General Antisemitism

A fighter for Jewish freedom: In praise of Ronnie Fraser


I first met Ronnie Fraser, director of Academic Friends of Israel, in 2011 at the Big Tent for Israel conference in Manchester.  He attended a panel session I participated in on Israel Advocacy and asked a very pointed question about the limits of engaging with anti-Zionists, which elicited a broader discussion regarding whether it is worth civilly debating with those who would deny Jews the right to statehood.

Fraser’s decision to take on the British academic establishment suggested that he, for one, clearly knew the answer to this question.  

In 2011 Fraser took legal action against the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK  in the face of what he argued was institutional antisemitism, which included the union’s decision to reject the EU Working Definition of Antisemitism on the grounds that it had the effect of ‘silencing debate on Israel’. 

Here are the relevant Israel related passages from the EU working definition of Antisemitism, much of which the UCU evidently objected to:

  • denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor
  • applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis
  • drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

As David Hirsh argued on the UCU decision to reject the EU working definition: 

“…the disavowal of the EUMC definition allows the union to carry on treating ‘Zionists’ as disloyal, singling out Israel and only Israel for boycott, holding Israeli universities and scholars responsible for their government, and allowing ‘Zionist’ union members to be denounced as Nazis or supporters of apartheid.

Israel murders children? Israel controls US foreign policy? Star of David = Swastika stuck on your office door? Jews invent antisemitism to delegitimise criticism of Israel? Host a man found guilty of hate speech by the South African Human Rights commission? Exclude nobody but Israelis from the global academic community? All of these are considered, implicitly by UCU motions, and clearly by UCU norms, to constitute ‘criticism of Israel’ and so are defined, in practice, as not being antisemitic.”

Fraser, a Jewish UCU member, initiated legal action arguing that the atmosphere of antisemitism created an ‘intimidating’, ‘hostile’, ‘humiliating’, ‘offensive’ work environment’ for him.

A few days ago, the Employment Tribunal dismissed his claim:

Ronnie Fraser’s personal statement on the tribunal’s dismissal of his claim against the UCU reads as follows:

I am naturally disappointed by the decision of the Employment Tribunal to dismiss my claim of harassment against the University and College Union (UCU).  I am however very grateful that the hearing provided us with the opportunity to raise and discuss in great detail the issues of discrimination and antisemitism which are so important to Anglo Jewry.

I believe that the many witnesses we called were able to provide evidence to the tribunal of an intolerable atmosphere over a number of years and that the UCU did nothing to stop these institutionally anti-Semitic acts taking place.

Having read the judgment there are two points which greatly concern me. The first is “a belief in the Zionist project or an attachment to Israel cannot amount to a protected  characteristic. It is not intrinsically a part of Jewishness…” (para 150). For the court to say that as Jews we do not have an attachment to Israel is disappointing considering we have been yearning for Israel for 2000 years and it has been in our prayers all that time. The second point highlighted the need for Anglo-Jewry to urgently adopt and publicise its own definition of antisemitism. 

As a member of the Board of Deputies I intend to campaign for us as a community to accept a definition of Jewishness which includes a connection with Israel and the adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism.

I would like to thank my wife, my family, my witnesses, and all those who supported my action both from within the Jewish community and elsewhere for their incredible support and understanding over the last two years.

I would also like to thank my solicitor Anthony Julius and all the staff of Mishcon De Reya for all their magnificent work and support.

Ronnie Fraser may have lost one legal battle but, in boldly challenging those intoxicated by hatred towards the only Jewish homeland that ever was and ever will be, he hopefully will inspire others to continue the broader fight. 

The economic, social, academic and political exclusion of millions of Jews from the international community, in the form of boycotts or other such codified restrictions, has a dark and dangerous history, and is anathema to progressivism and equality even broadly understood.  

Further, questioning the Jewish state’s right to live, whether such a rejection of Jewish self-determination is couched as a “one-state solution” or by other such euphemisms, represents an assault on Jews’ political rights, an ominous threat to their physical safety, and should be seen by genuine anti-racists as morally beyond the pale.

Jews in the UK and elsewhere need to see in Fraser’s refusal to bow down, in the face of a reactionary assault by the British elite against fundamental Jewish rights, the broader truth that equality for Jewish minorities which is contingent upon passing a political litmus test – implicitly requiring that they morally distance themselves from fellow Jews in the only state with a Jewish majority – is not ‘equality’ at all.

Those “who wish to ensure that the Jewish liberation movement is more than a passing phenomenon”, Hadar Sela has forcefully argued, “must take responsibility for it and ownership of it”, and “stop being nice, polite and passive” in the face of such determined malevolence. 

It is a fool’s errand to civilly debate with those who advocate for the erosion of Jews’ inalienable right to equality.  So, let Ronnie Fraser remind Jews around the world that they must reject the political urge to “get along to go along”, that they will never truly be free until all Jews are truly free, and, most urgently, on the necessity of understanding the historical and moral imperative that there are some things in life worth fighting for.   

136 replies »

  1. I have the greatest admiration for my friend Ronnie Fraser and his courageous stand against antisemitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. In the light of this ruling, I wonder if the way forward might be for us as Jews to unilaterally take ownership of the word ‘antisemitism’ and use it freely to describe those who say Israel should not exist as a state with a fundamentally Jewish national character? It is people of colour who define racism: why should we not take a leaf out of their book?

    • Whereas I think we should retire the word forever.

      It was coined and popularized by the self-proclaimed “anti-semites” and is now the target of the pathetic whine “but Arabs are Semites too!”

      I suggest we reclaim an English version of Judenhass, which is what Antisemitismus was coined to replace. “Jew-hatred” (literal translation) or “anti-Jewish bigotry” (milder, but more bulky) might work.

      It’ll take a while for the Jew-haters to find a way to say “but Palestinians are Jews too!” (although I wouldn’t put it past them).

  2. I agree with cba – antisemitism is a dead term as a consequence of this decision. I think this decision has more repercussions than people think. It means that the EU definition of anti-antisemitism is no longer applicable. The decision de-link the Jewish identity and the state of Israel and legitimizes the critique of Israel as aracist endeavour. We can no longer shout anti-Semite or racist at anyone who criticizes Israel. This decision means BDS will grow and restrict our ability to combat it even further.

    • Paul, “antisemitism” as a term may not be taken as seriously as it should be, but I believe that Ronnie Fraser wants a better definition of it than the EUMC one.

      We need to work hard against anti-Israel discrimination – the depth and intensity of which I am convinced is because Israel is a Jewish state – whenever Israel is held to different standards than her neighbours or any other country

    • Paul, the fact that Jews can no longer shout anti-Semite at those who criticise Israel is in my view, a blessing in disguise. The anti-Israel bloc have never accepted that we ourselves criticise Israel when we perceive her actions are wrong – they have this view of every single Jew as an apologist for Israel, right or wrong. I know many non-Jews who criticise Israel and are in no way anti-Semitic – and I know many Jews who think it’s fine to call them anti-Semites for that criticism. What does that say to decent non-Jews who have always admired the Jewish community

      • “Jews can no longer shout anti-Semite at those who criticise Israel”
        As usual, the Israel haters have to lie to make their point. There are countless, innumerable instances in which people have criticized Israel and not been labeled antisemites. But when people make Nazi comparisons, or accuse Israel of genocide, or equate Israel and South Africa, or deny the right of Israel to exist– these libelous and dehumanizing lies come from antisemitism.
        The idea that every criticism of Israel is met with cries of antisemitism is, in itself, an anti-Israel and antisemitic lie.

    • “antisemitism is a dead term as a consequence of this decision.”

      No. It just stinks to high heaven, as do you.

  3. We can no longer shout anti-Semite or racist at anyone who criticizes Israel.

    We can no longer shout anti-Semite or racist at anyone who considers Israel to be uniquely evil, who repeats lies about Israel that echo medieval Jew-hating tropes, who ignores Palestinian deaths that can’t be blamed on Israel (such as the 1,000+ killed recently in Syria), etc. etc. etc.

    There, Paul, I fixed it for ya.

  4. http://www.thejc.com/blogs/jonathan-hoffman/yet-again-british-justice-fails-british-jews

    The most obvious flaw in a Judgment full of flaws concerns ‘protected characteristics’ under the 2010 Equalities Act. ‘Belief’ is a Protected Characteristic under the 2010 Equalities Act.

    So belief in the right of Jews to have a Jewish state should be a Protected Characteristic.

    The Tribunal demonstrably did not ‘get’ this

    Surely this alone – quite apart from all the other flaws in the judgement – is enough to justify an Appeal.

    See also here:

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-triumph-of-antisemitism-in-court-tells-of-something-rotten-in-britain/

      • I am inclined to agree, although I wonder whether they actually realised that they WERE bigoted? That gives me the heebie jeebies.

        Antisemitic discourse is so commonplace now and, thanks to the Islamist influence, interlinked with criticism of Israel’s behaviour. Israel’s neighbours don’t care to distinguish between “Israel”/”Zionist” or “Jew” so their sheeple supporters are excused from doing so either.

        Lord Ahmed seems not to know the difference either, and said he referred to a Jewish conspiracy because there was no word in Urdu for Zionist…..

        • “I am inclined to agree, although I wonder whether they actually realised that they WERE bigoted?”
          Bigots are often in denial of their bigotry. There was a time well within my living memory when certain white people said all sorts of things about black people that are completely unacceptable today, and yet at that time they, and others, thought they were being quite reasonable and fair. They really believed they weren’t racist.

  5. The ruling gives a green light to even greater heights of intimidation , verbal abuse and a closing down of pro Israel activism . Students will continue to have their faces chewed off by rabid Arab lecturers who cite self defence and get away with it .
    Israel flags will be hauled down and Israeli speakers and academics prevented from speaking and hounded out by the vicious little thugs comprising the radical left and FOSIS . All with the active compliance and turning of a blind eye of a sympathetic UCU . Only now such craven acts of borderline criminality will be enjoined with a redoubling of visceral mindless hatred and physical intimidation .
    I’m not in the least surprised by the verdict . It negates so many aspects of Ronnie Frasers genuine claims and concerns , its difficult to know where to begin . From the open invitation to an acknowledged antisemite from South Africa to failing to understand the strong bond between Judaism and Eretz Israel to being judge and jury of the standard European definition of antisemitism .
    Many of us have been witness and subjected to this prevailing climate of fear, intimidation and bully boy tactics which take place on a regular basis particularly on London uni campuses , Soas , Kings LSE . Ronnie Frasers case was not about BDS , antizionism , etc . All are perfectly permissible in the context of free speech . But this is not about robust free speech . This is about the closing down of one sides right to that free speech and the fact that UCU has disregarded the concerns of one of its members .
    From a personal point of view , I don’t believe it’s worth fighting political causes through the courts . Better to adopt the same tactics as our enemies and shut down their guest speakers in particular their Palestinian speakers all of whom have been aware and perhaps supportive of terrorist acts committed by their fellow countrymen .
    As the battle cry for the enemy is ‘so called Apartheid ‘ so should it be that we should never cease to remind them of the blood they have on their hands through terrorism and their racist agenda – here and in the West Bank and Gaza .
    Unfortunately our students lack numbers and the intensity of visceral hatred demonstrated our enemies to combat this scourge . Of course if they did their rights would be backed to the hilt by the UCU . Or would they ?

    • I remember saying some time ago (at a dinner party no less!) that the answer to Jew/Israel hatred on UK campuses most likely lay in hardening ourselves and giving back as good as we got. The reactions were very interesting indeed, and among them was that “We, as Jews, should be above all that.”

      I countered by quoting Golda Meir, “We refuse to die so that people will think well of us.”

      For the record, I believe that I am “above all that” but needs must, if necessary

  6. cba – may be I misunderstood the decision says that the criticism of Israel is not the same as anti-jewish racism and Jewishness and Israel are not linked. One can be critical of Israel without being racist. The only way to fix it, if at all through an appeal or a change in law that specifically says abuse of Israel is racist. cba – Much as I would like to believe you have fixed it I think it is not within the scope of your competence to fix this. It is Judicial and a legal matter and requires judicial or legal fix. Sorry to be so negative.

    • “One can be critical of Israel without being racist. ”

      Sure, but that’s not your case.

      “It is Judicial and a legal matter and requires judicial or legal fix.”

      So, if a judicial decision states that the earth is flat, you´d accept it? If a judicial decision mandated that you eat shit, you’d comply? Tells a lot about you.

      ” Sorry to be so negative.”

      You should be sorry for being so stupid.

  7. I sincerely hope this unacceptable ruling by the Tribunal does not give the green light for haters to step up their racist action. From the tone of Ronnie’s statement, it doesn’t look like he will appeal, which is a shame.

    Although I kind of agree with Hadar and Harvey’s opinions that, if the ‘Jewish liberation movement is to succeed, we must take responsibility and ownership of it and stop being so nice, polite and passive’, I must remind them that the number of Jews turning up at demos in the UK, is always dwarfed by Christian supporters of Israel.

    There are hardly any demonstrators under 30 (or even 50) in our ranks, while the enemy marshall many more, many of whom are young enthusiasts.

    The Jewish community in the UK has become complacent, self interested and unable to properly acknowledge the growing danger around them. We are too comfortable, too middle class, too bourgeois even.

    As always, it will take a tragedy before people wake up – I hope it won’t be too late.

    • “There are hardly any demonstrators under 30 (or even 50) in our ranks, while the enemy marshall many more, many of whom are young enthusiasts.”

      Well, why is that? Young people think that being racist isn’t cool (it isn’t), that being anti-Israel is “cool” because Israel is tarred with the racist label. But Israel isn’t racist. The Palestinian cause, as it has stood for many decades, is. There were good reasons for the League of Nations Mandate and the UN partition plan, and it wasn’t that Imperialist, Colonialist powers love Jews and hates Arabs. No young Jew should be allowed to think that being “pro-Palestinian” is cool, in fact, no young person of any persuasion should be allowed to get away with this intellectual and moral laziness. This means playing offense, not defense. The “Arab cause” has quite a lot to answer for.

    • cityca, re demonstrators – for myself I’d be there like a shot if I could get transport (I don’t drive and I don’t live in London, where most of the demonstrations take place). My answer is to pour out my protest in print.

      As for the complacency of the UK Jewish community and its apparent inability to recognise the dangers around it I have to confess that I am with you there, to the extent that I was actually surprised that the CST didn’t accept the risible and insulting “apology” from the (ig)noble Lord Ahmed.

    • CityCa the case was heard at an industrial tribunal, where the right to appeal is only used in very rare cases. In hindsight, it was the wrong forum to bring what Ronnie had to say to the public domain. An industrial tribunal has no real “teeth” in law. It can order damages to be paid, or for an individual to be reinstated to his job, but there are no ways of enforcing its ruling. It seems to me that Ronnie’s case, if he had won, would have shown how the UCU is unashamedly discriminatory, and it would have been shown to be indicative as regards many other TUs.

      As I said below, I believe Ronnie should have brought his case because of discrimination, not anti-Semitism. This would have wrong-footed the UCU because they are well known for harassing their members who do not toe the line, though to the best of my knowledge nobody from the UCU has had the courage to do what Ronnie has done. If using this argument Ronnie would have won – the consequences would have been far reaching in clipping the wings of the SWP and other pernicious groups who have been allowed to infiltrate union committees because of the apathy of the unions’ general membership.

  8. Serjew – if the court decides the world is flat than unless you can convince the court that it is not the decision will remain irrespective of any merits.

    • This shows that you are insane and/or a slave. In the recent past, “courts” decided that Jews were inferiors, that some peasants were “bourgeois” saboteurs, that independent thinkers were “enemies of the state” and dissenters were “reactionaries”. Those decisions led to the death of millions and untold suffering. The indifference and or slavish acceptance of such immoral, indecent and insane “court decisions” is what enable and sustain totalitarian regimes.

  9. SerJew you are confused. Law does not have to be moral or just. In fact it could be very immoral and unjust and people will stand up to those laws. But that is the law. Galelio had to endure the indignity of having to admit what he knew was wrong. That was the law as ordained by the Church. Same applies to any law unless you can convince the courts the law is a law despite being an ass. Just like you.

    • Sorry, dude, but “court decisions” don’t magically change facts. Only mental slaves like yourself believe in that (when convienient, of course). So, you are the confused one, but most probably you are just being mendacious.

    • “Law does not have to be moral or just.”
      But the point is that the law should be moral and just (too jewish?), otherwise why have law at all? SerJew has given you examples of what happens when the law is applied immorally and unjustly. And Galileo endured more than just indignity. And I must ask you, why you are so prostrate before bigots?

  10. May be I am confused so was Galelio – now you try and go against the law and prove us both wrong – facts and laws are two different things – and justice and law are two different things – so when the law banned the black person from sitting in a white area in a Bus in the US was a law however unjust – Blacks had to endure the law until they changed it through civil disobedience and the Civil Rights movement. In South Africa the Blacks had to endure the Apartheid laws for decades until they could change it through Boycotts etc

    • Sure, but Jews don’t need to endure idiotic court decisions that aim at appeasing muslims and pseudo-progressive morons.

      Also, it’s GALILEO not “Galelio” and the Inquisition decision didn’t change the FACTS that he had discovered about the Universe. But your type of mental slave would rather enjoy the return of the Inquisition. Yes, you are not confuse, you are just mendacious.

  11. We seem to forget that not all Jews are Zionists (and I do not mean they are anti-Zionists). There are quite a few Jews who have no connection with Israel, emotionally or otherwise – to these Jews Israel is just another country. Because of the conflation of ALL Jews with Israel and its aspirations, however, by the Zionist organisations and the left itself, these Jews are included in the Jew-hatred hiding under the cloak of anti-Zionism.

    Those Jews who do not live in Israel, nor do they want to, have an equal right to be protected against the Jew hatred exhibited by the brainwashed left.

    That is why I believe Ronnie Fraser miscalculated when the chose to fight the case on the basis of the anti-Semitism exhibited by UCU – by doing so he placed the onus on himself and his legal team to prove it – and as we all saw it was extremely difficult. We all know what anti-Zionism hides in many cases, and I feel Ronnie could have got a positive result by taking the UCU on for their general harassment of supporters of Israel, who can be Jewish and non-Jewish. Then the UCU would have been put on the back foot to prove otherwise.

    It would also have been a victory for the wider union membership who are harassed generally if their views do not chime with the Union’s on other matters.

  12. “In 2011 Fraser took legal action against the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK in the face of what he argued was institutional antisemitism, which included the union’s decision to reject the EU Working Definition of Antisemitism on the grounds that it had the effect of ‘silencing debate on Israel’. ”

    The Judge actually took no view on the EU Working Definition. He simply acknowledged that the UCU decided to reject it following a properly conducted debate and vote. He noted that “the Claimant fails to make out any arguable complaint…”.

    There were nine other complaints. All were dismissed in the most scathing terms:
    “Complaint (1) is without substance… Complaint (2) is also devoid of any merit….There is nothing in Complaint (3) …”, etc, etc.

    The Judge was critical of many of the Claimant’s witnesses, including the two MPs, and of Anthony Julius, whilst accepting that “The Claimant impressed us as a sincere witness”. He spoke of the Respondents’ witnesses as “telling the….facts rather than ventilating their opinions”.

    Of the case as a whole the Judge commented that “We greatly regret that the case was ever brought”, that “Underlying it we sense a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression” and that “it represents an impermissable attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means”.

    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/eemployment-trib-fraser-v-uni-college-union-judgment.pdf

      • Errm, what relevance is this to my post, Fritz? It was written before the Judge’s finding and aoesn’t address any of the points I make.

        • You don`t like the contextualizing of your posts, the needed background Information?

          • Fritz, unlike anyone else here, it seems, I’ve read the Tribunal Report. It provides all the contextualizing background you’ll ever need.

              • Thanks – I’ve just seen it.

                ” It resulted in a spotlight being shone on the UCU which has little hesitation in supporting the Palestinian cause”
                As the judgement made clear, UCU just holds debates and takes votes before deciding policy. That’s called democracy. Fraser wasn’t criticised for being political (he clearly regularly takes part in UCU debates) but for trying to get a political judgement out of a legal process.

                “the wording of the judgment was disgraceful”
                Would you care to quote some of the disgraceful wording? It seemed to me that the phrases used were just those judges often use to comment on wholly unmerited and inappropriate cases brought at considerable expense to the tax-payer which occupy large amounts of limited Court/Tribunal time.

                • “Just holds debates…”
                  That isn’t even an attempt at a good excuse sencar and you know it.

                  I give you evidence that the UCU has lost contact with the political issues that most of its members want it to focus on, ie those pertinent to them (but most of them can’t be bothered to kick up a fuss about this rubbish:

                  http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6062
                  and there are others. Google them yourself.

                  What have they to do with the protection of the employment rights of members of the UCU?

                  I found the reference to “the Zionist project” – so redolent of SWP, ISM, and PSC sort of nastiness – grossly offensive.

                  And it’s absolutely clear how the judgement would seem to you. You haven’t surprised me in the least.

                • Reply to Serendipity:
                  “I give you evidence that the UCU has lost contact with the political issues that most of its members want it to focus on”

                  You give me evidence of UCU intervening in an attempt to protect one of its members detained by the Israeli authorities – entirely appropriate behaviour for a union in my opinion. Where is your evidence that members would want UCU to focus on other matters, or indeed that it doesn’t?

                  The Tribunal Judge found that UCU conducted its debates properly, from the selection of motions to the taking of votes and implementing of resolutions. What’s to complain of? Nothing – as the judgement makes clear.

    • Indeed he was critical, sencar and the wording of the judgment was disgraceful and unprofessional. Wonder whether he was a pal of Bathurst Norman???

      Of course they regret that those uppity Jews ever brought the case. It resulted in a spotlight being shone on the UCU which has little hesitation in supporting the Palestinian cause and yet had the nerve to accuse Ronnie Fraser of being “political”!

  13. sencar, this is why an industrial tribunal was the wrong forum. The Chair is not obliged to behave in the same way as a magistrate or a judge.

    The EUMC definition of anti-Semitism is not law, and as we know the common reasoning in cases like this is “If the law of the land doesn’t say we can’t do it – then we can do it.”

    I totally agree with Ronnie’s right to fight his corner in whatever way he chooses, but
    total pragmatism is needed here.

    • You are, of course, right, Adina, but the Chair should at least refrain from insulting people should s/he not?

  14. Serjew you are obviously not a lawyer. Thanks for correcting my spellings. You must be teaching English. Of course legal judicial decision do not change facts. But judicial decisions decide what are facts. Judicial decisions could be wrong. That is why sometimes the innocent go to prison or the guilty go unpunished. I can give you many examples. The innocent do not get released until the judicial system re-evaluate and change the decision through the appeals courts. Has it sunk it now. It is my last attempt.

    • Oh, thanks for your lawyerist lecture. Point is that judicial decisions frequently err in deciding on facts. It can be influence by an ideological zeal, for instance. That’s what happened during Inquisition, Nazi Germany, the USSR and is current in Islamic countries. It can also happen in democracies, as during the maccarthyst hysteria in the US and the ongoing activist quangos and so-called international courts. Unjust and misleading court decisions sometimes need to be challenged and need constant vigilance against ideological influences. If you don´t get that, it´s because you are stupid or mendacious. In any case, no one cares about your BS.

  15. I feel we are getting somewhere. Laws can be ideologically driven or even racially or ethnically motivated. Prime examples are Apartheid South Africa, the Third Reich Race Laws and than land laws and enforced ethnic cleansing in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem. All unjust laws but all enforced by Judiciary. All opposed by right minded people and most done away with.

    • You are going nowhere. There’s absolutely NO comparison of Apartheid Africa, the Third Reich, the communist dictatorships and the islamofascist theocracies with democratic Israel.

      In sum, all your babblings aimed at smearing Israel, i.e., Jews. That’s what you’re about, “nat”.

    • “Laws can be ideologically driven or even racially or ethnically motivated. Prime examples are Apartheid South Africa, the Third Reich Race Laws and than [sic] land laws and enforced ethnic cleansing in Israel”
      O.K. That’s enough. You’ve revealed yourself. We knew you would. Learn to spell, and goodbye.

      • Thank you, Jeff, just what I was going to post.

        I did for a while wonder if I’d misunderstood his intent with his first comment (and my reply), so I thought I’d wait and see, knowing eventually he’d reveal himself one way or the other.

        • ” knowing eventually he’d reveal himself one way or the other.”

          They always do, don’t they. It’s hilarious. These clowns have a real addiction. They try to hold back, hold back, until they can’t stop the flood gates of their longing to tell the world of their hate obsession. This is why I say there’s a really deeply sexual dimension to anti-Semitism.

    • A typical post of a Nazi who tries to minimize the unique horror of the Holocaust and to equate the Nazis with Jews.

    • Hyman

      Here we go, I knew the cloak of ‘reasoned’ argument would reach its inevitable conclusion, and your visceral hatred of Israel would shine through. You are both deluded and self-righteous to think that you are on the side of truth and justice when you make comparisons of Israel with Apartheid SA and Nazi Germany.

      I know you are both too dogmatic and arrogant to ever rectify your staggering ignorance, but Israel has a both a judicial system based on the separation of powers, and a supreme court that acts within a democratic framework based on the rule of law, something that does not exist in any of the fascist entities that surround Israel and which you regard as paragons of ‘progressive’ living, as long as, of course, you don’t have to live there yourself.

      But thanks for making a valid point to this debate; namely that you personify the type of fashionable, hypocritical and cowardly Israel hater that indefatigable fighters like Ronnie Fraser hold in complete contempt.

  16. I am glad we have resolved the legal issues. You can make your own mind whether Israel is Jewish or Democratic. It can obviously not be both. People in the region will decide that. It is a debate for someone else not you or me.

    • “We” have resolved no “legal issues”. I´m not your friend, buddy or colleague. You are a coward Jew-hater and a mendacious prick, just like “nat”.

      And, yes, Israel is Jewish and democratic. Just as in Greece and Finland and Germany and Hungary. Mull over it, get hysterical or whatever. It’s just how reality goes.

    • whether Israel is Jewish or Democratic. It can obviously not be both.
      England must decide whether it’s going to be Christian (with the Head of State being also the Head of the Church) or democratic. It can obviously not be both.

      Britain must change its flag, which consists of three superimposed crosses (those of St. George, St. Patrick, and St. Andrew–the Patron Saints of England, Ireland, and Scotland respectively). And, of course, it’s clear discrimination against non-Christians that there are any Patron Saints at all, so they (and St. David) have to go otherwise Britain can’t possibly be democratic.

      And Britain must stop the discriminatory practice of granting citizenship to children born abroad to a British parent. That’s obviously apartheid that discriminates against someone who isn’t a British citizen.

    • “It can obviously not be both.”
      It’s both. They’re not mutually exclusive.
      You can make up your own mind whether England is English or Democratic. It can obviously not be both.

    • You can make your own mind whether Israel is Jewish or Democratic. It can obviously not be both.

      But Israel IS Jewish, and also democratic. What planet are you living on?

    • They are right. You are an idiot.

      Tell me, is Saudi Muslim and democratic? We know full well that the Palestinian authority is not, and Hamas tortures or kills anyone who dares to disagree with its corruption.

      Do tell.

  17. Ok may be it is a Apartheid Jewish Democratic – Makes perfect sense – it is both Democratic and un-Democratic – Democratic for the Jews and Apartheid for the Palestinian – Just like South Africa – Again, we have come with a formula that works in all cases –

    • No, prick. For your chagrin, it’s Jewish AND democratic. As I told you: you can cry, whine and shout, but it won’t change reality. Meanwhile, you seem oblivious to the *real* apartheid in Judenrein islamic paradises (not to mention gender apartheid).

      Again, nat, you are a total loser.

    • “Ok may be [sic] it is a Apartheid Jewish Democratic – Makes perfect sense – it is both Democratic and un-Democratic ”
      O.K. Maybe you are you are an anti-racist and a racist – makes perfect sense – an anti-Jewish bigot, but perfectly accepting of everyone else’s rights. An apartheid mind – one standard for the Jews and Israel, another for Palestinians and others – just like South Africa, but in your head. Again, we have come with a formula that works in nut cases –

    • Paul isn’t about to let facts get in the way (as he pretty much stated explicitly above).

      Non-Jewish citizens of Israel having full civil rights is irrelevant. If Paul declares it to be an apartheid state, then that’s what it is.

      • cba,
        Well, maybe if he were Paul McCartney I’d give two seconds of my time, but he’s Paul nobody.

        • he’s Paul nobody
          I don’t think he’s nat, the style’s different. But he sure ain’t “Paul Hyman” either 🙂

  18. SerJew you think some Arab countries are free of women – you are dumber than I initially thought. No the earth cannot be both round and flat – or can it?

    Remember your warrior lost this legal battle in the courts. You will also lose the Democratic and Jewish debate as well. it is more or less lost in the Public court. This victory will soon be transmitted to the corridors of power and rest will be history. After US and South Africa became genuine democracies in the end same will happen in Palestine

    • Listen, moron, are you that stupid? You know very well what gender-apartheid means; and this is established tradition in islamic societies.

      As for “public courts”, this is just your wishful thinking fantasy. There´s no such thing. That’s your pathetic surrogate little drama that you and your leftist retards need after the collapse of the USSR. Democracy is already a reality in Palestine: that’s call ISRAEL. Deal with it, dude. Or sulk in your sewer. Meanwhile, you can go to Gaza and talk about laws and courts to Hamasnik gangsters,

    • Of course Arab/Muslim countries are not free of women (typo there on your part I think) – they need women like they need pots and pans and furniture and to breed from.

      You are the dumb one who has rapidly lost the plot here.

      What’s this obsession with democratic and Jewish? Israel has proven that it is possible to be both. Not so any of her Muslim neighbours, or indeed any Muslim country in the world.

      As I said above, you’re an idiot.

    • I suppose you’re one of the useful idiots who welcomed the “democratic” Arab spring? Palestine will never ever be democratic, with or without Israel.

      By all means let’s all cheer for Palestinian self-determination, an ideal to aspire to. The Gazans had a taste of it, when they had their democratic election, but what did they do? They elected Hamas, and I don’t give a damn what you support, Hyman, you could never convince anybody that Hamas cares a jot about democracy. You’re obviously one of those useful idiots who believes that Hamas will suddenly turn democratic and care about its own people more than it cares about murdering Jews.
      That’s fine, but you have no right whatsoever to lecture us about Palestinian rights to anything until they stop trying to destroy their neighbour.

  19. Of course the tribunal decision is another of those creation of my imaginative mind – never mind – life is tough

    • Life is tough indeed, for you and your orphans of the Berlin Wall. You need an enemy, don’t you? And you miss the kangaroo “public courts” of the old communist dictatorships. Too bad, dude. That’s over.

  20. Adam best is to simply block the trolls from commenting here . Don’t give them the opportunity to air their malign views and thus derail the thread . It’s time to use the same methods as the BDS brigade who block / remove any vaguely pro Israel comment on their blogs ( read sewage works )
    As I mentioned earlier , the need to adopt the same tactics as these bastards on all levels .
    If they prevent an Israeli politician , academic , historian ( Benny Morris ) from speaking to the point he needs security to protect him physically then we should respond in similar fashion .
    But then of course that’s just wishful thinking , mere whimsy spoken out of frustration . Jews and for that matter our many friends outside the Jewish community simply don’t do the bug eyed fanaticism and bully boy tactics of our enemies . Oh that we did in the obvious failure of the system to recognise the difference between egalitarian means and pluralism and the reality of what is taking place on campus .
    Unfortunately our cause has been severely hampered by the likes of Hannah Weisfeld and the execrable Yachad who were so rightly excluded from the Zionist Federation . Their so called ‘ Zionism ‘ is what has so contributed to this parlous state of affairs on campus . The need to see the other sides point of view while the other side are using every tactic and ploy to help towards the demise G-D forbid of Israel . Feh! .
    The more I think about it and particularly in light of this verdict , the more I realise that Jonathan Hoffmans passion and methods are what is required of us . Time to shake off our apathy as City ca puts it and join the fray on equal footing . Age is not an excuse .

    Finally my deepest admiration and respect for Ronnie Fraser for his commitment and his decision to put his head above the parapet .

    We are all Ronnie Fraser now – if only !!

    • Harvey I absolutely agree with you that we have to adopt the same tactics as these bastards at all levels.

      But you are also right that Jews are too intelligent to descend to the antics of the frustrated anti-Jewish rabble. Therefore we should do what we are good at, fight them in the courts (Islam in the UK doesn’t hesitate to use lawfare and therefore so should we) and pitch up at demonstrations. You praised Jonathan Hoffman and rightly so, but also praiseworthy are the activities of Richard Millett who has got us a lot of proof of the venom of Islam coursing through UK universities.

    • Harvey what you’re saying isn’t bright and it would have ramifications. How much do you know about cause and effect? One of things that trolls/haters/useful idiots absolutely love is to keep bashing Jews with the smear that they stifle free speech. We are talking about something that happened in the UK, where free speech is prized, whether Brits support Israel or not, apart from if you’re a member of the SWP, or a useful idiot for Hamas. To demand posts are removed is a definite no no. If you do that, you do the Jew-haters’ job for them. Try leading with your brain, next time – not with your emotions. Adam (or whatever your name is) – leave all posts up – the better for you all to see what you’re up against.

      • Ange
        With respect I think it’s you who should be engaging your brain . I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve come to realise that there is simply no point in engaging with 24 carat antisemites . You are simply feeding their need to be recognised by the object of their hatred . You will not win any arguments , you will not make them see the error of their ways . You are merely wasting your time and resources which you could be putting to better use . Close them down , starve them of the oxygen of engagement they so desire . Also i suggest you keep your toe curling mauldling exercise in liberal futility for a more receptive website . Try tree huggers r us or Yachad . You will be welcome I’m sure . See I can also cut the mustard as far as the Ad hominems are concerned .

        • Harvey, you know nothing about me at all. You may say you’ve been around the block a few times – if we’re scoring points, then my experience of having been around the block trumps yours, as does my ability to engage my brain before writing mindless posts.

          I am anything but a liberal hand-wringing Jew, I am a proud Jew, and I am absolutely sure you have not done as much work to counter Islamism as I have done. You wouldn’t last a minute with your attitude.

          Does what you do get you anywhere? When fools like you call for opinions you don’t like to be stifled and posts to be removed, you knock more nails in the coffin the haters provide, besides reinforcing their deluded opinions that Jews are all the same. Which other group tries to stifle freedom of speech, Harvey? Muslims – and if you’ve got any sense you won’t want to be known by your non-Jewish neighbours as being the same as them. With all your experience going round and round the block you obviously have never heard of the saying “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

          If you’re a British Jew, then you’re an absolute disgrace. We live among non-Jews as a minority, and when the tipping point comes we will need their help against the civil unrest that’s bound to come. Instead of calling for censorship of posts you don’t like on blogs, you would do far better than to stand with the wider community against the common danger – Islamism, and let your non-Jewish neighbours know Jews and non-Jews in this country and elsewhere are in it together. If you want to be believed, stop trying to deprive people of the basic and most valued right in this country – freedom of speech. At any rate, stop playing into the haters’ hands.

          On your next trip around the block, keep your eyes and ears open. Observe your own attitude – each time you lead with your mouth, you pull the rug out from under the rest of us.

  21. Ser Jew , Jeff and others . Honestly why engage with the scum . If you don’t respond they will get the message and piss off back to EI , Mondoweiss , MPAC or any other cesspit these bottom feeders inhabit .

    • Harvey, I can only speak for myself, but the reason I (sometimes) engage is that so the casual reader can see the fact-based arguments against the hateful bile.

      I know I’m never going to change the mind of a hater (as Jonathan Swift said, “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”), but I refuse to allow the haters to remain unchallenged.

      • I quite agree, but would add that after a while it becomes non-productive at which point it’s advisable to stop.

  22. Harvey – We have something in common – we share admiration for Benny Morris as a Historian – I like his honesty and straightforwardness. I am glad you do the same –

    Here is Benny interviewed on his historical works –

    re you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?

    “From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.”

    Ben-Gurion was a “transferist”?

    “Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist.”

    I don’t hear you condemning him.

    “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.”

    When ethnic cleansing is justified

    Benny Morris, for decades you have been researching the dark side of Zionism. You are an expert on the atrocities of 1948. In the end, do you in effect justify all this? Are you an advocate of the transfer of 1948?

    “There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands.”

    • I see the trolls here continue to switch sockpuppets, but have not repleted their intelligence. What a shame!
      From that very interview you “cite”(all so-selectively):

      “At the same time, it turns out that there was a series of orders issued by the Arab Higher Committee and by the Palestinian intermediate levels to remove children, women and the elderly from the villages.[..] it also proves that many of those who left the villages did so with the encouragement of the Palestinian leadership itself.

      Furthermore, Morris elaborates in the Irish Times:

      “There was no Zionist ‘plan’ or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of ‘ethnic cleansing'” and “the demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies—much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.”

      So perhaps that should your little propaganda effort to rest, and I invite you to read(that is, if you can read, besides trolling) the rest of this seminal article, here:(Courtesy of Jeffrey Weintraub):
      http://jeffweintraub.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/benny-morris-on-fact-fiction-propaganda.html
      (Other illuminating tidbits include):

      Most of Palestine’s 700,000 “refugees” fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.

      (my emph.)…
      So stick to trolling. You’re a poor excuse for an anti-Israel bigot.

    • Paul Hyman – do you honestly expect us to believe that Hamas and its cronies would not “ethnically cleanse” Israel if they had the power? You are so in thrall to your leftist/useful idiot beliefs that you actually believe the crap you talk. Maybe you’re a Jew – maybe not – but you certainly espouse the fascist kind of “liberalism”.

  23. Have you discussed your findings with Benny Morris – Benny has been very methodical in his research and he holds a very prestigious position among historians in Israel. I think he must have decided to discard your findings because they do not constitute proper historical evidence and are invented to serve, not necessarily by you, political and ideological ends.

    • Ah, now you’re back with the trolling. Good call.
      And let’s clarify for someone who’s willing to listen:
      I quoted Morris himself, YOU DOLT. Those are Morris’ findings, NOT MINE.
      And it has nothing to do with me, but with Morris.
      Or do you only reference him when it suits your dogmatic goals?
      Seriously Troll, you need to try HARDER!

      • Oh, what a beautiful bull’s eye! Nicely done, Commentary101.

        “Paul Hyman” has, over the course of this thread, become “Paul hyman” and now “paul hyman.” Even his typing fingers seem to realize how much he’s been diminished.

        • Thanks cba…
          I’ve seen so many of these trolls, that I can already detect their MO miles away.
          “Hyman” seems to be an attempt at a “Jewish-sounding” name, but is actually is our erstwhile “friend” “Jabal karim”(Holy/saintly mountain), “Jonathan Briggs”, &c.
          Notice their run-on sentences(repeated through every incarnation of their trolling-selves), abhorrence of the comma(and otherwise abstaining from punctuation), and barely coherent phraseology.

  24. I do not think you are following the debate – Benny Morris’s thesis is that without ethnic cleansing and forced evacuation of Palestinians there will be no Israel. He goes on to argue that forced evacuation was made possible with mass massacres. He also says all this is not a crime against humanity. Benny also argues that Ben Gurion was the main architect of ethnic cleansing and the massacres that formed the method of forcing ethnic cleansing.

    • Look, your pathetic trolling as it was, has now given way to some truly pathetic reasoning:
      Your own passages quote:

      There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy…

      So how can you — dimwit that you are — claim that Ben Gurion was the main “Architect of ethnic cleansing”? YOU yourself cited passages were Morris denies that claim, PRECISELY(talk about shooting yourself, in the foot).
      Do you know being an “Architect” means?
      Secondly, though I tire of repeating the same point, over and over again:
      Morris, has, in that very interview stated:

      “At the same time, it turns out that there was a series of orders issued by the Arab Higher Committee and by the Palestinian intermediate levels to remove children, women and the elderly from the villages.[..] it also proves that many of those who left the villages did so with the encouragement of the Palestinian leadership itself.”

      Morris then goes to list several, regrettable events where no doubt some excessive force was used(Bare in mind, that this is war where 1%! of the population of Israel would perish)…
      But a few dozen incidents is not “ethnic cleansing”(in case you’re shy of the term, look it up in the dictionary). And by all accounts, ~156,000 Arabs remained in Israel, of which there are now 1.5 million, fully-fledged citizens of Israel. So if they had “ethnically cleansed” anyone, they clearly had done a lousy job at it. In fact, Morris laments, later on, that Ben Gurion did not order sufficient expulsions; Disproving your thesis at its very core.
      So, like I said, stay with the trolling, and make it entertaining.
      (Also, learn how to stack threads… there’s a commenting system here for a reason).

    • hyman : “I do not think you are following the debate.”

      Yes, the ‘debate’, where you wheel out your token Jew – Morris (at every opportunity), to prove to all the other Jews that your visceral prejudices against the Jewish state are justified.

  25. Of the 85 posts about this article, 57 were either by the troll or people responding to him.

    What a waste of energy on someone who is interested only in demonising Israel and Jews.

    Harvey is right – if they’re not to be banned, then at least ignore them. Don’t give them the oxygen of a debate.

    On second thoughts, if the number of hits help the site, then by all means carry on debating with the racists.

    • It’s my impression that debates only take off on this site when the ‘trolls’ strike. Do you really want a board where posts are limited to: “What a great essay, Adam!”?

    • Cityca – there is definite merit in showing up useful idiots for what they are. The written word endures, after all.

      • Actually, the very low level of moderation is a credit to CiFWatch. Even The Guardian has learned that too much moderation kills a thread and reduces hits over the longs run. Therefore damaging advertisement revenue.

        This thread has been quite inspiring and a credit to most of those posting here with different nuances. I wonder what Anthony Julius is thinking. I think that we can assume that if there are grounds for an appeal AND, if the interests of Jews in the UK is served by appealing, then an appeal will be sought.

  26. cityca

    This is how the devil describes himself as something that has given to shape to this world and as sencar says – all the other commenters can be the angels but do they add anything to the discussion?

    Ah, Gabriel, you do not know this secret:
    When my wine-jug broke it turned my head.

    With my boldness I make this handful of dust rise up.
    My mischief weaves the garment that reason wears.”

    I rankle in God’s heart like a thorn. But what about you?
    All you do is chant ‘He is God’ over and over!

    • Dear sock-puppeteer(or should I say, “Jabal Karim”?)
      The last time you appeared here with a similarly styled moniker, was when you spelt it “Hayworth”, not “Haworth”…
      So… let it slip this time, huh?
      Stop trolling and find something productive to do, idiot.
      ***
      And by the way, lest you try to deny that you’re Pakistani(as I had previously correctly identified): no “Hayworth”, or “Haworth” I know can so readily quote Iqbal(Pakistan’s national poet)…
      So why hide behind Anglo-Saxon-seeming names? Are you ashamed of anything? Be forthright, for once.

      • He couldn’t be ashamed of anything. He is phobic of shame if he is as you describe him.
        But yours is a good post and a good template for encounter these particular twerps in their various incarnations.

  27. Commentary101 Intelligence services are really getting smart – or am I getting careless in my old age or I just do not care or it really just does not matter –

  28. Nat aka Jason aka whatever gives us a good example of Antisemitism, by his presence, obsessive, paranoid, convinced of ihis undereducation, constantly changing names, subjects, but staying focused: hate the jew and use every mean to denounce , to diffame, to lie about, to inceit against him.
    Maybe this is the only reason, giving an example of warning and Training, Adam alows him to stay under cnstatntly changing nicks, as it can`t be free speech anymore.

  29. Fritz, he is a hater who is phobic of shame. What better way than to allow him to post and shame him by exposure of his other identities and the excrement he has posted using them?

    And how much better that answers to his spewings are to be found here.

  30. While I think the in-fighting and back-biting in many of the above comments is both revealing and in a way worryingly amusing, I don’t intend to engage with them. Instead I would like to point out that the Fraser tribunal was the culmination of a concerted effort, financed ultimately by Israeli government funds to the tune of £ 70.000 or more, to stifle free and honest debate about the Jewish state by branding any criticism of Israel in the UK ‘by legal means’ as antisemitic. The idea was that the renowned lawyer Anthony Julius and the fervent, but as it turned out somewhat naive Ronnie Fraser would overturn a decision by the UCU to reject the EUMC working definition of antisemitism and thereby establish it (the definition) as the definitive hurdle to any further criticism of Israel. The attempt failed dismally and dramatically, not because the judges were themselves antisemitic or racist, or what have you, but because UCU ISN’T ‘institutionally antisemitic’ (as many Jewish members testified). As chair of the BIN EUMC Research Group I am extremely pleased by this verdict, and I sincerely hope that those on the other side of the debate who can be reasonable and objective (of which, I’m sure, there are many) will now turn their efforts towards a constructive debate on how we can help resolve the Israel/Palestine issue in a way that respects the justice and human rights of all concerned.

    Willem Meijs

    • Wow, Sue Blackwell’s hubby has seen fit to grace us with his presence and wisdom. How sweet.

    • ” turn their efforts towards a constructive debate on how we can help resolve the Israel/Palestine issue in a way that respects the justice and human rights of all concerned.”
      Resolve – which is none of your business, except your are supporting one side, what you are doing. Your engagement tells all about you.

      • Fritz it seems unbelievable these deluded pseudo academic pricks consider themselves arbiters in a conflict thousands of miles from them, and the only thing they know about it that they don’t like Jews. These heroes naturally don’t give a flying fuck about the violent oppression of minorities in their own Europe and somehow can’t see his exhibitionist wife to show herself in a Roma garb. I’m looking forward to see them boycotting Hungarian/Greek academics in order to express their solidarity (just joking). The pair are the schoolbook example of the well known European “intellectuals” who are trying to solve their professional failures and incompetence to eradicate their superior Jewish competitors. They have good examples from their Nazi predecessors from Germany,Hungary and Austria so why not try it again?

        • Actually, the plight of Palestinians doesn’t really seem to bother them at all if they can’t blame Israel.

          How many have been killed, injured, dispossessed in Syria in the last few months? What about the thousands of Palestinians kicked out of Kuwait (for supporting Saddam’s invasion? What about the fact that in every Arab country except for Jordan, Palestinians are refused citizenship, even if they were born there? What about the severe restrictions on what professions they can practice, where they can live, and whether they can even build on to their houses? (Check the situation in Lebanon, for a start.)

          • The tragedy is that these bottom feeders of academia give a bad name to the real scholars not to mention the real trade unionists.

  31. It´s quite telling how much they fear the EUMC working definitions, ´cause not for stopping the critic of Israel , but for the moderation and fairness of it, exposing them as the modernised antisemites inciting hate against Jews, the Jewish state. End of denial.

  32. Of course Racism was fully justified – It is always the Arabs fault.
    According to the piece in the Jewish Chronicle it had decided as early as 1920 to be exclusively Jewish and it remained so until 1959

    But than this is what the Jewish Chroncile records history.

    “In fact, breaking links with the Israeli TUC would be counter-productive, harming Palestinian workers and setting back hopes for mutual recognition and peace.
    To break links with the Histadrut would be a giant step towards a very different kind of “internationalism” — one that is alien to the British trade unions, that demonises one party, glamorises the other, stokes divisions on the ground, and isolates the TUC from the constructive work of its global partners and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
    The General Federation of Labour in Israel (The Histadrut) was founded in 1920 and, by 1927, it organised 75 per cent of the Jewish workforce in Mandatory Palestine.
    As the Histadrut took on new responsibilities — absorbing Jewish immigrants and organising agricultural settlement, defence and expansion into new areas of production — it became an integral part of “a state in the making”.
    After the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Histadrut became a major employer, controlling at one point around a third of the economy and employing more than three-quarters of Israel’s workers.
    Breaking links with the Israeli TUC would harm Palestinian workers and set back hopes for peace
    To advance the goal of creating a homeland for the Jewish people, it had decided as early as the 1920s to remain an exclusively Jewish organisation.
    As the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion explained: “We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland.”
    The Histadrut is a very different union today. It leads the fight for workers’ rights and job security in Israel, uniting over 700,000 union members in one organisation regardless of religion, race or gender. Arab workers have enjoyed full membership since 1959 and there are now many Arab members who are leading at every level of the union. Migrant workers have had membership rights since 2010.”

    • Which Arab immigrants, searching for work, wanted to join a union founded by Jewish workers in the twenties?
      Please give us some background information.

  33. Of course Racism was fully justified – It is always the Arabs fault.
    According to the piece in the Jewish Chronicle it had decided as early as 1920 to be exclusively Jewish and it remained so until 1959
    As you say Palestinians still remain a security risk and ethnic cleansing is justified as racism was
    But than this is what the Jewish Chroncile records history.

    “In fact, breaking links with the Israeli TUC would be counter-productive, harming Palestinian workers and setting back hopes for mutual recognition and peace.
    To break links with the Histadrut would be a giant step towards a very different kind of “internationalism” — one that is alien to the British trade unions, that demonises one party, glamorises the other, stokes divisions on the ground, and isolates the TUC from the constructive work of its global partners and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
    The General Federation of Labour in Israel (The Histadrut) was founded in 1920 and, by 1927, it organised 75 per cent of the Jewish workforce in Mandatory Palestine.
    As the Histadrut took on new responsibilities — absorbing Jewish immigrants and organising agricultural settlement, defence and expansion into new areas of production — it became an integral part of “a state in the making”.
    After the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Histadrut became a major employer, controlling at one point around a third of the economy and employing more than three-quarters of Israel’s workers.
    Breaking links with the Israeli TUC would harm Palestinian workers and set back hopes for peace
    To advance the goal of creating a homeland for the Jewish people, it had decided as early as the 1920s to remain an exclusively Jewish organisation.
    As the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion explained: “We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland.”
    The Histadrut is a very different union today. It leads the fight for workers’ rights and job security in Israel, uniting over 700,000 union members in one organisation regardless of religion, race or gender. Arab workers have enjoyed full membership since 1959 and there are now many Arab members who are leading at every level of the union. Migrant workers have had membership rights since 2010.”

    • http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/essays/69118/sensible-trade-union-voices-must-prevail
      In 2010, the UK union, Unison, sent a delegation to Israel and the territories to “critically review” the union’s links with the Histadrut.

      The report concluded that “all the organisations we met during the delegation… stressed that the Histadrut was a legitimate trade union and, with over 700,000 members, was clearly the dominant trade union in terms of members and collective bargaining coverage… Neither did any of them call on Unison to sever its relations with the Histadrut, in fact the opposite. The PGFTU in particular said that Unison should maintain links with the Histadrut so that we could specifically put pressure on them to take a more vocal public stance against the occupation and the settlements.”

      This finding, so very inconvenient for the boycotters, was approved by Unison international committee and endorsed by national executive committee. However, at Unison annual conference, Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists circulated misleading anti-Histadrut material.

      They overturned the leadership and a boycott motion was passed. The fruits were seen in May, when the Israeli Moty Cristal was banned from speaking at an NHS conference in the UK by Unison.

      Boycotts damage Palestinian workers. When Unilever Bagel Bagel, after pressure from Dutch Boycott activists from United Civilians for Peace, relocated from the community of Barkan beyond the Green Line to the Safed industrial zone in northern Israel, 60 Palestinians lost their jobs. “Crazy” was the apt response of Andy Laws of the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union.

      Breaking links with the Histadrut would only isolate British trade unions from the international trade union movement. Not a single global federation supports breaking links with the Histadrut and nor does the ITUC. Quite the reverse. In February 2011, the ITUC general council approved the “Workers’ Pact for Peace and Justice for Palestine and Israel” proposing a pathway to a comprehensive peace between Israel and Palestine.
      Breaking links with the Histadrut would be gesture politics. The British trade union movement has traditionally refused to boycott other free trade unions because of what their governments do.

      As Jonathan Baume, general secretary of the First Division Association, has said, sectarians have taken over some parts of the UK trade union movement. After meeting the Jewish and Arab shop stewards of the Jerusalem Municipality Employees Committee, he said his hosts “offered hope and a future that could still prevail, as well as a rebuke to the narrow sectarians among the British left who want ceaselessly to foster division.”

      And yet they are still some sane voices on the left. The RMT union has stood firm for a democratic two-state settlement for Israelis and Palestinians, criticised Hamas, and its conference overwhelmingly rejected “passive and divisive tactics such as boycotts”, as “inconsistent with the principles of unity and solidarity between workers that our union stands for and wishes to promote.”

      Avital Shapira-Shabirow has made a plea to UK trade unionists to sober up. She said: “Some groups have gone well beyond making legitimate criticisms of Israel. Their fight is not really about settlements — they are about demonising Israel itself. I’d say please do not become isolated from the constructive work taking place between the Histadrut and ITUC. Please do not lose your hard-won reputation as even-handed bridge builders. Please do not become cut off from the efforts to develop the 2008 Histadrut-PGFTU agreement. The PSC does not promote peace. It promotes a one-sided and demonising narrative about Israel that pushes us further away from peace. I think the British trade unions should think long and hard before following their lead.”

      Indeed, and this requires four basic steps.

      First, restart the trilateral delegations of unionists from Israel, Palestine and the UK.
      Second, build concrete links with both the Histadrut and the PGFTU. Exchanges, branch-twinning, awareness-raising and financial support to trade unions in Israel and Palestine is the way forward. Let’s learn from the model of the Fire Brigade Union which delivered fire-fighting equipment from Dundee to Nablus with the help of the Histadrut.

      Third, engage in dialogue with the Histadrut. Of course, British unions have a duty to make their views known, but as the German trade union leader Michael Sommer has argued, it is possible to do so “in a spirit of critical solidarity.”

      Fourth, review the TUC’s relationship with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and consider supporting progressive organisations such as One Voice. The TUC supports the two-state solution: two states for two peoples, a secure Israel living in peace alongside a viable Palestine. The PSC does not.

      The TUC should consider forging links to genuine progressives such as the One Voice network, and determine only to support grass roots organisations that are explicitly committed to a peaceful two state solution to the conflict.

      We need a fight-back in the unions. Time to go to work.

      Professor Alan Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow at BICOM