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Monday 24 May 2021

Tommy Support Spooks Israel Advocates

After yet another round of asymmetric conflict between the state of Israel and those living in the besieged Gaza Strip, which means the death and destruction meted out to the Palestinians was exponentially greater than that in Israel, there have been protests and vigils across the UK in support of the Palestinians. And one in support of Israel.

The gathering was not, by all accounts, a large one, but that wasn’t really the point. What marked it out was the appearance of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, who not only lent his presence to the rally, but was welcomed into it.

That reality was noted by Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate, who mused “Depressing to see Stephen Yaxley Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) on the pro-Israeli demo in London today. Just as we called out antisemites on the pro-Palestinian demo yesterday, so we need to call out Islamophobes on today’s pro-Israel demo”. Others then voiced their unease.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews was one. “Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) & supporters of of far-right extremist organisations like the English Defence League are not welcome at our community’s events. Their message of hate and division must be confronted and defeated. We utterly reject their bigotry”. Those gathered didn’t.

Over at the Community Security Trust, the message was similar. “Stephen Yaxley-Lennon ('Tommy Robinson') is an extremist and we utterly reject his message of hate and division. His so-called support for our community is not welcome or helpful”. But he was welcomed.

That got missed by the Jewish Leadership Council as they claimed “Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, or Tommy Robinson as he likes to be called was not invited today. Nor was he in any way welcome. We do not want his ‘support’ and we ask him to stay away from future events. Today is about supporting Israel, not spreading hate”. But, er, see above.

David Rosenberg had seen that welcome. “I predicted that attendance would be under 1,000 at the Zionist Fed. ‘Solidarity with Israel’ rally today. A Sky News reporter estimated 150. Wonder why she didn't mention well known attendees like the guy in the middle of this pic: ex-BNP member, EDL leader Tommy Robinson?” Why indeed.

Andrew Feinstein explained why far-right support is of concern: “The close links between Israel & fascist groups are historically ironic & deeply disturbing. Think Tommy Robinson below, the antisemite Viktor Orban so beloved by Netanyahu, those who invaded the Capitol with antisemitic posters & Israeli flags, & extreme Unionists in N Ireland”.

Alex Tiffin was in the same area: “The problem for the BoD and other groups condemning Tommy Robinson attending their protest outside the Israeli Embassy today is; The footage makes it very clear he wasn't shunned, he was welcomed. They should ask themselves why the far-right identity will zionism so much”. Abi Wilkinson tried to answer that one.

The contemporary far-right are into Israel because they think the existence of an ethnostate helps legitimise their own demands for a white ethnostate. And of course, to achieve that they want somewhere to send all the Jews to”. Full thread HERE.

Lennon’s presence discomfits many Jewish groups. Too close to reality for them?

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Andy McDonald said...

“The contemporary far-right are into Israel because they think the existence of an ethnostate helps legitimise their own demands for a white ethnostate. And of course, to achieve that they want somewhere to send all the Jews to”

I think it's simpler than that. It's a way of bashing Muslims, while giving their own bigotry a wafer thin veneer of legitimacy - "We can't be racist because we're supporting Israel". Yeah, like their concerns over halal abattoirs came from a deep concern for animal welfare.

The BNP used to have form for this, parading a Hindu or Sikh member as an "acceptable" immigrant who was just as concerned about That Lot as their white members were. Which always made me wish someone would ask them, if they did manage to expel every Muslim from the UK, who would be next?

Anonymous said...

BoD attacks on "Robinson" are welcome.

What a pity, then, they and their ilk didn't equally condemn the lying smears and hypocrisy used against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. While also "missing" the far right murderous actions of the Israeli state against Palestinians.

"Robinson" at one of their "rallies"?...Like attracts like.

Meanwhile, Israel will live in a constant state of fear and loathing for as long as it forgets the historical lesson of oppressive pogroms: that oppressed people NEVER FORGET.

In this case Israel can "win" a thousand conflicts - the Palestinians and their supporting neighbour states need win only once. Then the insane cycle starts all over again.

So the "Robinson" presence is no surprise at all. It was entirely predictable. Far right Jews would do well to ask themselves Why.

With friends like these ... said...

The anti-Semite Friends of Israel who see encouraging Jewish people to move to Israel as a safe way* towards an all-white country.
White supremacist groups, financed with dark money, intimidate and attack minority groups.
Jewish victims of such attacks seek help and are put in touch with politicians who are Friends of Israel.
Politicians who are Friends of Israel suggest emigrating.
* Not like Nazi Germany and then the Nuremberg trials.