Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Tony Greenstein – welcome at Jewish Voice for Labour event – Defends Jenny Tongue.

with one comment

” fair question” says Greenstein.

At the recent Labour Party Conference this was reported,

Expelled Labour activists welcomed at JVL fringe meeting

Greenstein given platform by Corbynite group, as sources say Labour using Palestine debate to deflect from antisemitism row.

The JVL meeting also saw Tony Greenstein – expelled by Labour  in February over his use of antisemitic  slurs, including the offensive term “Zio” – deliver a speech in which he said: “We need to be quite clear, the purpose of the witch hunt is not to get rid of individuals. Its purpose is to topple Jeremy Corbyn.” He added: “Antisemitism is a stick to beat the left with.”

Jewish Chronicle.

Here is what Greenstein says today,

We Demand that Palestine Solidarity Campaign Rejects the Resignation of Jenny Tonge as Patron.

Cowardice Beyond the Call of Duty – PSC forces Jenny Tonge’s resignation and Briefs Against Her

Greenstein’s latest rant is too tedious to reproduce in full but is summed up in his letter here.

Just to make it clearer:

 Jenny’s observation that Israel’s attacks against Palestinians are stirring up anti-Semitism in the West is a fact.  Zionist bodies go out of their way to say that Jews, all Jews, support Israel’s attacks against the Palestinians. Only recently the Board of Deputies defended Israel’s shooting of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Is it surprising that when the self-proclaimed body that represents British Jews supports Israel’s murderous actions in Gaza that some people will then blame and even attack British Jews?

And,

The attacks on Jenny Tonge are wholly hypocritical and for PSC Executive and its Secretary Ben Sofa, to have bowed before the tide of Zionist hypocrisy, beggars belief. If PSC Executive don’t retract and either refuse to accept Jenny’s resignation or alternatively invite her to reconsider then I shall move a motion of censure on PSC Executive at the forthcoming AGM.

Now most people would say the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign acted with commendable speed and resolution.

As in this:

In a statement, the PSC said: “Baroness Tonge has offered to stand down as a patron of PSC. In agreeing with this course of action, PSC wishes to acknowledge the enormous work Baroness Tonge has done over many years to bring attention to the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people and to campaign for them to be brought to an end.”

In full:

Baroness Tonge has offered to stand down as a patron of PSC. In agreeing with this course of action, PSC wishes to acknowledge the enormous work Baroness Tonge has done over many years to bring attention to the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people and to campaign for them to be brought to an end.

In the aftermath of the massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Baroness Tonge posted a comment on Facebook that suggested Israel’s policies and its treatment of the Palestinians could be contributing to a rise in anti Semitism generally. Baroness Tonge subsequently removed the post.

PSC regards the original post to be deeply troubling. Whilst the post acknowledged that the killings were appalling and a criminal act, it risked being read as implying that antisemitism can only be understood in the context of a response to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Such a view risks justifying or minimising antisemitism.

PSC understands antisemitism to be prejudice, hostility or hatred towards Jews as Jews. It is never to be condoned or justified. The killings in Pittsburgh were an appalling crime motivated by antisemitism and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Jewish communities in opposition to antisemitism and all other forms of racism.

 

Will Jewish Voice for Labour do the same and break all ties with this apologist for Carol Tongue’s distasteful views?

Further information:

Antisemitism allegations against Tony Greenstein

Statement by Jewish Voice for Labour, 26 November 2017.

We have reviewed the bulky dossier of material presented as evidence against Tony Greenstein by the Governance and Legal Unit of the Labour Party. To those of us who have known him for many years as a Jewish socialist and an implacable opponent of racism and antisemitism in any form, it is no surprise to find that the dossier does not offer any remotely persuasive substantiation of claims of antisemitism.

There is undoubtedly evidence of language which we would not want to be associated with. But as Shami Chakrabarti stated in her report, even offensive language on its own is only antisemitic if it is coupled with antisemitic intent. Such intent cannot be demonstrated in Tony Greenstein’s case because it is absent.

There are many critical comments we could make about this disciplinary process. We will limit ourselves to one, the issue of representation. Party members with sufficient financial resources are entitled to instruct a lawyer to represent them. Those who cannot afford one are only allowed to have a ‘silent friend’. This clearly discriminates against less affluent party members and in particular against less affluent and less articulate party members who are denied the support of a knowledgeable friend or colleague to speak on their behalf.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 31, 2018 at 6:03 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Comrade Coatsey on JVL, Tony Greenstein and Jenny Tongue, here […]


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