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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  • Mark Golding

    Seldom I have any interest in conjecture and my respect for Craig Murray goes well beyond brushing speculation onto this latest canvas. In that light I can only reproduce a far reaching telegram, potent in the event horizon from the US Department of State to the Embassy in Israel transmitting the text of a letter from President Kennedy to Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion on arrangements to visit Dimona.

    “Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

    “I welcome your letter of May 12 and am giving it careful study.

    “Meanwhile, I have received from Ambassador Barbour a report of his conversation with you on May 14 regarding the arrangements for visiting the Dimona reactor. I should like to add some personal comments on that subject.

    “I am sure you will agree that there is no more urgent business for the whole world than the control of nuclear weapons. We both recognized this when we talked together two years ago, and I emphasized it again when I met with Mrs. Meir just after Christmas. The dangers in the proliferation of national nuclear weapons systems are so obvious that I am sure I need not repeat them here.

    “It is because of our preoccupation with this problem that my Government has sought to arrange with you for periodic visits to Dimona. When we spoke together in May 1961 you said that we might make whatever use we wished of the information resulting from the first visit of American scientists to Dimona and that you would agree to further visits by neutrals as well. I had assumed from Mrs. Meir’s comment that there would be no problem between us on this.

    “We are concerned with the disturbing effects on world stability which would accompany the development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel. I cannot imagine that the Arabs would refrain from turning to the Soviet Union for assistance if Israel were to develop a nuclear weapons capability–with all the consequences this would hold. But the problem is much larger than its impact on the Middle East. Development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel would almost certainly lead other larger countries, that have so far refrained from such development, to feel that they must follow suit.

    “As I made clear in my press conference of May 8, we have a deep commitment to the security of Israel. In addition this country supports Israel in a wide variety of other ways which are well known to both of us.

    In here exists about 4 lines of text which if reproduced here would at best would amount to seizure, at worst endanger lives…

    “I can well appreciate your concern for developments in the UAR. But I see no present or imminent nuclear threat to Israel from there. I am assured that our intelligence on this question is good and that the Egyptians do not presently have any installation comparable to Dimona, nor any facilities potentially capable of nuclear weapons production. But, of course, if you have information that would support a contrary conclusion, I should like to receive it from you through Ambassador Barbour. We have the capacity to check it.

    “I trust this message will convey the sense of urgency and the perspective in which I view your Government’s early assent to the proposal first put to you by Ambassador Barbour on April 2.

    “Sincerely,

    “John F. Kennedy”

    Those interested in this crucial element of history can visit more earthly conversations from JFK to PM Levi Eshkol who succeeded Ben-Gurion here: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/president-inspections-facility/

    I do hope my friends here come to the good, honest and right conclusions.

    • John Goss

      Thank you Mark. John F. Kennedy’s assassination by his own countrymen is as tragic and unnecessary as that of his brother Bobby (who was trying to bring the truth to light). Since then every US president has toed the Zionist line.

      • Paul Barbara

        Starting immediately with LBJ, who cooked up the plan with Israel to attack and sink the USS Liberty, leave no survivors, blame it on Egypt and then nuke them. The ‘cunning plan’ very nearly succeeded, but for the resilience of the Liberty, and the tremendous courage of the crew, who climbed the rigging to rig up an aerial whilst under strafing fire from Israeli jets, thus enabling the sparks to get an SOS out.

    • Paul Barbara

      Thanks for that, Mark. I knew of JFK’s determination to stop Israel getting nuclear weapons, and have very frequently used that, and his printing of US Government dollars (to cut out the illegal Federal Reserve scam) as being major factors in his assassination; there were a number of others, which I won’t bore anyone with, unless they ask.
      But I did not have good proof, like your reproduced letter.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      MOST distressed to see the deletion of my post pointing out that the “the Rothschilds” (actually, just one Rothschild – Dorothy) have not “funded the Israeli Supreme Court” but merely paid for its new building.

      I thought I’d point that out for the sake of good order, lest someone should be puzzled by the apparent discrepancy between what Charles Edward Frith asserted and what his link actually says.

      After all, we should all support accuracy and the fight against what might be seen as misleading statements, shouldn’t we?

      • Russell

        ‘Merely’ ? It’s no small thing paying for such an expensive and important building. Although the Rothschild family can build what they want I would beg for a little more scrutiny of their wide ranging commercial interests.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          No, it’s not a small thing, but the Rothschild family is rich.

          What do you think of Frith’s phrase “funded the Israeli Supreme Court”?

          Tell us if you feel that could be misleading.

          Off you go – if you dare. 🙂

          • steve brown

            I have to say, I was surprised by your post. I was expecting an ‘indignant denial’ but then you denial amounted to a ‘having your cake and eat it’ kind of move. And saying in effect that it’s no big deal, these are the Rothchilds, and spending loads is just what they do, isn’t going to win you much support. I’m sure you’re not interested in that – us being grubby ‘anti-semites’ by definition – but your point was contradictory. Anyway, I’ve no beef against any religion or peoples being a spiritual atheist so may peace be with you and all of us.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            Steve Brown

            I’m not trying to “win much support” – just correcting the misleading impression (deliberate or not) given by Frith’s little squib.

            As for my “denial” (denial of what?), the “contradiction” (contradicting what?) and my post being a “move” (designed to do what?), well, that’s just garbage from someone obviously not favorably inclined towards Israel and therefore willing to condone misleading comments about events.

            Conclusion : fuck off. 🙂

  • giyane

    Craig does not like theocracy, Rule by God, or hierocracy, Rule by priests. But Islam is a theocratic religion and means submission to the laws of God. Islamism on the other hand is supported by the enemies of Islam in the form of the fostering of extremist doctrine at home and supplying of weaponry abroad to Al Qaida and Daesh.

    The British colonial rule technique was to set local enemies against eachother. In the war on terror the UK has set one side, Islamism , a theocratic nightmare of murder and hate, against another , the vast mass of peaceful, practising Muslims. UK governments have created the hierocracies of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Wahhabism, and now a homegrown UK Asian Muslim hierocracy of jihadist hate.

    Nobody should be deceived by the fact that Cameron appears to attack these hierocracies. Britain created them. Someone recently explained it as the fishing principle , breed and catch. Who was it who recently described the Western support for Muslim extremism as ‘eating one’s own vomit’?

    We are witnessing in front of our eyes, and over a span of my lifetime of 60 years, a divide and rule colonial policy, that uses a small group of homegrown nutter priests against the entire populations of the Muslim world.

    Craig understands that but doesn’t want it discussed on this ‘anti-Semitic ‘ thread. So I will now do what I frequently do to Anon 1’s more Islamophobic rascist comments and substitute the subject of the comment for another ethnic group:

    Craig’s words modified: ” But to conflate Islamo-phobia with opposition to Islamism is to demean the very meaning of Islamophobia. If they really had respect for its victims, they would not seek to do that.”

    Islamophobia is defined by God in the Qur’an as hatred of God, expressed as hatred of Muslims.
    Cameron was trying to imply that because Sadiq Khan shared a platform ( or it could have been ‘worshipped in the same mosque as’ ) with one of his homegrown Islamist priests, therefore Sadiq Khan is an Islamist, and thus one of those being used to fight the world’s Muslims by the neo-cons. I am 100% certain he isn’t.

  • Tim Hadfield

    This deliberate muddling of anti-zionism and anti-semitism is an excellent strategy of the zionists.
    A tool to muzzle any legitimate voice of protest regarding Palestine.

    • fred

      Yes everybody knows that Zionism and Judaism are not the same thing just as everybody knows there are some people who’s mouths say “Zionists” when they are thinking “the Jews”.

      Just like there are people who say “Westminster” when they are thinking “the English”.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        The trouble is, some people perceive it as in their interests to assert that when people’s mouths say “Zionists”, they are really thinking “Jews”.

        • fred

          I’m not one of them, I’ve always argued against Israeli policies on this and other forums.

          But I know some say “Zionist” when they mean “Jew” so it’s no use denying they exist or that they harm the Palestinian cause.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Well, who are they, and how many? I quite agree that we should be vigilant about people who attempt to smuggle in anti-Semitism under a political cover. (I think I have met one or two right here on this thread, actually. Yesterday.) I think it quite quickly becomes apparent, and it’s our job to expose that, rather than leaving it to those of a pro-Israeli persuasion. But I think their existence is seized and publicised way beyond any actual influence they may have, Because it is perceived by pro-Israeli administration advocates as advantageous to tar everyone with the same brush.

          • fred

            I believe I have seen my argument used to ban Holocaust denial on this blog, that people use it as a cover for anti-Semitism.

            I’m against Zionism as I am against all forms of Nationalism, there are others with their own reasons even if some are in denial about it.

          • Suhayl Saadi

            Fred is right.

            Some Anti-Semites do use Anti-Zionism as convenient cover. This is wrt some ‘white Europeans’.

            It is not an issue among many in Muslim communities who, like uber-Zionists, see no difference between Zionists and Jews and who look puzzled when one suggests that there are big differences. You just have to attend any social event and start talking about Israel-Palestine (or indeed anything to do with ‘the Greater Middle East’) to learn this sad and inconvenient fact. There are millions people in Pakistan, for example, who have been led to believe that al their problems are due to Israel and India. This has been the impact of propaganda over many decades. Some Zionists – hasbara – commonly, reflexively, use the accusation of Anti-Semitism as cover for avoiding/silencing any criticism of Israel or of Israel’s policies.

            So this kind of thing is used by various ‘sides’ – Zionists, Anti-Semites, alike – for their own purposes. It’s one other reasons why discussions about Palestine-Israel on social media so often end up as screaming matches.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Perhaps it’s time to ditch Zionism as a useful description of what the Jewish State is about. Maybe we could use a little self-discipline, and when we mean Israel, say Israel. I personally try to do this. In theory, Zionism as a movement derives its authority from the Jewish scriptures, sure, but it would represent the same mindset if it claimed its historical roots in Alice in Wonderland – a mindset shared in full, as I have suggested above, by Daesh as well as Netanyahu.

        Even so, if I do talk about Zionists, I am not automatically talking about Jews. A large number of fundamentalist Christians in the US are Zionists, for slightly different reasons, and ally themselves with the Israeli narrative. If I say Zionist, I do not mean Jew. I include these.

        If I have a comment to make about Jews in general, or a subset thereof whose activities derive directly from their Judaism, I think I should be allowed to make it, subject to the usual legal constraints. exactly as for any othe identifiable group of humans. To suggest otherwise is special pleading.

        • Ben Monad

          Ba’al; I think you’re pecking at PC police. Bravo. I am weary of the proscriptions against speaking one’s mind.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            Ben, I there’s a recurrent typo as regards your handle. Are you using a keyboard where the M is next to the G ?

          • Ben Monad

            For the critically untutored….

            Monad;

            An indivisible, impenetrable unit of substance viewed as the basic constituent element of physical reality in the metaphysics of Leibniz.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          On his blog today Tony Greenstein has published the thoughts of Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum, as communicated to Terry Gallogly of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Tony criticises them forthrightly but to me they make a lot of sense and I think they are worth copying and pasting here.

          “I do think that there is a problem of antisemitism in the party that goes beyond the small number of appalling examples such as that of Gerry Downing who was rightly suspended from the Labour Party in my view and should be permanently expelled. This includes the failure to take charges of antisemitism sufficiently seriously and poor choice of language such as conflating words like “Jew”, “Israeli”, and “Zionist”. I think there is a particular problem with the word “Zionist” which is used by some as if it were a term of abuse. This is guaranteed, understandably in my view, to be regarded as antisemitic by many Jews and should never be used in that way. Many people treat Zionist as if it means “supportive of the policies of the Israeli government in relation to the occupation and to Palestinians”. It is that understanding of the word which leads to the equations Zionism = Imperialism and Zionism = Racism. Both of those equations are as offensive and wrong as is the equation Anti-Zionism = Antisemitism. The reason is that to most British Jews, Zionism simply means “support for the existence of Israel as a Jewish state” alongside a Palestinian state which is of course the policy of the Labour Party, PSC and Fatah and the Palestine administration etc. Most British Jews (unlike Israeli Jews) believe in equality of rights for Palestinians within Israel and in a two-state solution. A number of self described Zionists in Britain and even few in Israel are strong supporters of Palestinian rights and I have personally demonstrated alongside such people against house demolitions in East Jerusalem and against the Wall with Palestinian villagers whose villages and land are divided by it.” (My italics.)

          http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/an-open-letter-to-jon-lansman-of.html

          I think there is a lot of sense to this, and I have never been entirely comfortable with the hostile use of the word “Zionist”, although I have used it, simply because it means such different things to different people.

          I am not sure that anyone would object to you talking about “Jews” in general, in a collective sense. I think it would depend on what you were saying.

          • lysias

            I suppose there were a few people — like Einstein — who called themselves Zionists and supported the idea of a Jewish national home but who opposed establishing an ethnically exclusive state of Israel and the ethnic cleansing that accompanied its establishment, but are there any such Zionists still around today?

          • lysias

            You think there are lots of people today who call themselves Zionists but think it was wrong to establish Israel? Myself, I doubt it. Such people could well call themselves Zionists decades ago, but I think Israel’s behavior has thoroughly discredited the term.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            I think it is worth reposting Lansman’s words again for you to consider.

            “to most British Jews, Zionism simply means “support for the existence of Israel as a Jewish state” alongside a Palestinian state”.

            “Most British Jews (unlike Israeli Jews) believe in equality of rights for Palestinians within Israel and in a two-state solution.”

            “A number of self described Zionists in Britain and even few in Israel are strong supporters of Palestinian rights and I have personally demonstrated alongside such people against house demolitions in East Jerusalem and against the Wall with Palestinian villagers whose villages and land are divided by it.”

            You can argue that Lansman is lying, or mistaken, and you can argue the merits of a two-state versus a one-state solution, but what he is attempting to communicate, as far as I can see, is that most British Jews are amiable sorts who are principally interested in Israel as a place of safety for Jewish people, and would describe that attitude as “Zionist”. On how Israel came to be, and how it now treats the Palestinians and the Occupied Territories, “most” British Jews would share the views of every civilized person who has awareness of these questions at all. That is what Lansman is saying. That has nothing to do with their description of themselves as “Zionist” – it means a different thing to them that it does to people who are hostile to other ideological formulations of “Zionism”. Am I making sense?

          • lysias

            People who support a two-state solution support the continuation of Israel as an ethnically exclusive state in which Palestinians are at best second-class citizens and from which there is an increasing threat that they will be expelled. I was asking whether there are still people who think it was wrong to establish Israel but who nevertheless call themselves Zionists. No doubt such a position is theoretically possible, but I continue to doubt that many people hold it.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            “Most British Jews (unlike Israeli Jews) believe in equality of rights for Palestinians within Israel and in a two-state solution.” (Lansman)

          • lysias

            Equality of rights for Palestinians ain’t gonna happen in a Jewish state of Israel.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            That’s neither here nor there, in the context of the present discussion, if a majority of British Jews who call themselves “Zionists” believe that it should.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Put it this way. If Lansman is right – I am not claiming definitively that he is, but if he is, and a majority of British Jews hold beliefs that are congenial to the rights of the Palestinians and the Occupied Territories, and they nonetheless call themselves Zionists, and believe that the use of “Zionist” as a term of hostility in itself denotes anti-Semitic views, then it is not going to be helpful to jeer at such people as a bunch of Zionists, is it? It would be much more productive to find other terms – for example, anti-Occupation – which would have a better chance of establishing common ground. I think Ba’al Zevul is quite right.

          • lysias

            Just the fact that it’s called a Jewish state implies a lack of equality of rights, ipso facto.

          • lysias

            The resident snitch seems to enjoy scoring and grading people. Some people progress beyond their school days.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Whether that’s true or not, it’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not it is wise to continue to use “Zionist” in a pejorative manner to describe people who are supportive of the rights of Palestinians and the Occupied Territories and who regard the hostile use of the term “Zionist” as in itself anti-Semitic.

          • lysias

            There were plenty of deluded, decent leftists who sympathized with Communism. Doesn’t mean it was wrong to use Communist pejoratively.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            If you were engaging with people who had decent ideas, with whom you had an interest in building common ground, and nonetheless called themselves Communists, of course it was wrong.

          • John MacKinnon

            “Zionism simply means “support for the existence of Israel as a Jewish state” – this assertion would be acceptable if the “Jewish state” was established on some virgin territory, or as an enclave of some country which accepted it’s establishment on it’s own territory. The fact that in reality the “Jewish state” was established by force on an unwilling population in Palestine negates any claim to neutrality in the term “Zionism”. It is mere weaseling to suggest otherwise.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            So what? The question is not what you think, or what I think, but what people who are in general supportive of the rights of Palestinians and the Occupied Territories think – assuming Lansman is correct in his assessment thereof – and whether or not it is helpful to alienate such people.

          • lysias

            Even if it alienates some people, it will undoubtedly also teach some other people that Zionism is not a respectable ideology that decent people can uphold.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Assuming they understand the definition of “Zionism” that you are using. Otherwise it’s more likely to teach them that you hate views that they regard as reasonable.

          • Resident Dissident

            JSD and Jon Lansman – genuinely many thanks for moving the debate, hopefully some of those reading will start to understand that there can be more than 2 positions on Israel and Palestine. I am not sure that those who only think that two mutually exclusive positions are possible understand that the inevitable consequence of that view taking hold is a winner takes all war – with precious little being left for the winner to take – stangely enough they usually claim to be anti-War.

          • Resident Dissident

            NO it isn’t – exploring and understanding what people actually want and dont want rather than trying to reduce them to a label is the better thing to do.

      • 9Republicofscotland

        Fred.

        One could also that they are those who think frigate contracts for the stupid sods at BAE who voted no,. When really the Tories, are thinking of reneging on the whole contract.

        Those silly buggers, at BAE, look set to lose hundreds of skilled workers, some people never learn.

        Meanwhile Jackie “two dinners Baillie has defied her party’s call to oppose the renewal of Trident. A rather strange coincidence is that London Labour’s branch office in Scotland leader, Kezia Dugdale, also opposes the renewal, but she does change her mind as often as the MoD change shipyards, so don’t hold your breath.

        The Labour branch office in Scotland are in such disarray, that their manifesto won’t be released until eight day before the May vote, still they did have plenty to say when the and Better Together, duped those poor sods at BAE, into voting no.

        http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-careful-choice-of-words/#more-84400

    • John MacKinnon

      This “mistake” is actively promoted by the Israeli government as a means of silencing opposition.

  • Anon1

    So Cameron invited a foreign head of state to threaten us that post-Brexit Britain can get to “the back of the queue”, behind even new US trade partners Iran and Cuba!

    As has been pointed out, an American wouldn’t say “back of the queue”. This was cobbled together by Tory HQ. If playing this lame duck failure of a president was supposed to be the Remainiacs’ trump card, they’ve played it too soon.

    • fred

      Obama was just stating the obvious.

      Would management negotiate with the worker who didn’t join the union first and the shop stewards after? No, management negotiates with the union and the man not in the union gets what he is given.

      • Loony

        Maybe or maybe not. Certainly not in 1984/5 when union members were met with riot police and criminal charges. Meanwhile the non union man was afforded coach rides to work, massive police escorts and all the fawning media attention any ego could wish for.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          re “criminal charges” – you might remember that secondary picketing had previously been the subject of legislation which made the sort of events you appear to be alluding to illegal under the criminal law.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I’m sure there’s something in here with a trunk and tusks, but if Cameron cant see it, it must be an illusion. If I look very hard it has letters written on it….er…T,,,,another T….oh, yes, I….and P.

      But it’s hard. If we stay in, we get TTIP, and the opportunity to sell the shirts off our backs to global speculators. If we get out, the Brexit lot are pretty solid Atlanticists, and there won’t be any need for the Yanks to worry about an uncontrolled market opportunity at our expense. Don’t know what Obama’s worried about, really. It’s win-win for US interests.

      • Why be ordinary?

        If we stay in we will only get TTIP if the Euroopean Parliament vote for it, which doesn’t look likely at the moment. If we leave the US might not even make us an offer, but if they do it will be worse

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Indeed, it remains to be seen whether TTIP flies. And even Obama has said that it’s not going to happen soon. Remember when Thatcher said her government ‘had no plans’ to privatise water and then went and did it? Sooner or later, under the aegis of the EU, something similar will get through. It’s in the US interest, and it will return. There will be no democratic accountability for this. If enough New EU states vote for it, German and British opinion won’t figure. A straight UK-US trade deal would at least offer us the opportunity to negotiate entirely on our own behalf…admittedly with intellects like Fox and craven poodles like Gove, this wouldn’t be a good result either.

          • Why be ordinary?

            The new EU Member States don’t even have a blocking minority, let alone the power to force a decision through. The current UK government in any case is very unlikely to oppose whatever is finally agreed. Rob G’s neighbors will be much more of a problem.

            In any case, democracy means accepting decisions on which you have been outvoted

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Then if the referendum vote goes against remaining I trust you wiill be a happy bunny.

            My take is that signing away your existing democratic powers to a higher power reflecting other interests than yours, and capable of outvoting you, is political folly.

            I have so far not seen enough from either side to convince me, although I am surprised that the unconcealed bias of the BBC and Guardian in favour of remaining has not been noted by those here who regard them – perhaps rightly – as Establishment mouthpieces to be deprecated at every opportunity. Or indeed that some advocates of Scottish independence (though not all) would prefer Scottish legislation to be determined in Europe, but regard attachment to England as being shameful slavery. This debate is a mess of contradictions.

    • Why be ordinary?

      Meanwhile, Michael Gove’s SPAD. has been telling t he press that “umpteen” Ambassadors say otherwise. But can’t find one who will say so on the record

    • bevin

      Good point-yours I mean. Obama’s-wherever it came from- is aimed at seven year olds. It is silly and not to be taken seriously. What ought to be is this flagrant interference in the internal affairs of the UK- a reminder that the EU is undemocratic, through and through, because it suits Wall St and Washington that their diktats are implemented without being subjected to popular scrutiny or debate.

    • lysias

      I lived for years in England, but I don’t use and wouldn’t dream of using the word “queue”, except when referring to British usage.

      • lysias

        Oops, I just looked at the article in today’s Washington Post about Obama’s statement, and it quotes him as saying at the “back of the queue”. So that is presumably what he really said. I wonder who wrote the words for him. Besides being bad American usage, it strikes me as an extremely undiplomatic threat.

  • Paul Barbara

    I have been to very many meetings since the ’70’s when Jeremy Corbyn has been speaking, mainly Human Rights meetings. And he has always been extremely passionate in his speeches.
    But one I went to, before he was elected Leader of the Opposition, I worried that he might have a heart attack or something, he was so worked up.
    And the subject? Anti-Semitism and racism. He just will not abide it.
    As for Kahn, I would much sooner have George Galloway as mayor, warts and all. He is not pro-Bankster, but he is pro-Corbyn. The press is virtually ignoring him, but like Bernie his hustings meetings are jam-packed.
    The MSM even ignored George Galloway when his ‘Battle Bus’ was trashed, and some equiptment stolen, by a six-thug gang, very clearly politically motivated.
    If you vote for someone else, at least give him a 2nd choice vote if there is one on the ballot.

    • Anon1

      Unfortunately George managed to rally just one supporter onto his ‘Battle Bus’.

      • Paul Barbara

        If he and his ‘Battle Bus’ are so inconsequential, I wonder why the 6 thugs broke half a dozen of it’s windows, and stole what they could of the sound system?
        And though behind gates, a high wall with barbed wire invisible from the street, they made the caretaker stand aside (there were six of them). Making the caretaker ‘stand aside’ is more to be expected in a bank or jewellery heist; not what one would expect from a theft of equipment from a bus – so the ‘Dirty Tricks’ brigade seems to have been involved.
        Have you been following the adventures of his ‘Battle Bus’? I just ask, as he will assuredly have made many more forays than one, so he had one follower on board once; what about other forays?

        • Republicofscotland

          Paul.

          I’d think George Galloway has a fair idea, as to what going on in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. So much so that as far as I know, he doesn’t now debate with Israeli’s, which is a shame, in my opinion dialogue channels should always be kept open.

          George does come with some baggage, but what politician doesn’t ? I think he’d shake London up a wee bit if he became mayor, unfortunately I doubt he’ll get elected. It will more than likely be Zac Goldsmith.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I wish he’d release his bloody film. According to him, he’s entered it for the Cannes Festival – attaching a ‘ thanks, we got it, we’ll let you know’ letter to his Twitter posting – but the official listing doesn’t contain The Killing$ of Tony Blair, so that seems to be all he got. He is also hinting that its journey to the screen has been hindered by dark forces unspecified. Probably m’learned friends picking it over for libel and finding something to eat there.

            Trouble is, it’s crowdfunded. He can’t very well upload it to Youtube for free, but I really don’t think it’s going to make the multiplexes.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            My guess is that it will contain less than we know already. If the production was complete last year, as he claimed, it will be out of date, too. I’ll be looking out for Peter Oborne’s new book, though. “Not The Chilcot Report” – to be released May 19th:

            http://amandaprowse.org/book/not-chilcot-report-0

            Might be the most informative of the lot.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      I wonder whether that miss-spelling of Khan (“Kahn”) isn’t Freudian – Georgia on my mind and all that (Kahn ..Kahan..Cohen..etc).

  • Node

    I avoid being a hypocrite. I can’t be bothered explaining further because this will probably be deleted.

  • lysias

    Since the following news concerns the British territory of Diego Garcia, I am reporting it here. I am just now reading Seymour Hersh’s new book “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” on my Kindle. Where I am now in the book, about a third of the way through it, Hersh quotes a “retired official” as saying “we” still have secret prisons in Diego Garcia.

    • lysias

      To help people locate that passage — I can’t give a page number because I’m reading on a Kindle — it’s almost at the end of Chapter One.

  • Republicofscotland

    Firstly, I’d like to wish all the good people of England a pleasant and peaceful, St Georges Day . ?

    So president Obama came over to Britain and issued a thinly veiled threat, under the guise of the UK must stay in Europe. This obnoxious man, who is often known as the “teleprompter president” because he can barely say a speech without one, wouldn’t give up one inch of American sovereignty.

    Yet there he was stating that Britain would be at the back of the queue regarding any trade deals with America if we leave Europe. Its not the first time president Obama has intervened in a referendum on these islands. Once before he asked Scotland not to leave the UK, prompted by David Cameron, who hastely shoved a note in his hand between speeches.

    Yet a few months earlier whilst in Ireland, president Obama, congratulated the Irish people for being a successful independent nation, you gotta love the guys ability to recall whose to go and whose remain, notes and teleprompters are great reminders, to the spoon fed politicians.

    I for one am deeply suspicious of TTIP, as the deals are currently into round thirteen, I think, which are thrashed out behind closed doors, why the secrecy you ask? Why indeed, well I’d say the deal is to remove regulatory differences between the US, and Europe, which I feel isn’t really in our interests.

    Which in my opinion will open a path for huge American corporations to flood Europe with goods, and immense corporate pressure to allow American businesses to sue EU governments, if they don’t like the direction that government is taking over big business.

    The Investor State Dispute Settlement, a mechanism that allows big business to sue governments for huge amounts of money, and court cost, is already in use around the world. In my opinion it could under full, steam turn EU nations in to corporatocracies, leaving indigenous government partially neutralised.

    Here is a old but good run down of TTIP, by George Monbiot.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      “Which in my opinion will open a path for huge American corporations to flood Europe with goods…”

      _______________________

      Do you happen to have any (cash) figures for the present trade flows between the EU and the USA (military hardware excepted)? In whose favour does the present trade balance lie?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Actually, it is almost impossible to engage in any kind of discussion about Palestine-Israel anywhere in the world – socially, in person or on the web, in print, in public, in private – without encountering the hysteria of one side of the other. It is a subject which in a most singular manner appears to lend itself to hysteria. And then, if one begins to explore why that might be, one normatively encounters another emotional tsunami, just for asking that question.

    • lysias

      I suspect that was also true of discussions about the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews in the 1930s. Also discussions about the Spanish Civil War.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        On the contrary. There was very little public discussion outside foreign Jewish circles of the Nazi persecution of the Jews inside Germany.

        • John MacKinnon

          That does not make the public discussion of the crimes committed by Israeli society (and I mean society to include government and much of the population), invalid.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            I agree, it doesn’t. Was merely correcting an erroneous “suspicion” from the Great Suspector 🙂

        • bevin

          This is not true. Given the source it would be surprising if it were. But the truth is that there was much criticism of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Britain and western Europe, particularly in socialist and left wing circles.
          One example is provided by the actions of the late, and deeply lamented Hamish Henderson, who as I recollect actually helped smuggle young Jews out of Germany.
          Communists were to the fore in fighting Nazi persecution, as befits a group who were its first targets and who were routinely denounced as being either Jews or the puppets of Jews, HabbKKuk here is lining up with the Bandera fascists, who slaughtered Jews on Hitler’s orders, again: the left fought them. And still does.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            My sister-in-law would not be here today if it were not for Sir Nicholas Winton, who brought her mother out of German-occupied Czechoslovakia.

          • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

            1st para – untrue. Most people had other worries ( notably the Depression).

            2nd para – the greater public was mostly unaware of such activities and it it was aware, then largely indifferent.

            3rd para – Collaboration between the Commies and the Nazis to bring down the Weimar Republic? Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, anyone?

            4th para – very silly, usual Bevin mix of garbage and ad hominems.

      • lysias

        Books have been written about the extensive coverage in the 1930s of Nazi persecution of the Jews in American newsoapers like the New York Times.

        With respect to the Spanish Civil War, I just finished reading Adam Hochschild’s “Spain in Our Hearts”, about Americans’ participation in that war, and it discusses the extent of front-page coverage of that war in American newspapers, again notably the New York Times.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          I look forward to hearing one day of a book you haven’t “just finished reading”.

        • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

          Hmmmm – the New York Tiles, eh?

          I wonder what the readership of the New York Times was in the USA as a whole during the 1930s.

  • lysias

    There’s finally an article on the Nuit debout demonstrations in France in the Washington Post today. First one I remember seeing.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Lysias. Possibly, though one suspects not. There is a mountain of emotional, cultural and religious sub-text which accompanies/predicates any discussion about Palestine-Israel which did not really apply to the Nazi persecution of the Jews (which was so extreme that everyone who knew about it, except Far Right supremacists, would have acknowledged was a very bad thing) or the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, or the USSR post-1956 (or post-purges), or China-USSR post-1960 or Cuba, or Vietnam, or apartheid South Africa… One could have robust but rational discussions about any of these subjects, without the hysteria. That often does not seem possible – perhaps ever, certainly increasingly so in recent years – with regards to Palestine-Israel.

    • lysias

      I would suggest that the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is just as obviously a very bad thing.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        That’s wasn’t the point. Nonethless, you see, that statement itself – with which I agree – is likely to provoke a storm of hysteria on the part of Israel’s supporters.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      This might be because it has gone on so long, progressing over nearly 80 years, without any sign of a resolution. There are other considerations than numbers of dead.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        Partly, yes, of course you’re right, Ba’al Zevul. People are very frustrated. And the USA bears a large part of the responsibility for not applying real pressure to Israel to deal. But it’s also, I think, because ‘The Holy Land’ evokes visceral responses and because over time, due in part to the lack of a resolution, the nutters – supremacist settler Zionists and supremacist Islamists (yes, I know both Zionism and Islamism are supremacist ideologies to begin with and perhaps lead inevitably to increasing levels of extremism) – have got control if the discourse. The solution basically lies in the USA’s and Israel’s hands. But viewing it dispassionately, there is no reason to imagine that anything other than eventual total victory for Israel will occur.

  • GMorrice

    This conflation was plain to see at the Bristol SU Annual Members Meeting. A motion was put forward for the University to review its contracts and cut all custom with companies that are supporting the Israeli state’s continued persecution of the Palestinians. This was part of a motion that included an intellectual boycott on Israeli universities. The motion was brought forward, in part by a Palestinian student who had been horribly physically abused by Israeli forces in her homeland. However, the motion was seen, by the JSoc as an act of anti-semitism and about a quarter to a third of all people who turned out to the Annual Members Meeting were there specifically to oppose the motion (as evidenced by that fat that they all left after the motion was carried). This conflation serves to do nothing to help the peace process and everything to confuse and confound meaningful talk and action.

  • bevin

    John Spencer Davis’s publishing of the Momentum spokesman position on Zionism raises some interesting questions.

    It is certainly true, in my experience, that, particularly among elderly people, there are zionist ideas that are far from being racist.
    This is one reason why, as often as I remember to do so, I refer specifically to Revisionist Zionism, of the Jabotinsky school. This form of Zionism seems to me to be dominant both in the knesset and in organisations which support Israeli policies. It isn’t surprising that this should be so: Netanyahu’s father, who died last year, I believe, was Jabotinsky’s secretary. And, like his mentor, he was a fascist.
    That is a word that has lost its meaning, in much the same way that zionism has, but in the case of Netanyahu, the Likud bloc and most of the settler and right wing parties which now form the Israeli government, it applies to their politics.
    Many Jews understand this. Einstein, famously, wrote a letter to the New York Times on Dec 4th 1948 regarding the fascism of those who later formed Likud
    http://globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/einstein/nyt_orig.html
    So perhaps, instead of talking about Zionists, a term which comprehends a wide swath of opinion ranging from those who simply do not trust (for obvious reasons) western professions of commitment to provide refuge for the victims of political and ethnic persecutions, and want nothing more than to establish that, in case of need, Palestine will serve as a ‘home.’ All the way over to nutcases who assert that Jews constitute not a religious sect, albeit one with numerous non-practising affiliates, but a race. And, further, a race which was expelled from Palestine twenty centuries ago, and now seeks nothing more than the return of its property.
    In a sense that is the bottom line in these transactions. One thing that has long been clear about Palestine is that Palestinians have no objection to engaging in negotiations with a view to working out a means of satisfying all reasonable parties.
    That was the real message of Oslo-that the Palestinians and their supporters were ready to engage in a patient peace process with a view to ending conflicts between the parties.
    But the message that Israel and its supporters got was that the Palestinians could always be tricked, bribed and intimidated. And that the only solution that will suit the Israeli side is the complete removal of all non Jewish inhabitants from “Israel” including any bordering areas which can be seized.
    That is what Zionism has come to mean today: ethnic cleansing, state terrorism, a refusal to recognise Palestinians as equals, the constant use of force to seize land, monopolise water resources and eradicate non Jewish communities, villages and dwelling places. And the establishment of ghettoes for those non-Jews needed for menial tasks and economic exploitation.
    It is not what the great majority of the people who fled there from Europe intended. It wasn’t what Balfour had in mind, and it wasn’t what the UN intended when partition was proposed in 1948.
    Better by far to call it what it really is: not Zionism but Fascism. That ought to make it easier for the Labour party.

    • lysias

      The ethnic cleansing of 1948 about which Ilan Pappe has written was assisted by the Revisionist Zionists, but it was the policy of Ben Gurion and his party. They had a plan, Plan Delet. As Ilan Pappe has demonstrated.

      • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

        Curious to see the same someone who has denied – on this blog – that ethnic cleansing was carried put in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s waxing indignant about “ethnic” cleansing in 1948 Palestine.

        Perhaps there are two sorts of “ethnic cleansing” – that which is and that which isn’t?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      TY, Bevin. I was going to try a harangue on the mutations and variations within the genus Zionism, but you’ve improved on what I had in mind, and saved me some typing too.

    • nevermind

      Thank you Bevin, not much to add to your comprehensive reasoning, you are pointing to the connections between Likud and their past fascists, their collaborative efforts to try and rule Palestine.
      Some of the Haganah who’d asked the Germans for control over Palestine, in 1941, wanted to spread the third Reich’s sceptre there.
      They were also the most eager when it came to leaving British soldiers hanging dead in barbed wire, so we know that the Jabotinski fascism carried on well into today’s mindsets.

    • Hollowaytoad

      It’s not really fascism though is it? They aren’t intending to make the people the arm of the state, they’d rather we all die. What it is, is Corporatism, and we must refer to it as such Iraeli Corprotism. Like American Corprotism. We cannot continue to use the word Zionism – it’s to misunderstood and it encourages racist thought.

  • Aidworker1

    I know War on Want very well and we were all shocked by the Andrew Gilligan article.

    This is from their website

    “The Sunday Telegraph has now retracted its claim and amended its article online. However, it has failed to remove the piece from the Telegraph website or to provide a formal apology for making up the story.

    I hope they sue for every penny as this nonsense can really hurt fundraising.

  • Hollowaytoad

    Craig, maybe we should find a better name for them than Zionism?

    I mean Zionism is a done deal – Israel exists now. And maybe there is a whiff of racism that we don’t always notice. Israel/Palestine need to become a single state with equality and ecumenity at its heart. Is this not what we on the left must strive for? Is not ring fencing people as zionists dangerous, could we not refer to the “Israeli Establishment” instead.

    Zionism is too easily conflates with Judaism in the minds of some, and that won’t do, I ask could we move away from the term?

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      I believe Craig – amoung others – supports the one-state option.

    • bevin

      I would say “yes”, the link being between the languages (Hebrew and Arabic) which I understand are closely related.
      It is also very likely that those we call Palestinian Arabs include most of the descendants of the Christian and Jewish communities which, and this will shock all the Druids and Odinites reading the blog, largely accommodated with their rulers’ religion by converting to it in the seventh century.
      In other words, those Palestinians being treated treated like vermin by the ambulance attendants are more likely to be the direct descendants of Abraham and Aaron than the guys from Brooklyn or Odessa chewing gum while they bleed to death.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        We’ve had this at least four times on the thread already. Anti-Semitism is now used as a synonym for anti-Jewishness. We all know Semitic does not mean Jewish. It’s a waste of time.

        • bevin

          I’m inclined to agree and regret wasting your time by forcing you to post.

          The problem, however, is that, if we agree to that anti-semitism is not just synonymous with anti-Jewish but does not apply to semites generally (for some inexplicable reason) then it may not be long before other bloggers start to insist that “anti-semitic” is now accepted to be synonymous with “anti-zionist” so nobody should waste time arguing otherwise.
          Isn’t that where we came in? Insisting on precision in the use of words?

      • lysias

        It was natural for the Jews of Palestine to convert to Islam. Judaism and Islam are both legalistic religions, sharing similar rules. In fact, for about a century after the Arabic conquest of Palestine, it was not clear that Islam was a distinct religion separate from Judaism and Christianity. Arabic is a language closely related to Aramaic, which by then was the language of most of the indigenous population of Palestine, and it is also closely related to the Jews’ liturgical language of Hebrew. So it was also natural for the Jews of Palestine to switch to speaking Arabic, which made conversion to Islam still more likely.

        • N_

          Most Jews in the Arab world until the 1950s did call themselves Arabs, “Arab Jews”. They spoke Arabic in the local dialect of wherever they lived – Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, wherever. Zionist indoctrination and propaganda have almost drummed this term out of usage. After the 1948 Catastrophe, in which 750,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs were chased out of their homes by a the fascist army of Zionazi thugs in a single week, most Jewish settlers on the land that was thus “cleansed” for their entry were Arabic speakers. Notably, the Zionazis have had much more success with Hebrew than the government of the Irish Free State, which became the Irish Republic, have ever had with Irish.

          • lysias

            Although I am Irish-American who has had some contact with Gaelic in my childhood (my mother was a native speaker of Gaelic from outside Dingle in Kerry, and when she and her aunt who lived with us wanted to say something that we children would not understand, they spoke to each other in Gaelic), I have never succeeded in learning any of the language beyond some basic sentences. I cannot even properly pronounce it. It has some vowel glides that are very difficult for a native English speaker to pronounce or even to distinguish when heard. Gaelic is just a very hard language for an English-speaker. And the inflections and syntax, forget about them.

            On the other hand, I did learn enough Biblical Hebrew several decades ago to be able to read books of the Pentateuch. It’s much less hard than Gaelic.

        • lysias

          I’ve never understood why Jews reject Jews who convert to Islam as apostates. There are inconsistencies between Christianity and Judaism that make it impossible to belong to both religions, at least as rabbinic Judaism defines Judaism: Christians believe Jesus was the Messiah, and they have the doctrine of the Trinity. But, as far as I know, there is no such contradiction between Judaism and Islam. And there just hasn’t been the history of hostility and persecution between Islam and Judaism that there has been between Christianity and Judaism.

          It would be easy to consider Islam just a developed form of Judaism. The Doenme of Turkey, the descendants of the followers of Sabbatai Zvi, consider themselves to be both Jews and Muslims at the same time, and see no contradiction. They secretly practice Jewish rituals, while outwardly they profess Islam, as far as I can see sincerely. But they are totally rejected by Jews, for reasons that are not clear to me, and Muslims also distrust them.

          • Suhayl Saadi

            These religions – and both Islam and Christianity, and to some extent also Judaism are very broad churches – are all very close theologically. Muslims believe that the Prophet Jesus (‘Isa’) was the son of Mary (‘Maryam’, or ‘Miriam’) by immaculate conception, for example, they believe that he did not die on the Cross but was substituted and they believe that he is the Messiah (‘Al Masih’) who will return at the end of time and so on. They also believe like Jews in the One-ness of God and in all the Hebraic prophets from Adam, down.

  • BrianFujisan

    Israeli Racism

    It’s ok for Some to hoist Cards reading ‘ Kill them All ‘

    In an environment that supports and commands the extrajudicial killing of a (Palestinian) human being lying incapacitated on the ground – clearly posing no threat to anyone – it does not come as a big surprise that Elor Azraya has been released ‘to celebrate Pessach with his family’. The charges for the heinous murder of Abed al-Fattah had already been reduced to ‘manslaughter’, despite the telling and obvious video footage. His release without any consequence for the execution of a Palestinian so clearly caught on camera is not just another sign of how cold-blooded, racist and inhumane the apartheid Israeli occupation of Palestine is; but also of how the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ visibly has no regard or rather a total disregard for human rights, the rule of law or even of human life – as long as it is Palestinian life.

    http://palsolidarity.org/2016/04/release-of-a-cold-blooded-killer-illustrates-the-racism-of-israeli-society/

    • Paul Barbara

      I agree with you, but it is well to understand that many Brits supported a British officer doing exactly the same thing in Afghanistan.

  • lysias

    Alice Rothchild explains how she came to reject Zionism:

    So my early Zionism and love of Israel did not come from my name, it came from growing up just post Nazi Holocaust in a family that bought the myth of the “light unto the nations,” kvelled at the early socialist leaning kibbutzim, and the uncritical idea that creating a place (that was essentially empty but for a few backward Bedouins) where Jews could finally be safe was a really good idea. Add seven years of Hebrew school, a Bat Mitzvah steeped in love of Israel, and a magical family trip when I was 14 and the deal was emotionally sealed.

    But it gradually became clear to me that because I value the commitment in Judaism to justice and fighting for the oppressed, and because I was involved in other struggles against US military intervention and for women’s rights and health care reform, I began to question the pernicious roles of colonialism, imperialism, militarism, and racism. I began to understand that this “homeland” was far from empty, to see and grapple with the ongoing Palestinian Nakba; ultimately I could no longer support the policies of the State of Israel. Thus it is my responsibility to speak out against a state that claims to speak in my name, (however it is spelled), and because I am a citizen of the country that funds and politically supports much of that oppression.

    So, even though I have an archetypal “Jewish name,” I do not have an archetypal Zionist Jewish brain. I make a major distinction between Judaism the religion and Zionism the political national movement and Israel the country. I now understand that the Zionism of Herzl and Ben Gurion and Jabotinsky and everyone who followed in their boots, is the fundamental problem; that there can be no justice and no safety when Jews are privileged and empowered over indigenous Palestinians who are equally deserving human beings. The victims have become the victimizers. I also do not act alone; I am part of a growing international community that is engaged in speaking out, supporting each other, and taking our cues from Palestinian civil society activists and the Israeli Jews who support them.

      • lysias

        She’s a doctor (and a retired member of the faculty of Harvard Medical School). So it’s natural that she should have been particularly shocked by the murder of that Palestinian lying on the ground by an Israeli medic. The Execution March 25, 2016.

    • lysias

      In another piece, Alice Rothchild comments on the claim that Israel is a democracy:

      I also find it painfully delusional for Israelis to believe “We are still a democracy.” By definition a democracy is a state of equal citizens, or more honestly, a state that strives for universal equality of its citizens, as democracy is actually a constant work in progress. But in Israel, Jewish privilege is institutionalized in the legal system, housing, opportunity, universities, hospitals. How do you think it feels to sing Hatikvah when your family was expelled from Jaffa and your history, grief, and yearning is invisible in the educational system and cultural mythos? A democracy maybe for white Ashkenazi Jews and maybe some Jews of color. Maybe.

      • lysias

        Not to my knowledge. I suspect she pays a lot more attention to the prophets than to the more bloodcurdling passages of the historical books of the Old Testament.

        I suspect I, as a Catholic, do the same. I prefer to ignore the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), which seems to me to be a bloodcurdling revenge fantasy. I think Marcion and Luther were right to reject the book.

  • Dave

    Traditionally the term anti-Semitism has been deployed to mean anti-Jewish, but in the modern age the term can equally be applied to mean anti-Arab. I appreciate that some don’t think killing Semites is anti-Semitic, but it becomes a form of racism if the term is used by non-Semites to condemn critics of attacks on Semites!

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I do not think Arabs themselves or anyone else commonly refers to them as “Semites”.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I don’t think this is an argument I particularly want to get into. Anti-Semitism has a commonly accepted meaning. If you want to shift that meaning, you are welcome to get going on it, but I wish you joy.

  • N_

    As Israel Shahak observers, Jewish racism is a far bigger problem in the world today than “anti-Semitism”.

    Any discourse about “anti-Semitism” that doesn’t also address Jewish racism is for the bin. Whenever a Zionist talks about “anti-Semitism”, stick your fingers in your ears. Zionists did practically eff-all against the actual real mass murder of those whom the Nazis categorised as Jewish when it was really going on and hadn’t been mythologised by cynical profiteering scum. Ben Gurion for example was fine with millions of Jews being murdered, so long as he could have a supply of fit strong young ones for his shitty Zionazi state in Palestine.

    By the way, there are 20 million refugees in the world, and 10 million of them are Arabs.

  • RobG

    Oh stop fecking around.

    Israel is a pariah state. Fullstop.

    There are a large number of UN resolutions against Israel, most of which are totally ignored by the western media.

    And by the way, UK readers of this blog are totally complicit in the mass murder that’s taking place in Yemen at the moment.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      But, as I have pointed out frequently, none accusing Israel of “genocide”.

  • Tony M

    I would think Stalin learned a lot on the job, and in time became quite a wise man, and could no longer be played, flattered or bought, at which point he became too dangerous for his internal opponents.

    In making sense of this, there’s a feeling similar to that of having being given the jumbled pieces of two separate jigsaws and a box with a picture on the front of the finished article, belonging to a third. It takes some time, however little, to recognise this state of affairs.

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