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Monday, 23 April 2018

Israel's Cold Blooded Murder of Unarmed Palestinian Demonstrators

This is what Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger and the Jewish Labour Movement Mean When They Talk About ‘Anti-Semitism’

If you want to know what the fake anti-Semitism campaign is about then this video should explain everything.  Last week we had the nauseating spectacle of a Tory sponsored debate on ‘anti-Semitism’ which gave the Labour Right – Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and John Mann – the opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn for not doing enough about ‘anti-Semitism’.

The real racism in Britain is not apparently about the deportation and refusal of medical treatment of the children of the Windrush, the effective removal of citizenship from Britain’s Black citizens, it is a handful of abusive tweets sent to Labour MPs who have defended Israel right or wrong.

We know that this is all about Israel and not about anti-Semitism because the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush has stated this as a fact.  When he  wrote  an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn recently he stated that:
“Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with antisemites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy,”

Arkush can't help himself mixing up anti-Zionist and anti-Semitism because for him they are the same.  That is why, when Corbyn went to a Passover seder with Jewdas, Arkush described  the latter group, a Jewish group, as a ‘source of virulent anti-Semitism’.  To Arkush and the Zionists, opposition to Israel’s murderous and racist behaviour is ‘anti-Semitic’ even when it comes from Jews. 

Arkush and the Board of Deputies had no problem in welcoming the election of Donald Trump and his anti-Semitic entourage of Bannon, Gorka et al. Anti-semitism from supporters of Israel is never a problem.

 This is despite the fact that, according to Dana Milbank in the Washington Post Anti-Semitism is no longer an undertone of Trump’s campaign. It’s the melody. See Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad for an analysis.

Corbyn should give Arkush, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Labour Right a clear message – yes he opposes anti-Semitism and yes he also opposes those who use anti-Semitism as a weapon with which to attack the Left leadership of the Labour Party and Corbyn himself.
We need your support this Wednesday!

According to a report in the Skwawkbox, Wes Streeting MP, who recently verbally attacked Diane Abbott, is organising anti-Corbyn MPs, peers and others people to protest outside the Labour Party disciplinary hearing against veteran black anti-racism campaigner Marc Wadsworth this Wednesday, April 25.

Streeting claims that his “march” from Westminster Hall to Church House (which will also be attended by Labour First's Luke Akehurst) is in “support of Ruth Smeeth MP”, who will give evidence against Marc, as "there will be a protest against her".

Campaigners, including, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Grassroots Black Left, Jewish Voice for Labour and members of the Windrush generation, are not organising a protest against Smeeth but a lobby in support of Marc.  We demand that the false charges against him are dropped and that he is fully reinstated to Labour Party membership. What we are protesting about is the attempted frame-up of Marc. Labour bosses are demanding his expulsion from the party.
Jonathan Arkush of the Board of Deputies and the leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Isaac Herzog - the 'sister party' of the JLM - welcomed Trump to power
Streeting calls Marc “the guy who abused her [Ruth Smeeth] at the [Shami Chakrabarti] antisemitism inquiry launch”.

In fact the Chakrabarti report was about anti-semitism and all forms of racism, including the anti-black racism and Islamophobia, which have been ignored. What abuse is Wes Streeting talking about? Marc Wadsworth actually said at the report launch, after being goaded by Daily Telegraph political report Kate McCann:

“I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African, Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order, don’t we?”

Of course, anti-semitism exists in society, just like other forms of racism and prejudice and this is reflected in the Labour Party. But, just like Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein and many other Labour members suspended and expelled by the party in the last two years, Marc is no anti-semite and nothing he did or said was even vaguely anti-semitic.

In truth, the right-wing in the Labour Party want to claim another scalp in their campaign to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

LAW will be showing their support to Marc and all those people unjustly suspended and expelled without due process. We demand the yet to be implemented Chakrabarti rules be applied to all cases, that have been referred to Labour’s draconian National Constitution Committee, including Marc’s.

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The 75th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Passed Unnoticed – It is not on the Zionist Calendar

Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Jews captured during the Warsaw ghetto being marched to a collecting point for deportation. (Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)
Last week was the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  You would have been forgiven for having missed it.  The anniversary of the founding of the Israeli state, which was also on 19th April this year, took precedence in the mass media and the Zionist press.  Given the choice between a tale of Jewish heroism against impossible odds, fighting fascism and racism or tales of heroic Israelis massacring Palestinian civilians and creating ¾ million Palestinian refugees, there was no choice.

Earlier in the year we had Holocaust Memorial Day, a saccharine event whose primary purpose is to depoliticise the Holocaust, the how and why it happened.  No uncomfortable comparisons between New Labour and Theresa May’s ‘climate of extreme hostility’ to immigrants and the failure to rescue Europe’s Jews.  No searing questions about how much of the Establishment and their rabid press supported Hitler up and until the invasion of Poland.  Even fewer questions about the role of the Zionist movement during the Holocaust.
Poland stands at attention for those slain (Photo: Reuters)

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was however commemorated in Poland.  There were the government's own commemorations led by the President Andrzej Duda but hundreds attended independent commemorations, refusing to attend those organised by a government which, earlier in the year, passed legislation making it a criminal offence to accuse Poles of having collaborated with the Nazi occupation (which many did).
 Israeli leaders stayed away because they preferred to celebrate the Palestinian Naqba (catastrophe) to attending the commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto uprisings.
German soldiers direct artillery against a pocket of resistance during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Warsaw, Poland, April 19-May 16, 1943. — US Holocaust Memorial Museum
It is not hard to see why the Zionist movement and their court servants – the John Manns, Joan Ryans, Ruth Smeeths and Luciana Bergers, should have little to say about the Uprising.  For a start it was led by an anti-Zionist Jewish socialist party the Bund, [the wrong sort of Jews!] who had the loyalty of the overwhelming majority of Polish Jews.  Secondly fighting anti-Semitism has always been deprecated in Zionist circles (unless it is the type of ‘anti-Semitism’ that is anti-Zionism).  Zionism was established on the basis of not fighting anti-Semitism because anti-Semitism was inherent in the non-Jew, it was futile.  Antisemitism was deemed by the Zionist movement to be the product of Jewish ‘homelessness’.  In the words of the founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, who wrote this  at the time of the Dreyfuss Affair:
Theodor Herzl - founder of Political Zionism - tolerant of anti-semitism
Theodor Herzl
‘In Paris... I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all, I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti-Semitism.' [Diaries, p.6]

Poles laying flowers on the monument to the fallen heroes

The Warsaw Ghetto was ignored and forgotten by the Zionist leaders in Palestine. Zionist leader Yitzhak (Antek) Zuckerman asked why no-one left Geneva, Istanbul or Sweden, ‘if only to serve as a ‘gesture, a sign, a hand extended as a token of sharing our fate’?’ Only the Bund and the AK sent emissaries into the ghetto. Other movements in Europe sent their emissaries from one ghetto to the next  [Dinah Porat, p. 228, The Blue and Yellow Stars of David]. To the Zionist movement in Palestine, the fate of the Warsaw Ghetto was irrelevant.  Their sole objective was achieving a Jewish state. The young Zionists who fought first had to rebel against their own Zionist parties. Zionism was irrelevant. Marek Edelman, the last Commander of the Uprising and a member of the Bund describes how:
‘We joined hands with all Jewish Zionist underground organizations. Our comrades lived and worked with the others just as members of a close family. A mutual aim united us. During this entire period of over half a year, there were no quarrels or struggles, which are common among adherents of different ideologies. All overworked themselves in organising the mutual defence of our dignity.’[Edelman, The Ghetto Fights, pp. 110-111. Citing Second report of the Jewish workers underground movement, 15.11.43].

Jews that were captured during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, about to be searched for weapons before being moved to Treblinka. (Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park)

Marek Edelman described how ‘the cornered partisans defended themselves bitterly and succeeded, by truly superhuman efforts, in repulsing the attacks’ as well as capturing two German machine guns and burning a tank. [Edelman, p.76].
The role of the Bund and Edelman in the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt has been airbrushed out of history by Zionist holocaust historians. The Revolt has become another Zionist foundational myth. [The last Bundist, Moshe Arens,] Today Zionism uses the Revolt for propaganda purposes, suggesting that the Resistance was solely composed of young Zionist fighters.
There was another reason for Zionist hostility to Edelman. Edelman had written an open letter to the Palestinians asking them to stop the bloodshed and enter into peace negotiations. The letter caused outrage in Israel because Edelman did not mention the word “terrorism.” Israeli leaders were particularly incensed by its title: Letter to Palestinian partisans’.
Ha'aretz, 9.8.02.
Smoke from the Treblinka uprising, as seen from a railroad worker. (Credit: UtCon Collection/Alamy)
Mr Edelman … wrote in a spirit of solidarity from a fellow resistance fighter, as a former leader of a Jewish uprising not dissimilar in desperation to the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories. He addressed his letter to “commanders of the Palestinian military, paramilitary and partisan operations – to all the soldiers of the Palestinian fighting organisations. This set up a howl of rage in the Zionist press, who reminded their readers that Mr Edelman, despite his heroism in the 1940s, is a former supporter of the anti-Zionist socialist Bund, and can therefore not be trusted.’ [Palestine's partisans, Paul Foot, Guardian, Wednesday August 21, 2002,]

What was particularly irksome was that Edelman had consciously compared the structures of the resistance movement in Warsaw to that of the Palestinians.’  [The Last Bundist].

When Edelman died, the President of Poland attended his funeral in Warsaw on 9th October 2009 and there was a fifteen-gun salute. Because of his support for the Palestinians, not even the lowliest clerk in the Israeli Embassy attended. [Zionism Boycotts the Funeral of Marek Edelman, 15.10.09.] Moshe Arens, the former Likud Foreign Minister, interviewed Edelman as part of his research into the history of the Revisionist National Military Army ZZW, which fought separately in Warsaw: ‘I knew his views on Israeli politics, and did not discuss the situation in the Middle East, but as we parted I said “You must make peace with the Arabs.” Edelman received Poland's highest honor, and the French Legion of Honor medal but ‘he died not having received the recognition from Israel that he so richly deserved.’  
see also

The Revisionist Zionists made up the leadership and ranks of the Jewish police and the leadership of ZOB had contempt for them. The ZZW obtained their arms via their Polish fascist friends. Stiff resistance to the Nazi invasion of the Ghetto came from the Revisionists, who were based at 7-9 Muranowska Square and the corner of Muranowska and Nalewki streets. For two days the Polish and Jewish Star of David flags flew, visible to thousands of Poles on the Aryan side.  [S Beit Zvi, p.353, Post-Ugandan Zionism on Trial, A Study of the Factors That Caused the Mistakes Made by the Zionist Movement During the Holocaust, 1991, Zahala, Tel Aviv]

Some five to six thousand Jews are estimated to have escaped from the ghetto to the ‘Aryan’ side of Warsaw and to have remained hidden till the end of 1943.  In Palestine there was panic that the revolts ‘would ultimately deprive the Yishuv of the cream of Europe’s potential pioneering force.’ Melech Neustadt wanted the youth movements in Palestine to instruct their comrades ‘to abandon their communities, save themselves, and thereby stop the armed uprisings.’ The Zionist youth in Europe, such as Antek Zuckerman and Zivia Lubetkin refused on principle to leave. Hayka Klinger, who arrived in Palestine in March 1944, told the Histadrut Executive that ‘we received an order not to organize any more defence.’ [i] The Zionist leadership sought to extricate the leaders of the ghetto fighters as they were more valuable in Palestine than in leading the resistance in the ghettos. Klinger told Histadrut that ‘Without a people, a people’s avant-garde is of no value. If rescue it is, then the entire people must be rescued. If it is to be annihilation, then the avante-garde too shall be annihilated.’ [Zertal, The Politics of Nationhood, p.33

The Zionist leaders saw the subsequent risings in other ghettos as ‘a kind of betrayal of the overriding principle of the homeland.’ [Zertal, p.44] Yet despite this Ben Gurion later claimed that the heroism of the ghetto fighters owed its inspiration to the Zionist fight in Palestine. The ghetto fighters were ‘retrospectively conscripted’ into the Zionist terror groups. ‘We fought here and they fought there’ according to Palmach commander Yitzhak Sadeh.[Zertal, pp. 25-26]. The resistance of the Jewish ghetto fighters became intertwined with the heroic myth of the Zionist fight for Palestine.  See The anti-Zionist Bund led the Jewish Resistance in Poland whilst the Zionist Movement abandoned the Jews

The article below contains a number of mistakes and is slanted towards a Zionist version of events.  Nonetheless it is an interesting description of the events of 75 years ago.  I also recommend you read Marek Edelman's account of the Ghetto Uprising, The Ghetto Fights.
Tony Greenstein
On this day in 1943, a band of Jewish resistance fighters launched an armed insurrection against the Nazis. They were proud socialists and internationalists.
Jewish resistance fighters during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. WWII War Crimes Records

On the eve of Passover 1943 — the nineteenth of April — a group of several hundred poorly armed young Jews began the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, one of the first insurrections against Nazism.
For a small group of fighters, realizing — in the lyrical words of one militant — that “dying with arms is more beautiful than without,” an isolated group of Jewish militants resisted for twenty-nine days against a much larger foe, motivated by a desire to kill as many fascists as they could before they themselves were killed. The uprising, etched into the collective memory of postwar Jewry, remains emotive and emboldening.

That their heroism was a crucial part of the war is disputed by nobody today. But less known is the extent to which the uprising, far from being a spontaneous one of the masses, was the product of planning and preparation from a relatively small — incredibly young — group of Jewish radicals.

The Ghetto
Within a few weeks of the Nazi consolidation of Poland, Governor Hans Frank ordered four hundred thousand Warsaw Jews to enter a ghetto. By November 1940, around five hundred thousand Jews from across Poland had been sealed behind its walls, severed from the outside world and plunged into social isolation. Surrounded by a ten-foot-high barrier, the creation of the ghetto meant the relocation of approximately 30 percent of Warsaw’s population into 2.6 percent of the city, the designated area being no more than two and a half miles long and having previously housed fewer than 160,000 people.

In the ghetto, Jews were forced to live in chronic hunger and poverty. Many families inhabited single rooms, and the dire lack of food meant that roughly one hundred thousand people survived on no more than a single bowl of soup per day. The sanitation system collapsed, and disease became rampant. By March 1942 onwards, five thousand people died each month from disease and malnutrition.

The situation was dire — and yet, the initial response of the Jewish community leadership was one of inaction. Following the creation of the Judenrat (Jewish Council) — a collaborationist organization established with Nazi approval to allow easier implementation of anti-Jewish policies — some inhabitants fell into a false sense of security. An attitude permeated the ghetto, proffered through the lens of Jewish history, that Nazism was just another form of persecution that the Jewish people must suffer and outlast.

Others — such as the Hashomer Hatzair militant Shmuel Braslaw — began to recognize a jealous respect for the Germans among the ghetto’s residents. “Our young people learn to doff their caps when encountering Germans,” wrote Braslaw in an internal document, “smiling smiles of servitude and obedience . . . but deep in their hearts burns a dream: to be like [the Germans] — handsome, strong and self-confident. To be able to kick, beat and insult, unpunished. To despise others, as the Germans despise Jews today.”

Against this demoralization, circles of defiance could be found in the self-organization of the left-wing of the Jewish community. Communists, Socialist-Zionists of varying descriptions, and social democrats organized themselves into sections in the ghetto, aiming to transform the misery into meaningful political organization. All parties — the Bund, a social-democratic mass organization that had enjoyed huge pre-war popularity; the Marxist-Zionist youth group Hashomer Hatzair; the left-wing Zionist party Left Poale Zion; and the Communist Party dedicated themselves to this strategy, organizing cells that sought to revive collectivist attitudes among an emotionally crippled and disaffected Jewish youth.

In dark times, the cell structures of youth organizations provided a social and psychological anchor against hunger and depression. “The day I was able to re-establish contact with my group,” wrote the Young Communist militant

Dora Goldkorn, “was one of the happiest days in my hard, tragic ghetto life.” In the project to develop a resistance leadership among the youth, keeping spirits high was crucial; acts of friendship such as the sharing of food were as important as distributing anti-Nazi literature.
By 1942, the various youth organizations felt confident enough to consider the formation of an “Anti-Fascist Bloc.” On the insistence of the Communists, a manifesto was drafted that sought to unite the Jewish left in the Warsaw Ghetto, with the hope of generalizing this political unity across other ghettos.

Calling for a “national front” against the occupation, for the unity of all progressive forces on the basis of common demands and for armed antifascism, the manifesto echoed the pre-war Popular Fronts in its organizational methodology.

The Left Poale Zion enthusiastically joined, as did the Hashomer Hatzair — who re-emphasized their fidelity to the Soviet Union, despite the Kremlin’s opposition to Zionism. The Bund, however, were less reliable, due to their historic anticommunism and rejection of specifically Jewish armed action; a party that resolutely stated Poland was the home for Polish Jews, many Bundists refused avenues other than Polish-Jewish unity of action.

The paper of the Anti-Fascist Bloc, Der Ruf, reached publication twice. Its contents overwhelmingly focused on applauding Soviet resistance and urging the ghetto inhabitants to hold out for imminent liberation at the hands of the Red Army.

The bloc’s fighting squads contained militants belonging to all varieties of labor movement groups, but the lynchpin of the organization was Pinkus Kartin. A stalwart of communism in prewar Poland and a veteran of the International Brigades to Spain, Kartin was a leader both politically and militarily. To the historian Israel Gutman, who himself was active with Hashomer Hatzair in his youth, Kartin “undoubtedly impressed” the underground’s young and inexperienced cadre.

It was the arrest and murder of Kartin in June 1943 that signaled the end for the Anti-Fascist Bloc. His arrest triggered an intense repression against the prominent Young Communists, who saw their numbers decimated and were driven into hiding. It is for this reason that when the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) was founded several months later, the Communists were absent at first — although their political line was upheld and applied by those such as Abraham Fiszelson, a Left Poale Zion leader who had been Kartin’s right-hand man and had befriended him in Spain.

During this period, figures from the right-wing of the Jewish community formed a rival group, the Jewish Military Union (ZZW). Led by the right-wing Zionist group Betar and funded by high society, the ZZW relied upon ex-army officers who could fight orthodox warfare with the Nazis using regular army discipline — unlike the ZOB, which considered itself the armed expression of the Jewish workers’ movement. Furthermore, the ZZW’s connections to Polish nationalists, the antisemitic Polish government-in-exile and the right-wing Revisionist-Zionist movement provoked suspicion among the ZOB leadership.

By contrast, in the eyes of Israel Gutman, the typical ZOB volunteers were “young men in their twenties, Zionists, Communists, socialists — idealists with no battle experience, no military training.” While the propaganda of the ZZW was staunchly nationalistic, the ZOB’s propaganda and literature encouraged antiracist internationalism, offered intellectual positions on the world situation, and debated the labor movement.

Despite the darkness of their times, members of the ZOB belonged to a political tradition that desired a better world, and sought to create it through their struggle.
 The Resistance
The ZOB set as its aim an anti-Nazi insurrection. However, it recognized that paramount to achieving this was the strengthening of the organization’s position in the wider community — it was decided that it had to involve the intimidation and execution of Jewish collaborators with the occupiers.
For ZOB militants, collaborators represented an auxiliary wing of fascism that was instrumental in facilitating the deportation of Polish Jewry. To demonstrate that this stance would not be accepted in the ghetto, ZOB militants chose to execute Jewish policeman Jacob Lejkin. For his “dedication” in deporting Jews to Auschwitz, Lejkin was shot, and his example triggered widespread panic in the collaborating establishment. This was followed by the execution of Alfred Nossig in February 1943. Józef Szeryński, the former head of the ghetto police, committed suicide to avoid his own fate.
These acts ensured ZOB’s centrality in the resistance movement, and also encouraged resistance from beyond their ranks. They aimed to prove that challenging collaboration was both possible and a moral duty — and within a short period of time had won many ghetto inhabitants to this position.
As the months progressed, the specter of death became ever-present. Between June and September 1942, three hundred thousand Jews had been deported or murdered, a destruction of the Polish Jewish community. In these desperate circumstances, people lost everyone and many young people began to dispense with anxieties about protecting their families and commit instead to militant political activity. Simply put, the more Jews were murdered in the ghettos, the less personal obligations were felt by survivors, and the more the feeling of responsibility for causing further anguish from Nazi reprisals receded.
Contempt was shown for the self-determined martyrdom of Adam Czerniakow, the Judenrat leader who committed suicide in July 1942. For young Jewish socialists such as the prominent Bundist Marek Edelman, Czerniakow had “made his death his own private business,” a symbol of privilege in contrast to Edelman and his working-class comrades awaiting their turn on the deportation lists. For them, he said, the overwhelming sentiment in these times was that political leadership necessitated that “one should die with a bang.”
The Uprising
In many senses, the hopes of the Left in calling for a common struggle against Nazi barbarity had outlived its constituency: the Jewish community was in the process of being exterminated. What now mattered was the initiative young leftists took upon themselves — and the majority favored an uprising.
On the morning of Monday, January 18, six months after the first mass deportations of Warsaw Jews (which reduced the number of ghetto inhabitants from four hundred thousand to approximately seventy to eighty thousand), ZOB militants emerged from the crowds of deportees to attack German soldiers, killing several. A series of attacks followed over four days, where militants infiltrated lines of slave laborers marching towards the Umschlagplatz [Deportation of Jews], stepped out of rank at a given signal, and assassinated their German guards. Though scores of ZOB fighters fell, the confusion created by the fighting allowed some to flee — and demonstrated to others that Nazi bodies could also fall in the ghetto.
By April 1943, there was a general awareness that the ghetto was to be entirely liquidated. A general armed revolt was scheduled to happen at the next Nazi provocation. On April 19, five thousand soldiers led by SS general Jürgen Stroop entered the ghetto to remove the final inhabitants; in response, approximately 220 ZOB volunteers began their attack, located in ersatz positions in cellars, apartments, and rooftops, each armed with a single pistol and several Molotov cocktails.
The revolt caused chaos, catching the Nazis off guard and killing many Wehrmacht and SS soldiers. In response, the humiliated German army, suffering losses at the hands of prisoners they thought long defeated, initiated a policy of systematically burning out the fighters. To paraphrase one ZOB militant, it was the flames — not the fascists — whom the fighters lost out to. Vicious hand-to-hand combat raged for days, and by late April coordinated warfare by the ZOB collapsed, the conflict now largely consisting of the Germans burning small groups of armed Jews out of bunker hideouts created to evade capture.
According to accounts, both the red flag and the blue-and-white flag of the Zionist movement were raised over ZOB-seized buildings. The youngest fighter killed had been a Bundist activist aged thirteen. Though clearly inexperienced as a fighting force, an anonymously authored Bund internal document that reached London in June 1943 stressed the “exemplary” political unity and “fraternity” between leftist groups in combat. The unswerving dedication to which the young fighters of the ZOB clung to their dreams of socialism was exemplified most movingly in a May Day rally held amid the ghetto’s ruins.
Participating in the rally, Marek Edelman reflected that
The entire world, we knew, was celebrating May Day on that day and everywhere forceful, meaningful words were being spoken. But never yet had the Internationale been sung in conditions so different, so tragic, in a place where an entire nation had been and was still perishing. The words and the song echoed from the charred ruins and were, at that particular time, an indication that socialist youth [were] still fighting in the ghetto, and that even in the face of death they were not abandoning their ideals.
Leading militants of the ZOB committed mass suicide on May 8, surrounded by the German army at their base on Mila 18. By mid-May, the ghetto had been razed, and the Great Synagogue of Warsaw personally blown up by General Stroop on May 16 to celebrate the end of Jewish resistance. A mere forty ZOB combatants had escaped onto the “Aryan” side of Warsaw, where scores more fell before war’s end in the subsequent city-wide uprising of 1944.
 The Lesson
In our times, war criminal George W. Bush can pay comfortable tribute to the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. So can fellow humanitarians David Cameron and Barack Obama, who both offered speeches dripping with moralism about the heroism of the revolt. Their platitudes are the product of the historical reduction of the event over time — something which is likely to increase as more witnesses to the Holocaust leave us, often with unrecorded testimony.
More dangerous still are active attempts to erase the politics that produced such heroic resistance. Just this week, the University of Vilnius in Lithuania announced that it would honor Jewish students murdered in the Holocaust — as long as they had not participated in left-wing political activity or anti-Nazi militancy.
Against this attack on history, the Left’s task is to defend the fighters of the ZOB from the condescension of official patronage or the dark possibilities of state demonization. We can only do this by restating what so many of these people were — young militants, committed to left-wing ideals, brimming with enthusiasm for a better world, pushed to oblivion alongside their community.
Jews by birth and communal affiliation, they also engaged in the struggle as internationalists, a determined part of a worldwide struggle against fascism and capitalism. As weakened as they were, their attitude — that to submit meant death, that resistance even in the face of impossible odds was a moral imperative — inspired imprisoned Spanish Republicans, French communist peasants, their fellow Poles watching from behind the ghetto walls, and their fellow Jews languishing in the concentration camps.
Their story is a reminder of the Holocaust’s brutality and hopelessness, but also a shining example of those who in the worst of circumstances — in the words of the partisan poet Hirsh Glik — could never say that they have reached the final road.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Labour’s Expulsion of Cyril Chilson, a Child of Holocaust Survivors, Says Everything You Need to Know About Labour's 'Antisemitism' Witchhunt

Emina Ibrahim, Vice Chair of Momentum,  A Collaborator in this Racist Outrage

Below is the case of Cyril Chilson, an academic at Oxford University and an ex-Israeli who served as a Captain in the Israeli army.  

Cyril's parents were both Holocaust survivors, including his mother who was a Auschwitz concentration camp.  His father only just escaped the Nazi invasion of Soviet-occupied Poland and went on to fight in the Soviet army.  As such Cyril was an ideal target for the vile racists behind the racist witch-hunt.  Perfect in fact.

Cyril was expelled for two years by Labour’s National Kangaroo Court on March 20th as part of the fight against 'anti-semitism' in the Labour Party.

Tony Greenstein
Cyril Chilson

Giving the Truth a Voice in Labour's Kangaroo Court

I had been suspended since August 2016. Was it a coincidence that the letter from the Party, informing me about my suspension (following an anonymous (!) ‘complaint’, came through my letter box only a short time after I posted on the Labour website a note in  support of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership?

Be that as it may, it seems that after this extended period of incubation the NEC and the NCC became all of a sudden quite anxious to get things done. Was the impending election of a new General Secretary the stimulus to this newly found efficiency? I was contacted in November 2017 and was given three weeks to respond and find legal representation. The NCC rejected my request to have Tony Greenstein as my legal representative, despite his legal qualifications. When Daniel Bennett, a Barrister from the Doughty Street Chambers volunteered to act on my behalf the NCC agreed at last to defer the hearing. Having been forced to accept that being represented by a lawyer would deprive me of the right to speak during the hearing, I decided to represent myself and give up Mr Bennett’s kind offer. with my wife as my ‘silent friend’. My wife joined me as a ‘silent friend’.
Maggi Cosins - the Right-wing GMB Chair of the National Kangaroo Court
We arrived at the hearing venue, the Jurys Inn Hotel in Oxford where the NCC panel met. The panel was chaired by one Maggie Cousins. Her lieutenants were Emina Ibrahim and Douglas Fairbairn. The ‘prosecutor’ (appearing here under the bureaucratic euphemism: ‘presenter’) was a certain Dan Hogan from the infamous Compliance Unit. A young trainee-apparatchik with a title to match: ‘Investigations Officer’. He was accompanied by Louise Withers-Green, an even younger ‘silent friend’.

 The session began with Mr Hogan’s presentation i.e. the charges against me. He homed in on an assortment of my tweets which were the sole material used as ‘evidence’ by the NEC industrious investigators.
A mass grave in Belzec, which was a pure extermination camp
Hogan pulled out of nowhere  the Chakrabarti Report. To the best of my knowledge this report may have been endorsed by the Party, but not implemented. I tried to question the use of the Chakrabarti Report ad hoc while the official status of this document remains unclear. At this point the Chair, Ms Cosins started to shout at me: “If you go on like this, you will have to leave the room.”  Hogan ‘apologised’ for not having added the said report to the bundle and dispatched Jane Shaw, Secretary to the NCC, to photocopy the pages thereof. The same thing happened with Hogan’s reliance on the IHRA definition which was called into question by me. I referred Hogan and the panel to the resolution of the last Party conference whereby the endorsement of the definition for Antisemitism which was laid down by  IHRA in 2016, was limited to the preamble, not to the examples which follow it. Once again, the Chair chided me: ‘Keep this for your own presentation’. When I tried to clarify that this was a procedural issue, given that this material did not appear in the bundle and the Party’s own rules make it clear that no further evidence can be accepted after the deadline of evidence submissions, I was once again facing a threat from the Chair: “Enough of this. I have been very tolerant up until now”.

Hogan’s presentation was chequered with personal insults and mendacious statements. He did not refrain from character assassination by association aimed even at  those who were already expelled from the Party during the present witch hunt:  “Mr Chilson”, announced Hogan in dramatic pathos, “wanted to be represented by Tony Greenstein. This was followed by Mr Chilson dismissing Mr Daniel Bennett, a Barrister who volunteered to act on his behalf. One wonders why”. Mr Hogan seems to have forgotten that innuendo and indeed innuendo based on lawyer-client relationship (which is meant to be confidential), is unacceptable. What one should have really wondered in this context, is how come Mr Hogan knew that I had ‘dismissed’ Mr Bennett? He wasn’t briefed by Mr Bennett, surely?
Dr Joseph Mengele, the SS Doctor known as the Angel of Death
This was followed by a failure of Hogan’s reasoning. “Mr Chilson refused to engage with the NEC investigation”. When I reminded him that I did answer the questionnaire which was sent to me and asked him how this can be squared with my attendance which on the face of it contradicts his postulate, he ignored my question and instead the Chair again reprimanded me: “Don’t talk over him!” despite the fact that I never did so. In fact, Ms Cosins herself kept interrupting me time and again.
One of the charges against me was hinged on one of my tweets about Zionism whereby I reminded my interlocutor that following the Boycott of German goods  which the Jewish leadership in the US had organised after the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Nazis had swallowed their racist pride for fear of the impact on Germany’s frail economy and agreed to negotiate with the Zionist Federation, forced to treat the Zionist representatives as their equals.  Hogan tried to liken this to an act of Holocaust denial dubbing it ‘historical revisionism’. When I mentioned that I was a son of Holocaust survivors and therefore could not be anti-Semitic let alone a Holocaust denier, Hogan said “I only refer to the evidence, I don’t know you”… I went on to ask him if he was a trained historian with an expertise on the history of the Zionist movement in Nazi Germany. He admitted he was ‘no expert’. At this stage the Chair intervened: “I know everything about the history of Nazi Germany and everything about Jewish history  and I want this to stop and I want it to stop now! We are not here for a history lesson!
Children in the Lodz Ghetto, which was the second largest ghetto after Warsaw in Poland and which survived almost till the end of the war
Was the Chair of the Kangaroo Court becoming concerned as Dan Hogan was losing ground?
Another contention which demonstrates the falsehood of the charges and the way in which they were looked at by the panel revolved around my tweet about the pro-Israeli lobby in the UK and those who run it. I highlighted the pivotal role of two individuals connected with the arms trade, Hogan tried to portray this as an attempt to present the UK Jewish community as a collective whose loyalty to the UK is questionable. Hogan went on to refer to it as a ‘typical anti-Semitic trope’. Likewise, drawing on one of my tweets in which I argued that ‘Jewish solidarity is not a sentiment but an investment’ he tried to develop this theme and claim that by criticising certain British Jews I was employing an anti-Semitic stereotype whereby Jews around the globe are collectively responsible for the policies and acts of the State of Israel.  The investment’ theme’, declared Hogan, ‘is a typical reference to Jewish greed and manipulative behaviour’

When I reminded Hogan that even a broken clock shows the correct time twice a day, he was struggling with the meaning of this metaphor. I had to explain to the puzzled ‘presenter’ that the existence of anti-Semitic tropes does not exclude the existence of Jewish individuals who sadly behave in a way reminiscent of those repulsive generalisations. If we were to refrain from criticising them because they happen to be Jewish, we betray the truth and by remaining silent we actually join the oppressors.  I also reiterated a claim which Hogan tried to dispute and found himself in a pickle due to his ignorance of Jewish contemporary history: the leadership of the Jewish communities in the western world (particularly in the US and the UK), adopted a policy of ‘right or wrong my country’ vis-à-vis the State of Israel especially since the coming to power of Likud in 1977. This is not a ‘trope’ or a ‘stereotype’ but a historical fact.

Emina Ibrahim - Vice Chair of Momentum goes along with all McNicol's expulsions
I referred Hogan to an article by the American Jewish columnist Jonathan Weissman on this specific issue, published only four days beforehand in the New York Times. Weissman criticises the American Jewish leadership for being ‘obsessive’ about Israel. So much so, that the community leaders had neglected domestic Jewish-American issues such as the  rising home-grown anti-Semitism. They also refrained from criticising the rise of far right anti-Semitism in Europe as this did not suit the Israeli foreign policy.  As regards Anglo- Jewry, Hogan kept ignoring my references to a study  by a Jewish sociologist from London City University which corroborated my claim that the majority of Jews in Britain regard the State of Israel as an essential part of their self-identity. Among these, 71% accept (to a variable extent) Israel’s policies in the occupied territories even if they are unhappy about parts or all of them.  All of this was labelled as ‘typical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories’.

Hogan asked me or rather stated at some point: “so like most anti-Semites you think that all the Jewish community in the UK are in Israel’s pocket or collaborators of Hasbarah!” (the Israeli state-sponsored propaganda system). I said: No. No one could say such a thing about the late Sir Gerald Kauffman or the late Harold Pinter or the excellent members of Jewish Voice for Labour or Labour against the Witch Hunt, but these are, alas, the exception.  Let me remind you that certain dignitaries in the Jewish community called not to vote Labour in 2015 because ‘Ed Miliband’ as they put ‘is not one of us’.  Was it the bacon bap that he ate in public or rather his (fairly moderate) criticism of Israel that made Miliband fall afoul of them?
Cyril's father fought at Kursk, the largest tank battle in the second world war
When I was suspended I used (and I still do so) to tweet the headlines concerning the atrocities committed by Israel in the Palestinian territories. I added to those headlines the rhetorical question: ‘is reporting this anti-Semitic?’ Hogan tried to claim that by doing so I was mocking the very concept of anti-Semitism and thus “denying the Jewish people the language  to describe their persecution by a deliberate attempt of  hijacking the  definition of what anti-Semitism is”. Hogan failed to realise that he was actually conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism contrary to his own admission that ‘criticising Israel is not anti-Semitic’ and therefore he himself was actually denying me any language to describe the unpleasant truth. Certain Israeli Jews have become persecutors and certain Jews abroad support them by trying to gag anyone who dares to tell this simple and horrible truth.
Are you denying”, asked Dan Hogan, relishing his freshly-baked scholasticism, “that by sending those tweets you were distracting from actual anti-Semitic acts which deserve redress and indeed, by doing so you were denying Jewish people the language to describe the prejudice, discrimination and hatred they are subject to? And if you do deny it, what for should a reasonable person send these questions? Who was meant to answer them?”

Here I had to remind the already ecstatic Mr Hogan that rhetorical questions were not meant to be answered. The Chair interjected: “we all know what a rhetorical question means.”
“Apparently not” I replied.

“Well, answer then:  what was the purpose of all of this?

Telling the truth and opposing the gagging by false accusations of anti-Semitism” I replied.
Mr Hogan wanted to continue but the Chair signalled him to stop. She seems to have realised that even in a Kangaroo Court, silly questions must be asked measuredly.

Now presented itself an opportunity for the hitherto silent panellist namely Ms  Emina Ibrahim to share with me her own pearls of wisdom: “Well, perhaps this is an issue of cultural differences. Take me for example: I am of Turkish – Cypriot background. In my culture we often use rhetorical questions to express displeasure or exasperation or at time, over-excitement. Perhaps this was an unnoticed return to your personal culture of origin?’
The question is whether she is going to continue where her predecessor, Crooked McNicol left off 
Cyril was the victim of this vile racist, Iain McNicol
I was profoundly shocked and I hope that my speechlessness may have allowed Ms Ibrahim to consider her question as  a rhetorical one, and therefore, a question not meant  to be answered.
Mr Hogan’s ‘cross examination’ featured repeated insinuations such as: “Have you been aware of the inflammatory nature of your twits?”, “Can you understand that your tweets come across as offensive?” “How do you feel about causing pain to Jewish members of Labour?” “Do you think that comments such as yours would make Labour an attractive and safe place for Jewish voters?”

I stressed time and again that I never meant to hurt anyone. I likewise apologised for any feelings which may have been hurt but at the same time I expressed my belief that mature and constructive politics must not involve sentiments. Rather, it must be realistic, truthful and logical. I then told the panellists how I was abused by one of the most active pro-Israel accounts on Twitter whose handle is @GnasherJew. This hitherto  anonymous operator (whose identity seems to have been revealed by now) did not refrain from appealing to the Oxford College in which I teach, requesting the College to sack me while adding an abusive description  of myself.

My account of the abusive and slanderous behaviour of @GnasherJew was simply ignored.  The above are of course only snippets from what went on during my hearing.  I concluded my summations by saying: “I never imagined, when I proudly joined the Party, that I, son of Holocaust survivors, would have to defend myself against allegations of anti-Semitism against other Party members who have chosen to use a weaponizing of anti-Semitism to achieve their political targets . You may disagree with me but expelling me from the Party will be tantamount to spitting on the non-existent graves of the Holocaust victim, including those of my extended family.”

The Chair asked me after my concluding remarks: “Do you think your hearing was a fair one?
“I think this question is unfair. I do have some misgivings about what went on here today, but I hope to be proven wrong”. I replied, trying hard to maintain a calm tone, hoping I was not showing my indignation and disgust at this ostensibly-innocent question.

There was a break of 30 minutes. When we returned to the room the Chair said: “The panel has decided that the charges against you have been proven. I want to remind you that we are able to expel you and would like to ask you whether there were any mitigating circumstances?”

So I was not proven wrong after all. This was indeed a kangaroo court that was apparently one track minded.

At this point, I decided that this farce had to be brought to an end. I grabbed my briefcase and said: “This was a colossal waste of time. Good bye!”

“Hang on! Don’t go! We haven’t reached a decision as yet!” Shouted the Chair in a last attempt to keep a façade of fairness. Me and my wife kept  walking and did not look back.

The letter with the expulsion for two years decision, arrived on the following Saturday. I found particularly repulsive the concluding paragraph:

“If you apply to re-join you will not be eligible to have your join date backdated to give you continuity with an earlier period of membership.”


Cyril Chilson was born in Petakh Tikva, near Tel Aviv, Israel, into a family of holocaust survivors.

His father Leon came from Drohobycz, a town situated south-west of Lwow, the regional capital of what used to be between the two world wars, the province of Galicia in Eastern Poland (now, part of Western Ukraine). Following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact Cyril’s father transferred to a technical school which was run by Red Army personnel. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Leon joined the retreating school personnel twenty-four hours before the invading troops reached his hometown. Leon was drafted and trained by the Red Air Force as a combat pilot. He first saw action in air battles at the Finnish Front during the Soviet-Finnish Continuation War and later took part in the battles of Kursk and Stalingrad where his aircraft was shot down by a German anti-aircraft battery. Despite being wounded Leon managed to down a German fighter aircraft before parachuting himself out of his fire-engulfed plane. Nonetheless, he managed to make it to the nearest Soviet outpost with four (half-frozen) German soldiers he captured single-handedly en route. For this feat, he was decorated with the Soviet  Order of Glory (Russian: Орден Славы).

Lodzia, Cyril’s mother, was transferred in 1942 from her hometown Ozorkow in Central Poland, to the Lodz ghetto. Having survived there nearly two years, she was deported in summer 1944 together with her mother and sister to Auschwitz. Upon arrival Dr Mengele, who was in charge examined the newly-arrived and with his index finger decided who will be killed instantly and who could still make themselves useful to the Reich through hard labour. Lodzia and her mother Helena were granted the privilege to work for the Germans. However, Lodzia suddenly noticed that her sister was sent to the queue on  ‘the opposite side,’ i.e. to instant gassing in the crematoria. Lodzia dared to try and flatter  Dr Mengele  (speaking unasked to an SS officer, was deemed suicidal). Lodzia hoped to flatter Mengele by calling out towards him: ‘Herr Feldmarschall!.’ Instead of shooting her in the head (as everyone expected), Mengele asked Lodzia what he could do for her. Lodzia did again the unimaginable. She insisted (another taboo in the relations between Jews and Nazis) that an error had occurred. Her sister, she claimed,  was young and healthy and perfectly fit for work. Mengele asked Lodzia to point at her sister (the stunned inmates thought he wanted to murder both sisters to discourage any future impertinence). Lodzia did as she was  told and to the amazement of everyone present, Mengele ordered to remove Perla, Lodzia’s sister from the death queue and reunite her with her family among those destined momentarily for life.

Lodzia, Perla and their mother Helena survived the Holocaust. They were liberated by the Red Army in Terezienstadt, Czechoslovakia. After three years in a Displaced Persons camp near Munich, they emigrated to Israel. Lodzia trained as a nurse and met Leon who arrived in Israel from France. Leon returned to Poland after the war  only to find out that the Nazis murdered his entire family (parents and two younger siblings)  in the concentration camp of Belzec in south-eastern Poland. He moved to Paris where he studied engineering. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1951 and despite not being a Zionist, Leon chose to come to Israel. He became a senior official at the Israel Electric Company but passed away following a cardiac arrest aged 48.

Cyril  was educated at the first Hebrew secondary school in the world, Ha-Gymnasiya Ha-Ivrit Herzliyah in Tel Aviv (founded: 1906) and after his military service which was spent almost entirely in the occupied West Bank (where he witnessed the instrumentality of the  IDF  in the daily oppression of the Palestinian population), Cyril served  in Lebanon during the first Lebanon War in 1982 where he witnessed the treachery of the then secretary of defence General Ariel Sharon, who was responsible for  the infamous  massacre of thousands of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut. As a reservist Cyril who is fluent in several  lanaguages, was transferred to the IDF spokesman unit and served there  as a liasion officer to foreign press. Cyril read Classics and History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem graduating with distinction. He worked as a journalist in the printed and electronic media. Cyril was news editor at the defunct Al Hamishmar Daily, the organ of the United Workers Party (MAPAM- also defunct) and served as news editor at Channel 1 of the Israeli TV. Alongside his socialist convictions he has been a staunch opponent of the Israeli occupation and supporter of justice for the Palestinian people. Cyril came to the UK as a post-graduate student and wrote a doctoral thesis at Brasenose College, Oxford about the 5th century Palestinian-born  church historian Sozomenus of Bethelia (near Gaza). Cyril teaches at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He is married to Dr Tali Chilson, a scholar of Jewish thought and Hebrew literature. They have two grown-up sons. He and his family have been naturalised as British Citizens. They live in Oxford.