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"The latest attacks on Corbyn carry the implicit message that Meyer himself was an anti-Semite – a shocking and absurd claim."

British media have been abusing my friend, the late Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer, as part of their campaign to smear Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite.

In 2010, Corbyn hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event in London, where Meyer was the main speaker.

In recent days, The Times created a furor with an article declaring that Meyer “made the comparison between the Nazi regime and Israeli policy.”

Right-wing Labour lawmakers opposed to Corbyn went on the attack.

MP John Mann declared that the event violated “any form of normal decency,” while fellow lawmaker Louise Ellman said that the event made her “wonder if this is the reason that the Labour Party wanted to dilute the definition of anti-Semitism in this way.”

Ellman – a long-time apologist for Israeli human rights violations – is an officer of Labour Friends of Israel, a lobby group with close ties to the Israeli embassy.

Ellman was referring to the deeply flawed International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism which mentions “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as an example of anti-Jewish bigotry.

Under pressure from pro-Israel lobby groups, Labour’s National Executive Committee last month adopted the IHRA definition as part of the party’s rule book.

But the NEC dropped one of the examples included in the IHRA definition, which states that “claiming that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor” is a form of anti-Semitism.

Activists have pointed out that if adopted by the party, this clause could be used to ban a wide range of criticisms of Israel’s racist policies and violations of fundamental Palestinian rights.

Corbyn caves in

The latest attacks on Corbyn carry the implicit message that Meyer himself was an anti-Semite – a shocking and absurd claim.

The anti-Semitism smear against Meyer is disgusting and should be treated with utter contempt.

Instead, Corbyn did what he has done consistently since he became head of the party, which is pander and retreat in the face of Israel lobby pressure.

The Labour leader apologized for his role in the event and distanced himself from the views Meyer expressed at the meeting, passing the burden of defense onto Meyer’s shoulders.

But Hajo Meyer can no longer defend himself because he died in 2014.

Silencing a survivor

The 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day event took place the year after an Israeli assault on Gaza that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and injured thousands more.

Meyer was very upset by the assault because Palestinians were trapped in Gaza due to the blockade on the territory that Israel imposed starting in 2007.

He could not help but compare the situation of Palestinians trapped under Israeli occupation and bombardment with Jews caged by the Nazis in ghettos like the Warsaw Ghetto.

The 2010 event was co-organized by IJAN, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.

In a statement last week, IJAN pointed out that a number of leaders in the British Israel lobby had attended the meeting, but that “most of them had clearly not come to listen.”

“Most of the Zionists clearly came to silence the Holocaust survivor, Dr. Meyer,” attendee Yael Kahn wrote after the event. “As soon as he started talking they shouted at him.”

The notoriously abusive pro-Israel bully Jonathan Hoffman, a former vice-president of the Zionist Federation, was one of several disrupters to be escorted out by police.

According to IJAN, another disrupter, Martin Sugarman, was removed for shouting at Meyer.

“On his way out he [Sugarman] stunned everyone by giving the Nazi salute and shouting ‘Sieg Heil,’” IJAN stated.

“I have never witnessed such contempt and disrespect to a Holocaust survivor,” Kahn observed. “The attackers would have labeled such conduct as anti-Semitic had Hajo not been anti-Zionist.”

Amanda Sebestyen, a participant in the 2010 event, confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that lawmaker Louise Ellman was there “the whole time.”

Indeed, Sebestyen wrote a letter to the Labour newspaper Tribune in 2010 highlighting how Ellman and others “sat unmoved without making the slightest attempt to quell their fellow supporters of Israel and create an open space.”

The observations, recorded in 2010, that Ellman was present are notable given that eight years later the MP is claiming she is only now learning of the event.

“I am exceedingly disturbed to hear that now there is evidence that Jeremy [Corbyn] was actually at a meeting where these sorts of views were expressed,” Ellman told The Times last week.

Since Ellman was there herself, why did she wait until now to express her outrage? Could it be that the whole affair is another manufactured crisis in order to pressure Corbyn because of his historic support for Palestinian rights?

Ellman did not respond to an emailed request for comment from The Electronic Intifada.

Lessons from the Holocaust

Hajo Meyer’s experiences with German Nazism defined him and made him sensitive to the suffering of others, especially Palestinians.

I met Meyer for the first time at a meeting of A Different Jewish Voice, a Dutch activist group.

I introduced myself as a child of parents who suffered under German occupation. My father was forced to work for the Germans and my mother could not finish her education because her school was closed.

During the Dutch famine at the end of World War II, she had to stand in a soup kitchen queue for hours.

The lesson I learned is to speak out when injustice is done, I told the the meeting.

That is why I got involved in supporting the fight against South African apartheid and the fight of the Palestinians for freedom, justice and equality.

Meyer and I immediately bonded. We stayed in touch and I interviewed him several times for The Electronic Intifada.

Auschwitz

Meyer had to quit school in Bielefeld, his hometown in Western Germany, after the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews in November 1938.

“It was a terrible experience for an inquisitive boy and his parents,” he told me.

At the age of 14, he had to flee alone to the Netherlands.

After the Germans occupied the Netherlands, Meyer went into hiding with a poorly forged ID.

He was captured by the Gestapo in March 1944 and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. There, the Nazis tattooed number “179679” on his arm.

Education was very important for the Meyer family and his eagerness to learn resulted in a doctorate in theoretical physics after he was liberated from Auschwitz.

His mother and father tried to leave Germany but without success.

They died after being sent to the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt.

Identification with Palestinian youth
Reflecting on his life, Meyer told me in 2011, “I have so much in common with Palestinian youth.”

“My own fate is so similar to what young Palestinian people in Palestine experience. They have no free access to education. Preventing access to education is murder in slow motion,” Meyer said.

“I was a refugee; they are refugees,” he added. “I experienced all sorts of camps that limited my mobility, just like the Palestinians.”

But acknowledging injustice was not enough.

Meyer was not afraid to speak out about how Israel was responsible: “I can in no way identify with the criminals who make it impossible for Palestinian youth to be educated.”

He was also appalled by the European Union’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its crimes, especially against Palestinians in Gaza.

In his 2005 book Das Ende de Judentums, Der Verfall der israelischen Gesellschaft – “The end of Judaism, the decay of Israeli society” – Meyer warned the German public that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians could be compared with the early stages of the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

This point was also made in 2007 by Tommy Lapid, the late former chair of the advisory council of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Meyer made it clear that he was not seeking to draw a parallel with the Nazi Holocaust.

But he and his publisher were still confronted with accusations of anti-Semitism.

Such accusations – especially in Germany – can make people reluctant to criticize Israel’s behavior.

It did not stop him from criticizing Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, however.

In response, Meyer published a booklet to counter the deliberate abuse of the terms anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism by the Israeli state and its lobby groups.

He called for the utmost restraint in making accusations of anti-Semitism – a term that should be reserved for hostility against Jews as Jews.

Yet those attacking Corbyn today have no restraint and no shame.

They will even call a man who survived Auschwitz and lost his parents in the Holocaust an anti-Semite if they believe that is what it takes to shield Israel from consequences for its crimes.

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-lobby-attacked-auschwitz-survivor-smear-corbyn
 

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And then Corbyn finally admits he was at a wreath-laying ceremony to honour the terrorists that murdered 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics.

After a year of lying about it.

Now he says that, although he laid a wreath and prayed at the grave of the Munich mastermind, he was not really involved.

Nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It seems Corbyn is finally realising that the attacks he's suffered by Israel and its Zionist lobby are not in good faith, but a blatant assault on his leadership in the UK.

Israel is a rogue state but it needs to understand that it can't and shouldn't dictate the course of other countries.

 

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Damn, I've been gone a while. Back in the day non-tennis part of forum was for "Player's ankles and other sexy joints photos".
WTF is this shit?
 

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Netanyahu is a piece of shit and I'm glad Corbyn is calling him out.

The same newspapers which are making false accusations of antisemitism against Corbyn are, in the meantime, perfectly happy to publish articles from right-wing nutters who argue that the Conservative government is "not Islamophobic enough" or that Golden Dawn is "saving Greece". It's disgusting to watch these people pretending to object to racism. If they care so much about antisemitism, they should stop supporting the neo-nazi thugs in Ukraine.

I just wish Corbyn would stand up to the imperialist pigs in his own party. Sadly, he has capitulated to them and defends the UK's NATO membership and nuclear weapons programme, both of which he always (rightly) opposed before he became their leader. I want him to stand by his principles.
 

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I knew British media was corrupt, but I'm still shocked and appalled by their anti-Corbyn smear campaign.

Good response here:

Good response? LOL.

The pictures are there. He was at a ceremony honouring the Munich terrorists, he held a wreath.

Now he says, "OK I was there, I held a wreath, but I was NOT INVOLVED.’’

The pictures even show him with hands out, palms upwards, in a pose of grief, mimicking those of the terrorists beside him.

Still shocked and appalled?

So who is corrupt? The media or Corbyn?
 

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Good response? LOL.

The pictures are there. He was at a ceremony honouring the Munich terrorists, he held a wreath.

Now he says, "OK I was there, I held a wreath, but I was NOT INVOLVED.’’

The pictures even show him with hands out, palms upwards, in a pose of grief, mimicking those of the terrorists beside him.

Still shocked and appalled?

So who is corrupt? The media or Corbyn?

You...


I don't believe you are so fucking dumb to believe Corbyn was honouring the terrorists.
 

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You...


I don't believe you are so fucking dumb to believe Corbyn was honouring the terrorists.
Bad language does not make your post any more convincing. I probably should not even recognize such vulgarity with a response, considering the type of person who must have wrote it.

I believe you ARE dumb enough to accept Corbyn’s evasive explanations without question.

It is all on film. Of course he was. What makes you think he wasn’t?

If he was holding a wreath at a terrorist memorial and then appearing to be praying at the site, I don’t think he was spitting on the memorial.

If Corbyn comes clean and says he was there and held a wreath, but he was not involved, do you think that explains everything?

So what was he doing?

Even members of his own Party are upset with his obfuscation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bad language does not make your post any more convincing. I probably should not even recognize such vulgarity with a response, considering the type of person who must have wrote it.

I believe you ARE dumb enough to accept Corbyn’s evasive explanations without question.

It is all on film. Of course he was. What makes you think he wasn’t?

If he was holding a wreath at a terrorist memorial and then appearing to be praying at the site, I don’t think he was spitting on the memorial.

If Corbyn comes clean and says he was there and held a wreath, but he was not involved, do you think that explains everything?

So what was he doing?

Even members of his own Party are upset with his obfuscation.
I haven't been following this "controversy" but this came out today in The Guardian:

Newspapers this week carried stories about Corbyn’s presence at a Palestinian cemetery in Tunis in 2014.

One story read: “A memorial wreath in hand, Jeremy Corbyn stands feet from the graves of terror leaders linked to the Munich Massacre … Buried in the cemetery in Tunisia are members of Black September, the terror group which massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.”

A number of problems emerged with the story, not least that none of the members of Black September who carried out the massacre are buried in Tunis. Another is that the wreath-laying ceremony was to commemorate members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation who were killed in a 1985 Israeli air raid on Tunis, a raid condemned by Thatcher at the time. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/17/jeremy-corbyn-foreign-causes-a-blessing-or-a-curse
If this is true, I don't really understand what the fuzz is about.
 

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He was at a MEMORIAL for the mastermind of Munich. It looks like a gravestone, but it is not the grave. The reporter got that wrong.

Photos show that he was holding the wreath beside the memorial to the terrorists, not at the graves of the PLO. He has since admitted that, saying he was present and held the wreath at the terrorist memotial, but was "not involved".
Nobody knows what that means.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He was at a MEMORIAL for the mastermind of Munich. It looks like a gravestone, but it is not the grave. The reporter got that wrong.

Photos show that he was holding the wreath beside the memorial to the terrorists, not at the graves of the PLO. He has since admitted that, saying he was present and held the wreath at the terrorist memotial, but was "not involved".
Nobody knows what that means.
This is Channel 4's investigation on the topic:
FactCheck verdict

In 2014, Jeremy Corbyn was pictured holding a wreath in front of a plaque commemorating three Palestinians – including Salah Khalaf, who Israel says was linked to the 1972 Munich massacre.

Labour sources said Mr Corbyn was there to commemorate the victims of a different attack: the 1985 bombing by Israel of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Tunisia. The bombing was widely condemned at the time, including by the US government.

In a later interview, Mr Corbyn said that he did lay “a wreath in memory of all those who have died”. According to a Daily Mail reporter who visited the cemetery, the available photos of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath show him 15 yards away from the memorial plaque for the 1985 victims – but directly in front of the plaque for Salah Khalaf and others.

Speaking to Channel 4 News on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn’s language seemed to suggest that Salah Khalaf was amongst those for whom he laid a memorial wreath.

A Labour party spokesperson said just one day earlier: “Jeremy did not lay any wreath at the graves of those alleged to have been linked to the Black September organisation or the 1972 Munich killings.”

Salah Khalaf denied that he was a founder of Black September.

A Labour spokesperson told FactCheck that “the [Channel 4 News] interviewer would have been left in no doubt that Jeremy was talking about laying a wreath for the people who were killed in the illegal 1985 air strike.” The same spokesperson said “Jeremy did not contradict our spokesperson as the accounts are entirely consistent.”
https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-jeremy-corbyn-and-the-wreath-row
Honestly, if Corbyn had a history of siding with racists or of making racist comments, I'd probably see him with different eyes. The fact that he's been actually criticising racists for the whole of his career, makes me give him the benefit of the doubt here.
 

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Frank Field, a veteran Labour Party MP, has quit the Party, due to its becoming a "force for anti-Semitism" since Corbyn became leader.
 

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Ah this thread has been bumped again.

It has been wonderful to see the racist, BNP-lite, Enoch Powell fanboy Frank Field "resign" from the Labour Party whip (one month after losing a vote of no confidence from his constituency Labour Party). I hope more of the racist, nativist MPs from the right-wing of the Labour Party will follow him (particularly Kate Hoey). If he wanted to, Frank Field could join UKIP today and fit in perfectly without changing any of his political opinions. Nobody who knows or cares about British politics would ever take this man's fake concerns about antisemitism seriously. His track record is full of racist dogwhistles and immigrant bashing.

Anyway, it is not much of a "resignation". He was, for all intents and purposes, fired by his own comrades only a few weeks ago in their no confidence vote. If he had any integrity, he would trigger a by-election and stand as an independent candidate. He would not be in the House of Commons without his Labour Party affiliation. That is a fact and everyone knows it. He won't dare to call a by-election, though. It would be a massive disaster for the anti-Corbyn faction inside the Labour Party if he did so.

There is no chance the people Birkenhead would vote for this bastard if he stood under his own name, especially not if Labour fields a left-leaning, pro-Corbyn candidate. The only reason he has managed to take that seat in the first place is because the people of Merseyside hate the Tories even more. Thanks to Labour's reforms to their own internal party democratic, and the growing membership numbers, however, it's becoming easier for the grass roots to get rid of godawful MPs who stand against all of the values that made them join Labour in the first place. That's a welcome development.

Best of luck to all Labour Party socialists in the ongoing battle to purge all of the Blairites and Blue Tories.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Frank Field, a veteran Labour Party MP, has quit the Party, due to its becoming a "force for anti-Semitism" since Corbyn became leader.
I don't follow British politics closely, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's trying to get self-notice, further attack Corbyn due to political reasons, or most likely both.
 
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