Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Misc time

  • The Telegraph defends Caroline Lucas. Well, Robert Webb defends her on their pages which isn't quite the same thing. A mere 313 comments at the time of posting.

  • Talking of what's her face, she was fronting a rather good political slot by the Greens the other night that you can now watch on YouTube.

  • Mike Shaunessey has been riffing off my piece on left and right in politics.

  • Fellow Haringey resident Sarah Cope is staggered at Lynn Featherstone.

  • People who were elected with no turnout are trying to impose a turnout limit on the AV referendum. I keep forgetting how backwards this country is.

  • Oh. Did you know? David Miliband doesn't like parties.


dwight said...

Sarah Cope link is broken/wrong. Via google I found what you're refering to...

Jim Jepps said...


modernity said...


Have you got any update on the Greens' policy on antisemitism?

I know it was being finalised, but what's happened?

Jim Jepps said...

Ummm... I know they discussed it and had a vote / took a decision but I have to say it didn't create a row and I didn't read the minutes so I'm not sure what they actually voted on!

I'll see if I still have the minutes, and if so I will read them (although obviously I can't post them). I might have something to say once I've done that... sorry, not meanign to be cryptic

Anonymous said...


you need a policy on anti-semitism?

I don't understand?

Jim Jepps said...

We're an anti-racist party and we have a policy on everything (unfortunately) hence anti-semitism policy - although this is different as it is a committee report not party policy... exciting stuff i'm sure you'll agree

weggis said...

At its meeting last month GPRC accepted a motion from London Fed to withdraw the previously agreed GPRC guidelines on anti-semitism and also agreed not to produce any in future.

The minutes are on the members website.

Jim Jepps said...

Thanks Weggis - saves me looking it up.

modernity said...


So there's NO Green Party policy on antisemitism, after all the work, etc?

It has been cancelled? why? What are the reasons?

Jim Jepps said...

No Mod.

The Green Party has clear policy that it is opposed to racism including (explicitly mentioned in the PSS) anti-semitism.

What we're talking about here is a minor committee that most meembers never notice and few people want to be on wrangling about 'guidelines' that it chose to write.

I actually thought they were constitutionally forbidden from undoing a decision taken at the previous meeting - but GPRC aren't too worried about the constitution if it's inconvenient apparently.

Oh! Catty!

weggis said...

GPRC voted to suspend Standing Orders first.

The party's position is now clear - "The GP is not anti-semitic, some of our best members are Jewish"!

Jim Jepps said...

Can they do that? You learn something every day.

Actually we have it in our policy that we oppose racism and anti-semitism, although sadly there is no way of ensuring people who pay lip service to anti-racism actually walk the walk.

Life is a neever ending task... except it ends!

modernity said...

Fair enough, Jim,

Is there anywhere were a NON-GP member can see the minutes of the meeting that decided this?

Or is this decision making process a "for-Green-Party-members-eyes" only?

weggis said...

I'm afraid so Mod.
I could send you a copy of the minutes but if I did a certain local Jewish member, and instigator of the London Fed motion, might put in an official complaint about me.....
for disagreeing with her!

Jim Jepps said...

I think they're internal I'm afraid.

This is a body that's obliged to have a male and female co-chair and so has... two male chairs instead so rules aren't its strong point frankly.

modernity said...


So basically, all of this is decided, behind closed doors, and without any external scrutiny?

weggis said...

I think that Lesley Hedges might just take issue with your last point Jim!

Jim Jepps said...

Weggis: lesley is no longer co-chair sadly. (She had to step down)

Mod: no, policy was set at conference - which is on public record. This is a committee producing some guidelines that no one will ever read.

weggis said...

So why did Miss Fink and London Fed make an issue of it?

Jim Jepps said...

You've lost me Weggis - if this is something on the london list then I rarely read posts from particular people or on particular topics so i may have missed it.

Also people may not be as plugged in as me! (despite me saying I don't pay attention to lots of different things going on)

weggis said...

"This is a committee producing some guidelines that no one will ever read." Really?

So, why did Miss Fink propose a motion at London Fed recommending that they [GPRC] withdraw their guidelines?
And why did GPRC acceed to that motion when they had previously agreed those guidelines?

We now have a situation where GPRC have officially accepted that there is a problem but have resolved to do absolutely eff all about it.

Happy with that Jim?

Jim Jepps said...

But GPRC is irrelevant - if it accepts something is a problem then decides it isn't it's only their own time they are wasting. And if DF wants to put motions about it then at least it keeps her off the streets.

Sorry if this sounds dismissive I just think GPRC's role within the party is 'not central' shall we say.

If this was Darren Johnson or Jean Lambert that would be one thing but we're talking about a very small clique which has almost no influence in the party - the fact the DF has noticed them does not change that.

Am I sounding harsh and bitter? It's probably this horrid weather.

weggis said...

Ah right, I stand corrected on party power matters. But I agree that keeping DF off the streets has positive benefits.

Jim Jepps said...

I should say that there are others who think GPRC is the very height of GP enlightenment and a model of effective governence. They may have to put their case themselves though.

Even they would have to admit that no one takes any notice of them unless something stupid happens.

weggis said...

In this case Controversial, Granted. But "stupid"? I don't hold with that!

modernity said...

" This is a committee producing some guidelines that no one will ever read."

That's a very depressing thought, isn't it?

That seems to imply that either people in the GP already know everything they want to know about antisemitism so they don't need to read any guidelines, or they are disinterested in fighting it.

Either way it doesn't do the Greens any credit, Jim.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Modernity.

modernity said...

Anyway, I am glad that some Greens see the problem here.

I blogged on it.


Jim Jepps said...

"That's a very depressing thought, isn't it?" Only if you're on the committee :)

I think the description of this as smoke filled rooms is bizarre. Committees meet in rooms. Most, like this one, have no public facing role and it was not producing a public document.

It's as if you think it's unusual for committees to have discussions, write documents and then scrap them because they are inadequate in some way.

The policy is still against anti-semitism. Nothing has changed there. I think you're seeing what you want to see.

modernity said...


You're very able at defending the Green Party, but even you know this is unsatisfactory.

If one of the mainstream larger parties had done this type of manoeuvre, then I'm sure you would have criticised it, openly.

It's not the way to do things in the 21st century, particularly in the age of Wikileaks.

weggis said...

"we're talking about a very small clique which has almost no influence in the party.."

In the wider context the GP is a very small clique which has almost no influence. Does that mean the GP should be dismissed and ignored?

ModernityBlog said...


That does beg the question, if you know it is a small clique and you know how destructive such groupings can be (politics is littered with examples), then why not try to stop them?

By not doing anything you are acknowledging that the Greens has small cliques pushing policies, outside of the scrutiny of the wider membership?

Whatever the case, it is not good.

Jim Jepps said...

I think you're assuming that people don't try to improve the situation (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so). But we *are* talking about a small internal committee here - so let's keep it in proportion and in context.

modernity said...


You can only judge politicians and political parties' by their ACTIONS, I would expect you to gild the lily on this, but it ain't satisfactory, and you know it.

The Greens don't have a cogent policy on antisemitism, because of internal political manoeuvring, etc etc

Just how big is the London Federation? and the GPRC?

Pit Stop said...

"This is a body that's obliged to have a male and female co-chair and so has... two male chairs instead so rules aren't its strong point frankly."

Maybe it's OK if one of them is LGBT?

Jim Jepps said...

Mod: the day I start judging organisations when a committee no one has heard of decides not to produce some guidelines is the day I've lost perspective.

Pit stop: I assume you're saying gasy men are women really. I don't agree. I think gay men are men.

Raphael said...

Maybe continue the discussion here?

ModernityBlog said...

Darren Johnson has made a useful contribution, see http://brockley.blogspot.com/2011/02/so-time-has-come-not-to-renew.html

levi9909 said...

Oh dear Jim. What has happened here is that some zionist members of the Green Party are trying to accuse Caroline Lucas et al of antisemitism because of their criticisms of the State of Israel and more recently their support for the defendants in a trial over the disruption of production of military equipment bound for Israel during its attack on Gaza ("cast lead" not the on-going daily stuff). Some imbeciles on this GPRC thought that it would be a good idea to use a proposed "working definition of antisemitism" produced by an American zionist and proposed by the EU Monitoring Centre on Xenophobia and Racism, now known less wordily as the Fundamental Rights Agency. The "working definition" appears now to have been quietly dropped possibly because it was obviously aimed at silencing criticism of the State of Israel or possibly because it could not stand up to criticism and so whilst it has been quietly dropped it doesn't stop lying zionists from referring to it as a done deal. And some, including Mod Blog's friends at Engage are seeking to have it incorporated into the laws of EU member states.

The GPRC were told to stop being so stupid and that could have been that. But the because the zionists kept claiming there was a problem with antisemitism in the Greens, the Greens formed a working party which they subsequently disbanded because there was nothing to the allegations. Zionists then went to Hugh Muir of the Guardian who accused the Greens of behaving like a mainstream party over the issue. Ludicrous of course. If they behaved like a mainstream party they would silence criticism of Israel.

Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians has a critique of the bogus definition here. What is interesting is that it is very hard (possibly impossible) to find the working definition in full on any official EU site.

BTW, I'm glad you recognised that Moddy is talking his usual load of pro-zionist bollocks.

ModernityBlog said...

How would Mark Elf know what's been happening?

Is he another new Green Party member?

Green Gordon said...

Whoever he is, he's got the chronology completely backwards. And it's sad he doesn't appreciate that you dont have to be a Zionist (whatever of the many nebulous meanings if the word you choose) to recognise toleration of anti-Semitism any more than you need to be an Islamist to recognise Islamiphobia.

What's really sad I the active refusal of many people involved to take part in any introspection. "The Green Party can't be institutionally anti-Semitic because I by my own judgement am bit racist." Sorry we don't get to make those judgements for ourselves otherwise we do end up with institutionaliser racism (I.e. The Met).

What's really really sad is people's defence of bullies within the Party as if they've somehow contributed to World Peace. I really worry that some people want the party to be an Eco-hermit talking shop.

levi9909 said...

My goodness! It's the new moddy. Gone are the false accusations of me not knowing this or that irrelevant fact about Diego Garcia or the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Instead we get a panic over something he can't instantly deny or dodge by changing the subject.

As it happens I did get the chronology a bit wrong and the muzzling definition of "antisemitism" can still be found here though it still hasn't been debated or officially adopted.

What I am curious about is that there are zionists in the Green Party clearly out to make mischief and bring the party into disrepute because of its leader's and activists' principled stand on Israel. I don't know how many have resigned over the failure to have protection of Israel adopted as policy or how many might be censured or expelled for supporting these ethnic cleansing war criminals. I do, however, find it very strange that Modernity Blog is taking such an unhealthy interest in this. As far as I know he has been an ardent supporter of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and he has never been known to criticise Israel over anything. Hardly the kind of person to take an interest in the Greens except to want to undermine them. So have Green Party members asked him to stalk certain members on their behalf or is he acting on his own initiative?

I think we should be told.

ModernityBlog said...

"As far as I know he has been an ardent supporter of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and he has never been known to criticise Israel over anything."

Well, Elf wouldn't know an oak tree if it fell on him.

I am on record, I was AGAINST the invasion of Iraq, etc march against it several times

But it is all a pack of lies and misrepresentation from Elf.

What next? Maybe Elf will defend Assange's comments?

But my views are not important, it is what's happening in the Greens and how it should be very clear in its opposition to anti-Jewish racism, that's the real issue.

bob said...

"Some imbeciles on this GPRC": that's not a very respectful way of describing veteran Green Party activists!

 "produced by an American zionist": see my comment here.

"The "working definition" appears now to have been quietly dropped": actually it continues to be used by the FRA and the OSCE in monitoring antisemitic incidents and has been adopted by the NUS and several student unions in the UK.

"very hard (possibly impossible) to find the working definition in full on any official EU site": well, unless you include the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency, where it is easily available.

bob said...

"I don't know how many have resigned over the failure to have protection of Israel adopted as policy or how many might be censured or expelled for supporting these ethnic cleansing war criminals"

I do hope that Levi does not get his way and have Jewish and non-Jewish members of the Green Party who do not cleave to his particular view of the Israel/Palestine situation driven out of the party through harassment or through tribunals brought by his friends who have recently joined the party...

Raphael said...

Levi9909: "What is interesting is that it is very hard (possibly impossible) to find the working definition in full on any official EU site."

Really, really hard indeed. Type "EUMC definition antisemitism" in Google and it is the first link.


But then, of course, the European Union Federation for Fondamental Rights is controlled (like everything else) by some American Zionists.

levi9909 said...

Green Gordon - I hadn't seen your comment when I posted mine but as you can see I mentioned that I got the chronology wrong. It isn't relevant really. All that happened is that the bogus allegations were made, the working party on antisemitism was formed and then disbanded for want of an issue to deal with and then some eejits in the GPRC adopted the EUMC working definition of antisemitism before being told to stop being so silly.

Your comment about introspection is ridiculous and can work all ways. The establishment of the working party into a non-issue was too much introspection. Can you give an example of the kind of introspection you approve of from the Greens' detractors?

Zionist is not a nebulous term. It means people who believe that there should be a state for the world's Jews and that Jews should have more right to that state (and in it) than the native non-Jewish population.

You complain of a lack of introspection, you fail to see how it was an attempt at intimidation that led to the establishment of the working party in the first place and then you complain of bullies in the party.

The Green Party has been a principled voice against Israel's war crimes and it appears that entryists are trying to intimidate activists and/or bring the party into disrepute. Having failed, they now seem to want to use Modernity Blog as a stalking horse.

By the way, GG, can you give a detailed example of the antisemitism in the Green Party that you are complaining of?


ModernityBlog said...

It's good to see that Mark Elf doesn't really understand much about politics or language.

The word "Zionist" can mean many things to many people, if you ask a SWPer you might get one answer, then ask their one-time comrade Gilad Atzmon and he puts a different meaning on it.

Equally, Gilad Atzmon's hero, Israel Shamir uses "Zionist" in a completely different way, as does David Duke.

So like many things it depends.

weggis said...

Levi9909’s perception of internal GP affairs does not tally with my personal experience.

Unlike him I have the advantage of being able to trawl through the internal archives and verify the evidence for myself.

Heresay and rumour are not particularly good at revealing truth, especially when related by someone whose motive is to obscure the truth for those who only hear what they want to hear.

bob said...

The Green Party has been a principled voice against Israel's war crimes and it appears that entryists are trying to intimidate activists and/or bring the party into disrepute.

I am sure that Green Party members like Jim, Weggis, Raphael, Gordon, Isca and so on, who between them have decades of party membership, are better qualified than me to comment on Mark/Levi's ridiculous and utterly unsubstantiated allegation that there are Zionist entryists in the party. Or we can trust him because his friend Deborah, who is making the allegation, joined last February so she must know...

Anonymous said...

ok, so where else in the world does the Green party have a principled stand about, that it blathers on about at every given opportunity?

Or is Israel a 'special' case?

This Mark chap seems to be paranoid about the zionists... mmm.

levi9909 said...

I've had a bit of a skim at the comments some of which I'll address here:

Raphael - pay attention to what I wrote in my mea culpa in my second comment - "As it happens I did get the chronology a bit wrong and the muzzling definition of "antisemitism" can still be found here though it still hasn't been debated or officially adopted."

I noticed Moddy claiming that he opposed the war on Iraq and that therefore "it is all a pack of lies and misrepresentation from Elf." That's not all a pack of lies moddy. That's just one honest mistake. Moddy doesn't do honest so maybe he can't tell the difference. He could deny one thing. Ok, sorry geezer but the rest stands.

Regarding definitions of zionism, I define it in accordance with the programme and policies of the World Zionist Organisation, its affiliates and the State of Israel. I do not take the definition of people who conflate zionists and Jews whilst claiming to be anti-zionists. That is, I assume that self-professed zionists know what it means and I know of none who could plausibly dispute how I defined it. It's invariably zionists and antisemites who muddy the waters over what zionism is. Moddy is typical in that regard.

Regarding Moddy's sanctimonious claim that what the Greens are doing about anti-Jewish racism is the important thing, they are doing more than Moddy by including it in their principled opposition to all forms of racism. Moddy wants them to adopt the stupid working definition so as to silence criticism of Israel. That's not doing anything about anti-Jewish racism and of course it gives Jewish racism a free pass and it's because the GPRC dropped the stupid thing that zionists in the party are up in arms.

But could he still answer the question as to whether he is stalking the Greens on his own initiative or if he was asked to do so. Apologies if he already said. I don't have time to read everything.

Weggis - It's curious that this Green Gordon appears to know what led to the Greens establishing a working party on antisemitism and the FRA thingy and that I had simply got the chronology wrong. I don't know his standing in the Greens or how long he has been active but his account tallies with mine in all but the order of events. And yet Weggis doesn't recognise any of it. Have a look at this Weggis. See if there is anything or anyone you recognise? If you want more I probably have some stuff in emails. Anyway, anyone looking at the working definition of antisemitism will see that it is antisemitic in itself as it identifies all Jews with Israel and that it is clearly aimed at silencing criticism of Israel.

Perhaps Weggis could tell me what I have said about the Greens or anything else that amounts to hearsay and rumour. I mean specifically rather than generally. I can then answer to the charge. If he doesn't, I can't and I certainly can't guess.

Anon - it was moddy who strayed off topic in comment three to raise the non-issue of antisemitism in the Green Party. Moddy wants criticism of Israel stopped as do all of his online friends. But according to you (and Bob) its Israel's critics who are guilty of intolerance and paranoia.

Funny old world...

Toby said...

This is just typical of what has happened in the Green Party. You write an article about anti-semitism, and, surprise surprise, someone attacks you for being a zionist. Even though if anyone reads the article they see it is critical of Israel's policies. Ho hum - I wonder why I resigned from the Green party?

GreenGordon has it spot on. There is toleration of prejudice and an idea that as a member of the party you must be an anti-racist (unless you are a "zionist" - incidentally, Levi, perhaps you could explain to me why even your definition of zionism is any more racist than the fact that only English people and people with an English grandparent are entitled to citizenship of the UK?).

As usual, half truths and unreconstructed prejudice. Thanks, but no thanks.

bob said...

I had not realised until following his link that the Mark/Levi's website still publishes the GPRC statement that Greens Engage were asked by the Party not to publish. And yet a close associate of Mark/Levi's has brought (according to Toby's article) a formal complaint against a member of Greens Engage partly on the basis of having published this document!

Green Gordon said...

Will respond more later, but I'd like to state that I know of no apologists for the actions of the state of Israel in the Green Party and I am aquainted with almost all those involved.

Green Gordon said...

Also just realised a few typos in my initial post probably due to my use of fruit-related mobile phones. Hope the meaning was clear. (bit = not, institutionaliser = institutionalised, etc.)

levi9909 said...

Toby - I am not a member of the Greens but you are now the second person to all but flatly contradict Weggis about the party he has been a member of, according to Bob, since time immemorial.

The idea that antisemitism is an issue in the Green Party is bollocks. Trying to slip the bogus EUMCXR/FRA "working definition of antisemitism" into the Greens rule book at any level would be an utter disgrace. The working definition is clearly aimed at silencing criticism of Israel and it is antisemitic itself in that it identifies all Jews with Israel.

If you criticised Israel yourself, (I didn't read your article) then according to the working definition, you are antisemitic if you didn't criticise other states over the same things. If you did criticise other states over the same things then you missed the main thing thing that is wrong with Israel. It's the on-going ethnic cleansing, stupid!

You are not only entitled to UK citizenship if you are in some way "English". I am not even sure that UK law defines or mentions the "English" in terms of citizenship. I think you must have made that up. Obviously if you are British, ie from the UK, then you are entitled to citizenship though there are racists who want to change this, hence the EDL and BNP's support for Israel. Issues can arise over passports if you don't have both parents from the UK but that's just bureaucracy. The situation in Israel is not that if you are from Israel you are automatically entitled to citizenship. It is based on Jewishness, not whether you come from the country. Most people from what is now called Israel are denied citizenship because they are not Jewish.

If you are saying that the British are to the UK as the Jews are to Israel, then who are the UK's equivalent of the Palestinians? Not that the UK is squeaky clean of course but who has been and is continuing to be ethnically cleansed from the UK to make way for these British from all around the world who have no demonstrable connection to the country by family or birth?

There is no state on the planet that bans natives whilst inviting and even mobilising people from around the world to take out citizenship except, of course, Israel.

I think the point you were trying to make about the UK is exactly the opposite from the situation in Israel. But don't worry, Bob from Brockley tried the same disingenuous nonsense on my blog with regard to India and Germany. Now Bob just stoops to making lurid allegations about a Jewish conspiracy to keep debate alive on the question of Palestine. That's when he is not expressing exclamation marked astonishment that I have not co-ordinated my blog posts or comments with whoever it is he is referring to. Funny bloke.

Green Gordon - It is not simply the actions of the State of Israel that are at issue, it is the state structure and how it defines itself as a state for the world's Jews and not for its people. See above. Obviously egregious actions are required to maintain the situation that Toby just tried to pass off as being the same as the UK.

bob said...

Levi: "Trying to slip the bogus EUMCXR/FRA "working definition of antisemitism" into the Greens rule book at any level would be an utter disgrace. The working definition is clearly aimed at silencing criticism of Israel...

If you criticised Israel yourself, (I didn't read your article) then according to the working definition, you are antisemitic"

EUMC Working definition: " criticism of Israel similar to that levelled at any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic"

bob said...

Levi: "The idea that antisemitism is an issue in the Green Party is bollocks."

Darren Johnson, Green Party councillor and London Assembly member: There have been clear examples of antisemitism within the Greens[...] These have been dealt with in an unsatisfactory fashion, as Party members have argued. The party needs to deal with such cases swiftly and fairly and any members responsible for antisemitism should be disciplined[...]

The fact that there is such unhappiness expressed on this website shows exactly why a clear unequivocal statement on antisemitism is needed and why the national conference was correct in voting to commission one."

Raphael said...

I leave to others (and thanks to them) the tiring job of pointing out the nonsense and distortions of Mark Elf.

On Israel uniqueness (including nationality rules), this excellent piece is to be recommended (not that it will move Mark by an inch); excerpt:

“Of course you are unique, but you are not unique in being unique”—such was, a few years ago, the wise answer given at a public lecture in Jerusalem by a visiting foreign Professor (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) to the question: “Do you think that the Jewish people are unique?”

Read it all here:
"Jewish Peoplehood and the Jewish State, how unique? A comparative survey"

levi9909 said...

Bob - you have just literally cut the context from my comment.

Here's the working definition: "criticism of Israel similar to that levelled at any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic".

Here is the quote from my comment in full this time:

If you criticised Israel yourself, (I didn't read your article) then according to the working definition, you are antisemitic if you didn't criticise other states over the same things. If you did criticise other states over the same things then you missed the main thing thing that is wrong with Israel. It's the on-going ethnic cleansing, stupid!

Bob - what is the point of such dishonesty? What did you think to gain from it?

I could use this as an excuse to ignore what you said about the councillor but did he come up with any specific examples? If so and they are genuine then I will be the first to say, woops, I was wrong like I do when I'm wrong. It's called honesty. You should try it some time. Always makes me feel better.

But I will never accept that the EUMC working definition is an honest attempt at addressing the issue of antisemitism. It is not and you know it's not.

Really though Bob you should simply apologise to me and then absent yourself from the rest of the thread.

Raphael - saying someone talks nonsense whilst drifting into incoherence yourself isn't the smartest of moves. Accusing a person of distortion, however, borders on the specific. Can you cross that border and actually be specific?

Rather than refer to the writings of others, perhaps you could make your own points. The article ignores the central point that I was making in that it completely ignores the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs to make way for incoming Jews though it does have a lot to say about Jews. It also ignores the demographic balance prior to the zionist conquest of Palestine and therefore it ignores just how unfair and racist the UN's reasoning was over partition. As for his comparisons with other countries, the white Australia policy came close but no natives were banned from Australia during that time nor are they now. Anyway, make your own points if you know the subject.

But what is happening here? Are we dicussing antisemitism and how it should be defined. Or are we trying to pretend that the State of Israel is just like any other state? You seem to be conflating the two. But be clear.

Anyway, I'm guessing that Toby won't be back to acknowledge his errors but any chance of Moddy confirming whether or not he was put up to this blog raid by someone else or did he think it up all on his own? And don't forget the apology Bob.

Many thanks to Jim for allowing the thread to continue. The Israel advocates don't usually discuss with Israel's critics unless they can rely on the moderator to delete their opponents comments.

Deborah Fink said...

Sad to see Green Party members attacking the party and it's members, (including myself), publicly. Where is your loyalty, Jim Jepps and Alan Howe (Weggis)? Do you think your behaviour will encourage people to vote Green?

To add to what has been said about the order of events:-

GPRC was under pressure to issue guidelines on anti-semitism. A statement was drafted by two members who were not up on the issues around a/s and Israel/Palestine and how a/s is often used by apologists for Israel to restrict criticism of Israel. Certainly, they didn't know much about the EUMC ‘working definition’ which they incorporated into it. I think they may have googled a/s and came up with it, thinking, 'This will do...' without realising the implications for the party and outside. I don't know how many members of GPRC voted for it and it was accidentally leaked before it was ready, then briefly posted on Greens Engage. Those of us who ARE up on the issues, including many Jewish members, were up in arms and lobbied to try and get this statement withdrawn but a procedure had to be followed.

Then, someone drafted a motion for our London meeting calling on our GPRC reps to vote against the statement at their meeting. I and someone else then revised it to say that no statement on a/s would be drawn up, (because a/s is no more important than any other type of discrimination and is no more prevalent in the Green Party or UK in general) and instead, there would be a general statement. It was passed. The motion was then passed at the GPRC meeting. Contrary to what Weggis has said, you can over turn what was agreed at a previous GPRC meeting- it's not like conference.

A statement on discrimination and how we communicate with each other is being worked on now.

'Weggis' wondered why if, GPRC is not so important, I needed to propose the motion. Well, we did not know what the status of the guidelines would be, but in any case, I for one did not want to grant the EUMC definition the legitimacy it does not deserve. Also, even if the guidelines did not have much status, Greens Engage would make out that it did and use it against anyone who fell foul of the guidelines, especially Caroline.

As for my complaint against a member, it was not just about the publishing of the earlier GPRC document but of other internal documents and constant attacks on the party.

bob said...

Well, one thing on which Mark/Levi and I are agreed is gratitude to Jim, who must be irritated at having his comment thread filled with this stuff.

Mark/Levi, who has called the GPRC imbeciles and then Toby stupid, asks me to apologise for trying to keep my comments brief by not quoting him at length, even though readers who have got this far have presumably read his comments. I am sorry.

I was surprised he had not read Toby's article, though, as he has left comments there too. If he had, he would know the specific examples Darren Johnson is referring to. From Toby's article: If they accuse members called "Levy" of being Israeli academics in disguise defending Israel, they can´t be rehashing old Jewish conspiracy theories. If they circulate emails from David Duke, a key figure in the Klu Klux Klan, on how "Jewish Zionists" are shaping American policy in Israel in alliance with Obama (thereby rehashing not only anti-semitic myths but also an alliance of this with anti-Black racism), they can still work in Caroline Lucas´s office and be on the list for the European elections. If they circulate emails accusing Jewish members of parliament of double loyalty (to Israel and the UK), there´s no need to suppose that they are re-hashing the anti-Catholic discourse which surrounded JF Kennedy´s run for office in 1960. If they talk of the "squealing zionists", there´s no reason for them not to be respected party figures.

bob said...

I don't get at all Mark/Levi's accusation against Modernity. This seems to follow closely Deborah Fink's accusations against Greens Engage's non-Jewish members that they must be manipulated by a Jewish ringleader. Is it not possible that he is simply an anti-racist concerned about racism in Britain's largest left-wing party? He included Jim's blog in his 4 favourites at his Normblog profile in 2009, so it's not like he just stumbled upon this thread.


Once again on the EUMC definition, I find it far from perfect. The phrase "criticism of Israel similar to that levelled at any other country" is too vague. For me, any claim that Israel is uniquely evil in the world is an antisemitic claim.

By the way, I am not very comfortable with this language of "natives", also the language that the BNP use when defending the rights of "indigenous Britons" and so on, and the language some Zionists use when claiming that Jews are the original people of Israel.

Green Gordon said...

It's like talking to a brick wall.

A policy on anti-Semitism is needed because the Green Party do not have significant problems at identifying and addressing other forms or Racism.

Your line on loyalty and encouraging people to vote Green is so deeply ironic that I can't even work out where to start.

bob said...

Deborah Fink here, posing as a Green Party loyalist: Sad to see Green Party members attacking the party and it's members, (including myself), publicly. Where is your loyalty, Jim Jepps and Alan Howe (Weggis)? Do you think your behaviour will encourage people to vote Green?

Deborah Fink at Just Peace UK in 2009, before she joined the Green Party: It seems that overall, the best party for justice in Palestine (& human and animal rights) is the Green party, well, if you vote for Jean Lambert or Caroline Lucas. However, after going to another MEP Hustings, it has occurred to me that tactically, it might be better to vote for Jonathan Fryer, the Lib Dem MEP candidate. Lib Dem Sarah Ludford is going to get in anyway, but the more votes they get, the more likely Jonathan Fryerstre is to get in as well, and we need him to counter balance her.

I think it is clear that Deborah's priority is not the Green Party.

levi9909 said...

Bob - I didn't make an accusation. I asked a question that Moddy has failed to answer and I didn't suggest that that whoever might have asked him to hassle Jim here was/is Jewish.

It is you who has accused me and Richard Kuper of following Deborah Fink's lead and Deborah Fink is of course Jewish. Your lies and projection are so transparent now I think it's best you stop digging. And whether or not Moddy acted on his own initiative or was asked by a third party to come here isn't relevant. I was just curious that's all. He still hasn't answered btw but now you are pretending that the question alone amounts to an antisemitic allegation, I suppose he has his answer given for him. In other words, we'll never know. Never mind. Not relevant to anything.

Gordon, which other forms of racism specify a community to be protected? And who is suggesting that such racism manifests itself with regard to a specific state? I'm not suggesting that the community doesn't exist but it seems that it is only the State of Israel that gets protection from specified and even general criticisms. I am still convinced that the idea that you can criticise Israel in the same way you criticise other states is a means, not of leaving Israel open to criticism, but of closing the door on all criticism or making it meaningless.

ModernityBlog said...

I am not much into dealing with abusive idiots like Elf, other than to correct his misreadings, misrepresentations and general stupidity.

I have taken an interest in this matter for AGES, on my own.

I am interested in the Greens' politics, and elsewhere I am naturally concerned in the growth of anti-Jewish racism in Western societies.

That's WHY.

Again, if Elf could make an effort to read my norm profile he'd see I have followed the Greens for ages, unlike him and others, mine is not an overnight concern.

I have argued politics with Jim for years, as the contents of his blog will testify.

I think anyone, any thinking individual, should be concerned with the growth of racism in the world and measures that can combat it or educate people on these issues are to be welcomed.

That's why I think such a policy is a good idea.

levi9909 said...

Actually Moddy I'm not that interested in your personal history. I just wondered why you had come here to hassle Jim about where the Greens stand on antisemitism. Thanks for finally getting round to telling me. Also, I don't know why words like "fuck", "shit" and "bollocks" amount to abuse whilst false allegations of dishonesty, ignorance and racism do not. But again, never mind.

I too worry about racism which is why I am anti-zionist. It is part of a humanistic worldview of mine that I apply consistently to all, if more vociferously to the State of Israel. That's because Israel's mere existence as a state specially for the world's Jews entails an on-going conflict between itself and its selected constituents on one side and the native non-Jewish natives (and often the neighbours) of what was Palestine on the other.

Apart from Bob's deliberate dishonesty by quoting me out of context we still have yet to see anyone setting out, analysing and defending the working definition's examples of how antisemitism can manifest itself with regard to the State of Israel.

Gordon - if you are the Gordon who on Bob's blog made the false comparison of Britain accepting for citizenship people with a grandparent from Britain whilst Israel tends to deny citizenship to people with grandparents from Israel but favours for citizenship people who have no familial connection to the country as long as they have a Jewish grandparent, can you do that here please rather than where my comments are being edited? Then I can say "rubbish! they are opposites, not similarities" without fear of deletion or edit.


ModernityBlog said...

"I'm not that interested in your personal history."

Elf isn't interested at all, he asks a question then ignores the answer.

Perhaps Elf should prefixes comments something like this:

"Hi I am Mark Elf,

I am here to abuse and insult you, I will call you liars and stinky rotten Zionists.

I won't read what you say, are not interested in others' views, and if I do, then I will naturally misrepresent what's written, because I'm not interested in other people or the issues"

That's what he does, all very un-Green.

levi9909 said...

Moddy - you're filibustering again. I asked the question, you answered it eventually and I acknowledged that you had.

Now stop being silly and either get back to your feigned concern over antisemitism which is really a cover for the form of racism you never criticise or condemn, or shut up.


Green Gordon said...

I disagree that the comparison is false. Britain is a State where citizenship is arbitrarily given to people with some connection to the geography. Israel is a State where citizenship is arbitrarily given to people with some connection to the ethnicity (as a result of Diaspora). It's two different types of nation.

That's not to say that multi-ethnic solutions wouldn't be preferable, but I'm not that happy with International immigration law as a whole, which is also racist/xenophobic.

Green Gordon said...

I'm not sure I get the question on "a community to be protected".

I'd answer, that any ethic nation where that ethnicity suffers racism against it would qualify. e.g. Ireland, India, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia

levi9909 said...

You are saying that the arbitrariness is the crux of the issue rather than the ethnic cleansing in Israel's case but not in the UK's case. Ok fine. But it is still not antisemitic to suggest that ethnic cleansing is worse than mere arbitrariness. The working definition seeks to do that though not in those words of course.

Also, you are suggesting that ethnic cleansing and copper-fastening of the same is no worse than any state behaviour of any kind with regard to anything including citizenship.

This goes straight to step 4 of my co-blogger, Gabriel Ash's 4 steps to Israel apologetics titled, How to make the case for Israel and win. 1. We rock (Israel's democratic, western, etc) 2. they suck (Arabs have dictators, terrorists etc), 3. you suck (ie Israel's detractors are antisemitic) 4. everything sucks (all states are bad and Israel's ethnic cleansing is no worse than anything, literally anything that any other state does).

That last is where you are. It is the ultimate cop-out defence of the State of Israel. It ignores all of the ethnic cleansing and the relentless violence to maintain the status quo arising out of it.

The question from Israel defenders then is, if everything sucks why single out Israel? The answer, antisemitism of course.

The question from me to you is that now you have admitted that you appear to be asserting that ethnic cleansing is no worse than any citizenship law in any country (or maybe just the UK) can you now admit that you do actually defend Israel's actions and that you quite possibly know other Greens who do the same thing?

So I stand by my contention that the working definition is supported by people who believe that Israel is being unjustly singled out on account of its ethnic cleansing which they take to be in the same moral and political ball park as the UK's citizenship situation which is not based on ethnic cleansing. I need to point out that I am not for a moment suggesting that the UK has clean hands on the question of ethnic cleansing, it's just that the UK does not exist on that same on-going basis. There are no communities from the UK who are banned from the UK.

I believe that ethnic cleansing is the worst of crimes against humanity. If we allow it in Israel's case we might as well allow it in all cases. But in Israel's case the US and EU appear to be bankrolling it and then the EU provides some kind of welfare for some of the victims via the PA of course.

Bad bad bad. And not at all antisemitic to say so.

bob said...

Levi: Apart from Bob's deliberate dishonesty by quoting me out of context we still have yet to see anyone setting out, analysing and defending the working definition's examples of how antisemitism can manifest itself with regard to the State of Israel.

I attempted to do so here.

I don't really understand any of the rest of what you are saying. You are saying that Israel is uniquely evil in the world because it is guilty of ethnic cleansing, and saying so is considered antisemitic by the EUMC definition? If that is what you are saying then the EUMC definition would not consider it antisemitic to accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing, because ethnic cleansing is precisely the kind of language used in legitimate criticisms of states, e.g. in criticisms of the American and Australian treatment of their indigenous peoples, or in criticisms of what China has attempted to do in Tibet, of how Sri Lanka's government has dealt with the Tamil population etc etc. Even Boris Johnson used this term to describe his own government's policy on housing! No one is trying to stop people from using that sort of language.

However, precisely because so many other states have carried out ethnic cleansing on their "natives" or on those they consider foreign, to claim that Israel is a UNIQUE evil unto the world on this basis is NOT acceptable.

I'll try and shut up now, because Jim must be tired of having to moderate all this.

ModernityBlog said...

Me too, I'l bow out.

levi9909 said...

Bob - The fact that Israel is NOW doing to the natives of what was Palestine what white settlers did to the natives of the USA and Australia many years ago is UNIQUE in the world today especially given its mobilisation of Jews from around the world to come and live there. (That's a scary admission to make so casually Bob).

To deny Israel its right to do this stuff would be to deny Jews the right to self-determination which the working definition says is antisemitic. It doesn't say it is antisemitic to deny Jews the right to self-determination is antisemitic unless you deny that right to other states whose populations have self-determination and it couldn't possibly mention other identity groups that don't have self-determination. It just says what it does in isolation from the "criticise other countries" gambit.

So you are wrong on at least two counts. I suggested you stop digging and you start a whole new excavation! So keep up the good work Bob.

I too am sorry to Jim here but this working definition, if it had official status as law or as a guide to the law would be a disaster for both Palestinians and Jews.

For all their professed expertise in the subject of antisemitism its supporters do not see that it is antisemitic itself in its implicit (though clear) assumption of the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish identity and its conflation of Jewishness with Jewish supremacy.

Green Gordon said...

Think I already answered that bizarre accusation elsewhere. Bye, now.

ModernityBlog said...

Finally I can't let Elf's ignorant comment go unchallenged.

Elf talks a lot about the EUMC, but

1. he couldn't even *find* it
2. when he made an assertion about it, it was proven wrong
3. a direct quote from the EUMC showed that Elf's understanding is faulty.

Therefore, to take his word on these issues is highly questionable.

Elf talks out of his own private compost heap.

levi9909 said...

Gordon - sorry I missed your not understanding of my "community to be protected" and anyway I should have said "which other form of anti-racism specifies the community to be protected".

You say that a separate policy specifically against antisemitism is consistent with existing policy against racism against any community. But if that is the case, why specify antisemitism? Where or what is the policy on other forms of racism? I thought the policy was to oppose all forms of racism including antisemitism which I should have thought was fine. That's one thing. The other is that if a specific policy on antisemitism is required, why must it assert a Jewish right to self-determination (a la working definition) together with other protections of what Israel does and represents? How can that be effected without racism against non-Jews in the same country? You claim that ethnic cleansing is just part of the arbitrariness of citizenship law. Are you also saying that ethnic cleansing and segregation are not racist? And if you are saying that they are, why have a policy against racism when you propose a policy against antisemitism that protects anti-Arab racism from condemnation? Anyway, we are going round in circles now and it is all bad news for Jim here. But I think everything had been covered.

Deborah Fink said...

To respond to Bob's point about my comment on the Just Peace list in 2009, that was precisely it. I was not a member back then so why should I have been loyal? A lot of people think tactically. In any case, what had happened, was that I'd just been to a hustings where I was not impressed with the Green MEP candidate, who I will not name here. BUT, in the end, I did vote Green, having been impressed with Jean Lambert at an earlier hustings.

My main issue is Palestine, but having joined the Greens, I care about the party and don't want to see damage done to it. I joined the party on a whim and discovered that there was a problem with Israel apologists, after my first London meeting. However, unlike the person I've complained about, I go to most meetings, conferences and hustings and I leaflet, canvass, man stalls and take an interest in the party.

levi9909 said...

Moddy - we crossed. what you said wasn't actually a challenge. the link to the EUMC WD is on my own blog so it was just another honest mistake that i assumed it was no longer on line. bob had to quote me out of context to make out i had got one on the WD's conditions wrong and rather chillingly he had to admit that israel is being established and maintained as a state specially for the world's jews by doing to the native non-jews what america and australia did to their respective native populations back in the day. i have argued that this means that under the WD you would not be able to condemn israel's ethnic cleansing because to condemn it is to deny the right of jews to self-determination (which the WD says is antisemitic) and israel is unique in that on-going colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing together with its segregation are happening now whereas no other state exhibits this triad of impairments.

nothing wrong with my understanding of the EUMC WD. funny, i noticed that whilst darren johnstone does indeed say that there has been antisemitism in the greens (though he didn't give examples) he didn't feel that the EUMC was the way to tackle it. taking him at his word, i'd agree with that last bit.

but where was your challenge on the substantive content of the WD?

skidmarx said...

Levi - your link to How To make The Case For Israel And Win appears to be broken.

levi9909 said...

yup - you're right.

But here it is again.

I don't know why Gordon didn't mention it....


Green Gordon said...

I really do not know what that means. I'm informed by my academic study if nationalism for my masters not by cranky polarised blogs. The argument that self-determination is only for people that share a territory is not supported in the literature. States tend to be formed if Nations of people. Nations of people may be united by all sorts of things from culture, to territory to race. This is a general principle that has nothing specifically to do with the middle east but is the cause of all sorts of conflict (over territory). If the Green party becomes islamophobic, I'll argue against that despite my ditstaste for Sharia law... See my point? As long as I'm labelled an apologist for Israel or ethnic cleansing there is no point in any discussion as there is a clear presumption of bad will.

weggis said...

Deborah Fink @ Friday, March 04, 2011 2:25:00 AM

"Sad to see Green Party members attacking the party and it's members, (including myself), publicly. Where is your loyalty, Jim Jepps and Alan Howe (Weggis)?"

I prefer to call it constructive criticism from people who have just a little bit more experience of the party’s ways than you.

"Contrary to what Weggis has said, you can over turn what was agreed at a previous GPRC meeting- it's not like conference."

Only if they suspend standing orders first. Which is what they did and what I reported. You’re a member try reading the minutes, they’re on the members website.

"As for my complaint against a member, it was not just about the publishing of the earlier GPRC document but of other internal documents and constant attacks on the party."

Your complaint against me was rejected, remember?

Deborah Fink @ Saturday, March 05, 2011 12:15:00 AM

"However, unlike the person I've complained about, I go to most meetings, conferences and hustings and I leaflet, canvass, man stalls and take an interest in the party."

Precisely the behaviour one would expect of an “entryist” with a single issue agenda. “My main issue is Palestine”. Some are easier to spot than others....

"I joined the party on a whim and discovered that there was a problem with Israel apologists,"

I am not aware of any “Israel apologists” in the party. Please name and shame WITH evidence.

Deborah Fink said...

Actually Alan, I have not put a complaint in against you, so don't like, but I am now considering it. Someone else was going to put in a complaint against you but I don't know if s/he has done so yet or how far it has progressed.

How could I be an entryist if I joined the party on a whim! That is the opposite of joining with an agenda! And how dare you accuse me of that! Perhaps you ought to ask our fellow local party members about the circumstances under which I joined. They were there. I joined because I agree with the party's stance on the environment, human and animal rights and civil liberties. When I then discovered that there was a problem with people making constant, public allegations of anti-semitism, probably to overturn party policy on Palestine, I saw how I could help the party. I knew all about Engage before I joined the party and was horrified to discover that there was Greens Engage.

And again you go on about me being a single issue person. So what? As I've said before, do you think it's better that I wear myself out or spread myself thinly? Again, as I've said, I concentrate on an area where I can make the most difference, because of my Jewish origins. But then, Alan, you've never understood that. In fact, you are against it- you attack Jews who campaign against what Israel's doing, (remember what you said about the Jewish boat to Gaza?). You just don't get it, do you.

There are plenty of single issue people in the party. You just don't happen to like the single issue that I've chosen. But in any case, when I did venture into animal rights activism, you attacked me for that too! For some reason, you like to attack me. Maybe it is because you can't argue with me, and you don't like that. When people make personal attacks, it is usually because they can't argue the point.

Deborah Fink said...

P.S. Alan, I spent the whole afternoon and Thursday evening, at Green Party hustings. Where were you? Where was the person who I put in a complaint against?

If I was an entryist, I would not be showing that sort of interest in the party (I mean, Israel/Palestine were not issues here) and in helping myself make an informed decision as to whom to vote for.

Green Gordon said...

Had to unsubscribe. It's like primary school on the comments.

levi9909 said...

No Green Gordon, I do not get your point but then you seem to be missing most of mine.

There is a "working definition" of antisemitism that clearly seeks to prevent criticism of Israel and that pays particular attention to campaigning or speaking against the existence of the State of Israel as a state specifically for the world's Jews established at the expense of its native non-Jews. It is my contention that people who support that definition as a guide to what is or what is not permissible re the State of Israel, are being misled or dishonest with the result that people will be forbidden from criticising Israel in any way at all irrespective of the WD's nods to "context", "double standards" and "criticis[ing] other countries ("democratic nations") for the same things".

You have said that to have a specific policy on antisemitism is consistent with the Greens' policies on racism against other communities. I have asked you which communities? As far as I know the policy is against all forms of racism with "including antisemitism" included in the wording. I don't know of other forms of racism specified.

I have also said we are going round in circles which we clearly are.

Even if a specific policy on antisemitism is required, and I don't think it is, this "working definition" should not inform that policy because it stinks.

Gordon, I truly have a poor concentration span and I have a tendency to skim but I don't think you have given any examples to support contentions you have made against the Greens' anti-racist policies or of nations/peoples granted self-determination in the way that the world's Jews are accorded self-determination via the State of Israel and thanks to a rolling programme of colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing facilitated by segregationist laws. It is this that leads me to suspect that you do indeed support the State of Israel which could not exist as a Jewish state without the current, on-going and systematic triad of impairments I have described. Even if you don't support Israel, if the WD is adopted, it will create the repugnant situation where the supporters of ethnic cleansing can continue their activities whilst their opponents could not. If you follow the links to Engage/Greens Engage that I provided earlier, you will see that if the WD was Greens Party policy Caroline Lucas would be censured as an antisemite and could even face expulsion from the party.

I must say Gordon, that I think you are an outrageous hypocrite. I have simply followed the logic of your own position to say that you appear to at best downplay Israel's ethnic cleansing and possibly to support it. I have been subjected to vicious smears by being quoted out of context (literally to the extent of Moddy and Bob cutting words from my comments) and your bogus complaint against a comment of mine on Bob's blog had him quite unjustly threatening to delete further comments of mine.

You want to make out that self-determination for Jews is the same as other peoples/nations, then name one or some. You want to say that other specified communities are protected from racism as Jews would be protected from a specific policy on antisemitism, name another or other communities. I am simply asking you support your assertions by reference to examples.

Jim Jepps said...

Gordon, you can go home - I have to live here :)

Two points. a. I'm glad DF is spending a lot of time on internal party business like hustings and conferences but it's hardly an example of 'things entryists don't do' and does not increase our vote by even one.

Building the Green Party in our local areas is the key thing our activists do, deepening our roots in communities and sharing their concerns over their libraries, community centres and neighbourhoods.

For that you need to be able to work with people with all kinds of different views and at least give the appearance of being a normal human being rather than a self-indulgent shrieking obsessive.

As an electoral nerd I find the 'appearing to be normal' business quite a difficult trick to pull off, I'm sure others have similar difficulties with this.

b. I've given some thought to what the most annoying thing I could say at this juncture would be and I think I've come up with it.

"You're *all* right, and I agree with you *all*. It's interesting to me that people who share so much politically can get so angry with each other when they are so clearly meant to be together."

Top that - I think I win the 'deliberately wind other people up' competition with that one.

levi9909 said...

Green Gordon - I'm sure you'll take a quick peek back at this thread if only to hone your tactics for future discussions. Storming off from a discussion because you can't make your case is more like primary school behaviour than anything you have specifically complained of.

Jim Jepps - if you have an issue with Deborah Fink's focus on the question of Palestine then you could express it in a completely non-insulting way, especially as you claim that "you need to be able to work with people with all kinds of different views".

There are people who have posted comments on this and on Bob's blog who are members of the Greens who have clearly distorted the situation in Israel and smeared and insulted those who have described it and campaigned against it and they have done these things, it seems, in order to have the Greens adopt what purports to be a "working definition of antisemitism" that looks suspiciously like an attempt to silence legitimate criticism of the State of Israel or its zionist ideology, structure and policies and to make the critics of Israel out to be racists rather than anti-racists.

You do not seem to have any problem with people lying for racist war criminals and smearing their opponents, only with Deborah.

I am not saying that to criticise Deborah is wrong and I am not averse to insulting people who I suspect of filibustering or resorting to intellectual dishonesty (as you have presumably seen) but Deborah is guilty of neither of these things.

But you then, through humour, make yourself out to be above the fray when you have shown partisanship in an extremely offensive way. I think you should apologise to Deborah.

Deborah Fink said...

Thanks Levi.

How does he know what i do in my local community? And why is that more important? Yes, why does he only attack me for what focus I choose to take? (And why does he not attack those who are damaging the party?) I suspect it's personal.

What worries me most about this, is that Jim is a member of the executive. Time for him to step down, I think.

Jim Jepps said...

I don't know what you do in your community, nor do I claim to - you've misread my comment.

Deborah Fink said...

Well, Jim, you seem to be implying that i don't do anything in my community. Certainly, you are undermining what i do do, saying that my interest in the party amounts to nothing - and impugning my integrity by implying that I am an entryist. I mentioned the hustings to show that i have an interest in the party outside Israel/Palestine, unlike supporters of Greens Engage who don't go to hustings or meetings.

And still no apology. A real man and a real Green would apologise, not just attack people from the comfort of his armchair.

levi9909 said...

did i misread the comment, Jim?

levi9909 said...

did i misread the comment, Jim?

weggis said...

Reading and comprehension are not exactly Debbie's strong point.

Raphael said...

Jim: "Top that - I think I win the 'deliberately wind other people up' competition with that one. "

It does not seem that any "winding up" is necessary at all. My worry is that you have won the possibility of demonstrating that any proposition is both true and false.

A Green Party member said...

I have been following this thread with growing incredulity. Ms Fink, a new member who joined on a wim, is considering a complaint against Alan Howe, and now wants Jim Jepps to stand down! Who on earth does she think she is?

As for the "working definition", Levi is getting this all out of proportion. It doesn't matter whether he/she or Gordon is right about nationalism, the issue for us is what sort of guidelines the GPRC should have used in dealing with very serious allegations within the party. Is there a better definition, that would actually be useful to the party in weighing up the allegations? Looking at the working definition, it specifically says that criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, so I don't undersand the repeated "it stifles criticism" claim.

levi9909 said...

Raphael - We have already discussed at length the fact that the working definition says that it is not antisemitic to criticise Israel if you criticise other "democratic nations" for the same things. That second half that you have excised from the sentence makes all the difference because it begs questions around Israel's current and on-going colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and racist laws, the fact that Israel is more heavily subsidised by the west than any other state and the fact that Israel's existence is predicated on its alliance with imperialism and its on-going human rights abuses. It also has more privileged access to European markets than any other serial human rights abuser. It also has apologists throughout the western establishment.

It also begs the question why should Israel's victims and their supporters criticise anyone else for the same things? Which other state is it racist to criticise without criticising others for the same things?

You have also ignored the fact that the WD lists things that simply must not be said, though Bob seems to think that the "context" issue "might" make it ok to compare Israel to the nazis, say that Israel is an apartheid state, say that Jews are not a case for self-determination, and say that the establishment of Israel is a racist endeavour and so on.

I think if we want to consider forms of racism then we have to consider the centrality of discrimination. So we have to ask ourselves, does a thing complained of discriminate against Jews as Jews? The WD clearly seeks to protect zionism and the illegitimate state whose official ideology it is, the State of Israel as it is currently constituted.

But it's all been had out on this and Bob's blog.

Frankly Raphael, I don't know if the emailed ding-dong you complained of amounted to antisemitic abuse or not but, by reference to the working definition, you "could" say that I "might be" antisemitic in this thread, subject to the "context" of course.

This working definition is disgusting. It hamstrings Palestine solidarity and it essentialises Jews as belonging to Israel and vice versa. The danger for the Palestinians cannot be gainsaid but the essentialising of Jews will create problems for us all in the long or even not so long term. I don't know why people are so cavalier about community relations between Jews and other minorities but this WD can only come between us.

Now, enough already!

levi9909 said...

Sorry, not Raphael, A Green Party member - the rest stands.

Lobby Ludd said...

Any chance that somebody might give examples of anti-Semitism in the Green Party?

Jim Jepps said...

And on that bombshell I'm going to close the comments on this thread.

I think I've given you all enough space to express your opinions on this matter but over 100 comments in I'm inclined to ask you to find some other space to pollute.

Bye everyone.