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Alain Soral, Red Brown National Populist, sentenced to one year in prison for Holocaust denial.

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Alain Soral sentenced to one year in prison for Holocaust denial

le Monde.

The prosecution had required six months of imprisonment against the far right essayist, and 15,000 euros fine against his lawyer, Damien Viguier.

The right-wing essayist Alain Soral was sentenced on Monday, April 15, to one year in prison  for Holocaust denial.

Mr. Soral, 60, was tried in Paris for challenging the existence of the Holocaust and published on his website contentious conclusions of his lawyer in another case. His counsel, Damien Viguier, was sentenced to 5,000 euros fine for complicity, because of the content of these conclusions.

The prosecution had demanded six months in prison against Mr. Soral, and 15,000 euros fine against Damien Viguier.

..

In 2016, the site of Alain Soral, Equality and Reconciliation, had published a drawing representing, on a “one” titled “Chutzpah Hebdo” , the face of Charlie Chaplin in front of the Star of David, with, written in a bubble, the question “Shoah where are you? ” Shoah où t’es ?  , Referring to a controversial first page of Charlie Hebdo after the attacks in Brussels , ” Dad where are you? » « Papa où t’es ? ».

More:

French far-right activist Alain Soral jailed for Holocaust denial.

Radio France International.

Multiple convictions over a contested image

The conviction concerns an image published on Soral’s website Egalité et Réconciliation (Equality and Reconciliation) in 2016 in which a fictional newspaper called “Chutzpah Hebdo” bears a caption reading “disoriented historians”.

Before a Star of David, a likeness of Charlie Chaplin surrounded by a shoe, a wig, a bar of soap and a lampshade asks “Holocaust, where are you?”

The image was a reference to a controversial cover of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo depicting a young man asking “Daddy, where are you?” surrounded by dismembered body parts, published in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels of 22 March 2016.

A court ruled the image on Soral’s site to be an instance of Holocaust denial and fined Soral 10,000 euros with the possibility of imprisonment in case of non-payment.

Monday’s conviction and sentence concerned a text by Viguier that Soral published on the same site in November 2017

In the text, Viguier says the shoes and wig were a “reference to memorial sites and sites of pilgrimage” that were “brought together to stir readers’ imaginations.”

Concerning the wig, Viguier wrote “haircuts occur in all places of concentration for reasons of hygiene,” and said claims that Nazis made soap from human fat and lampshades from human skin were “war propaganda”.

Viguier posted a message on Soral’s website saying they would both appeal the court’s decision.

This sentence may seem harsh but Soral has many previous convictions.(1)

His rabid anti-semitism is only one aspect of a political stand which goes from support for the Syrian regime, the Venezuelan government, hostility to “communitarian” identitarian gay, feminist politics, alliance with the Front National, a Liste Antisioniste (anti-Zionist),

Claiming links with the French Communist Party, the PCF,  in the late 1980s and early 1980s (which they deny, and,  although he has shown a membership card it is hard to prove any activity), Soral came to the public scene through the manifesto, Vers un front national . This followed his anti-EU campaigning against the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

In some respects this could be considered a template for new red-brown (rouges-bruns) alliances which have more recently marked European politics, above all, over the question of the European Union.

The Manifesto was signed by Jean-Paul Cruse a former member of the Mao-spontex Gauche prolétarienne, and appeared in one time ‘counter-cultural’ paper ‘Idiot international’ founded by Jean-Edern Hallier. It proposed ‘authoritarian politics needed to rebuild the country, to assemble the forces of civilisation against the market, and to advance the cause of the Nations. against Zionism and the stock market. The « front » aimed to group together « the Gaullist hard-liner, Pasqua, Socialist ‘patriot’ Chevènement, communists and ultra-nationalists.

medium_cruse_vers_un_front_national_1.3.jpg

Soral has been closely associated with the French comedian and fellow Holocaust denier, Dieudonné.

His web site  Égalité et Réconciliation offers a red-brown perspective, trumpeting the rooted population against the elite, and combining the “working class” left with the values of the right (Gauche du travail et droite des valeurs ). It intends to continue the perspective of the pre-Great War  Cercle Proudhon, which united a minority of radical, but patriotic   trade unionists with the radical far right maurrassien current.

It is marked by conspiracy theories of all kinds, centring around ‘Zionism’.

Soral has had links with  the ‘Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF), and individual ‘anti-Zionist’ Muslims,  Camel Bechikh, and ‘Albert Ali alias Abdelaali Baghezza, ancien responsable des Jeunes Musulmans de France amongst others. He has also had ties with far-right Catholic traditionalists.

Backing for Arab nationalism is long-standing, and continues with support for the Syrian regime.

It is hard to keep up with all the details of this ‘red-brown’ alliance, which can be seen via the above links.

Recently Égalité et Réconciliation has been an enthusiast for the Gilets Jaunes.

….

(1)

  • Le , la cour d’appel de Paris a confirmé le jugement du  par lequel Alain Soral était condamné à une amende de 3 000 € pour incitation à la haine raciale à la suite de propos tenus dans le cadre de l’émission Complément d’enquête sur France 2, le . Entre autres propos de la même veine, celui-ci affirmait : « la formation qualifiante pour exister dans les médias aujourd’hui, c’est d’être sioniste : si t’es antisioniste, si t’es judéo-critique ou quoi que ce soit tu dégages […] »123.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné en première instance à 2 500 euros d’amende, un euro symbolique de dommages et intérêts, 3 000 euros au titre des frais de justice, ainsi qu’à la publication, à ses frais, du jugement dans deux journaux, pour diffamation envers le maire socialiste de Paris Bertrand Delanoë, après avoir porté à son encontre des accusations d’enrichissement illégal et de pédophilie, dans une vidéo datée du  sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation124. Cette condamnation est confirmée et alourdie en appel, le , avec 2 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 5 000 euros au titre des frais de justice125.
  • Le , le juge des référés de Bobigny, saisi par la LICRA, ordonne l’interdiction et le retrait des ventes « dans un délai d’un mois » de l’Anthologie des propos contre les juifs, le judaïsme et le sionisme, de Paul-Éric Blanrue et la censure partielle de quatre ouvrages réédités par Kontre Kulture : La France juive d’Édouard DrumontLe Salut par les Juifs de Léon BloyLe Juif international d’Henry Ford et La Controverse de Sion de Douglas Reed. La maison d’édition et Alain Soral sont également condamnés à verser, « à titre de provision », 8 000 euros à la LICRA, ainsi qu’à payer une partie des frais de justice126. La LICRA a également demandé la réparation du préjudice subi pour incitation à la haine raciale et à l’antisémitisme par l’édition du livre Anthologie des propos contre les juifs, le judaïsme et le sionisme. Dans un délibéré daté du , le TGI annule cette condamnation127. Néanmoins, la condamnation d’Alain Soral est à nouveau confirmée définitivement en appel128 et l’ouvrage de Paul-Éric Blanrue figure sur le site de la maison d’édition avec la mention « interdit à la vente à partir du 13 décembre »129.
  • En , l’Union des étudiants juifs de France a déposé plainte contre Alain Soral pour une quenelle réalisée devant le mémorial de la Shoah, à Berlin, qu’il avait ensuite diffusée dans une vidéo en 130. Le , Alain Soral est condamné par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris à verser 100 jours-amendes d’un montant unitaire de 100 euros pour injures à caractère racial, soit 10 000 euros d’amende, ainsi que 14 001 euros de dommages-intérêts au profit des sept associations qui s’étaient constituées parties civiles131. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris réduit la peine à 5 000 euros d’amende et 15 000 euros de dommages et intérêts aux sept associations parties civiles, auxquels s’ajoutent 500 euros à chaque fois pour les frais de justice d’appel132.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à 2 000 euros d’amende, 2 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 3 000 euros de frais de justice, pour diffamation envers le vice-président du Front national Louis Aliot, après l’avoir qualifié de « con du mois », de « suceur de sionistes », de « saloperie » et de « crétin », dans une vidéo publiée le  sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation. Le directeur de la publication de ce site a également été condamné à 1 500 euros d’amende avec sursis133. Ayant fait appel, Soral est à nouveau condamné à verser 2 000 euros à Louis Aliot134.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à 6 000 euros d’amende, 3 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 2 000 euros de frais de justice, pour provocation à « la haine, la discrimination ou la violence » à l’égard du journaliste juif Frédéric Haziza et de la communauté juive. Il avait, en , publié une vidéo dans laquelle il estimait que Frédéric Haziza faisait « un boulot de censeur tribaliste » et dénonçait « une arrogance, une domination et une malhonnêteté communautaire ». Le tribunal a estimé qu’Alain Soral, « mû par sa vindicte personnelle à l’encontre de Frédéric Haziza, (…) passant du particulier au général et radicalisant ses propos, s’est exprimé dans des termes qui, à l’évidence, visent non pas les seuls juifs sionistes, mais bien les juifs dans leur ensemble »135. Le tribunal a également ordonné à Alain Soral de supprimer les propos concernant Frédéric Haziza de la vidéo dans un délai de huit jours, sous astreinte de 1 000 euros par jour. Il a en outre été condamné à verser un euro de dommages et intérêts et 1 000 euros de frais de justice à la Ligue des droits de l’homme et à l’association « J’accuse », les parties civiles de la Licra, d’SOS Racisme et de l’UEJF ayant été déclarées irrecevables pour des raisons de procédure136,137. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris confirme la condamnation d’Alain Soral à 6 000 euros d’amende pour provocation à la haine envers Frédéric Haziza et les juifs, et lui ordonne de supprimer les propos concernant Frédéric Haziza d’une vidéo circulant sur internet138.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris a également condamné Alain Soral à 4 000 euros d’amende pour diffamation publique en raison de l’orientation sexuelle à l’encontre de Pierre Bergé, en raison de propos tenus dans son livre Dialogues désaccordés, coécrit avec Éric Naulleau. Outre l’amende, le tribunal correctionnel a condamné Alain Soral à verser à Pierre Bergé 10 000 euros de dommages et intérêts, solidairement avec l’éditeur du livre, Hugues Robert de Saint Vincent139. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à verser 17 000 euros à Pierre Bergé et demande la suppression du passage le concernant des exemplaires commercialisés ; l’éditeur préfère retirer l’ouvrage de la vente140.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à verser 60 jours-amendes de 50 euros — soit 3 000 euros —, sous peine d’emprisonnement, pour avoir lancé fin 2013 un appel aux dons sur Internet afin de payer la condamnation dont il avait écopé pour des propos diffamatoires à l’encontre de Bertrand Delanoë. Entre juillet 2013 (avant son appel aux dons) et mars 2014, les enquêteurs ont pu déterminer qu’Alain Soral et son association Égalité et Réconciliation ont encaissé au total plus de 350 000 euros141.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral, en tant que directeur de la publication du site d’Égalité & Réconciliation, à 5 000 euros d’amende pour injures et injures antisémites, en raison de commentaires publiés sur le site par des internautes s’en prenant au journaliste Frédéric Haziza. Il doit également verser 3 000 euros de dommages et intérêts, 2 000 euros pour les frais de justice, un euro de dommages et intérêts à la LICRA et 1 000 euros pour les frais de justice142.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à 10 000 euros d’amende pour injure raciale à l’encontre de Frédéric Haziza à la suite d’un texte publié sur son site internet. Il doit également lui verser 5 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 3 000 euros pour les frais de justice, ainsi qu’1 euro de dommages et intérêts et 1 000 euros de frais de justice à quatre associations de lutte contre le racisme. Il est par ailleurs déclaré coupable du délit de provocation à la discrimination religieuse pour d’autres passages du texte ainsi que le commentaire d’un internaute143.
  • Le , Alain Soral en tant que responsables de site est condamné144 car il a relayé un article d’Hicham Hamza, auteur du blog conspirationniste (ou complotiste)145,146,147 Panamza.com, qui est condamné en diffamation pour avoir traité Caroline Fourest de « désinformatrice » sur la base d’une séquence de son film Les Obsédés du complot. Sur son blog, il avait accusé Caroline Fourest d’avoir tronqué le sous-titrage d’un dialogue dans son reportage sur les réseaux complotistes mais la cour a admis l’explication de la journaliste qui indiquait que la mauvaise retranscription relevait « d’une erreur de sa monteuse lors du montage du documentaire » « en raison des propos « confus » et « inaudibles »148 ».
  • En juin 2016, il écope de six mois de prison avec sursis pour « apologie de crimes de guerre et contre l’humanité » pour des propos visant Serge et Beate Klarsfeld ; il doit également verser 5 000 euros de dommages et intérêts à chacun des époux, ainsi que 2 000 euros à la LICRA149.
  • Le , Salim Laïbi, chirurgien-dentiste, polémiste, a déposé plainte avec constitution de partie civile contre Alain Soral auprès du TGI de Marseille, pour diffamation à la suite du post Facebook de Alain Soral : « On ne l’entend plus le dentiste obèse ! Il n’appelle plus au djihad anti-Gaulois. C’est pourtant sa ligne depuis des mois ». Selon le quotidien La Provence, Alain Soral refusera de se rendre aux convocations du juge d’instruction malgré un mandat d’amener. Il est également absent à l’audition du  au TGI de Marseille, où son avocat, Me Drici Lahcen, affirme « que son client n’a pas dépassé les limites de la liberté d’expression »150 et que ce n’était pas sa page Facebook. Le , Alain Soral est condamné par le tribunal correctionnel de Marseille pour diffamation publique à une amende pénale de 2 000 euros151.
  • Le , Binti Bangoura, une top modèle et chanteuse française d’origine africaine, dépose plainte contre Alain Soral152,153. Alain Soral est convoqué le  devant le tribunal de Paris, sur citation directe, pour « injures raciales », « menaces », « harcèlement » et « envois réitérés de messages malveillants »154. En novembre 2016, il est condamné à 120 jours-amende de 50 euros (une peine transformée en emprisonnement si la totalité de l’amende n’est pas acquittée) et à verser 8 000 euros à la jeune femme (dommages-intérêts et frais de justice)155,156.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à trois mois de prison ferme pour contestation de crime contre l’humanité et injure raciale, par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris, pour avoir publié sur son site — à la suite des attentats de Bruxelles — un dessin jugé négationniste157. La sentence est confirmée en novembre 2017 par la cour d’appel de Paris158.
  • Le , il est condamné à 6 000 euros d’amende pour avoir publié et mis en vente sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation une affiche jugée négationniste, diffamatoire et incitant à la haine envers les Juifs ; il est également condamné à verser solidairement 2 000 euros à la Licra, partie civile et à l’origine de la plainte dans ce dossier159.
  • Le , il est condamné à six mois de prison avec sursis et 10 000 euros d’amende pour avoir publié des caricatures antisémites sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation160.
  • Le , il est condamné à deux peines d’emprisonnement avec sursis pour provocation à la haine, après la diffusion de deux dessins jugés antisémites sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation161.
  • Le , il est condamné à un an de prison ferme pour injure et provocation à la haine raciale, par le tribunal correctionnel de Bobigny162,163.
  • Le , il est condamné par la Cour d’appel de Paris à trois mois d’emprisonnement avec sursis et 5 000 euros d’amende, pour avoir indiqué de faux directeurs de la publication sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation. Cette condamnation est confirmée en cassation le 22 janvier 2019164.
  • Le , il est condamné à un an de prison ferme avec mandat d’arret pour négationnisme de la Shoah. Son avocat, Damien Viguier, est condamné à 5 000 euros d’amende dans la même affa

 

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Bye Bye Assange: George Galloway (Hard Brexit Candidate for the North West England in Euro Elections), Cries “Shame!”

with 4 comments

 

We’re all tears.

2012.

Respect MP criticised by anti-rape campaigners after claiming having sex with a woman when she is asleep is not rape
“not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.”

“Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him, claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen, you know. I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.”

Lawyers and anti-rape campaigners said Galloway was wrong and the law is clear that consent is required every time someone has sex.

Galloway said he was speaking out because “a reign of intellectual terror has descended in Britain” on this issue and he believed the sexual assault claims were part of a “setup” intended to deliver Assange into the hands of the US authorities angered at his publication of state secrets.

“It is staggering just how ignorant, factually and morally incorrect George Galloway can be,” said Katie Russell, spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales. “It is very concerning that an elected MP should display such ignorance of the law for all the women and men he represents. It sends a negative message to all the women and girls who have experienced sexual violence and a disturbing message to perpetrators. He says he doesn’t believe these women or these allegations and that is a very powerful statement because every woman or girl who has made an allegation of sexual violence deserves to have that treated fairly.”

Let not this overshadow the following historic announcement.

Who is backing Galloway, what alliances has he made?

We also ask for any leakers to tell us…

Meanwhile Assange gets more support:

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 11, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Communist Party of Britain (Morning Star) Denounces “Saboteur” Labour MPs and Calls for Hard Brexit, “on World Trade Organisation terms .”

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Be Vigilant! Communists Warn of Labour MPs’ “sabotage” against Brexit on April the 12th on World Trade Organisation terms.

Communists condemn ‘saboteur’ MPs and demand April 12 EU exit

3rd of April.

Monday evening’s votes in the House of Commons confirm that a substantial number of MPs remain determined to bind Britain as closely as possible to the EU and its rules and institutions if they cannot stop Brexit altogether.

These MPs show utter contempt for the EU referendum result – the biggest democratic vote in our history – and make a mockery of their past pledges to ‘honour’ the decision made by a clear majority of voters.

A majority of MPs have no genuine disagreement with the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement which ties Britain to the EU Single Market in most goods, keeps us permanently aligned with the EU Customs Union through the unnecessary Irish ‘backstop’, maintains EU Court of Justice sovereignty in large areas of economic and social policy and pledges to pay the EU at least £39bn in a bogus divorce settlement.

However, a substantial number of these are also holding out in the hope of locking Britain permanently into a customs union or overthrowing Brexit altogether in a second referendum that would exclude a real exit from the ballot paper.

Tragically, many of these would-be saboteurs are Labour MPs who put their loyalty to the EU above any loyalty to democracy, popular sovereignty and the Labour Party.

Many are opposed to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and have no concern that by painting Labour as an anti-Brexit party they are jeopardising the prospects of a left-led Labour government. Some openly support the possibility of an all-party ‘national government’.

The priority now must be to allow Britain to exit the EU on April 12 on The priority now must be to allow Britain to exit the EU on April 12 on World Trade Organisation terms and secure an early General Election and a Labour victory.and secure an early General Election and a Labour victory.

That government would then be free to carry out Labour’s left and progressive policies, which include aid for manufacturing industry and mutually beneficial trade agreements with European and developing countries.

What, some wreckers and saboteurs might dare to ask, is a Brexit on WTO terms?

Brexit: What is the ‘no deal’ WTO option?

One of the terms that keeps cropping up in the Brexit debate is “the WTO option”.

If the UK left the European Union without a deal, it would automatically fall back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

So what would that mean?

First, the basics. What is the WTO?

The WTO is the place where countries negotiate the rules of international trade – there are 164 members and, if they don’t have free trade agreements with each other, they trade under “WTO rules”.

Which are?

Every WTO member has a list of tariffs (taxes on imports of goods) and quotas (limits on the number of goods) that they apply to other countries. These are known as their WTO schedules.

The average EU tariff is pretty low (about 2.8% for non-agricultural products) – but, in some sectors, tariffs can be quite high.

Under WTO rules, after Brexit, cars would be taxed at 10% when they crossed the UK-EU border. And agricultural tariffs would be significantly higher, rising to an average of more than 35% for dairy products.

The government has set out its plans for tariffs in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Its temporary schedule would mean that 87% of imports by value will be tariff-free, compared with 80% before Brexit.

There will be some protection for companies producing cars in the UK, farmers producing meat and the UK ceramics industry. The government has attempted to balance the benefits of free trade in getting cheaper products for consumers, with protecting the livelihoods of some UK producers.

Some groups, which claim to be on the left, still cling to the idea of a “People’s Brexit”.

The Full-Brexit supporting Counterfire publishes today this;

Neoliberalism and Brexit: why Brexit is about more than just Brexit

“Brexit is about more than just Brexit” says Dragan Plavšić, “it’s about the wider crisis of neoliberalism and the long-diminishing authority and standing of the British state and ruling class.”

However, if Corbynism is indeed to be true to the discontented mood shift of which it is the most authentic expression, then it has to advocate a Brexit – a People’s Brexit – that provides a future Labour Government with the necessary freedom to undo the destructive and devastating effects of forty years of neoliberalism. A People’s Brexit is therefore the only real alternative to the neoliberals who wish to leave the EU or remain in it. A general election is feared by them all; the sooner we have one the better.

Most people will have forgotten what a ‘People’s Brexit’ was ever meant to be – and Plavšić does not enlighten us in this reheated rhetoric.

But Counterfire has published articles arguing that WTO rules are better than the EU’s,

“The WTO Red Herring

WTO anti-subsidy provisions are a completely different kettle of fish from EU state aid rules – being far narrower in their scope, far less stringent in their implementation and fundamentally different in how they operate.

The radical case against the single market is no myth February 2019. Reuben Bard-Rosenberg.

So the ‘left’ Brexit or People’s Brexit camp has adopted versions of the Tory ‘Hard Brexit’ position, with the UK negotiating free trade deals with other states through the World Trade Organisation.

There is the minor problem that not only does this prospect go against present Parliamentary votes,  Labour policy, and the views of nearly all but the fringe of the fringe of the Party, but that it runs up against this prospect:

UK cannot simply trade on WTO terms after no-deal Brexit, say experts

The UK will be unable to have frictionless, tariff-free trade under World Trade Organization rules for up to seven years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to two leading European Union law specialists.

The ensuing chaos could double food prices and plunge Britain into a recession that could last up to 30 years, claim the lawyers who acted for Gina Miller in the historic case that forced the government to seek parliament’s approval to leave the EU.

It has been claimed that the UK could simply move to WTO terms if there is no deal with the EU. But Anneli Howard, a specialist in EU and competition law at Monckton Chambers and a member of the bar’s Brexit working group, believes this isn’t true.

Jackie Walker Expelled from the Labour Party, Some Mixed Thoughts.

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Image result for Jackie walker lynching

Many people had mixed feelings on the case and this Show did not help.

Jackie Walker expelled from the Labour Party

Jackie Walker has been expelled from Labour – after being suspended from the party for over two years – for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental” behaviour.

The former Momentum vice-chair – who is no longer a member of the Corbynite group – had incorrectly claimed at a party conference event in 2016 that Holocaust Memorial Day did not commemorate other genocides, and said she had not found a definition of antisemitism that she could work with.

The case against Walker, presented by the party over the last two days, focussed on a pattern of behaviour including comments on social media.

On the judgment today, a Labour spokesperson confirmed: “The national constitutional committee has found that the charges of breaches of party rules by Jackie Walker have been proven.

“The National Constitutional Committee consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of the rules is expulsion from Labour Party membership.”

Labour Against the Witch-hunt said,

The expulsion of Jackie Walker is a great injustice

Today’s expulsion of Jackie Walker from the Labour Party for “misconduct” – of which the Jewish Chronicle was informed before her solicitors – is a great injustice, though it does not come as a surprise. Although the panel took two days to come to their conclusion, the die had been cast long ago. The decision to charge her for a “pattern of behaviour” does not bode well for Chris Williamson MP, who has been accused of similar ‘offences’.

Jackie walked out on the first day of her hearing, because the panel did not allow her to read out a brief statement. This ruling once again emphasised the lack of fairness at the heart of the party’s disciplinary procedures: for example, the investigating officers added five new charges to their allegations a mere three working days before the hearing began, giving her no time to effectively challenge them and defend herself.

STATEMENT OF JACKIE WALKER

Today (26 March 2019) I (Jackie Walker) attended the long overdue Labour Party disciplinary hearing, before the Labour Party’s highest disciplinary panel (National Constitutional Committee). I was accompanied by my defence witnesses and legal team; I had submitted over 400 pages of evidence in my defence.

At the beginning of the hearing, the Chair advised me that this was to be an informal hearing and that I could address him by his first name. The Chair then invited procedural questions. Through my lawyer I asked to be allowed to make a brief opening address to the Chair and Panel. The large team of Labour Party lawyers objected. The Chair adjourned the meeting to consider my simple request to speak. Despite repeated requests from my lawyer that I be allowed to speak at the outset of my hearing, the Chair ruled that I remain silent. I therefore had no alternative other than to withdraw from the hearing, as it was clear to me that I would not receive a fair hearing.

This is a dignified statement.

Everybody should be aware that Jackie Walker has a serious left-wing background, both professionally and politically, in anti-racist work. She also, with a family heritage and a personal relationship in mind, self-identifies as Jewish.

But knowing about this does not answer the issues caused by Walker’s behaviour.

It would appear to many that she was bent on provoking a reaction with strident opinions on ‘Zionism’.

That is her right. But not everybody, particularly those with a deep sense of the horrors of anti-Semitism in the 20th century, would be at ease with  claims, however qualified, about Jewish involvement in the Atlantic slave trade.

This equally raised hackles,

Holocaust Memorial Day

At the event, Walker queried what she saw as the limited scope of Holocaust Memorial Day, saying: ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Memorial Day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced holocaust.’ When others shouted that it did include other genocides, she responded “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”[26] Later, in an interview, she asked why Holocaust Memorial Day only concerns genocides committed since the 1940s, thereby excluding ‘the African holocaust’ during the slave trade.[27] She has also said, following the meeting, “I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise

The campaign against Walker’s suspension has been led by Labour Against the Witch-hunt. Apart from personalities  like Ken Loach, her active backing includes the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), but above all, supporters of the Weekly Worker/Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) and this figure:

Here is Walker’s immediate course of action.

The following is clearly beyond the bounds of the acceptable.

As is this.

Not to mention this:

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

 

The impression many people on the left have is that Labour Against the Witch-hunt, and others, such as the JVL, wish to turn the Labour Party into a battlefield, or perhaps playground, in which rival views about Israel and Zionism (in all its varieties) can be shouted about.

Given that, internationally, Israel borders Syria, a country in which real and present genocides have happened, the degree of strident denunciation of Israel can be gut wrenching. Some people from Labour Against the Witch-hunt are amongst those who have fuelled the flames.

Apart from this being far from a political priority for the majority of Labour members and voters, there is little doubt that some anti-Semitic views have got an airing in the party during this row and others.

This is a problem – reflecting a growth in political confusionism, the mixing of right and left ideas, across the world in which conspiracy theories around ‘Zionists’. It exists.  It  cannot be swept under the carpet.

The Party has decided that Walker has breached rules deigned, amongst other objective,  to ward off this kind of behaviour.

For those who have a sense that Labour, and the broader labour movement is something that you are a part of, the expulsion is not welcome.

But neither is it unexpected.

 

“Convulsive Crisis” in Committee for a Workers’ International. Breaking News.

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The authentic ideas, traditions and policies of the Militant Tendency.

Everything that exists is material and is derived from matter; that matter is in a process and constant change; and that all matter is interconnected and interdependent.

Dialectical Materialism and Science  (SOCIALIST APPEAL)

Like a cloud burst this letter has just broken in the international socialist and workers’ movement:

Open letter to the members and former members of the CWI

The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) has been plunged into a convulsive crisis, which is most likely going to end in a split. At the centre of the crisis are developments in their Irish section. From the material available to us from their internal discussions it appears that the Irish section is being accused of adapting to identity politics, concentrating on women’s and LGBTQ+ issues to the detriment of work in the trade unions, bending towards reformism and at the same time adopting a sectarian stance. This emerges both from the criticisms of the International Secretariat (IS) majority faction and of one of their MPs, Paul Murphy..

The heavily ‘Labour Party orientated’ Socialist Appeal group – just a newspaper and sympathisers, and the odd abandoned telephone box,  – in the shape of the International Marxist Tendency traces the roots of the convulsions in the Socialist Party’s practice over the last decades:

Unfortunately, a bureaucratic clique, led by Peter Taaffe, slowly emerged within the tendency over a number of years.

Militant, as it was known, had its own split.

this led to the quest for shortcuts, which pushed the Tendency in an ultra-left and sectarian direction, breaking with all the traditions and methods that had led to the outstanding successes of the previous period.

Alas,

Ted Grant, together with Alan Woods, Rob Sewell and other comrades, attempted to resist this turn to adventurism, but it proved to be too late and they were met not with genuine discussion, not with any attempt at reaching agreement through democratic debate, but with bureaucratic methods and outright hooliganism that were completely alien to our democratic traditions. The opposition, inside the Militant in Britain and around the world, was expelled in the most arbitrary manner in early 1992. As Taaffe put it, the Opposition had “placed itself outside the organisation”.

This marked a decisive break with the genuine traditions of Trotskyism and eventually led to the destruction of everything we had achieved over a period of 40 years of patient revolutionary work. Under the leadership of Peter Taaffe, the gains we had made in the labour movement were gradually lost.

Lacking the load-stone of Marxism they were adrift, and look what befell them….

Not good stuff, not at all.

This is precisely what has happened to the leadership of the CWI under Taaffe. It made a big mistake in abandoning the Labour Party perspective and has not had the honesty and courage to admit so.

Mandelism.

Taaffe accuses his opponents in Ireland and elsewhere of all kinds of heinous political sins (liquidationism, opportunism, Mandelism, etc.). But if there is opportunism and liquidationism in the ranks of the CWI, these tendencies have not arisen overnight. The leadership is fully responsible for this chasing after short cuts, which is the basis for opportunism. It has been visible to all for quite some time.

The must-read of the day ends on this poignant note.

Comrades! The authentic ideas, traditions and policies of the Militant Tendency have been consistently preserved and defended by the IMT.

..

If you agree, we appeal to you to join the International Marxist Tendency, the true heir of the best traditions of the Militant, and its fight for a new International, and help us build the forces of Marxism with the healthy methods of Ted Grant.

March, 2019.

Further Reading: Socialist Appeal conference 2019: building the Marxist voice of Labour and youth

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm

Anti-Semitism and the Left: The Dreyfus Affair and Today.

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Open Anti-Semitism in the Dreyfus Affair.

Anti-Semitism and the Left: The Dreyfus Affair and Today.

 

“Many Socialists  – and Marxists in particular – view Jews not through the prism of race or religion but through that of class. Jews, in their eyes, are a white, rich powerful elite, unworthy have the solidarity or protection normally afforded to ethnic minorities.”

How Anti-Semitism Poisons Labour. Richard Verber. The ‘I’.

 

“Y a-t-il vraiment des races humaines? Je vois qu’il y a des homes blancs, des homes rouges et des hommes noirs. Mais ce ne sont pas là des races, ce sont des variétés d’une même race, d’une même espèce, qui forment entre elles des unions fécondes et se mêlent sans cesse…..  Les antisémites allument contre la race juive la colère des peuples chrétiens, et il n’y a pas de race juive.”

Are there really human races? I can see that there are white people, red people, and black people. But these are not races, but varieties of the same race, a same species, who between each other join in fertile relationships and who never stop mixing together. The anti-Semites spark the anger of the Christians against the Jewish race, and there is no Jewish race.”

Anatole France. Sur La Pierre Blanche. (1905)

Before The Protocols of the Elders of Zion there was Édouard Drumont’s La France Juive (1886), “Ever since the dawn of history the Aryan has been at odds with the Semite”. The book, which had 200 editions up to 1914, talked of the dream of the Jews to “reduce the Aryan into a state of slavery”, illustrated with figures such as the Rothschilds “tout puissant.” Before modern populism there was Boulangism (1880s), an anti-parliamentarian nationalist revolt, led by General Boulanger, with Drumont’s good wishes, and 48 MPS, including Boulanger for the Seine, elected in 1889. Absent from their official programme, in the Boulangist press attacks on Jewish financial figureheads, the Rothschilds and the Reinachs, flourished. The far-right anti-Dreyfus campaign of the next decades centred on claims of a Jewish-led ‘syndicate’ of treason manipulating politics, business and the affaire itself. It was a template of modern anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

 

The wrongful conviction for spying on behalf of the German army of a Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus in 1894, brought to the fore the issue of anti-Semitism in France. The French left reacted without glory. Jules Guesde, the leader of the self-proclaimed Marxist Parti ouvrier français (POF), has been accused of an “ambiguous” attitude towards Drumond. While waiting for the socialist revolution, he refused to defend the republic against Boulangism. Initially hailing Emile Zola’s J’accuse in 1896, and with some declarations against anti-Semitism, Guesde came to the conclusion that the innocence or guilt of Dreyfus was not a battle that “involved the working class.” Jean Jaurès in 1894 had talked of Dreyfus as part of “la caste des officiers de carrière”. He was not above attacking Jewish influence in finance, talking of the devastating effects of their “usury” on the country during a visit to French colonial Algeria in 1895. (1)

Both Guesde and Jaurès were embedded in the anti-Semitic climate of the time. They took it as an empirical ‘fact’ of the importance of “financiers juifs”; the “puissance juive” was part of capitalism. During the period, before Dreyfus marked out the rupture with nationalist anti-Semitism, there was little mention by either wing of the French socialist left, of poor Jewish migrants, or of the persecutions Jews suffered. If the capitalists were the problem, and there was no biological struggle between ‘Jews’ and ‘Aryans’, a fraction of capital was still marked out as Jewish. They were, as Verber puts it, part of an “elite”, the product of the capitalist system, but still agents within it.

Bernard Lazare.

The honour of the French left was saved the anarchist socialist critic, of Jewish origin, Bernard Lazare and his circle. Lazare’s l’antsiémitisme son histoire et ses causes (1894) talked of the economic bases of anti-Judaism, competition between a “non-assimilated” group and those in charge of industrial and financial capitalism. The Jewish community was described as a  ‘state within a state’ and their “facility at trading”. Yet this loose language was in the context of an atheist attack on religious exclusivity. This angle also explains why the author, noting a lack of certainty in the afterlife, praised the Jewish willingness to “fight tyranny” in this world. Above all in this work, and later, he began to defend humanity and internationalism against nationalism of all kinds.  Lazare sufficiently riled Drummont to fight a duel with him. He has been described as one of those who definitively classed anti-Semitism as an ideology of the extreme-right. (2)

Faced with the Dreyfus case Lazare took a stand, “They needed a Jewish traitor fit to replace the classic Judas” he  wrote, “a Jewish traitor that one could mention incessantly, every day, in order to rain his opprobrium on his entire race.” Working with Alfred’s brother, Mathieu Dreyfus, the critic badgered and cajoled every contact he could find to rally to the cause. Lucien Herr, the socialist librarian at the École normale supériere, became a notable ally and a bridge to the wider left. (3)

Jaurès was initially cold. But all this was to change. In speeches and, above all, in Les Preuves, (1898) the socialist leader stood with Dreyfus. This commitment was rooted in opposition to the nationalists of the right, and militarists, those who rallied to the army and the claim that its judgement against the Captain could not be wrong.

Defence of Dreyfus.

In defending Dreyfus Jaurès developed themes that continue to resound today.

The first of these is that the cause of socialism, based on class struggle against capitalism, is linked to that of humanity. In one of his most famous passages Jaurès said of Dreyfus, “I could answer that if Dreyfus was illegally condemned and if, as I will soon demonstrate, he is innocent, he is no longer either an officer or a bourgeois. Through the very excess of his misfortune he has been stripped of any class character. He is no longer anything but humanity itself, at the highest degree of misery and despair that can be imagined.”  (4)

The second is that Jaurès raised the banner of universal human rights and applied this to the legal system, “There are two parts to capitalist and bourgeois legality: There are a whole mass of laws aimed at protecting the fundamental iniquity of our society, and there are laws that consecrate the privileges of capitalist property, the exploitation of the wage earner by the owner. We want to smash these laws, and even by revolution if necessary abolish capitalist legality in order to bring forth a new order. But alongside these laws of privilege and rapine, made by a class and for it, there are others that sum up the pitiful progress of humanity, the modest guarantees that it has little by little conquered through a centuries-long effort and a long series of revolutions.” (Ibid)

Human Rights.

The defence of human rights, as part and parcel of socialism, illuminated by Marxist ideas of class, is illustrated – at length – in the Socialist History of the French Revolution. Could this historical event, a broad stream of thinking, the act of a specific people” asked Jaurès, “produce something of universal symbolical value? He noted the British conservative thinker, Edmund Burke’s scorn on such “metaphysics”, but that the fear of the British rulers was not of abstractions. Their worry was of the democratic reform that these ideas might inspire. (5)

The socialist daily that Jaurès founded was (and is) called l’Humanité. The title could be said to embody the ardent Dreyfusand Anatole France’s vision of anti-racism and Jaurès’ fight for justice. We have come a long way from that time, a century of greater injustices, including those carried out in the name of socialism, than Jaurès could have imagined. Yet there are those who believe that the fight for human rights, in a modern form, debated and rethought by thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Claude Lefort, Jacques Rancière and others, is at the heart of socialism. The Marxist influenced Étienne Balibar has talked of “égaliberté”, tying concrete equality and freedom together, and the “illiminated” extension of these rights. (La Proposition de l’égaliberté. 2010)

Fighting anti-Semitism today is part and parcel of that socialism. The left that keeps to the line set down by forerunners like Jaurès does not bend an inch in that determination.

On the eve of the First World War Jean Jaurès was assassinated in the Café du Croissant, Paris on the 31st of July 1914. Just before, as fictionalised in Martin du Gard’s L’été 1914, (1936) the socialist leader was desperately attempting to avert the conflict by appeals to European socialists at a meeting in Brussels. The nationalist Raoul Villain, a sympathiser of the anti-Semite Action française, murdered Comrade Jaurès.

 

 

****************

 

  1. Chapter Four. Jules Guesde. Jean-Numa Ducange. Arand Colin. 2017. Chapter IX Jaurès Dreyfusand. Jean Jaurès. Gilles Candar Vincent Duclert. Fayard 2014. The Man on Devil’s Island, Ruth Harris. 2010.
  2. Lazare wrote, “À côté du patriotisme se place l’humanitarisme, à côté du nationalisme se place l’internationalisme, et la notion d’humanité acquerra bientôt plus de force que la notion de patrie, qui se modifie et perd de cet exclusivisme que les egoisms nationaux veulent perpétuer.” “Lazare fut ainsi l’un des artisans de la rupture qui marquera définitivement l’antisémitisme comme un positionnement politique d’extrême  Bernard Lazare, premier  historien de l’antisémitisme.  Jacques Aron
  3. Cited in Ruth Harris. Page 56.
  4. The Socialist Interest Jean Jaurès, Les Preuves. Paris, La Petite République, 1898. Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor.
  5. Page 390. Tome V. Histoire socialiste de la Révolution française, 1901-1908.“c’était la réforme démocratique de la Constitution, c’était la très large extension du droit de suffrage et l’abolition des privilèges.”

From the Anti-Imperialism of Fools to Anti-Semitism?

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The Far Right, the Left, and Anti-Semitism

A Very Public Sociologist.

Phil was one of the first people on the left to signal out, in 2015,  the The Anti-Imperialism of Fools.

Its main feature was to support anything “against” imperialism, primarily the USA.

a certain intellectual dishonesty about their positions. Stop the War write op-eds that, let’s be generous, white wash the enemies of the US and UK, but do not link it with a clear intellectual framework for making sense of these position-takings. For the uninitiated, it suggests opposition to Britain’s wars is a gateway into apologising for some of the most disgusting regimes and terror groups on the planet. Therefore to understand the politics of Stop the War, one must delve a little into political history.

Yet Stop the War has more or less carried on as if none of this has happened, as if the USA is the only active agent in the world and – implicitly – the designs and manoeuvres of rival states and enemies are benign or, at least, less harmful. This is why Putin never gets as much stick as Obama, why leading members of its steering committee have occasionally associated with sundry undesirables, why the Kurds get no support while IS are clumsily and favourably compared with the International Brigades. It’s why it appears that authoritarians and totalitarians get a free pass while democratic countries are criticised and mobilised against.

Over the weekend he has developed this point, making clear his own opposition to “Israel’s racist despoiling of the Palestinians”and support for “pro-Palestinian politics.”

Phil begins by observing that,

“One thing very few people on the left seem willing to admit is that since 2003 the anti-war movement here has been subject to a process of infiltration by currents of opinion, and sometimes organised groups, behaving like the local representatives of the British far right.”

There is no doubt a lot more to say about  Netanyahu, and Israel.

But this is a post about the British left.

A key strand since 2015, and which this Blog has called, following the French example, “confusionism”, is the way that conspiracy thinking has crept into this “anti-imperialism”.

In 2003-5, this was mainly about opinions. In particular, there was a current of opinion within the movement, which grew stronger the occupation of Iraq went on, to say that 9/11 was an American inside job. That strand of opinion was assisted, inevitably, by the need for people – who were against the war – to find websites which would give an honest, objective account of what was actually happening in Iraq. This meant disassociating from mainstream media, going to anti-war news sites. In the US a large number of these sites were hosted by the so-called “libertarian” right and saw no reason against promoting conspiracy theories, 9/11 Truth accounts, etc. Movements such as Stop the War did try to keep these sort of opinions out – banning them from our platforms, etc. But this was a matter of silent gatekeeping – the left didn’t like to admit we had a problem in a movement we led – we would never say openly that we were worried about X or Y Stop the War group. The only time when the left in Stop the War came out publicly against the right was George Monbiot who in two Guardian pieces tore into the 9/11 Truth movement. In retrospect, that was a sign of the sorts of difficulties the left has been having in 2018-19: not least in the very many people who saw themselves on the left but posted in the Guardian comment threads criticising Monbiot.

That’s to say nothing of those in recent days ranting about the ‘Zionist’ media attacking Corbyn….

Or this, from conspi Rachel Swindon:

Phil then focuses on anti-Semitism.

Like the “conventional” far right, today’s anti-war anti-semites have grown through a process of individual activists building up a social media infrastructure which at a certain point they have monetised on YouTube, Patreon, etc, enabling previously isolated individuals to become full-time organisers on behalf of a certain political argument.

Probably most of my friends haven’t heard of them but that doesn’t meant they haven’t been able to achieve an influence much larger than they deserve.

A typical individual is Vanessa Beeley who was at one stage associated with an anti-war group in Frome, but has built up a Twitter following of 40,000 people which she uses to applaud dictators everywhere – Assad, Putin. And to say that the people she dislikes are in the pay of the Jews.

This, and Beeley to the fore, has been the subject of many posts here and on other critical left Blogs.

Williamson, who has praised Beeley, is a good example of indulgence towards this conspi thinking

The point about Williamson is that over the last 12 months he has liked the social media accounts of each of the four people/groups I’ve just mentioned, used his own social media to boost their profile, and treated them like the allies in a shared political project which he undoubtedly regards them to be. In so far as this part of the far right has a “shield” in official politics, he provides it.

Every time someone points out to Williamson that he is promoting anti-semites he goes through the same cycle of denial, insisting that his allies are good socialists being unfairly targeted for their views on Israel, belated admission, apology, promises not to do it again.

Perhaps some trying to justifying Williamson will disagree, violently, but to this writer it’s a fair summing up.

As indeed Comrade Dave Osler does in the Independent.

Once house room is granted to such relentlessly self-preening charlatans as Vanessa Beeley, Gilad Atzmon and David Icke, it’s a perilously short step to political judgments centred on the shoddy output of propaganda-driven state broadcasters, half-arsed alt-left websites and the crankier fringes of the Trot diaspora.

Before you ask, this isn’t a snipe from the right. I’m a long-standing lefty who has proudly donated to Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral efforts and knocked on doors for John McDonnell and Diane Abbott for many years.

Nor do I wish to exaggerate the extent of the problem. Thankfully this nonsense remains predominantly the province of a few hundred headbangers on social media, although even that minimal degree of traction feeds the Daily Mail with “vile Labour Twitter troll” stories as if by conveyor belt.

But branding the White Helmets Israeli stooges, or postulating a Rothschild Zionist grip on global central banking, is just the type of dimwitted aperçu that ensured antisemitism renewed circulation among radical young people during the anti-globalisation and Occupy movements, and sometimes emerge in the real world.

As Trotsky himself used to note, with a scratch comes the danger of gangrene. In a climate where 2.6 million Britons think the Holocaust was a myth, no potential Labour standard-bearer should get away with posting offensively photoshopped pictures of the gates of Auschwitz, on any pretext whatsoever.

Tom Watson is right to brand incidents like that a cause for deep shame. So it’s pleasing that Labour left figures such as Jon Lansman are on the case, as demonstrated by the excellent Rothschild Conspiracy Exposed video released by Momentum last week.

Meanwhile, matters are compounded in some quarters by wilful refusal to engage with current affairs, especially in other countries, which comes as an inevitable corollary of making the very words “mainstream media” a dread insult.

Put simply, the Beeb, The Economist and Financial Times have serious sources in Venezuela and Syria; one-man blogs written from bedrooms reeking of hamster urine do not.

Less of The Canary and more Marx: How Labour should deal with the conspiracism in its midst.

Confusion can naturally spread further as this indicates.

This is where ‘taking sides’ can lead.

But anti-Semitism seems to be at its heart.

Note this from the Gilets Jaunes protests this weekend.

The Left’s long history of antisemitism

The hard-Left’s division of the world into good and bad makes it blind to its own racism.

With ready-made tropes about Jewish world domination never more than a few clicks away online, populist ‘anti-elitism’ rhetoric – of either the Left or Right – easily lends itself to antisemitism. Portray capitalism as a sinister cabal of individuals controlling the economy, and antisemites invoke long-standing tropes about Jews controlling the banks.

As a recent paper on European antisemitism put it, prejudice against Jews is “residual yet perpetual”. A 2009 survey found that 31% of Europeans blamed Jews for the global economic crisis.

This is a good starting point, but the rest of the piece is not so easy to digest.

It is true that groupuscules who run bodies such as Labour Against the Witch-hunt have encouraged a climate in which anti-Semitism  and anti-Zionism (itself an ambiguous term) have sometimes run together.

But there is much to contest in the claim that there is some kind of “long history” to left anti-Semitism. We can begin from the fact that our glorious dead, Jean Jaurès onwards, fought tooth and nail against anti-semitism at a time when a parallel populist confusionism reigned in the minds of some on the left.

Nor can Corbyn be blamed for something with the deeper roots that Phil, and others (this Blog for example), have traced.

It was the Marxist, August Bebel who popularised the expression,  Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools,  (Der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle”.

Today there are many on the British ‘hard’ left who are fighting anti-Semitism tooth and nail, and stand with comrade Jon Lansman on the issue.

No photo description available.

 

 

On the French left this spirit is very far from dead:

Le non-sujet de l’antisémitisme à gauche – Pour une critique radicale de l’antisémitisme.

BRENNI CamillaKRICKEBERG MemphisNICOLAS-TEBOUL LéaZOUBIR Zacharias