Recent weeks have seen a corrdinated series ofattacks on supporters of Palestinian freedom as supposedly 'anti-semitic'. Political positions both serious and whimsical, but not remotely racist, have led to suspensions from the Labour Party that have included lifelong antiracist Ken Livingstone, ex-Mayor of London.

Mick Napier
West Calder
6th May 2016

The attacks are a sign of desperation; as Israel is firmly stuck in the public mind as a pariah state, and even prominent Israeli journalists and generals sound extreme warnings about the rise of openly genocidal fascism in Israel, the denigration of Palestine supporters reaches new levels of sinister nonsense.

Crime and dutyAs Israel and its allies move from sneering with contempt at BDS campaigning to mobilising to defeat the increasingly effective movement, a UK Government Cabinet Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced in Jerusalem, flanked by Benjamin Netanyahu, that his government intended to criminalise public bodies adopting BDS policies.

Members of Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign have a long record of  opposing all racism and we can recognise the scourge when we see it. We will take no lessons in 'anti-racism' from Tories and New Labour who supported every racist massacre of Palestinians, not to mention refusing sanctuary to brown- and black-skinned refugees drowning by the thousand in the Mediteranean. People whose behaviour fills all decent people with revulsion - Cameron, the Guardian's Nick Cohen, Daily Mail journalists - are being consistent in smearing opponents of the racist state they support.

In this discussion, the voices of Palestinians have usually been missing and ignored by the main stream media. SPSC fully endorses this statement from the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland (APCiS):

As members of the Palestinian Diaspora in Britain, many of us British citizens, we have long been familiar with the ploys of Zionists and their supporters in politics and the media. We observe the desperate attempts to silence the ever-growing world-wide criticism of Israel’s actions by conflating opposition to Israel’s brutal policies towards our people with hostility to Jews. We urge all to note that pro-Israeli elements have a vested interest in flagging up, exaggerating and inventing incidents of anti-Semitism to achieve the core Zionist aim of stimulating Jewish emigration to Israel/Palestine...
Full statement here

This statement from the the Palestinian BNC: Israel’s legal warfare on BDS fosters repression and McCarthyism across the world

Occupied Palestine, 17 March 2016 — The global movement supporting the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, justice and equality has taken impressive steps into the political mainstream in recent years. Efforts by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to hold Israel accountable for its serious violations of international law and to end international complicity in these violations are more widely supported and impactful than ever before...
Full statement here

Tariq Ali has a very short, informative historical piece: Notes on anti-Semitism, Zionism and Palestine:

Anti-Zionism was a struggle that began against the Zionist colonisation project and intellectuals of Jewish origin played an important part in this campaign and do so to this day inside Israel itself...They argued that Zionism and the structures of the Jewish state offered no real future to the Jewish people settled in Israel...
Full piece here

A son of Holocaust survivors, Norman Finkelstein, shows how historical facts support Livingstone against the accusations of anti-semitism against Livingstone and other Palestine supporters.

...As a practical matter, the Zionists and Nazis could therefore find a degree of common ground around the emigration/expulsion of Jews to Palestine. It was a paradox that, against the emphatic protestations of liberal Jews, including sections of the Anglo-Jewish establishment, antisemites and Zionists back then effectively shared the same slogan: Jews to Palestine.
Full piece here

Ilan Pappe, Israeli historian and author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine has written a 'No Surrender' clarion call, Now is not the time to surrender to Israel's bullying on 'anti-Semitism':

There comes a time in a movement’s struggle when success is both a rewarding moment but also a very dangerous one. The apartheid regime in South Africa pursued its most vicious and lethal policies shortly before the fall of the regime. If you do not threaten a certain unjust regime or state, and their supporters, they will ignore you and will see no need to confront you; if you are hitting the nail on its head, the reaction will come.
Full article here

On the wider implications for all our rights to free speech of the attempts to criminalise a democratic critique of Israeli Apartheid, Pulitzer Prize winner Glen Greewald:  Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation

Greenwald describes how

campus censorship on behalf of Israel was comprehensively documented in a report last year by Palestine Legal titled “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech.” The nationwide censorship effort has seen pro-Palestinian professors fired, anti-occupation student activists suspended and threatened with expulsion, pro-Palestinian groups de-funded, and even discipline for students for the “crime” of flying a Palestinian flag.
Full piece here

And the Israeli Embassy is behind it, facilitating the attacks. Asa Winstanley writes in How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis that

Labour activists, many of them Jews, have told The Electronic Intifada that false accusations of anti-Semitism are being used as a weapon against Corbyn by the party’s right-wing. Corbyn has been active in the Palestine solidarity movement for more than three decades. In an interview with The Electronic Intifada last year, he endorsed key elements of the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel. For example, he urged an end to weapons trading with Israel.
Full piece here

Tony Greenstein explains in depth and repeatedly, marshalling abundant data, how Zionism is intrinsically anti-semitic:

It is the Zionist movement that has often found kindred spirits among anti-Semites. The founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl explained that ‘the anti-Semites will be our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries, our allies’...In his Diaries, Herzl relates how on a visit to the cousin of the German Kaiser, the Grand Duke of Baden, the latter explained how he supported Zionism as a means of weaning Jewish workers away from revolutionary politics but he was worried that if he openly supported the Zionist movement he might be accused of anti-Semitism.

We need to stand our ground and resist this malicious attack, an attempt to silence us that must not succeed; we owe it to the Palestinian people, to ourselves, and to those who bequeathed freedoms to us they had struggled and sacrificed so much to win.

 Mick Napier
West Calder
6th May 2016

 

 

 

 

Comments   

+1 #1 Kolin Thumbadoo 2016-05-08 01:00
Very useful factual information will always be the weapons we need to deploy in the struggle for Palestinian liberation just as was done
to defeat Apartheid South Africa.Exposing zionism as the very marrow of a fetid racism for the very first time in this struggle heralds the dawn of its demise. Globally zionism is on the lips and in the minds of millions who will now either view Isreal more critically or indeed support the Palestinian struggle.Illan is absolutely right that now is not the time to cower in the face of this zionist onslaught but to re-double our efforts and sharpen our attack against "this crime against the Palestinians"
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