71

Fiasco In Islington – Part 2

Part 1 is available here

Richard Hugus

More facts have come to light in the case of Gilad Atzmon and his banning by the Islington Town Council from performing at a jazz concert on December 21, 2018. The original scenario was that one e-mail from one person calling Atzmon an antisemite somehow persuaded the Islington council to take the drastic step of removing Atzmon from a town-owned venue. Many who heard the story felt this was a rash decision which would surely be reversed when the facts were brought to light. But the Council voted to uphold its decision and Atzmon was indeed not allowed to play.

Now it appears that the single complainant – Martin Rankoff – was not just an anonymous fan of Israel but the UK director of Likud-Herut. Herut (or ‘freedom’) was Israel’s founding nationalist party from 1948 until it later merged with Likud. It is a militant and extreme Zionist organization whose roots go in a straight line from Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin up to Benjamin Netanyahu today. Jabotinsky and Begin helped form the Irgun terrorists in 1937. Irgun committed notorious massacres in Palestine leading up to and during the Nakba (or ‘catastrophe’) of 1947-1948. These include the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, killing 91 people, and the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948 in which 254 unarmed Palestinian villagers were brutally murdered as an incentive for other Palestinians to leave. On its web site Likud-Herut UK lists Jabotinsky and Begin as “visionaries”. Likud-Herut is a member of the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Federation of the UK who believe in “the inalienable right of all Jews to live and settle in all parts of the Land of Israel.”

In a letter to the New York Times in 1948 Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and others compared Herut to the Nazis and Fascists who had just been defeated in World War II. Referring to this letter, Ramzy Baroud recently wrote, “the ‘Nazi and Fascist’ mentality that defined Herut in 1948 now defines the most powerful ruling class in Israel. Israel’s leaders speak openly of genocide and murder, yet they celebrate and promote Israel as if an icon of civilization, democracy and human rights.”

The history of Herut and Likud tells us a great deal about who the people are who complained about Atzmon to Islington Town Council. When Atzmon moved to appeal his being banned, formidable opponents again appeared in the form of the Simkins Law firm, one of the most expensive law practices in Britain, with not one but two partners at Simkins being put on the case. These are Gideon Benaim and Tom Iverson. Benaim recently became well known in Britain for winning an invasion of privacy suit against the BBC on behalf of pop singer Cliff Richard, who said he spent £3.4m ($4.3 million) on the case.

Clearly, representation by Simkins doesn’t come cheap. Also listed in Benaim’s resumé is his client, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which likely has no problem with Simkins’ fees either. The Sands casino is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who, as it happens, is a primary sponsor of the Likud Party in Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson owns the newspaper Israel Hayom, a mouthpiece for Netanyahu and Likud.

Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 5/28/15 Sheldon Adelson at The Champions of Israel Gala. (NYC)

It now appears that Atzmon’s banning was not the result of a casual complaint; it was an intentional attack on a well-respected supporter of Palestinian human rights by the Likud organization, directly represented by Martin Rankoff. The attack was followed up by the hiring of a lawyer who has worked for Likud godfather Sheldon Adelson. The connection to these powerful forces may explain why IslingtonTown Council leader Richard Watts, without any delay or attempt at negotiation, took the step of going straight to a decision to hire an expensive law firm. This is while Islington is facing serious austerity and shortage of funds in its own operating budget. Islington has a population of about 206,000 people. This very month, 43 of those people were counted in one survey as homeless and sleeping on the streets.

Regarding the financial problems of his borough and others around London, Richard Watts, told The Independent in October 2018 :

“As a result less money is being spent on the other services that keep our communities running such as libraries, local roads, early intervention and local welfare support,” he added.

“unprecedented” funding pressures and demand for adult and children’s social care and homelessness services was “pushing councils to the limit”.

Yet, to Watts and his fellow councilors in Islington, backing partisans for a foreign country – Israel — took precedence over the pressing needs of the people whom they are supposed to represent. Either Watts was inexcusably careless with scarce town funds or a deal was made and he knew that he could depend on Likud-Herut to back him. Or, like politicians all across Europe and the US facing the power of the Israel lobby, he knew he couldn’t afford to say no.

According to Simkin’s web site, Gideon Benaim “has extensive expertise in the areas of defamation, privacy, harassment and copyright.” Perhaps it is not a coincidence that immediately after Islington brought in Simkins, identical statements from an unnamed Labour spokesman describing Atzmon as “a vile antisemite” appeared in both the BBC and The Guardian. Perhaps a lawyer experienced in defending people against defamation would also know how to perpetrate it. Perhaps this was Benaim’s opening move. Character assassination is a common tactic in cases that have a weak legal foundation, such as this one, as it goes a long way to convicting the accused before their case ever reaches a courtroom.

The involvement of Likud-Herut in the attack on Gilad Atzmon, and Islington’s official backing of that attack, constitutes a monumental scandal. This wasn’t just a stupid mistake; it was a hit. It is an affront to reason that an an arch-racist organization like Likud, who from the beginning have stood for the removal of the people of Palestine from their own land by means of terror, murder, and forced expulsion, could possibly claim they they were defamed by someone pointing out these very crimes. There is a case of defamation here for sure – the defamation of Gilad Atzmon. For Zionists, defamation is nothing more than a tool to destroy opponents who can’t be dealt with by other means. We are long since tired of truth tellers being accused of antisemitism. We’re tired of national and local resources being used to prop up the criminal state of Israel. Coercion by advocates for Israel is at the center of this issue in Islington, as it is in many other towns and many other countries. For the sake of Palestine and our own sovereignty, it has to be called out and stopped.


avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tom Bulley
Reader
Tom Bulley

This is my problem. I live in Islington. I want to listen to my favourite music live in Islington. I want to live in a democracy where my voice is heard. That the Leader of Islington Council should ride roughshod over borough residents and make and make such a decision after a nudge and a wink from Martin Rankoff who isn’t a borough resident and didn’t even buy a ticket but is a director of Likud UK carries a very clear message – Likud UK has a direct line to the Council Leader bypassing democratic accountability.

willi uebelherr
Reader
willi uebelherr

Dear Tom, many thanks for your description. In the video about the event with a short appearance of Santa Claus i see and hear very happy people there. The Islington Council is a very other world. Its not Islington.

Tom Bulley
Reader
Tom Bulley

Cheers willi!

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

The late Uri Avnery describes how the US is in thrall to Israel. “It was all rather disgusting. There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu. It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death. What the American Senators and Congressmen feared… Read more »

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

The late Uri Avnery had this to say on how the US Congress is in thrall to Israel. “It was all rather disgusting. There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu. It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death. What the… Read more »

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

Gilad has been called a holocaust denier which he said he is not, his point is that no major historical events should be closed for discussion. B Netanyahu believes that to be true when in a speech he tried to whitewash Hitler by disgracefully blaming the Holocaust on the Palestinians… “Netanyahu claims that al-Husseini “had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’… Read more »

samivesusu
Reader
samivesusu

Hello everybody, Here is my Happy New Year message. I delve into the ideas that made me into a ‘controversial’ character https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRX55nHmuUQ

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

Gilad can at least say he wasn’t threatened with arrest. Merseyside police not happy with Latuffs drawings, Peter Gregson threatened with arrest at Labour Party Conference Police ban Scots IHRA petition campaigner from showing “anti-Semite” Banner outside Labour Conference full story here..
http://www.kidsnotsuits.com/police-ban-scots-ihra-petition-campaigner-from-showing-anti-semite-banner-outside-labour-conference/

Jimbo
Reader
Jimbo

Whataboutism time! What about the UK, the US, the multi-national corporations? They’re/our actions and policies are no worse, in fact work hand in glove with Israel’s. It is this alliance, like it or not, which is the reality, the realpolitikal policy which is running the big show today. Singling out Israel from the pack is akin to singling out lung cancer from a body ridden with multiple cancers. But like the average American or Brit who believes in fair play and other norms, there are average Israelis and Jews who are offended, who are in fact freaking out that they… Read more »

mark
Reader
mark

So just keep your mouth shut and oy vey! never criticise Israel when they create an explicitly racist, genocidal regime founded on terror, corruption, ethnic cleansing and every form of criminality under the sun. Or only criticise it on terms permitted by the hasbara troll factories and the Board of Deputies.

Maxine Chiu
Reader
Maxine Chiu

Unlike many, I’m fully aware of the distinction between being anti-semitic (hatred of Jews in general) and detesting Israeli treatment of the Palestinians….I definitely abide by the latter as does Gilad Alzmon….However, from what I’ve read about and by him, I must conclude that whatever twisted reasoning reasoning he uses, he also remains a die-hard anti-semitic at heart.

Badger Down
Reader
Badger Down

Maxine, since you don’t give any reasoning, I must conclude that you are either hiding something or making it up.

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

Capitulating to the Israel lobby is not confined to the Labour party, In late November I watched the BBC’s question time, on the panel was Layla Moran a new UK Liberal Democrat MP, she’s this country’s first British-Palestinian MP – her mother is from Jerusalem – but she wades into the Israel/Palestine debate sparingly “because it’s so emotive”. She made an exception for John McDonnell on Politics Live earlier this month though. “I had to mansplain anti-Semitism to him,” she says. Moran was upset about posters saying that Israel is a racist state. “The people who put it up were… Read more »

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

Making a “classic anti-semitic” mountain out of a molehill: ATL & BTL.
No wonder Jews are migrating out of the UK in numbers.

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

Completely wrong on both counts. Recent legislation in the US as well as numerous attacks on Labour supporters in the UK are part of an orchestrated campaign to silence criticism of human rights abuses in Israel. Furthermore there is simply no evidence that Jews are emigrating in higher numbers (because of antisemitism) – this is just another trope aimed at deflecting attention from some of the stuff reasonable people have become angry about. It may astonish you but there is enormous disquiet amongst left-wing Israelis and academics about the manner in which the holocaust is being manipulated for base political… Read more »

bevin
Reader
bevin

The underlying question which needs to be addressed is that of the meaning, significance, historical provenance of and utility of the concept of ‘antisemitism.’ A few random observations: 1/ We live, most of us, in post christian societies in which the religious origins of hatred of the Jews is obsolescent. 2/ In most euro-North American societies Jews are a relatively privileged, conservative and prosperous minority, one of several self defined communities, most of which are rapidly disappearing through integration into wider society. 3/ there is very little hatred of Jews per se. And what there is tends to stem from… Read more »

Molotok
Reader
Molotok

If you are not a rabid zionazi then you are going to be labelled an anti Semite. This is still (for now) an effective strategy for the squatters in occupied, apartheid Palestine.

The Lobby Part One

The Lobby Part Two

The Lobby Part Three

The Lobby Part Four

Paul
Reader
Paul

The difficult things about the Israeli lobby in Britain is not just how extensive its reach is in all walks of life, not least with MP’s most of whom are in Friends of Israel organisations but particularly within the PLP and the party itself. That in itself may be harmless but the second thing about them is their ruthlessness, their immediate recourse to defamation and lying and their willingness to play all manner of race and sectarian cards. It invades our politics and gives dullard Tories ideas best left dormant; they contribute enormously to the lurch rightwards. Apart from the… Read more »

Molotok
Reader
Molotok

The Lobby Part One

The Lobby Part Two

The Lobby Part Three

The Lobby Part Four

Paul
Reader
Paul

Sorry the film just comes up as “an error occurred”…?

Harry Law
Reader
Harry Law

It would appear the main go to group in the Labour party are the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM], Gordon Brown addressed this group when arguing for LP adoption of the IHRA. Luciana Berger MP is described as Chair of the parliamentary Jewish Labour Movement [JLM] how many Labour members are aware that the JLM is an affiliate both of the Israeli Labour Party which in office has promoted the building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the World Zionist Organization, which has channelled funds to the illegal settlements. That’s right the JLM are affiliated with groups who the… Read more »

Joerg
Reader
Joerg

We must also not forget that an enormous amount of money is needed for this manipulation: for oppressing and censorship. … and for “buying” public and private institutions with “generous beneficences” or “charities” in order to make them dependent on the subsidies and vulnerable to the threat to pull back this support (which indeed might have happened to Islington). Where does the money come from? 1) There are these “beneficent” persons, the oligarchs like Adelson (picture in the article), Soros, Gates and so on. 2) Then there is obviously a gigantic Mobster Syndicate – not only, but especially in the… Read more »

flamingosarepink
Reader
flamingosarepink

On the Goldman theft from Malaysia see the source at sarawakreport dot org

vexarb
Reader

“Malaysia” rang a bell so I looked up Flamingo’s Link; it led to Malaysia filing criminal charges against Goldman Sachs — a Rothschild bank. Which rang another bell: Malaysia filing a diplomatic initiative against war crimes by Israel — a Rothschild pet project. Which rang 2 other bells: Malaysian aircraft falling out of the sky. Which rang another bell: Israel keeps a copy of 2 Malaysian aircraftof the same type for study. Which rang the last bell — and the one most relevant to this thread on intimidation by powerful Zionazi politicianswith their high priced Lawyers– Malaysia agreed to a… Read more »

Ross Hendry
Reader
Ross Hendry

There should be a law that prevents people as ugly as Sheldon Adelson from walking around unmasked in public. You don’t get to look like that unless you’re deeply ugly on the inside.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Perhaps he could wear a burqa with a kippah sewn on top.

Makropulos
Reader
Makropulos

It seems to me that the most important part of Atzmon’s Christmas message is this: “I have never denied and I do not deny the Holocaust or any other historical chapter. However, I am against all history laws. In my writing I argue that history is the attempt to narrate the past as we move along. Accordingly, history becomes a meaningful adventure once we revisit and revise the past. When history becomes a sealed untouchable chapter it is reduced into a religion. Like a few prominent Israeli thinkers actually (Adi Ophir, Yishayahu Leibovitz…), I do believe that the Holocaust has… Read more »

Timmy
Reader
Timmy

‘Divide and Conquer’… Works every time, over and over again.. We are all being ‘played’. So, stop playing the game. Let’s start a new game. ‘Racism’. How exactly can another human be accused of racism towards another human, when both are members of the same race, the human race? If you engage in the game called ‘Divide and Conquer’, which we all do, you will have all the tools available to create false hate wherever you choose. When you stop and think, how ridiculous is it to dislike a fellow human simply because there skin is a different shade compared… Read more »

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Timmy, i feel ya!
I too am sensing the identity political …shepherding? Kettleing?
It feels like being prodded by a electric stick and told to “Yell with AZ indignation you filthy pig”.
I don’t know know if it is triple, quadruple or more – bluff.

Pembury12
Reader
Pembury12

The Israeli lobby is building up steam to ensure, if they can, that Labour loses the next election. Their themes are not necessarily the nonsense about anti-Semitism which they know isn’t really hitting home and increasing hostility towards British Jews who are seen as defending one of the worst Governments in the World and fighting for a Rightwing Tory victory. Their main aim is Corbyn the so called Marxist and terrorist supporter who “will bankrupt the country”.

vexarb
Reader

@P12: “Their [the AZC’s] main aim is Corbyn the so called Marxist ….”

Yes, perish the thought that a genuine Socialist might once again Lead Labour to a fairer, more equitable government. If the GINI coefficient of Britain goes down to what it was before Baroness Snatcher and her New Labour heirs, what will become of our Kleptocrats?

Michael Cromer
Reader
Michael Cromer

At last – My Big Nose has become an asset.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Why did Chris Williamson retract his signature from the petition which was in support of Gilad saying that he was not aware that Gilad was an anti-semite. That does not make sense. It sounds as though he was threatened, probably by the Labour party. Corbyn is MP for North Islington. Is he too scared to say anything?

ZigZag Wanderer
Reader
ZigZag Wanderer

I retracted my membership of the Labour party after hearing of Chris Williamson’s action. I’ll only rejoin if the LFI are dissolved.
They may get my GE vote. But not my money. Not now.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

“I retracted my membership of the Labour party after hearing of Chris Williamson’s action.”

Why? Because the average representative of the people is, like most of them, just another mindless, preconditioned, BTLer or Cnut-in-the-street? Viz:

CW: I am told that in various blogs and in speeches [Atzmon] has adopted anti-Semitic language.”

There are some good reasons for not funding the Labour Party, but the fact that many of their MPs are shitwits behaving like lemmings doesn’t leave many alternative hats for feelgoodgeld.

bevin
Reader
bevin

What Williamson’s uncharacteristic idiocy here reveals is the complete vacuum at the centre of the Labour Party. There is no authoritative forum, of the kind that the old Tribune offered to the left and no party newspaper. This means that it is left to Labour’s enemies, like the II and the Israeli Embassy, to act as media informing supporters of the Party what its principles and policies are. The Guardian, notoriously influenced by Mossad and MI, is the source of most discussion of issues such as the one under consideration. There has been no reaction to the assault on Labour’s… Read more »