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.

by Martin Odoni

Owen Jones responded to yesterday’s news that Ken Livingstone is leaving the Labour Party, over the unending anti-Semitism controversy, with an unthinking renewal of a very frequent myth.

Yesterday morning, Jones tweeted the following; –

Before addressing the myth, I should mention that I question the first paragraph. There were some things Livingstone said that could have been worded much more sensibly and carefully. But looked at objectively, Livingstone’s claim that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism is true, at least in a sense. It is certainly untrue to suggest that Hitler was a doctrinaire Zionist, who adhered to the complex minutiae of the ideology. But then Livingstone never implied that, and it should further be recognised that, back in the 1930s, Zionism did coincide quite neatly with the ugly ideas of Hitler’s desired Lebensraum. ‘Living space’, as the term means, for the Nordic/Aryan peoples across Europe would, rather by definition, be advanced by expelling the millions-strong Jewish population to another land beyond Europe’s boundaries, as that would leave more space for Hitler’s imagined ‘Master Race’.

Livingstone should have empasised that the Haavara Agreement between the Nazis and German Zionists was very lopsided, and that the Zionists signed up to it under duress. That he did not was foolish, but it did not really make his words anti-Semitic, especially as he was discussing Hitler more than he was discussing the Zionist movement or the Jewish people.

Indeed, I would go further and argue that if Livingstone’s remarks are offensive at all, they would be offensive to Zionists, not to Jews. While there is inevitably a lot of overlap between the two groups, they are not the same, and the points Livingstone was discussing were politically Zionist ones, not religiously or ethnically Jewish ones. The links between Haavara refugees and Holocaust victims who were left behind are being twisted by Zionists to make Livingstone’s remarks sound anti-Semitic. (As I have intimated before, I find manipulation of the Holocaust as repugnantly offensive as denial of it, so British Zionists really have soul-searching to do before they make hay about this.)

The second paragraph in Jones’ tweet is what really irks me, though in fairness to him, he is only replicating a mistake that the media make very widely. The ‘bad relationship’ between the Labour Party and the ‘Jewish Community’ – a fallacy-of-homogeneity term if ever there were one – is the most question-begging assumption of the modern media. It comes from the constant clamour of Zionist (again note: not necessarily Jewish) groups like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, Labour Friends of Israel, the British Board of Jewish Deputies and so on, offering wildly-exaggerated tales of ‘anti-Semitic’ behaviour that is supposedly rife in the Labour Party.

It is lazy and profoundly incurious of the British media just to assume they can get a clear idea of the opinions of ‘Britain’s Jews’ just by consulting these groups. That they are ‘representative’ is a tenuous suggestion, especially given the maddening conflation that exists between Jews and Zionists.

The CAA, as I have demonstrated more than once on this blog, is scarcely interested in combating anti-Semitism at all, but only in discrediting critics of Israel. It is a tiny ‘charity’, is not elected in any plausible sense, and seldom consults anyone on a wide range of issues, bar complaints about possible anti-Israeli rhetoric. To imagine that the CAA knows what the general Jewish community’s thoughts are on, say, Brexit, or controlling inflation, or Scottish independence, or balance-of-trade is therefore comical.

LFI, equally, seem less interested in British Jews than in Israeli politics, as quite openly implied by their name. They seem to serve a similar purpose to the CAA – except to attack Labour ‘from within’ as it were. Many members of LFI are not even Jewish, and support Israel for reasons quite other than the survival of the Jewish people. Again, to suggest that LFI offer reliable insights into wider Anglo-Jewish thinking is ridiculous.

Links to LFI's Facebook Group

If Labour Friends of Israel are representative of Jews in the Labour movement, why do they have so few members in their Facebook group?

 

The Board of Deputies can at least claim to be somewhat representative, as they are appointed by a multi-layered election process of sorts. But this process only applies to synagogues and other Jewish organisations, not to Jewish individuals more broadly. This means that Jews like myself i.e. secular Jewish atheists are not consulted on who should be elected to the Board, or what our views are on any political or social issues. It is my choice that I am irreligious and do not practice any rituals or ceremonies of Judaism, but ethnically, I am still a Jew, a fact about me that can never change whether I like it or not. Therefore, when the BJD say they are expressing the views of “British Jews”, they are claiming to speak for me and others like me when they have never attempted to learn what our views are. If they claimed they are speaking for “practicing religious British Jews”, they would be on stronger ground. But they do not, and it is high time that the media questioned them on that instead of just parrotting the BJD’s assertions all the time when wanting to lend credence to anti-Semitism claims with which to beat up Jeremy Corbyn.

I know I am not alone in saying that I am unhappy for these groups to claim to speak on behalf of all British Jews, just as I am horrified when Binyamin Netanyahu claims to act on behalf of all Jews worldwide. I am also not alone in saying it is past time that the media dared to question these groups when they make such presumptuous claims.