Posts Tagged ‘‘Perdition’’

Newspaper Review of Tony Greenstein’s ‘The Fight Against Fascism in Brighton’

October 3, 2017

Yesterday I came across a review from 2012 of Tony Greenstein’s The Fight Against Fascism in Brighton and the South Coast in the Brighton Argus. Greenstein’s a veteran socialist activist, and an opponent of all forms of racism. This includes the Zionists’ massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, for which he has, like so very many others, both Jewish and gentile, been smeared as an ‘anti-Semite’.

Greenstein refers to the book to support his own, very evident commitment to fighting all forms of racism and racial injustice, including the bitter anti-Semitism of the British far right, in an open letter he published in his blog on Sunday to the leader of Brighton council, Councillor Warren Morgan. Morgan had smeared Greenstein as a Holocaust denier in a statement linking Greenstein to Miko Peled. Peled is the son of an Israeli general and fierce critic of Israeli barbarity to his country’s indigenous people. Peled spoke at a Labour party fringe meeting, organized by a Jewish Labour party organization committed to ending the Israeli state’s oppression of the Palestinians. Peled had stated in his speech that everything – ‘even the Holocaust’ should be up for debate. So Morgan insinuated that Greenstein was a Holocaust denier, and demanded his expulsion from the Labour party.

Greenstein replied in his letter with the following statements, noting that Peled was just defending complete academic freedom, and certainly did not deny the Holocaust, whose victims included members of his father’s family. He goes on to cite other incidents, when he was previously smeared with the same accusation, citing his book as evidence that he most certainly isn’t anti-Semitic, and explaining his opposition to Zionism.

All that Miko Peled was doing was to say discussion about the Holocaust is legitimate free speech. To twist this into support for Holocaust denial is a prime example of how anti-Semitism has been weaponised by supporters of Zionism and the Israeli state. It demonstrates your contempt for those who died at the hands of Hitler’s regime – Jewish and non-Jewish.

Unlike you I am Jewish. Unlike you half my father’s family was murdered in the gas chambers of Treblinka. For you to use the Holocaust, of both Jews and non-Jews, up to 5 million of whom also died in the Nazi concentration camps, as a cheap political device in order to gain a political advantage over your opponents in the Labour Party is despicable. If anyone in Brighton Labour Party is anti-Semitic it is you and your followers.

It is noticeable that you and your political soul mates have nothing to say about racism against the Roma, yet proportionately just as many Roma died in the camps as Jews. Racism against the Roma today is far higher than that against Jews today but it isn’t so politically advantageous.

As you well know I have often been the recipient of this vile Holocaust denial propaganda, as evidenced by the Argus article of 16th October 1993 as well as physical attacks by fascist groups such as the National Front. A cursory search of the Argus archive would turn up numerous articles e.g. Adam Trimmingham’s review of my book ‘Fighting Fascism in Brighton’ I confess that in 40 years of opposing fascism and racism in Brighton and Hove your name has never once come up.

My reasons for opposing Zionism and the Israeli state are the same as my opposition to fascism and racism in Britain and Apartheid in South Africa. Your use of the Jewish Holocaust for transparently cheap political purposes is contemptible.

See: http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/open-letter-to-lying-leader-of-brighton.html

In the rest of the article he explains the background to the smear. Basically, it’s more of the same intriguing by Progress and the Zionists to cling on to power anyway they can. Morgan is a member of Progress, the Thatcherite entryist group in Labour. The fringe meeting addressed by Peled, at which Greenstein was present, not only condemned the maltreatment of the Palestinians, it also demanded the expulsion of the seriously misnamed Jewish Labour Movement. This was formerly Paole Zion, and is the sister party to the Israeli Labour Party, which has and remains one of the chief instigators of the Palestinian’s oppression. The meeting was organized by Jewish Voices for Peace, and nearly everyone, according to Greenstein, with the exception of Ken Loach, was Jewish. And Loach himself is not, by any stretch of the imagination, anti-Semitic. In the 1990s he directed a film, Perdition, about the Zionists’ collaboration with the Nazis in the deportation of the Jews to the death camps in Hungary.

Not that this stopped the Right making the habitual smears of anti-Semitism. Guido Fawkes repeated them on his blog. In fact, Fawkes has no business calling anyone a Fascist, or words to that effect. Way back in the ’80s or ’90s he was a member of a Libertarian organization on the fringes of the Tory party, which invited one of the leaders of the Fascist death squads then massacring the people of El Salvador, to come as their guest of honour.

Adam Trimingham’s review of Greenstein’s book is interesting for the perspective it gives on the very strong opposition to Mosley and his thugs in Brighton. Mosley and Lord Haw-Haw, the Anglo-Irish traitor William Joyce, both tried speaking there on several occasions, to be seen off by local Labour party supporters, Jews and other anti-Fascists. In one incident in 1934 when Mosley tried speaking at the Dome there, the electricians setting up the sound system wired it up to the office of the Labour councilor, Nick Cohen. When Mosley tried to launch into his rant, Councilor Cohen pressed a button, and the would-be British Mussolini was drowned out by the sound of the Marseillaise.

That didn’t stop Mosley and his stormtroopers from trying again. And each time they faced opposition, including violence, to the point where the town was a no-go area for them. The last time Mosley tried to speak there was just after the War, when he was trying to launch his Union Movement. This resulted in the Battle of the Level, when local people, included Jewish ex-servicemen, weighed in against them. This included many retired Jewish gents, who beat them up with their umbrellas and walking sticks. They were successful, and Mosley never returned. His own Fascist movement had been in decline before the War, and the battle against the Axis effectively finished it off. He emerged from the war disgraced and with whatever remained of his former popularity in ruins.

The formation of the National Front in the 1970s led to more battles, as they tried to demonstrate in Brighton. A committee was formed to combat them. This suffered from some division, with some members arguing for a more moderate line, with Israel another bone of contention. But they nevertheless succeeded in ensuring that any Fascist meeting or rally was met with determined opposition. And that includes the Fascist March for England the year the review was published in 2012.

The review can be read at: http://www.theargus.co.uk/magazine/nostalgia/pastpresent/9728304.Fighting_fascism/?ref=rss

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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).