Archive for April, 2016

The final solution on Sark

Friday, April 29th, 2016

This article appears today in the Jewish Chronicle.


One of the most shocking documents on display at Yad Vashem is a typed list prepared by Adolf Eichmann for the Wannsee conference held in January 1942. That meeting sealed the fate of Europe’s Jews, and Eichmann’s research gave a breakdown, country-by-country of the estimated eleven million Jews on the continent. A meticulous bureaucrat, Eichmann didn’t pass over even the smallest Jewish communities, noting the estimated 200 Jews in Albania or the 1,300 in Norway. Every single Jew was noted, each one considered a suitable target for extermination.

Eighteen months earlier, the German army occupied the Channel Islands, the only part of Britain to come under Nazi rule. In Jersey and Guernsey, the German arrested a handful of Jews (whose names and addresses were turned over to them by local authorities) and several of these died in Auschwitz. But the tiny island of Sark, with a population of less than 600, presented a problem. There may have been a single Jew there – or maybe not. The issue preoccupied the German army for several years. (more…)

Online trade union campaigns: how should companies respond?

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Part of a talk I gave a few weeks ago for the Ethical Trading Initiative in London.

Proud to be a Zionist

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
Mapam campaign poster 1944

Mapam campaign poster 1944

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother recently made headlines by tweeting that “#Zionists cant cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine”. That the tweet took place in the context of a heated discussion about how the Labour Party is coping with increasing allegations of anti-Semitism is not the point. The point is that the word “Zionist” has become toxic on the British Left, and I have a problem with this.

On one of the Sunday morning radio shows, Jonathan Freedland was asked about this. He quoted the Israeli author Amos Oz who said that “Zionist” was like a family name. There always needs to be a first name, such as “Religious Zionist” or “Socialist Zionist”. But Freedland himself, when asked, said he’d rather not use the label “Zionist” to describe his own views as it would just cause confusion.

There are really two approaches to dealing with political labels that become toxic. One is to accept reality and abandon them. The other is to be defiant and embrace them. (more…)

After Wisconsin, can Sanders still win?

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

This article appears in today’s edition of the Morning Star.


Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Wisconsin Democratic Primary this week is being spun by the mainstream media as “too little, too late”. The consensus among pundits is that Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead is so huge that there is simply no way for the democratic socialist senator from Vermont to catch up.

That has been the case for every single one of Sanders’ recent victories, starting with his wins in Idaho and Utah on 22 March. Those two victories, in two small states, went barely noticed even if they were shocking in their scale. In Idaho, Sanders took 78% of the vote and in Utah he won over 79%. His supporters reacted by donating a staggering amount of money online, making it the third month in a row that Sanders has out-raised Clinton. But the consensus among experts was that he didn’t have a chance. (more…)

Haufenweise schwarze Schafe

Friday, April 1st, 2016

This article appears in this week’s edition of Jungle World.


Die britische Labour Party und ihr neuer Vorsitzender Jeremy Corbyn haben ein Problem mit dem Antisemitismus in den eigenen Reihen. Das wird zwar öffentlich kritisiert, aber ihre politischen Prioritäten liegen anderswo. (more…)