May 10, 2004

UK public isolated from Blair

Independent. /MOP poll
Should British troops pull out of Iraq by 30th June?
55 per cent: YES
28 per cent: NO
17 per cent: DON'T KNOW

May 09, 2004

Exposed Aaronovitch plays it safe

In a letter to The Observer Kevin Downey of Derry shows he is wise to Aaronovitch's shenanigans:

David Aaronovitch attempts to plant the seeds of exoneration for what took place in Abu Ghraib prison (Comment, last week). In Northern Ireland this twisted logic used to be called 'whataboutery' (yes, the Loyalist murders are horrific but what about the Provo bombings?).

We must dwell on the vile incidents in Iraq precisely because they were perpetuated by the 'representatives of justice'. This evil cannot be forgiven on the back of other evil. The existence of the photos is a blessing. We already know about the Saddams, Pinochets, Suhartos and Sharons of this world. Evil is evil.

Kevin Downey

Thank you Kevin Downey for introducing me to that word. I'd never heard it before and yet a Google search for it yields 217 results - only a few less than "Jews sans frontieres" gets today. Poor old Aaronovitch has had a tough 8 days though. In last week's Observer he had to tell a bit of a porky, revising his statement that "the Americans... in many ways, have acted in Iraq with extraordinary restraint" to "the restraint [he] had witnessed on the part of US troops in Baghdad". And in The Guardian he had to be corrected from falsely attributing quite serious errors of fact to Naomi Klein. He's playing it safe this week by filing an article on the American cult TV show: Friends. I wish him every success in his new career as a TV critic. Politics clearly isn't his forté.

May 08, 2004

Hutton answers

Well Hutton himself doesn't actually answer but I wrote to the inquiry website on 19/4/2004 and they replied just the other day. Now read on....

Dear Sir/Madam

Lord Hutton (aka "Hutton") said that he would investigate the leaking of the Hutton Report (aka "Hutton") to a newspaper. I haven't heard anything about the "Hutton" investigation into "Hutton". I wonder, has "Hutton" done a "Hutton" on "Hutton"? Or was he serious about an investigation?

Yours faithfully

Mark Elf

Here's the reply [name deleted to protect the innocent]

Thank you for your email of 19th April 2004 and I apologise for the delay in replying.

The investigation is still continuing into the disclosure by "The Sun" newspaper of some of the conclusions of Lord Hutton's report before its publication. In the light of the outcome, Lord Hutton will review what further steps he wishes to take.

I hope that this is helpful. [helpful? hmmm, not sure, what do you think?]

[Name here]

Inquiries Policy Division
Department for Constitutional Affairs
Selborne House
54-60 Victoria Street
London, SW1E 6QW

I'll see how people get on with The Guardian. slaughter saga and maybe run another £10 competition like guess when Hutton delivers his verdict on the leak. I'll think about that one. Hutton could tip someone off or pass himself off as someone else, take a guess, announce the findings and pocket my tenner. Hmmm, too risky. I'm gonna save my tenner.

Jewish Chronicle update

Obviously there's a fair bit about Sharon "losing" the referendum on "withdrawal" from concentration camp Gaza, leaving no Zionist presence but the army and the watchtowers. There's a quirky piece about a Professor Gideon Shimoni publishing a book that warns that Israel is in danger of becoming. an apartheid state. Of course, if it does, he says it will be the fault of the Arabs and "national religious right" in Israel, and nothing to do with Israel's ethnic cleansing, segregationist land laws or its malnutrition-causing barrier around the Palestinian ghettoes.
Don't go, there's more. There was a holocaust memorial event at the House of Commons on Tuesday. Now these events don't bother me but this one was organised by the so-called Holocaust Education Trust, Chaired by Lord Janner. They established their name by campaigning against. holocaust education in the form of the late Jim Allen's play: Perdition. Finally, as racist a letter as you will find in a community newspaper. In last week's JC it was said that a Palestinian woman became a suicide bomber to purge her "guilt" over not being able to have children. This, according to the letter writer was an "indictment of Palestinian. thinking and demonstrates the sheer impossibility of reaching "a settlement with such a morally corrupt society". No one in the JC seems to want to ask why the suicide bombings only began in 1994. It's almost as if they don't want their readers to know.

Suzanne Goldenberg does U-turn on Palestine

I have this unfortunate tendency to skim over the "factual" reports on Palestine in the mainstream media. I go for the comment, Op-Ed and so on. So I didn't notice until quite recently how pro-Israel The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart is. Also, whilst I've had some doubts (ok only one doubt that I can recall now) about Suzanne Goldenberg before, I don't know when she performed the U-turn that has her describing the armed fascist activists of Israel's illegal settlers in occupied territory as a "Jewish presence" as if the Jewish presence. is the problem and not the exclusivity of that presence, or the fact that the presence is armed, dangerous and extremely anti-Arab, or the fact that it overuses water and other resources while Palestinians suffer water shortages and third world rates of malnutrition. She is also suggesting that Bush is somehow making a concession to the Arabs by having this or that diplomat or government official, or even his very own house slave - Colin Powell - talk to this or that Palestinian as long as its not a real live Palestinian leader. Inexplicably they can talk to Arafat appointees but not to the elected Arafat himself.

Letter in The Independent

Democratic Palestine

"Sir: Peter Salomon's solution for Palestine (letter, 5 May) is for both sides not to look back, which is fine for the Israeli occupiers who have now annexed 90 per cent of the country, a no-go area for the indigenous Palestinians. Hopefully, he really means to see the demolition of the Apartheid Wall, the opening of roads to all, the reconstruction of Palestinian towns and villages, an end to 'targeted killings' and the repatriation of Palestinian refugees. The country could then call itself 'the only democracy in the Middle East'."

Martlesham Heath, Suffolk

May 07, 2004

Aaronovitch wrong: official

Get this. This is Corrections and clarifications in The Guardian. today: "In David Aaronovitch's report from Iraq, headlined So this is free Baghdad (G2, page 2, April 9), he said: "There are six, maybe 700 people outside the hotel ... where Saddam's statue was brought down ... This same demonstration that I witnessed was, according to Naomi Klein, composed of several thousand people, who were fired on by Iraqi army units, who killed four." In fact, Naomi Klein did not say that fire from Iraqi army units had killed four people. She said that there were reports of three demonstrators killed at a protest that took place the day before." So let's take stock of this. David Aaronovitch managed to get the number of the dead and the day they were killed wrong. These things happen. But this happened in a report about a recent report published in The Guardian. and this from a man who poured scorn on, the admittedly scornable, Michael Moore, for owning up to inaccuracy thus "How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?" Seemed fair enough to me especially when you consider the factual inaccuracies in Aaronovitch's writing. I don't have time for many now but my personal favourite was Aaronovitch using the death of an ANC stalwart to condemn a suicide bomber so: "Meanwhile, in South Africa, they mourned the death of Walter Sisulu, who lived a long life, showed a distinct lack of enthusiasm for violence, and was one of the greatest revolutionaries of the past 100 years. It's a shame that Sharif [the bomber] never met him." Shame Aaronovitch didn't either. Walter Sisulu was the founder the military wing of the African National Congress: Umkonto we Sizwe. (Spear of the Nation). The liberal Guardian. keeps Aaronovitch as an illiberal irritant. Surely they could get a more accurate one. Perhaps Richard Littlejohn's too expensive.

May 06, 2004

Guardian readers' editor goes for the £10 challenge

I wrote to The Guardian's. readers' editor yesterday to complain at what I said was Conal Urquhart's pro-Israel bias and to offer my reward if he could locate any reports. in The Guardian. describing killings by Israel as "slaughter". Well he enthusiastically rose to the challenge; in fact a bit too enthusiastically. He suggests that there are hundreds of articles in his database when you punch the words "slaughter", "Israel" and "Palestine" into the search bar. Well he obviously didn't grasp the rules of the challenge. I didn't say that The Guardian. never uses the word "slaughter" when reporting on Palestine; I said that they only use that word to describe the killing of Israelis. Also even if all 360 articles did describe Israeli killings of Palestinians as "slaughter" entrants have to give the link to a specific report doing this. Must try harder. Still he is saying that such reports exist so keep trying out there.

Still no takers

I know ten pounds sterling isn't a princely sum but all you have to do is look for balanced reporting in a "liberal" newspaper. I have received one attempt at finding the word "slaughter", used in The Guardian. newspaper, to describe the killing of Palestinians by Israel. That turned out to be a description of a Palestinian attack on Israelis. So until 18/5/2004 (or 5/18/2004 if you're American) the tenner is still on offer to the first. person to find an emotive report in The Guardian. describing dead Palestinians as the victims of "slaughter".

May 05, 2004

£10, €15 or $15 challenge

Yesterday The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart described a Palestinian attack on a settler family in Gaza as "slaughter". I am offering £10 sterling or the non-sterling equivalent to anyone who can find a report in The Guardian. describing the Israeli killing of Palestinians as "slaughter". It has to be in a "report" and not Op-Ed as they say. The report has to be from between when Ehud Barak made his "generous offer" ie September 2000 and now. It should be easy to win this tenner. The ratio of the dead is 3 Palestinians to every 1 Israeli. The Guardian. has two reports on the "slaughter" of Israelis. So there must surely be a report in a liberal newspaper like The Guardian. describing the killing of Palestinian civilians, women and children as "slaughter". Go on it's easy. Go to The Guardian. website and punch the word "slaughter" into their search bar. Then when you find the article describing an Israeli massacre as "slaughter", email me with your name and address and I'll send you the tenner. Simple or what? I've even sent The Guardian's. Jonathan Freedland an invitation to place a bet. He obviously doesn't need the money.

Jonathan Freedland carefully picks up the wrong end of the stick

Hard to pin down Jonathan Freedland sometimes. Here he argues that Israel was held to account over Jenin and that therefore Britain and America should be held to account over Falluja. He also says that the US and Britain are occupiers too. Two problems here. First, Israel has never been held to account over Jenin. Second, Israel is not just an occupier; it is an apartheid state based on ethnic cleansing. Further, he subscribes to the "blow to Sharon" school referring to the Likud's rejection of his "disengagement plan" but Zionism always deploys its hard right to make any offer to the Palestinians look like a concession. I remember when Rabin won an election quite narrowly on a "peace ticket", the late Chaim Bermant said that "Rabin did not do as well as he feared"! Nothing has gone badly for Sharon so far and this Likud vote is no exception.

May 04, 2004

Guardian thanked for sympathy with armed fascist activists

An American, Alan Kolnik, has written to The Guardian. to thank them for Conal Urquhart's openly siding with the war criminals. Mr Kolnik's flattery has clearly paid off. In the same issue Urquhart describes the killings of a settler woman and her daughters as "slaughter". I'm offering a reward for anyone who can find a mainstream report in The Guardian. that refers to the Israeli army "slaughtering" Palestinian women and children since September 2000. The condition for the reward is that it must be in a report, not a comment or opinion. It must be by a Guardian. man or woman in Palestine. It must be between September 2000 and today. So the reward is UK£10 to the first person who emails me a link to a Guardian. report where the word "slaughter" is used to describe Palestinians being killed by Israelis. Offer closes midnight 18/5/2004, that's 5/18/2004 if you're in the US.

May 03, 2004

Ariel Sharon writes for The Guardian

Blow [what blow?] for Sharon as Gaza plan rejected
Consider the following paragraphs from Conal Urquhart's report on the Likud party membership's rejection of Sharon's partial annexation of the occupied territories.

CONAL URQUHART: But the prime minister hinted he would not take no for an answer, promising merely to "examine" the result before proceeding with a plan to deliver peace and security. [my italics].

ARIEL SHARON: One thing is clear to me - the Israeli people did not elect me to sit on my hands for four years. I was elected to find a way to bring the peace and security. [my italics] that (Israelis) so deserve.

Then consider the headline: "Blow for Sharon" What blow would that be? The fact that the Likud membership has made Sharon's plan look like the "painful. concessions" he has said he is willing to make? Is that a "blow for Sharon"? I'm thinking about this. Aha! the penny's dropped. The Likud movement has struck a "blow for Sharon", hence Urquhart's celebratory headline.

Why doesn't The Guardian just cut out the middle man and let Ariel Sharon write up his own reports?

May 02, 2004

Aaronovitch still can't let go

Aaronovitch admits he was wrong! Not really. He's just slightly rewritten an article from 11/4/2004. In today's Observer
he says that he attracted criticism over "talking about the restraint [he] had witnessed on the part of US troops in Baghdad. ". What he actually said was "the many ways, have acted in Iraq with extraordinary restraint". [note: not just Baghdad - Iraq. ] Not quite the same as US troops watching their manners in front of the world's press in Baghdad.

May 01, 2004

Howard Jacobson: Only Jew haters love Arabs

Check out Howard Jacobson in The Independent. today. He has two basic arguments here that are so Judeocentric they should be laughable. The problem, as with so much Zionist apologia and polemics, it's being published in a serious newspaper. Anyway, in a nutshell, people compare the ethnic cleansing, expansionist war criminals of the State of Israel to the Nazis to upset Jews because when you mention the Nazis you "remind Jews of their greatest loss" and you suggest that all Jews deserved the Holocaust. Impeccable logic! The other point is that the only reason people like, sympathise with or have (in Jacobson's words) "romantic feelings" towards non-Jews in the Middle East is because they hate Jews. Really, that's it. This quote is given specific prominence in the print version of the article: "It chills my heart, this entertaining of romantic. (my italics) feelings towards non-Jewish inhabitants of the Middle East". In other words hate Arabs as Jacobson and the Zionist movement do lest you chill the heart of these media savvy polemicists and smear merchants.

April 30, 2004

A better class of torture

Something strange at The Guardian. on line.. The print edition has the, now notorious, picture of the hooded, wired Iraqi PoW. But the picture of the print edition on line doesn't have the picture. The pictures of the torture of Iraqi prisoners are grotesque but, apparently, life is still better for these victims than under Saddam!

War of words

Terry Jones getting into a semantic argument and winning hands down. He should take on the Jewish Chronicle if he enjoys a good word game. He'd find that denying people (in this instance Jewish people) the right to carry out an ethnic cleansing campaign and to establish and maintain an apartheid state (in this instance, Israel) is "deeply anti-Semitic" - "deeply" though. The German President Johannes Rau said that. Does the German government really believe that it can make up for the ethnic cleansing of Jews by supporting ethnic cleansing by Jews? Apparently it does. I wonder what Terry thinks. No...I don't want to know, just in case.

April 29, 2004

Ilan Pappe : As long as the plan contains the magic term 'withdrawal', it is seen as good

Ilan Pappe warns that Israel is heading for disaster

Ilan Pappe is definitely one of the good guys in Israel. He is one of the original supporters of the academic boycott of Israel and he is calling for sanctions in the London Review of Books article above.

ADL gives the game away

Another day, another European conference on anti-Semitism. This time the so-called Anti-Defamation League (aka the Anti-Definition League) has really put its foot in it. Consider this:
"An Anti-Defamation League report on Monday said anti-semitic views were on the wane in most EU states, but distrust of Israel was rising." So there we have it. Anti-Semitism is in decline but Israel's conduct is earning it public disapprobation. So why are we wasting time, money and newsprint on conferences "on" anti-Semitism?

April 28, 2004

Bring back our hypocrisy say former diplomats

Revolt grows as MPs and military back diplomats' fears

I can't understand why George Bush openly describing American Middle East policy since 1967 is considered a setback. The Sharon "plan" doesn't seem to differ from what the Clinton-Barak axis was offering back in Setember 2000? Then Clinton blamed Arafat for rejecting the proposals which left illegal settlements in tact and refugees displaced. So what are these ex-diplomats beefing about? Did they really take their absurd wranglings over the last 50 odd years seriously?

April 27, 2004

My MP signs EDM on Palestine

Having complained about my MP - Jon Cruddas, Dagenham - not replying to my emails he has now replied to the latest one asking him to sign an Early Day Motion on Palestine:

"That this House expresses strong concerns about the comments of President George W. Bush on 14th April, endorsing Ariel Sharon's proposed Disengagement Plan; notes that the partisan nature of President Bush's comments have undermined the Road Map and believes that his uncritical approach has emboldened Israel to continue with its policy of assassinations which is not only illegal but sets back the cause of peace; further notes that the 14th April exchange of letters between President Bush and Ariel Sharon prejudices the Road Map's stipulation that final status issues including Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements and water should be matters for joint agreement between the parties rather than imposition by Israel; further notes that the US President's comments contradict international law and existing UN resolutions on the illegality of Israeli settlements and the rights of Palestinian refugees; welcomes, however, the Israeli Government's decision to remove its settlements from the Gaza Strip and calls on Israel also to withdraw its military presence, arranging these withdrawals through proper negotiation with the Palestinian Authority; and further calls on the quartet of the UN, EU, Russia and USA to reassert its collective responsibility for the Road Map and to take immediate steps to secure the implementation of UN resolutions to achieve Israeli withdrawal from all territories it illegally occupies, justice for the refugees and security for Israel alongside a viable and independent Palestinian state."

Reading it now I'm not sure it's worth the candle. It's yet another plea for an unviable Palestinian state on 22% of Palestine. Still it discomfits that imbecile Blair so it's not all bad.

Robert Fisk: A Warning to Those Who Dare Criticize Israel in the US

I missed this because I'm so busy with The Guardian et al.

Robert Fisk is a wonderful, if a tad over-emotional, commentator on the Middle East. The bit about Webster's, the official American-English dictionary, defining anti-Semitism as:"opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel" is particularly scary. If someone in a pub told me this I would accuse them of reading too much "protocols". But, alas, it's true. The Zionists have tampered with Webster's. Be afraid, be very afraid.

April 26, 2004

Q.Why are there still hostilities between Arabs and Israel?

A: Because Hizbullah runs a quiz show about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Well that's according to Conal Urquhart in today's Guardian.

I thought it might be the Zionist movement's ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of Palestine, the establishment of an apartheid state in their place and relentless aggression to the natives and neighbours (especially the Lebanese) of Palestine. Lucky I read The Guardian. to keep me on the liberal straight and narrow.

April 25, 2004

Who is a Jew?

It's a vexed question. As mentioned below (well, in the archives by now) if you looked up the word "Jew" on Google a few weeks ago the first site on the list would be Jewwatch: a neo-Nazi site. There was a campaign to have people link with Wikipedia by way of the word "Jew". And here things become politically ambiguous. I was happy to link in with wikipedia for a non-Nazi definition of who is a Jew. The problem is that the wikipedia definitions are distinctly Zionist. Satmar and Neturei Karta - - are anti-Zionist and are strictly excluded from wikipedia. Moreover, the neo-Nazi "Jewwatch" site, according to the Zionist Jewish Chronicle (UK) has lost its hosting through pressure brought to bear on the hosts. But wait, there's more. Google has now rigged its search facility so that when you look for the word "Jew" a disclaimer by Google appears in the top left corner. Anyway when you click on this an "explanation" by Google takes you, ultimately, to two Zionist organisations: The Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Internet Association. The neo-Nazis of "Jewwatch" have got their come uppance for the time being but free speech on Israel may suffer in the medium to long term.

Dame Porter finally pays (a pittance)over votes scandal

Lawyers and accountants acting for Westminster Council have accepted a quarter of the £40 million plus owed to the Council by Dame Shirley Porter: the Tesco heiress, on account of her social cleansing scam in Westminster in the 1980s. Deals between creditors and debtors are struck all the time but in this instance the creditor had possession of £34 million of the £42 million owed. So the arch-criminal Dame Porter is actually getting a refund since the Council are only retaining £12 million. Dame Porter had pleaded poverty saying that she was down to her last £300,000. Apparently she won't face any other punishment for the social cleansing ("homes for votes") scandal which led to one of her Council colleagues, Dr.Michael Dutt, committing suicide. I wonder why creditors in possession of £34 million would then settle for a "mere" £12 million. Compare this with the strange case of former fugitive from US justice, Marc Rich. Clinton granted him a pardon and when asked why, he said that it was because of Israel. Dame Porter was holed up in Israel when she struck her "pardon" deal exposing herself as a liar but getting away with £22 million, if the £34 million was "all" she was good for, or over £30 million if, as is more likely, she had even more loot stashed away. I am asking if Israel had a hand in this. Official Israel gets away with a lot of criminality against Americans and Brits: they kidnapped Mordechai Vanunu in London (luring him from there to Rome) with no questions asked, they have murdered three Brits lately, Tom Hurndall, James Miller and Iain Hook, they bulldozed American solidarity activist Rachel Corrie, Clinton pardoned Marc Rich at Israel's request and now the UK has compromised with a criminal whose hand they have in the till. Why? Well the Jew-haters will say that it's the insidious power of the Jews. Me? I think it's the fault of appeasement. We committed such enormous crimes and deceptions in order to get Israel established as an apartheid state based on ethnic cleansing we have to keep appeasing the racist war criminals for fear of having our own wrong-doing exposed. Of course there are other issues around our "special relationship" with America but the idea of any institution passing up £22 million it had its hands on needs more than a glib explanation.

April 24, 2004

Hooray for Hollycaust: Ronald Harwood

Use holocaust to promote Israel, says Pianist. screeplay writer

Holocaust movies are mere Zionist propaganda says Zionist propagandist: Ronald Harwood, as reported in this week's Jewish Chronicle. Obviously Israel has no right to exist on the basis of ethnic cleansing and apartheid laws; no state does. It can't use national. self-determination arguments: Jews come from many countries, speak many different languages and enjoy different cultures. So the Zionists have to fall back on the "where else can Jews live" argument. That's still not a very good one considering that a good two thirds of the world's Jews come from outside of Israel and most Israelis weren't born there. So, according to The Pianist. screenplay writer, Ronald Harwood, Zionists have to keep making Holocaust movies like The Pianist. and Schindlers' List . Hooray for Hollycaust, there's no business like Shoah business, etc. Any more? There will be.

How hopes of peace are undermined

Neville Nagler, of the self-styled Board of Deputies of British Jews, identifies the problem of the Middle East. It's the Arabs' fault. Yes, first there was al-Qaida, Hamas and Islamic Jihad (rising as they did in the 1980s) then the Zionist movement carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Arabs of Palestine starting in November 1947 and first mooted in the 1890s, then they attacked Egypt in 1956, then they conquered the presently occupied territories (and more) in 1967, then the Arab states launched a counter attack in 1973, then Israel embarked on yet another genocidal campaign in 1982. And yet somehow all this happened because of the actions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida. Remarkable! This isn't history repeating itself; it's history working in reverse. Fiendishly clever these Zionists.

April 22, 2004

Weapon of mass distraction and it's coming our way

Letters in both Guardian and Independent suggest that Blair is holding, or at least talking about holding, a referendum on the EU because he wants to distract attention from his humiliations over Iraq/Palestine. But why aren't any of our politicians or journalists saying so? I suppose it's because they mostly want a referendum and they don't care why we're going to have one.

In The Guardian

Tony Blair sets a hare running about a referendum that may or not happen in a couple of years. Gears grind, Tories gibber impotently, and news of his disastrous adventures in Iraq disappears into an inside page. Who's a clever boy?
Peter Dunn
Bridport, Dorset

In The Independent

Sir: When Blair was in trouble earlier over WMDs, Campbell diverted attention with the BBC row. After a disastrous meeting with Bush, the Middle East Road Map in tatters and Iraq in a mess, Blair steps off the plane and diverts our attention with the referendum show. Don't be fooled again. Keep your eyes on the ball.

Caxton, Cambridgeshire

Now See Martin Rowson 3 days ago in The Guardian or "Condi" or "U-turn" below.

April 21, 2004

"Attacking Jews is mainstream" says Independent's Marie Woolf

[Here in Full]

Anti-Semitism is 'infecting' British politics, MPs warn

By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent

21 April 2004

MPs have warned that the "virus" of anti-Semitism is beginning to infect mainstream politics in Britain, as figures show a record number of attacks on Jews last year.

The former cabinet minister Stephen Byers said yesterday that the "line is now being crossed from legitimate criticism" of the Israeli government into "demonisation, dehumanisation of Jews and the application of double standards". [how about explaining what or where the line is?]

In a debate in the House of Commons, James Purnell, chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, criticised caricatures and cartoons of Jews in the media as dangerous. He said: "Today overt anti-Semitism is still taboo, but anti-Semitism is a virus that once again has started to infect our body politic." [Did he give any examples?]

The warnings come after an unprecedented number of attacks on Jews in Britain last year, including desecration of synagogues and cemeteries. [not true. The high point, going by Community Security Trust stats was 2000. But please look at their stats - I'm not linking to their site. Google them - one category is "suspicious behaviour". There were 94 cases of people behaving suspiciously anti-Semitically. How do people do that?] Jewish women walking down the street have been attacked by strangers, and Jewish schools and community centres have been put on a high state of alert. [a high state of alert, but what actually happened?]
Mike Whine, of the Community Security Trust, which defends Jews against attacks in Britain, [not very successfully according to itself.] said: "We have seen a year-on-year rise since September 2000 of anti-Semitic incidents and, unfortunately, also an increase in violent attacks against both religious institutions and persons. The Jewish community has been at a high level of security since the threat to attack Jewish communities announced by al-Qa'ida two years ago. Increasingly, anti-Semitic discourse is influenced by the Middle East and the anti-Zionism of the far left."

There were 375 attacks in Britain last year, [see above] part of a rising number of anti-Semitic incidents within Europe which has been blamed [without any evidence] on the far right and Islamic extremists. The attacks have been linked [without evidence] to unease about Israel's policies towards the Palestinians and its campaign of assassinations and enforced curfews.
Yesterday, MPs warned that anti-Israeli feeling should not spill over into
criticism of Jews in general, [it usually doesn't, but is anti-Semitism really what is on the agenda here?] many of whom do not support the policies of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon [, or Zionism, or the right of Israel to be a Jewish state rather than a democratic secular one].

Stephen Byers, a former transport secretary [resigned for dishonesty] who chairs the committee on anti-Semitism, said that anti-Israeli criticism should not be used as "a cloak of respectability" for racist views. [it rarely is] He said there was the danger of the development of an "intellectual argument" bolstering anti-Semitic feeling. "We need to be robust on confronting anti-Semitic views wherever these may occur," Mr Byers said.[uh-oh. Is he talking censorship?]

Mr Purnell said memories of the Holocaust had largely inoculated Europe
against anti-Semitism for 60 years, but some people on the extreme left had
allowed themselves to find "some extremely strange bedfellows" in their criticism of Israel. [name some names] "During the anti-war protests there were some really terrifying pictures of individuals dressed up as suicide bombers holding banners with the Star of David and an equals sign to a swastika," he said. "This apparent embrace of such symbols by the anti-war left is absolutely astounding." [The comparison of the Nazis to any aggressor is routine among demonstrators since World War II. This is particularly true of racist states based on ethnic cleansing like South Africa, Rhodesia and, yes, Israel. The equation of the Swastika with the Israeli or Zionist flag is the continuation of an anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-war tradition. Nothing astounding there except the fact that MPs are spending lots of time on what seems to be another tedious and transparent Zionist propaganda stunt.]

Vanunu release today...maybe

Vanunu to be release after a fashion. He is expected (according to The Guardian et al) to be released into the arms of police who will take him into house arrest. Many people from around the world (aka the international community) are there to greet him. The media keep referring to him as having been kidnapped in Rome. He was lured to Rome from London so he was kidnapped in London. What did London do about this Israeli crime in the UK? You're getting good at this. Absolutely nothing, unless Blair mentioned it privately to Bush, who mentioned it privately to Sharon. But only Andrew Rawnsley would know that. We'll have to wait for next Sunday's Observer.

Reality television?

Arthur Neslen (who has worked for suggests that Al-Jazeera has a track record of accurate reporting - which is why its journalists have been criminalised and its offices bombed. This story needs to be updated with every American invasion. Al-Jazeera always becomes a target often primed as such by a public statement by an American official.

April 20, 2004

A touch of the Balfours

It's just not fair. I have written to my MP - Jon Cruddas, Dagenham - three times since 2/2/04 (ok 4 if you count today), asking him to find out why the Government keeps announcing policy on the Middle East to the Zionist movement before it announces it to Parliament. He hasn't replied. Now a Mike Gwilliam has asked the same question in The Independent:

Sir: On 25 March 2003, Jack Straw stated: "Our policy remains that clearly laid down in [UN] resolutions... a [Palestinian] state based on the 1967 borders, an end to the [Israeli] settlements, ...a solution to the refugee problem." (Hansard, column 143) Last week, when the Prime Minister acquiesced to the Bush-Sharon deal, he unilaterally abandoned all three principles. Can the Prime Minister remind us when he announced to Parliament this fundamental change in long-standing British policy? I cannot seem to find a reference anywhere in Hansard?

London E3

So now what do I conclude? The Independent is a mainstream newspaper and its editor - Simon Kelner - is Jewish. So what's wrong with my MP? Is he not worried that the Zionist movement and occasionally the world get told of profound policy changes before the party or Parliament? Apparently not.

Abdullah says "not now George..not yet"

Jordan's King Abdullah postpones visit to the USA. Jordan is a major recipient of US aid and home to most Palestinian refugees. It's this latter fact that gives the Zionists the chutzpah to say that "Jordan is Palestine". That and the fact that Jordan was a part of Palestine mandated to Britain by the League of Nations. Britain hived off the land east of the River Jordan and gave it to the Hashemite royal family. Later the Hashemites would collaborate with the Zionists to carve up the West Bank between the then King Abdullah (sic) and the fledgling State of Israel. Come to think of it, if Gaza is the most densely concentrated tract of land on earth and Israel keeps most of the West Bank, where can the Palestinian refugees return to? Not the East Bank (Jordan) surely? Don't feel too bad for Abdullah but the poor chap walks a fine line indeed.

If you can't beat 'em

the Guardian joins 'em by publishing a Stuart Parker's letter denouncing most mainstream, including The Guardian's, Iraq war coverage as follows:

Ronan Bennett asks "Who will speak out" about Falluja (Comment, April 17)? Answer: none of them! They are a shower of spineless bastards. Edit that how you like.
Stuart Parker
Aughton, Lancs

Well done that man!

April 19, 2004

Who is a Jew?

This is a vexed question. It was the difference between life and death during the holocaust. It determined where you could live under the Tsarist May Laws and it still does under Israel's delegated land laws. Many people are interested in the Jews as a people so what most people who want to know about a subject nowadays do is look it up on Google. And this is where it all gets unpleasant. The number one slot in the Google results for the word "Jew", today anyway, is a neo-Nazi site so there is a campaign afoot to link to the definition of "Jew" because the more links a site gets, the higher up the Google search results it goes. Mind you I'm not sure if agree with the wikipedia definition. It calls us a "nation" at one point. But what is a nation? The people of a country perhaps? When you consider that about two thirds of the world's Jews don't come from Israel and most Jews in Israel don't come from there then what country do Jews come from? I mean we can't be called a nation like, say, the French or the Irish. Also Wikipedia lists lots of different types of Jews: religious, secular, Chasidic, Karaite, etc. but it doesn't seem to have heard of Satmar or Neturei Karta. In fact it doesn't seem to have heard of any anti-Zionist Jews. It's almost as if they have an agenda other than defining who is a Jew. Still rather Wikipedia than the neo-Nazis. But what a distinction.

Blair changes mind about U-turn

Can you believe this guy? He floats the idea of an EU referendum to distract people from what's happening in Iraq and Palestine. Then he realises that the EU business could be as career damaging as Iraq and Palestine put together so he does a semi-U-turn on his U-turn. I think we call that a zig-zag. That way he gets (or hopes to get) all of the benefits of a moot discussion on the EU and none of the costs of a losable referendum this side of a general election. This would be very clever but the twists and turns are making him look very silly. Martin Rowson, The Guardian's cartoonist puts it best.

Condi raises terror alarm: They may strike in U.S. before elections

Electioneering gambit by Condi (Dr!!!) Rice. Don't be cowards like the Spanish or al-Qaida will attack us, so vote for Bush. This scaremongering has the added advantage of taking focus away from Iraq. Meanwhile Blair too deploys his latest weapon of mass distraction: an EU referendum. Now, he hopes, we will be too busy talking about the EU to notice the slaughter in Iraq and Palestine and the fact that Bush and Sharon have made Blair look ridiculous.

April 18, 2004

Victory for Sharon?

So according to Bush, "might makes right". The Israelis can keep stolen territory and the victims of ethnic cleansing have to stay that way. It's curious that whilst many commentators are saying that this represents a defeat for the Palestinians and a rejection of his own stupid road map by Bush, there are a few Zionists suggesting that this isn't the case. Bernard Wasserstein and David Aaronovitch think that this signals an end to a certain version of the Zionist dream. And Blair, the king of obfuscation, says er...well ok, I don't quite understand what he says, except to say it's an opportunity for the Palestinians to "move forward". I think its a real slap in the face for the Palestinians and gives Sharon a green light for more murders and possibly even ethnic cleansing. But should we be pessimistic for the long-term? Remember 1984? There was a match made in heaven. Reagan and Thatcher denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. Ten years later South Africa was free of apartheid and Mandela was the President. Will this happen in the case of Palestine? Well it should. The problem here is that for all the people correctly identifying Israel as an apartheid state there doesn't seem to be an ANC demanding a one-state solution.

The third most hated country in the world

Alan Watkins in The Independent on Sunday becomes the first mainstream commentator to liken the Bush government to Hitler's. Well done that man! Just in case you haven't guessed, the third most hated country in the world is what Blair has made the UK, behind Israel in second place and America in first.

Weasel words of loyal courage?

Some good letters in The Observer today including a great one by me!

Blair's ludicrous claim that 'dictators would rejoice' if the occupation forces left Iraq is belied by events in other parts of the world.

The only head of state to be exiled since Saddam was toppled is Haiti's Aristide who was elected. Also, while Gadaffi has abandoned the WMD he didn't have and renounced terrorism abroad, he is still a dictator at home, now with the blessing of Blair.
Mark Elf

April 17, 2004

Israel assassinates Hamas leader Rantissi

Ariel Sharon is on a roll. George W.Bush has given him a small chunk of Gaza to militarise the border between Palestine and Egypt and most of the West Bank for illegal settlements. Now he's just killed another Hamas leader. Let's see what our government has to say about this. Blair won't say anything, Straw will come up with some appeal for restraint on both sides (ha ha) and Gordon Brown will freeze the bank accounts of Rantissi's next of kin (political next of kin that is).

Who will speak out?

Ronan Bennett

Busy day today what with a well attended demonstration at Downing Street. In the wake of US massacres in Falluja, where, asks Ronan Bennett, are MPs of conscience?

What does it take to get a New Labour politician to speak out on Iraq? I'm not talking about the likes of Blair, Hoon and Straw - key players so deeply implicated in the cruel tragedy of conquest and occupation that they have no option but to stay the course, even as it spirals into slaughter and chaos. But there are ministers and backbenchers with a history of commitment to human rights. What does it take to shock them out of their baffling silence?
Not the 600 or 700 Iraqis killed over the last fortnight in Falluja, it seems. Perhaps they believe, like the prime minister, that those attacking coalition troops are Saddam loyalists, al-Qaida fighters or religious fanatics, and deserve everything they get. Perhaps they have been reassured by General John Abizaid, head of the US Army's central command, who spoke of the coalition's "judicious use of force". Maybe they accept the reassurance of the commander of the US marines besieging the city that his men are "trained to be precise in their firepower", and that "95% of those killed were legitimate targets".

Let's accept for the moment that the commander is right and accept that the AC-130 gunships and F16 fighter-bombers unleashed against the people of Falluja are precise, that the 500lb bombs falling on the city come under the definition of judicious. Let's look at just a handful of the 5% of civilian casualties the Americans concede they have inflicted.

These include the mother of six-year-old Haider Abdel-Wahab, shot and killed while hanging out laundry; his father, shot in the head; Haider himself, and his brothers, crushed but dug out alive after a US missile struck their house. They include children who died of head wounds. They include an old woman with a bullet wound - still clutching a white flag when aid workers found her. They include an elderly man lying face down at the gate to his house - while inside terrified girls screamed "Baba! Baba!" They include ambulance crews fired on by US troops - and four-year-old Ali Nasser Fadil, wounded during an air strike. The New York Times reporter who found the infant in a Baghdad hospital described him lying in bed, "his eyes wide and fixed on a spot in the ceiling". His left leg had been crudely amputated. The same reporter found 10-year-old Waed Joda by the bedside of his gravely wounded father. "American snipers shot at us as we were trying to flee Falluja," said Waed.

Every one of these incidents has been documented by journalists, aid workers or medical staff. And there are plenty more. Even allowing for casualties caused by the Iraqi resistance, the dread catalogue of American-inflicted suffering and death is long and undeniable. At this point it's worth reminding ourselves that 5% of 600 is 30. But the evidence of the bodies alone gives the lie to the American account: at least 350 of the dead in Falluja have been women and children.

The Americans say they are engaged in a mission to bring to justice the perpetrators of the four security contractors - or mercenaries - killed and mutilated in the city on March 31. Locals see it differently. They describe their occupation, initially by troops of the US 82nd Airborne, as oppressive from the start. Almost as soon as they arrived, in April 2003, US soldiers killed 18 protesters during a demonstration. After six months of occupation, the 82nd Airborne had killed at least 40 civilians and police in the city.

In March, the 82nd Airborne were replaced by a Marine Expeditionary Force and, shortly afterwards, an American soldier was killed. On March 27, marines undertook a "sweep" through the city, described as "revenge" by Mohammed Albalwa, president of the city council. At least six Iraqi civilians, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed. It was in this heightened atmosphere that the mercenaries met their grisly deaths. No one can pretend that the assault on Falluja is anything other than retribution for the mercenaries - even members of the hand-picked Iraqi governing council accept it as such.

On all of this - a shameful and deafening silence. Politicians are not usually so tongue-tied. Remember Peter Hain, leader of the House, after bands of landless black poor invaded white-owned farms in Zimbabwe? The number of white farmers killed was a fraction of the toll of civilians who die every week in Iraq at the hands of coalition forces. Hain was swift to denounce Zimbabwe's government as "uncivilised". He spoke of his "horror" at the killings. Tyranny, he said, was "running riot in Zimbabwe" and "disfiguring the whole of the southern African sub-continent". So far, Hain has been silent about the horror wreaked by US firepower in Falluja and the disfigurement of Iraq by what has by any reckoning been a massacre.

And what about Chris Mullin, a former Tribune editor and now junior minister at the Foreign Office? Best remembered for his campaign to free the Birmingham Six, Mullin is frequently described as a friend of the underdog, with a commitment to human rights. Sadly, these qualities have not been much in evidence recently. Last summer Mullin defended to me the kangaroo courts held in Belmarsh prison, at which anonymous witnesses testify against men imprisoned by the home secretary without charge ("Better than sending them back to their countries of origin where they would be killed," he said). And though he was outraged by the denial of justice to the Birmingham Six, Guantánamo does not disturb him ("September 11 changed everything"). The underdogs of Falluja have yet to move Mullin.

Then there's Hilary Benn, international development secretary, who has spoken of Britain's responsibility to get Iraqi schools and hospitals up and running, to ensure a future for Iraqi children. But it isn't easy to square the rhetoric of international development with that of military occupation: the promise of a good education doesn't mean much to parents dodging US snipers to dig a hole in a sports field in order to bury their child.

The list of the shameful silent could go on: Angela Eagle, a longstanding leftwinger? Silent. Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, former stalwarts of the old National Council for Civil Liberties? Silent. Oona King, who in her maiden speech cited the 1880 Match Girls' strike, has spoken passionately about the 35,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases and denounced the "slaughter and oppression" of the Palestinians in Jenin. Silent. Joan Ruddock, former chair of CND. Silent. Ann Clwyd, defender of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs, who wrote: "Some will continue to argue that internal repression is not a matter of legitimate concern for other countries. I disagree. There are basic human rights that must be defended." Are we to take it, then, that external repression is acceptable? That the human rights of the inhabitants of Falluja are not worth defending? What has happened to these people? Many of them don't even have ministerial jobs to protect. I have yet to hear any of them acknowledge that what is going on in Falluja is wrong. That killing children is wrong, blasting their houses is wrong, blowing up mosques is wrong, burying a family under a ton of rubble is wrong.

Today the siege of Falluja continues. US troops are massing outside the holy city of Najaf. In the south, the situation has been further inflamed by the British Army shooting 15 people dead in Amara on April 6 (silence there, too). In Baghdad's Sadr City, camouflaged Humvees tour the streets with loudspeakers warning people not to leave their homes. No one seriously believes things are improving in Iraq under occupation. How long before our MPs speak out?

April 16, 2004

Ruby Wax update

Ruby Wax is boycotting the Zionist Federation's celebration of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. From her support for the so-called Jewish National Fund (see below) I presume it's not the ethnic cleansing that troubles her. A letter from the JNF to the Jewish Chronicle (pay per view website - better pay the 60p for the print edition which is often hilarious) quotes her as saying "I will no longer be attending as I do not agree with the Israeli government's decision to kill Sheikh Yassin. This has nothing whatever to do with [the JNF] and I am delighted to be here" [at a JNF fundraiser]. Funny how people cherry pick among the victims of ethnic cleansing and murder but then a quadriplegic nearly blind man leaving a mosque seems pretty low even by Zionist "standards".

April 15, 2004

Bin Laden's latest tape

I can't quite understand why it has been left to an Islamist terrorist to point out to our rulers that ethnic cleansing in Palestine and countless killings of Iraqis is actually morally wrong. Why can our leaders not just do the right thing? Why can't they withdraw their craven support for imperial America and the racist war criminals of the state of Israel? Simultaneously they can deal with the security problems of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. But simply because Osama Bin Laden is anti-Zionist and anti-war on Iraq doesn't mean we have to support ethnic cleansing or war-mongering for corporate profits in Iraq. Osama Bin Laden is an enemy. That doesn't make all of his enemies our friends.

End of the two state "solution" - Beginning of the end for Zionism

The Guardian refers to "rip[ing] up the roadmap". Good thing. It was such a stupid expression. So worthy of Bush and no-one else. The two-state settlement was equally absurd. Would an apartheid state with bantustans either side really bring peace? So the Zionists can occupy the whole of Palestine now and maintain a Guantanamo Bay in concentration camp Gaza. Where does Blair stand on all of this? Where do you think? With Bush and Sharon. America has lost control in Iraq and lost its mind in Palestine. Expect a further "uptick" in violence worldwide.

Another "was I wrong? no I wasn't!" comment

This time it's The Independent's Johann Hari. He's a bit like Aaronovitch only he doesn't have the leftist background so he can't be accused of knowing better. His Anglo-Iraqi friends like a bit of Harry Enfield apparently and think that the leader of one aspect of the rising against the occupation, Moqtada al-Sadr is the "Kevin the teenager" of Iraq. They are glad the invasion happened and believe that life is better since the invasion. Better for Iraqis in the UK or in Iraq? Don't even go there (as they say). Johann didn't, he stayed at home and watched television with his Anglo-Iraqi friends. I should have said that the link to Hari's comment is a tad superfluous. Would you believe it's pay per view? Don't...just don't. Buy the paper though. Their Middle East coverage is the best (though they have a Zionist editorial policy and have Eric Silver on the payroll - or is it vice versa), they came the closest to openly calling Lord Hutton a liar and they have a cartoonist - Dave Brown - to rival The Guardian's Steve Bell.

April 14, 2004

Terry Jones: Tony really must try harder

His essay on Iraq shows he has little grasp of his subject, world politics

The Guardian is so good today I might even go and buy a copy. Terry Jones runs a spoof comment on Tony Blair's "historic struggle" essay that appeared in sunday's Observer.

"Dear Mr and Mrs Blair,
I have just had to mark Tony's essay, Why We Must Never Abandon This Historic Struggle in Iraq, and I am extremely worried.

Your son has been in the sixth form now for several years, studying world politics, and yet his recent essay shows so little grasp of the subject that I can only conclude he has spent most of that time staring out of the window.

His essay, of course, is written with his usual passion and conviction, but, in the real world, passion and conviction do not count for many marks.

Crucially, Tony does not seem to have read any of the first-hand accounts that are easily available and describe what is really going on in Iraq. On the recent escalation in violence, for example, he writes: "The insurgents are former Saddam sympathisers ... terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida and, most recently, followers of ... Moqtada al-Sadr." This is simply not good enough. Tony ignores the multitude of reports indicating that revulsion against the occupation is now widespread among ordinary people."

Devastating intellect from Paul Foot

The beam in Bremer's eye

"Mote and beam, Sir" was a cheeky riposte in a winning sketch in the 1960s satire show Beyond the Fringe. It was a reference to a biblical warning to pompous critics of their fellows. Such critics should, the Bible warns, consider first the beam (great big splinter) in their own eyes before criticising the mote (tiny speck) in other peoples' eyes.
The mote and beam comparison keeps making imbeciles of the dwindling band of ministers and functionaries who seek to defend the military invasion and grisly occupation of Iraq. Paul Bremer is the blinkered reactionary in charge of the administration of that country. Bremer was described in a special Financial Times profile last week as "an imposing figure with a devastating intellect".

Last week, in the middle of the growing chaos in Iraqi cities, Bremer savagely denounced groups "who think power in Iraq should come out of the barrel of a gun". He was not apparently referring to the US and British armed forces who seized power in Iraq (and put him into his powerful post) entirely and exclusively by sustained use of the barrels of thousands of guns, not to mention helicopter gunships, guided missiles, cluster bombs and weapons of people destruction of every conceivable kind. Bremer, in short, is an "imposing figure" in Iraq only because he was able to rely on the greatest firepower on earth.

Again last week, during the uprising in Falluja, Bremer became very annoyed with the insurgents, led, he alleged, by Sheikh Moqtada al-Sadr. On Tuesday last week I turned on the television to see Bremer angrily protesting that Sadr "basically tried to take control of the country". In an attempt to apply Bremer's "devastating intellect" to that sentence, I would define "the country" as Iraq, Sadr as a man who lives in that country, and Bremer, a career diplomat who lives in the US, as a man who not only tried but succeeded in taking over Iraq by force of arms without recourse to the people there (or even the United Nations).

What advice can we offer Bremer and his fellow imperialists, who keep denouncing Iraqi resistance to the invasion and occupation of their country for the violence and duplicity that they themselves regularly deploy? The mote and beam story appears twice in the New Testament, and each time the advice is spot on: "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote in thy brother's eye."

April 13, 2004

Tariq Ali: The Iraqi Resistance: a New Phase

"Its obvious that if Iraq were ever permitted democracy, the elected representatives would insist on the removal of all non-Iraqi troops, Iraqi control of Iraqi oil and possibly a long-term peace treaty with Iran. None of this would serve imperial interests. And Henry Kissinger and other vultures are suggesting the Balkanisation of Iraq. Hence the talk of an impending civil war. Hence the provocation of blowing up the pilgrims at Kerbela (a crime denied by every group in Iraq). Neither the Sunni nor the Shia clerics or the secular forces of Sunni and Shia origin are talking in terms other than the unity of Iraq against the colonial occupier. Ayotollah Sistani has had meetings with Sunni leaders to stress his belief in a united country and in private he has insisted that the Iranian model of clerical rule would be a disaster for Iraq. Moqtada Al-Sadr speaks of liberating Iraq, not the Shia. " Bizarre! How did Tariq Ali second guess Martin Kettle's article (below) a full three days before it appeared?

TINA to Tony: Martin Kettle in The Guardian

There is no alternative to Tony Blair's policy on Iraq

Breathtaking stuff by Martin Kettle today. He says that regardless of the rights or wrongs of the war we should support Blair in Iraq now. Some quotes from the article are magnificent: "He [Blair] was never fully honest about what he was doing and why he was doing it".[biggest understatement since Noah said "hmm looks like rain"] "But strip away the self-indulgent grandiosity, and the current core messages are still surely right" [no; strip away the "self-indulgent grandiosity" and there's nothing left]. "For what is the alternative to the current policy of achieving the best and most secure transition to Iraqi self-government that can be managed in the circumstances? Not even the most uncompromising of Blair's critics have much of an answer to that question." [really? what about those who criticise a constitution that avoids majority rule and guarantees foreign, certainly private, ownership of the bedrock of the economy?] "In most of Iraq, life goes on without lethal violence." This has been true of most of the whole world since the dawn of written history. Most places on earth are not afflicted with with lethal violence, but Iraq, and let's face it Palestine, have more than their fair share. "The only practical and principled course is to back him, though without illusions" [well I'm thinking about it..... Nope chuck him out and get the troops out of Iraq]

Kick Ken out again

I hardly noticed Ken Livingstone warming a cell for Ariel Sharon and distributing hemp for the Saudi royals. Just to show a Guardian reporter he hasn't lost his touch he said he wants to see Sharon in prison and the Saudi royals hanging from lampposts. Now, see above, he's being accused of racism in The Guardian letters page. It's true there's a lot of hypocrisy in the charges levelled at Arab despots. Its interesting that Saudi has more in common with Israel than some people realise. The Saudi family rule the country, that is named after them, on the hereditary principle. Take away that hereditary principle and you "destroy" the state. The state of Israel is an apartheid state based on ethnic cleansing, the victims of ethnic cleansing may not return to their homes in what became Israel in 1948 and Jews world-wide can settle almost anywhere in Israel, and in large parts of illegally occupied territory. This means that Israel, like Saudi, is constructed on the hereditary principle. Take away Israel's hereditary principle and it's "goodbye Israel". Take it from Saudi and "goodbye Saudi". Of course, people can convert to Judaism, but then people can marry into the Saudi royal family.

April 12, 2004

Guardian daily comment | It's time to judge the pundits

One I missed on the weekend. Good of Roy Greenslade to shine a light on the journalistic works of some, though not all, of the war party. David Aaronovitch does disingenuous with the best of them but Greenslade doesn't even mention him. It was a letter in today's Guardian that drew my attention to Greenslade's Saturday article:

Roy Greenslade, in his haste to condemn (It's time to judge the pundits, April 10), has forgotten to mention the Guardian's own David Aaronovitch, who was also "generously given space" for his pro-war stance.
Alison David

April 11, 2004

The Observer jumps through hoops to defend the occupation

The Observer

Editorial, Aaronovitch and even Blair himself are mobilised for a defence of the war on Iraq. Editorial blames banditry, Blair invokes the facing down of dictators and Aaronovitch says "all Iraqis (and Palestinians and Arabs generally) are liars". Well almost - but see for yourselves.