July 30, 2005

Jane's military turns

No not the arms experts. This is Jane Fonda we're talking about here. Chris Doyle of the Council for the Advancement of Arab British Understanding has got her measure anyway:
Jane Fonda's claim not to have taken a position on any war since Vietnam will come as a surprise to those who remember her support for the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This illegal and immoral war devastated Lebanon and shattered the chances for implementing the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty
Chris Doyle
Director, Council for Arab-British Understanding
I don't know if it's a coincidence but there's a big write up on Jane Fonda in the World War 4 Report covering exactly the same thing. Is she on a promo tour? Or perhaps another tour of duty.

The old will die and the young will forget

No prizes for guessing that those are the words of Ben Gurion regarding the victims of Israel's first ethnic cleansing campaign. I was reminded of them by an article in Ha'aretz by Hanna Yablonka titled Verging on Holocaust Denial. History has proved Ben Gurion's optomism wrong with regard to the young Palestinians forgetting. He was, of course, right about the old dying. Old people do that eventually and if they seem like they're not going to, then there's always plucky little Israel to help them on their way.

Hanna Yablonka's article is about how the persistent distortion of the holocaust through its use as an instrument of Israeli state policy has led to the most grotesque holocaust analogies by, of all people, the armed fascist activists of Israel's settler movement.
With an increasing degree of sharpness, many Israelis are using motifs that they perceive as clear symbols of the Holocaust in the political debate. It seems there is no longer any point in the protests and expressions of shock that come as a conditioned response after any such incident - especially in light of the fact that they fall on deaf ears. Even the argument of hurting Holocaust survivors is no longer effective. Evidence of this can be found in the response of Ronny Bakshi, the originator of the idea of using the orange patch, to the use of the number on the arm: "I don't take into account what people think, but rather do as I feel.".............

...now, at the juncture when the survivors are disappearing from our lives, and at the same time Holocaust "distorters" are springing up among us, in the next generation nobody's feelings will be hurt any more, because the dead are silent, the survivors will go the way of all flesh and we will have nothing left - certainly not the shared memory we owe them.
Hence, the old will die and the young will forget. But in the case of the latter, these things don't just happen, they are made to happen.

Vatican wrong on Israel!

The Vatican has issued a rather blunt statement condemning Israel's war crimes against the Palestinians.
The Vatican pointed out that it hasn't condemned every strike by Palestinian armed groups against the Jewish state because Israel's military response to the attacks has sometimes violated international law.
Unfortunately the Vatican failed to point out that Palestinian attacks on Israel are usually preceded by Israeli war crimes.

July 29, 2005

"Excuse makers" to be blacklisted

Some commentators across the pond are saying that anyone who suggests that America's own actions have increased terrorism against American and other targets should be blacklisted or even incarcerated.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has urged the U.S. government to create blacklists of condemned political speech--not only by those who advocate violence, but also by those who believe that U.S. government actions may encourage violent reprisals. The latter group, which Friedman called "just one notch less despicable than the terrorists," includes a majority of Americans, according to recent polls.
That would also apply to the majority of Brits whether you believe the a 64% figure or an 85% one.

Radio broadcaster Bill O'Reilly's position is even more extreme:You must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq War and the war on terror and undermining it. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9/11, is a traitor. Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.This mooted blacklist would also include members of the security forces and our very own Chatham House.

July 28, 2005

Jewdas on the lookout

I just want to highlight a comment left by one of the contributors to the Jewdas website:
Hi, I'm one of the people behind Jewdas. We're looking for more people to write for us, so if anyone out there fancies writing some biting satire on anglo Jewry and zionists please send it my way!
So, his name's Joseph and he wants contributors.

Settlers have a dream

Ha'aretz had a report yesterday on how a setllers' leader, Pinhas Wallerstein, has compared the settlers to Martin Luther King's freedom riders. The first thing that struck me about this comparison is the sheer hypocrisy of people seeking racial supremacy likening themselves to people who fought against racial supremacy. Did Ha'aretz notice this? Apparently not.
From the beginning, the Yesha Council heads have borne a false tone in their clumsy effort to appear as the standard-bearers of the civil disobedience propounded by Mahatma Gandhi, King's role model. For King, breaking the law meant sitting in "whites only" bus seats. The Yesha leaders' attempt seems like a public relations chicanery, not an authentic worldview. After all, the Yesha Council heads cynically change their tactics on a daily basis: One moment they declare their intention to force their will on the country, the next moment they decide to sing songs of brotherhood and unity. One day they define their goal as bringing down the government; the next, as embracing the public.
You see? The racism inherent in zionism is taken as read. For Ha'aretz the trouble with the settlers is their challenge to the state.

The rough with the smooth

Some good letters in today's Guardian, criticising Jonathan Freedland's article in yesterday's Guardian. There are some bad ones of course, including one from fraudster, Alan Dershowitz, but here are my faves:
What double standards from Jonathan Freedland (Comment, July 27). As British Jews, he and I have a choice of being citizens in Britain or Israel. Palestinians and especially refugees, are citizens of no country. But they are fighting for liberation with the only weapons they possess - tragically, sometimes that does mean literally turning themselves into human bombs.

Meanwhile, a British Jew can become an Israeli, join the armed services, and expect to be called upon to use the most sophisticated military equipment, supplied by the US, to crush the Palestinian uprising. We know, for sure, that means the possibility of killing thousands of innocent civilians. Jonathan, rather than pontificate on how the Muslim community in Britain should behave, shouldn't you and I turn our attention to the Jewish community here? Shouldn't we be raising questions about the morality of British Jews joining the Israeli miltary at this time?
John Rose
London

Thousands of Palestinians, have been killed over the years, their homes demolished, their land expropriated. The number of illegal West Bank settlers has now reached 400,000 and the separation wall, condemned by the international court of justice, continues to be built in order to annex large areas of the Palestinian territory. What is this if not state terrorism? Double standards of this kind are one of the reasons for the fury and violence we are now experiencing.
Hilary Wise
London

Its hard to know who Jonathan Freedland is talking about when he says the "wider left" is "hugging" Muslims who "are sharply at odds with Britain's progressive tradition". But, for the record, both the aims of the Stop the War Coalition and the election manifesto of Respect sustain the support of many tens of thousands of Muslims on an entirely progressive basis.

To those who cannot distinguish between life in Palestine and Iraq, and that in Britain: the former are war zones in territory occupied by a hostile armed force, the latter is not.

The left would be stronger, the "fundamentalists" weaker and the threat of terrorism less if more people became involved in organising this progressive response to the crisis into which New Labour has plunged us all.
John Rees
National secretary, Respect
Particularly nice to see John Rose finding some old form.

July 27, 2005

Jonathan Freedland: No one excuses zionist atrocities

In a comment piece criticising Ken Livingstone for equating Hamas with Likud, here's Jonathan Freedland:
Since the intifada began five years ago, 3,600 Palestinians have been killed. No one is making excuses for that
Does he never read the Telegarph, the Times, or, er, the Guardian? Here he is again in the same article
Imagine these cases for a moment. A British man emigrates to Israel; a few years later he might get called up for military service; he might even end up in an operation that results in the killing of civilians. And then there is another British man who arrives in Israel for the sole purpose of staging a suicide bombing. (This latter case is not hypothetical: Britons Asif Mohammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif did exactly that in 2003.) Is there not a moral difference between these two actions? Why does Livingstone say they are equivalent?
Freedland's British man would have to be woefully (and wilfully) ignorant not to know that Israel targets civilians.

July 26, 2005

What do zionists do?

Here's a new website with a guide for the lazy zionist.
The third pillar of British Zionist identity is a classic: the letter of complaint. The key issue here is quantity rather than quality; fourteen a week is the recommended minimum. The slothful israel defender may wish to restrict themselves to writing to bastions of Bolshevism such as the Guardian and the Independent, but you will wish to go further, paraphrasing Ecclesiates ‘of the writing of hasbara letters there is no end’. Some of your complacement friends may feel there is no need to bombard respectable arab hating journals such as the mail, telegraph and spectator, but you respectfully disagree. After all, if you cannot find enough material to complain about you may fail to make your weekly quota, and may begin to lose your identity. If you feel particularly energetic you may wish to attend pro Israel demonstrations, and put forward motions at public meetings. Generally, however, this is done by young people, who use it as a replacement for a social life.
I wonder if some people recognise themselves in that.

What is zionism and is it like fascism?

Well I think it's very like fascism though I've even been ticked off by anti-zionists for saying so. The link above is to a review (over a week old now) of Jacqueline Rose's new book The Question of Zion. I actually found the link on Sue Blackwell's "controversial" (read: she pisses the zionists off) website. Here's how reviewer, Raphael Behr, opens the review:
Likening the Israelis' treatment of Palestinians with the Holocaust is outrageous to most Jews. But Jacqueline Rose has dared to do just that.
But what is zionism?
It is a story beset with contradiction. Zionism was secular, a case of 19th-century national self-discovery in reaction to repressive empire. Zionism was religious; it took its mandate from God's covenant with Abraham.

Zionism looked forward; many of its early followers despised the legacy of the European ghetto, which they saw as craven and weak. They changed their names and their language from Yiddish to Hebrew; they scorned the old culture of bookish urbanity and embraced a cult of labour and soil. Zionism looked backwards; the Jews seeking return to the land of their forefathers.
It then takes the reviewer a while to get to this:
The Palestinians, in Rose's analysis, are scapegoat for Israel's tortured memory of the Holocaust. They represent not just the threat of arbitrary destruction (of which each suicide bombing is a constant reminder) but they are made also to pay for the suppressed shame that Europe's Jewry felt at having bowed to its fate at Hitler's hands.
These little snippets don't do the review justice so please read it in full. Also you might also consider buying the book or ordering it from your library.

War criminal awaits apology from Ken

Another one for the definitions of chutzpah section. The war criminal Ariel Sharon says that he expects an apology from Ken Livingstone for comparing Likud to Hamas.
"Hamas is a murderous organization that has killed thousands of Israelis," Sharon said.

"These kind of anti-Semitic comparisons are improper and must be dealt with."
I'm not sure if Hamas has killed thousands of Israelis but I don't mind being corrected on that. Also, I wonder if Hamas expects an apology from Ken for likening them to Likud.

July 25, 2005

Met police build Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land

[Hat-tip Eurosabra]
Lenin (of the Tomb) carries the story of how the British Metropolitan police have been trained in Israel.
The only significance of this fact as far as I can see is that it is one more way in which practises which have been common in Israel for years under a legal 'state of emergency' are now becoming normal in liberal democracies . Surely the next step is to build a big wall around those parts of the Middle East that we want to nick and leave the remaining vassalage to sweat it under watchtowers, the occasional helicopter attack and the regular traffic of bulldozers.
This reminds me of how for many decades (even centuries) the demand of Britain by Irish nationalists was for "Brtiish standards of justice" in British ruled Ireland. What we got was British justice falling to the level it inflicted on the colonies.

Three poems by Michael Rosen

who is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the Socialist Workers Party.

From Iraq

We have no mouths
We evaporated
You don’t see the holes in the ground where we were put
We are the unfound
We are uncounted
You don’t see the homes we made
We’re not even the small print or the bit in brackets.
You see less of us than you see of the dust
You see less of us than you see of the wind
Because we were somewhere else,
because we lived far from you,
because our minutes, hours, days and years did not last as long as yours,
because you have cameras that point the other way,
because you talk about other people…
…Of that moment when we went
you can’t even say you missed it.

Dear New Labour

If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.
You can call them what you like
You can tell us that our cause is noble
You can tell us that they’re evil and we are good
But the rule remains:
If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.
You can tell us that you’ve flushed out the troublemakers
You can tell us that you’ve neutralised the flashpoints
You can tell us that you’ve sown the seeds of the future
But the rule remains:
If you go into other people’s countries
and bomb them
they will bomb you.

From the three trains and the 30 bus

Thank you so much for lying
when we asked you why.
Thank you so much for not listening
when we said, don’t go.
Thank you so much for ignoring us
when we said, don’t shoot.
Thank you so much for carrying on
when we said, get out.
Thank you so much for taking no notice
when we said, this’ll make things worse.
Thank you so much for making it impossible
for us to go on saying thank you.
There, that's Michael Rosen showing the SWP the difference between a good yiddishe boy and and a bad Israeli one.

July 24, 2005

Beyond Chutzpah "ready to roll": UCP

"Marilyn" at the University of California Press has emailed Norman Finkelstein as follows:
Norm, just wanted to assure you that I saw "soft proofs" (aka "virtual bluelines") today. These are the printer-prepped version of the files posted on their secure website for inspection. I checked every page against my hard copy. I gave special attention to all pages that were corrected after we sent the files to Sheridan, double-checking that the final, corrected versions were in place and that reflow didn't introduce any errors. Everything seems in order (PHEW!), and so I have given the okay to print.
I hope it's happening this time. I went to my library to get Dershowitz's "The Case for Israel" but the librarian said "there is no case for Israel." Not really, she said that they didn't have it in stock. So I've ordered both Deshowitz's and Finkelstein's books. Ordering a book, pre-release, from a library is a good way to ensure it ends up on the shelves and gets more widely read as a result.

July 23, 2005

With Fox on our side

When the first suspicions arose that the restrained man shot five times in the head by British police may have been innocent this is what Fox News had to say
What is also good is the Brit police tactics that we saw at work in the subway Friday morning. The tackle and kill team is incredible, if for no other reason than their bravery. Can you imagine the job of those cops? Tackle the guy wearing a vest bomb and hope your colleague is right behind with the gun to put five bullets in the noggin before he sets off the bomb.

Turns out he didn't have a bomb, and turns out he wasn't one of the four bombers Thursday. And if it turns out ultimately that he had nothing to do with anything, no doubt there will be hell to pay. But the police say he was linked to the terror probe, so let's wait and see.
Now doesn't it make you feel safer knowing we have Murdoch's staff on our side?

Pollard stays in jail

Jonathan Pollard, who is serving life in America for spying for Israel, has had yet another appeal turned down. I wonder what those people who say that Jews control America will make of that one.

Shot man "innocent"

According to reports, the Asian looking man (who is believed to be Brazilian) who was shot five times in the head while two men held him down was not connected to the bombers of either 7/7 or 21/7. The Muslim Council of Britain is describing him as innocent while the police have expressed "regret" at a "tragedy." I think it's time to get scared.

I'm not finding many results for this on Google but BBC and the Guardian have recent reports.

Howard Jacobson: why can't they be more like us Jews

"They" being Muslims of course. Here's Howard Jacobson in the Independent today explaining why, in spite of the fact that, for Jews, "in regard to Israel .... Britain sometimes felt like an enemy state", Jews don't go around throwing bombs here.
Well, there wasn't a culture of it, for one thing. Throwing bombs at the innocent presupposes a mindset...
After explaining why the Jewish community is better and more British than the Muslim community, he then rounds on Ken Livingstone who, he says, agrees with everything about the London bombers except the bombings themselves. To see what a load of tosh that is go to Electronic Iraq to see what Ken actually said.

July 21, 2005

Ken upsets the zionists, part 94

Ken Livingstone has upset the zionists and their cohorts in the war party by daring to suggest, on BBC Radio 4, what most people are suggesting: the west is, at least in part, to blame for Islamist terrorism.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said that it is unacceptable that Israel goes on "indiscriminately destroying homes simply because a [Palestinian] bomber came from that area. I don't believe in an eye for an eye. I don't believe in that punishment."
An Arab Media Watch action alert runs with the following quotes:
On Israel and Palestinians:

"...those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have occasionally seen with the Israeli government bombing areas from which a terrorist group will have come, irrespective of the casualties it inflicts, women, children and men."

On occupation:

"Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England, we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves."
Apparently zionist groups like the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the World Jewish Congress are already on the case.

Update - Meaders has a good post on this on his Dead Men Left blog
Livingstone's was a sufficiently eloquent statement that one might think it had been prepared some time ago. With some rhetorical skill, it bundled up what many of us, especially in London, felt. It did not, however, say what we thought. As Rawnsley says, Livingstone's clarity provided the best possible cover for a government with a nervous memory of Madrid. To duck the issue of Iraq, given Livingstone's own clear anti-war position, was a failure of political responsibility on his part: when put to the test, he buckled.

That cover has now been blown. Livingstone, no doubt sensing the mood, has said what he should have said earlier.
In fairness to me, I should point out that I have criticised Ken's opportunism before but I love it when the zionists go into a rant so I kind of missed it this time.

July 20, 2005

Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah heads for the shops

Statement by University of California Press

The University of California Press is pleased to publish Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman Finkelstein. Since 1893, UC Press has been especially well known for pioneering books on critical social and political issues. As one of the largest, most distinguished scholarly publishers in the world, we are respected for attracting authors whose work transcends traditional academic boundaries. We have built a reputation for publishing books that matter. We think this one does.

Beyond Chutzpah scrutinizes what Norman Finkelstein describes as "the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history" around the Israel-Palestine conflict. He questions this scholarship and asks why, in his view, it receives uncritical acclaim within the academy. To support his thesis, Finkelstein uses Alan Dershowitz's recent bestseller The Case for Israel as a springboard from which to investigate controversial human rights cases involving Israel over the last few decades. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports, and presenting the first accessible distillation of key human rights findings, Finkelstein argues that Dershowitz has misstated the facts. Most integral to this argument, Finkelstein claims that a long and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict will never be attained without a basis in truth.

Anticipating the publication of Beyond Chutzpah, Professor Alan Dershowitz launched a letter-writing campaign, targeting our Board of Directors, the UC Administration, and Governor Schwarzenegger. We take this seriously. We are confident in our processes of factual and scholarly review, a protocol we follow as one of the leading university presses, and as a publisher of critical, incisive scholarship on politics, international studies, and domestic issues. We are also buttressed by enthusiastic reviews of this book from several scholars in Middle Eastern and Jewish Studies, who see this book as a critical work in the field.
I really ought to read Dershowitz's The Case for Israel but I can't force myself to. He's such a discreditied character and, of course, there is no case for Israel.

You can read more about Finkelstein and his work here.

July 19, 2005

Majority against Blair on the London bombings

A clear majority of Britons believe that Tony Blair bears at least some responsibility for the bombings in London on 7th July this year. Just 28% support the goverment's claim that the bombings happened for no apparent reason. 33% say that Blair bears "a lot" of responsibility for the attacks and 31% say he bears "a little".

The Guardian also mentions the Chatham House (formerly known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs) report which said,
There is no doubt that the situation over Iraq has imposed particular difficulties for the UK, and for the wider coalition against terrorism.
And a comment piece by Steve Richards in the Independent. (pay per view would you believe?) has it that
Senior ministers dismiss these critics with a predictable disdain: "No surprise about Galloway ... Typical of Clare." "Poor old Kennedy misread the public mood." "The bombs in London are nothing to do with Iraq. Disgraceful that anyone could suggest otherwise." "Bad taste at a time when we must unite."
64% of us believing that the government is at least partly responsible for the London bombings looks like impressive unity to me.

July 18, 2005

Tali Fahima on trial this week

From the Free Tali Fahima website.
Tali Fahima was detained on 8 August 2004 and has since been held in prison under torture and in isolation. Following two months of interrogation by the General Security Services (GSS) and after approximately three months of administrative detention, ridiculous and baseless charges were filed against her. Tali is being persecuted because she challenged the walls and checkpoints, the very system of separation being built between Jews and Arabs in this country; because she came out against the policies of illegal assassinations; because she made contact with Palestinians based on solidarity and struggle against the occupation, and in the framework of humanitarian-educational activities.
More here. Don't panic, there's a languages button.

July 17, 2005

What will become of Gaza?

I received this letter from Roland Rance on Friday just gone and posted it to my Jews against Zionism blog.The letter, signed by Uri Davis, Ilan Pappe and Tamar Yaron "raises tbe alarm" to warn of a possible large-scale Israeli attack on Gaza following the withdrawal of settlers.
The publication in Ha'aretz (22 June 2005) quoting statements by General (Reserves) Eival Giladi, the head of the Coordination and Strategy team of the Prime Minister's Office, motivated us not to delay publication and circulation any further. Confirming our worst fears, General (Res.) Eival Giladi went on record in print and on television to the effect that "Israel will act in a very resolute manner in order to prevent terror attacks and [militant] fire while the disengagement is being implemented" and that "If pinpoint response proves insufficient, we may have to use weaponry that causes major collateral damage, including helicopters and planes, with mounting danger to surrounding people."
Sharon even has a cunning plan to keep killing Palestinians until Palestinians kill Israelis prompting Israeli "reprisals"
The scenario could be similar to what has already happened in the past - a tactic that Ariel Sharon has used many times in his military career - i.e., utilizing provocation in order to launch massive attacks.
Actually, given that he has done it so many times before, it's not that cunning but the media and government here just love falling for that one.

July 16, 2005

God tries (and fails) to salvage Dershowitz's reputation

I have just seen this article on Norman Finkelstein's website. It first appeared in a a publication from American Family Radio, God's own channel. God here, is using the pen of one Jim Brown to smear Norman Finkelstein on behalf of Alan Dershowitz, who is already drowning in a sea of lies .
- A noted author and Harvard University law professor is asking why the University of California Press is publishing an anti-Semitic book written by a "Holocaust denier."
Finkelstein is not a holocaust denier. If he was, his excellent book The Holocaust Industry would be completely meaningless since, in it, he rails against the ragbag of zionists and hucksters who have exploited the holocaust for political leverage and financial gain. Here is a letter by Finkelstein to the Tehran Times, criticising them for suggesting that his Holocaust Industry casts doubt on the holocaust itself
In the 26 January 2005 issue of your paper, in an article titled "Lies of the holocaust industry," you state: "Norman J. Finkelstein, a Jewish professor at New York University critical of Zionist policies, has called the claim [of the Nazi holocaust] the 'holocaust industry', which is only meant to boost support for the government of Israel."

Inasmuch as most of my family perished in gas chambers at Treblinka, it would not make sense for me to deny the existence of gas chambers. I do NOT deny that the Nazis exterminated 5-6 million Jews during World War II. Rather, I argue that that Israel and American Jews have exploited the colossal suffering of Jews during World War II to justify criminal policies against Palestinians and other Arabs.

I do not think it is wise, let alone moral, to deny the facts of other peoples' suffering. It is also not wise, let alone moral, to exploit suffering for evil purposes. I do not deny the suffering of Jews, including my own family, by the Nazis; but I don't want this suffering to be used to justify the criminal persecution of Palestinians.

Out of respect for the memory of my family and for the journalistic standards of your paper, I kindly ask you to print this letter in the next issue of the Tehran Times.

Sincerely,
Norman G. Finkelstein
I published this back in February this year. Anyway, more from God.
Finkelstein has garnered attention for claiming Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz did not write his book, The Case for Israel, even though Dershowitz wrote every word of it by hand because he does not type or use a computer. Dershowitz says UC Press should not be using tax dollars to publish a book by a man who compares Israel to Nazi Germany even though he has never been to Israel.[I'm fairly certain that Finkelstein has been to Israel]
The crux of the complaint Finkelstein makes against Dershowitz is, not that he didn't actually write the book, but that he plagiarised large parts of it. Where the didn't write it bit comes in is when Dershowitz challenged Finkelstein, on Democracy Now! that he would give him (I think it was) $20,000 if he could find an inaccuracy in the book "The Case for Israel." Finkelstein found one immediately that Dershowitz didn't even recognise, leading Finkelstein to the not unreasable conclusion that Dershowitz didn't write or even read the book that appears in his name. God save us from God.

Hear George Galloway on Radio 4

If you're quick you can catch George Galloway on Radio 4's Any Questions. It was a strange edition of a programme that prides itself on "balance". In it, George Galloway found himself being rounded on by the other three panellists. Needless to say, he still got the better of them all. In due course, if you follow the link in the headline above you will be able to acquire the transcript.
The panel

Frank Field MP - [described by the host, Jonathan Dimbleby, as "greatly respected by all serious colleauges across the political spectrum"]
Labour MP and former Welfare Reform Minister

Oliver Letwin MP - [described as relentlessly and amiably reasonable]
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

George Galloway MP - [treated surprisingly respectfully by the host]
Respect Party

Professor Colleen Graffy - [former chair of Republicans Abroad - invokes MEMRI as source material]
US law lecturer and Republican
Listen up for the "greatly respected" Frank Field deliberately misunderstanding George Galloway from the off.

July 14, 2005

Introducing Middle East Politics

New kid on the blog. This new blog is by a guy who has commented here as "James" or, when he's being lazy, Anonymous. He has two posts so far; the first is here and the second is here.

Israeli "reprisals"?

Very strange of the Guardian's Conal Urquhart to describe Israel's threatened response to the recent suicide bombing as "reprisals". In his own article he admits that
In spite of the ceasefire that was agreed by Palestinian and Israeli leaders in February, the army has regularly operated in Palestinian areas, resulting in the deaths of around 40 Palestinians.
So it is strange to suggest that Israel is threatening reprisals when it is clear that the suicide bombing was itself a reprisal. Strange but not unusual for Urquhart. He's got form when it comes to siding with the racist war criminals of the state of Israel.

July 13, 2005

Greenstein gives labour zionist quite a start

Here's an email exchange on the Just Peace list that shows Tony Greenstein on true form. It begins with a pseudo-trade unionist's "open letter to George Galloway."
Eric Lee wrote:
I have published the following letter on my personal website, at http://www.ericlee.me.uk/archive/000124.html I thought it might be of interest to members of this group.

Here is the complete text:

Dear Sir:

Last week, following the attacks in London, you wrote:

"No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them."

Today a suicide bomber killed two women and injured 24 others in an attack on a shopping mall in Netanya, Israel.

Do you condemn the attack in Netanya today? I look forward to receiving your reply, which I will publish on the web.

Eric Lee

I remember Eric Lee. He told a zionist audience (they called themselves the Alliance for Workers Liberty) that he'd like to hit Roland Rance for saying that Yitzhak Rabin used to get drunk quite a lot. Anyway, I would have happily ignored the guy but that's not Tony's way, and I'm glad it's not. Get this:
Eric Lee,

You condemn the killing of 2 women in Netanya. Where was your open letter about the killing of 3 children last week by the Israeli army? Or do Palestinian children not merit an open letter by an ex-member of the Israeli Defence Forces? Or maybe you just can't bring yourself to condemn your own comrades?

Palestinian suicide bombing, which is entirely counter-productive, is a measure of the desperation of those who have been living under an occupation for nearly 40 years. Your only contribution to that situation is to say little or nothing about the repression of the Palestinians, to refuse to take up issues such as the attempt to ban the Workers Advice Centres in Israel which serve unrepresented Arab workers, (since the apartheid Histadrut does nothing for Arab workers) and to campaign against any effective solidarity action such as the academic boycott.

If anyone is to blame for the suicide bombings it's people like you who do nothing to challenge the racist and genocidal policies of Israel but then point the finger when an Israeli is killed. Why have you said nothing about the latest house demolitions in Silwan and elsewhere in Jerusalem? I can't think of anything more likely to produce suicide bombers than the experience of a child who sees their house demolished before their eyes.

But none of this matters to a fake and fraudulent site like your own. It's clear that it's time to start organising a boycott of your site since it is clear that 'solidarity' with workers in other countries is just a front for your concern to defend the Israeli State and Zionism.

Or in case you don't get the message, why don't you and Labour Start (AWL) just fuck off. Nothing you write is of the slightest interest. Labour Start is just a Zionist front.

Tony Greenstein
These e-groups flood your mailbox but every so often something really hits the spot.

July 12, 2005

Another crack at Dershowitz

Nice of the LA Times to give Jon Weiner another crack at Alan Dershowitz. I blogged his The Nation. article on the same issue back in June. Anyway, this latest offering, whilst very similar to the last, is an update on the saga of Dershowitz trying to get Norman Finkelstein's book banned by its publisher and even by the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Governors are asked by members of the public to do lots of things, but the request Arnold Schwarzenegger got from Alan Dershowitz in December was unique: to intervene with the University of California Press' plans to publish a book. Why does Dershowitz care? Because the book in question — Norman Finkelstein's "Beyond Chutzpah," due out next month — is harshly critical of Dershowitz.
Jon Weiner sets out the rights and duties of authors, publishers and subjects of books.
Dershowitz has a right to be worried about how he will be treated in the book. Perhaps it was even legitimate for him to contact the UC Press about misstatements he believes Finkelstein has made about him in the past. And the Press certainly has an obligation to publish an accurate book.

But for Dershowitz to try to stop publication of the book is simply unacceptable. The appropriate response to speech that is wrong is not to silence it, but to argue against it — because nobody has a monopoly on the truth.

Dershowitz, of course, knows all this. He has said he doesn't want to suppress Finkelstein's freedom of speech, but that he wants to ensure that "maliciously false statements about me … are not published." In fact, he says he supports publication of Finkelstein's book — by some publisher other than UC Press, which, he told me, should not "give its imprimatur" to Finkelstein's work. Instead, he said, it should be published by "the kind of publisher that publishes those kinds of books."

Thanks in part to Schwarzenegger, Dershowitz doesn't get to decide who publishes a book that criticizes him.
Hear, hear.

For more articles in a similar vein please visit Norman Finkelstein's website. If you follow the links you can even get to see Dershowitz's face when Finkelstein shows him a major (possibly deliberate) mistake in Dershowitz's book The Case for Israel.

Kennedy assassinated

Here's a nice little job on Charles Kennedy by a former Deputy Chair of the Lib Dems.
I first realised Mr Kennedy's unfitness to lead when the party had to campaign against the illegal Iraqi invasion, despite Mr Kennedy rather than because of him. For months prior to the invasion, we urged him to lead the opposition to the war but he refused, stating he was not against the war but in favour of the UN.
Anything else?
When the party voted to end the corrupt practice of Liberal Democrat peers working as political lobbyists, he threatened legal action against those who complained about the continuing practice. Indeed, Lord Clement-Jones, who was employed as a political lobbyist by the notorious Cayman Islands tax haven, has just been made the party's federal treasurer, and Lord Razzall was put in charge of the general election campaign which called for fairer taxation, despite his being a director of a company in the Channel Islands tax haven.

But where would you say he stands on the political spectrum?
Whilst unbelievably downplaying the war in the run-up to the general election, his lieutenants, instead of building on the successful centre-left progressive coalition that had won so many Tory seats, embarked on a policy of "sounding more Tory", which ended in total failure at the election. This lurch to the right was heralded by the publication of the infamous Orange Book, which, despite Kennedy's written introduction, was derided across the party as a right-wing Blairite manifesto. Nevertheless, Kennedy placed the core Orange Book authors Vince Cable, David Laws and Mark Oaten into key positions of power. Britain does not need or deserve three centre-right parties.
What about the vision thing?
Finally, there is Mr Kennedy's unwillingness to take a clear position on most issues. Indeed, this was claimed to be an advantage by his aides, who said it meant voters from both sides of issues ended up supporting him. This is political nonsense. Constructive politics is about advocating policies that will benefit the wider good. A party has to campaign on its policies if it is to persuade the public of their value. The party has a range of crucial progressive liberal policies such as a renewable energy economy, creating a fairer democracy, an effective drugs strategy and so on, yet the leadership refuses to encourage grassroots campaigning on these.
But he won votes, surely?
After the general election, Kennedy distracted attention from his failure to make a major breakthrough by launching a profoundly dishonest attack on his own party activists who had just worked their hearts out. He blamed them for foisting unpopular policies on the party which had been attacked by our opponents in the election. The real truth was that these policies were included in papers submitted by Mr Kennedy's own Federal Policy Committee.
And the future?
Unless the leadership passes to people with political integrity and campaigning talent, the Liberal Democrat Party will miss the enormous opportunity that it currently has to lead Britain to a better future.
So here lies Charles Kennedy.

July 11, 2005

Scottish PSC on the Wall

Click here to see how the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has made its mark on the wall through Jerusalem.

July 10, 2005

Fox News - "Londoners die, time to buy"

According to the Guardian, (thanks Montag) Rupert Murdoch's Fox News has been severely criticised by Media Matters for America over its handling of comment on the London bombings.
Speaking about the reaction of the financial markets, Brit Hume, the channel's Washington managing editor, said: "Just on a personal basis ... I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought 'hmm, time to buy'."

The host of a Fox News programme, Brian Kilmeade, said the attacks had the effect of putting terrorism back on the top of the G8's agenda, in place of global warming and African aid. "I think that works to our advantage, in the western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened."

Another Fox News host, John Gibson, said before the blasts that the International Olympic Committee "missed a golden opportunity" by not awarding the 2012 games to France. "If they had picked France instead of London to hold the Olympics, it would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn't worry about terrorism. They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?" He added: "This is why I thought the Brits should let the French have the Olympics - let somebody else be worried about guys with backpack bombs for a while."
Charming.

Nick Cohen tells the truth

I hate reading articles by war party hacks so I tend to skip over them pretty quickly; maybe too quickly. Please click the headline here and read Nick Cohen's Observer article and tell me if I'm wrong. Here is my take. The people who bombed London are some kind of Islamicist group. The bombing was not retaliation for anything. The bombing of innocents was because they were (mostly) not Muslims. The aim of the bombings is to have all non-Muslims in the West convert to Islam. Then the Islamists who bombed us can kill even more of us because
as the past 40 years have shown, Islamism is mainly concerned with killing and oppressing Muslims.
Nick Cohen doesn't want to come to the conclusion that he does come to because alternative explanations, like the fact that the bombings of London and elsewhere have been retaliatory or at least explainable by reference to something the West has done to or in the Middle East, because "I [Nick Cohen] understand the appeal." But if you do want to look further or perhaps deeper than the "psychopathic force" then you are suffering from, or guilty of, "this manic masochism [that] has spread like bindweed and strangled leftish and much conservative thought." Thank goodness for courageous men like Nick Cohen.

But please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks

Boycott Israel update

The International Middle East Media Centre reported yesterday that the General Assembly of the United Church of Christ has voted to selectively divest from companies involved in Israel's occupation of territory beyond its pre-1967 borders. Here's a cut from the Church's statement on the issue
The obvious initial candidate for selective divestment would be the Illinois-based Caterpillar Corporation. Their purpose-built machines have enabled, and are still enabling, the Israeli Defense Force to destroy increasingly more Palestinian homes and olive orchards. One of these machines was instrumental in the deliberate crushing to death of the young American peace volunteer (International Solidarity Movement) Rachel Corrie in Gaza on March 16, 2003. Rachel was the first non-Palestinian peace activist to be killed in the Occupied Territories by the IDF.

She [Rachel] shared the fate of some 2300 Palestinians (the vast majority of them civilians) who were killed by Israeli troops or settlers during the Intifada from September 2000 to March 2003.
The statement went on to express support for a Palestine state on either a one or two state basis, but also affirmed Israel's "right" to exist. I don't know if it siad what Israel's right to exist actually means.

Tony Greenstein in print

The Independent and Guardian newspapers both published the same letter by Tony Greenstein today:

Nothing and no one can excuse the horrific carnage and explosions in London and the appalling suffering of the victims. However, the ritual condemnation of terrorism by Tony Blair, Michael Howard et al merely reinforces the belief of those who carry out these atrocities that the west is being hypocritical and self-serving.

Earlier this week we learned that 17 people in an Afghan village had been killed by US bombing. Reporters still aren't able to operate from Falluja, where civilian areas have been laid to waste by the intense bombardment, including hospitals, with the inevitable consequence of civilian deaths. There have been repeated reports from Iraq of the aerial bombardment of towns near the Syrian border.

In the infamous words of General Tommy Franks, who directed the Iraqi invasion, "we don't do body counts". Is it any wonder that, in the face of this utter contempt for the lives of people in the developing world, some people have assumed that the only terrorism western leaders condemn is that in which we are the victims?
Tony Greenstein
Brighton

July 09, 2005

Finkelstein wrong! Shock!

For someone who has hung on Professor Norman Finkelstein's every word for some years now it should grieve me to say that he has got something wrong but it's true. A few days ago a despondent Finkelstein announced on his website "Dershowitz wins". He said that the University of California Press had pulled his latest book, Beyond Chutzpah, from publication. Well he was wrong. According to Beshara Doumani the publication is going ahead according to (revised) schedule.
Dear Friends,

Much to the chagrin of Allan Dershowitz and despite his over-the-top attempts to stop its publication, Finkelstein's book will be published and hit the shelves fairly soon. UC Press and Finkelstein reached an agreement today about all outstanding issues. The strenuous efforts by Dershowitz and his supporters to go over the head of the press by mobilizing the governor of California and the top levels of the University of California administration have come to naught. Now the readers will be able to judge the book on its own merits and decide whether they agree with the many scholars who were consulted by the press and who gave the book their enthusiastic endorsement.

Perhaps anticipating defeat, Dershowitz really lowered the bar for civilized discourse when he published an article,"Why is the University of California Press Publishing Bigotry?" in none other than the radical right wing rag Frontpage (July 5, 2005). In this article, Dershowitz suggests that Norman Finkelstein's late mother (a Holocaust survivor) was a kapo, or Nazi collaborator. He also calls Norman Finkelstein a Neo-Nazi, and reiterates his view that this book is the sequel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Pretty heavy stuff and not very becoming of a Harvard Professor. Dershowitz's only solace, it seems, is that his latest book, The Case for Peace, was endorsed by none other than Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel!

To his credit, and despite his reputation for not mincing words, Norman Finkelstein has held back from responding to these personal attacks.

The end of this chapter may just be the beginning of a longer saga. Wait for more fireworks when the book comes out,

Beshara
I hope this Beshara chap is right only I've just ordered Beyond Chutzpah from Amazon.

July 08, 2005

Clarke clueless

Charles Clarke has said that their is no evidence that the bombings in London yesterday were because of Iraq.
The fact is that the people who make these kind of attacks are about destroying the very essence of our society: our democracy, our media, our multicultural society and so on.

That's not about Iraq or any other particular foreign policy issue, it's about a fundamentalist attack on the way we live our lives.
So, without wishing to leave hostages to fortune here, why didn't they bomb Paris or Berlin or Geneva?

July 07, 2005

Respect statement on the London bombings

George Galloway on behalf of Respect

07/07/2005

We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives today and our heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been injured by the bombs in London.

No one can condone acts of violence aimed at working people going about their daily lives. They have not been a party to, nor are they responsible for, the decisions of their government. They are entirely innocent and we condemn those who have killed or injured them.

The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or Iraq, is precisely the result of a world that has become a less safe and peaceful place in recent years.

We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world. We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.

We urge the government to remove people in this country from harms way, as the Spanish government acted to remove its people from harm, by ending the occupation of Iraq and by turning its full attention to the development of a real solution to the wider conflicts in the Middle East.

Only then will the innocents here and abroad be able to enjoy a life free of the threat of needless violence.

* George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow

Geldof likened to Begin and Kissinger

A Norwegian politician with nominating rights for the Nobel Peace Prize has suggested that Bob Geldof should get the award. If he does he will follow such peaceniks as Menachem Begin and Henry Kissinger. I'm not sure if even Geldof deserves that. I'm also not sure what he has done that could be described as conducive to peace.
Jan Simonsen was quoted as telling Norwegian news agency NTB that Geldof should be honoured for his efforts to bring attention to world poverty through rock music.
I thought he brought attention to rock music through world poverty.

July 06, 2005

Desperate Dersh digs deeper

Amazing how disgraced Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz fails to heed the advice to the man in a hole: "Stop digging!" But no, Dershowitz still has more smears to hurl around about Professor Norman Finkelstein. Cop this
You've probably never heard of the author, unless you travel in neo-Nazi, radical Islamic or hard left circles. His name is Norman Finkelstein. Yes he is a Jew. His parents were even Holocaust survivors, though he suspects his mother of having been a kapo (really, how else would she have survived? he asks rhetorically).
Funny how when Dershowitz copies "work" he approves of he can manage to quote correctly, though, of course, without attribution. But when it comes to people he doesn't approve of his powers of plagiarism seem to desert him. Now compare (or contrast)
Except for allusions to relentless pangs of hunger, my mother never spoke about her personal torments during the war, which was just as well, since I couldn't have borne them. Like Primo Levi, she often said that, being "too delicate and refined, the best didn't survive." Was this an indirect admission of guilt? Much later in life I finally summoned the nerve to ask whether she had done anything of which she was ashamed. Calmly replying no, she recalled having refused the privileged position of "block head" in the camp. She especially resented the "dirty" question "How did you survive?" with the insinuation that, to emerge alive from the camps, survivors must have morally compromised themselves. Given how ferociously she cursed the Jewish councils, ghetto police and kapos, I assume my mother answered me truthfully. Although acknowledging that Jews initially joined the councils from mixed motives, she said that "only scum", reaping the rewards of doing the devil's work, still cooperated after it became clear that they were merely cogs in the Nazi killing machine. When queried why she hadn't settled in Israel after the war, my mother used to reply, only half in jest, that "I had enough of Jewish leaders." The Jewish ghetto police always had the option, she said, of "throwing off their uniforms and joining the rest of us" – a point that Yitzak Zuckerman, a leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, made in his memoir. (It was always gratifying to find my mother's seemingly erratic or harsh judgments seconded in the reliable testimonial literature.) Still shaking her head in disbelief, she would often recall how, after Jews in the ghetto used the most primitive implements or even bare hands to dig bunkers deep in the earth and conceal themselves, the Jewish police would reveal these hideouts to the Germans, sending their flesh-and-blood to the crematoria in order to save their own skins. One of the first acts of the ghetto resistance was to kill an officer in the Jewish police. On a sign posted next to his corpse – my mother would recall with vengeful glee – read the epitaph: "Those who live like a dog die like a dog." Still, if she didn't cross fundamental moral boundaries, I glimpsed from her manner of pushing and shoving in order to get to the head of a queue, which mortified me, how my mother must have fought Hobbes's war of all against all many a time in the camps. Really, how else would she have survived?
Why the University of California Press kowtows to this shameless fraud I'll never understand.

Oligarch to stay in Israel

Israel has reacted dismissively to Russia's proposal to have Leonid Nevzlin extradited to face charges that he has ordered murders in Russia, including that of a Siberian mayor.
The foreign and justice ministries declined to comment officially on the prosecutor's statement. However, not for attribution, Israeli officials noted that the accusation against Nevzlin comes just a week after Russia's prosecution closed an investigation into alleged racism in the Kitzur Shulhan Arukh, a classic compilation of Jewish law.

"The prosecution's behavior strengthens the impression that the Russians are deliberately playing the anti-Semitism card against Russian Jews to pressure Israel into extraditing Jews from here," said one.

The juxtaposition of the two events, he added, "merely casts anti-Semitism in Russia in an even more repulsive light in Israel's eyes." [Ha'aretz]
Now I'm profoundly suspicious of the Russian oligarchs but I am suspicious of the Russian prosecution in these cases. It's true that Judaism itself has been on trial in Russian public life so for some people, it is hard to tell where anti-semitism ends and legitimate prosecutions begin.

July 05, 2005

Lea Tsemel resigns from Deir Yassin Remembered board of advisers

There have been some high profile resignations from Deir Yassin Remembered lately. The most recent that heard of was the Israeli human rights lawyer, Lea Tsemel together with Michael Warschawski of the Alternative Information Centre, Jerusalem.
To the Directors of DYR
We have been supporters of DYR from its very first days, and identified fully with its goals and objectives. During a recent tour in the US, we discovered that Israel Shamir has been included in the advisory board of DYR.

There is no room for a racist in an institution aimed to fight for the memory of the Deir Yassin victims of Ethnic cleansing and massacre. We therefore ask you to clarify whether or not Israel Shamir is indeed part of DYR. If it is the case and you have no intention to exclude him in order to keep the moral integrity of DYR, we will have to disconect ourselves from it.

Please forward this letter to all the members of the Advisory board.

Lea Tsemel, Michael Warschawski
I gather also that Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis and Jeff Halper have also resigned. Dear oh dear, these under-cover zionists, they're everywhere.

July 03, 2005

Open letter to Counterpunch

The link in the headline is to Tony Greenstein's response to an article that appeared in Counterpunch some time ago now, to which he was denied a right of reply. The surprising feature of the original article is that whilst it makes some general points it consists mostly of an attack on Tony Greenstein personally. But please read both article in full. I suggest you start with Counterpunch and then read Tony's response.

Just as an aside, this spat points to only a small part of the can of worms that the SWP's hosting of Gilad Atzmon has opened up. Among some people, the SWP will have given confidence and credibility to an overt anti-semite. Among others they have undermined their own credibility, in some cases, in the eyes of their own members. I'll be interested to hear what some of the participants in Marxism 2005 have to say about this. I'll be very surprised if the SWP itself doesn't come in for criticism from its own platform.

I'm not the only one

The Cat's Dream blog (I don't know why it's called that) has a wonderful gripe about Live 8. It's perfect for all those who are suffering Live 8 fatigue.
I felt dizzy when I read about Bono and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz talking about poverty in Africa. But the worst had still to happen.

I wanted to laugh – but I couldn’t – when I heard George W. Bush talking about the great generosity of US Government to help the developing countries. But the worst had still to happen.

I felt sick when I saw Tony Blair and Sir Bob Geldof flirting and preaching on TV about Make Poverty History. But the worst had still to happen.

I thought of Afghanistan and Iraq when I heard UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saying: "On behalf of the poor, the voiceless and the weak I say thank you." But the worst had still to happen.

Then I saw Bill Gates on the stage of Live 8 in London, calling for generosity. But even that wasn’t the worst.

The worst would be let these clowns blind us on the real causes of the problem, in Africa as anywhere else. The worst would be falling in this propaganda trap orchestrated by war criminals and their friends. The worst would be let them win.
Absolutely!

July 02, 2005

Make the rich history

If you're sick of hypocritical outpourings over Live 8, suspicious of a government sponsored protest march and deeply irritated that just about every radio station is carrying that stupid megastar rock concert then Robb Johnson has the antedote. "Make the wealthy history" is a song written recently by this fine serial song-writer (he's a singer song-writer who's written lots of songs in a short space of time). He's like a one man acoustic The Clash when you see him live. I saw him Friday before last at Chat's Palace in Hackney, east London. He did the song that gave me the above headline. I really wished I'd thought of that title. So obvious and in your face. Anyway, thank you Live 8 for giving me the excuse to use it, or something very similar, even if I didn't think of it.

The Israeli road to fascism?

I know a lot of anti-zionists avoid likening zionism to fascism or Israel to a fascist or nazi state but I believe the parallels are there for all to see. Ron Hacohen sees them too in this article titledThe Seeds of Fascism:
Not everything leaves the average Israeli so indifferent, of course. When settlers again blocked highways all over Israel this week, angry drivers approached them with iron bars. This story made it to the headlines: on one side the settlers, well-organized as always, on the other side the police, or what's left of it after the neo-liberal waves of privatization and budget cuts, and some drivers, furious enough to confront the settlers physically. Indeed, if there is one thing Israelis cannot bear, it's waiting for a highway to reopen. Five years ago, when Israeli Arabs dared block a few roads in Israel as the Second Intifada had just started, the popular Israeli wisdom unanimously agreed that such blocking is totally unacceptable, backing the police decision to use live ammunition and kill Arab-Israeli citizens to keep the roads open. Nowadays, the police found out there are other methods to keep the roads open, or even that human life is sometimes more important than an open road – at least when Jewish, not Arab, life is at stake.

I wonder how many of those furious Israeli drivers ever think of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, where there are no highways (not for Palestinians, that is), but where the roads, wretched after decades of stingy occupation with zero investment in infrastructure, are paved with hostile Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks, where humiliated Palestinians have to wait again and again, sometimes long hours in the burning sun, just to be able to cross on foot (cars not allowed).
Obviously the apartheid system that values Jewish lives above Arab ones is enshrined in Israel's state structure but there are other groups subject to differential status in Israel. According to the article, if you have a radical leftist in your family you will be barred from elite units of the army. Now the son of the mass murderer, Baruch Goldstein, has been accepted by the Israeli airforce.

P3?

Authorities in Italy claim to have broken up the successors to the P2 masonic lodge. I thought P2 already ruled Italy; maybe they're not ready for a successor just yet.

July 01, 2005

Stoning attack sickens Israelis?

Here's a very strange article in The Australian. Headlined Stoning attack sickens Israelis the article tells of how Israeli religious youths tried to stone a Palestinian 18 year old to death. What gets me here is that the Australian. is more concerned for Israel over this than it is for the Palestinian victim. It seem that no matter what Israel does, Israel is the victim. In the UK, when we're little, they tell us that everything in Australia is upside down. I didn't know it applied to their newspaper headlines.

American president linked to Guantanamo affair

Former and current Guantanamo Bay inmates are insisting that President George W.Bush was involved in their kidnapping and incarceration. The revelation threatens to harm the USA's relations with some Muslim countries. Meanwhile the USA is saying that the new Iranian president has also been involved with hostage taking. Funny old world.