June 30, 2004
June 29, 2004
House of Lords.
June 28, 2004
June 26, 2004
June 25, 2004
Malcolm Balen to the JC: "I have never been someone who thinks one can detect bias simply by counting up the number of interviews on TV. There could be 100 interviews with Israeli government spokesmen but they could be quite critical [when?] and hard interviews. [I've got to admit he's funny this guy].....Equally you could say that if there are fewer Palestinian interviews, it's a sign that the BBC isn't asking enough hard questions of the Palestinians, not that it's biased in their favour.[ok so he lost the plot by the end or the journalist did]
Geoffrey Alderman in The Guardian (see link in title above, oh ok here it is again): "It's quality, not quantity that counts. By this I mean that the nub of the matter is what is said about the deaths of Israelis, and what is said about the deaths of Palestinians. Context is everything. A mere word-count [of media coverage] is useless."
So there we have it, the BBC and the JC kiss and make up and it's on the front page of the JC itself. I do love a happy ending! But what's this?
Remember back in early 2002, the "New" Statesman. published an edition with a cover showing a gold star of David on top of a union flag for a pro-Zionist story (literally a story) titled "A kosher conspiracy?" Well they were actually accused of anti-semitism for that which just goes to show that appeasement doesn't pay. Well now they have Simon Sebag-Montefiore engaging in the same pro-Zionist judeocentric tosh. But don't take my word. Read the article through and leave a comment. Here's a taste:
"This Heinzian principle of Juda-ism has been overshadowed by the contemporary image of Israel - and by the frenzied anti-Zionist, anti-American circus of bizarre conspiracy theories that present Jews as a single political "cabal" rather than the world's most diverse diaspora, a wealth of religious, cultural and racial communities, separate from Israel or America"
June 24, 2004
This article is well worth a read....
Zionism has always purported to be the prime or ultimate protector of Jews from anti-Semitism. The proposed solution has been mass emigration to what the Zionist's term Eretz Israel, ('the Land of Israel'), a term which means possession of the region for the Jews; this territorial notion corresponds to Biblical myths rather than to any clear geographical boundaries. The emigration itself has been termed aliyah ('ascent'). The term originally described Jews'
pilgrimage to Palestine as a duty of Orthodox Judaism. Zionism appropriated the term for secular-settler purposes: through Aliyah, Diaspora Jews, regarded as mere 'human dust' elevate themselves to the status of human beings. As Israeli citizens, the Jews claim their rightful place as 'nation among (European) nations'.
Many critics have shown how advocacy of this solution has undermined any struggle against anti-Semitism. Some critics have even shown how Zionist leaders have collaborated with anti-Semitic persecutors for the sake of that aliyah (as in Nazi Germany), or for the sake of Israel's arms sales (as during the Argentinean junta).
This essay takes the argument further, to the cultural field, by arguing that the Zionist mission involved suppressing or denying all Jewish identities other than the 'New Jew' who conquers Palestine.
Camp David was Clinton's failure
You quote Bill Clinton as blaming Yasser Arafat for the failure of the Camp David talks (G2, June 21); yet you say nothing about Clinton's unerring, documented support for Israeli Zionism and its US lobby. What Clinton told you is a favourite myth.
The Camp David negotiations were actually steered by Robert Malley, Clinton's national security adviser for the Middle East, who has since revealed that, although Arafat rejected certain Israeli proposals, "it could be said that Israel rejected the unprecedented two-state solution put to them by the Palestinians, including the following provisions: a state of Israel incorporating some land captured in 1967 and including a very large majority of its settlers; the largest Jewish Jerusalem in the city's history [and] security guaranteed by a US-led international presence". In other words, had the Israelis accepted such an "unprecedented" offer, there might now be the germ of a just peace in occupied Palestine. If anyone failed to grasp this opportunity, it was the mendacious, self-serving Clinton.
* OED = economical with the actualité**
** actualité = French for what really happened
June 22, 2004
Gilad Atzmon worries me with his reasoning sometimes. He rails against secularist Jews on the grounds that there is no reason to "identify" with being Jewish unless you practice Judaism. Curiously he has time for Neturei Karta as they are anti-Zionist religious. Jews. Has he asked them where they stand on women's rights? gay rights? etc. At one point he accuses secularist Jews of dishonesty and yet many of us would feel wilfully dishonest if we were to deny being Jewish. I share his scepticism about the motives of many "not-in-my-name" types but many of us simply use the Jewishness with which we genuinely identify, not to validate our own positions but to invalidate. Zionist claims. Both Atzmon and the Zionists argue that you cannot have a Jewish identity without a Jewish state or a Jewish religion.
June 20, 2004
"On Friday, on a visit to Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin said something that seemed to me quite remarkable, but (it appears) to no-one else. He told reporters that Russian intelligence had believed that Iraq intended to launch terrorist attacks on the USA. 'After the events of 11 September 2001,' said Putin, 'and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received such information and passed it on to their American colleagues.' Such attacks might happen inside the United States or outside it. "
David Aaronovitch reserves all of his scepticism for the anti-war movement. Putin is up to his eyeballs with the so-called "war on terror". He needs America onside for his war in Chechnya. Furthermore he is cracking down on the so-called oligarchs: the nouveau riche. multi-billionaires who enrichened themselves through privatisations of former Soviet industry. Richard Perle, of the US Defence Policy Board, has called on G8 to expel Russia over the arrest of Khordokovsky and, presumably, Putin wants the American's off his case over his dealings with such oligarchs. Even through the so-called "prism of 9/11" most observers were sceptical about any link between the Islamist followers of Osama bin Laden and the secularists of the Saddam Hussein regime. Aaronovitch finds it remarkable that only The Guardian. picked up on Putin's statement and that The Times. and Independent. didn't. Frankly, I'm surprised that Murdoch didn't order his people to fire such a cheap shot but then Murdoch seems to guard his credibility more keenly than Aaronovitch guards his.
June 17, 2004
June 16, 2004
June 15, 2004
June 14, 2004
June 13, 2004
*Once more Aaronovitch has been exposed for getting his facts wrong, and in a way that supports the "logic" of his pro-war stance. Once again he has refrained from comment on the war this week. There's a pattern emerging here. Aaronovitch promotes the war by getting his facts wrong, reader exposes Aaronovitch's wrongdoing (which, of course, unlike the letter writer below, I am not suggesting is wilful dishonesty, I am sure it is the overzealousness that one associates with converts to a cause, ie. incompetence), Aaronovitch writes about the weather, the price of fish, his daughters; anything not to mention the war.
David Aaronovitch is, in general, right [yuk]: there is no comparison between D-Day, one of the great culminating battles of a five-year-old (for Britain at least) world war and the invasion and occupation by two large military powers of Iraq, a small sovereign country in the Middle East run by a vicious dictator (Comment, last week).
What is tiresome is when he and, more regularly, [surely more frequently - Aaronovitch is weekly]Tony Blair invent cod history. In 2001, Blair emotionally cited the US 'standing shoulder to shoulder with Britain during the Blitz'. The US did no such thing.
Aaronovitch says that, like Iraq, Germany had not threatened the USA. Wrong. Hitler declared war on the USA in 1941 and German U-boats sank US shipping and killed merchant and military personnel long before US troops took part in D-Day.
A pity Aaronovitch spoils good writing by not knowing the simplest historical facts.
Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand
June 12, 2004
June 11, 2004
June 09, 2004
June 08, 2004
June 05, 2004
"Israel accuses BBC of paying for Vanunu
ISRAEL AND the BBC were locked in a furious row this week after Jerusalem accused the corporation of lying, breaking Israeli law and of maintaining a hostile campaign against the country. The network strongly denied the allegations."
Now search the BBC's news website for any report on Israel's pressure on the Beeb. It won't take long because they haven't reported it. Meanwhile back in the JC the editorial criticises Israel for handling the PR side of the Vanunu case so badly. The editorial doesn't condemn the excrutiating cruelty of the Zionist regime towards Vanunu; just its handling of the media. Still there's a funny joke on page 10. Consider the following headline:
"Racism is rife " in Israel
Oi gevalt! How could that be? Well, the apartheid laws help but so does the fact that the police have different ways of dealing with violence depending on whether the accused is Jewish or Arab.
June 04, 2004
June 03, 2004
Post your entry as a comment to this post by midnight BST 17/6/2004, I will decide whether your entry wins. If I do, send me your home address and I will send the tenner. I have already written to the readers' editor of The Guardian. offering a tenner to his favourite charity if he wins. First correct entry wins so hurry hurry!
No justification for boycott
Thursday June 3, 2004
Prof Rose states quite correctly (Life, May 27), that the vast majority of academics in Israel are not donning sackcloth and ashes or beating their breasts over the fate of their Palestinian colleagues. But then again, neither are English academics, or American or Norwegian, Japanese or even French.
What is to be gleaned from all this? Possibly it is that, weighing the facts, this attempt at a boycott, feeble as it is, is totally unjustified.
Consider the logic of this letter, published in The Guardian's. Life section today. The majority of "English academics, or American or Norwegian, Japanese or even. [!] French academics" haven't joined in the academic boycott of Israel. That's impossible to know as the majority of academics will never be called upon to work with Israeli institutions or academics. Now look at where "Mark Cohen's" letter came from: "By email". No address given. I presume this was the best the Zionists could do in terms of a critique of an article by Professor Stephen Rose and it was sent from nowhere. Normally The Guardian. wouldn't print a letter without an address and telephone number so what was so special about this letter with its absurd abstraction of facts? Well we can ask the readers' editor but the last time I did that it was over The Guardian's. use of the word "slaughter" to describe the killing of Israelis by Palestinians. The readers' editor described my complaint of bias as being "unfounded" and then disingenuously rattled of a set of irrelevant statistics from The Guardian's. database. I wonder how he'll react to my complaint of bias this time.
June 02, 2004
An A-Z of the Iraq war and its aftermath, focusing on
misrepresentation, manipulation, and mistakes
I enjoyed this Independent. front page today. In fact I'm going to copy and paste it. OK it's a bit childish, pretentious even, but the Indo. likes to stick its neck out. It also likes to archive only the first paragraph of its articles. So here's the whole thing:
A Mohammed Atta. The Bush administration claimed that a meeting between the lead hijacker of the 11 September attacks and a senior Iraqi intelligence officer proved a connection between al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein. But there is no evidence such a meeting took place.
B Bush and Blair: The two leaders have reacted strongly to all suggestions they misled their respective electorates over the war, and maintain time will prove they were right to go to war. Both, though, are suffering poll difficulties, as problems in Iraq become worse, and each needs speedy improvement to shore up his position.
C Ahmed Chalabi. The leader of the Iraq National Congress, who is a member of the Iraq Governing Council, is now accused of having duped the Bush administration, as well as the media, into believing that Saddam Hussein represented a direct threat to US and British security.
D Dollars. Between 1992 and the US raid on Ahmed Chalabi's home last week, the US government channelled more than $100m (£55m) to his Iraqi National Congress. The money may have been a motivating factor for defectors to say what they thought the Americans wanted to hear. That funding has now been stopped.
E Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, exposed as unfounded many of the claims put into the public domain by the US administration. The head of the UN weapons inspectors, Hans Blix, also challenged the White House claims.
F The claim that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could be deployed within forty-five minutes of an order was a key plank of the Government's pro-war argument and appeared in its September dossier of 2002. We now know that the discredited claim - which applied only to battlefield munitions in any case - came from the party of the caretaker prime minister of Iraq: Iyad Allawi.
G Andrew Gilligan, defence correspondent on the BBC's Today programme, reported that the Government had "sexed-up'' Iraq's weapons capabilities. On one occasion, he suggested that it had done so deliberately. Events since suggest that case for war was exaggerated. Gilligan lost his job in the fall-out.
H Khidir Hamza. The man known as Saddam's bombmaker is now acknowledged to have tricked the administration into believing he had more knowledge of Saddam's nuclear programme than he actually did.
IWas Ahmed Chalabi an agent for Iran, which used him as part of a plan to manipulate the US government into overthrowing Saddam Hussein? Washington is holding an urgent investigation into the claim.
J The Joint Intelligence Committee was accused of allowing itself to be manipulated by Downing Street in the run-up to the war, and of firming up conditional language in the key September dossier on weapons of mass destruction.
K David Kelly, the MoD weapons specialist at the heart of last year's controversy, committed suicide three days after he denied to the Foreign Affairs Committee that he was Gilligan's source.
L Langley. The CIA headquarters, which was regularly visited by the US Vice-President Dick Cheney as he sought to pressure the intelligence services into exaggerating the Iraqi threat for political reasons.
M Mobile biological labs. The alleged discovery of biological mobile labs for the production of biological weapons was held up after the war as proof that Iraq continued its illegal weapons programme. But the chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said there was no proof of their use.
N The Iraqi scientist Hamdi Shukuir Ubaydi buried documents related to Iraq's nuclear programme in his garden, and they were found last June in the search for WMD after the war last June. However there was no confirmation of the US claim that they were the "smoking gun" the Americans were looking for.
O Oil-for-food scandal. The recent accusations that Saddam diverted billions of dollars from a UN humanitarian programme, and paid countries for political support, came from documents distributed by aides of Ahmed Chalabi. US and UN investigations will attempt to uncover the truth.
P The Pentagon hawks, Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and senior adviser Richard Perle took their country to war on a false prospectus.
Q The Daily Mirror published photographs which it claimed showed members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment abusing one of its Iraqi prisoners. The photos have now been dismissed as fakes. But the regiment remains under investigation over the death of Baha Mousa, who died in custody.
R Karl Rove, president Bush's political adviser, is accused of "outing" the CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame amid the furore over the Niger uranium claim. A grand jury is investigating the leak.
S Bush and Blair insist there will be a transfer of "fullsovereignty" to a caretaker government. But the appointment of Iyad Allawi, who has close US and British links, as Prime Minister raises questions over its independence.
T The New York Times last week issued a mea culpa for failing to question a Bush administration leak relating to aluminium tubes reportedly being used in Iraq's nuclear weapons programme. The IAEA demolished the claim, a key prop of the White House case for war.
U Iraq's alleged attempt to smuggle uranium from Niger was used by the allies as proof that Iraq was still attempting to build a nuclear weapon. While the Bush administration now admits the relevant documents were forged, the Blair government is still sticking to the claim.
V Iraq was said to hold stocks of VX gas, the deadliest chemical agent known to man. Not a single millilitre has been found.
W World Trade Centre. According to opinion polls, a majority of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein played a role in the 11 September attacks, a view long propagated by the Bush administration, particularly Dick Cheney.
X Camp X-Ray, now Camp Delta, is the US prison at Guantanamo where prisoners from Afghanistan were flown. But its practices were adopted at Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad. The ensuing scandal has tarnished Bush's presidency.
Y Yesterday, denials by Dick Cheney that he no longer had any association with the Halliburton oil services company, where he was formerly CEO, were under new scrutiny.
Z Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, accused of beheading the American Nick Berg , was said to be the link between Saddam and Bin Laden. No such link has been proved.
June 01, 2004
Having given Balen an easy ride' Ha'aretz then digs up the old chestnut of Kilroy-Silk being given the elbow by the BBC for his criticism of "Arab states". Here's a line from his critique of Arab states: "asylum seekers living happily in this country on social security". How do whole states seek asylum and live on social security? It looks suspiciously like old Kilroy-Silk was referring to Arabs in general.