To look back on antisemitism in 2018, I have split the year into calendar months, with each example representing a different element of the global battlefield.
I remember the end of 2017 as being part of a lonely battle. In November I recorded that there were 176 anti-Israel events taking place in the UK in a single month. By year-end we were just a handful shouting about the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn, but few seemed to be listening. I didn’t realise back then, how much things were about to change.
January 2018 – Alison Chabloz
2018 began just as 2017 ended, with me sitting amongst neo-Nazis and far-left antisemites. On January 10 2018 I was in court, for the early stages of the Alison Chabloz trial. Chabloz is a far-right Jew-baiter, a woman who composes songs that ridicule and deny the Holocaust. To add that extra dose of ‘spiteful’, Chabloz sets the lyrics to classic Jewish folk tunes.
Her journey to the court-room was a long one and this case highlights the difficulty of actually bringing even the most odious haters to justice.
Sitting amongst neo-Nazis in the gallery, people who cheered to songs about the Holocaust, was a very lonely place to be. Yet by the end of 2018, I was almost never alone. One of the greatest changes that occurred in 2018, was the ‘waking up’ of the Jewish community (along with their friends).
February 2018 -Marlborough Road Methodist Church
On February 1st I was in St Albans. I sat inside a church and not for the first time heard a stream of lies that demonised the Jewish State. The speaker on that occasion was Tim Coldicott from ICAHD (The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions). It was forty-five minutes of distortion and lies. At one point he suggested the Jews have a ‘sickness’. He claimed that they hold on to the occupation, because if they don’t, they will turn on themselves and kill each other.
The talk was not the worst I have heard, but it is always especially chilling to hear antisemitism spread inside a Church. For this reason it is on this list. The event represents elements inside the Church that are betraying the Jewish community.
Groups inherently hostile to Jewish people infest the Church and are being given platforms. ‘Victims’ are sent on organised propaganda tours. They are funded on the condition that once ‘programmed’, the new activist will initiate several events of their own upon their return. The virus is most widespread in the Quakers, where today almost any anti-Israel speaker is able to find a venue, regardless of his toxic nature.
March 2018 – Jeremy Corbyn.
The antisemitism crisis that was to engulf the Labour Party in 2018, started right here, on these pages. On March 8, I published a 290-page report (part one, part two) on the high levels of antisemitism that I had found inside a secret Facebook Group called Palestine Live. Three Labour MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn, had been members. Corbyn was an active member of this group for about two years.
Palestine Live taught me an important lesson. On antisemitism, and in fact on many of the extreme issues facing society, there is no ‘left’ and ‘right’.
A pool of people are being attracted to extremist ideologies. I call it a ‘magnetic horseshoe’ because it helps conceptualise that the ideologies are separate from the people. In different environments, the magnetic force of the right or left may have a stronger pull, but the two ‘opposite’ extremes are drawing from the same pool. Fringe members of society, the disenfranchised, conspiracy theorists, the angry and those seeking someone to blame.
In this way, the horseshoe acts as a magnet. This is why you can see those labelled ‘left’ and ‘right’ mixing freely in groups such as Palestine Live. They are not enemies and see few differences between themselves even if they vehemently protest the opposite ideology. It is a false anger. This vital piece of the puzzle should be understood if antisemitism is to be properly addressed.
Within weeks of the publication of my report, ‘Muralgate‘ was on the front pages, followed by a demonstration against Labour’s Antisemitism that took place at Parliament Square. Since then, the subject of Labour’s antisemitism has never been far from the media’s spotlight. The report into Palestine Live opened the eyes of many into the depth and complexity of the problem. Within months, people were publicly referring to the ‘institutional antisemitism‘ of the Labour Party.
April 2018 – Austria
Hitler was born in Austria on April 20 1889 and each year, on his birthday, neo-Nazis gather around the world to ‘celebrate’. Whilst Western Europe struggles with ‘multiculturalism’, and cultural Marxists degrade its value systems, the far-right have taken the opportunity to present themselves as the ‘solution’. As a student of history it is fascinating (but scary) to see these forces feed off each other. This is not one side or the other operating in a vacuum but rather a spiral of ever-increasing rhetoric, activity and violence. Each move by the ‘other-side’ gains *both* new followers.
I can draw a line between Western and Eastern Europe. The West leans more towards the cultural Marxists and in the East, more towards the Neo Nazis. The Rise of the right in places such as Austria, Hungary and Poland is a reaction to what they see happening further west. Extremism breeds extremism. In November 2017, the far-right ‘Freedom Party of Austria‘ became part of the ruling coalition.
For the Jewish people it means being caught between two forces, and the Jews are not accepted by either. Attacks on Jews by Europe’s far-right have been visibly increasing.
May 2018 – Banksy
In May, I paid a short visit to areas under Palestinian Authority control. Whilst in Bethlehem I stopped to walk around the Banksy Hotel. The hotel was opened in 2017 and contains a museum. What I saw inside the museum was a total distortion of history, supported by a range of antisemitic imagery. There is even an image of a Christ-like figure with a red-dot sight on his forehead.
I watched several videos, giving accounts of history so far removed from reality as to be total fiction. As I pointed out at the time far more hate went into building the exhibits within the hotel, than went into building the defensive wall the Hotel was designed to protest.
This type of poison is injected into tourists who visit PA areas and then they bring it back home. They distribute their findings as witnesses. The entire system is not set up to find peace or promote negotiation, but rather to demonise the Jewish state. To bring people to reject Israel’s right to exist. Banksy should be ashamed of his contribution.
June 2018 – Hezbollah in London
The event is ‘Al Quds Day‘, an annual event held at the end of Ramadan. It was introduced by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 as part of the war they wage against Zionism. Each year, the Hezbollah flag marches through the streets of London.
The demonstrators wave flags and they chant. They sing about war and hate. People with megaphones rile up the crowd. In 2017, one of them used the platform to tell the crowd that ‘Zionists’ were behind the fire at Grenfell.
The Hezbollah are a proscribed group in the UK, but this applies only to the military part of it. This allows for the flag to wave even though there are clearly pictures of weapons on it. This event symbolises the rise of radical Islamic ideology on our streets and the weakness of the west to confront it. Politicians often make noises about limiting the march or banning the flag. As yet, those promises remain empty.
July 2018 – France
The Jews in the 20th century were attacked from three sides, not two. Jews were victims of both far-right and far left, but the rise of radical Islamic thought and pan-Arab nationalism added another dimension. Over the past few decades, millions of Muslims have been part of a wave of mass migration to Europe. Some, imported Muslim antisemitism with them. The difficult situation this has created in France has led to an increase in French Jews moving to Israel.
In early 2018 Fiyaz Mughal of Tel Mama, had spent some time working on an interfaith campaign to bring Muslims into the battle against antisemitism. Having had some success in the UK, he tried to repeat it in France. According to this July 2018 article he failed miserably. In July, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism filed a complaint against Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris for ‘alleged incitement to hatred of Jews’.
The French inclusion in this list represents the additional problems that Muslim antisemitism has brought into Europe. It is partly responsible for the rise of anti-Jewish activity on the left. For Jewish people in nations such as Sweden and France, the situation is dire. In November, a scandal rocked a prestigious Swedish hospital and in July, the Jerusalem post ran an article on how Sweden’s Jews ‘fear for their future’. This is not hyperbole. Since the 2015 attack on a Kosher supermarket in France, there have been numerous attacks. These include attacks outside synagogues and schools. In 2017 Dr. Sarah Halimi, was murdered and thrown off her balcony by Kobili Traoré. He shouted “allahu akbar” as he beat her to death. In March 2018, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, was brutally murdered in her apartment.
August 2018 – The Independent
Extreme views are given far more legitimacy and airtime than they deserve. Newspapers such as the Independent and Guardian have been used by the radical left as outlets for Jew hatred. Sometimes this can also be seen in other media such as the BBC. All recent surveys indicate that the Jewish attachment to Israel is part and parcel of Jewish identity. A 2015 Yachad survey placed it at over 90%. Any balanced media outlet would take this into serious consideration. Yet left-leaning media use fringe Jews as an umbrella of legitimacy.
During the course of any year, there are repetitive letters and petitions, all carrying the same few names. On 17 August, at the height of the discussion over antisemitism, the Independent produced a letter, signed by 84 BAME ‘organisations’ suggesting the Labour antisemitism crisis was little more than a scam designed to silence ‘their voices’. The letter went viral.
I researched the organisations on the list. It was bogus. Many of the 84 organisations didn’t exist or were no more than one man outfits. Some people had signed two or three times. Anti-Israel activist groups and radical Islamic organisations also bumped up the numbers. I found rabid antisemites and other such conspiracy theorists. One man, from the Tunisian Association of Great Britain, openly displayed his hatred of Jews on his Facebook Page.
The Independent legitimised something that they should never have published. Being read and viewed by members of the BAME community as legitimate, it did a real disservice to everyone. Their listing here was an easy decision to make.
September 2018 – BDS on Campus
September sees the start of the academic year and campus is a major influence in the rise of antisemitism. I have been to more events on campus that I care to remember, and have witnessed first-hand, how hatred of Jews is being spread there. On September 1st 2018 the Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a ‘National Union BDS Conference’ in Manchester. I have been to this type of conference. They are designed to mobilise students. To teach them how to promote BDS on campus where they spread endless lies about the conflict and Zionism.
Throughout September anti-Israel groups hold ‘fresher events’ where the seek recruits from the pool of new students. I went to one at Goldsmiths. Israel is always turned into some monster, that invaded the Middle East in 1948 and expelled farmers as they harvested their crops.
BDS uses campus to recruit and in turn, the new activists turn the environment into one that is hostile to Jews. At several universities, like UCL and Kings, pro-Israeli events have been aggressively disrupted. Sometimes, the students are so scared of disruption, speakers are not arranged in the first place. From the perspective of a Jewish student, a denial of freedom of speech exists on campus today.
October 2018 – Pittsburgh
On Saturday 27th October, Jewish people who had gone to the Tree of Life synagogue to pray, became victims in the deadliest targeted attack on the Jewish community of the United States. At 9:50 a.m local time, Robert Gregory Bowers entered the synagogue and began shooting at the congregation. Eleven people were killed and seven were injured.
Like many hard-core haters today, Bowers was using ‘alternative’ social media to leave antisemitic messages. Bowers was a white nationalist. His world is one of conspiracy. He is part of an extremist right-wing fringe that views Donald Trump as ‘Jew-controlled’.
Pittsburgh is a reminder that antisemitism is deadly. It is not just about stifling voices, waving flags and removing platforms. Antisemites have a problem with Jews that sees Jews as unwelcome as neighbours, and as an independent force. Genocide becomes a logical solution.
Bowers wanted to kill the Jews because he sees them as an insidious and corrupt power. Anti-Zionism is also about making Jews powerless. Antisemitism from the left and right is based in Jewish power conspiracy. The struggle of the antisemite to categorise the Jew *will always* lead to violence. Both extremes, right and left, result in Jewish blood flowing in their streets.
November 2018 – women’s march
In November 2018, the Women’s March movement was rocked with charges of antisemitism. Three of the group’s co-chairs, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, refused to distance themselves from Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan. If you read the history of the movement itself, you realise that antisemitism was perhaps embedded into the organisation from the beginning. Some local Chapters have now disassociated from the national group, others have cancelled their own 2018 demonstrations.
If you cannot disassociate from an extremist such as Louis Farrakhan then you have a problem. But this issue is symptomatic of the left as a whole. Moderate leftists cannot understand why those on the fringes cannot disconnect from the extremists. The problem is, that to those on the fringe, the moderates are politically more distant than the ones they are being asked to disconnect from. Just like in the UK, Elements of the American left are losing the plot.
When I published my first report on hard-core antisemitism inside the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, anti-Zionist magazine Mondoweiss, chose to run an article attacking me for it. They see me as attacking their power-base. Thus the defence of antisemites becomes a politically natural position for hard-leftists to take. For example these activists were all members of Palestine Live:
- Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP
- Alison Weir
- Medea Benjamin
- Ariel Gold
- Alli McCracken
- Cindy Sheehan
- Cynthia McKinney
- Rabbi David Mivasair
- Jeff Halper (founder of ICAHD)
- Michael Lerner
- Richard Silverstein
Some of them are still active, six months after the levels of antisemitism were publicly exposed. Most of the founders of ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ are also still members. Yet Palestine Live has also been a haven for neo-Nazis and white-supremacists. As I stated earlier, it is the same pool of people.
December 2018 – Fake News
Fake news presents a serious threat to social cohesion. The extremists I research have rejected mainstream media entirely. Authority is seen as a target for revolution and only ‘alt’ new sources are worthy. In some groups, even the Independent is considered ‘Zionist controlled’. Websites such as 21centurywire, Veteranstoday, Redressonline and Globalresearch.ca are turned to for the ‘truth’. In this fake-news world, right and left become indistinguishable, and I have seen many ‘humanitarians’, share articles from websites that contain far-right neo-Nazi imagery.
Much of the news content digested by hundreds of thousands of anti-Israel posters is ‘post-truth’ hogwash from antisemitic websites. They share it because they saw it in their ‘Pro-Palestine’ Facebook groups. In their world truth has collapsed and having been disconnected from ‘Zionist controlled media’, they have no way of properly sourcing information. This turns almost every anti-Israel activist into little more than an antisemitic propaganda outfit. As truth has been left behind, every opportunity is taken to distort events to suit the narrative. When they argue with you, they do not see you as a person with an opinion. You have become a paid operative from Tel Aviv. No review of antisemitism would be complete without mentioning the problem of online content.
As 2019 ends, I thought I’d share this odious message I have just received via my website. ‘Oskar Schindler won’t be around this time to save you‘.
This is the level of hate that we face. It remains genocidal. But 2018 did not end as it started. People have become more aware and the community is far more active. New friends and allies have been made and guess what, I no longer feel as alone as I did. Bring on 2019.
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