Tag: antisemitism

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.   

 

The New McCarthyism?

By Daniel Margrain

According to the on-line dictionary, McCarthyism broadly means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.” Initially used during the period in the United States from the mid to late 1950s against communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents, it is a term that is also now used to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as to character assassinate political adversaries.

The author Albert Fried in his excellent documented account of the McCarthy era noted that accusations invariably based on inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs, were often greatly exaggerated. Consequently, many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers while others served time in prison. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned.

Over recent weeks, instances of alleged antisemitism by a handful of marginal ‘leftists’ such as the principled Jewish socialist, Tony Greenstein and the eccentric Gerry Downing, have been brought into the public domain mainly by the Jewish press as well as leading labour figures within the PLP, many of whom are clearly intent on exaggerating this metaphorical ‘storm in a teacup’ by suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn is somehow tolerant of antisemitism within his party. This is the ugliest form of political opportunism possible, the intention of which is to undermine Corbyn’s leadership in order that the narrow political ambitions of those smearing him will be the first in line to argue for his ousting.

Labour’s mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan for instance, appears willing to say and do almost anything at the drop of a hat to undermine and discredit Corbyn. He has recently changed his position on Israel, clearly in a cynical attempt to appeal to the Jewish community for the £9.7 million worth of funds which dried up following the run-up to the General Election last May. The attacks on Corbyn’s leadership are clearly part of what can best be described as a ‘purge’. All these shenanigans seemed to have prompted Jamie Palmer to write a broader historical and intellectual analysis of antisemitism within the European Left. Outlining the supposed irreconcilable nature of Jews/Zionism and the left. Palmer writes:

“Over the past few years, a palpable sense of alarm has been quietly growing amongst Jews on the European Left. At the heart of an often-fraught relationship lies the following dilemma: The vast majority of Jews are Zionist, and the vast majority of Left-wing opinion is not.”

Palmer doesn’t substantiate his contention that “the vast majority of Jews are Zionist.” In the United States a silent majority of the diaspora have never supported Zionism, while others less silent refuse to accept that the destructively nationalistic ideology of political Zionism represent them or their identity as Jews.

Unperturbed, Palmer continues:

“But the problem goes beyond the question of Israel itself. It also involves a general sense that the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern.”

The crude appeal to sectarianism that Palmer evokes, predicated on inconclusive or questionable evidence indicative of the perceived beliefs attributable to no more than a handful of marginal political figures, is the kind of exaggerated feature of the McCarthy witch-hunts outlined above. While supporters of the rogue Israeli state have not suggested Corbyn is an antisemite by name, the inference of guilt by association is clear. Politically, the purpose of the misuse of antisemitism by neo-Zionists is to quash all legitimate criticisms of Israel, its oppression of the Palestinian people and by extension, Muslim/Arab nationalist aspirations more generally.

Nowhere does Palmer mention the ideological and historical links between Zionism and Hitler fascism. In 1933, for example, the Zionist Federation of Germany sent a memorandum of support to the Nazis which said:

“On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible.”

Later that year, the World Zionist Organization congress defeated a resolution for action against Hitler by a vote of 240 to 43.

Leading Nazis like Joseph Goebbels wrote articles praising Zionism, and some Zionists received Nazi funds. A member of the Haganah, a Zionist militia in Palestine, delivered the following message to the German SS in 1937:

“Jewish nationalist circles…were very pleased with the radical German policy, since the strength of the Jewish population in Palestine would be so far increased thereby that in the foreseeable future the Jews could reckon upon numerical superiority over the Arabs”.

The Zionist movement went so far as to oppose changes in the immigration laws of the U.S. and Western Europe, which would have permitted more Jews to find refuge in these countries. In 1938, David Ben-Gurion, who was to become the first prime minister of Israel, wrote:

“If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael [greater Israel], then I would opt for the second alternative.”

This philosophy was put into practice. As the author Ralph Schoenman notes:

“Throughout the late thirties and forties, Jewish spokespersons in Europe cried out for help, for public campaigns, for organized resistance, for demonstrations to force the hand of allied governments–only to be met not merely by Zionist silence but by active Zionist sabotage of the meager efforts which were proposed or prepared in Great Britain and the United States.

The dirty secret of Zionist history is that Zionism was threatened by the Jews themselves. Defending the Jewish people from persecution meant organizing resistance to the regimes which menaced them. But these regimes embodied the imperial order which comprised the only social force willing or able to impose a settler colony on the Palestinian people. Hence, the Zionists needed the persecution of the Jews to persuade Jews to become colonizers afar, and they needed the persecutors to sponsor the enterprise.”

Unfortunately, antisemitism has been exploited politically and hence become a loaded term. The result of the demonization of all those who question the neo-Zionist narrative is to devalue antisemitism, thereby undermining any genuine attempts at dealing with it. Consequently, the visceral power antisemitism once had has diminished over time. The neo-Zionist narrative is given outward political expression by ideologically-aligned far right groups throughout Europe, many of whom court Jewish support and whose virulent racism is directed mainly against Arabs and Muslims.

Political Zionism also has a religious component, which in common with its evangelical fundamentalist Christian counterpart, cynically exploit the concept of the Biblical imperative predicated on the notion that God is a metaphorical ‘real estate agent in the Heavens’ who has ascribed Palestinian land and property to Jews. It’s this narrative that is the main ideological force that drives neo-Zionism on. In other words, religious and political extremists justify the theft of Palestinian land by recourse to ancient religious texts that’s concomitant to modern day Italian’s making claim to the property of Londoner’s based on the premise that at some point in ancient history the Romans populated Londinium.

The Labour Party is regarded as having a problem with antisemitism within its ranks in part because of the undue influence the neo-Zionist imbued Labour Friends of Israel, (whose primary motivation is determined by its political allegiance to Israel), has within the hierarchy of the Labout party machine. Ultimately, any perceived difficulties the party has with antisemitism is outflanked by the far greater problems it has with neo-Zionism which are never addressed. Israel’s ‘friends’ within the 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 the Koenig PlanOperation Cast Lead and Operation Protective Edge are historical manifestations. The final irony of Zionism is that it turned the oppressed minority of Jews of Europe into an oppressor majority in Palestine.