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SA – cimarrón – Thanks for the heads up and enlightening articles on EHRC. The International Day of Solidarity with Palistinians came and went, as we all still hope for peace we must fight the Zionist disinformation. In the Canary Article entitled, “How to fight the witch hunt, and win,” Kerr-Anne Mendoza asserts that, “Anyone still arguing the antisemitism smear campaign is anything but a witch hunt is a liar, an idiot, or both. It is a cynical attempt to shutdown the anti-apartheid struggle of the Palestinian people and their allies. It is a horrific abuse of Jewish trauma and identity.” She ponts out that, “for a campaign claiming to act on behalf of Jewish people everywhere, it saves some of its cruellest abuse for anti-zionist and/or left wing Jews,” saying that, “Every capitulation emboldens them;” she makes a heartfelt plea, “that’s why it has to stop.” From DoubleDownNews the complaint comes that, “We are being no platformed, we are being cancelled, we are being denied the freedom to express legitimate points of view. All those people who claim to care about civil liberties & freedom of speech should be up in arms about what’s happening, so far they’re silent.”
Mendoza examines what she refers to as, “The Corbyn Issue,” saying that, “The rise of Corbyn threatened overlapping interest groups. Zionists of all stripes; conservatives; middle class liberals who prefer working class voices on mute; all recoiled in horror at the mass movement of working class, internationalist, anti-racist socialists. What to do? First Corbyn was laughed off as a ‘Magic Grandpa’. When that didn’t work, he was made out to be a ‘terrorist sympathiser’. At one point they even alleged he was a Czech spy. It was smear after baseless smear, and none of it stuck.” She notes that, “so began a near half-decade campaign to pretend he was an ‘existential threat’ to British Jews. Anyone reviewing Corbyn’s decades-long career in parliament, and his actions outside of it, knows this is nonsense. Most of the people promoting it feverishly know it’s nonsense. But instead of confronting that directly, a policy of appeasement has put Labour back in the hands of these gaslighting smear merchants.”
Mendoza explains how, “We can forgive anyone who was put on the back foot by this on day one. As anti-racists, our very first response is – and should be – to treat accusations of racism in good faith. But when it becomes abundantly clear that people are using the issue to wage a factional political battle, indulging it is a catastrophic mistake. It’s a failure of solidarity and strategy to reward your enemies and punish your allies.” She rightly warns us that, “anyone advising Corbyn to capitulate any further to this campaign is jeopardising the Left and the Palestinian struggle.” She highlights, “Why it matters,” by saying that, “Above all, this is a disinformation campaign. It seeks to make the simple complex. The fact that Israel is an apartheid state, illegally occupying Palestine, is simple. The role of hasbara (Israeli disinformation) is to fudge the issue.” What should also seriously concern us all is that a foreign power has discovered a very effective way to compel our Government and our loyal opposition to bend to their will.
Mendoza points out that, “As Tanzil Chowdhury wrote for openDemocracy during apartheid Israel’s Summer 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip: The hasbara machine is most dynamic in the crescendos of the illegal occupation and blockade such as we have seen unravelling before us over the last month. But it moves beyond mere silencing tactics, equating criticism of its government with anti-Semitism or exceptionalising suffering.” Mendoza says “The witch hunt argues people oppose Israel, not because of apartheid, but because of their hatred of Jews. No evidence is required to substantiate the claim. If offered, it mostly amounts to the last five times the witch hunt smeared someone. This self-referential disinformation network picks a target, drops its payload, and hopes the pressure generated will force a reaction.” The Tory leaning BBC and our right-wing Media are more than happy to oblige this foreign power at the very same time as they keep ranting on about the threat of political interference posed by Russia, go figure?
According to Mendoza, “An apology, a cancellation, a suspension, a hostile environment,” she warns, “every time anyone gives them that, they enable and embolden the witch hunt. Each bogus apology empowers those false narratives, giving them a weight and a credence they don’t deserve. Ultimately, it makes it more likely that they will continue to escalate their attacks,” which of course they continue to do, despite having already achieved their greatest objective, neutralizing Corbyn. Mendoza says, “This is why Corbyn is now unable to sit in parliament as a Labour MP.” However, the pressure being brought to bear on Starmer to return the whip to Corbyn goes way beyond Jeremy’s popularity as an honest, outspoken anti-racist MP, it is the final straw in a disgusting battle to villify and discredit the former Labour Party Leader and everything he stood for. To many of us it was a huge relief when Corbyn made that statement that has proved so controversial’ he cannot be forced to retract a statement of truth.
But Mendoza then described how the censorship just got personal saying, “The witch hunt continues to attempt to shut down its critics with bogus accusations of antisemitism. On Sunday 29 November, they attempted to claim I was suspended from Twitter for antisemitism. In fact, my two suspensions were for criticism of the far-right. In one case, a literal Nazi. I shared the image of a story circulating since 2016, of a man wearing a swastika neck tattoo and a poppy at a Remembrance Service.” Mendoza had Tweeted: “The hypocrisy of the far right summed up in one image’.” Mendoza explained how, “They reported that tweet en masse, triggering an automatic suspension. It didn’t matter to them that I was explicitly condemning Nazism in the tweet, they reported it as hate speech. They risked making Nazis a protected category in order to pretend I am an antisemite. Let that sink in.”
Mendoza reports suffering another vexatious attack, saying, “Then on Sunday, another suspension. This time, the witch hunt took full credit online, with a number of figures claiming to have reported a tweet of mine as antisemitic. What was the tweet? ‘Imagine if during a day of international solidarity with the oppressed of Apartheid South Africa, the Labour leadership opted instead to spend the day with white supremacists. That’s what Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are doing today. #FreePalestine #PalestineDay’ What inspired her tweet? “Starmer, Rayner to mark International Day of Solidarity with Palistinians by attending Labour Friends of Israel bash.” It was a fair criticism; what were they thinking? You can bet the Zionist Lobby selected that particular day specifically to test the resolve of their Labour schill by forcing him to choose between appeasing them or respecting the will of the Labour Party majority.
Mendoza reported, “There was a sincere attempt to claim this fair, obvious and widely-shared comparison was actually antisemitic. As Jewish former South African ANC MP Andrew Feinstein points out, this is nonsense. Thanks to an amazing response from new left media and socialist Twitter, the social media company restored my account, claiming the suspension was a ‘mistake’. It was about a tweet comparing Apartheid Israel with Apartheid SA. That is not antisemitic. In fact, Jimmy Carter wrote a book about it. It is a comparison made by, amongst many others, Mandela, Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Denis Goldberg & me. I’ve experienced both 1st hand” Tim Curtis Tweeted that he had identified one of the offending complainants as Gary Spalding who had Tweeted, “Pleased to see that Twitter took swift action against Kerry-Anne Mensoza after a number of concerned people, including myself, reported her tweets for antisemitism to the platform. This is what we need to see more of from twitter!” I think not!
Mendoza justifiably claims that, “You cannot appease emotional terrorists. The only appropriate response to a mendacious smear campaign like this is solidarity and truth. The only way forward is to reject the false reality promoted by the witch hunt. It is not antisemitic to oppose apartheid.” She says “It is not antisemitic to compare apartheid and occupation undertaken by Israel with that undertaken by any other ethno-nationalist regime. These things are not antisemitic unless you equate global Jewry with the State of Israel, which (ironically) actually would be antisemitic. We need to do this with our chins up and our chests out. Enough of being cowed and apologetic for our very existence. Enough with the godawful attempts at optics-friendly triangulation.” She begs us, for goodness’ sakes enough with shunning new left media while embracing a toxic establishment media. These people are lying, and it’s time to say that out loud. Because, in the words of Russian revolutionary Victor Serge: ‘… after all, there is such a thing as truth’.”
In the Skwawkbox Article entitled, “The house of the people: the change we need will only come when we have authentic working-class voices in Parliament,” guest author and working-class activist Andy Searson spells out what is so necessary to drive political change. He claims, “The systemic change we need will only come when we have authentic working class voices in Parliament. The future lies within our communities! The neoliberals within the Labour Party have declared war on their own membership and on those who identify as socialists within Parliament – an unnecessary, monumental act of self harm. Hundreds of thousands of activists drawn to the party by the authenticity and hopefulness surrounding the Corbyn leadership have been given a two fingered salute.”
Searson shares the alarming news that, “Deputy leader Angela Rayner has now stated she will expel ‘thousands and thousands’ of members. There was not a hint of realisation that she doesn’t even have the power to do so! This is the rhetoric members and activists are faced with in the party. The feeling amongst dedicated, grassroots activists is that Starmer’s party is walking away from them. Particularly the hundreds of thousands who flocked to the party under Corbyn. They feel that they are not wanted. They’re to be replaced with millionaire donors. Sadly, the interests of millionaire donors reflect their own interests, namely the millionaire class. The interests of everyday members reflect the interests of the millions of everyday citizens whose votes Labour needs in order to govern.” In a telling map Searson shows, “Areas in purple show constituencies in which there were more non-voters than the majority of the winning candidate.” This indicates that the voters are still awaiting representation.
Searson warns that, “It’s clear which direction that Starmer’s Labour are heading in: right back to business as usual. Yes to austerity, no to trade unions, backing the status quo and to hell with the millions who have already had to carry the burden of ten years of Tory misrule. It’s a struggle for an economy that works for the tens of millions of citizens and not just for the millionaires! It’s a struggle for social justice, morally right choices and fairness. It’s a struggle for humane values of decency, equality and egalitarianism. It’s ‘socialism or barbarism’. This is a moment of crisis and, I feel, a moment of existentialism for the Labour Party. Are Starmer’s Labour the representatives of the many or the few? I’ll admit, I didn’t vote for Starmer as I looked closely at his recent history and actions as Director of Public Prosecutions and at those who are close to him. As my mother would say, judge a man by the company he keeps. You only have to look at his campaign team, financial backers and his shadow cabinet to see what he’s about.”
Searson states that, “Although I view the recent Starmer-made crisis as the possible end for Labour, I don’t share the pessimism of many Labour activists. I see this not as the end of the Corbyn project, but the next step in reinvigorating the movement that gave birth to the Labour Party in the first place. Reigniting its beliefs, values and its moral crusade for social justice and egalitarianism. We have thousands upon thousands of dedicated, trained activists, millions of trade union members and people who are yearning for change. We have witnessed a huge surge in people willing to help their neighbours, within communities and beyond.” Searson points out that, “Throughout this pandemic ordinary people have done extraordinary things in extraordinary circumstances; people who are concerned with the common good and willing to be active in pursuit of it.” This is obviously what gives Searson hope.
Searson says, “Let me be clear here, I am not endorsing shifting government responsibility for our citizens’ welfare or replacing the welfare system as the coalition and subsequent Tory governments have. I am firmly of the belief that food-banks are a sign of the failures of government. As Mhairi Black put it so eloquently on the proliferation of food banks in her constituency: ‘Food banks are not part of the welfare state, they are a symbol that the welfare state is failing.’ So what is to be done? Those trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party should redirect funds from Starmer’s Labour and invest in community organising. Why fund a leadership and his political machine that is willing to work against the interests of millions of workers and everyday folk? If you doubt this just check out the voting record of those who make up Starmer’s shadow cabinet and close team. We need the focus of the Trade Unions to be on representing workers, our class, our communities and our people.”
Searson describes a Spanish phenomenon, “The House of the People,” saying that, “In Spain you find centres in every village and town called “L Casa del Pueblo’ – The People’s or Village House. In Spain my village equates to my people. They are centres of culture, heritage, political education and support for local people eg citizens advice – advocacy and legal help. They can be found at the heart of a community – a central point of focus to gather and formulate actions of mutual support. If we developed this idea in Britain we could forge a new relationship with the people within our communities. Use this to grow Cooperatives and mutual societies to serve our own community needs. These ‘People’s Houses’ could become the social hubs that replace the diminishing welfare clubs, institutions and associations that grew from organised labour in the communal work places. We could grow micro Co-Operative shops and cafes to re-energise high streets in villages and outlying towns.”
Searson continues elaborating on his progressive vision for the future, saying, “We could use trade union legal teams to help create local building societies and credit unions. The Trade Unions could become a platform for regeneration and engagement at local grassroots level. True Parliamentary representation for the working class will never happen via this party leadership and the shadow cabinet. The history of working class organising in our communities all over Britain can be reinvented for a modern age. A Coalition of the willing, acting collectively in their community on mutual local interests. A type of municipal socialism working towards the common good. It would mirror the emancipatory ideals of those pioneering early trade unionists and develop a ‘can do it for ourselves’ mindset.”
Searson explains, “That’s how our great grandparents built our towns and villages from mere shanty towns built around mines, steelworks and factories to what we see today. They created communities wherein people felt they were active stakeholders. This brought empowerment and promoted self agency which was built via the ideals of self help and collective endeavour. Not small ‘c conservatism’ but everyday socialism rooted in finding solutions to people’s everyday challenges. In Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire the local activists and membership have developed a similar model. It’s a place where people can access food, support and advice. It’s socialism in action.”
Searson appeals to, “those doubters who think these ideals are mere pie in the sky. Look no further than Spain’s Mondragon Corporation. It is a prime example of self help. It’s aims were and still are about workers and community. Their aims are stated clearly; ‘We are a dedicated group of people with a cooperative identity forming a business group that is profitable, competitive and enterprising, capable of successfully operating in global markets. Our organisation uses democratic methods in its corporate organisation, and its aims are employment, the personal and professional advancement of its workers, and the development of its community.’ It goes on; ‘Furthermore, based on the Cooperative Principles and its own experience, MONDRAGON nurtures the values of self-motivation and shared responsibility, intercooperation, social transformation.’ You can read more About Mondragon. “
Searson cites, “Workers Cooperatives are already on the politician’s radar. They realise communities all over Britain are at breaking point. It wasn’t only on the Labour Party’s agenda at the last general election. Even the Tories back worker led Cooperatives now. The Labour Party notes the value of building societies and the strength and diversity that a healthy mutual sector brings to financial services. The Liberal Democrats assert ‘mutuals, co-operatives and social enterprises have an important role to play in the creation of a more balanced and mixed economy. Mutuals give people a proper stake in the places they work, spreading wealth through society, and bringing innovative and imaginative business ideas to bear on meeting local needs.’ ‘The Conservative Party sees mutuality as the way forward within public services and pledge to support co-operatives and mutualisation as a way of transferring public assets and revenue streams to public sector workers; essentially employee-led co-operatives. Find out more here.”
Searson says to just, “Imagine the transformative impact of Trade union funded ‘People’s Houses’ in each town or large village all over Britain. Organising local people for the common good. Helping establish self help, CoOperatives, mutuals and credit unions. This is how our movement grew via self empowerment and collectivism. We can rebuild again from community grassroots up. We must begin a program of emancipatory activism and work alongside our people in working class communities. Then maybe, if we cannot reclaim our Labour Party, we need a new party of the people.” He talks of, “A party representative of our communities, with representatives drawn from those communities. We can build a representative party as our ancestors did. Utilise those extraordinary people, the real life super heroes of community activism who are driven not by self profiteering or careers, but driven by authentic altruism. These are the people who would and will produce the real social and systemic change our people require and demand.”
According to Searson, “We can no longer put our faith in those who cosy up to the establishment few at the expense of the many. We need our own representatives chosen from our own people, who will act in the interests of our communities and people! We stand on the shoulders of giants who showed the way. The systemic change required to radically redress the years of decline in living standards of the working class will only come about by a democratic revolution built from within our communities and from the ground up!” It is great to read a rousing campaign of come-back defiance coming from the Socialist camp. It has been a truly pathetic year of copious groveling apologies over fantisemitism that must end now. Labour needs to ditch Captain of Capitulation Starmer, build a new Socialist Party or join the Greens. Wemust challenge Starmer, challenge fantisemitism smears and challenge the Covert 2019 Rigged Election by demanding a full Investigation of the vote; it is time to expose the corruption: Get The Tories Out. DO NOT MOVE ON!