogging about the atrocities and human rights crimes against the Palestinians committed by Israel. As I’ve said in an earlier post, the charges against Mike contain lines that the Labour party supports the rights of all people to ethnic self-determination, and that Mike is an anti-Semite because he opposes Jewish national self-determination in the state of Israel.

This sounds fine, but there are major rhetorical and logical flaws in the argument. I’ve already expressed my doubts the Labour party, and particularly the Israel lobby within it, genuinely recognises the rights of all peoples to self-determination, except as an abstract concept. I’ve seen no evidence that the Labour party supports Catalan or Basque independence, for example, although I’ve no doubt some of its members do. And I have very grave doubts that members of the Israel lobby have ever marched in support of the right of other nations to self-determination, except when it suits Israel’s interests. Like way back in the 1970s when Israel allied itself to apartheid South Africa.

But noticeable in the statement about self-determination is any mention of the rights of the Palestinians to govern themselves. Oh, there’s a lot of talk amongst the Israeli state and the Israeli lobby about working towards a two-state solution, but actions speak louder than words. The land seizures and construction of new, Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories have not ceased, and won’t, so long as a majority of Israelis believe that they have an automatic right to Palestinian territory.

And the principle of national self-determination itself has led to terrible atrocities. Let’s consider, for example, the American Revolution. One of the causes of the American War of Independence, which is not often mentioned, is colonial resentment of the British’s refusal to allow them to expand past the Appalachians and seize the rich farming land in Amerindian territory. The Brits had made treaties with the indigenous peoples in these areas, and had frequently cemented their diplomatic relationships through intermarriage. At least one of the British governors at the time had Amerindian cousins. Thus, when the 13 British colonies threw off the yoke of imperial oppression, one of the results of that was a flood of settlers through the passes into what is now Ohio, and a series of vicious wars to disinherit the First Peoples of their ancestral territory.

And the same continued in the 19th century after the notorious issue of the ideology of Manifest Destiny. America and its White population had a manifest destiny, the fulfilment of which included the seizure of the all the land on the continent. And once again, the dispossession if not the extermination of the Amerindians.

You can see the same attitudes in the history of Australia. This was a terra nullius, a land without people. The early geographers and colonial authorities only considered a country occupied if it has a settled, agricultural population. The Aboriginal people were nomadic hunter-gatherers, and so didn’t count. And so Britain settled Australia, once again at the expense of its indigenous peoples, who in many cases were hunted and exterminated like animals.

Israel had a similar attitude to Palestine. Gold Meir famously declared that the Israelis were ‘a people for a land without a people’. She maintained that the area had been unoccupied before the arrival of the Israelis, and that the indigenous Arab population were merely very recent settlers. Examination of the Ottoman imperial archives has shown this to be a lie, but I’ve seen the same bogus assertion used by American supporters of Israel on certain websites.

More recently in Europe we’ve seen nation self-determination as a pretext for more ethnic cleansing. Back in the 1980s the communist dictator of Romania, Mihail Ceucescu, began destroying ethnic Hungarian settlements in Transylvania. Both the Hungarians and Romanians claim Transylvania as the historic cradle of their peoples. The territory had been ceded to Romania by the great powers, but still contained a significant Hungarian population. And so Ceacescu, in the name of his people’s historic claims on the areas, began demolishing them in a campaign of forcing the Hungarian minority either to move or become Romanian.

And then there was the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. This was marked by horrific massacres and ethnic cleansing, most notoriously against the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most of them were committed by the Serbs, but the Croats and Muslims also committed their share of terrible atrocities. The dominant ethnic minority in the former Yugoslavia were the Serbs, and so it’s natural that the other nations fought to shake off what they saw as Serb control. But the Croat nationalists also had their extremely sinister elements.

The Serbs have been regarded as Fascists because the horrors they committed ever since the war, but it was the Croats under Franjo Tudjman, who brought back all the insignia, uniforms and regalia of the Ustashe. This was the Croat nationalist party during the Second World War, who collaborated with the Nazis and had a policy of ethnic cleansing towards the Serbs. !/3 of the Serbs were to be saved, under their rule, 1/3 were to be exterminated, and another 1/3 converted to Roman Catholicism and so become Croat. Serbs historically have been Orthodox in their religion. With Tudjman and his party goose-stepping about in Nazi-era uniforms, you can hardly blame the Serbs for reacting with extreme panic. Though once again, this does not justify the atrocities they committed. Furthermore, Tudjman’s government aimed to make a part of the country entirely Croat. There’s a part of Croatia which contained a sizable Serb population. This came about after one of the prince-bishops of Serbia led his people out of the country, which was then occupied by the Ottomans, across the border into freedom in Croatia. As an example of the ethnically mixed nature of the region, the road signs there were bilingual in the Roman Script, used by the Croats, and the Cyrillic used by the Serbs. And of course, this was bitterly resented by Tudjman and his goons.

And sometimes national autonomy makes no sense whatsoever. The break-up of Czechoslovakia is an example of that. Slovakia broke away from the Czech Republic purely on the whim of its corrupt and dictatorial president. From an ethnic and linguistic point of view, the move made little sense. Czech and Slovak are distinct languages, but there’s not much difference between them and the two are mutually intelligible.

National self-determination has too often been the cause of horrific ethnic cleansing and savage massacres. As it has in the case of Israel and the Palestinians. It’s a noble principle, but it doesn’t justify the atrocities that have been committed in its name, whether by British, Americans, Australians, Serbs, Croats, Muslims, or the Israelis. But the Israel lobby are trying to cover up or provide spurious excuses for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. This cannot be excused, and must be exposed, just like the crimes of every other country in history. Doing so does not make you an anti-Semite, as the large Jewish opposition to Israel’s ethnic cleansing clearly shows.

Refuting the Israel Lobby’s Conflation of Judaism with Zionism: Part 2

July 16, 2018

Since the 1980s the Israel lobby has been desperately trying to confuse anti-Semitism with opposition to or criticism of Israel. This is the definition that Jackie Walker fell foul of when the Jewish Labour Movement smeared her as an ant-Semite when she objected to it during their workshop on commemorating the Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day. As have other leading activists against racism and anti-Semitism, like Ken Livingstone, Tony Walker and so many, many others.

As I’ve pointed out, anti-Semitism, as defined by Wilhelm Marr, the ghastly 19th century German anti-Jewish ideologue and activist who invented the term, means hatred of Jews as Jews, regardless of religious or ideological beliefs. Which excludes anti-Zionism from the definition.

And within Jewry itself, there has always been considerable differences of opinion over the nature of Judaism, and opposition to or indifference to Zionism. I have read Jewish authors, who have proudly seen their people as particularly suited to democratic debate, because of their historical disputatiousness and independence of opinion. The Talmud, the Jewish holy book that interprets the Bible and draws further rules for the conduct of Jewish life, contains the records of the debates between the great Jewish sages of antiquity. Even minority opinions are preserved. And I gather that there’s an old Jewish saying, ‘Two Jews, three opinions’.

This debate extends to the nature of Judaism, and who is to be considered a Jew. This is discussed by Carl S. Ehrlich, a Professor at the Hochschule fuer Judische Studien at Heidelberg in Germany, in his article, ‘Jew’ in the Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce Metzger and Michael D. Coogan eds., (Oxford: OUP 1993), p. 368.

The question of how to define a Jew, put more simply as “who is a Jew” has engendered much discussion through the ages. Are the Jews to be understood as a social, religious, national or ethnic community… A strict definition is therefore impossible to reach.

Tony Greenstein, that indefatiguible foe of all forms of racism and Fascism, has posted up on his blog extensive quotes from Samuel Montague’s letter to Lord Balfour giving his objections to the Balfour Declaration supporting the creation of a Jewish state. Montague was the only Jewish member of Balfour’s cabinet, and made it clear that he was afraid that the Declaration would increase anti-Semitism by making Jews members of a foreign country instead of fellow English people. He made it very clear that he, and the vast majority of the British Jewish establishment at the time, regarded themselves not as a separate ethnic group, but as English people. They regarded Judaism as a religion, and regarded this as the only difference between themselves and the rest of the English nation.

Other Jewish communities elsewhere in Europe also had similar views. When Hungary won its independence from Austria, their was a wave of patriotism amongst Hungarian Jews. Many changed their names to Hungarian forms. And I can remember reading in a history of the Jews I read a long time ago, that by and large Hungarian Jewry regarded themselves as ‘Magyars of the Israelitish religion’ – a position exactly the same as Montague’s, with the obvious difference that they were Hungarians instead of English.

It is therefore grossly ahistorical and simply plain wrong for the Israel lobby to define Judaism in terms of Zionism and support for Israel. Not only have they smeared decent gentiles as anti-Semites for their opposition to Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, but they’ve done the same to proud, self-respecting Jews. They’ve been libelled as ‘self-hating’, even when they have acted out of liberal teachings they have believed to be at the very core of Jewish morality. Those libelled include people, who have suffered real anti-Semitic abuse and persecution, and even the children of Holocaust survivors.

Yet these frauds go on trying to deny and cover up history, and gratuitously libel and smear those revealing its truth, both gentile and Jewish. It’s about time this was stopped, and the libellers and deniers of history brought to account instead.

Refuting the Israel Lobby’s Conflation of Judaism with Zionism: Part 1

July 16, 2018

Mike last week posted up a couple of pieces on his blog discussing and refuting the charges brought against him by the Labour party. One of these is that Mike is a ‘virulent anti-Semite’ because he criticises Israel, and so attacks ‘Jewish self-determination and their national aspirations.’

This is completely and libellous false. As I’ve said again and again, Mike, like the thousands of other people the Israel lobby in the Labour party has libelled, Mike is not and never has been any kind of anti-Semite or racist. I’ve said how he took part in a Holocaust memorial performance at College at the request of his Jewish friends; how when we were small, our father showed us his photos of the remains of Belsen concentration camp and the memorial to the Jews murdered there. He had taken them when he was stationed nearby in Germany during his national service.

And I have a very clear memory of Mum telling us precisely what would happen to us if she ever caught us wearing swastikas when we were junior school kids. It was around about 1977, when punk was exploding. We were reading the war comics like Battle and Warlord. At the same time, the moronic fringe in Punk decided to wear swastikas and Nazis uniforms as a provocation to the rest of society. I read the war comics, but had only a hazy idea – I wasn’t very old, perhaps 9 or 10 – of who the Nazis were. So as you do, I asked Mum. Who replied ‘the Nazis were very evil men, and the swastika was their sign. And if I catch you wearing one I will spank your bottom’. Okay, so the physical punishment of children is definitely no out of favour, but it was accepted at the time. And I guess Mum’s attitude to the Nazis, the swastika and other items of their regalia was the same as most severely normal Brits at the time. So anyone, who expects Mike to be any kind of a Nazi, or have any sympathy with those, who think it’s great fun to dress up in Nazi uniform, is going to be very severely disappointed.

I also regard the term ‘virulently anti-Semitic’ to be deliberately and maliciously deceptive. Mike has been very careful not to equate the vile antics of Israel lobby and Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians with the wider Jewish community. The Jewish community as a whole is certainly not responsible for atrocities committed by Israel, and very many Jews are active in criticising and organising against them. Nor has Mike ever claimed that the plot by Shai Masot and the various pro-Israel organisations to change the membership of the British cabinet has anything to do with the stupid and murderous conspiracy theories about the Jews, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He, like me, knows that these theories are utterly false, and have resulted in the horrific persecution of the Jewish people down the ages. Nevertheless, Shai Masot, and the Jewish organisations involved with him, were engaged in secret plotting and conspiring against the government. As Lobster shows, there is nothing remarkable about this. Different secret and clandestine groups, from the intelligence services to business groups and political think tanks, do it all the time. The only difference is that this time the conspirators were Jewish organisations. It’s still wrong, whoever does it, and if the self-appointed guardians of British society against anti-Semitism are worried about the reporting of this conspiracy provoking an increase in anti-Semitism, they should not attack the reporters, but the very people involved in the conspiracy in the first place. Criminals and conspirators should not get a free pass because of their ethnic origin, whether gentile or Jew.

The term ‘virulently anti-Semitic’ also suggests that Mike in his blog not only attacks Jews, but does so in the coarse and foul terms of the real Nazis and anti-Semites. You know the type of foul rhetoric I’m talking about. I am certainly not going to describe it further here. It’s part of the document’s rhetorical strategy to vilify Mike as an anti-Semite. But Mike has never, ever to my certain knowledge used any of the foul terms used to revile Jews. So once again, Mike’s accusers are deliberately creating a false impression to blacken his character.

The charge sheet given to Mike also contains some pious verbiage about the Labour party respecting the national aspirations of all peoples, and that to attack the Jewish aspiration for a national homeland is anti-Semitic. This statement is vulnerable to attack on several fronts.

Firstly, the ideal of supporting the national aspirations of currently stateless peoples is fine and admirable in itself. But the realities are far more complex. For example, at the moment the Basques and the Catalans in Spain have very large nationalist movements campaigning for independence. Is the Labour party supporting them? Brittany also has a nationalist movement for the Breton people, as do the Frisians in the Netherlands. Is Labour also supporting them? How about the Ruthenians, a Slavonic people in eastern Europe? Going further east, what about the Kurds, or the Sikhs in the Punjab. There’s a radical, nationalist fringe amongst the Sikhs that aims to create an independent Sikh state in the Punjab, their historic homeland. Does the Labour party support that?

Actually, I suspect that if you asked a Labour party official, they’d probably give you a vague answer on these questions, talking about ‘aspirations’ versus the hard realities and diplomatic niceties. But I’m not interested in the official Labour position on these issues, as what the Israel lobby and specifically the person, who drew up the charge sheet, have done to support the national aspirations of other nations. Have they marched in support of the Basques, Catalans, Bretons and so on? If they haven’t, and I very much doubt that they have, then this is so much hypocritical verbiage designed to disguise their real concern: that Mike has dared to publish the historical truth about Israel.

Private Eye on Britain’s Covert Aid to Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa and His Atrocities in the 1980s

July 15, 2018

This is another revelation of British dirty tricks and covert operations against our former colonies.

In this fortnight’s Private Eye for 13th-28th July 2018, the article ‘Letter from Harare’ on page 20 discusses a new book by the historian Stuart Doran, Kingdom, Power, Glory. The article begins by describing how absolutely packed Meikles Hotel in Harare is with the world’s press and other observers coming to Zimbabwe for the inauguration of new president Emmerson Mnangagwe, who succeeds Robert Mugabe after the old thug was overthrown.

Mnangagwe’s spin-doctor, George Charamba, has persuaded the local press to call the new president ‘the Crocodile’, and its connotations of guile, strength and longevity. The Eye states that it would have been more appropriate to call him ‘the Butcher of Bulawayo’ after his subjugation of Matabeleland for his master, Robert Mugabe, during the fighting in the 1980s, in which 20,000 Ndebele and other opponents of the regime in the area were massacred.

Doran has based his book on files and interviews with the agents of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation. This book shows that Britain had a very close relationship with the local spooks and had ‘an inkling’ about the horrors that were being perpetrated by Mugabe’s forces against the Ndebele and other opposition groups at the time. However, they failed to alert the rest of the globe. The article also states that it wasn’t very long before they forgot and forgave Mugabe for the terror and atrocities. He was invited to make a state visit in 1994 at which he was given an honorary knighthood. Which has since been rescinded.

The new president of Zimbabwe, Mnangagwe, was Mugabe’s ‘point man’ in the carnage nearly 30 years ago. The Eye quotes Doran’s book as saying that “Mnangagwe had from the beginning [of the Matabeleland slaughter] played a key role in the campaign against [rival party] Zapu and Zipra [Zapu’s guerilla army]from his chairmanship of the Joint High Command, through to the provocation of the Entumbane conflagration [when the two guerilla armies clashed] … with others he provided the day-to-day bridge between the political leadership and the killers in the security services.”

This makes sense, and shows that there is a lot about this period in Zimbabwe which is being covered up. In the 1990s and early part of this century I used to do voluntary work for the former Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. One of my co-workers was a British man, who moved to Rhodesia and become active in the opposition against the Colour Bar and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He was genuinely anti-racist, and no friend of tyrants and thugs.

But in the first few years of this century, when Mugabe’s thugs were turning against the White farmers, he’d been down to the Public Record Office in Kew to access the archives on Zimbabwe from the 1980s. He hadn’t been able to. He’d been told that they were out. Or missing. He found this very suspicious, and wondered what was going on.

I’ve also read elsewhere that Mugabe was right when he claimed that the money Britain had promised his regime to purchase White-owned farmed had not in fact been paid. Not that this excuses for one single moment the brutality unleashed against the country’s White minority, or any of the other ethnic groups Mugabe’s thugs have beaten and killed.

There’s something very shady about Britain’s relationship with Mugabe and his butchers, something we’re still not being told here in Britain. The Eye’s review of Doran’s book comes after Robin Ramsay’s review of Rory Cormac’s history of British conspiracies against her former subject nations in Lobster, and supports that book’s central argument and that of the Left about covert operations and dirty tricks in these countries by the British secret state.

RT Talks to Irish Senator Banning Israeli Goods from Occupied Palestine

July 15, 2018

Okay, I just found a short clip on YouTube of RT’s Going Underground, in which anchor Afshin Rattansi talks to Senator David Norris. Norris is a member of the Irish parliament, and sits as an independent. He fought against the Irish laws against homosexuality to become Eire’s first openly gay politico. In that clip, Rattansi talks to him about a recent bill he steered through the senate to outlaw Israeli goods produced in the Occupied Territories, pointing out that the Israeli occupation of the area has been condemned as illegal by both Eire and the EU.

I haven’t seen the clip yet, and so am not putting it up here until I have had a time to go through what it says. But if the bill has become law, then it might explain part of the desperation of the Israel lobby in this country to smear decent people like Mike as anti-Semites. The BDS campaign against Israeli businesses based in the Occupied Territories has bitten deep. About a third of Israeli businesses there have apparently packed up and left because of it. Many of the campaign’s supporters are Jews, of the type who are no doubt considered to be the ‘wrong type’ by the official Jewish establishment. Trump’s administration has tried to criminalise the BDS movement as ‘anti-Semitism’, even though it is certainly not directed against Jews per se, just the Israeli occupation.

If Eire is banning goods produced in the Occupied Territories, it means the Israel lobby’s ability to stifle criticism of Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is losing its grip. And they’re going to be terrified of how far this process will go. Hence you can expect the Israel lobby over here, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, and the Jewish Labour Movement in the Labour Party, are going to be desperate to silence it, and are going to redouble their persecution of decent, anti-racists like Mike, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and all the others they’ve smeared.

But the tide is slowly turning. And it’s high time the libellers and smearers were exposed and expelled.

Private Eye on the West’s Support of Anti-Iranian Paramilitary Group

July 14, 2018

This is ominous, as it looks like the Neocons are setting up another paramilitary group, like Ahmed Chalabi’s in Iraq, to pose behind as the liberators in yet another imperialist invasion for the American-Saudi oil industry and western multinational businesses.

In the ‘Letter from Paris’ article in this fortnight’s Private Eye for 12th-26th July 2018, there’s a discussion of a meeting in Paris late last month of the MEK, or People’s Mujahidin of Iran. Or what sounds very much like the old Mujahidin-e Khalq under another name. The MEK/ Mujahidin-e Khalq were a Marxist Islamic revolutionary group. They fought a paramilitary war against the Shah, and were expecting to have a role in the new Islamic Revolutionary regime after the Shah’s overthrow in 1979, but were forced out by the Ayatollah Khomeini and his supporters. Since then, according to the Eye, it’s become a personality cult controlled by Maryam Rajavi, who shares the leadership with her husband Massoud. Massoud Rajavi hasn’t been seen since 2003, and according to the Saudis is dead.

A US-commissioned report published in 1979 stated that the MEK was responsible for scores of terrorist attacks against state officials and civilians in Iran. It also described the grim conditions within the militia, in which members were forced to divorce their partner and devote their lives to compulsory celibacy. Ex-members have also spoken about being forced to announce lurid sexual fantasies and having their children forcibly adopted.

4,000 people attended their conference under the hashtag #IranRegimeChange, although many of these were Polish, Czech and Slovakian students and Syrian refugees from Germany, who were bussed in with 25 Euro Facebook offer of a holiday in Paris with bed and board paid.

The article goes on to report that for the last 13 years Maryam Rajavi has been trying to get the support of the American right as Iran’s next leader in waiting. The MEK have paid up to $40,000 per speech to John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, and the orange buffoon’s personal lawyer, Rudi Giuliani.

The group, according to the Eye, is funded by Saudi Arabia, and has additional funding carrying out black ops for Israel. It was the MEK that was responsible for the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012. At the Paris conference Giuliani suggested that the US government, under its campaign of “maximum pressure” imposing sanctions against any company trading with Iran, is coordinating MEK ‘resistance units’ inside Iran in order to topple the government. In fact, although the country has experienced a wave of protests recently, the MEK has precious few supporters in Iran because of its legacy of domestic bombing and the fact that it fought with the Iraqis against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War.

Also speaking to the terrorist group were four Tory MPs – David Amess, Bob Blackman, Matthew Offord, and Theresa Villiers, Tory peer Lord McInnes, and Labour MP Roger Godsiff. Amess declared that ‘We need to talk about regime change’, while Villiers discussed Iran’s poor human rights record and claimed that the MEK would create ‘a peaceful and democratic future for all’. The Eye stated that this was unlikely, as it is a movement whose only strategy is destabilising the country and fomenting civil war. Nor is it very likely it would win through conventional elections, as there is no evidence that it has any kind of mass support in Iran.

The Eye suggested that the reason this group of British politicos turned up was because they were a bunch of ideological carpet-baggers determined to further destabilise a highly volatile region, with no plan or understanding of the likely consequences. (Page 20).

This sounds almost exactly like George Dubya Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Bush and the neocons put their weight and confidence behind a pretender, Ahmed Chalabi, who claimed to have a huge army and massed supporters waiting for him in Iraq. When the Americans invaded, and installed him as the rightful ruler, they would be hailed as liberators. In fact he had no support whatsoever. As for the neocons themselves, they knew absolutely nothing about the Middle East, and hated those who did. American Conservative opponents of the Iraq invasion describe how they had state and Pentagon officials, who actually had a deep understanding of the region and its peoples removed. This included General Zilli, the chief officer in charge of American forces in the area.

The Neocons have wanted for decades to overthrow the Iranian Revolutionary regime. It was on the list of countries America should invade, along with Somalia, Syria, Libya and three others. They despise it because of its virulent opposition to Israel. Other plausible reasons include the fact that it nationalised its oil industry to take it out of the hands of western companies, such as BP, while I’ve no doubt that American multinationals are hungry for the web of state industries controlled by the bonyads, the Islamic charitable foundations. I also have no doubt that the Saudis want Iran destroyed as it’s a Shi’a state which assists the other Shi’a groups and countries, like Syria, in the region.

Let’s have no illusions: Iran is an extremely intolerant theocracy, which is responsible for very severe human rights abuses against dissidents. But it’s far better than Saudi Arabia. At least Iran has a democratic component, in which the Iranian people can vote for a president even though political parties are banned. Unlike the absolute monarchy in Saudi Arabia. There is also a greater degree of religious tolerance. Three per cent of the population are Armenian Christians, and there are other communities of Jews and Zoroastrians. There are about 4 seats in the majlis – the Iranian parliament – reserved for these minorities.

Contrast this with Saudi Arabia, where the only permitted religion is Wahhabi Islam and where, a few years ago, the grand mufti of Mecca declared that the Shi’a were heretics and ‘worthy of death’.

Like Iraq, Iran is a civilisation over 3,000 years old, going back to the dawn of civilisation in the Ancient Near East. For millennia it was a centre of art, literature, historical writing, science, mathematics and medicine. It is also a country of a variety of different ethnic groups. The main ethnic group are the Farsi-speakers, who comprise 51 per cent of the population. But there are also Baluchis, Kurds, Loris, ethnic Arabs and a number of nomadic peoples speaking languages related to Turkish.

Far from giving the Iranian people peace and democracy, any western invasion would result in the same chaos and carnage as has occurred in Iraq: massive sectarian or ethnic violence, the seizure of the country’s state assets and its oil industry and fields, and the destruction of priceless monuments and art works, including the country’s historic mosques.

Iraq was one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East. Iraq similarly is one of the most, if not the most developed, westernised nations in the region. And you can bet that after the invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Syria created a wave of refugees desperate to enter western Europe, so an invasion of Iran would do the same.

No western politicians should be listening to or supporting the MEK and their fantasies of overthrowing the Iranian regime. And we definitely should not be planning the invasion of Iran. The politicians who are, should be exposed and thrown out of office.