The big chill on free speech hits BritainDecember 14, 2016
Francis Carr Begbie
It is a fair bet that any ‘media reform’ welcomed by Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, will be bad news for the defenders of free speech. So it is with his reaction to the British government’s groundbreaking new definition of anti-Semitism.
We welcome the UK’s landmark decision to define anti-Semitism, particularly in the face of rising attacks against Jews. We must now look towards other European governments to follow the example set by the UK.
He is referring to the British government’s decision to adopt a “legally binding definition” which will be used by police forces, councils, universities and public bodies. This ratchets the law sharply in the direction of making Jews a legally protected group and placing them beyond criticism. It would certainly sharply curtail academic and journalistic discussion of Jewish group behaviour.
For if the ethnic agendas of this very powerful and ethnocentric group cannot be discussed, it would effectively end legitimate academic and journalistic inquiry on the matter. It would certainly curtail discussion of all unflattering examples of Jewish group behaviour such as those outlined in the Culture of Critique.
The definition drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA) is broadly the same one contained in the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act that quietly went through the US senate. The aim seems to be to create a global standard on stifling free speech about Jewish power.
The definition itself is so open-ended as to be meaningless.
Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. (italics added)
Clear as mud. But it is when you look under the hood that things get very disturbing.
The IHRA definition lists a number of specific examples of anti-Semitism it wishes to outlaw and these include:
—Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
—Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
—Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
—Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
—Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
—Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
—Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Taken to its natural conclusion, it is hard to think of any descriptions of specific Jewish ethnic behaviour not covered by these sweeping definitions. (Or indeed any article in TOO.)
Is pointing out Jewish ownership of the media off-limits? How much media ownership, media management, and creation of media content amounts to media control? What about the ethnic composition of the neoconservative movement and the reasons behind their enthusiasm for Middle East wars? Or how about how the drive for ‘open borders’ and how restrictions on free speech across the West are overwhelmingly pushed by Jewish organisations (i.e., Jewish collectives).
Or what about the corrupting role of Jewish finance in British politics? Would it mean that it is no longer permissible to discuss the power of Jewish financial donations and the Jewish lobby in Britain broadly construed (e.g., the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel) and how these are connected to the slavish pro-Israel sentiments of prime ministers such as Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May and?
If discussion of the Jewish ethnic dimension to these stories is labelled “hate speech” then they cannot be discussed at all.
There has been some criticism of this definition in the media but only to the extent that it would restrict debate about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. (Using the word ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel will not henceforth be considered permissible.) Of course there is no mention at all of how this affects White interests and restricts White advocates.
The establishment of the IHRA definition was first debated by the House of Commons Home Affairs select committee on anti-Semitism which produced its own report. It is a disturbing if illuminating document. Much of it is clearly aimed at demonising the left-wing Anti-Zionists who wrested control of the Labour Party from the Jewish lobby.
What was the evidence of anti-Semitism that the committee was so concerned about? John Mann MP, Chair — and staunch Friend of Israel — read out an email he had received “[What] we DO not appreciate are the Zionists who use powerful connections to increase their own wealth—by war, dodgy business deals, political pressurisation, media mis-information and mis-direction, etc.”
What is especially interesting is the blithe disregard for truth. From start to finish the report is replete with questionable statements. On page 19 Item 42 it says ” The historical roots of antisemitism were based in religion, and we welcome recognition of this by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he gave oral evidence to the Committee in June, stating that “We had a shameful record until very recently, in historical terms”.65 England was the first European country to expel Jewish people (in 1290), with their exile lasting for 350 years.”
This one–sided and partial rendering of history, free of any details of the decidedly unflattering Jewish role in medieval financial exploitation in England, is typical. (See Andrew Joyce’s “Anthony Julius’ Trials of the Diaspora [Part 2]: “Medieval English Anti-Semitism.”) It is nothing less than dishonesty by omission.
Other examples of anti-Semitism under this definition, apparently, include any mention of the Haavara Transfer Agreement which was a collaboration between Jewish Zionists with the national socialist Germany to evacuate Jews to the Palestinian Mandate territories and the allegation that Jews were involved in the slave trade. Again both are undeniable historical facts but to state them out loud is, apparently, “unwise, offensive and provocative.” So the issue is not that the facts are wrong but that feelings were hurt.
This comes at a time of an unprecedented clampdown on dissidents in the UK. The number of nationalists and other defenders of White identity currently either being prosecuted or living with the threat of prosecution runs into the dozens across the country. Under Theresa May’s new hate speech legislation these people face heavy fines, disruptive control orders or prison sentences, more often than not for social media comments. It is increasingly common for the police to be acting with the support of the private Jewish surveillance and harassment organisation, the CST, with the Crown Prosecution Service giving active support.
The recent activity seems to have been orchestrated to roll out just after the conviction of Thomas Mair for the murder of Jo Cox MP. Within days of that event a young nationalist called Joshua Bonehill was dragged out of his cell to face a second trial for hurting the feelings of Luciana Berger MP. The charge was online “aggravated racial harassment” which dated to before his first conviction but he was convicted a second time and has now been given two years in addition to the three years and three months he was serving. It was a trial that was given huge coverage with much attention given to the feelings of Luciana Berger who said she “felt sick” when she read what Bonehill had written about her on his websites. The judge’s summing up remarks before sentencing, are here.
In Cambridge a young nationalist called Lawrence Burns is facing a maximum of seven years in prison for apparently forgetting to mark his Facebook group as private. He has never threatened anyone, has never planned violence but the police decided that “sharing racist views” on Facebook postings was enough to charge him on race hate charges. While alleging that he attempted to stir up racial hatred the Crown has produced no evidence of this or that anyone other than that his Facebook friends have viewed his page.
This week it was announced that the National Action street protest group are to be banned after being declared a terrorist group. None of their young activists have been convicted of terrorist offences, instead their main crime seems to have been outspoken “racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia”. Though outspoken in their criticism of Jewish influence, their actions have been limited to rallies as can be seen on their Youtube channel. Their website specifically does not endorse violence.
And in a new tactic, a satirical songerwriter and entertainer Alison Chabloz is in court this week being prosecuted privately by a group called the Campaign against anti-Semitism. She had complained to the police about receiving death threats and being harassed after she posted a provocative Youtube video. She was first told no action could be taken against her online tormentors. Then she was subjected to a police raid in which her computers were confiscated. Now she is being prosecuted privately at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday, December 15. She is accused of causing “gross offence”.
The adoption of the new definition of anti-Semitism was formally announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in a speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel. She gushed about what she called a “groundbreaking step” in the fight to tackle anti-Semitism which she has made her personal crusade.
The question that nobody was asking her, was this payback for the huge amount of support she got from the organised Jewish community in her attempt to become Prime Minister? She is a longstanding Friend of Israel and spent the evening before her official appointment by the Queen at a private dinner at the home of the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Even while Home Secretary it was Jewish demands for action against “hate speech” that were at the top of her priority list as this memorable speech when she was Home Secretary makes clear. She is certainly following through on that.