Then they came for Ken Loach – how Israeli apologists are using cancel culture to silence criticism of Palestine 

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And then they came for Ken Loach…

“We are deeply troubled to learn of a McCarthyite campaign demanding Oxford University cancel a public event with director Ken Loach discussing his distinguished career in film. The campaign to silence a world-renowned artist, which has been active behind the scenes and which became public at the last minute, is using the controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism to try to prevent a cultural event from taking place. If any further evidence were needed to demonstrate how a vaguely worded definition is being deployed to silence critics of Israeli policy towards Palestinians — then this is it. We have been warned by respected Palestinian academics, Israeli scholars, leading experts on antisemitism, dozens of progressive Jewish groups, and others that this definition is being used as a political weapon. We cannot fight racism, including antisemitism, by demonising and silencing supporters of Palestinian rights.”

Signed:

Hany Abu-Assad, filmmaker

Raed Andoni, filmmaker

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Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian parliamentarian, scholar and civil society leader

Nahed Awwad, filmmaker

Victoria Brittain, journalist, author, playwright

Judith Butler, philosopher and gender theorist

David Calder, actor

Dame Carmen Callil, publisher, editor

Julie Christie, actor 

Caryl Churchill, playwright

Steve Coogan, actor, comedian, producer

Dror Dayan, filmmaker, senior lecturer 

Raymond Deane, composer, author

Esther Ruth Elliott, actor, director

Brian Eno, musician, producer

Peter Gabriel, musician, founder Womad music festival

Tony Graham, theatre director

Ohal Grietzer, composer and mixed-media performer

Barbara Harvey, civil rights and labor lawyer

Trevor Hoyle, novelist and radio dramatist

Ronnie Kasrils, former South African Government Minister

Mike Leigh, screenwriter, director

Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, South African Parliamentarian

Jean Said Makdissi, writer

Samir Makdissi, Professor Emeritus of Economics, AUB

Kika Markham, actor

Mai Masri, filmmaker

Thurston Moore, musician

David Morrisey, actor

Rebecca O’Brien, producer 

Ruth Padel, poet

Maxine Peake, actor

Mark Rylance, actor

Alexei Sayle, comedian

Eyal Sivan, filmmaker 

Rosemary Sayigh, journalist and scholar

Ahdaf Soueif, author, founder PalFest

Rima Tarazi, Palestinian pianist, composer and social activist

Harriet Walter, actor

Roger Waters, musician

Samuel West, actor, director 

Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace

…Israeli Apologists are increasingly attempting to use the claim of anti-Semitism to cancel critics of their brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine.

Ken Loach is probably the most important contemporary British film maker in history and the attempt to cancel him with claims of anti-Semitism BECAUSE he has been a vocal critic of the brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine should send a clear an urgent warning to anyone who cares about social justice.

This debate is just warming up in New Zealand where Israeli apologists have managed to con the Human Rights Commission into considering any use of the word ‘zionism’ when criticising Israel as hate speech.

No one has any time for actual anti-Semitism. The Jewish people have put up with centuries of persecution and disgusting discrimination. The Holocaust is a horror that must always be remembered as the very worst of humanity, so I have zero time for anti-Semites. But to extend that sensitivity of persecution to claim any use of the word ‘Zionism’ (which has become radicalised and culturally hateful against Palestinians) is now suddenly part of hate speech is an insult to the intellect of the debate and should be resisted at all costs.

If your solution to a white supremacy attack against Muslims is to make the word ‘Zionist’ hate speech against Jews, you seem to have been at the wrong massacre.

I stand with Ken Loach.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Israeli propaganda never sleeps, like their online troll farms staffed by paid students.

    Make a pro Palestinian comment on social media and you will be attacked, and possibly stalked and harassed for weeks after.

    The Israeli Govt and Military play hardball so those into solidarity with Palestinians should do the same and not let attacks on artists like Ken Loach (or Lorde!) pass uncontested.

  2. This began with the Loach’s production of the stage play Perdition decades ago. The play covered the interface between Zionist and German nationalism back in the 1930’s.

  3. Another case, an actor (mainstream Trumpist Republican type – freedom before pandemic regulation and the myth of the stolen election and who identifies as both “beep and boop”) said of the social media campaigns calling for her to be blacklisted – that this was akin to the 1930’s when Nazis preached hate against Jews leading to incidents where civilians would then attack them “Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.”

    And to prove her point she was then blacklisted by Hollywood (in the role of the authority abusing power) – who claim the comparison is offensive.

    Those the mob can attack (including on social media) by profile with impunity will later be the victims of either violence or discrimination – including employment etc. If the institutions do not hold, then civil society falls. On this occasion Hollywood did not hold (and given what the left went through there in the 1950’s that should not happen). Often the arts an academia are the canary …

  4. Extreme Zionism is ‘ethnic cleansing’ ,,, with lots of war crimes

    53mins – 1:03mins https://youtu.be/6jepCC9qhE8 … or start at 43mins if you want the full segment

    The Biden admin will no doubt continue Trumps attack on the International Criminal Court ..

  5. De-platforming can cut both ways. If you create a weapon against your enemies, it can be replicated and turned against you

    I feel sorry for Mr Loach.

      • Yeah – written by Stephen Kupakwesu Bush, a member of the Board of Deputies and one who has no qualms about weaponising the IHRA definition of ‘anti-semite’ that conflates Zionism with Judaism. One has to wonder if he was too hot to handle since he was passed over by the BBC with its blatant biases. Despite being a journalist, Bush doesn’t seem too strong on the concept of freedom of speech if it touches on his political agenda. Unfortunately, his deceptive style of presenting his views makes the casual reader susceptible to his propagandist techniques.
        As for your comment, “Roald Dahl was also recently exposed as an antisemite, to the extent that his family issued an apology.” – what a load of bunkum. This dates back to over three decades and has only surfaced again now that the release of a new movie has provided to ideal time get political capital for a cause. This is easy to do when talking about a dead man who faced down the criticisms when he was alive and a great hook to bludgeon his family with, now Dahl can’t defend himself. Obviously the biggest regret of the accusers was that the family gave the middle finger to demands to make a pay out from the estate.
        Please note Gaby, Dahl’s racist views are not condoned, but neither are the belated cynical actions of his critics.

      • yep I was wondering when you would show up in this thread Gaby. Right on cue like a really bad fart!! Loud smelly and full of it!

  6. Disney cancelled Gina Carano (Cara Dune on the Star Wars show “The Mandalorian”) for also nonsensical reasoning. We are in the age of ultra-woke now. If anyone gets remotely triggered by anything, they set plagues of Twitter wokists on them. Once these wokists have cancelled their target, they move on to the next one.
    https://deadline.com/2021/02/mandalorian-gina-carano-lucas-film-responds-to-controversial-statement-1234691898/
    “Free Speech” only exists if you echo whatever the woke Twitterazzi allow you say.

    • Note how this Jew argues that oppression based on political belief is more acceptable, than oppression of Jews (as an ethnic and religious identity). Such as orgainising worldwide political campaigns against anyone opposed to their nationalism/Zionism as an order of rule in supremacy over the human rights (mere UN politics) of Palestine residents without state of Israel passports.

      https://twitter.com/leiaswinterfell/status/1359490660068438026

      Welcome to the chosen ones foot (mother’s son’s) over the head of the political citizen (those of the deep state reptilian snake) order of rule (you have to witness their use of the sound weapon to get this monstrous arrogance).

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