The New McCarthyism – The “Anti-Semitism” Hysteria Gripping the UK 476


Tony Greenstein has been suspended from the Labour Party for alleged anti-Semitism. Tony is 100% Jewish from an Orthodox family. But he is also one of the founders of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and in the current hysterical witch-hunt, being pro-Palestinian rights is sufficient indication of anti-Semitism. Just as making herbal medicine used to make you a witch.

The catalyst for the campaign is that one of the clearest dividing lines between Blairites and Corbyn supporters is Israel. Blairites are unanimously, unequivocally pro-Israel and prepared to defend even the most blatantly disproportionate Israeli attacks on Gaza, land grabs or checkpoint shootings as self-defence. Corbyn supporters unanimously have more sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians and are critical of what they view (and I agree) as the apartheid state Israel has developed.

Because of the dreadful persecution of the Jews in the 20th century, anti-Semitism is the most emotionally charged of all political accusations. As it should be. Anti-Semitism is an appalling racism, and while all racism is evil, recent history makes anti-Semitism especially charged.

The background is that the Blairites are in utter political disarray. They and the rest of the Right are struggling against popular revulsion at the massive wealth inequalities fostered by their extreme neo-liberal policies these past four decades. There are very few things they can say which gain any popular traction. So they reach for the dread accusation of anti-Semitism.

The other meme of the right which gains popular support is the massive exaggeration of the threat of “Islamist” terrorism, again fuelled by natural popular revulsion at events like Paris and Brussels. Government programmes like Prevent are designed to further inculcate Islamophobia. All these issues can then be merged as a symplistic lie that Muslims hate Jews, therefore those defending Muslims from Islamophobia are also anti-Semitic. The witch-hunt spreads further.

This is the background to David Cameron’s extraordinary parliamentary attack on Sadiq Khan. Less attention has been paid to an even more appalling parliamentary exchange yesterday as allegations of anti-semitism were thrown around with gay abandon:

– Matthew Offord: Just weeks after the co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour club stepped down, saying that a large proportion of both the OULC and the student left in Oxford “have some kind of problem with Jews”, I am sure my right hon. Friend will be incredulous to hear that students who attended the National Union of Students conference in Brighton yesterday debated boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day and then went on to elect as its president someone who described the University of Birmingham as “something of a Zionist outpost” in British higher education. May we have a Minister come to the Dispatch Box to set out measures that the Government will take to counter the rise in anti-Semitism that is being fomented on university campuses?
– Chris Grayling: That is simply unacceptable in our society. The views expressed yesterday are not acceptable. The shadow Leader of the House was absolutely right when he talked about anti-Semitism in his own party. All of us from all political parties should work to stamp it out across our society, as it is simply unacceptable.
– Bob Blackman: Further to the question by my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Dr Offord), it is ironic that the Holocaust Educational Trust was holding a reception and information session in this place at the same time as the National Union of Students was debating a motion to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day, and that speakers in favour of that were applauded for saying that Holocaust Memorial Day was not inclusive enough. Clearly, there is a great deal of work to be done on education to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism, so may we have a debate in Government time on what action we are going to take to root that out once and for all among all political parties and among all sections of society?
– Chris Grayling: My hon. Friend is right. We are seeing that happen time and again—statements about the Jewish population in this country, statements about Israel, that are unacceptable in a democratic society. Of course, there are legitimate debates to be had about the future of Israel and Palestine and the peace process, but some of the anti-Semitic views that are appearing in our society are simply unacceptable. [Interruption.] Labour Members mention Islamophobia. I have stood at the Dispatch Box time and again and condemned Islamophobia in this country, but that is not a reason for not paying attention to the issue of anti-Semitism, which is becoming more and more of a problem and must be addressed head-on now by all those in public life, including the Labour party.
– Barry Sheerman: [excerpt] After the unfortunate remarks by the Leader of the House about the Labour party being riddled with anti-Semitism, may I ask, as someone who has fought anti-Semitism in the Labour party and in this country all his life, whether we can have an early debate about that issue? That is so important on a day when the people who want to take us out of Europe have invited Marine Le Pen to come here and speak.
– Chris Grayling: On the issue of anti-Semitism and the Labour party, I would encourage Labour Members to have a debate. The shadow Leader of the House is absolutely right to have written the article he did, saying that anti-Semitism is not acceptable, but, of course, his words have to be turned into action by the Labour party.

I frankly find it very difficult to believe that anti-Semitism is rife in Oxford University, and find the prominence given to the unsubstantiated claims of one single extreme pro-Israel activist rather extraordinary. The attack on new NUS President Malia Bouattia is a truly horrible piece of witch-hunting. But it is useful in one thing; it makes the witch-hunt’s primary method, the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, absolutely explicit.

Daniel Clemens, the president of Birmingham J-Soc, said her response was “completely unsatisfactory”. “There is quite a bit of uproar among the wider campus and student community,” Clemens said. “I think that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are two and the same thing. Zionism is the belief that Jewish people should have a homeland to live in without threat of annihilation or war. This stems from a Jewish belief. So when someone attacks Zionism they’re indirectly attacking Judaism as a religion, because the two go hand in hand.”

The idea that the religious belief of entitlement to the land of the Palestinians, is such that it is racist to deny the land to those who hold that belief, is frankly crazy. But that is the entire intellectual basis of the current witch-hunt, which operates solely on conflating the anti-Zionism of Tony Greenstein with anti-Semitism. It is a constant theme in the media, led of course by the Blairite cheerleaders at the Guardian. I called out Nick Cohen on his hate speech a few weeks ago.

Andrew Gilligan in the Daily Telegraph even completely fabricated a story that DFID had withdrawn funding for the charity War on Want because it organised “anti-Semitic” conferences. I personally contacted the DFID spokesman, who said that no funding had been withdrawn at all. But more disturbing is that, again, Gilligan seeks to portray simple anti-Zionist statements as anti-Semitic. He objects to:

“At another rally – sponsored by War on Want – a speaker said that British government policy was created by “Zionist and neo-con lobbies”.”

That is a statement which I – and millions of others – would heartily endorse. But we are not anti-Semites. Unsurprisingly, Gilligan calls in precisely the same Oxford University student to back up his wild accusations.

Anti-Semitism does exist. In a membership as large as that of the Labour Party, there are bound to be a handful around, and if they can be identified they should indeed be expelled. I have seen a couple of examples quoted – people who talk of “big noses” and “jewish bankers”. Certainly such people must be shunned. In my lifetime’s experience, anti-Semitism is more prevalent on the right than the left, but fortunately does not infect a significant proportion of the population in the UK. I have yet to encounter any in Scotland.

But to conflate anti-Semitism with opposition to the apartheid state of Israel is to demean the very meaning of anti-Semitism. If they really had respect for its victims, they would not seek to do that.


476 thoughts on “The New McCarthyism – The “Anti-Semitism” Hysteria Gripping the UK

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  • giyane

    Not being a gambling man, except for buying 2nd hand vehicles, I don’t know what a sweepstake is, but I can recognise one when I see it. Something between a pub-cleaning of beer glasses in the cold light of morning and a trimming of wayward comments that get too close to the nitty gritty soft underbelly of the thread.

    You reply to something which disappears under your nose. Now I’ll never know what Tony M meant by ‘Communist was a McCarthyist euphemism for you know what’. Obviously what I’m not supposed to know and I wouldn’t want to know anyway.

    I have come to believe that Zionism in Israel is a tool of Anglo-saxon colonialism , like Islamism. It’s not Aipac that tells Obama what to do, but Sooty’s ventriloquist conversing with his own hand/puppet. There is something deeply scary about US politicians like McCain ventriloquizing Al Qaida and Daesh. Because we dumbos want to believe that Sooty is real. The fact that Israel is a puppet, not real, means that it is a completely pointless exercise discoursing about a puppet’s opinions.

  • Dave

    Words are very powerful and certain words that should have a general meaning have in practice a specific meaning and are deployed in a sort of patented way to advance the cause of particular groups. This means winning an argument may require recapturing a specific word and restoring its general meaning (similar to capturing enemy weapons in a war and then used by your own side). Otherwise if you allow certain specific words/insults to be used in a partisan way by particular groups against you, you will always be on the back foot in a war of words, and the oppressor wins.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I agree that the use of language is an important battleground. I do not think anyone on here has argued that more forcefully than I have. I was mistaken to dismiss your concerns – my apologies.

  • Margaret Mulheran

    I couldn’t agree more. These are desperate and scary times, not just for Palestinians. I am dreading the next US President taking up office. The world is becoming more and more dangerous.

  • Mark Golding

    Boycotting Israel? Is it a criminal offence to shun Israeli goods for public bodies and student unions?

    No! – IT IS NOT although you have been lead to think so by agent Cameron and his terrorist party. Obfuscation of the facts by the government and misleading media coverage on this issue, i.e. Reuters – “Britain Bans Public-Sector Boycotts of Israeli Suppliers,” as one headline read, was in fact a ‘Policy Procurement Note’ on the seemingly banal matter of “ensuring compliance with wider international obligations(WTO?) when letting public contracts” issued by the Cabinet Office – No bill – -no actual legislation – just guidance.

    The Policy Procurement Note does not introduce a ban on boycotting anything. Instead, it clarifies that, in the British government’s reading of its own existing rules, public authorities are not allowed to discriminate against foreign suppliers on the basis of national origin.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/500811/PPN_on_wider_international_obligations.pdf

    Personally I never buy Israeli oranges from Tesco or even Hermes Israeli killer UAV/UAS/Drones from Elbit UK Division.

    So this is bollocks:

    http://newobserveronline.com/uk-illegal-to-boycott-israel/

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      You are splitting non-existent hairs.

      Disallowing public authorities to discriminate against foreign suppliers on the basis of national origin has the practical effect of disallowing public authorities to boycott goods and services from, say, Israel.

  • Republicofscotland

    I see some commenting on Israel, and genocide, the UNGA, does mention it in article 37/123, but as the likes of Habb, has stated, the GA members daren’t take the matter, to a higher level, and no prominent figure within the GA, will put their signature/s to any document, unless they wish to incur the full wrath of the USA. It is a for now unbreakable stalemate, in my opinion.

    Thinking of the 1940’s, when Israel, hatched their plan, which left many dead or displaced, my mind wandered to India, and the 3 million dead, who died of starvation under the British Raj, who still had a controlling say in Indian affairs.

    Yes there was a bloody and brutal world war, in full swing, and food was short, and at a premuim. At that time food was diverted from the Indian and Australia, to be given to troops fighting, in and around the Mediterranean. One can understand Churchill’s need to feed a fighting army, Napoleon understood that same fact as well.

    But one finds it diffucult to undesrtand why Churchill refused food aid for the starving of India from Canada, and the US.

    This article answers some uncomfortable posers, but not why Churchill refused Canadian and American, food aid that led to the deaths deaths of millions of Indians.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/bengal-famine-1943-man-made-holocaust-1100525

    • Ba'al Zevul

      ‘Genocide’ strongly implies systematic mass murder. While Israel’s treatment of Palestinians has been contemptuous, brutal and murderous, it stps short of that. Ethnic cleansing, on the other hand, describes their overt actions nicely, and has on unguarded occasions been stated by several Likudniks to be official policy, in words which just manage to avoid the phrase itself. Ethnic cleansing it is.

      • Republicofscotland

        Baal.

        Could one, then say that Israeli actions,( earlier years in removing or killing of Palestinians) be classed as crimes against humanity?

        Has a precedence not, been set by the conviction of Radovan Karadzic, not only did he commit war crimes, but also crimes against humanity?

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radovan_Karadžić

        And what of, the illegal settlements built on Palestinian lands, could the removal of that particular section of society amount to a form of ethnic cleansing?

        The UN appears to frown on that particular activity, yet it again takes no action. I refer to my comment at 13.10pm, the UNGA, daren’t take any action.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        I note that Baal also rejects the false claim that Israel has committed or is committing “genocide” against the Palestinians.

      • Ben Monad

        How would you compare say, the treatment of Native Americans? The semantics of ‘systematic’ could muddy the issue of genocide. Even though the smallpox blankets are a myth, it was quite clear that destroying their livelihood (Bison) had the intent of elimination.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I don’t think the semantics of ‘mass’ muddy the issue at all, though. If and when it becomes clear that the Israeli State is methodically killing Palestinians rather than grabbing their land and demolishing their housing, or if and when they deploy a weapon of mass destruction against Gaza rather than contentiously-targeted assaults which succeed in killing around 0.1% of the population at a time, then I will buy ‘genocide’. Until then, what’s going on is indisputably ethnic cleansing ‘only’.

          If the charge is genocide, it can very easily and credibly be shown to be exaggerated. Ethnic cleansing can be demonstrated. Let us not call a spade a mechanical digger.

          • Ben Monad

            “when it becomes clear that the Israeli State is methodically killing Palestinians rather than grabbing their land and demolishing their housing…”

            Could the same argument be made by the Railroad Co’s as they forged through the West?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Re. railroads: I’m really not sure what you’re getting at. The white settlers had the backing of God, and thought the Native Americans to be an inferior race. At the time the moral dimension had not been as generally agreed as it is today: everybody was brutalising less ‘advanced’ cultures. It was then acceptable to public opinion. I have no rooted objection to assessing past crimes by present standards, but my own opinion is that it doesn’t advance the debate much. Your knowledge of American history is undoubtedly far better than mine: was it State policy to eliminate the natives? (And what about Timurleng?)

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Sorry, re the Native Americans:
          In some respects there are disturbing parallels. Among the incoming settlers there was a very strong view that God had authorised their behaviour – I’m so glad you got our insufferable Puritans, who held that America was in fact the Promised Land, but it’s a pity they took their cash with them. And that possibly resonates today in the US as part of the frontier myth. Ethnic cleansing or genocide? Both, in parts. In some places the intention was clearly to exterminate the local native population, and was successful. In others, moving it on was apparently sufficient for the landgrabbers.

          • Ben Monad

            Yes. Settler safety (ranchers/farmers) was the putative goal, but the RR’s were the tip of the spear. Economics and all such truck.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Distinction without a difference: no. Spectrum of atrocity, yes. And whether you are a lawyer or not, blue and green aren’t real entities but the encoding of a distinction made between slightly different wavelengths in the visible spectrum which the brain finds useful in understanding its surroundings. The difference is of degree, but it is no less a difference. The boundary zone is very much a matter of definition, and I have indicated above where I think this lies.

            And if you think this is legalistic, I shudder to think what a lawyer would do with your points…

          • Ba'al Zevul

            In essence, the point I am trying to make is that if we object to something, we need to frame the terms of our objection as carefully as we can, otherwise our opponent will make all the capital he can out of our loose usage. And, in the presnt cae, I think this demonstrates itself. Ethnic cleansing is still a serious charge (as some Serbs have recently discovered).

          • Ben Monad

            Yes. I feel certain any lawyer cast in the mold could shred my lack of nuance. If only I gave a shit.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      “I see some commenting on Israel, and genocide, the UNGA, does mention it in article 37/123, ”
      ______________________

      Mention, yes – but without accusing anyone.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that link Mark G., my fears are that the public sector will now be forced by the relevant CIF’s to trade in more Israeli goods, due to the furore and pressure that’s been foisted upon us via the pro Israel lobbyists.
    So students can expect the Green and Black’s chocolate having to compete with Hershey’s, whatever it is inside that bar.

    But this law can’t stop the public rejecting their Apartheid foods and this boycott will grow to the various supermarkets soon I feel.

    Such ban could easily be exploited to decrease the choice of foodstuffs available in SU shops. Will all students union bars be forced to have a Soda stream?

      • Why be Ordinary

        If and when agreed, TTIP will only do what the EU Member States agree it should. We don’t have to agreeto random dictats from members of the US Congress. The text leaked by Greepeace shows what we have already not agreed to

    • Anon1

      Boycotting Israeli products hits Palestinian producers and workers.

      If you want to boycott an all-Jewish industry then reject treatment by the NHS next time you are ill.

          • jemand

            I remember when the same argument was used against boycotting Iraq which experienced a rise in civilian deaths due to the unavailability of medicine & equipment.

          • lysias

            Madeleine Albright said it was worth it.

            Almost as deplorable a saying as “We came, we saw, he died” (a saying which Seymour Hersh called “bizarre” in his interview on Democracy Now! this morning.

      • Anon1

        Most produce labelled ‘Israeli’ relies on Palestinian labour, or immigrant labour. Those are the low-paid workers you are hitting hardest by boycotting Israeli goods. I suspect chalking one up against the ‘Zionists’ matter more to you though.

        If you are looking for the infamous Israeli barcode number, I would once again remind you that not all produce carrying that number is Israeli, and not all produce produced in Israel carries that number.

      • Peter Hockley

        I worked for forty years in the NHS, it’s workers encompass every race Creed and colour and admixture thereof. It is not in my varied experience just a Jewish run service. You do yourself and your ethnicity no favours by painting it as such. The Israeli State has become indefensible, it drew strength from apartheid South Africa and had implemented it’s lessons well. The Israeli Government has become the people that it professes to hate, a bunch of fascists.

  • nevermind

    Obama has landed in Berlin, as thousands of demonstrators are on the streets in Hanover, he is trying his best to get the Germans, French and Italians behind another push to get TTIP signed before he leaves office.

    There are views that say we are approaching the end of past globalisation freedoms and ease, that the next US president will have it much harder to push for this trade agreement and or others.
    Obama in his re industrialisation policy announced in 2010, has used German industry as a model and the US is Germany’s largest export market now, but the TTIP agreement is very unpopular with only 17% of support, so the US president might fly home with empty pockets, not much to show for his exit.
    This article from Henrik Muller for all those who can read German.

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/henrik-mueller-ueber-schwierige-zukunft-des-freien-welthandels-a-1088913.html

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I have to say that Germany seems to be the main focus of sanity in the EU. If it were the only component, I’d be saying “ffs, stay in.”

        • Ba'al Zevul

          In that context, I mean by actually realising that was not such a good idea and backing off a bit. But we were talking about its attitude to TTIP, as indicated by the opinion poll Nevermind cited. Which will have even greater adverse effects on the man in the street than misplaced humanitarianism.

          • jemand

            The TTIP can be undone. Reversing the ethnic rengineering of Europe is a little more difficult without resorting to genocide.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      “I now feel the same about the Jews because of the way they are treating the palastinians”
      ___________________

      The Jews or the Israelis?

    • D_Majestic

      I see that the self-appointed “Guardian Angels” of this blog are busy welcoming newcomers with open arms again by doing a bit of tag-teaming.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        And who are you?

        Do you really think most of those “newcomers” are really newcomers?

        If we’re Guardian Angels or a tag team then you’re a Cnut.

        And now Kcuf Orff.

  • giyane

    Trowbridge

    Turkish Airlines will definitely not be my choice next time I want to go to Kurdistan. Jackie Sutton would’ve been better off flying Iraqi Airways direct, currently £405.00 return. A friend who has family in Turkey recently tried to excuse Erdogan’s murderous ways by stating that “countries have interests”. Well yes, people have interests and one of them is not being assassinated in an international airport.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

      An anonymous Turkish cop said Sutton’s death was “suspicious”, and I can well imagine Omar, a strong female opponent of jihadists, looking into Sutton’s likely murder, hoping to locate the cop.

      And I would never take any flight in or out of England or Turkey for fear of something most suspicious happening to me, like what happened to Gareth Williams, Sutton, etc., ad nauseam.

    • Anon1

      “Erdogan’s murderous ways”

      Careful. There’s a pan European arrest warrant out for anyone insulting him.

      • Mark Golding

        There was more than ample indication that Erdogan was playing a double game against the Syrian Kurds in support of ISIS. Turkey has appeared before us as a state sponsor of terrorism across the Middle East.

        Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies was cited in a Business Insider article saying:

        The American Foreign Policy with Syria has been feckless while Turkey has been reckless. They have become one of the top sponsors or enablers of ISIS and this should be cause for serious concern.

        Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a cunt and I would say that to his face.

      • jemand

        Kindly enabled by German cooperation, & support from the PC Left who invented the crime of “hate-speech”.

        • lysias

          According to the Lexikon der ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’ in Deutschland: Debatten- und Diskursgeschichte des Nationalsozialismus nach 1945 that I am now in the process of gradually reading through, in Germany the crime of Holocaust denial includes not only denial (Leugnung) of the Holocaust, but also trivialization (Verharmlosung) and relativization (Relativierung).

          I assume the fact that relativization is made a crime means that one is not allowed to compare the Holocaust to anything else, not to other atrocities, not even to other genocides. Seems to me that means one is not allowed to employ historical reasoning with respect to the Holocaust. The death of reason.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            According to the Lexikon, what is the legal definition of the Holocaust?

          • lysias

            Sorry, I don’t have the book with me now. It’s my current bathroom reading in my apartment. Hence the slowness with which I am reading through it.

  • Republicofscotland

    Sounds like Obama’s “back of the queue” threat, is just hot air much of his speeches, are just that.

    “A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official working within the Office of International Trade in the United States has issued a stunning rebuke to U.S. President Barack Obama and his trade official Michael Froman by insisting that the United Kingdom is not too small to have free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.”

    “In recent weeks and months, President Obama and his staff have issued statements urging Britain to stay in the European Union (EU) insisting that they will only form a free trade agreement with a large bloc like the European Union.”

    “But Breitbart London can reveal exclusively an e-mail from the body that implements America’s free trade deals with the world: the Office of International Trade, which states:”

    “This is the first time I’ve heard of the assertion that the UK is too small to have an FTA with the US… clearly the UK is not too small to have an FTA with the US if we have one with Oman.”

    “The official stressed: “Do be advised that FTAs are negotiated by the Executive Branch of the U.S., specifically by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) at the behest of the President.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/22/exclusive-u-s-office-trade-official/

      • Habbabkuk (keep calm, everyone)

        Probably.

        The quaintly-named “Republicofscotland” has form when it comes to lifting stuff from elsewhere and posting it here as his own work, without attribution.

        • glenn_uk

          In fairness, he’s got a bit more honest having been thoroughly rumbled on his plagiarism. One doesn’t like to blow one’s own trumpet, but I must accept some credit for his rehabilitation.

          This particular quote might not be from The Onion, but Breitbart is even less credible than that satirical publication. They are made up of swivel-eyed fanatical liars, the sort of which would make the most spittle-flecked lunatic in the UK an exemplary font of wisdom by comparison.

          Now we’ve got RoS to name his sources, the next step is getting him to actually bother checking them _prior_ to quoting.

  • Republicofscotland

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is after creating safe zones to shelter Syrian refugees in their own country close to Turkish border, an idea strongly supported by Ankara amid UN and rights groups’ concerns.”

    “I have … again demanded that we have zones where the ceasefire is particularly enforced and where a significant level of security can be guaranteed,” Merkel said in the Turkish city of Gaziantep during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the EU officials on Saturday.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/04/24/462220/Germany-EU-Turkey-refugee-Merkel-Davutoglu-Syria/

    I did post a few comment on prior threads, saying the exact same thing.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    So basically, absolutely nothing happened. This simply isn’t true. It has been made up. It is anti-Russian propaganda…but most people will believe it, so they don’t even have to improve their lying.

    ‘Russian forces fired on Israeli jets at least twice’

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/russian-forces-fired-on-israeli-jets-at-least-twice/

    Come on, Russia ain’t going to go to war with Israel. A significant proportion of the people who moved to Palestine, are Russian.

    They actually like each other.

    I reckon the source of this nonsense is some American loonie in Washington DC.

    We don’t believe you.

    Tony

  • bevin

    This review by Charles Glass, originally at The intercept, is worth reading.
    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/36496-andrew-bacevich-and-americas-long-misguided-war-to-control-the-greater-middle-east

    As is this piece in PressTV (the Iranian government subsidised website) which comments on a FT article:
    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/36496-andrew-bacevich-and-americas-long-misguided-war-to-control-the-greater-middle-east

    The word at CommonDreams is that Charles Koch, the billionaire Republican, regards Hillary as a very likely candidate.

  • Ben Monad

    What do you call a hundred ICC lawyers at the bottom of a sinkhole?

    A good start.

  • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

    There is a fair amount of criticism on this blog about Israel calling itself a Jewish (and democratic) state – and of intending to remain such (albeit with a sizeable Muslim and Christian minority).

    I should have thought that wishing to remain a Jewish state (and, of course remaining democratic) was not only understandable but also eminently sensible.

    That’s because it is highly unlikely that the govt of a Jewish state would visit on its people the sort of things which were visited on the Jews in other, non-Jewish states in the past.

    Expulsions of all Jews from entire countries (Middle Ages), various pogroms (Russian Empire) , the Nazi persecution and extermination of the Jews (1930s and 1940s) refer.

    Sensible people, the founders of Israel.

    • Resident Dissident

      It should also be noted that the majority of the population of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi who have come from Moslem Countries – and not a few were forced out by anti-Semitism whipped up by the local regimes – so a little nervousness about the neighbours is understandable to say the least.

      • bevin

        “It should also be noted that the majority of the population of Israeli Jews are Mizrahi who have come from Moslem Countries – and not a few were forced out by anti-Semitism whipped up by the local regimes …”
        I think that you will find, if you look into the matter, that it was the deliberate policy of successive Israeli governments to root up long established Jewish communities from, for example Cairo, and Baghdad by employing terrorist tactics against them so long as they refused to move.
        Amongst the long list of crimes committed by the Jabotinskyites one is the breaking up of ancient, well integrated and vital Jewish communities in the Arab world (where their existence was a living refutation of Zionist claims of Aran anti-semitism). Another is that, when these refugees arrived in Israel they soon learned that the Zionist authorities regarded them, because they were not white Europeans, as inferior. Arabs, in fact, to be despised and discriminated against.

        • Resident Dissident

          I don’t think you can blame all the migration on the Israeli government – the local regimes did more than their bit as well, as you know only too well.

          • bevin

            I know nothing of the kind. You are, as usual, defending crimes committed by regimes which you lack the mental and moral courage to question. Far from being the resident dissident you are the perennial conformist. Tyrannies are full of people like you, tugging their forelocks and jeering at critics of power.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            Oh, do put a sock in it, Bevin – you are really such a plonker.

          • Suhayl Saadi

            You are correct, Resident Dissident. It was a combination of the situation in Palestine, the actions of European Zionists and the amalgam of European anti-Semitism with old-style prejudice in Arab/Muslim lands. Each of these fuelled all the others. Jews were immensely fruitful in Muslims countries/empires and were part of the fabric of society but this doe snot mean that they were never persecuted or discriminated against (though not on anything like the scale of Europe).

            This – Palestine-Israel, discussion of the Jewish Arabs, etc. – does not need to be an all of nothing discourse, yet as I pointed out earlier, so often it becomes one.

            Among others, I’d recommend the book, ‘My Father’s Paradise’, by Ariel Sabar, in which Sabar – American son of an Israeli academic – explores his heritage as a descendent of Jewish Kurds in northern Iraq. he provided a rational and balanced account of the type of dynamic which led to most Jews leaving Iraq in the 1950s, as well the situation which had pertained previously.

            This is not simple.

            None of this precludes condemnation of the state of Israel for its cations towards the Palestinians, or vigorous critique of Zionism as an ideology.

          • Resident Dissident

            Thank you Suhayl for being the voice of reason as always – Bevin was too blind to note that I deliberately didn’t attribute all the blame to one side. As with any longstanding conflict the key to a resolution is understanding that both sides feel aggrieved and have justifications for their grievances.

    • Mark Golding

      Sensible of course, ‘Der Judenstaat’ was a coherent plan which fused various impoverished socialists to immigrate, yet the name belies the ideology, an ironic play on words that would manipulate anti-Semitism to solve a problem. Altneuland envisioned a multipluralistic democracy in this utopian construct. Sadly war would change everything and ‘sensible’ would mutate into fallacious.

    • bevin

      “…I should have thought that wishing to remain a Jewish state (and, of course remaining democratic) was not only understandable but also eminently sensible.

      “That’s because it is highly unlikely that the govt of a Jewish state would visit on its people the sort of things which were visited on the Jews in other, non-Jewish states in the past.”

      You might call it ‘highly unlikely’ but it is precisely what the Jewish state does every day. Take Hebron and east Jerusalem, for example: in both places home demolitions, land theft and the massive immigration of settlers, elbowing out natives, constitute precisely the sort of policy that you find unlikely.
      Look too at the way in which the representative system is manipulated in order to ensure that the Palestinians have only a handful of members in knesset. And that these are subject to harassment quite unknown in democracies, including gag rules and prison sentences for ‘anti-national’ speech.
      Now add thousands upon thousands of prisoners, detained without charge, in camps in which ill treatment is routine and torture regularly employed. …
      Comparisons are odious and there are countries in which such practices are to be found, albeit not in such a flagrant manifestation, but they are countries, such as the Jim Crow South and Nationalist ruled South Africa were, which do not have the incredible neck, or chutzpah, to call themselves democratic.
      As to the formulation “Jewish and Democratic” it is clearly a contradiction in terms.
      So far as claims of ‘democracy are concerned’ since 1967 the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza have been ruled by a government to the formation of which they have no more input than an inhabitant of Madras had in the election of the Victorian House of Commons.
      Are there any of our values which apologists for zionism are not intent upon debasing?

      • BrianFujisan

        Well Said Bevin

        Recall that last years U.N report saying Gaza will be Unlivable by 2020..less than four years with the present Inhumane Blockade

        Residents are already drinking contaminated water..

        And in a Further revolting they have just banned concrete for rebuilding the 19,000 homes, hospitals, and schools – war crimes..but one could hardly call Protective Edge a war.

        • Doug Scorgie

          ate
          April 25, 2016 at 09:01

          “Feeling better now you’ve got that load of hate off your chest ?”

          Habbabkuk the sock-puppet

    • Republicofscotland

      “Sensible people, the founders of Israel.”

      _________________

      Habb.

      Israel as you well know wasn’t founded, it came about due to the bloody usurping of Palestinians and their lands, being frugal with the truth, doesn’t make your above statement anymore valid.

    • Suhayl Saadi

      One completely can understand why Jews would went a safe country of their own, whence they know they will never be expelled/murdered. The problem is that the outcome of 1,000 years of persecution of the Jews largely by Europe, and finally through the Holocaust, again by Europeans, was that not one single European country lost one square inch of territory but that the Palestinians lost their country, their homes, their future. Why did Arabs have to pay for European crimes against humanity? That is the fundamental injustice, it seems to me – that one gross injustice was ‘resolved’ by creating another.

  • John Goss

    I haven’t read every single comment but perceive the same demarcation lines of decent people taking a fair view and a few others supporting the racist apartheid state of Israel. The sterilisation of Jewish women against their will just because they come from Ethiopia strikes me as being quite as supremacist as Hitler’s Germany. The racist apartheid state of Israel must be dismantled. The genocide in 2014 of thousands of Palestinians and the following link amply demonstrate the state of Israel’s ideology in trying to create some form of eugenical master race. Such evil states are not fit for purpose.

    http://www.irinnews.org/news/2013/01/28/furore-israel-over-birth-control-drugs-ethiopian-jews

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      Now it’s “some form of eugenical master race” – you really are quite inventive, aren’t you.

      A variant of the tired old “Israel is as bad as Nazi Germany was” meme which unfortunately disgraces the pages of this blog rather too often.

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      I doubt if you would know an analysis if it slapped you in the face.

      There’s no analysis there, you eejit – just a few assertions designed to show that Israel is as bad as Nazi Germany was.

  • Chris Rogers

    Censorship on The Guardian seems to be reaching new heights, for in Monday’s edition we have the new President of the NUS refuting claims she’s a anti-semite, and yet those actually accusing her of such things because of her faith, they are the actual anti-semites, given the person in question could actually claim to be a semite herself, not all semites being of the Jewish faith.

    Still, evidently our Zionist friends can give no quarter to anyone prepared to denounce Israel or offer support to the Palestinians – even Bernie Sanders is now an anti-semite and self-hating Jew just for speaking out sensibly about Palestine in the NY State Primary debate a few weeks ago, so if Bernie’s an anti-semite, I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and if that makes me, as a left-winger, an anti-semite in the eyes of our Zionist friends so be it. But really, how low can these fuckers get when they accuse decent politicians who so happen to actually be Jewish for being anti-semite?

    • Habbabkuk (combat the haters)

      Welcome back, Chris – where have you been? All OK? Progressing on the immigration issue? Business picking up a little?

      Best wishes, I’ll be rooting for you.

      • Chris Rogers

        Generous of you Habbabkuk, One was forced to move apartment a month ago, so its taken a while to settle in to new pad and deal with teething issues shall we say.

        Concurrently one has also been working on a new venture, so begin work in earnest next month, but will have zero income until year end, so regrettably immigration issue can only be attended too once I’ve enough funds in a UK bank account to ensure UK border Agency cannot deny my wife entry, this may take three years, which ties in well with my daughter beginning her Secondary education in Wales circa Sept. 2019.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I thought she gave a remarkably good account of herself and demonstrated her complete fitness for the job.

  • RouX Renard

    Clemens said. “I think that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are two and the same thing. Zionism is the belief that Jewish people should have a homeland to live in without threat of annihilation or war. This stems from a Jewish belief. So when someone attacks Zionism they’re indirectly attacking Judaism as a religion, because the two go hand in hand.”

    What fatuous nonsense. Why do we have to accept this much repeated lie as a truth. In a sane world NO religion would be given it’s own country! The founding of Israel was always a financial project not a charitable deed.

    Zionism is a political movement, Judaism is a religion. Were those who fought against Nazism anti-Catholic? Were those who fought against Communism anti-Russian Orthodox?

    Some of the most strident anti-Zionists are Jews, mainly because Zionism is directly against the implicit command of Yahweh.
    #LoveJewsHateZionism

  • littleninja

    This insanity is being driven by the media and Tory Party to destroy Jeremy Corbyn. His own Parliamentary members belong to Friends of Israel which seek to conflate any criticism of Israel as anti semitism. What is anti semitism? It’s a hatred of Jews whereas anti Zionism is criticism of Israeli policies. To equate a religion with a settler colonial ideology is misplaced and highly inaccurate.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Anon1 April 24, 2016 at 16:10

    ‘Boycotting Israeli products hits Palestinian producers and workers.

    If you want to boycott an all-Jewish industry then reject treatment by the NHS next time you are ill.’

    An enlightening comment; so THAT’S why the Israeli govt. have outlawed calling for BDS – because it hit’s the Palestinians.

  • Phil

    The Jewish community are the richest and most minority on earth, by far. They are over represented across all power positions in the UK; including finance, politics, the media, business, academia etc. They enjoy double the household wealth of the UK average and 10x that of Muslim households. They’re overrepresented among our millionaires and billionaires to an extraordinary extent, around 20x the proportionate level. There is absolutely no metric detailing riches, power, influence, opportunity and attainment that suggests the slightest scrap of prejudice against the Jewish community exists in the UK in 2016. There is no evidence whatsoever.

    In fact, every measure, every study, very report, suggests, if not proves, the Jewish community are either treated extremely favourably by conditions in the UK in 2016 or possess an innate genetic characterises that, entirely through merit, enables the acquisition of the extreme disproportionate wealth and power they enjoy. Whichever it is, it’s clearly well past time to stop playing the victim card and touting the myth that somehow they’re suffering due to their race. Every true persecuted minority, very true victim of a racist society can point to the statistics, the facts, the reality, to back their claims of suffering. When those who already have more than anyone else, decide it’s to their benefit to continue to act as victims, it truly is shameful.

    How about racial equality? How about Jewish equality? Or, are some races so much equal than others? They certainly in the UK in 2016.

    Anti-semtisim? In the UK in 2016? You got any facts to go with that?

  • DomesticExtremist

    …and no sooner is Mark Regev installed in the London Israeli embassy than the anti-semite witch hunts commence.

    Today it is Naz Shah.

    Woe betide anyone who thinks just a public apology, thne a parliamentray one, followed by suspension of the whip will be noguht to quell the bloodlust.

  • Button

    Looks like they are using the anti-semitism and gender cards to discredit the Swedish Green Party right now too. Those two cards seem to be the most powerful political weapons at the moment, as they confound all common sense and /prey on the emotions of the simpleton. Yet, there is little or no dialogue about those cards, other than on this website. What is so ironic is that it is the racist patriarchal right-wing that is using those cards against those who have fought most to demolish inequality and discrimination.

  • Philgura

    Last year I posted a comment on the Guardian website in relation to Maureen Lipmann resigning from Labour party due to it position on Israel.

    My comments were quiet inane re Labour members feeling uncomfortable with Israel. I did not mention any thing to do with Judea but someone complained and my comment was removed!

    Eggshells or organised response unit?

    • Paul Barbara

      Massive ‘organised response unit’, obviously. They have legions of paid ‘complainers’, writer to newspapers and trolls for adverse comments. As have other governments, including the UK.
      See: ‘Wanted: Brit Facebook and Twitter trolls for counter-jihad psyops’:
      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/04/british_army_psyops_77_brigade_social_media/
      ‘A new British Army unit will embrace web-enabled psyops and cyber-warfare to fight against the message of groups such as ISIS in cyberspace.

      The 77th Brigade is due to launch in April with 1,500 personnel, including regular soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as part-time reservists. Desirable skills for would-be recruits include familiarity with journalism and social media, according to the Guardian.

      The unit will adopt the old brigade number and insignia of the Chindits – the British Army’s 77th Indian Infantry Brigade of World War II fame. They were an airborne British guerrilla force that operated behind enemy lines against the Japanese in Burma during WWII.

      The modern-day 77th Brigade will be tasked with influencing public opinion as well as countering claims by extremist groups such as ISIS. The cyber-Chindits are being established in recognition of the shifting scope of 21st century conflict.

      77th Brigade is being created to draw together a host of existing and developing capabilities essential to meet the challenges of modern conflict and warfare. It recognises that the actions of others in a modern battlefield can be affected in ways that are not necessarily violent.

      The British Army is following a path already trodden by propaganda units of the Israel Defence Force and others, The Guardian adds. Both Iran and North Korea are also known to maintain online propaganda units.

      GCHQ has reportedly developed techniques to boost the prominence of “sock-puppet” commentary in online forum and newspaper website discussions, so the cyber-Chindits will have a body of experience to draw from in its battle to win hearts and minds and counter jihadist propaganda.’

  • Samir S. Halabi

    If Israel is an apartheid state why is it that one of the highest Court Judges an Arab condemn a former Israel Prime-Minister to a prison sentence.

  • Kolin Thumbadoo

    This concocted and orchestrated campaign to falsely equate anti-zionism with anti-semitism, reminds me of the hysteria and desperation of the apartheid forces in Britain (the Blairites and Tories) prior to the vanquishing of the racist,white minority South African regime. AllNo doubt that did was re-energise,fortify and strengthen the anti-apartheid movement to hasten the demise of the “crime against humanity”.I have every expectation that it will do the same for the ever growing international BDS campaign. No doubt the appointment of an apartheid supporting, privileged, zionist, a former South African as embassador of the zionist Isreali regime will greatly assist this process.
    Just as significant is the election of a Blairite pro-zionist in Sadiq Khan as mayor of London which will nakedly expose the racist apologists within the Labor party and ignite the Palestinian question. Sadiq Khan will be seen by all as Gatsha Buthelezi was by the people of South Africa- a collaborating fraud.Roll on Palestinian liberation and the BDS.

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