Jeremy Corbyn’s ascendance to the leadership of the UK Labour Party in 2015 offered hope for a revival of the British left. With decades of experience and principled opposition to war and privatization under his belt, Corbyn was uniquely positioned to bring the Labour Party back from its neoliberal turn. But this was not to be—just five years later, Corbyn was ousted from the Labour Party and his supporters were purged. The political opposition to Corbyn was accompanied by a media villification campaign that conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism. Ultimately, the question of Labour’s support for Israeli Apartheid was successfully wielded to isolate and expel Corbyn and his supporters.
In this latest thought-provoking episode of The Watchdog, esteemed academic and public intellectual David Miller returns, this time delving into the covert tactics used by the powerful Israel Lobby to silence advocates for Palestinian rights. Drawing upon firsthand experience, Miller exposes the systematic campaign to force him out of Bristol University and the weaponization of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism to stifle dissent. He reveals how academics who have dared to speak out against the Israeli government’s policies towards Palestine face severe repercussions, including threats of termination and professional blacklisting.
London - Hip hop artist, campaigner and host of the MintPress podcast “The Watchdog,” Lowkey is at the center of a storm of controversy that has reached as high as Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself. On Wednesday, the prime minister was asked about it in parliament and said that British universities have “for far too long been tolerant of casual or indeed systematic antisemitism,” adding that he “hope[s] that everybody understands the need for rapid, and indeed irreversible change,” before announcing that the United Kingdom needed a new antisemitism task force “devoted to rooting out” the problem at all levels of the education system – comments that suggest that the entire pro-Palestine student movement is under threat.
Glasgow, Scotland - Hundreds of international scholars have begun a fightback against pro-Israel lobbyists who have been scoring increasingly high-profile victories on UK campuses as they seek to curb academic freedoms under the guise of stamping out antisemitism. Glasgow university officials have found themselves in the eye of a storm this week, accused of “capitulating” in two separate cases that have undermined academic research into the activities of Israel and its supporters. More than 500 scholars from around the world, including a Nobel prize winner, Royal Society fellows, and former and current presidents of major academic bodies, signed a petition delivered to the university this week in protest.
Instead of simply stopping its human rights abuses, the Israeli government has built an extensive and sophisticated public relations network across the West in order to protect itself from criticism. Today, Lowkey speaks to one of the latest victims of that smear campaign, Professor David Miller. A prominent critic of the state of Israel’s policies, Miller was recently sacked from his position as Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol, after a pressure campaign involving Zionist student groups and even members of parliament, who accused him of “inciting hatred against Jewish students.” Miller, a graduate of the University of Glasgow Media Group, was appointed to his position at Bristol University in 2018. He also held positions at the University of Strathclyde from 2004 until 2011 and the University of Bath from 2011 until 2018.
I know they said there would be no exams this year, but here’s a question just to keep you in practice. Compare and contrast these two definitions of antisemitism. Discuss them in terms of their clarity, efficacy, and what you might deduce from the text about their purpose. Antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish). – Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA), 2021 Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. – International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, 2016 Don’t worry if you’re struggling with the second one.
With deceptively edited videos and dubious allegations, the Israel lobby has manufactured an antisemitism epidemic to turn the media’s gaze away from dead children in Gaza.
Cambridge, MA - The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected an amendment to the state budget which would have Massachusetts adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, a definition that equates criticism of Israel with antisemitism, within its law on religious discrimination The problem amendment, called “Condemnation of Antisemitism and Adoption of IHRA Definition”, was submitted by Rep. Howitt (R. Seekonk) as amendment #300 to the state budget bill, H.4000. With only two days to respond before the amendment was considered, Jewish Voice for Peace- Boston, Massachusetts Peace Action, the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine, and the Unitarian-Universalists for Justice in the Middle East mobilized quickly and contacted representatives and Palestinian rights supporters.
Academics at a major British university last week voted to reverse their institution’s adoption of the misleading anti-Semitism definition promoted by Israel and its lobby. A report by University College London’s academic board states that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition” of anti-Semitism “is not fit for purpose within a university setting and has no legal basis for enforcement.” The board voted to endorse the report last week. It will now be up to university management to decide whether the vote will be implemented. The university’s branch of the University and College Union is campaigning against the definition. The report was more than a year in the making.
Jewish peace activists led a wave of stinging rebuke of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday after he declared the peaceful Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights "anti-Semitic" while visiting an illegal Israeli settler colony built on stolen West Bank land. Pompeo became the first top U.S. diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the unlawfully occupied West Bank of Palestine as he lunched at a winery in Psagot, located on a hill formerly known as Jabel Tawil until Israeli forces conquered it in 1967.
Clearing the FOG hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese interviewed Alison Weir, journalist and founder of If Americans Knew, a website that provides factual information about the Israeli State and Palestine. Weir describes how she learned firsthand that US media provide a false and one-sided narrative about Occupied Palestine and why she has dedicated the past twenty years to counter that. She also explains some of the most common myths and what she learned as she did research for her book, "Against Our Better Judgment." Weir is a very clear thinker on the issue of Palestine-Israel and provides the data and language we need to speak to a propagandized population. You can listen to the entire interview and the week’s news analysis on Clearing the FOG.
Opening the Washington Post today, we were aghast. Prominently displayed on page 8 was a full-page ad falsely accusing Representative Ilhan Omar of being anti-semitic. “The Jews control the world with their money” - words Rep. Omar NEVER said - were splattered next to her face, leaving readers to assume it was a quote. Contact the Washington Post now. Tell them to apologize to Rep. Omar and promise not to print ads that propagate lies and hate. We will hand deliver your signatures to the Post.
Ilhan Omar is again at the center of controversy, this time for remarks she made last week at a panel discussion at Busboys and Poets, a Washington, D.C. bookstore and restaurant. Omar’s “offending” comment was a reference to “the political influence in this country that says that it’s ok for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” She was immediately accused of feeding centuries-old anti-Semitic tropes about the nefarious influence of a Jewish cabal. A chorus of denunciations have ensued, a number of prominent House Democrats, most of them Jewish, have taken particular offense...
A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its news stories over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties irritated by the website's discussion of issues involving Israel. This commenter successfully drove away hundreds of donors from Common Dreams, a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity. He also posted 1,400 times as a black, pro-white anti-Semite on the white-supremacist website Vanguard News Network, where he encouraged the malevolence of the neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller, who is accused of killing three people in Kansas he believed were Jews.