September 27, 2016

Why is YouGov tarnishing its reputation for the Antisemitism Industry?

I don't know much about how the pollster organisation YouGov works but I always assumed they valued their reputation for producing meaningful polling data.  In this instance I smelled a rat when the Zionist, Community Security Trust retweeted the following YouGov tweet:
 Now I shouldn't have voted because the question doesn't even make sense but having voted I couldn't access the survey via the twitter link.  I had to use this one but here's a screen grab:

I don't know how people accessed the survey in the first place but it seems a lot of people will have come to it via a retweet, same as I did.  Look at the question.

"Antisemitism is at the heart of racism".  What does that mean?  Surely anyone responding to the survey would have to say "Don't know" since that is the only honest answer you can give to a question that doesn't make sense.

"Yet, because it is so deeply entrenched in our thought and culture, it is often ignored and dismissed".  There you go, that's the last bit of the statement. And that is a YouGov survey on antisemitism.  So whose culture is "ours"?  And what do they even mean by thought?  The written up thoughts of public intellectuals?  School work? Academic books and treatises?  Or just the everyday thoughts of everyday people?

Now I know YouGov do fun surveys like asking people whether they agree or not with the statement, "Justin Bieber is wonderful" but clearly this survey isn't just for fun. It appears to be designed by an interested party, like maybe a player in the self-appointed anti-antisemitism industry but if that was the case surely an august institution like YouGov would offer a health warning, wouldn't they?

September 23, 2016

The Video the Board of Deputies, Momentum's Jon Lansman & Politics Home tried to ban

Sheesh, I thought this video was lost and gone forever.   I first heard about it via this piece in Politics Home.  Here look:
A controversial video criticised as a “slap in the face” by Jewish campaign group is still posted on Jeremy Corbyn’s official Facebook page, PoliticsHome can reveal.
The film, made by Mr Corbyn’s campaign team, features his supporters responding to a number of accusations often levelled at the Labour leader’s backers.
One of the questions is ‘Do you promote anti-Semitism?’ – in reference to a string of suspensions and expulsions over the last year.
One of the participants in the video throws away a piece of paper with the question written on it and says “so that’s gone as well”.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews spoke to veteran left-winger Jon Lansman, Mr Corbyn's campaign director, who apparently agreed to withdraw the video.
It has since been taken down from YouTube and the main page of Mr Corbyn’s Facebook account, but it is still available to view on the ‘videos’ section of his page.
“The dismissive video was a ‘slap in the face’ for the Jewish community,” said Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron in a statement released last night.
“Having spoken directly to campaign director Jon Lansman, the Jeremy for Labour campaign now recognises the inappropriate message conveyed and has committed to remove the video and apologise. This is the right result.
Now, after a couple more paragraphs Politics Home hosted the video that the Board of Deputies had complained about and Jon Lansman had apologised for but now look:

I think we can guess that under the capitulationist advice of Jon Lansman, Jeremy Corbyn's Facebook probably zapped the video too.  I asked one of the participants if they retained a copy but they hadn't. I was getting frantic.  Even when Politics Home hosted the video it couldn't be downloaded.   But when you see the video you will see that there was nothing in it to complain about or to apologise for which I am guessing is why Politics Home removed it.  And now thanks to Jamie Stern-Weiner who found it on YouTube here it is:


So just like the whole of the antisemitism smear campaign against leftists and Palestine solidarity supporters this is yet another case of "nothing to see here", which in the case of Politics Home and probably Corbyn's Facebook page is now literally true.

PS: I've just seen that Harry's Place has missed the point of the removal of the video and hosted it on their racist site.  It was actually HP's David Toube (he calls himself Habibi) who uploaded it to YouTube but rather smartly disabled the comments.

September 11, 2016

Gaza Truths: Deborah Maccoby answers her critics in the JC

Well this is a real turn up.  The Jewish Chronicle has published another letter from Deborah Maccoby, this time answering the critics of her previous letter which was taking Melanie Phillips to task.

Here's the letter:
Gaza truths

A few points in response to Melvyn Lipitch and Alan Miller (Letters, September 2):

1.  Despite the evacuation of Israeli settlers in 2005, Gaza is under siege and threat of onslaught.

2.  Hamas rocket attacks are provoked by Israel to provide a pretext for massively disproportionate operations against Gaza.

In 2008, Israel broke the ceasefire; in 2014, Israel targeted Hamas, though its leadership had nothing to do with the murder of three Israeli teenagers.

3. In 2013, el-Sisi sealed over a thousand tunnels between Gaza and Egypt without needing to devastate Gaza.   In 2014, the majority of Gaza tunnels did not go under the border into Israel.

 Even the minority that did were used only for military attacks (UNHRC Report 2015, para. 108).

4.  Mr Miller’s last point is a classic example of “whataboutery”.  His own level of ignorance explains why I needed to address some of Melanie Phillips’s misrepresentations.

Deborah Maccoby
Leeds LS17J

Really good stuff.  I particularly like the way she takes another opportunity to condemn "Melanie Phillips's misrepresentations".

September 03, 2016

What about the Whataboutery? Zios ask Deborah Maccoby

There's been a predictably angry response from Zionists to Deborah Maccoby's letter in last week's Jewish Chronicle. 
The problems with tunnel vision

Your reader Deborah Maccoby (Letters, August 26) questions whether it occurred to Melanie Phillips that the tunnels Hamas builds are for self-defence in preparation for another "murderous onslaught by the IDF" (paraphrased).  I can't answer for Melanie Phillips but that certainly didn't occur to me any more than it occurred to me that the thousands of rockets Hamas aimed at the civilian population of Israel, that precipitated the last conflict, were not in fact belligerent but instead were peace offerings.

Melvyn Lipitch
London SW3

Deborah Maccoby exhibits a level of ignorance beyond comprehension.  Has she forgotten that Israel withdrew from Gaza 10 years ago? Every incursion into the strip by the IDF since that date has been in reaction to continued bombardment, which has become progressively more dangerous as Hamas has acquired more sophisticated weaponry.  

Perhaps, with her undoubted experience of tunnelling, Ms Maccoby could advise the IDF how to discover and seal off tunnels where the exact routes and entry points were unknown to the Israeli authorities until the army entered the strip?  Why should Israel leave the parts of the tunnels within Gaza undamaged thus allowing Hamas to remove the seals and rebuild?

Has Ms Maccoby written to the general press protesting at the deaths of thousands of Arab civilians brought about by the actions of Russia, the USA, UK and other European armies in the Middle East and the tribal slaughter throughout Africa, or is her ire directed solely towards Israel whose only desire is to live in peace with its neighbours?

Alan Miller
London N16 

Maybe they don't know that Ariel Sharon himself referred to the "withdrawal" as disengagement rather than withdrawal or that he said that the disengagement was a "punishment and not a reward for the Palestinians".   I expect the JC to grant the last word to Zionists but it might be worth trying to make honest people out of them.

August 28, 2016

The Truth about Jeremy Newmark: "you couldn't make it up"

Oh but he could and he did.  Not only is Jeremy Newmark utterly dishonest he is also stupid so a couple of times recently he popped into my timeline and probably wished he hadn't. A little bit of history first.  I heard a rumour that Momentum were going to host Jeremy Newmark at a meeting at the Labour Conference.  Most followers of Zionist antics in the UK will know Jeremy Newmark as the most notorious liar in the Zionist movement here.  They will also know that liars for the racist war criminals of the State of Israel (Zionists) are ten a penny in all the mainstream media and political establishment including the so-called opposition. So free speech isn't denied to the likes of Jeremy Nemark.  He has no shortage of outlets for his abject dishonesty.  So some of us are dismayed that Momentum are giving Newmark the time of day.

I tweeted as follows when I heard the rumour:

Well then Tony Greenstein and Jeremy Newmark responded to Tony.   See this:
Now just a little detour because I like exposing Newmark for what he is. I responded thus:
My comment here was based on the finding of the Tribunal in the case of Fraser v University and College Union. The FUCU case was a rehearsal for the orchestrated smear campaign we have witnessed against the Labour left ever since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the party. This is what the Tribunal judges had to say about Jeremy Newmark on the matter of free speech:
The opinions of witnesses were not, of course, our concern and in most instances they were in any event unremarkable and certainly not unreasonable. One exception was a remark of Mr Newmark in the context of the academic boycott controversy in 2007 that the union was “no longer a fit arena for free speech”, a comment which we found not only extraordinarily arrogant but also disturbing.
So much for Newmark's commitment to free speech. Regarding who could make what up. Here is what the Tribunal had to say about Newmark making stuff up:
We regret to say that we have rejected as untrue the evidence of Ms Ashworth and Mr Newmark concerning the incident at the 2008 Congress. Evidence given to us about booing, jeering and harassing of Jewish speakers at Congress debates was also false, as truthful witnesses on the Claimant’s side accepted. One painfully ill-judged example of playing to the gallery was Mr Newmark’s preposterous claim, in answer to the suggestion in cross-examination that he had attempted to push his way into the 2008 meeting, that a ‘pushy Jew’ stereotype was being applied to him.

So there we have a bog standard Zionist.  He believes that free speech on Israel should not be allowed in a trade union whose members might (or might not) support the Palestinian cause.  He lies when he can't convince anyone who matters that criticising or condemning Israel is of itself antisemitic, because of course it isn't. And he lied of course to make out there had been an antisemitic incident when there wasn't one.

He tries to ridicule honest anti-racists who don't want to offend real victims of racism by hosting a low life like him.  You really couldn't make it up.

By the way, Momentum still haven't responded to my tweet asking them to confirm or deny the rumour that they are to host the shameless Newmark.

August 26, 2016

A response to Melanie Phillips's "Tunnel Vision"

Melanie Phillips had a typically extreme piece in last week's Jewish Chronicle denouncing aid to Gaza as the funding of "mass murder".  To its rare credit, the JC has published a response by Deborah Maccoby.  The JC doesn't publish letters on line so here's the letter which Deborah copied to me:
Tunnel Vision

Melanie Phillips (JC, August 19) writes: "Israeli officials have claimed that every month, Hamas builds another six miles of tunnels whose sole purpose is to deliver killers and weapons to wipe out as many Israelis as possible."

Does it ever occur to her that Hamas builds tunnels as self-defence, in preparation for yet another murderous onslaught on Gaza by the Israeli Army?

Phillips goes on: "A Hamas operative captured by the Israelis last June revealed that terrorists can travel underground throughout the whole of Gaza".

In July 2014, when Israeli launched Operation Protective Edge, which killed 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 500 children, only 12 of the tunnels passed under the border into Israel and these could easily have been sealed off on the Israeli side. The tunnels are built so that Hamas militants can emerge within Gaza and engage with invading Israeli soldiers.

Deborah Maccoby

We're not sure who the JC is suggesting is tunnel visioned but Mel does seem to spend more time on hasbara than Deborah does on debunking the same.

August 19, 2016

The Post The Forward Pulled

The following article was pulled from the Jewish Daily Forward.  Here's the link:
Here's the link to Google cache.  The cache doesn't hold for long so here's the article in full:

An Israeli Politician Smeared Students for Justice in Palestine — and the Media Fell for It

On Aug 15, an Israeli lawmaker accused the pro-Palestinian campus group Students for Justice in Palestine of compiling lists of Jewish students and their dorm room addresses.
Addressing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, member of Knesset Anat Berko said that SJP is “collecting information on where Jews live at New York University among others,” reported The Times of Israel. Berko later reiterated her claims on Israel Radio, adding that the Israeli advocacy organization Reservists On Duty had told her “about the marking out of Jewish dorms, of rooms of Jewish students (on campus), for example at New York University and other campuses.”
However, Reservists on Duty denied informing Berko’s original inflammatory statement. “To be honest,” Social Media Coordinator Ofir Ohayon told the Forward on Aug 17, we don’t really know for sure that SJP did compile lists of Jewish students. Although we did talked [sic] with Anat Berko yesterday she didn’t mentioned such thing. What we do know is about the eviction notice incidents, we’ve talked with various students from Florida Atlantic University, UCONN, NYU and Vassar who received this eviction notice.”
While The Times of Israel’s original live blog entry and follow up article have been shared over 4,000 times on Facebook alone, officials from the Zionist Organization of America and Stand With Us, two large national groups that work to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses, told the Forward on Aug 16 they had no knowledge of this sort of activity taking place.
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the Executive Director of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, told the Forward on Aug 17 that MK Berko was “well intentioned, but mistaken.”
“We have many problems with Israel discourse at NYU,” he acknowledged, “but they tend to be localized. We have problems with the Graduate Student Union and certain departments in the humanities and social sciences, but the stalking of Jewish students on campus is thankfully not a problem.”
National Students for Justice in Palestine, an informal, volunteer-run network composed of current students and recent graduates of Students for Justice in Palestine, told the Forward that they “have never heard of such cases,” but added that “all SJP chapters on campuses across the country are autonomously run. However, as a national organization, NSJP is firmly against all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism.”
According to Lahav Harkov, Senior Knesset reporter and analyst for The Jerusalem Post, Berko’s comments were related to the 2014 incident (Full disclosure: written by this reporter in 2014 for The Times of Israel) in which NYU SJP members slipped thousands of mock eviction notices protesting Israeli home demolitions into student rooms inside two dormitories, one of which contained a Sabbath elevator (which operates on a special automatic mode during the Jewish Sabbath to facilitate the strict observance of Jewish law).
Following NYU SJP’s 2014 actions, NYU spokesperson John Beckman said that a “flyer titled ‘eviction notice’ anonymously slipped under doors at night is not an invitation to thoughtful, open discussion; it is disappointingly inconsistent with standards we expect to prevail in a scholarly community.”
Beckman also noted that “it is unclear why the flyering took place in this particular dorm; we don’t believe there is perception of this dorm as having an a high percentage of Jewish students (the presence of a Sabbath elevator is the result of a stairway that empties to the street and cannot be entered through the lobby behind the security desk, not because of a disproportionate presence of Jewish students in the building). However, were it to be the case that the flyering was done there because it was perceived be a dorm with a higher proportion of Jewish students, that would be troubling, dismaying and a matter of deep concern for our community.”
On Aug 17, The Times of Israel spoke with MK Berko’s aide and updated their story with her comments: “An aide to Berko said Wednesday that anti-Israel groups collect information on where Jewish students live, and that there had been ‘several incidents’ in which ‘eviction notices’ were placed in dormitories where Jewish students live — not necessarily Jewish-only residences, she said, but residences where ‘there are mezuzas’ and it is clear that Jews live there.”
Oren Segal, Director of the Anti Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, told the Forward on Aug 16 that “According to our research, there is no evidence pointing to Students for Justice in Palestine compiling specific lists of Jewish students. However, we have long expressed our concerns over SJP’s campus efforts, which have resulted in troubling tensions between students and have fostered a hostile atmosphere for pro-Israel and Jewish students.”
According to the ADL’s 2015 audit, 10% of anti-Semitic incidents reported nationally took place on college and university campuses. 90 incidents were reported on 60 college campuses in 2015, up from 47 incidents on 43 campuses in 2014.
Major Jewish organizations have been ramping up efforts to highlight anti-Semitism on college campuses, primarily focusing their efforts on Students for Justice in Palestine, which the Zionist Organization of America calls a “hate group.”
The New York University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine was not available for comment.
This piece has been updated with further reportage and additional information.
Laura is the Forward’s Contributing Network Editor. Contact her at or on Twitter @Laura_E_Adkins.
Sorry about the haphazard layout. I was in a rush.

June 23, 2016

JC avoids mentioning lynching of a Jew in Tel Aviv

This is curious.  I was just looking at a Mondoweiss posting about the potential lynching of a guy who crash his car into a Tel Aviv restaurant after the driver suffered a heart attack.  It's worth a lengthy extract from Mondo:
Saturday night, an Israeli driver had a heart attack and lost control of his vehicle on busy Ben Yehuda street in Tel Aviv, ending up crashing into a restaurant and badly injuring two diners, who died shortly after from their wounds.
According to the wife of one of the restaurant owners, Shoshana San, who was an eyewitness, the driver was believed by restaurant-goers and others to be a terrorist. “They thought that the driver was not a good person, they beat him. He was unconscious”, she is quoted saying in the Jerusalem Online article. 
Let me translate this coded Israeli language for everyone. “Not a good person” means a Palestinian terrorist. The witnesses thought that the car ramming was an intentional Palestinian terror attack, so although the driver was already unconscious, they “pulled him out of the car” as Israeli NRG noted (Hebrew) and lynched him whilst he was unconscious.
Quite little seems to be said about this lynching. It is very toned down and mostly omitted in Israeli media coverage that I managed to glean in my search. Haaretz and Times of Israel, for example, reported about the accident on the day, stating that it wasn’t terror, and not mentioning the beating. “Six wounded; driver among the fatalities in incident unrelated to terrorism,” said Haaretz. .
Ok, so a guy has a heart attack at the wheel of his car, loses control and the car crashes into a restaurant, killing some and injuring others.  The driver was among the dead.  What killed him?  Was it the heart attack?  Was it the crash?  Or was it the beating?

If we look at the Jerusalem Online post we wouldn't even know if he got killed:
On the morning after last night’s (Saturday) deadly car crash on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, eye-witnesses are still having trouble comprehending it. According to assessments, the driver suffered a heart attack and lost control of the wheel, which caused him to run over restaurant patrons. The current terror wave attacks caused many people to think that this accident was a planned car ramming attack, which prompted several eye-witnesses to beat the driver after his car came to a stop- according to Shosha San, the wife of one of the restaurant’s owners.

In a radio interview, San recalled the accident and said that the driver was unconscious when he was beaten “by bystanders, not the restaurant staff.” San added: “I thought it was the end of the world and that I was dead, people were screaming. The restaurant was filled with white dust. At first, I thought it was maybe a terror attack.”

San said that the restaurant staff quickly reacted to the accident: “We called the Police and ambulances. We helped people, there was a lot of blood and I was scared.” According to San, other people acted differently because they thought it was a terror attack: “They thought that the driver was not a good person, they beat him. He was unconscious.” San also mentioned that the restaurant is still closed due to the serious damage caused by the accident.

No mention of the driver winding up dead but the headline points firmly to the lynching attempt:
Driver of last night’s deadly accident was beaten by eye-witnesses
Now would even a fatal car crash in Tel Aviv normally interest the UK's Jewish Chronicle?  Maybe it would and sure enough Josh Jackman did report on it on the same day as the Jerusalem Online piece. Here's the JC;
Three people have died and six were left injured after a car crashed into restaurant customers in Tel Aviv.
Alan Weinkrantz, president of a high-tech PR company, and 47-year-old Menashe Raz from Ashdod were among those killed on Saturday night.
The driver of the car, a 41-year-old from Ra’anana, was also killed.
Police reports indicated that the driver suffered a heart attack and lost control of the vehicle, careering into customers sitting outside Furama, a Chinese restaurant in the centre of the city.
A female victim in her 30s was left moderately injured, while five others were lightly hurt.
Police have opened an investigation into the incident, but it is not thought to have been a terrorist attack.
Mr Weinkrantz, a Texas resident in his 60s who was president of Alan Weinkrantz and Company, was in Israel on an annual business trip.
His son Aaron told Times of Israel: "He was planning to come back to the US on Thursday. So this has been real tough and real, just crazy."
Mr Weinkrantz also leaves behind a daughter, Lauren.
Mr Raz was preparing to leave the restaurant after a night out with his wife, three children and sister-in-law's family when the car hit.
His sister-in-law Revital, 25, and his 22-year-old niece Linoy Raz were injured and taken to hospital.

So the JC mentioned what Jerusalem Online didn't but not what the latter did report, ie, that the driver was lynched by bystanders.  Given that he is now dead as a result of something that happened to him that night it could be that he was actually killed by the people who attacked him when other witnesses said he was unconscious.  This was a car crash in a far away city where there are a lot of car crashes and a lot of resulting fatalities.  So what was of interest to the JC?  And whatever it was, why didn't they report the beating by the witnesses/bystanders?  As a far away foreigner I feel the most interesting part of the story is the lynching, not the crash itself.

By the way, the report was first written on 19 June 2016.  It was updated the following morning.  I don't know what was added, taken away or replaced.

UPDATE at 11:15 am 23/6/2016: I've now seen that Newsweek reported what the JC didn't:
The incident, which took place at the Furama Chinese restaurant on Ben Yehuda street in the coastal city, left two people in the eatery dead. The driver also succumbed to his injuries but it is unclear if the beating by the mob is what killed him, or the heart attack that preceded the crash.
So in a report that a driver who crashed his car into a restaurant in Tel Aviv may have been killed by a heart attack, the crash or by an angry mob who mistook him for an Arab, most media that I have seen only see fit to mention the crash itself and the fact that 3 people died.

June 15, 2016

Zios with Attitude?

I'm trying to establish when the word or abbreviation, Zio, became a thing.  Obviously Zionists are falsely accusing Israel's critics, opponents and victims of antisemitism all the time but I hadn't noticed anyone try to make an issue out of the abbreviation Zio before that former BICOM intern, Alex Chalmers, mentioned it on his Facebook resignation as a co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club:
It is with the greatest regret that I have decided to resign as Co-Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club. This comes in the light of OULC's decision at this evening's general meeting to endorse Israel Apartheid Week.
I originally ran for the position of Co-Chair back in Trinity, after our crushing defeat at the general election, because I was increasingly worried about the state of OULC. The club I had invested an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and emotion in during my first two terms at Oxford, which had given me a network of close friends, was becoming increasingly riven by factional splits, and despite its avowed committment to liberation, the attitudes of certain members of the club towards certain disadvantaged groups was becoming posionous.
Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term 'Zio' (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their 'solidarity' with Hamas and explitictly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that 'most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews. The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation. [emphasis added]
For the orchestrated smear campaign against Labour's left and Palestine solidarity supporters this utterly bogus statement marks the kick-off.  Shortly after that I did a little post noting:
It all looks very strawman. Let's break it down a bit:
 members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon.
The term, "Zio" is simply short for Zionist and is not confined to sites run by the Klan.
That could and should have been that but the Oxford University Labour Club seems to have decided that supporting the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and other forms of racist oppression against them is a price worth paying for, well, I'm not sure what for.

They submitted themselves to an inquiry by Baroness Royall which she then reported on to the so-called Jewish Labour Movement.  JLM used to be called Poale Zion or Workers of Zion.  They are active within the World Zionist Organisation.

Something Zionists do when they dare not make a direct allegation of antisemitism is accuse an organisation of "institutional antisemitism".  This is how the Zionists exploit the Stephen Lawrence murder and subsequent inquiry but that's another story.

Where was I?  Oh yes.  Baroness Royall in her investigation of Oxford University Labour Club couldn't find any specific instances of antisemitism and couldn't even report that she found evidence of institutional antisemitism:
I know that you will share my disappointment and frustration that the main headline coming out of my inquiry is that there is no institutional Antisemitism in Oxford University Labour Club.  That is true, but it is only part of the story.  I am clear that in the OULC there is a cultural problem which means that Jewish students do not always feel welcome.

This is downright weird.  Unable to find specific instances of antisemitism she looked for "institutional" and couldn't even find that.  So she fell back on "cultural" which looks deliberately meaningless to me.  But what else?
Words like ‘Zio’ and tropes such as ‘blood libel’ are obviously anti-Semitic but there are other words in which the context in which they are used is critical so guidance is necessary.  
How anyone can seriously liken a simple abbreviation like Zio to the idea that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood for unleavened bread for the Passover is beyond me.  I'm going to have to ignore the fact that Baroness Royall has implied here that Oxford Uni students actually promote the blood libel without her giving any examples or evidence but what's she on about Zio being "obviously antisemitic"?   Apart from Alex Chalmers, I never saw it being raised as an issue and the use of Zio has been around ever since we all started typing more than talking.

Now this bogus allegation definitely starts with Alex Chalmers.  Since he made an issue of it David Aaronovitch and the Community Security Trust's Dave Rich have both weighed in on Twitter but never before February this year.

Here's Dave Rich:
And here's Aaro:
Clearly Aaro and Rich have never heard of Avi Mayer, a leading Twitter voice of hasbara:

Avi Mayer's no slouch when it comes to bogus allegations of antisemitism.

Off the top of my head I could remember hasbara blogger Bob from Brockley using the expression "Zio"  in comments in both his and my blog so I googled "Zio Bob from Brockley".  I found this post from 2010:
Izzy/Pal and Zio/Anti-Zio: Ignoblus has been reading some of the same things as me (Linda GrantTony JudtRalph Seliger), and has interesting things to say.
Note how he says "Izzy/Pal" for Israel/Palestine.  Kind of chumsy and casual.  And straight after that, "Zio/Anti-Zio".  Now in real life Bob from Brockley is Ben Gidley, a Zionist academic.  He even did a sub-report for the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism.  Search the report.  Not a mention of "Zio".  Why not?  It wasn't and isn't a thing, that's why not.  And if it was, Ben Gidley could hardly denounce his alter-ego.  That would be like Clark Kent denouncing Superman.

What about Wikipedia?  Here is the current Wikipedia entry disambiguating Zio:
Zio can refer to the following:

 It's interesting that the Zionist thing only comes up at the bottom.  What decides the order? I wonder.  Let's check the edits.  The penultimate edit was back in March 2015.  Here are the details:
This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Discospinster (talk | contribs) at 12:44, 23 March 2015 (not sourced). The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Zio can refer to the following:
I don't know what the editor changed from previously but that was the last edit before a later one added in the Zio as an abbreviation for Zionist but here's the latest:
This is an old revision of this page, as edited by Sammy1339 (talk | contribs) at 14:57, 15 March 2016. The present address (URL) is a permanent link to this revision, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Zio can refer to the following:
Now this is actually wrong.  Remember hasbaristas, Ben Gidley and Avi Mayer?  They are hardly Zios With Attitude.  Zio isn't necessarily pejorative, it's descriptive.  And as for "often regarded as antisemitic", how about "recently claimed to be antisemitic".

The involvement of David Aaronovitch and some huckster from Gerald Ronson's private army. Sorry, did I say Gerald Ronson's private army?  I meant the Community Security Trust, in promoting this bogus allegation suggests to me that the Zios are going to dig in on this one.   I would further guess that they'll press on with this without providing any evidence for their claim that the word Zio is only or even mostly or often found on far-right websites and in defiance of evidence that no one considered "Zio" problematic before a wannabe Israel lobbyist couldn't find anything else to throw at the Oxford University Labour Club when it voted to support Israeli Apartheid Week.

Now my big worry over all this is that it seems like a small part of what is a very big smear campaign by the Zionist movement against Israel's detractors.  Using the word "Zio" doesn't seem like an issue worth fighting for and maybe we shouldn't fight over it, we should just use it as casually as we (and they) have done in the past.

The significance of this is that it is yet another false allegation of antisemitism and that false allegation is being used to bar honest anti-racists from political activity and to even incite violence against them.  It's only a small word, not a whole word even, but if a senior antisemitism hunter can bring it up in the same sentence as the "blood libel" then it ought to signal that it means a lot to the Zionists to use it as yet another way of victimising Israel's critics.

Some people might avoid using the word Zio in future so as not to give the Zios another thing to whinge about but to accept it was ever a real issue would be bad faith; a bad faith acceptance of a demonstrably bad faith allegation of antisemitism.

June 08, 2016

Focus on the horrific impact of the occupation not how nice some Zionists want to look

Here's an amusing twitter thread. One of its participants might be so embarrassed by her attempt at hasbara failing miserably she might disappear her own tweets so I "snipped" them. But let's try embedding first:
I don't know who "she" is but hang in there.  Here's novelist and hasbarist (if there's a difference) Linda Grant blowing her own trumpet about one of her Guardian G2 pieces:

 Then these Labour2Palestine people step in:

And now Linda Grant moves from self-promotion to selfless Zionism promotion:
Now how could an account calling itself Labour 2 Palestine give such a notorious hasbarist an opportunity to use the checkpoints of all things to promote Zionism?  Answer? They didn't.  Sorry, it's late. I mean the answer to the question, how could they? is, they didn't.  Look:

It's good to see that there are still people in Labour who see opposing Israel as more important than massaging the egos of high profile Zionists.

June 06, 2016

A "little bit of a conspiracy": a bit of an antisemitic trope or a bit of an understatement?

Let's have a look, shall we?

I wouldn't have noticed this but for The Community Security Trust's Dave Rich agreeing with what looked like an allegation from Linda Grant that Jeremy Corbyn is himself antisemitic.
A quick scan of Dave Rich's Twitter account yielded this little gem:
 A "little bit of a conspiracy going on" now has the official stamp of disapproval from the provisional wing of the Zionist movement in the UK.

So what was Jackie Walker thinking of when she invoked this "antisemitic trope"?  Let's have a look at The Jewish Chronicle.  I mean, I hesitate to allege a conspiracy but whenever lots of people in lots of media are saying the same wrong thing about someone falsely accused of antisemitism, the JC is usually in there somewhere.  And their headline:
Jacqueline Walker claims her suspension from Labour was part of a conspiracy

Now immediately we ought to smell a rat because Dave Rich put his quote in quotes.  That is, it was an exact quote.  Where he messed up is he made out "a little bit of a conspiracy" is an "antisemitic trope".  The antisemitic trope about conspiracies is usual the worldwide Jewish conspiracy theory.  That's the idea that all of the world's Jews are party to the same conspiracy to the benefit of all Jews and to the detriment of everyone else.  Not so much a little bit of a conspiracy but a literally impossibly huge conspiracy.

Now the JC was a bit smarter than Dave Rich (who isn't?).  They've made out that Jackie Walker could have been suggesting that the smear campaign against Corbynistas and Palestine solidarity supporters is part of a much bigger conspiracy.  That seems to be what they are attempting with their headline.  But they didn't just run with a headline.  They ran the story and like Dave Rich they seem to have run real quotes that contradict the headline:
Ms Walker, who was readmitted to the party after being suspended over allegations of making antisemitic comments, said: “There is a little bit of a conspiracy going on”. 
Speaking at a meeting in Brighton last night, she told a 50-strong audience that she had been abroad when she was informed of her suspension last month. 
She said: “Look at the date of the Jewish Chronicle when that came out. I was actually in Turkey.“My letter suspending me was actually dated 4 May. The Jewish Chronicle published the story about me on 4 May. 
“Now, you have to put two and two together. What you will know is that somebody in the [Labour] compliance unit, or around there, is leaking information out to the media.

Conspiracy? Well ok, but just a small one, like Jackie Walker said.

Now let's have a look at the case of Tony Greenstein and his suspension from the Labour Party.  Tony was told that he was being suspended because of certain things that he had said but he wasn't told what those things were.  Curiously, The Times and The Telegraph were told what those things were and they said that Tony had said that the Jews had supported the Nazis' antisemitic Nuremberg Laws.  Tony of course had said nothing of the kind and for fear of libel action by Tony (who knows his legal stuff) both The Times and The Telegraph ran retractions.

So the false allegations against Tony Greenstein were leaked to and published by The Times and The Telegraph and before the allegations were put to Tony.  Whoever the leaker was must have known that the details were going to be published.  Conspiracy?  Ok, make it a double!  Cheers, or L'chaim as we rootless cosmopolitans like to say.

So whilst Zionists can make an "antisemitic trope" out of just about anything, the suggestion that the smear campaign against various Israel critics looks like it is indeed a bit of a conspiracy.  I know size isn't important but "little bit" appears to be a little bit of an understatement.

June 04, 2016

Is it now antisemitic to accuse Jonathan Freedland of "disgusting subliminal nastiness"?

I ask because I just saw an Twitter exchange between Linda Grant and the Community Security Trust's Dave Rich.  See here:

I just watched maybe half of the excruciating thing and all I could see that touched on anything to do with the antisemitism malarkey was Corbyn talking to Seumas Milne about Freedland.  I thought accusing someone as nasty and lacking in integrity as Freedland was pretty fair comment. But here's Dave Rich of the CST:
So I'm not sure if Linda Grant is accusing Corbyn or Milne or both of antisemitism but in the little that I watched I couldn't see anything else they could have been referring to.

If I'm right, Linda Grant is saying that to dislike Freedland, who many of us believe is a thoroughly dishonest nasty piece of work, is antisemitic and that Dave Rich thought that Milne would be a better man if he simply passed off smearing Israel's critics and supporting racist war criminals as just little quirky blind spots of an otherwise decent chap, Jonathan Freedland.

I think Linda Grant and Dave Rich make a large part of their living yabbering on about Israel and antisemitism.   I don't know much else about them. Maybe there isn't anything else to know.