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Posts Tagged ‘Labour Against the Witch Hunt

New Split in Labour Against the Witch-hunt as Grassroots Black Labour Leaves.

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New Split After “difficulties encountered on the LAW SC”

Official statements from: Grassroots Black Left leaves LAW

Marc Wadsworth and Deborah Hobson of Grassroots Black Labour have decided to part company with Labour Against the Witchhunt to concentrate on GBL.

GBL’s statement announcing their withdrawal

Grassroots Black Left has decided to withdraw its representatives from the Labour Against the Witchhunt steering committee. GBL will continue to work with individuals and organisations in the fight against unjust Labour Party suspensions and expulsions, as long as they respect the important principles of black self-organisation and self-determination.

We will vigorously resist any attempts to make GBL subordinate to the will of individuals and groups who choose to misuse their power or positions. While recognising the good work LAW has done, particularly by its local activists who have helped GBL, Jewish Voice for Labour and the Labour Representation Committee make the #Justice4Marc national speaking tour a success, difficulties encountered on the LAW SC have made it impossible for us to stay on that body.

A broad-based, non-sectarian, mass campaign against the purge is desperately needed by all those comrades affected by it. GBL notes many of the victims have been black people, Muslims and Jews. They must therefore be at the heart of the fightback. GBL is totally opposed to anti-black racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. But we deplore the cynical weaponisation of false accusations of anti-Semitism, which have undermined the genuine fight against racism and support for the Palestinians. When the targets have been black, including GBL member Marc Wadsworth, this has damaged much-needed unity between black people and Jewish people.

We recognise the main objective of the right wing, who have been driving the purge, is to attack Jeremy Corbyn’s progressive leadership of the Labour Party. Appeasement and capitulation is not the best way to defeat them.

GBL will continue to work with JVL, LRC, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Red Labour, supportive LAW groups and others committed to stopping the purge, getting Marc reinstated by Labour and the Shami Chakrabarti report recommendations on the party’s disciplinary procedures implemented.

The LAW steering committee sent the following short reply

Dear GBL comrades,

We regret that Grassroots Black Left has decided, in its May 27 statement, to withdraw its representatives, Marc Wadsworth and Deborah Hobson, from the steering committee of Labour Against the Witchhunt. We hope that GBL and LAW can cooperate fully in campaigning against all unjust suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members, including for the reinstatement of Marc Wadsworth.”

It was signed by remaining SC members Tony Greenstein, Stan Keable, Steve Price, Jackie Walker and Tina Werkmann (SC members are elected as individuals, not as delegates, by voting at membership meetings).

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Grassroots Black Labour: Labour Party black sections reborn as a new movement (2018)

Grassroots Black Left is a new grouping aimed at revitalising black and ethnic minority participation. DEBORAH HOBSON reports from its parliamentary launch

 

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Comment: One can only guess at the ‘difficulties’ involved but the name of the first individual (aka Monster Raving)  suggests one possible reason, another  is perhaps the involvement of Labour Party Marxists, that is,  the Weekly Worker.

The latter had got extremely hot under the collar with the Tendance and our allies all last week.

Now we know one of the reasons why they were so vexed with left criticisms of their campaign – not the principle,  the campaign.

Still LAW representatives have been busy, including, we hear, giving an interview on Iranian regime Press TV. 

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Written by Andrew Coates

June 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Labour Against the Witch-hunt Vice-Chair Calls for Expulsion of ‘Zionists’ and attacks ‘racist Zionist’ Jon Lansman.

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Now Says, “Corbyn has effectively surrendered to the Right and the Zionist lobby “

 

It’s time to expel Luke Akehurst and break the links with Labour Friends of Israel 

Part of the problem is that Momentum is led by a racist Zionist Jon Lansman. The other reason is that Corbyn has effectively surrendered to the Right and the Zionist lobby over ‘anti-Semitism’.

Today under the baleful influence of Momentum’s dictator, most of the parliamentary left has become infatuated with an Israel which has moved yet further to the racist right

Monster Raving Tony Greenstein. Vice Chair of Labour Against the Witch-hunt.  Friday 18th of May.

 

This clearly reflects the wider thinking of this front organisation for the CPGB (Provisional Central Committee) Weekly Worker.

Spotted hyenas and the Labour right

William Sarsfield of Labour Party Marxists reports on the campaign against the witch-hunt.

 Far from being a source of strength, the Labour right’s support for the Zionist state – and the United States’ reactionary strategic goals in the region – can be turned into a huge weakness for this scab faction in our ranks.

This report also contains some exquisite humour.

Apparently the meeting was introduced by this type, Alexei Sayle, a former member of one of the maddest groups on the UK left, the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

His  most famous quote on that experience is of course,

Sayles tells me. “They genuinely wanted a better world. But as in all cults, what’s central to the Communist Party is the belief system and the elimination of nuance. From there you’re very slowly led down the road to fanaticism and mass murder.”

The meeting kept to this humourous  standard…..

Extracts:

Moshé illustrated this same observation via a sideways detour. There is – apparently – a tiny number of spotted hyenas in Norway (in zoos). However, if you hear of a spotted hyena trackers’ expedition – organised with an extravagant disregard for the huge amount of time, energy and money expended – a rational conclusion to draw might be that these people have a thing about Norway, rather than the spotted hyenas.

This is how the article ends, a call to attack Momentum,

There were some gently regretful criticisms of Corbyn’s and the core LP left leadership’s passivity to – even accommodation with – this witch-hunt. This generosity was not all-encompassing – on the strength of this meeting and others I have attended over the last year or more, there are now very few on the left with any compunction about laying into Momentum nationally. The local groups can be good, even very good, but the national organisation and its ‘CEO’, Jon Lansman are deeply discredited.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

Some Political Background on Mark Wadsworth.

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Before beginning I wish to make it clear that I am completely opposed to the expulsion of Mark Wadsworth.

But this background has been the subject of intense discussion in recent days and should be more widely known rather than filtering through through other mediums.

How far this account is 100% accurate I do not know but I have some acquaintance with it – I was at the ANL (Anti Nazi league) demo cited below and had some contacts with the ARA  (Anti-Racist Alliance).

From: Ken and the rise of Socialist Action.

Andrew Hosken, Ken: The Ups and Downs of Ken Livingstone, Arcadia Books, 10 April 2008.

At the forefront of the campaign was the journalist and left-wing activist, Marc Wadsworth, who worked closely with John Ross to secure support for black sections from the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. Ross promised to use his influence with the Campaign Group. ‘If the Campaign Group did not support black sections,’ wrote John Ross to Wadsworth in March 1986, ;this would lead to a problem between Socialist Action and the Campaign Group, not between Socialist Action and the black section. Support for the black section is a bedrock of politics’.[44] The Campaign Group did support Wadsworth[45] and despite Kinnock’s initial reluctance,[46] black sections under the umbrella of the Black Socialist Society were eventually recognised by the Labour Party in October 1990.[47]

In 1991, Marc Wadsworth set up the Anti-Racist Alliance, or ARA, an organisation which would be predominantly led by black people in the struggle against neo-Nazis and racism. The organisation acquired offices in Red Lion Square in Clerkenwell and soon secured the support of powerful trade unions like the Transport and General Workers Union. [48] Wadsworth approached John Ross for Socialist Action’s support for the new campaign. Wadsworth says: ‘I went way back with Socialist Action. Socialist Action not only supported the principle of self-organisation for black people’s campaigns but they also appeared at the time to support that much thornier issue of black leadership. We had white allies but we did it ourselves. Socialist Action appeared to us to be very good on principles very dear to our heart.’

Ross suggested appointing Ken Livingstone, as co-chairman of the ARA, a titular position only, leaving the bulk of the work with co-chair Leela Ramdeen. Eventually, approximately seven Socialist Action members were put on the executive committee, including some who later became Livingstone’s mayoral advisors.

The establishment of the ARA acted as a ‘provocation’ for Socialist Action’s main rivals on the Trotskyist far left, the ‘Socialist Workers Party, or SWP, which then decided to resurrect its own dormant anti-racism organisation, the Anti-Nazi League, or ANL. These two anti-racism organisations and the causes they espoused now became proxy warriors for two Trotskyist organisations – the SWP and Socialist Action – fighting to control this important campaign. Ken Livingstone went to extraordinary lengths to help join Socialist Action in its sectarian scraps with its main rival.

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The SWP/SA race war rapidly forced itself on the attention of the Socialist Campaign Group of hard left Labour MPs who had always strived to make links with their fellow travellers on the Left outside the PLP and were often perplexed by their uncomradely feuds. Tony Benn’s diaries make it clear that the spat was already an issue in early 1992. On 15 January 1992, Benn wrote that there had been a ‘flaming row between those who support the Anti-Nazi League in its recreated form’ and the Anti-Racist Alliance ‘supported by Ken Livingstone and the Black Sections’ adding: ‘It is absolutely absurd that there should be these arguments between anti-racist organizations. It is left-wing politics at its most ludicrous.’ [49]

At the annual general meeting of the Campaign Group a fortnight later, another row broke out between Bernie Grant, the black MP for Tottenham who supported the ANL, and Ken Livingstone when Wadsworth attempted to distribute an ARA leaflet. Grant tried to prevent distribution, at which point Livingstone stood up to leave saying, ‘I am leaving if this behaviour continues… This is how Kinnock behaves. We have always been allowed to distribute literature.’ Benn observed, the ‘boiling hatred’ between the two groups, describing it as ‘so crazy’.[50] It perhaps was not that crazy when you realise the increasing importance that Trots placed on anti-racism politics. During the early 1980s, black people had been predominant among those rioting in Brixton, Toxteth and Bristol. Here was a large group of people possibly in need of leadership who really understood oppression and injustice.

The ARA highlighted what it claimed to be a rapid increase in the number of racially motivated attacks in Britain, from 4,383 in 1988 to 7,780 three years later. [51] But within two years the ARA would be destroyed in a nasty internal battle over campaigning strategy between Ken Livingstone and Socialist Action on one side and Marc Wadsworth and his supporters on the other. The trigger was the most infamous racial murder since the war.

The murder of Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old black student, by a gang of white racists on 22 April 1993 was a shocking and seminal event. He was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack near a bus stop in Well Hall Road near Shooter’s Hill in southeast London. It later led to an inquiry by the judge Sir William Macpherson who strongly criticised the failure of detectives to bring the killers to justice and condemned ‘institutionalised racism’ within the Metropolitan Police. [52]

Marc Wadsworth, as national secretary of the ARA, contacted Stephen’s parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, and played a significant role in bringing the tragedy to public attention. According to one BBC commentator later: Wadsworth was determined to present the Stephen Lawrence case differently, and to break through the indifference of the tabloid press towards black victims of racism’. Wadsworth highlighted the fact that Lawrence wanted to be an architect and that he had been law abiding, diligent and respectful. ‘We were saying to white society: “Stephen Lawrence was like you.” [53] Few people thought .it a coincidence that the bookshop-cum-headquarters of the far right British National Party were in Welling, not far from where Lawrence died.

Wadsworth says he came under increased pressure from the Socialist Action contingent to use the Lawrence couple more aggressively in the ARA campaigns: ‘They wanted complete control and the problem was how they were going to move that campaign along. Their primary aim was their sectarian battle with the SWP. They wanted to use the Lawrence campaign to trump the Anti-Nazi League.'[54] He says he told Socialist Action: ‘We’ve got to have a much more softly-softly approach to this couple. They’re not a pushover; not that I would want them to be. I’m black myself and a parent. You can’t just use them as pawns.’

Racial tensions increased during 1993 and culminated on 17 September 1993 in the shock victory of the British National Party a by-election cor- Millwall, a seat on Tower Hamlets Council in east London. The flash point came in October 1993 when the ANL and the ARA held rival protests on the same day. Wadsworth’s ‘crime’ was to organise a peaceful anti-racist demo of 3,500 people for 16 October 1993 in central London after police consultation while 12 miles away up to 15,000 people attended a violent ANL demo at the BNP’s bookshop. To make matters worse, Doreen Lawrence attended part of the ANL protest. [55]

It is clear that the Lawrence parents were becoming increasingly confused about being caught in the crossfire between the two groups. They had come to realise that the ANL was a ‘front for the Socialist Workers Party’. Writing later, Doreen Lawrence said,’… the various groups that had taken an interest in Stephen’s death were tearing each other apart and were in danger of destroying our campaign which we wanted to keep focused and dignified.'[56] In the end, Doreen and Neville Lawrence wrote to both the ANL and ARA to demand that they ‘stop using Stephen’s name’.[57]

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Wadsworth claims that Ken Livingstone and Socialist Action now colluded to get rid of him because he would not do what they wanted, ‘Socialist Action thought they could impose decisions on me including how we focused on the Stephen Lawrence campaign,’ says Wadsworth. ‘When I refused to go along with that they said, OK we’re going to get rid of you.’ Through late 1993 and early 1994, the ARA deteriorated rapidly.

A former Socialist Action member of the ARA insists Wadsworth’s strategy was wrong, both in terms of the Lawrence campaign and towards the BNP by-election victory in the East End: “The correct response was to have a demo in the East End and Marc didn’t want to do that so he was increasingly separating himself out from the most important issues that were going on in racism in order to pursue his own things.’ [58] On 17 March 1994, Livingstone chaired a meeting of the ARA executive. [59] During the four-hour ‘rowdy meeting’ in a House of Commons office, Wadsworth threw a punch at Livingstone. He says: ‘It was at one of these crazy meetings where he was making these rulings and telling me to shut up that I launched at him. I didn’t actually hit him. I hit his hand. I was going to hit him. This had gone on for months and he treated me like a boy sitting next to him.’ [60] At another meeting, on 30 March 1994, Livingstone and the Socialist Action contingent failed by only one vote to persuade the executive to dismiss Wadsworth on grounds of professional misconduct. [61]

The infighting continued for another six months as Livingstone and Socialist Action attempted to wrest control from Wadsworth. On 23 September 1994, the Anti-Racist Alliance issued the foil towing statement: ‘Ken Livingstone, supported by a faction called Socialist Action and a handful of unprincipled and unrepresentative members of the executive committee, has been waging relentless campaign to sack the national secretary. This behaviour is undemocratic and has led to unnecessary divisions in the ARA which the chair has made even worse by his repealed attacks on national office staff.’ [62]

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‘When they come for you they are incessant and they are like pit bulls,’ Wadsworth says of Socialist Action. ‘It’s just incessant obsessive politicking.’

On 30 September 1994, Livingstone went to the High Court to determine voting rights for the delegates to the ARA’s forthcoming annual meeting and an out-of-court settlement was reached. At the meeting on 15 October 1994, both Livingstone and Wadsworth stepped down; Wadsworth gave way to Kumar Murshid, a future Livingstone mayoral advisor on race but not a member of Socialist Action. Murshid walked away from the job after turning up at the ARA offices to find that Wadsworth had changed the locks. ARA collapsed rapidly after unions including the Transport and General Workers Union withdrew support. By February 1995, the National Assembly Against Racism, or NAAR, had been established largely by Socialist Action members, namely Redmond O’Neill, Jude Woodward and Anne Kane. [63] Former member Atma Singh says that Socialist Action was so used to splits and sectarianism that ‘breaking one organisation and creating a new one is nothing dramatic for them’. [64] Lee Jasper, who became Livingstone’s senior mayoral policy advisor on equalities, was its first secretary. He had also been one of the few non-Socialist Action opponents of Wadsworth on the ARA.

Today, the NAAR is one of Britain’s biggest anti-racism groups with several subsidiary organisations, all supported strongly by Mayor Livingstone. Members of Socialist Action would continue to work closely with Livingstone throughout the 1990s. But they would come into their own when Livingstone became the first directly-elected mayor of London.

Vice Chair of Labour Against the Witch-Hunt Falls out with “good boys and girls” of Jewish Voice for Labour.

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“It is unfortunate and unacceptable that some people react to support for the self-styled ‘Jewish’ state by resorting to anti-Semitism but the blame rests firmly with those who imply that Israel is acting on behalf of all Jews.”

Tony Greenstein. Labour Against the Witch-hunt, Vice Chair, 20th of April 2018.

Yesterday it was CIA and Mossad plotting behind the anti-Semitism controversy.

Today it’s….

 

Jewish Voice for Labour Surrenders to Wes Streeting’s White Parliamentary Lynch Mob

When Jewish Voice for Labour was formed last summer I welcomed it whilst warning of the dangers of not having clear politics, strategy or direction. I opposed not only its two tiers of membership – Jewish and non-Jewish – but its refusal to squarely support the Palestinians’ fight for justice and the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees.

Although most JVL members are opposed to Zionism there is a belief that some things are best left unsaid.  The group is also unclear as to whether its main purpose is as some kind of Jewish cultural formation or whether it is primarily a political organisation.

We are tenterhooks to get the nitty-gritty so here goes.

Monster Raving on the MPs who went with “creatures” like Ruth Smeeth,

When Streeting and his 20 white racists reached Church House, the venue where the Kangaroo Court was sitting, it was they who felt intimidated and Streeting could be seen bleating about how terrible it was that people had exercised their right to free speech.

The Greenstein Party denounces every Jewish left group,

Whilst the Zionists are on the rampage JVL decided to do nothing.

Originally Free Speech on Israel, which consists of many of the same people as JVL, was set up because of the weaponisation of anti-Semitism.  It would appear that they have given up on free speech.  Likewise the Jewish Socialists Group, which worked alongside Black anti-racist activists like Marc, have kept quiet over the witchhunt and appear to have given up on socialism and Jewish Voice for Labour seem to have lost their voice altogether.

Strategic advice:

Far from abstaining from protests we should be redoubling our efforts to reselect creatures like Streeting, Smeeth, Berger and Ryan.

 While Greenstein checks his shoes to make sure Mossad does not get them Corbyn says,

Jeremy Corbyn has rejected claims by close ally Len McCluskey that “Corbyn-hater” Labour MPs were using an anti-Semitism row to “smear” him.

Mr McCluskey said he backed action to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

But the Unite union leader warned MPs trying to “re-toxify” Labour by attacking Mr Corbyn they “can expect to be held to account”.

Mr Corbyn has repeatedly vowed to stamp out anti-Semitism in Labour.

Asked if he agreed with Mr McCluskey that there was a smear campaign against him, Mr Corbyn said: “No, because we have to deal with the issue of anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is a poison in our society, I am determined to drive it out of our society, including wherever is raises its head in my own party and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

BBC

More sense from Jim: Labour antisemitism: Shut up Len!

This does not mean being in favour of this:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 27, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Vice Chair of Labour Against the Witch Hunt, T. Greenstein, Says Israel and the United States Behind Anti-Semitism in Labour Claims.

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“It is unfortunate and unacceptable that some people react to support for the self-styled ‘Jewish’ state by resorting to anti-Semitism but the blame rests firmly with those who imply that Israel is acting on behalf of all Jews. “ Tony Greenstein. Labour Against the Witch-hunt, Vice Chair, 20th of April 2018.

 

There was a lobby of the Labour Party in defence of Mark Wadsworth yesterday.

Or as Greenstein puts it,

Whatever happened it was all overshadowed by this bombshell giving the inside story of what’s behind the Labour and the problem of anti-Semitism  and correcting Jeremy Corbyn’s carefully thought out and welcome statement on the issues raised.

The Mirror reports,

Expelled Labour activist says anti-Semitism claims were ‘manufactured’ by CIA spies and Israel

The Mirror spoke to Tony Greenstein, who was expelled from Labour in February this year over anti-Semitism claims he brands “false and malicious”.

He backed Peterborough candidate Alan Bull, who was accused of promoting Holocaust denial. Mr Bull’s case triggered the resignation of Labour’s disputes chief Christine Shawcroft when she also lent her support.

Mr Greenstein revealed he had “exchanged e-mails” with Ms Shawcroft after she quit – and said she supported him in person at his own expulsion hearing as a “silent witness”.

When asked what was behind the anti-Semitism row, Mr Greenstein said: “The State of Israel, the State of Israel. And also the Americans I imagine.”

He added: “There isn’t a problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. What there is is a problem of false accusations.

“When Corbyn became elected he’s anti-Nato, he’s anti-American intervention, if that didn’t set off alarms in the American Embassy amongst the spooks and the CIA, what else have they got to do? That’s what their job is.”

Asked if the row was about getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn he said: “Yes, yes that’s the aim, yes. Most of it. 99% of it, yes, of course.”

He added: “In 30 years’ time, when some enterprising young researcher at universities does a Freedom of Information Act on the US files, they’ll find out how it was organised

“We know the Israeli government was involved because of the lobby, the programme by Al Jazeera.

Asked to clarify he meant claims of anti-Semitism in Labour he said: “Yes, undoubtedly. It’s been stimulated, it’s been manufactured, it’s artificial. It didn’t come from nowhere.”

He continued: “I’m not privy to the secrets of the Israeli Embassy. All I can say is it isn’t about anti-Semitism. Who is behind it? I suspect Israel and the United States. Why? Because the United States doesn’t like Corbyn, any more than Benjamin Netanyahu does.

Other recent posts by Greenstein,

Emina Ibrahim, Vice Chair of Momentum,  A Collaborator in this Racist Outrage.

This comment, 

Unlike the fools who agreed to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, Daniel Blatman know something about the atrocities of the Nazis as well as the atrocities and similarities of the mentality of Israel’s rulers with the Nazi state.”

Well-established rumour has it that at the rate Monster Raving Greenstein is going he will soon be accusing Mossad of stealing his shoes.

Where he’s going seems to be a place followed by this lot – the other half of Labour Against the Witch-hunt, Labour Party marxists (aka, the Weekly Worker, CPGB, Provisional CC).

We leave it to specialists to read more than the headline and the last sentence.

Call time on Corbyn fanboyism Jim Grant.

The Zionists and also opportunistically pro-Zionist rightwingers are loud, and they are nasty, and they have the media on their side, but they are numerically tiny. Yet they have a habit of outmanoeuvring our much more numerous troops, who – surely – have the potential to be far more militant than appears currently to be the case.

Yet there is always a grain of truth to these things. In this case, it can hardly be denied that the political level of Corbynite Labour activists is very low, and does not seem to have risen at all in the last couple of years. No chinks have appeared in the armour of identity politics. No slogans have emerged as a stiffer alternative to ‘For the many, not the few’. Strikingly, there seems to have been no noticeable growth in the organised far left at all – not those parts of it energetically tailing Corbyn, not those taking a sectarian stand against it, nor any of the other approaches that have been tried. We starve amid plenty.

The strategy of the movement’s leadership is to avoid as strenuously as possible conflict over issues which it does not plan to fight an election on, which in practice means issues that divide the Labour left from the centre. In practice, this means the single issue of austerity. So much the worse for the Palestinians; for the policy on Israel and fake anti-Semitism accusations is simply to give ground, again and again, to no noticeable effect. Why bother denouncing such allegations if even Ken Livingstone gets thrown to the wolves?

The abiding lesson of this fiasco, then, is a simple one: the time for Corbynite fanboyism is very much over.

Meanwhile some cretins prove that left-wing anti-semitism exists belle et bien,

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Ken Loach and anti-Semitism: Row Grows over Honorary Doctorate from Université Libre de Bruxelles .

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Ken Loach speaking for Labour Against the Witch-hunt (30.1.18) Greenstein (far-left) now says, Labour “anti-Semitism claims were ‘manufactured’ by CIA spies and Israel” (Mirror.  25.4.18)

The controversy over the award today of an honorary doctorate by the Université Libre de Bruxelles  to Ken Loach today by the was the top story on the Francophone public radio La Première this morning. The University’s rector, Yvon Englert. defended the decision. The distinction was the work of the cinéaste which has brought to light his personality. It was not for his politics.

He nevertheless affirmed that there was no question of Loach being tainted by Holocaust denial or anti-semitism.

Going further into the issues involved, which touch above all on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and disputes within the Labour Party, the University Head stated that it was not their position to  “entrer sur ce terrain politique.”  That was Loach’s affair, his alone, although Englert noted, that his own family had been touched by the Shoa and that the university did share all of the director’s views on the Palestine-Israel issue.

(You can watch this: Ken Loach Docteur Honoris Causa: malgré la polémique, l’ULB maintient sa décision).

These are fair comments and the award is certainly justified.

But Loach has done his cause no favour with his support for abusive cranks like Greenstein who is notorious for his rants against ‘Zios’.

The Guardian reports,

Belgium’s prime minister has criticised one of the country’s leading universities over its plan to honour the film director Ken Loach, following complaints that it has overlooked alleged antisemitism.

In a speech at Brussels Grand Synagogue to mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation, Charles Michel said on Wednesday night that Loach’s comments about Israel and its policy towards Palestinians justified the withdrawal of the honour.

….

“Michel’s statement may be read as a rejection of the honorary doctorate,” the prime minister’s office told the Belgian news site De Standaard on Wednesday night. “The prime minister has studied the file and believes that [Loach] has recently made controversial statements that justify the withdrawal of that honorary doctorate.

“Obviously, the prime minister does not have to deal with academic freedom, the university does not need the permission of the prime minister in any way, but he does give his opinion. At the moment it does not seem appropriate to him to honor such a person.”

It was not clear what remarks by Loach the prime minister was referring to, although the director has strongly defended the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, against accusations of allowing antisemitism to continue in the party. Loach said this month said that Labour MPs who joined a protest against antisemitism should be kicked out.

 

Petition against the honour for Loach:

“Ken Loach ne doit pas être honoré par l’ULB”

A rival open letter has accused those opposing Loach of mounting a Witch-Trial.

Quelle “face hideuse de Ken Loach”? C’est un procès en sorcellerie! (OPINION)

(La Libre Belgique)

The public letter tries to defend Perdition, and his ” confusion et maladresse ” around a statemement to the BBC on the Holocaust. The authors state that the real reason that their is a campaign against awarding the honorary dotatorate lies in Loach’s defence of the Palestinian cause and his support for Jeremy Corbyn.

Belgian Jews slam decision of Brussels university to honour Ken Loach

The umbrella organisation of Belgian Jews has sharply criticised the French-speaking Free University of Brussels (ULB) for its decision to honour British filmmaker and far-left activist Ken Loach.

In a statement, the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish organisations (CCOJB) – the country’s EJC affiliate – “took note of the decision of the Free University of Brussels to honour Ken Loach despite repeated calls for reason.”

CCOJB President Yohan Benizri said: “The honour of Ken Loach in the present circumstances is at best an inexcusable mistake of the Free University of Brussels, at worst a moral mistake.”

“We have questioned and increased contacts with the ULB and his rector, Mr Yvon Englert, to explain that the major challenge for our collective was to combat the falsification of the history of the Holocaust as a basis for political activism,” the statement went on. “We warned the university against the risk of ridicule and dishonour by not listening to the voice of a large part of civil society.”

The CCOJB noted that the ULB “seems to be satisfied with a communication from Ken Loach in which he claims not to be antisemitic or a Holocaust denier.

“The CCOJB protest against this charade,” the statement said. “What were we expecting? That is completely out of the question and that does not take the conviction of those who judge acts rather than words. The ULB acts as if it were merely clarifying a misunderstanding, as if all this was only the result of a lack of awareness of Ken Loach’s positions in Belgium. Nothing is less true.”

“In fact, the ULB has received a letter from the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), who have been occupied daily in the last few days, with the problem denounced in our complaint. They know Mr. Loach very well and make the same statement as us in a letter to the Rector.”

To quote the BoD letter: “Given the complex situation in the United Kingdom concerning the rise of antisemitism in the Labour Party, honouring Mr Loach would be unreasonable, detrimental and frankly shameful.”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 26, 2018 at 11:45 am

Parliament debates anti-Semitism.

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The Mirror reports on John Mann’s speech in the Parliamentary debate on anti-semitism yesterday.

A Labour MP’s wife was threatened with rape and was sent a dead bird through the post after he was appointed to lead a Parliamentary group on anti-Semitism, he told MPs.

In a powerful speech to the House of Commons, the furious Bassetlaw MP said he had been singled out for abuse for showing solidarity with Jewish Labour members.

“But worse than that,” he told MPs, “explicitly targeting Jewish members of the parliamentary Labour party because they are Jewish.””That is what is going on at the moment. I didn’t expect when I took on this voluntary cross-party role for my wife to be sent by a Labour Marxist anti-Semite a dead bird through the post.

“I didn’t expect my son after an Islamist death threat to open the door in the house on his own as a schoolboy to the bomb squad.

“I didn’t expect my wife, in the last few weeks from a leftist anti-Semite in response to the demonstration, to be threatened with rape. I didn’t expect my daughter similarly, and have to be rung up in the last few weeks by special branch to check out her movements in this country.

“No, I didn’t expect any of that.”

The paper also carries this: 

‘Denial is not an option’: Watch Luciana Berger’s powerful speech describing the anti-Semitic abuse she’s faced in full

Speaking in a general Commons debate on anti-Semitism, Ms Berger said she received her first piece of hate mail aged 19, saying it described her as a “dirty Zionist pig”.

Labour MP Luciana Berger gave an emotional speech describing some of the vile anti-Semitic abuse she has faced.

The Liverpool Wavertree MP was applauded by members on all sides of the house, after she spoke of the abuse she’s endured, including from people claiming to be supporters of Jeremy Corbyn .

Speaking in a general Commons debate on anti-Semitism, Ms Berger said she received her first piece of hate mail aged 19, saying it described her as a “dirty Zionist pig”

Standing on a Commons back bench, in front of the “More in Common” memorial plaque to murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, she told MPs: “Here starts my 18-year experience of contending with anti-Semitism.”

Ms Berger said she has been attacked by the far-right and far-left, later saying anti-racism is a central Labour value and there was a “time not long ago when the left actively confronted anti-Semitism”.

She added: “One anti-Semitic member of the Labour Party is one member too many.

“And yes, as I’ve said outside this place in Parliament Square, and it pains me to say this proudly as the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, in 2018 within the Labour Party anti-Semitism is more commonplace, is more conspicuous and is more corrosive.

“That’s why I have no words for the people who purport to be both members and supporters of our party, who use that hashtag JC4PM, who attacked me in recent weeks for my comments, they attacked me for speaking at the rally against anti-Semitism, they’ve questioned my comments where I questioned comments endorsing that anti-Semitic mural, who say I should be deselected or called it a smear.”

Jewish Voice for Labour makes these relevant points,

JOINT STATEMENT ON TORY LINKS TO ANTISEMITISM IN EUROPEAN POLITICS

As the House of Commons holds a debate on antisemitism called by the Conservative Party, we are calling on the Prime Minister  to confront the political parties and governments in Europe that have exploited and fuelled a rising tide of antisemitism.

Last month, Latvia’s National Alliance opposition party called for the commemoration of Latvian soldiers who fought under the swastika banner to be reinstated as a national holiday. The party is formally affiliated to the Tories through their shared membership of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party is the Tories’ major partner in this group (based on seats in the European Parliament). Earlier this year, their leader and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended a controversial new law criminalising anyone who calls out the complicity of Poles in the Nazi genocide by stating that Jews were also perpetrators of the Holocaust. This came barely a month after Theresa May’s visit in which she signed a new defence and security pact with the Polish government and celebrated the “relationship between the United Kingdom and Poland, based on a shared history and a shared tradition”.

And just last week, Boris Johnson congratulated Viktor Orban and his autocratic Fidesz party on their election victory in Hungary, referring to them as his ‘friends’. This in spite of a campaign widely criticised  for its relentless anti-Semitic undertones, targeting and accusing Jewish philanthropist George Soros of a conspiratorial plot to take over the country.

This is not about guilt by association. If the Tories are serious about confronting antisemitism wherever it surfaces, they can no longer turn a blind eye to the deeply offensive rhetoric and actions of some of their European political partners, nor the dangerous precedent set by Poland’s recently enacted Holocaust law. We call on Theresa May to unequivocally condemn these parties for harbouring and mobilising antisemitism; to acknowledge and apologise for her failure to confront this in the past; and to withdraw the Tories’ membership of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group until it is genuinely free of all racist elements, including antisemitism.

Independent Jewish Voices
Jewish Socialists’ Group
Jewish Voice for Labour
Jews for Justice for Palestinains

From one of the splinters of Labour Against the Witch-hunt Tony Greenstein replies in his own fashion,

50 Years After Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood Speech’ Parliament Debates Fake ‘Anti-Semitism’ and Applauds Zionist MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth.

This ‘anti-Semitism’ is an entirely bogus and fake exercise.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

April 18, 2018 at 11:55 am