Saturday, 27 June 2020

Israeli government should not be above criticism .

In the wake of the sacking  of labour's Rebecca Long Bailey  a  Plaid Cymru candidate at next year’s Senedd election has expressed concerns about a fellow prospective candidate after she posted a tweet linking police violence in the United States with Israel.which seems to be the reason behind Ms Long Bailey 'sacking

Wiliam Rees, the candidate for Cardiff Central, said that he would “express concerns internally” about Sahar Al-Faifi who has not deleted the tweet despite the criticism.

Sahar Al-Faifi is in the running to be a Plaid Cymru Senedd Member in the South Wales Central region, and if successful would be the first BME woman to be elected to the Welsh parliament.

She was previously suspended from Plaid Cymru in 2019 for anti-Semitic tweets on social media posted in 2014, but later deleted them and apologised.

However, at the beginning on June she posted a tweet saying: “If you wonder where did these American cops trained, look no further than Israel. Oppression is one and the struggle is transitional.”

The row seems to have emerged sue to an article in the Independent by the actress Maxine Peake  which criticised the current leadership of the Party's treatment of Jeremy  Corbyn  and included ...

....Peake campaigned for the Labour Party at the last general election, and was a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn even as many people turned their back on him. “Those people who were normally Labour supporters who felt they couldn’t vote Labour? Well I’m sorry, they voted Tory as far as I’m concerned,” says Peake. “And it breaks my heart, because you know what? I didn’t like Tony Blair, but I still voted Labour because anything’s better than the Tories. There’s a lot of people who should hang their heads in shame. People going, ‘Oh, I can join the Labour Party again because Keir Starmer’s there,’ well shame on you.”

What does she think of the new Labour leader? “You know what, at the end of the day, all I want is the Tories out. I think people will get behind Starmer, won’t they? He’s a more acceptable face of the Labour Party for a lot of people who are not really left wing. But that’s fine. Whatever. As long as the Tories get out, I don’t care anymore. You can’t be sad, you’ve just got to get on and organise, without standing at the rooftops and going, ‘You reap what you sow!’ There were moments when I wanted to scream that,” she adds with a doleful laugh, “but no, we’ve got to keep moving forward.”

The Israeli allegation was only a small part and I doubt that it   was a reason why Ms Long Bailey reweeted it it was certainly  not the reason this blogger did.

 It seems Ms Sahar Al-Faifi  and Ms Peake’s original claim is based on an article in the Morning Star from 1 June, which states: “At least 100 Minnesota police officers attended a 2012 conference hosted by the Israeli consulate in Chicago, the second time such an event had been held.”

The article has been shared over 40,000 times on Facebook, according to analytics provided by the website Crowdtangle.

According to a Channel 4 Fact Check.

This description appears to be supported by a report from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) at the time of the event. By the MPR account, the conference took place in Minneapolis and was “put on by the Israeli consulate in Chicago, the FBI and Minnetonka police”. (Minnetonka is the neighbouring city to Minneapolis).

Which techniques were taught?

The Morning Star piece alleges that those attending the 2012 conference “learned the violent techniques used by Israeli forces as they terrorise the occupied Palestinian territories under the guise of security operations.”

The article does not explicitly claim that Israeli forces taught American police to kneel on a person’s neck at the conference.

The only link to this tactic in the story is made by an activist, Neta Golan, who told the paper: “When I saw the picture of killer cop Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd by leaning in on his neck with his knee as he cried for help and other cops watched, I remembered noticing when many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006.”

Ms Golan is quoted as saying: “it is clear that they [Israel] share these methods when they train police forces abroad in ‘crowd control’ in the US and other countries including Sudan and Brazil.” The information in

square brackets is from the Morning Star’s copy.

The article mentions a 2016 report by Amnesty which lists US police forces that have “all traveled to Israel for training” and “thousands of others” that “have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.”

After yesterday’s controversy involving Maxine Peake and Rebecca Long-Bailey, Amnesty International told the New Statesman: “the precise nature of the training offered to US police forces by Israeli officials is not something we’ve documented”.

They added: “Allegations that US police were taught tactics of ‘neck kneeling’ by Israeli secret services is not something we’ve ever reported”.

Beyond the speculation of one activist, there is no information in the Morning Star article that would support the claim that the specific practice of kneeling on a person’s neck was taught to US police by Israeli forces.

So it seems  the claim is either unfounded or not proven , but if it was made against any other Police Force it would likely be dismissed off.

However such is the nature of current politics any criticism of Israel is treated as Anti-Semantic  whether it has any foundation or not .

It is a difficult task however we need to be able to distinguish the appalling actions of Israeli Forces in the West Bank and the growing hard line policies of the Israeli  government , whilst not revering to anti -semantic tropes.

Making unfounded accusation such as the above  (though  understandable) should clearly be avoided but is it not worse to ignore the actual evidence of Israels criminal brutal behaviour to towards the Palestinians.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Aw, it's so cute that you tried to distract readers from the reality of how badly your Leftist acolytes fucked this up. It's like watching a dog try to use a backyard grill: funny and a little pathetic.