July 23, 2018

Spot the difference: Deborah Maccoby on how the Jewish Chronicle's Daniel Sugarman misrepresented Labour's take on antisemitism


In an online JC article published Friday July 20,
Daniel Sugarman sets out to enlighten JC readers about the row over Labour’s new definition of antisemitism. He tells us he will explain “how we reached the point where Jeremy Corbyn was branded ‘antisemitic’ and ‘racist’ to his face by one of his own MPs” and will elucidate “what Labour left out” of the full IHRA definition.
First, Sugarman sets out the eleven points in the IHRA definition which Labour adapted. Here they are, copied and pasted from the IHRA website:
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews. 
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. 
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. 
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. 
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
So far, so good. Sugarman reproduced these eleven examples correctly – except that he left out the bit at the beginning about “could, taking into account the overall context”.
Critics of the IHRA definition examples have pointed out that they are a confusing mixture of items that are incontrovertibly antisemitic and others that are controversial and problematic because they could be used to close down legitimate criticism of Israel. This was why the Labour Party definition leaves out four of these eleven examples. However, contrary to what has often been claimed, the new definition does not omit them entirely – it clarifies them later on in the document.
Eleven take away four makes seven. Sugarman, however, does not list the seven examples - for reasons which will perhaps become clear. Instead he just tells us about them.
To make up for his omission, here are the seven examples from the Labour Party’s revised antisemitism definition (typed out from another piece on the JC’s website).
Test: spot the four that have been taken away from the IHRA definition.
“9. The following are examples of conduct likely to be antisemitic. They are in part derived from the IHRA working examples:
a. Calling for, aiding or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist form of religion.
b. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotyping allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
c. Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or groups or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
d. Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of Nazi Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
e. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
f. Using the symbols and images of classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. Classic antisemitism also includes the use of derogatory terms for Jewish people (such as ‘kike’ or ‘yid’); stereotypical depictions/descriptions or character traits, such as reference to wealth or avarice and – in the political arena – equating Jews with capitalists or the ruling class.
g. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel. “
Have you worked out which four are missing? The answer is:
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
Notice first that, by leaving out these controversial, problematic points, the Labour Party is able to tighten up the incontrovertible ones that remain. There is no longer the weak, mealy-mouthed “could, taking into account, the overall context, include”. Instead there is the forthright “likely to be antisemitic”. So far from weakening or neutering the examples of antisemitism, the Labour Party has actually strengthened them.
Now for the test. How many did you get right? I am guessing that you got four out of four. After all, there are only four of them – is it really so difficult to get all four right? Moreover, Sugarman claims to be explaining the subject to readers.
Yet Sugarman only scores three out of four. He first mentions the loyalty issue, pointing out “Labour’s definition relegates it to further down the document, where it is merely described as ‘wrong’”. Then he writes:
“Labour also decided to omit three examples of how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic: Claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour, using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis and comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Do you see what he has done there? Instead of the third missing example -- “Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” – he has put “using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis”.
Did he just make a mistake? Or is it a deliberate falsification?
In fact, if you look at this example in the new Labour definition, not only is it there (9f) – it is actually strengthened, with further examples not included in the full IHRA definition:
“f. Using the symbols and images of classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. Classic antisemitism also includes the use of derogatory terms for Jewish people (such as ‘kike’ or ‘yid’); stereotypical depictions/descriptions or character traits, such as reference to wealth or avarice and – in the political arena – equating Jews with capitalists or the ruling class.”
But Sugarman’s article gets worse. The suspicion that this is a deliberate lie on his part is compounded by the paragraph that comes next in his piece:
“In fact, Labour’s definition directly contradicts the second and third examples [ie ‘using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis and comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis’], saying ‘Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct. It is not antisemitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent’.”
Sugarman is here quoting from clause 16 of the new Labour Party definition – the very last clause in the document. It is a clarification of the omitted example of “comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. It reads in its entirety:
“Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct. It is not antisemitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by references to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent. Chakrabarti recommended that Labour members should resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine in particular. In this sensitive area, such language carries a strong risk of being regarded as prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Party within clause 2.1.8.”
The new definition is saying, therefore, that “comparing Israeli policies to that of the Nazis” is not antisemitic, unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent, but – in a strong warning against using the metaphor – points out that it “carries a strong risk of being regarded as prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Party”. This warning is completely left out by Sugarman, in what seems to be a deliberate distortion of clause 16..
Much worse, though, is his use - or rather misuse – of clause 16 against “the second example” –ie “using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis”. Sugarman writes that clause 16 “directly contradicts” this example. As we have seen, clause 16 bears no relationship to this example at all, as it is not omitted from examples “likely to be antisemitic”. But Sugarman insidiously insinuates that the Labour Party document is implying that, just as the Holocaust or apartheid South Africa were examples of “historic misconduct”, so were the blood libel and the claim that Jews killed Christ – ie they actually happened; Jews did kill Christian children to bake their blood into the Passover unleavened bread and Jews did kill Christ; and it is not antisemitic “to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by references to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent”.
Of course there is no such implication in the Labour Party document at all. The implication is deviously and insidiously invented by Sugarman in order to create the impression that the new Labour Party definition is antisemitic.
The JC should apologise for this incorrect and insidious piece and withdraw or at least change it.

Editor's note:  The JC has now emended the article but with no apology for the original falsehood and no note of the amendment.
Here is the original article from google cache:

What is the IHRA definition of antisemitism? And why has Labour outraged Jews by rejecting it?


How we reached the point where Jeremy Corbyn was branded 'antisemitic' and 'racist' to his face by one of his own MPs
British Jews are furious the Labour party refused to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and adopted its own instead. The refusal has pushed Labour to the brink of a civil war with its Jewish parliamentarians and members.
But what is the difference? And how did it take us to the point where Jeremy Corbyn was branded “antisemitic and a racist” to his face by one of his own MPs?

The IHRA definition

A total of 31 countries have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as well as more than 130 UK local councils, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the judiciary. The definition was an offshoot of one created in 2005 by the European Union’s Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, then the EU’s leading anti-racism body. When EU directives changed the role of the agency, it no longer promoted the definition, and the IHRA stepped into the breach.

What Labour left out when it chose its own version

The IHRA definition specifies eleven “contemporary examples of antisemitism”, while making it clear that there may be others.
These are:
  1. 1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

  2. 2. Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

  3. 3. Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

  4. 4. Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

  5. 5. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  6. 6. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

  7. 7. 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.

  8. 8. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  9. 9. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

  10. 10. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  11. 11. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Labour’s definition omits or redefines a number of these. First, it omits describing the “dual loyalties” trope as antisemiticAccusing Jews of having dual loyalties was a tactic of both Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. The IHRA defines this clearly as an example of contemporary antisemitism.
Labour’s definition relegates it to further down the document, where it is merely described as “wrong”.
Labour also decided to omit three examples of how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic:Claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour, using symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis and comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
In fact, Labour’s definition directly contradicts the second and third examples, saying: “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct. It is not antisemitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent.”
Claiming Israel is a racist endeavour is not, as has been claimed, the same as saying that Israel has acted in a racist manner, or has racist policies. Describing Israel’s very existence as a racist endeavour means you believe that everything about Israel, from its very beginning, has been racist.
There are many ways to criticise Israel which do not fall foul of the categories mentioned in the IHRA definition. The IHRA definition specifically says that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
Despite this, claiming Israel is fundamentally a racist endeavour is nowhere to be found in Labour’s definition of antisemitism.

Antisemitic intent

In some examples set out in the Labour definition, the text says that mentioning something is not antisemitism “unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent.”
This contradicts the Macpherson principle, which states minorities should be allowed to define the racism they face. But one QC has noted: “It’s not just a breach of Macpherson. There is no requirement in discrimination law to show intention to discriminate to prove you have been discriminated against or harassed on grounds of race/ ethnicity. [Labour] are laying themselves wide open to discrimination claims.”

How British Jews reacted

Labour’s definition has seen a rare level of opposition from within the Jewish community.
A total of 68 Rabbis, from all religious denominations, signed an open letter imploring Labour’s National Executive Committee to adopt the full IHRA definition.
And some of Israel’s most vocal critics within the Jewish community have spoken out against Labour’s definition. Yachad UK, the left-wing advocacy group, noted the “overwhelming attachment that Jews feel to Israel”.

Why did Labour do this?

Two years ago, Labour indicated that it would accept the full IHRA definition. But a few months ago, when Jewish representative organisations met with Mr Corbyn over antisemitism, one said: “The Labour leader… would not commit to adopting the IHRA definition in full."
Some key allies of Mr Corbyn have made comments in the past which could amount to antisemitism according to the IHRA definition. Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s communications director, referred to the creation of Israel “a crime” during an address to a rally in 2009.
Mr Milne and others would not be in trouble for past comments, if Labour adopted the full IHRA definition.
There was no suggestion that people be called to account retroactively for previous statements. But they would not have been able to make similar comments so freely in future.
---------------------------------
How the article appears on the JC website now though still bearing the date 20 July 2018:

What is the IHRA definition of antisemitism? And why has Labour outraged Jews by rejecting it?

How we reached the point where Jeremy Corbyn was branded 'antisemitic' and 'racist' to his face by one of his own MPs
British Jews are furious the Labour party refused to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and adopted its own instead. The refusal has pushed Labour to the brink of a civil war with its Jewish parliamentarians and members.
But what is the difference? And how did it take us to the point where Jeremy Corbyn was branded “antisemitic and a racist” to his face by one of his own MPs?

The IHRA definition

A total of 31 countries have adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as well as more than 130 UK local councils, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the judiciary. The definition was an offshoot of one created in 2005 by the European Union’s Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, then the EU’s leading anti-racism body. When EU directives changed the role of the agency, it no longer promoted the definition, and the IHRA stepped into the breach.

What Labour left out when it chose its own version

The IHRA definition specifies eleven “contemporary examples of antisemitism”, while making it clear that there may be others.
These are:
  1. 1.  Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

  2. 2.  Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

  3. 3.  Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

  4. 4.  Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

  5. 5.  Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  6. 6.  Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

  7. 7.  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.

  8. 8.  Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  9. 9.  Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

  10. 10. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  11. 11. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Labour’s definition omits or redefines a number of these. First, it omits describing the “dual loyalties” trope as antisemiticAccusing Jews of having dual loyalties was a tactic of both Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. The IHRA defines this clearly as an example of contemporary antisemitism.
Labour’s definition relegates it to further down the document, where it is merely described as “wrong”.
Labour also decided to omit two examples of how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic:Claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour and comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
In fact, Labour’s definition directly contradicts the second example, saying: “Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct. It is not antisemitism to criticise the conduct or policies of the Israeli state by reference to such examples unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent.”
Claiming Israel is a racist endeavour is not, as has been claimed, the same as saying that Israel has acted in a racist manner, or has racist policies. Describing Israel’s very existence as a racist endeavour means you believe that everything about Israel, from its very beginning, has been racist.
There are many ways to criticise Israel which do not fall foul of the categories mentioned in the IHRA definition. The IHRA definition specifically says that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”
Despite this, claiming Israel is fundamentally a racist endeavour is nowhere to be found in Labour’s definition of antisemitism.

Antisemitic intent

In some examples set out in the Labour definition, the text says that mentioning something is not antisemitism “unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent.”
This contradicts the Macpherson principle, which states minorities should be allowed to define the racism they face. But one QC has noted: “It’s not just a breach of Macpherson. There is no requirement in discrimination law to show intention to discriminate to prove you have been discriminated against or harassed on grounds of race/ ethnicity. [Labour] are laying themselves wide open to discrimination claims.”

How British Jews reacted

Labour’s definition has seen a rare level of opposition from within the Jewish community.
A total of 68 Rabbis, from all religious denominations, signed an open letterimploring Labour’s National Executive Committee to adopt the full IHRA definition.
And some of Israel’s most vocal critics within the Jewish community have spoken out against Labour’s definition. Yachad UK, the left-wing advocacy group, noted the “overwhelming attachment that Jews feel to Israel”.

Why did Labour do this?

Two years ago, Labour indicated that it would accept the full IHRA definition. But a few months ago, when Jewish representative organisations met with Mr Corbyn over antisemitism, one said: “The Labour leader… would not commit to adopting the IHRA definition in full."
Some key allies of Mr Corbyn have made comments in the past which could amount to antisemitism according to the IHRA definition. Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s communications director, referred to the creation of Israel “a crime” during an address to a rally in 2009.
Mr Milne and others would not be in trouble for past comments, if Labour adopted the full IHRA definition.
There was no suggestion that people be called to account retroactively for previous statements. But they would not have been able to make similar comments so freely in future.

March 05, 2018

Strange Days on Twitter and off Facebook

It's been a strange few days on Twitter and now on Facebook and messenger.  I had three little, mostly unprovoked, (by me anyway) skirmishes with fairly high profile Zionists.

It started when I browsed some tweets by Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust, a Zionist group owned by Gerald Ronson.  One of his tweets claimed, wrongly, that Tony Greenstein had been expelled by the Labour Party for antisemitism.  The party claimed it was expelling him for "abusive behaviour".  It was well known that they could not make the charge of antisemitism stick.  Even the Times and Telegraph had to humiliatingly withdraw their own false allegations against Tony Greenstein.

Anyway, never one to let the truth get in the way of his struggle to avoid getting a proper job, Dave Rich tweeted as follows:
I QRTd as follows:

Hold this thought.  My tweet is in what I would call a casual factual style, ie, no anger expressed here.

And this is where the spookiness comes in. Simon Myerson QC, a Zionist troll, QRTd thus:
Now Simon Myerson QC really isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. He is mostly an embarrassment to the more genteel in the Zionist movement. He certainly embarrassed a fellow Zionist with his own grotesque antisemitic joke once as you will see.  He also shamelessly uses a Nazi yellow star with the word, Jude, on it as an avatar.  But every point he made was so wrong, I was sure I must be missing something. Could he really be so stupid or so dishonest? The short answer, I now know, is yes.

I thought he must be saying that I am accusing the Labour Party of not simply tolerating racism but actively promoting it. They are tolerating it as the presence of Labour Friends of Israel and so-called Jewish Labour Movement prove.  They are both racist groups supporting Jewish or filtered white supremacy in occupied Palestine.  He also seemed to be saying that Jews sans frontieres is an organisation.  It's my Twitter account and blog. Further he was saying that we (that is I) were not Jewish. It appears now he was saying all of those wrong things, but unlike Dave Rich who has to get stuff wrong to justify his salary, this Myerson guy makes his living out of conveyancing, so smearing people for the sake of the racist war criminals of the State of Israel is his hobby.

Because I could not believe that even a man who makes deliberate wrongness a virtue could not get every one of three points so completely wrong I asked him what he was talking about:


Ok, hold another thought.  This was fairly though not entirely polite, fairly casual and again not the slightest bit angry.

Someone called Harry Tuttle came to the thread to vent my original suspicion:

Myerson broke the thread by QRTing my question rather than doing a straight reply. It was accidentally a smart move because his next tweet just clarified that he had been utterly wrong in his previous tweet:

Ok so he really was saying that I am not Jewish and I am more than just me.  At the same time the idiot was calling me stupid.  How could I know how stupid a QC could be?

Then there was a bit of a strange distraction.  A woman called Liz McCann wandered into the thread.  Liz describes herself on Twitter thus: Labour. Remain. Loves and supports the LGBT community. Often exasperated. Always angry. [emphasis added]. Look:



Here's her thought out contribution, though G-d knows what she was thinking:

She made another couple of fatuous (is that the word?) comments before claiming that she didn't like people being rude to Jews. Actually by then it was only Simon Myerson and her who had been rude to any Jews on that thread unless she thinks me correcting Dave Rich's deliberate falsehood was rude.  I suppose her tweets could be evidence of her being "always angry".  Again, hold that thought.

At some point I rattled the cage of a man who tried to be Zionism's Mr Nice when he described the mainstream Zionists who brought the disastrous FUCU case as "exaggerators, manipulators and arrogant liars". It wasn't quite his own coinage but it was his summation of the main conclusion.  His name is Adam Wagner and somehow he manages to be a Zionist and a human rights lawyer though he has more recently ditched his Mr Nice ambitions. How much balls can one man juggle?

Adam is quietly clever, far more quiet and far more clever than Myerson.  He didn't approve when Myerson cracked an ugly, literally ugly antisemitic joke (see the next tweet), he almost certainly disapproves of his abuse of the Jude badge, and Wagner heartily disapproves of the sheer dishonesty of the likes of Newmark whilst Myerson prefers the "nothing to see here" approach.  They are as different as Blair and Bush and yet they are also as similar as both in the same way.  They both want something they cannot honestly justify.

So here it is in tweet form:

So this presented Adam Wagner with a little local difficulty.  He knows Myerson is an embarrassing berk but he can't take being used by the wrong kind of Jew, me, against the Right kind Jew, Myerson, lying down. So in he comes with a vacuous putdown based on nothing other than he wants to stay onside with the racist movement he belongs to.  It's the Zionist movement but Adam calls it The Jewish Community - capital C, N/B. He made an issue of my not posting in my own name.  A human rights lawyer might believe that I was simply trying to protect my personal safety but what he definitely should have done before tweeting this:

was ask me my name. Of course, the arguments, facts, etc, were/are more important than the identities so his tweet was a cop-out on every level and he managed to get worse with each interaction.

I hope you held those thoughts about anger because in the same thread where a QC who trivialises the holocaust with his avatar, proactively insults his fellow Jews for having the wrong politics and where a self-styled Ms Angry really did get angry, Adam Wagner's parting shot was this (and I know he is too sophisticated not to be embarrassed by it)

A barrister puts two questions in a tweet. I did respond by expressing bewilderment at what was his second bogus allegation. I wasn't sharp enough to notice that bereft of a case for his politics he had to invent a stylistic point over substance.  But having invented an issue and asking two silly questions he then scarpered.  But this is what support for racist ideology does to people. A human rights barrister has to play the fool rather than make an argument. He didn't even have the decency to be intellectually dishonest.  Nope, he was just an idiot and he will remain so as long as Zionism dominates mainstream Jewish communal, not Communal, life.

Oh yes, Simon Myerson came back to the thread to show he had been researching me.  He found a post about me by a Paul Bogdanor who once threatened me over my online presence. But what has spooked me just a tad is since tweeting to Adam Wagner that my name is Mark Elf, my Facebook account has apparently registered suspicious activity so it has been blocked by Facebook. I can't access it and I have no idea what the activity was.  I only used it as my only means of communicating with a homeless Roma woman who I was helping out.  Thankfully, I saw her today and we've established another way to communicate.

But all of the above is not all of the strangeness of my weekend online.  Apparently the Jewish Chronicle website crashed but I was reading an article about Jeremy Newmark and tried to access another and I thought it had been temporarily pulled.  I found the article in google cache and blogged it "pending its restoration to its rightful place on the JC website". I tweeted a link to my post as I usually do and none other than Stephen Pollard comes along to call me a desperate conspiracist or some such.  I countered, that I had twice mentioned that the disappearance of the piece was "probably innocent" but no apology or acknowledgment was forthcoming.  Rather he took exception to another tweet of mine suggesting that the JC was supporting Jon Lansman in his bid to become an even bigger disaster for the left than he has been hitherto.

Please read the article. It is absolutely gushing about Lansman while elsewhere, Jennie Formby is being smeared as an antisemite for which read either an anti-Zionist or an Israel critic or possibly a BDS supporter or maybe even just not Jon Lansman.

So what happened this weekend?  I got mauled by three dead sheep on Twitter, I've been falsely accused of anger issues, lacking intelligence, lacking integrity, oh yeah, accused of conspiracism and I've lost access to my Facebook account.  Ah well, I've still got a kettle and a bed.

Goodnight

March 02, 2018

Marcus Dysch article on Jeremy Newmark disappears from JC website

It's probably an innocent thing but I just tried this Jewish Chronicle link to an article headed, Jeremy Newmark urged to step down as local councillor and I got this:



I always find the JC and Dysch suspect but as I said, it's probably an innocent and google of course has its cache which is here but won't be for long.  So here is that article in full pending its restoration to its rightful place on the JC website:

Jeremy Newmark urged to step down as local councillor

Mr Newmark was advised to “step back” from his role as leader of the Labour group on Hertsmere Borough Council by the authority’s Conservative leader during a meeting in Borehamwood

March 1, 2018


Jeremy Newmark has been urged to stand down as a local councillor following revelations about the circumstances of his departure from the Jewish Leadership Council.
Mr Newmark was advised to “step back” from his role as leader of the Labour group on Hertsmere Borough Council by the authority’s Conservative leader during a meeting in Borehamwood last night.
Morris Bright said Mr Newmark should show “the same deference” to the council that he had paid to the Jewish Labour Movement, from which he resigned as chairman. Doing so would allow him to “defend himself and his reputation”, Mr Bright suggested.
The council leader told a full meeting of the authority that he had been contacted by local residents asking “what the council is intending to do about this matter”.
He revealed he had met Mr Newmark in the days after the publication of allegations dating back to 2013 when Mr Newmark was chief executive of the JLC.
Mr Bright said: “Cllr Newmark was accompanied by councillor Rebecca Butler to the meeting. We spoke openly about the allegations made against Cllr Newmark by a national newspaper.
“I expressed the concern that was being expressed to me around the headlines and stories in the Jewish Chronicle, the Times and other media outlets.
“Cllr Newmark said the claims were ‘largely unfounded’ and ‘largely untrue’ and some were completely false.
“I explained that I was not forming a judgement as to any guilt and that everyone has a right to defend themselves, their name and their reputation.”
Mr Newmark has denied that he misused JLC funds or claimed inappropriate expenses. He resigned as chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement the day after the story broke in February and has made no public comments since issuing a denial to the JC.
Mr Bright added: “Let me repeat here in this chamber and on the webcast what I said to Cllr Newmark at that meeting; and let me be very clear about this… that neither I nor the anyone in my group are implying any guilt on his part at all.
“It is felt though both by my group and by residents who have communicated with me that he should, as indicated by the JLM, allow himself the time and space to attempt in a clear and individual way to seek redress and to clear his name.
“I made this request in person and in writing. I hope now that Cllr Newmark has had time for reflection since we first spoke about this some weeks ago.
“It is appropriate now for him to do the honourable thing and step back from Hertsmere, at what I know must be a difficult personal time for him.
“And I personally wish him well in his efforts to seek to clear his name of these serious allegations.”
Mr Newmark attended the council meeting and spoke after Mr Bright, but did not respond directly to his remarks. It is thought it was his first public appearance since the JC’s revelations last month.

January 06, 2018

From Muslim Liberal to JudeoNazi: The Very Strange Case of Shadman Zaman

I wasn't entirely surprised to see Jonathan Hoffman upping his antics from disruptive to borderline violent but I had never heard of the man, Middle East Monitor was describing as the ring leader of a fascistic attack on a public video documentary showing on Palestine at SOAS just recently.

Here's the video:




The chap who seemed to be saying that the speakers at the meeting were trying to hide the fact that the Sinai desert was no longer occupied by Israel is called Shadman Zaman.  I googled his name and, in spite of the odyssey he describes on the Ilford Synagogue website here, he seems to have been quite sympathetic to the Palestinian cause only three years or so ago if a Twitter account I believe to be his is anything to go by.

But first, take a look at how he describes his "journey":
Shalom! I am Shadman Zaman. I am the first Bangladeshi national in history to travel to Israel and this is my story. If the social trends are anything to go by, then I would have been an anti-Semite like most of my countrymen not someone who is on the threshold of orthodox conversion to Judaism. I would have hated Israel and thought of Israel as the root of all problems and Zionists as the controllers of the world who wanted to destroy Muslim identity. But bucking the trend, my story ended up rather differently......

The culture of Bangladesh used to encourage and indoctrinate its people in anti-Semitism from a very early age.

But my story was to be different. Being born into a very affluent family, I was brought up in a culture which promoted humanity above all else. [my emphasis] My father is a secular atheist who never followed any religion and my mother is a very liberal Muslim. My maternal grandfather, an atheist, was the first Bangladeshi Zionist and it was he who introduced me to Zionism and the greatness of Judaism. At school and in public places, I was always told to hate Jews but at home my parents and my grandpa always told me not to. They told me to read about Judaism, Zionism and Jewish history. They told me to read first and then question myself whether the hatred that the common people of Bangladesh harbour towards Jews was justified or not. As a result of my curiosity and encouragement from my parents, I read the book “A Case for Israel” by Alan Dershowitz at the age of 12. Since then I have read a lot of books on Israel and the middle east and I have no doubt that to prevent another holocaust, there has to be an independent State of Israel. In fact, on the centenary of the Balfour declaration, I believe if it had been acted upon after the First World War, 6 million Jewish lives wouldn’t have been lost. So, if Britain should apologise to anyone then it should be the Jews for backtracking on the Balfour Declaration.
The sense of entitlement is palpable even without the claim that his family's wealth makes them inherently kind and caring.

And he read his Alan Dershowitz at the age of 12.

Then what's all this on his Twitter account?  See what he tweeted during Israel's attack on Gaza back in 2014:


and this:

Here's a screengrab just in case, he goes full on Toby Young and deletes the tweets.


Anyone might change their mind but this Shadman Zaman chap doesn't want anyone to know that he changed his.  I wonder why.


November 03, 2017

Deborah Maccoby, The Jewish Chronicle and a Smoked Salmon Beigel. Is it Friday already?

Aha!  Deborah Maccoby has reappeared on the Jewish Chronicle website letters page.  I blogged about her letter's appearance and disappearance from the JC website a few days ago.   Here's the letter again:

About free speech

In his Holocaust Education Trust dinner speech (The scourge of antisemitism is changing form, JC, October 20 2017) Andrew Neil erroneously cited the Free Speech on Israel fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference: “the chair of the meeting asked: ‘We demand the right to debate ‘Holocaust: yes or no’”.
The chair of the meeting, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, made no mention of the Holocaust. The guest speaker, Miko Peled, an Israeli-American who is not a member of the Labour Party, said: “This is about free speech, the freedom to criticise and to discuss every issue, whether it’s the Holocaust: yes or no, Palestine, the liberation, the whole spectrum. There should be no limits on the discussion”.
Peled was defining free speech as a principle, not calling for a Labour Party debate about whether or not the Holocaust happened, as was implied by Mr Neil.
Later in his speech, Andrew Neil quoted Mark Twain: “the truth has barely got its boots on before a lie is halfway round the world”.  Exactly. 

Deborah Maccoby, 
Leeds LS17
Apparently what happens at the JC is, on Thursday night the JC print editions get delivered to shops and houses up and down the country.  The date on it is the Friday not the Thursday.  The letters are then loaded onto the website on the Friday bearing that Friday's date and the letters which by now then have all appeared in the print edition.  Well Deborah Maccoby's letter was reproduced in error on the website before it has appeared in print.  Now it is possible that someone at the JC wanted it printed while someone else wanted it pulled but let's just assume that the JC did intend to publish it in today's print edition but published in error on line last week then pulled it and now is pushing it again.

Oi! Now I have to go to Gants Hill to get a smoked salmon beigel and a print copy of the JC.  I'll snap the letters page and post the pic here so watch this space.....

Meanwhile, have a beigel....


UPDATE:

Ok, I had my beigel and two twisted Danishes and bought my JC, £2.50 (ouch!) and here is Deborah's letter taking a good old swipe at Andrew Neil, Orange monster, Tory and Zionist:



Sorry, I'm not very good at that edit malarkey but well done to the JC for publishing a letter completely out of kilter with their standard Zionist fare.

October 30, 2017

Is Corbyn Embarrassing Corbyn or the Zionist "Glitterati"?

I just noticed a Marcus Dysch article in the print edition of the Jewish Chronicle headlined, "Yet again, Corbyn has embarrassed himself".  I googled those very words out of quotes to see if the piece is on line and, yes, it is.  Here's the search, Yet again, Corbyn has embarrassed himself.  And top of the list is Dysch's article.  It's a gripe about Jeremy Corbyn refusing to attend the Balfour Declaration celebratory dinner.
It was, of course, an open secret among communal leaders that Jeremy Corbyn was unlikely to accept their invitation to next week’s gala Balfour Declaration centenary dinner.
The Labour leader, with decades of anti-Israel campaigning under his belt, was never going to sit alongside the country’s glitterati — its political, social, religious, diplomatic and charity leaders — for the slap-up meal.
When the invitations went out, I was told by a senior Jewish Leadership Council figure that no pressure would be put on Mr Corbyn to turn up, nor would a fuss be made if he declined.
After the past two years of trials and tribulations between the Labour chief and the community, there was no desire to cause embarrassment, or a major row, on either side. 
As my source predicted, Emily Thornberry will represent Labour, although the Leader of the Opposition’s office failed to live up to the other part of the prophecy and blame a diary clash, offering instead no explanation for his absence.
So there was a muted response beyond Jonathan Goldstein saying it was “deeply unfortunate” and Hamas welcoming the news.
Let’s be honest, few friends of Israel will have wanted Mr Corbyn there. But it is the principle that counts.
Ms Thornberry filling in for Mr Corbyn at a Labour Friends of Israel reception at the party conference last month brought ridicule on them both when she claimed he was preparing for his speech but everyone knew he was out partying.
For the Labour leader now to avoid this major event sends another clear message, and shames his party. 
If Mr Corbyn wants to be Prime Minister, he needs first to learn how to be a statesman. The great offices of our nation demand more than former backbenchers still clinging to personal grievances.
What's noticeable about the piece is the sheer arrogance it oozes.  The "country's glitterati" are to celebrate handing Palestine on a platter to the Zionist movement.  Seniors of the Jewish Leadershio Council decided, "no pressure would be  put on Mr Corbyn to turn up, nor would a fuss be made if he declined."  Well that's very big of the big wigs and Mr Corbyn didn't even have the decency to invent an excuse for refusing to celebrate the UK's and Israel's imperial past and present.

But the google search threw up other finds too including the words Corbyn and something with embarrass as its root.  A debate between Corbyn and Owen Smith in the second Labour leadership contest had a LabourList article asking, Was Corbyn "an embarrassment" or did he carry himself "with dignity"?  Of course we now know he carried himself with enough dignity to win the contest.  That was last year, 2016.

The next article in the search with the word "embarrassment" in it was one in the Telegraph.  The word "embarrassment" used regarding his wife's coffee business.  Nothing to do with him and anyway, that was back in 2015.

Next up we have Huffington Post finding "Ex-Jeremy Corbyn Supporters" who "Are 'Embarrassed' They Voted For Him".  That was before the second leadership bid.  2016 again.  I wonder how embarrassed they are now he came close to winning the general election this year.

The list on the google page goes on.  The fact is, Marcus Dysch's arrogance is misplaced.  Corbyn has not embarrassed himself at all.  He has shown himself to be in a position to embarrass the Zionist movement which is precisely why these Zionist "glitterati" aren't making a fuss about the second slap in the face Corbyn has dealt them since refusing to attend a Labour Friends of Israel rally at the recent Labour Party Conference 2017 in Brighton.

So is Corbyn embarrassing Corbyn or is Corbyn embarrassing the Zionist "glitteratti"  You might want to ask or tell Marcus Dysch of the Jewish Chronicle.  I can't ask or tell him on Twitter because he's blocked me.