‘Free Speech on Israel’: a bunch of incompetents unwilling to challenge antisemitism

April 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm (anti-semitism, apologists and collaborators, conspiracy theories, fascism, Guardian, Human rights, israel, labour party, Livingstone, Middle East, Racism, reactionay "anti-imperialism", stalinism, zionism)

Greenstein: claims “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism

By Dale Street

Yesterday’s Guardian (13th April) published a statement from the so-called ‘Free Speech on Israel’ campaign. The text of the letter and the full list of signatories is at:

http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/letter-guardian-reject-call-expulsion-ken-livingstone/#more-3000

According to the letter:

“There is nothing whatsoever antisemitic about this [i.e. Livingstone’s statement that Hitler was supporting Zionism before he went mad].  Francis Nicosia, the Raul Hilberg Professor of Holocaust Studies at Vermont University wrote in his book “Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany” (p. 79):

Throughout the 1930s, as part of the regime’s determination to force Jews to leave Germany, there was almost unanimous support in German government and Nazi party circles for promoting Zionism among German Jews’   

Is telling the truth also antisemitic?”

But Nicosia’s book does not corroborate Livingstone’s claim that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s (nor his other recent claims, such as that there was “real collaboration” between German Zionism and the Nazis “right up until the start of the Second World War”).

Nicosia writes that by the beginning of the twentieth century most German antisemites “had come to view Zionism as representative of much of what they considered the more dangerous and abhorrent characteristics of the Jews as a people.”

He further writes: “For most antisemites in Germany, including the Nazis prior to 1941, their willingness to use Zionism and the Zionist movement was never based on an acceptance of the Zionist view of itself, namely that it represented a force for the common good and for the renewal of the Jews as a people in the modern world.”

He is explicit that the purpose of his book is not to “equate Zionism with National Socialism, Zionists with Nazis, or to portray that relationship as a willing or collaborative one between moral and political equals.”

He dismisses as “ahistorical assertions” arguments which “simplistically dismiss Zionism as yet another example of racism, the substance of which has not been very different from German National Socialism.”

He rejects claims that “Zionists collaborated with the Nazi regime in Germany in an effort to secure their own narrow self-interest at the expense of non-Zionist Jews before and during the Holocaust.”

The ‘Free Speech on Israel’ statement quotes a single sentence from page 79 of Nicosia’s book. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the author of the statement has also read pages 1-78.

But all of the above quotes are taken from pages 1-78 of Nicosia’s book. The author of the ‘Free Speech on Israel’ statement has therefore ignored everything in Nicosia’s book which does not suit his own political standpoint and instead picks on a single sentence.

People who engage in selective quoting are not telling the truth. They are lying. In this case, they are lying for a political purpose.

The first signatory to the ‘Free Speech on Israel’ statement is Tony Greenstein, who is also probably the author of the statement itself.

Ever since the early 1980s – when he was a member of the ‘British Anti-Zionist Organisation’, which claimed that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis and encouraged antisemitism to benefit Israel – Greenstein has claimed that there was an “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism, and that Zionism was “a movement of collaboration” with Nazism.

Like Livingstone himself, Greenstein is a great admirer of the writings of Lenni Brenner, another charlatan who specialises in the art of selective quoting. According to Greenstein, Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators is “the most complete account, from an anti-Zionist perspective, of Zionist collusion with the Nazis.”

Greenstein has written a review of Nicosia’s book, tellingly entitled “Review – Francis Nicosia and Zionist Collaboration with Nazi Germany”. Greenstein’s review denounces the book:

“[The book is] an appalling apologia for the collaboration of the Zionist movement in Germany with the Nazi government. …

Nicosia is an author at war with his own evidence. He is determined to reach conclusions at variance with the evidence. …

His thesis that the Zionist movement had to do deals with the Nazis in order to rescue German Jews fails to explain the ideological symmetry between them. …

Nicosia’s problem is that he has little understanding of Zionism, past or present, still less how its racial theories translated into practice in Palestine. …”

So, on the one hand, says Greenstein, Nicosia has little or no understanding of Zionism. He is at war with his own evidence. And he fails to explain the “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism.

But now, in April of 2017, the same Tony Greenstein puts his name to a statement (which he probably wrote as well) which cites the same Francis Nicosia as a credible historian (“the Raul Hilberg Professor of Holocaust Studies at Vermont University”) and invokes the same book  (albeit by way of total misrepresentation) in support of Livingstone’s statements.

The ‘Free Speech on Israel’ statement argues that Livingstone is not under attack for having made antisemitic statements – Livingstone has merely been telling the truth.

The statement concludes with the unsubstantiated claim: “What the campaign against Livingstone is really about is his long-standing support for the Palestinians and his opposition to Zionism and the policies of the Israeli state.”

It is therefore reasonable to assume that the statement’s signatories can distinguish between antisemitic statements and statements of legitimate criticism of Zionism and Israeli policies. (Leaving aside the fact that a number of the statement’s signatories do not just criticise Israeli policies but the very existence of Israel).

But signatories to the statement include Paisley Labour councillor Terry Kelly. Kelly is clearly incapable of making that distinction. He is the author of statements such as:

“Israel decided that the children and old and sick would continue to suffer and die, this is being done by the survivors of the Holocaust, it beggars belief that the Jewish people who suffered so much could treat innocent children this way but that’s what they are doing.”

“What I would like to see (but won’t) is justice done by restoring pre-1948 Palestine, the return of all refugees and an end to the crime that is Israel. Jews along with anyone else who applies successfully to live there would be welcomed, as Palestinians.”

“Have you stopped to ask why [the Obama White House is silent]? It’s because the American Jewish Lobby is extremely powerful and it has its boot on Obama’s neck that is why America still bankrolls Israel despite its crimes against humanity.”

“There is a powerful Jewish lobby campaigning against the film [The King’s Speech] because of its historical inaccuracy about Hitler and the antisemitism which it studiously ignores.”

“[The American academic] Finkelstein was also fired from a university in that apparent home of democracy America following a vicious campaign by the all-powerful American Jewish Lobby.”

Kelly now has a piece on his blog entitled “Ken Livingstone is Innocent and So Was I”.

But in Terry Kelly’s political universe, accusing the Jewish people of collective guilt, advocating the elimination of Israel, and repeated references to ‘the American Jewish lobby’, ‘the powerful Jewish lobby’ and ‘the all-powerful American Jewish lobby’ are all examples of ‘innocence’.

In another sense, though, Kelly is correct: Livingstone is as innocent (or as guilty) as Kelly himself.

And the fact that the ‘Free Speech on Israel’ campaign includes Kelly as a signatory to its statement is itself a measure of that campaign’s own competence and willingness (or incompetence and unwillingness) in matters of recognising and challenging antisemitism.

35 Comments

  1. rotzeichen said,

    • Mick said,

      You’re not honestly saying that’s the same as pretending Zionists and Nazis were earnest allies?

    • Jim Denham said,

      rotzeichen: objectively, yes.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        ha ha ha Jim. What is the force of ” objectively ” here ? Does that let you off the hook of having to say yes or no ? What a wimp you are.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Stephen: I think you’ll find it means “yes”. I used the word “objectively” in the same way I would once have described you as “objectively” anti-Semitic – before I realised that you are, in fact, a conscious and knowing anti-Semite.

      Now deal with the facts presented in some detail by the author of the main article. I look forward to your phorensic demolition job.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        Jim I don’t do arguments about Israel. Israel isn’t for talking about its for doing something about.

      • Jim Denham said,

        “Israel isn’t for talking about”: or, presumably, thinking about, eh, Stephen?

        “its for doing something about”: like what? Driving all its inhabitants into the sea?

      • Jim Denham said,

        And, by the way, Stephen: care to tell us about what, exactly, you’ve ever *done* to practically help the Palestinians?

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        You got one thing right. I have no plans to do any thinking about Israel. Israel is a crappy, racist kleptomaniacal basket case. End of.

        As for the what have I done question….

        A little short of nine months slaving under a hot sun in the Jordan valley making mud bricks to help rebuild Bedouin structures demolished by the IOF in the furtherance of the ethnic cleansing of the valley. Just for starters. I wouldn’t want to bore you with EVERYTHING I have done.

        Your turn. What have you practically done to help the Palestinians? .

      • Jim Denham said,

        As you are a full-on anti-Semite who objects to thought I have no further interest in discussion with you. I fact I wonder why I ever did.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        I’ll take that as ” well I haven’t done anything to help the Palestinian people actually “

      • Jim Denham said,

        You can take it any way you like. Goodbye.

  2. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Mr Bellamy, You sem to have an obcession with Israel and perhaps Jews. Such a small country in a World of continuous conflict. And yet you are always around when Israel is mentioned.

    • Mick said,

      Third Way noisy leftists are particularly given to herd mentalities. On key bullet points, look how they can think exactly the same things – on birth control, sex lessons for kids, the role of the state, wage ‘gaps’ or ‘imperialism’. And if you deviate, you get the wrath of Hades.

      So obviously, they are going to project simplistic hard and fast values in whatever they see. So when certain concocted views on Zionism crystallise in the hive mind, that kind of murderous evil can only ever be exactly the same as one which looks similar to them.

      Even other leftists have trouble with the hive mind and end up the victims. They get called ‘Tories’ or sneered at when they reject being told to check their privilege.

      • rotzeichen said,

        Even other leftists have trouble with the hive mind and end up the victims. They get called ‘Tories’ or sneered at when they reject being told to check their privilege.

        A lesson in how to contradict yourself at a stroke.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Err?

  3. Robert said,

    ON ONE WHO PRESUMES

    I’m fairly sure you’ve heard this all before —
    the nymphomaniac disguised as a generous whore
    that thinks itself the Salvation army
    by dint of standing at street corners, a barmy
    collector — of what? Piastres and chancres galore?

    rrc

  4. MARK TAHAS said,

    Robert- your poem doesn’t scan. It is the right of all people to express their opinions but not to back them up with deliberate lies. They have the right to say what they like-the st of us have the right to say they’re talking -fill in blank!If the only way to save Jews from the Holocaust was to talk with the Nazis, what were the Zionist leaders supposed to do?

    • Mick said,

      Oh don’t worry about it so much.

      They all sound just one cliche away from being Rik from the Young Ones.

  5. Ben said,

    “…If the only way to save Jews from the Holocaust was to talk with the Nazis…”

    Everyone was talking to the Nazis in 1933-1939. The British, the French, the Soviets, the Americans all engaged in diplomacy with them, and signed various agreements with them. The Soviets even ended up signing a treaty with Germany which precipitated the partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR and officially allied the two countries as WW2 broke out. Yet the only ones who are condemned by the hard left today as immoral collaborators for negotiating are the hapless Zionists, the only ones whose people were totally defenseless and who were threatened openly with extermination.

    Go figure.

  6. Tony Greenstein said,

    I posted this as a reply.

    Don’t say you are afraid of my answer!

    Whitewashing the Record of the Zionist Movement in Nazi Germany and Before
    My attention was drawn to this blog’s criticism of the letter in the Guardian on 13th April, which has been published on the Free Speech on Israel bog and my own.
    Jim Denham manages to get one thing right, which is probably in itself a record. Yes I drafted the initial statement. I am proud to claim credit for this. The rest of Denham’s post contains his normal apologia for the Zionist movement and the Israeli state.
    I should remark that I find it quite disgusting that a so-called Trotskyist, some who presumably considers himself a Marxist, should support the Labour Right’s determination to expel Ken Livingstone. How low can the AWL go that they are willing to give support to our class enemies? I guess the answer to that is, ‘a lot lower’. After all the AWL supported the American occupation of Iraq by refusing to call for a withdrawal of imperialist troops. It supported the war in Iraq, the bombing of Serbia and has defended Israel through thick and thin, so supporting the expulsion of leftists in the Labour Party is a piece of cake.
    Jim’s complaints about the letter are summed up in the paragraph:
    ‘The ‘Free Speech on Israel’ statement quotes a single sentence from page 79 of Nicosia’s book. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the author of the statement has also read pages 1-78.
    Yes it is a reasonable assumption. I only wish I could make the same assumption about Jim Denham. What is true, as Denham infers, is that there is a yawning gap, a contradiction if you like between the evidence that Nicosia uncovers and the political conclusions that he draws. This is not unremarkable.
    For example Denham quotes Nicosia thus:
    For most antisemites in Germany, including the Nazis prior to 1941, their willingness to use Zionism and the Zionist movement was never based on an acceptance of the Zionist view of itself, namely that it represented a force for the common good and for the renewal of the Jews as a people in the modern world.”
    The first comment I would make is of course anti-Semites would not accept that any Jewish movement was a ‘force for the common good’. It is rather a trite and trivial comment.
    Denham says that I ‘fail(s) to explain the “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism.” Fine. Let me explain.
    The whole basis of the Nazi or German nationalist or volkish view of the Jews was that they were a community apart, a different race or nation. As such they didn’t belong in Germany. The problem is that this was exactly the view of the Zionists too. Now there is a good reason for this. Zionism was a reaction to anti-Semitism. But it was a reaction of a different kind from all other Jewish movements because it accepted the terms and references of the oppressor. The anti-Semites said to the Jews you do not belong. Socialists and liberals even among the Jews rejected that and insisted that they were Germans of the Jewish faith as opposed to Jews living in Germany. But the Zionists accepted that Jews were not part of the German nation.
    Hence it was that alone among German Jews, the Zionists welcomed the 1935 Nuremburg laws which stripped German Jews of their citizenship. The Nuremburg laws were rightly described by Gerald Reitlinger in his book ‘The Final Solution’ as ‘“the most murderous legislative instrument known to European history”. The Zionist paper Judische Rundschau on September 17th 1935 welcomed the Nuremburg Laws in its editorial:
    The World Zionist Congress has just been in session in Switzerland, a Congress which also put an end very plainly to any talk of Judaism being simply a religion. The speakers at the Zionist Congress stated that the Jews are a separate people and once again put on record the national claims of Jewry.
    Germany has merely drawn the practical consequences from this and is meeting the demands of the World Zionist Congress when it declares the Jews now living in Germany to be a national minority. Once the Jews have been stamped a national minority it is again possible to establish normal relations between the German Nation and Jewry. The new Laws give the Jewish minority in Germany their own cultural life, their own national life.
    You can read the rest of this nonsense and much more besides at
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/german-news-agency-on-the-nuremberg-laws
    I am accused of misrepresenting Francis Nicosia, selecting quotes out of context. In one of his more restrained sentences Denham says that ‘People who engage in selective quoting are not telling the truth. They are lying. In this case, they are lying for a political purpose.
    Of course, unlike Denham, I am actually acquainted with the literature, including Nicosia’s other book The Third Reich & the Palestine Question [TRPQ]. On p.53 of this book Nicosia quotes Bernhard Losener, who drafted the Nuremburg Law thus: ‘The least amount of opposition to the underlying ideas of the Nurnberg Laws has been raised by the Zionists, because they know at once that these laws represent the only correct solution for the Jewish people as well. For each nation must have its own state…’
    On the same page Nicosia also informs us that ‘At both congresses, resolutions that were militantly anti-German, calling for new boycott measures and, at Lucern, for an end to the Ha’avara agreement, were rejected.’
    It was ironic that the Labour Zionists, those good friends of the AWL, refused to support the anti-Nazi resolutions proposed by the fascist Revisionists! Such is the nature of the Zionist movement, today and yesterday.
    On p.25 (TRPQ) Nicosia quotes Alfred Rosenberg, the chief theoretician of the Nazi party, the monster who has justly hanged at Nuremburg thus:
    ‘Zionism must be vigorously supported in order to encourage a significant number of German Jews to leave for Palestine or other destinations.’ As Nicosia comments ‘Rosenberg also intended to use Zionism as legal justification for depriving German Jews of their civil rights. The Zionist position that there existed a separate Jewish Volk…’
    Nicosia observes that Rosenberg didn’t believe that the Zionists wanted so much the creation of a separate state as a power base. Much the same idea as Hitler espoused in Mein Kampf, but ‘At the same time he (Rosenberg) sanctioned the use of the Zionist movement in the future drive to eliminate Jewish rights, Jewish influence and eventually the Jewish presence in Germany. (pp. 25/26)
    Denham states that I took a quote from p.79 of Nicosia’s Zionism and anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany having ignored everything up to then. I can only assume that Denham is not familiar with the book or has only skimmed it. This is such absurd nonsense that all I can do is cite a few of the many passages that support the conclusion on p.79:
    Nicosia speaks about
    ‘the relationship of a volkisch German nationalism and anti-Semitism… to Zionism, a volkisch Jewish nationalist ideology and movement that started from some of the same philosophical premises as German nationalism with regard to nationality, national ife and the proper definition and organization of peoples and states in the modern world.’ In a nutshell – ideological symmetry! This can be found on page 2.
    On page 5 [ZANG]we have the even more interesting comment that
    ‘Whereas today non-Jewish criticism of Zionism or the State of Israel is often dismissed as motivated by a deeper anti-Semitism, in Herzl’s day an opposite non-Jewish reaction, one of support for the Zionist idea, might have resulted in a similar reactioin’
    Nicosia then goes on to give the example of the Grand Duke of Baden who remarked to Herzl that if he supported Zionism people would accuse him of anti-Semitism!
    On p.8 fn. 14 [ZANG]Nicosia writes that ‘Before Hitler’s assumption of power in 1933, the most prominent critics of Zionism tend t Jews. Most did not base their opposition to Zionism on alleged racist affinities with National Socialism… resting their arguments on a rejection of Zionist claims that the Jews were a distinct people, aliens in the countries in which they lived… But a few did condemn Zionism as a racist ideology. One of the most extreme cases was Victor Klempere, whose bitter condemnation of Zionism included direct coparisons to Nazism.’
    Denham cites Nicosia’s quotation that ‘“For most antisemites in Germany, including the Nazis prior to 1941, their willingness to use Zionism and the Zionist movement was never based on an acceptance of the Zionist view of itself…” Yes he did say this but he also went on to speak of the ‘fundamental disconnect in earlier Zionist assessments of anti-Semitism and its potential usefulness in the re-education of diaspora Jews.’
    In other words the Zionist belief that because they and the anti-Semites agreed, that they could therefore take the anti-Semites at their word was naive. This was demonstrated in the Zionist belief that the Nuremburg Laws provided an alternative basis for a Jewish life in Germany as a national minority. This touching faith in the bona fides of the Nazis was to prove sadly mistaken. Once the Nazis had made use of the German Zionist Federation they dispensed with them. When it came to deportation to Auschwitz of course, the Nazis made no differentiation between Zionist and non-Zionist.
    I could go through all the first 78 pages of Nicosia’s ZANG and provide similar quotes. I disagree with his analysis as I made clear in my review of the book. I could also have quoted e.g. p.118/9 where he cites Reinhardt Heydrich, the ‘engineer’ of the Final Solution who in instructions to the Gestapo in January 1935 noted that ‘The actions of the Zionist-oriented youth organizations… conform to the policies of the National Socialist leadership.’
    In an article in the SS paper Das Schwarze Corp Heydrich ‘characterised the German government’s approach to Zionism in the following manner: ‘it is in agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, Zionism, whose position is based on the recognition of the unity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all ideas of mixing in.’
    I could continue but what is the point. There was undoubted symmetry ideologically between Zionism and Nazism and volkish German nationalism. Both sprang from the well springs of the most reactionary form of racial nationalism.
    It says a lot about the Alliance for Workers Liberty that it finds such ideas and Zionism attractive.
    Tony Greenstein

    • Jim Denham said,

      Mr Greenstein, please explain away this:

      “Greenstein has written a review of Nicosia’s book, tellingly entitled “Review – Francis Nicosia and Zionist Collaboration with Nazi Germany”. Greenstein’s review denounces the book:

      “'[The book is] an appalling apologia for the collaboration of the Zionist movement in Germany with the Nazi government. …

      “‘Nicosia is an author at war with his own evidence. He is determined to reach conclusions at variance with the evidence. …

      “‘His thesis that the Zionist movement had to do deals with the Nazis in order to rescue German Jews fails to explain the ideological symmetry between them. …

      “‘Nicosia’s problem is that he has little understanding of Zionism, past or present, still less how its racial theories translated into practice in Palestine. …”

      “So, on the one hand, says Greenstein, Nicosia has little or no understanding of Zionism. He is at war with his own evidence. And he fails to explain the “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism.

      “But now, in April of 2017, the same Tony Greenstein puts his name to a statement (which he probably wrote as well) which cites the same Francis Nicosia as a credible historian (“the Raul Hilberg Professor of Holocaust Studies at Vermont University”) and invokes the same book (albeit by way of total misrepresentation) in support of Livingstone’s statements.”

    • RW said,

      Greenstein doesn’t seem to understand what fascism actually is at all. On his reasoning any and all nationalist movements ever known have “ideological symmetry” with naziism.

  7. Dale Street said,

    “I posted this as a reply,” writes Greenstein, “don’t say you are afraid of my answer!”

    But why would anyone be “afraid” of anything written by Tony Greenstein?

    The original article criticised the FSI/Greenstein statement on four counts:

    1) Nicosia’s book (“Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany”) does not endorse Livingstone’s argument (that Hitler “supported” Zionism in the 1930s and that there was “real collaboration” between German Zionists and Nazi Germany).

    2) The FSI/Greenstein statement was selective, and thereby misleading, in what it choose to quote from Nicosia’s book.

    3) Greenstein is being hypocritical and dishonest. His review of Nicosia’s book damned Nicosia for his supposed failure to understand Zionism. But now Greenstein relies on the same supposedly know-nothing Nicosia to corroborate Livingstone’s statements about German Zionism.

    4) Some of the signatories to the FSI/Greenstein statement have a record of making statements which, by anyone’s standards, are antisemitic.

    Greenstein’s response is typical Greenstein:

    – He doesn’t even get the identity of the author of the original article correct. He thinks, and says repeatedly, that it was written Jim Denham. But the article is prefaced by the words “By Dale Street”. This gaffe by Greenstein hardly inspires confidence in his ability to understand historical sources.

    – In typical Greenstein style he employs a series of ‘ad hominem’ attacks, raising positions allegedly taken by the AWL in relation to Iraq, Serbia, Israel, Zionism and the expulsion of left-wingers from the Labour Party. “How low can the AWL go that they are willing to give support to our class enemies?” asks Greenstein, and answers his own question: “I guess the answer to that is: A lot lower.”

    – The dictionary definition of an ‘ad hominem’ attack: is “Appealing to prejudices or emotions, attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.” Greenstein is one of those people who raises ‘ad hominem’ attacks from an occasional tactic to a fully-fledged political method.

    – Greenstein’s response fails to engage with point (3) above. Does Greenstein still think that Francis Nicosia (Professor of History; Raul Hilberg Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies; author of several books on Zionism and Nazi Germany; co-author of “The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust”; editor of two volumes of documents in the 22-volume series “Archives of the Holocaust”; visiting professor at the Berlin University Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism; member of the University of Vermont Centre for Holocaust Studies, etc., etc., etc.) has “little understanding of Zionism, past or present”.

    – Greenstein’s response fails to engage with point (4) above. Does Greenstein accept that the quotes from FSI-statement-signatory Terry Kelly have nothing to do with ‘anti-Zionism’ but are in fact examples of straightforward anti-semitism?

    – Greenstein’s response to points (1) and (2) above is laughable.

    – Greenstein writes: “Denham says that I ‘fail(s) to explain the ‘ideological symmetry between Zionism and Nazism’. Fine. Let me explain.” But neither Denham nor Dale Street say that. The quote which Greenstein attributes to Jim Denham is in fact a quote from Tony Greenstein himself! It is included in the original article as a quote from Greenstein’s review of Nicosia’s book. Greenstein wrote: “His (i.e. Nicosia’s) thesis fails to explain the ideological symmetry between them (Zionism and Nazism).”

    – So: Greenstein accuses Nicosia of failing to explain the alleged “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism. Miraculously, this is then transformed by Greenstein into an accusation that Jim Denham has accused Greenstein of failing to explain that alleged “ideological symmetry”!

    – Having wrongly claimed that he has been accused of failing to explain the alleged “ideological symmetry” between Zionism and Nazism, Greenstein then spends the rest of his response in his comfort zone of arguing what he has been arguing for more than three decades, i.e. that such an “ideological symmetry” existed.

    – This is a very strange way for Greenstein to try to defend Livingstone. Greenstein is running an argument in defence of Livingstone which Livingstone himself rejected in his submission to the Labour Party disciplinary hearing. Livingstone wrote: “I did not make any equation of Hitler and Zionism. Any suggestion that my intention was to draw equivalence between Nazism and Zionism is entirely false.”

    – If Greenstein were consistent – although the words “Greenstein” and “consistent” should never be placed in close, or even distant, proximity – he should denounce Livingstone’s defence statement in the same terms as he denounced Nicosia’s book: “An appalling apologia for the collaboration of the Zionist movement in Germany with the Nazi government.”

  8. Lynne Roe said,

    Deborah Lipstadt on the weaponization of the Holocaust by the likes of Marine Le Pen, Sean Spicer, and dear Ken Livingstone in particular:

    “…

    Livingstone’s claims so lack any historical accuracy that one is loath to refute them. (Would we ask a scientist to refute claims that the earth is flat?) He has spun this historical fantasy on the back of the Ha’avara agreement, made between the Nazis and German Zionists in August 1933. German Jews were prevented by Nazi regulations from taking their savings out of Germany. Under the agreement, the Palestinian Jewish community bought German agricultural equipment with some of the blocked funds. Jews who came to Palestine from Germany were able to claw back a portion of their funds upon arrival. This agreement generated controversy among Jews and some Nazis. The former [Jews] were trying to organize a boycott of German goods, which this agreement contravened. The latter [Nazis] disliked anything that helped Jews. To call it collaboration or to say it proves Hitler was a Zionist, though, stretches those terms beyond any meaning.

    Livingstone’s attempt to rewrite history has a contemporary political purpose. He is trying to draw a direct line between Nazism and Zionism by equating the two, to claim that today’s supporters of Israel are heirs to the Nazis. Israel becomes more than a place to compensate Jews for their suffering. It becomes a place that flourished thanks to their suffering.

    Livingstone, Le Pen, and a myriad of others from both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum throw not just nuance but historical truth to the winds for their own political purposes.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/holocaust-history-spicer-le-pen/523005/

    • rotzeichen said,

      To align Ken Livingstone with the likes of Marie Le Pen is to distort the truth of what Ken Livingstone was actually saying, noting he has had the kind of mud you are slinging at him already thrown out at a court of law.

      The idiot John Mann and other members of the LFI brought charges against him and the courts threw them out because as you are doing; is to accuse him of saying something he has not said.

      He has consistently referred to the Haavara Agreement that was made before the war, and spin it anyway you like, but what he is saying is that there was an agreement signed between Zionists and the Nazis.

      https://academic.oup.com/leobaeck/article-abstract/35/1/245/922399/German-Interests-in-the-Haavara-Transfer-Agreement?redirectedFrom=PDF

      • Jim Denham said,

        “What he is saying is that there was an agreement signed between Zionists and the Nazis”, which is unconentious.

        As a previous commenter noted: “Everyone was talking to the Nazis in 1933-1939. The British, the French, the Soviets, the Americans all engaged in diplomacy with them, and signed various agreements with them. The Soviets even ended up signing a treaty with Germany which precipitated the partition of Poland between Germany and the USSR and officially allied the two countries as WW2 broke out. Yet the only ones who are condemned by the hard left today as immoral collaborators for negotiating are the hapless Zionists, the only ones whose people were totally defenseless and who were threatened openly with extermination.”

        Livingstone’s long record of Jew-baiting and his past association with the anti-Semitic WRP show that he is not really interested in establishing the historical truth (after all, he keeps changing his story, as Dale Street has demonstrated): he clearly has a “thing” about Jews and enjoys baiting them.

        See https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/livingstones-thing-about-jews/

      • rotzeichen said,

        That is your claim to him “Jew Baiting” but do you think these people would agree with you on that?

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/12/we-reject-the-call-for-labour-to-expel-ken-livingstone

        I rather think you are just doing as others have, smearing for political reasons.

        These academics know what they are talking about, you on the other hand are playing nasty games.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Dale Street and I have provided a mountain of evidence and reasoned argument, rotzeichen. Whereas you and the idiots and apologists you link to, provide fuck all except a blind, ignorant denial of the evidence against Livingstone: frankly, it’s simply *not good enough*!

  9. Political Tourist said,

    Are Jewish members welcome in the East Renfrewshire CLP?

    • Dale Street said,

      Yes – and much more welcome than in Sandra White’s branch of the SNP.

  10. Jim Denham said,

  11. larryzb said,

    The sad fact is that fewer people now believe the official holocaust story. Many are coming to see the use of the holocaust as a way to divert attention from the outrageous actions of many Jews in the world. To say this, gets me labelled an “anti-Semite”, which by the way is how criticism of Israel and Jews is stifled in the Western world.

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