Archive for July, 2018

Hayyim Ozer Grodzinski and the Orthodox Rejection of Zionism

July 24, 2018

At the opposite pole from David Friedlaender and Reform Judaism, many Orthodox Jews also reject Zionism and the state of Israel for conservative theological reasons. Traditionally, Israel could only be restored by the messiah, and many Jews felt that the creation of Israel as a secular state without God’s divine action was sheer blasphemy. I’ve discussed this in several blog posts, and have also put up videos of mass meetings by such Jews, as well as videos from anti-Zionist Orthodox rabbis. These make it very clear that they regard the creation of Israel as firmly against the teaching of the Talmud, the Jewish holy book that contains the Oral Law Jews also believe was revealed by Moses at the same time as the Torah and guidance from the great Jewish sages of antiquity on how the Mosaic Law should be interpreted and applied.

One Orthodox Jewish authority with a very conservative, traditional view of Judaism, who rejected Zionism was the Hayyim Ozer Grodzinski (1863-1940). I found this entry on him in John Bowker, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (Oxford: OUP 1997) p. 390.

Talmudic scholar. As dayyan of Vilna, Grodzinski was one of the founders of the Orthodox Keneset Israel Organisation. He also organised the Va’ad ha-Yeshivot (council of the Yeshivot) for the support of Polish and Lithuanian yeshivot. He was an opponent of Zionism and Jewish secular education, believing ‘Let him who is firm in spirit stay steadfast in his place … until God has mercy on his people and hastens his redemption’. The author of 3 vols of Responsa, he believed ‘the lartge and small yeshivot were the strongholds of Judaism.

A dayyan is a member of a Jewish religious court. A yeshivah is a institute of Talmudic learning. Responsa are exchanges of letters on the interpretation of Jewish law.

Clearly, Grodzinski, like the Orthodox Jews, who today reject Zionism, was absolutely not an anti-Semite. And so those Jews and gentiles, who also reject Zionism, or simply criticise Israel because of its persecution of the indigenous Palestinians, are also not the anti-Semites that the Israel lobby libels them as being, and it is grossly unfair and offensive to natural justice to smear them as such.

David Friedlaender and the Radical Reform of Diaspora Judaism

July 24, 2018

I’ve put up a number of articles quoting scholars of Judaism to argue that rather than being an essential, defining tenet of Judaism, Zionism and Jewish nationalism has always been just one view of the religion amongst many that Jews have held. Many Jews have rejected it, from Orthodox Jews, who feel that the creation of a Jewish state without the divinely ordained actions of the messiah is sheer blasphemy, to Progressive Jews, who believe that Jews are better off remaining in the diaspora as the equal citizens of the countries, in which they were born and have their ancestral roots.

One of the major figures in the Halaska, the Jewish Enlightenment of the 18th and 19th centuries, was David Friedlaender (1750-1834). The Halaska was the movement by which European Jews, such as the great Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the composer Felix, took over European Enlightenment thought and argued and strove for Jewish emancipation. Their goal was that Jews should indeed become equal citizens with their gentile fellow-countrymen, fully participating in their country’s national life, culture and politics.

I found this brief description of Friedlaender’s life and ideas in John Bowker, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (Oxford: OUP 1997), p. 359. This runs

A forerunner of Reform Judaism. Through his marriage, he became part of a distinguished Prussian family of Court Jews and he was one of Moses Mendelssohn’s circle. He believed the Jews were ‘destined from time immemorial to guard and teach by example the pure doctrine of the unity and sanctity of God, previously unknown to other people’. He argued that prayers for friends and country should be substituted for the messianic hope, and that secular law should be studied rather than the Talmud. He also was tireless in his efforts for Jewish political and civil rights in Prussia.

This is clearly a very radical reformulation of Judaism. The hope of redemption by the messiah is, I understand, one of the core tenets of Judaism and was considered as such by the great rabbinical authorities in their attempts to define those same core beliefs in their Responsa. It has sustained Jews throughout millennia of exile and persecution. At the same time, the Talmud is the Jewish holy book containing the judgements of the great Jewish sages on how the Mosaic Law is to be interpreted and applied, as well as the oral law, which Jews traditionally believe was passed on to the Jewish people by Moses at the same time he revealed the written Law. Again, it’s one of Judaism’s most important, defining features. One Jewish sect, the Karaites, rejects the Talmud, but they have often been viewed with bitterness by those Jews, who retained it.

From reading the above article, it appears to me that Friedlaender in his rejection of the messianic hope, and his support of the study of secular law instead of the Talmud, felt that Jews should concentrate on becoming equal citizens in the nations in which they were born, rather than wishing to be a separate nation with their own state.

The Israel lobby attacks and reviles those, who criticise Israel as anti-Semites. Those Jews, who do so, are also smeared as such. They are also maligned as ‘self-hating’. Martin Odoni, one of the many great commenters on Mike’s blog, who is, I believe, another Jewish critic of Israel, posted a comment on this blog, which shows how nasty the Israel lobby’s abuse of its Jewish critics get. They revile dissenting Jews as ‘kapos’, the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War, who were charged by the Nazis with selecting which of their community should be sent to the death camps. If they did not do so, the SS would move in a murder everyone. It’s a vile insult, and shows just how low the Israel lobby is. Especially as many of the Jews protesting against Israel have lost family in the Holocaust, and/or have suffered real anti-Semitic abuse and violence themselves.

One of the charges against Mike that have been levelled against him by those smearing him in the Labour party, is that by attacking Jewish national aspirations for a homeland he is being anti-Semitic. But as I’ve sought to show in the past blog posts, many Jews and Jewish sects and organisations have also rejected Jewish nationalism, viewing Judaism as a religion rather than a nation. Rejecting or criticising Jewish nationalism therefore cannot on its own be considered anti-Semitic.

I’ve no doubt that Friedlaender’s suggestions were intensely controversial in his time. Even today some Orthodox Jews appear to view Reform Judaism with hostility and suspicion. I can remember how, a few years ago, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, caused outrage when he declared that Reform Jews were ‘enemies of the faith’. It’s chilling language of the same time used by the gentile persecutors of Jewry.

But it’s also clear that Friedlaender was no anti-Semite by any stretch of the imagination. He was an ardent champion of Jewish equality and dignity, and believed that the Jews were, in the words of the Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament ‘a light to lighten the gentiles’ regarding the Almighty as the only, holy God.

And thus other Jews and gentiles are also not guilty of anti-Semitism as they have been so libelled and abused by the Israel lobby, if they similarly reject Zionism or simply criticise Israel and its barbarism towards the Palestinians.

The Israel Lobby and the Italian Fascists’ ‘Fasci All’Estero’

July 23, 2018

This is another piece that I’ve wanted to write for ages. There’s more than a little similarity between the various organs of the Israel lobby in this country and elsewhere – BICOM, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, the Jewish Labour Movement – and the Fasci All’Estero. The latter were Fascist organisations set up by the Italian Fascist party during Mussolini’s dictatorship for expatriate Italians, with the deliberate intention of spreading Fascism amongst Italians abroad. The article on them in Philip V. Cannistraro’s, ed. in chief, Historical Dictionary of Fascist of Italy (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press 1982), pp. 197-8, states

Early in Mussolini’s regime the Fascists attempted to organise Italians living in other countries into politically oriented Fascist organisations known as the Fasci all’Estero (Fasci Abroad). Although the first groups were created independently of the PNF (Partito Nazionale Fascista) as early as 1920-21 in the United States and Latin America, a central bureaucracy under official party control was established in Rome late in 1922-known as the Segretaria Generale dei Fasci all’Estero. Its first secretary was the Blackshirt leader Giuseppe Bastianini, who directed it with ideological fervour until he was replaced first by Cornelio Di Marzio in 1926 and then by Piero Parini in 1928.

Party leaders like Bastianini wanted the Fasci all’Estero to serve as the instrument for the spread of Fascism, but career diplomats in the Foreign Ministry opposed the introduction of ideological interference into the conduct of Italy’s foreign policy. Mussolini, cautioned by the diplomats, took a middle position and publicly proclaimed that Fascism “was not for export”. When Dino Grandi became minister of foreign affairs in 1925, he sided with the diplomats, and insisted that the fasci assume a secondary place to more traditional diplomatic methods, but he also began to shift the emphasis from a policy focused on militant Fascists living abroad to one centred on the mass of Italian immigrants. At the first congress of the Fasci all’Estero (Rome, 1925) Mussolini emphasised the absolute subservience to the diplomatic corps and defined their function as the maintenance of Italianita amongst immigrants. After the dismissal of Bastianini the fasci became increasingly under the control of the Foreign Ministry. A new statute in January 1928 obliged the fasci to respect the laws of their host countries and to refrain from all political activity; it also centralised the chain of command from Rome and stipulated that each local fascio was dependent on the direct authority of the Italian diplomatic representative (generally a consul) in each foreign city. Later that year the headquarters of the fasci in Rome came under the control of the Foreign Ministry and was thenceforth called the Direzione Generale degli Italiani all’Estero. Its major activity was thereafter the dissemination of cultural propaganda abroad. While the numerical strength of the fasci had expanded quickly in the years up to the Ethiopian War, they registered a decline in the late 1930s: 150 in Janury 1923; 580 in 1929, 775 in 1935, and 487 in 1939.

Clearly there are differences. Despite Netanyahu’s long tenure of the Israeli presidency, Israel is still a democracy. But it is an apartheid state, where the indigenous Palestinian population is forced to live under military rule in the Occupied Territories, there are separate roads for Israelis and Arabs, there are severe restrictions on Palestinian housing, business, agriculture and education, and intermarriage between Israelis and Arabs is banned by law. The ultimate intention of the Israeli regime, ever since it was founded, is the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Eretz Israel.

Under Netanyahu Israel has become increasingly authoritarian. Netanyahu recently attacked the various Israeli human rights organisations as funded and controlled by foreigners hostile to Israel. He has declared that Jews everywhere are citizens of Israel, and last week passed the noxious ‘Israel as the National Homeland of the Jewish People’ act. This further cements and extends Israeli apartheid by providing for racial discrimination by individual communities, downgrading Arabic from an official to a ‘special language’ and allowing Jewish religious law to operate instead of secular civil law in certain circumstances.

The Fasci all’Estero were set up to spread Fascism amongst Italian immigrants around the world. After they were taken over by Mussolini, they shifted instead to maintaining expatriate Italians national and cultural identity. Similarly, the various groups of the Israel lobby exist to establish Zionism as an integral part of Jewish identity, and to ban criticism of Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’. As I have pointed out, Zionism was always traditionally a minority position amongst Jews. Even as late as 1969 Zionists doubted whether Israel would arose much enthusiasm among American Jews generally. Orthodox Jews rejected Zionism because they believe that Israel can only be founded by the Messiah, and see the creation of Israel ahead of God’s direct action as nothing short of blasphemy. At the same time, Progressive Jews rejected Zionism and Jewish nationalism, because they saw the Jewish people’s future in the diaspora, as equal citizens of the countries, which are historically their homelands. This opposition to Zionism still continues today. Many of those smeared as anti-Semites by the Israel lobby are self-respecting, secular or Torah-observant Jews, like the former vice-chair of Momentum, Jackie Walker, and Tony Greenstein, one of the co-founders of Labour Against the Witch-Hunt. And while the various organisations of the Israel lobby aren’t under direct Israeli control, many of them are suspected of Israeli funding.

Please note: I am certainly not accusing Jews of being somehow ‘foreign’, and being more loyal to a foreign country than Britain or any of their other diaspora homelands. It’s a vile myth, that has been at the heart of the vile conspiracy theories, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that have inspired so much genuine anti-Semitism, persecution and Nazism. Even those Jews, for whom Israel is important to their identity, are more loyal to Britain. However, the various members of pro-Israel organisations, who conspired with Shai Masot of the Israeli embassy to select the MPs they wanted in the Tory cabinet, are certainly guilty of conspiring with a foreign power. In that sense, they could have done better by following the later Fascist edicts which told the expatriate fascists to refrain from political activity and obey the laws of the countries they were in.

I am merely stating that the Israel lobby is similar to the expatriate Italian Fascist organisations, in seeking to spread an ideology that supports a far right, repressive and persecutory regime amongst those, who share their ethnicity. In the case of Italian Fascism, it was expatriate Italians. In the case of the Israel lobby, it is Jews, and to a lesser extent, the population in general. And they are doing this whether British Jews want it or not.

Jackie Walker Talks to Press TV about the Anti-Semitism Witch-Hunt in the Labour Party

July 23, 2018

I’ve been meaning to put up this video from the Iranian-owned broadcaster, Press TV, for months. Jackie Walker is the Jewish woman of colour, who was removed from her position of vice-chair of Momentum and expelled from the Labour party on trumped up charges of anti-Semitism. The real reason she was removed is because she was a prominent supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, a genuine Socialist opposed to the policies of the Blairite neoliberals, and a real, committed anti-racist, who criticised Israel. She was accused of anti-Semitism by the Jewish Labour Movement after she questioned the exclusive focus on the Jewish Holocaust on Holocaust Memorial Day, when other races and ethnicities had also experienced genocide.

Her interviewer in the video is Ahmed Kaballo, who begins by asking her if there is anti-Semitism in the Labour party. She states that anti-Semitism is endemic in British society generally, and so of course it’s in the Labour party. But it’s also in the other parties as well. She describes how Boris Johnson, who at the time of the interview in May was foreign secretary, described people like her as ‘picaninnies’ and questioned their intelligence, and yet was still foreign secretary. She asks rhetorically ‘and then you tell me if there’s racism in the Tory party.

She describes how there was a campaign against Momentum by the right and the press, despite the fact that its leader, Jon Landesman, was a Jew, who was sympathetic to certain aspects of Zionism. And she puts the anti-Semitism witch-hunt into its proper context by stating that it is part of a civil war in the Labour party between the Right – the Blairites, whom she refuses to describe as ‘moderates’ or ‘centre-left’ – and the real socialists. She describes how the Blairites have done everything they can to undermine Corbyn’s leadership, from booing him in the House of Commons, to writing to their constituents to tell them to vote for them, because they have nothing to do with their leader, and it won’t matter anyway, because they’ll all lose in a few months’ time. She states that the Blairites would prefer to see the Labour party destroyed, than have a genuine Socialist in No. 10. She describes how the Blairites, the Tories and the media have repeatedly tried smearing Corbyn, including accusing him of being a Czech spy. The anti-Semitism smears are the only allegations to gain traction. But she makes the point that real Socialists and anti-racists, determined to make a better British society, and who oppose America and the arms trade, will recognise these smears as politically motivated.

She describes how Blair is under immense pressure, from the Parliamentary Labour Party, which is overwhelmingly Blairite, to the NEC and the Labour party bureaucracy. She makes the point that the last isn’t about who does the filing, but who controls the mechanisms for governing the party membership, and passing on information to the leadership. In many cases, information has not been passed on to Corbyn, and the bureaucracy is deliberately trying to keep him distant from his grassroots supporters. She states that we need to show solidarity for him, in order to give him the space to articulate and enact his policies.

She states that the smears of anti-Semitism are being promoted by Jewish community groups, although she says it’s doubtful who they represent, the Blairites, supporters of America and Israel, among other groups. As for anti-Semitism, while Chakrabarti stated it was a problem in the party, Walker says that it needs to be put into the context of racism against other groups. If you look at the party hierarchy, there are no Blacks, Muslims or Travellers in positions of power. Kaballo also asks about the organisation she helped to found, Labour against the Witch-Hunt. She states that she did so, as the group aims to be a space where those unjustly expelled or labelled anti-Semitic can articulate their grievances against the party. She says there is now a problem in that, because of the witch-hunt, Labour party members are now scared of saying anything critical of Israel. She describes how one young Labour member told her that within minutes of putting up a piece criticising Israel, he received death threats. She also states that Ken Livingstone, who has done many things she wouldn’t have done and with which she disagrees, is no kind of racist and was hounded out of the Labour party. She describes how John Mann brought a camera in to film him haranguing and screaming at Livingstone, and says it shows great restraint on Leninspart’s part that he didn’t turn round to the blustering bully and say something. Walker herself has also come under close scrutiny by the Israel lobby. She points out that in the Al-Jazeera documentary, ‘The Lobby’, which caught Shai Masot at the Israeli embassy conspiring to decide which Tory MPs should get in the cabinet, Masot stated that he wanted her closely monitored and them to report back to him.

Kaballo also says that many anti-racists in one area could also be racist or a anti-Semitic in others. Walker denies this, and goes on to point out how the anti-Semitism accusations have severely weakened the real, anti-racist left, and their ability to defend this country against real Nazis and Fascists. She points to the demonstration in London a few weeks ago, where 2 1/2 thousand Fascists turned up. It was the first time Fascists had outnumbered the forces of the anti-racist Left, of whom there was only 400 there. Walker was one of their number. She states that the storm troopers turned round, and shouted ‘Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite!’ at them. She ends that part of the interview by saying that if the real anti-racists are attacked and discredited, there will be no-one to protect you when the Fascists eventually get round to attacking the rest of us. And she states that she has never seen right-wing Labour – Chuka Umunna, Ruth Smeeth and others – defend any other ethnic groups than Jews.

There’s a little bit of back and forth chat, as Kaballo corrects her when she claims he called right-wing Labour ‘moderates’, which he denies. But Kaballo’s a respectful interviewer, who gives her time and space to describe what’s really going on with these smears in the Labour party.

Everything Walker says here is absolutely true. This is all about the Blairites, backed by the Tories and the right-wing media, attempting to stop Corbyn getting into power by libelling and expelling his supporters. She’s also right in that Corbyn could do much to stop this by stating what the issues really are. It isn’t about anti-Semitism so much as the Blairites and the Israel lobby attempting to suppress any criticism of Israel. As we’ve seen recently, the Blairites would rather see the Tories in power than Corbyn. Last week or so, John Mann and three other right-wing Labour MPs shored up Theresa May’s tottering government on a Brexit vote, spuriously claiming that they wanted her in power in order to get the best deal for Britain. As for racism in the Tories, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has complained about the massive islamophobia within the Tory party. This far outstrips real anti-Semitism in Labour. But as Mike has shown in one of his articles, the lamestream media don’t want to talk about it because they’re only interested in harming Labour. They aren’t interested in an objective reporting of racism within the political parties generally.

I also find it disgraceful that Walker, Livingstone and the others, who have been expelled, like Marc Wadsworth, have not been given the opportunity to answer back against the smears on mainstream British television. Instead the only broadcasters interested in their side of the story are foreign-owned alternative stations like Press TV and RT. I am glad they have done, but it means that they are talking to a minority audience. With Press TV there is the additional problem in that Iranian regime is a repressive autocracy, whose leadership makes bitterly anti-Semitic statements as part of its hostile stance towards Israel. This could put some people off, by appearing to confirm that Walker and the others really are genuine anti-Semites by contamination with the rhetoric of the Iranian government.

The Directive in Mike’s Charge Sheet and the Violated Procedures in their Investigation Shows the Kangaroo Court Mike Is Up Against

July 22, 2018

Mike this morning posted a piece refuting Eddie Izzard’s statement that the Labour party should ‘put the anti-Semitism issue to bed.’ The much-loved comedian is afraid that Labour is losing the ‘perception argument’ because of it, and risks losing the ability to fight the government and its wretched Brexit plan because of infighting over the definition of anti-Semitism.

Mike, and myself for that matter, have a lot of time for Izzard. He’s a great comedian, and a committed supporter, member and now officer of the Labour party. But he’s wrong on this issue.

the debate over the precise definition of anti-Semitism matters. To the Palestinians, it could be literally a matter of life and death, and the survival of their people as a people. The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which the Labour party is under pressure to accept, is a tortuous piece of verbiage that attempts to include as anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. Although it includes the caveat that this is under certain circumstances, in practice the Israel lobby always considers criticism – and that includes accurate reporting of its atrocities – to be anti-Semitic. This is why Mike himself, along with big names like Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Ken Livingstone and so many others have been libelled as anti-Semites. They aren’t, but were deemed so by the Israel lobby because they criticise Israel and its barbarism and have the temerity to cite established, historical fact.

These decent, anti-racist people have been tried and expelled by a series of kangaroo courts. The process has been extensively described, right down to individual cases, by Tony Greenstein, a Jewish fighter against Zionism and other forms of Fascism, on his blog. It has also given rise to a new movement, Labour Against the Witch-Hunts, which campaigns for this unjust persecution to end and those libelled to be given justice and reinstated as members of the party.

Mike is the latest to face these rigged courts. He explains in his post on Eddie Izzard’s statement that the charge sheet against him contains what appears to be a clear directive to find him guilty. He quotes the charge sheet itself, and comments

“There are current and potential Labour voters of all backgrounds who are watching carefully what the Party does with cases like Mr Sivier’s. Taking definitive action in this case would send a clear and unambiguous message to all of them that Mr Sivier and the views he published extensively have absolutely no place in the party.”

It is a directive to find me guilty of anti-Semitism, no matter what the evidence shows.

The Labour party has proper procedures regarding cases like Mike’s. However, as Mike states, they blatantly broke and disregarded these procedures, including refusing to tell him what those procedures were, in what looks very much like a very crooked attempt to find him guilty. He writes again

For example, after receiving the notification of charges against me from the Labour Party, I got in touch with the named contact and requested a copy of all the procedures the party should have followed, as my case was considered by different officers and committees. My concern is that, according to a news report I examine here, Labour has abused these procedures in my case.

My request was refused, because “the NCC is only concerned with the procedures to be adopted after a charge is presented to it. It is entitled to act on the basis that the charge is properly brought before it and any complaints regarding the conduct of the investigation should be addresses to the General Secretary.”

Except, of course, misconduct by investigators would be legitimate evidence for the NCC (Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, which will rule on my case) to consider. If my case was mishandled with an intention to ensure prejudice against me, then that is a relevant matter.

So Labour may be trying to hide its misconduct from me – in order to prejudice the outcome of the case against me. Actually, Labour has a history of withholding information that includes breaking the law.

Back in February, I made a Subject Access Request for all information on me, held by the Labour Party. I wanted to know exactly what the party had received or generated in order to be pursuing a blatantly false accusation against me.

Labour had 40 working days to answer, or be in breach of the Data Protection Act. Labour failed to answer. Labour is in breach of the DPA.

I have that on good authority, having taken the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has ordered the party to submit all the information I required within two calendar weeks (of Friday, July 20).

So we have a Labour Party that plays fast-and-loose with its own rules – and the law of the land – in order to justify false allegations of anti-Semitism. That’s the polar opposite of the public perception that Mr Izzard has bemoaned.

For more information, go to Mike’s article at:
His piece also contains a detailed refutation of one other accusations made against him on the charge sheet, which also shows how the Israel lobby is determined to find Mike, and people like him, guilty by twisting their words out of context and misrepresenting them.

It’s high time this travesty of justice was halted, and real justice done and seen to be done. The persecution of these decent people should be halted immediately, and the victims reinstated. And those, who instigated the persecution should themselves be investigated for libelling their victims, and bringing the party into dispute through the fabrication of the scandal, created for purely political reasons: to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, expel his supporters, and cement the position of the Israel lobby and the Blairites. And deny real justice to the Palestinians and their supporters.

Do 93% of British Jews Really Support and Identify with Israel

July 22, 2018

One of the charges the witch-hunters in the Labour party have levelled against Mike is that by criticising Israel, he fails to understand how important this is to British Jewish identity. British Jews, according to them, overwhelmingly support Israel, and consider the existence of the colonialist, racist apartheid state an important part of their identity. Supposedly, according to statistics, 93 per cent of British Jews state that they support Israel and consider it important to their identity. Mike, by criticising Israel, is according to those levelling the charges of anti-Semitism, denying British Jews a vital part of their identity and national aspirations.

In fact a significant number of Jews around the world have not supported Israel, and continue to organised and protest against its campaign of brutality and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Many Orthodox Jews object to Zionism and the state of Israel, because they believe that Israel can only be restored by the Messiah. For humans to anticipate God’s plan by founding Israel is sheer blasphemy. At the same time, many Progressive Jews also did not support Zionism, because they felt that Jewish aspirations for freedom and equality were best served within the diaspora, and campaigning to be equal citizens with their gentile fellow countrymen in the homelands of their birth.

Tony Greenstein, a veteran critic of Israel and its barbarities, as well as all other forms of racism and Fascism, has questioned the extent of British Jewry’s identification with Israel, as well as arguing on other grounds that even if the majority of British Jews did support Israel, this still would not justify the suppression of criticism about it on the grounds of racism. This is within an article he has put up today, Sunday 22nd July 2018, taking apart an article in the Guardian, in which Jon Lansman of Momentum and Owen Davies discuss the anti-Semitism allegations and the IHRA definition of it. This is dangerous, as if it was adopted, it would allow criticism of Israel to be defined as ‘anti-Semitic’. He also notes that the Jewish Chronicle has at last shown what the issue is really about by declaring Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite. This is why people like Mike, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone and so many others have been smeared. The goal is to topple Corbyn by purging the party of his supporters.

Here’s Greenstein’s argument against the supposed overwhelming support for Israel amongst British Jews:

People like Jonathan Freedland suggest that because most Jews identify with Israel (Freedland quoted 93% but he ignored the Yachad survey The Attitudes of British Jews to Israel that show 31% of Jews declare they are not Zionists and that only 59% of British Jews define themselves so). Labour and the left have an antisemitism problem

But even if a majority of British Jews identify with Israel so what? Challenging an identity is not racist. What if a majority of Muslims in this country had identified with Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie? Would that have meant you were anti-Muslim to oppose it? Or if a majority of Africans were to identify with FGM? Would it be racist to oppose FGM? If British Jews support Israel then that is reactionary and racist. Opposing Jews as Jews is anti-Semitic but not opposing the ideas that Jews hold.

Greenstein’s absolutely correct. Support for Israel, by Jews or anyone else, is ideological, and like opposing FMG or the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, it is certain not racist. Those, who argue otherwise are just viciously intolerant bigots trying shut down all criticism of Israel through spurious accusations of anti-Semitism.

For more information, go to Tony Greenstein’s excellent article at:

Robot Band Compressorhead Singing ‘My Girlfriend Is A Robot’

July 21, 2018

A now for a bit of fun. As followers of this blog know, I’ve got a big interest in robots, and am fascinated by the band Compressorhead. They’re real robots from Germany, which, of course, play Heavy Metal. A year or so ago they built a lead singer, who’s shown here in this video from YouTube pounding out the lyrics. I don’t know the song, but it sounds more punk than metal to me. It was recorded by one of the audience, Jansen Dwan at an outdoor concert in Berlin, so you can’t really here the lyrics either. But it gives a taste of what the band are like, and the direction they seem to be moving in.

Apart from gigs in Germany, Compressorhead have also performed elsewhere around the globe, such as Australia and New York. There are videos of them going for a walk or roll, depending on the individual robots’ type of locomotion, along its streets on YouTube. One of the most interesting things on that video is how little interest the audience pays them. Perhaps its a result of all the Hollywood SF films shot there, which has made them somewhat blasé.

I’d love them to come and do a performance over here in Britain, but that might be too much to ask for with May’s disastrous Brexit coming. Even so, it’s almost worth wishing for Top of the Pops to be revived, in the hope that they could somehow get a performance on there.

Johnson Attacks May and Discredits Himself

July 21, 2018

Last week Boris Johnson resigned, like so many other Leave supporters, from May’s cabinet over Brexit. Mike in his blog post said that it was highly unlikely that he did so for any reason of principle, like putting country before party. It was far more likely he was doing so simply out of personal ambition, as part of the intriguing and plotting he’s been doing to put him closer to getting May’s job. This was confirmed a few days later when he made a speech attacking May, which to many Tories and political commenters made it very clear that that was exactly what he was doing.

My reaction to all this, is this classic little song I found on YouTube: Happy Days Are Here Again. This version is by Ben Selvin and the Crooners.

Of course, what BoJo doesn’t realise because of his massive ego, is that the more he does this, the more he discredits himself. He thinks he’s extremely popular – the people’s champion – because of his appearance on Have I Got News For You and his carefully constructed media persona of an affable oaf, for whom things just happen to go wrong. But for many people, he’s an incompetent clown, who mistakes as foreign secretary has endangered our relations with Thailand, brought us needlessly closer to real war with Russia. And underlying these so-called ‘gaffes’ is a real racism towards non-Whites.

Tories, however, increasingly view him as a duplicitous, untrustworthy intriguer. BoJo declared he was in favour of Remaining, but quickly ditched this to throw in his lot with Gove and Leave. Whom he then stabbed in the back. And now, when the Tories are pulling out all the stops to shore up May’s disintegrating administration, he’s once again showed his complete lack of loyalty by publicly criticising her. And as I said, this makes it very clear he wants her job.

So the more Boris intrigues and manoeuvres, the more he shows to both Labour and Tory supporters how absolutely unsuited he is for government. Boris isn’t doing his party any favours. The more he seeks publicity and to get himself into the power, the more he damages the Tory party. Well, let’s hope he goes, and that this leads to the complete collapse of this vile, murderous, government.

Nazi Jack Renshall Found Guilty of Terrorism

July 19, 2018

From the imaginary Nazis and anti-Semites created by the smears and libels of the Israel lobby to the real, odious thing. I got this message yesterday from Jemma Levene, the deputy director of the anti-racism/ anti-religious extremism organisation Hope Not Hate:

I am at the Old Bailey and there’s big news I want to share with you: neo-nazi Jack Renshaw is GUILTY of preparing acts of terrorism. He now faces years in jail.

Renshaw planned to murder his local MP and a female police officer. He was stopped in his tracks by HOPE not hate.

Separately, Christopher Lythgoe, the leader of the nazi ‘National Action’ terrorist group, and another prominent member, Matthew Hankinson, have been found guilty of membership of a banned organisation. They’ve been jailed.

Work by our research team, and a source inside the organisation, led to these convictions and the saving of a life.

We’ve been central to this story for more than a year now – from revealing the plot to the police through to giving evidence in court.

For legal reasons there’s a limit to what we’re allowed to say about this case. Once we’re allowed to say more, I’ll make sure to let HOPE not hate supporters know the full story.

Thanks for now,


Jemma Levene
Deputy Director, HOPE not hate

Renshaw was a leading member of the banned Nazi group, National Action. This was banned a few years ago as a terrorist organisation. And he really does believe all the vile, poisonous conspiracy theories about the Jews. The report on Hope Not Hate’s website states that he wanted to kill his MP, Rosie Cooper, because she was the ‘local representative of the Jewish-controlled state’.

The conspiracy was uncovered by Hope Not Hate’s mole in the organisation, Robbie Mullen, who broke cover to report the plot to the police. Levene says of him

“Society owes a debt of gratitude to Robbie Mullen for the brave work he’s undertaken, at great sacrifice to himself. He had to walk out of his job, go into hiding and now has to spend the rest of his life knowing that there’s a target on his back. He knew the risks he was taking by stepping forward to give evidence, but he knew he had to save Rosie’s life.”

She also makes the point that as British Fascist groups dwindle to an insignificant handful of members, so they are becoming increasingly violent. She says

“This case should remind everyone of the ongoing threat posed by the British far right. While numerically small and splintered, the British far right is growing in violence. This case has brought National Action to its knees, but we must remain vigilant to the far right’s ongoing threat. With such confrontational and violent rhetoric, much of it around an impending civil war, we can sadly expect others on the British far right to move towards terrorism.”

There’s a very ugly video on YouTube put up by the Fascists, which predicts that some time in the next decade there will be a civil war in this country between ‘Nationalists’ and the people of colour, who have recently made their homes in this great nation. For the islamophobic right, the threat is specifically posed by Muslims. A year or so ago a Kipper councillor in Wiltshire was thrown out after making it very clear that he believed there was a war coming in Britain between Muslim and non-Muslim.

National Action was a youth movement within the BNP. Renshaw himself is in his twenties, but always looked to me much younger. I am amazed anybody as young as him can ever remotely believe the poisonous lies about the Jews and the stupid, long-discredited conspiracy theories he spouts.

The vast majority of severely normal Brits definitely don’t share his views about Jews. But it shows that however small they are – and the Fascist fringe has always been numerically tiny – they pose a real threat to life and limb because of their savage violence. They need to be watched, but together the peoples of our great nation can beat them.

For more information, see the article by Hope Not Hate at:

Reporting Shai Masot’s Conspiracy against the British Cabinet Is Not Promoting Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories: Part 2

July 19, 2018

Now we come to the core of the Israel lobby’s argument against Mike’s reporting of Shai Masot’s conspiracy. It’s the same argument they always use to suppress reporting of Israel’s crimes and misdeed: that covering them will encourage British people to hate Jews. In this instance, the allegation is that it will make Brits regard Jews as less loyal to this country.

I’m very aware how dangerous this allegation is. It’s the basis of British Fascism. It started during the First World War, when right-wing Tories accused Liberal, Anglo-German Jewish businessmen like the industrialist Alfred Mond, of secretly working for Germany. It was a paranoid lie, but had terrible consequences. In the wake of these suspicions a plethora of anti-Semitic societies and Fascist groups grew up, promoting the wider conspiracy theories about the Jews plotting against the White race as a whole. See Richard Thurlow’s book, Fascism in Britain, 1918-1984.

Mike has never, ever, believed such vile theories, and has consistently and determinedly opposed them. And his pieces on Masot’s conspiracy did not mention them.

But I also consider the underlying attitude behind these allegations against Mike and others, who report negatively on Israel, to be extremely racist in themselves. And if those, who use them, genuinely believe them, then I find them truly pitiable.

The attitude behind these accusations is that gentile Brits are eternally prejudiced against Jews. No matter how liberal and tolerant they may appear, lurking under the surface are the ancient prejudices and hostility.

This sounds very much like racial essentialism, the discredited idea that certain races and peoples have inherent national or racial characteristics. It’s been used by genuine racists against outgroups and persecuted peoples, like Blacks and Jews. It formed the basis of Nazi and Fascist attitudes towards race, which stated that Jews and gentiles had different racial qualities and cultures, and so could not mix. Hence Oswald Mosley’s vile plans to establish a form of apartheid in Britain, where most Jews would be excluded because of their ‘cultural differences’. It has also been used against Blacks to promote the stereotypes that shape mainstream perceptions today: that they are innately more violent and more inclined to criminality than the rest of the population. Which is also untrue.

What the Israel lobby and its sycophants discount is how much has changed in British society. Tony Greenstein on his site has cited opinion polls, which show that the vast majority of Brits either have positive views towards Jews, or are neutral about them, seeing them as neither better nor worse than everyone else. Only 8 per cent of Brits have negative attitudes to Jews.

I’m aware of the negative stereotypes about Jews. I can remember the various jokes about them in the 1970s and ’80s. But in the latter decade attitudes to race, and permissible language about different peoples changed. The culture became much less accepting of racism, including anti-Semitism. And I also remember how attitudes towards paranoid racists changed. Nazis, who believed in these stupid theories, and paranoid conspiracy theorists generally became figures to be mocked. You consider the Channel 4 comedy series, Fairly Secret Army, about a society of paranoids founded by a conspiracy theorist. The central character and his army weren’t racist, but the humour was directed very firmly against such paranoid attitudes.

As for Nazis, comedy built on the wartime diagnosis of Hitler and his movement as lunatics and madmen, ranting nonsense. Hence their representation in John Landis’ cult film, The Blues Brothers as the National Socialist White People’s Party, a parody of the American Nazi party. Here’s the scene from Movieclips on YouTube, where Jake and Elwood drive the Nazis off a bridge during their wretched demonstration.

Mike and I grew up with classic films like this, and other, more ephemeral works that showed up how grotesquely ludicrous they were. The danger Nazis and Fascists represent is well recognised, and Mike and I are certainly not complacent about them. But that has not prevented their ideology and its conspiracy theories being shown to be what it is: stupid and ludicrous.

I doubt very much that reporting Israel’s crimes and barbarities will lead people to hate Jews. If some do, it is not because of Mike or myself, who thoroughly reject and despise anti-Semitism. The arguments of the Israel lobby that it somehow will, shows how insecure they are. They appear so impressed, and so weighed down by the burden of the Jewish people’s persecution throughout history, that they cannot imagine a situation where the majority of people don’t hate Jews. If this is the case, then they are truly pitiable.

And when they apply this logic to Jewish critics of Israel, no matter how proud, self-respecting or Torah observant they are, then it also shows their massive insecurity. Obviously their paranoia even applies to their own people, no matter how decent and secure in their own heritage and community they are.

On the other hand, they could just be using the arguments about gentile anti-Semitism and Jewish self-hatred just to smear decent people, who, as they are all well aware, are not enemies of the Jews. In this case, they are to be despised. They are trying to silence objective reporting. If their attitude was applied generally, it would prevent reporting of any crime committed by a Jew.

And this would be a gift to the real anti-Semites and racists, who have adopted Voltaire’s dictum ‘If you want to see who controls you, look at who you must not criticise’. Voltaire was probably talking about the Church and monarchy in his time, but when contemporary racists use it, they mean ‘Jews’ or ‘Islam’, depending on the particular hatred of the specific racist organisation. Such groups would thrive and exploit this censorship, just as even now they are inveighing against positive media images of Blacks and Islam as establishment mind control. As I have said over and again, criminality and wrongdoing has to be reported objectively, regardless of the ethnicity of the perpetrator.

And that does not mean making any general claims about the perceived characteristics of the race or people, from which they come.

The Israel lobby’s claim that Mike did so in the case of Shai Masot is a malign, disgusting lie. The same lie they have used to silence other critics of Israel, including Jews, who have suffered anti-Semitic abuse and assault. It shows how ruthless and utilitarian they are in using the Jewish people’s history of persecution merely as a strategy for silencing their critics without respecting the characters or decency of those they smear.

It’s time this charade was shut down. Now. And decent, anti-racist people had the freedom to report Israel’s crimes and massacres properly, without being smeared.