Pete Gregson, Chair of Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism (LAZIR), writes:
I’ve just read what you’ve been saying about me and I think it’s hurtful and unfair. You have declared me an anti-Semite and a mysoginist and I believe you have no grounds to do so. The determination of Zionists to obliterate those who campaign against their fraudulent and politicised definition of anti-Semitism knows no bounds. You have criticised me because they seek to tar you for having, at one time, supported me. (You’d liked the video I’d made with Rabbi Ahron Cohen.)
So, please let me try and put the record straight. Since the day the Labour Party adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition I have spoken out against it. I was also disgusted by the film The Lobby which showed how Israel was working with groups such as the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Friends of Israel to undermine those who support Palestine and campaign against Israel, a racist state.
I wrote many emails to Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) demanding that the JLM be disaffiliated from Labour for its conduct. At the time I wrote those emails I had no idea that one of those on the NEC to whom I was writing was a senior member of the JLM; that person was Rhea Wolfson. In one of those NEC emails I mentioned I was a GMB Shop Steward. It was subsequently revealed at my GMB expulsion hearing that on the very day of that email, a complaint was lodged against me at the GMB. The grounds were that I had breached the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, of which the GMB were early adopters, so I was therefore an anti-Semite – for saying that Israel was racist.
Rhea Wolfson, along with Jon Lansman, was a key player in getting the IHRA definition adopted by Labour. She is also a senior paid officer in GMB Scotland, and so was way above my volunteer grade. The hammer was wielded on her behalf by Gary Smith, Secretary of GMB Scotland, who wrote me threatening letters almost on a daily basis declaring how vile I was for attacking Zionism. I made discrete enquiries and a senior member of GMB Scotland revealed that the person behind the drive for my expulsion – and who had been complaining hard that the GMB needed to act against me for criticising her precious Israel, was – Rhea Wolfson.
I subsequently exposed her actions on my website and said that I thought her to be a raving Zionist. I was furious with what she had done. So then the GMB added this to the charges against me and declared that I was “bullying their young female Jewish employee” – and suggested I was therefore a mysoginist. But I have never met Ms Wolfson, nor have I ever communicated with her on a one-to-one basis. This was never bullying. And where does the misogyny come from? In what way have I attacked her for being a woman? The misogynist slur is nonsensical. All I have ever complained about is her support for a racist doctrine – and that has nothing to do with her gender.
Are you so fearful of the stooshie that has been kicked up against you as a judge for “Show Racism the Red Card” that you think undermining other campaigners is going to get you off the hook?
So, why, Ken, are you now repeating the nonsense that senior GMB officers spout? Has it never occurred to you that you are doing the dirty work of the Board of Deputies [of British Jews] and other Zionist bodies? And where on earth do you get the idea that I am anti-Semitic? I have never criticised Jews nor spoken against them. I think they are a valued and vital group in our society. What I have said is that the holocaust has been exploited by Israel – that Jews have leverage because of the holocaust, because the UK treated them so badly for so long that we have developed holocaust guilt – so many Jews died in Nazi death camps because Britain refused to let them in. But I have always made clear that only Zionists exploit this leverage and that they do so shamelessly, claiming they continue to be at risk of extermination from Palestinians if they cannot have Israel exactly the way they want it.
Yes, I have been outspoken and I have probably gone too far when I said that Israel exaggerated the holocaust for political ends, when what I really meant was that they exploited it. I have never doubted that six million Jews died in the most monstrous fashion and I have never exhibited prejudice or discriminated against Jews, so why do you call me an anti-Semite? Are you so fearful of the stooshie that has been kicked up against you as a judge for “Show Racism the Red Card” that you think undermining other campaigners is going to get you off the hook? You say “my views and behaviour are utterly reprehensible” – but what have I done that’s so bad? I had published the audio of my “expulsion trial” at Labour Against the Witch-Hunt, brought about by my publishing a link to a Herzl article that contained – as I said at the time – toxic views on Auschwitz, espousing theories which I later exposed as bad science. Freedom of speech matters too much for views to be condemned as “reprehensible” with neither examples given nor right of reply sought.
It is depressing that you have chosen to attack me. In your last email to me you signed off saying “Solidarity!” I would have thought that someone who said that would choose to contact me to clarify the facts before speaking publicly, rather than wading in with low blows, having swallowed guff from those that want to get me. Clearly, the Zionists want me smashed. Your decision to pick up the cudgel on their behalf only fans the flames of bogus anti-Semitism and plays directly into the hands of the Board of Deputies and the JLM – who want all to believe that anti-Semitism is rife in the UK. It is not – there is only support for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, something Israel is determined to crush. By your actions in attacking me, you are diverting energy from that vital cause. I thought we were meant to be on the same side.
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