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JC: Labour peer hosts anti-Jewish speaker at the House of Lords

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  • Brian Robinson
    Top story Jewish Chronicle web edition ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Labour peer hosts anti-Jewish speaker at the House of Lords 07/04/2005 By Mark Scodie THE LABOUR
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 7, 2005
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      Top story Jewish Chronicle web edition ...
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Labour peer hosts anti-Jewish speaker at the House of Lords
      07/04/2005
      By Mark Scodie
      THE LABOUR peer Lord Ahmed this week said he saw no reason to apologise for
      having hosted a stridently anti-Jewish speaker at the House of Lords.

      Lord Ahmed had invited the man, Israel Shamir, to address a meeting on the
      plight of the Palestinians when the two met in Jerusalem. Mr Shamir used the
      platform to tell an audience of around 50 - including the Palestinians' UK
      representative, Afif Safieh, and Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon - that "your
      newspapers belong to Zionists."

      He further contended that the Middle East policy of the United States and
      Britain was driven by "the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy,"
      and that "Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media."

      Declaring that the UK's political parties were "Zionist-infiltrated," he
      suggested "Michael Howard is less Judaic than Tony Blair, for the first
      objects to removal of British liberties and to sweeping anti-Muslim
      legislation, while the second brought this country into the Iraqi War for
      Israeli interests."

      Jews "like an empire" and "do not want to be equal," he continued. "This
      love of empire explains the easiness [with which] Jews change their
      allegiance - indeed, the same people who were all for the Russian or French
      or British Empire now became ardent supporters on [sic] the new American
      empire. Simple minds call it 'treacherous behaviour,' but it is actually
      love of empire per se, and it does not matter who is the titular head of
      this empire. Jews are good for an empire, as long as they feel the em-pire
      is good for them."

      Lord Ahmed told the JC he had followed up Mr Shamir's speech at the meeting
      by declaring that he personally disagreed with his attacks on Jews. He also
      said that he had warned Mr Shamir before he spoke not to make wider comments
      about Jews.

      "People were more interested in the political things - the illegal wall, the
      killings, the peace process.

      "I didn't expect him to come out with something like this."

      The peer added: "I will not allow anyone to attack the Jewish people," but
      said that "this is not apologetic" and that he would not be inviting Shamir
      to speak again.

      Another speaker at the event, Israeli Arab and former deputy-Knesset Speaker
      Walid Sadik, also criticised Mr Shamir's comments about Jews.

      Lord Ahmed said that he believed Shamir to be an Israeli citizen. However,
      the anti-Fascist magazine Searchlight has alleged that he changed his name
      to J├Âran Jermas in 2001 and was now a Swedish citizen. According to
      Searchlight, Mr Shamir used a Norwegian Communist website to praise BNP
      leader Nick Griffin as an "anti-bourgeois nationalist."

      In 2001, he allegedly wrote in the Norwegian newspaper, Adresseavisa, that
      many Jews had been warned by text message to get out of the World Trade
      Centre before the 9/11 attacks.

      A Labour Party spokesman said on Wednesday that the Westminster meeting "was
      not a Labour Party event, and we would not have invited such a speaker."

      Jews for Justice for Palestinians chairman Richard Kuper said that he would
      have "positively discouraged" anyone from attending such a meeting.

      Council for Arab-British Under-standing director Chris Doyle termed Mr
      Shamir's opinions "absurd and outrageous. Fighting for Palestinian rights
      should never be confused with such outlandish and racist views."






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Roland Rance
      The most interesting thing about this report is Lord Ahmed s remark that he had warned Mr Shamir before he spoke not to make wider comments about Jews ;
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 7, 2005
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        The most interesting thing about this report is Lord Ahmed's remark that "he
        had warned Mr Shamir before he spoke not to make wider comments about Jews";
        indicating that he was aware beforehand of the likelihood of such comments.

        It's certainly not Shamir's week -- exposed in the JC and the Times, Jeff
        and others resigning from DYR. Let's hope he has finally been rumbled, and
        leaves Jaffa for good to join his family and fascist friends in Sweden
        (though what the Swedes have done to merit his presence is unclear to me).

        Roland
      • shlepperbinadam
        From what I ve gathered, Shamir was invited to Britain to publicise a book, and as so often happens, whoever arranged this used someone in in Parliament -in
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 8, 2005
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          From what I've gathered, Shamir was invited to Britain to publicise a
          book, and as so often happens, whoever arranged this used someone in
          in Parliament -in this case Lord Ahmed - to get them in for a
          buckshee prestigious venue and publicity.
          Having been told something about Shamir, the Inter-faith
          international body involved tried to cancel the invitation, but were
          told Shamir would sue them for his travel expenses and loss of book
          sales. Fearing the cost of a court case, they backed down and let him
          come. Pity, but people like Shamir and his backers know how to play
          the system and scare good liberals. I'd like to have seen the bastard
          in court. As it is he may have cost them more than money.
          I'm told Lord Ahmed distanced himself from Shamir, and most people
          paid more attention to the other speakers, but of course the
          publicity focussed afterwards on Shamir. His speech appeared
          instantly on bizarre right-wing Christian websites, presumably
          because he had supplied them with it beforehand. One of these sites,
          specialising in conspiracy theories and Holocaust revisionism, and
          apparently based in Australia, calls him "Brother Shamir", and I
          don't think they use this in a trade union sense! The overseas pro-
          Shamir sites also had him supposedly addressing the entire House of
          Lords!
          Some people have wondered whether Lord Ahmed was not just used but
          deliberately set up, so as to sow distrust and hostility between Jews
          and Moslems in this country, and dare we suspect, influence British
          election politics? All this was some months back (and Jeff Halper's
          resignation letter was back in December), Pollard commented on it
          then online but have waited before going into print. As for the
          Jewish media, they seem to have bided their time, though presumably
          Israel if it so chose could have exposed Shamir, if not actually
          curbed his activities. (incidentally, does anyone know what passport
          he uses?)
          But Shamir, however clever and energetic he is, is one man. He could
          not go gallivanting around addressing meetings and writing without
          backing, help, and cover. One such cover is Deir Yassin Remembered,
          which has steadfastly defended him and ignored complaints. Even after
          Shamir was exposed as doubling as Swedish antisemite Joran Jermas, he
          just laughs it all off as a joke, evading giving an honest reply, yet
          Paul Eisen assures everyone that Shamir is a saint, which considering
          Paul's own increasingly pious bent is no small accolade. Who are we,
          mere sinners, to question the ways of such holy figures? We should
          kneel and beg forgiveness!
          Too many people who should have known better have preferred not to
          rock the boat by denouncing Shamir too publically, or have tried to
          look the other way, hoping the evil he does will be outweighed by the
          good work and laudable aims professed by DYR and other bodies. The
          result is not only that Shamir has got away with his stuff too long
          but that those who want to use him to attack and smear the
          Palestinian cause and its allies, including us, have been allowed to
          choose and time their attack when it suits them. We can't stop them
          attacking us, any more than we can stop infiltration of our ranks by
          dodgy characters with hidden agendas and dubious motives, whether
          provocateurs or genuine wackos. But we can sure as hell make their
          activities harder.


          --- In JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com, "Roland Rance" <lists@r...> wrote:
          > The most interesting thing about this report is Lord Ahmed's remark
          that "he
          > had warned Mr Shamir before he spoke not to make wider comments
          about Jews";
          > indicating that he was aware beforehand of the likelihood of such
          comments.
          >
          > It's certainly not Shamir's week -- exposed in the JC and the
          Times, Jeff
          > and others resigning from DYR. Let's hope he has finally been
          rumbled, and
          > leaves Jaffa for good to join his family and fascist friends in
          Sweden
          > (though what the Swedes have done to merit his presence is unclear
          to me).
          >
          > Roland
        • brian663977
          ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Which doesn t quite square with his subsequent quoted comments (if accurate) ... I think he must reply to the Times article, if only to
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 8, 2005
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            --- In JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com, "shlepperbinadam" <muzhik42@a...>
            wrote:
            >
            >
            > I'm told Lord Ahmed distanced himself from Shamir,
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Which doesn't quite square with his subsequent quoted comments (if
            accurate) ... I think he must reply to the Times article, if only to
            clear his name. - BR
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            > Too many people who should have known better have preferred not to
            > rock the boat by denouncing Shamir too publically, or have tried to
            > look the other way, hoping the evil he does will be outweighed by
            the
            > good work and laudable aims professed by DYR and other bodies.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Also, a great many non Jewish people have been impressed by his
            writings (incidentally also several left wing anti-Zionist Jews when
            Shamir first hit the scene, tho they've now dropped him). Several
            Christians I know have simply not been able to see what we're making
            such a fuss about - which probably goes to show the sinister nature of
            his influence. - BR
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Brian
          • brian663977
            The link to Pollard s Times article is: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1072-1557932,00.html ...
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 8, 2005
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              The link to Pollard's Times article is:

              http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1072-1557932,00.html


              --- In JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com, "brian663977" <musicweaver@b...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com, "shlepperbinadam"
              <muzhik42@a...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > I'm told Lord Ahmed distanced himself from Shamir,
              > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            • charlespottins@aol.com
              Two points: - First, I hold no brief for Lord Ahmed either as a member of the House of Lords or a Blairite, and I know next to nothing about his record
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 8, 2005
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                Two points: - First, I hold no brief for Lord Ahmed either as a member of the
                House of Lords or a Blairite, and I know next to nothing about his record
                generally, except by all accounts he is no extremist. But we all know how these
                meetings are usually fixed up in parliament, some MP or peer is persuaded to
                lend their name as "host", and perhaps act as chair, while someone else
                provides the speakers. So who exactly arranged this for Shamir, and why don't they
                come forward instead of leaving Lord Ahmed to carry the can, now it has finally
                made headlines?
                (incidentally, I tried to raise this before, albeit cackhandedly perhaps. The
                meeting took place months ago, but the issue has been left to simmer before
                being served up as "news" just now when, by coincidence we are having a general
                election. Perhaps it was needed because what-Ken-told-the-reporter has
                finally grown stale except for readers in California where it is being served up
                highly seasoned).

                Second point. Brian says that Shamir initially impresed all kinds of people,
                including Jewish left-wing anti-Zionists. Maybe so. He would hardly be much
                use if he turned up dressed in Nazi uniform or a Ku Klux Klan outfit, and
                shouting ignorant slogans. The Jewish writer Meredith Tax has confessed how
                impressed she was with his literary style till she started wondering about some
                things, and asked a Russian friend what sort of magazines Shamir had written for.
                ("disgusting antisemitic rags" was the answer).
                But the real nature of Israel Shamir has been exposed for some time, and not
                by pro-Zionist rightwingers. It was Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish who warned
                four years ago that Shamir was coming out with old-fashioned antisemitism and
                urged supporters of the Palestinian cause to steer clear of him. Sue Blackwell
                at Birmingham University publicised reports by them and others, and described
                how an e-mail from her , containing her work details, which had reached
                Shamir, was passed by him on to fascist Martin Webster. All this was before the
                expose in Searchlight (May 2004). Sue also circulated the original report
                dealing with Shamir-Jermas from the anti-fascist group Monitor in Norway. Yet our
                great champions in the JC and UJS were only interested in trying to close Sue
                Blackwell's website, and only recently have some people discovered the
                "well-known antisemite Shamir-Jermas".
                The point is however, that while some Jewish people did decide to leave Deir
                Yassin Remembered in protest, other people have chosen to ignore what they
                know, and DYR is still pulling in the innocent to support its activities. I
                recently approached various people about this, only to find that some kind soul
                had passed on my comments to Shamir, who e-mailed back making a big joke over
                it. Of course he did not deny anything, directly, but evaded the issue. As for
                Paul Eisen, he still swears by Shamir regardless, and it seems he does not have
                to worry what anyone else thinks, because those who just act as skivvies and
                fundraisers for DYR apparently have no say in it.
                Perfect. At least we know better than to waste time trying to persuade anyone
                to change it.
                I'm glad Jeff Halper's letter has come out now too. It's better to take these
                rows up openly, and clean the decks, rather than waiting till our opponents
                take an interest when it suits them.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • orna neumann
                Charles, Iike you I come across quite a few people that sware by Shamir, and Paul isn t the only one: about a week ago I attended the Brighton and Hove PSC
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 9, 2005
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                  Charles, Iike you I come across quite a few people that sware by Shamir, and Paul isn't the only one: about a week ago I attended the Brighton and Hove PSC annual general meeting and in quite a strong presentation about the occupation, by someone called David Halpin, who has set up a food delivery charity for Gaza (and is thinking of running for parliament) some very admiring remarks were made about Shamir. On top of that he told the audience to ignore the 'campaign that is waged against him (Shamir) by Jewish right wingers'

                  I did not have the emotional stemema to say something (and I did not really know all that I know now...). As I said though, in a previous hastily scribbled email, we should ask the Arab Media Watch and Affif and the PSC to denounce him (If they expect us to denounce ant-Arab feelings they should also be ready to denounce his brand of pathological hatered).

                  Deborah has written to Caabu to ask them to denounce Shamir...and I hope someone is willing to write simulatneously to the above organisations, or simply forward them some of the evidence that was circulated in this list in the last few days.

                  Thanks Orna

                  charlespottins@... wrote:

                  Two points: - First, I hold no brief for Lord Ahmed either as a member of the
                  House of Lords or a Blairite, and I know next to nothing about his record
                  generally, except by all accounts he is no extremist. But we all know how these
                  meetings are usually fixed up in parliament, some MP or peer is persuaded to
                  lend their name as "host", and perhaps act as chair, while someone else
                  provides the speakers. So who exactly arranged this for Shamir, and why don't they
                  come forward instead of leaving Lord Ahmed to carry the can, now it has finally
                  made headlines?
                  (incidentally, I tried to raise this before, albeit cackhandedly perhaps. The
                  meeting took place months ago, but the issue has been left to simmer before
                  being served up as "news" just now when, by coincidence we are having a general
                  election. Perhaps it was needed because what-Ken-told-the-reporter has
                  finally grown stale except for readers in California where it is being served up
                  highly seasoned).

                  Second point. Brian says that Shamir initially impresed all kinds of people,
                  including Jewish left-wing anti-Zionists. Maybe so. He would hardly be much
                  use if he turned up dressed in Nazi uniform or a Ku Klux Klan outfit, and
                  shouting ignorant slogans. The Jewish writer Meredith Tax has confessed how
                  impressed she was with his literary style till she started wondering about some
                  things, and asked a Russian friend what sort of magazines Shamir had written for.
                  ("disgusting antisemitic rags" was the answer).
                  But the real nature of Israel Shamir has been exposed for some time, and not
                  by pro-Zionist rightwingers. It was Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish who warned
                  four years ago that Shamir was coming out with old-fashioned antisemitism and
                  urged supporters of the Palestinian cause to steer clear of him. Sue Blackwell
                  at Birmingham University publicised reports by them and others, and described
                  how an e-mail from her , containing her work details, which had reached
                  Shamir, was passed by him on to fascist Martin Webster. All this was before the
                  expose in Searchlight (May 2004). Sue also circulated the original report
                  dealing with Shamir-Jermas from the anti-fascist group Monitor in Norway. Yet our
                  great champions in the JC and UJS were only interested in trying to close Sue
                  Blackwell's website, and only recently have some people discovered the
                  "well-known antisemite Shamir-Jermas".
                  The point is however, that while some Jewish people did decide to leave Deir
                  Yassin Remembered in protest, other people have chosen to ignore what they
                  know, and DYR is still pulling in the innocent to support its activities. I
                  recently approached various people about this, only to find that some kind soul
                  had passed on my comments to Shamir, who e-mailed back making a big joke over
                  it. Of course he did not deny anything, directly, but evaded the issue. As for
                  Paul Eisen, he still swears by Shamir regardless, and it seems he does not have
                  to worry what anyone else thinks, because those who just act as skivvies and
                  fundraisers for DYR apparently have no say in it.
                  Perfect. At least we know better than to waste time trying to persuade anyone
                  to change it.
                  I'm glad Jeff Halper's letter has come out now too. It's better to take these
                  rows up openly, and clean the decks, rather than waiting till our opponents
                  take an interest when it suits them.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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                • Roland Rance
                  The point about Shamir is not only that he is anti-Jewish (which he is); but that he is positively harmful to the Palestinian sttruggle, and to any aspiration
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 9, 2005
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                    The point about Shamir is not only that he is anti-Jewish (which he is); but
                    that he is positively harmful to the Palestinian sttruggle, and to any
                    aspiration for coexistence in the Middle East. His "solution" appears to be
                    an alliance between Palestinians and fascism, to bring about a conversion of
                    the Israeli Jews to Christianity. And no, I'm not making this up or
                    exaggerating; it's there explicitly in his writings.

                    So we should not ask people like Afif and PSC to denounce Shamir because of
                    his anti-Jewish rantings; we should insist that they join us in rejecting
                    his whole approach as an obstacle to any progressive political strategy.

                    Roland
                  • orna neumann
                    Roland I see no difference between progressive political objective and denunciation of hatered campaigns of any kind. I think the more important thing is to
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 9, 2005
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                      Roland I see no difference between progressive political objective and denunciation of hatered campaigns of any kind.

                      I think the more important thing is to find someone, who is willing to write to Affif, to the Arab Media Watch and to the PSC. Would you like to do that? or else as usual it will fall on Deborah?!

                      Or may Richard would be willing to write on behalf of JFJP?
                      Thanks Orna
                      Roland Rance <lists@...> wrote:

                      The point about Shamir is not only that he is anti-Jewish (which he is); but
                      that he is positively harmful to the Palestinian sttruggle, and to any
                      aspiration for coexistence in the Middle East. His "solution" appears to be
                      an alliance between Palestinians and fascism, to bring about a conversion of
                      the Israeli Jews to Christianity. And no, I'm not making this up or
                      exaggerating; it's there explicitly in his writings.

                      So we should not ask people like Afif and PSC to denounce Shamir because of
                      his anti-Jewish rantings; we should insist that they join us in rejecting
                      his whole approach as an obstacle to any progressive political strategy.

                      Roland




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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Stephen Marks
                      I think the approach should come from a broad range of people, so Shamir cannot muddy the waters by claiming it is the jews who are after him. The fact is
                      Message 10 of 11 , Apr 10, 2005
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                        I think the approach should come from a broad range of people, so Shamir
                        cannot muddy the waters by claiming it is 'the jews' who are after him. The
                        fact is that the zionists have been 'crying wolf' over antisemitism for so
                        long that some people who have not read his material will be vulnerable to
                        the argument that attacks on him are simply a reprise of the old zionist
                        chorus.

                        stephen marks


                        > From: orna neumann <ornaneumann@...>
                        > Reply-To: JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 07:37:04 +0100 (BST)
                        > To: JustPeaceUK@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: RE: [JustPeaceUK] Re: JC: Labour peer hosts anti-Jewish speaker at
                        > the House of Lords
                        >
                        >
                        > Roland I see no difference between progressive political objective and
                        > denunciation of hatered campaigns of any kind.
                        >
                        > I think the more important thing is to find someone, who is willing to write
                        > to Affif, to the Arab Media Watch and to the PSC. Would you like to do that?
                        > or else as usual it will fall on Deborah?!
                        >
                        > Or may Richard would be willing to write on behalf of JFJP?
                        > Thanks Orna
                        > Roland Rance <lists@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > The point about Shamir is not only that he is anti-Jewish (which he is); but
                        > that he is positively harmful to the Palestinian sttruggle, and to any
                        > aspiration for coexistence in the Middle East. His "solution" appears to be
                        > an alliance between Palestinians and fascism, to bring about a conversion of
                        > the Israeli Jews to Christianity. And no, I'm not making this up or
                        > exaggerating; it's there explicitly in his writings.
                        >
                        > So we should not ask people like Afif and PSC to denounce Shamir because of
                        > his anti-Jewish rantings; we should insist that they join us in rejecting
                        > his whole approach as an obstacle to any progressive political strategy.
                        >
                        > Roland
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > If you wish to join the group that plan and design our events/activites you
                        > are more than welcome to join Just Peace active (a sub-group for those who
                        > carry out the actual work). To do so please apply initially to
                        > justpeaceuk@....
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Send instant messages to your online friends http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > If you wish to join the group that plan and design our events/activites you
                        > are more than welcome to join Just Peace active (a sub-group for those who
                        > carry out the actual work). To do so please apply initially to
                        > justpeaceuk@....
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Roland Rance
                        I think that, given Shamir s attack on me as a foremost agent of Judaic influence , I might not be thre best person to send such a letter; it would sound too
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 10, 2005
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                          I think that, given Shamir's attack on me as "a foremost agent of Judaic
                          influence", I might not be thre best person to send such a letter; it would
                          sound too much like a personal grievance. I will, of course, be happy to
                          endorse and sign a collective statement.

                          Roland
                          >
                          > Roland I see no difference between progressive political
                          > objective and denunciation of hatered campaigns of any kind.
                          >
                          > I think the more important thing is to find someone, who is
                          > willing to write to Affif, to the Arab Media Watch and to the
                          > PSC. Would you like to do that? or else as usual it will fall
                          > on Deborah?!
                          >
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