Ray Cook - As I See It

Israel, Zionism and the Media

Catching up – 2017-2018 – Life on Facebook (2)

7th December

Machpelah, kever Rochel, Kotel have no connection to the Jewish people or history; there never was a Temple, let alone two. What can the Jews do about that? There are only 20m of us and we tend not to commit random mass murder or threaten it when we are ‘offended’ or ‘dishonoured’.

So no-one does anything to counter these offenses against the Jewish people. But declare a patent fact as true and cal out the Emperor and his new clothes and a millions of people can be motivated to threaten violence because it has always worked in the past.

We can’t live by appeasing terror – did we not learn that lesson already?

28th December


And at number 2.

“… a June edition of Sky News’ press preview, during which journalist Melanie Phillips made comments about Muslims that were considered inflammatory.”

One wonders how many complaints there were or would have been about someone making ‘inflammatory’ remarks about ‘Zionists’.

I guess the truth can be inflammatory to those who have a predisposition to being inflamed. It’s a shame there is no Ibuleve (other medications are available) of the soul.

Jan 3rd 2018

Re McMafia, [BBC Thriller series] for those who doubt the story, James Marriott in the Times:

“The real Ludmilla’s fate was even more appalling than the show lets on. She was forced to work seven day weeks in an Israeli brothel and was raped about twenty times every night.”

However, one wonders why this particular serialisation where Jews and Israelis are shown to be part of an international network of gangsters, money launderers, people traffickers spread across the globe, was so favoured by the BBC.

So far, for me, the whole thing is utterly unconvincing. The lead, Alex Godman, played by James Norton, loves his uncle and father dearly, but they are two such unpleasant characters with so little in common with the suave Godman, his affection is a little puzzling. Then we have a corrupt Knesset member who is a major player in this gangster network and has an unnerving resemblance to Eddie Jordan along with an unplaceable accent.

I have to try to control my natural urge to shout ‘demonisation!’ followed by ‘antisemitic trope!’ and a good helping of ‘why do Jews in dramas always wear pyramidal kippot at levayas?!’

But, it’s only drama, nu? Yes, but it is also an interesting insight to widely held prejudices about the nature of the State of Israel and some of its institutions. Stereotypes roam unhindered across the screen and these are not restricted to Jews; Indians, Eastern Europeans, Russians, Bedouin and Arabs all receive the treatment. Why should we be so special?

January 21st

As predicted, the “Labour Party’ has begun its purges, as one would expect from a party infused with Marxists who probably idolise Stalin.

It’s all kicking off in Haringey where those who are not part of the approved Groupthink have been deselected. More councils and MPs will follow, especially the Jewish Zionists – they have little chance of survival unless they can summon up their last drops of cringing submission to the Great Leader and settle for being supernumeraries in a North Korean style cult.

Running a major London council along the lines of a Soviet partkom dictated by a Socialist Nomenklatura might be a blessing in disguise for the real Socialists in the party. It could demonstrate that seeking democratic control by undemocratic means to impose ideologies on social democratic and capitalist structures just will not work.

It might also cause the rift that I hope will happen with the creation of a new centrist social democratic party and leave the Trots to carry on with the Jew haters and right-on politically correct New Puritans.

Haringey should be a red flag and red line for those of the Zio persuasion who have held on in the delusional belief that the only way they can change the party is by internal persuasion. Those of us who have, for years, observed the anti-Zionism and antisemitism of the far Left and its fellow Hamas and Hezbollah admiring fellow-travellers, if they haven’t already done so, should now gracefully withdraw and try to create something else.

The party is over.

January 28th

The worm is turning:

“Most Labour council leaders in England and Wales have signed a joint letter fiercely attacking the Momentum-controlled committee that runs their own party.

In the letter, published exclusively in today’s Sunday Times, leaders of almost 70 councils, including Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and many London boroughs, say the actions of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) are “dangerous and alarming”, “uncomradely and disrespectful” and “an affront to the basic principles of democracy”.

Earlier this month, the NEC acquired a secure pro-Corbyn and Momentum majority after three members of the hard-left group, including its leader, Jon Lansman, won seats on the body.

Last week, the committee voted to tell Labour-controlled Haringey council in north London to halt a controversial £2bn housing scheme fiercely opposed by Momentum.

In their letter, the leaders say: “We wish to make it clear to the NEC that it has no right or justification to interfere in or influence the legitimate actions of locally elected representatives.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/…/labour-councils-defy-momentum-… (£)

Catching up – 2017 – Life on Facebook (1)

As promised. Here are  some of my FB ramblings from last year.

May 29th

So. You Jewish parliamentary candidates who claim to be Zionists and the voice of the Jewish community fighting from within, bla bla – do you want Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister? If not, please explain why the heck you are standing, let alone why I should vote for you. Last chance, guys.

May 30th

Corbyn supporters asking Emma Barnett if she is a Zionist (after he had Abbott-ed himself on the cost of a key policy) as if that equates with fascist. But they are the fascists, bullying people with sneering innuendos because they don’t comply with their group-think. Same bullying we see on campuses across UK and USA.

If Corbyn is elected these people will be even more emboldened whilst the party leadership will, no doubt, bring forth Baroness Chakrabarti to express some platitudes.

The more I see and hear from Abbott and Costzero the more farcical it becomes and the more dangerous.

July 31st (Centenary of Battle of Ypres)

On this sombre anniversary which coincides with Tisha B’Av this year, it is sobering to think of the following:

50 years ago I was at school, 12 years old. 50 years before that day the 3rd battle of Ypres began. The same distance in time between that awful day and the summer holidays at the end of my second year at Grammar school and that summer day and today.

My generation was born in the shadow of two wars, not just one.

My mother-in-law’s father caught a Blighty on the Somme; my mother’s father was sent home in 1918 with the King’s shilling being totally unfit for service.

If the shrapnel that wounded my wife’s grandfather had been a few inches above where it hit, or my own grandfather had been a fit young man, there is a strong chance that not only I and my children, but all of our grandfathers’ descendants would not have walked this earth.

Such are the vagaries of fate and the inconceivable randomness of our lives. This is the excruciating poignancy of such anniversaries where we mourn not just the dead but the forever unborn potential of what might have been.

26th September

Here we see the irredeemable, burnt-out husk of a 21st century disaster – and behind him Brighton West Pier.

Well, that brings us to last year’s Labour Party Conference but this year’s is certainly no joke.

Coming Up For Air

It’s been more than a year since my last post.

I guess I switched to blogging from the safety of my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/raypcook where I only blog to friends. Who needs trolls. It’s place to let off steam and keep my writing muscles engaged.

The UK Labour party’s recent tussle with the issue of anti-Semitism and its close relative anti-Zionism has been exercising the party, Jeremy Corbyn in particular and most of the UK’s Jewish community.

The quantum entanglement between support for Israel, criticism of Israel, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism has provided plenty of cover in the UK and beyond for those who don’t like Israel per se and/or Jews per se.

I propose to travel back in time a little an post a series of some of my posts over the last year.

So here goes. Thanks for your patience. Who know, I might take to blogging again!

The Israeli-Arab 6 Day War: History Gets Lost Along the Way

The Israeli-Arab 6 Day War: History Gets Lost Along the Way

When it comes to war and devastation, there was no shortage of it during the 20th century. From World War II to the Rwanda genocide and the Syrian civil war, millions of people perished in what is widely described as massive human rights atrocities.

Wars, like people, are complex. However, based on historical facts and military evidence from both sides, there is a global understanding of what happened in each and every one of these wars. Yet, there is one war that is frequently a hot topic of debate as to what happened: the Israeli-Arab 1967 Six-Day War.

Winston Churchill states that history is written by the victors. While this may not actually be true regarding many other 20th century wars, several pundits argue that this is precisely what happened after the ’67 war in Israel.

Let’s take a step back. What actually transpired over those 6 days is documented, readily available to virtually anyone with an internet connection, and is accepted by both Israel and Arab states. However, when it comes to who started the war, this is frequently analyzed with great scrutiny. This small piece of information is essential in understanding who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

Recently, Bret Stephens wrote an op-ed about Six Days and 50 Years of War in The New York Times. Stephens notes that it was the Arabs who initiated the war, by claiming that the Jordanians attacked first on the morning of June 5th, 1967, not heeding the Israeli warnings not to initiate hostilities. On the other side, you have people claiming that Jordan attacked well after the Israelis launched a surprise attack on the Egyptians. While this may be true, they oftentimes forget to mention that Egypt expelled the UNICEF forces from the Sinai and lined up their troops for war. Furthermore, Egypt closed the Straights of Tiran, which Israel stated on many occasions that they would view this as an act of war. U.S. President Lyndon Johnson himself stated, “If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed. The right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations.”

Events and their leads up during the ’67 War, like the one presented above, are often fiercely debated, even if the history is concrete. That’s why it’s imperative that we continue to educate people worldwide with historical evidence. One specific organization which focuses on Israel and its history is Jerusalem U. In the case of what happened in 1967, they have a project called “The Countdown to the Six Day War” which provides an accurate timeline of everything pertaining to this war.

Let’s all try and keep history intact regarding the greatest military victory in the world.


Terror is Terror is… hold on

Following the heinous attack on Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park, London, I’m confused by the use of the words ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’.

(If there are any lawyers out there who can critique this and rebut my arguments, please do so. I’m not entirely certain, of course, as I am no lawyer.)

I also want to look at the use of ‘terror’ and its derivatives in relation to the BBC’s reporting of violence in Israel and also at the recent Al Quds Day march in London at the weekend.

There is a legal definition of terrorism in the Terrorism Act 2000 and its provisions and subsequent amendments.

So let’s look at the relevant parts of the Act.

1 Terrorism: interpretation.

(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—

(a) the action falls within subsection (2),

(b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government [F1or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

(c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [F2, racial] or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it—

(a) involves serious violence against a person,

(b) involves serious damage to property,

(c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

(4) In this section—

(a) “action” includes action outside the United Kingdom,

(b) a reference to any person or to property is a reference to any person, or to property, wherever situated,

(c) a reference to the public includes a reference to the public of a country other than the United Kingdom, and

(d) “the government” means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.

(5) In this Act a reference to action taken for the purposes of terrorism includes a reference to action taken for the benefit of a proscribed organisation.

My reading of this is that the Finsbury Park attacker committed an act of terrorism ONLY if he intended to intimidate a section of the public – namely Muslims –  otherwise this is a hate crime, not an act of terrorism, even though he used a method used by terrorists in the UK, France and Israel in recent times.

To be a terrorist, his action must fall under Section 2 – well, clearly it does. But look at Section 1. Although we await the outcome of police investigations and interrogations, I think it highly unlikely that there was any ’cause’ involved. Osborne was not intending to further a political or religious agenda or influence the government. Notice the word ‘and’ between 1(b) and 1(c).  Just because the attacker intended to kill or used a method used by terrorists doesn’t mean it is terrorism (UNLESS he uses firearms or explosives which is terrorism regardless of motivation. Neither were used.)

Until the Act is amended to include the use of vehicular attacks, it’s probably not strictly terror. If someone decides to mow down a group of revellers with his van because he doesn’t like their rowdiness, that’s attempted murder; if they are all African-Caribbean then that might be a hate crime, but it’s not terror.

If someone daubs a synagogue with a swastika, that’s a hate crime because it does not involve anything in Section 2. If a man wearing a kippa is punched and abused that is not terrorism because there is no political or religious cause being advanced; it’s ‘just’ a hate crime.

If we look at Manchester and London Bridge, however, we know that the perpetrators did have a religio-political agenda. In the first case explosives were used, so that is terror by any interpretation. London Bridge was an indiscriminate attack motivated by a fanatical religious zeal where the perpetrators believe they are acting according to the will of their god, and it’s definitely designed to intimidate the public. In this case, there is also a pseudo-political aim because political Islam does have an agenda to pursue power to change Western culture and belief and to kill non-believers in pursuance of that goal. Such acts are required and worthy in their interpretation of their religion. It also sees as justified targets all citizens of countries that it believes to be at war with Islam.


A study of the act also reveals why the BBC’s failure to recognise attacks in Israel as terrorism is also degrading the term and ignoring its provisions.

For years now Israelis have been subject to knife and ramming attacks against civilians, yet the BBC is determined to characterise these attacks as militancy, not terror. The reason it does this is because it perceives these attacks as part of a political conflict where the use of the terms ‘terror’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ would reflect the interpretation and viewpoint of one particular side in that conflict – namely Israel.

However, the BBC is a UK organisation and it is, therefore, incumbent on that organisation to interpret these terms wherever the act may occur even if it’s outside the jurisdiction of the UK. The BBC is not required by law to do so, but as a publicly owned company, surely it is in the public interest to use accurate terminology. How often to people say ‘terror is terror is terror’ wherever it occurs and by WHOMEVER is it committed.

So let’s look at the Act and its provisions which will show us a striking similarity between some of those provisions and the actions and policies of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, my interpretation of the Act would mean that the PA is itself a terrorist organisation using the definitions in that Act.

With reference to the kind of act that is a described as terror, then, it is clear from the definition above that a Palestinian, by mowing down civilians with a car or stabbing someone indiscriminately on a train is doing so, by their own confession, as a result of the conflict. They are, therefore, politically and religiously motivated, seek to intimidate and, as they see it, further the cause of removing Israeli Jews from not just the West Bank/Judea Samaria, but the whole of Israel. If it is terror on London Bridge then it is terror at Damascus Gate.

An amendment to the Act in 2006 states:

5A) The cases in which an organisation promotes or encourages terrorism for the purposes of subsection (5)(c) include any case in which activities of the organisation—

(a)include the unlawful glorification of the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of acts of terrorism; or

(b)are carried out in a manner that ensures that the organisation is associated with statements containing any such glorification.

(5B)The glorification of any conduct is unlawful for the purposes of subsection (5A) if there are persons who may become aware of it who could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified, is being glorified as—

(a)conduct that should be emulated in existing circumstances, or

(b)conduct that is illustrative of a type of conduct that should be so emulated.

(5C)In this section—

“ glorification ” includes any form of praise or celebration, and cognate expressions are to be construed accordingly;

“ statement ” includes a communication without words consisting of sounds or images or both.

Anyone with the remotest knowledge of the activities of the PA will instantly recognise that this is exactly what it does continuously, unashamedly and with gusto with regard to acts of terrorism (taking the UK’s own definition and interpretation of the Act) in Israel and the Territories. If the acts they glorify are terror then the PA is a terror supporting organisation and proscribable.

Recently, attacks have been aimed at Israeli security forces whether they are soldiers or police. My belief is that this is a deliberate change in tactic brought about by the failure of the West’s interpretation and condemnation of terror; by attacking those in uniform the perpetrators and their supporters can claim that the attack is a legitimate act of self-defence in an ongoing military conflict and deflect any criticism coming from the new White House.

So, what would undoubtedly be described as ‘terror’ were it to take place in the UK is glossed over as a ‘reaction’ to ‘occupation’ and, therefore, seen as regrettable but ‘understandable’ even legitimate action and ‘resistance’ not just by the PA and its supporters but by the BBC and the UK government. Whereas, at the root of the conflict is a religious and cultural hatred of Jews that pre-dates any ‘occupation’ or, indeed, the creation of the State of Israel.

Proscribed Flags

It seems that having a political wing – Fatah/PA, Sinn Féin/IRA, Hezbollah/Hezbollah – can get you a free pass. In the latter case, we recently witnessed, once again, the blatant flying of the Hezbollah flag in the so-called Al Quds Day march in London, so nobly opposed and disrupted by various Jewish and Zionist organisations. Petitions were signed, the Mayor pleaded with but the march went ahead and the flags were flown. Why can they get away with it? Because the UK is ambiguous on Hezbollah because, although its military wing is proscribed under the Act*, its political wing is not and, guess what, they both have the same flag. This means the police are, presumably, directed to ignore it. Of course, if Hezbollah were blowing up Brits the flag would be banned immediately – or would it? You never know these days.

Here’s the section of the Act about support for terror which should be interpreted to ban flags of proscribed organisations and prosecute those displaying them in public:

12 Support.

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he invites support for a proscribed organisation, and

(b)the support is not, or is not restricted to, the provision of money or other property (within the meaning of section 15).

(2)A person commits an offence if he arranges, manages or assists in arranging or managing a meeting which he knows is—

(a)to support a proscribed organisation,

(b)to further the activities of a proscribed organisation, or

(c)to be addressed by a person who belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation.

(3)A person commits an offence if he addresses a meeting and the purpose of his address is to encourage support for a proscribed organisation or to further its activities.

(4)Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (2)(c) in respect of a private meeting it is a defence for him to prove that he had no reasonable cause to believe that the address mentioned in subsection (2)(c) would support a proscribed organisation or further its activities.

(5)In subsections (2) to (4)—

(a)“meeting” means a meeting of three or more persons, whether or not the public are admitted, and

(b)a meeting is private if the public are not admitted.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, to a fine or to both, or

(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.




*The military wing of Hizballah, including the Jihad Council and all units reporting to it (including the Hizballah External Security Organisation.

Socialism of Fools

A few weeks ago I was surprised to receive an email from the Columbia University Press asking me if I was interested in receiving and reviewing a book on anti-Semitism.

The book duly arrived. It is ‘Socialism of Fools’  (Il socialismo degli imbecilli)1 by Michele Battini, a distinguished professor of modern history at the University of PIsa and a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The book is translated from Italian. This is a highly academic and learned book which reads like a doctoral thesis. The subject-matter is the history of anti-Semitism and anti-Capitalism in Europe from the Enlightenment, specifically after the French Revolution, up to the present day.

The structure of the book is more a series of essays which take us, roughly, on a chronological journey through the swamps of European anti-Semitism. It is not a history in the accepted sense, so there is no formal chronology, but there is a sense of moving forward in time as the book progresses. At the same time, there a frequent looks back and forward depending on the subject of the ‘essay’.

Battini concentrates on key figures in right and left wing socialism in Italy and France, but also covers leading figures in Germany and Europe in general.

The book presents an intellectual challenge as it deals with political and philosophical movements and individuals that few are very familiar with. The academic style of the book, along with the density of reference and the assumption of knowledge, makes it a hard, yet fascinating read.

The premise of the book is that modern anti-Semitism arose as a consequence of both anti-Enlightenment and anticapitalist movements. The anti-Enlightenment was fuelled by a reactionary, anti-Liberal Roman Catholic church which saw the Jews, newly emancipated after the French Revolution, as siding with, and promoting, the free market (which it virulently opposed) and as part of a conspiracy to break down the ancien régime and exploit the opportunities offered by new freedoms. Hence, capitalism was just a progression of usury, formerly the domain of Jewry alone. Jews were the enemy within, empowered by newly-won equality before the law to gain power and influence and, ultimately, carry out their plans for political and economic dominance.

So, these regressive forces of anti-Enlightenment began to write and propagandise their anticapitalist, anti-Jewish views in an attempt to roll back the revolution and limit Jewish power.

The rise of Marxist philosophy, as the 19th century progressed, identified Jews as purveyors of a malign free-market conspiracy and this movement, too, was infected with anti-Jewish anticapitalism. Thus both left and right had perceived grievances with Jews, who now began to flourish in Western Europe where the old tropes and blood libels eventually reemerged in, for example, the fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion, produced on the cusp of the 20th century.

Early in the book we are given a panorama, or an overview, of how modern anti-Semitism had its origins in the nascent Church which promulgated its supersessionist ideology, identifying Christianity as verus Israel, the True Israel and Jews as stubborn deniers of the Faith, clinging to their ancient beliefs, refusing to accept Christ and conversion. It is not difficult to see how the new religion of the Roman Empire, designed to be acceptable to a wide range of pagans, should see the Jews as an eternal enemy, deicides, and a corrupt and malevolent presence on which to project the dogma of damnation and heresy.

The Church saw in the Enlightenment what we would now recognise as a growing secularism and materialism which undermined its hegemony by liberating individuals from traditional feudal hierarchies. The Church was, therefore, decidedly anti-Democratic.

Some commentators even saw Jewish collusion in the rise of Protestantism which directly challenged and then denied the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church. Thus, throughout the 19th century, the Church pushed against the Enlightenment, the free market, capitalism and the Rights of Man. At the centre of this web and the new order was the Jew, the usurer, the banker, the striver for equality, the eternal enemy, the antithesis of the Church.

These attitudes permeated French society which, despite social changes throughout the 19th century, was still a Catholic stronghold. Anti-Semitism here, Battini explains, eventually exploded in the cause célèbre of the Dreyfus affair. The Jew was naturally the most likely betrayer of the nation, even though the man himself was a secular Jew with no great affiliation to his religion. His German name, perhaps, also contributing to the reflexive accusation of treason.

Battini gives us a long and detailed history of French anti-Semitism introducing de Bonald, Toussenel, Drumont and Proudhon and the progress of anti-Semitic socialism in the 19th century. In a complex series of interwoven political and ideological threads the Jews, once again, are seen as an internal enemy promulgating anti-agrarian capitalism and financial feudalism. So when the French economy hits the buffers, the scapegoat, as always, is the Jew.

Battini demonstrates throughout his work that the reasons for hating Jews have morphed over the centuries and that the glacier of anti-Semitism has collected the accumulated moraine of reasons to hate Jews and to scapegoat them with all the ills of society.

It is instructive to note that just as the Church believed that the ultimate salvation of the Jews and the end to the ‘Jewish Question’ would come with their conversion, so, in the world of socialism there was a complementary idea of converting the Jews and ‘curing’ them of their capitalism by the ultimate triumph of universal socialism. In this scenario, Jews would be assimilated into the amorphous body of international socialism, and any Jewish traits likely to exploit fellow citizens would be nullified forever. In effect, both Church and Marxist philosophies desired the social annihilation of the Jews before National Socialism contemplated the physical annihilation.

I wondered, at this point, whether this ancient desire of the socialists to turn the Jewish propensity for exploitation through capitalism (as they saw it) has an echo in the current animus of the left against the State of Israel and, in some quarters, Jews in general. Israel is seen as the bastard progeny of the uber-capitalist United States. But worse, it is a capitalism that is working and thriving. Therefore, the Jews must be exploiting someone to achieve this free-market success – and it’s the ‘Palestinians’, victims of aggressive capitalist colonialism. Add to this a strong nationalism and desire for self-determination, mix in some traditional undercurrents of European anticapitalism and anti-Semitism and Israel represents everything the far left hates. Not surprisingly this can manifest itself in the form of modern variants of ancient tropes such as blood libels – Israelis harvesting organs, Jewish power – the Israel lobby, loyalty to a foreign state – the enemy within seeking to undermine the political system to favour Jews and their state.

Of course, there are contradictions inherent in bigotry: the right will see the prominence of Jews in socialist and communist history and the left will see the bankers and the businessmen. If the contradiction is pointed out then it is dismissed as two aspects of the same plot for world hegemony – the twenty million against the seven billion.

National Socialism was a movement which extolled the negation of the individual to submerge him in a national project. Democracy and the Rights of Man emanating from the Enlightenment stressed the primacy of the individual – the state was the servant of the people not the other way round.

Jewish experience of subjugation and persecution, denial of rights and freedoms could either lead to support for those freedoms or to see the need to negate their Jewish heritage in a socialist utopian future. Hence, Jews were well represented both in western democracies and in revolutionary Marxism. National Socialism, the enemy of both, had its prejudices against Jews reinforced and justified. Jews were always the losers whichever philosophy they attached themselves to.

Battini takes us on a journey through the development of French anticapitalist and corporatism from the second half of the 19th century up to the Vichy government which rather predictably blamed the devastating defeat at the hands of the Germans on a Jewish conspiracy. The Jews were to conquer the world by a two-pronged strategy of Bolshevism and banking. The Jews, as ever, remained an easy target for scapegoating from a nation reeling from its own inability to defend the nation from humiliation and subjugation. Not for the first time, nor the last, Jews provided a focus of hatred and contempt even as they were transported to the gas chambers in the East.

The Italian author has, of course, to address the rise of Mussolini and fascism in his own country and the path toward anti-Jewish laws and sentiment. Battini, now on home ground, presents us with the life and work of Paolo Orano, someone very few students of anti-Semitism outside Italy would have heard of, yet, according to Battini, he was a pivotal figure in the development of anticapitalist syndicalism to fascism. Orano was, indeed, an inspiration to Mussolini himself and his ideas informed the fascist movements of the early 20th century.

Orano, who seems to have had an ambiguous attitude toward the Church, nevertheless saw Italian Jews in very much the same way as the French anti-Semites: in other words an enemy within, anticlerical conspirators plotting the overthrow of the state and bending it to the financial machinations of Jewish capital. Orano was not averse to adopting the most heinous blood libels against Jews to emphasise their moral bankruptcy. Jews were not part of the Latin and neo-Roman order and never had been and Italian fascism which was strongly nationalist and racist had no place for its Jews. Despite this, it seems to me that Italians were less enthusiastic about sending Jews to their destruction than many other nationalities in Europe, but the role of the Church and the Pope during the Shoah is addressed in greater detail in other works, such as Hitler’s Pope by John Cornwell.

Battini makes many references to Hannah Arendt whose works are particularly pertinent to the author’s context. Arendt who styled herself as a political theorist wrote about totalitarianism and also the potential conflict between universal human rights and civil rights. It is interesting to note that related views have informed the recent Brexit debate in the UK where national rights and obligations were represented as at risk and undermined by the higher European authorities and international courts which deal with infra-national rights rather than the specific exigencies of national legal frameworks.

In the context of this book, Arendt’s views of the social nature of European anti-Semitism as distinct from the older forms of religious animus against Jews are referenced.

It is at this point the State of Israel enters the fray because, by its nature, it is a Jewish national movement of self-determination which from the end of the 19th century to the present day is witness to the failure of the Enlightenment to assimilate Jews into European culture.

When the declared Rights of Man failed to provide Jews with physical and economic security in Europe and the Russian Empire they were emboldened by the very same principles to create their own socialist enclave in their historic homeland. It is, perhaps, ironic, that the early Zionists were agrarianists establishing moshavim and kibbutzim which were models of socialist principles and which extolled the virtues of work and developing the land. Of course, it was Herzl’s presence at the Dreyfus trial which gave impetus and structure to Zionism. The subsequent break-up of the Ottoman empire gave the Jews the opportunity to establish a state.

Battini defines the history of anti-Jewish anticapitalism – his ‘socialism of imbeciles’ as:

‘..  a process of social.. events that involve structure deeply rooted in European culture and reveal the Jewish support for legal emancipation but also opposition to the Enlightenment enterprise of assimilation.’2

I began to have a slightly uneasy feeling that there was an element of accusation here that the Jews, insisting on their separate dual identity within the European states, cleaving to their ancient traditions, were, somehow, partly to blame for their own destruction, however morally obnoxious the perpetrators of that destruction were.

I don’t believe this is Battini’s view but I do see a subliminal atavistic fear of one’s own otherness here. Jews, generally, see age-old persecution and accusations of pushiness, deceit and deviousness as arising from bigotry, yet, to survive, these traits may well have been present to the extent that they were identified as a characteristic, one would hope disproportionately. But I feel there is an underlying sense in this book that grievances against Jews were partly justified, but the response to those grievances were not.

It should be noted that the book repeatedly refers to the Enlightenment view, especially in France, that emancipation would be an antidote to Jews’ moral decadence and that it would ‘improve’ them. Added to this, a better regulated financial system and the free-market would remove the usurious practices of the Jew. At the same time, it was acknowledged, in some quarters, that the character of the Jews was, to some extent, the result of Christian persecution and the restrictions and exclusions placed on them. The extent, if any, of moral decadence among French Jews and those of other nationalities and how they differed from the general population is a matter for further study.

Arendt pointed out that assimilation did not save the Jews. Yet, is it not a very socialist viewpoint, whether you are of the left or right, to insist that full acceptance into the socialist embrace requires renouncing other allegiances? And this leads on to the difference between acculturation and assimilation where the former allows for a dual identity but the latter denies one. The former allows for Jewishness or any sort of otherness, the latter demands the sloughing off of the old allegiances and tribalisms and subsumption into a new single identity.

Yet modern Europe, learning or believing to have learned, the lessons of the Holocaust, embraced multi-culturalism which says assimilation is not necessary, and neither is acculturation, until the lack of either becomes so antithetical to the cohesion of the social structure that the political system begins to push back against it.

The last chapter or essay concerns ‘The Shoah, Social Anti-Semitism, and its Aftermath’.

Battini reiterates his conviction that he has demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism is a social outcome of Jewish emancipation and the Enlightenment. The Shoah was not an inevitable consequence of European anti-Semitism, but a product of a kind of evolutionary progression that was unpredictable, yet organic.

Battini draws together the many threads that led to the Shoah and stresses the importance of confronting the myths, tropes and false history that lead to negationist memes infecting the culture and the principles which lay at the core of historical analysis: truth, evidence and demonstrable facts. From the denial and negation of facts comes the accusation of lies, and from those lies the Jews are seen to be exploiting a non-existent or exaggerated history in order to morally blackmail and extort reparations. Hence, the Jews’ greatest tragedy is twisted into yet another plot to gain malign influence and power.

With regard to the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict Battini is right when he points out:

‘The Diaspora Jews are now depicted as the emissaries, the accomplices, the representatives of the State of Israel, which would constitute a military and intelligence outpost of the “American Empire”. In the “antiglobal” attitude, which has taken the place of the old anticapitalism, there are often ideological residues of European anti-Jewish anticapitalism, unearthed above all in Central and Eastern Europe or reemerging in the language of Islamist extremist groups.’3

This shift from anti-Semitism to anti-Zionism, with the Israelis egregiously depicted as the new Nazis to the Palestinian victims – the new Jews,  has downgraded the memory of the Holocaust.

What Battini does not say is that it is this shift to anti-Zionist rhetoric, which is a fig-leaf for anti-Semitism, has been expressly promulgated to diminish the Jewish catastrophe of the Shoah in order to promote a false equivalence with perceived Palestinian victimhood. Battini’s views reveal themselves as being on the left of centre with regard to Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. That is his prerogative and is not core to his subject-matter.

I was hoping this book would throw some light on what we perceive as the modern alliance of far left socialists and anti-western, anti-Zionist forces in the Middle East and beyond. Could the past throw light on the present? Indeed, there were certain moments of clarity in this scholarly work where linkages between the socialism of the left and fascism, and their common cause in anti-Jewish anticapitalism presented them as two sides of a political and philosophical coin.

What the book does not do is explore whether European anti-Jewish attitudes and Christian anti-Semitism infected Islamic culture or whether Muslim Jew-hatred arose independently. Certainly, Arab nationalism has produced, since the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, both left- and right-wing forms of socialism – for example Ba’athists were inspired by revolutionary socialism and against individualism; the PLO/Fatah has many connections to revolutionary, anti-imperial movements across the world, whilst Hamas’ quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Freemasonry in its anti-Semitic charter.

This work deserves a close reading and re-reading as it contains a dense network of material that any student of European and Jewish history would find informative and challenging.
Battini is dispassionate as he weaves his web of historical threads and presents his thesis. This may be the way of the academic historian, to remove himself from the story and look down upon the theatre of events he describes.

Yet, there is something emotionless about his prose. Maybe Battini does not like to see history presented as a story but I would guess that  non-academics, like myself, who are not historians but interested in history, per se, might prefer the style and lighter touch of popular historians such as Martin Gilbert. Nevertheless, this is an important work for those prepared to wade through its scholarly stolidity to eventually emerge with a greater knowledge and understanding of Battini’s subject-matter.

At the end of my reading, and re-reading, I remain left with the impression that any attempt to ‘explain’ anti-Semitism is always doomed to fall short of true enlightenment or epiphany simply because of the irrationality of Jew-hatred. If you succeed in explaining it logically you must prove that, to some extent at least, Jews are and have been the originators of the animus against them by virtue of their culture, beliefs and actions. This may be true, but it does not explain the uniqueness, ubiquity or persistence of anti-Semitism across two millennia.

1 The title is an 1893 quote from August Bebel ‘Der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle’ but has been attributed to Ferdinand Kronawetter. Bebel was the founder of the German Social Democratic Party
 2 Socialism of Fools p159
 3 ibid p191

A Muslim stopped me on the street

There I was, on the last 400 metre stretch of my daily constitutional walk, when a small car approached on the wrong side of the road, and I could sense that it would stop and the driver would ask me for directions.

It happens frequently when I’m out. I must have the sort of face which says: ‘Grew up up in the era of the A-Z and will know where Acacia Avenue is’. It always amazes me that not everyone has sat-nav these days or thinks to carry a map, or plan their journey in advance.

But I digress.

The car pulled over to the kerb a few metres ahead of me, the driver’s door opened and out sprang a man in his thirties “of Middle-eastern appearance”. Now, not being one to tar everyone with the same brush, and being rather taken aback that he hadn’t just wound down his window and said, “you look like someone from the era of the A-Z and will know where Acacia Avenue is’, I felt that leaping out at me from his hatchback was of no immediate concern.

“Sorry to burden you”, he said, “but I have found some books”. This wasn’t the statement I was expecting. Now, it seemed, I looked like someone who might be interested in books, and this nice young man thought he would stop the first random pedestrian and offer him some.

“They’re in the boot”, he informed me. Still thinking it perfectly normal for a complete stranger to be offering me books rather than asking about said Acacia Avenue, I accompanied him to the tailgate. It was at this point I also noticed a little boy in the back seat. However, this gave me no comfort as my mind was not saying ‘jihadi with a Kalashnikov in the boot’ but ‘pleasant, smartly-dressed person desperate to relieve himself of a book collection.’

“I found these”, he said, as we both stared at a large cardboard box in which were an assortment of Jewish religious texts and the remnants of a pair of tefillin covered in dirt and grime.

“I wanted to know what to do with them. I respect all religions and I thought someone would want them”.

I then gave him a brief introduction to the rules of “shaimos” – the disposal of Jewish religious texts and explained they should be buried by Jews.

“Where did you find them?”

“I’ve just moved into the area and I was digging in my garden and I found them there. Should I take them to the synagogue?”

I thanked him for being so sensitive about the nature of these objects and advised him what to do with them. I couldn’t carry them home. Too heavy and awkward (not me, the books). I trusted him to do the right thing because he had thus far.

When I was home, I called the secretary of the synagogue informing him that a Muslim was on his way with a box and not to be alarmed.  He told me something similar had happened before when a Muslim had come on the bus on a 10-mile journey because he had found some Jewish prayer books and wanted to personally deliver them.

It was only afterwards that I wondered how the man had known I was Jewish.  I had no outward visible signs of being such. Do I really look so obviously Jewish? What if I hadn’t been Jewish. Some unsuspecting non-Jew would have puzzled over the texts, shrugged and carried on to Acacia Avenue. Was the driver just stopping everyone he could see who looked like they might be Jewish and I was just the last in a long line of hopeful, but ultimately disappointed bibliophiles?

It does show you, doesn’t it, that there are still heart-warming stories out there, and plenty of good, decent folk ready to confound your prejudices.

At least I now know that I have the appearance of ‘a Jewish man of a certain age who not only looks like he has memorised the A-Z, but also know what to do with disinterred Jewish religious artefacts’.





Britannia Redux – return to the rabbit-hole

I wrote here about waking up one day and finding that a vile anti-Zionist was leader of the Labour Party.

Since writing that blog post I am more convinced than ever that at some point during the  last few months I did, indeed, pass through a wormhole into an alternative universe.

You don’t believe me? Well, that’s because you are denizens of that universe and I am a mere interloper who has lost his way and is desperate to get Back to the Future.

Look. In my universe, the Premier League is won by Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal or Chelsea. In your universe, Leicester City, a club of no known provenance, wins the Premier League. It may be normal for you, but not for me.

In my universe it is surely beyond credible that Wales would even qualify for Euro2016 let alone win their group. In your universe they end up as semi-finalists. It’s as if the laws of nature have been torn up. I would have to qualify that incredulity by observing that England’s performances appear impervious to whatever universe they are inhabiting.

Did you know, for example, that Novak Djokovic does not lose to someone ranked 41 in the world at Wimbledon? But he does in your universe.

Although sport is of the utmost importance, replacing religion, in my universe – let’s call it U1 from now on – in your universe (U2) it appears its place is taken by politics.

I now inhabit a universe in which the UK will soon be on its way out of the EU, Michael Gove might be Prime Minister and Boris Johnson’s political career is toast.

It’s all about the Law of Unforeseen Consequences (LUC). Well, in U1, where, I presume, none of this has happened, we didn’t foresee this .

But, I am trapped in U2 (no, nothing to do with Bono) and, by the way, if anyone knows a way back – maybe Professor Hawking (you do have a Professor Hawking, don’t you?) has created in U2 a method whereby I can return to the status quo ante – please let me know.

On the theme of the LUC, you guys in U2 voted for a Conservative majority, whereas in U1 David Cameron was expecting a coalition and, for all I know, is currently in power with Nigel Farage. Therefore, he thought it a clever ploy to agree to a referendum on EU  membership in the Tory party manifesto, which in U2 is known as Brexit. This was a sop to the Eurosceptics in his party and a device to win over potential defectors to U(2)KIP.

But what happened, my (now) fellow U2ers? He went and bloody won a majority. Instead of shutting up the Brexiters and putting Boris back in his box, he ended up having to have that referendum.

And here I am, in U2, no way back (Hawking?).

OK, I guess there are some unintended positives under the LUC; for example, having lost 10% of the value of my (Self-invested) pension overnight, and then finding sterling at its lowest against the dollar since 1985, my pension has more than recovered, the FTSE is at its highest for many months and only my bank stocks are looking a poor investment. Who knows – maybe your U2 Brexit will be good for the economy after all and I won’t have to pester Professor Hawking.

However, I did warn everyone that, if Brexit became a reality, the Scots would be justified in pushing for a second Indyref, and this time they would vote to leave the Union. What I didn’t contemplate was that Brexit would give the Northern Ireland Nationalists extra grist to their aspirations to unify the island of Ireland and stay within the EU.

I am pleased to say that in U1 Europeans in the UK feel welcome here, add significantly to our national story, our culture, our natural impulse to tolerance and our instinct for hospitality. This Europeanism makes browsing the aisles of Tesco (other stores are available) like a waltz through the culinary predilections of Europe. Who has not been drawn to fare on sale in the Polish section and not marvelled at how so much can be described with so few vowels in a language that appears to have been written in a cipher or by someone throwing the contents of a Scrabble bag in the air as a method of deciding nomenclature? (Apologies to my Polish colleagues).

Back in U2 those same fine folk are now subjected to abuse from a minority who have been emboldened by their perverted reasons for voting for Brexit (instead of the majority more nobly motivated). No doubt, this will die down, but it is not only Jews and Muslims now who are feeling the discomfort of being despised by random strangers.

And then there’s the Labour party. In U2 the party has allowed itself to be infiltrated and taken over by an unsavoury group of Marxists, Trotskyists, anti-Zionists and delusional ‘progressives’.

In U1 the Labour Party was a centre Left party with politicians of stature who respected the traditions of the UK Parliament and its flawed, but workable democracy. We in U1 may have disagreed with their policies and you might have voted for other parties, but at least they were, before Miliband, a credible opposition who could challenge the government and call it to account.

In U2 the Labour Party is run by a cabal with no respect for its own parliament, its own MPs or the electorate. Furthermore, it has presided over a plethora of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic ‘incidents’ that have made the majority of Jews in this country more uneasy than at any time since 1948.

This culminated in an event beyond parody where the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s anodyne report on anti-Semitism (and other forms of prejudice) within the Labour Party resulted in its leader using one of the comparisons of Israel excoriated by  Chakrabarti in her report and a Jewish MP being verbally harassed and ‘outed’ with a classic anti-Semitic trope.

These things just didn’t happen in U1, I can assure you. Yet, this is another example of the LUC; give the members of the Labour Party one person-one vote – just like a referendum – and you don’t achieve democracy, what you achieve is a parallel democracy to the parliamentary system that has served this country for almost 400 years. Plebiscites and referendums are dangerous tools, and democracy is so nuanced and so finely balanced in the UK that you meddle with it at your peril. These tools are usually used when the launcher is expecting to retain the status quo and is demonstrating his or her democratic credentials whilst doing whatever they can do to guide the process towards their own desired result. This was true of Indyref where the government just prevailed, but in Brexit they came a cropper.

And what of ‘austerity’, which Labour and its cohorts thought – ha, ha – that they could dispose of by borrowing and spending on public services? Silly idea in U1, but in U2 George Osborne has loosened fiscal policies, signalling an end to full Austerity, and trailed an increase in borrowing to invest in public works to stimulate the economy and avoid a recession.

So we U1ers are justified in asking why the hell he couldn’t do that when the economy was, reportedly, so strong. It seems paradoxical to an ignorant U1er, like me. It might just pull the policy rug from under the feet of the Labour Party – or Labour Parties – because another result of the LUC is the possibility of the Labour party becoming a covert, or not so covert, Trotskyite Party and the 170 MPs who voted no confidence in their leader forming a new party. Wouldn’t it be something if we had 170 by-elections as anti-Corbynistas refuse to  take the whip, resigning from the party and, perhaps, creating a realignment in British politics. Maybe that’s one for U3. Whatever happens, the Parliamentary Labour Party must find a way of reconciling the clear antagonism of the party members to elected MPs who face the threat of deselection. One thing for sure, party conferences this year should be great theatre.

In the meantime, Nicola Sturgeon might be enjoying an extended period as leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition – something else we U1ers would never have predicted.

O brave new world that has such people in’t!

PS One of the leading proponents of the multiverse is the renowned physicist Dr David Deutsch. In U1, around 1970, we were at school together. I played him at chess – and won (ahem). Little did I know that almost half a century later I’d experience the reality of his great theory first hand.

Anti-Semitism, anti-zionism and left-wing double-think

All my life, I voted Labour. My parents voted Labour. My aunts and uncles voted Labour. Voting Labour was about social justice, fighting class prejudice, equal opportunities, supporting the ‘workers’, confronting undeserved privilege, helping the weak against the strong.

In 2001, on polling day in the UK General Election, I was visiting my mother in hospital and intended to vote that evening. My car broke down in the car park and I had to wait for the AA to tow me to a petrol station. I then had 12 minutes to get to the polling booth, a distance of about 4 miles. I broke the speed limit several times, finally screeching to a halt at the school where I was to vote. As I ran in, the officials were packing up. ‘Am I too late?’, I asked. ‘You have one minute’, they replied. I put my X against the Labour candidate and presumed that I was the last person in the country to vote.

I have always insisted that we should all vote. People died so we can vote. Most people in the world do not have the right to vote in a democratic election.

I had also long held the view that whatever your views on Israel and how those views are shared or not shared by a particular political party, you should vote for what is best for the country, for the UK. Your support of Israel should not influence how you want THIS country to be run. This was always my view. I took the position that I have a duty to my fellow citizens to vote for a party that would would benefit most people and I should not subordinate this solemn duty to my own parochial affiliations,

Then Ed Miliband happened.

Miliband began making statements about Israel and Gaza which would sit well coming from the mouths of Israel’s enemies; virulent and shrill anti-Zionists. Yet Ed declared he WAS a Zionist. So, why was he couching discussion of the Gaza conflict in such terms? I came to the conclusion that he was disingenuous. He was playing to both the far Left in his party and the Muslim community, which he assumed likes to hear politicians condemning Israel. In other words, he was a left wing Labour politician first and a Jew and a Zionist somewhat low-down in his list of cultural identification. The virulence of his language simply said ‘Yes, I’m a Jew, but don’t let that put you off voting for me because I can condemn Israel like a good’un’.

At the last election, despite knowing my Jewish Labour MP is a Zionist, I decided that voting for him would mean that I wanted a Labour MP and another seat in the Commons which might bring Miliband to power. My view was that the UK would become a darker place for Jews if that happened. I’m sure my parents and ancestors would have understood why I stopped supporting the Labour party. Turkeys shouldn’t vote for Christmas, as the saying goes.

And it would be darker because anti-Zionism is very easily converted to anti-Semitism. You don’t believe me? Well, does your church, mosque, C of E school or your Muslim school require three metre high fencing and security guards? My Jewish school does. My synagogue does. And the reason is not because there are a lot of anti-Semites in the UK, it’s because there are a lot of anti-Zionists – and they don’t pay too much attention to the distinction.

If you don’t think anti-Zionism is all too often anti-Semitism then explain to me why any conflict between Israel and the Palestinians makes me less safe, but when Islamists kill UK citizens across the globe the Muslim community in the UK, quite rightly, garners sympathy and reassurance that these events have nothing to do with them.

So when Ed lost the election I was relieved. And, despite Cameron also using emotive language on Gaza and the conflict in general, he is very strong on fighting anti-Semitism (its why there is a security guard outside my synagogue) and he is generally supportive of Israel whilst being, when so moved, a critical friend. That’s fine. Israel is not immune from criticism.

Then Corbyn happened.

This was pretty much the nightmare scenario that no-one believed could happen. But happen it did. The Trots had arrived. And I wrote about it here.

I predicted that this election of a long-standing Israel hater would embolden every anti-Zionist  in the party and outside. Since his election as leader it has been clear that anti-Israelism is firmly centre stage as never before for the the far Left. Anti-Semitism was fashionable and unashamed at last, albeit, frequently fig-leafing itself as anti-Zionism.

A string of anti-Semitic statements from  Labour Party members in recent weeks and days culminated in one the Four Horsemen of whom I wrote, Ken Livingstone, making the most egregious and incomprehensible statements about Jews and Nazis that has ever been heard from a politician in this country,

I don’t want to rehearse the details of this furore or Ken Livingstone’s historical illiteracy, as you can find many more able commentators views strewn across the media (Niall Ferguson in the Sunday Times, for example), but I do want to try, as others, to make the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. I also want to understand how politicians from a progressive party actually inflame the problem which they vehemently oppose.

Anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews simply because they are Jews. That is the dictionary definition and anyone who claims he can’t be anti-Semitic because Arabs are Semites is clearly anti-Semitic.

Anti-Zionism is more complex. To understand anti-Zionism you have to understand Zionism. Zionism was and remains a political movement that sought to establish a national home for Jews in their ancestral land. How that was to be achieved and its affect on other groups living in that ancestral home are not part of the definition, although they are part of the history of Zionism.

Zionism achieved its goal in 1948. The State of Israel is as legitimate an entity as the United States. Whether you like it or not. Being anti-Zionist means you do not believe that a national home for Jews in Palestine should have been created.

Anti-Zionism, in these terms, is a perfectly legitimate position to hold. I could say that I don’t believe Kurdistan should become an independent state (I actually do believe it should, by the way). That would not mean I am anti-Kurd, it might mean that I don’t believe  the national aspirations of the Kurds should allow chunks of Turkey, Iraq and Syria to be taken as that homeland.

68 years after the establishment of the State of Israel, millions of people, mainly Muslim, but also their Marxist and progressive friends in Europe and across the world, want to see the Jewish state destroyed. Either they want the Jews to ‘go back home’ or they are deluded to believe that if there were one state for Jews and Palestinians it would be a democratic country where everyone would get on swimmingly with each other and no-one would kill anyone any longer.

That is anti-Zionism. It is either blatant anti-Semitism or it is the denial of Jewish nationalist aspirations. Anti-Zionism can be different to anti-Semitism, but it almost always is, at its core, anti-Semitism because it denies Jewish identity, history and rights whilst championing those who are openly and proudly anti-Semitic.

Time and again we hear the defence that critics of Israeli policies are smeared with accusations of being anti-Semitic to close down the debate on Israel’s ‘crimes’. That would be true if these ‘criticisms’ were made in the same way as criticism of other countries. Yet, when Israel attacks Gaza the streets of countries across the world are thronged with demos of very angry people who want Israel destroyed, Jews exterminated, and in support of Hamas or Hezbollah or both.  Can you name any other country which creates such outrage and hatred? No Israel supporter I know, no Jewish or Zionist institution I know regards criticism of Israeli government policies illegitimate or anti-Semitic. Contemplating the destruction of Israel because you don’t like it is, surely, anti-Semitic. If not, tell me another country you wish destroyed.

‘Criticism’ of Israel can be found in the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement which seeks to stop all trade and cultural contact with Israel to force it to change its policies and whose members often reveal that their real goal is to destroy Israel by kicking out 6 million Jews, or at least visiting on those Jews the consequences of becoming part of a Palestinian state. I’m sure they would all call themselves anti-Zionists even those that would need to have the concept explained to them. But never anti-Semitic.

I cannot help come to the conclusion that the Palestinians have become the poster-boys of Left Wing anti-Zionism because Israel is a Jewish state. Otherwise, how can a ‘progressive’  become an apologist for, and find common cause with, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, anti-Democratic, homophobic Islamists in the form of Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority. By all means criticise settlements, prejudice, even the tactics of war, but don’t then ally yourself with anti-Semites. Does that not make YOU an anti-Semite, even if you did sleep with a couple of Jewish girls (Livingstone).

Some Labour politicians (and those from other parties most notably Greens and Lib Dems, SNP and also some in the Conservative Party) ideologically support those that demonise the Jewish state and wish for its destruction whilst at the same time being completely against anti-Semitism. Once such person is Diane Abbott MP.

Her constituents include many Ultra Orthodox Jews. She has worked vigorously to protect them from attack in their schools and synagogues. But this same MP who appears at pro-Palestinian rallies, as a dutiful progressive has to do, cannot see that one of the reasons her Jewish constituents need her protection is because the uber-rhetoric of anti-Zionism which demonises, delegitimises and seeks to destroy Israel, which she cannot fail to see at these same rallies, is responsible for the hate directed at her Jews. It is the same equation we have seen in Belgium and France. The only difference is that the outcome of murderous Jew-hatred has not yet been visited on London or Manchester.

This is the double-think of the progressive Left. It divides the brain so that they can be class warriors fighting all forms of prejudice but at the same time supporting the most bigoted people on the planet. The progressive Left, therefore, in the UK or Europe, is guilty of outrageous hypocrisy and must share at least some part of the blame for the toxic anti-Semitism that is invading Europe. It is responsible because it is often the midwife of ‘anti-Zionism’.

This is why the leader of the Labour Party has asked for an investigation into anti-Semitism AND “other forms of racism’ in the Labour Party.
He simply cannot bring himself to admit that anti-Semitism has a unique place in his party. He is unlikely to find very much, if anything, about these ‘other forms’, so why include them when the recent row was about anti-Semitism only. But, perhaps, he might ask Shami Chakrabati to investigate anti-Zionism in his party – and how it victimises Jews in their national homeland. He might ask Shami to investigate individual party members’ support for pernicious Islamists and anti-Semites. Now that would be a worthwhile enquiry.

Sadly, Shami is likely to turn over a few small stones lurking in dark, dank places in the party and find, lo and behold, someone is anti-Semitic. Hooray,  the party faithful will say, that’s sorted that problem out, now let’s move on to that rally where we can all be Hamas.

Down the Rabbit Hole and Through the Looking-Glass …

Aliceroom3… and, it seems, through a wormhole.

Tomorrow I will wake up in a Britain with the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

What happened?

Did I accidentally take the wrong turn at La-La Land?

Have I somehow, like the dreamer in Piers Plowman , slombred in a slepyng and woken up in an alternative universe in a wildernesse, wist I never where.

What’s wrong with people!?

I wouldn’t mind that Corbyn has become leader of the Labour Party were it not that this means the Israel haters and the ‘anti-Zionists’ now have a delusional Marxist as their cheerleader.

After all, is it not good to ‘widen the debate’? Well it’s so wide now that we all risk falling into its great maw and being swallowed by pro-Pals., Trotskyites and Islamists.

Exaggeration? Come and sit where I sit, stand where I stand, walk where I walk, pray where I pray.

Corbyn is the apotheosis of Israel hate which morphs seamlessly with Jew hate. I do not accuse him of the latter, but he and his ilk seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the realities of of what ‘Free Palestine’ means for Jews and Judaism.

Now we shall see the Four Horsemen of the Socialist Apocalypse – Corbyn, Livingstone, Galloway and Abbot – reborn, nay, resurrected as part of an inverted, nightmare universe where Good is Evil and Evil is tolerated as long it hates Israel.

‘We are all one’ he says. ‘If only’, I say.

This is the delusion of the Left; to see the world not as it is but how you want it to be. And then, think up some stupid policies you hope will make it that way.

No, we are not ‘one’ and that is the whole point. It is this delusional belief in ‘oneness’ that threatens us all because you may believe it all you wish, but there are billions, yes billions, of people out there whose view of ‘oneness’ is not the same as your view of ‘oneness’. You, Mr Corbyn, want us to be one world where everyone is equal: men, women, gays, disabled; where everyone gets a living wage; where everyone can live according to his needs. Very noble. Yet, there is another form of ‘oneness’ which you are flirting with, in fact you are flirting to the extent that you will have to marry, and it will be a shotgun wedding, or a Kalashnikov one, and your offspring will be chaos, misery, war, famine and destruction. Then you’ll tell us ‘that wasn’t meant to happen. Peace brothers and sisters – all we want is universal peace and the end to war’.

And this other ‘oneness’ is the same ‘oneness’ that jack-booted its way across Europe in the 30s and its the same ‘oneness’ that sent millions to the Gulags and its the same ‘oneness’ that killed millions in the Cultural Revolution.

It’s not your cosy comradeship of the Left sort of oneness, it’s the oneness which says to hell with your democracies and your liberties and your human rights and your inclusiveness; to hell with 500 years of building European civilisation. You do what we do, believe what we believe or else.

This is the danger of Corbyn. Not that he wants to nationalise or re-nationalise everything that moves, not that he wants green policies but wants to re-open coalmines (WTF?) . The danger is that he will embolden the intolerant and bolster the haters.

And the danger is that Jews in this country will feel the rack of intolerance stepped up several notches. And where will we run to? Israel. The very place he doesn’t want us to go to or believe we have any right to. And if he tells you he is a two-stater it’s bollocks (sorry but sometimes the Anglo-Saxon is necessary) because those he associates with want one state and no Jews and he knows it. He thinks you can talk to Hamas and Hizbollah and you can talk to the IRA and you can talk to any two-bit terrorist and persuade him that what is needed is Socialism and ‘oneness’ and all will be OK.

But, clearly, I’ll wake up in the morning and David Miliband will be leader of the Labour Party, and Jeremy will still be a an under-achieving Trot who does good work in his constituency but will never be a front line politician because he doesn’t really believe in the institutions he is part of.

Tell me it is so – someone? Please?

« Older posts