This revelation could throw the whole ‘anti-Semitism’ row into reverse

Ken Livingstone was pilloried on the BBC's Daily Politics and elsewhere for correctly pointing out that Hitler's original policy was to move Jews out of Germany. Now we know that one of the images posted by the MP he was defending was reacting against a suggestion that the same thing should happen to Palestinians, where does that leave his critics?

Ken Livingstone was pilloried on the BBC’s Daily Politics and elsewhere for correctly pointing out that Hitler’s original policy was to move Jews out of Germany. Now we know that one of the images posted by the MP he was defending was reacting against a suggestion that the same thing should happen to Palestinians, where does that leave his critics?

Who, exactly, is reacting to sub-Nazi comments about relocating entire populations in the row over alleged “anti-Semitism” that led to the suspension of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party?

If you think it was their accusers, it seems you have been misled grievously.

Vox Political can reveal today the origin of that image – the picture of Israel superimposed into the American Midwest that caused so much fuss last week, and This Writer can categorically state:

It is not anti-Semitic.

It was a reaction against proposals to forcibly relocate Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank, Gaza, or anywhere else claimed by the Israeli state, moving them into Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.

It was created for an article on a website called Redress Online, dated August 4, 2014. The site describes itself as “an independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry, and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs… Our scope is global. Owing to the gross injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by Israel and its allies, much of the material currently posted on our website concerns the Middle East. However, our aim is to fulfil our mission as described above wherever it is warranted anywhere in the world.”

The article itself states: “Israelis and other Zionists often call for a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, namely, their “transfer” to Jordan or even Saudi Arabia.

“In the light of the total lack of humanity shown by Israelis in Gaza in particular and towards the Palestinians in general, we believe that a logical counter-proposal would be to transfer the Jews-only state to the belly of its best friend, the United States.”

Not what you thought it was at all: This image was posted in response to demands that Palestinians should be forcibly moved to Jordan or Saudia Arabia, in much the same way Hitler wanted to remove Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

Not what you thought it was at all: This image was posted in response to demands that Palestinians should be forcibly moved to Jordan or Saudia Arabia, in much the same way Hitler wanted to remove Jews from Germany in the 1930s.

There is a wealth of material online to support the claim that there have been called for Palestinians to be forcibly removed from their homes. The article reports on the killing of up to 130 Palestinian civilians in Rafah on August 1, 2014 “just to make sure that one Israeli soldier … didn’t fall into Hamas’s hands alive,” so the reference to a “total lack of humanity” is entirely understandable.

The image itself is satirical. In the context of the above, it is clear that it is not, and never was, a serious suggestion. It’s a simple tit-for-tat: “If you think moving Palestinians to Jordan or Saudi Arabia is a good idea, what’s wrong with moving Israelis to the USA?” Before anyone starts screaming about the reference to a “Jews-only state”, it is a simple clarification, not an attack on anybody.

So it really is a “tongue in cheek cartoon”, as described by Norman Finkelstein when I contacted him about his publication of the image (as described in a previous Vox Political article). He continued: “The US is a crazy place when it comes to Israel, but it hasn’t yet become humorless.”

He was scathing about the witch-hunt currently taking place in the UK: “You should ask your fellow citizens why they are allowing the Israel-lobby and Labor hacks to crucify a Muslim Labor MP for posting a light-hearted cartoon?

“Here in the US, the first Jewish presidential candidate in history has been sweeping the Muslim-Arab vote.

“Meanwhile, in the UK you are allowing the Israel-mongers and Blair hacks to sow new divisions and create new hate between Muslims and Jews.”

The revelation about the image’s origin certainly casts new light on Ken Livingstone’s comments in his now-infamous Vanessa Feltz interview. In response to her strident demands to know why he was saying Naz Shah was not anti-Semitic, in the light of the evidence – an image now proved to be the opposite of what she assumed and a quotation from that well-known anti-Semite Martin Luther King – Livingstone responded that Adolf Hitler’s policy on Jews in Germany in 1932 was to transport them to British Mandate Palestine.

It seems clear he was saying there’s a world of difference between passing around a tongue-in-cheek image and actually going through with the action it suggested but, now that we know why that image was created, there is an infinitely more disturbing conclusion to draw:

The people who were advocating the forced removal of Palestinians were following in the footsteps of Hitler and the Nazis.

That is undeniable, isn’t it?

The next question is even more horrifying – especially considering the death toll in the Palestinian territories: How far along that path are they prepared to go?

Afterthought: This Writer was alerted on Twitter to an article about me on a site calling itself Simply Jews. It seems to be mostly a character assassination of Norman Finkelstein and the author of the Redress Online piece, one Gilad Atzmon, who is mentioned as having reblogged my article.

This is interesting. If Simply Jews knows of Atzmon, then it seems likely the site would have known of the Redress Online piece, but not one word about it is mentioned. Why not?

In any case, the comments about his character, Norman Finkelstein’s, mine, or even any that may be circulating about Redress Online editor Nureddin Sabir would be incidental to this discussion as they are subjective opinions.

Vox Political articles are often opinions – but always based on the facts available. That is where This Blog and Simply Jews part company, it seems.

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29 thoughts on “This revelation could throw the whole ‘anti-Semitism’ row into reverse

  1. Phil Woodford

    Your ‘revelation’ is nothing of the sort and changes nothing. It’s just a desperate post-justification for people’s outrageous behaviour. The original context of this map is still entirely dubious and I’m more interested in people’s motivations at the point they shared it subsequently.

    Anyway, your hero Mr Corbyn has called an inquiry and we’ll wait to hear what it says.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Give it a rest, Phil; you’re getting increasingly desperate and it shows.
      Try to remember what Ken Livingstone said (which I’ll paraphrase here to save time) – that an anti-Semite hates Jews all the time, whether they’re in Israel, Golders Green or Stoke Newington. It’s a loathing of a particular part of humanity.
      If you really think that’s true of Naz Shah, when members of her local synagogue think the exact opposite, then you need to take a good, hard look at your own attitudes.

    2. Looby


      I pity you for if you had an ounce of critical cognition in you, you would realise just how vindictive and bigoted your remarks come across.

      `You show a distinct lack of understanding at just how Powerful the New Labour Movement, with Jeremy Corbyn at its helm is.

      You throw the muck, we let it slide off our backs!
      Our intellect reflects the propaganda.

      We are neither bigoted nor ignorant to the bullying. school yard tactic of your team et al, which includes the traitorous Blarites.

      May I suggest you Go home and read a history book.

      Get those wooden cogs inside your scull moving…..

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Thanks for the clarification. I’ll have a look at the story, see if I can trace it to source.

    3. Tony Greenstein

      This is a stupid and ill-thought out post.

      Firstly it is wrong. It wasn’t posted first on Redress, it came from a far more illustrious source. It came from a Zionist source – the Jewish Virtual Library – a site where if you want to know anything about Judaism you go to.

      Secondly it’s a bloody good job that it didn’t come from Redress, because Redress is an anti-Semitic conspiracy site with holocaust deniers, including Gilad Atzmon posting.

      I suggest large dollops of humble pie and you take this idiotic post down quick.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        You haven’t read the article on Redress, have you?

        Whether it’s an anti-Semitic conspiracy site or not is really neither here nor there in this instance. Is any part of the article inaccurate? I couldn’t find any glaring factual errors. The opinions are up to the authors, of course.

        Oh, and you’re not going to get any sympathy around here by insulting anybody.

  2. Jane Owens

    Thank goodness there are a few like yourself, who are giving us a sensible voice in the midst of such hysteria. Regardless of what a number of politicians believe, the British public are not inherently stupid, most are surely aware of the vast difference between anti-Semitism and feeling uneasy about Zionism?

  3. mrmarcpc

    It’s funny, Israel and America are supposed to be allies, good friends and yet if that proposal was given the green light to put Israel into the USA, many Americans would be horrified because there’s loads of fascists over there!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I know you’re hypothesizing, but it’ll be worth clarifying (again) that this was NOT a serious proposal.

  4. jeffrey davies

    hmm while the toerags use media and bbc for showing labour up their mps do the same thing nothing said ops

  5. Neilth

    The true worry is the way in which any criticism of the Israeli Government, its policies and its support of the illegal settlements in Palestinian territory (as defined by the UN) attracts screams of anti semitism from the apologists and supporters of the Israeli Government etc.
    Immoderate, screamed accusations are a determined attempt to shut down any reasoned argument critical of Israeli Government policies. They are not anti Semitic but many people feel constrained and choose to mute their criticism for fear of unjustified accusation of anti semitism.
    Anti semitism is wrong and bigoted and aimed at people based on their racial origins. It is Undemocratic and Unsocialist and I condemn it entirely. Criticism of a government policy is legitimate political argument and I encourage it wholeheartedly.
    I can understand why our political enemies are riding the bandwagon in attempting to undermine Labour by stirring up the spurious argument about whether Labour has a problem but what I can’t understand is why Labour MPs would add to the feeding frenzy at such an important time in the political cycle badly damaging the electoral prospects of their fellow party members. I keep saying it and I make no apologies for saying it again – argue all you like behind closed doors but shut the #%*\ up in public and fight for labour victories and present a united face. If you can’t do this then get out of a Democratic Party. I didn’t vote for Corbyn as first choice for leader but he was elected and so I support him fully and I’m working for a labour victory under his leadership and I expect my fellow party members to do the same.

  6. Friendly Neighbor

    SnoopyTheGoon at SimplyJews just owned you. You could continue on this current path and accrue a few more supportive sycophants although Snoopy is too formidable an opponent for you (and frankly for most others, particularly journalists). Alternatively you could take a day or two to do some calm introspection and find a way out of the hole you have dug for yourself. There is so little light down there that you cannot even see the others who have a different way of thinking or acknowledge that your own thinking may not be entirely grounded. If you find a way out of this hole and can demonstrate some real introspection by re-formulating ideas free from a defensive, rigid narrative, you could even pen those thoughts to Snoopy who I’m sure would welcome and publish them. You would thereby accrue for yourself a following composed of people you can respect because they are clear and responsible thinkers; i.e., those who follow SimplyJews and others of their ilk. The quality of your followers will be your choice. If you choose, as I hope you do, to engage (and not scuffle) with Snoopy and true intellects, you will elevate yourself to a place where you no longer find yourself digging holes, but rather relishing in the knowledge that you respect those who follow your pieces because you know they are worthy. Good luck.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Don’t be ridiculous. “Just owned you”, my foot!
      I told him on Twitter I’d consider responding to his silly rant, but I hope he doesn’t hold his breath waiting. There are better things to do with my time.
      I already have enough followers who I can respect because, when we disagree, they present an argument that includes factual evidence rather than whatever you’ve written here.
      I take it you’re some stooge for Snoopy’s site, and you couldn’t write anything pertinent to the issue because you can’t.

  7. John

    Out of interest Mike, I know that you said that the site crashed the other day, so I imagine that most of the site views will be coming from Twitter? Or do you not track that sort of thing, just post on twitter all the time, and hope people ARE clicking the links?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      When the site crashed, I wasn’t getting any views from anywhere – obviously; the site was down.
      Now it’s back up, I’m getting several thousand from FB, around 1,000 from search engines and more than 500 from Twitter. Today, at least.

  8. Jane Owens

    Gosh, all that wordiness from Friendly Neighbor and yet nothing of interest to impart! Neilth, very well said.

  9. Ian Pattinson

    Whilst it’s enlightening to find that things are rarely as simple as people want us to believe, what you/Labour need to do is take back the initiative.

    Now that Jeremy Corbyn has announced an investigation of anti-semitism in the Labour Party, it’s time to turn the Tories’ words around on them. Demand to know why they tolerate the racism of Boris Johnson and the islamaphobic campaigning of Zac Goldsmith. Now that action is being taken by Labour, calling out Tory racism won’t look like ‘what-aboutery’.

  10. Paul Newell

    JC has so far attempted to not enter in to tit for tat Argument . Listening to the lightweight question time a gripe of many in the Audience . However for me it comes across as weak and ripping into the opposition just as the reveared and respected Dennis Skinner does would do no harm at all . Lets remember many or even most of us Labour Voters are not serious political intellects …more 40 hr a week grafters reading the mirror perhaps . Those i worked with scorned Milliband as weak and a joke . I disagreed but they come up with the same with Jed . He does need a sharp suite . He does need a right serious haircut and shave . And to go with that he need find some venum . Shout louder and attack . Heidi Alexander ripped Hunt apart . Brilliant. Factual and no nonsence . Now wheres Owen Jones . Hes got balls and is a great speaker . 32 yrs old looks 22.didnt stop hague for the Tories . Jeremy Corbyn is a good man with some good ideas . But the Party needs more . Alan Johnson bottled it and took the coin on the couch . We lost Mo . Wheres the new angry blood ????

  11. Neilth

    In reply to Cotch and soda above:
    So according to this piece anyone who criticises The Israeli Government policies are de facto antisemites. This idea that Israel should be immune from criticism from any source including from Jews in Israel who take a different view and vote for opposition parties is patently absurd. Whenever any attempt is made to discuss what is happening in either Israel or the occupied Palestinian Territories then a blizzard of attacks are made claiming the criticism comes from an antisemite.
    This determined attempt to shut down critical debate debases the legitimacy of any real claim of anti semitism. Those supporters of the Israel Government really must understand that political commentary about real world actions such as the illegal settlements or the fence that has been erected for example is not anti Semitic. Similar criticism is being made by the same people of human rights abuses by many other states of differing political make up. Eg Pakistan, BanglaDesh, Burma, China, Russia, Liberia etc etc. This doesn’t make the authors anti Muslim, anti communist, anti African.

    All governments must be open to public criticism and trolls who are attempting to shut down debate are doing everyone a disservice.

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