Category: racism

Championing racism?

By Daniel Margrain

“For too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up. No more. These people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.”

These are not the words of Nigel Farage, Nick Griffin or Tommy Robinson, but allegedly those of former Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Sarah Champion, writing in the Sun (August 12, 2017) in response to the recent Operation Shelter grooming case in Newcastle.

If Champion was quoted correctly in the article, it would appear that the Labour MP implied that there is something specific among Muslims or Pakistanis that makes them more likely to commit the crime of grooming and raping of girls and young women. Over recent years, this has become a common theme that is not restricted to those on the right of the political spectrum.

Political correctness?

The previous high profile case to make the headlines that involved the systematic abuse of white girls by a gang of Muslim men occurred in Rochdale from 2008. When then Tory Children’s minister Tim Loughton was asked about the subsequent trial, he said, “Political correctness and racial sensitivities have in the past been an issue.” Echoing Champion, Loughton added that the authorities still “have to be aware of certain characteristics of various ethnic communities”.

What is being impugned with the “certain characteristics” charge is the stereotypical notion that Pakistani, and by extension Muslim, men have a cultural predilection to child abuse, grooming and rape. It’s also difficult to square the notion that a police force that was sympathetic to the National Front during the 1980s could also be operating in “politically correct” or “racially sensitive” ways.

The unproven notion that questions relating to the cultural background of perpetrators inhibit the ability of the process of law to follow its proper course resulting from “political correctness”, adds to the stereotyping. Following the Rochdale case, for example, Baroness Warsi said:… “Cultural sensitivity should never be a bar to applying the law.” 

Warsi added:

“There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first… This small minority who see women as second-class citizens, and white women probably as third-class citizens, are to be spoken out against… Communities have a responsibility to stand up and say: “This is wrong; this will not be tolerated.”

Cultural norms

Among the mainstream media liberal commentariat who have responded to the reported spate of grooming cases, is right-wing TV historian David Starkey who proclaimed:

“If you want to look at what happens when you have no sense of common identity, look at Rochdale and events in Rochdale… Those men were acting within their own cultural norms.”

It is credit to Starkey that by specifically alluding to those men he potentially raised an important issue. The same can be said of Warsi’s careful use of language. In this context, it is worth recalling that Badrul Hussain, 37, who on August 16, 2017, was found guilty as part of ‘Operation Sanctuary’, said, “White women are good for only one thing – for people like me to f*** and use as trash.”

Is there a religious and/or cultural aspect that underpins this kind of mentality and is the literal translation of specific texts within the Koran used to justify the raping of white women by Hussain and other Muslim gang rapists?

LBC broadcaster, Maajid Nawaz, himself a Muslim, argues:

“There is a disproportionate problem with rape gangs in this country coming from people like me and my cultural background. That is something we simply have to talk about.”

Nawaz continues:

“Sarah Champion’s constituency, where she’s representing people in South Yorkshire, was the home to more than 1,400 hundred child victims of sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013. A report into this grooming scandal, this rape scandal, found quote almost all of the perpetrators were of Pakistani origin. We simply cannot pretend this problem doesn’t exist and try and bury our heads in the sand.”

Whether these kinds of Muslim gangs are inspired by a literal (fundamentalist) translation of the Koran, or there are other cultural issues at play, what cannot be denied is the anti-white racism of Hussain, and by extension the other perpetrators of the crime.

This view was echoed by the head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Lord Macdonald, who following the conviction of 17 men and one woman in Newcastle, described the case as “profoundly racist.”

Despite this, however, there has not been the same denouncing of the “cultural norms” of how women are treated when it comes to non-Muslim sex attackers. Look no further than the number of footballers in cases of alleged rape. The gross custom of footballers or their representatives cruising the shops of Manchester picking up women to have sex with even has its own term, “harvesting”. These women are brought to clubs and hotels where they are then assumed to be willing to have sex with numbers of footballers—coined “roasting”, often while being filmed.

Misogyny

Following the five year jail term for the crime of rape by Welsh international footballer, Ched Evans, his sister and a group of fans tried to organize a public tribute to him as a show of support at a match. We do not see front pages devoted to denouncing the misogynist culture of football, or calls for footballers as a collective to examine why a number of their colleagues have been accused of sex crimes. Yet all the time Muslim representatives are called upon to denounce the crimes as if in some way by nature of a shared religion they are collectively responsible.

This notion of assumed collective responsibility is shared by Mail columnist, Melanie Phillips who suggested that:

“The police maintain doggedly that this has nothing to do with race. What a red herring. Of course it doesn’t! This is about religion and culture – an unwesternised Islamic culture which holds that non-Muslims are trash and women are worthless. And so white girls are worthless trash”.

This kind of crass generalization was reiterated by Labour’s Jack Straw in January 2011, after a case in which two Asian men were convicted of rape and sexual abuse in Nottingham Crown Court. Straw declared that young Muslim men were “fizzing and popping with testosterone” and saw young white women as “easy meat”.

The perpetuation of the kind of racist stereotypes and generalizations outlined are not only wrong but they do nothing to solve the broader question of why some men within all communities and from all backgrounds abuse women and girls.

Research

Sarah Champion bemoans what she perceives is the lack of research into this area. But research has been undertaken. One study in particular examines the nature of social networks of the culprits and victims in two cases that involved groups of Pakistani men. It explains that gangs and paedophile rings are rare.

It goes on to say, “Contrary to stereotypes of sinister paedophile rings, most child sex offenders act alone,” and quotes research on child sex offenders showing that “only 4 per cent were involved in an organised network and 92 per cent had no contact with other offenders prior to arrest”.

Crucially, of the cases studied, there was no evidence that white girls were targeted by offenders, adding, “though the majority were white, so too were the majority of local inhabitants.”

The same logic works in reverse. Where there are large concentrations of Muslim men, for example, it follows that this particular demographic are more likely to be the offending group. In other words, as Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood of Greater Manchester Police was careful to point out, in relation to the Rochdale case, that race was not the issue but “adults preying on vulnerable young children”.

There is no evidence that intrinsically links Pakistani men to child abuse and yet prominent figures from both the left and right like Straw, Phillips, Loughton and Champion have all used generalities in emphasizing the cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds of the perpetrators in a way they wouldn’t if the said perpetrators happened to have been white.

Champion allegedly opined that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.” The Labour MP is reported to have added, “There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?”

Yes, there is a problem. But the crime of sexual abuse of women and girls in Britain is not exclusively a problem within the Pakistani community. If the Sun had accurately interpreted that Champion singled out this community in the way they reported it, it’s difficult to conclude that her comments are not racist. If she was misquoted, then she should clarify matters.

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Liberal journalism feeds from the trough of intolerance, racism & hate

By Daniel Margrain

 

Those who have been following the career of the flamboyant political showman and president-elect Donald Trump, whose heavy-handed approach to demonstrators at his rallies and outrageously racist remarks many are familiar with, might be surprised to learn that similar comments, albeit hidden under the cover of liberal respectability, have gone largely unnoticed within media circles.

Nine years before the widespread condemnation of Trump’s remarks, Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society, a neoconservative organisation financed by CIA money laundered through U.S supported private foundations and which has links to U.S and European far-right groups, echoed Trump when, in an admittedly less demagogic fashion, he argDouglasmurray.jpgued for the banning of Muslim immigration into Europe. Murray has also defended the use of torture by Western intelligence agencies.

The role call of pro-war Blairites within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) who sit on the Political Council of the Henry Jackson Society, include Margaret Beckett, Hazel Blears, Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant and Gisela Stuart, while the BBC regularly give air time to Murray and fellow liberal-left commentators like pro-war David Aaranovitch and Alistair Campbell on mainstream political discussion and debating programmes such as Question Time, This Week, Today and Daily Politics.

Another commentator the BBC likes to do business with on a regular basis, is columnist Melanie Phillips. An avowed Zionist who writes for immigrant baiting the Mail and Murdoch’s Times, Phillips, claimed in a recent article for the latter, that activists opposed to a man who appointed an antisemite, white supremacist and misogynist as one of his senior advisers, were the real racists.

Phillips has form in relation to her attempts to whip-up fears and divisions. After the previous U.S election, for example, former UK diplomat, Craig Murray quoted Phillip’s’ incitement to religious hatred:

“Romney lost”, Phillips said, “because, like Britain’s Conservative party, the Republicans just don’t understand that America and the west are being consumed by a culture war.”

Phillips continued:

“In their cowardice and moral confusion, they all attempt to appease the enemies within. And from without, the Islamic enemies of civilisation stand poised to occupy the void…With the re-election of Obama, American now threatens to lead the west into a terrifying darkness.”

One might think that leading figures within the political and media corporate establishments – particularly on the liberal-left of the spectrum – would be keen to distance themselves from the likes of Phillips and the Henry Jackson Society who talk up the Jihadi threat. On the contrary, both the hierarchy within the PLP who sit on the Political Council of the HJS as well as ostensibly liberal-left political commentators, are not remain silent in relation to Phillip’s and Murray’s casual racism, but they regularly cite the Henry Jackson Society when commenting on Islamic affairs, even though the organization acts as a front for the security services via the Quilliam Foundation.

The fact that among the elite, it is not seen as a conflict of interest that a stated impartial news broadcaster like the BBC regularly cites a think tank whose role, in return for tax payers money, is to publicly denounce Muslim organisations, is extremely revealing. That the Quilliam Foundation operates in collaboration with Pegida UK whose head is the infamous former English Defence League street-fighting fascist, Tommy Robinson, further undermines the credibility of the nations state broadcaster.

It’s also revealing that establishment figures within the hierarchy of the PLP, their Blairite wing Progress, and Labour friends of Israel – all of whom complain about the alleged infiltration of left wing elements within the party – are willing to align themselves with fascists and Islamophobes. Le Pen, Marine-9586.jpgBut as the general public have become increasingly wise to the bogus modus operandi of the British state and it’s liberal media echo-chambers who promote fear and hatred of Muslims, new fears and hatreds are needed to replace them. Hence, the current fear is Russia.

Russophobia & the normalization of fascism

With the recent publication of their Manual of Russophobiathe aim of the Henry Jackson Society is once again to brainwash the British public – this time into believing a revamped cold war narrative predicated on the myth that Russia poses a threat to Western civilization as the justification to keep the industrial-military complex rolling along. The HJS-produced hate manual – which will be cited by pro-war groups of Conservative and New Labour Progress MPs as a way of ramping-up military confrontation with Russia – was released on the same day the head of MI5 gave an interview to the Guardian about the “Russian threat”.

The unsubstantiated claims made against Russia and the covert form of racism of the likes of Murray and Phillips et al are rarely, if ever, challenged in mainstream and corporate media circles. To my knowledge, apart from Craig Murray, not a single prominent commentator has alluded to Phillips’ and Douglas Murray’s Islamophobia and racism. This, I suspect, is because they are widely seen by the metropolitan elite, of which they are a part, as commentators who espouse liberal-democratic values. By contrast, the working class and openly racist Robinson, is widely regarded as the unacceptable face of fascism which explains why his much less frequent media appearances have mainly been limited to radio broadcasts.  .

The format of debate and discussion programmes are such that hateful views are not properly debated or challenged by journalists and broadcasters. This was the case for example, when the  far-right fascist French MEP, Marine Le Pen appeared on the November 13 edition of the BBCs Marr programme, a decision that was presumably sanctioned by the BBCs incumbent Director General, Tony Hall.

Another example was the sympathetic treatment the BBC afforded to the former BNP president, Nick Griffin. In 2009, Griffin appeared on the BBC’s flagship political discussion programme, Question Time even though a) the Standards Board for England’s description in 2005 that the BNP is Nazi was “within the normal and acceptable limits of political debate”, and b) that the European Parliament’s Committee on racism and xenophobia described the BNP as an “openly Nazi party”. When asked in 1993 if the party was racist, its then deputy leader Richard Edmonds, who has been convicted for racist violence, said, “We are one-hundred per cent racist, yes.”

Prior to his appearance on the programme, Griffin expressed delight with the decision of the BBC to have granted him a major political platform with which to air his party’s views. These views went largely unchallenged by the other guests on the show that included Labour’s Jack Straw. It’s worth remembering that Straw insisted that female Muslim constituents visiting his constituency office in Blackburn remove their veils. He also claimed that Pakistani men saw white girls as “easy meat”.

At the time of Griffin’s appearance on Question Time, the BBC attracted an audience of almost 8 million viewers, three times its average. Following the publicity generated by Griffin’s appearance, the Daily Telegraph revealed the resultsNick griffin bnp from flickr user britishnationalism (cropped).jpg of a UK Gov opinion poll which indicated that 22 percent of British people would “seriously consider” voting for the BNP and that 9,000 people applied to join the party after the programme aired. Two years before the Question Time appearance, Griffin had generated a significant amount of publicity following the controversy surrounding Oxford universities decision to allow him a public platform to address students at the universities campus.

These examples counter the notion that it’s a legitimate course of action for racists and fascists to be given a media platform to air their views on the spurious grounds that not to do so would impinge on their right to free speech. By allowing these kinds of views to go unchallenged in the manner described, effectively gives confidence to racists and fascists everywhere. As one commentator on Twitter succinctly put it in relation to Andrew Marr’s approach to Le Pen:

You let a racist say they’re not racist without a proper challenge, you let a million racists watching think they are also not racist

The appearance on the BBC of Oxbridge-educated Griffin was presumably sanctioned by the then BBC Director General, Mark Thompson who was himself educated at one of two of Britain’s elite educational establishments – Oxford and Cambridge. Griffin, who graduated in law, told the Guardian that he admired Thompson’s “personal courage” by inviting him. Nicholas Kroll, then director of the BBC Trust – an organization that supposedly represents the interests of the viewing public – was also educated at Oxford. At the time of writing, at least three of the 12 members of the government-appointed trustees, were educated at either Oxford or Cambridge and the majority have corporate, banking and finance backgrounds.

Despite the unrepresentative nature of the BBC and the media and the political elites attempts at normalizing fascism, the notion that fascist sympathies are rooted within the British establishment has not been widely recognized by the general public, even though last July, British royalty were shown giving Nazi salutes as part of a home movie, or that Prince Harry dressed up as a Nazi two weeks before Holocaust Memorial Day. The problem for the elites is not that these relationships exist, rather the concern is the possibility that dissidents within the media will shine a light on them. As Craig Murray put it:

“It says a huge amount about the confidence of the royal family, that they feel able to respond to their Nazi home movie with nothing other than outrage that anybody should see it…. The royal family is of course only the tip of the iceberg of whitewashed fascist support.”

Fascist political-media culture

Fascist ideology is the bedrock on which our political and media culture is based. The reality is liberal-establishment organisations and think-tanks like the Henry Jackson Society, Quilliam Foundation and MigrationWatch UK in alliance with the media, give political expression to the largest established political parties. It’s the right-wing elements within these parties who use neoliberalism as a cover for racist-based justifications for arguing either for British withdrawal from the EU on the one hand, or on the other, for the implementation of greater neoliberal reforms dekas a precondition for maintaining the countries continued membership within it.

These factors explain why the establishment give far-right groups and their intellectual liberal mouthpieces of the likes of David Aaranovitch, Melanie Phillips and Douglas Murray the oxygen of publicity they need to promulgate war and racism and thereby to perpetuate and legitimize the agendas of the British security services and, by extension, the military arm of the state.

The role played by the liberal commentariate is an essential part of the functioning of the modern liberal democratic state which transcends party political lines. Both the ‘left’ and ‘right’ are prepared to use false and contradictory racist-based arguments in order to whip up divisions within society for crude, opportunistic short-term electoral gain. Under the New Labour government of Tony Blair, for example, Gordon Brown opened up the UK labour market to potentially millions of workers from the Accession 8 (A8) countries that comprised the former Soviet Bloc as the basis for restoring Britain’s economic status against a backdrop of sustained industrial decline.

British jobs for British workers

Brown did this to address Britain’s demographic problems in terms of its ageing population as well as to fill existing skills gaps. However, by the time he had taken over the reigns of power from Blair, he began using the racist language of division by emphasizing the need to secure “British jobs for British workers”. This was after oil refinery workers in 2009 protested against their replacement by foreign workers that he – Brown – encouraged. Short-term electoral interests encourage politician’s to play the race card which does not necessarily correspond with those of their paymasters in the boardrooms of the corporations whose primary concern is to secure the most plentiful, skilled and cheap workers possible.

In pure economic terms, immigrants make a positive contribution, not least because the state has been spared the considerable expense of educating and training them. Political leaders know this and that is precisely why the shrill talk deployed at elections is invariably at odds with the policies they actually implement when in office. That, in turn, is why it is so easy for the bigots within racist parties like UKIP and the BNP to expose the hypocrisy of the mainstream parties while also providing organisations like the Henry Jackson Society and MigrationWatch UK with the cover for pursuing a racist agenda of their own.

Exploiting voters concerns

Too readily, those at the top are quick to exploit voters concerns about the supposed threat that immigration poses in terms of undermining ‘social cohesion’. But they do this so as to engender a sense of division to make it easier for them to rule over everybody. When tensions arise from time to time, it’s those at the bottom who are routinely condemned by the media for their prejudice and bigotry, whereas the more significant racism which emanates from the policies of those at the top who foment it, goes virtually unnoticed.

It’s not my intention to absolve working class racists of their actions, but rather to point out that the more significant forms of racism is formed in the corporate and media boardrooms, think-tanks and elite political sphere indicative of ruling class power. Although this racism is given political expression in the form of scare stories almost daily in the gutter press of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express that perpetuate them, it’s not restricted to these tabloids. The Chair of MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, for example, is regularly granted a media platform in order to push an anti-immigrant agenda, albeit a subtle one.

Similarly, the likes of Douglas Murray, David Aaranovitch, Melanie Phillips and Toby Young who newspaper proprietors and TV executives consistently employ to espouse their views, do a great deal to distill the more overt expressions of racist scare stories so as to appeal to the realms of their middle and upper middle class viewers and readers. It’s deemed irrelevant by corporate executives that the ‘journalists’ they employ proffer spurious and deliberately misleading information, simply that they give their demographic what they think they want to hear and read to increase their customer base and so boost their profits in order to satisfy the demands placed on them by their advertisers.

And that, I submit, is hardly the foundation on which to build a civilized, multi-cultural and inclusive society. The liberal media and political Guardian commentariate who claim to be in favour of this kind of society and who were in a state of incredulous denial following Trump’s election victory, continue to blame the result on everybody and everything but their own complicity.

Whether it’s the perceived stupidity of white racists, misogynists, misguided women, or any other form of identity politics, the notion that the success of Trump was a symptom of the metropolitan elites inability to report honestly on the relevant issues the electorate faced, is simply regarded by the liberal media herd as inconceivable. Donald Trump may be an oaf and a racist, but fundamentally are his values really much different to a corporate-media-political elite that attempts to shape how we think and act on a daily basis resulting from a systematic culture of false propaganda, misrepresentations and lies?

 

What the Jackie Walker debacle is really all about

By Daniel Margrain

In an excellent piece published by the Electronic Intifada (April 28, 2016), journalist Asa Winstanley shows how media outlets such as the Telegraph, Huffington Post and the Jewish Chronicle have been complicit in the systematic attempt to disorientate Labour Party members and supporters by either printing misleading misinformation or reproducing unsubstantiated accusations and smears against individuals all of which have contributed to a false media narrative regarding alleged antisemitism within the party.

Also in the piece, Winstanley outlines the links between right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour and the pro- Israel lobby and meticulously shows how this lobby manufactured an ‘antisemitism crisis’, pinpointing the individuals involved, the tactics and dirty tricks used and the connections to individuals whose ties lead to pro-Israel groups both in London and Israel. Among the individuals Winstanley highlights are David Klemperer who opposed Corbyn’s run for the labour leadership (but has since been kicked out of the party), and former Israel lobby intern, Alex Chalmers.

Jewish Labour Movement

Arguably the most significant and influential figure behind the false claims of antisemitism that Winstanley cited in his piece, is former chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Jeremy Newmark. It was while in charge of the JLC that Newmark gave evidence at a 2013 Employment Tribunal case alleging antisemitic behaviour by the University and College Union brought by one of its members. The case was dismissed by the judge in its entirety.

Newmark is currently chairperson of the Labour party-affiliated, Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The JLM is also affiliated to the Israeli Labor Party and the World Zionist Organization. According to the UN, the latter pumps millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement division. Clearly Newmark’s mission in rooting out ‘left antisemitism’ cannot be disentangled from his wider role as sympathizer and propagandist for the Zionist-Israel cause. Winstanley contends that no mainstream journalists “have disclosed Newmark’s long-standing role in the Israel lobby, or his record of lying about antisemitism.”

Pernicious

One particularly pernicious and unfounded antisemitism accusation during the last few weeks has involved long-standing, and until recently, reinstated Labour party member, Jackie Walker, who as the result of comments made at a private antisemitism training session on September 26, was removed from her role as Vice-Chair of Momentum prompting the Labour Party hierarchy to renew her suspension from the party.

Walker stands accused of four things: a) trivializing Holocaust Memorial Day, b) claiming that the threats of attacks on Jewish schools had been exaggerated, c) claiming she saw no need for definitions of antisemitism and d) commenting on the Jewish role in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Although Walker was factually incorrect about the first point by claiming HMD only commemorated the Jewish Holocaust, it’s nevertheless true that the commemoration is one in which the Jewish narrative dominates. “My aim”, Walker said, “was to argue that there are no hierarchies of genocide; there is no way to quantify or qualitatively describe the indescribable, the indescribably inhumane acts that are part of our histories”.

In relation to the second point, it would appear that antisemitic attacks on Jewish schools have indeed been exaggerated (see below). In terms of point three, Walker didn’t claim she saw no need for definitions of antisemitism, as was claimed. What she actually said was “I still haven’t heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with”. The context of Walker’s intervention is important: A few minutes before a (Jewish) attendee at the session asked the training session tutor, Mike Katz, of the Jewish Labour Movement, “We don’t know what you’re working from. Do you think you can give us what your definition of AS is?”

Katz replied, “The standard definition of antisemitism is actually the European Union Monitoring Centre.” It was at this point, that several other members objected to the use of the EUMC definition claiming it had no status and was deeply flawed. Walker was objecting to a deeply flawed 500 word ‘new antisemitism’ or even ‘antisemitic anti-zionism’ definition authored by attorney Kenneth Stern, that is so wide in scope as to encompass political criticisms of Israel.

The reason why it is so difficult for some people to disentangle antisemitism from legitimate criticisms of Zionism as a political ideology, is because the EUMC definition often cited by those who use it as a political weapon in order to blunt all criticism of illegal Israeli land grabs, is far too long and convoluted. Brian Klug, an Oxford academic who specializes in the study of antisemitism manages it in 21 words: “Antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”. Klug’s far more reasonable definition is almost certainly something Walker, and many other anti-Zionists, would be willing to work with.

The fourth reason why Zionists targeted Jackie Walker was because she had the temerity to admit that some of her Jewish ancestors were involved in the sugar and slave trade in the Caribbean and West Indies. Her position was misrepresented in the Zionist Jewish Chronicle who ran with the sensationalist headlineLabour suspends Momentum supporter who claimed Jews caused ‘an African holocaust’. On the basis of this egregious lie, the campaign against Jackie Walker, a dedicated and long standing anti-racist activist, began. Walker says:

My claim, as opposed to those made for me by the Jewish Chronicle, has never been that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic Slave Trade, merely that, as historians such as Arnold Wiznitzer noted, at a certain economic point, in specific regions where my ancestors lived, Jews played a dominant role as financiers of the sugar industry, as brokers and exporters of sugar, and as suppliers of Negro slaves on credit, accepting payment of capital and interest in sugar.”

Zionist Labour Movement? 

It’s clear that the treatment meted out to Walker by the the JLM, is indicative of a movement that does not represents Jews, rather, it represents Zionists. The JLM, in other words, is a misnomer and would more accurately described as a Zionist Labour Movement. Jackie Walker, although Jewish, is not a Zionist and is therefore not welcome in the organisation. However, non-Jewish Zionists are. The organisation’s own website states:

“The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”

The furor surrounding Jackie Walker, as Mike Sivier states, “is not about anti-Semitism; but removing a person who does not support Zionism from a position of influence.”

Antisemitic incidences

The attacks on Walker (as well as many others in which similar accusations of antisemitism have been invoked), appear to be emblematic of a much bigger problem that goes to the heart of UK-Israel relations. On the surface, the implication appears to be that antisemitism is more prevalent within the Labour Party compared with other political parties in Britain. However, the notion that incidences of antisemitism are more widespread in a party which historically has been at the forefront of anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigns, does not stand up to scrutiny.

How about the claim that antisemitism is more prevalent compared to other forms of racism in British society? Again, the answer is a negative. A 2015 survey by Pew for example, found that seven percent of the UK public held “unfavourable” views of Jews. By contrast, about a fifth held negative views of Muslims and almost two-fifths viewed Roma people unfavourably.

In the aftermath of the massacres in Gaza in 2014, the London Metropolitan police recorded 358 anti-Semitic offences. Two hundred and seventy three of these were online, 36 involved criminal damage and 38 constituted “harassment”. Eleven cases of assault were recorded in which four resulted in personal injury. One hundred and eighty thousand offences in these categories were recorded within the wider population throughout Metropolitan London. In other words, attacks against Jews in 2014 against a backdrop in which Gaza was being pulverized, made up only one in 500 of the total, while they made up around one in 86 of the population of London as a whole.

Community Security Trust (CST) figures for the first six months of this year show a rise of 15 per cent above those from the previous year. But this is from an extremely low base. The actual number of such incidents recorded for the first half of 2016 was 557. And that figure is still below that for 2014 when the Israeli assault on Gaza occurred. So claims that there has been a ‘surge’ in antisemitic incidences in recent years are false and misleading.

Moral panic

In response to a moral panic about ‘left antisemitism’ seemingly expanding without limit, a loosely-knit group of Jewish Labour Party supporters called Free Speech on Israel coalesced for an inaugural gathering in April. The fifteen-member group, which included Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics, Jonathan Rosenhead, found that over their lifetimes they could muster only a handful of antisemitic experiences between them. And, crucially, although in aggregate they had hundreds of years of Labour Party membership, not a single one of them had ever experienced an incident of antisemitism in the party.

These experiences would appear to tally with the findings of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme. Despite filming undercover for six months at political meetings in an attempt to discredit Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the programme-makers could not find a single incidence of antisemitism among party activists. Nevertheless on the BBC Radio 4s Moral Maze programme, former representative of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Sacerdoti – whose current job title is Director of Communications for the Campaign Against Antisemitism –  claimed that  Jews are being driven “in fear of their lives from Britain to Israel.”

Hyperbole

With this kind of highly exaggerated hyperbole, Sacerdoti appears to be confusing Britain’s multicultural, secular and pluralistic liberal democracy with the inherently racist, Zionist entity headed by a Prime Minister who sees himself as the leader of the whole of the Jewish world.  Clearly, it hadn’t occurred to either Sacerdoti or Netanyahu that Jews born in Britain are British, just like their Black or Asian counterparts. They are not Israeli. Therefore, Zionists can make no legitimate claim to lead or control the Jewish diaspora. To suggest otherwise is to replicate the false racist and sectarian-based meme that Zionists and Jews are synonymous, and therefore to attack Israel is “antisemitic.”

Netanyahu outwardly expressed this Jewish-Zionist conflated racism when he attempted to shift the blame for the Holocaust from Hitler on to the Grand Mufti. From the Zionist perspective, this makes sense given that Muslims are the joint enemy of both the European far-right and their Zionist allies.

The politics of ‘antisemitism’

The notion that British cities are rife with antisemitism, in which boycotts of Israel are regarded as emblematic, is a rationalization that serves a political purpose. Currently, the non-Jewish population of Israel stands at about a quarter of the total and the proportion is growing. The Zionists need to halt the demographic shift and the way to do that is to invent, provoke or exaggerate, in the UK and elsewhere, instances of the “new antisemitism.”

Zionism is threatened from within, so Israel needs a new influx of Jews in order for the Jewish state to survive in its current form. Indeed, antisemitism is the flesh and blood that Zionism and all related industries and institutions connected to it feed off in order for them to be able to continue justifying both their and Israel’s existence. The implied racism inherent in the notion that there is a correlation between Zionism and Judaism, is offensive to the silent majority of Jews who want nothing to do with the supremacist, racist state.

The UK government is losing the moral high ground by seeking to quash anti-Israel boycotts and prevent legitimate political activism more generally. Ultimately, it has to be a legitimate course of action in a democracy for a group of people to be able to pass a resolution condemning a country because they are opposed to its political values. The cynical attempts of right-wing Zionist elements within the hierarchy of the Labour Party to drive a wedge between traditionalists and Blairites, using the specter of antisemitism as their ideological weapon, is an obvious smokescreen as a basis in which to discredit all legitimate support for the Palestinians by influential or prominent figures both inside and outside the Labour Party. The deliberate misrepresentation of the views of Craig Murray by Zionists at the forefront of the anti-Corbyn campaign, is an example of this.

Israel lobby & the CHAC report

The appointment of the ultra-Zionist Mark Regev to the role of Israeli ambassador to the UK, arguably set in motion the failed Corbyn coup attempt in which the openly hostile anti-Corbyn figure John Mann, initially operated as the Zionists principal henchman. It was therefore unsurprising that Mann and the JLM, among others, praised the Commons Home Affairs Committee (CHAC) report ostensibly into antisemitism published a few days ago which all reasonable observers perceive as nothing other than a biased political weapon with which to attack Corbyn’s leadership.

In a Facebook post, Jeremy Corbyn commented on the report:

“Although the Committee heard evidence that 75 per cent of antisemitic incidents come from far right sources, and the report states there is no reliable evidence to suggest antisemitism is greater in Labour than other parties, much of the report focuses on the Labour Party.”

“The Committee heard evidence from too narrow a pool of opinion, and its then-chair rejected both Chakrabarti’s and the Jewish Labour Movement’s requests to appear and give evidence before it. Not a single woman was called to give oral evidence in public, and the report violates natural justice by criticising individuals without giving them a right to be heard.”

“The report unfairly criticises Shami Chakrabarti for not being sufficiently independent. This fails to acknowledge public statements that the offer to appoint Chakrabarti to the House of Lords came after completion of her report, and was based on her extensive legal and campaigning experience.

“Commissioning Chakrabarti was an unprecedented step for a political party, demonstrating Labour’s commitment to fight against antisemitism.”

The pro-Israel lobby, who have a significant financial stake in the Labour Party and whose influence spreads throughout the British political establishment more generally, clearly see Pro-Palestinian Corbyn as an anathema to their wider interests viz a viz Israel. Certainly the Hasbara propaganda web site, UK Media Watch, regard the witch-hunt against Corbyn, as well as the attempts by his detractors to disorientate the membership, as ‘a job well done’.

Conclusion

Politically, the purpose of the misuse of antisemitism by Zionists is to quash all legitimate criticisms of Israel, its oppression of the Palestinian people and, by extension, Muslim/Arab nationalist aspirations more generally. The attacks on Jackie Walker and others are political and represent a determined effort by the Israel lobby to make Britain’s Labour Party safe for Israel and Zionism. Ultimately, the contrived ‘antisemitism crisis’ within the party is outflanked by the far greater problems it has with modern day Zionist aspirations which are never addressed.

Israel’s ‘friends’ within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), for example, continue to remain silent about the illegal ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their land and the historical Zionist programme of ethnic cleansing of which Plan Dalet, the Koenig PlanOperation Cast Lead and Operation Protective Edge are historical manifestations. Ultimately, the real target of the Zionists is not Jackie Walker, but the prospect of a Corbyn-led UK Labour Government, which the Zionists view as a very real threat to their Eretz (Greater) Yisrael project of a territory stretching from the River Nile to the River Euphrates.

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A second referendum?: The Tories continue to fiddle while Britain stumbles into the abyss

By Daniel Margrain

Last Wednesday afternoon I took the Eurostar from a grey and dismal London to a sunny Paris. I decided that I would try to ignore the news while I was away. However, by Friday, temptation got the better of me. While sitting at a restaurant table in the small picturesque Parisian commuter-belt town town of St Germaine en Laye enjoying my lunch, I asked the waiter if he knew what the result of the EU referendum was. He expressed his shock at the decision of the British public to renounce their membership of the 28 member club. “That’s it”, he said, “the European project is dead”. I asked him whether he thought that this was a good thing or a bad thing? “It’s a bad day for Europe”, he exclaimed. “I’m not sure the project can continue to be run effectively with Britain gone but your heart was never really in it anyway”, he continued.

He claimed that Britain had already negotiated for itself numerous concessions and any more would have effectively made the Federalist vision for Europe he was in favour of, a redundant concept. The British position he said was selfish in as much as the government appeared reluctant to use its economic muscle as leverage in order to help improve the living standards of the working classes within poorer nations of the EU which, according to him, was the ethos at the heart of the project. In other words, for the poorer nations to gain something, and for the European project to work, as he saw it, it was necessary for richer nations like Britain, to concede some financial ground at the expense of the poorer nations.

He blamed David Cameron for triggering “an unnecessary referendum based upon unfair criticism of the EU and many years of misinformation about how it actually works”, which in turn was perpetuated by some of the most right-wing media in the whole of Europe. He also claimed that vast swaths of working class people were further disorientated by some political commentators and politician’s on the left of the spectrum who he said, “ought to have known better” than, for example, to effectively blame immigrant workers for allegedly undercutting British workers. All of this, he claimed, had eventually – from a Brexit perspective – “bore fruit”.

It was difficult for me to disagree with any of this. The news that the British people had decided to leave the EU appeared to have been as much of a shock to him as it was to me. The statistics show that the demographic of those who voted to leave were mainly the elderly age group and those who voted to remain were from the younger age group. However, the elderly will not be around for long compared to the young. It therefore, follows, the former will experience the consequence of a decision that they made to a far lesser degree than the latter who didn’t.

It does seem strange that an ageing population who were allowed to vote but statistically are less able to make an informed decision with regards to issues that have long-term ramifications, are considered to be a better judge for what is best for the country than people who are, say, 16 or 17 years old but are prevented from voting on something that will effect them to a far greater degree and for far longer. For this and other reasons, it makes sense why younger people might be furious with older people. The latter, for example, have overseen the ruination of the environment that includes the spreading of poisons throughout the atmosphere, sea and soil. They have also overseen climate change, the ruination of entire economies and been at the forefront of the shift in wealth from the many to the few, which will mean that the generation to come will not only be poorer than the preceding one, but will die sooner.

In short, the older generation have run the world for their own selfish short-term gain. The younger generation are suffering, and will continue to suffer, the consequences wrought by a post-war generation that were virtually guaranteed socioeconomic protections that will be denied to their young counterparts. This includes the concept of a job for life, free higher education and gold-plated, index-linked pensions that the elderly have taken for granted. Relatively speaking, the post war-generation have never had it so good, although one will be hard pressed to draw such a conclusion from the mainstream media. And to top it all, by disproportionately voting to leave, the older generation have now given a future to the young that they specifically do not want – problems that will be further compounded by the imminent growth in automation and increasing global competition.

What is also bizarre is that countries and regions like London, Scotland and Gibralter wanted to stay in the EU within a context in which some of the most deprived parts of England and Wales were intent on leaving. In Boston, in North East England, for example, 75.6 per cent voted to leave the EU. Paradoxically, given that Brexit means that no more EU funds will be forthcoming to these deprived regions, it’s the poorest who will be most adversely affected as a result of this decision to leave. Consequently, it would appear that the poorest have been persuaded to make the decision to leave for the worse reasons, predicated largely on lies. These lies included the amount of money they were told the government spends on the EU and what amount, by contrast, it spends domestically.

The leave campaign also understated the positives of continued membership in terms of the amount of funds Britain receives from the EU as well as insisting that by leaving the British people would have the prospect of being surrounded by fewer foreigners. On all these points, and more, the public were lied to by the leave campaign. In terms of the second of these issues, for example, UKIPs Nigel Farage has already back-tracked in relation to his assertion that the £350 million a week that he wrongly claimed was spent on the EU would, instead, be spent on the NHS. The more likely scenario is the correct £161 million net figure will be used to pay for more tax cuts for the rich. Apparently leave have deleted their promises from their website. This is a useful aide-memoire.

Almost a week has passed since the referendum result was announced and the Conservative government under PM David Cameron is in disarray. With the PM still not having made any definitive legal commitment to leave, the political consequences for the remaining 27 members is far from certain. With Britain’s new status outside the EU yet to be legally formalized, its legal sequestration remains uncertain. For all those who thought that the Brexit vote would have meant a hasty political decision to leave based on a legal determination, might need to think again. As I said in my previous post, in legal terms, the referendum is advisory not mandatory. What happens next is a matter of politics, not law – a determination that’s dependent upon whether the government decides to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Even though I supported the remain camp, I respect the democratic decision the British people made when they voted to leave. Any decision to either seriously delay invoking Article 50, or any attempt at backtracking on the referendum result would, in my view, be totally unacceptable. Nevertheless, delaying the democratic decision of the majority is what the government appears to be intent on doing. Seemingly, this will involve the implementation of a possible second referendum. The government intends to respond to calls for it within the next few days. This will likely take the form of a debate in parliament following the signing of a government petition by four million people to that affect.

In many other democracies throughout the world, four million signatures would guarantee a vote on the issue. But in Britain, a similar amount of signatures only guarantees that the government will consider talking about the possibility of a vote. The governments petition committee is currently considering the protest following a meeting they held yesterday (June 28). The petition entitled EU Referendum Rules Triggering A Second EU Referendum, reads:

“We the undersigned call upon HM government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 per cent based on a turnout less than 75 per cent, there should be another referendum.”

Will the government give in to the demands set by the petition and thereby allow a second referendum to take place?

The wider issue seems to be that unless the government can find a way of presenting simple solutions to a complex set of problems, people on the whole will not understand them. However, the problem is there are no simple solutions to such complex problems. Ultimately, David Cameron will go down in history as the man who set in motion the chaos and uncertainty that will almost certainly ensue in the coming days, weeks, months and possibly years.

Because Cameron attempted to assert his authority over the Tory party, he assumed that by offering the people a referendum and winning it, would cement this authority and garner the UKIP vote as a consequence. But by losing, he has bolstered the xenophobic fringe within the UKIP and Tory parties, unleashed the potential for a rise in racist attacks and hastened the rush for Scotland to break from the UK. But perhaps most significantly of all, is that a final decision to leave, will prompt the 60 per cent of companies outside the EU who have their EU HQs in the UK and who trade with the EU, to re-locate elsewhere. If you headed a company that was based outside the EU but was big enough to have a EU HQs and you selected to be in a country that is now potentially going to be outside the EU, what would you do?

It’s a no brainer. You would have to up-sticks and move to the EU. Having an EU HQs in a country that is no longer in the EU, makes about as much sense as having a US HQs in London. So in the event of Britain definitively leaving the EU both politically and legally, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost. This is a bare minimum of the chaos that is likely to occur set against a backdrop of increasing resentment, suspicion, xenophobia and racism. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride ahead.

Muhammad Ali: Brilliant but flawed icon

By Daniel Margrain

Muhammad Ali captivated the imagination of millions (this writer included) during his peak from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. His iconic status transcended his work inside the boxing ring. His larger than life personality, good looks and quickness of thought outside the ring was matched by the speed, deftness and grace inside it. It was precisely the combination of his magnificent athleticism as a champion allied with his ability to articulate what was happening in society that made him the icon and legend that he was and will almost certainly continue to be in the decades to come. In simple terms, Ali’s legendary status as a sportsman and his civil rights activism were deeply intertwined.

Despite many of today’s leading sportsmen and women and stars of the entertainment industry having the requisite platform with which to confront the injustices that surround them, they invariably lack the integrity to do so. This was not true of Ali. Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky on the 17th January 1942, the most famous sporting icon on the planet used the media in a brilliantly imaginative way to stand up to what he believed in and he did so in the knowledge that the personal price to be paid would be the threat of imprisonment and a massive loss of income. For Ali, following the easy path wasn’t an option.

It’s perhaps easy to underestimate the extent to which Ali helped lay the foundations for what many people today almost certainly take for granted in terms of the relative social harmony that exists within our contemporary multicultural societies. But it has to be remembered the context in which black people lived their lives when Clay came to prominence after he became world heavyweight champion in 1964. Objectively, the lives of black people in Clay’s U.S homeland hadn’t changed much for the better at the time of the boxers first major triumph in the ring.

Despite the fact that the massive expansion of U.S capitalism which followed WW2 created thousands of new jobs and thereby put strains on the racist job reservation policies that existed in many industries, considerable resistance to fundamental change remained well into the 1950s. As Kevin Ovenden points out, up until this point, the political establishment in the North of the U.S were grouped around the Republican party who remained largely indifferent to the racism and urban poverty in the South. Nor did they care that in the South everything was run by the same establishment who had fought the Civil War to preserve slavery.

The South was run as a one party state by the Democrats – the party supported by the section of the American ruling class who fought longest and hardest to keep blacks under a state of virtual apartheid. Change, when it did come, was inspired by the struggles of southern blacks themselves which theoretically began to make inroads following the 1954 American Supreme Court adjudication of the Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education case which proffered that racially segregated schooling was unconstitutional. The case which had been brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was, however, tokenistic and hence it did not result in widespread desegregation.

This was the context which led a member of the NAACP, Rosa Parks in 1955, to refuse to give up her seat to a white woman on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Following Parks’ arrest, activists began to organize and the Montgomery bus boycott was born. The ensuing victory a year later inspired civil rights activists everywhere and propelled the Baptist minister, Martin Luther King to nationwide prominence. Consequently, what began as a question of attaining legal rights spread to the economic and political sphere. This was the point at which Clay began to make his mark, politically.

Eight years after the successful Montgomery bus boycott, Clay at 22 years of age returned to his homeland as a world heavyweight champion after beating Sonny Liston in what was widely regarded as an upset. Despite his new found fame and status, Clay was still subjected to the humiliating institutional discrimination that blighted the lives of black people in the US. He was refused service at a ‘whites only’ restaurant and was set upon by a gang of racists. He had trouble finding a hotel to stay when he traveled to fight.

Already he displayed the outspoken bravado for which he was famous. Interviewed in the ring immediately after the fight, he said, “I don’t have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned twenty-two years old. I must be the greatest.” The following morning he confirmed the rumours of his involvement with the Nation of Islam or the ‘Black Muslims’ as they were also known, founded by a Middle Eastern immigrant, Wallace D Fard in 1930. It was during this period that he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.

Ali’s involvement with the militant black separatist movement, the Nation of Islam, which was growing in influence and challenging the hegemony of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement, coincided with the rise to prominence of Malcolm X, the Nation’s most charismatic figure and talented spokesperson who would go on to mentor him. Two years after experiencing racism first hand that followed his defeat of Liston, Ali further antagonized the white establishment by refusing to be conscripted into the U.S military citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.  Ali’s response was clear and emphatic:

“No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave-masters of the darker people the world over.”

The price Ali paid was a heavy one. He was convicted by an all white jury of evading the draft and sentenced to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Though he never actually served time in jail the threat remained until his conviction was eventually overturned in June 1971. Meanwhile he was stripped of his titles and governing bodies across the world including the British Boxing Board of Control revoked his licence to box. Ali’s principled stance as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Writer Mike Marqusee highlights the fact that four days after he was ordered to report for duty in April 1967 a huge 125,000 strong anti-war rally was held in Central Park. His defiant declaration was that he had nothing against the Vietnamese:

“They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father… Shoot them for what? …How can I shoot them poor people, Just take me to jail.”

Such an outspoken stance gave other dissenters and the wider anti-war and anti racist movements a huge boost. Other sporting and cultural figures were to follow his lead including the athletes who gave the famous Black Power Salute at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. However, despite his many outstanding achievements in and out of the ring, it was clear that by the early 1970s Malcolm X’s mentoring had seriously disorientated Ali. It was his proclamations of racist pseudo-science – the formal ideas of which were codified as part of the belief system of the Nation of Islam – which was to result in some of Ali’s more bizarre and eccentric rhetorical flourishes. This culminated in his famous interview with Michael Parkinson in 1971.

Three years later, Ali was back in the ring after having been stripped of his world title seven years previously. One of my earliest childhood sporting memories was the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle‘ bout when he reclaimed his world title from George Foreman. Back then very few black people appeared on TV and when they did it was invariably as villains, who were swiftly dispatched or buffoons to be ridiculed.

Ali finally retired after humiliating defeats against his former sparring partner Larry Holmes and a journeyman Trevor Berbick in 1980 and 81. It’s a pity as far as this writer is concerned that he made the undignified decision to carry on fighting well beyond his peak. This was probably due to a combination of his own vanity and his attempt to recoup some of the money from those whose greed had exploited him throughout his career, stripping him of much of his wealth. By this time he was already suffering the early onset of the Parkinson’s Syndrome that was to afflict him so dramatically in later life.

Despite his lack of clarity of political thought, Ali along with Malcolm X, gained a reputation for what other leading black figures did not dare voice. Ultimately, it was the denunciation of the system that won them support. As far back as late 1964 Malcolm X appeared to reject the obscurantist philosophy that underpinned the Nation of Islam and began to speak openly and favourably about socialism saying white anti-racists tended to be socialists. He was also aware that the source of racism was located at the heart of capitalism. As writer George Breitman, quoting Malcolm X, put it:

“The system in this country cannot produce freedom for the Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system, period. It’s impossible for this system, as it stands, to produce freedom right now for the black man in this country.”

Whether Muhammed Ali had moved towards this view during the end of his life is not clear. Nevertheless, regardless of Ali’s perceived political weaknesses, these flaws are outweighed by the fact that he remains one of the most historically outstanding cultural figures in the struggle against racism, war and imperialism of modern times.

 

Antisemitism: the myths & the maths

By Daniel Margrain

A great deal has been written about how the Blairite fringe within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) are attempting to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership with a view to his eventual toppling using the specter of antisemitism as a weapon with which to achieve it. Arguably the most comprehensive analyses of the McCarthy-style witch-hunts undertaken so far (which ironically have involved Tony Greenstein, who has been at the forefront of moves to combat genuine cases of antisemitism on the fringes of the Palestine solidarity movement), has been undertaken by the journalist Asa Winstanley. In an excellent piece published by the Electronic Intifada (April 28, 2016), Winstanley outlines the links between right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour and the pro- Israel lobby within the party. He meticulously shows how this lobby manufactured an ‘antisemitism crisis’, pinpointing the individuals involved, the tactics and dirty tricks used and the connections to powerful individuals whose ties lead to pro-Israel groups both in London and Israel.

Among those the journalist points to are two individuals who instigated the antisemitism row, David Klemperer who opposed Corbyn’s run for the labour leadership (but has since been kicked out of the party), and former Israel lobby intern, Alex Chalmers. Perhaps significantly, Winstanley points to a more influential figure behind the false claims of antisemitism. That figure is former chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Jeremy Newmark, now the chairperson of the Labour party-affiliated, Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The JLM is also affiliated to the Israeli Labor Party and the World Zionist Organization. According to the UN, the latter pumps millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement division.

The media uncritically bought Newark’s assertion that antisemitism is rife within Corbyn’s Labour party. But as Winstanley contends, no mainstream journalists “have disclosed Newmark’s long-standing role in the Israel lobby, or his record of lying about anti-Semitism.” Winstanley also shows how media outlets such as the Telegraph, Huffington Post and the Jewish Chronicle have been complicit in the systematic attempt to disorientate Labour party members and supporters by either printing misinformation or reproducing unsubstantiated accusations and smears against individuals all of which have contributed to a false media narrative.

The implication appears to be that antisemitism is not only more prevalent within the Labour party compared with other political parties but is also more prevalent compared to other forms of racism in UK society more widely. Neither claims stand up to scrutiny. There’s no evidence to suggest that such views are any more prevalent in a party which historically has been at the forefront of anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigns. On the contrary, racism and fascism is more likely to be symptomatic of far-right politics then left-wing politics. Take Zionism as an example. Far-right political parties court the Zionist vote because Zionism is a far-right and racist ideology. More widely, a 2015 survey by Pew found that seven percent of the UK public held ‘unfavourable’ views of Jews. By contrast, about a fifth held negative views of Muslims and almost two-fifths viewed Roma people unfavourably.

Interestingly. I recently came across the following blog piece, originally posted last August by Mira Bar-Hillel. Although, Bar-Hillel’s use of the term “Jewish Lobby”  is, I would contend, inappropriate, the piece is nevertheless an extremely lucid, revealing and well-written account of the extent to which the Zionist pro-Israel lobby have managed to inculcate their propaganda within the wider UK political and media discourse, the consequences of which appear to be adversely impacting on the democratic process. Mira Bar-Hillel’s sound and well articulated arguments fit in well with the current ‘antisemitism’ debacle discussed above. This is Mira Bar-Hillel’s post in full:

It has become universally acknowledged that #antisemitism in this country is rising massively to alarming record-breaking levels. Most commentators accept this as a simple fact and some respond by demanding curbs on free speech, including senior MPs and even Ministers.

The myth that British Jews are living in fear of life and limb suits some people, to whom I will refer as the “Jewish Lobby”. I will do this because it is true, and because I have been called an #antisemite so often and so publicly (and that’s just by Danny, Lord Finkelstein of Pinner) that that must be true as well.

But the rise in #antisemitism is a myth and one which needs to be busted. And if it takes a Jewish #antisemite to do it, then so be it, with help from the Metropolitan Police.

When I asked the Met for figures and breakdowns of so-called “hate crime”, they were happy to oblige, adding that nobody asked them for these figures until I did. The results will strike fear into those obsessed with scaring British Jews, but actually show there is little to worry about.

In 2014 the police recorded 358 anti-Semitic offences. This is 177 fewer than claimed by the Community Safety Trust, but then the CST is a well-funded Jewish Lobby which would not exist without #antisemitism, real or made-up. The Met’s figures, by the way, also recorded 1,481 reports of homophobic attacks and 611 of Islamophobic ones (generally accepted to be massively under-reported).

The Met’s breakdown of anti-Semitic crime in London in 2014 – which included the aftermath of the Gaza massacres and the media coverage they got – was as follows: FOUR cases of assault with injury (only ONE GBH); seven cases of Common Assault; 36 cases of Criminal Damage to a Motor Vehicle and 38 of “Harrassment”, which could mean anything. The rest were online

Compare that if you will to 180,000, which is the total for offences in these categories recorded by the Met in 2014. So attacks against Jews made up only one in 500 of the total, while they make up around one in 86 of the population of Metropolitan London. We should all be so lucky.

So why are prominent, educated and articulate Jews behaving as though their future here is suddenly at serious risk? Why does Maureen Lipmann regularly pack her bags, citing #antisemitism in between appearances in the media and radio discussions on the subject – only to unpack again?

And why is Danny Cohen, 40, recently appointed Director of BBC Television at £320,000 a year (poor didums), telling a Jerusalem conference that he “questions the long-term future for Jews in the UK”, adding  “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as in the last 12 months” – which was when he was promoted to his powerful new job?

Possibly because they have chosen to believe the CST’s “statistics” rather than the police. The well-funded CST regards posters saying “Free Palestine” as #antisemitic events. Last August: Graffiti was daubed on a pavement reading ‘Jews kill Palestinian babies’. You may recall that in August the UK media was full of images and reports of Palestinian children and babies being killed by Israel in Gaza (the eventual total being 550).

The graffiti may have an unpleasant reminder, but it was factually correct. And it was certainly not a crime, more a report of a crime. So next time you see the CST figures, have the salt cellar at the ready.

Jews make up 0.5% of the population of this country but run a very effective lobby, which is their right. It is also the right of the other 99.5% to be aware of this fact and what it means in democratic terms. And before you descend upon me from a great height and add “Jew Hater” to #antisemite, I would like to put a few things on the record.

My father left Berlin in 1933 in the face of the real and imminently dangerous #antisemitism of Kristalnacht. My mother followed him in 1936 from Cracow, which fell to the Nazis in 1940. I was born in Palestine – yes, PALESTINE – in 1946, after my father, who volunteered to join the British Army to fight the Germans came home to Jerusalem. Most of their families (and mine) perished in Hitler’s camps and one of my uncles was saved by Oscar Schindler.

I grew up and was educated in Jerusalem, served in the IDF in the mid-60s and lived through the Six Day War. I was then a news reporter on Israel Radio until 1972. I then became aware that the Israeli government – decades before Netanyahu – had no interest in negotiating away occupied territory for peace.

Long before the atrocities of the occupation turned Israelis into what the late Professor Isaiah Liebovich called “JudeoNazis” (long before the baby burning) and their country became, according to Desmond Tutu and countless others, an Apartheid State, I could feel the rot setting in and wanted none of it.

So, in the words of Bob Dylan, “Call me any name you like, I will never deny it –

“But farewell, Angelina, the sky is erupting, I must go where it’s quiet”.

Racist tropes & the Zionist attempt to make ethics illegal

By Daniel Margrain

There is something deeply unsettling about the manner in which powerful and influential Zionists and Zionist political entities in Britain and Israel appear to be intent on subverting the democratic process in order to reinforce their mutual interests. This is sustained when tropes are adhered to which perpetuate existing racist myths such as those that invoke ‘loyalty oaths’. Whenever, for example, an atrocity is committed on British soil by those who self-identify as Muslims, the wider Muslim community are effectively urged to pledge an allegiance to the country of their birth or, alternatively, they are encouraged to collectively condemn the actions of terrorists. Often it’s both of those things.

Any attempts to resist apology projection is deemed by the establishment to be akin to a form of treachery in which tacit support for an official enemy is implied. Crude loyalty binaries are invoked. Opposition to this stereotypical attitude often evokes the specter of the ‘enemy within’ trope among significant sections of the corporate-controlled media and political establishments. The Muslim community is thus tarnished with the ‘terrorist sympathizers’ brush. Arguably, the most famous example of the establishment pressurizing dissidents to conform to this collective condemnation of the official enemy narrative was in relation to George W Bush’s evoking of the binary “you are either with us or with the terrorists” proclamation that followed the events on 9-11. It is therefore unfortunate that some prominent Zionists appear to be intent on perpetuating and reinforcing the ‘divided loyalties trope’ which has the effect of playing into the hands of racists and antisemites.

Matthew Gould and Jake Wallis Simons are two relatively recent examples of what appears to be British-born Jewish Zionists conforming to stereotypical tropes that involve the prioritizing of a foreign power, namely Israel, above the interests of the British state. The former was the first Jewish-Zionist to have been appointed as Britain’s ambassador to Israel. Gould, who along with Minister of Defence, Liam Fox and his businessman friend, Adam Werritty, through undisclosed meetings, seemed intent on ensuring that Britain would be drawn into a war with Iran, ostensibly on Israel’s behalf. Gould’s openly Zionist leanings implied a serious conflict of interest issue.

The latter example, the Daily Mail’s Jake Wallis Simons, who has been at the forefront of a sustained and coordinated media witch-hunt as part of a coup attempt against pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn while simultaneously labeling anybody who supports Corbyn’s position as an “antisemite” said that he would support Israel if Britain and the Jewish state were hypothetically to go to war. Needless to say that if a British-Muslim had proffered support for any one of Britain’s official enemies, the security forces would have almost certainly detained him/her under terrorism legislation and the corporate media would have plastered the story over its front pages.

The same double standards apply to the media’s reaction to their coverage of the governments crackdown on those who support boycotts against Israel which the government looks set to make illegal. In light of the current political crackdown on almost all criticism of the Zionist state, one wonders when the government will consider the banning of anti-Zionism critiques. The governments claim appears to be that boycotts, which favour the Palestinians, are a form of “antisemitism” It’s clear that anti-democratic crackdowns of this nature violate the right to make an ethical stand against any perceived injustice and will thereby set a dangerous precedent.

According to.pro-Israeli propagandist and former representative of the Zionist Federation, Jonathan Sacerdoti- whose current job title is ‘Director of Communications for the Campaign Against Antisemitism’ – Jews regard boycotts against Israel to not only be intimidating but are also perceived to be an illustration of “antisemitism disguised as criticism of Israel which are driving Jews in fear of their lives from Britain to Israel.” With such highly exaggerated nonsense clearly predicated on an overriding and deep-seated sense of victim hood,  Sacerdoti appears to be confusing Britain’s multicultural, secular and pluralistic liberal democracy with the inherently racist, Zionist entity headed by a PM who also sees himself as the leader of the whole of the Jewish world. 

Clearly, it hadn’t occurred to Netanyahu that Jewish British people are British, just like Black, Asian or other British people. They are not Israeli. With the exception of Zionists like Jake Wallis Simons who would sooner see Israel triumph against the land of his birth, Netanyahu can make no legitimate claim to lead or control the Jewish diaspora. To suggest otherwise is to replicate the false racist and sectarian-based argument that Zionists and Jews are synonymous, and therefore to attack Israel is “antisemitism”. Netanyahu outwardly expressed this racism when he attempted to shift the blame for the Holocaust from Hitler on to the Grand Mufti. This makes sense given that Muslims are the joint enemy of both the European far-right and their Zionist allies.

The impression the Zionist propagandists want to give is that British cities are rife with antisemitism in which boycotts of Israel are regarded as emblematic. This rationalization serves a political purpose. Currently the non-Jewish population of Israel stands at about a quarter of the total and the proportion is growing. The Zionists need to halt the demographic shift and the way to do that is to invent, provoke or exaggerate, in the UK and elsewhere, instances of the new “antisemitism.” Zionism is threatened from within and so needs a new influx of ethnic Jews in order for the ethnically-based Jewish state to survive in its current form. Ideologically there is no principal difference between Zionism and Nazism in that regard. Indeed, antisemitism is the flesh and blood that Zionism and all related industries and institutions connected to it feed off in order for them to justify their existence. As Gilad Atzmon has argued:

“The Zionist project, from its onset, formed a symbiotic relationship between Zionist Jews and the Jew haters who wanted the Jews out of Europe. Zionism promised a national home for the Jews and at the same time offered to ‘take the Jews away.’… Zionism as well as the State of Israel are sustained by Jew hatred. If ‘antisemitism’ disappears, Israel and Zionism become obsolete concepts. Understanding this, Israel and Zionism have consistently contributed to the rise of antisemitism. When there is no antisemitism to point at, Jewish institutions simply invent it, as they are presently doing in the Labour party.”

But even if we were to accept the high levels of antisemitic incidences outlined by Sacerdoti (which I don’t), the implied racism inherent in the notion that there is a correlation between Zionism and Judaism, is offensive to the silent majority of Jews who want nothing to do with the apartheid, racist state. The implied notion that intimidation and boycotts are synonymous is not sustainable either. In any case the argument is a red-herring since there are existing laws against intimidation and violence. Sacerdoti seems unaware that for boycotts to have any impact there has to be a form of collective action which he is conflating with the potential negative affects they have on particular groups of people.

The position of Sacerdoti, who claims to speak on behalf of all Jews, is essentially twofold. First, that democratic expression should be constrained if it upsets people, and secondly, it should be curtailed if it leads some people to act illegally on the basis of those values. If these two principles were to be applied, there wouldn’t be much of British democracy left. The government is losing the moral high ground by seeking to quash boycotts and prevent legitimate political activism more generally. In so doing, it is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Ultimately, it has to be a legitimate course of action in a democracy like Britain for a group of people to be able to pass a resolution condemning a country because they are opposed to its political values.

Clearly, what is behind the governments decision to ban boycotts is to clamp down on local democracy and to shut down any debate that’s critical of the human rights record, not only of Israel, but its other regional allies too. It seems to me to be remarkable the extent to which double standards are applied in relation to the media’s response to those who are opposed to the governments crackdown on boycotts against Israel in the occupied territories on the one hand, and in terms of their response to Zionist state terrorism on the other. Muslims are repeatedly pressured by the elites to apologize for acts of terror committed in their name by Islamist Jihadists and more often than not, they willingly oblige. However, this rule of thumb doesn’t seem to apply to Jews following the massacres of Palestinians by Zionists.

In the current climate of Zionist witch-hunts and McCarthy-like smears, any justifiable criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians or opposition to boycotts is to risk being labelled an “antisemite”. Hadley Freeman’s complaint that she was put under special pressure to criticise Zionist violence following the successful campaign to boycott the Tricycle Theatre resulting in the cancellation of a Jewish Film Festival in Kilburn, London (despite having written an article on the subject), underlies her total disregard for the plight of the Palestinians as a consequence of this violence. This is far from unique among Zionists. Neither the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland nor the Mail’s Melanie Philips, for example, have ever acknowledged the terrible crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. Instead, their preferred tactic is to take aim at Israel’s critics by accusing them of singling Israel out.