February 19, 2016

AntiSemitism is a poison that shouldn't be cheapened by misleading allegations

Remember this Oxford University Labour Club antisemitism allegations malarkey began with the resignation of a chap called Alex Chalmers who set out a rambling strawman argument on his Facebook page.  When I read it I saw a comment from a co-chair or former co-chair claiming that he had avoided acknowledging her because she was Jewish and she didn't share his (I think she said) unnuanced view of the Israel/Palestine situation.  Maybe I imagined it because it isn't there now.  My guess is he deleted it.  Another curious thing is that this Alex Chalmers wants his views known and yet his Twitter account is invisible to non-followers and he has to approve the followers rather than block those he doesn't want as many of us do from time to time. Clearly a guy with something to hide. [Alex Chambers has gone visible on Twitter. Not a pretty sight]

But no never mind. Here's an encouraging chunk of an article on the affair in the Oxford Uni students on line magazine, Cherwell:
And Aliya Yule, a member of OULC and organising member of Oxford Jewish Students for Justice in Palestine, said "We are saddened to see the very serious allegation of anti-Semitism being used as an argument against those standing up for Palestinian human rights: it is imperative to reiterate that being critical of Israeli apartheid is not in itself anti-Semitic. Oxford Jewish Students for Justice in Palestine is delighted that OULC voted to endorse Israeli Apartheid Week, and we are proud to be helping organise a week committed to anti-racist, anti-colonial politics.

"As Jewish students, we are committed to the ongoing battle against anti-Semitism, and we don't tolerate it from any quarter. The OULC meeting saw much healthy debate, and none of it was anti-Semitic. Passionate supporters of Israel like Alex Chalmers are of course entitled to their strongly held views, but so too are those of us profoundly concerned by Israel's human rights abuses. Anti-Semitism is a poison, and it shouldn't be cheapened by misleading allegations like this."
Well done Aliya! I never thought I'd find myself praising Aliya.

Latest News from Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign


Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Building effective solidarity with the Palestinian people
Scottish PSC E-news: 16 February 2016
EDINBURGH: Join us at the Scottish Parliament
Thursday 25th February, 11am
Say No2BrandIsrael @ the Parliament
We often hear that the the campaign to boycott Israel isn't working and will never succeed. The irony is that we hear it most often from those who oppose the boycott because of their support for Israel. During the fight against apartheid South Africa, the white regime's supporters relied upon their friends in London and Washington to fight the boycott movement. Today we see the same rallying calls being issued from Tel Aviv and once again being answered by their Tory supporters. On 25 February a  motion from Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw will be debated in the Scottish Parliament which attempts to whitewash the brutality of the Israeli government and opposes the peaceful Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement. Join us in solidarity with the resistance to the Israeli attacks on Palestinian culture from 11am to 2pm at the Scottish Parliament.  Read full details
GLASGOW: SPSC members in 'racism trial
Thursday 25th February, 10am @ Glasgow Sheriff Court
We insist these charges are a scandal and can be shown to be so. Every legal or police harrassment of SPSC members for BDS activities has so far ended in ignominious failure.
Your presence in the courtroom during the trial will be a welcome gesture of solidarity and an opportunity to express opposition to the intensifying efforts in Britain to criminalise peaceful BDS campaigning in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
(Please text/call 0795 800 2591 to let us know you're planning to attend.)  Read full details
UK Government to criminalise BDS
Write to your MSPs
David Cameron is sending one of his ministers to Israel to announce the criminalisation of BDS. Faced with growing support for the divestment of public pension funds from Israel and arms companies, Israel has once again turned to its friends in Westminster for help.
Proof if proof were needed that BDS is working.  Read full details

Meetings & actions

Monday 22 February, Electron Club, CCA, Glasgow 7pm
Gaza: Devastation and Resistance
A report from Scottish PSC member Phil Chetwynd after a recent visit to Gaza.
Thursday 25 February, Sheriff Court, Glasgow  10am
SPSC members in "racism" trial
Thursday 25 February, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh 11am
Say no2BrandIsrael at the Parliament

Latest articles

Anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia and dubious allegation of academic anti-Jewish racism at an Edinburgh university … Read full article
Pro-Israel organisations and Crown on the defensive as Sheriff throws out charge against Palestine campaigner … Read full article

Your support is vital

Over recent months Israel has stepped up its attacks on the solidarity movement across the world. Here in Scotland they have supported the setting up of a number of groups, a reflection of the impact we are having.
But to carry on this work we need your support. Join Scottish PSC today and help us build effective solidarity with the Palestinian people. We are an entirely voluntary organisation and need your continued support.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
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0131 208 1948

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International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spring Tour 2016 Schedule

Spring Tour Schedule

Locations across the U.S.

From February through May of 2016, we will be visiting schools and cities across the country to offer presentations as well as support local organizing efforts. This is a great opportunity for people interested in learning more about IJAN’s work, anti-Zionist organizing, and about joining IJAN or forming a new chapter in your location.  Below are dates already booked -- join us if we are in your area!

To schedule a presentation or meeting with one of our organizers, please contact us at info@ijan.org You can also visit our website or check out ourtour announcement for more information on presentations and workshops.
February 18th – UCLA – Business of Backlash
February 19th – UC Irvine – Unlearning Zionism
February 28th – Austin, TX – TBD
March 5th & 6th – Atlanta, GA – Case of Jews Against Zionism/TBD
April 6th – New York, NY – TBD
April 19th – Cornell – Greenwashing the Business of Backlash
April 20th – Cincinnati, OH – Business of Backlash
April 22nd – CSU Long Beach – Israel's Worldwide Role in Repression

More dates and locations to be announced soon! Or get live updates at #IJANTour
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Argentina :: Canada :: England :: Europe :: India :: Israel :: United States
info@ijan.org :: ijan.org
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February 17, 2016

Something rotten about allegations of antisemitism in the Oxford University Labour Club

I first caught wind of these allegations of antisemitism within the Oxford University Labour Club from Harry's Place.  I immediately suspected that the allegations were false not simply because they appeared on Harry's Place but because they have come in the wake of the OULC deciding to support Israel Apartheid Week on campus, something which, of itself, is clearly not antisemitic.

Now look at the quote in the Harry's Place post:
“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explitictly [sic] defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews. The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting [sic] and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is”.
It all looks very strawman. Let's break it down a bit:
 members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon.
The term, "Zio" is simply short for Zionist and is not confined to sites run by the Klan.
 senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explitictly [sic] defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, 
Solidarity with armed resistance to Israel whatever form it takes is not, of itself, antisemitic.Of course if attacks are indiscriminate or target civilians then that is to be condemned but the failure or refusal to do so or even to support such attacks is not of itself antisemitic.
a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’ 
Most allegations of antisemitism are false and many are themselves antisemitic.
a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.
This isn't just vacuous, it's antisemitic as it conflates Jews, Zionists and Israel.  That of course is without noting the absence of any links, names or anything that could qualify as evidence.

Now, given the flimsy and inarticulately expressed nature of the charges I would hope for this to be a repeat of the Zionists' biggest public humiliation involving false allegations of antisemitism.  I'm referring to the Fraser v University and College Union case which had the great and the good of the Zionist movement in the UK denounced by the tribunal as a bunch of "exaggerators, manipulators and arrogant liars".  But whereas this latest batch of allegations hasn't gone forensic it has got more legs than the FUCU case did.  Harry's Place has run the *story* as have The Telegraph (twice*) and The Guardian. Ironically one of the Telegraph pieces was written by one of the people described as an arrogant liar by the FUCU tribunal, Jeremy Newmark.  Now that might be a good omen for the cause of truth.  The problem right now is that it is all evidence free mud slinging and the sellouts at the Labour Party have decided to take the Zio's seriously but let's just see what happens.

*Woops. three times

February 01, 2016

A *Real* Celebrity Endorsement for Jews Sans Frontieres

I want to keep this Tweet safe in case Roseanne Barr thinks better of it when she sobers up or gets over whatever it is that's upset her.

She used to follow Jews sans frontieres on Twitter but flipped out at me a few years ago over something I can't quite remember. I don't know if she unfollowed but she blocked JSF. Clearly blocking doesn't prevent a blocker from hassling a blockee and clearly she still likes to lurk and look.

She's a fickle one, I must say.  She followed JSF when she knew I was anti-Zionist because the account was described as an anti-Zionist account. I didn't follow her account much but I did notice her promoting Gilad Atzmon once upon a time and possibly after she blocked JSF.

Anyway, my guess is that she did see herself as anti-Zionist for a time but that she was happy to promote the conspiracist fringe of the movement and then crossed that thin barely existent line between antisemitism and Zionism.  Which brings me neatly to where this mini-twitter spat began with an aide to Bibi Netanyahu calling a Jewish American ambassador a "little Jew boy" thus highlighting that Zionism is as racist against Jews as antisemitism is.  Mind you she doesn't shed much light on why her name on Twitter is @therealroseanne.  Even Roseanne doesn't seem to know the real Roseanne.  Maybe she's just trying to convince herself.