“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘GPRC

Derek Wall, Joel Kovel And The Green Party.

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I have been following the subject of racism in the Green Party for some time, yet even I am surprised about this, Greens Engage has a piece on Derek Wall, a very senior Green figure:

“Since then he has busied himself “negating the various threads of [his] Jewish identity” (p7). You’ll come across similar books by ex-Muslims writing against existing Muslims, denying their diversity, saying “Trust me, I know these people – they’re all authoritarian chauvinists”. It is obviously wrong to make an association between what goes on in your family and what a group of people joined by religion or ethnicity do throughout the world. Joel Kovel is quite openly an antisemitic kook, and anybody who doesn’t realise that has their own prejudices to deal with.

Unfortunately Derek Wall feels so secure within the current anti-Zionist-anti-Jewish climate that to a recent commenter who raised concerns about antisemitism, the green activist, writer and economist responded simply and confidently:

“fuck off Zionist twat.“

That is unrecognisable as politics. It is simply hateful.”

[My emphasis.]

Exactly, hateful.

Surprising, as Wall is an educated man, a tutor at a private college and normally exceedingly well spoken.

Still, I suppose “some of his best friends are….”, no doubt he will say that soon enough.

Update 1: This is Mudar Zahran’s piece, well worth a read:

“Anti-Semitism and the image of the “evil Jew” find their roots deep in Europe’s intellectualism, from Shakespeare to Nietzsche, not to mention the fraudulent Franco-Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The pretexts for Hitler’s Nazi ideology existed vigorously before he came to power. Hitler probably manifested more of a crude exposure of a public trend, exacerbated by a terrible economy, except that the suffering Hitler brought to the world was not limited to Jews. It took the destruction of entire nations and the deaths of millions for people to realize that racism and extremism can be as dangerous to the oppressors and the haters as it is the oppressed and the hated.

As a result, European societies of today collectively renounce racism and anti-Semitism, but even though the haters encountered rejection and exclusion, they were nonetheless able to find an alternative pathway by prospering on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As it has raged — and continues to rage — for sixty years, the global media have found a lively source of news material that is endlessly interesting as a conflict between “two religions,” “two ethnicities,” and the line between the West, represented by Israel, and the East, represented by the Palestinians and Arabs in general. “

Update 2: Seemingly Dr. Wall’s political judgement has failed him for a number of years, he’s been an advocate of Cynthia McKinney for ages.

Readers will remember Ms. McKinney’s drift rightwards and association with some well known anti-Jewish racists, David Pidcock and Lady Renouf.

Adam Holland has documented Ms. McKinney’s decline:

Cynthia McKinney Interviewed on Far-Right Racist Radio Program

Cynthia McKinney increasing her ties to the racist far-right: Michael Collins Piper and Israel Shamir.

Cynthia McKinney and the Society of Supporters of the Green Book.

Update 3: Here is Ms. McKinney publishing Israel Shamir’s filth, courtesy of the American Green Party, I am in Turkey with Isreal Shamir. Anyone care to speculate what the shared connection between these people is?

The Greens, Entryism And Shouting Contests.

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Sometimes issues on the Internet take on a life of their own. A few weeks back I dropped a comment on the Daily (Maybe), a very popular Green Party blog.

I didn’t see eye to eye with my host, Jim, and left it at that.

Readers will remember I have been following the issue of the Green Party and anti-Jewish racism for sometime.

Then suddenly I get follow-up emails from that thread, which springs to life as if shot by a bolt of lightning.

Sadly, the resultant exchanges shed no light on the issue of the Green Party and antisemitism, but they do tell you something about the characters involved.

One particular vigorous figure is Deborah Fink.

Ms. Fink is a comparatively new convert to all things green, which normally wouldn’t be a problem except she has brought along her past political baggage.

Ms. Fink was a once prominent member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, that was until she made a statement that:

“Israel does not deserve to be called ‘The Jewish state.’ It should be called ‘The Satanic state.’ I really don’t see the point [of] doing anything else other than boycott it in every possible way.”

JfJfP didn’t like it too much either:

“But Dan Judelson, elected last month as JfJfP chair, told the JC that Ms Fink’s remarks were “incompatible” with her responsibilities within the group — which include the role of recruitment officer.

The matter would be discussed at its monthly meeting on Sunday.

“Deborah Fink is not a member of the newly elected executive committee of JfJfP,” he stated. “As such, she speaks only for herself.” He said she had confirmed that she had posted the remarks online.”

All of that is moderate, compared to her attacks on other Greens in the comment thread at the Daily (Maybe):

“Actually Alan, I have not put a complaint in against you, so don’t like, but I am now considering it. Someone else was going to put in a complaint against you but I don’t know if s/he has done so yet or how far it has progressed.”

She makes a veiled threat to the blog’s host, Jim:

“What worries me most about this, is that Jim is a member of the executive. Time for him to step down, I think.”

From the thread we learn that Ms. Fink joined the Greens on a “whim” and states openly “My main issue is Palestine…”.

She attacks long standing Greens in an aggressive fashion, only having been a Green, herself, since early 2010.

Additionally, you can see Ms. Fink bad mouthing the Green Party and its members on a public bulletin board, JustPeaceUK :

“Basically, a handful of members, otherwise known as Greens engage, had complained about ‘anti-Semitism’ in the party, so to try and address their concerns, a working group was set up. This was before I joined. I’m not quite sure why the committee was disbanded but i think it was because Greens engage kept calling one member anti-Semitic. i can imagine that they weren’t getting anywhere.

From what I heard, Greens engage used to bully people on email lists into
silence on Israel/Palestine, by constantly accusing them of anti-Semitism, but that this all stopped once I joined the party! O yes, they’ve had a taste of their own medicine! They won’t dare argue with me. I’ve been exposing their arguments and agenda so that others won’t get taken in by them, and saying what non Jews on the lists would liked to have said, but didn’t dare.

So, this article is mostly nonsense and actually, they had no business publishing it when it wasn’t from official sources. I didn’t respond as i did not want to blow the whole thing up. “

She seems to do a bit of plotting too:

“I discussed this with them and the possibility of my writing in ‘As-a-Jew’ but we decided it was best to leave it– a response would have drawn more attention to it and possibly escalated it. However, I’m looking into taking action against these infiltrators. They’ve all gone quiet now, by the way…”

Ms. Fink’s divisive attitudes brought the JfJfP into disrepute and she left, so all in all it is not very promising for the Greens, if she doesn’t get her way she’ll probably leave as quickly as she joined, on a whim.

Small wonder Toby Green resigned.

The Green Party Conference And Racism.

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Weggis asks some difficult questions of his own party:

“The situation is quite simple: anyone who raises the issue of anti-Semitism within the party is immediately labeled a “Zio” or an “apologist for Israel” and accused of trying to stifle criticism of Israel. The fact that these people are also critics of Israel and empathise with the Palestinian cause does not register on their barometer. They are blind to any evidence that contradicts their obsession. Debate, or rational discourse, has become a pointless and futile exercise.

If the Green Party cannot see, understand or deal with it’s own problems what chance have they of resolving anybody else’s?

This post might help explain the background to the issues, Institutionalised Antisemitism In The Green Party, A Longstanding Member Resigns.

Institutionalised Antisemitism In The Green Party, A Longstanding Member Resigns.

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Bob has a tremendously hard-hitting guest post by Toby Green.

Green had a 10-year membership of the Green Party in England and Wales but has resigned over its institutionalised antisemitism.

Green is exceedingly knowledgeable on this topic, as he was the chair of a working group within the Green Party to draw up a policy on antisemitism.

Readers will remember how political manoeuvrings within the Greens killed off that comprehensive policy statement against antisemitism.

Some of his points are arguable, but they are legitimate positions to hold and he has considerable experience of the internal workings of the Greens. It is a fascinating post.

I particularly liked these parts:

“To be fair, after all of this, the party did recognise that there was an issue. A report commissioned by the Green Party Regional Council (GPRC – a powerful decision-making body in the decentralisd power structure of the party), and written by two non-Jewish members, said that these were examples of a toleration of low-level anti-semitism, and that therefore a working party on anti-semitism was recommended to be established. Although kicked into the long grass at first, it started work when a senior figure recommended an article by a known holocaust denier on his blog. But the working party was quickly an impossibility. I should know: I was the chair, a position I only adopted when no one else was prepared to. Replies to very calm, polite emails asking for input came there none. Ever. Weeks would go by without any discussion, and if I as chair then asked for input this was always slack. One member only ever sent one email to the group. Eventually, a crisis came when a new GP member posted emails to a list confirming that the epithet of “squealing zionist” was justified. Since this was one of the phrases criticised in the original report to the GPRC, I brought this to the attention of the group – at which point one member resigned.

Far from it. After four years of this charade, it has become clear that the Green Party is institutionally anti-semitic. Its institutions have not dealt with clear evidence of anti-semitism. They show no evidence of wanting to, and indeed now seem to have decided to target perceived “problem” members of the party who have raised this issue. This is fundamentally a political decision: the Green party has decided that it is increasingly a hard left party, allied with enemies of Western capitalism. Rightly, it thinks that Islamophobia is one of the more dangerous phenomena to have arisen since 9/11, and in reaction against this it turns a blind eye to discrimination against perceived enemies of Islamic peoples, Israel, and the Jews. This is a classic case of projection: horrified at their own government´s attitudes towards Islamic countries, and wanting no part in it, this mentality projects this violence onto a scapegoat – Israel and Jews. “

Update 1: Some of these previous posts might shed some light on this dark and murky issue.

Green Party’s Regional Council.

Smoke-filled Rooms, Antisemitism and The Greens.

The Greens And Racism.

At Engage, Antisemitism in the Green Party ‘best kept under the surface’

Green Party’s Regional Council

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After the shenanigans at the GPRC, where an agreed policy statement on antisemitism was shelved after some political manoeuvrings, questions are being asked about who are the GPRC at Greens’ Engage:

“GPRC is responsible for policing the democratic structures of the Green Party and ensuring the Party’s “well being”. The Party’s executive (GPEx) is responsible to the GPRC. Members of the Green Party Executive (GPEx) can be required to report to GPRC, which has the right to recall (suspend) GPEx members, including party Leader and Co-Leader. GPRC has responsibility for policy between conferences, and the enforcement of party procedures. GPRC can review local party decisions, and overturn them, in the event of a complaint. GPRC also plays in a key role in determining the strategic priorities of the Party.

The GPRC, and in particular its co-chairs, have a key role in handling disputes and complaints raised by regional parties, individual party members and member of the public. The GPRC co-chairs can summarily dismiss a complaint, refer it to dispute resolution, or initiate a full-blown tribunal. They can suspend a party member pending a tribunal, and initiate investigations into members behaviour. It may be the case that they are a clique suffering from a bad case of groupthink. But to say GPRC is irrelevant in the Green Party is akin to saying that the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and the judicial system, are all irrelevant cliques that can be ignored by those concerned with democracy and justice.

GPRC’s constitutional role means that the fiasco over guidelines concerning antisemitism is important and not merely a trivial side-show. The GPRC has previously agreed that there is a specific problem with antisemitism in the Green Party, which requires action on its part, including specific guidance to be considered when dealing with complaints relating to antisemitism.”

I thought this seemed to sum it up nicely:

“To a cynical onlooker it might seem that the entire process for producing guidance on antisemitism was set up to fail, perhaps so that GPRC could wash its hands of a problem that they acknowledge exists but cannot or will not act on. Perhaps one question is whether GPRC is seeking “merely” to appease certain individuals and groups to avoid confrontation and embarrassment, or whether those individuals and groups are de facto in charge of the institutions of the party. “