The CAA and the JLM are the Israel Lobby’s Version of the ‘Anti-Paki League’

The Anti-Paki League were another bunch of extreme right-wing racists, who goose-stepped up and down our green and pleasant land in the 1970s campaigning against coloured immigration, and terrorising Blacks and Asians. They had an ugly name, which exactly expressed the ugliness of the organisation. I first became aware of the Leagues existence when I saw a book on them in the former Midland Educational bookshop in Bristol’s Broadmead in the ’70s or early ’80s. The cover showed a crowd in Klan robes about to behead a prone and screaming Black man.

I’ve chosen the Anti-Paki League to focus on here, rather than other, larger anti-immigrant and racist organisation, like the National Front or BNP, because their name also carries with it undertones of Islamophobia. Pakistan is a Muslim state. It was explicitly set up to be the country where Muslims, who felt excluded by the dominant Hindus in India, could live in according with Qu’ran and the Sunna. Not all Pakistani immigrants are Muslim, however. Many of them have been Christians, who have left their homeland because of the increasing violence and intolerance of their Muslim compatriots.

And Islamophobia and connections to other, nakedly Fascistic British anti-Muslim organisations, run right through the Israel lobby and its organisations like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Labour Movement. The racism and Islamophobia at the heart of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism is very clear in its statement that Muslims are more likely than the rest of the British population to be anti-Semitic, whom they also smear as sharing the same Jew hatred.

As for the JLM, their head, Jonathan Newmark, an unconvicted embezzler from Jewish charities, if the allegations against him are true, turned up to disrupt a film on the sufferings of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation, held at the SOAS university. They did so in the company of the Jewish Defence League, the Jewish branch of the Fascist English Defence League, screaming, hurling abuse and waving flags.

Mike’s been unfairly accused of being an anti-Semite, because the uncomfortable facts he covered about Shai Masot’s attempts to plot the removal and replacement of prominent cabinet ministers, which he rightly described as a conspiracy, was held to be an ‘anti-Semitic trope’.

Well, turning up to a screening of film to disrupt it by flag-waving racial nationalists is a Fascist trope. Since the time of Mosley’s BUF, the stormtroopers of the British Nazi right have used appropriated the Union Flag and other emblems of Britishness for their insignia and rallies. The National Front despised Mosley, but they adopted the same tactic to try to win over members.

And Fascists also aggressively disrupt anti-racist and left-wing gatherings, including films. The parallel to their JDL’s disruption of the film on the Palestinians that comes to my mind is the attack Christian Fascists in France in the 1920s made on the screening of Bunuel’s and Dali’s Surrealist film, L’Age d’Or. As Marxists, the Surrealists were extremely anti-religious with a bitter hatred of Christianity. The French Christian far right objected to the film because it showed a monstrance being thrown into a river, and ended with a group of skeletons lying on a rock wearing clerical vestments such as bishop’s mitres.

And the Israel lobby’s connection to mainstream British Islamphobic Fascism don’t end there. A few months ago Jonathan Hoffman, another prominent member of the Israel lobby was photographed getting very chummy with Paul Besser, the intelligence officer of Britain First, if ‘Intelligence officer’ in this context isn’t a contradiction in terms.

These are fake anti-racist organisations. They don’t exist to protect Jews from real anti-Semitism. They exist to defend Israel and its racist oppression of the Palestinians by pretending to defend Jews from anti-Semitism. And they do this by smearing Israel’s critics, including self-respecting secular and Torah-observant Jews, as anti-Semites.

They are Fascists. The CAA should lose its charitable status, and the Jewish Labour Movement, as a Fascist organisation, should be closed down. Real socialists and anti-racist activists should not be tolerating any racist organisation, no matter what it’s ethnicity is, in their party.

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5 Responses to “The CAA and the JLM are the Israel Lobby’s Version of the ‘Anti-Paki League’”

  1. Curious Says:

    “Pakistan is a Muslim state. It was explicitly set up to be the country where Muslims, who felt excluded by the dominant Hindus in India, could live in according with Qu’ran and the Sunna.”

    How many Hindus now live in Pakistan?
    How many Muslims are there in India?

    • beastrabban Says:

      About 25 per cent of India’s population is Muslim, Curious, and there are Hindus in Pakistan. But this doesn’t alter the fact that Pakistan is a Muslim state, set up with precisely those aims. See any history of the country, or look up the chapter on modern Pakistan in Bernard Lewis, ed., The World of Islam: Faith. People. Culture (London: Thames and Hudson 1992.

  2. Curious Says:

    Thanks, although I don’t think you’ve fully answered my question.

    From what I can gather, about 2% of the citizens of Pakistan are Hindu (something like 4 million) Whereas (according to Wikipedia) nearly 15% of India’s population (about 180 million) are Muslim.

    There’s obviously an imbalance here and, despite growing intolerance from Modi’s Hindu chauvinist party, tens of millions of Muslims continue to live in India.

    Whatever the formal motivation for Partition was, it seems to me that Jinna & the Muslim League excacerbated religious sectarianism by setting up a seperate Muslim state in Pakistan.

    As you probably know, “Pakistan” is the artificial term, thought up by exiled Cambridge intellectuals, for a state that was supposed to unite Muslims in Punjab, Kashmir, Sind, Afghanistan & Bengal.

    The war against East Bengal when it declared independence showed that this idea was illusory.

    I don’t think it supports your case against another state set up on a sectarian basis (Israel) that you accept this ideological justification so uncritically.

    • beastrabban Says:

      No, Curious. You missed the point of my article. I was not comparing Israel to Pakistan, but the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Labour Movement to the British Fascist organisation, the Anti-Paki League, because these organisation are Islamophobic. And you yourself have acknowledged that Pakistan was set up to be a Muslim state. I assumed this was the point of the question you asked, when you queried my statement that Pakistan was set up to be a state where ‘Muslims could live in accordance with the Qu’ran and the Sunna’, and then started asking about the numbers of other Hindus in Pakistan, and the number of Muslims in India. As my post made it clear, there are members of other faiths resident in Pakistan, including Christians. But this doesn’t alter the fact that the name of the Anti-Paki League implies Islamophobia, because of the status of that faith as the country’s official and major religion.

  3. curious Says:

    I think you’re wrong on both counts.

    “Paki” was a racist term, which entered into common usage in the 1970’s.
    It was directed at Asian immigrants of all religions.
    The people who used it weren’t aware of the connection between Pakistan as a state/nationality and Islam as a religion.

    Whereas the term “Islamophobia” didn’t enter into common useage until the 1990’s, when it was felt that the Race Relations Act didn’t sufficiently cover discrimination against Muslims.

    Personally I think “anti-semitism” and “Islamophobia” are both forms of racism and highlighting the religious aspect leads to accomodation with it.

    For instance in Poland, in the late 1930’s measures were taken against Shechita (kosher slaughter of animals) , which were a veiled form of racism, based on the Polish government’s accomodation to the Nazis. These were part of wider campaign to force Jews to leave the country.
    Similar arguments are used against both Halal & Kashrut today.

    I don’t think it serves any purpose to claim any exceptional status for “anti-Semitism, or “Islamophobia” – in practice, both are forms of racism.
    But you seem to want to stray into that territory.

    As to your second main point:

    I’ve witnessed (& experienced) violent attacks caried out by racists & facists on more than one occasion & been a member of a jury that convicted someone for “paki-bashing”.
    These were clear cases of ABH.

    I’ve also witnessed the disruption of pro-Palestinian meetings carried out by right-wing zionists.
    I wouldn’t put these on the same level.
    At worst these were just shouting matches.
    In one case the chair of the meeting totally mishandled it.

    There are some dangerous fools in JLM, but if you’re seriously suggesting, as an organisation, it would engage in organised attacks on ethnic and religious minorities in the UK
    (as the Moselyites did in the 1930’s, or the NF did in the 1970’s), then I think you’re wrong.

    It’s not a a “fascist organisation” using any serious definition of the term.

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