Posts Tagged ‘Jim Allen’

Israel Lobby Thugs Try to Close Down Book Launch with Threats and Intimidation

September 25, 2019

This can’t be left unchallenged. Yesterday a group of thugs from the Israel lobby, egged on by their fellows and supporters on social media, forced Waterstones in Brighton to abandon a book launch. When the event was moved to the Rialto, they tried the same tactics there, only for the management of that venue to stand firm.

The book in question was Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief by Greg Philo, Mike Berry, Justin Schlosberg, Antony Lerman and David Miller. This is a critical examination of the anti-Semitism crisis in the Labour party, particularly the denunciations of the party last summer that claimed it was institutionally racist and an existential threat to Britain’s Jews. The promotional material about the book, published by Pluto Press, however, states that

This book clears the confusion by drawing on deep and original research on public beliefs and media representation of antisemitism and the Labour Party, revealing shocking findings of misinformation spread by the press, including the supposedly impartial BBC, and the liberal Guardian.

Bringing in discussions around the IHRA definition, anti-Zionism and Israel/Palestine, as well as including a clear chronology of events, this book is a must for anyone wanting to find out the reality behind the headlines.

The authors are mainstream academics specialising in media studies, Jewish/Gentile relations and anti-Semitism. Mike, in his excellent article on the issue, gives their academic fields and qualifications. They are

Greg Philo is Professor of Communications and Social Change at the University of Glasgow, and Director of the Glasgow University Media Unit. Mike Berry is a lecturer in the Journalism School at Cardiff University. Justin Schlosberg is a media activist, researcher and lecturer in Journalism and Media at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a former Chair of the Media Reform Coalition and Edmund J Safra Network Fellow at Harvard University. Antony Lerman is Senior Fellow at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna and Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations at Southampton University. He has written on multiculturalism, racism, antisemitism, and Israel/Palestine for the Guardian, Independent, New York Times, Haaretz, Prospect, Jewish Chronicle and London Review of Books. And David Miller is Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Bristol. He is a founder director of Public Interest Investigations and a director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies. 

As Mike points out, they are academics, not anti-Semites. The two don’t go together, except in the pseudo-academia set up to provide a spurious intellectual veneer for the real hard right. Which these professors certainly don’t represent.

But this hasn’t stopped the Israel lobby and its supporters, both institutional and individual, going berserk and throwing around gross accusations of – what else! – anti-Semitism. The event was supposed to begin at 7.30, and would feature a panel discussion with the authors and Ken Loach. Two venues were forced to cancel it through intimidation and bullying that was so intense, an employee at one of the venues could not return to work.

The organisations supporting the bullying, and claiming the event was anti-Semitic were the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Sussex Jewish Representative Council. The individuals giving their support to it included one charmer giving his Twitter handle as #JC4 and then an icon of a toilet, Neil Barstow, Natalia Sloam, Nobody Norman Esq, Heidi Bachram, Ian Mackintosh, Jane Habib, Curry Fleur and Fiona Sharpe.

Mike states that he would like to see all the above interviewed by the rozzers about the threats suffered by the staff at Waterstone’s and the Rialto. He states it is especially abhorrent coming from those, who claim the moral high ground, and are using threats of violence to silence those they have smeared as anti-Semites and prevent them from exonerating themselves. He also points to a Tweet by one Gary Spedding, a venomous individual, who wrote an on-line article smearing Mike as an anti-Semite, which he refused to take down when Mike contacted him to show it was wrong. Spedding also added a few more ad homs against him on the way. It is to be hoped that Spedding also gets his collar felt about this.

Mike goes on to state that he does acknowledge that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour party. It just doesn’t exist in the book the Zionist fanatics were attacking, nor amongst the staff at Waterstones or the Rialto.

He concludes

These aren’t campaigners fighting prejudice against Jews.

They are vicious, hate-filled bigots.

And they need to be stopped before they seriously harm somebody.

One more thing – they did get an aspect of their campaign right: the slogan “Don’t host hate”. That’s a good slogan, and it can very clearly be applied to these bigots.

So I’m having it. If you see these people, or anyone else pushing their message, then flag it up with #DontHostHate

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/09/24/bullying-bigots-tried-to-stop-book-launch-when-will-they-be-arrested/

Tony Greenstein, another victim of the anti-Semitism smear campaign, and a self-respecting Jew, who has always campaigned against racism and anti-Semitism as well as Zionism, has more information on this disgraceful thuggery on his blog at:

http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2019/09/book-burners-r-us-waterstones-shameful.html

Tony begins his article by describing the way the Israel lobby tried to prevent the performance of the play, Sedition, by the socialist playwright Jim Allen, 25 years ago. This drew the Israel lobby’s ire because it was about the 1944 trial in Jerusalem of the Zionist leader, Erich Kasztner, who had made a deal with Adolf Eichmann which sent half a million Hungarian Jews to death in Auschwitz. The play was due to be staged at the Royal Court. It was taken off, but so great was the public indignation against the attack on it, that it was performed instead at London’s Conway Hall and became the subject of a book, Dramas Played Off Stage.

Tony continues

That is what we need to see happen with Bad News for Labour. The Zionists know that their anti-Semitism smear campaign in the Labour Party is fraudulent and that they have cowed and coerced timid Corbyn into going along with the nonsense that the Labour Party is full of anti-Semites including himself. We must ensure that this book is publicised because it contains all the ammunition and evidence we need to demonstrate that the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign has nothing to do with antisemitism and has no evidential basis. 

It is shocking enough that the supporters of Israeli Apartheid have been able to ‘persuade’ through threats and abuse, venues like the Holiday Inn, Jury’s Inn and Friends Meeting House into cancelling meetings with Chris Williamson. The cancellation on Monday night of a book by 5 academics of Bad News for Labour – Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief takes this one step further. It is an attack on freedom of thought and inquiry and demonstrates the police state mentality of Zionism’s rabid supporters.

He goes on to quote the great German Jewish poet, Heinrich Heine, “Where books are burned, in the end, people will be burned” – which prophesied the mass book-burnings and murder of the Nazis. Justin Scholsberg, one of the authors, said last night that it was worse than McCarthyism and approached the book-burnings of the Nazis. Tony states

Cancelling a book launch and threatening to boycott Waterstones for holding the event is a Nazi tactic. It demonstrates just how far along the road to destroying our civil liberties and freedom of speech the Zionists have travelled. Literally Zionism is the enemy of a free society, not only in Israel/Palestine but in Britain, Europe and the United States.

He then goes on to discuss the culpable silence of the so-called liberal press about this incident, except for The Canary and the Skwawkbox, and calls upon his readers to imagine the outrage the Right would go into if the Left had done something similar against the genuinely racist books some of them have produced, like Douglas Murray’s racist Strange Death of Europe – Immigration, Identity and Islam.

And there’s much more in his very full article about the incident and the excuses made by Waterstone’s CEO for pulling the book launch from his store.

Tony and other Jewish anti-Zionists have long provided very detailed descriptions of just how violent and threatening the militant Zionists are, and their determination to shut down any criticism of their favourite apartheid state. They smear their opponents as anti-Semites – decent people like Mike, Martin Odoni, Tony Greenstein himself, Jackie Walker, Cyril Chilson, and Chris Williamson, so that they receive vile abuse. Some, like Walker and Williamson, have been sent death threats. Greenstein has also been assaulted by Jewish American Zionists. And a little while ago Tony also put up a piece describing how the CST – the paramilitary Community Security Trust – which is supposed to defend Jews, acts like Fascist stormtroopers when stewarding pro-Israel events. This includes beating up Muslims and anti-apartheid Jews. One rabbi was even hit in the face by these squadristi.

The people organising this campaign of abuse and intimidation should be called to account. And this includes the Board of Deputies. They are not above the law, and they are repeatedly demonstrating glaringly clearly that they do not represent the Jewish community of this country as a whole. They only represent the United Synagogue, and the pro-Israel branch of that. They are a viciously sectarian organisation, who actively support those who raise their fists at the people they consider the ‘wrong sort of Jew’. 

Lobster on Anti-Semitism and Margaret Thatcher, and Nazi-Zionist Collaboration

May 7, 2016

Another piece I put up recently was on anti-Semitism and racism in the interwar Conservative party, in which I pointed out that at the time ‘alien’ nearly always mean ‘Jew’, and strongly implied that they had left-wing sympathies. There was some suspicion at the time that Margaret Thatcher may also have held these views, not least because she denounced Socialism as ‘an alien creed’.

Part of the allegations of anti-Semitism directed against Ken Livingstone come from Leninspart’s statement that there was a pact between the Nazis and the Zionists to allow Jews to emigrate to Israel. Livingstone was vigorously attacked for this, but nevertheless, it was true. Hitler and the Zionists did sign the notorious Haavara agreement to allow some Jews to escape Nazi Germany to flee to Israel. It was highly controversial on both sides. There were also other areas in which the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis, such as in armed opposition to the British in Palestine.

Both these subjects are tackled in Robin Ramsay’s column, ‘More Notes on the Right’ in Lobster 13, p. 17. He writes;

One of the things anti-Semite watchers in this country must be waiting for is the arrival of anti-Semitism close to the leadership of the present Thatacherite faction in the Tory party. When it comes, if it comes, it will be coded. It may have already happened. Just before Christmas Mrs Thatcher expressed her hope for a third term in office to enable her to rid this country of Socialsm “an alien creed“. [emphasis in the original]. This use of ‘alien’ is very curious, for ‘alien’ used to be international (and British) code for ‘Jew’. Further, one of her senior parliamentary supporters, John Biggs-Davison (now Sir John: she knighted him) recently wrote of Marx and Engels as “false Hebrew prophets”.

What does this mean? Has the American far-right’s obsession with the Wall St Jews-financed-the Russian-Revolution been implanted here? Does Mrs Thatcher read the John Birch Society’s American Opinion? I hardly think so: our Tory party eats, drinks and sleeps with the City of London, and could hardly bring itself to believe in the ‘Jewish banker conspiracy’. These remarks are curious, nonetheless. Mrs Thatcher’s equivalents in the US are a pretty dotty bunch. Reagan and Weinberger, and probably others, are waiting for the Old Testament ‘Apocalypse’ to arrive. Why should we expect much more from their British counterparts?

The US has come a long way since the days when Richard Nixon’s choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Carswell, was rejected by Congress, essentially because he was stupid. Among some of the upper echelons of the Republican Party, Carswell would be a giant among pigmies.

And undeniable upsurge of anti-Semitism in Europe and America is underway. Yet we have a right-wing Israel, an ‘ally’ of the ‘West’ – i.e. the Americans. Life is complicated still further by the existence of anti-Zionism, and the claims by some Jews that anti-Zionism is simply anti-Semitism in light disguise. While this is obviously true in some instances, is it always true? What are we to make of Jewish anti-Zionists? it will not do to simply dismiss such people – as some Jews do – as ‘self-hating Jews’. These (barely relevant) thoughts have been provoked by the furore surrounding the Jim Allen play Perdition which didn’t quite make it onto the stage of London’s Royal Court Theatre. What struck me reading some of the recent articles describing the Israeli’s states dickering with some of the most obnoxious, neo-Fascist regimes in the post-War world is why anyone should be surprised to discover that some Zionists collaborated with the Nazis during WW2. Shits are universal and it would have been remarkable indeed if some Jews hadn’t collaborated: members of almost every other ethnic-national group which encountered the Nazis did. (I have to write ‘almost every’ because I have never heard of gypsies collaborating’).

Writing this section I am acutely conscious that this Lobster is full of material critical of the Israeli state and thus I/the Lobster run the risk of being labelled ‘anti-Semitic’. Well, so be it. If anyone wants to get into the extremely complicated and superheated area of Nazi-Zionist collaboration, they could try Nazi-Zionist Collaboration, a largish pamphlet produced by BAZO (British Anti-Zionist Organisation) which I was sent some time ago. I know nothing about BAZO but can report that Gill Seidel includes BAZO in a section on ‘left anti-Semitism’ in her recent Holocaust Denial, reviewed in this issue. If BAZO is, in fact, anti-Semitic, it is either well concealed in this pamphlet, or I just am not able to ‘read’ anti-Semitism yet. (Or both).