We should all know the story by now: The Jewish Labour Movement has managed to get Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker suspended for a second time under allegations of anti-Semitism.
This time the claim arises from a ‘training session’ in which she questioned the JLM’s decision to adopt a discredited definition of anti-Semitism, created by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) but scrapped by its successor organisation, the Fundamental Rights Agency.
The reason the EUMC definition is discredited is simple: It confuses the state of Israel with the movement known as Zionism, and seeks to label anybody who criticises either as an anti-Semite when it is perfectly possible to do so without wishing harm on Jewish people.
Logically, the following question arises: Why would anyone wish to confuse these issues?
Answer: Because the JLM is not a movement that represents Jews; it represents Jewish Zionists.
Look at the organisation’s own website. It 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.”
“Zionist”… “Zionist”… “Zionism”… “within the state of Israel”.
It seems clear that “Jewish Labour Movement” is a misnomer. It should be “Zionist Labour Movement”.
Change that single word and the motivation behind the suspension of Ms Walker becomes clear.
The Jewish Labour Movement does not represent Jews who are not Zionists. It persecutes them.
Jackie Walker, although Jewish, is not a Zionist.
This is not about anti-Semitism; it is about removing a person who does not support Zionism from a position of influence.
Am I right?
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Are the accusers that use antisemitism, guilty of antisemitism, by not respecting the antisemitic ideals.
Isn’t this the lady who previously claimed that it was Jews who financed the slave trade? Got suspended and the readmitted and recently claimed that Holocaust Memorial Day was for Jews, as a special case, and lamented that it ignored other non-Jewish genocides which as anybody with any knowledge of such horrors knows that it doesn’t! And didn’t she also say that she had never found a definition of anti-Semitism that she could work with amongst other insensitive and moronic things?
I don’t know if this woman is an anti-Semite herself, although some of the dafter things she has said and written could well make people wonder if she was, I would hazard that the vice-chair or Momentum is an extremely undiplomatic and very foolish person best kept out of sight and out of mind. Like so many members of Momentum this person is an embarrassment not fit for the role she has somehow fenagled for herself.
She was alleged to have said some Jews had financed slavery – I don’t think anybody was saying Jewish money was responsible for it all. She was indeed readmitted, suggesting that the allegation against her wasn’t accurate.
She did not claim that Holocaust Memorial Day was for Jews only. Why are you trying to suggest that, when I have made the situation abundantly clear in previous articles on this subject? She wanted to know why it only commemorated genocides that happened from World War II onwards.
And are you sure it is “insensitive and moronic” to lament the lack of a decent definition of anti-Semitism, when the one that is suggested was rejected by the organisation that created it?
Given that you are wildly inaccurate in your initial statements about this person, I think it is safe to disregard the opinion you put forward subsequently.
On slavery, her exact words were “many Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade” (a falsehood first promoted by Louis Farrakhan). AFAIK Labour never publicised the reasons for her readmission, but her own words are clear enough.
On HMD, her exact words were, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day (sic) was open to all people who have experienced holocausts?” This is rather like responding to BLM by saying “All Lives Matter”.
A cursory glance at the HMD website shows that HMD features a number of other genocides, including the pre-WW 1 Armenian genocide.
The EUMC Working Definition listed a number of examples of discourse about the state of Israel which, “taking into account the overall context could” (i.e. It is very nuanced) be antisemitic. These examples are followed by the **clear** statement that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” I would therefore suggest that the fourth paragraph of your article is inaccurate.
The EUMC WD was not withdrawn because it was “discredited” but because “primary data collectors” such as the Community Security Trust found it too narrow and were happy for Jewish people themselves to define what is and what is not antisemitic. See http://www.marcswords.com/ben-white-anti-semitism/ It is still used by the US State Dept, the UK College of Policing, and the European Parliament Working Group on Anti-Semitism, so it is obviously not that discredited.
In any event, (wrongly) questioning why HMD doesn’t commemorate other genocides and (wrongly) suggesting that Jews were chief financiers of the slave trade have nothing to do with criticising Israel.
Okay, let’s see…
Firstly, your opinion on Ms Walker’s comments about slavery seem a little insensitive. It is known that Jewish people took part in the slave trade. How would you feel, if you were a black person whose ancestors were (or at least may have been) taken as slaves? And how would you feel if, in addition to that, you were a Jewish person who knew members of your religion were partly responsible for this persecution of members of your own race? Now add in how you would feel if you were a woman, knowing how female slaves were treated. Sure, you may have an argument that Jewish people weren’t the chief financiers, but that’s nitpicking when you consider the enormity of the crime that was simply participation – and I mention this in the full knowledge that many, many people were involved in slavery while it was legal in Europe and America.
Related to this, I’m not sure you can say that Ms Walker’s outburst had anything to do with the claims of Louis Farrakhan. Do you have evidence that she ever mentioned him?
Finally (on this point), Labour did investigate her comments, and did reinstate her. She said she had not apologised and that the meaning of her words had been twisted in order to create a case against her. Clearly, then, the party had found some merit in her argument. By harping back to it, I would suggest that you have weakened your own.
On to Holocaust Memorial Day: Her words – “In terms of Holocaust day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust?” – are accurate, according to my sources. She was (again) referring to the transatlantic slave trade which is not commemorated by the HMD Trust – so it isn’t open to all people who have experienced holocaust. You claim that her comment was “like responding to [Black Lives Matter] by saying ‘All lives matter'”. I do not see that at all. Are you suggesting that what happened to all the people who were taken as slaves was not a holocaust? If so, I’d like to know why you feel qualified to suggest that.
I note also that HMDT chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman was also ignorant to any commemoration of holocausts prior to World War Two. According to her statement, HMD is “a day when people of all backgrounds come together to remember the Holocaust, and indeed all victims of Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides” – See: http://hmd.org.uk/news/hmdt-statement-remarks-jackie-walker#sthash.HEie15kf.dpuf
As for the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism – this is a document that was never adopted by the organisation that created it and was never viewed as a valid definition. It has been argued that this definition proscribed legitimate criticism of the human rights record of the Israeli Government by attempting to bring criticism of Israel into the category of anti-Semitism(“In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”), and does not sufficiently distinguish between criticism of Israeli actions and criticism of Zionism as a political ideology, on the one hand, and racially based violence towards, discrimination against, or abuse of, Jews.
That seems fairly discrediting to me!
I cannot comment on why the organisations you mention use the EUMC working definition. It is clearly flawed.
I mean, look at this, given as an example of anti-Semitic behaviour: “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” Sociologist Paul Igansky states that parallels between Israeli policy and those of the Nazis are “arguably not intrinsically antisemitic”, and that the context in which they are made is critical. And he’s right. Did you know there was a plan to transport Palestinians out of their settlements on the West Bank, Gaza etc and move them to Jordan or Saudi Arabia? Such a policy would be extremely similar to the Nazi policy which transferred around 60,000 Jews from Germany to what was then British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s.
And how about this one: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Another commenter, also taking issue with the article, has suggested that Jewish people in the UK should behave in this manner.
Finally, pointing out that HMD doesn’t commemorate all genocides/holocausts, and pointing out that Jewish people were involved in the slave trade don’t have anything to do with criticising Israel – you’re right. But then, did anybody say that was the intention?
Now: Can you explain how these comments make Ms Walker an anti-Semite?
Jackie Walker lives in the UK. She is entitled to her own point of view. In fact she expresses herself very carefully, clearly and accurately.. yet is hounded by those who object to our democratic right of free speech, who conflate and distort her clearly expressed comments to use against her.. and by extension against all of us.
There were – and I believe still are? – very large numbers and types of people involved in the slave trade. It is an abomination which has gathered in the misery of the world, including that of many people in the UK, where our poorer classes of adults and children were also enslaved, in the mills and elsewhere.
Attempts to prevent or stop a free understanding of our joint human history are wrong. We are all entitled to know our own and other’s history.. control freaks notwithstanding! Otherwise how can we – as humanity – move on?
As a Jewish anti-Zionist I say you are 100% right – yes its bleeding obvious
And not the only one. One of my friends is a ‘lay’ Jew, as is his family. He deeply resents the fact that Tel Aviv declared that people like him should not be allowed to ‘practise’ as Jews because only ‘Orthodox’ Jews who attend the Synagogue regularly are ‘proper Jews’. He also resents the fact that illegal settlers are called ‘Jewish settlers’. as he says, ‘no. they are ‘Zionist settlers’. Again, as he said, not every Muslim is a fanatic, so, by the same token, why should all Jews be tarred with the same brush as the extremists Israel uses to populate areas they have no business being in?
Zionists are extremists, and their views are often very suspect. Some of Israel’s right wing leaders have made comments that if a Muslim made them the World would be up in arms…
..but that doesn’t mean all Jews, by any means, feel that way.
With regard to your last words “Am I right?”
I think so.
For many years I supported Zionism because of historic persecution of Jews, but after learning that Israel “Eretz” had purposely begun a programme of ethnic cleansing I found it very difficult to reconcile my support with what the State of Israel had become. Many US zionists are appalled at the way Israel treats their goyim and have been angered because they want an Israel that they can be proud of. I’ve had conversations with many on sites. Many Rabbis reject zionism because of articles within the Talmud arguing that basically the wandering Jew is the norm not the displacement of another people in order to form a Jewish State. I find it difficult to denounce Zionists who are so obviously decent but in truth, Zionism seems to be in direct conflict with the majority of Jewish values. Some of the zionists I have chatted with are now of the opinion that whilst they would support A state of Israel if it served justice they will not condone The State of Israel as it is now. Unfortunately they are the few rather than the militant many.
I won’t denounce the right of Israel to exist, it’s been established now since 1936 unofficially, but extremist Zionism in it’s current form which is like a malignant cancer, is something I do denounce.
It’s a sad state of affairs but you have probably hit the nail on the head with this article.
I wonder if you’re aware of the discrimination which black Jews suffer? There are two groups: sephardic Jews who lived in Arabic-speaking countries for centuries (under Islam which treated them fairly, unlike the Christian world of that time) and Ethiopian Jews. Both groups are present in Israel but find that they are treated as second-class citizens there. Arabic-speaking Jews may tend to call g-d ‘Allah’ (as do Arabic-speaking Christians): with the attitude to Muslims in Israel just now, I don’t suppose that goes down well in the Synagogue. I’ve seen Jackie Walker described as ‘partly Jewish’, I don’t know whether she is or not, but I’ve also seen her described as ‘Jewish’ – I can’t help wondering if those who describe her as part-Jewish are making an assumption that she must be mixed race because they don’t realise there are black Jews. Sephardic (Arabic) Jews are likely to be darker, Ethiopian Jews may well have mixed marriages in their far past since they’ve been in that country for 2000 years – but to today’s young of that community they are simply Jewish – and have grown up in a Jewish community. If Jackie is from this sort of background, and wishes to highlight her view of a historic racism within Judaism against black Jews then she would be ideally placed to do so. Which is NOT anti-semitic!
Complete and utter rubbish! You don’t know what you’re talking about. Seems like you’ve been spending too much time on websites designed to pamper to their anti-Zionist audience.
If this had been addressed to the blog, rather than a commenter, I would have put it in the trash.
You say the commenter’s words are rubbish but you provide absolutely no evidence to support yourself.
It seems you are the one spouting rubbish.
You don’t have to go very far to find out about racism in Israel against Ethiopian Jews – unfortunately, it is a waste of time arguing with Hasbara.
You’re wrong. Most Jews in the uk identify with the state of Israel in some way. If you wonder why have a look at Jewish history over the last 150 years in Europe. Today anti-semitic tropes are simply being recycled by substituting the word Zionist for Jew. It’s true that not all Zionists are Jews , but if you interpret Zionism to mean a belief in Jews’ right to national self determination and a homeland then most Jews are Zionists. This is why i support Zionism and consider myself a Zionist.
If Jews in the UK identify with the state of Israel, why aren’t they Israeli citizens? As I understand it, there’s nothing to stop them from signing up.
As for your interpretation of Zionism – that’s just your interpretation. What makes you think, for example, that the JLM has the same belief?
You seem to be taking a huge amount for granted.
“…why aren’t they Israeli citizens?” Probably because we have have jobs, mortgages, family ties etc in the UK which means moving to another country isn’t possible or desirable for us – but it’s nice to know there is somewhere we can move to if things get really difficult.
You can see how JLM themselves define Zionism on their website
http://www.jlm.org.uk/about – about halfway down – “the movement of self-determination for the Jewish people within the state of Israel”.
How about applying the most simple answer: They aren’t Israeli citizens because they don’t identify with the state of Israel, to anything like the degree required. Possibly because they actually disagree with the actions of the Israeli government.
Try to bear in mind, also, that we are not discussing how the JLM defines Zionism, but how it defines anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and how it responds to criticism of Zionists, Jews and the Israeli state.
It’s a pretty standard definition of Zionism, and one which JLM share – look at the “About” page on their website.
I don’t understand your question about citizenship. I’m sure that many British Asians idenfity with Pakistan, India etc to at least some extent, without feeling they have to apply for citizenship of those countries.
The point is that these UK citizens don’t identify with Israel to anything like the degree claimed for them.
In fact, according to the definition of anti-Semitism that you uphold, it is anti-Semitic to suggest that they do: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”
My father was Irish. Like many families his moved to the uk because they were starving and poor. They came for a better life. They came to work. Work that no one wanted to do for little reward. They were harassed and victimised in many communities for their irishness and for this religious beliefs.
My families heart still hold a love of Ireland generations on. My family still fight for a better life for those who have to leave their homes to try to find a better life for their families.
Should we be told that we should ‘sign up’ for citizenship of Ireland? Should I take By inference if anyone made such statements that I should leave to go to live in Ireland too because I support Ireland? Shoud I interpret that such remarks are saying I am more loyal to Ireland than the uk? That I would put the interests of Ireland before that of the U.K. for dubious purposes. Yes I should and yes I would. But such comments are not made to me, the prevail acne of such comments to Irish people have diminished over time.
People of Jewish religion and descent came to the uk because they were persecuted. A large number of people in power, including the national press tried to prevent their finding safety in the uk. Just as is happening now to refugees. Thus such comments you made will be interpreted by Jewish peoples exactly as I would interpret them about those of Irish descent.
Please try to understand how such comments make people feel. To people who have a history of being discriminated against such comments create fear. The fact that such comments continue to be made with significant and increasing frequency adds to fears that Jewish peoples will never find the understanding they seek.
You have missed the point, which was (as I have stated several times now) that many Jewish people in the UK simply don’t identify with Israel in the way suggested by the commenter – who was in fact making an anti-Semitic statement in suggesting that they identified with Israel, according to the EUMC working definition which is held in such high regard by people with their own agenda but was binned by the organisation that created it (see my other comments on this thread).
Replying to Mike’s comment at 12:52 a.m. on 3:10, part 1:
“How about applying the most simple answer: They aren’t Israeli citizens because they don’t identify with the state of Israel, to anything like the degree required. Possibly because they actually disagree with the actions of the Israeli government.”
Why does “identifying with” have to mean the same as “becoming citizens of” or even “agreeing with the actions of the Israeli government”? I suspect that many Brits of (say) Pakistani descent have family ties in Pakistan, go there for their holidays, mark Pakistan’s Independence Day in some way, support Pakistan in the cricket, support Pakistan in the dispute over Kashmir, take an interest in how Pakistani matters are reported in the press, etc etc. Do they have to become Pakistani citizens, or support all of the policies of the Pakistani government, in order to “identify with” the country in some way?
It doesn’t have to mean that – as I have explained abundantly clearly.
Raffie, who started this part of the discussion, was claiming that a majority of Jewish people in the UK identify with the state of Israel and therefore support Zionism.
The two do not go together.
You can want a homeland for Jews without wanting it to be run the way the state of Israel is run.
As for wanting “national self-determination” for Jews – if you’re a Jew in the UK, then this would indicate that your loyalties lie elsewhere – but beware, because that would put you on the wrong side of the EUMC definition of anti-Semitism: Claiming that a Jewish person has more loyalty to Israel than their own country of citizenship.
I wonder what people would think if Sikhs demanded national self-determination, or Zoroastrians, or even Christians.
Replying to Mike’s comment at 12:52 a.m. on 3/10, part 2:
“Try to bear in mind, also, that we are not discussing how the JLM defines Zionism, but how it defines anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and how it responds to criticism of Zionists, Jews and the Israeli state.”
Um, I was replying to your comment of 4:13 pm on 2/10, where your queried whether JLM had the same definition of Zionism as Raffie. I pointed out the bit on their website which confirms exactly that. It is frustrating that, rather than acknowledging this, you now imply I am changing the subject!
The overarching discussion isn’t about a definition of Zionism, though. Try to keep up. It is about how the JLM defines anti-Zionism and what it does to people who oppose Zionism as the JLM practises it.
Bear in mind that the JLM’s aggressive behaviour suggests that its website is not entirely honest in its definition.
But thanks for the clarification. You have started to squirm, trying to score points wherever you can. I think you’re trying to waste my time and I do have better things to do.
If you want to keep trying, having failed to make an impression so far, please make sure you have a new point and that it is strong enough to bear examination. Any more nitpicking will go in the trash.
… Perhaps you could just take a look around at all the people who disagree with you on this column.
There is a great deal,of misunderstanding around the term ‘Zionist’ and its derivatives. It has a profound religious significance to the majority of Jewish peoples worldwide. It has become complicated by its prolonged use for political parties. I respect your view and that of the majority of Jewish people of its deep held and historic meaning thus I constantly ask people to desist from using that term. Thank you for speaking out.
According to the discredited EUMC definition of anti-Semitism, it is anti-Semitic to accuse Jewish citizens of “being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations”. You seem to be suggesting that Jews should behave in this manner.
Have a think about that one.
I am a ‘full’ jew with the usual family history of grandparents and family dying in, and some escaping from the holocaust. Please do not speak for me under the cloak of ‘most Jews’. I am not a zionist and feel no allegiance whatsoever to Israel. I am a socialist and believe in human rights for all and fair, equal society in whichever country you live in.
It’s intolerable and unacceptable that pro-Zionist is now the accepted norm in the U.K. and U.S. i.e. pro the vicious Israeli regime’s war crimes, slaughter, genocide, apartheid walls, etc. Thanks to Zionist bribes and corrupt politicians eager to be bribed. Legitimate condemnation demonised as ‘anti-Semitic, despite the majority of countries regularly condemning Israeli regime outrages at the U.N. Plus, many Jews worldwide condemning Zionism as a political movement which uses their religion as a cover and powerful tool to enlist support. An excellent Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ program exposed the deep infiltration of U.K. politics by the Zionist lobby. Check it out on You Tube
Regarding the Biblical claim on Palestine, it’s based on a book which is based on a 6,000 year-old Earth and ‘creationism’. Totally at odds with the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution, etc. For example, the Bible story can not be reconciled with the fact that most people – of non-African ancestry – have between 0-4% Neanderthal DNA? Therefore, it’s a totally false claim.
It isn’t a false claim. That part of the world very obviously was home to the Jewish people. Whether the earth was created 6,000 years ago or six billion years ago is neither here nor there, as far as that is concerned.
And the state of Israel is there now. It’s no good making a fuss about whether it should exist or not, because it does.
It is the manner of that state’s existence that exercises critics of Israel, and of the aggressive Zionism that has come under criticism here.
You are spot on about this Mike. Those using the sufferings of Jews as a political tool of censorship to silence critics of Israeli STATE and their treatment of the Palestinians. The Labour Party and other socialist and Trade Unionists have a proud history of defending Jewish communities. 80 years ago the working class came out to combat Mosley and his Blackshirts at Cable Street.
Antisemitism was Christian dogma for centuries. The reason was that the Jews were blamed for the betrayal of Jesus Christ; all persecution of Jews was sanctioned by Church and State. Subsequently, antisemitism has spread beyond the Christian community to all kinds of ugly factions.
Israel has had endless ‘presentation’ problems with many of its actions. It has been a deliberate tactic to conflate Zionism with Judaism so one is identical with the other, and both are therefore Israel. It has allowed spokespeople to cry ‘antisemitic’ whenever Israel is criticized. This approach was particularly evident during the heavily televised assault on Gaza in 2014. It was used to deflect opposition to the attack by labelling all critics as antisemitic. In fact, it was counterproductive because it led to many more people questioning the validity of the link.
As one Jewish friend said to me: you can tell we are God’s chosen people, we even have our own exclusive name for racism.
Is this a subject on which there cannot be free speech? If I say that I am horrified by the way Palestinians in Gaza are being treated by the Israeli Government, just as I hate the Russian bombing of hospitals in Syria, am I anti-semitic ?
I guess it could revert to its original name, Poale Zion, which it ditched a few years ago. I wonder why it was decided to emphasise that it is a Jewish movement rather than a Zionist movement? Just asking.
I am not a Labour Party member nor a member of Momentum or any other Party, group or sect…
My father was Walter Bor, CBE. I lost 14 members of my family in The Holocaust,
have written a book on Sir Moses Montefiore ( ‘Imperialist hero?’),
and completed an M.A. in Holocaust Studies recently. I wish everyone would stop equating those
who are not part of the Zionist project (and have a life-long ambivalence about Israeli
policies) with soi-disant “anti-semitism”. That is crude history, vulgar politics, and pure opportunism.
We’ve had enough scapegoats in history. Let Jackie Walker express her views – for debate, not expulsion
Mike Bor, M.A (Hist), M.A. (Holocaust Studies)
31, Archery Steps,
St George’s Fields,
London, W2 2YF
I agree. Sadly, anti-Semitism, like other forms of discrimination, is being hijacked for ill ends. Personally, I think that we have too many names for thee things and nobody knows what they mean so, everybody is at risk of being a criminal. £et racism be racism and religious hatred be religious hatred, that way, we all know where we stand and we become united in our struggle, rather than divided by trivial distinctions, when we are involved in the same struggle. Somebody is benefiting from this muddying of the waters; the question is, who?
if one supports corbyn it doesnt matter whot oh how they believe or say it will get twisted by those greedie people whose only aim is to rid themselves of honest mps and the like the blair factiob is like that dreaded twisted crab that seeks you out hmmm
Hating the state of Israel, as opposed, say, to hating Egypt for its blockade of Gaza, Turkey for its military occupation of and ethnic cleansing in northern Cyprus or Russia for its annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, is irrational, based on the erroneous belief in the victimhood of the Palestinians who tried to crush Israel and failed and paid the price for their aggression. Anti-Zionism appears to be based entirely on this illogical hatred of the only sane, pluralistic, democratic country in the Middle East where the rights of minorities (racial, religious or sexual) are enshrined in law. Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, and so when you hate Israel you do, I’m afraid, hate the Jewish people. You don’t know this, but that is your fault, not ours.
Who has mentioned hating any country for any sake?
The worst we have been discussing is criticism of Israel.
Furthermore, not only has nobody mentioned hating Israel; nobody has mentioned hating it as opposed to any of the other countries you mention, for any of the reasons you mention.
You go on to mention anti-Zionism as if it follows on naturally from discussion of hating Israel (it doesn’t). Many believe that Zionism has become unreasonably aggressive, and there are certainly plenty of examples to support this.
It appears you are mistaken about Israel’s support for the rights of minorities – in practice, if not in law. Perhaps you’d like to discuss this with your fellow commenter Elspeth Parris.
Your claim that Israel is the natural home of the Jewish people does not link up with your claim about hatred for Israel (or even my correction about criticism of Israel). In the first instance you are referring to the place; in the second you are referring to the political entity – the Israeli state.
Since I personally don’t hate Israel (the place), Israel (the nation), or the Jewish people, it seems clear that I am not at fault.
I question your purpose in making the comment, though.
Yes, good stuff there Mike. They are one dreadful vile organisation and their leader, Jeremy Newmark is one lying lowlife.
You are right (to answer your question).
The abuse and accusations being leveled against JW on the FB page are utterly disgraceful and far more offensive then anything the press would report. This has given some truly vile trolls permission to attack not only Jackie but all who don’t support Zionism as Jew Haters, while also claiming ALL Jews have the same beliefs wrapped up in a nice ‘and she’s black’ bow. No outrage being shown about it anywhere. This is a truly shameful episode
The overarching question that needs to be addressed is the nonsensical concept of identity. Our similarities dwarf our differences and are themselves dwarfed by our species’ dependence on the planet’s life system. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns…
As you say, Mike, the group calling itself the ‘The Jewish Labour Movement’discriminates against non-zionist Jews. But I know of several non-Jewish members of ‘The Jewish Labour Movement’- they are welcome to join ‘in solidarity’ with the group as long as they support zionism, whereas non-zionist Jews are not (and would not want to).
So the name is a complete and very deliberate misnomer, as membership actually depends on ideology (or at least acquiescence to the group’s ideology).
I agree that a more fitting name would be ‘The Zionist Labour Movement’- it was until very recently known as Poale Zion.
I recommend reading the information on ‘The Jewish Labour Movement’ on https://electronicintifada.net as well as
Both sites discuss JLM in relation to The Labour Party and the ongoing antisemitism smears.
It’s intolerable and unacceptable that pro-Zionist is now the accepted norm in the U.K. and U.S. i.e. pro the vicious Israeli regime’s war crimes, slaughter, genocide, apartheid walls, etc. Thanks to Zionist bribes and corrupt politicians eager to be bribed. Legitimate condemnation demonised as ‘anti-Semitic, despite the majority of countries regularly condemning Israeli regime outrages at the U.N. Plus, many Jews worldwide condemning Zionism as a political movement which uses their religion as a cover and powerful tool to enlist support. An excellent Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ program exposed the deep infiltration of U.K. politics by the Zionist lobby. Check it out on You Tube.
You have held your own against prejudice and the semantics of the extremists who have posted on your site. When I was querying on a Jewish publication a couple of extremists totally radicalised towards Israel were being very pedantic in their pursuit of a victory over me and the semantics they employed were becoming more and more reductive. I was tempted to give in until several moderate Jews on the site who had been following the comments jumped in and took over from me. It was they who destroyed the semantic arguments of the extremists and defended my remarks and observations/queries. They were not Jewish apologists and agreed that the State of Israel was established and therefore had a right to exist, regardless of the circumstances, which were just as historic as the persecution of Jews is, which is what I had already stated, was my position on the matter. It was they who defended me – a non Jew – and argued in my defence, even though they were Zionists, just not extremists.
How do I denounce decent Jews who are also Zionists but are equally critical of Israel’s policies. What label do I apply to these extremists pro Israeli, Zionist Jews?
Pro Israeli Zionist extremist apartheid supporting fascist Hasbara Jews?
That’s quite a mouthful, even an acronym would be awkward and it shows just how difficult it is to append a label to a certain kind of thinking without giving offence to Jews in general,(not that I deem labeling people willy nilly)
This was what I offered to a Zionist Jewish lass during our banter and she found it hysterical but decided it was a good one, if only she could remember it and agreed that it did not offend her.
You had better get used to the semantic tactics employed by these extremists, because that is the basis for their arguments to discredit critics.
>Isn’t this the lady who previously claimed that it was Jews who financed the slave trade?
Yes, specific Jews in specific places.
The main academic article she cited was
Cnaan Liphshiz and Iris Tzur, JTA
I am not British but I am staggered to see how crass vicious ignorance dominates so many political discussions, Britain once had educated people who backed up what they said. Jackie Walker can do so. Why are other people so jealous of her intelligence they must try and destroy her.
Britain appears to be a very sick society, ignorance is so trendy and vicious personal attacks on people who accomplish things so accepted.
Are Pauly and James Mendelsohn not very bright or are they intentionally inciting racial hatred? Why do they not feel shame? Spreading misinformation should embarrass anyone with any integrity.
I admire your patience in countering each point, my inclination is to ignore crass misinformation, but I realize with poor UK media and low intellectual standards that is dangerous.
She made the claim that “many Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade” on her FB page. She didn’t cite any sources at all for that claim, as far as I am aware, at least not on her FB page. If she did so elsewhere, please let me know.
The claim is favoured by the likes of David Duke and Louis Farrakhan. It is briefly dispensed with in this recent letter to The Guardian:
Could you please explain how you think I am inciting racial hatred? Thanks.
Just to counter this quickly: Jackie Walker’s claim was made as a result of her own research into her family’s history and was apparently taken out of context when her Facebook page was hacked by the Jewish Chronicle. It was part of a private conversation with someone who knew her and understood the context, which was a small part of the slave trade based around Portugal.
Thank you. I will reply on the new post later on.
I would suggest that Piers’ comment above, where he appears to suggest that I am intentionally inciting racial hatred, is slanderous.
It isn’t slanderous – or even libellous, which is what I think you meant (slander is spoken, libel is in print or published form). His question was fair comment, based on the information available.
How exactly? I asked him to cite evidence for his claim and he didn’t. Please show me exactly where I am supposed to have incited racial hatred. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request.
Hi might not have read it yet.
Personally, I think he’s probably suggesting that, by pushing erroneous claims onto readers, you are inciting racial hatred against Jews. You have to be very careful what you say, you know.
I’d love to know which of my claims he/you thinks are erroneous.
I’ll respond on your newer post later on today. For the sake of keeping the discussion “tidy”, I’d suggest you/he respond there rather than here.
Don’t come to me with that nonsense.
I have answered your claims on this column at great length, as you know perfectly well.
So, in fact, you won’t be responding to anything else here.
You are a time-waster. You are ignorant of the facts and you try to spread falsehoods rather than accepting those facts.
Take your nonsense somewhere else.
You are banned from commenting on this site.
While I agree with Momentum that Jackie Wilson made an error of judgement, she never said anything anti-semetic. The attacks on her were and are about something very different. They are about the age old tactic of the Jewish/Pro Israel lobby to blur the lines between a racist political movement called Zionism and anti-semitism.
This tactic sees its apex in the US, where ANY politician who doesn’t proclaim their support for Israel may as well kiss their career goodbye.
You can see this being clearly played out in Britain where all the media continually refer to “Labour’s anti-semitism problem.”
What? The Left has never had an anti-semitism problem. The leaders of the Left internationally have traditionally been Jewish, Rosa Luxemberg, Leon Trotsky, even uncle Karl himself. Anyone who know anything about history will know that it has always been the right that was riddled with anti-semitism or the British monarchy.
The Labour Party should always have a zero tolerance towards any racism and it that will include the disgusting racism now on show towards Diane Abbot, strangely enough, a Corbyn ally; but it must resist and expose, fearlessly the sycophants for racism and apartheid in the occupied territories of Palestine.
“What? The Left has never had an anti-semitism problem.”
Seriously? You’ve never heard of (say) the Doctors’ Plot or the decades of state-sponsored Soviet antisemitism? Yes Marx himself was ethnically Jewish, but his book “The Jewish Question” included the following lines:
“What is the secular cult of the Jew? Haggling”.
“What is his secular god? Money”.
“Exchange is the true god of the Jew”.
“The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant”.
“The emancipation of the Jew is, in the last analysis, the emancipation of mankind from Judaism”.
The late Steve Cohen’s book, “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic is a very good place to start on Left anti-Semitism.” You can find an electronic version at https://libcom.org/files/thats_funny.pdf
And do you really consider the Soviet Union to have been particularly left-wing?
Yes, it claimed to be Communist but we should judge people and organisations by their deeds, not their words.
.. and at least, if referring to someone living in the UK, the response should have been about what happens or doesn’t happen in the UK. Swivelling comments to take in the entire world history, hardly seems reasonable, when referring to the present day, does it? Who is Ben? What angle is he working from?
Well, we can rest our case…if 100 year old stuff is what you put forward as anti-semitism in Left wing politics today.
Fair point about the USSR, but bearing in mind the words of Marx himself, it would be simply naive to say that there cannot be antisemitism on the left. But do have a look at the book – Cohen, who passed away in 2009, wrote about far more recent examples, plenty of which were on the British left.
Nobody’s saying there isn’t any at all, because there will always be individuals who have aberrant views.
There certainly isn’t any organised anti-Semitism.
@ Mike: yesterday’s Morning Star suggested that left-anti-Semitism is “an absurd formulation”, which is pretty much exactly the same as saying that “there isn’t any [left-wing a-S] at all” – the possibility is simply dismissed out of hand. (see https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-40ec-Stand-up-to-witch-hunt#.V_d1YoVIXnF)
Yes of course there will always be individuals with aberrant views. Do you consider Marx to have been one of those people? Could his views have conceivably influenced the later left?
@ Officialaccountability: my point is simply that there is a tradition of left-wing a-S going back to Marx himself. Again, please read Cohen’s book. For some more recent examples, closer to home:
In 1983, Sunderland Poly voted to ban its Jewish Society on the basis of “no-platforming”. This was supported by left groups such as the SWP and Socialist Action. (http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2012/05/29/how-student-left-1980s-established-itself)
In 2003, Tam Dalyell suggested that Tony Blair was “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers.”
In 2008, the SWP issued an explanation of the Holocaust that referred to “thousands” (not “millions”) of victims and omitted any reference to Jews. Whether this was “organised” or “just a mistake” seems irrelevant. See http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2008/08/18/has-swp-discovered-jew-free-holocaust (including, in particular, the last two BTL comments).
NUS President Maalia Bouattia has previously referred to the “Zionist-led media” – an unsubtle echo of the anti-Semitic claim that Jews control the media, except she used the word “Zionist” instead of “Jewish”. She has been defended by Gerry Downing, who in turn believes that Marxists of today need to address “the Jewish Question”.(see https://socialistfight.com/2016/05/21/defend-malia-bouattia-against-the-andrew-coatesawl-pro-zionistimperialist-attacks/ and https://socialistfight.com/2015/08/22/why-marxists-must-address-the-jewish-question-concretely-today/)
To suggest the left has no problem with anti-Semitism is simply naive.
Recent surveys suggest that support for Labour among British Jews has fallen from 20% under Ed Milliband to 8.5% under Jeremy Corbyn, The angle I’m working from, as you put it, is that I want to see that trend reversed. This begins by acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place, not simply dismissing it out of hand.
Marx was a product of his times. Do you think anybody these days would take his views on Jewish people at face value? Think again.
Just looking at your references, I would point out that (without further information) concerns that Tony Blair was being “unduly influenced” by “a cabal of Jewish advisors” may have been entirely justified. No UK prime minister should be biased towards any special-interest group but should work for the benefit of everybody.
Your reference to the SWP in 2008 – I’m not going to comment on “thousands” instead of “millions” because I don’t know, but the Nazi holocaust involved many other groups as well as Jews, and it seems likely that the SWP was simply being “politically correct”.
Your comment about Maalia Bouattia conflates Zionism with Judaism and so I discount it out-of-hand. The two are not the same and unless you have performed extensive research into what she meant and why she meant it, you have no business making such a suggestion.
Yes, support for Labour among British Jews has fallen. Perhaps it is because they have been following the media sources Ms Bouattia mentioned? If you want to see that trend reversed, perhaps you should devote yourself to ensuring they get unbiased news content, rather than chasing ghosts.
Nobody has said anti-Semitism on the left doesn’t exist – I said as much yesterday. But it isn’t organised and is mostly the work of aberrant individuals.
Mike, you are simply sticking your fingers in your ears, defending the indefensible, and pretending that there isn’t a problem. Perhaps the most shocking example is describing the SWP as being “politically correct” for omitting Jews altogether from its list of Holocaust victims. How is that PC, exactly? As for Maalia Bouattia, what else could she have meant by her reference to “Zionist-led media”?
If you want to win back British Jews to the Labour Party, then I suggest you take a different tack.
I’m not pretending there isn’t a problem, though. I’m simply not pretending it’s a big problem.
How is it politically correct to omit Roma, the disabled, and all the other holocaust victims from the list? Having looked at the link, it seems clear that the press release was written to attack the BNP and may have been tailored for that purpose. I’ve explained to you what Ms Bouattia could have meant.
It seems that YOU are the one with your fingers in your ears – or rather, in your eyes.
Please have another look at the SWP flyer. Here it is again: http://www.workersliberty.org/system/files/attachment-0001.jpeg
No problem with them mentioning other victims of the Holocaust. But to leave out any reference WHATSOEVER to the millions of Jewish victims?
As for Bouattia, I’m confused: on another thread, you have called someone out for referring the to the “ZioMSM”, but you don’t seem to have a problem with Bouattia referring to the “Zionist-led media”. What’s the difference?
“Zio” is held to be a term of abuse.
“Zionist” is a title for people who hold a certain set of beliefs.
Simple as that.
Going back to the SWP, I’ve already stated that it seems likely the press release was a tailored response to something the BNP had already said. Do you have information on what the BNP was doing at the time, for the SWP to respond with this flyer? If not, you’re only showing a small part of the full story.
Now, why on Earth would someone like you want to do something like that?
A few comments. The AWL is not a group to quote, they are fundamentally dishonest and argue for a non-racist version of anti-Semitism, viz opposition to majority Jewish identity.
‘Left anti-Semitism’ is an absurd formulation. People on the left can be anti-Semitic, of course they can. But there is no specific left-wing anti-Semitic movement. Stalinism was not left-wing.
Those who talk about left AS are usually trying to cover up for a state that is veering to the extreme right, which entertains neo-Nazis and far right groups without a seconds thought. Nearly all Europes far right groups support Israel and Zionism – Gert Wilers, Strache of Austria, Marine Le Pen and our own BNP and EDL. Why? Because if you are an anti-Semite then Zionism is for you. Zionism also accepts Jews don’t belong.
Incidentally it is a myth that Jews are now not voting Labour. They haven’t voted Labour in any numbers since teh 1960s for the good reason that Jews moved upwards socio-economically and to the Right. If u dispute that fact then try reading William Rubinsteins’ ‘The Left, Right and the Jews’ or Geoffrey Alderman’s The Jewish Community in British Politics. The former is a past President of the Jewish historical society and the latter is a very right-wing columnist on the Jewish Chronicle. They both agree that as Jews no longer have a working class, they no longer vote Labour or communist.
But the idea we should abandon the Palestinians because Jews in this country support Zionism is a sick and obscene idea. It is typical of the unprinicipled politics of the Labour right that Mike Sivier represents.
I was with you right up to the last paragraph.
In what way, exactly, do I represent the politics of the Labour right at all, unprincipled or not?
It’s a shame that you have suggested that, because I was going to use your comments on ‘left anti-Semitism’ to counter another comment that ‘Ben’ has, which is in the queue for moderation at the moment. I’m not sure I can do that while your words are overshadowed by a very basic misunderstanding of what I’m saying.
having looked at your comments you are absolutely right. Clearly I was thinking of someone else! Apologies
I’m grateful for that.
Personally, I have a huge amount of respect for you.
Propaganda, and how to recognise it should be a part of every school ‘s curriculum. I suspect it already is at Eton.
Great piece on the new-model-media and how a combination of a lazy press, credulous public and vested interests caused the Jackie Walker witch hunt – https://medium.com/@MatthewGeraghty/the-first-casualty-of-war-is-truth-39f9369c792d#.hzfwt3e2b
the EUMC definition does NOT confuse Israel with Zionism or label all critics of Israel as antisemitic. it states
“Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
*Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
*Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
*Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
*Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
*Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
So what is actually going on here is not labelling criticism of Israel as antisemitic, but labelling double standards, antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories levelled at Israel as potentially within context being an attack on Jews. Whilst allowing valid criticism of Israel to thrive.
But the real battle ground is Zionism. the definition states that it is antisemitic to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination.
Some agree, some disagree. I personally take a pluralist approach, if Palestinians are entitled to a state of Palestine, the Jews are entitles to an Israel.
The real conflation here is that anti-Zionists pretend they are being silenced for criticising Israel when they are not Israel critics at all.
AntiZionism is not criticism of Israel’s policies. AntiZionism is opposition to Israel existing. To an antiZionist there is nothing Israel can actually do that would satisfy them. That is not criticism.
Sure an antizionist will say they are appalled at injustices to Palestinians, about the Gaza wall about the occupied territories, about the embargo. To the untrained eye this might look like criticism of Israel.
But Israel could tear down the wall, pull out of the occupied territories, lift the embargo and this would not satisfy the antiZionist. There is nothing Israel can do to please the antiZionist. This is not because they are critics of Israel but because they want Israel destroyed.
There is no other country that has to put up with criticism of that nature. That is why I think anti-Zionism is within context potentially antisemitic.
“Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” Labelling critics of Israel as anti-Semitic. And what if the policy under criticism is Zionist in origin and/or ambition?
Are Palestinians being allowed their entitlement to a state? It seems to me (and many others) that the state of Israel is trying to push them off their own land, and then stealing that land.
The problem with Zionism is not a problem with Jewish people having a right to self-determination, you see – it’s a problem with anyone who uses self-determination as an excuse to harm other people. Nobody has a right to cause harm to others.
Israel has every right to exist – legally. That right extends to its existence within the borders set out for it when the nation was originally set up in the 1940s. Does Israel exist within those borders? No. Why not?
I’m glad of your last few paragraphs. They make it clear that people can be opposed to the measures you mention – injustice to Palestinians, the wall, the occupied territories and so on – without being anti-Zionists.
The only kind of Zionism I oppose is the kind that thinks it is permissible to inflict harm on others in order to achieve that philosophy’s goals. I don’t think I’m alone in that.
I would certainly not support anyone who went further than that.
JLM organised the anti-Semitism course that is at the centre of this controversy.
The new director of the Jewish Labour Movement was an officer at the Israeli embassy in London for the past year. Ella Rose worked at the embassy as public affairs officer between September 2015 and August 2016, when she joined JLM as its first director.
This wasn’t an anti-semitism course it was a honey trap. It had secret video designed to entrap Jackie who had already been under sustained attack by the JLM. Whatever she said would have been used to prove she was ‘anti-Semitic’
Yes, but the question I keep asking, and which I haven’t received an answer, is why on earth the Labour Party invites these s**t-stirrers who have done all in their power to undermine Corbyn’s Labour, along to their annual conference to lecture on anti-racism. I also asked Mr Lansman at Swansea on Saturday if he had written…to Tony and other Jewish members of Momentum…that “Jeremy (Newmark) was upset….”…he didnt answer.
Because Corbyn is too weak to call them out for what they are – which is Zionists using ‘anti-Semitism’ to close down the debate on Palestine and to defame people on the Left.
In the Jewish Chronicle this week there is an article attacking a student meeting at SOAS which has Jewish speakers who distinguish between Zionism and Judaism. Ludicrously the article starts off:
”The Board of Deputies has condemned a planned event by a pro-Palestinian student group which aims to separate anti-Zionism from antisemitism.’
Presumably they would rather that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism werent separated? the whole article is beyond parody but it shows how dishonest these people are.
I think it would be a tactical error for Mr Corbyn to voice an opinion at this time; he has already been accused of supporting anti-Semitism, many times, and such a move would only add fuel to the fire.
Dawn Butler could do it, though.