Gerald Kaufman MP RIP — A Wonderful Example of Jewish Humanitarianism and Support for the Palestinians
The Victim of False Accusations of Anti-Semitism by Political Pygmies like John Mann
If there is one parliamentary speech that you should commit to memory it is that of Gerald Kaufman in the debate on Israel’s attack on Gaza (Operation Cast Lead) on January 15 2009. It is a speech that the fake anti-racists and opponents of ‘anti-Semitism’ will accuse of being ‘anti-Semitic’ because it
1. accused an Israeli military spokesperson of speaking like a Nazi.
2. It compared the murder of his own Jewish grandmother in the Polish town of Staszow to that of Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.
3. It accused Israel and the Zionists of cynically exploiting what happened during the Holocaust to Jews in order to justify what the Palestinians are now experiencing.
All of them true — but the truth to day is anti-Semitic.
Pipsqueak MP Mann attacked Gerald Kaufman in Zionist paper — shamefully Corbyn went along with this nonsense
It was a deeply humanitarian speech which compared two human rights tragedies. Yet what Gerald Kaufman said in 2009 will now be termed ‘anti-Semitic’ under the ludicrous McCarthyite IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which Theresa May opportunistically adopted and which Jeremy Corbyn in a shameful act of submission accepted. [Jeremy Corbyn’s acceptance of this Tory definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is shameful and must be reversed]. Below is the most powerful section of Gerald’s speech.
According to the far-right rent-a-mouth MP John Mann, Gerald Kaufman was ‘a disgrace to Parliament and the Labour Party’. Some of us would say that it is the Labour Party’s disgrace that it harbours such a devious little opportunist such as John Mann in its ranks.
My first encounter with Gerald was over 30 years ago, when he was a stalwart of Poale Zion and a staunch Zionist. Suffice to say we didn’t agree! Gerald was always on the Right of the Party, the last surviving member of Harold Wilson’s government but he was also a highly principled man.
Gerald was not like some of the Zionist robots in Parliament — the Joan Ryans, Wes Streetings and Tom Watsons. When he saw in which direction Israel was going, because he was still attached to the memory of the earlier Labour Zionist leaders, he became active and highly vocal in his support of the Palestinians.
Unlike the hypocrites of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel who mouth support for 2 States whilst supporting the occupation and the settlements and the consequent repression, Gerald Kaufman spoke out vehemently against the brutality of Israel’s wars against Gaza and its Occupation.
I am happy to print in its entirety Gerald’s wonderful speech to the House of Commons on January 15 2009 at the time of yet another genocidal Israeli attack on Gaza.
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab):
I was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist. On a shelf in our kitchen, there was a tin box for the Jewish National Fund, into which we put coins to help the pioneers building a Jewish presence in Palestine.
I first went to Israel in 1961 and I have been there since more times than I can count. I had family in Israel and have friends in Israel. One of them fought in the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973 and was wounded in two of them. The tie clip that I am wearing is made from a campaign decoration awarded to him, which he presented to me.
I have known most of the Prime Ministers of Israel, starting with the founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir was my friend, as was Yigal Allon, Deputy Prime Minister, who, as a general, won the Negev for Israel in the 1948 war of independence.
My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.
My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The current Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.
On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswoman for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of, at that time, 800 Palestinians — the total is now 1,000. She replied instantly that
“500 of them were militants.”
That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.
The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas, because they are terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi, who organised the blowing-up of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including four Jews.
Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of
15 Jan 2009 : Column 408
Deir Yassin. Today, the current Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It is too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. Because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death, Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town. The boycotting of Hamas, including by our Government, has been a culpable error, from which dreadful consequences have followed.
The great Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said:
“You make peace by talking to your enemies.”
However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means. Whenever and however the fighting ends, there will still be 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and 2.5 million more on the west bank. They are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.
It is time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that their conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israelis’ real goal but which it is impossible for them to achieve. They are not simply war criminals; they are fools.
When Gerald was attacked recently over a speech in the House of Commons because he had referred to ‘Jewish money’ I responded on my blog, pointing out the hypocrisy of his accusers. That there were nearly 600 references to ‘Jewish money’ in the Jewish Chronicle and that it was a common phrase.
Sir Gerald Kaufman, veteran British Parliamentarian and Zionist compares Israelis in Gaza to the Nazis
That did not stop the Jewish Chronicle and its hateful neo-con editor Stephen Pollard or the despicable ‘charity’ Campaign Against Anti-Semitism from maligning him. The CAA had, by the time of Gerald’s death published no less than 21 posts attacking Gerald Kaufman. I sent references to my blog to Gerald at the time and he kindly wrote back:
Dear Mr Greenstein
Most interesting. And many thanks.
From: Tony Greenstein
Sent: 08 December 2015 00:26
To: KAUFMAN, Gerald
Subject: Re: The Silence of the Normally Volluble Geoffrey Alderman re Sir Gerald Kaufmann MP — The High Price of Hypocrisy
I didn’t like this bullying hypocrisy. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism but support of the Palestinians. Going onto the Campaign Against anti-Semitism site one would think you and Jeremy Corbyn are the main sources of anti-Semitism in Britain today. The BNP and EDL, being pro-Zionist, don’t get a look in. Sheer madness but it means that if you accuse people who are not anti-Semitic of anti-Semitism the real anti-Semites are let off the hook. A case of the boy who cried wolf.
I just had an idea that ‘Jewish money’ might not be that rare a phrase, although it is not helpful to use it (!) because of the implications. I was taken aback when I did a search on the JC’s website. Geoffrey Alderman is particularly hypocritical given that he has used the phrase himself and excused opposition to anti-Semitism as a form of political correctness.
I saw the nasty little report in the Jewish Chronicle about when a reporter burst in on you at the House of Commons and thought you might be feeling a little down, so please use my research as you see fit.
Today the Palestinians are the Jews of the Middle East.
On 7 December 2015 at 22:45, KAUFMAN, Gerald <email@example.com> wrote:
Wow ! What amazing research !