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Jackie Walker’s position is untenable, she should go.

jackie-walkerThe fact that there has been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents across Europe and elsewhere is simply not a fact which can credibly be disputed. To take just two egregious examples.

In January 2015, an Islamist terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly shot dead four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket in Paris before security forces stormed the building, killing him and freeing the remaining hostages. These men were murdered solely for being Jewish.

In March 2016, six ISIS terrorists were detained in Turkey, associated with a threat to target Jewish schools, nurseries and youth clubs in Europe.

It is entirely reasonable therefore for Jews to be apprehensive of their safety, and in particular for Jewish parents to be concerned about security of the schools where their children are educated.

This is the context by which we should judge recent comments by Jackie Walker, Vice chair of Momentum, and a Labour Party member.

The crassness of her comments at a fringe meeting at Labour Party conference questioning why one speaker had raised the issue of enhanced security at Jewish schools is staggering. It is certainly true that anti-Semitism is not the same thing as anti-Zionism; and that a critique of the political project of Zionism, as well as the specific actions of the Israeli state, is compatible with robust rejection of all forms of anti-Judaic prejudice. However, it is also true that the political and social roots of Zionism arise from the oppression, and persecution of Jews. Seemingly, the anti-Zionism of Jackie Walker has extended into seeking to belittle the experience of Jews facing hatred.

Her comments about the Holocaust were equally offensive. Speaking at the event discussing antisemitism at the Labour Party conference, Walker asked: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced Holocaust?

Now, as Joe Mulhall has written, factually Walker is ill-informed because Holocaust Memorial day already does just that:

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemorates the Holocaust, victims of Nazi persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Even the most cursory of glance at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website would reveal this information on the home page.

But it was not only ignorant, but deeply offensive. Not dissimilar to bursting into a funeral and demanding that the grieving congregation should think about all dead people, not just their own recently departed friend or relative.

The genocide against the Jews was historically unique, as of course are all instances of genocide. There are times and places where it is appropriate to discuss the historical comparitors, there are times and places where it is not. The Holocaust by the Nazis against the Jews was of intense ferocity, and it both drew on the deep well of anti-Jewish sentiment in European Christian culture, but also merged this with the modern industrial ruthlessness of European colonialist attitudes to their non-European subject peoples.

Let us be clear, there is not a current and live danger of racist hate crimes against Armenians, Hutus, Herero people or Native Americans on the streets of Britain today. The distinguishing feature that the Nazi anti-Semitism exploited centuries of prejudice, some of it woven into the very cloth of our culture, means that anti-Judaic stereotypes still abound, even among those in left and progressive politics. The rise of anti-Semitism, and concern by Jews for their own safety are live and real issues.

Jackie Walker had already caused controversy over her claims about Jewish funding of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many on the left defended her. However, her comments were at least ill advised, if we consider that the majority of the slave trade was funded by Christians, and particularly in the early period from the 1680 to 1750s it was often by Quakers.

In Madge Dresser’s excellent work “Slavery Obscured, the Slave Trade in Bristol”, she observes that the later involvement of Quakers in the abolitionist movement obscures “the significant involvement of Quakers in the slave trade and the wider slave economy. Eight of the 20 largest contributors to Bristol’s new Quaker Meeting House built in Quakers Friars in 1747, were by 1755 members of the newly formed Society of Merchants Trading to Africa” – slavers. Dresser lists a number of prominent Quaker slavers, and traders dependent upon the exploitation of slave labour. But in Bristol, the crucible of the slave trade, Jews there were none. Indeed, in 1784 when a Tory candidate was standing for election in Bristol on an abolitionist ticket, he was popularly mocked for his association with stock caricatures of Jews. Crude popular stereotypes that had been used earlier in the century in the political campaign against the naturalisation of Jews were resurrected, conflating circumcision with emasculation, and presenting it as a threat to national virility. These anti-Jewish sentiments were coming from the pro-slavery camp, not the abolitionists.

For Walker to disproportionately stress the involvement of Jews in the slave trade is highly unfortunate, as it intersects with stereotypes of Shylock type ruthlessness. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that her discussion of the role of Jews in the slave trade was not related to the issue of the historical record, and was more related to her attitudes to contemporary Israel.

I don’t know whether Jackie Walker is anti-Semitic. But clearly she has shown lack of judgement in making statements that could legitimately be interpreted as anti-Semitic. What is more at a critical time for the Labour Party she should have had the self-awareness to be open to educating herself about what would and would not be offensive and could be open to interpretation as anti-Semitic.

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of TSSA is correct. Walker’s position is untenable and she should go, and go now.

266 Comments

  1. Jim Denham says:

    Tony Greenstein is not an anti-Semite … “as near as makes no difference”.

    1. Rob Bab says:

      Hi Jim, all that aside, how’s bout diggin’ deep and making a worthy contribution to Jackie Walkers crowd funding appeal?
      It’ll make ya feel good!
      https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/walker-vs-mcnicol/

      1. Rob Bab says:

        Hi Jim, you’ll be pleased to know that the first 10k target has been reached with 25 days to go. Not bad eh? 🙂

        1. don’t tell Jim it will just confirm him in his view that there is an international anti-Semitic conspiracy fuelled by Moscow gold

        2. Rob Bab says:

          Haha, yeah all this “anti-Semitic” nonsense is beyond a joke. Tony what do you reckon to the latest House of Lords Nazi Lib Dem Tonge lashing?
          You’re in a video in the comments 🙂
          http://david-collier.com/?p=2388

          1. Jenny told me she couldn’t even hear the comments. Completely artificial and made up. Comments of NK, about the holocaust being the fault of Stephen Wise are disgraceful. In fact Wise didn’t support the Boycott, which was the major crime but it is part of much of ultra orthodox belief that it was the sins of the Jews that led to the catastrophe. So to lay the blame on Jenny Tonge is again an example of false anti-Semitism.

            Looking at the video its no wonder that Jonathan Hoffman had heart problems!

          2. Rob Bab says:

            Hoffman has a heart?!?!!!

          3. Rob Bab says:

            @Tony G
            When you say;
            “In fact Wise didn’t support the Boycott,”
            how does that tally with the Wiki account?

            “In 1933 while acting as honorary president of the American Jewish Congress, Wise led efforts for a Jewish Boycott of Germany.”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Samuel_Wise

          4. Wise verbally supported the Boycott because of the mass pressure from US Jews but he did his best to postpone its coming into operation and at the crucial meeting of the World Jewish Congress he supported it but put its implementation in the hands of a Zionist body that was opposed to the Boycott.

            He was subject to stringent criticism from Samuel Untermayer who was the real force behind th e Boycott. All this can be found in Edwin Black’s book and other accounts.

            Wise was first and foremost a Zionist who sabotaged all attempts at rescuing Jews from the holocaust in the interests of Zionist diplomacy. The eventual achievement of the War Refugee Board which saved at the end of the war up to 1/4m Jews was the product of a dissident Emergency Cttee 2 Save the Jews of Europe led by dissident Zionists Peter Bergson and Shmuel Merlin. Wise and Nahum Goldman seriously lobbied the Roosevelt administration to deport Bergson and Merlin. They said in one memo that they hated Bergson more than the Nazis!

    2. Terry McCarthy says:

      To even suggest that Tony Greenstein is anti-semitic demonstrates how successful the rights campaign of anti-intellectualism has become.
      failure to understand his rounded arguments and thesis clearly demonstrates this

  2. David Pavett says:

    This discussion involving accusations of anti-Semitism has produced 230+ responses from 40 people. (That’s an average of nearly six contributions per person.) And that excludes some abusive exchanges which were deleted shortly after they appeared. This is way beyond the handful of contributions that is normal for discussion of Labour politics and policies. Why would it be that questions of anti-Semitism, Israel and Zionism produce such a disproportionate amount of interest compared to pressing matters of political policy? The same thing is demonstrated over and over again. It doesn’t seem healthy to me.

    1. I’m not sure you should be complaining at the no. of responses!

      But to answer your question. The reason is that it’s not about anti-Semitism. Anti-semitism is a surrogate for the Right’s attack against the Left. Notice how concerned the Tory party has become about ‘anti-Semitism – strange really given that it is not a party normally very concerned about racism.

      The reason is that ‘anti-Semitism’ is a safe form of ‘anti-racism’ – it is the justification for what Israel does, and Israel is the West’s most stable partner in the MEast. It is no accident that Israel receives the largest amount of aid from the USA in absolute terms, all of it military aid. No why would that be? Because Israel is the lynchpin of the West’s presence in the ME.

      In short it’s not about anti-Semitism, it is about a nice comfortable pretext for supporting the most racist state in the world. When we went into India, we didn’t do it in order to exploit them – it was to eradicate Suthee. Likewise we were in Afghanistan in support of women’s rights. Imperialism never gives the real reason for what it does – it always dresses it up with some ideological comfort blanket.

      1. David Pavett says:

        Thanks for the reply. I was not complaining about the number of responses but rather about the comparative lack of responses on current and pressing political issues.

        I agree with a great deal of the points you make but I don’t feel that they provide a convincing explanation for this disparity. There are other more mundane factors at work which you don’t mention. Thus (1) debates about personalities generally get a far greater response than debates about policies and (2) issues which given a prominent place by the main media always excite greater responses not given that coverage. In both respects we see how debate on the left is conditioned by the dominant culture.

        1. The primary problem Dave with the debate around ‘anti-Semitism’ is that it’s not about anti-Semitism at all. It’s about other issues. This is a weapon deployed to target the left and anti-imperialism. Nor is it about individuals although of course individuals like Jackie are targeted. It is both about making Labour safe for Zionism and about handing a useful weapon to the RIGHT.

          1. David Pavett says:

            I agree that the debate is a proxy for other debates and that is why I think it is generally rather unhealthy. I think though that is going too far to see it as a deliberate plan to combat anti-imperialism. It no doubt functions like that for some people but I don’t think it explains entirely the intense nature of the arguments. I am sure that the media propaganda on the issue has had the simple objective of left-bashing it has to be recognised, in my view, that some on the left have facilitated that process by the crudity of their views.

            Rather than these furious debates about anti-Semitism, Israel and Zionism which tend to be very unproductive would it not be better to take a positive line to win the Party for clearer opposition to the oppression of the Palestinians and the occupation and colonisation of the West Bank. Similarly we need good anti-imperialist policies covering much wider objectives. That however would present difficulties since so many on the left are tied to dogmas and sympathies of various sorts which get in the way of a genuinely informed debate.

            I think that just as young radicals often cut their political eye teeth on foreign policy issues (home issues are too complicated) people gravitate to this issue because it is simple (or seems to them to be so) and involves lots of personality talk. That is easier to jump into than a more extended discussion about imperialism and the operation of global capitalism.

    2. Rob Bab says:

      @David P
      “Why would it be that questions of anti-Semitism, Israel and Zionism produce such a disproportionate amount of interest compared to pressing matters of political policy?”
      Great question. To put it another way, why should 2% of the population, a nationalist political movement and an oppressive apartheid racist occupying entity have so much influence on the workings of British politics?
      The behaviour of John Mann screaming in Ken Livingstone’s face demanding he reads Mein Kampf was Kafkaesque to put it mildly. If I didn’t know better I’d have thought it was a Red Nose Day charity stunt!
      Mann’s meltdown was taken seriously by the media, politicians and the like, whereas members of the public thought he was just a crazed loon in need of therapy. Ken said something, Mann exploded – this is not the way forward for the Labour Party. Mann made the Party look silly and ridiculous.

      Who are these people, who supposedly, in the name of defending the Jews (not anybody else mind you!) from another holocaust, viciously attack respected and appreciated members of the Labour Party, people like Jackie Walker?

      David said;
      “…in my view, that some on the left have facilitated that process by the crudity of their views.”
      David, if you have time will you expand on this please.

      “…would it not be better to take a positive line to win the Party for clearer opposition to the oppression of the Palestinians and the occupation and colonisation of the West Bank.”
      I agree with the general thrust of your point but “the oppression of the Palestinians” is at the heart of the opposition to the Israeli regime, irrespective of the “Jew hate” canards thrown about by the racist Israel supporters.
      What do you mean when you say “a positive line to win the Party…”? As we have recently witnessed the Zionists are always on the attack. It only takes the whiff of a criticism to trigger them into a vengeful rage, as seen on these comment sections. Is the modern Labour Party the place for those who have Israeli loyalties?

      1. David Pavett says:

        Rob, I think that your response illustrates many of the problems I was alluding to. You say “…why should 2% of the population, a nationalist political movement and an oppressive apartheid racist occupying entity have so much influence on the workings of British politics?”. Almost everything is wrong with this.

        1. It is not clear what your 2% refers to. Worldwide there are 14.2 milliin Jews which is 0.2% of the world population. The 2011 census figure for British Jews is 263, 346 which is 0.41% of the British population.

        2. That 0.41% is not a “nationalist political movement” and to refer to it as such such is to assume that merely by identifying themselves as Jewish people hold certain political views. You must be aware that many Jews could by no stretch of the imagination be described as belonging to a “nationalist political movement”.

        3. Refering to Israel as an “apartheid entity” is a form of political shorthand which cannot but cloud the issues. Apartheid was a South African racist system with its own specific characteristics. Some of those characteristics are replicated in Israel and some are not. Using the word is an attempt to transfer the odium attached to directly from SA to israel without the need for analysis – the work is all done by the word. Racism in Israel has its own specific characteristics which should be analysed on its own terms.

        4. Last and most importantly is the assumption that Jews have a disproportionate influence on British politics. This assumption takes us into the territory of a grand Jewish conspiracy and of Jewish manipulation of the rest of the population. This is, I believe, to misread the nature of the hullabaloo over Jackie W and more broadly about alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. This hullabaloo has been created by people with little genuine concern for anti-Semitism (or indeed for any sort of racism). The reason for the hullabaloo has nothing to do with supposed Jewish influence and everything to do with the desire to use anything and everything that will serve in the “get Corbyn” campaign. The links of the Tory Party with anti-Semitism are not hard to find and yet go largely without mention since that doesn’t serve the purposes of “get Corbyn”.

        The above points answer your question about about the crudity of some views on the left.

        As to the “positive line” my point is simple. It is possible to point to the plight of the Palestinians and what needs to be done to end their suffering i.e. end Israeli occupation and control without using of words like “Zionist” (which means very different things to different people) and “apartheid” (which relies on its normative force rather than any analytic or descriptive content).

        It should not require a great deal of political sensitivity to understand that just as one tries in general to avoid language likely to cause avoidable offence to racial, ethnic or religious minorities in general one should do the same with regard to the Jewish population and also when discussing Israel. I am highly critical of Israeli government policy but I have never felt that avoiding the misunderstandung inherent in the use if words like “Zionist” and “Apartheid” prevented me from saying whatever I wanted to say.

        1. There is much I agree with in what Dave says, but other things which I don’t agree with.

          1. I agree that it is wrong to attribute all the ‘anti-Semitism’ stuff to the presence of .2 or .4% of Jews. That was the point I had to make. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism or Jews. It is a ruling class propaganda blitz using the memory of the holocaust and anti-Semitism in order to provide ideological and political support to Israel and to demonise its critics. Jews are used as an alibi they r not the cause.

          2. It is true that British or other Jews are not a nationalist force but that isn’t the end of it. By conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism there is a concerted attempt underway to do this by arguing that as 93% (I don’t accept the figure) of Jews are Zionists by virtue of identifying with Israel, therefore Jews are a separate political entity. In fact this entails a wholesale distortion of the findings of a Yachad political opinion survey by City University. Some 31% of Jews when asked said they were not Zionists, a 12% increased from 5 yrs ago.

          3. I disagree thoughon the question of apartheid. It is anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa themselves who have made the comparison e.g. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kassrills, the Jewish ex-Police Minister. They do this because and they say again that the system of control and passes in Israel is far far worse than it ever was in South Africa where pass control was abandoned (for those who remember Sharpeville).

          Israel is an apartheid state. It rules over 4.5m Palestinians who have no political or civil rights. They live under permanent military occupation where torture, random murder, theft of land, terror by armed settlers etc. is the norm.

          The 2 state mirage is used as a means of perpetuating this. As long as 2 states is held out then Israel can justify the fact that 2 systems of law apply in the West Bank. 2 systems of law is a c lassic example of Apartheid.

          But in Israel too there is effective apartheid. Segregation in land, education and most other aspects of life occur. There is rooted discrimination, not simply as a byproduct of state policies as in Western countries but integral to the state. Israel is a Jewish state and anyone who is not Jewish is treated as a guest, there on sufferance. Hence why there is no Israeli nationality. There are multiplicities of nationality e.g. Muslim, Arab, Christian, Druze but only one of consequence,Jewish.

          In Britain which is a Christian state, my rights as a Jew are not affected. But in Israel there is a Jewish National Fund which controls, with the Israeli Land Administration, 93% of the land. Palestinians find it difficult if not impossible to access this land because it is ‘national’ land i.e. Jewish national land. There have been a no. of court cases over this e.g. Kadan in 2000 but the effects of these cases have been reversed by the Knesset. Half of Israel’s Arab villages are ‘unrecognised’ which means they can be and are demolished at any time and they don’t have basic infrastructure like running water, electricity etc. Tell me that this is not a form of apartheid.

          The point about Jewish influence is not that there isn’t a predominance (in comparison to their .41% of the population) but that Jews are not a homogenous mass. As a prosperous section, one of the most prosperous sections of the white community, one would expect Jews to be represented out of proportion to their actual numbers. It is the Zionist movement which posits Jews as one uniform political group.

          I also disagree with you about separating out the plight of the Palestinians from Zionism. This is crucial. Israel is not a normal western style state. It is an active settler colonial state. So even within Israel there is a policy of Judaisation, which is the opposite of the Nazi deJewification policies. It means ensuring Jewish majority presence in the Galilee, Jerusalem and the Negev. If u don’t believe me google Prawer or Koenig Plan

          An essential part of this planning is the ‘demographic question’ i.e. ensuring Arabs never form a majority and that means policies such as higher welfare benefits for Jews, better funded education, incentives to leave the country (e.g residents of Jerusalem who are Arab and leave for 7 yrs can’t come back – wherea being Jewish I can go at any time).

          It is ridiculous to say that one should not mention Zionism when there is a World Zionist Organisation based in Jerusalem which plays a major part, through its offshoots uch as the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency in the development of the Jewish section of economy and society. This is the main means organisationally by which apartheid in Israel is maintained.

          It’s irrelevant that Zionism may mean something nice and sweet to some people. It doesn’t mean that to those who are suffering. Palestinians and their oppression is not just a human rights question but a political one as well.

          It is because of Zionism and the endless search to uphold the Jewish nature of the state that levels of racism in Israel, actively encouraged by the Government and Israeli Labour Opposition are so high. A recent Pew survey on Israel’s Religiously Divided Society found that 48%, a plurality of Israeli Jews favour the forcible expulsion of Arabs. 79% believed Jews should receive preferential treatment. I doubt that in Nazi Germany, amongst ordinary Germans, levels of anti-Semitism reached anywhere near these levels.

          It’s not a question of sensitivity but reality. Zionist is a political not an ethnic category. It is part of the Orwellian propaganda offensive we are experiencing today that the word Zionist is being banned. It is what Zionists have historically called themselves. It is within the Jewish community historically that anti-Zionism was strongest. When the Balfour Declaration came about the only voice of opposition in Lloyd George’s war cabinet was its only Jewish member, Sir Edwin Montagu.

          We should avoid this police state attempt by the Right to cleanse language just as they cleanse the people of Palestine. It is another example of racist discourse

          1. David Pavett says:

            @Tony Greenstein (October 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm)

            Our positions on the substance of the issues are not very far apart. I am an admirer of Maxime Rodinson whose book Israel: A Colonial -Settler State? I read long ago and agree with. I have also read and agree with The Iron Wall by Avi Shlaim. That gives an idea where I am coming from. I am also aware of the way discussion of Israel has been knocked off any sort of normality by well organised and highly active pro-Israeli government lobbying groups. I don’t think that I entertain many illusions about this issue.

            My point is really a simple one. There is a fog of confusion around any discussion which has critical implications for the Israeli government. That fog arises from ignorance, misinformation, misplaced sympathies all of which is stirred up by the lobby groups I mentioned. Therefore to guide debate out of this fog we need to be very careful about the language that we use.

            I have no problem in recognising that Israel’s stance towards the Palestinians amount to an oppressive policy of “separate development” (different legal status, different rights, inferior conditions, oppressive restrictions ….). The analogy with South African apartheid therefore readily comes to mind as a form of shorthand to talk about Israel. Nevertheless I believe that it is politically unwise to use the word. It is unwise because the shorthand doesn’t work for those who are still in the fog of confusion. It asks them to accept conclusion embedded in the use of the word before the understand the arguments which lead to that conclusion. The result is that it tends to push people out of the fog rather than to draw them out of it. It helps rather than hinders the work of the pro-Israeli government lobby groups.

            That is why I do not use the word in this context. When I discuss the issue I point to the realities the word is meant to summarise rather than drawing their attention to a parallel that can only be drawn once one is convinced of the facts of the matter.

            My arguments for generally avoiding the word “Zionist” run along similar lines: it is a conclusion presented out the outset rather than as a consequence of establishing the facts. An additional problems is that the word has come to mean many different things to different people. Also there are very diverse and incompatible views regarding such things as the occupation of tge West Bank among people who self-designate as Zionists.

            The issue for me is therefore one of choosing language which is best designed to take debate out of the fig of confusion without in any way constraining our ability to talk about the issues.

            And since this is a thread about Jackie Walker I would say that she has demonstrated a lack of awareness of the need for attention to language and detail needed when talking about issues likely to be picked up by those always on the lookout for view they think can be characterised as anti-Semitic. Not only that but when she is patently wrong, as in the matter of the African slave trade, she has shown herself unwilling to admit to an error. For those reasons I don’t think she should hold a leading position in a national political organisation although I strongly object to the witch-hunting methods that have been used to denounce and remove her as in Andy Newman’s article.

          2. Briefly. No one can deny that in the West Bank and Gaza there is an almost exact equivalence with Apartheid – different laws for settlers and indigenous, a small bantustan. I would argue that although there is less petty apartheid and Israeli Palestinians have greater rights their position is different from that of Black people in the UK. They are a barely tolerated minority.

            Israel has its World Zionist Organisation, t he main architect of apartheid. Politicians constantly refer to the ‘Zionist dream’ when justifying policies such as the forcible deportation of refugees or a refusal to take any refugees, because it would undermine ‘national (ie Jewish) national identity.

            Jackie didn’t issue a statement or take a fixed position on slavery. She was having a private discussion with a friend and used a loose phrase at best. The Zionists who publicised the statement are the ones who are wholly to blame. Nor do I accept she should have been more careful in the ‘training session’. At best she was naive not to realise that this was a honey pot and indoctrination event. It is the JLM who should be c astigated not Jackie. That is why the decision to remove her by Lansman and co. is an act of utter cowardice.

          3. David Pavett says:

            I don’t think you have responded to my points about the use of words like “apartheid” and “Zionist”.

            You may be right about the status of Jackie W’s comment about slavery but once it was reproduced publicly and became the subject of heated argument she should have made a statement correcting it. She was asked to do so on this blog but did not respond. That’s a pity. Democratic leadership means being able to say “I was wrong”.

          4. I thought I had responded. Apartheid should be used because it does associate Israel with the horrors of South Africa and every objective observer agrees that Israel’s control of the Palestinians in the West Bank, with hundreds of checkpoints, close control of the population etc. i far worse than S Africa.

            Zionism should be used because it is only by doing so that you explain that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian are no accident. They are the product of a particular form of settler colonialism. Those who object should be challenged as to what they think the role of the World Zionist Organisation and the Jewish Agency and its offshoots are. What does Netanyahu and Herzog mean when they speak about their Zionist vision etc.

            As to the slavery comments I think Jackie has made it clear what the context of the remarks were. In any event she didn’t say that Jews and Jews alone were the financiers but that they were among the financiers, which they were at specific times and in specific places. But I think it is right that people don’t have to answer for private comments of a reflective and discoursive nature. If she had been involved in a conversation which lamented how the Jews fed on their host societies, creating slavery for their own purposes etc. etc. i.e. a genuinely anti-Semitic conversation it would be different.

            The other thing is that I would like the JLM called out about the naked racism of their sister party the JLM and its leader Herzog’s ‘nightmare’ about waking up to a Palestinian Prime Minister in Israel. This is the real racism that is ignored.

          5. Rob Bab says:

            @Tony G
            You meant;
            “…naked racism of their sister party the ILP…” (Israel Labour Party)?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_Labor_Party

          6. Rob Bab says:

            @David Pavett
            “…she should have made a statement correcting it. She was asked to do so on this blog but did not respond. That’s a pity. Democratic leadership means being able to say “I was wrong”.”
            And you wonder why Jackie hasn’t rushed over to the Leftfutures.org comment section to kowtow at the feet of Momentum’s self appointed wise elders?
            Jackie Walker is no fool. She ain’t going to validate the pathetic squeaks of “anti-Semitism”, coming from the JLM Camp, by apologising for exposing a truth.
            For you to suggest that JW say “I was wrong”, is capitulation to Zionist pressure.
            Zionists are not Socialists.

          7. Rob Bab says:

            @David Pavett
            David you may have missed Jackie Walkers comment 9th May 2016 on the “A frenzied witch-hunt…” thread, where Jackie corrects Jim Denham’s contrived accusation with;
            “… and Jim Denham I never said Jews run the slave trade. That was said by the Jewish Chronicle.”

            To which, Stephen Bellamy accurately and amusingly adds;
            “That’s good enough for Jim” 🙂
            http://www.leftfutures.org/2016/05/a-frenzied-witch-hunt-is-not-the-way-to-combat-antisemitism-or-any-form-of-racism/

            David, I think you should be looking for apologies from Jim Denham and the Jewish Chronicle for their mischievous smear campaign.

          8. David Pavett says:

            @Tony Greenstein (October 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm). My point was not about the political realities but about how language can put up barriers to understanding rather than taking it forward.

            JW didn’t say Jews were “among the financiers” of the slave trade. She said they were “the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. This was not “private comments of a reflective and discursive nature” but was written on Facebook. She should have responded to criticism.

            It doesn’t seem that we can agree about these things so I will leave it at that.

        2. Rob Bab says:

          @David Pavett
          Firstly, thanks for taking the time to write such a considered and measured response. I take responsibility for not expressing myself clearly enough and you do right to point things out. I’ll try again;
          1. 2% refers to Zionists in this country, non-Jewish and Jewish.
          2. Zionism is a Nationalist political movement.
          3. Israel is an Apartheid State. As Tony G also points out, Desmond Tutu describes it as such. I thought everyone knew that. Here’s a link;
          “Desmond Tutu, the noted civil rights leader who became the first black archbishop of Cape Town, compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime that discriminated against blacks in his native South Africa.”
          http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Desmond-Tutu-Israel-guilty-of-apartheid-in-treatment-of-Palestinians-344874

          4. You said;
          “Last and most importantly is the assumption that Jews have a disproportionate influence on British politics.”
          Hmmm, see what I mean? I didn’t mention Jews in my paragraph that you quoted nor did you in yours that I was replying to. We both know there are more non-Jewish Zionists than Jewish Zionists, so what gives?
          Since you mention the “Jewish” influence in British politics, then yes I suppose a tenuous argument could be made. 80% of Tories are in Conservative Friends of Israel;
          “As I have said before, Britain would not be Britain without it’s Jews. Likewise the Conservative Party would not be the Conservative Party without the CFI. You play a vital role for which we are hugely grateful.” PM – Teresa May 2016
          https://cfoi.co.uk/aboutcfi/
          They’ve been described as “by far Britain’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group”;
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Friends_of_Israel

          And now for… the Labour Friends of Israel. I just wonder if it would also be true that without the LFI, the Labour Party would not be the Labour Party? After a cursory glance it would appear the LFI don’t like long-time Palestinian supporting Jeremy Corbyn;

          “The Labour Friends of Israel group has trebled the number of Parliamentary supporters backing its work, as moderate MPs rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party… A Young LFI group will be launched in the autumn, as well as a new website. The intention, the group said, was to attract grassroots supporters as well as politicians.”
          http://www.lfi.org.uk/mps-%ef%ac%82ock-to-support-labour-israel-group/

          Doesn’t that strike you as odd David, that MPs of the British Parliament join the Labour Friends of Israel to show rebellion against Jeremy?

          “The reason for the hullabaloo has nothing to do with supposed Jewish influence and everything to do with the desire to use anything and everything that will serve in the “get Corbyn” campaign”
          Yes and tell me why on earth are loud and proud Zionists ie supporters of the Jewish State, out to get Corbyn? Why don’t they like him? What threat would, when elected, Jeremy be to Isreal? Is Jackie Walker really a threat to Israel and someone who needs humiliating?
          For people such as Ken Livingston, Jackie Walker and Jeremy Corbyn having to publicly state, on command, that they are not “anti-Semitic” is simply a f**king joke. There is no way in the world that these three et al are “Jew haters”, it just doesn’t add up. This has been going on and on for months.
          Is it fair David, to say there are groups of people conspiring to bring down Jeremy Corbyn and by far the most injurious and dogged has been those affiliated to Zionist beliefs?
          I’m still thinking about the last 2 paragraphs of your comment 🙂

        3. Rob Bab says:

          @David P said;
          1. “It is not clear what your 2% refers to.”
          2% refers to the total Zionists in this country.

          2. “nationalist political movement” refers to Zionism, not Jews living in this country.

          3. Israel is Apartheid David. Tony’s answer covers my reply regarding Desmond Tutu’s observations.

          Hope this makes things clearer David. btw thanks for taking the time with your reply.

      2. Terry McCarthy says:

        Bob Must be joking if he thinks Jewish people are a homogeneous group that believe one thing there are many Jewish people including orthodox Jews the fastest-growing group in the UK who are opposed to the state of Israel on religious grounds . Some of the most articulate critics of the expansionist Jewish state are Jewish people like Tony Greenstein.

        1. Rob Bab says:

          @Terry McCarthy
          Hi Terry, no I don’t think “Jewish people are a homogeneous group that believe one thing…”.
          Yes, I’m fully aware of groups such as Neturei Karta. I remember seeing their living spaces in Stamford Hill boarded up, with wire mess grills on the windows and security cameras for protection against the Zionist fanatics. I have been to interesting talks given by their Rabbis on the subject of Zionist occupation in Palestine.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neturei_Karta
          You may also like to read this article and comment section about the treatment of Jackie Walker. Tony G makes a few contributions that are worth a read, cheers;
          http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/10/02/is-this-the-real-reason-jackie-walker-was-targeted-by-the-jewish-labour-movement/#comment-88876

          1. Terry McCarthy says:

            Are the imperialist Zionists who attack orthodox Jews such as Neturei Karta anti-Semitic or is it anti-Semitic to even mention it

          2. Rob Bab says:

            Haha funny!

    3. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Because the real issue is the right to speak freely on Israel in the LP.

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