David Rosenberg on the Jewish Establishment and Tory Racism

This is another piece commenting on an article put up by David Rosenberg. Rosenberg, like Tony Greenstein and many others, is a veteran Jewish Socialist, anti-racist, anti-Fascist activist and fierce critic of the Jewish establishment. His posts are fascinating for describing the shameful attitudes and actions of the establishment Jewish organisations in Britain and abroad.

In one piece, he discusses the statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled in Parliament Square in 2007, and the struggle against apartheid. He states clearly that only the Labour and Liberal parties emerged with any credit. Margaret Thatcher bitterly opposed any sanctions against the South African regime. Self-interest was part of it. Denis Thatcher, her husband, had investments there. And he describes how young Tories were producing T-shirts and other merchandising with the slogan ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’.

He also discusses the way Britain was home to many exiled South African anti-apartheid activists, such as Ben Turok, who was also Jewish, the son of Yiddish-speaking parents who supported the anti-Zionist Bund. He goes on to describe how Jewish campaigners against the racist state were monitored and informed upon by the South African Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Politically, the Jewish community was closely policed by the South African Board of Deputies. In a literal sense. While the main government-supporting Afrikaans press were producing classic antisemitic cartoons about Jewish financiers, Turok told me that the Board of Deputies were busy informing on Jewish anti-apartheid activists to the SA authorities, handing over personal details.

Turok had a private meeting with Gus Seron, leader of the SA Board of Deputies, encouraging the Board to at least give some indication of support for democratic and anti-racist positions: “We wanted the Jewish Board to give some recognition to the fact that the Black people of South Africa had legitimate aspirations. We were not asking them to get guns and fight. We were asking them to make some gesture of recognition. They refused to do that.”

The anti-Semitic nature of the South African government was briefly described by the comic novelist, Tom Sharpe, in one of his novels set in SA, either Riotous Assembly or Indecent Exposure. He states that Jewish South Africans were regarded as Communists come straight from Moscow.

Roseberg is also critical of the British Board of Deputies of British Jews, for their failure to confront Mosley’s BUF and their hostility to left-wing groups and organisations, whom they smear as anti-Semitic.

Our own Board of Deputies are little better. Their appalling record in the 1930s, when they seemed to spend more time criticising Jewish anti-fascists than combating Oswald Mosley’s hooligans, and famously advised Jews to stay indoors and pull down the shutters rather than confront the fascists at the Battle of Cable street, is well known. Thankfully the Jewish public ignored them then. Grassroots activists explained the reason why: they regarded the Board as the old establishment and thoroughly unrepresentative.

Always a socially conservative force in the Jewish community, they continue today to be led and dominated by supporters of the Tory Party that defended apartheid South Africa. They still pursue a relentless anti-left agenda, and frequently identify internationalist left movements as antisemites.

He then goes on to discuss the real, racists in the Tory ranks. People like the three DUP politicos, who turned up at the Board of Deputies’ and Jewish Leadership Council’s rally, Zac Goldsmith, who ran an islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan for mayor of London, and Norman Tebbit. But the president of the Board, Jonathan Arkush, ignored these racists in order to revile Corbyn.

In the name of anti-racism, and especially the fight against antisemitism, Arkush was ranting against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose record on anti-racism and on support for human rights, among the current crop of parliamentarians, is second to none.

He goes further, and describes Arkush’s own support for the racist regime in Israel and its persecution of the Palestinians.

Arkush, however, has never criticised the terrible human rights record of the Israeli Government towards the Palestinians. He is a firm supporter of the most right-wing, racist and pro-settler government Israel has ever had. The Board of Deputies, and their co-sponsors of Monday’s demonstration, the self-proclaimed Jewish Leadership Council, had not a word of criticism for Zac Goldsmith’s dog-whistle mayoral campaign.

He notes how anti-Semitic incidents rise in connection with other forms of racism, and that there has been a staggering increase in them during May’s tenure of 10 Downing Street. Where the ideology of the people committing these attacks has been identified, it is always that of the extreme right. But Arkush has ignored this to attack Corbyn and Labour.

And yet, bizarrely, Jewish leaders are trying to damn Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, the very party responsible for practically every piece of anti-discrimination law in Britain, laws which were first put in place while many Tories were investing in apartheid South Africa and condemning anti-apartheid activists as communists and extremists.

He then goes on to discuss the various real racist groups in the Tory party, like the Traditional Britain Group and its leaders Lord Sudeley and Gregory Lauder Frost. This group has shared platforms with the Holocaust deniers David Irving and Ernst Zundel, reviled in crude racist terms Baroness Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, and Vanessa Feltz, and has welcomed other members of the international Far Right. These have include Richard Spencer of the American Alt Right, the Far Right Identarian Alex Kurtagic, Dr. Thomas Hubner of the Austrian Freedom Party, and the French National Front MEP Bruno Gollnisch.

As for the TBG’s recommended reading, this includes Oswald Mosley’s biography, My Life; Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World. Evola and his wretched works are regarded as seminal works of philosophy by many Fascists, and inspired the perpetrators of the Bologna railway station bombing in Italy in the 1970s, which left over a hundred killed or injured. Also included is Roger Pearson’s Race and Heredity. Pearson’s a retired anthropologists, who believes Aryans really are the ‘master race’, and has links to a number of neo-Nazi groups and individuals. The group also recommends The Great Betrayal, by Ian Smith, the former leader of Rhodesia when it had the colour bar.

You won’t be surprised to find out that Lauder Frost also condemns the Nuremberg war crimes trials as ‘a farce’ and says Britain should not have gone to war with Nazi Germany. Rosenberg also describes how the Young Master, Jacob Rees-Mogg, went to one of their formal dinners at the organisation’s invitation. When he was caught out doing so by the Observer or Guardian, I can’t remember which, he claimed he didn’t know anything about them, and just went because they invited him. Which doesn’t sound very plausible to me. Rosenberg ends his article with

The Traditional Britain Group, led by Tory members, have called for the removal of one monument from Parliament Square – the statue of the great anti-racist fighter and leader Nelson Mandela. Why am I not surprised?


Never mind the Jewish press screaming that a Corbyn government represents an existential threat to Jews, the TBG and other Far Right organisations with connections to the Tory party represent a far greater, and more explicit threat.

I also wouldn’t be surprised the if the British Board of Deputies hadn’t also informed on Jewish anti-apartheid activists over here, just like its South African counterpart. Lobster has several times discussed the way far right, and right-wing organisations over here compiled dossiers on anti-apartheid activists in Britain, which were passed on to the South African authorities. I also think that the British state may also have been involved. Given the Board’s hostility to Jewish left-wing activism, it seem to me a distinct possibility that the Board may also have been informing on British Jews involved in the campaign.

5 Responses to “David Rosenberg on the Jewish Establishment and Tory Racism”

  1. David Rosenberg on the Jewish Establishment and Tory Racism — Beastrabban’s Weblog | sdbast Says:

    […] via David Rosenberg on the Jewish Establishment and Tory Racism — Beastrabban’s Weblog […]

  2. Ctesias62 Says:

    Just (misguidedly) read Spectator writer Nick Cohen’s latest screed in Observer (online – I’m skint). After relating a truly piteous story re Ms Nyta Mann’s demise (1967-2018 M.S @ Dignitas Zurich), with sickening inevitability he shoe-horns in his obligatory pop re Corbyn on brexit + antisemitism.
    How does noxious Nick imagine he merits either his (generous?) “remuneration” or his overweening self-esteem. Nauseating critter.
    Meantime I’ve just rec’d 8 days notice of my latest w.c.a stitch up monday week at Tresco House (thanks Dwp/Maximus). A culmination of the worst 9 months of my life (so far). Unlike Nyta or Nick I can’t afford Dignitas Zurich.!
    Look after yourself Beastie. JdeV

    • beastrabban Says:

      It’s a mystery to me too, Ctesias, how the right-wing media’s favourite writers get the salaries they do. I can remember reading one of Julie Burchill’s articles in the Daily Mail back in the 1990s. She was being promoted at the time as the Mail’s most insightful writer, along with the odious John Junor, and the article made no sense whatsoever. She was ranting that the idealistic young people, who travelled to Spain to join the international brigades against Franco were just gruesome tourists like the people, who go and watch bullfights. Paul Johnson in an article in the Speccie years ago also claimed that Tolstoy was responsible for the rise of Stalin. Despite the fact that Tolstoy was an anarchist, who therefore despised the power of the state, and was in any case of veggie pacifist and therefore the complete antithesis of everything Stalin stood for.

      Sorry to hear about your latest persecution courtesy of the DWP and Maximus. I wish you, and everyone else, who has to suffer these fitness for work tests, all the best. And please don’t consider Dignitas just yet! Leave it as an option for the Tories when they finally start really eating each other over Brexit.

      Take care, and don’t let the b*****ds grind you down!

  3. Ctesias62 Says:

    Vented a bit I know and a bit off topic too.
    Illegitimi non carborundum.
    Maybe we should consider early refugee status in a newly independent scotland before scots nats prove not to be “fluffy bunnies” after all.
    Re-read cohen’s thing, truly mawkish dross. JdeV (A [v white!] South African name, my dad exiled himself in 1949/50!)

    • beastrabban Says:

      I’ve thought of trying to apply for asylum in Scotland after they gain independence as well, Ctesias! Trouble is, I think there’d be something of a rush from other folks like us.

      Respect to your father for exiling himself from South Africa! Clearly, a man of great principle.

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