October 31, 2014

Jewish Chronicle forced to tell the truth, shock!

Here's a heart warming tale of how the Jewish Chronicle was forced to be honest not once but twice.

Check out the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for full details but here's a taste:

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has demanded that The Jewish Chronicle reissue a correction to a story which made false claims about Palestine Solidarity Campaign and our director, Sarah Colborne.

The demand came after The Jewish Chronicle (JC) failed to adhere to an agreement made with the PCC that the original correction would remain on the homepage of its website for two days and two nights.  After uploading the correction onto its UK News page on 23rd October, the JC then removed it later the same afternoon.

A week later, following intervention from the PCC, the JC is today (30th October) once again carrying the correction. This time, the link to the correction is on the homepage as agreed, and will remain there until 1st November.

The JC’s original story, which resulted in our complaint to the PCC, was published online on 17th July on its homepage, and was headlined Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments.

This was a completely false headline, and attributed comments to Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Director, Sarah Colborne, which were never made.

So here's the JC's link as it appears on its homepage,  The Palestine Solidarity Campaign which doesn't give much away.  And here's the correction as it appears when you click on the link:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign

In an article published on July 17 headlined 'Pro-Palestinian group says its supporters made antisemitic comments', we stated that the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne, had said that demonstrations against the Gaza conflict "had been used by people to 'peddle hatred and intolerance' towards Jews".

Ms Colborne had not said that. In fact, what she had said was: "The Palestine Solidarity Campaign opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and racism directed against Palestinians whether living in the West Bank and Jerusalem, or as citizens of Israel." We are happy to set the record straight.

Last updated: 11:17am, October 30 2014
If they're so happy to set the record straight why did they hide the link when they did?

October 29, 2014

More Saying No to Brand Israel

An email from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:


NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
DEMAND “NO” TO ISRAELI SPONSORED FILM FESTIVAL


Protest the Israeli-funded UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) taking place between 6-23 November in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.

Public protest closed down an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. The Tricycle, the Bristol Encounters Film Festival, artists from Sao Paulo Art Biennial all rejected Israeli Embassy funding.

IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts (NIFA) initiative. See NIFA’s letter to all the cinemas here.

Contact your local (or even distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their Israeli rebranding. (All cinema contact details are here.)

One of the opening gala nights is at the London BFI on 6 November (see below) we will protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.


Protest @ BFI Southbank
Thursday, 6 November 6.45-8pm
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tubes: Waterloo (South Bank exit), Embankment and Charing Cross
bring your banners, placards, megaphones & chants!


The Israeli Embassy is a sponsor of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF).  Only a few weeks ago the Israeli state again slaughtered the people of Gaza: over 2000 killed, over 500 were children.
Palestinians look up at the remains of an Italian apartment block that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike overnight in Gaza City on August 26, 2014. An Israeli air raid in Gaza killed two Palestinians as Israel pursued its campaign to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants from the enclave, medics said.
Destroyed block of flats, Gaza City
We welcomed that the Tricycle took a stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza.  Over 500 artists and theatre practitioners publicly defended the Tricycle.
Disgracefully, the BFI Southbank is helping to re-brand Israel – it’s hosting the opening gala night of the festivalSecretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid – who slandered the Tricycle by implying antisemitism – said he would attend.  The Israeli ambassador is also expected.
Israel’s apologists attacked the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza while children were killed in their homes as they slept, with their parents as they fled, in UN shelters where they were told they would be safe, in hospitals, in mosques, while playing football: by bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns . . .
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (Sept 2014) found that Israel committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and incitement to genocide.
Join our protest against collaboration with mass-murderers


October 15, 2014

Saying No to Brand Israel

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS


IJAN is centrally involved in the No Israeli Funding of the Arts initiative – we want everyone we are in touch with to know that the Israeli-funded UKJFF (UK Jewish Film Festival) is taking place this year (6-23 November) in cinemas in Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham.
We have written to all the cinemas – see our letter below – and we are asking that you contact your local (or even a distant) cinema by phone, email, website, leaflet or street protest, and let them know what you think of them hosting an Israeli-funded event. (All cinema contact details are at end of this email.) Call or write to the local press or call-in radio to tell them what you think of their not caring for the Jewish films, only for the Israeli rebranding (see below).
Check the UKJFF calendar to find when each cinema is hosting UKJFF films.  The opening gala night is at the London BFI on 6 November – we are planning to protest their collaboration with the slaughterers of the Gazan people.
Note: IJAN workshop, From Gaza to Ferguson @ Anarchist Bookfair, 18 Oct, 3-4pm
NO ISRAELI FUNDING OF THE ARTS
LETTER TO CINEMAS HOSTING THE UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL


We are writing to you as one of the cinemas hosting the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) 6-23 November, 2014, to ask that you reconsider.

Who we are
We are a diverse group, including Israeli and other Jewish people, most of us local to, and often in the audience of, the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, northwest London. In 2012 local residents leafleted the cinema to oppose its hosting of the Israeli-sponsored UKJFF; in 2013 we protested outside the Tricycle when it again hosted the UKJFF. (The protests were called by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.)

Tricycle / UKJFF
This year, many including ourselves, welcomed the Tricycle’s stand against the festival’s funding by the Israeli Embassy during Israel’s 50-day slaughter on Gaza.
The Tricycle had offered the organisers of the UKJFF replacement funding so that the film festival could go ahead at the Tricycle.  But the UKJFF refused their offer and to dissociate itself from the Israeli government – the priority was Israeli sponsorship, rather than the film festival.  Is the UKJFF merely a means to a political end, to give Israel a humanist image?

Who attacked the Tricycle
The Government’s Chief Whip, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Israeli Ambassador, each publicly attacked the Tricycle for having refused Israeli sponsorship.  They slandered the Tricycle by accusing it of antisemitism; as did donors and local councillors who threatened to withdraw funds and involve the Charity Commission.

Who defended the Tricycle
Support came from National Theatre director, Nicholas Hytner, acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson; over 500 artists, including prominent theatre directors and playwrights, some of whom affirmed “We artists have a right to boycott” (letter to the Stage); and note the artists’ solidarity page: “The Tricycle Theatre is Not Anti-Semitic.

In July, Scottish artists, including National Poet Liz Lochhead, signed an open letter in The Herald protesting an Israeli-funded theatre company at the Edinburgh Fringe. After vociferous public protest, the show closed after one performance.

Following the Tricycle’s refusal of Israeli funding, the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol and artists from the 31st Sao Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil also refused Israeli funding.

What Israel’s apologists did
While crying antisemitism, Israel’s apologists used their attack on the Tricycle to try to distract the public from Gaza: from seeing Israeli politicians, religious authorities, journalists and the public, calling for mass rape, mass murder, even genocide of Palestinians; from the bloodied tanks, F16s, drones, bunker busters, sea-to-land missiles, remote-controlled machine guns, that blasted schools, hospitals, mosques, blocks of flats, children playing football; and from the 2,200 Gazans killed -- over 500 children, and half a million displaced.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine found evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes of murder, extermination and persecution and also incitement to genocide.

What happened to the Tricycle
Even while Gaza was being destroyed, the Tricycle was forced to retreat.  But actress Maureen Lipman, advocating for the UKJFF admitted that they knew the depth of the community’s support for the theatre’s stand, announcing that the festival was unlikely to go back to the Tricycle any time soon.

That stand reaffirmed that the arts are social and political.  It was welcomed by anti-racists everywhere. And please note: both the local council and the Arts Council ruled out loss of funding.

What we want you to do
The assistant manager of the Everyman cinema insisted that “refusing to host any arts festival on political grounds will cause more harm than good.” (Email, 10 September 2014.) The Everyman’s is not a principled position – it is complicity and appeasement.  It is the argument of those who refused to boycott South African apartheid.

Who knows better than Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a proponent of cultural boycott, who said, “We in South Africa know about oppression and occupation and know about the power of BDS” (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions)?

We ask that you take direction from the anti-racist, non-violent, Palestinian-led BDS movement.

We ask that you refuse to host the UKJFF – not because it is Jewish, of course, but because it is funded by the Israeli Embassy.  The embassy’s job, especially in London (the boycott “hub”) is to promote what it calls Brand Israel – state-sponsored propaganda, designed to camouflage Israeli brutality within a smokescreen of culture, including film festivals.

We ask that you side with the victims and survivors of the assault on Gaza – not be part of the cover-up of war crimes being committed against them.



CINEMAS HOSTING THE UKJFF
Glasgow
Venue              CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts)
Address           350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD
Email               gen@cca-glasgow.com
Telephone       0141 352 4900

Venue              Glasgow Film Theatre
Address           12 Rose St, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G3 6RB
Email               jaki.mcdougall@glasgowfilm.org (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0141 332 6535 
Leeds
Venue              MAZCC
Address           311 Stonegate Road, Leeds LS17 6AZ
Email:              enquiries@ljwb.co.uk
Telephone       0113 268 4211

Venue              Seven Arts Centre
Address           31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD
Email               info@sevenleeds.co.uk
Telephone       0113 26 26 777

London

Venue              Arthouse Crouch End
Address:          159A Tottenham Lane, N8 9BT
Email               info@arthousecrouchend.co.uk
Telephone       020 8245 3099

Venue              BAFTA British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Address           195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN
Email               info@bafta.org
Telephone       020 7734 0022

Venue              Barbican
Address           Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Email               film@barbican.org.uk
Telephone       020 7638 4141

Venue              BFI Southbank
Address           Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT
Email               director@bfi.org.uk
Telephone       020 7255 1444

Venue              Ciné Lumière
Address           17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT
Email               box.office@institutfrancais.org.uk   
Telephone       020 7871 3515

Venue              Curzon Mayfair
Address           38 Curzon Street, W1J 7TY
Email               manager.mayfair@curzon.com

Venue              Odeon Muswell Hill
Address           Fortis Green Road, N10 3HP
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Everyman Maida Vale
Address           215 Sutherland Avenue, W9 1RU
Email               maidavale.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              Everyman Hampstead
Address           5 Holly Bush Vale, NW3 6TX
Email               hampstead.manager@everymancinema.com
Telephone       0871 906 9060 

Venue              JW3
Address           341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
Email               info@jw3.org.uk
Telephone       020 7433 8988

Venue              LJCC (London Jewish Cultural Centre)
Address           Ivy House, 94-96 North End Road, NW11 7SX
Email               admin@ljcc.org.uk 
Contact form   http://www.ljcc.org.uk/contact/ 
Telephone       020 8457 5000

Venue              Odeon South Woodford
Address           60/64 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2QL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Odeon Swiss Cottage
Address           96 Finchley Rd, NW3 5EL
Telephone       0207 321 6237 (conferencing & events)

Venue              Phoenix Cinema
Address           52 High Road, East Finchley, N2 9PJ
Email               management@phoenixcinema.co.uk 
Telephone       020 8444 6789

Manchester
Venue              Cornerhouse
Address           70 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5NH
Email               info@cornerhouse.org
Telephone       0161 228 7621 

Venue              Cineworld Didsbury
Address           Parrs Wood Entertainment Centre, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 5PG
Contact form   https://www.cineworld.co.uk/contact  (250 words max.)
Telephone       0208 742 4010 

Venue              Menorah
Address           198 Altrincham Rd, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 4RZ
Email               filmclub@menorah.org.uk
Telephone       0161 428 7746

Nottingham
Venue              Broadway Cinema
Address           14–18 Broad St, Nottingham NG1 3AL
Email               info@broadway.org.uk
Contact form   http://www.broadway.org.uk/contact/steve (Chief Executive)
Telephone       0115 9526 611

October 14, 2014

Was UK Parliament Palestine vote justified or will the moon fall out of the sky?

I just found this poll on the Jewish News site:

Is the vote on recognition of a Palestinian State justified, or rewarding terrorism?

 Now look at the results so far:
Is the vote on recognition of a Palestinian State justified, or rewarding terrorism?
 
 
 
I've been quite indifferent to the whole thing but the various Zionist responses I've seen have made it worthwhile.

The Jewish Chronicle is also worth a look at.

October 08, 2014

Zionists panic over Palestine vote in UK Parliament

Here's a motion to be debated in the UK Parliament on Monday 13 October:
this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
There hasn't been much news about the debate and I have to say I don't feel particularly moved by it but then Ive never claimed to support the so-called two state solution.  But Zionists here in the UK have gone into collective panic.

The first thing I noticed was a post to Harry's Place by a chap called Stephen Hoffman.  Actually that's where I got the text of the motion from.  Here's what Zionists are suggesting should be done to neutralise the motion:
At end, add’, on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.
which of course means, this House believes that the Government should never recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

Now the original motion is pretty weak and open to interpretation.  A state of Palestine alongside Israel could be in Syria, Jordan, Egypt or Lebanon.  But according to the Jewish Chronicle,
The [Zionist] activist said MPs backing the motion had been "very clever. The motion is very blandly worded and could be interpreted as being supportive of a two-state solution, which all key groups here support".
Yup, it's certainly bland but how could the words "recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel"  be open to any interpretation other than support for a two state solution?

Ah I know, the JC very smartly avoiding quoting the motion so here it is again just in case Marcus Dysch (who else?) happens to pop by:
this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel
Bad news for one staters like me but why is the JC so down on it it won't even show it to its readers?

October 01, 2014

Max Blumenthal reports back from the Russell Tribunal on Gaza

From the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Max Blumenthal reports back from the Russell Tribunal on Gaza



5pm, Saturday 4 October
INCA CGIL [Italian Trade Union Centre]
124 Canonbury Road, N1 2UT
Nearest station: Highbury & Islington [Victoria line & Overground] Buses: 4, 19, 30 & 43, 271, 277 or 393
[get off at Highbury & Islington] [get map]
Admission free.  Meeting is only for people who object to the Israeli onslaught of Gaza
Max Blumenthal is an author, a journalist and an activist. He's in London for a few days and it is a great opportunity to hear him.

He was on the ground during the most recent Israeli slaughter of Gaza. His latest book "Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel" covered the realities of the Israeli society.

Watch
video of his testimony at the Russell Tribunal last week, 24 September.

Read a recent article describing what he saw in Gaza after the ceasefire last month.

And see 11 min video of shocking Israeli racism:  "Israel's New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land".  


Facebook Event for this meeting
Organised by: Islington Friends of Yibna
 Islington_Yibna@Yahoo.co.uk

September 02, 2014

Zionist Federation on the Frontline

See this from the Zionist Federation aka ZFUK (can you see it?  It's supposed to be a web version of an email they sent out)

‘Israel-bashing’ Event Cancelled

after ZF Announces Protest

An event discussing media coverage of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict has been cancelled, following plans by the ZF to protest outside it. “Reporting the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict – Emotion, Bias and Objectivity,” organised by the Frontline Club, was scheduled to be held on Sept 3 at the Shaw Theatre.
The three speakers who were to discuss this issue were Jeremy Bowen, Jon Snow and Martin Bell. Jeremy Bowen, Middle East editor at the BBC, recently wrote an article in which he dismissed claims that Hamas uses civilians as human shields. Jon Snow, presenter of Channel Four News, went viral when he recorded a plea for action over Gaza which again whitewashed Hamas. Given their failure to hold the terrorist group to account for the conflict, it seems unlikely that they would be able to identify anti-Israeli bias in the media.
Following the ZF's consultation with the police and the theatre, the event has now been cancelled.
Alan Aziz, ZF Director, commented:
“The failure of the media to explain the actions of Israel, which is a democracy with the obligation to defend its citizens, and Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation committed to genocide, is one of the most pressing issues for those who care about the Jewish homeland. The ZF decided to hold a protest against an event which instead of tackling this subject properly would have simply been another forum for Israel-bashing, and we hope a more balanced panel can be found if the event is re-scheduled.
***
Here's what the Frontline Club says about itself on its home page:
It exists to promote freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work.
Were they really going to be intimidated by a bunch of Zionists in London?  And if they were, should Zionists be bragging that they are scarier than the wars these frontline journalists cover?

Well let's see what the Frontline Club itself says about the event:
 This event has been postponed. A new date and venue will be announced soon.
 Ok, but why has it been postponed?  Well it's not often you'd turn to the Jewish Chronicle's Marcus Dysch to get the facts of a case but tucked away in one of his recent articles was this:
An event organised by the Frontline Club looking at media coverage of the Gaza conflict has been cancelled by police after the Zionist Federation announced it would demonstrate outside.
The session was due to feature journalists Jon Snow, Jeremy Bowen and Martin Bell at the Shaw Theatre in central London, next week.

ZF director Alan Aziz said police had notified him that the event would not go ahead due to safety concerns.

The Frontline Club said the event had been postponed because the planned speakers were unavailable.
So what really happened. Did police cancel the event?  Was the Frontline Club frightened of the Zionist Federation?  Or were the speakers unavailable?

August 31, 2014

Zionists Demonstrate against the No Antisemitism

I just read a write up in Jewish News of the Zionist demo today at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand in central London.  I did a word search to see if I could see anyone using the expression "New Antisemitism" and the word "New" didn't appear anywhere.  But let's take a look at the piece:
An estimated 4,500 people rallied outside the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon to demand zero tolerance to anti-Semitism, writes Justin Cohen.
Now let's have a look at the picture accompanying the piece:




Now does that look like 4,500 to you?  I don't know but I reckon there are no more than 100 in the picture plus, the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, so let's say 101 to be kind.

A friend of mine emailed to say that the BBC had said they numbered in the hundreds but that's still not the claimed 4,500.

Oh look, I found another pic:




I might have to up my estimate to 150.  Remember these people weren't marching, they were rallying in front of this building here:




And what's all this about the No Antisemitism?  See what Douglas Murray - yes that Douglas Murray - had to say:
“Don’t wait weeks and weeks and then for people to have to take the initiative with things like this,” he said. “Expect more, demand more from the people who say they speak in your name.”

Murray also urged community members to write to MPs and “help stop the lies”. If people don’t speak out when Israel is accused of genocide or of committing war crimes, he warned, “you help to feed the lies”.
 Accusing Israel of genocide or of committing war crimes is stating facts, how can that be antisemitism, old or new?  That's it, there was a demonstration today by Zionists against the No Antisemitism and let's face it, if they do ever find such a thing, on past performance they'll ignore it or collude with it.  They won't try leading a merry dance outside courts on a day when they're closed.

August 30, 2014

Oxymoron Corner: Zionists rally against Racism

Remember those notes I posted up about a Zionist Town Hall type meeting where people kept badgering the Board of Deputies of British Jews over what they're doing for plucky little Israel at a time like this.

The BoD were promising to organise a rally for Israel some time next month.  I think I have stumbled on the details of the rally.  I could be wrong because it's not actually next month, it's tomorrow, but I think this is the flyer:



"They openly say "Hitler was right""? Wow!  Who says that?  Oh well, never mind. The Zionists have realised that there is no positive case for the racist war criminals of the State of Israel so it's back to routine negative hasbara by smear.  You don't get many demos at the Royal Courts of Justice but you do get lots of roadworks and traffic bottlenecks so I am guessing since they know they'll get a paltry turnout they're hiding their shame.  I mean they wouldn't be well seen if they met at, say, Trafalgar Square, but at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand the fact that they can't be seen for lack of numbers won't be seen.

UPDATE: I've just seen the Board of Deputies' website on this rally:
This Sunday the Board's Senior Vice President Laura Marks (pictured) will be joining the likes of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, parliamentary candidate  and co-founder and chairman of Quilliam, Maajid Nawaz, and the social commentator Douglas Murray in addressing a communal rally organised by the Campaign Against Anti Semitism. 

The Board is  firmly   behind this vital initiative at a time when reported cases of anti-Jewish incidents are at record highs across the UK and the need for the law to be firmly applied relating to hate crimes is absolutely vital. The rally will also include messages of support from the denominational movements.
Only a couple of days ago the Board was outraging Zionists by issuing a touchy feely statement with the Muslim Council of Britain which ended with the words, "May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope."  Well, if the G-d of Abraham can't grant our world more peace, wisdom and hope, he can always call on Douglas Murray to help him.

August 28, 2014

Denis MacShane was too soft on Muslims like Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Cyril Smith

At least I think that's what he told The Daily Telegraph:
Denis MacShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham, has admitted that as a “Guardian reading liberal leftie” he shied away from the issue of the oppression of women in the Muslim community.

Mr MacShane, who resigned in 2012 over an expenses fraud for which he was later jailed, insisted no-one came to him with child abuse allegations during his 18 years in Parliament, but admitted he should have “burrowed into” the issue.

He told the BBC: "I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that.”

Admitting he had been guilty of doing too little, he said he had been aware of the problem of cousin marriage and “the oppression of women within bits of the Muslim community in Britain” but: “Perhaps yes, as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”

He recalled having a “huge row” with another local MP and council grandees because they were complaining about a newspaper investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which unearthed uncomfortable truths they did not want to hear.

He said: “Nobody pursued Jimmy Saville, nobody pursued Rolf Harris, nobody pursued Cyril Smith, nobody pursued Mrs Thatcher’s sidekick we now learn was a depraved predatory monster. 
Now really we should be enforcing the law without fear or favour irrespective of ethnic, national or religious background and irrespective of celebrity status but since MacShane was never known for having a "Guardian liberal leftie" attitude to Muslims anyway, I really don't know how he can hide behind "multiculturism" to explain away his inaction over rampant child abuse in his former consituency of Rotherham.


August 27, 2014

When Dodgy Dave met Uncle Joe

I had a bit of a twitter exchange with David Aaronovitch the other day.  I went into it with some trepidation because I thought some troll might pop up to derail the thread, simply insult Dave's interlocutor or even come out as a zionist sympathiser having been anti-zionist in the past.  I even thought that Dave himself might be on good form but it was not to be.

It all started when I noticed an unremarkable tweet from @ejhchess to @Flying_Rodent:
From David Aaronovitch's "logical" tweet I saw Dave angrily challenging someone called i was id (@iwasid to "Find me a single thing either of us has said or written that supports right-wing racism anywhere. One."

Well as coincidence would have it I noticed something Dave had written only the day before for the Jewish Chronicle that I thought was racist so, with some trepidation (see above) I mentioned it in a tweet:


To which Dave replied:
To which I responded:
And another guy joined in:
 And Dave responded, warming to his subjectivity theme:

 At this point it started to look like he wasn't simply being slippery, he really didn't know what was racist about generalising about whole minority groups so I explained:
Now he did start to get slippery:
 Yes I did know it was about France but how does that change anything?

I also mentioned that his last tweet was a non sequitur but now tetchiness was setting in as a nerve seems to have been struck:

Wow! What was that all about?  How does using "surely" amount to Stalinism?  Reading back I wish I hadn't used the word surely because it should have been clear by then that he really didn't know that his generalisation was racist.  Also I if I didn't say "surely" I could have put the apostrophe in "countrys" making it "country's".  Still never mind, it was worth the bad grammer to see Aaro lose it like a complete idiot.

It must have been while I was tweeting something else that Aaro tweeted to a @rico_hands and me that "You retweeted this earlier: "The Zionist Jews own all the Media the Film Industry and are all Corrupt."  It didn't look like a comment I'd approve of and I said so and Aaro said it wasn't me, it was that Rico chap.  I know some people put all their addressees at the beginning of a tweet but if you're making an accusation you should only put the target of the accusation at the beginning and other addressees at the end.  Just a word on protocol because people can get the wrong idea. Anyway, I asked Aaro for a link and he told me it wasn't me that retweeted it.  So that was nice.

But I still responded to the stalinist thing:

 So now he tried to modify what he actually said:

 Now actually I don't think that's much better but is better in that it's not a generalisation.  But it is a rather bland assertion and it's devoid of any analysis as to what he means by antisemitism or any explanation as to why he thinks it's the case but anyway back I came still focused on the undeniably (though he did deny it) racist  generalisation:

 Noticing that Aaro's reference to antisemitism meant that he was alluding to Jews when he said "old ones", I asked then what he meant by "new minorities" but heard no more from him.

Now all the while this was going on I was surprised that no one came along to help Aaro dig himself out of the hole he had dug.  None came until that Gerasite/Unrepentant Jacobin chap, Jamie Palmer appeared with this little gem:


I just couldn't be bothered with him and I was truly feeling too sorry for Aaro to point that Jacobin's use of the word "also" meant that he was agreeing with me, that what Aaro had written was indeed a racist generalisation (also).  Aaro smartly ignored the "supportive" tweet too and he was promoting the young Gerasite only recently

But what of the statement itself?  "Ethnic hatred has become a basic element in the everyday life of Israeli youth".  Of itself, it isn't making a generalisation.  As it stands it could simply be a reference to the racist environment that Israeli youth inhabits.  I found its origin just now.  It's a Ha'aretz headline.

Of course, Ha'aretz is an Israeli newspaper.  Israelis are not a minority in Israel so the headline wasn't even about a minority.  So a great help Aaro's protégé turned out to be.  He confirmed my own point about Aaro's racist generalisation and lifted a Ha'aretz headline out of context.  I'm sure he'll go far but he and Aaro have to bear in mind that context is all.