First-hand account: Zionist terror networks slash and ban banner at UK Labour Party conference

Zionist banner censorship
Pete Gregson, Chair of Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism (LAZIR), writes:

On Sunday 22 September Labour Party member Pete Gregson had his banner taken down from outside the annual Labour Party conference. Why? The police agreed it was not anti-Semitic. When Zionists first started complaining about it, the police photographed it and referred it to their superiors. Not a problem, they said. The banner could stay.

But the Zionists, from the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and the Sussex Friends of Israel (FoI) were incandescent with rage. Repeatedly they complained and when the police refused to act, they took the law into their own hands. Councillor Joshua Garfield from Newham Council rushed the banner and slashed it in two. The police apprehended him and removed the large sharp scissors he had used and took his details. (Later Garfield boasted about it on Twitter.)

Gregson and the secretary of Labour Against the Witch-Hunt repaired it. Yet again it was attacked, ripped in half again by another Zionist. It was repaired again. At this point local hoodlum Simon Cobbs (Founder of Sussex Friends of Israel and ex-convict of the prison in Exeter) stood spread-eagled before it and refused to move. After an hour of this he moved away, whereupon another extremist rushed the banner and this time ripped it in several places. On each occasion Gregson repaired the banner and on each occasion the police caught the assailant and took their details. The police asked Gregson if he would consider taking down the banner. He said he would not do this, explaining that this was a matter of freedom of speech. He was in a public space, the banner was not anti-Semitic.

Eventually a group of Zionists stood before the banner and created a scene, arguing and shouting with those who defended the banner, supporters of free speech. At a certain point the police made the decision that a possible public order offence had been committed – by Gregson! They removed the banner and took it away. The police explained that it was now evidence in a potential public order charge – against Gregson!

It would appear the police had been bullied into making a decision into taking Gregson’s banner down on the grounds that he had committed a public order offence, rather than those who had been harassing and attacking him, and calling him an anti-Semite.

Banner slashed by Zionist terror networks

Banner slashed by Zionist terror networks

Later that day, Jeremy Corbyn waded in. He tweeted: “I’m disgusted that this banner was displayed near our #Lab19 conference centre. We asked the police to remove it and I’m glad they did. This kind of antisemitic poison has no place whatsoever in our society.” This brought forward 1,800 responses, many from people who couldn’t see anything anti-Semitic about the banner at all. (You can read the responses to Corbyn’s tweet here.)

On Monday 23 September Gregson attended a voluntary interview at the John Street police station where he was interviewed under caution with the duty solicitor present. He explained what the banner was about and why he had brought it to Brighton, to promote political discussion on the weaponisation of anti-Semitism. He explained about the Al-Jazeera documentary. “The Lobby”, on which the banner was based. It portrayed how Israel funds the take-down of politicians sympathetic to Palestine, using groups such as the JLM and the FoI.

Gregson explained the banner had particular relevance at this time. An election was coming and that once the date was announced, newspapers would be full of accusations of anti-Semitism aimed at Labour politicians who have dared to criticise Israel, in an effort to undermine their vote. Gregson thought it important to point out the role a foreign country was having in British electoral affairs. He concluded by telling the police that he was disappointed in them for undermining his freedom of speech.

The police must now decide if they will ask the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute; it is likely to be months before a decision is made. In the meantime, Gregson will pursue claims of criminal damage against those who attacked his banner and against the police for taking it down, for the Human Rights Act of 1998 – Article 10 protects his right to hold his own opinions and to express them freely without government interference, including through works of art.

The next day, Rabbi Aharon Cohen of the Neturei Karta spoke to Gregson and gave his view that he could not fathom any way that the banner was anti-Semitic.

Many are dumbfounded at Corbyn’s tweet describing it as such. When the film was shown in 2017, its fairness and accuracy was supported by OFCOM and Corbyn called for an investigation, so he knew that Israel pumps millions of pounds into Zionist defamation activities in the UK with the sole aim of shutting down any debate on Israel’s racist treatment of Arabs and Christians.

However, according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, adopted by most political parties, to say that Israel is a racist endeavour is now seen as prejudice against Jews. The banner says: “IHRA: tell the NEC how you feel”, because Gregson wanted Labour members to tell the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to abandon the IHRA definition they adopted a year ago, an action to which Corbyn himself objected. Party members are now beholden to a definition whereby any activist criticising Israel as racist becomes an anti-Semite, a plainly ludicrous claim. This enables Zionists to make endless charges of anti-Semitism against anti-apartheid activists.

Most of these accusations come from the JLM, registered as a socialist society affiliated to Labour. Gregson is chair of Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism (LAZIR), a group of Labour Party activists which sees Zionism as racism and who want to end its influence, seeking to get the JLM disaffiliated. At the Labour conference, they distributed 1,500 flyers to party members calling for this, highlighting the JLM’s role in undermining any politician who supports Palestine and criticises Israel.

PIC2View in Full ScreenDear Comrades,Join our fight to rid our party of the Jewish Labour Movement, an organisation re-constituted justfour years ago in the aftermath of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, specifically to attack, undermine anddestroy his leadership.Secret recordings by Al Jazeera reveal former JLM chairJeremy Newmarktelling a‘membersonly’function on 13 September 2016 that“a bunch of us sat in a coffee shop in Golders Green”around September 2015 (just days after Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory) to“talk about re-forming the JLM to do something…..about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn.”The JLM also claims to represent the British‘Jewish community’,however the group’s ownwebsite quoted former JLM chairLouise Ellman MP claiming that JLM was“founded in 2004 asthe successor to Poale Zion, a pioneering organization within the Labour‘Zionist’family.”Poale Zion participated in the 1948 Nakba when Zionists terrorised, killed, maimed or drove outover 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland–it has not been active since.Meanwhile, since its supposed re-branding’,the JLM has deliberately and maliciously brought theparty and its leaders into disrepute by:•Falsely attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the party as‘anti-semitic’and pushing the FAKE‘anti-semitism crisis’narrative in national and international media;•Lodging a FAKE‘anti-semitism’complaint against the party with the Equalities and HumanRights Commission;•Passing a resolution at its AGM in 2016 describing Jeremy Corbyn as‘unfit to be PrimeMinister;•Calling on the electorate not to vote for Labour candidates who support Corbyn as leader;•Conspiring with foreign agents, particularly from Israel, to discredit the party and its leaderas seen in the Al Jazeera 2017 documentary‘The Lobby’ (;•Aligning with and defending the racist apartheid state of Israel in direct opposition to theLabour party’s stated aim of fighting all forms of racism anddiscrimination.We call on all party members to lobby their CLPs to vote for thedisaffiliation of JLM from the Labour partyDownload the model motion JEWS–HATE RACISM!DISAFFILIATE JLMJewish Labour Movement was Revived to Deal with CorbynJonathanCook,TruePublica,26 April 2019The Jewish Labour Movement likes to date itsorigins to the Poale Zion organisation, whichwas founded in 1903. A socialist society, PoaleZion affiliated itself not only with the BritishLabour party but also with a wide range of anti-Palestinian Zionist organisations such as theWorld Zionist Organisation and the IsraeliLabour party. The latter carried out the ethniccleansing of the vast majority of Palestinians in1948 and the party’s leaders to this todaypublicly support the illegal settlement“blocs”that are displacing Palestinians and stealingtheir land.But as the investigative journalist AsaWinstanley has shown, before the unexpectedascent of Corbyn to the Labour leadership in2015, the JLM had largelyfallen intodormancy.It was briefly revived in 2004, when Israel wasfacing widespread criticism in Britain over itsbrutal efforts to crush a Palestinian uprising inthe occupied territories. But the JLM only reallybecame active again in 2015.According to a covert recording of a privateJLM event in late 2016, its then chairJeremy Newmark said he and otheractivists had agreed to reform the group inSeptember 2015 in response to“the rise ofJeremy Corbyn”and“Bernie Sanders inthe States”.Corbyn has been electedLabour leader only days previously.According to the transcript, Newmark told theother activists that it would be the“start of astruggle and a battle we will all be engaged infor months and probably years ahead of us”.He added that the JLM would be a suitablevehicle for their work because of the“rightsand privileges”it enjoyed as a Labour partyaffiliate organisation.Front for Israeli embassyThe motive behind the JLM’s resuscitation wasalso revealed by an undercover documentarymade by Al-Jazeera,aired in early 2017. Itshowed that the JLM was acting as little morethan a front for the Israeli embassy and thatthe mission it set itself was to weaken Corbynin the hope of removing him from theleadership.Early on, the JLM and other pro-Israellobbyists within the party realised that mosteffective way to damage Corbyn, and silencesolidarity with the Palestinian cause, was toweaponise the charge of anti-semitism.Support for Palestinian rights necessarilyrequires severe criticism of Israel, whosepopular, rightwing governments have shownno interest in making concessions to thePalestinians on self-determination. In fact,while westerners have debated the need forurgent peacemaking, Israel has simply got onwith grabbing vast tracts of Palestinian land asa way to destroy any hope of statehood.But pro-Israel lobbyists in the UK have foundthat they can very effectively turn this issueinto a zero-sum game–one that, in thecontext of a British public conversationoblivious to Palestinian rights, inevitablyfavours Israel.Identifying with IsraelThe thrust of the lobby’s argument is thatalmost all Jews identify with Israel, whichmeans that attacks on Israel are also attackson Jewish identity. That, theyclaim, is amodern form of anti-semitism.This argument, if it were true, has an obviousretort: if Jews really do identify with Israel tothe extent that they are prepared to ignore itssystematic abuse of Palestinians, then thatwould make most British Jews anti-Arabracists.Further, if Jewish identity really is deeplyenmeshed in the state of Israel, that wouldplace a moral obligation on Jews to denounceany behaviour by Israel towards Palestiniansthat violates human rights and internationallaw.And yet the very Jewish leaders claiming thatIsrael is at the core of their identity are alsothe ones who demand that Jews not beexpected to take responsibility for Israel’sactions–and that to demand as much is anti-semitic.Could there be a clearer example of havingyour cake and eating it?‘Institutionally anti-semitic’Nonetheless, the JLM has very successfullyhijacked the debate within Labour of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to silencecriticism. It has worked hard to impose a highlycontroversialnew definitionof anti-semitismthat conflates it with criticism of Israel. Sevenon the 11 examples of anti-semitism used toillustrate the new definition relate to Israel.Arguing, for example, that Israel is a“racistendeavour”,the view of many in thegrowing BDS movement and amongCorbyn supporters is now being treated asevidence of anti-semitism.For this reason, the JLM has been able to file acomplaint against Labour with the Equality andHuman Rights Commissionarguingthat theparty is“institutionally anti-semitic”.Labour is only the second political party afterthe neo-Nazi British National Party to havebeensubjected to an investigationby theequality watchdog.Counterweight to the JLMDespite its claims, the JLM does not representJewish opinion in the Labour party. The JLMsays it has 2,000 members, though that figure–if accurate–includes non-Jews. Attendanceat its annual general meeting this month couldbe measured in the dozens.As one Jewish criticobserved:“There aresome 300,000 Jews in Britain. The JewishLabour Movement claims to represent usall. So why were there fewer people at theirAGM [annual general meeting] than at myLabour Party branch AGM?”Many Jews in the Labour party have chosennot to join the JLM, preferring instead to act asa counterweight bycreatinga new Jewishpressure group that backs Corbyn calledJewish Voice for Labour.Even a new JLM membership drive publicisedby former Labour leader Gordon Brownreportedly brought only asmall influxof newmembers, suggesting that support for theJLM’s anti-Corbyn, pro-Israel agenda is verylimited inside Labour.Speaking for‘the Jews’The re-establishment of the JLM has one verytransparent aim in mind: to push out Corbyn,using any means at its disposal. At its annualgeneral meeting, the JLM unanimously passeda motion of no confidence in Corbyn,describing him as“unfit to be Prime Minister”.The resolution declared that“a LabourGovernment led by [Corbyn] would not bein the interests of British Jews”.One Jewish commentator derisivelynotedtheJLM’s arrogance in speaking for all BritishJews at a time of Conservative government-imposed austerity:“I would not presume to proclaim what is in theinterests of‘the Jews’,but I really cannotimagine that the person who drafted thisresolution had any real experience of meetingunemployed Jews, Jewish pensioners andsingle mothers just scraping by, or Jews whoare struggling as they use under-resourcedmental health services.”Scoring Labour candidatesIn other circumstances, a group of peopleoperating inside a major political party usingunderhand methods to disrupt its democraticprocesses would be described as entryists.Some 2,000 pro-Israel fanatics within Labourare trying to overturn the overwhelmingwishes, twice expressed at the ballot box, ofthe Labour membership, now numbering morethan 500,000.Nonetheless, last week the JLM started toshow its hand more publicly. It has beennoisily threatening to disaffiliate from theLabour party. In the circumstances that wouldat least be an honourable–if very unlikely–thing for it to do.Instead, it announced that it would beginscoring local and national Labourpoliticians based on their record on anti-semitism. After the JLM’s frantic lobbyingfor the adoption of the new anti-semitismdefinition, it seems clear that such scoreswill relate to the vehemence of acandidate’s criticism of Israel, or possiblytheir ideological sympathy with Corbyn,more than overt bigotry towards Jews.That was underscored this week when asenior Labour politician, Richard Burgon, theshadow justice secretary, came under firefrom the JLM and Board of Deputies forcomments he made in 2014, during Israel’sattack on Gaza, that only recently came tolight. He wasrecorded saying:“The enemy ofthe Palestinian people is not the Jewishpeople, the enemy of the Palestinian peopleare Zionists.”He had previously denied makingany such comment.Mike Katz, the JLM’s new chair, responded:“Insulting a core part of their [Jewish people’s]identity and then dissembling about it isshameful behaviour from a senior frontbencherin our party, let alone someone who aspires toadminister our justice system.”Marginal prejudiceAccording to the Labour party’s own figures,actual anti-Jewish prejudice–as opposed tocriticism of Israel–is extremelymarginalin itsranks, amounting to some 0.08 per cent ofmembers. It is presumably even less commonamong those selected to run as candidates inlocal and national elections.The JLM has nonetheless prioritised this issue,threatening that the scores may be used todecide whether activists will campaign for acandidate. One might surmise that the scorescould also be serve as the basis for seeking todeselect candidates and replace them withpoliticians more to the JLM’s liking.“We have got elections coming up but we arenot going to put that effort in unless we knowpeople are standing shoulder to shoulder withus,”said Katz.Need for vigorous debateParadoxically, the Jewish Labour Movementappears to be preparing to do openly whatpro-Israel lobbyists in the US deny they docovertly: use their money and influence toharm candidates who are not seen assympathetic enough to Israel.Despite claims from both US and UK pro-Israellobby groups that they speak for their owndomestic Jewish populations, they clearly don’t.Individuals within Jewish communities aredivided over whether they identify with Israel ornot. And certainly, their identification with Israelshould not be a reason to curtail vigorousdebates about US and UK foreign policy andIsraeli influence domestically.Even if the vast majority of Jews in the US andUK do support Israel–not just in a symbolic orabstract way, but the actual far-rightgovernments that now permanently rule Israel–that does not make them right about Israel ormake it anti-semitic for others to be highlycritical of Israel.Chipping away at democracyThe overwhelming majority of Israeli Jewssupport a narrow spectrum of politicians, fromthe militaristic right to religious fundamentalistsand fascists. They view Palestinians as lessdeserving, less human even, than Jews and asan obstacle to the realisation of Jewish rights inthe whole of the“Land of Israel”,including thePalestinian territories. Does that make themright? Does their numerical dominance excusetheir ugly bigotry towards Palestinians? Ofcourse not.And so it would be the same even were it truethat most Jewish members of the Labour partysupported a state that proudly upholds Jewishsupremacism as its national ideology. Theirsensitivities should count for nothing if theysimply mask ugly racist attitudes towardsPalestinians.Lobbies of all kinds thrive in the dark, growingmore powerful and less accountable when theyare out of view and immune from scrutiny.By refusing to talk frankly about the role ofpro-Israel lobbies in the UK and the US, orby submitting to their intimidation, wesimply invite Israel’s supporters and anti-Palestinian racists to flex their musclesmore aggressively and chip away at thedemocratic fabric of our societies.There are signs that insurgency politicians inthe US are ready for the first time to shine alight into the recesses of a political systemdeeply corrupted by money. That will inevitablymake life much harder for the pro-Israel lobby.But paradoxically, it is happening just as theUK’s Israel lobby is pushing in exactly theopposite direction. British politics is beingplunged into a stifling, unhealthy silence on thelongest example of mass human rights abuses,sanctioned by the west, in modern history.Read the full article entitled–As the Israellobby in the US weakens, its UK counterpartgrows more fearsome.Jonathan Cook is an award-winning Britishjournalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since2001. He is the author of three books on theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict.Download the motion and read the originalarticle join LAZIR for free–to help us kickZionism out of Labour.

Corbyn’s pro-Palestine stance has drawn JLM’s ire and the group has declared Corbyn “unfit to be prime minister”. It scores Labour candidates seeking election according to their level of support for Israel, working with the media to undermine those whom they don’t like or who support Corbyn. One doesn’t have to be either Jewish or in the Labour Party to be in the JLM.

Labour’s founding planks are fairness, equality and social justice. LAZIR points out that the JLM’s sole focus is on protecting Israel, and that it shares none of Labour’s values in its disregard for Palestinian rights.

[Jon] Lansman is Momentum leader and the man responsible for getting the IHRA definition adopted by Labour in 2018. He is a strong supporter of Israel and spent years on a kibbutz.

Gregson emailed Corbyn in response to the latter’s tweet, pointing out Rabbi Aharon Cohen’s views and that Corbyn himself had called for an investigation into Israel’s undermining of UK politicians; he had also not supported Labour adopting the full IHRA definition. Gregson copied in all NEC members and drew this response from Jon Lansman: “I do not wish to receive any more of your messages. Your obsessive hatred of those you call “Zionists” marks you out as an anti-Semite. To be clear, you do not have my permission to retain my contact details so please delete them and never contact me again.”

Lansman is Momentum leader and the man responsible for getting the IHRA definition adopted by Labour in 2018. He is a strong supporter of Israel and spent years on a kibbutz. He is also one of the nine Constituency Labour Party (CLP) representatives on the NEC and as such was elected to represent the views of CLP members, including Gregson. Gregson considers that as his representative, Lansman has to accept that part of his role is to receive communications on Labour Party matters from members.

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, couldn’t resist wading in as well, saying in the Jewish Chronicle he was furious about this “deliberate intimidation of Jewish Labour members at the conference”. He said “Regardless of where and why it is outrageous to come to a conference of a democratic party and to intimidate people who are just trying to make the world a better place.” Gregson does not consider Watson’s unbridled support for Israel is in any way making the world better.

Gregson is now in discussion with his solicitors; he will seek redress through the courts.

More on this, including the links to the many publications which carried the story, can be found here.

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