by Martin Odoni

Why the IHRA definition is flawed

The definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ offered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, it has been stated frequently, is given excessive credence.  Its own creator, Kenneth Stern, has stated that it should not be seen as the be-all-and-end-all, that its intent was not to be legally-binding but more a guideline for research into possible manifestations of anti-Semitism, and that it is being cynically exploited to silence critics of Israel. These notes of caution are made quite explicitly by the IHRA themselves even where they have published their definition; –

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations… Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity… Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

(Emphases added.)

In other words, the notorious ‘examples’ in the IHRA definition, over which the Labour Party is getting into so much trouble, are not meant to be seen as cast-iron proof of anti-Semitic attitudes. They are merely meant to be seen as clues for ‘where to look’, as it were. Where these behaviours are seen, the person or people demonstrating them might be anti-Semitic in their intentions, and so it is advisable to investigate. That is quite different from how Zionists and mainstream media foam-at-the-mouths wish people to interpret it. They want everyone to believe that the examples are defined as inherently anti-Semitic, and that anyone demonstrating such behaviours must therefore be slapped down.

Even if that were what the IHRA definition had said – and it was not – it further needs reiterating that there is no particular imperative that such an ‘edict’ should have to be followed. The IHRA has no authority in this regard, and to be fair to its membership, they have never claimed such authority, to the best of my knowledge. That the definition is not meant to be legally-binding should end all claims to its ‘absolute’ status.

The only remaining argument that I can see people offering for why the Labour Party should be compelled to accept the definition lock-stock-and-barrel therefore appears to be, “Well, so many Governments and groups around the world accept the IHRA definition, so why shouldn’t the Labour Party?” This is one of the laziest, most childish examples of an argumentum ad populum (‘bandwagon fallacy‘) I have ever seen outside of one of Christopher Whittle’s attempted shoutdowns over Margaret Thatcher and the Hillsborough Disaster.

Distinguishing the definition from the examples

The examples are not, strictly speaking, part of the definition itself. They are guidelines – sadly flawed ones – for helping identify behaviours described within it.  The actual definition itself is a lot shorter; –

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

Even this is flawed, given that it is vague and too broadly grounded – especially where it even extends to behaviours directed towards non-Jewish individuals, which lends it a potential for instances of outright absurdity. Without very rigidly-stipulated provisos as to exactly how a non-Jewish individual could possibly be seen as a victim of anti-Semitism, the term as currently described in the definition can, without any real stretch, be extended to literally any act of persecution against any member of the human race. I am not exaggerating. Because of the poor wording, there is nothing within the definition to guarantee that the behaviour must be Jewish-related. Now, yes, there are circumstances where a gentile might be a victim of anti-Semitic behaviour e.g. they are mistaken by an anti-Semite for a Jew, they are close friends of a Jew and they become ‘implicated-by-association’ in the eyes of the anti-Semite etc, but there is nothing in either the definition itself or even in the examples that really narrows it down in this way, and in any event, it would be fair to define it as behaviour related to anti-Semitism, more than anti-Semitism directly.

So ridiculous is the definition as it currently stands that, under its terms, it would be just about feasible to argue that, say, Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Soviet Union’s Siege of Berlin were all ‘acts of anti-Semitism’. That last one in particular, for reasons too obvious to need pointing out, would be a mind-twisting reversal of reality.

This flaw in the definition is no minor, quibbling loophole, it is a gaping, fundamental rip in its logic.

My own definition of anti-Semitism, by the way, is simpler, and more precise.

Anti-Semitism is a hatred or fear of Jews, held for no reason other than that they are Jews.

I think that covers it rather well, and is really all that anyone needs. It needs to be remembered that anti-Semitism is not so much an action as an attitude – a motivation for a behaviour more than a behaviour itself. That is why the examples should not be seen as concrete guarantees of anti-Semitism. All of the examples offered can be anti-Semitic in intent, but at least some of the behaviours described therein are often done for honest, non-malicious reasons. I have taken part in some of them myself, as regular readers will be well aware, and as I am a Jew by birth, that should be a most telling note of caution.

Why getting the definition right is so critical

The importance of getting this definition right is enormous in the present climate of near-crazed hysteria, and not only for the sake of the Palestinians, who continue to be ground under the heel of Zionist Israeli expansion, and whose voices are seldom heard in the West and therefore need their global supporters to have the freedom to speak up on their behalf. It is also for the betterment of the Jewish people themselves.

As Robert Cohen pointed out in a social media post yesterday, some of the idiotic, hyperbolic and paranoid remarks coming from Anglo-Jewish leaders (usually unelected ones, please note) are not doing Zionist credibility any favours. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks made an utter hyena of himself this week by comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s very mild dig at Zionists from five years ago to Enoch Powell’s dog-whistling ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968.

By any standards, Sacks’ remarks are infantile and wildly over-the-top, much in keeping with Margaret Hodge’s recent gobbledegook. But also, they, if anything, tend towards what Corbyn was saying in the first place; that Zionists seem to have a very insecure humour-shortfall on matters connected to Israel, and cannot allow even the slightest of jokes at their own expense.

The latest row is the clearest attempt yet to conflate Jews with Zionists, but I am speaking of Sacks very much in his capacity as a Zionist rather than as a Jew, or even as a Rabbi, here. He has written quite explicitly, and quite preposterously, that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are the same thing. (As I have argued more than once, Zionism is anti-Semitic in its very application, but let us leave that on one side.) Sure, anti-Zionism can be motivated by anti-Semitism, as the IHRA definition’s examples suggest. But certainly not always. Some more sophisticated opponents of Zionism or Israeli policy – dare I include myself among them? – oppose it partly out of concern for the well-being of, not just Palestinians, but Jews themselves. It is precisely because of those who use Israeli brutality as a pretext for letting out anti-Semitic feeling that anti-Zionism (or at least opposition to Israel) is good for Jewish people as a kind of ‘moral anchor’; if enough pressure is applied to Israel that it stops its land-grabs from the Palestinians, and allows the Palestinian exiles sealed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to return to their real homes, that pretext for anti-Semitic behaviour will be taken away.

But more even than that, the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism may have a very undesired effect on popular discourse that would harm Jewish communities. Quite simply, the definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ has been stretched so much over the last few years in particular that, should society ultimately be crowbarred into going along with it, we are in danger of accepting the idea that the term does not necessarily imply something especially bad anymore.

The intent behind this conflation on the part of the likes of Hodge and Sacks is quite blatantly to use cries of ‘anti-Semitism!‘ to make criticism of Israel and Zionism look bad. That is a possible end result, should we be weak-willed enough to give in to it. And it is clear that some people are taken in by it.

But just as likely an outcome would be for matters to be dragged the opposite way; real acts of Jew-hate could stop being seen as an inherently evil phenomenon instead, because the term ‘anti-Semitism’ will include all sorts of behaviours that really are not hateful and do no harm. At that point, people really may stop taking it seriously when real cases of anti-Jewish behaviour are found.

“Anti-Semitism” now sounds like an inconvenience only

If you doubt that that can happen, consider the exasperated noises some of Israel’s ‘useful idiots’ in the media, such as James O’Brien, keep making when Labour supporters insist that a giant volcanic mountain is being made out of a wart on the face of the runt of a litter of baby woodlice. The truth is, all indicators suggest that the Labour supporters are right. And that skepticism is now visibly growing across the country, which is healthy up to a point.

But beyond that point, the danger is that when real anti-Semitic behaviour is uncovered, an awful lot of people are going to roll their eyes and dismiss it, as much as Labour supporters dismiss anti-Semitism in the party right now. “Anti-Semitism now just means something Jews don’t like!” appears to be the unsettling refrain echoing towards us from over the horizon, and I already see signs of it developing on social media.

Because the term anti-Semitism has already been stretched far beyond its realistic limits, and because, however inadvertently, the IHRA have tried to set such ridiculous terms in stone – with the British contingent of the Alliance even doubling-down on them in the last few weeks – wider reactions appear to be getting skeptical. Some are even starting to assume that the word just means something Jews – or to put that far more accurately Zionists – would rather were kept quiet. Because in a manner of speaking, that is precisely what Zionists and Israel apologists have been trying to make it mean.

There is probably even less anti-Semitism in the Labour Party than I thought

Now, one might argue that I am wrong about anti-Semitism in the party, and that it really is widespread. However, for reasons I have given repeatedly over the last eighteen months, many of the accusations are trumped up, and what numbers we can find when investigating proportion suggest there are so few people involved that they total a small fraction of one per cent of the Labour membership. This is underlined by a conversation I had only yesterday with a party member who always has her ‘ear-to-the-ground’ (I have withheld her name for privacy reasons). She said; –

Most of those suspended in the purge are now back in the party, with no action against them, proving IMO it was a set up. It’s a myth that there have been hundreds expelled by NCC. They hear one case a month

(Emphasis added.)

Now, I have no way of verifying how accurate this is, but the individual in question has a good track record, and it certainly tallies with all the other indicators I have found since the present hysteria started up. If the numbers involved were really so gigantic as the media want us to believe, and if they were mostly genuine cases of anti-Semitism, why would the party’s National Constitutional Committee be processing cases at such a slow rate, and why would so few of the accused be expelled?

Going back to the definition and its examples, there is another matter to which I wish to draw attention.

Ugh, Jonathan Hoffman again?!

I and one of my allies at the Wear Red blog have been having yet another contretemps with our dear old chum and comrade-in-nausea-induction, Jonathan Hoffman. Yes, he of the vulpine demeanour and the Nazi entourage.  Yes, he of such self-unaware stupidity that he does not recognise what an own goal it is to put the word ‘RACIST‘ in big capital letters on his Twitter display pic directly above his own name; –

Hoffman and his Twitter display pic

Jonathan Hoffman genuinely doesn’t realise what this display pic appears to declare about himself.

(NB: I have no doubt that the Hufflepuff-man will soon realise what a stupid blunder the above is, change the display pic, and then insist that I ‘photoshopped’ this picture. He has a history of making such laughable denials when caught red-handed.)

Indeed, he of such awesomely bad taste in victim cards, he thinks that adding Je Suis Margaret Hodge to his profile name will make him sound like a formidable man of principle, and not like a brainless drama queen.

Yes, him again.

I shall not go into much detail about the exchanges we had with Hoffman on social media, as they were lengthy, with endless, very catty back-and-forth. But I wish to draw attention to his conduct when I challenged him to condemn Binyamin Netanyahu for his history of taking part in celebrations of the King David Hotel Bombing of 1946, and Israel for selling arms to Leopoldo Galtieri’s Military Junta in Argentina during the Falklands War.

As I pointed out a couple of weeks back, Bibi’s foolish public attack on Jeremy Corbyn over the wreath he placed in Tunisia in 2014 has put British Zionists in an unhappy position. And this latest showdown with Hoffman has proven my point. Despite repeatedly being challenged to condemn Israel, past and present, Hoffman repeatedly sidestepped the matter, sometimes quibbling over terminology, before eventually lapsing into guilty silence. (You can read the exchanges here, although be warned, it is a disjointed, rather fractious comment thread.)

Hoffman disproves the IHRA definition he depends on

Hoffman has spent almost every day over the last three years condemning Jeremy Corbyn for being “anti-Semitic”, just because Corbyn is a tireless critic of Israel, and a supporter of Palestinian rights. But Hoffman refuses to criticise any proven connection between Israel and British deaths that happened in the name of Zionism, be they in 1946 or 1982. Corbyn commemorates Palestinians murdered by Israeli planes – Hoffman offers castigation. Bibi commemorates Zionist militants blowing up a hotel and ending British lives and Israel sells arms to a nation with which Britain was at war – Hoffman offers pedantic quibbles and stony silence.

We can only conclude from that therefore that Hoffman is more loyal to Israel than he is to Britain. But he is British – a former vice-President of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain & Ireland.

Now, by one of the examples given in the IHRA definition, the above highlighted paragraph is anti-Semitic.

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

But how can that paragraph be anti-Semitic? Judging Hoffman’s priorities as being Israeli is simply the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts. He will not condemn Israel or Zionists for undoubted misdeeds against the British, but will condemn a Briton for a (dubiously-perceived) misdeed against Israel. An objective assessment of the facts cannot be anti-Semitic, because anti-Semitism is a prejudice. By definition, an objective assessment is the antithesis of prejudice.

So, to say it again, the examples appended to the IHRA definition are only guidelines, and should not be seen as absolute. When these examples manifest in the real world, they indicate places to be on the look-out for anti-Semitism, but should not be seen as concrete evidence of anti-Semitism. Once investigations have been carried out, there is every chance of discovering that there is nothing untoward going on.

Now, one of the most deranged, bullying Zionist fanatics in the country has kindly helped me to demonstrate why.

I must remember to thank him some time.

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by Martin Odoni

Following up on that complaint I lodged with the Labour Party over the weekend about the misdeeds of the fringe group Labour Against Anti-Semitism, I today received a reply from Tim Dexter of the complaints unit. Here is the text; –

_____

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your email.

I want to assure you that the Labour Party takes its responsibilities in handling sensitive data extremely seriously and we would never provide third parties with any sensitive information they are not entitled to.

LAAS are a completely separate organisation to the Labour Party. They are not affiliated to the party and do not hold any status within the party.

If you have concerns about how they have obtained your data I suggest in the first instance you ask them where they obtained the information from. If they are unable to provide a satisfactory response then you should consider raising a complaint with the ICO, information on how to do this can be found at the following website: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/your-personal-information-concerns/personal-information-concerns/personal-information-concerns-report/

Many thanks,

Tim Dexter
Complaints Officer
The Labour Party

_____

This reply is, at best, puzzling.

Firstly, I never implied that the Labour Party itself was leaking sensitive data to anybody – the thought had never even crossed my mind come to that – so this is the classic example of a guilty-sounding, unsolicited denial that, far from allaying suspicions, instead raises suspicions that were not there in the first place. A child greeting his parents when they get through the front door with the words, “The baby-sitter’s making it up!!!” springs irresistibly to mind.

Secondly, the bit about LAAS being a separate organisation is not really the point. I did mention it myself in the original complaint, come to that, and I was asking quite explicitly for the party to take action against them for operating in Labour’s name without permission. Mr Dexter displays startlingly little interest in that idea, or concern about the damage LAAS could do to the party’s reputation.

Furthermore, some of LAAS‘ members (see below), most particularly Euan Philipps, are members of the Labour Party. Even if they treat their capacity as LAAS members as a completely separate business, when they do what they do in the name of the Labour Party, that non-afiliation status should not afford them any protection. But Mr Dexter appears happy to let Philipps et al have it both ways.

Thirdly, I never suggested that LAAS has hold of my contact data at all. I am certainly not aware of receiving any communications from them. I was drawing the party’s attention to LAAS using contact data of an NEC member against his explicit instructions. Use of such data when ordered to delete it by their subject is expressly illegal. Furthermore, LAAS‘ attempt to use his request to damage his reputation over social media might also be illegal under defamation laws. Again, Mr Dexter appears to be utterly disinterested in this.

I can only conclude that the Labour complaints team are perfectly comfortable with members of the party being engaged in illegal behaviour when acting in the name of Labour. Given how over-zealous the complaints team are about going after members who criticise Israel, that seems to be a decidedly uneven attitude.

Either that or the complaints team did not pay proper attention to what I wrote.

Keyboard headbutt

My general reaction to the largely-irrelevant reply I got from the Labour complaints team.

On a related note, a contact of mine has sent me the following information about the identities of other LAAS members, and the source she has for how they have been identified; –

Emma Picken (Feltham), Jonathan Hoffman (on LBC) Denny Taylor (in Twitter bio) Saul Freeman (appeared on The Big Questions with Nicky Campbell as spokesperson) Jessica Jacobs-Schiff (outed by Euan as convenor after nominating her for a JLM Award on JLM site promptly taken down from public view next day).

I know Denny is still a [Labour] member but Saul isn’t. neither is Hoffman obviously. Schiff stated she left but needs checking. She is Intl Labour in Copenhagen. We have a feeling that Euan and Emma have been suspended as they removed Labour from their Twitter bios but not 100% I think it would be worth contacting Lewisham East and Tonbridge and Malling CLP as press to get that clarified. Euan’s CLP hates him so you should get an answer off them.

I should be surprised to see that the ineffable Hoffman is a member of a group with ‘Labour’ in its name, given how malevolently right wing he and most of his associates are. But I am not surprised at all. Nor am I surprised to see him operating in a group that behaves illegally.

Whatever the case, I shall send a follow-up complaint to the Labour Party soon, and include these names as further members who require investigating.

 

by Martin Odoni

NB: The other evening, I put up a template (well, of a sort) for people to submit complaints to the Labour Party about the appalling comments of Holocaust-Manipulator Margaret Hodge. Today, the fringe Labour Party group, ‘Labour Against Anti-Semitism’ (LAAS), a smear-group who operate in the name of the Labour Party but without the party’s recognition or permission, have been revealed to have broken the law, possibly on three counts – data protection, breach-of-privacy, and defamation. I have therefore written up another complaint and sent it to the Labour Party, and am once more sharing the text, so others can copy-paste with appropriate amendments to add their own voices if they so wish. E-mail address to send to is complaints@labour.org.uk.

The cryptic badge of Labour Against Anti-Semitism

If LAAS wish to give me grief for publishing an image of their badge without permission, they can take it up with me once they’ve apologised for using the name of ‘Labour’ without the party’s permission.

Good morning,

I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the conduct of the group “Labour Against Anti-Semitism” (LAAS), who, while operating in the name of the Labour Party (probably without permission), have potentially broken three laws, and engaged in extremely indiscreet and undeserved acts of public humiliation against a fellow party member.

Referring you to the following article, LAAS are, by their own admission, guilty of harvesting people’s contact details from online search engines, and then adding them to their mailing lists without explicit permission. This is an incontrovertible violation of data protection laws.

https://skwawkbox.org/2018/08/18/laas-troll-group-data-breach-named-shamed-nec-member-for-asking-email-list-removal/

When a member of the Labour NEC, Darren Williams, politely asked LAAS to take him off their mailing list, as the law allows him to do and compels them to co-operate with, they instead decided to use his request in an attempt to humiliate him publicly. They put images of his e-mail on social media without his consent, which is a possible breach of privacy, and implied that he was hiding something about supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party, which may amount to defamation.

LAAS are therefore definitely guilty of violating data protection laws, while possibly guilty also of violation-of-privacy and defamation-of-character. Furthermore, whether legal or otherwise, all of these misdeeds clearly constitute Bringing The Party Into Disrepute.

I understand that Euan Philipps is the spokesperson for LAAS, and that he is a member of the Labour Party – a former chairman in his local constituency.

https://twitter.com/euanphilipps

Given this conduct by LAAS has quite serious criminal overtones, while being carried out in the name of the Labour Party, the party cannot turn a blind eye to it without implicitly approving of it. Therefore, I hereby demand that Mr Philipps, and any of his colleagues in LAAS that the party know of, be suspended from the party with immediate effect, pending a full and detailed investigation into their conduct, with a view to their expulsion if found guilty.  The party should also examine what legal avenues are available to force LAAS to stop using the ‘Labour’ name without permission.

Kind regards
[Name]

by Martin Odoni

NB: The following text is a letter of complaint I have sent to the Labour Party this evening, demanding Dame Margaret Hodge’s membership be re-suspended. If you share my disgust at what Hodge has said on Sky News today – see the link below – you may consider this page to be a template. Therefore, feel free to copy and paste the below text into e-mails of complaint against Hodge that you wish to send to the party, if you are having any trouble finding the right words. The address to send such e-mails to is complaints@labour.org.uk.

Dame Margaret Hodge making irresponsible noises about antisemitism

Hodge’s abusiveness to her leader was reason enough for her suspension from the Labour Party. Her attempts to compare the party to Nazi Germany should mean automatic expulsion.

_____

To whom it may concern (which should be everybody in the Labour Party),

I wish to express my offence and disgust at the appalling behaviour and rhetoric of Margaret Hodge.

[LINK] Margaret Hodge: Labour investigation made me think about treatment of Jews in 1930s Germany

Hodge’s attempts to compare an honest, fair and necessary investigation into her previous abusive conduct to the actions of Nazi Germany on 16/8/2018 was not only hyperbolic to the point of insanity, it was also incredibly offensive and hurtful – both to the honest great majority of Labour supporters and members, and to members of the various Jewish communities around the UK. Her behaviour belittles and trivialises the deaths of literally millions of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, and is thus anti-Semitic.

It is quite clear that Hodge is cynically manipulating her Jewish background in order to win favourable treatment. This is, in itself, highly offensive to British Jews, while also grossly unfair on other party members who have been accused of misconduct and are finding it immensely difficult to receive a fair hearing.

Hodge’s words are also immensely hypocritical, given her own desire to see the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism adopted in full, including its clause arguing that comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is anti-Semitic. Hodge cannot have it both ways. If comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is unacceptable in all times and in all circumstances, then comparing her party to Nazi Germany is also inexcusable.

I demand Hodge’s immediate suspension from the Labour Party, pending a new investigation into her conduct.

Kind regards
Martin Odoni

by Martin Odoni

Oh, Bibi, Bibi, Bibi… you have Royally (well, King David Hotel-ly) stuffed up.

My detestation of Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s hard-right Prime Minister, should never be in doubt. His politics in general are enough for me to oppose him, while his treatment of Palestinians is beyond the pale.

Yesterday, Netanyahu found he could not resist a vigorous, nay reckless, leap onto a dangerous, unsteady bandwagon that is hurtling down a bumpy slope on an uncertain course. This leap has endangered his key allies in the United Kingdom.

‘Contrived-anti-Corbyn-controversy-that-absorbs-disproportionate-press-time’ number umpteen, over Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s embattled leader, supposedly paying tribute to a ‘Black September‘ terrorist at the Hamman Chutt cemetery in Tunisia in 1991, has dominated media discussion over the last few days. It looks unlikely that Corbyn did any such thing – not least because the Black September terrorists were all buried in Libya and not Tunisia – but whether he did or he did not, ‘Bibi’ has committed a ‘boo-boo’ by getting involved in the row directly.

On Twitter yesterday, Netanyahu publicly attacked Corbyn for supposedly being guilty of what the accusation suggests.

Corbyn responds to Netanyahu

Netanyahu leaps on accusations against Corbyn that are probably untrue, certainly unproven.

This fits a disturbing pattern of Israeli interference in UK politics over the last couple of years, except this time there was no secrecy about it. But that is not my point. The point is that there are two big problems with what Netanyahu has done.

One, he has not checked to make sure the accusations against Corbyn are true. The fact that they have been printed in the Times, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Express, et al is no reason for confidence. And as The Sqwawkbox and EvolvePolitics have both pointed out, there are very strong reasons to doubt that the accusations against Corbyn are true at all. (Are they ever?)

But second, Netanyahu has opened himself to accusations – of utter hypocrisy. Back in 2006, he attended, and delivered a speech at, an event celebrating the anniversary of a notorious terrorist atrocity in 1946, when Zionists of the Irgun Militant faction blew up the King David Hotel in pre-Israel Jerusalem. Ninety-one people were killed, and nearly fifty more were injured. Twenty-eight of the victims were British.

King David Hotel bombing

Netanyahu celebrates atrocities against Britons, while getting his knickers in a knot about Britons supposedly celebrating atrocities against Israelis

Why is Netanyahu allowed to pay tribute to terrorist atrocities against Britons, if he will condemn Corbyn for supposedly paying tribute to terrorists who harm Israelis (which he almost certainly has not anyway)?

But what makes this ‘Bibi-boo-boo’, if you will forgive the 70’s disco noises, even more of a backfire is that it has raised pressure on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of ‘anti-Semitism’. Exploitation of that definition has been a key part of the Zionist propaganda strategy to shout down legitimate criticism of Israel in recent years. And one of the examples in the definition is now going to be brought front-and-centre, focusing on Anglo-Jewish Zionists. The example is this one; –

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Now, here is the dilemma into which Netanyahu has needlessly thrust Anglo-Jewish Zionists; –

If they continue expressing outrage over Corbyn’s supposed tribute to Black September – which to repeat is almost certainly not even true – how can they, as ‘loyal British citizens’, not express equal outrage over Netanyahu’s past, very real, ‘dance-on-the-graves’ of Britons killed at the King David Hotel Bombing?

If the Anglo-Jewish Zionists do not condemn Netanyahu, then surely they are guilty of displaying greater loyalty to Israel than they display to Britain? For they are refusing to condemn an Israeli who applauded an atrocity against the British, while condemning a Briton who vaguely-possibly applauded an atrocity against Israelis.

But if they do condemn Netanyahu, they will be siding with Jeremy Corbyn, the very man they have spent three years trying to destroy, while at the same time undermining the credibility of the effective leader of their central ideology.

Smart move, Bibi, you really have put the ball past your own goalkeeper with this one.

With this stupid intervention, Netanyahu has imperilled the credibility of the IHRA working definition, on which his own propaganda depends, and created a serious quandary for his allies in the UK. Not only does it raise serious questions about anything the Zionists say, it might also lend distasteful and undue credibility to the modern racist trope of ‘Jews who are more loyal to each other than they are to their countries’. Netanyahu has further presented Corbyn with a large platform from which to take the pressure of the summer off of himself, as Patrick MaGuire points out, allowing him to draw international attention to where it should really be turned – the plight of the Palestinians.

Netanyahu has never been as bright as he thinks he is. After this move, I am starting to doubt he is even as modestly intelligent as I thought he was.

by Martin Odoni

Ah, I feel like I have come-of-age every time a vintage slur is hurled at me for the first time. This is not to say it does not hurt, but at the same time, I take a kind of pride in realising that I must be having an effect if people resort to it.

I am sure regular followers of this blog will be aware of my Jewish heritage, but also of my opposition to modern Israel. (See here if this is news to you.) They will also probably be aware of some of the insults Zionists have hurled my way due to their primitive-minded idea of what constitutes ‘treachery’. I have been called an ‘Arab shill’, a ‘Kapo‘, the all-time classic ‘self-hating-Jew’, and others.

(Israel-supporters claim they are victims of abuse, but they sure dish it out.)

But yesterday – this will again sound familiar to long-time readers – a certain bullying Zionist by the name of Jonathan Hoffman was on social media calling me a ‘JINO‘. Before anyone asks, no, he was not accusing me of being a naval oceanographer. (That would have hurt!)

Hoffman Jew-hater

Jonathan Hoffman sure has remarkable amounts of hatred in his heart for Jews, given his insistence that he works for the protection and betterment of Jews.

JINO in this context is an acronym for ‘Jew-In-Name-Only’, meant as a pejorative. In fact, many people use it to mean a ‘non-practising Jew’, and were it ever used that way about myself, I would cheerfully nod. I am irreligious, and have not practiced Judaism since before my teens; I am a Jew ethnically only.

But in this context, Hoffman is declaring, as though he is the High Judge and Grand Jury to The Gates Of Jewry – or… something – that because my opinions do not conform to his expectations, I do not ‘count’ as Jewish – a No-True-Scotsman fallacy if ever there was one. The precise terminology is different, but in all important respects, its meaning and intent correspond with all the other insults mentioned above. This is the first time, as best I can tell, that anyone has used this particular slur to describe me.

So… win.

It really does not bother me particularly in itself, as ‘Huffman’ really is such a futile gust of hot air that his insults are more amusing than damaging, despite his intent. I am curious though that he keeps posting comments to articles and links about Israel that I share on social media. After previous exchanges, it has become clear that Hoffman is spying on my Facebook Timeline, given how frequently he makes unsolicited interventions. I even set a trap for him the other week, by wording a post specifically to provoke a comment from him, and he duly obliged. He followed that up by saying he was never at the stupidly-notorious Jeremy-Corbyn-Hajo-Meyer meeting in 2010, before saying he was, before saying Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz, was an ‘anti-Semite’.

And Hoffman calls me a liar?

Hoffman slurs a survivor of Auschwitz

Jonathan Hoffman says he wasn’t at the Corbyn/Meyer meeting, then says he was, then calls Meyer, an Auschwitz survivor, an anti-Semite. What more need be said?

Wow, he is obsessed! Am I scared though? Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……..

No.

I should mention what yesterday’s argument was about. Hoffman, being a fanatical Zionist, and thus a toxic opponent of any politician who sympathises with Palestinians, insists that the latest contrived anti-Semitism accusation against Jeremy Corbyn – alleged to have laid a wreath on a memorial to the Black September terrorists who attacked the Munich Olympics of 1972 – must be true. As Mike Sivier has pointed out, there are about one hundred-and-fifty reasons why it is probably not.

As I say, a term like JINO does not bother me much, but Hoffman, by speaking in this way, has demonstrated that he is anti-Semitic. Not a ‘self-hating-Jew’, note, just a Jew who hates a lot of other Jews for Jewish-related reasons. Being a Zionist, this should hardly be surprising, even though it is to many people.

Zionism is anti-Semitic by its very nature. It is intolerant of Jewish dissent, as Hoffman has helpfully demonstrated. But more than that, it is, as I have explained more than once, anti-Semitic in its method. Zionism’s main strategy is to take Jews away from the rest of humanity, and put them all together in one place, somewhat cut off from everyone else. Is a world in which no Jew lives anywhere near anyone else not exactly what anti-Semites have always dreamt of?

I would go even further, and yes, sadly this may get me into more trouble over the flawed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of ‘anti-Semitism’, as I will compare Israeli policy to Nazi policy. Truth to tell, Zionism is so anti-Semitic that it is barely distinguishable from the first stage of Nazi Lebensraum. Consider; Adolf Hitler’s plan to make all of Europe a ‘living space’ for Nordic/Aryan people started with attempts to force all Jews out of Europe. Zionism wants to transplant all Jews from Europe – and everywhere else – into Israel. There is little distinction there, and this was why the Haavara Agreement with German Zionists was in Hitler’s interests. A tragic irony; three years after Hitler’s vile, anti-Semitic vision seemed thwarted forever, ending in his own suicide, the greatest victims of his racism actually advanced the first stage of his work for him, by establishing Israel. (And by confiscating land from Palestinians to transfer to Jewish settlers, Israel is now performing a program that is ‘LIABuN‘ – Lebensraum-In-All-But-Name – with the particular land used for ‘living space’, and the identities of the peoples involved, being the only differences.)

But Zionists foolishly imagine they are solving anti-Semitism. They never even realise that their aims are precisely those that anti-Semites have wanted for millennia.

Given the IHRA definition, is it wrong to say all this? I would say no, the IHRA definition, in its present form, requires all of this be said, as the dangers in its wording cannot be highlighted without mentioning details like these.

contributed by anonymous author

Everyone: stopping the IHRA 39-word pseudo-definition of antisemitism (examples don’t matter) is critical.

1) the IHRA content changes previous well-understood notions of antisemitism found in the dictionary and includes BILLIONS of people as antisemites, even Jeremy Corbyn and loads of people who wouldn’t normally qualify as AS.

EXAMPLE:

“The Israeli settlements are illegal,” qualifies as, “a certain perception of Jews that MAY be expressed as hatred towards Jews and has been directed at individuals and Jewish community institutions.” That statement among many many others is therefore AS under the IHRA text. And anyone who believes it.

See the problem? This is just one example.

2) It’s not definite (it never identifies the specific “a certain perception” it refers to) so it’s not a definition.

3) It’s not legally binding so it’s not fit for purpose as part of a legally binding code of conduct.

4) It doesn’t even require that the person identified as AS knows the people they’re perceiving are Jewish: “Hatred towards Jews” is not the same thing as “hatred towards Jews because they’re Jews”, which is what it should say.

The IHRA themselves even announced their 39-word pseudo-definition was a “working definition”. For those who don’t know, that means a minimal “definition” designed to be improved upon later. So all those complaining that it is being altered are complaining about something that was always supposed to happen to it.

The importance now being attached to the IHRA text is a sham. A false pseudo-definition. Emperor’s new clothes. Only those who are negligent or who have a different agenda to preventing antisemitism endorse it.

The IHRA pseudo-definition is a recipe for the false persecution of innocent people. And there is a growing backlash against those who endorse it in mainstream society, irrespective of their religion or ethnicity. That backlash is fully supportive of the Jewish and other groups which call it out, such as Jewish Voice For Labour, and the other organisations on their website. Naturally, at the core of this group are the victims of false accusations – including malicious, dangerous, and the separate-but-also-divisive, unwittingly paranoid false accusations of AS. Some have lost their livelihoods and jobs due to these false smears. Others have been marginalised and exiled from social and political communities. Marc Wadsworth is the most obvious and prominent example.

We should all unite in polite, civil, but firm rejection of it.

Reject conflation. Reject confusion.

Jeremy Corbyn, a respected and trusted defender of the oppressed, made a mistake when he endorsed IHRA. His political opponents are using it against him. When in a hole stop digging.

Read more on the JVL site, where they have further information.