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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Open Letter to SNP MPs – Why do you join hands with the bigots of the DUP in support of Israel, the world’s most racist state?

SNP MPs sign John Mann's EDM defining support for the Palestinians as 'anti-Semitism'
The SNP's new flag

When I first went youth hostelling in the Scottish Highlands I got talking to a man in my dorm who was wearing a kilt.  I asked him if he was a supporter of the Scottish National Party.  ‘Och no’ he replied.  ‘They’re a bunch of Tartan Tories.’  I mention this because today the SNP tries to give the impression that it is a progressive, left-wing nationalist party, which is opposed to all things Tory.  In 2015 it attacked the Labour Party in the General Election and the execrable Blairite leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, as ‘red Tories’
Angus Robertson, the defeated leader of the SNP in London, was a strong supporter of Israel and the new IHRA
You would therefore expect a party that represents what, in their eyes, is an oppressed nation, the Scottish, to sympathise with and support the Palestinians.  It’s a no brainer.  Just as Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party which represents the Catholics of Northern Ireland, have always supported the Palestinians and opposed Zionism. 

Hungary's Admiral Horthy with Hitler.  Horthy presided over the deportation of 437,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1944.  Viktor Orban, Hungary's Prime Minister a strong supporter of the IHRA and Israel, is leading the campaign to rehabilitate Horthy as a nationalist symbol of Hungary's fascist past

As Ronald Storrs, the first Military Governor of Jerusalem wrote in his autobiography, Orientations, ‘A Jewish State will be for England a little, loyal Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.’
Alex Salmond managed to combine verbal support for the Palestinians with backing Zionist Apartheid - a consummate bourgeois politician
It is therefore curious that the SNP gives every appearance, apart from the odd photo opportunity, of signing up to support Zionism and the Israeli state one hundred per cent.  In January John Mann MP, a rent a mouth thuggish Blairite who is fiercely hostile to Corbyn put down an Early Day Motion in support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. 
Wes Streeting another anti-Corbyn Labour MP who just loves the IHRA definition of 'anti-semitism'
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism consists of over 420 words and has a deliberately ambiguous and deceptive introduction which relies on 11 ‘examples’ of what anti-Semitism might be.   There is of course a very simple definition drawn up by a Fellow of Oxford University and a Jewish academic, Dr Brian Klug.  It is 21 words, doesn't mention Israel.
antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’ 
The only problem with Klug's definition is that it doesn't mention Israel!
Another signatory to Mann's EDM is the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel, expenses champion Joan Ryan.  She made it clear at the General Election that she prefers Theresa May to Corbyn
Despite calling itself a ‘non-legal’ definition the IHRA is increasingly being used to shut down anti-Zionist and anti-Israel Apartheid events, to ban speakers and to infringe on free speech.

There are two very excellent analyses of the IHRA and its deficiencies by Hugh Tomlinson QC and by former Court of Appeal Judge Sir Stephen Sedley, who is himself Jewish.  Sedley wrote an article Defining Anti-Semitism in May’s London Review of Books on the IHRA.  It is well worth reading.  Sedley’s opening paragraph sums up our criticisms very well:
Ruth Smeeth the Blairite MP who disrupted the Chakrabarti press conference last year, portraying herself as a victim of 'anti-semitism'
Shorn of philosophical and political refinements, anti-Semitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews. Where it manifests itself in discriminatory acts or inflammatory speech it is generally illegal, lying beyond the bounds of freedom of speech and of action. By contrast, criticism (and equally defence) of Israel or of Zionism is not only generally lawful: it is affirmatively protected by law. Endeavours to conflate the two by characterising everything other than anodyne criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic are not new. What is new is the adoption by the UK government (and the Labour Party) of a definition of anti-Semitism which endorses the conflation

It is therefore bizarre that the SNP, which purports to be a progressive party should be allying itself with the DUP, the most bigoted, racist, homophobic and chauvinist party in the House of Commons.  Of the 59  MPs who signed John Mann’s January 2017 EDM, 10 were from the SNP and 5 from the DUP.  They included Angus Robertson, who sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee which originally endorsed the IHRA last October and Alex Salmond, who has made a career speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
Arlene Foster - the SNP's new Loyalist friend - hates gays, abortion and Catholics but just loves Israel and Zionism

John Mann reissued another EDM on 21st June in support of the IHRA.  It has already garnered 5 signatures .  Apart from Mann himself and uber Blairite Wes Streeting, there is Jim Shannon of the DUP and Christopher Stephens of the SNP. 
A short sample of Joan Ryan's expenses list
There have been repeated attempts to prosecute Scottish Palestine solidarity activists for the crime of racially aggravated hate.  In April 2010 5 activists were cleared by Sheriff James Scott [Activists who heckled Israeli quartet cleared of racism charge] who said on that occasion:

"If persons on a march designed to protest against and publicise alleged crimes committed by a state and its army are afraid to name that state for fear of being charged with racially aggravated behaviour, that would render worthless their Article 10 rights," he said

In August 2016 an Aberdeen Palestine solidarity supporter, Alister Coutts, was prosecuted for shouting ‘Viva Palestina’.  All the cases so far have led to acquittals but there is another case which is pending.  In Scotland, which has its own legal system, justice is a devolved matter.  It is the SNP who are in essence presiding over this legal witch hunt of Palestine supporters.

It would seem that when you scratch the SNP what you find is the old Tartan Tories.  Perhaps that is why in the last election, Scottish voters decided to vote for the genuine article in 13 constituencies?
Below is an open letter I wrote to the SNP MPs.

Tony Greenstein

John Mann haranguing Ken Livingstone last year for telling the truth that the Nazis supported Zionism up and until they started deporting Jews in 1941

Dear Member of Parliament,

In January 2017, John Mann put down an Early Day Motion in support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of 'anti-semitism.  Today he is touting for signatures to a new EDM supporting the IHRA. I am asking you, as a Jewish supporter of the Palestinians not to sign it and I hope that Christopher Stephens will withdraw his signature.

Out of the 59 signatures who signed last time around, 10 of them were from the SNP.  Another 5 were from those dedicated opponents of racism, the Democratic Unionist Party.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the SNP today considers itself a progressive if not left nationalist party as opposed to the Tartan Tories of old?  Why then are you getting into bed with the bigots of the DUP and Blairite MPs like John Mann, Wes Streeting, Ruth Smeeth, Stephen Twigg, and of course the saintly Keith Vaz?  To say nothing of Joan Ryan, Blairite Chair of Labour Friends of Israel who holds the record for claiming parliamentary expenses and Louise Ellman, the Zionist MP who defended the Israeli military’s incarceration and beating of Palestinian children. 

John Mann is a non-Jewish MP who does very well out of 'anti-Semitism'.  Strangely enough he never raises his voice about any other forms of racism.  Perhaps it’s not as profitable. 

The IHRA definition of 'anti-Semitism' is a mere 420+ words.  It gives 11 examples of 'anti-Semitism', 7 of which relate to Israel, not Jews.  Israel is a state.  You can't be racist against a state.  The fact that a state calls itself Jewish doesn’t make it racist to criticise it anymore than it was racist to criticise Apartheid South Africa which called itself ‘Christian’.

States based on religion disappeared from Europe with the French Revolution over 200 years ago.  In its place the idea of separation of state from religion took root.  Israel is a throwback to medieval times.  As a colonial settler state it is the world’s most racist state. 

There is a very simple definition drawn up by a Fellow of Oxford University and a Jewish academic, Dr Brian Klug.  It is 21 words, doesn't mention Israel and is clear and simple.

antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’

If you are genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism, the kind that fascists and holocaust deniers propagate, then you will understand that conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is immensely helpful to those who really do hate Jews, because it enables them to hide behind supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Israeli Apartheid.  Equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism confuses people as to what anti-Semitism actually is.  It is the ‘boy cried wolf’ syndrome.  Shout ‘anti-Semitism’ everytime Israel is criticised and eventually people will be unable to discern genuine examples of anti-Semitism.

The IHRA is an alliance of 31 governments including the racist governments of Poland and Hungary.  Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a strong supporter of both Israel and the IHRA definition. He is also a well known racist.  Today’s Times of Israel contains an article Jewish groups critical of Hungarian praise for Hitler ally.  Orban is currently trying to rehabilitate the war-time leader of Hungary, Admiral Horthy, who not only allied himself with Hitler throughout the war, but presided over the deportation to Auschwitz of some 437,000 Hungarian Jews.

Anti-Semites supporting Zionism is nothing new because both believe that the place of Jews is in Palestine, not the countries where they live.  That is why Orban supports the IHRA.  If you are genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism you will join the University College Union whose Conference has just come out in opposition to the IHRA and Caroline Lucas, who signed Mann’s original EDM.  She has changed her mind and now rejects this bogus definition of anti-Semitism.

Kind regards

Tony Greenstein
See my articles on Comment is Free Stop conflating anti-Zionism and anti-semitism



Saturday, 24 June 2017

John Mann Attempts to Rekindle Labour’s False Anti-Semitism Campaign

Early Day Motion Supporting IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism Means Supporting Israeli Apartheid

Write to your MP asking them not to sign it 

Model Letter Below

This is what Joan Ryan MP's idea of loyalty to the Labour Party amounted to 
It was only a few days ago that I wrote about the disappointment of Labour Friends of Israel and Labour’s Zionist lobby at the fact that Jeremy Corbyn did so well in the election. [Labour Friends of Israel & the Zionists are Set to Relaunch False ‘Anti-Semitism’ Campaign].  Joan Ryan, Chair of Labour Friends of Israel and one of the most corrupt MPs, issued a letter to her constituents in which she compared Corbyn unfavourably to Theresa May:
John Mann - the leader of the false 'anti-Semitism' witch hunt
“I know from speaking to people around here that many who have previously voted Labour are thinking hard this time because, they tell me, they have more confidence in Theresa May as prime minister than they would have in Jeremy Corbyn.

“The polls are all saying that the Conservative party will win a large majority, possibly with more MPs than they have ever had before. Realistically, no one thinks Theresa May will not be prime minister or that she will not have the majority she needs to negotiate Brexit.”
This blog forced John Mann to delete the above FB page

The latest effort to restart the false 'anti-Semitism' campaign is an Early Day Motion, in essence a parliamentary petition which MPs sign, as an indication for the support a topic has.  John Mann has put a second EDM down this year supporting the International Holocaust Definition of anti-Semitism.  The IHRA, which is essentially the same as the old Working Definition on Anti-Semitism that the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency junked 4 years, has just been rejected by the University Colleges Union (UCU).

Fraser -v- UCU Employment Tribunal was scathing about the quality of Mann's evidence

Whereas some on the Right, like Owen Smith, have accepted that they were wrong and are apparently reformed sinners, others such as John Mann, Ryan, Streeting and Woodcock are determined to continue the fight against Corbyn and the Left. For them, the main enemy is Corbyn not the Conservatives.

Ken Livingstone being harangued by a bore

Ryan and Mann’s priorities are stopping Corbyn not achieving a Labour government.  After all no one is more supportive of Israel than Theresa May. She is the lesser evil. Mann campaigned furiously in the summer of 2015 to have the ballot called off when it appeared that Corbyn would win the leadership. A rekindling of the false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign is seen by Mann, Ryan and co. as the best way of undermining Corbyn.

Joan Ryan MP for Tel Aviv North attack on Corbyn is exploited by Daily Mail to attack Corbyn in election

Mann last year stage managed an attack on Ken Livingstone in conjunction with the Murdoch media for speaking the truth when he said that the Nazis had supported Zionism.  Mann as Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Anti-Semitism has fought a long- campaign alleging that the Labour Party is overrun with ‘anti-Semitism’ and pillorying Corbyn for not rooting out fake ‘anti-Semitism’.  He has called for both myself and Jackie Walker to be expelled.

Mann has fought tirelessly to conflate criticism of the Israeli state with ‘anti-Semitism’.  That is why he supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.  It contains a short, confusing and ambiguous definition of anti-Semitism and then 11 examples which might be anti-Semitic, 7 of which relate to Israel. Despite stating explicitly that it is a ‘non-legal definition’ the IHRA has been used to attack free speech, Israel Apartheid week and Palestine events up and down the country.

Letter from Joan Ryan to her constituents attacking Jeremy Corbyn - 

A legal opinion from Hugh Tomlinson QC was recently obtained which holds that the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is vague and unclear.  He concludes that ‘A public authority which sought to apply the IHRA Definition to prohibit or sanction such activities [e.g. calling Israel a racist endeavour or an Apartheid state] would be acting unlawfully.’

Sir Stephen Sedley, the most radical civil liberties minded Judge to have sat on the Court of Appeal, who is himself Jewish, was even more coruscating.  He spoke of:

The only thing Joan Ryan didn't claim for was her toilet paper (wait - I'll check!)
‘a protean definition of anti-semitism which is open to manipulation and capture by the background interests I have mentioned. In this regard I would go rather further than Hugh Tomlinson does in his careful and well-reasoned Opinion. The governing proposition that antisemitism is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews” carries the clear implication that it may equally be expressed in other, unspecified, ways.

As Hugh Tomlinson says, this passage is vague and confusing; but I am not sure that the critique should stop there. It seems to me that its open-ended formulation has a thought-out purpose: to bring within the pale of antisemitism perceptions of Jews — possibly but not necessarily of all Jews — which fall short of hatred. While this may legitimately cover familiar antisemitic slanders about greed, clannishness and so forth, it is also capable of embracing perceptions of Zionism which are the subject of legitimate debate and disagreement.

That this is part of the intended reach is now becoming evident. One of the adopted examples is “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.” This passage bristles with controversial assumptions. Is there a single entity capable of being characterised as “the Jewish people”? Am I obliged to regard myself as bound by ethnicity to people like Benjamin Netanyahu? Then, assuming that there is such an ethnic entity, from where does it derive a collective right to self-determination capable of defeating the right to self-determination of other peoples, above all the Palestinian people? There have been many Jews — my father was one — who long before 1947 opposed the Zionist project on the ground that Jewish exceptionalism was exactly what antisemitism needed.

.... why are people, including many Jews, not entitled, without being branded anti-Semitic, to regard it [Israel] in its present form as both a colonialist and an apartheid state? The demand that criticism, to be legitimate, must be ‘similar to that levelled against any other country’ assumes that there are other countries which behave like Israel. There may well be, but how can this properly be a precondition of any criticism?’[my emphasis]

The IHRA definition has but one purpose.  By defining anti-Semitism as loosely and vaguely as possible, it can brand virtually all opposition to Zionism and Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’.  The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is over 420 words because it needs to be lengthy in order to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.  There is a much shorter, 21 word definition drawn up by Brian Klug in his lecture to the Jewish Museum in Berlin 'What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’?  Echoes of shattering glass' in November 2014. Klug is a lecturer at Oxford University and an academic expert in anti-Semitism. The problem for the Zionists is that it doesn't mention Israel.  

antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’

The IHRA is a group of 31 countries who have adopted a definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ which accords with western support for Israel. It is an imperialist definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ and has nothing whatsoever to do with hatred of Jewish people.

Amongst these 31 countries is Hungary, whose Prime Minister Victor Orban is a racist whose attitude to refugees needs no elaborating.  Orban is set on rehabilitating Admiral Horthy who presided over the deportation of nearly ½m Jews to Auschwitz from March 19th to July 9th 1944.  [The Reinterment and Political Rehabilitation of Miklós Horthy, Randolph Braham].  Like the anti-Semites in Trump’s administration, Orban is ardently pro-Zionist.  Another member state of the IHRA is Poland whose Law & Justice party government is sympathetic to anti-Semitism. 

Theresa May’s government has warmly welcomed the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, yet the Tory Party is part of the European Conservative and Reform group in the European parliament.  This group includes Poland’s Law & Justice Party as well as Latvia’s Robert Zile of the Fatherland & Freedom/LNNK. Zile spends every March going on a demonstration with the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS who participated in the extermination of Latvia’s Jews.

The IHRA is an inter-governmental definition of anti-Semitism whose purpose is to brand opponents of Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’.  It has nothing to do with the traditional understanding of anti-Semitism as hatred or hostility to Jews.

In January John Mann, who I exposed on this blog as a liar for denigrating a 90 year old Jewish doctor who had criticised him, put down an EDM supporting the IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’.  Mann is now up to his old tricks again and has proposed the following EDM. I suggest that people write to their MP and also those MPs who signed the EDM last time, urging them not to sign it this time.  It would be a waste of time emailing the DUP MPs as they are all Christian Zionist bigots. Caroline Lucas has already stated that she no longer supports the IHRA.


The MPs who signed the last EDM and who were re-elected recently are:

Conservative Party
Harrow East
19.01.2017
Conservative Party
Worthing West
24.01.2017
Liberal Democrats
Carshalton and Wallington
02.02.2017
Scottish National Party
Kilmarnock and Loudoun
23.01.2017
Scottish National Party
East Kilbride Strathaven and Lesmahagow
02.02.2017
Labour Party
West Lancashire
25.01.2017
Labour Party
Bolton North East
31.01.2017
Scottish National Party
Linlithgow and East Falkirk
25.01.2017
Democratic Unionist Party
Belfast North
02.02.2017
Labour Party
Liverpool Riverside
03.02.2017
Scottish National Party
Motherwell and Wishaw
20.01.2017
Labour Party
Don Valley
03.02.2017
Labour Party
Ilford South
24.01.2017
Scottish National Party
North East Fife
02.03.2017
Scottish National Party
North Ayrshire and Arran
25.01.2017
Labour Party
Stretford and Urmston
03.02.2017
Scottish National Party
Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey
20.01.2017
INDEPENDENT
North Down
30.01.2017
Labour Party
Barking
20.01.2017
Labour Party
Luton North
19.01.2017
Labour Party
Knowsley
25.01.2017
Scottish National Party
Dundee West
24.01.2017
Conservative Party
New Forest East
30.01.2017
Green Party
Brighton Pavilion
26.01.2017
Labour Party
Bassetlaw
18.01.2017
Labour Party
York Central
30.03.2017
Labour Party
City of Chester
20.01.2017
Labour Party
St Helens North
30.01.2017
Scottish National Party
Falkirk
25.01.2017
Labour Party
Wigan
02.02.2017
Democratic Unionist Party
North Antrim
25.01.2017
Labour Party
St Helens South and Whiston
02.02.2017
Democratic Unionist Party
Belfast East
23.01.2017
Labour Party
Coventry North West
02.02.2017
Labour Party
Enfield North
02.02.2017
Plaid Cymru
Dwyfor Meirionnydd
24.01.2017
Democratic Unionist Party
Strangford
19.01.2017
Democratic Unionist Party
Upper Bann
25.01.2017
Labour Party
Stoke-on-Trent North
02.02.2017
Scottish National Party
Glasgow South West
23.01.2017
Labour Party
Ilford North
02.02.2017
Labour Party
Blackley and Broughton
22.02.2017
Labour Party
Liverpool West Derby
03.02.2017
Labour Party
Leicester East
27.01.2017

 The e-contacts for the above are:

bob.blackman.mp@parliament.uk, alan.brown.mp@parliament.uk, lisa.cameron.mp@parliament.uk, rosie@rosiecooper.net, crausbyd@parliament.uk, martyn.day.mp@parliament.uk, louise.ellman.mp@parliament.uk, marion.fellows.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.flint.mp@parliament.uk, mike.gapes.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.gethins.mp@parliament.uk, patricia.gibson.mp@parliament.uk, kate.green.mp@parliament.uk, drew.hendry.mp@parliament.uk, sylvia.hermon.mp@parliament.uk, hodgem@parliament.uk, hopkinsk@parliament.uk

george.howarth.mp@parliament.uk, chris.law.mp@parliament.uk, caroline.lucas.mp@parliament.uk, john.mann.mp@parliament.uk, rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk, chris.matheson.mp@parliament.uk, chris.matheson.mp@parliament.uk, john.mcnally.mp@parliament.uk, lisa.nandy.mp@parliament.uk, marie.rimmer.mp@parliament.uk, robinsong@parliament.uk, joan.ryan.mp@parliament.uk, liz.savilleroberts.mp@parliament.uk, ruth.smeeth.mp@parliament.uk, chris.stephens.mp@parliament.uk, wes.streeting.mp@parliament.uk, graham.stringer.mp@parliament.uk, stephen.twigg.mp@parliament.uk, vazk@parliament.uk


This is the EDM that Mann put down on 21st June.  So far it has one signatory.

EDM 7: IHRA DEFINITION - Session: 2017-19 Date tabled: 21.06.2017 Primary sponsor: Mann, John   
That this House welcomes the adoption of a formal definition of anti-Semitism by the Government in response to the work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA); further welcomes the agreed cross-party support for the definition, including from the Leader of the Opposition and hon. members of all political parties represented in the House in the previous Parliament; congratulates the IHRA and its 31 member countries for adopting the definition; notes that the definition has been officially adopted by the Government, the Labour Party, the UK Police College, the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Union of Students, Universities UK, the London Assembly, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and a number of local councils; welcomes the Government's update report on anti-Semitism, including progress made in ensuring wider adoption of the definition; and calls on all other political parties, universities, councils and other public bodies and organisations to continue to adopt the definition and use it to better understand and act against anti-Jewish hatred.

Below is a model letter to your MP, which you might like to amend according to circumstances and send them:

Dear Member of Parliament,

I am writing to you because you were one of 59 MPs who supported an Early Day Motion, sponsored by John Mann, in January 2017 welcoming the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Mann has put down a new EDM on the same topic.  The IHRA conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.  If you are genuinely opposed to anti-Semitism then accusing people who are not racists of anti-Semitism is the best way of giving succour and support to genuine anti-Semites.  That is one reason why the Christian bigots of the DUP have all signed up to it.

The accusation that opposition to Zionism, the movement that led to the creation of a ‘Jewish’ state, is anti-Semitic has a long pedigree. This is unsurprising since it is easier to question the motives of Israel’s critics than to defend its policies. 

The IHRA suggests that it is anti-Semitic to describe Israel as a racist endeavour.  How else is one to describe a situation in which Israel rules over 5 million people, who have no civil or political rights and has done so for 50 years?  A situation in which those living under occupation co-exist with settlers who have stolen their land and who are subject to an entirely different legal system? 

Nothing demonstrates the apartheid nature of Israel’s military occupation better than the disparity of treatment between Jewish and Palestinian children.  Israeli children cannot be detained under the age of 14.  In just one month (March/April) five Palestinian children were killed by Israel’s army. Palestinian children as young as 12 can be detained. There are repeated reports of the use of solitary confinement, shackling and torture of (Palestinian) children.  Yet according to the IHRA describing this as apartheid is being ‘anti-Semitic’.
The IHRA is being pushed by Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, the ‘sister’ party of the Israeli Labour Party which, in 1948, expelled nearly a million Palestinians in order to create a ‘Jewish’ state.  It has not changed. Isaac Herzog, its present leader, recently declared that his nightmare was waking up to find that Israel had a Palestinian Prime Minister and 61 Palestinian Members of the Knesset.  Herzog also declared that he wanted to dispel the false impression that the ILP were ‘Arab Lovers’ 
Herzog slammed for remark about ‘Arab lovers’ If you doubt that these remarks are racist then what would your reaction be if someone said their nightmare was to wake up and find Britain had a Jewish Prime Minister or that the Labour Party should not be a ‘Jew lovers’ party?

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party there has been a false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign, waged by LFI and the JLM.  In May 2017 Sir Stephen Sedley, the most radical Judge to have sat on the Court of Appeal, and himself Jewish, wrote an article, Defining Anti-Semitism for London Review of Books.

Shorn of philosophical and political refinements, anti-Semitism is hostility towards Jews as Jews.... By contrast, criticism (and equally defence) of Israel or of Zionism is not only generally lawful: it is affirmatively protected by law. Endeavours to conflate the two by characterising everything other than anodyne criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic are not new. What is new is the adoption by the UK government (and the Labour Party) of a definition of anti-Semitism which endorses the conflation.

The IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is over 420 words.  By way of contrast there is a much shorter, 21 word definition drawn up by Brian Klug of Oxford University, in his lecture to the Jewish Museum in Berlin 'What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Antisemitsm’?  Echoes of shattering glass'

antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism gives 11 examples of ‘anti-Semitism’, 7 of which relate to Israel.  It is clear that the IHRA’s main concern is with using ‘anti-Semitism’ as a weapon against supporters of the Palestinians not in opposing anti-Semitism per se.  It is an attempt to stifle and curb free speech on Israel and Palestine.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an alliance of 31 countries.  It includes for example Hungary, whose Prime Minister is Viktor Orban.  Orban is not only an open racist he is seeking to rehabilitate Admiral Horthy who presided over the deportation of nearly ½ million Jews to Auschwitz between March 19th and July 9th 1944.  [The Reinterment and Political Rehabilitation of Miklós Horthy, Randolph Braham].  Orban has no difficulty signing up to the IHRA because, like many anti-Semites, he is ardently pro-Zionist.  The Law & Justice government of Poland is also riddled with anti-Semitism and it too has no problems with the IHRA. 

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism holds (Point 7) that one example of anti-Semitism is ‘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.’
Joan Ryan's Wiki entry on her expenses and attempts to cover her claims up
The idea that there is a single Jewish people or nation has always been an anti-Semitic idea.  It is the basis of the world Jewish conspiracy theory. The fact that Zionism adopted this belief merely proves that Zionism and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same racist coin.  Sir Edwin Montagu, who became Secretary of State for India, was the only Jewish member of the Lloyd George War Cabinet and the only member to oppose the 1917 Balfour Declaration.  In ‘Memorandum of Edwin Montagu on the Anti-Semitism of the Present (British) Government of August 1917.  He wrote:

I assert that there is not a Jewish nation. The members of my family, for instance, who have been in this country for generations, have no sort or kind of community of view or of desire with any Jewish family in any other country beyond the fact that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion. It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation:...

When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, ...’

According to the IHRA definition, the above passage is anti-Semitic.
Other examples of the pernicious nature of the IHRA include equating anti-Semitism with ‘Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.’  This assumes that Israel is like any other democratic nation. 

In which other democratic nation would the village of a minority group be demolished to make way for the majority?  In January the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev was demolished in order to make way for a Jewish town, Hiran. [Opinion Umm al-Hiran: A Cautionary Tale of an Israeli Government Emboldened by Trump]. Umm al Hiran is one of a number of Bedouin villages under threat of demolition because of a policy of Judification of the Negev. Half of Israel’s Arab villages are ‘unrecognised’ which means they are liable to demolition at any time. No Jewish settlement has ever been demolished to make way for an Arab village.  Criticism of this is, according to the IHRA, ‘anti-Semitic’.

Despite the Negev being a thinly populated desert area, Israel refused to build a Jewish town alongside Umm al-Hiran. Like good colonialists, Israel sought to remove the indigenous population entirely.  It is practices such as this which the IHRA is seeking to protect under the rubric of ‘anti-Semitism’.

The State of Israel defines itself as a Jewish state.  In Europe religious states went out of fashion with the French Revolution in 1789.  It is inevitable that those who are not Jewish in Israel are seen as strangers and interlopers.  The idea that religion and nationality are coterminous is a backward and reactionary idea.  According to the Pew Research Centre’s Report Israel’s Religiously Divided Society a plurality, 48% of Israeli Jews, want the physical expulsion of Israeli Arabs. 

Israel today is a society which is rapidly moving to the Right.  In the past year legislation has been passed allowing for the expulsion of Arab members of the Knesset, a Jewish State Bill which removes Arabic as an official language, a bill barring anyone who supports BDS from Israel and the Muezzin Bill restricting the use of outside speakers by Muslim (but not Jewish) religious institutions.  The latest legislative proposals include the banning of all foreign funding of human rights NGO’s such as B’tselem and Breaking the Silence. 
Those who sign John Mann’s EDM conflating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are aligning themselves with Israel’s far Right and its attacks on Israel’s remaining democratic rights.  You will be supporting a state where demonstrations chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’ are now commonplace.

I hope that you will think seriously about whether or not you wish to add your name to an EDM whose sole purpose is to legitimise Israeli racism under the banner of fighting ‘anti-Semitism’.

Yours sincerely