On 6 November, I published an open letter to you, prompted by your performance in the “Perspectives on Israel” debate, in which you claimed that the charge of antisemitism against elements in the anti-Israel movement was part of a disinformation campaign by Jews to silence critics of Israel.
To prove you wrong I turned to your right-hand man Neil Scott, the secretary of your new ‘Palestinian Solidarity’ group, serial harasser of Jewish community members and spreader of general vileness on Twitter. Instantly recognizing the foul tropes Scott was using I visited the most infamous of all White Supremacist websites – the Daily Stormer – and compared a collection of his tweets to ideas expressed by genuine neo-Nazis.
They were identical.
Yet, in an emailed response to my original open letter, you were completely unmoved by Scott’s antisemitism, saying: “I’m never surprised at the lengths such people will go to try and construe anti-Semitic [sic] comments from criticism of the history, racist policies or sheer brutality of the Israeli government and the IDF”.
How exactly was Scott’s delusion that the New Zealand National Party is puppeted by a malicious Jewish hand, criticism of history, racism or any actions carried out by the IDF? How does bellowing out across the internet, without a crumb of evidence, that a local Jewish spokesperson is a nefarious Israeli plant amount to criticism? And how was linking Israel to the murder of over 3000 Americans, a truly deranged, overtly racist conspiracy theory, criticism of anything valid?
You went on to say that my “mental gymnastics involved in this is staggering”. I didn’t require a leotard, John, mental or otherwise to expose Scott. In fact, there was next to no toil involved in what I did. I simply placed Scott’s tweets next to writings from the Daily Stormer website, which was enough to reveal that a prominent activist in the local anti-Israel movement was sharing perspectives on Jews that were indistinguishable from those expressed by literal neo-Nazis.
While I didn’t expect much, to be fair, as a self-avowed anti-racism activist I did expect you to place at least some distance yourself and the tweets, if not Scott. But your defense of Scott’s rank antisemitism made perfect sense after I was directed to your Facebook page on which you allow for open Jew-hatred.
Attached are a collection of comments made by some of your friends and followers on your page.
You can’t claim ignorance (as some caught in similar situations have done) as you are active on the threads, making a particularly putrid contribution yourself. A simple question posed (surely not surprisingly considering the filth on your page) “Are you antisemitic?” is met by you accusing the questioner of being a paid troll employed by a Jewish organisation. On a page overflowing with Nazi-style antisemitism, that would completely disgust any reasonable person, you accuse someone calling you out as being funded by the deep-pocketed Jews.
You get points for consistency, I guess.
In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil that no doubt served as one of the final nails in far-Left UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s coffin, he was asked if he thought the claim that, “Rothschilds Zionists run Israel and world governments” (a tweet made by a Labour council candidate for a ward in Liverpool) was antisemitic. Incredibly Corbyn ducked and dived to avoid directly answering the question.
Like the content of your colleague Neil Scott’s tweets, this wasn’t “similar” or “close to” a neo-Nazi trope. It was, as UK writer David Aaronovitch wrote “the full Monty. Until pretty recently it was the more or less undisputed province of neo-Nazi groups, and would generally appear amidst links to Holocaust denial literature and admiring biographies of the Fuhrer”.
References to “Zionist bankers” abound on your page, John. Alongside the utterly detestable claim that Mossad was behind the Christchurch atrocity, and a post that said Zionists (Jews who believe in self-determination) are “scum of the earth” and “seem happy with that reputation.” This serves as yet another reminder that antisemitism is a systemic problem on the far-Left as The Israel Institute of New Zealand investigation on Kia Ora Gaza exposed and this truth has now been formally recognized in a recent United Nations report.
So can we put to bed once and for all the pathetic idea that you and Scott are victims of the clever, conniving Jews? It is absolutely irrefutable, as both my first letter and the comments above prove, that you and your movement not only tolerate but indeed peddle some of the most extreme expressions of antisemitism.
Dane is a comedy writer (creator of Find Me A Maori Bride), and a member of the NZ Jewish community.