Monday, 20 April 2015

Anti-Semitism, the BDS and the Green Party

The Green Party has been attracting a lot of attention recently and not all of it good. According to The Times today:

Support for the Green Party has plummeted amongst students since the start of the election campaign amid a growing dislike of it's leader, an opinion poll has found.

Meanwhile her partner/boyfriend has attracted the attention of the Daily Mirror who write:

Radical blogger Jim Jepps, who is dating the Green leader, has posted controversial comments about sex, paedophilia and rape.

An example given was this:

In a post titled “Even monsters have feelings” about Austrian schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch, who was snatched aged 10, held in a cellar for more than eight years and repeatedly raped, Mr Jepps wrote: “These are two people who had a long term and human relationship.”

I'd say "controversial" was an understatement.

Of more worry is the attitude of substantial numbers of activists to anti-Semitism. 

The Forward Blog writes in an article entitled Englands Green Party has an anti-Semitism problem:

Internal party communications reveal that articles by the fascist British National Party and white supremacist David Duke have been circulated on party discussion forums. Other posts on these forums have referred to the Board of Deputies of British Jews as the “Zionist lobby,” adding “we must smash the Zionists.” Zionism in these discussions has been characterised as a form of racial discrimination, “incompatible with Green views,” and “an ancient theological fantasy.” During Operation Protective Edge, Israel was accused of visiting a second Holocaust upon the Palestinians.

Not all Green anti-Semitism is private. One local councillor tweeted an article by the notorious Jew-hater Gilad Atzmon, calling for Britain to “de-Zionize” itself. The current leader of the Welsh Greens, Pippa Bartolotti, has objected to “having a Jewish Zionist ambassador in Israel,” calling his independence and loyalty into question. “From the university of life I have learned that Jews often have a conflict of interest in matters relating to Palestine,” Bartolotti said.

When such actions have been challenged by Green Party members, members with Jewish surnames have been labelled Nazi infiltrators and agents of Israel. Toby Green, who led an internal working group investigating anti-Semitism, resigned his Green membership in 2011,writing “it has become clear that the Green Party is institutionally anti-Semitic. Its institutions have not dealt with clear evidence of anti-Semitism.”

Meanwhile we'll see if Ms Bennett responds to this open letter:

From Boycott The BDS

Letter to the Green Party's Leader, Natalie Bennett.

Dear Natalie,

Please can you explain why your party is running a "hate campaign" against the State of Israel?

As someone who has always been interested in the Green agenda and feels some synergies with ecological views you promote, I am extremely offended that you should single out Israel for your party's ire. Especially:

1. Your promotion of a boycott. Something which you have publicly stated.

2. Your candidate for Twickenham calling Israel racist and apartheid.

3. Your candidate in Brighton who persistently singles out Israel for extreme criticism and bitterness.

May I remind you that Israel is one of the most "green" countries on the planet with world leading advanced eco-friendly policies and practices that your party could only dream of. So on the face of it, the hypocrisy at the core of your hate campaign is remarkable!

To boycott Israel would be at a massive economic and personal cost not just to Jews in Israel, but Muslims, Christians, Bahia, atheists and the multitude of other faiths who are entirely free to practice their beliefs without threat or compromise (where else in the Middle East can you name where that is even vaguely possible) Where young, old, black, brown, white, gay, straight, able and disabled and every race live side by side and have equal rights. Not to mention the disastrous effect it would have on the neighbouring economies and citizens of The West Bank and Gaza. Furthermore, the disastrous affect it would have on the regional economies in countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi where excellent trade agreements are in operation.

Then, of course, there is the damage the global advancements. Israel leads on so many fronts. Indeed, I would not be writing this email to you if it were not for Israeli technology (Intel, Microsoft, Internet security amongst many). And the life saving medicines and biotechnology that Israel develops have kept many of your voters from an early grave (heart, diabetes, brain, etc).

So please tell me why you don't rail against:

1. Qatar (where immigrant workers are dying on a daily basis and as a Jew I can't visit because of their racial policy) or

2. Saudi Arabia (where women's rights are almost non existent, for example women are not allowed to drive) or 

3. Iran (where women are given public floggings for being the victims of rape) or

4. Gaza (which has the world's highest incidents of Honour Killings) or 

5. Turkey (which has more journalists in jail than any other country in a mass supressing of freedom of speech) or 

6. Syria (where the slaughter of Christians is a free for all) or

7. Russia (who has invaded Ukraine and slaughtered thousands in an illegal war and where gay rights do not exist) or

8. Or Morocco (which has illegally occupied Western Sahara for decades against very specific UN resolutions).

Need I continue?

Did you protest about the slaughter of Palestinians in Yarmouk? I did after writing to leading Palestinian campaigns who had nothing, not even mentioning it on their social media and websites (such as the PSC and BDS). More Palestinian civilians killed in a couple of weeks in brutal Islamic extremist violence than in a legitimate conflict last summer yet no one even bothered? Can you explain why? What did you do?


I worked with Amnesty International, an organisation which I am sure you hold in high esteem. We have worked on improving the security and welfare of asylum seekers in Israel (as it should be improved despite it being much much better than its neighbours). In their latest report, which you should read as it was widely circulated, it was clear, regarding last summer's conflict:

1. Hamas committed the worst atrocities with its own rockets falling on its civilians. This was a series of war crimes that included blaming Israel for the death of 31 civilians in a hospital. Unequivocal proof was found by Amnesty to show this was actually caused by Hamas.

2. Every rocket fired by Hamas was a war crime by International Law as they were fired indiscriminately at civilians.

3. Israel was fighting a legitimate battle against a globally recognised terrorist organisation. And had the legitimate right to defend its civilians against attack.

4. Israel did indeed take precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

5. Hamas hid weaponry in UN protected civilian sites which was a war crime.

And of course whilst we all want a resolution to the Israeli - Palestinian problems, how easy this will be whilst Hamas still have Article 7 in their Charter. If you are not familiar with Article 7, it calls for the death of all Jews. It is not vague. It is very specific. It demands that all Jews be exterminated.

I will happily talk to you about this Natalie. Not as an Israeli, not as a Jew, but as a fair minded individual who is tired of seeing your party running a completely unjustified and twisted hate campaign and corrupting the positive messages your party should be delivering.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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