When it comes to writing the history of these unfolding events, the Jewish anti-Zionists groups like JVP (Jewish Voice for peace) will have their name in lights in the hall of shame.
I don’t know what the situation is in the US, but I would imagine with over five million Jews, the environment does not resemble Europe. That a few groups of anti-Zionist Jews have taken it upon themselves to publish a timely (which is why it is about the UK) public letter on the IHRA definition of antisemitism is a direct attack on British Jews. When you consider that if 75% of the groups listed combined together to put all their people into a single demonstration, they wouldn’t match the regular Shabbat turn out of a single average synagogue in the UK, you begin to realise how vile and insidious this is.
As the research also uncovered:
- Multiple signees who are members of antisemitic Facebook Group Palestine Live
- Groups that seem to have been invented for the letter
- People that signed more than once
- Bloggers who call themselves organisations
- Groups that are not actually Jewish organisations
- Groups that share antisemitic material and even one represented by a Holocaust Denier
Then it reaches a whole new level of nasty.
The JVP letter and the ‘peace’ groups
For the most part these are not ‘peace groups’ at all. This is not about borders, Gaza, ‘settlements’ or Jerusalem. Almost all the groups in the letter support BDS and are fighting to remove Israel from the map. One thing that is difficult to understand sometimes is that each Jewish community exists uniquely within it’s own context. British Jews, French Jews, Brazilian Jews, American Jews, Israeli ex-pats, the environments are so different that sometimes even when we seem to be saying the same thing, we are talking about entirely different dynamics.
Here in the UK we are fighting a high-stakes battle against rising left-wing antisemitism. British left-wing Zionist groups understand this and from left to right, British Zionists of almost every political persuasion recognise there is a problem with Jeremy Corbyn. So what kind of dangerous game is the Executive Director of the US group Jewish Voice for Peace, Rebecca Vilkomerson playing, when she publicly aligns with antisemites and Holocaust deniers to weaken the position of Jewish people in the UK?
This JVP backed letter was published in the Independent. The letter itself has been translated into seven languages and is issued as a joint statement ‘condemning attempts to stifle criticism of Israel with false accusations of antisemitism.’ Just recently I looked at a similar letter published by the Independent that turned out to be a scam. That is why this JVP letter interested me and I wanted to do some research into the forty-one groups listed.
I began by sending a simple email (not in my name) to twenty-four of the organisations listed in the letter. This one is an example:
It is almost a week since the first email was sent. I have not received a single response from any of the twenty-four ‘organisations’. Not one. This is for the most part, because many of these organisations should not be called organisations. They are one or two people with a grudge against Israel and a computer. If they are lucky they also have a felt tip pen and a sheet to draw a message on.
To further check the status of the ‘organisations’. I set out for a global tour of the groups, searching their activity online. This is what I found:
Antisemitism in Scotland
I will start with ‘Scottish Jews against Zionists‘. At the time the letter was published, the group had a history of several weeks and the website had a lifespan of about five days. The Facebook page has about a hundred likes, almost all of them not Jewish.
What I found as I researched this outfit is probably the most obscene antisemitic attack on *Jewish identity* I have witnessed. The first outing of this group was on the 16th May in Edinburgh. The spokesperson for the group was Jolanta Hadzik. She is also the face used on their self-promotion posts.
The person in the video below is Hadzic. She is introduced by Mick Napier, head of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The SPSC are themselves riddled with antisemitic activists. In the report on the SPSC I published last year Jolanta was heavily referenced. I am aware of half a dozen aliases Jolanta has used over the past decade, but there is nothing to be gained by reporting here what I have found. What is relevant is antisemitism.
Here are just three posts of Jolanta’s in which she shares Holocaust Denial and conspiracies about harvesting children’s organs and Jewish global control:
There is something truly sinister about this. Napier says he read the SPSC report, yet he introduces Hadzic as part of a new ‘Jewish anti-Zionist movement’. Seeing him standing there producing Hadzic ‘as a Jew’ is representative of some truly dark days in Jewish history. It is an utterly reprehensible and antisemitic act.
The other person pushing the group is Sarah Glynn. Last year after I produced the report on hard-core antisemitism in the SPSC, Glynn chose to write a piece excusing the antisemitism (I responded to destroy her argument). No wonder she feels comfortable with Hadzic.
Glynn is also a member of antisemitic Facebook group Palestine Live:
Mixed messages from Israel
Another interesting signature was the ‘Coalition of Women for Peace’. I tried contacting them but their email bounced and the phone listed is unreachable. The Facebook Group is run by Marwa Hanna, who is an Arab citizen of Israel. Marwa also works/worked for ‘The Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media’. The email failure notice I received included the line ‘user doesn’t exist: firstname.lastname@example.org’ , so it seems the emails to the website are also directed to Marwa. I clearly have no problem with an Arab citizen of Israel doing anything but I do take offence if the group she ‘manages’ is pretending it is a ‘Jewish one’ rather than an ‘Israeli one’.
For Rebecca to add this group into the list is either deliberately deceptive or just stupid. In explicitly hiding / quenching the Arab voice from the organisation it is also undoubtedly racist.
This wasn’t the only racist entry. The other Israeli group listed is ‘Boycott from Within’. The organisation exists but is a small one consisting of a handful of individuals. At the head are Ronnie Barkan and Ofer Neiman. Both of these people were long time active members of the rabidly antisemitic group Palestine Live. Barkan is still there:
They don’t identify as a Jewish organisation, nor should they. The Wiki page lists them as ‘an association of Jewish and Arab Israelis’. Another one of the clan, Sahar Vardi, is also a member of Palestine Live.
The Jews who mix with Holocaust Deniers
No anti-racist, or person in a group who seeks peace, should be able to tolerate the secret Facebook group Palestine Live. In March I produced a 280-page report on the levels of antisemitism inside. Over 60% of all the material placed on the site is shared there by hard-core antisemites. If you remove the anti-Zionist Jews, that level rises beyond 70%. To push home the point on Palestine Live, I won’t rely on a Zionist, but a British anti-Zionist Jew. This is what Roland Rance said about Palestine Live:
‘Anyone who actively participated in it should have been able to see what an antisemitic cesspit it was‘.
In Palestine Live, every antisemitic slur imaginable has been published, liked and shared. Many of them by those who founded or were admin of the group. The Holocaust has been denied, belittled and even ridiculed. Hard-core white supremacists frequent the group and are active posters there. Many of the people who lead the groups behind this ‘open letter’ are active participants. We can start with the person who put the entire letter together. Rebecca Vilkomerson from JVP:
Rebecca is still a member of the PL group. She has been a member for forty-two months and counting. It doesn’t seem to bother Rebecca that she exchanges pleasantries with rabid Jew-haters. But then as she sent out a letter that ‘proudly’ included our Scottish Holocaust deniers, perhaps that is hardly surprising.
Blogs are not organisations (I should know)
Several of these listed organisations seem to be just blogs. ‘Quebrando Muros – Judeus Brasileiros Pela Descolonização da Palestina’ is just a blog written by Lara Haasz and Bruno Humberman. Los Otros Judíos (Argentina) has a real Twitter presence and a blog, but no apparent public footprint beyond this. It seems to be the work of Tali Feld Gleiser and Julio Rudman
The ‘organisation’ Junts, Associació Catalana de Jueus i Palestins is clearly a dual ‘Jewish – Arab organisation’. In reality it seems to consist of two people, Sara Epstien and Alex Hinno. They have been running for a while but they only started a Facebook Group one months ago. The group currently has three members. An event they held recently seems to have been the first in three years. Alex Hinno is also the spokesperson for the Palestinian Community in Catalonia. ‘Junts’ was one of the organisations that I contacted by email but who failed to respond. Clearly both Sara and Alex are busy. I wonder which one of them signed the letter.
This is one of Hinno’s shares:
When anti-Zionist organisations count, it must be difficult for them to get past ten. In a list of forty one, they were sure to have had their mathematical abilities stretched.
Take ‘SEDQ‘ which claims to be ‘A Global Jewish Network for Justice’. Two of the three signatures in an open letter SEDQ published in May are Sahar Vardi and Jordy Silverstein. Sahar is part of the ‘Boycott from Within‘ movement and Silverstein is a spokesperson for Jews against Fascism. The two groups are already signatures on the letter. As with the BAME scam, how many times do people want to sign one letter?
Or ‘European Jews for a Just Peace‘. This is simply a federation of other anti-Zionist groups. Like the Jewish Socialists and, JfJfP. Except these groups have all signed individually. As Dror Feiler is the Chairman for both ‘European Jews for a Just Peace’ and ‘JIPF – Judar för Israelisk Palestinsk Fred’, it can be assumed he signed twice. Isn’t this like cheating?
The same can be said for the ‘International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’. Aren’t the central figures in that group already represented in the letter?
The English absurdity
The UK readers will instantly recognise these UK groups, headed by people such as Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Mike Cushman, Jonathan Rosenhead, Debbie Fink and Glyn Secker.For those not in the UK, these people are not ‘peace-seekers’ but rather the modern day version of the communist Yevsektsiya. Not rooted in Bundism, religious orthodoxy or Zionism, but rather sold on the idea that the solution to the Jewish question is total assimilation. There is a Twitter account that monitors the various outrageous statements by some of these people.
They open multiple groups to pretend they are bigger than they are, and it goes without saying that the UK provided more groups to the letter than the US. This, despite the UK having only a fraction of the size of the US Jewish population and with no evidence that UK Jewish anti-Zionism spreads beyond a tiny fringe element of the community. The core activists simply have more groups than people and my local synagogue has more people turn up for a regular Shabbat, than all these groups could muster combined. It has been shown time and again that the groups are effectively all the same people.
- Free Speech on Israel
- Independent Jewish Voices
- Jewish Socialists’ Group
- Jewish Voice For Labour
- Jews for Justice for Palestinians
This image taken from my research into Palestine Live, best highlights the issue (links to the evidence is provided with the report – part two page 87-88):
Five of the six are STILL members of Palestine Live. Only Rachel Lever, who was a member, seems to have left. This in spite of the inexcusable and well publicised levels of antisemitic activity. Like most anti-Zionist Jews these people have no problem at all holding the hands of hard-core antisemites.
All of these people were added by Elleanne Green, all know it is her group and she has shared 100’s of deeply antisemitic posts. They also know that far-right white supremacists and neo-Nazis are active there.
Taking the English Mickey, JVP comes to town
Another UK group in the list ‘Jewish Voices for Peace in London‘ doesn’t seem to exist. Perhaps they meant ‘Jewish voices for peace in the UK‘, which does exist as they successfully managed to open a Facebook page on 14th July, three days before the open letter was published.
Perhaps it is good they seem to be opening a branch here. The few dozen active British Jewish anti-Zionists don’t have enough anti-Zionist groups to choose from!
So who is behind this new group? I managed to put two names to it, Haim Bresheeth and David Cannon. I’ve seen Bresheeth several times before. I’ve seen him say this:
“everything in Israel currently has to go. Zionism has to go.….the JNF, the Jewish agency, every single authority, every single institution, is Zionist..”
Is that the ‘Voice of Peace’? Bresheeth is an active member of Palestine Live. He must know that the site was full of hard-core antisemitism but it does not seem to bother him as he continues to freely interact with Elleanne Green the founder:
He has also identified as being part of ‘Free Speech on Israel’, who have already signed the letter:
Bresheeth has a long history of outrageous comments. This isn’t even the first UK anti-Zionist group Haim has started. In 2003 Bresheeth helped start a group with JVL’s Roland Rance called ‘Jews Against Zionism‘. Sitting alongside Haim at the event was Lenni Brenner. As a result, a major focus of the event were Brenner’s distortions over ‘Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis’. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, Bresheeth has apparently made his own ‘adjustments’ to Holocaust history.
Helping Haim in setting up JVP is David Cannon. Cannon’s father is Jewish. He is obviously part of the new crowd who use Jewish heritage of any kind to speak ‘as a Jew’ as they set out to attack the Jewish community. Cannon is a conspiracy fruitcake:
The ‘legitimate questions’ included those about Jewish people not turning up for work on 9/11. The video was made and shared by Luke Rudkowski. It shows how Corbyn’s ‘left-wing’ sits comfortably with far-right conspiracy ideology. Cannon also happily shares Gilad Atzmon. 9/11 isn’t Cannon’s only conspiracy fetish. There is this:
This is the link to the above article. The site pushes Rothschild conspiracy, the Khazar myth and all manner of antisemitic conspiracy. It blames the Jews for the Holocaust and links to the most racist sites on the internet. Cannon has also posted videos about the New World Order that suggests the ‘Zionist agenda is a large part of the NWO’.
More recently he suggested that Mossad, rather than Russia were behind the Salisbury poisoning. Holocaust revisionism and Rothschild Conspiracy. The new JVP group should do well.
‘Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine‘ are a Facebook page which gets about two updates a month. It is run by a couple of Jewish people in Manchester who attend anti-Israel demonstrations with a sheet they drew a message on. They legitimise anti-Israel activity by giving it a kosher stamp, but never seem to have hosted an event themselves. Faceless, nameless, they couldn’t pull together a minyan.
European groups and assistance
I would like help from anyone who can provide more information on these European groups. I have researched and made headway, but language is clearly a hurdle:
- Italian Network of Jews Against the Occupation – seems to be Paola Canarutto and a couple of friends. Already signed the document as part of the European Network.
- Union des progressistes juifs de Belgique. ‘Its members are almost all members of the Communist Party of Belgium’. Already signed the document as part of the European Network.
- Union Juive Française pour la Paix. Already signed the document as part of the European Network.
- Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden im Nahost. Already signed the document as part of the European Network.
- Jewish Voice for Democracy and Justice in Israel/Palestine (Switzerland). Seems to be wrongly named. Already signed the document as part of the European Network.
- A Different Jewish Voice – Netherlands & another Jewish Voice – Belgium. Already signed the document as part of the European Network
Jewish AntiFa Berlin
The first thing to differentiate this Berlin organisation is that it is named in English and most of its posts are written in English. This suggests it is driven by a few Israeli ex-pats with an external focus. A recent article in German numbered them at ‘about a dozen’. They invited Jackie Walker to speak in 2017. Walker is hardly a person Jewish anti-racists should be associated with. You know you are on shaky ground with these groups when you use the Google image search function and the result doesn’t show any (or much) public activity.
There are three groups in this section. Two from Australia and one from New Zealand.
‘Jews against the Occupation’ is Vivienne Porzsolt. I spent several hours looking for associated members and came up virtually fruitless. They had an action in 2011 outside a Max Brenner shop. 15-20 people turned up. Impressive, until you realise that action was supported by FOUR other organisations. It is sickening when you realise that these two-people outfits are used by groups like Kairos to justify their antisemitic pro boycott stance.
‘Dayenu: New Zealand Jews Against Occupation’ is two people. Justine Sachs and Avigail Allan. Recently Avigail has fallen silent and it seems to be Justine running a one-man show. Justine is ‘famous’ because she co-wrote the letter to Lorde urging her to cancel her Israeli gig (which she did). The person she co-wrote the letter with is Nadia Abu-Shanab. They both use aliases on FB (Justine Rose & Nadia Filistin). Nadia, who was born in Leeds, is part of the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network.
Dayenu have no visible public footprint. They don’t hold protest events because they represent nobody. This is what I see as a global trend. A couple of Jews, standing next to a group of people who align with real haters. As an active anti-Zionist Jew, you are either giving legitimacy to an antisemite or to someone holding hands with an antisemite.
JVP and the USA
There were eight North American (6 US + 2 Canadian) groups listed.
- Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle, Southern California
- Boston Workmen’s Circle, Center for Jewish Culture and Social Justice
- Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)
- Jewish Voice for Peace – JVP
- Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
- Jews Say No!
- United Jewish People’s Order (Canada)
- Jews of Color & Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in Solidarity w/ Palestine’ (seems to be a blog, written in partnership with JVP)
I did not enter this area because North American Zionist groups understand what is on their doorstep far better than I do. Please feel free to send me information. They do seem to be a mix, but the North American discussion is a long way from the isolated environment that European Jews find themselves in today.
For the most part organisations in the US need to ask why they are getting involved to protect and defend European antisemitism? This isn’t about peace in Israel. Do they really want to stand alongside Holocaust deniers and antisemitic conspiracy theorists as these people attack European Jews?
Who are these people
If I need to distinguish the different elements it is an assortment of oddities, outcasts, haters and the naive.
- Some are simply leaving the community and want to do so without guilt. Whereas two generations ago these people would have left the fold with extreme discomfort, today they can self-justify
- Or they are simply the black sheep. Several (and considering the low number they represent, several is a lot) family members of our most famous anti-Zionists have been in touch with me to tell the story of the ‘lost child’ or ‘wayward sibling’
- Then there are those with daddy issues. A lifetime spent getting back at daddy the best way they can – by hating what he loves
- Others who are antisemitic, hate Jews but claim to have Jewish heritage. Someone who has never spent a day inside a Jewish household speaking ‘as a Jew’ about his hate for Israel
- A few Israeli ex-pats, who want to ‘fit in’ inside their new home
- Finally of course there are the naive and privileged. Spoilt young people in the west, born into relatively affluent households, who cannot handle the internal discomfort that brutal reality sometimes creates
The enemies of the Jewish people *always* end up being written as the bad guys of history. I don’t know the inner workings or wider membership of some of the groups, but I am sure that some people aligned with these groups do not want to align with Nazis and rabid antisemites in the attack against the Jewish community of the UK. Yet this is EXACTLY what they have publicly done and this is the way these organisations will be forever remembered.
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