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Thank you Jeremy Corbyn and we need you even more right now
Summer 2015. The Labour leadership election had begun. I bumped into one of the candidates at a small demonstration in Trafalgar Square. Clue: it wasn’t Liz Kendall. It was actually the most reluctant of the four candidates, who had been told it was his turn to hold the torch of the Socialist Campaign Group, and that he couldn’t say “No”. Jeremy Corbyn was suddenly airlifted out of his comfort zone. From backbench rebel, street activist and campaigner on local and global issues, and dedicated local MP supporting local projects and initiatives within his constituency, he was now a leadership candidate.
The bookmakers, usually far wiser than journalists or politicians at predicting the course of events, placed him on 200/1 odds. I looked at him and said jokingly “But what are you going to do if you win?” He laughed, but in his reaction I saw a glimmer of hope…
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More war crimes from Israel as they target children. IOF uses exploding bullets.
A child was killed and up to 115 others were injured, three of them critically, when Israel’s occupation forces attacked local people defending the Jabal al-‘Arma mountain from takeover by illegal Israeli settlers on Wednesday March 11th.
Israel’s occupation forces arrived at dawn to the mountain to support the illegal settlers and attacked the defenders with both live and rubber-coated steel bullets, sonic grenades and tear-gas, launched both from armoured vehicles and a drone.
15-year-old Mohammad Abdul-Karim Hamayel was shot in head with a live bullet, according to some reports with a banned expanding bullet. The shooting was captured on video from a distance of a few dozen meters. He was taken to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he succumbed to his wounds.
Three other people, including a 17-year-old teenager, were shot in head with rubber-coated steel bullets, suffering critical injuries. The teenager, who was shot twice, and another…
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On Friday February 28th Israel’s occupation forces injured up to 134 Palestinians in an effort to gain illegal Israeli settlers’ control of a strategic mountain and its springs.
After public calls by illegal Israeli settlers to establish an illegal colony outpost on the Jabal al-‘Arma mountain, near the village of Beita south of the city of Nablus, hundreds of villagers from Beita and the neighbouring areas gathered on the mountain late on Thursday and stayed there over the night.
On Friday Israeli occupation forces attacked the demonstrators to make way for the illegal settlers, injuring up to 134 people. The occupation troops removed a flagpole and a large flag of Palestine raised there, and forced the demonstrators to leave the mountain.
A 16-year-old child was shot in the back with a live bullet, one person was wounded in the head by a tear-gas grenade and another in thigh, while two…
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War crimes, desecration and disrespect. The IOF desecrate the body of a murdered Palestinian. Israel continues with its program of genocide
Israel’s occupation forces are currently again bombing the besieged Gaza Strip and the situation is spiralling towards larger conflict as desperate Benyamin Netanyahu seeks to win the Israeli public on his side before the March elections.
‘Heavy damage’ in southern Khan Younis has been reported from the ongoing attacks, which have sent fireballs and clouds of smoke reaching high up to the sky and al-Jazeera reports that Israel’s occupation forces are moving more armoured vehicles to near Gaza.
The current events began at 05:40 am on Sunday, when Israeli occupation killed and then mutilated the body of a man in an act condemned as a ‘war crime’ by the human rights Adalah Center in Israel.
When he was attacked and killed, with the fate of his companion still unclear, Muhammad al-Na’im was, according to the clearest report, 100 meters on the Gaza side of the border with ethnically cleansed Palestine…
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Another innocent victim of Israel’s murderous occupation of Palestine
Israel’s occupation forces shot and killed a young man near one of the gates of the the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem late on the morning of Saturday February 22nd.
The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Maher Yusef Zaatara from the al-Salaa neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukaber in the occupied East Jerusalem. He leaves behind three children aged 3, 4 and 6.
Palestinian eye-witnesses have denied the standard Israeli occupation forces’ claim that he would have ‘tried to stab’ Israel’s occupation forces’ members.
Israeli occupation claimed that Zaatara would have approached Israeli occupation forces’ members “rapidly” and “raised a knife to stab”. According to contradictory eye-witness claims, he was jogging beside a wall when shot.
Videos capture only the immediate aftermath of his shooting, with Israeli occupation police officer closest to him with a hand-gun in his hands, and Israeli occupation paramilitary border guards approaching from another direction.
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Guilt over the Holocaust and pressure from Israel and Israeli lobby drives Germany to join the other 3 countries wanting to protect the Israeli occupation (Australia, Czech and Hungary all right wing governments)
Germany is leading a charge to protect Israel’s regime from possible charges in the International Criminal Court by claiming that Palestine, a member state since 2012, exists outside its jurisdiction, with Israel’s regime entitled to commit war crimes and human rights violations without any consequences.
This is not only an attack against the occupied Palestinian people, but a death blow for the International Criminal Court if it – as is quite possible – gives Israeli regime immunity. Why a death blow? Because creating a legal black hole in occupied Palestine will end up not being contained at Israel’s pleasure, but will end up growing to destroy the already badly weakened ICC.
THE FOUR MUSKETEERS FOR APARTHEID
Australia, Czech Republic, Germany and Hungary are petitioning the International Criminal Court in behalf of Israel, claiming that Palestine is not an independent state, which according to them – to cut to the essence…
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When did Labour MPs suddenly become Zionists and want to be voted in as the new party leader and are the members really happy for this to happen?
Over the past 4/5 years Labour and its members have been assaulted over and over again with allegations of anti-Semitism by the right wing pro-Israel groups within the Labour party and affiliated to Labour. I am, of course, talking about the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM); the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI); the Board of Deputies (BoD) and various other smear campaigners like Gnasherjew, Sussex Friends of Israel and individuals like Z celebrity Rachel Riley. I wrote about this in previous articles titled ‘A Legacy Squandered‘ and ‘Anti-Semitism from one of Labour’s Loudest Anti-Semitism Accusers‘.
Events over the past few days have left me angry and so very disappointed in what the Labour party and the candidates in the leadership campaign have become. I am not alone in this and I think that the time has come for Socialists to stand together and express our disquiet over the direction the Labour party is headed on. There currently seems to be a purge of left wing members from the Labour party especially of those who actively support Palestine. On a single day 25 members were expelled, mainly by the NEC who are fast tracking the so called ‘disciplinary process’ against those accused of anti-Semitism.
A long term Labour party member, activist and Palestine supporter was expelled for allegations of anti-Semitism. Pauline Hammerton was not given the opportunity to defend herself or to face her accusers, she was expelled with no warning. Looking at her facebook posts and Twitter timeline you could see how against all racism she was, and that she was a kind and compassionate lady. She was a victim of the smear campaign and left wing purge and tragically her story ended suddenly when she died a week after her expulsion. There is a strong feeling amongst her friends and social media followers that her expulsion was responsible for her death and, although I am neither a medical doctor or psychiatrist, in my opinion it certainly attributed to her sudden death.
A source for the Labour National Constitution Committee (NCC) has said that 90% of the evidence of anti-Semitism passed on by the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) has to be discarded due to it having no substance. Despite this fact the NEC continues to fast track expulsions of those accused of anti-Semitism. In the past only the NCC had the power to expel members, and then only after reviewing evidence and assessing material passed on to them by the NEC. To appease the right wing and centrist elements within the Labour party, and outside, who were complaining of the time taken to expel members, the NEC began the process of fast tracking expulsions.
As if this was not cause enough for concern, along with the quick capitulation and signing by all but 2 candidates of the ‘ten demands’ submitted by the BoD, there was a ‘hustings’ for the Jewish community held jointly by the JLM and LFI which was mediated by Robert Peston, the ITV political editor. ( A hustings is a meeting in which candidates answer questions put to them by potential voters). The hustings is not the cause for concern, let me make that perfectly clear before I am accused of anti-Semitism. The cause for concern was what the leadership candidates said when asked if they considered themselves to be zionist. All four of them said that they did consider themselves to be zionists. For those who do not know, Zionists believe Judaism is a nationality as well as a religion, and that Jews deserve their own state in their ancestral homeland, Israel. The only problem with this is that they consider Palestine to be their ancestral homeland despite the fact that it was never called Israel before 1948 or appeared on any maps before then. Anti-Zionism is too often conflated with anti-Semitism and too often this is why people end up being accused of anti-Semitism.
Asa Winstanley writes:”Zionism is the movement that founded the state of Israel in 1948, and remains enshrined in Israeli law and state ideology today.Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist militias and the new Israeli army drove the majority of Palestine’s indigenous population out of the country in order to create a majority Jewish state.The refugees have never been allowed to return solely because they are not Jewish”. Candidates to replace Corbyn denounce him as anti-Semitic (15th Feb 2020)
Both Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy agreed that it was anti-Semitic to call Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation, racist. This would include the 1948 Nakba which was NOT an unintended result of war. It was a deliberate and systematic act necessary for the creation of a Jewish majority state in Palestine, which was mainly Arab prior to 1948. Internally, Zionist Jewish leaders used the euphemism “transfer” when discussing strategies for what today would be called ethnic cleansing. This stance is particularly surprising coming from Lisa Nandy when you consider she is Chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME). If she is truly a zionist and is now pro-Israel then it makes everything she wrote on the LFPME site about her sympathy for Palestinians untrue, and she should resign from her position as Chair. In fact her stance, and RLB’s, go against everything the Labour party once stood for with regards to its manifesto concerning the Middle East. The Labour manifesto stated that Labour would impose an arms ban on Israel over human rights abuses. The manifesto also said Labour would be committed to pursuing a two-state solution and would immediately recognise a Palestinian state.
In my opinion these candidates should be removed from the ballot because their remarks and views go against what the Labour party represents and stands for. Emily Thornberry has already lost her place on the ballot and all three remaining MPs should be removed. Of all the candidates standing for leader and deputy leader, only two have remained true to Labour’s stance on Palestine. Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon both declined to sign BoD’s ‘ten demands’ for which of course they have been attacked and accused of anti-Semitism. The legacy left by Ramsay MacDonald, the trade unions, Nye Bevan, Tony Benn, Dennis Skinner, George Galloway, Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn has now been well and truly squandered and ruined. I despair for the future of Labour and I know it will no longer be truly Socialist and left wing. It has become almost ‘criminal’ to be either a socialist or left wing within the Labour party so if you are either/ both I advise you to watch your backs and maybe leave before you are expelled.
This article is all my own opinion, I have included links so you can check what I have written or do some further reading.
The legacy left by the trade unions, Ramsay MacDonald, Nye Bevan, Tony Benn, George Galloway, Dennis Skinner, Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn has been squandered away to appease the right wing, apologists for Israel.
The Labour Representation Committee was formed in 1900 and after winning 29 seats in the 1906 General Election, became the Labour Party. It was formed by socialist groups like the Fabian Society coming together with the trade unions. Ramsay MacDonald (pictured above) was the first Labour prime minister in office in 1924, and again in 1929 – 1935. MacDonald was determined that the party should have a broad, national appeal. He wanted the party to be firmly progressive, committed to individual freedom, and to the securing of power through existing democratic, parliamentary methods. By the 1945 general election Labour had a focused programme: a welfare state, selective nationalisation and full employment. In 1948 the National Health Service was formed and this was and still is the jewel in Labour’s crown ( from A Brief History of the Labour Party by Dr. Jeremy Nuttall March 2019 )
I have given you a very brief history of the beginnings of the Labour party so you can see what has been lost in the last 4/5 years since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour party and the campaign of hate and manufactured allegations of anti-Semitism. In my opinion the campaign of hate and anti-Semitism smears began with Joan Ryan (then Labour MP for Enfield North) and Shai Masot an Israeli diplomat based at the Israeli Embassy in London. They were secretly filmed conspiring on how to take down certain British MPs and the film was shown in the four part AlJazeera documentary ‘The Lobby‘. Joan Ryan is the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) a pro-Israeli group in which you do not have to be a member of the Labour party or Jewish to join. She embarked on a campaign of manufactured anti-Semitism allegations against Corbyn and Labour party members which lasted several years up until her resignation from the Labour party in February 2019. In her resignation speech she continued with her campaign of hate and accused Corbyn of demonising and delegitamising Israel and stated that a government led by Corbyn “would be an existential threat” to the Jewish community.
The campaign of hate and manufactured anti-Semitism claims continued and in fact snowballed into what has become known as the ‘Labour anti-Semitism crisis’. This was the beginning of the eventual end of what was, for a while, a powerful voice for the working class and non-elitists … all achieved under the honest politics and policies of Jeremy Corbyn. Israel was not happy about the thought of Jeremy Corbyn forming a government, in my opinion this is because they knew if he became PM it would mean an end to military aid to Israel and Palestine would gain the support it deserves and needs.
Sadly Israel had and still has many allies within the Labour party the main one being Margaret Hodge MP for Barking and member of LFI. Margaret Hodge was embroiled in a child abuse scandal going back to the 1980s when she was head of Islington council. It appears that she was aware of child abuse that happened at care homes she was responsible for but took no action. She received shares in a family company from a foundation based in a tax haven which is complete hypocrisy when you consider that as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee she was viewed as a fierce critic of tax avoidance. After the referendum in 2016 Hodge attempted a coup against Corbyn but did not get the backing she needed so she began a campaign of manufactured anti-Semitism claims against Corbyn, the left wing and supporters of Palestine.
Hodge started to get really nasty in her campaign of hate against Corbyn. In July 2018 she screamed “You’re a f*cking antisemite and a racist!” at him after the party amended it’s definition of anti-Semitism in which the NEC adopted the IHRA working definition. Corbyn also soundly defeated her in a debate about Labour’s Clause 4 (the public ownership clause) in 1995, which in this writer’s opinion was the start of Hodge’s antipathy towards Corbyn. Despite Hodge refusing to apologise to the Labour leader for her defamation of him, Labour dropped the inquiry. Labour claimed she had expressed “regret” to the then chief Whip Nick Brown, Hodge denied this and Labour still let the matter drop. This was by no means the end of her campaign against Corbyn; in March 2019 she made a secret recording of a meeting she had with Corbyn, without his permission, and she passed the recording to the Sunday Times. Corbyn accused Hodge of a complete abuse of trust and privacy for her actions. Again Labour took no action against her for this betrayal of trust and privacy.
In May 2019 Margaret Hodge committed an outright breach of Labour policy when she wrote an article in the Times advising readers to ” Vote for a pro-EU party,not mine” According to Labour party membership rules (Rule 4 B), any member “who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party” will “automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member”. Despite this obvious breach of the aforementioned rule and despite complaints from other Labour party members, once again Labour took no action against her. This complete disregard of the rules in favour of a member who had broken the rules on more than one occasion shrieks of favouritism and party bias, and certainly, for this writer, it was the beginning of the end for what had been a party “for the many not the few”.
I know the main body of this post has been devoted to two people but they are people that I consider key to Corbyn stepping down as leader and the demise of the once socialist Labour party. There are others that are key and they too will get a mention but by this time the manufactured smear campaign had turned into a full scale witch hunt. One of the first Labour party members targeted was Jackie Walker, a black Jewish woman who was vice chair of Momentum when Labour suspended her in October 2016. Jackie was suspended for comments she made when attending a Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) training session. This is the comment for which she was suspended and the JLM amongst others sought her expulsion from the Labour party, “in terms of Holocaust Day I would also like to say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who have experienced holocaust?” JLM campaigns officer and Labour councillor Adam Langleben filmed Jackie during the training and the Daily Telegraph published a story attacking Jackie with the intent of having her suspended from the party. In 2019 director Jon Pullman released a documentary called WitchHunt. On the web page for the documentary it states “In 2015 while the far right was gaining ground around the world, socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the UK Labour Party in a landslide victory. Accusations of antisemitism within the party immediately began to circulate. Well-known anti-racists and left-wing Jews, such as Jackie Walker, were amongst the chief targets”. Jackie was interviewed for the film and spoke about her experience of being suspended and it opened peoples’ eyes to what was happening to members within the Labour party. Jackie was expelled by Labour in March 2019, the group Jewish Voice for Labour called her expulsion “a travesty of justice” and a “shameful conclusion” to a flawed process.
Labour MP for Derby, Chris Williamson booked a room in parliament to screen WitchHunt. The small pro-Corbyn group Jewish Voice for Labour was to host the screening. He was ‘dressed down’ by chief whip Nick Brown and told to cancel the booking. That was the beginning of the smear campaign against Chris and all because he defended a fellow Labour party member who was also a fellow anti-racism activist. Footage also emerged of Chris addressing a Momentum meeting in Sheffield and he is reported as saying the following when he said that Labour had been demonised over the issue of anti-Semitism, “I’ve got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that. Because, in my opinion, we’ve backed off far too much, we’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic.”. In February 2019 Chris was suspended by the Labour party over his remarks at the Momentum meeting. He was very briefly reinstated in June but was suspended again after a few hours due to an outcry from fellow MPs including Ruth Smeeth (another member of LFI). Chris resigned from the Labour party in November 2019 after the NEC failed to lift his suspension which meant he could not run as a Labour candidate in the general election. He then decided to run as an independent on a Socialism platform.
This leads me to why I am writing this article. Two weeks ago I was expelled for retweeting a crowdfunder for Chris Williamson. The reason given was that I had broken the membership rule 4 B, ironically the same rule that Margaret Hodge broke and that I wrote about earlier. The thing is, the crowdfunding appeal was for his legal battle and nothing to do with the general election. I have not and will not be contesting my expulsion because I do not want to be in a party that favours millionaire members like Margaret Hodge over working class members like myself and others who have also been expelled for the most spurious of reasons, especially a party that is supposed to be for the working class. There currently seems to be a purge of left wing members going on within Labour, most especially those left wing members who also dare to criticise Israel and its occupation of Palestine. More and more Twitter users are telling of how they have been expelled from Labour and the flimsy reasons for why they have been expelled. Writer and blogger Asa Winstanley who writes about what is happening in Palestine was suspended about 18 months ago and last week he announced he had resigned from Labour. In the article he used to announce this he wrote “I did so to protest the party’s illegal mishandling of my private data, and because it is using its complaints system to conduct a political purge of members who support Palestinian rights”. And there it is … the recognition of the reason for Labour’s current purge. Corbyn is stepping down as leader in April and the choices we are left with for new leader do not instil much in the way of confidence that the party will once again be a party “for the many, not the few”.
Here is a litany of the others who, in my opinion, have contributed to the manufactured anti-Semitism claims, the WitchHunt and Corbyn stepping down:
Margaret Hodge, Joan Ryan, Ruth Smeeth, Ian Austin, John Woodcock, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes ( all current or ex- Labour MPs); Jewish Labour Movement (under leadership of Mike Katz); Labour Friends of Israel (under leadership of Joan Ryan); Sussex Friends of Israel (started by Simon Cobbs and Fiona Sharpe); Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (Chairman Gideon Falter); Labour Against Anti-Semitism ( under leaders Euan Phillips, Joanne Bell and Nicole Lampert); Gnasherjew a group of social media trolls and doxxers (John Arnott, Ray Baker, David Collier, Ambrosine Dipshit and others); Rachel Riley (Z list celebrity) and her followers; Jewish Chronicle (Editor Stephen Pollard) and other members of social media, the Labour party and mainstream media and the name behind it all is of course ISRAEL
I know this has been lengthy and perhaps tedious but it needed to be written. The opinions are my own and I have cited resources when used. Comments welcome but please be polite.
- Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn (Guest post by Peter Gregson Chairperson of LAZIR)
The ten demands the Board of Deputies make of the 6 Labour leadership candidates. Some can be construed as anti-Semitic
I was absolutely staggered when I read that the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) had compiled a list of ten ‘policies’ which they ‘asked’ the six Labour leadership candidates to sign. So far five out of the six candidates have signed, Clive Lewis is the only candidate not to have signed. (Whilst writing this I learned that Lewis has stood down from the contest). When I first read about this I was angered because the BOD are known Tory supporters and are also pro-Israel, and the Labour party is supposed to stand up for, and support, oppressed peoples like the Palestinians. It is bad enough that both Emily Thornberry and Jess Phillips support Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). To be a member of LFI you do not have to be a Labour party member or Jewish, the same applies to the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The LFI was implicated in the four part Al-Jazeera documentary The Lobby when the then Labour MP and leader of LFI Joan Ryan was secretly videotaped conspiring on how to take MPs down with Israeli embassy staffer Shai Masot.
‘Policy’ number four names two ex-Labour party members demanding that they never be readmitted to the Labour party. I will not name those two people but suffice it to say that one of these two people is Jewish which surely would make this ‘policy’ anti-Semitic. ‘Policy’ number five does not actually mention any names but you know who they are referring to when they state “Provide no platform for bigotry: Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.”
It was when I reached ‘policy’ number eight that I decided to go and reread the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism which they Labour party agreed to and one would assume the BOD would adhere to. It states “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” It also says that this is a “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism” which to my mind brings into question all the people suspended or expelled from the Labour party due to unfounded and/or unproven allegations of anti-Semitism.
‘Policy’ number eight which really caught my attention states “ Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups: Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.” Mike Sivier responds to this policy very succinctly and, in my opinion, correctly …”This is an example of genuine anti-Semitism. The Board of Deputies is trying to ensure that groups representing a more common-sense attitude, like Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewdas, are denied a voice. That’s denying Jewish people a right to self-determination, and it’s a claim that members of this organisation are “the wrong kind of Jew”. Despicable. It’s also undemocratic, of course” …
After reading the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and agreeing that Mike Sivier had written the simple and definite truth, I would say that in my opinion all five of the Labour leadership candidates should carefully rethink their positions and rescind their agreements to these demands … which is what they are …they are demands not policys. Labour is a Socialist party and should not be dictated to by outside influences especially when those influences are Tory supporters. The fact that they also want JLM to oversee anti-Semitic training would make me laugh if it was not so disturbing. JLM are a right wing organisation with ties to the Israeli embassy, which was revived when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour party in 2015. The JLM was actually formed in 2004 as a successor to Poale Zion which was a movement of Marxist-Zionist Jewish workers founded in Poland, Europe and Russia in the early twentieth century.
I am now in two minds as to whether I should remain a member of the Labour party and fight the right wing elements from within, or just say ‘enough is enough’, like some others, and resign my membership.
Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn (Guest post by Peter Gregson) Chairperson of LAZIR)