Deputy IDF chief: Israeli societal trends akin to pre-Holocaust Europe

The Israeli military chief has since backtracked from the 1930s Germany comparison, but below are the words that provoked such outrage in Israel:

Via Times of Israel

In a speech for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said that he identifies processes in Israel today that are similar to those that took place in Europe prior to the Holocaust.

In a strongly worded speech uncommon for a military commander, Golan warned against trends of growing callousness and indifference towards those outside of mainstream Israeli society. He called for a “thorough consideration” of how society treats the disadvantaged and “the other” in its midst.

The Holocaust, he said, must bring Israelis to “a deep reflection” of the character of man but of their character as well. “It should bring us to deeply consider the responsibility of leadership, and the quality of a society.

“If there is something that frightens me in the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying horrifying processes that occurred in Europe…70, 80 and 90 years ago and finding evidence of their existence here in our midst, today, in 2016,” Golan said. Continue reading “Deputy IDF chief: Israeli societal trends akin to pre-Holocaust Europe”

Jewish Labour Movement’s perverse election strategy

On 27 April, the ostensibly progressive Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) issued a statement worthy of a cult decree. Responding to what they deemed to be Naz Shah’s ‘repugnant’ remarks, and following her public humiliation in parliament, they faux-magnanimously accepted her apology, and declared that Shah is now on a ‘journey’ that consists ominously of ‘a programme of education’ (see ‘Preposterous liar’ Jeremy Newmark re-educates Naz Shah):

Her contrition expressed over the past day seems to be genuine and sincere. This is part of that journey. We are optimistic that she will now take steps to deepen her understanding of Jewish identity. We do not ask or expect her to mute her criticism of the actions and policies of the Israeli government. We do ask and expect her to build upon her apology and contrition with a programme of education and action that includes standing up to anti-Semitism on the left and within the Palestine Solidarity Movement.

Shah must now be their eyes and ears within the Palestine solidarity movement. The task falls to Shah, it being understood that JLM plays no role in fighting for Palestinian human rights.

Having thereby attributed to Shah’s harmless historic comments a sinister import, and in doing so contributed to the media hysteria over antisemitism lurking in every dark corner of the Labour party, JLM Vice-Chair Sarah Sackman today asks the public to vote for Labour. Anyway. ‘We must stay and fight inside.’ Assuming that ‘inside’ is a McCarthyite zone.

Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Sackman refers gravely to Labour’s ‘devastating horror show’ that has ‘been brewing’. Says that ‘Jews have been forced into an agonising corner,’ and briefly alluding to ‘tikkun olam’, proceeds to offer the cure to this terrible disease: JLM will facilitate a purge of the party:

We will scrutinise the inquiries into antisemitism and ensure they do not paper over the problem. We will argue for a programme of education for party officers and members and support our allies in the Party to re-shape it.

This political strategy is perverse in the extreme. Much has been written about the attempt by the centre-left to destabilise the Corbyn leadership – to effect a sort of coup. But surely Jewish Labour Movement can recognise that the public now feels repulsed: either by what they perceive to be a party full of anti-Semites, or by the increasingly transparent and cynical campaign to smear it.

Elly Fryksos

LRC: Lift the suspension of Jackie Walker for alleged antisemitism

Via Labour Briefing

The Labour Representation Committee wholeheartedly and unreservedly condemns all forms of racism. We further wholeheartedly and unreservedly condemn the suspension by the Labour Party of Jackie Walker – Vice Chair of the National Steering Committee of Momentum, a leading activist in Thanet Momentum, and an Executive Committee member of the LRC – for alleged anti-Semitism.

The Party suspended Ms Walker after the Jewish Chronicle brought to the attention of Party officials comments made by her in Facebook posts earlier this year.

In her comments, Ms Walker, a black activist of Jewish heritage, said that ‘millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews.’

‘Many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice,’ she said.

ChpclhOWwAEoGd0The Jewish Chronicle itself revealed that ‘her comments were uncovered by the Israel Advocacy Movement, which works to counter hostility to Israel in Britain.’

A picture emerges of a leading pro-Israeli government organization trawling through the social media posts of Labour Party activists to brand ideas anti-Semitic when they are clearly not. The targeting of Ms Walker for remarks that have no connection to anti-Semitism suggests that senior labour movement figures, such as Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, were right when they argued that largely baseless allegations of anti-Semitism are being used by opponents to undermine and destabilize Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The LRC welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s initiative to hold a full enquiry into anti-Semitism in the Party. Any member who actually has made anti-Semitic comments must face immediate suspension pending an investigation. But there must be an immediate end to the suspension of members on a spurious basis, into which category Jackie Walker’s suspension clearly falls.

Jackie Walker is a long-standing anti-racism campaigner who helped organize the defeat of UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Thanet at the 2015 election. Her suspension must be lifted immediately. We call on all labour movement activists to contact Labour Party Head Office to demand this.

*  *  *  *  *

‘I am writing to you in protest against the outrageous suspension of Jackie Walker from the Labour Party on spurious grounds of anti-Semitism. I call on you to reconsider this action and lift the suspension immediately’.

Please e-mail your protest today to the General Secretary, Iain McNicol
iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk
and copy to Ann Black annblack50@btinternet.com (Chair of NEC Disputes Panel) and Jim Kennedy Jim.Kennedy@unitetheunion.org (Chair of NEC Organisation
Committee).

Finkelstein: Cameron feels no shame at his friend Israel’s serial atrocities

Please see full post on Jamie Stern-Weiner’s website

J S-W: In today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Cameron savaged Corbyn for having referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’, and repeatedly demanded that Corbyn withdraw the remark. Norman Finkelstein—leading authority on the Israel-Palestine conflict—what are your thoughts on Cameron’s demands? 

Finkelstein: Does Cameron keep better company than Corbyn? Let’s look at the record. In 2006, armed hostilities broke out between Israel and Lebanon. In the course of those hostilities, Israel killed 1,200 Lebanese, of whom 1,000 (80 percent) were civilians. Hezbollah killed 160 Israelis, of whom 40 (25 percent) were civilians. If you look at the numbers, whether absolutely or relatively, who, prima facie, was the bigger war criminal? In the final 72 hours of the conflict, when the war was effectively over as the Security Council had already passed a ceasefire resolution, Israel dropped as many as four million cluster sub-munitions on South Lebanon. It was the densest use of cluster sub-munitions in the history of warfare. Entire civilian villages were saturated. It was a war crime on a mind-boggling scale.

If Corbyn shouldn’t have referred to Hezbollah as his ‘friend’; and if one attaches equal value to each human life; and if war crimes are war crimes regardless of the address from which they originate—in other words, if facts rather than demagoguery serve as the basis of one’s moral calculus, wasn’t the Tory embrace of Israel incalculably worse?

Consider now Gaza. Parts of Gaza are among the most densely populated areas on the planet. 80 percent of Gaza’s population consists of refugees and descendants of refugees, while more than half the population consists of children under the age of 18. Gaza has been under military occupation for a full half-century, and it’s suffocated under an illegal and immoral blockade for the past decade. Even David Cameron has described Gaza as a ‘prison’. In the past 12 years, Israel has launched not less than eight murderous operations against the overwhelmingly refugee and mostly child population herded in this prison. In 2008, after it broke a ceasefire that Hamas was ‘careful to maintain’ (Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center), Israel launched Operation Cast Lead or, what Amnesty International called, ‘22 days of death and destruction’. In the course of this assault, Israel dropped white phosphorous, a substance that reaches 800 degrees Celsius, on a humanitarian warehouse, a school and two hospitals (al-Quds hospital and al-Wafa hospital). It destroyed 6,000 homes, and it left 1,400 Gazans dead.  Up to 1,200 of these were civilians, 350 of them children. After the attack, Israeli soldiers described what happened as akin to ‘a child playing around with a magnifying glass, burning up ants’, and a ‘PlayStation [computer] game’. One of the principal architects of this massacre was then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni. The day after Cast Lead was over, Livni boasted on Israeli television, ‘Israel demonstrated real hooliganism during the course of the recent operation, which I demanded’. Later, she declared that she was ‘proud’ of her decisions during the invasion, and would ‘repeat’ every one of them. Continue reading “Finkelstein: Cameron feels no shame at his friend Israel’s serial atrocities”

Robert Cohen: Chief Rabbi has made up a theology at odds with history & Jewish tradition

Responding to Rabbi Mirvis’s opinion piece in yesterday’s edition of the Telegraph, Robert Cohen has written on his Facebook page that it’s a shame there is no process to impeach a Chief Rabbi, ‘because this one deserves it.’

Read the post in full here.

Excerpt: Here’s what he said this morning about Zionism (a political movement that began in Europe in the 19th century) and Judaism:

“…one of the axioms of Jewish belief.”

“a noble and integral part of Judaism.”

“One can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

Is it just me or has the Chief Rabbi just reinvented Judaism and muddled/mangled classical Jewish teaching about ‘the Land’ and its relationship to the Jewish people with a modern (originally highly secular) nationalist project which most Jews (and certainly most Rabbis) rejected for decades as thoroughly unJewish? As I said this morning, Mirvis takes no account of the complexity that 2,000 years of Jewish dispersal brings to our story.

Finally, in making no distinction whatsoever between Judaism and Zionism, will all Jews in Britain be viewed as legitimate targets by anyone with a violent grudge against Israel? Why not? According to Mirvis support for Israel is part of the Jewish DNA.

On all these fronts Mirvis has done neither himself nor British Jews any favours at all. In fact he may just have made things a whole lot worse. Continue reading “Robert Cohen: Chief Rabbi has made up a theology at odds with history & Jewish tradition”

The Jewish Labour Movement – British Branch of the Racist Israeli Labor party

By Tony Greenstein

Read full article here.

Excerpt: The Jewish Labour movement, led by serial liar Jeremy Newmark, is the British branch of the Israeli Labour Party (ILP). The ILP has a racist track record second to none. They were the government of Israel for the first 30 years. In that time Israel’s Palestinian population spent the first 18 years under military rule. All the institutions of apartheid, such as Jewish National Fund, were integrated into Israeli society as para state organisations in that period.

The Nakba, the expulsion of ¾ million Arabs in 1947/8, the massacre of thousands and the confiscation of most Arab land was carried out by Labour terror militias primarily – Hagannah and Palmach (shock troops) in particular.

The left Zionist  Mapam (now Meretz) party was no better. The infamous massacre at Dawayima was carried out by these ‘Marxist’ Zionists: “Their socialism did not extend to their non-Jewish fellow men.” Wrote David Hirst in his book ‘The Gun and the Olive Branch’ (p.25)

[…]
There is nothing that Likud has done that Labour didn’t do before them, nor have they changed. Israeli Labour’s election campaigns have focussed on scaring Jewish voters that Netanyahu’s policies, of not allowing even the tiniest little Palestinian Bantustan will result in Israel becoming an Arab state (god forbid).

Last week Isaac Herzog, Labour’s leader said that the ILP mustn’t be identified as an ‘Arab lovers’ party. The term ‘Arab lover’ is a racist taunt flung by the Right. Herzog is saying that he doesn’t want the ILP to be considered in such terms. In Britain during the fight against fascist from the National Front and British National Party we were accused of being ‘nigger lovers’ and a previous generation were ‘Jew lovers’.

The irony today is that the racists of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel are driving the witch hunt of Black and Asian members of the Party in particular. Anyone who stands out against Zionism and Israeli Apartheid is liable for the chop. See ‘Preposterous liar’ Jeremy Newmark re-educates Naz Shah MP
Continue reading “The Jewish Labour Movement – British Branch of the Racist Israeli Labor party”

‘Preposterous liar’ Jeremy Newmark re-educates Naz Shah MP

Jeremy Newmark is chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, that officially supports the pro-apartheid Israeli Labour party. Following the suspension of Naz Shah MP for alleged anti-Semitism, it appears he is undertaking her re-education: a ‘process’ that will doubtless end in her henceforth avoiding all strong criticism of Israel: In the words of Norman Finkelstein:

They’re making her pass through these rituals of public self-degradation, as she is forced to apologise once, twice, three times over for a tongue-in-cheek cartoon reposted from my website. And it’s not yet over! Because now they say she’s on a ‘journey’. Of course, what they mean is, ‘she’s on a journey of self-revelation, and epiphany, to understanding the inner antisemite at the core of her being’.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 21.13.27

In the judgment in Fraser v. UCU, following a three-week employment tribunal in 2013, the judge Anthony Snelson said Mr Newmark’s evidence had been “false, preposterous, extraordinarily arrogant and disturbing”.

Look at where those words appeared in the judgment and what they related to:

False: already mentioned above. This was Newmark’s claim that there had been “booing, jeering and harassing of Jewish speakers”.
Preposterous: This was Newmark’s claim that he was being stereotyped as a “pushy Jew” over his attempt to push his way into a union meeting.
Extraordinarily arrogant and disturbing:  Again, mentioned above.  This was Newmark’s description of the UCU as “no longer a fit space for free speech”.

Mr Newmark said the tribunal’s finding that there could be no link between Jewish identity and support of Israel “cannot be left to stand”.
“That is a shocking and ignorant statement to make. It is something that will have to be followed up,” he said.

If a Jew is bullied or harassed in the work place or his trade union, and part of that bullying or harassment contains anti-Israel slogans, material or activity, then to take that forward to the judicial system is considered by this panel in their ruling as an attempt to usurp the British judicial process for political means – that’s something that is very, very wrong.

Jews Sans Frontieres observed at the time:

‘Did you see what happened there? He’s been called preposterous, and a disturbingly arrogant liar and he hasn’t hit back against any of that. He’s simply changed the subject whilst showing he has lost none of his propensity for untruth.’

What can such a person teach a principled MP like Naz Shah?

Elly Fryksos

Far right Israeli Justice Minister & UK Justice Secretary agree on BDS

Israel’s justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who in 2015 published on Facebook a call for a genocide of the Palestinians, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure,” has employed rhetoric about BDS that has been echoed by UK Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove. In fact, her language is temperate compared to Gove’s.

Shaked said supporters of movements such as the non-violent BDS, which calls for putting economic and political pressure on Israel in a bid to force it to comply with international law and gain rights for Palestinians, are “using the same kind of anti-Semitism but instead of saying they are against the Jews, they say they are against Israel.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Shaked said:

In the past, we saw European leaders speaking against the Jews. Now, we see them speaking against Israel. It is the same anti-Semitism of blood libels, spreading lies, distorting reality and brainwashing people into hating Israel and the Jews

Shaked had spoken earlier in the day at an international symposium in Warsaw marking the 80th anniversary of the Nuremberg Race Laws adopted by Nazi Germany.

Gove has also misrepresented a boycott of Israeli goods and institutions, claiming it involves:

the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimisation of Jewish commerce. We have seen these all before. And we know where it takes us.

Continue reading “Far right Israeli Justice Minister & UK Justice Secretary agree on BDS”

Jewish MK accused of ‘stoking anti-Semitic propaganda’ with ethnic cleansing claim

In a further example of the conflation of criticism of Israel’s policies with antisemitism, the Likud lawmaker Nava Boker has compared Member of Knesset Dov Khenin to ‘Jews throughout history,’ whom she suggests were to blame for ‘bolstering’ anti-Semitic propaganda. Khenin called this accusation the ‘height of insolence.’

Via Times of Israel:

The sole Jewish Knesset member from the Joint (Arab) List has come under fire for accusing Israel, in an interview with Sky News, of demolishing Palestinian homes as a means of “ethnic cleansing” in the West Bank.

MK Dov Khenin’s comments were broadcast at the beginning of the week, although he later said it was recorded some time ago.

Likud lawmaker Nava Boker accused Khenin of stoking anti-Semitic propaganda against Israel, telling Army Radio on Tuesday:

The only ethnic cleansing being carried out is in his delirious mind. With his deceitful expressions he is joining a long line of Jews throughout history who bolstered anti-Semitic propaganda with false claims.

Khenin responded that he did “have very serious criticism of the Israeli government,”

But from that to make accusations of anti-Semitism? That is the height of insolence.

The images from the Jordan Valley are terrible images — children whose homes are destroyed, their tents are evacuated there… It is a grave thing to say [ethnic cleansing]… [but] the reality is very grave.

The reality in the Jordan Valley is one in which they are expelling the Bedouins, evacuating them from their places of residence. They are not being allowed to build. When you evacuate Arabs and in their place you build settlements for Jews, that is a reality that must be addressed.

Baroness Deech: Muslims more antisemitic than far right Holocaust deniers

In an extraordinary article for Ha’aretz, the outspoken Israel apologist Baroness Deech has stated that it is right to treat ‘right-wing anti-Semites’ and ‘Holocaust deniers’ as ‘buffoons of no importance.’

Yes, there are right-wing anti-Semites and there are Holocaust deniers, but they have for long been treated as buffoons of no importance — which is true — and being of the “Right” they are not taken seriously, whereas to be of the “Left” is to be righteous, sanctimonious and beyond criticism or reproof.

She also calls renowned historians and scholars of the Middle East, including Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Avi Shlaim and Ilan Pappe ‘renegade Jews.’ (see note below)

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.41.04Deech bemoans the lack of a ‘further investigation of [antisemitism’s] causes and roots’ before making it clear she believes its roots lie in Muslim majority communities.

The Baroness has been keeping a wary eye on the U.K. census:

The U.K. census of 2011 revealed that Bradford’s population was 24.7% Muslim, and no doubt it’s higher by now. There are wards of Bradford, Blackburn and Burnley (the suspended councilors’ constituencies) where British Muslims reach 70% of the local population.

She then blames British politicians for ‘appeasing their Muslim voters,’ specifically upbraiding Corbyn for not acknowledging that anti-Semitism is ‘special’ and has ‘roots in the religion and culture of Islam.’ Deech then implies that our government is putting at risk the lives of British Jews by allowing Muslims to make their home here.

So we have a failure of education, a craven attitude towards the supposed beliefs of Muslim voters (set to worsen as migration increases)…

The Baroness calls the non-violent, Palestinian civil society boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement ‘the program of the destruction of the only Jewish state, with its 6 million Jews conveniently gathered together,’ thereby invoking the spectre of a second Holocaust.

Deech refers to the recent ICM poll on ‘British Muslim opinion’ that has been widely criticised for its flawed methodology. Its findings have further been distorted by Islamophobic groups such as the pro-Israel ‘charity’ Campaign Against Antisemitism, which produced a report racially profiling Muslims. As Ashitha Nagesh wrote in Metro last month:

British Muslims aren’t anti-Semitic

According to the results, 61 per cent of people questioned viewed Jewish people favourably, while an additional 14 per cent of British Muslims had a sort-of middling opinion of Jewish people.

This might not seem like a lot – 61 per cent isn’t 100 per cent, after all – but it’s almost exactly the same as how favourably the Muslims surveyed viewed Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and people who are not religious.

Anti-racists and anti-fascists reading the Baroness’s words will recognise the parallels with early 20th century social attitudes to – and government racial profiling of – British Jews.


Note: The Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘renegade’:

  • Having treacherously changed allegiance: a renegade bodyguard
  • Having abandoned one’s religious beliefs: a renegade monk. Used in conjunction with ‘Jew’ its archaic meaning is equivalent to apostate.

Elly Fryksos