Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day - Remembering all the Victims of Genocide

Hajo Meyer with his beloved cello

Tribute to Hajo Meyer

Hajo Meyer was a Dutch survivor of the Auschwitz/Birkenau extermination camp.  He lived his life in the belief that ‘never again’ applied not only to Jews but to every victim of racism and genocide.  I can remember when he came to Britain a few years ago and the Zionists (Jonathan Hoffman) tried to unsuccessfully disrupt his meeting at the House of Commons Portcullis House on Holocaust Memorial Day.
Hajo Meyer

Gypsies deported to Janesovac - a Croatian extermination camp

Soviets liberate Maidenek

watchtowers at Maidenek

Stangl - Commandant at Maidenek and later Belsen where the British hanged him with Kurt Franz 
Treblinka zoo and barracks

wooden bunks where 3 slept to a 'bed'

the infamous sign above most camps 'work makes you free'
Zionism wants us to believe that because of the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust when 6 million Jews and perhaps half a million gypsies and half a million of the disabled, as well as 3 million Poles and 3 million Russians, lost their lives, that Israel has a carte blanche to treat the Palestinians as the untermenschen.  The Lower Races.  Our message is that the Holocaust gives Zionism no such rights.
The record of Zionism during the holocaust they now exploit was one of complete indifference.  In this review by notorious Zionist historian David Cesarani of Dina Porat’s Blue & Yellow Star of David, itself an attempt to whitewash the record of Zionism during the holocaust, he admits that three times as much was spent on growing JNF trees as in ensuring that the Jews of Europe might be saved.  But it was far worse.  The major Zionist crimes were:
Bodies of Jasenovac victims floating in river
Koch-the Commandant of Maidenek
i.                     Ensuring that all rescue was directed towards Palestine and obstructing any rescue work that had as its destination any other country.
gas chambers at Maidenek
ii.                   Prioritising building the Jewish state not saving the refugees.
SS behead a man with saw
forest graves at Chelmno - the first extermination c
iii.                  At the height of an international boycott movement which may have toppled Hitler in 1933, the Zionists negotiated their own trade agreement Ha’avara to ensure that the wealth of German Jewry would be invested in Palestine.  Between 1933 and 1939 60% of capital investment in Jewish Palestine was from Nazi Germany.
Bodies at Maidenek
iv.                 Suppressing news of the holocaust, not simply in 1944 when Hungarian Jewry was threatened but throughout the war.  This is not even denied.  As Cesarani states between 1942 and 1945 the Mapai leadership of Ben-Gurion and the Jewish Agency (the Zionist government in waiting) rarely devoted a whole session to the extermination of European Jewry. 

The reason?  ‘The leadership never… made rescue work more important than efforts to achieve a Jewish state.’
Waldlager Memorial
Or as Shabtai Teveth, the official biographer of Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister’s wrote:
 If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’ [The Burning Ground 1886-1948, 1987: 851, Houghton Mifflin, Boston]

Tony Greenstein
Crematoria at Maidenek

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Why is the Palestinian Authority arresting trade union leaders?

Quisling Abbas Attacks Palestinian Trade Unions and Collaborates with Israeli Security

17 January 2015

Abbas Attacks Palestinian Trade Unions on Behalf of Israel and Palestinian client capitalists
A confrontation between the Palestinian Authority and organized labor will come to a head on Monday when the high court in Ramallah hears an appeal to a decision by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to declare a major union illegal.
The PA’s crackdown on the Union of Public Employees escalated last November amid a series of strikes by public sector workers over wages and conditions.
On 6 November, the PA’s police summoned for interrogation the head of the Union of Public Employees and his deputy in Ramallah.

Upon arrival, both Bassam Zakarneh and his deputy, Muin Ansawi, were detained and transferred to the Palestinian public prosecutor for further interrogation. Their detention was extended for 48 more hours.
Hours after the detentions, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas declared the union illegal.
Abbas’ presidential office declared that the decision was based on a 2012 legal memo drafted by a presidential committee he had commissioned to investigate the legality of the union and which had found it null and void.
Hours before the arrests, a coalition of public sector unions issued a statement condemning the PA’s plan to cut employees’ wages for days they go on strike. The statement claimed that this was a violation of workers’ right to organize and cited a number of simmering grievances against the PA.
Legitimate leadership?

Ironically, the statement ended with the unions declaring their support for the “legitimate” leadership of Abbas, even though his elected mandate expired in 2009.
A few days after the arrests, the PA continued its crackdown with another arrest warrant. The head of the health workers’ union, Dr. Osama al-Najjar, subsequently handed himself over to the police. Al-Najjar had called the unions to an emergency meeting to discuss the PA’s crackdown.

Following his arrest, the health workers’ union declared a partial strike for the following week. This call was rescinded after al-Najjar was released only hours later.

But the PA crackdown against the unions escalated further when the matter was taken up by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

On the evening of 12 November, the PLC, in a statement made by its secretary general, Ibrahim Khraisheh, held Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian Authority’s latest unelected prime minister, responsible for all the measures taken against the unions, deeming them illegal.
The statement also declared an open-ended strike and sit-in by PLC employees in solidarity with the arrested trade unionists. It called on all those who wanted to stand with the strike to join them in the solidarity tent in the yard outside the PLC building in Ramallah.

According to former PLC deputy speaker Hassan Khraisheh, Ibrahim Khraisheh received a phone call from Abbas ordering him to hand himself over to the Palestinian security forces just hours after the statement was made.

Ignoring orders

Union of Public Employees president Bassam Zakarneh is a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, the executive body of the political faction that is headed by Abbas.
For most of its history, the union has carefully avoided doing anything that would upset Abbas and other senior players in the PA. After calling a number of strikes since 2013, however, the relationship between the PA and the union has soured.

The latest in a series of strikes was called on 6 November, the day of the arrests, to protest a decision by the PA to withhold wages for the time workers were off the job.

A strike a week earlier was over delays by the PA in implementing various promises, including that public servants’ pay would be increased in line with inflation.

On Wednesday, Zakarneh took part in a protest in solidarity with nine finance ministry workers who were transferred to regional offices in retaliation for their union organizing. Their case is due to be heard by the high court in February.

Zakarneh and other trade unionists have disseminated a call for public workers to stay off the job when the union’s case is heard on Monday and to rally in front of the court in Ramallah.

Serving the people

Labor unions have served the Palestinian people before and since the first intifada began in 1987. On occasion, they have caused significant problems for Israel’s colonial project.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian workers went on strike at the beginning of the first intifada, halting production in Israeli factories and businesses for days before the Israeli authorities cracked down on the organizers, splitting the unions and creating divisions.

The unions played a major role in organizing Palestinian communities across the occupied West Bank and Gaza during the intifada’s early days.

This laid the foundation for the different local committees that would later work in serving communities in various sectors, such as health, education, safety and food production.
Since the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993, however, the unions have tended to be more eager to serve the elite than to defend workers.

Losing most of their influence on the people, unions became organizations in which Fatah and Hamas, the two dominant political parties, fought for control.

According to some, the main reason the Union of Public Employees was established in the first place was to make it harder for Hamas to govern after its legislative elections victory in 2006.

Former deputy speaker of the PLC Hassan Khraisheh said recently: “The union was established with support from PA leaders to bicker with the Hamas led-government. It looks like they have made a decision to get rid of it, after it was used for a while. This should not happen.”

Good opportunity

Abbas’ attempts to control trade union activists deprives the Palestinian people of yet another opportunity to rise above the rivalries between political parties.

Labor unions have a good opportunity to regain their solid connections with the Palestinian public by becoming more democratic and holding elections once every two years (not based on party affiliation).

The unions also need to break any unnecessary relations with PA figures, starting with Abbas.

The unions gain their legitimacy from the workers and the people — by serving workers’ interests, not through their relations to a certain political party or personality.

For a number of months, Gaza workers have been denied pay because of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Declaring a strike in solidarity with them would be an important step towards restoring the independence of Palestinian labor unions.

Ahmed Nimer is a freelance photographer currently living and working in Ramallah.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Journey of an anti-Zionist Jew - If I Am Not For Myself

An Appreciation of Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee was a true Renaissance Man.  He had a love of cricket and wrote 3 books on the subject.  His analysis can be traced to that great West Indian Marxist CLR James and Beyond the Boundary.  He also had a love of Bob Dylan and wrote another book ‘Wicked Messenger’, which conveyed his immense disappointment at how Dylan personally and politically so signally failed to live up to the genius of his song writing.  Mike and myself were born in the same year and were the same age.  As a Dylan aficionado and a love of cricket myself, as well as being an anti-Zionist Jew our interests coincided.  Like Mike I also admire Mohammed Ali, who I consider the greatest heavyweight boxer ever, a political animal whose career  was crippled as a result of refusing to serve in Vietnam and who  uniquely won back the heavy weight  title twice. 
Yet it would be churlish not to admit that I was highly critical of Mike’s naivety in allowing the Socialist Workers Party to use him and other independent socialists, as part of their project to destroy the Socialist Alliance  for their own sectarian reasons.   Mike had been editor of Labour Briefing and should have known better.  Mike accepted the SWP’s slate system whereby the SA Conference had to vote between slates and independents like Mike owed their position on the Executive to the grace and favour of the SWP.  Liz Davies, who had been on the Labour Party National Executive and been prevented from being the PPC in Leeds NE by Tony Blair’s regime, was also no innocent abroad when she accepted nomination as SA Chairperson and found her signature forged on cheques by the SWP.  The rest is history.  But these were minor pecadilloes
Mike’s most important book politically was his book ‘If I Am not for myself, Journey of an anti-Zionist Jew’  which I reviewed in Weekly Worker and Tribune (Opposing Zionism and Hating Yourself Tribune) 25th February 2009 which I am reproducing here. I always found the first part of the title curious.  The whole saying being Rabbi Hillel's 'If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?
Sadly Mike died from cancer.
See also Mikes  Obituary in the Guardian 
Michael John Marqusee, writer, born 27 January 1953; died 13 January 2015

 Tony Greenstein

Zionism and secularisation of the Jewish ghetto

Mike Marqusee 'If I am not for myself: journey of an anti-Zionist Jew' Verso 2008, pp256, �16.99. Reviewed by Tony Greenstein

Despite being written by one of the most prominent dissident Jews - a veritable Renaissance man, with writings covering Muhammad Ali, cricket and Bob Dylan - this book by Mike Marqusee has received scant attention. It is as if this is a subject which many, not least in the bourgeois media, find embarrassing. It raises too many uncomfortable questions.

The title is taken from the famous saying of rabbi Hillel, who emigrated from Babylon, the centre of the largest and wealthiest Jewish community, to Jerusalem perhaps 30 years before the birth of Christ, which is recited every year at the Passover Seder (meal): “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” It encompasses the ideas of the bourgeois revolutions and the workers’ struggles and is a precursor of the Marxist idea that the emancipation of the oppressed is the work of the oppressed themselves. It is also a rallying cry against the idea of bourgeois individuality versus the collective good, with a sideswipe against social democratic gradualism!

Hillel, one of the great Talmudic authorities, can be seen as the founder of Hebrew modernism, with the adaptation of the Bible to the changing fortunes and role of Palestinian Jewry - three-quarters of whom, contrary to Zionist mythology, had ‘exiled’ themselves from Palestine, even before the fall of the Second Temple. This reflected a time of change, when Jewish agriculturists converted to christianity and the remainder engaged in trade, usury or professions associated with the former, such as goldsmiths and diamond-cutters. It involved a rejection of biblical savagery and retribution in favour of monetary compensation.

Apocryphally, when asked by a non-Jew who had been rebuffed by Hillel’s adversary, rabbi Shammai, to sum up the Jewish Pentateuch (Torah) in one sentence, he told his inquirer: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” This bears a marked similarity to the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, from the Sermon on the Mount. It marked the transition from the ancient to the new, monotheistic world.

Yet this is a book that omits as many questions as it asks. Marqusee tells us that Jewish identity in the 1930s “had become a progressive essence, aligned with the cause of democracy, of America, of the popular front, of labour, of all victims of discrimination” (p118). For it was “in resistance to anti-semitism that EVM [Marqusee’s grandfather] … found a core, a purpose to his Jewishness” (p121).
He extrapolates from this to the present day - and therein lies the problem. He postulates an identity which is both anti-racist and anti-imperialist, which draws different lessons from the holocaust and which does not blindly support Zionism and Israel, right or wrong. One suspects that Marqusee is nonetheless avoiding the central question: what is it to be Jewish in the 21st century?

The myths of the wandering Jew are as important in their own way as the reality and help to inform that reality. When Hitler borrowed the idea of the cosmopolitan Jew, who owed no allegiance to state or nation, then he was dipping into a deep well. Jews formed a trading caste in medieval Europe, a separate estate. The Jewish ghetto, that most quintessential of medieval institutions, was as much self-imposed as the creation of outsiders.

Jews who made their mark on history - Baruch Spinoza, Heinrich Heine and Karl Marx, as well as Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt in their own way - were rebels against Jewish identity. Spinoza was excommunicated, Heine converted and Marx, whose parents were baptised, rejected all religion and dismissed Judaism as corrupted by its associations with trade and money. Einstein too, despite his latter-day embrace by the Zionists, rejected the fundamentals of Zionism.

In his evidence to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946, which led to the UN partition resolution, Einstein testified: “The state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-mindedness and economic obstacles. I believe that it is bad. I have always been against it.”1 And then continued that the idea of a Jewish state was an “imitation of Europe, the end of which was brought about by nationalism”. Despite being flattered by the Zionists, he rejected the offer of the presidency of the Israeli state.2

Arendt reconsidered her youthful Zionist attachments in a seminal essay Zionism reconsidered in 1944 and her book Eichmann in Jerusalem - the banality of evil, based on her reporting of the Eichmann trial in Israel, attracted fierce criticisms from the Zionists. She wrote of the collaboration of Zionism with the Nazis in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe and was particularly condemned for her comment that without a Jewish leadership far more Jews would have survived the holocaust.
This is the irony that Marqusee himself proves. The most brilliant stars in the firmament were always rebels against the Jewish establishment. The Zionists have to content themselves with run-of-the-mill establishment toadies such as Melanie Phillips and Howard Jacobson. Little wonder that the founder of political Zionism, Theodore Herzl, decried “our excessive production of mediocre talents”.3

One of the most persistent of anti-semitic themes was that Jews were not engaged in productive work and were overconcentrated in intellectual and business occupations. Any study of Jewish socio-economic structure in pre-war Germany would bear this out. The Nazis were reportedly surprised when, during the invasion of the Soviet Union, they came across Jewish agriculturists. The Bolsheviks, recognising the distorted occupational structure of Jews, had attempted to ‘normalise’ the Jewish socio-economic structure. The Zionists too, in the theories of Ber Borochov, the founder of ‘Marxist’ Zionism, had spoken of the Jewish occupational structure as being akin to an ‘inverted pyramid’, with too many rich and intellectual Jews at the top and too few workers below.

In fact this had already changed by the time Borochov was writing in the early 20th century and there was no greater testament to this than the Bund - the General Jewish Workers Union of Russia, Lithuania and Poland - which, as Marqusee notes, had by the summer of 1904 some 23,000 members, three times as many as the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, which it helped found (p14). But the Jews were mainly employed in small, often family-run, businesses, so their ability to engage in class struggle was limited by the ability of those who employed them to make concessions.
Yet the predominance of anti-semitism and the result of the breakdown of Jewish occupations led to the situation described by Abram Leon, the Belgian Trotskyist murdered in Auschwitz: “The Jewish masses find themselves wedged between the anvil of decaying feudalism and the hammer of rotting capitalism.”4 This led to the situation whereby Jews felt little or no national attachments and were foremost in revolutionary parties. When Zionism was one of the few legal movements in tsarist Russia, Jews constituted more than 50% of those arrested by the tsarist police for revolutionary activity. It was not for nothing that Hitler spoke about the Judaeo-Bolshevik conspiracy and it is clear that he saw Jews as the initiators and cause of revolutionary class struggle, with the Nazis particularly despising the eastern Jewish proletariat.5

This book is marred both by the political vacillations of its author and at times an annoying lack of coherence. It centres around Marqusee’s maternal grandfather, EV Morand, a labour activist and journalist for the Jewish Review. Morand, with whom Marqusee clearly identifies, began on the left of the Democratic Party, a link man between Tammany Hall and the Jews, before ending up founding the American Labor Party, which managed to gain one of the New York seats in Congress. Marqusee describes how his grandfather repeatedly urged him to write his biography (p256) and one suspects that this book is as much a peg on which to hang Marqusee’s tribute to his grandfather as an exposition of the trials of an anti-Zionist Jew.

But Morand ended up after the war as a Jewish chauvinist, despising above all Jewish anti-Zionists. Mike’s belief that his grandfather would have come round to his politics is, one suspects, wishful thinking. His ex-communist father, who had gone down to Mississippi to support the civil rights movement in 1964, had denounced him as a “self-hating Jew” for coming out as an anti-Zionist at the age of 15. It was only after Sabra and Chatilla, when “the Zionists tested his humanity beyond endurance”, that his dad admitted, “You were right. They’re bastards” (p258).

This book is not written in a vacuum. As Marqusee notes, we have had ‘anti-semitism’ redefined - by the European Monitoring Committee and our own All Parliamentary Committee on Anti-Semitism, headed by New Labour’s Dennis MacShane - as political opposition to Zionism and its bastard offspring, the Israeli state. In this Orwellian world, opposition to the murderous racism of Zionism and the idea of Jewish ‘self-determination’ is in itself a form of racism!

But Marqusee also betrays his own political weakness. Instead of arguing that the only people to classify the Jews as a nation were the anti-semites and the Zionists, he accepts that Jews constitute a ‘nation’. Yet how can people who live in different continents, speak different languages, bound only by a vague religious attachment, if any, be part of the same nation? British, Argentinean, American Jews are part of the nations amongst whom they live. Marqusee instead goes on a wild goose chase arguing that certain nations - the Tamils and Kurds, for example - are not deemed worthy of the right to form a nation-state. And in pursuit of this absurdity he accepts the apartheid definition of the Afrikaners and Zulus as ‘nations’.

Marqusee’s discourse on nationalism, in response to the charge of exceptionalism (why pick on poor li’l ol’ Israel?), is the least thought out part of this book (pp24-31). What is particularly strange is that he repeats, without comment, Dorothy Parker’s observation towards the end of the book that “the claim that every Jew in the world is, by his very existence, a member of the Jewish nation … is a claim never made before by anybody except anti-semites” (p237).

But if it has its political weaknesses, this book has its strengths too. Foremost amongst them is the chapter on Jewish emancipation and the decision of the French assembly of September 27 1791 to emancipate the Jews. No-one was more bitterly disappointed than the rabbis when the ghetto walls, and thus their own power, were destroyed in the wake of the French Revolution. Marqusee cites the words of the French revolutionary, Clermont-Tonnerre, that “everything must be refused to the Jews as a nation and everything granted to them as individuals” (p72).

Likewise the chapter on ancient Palestinian and the prophets is well worth reading. As Marqusee notes, Jeremiah was a revolutionary defeatist who welcomed the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans! And, although limited, the chapter ‘Diasporic dimensions’, primarily about the Iraqi, Indian and Moroccan Jewish communities, is informative.

As Marqusee remarks, there was no Jewish community under Axis control that fared as well as this large community in Vichy-administered Morocco. The Sultan declared, in response to attempts to separate off Jews and Arabs (always the precursor to deportations), that he would make no distinction between his subjects. The Iraqi Jewish community was the world’s oldest - prosperous and influential before it was destroyed by Zionism.

Marqusee details how Jewish war veterans and labour activists launched in March 1933 the boycott of Nazi Germany and equally how the Zionists and the Jewish establishment of the American Jewish Congress opposed them (pp95-97). Yet his grandfather, EVM, supported the boycott of Nazi Germany and never seems to have wondered why the Zionist movement even in 1933 collaborated with them.

EV Morand was first and foremost a supporter of the popular front and it is with this in mind that he and others formed the American Labor Party (ALP), initially as a means of supporting Mayor La Guardia, Roosevelt and the ‘left’ of the Democratic Party against Tammany Hall and Ed Flynn. He describes how his grandfather worried that the anti-fascist activities against the anti-semitic Irish priest, Father Coughlin, and the struggle against anti-semitism and fascism in general, was taking on a sectarian Jewish versus Irish flavour in the Bronx and Manhattan.

In a rare moment of insight Marqusee sees a reflection of himself in Morand: “Independence from factions can be an excuse for opportunism, as well as for a reluctance to follow a party line. In any case, it seems to be one of the traits I share with EVM,” he writes (p115). Possibly he has in mind his own unfortunate association with the Socialist Workers Party in the days of the Socialist Alliance!
There are unfortunately a few howlers, not least the description of Herbert Morrison as the Labour Party leader (p127). It is also unfortunate that a book such as this does not possess an index.

Marqusee describes how the ALP called for the opening of the gates of both Palestine and the USA to Jewish refugees from Europe, whilst ignoring the Zionist campaign to keep immigration controls in the USA at one and the same time as they were intent on using the survivors of the holocaust as a battering ram to open the gates of Palestine to colonisation.

Marqusee, to his credit, despite his hero-worship of his grandfather, admits that in his support for Zionism as some kind of response to the holocaust, EVM made a “colossal historical error” (p180) - this one-time leftist was now forging new alliances with the right, including Tammany Hall, and denouncing the “lowest of the low - anti-Zionist Jews” (p186). This included support for Israel’s concept of “pre-emptive aggression” (p191).

EVM is a good example of the perniciousness of Zionism in forcing to the right even the best, socialist-inclined Jews. Marqusee describes how Virginia Gildersleeve, dean of Barnard College and an early feminist who had fought against a quota on Jewish students at her college, was nonetheless pilloried by EVM as someone who delights in the murder of Jews (p202), although, as Marqusee says, at least she was spared, as a non-Jew, his attack on Jewish anti-Zionists.

EVM wrote an editorial in the Jewish Review, entitled ‘The Jewish quislings’, where he wrote gloatingly over the expulsion of the Palestinian refugees, whom EVM conflated with the Nazis (p209). EVM was oblivious to the point that Dorothy Parker, a fighter against anti-semitism, made, when she raised the situation of the Palestinians and was, of course, lambasted for it. She said: “My Zionist friends do not seem to understand the universality of simple moral principles” (p235).

This book is a mixed bag. Repeatedly Mike’s own politics holds him back, as when he argues that the equation of the star of David and the swastika “can legitimate anti-semitism”, since the former is a “symbol of Jewishness” (p262). In fact the star of David was always a minor symbol of the Jewish religion and one related to the mythical warlike figure of King David (it was the candelabrum which historically was the most potent Jewish symbol - Zionism has transformed this, like much else). When young Arab demonstrators in my own town, Brighton, had placards with both symbols on them, then the point they were making was that both Zionists and Nazis were guilty of similar war crimes. There was nothing anti-semitic in this.

Likewise, when Marqusee speaks of 2,000 years of Jews being persecuted as the crucifiers of Christ, he unwittingly adopts the Zionist version of Jewish history. As Abram Leon noted, “Zionism transposes modern anti-semitism to all of history and saves itself the trouble of studying the various forms of anti-semitism and their evolution.”6

It is perhaps appropriate that Marqusee ends the book by wondering what his grandfather would have made of him: “Would he have hated me? Have I turned into one of the Jewish quislings he despised?” One suspects the answer to that is ‘yes’ and that EVM would have been a lost cause. But he would have been no more than symptomatic of the majority of Jewish people who, with their support of Israel and its apartheid wall, have re-entered the ghettos of old.

There is a crying need for a book on Jewish identity and the place of anti-Zionism within it, and for a definition of Jewishness that excludes the last 60 years, when Jewish identity has been conflated with a virulently racist and murderous state. As more and more Jews question the linkage between being Jewish and Zionism, this book is more than welcome. However, it is only the start of such a debate and it has some very obvious flaws.

We should be clear that the golden age of Zionism has gone. No longer do we have to argue about the myths of a ‘socialist’ Zionism, as the reality is only too apparent. As Jewish opponents of Zionism begin to find their voice, it is to be hoped that this book is but one contribution to an overdue debate.


1. www.newdemocracyworld.org/Einstein.htm . See also A Lilienthall The Zionist connectionNew York 1978.
2. Israeli prime minister Ben-Gurion allegedly said to his secretary: “Tell me what to do if he says yes. I had to offer the post to him because it’s impossible not to. But if he accepts, we are in for trouble” (thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2008/04/einstein-first-post-zionist.html).
3. T Herzl Der Judenstaat New York 1989, p26.
4. A Leon The Jewish question - a Marxist interpretation New York 1970, p226.
5. This was expressed in the curious story of Wilhelm Kube, Generalkomissar of the Minsk ghettos, who differentiated between German Jews “from our Kulturkreis” and the “bestial native hordes” of east European Jewry. Kube nearly found himself sent to a concentration camp for his efforts to save German Jews deported to Minsk from extermination, at the same time as native Russian and Byelorussian Jews were being shot in their thousands. Kube was assassinated by a partisan bomb (see G Reitlinger The final solution London 1971, pp236-41).
6. A Leon The Jewish question - a Marxist interpretation New York 1970, p247.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Completing Hitler’s Goal – Netanyahu Seeks to Make Europe Judenrein

Creating a Climate of Fear - the Invention of anti-Semitism

No sooner than 3 reactionary lunatics had murdered 17 people in France, including journalists on Charlie Hebdo and 4 Jewish people in a kosher supermarket, then Benjamin Netanyahu was on the scene.  What was Netanyahu’s message to the Jews of France?  To offer comfort, to encourage them to stand up to anti-Semitism, to promise that Israel will in future make it clear that its genocidal attacks on the Palestinians have nothing to do with diaspora Jewish communities?
Coubillay -  supermarket killerPerish the thought.  Like a parasitic leech, Netanyahu sought to complete the work of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed the shoppers in the supermarket solely because they were Jewish.  The true home of French Jews was Israel, a sentiment that every anti-Semite will agree with.  Once again Zionism demonstrates that it is the hand that fits into the anti-Semitic glove.
In fact the millions who demonstrated in Paris and elsewhere in France proved the complete opposite.  That anti-Semitism has shallow roots today in France.  It showed that this is equally true of the Muslim community and the outpouring of praise for Lassana Bathily, who hid Jewish shoppers in the freezers of the supermarket, demonstrates that the mass condemnation of the 3 killers is not a condemnation of Muslims, despite the attempts of politicians such as Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and David Cameron to do exactly that.
Lassana-Bathily - hero of kosher supermarket
The official attempt to translate the outpouring of public outrage for what has happened into a condemnation of ‘terrorism’ has been less than successful.  Reporters without Borders  condemned the hypocrisy of the world leaders:
“On what grounds are representatives of regimes that are predators of press freedom coming to Paris to pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo, a publication that has always defended the most radical concept of freedom of expression?
"Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the presence of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically persecuted such as Egypt (which is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in RWB’s press freedom index), Russia (148th), Turkey (154th) and United Arab Emirates (118th)." 
Countries like Egypt and Bahrain torture journalists yet they were welcomed on a march in support of press freedom!  Equally hypocritical has been the French government which has used the attack on Charlie Hebdo, not to defend freedom of speech but to restrict it.  Palestinian marches have been banned in France and those who attend them face a year or more imprisonment.  Clearly the lessons learnt by some in the West is that freedom of speech is only worth defending when you agree with them.

I am confident that despite a spike in the emigration of French Jews to Israel (it is estimated that 10,000 will go this year) that the vast majority of them will stay.  After all, there is no more dangerous place on Earth if you are Jewish than Israel.

The newly formed Zionist group, Campaign Against anti-Semitism, has been quick to exploit the situation, too quick.  It took to using a rigged poll, in which people were invited to say that today's Britain reminded them of the 1930's (it is doubtful that many of the respondents were around then or even know what it was like) and half agreed.  Likewise the finding that a quarter of British Jews are thinking of moving to Israel is another piece of invented nonsense.  The Jewish Chronicle opinion poll 'JC poll reveals 88 per cent of British Jews have not considered leaving UK' which was scientifically valid, shows that 88% of Jews have no intention of leaving the UK.  No doubt this is very disappointing to the Zionist fanatics of the CAA.  It is also no doubt disappointing to the rank opportunists and hypocrites of the Tory-Lib.Dem. government, not least our very own racist Home Secretary  Theresa May.  She took advantage of the CAA poll, knowing nothing about it or its defects, to suggest that she was shocked that Jews were considering leaving Britain because of anti-Semitism, just as her fellow Cabinet member, Eric Pickles, was asking Muslims to prove that being a Muslim was compatible with a British identity.

Once again 'anti-Semitism' is being used in pursuit of a racist agenda.

Tony Greenstein

Translation  - Jim Cohen, Paris
The trap set for the Jews of France

Thursday 15 January 2015
Bureau National de l’UJFP – The National Bureau of the French Jewish Union for Peace

In the past several days we have experienced the same repeated shocks as all our fellow citizens. As Jews we were profoundly upset by the horrible attack carried out on Jews only because they were Jews. This can only evoke memories of the worst periods of Judaism in France. All we believe in as activists, citizens, and human beings, and all that we struggle for – the value of life, equality among human beings, and ta’ayush (living together) – was trampled in the editorial office of a magazine and in a kosher market. We are convinced that freedom of expression is a fundamental value of any democratic society and that it must be defended at all costs against obscurantist violence.
We are also conscious of the rise of a formidable anti-semitism in France. But we seek to analyze it and understand its causes, because like all racisms it breeds blindness, hatred and bloodshed. For years our association has been denouncing the trap set for French Jews and it is important to describe this trap again in the wake of this murderous attack.
This trap has been laid by several different instances, at several different levels, yet not without coordination. It began with Ariel Sharon’s provocations on the esplanade of the  al-Aqsa Mosque, which unleashed a second Intifada in 2000. The Israeli government decided that France, which is home to the largest Jewish community of Europe, was a necessary and indispensable tool of its policies. The executive arms of these instances in France was made of the Israeli embassy, the Jewish Agency and the CRIF, that is, the so-called representative council of Jewish institutions in France. Their aim is to embark all Jews of France in a current of unconditional support to all actions of the Israeli government, including the worst. The CRIF seeks to impose the image of a totally homogeneous Jewish community in full support of a flawless Zionism and unequivocal support to the regime’s actions.
The same mission is then pursued within the network of secular Jewish associations, from which our organization was bound quickly to be ejected because the orthodoxy says there is no salvation outside Zionism. To imagine a collectivity of nearly 600,000 French Jews speaking with a single voice is just as stupid and insane as attributing a similar unanimity to five or six million Muslims, among whom there are, obviously, religious observers, secular or otherwise and in varying degrees, and even a few friends of Zionism! Such reasoning promotes the assimilation, in everyone’s mind, between Jews and support for Israeli policy whatever it may be. And this is policy which occupies, colonizes and kills Palestinian Arabs every day. 
Israel’s successive governments have addressed themselves over the same period of time to French Jews, urging them to leave France, with all its supposedly anti-semitic Muslims, and make their aliyah to Israel.
To complete the picture, there is a family of French intellectuals who espouse a “clash-of-civilizations” view of the world. Caroline Fourest, Pierre-André Taguieff, Jacques Tarnéro, Alain Finkielkraut and others lead the charge both against Islam and for Zionism. Successive French governments, for their part, have continually confused legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-semitism and racism. Most French media have taken up the same chorus. After the massacre of Toulouse in March 2012, one could even hear some journalists who, when speaking of Israel to Jewish citizens of France in front of the school targeted by the assassin, called it “your country”. And let us not forget the Rufin report on racism and anti-semitism (2004), which called for penalization of anti-Zionism, described as a new form of anti-semitism.  
Into this trap, many Jews have fallen, given their emotional and familial ties and their identification with Israel, and given Israel’s history as presented in Zionist mythology. Little by little they have become the potential “representatives” in France of the Israeli soldier or the Israeli settler, abandoning their critical judgment in the heat of increasingly problematic confrontations. They have at the same time sacrificed their own capacity for empathy with others, including occupied peoples, people deprived of all their rights and subjected to massacres as in Gaza last summer. Their only concern is to preserve at any cost this “small, fragile state surrounded by enemies” and alone capable, they believe, of protecting them from anti-semitism. 
Any criticism of that state has thus been defined as an act of anti-semitism; any meeting in solidarity with Palestine becomes a gathering of fanatics who are seen as a threat to them personally. Local Jewish communities, at the urging of the CRIF, have thus tried to prohibit such meetings, thereby reinforcing the animosity against themselves. The vicious cycle is only reinforced over time; each new attack on the occupied territories only worsens the tensions and contributes to the syndrome of sectarian withdrawal.
In these same years, the social crisis has deepened in the working-class districts where Jews, Arabs and Africans could often be found together in the same public housing, confronting similar difficulties. In these ghettos of poverty, the young French post-colonial citizen who undergoes job discrimination and is prevented from entering certain night clubs because of his physical appearance, tends to identify with that last non-decolonized pocket of the Arab world – oppressed Palestine. Sometimes he wears the keffieh, a symbol of resistance. Each time he seeks to express his solidarity, his free speech is infringed upon and assimilated to anti-semitism.
His wish to take part in political debate is thereby negated, rejected and likened to racism. He’s designated as the racist one, in addition to having to undergo racism and social exclusion as a black or an Arab. Little by little a resentment develops within him against that community which the government claims to protect against him and the likes of him. (It may be noted in passing that Jews are recognized as a legitimate community while the pejorative term “communautarisme”, with strong connotations of “clannishness”, is reserved for others, Muslims in particular.)
And do not wearers of skullcaps also often bear the insignia of the Israeli paratroopers? They can demonstrate without fear their support for the Israeli army and its massacres in Gaza, and can even take part in those actions – the French government and the national press will say the same nice things about him as about “Operation Protective Edge”. They’re on the side of the good guys’: they’re white and western and have the law of the strongest in their favor. Violent groups such as the Jewish Defense League may insult Palestine and Arabs, beat them up and commit acts of vandalism and never be brought to justice; the police just watch them and remain silent, as we witnessed in July 2014 near the synagogue on Paris’ rue de la Roquette (there are plenty of videos to prove what actually occurred).
At the same time young Arabs were not allowed to demonstrate for Gaza. We cannot forget that young man who was arrested – like others, on the basis of his appearance – while on the sidelines of a demonstration this past summer and as he was leaving for home, simply because he was wearing a keffieh? He was struck by a police office and was sent immediately to a hearing before a judge. A journalist from Libération, witness to the scene, saw the young man break into tears before a partial and inflexible judge and wrote an angry article. The young man was sentenced to three months in prison and it still today under house arrest with an electronic bracelet in his outlying suburb.
The French justice system operates with a double standard: stigmatization for some to the dubious benefit of others, thanks to an official discourse which depicts the Arab world as the backward, barbaric, terrorist Axis of Evil, while Israel is a model of democracy; young Arabs and Africans are painted as potential dangers to society while Jews are a protected category, fully integrated into a West recently redefined as Judeo-Christian. Here too is a source of anger.
The powerlessness of those unable to transcend their miserablecondition has sent hundreds of youths of all horizons – even a handful of Jews it seems – into the arms of IS and al-Qaeda. Thus the trap closes shut. Jews, reduced to a homogenous body, will be taken to task for all these injustices, humiliations, muzzlings, and all that arrogance displayed while under the protection of successive French governments: don’t touch our Jews, you eternal foreigners, you barbarians unassimilable into our republic. 
If you can’t harm Israel, some tell themselves, at least you can try to harm its Jewish supporters. The festering wound of the Palestinian question, unresolved because the powerful of the world refuse to resolve it, contributes to the emergence of a desperate and suicidal terrorism.
A powerful mechanism for assigning people to their supposed identities of origin has arisen in the context of the post-1989 world. The Jews of Europe, and those of France in particular, have served as footsoldiers in this new formation.
It is with a sense of gravity that we undertake to remind our fellow Jews that we are French; we can live at home here and be “happy like Jews in France” (according to an old saying transformed by historian Elie Barnavi), and we can achieve this happiness with our fellow citizens of all origins. The importation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of your doing because you have been manipulated into serving an unjust cause. The rising terrorism of IS and al-Qaeda, against which we must all struggle because it is a murderous and suicidal dead-end, will require us to wage struggles in common against all forms of racism and exclusion and for the expression of opinions in all their diversity – including those of Muslim and Jews – in a spirit of exchange and dialogue. Freedom of expression cannot be limited to a single world view.
The National Bureau of the UJFP – France Jewish Union for Peace – 15 January 2015

Researching antisemitism
Date 14 Jan 2015

‘… the claim in the report, for example, that “more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism now echoes the 1930s” verges into irresponsible territory – it is an incendiary finding, and there is simply no way to ascertain whether or not it is accurate. Moreover, the very inclusion of such a question in the survey, which most credible scholars of the Holocaust utterly refute, was a dubious decision in and of itself, and raises issues about the organisers’ pre-existing hypotheses and assumptions. Professional social researchers build credible surveys and analyse the data with an open mind; the CAA survey falls short both in terms of its methodology and its analysis.

However, unfortunately, the organisation’s survey about antisemitism is littered with flaws, and in the context of a clear need for accurate data on this topic, its work may even be rather irresponsible.
Its report is based on two surveys – one of Jews living in the UK, exploring their perceptions and experiences of antisemitism, and one of the general population of the UK, exploring its attitudes towards Jews.

In the first one, the data about Jewish attitudes are based on an open web survey that had very limited capacity to assess whether respondents were in any way representative of the British Jewish population. So the percentages quoted are of survey respondents, not of Jews in the UK. The findings might be representative of the Jewish community in some way, but it is at least equally likely that they are not. Unfortunately, due to quite basic methodological flaws and weaknesses, there is absolutely no way the researchers or any readers of the report can really know.
The second survey, conducted by YouGov, is much better – the results are certainly broadly representative of the UK population. ….

A far more accurate and honest read of the YouGov data would highlight the fact that between 75% and 90% of people in Britain either do not hold antisemitic views or have no particular view of Jews either way, and only about 4% to 5% of people can be characterised as clearly antisemitic when looking at individual measures of antisemitism. This figure is similar to Pew data gathered in 2009 and 2014 which estimated the level of antisemitic attitudes at somewhere between 2% and 7%, and Anti-Defamation League data gathered in 2014 which, while also flawed, put it at 8%, and, more robustly, identified the UK as among the least antisemitic countries in the world. It is possible that the proportion has risen in light of the summer’s events in Gaza (and those interested should look out for the next results from the Pew Global Attitudes Survey), but the notion that it has risen to such a significant degree seems to be highly implausible.

British Jews reject ‘fortress Judaism’

January 15, 2015 Rabbi Janner-Klausner

These British Jews, alongside their neighbours, defeated the Nazi-affiliated British Union of Fascists, who wanted to free the country of foreigners “be they Hebrew or any other form of alien”, dispersing their three thousand-strong rally. Jewish workers ensured the “Blackshirts” were the only aliens on British turf. The so-called Battle of Cable Street took place in 1936.

Yesterday, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism claimed that more than half of Jews believe anti-Semitism in Britain now echoes that decade, the 1930s. The survey reported that almost half of Jews fear they have no future in Britain, while a quarter have thought about leaving the country.

The findings depict a Jewish community of fear and fatalism, but they worried me for another reason. They demonstrated a disconnect between a particular perception of Jewish life — and the lived experiences of most British Jews. I was not alone. Yesterday, British Jews publicly rejected the “Fortress Judaism” narrative and the self-definition of Jewish life through perceived danger and discrimination.

77% of us have witnessed antisemitism disguised as a political comment about Israel. 82% believe antisemitism is fuelled by biased coverage of Israel. 84% find boycotts of Israeli businesses intimidatory. Powerful statistics to add to a press complaint or meeting with the local police about a boycott protest.

In the summer of 2014, as Israel and Hamas battled, all over the UK antisemitic chants were bellowed at protests, boycotters threw kosher goods out of supermarkets, Jews were assaulted and intimidated in the streets and social networks were used to regurgitate ancient antisemitic prejudice. Antisemitic incidents in Britain reached their highest recorded level. London alone saw its worst ever month for hate crime, 95% of it antisemitic.