February 01, 2016

A *Real* Celebrity Endorsement for Jews Sans Frontieres

I want to keep this Tweet safe in case Roseanne Barr thinks better of it when she sobers up or gets over whatever it is that's upset her.

She used to follow Jews sans frontieres on Twitter but flipped out at me a few years ago over something I can't quite remember. I don't know if she unfollowed but she blocked JSF. Clearly blocking doesn't prevent a blocker from hassling a blockee and clearly she still likes to lurk and look.

She's a fickle one, I must say.  She followed JSF when she knew I was anti-Zionist because the account was described as an anti-Zionist account. I didn't follow her account much but I did notice her promoting Gilad Atzmon once upon a time and possibly after she blocked JSF.

Anyway, my guess is that she did see herself as anti-Zionist for a time but that she was happy to promote the conspiracist fringe of the movement and then crossed that thin barely existent line between antisemitism and Zionism.  Which brings me neatly to where this mini-twitter spat began with an aide to Bibi Netanyahu calling a Jewish American ambassador a "little Jew boy" thus highlighting that Zionism is as racist against Jews as antisemitism is.  Mind you she doesn't shed much light on why her name on Twitter is @therealroseanne.  Even Roseanne doesn't seem to know the real Roseanne.  Maybe she's just trying to convince herself.

January 28, 2016

Wo Sind Die Barrikaden? A very good question asked by Leon Rosselson et al

Where Are the Barricades CD by Leon Rosselson

Where are the barricades CD cover

THE FINAL RECORDING.  14 songs, mostly from recent years,  ranging from the humorous to the poignant and from the lyrical to the satirical. Stories for our times, musically varied and not a word out of place. 

With Roy Bailey, Robb Johnson, John Kirkpatrick, Liz Mansfield, Janet Russell and Fiz Shapur.
Price: £12
Postage to the UK included in the price.  
Buy from my website (www.leonrosselson.co.uk) or send a cheque made out to Fuse Records to 28 Park Chase, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8EH. 

January 17, 2016

Gideon Levy on Israel's summary executions

From Ha'aretz premium via google cache:

Yes, Israel Is Executing Palestinians Without Trial

In 2016, one doesn’t have to be Adolf Eichmann to be executed in Israel – it’s enough to be a teenage Palestinian girl with scissors.

Gideon Levy Jan 17, 2016 5:18 AM

An illustrative image of a soldier securing a Jerusalem bus.
An illustrative image of a soldier securing a Jerusalem bus. Olivier Fitoussi

We should call it like it is: Israel executes people without trial nearly every day. Any other description is a lie. If there was once discussion here about the death penalty for terrorists, now they are executed even without trial (and without discussion). If once there was debate over the rules of engagement, today it’s clear: we shoot to kill – any suspicious Palestinian.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan outlined the situation clearly when he said, “Every terrorist should know he will not survive the attack he is about to commit” – and almost every politician joined him in nauseating unison, from Yair Lapid on up. Never have so many licenses to kill been handed out here, nor has the finger been so itchy on the trigger.

In 2016, one doesn’t have to be Adolf Eichmann to be executed here – it’s enough to be a teenage Palestinian girl with scissors. The firing squads are active every day. Soldiers, police and civilians shoot those who stabbed Israelis, or tried to stab them or were suspected of doing so, and at those who run down Israelis in their cars or appear to have done so.

In most cases, there was no need to shoot – and certainly not to kill. In a good many of the cases, the shooters’ lives were not in danger. They shot people to death who were holding a knife or even scissors, or people who just put their hands in their pockets or lost control of their car.

They shot them to death indiscriminately – women, men, teenage girls, teenage boys. They shot them when they were standing, and even after they were no longer a threat. They shot to kill, to punish, to release their anger, and to take revenge. There is such contempt here that these incidents are barely covered in the media.
Last Saturday, soldiers at the Beka’ot checkpoint (called Hamra by the Palestinians) in the Jordan Valley killed businessman Said Abu al-Wafa, 35, a father of four, with 11 bullets. At the same time, they also killed Ali Abu Maryam, a 21-year-old farm laborer and student, with three bullets. The Israel Defense Forces did not explain the killing of the two men, except to say there was a suspicion that someone had drawn a knife. There are security cameras at the site, but the IDF has not released video footage of the incident.

Last month, other IDF soldiers killed Nashat Asfur, a father of three who worked at an Israeli chicken slaughterhouse. They shot him in his village, Sinjil, from 150 meters away, while he was walking home from a wedding. Earlier this month, Mahdia Hammad – a 40-year-old mother of four – was driving home through her village, Silwad. Border Police officers sprayed her car with dozens of bullets after they suspected she intended to run them over.

The soldiers didn’t even suspect cosmetology student Samah Abdallah, 18, of anything. Soldiers shot her father’s car “by mistake,” killing her; they had suspected a 16-year-old pedestrian, Alaa al-Hashash, of trying to stab them. They executed him as well, of course.

They also killed Ashrakat Qattanani, 16, who was holding a knife and running after an Israeli woman. First a settler ran her over with his car, and when she was lying injured on the ground, soldiers and settlers shot her at least four times. Execution – what else?

And when soldiers shot Lafi Awad, 20, in his back while he was fleeing after throwing stones, was that not an execution?

These are only a few of the cases I have documented over the past few weeks in Haaretz. The website of the human rights group B’Tselem has a list of 12 more cases of executions.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, one of the few ministers with a conscience left in the world, demanded that these killings be investigated. There is no demand more moral and just than this. It should have come from our own justice minister.

Israel responded with its usual howls. The prime minister said this was “outrageous, immoral and unjust.” And Benjamin Netanyahu understands those terms: That is exactly how to describe Israel’s campaign of criminal executions under his leadership.

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Haaretz Correspondent

January 11, 2016

On the death of David Bowie and Bob Dylan

Last night, for the first time, I saw Bob Dylan in an advert on either television or YoutTube, I don't remember which.  I searched and found it just now on YouTube.  It's an advert for some IBM product.  Here it is:


Poor fella. He must be broke. 

So anyway, this morning a friend of mine woke me with a text message to say "Bowie dead". Now I don't know if Bowie ever did tv or YouTube or any other kind of adverts but I certainly don't remember any. I gave up on Bowie in the mid-seventies when I found his image changes kind of crassly commercial. Dylan on the other hand seemed kind of deep for a time. It wasn't til the late seventies/early eighties I lost patience with him and then I think it was over politics or religion or maybe both.

In all the coverage I have seen today about David Bowie's career he did seem to come across as a man of considerable artistic integrity, except for one low point that he himself alluded to in an interview and that was his disco period. I wonder if Dylan has the same self-awareness.

UPDATE: I've changed the Bob Dylan/IBM video from the short version to the extended version. I had to download the extended and then upload it because it couldn't be embedded. Maybe it'll get snaffled soon enough in which case follow the links.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tony Greenstein has an interesting take on the passing of David Bowie with a bit of context explaining why he was/is such a hit with the media:
It is noticeable how, in his death, Bowie has been hailed as the ultimate rebel by the BBC and the corporate media.  It suggests that his rebellion was one of style not substance.
 The post is subtitled, Ziggy's flirtation with fascism.

January 04, 2016

Are we all about to be Charlie Hebdo again?

I ask because I just saw an article from (I think) yesterday's Observer. I only think it was because it's on The Guardian website and dated yesterday.  The Guardian doesn't seem to do that "article history" thing any more and I don't buy the print editions so I can't be sure if the article was in print or not.  Anyway, the article was by some chap who writes for Charlie Hebdo who is really angry because he claims that the English speaking critics of Charlie Hebdo don't know French.  I don't know who specifically he is referring to or how he knows they don't know French but that's what he claims to be so cross about.

The headline of the article is The scurrilous lies written about Charlie Hebdo.  The subtitle says:
A year after the Charlie Hebdo killings, francophone writer Robert McLiam Wilson deplores the reports in English by the ignorant for the ignorant
Yup, the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo killings is on 7th January and so Robert McLiam Wilson is getting uptight about Charlie Hebdo's critics.

The thing is he was also similarly, indeed equally, uptight nine months ago in April last year when he wrote pretty much the same article for New Statesman.  That one was titled, If you don’t speak French, how can you judge if Charlie Hebdo is racist?

Now I can well understand this guy's feelings of hurt and anger over the atrocity at the Charlie Hebdo offices. What I don't get is how he can loose off about the knowledge of French (or lack of) of people he doesn't seem to know or name. I also don't get why the Observer or the Guardian was so quick to publish an article so similar to one he wrote only nine months ago.

Should Saudi Arabia behead, er, be head of key UN Human Rights Council panel?

Sorry, that headline was a paraphrase of a joke in Private Eye magazine.  I've just seen these cartoons in The Independent so I thought I'd reproduce them here.

Here's the first:

It's from this tweet from someone calling themselves the Power of One or @france7776.

Here's the second from Carlos Latuff:

Embedded image permalink

The third is from Nat Shupe:

Embedded image permalink

And the fourth is from Dr Kailash Chand:

Embedded image permalink

Tony Greenstein has a post on the BBC's coverage of the Saudi executions on his blog.

January 01, 2016

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network: Building Power in 2016


IJAN is committed to grassroots organizing and grassroots fundraising. Your contributions, whether $5, $50, or $500 can really make a difference.

Dear IJAN Supporter,

Thanks to everyone for supporting our work in 2015. We are looking forward to another year of building power in 2016 and organizing in the United States, Canada, Spain, France and Argentina. We have some important projects planned for the year that we hope to get your support in making happen.

In 2016, we plan to release an Anti-Zionist Primer with entries that define and describe key terms from an anti-Zionist perspective. We hope it will provide a tool for internal and external education. The primer will include entries on settler colonialism, genocide, Zionism, anti-semitism, joint struggle and more. Below is an excerpt from the anti-Zionism entry:

            “Radical anti-Zionists oppose the colonial and racist nature of the state
                and its role in maintaining Western control in the region, and work                toward a redistribution of power and resources in Palestine, in the                region, and globally. It emerges from anti-colonial, anti-racist, working                class, and anti-capitalist principles and movements.”
If you can contribute $25, we can print 25 Anti-Zionist Primers


In the spring, we are doing a tour through schools and cities across the U.S. with our report, The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Social Justice. We will be offering presentations, workshops and strategy sessions on this report as well as on topics such as pinkwashing (Israel’s claim to being a safe haven for Palestinian queers while they are actually subjected to the consequences of Israeli colonization and militarization) and greenwashing (using environmentalism to cover up ecological destruction and ethnic cleansing in Palestine).Please contact us if you are interested in scheduling a speaker to come to your town, school, or organization.

We will also continue our strategic defense locally and internationally, specifically around Zionist institutions using false claims of anti-semitism to propagate Islamophobic messaging.

Finally, on March 30, 2016 – Palestinian Land Day, as part of the US Campaign to Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) we are filing a complaint to the IRS to investigate the charity status of the JNF. The filing will be supported by Tax Day actions and a taxpayer’s petition across the United States.
We appreciate your continued support. Please consider donating to IJAN in your end of year donations.

May 2016 bring us victories in the face of challenges and humanity in the face of brutality,

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

P.S. Help us out by sending this email along to two or three of your friends who might support our work. We do not receive institutional support, we depend on our communities' support.

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Argentina :: Canada :: England :: Europe :: India :: Israel :: United States
ijan@ijsn.net :: ijan.org
© International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

December 18, 2015

When Benn didn't meet Benjamin

The greatest pro-war orator of all time, Hilary Benn, appears to have been snubbed by Bibi during a visit to occcupied Palestine.  Here's the Jewish Chronicle's report:
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn made a low-profile visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week.
Accompanied by a political adviser, he landed at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv on Monday morning for the start of the three-day tour.
Mr Benn - who avoided press interviews during the trip - started by travelling to east Jerusalem with the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. On Tuesday, he laid a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum.
Mr Benn had a series of private meetings with senior Knesset members and Palestinian Authority representatives.

He met PA president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and discussed settlements and a two-state solution.
So he met everyone who's anyone under the entity's rule with one fairly important exception:
It is thought many of his meetings were set up while on the road in Israel, with a late request to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unable to be scheduled.
It's not known if he put in a similar "I was in the neighbourhood so I thought I'd pop by" request to Hamas but I'm guessing he didn't. In fact, taking his penchant for both Israel and for the UK's wars in the middle east, Mr Benn appears to be touting himself as a chip off the Blairite rather than the Bennite block. Maybe they'll make Benn a peace envoy one day but I am surprised Bibi couldn't or wouldn't make time for him.

December 14, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: A Guide to the Movement - Online Paralegal Programs

by Rick Dandes
Co-founders: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi
I first met Opal Tometi half an hour before an appearance at a university in Pennsylvania in the fall of 2015. She explained to me that #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012, after Trayvon Martin’s “murderer,” George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and the dead 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder.
But Blacks weren’t the only ones affected by the verdict. Surveys by respected companies indicated that white America also took heed.
Read in full here

December 03, 2015

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network: Activism 2015


December 2, 2015

IJAN depends on grassroots fundraising to make our work possible.

Will you support us in sustaining our work?

Dear IJAN supporter:

As 2015 draws to a close, we reflect on important victories in the struggle against Zionism and all forms of racism, colonialism, militarization and repression as we prepare for more important struggles and victories in 2016. From the resistance in Palestine to the building movement for Black lives and power, 2015 has shown the power of people’s resistance to injustice.

B7fCEz9CAAA4nKa 2As we face attempts to frame the consequences of global relations of domination and exploitation as a “clash of civilizations", IJAN will continue to insist that the historic and current violence of the United States, Europe and its allies has created violent opposition. IJAN will continue to participate in and support the antidote to this violence: the many movements for justice that are fighting for a profound shift in the way power is used against the many for the benefit of the few.

Please consider donating whatever is within your means – whether that be $5, $25, $100 or becoming a monthly sustaining member!

Highlights from our work in 2015

IJAN-Business-of-Backlash-Executive-Summary-web1 (dragged)We Released The Business of Backlash....documenting who is funding zionist attacks on individuals and organizations standing up for justice and how can we respond in ways that strengthen our movements.
We Presented on policing and lawfare, campus repression, and anti-zionism....at the National Lawyers Guild confernece, US Social Forum, Left Forum, US Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation, American Muslims for Palestine, several college campuses across the country, as well as community presentations in San Francisco and London.
We Defended those targeted....including Rasmea Odeh, Students for Justice in Palestine at CUNY and UC BerkeleyArab Resource and Organizing Center, and Cheryl at the Berkeley Commission on Human Rights.
We Launched the #JCRCDoesntSpeakForMe Campaign....as part of a coalition with AROC,QUIT, and JVP, we took a leadership role in mobilizing Jews, Queers, local and international community to expose the Jewish Community Relations Council's continued use of economic coercion and Islamaphobia.

Anti-Zionism Isn't Anti-Semitism infographic_8.3.15 copy
We Developed the infographic "Criticism of Israel is not Anti-semitic, it's Anti-Racist"....In supporting AROC's Arabic language pathways this summer, we committed to developing tools to expose the reality that Zionism itself is a racist ideology and a commitment to anti-racism requires an anti-Zionist framework. We developed an infographic to make our case and spread it throughout social media, accumulating over 7,500 views online.
We continued to expose the ethnic cleansing of Palestine as part of the Stop the Jewish National Fund Campaign....On Land Day this year, we launched the IJAN-produced film Enduring Roots: Over a Century of Resistance to the Jewish National Fund to an international audience, with screenings in Europe, South America and several cities across the US. The Stop the JNF Campaign also organized a Land Defense Delegation to Palestine to connect international organizers and activists involved in land-based struggle, indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice work to Palestinians working to defend their land from further colonization from the JNF.
We responsded to the incidents in Beirut, Iraq, Nigeria and Paris....to condemn the attacks as well as the incitement of islamaphobic fury that followed. And to reject any notion that Muslims in general have any particular responsibility.
We disrupted the Zionism 3.0 conference....coordinating with local organizers for a successful disruption of Israel's lead diplomat, deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely during her speech. (see picture below) The conference brought together liberal and right-wing Zionist organizations to analyze the threat of BDS, campus activism, and grassroots Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonization. The symbolic citizens arrest of Hotovely drew attention to her unapologetic support of the settlements and the many liberal Zionist organizations that lent legitimacy to Hotovely by helping to host the conference. 

We launched our website at www.ijan.org...since our launch in March we've had more than 17,000 users, more than 33,000 page views, and people accessing the site from 135+ countries. We also have been able to increase our social media presence bringing an international jewish anti-zionist perspective to a wider audience.
CUdsozEVAAE9fz1If IJAN has been able to contribute to this struggle in significant ways, it could not have happened without the support, political and financial, that you and other members of our political community have given us. As we enter 2016, we hope that you’ll continue to support us in our work. As an activist network of almost entirely volunteer labor, it is through member dues and contributions that we are able to fund our work.

Please help us continue the fight for justice and the self-determination in 2016.

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

Check out some of the media coverage links below on IJAN's report: The Business of Backlash

Electronic Intifada: Are Climate Change Deniers Funding Attack on Palestine Activism https://electronicintifada.net/content/are-climate-change-deniers-funding-attack-palestine-activism/14374
Salon: Business of Backlash: GOP Cashes in on Koch/Adelson anti-BDS Donations http://www.salon.com/2015/04/07/business_of_backlash_gop_cashes_in_on_kochadelson_anti_bds_donations/
Institute for Palestine Studies: Palestine Solidarity and “The Business of Backlash”
Mint Press: Pro-Israel Funders Target Surging Israeli Apartheid Week http://www.mintpressnews.com/pro-israel-funders-target-surging-israeli-apartheid-week/203844/

October 30, 2015

Guardian Opinion Editor denies all knowledge of Guardian Editorial Opinion

An utterly bogus hasbara piece on The Guardian website titled The Guardian view on the war of knives in Israel and the West Bank and subtitled Editorial prompted an interesting twitter exchange.

Here are some chunks from the editorial:

For openers:
Off-duty soldiers go jogging with submachine guns slung across their chests. Men and women who have never owned a firearm hesitate at the door of gun shops after the laws on weapon ownership were relaxed. People eat at home, and plan their trips to the supermarket or their bus journeys to avoid the places where the Palestinian stabbing attacks, which have surprised and frightened Israelis in recent weeks, seem most likely.
The issue here is "the Palestinian stabbing attacks" and the Israeli response.  Palestinian actions couldn't possibly themselves be a response.
On the Arab side, parents worry that a loved son or daughter will decide to trade their own life for that of an Israeli, or that a family member will be caught in crossfire.
Not deliberately killed by Israelis simply for being Palestinian.
at the last count, nine Israelis dead, although with more than 60 Palestinians killed as armed Israelis reacted to the attacks or tried to forestall attacks they thought imminent. The Palestinian dead include some who were demonstrators, not perpetrators, some who were killed in error, and some who just got in the way. 
Wow, a concession to the idea that Palestinians might, just might, get killed by Israelis simply for demonstrating.

Well it was only a small concession and it was soon marred by this little gem:
For one thing it is hard to imagine that the influence of jihad movements beyond Israel’s and Palestine’s borders has not played a part in inflaming young minds, a development that must be bad news for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Which brings us to Twitter and a tweet from Ben White:
He quickly followed up with a question to Jonathan Freedland whose profile page at The Guardian reads:
Jonathan Freedland is the Guardian's executive editor, Opinion, overseeingComment is freeeditorials and long reads.
Here's the question:
And here's Jonathan Freedland's response:
Then David Aaronovitch appears in the thread:
"Well, you know..", as Ben White points out, it's in Jonathan Freedland's job description and he often opines in The Guardian and elsewhere in favour of Israel.  I'm fed up with embedding, copying and pasting but you can follow the thread for yourself where you'll see that Aaro seems to be saying that there are lots of people at The Guardian with the same JD and who write about Palestine.  But I think there is only one person with the JD which states, that the person in question is the Guardian's executive editor, Opinion, overseeing Comment is freeeditorials and long reads and that is Jonathan Freedland.

Now surely that makes it fair to assume that Jonathan Freedland was responsible for an editorial comment at The Guardian or if he's not directly responsible he could "provide some insight into how such an 'observation' made it into the editorial."

He claims that he can't.

October 23, 2015

Netanyahu the historian?

Apparently Bibi's dad was a historian. That's according to Anschel Pfeffer in today's Jewish Chronicle. Look:
According to Mr Netanyahu - whose father was a lauded historian - Hitler asked Al-Husseini: "What should I do with them [the Jews]?" He replied: "Burn them."
 I don't know if Netanyahu Senior was a zionist "historian" or a historian who happened to be a zionist but clearly Netanyahu Junior is no historian.

But then Aschel Pfeffer is no historian either.  Watch how he stumbles into no-shit-Sherlock territory:
Some commentators said that Mr Netanyahu's words revealed either that he sees the conflict between Israel and its immediate neighbours as a continuation of the Holocaust, or that he is prepared to manipulate history for political purposes.
Wow, there's an insight.  Zionist leaders play the holocaust card for political advantage.

Norman Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry is available in good bookshops, at least it was several years ago. It might of interest to wannabe historians like Netanyahu Junior and Anschel Pfeffer.

October 21, 2015

Shooting the Eritrean: What was the "mistake" exactly?

It looked quite deliberate to me:


Bibi: not just a Zionist Revisionist, he's a Holocaust Revisionist too

Bibi Netanyahu has made a complete dick of himself again.   Addressing the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem he said that Hitler had no plans for the holocaust until that British invention, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, persuaded him to carry it out.  Here's Marcus Dysch in The Jewish Chronicle:
Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed Hitler only decided to carry out the Final Solution after being convinced by a Palestinian leader.
Speaking at the World Jewish Congress, the Israeli Prime Minister said the plan to exterminate European Jews was developed after the Nazi leader met the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
Of course being written by Marcus Dysch they had to get something wrong. It wasn't the World Jewish Congress Bibi was addressing, it was the World Zionist Congress. Anyone would think that the JC uses the words Jewish and Zionist interchangeably.

October 17, 2015

Demonstration for Palestine

Demonstration for Palestine 

Today: Saturday 17th October, 12 noon-2pm 

Outside the Israeli Embassy, Kensington High Street.  

End the occupation! End the killing!

Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign

October 14, 2015

Zionists outnumbered at their own demo

As far as I can tell from the Jewish Chronicle and its twitter account Zionists were outnumbered by Palestine solidarity supporters on a demonstration outside the Palestinian mission in London organised by some major Zionist groups for last night (13/10/2015).  Here's the JC:
An estimated 70 pro-Israel supporters gathered outside the Palestinian Mission in London on Tuesday evening to protest against the lack of condemnation for recent terrorist acts in Israel.

Is that the BNP and EDL in the background?

And here's a tweet retweeted by the @JewishChron account:
So not UK Zionism's most successful outing.

October 12, 2015

Racists appropriate anti-racist slogan #IsraeliLivesMatter

Giving another example of the working definition of chutzpah zionists are demonstrating against the Palestinian mission in London tomorrow under the hashtag #IsraeliLivesMatter.  Here's Jewish News:
A protest has been planned to take place outside the Palestinian Mission in response to the recent wave of violence, writes Jack Mendel.
The event will highlight the role that incitement has played in motivating attacks on Israelis in recent weeks, which has led to four Israelis deaths with hundreds injured across Israel, in stabbing, rock throwing and shooting incidents. 
Organised by the ZF in partnership with the Board of Deputies and other cross-communal organisations, the event has been set up on Facebook and on Twitter using the hashtag #IsraeliLivesMatter.
And here's Jewish Socialist Group:
 Emergency Counter Protest: Tuesday 13th October 5pm, 5 Galena Road, W6 0LT  The Board of Deputies has called a vigil outside the premises of the Palestinian Mission to protest “Palestinian violence and Incitement”, and has appropriated the anti-racist slogan “Black Lives Matter” to publicise the vigil with the hashtag #IsraeliLivesMatter. Several Jewish groups including the JSG are joining together in a counter protest under the slogan “End the Occupation - End the Killing”, recognising the fundamental role of the occupation in fuelling the current conflicts – and recognising too that the Palestinians are suffering far greater casualties and fatalities. Our counter protest will be at the same time as the Board’s protest, also near the Palestinian mission.Please make every effort to attend.JFJFP are meeting at 4.30pm  outside the Lyric Theatre, King Street, Hammersmith, and will walk to Galen Road from there

October 08, 2015

Gabriel Ash on Assad

I just stumbled on this little gem by my friend Gabriel Ash on Louis Proyect's marxmail thingy:

The immediate problem is indeed Assad. But that is the tip of the iceberg. Assad has been a stellar prince. He has fully grasped the potential of the current historical moment, the fortuna that opens possibilities for virtù, and acted on that understanding singlemindedly. Bombing one's own country to the stone age and expelling the majority of the people is a very high risk strategy, and few tyrants have survived it. But Assad has grasped where the world is today. He has correctly understood that defeating the threat of expanding democracy, everywhere, but especially in the Middle East, is not only the point of unity of all the world's powers, but even the dominant intellectual and cultural mood, and if he positions himself at that very point, he will be untouchable. He understood that none of his adversaries, not Turkey, nor the US, nor Israel, would risk his downfall if it meant an opening for popular empowerment. And the more he murders, the more he destroys, the more impossible it is it remove him without conceding the revolt. Syria is the 21st century Paris Commune. It is a flash of lightning that illuminates a furious global counter-revolution. Even hundreds of thousands of refugees are unlikely to change that. the EU would much rather build new concentration camps for them than risk inadvertently helping a popular victory against tyranny. About the left, the less one says the better.
Gabriel Ash

October 07, 2015

Yom Vanunu?

I've just received an email announcing a vigil at the Israeli embassy in London for Mordechai Vanunu on the day before his birthday.

Here's the email's content:
There will be a vigil for the nuclear whistleblower,Mordechai Vanunu(on the eve of his 61st birthday):

Israeli Embassy,Saturday,10th October, 12-2pm

The vigil will call for him to be allowed to leave Israel.

October 05, 2015

Jews for JC in the JC

I suppose most great religious identities have their schisms.  Muslims have Sunni and Shia, etc.  Christians have Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and so on.  Well if you read Counterpunch, Harry's Place or the Jewish Chronicle you will know that Jews have been a monolithic bloc throughout the millennia.  Well not any more. Jews are now divided into for or against Jeremy Corbyn and those for Jez even have a letter in the most recent edition of the Jewish Chronicle to proving that they exist. [12:40 pm, 7/10/2015 - I just got a call asking me to point out that there is a semi-formal group calling itself Jews for Jeremy and whilst there is an overlap between its members and the JC letter's signatories, not all if its members signed and not all of the letter's signatories are members of JfJ and not all of the signatories even support Jeremy Corbyn but I thought "for Jez" was convenient shorthand.]

The JC doesn't publish its letters page on line so I'm reproducing the letter here with a link to the Jonathan Freedland article it was criticising.
Dear Sir or Madam:
It must be galling for Jonathan Freedland and those who allege that Jeremy Corbyn is happiest when in the company of holocaust deniers, to find their warnings falling on stony ground.  Their problem is that despite the dog whistles, even they cannot bring themselves to accuse Corbyn of being anti-Semitic. [Friends who are enemies Jewish Chronicle September 17, 2015] 
Is it any surprise that the combined efforts of the Jewish Chronicle, Daily Mail and Board of Deputies have had no discernible effect?  Why should someone who has spent his parliamentary career opposing racism develop a soft spot for holocaust denial?  This is just another case of accusing anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians of being anti-Semitic.
Jeremy Corbyn has answered these allegations repeatedly, in the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian and elsewhere but Freedland and yourselves aren’t interested in explanations but in trying to get mud to stick.
According to Freedland “…15 years ago he attended meetings of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered, founded by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.” Since Eisen didn’t reveal himself as a holocaust denier until 2004, Jeremy Corbyn and the many others attending a fund-raising concert in 2001, including rabbis and MPs, would have had to have had psychic gifts.  All these allegations rest on the word of a self-confessed holocaust denier.
What is particularly ironic is that the JC's editor, Stephen Pollard, has said of arch anti-Semite Polish MEP Michal Kaminski: ‘It would be harder to find a greater friend in Brussels.’  (JC 9.10.09.).  Kaminski was leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists in the European parliament, a group initiated by Cameron and to which the Tories continue to ‘belong’.  He combines ardent Zionism with opposing a national Polish apology for the burning alive of 300 Jews in Jedwabne in 1941. 
Notwithstanding the Jewish Chronicle’s campaign, thousands of Jews voted for Corbyn.  These so-called ‘community’ leaders do not speak for British Jews who are critics of Israel, oppose the Occupation, or support secular, rather than faith schools. We have no recollection of participating in any democratic process to elect them. 
Yours faithfully,
In case you're wondering, the letter was published in full much to the surprise of its signatories detailed on Tony Greenstein's blog.