Tag Archives: Ken Loach

Palestine Solidarity Campaign smears the Holocaust on anti-Balfour Declaration protest in London.

 

“Zionist Media Covers Up Palestinian Holocaust”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign cannot kick its smearing-the-Holocaust habit. A banner proclaiming the media is, basically, Jewish-controlled and that Jews are, basically, Nazis (see above) was proudly paraded on the PSC’s anti-Balfour Declaration march through London today. There was no objection to it from any PSC stewards.

Added to that a woman wearing a Palestinian flag kept repeating there were “concentration camps” in Palestinian villages (part 1 below) and repeatedly accused a Jewish man holding a British flag of being “the anti-Christ” (part 2 below):

Smearing the Holocaust is a common theme now at PSC events and anti-Israel events generally.

As the some 3,000 PSC activists proceeded down Oxford Street a group of about 30 pro-Israel campaigners stepped into the road in front of the march and put a stop to it for about 30 minutes before the police finally moved everyone on allowing the protest to end up in Parliament Square where it was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Diane Abbott MP (via a live link), Ken Loach, Andy Slaughter MP, Salma Yaqoob and Dave Randall, amongst others.

The pro-Israel group were also called “Zionist pigs” by PSC activists but here they are in their full glory:

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More peaceful disruptions to these anti-Semitic marches through London will undoubtedly rightly follow.

Here are some other photos from the PSC march. As you can see the slogans incorporate Holocaust smearing, the Star of David, the blood libel, child killing, supporting violence against Israelis and also willing Israel’s destruction and are, of course, the slogans the above-named British politicians and celebrities will have stood in front of while addressing the PSC supporters in Parliament Square.

That’s quite a chilling prospect for Britain’s 280,000 Jews:

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Jackie Walker brings her “lynching” to SOAS.

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Jackie Walker is a political activist who thinks she has been lynched by supporters of Israel who don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. To use “lynching” is a pretty strong metaphor. It means to “kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging.” This is obviously what she thinks has happened to her. Some exaggeration.

When I walked into SOAS last night for her performance of The Lynching there was a black doll in front of us with a noose around its neck.

The first half of the show is about her tragic life. She was the product of an affair between her mother and Jack Cohen, a Jewish jeweller, who met each other during their fight for black rights in America. She held up a photo of two black men hanging by their necks.

She came to the UK, via Jamaica, with her mother and suffered racism in the UK. Her mother died prematurely from an asthma attack when she was 11 and she was taken into care which she left at 18. She became a teacher. In 1991 she joined the Labour Party and was eventually elected vice-chair of Momentum, the hard-left Corbyn supporting group within Labour. She was then sacked as vice-chair of Momentum and suspended from Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism against her.

The show then turns into her own trial of the accusations against her where she plays both prosecution and defence. The accusations are: 1. She accused Jews of financing the slave trade 2. She said there’s no such thing as anti-Semitism. 3. She belittled the Holocaust.

She defended herself against each. On 1. she claimed that instead of writing on Facebook that “And many Jews, my ancestors too, were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” she should have written “amongst the chief financiers” and that missing out just one word does not make her an anti-Semite.

On 2. she claimed that she was merely asking for a definition of anti-Semitism she could work with. On 3. she claimed that she merely wanted all who had suffered similar, like the millions killed in the slave trade, to be remembered.

She didn’t explain why she raised Jews as being “financiers of the slave trade” at all considering all religions and nationalities were.

But why were these accusations made against her? She says it was merely because Jeremy Corbyn had been elected and that “he was a supporter of the Palestinians.” His enemies were the “establishment and people on the side of Israel”. And then to huge applause (there were about 200 hard-left activists in the room) she said “Get rid of right wing Labour MPs!”

She said the accusations were an “attack on a movement for change and that Jackie Walker was not a Jew hater but innocent…I don’t seek the destruction of Israel but to save Israel from its descent into racism and far-right nationalism…We must be free to fight for a Palestinian homeland without being accused of anti-Semitism…I refuse to go to the back of the bus because the media or anyone else says I should.”

Then Walker was joined for a Q&A by three other anti-Israel activists: film director Ken Loach, author and journalist Victoria Brittain, and academic Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead.

The Q&A session basically turned into a full attack on the Jewish Chronicle and those writing for it who Walker called “proto-fascists”, The Jewish Labour Movement (Walker thinks the JLM should not give training sessions on anti-Semitism), the Israel Advocacy Movement who Walker accused of digging into her Facebook, the Labour Party compliance unit who Walker thinks is leaking everything to the Jewish Chronicle, the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Community Security Trust who Walker said “churn out biased surveys all the time”, the so-called “weaponisation of antisemitism” (see above), the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of AntiSemitism which is being increasingly adopted by governments and councils, and, of course Israel.

These hard-left activists want the IHRA defintion changed because they only recognise the neo-Nazi type anti-Semitism as seen at Charlottsville. That means they, in their opinion, can never be considered anti-Semitic.

They don’t like the IHRA classifying “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” as anti-Semitism. That’s because they want the end of the only Jewish majority state.

Rosenhead said “it was a shame racism had reared its head in Israel of all places…and it was a shame Jews in this country are supporting a racist state” and that it was “convenient for the British government to plant them (Jews) there (in the Middle East)”.

It was then time for audience members to claim victimhood. Dave Watson said he was an opponent of Stella Creasey MP and that he’d tweeted “anti-Israel things, not anti-Semitic and I supported Naz Shah (presumably when Shah said Israel should be relocated to America). He said he “criticised Zionism and supporters of Israel but not Jews.” (It seems he also, inter alia, compared Mossad to Nazis).

Graham Bash, Walker’s partner, said he’s Jewish and has only come across anti-Semitism once in 49 years in the Labour Party.

A Hungarian lady said “Anti-Semitism is misused which is an insult to those who died in the Holocaust.”

Once Loach had declared “No arms trade with Israel, no trade with Israel” I took to the microphone:

I said that most people in the room, including the four panelists, just wanted the end of Israel. I challenged the four panelists to admit that they wanted the end of the only Jewish majority state. I said that calling for the end of the only Jewish majority state, while not calling for the end of any other state, was anti-Semitic. I told them that they obviously wouldn’t admit to being anti-Semitic and that another way of, therefore, expressing anti-Semitism was to call for the destruction of the Jewish state. I also said they didn’t care about the Palestinians.

In response to this challenge I received idiotic responses.

Loach said he was merely here to help Walker get justice. Walker said she was a “socialist and internationalist” and Rosenhead said he didn’t want the destruction of Israel but a country with five million Jews and five million Palestinians (note to Rosenhead: that is the destruction of the only Jewish majority state.)

In conclusion, Walker’s play possibly gives an insight into her animus towards Israel. She was rejected by her father who was a wealthy Jewish man. Ever since then she’s felt the victim but now she has spotted the opportunity to take revenge. It will get her nowhere but continue to eat her and her supporters up as Israel continues to thrive.

Russell Tribunal on Palestine presents Ken Loach at Amnesty

Ewa Jasiewicz, Dr Ghada Karmi, Frank Barat, Paul Troop, Ken Loach

Ewa Jasiewicz, Dr Ghada Karmi, Frank Barat, Paul Troop, Ken Loach

Last night at Amnesty International in London, against a backdrop of a quote by Bertrand Russell (“May this tribunal prevent the crime of silence”), sat four anti-Israel activists and Paul Troop, a solicitor, presenting the raison d’etre of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

The first Russell Tribunal was convened in 1967 in Sweden and Denmark to harness public opinion against the Vietnam War, but it was largely ignored as being merely a show trial.

And so to the second Russell Tribunal, this time on Palestine. It is due to convene over three days at the Law Society in London on the 20,21 and 22 November.

Over that weekend some 20 or so companies are due to be put on trial for complicity with “Israeli war crimes”.

Israel is not on trial, the companies are.

It will already be presumed that Israel is in breach of international law and has committed crimes against humanity.

When I asked Paul Troop where such breaches of international law are judicially laid down the best he could do was direct me to the “opinion” of the International Court of Justice on the wall dividing Israel from the Palestinians.

None of the companies on trial will be represented. Letters have been sent but none have yet responded to say they will be present.

Dr. Ghada Karmi spoke of the Palestinian issue being the moral issue of our time. This polemic is freely bandied around by anti-Israel activists and makes people whince since we know that 3,000 children die every day in Africa from AIDS, malnutrition, malaria and other diseases when they shouldn’t be in this age.

Dr. Karmi cited Cast Lead and the siege of Gaza and was outraged that Israel had not even apologised over something as clearcut as the deaths on the Mavi Marmara.

She said that Israel was now too woven into the fabric of the international system and because of this was never being called to account. There is no major organisation or state that backs the Palestinians.

She felt that the Palestinian case is based on hard international law and looked to the RTOP to, hopefully, get the campuses active and harness the intellectuals.

There is “corporate complicity” with Israel but imagine, she said, if all these companies withdrew their investments from Israel.

Ewa Jasiewicz spoke next. According to the Community Security Trust Jasiewicz recently helped desecrate the walls of the Warsaw ghetto, which is now a cemetery to the 100,000 Jews who died there during the Holocaust from disease, starvation and random executions by the Nazis. Activists daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” on a ghetto wall (below).

Warsaw Ghetto desecration

Warsaw Ghetto desecration

Jasiewicz hoped that the RTOP will “denormalise Israel’s false legitimacy” and said that “Israel is trying to delegitimise the delegitimiers. We are the delegitimiers”.

She was part of the recent flotilla to Gaza but admitted that the flotilla was not about humanitarian aid for the Palestinians but about breaking the siege of Gaza.

She told us that the occupation is everywhere, not just in Palestine, but is reproduced internationally on a daily basis and she urged activists to continue shutting down places like Ahava and Carmel Agrexco and then turning to international law to support them.

The occupation exists, she said, not because of Jews but because of capitalism. These companies are not committed to Israel but to making money.

She hoped that people will use the tools from the RTOP and apply them in their work places, homes and down the pub and that governments will eventually apply sanctions, as they did to apartheid South Africa.

Film director Ken Loach spoke of this being an incredible story about the breach of international law. “We just want the rule of law. No community can live without law but that is what we are permitting,” he said.

He called for independent politicians and criticised Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for being patrons of the Jewish National Fund which, Loach said, is about collecting money for land being bought on the basis of racial purity.

He spoke of “one image” he had of the settlers being on high ground and the Palestinians being downhill and who cannot use their land or vineyards because settler effluent flows downhill and destroys that land. “It is just a simple detail, the devil is in the detail, but how revealing,” he said.

He referred to maps since 1947 which shows, he said, how the Palestinians have been continuously pushed out. This was evidence of lack of good faith that the Palestinians will ever be allowed to live side by side with Israel.

He challenged the idea of a state based on race: “We have had enough experience to prove that race as a founding principle is intolerable”.

He then quoted David Ben Gurion’s speech on the need for a Jewish homeland when the threats to the Jews in Nazi Germany were becoming intolerable:

“He said this, and I think it is chilling, he said, ‘If it was possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Israel then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel.’ If that is the mentality of people who are driving Israeli policy then that is chilling because that is not about peaceful negotiation, that is about conquest. Take that in conjunction with the maps and you can see what we are up against. We can remember who supported the Nazis; the industrialists. If the industrialists will support this attack on international law then we have a big task.”

(A non-political analysis of Ben Gurion’s speech can be viewed here).

In the Q&A I asked Loach why he singled out Israel for criticism for its racial and religious make-up when most other countries around the world are the same. He repeated his comment about past experience of states basing themselves on race but he agreed that other countries are based on religion and to show his objection he had boycotted the Iranian film festival.

Someone asked whether Loach would make a film about the suffering of the Palestinians but he replied that that would have to be done by an Arab.

When asked what would Britain do if it was under attack from rockets Loach simply replied that it was not right to balance the violence of the oppressor with the violence of the oppressed.

The RTOP is an expensive charade (the jury is being flown in from all over the world), yet again not benefitting the Palestinians in the slightest.

More shameful was the presence of Ewa Jasiewicz and then acclaimed film director Ken Loach justifying Palestinian violence and unabashedly renewing old anti-Jewish tropes about Jews poisoning their neighbours and killing children.

Last night at Amnesty felt less about the delegitimisation of Israel and more about the delegitimisation of living Jews and the desecration of the memory of dead ones.