London BDS

London BDS, Racism And Press TV

London BDS & Jim Dean

Anti-Israeli boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigners often claim they against antisemitism and racism, yet their actions tell another story.

London BDS as an unfortunate habit of using material from the racist, Press TV.

Recently, they praised an article by Jim W. Dean.

Astute readers will know that Dean is intimately connected to the terrible Veterans Today, not only that but any cursory reading of the article would ring alarm bells amongst any antiracist, where he argues:

“Real historians like David Irving were attacked for printing the forbidden truth and made examples of to cower the rest of the sheep. And yes, Jewish lobbies had their fingerprints all over the dirty deed. “

If London BDS and other Western pro-Palestinian activists wish to be more convincing than they should stop digesting the racist filth that Press TV puts out.

Anyone ignorant of David Irving should read Holocaust Denial on Trial and the Guardian’s special report.

The SPLC on Veterans Today.

Update 1: The PSC have put out a statement distancing themselves from the @LondonBDS account:

“Palestine Solidarity Campaign is shocked and disgusted that a twitter account @londonbds tweeted an article with clearly anti-Semitic content. We oppose all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Anti-racism is a core value of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and the broader Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Palestinians face systematic discrimination and building opposition to all forms of racism is a key part of our campaigning.

Supporting Palestine is supporting an anti-racist struggle and we shall continue to make clear that there is no place for any form of racism in our movement.

PSC has been informed that this is not the twitter account of London BDS group, whose account is @londonbdsgroup, but an apparently lone individual. We have reported this to twitter as hate speech. “

All very laudable, however, the PSC is not adverse to the racist Press TV, as a matter of principle, any simple search shows that.

The rest of their statement is decidedly implausible, as anyone with access to Google can see.

Readers will remember how long it took the PSC to kick out a self-proclaimed Holocaust denier, Francis Clark-Lowes, from their ranks. Even then about 1/5 of the conference delegates did not think Holocaust denial was antisemitic and wanted to keep him as a member.

Moreover, the notorious Ben White saw no problem with the @LondonBDS as can be seen.

My bet is their next gambit will be “Some of our best friends are….”

A View Of Anti-Zionists, The CST’s Take

The CST does the admirable job of providing security, assistance and help to the Jewish community in Britain.

But not only that, its annual reports detail the rise (and occasional dip) in antisemitism.

Further, the CST blog describes in detail instances of racism towards Jews and is a required reading for anyone seriously opposed to antisemitism.

Boycott Israel: Zionists are “the most hateful people imaginable”, their latest entry looks at the inflammatory and disparaging language which is invariably found within boycott Israelis type groupings:

“The website of the London branch of the boycott Israel movement (the people who intend to disrupt next week’s Israeli performances of The Merchant of Venice), carries an article stating that Zionists are

the most hateful people imaginable

The boycott Israel article also describes Zionism as:

a murderous, parasitic doctrine

Dehumanisation and demonisation are the basic building blocks of racism and racist violence. Zionism is a political choice, so anti-Zionism is not exactly racism.

Still, most Jews are Zionists; and Zionism is inextricably linked with Jews, Judaism and Jewish history. To be a Zionist in a post-Holocaust world is, for many Jews, simply the most basic issue of survival.

In 2010, JPR’s survey showed that 72% of British Jews self-categorise as “Zionist”.

If Zionists are “the most hateful people imaginable” then surely Zionists, as well as Israel, ought to be boycotted? Hell, Zionists probably deserve a good kicking also. After all, who ever complained when neo-Nazi skinheads get assaulted?

So, if you dehumanise and demonise Zionists there will be an antisemitic outcome.

Nobody asks Jewish victims a survey about Zionism before hitting them over the head, or trying to burn down their synagogue, or trying to murder children at a Jewish Primary school. (Indeed, this is why the anti-Zionist leftists have nothing to say about any of this, not even when it comes down to dead children.)”

[My emphasis on last part.]

Such rabble-rousing language amongst anti-Zionists is all too common and has filtered into the mainstream, evidenced by the content of Comment Is Free or the thinking behind BBC’s HARDtalk, as another CST post demonstrated:

“Jewish conspiracy theory is fundamental to antisemitism. It relies on the notion of Jewish wealth and power, working against the rest of society. It is commonly expressed as Jews controlling politicians and the media.

This does not render discussion of Jewish political and media influence illegitimate. It does, however, require discussion of them to be sensitive and careful. If one is not discussing a Jewish conspiracy, then a responsible journalist should say so, explicitly. For example, Peter Oborne knew the antisemitic risks in his Channel 4 programme, ‘Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby’. He explicitly stated that he had found no conspiracy, nor anything resembling one. (Sadly, the risks were made clear when many of those covering the programme made no such distinctions.)

Unfortunately, BBC’s flagship HARDtalk programme took no such care in its recent interview with the controversial Norman Finkelstein. On the contrary, the interview proceeded as if American foreign policy is beholden to Israel and that this can only be explained by “the Jewish lobby”.

Complaints to the BBC solicited the answer you would expect: this is HARDtalk, so we have to reflect the views of our guest, Norman Finkelstein, and we then robustly challenge those views.”

BDS Stigmatises Kosher Food

The conduct of BDS supporters in Birmingham leaves little doubt that racism is firmly embedded in their outlook.

They attacked the Kosher food section in a Tesco supermarket.

Anthony Cooper covers it with typical restraint.

This is not the first (or to be the last time) that BDS has been associated with anti-Jewish racism.

Readers will remember how the London BDS’s Twitter account talked of:

“Please write to Baroness Jenny Tonge to show your support. Israelificated Zionists controlled media trying to blame her.”

So they believe the media is controlled by “Israelificated Zionists” and they attack a Kosher section of a Tesco’s.

Rather telling of their attitudes. I wonder what excuses they will use to hide their racism and deflect criticism?

Transition: From Concerned to Jenny Tonge and Ken O’Keefe.

While studying the phenomena of support for Jenny Tonge I have been struck by a number of things:

1. The level of shared paranoia and slippage into conspiracy theories that occurs.

2. How many of her defenders subscribe to her conspiratorial views or paranoia about some supposedly all-powerful “Zionist” lobby.

3. How distasteful it is to see once cynical individuals don rose tinted glasses when dealing with Tonge’s comments.

Granted, my sampling was only every reference to Jenny Tonge on Twitter for a 12+ hour period and there might be other interpretations. Nevertheless, they do seem to illustrate much of the above.

Naturally, there is a degree of variation and intensity in those expressing support for Baroness Tonge.

It is rather like a sliding scale, comparatively moderate at one end, increasingly vociferous and extreme at the other.

We can see how, otherwise, decent people may feel some sympathy for Jenny Tonge, as her supporters portray her as a victim.

The reality is, of course, very different. Baroness Tonge merely resigned the party whip, not from the Liberal Democrats. She is still a member. In fact, she has more freedom to shout off her mouth.

But it is understandable that some take pity on her.

Slightly further down the scale you have the political activists who have a chip on their shoulder about Israelis, and some that even share Baroness Tonge’s obsession with the supposedly all powerful “Zionist” lobby.

Inching along the scale we find cranks, such as the London BDS, which make inflammatory and perplexing remarks:

“Please write to Baroness Jenny Tonge to show your support. Israelificated Zionists controlled media trying to…”

And:

“Lib-Dem and Labour Zionists purge Jenny Tonge « Red Scribblings”

On the surface comparatively moderate, however, digging deeper revealed a blog which proffers a strange mix of Holocaust denial, outright racism and stupidity.

All this might suggest that many people start off with understandable sympathy for the Palestinians, some migrate over time to Jenny Tonge’s stance and then possibly on to sharing Ken O’Keefe’s extremist views.

Readers will remember him ranting about 9/11 and Mossad, as the JC reported:

“Baroness Tonge was sitting next to Mr O’Keefe as he screamed at audience members, said Israel “must be destroyed” and claimed Mossad was “directly involved” in the September 11 terror attacks on the United States.”

That shared paranoia seemed almost infectious.

When questioned Tonge’s supporters are apt to respond with incredulity. They can’t see how their weird views could be seen differently from the outside. They show an almost complete lack of introspection.

That is the danger.

Starting off with good intentions, but after swimming around in this bizarre paranoid  dogma become obsessed with “Zionists” ending up like Ken O’Keefe, ranting on about Mossad and 9/11, almost foaming at the mouth.

Many people are concerned with these issues, but some succumb to Jenny Tonge’s polite racism and paranoia, and can become purblind to the implications of Ken O’Keefe’s views.

Frightening.