July 20, 2020

My suspension from, reinstatement to and departure from The Labour Party

I got a letter shortly after beginning a secondment as an ambulance driver in a team devoted to transport for Covid19 patients. It was from the Labour Party notifying me of my suspension on account (long story short) of antisemitism. It was dated 30 April 2020 though the 1st April would have been more appropriate. Anyway, here is the letter.


  I can't remember when the first false allegations of antisemitism began but I do remember my dismay when Corbyn took the sick jokes seriously enough to appoint Shami Chakrabarti to do a report about it. That act of appeasement sent Zionists into a feed frenzy just as Corbyn had been warned by mostly Jewish activists. As had been predicted the appeasement made matters worse which led to more appeasement which made worse matters worse still. I thought about leaving the party back then but I must have been persuaded to remain until the General Election 2017 when Corbyn and Labour did, to my mind, surprisingly well. This placated the opportunists who saw him as an electoral liability but it sent the Rightist enemy even more apoplectic. Realising they could not win reality based arguments, they intensified the smear campaign. And Corbyn made more and more concessions.

I can't remember the order the concessions came in off the top of my head. Knowing as Corbyn did and does that Jewish Labour Movement is racist to its core, he gave it an anti-racism award. The award was in the name of the late anti-racist activist, Del Singh. Poor Del Singh's family was outraged and I believe the award having been so tarnished (by Corbyn don't forget) no longer exists. Several years after Corbyn had shared a platform with anti-Zionist Jewish Holocaust survivor, Hajo Meyer, Corbyn was accused of sharing a platform with an antisemite, Hajo Meyer. Guess what?! Corbyn apologised of course.

An aside here. Many thought that Corbyn was appeasing the supporters of racist war criminals because he was too nice. He wasn't too nice. He was downright nasty and to his friends too. He wasn't too nice, he was too Labour. Then there was mural gate. A garish arguably but by no means unambiguously antisemitic mural. Even David Toube of Harry's Place, no slouch when it comes to false allegations of antisemitism, didn't think the image antisemitic when he saw it in real life though he changed his mind when he heard the artist's explanation of it. Corbyn didn't even say he like it. He just asked why it was being removed. He might not even have seen it. And guess what? Yup, Corbyn apologised again. And again. And again.

At some point, the Labour Party adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. Corbyn resisted for a little while but there were some bogus assurances that a definition which deliberately set out to ban criticism of Israel would not be used to ban criticism of Israel. Guess what? It was and is used only to ban criticism of Israel.

Why all this? Oh yes, why after all this did I remain in Labour. I was mesmerised by the near miss of
2017 so I stayed. I even went to my first ever Labour conference in September last year. I was optimistic I even thought the ludicrous fudge over Brexit/Remain was clever.

Even at his last Labour conference Corbyn managed a couple of last unprincipled concessions to the Zionist movement. Before he got the chance to fail to mention the Palestinians in his speech it was drawn to his attention that a poster had appeared at the conference hall entrance showing BiBi flying a fighter jet firing missiles, one marked "Antisemitism" and the other "Defamation". So what did Corbyn do about this defence of, er, Corbyn. He denounced it as antisemitic of course. Nice Mr Corbyn.

Anyway, after all the people Corbyn kept appeasing got the result of his appeasement, ie, Labour lost the election miserably in 2019, I couldn't even be bothered to leave. The £4 a month didn't bother me too much but I began arguing against people remaining in the party. I got a job as an ambulance driver a little into the new year and I was quite excited about that and I ignored politics for a while, save for tweeting. But then as soon as I had tweeted that I am working on a project for Covid19 patients I got the letter you see above.

I told friends about in spite of its insistence on keeping the news to myself. I said I wanted to leave and that I didn't think I was being honest in remaining in such an openly racist party but I was persuaded by other Jewish comrades to stay especially given the antisemitic and racist implications of the witchhunt. Our Jewish identity itself was under attack and we had to defend against that. I reluctantly agreed to compose the following letter:
Dear Comrades

This is my reply to your email of 30 April 2020 and the Draft Charge and Questions.

In my response I will be calling into question both your integrity and your competence.

First, I must say that I am disgusted that whoever it is besmirching my character appears to have been stalking me online for some years going back at least to 2007. That being the case, they must know that my suspension has come at a time when I have been engaged in a project as an ambulance driver taking Covid19 patients to and from hospital. In my work I am more exposed than most people to a potentially deadly virus and it is known that stress makes people more vulnerable to sickness of many kinds, especially viruses, than during normal times. You are aware that your actions are intrinsically stressful because you have lately been including details of the Samaritans in case you drive people to suicide. In doing this you are confirming rumours that people are indeed taking their own lives because of the hurt you are doing to them. Whoever's bidding you are doing in this is deliberately seeking to appear ruthless and they are succeeding at that. They may even cause antisemitism by their/your actions. And of course by following instructions instead of telling the complainant to consider what they are doing and to back off during this time, you are culpable for your own actions.

In my case, the false allegations against me, including your own rehashing of apparently genuine quotes to make them appear like generalisations against my fellow "Jewish people" rather than comments about a state, some people and certain named organisations which they obviously were, you aren't causing me hurt except I do find it sad that you have resorted to such dishonesty. I also worry that you can't seem to distinguish between various social media (see my take on question 2. I now realise why your reordering of my comments looks so strange with a tweet from c 2020, two blog comments from 2007 and then three tweets from c 2020). Also you might be acting on a distortion of the McPherson Principle which is supposed to arise out of offensive incidents not invented ones and it doesn’t allow for a bogus definition of any form of racism, especially one which is internally contradictory and racist in its own right.


Now to the questions.


Question 1.

I actually have three Facebook accounts but I never use any of them for posting, just messaging of a personal nature. So there are no political comments by me on Facebook. I think pretending to believe the comments come from Facebook is my accusers excuse for the eccentric reordering of the tweets and comments, with the 13 year old ones being blog comments coming 2nd and 3rd while a far more recent one comes first thought it is a tweet. Other tweets come 4th 5th and 6th. Weird...until you realise just how dishonest the whole exercise is.

Question 2.

It looks to me that 4 of the 6 comments, items 1, 4, 5 and 6, are from Twitter though I do not have links to the tweets in question and therefore I cannot find them. The other 2 appear to be from a blog commenting system which no longer exists. You will note that they are from 2007. So, I am sorry I cannot confirm or deny having written and shared them. It would help if your Informant or complainant could provide links.

I must point out that it is noticeable whilst Items 2 and 3 are from 2007 they have nothing to do with each other. One is about some Jews and is the only one about any members of my own Jewish community in a discussion with Jews from the same community and from across the political spectrum and the other is about the interference in the journalism in a newspaper owned by a renowned Christian Zionist, Rupert Murdoch, who many people believe to be antisemitic so definitely not Jewish. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/19/rupert-murdoch-jews-twitter

The way you have ordered the items is itself dishonest. You have taken 4 tweets probably from the past year which at a glance or in detail are completely innocent in any context and 2 from 13years ago but you have tucked one of the four tweets before the one comment which needs some unpacking and explanation. The other comment (as distinct from tweet) is again completely innocent by any interpretation but it is on the same subject as the tweets ie, The State of Israel, the media or this or that organisation. It stands out therefore that my accusers are conflating Jews with the State of Israel, the media and Jewish organisations, a conflation which goes to the heart of the antisemitic worldwide Jewish conspiracy theory.

Question 3.

I can try to interpret them but at present I cannot even confirm they were by me. In all honestly they resemble things I might have said. So let me try item by item:

Item 1. This is self explanatory. It is saying that a group founded by businessman Gerald Ronson, Community Security Trust (CST), together with its security work also does Israel advocacy.

Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian newspaper reported in a documentary on Israel lobbying and advocacy that the founder of the CST, Gerald Ronson, visited him in his office to complain about a 2 part article in The Guardian describing Israel as an apartheid state. Now clearly this had nothing to do with security for Jews in the UK. It was purely an exercise in Israel advocacy. Https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/pro-israel-lobby-in-britain-full-text/

There is no denying that CST works on Israel advocacy and lobbying as part of its brief and, clearly, that is what was meant in the tweet. In any case there is nothing antisemitic in criticising a group of activists whatever their activity.

Item 2. This looks like part of a wider discussion which appears to have taken place 13 years ago. I suspect the time on the comment is American time. It looks to me like a poorly expressed notion (if I am right about the time it was late at night) that supporters of The State of Israel cannot use standard means of defending its actions and have therefore cultivated (hence the word "culture") a dishonest means of argumentation in favour of Israel to undermine its critics and even its victims. There was no generalisation about "Jewish people" (draft charge number 2) . Instead the words are ‘many, maybe most, Jews’ and are in the context of a discussion with my fellow Jews If I was to express that now I would talk about the propensity of the establishment generally to self deceive. I certainly wouldn't ever denigrate Jewish people as a whole because a) I am Jewish myself and fear and abhor antisemitism and b) generalisations about whole ethnicities or faith groups are racist. I also wouldn’t discuss the specifics of Jewish identity issues on a public forum because I am frightened by the vilification of Jews who dissent from establishment narratives of which my administrative suspension is but one of many examples. Remember this was 2007.

Item 3. This is clearly a response to someone posting anonymously and it simply states the demonstrable fact that the print media is overwhelmingly pro-Israel. This http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27c/345.html is the the link to Sam Kiley's article in which he complains of Rupert Murdoch's proprietal interference into editorial and journalistic matters at his newspapers. Ironically among Jews, Murdoch is famous for being both a Christian Zionist and he’s believed to be antisemitic. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/19/rupert-murdoch-jews-twitter None of the media referenced in the comment are or were owned by Jews nor is it suggested or implied by me that they are. At this point I can only assume that my accusers are themselves antisemitic and might even be having a joke at my and the party’s expense. To conflate Murdoch with Jews is beneath contempt. I must say that you do not do enough background checking of these things.

Item 4. This again is self-explanatory. The Board of Deputies has been openly supportive of the Conservative Party. Various antisemitic utterances and behaviours by leading Tories have been conveniently ignored from Jacob Rees Mogg accusing the Jewish speaker, John Bercow, of being Illuminati to Theresa May unveiling a statue of the known Hitler admirer, Lady Astor. It has also ignored Boris Johnson's antisemitic portrayals of Jews in his novel, 72 Virgins. The Conservative Party is in power so it is fair to say that all those who undermined the Labour Party "helped antisemites into power in the UK". And it is the case that Zionist history is replete with episodes of collaboration with antisemitism. There is a very good article by SOAS Professor , Gilbert Achcar" about the "complementarity between the anti-Semitic desire to get rid of the Jews and the Zionist project of sending all Jews to Palestine" Https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/zionism-anti-semitism-and-balfour-declaration/

Item 5. Again this is self-explanatory. It is claiming that most of the specific well publicised allegations of antisemitism against Labour members have been false. This is the case with the allegations themselves and the direction they have taken. For example the allegations against Jeremy Corbyn included claims that he was antisemitc by Margaret Hodge. She must have known he saved a Jewish cemetery from being sold off by Islington Council. She was the leader of the Council at the time. She must have known that he condemned Paul Flynn for saying a Jew should never be UK ambassador to Israel. She must have known about his support for Haredi Jews over autopsies and the swift release of bodies for burial. She must have known of Corbyn's condemnation of Tam Dalyell for accusing Tony Blair of being in thrall to a "Jewish cabal". Jeremy Corbyn was also a great help to Yemeni Jews seeking to settle in the UK.

The references to JLM and LFI address the fact that in my experience, the policies of these groups support the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and do not simply support The State of Israel's "right to exist" but its right to exist as a state specially for the world's Jews rather than a state for all of its people. This is my opinion as a Jew of two groups whose membership is not solely or even largely Jewish. Again criticism of these groups is not antisemitic.

Item 6. Again this is self-explanatory and addresses the oft buried issue of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. Ironically the best authors on this subject are based in Israel, many are supporters of Zionism, but in the interests of proper history, this episode has been included in the syllabus in Israeli schools. In the tweet the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust is stated to be 6 million. I understand that there were fully 11 million people murdered in the Holocaust but the tweet in item 6 is only referring to the Jewish element. There is nothing in that tweet to even hint at a denial or a revision of the scope and intentionality of the Holocaust. Any alternative suggestion is simply a lie.

Question 4.

There is nothing in my conduct that could be construed as being in breach of Rule 2.1.8., even if the quotes are taken out of context. Only by dishonestly inserting the words "Jewish people" as if I am negatively generalising about my own Jewish people can any of my own words or those genuinely or in good faith attributed to me be construed as being in breach of the rule.

Having said that, whilst I am not very scholarly I heard a great deal about rule changes in recent years. Please note that two of the comments attributed to me are from 2007. These allegations against me are bad enough without lifting comments out of their original context and from 13 years ago and applying later rules retrospectively. I need to write an aside here to the effect that your bad faith is plain for all to see and you really should desist from this. I have already mentioned how you seem to be building up to an absurd “pattern of behaviour” case and I believe that this is why you have taken one comment from 2007 which could be taken out of context by my use of the word “deceit” rather then the expression “intellectual dishonesty” and you have juxtaposed it with a perfectly innocuous comment about how a Christian Zionist (alleged to be antisemitic) runs his newspapers! You then appear to jump forward to 2020 as if to say I have behaved provocatively towards the Jewish people for a whole 13 years because you can liken not the first comment (item 2) to a comment in 2020 but the second innocuous one about Murdoch to a 2020 tweet again about non-Jewish proprietors of national media.

Question 5.

The comments you have attributed to me all appear to have been made in good faith and are perfectly polite, representing what I believe from years of learning and thinking about Jewish identity and Zionism.

Question 6.

If it was me using words like "culture of deceit" even though taking the comment out of the context of a discussion which it appears to be and importing words in charge 3, that do not appear in the original quote, I would not say "culture of deceit", I would say "cultivated tendency to intellectual dishonesty" and for many years now I have chosen my words very carefully so that unscrupulous people cannot quote me out of context only avoiding the charge of barefaced lying by judicious use of quotation marks. I also wouldn’t discuss internal Jewish business on what could turn out to be a wider public forum.

Question 7.

There is only one comment out of all of the examples that I would not personally post for reasons I have already explained. It is the comment in Item 2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the other comments and the comment in item 2 is only wrong taken out of context. I do not nor would I negatively generalise about the "Jewish people" and contest strongly the false allegation that I would. Indeed, I believe I have been targeted because I am one of the Jewish people. It's one of the cruel ironies of our time that the same people that describe The State of Israel as "the only democracy in the Middle East" want to ensure that there is only one Jewish community viewpoint in the UK in spite of our political, cultural and ethnic diversity.

Question 8.

I need links to the comments you attribute to me in order to fully understand the context in which they were made. Context is all. You have provided none.

Question 9.

I was born and raised Jewish in the tradition known as mainstream orthodoxy under the auspices of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. This has left me with a profound sense of my Jewish identity and, without wishing to sound sectarian, and, as I wrote, an abhorrence, of antisemitism. I also, again without wishing to sound sectarian, have a very powerful belief that as a Jew I have a moral responsibility to express my revulsion at the abuse of Palestinian rights. I am not saying that Jews who ignore or even cause the plight of the Palestinians are somehow less Jewish than I am but I would never submit to the idea that I am somehow less Jewish than my upbringing has made me because of my support for the Palestinian cause.

Draft Charge

I have just revisited your Draft Charge page and I am utterly disgusted with you. I thought your timing was bad enough but to level such outrageous lies at a Jew is downright racist and if you cannot see this, you need some training. I am saying you are racist. It isn’t simply that the allegations are false but they are so demonstrably false and so deliberately set out to be offensive to Jews you have deliberately set out offend me as a Jew.

1. This applies far more to you than to me. I am anti-racist and internationalist. I have no hostility towards or prejudice against anyone on account of any group identity heritage.

2. I do not use antisemitic actions or stereotypes nor do I harbour any antisemitic sentiments.

3. I do not claim that “Jewish people” have anything negative in common. That is a manipulative insertion of words when the reference in item 2 is clearly to some people’s resort to intellectual dishonesty when defending The State of Israel

4, 5. None of the comments or tweets mention international connections of any kind unless you count the non-Jewish Conrad Black’s ownership of the Jerusalem Post and The Daily Telegraph. The references in item 3 are entirely to media that are not owned by Jews. Clearly it is my accusers who subscribe to an antisemitic stereotype. The references are all to pro-Israel stances chosen freely by the media in question.

6, 7, 8. These are the pack of lies that have caused me the most anger and distress and I cannot believe you have simply clumsily run with someone else’s demonstrably false allegations without actually checking to see how far from the words used in the items (for argument’s sake, my own words) depart from the description in the Draft Charge. The lies are so despicable they aren’t even laughable like the others. The others do reveal my accusers’ propensity for antisemitic stereotypes when none of the media I have mentioned have any Jewish proprietors.

Item 1 involved the fact that the idea of a colony in Palestine specially for Jews was proposed by antisemitic colonialists several years before the Jewish Zionist movement was established. For some. eg. Napolean, the motive was colonial for others, Churchill, GK Chesterton, the motive was antisemitic. “Jews to Palestine” was an antisemitic slogan before it became a Zionist one and when GK Chesterton was challenged on his attitude to Jews he said, “You see, I am not an anti-Semite, I am a Zionist.” https://t.co/IZwORsvROV?amp=1

After the founding of the World Zionist Organisation many antisemites would explain away their racism against Jews as Gentile or Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism is even more ominous for Jews, its position being that all Jews should settle in the Holy Land and there convert to Christianity or be annihilated if they refuse. That hasn’t stopped Israel’s current Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, addressing events of groups like America’s Moral Majority. https://t.co/08reXzusly?amp=1 The close association of Zionist movement founder, Theodor Herzl and Tsarist Russia’s pogromist-in-chief, Count von Plehve is well documented https://t.co/OhRVadqV1C?amp=1 The collaboration between Zionism and nazism began very soon after the nazis came to power and it too is well documented and is actually taught to Israeli secondary school students. Israeli Zionists tend to take much more seriously the idea that Jews belong in Israel, nowhere else. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Transfer_Agreement The most notorious of Zionist dealings with the nazis was the Transfer or Ha’avara Agreement but there were other examples even after WWII and even the Holocaust had begun. Zionist paramilitaries led by founders of the largest party within the Likud offered Hitler and Mussolini an alliance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(militant_group) and Hannah Arendt, in her famous book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, refers to the collaboration that had Zionist leaders in Hungary calling on Jews to assemble at designated places where the waiting SS would take them to Auschwitz for extermination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rezs%C5%91_Kasztner . Curiously the Ha’avara agreement was supported by the then mainstream Labour Zionists but rejected out of hand by the harder right wing group we now know as Likud.

Regarding the English Defence League, co-operation between Zionists and fascists on the streets counter-demonstrating against Palestine solidarity marches and demonstrations and breaking up meetings has a long history. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171121-pro-israeli-mob-with-ties-to-edl-causes-mayhem-at-balfour-event/ In 2008 one member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews described the BNP’s website as the “most Zionist on the web”. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/apr/10/thefarright.race#

Nothing in item 1 comes anywhere near your false allegations. There is no denial of the scope, mechanisms or intentionality of the Holocaust, nothing to accuse anyone of exaggerating the Holocaust and nothing using Holocaust “metaphors and comparisons”. The allegation is simply a lie without even a kernel of truth.

Item 4 goes to show that your chutzpah, in making these false allegations against me, knows no bounds. It is an approving retweet of the leader of the Jewish Socialist Group pointing out that the Board of Deputies did everything it could to ensure Labour would not win an election “knowing the alternative was Johnson, whose chief advisor employs a eugenicist aide; Braverman, who uses a/s tropes, gets a top job, and a Tory MP speaks alongside Euro far right” Or put another way, the Board of Deputies “helped antisemites into power in the UK”. You have already seen examples of Zionists doing similar things at different times and places.

It is hard to see why you have item 4 listed in the most despicable of your false allegations against me. It might be that any talk of Zionist collaboration or aid to antisemitism calls to my accusers’ minds, the most appalling of examples of that collaboration but that tweet does not mention the Holocaust or the nazis at all.

Item 6 fully exposes the sheer dishonesty of my accusers. There is a clear affirmation of the fact that 6 million of my fellow Jews were murdered by the nazis in the Holocaust. How anyone can even try to derive from that any hint of Holocaust denial or revisionism is impossible to understand.

None of the items 1, 4 or 6 in any way amounts to anything that could be described as Holocaust denial or revisionism. You and your informant/complainants are simply and despicably lying.

Conclusion

You have suspended me as part of the general sweep against Jews and other anti-racists and supporters of the Palestinian cause. You have one comment purportedly by me in 2007 which you could distort by preceding words which could have been mine with words which turn a claim about some people into a generalisation about Jewish people. You then, unfathomably at first, set out 5 other examples which taken separately or together are perfectly innocuous. The reason one of them is from 2007 is to try to link the other comment from 2007 to tweets from 2020. In this way you are seeking to establish one of your stupid “pattern of behaviour” raps in the absence of actual evidence of what you are accusing me of.

All in all I have clearly established that nothing I have said in any forum could be construed in its correct context as antisemitic. It is your conduct towards me which constitutes racist abuse and some of my accusers’ assumptions about, for example, media ownership go to show that it is my accusers who promote antisemitic tropes about Jewish media control. The comments in the items 1 to 6 where they mention the media at all all establish that there are no Jewish owners of mass media in the UK and even the Israeli newspaper in item 1 was owned by a Catholic. Likewise where the Holocaust is mentioned at all, the figure of 6 million Jews deliberately murdered by the nazis is affirmed,, neither minimised nor denied. So I reject the charges in total.


Yours sincerely



So, I carried on business, work and twitter, as usual for a few weeks and waited for their reply. Of course there were still more betrayals of principle by the Corbynista left. Between my suspension and response and the Party finally exonerating me of their bogus charges there was the leak of a document which showed beyond any doubt that there was a real conspiracy at the heart of the Party to stop it winning the General Election of 2017. But a few days ago I got an email from the Party telling me that I have been cleared of all their charges.

I now felt free to leave but let me just get my home address off the letter lifting my suspension and come back tomorrow with another post....

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