Gerald Gable, editor of Searchlight, the media bulletin indirectly funded by the Board-of-Deputies, has pursued a vendetta against David Irving for over forty years, ever since Gable and two accomplices were arrested by the Police, caught red-handed burgling Mr Irving's residence.
EARLIER Interview of Gerry Gable:
Original source: http://www.aijac.org.au/review/1999/242/gable.html
(See also actual copy in file)
29 January - 28 February 1999
Smashing Against Rocks
By Matthew Collins
Simon Wiesenthal described his magazine as "The best English language publication of its kind anywhere in the world." David Irving once told a meeting in rural Australia that Gerry Gable had made his "life a holocaust."
When I put both comments to Gerry Gable in his living room in east London, he takes equal pleasure from both comments. He leans forward apologetically and says of Irving, "If only that were true."
Since the 60's, Gerry Gable has been chasing and harassing both new and old Nazis, pointing the finger at governments and institutions, contributing to enquiries and seminars for both the British and American police and armed forces. But he is not a zealot. The story was, upon arriving at his home, I would be searched by Mossad agents hiding behind a bush and have to pass through airport type security. Instead, he answers the door with a tea towel over his shoulder and announces I was "just in time for tea."
If there are roughly ten thousand race haters, ultra-conservatives and neo-Nazis in the UK, then 9,999 have Gable's address and approximately half of those have dialled his silent number to abuse him or have sent him hate mail. He keeps the best of the letters because some of it he muses, is quite funny, not clever, but sometimes funny. Amongst anyone's least favourite though, would be the envelopes of hair he received when members of the British National Party spread the rumour he was having chemotherapy for cancer, or the numerous postcards from the former death camps sent to him from fascists in Europe with messages like 'We're digging up your Mother today.' There was a lot of skulduggery involved in finding his private address and phone number, which the former National Front printed on its front page nearly ten years ago. He didn't move, and the number never changed. As well as the usual crank messages and threats, it has become one of the best lines into the Nazi psyche any journalist could have.
Before his internationally acclaimed magazine Searchlight, Gable was an organiser for the formerly powerful Hackney Communist Party. Post-war, many Jews in east London helped to return Communist MP's in the face of the re-emerging Blackshirts of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. The son of a Jewish woman and a nominally Church of England father, Gable grew up in post-war east London considering himself Jewish.
It was the re-emergence of fascist politics in the East End in the early sixties that brought Gable into confrontation with his CP leaders. He left his position in the Party to confront fascists organising on the streets. Joined by other Jews and anti-fascists, many ex-serviceman and members of the (Spanish) International Brigades, the 62 Group was formed. Despite gaining a seat on their board, Gable never actually joined. "The 62 Group was formed by some former members of the '43 Group, a group of volunteers who in '43 volunteered to fight for a Jewish homeland. Unlike the '43 Group, the 62 Group was for Jews only, and as an idealist at the time, I waited for something more secular to happen."
What Gable did do was organise intelligence for the 62 group on fascists, including using infiltrators to help build a defence policy for the community against fascist attacks. Gable finally quit the Communist Party that year, not just over its apparent reluctance to tackle organised fascism and its supporters, but also over its opposition to Israel. "Their policy was madness. Israel had many great trade unionists, even Communist parties at the time, while surrounding Israel were countries with wanted Nazis acting as security advisers to their secret services. Israel was a democracy and these countries were not. I have always supported Israel on those grounds first and foremost because I have always been a Jewish trade unionist."
Nearly forty years on, and long after the 62 Group finished, its brainchild, Searchlight, continues. First appearing as a newspaper in the sixties, then as a press agency, this March Searchlight celebrates twenty-five years as a magazine. Handing the magazine over to a new team of younger investigative journalists and documentary makers, Gable is retiring as Editor to become its publisher and allow himself to concentrate on longer in-depth articles for when the magazine also changes format this year. In his 25 years at the helm of the magazine and also as a television journalist, Gable has never been afraid to tread on peoples' toes to defend his faith or others' actions.
A recent piece in Searchlight congratulated the Australia/Israel Review on its publication of the Hanson membership list, noting that even in England where antisemitism is occasionally violent, the Jewish community can sometimes be too backwards in coming forward. That article got his phone ringing again, alright. But what has been most satisfying to Gable is that after years of bickering, the Jewish community in Britain has finally put into place a sound defence policy after years of synagogue arson and graves being vandalised. This policy is wholly aided by the work Searchlight does using infiltrators and moles inside groups like the BNP, NF, Combat 18 and NSA. The information coming out of those organisations has often lead to devastating, even humorous, Fleet Street and television exposes of the far-right.
Given the international nature of Searchlight, and that he has so many friends here, Gerry Gable is very up to date on Australia's own problem groups, and quite happily reels off facts he has at hand about people in prison for having guns and explosives in Australia and the attempts they have made to further their own ambitions.
On the publication over the Hanson lists, Gable offers: "On the basis of my own experience with Jewish communities, anywhere, most tend to want to be reactive, rather than proactive, hoping if you do not touch something, it still won't bite you. I applaud the Review, because it was good journalism and good intelligence and often those things just get filed away.
"Many of the people on that list would gladly say they were enemies of Jewish people, some others would call for a war against us from different angles. So this is not something of our making or doing. If they create disharmony amongst a country's communities, its peoples of all ethnic groups or persuasions, then this is how we will defend ourselves. Printing that list showed how insignificant they really were in that Party, and probably cost them a lot of money. We did the same thing to the National Front at its peak, and their financial and secret backing almost immediately dried up. It is a sound and legitimate political act."
So how does the man who has had to deal with some of the most violent and nasty race-haters in the world rate our own Pauline Hanson? "She doesn't seem very bright does she?" Then as he told me as I passed through his bomb proof doors and over the mine field that is his front garden, "but not many of them are, are they?" And the phone started ringing again.
Matthew Collins is a writer and analyst of the British far-right.
Searchlight motto: Against Racism and Fascism