Public meeting – no zionists, no undesirables allowed

Further to a JC article describing how senior figures in the Manchester Jewish community were ordered out of a meeting hosting Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, Manchester PSC Chair Linda Clair has had the following letter published in the Jewish Chronicle :

When are you going to start telling the truth and not a completely distorted version of the facts? I was the chair of the Gideon Levy meeting you report (JC August 27). Michael Samuels and his two companions did not actually enter the meeting to start with. They were outside the room when I asked Mr Samuels his name and where he came from. He replied and said he came from Manchester. I told him and his companions that they would not be allowed in – that Zionists were not wanted in that meeting. Mr Levy, who was already in the meeting room, and was standing behind me, asked me to let them in, which I did, only at his request. This was before he spoke to them. Whatever they said to him certainly did not influence my decision to allow them in, I had legal advice that although it was a public meeting, it was on private property and so we were well within our rights to exclude any undesirables. In case you want to label me antisemitic, I am not, I am an anti-Zionist Jew, and I know the difference between the two, even if you choose not to.

Linda Clair

I won’t comment on the letter because it speaks for itself (I should however point out that Manchester JFJFP’s promotion of the meeting was simply to send an email with details of the meeting and they were not involved in organising the meeting itself).


10 Responses to “Public meeting – no zionists, no undesirables allowed”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    “I told him and his companions that they would not be allowed in – that Zionists were not wanted in that meeting.”

    If so Gideon Levy shouldn’t have been allowed in.

    Swedish:
    “-När det gäller “rätten till återvändande”, som är ett av palestiniernas krav, är det viktigt att slå fast att det är omöjligt att i Israel ta emot 3,5 miljoner palestinier. Det skulle skapa en ny orättvis situation. Nya orättvisor rättar inte till en gammal orättvisa. Men jag är beredd att gå med på att Israel har ett moraliskt ansvar för flyktingproblemet, och bör betala kompensation med hjälp av resten av världen och gå med på ett symboliskt good-will-betonat återvändande av enstaka palestinska familjer.
    -Jag är sionist på mitt eget sätt. Vad jag vill ha är en rättvis judisk stat. En lösning med två stater för två nationer är mer praktisk än en enstatslösning. Det finns för mycket hat och fruktan för att den skulle fungera.”

    English:
    “-When it comes to the “right to return”, one of the Palestinian demands, it is important to establish that it is impossible for Israel to absorb 3,5 million Palestinians. It would create a new unfair situation. New unfair situations do not correct old infair situations. But I am prepared to accept that Israel has a moral responsibility for the refugee problem and should, with the help of the international community, pay compensatation agree to symobolic good-will-oriented return of individual Palestinian families.
    -I am a Zionist in my own way. I believe in a just (fair) Jewish state. A solution with two states for two nations is more practical than a one-state solution. There is too much hatred and fear for that two woek.”

    Gideon Levy interviewed in the Swedish Judisk Krönika (Jewish Chronicle) #3/2010

  2. Bella Says:

    For all the claims about wanting to expand the discussion about Israel within the Jewish community, it is clear that anti-Zionist Jews do not tolerate diversity of opinion. Extraordinary that they can’t see that for themselves. Muzzle Watch be damned!

  3. Latest Gideon Says:

    Would you accept the label ‘anti-Zionist’ to characterise your views?

    It depends what is ‘Zionism’. Because Zionism is a very fluid concept – who can define what is Zionism? If Zionism means the right of the Jews to have a state, I am a Zionist. If Zionism means occupation, I’m an anti-Zionist. So I never know how to answer this question. If Zionism means to have a Jewish state at the expense of being a democratic state, then I am anti-Zionist, because I truly believe those two definitions are contradictory – ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’. For me, Israel should be a democratic state.

    http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/against_the_stream/

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    Gideon Levy opposed the exclusion of Jews from the meeting.

    This post is about the attempted exclusion of Jews from a meeting.

    Rather than entering into some semantic squabble, what is your view of this attempted exclusion of Jews from an meeting about Israel?

    Bella,s point appears to be that whilst accusations are levelled against those who are often charactiaised as Zionists silences debate, what in fact has happened here is that those who are often characterised “anti-Zionists”, have attempted to make sure that some Jews cannot even hear the argument, let alone raise a point of discussion.

    This is not the first time such exclusions have occurred. It is, indeed, becoming a bit of a trend.

    In other words, Bella has shown that far from Zionists silencing anyone and the slurs and rumours that circulate on this matter, it is anti-ZIonists who using this tactic; a fact evidenced by the above. No rumour, no wink wink, but a fact.

    For someone who claims such fidelity to democracy, it is strange that you have ignored that central point (unless, you think Jews should be an exception! Now, that would be ironic given your earlier (and in the preset context,irrelevant) comment).

  5. zkharya Says:

    ‘In case you want to label me antisemitic, I am not, I am an anti-Zionist Jew, and I know the difference between the two, even if you choose not to.’

    Cliché, but, ‘Oh the irony!’

  6. mark gardner Says:

    JPR’s recent survey http://www.jpr.org.uk/publications/publication.php?id=235 shows 72% of Jewish respondents describing themselves as Zionists. They were not welcome at Clair’s meeting.

    Semantic & ideologically pre-ordained disputes over the meaning of the word antisemitism are all well and good, but the important point here is that socialists barred 3 in 4 British Jews from entering their meeting. And with socialists like that…who needs antisemites?

  7. John Says:

    Mark, you need to look up the term logical fallacy in Wiki or somewhere.

  8. Morning Star and Abuse of the Holocaust « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    […] The following article is cross-posted from the CST. Readers may also like to read this previous post. […]


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