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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Jerusalem Quartet Disruption - Gets More Coverage




But It's a Music Event - Nothing to Do with Politics

Well it's been quite a day with lots of messages to my inbox and increasing coverage across the web, including for the report I compiled yesterday.

The Guardian today has also reported what we did and our protest is described as very well planned. Well naturally! But at least, unlike in Dubai we didn't murder anyone.

As has the BBC's own music mag.

But the most pathetic whine of those who object to our attempt to interject a bit of context into the Jerusalem Quartet's performance came from those knee-jerk liberals who inhabit haunts like the Wigmore Hall. I say knee-jerk because, as I said in a previous post, scratch a liberal and you often find an angry Tory underneath.

So I went back to an article that a famous Israeli poet, Yitzhak Laor wrote in Ha'aretz of 31.7.2008. concerning the contracts that most Israeli artists, and there is little doubt that the JQ have also signed such a contract (though of course the Culture Ministry of Israel doesn't provide the names of those who contract with it)! And what does the contract say?
The service provider is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel."

Well that's pretty clear isn't it? The "purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the Israeli state via culture and art." So the actions of those like the JQ are considered a service with which to promote the policy interests of the state via culture and art." A Marxist couldn't have put it better!


And as SHELLEY KLEIMAN of the World Zionist Press Service reported "The Quartet now serves as Distinguished Musicians, performing for troops three times a week." That was their national service, providing a morale booster for those who had to go out and smash a few heads or break a few bones.


And the Jerusalem Independent in 2003 reported that "the bulk of their IDF service was as a quartet, performing for soldiers all over Israel. When their military service ended three years ago, they changed status to Distinguished IDF Musicians and continue to play for troops three times a week when they're in Israel. "

Note they don't play for the IDF's victims, they don't refuse military service, quite the contrary. They have no criticisms whatsoever of the role of the Israeli Occupation Forces. Their role is not dissimilar to that of Leni Riefenstahl, Ezra Pound and many other distinguished people of culture who lent a willing hand to repressive regimes.

They are supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, set up by the late Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. As Ruth Cheshin, Jerusalem Foundation president explained "Supporting the quartet until they are financially independent will help the city as well as the players." Quite. And what kind of Jerusalem will that be? One which is ethnically cleansed of its Arab inhabitants who are slowly being dispossessed by Jewish settlers. But according to Cheshin 'The quartet will be a magnet in Jerusalem, promoting music education and love of music in schools and community centres citywide." And what better way to pretend that the indigenous people don't exist than to retreat into violin and string sonatas and the like?

And if there is any doubt about their stance, then as Zlotnikov explained:

"We feel good... We love to play, whether it's in an international contest or a renowned concert hall, at an IDF base somewhere in Israel or in the city that's our home."

Quite. And that's why we are putting you bastards in the front line of the Boycott campaign.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Jerusalem Quartet Concert at London's Wigmore Hall is Disrupted & Radio 3's Live Broadcast is Terminated


I have a confession to make. I nearly didn’t make it. Yesterday I put my watch and car clock forward but forgot to do so for my mobile and radio alarm! Result was that I got up an hour later than intended! Fortunately I managed to get the next train to Victoria and despite further loss of time as I was (twice) misdirected, I got there only 10 minutes late.

There of course is London’s Wigmore Hall, home to the more discerning of nature’s liberals. Except that scratch a liberal and you will often find an angry conservative!


Jointly organised by members of Brighton PSC and J-Big (Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods) we ensured that the performance by the Jerusalem Quartet, the Israeli Army’s faithful musicians, didn’t go unchallenged.

Because in Scotland a similar protest in Edinburgh has resulted in 5 protestors being bizarrely charged with racism (it’s either anti-semitism or a non-existent Israeli nationality!) it was important that this protest included a Jewish contingent.

Along with an irate old lady who wanted to gain immediate entrance, despite being late, I was kept waiting for a pause in the proceedings. Fortunately our very own opera singer, Debbie Fink of J-Big, decided that she would try and enliven what was frankly a pretty dismal and boring performance by Israel’s finest. As her voice rose in harmony with the vultures on stage it seemed that at first people thought it was part of the show. However Debbie soon received a red card which quite fortunately enabled me to gain my entrance, apologising of course for my late arrival and any disruption that that might cause.

Having gained my seat, the Quartet quickly decided to resume playing. After rehearsing what I was going to say, I stood up after about 5 minutes later and proceeded to tell the JQ that they were the cultural ambassadors of Apartheid Israel and its Army whom they perform for.

Now I confess I don’t claim to understand those who pay to come and listen to musicians with blood on their hands. But then I don’t understand why Wagner was what he was. However I always thought that listening to classical music made you more not less peaceful. Instead as I began to contribute to the concert’s proceedings people began to get animated and started hitting me with their programmes! Not that I was hurt and nor did it distract me from the message I was getting across but it illustrates the Zionist mentality. Security however was quickly off the mark and I was, well not dragged but escorted off the premises, with one of the heavies shouting ‘fuck off’ at my back, to which I could but reply that that wasn’t very nice! The Police quickly entered but to my consternation and amazement did nothing. Given what had happened in Scotland I expected to be arrested. Instead I was merely thrown out into the street.

The next two to be evicted were members of Brighton PSC and the final evictee an activist in ISM. As we were gathering at a nearby cafĂ©, a member of the audience came over to us to congratulate us on our protest which made us even more pleased. And when we learnt that the live broadcast by Radio 3 (which included Debbie’s initial operatic rendition) had been terminated we were even more over the moon.

Music & Politics? The old Apartheid Conjuring Trick


The point of our protest was not primarily to engage either the audience or the JQ itself. Rather we wanted to make a clear statement that those who aid and abet the murderous activities of the Israeli Occupation Forces cannot then claim some form of musical diplomatic immunity.

As I was being thrown out a number of members of the audience had (predictably) shouted at me that this was a musical not a political event. To which I shouted that maybe they would have taken the same stance in the 1930’s when the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra had also toured European cities displaying their somewhat greater talents.

This is the old argument we used to face in the campaign against Apartheid in South Africa. We argued then that you couldn’t separate the culture of Apartheid from Apartheid itself and likewise you cannot separate Zionist culture from Zionism. It is, of course, a different matter, when Israeli artists or musicians come out clearly against racism in Israel and against the Occupation.

Tony Greenstein

Below is the Press Release as issued by Brighton Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

National PSC were informed as to what was happening but chose to do nothing despite requests that they organise a picket or protest outside. Despite its claims to be building a ‘mass anti-apartheid movement’ on Palestine and despite its resources and paper commitment to support BDS, they chose to do nothing - again. No one in the national office knew anything about the tour by the Jerusalem Quartet.

PRESS RELEASE FROM BRIGHTON AND HOVE PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN - MONDAY MARCH 29th 2010

Protesters disrupted a lunchtime performance by the Jerusalem Quartet in London today. The concert at the Wigmore Hall was being broadcast live by the BBC. They were protesting that the Quartet, who are cultural ambassadors for the State of Israel, are promoting the interests of Israel and all its policies against the Palestinians, to the British public. The protesters drew attention to the Quartet’s strong links to the Israeli Army, Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, particularly its illegal occupation of Palestinian land, its ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, the apartheid nature of the Israeli state, and its attempt to starve the people of Gaza into submission. In the words of one protester who interrupted the players with a sung objection to the tune of the well-known Christian anthem "The Holy City": 'Jerusalem is occupied: Settlers destroy her peace. We'll sing out, until apartheid And ethnic cleansing cease.'"

There were no fewer than five interruptions: some were quite lengthy, and the live broadcast by the BBC had to be abandoned. Demonstrators outside the hall included members of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods , and the audience were given leaflets explaining why the concert was being disrupted. No arrests were made, but the protesters were ejected from the hall, and the players made a statement attempting to distance themselves from the Israeli state and excuse their service with the IDF. This protest was part of the 2nd Global Day of Action on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel on 30th March 2010. A spokesperson for the group, said: ‘As long as the state of Israel maintains its illegal occupation of Palestinian land and commits crimes against civilians, it does not deserve to be invited to any kind of cultural event. Such events give support to Israel and approval of its brutal occupation.’

Mick Napier from Scottish PSC said: ‘Scottish PSC congratulates the protesters in London today, and would like to see all other supporters of Palestine do the same every time the Jerusalem Quartet appear as ambassadors of the apartheid state’ A Palestinian violinist is harassed by soldiers at an Israeli checkpoint

Notes for editors:

1. The members of this Quartet are ‘cultural ambassadors’ for Israel and the Israeli army. The Israeli Press Service says:

For the three immigrants [3 of the Quartet came from Russia], carrying a rifle in one hand and a violin in the other is the ultimate Zionist statement’.

Their record label hypes their status within the army:

They now enjoy the status of Distinguished IDF, playing for troops thrice weekly when the JQ is in Israel.’

2. For decades Israel has flouted international law, dozens of UN resolutions and the International Court by: stealing Palestinian land, building over 150 unlawful settlements (deemed illegal by the British and other governments) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and building its illegal Apartheid Wall. The Israeli army keeps a military stranglehold over every aspect of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with repeated attacks on the Palestinian population ‘ the latest in Gaza, with over 1400 deaths and terrible injuries to civilians including many children, and war crimes attested to by the UN and many human rights organizations. Its latest ethnic cleansing activities in East Jerusalem flout international law and evict Palestinians from their homes while importing settlers in their place.

3. The Palestinians are calling urgently for an international consumer and cultural boycott after decades of failed talks. As with Apartheid South Africa, we must respond ‘ until Israel meets its obligations under international law and a just solution is agreed.

4. Aharon Shabtai, Israel’s greatest living poet, wrote recently:
‘I do not believe that a State that maintains an occupation, committing on a daily basis crimes against civilians, deserves to be invited to any kind of cultural event. That is, it is anti-cultural; it is a barbarian act masked as culture in the most cynical way. It manifests support for Israel, and that sustains the occupation.’
Here is a report on what happened in the Zionist Jewish Chronicle.

Monday, 22 March 2010

When is an anti-semitic attack not anti-semitic? When it’s a Zionist who is being anti-Jewish

Blog+-+Zionist+and+Holohoax+images+30.1.10.jpg (image)
When is anti-Semitic Abuse not anti-Semitic? When it is a Zionist who is doing the Abuse!

Maybe dear reader you could answer a simple question which has been puzzling me. There’s no trick and I promise that it is not too difficult. [See article]

Can you think of anything more offensive, and in the case of someone who is Jewish, a better example of racism, than writing to tell them that they and their family should have perished in Auschwitz? And for good measure expressing a desire that the Neturei Karta group of Hasidic Jews should also have perished?

Yes I know it’s a no-brainer but even so, Mark Gardener, the overpaid (£130,000+) chief of the Community Security Trust, still doesn’t get it. The CST, whose only known backer is right-wing venture capitalist Gerald Ronson, is insistent that this isn’t anti-semitic! Yes, I know what you are thinking. If this isn’t anti-semitic then what is?

Or rather it would be anti-semitic if the person who made the statements which were sent to this blog, were non-Jewish. But since they were sent by Zionists of (presumably) Jewish extraction, it isn’t anti-semitic!

I wrote to Mark Gardener, spokesman of the Zionist Community Security Trust, submitting both comments that had been sent to me and asking that they be recorded as anti-semitic abuse.

Gardener wrote back stating that the first comment was not anti-Semitic whereas the second comment is ! It is the infantile ‘Holohoax’ message which Gardener has deemed anti-semitic. Now I agree. Sending holocaust denial stuff to Jewish people is certainly anti-semitic though I have to confess that it was so puerile, on the academic level of a 7 year old child, that I found it more amusing for what it said about its author. There was nothing personally offensive in it and no threats against my family or myself. Far from wishing that Hitler had murdered us s/he assured me that no Jews had been killed because they are Jews!

Of course holocaust denial stuff is extremely offensive on another level, given the enormity of the Nazi crime, but on a personal level it was not threatening.

The Zionist message calling me a traitor, didn’t deny the Holocaust. It merely wished that I and my family had been victims! Therefore it’s not anti-semitic!! In fact, of course, those of my family who stayed in Poland, were indeed murdered by the Nazis.

And how does Gardener justify this? According to his e-mail of 24th February:

“(the) CST does not believe that arguments between “Zionist” and “anti-Zionist” Jews constitute antisemitism as such.”

How convenient, except of course that this wasn’t an ‘argument’ between anyone. It was an anonymously posted message sent to my blog. Whereas:

“The second email, containing Holocaust denial will be recorded by CST as an antisemitic incident. In accordance with the explanation above, the first email will not be recorded as an antisemitic incident.”

So now, if you have any doubts about the selective, distorted and arbitrary nature of what the CST records as anti-semitic then this is about as good an example as you can get. This proves, in and of itself, how the CST distorts and twists its statistics according to pre-set political criteria.

No matter what vitriolic anti-semitic abuse Gardener’s Zionist friends dish out, none of this will be recorded as anti-semitic. But if an Asian kid in the street, who knows that Israel calls itself a Jewish State and has heard that the Board of Deputies of British Jews supports the siege of Gaza and the mass murder of Palestinians there, shouts something about Jews being murderers, then that will be an anti-semitic incident par excellence! It would seem that the turning of a blind eye has been made into an art form.

The Curious Case of the Dog that didn’t Bark in the Night or
Why the CST Dissociates Itself from Hoffman's Complaint of 'anti-Semitism'
It is, as Sherlock Holmes said in the Hound of the Baskervilles, a case of the dog that didn’t bark at night. Clearly that is the conclusion that Gardener has drawn when dissociating himself from the complaint of Jonathan Hoffman, the loopy co-chair of the Zionist Federation, that he was the victim of anti-semitic abuse.

Readers might recall that back on December 4th Hoffman decided to go along to a rally at the School of Oriental & African Studies organised by UCU, the Universities and Colleges Union. There were two speakers. Ronny Kassrills, an ex-Government Minister from South Africa and himself Jewish and Bongani Masuku from the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Hoffman came to the meeting to allege that Bongani was, well in case you haven’t guessed it, ‘anti-semitic’. Hoffman was, for his pains, heckled though unlike the treatment of anti-Zionists wasn’t physically manhandled or threatened.

It was only two weeks later when Raheem Kassam of the Conservative Student Rights group made public allegations that the heckling of Hoffman had been anti-semitic and that the specific words ‘Jewish’ and ‘Jew’ had been shouted at him, that Hoffman suddenly realised that he had been the victim of an anti-semitic attack! You might think that if someone had been the victim of anti-semitic abuse then they might be aware of it! Clearly Hoffman wasn’t, as he has himself admitted, not least on his own blog of 13 December 2009, 9 days after the alleged incident, where there was no mention of anything anti-semitic being shouted at him. Apparently, and you can read Hoffman’s comments on this blog, he hadn’t heard anything anti-semitic because he’d been shouting so loudly himself!

The BBC picked this up and naturally ran with Kassam’s comments but unfortunately for them and Hoffman there was a video tape of the meeting. And surprise, surprise, it was impossible to discern any shout of ‘Jew’ ‘Jewish’ etc. In other words, this was another faked and made up incident of ‘anti-semitism’.

However Jonathan Hoffman is like a dog with a bone. Once he’s got his teeth into something it’s difficult to persuade him to let go, even when its his own friends that he’s taking a bite out of. That’s why we love him so much, since he simply isn’t aware of when his foot is firmly lodged in his mouth.

The Jewish Chronicle of 23rd December 2009 therefore reported Mr Hoffman as saying that he had reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police’s hate crime unit and the Community Security Trust.

And sure enough, Mark Gardener was ready with a quote.
‘CST spokesman Mark Gardner said: “Mr Hoffman merely repeated what the South African Human Rights Commission had said about Bongani Masuku’s alleged incitement of antisemitism. For daring to raise this he was jeered with outright hatred.’
“The UCU’s attitude to antisemitism is disgusting, and those who collaborate with it should be ashamed of themselves.”
That then is quite clear. UCU’s attitude to anti-semitism is disgusting. Clearly what he is referring to is the ‘anti-semitic’ jeering of said Hoffman at a UCU meeting. The only problem was that this incident had not occured and, more to the point, it could be proven that the incident had not occurred. A bit of a dilemma, given that the CST has been accused of distorting its statistics to ‘prove’ an upsurge of anti-semitism.

Given such confusion and always willing to lend a hand to help clarify matters, I thought it best to write to Mark to seek clarification of these matters. On Wednesday 10th March I therefore asked him:
‘You clearly categorised what took place at the meeting as the anti-Semitic abuse of Jonathan Hoffman, despite the evidence of others to the contrary….

I am therefore writing to you to ask whether or not you have recorded what took place at SOAS on 4th December 2009 as an anti-Semitic incident? In view of the forthright nature of your comments above, I will take a refusal to answer or a non-committal response as confirmation that the incident above was indeed recorded as an anti-Semitic incident.’
A simple question you might think. Well after nearly 2 weeks and no reply, I decided to follow up the non-response with another letter of Sunday 21st February:
‘You will recall how, on 4th December 2009, Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation, was apparently the subject of anti-semitic abuse, although he didn’t realise that this had occurred until two weeks later. Nonetheless, in the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. you made it clear that Mr Gardener had been a victim of anti-Semitism… In view of the widespread belief that CST conflates statistics of anti-semitic incidents and anti-Zionism, can you confirm whether or not this alleged incident was recorded as an anti-semitic incident?’
Now Mark Gardener isn’t paid a prince’s ransom for nothing. If there is one thing he is good at it’s avoiding answering difficult questions. And none come more difficult! Unfortunately, as the late Marquess of Salisbury noted, apropos Iain McLeod, Gardener is too clever by half. Because in attempting to answer my question he is caught on the horns of a dilemma. To record an incident as anti-semitic, when it was no such thing, would prove that the CST is all the things its critics say it is. To say it wasn’t anti-semitic is effectively to call Jonathan Hoffman a liar.

Instead Gardener makes a spurious distinction between ‘hatred’ and ‘anti-semitic hatred’, which, as I responded, was a distinction without a difference. The entire context of this ‘jeering’ was that it was anti-semitic. Gardener wrote to inform me that:
‘You have claimed that I personally told the Jewish Chronicle that Mr Jonathan Hoffman had suffered an antisemitic incident. I did not. I said that he was "jeered with outright hatred". If I had meant to describe it as "antisemitic hatred" then I would have done so. ‘ (my emphasis)
In fact I hadn’t made any such claim. I merely quoted what Gardener had been reported as saying to the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. and stated that if the words were true, and he hasn’t denied them in a letter, then he had himself categorised the incident as anti-semitic. But of course that is then.

Apparently people jeered Hoffman with hatred but not anti-semitic hatred! And for once he is categorical about what he said to the Jewish Chronicle: ‘I did not’. The obvious question would be how Gardener could possibly know what people who heckled Hoffman were feeling at the time. Maybe they just disagreed with him. Either way Gardener himself has denied saying in the Jewish Chronicle that Hoffman was heckled with ‘anti-semitic hatred’ because, as he says, if that had been the case ‘then I would have done so.’

So what we have here is Mark Gardener saying that Jonathan Hoffman has made up the whole incident and the CST, despite his having reported it to them, are not going to record it!

As it happens, and unbeknown to me, Mike Cushman of Bricup, also wrote to Mark Gardener. Great minds think alike!

On 9th March 2010 Mike wrote asking Gardener a simple question:
‘I (w)as wondering whether you could tell me if the heckling of Jonathan Hoffman at the SOAS meeting on 4 December was recorded as anti-Semitic incident in your log?’

But of course it was anything but simple. So Gardener was forced to turn to that old excuse of last resort, confidentiality. After a day to consult, Gardener wrote back on 10th March that:

‘I am not able to answer your question, as CST's primary duty is to respect the confidentiality of those who contact us.’

Now this is somewhat strange because whatever his other sins, Jonathan Hoffman is not shy when it comes to publicity. Publicity is his lifesblood. ‘Breach of confidentiality’ are about the only words that are unlikely to pass Hoffman’s lips. After all, it was he who announced to the world, via the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09., that he was making a complaint to the CST. Whatever else was involved here, it was not a question of confidentiality.

Unsurprisingly Mike Cushman therefore wrote back, the same day, that ‘I find your answer surprising. I am not, nor would I, requesting any names just the CST's judgement on an incident tha is already in the public domain and thus confidentiality issues do not arise.’ It is a long-standing legal maxim that you cannot breach the privacy of someone who has already made their affairs public anyway. Likewise confidentiality doesn’t arise if the matter is already in the public domain, as the Spycatcher case demonstrated.

However Gardener wasn’t so concerned about confidentiality as trying not to have to give an answer. Jonathan Hoffman, with his cavalier attitude to ‘anti-semitism’ had landed him in it. So Gardener e-mailed back on 10th March even more lamely that

‘I infer from your question that you want to know if Mr Hoffman reported this to CST as an antisemitic incident; and whether or not CST subsequently recorded it as one. So, you are requesting names and you are requesting a breach of confidentiality.’

But of course the inference that Gardener draws is untrue, because Hoffman had already stated that he has reported it! The only question is whether the CST have recorded it or not. It is difficult to understand how this can be a breach of confidentiality and of course it’s no such thing. Gardener simply doesn’t wish to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because either answer will cause the CST problems. The full correspondence is below .

Barring of Jewish socialists and anti-Zionists from Zionist meetings
I also asked in my letter to Gardener why it was, that at a meeting at which David Bellamy was supposed to speak, two anti-Zionist Jewish speakers were physically removed from the hall because they had asked questions which were not deemed friendly and from a critical perspective.

Gardener’s response (8th March) is that ‘If someone disrupts an event and does not stop when asked to do so, they will be asked to leave. This is solely due to behaviour, not ideology.’ And pigs, including kosher ones, can fly. It is well known that the CST is a policeman of Zionist meetings and that its remit includes barring anti-Zionists from meetings and physically removing them if their screening process fails. The action of the CST heavies was witnessed by the Institute of Education's own security staff. Gardener here has no other option than to simly and blatantly lie.

The CST’s predecessor organisation, the Community Security Organisation, which operated like CST today as a stewards’ organisation, openly barred not merely anti-Zionists but non-Zionist groups like the Jewish Socialists Group from Jewish meetings. Indeed it was reported in the Jewish Chronicle of 17.8.90., after a complaint by Liberty, that the Board of Deputies had apologised to the ‘left’ Zionist organisation Mapam whose members were also barred! The CSO/CST being so right-wing that they were taken in by the left rhetoric of Mapam.

As Walter Scott wrote,
Oh! what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!’

Charitable Objectives
Now the law on charities is complicated but essentially they must be for the public benefit, which is why Britain’s public schools are complaining that they have to provide too much for the local yokels.

There are also a number of charitable objectives, which in recent years have been expanded – things like the promotion of religion, relief of poverty and distressed, giving alms to soldiers etc. As long as you are not a political campaign then, in theory, you should be able to register as a charity with the Charity Commission.

The problem for the CST is that it combines at least two different roles.

On the one hand it compiles statistics on anti-semitic incidents, and in the process conflates these with either anti-Zionism or the reaction of people to being told that Jewish people all support horrors like the bombing of Gaza.

And on the other hand its role is to act as an unofficial policeman, not against real racist or anti-semitic attacks, but against Jewish dissidents, left-wingers and anti-Zionists.

There is of course a third role that it is widely suspected of performing, given the large number of ex-Israeli military in its employ. And that is to act as the eyes and ears for Israeli Intelligence i.e. Mossad who, as Victor Ostrovsky pointed out 20 years ago in his book ‘By Way of Deception’ have a network of 2,000 Jewish people willing to help it in London alone.

Heckling and anti-semitic Abuse of a Holocaust Survivor
I have twice asked for Gardener’s comments about whether the heckling and abuse of a survivor of Auschwitz, Hajo Meyer, which included giving a Sieg Heil chant and Hitler salute, was anti-semitic. Surprise, surprise, Gardener has completely ignored this question because it involves the same culprits as above, i.e. Jonathan Hoffman and his friends from the Zionist Federation! Of course if this had happened with a holocaust survivor who was a Zionist such as Elie Wiesel, then of course there would have been a hue and cry and you would have been able to spot Mark Gardener for the newspaper headlines.

The reality behind all of this is that Gardener himself is a right-wing Zionist. So when one David Herman, failed film producer and ex-Union of Jewish Students officer, advocated that Jewish anti-Zionists, in particular myself and Roland Rance, should be necklaced, i.e. burnt alive,
‘They should remember that in the Nazi ghettos of Europe and the townships of South Africa the first people that the resistance targeted were collaborators.In less forgiving times they would be recei ving a necklace for hanukah!’
Gardener responded thus:
‘… I’m in David Herman’s (considerable) shadow on this one. We know where Rance and Greenstein stand, we know their previous, and its exactly why pro-Hizbollah websites carry their propaganda. Duh.’
Tony Greenstein

Other articles on the blog concerning the CST include their manipulation and distortion of statistics

the CST’s role as a policeman of the Jewish community and their use of their charitable status in order to bleed other Jewish charities of thousands of pounds (the CST is a multi-million pound operation)

Correspondence Referred to Above

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Dear Mr Gardener,

Incident of 4th December 2009
In the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. it was reported, in respect of a meeting at the School of Oriental & African Studies of 4.12.09, that:
‘'CST spokesman Mark Gardner said: “Mr Hoffman merely repeated what the South African Human Rights Commission had said about Bongani Masuku’s alleged incitement of antisemitism. For daring to raise this he was jeered with outright hatred.

“The UCU’s attitude to antisemitism is disgusting, and those who collaborate with it should be ashamed of themselves.”

You clearly categorised what took place at the meeting as the anti-Semitic abuse of Jonathan Hoffman, despite the evidence of others to the contrary. I have detailed the history of what took place in an article on my blog http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2009/12/bbcs-humiliating-climbdown-after.html and Jonathan Hoffman posted 3 comments underneath the article, on 28th December, by way of reply, reasserting that what took place was, in his view a clear instance of anti-Semitic abuse.

I am therefore writing to you to ask whether or not you have recorded what took place at SOAS on 4th December 2009 as an anti-Semitic incident? In view of the forthright nature of your comments above, I will take a refusal to answer or a non-committal response as confirmation that the incident above was indeed recorded as an anti-Semitic incident.

Incident of 27th January 2010
On 27th January, Holocaust Memorial Day, the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network, held a meeting at Portcullis House, Westminster, where the speaker, Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz extermination camp, was subject to virulent abuse by, among others, the said Jonathan Hoffman. Mr Hoffman described Mr Meyer as a ‘dancing bear’ among other comments, something which is not only insulting in itself but anti-Semitic, belittling as it does Mr Meyer’s terrible experiences. I am therefore asking that this attack on Mr Meyer be recorded as an anti-Semitic incident. Please confirm that this will be done.

Ejection of Jewish anti-Zionists from a Zionist Federation Meeting – 9th January 2010
Yesterday, 9th January 2010, David Bellamy came to speak at the Institute of Education in London, on the subject of Israel and the Environment. A picket was held of the meeting and two Jewish anti-Zionists who were present at the meeting asked questions of Mr Bellamy after his speech. They were not in any way disruptive but were clearly critical of the context and substance of Mr Bellamy’s speech. This is quite normal in public meetings. Immediately it was discerned that they were critical of Israel and Mr Bellamy, they were physically ejected by stewards from the Community Security Trust. What took place raises fundamental questions as to the role of the CST.

The charitable aims of the CST are, according to your entry on the Charity Commission website: http://tinyurl.com/ydbwner

1. To promote good race relations between the Jewish community and other members of society by working towards the elimination of racism in the form of anti-semitism.
2. To promote the efficiency of the police within the community at large and the promotion of good citizenship and greater public participation in the prevention of crime with particular reference to the maintenance of public order and racially motivated especially anti-semitic crime.
3. To relieve the victims of racial or religious harassment and especially anti-semitic harassment who are in need or who have suffered hardship or distress.
4. To promote research into racism and anti-Semitism and to publish the useful results of such research and otherwise to promote public education about racism and anti-semitism.
5. To promote and support such other charitable purposes or institutions as the trustees may from time to time think fit.

Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me just what part of the above remit covers the ejection of peaceful (Jewish) members of an audience who attend and ask questions at a meeting of the Zionist Federation? Or is it the view of the CST that the presence of anti-Zionists at such a meeting is, in itself, anti-Semitic?

Yours sincerely,


Tony Greenstein

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mark Gardener,
London Head Office
Community Security Trust

By email: enquiries@thecst.org.uk

Dear Mr Gardener,

I sent a letter to you, by e-mail, on 10th February 2010. For some strange reason I have not yet received a reply. Knowing how busy you and your colleagues must be trying to find examples of anti-semitic incidents, I suspect that my letter might have escaped your attention or be sitting even now in your in-tray. I am therefore writing to you again to remind you of my letter and with a further two examples of anti-semitic incidents which I am formally asking you to record.

You will recall how, on 4th December 2009, Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation, was apparently the subject of anti-semitic abuse, although he didn’t realise that this had occurred until two weeks later. Nonetheless, in the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. you made it clear that Mr Gardener had been a victim of anti-Semitism and you stated that ‘The UCU’s attitude to antisemitism is disgusting, and those who collaborate with it should be ashamed of themselves.’

You will also be aware that the original allegation of anti-Semitism was made by Raheem Kassam, an activist in Conservative Future. When the BBC was made aware that a video of the said meeting did not show any evidence to support the above allegation it totally revised its report. In view of the widespread belief that CST conflates statistics of anti-semitic incidents and anti-Zionism, can you confirm whether or not this alleged incident was recorded as an anti-semitic incident? In the absence of any response I will assume, given your remarks, this has been recorded.

I also wrote to you about an anti-semitic incident on 27th January 2010 when a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Hajo Meyer, was subject to considerable abuse by Zionist hecklers. I therefore asked that this be recorded as an anti-semitic incident. I have also been made aware that one of those removed from the meeting at the House of Commons gave a ‘sieg heil’ salute. Clearly this was of anti-semitic intent. Can you therefore confirm whether or not this incident has been recorded? I will assume, unless I hear to the contrary, that you have failed to record the incident because it involved members of the Zionist Federation.

I also wrote to you about the ejection of Jewish anti-Zionists from a Zionist Federation Meeting on 9th January at the Institute of Education, where David Bellamy was due to speak. Two Jewish anti-Zionists who were present at the meeting asked questions of the speakers. They were not in any way disruptive but were clearly critical of the idea that Israel makes a positive contribution to the environment. Immediately it was clear that they were anti-Zionists they were physically ejected by stewards from the CST.

I therefore asked you how what CST did, both at this and previous meetings, where they target Jewish dissidents, was compatible with your charitable aims and objectives. http://tinyurl.com/ydbwner Unsurprisingly you seem to have had difficulty answering this question, which in itself begs further questions.

I also have another two anti-semitic incidents to report. As you may be aware, I run an anti-Zionist, anti-racist and socialist blog. I have received a number of abusive comments in the time it has been running, most of which are from Zionists and a few from fascists. On 30thJanuary 2010 I received two posts, one from a Zionist who believed I was a traitor and expressed his regret that Hitler had not exterminated my family and also Neturei Karta. The other post was from a straightforward holocaust denier.

Both posts are clearly anti-semitic and I would ask that you record both as anti-semitic incidents. I include below a screenshot of the posts as seen in the Comment Moderation box.

In view of the time that has already elapsed since my previous letter I look forward to a swift reply.


Yours sincerely,


Tony Greenstein

Sent: Wed, 24 February, 2010 11:40:31

Dear Mr Greenstein
Thank you for your email of 22 February 2010.
As with many Jewish organisations, CST is subjected to vexatious emails and letters. You should note that CST’s standard policy is to ignore them. Your email of 10 February was premised upon numerous detailed allegations that CST personnel had acted to prevent questions being directed at David Bellamy in a public meeting. David Bellamy was not even at the meeting in question, so your email was not replied to.
CST does not believe that arguments between “Zionist” and “anti-Zionist” Jews constitute antisemitism as such. The examples that you cite in both emails will therefore not be classified by CST as antisemitic incidents. Similarly, if you or others, including Neturei Karta, use Nazi epithets to defame fellow Jews, CST would not classify these as antisemitic incidents.
Your claims about what CST does and does not record as antisemitic incidents are wrong. This is all clearly explained in CST’s annual antisemitic incidents report, a pdf of which may be accessed via the publications section of CST’s website.
You have claimed that I personally told the Jewish Chronicle that Mr Jonathan Hoffman had suffered an antisemitic incident. I did not. I said that he was "jeered with outright hatred". If I had meant to describe it as "antisemitic hatred" then I would have done so.
There is a vast range of self-declared “anti-Zionists”, and a similarly vast range of “anti-Zionist” attitudes to antisemitism and antisemites. CST does not use “anti-Zionism” as a basis for security and / or public order procedures.
Finally, thank you for having forwarded the abusive emails that you received on 30 January 2010. The second email, containing Holocaust denial will be recorded by CST as an antisemitic incident. In accordance with the explanation above, the first email will not be recorded as an antisemitic incident. Nevertheless, if you have not notified your local police of both emails, then we would advise you to do so.
Sincerely, Mark Gardner, Director of Communications, CST

Sunday 7th March 2010

Mark Gardener,
London Head Office
Community Security Trust

By email: enquiries@thecst.org.uk

Dear Mr Gardener,

Thank you for your e-mail of 24th February 2010. Unfortunately pressure of work has prevented me from replying until now.

You say that you did not reply to my previous e-mail of 10th February because you are subject to many vexatious e-mails and letters. You are not alone in this experience but there was nothing which was vexatious, in the legal sense, about my e-mail, i.e. malicious or not in good faith. The meeting at which your stewards violently evicted two Jewish anti-Zionists was originally advertised as having David Bellamy as a speaker. It was therefore entirely reasonable that I would have assumed that he did in fact speak and my error has no bearing on whether or not my e-mail was vexatious.

I asked you, in my e-mails of 10th and 22nd February just how the forcible removal of two Jewish anti-Zionists from a meeting on Israel and the environment at the Institute of Education on 9th February 2010 and the barring of Jewish anti-Zionists from similar meetings in the past, is compatible with your charitable objectives. Twice you have failed to respond to my questions and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that your actions in ‘defending’ Zionist meetings from those who peacefully ask questions is outside your charitable aims and objectives.

This conclusion is reinforced by the actions of your stewards in not protecting from assault a Jewish heckler at the Board of Deputies Solidarity Rally with Israel in January 2009 and a more recent meeting of the Jewish National Fund when one of them was physically assaulted. The conclusions that flow from this are obvious, namely that the pro-Zionist political activities of CST are not charitable and should not therefore be undertaken by the existing organisation.

You state that ‘CST does not use “anti-Zionism” as a basis for security and / or public order procedures.’ If that is the case then what was the basis for the removal of the 2 people above? Bearing in mind that the CST has form in this respect then it is difficult to believe your denials. You might also care to explain why it is that CST stewards allowed someone they were evicting from a JNF meeting to be kicked and punched. I refer to the report in the Jewish Chronicle of 17.12.09:

‘CST security men removed him from the hall, but as Mr Prosor resumed his speech a second man began shouting anti-Israel remarks. He was punched and kicked by a delegate as he was pulled from the hall.’ http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/25187/screaming-protesters-disrupt-jnf-meeting Since the person being removed was subject to a criminal assault, what action was taken to detain this person and inform the Police?

I also wrote to you twice concerning the meeting held in Portcullis House on 27th January featuring Hajo Meyer, a survivor of Auschwitz, who was subject to virulent abuse from, among others, Jonathan Hoffman. In particular one of those heckling him gave a sieg heil salute before he left. I asked if this had been categorised as an anti-semitic incident and if not, why not. I would not expect you to classify exchanges between Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews as anti-semitic per se. However there are clearly occasions, such as this when the giving of a Hitler salute or Sieg Heil chant are open to no other interpretation. Or is subjecting a holocaust survivor to pro-Nazi abuse not anti-semitic?

You state that I claimed that you personally told the Jewish Chronicle that Mr Jonathan Hoffman had suffered an antisemitic incident. I did not. What I did say was that in the Jewish Chronicle of 23.12.09. ‘you made it clear that Mr Gardener had been a victim of anti-Semitism and you stated that ‘The UCU’s attitude to antisemitism is disgusting, and those who collaborate with it should be ashamed of themselves.’ (22.2.10) and in my previous e-mail I likewise stated that ‘You clearly categorised what took place at the meeting as the anti-Semitic abuse of Jonathan Hoffman, despite the evidence of others to the contrary.’ There is nothing in either e-mail which says you personally told the JC that Mr Hoffman suffered an anti-semitic incident.

However you are being disingenuous when seek to differentiate between being ‘jeered with outright hatred’ and ‘anti-semitic hatred’. If Mr Hoffman was indeed being jeered with ‘hatred’ as opposed to heckling because of political disagreement, then there is no other conclusion than that he was the victim of anti-semitic abuse. Or are you saying that what you really meant was that Jonathan Hoffman was jeered with ‘non anti-semitic hatred’? You are as well aware as I am that racist crimes are generically termed hate crimes. And you confirm my interpretation of your remarks since you then go on to accuse the UCU of ‘disgusting’ anti-semitism.

The allegation that Mr Hoffman being jeered with outright hatred takes its colour from the context. The context of your remarks was an allegation of Mr Hoffman that he had been the victim of anti-semitic jeering. You added support to that with your own comments. If there is any doubt about my interpretation then the report in the JC of 23.12.09. makes it clear:
‘Mr Hoffman, who has reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police’s hate crime unit and the Community Security Trust’. http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/25314/zionist-hit-abuse-soas-debate

So this is a very simple question. Given that Mr Hoffman has reported the incident to both you and the Metropolitan Police have you categorised it as an anti-semitic incident? If not why not?

You also state that ‘if you or others, including Neturei Karta, use Nazi epithets to defame fellow Jews, CST would not classify these as antisemitic incidents.’ As an atheist I cannot speak on behalf of Neturei Karta but I have never used Nazi epithets to defame anyone, Jewish or non-Jewish nor have I ever being the subject of a libel action on that account.

Perhaps you are referring to my article The Nazi Mentality of Zionism's Devotees http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2009/01/nazi-mentality-of-zionisms-devotees.html on how Israeli Jewish parents objected successfully to their children going to the same kindergarten as an Arab toddler? Or graffiti on the walls in Hebron and elsewhere such as ‘Gas the Arabs’ or ‘Arabs to the Gas Chambers’. Or possibly you were thinking of my article A Zionist & A Holocaust Denier Hold Hands which shows a tee-shirt made by soldiers involved in Cast Lead, which bore the slogan ‘1 shot two kills?’ featuring a pregnant woman? http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2010/01/zionist-holocaust-denier-hold-hands.html Or perhaps my article ‘Hitler was Right Say Zionists’ http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2010/02/hitler-was-right-say-zionists.html which includes a video of Zionists in Jerusalem shouting at Jewish protestors that Hitler was right, ‘Heil Hitler’ etc. Are you seriously saying that it is libellous to report this and to ask why increasingly the supporters of Zionism are increasingly resorting to this ugly anti-semitism as well as the old ‘self-hatred’ jibes?

I am bemused, to put it mildly, by your treatment of both e-mails which I received. One, which was clearly from a Zionist, stated that ‘It is a shame that either Hitler or the Angel of Death, missed your family’s house. Or Neturei Karta’s.’ The second e-mail, which was not personally directed, claimed that the Holocaust was a hoax.

The first e-mail hasn’t been categorised as an anti-semitic incident whereas the second e-mail has been so categorised. You referred me to your annual anti-semitic incidents report, and I have therefore downloaded and read the report for 2009. This is what it says:

‘CST does not record as incidents antisemitic material that is permanently hosted on internet websites, but will record antisemitic comments posted on blogs or internet forums that are reported to CST, if they show evidence of antisemitic content, motivation or targeting.’ (p.8)

I am at a loss to know how wishing Hitler had exterminated you and your family is any different, in terms of racist intent, targeting or motivation, from someone who denies anyone Jewish was exterminated. If anything the former comment, being personally directed at me and wishing the death of my family is far more distressing and hurtful than the second e-mail, which was, even by the standards of holocaust revisionism, puerile and juvenile.

Your differentiation between the two e-mails is simply unsustainable. It is a distinction without a difference to say that an e-mail wishing there were even more Jewish victims of the holocaust is not anti-semitic but one denying there was a holocaust was anti-semitic.

Finally you advise me to report both e-mails to the Police. I will consider it. However my experience in this respect is that the Police are not interested in genuine anti-semitism. I appear twice in the South Coast section of Redwatch, the main neo-Nazi internet site which collects information about anti-fascists and I have reported this to the Police. The Police, despite considerable pressure, have shown no interest in this site despite the fact that those who have appeared have, in one case, been subject to a knife attack in his home. The Police have done nothing about Redwatch or those responsible for compiling and submitting the information.

I look forward to your response to my questions.

Yours sincerely,


Tony Greenstein

Monday 8th March 2010

Dear Mr Greenstein,
Regarding your email dated 7 March 2010:
1. CST does not classify clashes between Jews as antisemitic incidents.
2. If someone disrupts an event and does not stop when asked to do so, they will be asked to leave. This is solely due to behaviour, not ideology.
CST does not see the point in continuing this correspondence any further.
Sincerely, Mark Gardner


Sent: 09 March 2010 14:50

Dear Mark Gardener

I as wondering whether you could tell me if the heckling of Jonathan Hoffman at the SOAS meeting on 4 December was recorded as anti-Semitic incident in your log?

From: CST Enquiries [mailto:enquiries@thecst.org.uk]
Sent: 10 March 2010 10:53

Dear Mike Cushman,

I am not able to answer your question, as CST's primary duty is to respect the confidentiality of those who contact us.

On behalf of CST, Mark Gardner

Sent: 10 March 2010 12:00
To: CST Enquiries
Subject: RE: SOAS

Dear Mark Gardener

I find your answer surprising. I am not, nor would I, requesting any names just the CST's judgement on an incident tha is already in the public domain and thus confidentiality issues do not arise..

Mike Cushman

10th March 2010

Dear Mike Cushman,

I infer from your question that you want to know if Mr Hoffman reported this to CST as an antisemitic incident; and whether or not CST subsequently recorded it as one. So, you are requesting names and you are requesting a breach of confidentiality.

CST's primary duty is to respect the confidentiality of those who contact us.

CST considers this correspondence closed.

On behalf of CST, Mark Gardner

10th March 2010

Dear Mark Gardener

You infer incorrectly; if I had been interested in whether Mr Hoffman had reported it you can be sure I would have asked that, I asked about recording not reporting - if it were to have been reported but not recorded as an incident it is only the recording I am asking about.

I am not interested in who reported it but whether you had recorded it as an anti-Semitic incident so that I may gain a better sense of what constitutes an anti-Semitic incident. Your disinclination to provide this information leads me to have doubt about the reliability of your published data. Credibility of your data means being as open as possible about your criteria and we can only judge your criteria by seeing how they apply in different instances.

Mike Cushman