Ugly truths and Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine group was rife with antisemitism, writes Mark Gardner.

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine group was rife with antisemitism, writes Mark Gardner

Last week’s Jewish Chronicle exposed the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine group for having repeatedly linked via Facebook to articles on a notorious American antisemitic hate website, The Ugly Truth. Its strap-line “Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today” should have warned the Lib Dem group that this was taking pro-Palestinian activity into unsavoury territory: but nobody seemed to care.

The Ugly Truth’s interpretation of “truth” makes it a very ugly place indeed. At the top of the page is an American Uncle Sam image, pointing at the reader, declaring “I’M ISRAEL’s BITCH AND SO ARE YOU”. Next is the website’s logo, a Star of David being cut by a pair of scissors. Scroll down and you find “Israel Did 9/11”.

Then, a deeply disturbing photograph of a dead child, shirt opened to reveal two bullet holes in the upper chest. The photograph is captioned “THE REAL FACE OF JUDAISM AND ZIONISM”.

There are other images, illustrating other points, including “JEWISH FAMILY VALUES”, “JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY”, “MOCKING JESUS ON ISRAELI TV” and “JEWISH RITUAL INFANT GENITAL MUTILATION”. And so it continues, as do the actual articles on the rest of the website page.

Upon being exposed in the Chronicle, the Lib Dem group’s administrator Miranda Pinch apologised and said she would not link to The Ugly Truth again. Her apology seemed premised upon The Ugly Truth having occasionally included Holocaust denial. This upset Ms Pinch (a convert from Judaism to Christianity) because:

“…My mother was a Holocaust survivor and many of her relatives died in the Holocaust, I certainly would not want in any way to diminish that period of history or any of its facts.

“It is true that I have occasionally used articles from The Ugly Truth, but I was not aware that the site had ever actually denied the Holocaust, and I steer clear of many of its conspiracy theory articles on any subject.”

The sordid, ugly truth for Ms Pinch is that the Holocaust occurred not because of denial, but because of the singling out of Jews for unique hatreds, built upon hateful ideas, language and imagery.

These old themes resonate throughout The Ugly Truth, used for both Zionism/Zionists and Judaism/Jews. There is no politically correct ‘hate Zionists-love Jews’ distinction being made here. They are depicted as controllers of nations, driving war and death; as the master manipulators, perpetrating their false plans; as needing to be cut down; as killing the innocent; perverting decent morals and values; ritualistic monsters, to be derided, hated and feared in equal measure.

These hatreds are what the images on The Ugly Truth website invoke and incite. At present, the top article on the website is illustrated by a mock up photograph in which Abe Foxman, leader of the Anti-Defamation League, is portrayed as a vampire. He has a Star of David around his neck and is recoiling from a crucifix.

This is literally demonisation. Ms Pinch is totally correct to condemn Holocaust denial that she seems to have been unaware of, because it was buried somewhere on the website: but it is hard, very hard, to see how any individual or group could connect to such a website and not see the imagery and the ideas that are everywhere on it, constituting its very essence. This is more than the mere “conspiracy theory articles” that Ms Pinch says she steered clear of.

Then, we are forced to confront another ugly truth or two. Firstly, it seems reasonable to ask if any of the Lib Dem users ever objected to being linked to such filth. They must have seen the links, some users must have clicked into them: in which case, did any of them sound the alarm? It seems not.

Secondly, there is no shortage of anti-Israel material for this Lib Dem group to have linked to: their Facebook page would not have been suddenly bereft of material had The Ugly Truth never been utilised. Somebody, somewhere, was deliberately selecting this stuff for the Lib Dem Friends of Palestine Facebook page.

Finally, there is the urge to simply lay all of this at the door of the Liberal Democrats, pointing at Jenny Tonge, David Ward and the rest of it. However, this would be unfair to the party leadership, who are alert to the problem of antisemitic language in mainstream politics and take such instances seriously. It would also be complacent: such transgressions can, and do, occur in any number of mainstream pro-Palestinian spaces, including Parliamentary ones. And that, sadly, is another ugly truth.

Mark Gardner is the director of communications at Community Security Trust (CST)

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17 Responses to “Ugly truths and Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine”

  1. Richard Armbach

    Mark Gardner posting on Left Foot Forward. Hilarious. When we see him condemn British Zionists consorting with the Jewish Defence League and other miscellaneous Jewish terrorists we maybe might take him seriously.

  2. amie

    “Mark will be willing to specifically condemn the Zionist Federation demonstrating alongside the EDL”: Maybe this opportunity to condemn does not exist because as the obsessive Armbach knows with his mendacious use of language such as “alongside” no one from the ZF protested jointly with the EDL. This has been comprehensively refuted but this is the only tune Armbach knows and would be lost without it.

  3. Mark G

    Richard Armbach’s use of “British Zionists” and “Jewish terrorists” shows how Zionist and Jew becomes interchangeable in the mind of obsessives. (Similar to in above article.) Also, CST has repeatedly warned Jewish community not to consort with EDL, BNP etc, making this very clear in Jewish Chronicle and other media. Also, see these CST Blog articles amongst others: The EDL Bigotry and Hate: The Reality of the EDL Racists on our Streets Bigotry in Manchester Tower Hamlets, EDL, Jews and Israel Don’t Be Fooled by Islamophobia Still Not Fooled by Islamophobia And: Nailing the EDL-Zionist Lie

  4. swatnan

    Its about time people separated criticism of Israel from criticism of Judaism.
    Israel and Zionism must be challenged vigourosly. Both are examples of modern day terrorism, very similar to Islamism and groups such as Boko Haram.
    Judaism and Islam are both feudal and archaic religions and need to reform; for example the barbourous practice of kosher and halal meat, and the concept of a chosen people and one god. Its just simply isn’t true, and needs to be challenged vigourously.

  5. Harvela

    Hi Amie
    Armbach makes a career out of trolling and defaming Israel supporters while remaining anonymous . He’s currently got his claws into Howard Stern of Emmaus and Christy who he calls a Harlot .
    Stern has tried to reason with him , threatening to sue but sue what . How much money do you want to throw at lawyers when you first have establish who he is and then discover he hasn’t got a pot to piss in anyway . I don’t link to any of his ramblings . He’s lucky to get a single comment . Why give him the recognition . He was kind enough to publish Stern’s emails which I saved just in case someone fancies having a pop ( legal ) at him .

  6. amie

    Yes, I have come across him and he is a bore. Occasionally the itch of a louse prompts one to scratch, but as you say, it only makes it worse.

  7. Richard Armbach

    If the JDL are not Zionists and terrorists, one or both of those expressions have lost all meaning.

    Yes Mark you have issued numerous warnings but so far as I am aware there is not one recorded instance of you ever uttering a word of criticism directed at those who do enter into such alliances.

    Like here.

  8. Richard Armbach

    No need to save them Harv they aren’t going anywhere.

  9. Mark G

    You have referred me to a highly insulting conspiracy theory article.

    It begins “Behind the seeming reasonableness and moderation of the UK Jewish organisations, and their main publication, lies a dark reality”.
    It makes various allegations (that I believe Amie, below, has correctly refuted) against a single pro-Israel activist. It claims that he is “their useful idiot…not only tolerated, but quietly encouraged…in reality, an expression of what the Jewish establishment truly embrace.”
    Now I understand why you think it is “hilarious” that I would post on Left Foot Forward – because the above explains your view on what “the Jewish establishment truly embrace” and what it “quietly encourages”: the “dark reality” (The Ugly Truth?)
    You are not helping anybody with such conspiracy crap – not Jews, not Muslims, not anti-racists. Actually, you only make things far worse, encouraging unnecessary suspicions and divisions between communities.

  10. Richard Armbach

    What about the evidence dear boy ? A claim that something has been refuted is not a refutation. And if your position is that major Jewish organisations in the UK don’t engage in conspiracies you maybe should take a look at this.

  11. Mark G

    evidence that he is a front man for the jewish establishment who secretly want to encourage racists?? enough already.

  12. Richard Armbach

    OK Mark lets take an absolutely minimalist interpretation of all this. Take the kindest view we can in the light of the evidence.The very least we can say is this…….

    It is isn’t about one man it is about a group, admittedly a very small one and some rotating occasionals. This is not any old geezer on the Clapham omnibus. He held significant positions in major Jewish organisations.

    These organisations were fully aware for years of him cheerfully consorting with the EDL and his proclivity for homophobic rants.

    They never have uttered a single solitary word of dissociation or criticism or questioned his suitability for holding important community offices.

    This culture of Omerta has led to the mistakes being repeated. The Board have appointed Steven Jaffe as their ongoing advisor to Sussex Friends of Israel, whose front man has made strenuous efforts to recruit JDL people that make the EDL seem like ringa ringa rosy.

    Then there is your good self posting above the line at the cess pit Harry’s Place ( recommended by the EDL ).

    It doesn’t look good does it ?

  13. Suada

    The Community Security Trust denounced the EDL and Stop Islamization of Europe, and urged the Jewish community in the UK not to support them. For this, the ever-odious Pamela Geller equated them with a Judenrat.

  14. Richard Armbach

    Denunciations of the EDL are cheap, about a dime a dozen. When the denouncers skip around confronting those in their own community that ally with them because it is, erm, a little awkward, then some might wonder about the sincerity of the denunciations.

  15. Raimo Kangasniemi

    First, when shall we similar article about Zionist LibDems’ web links? I can guarantee you that you that there would be a lot of hate speech to found when following them. But, as it is Zionist hate speech, it doesn’t matter, right?

    Do you demand that Zionist LibDems could not link to any mainstream Israeli newspaper, for example? Of course you don’t, yet as a reader of their English versions I can say that more often than not you find pure racism towards Palestinians and denial of their current and historical suffering. Just turn to the column pages.

    Of course, you will also find more enlightened opinions, which is the basis of my second argument: Media sites carry different kind of material. Even Murdoch’s NY Post has both fanatic Greater Israel propaganda and what are basically racist, antisemitic writings.

    Demanding that one can link only to sites that always observe political correctness means not linking to many sites, frankly.

    Lastly, read this Israeli article about the settler murder of a 14 year old Palestinian child, which Israel’s occupation forces didn’t want to solve. It tells you everything you need to know what side to support:

  16. Richard Armbach

    Yep its always a case of do as we say not as we do. This is a disclaimer on the site of Fair Play Campaign ( koff ). FPC is a joint enterprise of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council. It seems to have been established for the sole purpose of funding David Hirsh and Engage. At least, of its 70k initial endowment, 50k went to Hirsh.

    “From time to time this website may also include links to other websites.
    These links are provided for your convenience to provide further
    information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have
    no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).”

  17. GIVVO6_B

    The reality is that Israel is merely stolen Palestinian land and the Zionists are merely trying to soft soap everyone while continuing to ethnically cleanse Palestinian property and maintaining an illegal siege on 1.8 million of their victims in Gaza.

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