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Friday, 24 November 2017

Why we should not hesitate to compare Zionism and the Israeli state with the Nazis

Challenging the Zionist & its Abuse of the Holocaust


‘Write and Record’ were the last words of Jewish historian Simon Dubnow as he was murdered by the Nazis in the Riga ghetto on December 8th 1941.  It is an injunction we should take to heart and add a third imperative – we should Write, Record and Compare.

If there is one thing that Zionists hate, it is when analogies are made between Israel, Zionism and the Nazis or conclusions are drawn from the Holocaust.  It is a cast iron rule that only the Zionist movement is entitled to compare or equate its opponents with the Nazis.

This Zionist attitude is backed up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which was adopted by the governments of 31 countries, including the anti-Semitic governments of Poland and Hungary, in May 2016. According to the IHRA, anti-Semitism ‘could, taking into account the overall context, include... drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.’  The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is almost identical to the EUMC Working Definition on Anti-Semitism which was dropped by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency in 2013.
The report in Der Angriff, Goebbel's paper, about the 1933 trip to Palestine at the guest of the Kibbutzim, of Baron von Mildenstein, the of the Jewish section of the Gestapo
Following the recommendation of the Anti-Semitism in the UK Report of the Home Affairs Select Committee in October 2016, Theresa May adopted, this ‘non-legally binding definition’ of anti-Semitism in December 2016.  Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party subsequently adopted the IHRA but without its 11 examples as was confirmed in the Party’s Race and Faith Manifesto.
The IHRA definition was severely criticised by Hugh Tomlinson QC for being  ‘unclear and confusing’.  Sir Stephen Sedley, a Jewish former Court of Appeal Judge was scathing about the definition in Defining Anti-Semitism.  It fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.’  Sedley characterised the purpose of the IHRA as being to ‘permit perceptions of Jews which fall short of expressions of racial hostility to be stigmatised as anti-Semitic.’
The coin the Nazis struck in celebration of Baron von Mildenstein and his wife's travel to Palestine in 1933
In the spring of 2016 Jeremy Corbyn commissioned a Report by the former Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti. In the wake of Corbyn’s election as leader of the Labour Party the Guardian, the tabloids and various Zionist organisations launched a campaign whose premise was that anti-Semitism was endemic in the Labour Party.
Ruth Smeeth MPs 'anti-semitic' tantrum

The Chakrabarti Report was published on 30 June 2016. At its press conference Ruth Smeeth MP gave an excellent demonstration of how to manufacture a fake incident of anti-Semitism when she accused Marc Wadsworth, a Black anti-racist activist, of anti-Semitism. A cursory look at the film shows that there were no tears and no anti-Semitism. What we had was a Zionist MP, who was challenged for exchanging notes with a Telegraph journalist, shrieking ‘how dare you’. Marc didn't didn’t even know even know she was Jewish. His primary offence was one of lèse-majesté but it was a good example of how the media can create fake news, distorting and changing reality until it accords with an establishment narrative..

Chakrabarti was a mixed bag.  Its sections dealing with Labour Party procedure, natural justice and
the right of the accused to be accorded due process were good. Where Chakrabarti fell down was on the question of racism. It substituted the subjective for the objective, the personal for the political. Chakrabarti treated Zionism as a manifestation of Jewish identity rather than a racist and reactionary colonial ideology which led to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. [Chakrabarti – A Missed Opportunity to Develop an Anti-Racist Policy for Labour] The Labour Party has now removed the Report from the Internet but I have restored it!
dozens of Israeli Police are used to ensure the demolition of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran - one Palestinian school teacher was murdered by the Police
Despite knowing nothing about Zionism or the Holocaust Chakrabarti proceeded to give her opinions on the use of Holocaust comparisons or metaphors in a section entitled ‘Insensitive and incendiary language, metaphors, distortions and comparisons’: 

‘it is always incendiary to compare the actions of Jewish people or institutions anywhere in the world to those of Hitler or the Nazis or to the perpetration of the Holocaust. Indeed such remarks can only be intended to be incendiary rather than persuasive. Why? Because the Shoah is still in people's living family experience and because, if every human rights atrocity is described as a Holocaust, Hitler's attempted obliteration of the Jewish people is diminished or de-recognised in our history as is the history of a global minority that has had cause to feel, at worst, persecuted and, at best, vulnerable for thousands of years. Other hideous human rights atrocities from African slavery to the killing fields of Cambodia, the Armenian and Rwandan genocides are all of course to be remembered and described, but diluting their particularity or comparing degrees of victimhood and evil does no service to anyone.
The American-Jewish comedian Jon Stewart
Apart from conflating criticism of Israel with ‘the actions of Jewish people’ Chakrabarti was oblivious to the fact that it is the Israeli state and its supporters who routinely compare their opponents with the Nazis. Chakrabarti also assumed that the Holocaust was a Jewish only affair and she subscribed to the myth of the Jew as the eternal victim (‘vulnerable for thousands of years’).  A myth whose counterpart was Goebbel’s Eternal Jew.
Even the Jewish Chronicle opposed the Zionists Transfer Agreement with the Nazis
The Holocaust in the service of Israel

The Holocaust has been employed shamelessly by Israel. The extermination of European Jewry is the principal argument that is used to justify the creation of the State of Israel. If it were not for the Holocaust how would it be possible to justify a situation where Israel has ruled over 5 million Palestinians for half a century, without according them either political or civil rights?  In ‘Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood’ Idith Zertal wrote that

There has not been a war in Israel from 1948 till the present ongoing burst of violence which began in October 2000, that has not been perceived , defined and conceptualised in terms of the Holocaust.’ (p.4)

In every war Israel imagines itself as the collective Holocaust victim facing annihilation, even though it has always possessed a vast military superiority.  Even in its blitzkrieg on Gaza in 2014, with a kill ratio of 30-1, nearly all of whom were civilians, Israel portrayed itself as fighting a war of ‘self-defence.’ The Holocaust has enabled a nuclear state, armed to the teeth to create an image of itself as the perpetual victim.

It is Israelis themselves who have compared their behaviour to that of the Nazis. In order to create a Jewish state Zionist militias, the Labour Zionist Haganah and Palmach in particular, ethnically cleansed Palestine of ¾ million inhabitants. This involved a series of massacres, the most famous of which was Deir Yassin in April 1948. 
A Jewish-Nazi settler in Hebron attacks a Palestinian woman as troops look on with approval
In November 1948, Eliezer Peri, the editor of Mapam’s paper Al Hamishmar, received a letter describing a massacre at al-Dawayima. Benny Morris estimated that ‘hundreds’ were killed. Agriculture Minister, Aharon Cisling referred to a letter he had received about the atrocities declaring: ‘I couldn’t sleep all night ... This is something that determines the character of the nation ... Jews too have committed Nazi acts.’ [The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem Revisited, p.488., Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press, 2004]. 

Similar comments were made by Yosef Nahmani, a senior officer of Haganah. He was stunned by the cruelty of Israeli troops towards Arab villagers. He described how in Safsaf, the villagers raised the white flag but 60-70 men and women were massacred and asked: ‘where did they learn cruel conduct such as that of the Nazis?’ According to one officer, ‘the most eager were those who had come from the [concentration] camps… [Zertal, p.171].
Thousands turned out for the Jewish War Veteran's demonstration against the Nazis

70 years ago at least some Zionists were capable of appreciating the depths to which they had sunk in their desire to achieve a racially pure state.  When, in 2016, an Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shot in cold blood a severely wounded Palestinian, 57% of Israelis supported his actions compared to just 20% who opposed him.  At a  large Tel Aviv demonstration in his support, which mobilised under a banner ‘Kill them all’ the mob began chanting that favourite slogan of Israel’s Right - ‘Death to the Arabs’ - Ma’avet La’aravim.  There was also a poster bearing the slogan ‘My honour is my loyalty’, the slogan of the SS.

When thousands of settler youth run rampage through the Arab section of Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day, under the protection of the Police, chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’ you would have to be blind to the fact that similar chants were heard in Germany and Poland 80 years ago – except that then they were chanting ‘Death to the Jews’.

As Zertal noted whilst Zionism nationalised the Holocaust harnessing it to the chariot of racism ‘it excluded the direct bearers of this memory – some quarter of a million Holocaust survivors who had immigrated to Israel.’  (p.5) The impoverishment of the actual Holocaust survivors in Israel, despite the billions Israel received by way of reparations is a scandal.  Israel Is Waiting for Its Holocaust Survivors to Die.

Zionism assimilates the Holocaust as part of its seamless narrative of victimisation yet Chakrabarti held that if the critics or victims of Zionism respond in kind then that is anti-Semitic. For example:

The term ‘kapos’ is wielded by Zionists against critics of Israel (not even anti-Zionists). It was popularised by Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel who used it against the liberal Zionists of J-Street. It is a particularly obnoxious accusation. Kapos were people who were themselves concentration camp prisoners.  They had no choice but to act as the Nazis’ foremen. Their life expectancy was little more than those they supervised.  Some behaved decently whilst others were without doubt cruel but no kapo had any choice about their role.  To have refused the role meant instant death. 

Contrasts this with the voluntary and willing collaboration of the Zionist movement with the Nazis. No one forced the Jewish Agency to conclude Ha'avara, a trading agreement with the Nazi government, whose effect was to stave off a German economic crisis that threatened to bring down the Nazi regime in its infancy.  Edwin Black  noted that ‘the Jewish-led , world-wide anti-Nazi boycott was indeed the one weapon that Hitler feared.’ [The Transfer Agreement, 1999 p.21] At the same time as Jews were enthusiastically building the Boycott, the Zionists’ concern was that German Jewish ‘wealth had to be saved.’ [Black p. 226]  What mattered was the millions of frozen Reichmarks that belonged to Germany’s Jews. The result was that ‘the Nazi party and the Zionist Organisation shared a common stake in the recovery of Germany.  If the Hitler economy fell, both sides would be ruined.’ Black, p. 253]
The Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Ovadia Yosef who supported the genocide of Palestinians
The examples are legion of Zionist weaponisation of the Holocaust. Prime Minister Menachem Begin compared Yasser Arafat in Beirut to Adolf Hitler in his bunker. Ha’aretz observed that Calling your political rival a Nazi is a time-hallowed tradition in Israel

In 2008 Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai warned Palestinians living in Gaza that they were bringing ‘a bigger Shoah’ on themselves.  Israeli minister warns of Holocaust for Gaza if violence continues.  It was ‘moderate’ Zionist Abba Eban who talked of the 1967 Green Line as the ‘Auschwitz border’.

Within the Jewish community in Israel the Holocaust and the Nazis function as a political metaphor. At times of conflict Secular Jews daub swastikas on the walls of synagogues and defile prayer books, religious scrolls etc. Orthodox Jews do likewise to their secular counterparts and religious fascists paint swastikas on Christian churches. Oriental Jews, for whom the Holocaust was a European affair, paint slogans such as "Ashkenazim - Back to Auschwitz" on the latters' cars and buildings. [Jewish Chronicle, 'Swastikas in Jerusalem', 19.3.82, 'Swastikas on Cars', 31.12.82, 'Israel mourns sacrilege', 20.6.86., Guardian 18.6.86, 'Synagogues burned in revenge', Socialist Organiser 'Why Zionists are daubing Swastikas in Tel-Aviv', 20.1.82]. 
It is not simply a question of our right to respond to the Zionists’ weaponisation of the Holocaust. There are good reasons in themselves for why we should compare Zionism to the Nazis. This is not in order to hurt or insult but to enable self-reflection. It is precisely because Zionism uses the Nazis and the Holocaust as the ultimate evil that we are duty bound to point out the similarity between the Nazis’ methods and those of the Zionists.
Contrasting dead Jewish children under Hitler with dead Palestinian children under Netanyahu
What Chakrabarti was effectively saying was that the Nazi era should be isolated from history. Part of this is sheer ignorance. Hitler and the Nazis ruled for over 12 years, the last four of which, from June 1941 onwards were the years of the Holocaust.  Chakrabarti conflated the Holocaust and Nazi domination whereas the Third Reich began in 1933 and the Holocaust started with the invasion of Russia in June 1941.

It may be a terrible thing to have to point out the similarities between the Zionism and Nazism ideologically but it wasn’t us but the Zionists who first drew such comparisons. On June 21st 1933 the German Zionist Federation sent a long memo to Hitler ‘outlining those Zionist tenets that were consistent with National Socialist ideology.’ [Black p. 175] The whole memo can be read in Lucy Dawidowicz’s, A Holocaust Reader, p.150-153.
Chakrabarti is also wrong to suggest that comparisons between Israel and the Nazis minimises or obliterates Jewish peoples’ experience of the Holocaust. On the contrary it seeks to draw lessons from that experience and to warn against any repetition. Holocaust analogies are the common currency of political debate in Israel. Zionism uses the slogan of ‘Never Again’. For anti-racists and anti-fascists this means never again for everyone, not just Jews. Is the lesson of the Holocaust going to be a racist or an anti-racist one?
Graffitti in Irael - Rivlin (Israel's President) is a Nazi
If we are to do justice to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, Jewish and non-Jewish then far from refraining from drawing comparison with the Nazis we should be making them whenever Nazi-like behaviour surfaces. The Nazis were not an exception to but very much a part of history. They didn’t arise from nowhere.
The Nazi Metaphor
Taunts of ‘appeasement’ have been repeatedly made against those who oppose imperialism’s attacks on third world countries. Third world dictators have consistently been equated with Hitler. Those who opposed the invasion of Iraq were ‘appeasing’ a new Hitler. [The opponents of war on Iraq are not the appeasers, Seamus Milne, Guardian 13.2.03.]  A generation before, opponents of the Suez War were equated to those who appeased Hitler.  Nasser was the ‘Hitler of the Nile.’ 

There are clearly similarities between Israel today and Nazi Germany. This is not to say the two states are identical or that Israel is fascist or planning to exterminate the Palestinians (although genocidal ideas are common in Zionism today). Israel is a settler colonial state, the most racist state in the world. Israel calls itself a Jewish Democratic state, but in practice Israel is democratic for Jews and Jewish for Arabs.


In Israel a variety of legal devices such as the Reception Committees Act bars Arabs from 93% of Israeli land. Jews in Nazi Germany were also barred from ‘Aryan’ land.  Israel boasts that it calculates the calorific value of food allowed to enter Gaza. [Israel used 'calorie count' to limit Gaza food during blockade, critics claim]  Hans Frank, Governor General of the Generalgouvernment in Poland also strictly limited the number of calories allowed to the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto.  Granted the Israeli level is higher than that in Warsaw where over 80,000 Jews starved to death but the principle is the same.
US actors including Edward G Robinson supporting a Boycott of Nazi Germany
It is equally right to compare the sealing off of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. Marek Edelman, the last Commander of the Jewish Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto compared the Palestinian fighters to the Jewish resistance fighters. [Letter to 'Palestinian Partisans' Raises International Storm, Ha’aretz 9.8.02, bringing on his head a storm of Zionist outrage. 

Transfer

Ideologically there are many similarities between the attempt to make the German Reich Judenrein, free of Jews and the repeated attempts by Israel to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its Arab and non-Jewish inhabitants.  The Nazis pursued a goal of racial purification, of making Germany purely Aryan. It was blood and soil ethno-nationalism. How is this different from the Koenig Memorandum aimed at Judaifying the Galilee, or the Prawer Plan to Judaify the Negev? How is Zionism’s concern with the ‘demographic problem’, i.e. too many non-Jews in the Jewish state, different from Nazi racial ideas?

Zionism from its inception debated and pursued the ‘transfer’ of the Palestinians and non-Jews from Palestine and then Israel. Transfer did not begin in 1947-8, it was inherent in the very concept of a Jewish settler state in a land occupied by non-Jews.
In 1919 the King Crane Commission, which was appointed by Woodrow Wilson, reported that ‘The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conference with Jewish representatives that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine.’ [Tom Suarez, p.44 State of Terror] Transfer is still as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. Transfer is Zionism’s ‘ideal’ solution to the ‘problem’ of 4 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. How is this different to the Nazi plans to settle ethnic Germans in an 'empty' Wartheland (Warthegau)?
The Holocaust
Henry Friedlander [The Origins of Nazi Genocide – from Euthenasia to the Final Solution, 1995] argued that the Holocaust began in 1939 in Hartheim Castle and the other five killing ‘hospitals’ of Germany. Hitler’s obsession with Eugenics, the ‘science’ of selective breeding resulted in the T-4 ‘Euthenasia’ Programme which murdered up to ¾ million disabled Germans. T-4 came from the example of the United States where forced sterilisations of women considered to be unfit to breed was the policy of many states. Hitler told his fellow Nazis that ‘I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock’.
During the Reich's first 10 years, eugenicists in America welcomed Hitler's plans. Indeed ‘they were envious as Hitler rapidly began sterilising hundreds of thousands and systematically eliminating non-Aryans from German society.... Ten years after Virginia passed its 1924 sterilisation act, Joseph Dejarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, complained in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "The Germans are beating us at our own game." Edwin Black, Hitler's debt to America, Guardian 6 February 2004,
The Nazis’ forced sterilization program was partly inspired by that of California.  In 1927 in Buck v Bell, the US Supreme Court permitted the compulsory sterilisation of handicapped patients. Oliver Wendell Holmes, speaking for the 8-1 majority ‘presaged the arguments used later to justify eugenic killings in Nazi Germany.’  [Friedlander, p.8]  According to Chakrabarti’s 'logic' it would be ‘incendiary’ and cause offence to criticise supporters of eugenics and selective breeding by reference to the Nazis.
Professor Amos Funkenstein, former Head of the Faculty of History at Tel Aviv University, when referring to the controversy over the refusal of soldiers to serve in the Occupied Territories, compared them with soldiers in the German army who refused to serve in concentration or extermination camps. [Tony Greenstein, Holocaust Analogies - Repaying the Mortgage Return 2 March 1990] To those who asked how it was possible to compare the actions of Nazi soldiers with Israelis, Funkenstein replied
“As a historian I know that every comparison is limited. On the other hand, without comparisons, no historiography is possible. Understanding a historical event is a kind of translation into the language of our time. If we would leave every phenomenon in its peculiarity, we could not make this translation. Every translation is an interpretation and every interpretation is also a comparison."

Funkenstein reminded his critics that the leaflets and publications of the Zionist terror groups, Etzel, Lehi and Haganah, talked of the Nazi-British occupation.” [Tony Greenstein, Holocaust Analogies, citing Ha'aretz 9 December 1988, Ronit Matalon].

The Holocaust was the tipping point in the Jewish community world wide.  Before World War II Zionism was in a minority amongst Jews worldwide.  The Zionist idea that Jews did not belong in the countries of their birth, that they formed a separate nation from those they lived amongst was rejected by Jews as a form of anti-Semitism.  Lucien Wolfe, one of the leaders of the Board of Deputies of British Jews declared that:

I have spent most of my life in combating these very doctrines, when presented to me in the form of anti-Semitism, and I can only regard them as the more dangerous when they come to me in the guise of Zionism. They constitute a capitulation to our enemies. [B Destani (ed) The Zionist movement and the foundation of Israel 1839-1972 Cambridge 2004, Vol 1, p727].

It was Hitler who rescued the Zionist movement from obscurity.  It was the murder of 6 million Jews and the refusal of the Western powers to take in the Jewish refugees that made the Zionist argument that Jews could only rely on Jews seem plausible.  The creation of the Israeli state represented the posthumous triumph of the Nazis.

The leadership of the Jewish Agency understood this very well. From the outset of the war the Zionists took a conscious decision that their priority was the building of a Jewish state, not the rescue of Jews from Europe. They actively opposed Jews going anywhere but Palestine. When Britain agreed to the Kindertransport, the admission of 10,000 Jewish children from Germany after the Krystallnacht pogrom, David Ben Gurion was furious:

If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel. [Yoav Gelber, ‘Zionist policy and the fate of European Jewry 1939-42, p.199, Yad Vashem Studies,, Vol. 12].

Christopher Sykes, a pro-Zionist historian wrote that ‘“From the very beginning of the Nazi disaster, the Zionist leadership determined to wrest political advantage from the tragedy.” [Crossroads to Israel, p.137]

Even Shabtai Teveth, Ben Gurion’s official biographer concluded that  ‘‘If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’ [Shabtai Teveth, The Burning Ground, p.851]
The chapter in Ben Gurion’s biography on the Holocaust was titled ‘Disaster Means Strength’. Teveth described how  

In spite of the certainty that genocide was being carried out, the Jewish Agency Executive did not deviate appreciably from its routine... Two facts can be definitively stated:  Ben Gurion did not put the rescue effort above Zionist politics and he did not regard it as a principle task demanding his personal leadership.’  [p. 848]

Ben Gurion was clear that in the event of “a conflict of interest between saving individual Jews and the good of the Zionist enterprise, we shall say the enterprise comes first.’ [p. 855]

The Zionist movement understood how the Holocaust could be exploited to serve Zionist purposes. As early as September 1942, when most of Europe’s Jews were still alive, the Zionists were thinking of creating a memorial to them. Mordechai Shenhavi of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek proposed the creation of Yad Vashem which was seen as ‘the very last opportunity to score any financial success.’ [Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, p.430] At this time the JA had not even acknowledged that there was a Holocaust. Segev wrote:

There was no clearer, more grotesque, even macabre expression of the tendency to think of the Holocaust in the past tense: while the Yishuv discussed the most appropriate way to memorialise them, most of the victims were still alive.’ [The Seventh Million, p.141]

Gerhard Riegner, the World Jewish Congress representative in Geneva during the War articulated how the Zionist movement saw the Holocaust.  He believed that ‘Auschwitz was not only a national memory belonging to the Jewish people… it was also an important political asset. Among other things it served the diplomatic efforts of both the WJC and Israel.’ [Segev p.474]

For Zionism the proposed Jewish State was eternal. The Jews who died in the Holocaust would have died anyway.  This is not dissimilar to the fascist idea that the State is everything, the individual is nothing.  When they tell us we should not compare Zionism and Israel with the Holocaust we should ask, ‘why not, what have they got to fear’?

Natural Justice Goes Out the Door as Labour’s Expulsion Circus Rolls On

Labour’s National Executive Committee is Struck Dumb – not least its left wing members

Stop the witch-hunt of socialists in the Labour Party - let's turn our fire on the Right



 On 30th June Shami Chakrabarti produced a Report on Racism.  It has now been taken down on the orders of Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol from Labour’s website.  The reason for this is that the recommendations of the Chakrabarti are clearly inconvenient to McNicol’s apparatchiks in the Compliance Unit who would not recognise a breach of natural justice if they had stumbled into Ronald Freisler’s Peoples Court (he was Hitler’s favourite judge).


I have therefore copied it to my google drive and people can access it there!

In a section on Publicity Chakrabarti stated that:

It is completely unfair, unacceptable and a breach of Data Protection law that anyone should have found out about being the subject to an investigation or their suspension by way of the media and indeed that leaks, briefing or other publicity should so often have accompanied a suspension pending investigation.  

She spoke about ‘the application of the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality.’ and noted in respect of Labour’s complaints and disciplinary procedures that ‘they are wanting. They lack sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise in delivery.’
Peter Mason of the JLM is a member of the NCC - this right-wing twerp has previously expressed the view that Ken Livingstone should not be part of the Labour Party 

You might think, given that McNicol’s monkeys in the Compliance Unit had taken 17+ months to bring a case against me, that the NCC would have no objection to me having more than 4 weeks within which to prepare a reponse to a bundle comprises 189 pages.  However you would be wrong.

Labour’s witch hunters are in a hurry.  After having received a knockback over the expulsion of Moshe Machover, an Israeli anti-Zionist, they are determined to get the ball rolling.  I am one of the three main targets of the witch hunters, the other two being Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth.

The Jewish Chronicle predicted on October 31st that ‘Three forthcoming NCC hearings will involve Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Tony Greenstein – all of whom face charges of antisemitism.’ and sure enough two days later I was emailed a Bundle of nonsense. Expelled anti-Zionist Moshe Machover readmitted to Labour Party

One suspects that even the notorious Justice Melford Stevenson, whose house was named ‘truncheons’ would have had some difficulty in refusing an application for a postponement when the person is in hospital!  However Labour’s nominally independent National Constitutional Committee is made of sterner stuff.

I won’t bore people with the details as I am copying below the relevant correspondence.  A Jane Shaw, who is one more party apparatchik, has only once shown signs of humour.  That was when she told me that The Party never discusses matters relating to individual members with third parties.”  Given that the first I learnt of why I was suspended, back in April 2016, was when the Telegraph and Times printed stories on the basis of leaks from the Compliance Unit, I can only assume that this was said in jest.
Moshe Machover's reinstatement was a severe setback to Labour's witch hunters.  They are determined to gain their revenge with further expulsions and 'auto-exclusions'

What is clear is that McNicol and Labour’s Blairite bureaucracy, after the Left’s success at Conference, are determined to pursue the witch hunt and to do their best to ensure that right-wing MPs are protected against reselection.  It is to the shame and discredit of the Left on the National Executive Committee that they have been silent on the witch hunt. 

The major mistake of Jeremy Corbyn so far has been to refuse to move against Iain McNicol. As long as the Labour apparatus is in the hands of Blair’s appointees then the Party will not be in full support of its leader.  We saw that in the last election when on McNicol’s instructions the Party’s main efforts were put into defending the position of Progress MPs and not in supporting candidates in winnable seats.  McNicol is a treacherous snake whose head should have been cut off long ago.  As long as this viper is allowed to remain in post he will do as much damage as he can to the Labour Party.  His first loyalty is to Labour Friends of Israel and Progress/Labour First.

I have also written to Ms Shaw stating my objection to Peter Mason, from the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement, having anything to do with my case as he was elected to the NCC.  In the Jewish News  of July 2016 he expressed the view that 'Ken Livingstone’s continued membership of the party is no longer tenable.'  I realise that Mason probably thinks he is in Greater Israel where convictions in military courts, which try Palestinians (not Jews of course) are running at 99.7% but I have let the NCC know that I object to this creature being anywhere near a tribunal hearing my case.

It has been a slow process getting people together but we have the next meeting of Labour Against the Witchhunt on Saturday 2nd December at 12.00-3.00 at the Calthorpe Arms, Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross.

Tony Greenstein


Jane Shaw
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party
Southside,
105 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6QT

Friday, 24 November 2017
Dear Ms Shaw,
I don’t want to be offensive but corresponding with you is akin to arguing with a dictaphone.  You or those who instruct you seem incapable of responding to the points I have made. 

I sent you a detailed letter of 21st November.  I referred you to the sections of the Chakrabarti Report in respect of due process.  What was your response?  Nothing.

By your own admission the time limits, which are a minimum not a maximum, in Appendix 6 have not been adhered to yet no flexibility has been shown on the question of time limits.

I have also pointed out that Appendix 6 of the Rules which governs the proceedings of the NCC is in any event advisory i.e. it is not part of the Rule book.  In other words the NCC retains its discretion but has chosen not to exercise it.

I have also pointed out that section 6(D)(i) of Appendix 6 states that complaints about the procedure adopted by the Party prior to the presentation of charges will ‘not be entertained by the NCC or panel thereof unless it is material or relevant to the consideration of the evidence to be used by the presenter in support of the charges.’  (my emphasis)

You say that ‘Your email includes no new information or evidence to support your contention that you are unable to provide an answer to the charges by 1 December.’ 

It should be obvious that a delay by 17+ months in preparing the case against me is highly relevant as to whether I have sufficient time to prepare my case.  Again you are struck dumb.  There are only two explanations.  Either the person instructing you is incapable of understanding a point that any normally intelligent child would be able to comprehend or that they are determined  to do McNicol’s work as quickly as possible.  My preference is for the second explanation.

You say that my complaint re the above ‘should be directed to the General Secretary.’  But I thought the NCC was in control of its own procedures?  Are you really saying that even over the simplest matters of timetabling that you are taking instructions from the Iain McNicol?  You would seem to be confirming that the NCC lacks even a figleaf of independence from those prosecuting the case.  Iain McNicol is the last person to direct a complaint to. 

As regards providing ‘independent evidence’ regarding my health or caring obligations, the evidence I have provided so far is more than sufficient.  I am not willing to play games with you.  The fact that I was in hospital when you sent the charges and the fact that I am under continual medical supervision by virtue of a liver transplant would be sufficient evidence for most people. 

Whilst I am happy to provide evidence that my son is detained under the MHA and that he is due for release soon I have no intention of asking the hospital to provide what can only be subjective evidence about something they have no knowledge about.  In any event I would not wish to involve them in such a matter.
The real question is what is the objection to allowing a reasonable time within which to fully answer the 59+ separate charges?  The fact that the Labour Party has taken some 20 months since my suspension, which is itself an outrageous length of time for anyone to be suspended, would be considered extremely relevant by anyone who purported to be independent. 

The only conceivable explanation is that the NCC is more concerned about going through the motions in its desire to effect my expulsion.   

As part of your commitment to transparency you have also failed to inform me of the identity of the NCC members who will try my case.  In addition to, of course, the identity of the complainants.  I therefore wish to register my objection to Peter Mason, a member of the NCC being on any panel.  He is a member of the Jewish Labour Movement which has made a complaint against me and whose Chair Jeremy Newmark has tweeted comments desiring my expulsion.  The inclusion of Peter Mason would be what is usually known as a corrupt practice.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Greenstein

November 23rd
Dear Mr Greenstein,

I refer to your email sent on 21 November at 05.59. 

Your email includes no new information or evidence to support your contention that you are unable to provide an answer to the charges by 1 December and be prepared to attend a hearing on 11th December.  The NCC’s position therefore remains as stated in previous correspondence.

As regards your complaints regarding the administration of the investigation and other processes undertaken between your suspension and the charges against you being presented, it is not accepted by the NCC that the matters of which you complain are “material or relevant to the consideration of the evidence to be used by the presenter in support of the charges” and as such in accordance with appendix 6.6.D.ii the complaint should be directed to the General Secretary.

I still look forward to receiving your answer to charge, but regarding the timetable and hearing date, I have to advise you that there will be no further consideration by the NCC of the points you have raised unless you are able to provide independent evidence that your health or caring obligations will prevent you from meeting latest submission dates and/or attending the hearing.

Regards

Jane
Jane Shaw
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party
Labour Central, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6PA

From: Tony Greenstein [mailto:tonygreenstein111@gmail.com]
Sent: 23 November 2017 12:21 AM
To: Jane Shaw

Dear Ms Shaw,

I confess that when I read your statement 'The Party never discusses matters relating to individual members with third parties. ' I had to rub my eyes in  astonishment.  I can think of only 3 explanations for your statement.

i.          Either you are in possession of one of those extendable Pinnochio noses or
ii.         You are in possession of a sense of humour, a quality not normally known amongst Labour's Blairite civil service or
iii.         You are suffering from delusions, hallucinations or other symptoms of a psychotic disorder, in which case you have my sympathy.

I first learnt about the reasons for my suspension when I read the Telegraph and Times of 2nd April 2016.  Up to then the Compliance Unit had refused to tell me what it was that I was alleged to have said that had led to my suspension.  This could only have come from a leak from Labour Party staff such as yourself.  Jackie Walker and others have complained about having been leaked against suggesting that it is an unofficial policy condoned by Iain McNicol. 

McNicol has consistently resisted my suggestion that he Inquire into these leaks.  It is of course understandable that he should resist having a leak Inquiry since there is no purpose in inquiring into that which you already know.

Perhaps I should remind you what Shami Chakrabarti said in her Report, a Report that is no longer available on the Labour Party's website.  In a section titled Publicity she wrote:

'It is completely unfair, unacceptable and a breach of Data Protection law that anyone should have found out about being the subject to an investigation or their suspension by way of the media and indeed that leaks, briefing or other publicity should so often have accompanied a suspension pending investigation.'

Your absurd statement was sent in response to my having pointed out that you were saying one thing to me and another thing to others who are suspended in respect of time limits for preparing submissions. 

You have no said where the NCC hearing is.  Please be advised that because of care for my son I will, like the Investigation Hearing, be unable to make a meeting at a venue outside Brighton and Hove. 

Kind regards

Tony Greenstein


On 22 November 2017 at 15:53, Jane Shaw <jane_shaw@labour.org.uk> wrote:

Dear Mr Greenstein,

The Party never discusses matters relating to individual members with third parties. 

Regards

Jane
Jane Shaw

From: Tony Greenstein [mailto:tonygreenstein111@gmail.com]
Sent: 21 November 2017 07:08
To: Jane Shaw <jane_shaw@labour.org.uk>
Cc: akerr <akerr@cwu.org>; Alex Rowley <alex.rowley.msp@parliament.scot>; Alun Davies <alun.davies@assembly.wales>; Andi Fox <andydaisyfox@hotmail.co.uk>; Margaret Beckett <beckettm@parliament.uk>; HollandDiana <Diana.Holland@unitetheunion.org>; george howarth <george.howarth.mp@parliament.uk>; Jasmin Beckett <jasminbeckett@hotmail.co.uk>; Jim Kennedy <jim.kennedy@unitetheunion.org>; birchk <k.birch@unison.co.uk>; Kate Osamor <kate.osamor.mp@parliament.uk>; Jeremy Corbyn <leader@labour.org.uk>; paddy illis <paddy.lillis@usdaw.org.uk>; pauline.mccarthy@bfawu.org; Rebecca Long-Bailey Parliament <rebecca.longbailey.mp@parliament.uk>; Tom Watson <sarah.coombes@parliament.uk>; John Trickett Parliament <trickettj@parliament.uk>; nicholsw <w.nichols@unison.co.uk>; aliceperryuk@gmail.com; Shabanamahmoodmp <Shabana.mahmood.mp@parliament.uk>

Subject: Lies and Deception

Ms Shaw

I have just received a copy of your email to another person under suspension:

'The relevant section reads:

'The NCC and I take no part in any aspect of the Party's Disciplinary proceedings prior to charges being presented against a member and regardless of process undertaken and the time taken previously; thereafter the NCC proceeds towards hearings without unnecessary delay in accordance with appendix 2 of the Rule Book.  We appreciate that Christmas is imminent and allowance will be made for that when the hearing date is arranged, but being legally represented is not a reason that is normally accepted for deferring the date when the answer to charge is due to be received. Therefore until you hear otherwise I be advise you that your answer etc. remains due on 8 December.

A panel of the NCC will now be appointed  to hear this case and details of the hearing will be given to you as soon as possible.  Hearings are currently being arranged to take place in January 2018 and every effort will be made to accommodate you according to your availability if you can let me know before 28 November which dates you could not attend a hearing in January.

I look forward to hearing from you.'

Perhaps you would like to explain why I was not asked which dates I could make.  It would seem that I am being singled out for 'special treatment' (you can ask McNicol the significance of that phrase for Jews)

I really do not appreciate being deceived

Tony Greenstein

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 03:08:49

A Question of Equity - the proposed hearing by the NCC of charges against me

Dear Ms Shaw,

Thank you for your email of 20th November in response to my previous communication.  Before responding to the substance of your comments it might be helpful to outline the basis of the disagreement that exists between us.

i.               I was suspended from the Labour Party on March 18th 2016 because of comments I was alleged to have made. I was not informed, either then or subsequently, as to the nature of those comments. It is noticeable that the present charges do not refer to those comments. I was therefore suspended first and then a search was made for evidence to justify that suspension. Repeated requests on my part as to the nature of the allegations against me elicited no response from John Stolliday of the Compliance Unit.
ii.             On April 2nd I learnt what the general nature of these remarks were when stories ‘Corbyn told to ‘exorcise’ anti-Semitism in his Party Labour welcomes back blogger who compares Israelis to Nazis’ were leaked to the Telegraph and The Times.
iii.           On April 4th I emailed the Respondent concerning the above whilst simultaneously being refused any information concerning the accusations against me. Iain McNicol replied that he was more concerned at my ‘unwarranted attack on a hardworking and diligent member of the Compliance Unit’, John Stolliday, than the leaks themselves.

iv.           There can be no doubt that the Compliance Unit deliberately leaked this information.  The Telegraph article spoke of:
‘'Evidence compiled by Labour's compliance unit when Mr Greenstein attempted to join the party last summer, seen by The Telegraph.’ (my emphasis)

v.             At no time has McNicol set up an Inquiry or displayed any interest in finding out how confidential material concerning my suspension found its way to the press. Others who have been suspended have also reported experiencing similar leaks to the press. 

vi.           McNicol’s disinterest is understandable. Why set up a leak inquiry into what you already know? The purpose of such leaks can only have been intended to prejudice future hearings into the allegations apart from being a flagrant breach of the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

vii.         On May 30th I attended an Investigation hearing into the allegations which was conducted by Harry Gregson of Southern Region.

viii.       Until your email of November 2nd 2017, over 17 months later, I received no further communication regarding my suspension or any hearing.

The Rules and Procedures of the NCC

ix.           You state in your email that ‘The NCC proceeds towards hearings in accordance with appendix 2 of the Rule Book in all cases regardless of the process undertaken before charges are presented to it.’  Appendix 2 is concerned with procedural guidelines on membership, recruitment and retention.’  I presume you meant Appendix 6.

x.             Appendix 6, the Procedural Guidelines in disciplinary cases brought before the NCC, do not form part of the Party’s rules although they have been approved by the NEC. [paragraph 2, Appendix 6] In other words they are advisory and not binding.

xi.           The NEC has also given its approval to the Report of the Chakrabarti Inquiry of 30 June 2016, which I notice has been surreptitiously removed from the Labour Party’s web site.  In view of the detailed attention paid by Shami Chakrabarti to the Labour Party’s disciplinary process it is, to say the least, remiss that you didn’t also send me this Report or the relevant parts.

xii.         Chakrabarti devotes Section 5 (pp. 15-22) to ‘Clear and transparent compliance procedures for dealing with allegations’ and the opening paragraph speaks of ‘a lack of clarity and confidence in current disciplinary procedures from all sides of the Party, including on the part of those who have complained and been complained against.’

xiii.       Chakrabarti says that it is ‘important that the procedures explain that those in respect of whom allegations have been made are clearly informed of the allegation(s) made against them, their factual basis and the identity of the complainant – unless there are good reasons not to do so.’ 
xiv.        In a section Publicity Chakrabarti states that ‘It is completely unfair, unacceptable and a breach of Data Protection law that ... leaks, briefing or other publicity should so often have accompanied a suspension pending investigation. Indeed such an interim suspension being public ought to be the greatest exception rather than the rule.’

xv.         Under The Power of Interim Suspension Chakrabarti speaks of the ‘application of the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality.’  It is unacceptable that you have chosen to pay no regard to Chakrabarti’s recommendations and comments which have equal if not greater weight than Appendix 6.

Regarding the specific points which you make in your letter:

1.             You state that the NCC ‘proceeds towards hearings in accordance with appendix 2 (i.e. appendix 6 - TG) of the Rule Book in all cases regardless of the process undertaken before charges are presented to it.’  (my emphasis).

2.             Not only is this contrary to the most basic rules of natural justice and equity but it also ignores section 6(D)(i) of Appendix 6 which states that complaints about the procedure adopted by the Party prior to the presentation of charges will ‘not be entertained by the NCC or panel thereof unless it is material or relevant to the consideration of the evidence to be used by the presenter in support of the charges.’  (my emphasis)

3.             My complaints are clearly material and relevant to the consideration of the evidence especially in the light of Chakrabarti’s recommendations.

4.             You state that Appendix 6.5.B.i requires letters enclosing the charges and bundle to be relied upon, be sent to the Respondent giving about six weeks’ notice of the hearing.’  Not only is Appendix 6 not part of the Labour Party’s Rules but it has to be seen in the light of Chakrabarti and also the basic principles of natural justice, fairness and equity.

5.             You state that the charges and bundle were emailed to me. There is no provision within Appendix 6 for email. The email did not include a copy of the Rules and being in hospital I was unable to act upon it. Regardless I do not accept service by email.

6.             You state that the package was posted to me with guaranteed next day delivery on November 2nd. There is of course no postal rule.  It is a fact, which you do not dispute that I was in hospital in London until 3rd November and therefore was not at home to sign for the package. I signed for it on Monday 5th November.  Since I was expected to respond in full within 4 weeks, this was clearly less than 4 weeks. 

7.             It is also noticeable that s.5(B)(i) says that ‘Letters shall normally be sent... giving about six weeks notice’ whereas in 5(B)(ii) it specifically mentions ‘two weeks after date of posting of the letter’.  There is no reference in the former to time running from the date of posting as opposed to receipt.

8.             By your own admission the bundle and papers were only technically sent’ within the guideline at appendix 6.5.B.i, and you yourself admit that I was given less than a full six weeks’ notice of the hearing’.   Having accepted that I was given less than the requisite time it is clearly untrue to then go on to state that I was given a ‘full four weeks’ to submit my response to the charges.  Your suggestion that ‘If anything that puts the NEC at a disadvantage’  I shall treat as no more than a rhetorical flourish.

9.             Regardless of whether the procedures in Appendix 6 were strictly complied with, despite admitting that they weren’t adhered to or were only ‘technically’ complied with, my complaint relates to the procedure leading up to the laying of charges which have had a serious and adverse affect on my ability to conduct my defence.

10.         The NEC had over 17 months since my Investigation Hearing or 20 months from the suspension itself before it laid charges.

11.         Although there are 3 separate charges in the Charge Sheet they are broken down into what are, in reality, 54 separate points.  In addition there are 6 separate complaints. Contrary to assurances that were given at a hearing concerning an Order under s.7(9) of the DPA 1998, the identity of the complainants has not been revealed.  That cannot help but be prejudicial since it leaves me unable to assess the complainants’ motivation.

12.         Apart from a copy of my suspension letter and 4 pages of notes of my Investigation Hearing by Harry Gregson there are 152 pages of social media posts and random articles as well as 4 pages of Labour’s Social Media Policy.

13.         Despite the fact that the meeting was tape recorded and a verbatim transcript produced, the NEC has chosen to use Harry Gregson’s inaccurate notes even though the Labour Party produced in the DPA hearing above the actual transcript from my blog. 

14.         Clearly a lot of work has been undertaken assembling the charges and evidence against me and this has taken 17 months. It defies belief as to how you can suggest it is not material to the charges made against me.

15.         Even were I fit and healthy then it would be reasonable to extend the period by which I had to fully respond. In view of the 17 months taken by the NEC then a further period of 3 months would not be unreasonable unless the Panel has reasons for wishing to expedite the process. To refuse all consideration of my requests suggests that the Panel is irredeemably biased.

16.         Your second paragraph makes no sense.  You state that you did not dispute the fact that I was in hospital but you simply required more information.  This is disingenuous.  In your email of 13th November you wrote

‘As regards your request for a postponement of the hearing set for 11 December and for additional time in which to submit your answer to the NEC’s charges, I have to advise you that the it has been brought to the attention of the NCC that although in hospital recovering from surgery when you received the emailed notice of the charges and hearing on 2 November, on Saturday 4 November you travelled to London to attend a PSC march and rally and that that your photograph taken at Brighton station, was posted on Twitter.  https://twitter.com/BrightonPSC/status/926761392203497472

I am therefore instructed to ask you to provide medical evidence regarding the matters that you wish the NCC to make adjustments to the usual timetable for.’

17.         It is clear that you considered that your photograph of me at Brighton station was conclusive proof that I was not convalescing, otherwise why mention it?  I won’t go into the morality of someone who searches the net for photographs of someone attending a demonstration or their motivation or even their identity. 

18.         If you had actually bothered to read the evidence I sent you then you would have realised that my stay in hospital related to having recently had a liver transplant. Being registered disabled, the fact that I went on a demonstration is completely irrelevant to the timescale required to respond to the charges which have been levelled.

19.         I repeat once again that the time which has been given for a response to the charges, which is less than 4 weeks, is wholly insufficient and suggests that the Panel is merely going through the motions by holding a hearing.  If the Panel refuses to review their previous decision then I shall be forced to take legal advice with a view to preventing the hearing on 11th December going ahead.

20.         I will copy this to the NEC and other interested parties as the matters above are clearly of more general concern.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Greenstein


Monday 20 November 2017, 14:21
Dear Mr Greenstein,

The NCC proceeds towards hearings in accordance with appendix 2 of the Rule Book in all cases regardless of the process undertaken before charges are presented to it, in which the NCC and I take no part.  Appendix 6.5.B.i requires letters enclosing the charges and bundle to be relied upon, be sent to the Respondent giving about six weeks’ notice of the hearing.  In your case the letter and bundle was emailed and posted to you with guaranteed next day delivery on 2 November.  In addition to the letter, charge sheet and bundle the posted package also included copies of the rule under which you are charged, chapter 6 and appendix 6 of the Rule Book.  Taking account of the fact that although the package was technically sent within the guideline at appendix 6.5.B.i, you had been given less than a full six weeks’ notice of the hearing, a timetable was set and included in the letter sent to you that ensured you had a full two weeks after the letter was received to confirm whether you intended to contest the charges and a full four weeks to submit your answer to charge, witness statements  etc. as required in appendix 6.5.B.ii.  If anything that puts the NEC at a disadvantage in that its’ time to respond to your answer, should it wish to, is reduced.

As regards the request for medical evidence, it was not made because the NCC disputed that you were in hospital when you received the emailed letter and bundle on 2 November, but to confirm and provide more information about matters mentioned by you that could require the timetable as set to be amended to accommodate; i.e. your health issues and your caring obligations to your son.   However the document you provided (there was nothing further sent with your email dated 16 November) only confirmed that you had a two night stay in hospital for elective surgery and when considered together with evidence of you being able on 4 November, the day after discharge from hospital, to travel to London to attend the PCS march and rally, the NCC decided there was insufficient reason to amend the timetable and that your hearing should take place as planned on 11 December.

Regards

Jane
Jane Shaw
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party
Labour Central, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6PA