Banned Books 153

At Saturday’s great march in support of Palestine in London, police arrested members of the Communist Party of Great Britain Marxist-Leninist (CPGBML) for having a pamphlet on sale on their stall.

The “illegal” pamphlet is entitled Zionism: A Racist, Anti-Semitic and Reactionary Tool of Imperialism.

Just what is illegal about it, I do not know. The authorship is ascribed to the CPGBML. I have looked through it and it is scrupulous in distinguishing between zionism and judaism. Criticism of Israel and of the zionist movement is not anti-semitic.

I suspect what may have upset the authorities are the passages on collaboration between some leaders of the zionist movement and the Nazis.

This is a difficult subject. My own view, which I have discussed both in several articles on this blog and in person with many friends who take a different view, (including Tony Greenstein who has written an entire book on the subject), is that it serves no useful purpose to keep bringing this up. Aberrations of history at a time of great world convulsion, including the events leading up to the Holocaust and that genocide itself, throw up many horrors it is often not helpful to try to tie in to contemporary events.

I see this in Scotland. It appears true that unfortunately a few Scottish nationalists momentarily considered Nazi Germany a possible ally against a common enemy in London. But efforts are made constantly on social media to use that as a meme to portray modern Scottish nationalists as Nazis, which is utter nonsense. Furthermore bringing the Nazis into political debate, especially in anything relating to the Holocaust, immediately causes all kinds of nutters to come out of the woodwork.

Truth is important and true history should always be acknowledged and faced. But I believe my fellow supporters of Palestine do not help today’s debate or the Palestinian cause by dredging up 90-year-old marginal stories.

This particular truth certainly has a place in the history books, but most of the attempts to insert it into current debate are not, in my view, justified.

That, however, is a very different view to saying that books addressing the subject should be banned and people arrested for possessing them. This is a simply appalling attack on freedom of speech. I condemn it unreservedly.

It is also not in the least plain to me where the offence lies.

Is it an offence simply to possess this pamphlet? Does the offence lie rather in displaying it, or in offering to sell it? Is it only an offence to try to sell it at a demonstration? Would it be an offence to sell it in a bookshop? Would it be an offence if it were in a university library for the study of Marxist-Leninist thought?

The pamphlet was published in 2015. Was that an offence at the time? Did anybody who displayed or sold a copy of the pamphlet over the last eight years commit an offence? Is everybody today in possession of a copy committing an offence, including me who has one for the purposes of journalism?

And what offence is it precisely?

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has put out a very strong statement on the use of the current attacks on Gaza to damage freedom of expression worldwide:

GENEVA (23 November 2023) – UN experts* today expressed alarm at the worldwide wave of attacks, reprisals, criminalisation and sanctions against those who publicly express solidarity with the victims of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

“Calls for an end to the violence and attacks in Gaza, or for a humanitarian ceasefire, or criticism of Israeli government’s policies and actions, have in too many contexts been misleadingly equated with support for terrorism or antisemitism. This stifles free expression, including artistic expression, and creates an atmosphere of fear to participate in public life,” the experts said…

“People have the right to express solidarity with victims of grave human rights violations and demand justice, whether from one side or the other or both,” the experts said.

They noted with deep concern that several artists around the world have been targeted because of their art or political messaging, pressured to change topics of artistic expression, and labelled either as troublemakers or as indifferent to the suffering of one side or the other. “Some artists have been deprogrammed and censored for calling for peace, others have lost their jobs, and some artists have been silenced or side-lined by their own cultural organisations and artistic communities,” they said.

Journalists and media outlets in Israel and Western countries reporting critically about Israeli policies and operations in the occupied territories or expressing pro-Palestinian views have been the target of threats, intimidation, discrimination and retaliation, which have increased the risk of self-censorship, undermining the diversity and plurality of news that is essential for press freedom and the right of the public to be informed. At least one media outlet in Israel has been threatened reportedly with closure for perceived “bias” towards Palestine. They also criticised the disproportionate and wrongful removal of pro-Palestinian content by social media platforms.

The experts raised concerns about suspensions and expulsions of students from universities, dismissal of academics, calls for their deportation, threats to dissolve student unions and associations, and restrictions on campus meetings to express solidarity with the suffering civilians in Gaza and denounce the ongoing Israeli military response. Students have also been blacklisted in some universities as supporters of terrorism, with accompanying threats to their prospects for future employment…

The experts noted a highly disturbing trend to criminalise and label pro-Palestinian protests as “hate protests” and to pre-emptively ban them, often citing risks to national security, including risks related to incitement to hatred, without providing evidence-based justification. “Such actions not only violate the right to protest guaranteed by Article 21 of the ICCPR, but are also detrimental to democracy and any peace-building efforts,” they said.

The experts recalled that any restriction on human rights must meet the conditions of legality, necessity and proportionality. “Furthermore, advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to violence, hostility or discrimination is prohibited under international law,” they said, calling on individuals in official positions in particular to desist from hate speech and inflammatory statements…

Alexandra Xanthaki, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education; Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of freedom of opinion and expression.

The attack on freedom of speech and association is across the western world. Little incidents like this arrest of CPGBML activists, or my own investigation for “terrorism”, are all signs of a real slide towards fascism. Fascism is being enabled by zionism.

As you know, I am not myself a communist. But society is losing touch with the idea that freedom of speech is not freedom for those who agree either with the government, or with you.

The activists have been released on police bail.

On the surface of it, the first bail condition is ludicrous to impose on avowed Marxists, but this appears to be another manifestation of the desire to criminalise any attempt to refer to Nazi genocide in association with the Gaza genocide. The restriction on distributing leaflets at protests is straight from the handbook of a totalitarian state.

Which is a much scarier handbook than a political pamphlet.


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153 thoughts on “Banned Books

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  • SleepingDog

    Are such restrictions on civic expression disproportionately severe in colonised territories, for example in the islands subjugated by the British, French and USAmerican Empires? I watched the latest edition of The Listening Post where I think Francesca Albanese, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, said that pro-Palestinian protests were being heavily suppressed in the South Pacific. What powers are the British using in their territories?

  • Franc

    Maybe nothing at all, but I recently went into a big name Book Sellers, to put in an order for a book that Craig had recently recommended, “Weaponising Anti-Semitism” by Asa Winstanley. I was told that there were none in stock!

    • Yankee Jack

      Better, I suppose, than being told that they don’t stock the title to begin with. Or, even moreso, I think, than being told that you would be written up for inquiring about it

  • Aden

    Problem is that Marxists have slaughtered millions. So why are they tolerated?
    If you went out and set up a stall promoting National Socialism as a cure for societal ills, that would be shut down because of National Socialism and the millions they slaughtered.

    • zoot

      Nazis were ferociously opposed to Marxists and leftwingers of every other stripe, as were zionists who aided the Nazis in removing them.

      I know this is a silly question but have you ever reflected upon how many millions of people liberals have slaughtered, from the Great Plains to the jungles of SE Asia?

      • Tom Welsh

        Well, actually Belgians, SleepingDog. King Leopold, to the best of my knowledge, did not personally kill one single African. All the killing was done for him by his servants who presumably were Belgians. Even if they were just following orders.

        • SleepingDog

          @Tom Welsh, a lot of the actual killing and atrocities was done by indigenous police/militia. The British used this method extensively, of course, see Al Murray’s Australia episode in Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? for an accessible treatment. King Leopold II is however personally responsible, which is reflected in the fact that the Belgian state took the Congo colony away from his control (without making their colonialism nice). The system was European theocratic patriarchal hereditary monarchy, an exceptionally dangerous, violent and cruel form of government, especially when applied to racist capitalist colonialism.

          As Wikipedia puts it:

          From 1885 to 1908, many atrocities were committed in the Congo Free State (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) under the absolute rule of King Leopold II of Belgium.

          And that’s far from the only thing horribly wrong with his reign.

          Something to remember when people talk of ‘plucky little Belgium’ at the start of World War 1.

    • James Hutchinson

      @Aden A bit heavy to tar all Marxists with the same brush as Stalinists, Maoists and their ilk. There are plenty of Marxists who advocate the self-emancipation of the working class, introducing more, not less democracy,so that climate change, inequalities of wealth an imperialist wars can be dispensed with forever, as opposed to the murderous bureaucracies you condemn.

    • Tom Welsh

      Aden, the US, British, French, German, Belgian, Japanese and many other governments have “slaughtered millions”. So presumably you believe that they should not be “tolerated” (whatever you mean by that).

      There is so much foolish exaggeration, obfuscation, and wild arm-waving that terms such as “Marxist” or “Fascist” do not carry any precise meaning – a fact pointed out by George Orwell 70 years ago.

      Moreover, it is ridiculous to suggest that because a person X calling himself a Marxist kills people, a completely different person Y calling herself a Marxist should be treated as a killer.

  • zoot

    Israelis deploy the ‘Nazi’ smear as a matter of course not just against Palestinians but against anybody, anywhere who might oppose or even question them. that’s why it should not be covered up and suppressed what the zionist movement did to the Jewish people of Europe during the 2nd world war, despite their and their allies’ efforts to erase it from history and make it taboo.

    few people realise that the famous capture, trial and execution of Eichmann in 1962 was a means for the Israeli government to bury this history.

    it is a very far from marginal story. in 1978 the son of famous British General Glubb Pasha wrote a concise and powerful book, a review of which is here:

    it offers crucial historical context which shows zionism was a fascist ideology right from the start, long before its genocidal racism of the current moment.

  • Stevie Boy

    “Aberrations of history … often not helpful to try to tie in to contemporary events.”
    Why are these ‘facts’ aberrations ?
    aberration: a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one.
    At the time the major Western powers were supporting Germany’s and the Nazis’ build-up. So maybe for the zionists and the Grand Mufti to be talking with the Nazis wasn’t an aberration, just how things were at that time as various groups and governments manoeuvred themselves to be in the most favourable political position.
    I totally agree, bringing these facts up is not helpful. However, on the other hand, the zionists are happy to play the same cards. How does one counteract this: attack, counter-argument or silent acquiescence ?

    • Tom Welsh

      Exactly my reaction, Stevie Boy. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” seems to apply here. Mr Murray suggests that mention of undisputed historical facts may not be “helpful” – but why not? Only because some poorly-educated muddled thinkers allow themselves to have kneejerk emotional reactions to words and phrases.

      It’s a century now since Count Alfred Korzybski explained his theory of General Semantics, and it has never been more badly needed. “The map is not the territory. The word is not the thing described”.

      We used to joke, when I was at school, about the small boy who said, “Pigs are called pigs because they are such dirty creatures”. If only more of the people who presume to take part in politics nowadays had the intelligence to see the flaw in such identifications.

  • Ian Smith

    Not so sure about Scots nationalists Nazi collaboration being a momentary aberration.

    You could hardly stop them running to Brussels over the last few years to make Brexit more painful, without an obvious link to simultaneously securing independence. More supping with whomever would deal Westminster pain, ahead of any gain for Scotland, more interested in enjoying the power games..

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      Oh dear, such tragic hyperbole.
      To try and equate a six-week stint in the clink by Arthur Donaldson for his Walter Mitty rambling to a British informant to genuine alignment between the Scottish national movement and Nazism.
      Let’s see what British Unionists were up to in the same period.
      * Archibald Maule Ramsay, Scottish Unionist MP (Peebles & Southern Midlothian ). Interned as Nazi sympathiser for 52 months (longer than Oswald Mosley).
      * Walter Douglas Scott, Scottish Unionist MP (Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire), 8th Duke Buccleuch. Campaigned against immigration of Honduran forestry workers to assist war effort due to concern of “race mixing”.
      * William Forbes-Semphill, member House of Lords, 19th Lord Semphill. Spied for Japanese during WWII.
      * Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, Scottish Unionist MP (East Renfrewshire),14th Duke Hamilton. Deputy Führer Rudolph Hess claimed association.
      * Sir Thomas Hunter, Scottish Unionist MP (Perth). Campaigned against admission of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.
      * Sir Thomas Moore, Scottish Unionist MP (Ayr Burghs), 1st Baronet. Greatly admired Hitler.
      * William Douglas-Home, 3rd son 13th Earl Home. Conscripted but jailed for refusing to engage Wehrmacht in battle (wasn’t a pacifist).

      Then to dive into that old British/English trope, “the Brussel’s Jackboot”.
      For your information, many folk supportive of Scottish independence have radically altered their stance towards the EU since Ursula von der Leyen declared herself Empress of Europe.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well said Vivian, I add to the above.

        Walter Hallstein, Head of EU Commission

        Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of the United Nations

        Adolf Heusinger, Nato’s Chief of Staff

        Wernher von Braun, Head of NASA.

  • Dr Iain

    Bail Condition 3 is very interesting:

    “Not to deviate from any PROSCRIBED procession route”.

    The fact that the Met Police appear not to understand the difference in meaning between the words “prescribed’ and “proscribed” could result in, at least, some unfortunate misunderstandings!

    But then, having thick plods enforcing your incipient fascist state may not be seen as disadvantageous from the the incipient fascists’ point of view!

    • Goose

      Very surprising no one picked up on that.

      Taken literally it would mean you can only stick to banned procession routes i.e. the opposite message to that intended. It’s errors in wording like that, that can undermine a case too.

      • Dr Iain

        Indeed, I was in two minds as to whether to highlight this. Seems to me an open invitation – in fact an instruction – to wander off piste, and hence a watertight defence against any consequences for doing so!

        The police forces of authoritarian and fascist states tend always to be drawn from the most lumpen, idiotic and unscrupulous elements in the societies from which they spring.

        We seem to be well on track for that given this, and all the other characterises of the Met police that have recently come to light.

        • Yankee Jack

          Idk, I vaguely seem to recall that police bail conditions are of dubious enforceability in the first place, however, I would be cautious to rely on a wilful misinterpretation of a document if it was otherwise binding on me, that was based on what I clearly knew and could anyway apply common sense to know was a misspelling.

    • David G

      Yeah, I caught that too. Maybe it’s a clever ruse to get them locked up again: processing on a proscribed route must be illegal per se, but deviating from it is now a bail condition violation.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    This is a pattern. In Germany Alternative für Deutschland and the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei have been placed on a “terror watchlist“ by the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz.
    While I don’t share any ideological views with either, the former operates within the Parliamentary system and the latter seeks to effect change via the Trade Union movement.

    In the UK, the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021 authorises criminal conduct on the part of agents of the State.
    “ (5) A criminal conduct authorisation is necessary on grounds falling within this subsection if it is necessary—
      (a) in the interests of national security;
      (b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or
      (c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.”

    • Tom Welsh

      “Terror” nowadays means “embarrassing to the government or its members”. As in the case of Mr Murray himself. One can almost see them working themselves up into purple-faced fury, frothing at the mouth, throwing themselves on the floor and chewing the carpet…

      “How dare this… this… this common person, this, this CITIZEN, this PROLE, say such things about mighty, glorious, wonderful ME!”

      • harry law

        Tom, I think Craig should insist on the proper title for an ex Ambassador ‘His Excellency’ That would really piss them off.

        • Aguirre


          It is certainly the custom in many countries to allow former holders of certain offices to continue to use their former titles and to be addressed by those titles.

          Thus French and US Presidents continue to be addressed as “Monsieur le Président” and “Mr President” until the day they croak.

          Former university professors in Germanic and Slav countries continue to be addressed as “Professor”.

          And so on……

          Happily though, this silly, vulgar, self-important and above all puzzling practice is not admitted in the UK (and probably not in any former white colony). There, a former Prime Minister is just a plain “Mr” (unless he’s called Cameron, in which case he a “Milord”, as is a former university professor.

          Styling a serving ambassador as “Your Excellency” is already a risky undertaking, to call a former ambassador “Your Excellency” would be positively indecent.

          • harry law

            Thanks Aguirre, only a bit of fun, I remember George Galloway a couple of years ago referring to Craig as ‘His Excellency’, because George is a friend of Craig, he must only have been joshing him in a friendly way.

          • Aguirre

            Thank you, Harry and Tom. I suspect Craig would be the last person to want to be addressed still as Your Excellency or even Mr Ambassador 🙂

        • Tom Welsh

          Especially as in his case it is appropriate. There are not that many humans who can be called “excellent”, but he is among them.

  • James Hutchinson

    I recently received £100 prize money from the Guardian for a crossword competition so I thought I would divide the money between the PSC, MAP, the Socialist Worker Palestinian fund and your Blog. This is a small effort to counteract the Zionist bias in this publication.
    Keep up with the revelations on your blog, Craig.

  • harry law

    It is difficult to know what charge the police have in mind, because they have been released on police bail, they may have to wait many months before the CPS decide to advise a charge or not.
    Here is a little speculation, if it is to do with Jewish groups or individuals collaborating with the Nazis then this is a well documented fact, the most famous Historian on record is Lenni Brenner with his 51 Documents book on collaboration with the Nazis.
    Alternatively they could be charged with a public order offence, the least of which is section 5: causing harm or distress with words or displays in writing or other visible representation which is threatening. Intent is not required for a section five offence but the defendant has to convince the judge or jury that what was said or displayed was reasonable.
    If it is a public order charge, Keir Starmer should be in the frame. When Nick Ferrari asked Starmer whether he agreed with the israeli Defence Minister that “A seige is appropriate, cutting off power, cutting off water?” To which Starmer replied “I think Israel does have that right”. Does Starmer’s statement cause alarm or distress to millions of people. Of course it did. Because the Palestinians are defined as a National/Ethic group his comments do have a racially aggravated dimension to them.

    • Yankee Jack

      Yeah, this is a very good point: I haven’t gone back and read the statutory provisions properly for a long while, but the reasonable defence certainly strikes me as applicable here: sadly, it isn’t necessarily the police’s jobs to know all of the provided defences to an offence as they are arguably more meant to be available to the defendant later on in court, but who could dispute that distributing thoughtful and sophisticated political literature about the history of Israel at a demonstration against the very same state of Israel is reasonable? It’s not like they were passing it out in front of a synagogue, or a directly Zionist organisation or something, although I think that even in such a setting the argument that distributing high brow analytical literature which amply substantiate the symbologies on the cover is in itself fundamentally a reasonable thing to do, as in the spirit, if not the letter, of s29J, pt. 3A POA1986.

    • Yankee Jack

      You know, I really hope that someone files a report to the MPS about Sir Keir’s comment. Public Order Offences (such as racially aggravated s5 POA 1986 offences like Mr. Starmer’s) can totally be reported on And the police would absolutely be obligated to consider and look into it.

      Granted, the front line officer may cynically roll their eyes, as much as an unconscious judgment that such a petty complaint against such a high profile politician is necessarily cheeky, (disingenuous, “looking for attention,” and thus undeserving to be rewarded with a response) as out of annoyance that their duty to properly investigate the complaint would put them in an upstream position that could make political headaches for them personally. But a duty to impartially look into it they’d certainly have, and the complainant would certainly have a recourse to the MPS’s formal complaint process whereby the officer deciding to close the case would have to explain themselves and lay out their reasoning.

      It would be especially helpful to have handy precise dates, times, locations, media reports, and links to video recordings of the comments to whatever degree possible in the submission of the report, and to be available (preferably in London to attend a station, but alternatively by phone) in the ensuing days so as to give a statement.

      I know that a s5 Public Order Offence is summary only, which would mean that it would need to be acted on within 6 months of the day of the offence, ideally with as much extra margin as possible to leave room for the back and forth and complaints procedures, etc., ironically enough especially as they are under especially heavy strain from the regular Free Palestine protests. However, that said, I’ll need to double check but I have a feeling that a racially aggravated form of that offence may very well be triable either way, in which case there would be no time bar on it whatsoever. (Oh, dang: nvm, racially aggravated section 5 is still summary-only.)

      To be honest, I would not be at all surprised if justices were to prevail in this. The Met have always been keen to demonstrate that at least ostensibly, “no one is above the law” and they are in fact so very unswervingly impartial, whether this is in investigating decade old politically motivated complaints against Russell Brand or in at least performatively “looking into” the allegations against Mr. Johnson about his lockdown parties. I have to be honest that I find that particular type of national political scandal investigation spectacle rather tiresome and boring and so tuned it out way too much in order to be able to have any worthwhile view or impression of it. But, this would seem to be a very straightforward case where he was on a public brazen record saying disgusting things, and the law is the law.

      Furthermore, they have actually been quite careful in all of their statements and high profile dialogues and other messaging to equally frequently mention the respective needs to combat both anti semitism AND Islamophobia, and my impression is that this equal opportunity policing has fangs in that they do, to some extent, really mean it, or at least are somewhat keen for opportunities to be able to prove that they do.

      I would so love to do it myself, I just have (quite particular) personal circumstances that could see doing this cause me a bit of trouble in the future. But there you have it.

  • harry law

    As to the supporting terrorism charge: two individuals are due in the Old Bailey on 8th Dec 2023; both have pled not guilty. How is it possible for a Jury to convict, even when directed to by a Judge, when a whole people are being Genocided, and – as many Israeli Government officials state – with deliberate intent. It is a duty to resist. Here is United Nations resolution 3246 November 29th [1974]: “Affirms the legitimacy of armed resistance by oppressed peoples in pursuit of the right to self determination, and condemns governments which do not support that right.” Will the Jury condemn themselves if all 12 vote to convict; or, in another place at another time, they would convict the French resistance against the Nazis?

  • DiggerUK

    Debates about censorship are recorded throughout recorded history. It’s always a tool for tyrants who use it as a means of subjugation.
    Protections that allow freedom to speak and write as you feel is, surprisingly, one thing the Americans do well…_

      • Goose

        That’s more an issue relating to campaign finance and the role big money plays in US politics. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have been targeted by such groups before, and they won through. So these expensive campaigns against them may actually strangely help them, as it motivates their supporters to turn out.

        The US constitution’s First Amendment has served the people well. And even the burden of proof threshold for proving defamation, is far higher in the US than in the UK, with additional criteria having to be satisfied. Remember Elon Musk winning that case over his ‘pedo guy’ tweet about a UK caver complainant.

        • Aguirre

          I agree with you. There are some things the Americans DO do better, and freedom of speech is one of them. A 1st amendment is badly needed in the UK.

          I also agree with your remark about Mrs Tlaib being censured. So what if she was “censured” – who gives a flying fuck? Same as someone being criticised by a committee of the HoC – water off a duck’s back and no practical consequences such as arrest and possible prosecution depending on whoever leans on the DPP hardest.

  • Brianfujisan

    Even though some of us might think we won’t be shocked by anything the Criminal State do anymore.. This is indeed Shocking.. And worrying.

    One of those arrested was a Consultant Surgeon – Dr. Ranjeet Brar – here he tells George Galloway what happened.. Earlier in the show GG tells us of Two Arabic women who were also arrested for having a sign with Arabic writing on it.

    Dr. Ranjeet Brar on ‘ The Mother of All Talk Shows –

    • will moon

      This is an excellent interview. Dr Brar’s words moved me deeply.

      It was a good show last night with quality interviews, and Mrs Galloway gave us a feisty media update at the end!

      I am going to watch the Dr Brar interview a few more times – it was that good.

  • Stevie Boy

    Condition No: 1 Not to possess in public any items with a swastika.
    Another interesting one which could raise issues if it ever went to court.
    “the swastika remains a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain countries such as Nepal, India, Thailand, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, China and Japan, and by some peoples, such as the Navajo people of the Southwest United States. It is also commonly used in Hindu marriage ceremonies and Dipavali celebrations.”
    The japanese Kanji symbol (pictogram) is a swastika, meaning ‘manji’, eg: good luck, abundance.
    So, if you possesed a swastika in public (good luck charm), but weren’t promoting Nazis, how would that work out?
    A nazi aberration impacting ten thousand years of history.

    • Tatyana

      Any symbol can put people in a special mood if placed in a certain context.
      So a swastika surrounded by military items, or painted next to the word Zionism, is unlikely to lead thoughts towards Buddhism or Native Americans, is it?
      Just as if I were to wear a white cap with a red cross to my underwear with stockings and heels, then it would be extremely difficult for me to convince you that my outfit speaks of my passion for cross-stitching embroidery.

      • Stevie Boy

        Tatyana. Yes context is important. However, the police bail form is context free. My point is could a court prosecute someone just for possession of a swastika in public?
        BTW, I’m sure you could convince me of your passion for cross stitching 🙂

        • Tatyana

          oh! Mods, please notice that I have composed several wittty answers for Stevie Boy, and I posted none. Please add the “restraint” achievement to my personal file 🙂

      • Goose

        We’ve had politicians dress up as Nazis at university, you could get away with it until relatively recently. We had a popular TV show, ‘Allo ‘Allo! that ran for 10 years, that mocked the Nazis in occupied France. Prince Harry dressed up as a Nazi, and in his recent memoir ‘Spare’ he claimed both Prince William and Princess Kate, not only encouraged him to wear the Nazi soldier outfit, but both thought it hilarious at the time. This revelation has apparently led to the two princes barely speaking, if reports are accurate.

        Something strange happened in the UK; we had false allegations of antisemitism, that were weaponised to bring down a political leader (Corbyn) – a man who had a long history of campaigning for Palestine. The mood has completely changed since then, and there is no tolerance whatsoever for Nazi symbolism. Forget TV comedy shows, it’s taboo to even go there these days, unless you want to risk accusations of antisemitism. I don’t think this newly acquired intolerance has improved the country though. I’m personally more of a free-speech absolutist.

        • Tom Welsh

          It really is unacceptable for anyone to be punished – or even shunned – for what they wear or carry. I might dress up as a polar bear, a giant spider, or Genghis Khan; that should cause no one any offence or fear (depending perhaps on how realistic the costumes are).

          Count Korzybski (again!) used to say, “I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said”. That may sound obvious, but nowadays the world is full of people inferring what was never implied, and attributing to others thoughts, beliefs, and plans that they have never entertained. Besides which, what a person thinks or feels is none of anyone else’s business. Even what a person says should be respected, unless it is obviously and actively harmful. Dressing up as an SS officer shouldn’t upset anyone, but even if it does that’s just too bad.

          Comparing Israelis to SS men may upset people, but I suspect mainly because they understand the resemblance and wish to hush it up.

          • will moon

            Tom, I kinda agree except for this memory which came as I finished reading your point.

            Back in 70’s i knew these two lads about 16-17. they began collecting Nazi stuff – medals, helmets, belts etc. After six months, they were both waliking round dressed like SS panzergrenadiers circa 44 – not the quite the full outfit but close and getting closer. They were arrested and convicted of some thing when they started wearing the helmets with the other stuff. No gaol, first offense, nothing political, just daft lads rebelling. Stiff fines and the threat of gaol stopped them.
            They lived in my street and I knew one of them and I thought highly of him. They had to walk 400 yard to pass my house to get to the main road. It was a long thin road, facing south so it was bright and clear with few obstructions. I could see them leave their houses, meet up and march towards my house. Once they started with the helmets, it was mildly unsettling . One might casually look out the window and see these two teenage buffoons marching in their jack boots – I had to get used to the sight of them. I guess someone complained. I just thought they would grow out of it, particularly the one I liked – an earnest, serious-minded youth yet the Nazi “mystique” got to them.
            Bryan Ferry who sang with Roxy Music said the Hugo Boss designed SS wardrobe was both sexy and philosophically compelling! Then we have the infamous “Bavarian Lager Command” advert with Freddy Star playing a manic, pervy tueton/nazi – banned after a short time. And the clearest and most honest, Max Mosely, discussing his leisure pursuits in a libel (?) trial.

            To come to a fixed view, I would have to converse with other adults – I can put with most things though I draw the line at abuse and bullying etc. My own personal view is to note the sexual/ libidinous element involved and ponder the line between sex and death. In this current epoch, the iconography and paraphernalia of the Nazi mileau are so loaded with symbolism , I think maybe dressing up as Nazi is an exception to the rule you identify

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Re: ‘The mood has completely changed since then, and there is no tolerance whatsoever for Nazi symbolism. Forget TV comedy shows, it’s taboo to even go there these days’

          Someone must have forgot to tell Channel 5, Goose. They produced a 90-minute documentary about ‘Allo ‘Allo last year (repeated in April this year), which featured reminiscences from surviving cast members (including Richard Gibson who played Herr Flick of the *Gestapo* in the first eight series). Something tells me they wouldn’t have received too many complaints from Britain’s Jewish community about it:

          Meanwhile, around the same time, on Beeb News, you could listen to Ros Atkins explaining on his Outside Source programme that it was fine for the West to send bazookas to the Azov Regiment because they were “only 20% Nazi”.

          P.S. I heard that the reason that Princes Wills & Harry were barely speaking was largely about something to do with the Marchioness of Cholmondeley – but I can’t say any more about that.

          • Bayard

            “Meanwhile, around the same time, on Beeb News, you could listen to Ros Atkins explaining on his Outside Source programme that it was fine for the West to send bazookas to the Azov Regiment because they were “only 20% Nazi”.”

            Ah, so there is a Nazi limit, above which percentage things are banned, but below which they are not. So, how do we find out what it is and how do we work out the %age Nazi something is to find out which side of the limit it is. So far we only have two data points, we know the Azov Regiment are OK at 20% and we know that the banned book is above the limit. We need more data!

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. I’m not sure what’s the maximum percentage of Nazis your unit is allowed to have in order to qualify for Western weaponry. You’ll have to ask Ros Atkins – he’s a fact-checker, you know, that’s why he gets the big (licence fee-payer-funded) bucks.

            On a related theme, our host’s fellow clansman Douglas has recently claimed that Hamas are worse than the Nazis, because the latter didn’t revel in their crimes against the Jews etc, regarding them as a necessary evil that they tried to cover up. He’s probably never heard of this outfit then:


          • AG

            Last summer there was a panel with young theatre directors and artists in Germany. The usual stuff was discussed. They were not necessarily dumb (just cause they were young – give ’em a chance, I say to myself) – but when it came to Ernst Lubitsch they were completely clueless. “Jokes about concentration camps?! really?!” They had never heard of that.

            Funnily enough, “To be or not to be” was banned in Germany until 1960.

    • Bayard

      SB, my copy of “Kim”, by Rudyard Kipling has no less than two swastikas on it’s cover. Better not read it on the train, I suppose.

  • Mac

    When you consider how many people the communists murdered I find it astonishing it is socially acceptable to identify as one in public or private. Funny how they got a free pass while the Nazis got vilified. Gosh I wonder why…

    • will moon

      When you consider how many people the British Imperials murdered I find it astonishing it is socially acceptable to identify as one in public or private. Funny how they got a free pass while the Nazis got vilified. Gosh I wonder why…

      • Tom Welsh

        Exactly, Will.

        He was far from perfect, but Alexandr Solzhenitsyn did say one of the best things ever.

        “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”.

        Or, almost equivalently,

        “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…”

    • Dom

      They are protesting a slaughter of children at a pace never witnessed before in history. Compare their actions to those of our socially acceptable politicians, who are enabling the slaughter.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Re: ‘slaughter of children at a pace never witnessed before in history’

        Two counterpoints, Dom:

        As it happens, our socially acceptable politicians were enabling similar levels of slaughter to that in Gaza quite recently:

        Despite what they tell you, most of the people killed weren’t ISIS.

        • Stevie Boy

          Politicians are always happy to get other people to kill and torture on their behalf. They believe this keeps the blood from their hands. The people are not so easily fooled.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Stevie. Sadly, most people can be easily fooled most of the time, which is why hundreds of thousands of people in Britain will turn out several Saturdays in a row to protest against what a faraway country is doing to people in another faraway country, but virtually no one was protesting about their *own* country was recently doing to people in other faraway countries, with their tax pounds.

            It’s largely due to the media which, as I alluded to in the previous comments section, mainly lies by omission. For several decades, the Palestinians have had a good media game – particularly when compared to people like the Sahrawi Arabs in Western Sahara (or mostly just the western Sahara, i.e. a tiny corner of Algeria).

    • David Warriston

      ”When you consider how many people the communists murdered I find it astonishing it is socially acceptable to identify as one in public or private. Funny how they got a free pass while the Nazis got vilified. Gosh I wonder why..”

      Maybe because they killed more Nazis than anyone else managed.

      • Aguirre

        Not sure that the Commies got a “free pass”, actually. As demonstrated by the fact that Communism was euthanized in the Soviet Union and its satellites. By popular demand.

        • Tom Welsh

          To be fair, communism by any reasonable definition has never been tried – except in a few small communes that mostly dissolved very rapidly.

          Then again, the same can be said for democracy.

      • Stevie Boy

        Simply blaming one ideology over another is fatous and shows a lack of comprehension of history and human nature.
        Putin bad, Biden good. How does that sound ?

          • Stevie Boy

            My point, which you missed, is that life is not black and white and down to choosing one or the other – is it ?

          • Bayard

            However, such dualism is incredibly popular because it saves having actually having to think about anything; you just choose your side and away you go. They are the good guys who can do no wrong and the other side are the bad guys who can do no right.

  • Crispa

    I think the police act like the old woman in the shoe who had so many children she did not know what to do in that it has recourse to so many laws that it just dips into them as they see fit to show a bit of authority. Every protest arrest seems to be based on a different public order offence. I see Tommy Robinson was arrested on a Section 35 order that was originally passed to stop hooliganism in shopping centres but has been used also to stop anti hunt sabbing. We also have the misuse of the anti – terrorism laws. Then there are the anti – hate laws and anti social media laws. Many of these laws are passed by stupid politicians on a whim. Few are rarely used as intended an then misused by the police out of desperation to justify the political pressure they are put under by the media and politicians. It’s certainly a way of creating a dysfunctional society, but I don’t think it is fascism.
    PS A quick google of the title leads to a 4 hour You Tube version and sound version as well as to the pamphlet. From the beginning it seems that it is really all about oil and capitalist exploitation of it.

    • Tom Welsh

      It was ever so, as Lao-tse explained in the lines from the Tao Te Ching that I quoted recently. The multiplication of laws, regulations, courts, and police is an infallible sign of a state where morality and decency have left the building – or at least are on their way out. The Romans were quite good at pointing out such things: e.g. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?” (“Who is to guard the guards?”)

      “Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges”.
      (“As a state gets corrupt, its laws multiply; the most corrupt states have the most numerous laws”).

      – Tacitus (Annales 3:27)

    • Bayard

      It was the same in the late C18th and the early C19th, when you could be hanged for the most minor offences. Most weren’t, if convicted, but it gave the authorities a legal way to get rid of troublemakers.

      • will moon

        A friend of mines great-granda was the last person to be hanged for stealing a sheep in Scotland. I think the execution was in Edinburgh maybe 1890 – 1910. They showed me a facsimile of the front page of a newspaper from the day of the execution. Best claim to fame I have heard

          • will moon

            I seem to remember he was an aging, jobbing cobbler (ie itinerant) with a large family – there was no mention of politics but who knows?. They had “fake” news back then, just like today. There were several severe recessions either side of the turn of the century, leaving those at the bottom with very little to eat. The judge quoted in the paper, called it “a heinous crime against property” – leaving him with no choice regarding the sentence. Meanwhile the European wolves had just swallowed Africa

            “By heavens! there is something after all in the world allowing one man to steal a horse while another must not look at a halter. Steal a horse straight out. Very well. He has done it. Perhaps he can ride. But there is a way of looking at a halter that would provoke the most charitable of saints into a kick.”

  • Goose

    Got to wonder how much the Community Security Trust is influencing these policing decisions?
    They claim they work directly with the police and CPS. They describe their role as to protect the Jewish community – but surely, that’s a role solely for the police?
    Who elected them? And how can they claim to speak for the entire Jewish community? They seem to have been heavily involved in undermining Corbyn, and Richard Kemp, a member, writes articles that exonerate Israel over accusations of excessive use of force in Gaza.
    This unaccountable, unelected charity organisation has received tens of millions from the UK govt in grants and Labour promise to continue this. A lot more on it here:

    • Goose

      A charity, in receipt of millions and millions in govt funding, yet they’ve been criticised for a complete lack of transparency about their role. A role which seems overreaching. A charity which the Home Office endorses and promotes:

      And this:

      A charity, with a chairman who is a convicted fraudster. Can anyone make sense of this?

      If this were a Muslim community charity, the press would be all over it, questioning its legitimacy, govt funding, lack of transparency, and the chairman’s suitability. Would they not?

      • Aguirre

        I wonder to what extent the “Community Security Trust” might fall within the ambit of that bit of 1930s legislation which outlawed private militias (the Blackshirts at the time)?

        Perhaps that’s why no one enquires too closely into its precise rôle and attributions?

        • Goose

          They seem to have acquired some sort of monitoring & reporting role. Though their methods and observations are shrouded in secrecy. It’s not community street patrols, they’re receiving millions and boasting they are interfacing with the police and CPS. Extraordinary really.

          Tony Benn said there are five essential questions that anyone exercising power should be asked :

          1. What power do you have?
          2. Where did you get your power?
          3. In whose interests do you exercise your power?
          4. To whom are you accountable?
          5. How can we get rid of you?

          Could the CST answer any of these satisfactorily?

          • Aguirre


            Benn’s essential questions certainly seem apposite here. Is it not remarkable that none of our intrepid and highly paid journalists have done any work on the “Community Security Trust” from that angle?

            How about, for example, Mr Gabriel Pogrund, who appears to be the current Numero Uno specializing in exposing this that and the other? Or Mr Raphael Behr or Mr Jonathan Freedland? After all, their religion would surely be helpful both for gaining an entrée into the CST’s shrouded world AND deflecting any accusations of anti-semitism.

            By the way, is there any equivalent Muslim organization to the CST and if so, does it receive equivalent government support and taxpayer largesse?

            One would have thought the answer to both questions should be “yes”, given that there appears, in the UK, to be a much greater chance of a Muslim having his head kicked in or to be on the receiving end of hate speech than there is of a Jew.

  • Mac

    I am not sure a mostly Jewish founded ideological ‘movement’ responsible for the murder of by conservative estimates 60,000,000 people is really best placed to denounce another hideous Jewish founded murder ideology. Bit like if the Hitler Youth condemned it… (Pol) Pot, kettle…

    • will moon

      I have been told that Cromwell founded a British murder ideology resposible for the death of 100’s of millions of people.

      Without repudiation and reparations, I am not sure that is the best perspective from which to denounce other ideologies responsible for mass murder.

      A case of the pot calling the kettles white.

        • will moon

          I say “told” in the sense of reading a lot of books – my usage here was to flag my epistemological concerns regarding the statement made by commmentator Mac

          The other day I was told (in the sense news/journalism) by commentator Laguerre, of Jewish property, in I think Erbil, that had Arab custodians, still care-takering the premises, dating from the 1950’s when the Arab Jews who lived there fled in terror to Israel. The point being that Laguerre claimed to have witnessed this, maybe having met some of the custodians or whatnot – I chose to believe it. If this fact became operative, I would attempt to find out more.

          I know the context of Arab Jews being forced to flee often ancient homes, after the creation of Israel – Zionist operatives committing acts of terror against them and destabilising the societies they lived in – these societies were already in turmoil post-WW2 – the Nabka, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the creation of Israel, Mossadegh etc etc. I have read a fair bit about Arab Jewish communities, both in antiquity and in the modern period, which lead me to think Laguerre’s witness statement credible

          While I agree with your statement, I observe that we are born into a “told” world and the people we are and the people we know can be viewed as individual responses to this state of affairs – continua of scepticism and animal faith..

  • Martin

    You are far cleverer than me Craig. I sent you 100 quid when you were in the shit after a skynews interview. I’ve bought your books, and enjoyed them. I support the Palestinian cause, these days you are on the fringes of madness and attracting folk of a similar mindset. I hope you get well soon.

    [ Mod: Well, thank you for your (former) moral and financial support, Martin. And for whatever you do to support Palestinians.

    It’s quite normal for people to support some of the same political causes, attitudes and opinions while diverging on others. A perusal of your earlier complaints about Craig’s published positions suggests the divergence involves your support for Donald Trump (and his dubious claims of election interference), a rather non-inclusive approach to immigration, and opposition to the covid lockdowns. In such cases your opinions are farther from the mainstream than Craig’s. But he would never expect you to agree on all his stated opinions. He welcomes readers and sincere commenters rather than disciples or followers. The blog values considered debate, within the guidelines for commenters, rather than mere praise or condemnation for opinions.

    You’re welcome to continue reading – and commenting, provided you can offer more by way of argument than subjective and questionable attributions of madness. ]

  • alf baird

    According to Frantz Fanon colonialism is always ‘a co-operative venture’ with various groups among an oppressed people willing to be ‘pensioned off at high reward’, as we well know in Scotland. The populations of the main former imperial powers today appears to reflect this.

  • Seansaighdeoir

    I have to disagree with the main thrust here as to get a good understanding of this subject requires an understanding of the historical context imo.

    Most of those engaged in the propaganda war will have no understanding or care of the history and are only arguing from talking points they have consumed without any reading of history.

    It is a history that is complex and controversial but nothing is gained by selectively removing or endorsing only parts of it.

    I found the Zionist movement is indelibly linked to the Young movement and the secret societies as well as the mystical side of Judaism. Most will simply ignore these things but understanding isn’t improved by doing so.

    Ken Livingstone made similar points to those referenced in the article and was vilified for doing so, but as far as history was concerned was no less right by being maligned.

      • Seansaighdeoir

        The Young movement were behind a series revolutions that occurred across Europe in the 1840s, organised through Giuseppe Mazzini the Italian politician, philosopher and Freemason, who also created the mafia.

        Its main objective was the overthrow of various monarchies and formed the first stirrings of the World Revolutionary movement. That movement also created Marxism later morphed into Communism, Socialism etc.

        This movement and the people behind it were also responsible for formulating the ideas of Zionism again first mooted in the 1840s.

        • Aguirre

          I find it surprising that someone born in Genoa (Liguria) should have “created” the Mafia, which was, at least at the time you’re talking about, a purely Sicilian operation.

          I am not convinced either that Zionism was around in the 1840s…….

          • Seansaighdeoir

            Mazzini was a revolutionary extremist committed to the overthrow of the House of Savoy and for this purpose formed the Young Italy movement.

            Out of this movement were various violent groups who all shared a common goal.

            Although with similar intent these groups became known by different names in the places where they formed.

            In Naples they were called the Camorra, in Calabria as the society known as the Ndrangheta, or brotherhood and in Sicily as the Mafia and that term Mafia became generic for all these criminal bands.

            It is said that ‘Mafia’ was an acronym although its claim is made to different authors. However one claim made in 1860 is attributed to Mazzini himself and the first letter of the acronym is said to actually stand for ‘Mazzini’.

            The failure of the Young revolutionary movement meant that the secret societies in their attack on Christianity and the European monarchies began to look for a different approach and from this various political ideas formed to attack society from within.

            These ideas saw the birth of Communism, Socialism, Marxism and also Zionism.

            Communism and Zionism were formed by the same group but for different reasons but each has its roots in the same secret societies and the aftermath of the failed Young Movement in the 1840’s.

            However I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything but there is plenty of evidence around if you are prepared to look for it and research it as I have.

    • Crispa

      From the link, thank you, the police has connected these two incidents from the 18 that they identify as having dealt with as potentially unlawful.
      “As the protest gathered at Marble Arch, a man was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after officers spotted him carrying a placard with swastikas on”.
      Images were shared on social media showing literature being distributed which featured a swastika inside a Star of David. Officers later spotted the same literature at a stall in Whitehall and arrested four people on suspicion of distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred.
      I would like to think that as a tax payer my money could be better spent than on the police devoting huge resources to these matters, not forgetting the court costs if it ever came to that which I doubt to prove spurious charges. No wonder British justice is in such a mess as is the country as a whole.

  • AG

    A few crazy tales on Jewish “collaboration” in WWII:

    -The “Kasztner-transports” – Hungarian lawyer and Zionist Kasztner saved 1600 Jews in 1944 after a deal between Jewish negotiator Joel Brand and Adolf Eichmann to get out Hungarian Jews in 1944 for money & war gear had failed.

    However the Brand/Eichmann scheme had evolved about saving 1 Mio. Jews (not 1,600). Or at least those 450.000 living in Hungary. Eventually they were killed instead.

    Brand went to Aleppo to discuss the deal with his superiors. There the British arrested Brand and the deal never materialized. There had been doubt by the Allies about Eichmann´s honesty on allowing so many Jews to leave from the beginning however.

    After the war Kasztner was called a criminal in Israel since many of the Jews he had saved had been people known to him and elite, educated folks.

    There even was a court case against him in Israel. He was an avid Zionist. But shot in 1957 by 3 men who would later be pardoned by none other than Ben-Gurion. So things are complicated.

    see e.g.
    Joel Brand:

    German playwright Heiner Kipphardt, who I mentioned here before, wrote a known German play about that failed Joel Brand deal.
    It´s in the same vein as his most famous about Oppenheimer, based on actual documents.

    After WWII there were bitter fights between those who had lost relatives in the Holocaust and those who had been saved by Kasztner.
    (I wouldn´t want to chair that discussion.)

    Someone who served in the IDF voluntarily as non-Jew (!) told me about a meeting in Tel Aviv which she had attended many years ago where Kasztner´s wife was attacked harshly by the audience as she defended her deceased husband.

    -Another story is about a major Nazi specialist on East Asia. He worked as a correspondent and scholar for Nazi outlets. An avid ideologue. Then by coincidence his father made an inquiry in the Baltic states where the family had originated and it turns out they are Jewish.

    The avid Nazi scholar was devastated. A legal controversy ensued between him an the NSDAP. They had to expel him from the party since Jews were not allowed. He however tried everything to stay in.

    Eventually they agreed, I believe, on him leaving Germany on a privileged post travelling East Asia for Germany.

    -The most famous case of collaboration of course was the one of Stella Goldschlag:

    For those who don´t know it, there is an excellent book by US reporter Peter Wyden (who had been in love with Goldschlag as a schoolboy in Berlin, had left Germany just in time, to meet Stella 30 years later and wrote a biography about her.)


    Goldschlag in order to save herself and her parents became the lover of the German camp commander of the Jewish concentration camp/ghetto in Berlin. However she additionally had to work as a “catcher”, a Jew collaborating with the Gestapo finding Jews in Berlin who had gone into hiding.

    Since the Jews knew Goldschlag they trusted her and later she would deliver them to the Gestapo.
    However she could not save her parents from extermination and would eventually abandon the commander in the last weeks of the war.

    She went to the Russian side. And there was however discovered, went to prison in Russia. After the sentence she moved to West Berlin. There was another court case against her. She was convicted but due to the 10 years already served in the Russian prison Goldschlag was exempted from the 2nd 10 year verdict.

    When it was all over she moved to Paris. And would have disappeared had Peter Wyden not sought her out. I think she committed suicide in the 1990s. Goldschlag had a daughter, needless to say that she was gravely ill. She was working as a nurse in Israel. No idea if he is still alive, born 1945, Yvonne Meissl.

  • Ian

    Although I agree with all you say, Craig, regarding the pamphlet’s contents, I very much doubt that anybody in the police had bothered to read it. I don’t think it is any more complicated than they needed to be seen, in their own estimation, to be ‘policing’ the ‘hate speech’. In other words they have been under great pressure since the start of the protests to ‘do something’ to satisfy the right wing zealots in the media and government who are engaged in a propaganda campaign against the marches, and have sought to inflame tensions by branding them as ‘hate’ etc. Which is pitiful if you had witnessed the strength and dignity of the great majority. of protesters, their serious intent and also lack of malice. That includes, yes, Jews, as well as a huge cross section of society who are horrified by the deliberate, and conscience-free masssacre we have been witnessing, not to mention the torrent of blatant lies we are daily subjected to in the media.

    To be fair to the police, from what i have witnessed, they have policed the marches with a professional attitude, not provoking or inflaming anything, and have been reasonably friendly and co-operative with the crowd, who they can easily see offer no threat. And they refused to follow the barking Braverman’s demands. So for that we can be grateful.

    However, in the light of the pressure they are under, from Sunak and the absurd malice of the rightwing media, I think they simply thought they had to be seen to be ‘cracking down’ on anything remotely ‘offensive’. So seeing a swastika inside a Star of David on the cover was an easy catch for them to demonstrate this even-handedness – when considered alongside their shepherding of Tommy Robinson and his thugs away from trouble.

    So, ultimately, it looks to me like a poltical gesture towards the pressure they are under from the establishment. i don’t think it is more complicated than that. And yes, I agree that bringing Nazi symbolism into this crisis is not helpful to anybody. I prefer to try and explain to people that Israel is like Jim Crow South – imagine the Klu Klux Klan had gained power, had an enormous military and scaled up the lynching and beating into massacres, for which they then sold the equivalent to the postcards the white Southerners bought as souvenirs of those massacres, intending ultimately to eradicate and expel all black Southerners.

    That is what Palestinians are facing, and you can easily find the same racist assumptions and attitudes of the then South in the contempt, dismissal and laughter at the bloodshed killing and maiming that they gratuitously inflict on human beings whose lives they consider utterly disposable and a threat to their comfortable lives. Strange Fruit, indeed.

    • Stevie Boy

      Isn’t it the case that some people chose to equate the Israeli zionists with nazis so as to highlight the hypocrisy of their behaviour in light of the events of WW2. Which, IMO, is valid. ie. Didn’t you bastards learn anything ?

      • Tom Welsh

        A more obvious and direct link is the Israelis’ adoption of so many methods made famous by the Nazis. Blitzkrieg (which the Americans tried to rebrand as “Shock and Awe”), the “Master Race” concept, concentration camps, torture, propaganda…

        • Pigeon English

          Apart from military tactics I start to believe that Nazism is inspired by Zionism, Master Race and all the accessories to it.

          • glenn_nl

            Makes me wonder just how enthusiastically God’s Chosen People would have been to go along with Hitler, had he seen fit to include them in his ‘master-race’ bullshit. From the way Israel carries on today, a great deal of them would have been very enthusiastic participants – seems like they’re making up for the lost opportunity right now.

          • Bayard

            glenn_nl, the desire to oppress others, must like most human attributes, be normally distributed, so it would be very odd indeed not to find it amongst a population being oppressed. It’s not lack of will so much as a lack of opportunity. I dare say, that even in the concentration camps, there were those who found the opportunity to carry out a little oppression of their fellow inmates.

  • Walt

    “Little incidents like this arrest of CPGBML activists, or my own investigation for “terrorism”, are all signs of a real slide towards fascism. Fascism is being enabled by zionism.

    I had a curious little experience last week.

    Returning online to a firm of solicitors in Devon that I have engaged for the past 25 years, and visited many times when I still lived in the UK, to update my will, nearing the end of the process I was abruptly asked to perform an identity check. This involved supplying a copy of my passport and a recent bank statement. Shortly afterwards I was asked to participate in a Zoom session, the main objective seemed to be that I should brandish my passport in front of my face.

    I thought no more about it until a few days ago when I was told that I had failed an AML check. Not knowing what that means I did a search and found that I am suspected of money laundering or giving financial support to terrorism, and to continue with the process I must submit for a check to an outside company which maintains a list of such suspected criminals.

    There may be some innocent explanation, but I don’t doubt for a moment that those of us who express views here and elsewhere contrary to the official line are identified, and placed on various lists of undesirables for further investigation: needless to say I have never laundered a penny or supported terrorism apart from being a U.K. taxpayer. Any legal help I need in future will be dealt with over the border in Hong Kong where the legal system is recognisably similar, it can be recorded in English, and clients are still treated in a courteous and professional manner.

    • Lysias

      For those who, like me, are unfamiliar with the “AML” acronym, let me tell them what I just learned from a Google search: an AML check is an antimoney-laundering check.

    • David Warriston

      I am aware of similar cases. The key point is that you are required to prove your innocence: not that those suspecting you have to prove your guilt. We know where that road leads.

      • Tom Welsh

        It’s also important that the anonymous passive voice is used. “You are suspected…” No way to find out who suspects you – a much less impressive assertion in any case.

        Almost as good as “linked to terrorism”.

  • Weaver

    This may be because that leaflet’s cover design melds a Star of David and a swastika (might have been better if they’d been assiduous about colouring it all light blue – and let’s hope the coppers have never heard of the Judean People’s Front.) A week or so ago the UK police’s twitter account (don’t remember which outfit) were seeking info on the alleged perpetrator of a hate crime at one of the Ceasefire marches, apparently because she was holding a placard that had lifted the design from that leaflet’s cover. Could be just the presence of the swastika or maybe they’re applying the absurd IHRA examples of antisemitism that includes equating Zionism/Israel with Nazism.

    In Victoria, here in Oz, they just banned Nazi salutes, which made me laugh, because the only time I’ve ever seen someone throw one was when they were accusing someone else of acting like a Nazi.

    • Tom Welsh

      Enthusiastically assisted by Russia. “Send more sanctions – the last ones were delicious!” “Oh no! Don’t send the Ukrainians any more of your irresistible NATO weaponry; we may not be able to destroy it as quickly as the last few batches”. “Please keep boycotting our oil and gas, and thus wiping out your own industry and wealth”.

  • Yankee Jack

    Having written the below before reading much beyond your first few paragraphs, I must just say before launching into the main rant that you do make some good points that I wasn’t expecting later on in your post, concerning historical anomalies etc. Unfortunately, to certain authors I think the shock value is more important, so behooving them to focus more on the exceptions than the general rules, in much the same way that the Neturei Karta are often so dishonestly pointed to by leftists as a refutation of the idea that “Judaism is generally aligned with Zionism,” without any recognition that they are in fact an exceptional fringe minority among certainly Ashkenazi, if not greater worldwide, Jewry.


    When reading this book cover to cover about 4 years ago, I could not escape the conclusion that some of the degrees to which it bends over backwards to so distinguish Judaism from Zionism are dishonest and unfounded, but never mind that. Some day I will dig out my marked up copy and hash my disagreements out with Harpal himself properly and directly.

    A few thoughts on this incident to consider:

    1) I do not really agree with the Public Order Act, at least not with the main most routine provisions that the legally savvy protestor must inevitably become familiar with, ie ss. 4, 4A, & 5. Incidentally my favourite provision of the act which arguably protects explicit denouncements of Judaism itself, with thanks to the House of Lords, is section 29J of part 3A of POA 1986, inserted by the IMO otherwise draconian and anyway undesirable Racial & Religious Hatred Act 2006 which created the racially aggravated forms of the 3 most common public order offences that one may encounter in political protest settings. Anyway, as mentioned, as an ardent supporter of free speech, I do not especially like the law, but at the same time it is widely misunderstood and not necessarily as bad as many (understandably) make it out to be. I personally think it can be seen as much as anything else as a reflection of English culture’s and society’s preoccupation with social decorum, aesthetics and appearances, politeness, not causing a scene or shocking anyone, etc etc. Admittedly I do not know off the top of my head whether the provisions apply equivalently to Scotland or Northern Ireland, and anyway simultaneously would not ascribe those same cultural values to those parts of the U.K. But, suffice to say that the offences are more concerned with form and format than with substance, and have much more to do with context, manner and tone (perhaps effectively -ie, as an informal observation- the British equivalent of American permission of restrictions as to time place and manner of speech but not as to its content), than they do with content. In this regard, it is worth considering that, if the pamphlet could be held to amount to one of the offences, it is not the same as a banning of the book but rather is heavily wedded to the public setting in which the book was being displayed for sale, the ostensible “political climate,” as understood by the dishonest and warped worldviews of the political classes, and the imagery of the cover of the book rather than the content.

    This means that, even if the sale of the book on that occasion could be held to be an offence (which I think is dubious, on which more shortly):

    * the identical book could likely be sold in a less public and more appropriate setting without committing the offence

    * the same exact pamphlet could likely be sold in that exact setting, simply with a different cover, without it constituting an offence

    * It seems as though the same text could be distributed online without any type of obfuscation or anonymity without attracting police attention, and I think it could have even been distributed there on that day in the stall if measures had simply been taken to protect the English public’s such delicate sensibilities from unnecessary initial shock at the glimpse of an offensive symbol such as by keeping them concealed in a box with a card on the table to indicate that they are available for review Abbas perusal as well as sale on request. I find it hard to imagine the police not accepting such a very English compromise on future occasions if measures of that were taken so as to avoid causing harassment alarm and distress to the such fragile English public.

    * even if all of the other parameters were the same, it seems likely that, had this taken place in September or otherwise prior to 7/10 — ie, not amid the tension of (in the words of the officer portrayed in the video) “the current political climate” — then, having regard to all of the actual circumstances of the incident, as any possible arresting officer, prosecutor, or presiding judge ought (and usually would), this wouldn’t have been an offence.

    * as far as I have been able to tell, and also rather quite predictably, the police based their actions purely on the imagery on the cover of the book, and not at all on its contents. In fact I would be quite shocked if any of the front line or other met officers had read more than a few words, if any at all, of the book’s actual text.

    To recap it does not appear that the legality of the book itself has been called into question, and only the setting and manner of promoting and distributing it. Which I understand can be frustrating to stubborn political agitators looking for controversy, coverage and attention, and for plausible reasons to denounce the bourgeois state, but it’s not quite the fascist/Kafkaesque censorship of a political work that it can so easily be made out as in a simplistic, tweet-worthy sound bite or political statement.

    2) On that note, I also think that this is a very sloppy misapplication of the racially aggravated etc public order provisions, brought about by the admittedly disgusting recent high level political machinations of the more rabidly Zionist elements of the central U.K. government. It seems to me that Suella and others have been delusionally pressuring the police to clamp down on pro Palestine demonstrations that would surely see Robert Peele turn over in his grave. And reading Braverman’s open letter to police chiefs it betrays such a pitiful level of misconstruals of the relevant laws that it could only have been written by such a person who formally worked as a professional barrister in bad faith.

    The police seem to have deferred as much as possible to these political requests while remaining true to and grounded in the practical constraints of actual reality in terms of the laws and Justice system as they actually exist. They’ve said to those figures in the nicest possible way that it’s impossible to do what you want us to without Parliament giving us additional new legal powers and tools with which to do them but in the meantime we will do our best to effect your requests within the constraints of what the current laws allow.

    The way that this could have translated into the incidents in question are really quite predictable, and simultaneously not all that nefarious, however objectionably reactionary the political manoeuvres that set in motion the chain reaction that gave way to them may be.

    Quite simply, it was not possible to take action against mere displays of the Palestinian National flag or a keffiyeh (for example) as Braverman had so delusionally asked the police chiefs to consider doing, but it was possible to act against active promotions of Hamas (rightly or wrongly but in any event legally), as well as espousals of genuine racial or religious hatred. So the police clearly issued operational directives and briefs for these protest policing operations telling their front line officers to look out especially for things like specific expressions of support for Hamas or celebrations/symbols of Naziism which is a decidedly Antisemitic and genocidal ideology. Obviously this wasn’t based on any kinds of rigorous understandings of the nuances and intricacies of public order case (or even statutory) law, and it is rarely the purview of police to possess such advanced legal knowledge anyway, at least not at the operational field constables’ level: after all, they are police, not lawyers. Though admittedly, the CPS litigators that I have seen in action have also been far from impressive, but alas I again digress… obviously when officers in the field are commanded to be on “high alert” for any displays of nazi symbols etc, by likely significantly more legally savvy commanders who write the operational directives based on a somewhat better awareness of the actual contents of laws, they robotically apply these directives and when they see a book that has a bold swastika printed over the entire front cover of it in a decidedly morbid colour motif, this is bright red bait for the police given the surely crude and unsophisticated directives of their orders, with the outcome very easily predictable. In fact I’ve heard from Ranjeet’s children that the police often confront and speak to their stalls about the objectionability of that particular book cover, and perhaps even propose to confiscate them, and this is clearly based on the sloppy field-sufficient-level understanding of the relevant laws, but as it is not backed by very explicit on-the-day operational directives from their immediate commanders for the assignment, they are more amenable to argument and reasoned explanation, which is why until now, when the sloppy or at least bluntly articulated misunderstandings of the relevant provisions by the police are explicitly endorsed by the higher U.K. commanders in their morning assignment briefings etc, they have never so resolutely insisted on actually acting against CPGBML literature stall holders.

    Ultimately an understanding of the contents of these provisions along with the political and bureaucratic mechanisms whereby they are given effect can allow one to devise very minor and subtle adjustments to one’s protest tactics that will allow one to put forth virtually the unneutered entirety of one’s political messages without suffering any of this predictable hassle at the hands of the law, but of course what fun is that when one can instead issue gloomy political proclamations moaning of the literal kafkaesque fascism that has overtaken Britain replete with BANNED BOOKS(!!!!1111!!!1!1!!!1111) and all. For example, I think all but the daftest or perhaps most illiterate (at least in English) have picked up on and worked out by now that they can basically be as outspoken as they like in support of Palestine and against the Israeli genocide, just so long as they simply avoid displaying direct/explicit support for Hamas, which will lead very predictably to likely arrest and charging. In the same exact way, the Brars can also avoid such difficulties by any of my suggested tactical adjustments like concealing the booklets of this particular text in a box under the table, or by printing a new public order-friendly edition of it with less shocking imagery on the cover which I suppose they might even directly have the mechanical means to do, without even whatsoever dampening the political insights within the cover, but I don’t suppose they will allow the state to daunt them in this way when so much delightfully controversial international attention awaits.

    I personally don’t agree with the proscribed organisation provisions of the terrorism act, and have been filled with disgust at a couple of the recent prosecutions that I’ve seen in the news. But is it really that big of a deal, and more importantly (for perhaps it is on principle that big of a deal), does it make that big of a difference to the effectiveness of one’s political demonstrations in support of Palestine to simply step around directly supporting Hamas by name in one’s rhetoric? Taking a stubborn stand on the principle is sure to reward one with more political glory and recognition for one’s defiance, but I think that is against the spirit of what the Palestinian resistance has requested of the people in the western world, which is to come out in numbers to effectively display the unity in opposition to what is currently transpiring over there.


    As for the bail conditions, I don’t expect that those would survive the rigours of judicial scrutiny, however polluted by the political worldview of the ruling classes it may be, in the face of a challenge on arts. 9, 10 & 11 grounds. And, that said, while your detention at the airport is significantly more disturbing to me, and while the higher level political maneuvres that gave rise to this operational level police hysteria are no less indeed disturbing, it is far from anything that is not to be expected of the bourgeois state as we have now for quite some time already known it, and I also think you give it far too much credit in the sophistication of political logic that you ascribe to its propaganda & actions and which you seemingly imagine to be possessed by its calculations. I simply don’t think that the propaganda stunts/gestures are so intricately considered and coordinated in their narrative or messaging, certainly and at least not so completely up and down the chains of operational command.

    One last point, which I don’t expect to make me many grassroots political friends, but I’m just telling it objectively as I see it, I actually found myself reassured by the resilience and spine of the British system (for what it is) after watching the whole dance between the national central government politicians and the police chiefs unfold:

    Firstly let me preface this observation by saying that the climate and levels of official endorsements and support for the Israeli state is rather far from my cup of tea, but also about all that could be expected for any bourgeois imperialist democratic power, which is incidentally exactly what it says right on the tin, anyway, so don’t act cheated and all that. However, while Braverman, Sunak et al were totally out of line, and not to mention disingenuous if not delusional with regard to the legal framework, the face remained that the police, however much they demonstrated a keenness to, did not step outside the law as they have so far already understood it to so far already actually exist, to indulge or oblige the country’s government’s executive leaders. Being a little rusty on my political vocabulary, I still suppose this means that we specifically have not crossed the line from clumsy bourgeois democracy into lawless bourgeois fascism, and that the state remains bound and constrained by the rule of law, however crude and clumsy various arms’ understandings of said laws may be.


    Sorry for the in all likelihood repetitive and overly verbose rant which I nonetheless expect to have worthwhile points in its analysis, but it is possibly the best I can do as I continue to battle against insomnia at 4-6am.

  • S

    Craig, normally I agree with you, but on this occasion surely the problem is mainly the image on the cover of the book.

    So, unusually, I find your article misleading, since you didn’t mention the cover image. You just included a photo of some mundane, academic-looking texts. Perhaps you didn’t know about the cover image?

    I’m not especially sensitive, but I can easily see why the cover would be regarded as inflammatory and offensive. I would be embarrassed if I had opened an image of the cover on a device in a public place. I guess therefore it is “nsfw” [not safe for work]. Yes, we can enter a debate about the sophisticated message behind the image, and that the shock delivers a message. But it’s an image that shocks nonetheless. Personally I find it distasteful.

    • craig Post author

      In fact the PDF I have does not have a cover image. But I cannot see why it should be illegal to merge a swastika and a star of David. That may indeed shock some people, but that does not mean it should be illegal.

      • Tom Welsh

        That third and last sentence is the key, IMHO. Many would disagree, unfortunately. There are strong arguments in support of the notion that the Israelis have been behaving very much like the worse sort of Nazis since 1947 and earlier. Many people may dislike that idea, but that’s not an argument for suppressing free speech.

      • Yankee Jack

        Whether or not something “should” be illegal is nominally something to be taken up with one’s MP, whether or not something *is* illegal is the business of the police.

        • Tom Welsh

          Yankee Jack, unfortunately you can’t take anything up with your MP*. You can write to your MP, and you will (perhaps) get a boilerplate reply. But no action.

          As for the police, the main question is whether they understand the law (even if they think they know it).

          * I remind myself of some of The Doors’ most powerful lyrics:

          When I was back there in seminary school
          There was a person there
          Who put forth the proposition
          That you can petition the Lord with prayer
          Petition the Lord with prayer
          Petition the Lord with prayer
          You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!

          (The last line bellowed with contemptuous violence).

          • glenn_nl

            I thought it was ‘seminary high’…?

            Not wishing to be picky. It was popular opinion among critics back then that Soft Parade marked a terminal decline for The Doors, but I thought it proved that they never were anywhere near the mainstream, or tempted by it, and absolutely never would be.

            There’s never been anything remotely like them

            TW: “As for the police, the main question is whether they understand the law (even if they think they know it).

            I think the only question for the police is, what do their masters want, and what can they get away with? They know the law doesn’t allow for beating confessions out of individuals, fitting people up, taking bribes and meting out brutal punishment for those that oppose them or those they don’t like.

            They do it anyway. Because they can, they enjoy it, and get rewarded for it – one way or another.

          • Tom Welsh

            That song is engraved in my mind. “YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER”. It’s certainly not the Everly Brothers, or even the Rolling Stones. But it seemed real and important, and still does.

      • Bayard

        “That may indeed shock some people, but that does not mean it should be illegal.”

        The idea that you have a right not to be shocked, or offended is one that appears to be fast gaining ground. Recently I was taken to task by several people who were commenting on a photograph for saying something about the building in the photograph which they thought might be offensive to the owners of the building. This despite the fact that the said owners had stated upthread that they agreed with my comment.

      • AG


        “illegal to merge a swastika and a star of David”

        In Germany it would be.
        And I have never seen a path to get that changed.
        Now more unlikely than may be ever before.

        In my own circle people clearly state they would not speak out on the Israel issue since it would ruin them.
        And perhaps unlike the US (UK?) there is no critical mass of Germans (at least officially) who would do anything about that.
        At least I can´t imagine a vote on this in the Bundestag ever.

        • Tom Welsh

          “In Germany it would be”.

          Which just goes to show – yet again – that the Germans (with honourable exceptions) don’t have a clue about justice or individual human rights. Like most of the continentals.

          They still see everything in terms of the Volk and its communal beliefs.

          • AG

            This is what actually should amount to a major discourse over political philosophy which however is not being conducted.

            The argument is the same we will encounter regarding lawfare in the future on environmental issues: whose rights are curbed in what ways by whose opposing other rights?

            That will be rather interesting to watch (and terrifying). And how uninformed and inconsequential that discussion will play out.

            It will be the unravelling of all the arrogant self-absorbed chatter about the cultured occident and our valuable traditions since Christianity, the Renaissance and the French Revolution.

            p.s. in the 90s Antifa used to argue “Neo-Nazism is no opinion”.
            That’s fine and well with them folks battling the police and maybe get into a scuffle with Skinheads (as they were called back then). But it cannot be the constitutional basis of a society as a whole.

      • S

        Thanks Craig. Indeed I didn’t argue for it to be illegal. (Although it might be, since e.g. Mark Meechan was convicted.)
        I can imagine that the image might be misinterpreted in a racist way, especially in a tense environment.
        I notice that you still didn’t include the cover of the book in your blog, which is probably in the best taste. Thanks.

      • Yankee Jack

        That said, indeed the court of appeal have held that article 10 includes the right to express views that are shocking and offensive to others, and should only be subject to restrictions in the case of the most extreme forms of hate speech. (Roughly quoting from memory but wouldn’t be surprised if it was about right within a few words being different.)

    • Anthony

      The interlinking is because of the extensive genocidal collaboration by zionists with the nazis during WWII and their nazi-like treatment of Palestinians ever since. Actions a tad more repugnant than seeing two symbols interlinked. Although admittedly not to people like Lords Watson, Mann, Austin or the British media.

    • Stevie Boy

      Free Speech is binary, everything or nothing. Doesn’t matter how distasteful that may be, because the alternative is ‘someone’ telling you what you can and cannot say. Distasteful opinions tend to get shunned by responsible people and banning objectionable opinions doesn’t stop them anyway.
      “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Mark Twain

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