Labour expels controversial Brighton member

Posted On 18 Feb 2018 at 9:28 pm

The Labour Party has expelled a controversial member in Brighton nearly two years after he was suspended.

Tony Greenstein, 65, was accused of anti-semitism when his membership was suspended in March 2016.

Mr Greenstein, who is Jewish by birth, insisted that he was anti-zionist, not anti-semitic, in that he opposes the Israeli state’s approach towards the Palestinians.

He was criticised for using the word zio to describe supporters of the Israeli state’s policy towards the Palestinians.

He accepts that the term is pejorative but said that it was not a racist or anti-semitic term. It was intended to be pejorative, he said, in the same way as calling someone a racist was intended to be pejorative.

After a disciplinary hearing at the Hilton Brighton Metropole today (Sunday 18 February) he was thrown out of the party, although primarily for his conduct towards officials since his suspension.

In the case against Mr Greenstein, Labour’s barrister said that he had used the word zio to abuse other party members repeatedly in contravention if the party’s rules.

Other than the use of the word zio, the party did not allege that Mr Greenstein was anti-semitic.

The hearing – organised by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee – was given a copy of extracts from a recent county court judgment when Mr Greenstein unsuccessfully sought information held about him by the party using the Data Protection Act.

The judge described Mr Greenstein as “demonstrably intelligent” and “a highly controversial figure”.

Tony Greenstein

But District Judge Susan Brown also said: “He is intense and combative, being highly emotional about the subjects of Israel and Palestine.”

After the hearing today, Labour Against Anti-Semitism, said that it welcomed the decision to expel Mr Greenstein from the party.

The group, long-standing critics of Mr Greenstein, said: “Mr Greenstein has over many years made his abhorrent views widely known via public speeches, social media and on his personal blog.”

It said that his views were often “highly offensive”, adding: “Mr Greenstein has also personally targeted some Labour Party members for bullying.

“None of this is acceptable within a party that prides itself on diversity and whose catchphrase is ‘a kinder, gentler politics’.”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    The idea that there is anything kind or gentle about the Labour Party – per se – is a total jaw-dropper!

    The behaviour of a few of its local candidates towards people they disagree with, during the last local election, was the verbal equivalent of vicious catfights – abusive and slanderous with it.

    In contrast, style of verbal combat & highly developed sense of moral justice notwithstanding, Greenstein is about inconvenient ISSUES and state brutality against a bellicose minority ‘enemy’ that betrays justice & the Jewish religion.

    Tony was expelled for not playing the game of lets pretend.

  2. Rob Reply

    are you trying to say the labour party are less ‘kind and gentle’ than the nasty party? clue is in the nickname, Valerie

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      Every political party has ‘nasty’ as part of its DNA complete with competing black arts with which to bamboozle the public in the unedifying scramble to assemble tribal teams. It is what the lust for power is all about.

      People like Tony G are independent thinkers who message in ways that ensure consignment to outlier positions. The Labour ‘club’ are scared of him. He isn’t capable of achieving inclusion or power because he relentlessly digs, analyses and speaks his truth. All parties want is power. By any means.

  3. mary frankle Reply

    well said valarie

  4. Pingback: Tony Greenstein Expelled from the Labour Party – Good Riddance. | Tendance Coatesy

  5. Esther Reply

    Tony Greenstein has told us in his blog that he has been in severe conflict with his religious and traditional Jewish father since the age of fourteen. His brother emigrated to Israel and has raised his family there. His niece is in the Israeli army. Therefore, Tony Greenstein’s lifestyle choices could not be more at odds with those that his family would have wished for him. In those circumstances, I think that he has projected his psychological angst by means of disgruntlement not only with his family but the whole Jewish tribe. Perhaps therefore, in his attitudes towards Israel and fellow Jews, he is mainly motivated to seek ‘payback’ for the hurt done to himself by family rejection.

  6. Jenny Mulligan Reply

    Tony Greenstein is not an independent thinker. He is a bully and a misogynist. There is and should never be a place for Mr Greenstein in the Labour Party or any other political organisation.

  7. L.E.Azar Reply

    Like a scene out of Life of Brian, Labour seems to find it easy to fragment over whether someone is an Anti-Zionist and/or Anti-Semitic. A little tolerance in the Party would go a long way. As for Mr Greenstein, he has some of the characteristics of a Zealot. While it might be sensible for the Party to tolerate individuals with varying views, it surely wouldn’t hurt Mr Greenstein to express himself in a more gracious manner. It is possible to respect – and show respect to – people with whom one disagrees.

  8. Tony Greenstein Reply

    Thanks Valerie. My disagreements with my family which Esther concentrates on with much fascination are completely irrelevant to anything except her own psychological obsessions with others families. Children do tend to disagree with parents and what anyone believes should be judged in its own terms not in terms of what others, families included, think.

    My position is quite simple. The Palestinians live under a regime of institutionalised racism that in South Africa was called Apartheid. Zionism is not only racist towards Palestinians but towards Jews themselves believing that they should all be living in one ‘Jewish’ state.

    The comments of ‘Jenny Mulligan’ or whoever she is are unsubstantiated, wild vague and malevolent. In other words total rubbish from someone operating under a pseudonym.

    I do respect people I disagree with but Zionists, who trade in hurtful and insulting epithets such as ‘self hater’ or who, like Esther, think they can win a point by making personal comments about one’s family merit no respect or courtesies.

  9. Tony Greenstein Reply

    I should also add that ‘Labour Against Anti-semitism’ is no such thing. They are not a recognised group, they are a bunch of internet trolls. Most of them are not Jewish, their spokesperson on Big Questions was not even a Labour Party member

    They are a pro-Zionist group whose only purpose is to accuse those who are in solidarity with the Palestinians and anti-Zionists of ‘anti-semitism’. As such they are a disingenuous and disgusting group of McCarthyites.

  10. Esther Reply

    Tony Greenstein is entitled and free to hold any opinions he likes. However, he can’t get away with just manufacturing his own facts. Arabs in Israel, whether Muslim, Christian or Baha’i have the parliamentary vote and they, of course own valuable real estate property all over Israel. That obviously was not the case with the black population in South Africa under Apartheid. Furthermore, he states as a fact that “Zionism” requires that “Jews themselves should all be living in one Jewish state”. That would be very surprising news to the ‘zionist’ Jewish diaspora living in the U.K., USA and elsewhere. It wasn’t even true in ancient times when there were substantial Jewish settlements all around the Mediterranean Sea when there was still a King Solomon’s Temple standing in Jerusalem. There are – or were more, until the Holocaust – great settlements of Jews in Italy, Iran, Baghdad, Alexandria etc. that have been there since Roman Times, the Ancient Greeks or the Persian kings.
    Greenstein makes up facts to fit his own bitter and twisted narrative.

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