BeautifulBurnout / CalamityJane123 / BuddhistBarrister @0Calamity – serious questions for a Crawley Labour Party Officer about holocaust denial, antisemitism, and Nazism
Anne Tanner is a long time member of the Labour Party and lives in Cardiff. BeautifulBurnout / CalamityJane123 / @oCalamity recently announced she is an assistant coordinator of her local Labour Party, (possibly Crawley Constituency Labour Party). Both are also regular contributors to The Guardian and a leftish / populist blog called The Untrusted.
Both have publicised their support for Ken Livingstone’s claim that Hitler supported Zionism and stated that his remarks were not antisemitic.
BeautifulBurnout / CalamityJane123 / @oCalamity, who posts on both the Guardian’s Comment is Free and the Untrusted site as BeautifullyBurntout and CalamityJane123, posted on 29 April conflating Zionism and Jewishness:
“Now, can someone please tell me why Ken Livingstone saying that Hitler supported Zionism is anti-semitic? It’s true. He did. For his own evil nefarious ends, admittedly, but he supported the Zionists’ desire to create an Israeli state.
Unless, of course, telling truths that are uncomfortable for Zionists makes you a Jew-hater….”
And again on 30 May 2016 following Nick Cohen’s article in the Guardian:
“Yes, I saw that on Facebook, Anne. Cohen is becoming a parody of himself on the Graun/Observer (not open for comments), and the Graun has put up a ridiculous opinion piece that grudgingly accepts that there was a “twisted” truth in what Ken said, while failing abjectly to address any of the stuff about Lehi/The Stern Gang and their support of Nazi Germany as a way of removing the British protectorate.
Ho hum. And these gits, quite rightly, would scream the place down if John Irving was given space to spout his revisionist bollocks while simultaneously revising WW2 history themselves.
I am sick of this nonsense now.”
BB/CJ is a Barrister and as such cannot claim ignorance of the Labour Party’s and the law’s position on antisemitism and racism. It is somewhat ironic that for many years her major contribution on the Guardian’s Comment is Free was to oppose the policies of the British National Party, But where Jews are concerned she seems to have a blind spot.
Anne Tanner, a former teacher who posts as AT42 responded on 30 May 2016:
“Livingston (sic) was right!”
And by way of proof that “Livingston was right” she linked to an article by the North Shore Numismatic Society of Vancouver about a medal commissioned by Goebbels, following a visit to Palestine (not Israel as Livingstone stated, which did not exist until 1948) by SS officer Leopold von Mildenstein and Zionist Federation official Kurt Tuchler.
“Hitler had just become Chancellor, and begun his anti-Jewish policies. Nazis wanted to drive the Jews out of Germany. But the Nazis were not clear about how they intended to set about this without disrupting the already Depression-beset German economy, and nor did they know what the effects might be on Germany’s relations with the rest of the world.”
So Anne Tanner is confounded by her own “proof” as even the North Shore Numismatic Society recognises that whatever the Zionist Federation thought it was getting from the deal, von Mildenstein and Goebbels saw it as part of Hitler’s plan to rid Germany and later the rest of the world, of its Jews.
This is Jew baiting of the worst kind and at least one Jew who over a number of months confronted the antisemitism on the Untrusted site was hounded and bullied and finally banned.
As Ken Livingstone has been suspended from membership. the same should happen to those who in public have said he is right and provided him with support.
The recent survey by City University about British Jewish attitudes towards Israel indicated that an overwhelming 93% believed that an identification with Israel forms some part of their identity today.
All too often antisemitism is disguised by the convenient use of the anti-Zionist and anti-Israel label.
BB/CJ also has a history of holocaust denial and denigration, again as part of her Jew-baiting.
In July 2013, the Guardian ran an article about the Government’s two vans carrying its message about illegal immigration. The article attracted a lengthy discussion among readers, one of whom SonsOfOwainGlyndwr posted the following:
“Well at least one positive will come of all this, unemployment may well decrease by a few thousand in the construction industry as concentration camps and attendant gas chambers and ovens are built to irradiate once and for all the ‘illegal immigrant problem in this nation.
I think they have a word for it, namely, the Final Solution.”
“I am no lover of Zionism – and the appalling treatment handed out to Palestinians and others of Arab descent – little better than the NAZIS themselves in my humble opinion, an opinion held by numerous Jewish academics and non-Jews alike.”
About which BB/CJ posting as CalamityJane123 responded to and congratulated SonsOfOwainGlyndwr with:
“Well said, sir.”
This antisemitism was accurately described in this quote from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
“Distinct from denial and distortion is misuse of the Holocaust. Misuse occurs when aspects of the Holocaust are compared to events, situations, or people where there is no genocide or genocidal intent. Holocaust denial, distortion, and misuse all undermine the understanding of history. Denial and distortion of the Holocaust almost always reflect antisemitism.”
“Tomorrow will be the 104th (!) birthday of Nicholas Winton, who arranged for hundreds of Jewish children to be brought into the UK at a time when our government was operating bloody quotas of how many we would take! He was only allowed to bring more than the “quota” in if he could find sponsoring foster families for them, so they wouldn’t be a burden on the state.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”
The idea that Britain in 2013 was in any way comparable to what was happening to Jews in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia is a deliberate and calculated insult to Holocaust victims and another example of her Jew baiting.
Were the importance and impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade to be so treated, the likes of BB/CJ and Ann Tanner would be among the first to protest. Nazi comparisons are a favourite.
While Mr Livingstone limited his accusations to the State of Israel, BB/CJ considers the actions of those military personnel who fight with NATO to be equivalent to the very worst atrocities of Nazi occupying forces.
“You talk about “well known Nazi atrocities”. The sort of thing I am talking about is the casual cruelty of an occupying force, as happened month in month out in small towns and villages throughout France, from the accounts I have heard.
The same way they happen month in month out in small towns and villages in Afghanistan.”
She was widely and comprehensively condemned for this by among others Labour Party supporter Peter Bracken:
“This (BB’ post above) was BB replying to 10jiao
It’s made in an effort to demonstrate her pristine, even handed sense of morality. But all it does, of course, is hang her by her own pleading.
How anyone – and I mean anyone, let alone a signed-up member of the engaged family that is Cif – can juxtapose NATO soldiers with their Nazi counterparts is beyond any reasonable reckoning.
But that is the quality of the corrosion that afflicts supposedly intelligent discussion on these boards.
‘Faux’ this, ‘foaming’ that – so the likes of BB represent objections to his or her reasonableness. But the truly sad aspect of it all is not the exposure of a callous and callow ideology (that’s easily done); it’s the trenchant retreat – by lay members of this community – into a redoubt that houses the abominations of history.
Therein lies the shame. Therein lies the issue. And therein lies the reason why I – why many of us, I suspect – bother to post.”
And by others such as Routemaster:
In Oradour the Nazis rounded up the population and seperated the men from the women and children.The men were executed and the women and children were herded into the village church which was set on fire and all burned to death bar one woman who managed to escape.The Western Forces in Afghanistan have been responsible for a number of civilian deaths as a result of bombing the wrong targets but do you really believe that is the same as the Nazi massacre in Oradour?
I see so what you’re saying is that Nato forces who bomb the wrong target in Afghanistan resulting in innocent civilians being killed are the same as the Nazi forces who as a result of also making a mistake drove into Oradour-Sur-Glane, rounded up every single man ,woman and child,executed the men by firing squad and burnt almost all the women and children to death in the church they had herded them into and then set alight. All i can say is I profoundly disagree with you both.”
“I should have added that you have to see what the Nazis did in Oradour in the context of the appalling cruelty they subjected people all over Europe too. Whatever mistakes the Nato forces have been guilty of in Afghanistan they cannot be compared to the Nazis and to suggest they are shows that you both clearly don’t grasp just how barbaric the Nazis really were.”
Anyone looking for evidence of antisemitism and racism among rank and file members of the Labour Party; here it is.
Naz Shah MP, speaking to the Commons, her constituents and the country:
‘I helped promote anti-Semitic tropes. This was totally wrong’.
Nine months before she became an MP, Shah linked on Twitter to a blog claiming Zionism had been used to “groom” Jews to “exert political influence at the highest levels of public office.” The following month, she likened Israel’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler.
After resigning she wrote “for someone who knows the scourge of oppression and racism all too well, it is important that I make an unequivocal apology for statements and ideas that I have foolishly endorsed in the past. The language I used was wrong. It is hurtful. What’s important is the impact these posts have had on other people. I understand that referring to Israel and Hitler as I did is deeply offensive to Jewish people for which I apologise.”
In the Commons she said among other things – “Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop. As an MP I will do everything in my power to build relationships between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths and none.”
This is what Livingstone and his supporters are in effect condemning her for and presumably demanding she retracts her apologies. I hope she doesn’t.
What is tragic about this is that when you look at the awful experiences she went through as a child and young women and the success she’s achieved despite this, she clearly had far greater things to come.
Born in Bradford, Shah was abandoned by her father when six years old after he ran off with their neighbour’s sixteen-year-old daughter. At age 12, she was sent to Pakistan to avoid her mother, Zoora’s, violent partner, whom Zoora fatally poisoned because she believed he was planning to sexually abuse her daughters. She served 14 years in prison for his murder. While in Pakistan, Shah was forced into an arranged marriage.
Before being elected as an MP, Shah was the chair of mental health charity, Sharing Voices Bradford, and had previously worked as a carer for disabled people, as an NHS Commissioner and a director for a regional association supporting local councils.
Had Livingstone not intervened, along with the cheer leaders like those here, Naz Shah might, after a period in the wilderness, have resumed her career as a promising and valuable members of Her Majesty’s opposition team. That might still happen, I hope it does. But it will have been made all the more difficult by the intervention of the anti-semitic Ken Livingstone and those who have raced to his defence.
I don’t think it’s inaccurate to suggest that for some, hatred of Israel has become so crucial that they will seize any and every opportunity to criticise the sole democracy in the Middle East. Abhorrence of the USA whose crimes it might be argued are far greater, comes a distant second.
So what did Hitler actually write?
Here he is in Mein Kampf writing about Zionism in 1925:
“The Jew’s rule in the State now appears secured to such an extent that he may not only again call himself Jew, but ruthlessly admits his final thoughts as regards nationality and politics. A part of his race even admits quite openly that it is a foreign people, however, not without again lying in this respect. For while Zionism tries to make the other part of the world believe that the national self-consciousness of the Jew finds satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian State, the Jews again most slyly dupe the stupid goyim.
“They have no thought of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might perhaps inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.
“But it is the sign, not only of their rising confidence, but also their feeling of safety, that now, at a time when one part of them still mendaciously plays the German, the Frenchman, or the Englishman, the other part impudently and openly documents itself as the Jewish race.”
So Hitler wasn’t supporting Zionism; he was saying Zionism is a Jewish trick to fool the world that Jews will be happy with a state, when actually what they want is global domination.
Where does that leave Livingstone?
Defending Labour MP Naz Shah from accusations of anti-Semitism, (a sad case if ever there was one), Livingstone said:
“Let’s remember that when Hitler won the election in 1932, his policy was that Jews should be moved to Israel.” Hitler was “supporting Zionism” before he “went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.
It was, even by Livingstone’s standards, grotesquely clumsy and cruel. In consequence we have witnessed the former mayor of one of the world’s great cities reduced to a sad and squalid existence as the living representation of Godwin’s Law.
On the BBC whose existence people around the world robustly support and defend, was Timothy Snyder, Yale University history professor and author of Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. He clinically examined Livingstone’s claim, that he’s since repeated. He started with the blindingly obvious:
“It is inconceivable that Hitler could have wanted to move Jews to Israel, because there was no such place in 1932.
Using the word “Israel” when what is meant was “the British mandate of Palestine” has the unfortunate consequence of stripping away the actual historical context and putting the words “Hitler” and “Israel” in the same sentence. “
“Hitler was not a supporter of Zionism. He believed, on the contrary, that Zionism was one of many deliberately deceptive labels that Jews placed upon what he believed to be their endless striving for global power and the extermination of the human species.
From Hitler’s point of view, Jews were precisely not normal human beings because they did not care about territory, but cared only about global domination.
Livingstone’s claim – “He was supporting Zionism” is categorically false and reveals a total and fundamental misunderstanding of what Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all about.
Tens of thousands of German Jews did emigrate to Palestine before British policy made this all but impossible. And some German officials did take an interest in Zionism. But there was never a German policy to support Zionism or a future Israel.
On the contrary, the German orientation in the Middle East was to support Arab nationalism. The official German policy, enunciated clearly in 1937, was to oppose the creation of a State of Israel.
Before, during and after 1932, Hitler referred to the Jews as a problem for the entire world, not simply for Germany. When the Holocaust took place, the vast majority of Jews killed were people who lived beyond Germany.
Both in theory and in practice, Hitler’s extermination of Jews was international, applied to millions of people. For this reason as well, it is logically inconceivable that his ideas could ever have been limited to sending German Jews to Palestine.
Well before 1932, in his book Mein Kampf, Hitler had made clear that the Jews were, in his view, a “spiritual pestilence” that had to be removed from the face of the earth in order to rescue the human species, the natural order of the planet, and God’s creation. It was not clear just how this could be carried out; but there is no sense in which the idea of deporting Jews to Palestine is sufficient to this vision.”
Norman Lebrecht who was assistant editor of the London Evening Standard from 2002 to 2009 wrote:
“Ken’s latest claim that it’s not antisemitic “to hate the Jews in Israel” is the ugliest threat to Jews by any mainstream British politician in the modern era. Linking “hate” to “Jews” goes way beyond our old Ken. It might even be the real Ken.”
“I am more worried by the fact that there is no cure for stupidity. Corbyn and Livingstone are incredibly poorly educated by the lights of past Labour leaders from Gaitskell to Wilson. Both are consumed by serial causes, about which they read just enough to reinforce what are emotional prejudices, for why else pass over the 25 or so other conflicts not involving Israel in the Middle East? Maybe that’s why Corbyn could denounce antisemitism, though not his old mucker Livingstone, at a May Day rally with the face of Stalin, a notorious antisemite and mass murderer, staring benignly at him from the larger Communist banners. Ignorance is bliss as they say.”
Other articles about BB/CJ are here.