Nobody should be in any doubt that the group called Na’amod are at the core – an anti-Zionist organisation that was set up to undermine Jewish community support for Israel. They are targeting our children and their focus on the ‘occupation’ and ‘Gaza’ is little more than a strategic deflection.
If you mistakenly think Na’amod is some innocent student ‘anti-occupation group’ – you will be shocked to find out what they are really about – and who is helping to fund their attacks on the Jewish institutions (such as on the JNF, Zionist Federation or the Board of Deputies). Want to know more – Read on.
Talking about Na’amod
I rarely acknowledge Na’amod – it is a Jewish-led organisation that sits to the left of the left on the political spectrum. Like most astroturf groups they need external attention to survive. It is why for Na’amod, provocation is a primary strategy.
This is what they do. They provoke – Zionists respond – they play the victim – they get attention. When you respond to them – when you speak their name – you give them oxygen.
It is why I never rise to their bait – never allow them to dictate the narrative. This article on Na’amod is different. It had to be written as a vital part of our community conversation.
Jamie Stern-Weiner – the dull Oxford newbie
The journey begins last Tuesday. I tuned in to an Oxford University Zoom talk by Jamie Stern-Weiner. It was about the history of the IHRA definition of Antisemitism and his entire argument was to suggest the examples included in the IHRA definition were never properly adopted by the IHRA as part of the definition itself. A pointless exercise that included cherry-picking comments from those involved when it suited him – and ignoring them when it did not.
Unlike the Jewish, academic, anti-Zionist old guard, such as Jonathan Rosenhead, Stern-Weiner is a fresh face. Yet the talk was incredibly boring. His delivery is poor and he fails to spark any interest or emotion in what he has to say. Unlike fanatics such as Tony Greenstein, he remains coherent but after a while I just found myself zoning out. He has the air of a man who thinks he is intellectually superior. Weiner’s problem is that he isn’t as clever as he thinks he is.
Once the boring talk came to a close, it was Q&A time. Coincidentally, my favourite question was asked by one of the participants. His name was ‘Mark’. It is a simple question, but one that immediately highlights the sand upon which the anti-Zionist opposition to the IHRA rests. If you do get the opportunity – ask it. I have tabled this 50 times – and whilst I have never received a direct response (they cannot answer the question) it has never failed to highlight a problem with the speaker’s position.
Instead of criticising what it is the speakers are saying – it gets them to into a place they would rather not be. This is the question:
This was the incredible response that Jamie Stern-Weiner gave:
“I don’t find the term antisemitism useful. Period. I think when it comes to statements, that category of statements that we might call factual statements, statements that might be true or false – beliefs about the world. So the only question is – is it true or is it false. Now if it is true – the question of is it antisemitic – doesn’t arise. If it is false, that is already sufficient reason to reject it. We don’t need another reason to reject it. It is false. So I do not think the term antisemitism is useful.”
The ‘expert’ on antisemitism doesn’t know what antisemitism is
Given his response, it is clear that Jamie Stern-Weiner has not got a clue about what racism, discrimination and antisemitism are about at all. Not only does he believe the term antisemitism is not useful – he thinks racism is somehow connected to ‘truth’. Oh Jamie, you can justify racial profiling, stop and search and all manner of discriminatory practices through such a lens.
Discrimination, especially institutionalised discrimination, has nothing to do with truth. The microscope that is placed on Israel is the antisemitic act – not what is seen through it. Picking only on a child who is black all the time is racism – it is the racism that dictates what you see and want to focus on. Just like all discriminatory practices that set up and/or pick their targets. If you are left just querying whether or not that black child is guilty of what he stands accused of – you understand nothing about racism. When it comes to antisemitism, Stern-Weiner should keep his mouth shut.
Stern-Weiner was born in Israel, but he, his two siblings and his mother are all in the UK. His father is in Israel. He seems to have reinvented himself with a clean Twitter (2015) and Facebook account (2016) – so it is impossible to know what was on any profiles he may have had before this. He was active on Reddit and has a blog.
Jamie Stern-Weiner is of solid anti-Zionist DNA. He worked with the toxic David Miller and Hilary Aked between 2013 and 2016 on Miller’s Spinwatch projects. He was also an editor of New Left Project, working alongside Tom Mills, another David Miller protege.
He has co-authored articles with Norman Finkelstein. When Finkelstein came to the UK on a book tour, Stern-Weiner helped to organise it – and a simple search of Finkelstein’s own blog site highlights a strong connection between the two.
During the Labour antisemitism crisis, Stern-Weiner came out strongly for Corbyn. He called Jackie Walker a ‘prominent anti-racist campaigner’ and said that claims of an antisemitism problem in Labour were ‘devoid of factual basis‘.
He even partnered with Alan Maddison to ‘prove’ that the Antisemitism crisis in Labour was a myth‘. For those that do not know Alan Maddison, he is a member of Palestine Live, was JVL’s ‘statistician’ and absurdly suggested there was virtually no antisemitism present in my Palestine Live report.
His friend list on Facebook contains names such as Ben White (obsessive BDS activist), Adie Nistelrooy (Manchester Palestine Action and ISM), Nat Sims (founder of PSC Jersey), Salim Alam (PSC executive committee), Hilary Aked and Tom Mills (Spinwatch), Richard Silverstein (Tikun Olum conspiracy theorist), Shahd Abusalama (toxic anti-Israel activist at Sheffield Hallam), and all the key JVL figures.
The post 1967 rabbit hole
I often suggest that Israel’s supporters should not bother arguing about settlements, the ‘occupation’, checkpoints or Gaza – *unless* they know that the person they are discussing the conflict with, supports the idea of Israel existing behind secure borders. What is the point of talking about ‘settlements’ with someone who thinks Tel Aviv is a settlement? Post 1967 discussion with an anti-Zionist is a rabbit hole – and one in which you give up many of your strongest cards.
If I were an anti-Zionist trying to work out how to deal with pro-Israel activism I would argue for the opposite strategy. I would suggest we keep the Zionists talking about post 1967 politics – because as soon as the discussion turns to earlier history or the wider conflict – we are on very weak ground. And this strategic position was one firmly pushed by Jamie Stern Weiner
Jamie Stern-Weiner the strategist
It is important to understand what Stern-Weiner was arguing. He is not suggesting anti-Zionists stop campaigning for an end to Israel – but rather they stand a better chance of making progress if they stop talking about it – and focus on the human rights keywords:
This next tweet is clearer:
This is the same strategy BDS uses. They never explicitly enter a discussion on Israel or Zionism – they just make a coded list of demands. They stick to the bits they know will attract support and hide the more insidious elements of the movement. Even though BDS seeks an end to Israel – all of their demands are shrouded in the language of human rights.
It is a clear strategy of his – he continued in 2017 and 2018:
By framing the discussion in this language – even the most hard-core anti-Zionist can seem more moderate and gain large support. He was not alone. His good friend Norman Finkelstein was pushing a similar argument.
Perhaps the clearest example of the deceptive strategy occurred just a few months ago:
The instruction is clear. Forget about what you want – if you are in a community that will view attacks on Israel’s existence as illegitimate – then don’t tell them that is what you want.
The Na’amod connection
What this all means is that a group that wishes not to appear anti-Zionist – simply needs to obfuscate – BDS style – about what it thinks of the main arguments (Israel’s right to exist) and rather just focus on things – like settlements – that will not see them ostracised.
This is from Na’amod’s ‘our values‘ page:
Does it sound familiar? Exactly like BDS do and Stern-Winer suggests. In this fashion, with Na’amod permitted to spread their masked anti-Zionist propaganda in left-wing Zionist Jewish areas – Na’amod becomes akin to a Trojan Horse.
But are Na’amod and Jamie Stern-Weiner connected? After all, Stern-Weiner is linked to David Miller, JVL, Norman Finkelstein and the PSC. There is nothing Zionist about him. No true supporter of Israel should have anything to do with him.
Except all of the key Na’amod players are on Stern-Weiner’s friend’s list (he only has 700 – so mass ‘friending’ is not relevant here) – and most of the Na’amod activists have liked some of his posts.
Stern-Weiner also shared Na’amod’s seed funding campaign. And let us put aside the ‘youth’ label. Jon Roiser – who was at the event where Kaddish was said for Hamas terrorists – and along with spouse Anna is clearly one of the brains behind Na’amod – is in his 40s.
Like Rob Abrams and the Roisers, Emily Hilton is not a young student – so why does this group feel free to target Jewish student events?
And what is a Board member of Yachad doing at all these Na’amod guerilla events anyway? Some of them – such as Rivkah Brown – do not even try to hide their position:
Na’amod is clearly following Stern-Weiner’s strategy – but is their even more evidence that Na’amod is in the anti-Zionist camp?
The Na’amod donors
It is legitimate to ask why Na’amod *immediately* received financial support from the anti-Zionist camp. Other activist anti-Zionist donors are also visible in the list.
This also means that people who want to see Israel wiped from the map – helped fund the guerilla attacks on the Board of Deputies and JNF, and are financially supporting the spreading of propaganda and disinformation to young Jewish minds on campus.
This evidence was all there from the very beginning. Rob Abrams – Na’amod co-founder – and the man who spoke the names of the Hamas terrorists at the Kaddish event – has also described himself as working alongside anti-Zionists (also not a young student – he is 30). He appeared publicly in pro-Corbyn propaganda videos.
His friends’ list on social media include people such as Robert Cohen (anti-Zionist blogger), Aaron Bastani (Novara media), Gary Spedding (anti-Zionist activist), Asad Rehman (Director – War on Want) and Glyn Secker (JVL).
And let us not forget that Rob Abrams works at Medact – alongside Hilary Aked of Spinwatch fame. What are the odds?
An example of a Na’amod tweet
I have shown Na’amod’s strategy and some anti-Zionist funders. Now it is time to look at who is spreading the Na’amod message. When Na’amod attack Jewish institutions – which people come to help them amplify their voice?
Take this tweet attacking the JNF:
I took the most recent tweet from the time I began this part of the research. It is a typical Na’amod tweet – one that is an attack on the JNF – a key Jewish organisation. The tweet was amplified (retweeted) by seven other accounts. One was a retweet by Na’amod – which left six. Here they are:
@RealDavidCarter @Ruthanasia @rk70534 @BeshirWaleed @TONE1923 @ImzMK1
The result is shocking. There are no young Jewish students on that list at all. Worse still – these are the accounts amplifying Na’amod’s ‘attack JNF’ message:
Links to neo-Nazi websites such as Rense, antisemitic conspiracy, Mossad did 9/11, Rothschild conspiracy, Zionist paymasters and Holocaust deniers. Others such as @BeshirWaleed are hard-core anti-Israel activists, but never do original tweets – only retweeting others – and normally in Arabic.
None of us is in control of who shares or retweets our content – but this means that only one of the accounts that retweeted Na’amod wasn’t problematic – and most display antisemitism. The issue here is that this is all there was – almost all of Na’amod’s visible support in their attack on the JNF came from antisemites.
It also highlights the naivety and irresponsibility of these activists – in that they fail to consider what they embolden and empower with such attacks.
I wanted to confirm this trend, so I looked for another Tweet – and this time I chose a recent one that attacked the Zionist Federation. This time fifteen accounts amplified the Na’amod message – so it provides a larger sample.
Two accounts are not visible – of the remaining 13 – the antisemites @ruthanasia and @rk70534 make a reappearance. Anti-Zionist activist accounts Robert Cohen, Gary Spedding, RightPalestine and Oxford PSC retweeted it.
The account @Folsnight also retweeted it – and it seems to be another account that goes around baiting Jews on Twitter:
and its response to the brutal murder of Ari Fuld was to call him a Mossad agent:
The same pattern emerges – antisemites, Jew-baiters and hard-core anti-Zionist accounts is the audience Na’amod are playing for. Only one visibly ‘soft-Zionist’ Jewish account retweeted them – Gabriel Kanter-Webber – the ex-star of Yachad and trainee Liberal Rabbi. Shameful. It should be clear that all Yachad activists should think long and hard before they go anywhere near this toxic group.
I tested a post from Na’amod on Facebook, which is a much more ‘bubble oriented’ platform. It was an attack on the Zionist Federation and JLC. Shockingly I received similar results. There were no Jewish students sharing or commenting on the post. The post was fodder for non-Jewish anti-Zionist activists.
The Na’amod attendees:
Na’amod recently held an event fit for any anti-Zionist outfit. It held a discussion on Israeli ‘Apartheid’ and the anti-Zionist activist academic Rania Muhareb was one of the speakers. It is worthwhile looking at the people who attended the Na’amod zoom talk on 21st January. Only the first 50 attendees had their cameras activated – take a look at the demographic:
Incredible. Where are the ‘many’ students – that Na’amod claim to represent? Attendees included Tony Greenstein, David Rosenberg, Diana Neslen, Richard Kuper, Mike Cushman, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and Robert Cohen.
Don’t be surprised at the heavy JVL concentration:
Alison Harris is the Treasurer at Jewish Voice for Labour. Adie Nistelrooy is a hard-core anti-Israel activist and one of the founders of Palestine Action.
There is no conspiracy here. The handful of naive students who may have joined Na’amod since it was founded and have fallen for the wider hard-left strategy of deception are innocent victims too. They need to get out and find a real ‘soft-Zionist’ movement to support.
What is clear is that the notion that Na’amod is a student group is empty propaganda. Na’amod’s roots were in saying religious Jewish prayers for Hamas terrorists, its links are with people who stood under Hezbollah flags and its donors include activists who are real enemies of Israel. When Na’amod publishes something, hard-core antisemites amplify its voice and if Na’amod holds an event – recognisable haters of Israel all come to watch.
Na’amod is free to pretend to be whatever it likes but it is vital that our community knows the truth.
And always remember – when Na’amod attack the JNF, BOD or Zionist Federation – it is funding from true Israel haters that helped them pay for it.
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