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Why anyone who is Jewish and on the Left should have no problem voting for Jeremy Corbyn

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A Response to Jonathan Freedland’s latest Anti-Corbyn tirade in The Guardian. 

Twelve years ago the late Georgina Henry, who had begun the Guardian’s blog, Comment is Free, the year before suggested that I write for it. We met at the founding meeting of Independent Jewish Voices at Hampstead Town Hall in February 2007 and as a result of that discussion, my first article, The Seamy Side of Solidarity, appeared two weeks later. I wrote it because of the growing support for a genuine anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, which existed within the Palestine solidarity movement.

Since that time, and especially since Matt Seaton took over, Guardian Comment has moved away from the original concept of a forum for genuine debate, certainly on Palestine. Zionist groups set up CIF Watch to wage a war against any such debate on CIF.  I was one of the first casualties. CIF Watch later changed their name to UK Media Watch because they had achieved their original aims.

Following my original article, we waged a five-year battle against those who argued that being Jewish and Zionist were synonymous or that Israel was a racist state because it was a Jewish state. We argued that Israel was a settler colonial state and its treatment of the Palestinians was no different to how ‘Christian’ South Africa had treated its indigenous population.

At the 2012 Conference of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a holocaust denier and supporter of Atzmon was expelled from PSC. Following this Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and over 20 Palestinian activists, academics and leaders of BDS issued a statement “Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon.”

From that time on the anti-Semitic element in the Palestine solidarity movement has been minuscule compared to the number of anti-Semites and White Supremacists who support the Zionist movement. Not once has Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland condemned the growing collaboration between supporters of Tommy Robinson, a self-declared Zionist and large numbers of Zionist activists, including Paul Besser of Britain First.  At the Al Quds demonstration in June these activists later joined up with the Board of Deputies main demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

In my article I issued a warning. “Like the boy who cried wolf, the charge of ‘anti-semitism’ has been made so often against critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people now have difficulty recognising the genuine article.”  This is precisely what has happened.

With Freedland’s latest broadside against Corbyn titled, “Many Jews want Boris Johnson out. But how can we vote for Jeremy Corbyn?” he has drained ‘anti-Semitism’ of any meaning. Instead of a serious analysis of anti-Semitism he has substituted a series of guilt-by-association anecdotes. No serious editorial process could have approved Freedland’s article, if it wasn’t for the fact that he was a senior Guardian editor.  He plays fast and loose with facts, deliberately omits context and rests his arguments on assertion alone.

If Corbyn were anti-Semitic then one would expect the Jewish former Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, to realise this, yet Bercow stated, in an interview with Alistair Campbell, that after 22 years knowing Corbyn ‘I’ve never detected so much as a whiff of anti-Semitism.’

Even stranger are the views of Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a Zionist and historian of the British Jewish community. Alderman is a longstanding Jewish Chronicle and now Jewish Telegraph columnist. In the Spectator Alderman described how Corbyn “has an impressive record of supporting Jewish communal initiatives”. He gives as an example how in 1987 Corbyn led the campaign to save the cemetery of the West London Synagogue from the developers, whom Margaret Hodge’s Islington Council had sanctioned!

Freedland gives three examples of Corbyn’s ‘anti-Semitism’. They have more holes than a colander.

i.                   Corbyn’s support for the artist who did a mural of supposed “Jewish bankers”.  Contrary to Freedland’s assertion just two out the six bankers were Jewish. None of them had hook noses. Even neo-liberal Harry’s Place’s Lucy Lips admitted that I’ve seen more obvious stereotypes of Jews deployed in antisemitic art.’ Back in 2012 it passed unnoticed.  Corbyn was defending freedom of speech not anti-Semitic art.

ii.                  The incident concerning “English irony” is even less convincing. Two Zionists intent on disrupting a Palestinian speaker were told by Corbyn that unlike someone who wasn’t even born in Britain, they didn’t understand English irony. What has that to do with anti-Semitism?

iii.                The third example alleges that Corbyn kept company with Raed Salah, an Israeli Palestinian whom Theresa May was trying to deport. Freedland alleges that Salah was “found by a British tribunal to have peddled the medieval and lethal myth of Jews feasting on the blood of gentile children”. This is simply untrue.  Freedland ‘forgot’ to mention that the Upper Immigration Tribunal overturned May’s deportation order precisely because it found that there was no basis to the allegation of racism. What the Tribunal did find was that

‘there is no reliable evidence of the appellant using words carrying a reference to the blood libel save in the single passage in a sermon delivered five years ago.’

Even in this disputed passage no reference was made to Jews (paragraph 78). In a passage cut out of a subsequent article for the Guardian, Salah explained that

I don’t believe in the “blood libel” against Jews and I reject it in its entirety. What I was really referring to in my sermon was the killing of innocents in the name of religion, including children, from the time of the Inquisition to as recently as Bosnia and elsewhere in Europe whose governments support Israel’s action.

Freedland completely omits the context, which is that Raed Salah has been the recipient of horrific violence and racism by the Israeli state. He has been gaoled on a trumped-up charge five years after the alleged incident, when not one Israeli has been gaoled for anti-Arab racism.

Freedland refers to last summer’s Panorama programme Is Labour Anti-Semitic? which has been the subject of a record number of complaints. Presented by John Ware, someone who considers Islamaphobia a rational response to terrorism, it presented seven victims of Labour “anti-Semitism”.  It provided no names or background information about the alleged victims, all of whom were officers of the Jewish Labour Movement, a Zionist organisation which is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation. The WZO, according to Ha’aretz, has a ‘Land Theft Division’.

You wouldn’t hang a cat on Freedland’s ‘evidence’ against Corbyn. It is a melange of the trite and trivial.  Guilt by gossip. If this is the best Freedland can come up with after 4 years of non-stop Corbyn-bashing then it shows just how thin the gruel is.

Freedland’s last sideswipe is at Labour politician Chris Williamson’s “penchant for egregious Jew-baiting”Chris Williamson is a working class MP who has physically swapped blows with neo-Nazis on a building site. I dare say Freedland has never fought for anything other than a decent seat in a restaurant.

There was a time when “Jew baiter” was reserved, not for anti-Zionists but for anti-Semites who went beyond the call of duty. It wasn’t even used about Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts. It was used to describe pathological anti-Semites like Arthur Leese of the Imperial Fascist League and Julius Streicher, editor of Der Sturmer. By using this term about a genuine anti-racist, Freedland once again devalues the currency.

Freedland rests his case on a dubious poll according to which 87% of Jews believe that Corbyn is anti-Semitic. Even were this poll accurate is that the end of the matter?  Surely the first question to ask is why 87% of Jews believe this? Does it have anything to do with the 5,497 articles about Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ that have appeared in 8 national newspapers from 15 June 2015 to 31 March 2019 according to Bad News for Labour? Or the fact that the broadcast media operates under the assumption that there is an anti-Semitism problem in the Labour Party? But Freedland isn’t interested in the ‘why’.  What this poll is really measuring is the effectiveness of the mass media’s propaganda.

In my article I quoted Israeli poet and novelist A B Yehoshua saying,

“Anti-Zionism is not the product of the non-Jews. On the contrary, the Gentiles have always encouraged Zionism, hoping that it would help to rid them of the Jews in their midst. Even today, in a perverse way, a real anti-Semite must be a Zionist.” (Jewish Chronicle 22.1.82.)

The people who are cheering Jonathan Freedland on are the genuine anti-Semites: the Daily Mail and the baiters of George Soros. Historically friends of Zionism such as Arthur Balfour have also been the enemies of Jews. What Freedland is doing is making ‘anti-Semitism’ into a form of cheap political abuse.  As Brian Klug observed, “when anti-Semitism is everywhere, it is nowhere. And when every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, we no longer know how to recognize the real thing–the concept of anti-Semitism loses its significance.”

No greater service could be performed on behalf of those for whom anti-Semitism is not opposition to Zionism but opposition to Jews as Jews.

Tony Greenstein

Tony Greenstein is a longstanding Jewish anti-Zionist and an anti-fascist activist from Brighton. In 1982 he was a co-founder of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Tony was suspended from the Labour Party a year ago as a result of the Anti-Semitism witch-hunt. Tony is the author of The Fight Against Fascism in Brighton and the South Coast. He has written extensively on Palestine and Zionism for, amongst others, the Guardian’s Comment is Free, the Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies, Tribune and the Weekly Worker. Tony was the child of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and when young a member of the religious Zionist Bnei Akiva, now part of the Greater Israel movement.

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49 Responses

  1. ErikEast on November 13, 2019, 2:50 pm

    Jonathan Freedland received his comeuppance on Friday when, via Twitter, he erroneously claimed a Muslim Labour Candidate had written some antisemitic posts in the past. HIs name-and-shame tweet backfired spectacularly. It turns out his “reliable Labour source” had got the wrong guy who just happened to share the candidate’s name. Freedland was subsequently forced to apologise, which he did eventually but with the caveat that it was his source’s fault. How can a journalist not take responsibility for tweeting something without fact-checking? Anyway, the following day Guardian Columnist, Rory Greenslade wrote an excellent piece criticising journalists who rush to social media to deliver ‘news’, which name-checked several prominent journalists but not Freedland himself. Despite his name being omitted I am positive that this column would never have been written had not been for Freedland’s near-libellous tweet. Sadly, Freedland remains a Guardian Columnist.

    • echinococcus on November 13, 2019, 10:30 pm

      “Sadly, Freedland remains a Guardian Columnist.”

      Which means that your initial contention that he “received his comeuppance on Friday” was premature to say the least.

      • ErikEast on November 14, 2019, 1:35 am

        “,,, was premature to say the least.”

        Nope. His reputation as a journalist is damaged, his credibility as a ‘crusader’ fighting antisemitism is severely ruined.

      • MHughes976 on November 14, 2019, 11:34 am

        I think his reputation will be reconstructed in no time. If ever there was a man with many friends and determined defenders in all the right places, it’s him.
        The anti-Semitism chorus has severely damaged Corbyn. It is mentioned very often and has created an atmosphere in which support for him is quite hard to admit. It’s not true that the accusation is becoming meaningless and ineffective any more than the accusation of heresy was becoming ineffective, despite massive use, in medieval Christendom. I noticed that a Labour candidate has been forced to withdraw following her statement that Israel is like an abused child who has become an abuser.
        I’m grateful for the information about Bercow, that admirable figure.
        Zionism can indeed be supported without logical problem by people who are anti-Semitic in some sense, who perhaps attribute an essential and dangerous foreignness to Jews in a Christian society. However, I don’t think it’s fair to say that Balfour was anti-Semitic.

      • echinococcus on November 14, 2019, 11:45 am

        For the “reputation” of this guy all along his career, please see Maximus Decimus Meridius, below. It’s always been that of a mediocre, untalented and unthinking scribe who obviously got his job thanks to powerful connections.

      • tony greenstein on November 14, 2019, 4:34 pm

        Mhughes 976 says that ‘However, I don’t think it’s fair to say that Balfour was anti-Semitic.’

        Why? He piloted the 1905 Aliens Act, intended to keep Jewish refugees out of Britain, through parliament.

        In a letter to Ahad Ha’am, Chaim Weizmann described a conversation he had had with Balfour on the 12th December 2014. Balfour told him how he once had a conversation with Cosima Wagner, the notoriously anti-Semitic widow of Richard Wagner. Balfour explained that ‘he shared many of her anti-Semitic postulates.’ Instead of protesting of course Weizmann ‘pointed out that we, too… had drawn attention to the fact that Germans of the Mosaic persuasion were an undesirable and demoralizing phenomenon…’ Leonard Stein, The Balfour Declaration p.154

        Of course Bloody Balfour, as he was named in Ireland, was an all round racist.

        “We have to face the facts,” Balfour said. “Men are not born equal, the white and black races are not born with equal capacities: they are born with different capacities which education cannot and will not change.” The Forward 1.11.17. Yousef Munayer

      • MHughes976 on November 15, 2019, 9:08 am

        I think that Brian Klug’s remarks on Balfour published by the Balfour Project are quite balanced. Albert Lindemann, ‘Esau’s Tears’ p. 416, points out that the discussion of Mrs. Wagner between Balfour and Weizmann reflected the hostility of both towards the German Jews, some of whom were encouraging Anglophobia quite loudly. By the time of W’s second significant conversation with B in December 1914 Lissauer’s Hymn of Hate had been translated – and denounced – by the NYT. That really must have rubbed W up the wrong way. And it should be mentioned that B said that he disagreed with Wagner in ‘diagnosis and prognosid’. W’s report to the Zionist Executive of January 7, 1915, seems to me make it quite clear that B just wasn’t an anti-Semite. He did hold the opinions on race and heredity that were near universal in his time.

    • Misterioso on November 14, 2019, 10:31 am

      For the record:

      https://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/2019/11/as-a-british-jew-im-not-fearful-of-a-corbyn-government-but-im-horrified-at-how-antisemitism-is-being-used-against-him/

      “As a British Jew I’m not fearful of a Corbyn government but I’m horrified at how antisemitism is being used against him.” Writing from the Edge, by Robert A.H. Cohen, Nov. 13/19

      EXCERPT:
      “I’ve been told to fear the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. I’ve been warned that the Labour Party leader is antisemitic. And, according to a new poll, nearly half of British Jews are considering leaving the country if Labour wins the General Election on December 12th.

      “Despite the doomsday picture being painted for British Jews, I’m not fearful of Corbyn or the possibility of him reaching 10 Downing Street. Nor do I believe that the Labour Party is ‘poisoned’ or ‘rampant’ with antisemitism. But what has left me horrified over the last four years has been the reckless and irresponsible way in which antisemitism has been used to vilify Corbyn and make the entire Labour Party appear toxic.

      “For the record, I’m not a Labour Party activist, or even a Labour Party member. I have no particular brief to support Jeremy Corbyn. In local and national elections over the years, I’ve voted for Liberal Democrat candidates, Labour candidates and Green candidates. Geography means I don’t attend a synagogue as often as I’d like to, but I read and love my Jewish prayer book, and at home we light Shabbat candles and we celebrate the Jewish festivals. I worry about rising antisemitism around the world and I care about the safety and security of Jews in Britain. And because of all these things, it bothers me deeply when I see antisemitism become drained of meaning for the sake of narrow political advantage.”

      • tony greenstein on November 14, 2019, 4:42 pm

        I don’t think Echinococcus understands my statement that
        “we waged a five-year battle against those who argued that being Jewish and Zionist were synonymous”

        I was talking about the battle WITHIN the Palestine Solidarity movement. If you believe Jew and Zionist are synonymous then you are a racist. Not all Jews are Zionists. Anti-Zionists are a minority but the survey British Attitudes to Israel 2015 found that the number of Jews describing themselves as Zionist had dropped in 5 years from 71% to 59%.

        Echinococcus finds some difficulty in separating out quite simple concepts – adherents of a religion from a political position.

        S/he also doesn’t understand ‘“or that Israel was a racist state because it was a Jewish state.”

        Yes Israel calls itself a Jewish State but that doesn’t make it inherently a Jewish as opposed to a settler colonial state. Let’s make it simple for what is obviously a simpleton.

        Antisemitic opponents of Israel argue that the reason it behaves as it does is not because it is a settler colonial state but because it is a Jewish state. Atzmon traces a linear thread from Moses to Ben Gurion. Of course there is nothing inherently Jewish about the state if you think of all the things historically and traditionally associated with being Jewish – people who were cerebral, innovative thinkers, progressive etc. None of this applies to Israel.

        I hope Echin now understands that just because Israel calls itself a Jewish State or South Africa called itself Christian doesn’t make them so, even though most of their settlers were associated with those religions.

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 12:52 am

        Greenstein,

        First off, this discussion is impossible because all my posts to you, daring you to clearly define your concept of “antisemitism” and to finally start bringing evidence of the “antisemitism” of the people you have been defaming are being systematically disappeared by Weiss. Three posts already disappeared.

        Of course I understand what you are saying; everybody knows the way in whichm, in these 5 years of “struggle”, you defamed and persecuted the best within the Palestine solidarity movement with your “antisemitism” hunt.

        That is the basis of the discussion, which our host does not want to have here.

        Additionally, it takes an eternal crust to pretend that “Jewishness” (which you now suddenly and conveniently define as religion, while in your action you define it as a tribe including the non-religious!) is totally separate from Zionism. That may be so in theory, in words only. Of course everyone knows the difference between a religion and a political movement.

        But you must also prove the separation in deed. To say that Zionism and Jewishness are totally disconnected from each other, you need facts. Solid fact like a significant anti-Zionist part of Jewry. Or solid fact like a majority of people who call themselves “Jewish” rejecting, nay physically fighting against the Zionist entity and the owners of Zionism.

        I have been challenging you to prove it in the facts. Bring evidence of a sizable anti-Zionist faction among those who call themselves Jewish (be it out of religion or mythical-racial identity consciousness) so that people can see these as two separate things.
        In fact, that is what I wrote and you pretend to misread.

        As for racism, racism is, by definition, what people who call themselves “Jewish” in the absence of religion do: they define themselves by ancestry — the most racial thing on earth.

      • oldgeezer on November 15, 2019, 8:25 am

        @ech

        “evidence of the “antisemitism” of the people you have been defaming” Just one of many issues with your post

        You’re firing in the wrong direction ech. How you could have misread Tony this much escapes me.

        Tony is an extremely strong defender of Palestinians and also an antizionist. He does not deserve the accusations and slights you’ve heaped upon him

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 10:09 am

        Old Geezer,

        “Tony is an extremely strong defender of Palestinians and also an antizionist. He does not deserve the accusations and slights you’ve heaped upon him”

        He may be that, but he is continuing his work of dividing support to Palestinian resistance right in his last post to me, which opens with his bragging of it. He denounces Zionism provided his “antisemitism” (undefined) witchhunt keeps being the primary goal of the Palestinian solidarity movement.

        Also, there is more to be answered re his “antisemitism” witchhunt and, guess what! That is also repeatedly being censored by Weiss, leaving Greenstein the only voice in the matter while an illusion of discussion is being maintained,

        The censored answer to Greenstein is reproduced below:
        —-
        Let’s come now to your fuzzy, catch-all and changing definitions of “antisemitism”. Once it was discrimination against a group of persons for having been born from Jewish *ancestry*, the way Nazis defined it.

        You now make a travesty of it by defining antisemitism as critique of religion, or of a particular religion:
        “Atzmon traces a linear thread from Moses to Ben Gurion.”

        There you are. Any inquiry into, say, the inherently tribal, racial and non-universalist character of a religion is verboten! Antisemitism!
        And then you turn around and charge the critics of religion, or of a religion, or anything else which is not a characteristic by birth — with racism.

        “… or that Israel was a racist state because it was a Jewish state”
        Well, what if the religion, ie a way of thinking widespread among the Zionist, that also contributed to form the mentality of its irreligious thinkers, were at the source of part of Zionist’s racism? Do we ban any discussion with cries of “antisemitism” just because you say so? This has nothing to do with characteristics at birth but with ideologies transmitted over generations. In the civilized world, this is open to discussion. Not for you, though.

        “Of course there is nothing inherently Jewish about the state”
        Of course not but they say so, the religious authorities and thought leaders say so, people who call themselves Jewish (religiously or mytho-racially) mostly say so — so who am I to judge, as a heretic without either religion or tribal loyalty?

        It is a theocracy, officially, and a Jewish theocracy. More “inherently” than that seems hard to achieve. To say such a state is not Jewish would be like saying the Vatican is not (all things being equal) a Catholic state. Or that Byzance was not an Orthodox Christian state.

        But now comes the racism — at least that is what this looks like:
        “… if you think of all the things historically and traditionally associated with being Jewish – people who were cerebral, innovative thinkers, progressive etc.”
        Wow. Looks like we have what looks very much like a hereditary superiority hallucination. The higher tribe, what?

        “Antisemitic opponents of Israel argue that the reason it behaves as it does is not because it is a settler colonial state but because it is a Jewish state.”
        Why can it not be a colonial state and also a Jewish state? One valid reason please. Logically, your answer must be that no colonialist can be Jewish. Can you prove that?

      • Keith on November 15, 2019, 3:22 pm

        TONY GREENSTEIN- “Antisemitic opponents of Israel argue that the reason it behaves as it does is not because it is a settler colonial state but because it is a Jewish state.”

        Jeez, I hope you are not calling Israel Shahak an anti-Semite? Shahak maintained that the actions of the “Jewish state” are profoundly influence by Classical Judaic mythology as contained in the Talmud. A quote.

        “It became apparent to me, as drawing on knowledge acquired in my youth, I began to study the Talmudic laws governing the relations between Jews and non-Jews, that neither Zionism, including its seemingly secular part, nor Israeli politics since the inception of the State of Israel, nor particularly the policies of the Jewish supporters of Israel in the diaspora, could be understood unless the deeper influence of these laws, and the worldview which they both create and express is taken into account.” (p1,2, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 5:24 pm

        Thanks are due to Weiss & Co for having respected the right of response — even if I’m sure it costs them.

  2. echinococcus on November 13, 2019, 10:54 pm

    “we waged a five-year battle against those who argued that being Jewish and Zionist were synonymous”

    Well, there is solid evidence, as far as all polls and opinion surveys and such things go, that an overwhelming majority of people who call themselves Jewish (either justified by their religious observance or on a purely mythical-racial basis) are Zionists, ie support Zionism in words and in deed. Especially in the US, the UK and most of Europe. The legitimate exceptions, like Neturei Karta or any congregations, temples, etc. that do not support Zionism are scarce-to-non-existent.
    So the argument looks very solid. Especially if you couldn’t make a dent in it in 5 years.

    “or that Israel was a racist state because it was a Jewish state.”
    That’s obvious. It calls itself a Jewish state and the overwhelming majority of its nominally “Jewish” inhabitants enthusiastically support the racism of their racial-supremacist state. If you have some solid data to refute that “Israel”, as it calls itself, is a Jewish state, please exhibit them.

    “We argued that Israel was a settler colonial state and its treatment of the Palestinians was no different to how ‘Christian’ South Africa had treated its indigenous population.”

    Both very true. How does this invalidate the imposing appearance of the Zionist entity as a Jewish state?

    [A word to Mondo Weiss, in a preventative vein: when one of your authors starts a discussion, responses should be let through. If you don’t want a discussion, don’t start it]

    • Keith on November 14, 2019, 12:33 am

      ECHINOCOCCUS- “Well, there is solid evidence, as far as all polls and opinion surveys and such things go, that an overwhelming majority of people who call themselves Jewish (either justified by their religious observance or on a purely mythical-racial basis) are Zionists, ie support Zionism in words and in deed.”

      The reality which dares not speak its name. Furthermore, without the support of organized American Jewry (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, etc), Israel would not today exist as a Jewish state. A lot of American Jewish billionaires support Israel, show me one who doesn’t. The neocons have come to dominate imperial foreign policy, and domestic policy is set by Wall Street.

      • Citizen on November 14, 2019, 9:47 am

        Yep.

      • tony greenstein on November 14, 2019, 4:45 pm

        ‘Furthermore, without the support of organized American Jewry (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, etc), Israel would not today exist as a Jewish state. A lot of American Jewish billionaires support Israel, show me one who doesn’t. The neocons have come to dominate imperial foreign policy, and domestic policy is set by Wall Street.’

        Again a complete muddlehead. The American Jewish organisations named were not overly enthusiastic about Israel at its beginning. It was President Truman and the imperialists of the Democrats who were responsible for the birth of this bastard state .

        Yes most Jewish billionaires support Israel today but that doesn’t account for the support of the USA. Keith seems to have a problem with logic. All dogs have tails but not all animals with tails are dogs.

        Neocons are not necessarily Jewish unless Dick Cheney, Bush, Trump, Hilary Clinton etc. have changed their religion

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 10:22 am

        Also, Greenstein, you don’t seem to have even tried to study the history of how the Zionists turned around Truman (just one example of the many abundantly documented facts.) Or the not only Zionist but downright Israelian origin of the Neocons and their Oded and PNAC plans.

      • Mooser on November 15, 2019, 1:03 pm

        “the history of how the Zionists turned around Truman.”

        The “ouch” you hear is your argument’s foot. You just shot at it, and didn’t miss.

      • Keith on November 15, 2019, 2:25 pm

        TONY GREENSTEIN- “It was President Truman and the imperialists of the Democrats who were responsible for the birth of this bastard state .”

        Is there no end to the machinations of the evil Gentiles? Herzl a cipher, Ben Gurion a US State Department asset? The World Zionist Organization circa 1947 weak, disorganized and underfunded, the Rothschild family barely scraping by? Jewish Zionists reluctant transplants to Palestine, wanting to get along with their Arab brothers but forced to be American proxy forces? Jews unfairly blamed for the creation of the Jewish state? Since I doubt that you are engaging in over-the-top self-parody, my advice to you is to get some therapy!

      • Keith on November 15, 2019, 2:55 pm

        TONY GREENSTEIN- “Neocons are not necessarily Jewish unless Dick Cheney, Bush, Trump, Hilary Clinton etc. have changed their religion”

        What shameless apologetics! Just because a handful of non-Jewish warmongers have jumped on the neocon bandwagon doesn’t make the neocons some sort of multicultural joint enterprise. You should be ashamed of trying to downplay the Jewish Zionist history of the group. Incidentally, Bush and Trump aren’t neocons even though they let the neocons set policy. The Princess of Darkness, however, is a true believer. Hint: it’s Hillary not Hilary.

      • echinococcus on November 15, 2019, 5:25 pm

        Pretending again that you missed what it was about, Mooser?

      • Keith on November 16, 2019, 12:52 am

        ECHINOCOCCUS- “Pretending again that you missed what it was about, Mooser?”

        Mooser never lets mere facts get in the way of group loyalty. No doubt Mooser revels in the first day of the impeachment proceedings ignoring the fact that all of the testimony expressed support for the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who we need to protect from the evil Putin. I wrote a brief verse for Mooser, I hope he likes it.

        The Queen of Chaos in the shadows
        Burisma Joe at the plate
        forget global warming, neoliberalism and endless wars
        it’s Putin we hate!

      • Mooser on November 16, 2019, 11:57 am

        “Keith”, how do you maintain that perfect personality equilibrium when Trump is under impeachment?

        And with all that ‘hearsay’ evidence, too. Turns out lot’s of people heard him say it.

      • Keith on November 16, 2019, 7:39 pm

        MOOSER- “Keith”, how do you maintain that perfect personality equilibrium when Trump is under impeachment?”

        How do you maintain your loyalty to the Democratic Party when they continue to demonize Russia/Putin in defense of neo-Nazis? Russiagate has morphed into Ukrainegate in which the primary purpose is to turn reality on its head to justify imperial aggression towards Russia, a nuclear armed but economically weak country. Since when did corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-Nazis become our “strategic” partner (see quote)? Doesn’t it bother you to be supporting neo-Nazis? Does your moral barrel have no bottom? Seriously. Below a selected quote from the first day. This Deep State dishonesty and insanity should be of great concern to those who value survival and at least some minimal level of intellectual integrity in the government.

        “The key statements on the first day of the impeachment hearing concluded that Ukraine was an “important” or “strategic” partner of the United States. Chairman Adam Schiff opened the hearings with the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to “rebuild the Russian empire” by invading a “strategic U.S. ally.” The key witnesses, William Taylor and George Kent, both senior Foreign Service Officers and seasoned diplomats, echoed the chairman’s view. Taylor, our leading diplomat in Ukraine, referred to a “newly aggressive Russia” that invaded a “strategic partner of the United States.” He argued that it was essential for the United States to be a “reliable strategic partner” for Ukraine.” (Melvin Goodman) https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/15/meet-ukraine-americas-newest-strategic-ally/

      • echinococcus on November 16, 2019, 11:12 pm

        Keith,

        “How do you maintain your loyalty to [fill the blanks] when they [fill the blanks]?”

        The answer to that hasn’t changed in a million years. True belief or personal gain.

      • Mooser on November 17, 2019, 3:34 pm

        It’s hard to match the purity of the bros’ who support Trump because they feel Trump will bring on collapse, catastrophe, and disaster which will cause a healing revolution, after which the new, ummm, something, will appear.
        Now, that’s political purity!

        Or is it that you think Trump will MAGA? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

      • Keith on November 17, 2019, 5:28 pm

        MOOSER- “It’s hard to match the purity of the bros’ who support Trump because they feel Trump will bring on collapse, catastrophe, and disaster which will cause a healing revolution, after which the new, ummm, something, will appear.”

        I see that you have abandoned any pretense of rationality, cleverness or humor to construct your strawman of desperation. I am all for impeaching Trump because of the coup in Bolivia, but oppose this never-ending Democrat warmongering which you loyally support even to the extend of discrediting your intelligence. Suicidal group loyalty isn’t cute, the Deep State Democrats will be the death of us all. For what? Hegemony? And the guy who started the ball rolling was Slick Willie, the same guy who stabbed his constituency in the back repeatedly. He was impeached over Monica Lewinsky but should have been convicted based on his other numerous crimes and misdemeanors. I think that the world would be a better place if that had occurred. The Clintons destroyed the party of Roosevelt. Your loyalty to these “new Democrats” and their meme is at least as great as these Zionists loyalty to Israel and Zionism. About as rational, too. Make no mistake, the imperial Deep State Democrats are an existential threat to all life on Earth, the Republicans slightly less so.

        “Which is also to say that Ukraine is not “a vital US national interest,” as most leaders of both parties, Republican and Democrat alike, and much of the US media now declare. On the other hand, Ukraine is a vital Russian interest by any geopolitical or simply human reckoning.”
        ….
        The short but essential answer is Washington’s decision, taken by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, to expand NATO eastward from Germany and eventually to Ukraine itself. Ever since, both Democrats and Republicans have insisted that Ukraine is a “vital US national interest.” Those of us who opposed that folly warned it would lead to dangerous conflicts with Moscow, conceivably even war. Imagine Washington’s reaction, we pointed out, if Russian military bases began to appear on Canada’s or Mexico’s borders with America. We were not wrong: An estimated 13,000 souls have already died in the Ukrainian-Russian war in the Donbass and some 2 million people have been displaced.

        Things are likely to get worse. Democrats are sharply criticizing Trump for withholding large-scale military aid to Kiev (even though President Obama, despite strong pressure, wisely did so). Ukraine’s recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, having been drawn into the Washington scandal, is no longer as free to negotiate peace with Russian leader Vladimir Putin as he hoped and promised during his campaign. And candidates for the 2020 US Democratic presidential nomination, with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, are likely to compete for the role of Kiev’s biggest military booster. Here, as generally in US-Russian relations, Democrats are becoming a war party.” (Stephen F. Cohen) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52557.htm

  3. PhilW on November 14, 2019, 3:07 am

    It’s going to get even more “interesting” in the run-up to the general election, as the so-called “Campaign Against Antisemitsm” has celled a demonstration “against antisemitsm” in Parliament Square for December 8th. This in the week when Priti Patel announced racist measures against Roma and Sinti people,

    • ErikEast on November 14, 2019, 8:16 am

      “ “Campaign Against Antisemitsm” has celled a demonstration “against antisemitsm” ”

      The CAA are a bit loony, so as a Labour member I am not too worried. Their tactics have even resulted in public spats with the likes of the British board of Deputies and the Community Security Trust.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 14, 2019, 10:44 am

    Putting aside the question of whether or not you agree with his views, has Jonathan Freedland had an interesting or original thought ….. ever? Has he ever written a piece which would make someone sit up and say ‘Wow, that was throroughly thought-provoking’? I can’t think of one. His analysis of local and international politics is mundane and unoriginal. Dispite his clearly very deep desire to see himself as a victim of racism (never mind that Jews are not a race) he’s just a posh boy who was educated at Cambridge and got a cushy job at an increasingly mediocre newspaper. It’s been a long time since he’s been held to account for anything he writes, even by readers. Moderators on his pieces watch the comments like hawks, and increasingly, comments are never even opened. He lives in his own bubble, ever more divorced from reality.

    I’ll admit I only skim read the latest screed, but I did pick up on the final line:

    “We look at our usually sparse family trees and we can pick out the pessimists, those who panicked and got out. It was they who left their mark on us. You see, the optimists, those who assumed things would work out for the best, they never made it out in time.”

    So while only a paragraph up Freedland says that of course Corbyn is not another Hitler, he just can’t help leaving the reader with the final impression that well, he might be. He really is despicable.

    And I’ll say it before but I’ll say it again: Corbyn bears a large part of the blame for allowing the absurd antisemitism ‘crisis’ to go on and on and on. That isn’t victim blaming. It’s just pointing out that when you are a high level politician and possible future PM, you do not allow yourself and the people who have been loyal to you for decades to be smeared in such a damaging way. If Corbyn had stood up to this 3 years ago, it would have fallen by the wayside. But no, he insisted on appeasing and assuming that his enemies had decent intentions. A fatal error. As George Galloway put it, if you don’t run, they can’t chase you.

    • MHughes976 on November 14, 2019, 11:49 am

      Yet they can injure you severely, as Galloway’s own experience has shown. I’d be very surprised if the next Labour leader lets the word ‘Palestine’ pass her lips, except under unwelcome questioning, for several years.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 14, 2019, 1:25 pm

        We don’t have to wait that long. Not a word from Corbyn about the latest bombing onslaught. 4 years ago, he would have condemned it unconditionally. Now, he doesn’t dare.

      • tony greenstein on November 14, 2019, 4:49 pm

        Absolutely. Corbyn has handled things abysmally. Instead of apologising, temporising, promising to do better he should have challenged the whole basis of the ‘antisemitism’ smear. Asked why the Tories are so concerned about ‘antisemitism’ but not about Roma, the Windrush scandal etc. Why the right-wing popular press who employ neo-Nazis like Katie Hopkins and other racists are so concerned about ‘antisemitism’

        He could have called out the Board of Deputies which has never opposed genuine antisemitism from fascists. Instead he and John McDonnell accepted their claims to represent all British Jews

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 14, 2019, 6:15 pm

        @Tony

        Yes, sadly Corbyn allowed his mortal enemies to dictate terms, which is the very worst thing he could do. He should have taken a deep breath and taken the battle to them, exposed their hypocrisies and pointed out the reality of the criminal state they all shill for. Yes, he would have come in for a lot of abuse, but in showing them he’s not prepared to back down and be smeared, and that he will give as good as he gets, it would have put an end to it much sooner. Now we have a situation where, after more than 4 years of Corbyn being Labour leader, the old antisemitism STILL gets hauled out at convenient times – such as an upcoming general election. How much impact it has on voters remains to be seen – I suspect your average voter is throroughly fed up of it and doesn’t much care about some silly letter signed by Tom Holland or Joanna Lumley – but the amount of energy it has consumed has been enormous, and it has had its effect in the sense that, should Corbyn be PM, it would be delusional to think he will somehow rediscover his principles when it comes to the Middle East.

        You could maybe understand his naivite if he were a newbie, but Corbyn has been in politics for about 40 years – longer than many of his detractors have even been alive. It’s been a huge error on his part.

      • RoHa on November 14, 2019, 9:30 pm

        Corbyn should also have come out firmly for a real Brexit as soon as possible. It looks as though he is losing traditional Labour areas as a result of his messing about on the issue.

        And he should listen to his brother.

  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 14, 2019, 1:42 pm

    And so it goes on. The Guardian is prominently featuring a letter by several ‘celebrities’ saying they won’t vote Labour because of, yes you’ve guessed it, antisemitism. No evidence of such antisemitism is provided of course – because even demanding such evidence is itself evidence of antisemitism (confusing? yup) – and nor is there even any evidence that all or any of these ‘celebrities’ were ever Labour voters in the first place. I suspect many of them were not.

    Why oh why did Corbyn allow things to get to this point? You cannot appease the unappeasable. Surely a man who has been in politics for 40 years must know this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/14/concerns-about-antisemitism-mean-we-cannot-vote-labour

    • ErikEast on November 14, 2019, 3:06 pm

      Yep, and if you mention in the comment section of The Guardian’s Politics Live page it gets deleted unconditionally. Likewise if you mention Freedland’s infamous tweet.

      Jeremy Corbyn and Co. could’ve done better fighting these AS charges but I don’t think they stood a chance. Has anyone in the mainstream media actually reported on this objectively?

  6. Ossinev on November 14, 2019, 6:05 pm

    @MDM
    “And so it goes on. The Guardian is prominently featuring a letter by several ‘celebrities’ saying they won’t vote Labour because of, yes you’ve guessed it, antisemitism.”

    Don`t recognise the majority of the names on the list. Joanna Lumley and Dan Snow however do stand out. Idiots/naive /hypocites ?. Don`t give a toss. They are both off my must watch /must read list and I hope the same goes for the the rest of the anti – Zionist pro human rights population in the UK.

    Yes I think it is fair ( NB with considerable hindsight ) to criticise Jeremy Corbyn for his failure to nip in the bud this grotesque and ugly A/S in the Labour Party smear campaign. But then as a decent humane individual whatever his faults he prefers to see the good in people and and attempt to address their concerns.However the bottom line is that there simply no “good” in Zionists. Just various levels and shades of evil. The “institutionalised A/S in the Labour Party” campaign has simply served to illustrate the extent of that evil.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 15, 2019, 5:03 am

      Yeah The Guardian has now taken the silly letter down from its headlines. I guess even they realise that not one single person is going to change their voting intentions because of what Dan Snow or Joanna Lumley thinks. I used to quite like the latter, but no more. It’s always disappointing when someone you admire turns out to be a dolt, but I guess that just tells us not to get too cuaght up admiring someone we do not know.

      As for Corbyn, I agree with you that his failure to treat the antisemite scare mongerers with the contempt they deserve was probably done from a desire to see the good in people. However, when you’re a high level politician with 40 years experience and a genuine chance of becoming PM, that’s simply not good enough.

      • John O on November 16, 2019, 4:34 am

        I can’t imagine Joanna Lumley – personal friend of Boris Johnson and the original driving force behind his absurd garden bridge – would ever be voting Labour anyway.

  7. devonola on November 14, 2019, 7:32 pm

    Greenstein, you are too much. So, the guy that gets kicked out of Labour for antisemitism crowns himself the arbiter of “genuine” anti-Semites. The guy who sets the parameters of how to discuss Palestine by determining the vocabulary that is permissable, attacks another person who does the same thing. It’s a comedy routine. You should come with a true-drink minimum.

    Please, tell us, what on earth is likable about you?

    • oldgeezer on November 15, 2019, 8:27 am

      @devonolo

      Tony wasn’t kicked out of the labour party for antisemitism.

      One thing likeable about Tony is that, unlike you, he’s honest.

  8. Ossinev on November 15, 2019, 1:45 pm

    @MDM
    “Yeah The Guardian has now taken the silly letter down from its headlines. I guess even they realise that not one single person is going to change their voting intentions because of what Dan Snow or Joanna Lumley thinks.”

    Scratch the surface of some these Corbyn/Anti – Semitism scams and it is fascinating what you find eg:
    https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/national-treasure-joanna-lumley-condemns-cultural-boycotts-of-israel/

    Apparently she hates “barriers” and “walls” but bless her she makes an exception for the Zionist Separation Wall and of course the endless fixed and flexible “barriers” which the Zios have constructed and continue to construct to intimidate and terrorise the native Palestinian population.

    Leaves a sour taste in the mouth. All that humanitarian work for the Nepalis but when it comes to the Palestinians SFA. From “national treasure” to “national hypocrite” in the blink of a letter.

    As for Dan Snow similarly a write off. At least his father`s cousin the news broadcaster Jon Snow retains some of the family honour.:
    https://www.channel4.com/news/by/jon-snow/blogs/bring-israelis-palestinians

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on November 16, 2019, 6:05 am

      I remember that anti-boycott letter. I think the queen of safe centrist causes, JK Rowling, also signed.

      But isn’t the whole idea that your opinions are somehow more valuable because you are supposedly good at writing, acting or presenting TV programmes rather arrogant? Why should Joanna Lumley’s or John Le Carre’s opinions be more worthwhile than that of Joe or Jane Bloggs down the road?

      And as for Jon Snow, he used to be great, but it’s clear that Channel 4 News has been ‘neutered’ in recent years. Some put it down to Ian Katz, their new Director of Programmes, who was formerly Deputy Editor at …. The Guardian.

  9. JoeSmack on November 15, 2019, 7:51 pm

    Sorry, did I miss something? Did Jews in the UK suddenly become a significant voting bloc? Less than half of one percent of British people are Jews. Tony Greenstein’s analysis is tiring and boring and indicates that despite his “Marxist” pretensions he is basically feeding the delusional and non-materialist witch-hunt that got him kicked out of the Labour Party.

    Jonathan Freedland is an absolute windbag (and judging by his previous statements about the Nakba, he is also a genocide apologist). But Greenstein (as usual) effectively validates the underlying concerns that Freedland and others have launched against Labour (including Greenstein himself). The implication of all of Greenstein’s arguments is that there is *actually* left-wing anti-Semitism; the only question is whether or not Corbyn and other leftists have done a good job combating this non-existent problem (Greenstein says they have by expelling so-and-so and clarifying this and that).

    This worldview is absolute poison. Not only does it subordinate the very real British colonial racism against Arabs and Muslims to the non-existent campaign of anti-Semitism, which has no organized support in any part of British or American society, it validates placing the scrutiny on Palestine solidarity organizers. Suddenly, every single word and association that the British left have are ripe for being placed under a magnifying glass, and Palestine solidarity organizers are suddenly given incentive to throw each other under the bus based not any real concerns but based on optics and so they can show that they’re doing a good job combating the non-existent problem. We’ve already seen how Greenstein himself ran a verbal atrocity of fake statistics about Nazi infiltration at Counter-Punch, and he also spent his time awkwardly going back and forth on whether or not being tied to Alison Weir was evidence of Jew-hatred (i.e. he simultaneously condemned Weir while celebrating close friends of Weir’s like the late Hedy Epstein).

    There is no objective reason for any of this. The practical effect of self-scrutinizing the movement for “anti-Semitism” — and digging up things that are frankly irrelevant, like a handful of conspiracy nuts or clumsy online articles — is that the Zionists win either way. They successfully change the focus from actual UK support for genocide and colonialism and instead get us to spend all of our time proving that we are not Nazis by virtue of our support for this cause.

    The other obvious and perverse incentive a la Greenstein, of course, is to just be quiet. Greenstein himself has been swallowed by his own witch-hunt (for using the prefix “Zio” for Zionist, which is apparently a sign of anti-Semitism and Nazism to the witch-hunters). Likewise, if joining the Palestine solidarity movement means every single statement and comment will subsequently be subject to scrutiny according to whatever vague definition of anti-Semitism other people feel like using at any given time, with no room for error lest you be publicly shamed, the obvious incentive is to simply not say anything. That would certainly help Greenstein and others prove that there’s nothing anti-Semitic going about. Not sure how it will help liberate Palestine, though.

    • echinococcus on November 16, 2019, 12:37 am

      Thank you, Joe, for formulating best what the tribal antisemite-witch-hunters are doing:

      “The practical effect … is that the Zionists win either way.”

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