October 30, 2008

U.S. capitalism, the ultimate reality show

In the spirit of preparing for the future by remembering the past, here's another classic for our times:

October 28, 2008

Springtime for Hitler? Probably not

All year long, Zionist hasbara is arguing that the term 'Zionist' is a cunning euphemism latter day antisemites use for Jews. It is a great way to throw the holocaust into the eyes of anyone who dares to criticize Israel. It is of course utterly false. When we say Zionists, we mean Zionists, i.e. people who think Jews have the right to ethnically cleanse Palestine and oppress Palestinians. A lot of these people are Jewish, but that is their problem. Nobody forces Jews to be assholes. It comes with the territory, literally.

Yet as the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. As stock markets crumble, out of the woodwork come those who believe they might repeat the history of the twentieth century by blaming Jews (or "Zionists") for the ravages of capitalist insanity. It is really pathetic, given how much the world has changed since 1929. The simple fact that with so few Jews among migrant workers, and so few Westerners working in factories, the future of fascism in the West depends on stirring the pot of Islamophobia and other immigration and minorities fears, as the smarter minds in The GOP understand. But thanks to the internet, there are still a few drops of notoriety that can be milked from this desiccated canard. And even if it recalls the opening scene of Mel Brook's "The producers," when Zero Mostel plays gigolo to senior citizens for cash, I wouldn't want to make fun of people who are so earnestly pursuing their dreams. (Not to mention that given how useful they are to the Zionist Hasbara effort, some of them could be milking a much fatter cow as well.)

I'm not going to cite this crap or refute it. ll just say this. If I had anything to do with the current financial meltdown, I wouldn't hide it. I would take credit for it. All this "wealth" that has been wiped out in the last year represented the expectations of the rentier class for future cash flows. These cash flows ultimately are a tax paid from the sweat, blood and tears of the world. The less, the better.

October 27, 2008

The amusing term 'coexistence'

Hisham Nafa' wrote a pointed and sharp op-ed in Haaretz.

Many people have expressed surprise at the recent violence in Acre. Particularly amusing was the mantra that rolled off the tongues of government officials, their eyes wide open: "How could such a thing happen in a city of coexistence?"


In Acre, as in the rest of the Greater Land of Israel, there is no coexistence. In Acre, there is pain and bitterness, built up over decades. It began not on Yom Kippur of this year, but rather since the ships filled with refugees left the city's shores; since the residents were placed in the handcuffs of military rule; since tens of thousands of their countrymen became victims of a violent, colonialist occupation; since a conscious, intentional policy of national suppression and racial hostility was instituted against them; and since they, living in their homes facing the city's beaches and on their land, began to be described as a demographic threat.

There are more details to this ugly picture: Acre has poor Jewish neighborhoods, where the ruling establishment sees to it that the building rage of the inhabitants is not turned against it...The Jewish victims of the regime become a weapon against the ultimate victims of the same regime. There you have it: an explosive vicious circle.

For years, Acre's local government officials have been babbling, in the spirit of the times, about the need to Judaize the city. Groups of settlers and of young religious people, who have undergone right-wing nationalization, were brought to the city. And Acre's Arabs ask themselves what this Judaization means, if not their actual and symbolic removal; have we been disinherited once again?

In recent years, religious tendencies have grown among significant "non-white" segments of Israeli society. ... And in a state where hostility regarding matters of identity has spread to every part...even Yom Kippur has become an opportunity to exercise hatred,...Instead of requests for divine forgiveness, there is an increase in violent rituals against anything that moves. Maybe some people need a Yom Kippur II, to ask forgiveness for their actions during Yom Kippur I.

Acre, of course, is not alone. There is the "coexistence" model of Jaffa. In that city, greedy real-estate developers and pseudo-artists have infiltrated the Old City and live in walled fortresses, because it's so much fun to live in such an exotic area. With regard to the adjacent areas of poverty, suffering and oppression, however, their eyes - and especially their conscience - have remained sealed. And there are those who are enchanted by the idea of implementing this model in the Old City of Acre, too....

So there is nothing surprising in what happened in Acre. I suggest to all the potentially surprised individuals to get ready for more "surprises" in other locales. Unless, of course, a a practical, sincere, strategic decision is taken to change Israeli policy concerning the "Arab question" - both at home and beyond.... (Haaretz, Oct 27, 2008)

October 25, 2008

Zionist antisemitism revisited

Someone drew my attention to a broken link for my original posting of this essay by Les Levidow. It was first published in 1990 but given the rise of the antisemitic Christian zionists in America and the collaboration of Jewish Israel lobbyists with them, it's as relevant today as it was when it was first written:
Published in Return magazine (London), December 1990
Zionist Anti-Semitism
by Les.Levidow@btinternet.com

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.

In practice, this has meant that:
• Zionist culture 'assimilated' European anti-Semitism from the very start;
• the State of Israel eventually extended that discrimination to Oriental Jews, seen as a Jewish-Arab (or 'Levantine') threat, within a wider framework of Western colonial racism;
• the anti-Arab racism endemic to Zionism incorporates aspects of European anti-Semitism; and
• Zionist paranoia towards Palestinians expresses internal anxieties about the disintegration of Jewish identities which Zionism itself has helped to destroy.

'Assimilating' anti-Semitism
As largely or potentially assimilated Jews, the early Zionists of Western Europe came to doubt the possibility – or even desirability – of their full assimilation, as they encountered prejudice and barriers. They came to accept anti-Semitic racial concepts of the Jews as inherently incapable of integrating into the Western nations as full citizens. This fatalism was expressed by doctor Leo Pinsker, with a suitable medical metaphor, when he declared that 'Judeo-phobia is a disease; and, as a congenital disease, it is incurable' (in Hertzberg, 1966).

Early Zionists also accepted – implicitly or explicitly – prevalent stereotypes of backwards and/or subversive East European Jews, whose migration to Western Europe (or the USA) they regarded as a threat to their own hard-won social status. This perceived threat acted as a motive for affluent Jews in Western Europe to channel the migration of East European Jews elsewhere. Moreover, many Zionists perceived their own interests as coinciding with the domestic interests of Europe's imperial rulers. When Theodor Herzl lobbied the Tsar's Minister of Interior, who had been responsible for anti-Semitic pogroms, Herzl argued that Zionism would weaken the revolutionary movement in Russia.

At the same time, Zionists justified themselves in terms of uplifting the backward East European Jews. Moses Hess, describing the economic structure of East European Jewry as 'parasitic', described the future Jewish state as 'the basis on which European Jewry will be able to climb out of the dustbins' (quoted in Halevi, 1987, p.153). The alliance which Zionism sought with European imperialism arose from the cultural chasm which they perceived between Western and Eastern Jews.

Indeed, locating their solution in a Jewish state based on European models, Zionist leaders regarded the Eastern European Jews' culture as an obstacle. David Ben-Gurion referred disparagingly to their 'Diaspora mentality' and 'Jewish cosmopolitanism'. With the rise of fascism in the 1930s, the term 'cruel Zionism' described those who justified sacrificing the many – especially East European Jews - for the sake of the few who would establish a Jewish state. Chaim Weizmann (1937) promoted such a mentality with his poetic flair: ‘The old ones will pass; they will bear their fate, or they will not. They were dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world...’ Thus, although Zionism arose in response to anti-Semitism, it did so by assimilating crucial elements of anti-Semitism, while appropriating the religious connotations of 'human dust' in racist terms.

Zionism defined a secular Jewishness negatively, in terms of the Jews' eternal persecution by anti-Semitism, seen as the world's main evil, and eventually epitomised by the Arabs. Just as this ideology saw anti-Semitism as a normal, expected reaction to the presence of Jews out of place in the Diaspora, so it saw the Jewish state as fulfilling the normal division of the world's territorial spaces according to ethnically defined national groups. Moreover, it incorporated anti-Semitic myths of the Jews as defined by race or language, and turned these into counter-myths defining the Jewish nation that needed to be built (see Halevi, 1987, chapters 5-6).

Within this framework, racist distinctions among Jews were extended into Palestine itself, where the Zionist movement sought to replace immigrants' Yiddish culture with a literally fabricated one. As Israeli author Amos Oz (1983) describes the state's acculturation mission:
Even new lullabies and new 'ancient legends' were synthesised by eager writers... Folk song and dances that require the officially trained guides who.... are teaching the folk how to sing and dance properly! (translated in Bresheeth, 1989, p.130)

Jewish Arab threat

Shortly after the state of Israel was created, the task of Zionising European immigrants became overshadowed by the 'problem' of the Oriental Jews. Nearly two million Israelis, who now constitute a majority of the country's population, were culturally Arabs in all but religion; indeed, they were Arab Jews in all but name. The Zionist project necessarily fractured that reality into two opposed identities - Arab versus Jew. It likewise identified Jew with Zionist, in turn meaning the assimilated Ashkenazi European type of Jew.

When the Israeli government realised in the early 1950s that few Jews would emigrate from Western countries, it resorted to inducing Oriental Jews to do so. It then used them to populate dangerous settlements along cease-fire lines to consolidate Israel's claims to the disputed territory, and it assigned them to the low-paid, menial jobs otherwise done by Palestinians. By engineering this physical and economic conflict between Oriental Jews and Palestinians, Israel manufactured the former's anti-Arab feeling, which Zionism officially attributed to the persecution that most Oriental Jews had supposedly suffered in Arab countries.

Although the mass emigration of Oriental Jews served several Zionist purposes, the Ashkenazi establishment saw it as a potential cultural threat. Israeli publications have abounded with racist language - animal metaphors, 'savages', 'superstitious', 'diseased', etc. - describing the Oriental Jews. Official Israeli language bans the Yiddish term 'Schwartze' commonly used in conversation to disparage Oriental Jews as 'blacks'. Yet the official euphemism for them, Jewish 'people of African and Asian origin', excludes South African Jews, who are instead categorised along with Jewish 'people of European and American origin' (Halevi, 1987, p.207). That anomaly reveals the racial, rather than geographical, basis for the Zionist categorisation of Jews. Halevi further notes the irony that Israel denounces its Jewish critics as 'self-hating' yet attempts to integrate the Arab Jews through a 'system of ideological control and cultural domination wholly built on the self-denial of Arab Judaism, and on a colonial-style mass psychology' (p.220).

The Ashkenazi perception of internal threat has been insightfully analysed by Ella Shohat (1988). She quotes Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, whose 1964 book described the Oriental Jews as lacking 'the most elementary knowledge', 'without a trace of Jewish or human education'. Similarly, Abba Eban warned that Israel must infuse them 'with an Occidental spirit, rather than allow them to drag us into an unnatural Orientalism'.

Shohat describes the Zionist project of turning the Oriental Jews into true Ashkenazi Israelis: By distinguishing the 'evil East' (the Moslem Arab) from the 'good' East (the Jewish Arab), Israel has taken it upon itself to 'cleanse' the Orientals of their Arab-ness and redeem them from the 'primal sin' of belonging to the Orient. (pp.7-8). Despite official proclamations about Jews as 'one people', the Orientals' different culture "threatens the European ideal-ego which phantasises Israel as a prolongation of Europe 'in' the Middle East but not 'of' it. (p.23).
The grand project of assimilation has succeeded in constructing a putatively eternal antagonism between Arab versus Jew, particularly erasing the memory of the original Palestinian Jews. Likewise it has generated a syndrome of self-hating Oriental Jews, who can win acceptance only by disavowing their previous cultural identity. For them, Shohat argues, "existence under Zionism has meant a profound and visceral schizophrenia, mingling stubborn self-pride with an imposed self-rejection, typical products of a situation of colonial ambivalence...In fact, Arab-hatred, when it occurs among Oriental Jews, is almost always a disguised form of self-hatred." (p.25)

Thus their resentment against Palestinians expresses an internalised Western racism. When some Orientals formed the Black Panthers in 1970-1 and declared their solidarity with the PLO, the Israeli government attacked the movement as an expression of 'neurosis' or 'maladjustment'. That is, precisely when Oriental Jews attempted to overcome the psychopathology induced by Zionist anti-Semitism, their attempt was labelled pathological and suppressed.

Eventually their resentment became decisive in Israeli politics. Having been treated as second-class citizens by the Histadrut (Israel's second largest employer doubling as a 'labour movement'), Oriental Jews directed their hatred against 'socialism' and the Labour Party in particular, to the point of largely voting for Likud alignment in the 1977 election. Although Oriental Jews apparently support harsher measures against the Palestinians, the repressive vanguard among the army and settlers has always had an Ashkenazi leadership. While colluding with the latter, the Labour Party (and others) conveniently blame the 'backward' Oriental Jews as a major obstacle to peace.

As Shohat argues, this blaming "has the advantage of placing the elite protesters in the narcissistic posture of perpetual seekers after peace", who must bear the hostility of the government, the right wing, the Oriental Jews and recalcitrant Palestinians. In that way, even the most enlightened Ashkenazi Zionism can absolve itself by blaming less civilised Semitic peoples for perpetuating irrational conflicts. At the same time, Zionism conceals the institutional racism which engendered that conflict.

Palestinians as persecutors

Zionism often portrays the Palestinians as agents of an international Arab conspiracy dedicated to destroying Israel. This mentality can be understood by analogy to other colonial episodes in which the colonisers experienced the colonised as persecutors. In the case of Zionism, Haim Bresheeth (1989) describes how the social identity of the 'New Jew' was created in the image of the European neo-colonialist model, except that Palestine's original inhabitants (if acknowledged to exist at all) were to be expelled rather than merely exploited.

Moreover, Zionist paranoia bears parallels to European anti-Semitism, in two senses. Palestinians are almost racially defined as anti-Jewish, as persecuted German Jews were labelled 'anti-German'. And their anticipated attacks on Jews help displace subconscious guilt about Israeli pogroms committed against Palestinians.

This displacement or projection of persecution can be seen in the portrayal of Arabs in Hebrew-language children's literature, as analysed by Fouzi al-Asmar (1986). In these stories Israelis face a mortal threat from Arabs who vent a racial hatred for the Jews, as a result of being incited by agitators sent by Arab governments. Of course such fictional Arab characters make no distinction between Jews and Israelis. Somehow the State of Israel always escapes imminent annihilation because the irrational Arabs lack effective organisation, and because Israeli supermen-soldiers (or even children) heroically protect the country from the threat. Despite such reassurance, the threat should be considered paranoid by virtue of projecting aggression and potential guilt upon the Arabs, as well as containing anxieties about the Israelis' national identity.

El-Asmar observes a change in demonological terminology according to the period being described. In these stories, pre-1948 Arabs are portrayed as mainly nomadic Bedouins with no particular attachment to Palestine; other Arabs, likewise primitive, diseased and dirty, are often thieves and murderers. The Arab-Israeli conflict arises only because Arabs refused to live in peace with Jews; given their refusal and subsequent (unexplained) 'flight', they lack grounds for claiming Palestine as a homeland.

After the 1948 war and the establishment of the state of Israel, Arabs are portrayed as fedayin 'infiltrators' - in a period when many of the million expelled Palestinians attempted to harvest their crops or reclaim other abandoned property. After the 1967 war, Arabs are portrayed as 'saboteurs' - in a period when Israel sabotaged Palestinian agriculture in the Occupied Territories through an array of legal restrictions. After the 1973 war, Palestinian characters became 'terrorists' operating world-wide.

In all cases, this children's literature portrays Arab attacks as seeking only to raid, steal and kill. Apparently they are motivated by jealousy against Jews who have brought 'human standards' and modern prosperity to the Land of Israel. A 'good Arab' character is portrayed as lamenting that "these Jews came to a desert and they made out of it a paradise, and here we come and convert that paradise into a desert" (p.70). This portrayal lends legitimation to any Israeli measures taken against Palestinians. Thus systematic Zionist expropriation and killing is concealed or justified by attributing the real barbarism to its victims.

While the Israeli characters ultimately triumph in these children's stories, the omnipotence fantasy becomes somewhat dented by the 1973 war. In one story a child is taking cover from a MIG [jet] bombing. He hears a terrible noise "as if I were a loyal grain ground between huge millstones, as if the land is trembling under me and I will soon fall into a deep and black pit" (p.119).

In that fantasy of being reduced to nothingness, the child expresses a widespread 'victim complex', whereby Israelis imagine themselves as facing a perpetual threat of annihilation, from which they are saved by superior moral character and/or military defence. The fantasy serves at least two crucial functions. It displaces subconscious guilt about the persecution of Palestinians; and it externalises the internal threat to Jewish identity by the Zionist project itself. The displacement involves a psychic continuum, in which anxiety over social identity is experienced as a threat to one's physical existence – "falling into a deep and black pit". The unavoidable anxiety arises in turn from Israel's failed attempt to replace a religious Jewish identity with a secular Jewish culture (as analysed by Akiva Orr, 1983).

Having constructed the 'New Jew' as the born-again goy, Hebrew-speaking gentile, Zionist has further constructed the Palestinian Arab on the stereotypical model of the European Jew. Even a humanist, Left-Zionist writer like Amos Oz (1983, pp.157, 164) found himself likening the office of Al-Fajr [a Palestinian East-Jerusalem newspaper] to that of an Eastern European Yiddish newspaper. And in all seriousness he saw the paper as a sinister front for an anti-Zionist, Islamic, Soviet Communist conspiracy. Thus Arabs are despised not simply as the enemy 'other', but as a reminder of a hated and abandoned Jewish identity, 'the suffering Jew'. Moreover, European anti-Semitic conspiracy theories find their counterpart in Israeli fears of Palestinians: the persecuted are experienced as the persecutors.

Projecting Zionist anti-Semitism

A Jewish Israeli academic, educationalist Dr Adit Cohen (Ha'aretz, 30.6.76) once warned about this racist portrayal of Arabs as "it was in this way that the image of the Jew was presented in anti-Semitic Christian literature" (quoted in El-Asmar, p.125). Certainly an historical parallel can been drawn between Zionist paranoia and its anti-Semitic antecedents. As capitalist market relations destroy autonomous cultural identities, "people begin not to know who they are" (Kovel, 1983, p.238). As a psychic defence against this threat, modern racism must go further than to project onto the victim; to protect the self from annihilation, this racism tends towards physically removing or destroying the victim.

Given that the Holocaust and then Israel served to destroy 'Diaspora' Jewish identities, in favour of the New Jew, the Palestinians came to represent a psychic threat to the very existence of Jews. "We were better off in the ghetto, where we knew who we were" laments a semi-fictional character of novelist Simon Louvish (1985, p.144). That wistful nostalgia, apparently innocuous, provides a way into understanding the persistent demonising of Palestinians as an external threat to Jewish existence, whose Jewish cultural basis has been suppressed by Zionist nationalism itself.

In conclusion, then, Zionism attempted to substitute a European nationalism for the traditional religious basis of Jewish identity, as well as for the diverse 'Diaspora' cultures which European racism denigrated. While claiming to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, Zionism actually undermined the basis for any coherent Jewish identity, while attributing the threat entirely to external enemies of the Jews. Thus, through a self-perpetuating illogic, Zionism presents itself as the only saviour from a malaise which it brought about and sustains.


Bresheeth, H. (1989) ‘Self and Other in Zionism: Palestine and Israel in recent Hebrew literature’, in Khamsin 14/15. Palestine: Profile of an Occupation, London, Zed Books, pp. 120-52
El-Asmar, F. (1986) Through the Hebrew Looking-Glass: Arab Stereotypes in Children's Literature, London, Zed Books
Halevi, I. (1987) A History of the Jews, London, Zed Books
Hertzberg, A. (1966) The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader. New York, Atheneum; includes a reprint of Leo Pinsker, ‘Auto-emancipation’.
Kovel, J. (1983) ‘Marx on the Jewish Question’, Dialectical Anthropology 8: 31-46; reprinted in Joel Kovel, The Radical Spirit: Essays on Psychoanalysis and Society, London, Free Association Books, 1988, pp.226-50
Louvish, S. (1985) The Therapy of Avram Blok. London, Heinemann.
Orr, A. (1983) The unJewish State: The Politics of Jewish Identity in Israel. London, Ithaca Press
Oz, A. (1983) The Dawn: In the Land of Israel. London, Fontana
Shohat, E. (1988) ‘Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the standpoint of its Jewish victims’, Social Text 19/20: 1-36.
Weizmann, C. (1937) Dr Weizmann's Political Address – 20th Zionist Congress, New Judea, August, p.215

Jewish Chronicle wrong, shock!

I just can't find my way around the Jewish Chronicle website these days. Nor, it seems, can Deborah Maccoby. She very kindly typed out a letter from today's JC and posted it to the Just Peace UK list. Here it is:

There were a number of errors in your review of Channel 4's film "The Shooting of Tom Hurndall", which we would like to correct.

Simon Round stated that Thomas Hurndall saw himself as a peace activist. He was a photo-journalism degree student who had gone to the Middle East to take photos as part of his work. There is no evidence that he was in Israel as a "peace activist", nor was he, as you suggest, an ISM activist.

Simon Round takes issue with the words attributed to the British military attaché regarding the backgrounds of Israeli prime ministers. The film does not assert that all Israeli prime ministers have been decorated generals, but that many have been. The military attache qualifies his comment by saying that "the army calls the shots". This is informed opinion, not a statement of fact, as you assert.

The suggestion that the bombers of Mike's Bar had a relationship with the ISM is disingenuous, and perhaps intended to smear the ISM, and by association Tom Hurndall. Despite raiding ISM offices, the Israeli authorities have found no evidence linking the Mike's Bar bombers with the ISM, nor any evidence that the ISM is anything other than a non-violent organisation.

Simon Round asks why a film couldn't be made about the excesses of the British military in Iraq. In fact, the subject was dramatised in C4's 2007 film "The Mark of Cain".

Finally, the Hurndall family had no right of veto over the film. They, like other characters in the film, were allowed to check the factual accuracy of key scenes. We reject Alex Brummer's assertion that the film was a "Hurndall family production". Others had integral parts in the making of the film, including lawyers in the IDF, who were interviewed during the research phase. The overall views of the film are those of the production team and not the Hurndall family.

Charles Furneaux, executive producer, and Simon Block, writer

Channel 4 Television,
I know zionists claim to be sticklers for context so we'd better take a look at the Simon Round article:
On April 11, 2003, Thomas Hurndall, a 21-year-old student photographer and peace activist was shot in the head and killed in the Gaza town of Rafah, near the border with Egypt. The man who pulled the trigger was Sergeant Taysir Hayb, an IDF sniper. Hayb was sentenced to eleven-and-a-half years for the manslaughter of Hurndall.

These are the basic facts. However, this is the Middle East and the facts do not begin to explain the complexity of events surrounding the killing of Hurndall. His parents, Jocelyn and Anthony, pressed the IDF for explanations - not out of revenge, they claim, but to understand what really happened to their son. This powerful drama revisited the events and their consequences.

The film, written by Simon Block and directed by Rowan Joffe, does attempt to represent all viewpoints. Hurndall saw himself as a peace activist and was attempting to rescue Palestinian children under gunfire when he was shot.

But was he an impartial bystander? The International Solidarity Movement which he represented is Palestinian-funded and is regarded by Israel and a hostile organisation. Hurndall was given two days' training before being put in the front line of a war with high casualties on both sides. He had repeatedly photographed the watchtower from which he was killed. There was a suggestion from one character that because Palestinian casualties excited little worldwide publicity, Hurndall's death and the attendant fallout may not have been a completely negative event for the Palestinian hierarchy.

Then there is the undisputed fact that Gaza was a terribly dangerous place to be a civilian or a soldier. Joffe was at pains to show the watchtower from which Hurndall was shot coming under sustained fire by Palestinian gunmen in separate incidents. Although there was no justification for Tayb's action, it was easy to see how soldiers could crack under those circumstances.

Tayb was quoted saying he "wanted to teach Hurndall a lesson". He claimed he had been commanded to keep a "sterile area" around the watchtower at all costs. The fact remains that he shot an unarmed, clearly identifiable and unarmed civilian.

Despite the IDF's prosecution of Tayb, and his conviction, the Hurndalls, played compellingly by Stephen Dillane and Kerry Fox, continued to blame IDF policy. At one point it was suggested that, because Tayb was a Bedouin Arab rather than a Jew, the Israelis may have been more keen than otherwise to offer him up as a sacrificial lamb.

Would a documentary have better served the arguments? Drama, by its very definition, seeks to interpret events, and to portray the emotions as well as the bare facts. Block's film depicts the IDF as severe, unsympathetic and unhelpful to the Hurndalls. One could even imagine a touch of racism directed towards Tayb and his family.

In contrast, the British embassy staff come across as humane and sincere (although badly briefed: the military attaché tells Anthony Hurndall that was practically impossible to become Israeli Prime Minister without having been a decorated general. Really? Try telling that to David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, Shimon Peres or Ehud Olmert).

Hurndall's killing was a criminal act and tragic for his family. Yet, as Dillane, playing Anthony Hurndall, acknowledged: "Israel is a democracy". Israel's Attorney General ordered an independent inquiry which resulted in Tayb's prosecution.

Meanwhile, only 19 days after the killing of a British civilian in Gaza, another British civilian, Asif Muhammad Hanif, walked into Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv and detonated a suicide bomb killing three Israeli civilians and injuring 50 more. He and his accomplice, Omar Khan Sharif, had dropped in on the ISM for a coffee and chat a few days before carrying out the outrage. So who exactly were the good guys here?

The Hurndalls are of course not the only family to have lost a family member following criminal action by soldiers. Only months after Hurndall's death, an Iraqi, Saha Mousa was beaten to death by soldiers of the British Royal Military Police. Of the nine accused, all but one was acquitted.

What price a two-hour drama about the death of Saha Mousa?
I can't give the url for the page because I found it by way of the search facility in the top right corner of the JC's homepage. I think (but I don't know if) it's java where it finds the content but doesn't show its original url. I so wanted the url I googled a bit of a sentence and sure enough, Round's article was the only hit. But when I clicked on the link, this is what I found. Hmm, page not found. What's all that about? Are they doing an Engage? You know, disappearing an embarrassing article.

Well no, it can't be that. Alex Brummer's article was just as embarrassing and they haven't disappeared that.

October 23, 2008

Wherefore is this knight different from all the other knights?

Oh no, this is terrible. According to Yediot Ahranot as reported by the Jewish Chronicle, war criminal, Shimon Peres, is expected to get a knighthood when he visits the Queen next month:
Under the headline "Sir Peres," a report in the popular Israeli tabloid Yediot Ahronot this morning, based on sources in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said that Mr Peres would receive a knighthood during his visit. This is inaccurate as foreign citizens can only receive honorary knighthoods, are not gazetted and do not have the right to call themselves "Sir." These titles are usually conferred upon the recommendation of the Foreign Office. As it is, the title that Mr Peres, may or may not receive next month has yet to be finalised.
A couple of questions here. Who bows down to whom when an Israeli head of state meets the British one? If he gets upped to a peerage, will he be Lord Shimon of Qana in deference to one (or was it two?) of his more notable achievements?

October 22, 2008

Mad Mel Phlips again and again

Many thanks to Brian Robinson for drawing my attention to Hugh Muir's diary in today's Guardian. Hugh Muir in common with, as far as I can tell, 3,470 bloggers, thought their was something noteworthy about the following conclusion to a Melanie Phillips article, in the Spectator, on Barak "Steve" Obama:
You have to pinch yourself – a Marxisant radical who all his life has been mentored by, sat at the feet of, worshipped with, befriended, endorsed the philosophy of, funded and been in turn funded, politically promoted and supported by a nexus comprising black power anti-white racists, Jew-haters, revolutionary Marxists, unrepentant former terrorists and Chicago mobsters, is on the verge of becoming President of the United States. And apparently it’s considered impolite to say so.
At one point she alludes to a Stanley Kurtz article thus
No surprise there, since back in June Kurtz pointed to evidence that Obama shared the black racism of the Trinity United Church of Christ. In this article Obama was reported as rejecting ‘integrationist assimilation’
Don't knock it honey, where would Israel be without segregation?

October 20, 2008

And now David Herman didn't mean what he seemed to mean

Here is the comment on the Harry's Place blog by David Herman:
To cut through the nonsense - both Greenstien and Rance are long term anti-zionists who want to see Israel destroyed/disappear/be no more (take your pick) for some reason they believe the fact that they’re Jewish adds some moral weight to their position.

I believe they’re psychologically flawed fools who collaborate with the enemies of the Jewish people.

They should remember that in the Nazi ghettos of Europe and the townships of South Africa the first people that the resistance targeted were collaborators.

In less forgiving times they would be receiving a necklace for hanukah!

Here is Community Security Trust Communications Director, Mark Gardner's response:
Jews against Zionism in their own words, but taken from the pro Hizbollah website, Inminds:

“Jews Against Zionism is an organisation of Jews and others opposed to the Zionist movement and ideology, and to its impact on both Palestinians and Jews. We believe that the conflict in Palestine cannot be resolved without a return of Palestinian refugees and dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel; and that this is impossible in the context of “two states“ and a re-partition of Palestine.

We advocate the only approach which can lead to peace with justice in the region; we call fro a unitary, secular and democratic Palestine, the return of Palestinian refugees, and full and equal rights for Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and all other people living in the whole of Palestine.”

Now, you can have a Talmudic disputation as to how the “dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel” does not equal “smash Zionism” or “destroy Israel” but I’m in David Herman’s (considerable) shadow on this one. We know where Rance and Greenstein stand, we know their previous, and its exactly why pro-Hizbollah websites carry their propaganda. Duh.
My post saying that this looked like a death threat is here and Mark Gardner's retort is here.

And finally, here is David Herman's "explanation" (in Hebrew, hasbara) of what he really meant:
Mark Gardiner interpretation of my comment is right. I was not threatening anyone with murder. I'm a democrat not a totalitarian. I was merely pointing out that in less 'forgiving times' collaborators were dealt with more harshly than now.

I'm delighted that we live in times when we can have free and open debate with anyone and everyone - however repulsive we might find each others views.
Thank goodness for that, the anti-racists among us can continue our campaigning against Jewish supremacy in occupied Palestine and those of us who are Jewish can rest easy in the knowledge that the Community Security Trust has more important things to do than lend its well resourced weight to threats of any kind against those of us who denounce zionist collaboration with antisemitism from Tsar Nicolas II, through Simon Petliura, through the nazis, the Galtieri regime and now the Christian right of America.

I don't expect the zionists to learn from history, in fact history and the present show that they don't, but they could at least memorise their history, then they'll know who it is that has the record for collaboration with the enemies of the Jewish people and they might avoid these embarrassing little scrapes.

Comment from CST Director of Communications, Mark Gardner

This is a copy and paste from a comment purporting to be from Mark Gardner, mentioned in the post titled Community Security Trust support for "necklacing" of Jews?.
For the record, and as I have just emailed to Tony Greenstein at the AZNAS site:

I regard your wrong interpretation of my comments as potentially libellous.

I do not advocate violence against Tony Greenstein, not now, not previously.

I believed David Herman to be saying the opposite to what you are now accusing him (and me) of.

I believed David Herman to be saying that there are places in the world where dissent can lead to murder - and that this is in direct contrast with the blogging environment where we throw words at each other. Indeed, that is why I referred in my post to "Talmudic disputations".

(As for the email address, its just a technical thing to do with our server).
I'm glad the Director of Communications has cleared things up here.

As it happens I don't follow Tony Greenstein blindly. The earlier post was my interpretation of what David Herman was saying. If that's being "clarified" to mean the "opposite" of an incitement to murder at Hanukah then that's fine. I must say that my interpretation and Tony's and now Roland Rance's, lead one to wonder if communications is Gardner's forté. In fact here's the offending line again from David Herman:
In less forgiving times they would be receiving a necklace for hanukah!
I believed this to be a potential death threat. The Director of Communications of the Community Security Trust believes it to be the opposite of a death threat. And I am more than happy to publish his position on this.

Many thanks to Mr Gardner. If David Herman wants to add further clarification he is more than welcome.

Jewish Chronicle plug for anti-zionist group

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network has received a plug from an unexpected source, the Jewish Chronicle. I can't connect to the JC today but here's the piece from an email:
Anti-Zionists launch new group

The Jewish Chronicle

Marcus Dysch

October 17, 2008

The launch of a Jewish organisation dedicated to isolating Israel in the international community has been criticised by Zionist groups.

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) unveiled its aims in London last week.

Its charter states a desire "to help widen [the] cracks [in Zionism], until the wall comes down and Israel is as isolated as was apartheid South Africa ".

Working in partnership with groups including Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods,

IJAN wants to increase Jewish anti-Zionist activity on campuses and promote cultural work expressing resistance to Israel and Zionism. IJAN's co-ordinator, Michael Kalmanovitz, said: "We believe that Palestinian people must have the right of return given the deliberate, planned ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionists over the last 60 years.

"We totally oppose the idea that Israel is a Jewish homeland."

But Gavin Gross, director of public affairs of the Zionist Federation, said: "These people represent the minuscule, extreme, far-left lunatic fringe of the Jewish community.

"Many would argue that they have deep psychological issues about their Jewish identity. Sensible people will simply ignore them."

Brian Klug of Independent Jewish Voices said IJV would not co-operate with the new group. "We have nothing to do with them. I do not think they are the product of anything IJV have done. IJV is a network of individuals and is not an anti-Zionist group," he said.

"They are just another expression of this tendency to speak out more publicly against the mainstream trend of defending Israel - regardless of what the state does."

A Board of Deputies spokesman said: "The suggestion that the group intends to organise ‘a popular tribunal' to ‘expose' Zionist institutions simply sounds like a kangaroo court to target any Jewish communal organisation that they disagree with."

IJAN's first public meeting will take place in Camden , North-West London, on October 24.

Did you see what they said about Brian Klug?
Brian Klug of Independent Jewish Voices said IJV would not co-operate with the new group.
And then they quote him:
We have nothing to do with them. I do not think they are the product of anything IJV have done. IJV is a network of individuals and is not an anti-Zionist group
That's not quite the same as saying that IJV "would not co-operate with the new group." It's simply saying, correctly, that the new group is nothing to do with IJV and that neither IJV nor any of its members/supporters are connected with IJAN. The rest of the article suggests at least a ripple of panic every time Jews as Jews speak out against the racist ideology and project known as zionism.

Community Security Trust support for "necklacing" of Jews?

The Community Security Trust (CST), aka, the provisional wing of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, provides a visible presence outside synagogues in smart areas of major cities and suburbs to convey an impression of a community under threat. They also send photographers to Palestine solidarity demonstrations and refuse to confirm whether they keep files on individuals or not. You might call them "shadowy" or you might call them silly or you might call them both.

Well a chap giving a CST email address recently appeared to endorse an apparent death threat against anti-zionist Jews on Harry's Place. The comment appearing to contain a death threat appears under a post by a chap called Michael Ezra (aka Mikey). David Toube appears to delegate posting rights to Ezra because Ezra will openly say things that even Toube won't stoop to. Well the post is too silly to quote but it's here.

If you scroll down the comments you'll see a discussion where various comments insist that without Jewish supremacy in occupied Palestine, Jews will be killed in large numbers. Without considering the fact that it's the supremacy thing which is getting Jews targeted in the first place, a David Herman comments thus:
To cut through the nonsense - both Greenstien and Rance are long term anti-zionists who want to see Israel destroyed/disappear/be no more (take your pick) for some reason they believe the fact that they’re Jewish adds some moral weight to their position.

I believe they’re psychologically flawed fools who collaborate with the enemies of the Jewish people.

They should remember that in the Nazi ghettos of Europe and the townships of South Africa the first people that the resistance targeted were collaborators.

In less forgiving times they would be receiving a necklace for hanukah!

Ok, a classic case of projection. Zionists have always collaborated with antisemitism from the inception of the movement, through the rise (and even the fall) of the nazis down to the present day with their love affair with the Christian right in America. He might not know, or he chooses to ignore, the fact that the collaborators in the ghettoes were overwhelmingly zionists. And yes they were killed. Also, the necklace killings in South Africa were carried out by natives against natives that collaborated with the settler regime and anti-zionist Jews in common with the overwhelming majority of Jews are not native to Palestine and they want the settler regime abolished in Palestine. This Herman chap wants the settler regime maintained and appears to believe that should times become less "forgiving" anti-zionist Jews should and would be necklaced.

Tony Greenstein has run a post on this, given that he is named in the HP post and the comments. My name seems to have been banished by the two Davids, Hirsh and Toube, since I made both look so silly on so many occasions. In his post it appears that this Herman chap can make some claim to respectability but the commenter that stood out amid the non sequiturs, guilt by association ploys and personal abuse, was one from a "Mark Gardner".
Jews against Zionism in their own words, but taken from the pro Hizbollah website, Inminds:

“Jews Against Zionism is an organisation of Jews and others opposed to the Zionist movement and ideology, and to its impact on both Palestinians and Jews. We believe that the conflict in Palestine cannot be resolved without a return of Palestinian refugees and dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel; and that this is impossible in the context of “two states“ and a re-partition of Palestine.

We advocate the only approach which can lead to peace with justice in the region; we call fro a unitary, secular and democratic Palestine, the return of Palestinian refugees, and full and equal rights for Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and all other people living in the whole of Palestine.”

Now, you can have a Talmudic disputation as to how the “dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel” does not equal “smash Zionism” or “destroy Israel” but I’m in David Herman’s (considerable) shadow on this one. We know where Rance and Greenstein stand, we know their previous, and its exactly why pro-Hizbollah websites carry their propaganda. Duh.
Ok, the comment is the usual HP/Engage stupidness but hover your mouse over the name "Mark Gardner" and this email address appears: dave.r@thecst.org.uk.

Now given the propensity of many zionist bloggers for sock puppetry and not just in the comments, I don't know how the discrepancy between the screenname and the email address is explained but the email is a Community Security Trust address and the comment is applauding what looks like a death threat in an earlier comment. Perhaps "Mark Gardner" would like to explain or maybe David Toube or his colleagues will rush to his assistance and delete the offending comments whilst pretending to have done no such thing. After all "we know their previous".

October 19, 2008

Poor Trash, Rich Trash and Obama

This is from the "yes ma'am, you ARE trash" department.

(and read this
note too)

And this is Obama in his natural surroundings, giving a performance that explains why Palin is so popular with small town Americans better than I can.

And this is a little anecdote that explains what happens when the s#!t hit the fan.

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er." ( FiveThirtyEight )

Except that it the kind of anecdote that carry the signature of a Democrat's wish-fulfillment fantasy. As in "you see, finally the trash understand who their real benefactors are! Too bad the stock market had to crash in order for them to finally get it." This is fantasy that depends on the denial of class, and on not understanding (not being able to afford the understanding) that the hatred of small-town U.S.A. towards the professional classes and their ethos is not for lack of rational capacity.

October 17, 2008

More on the Yom Kippur Pogrom in Akka

Coexistence is a [just] a slogan. After all, Akko [i.e. Akka] is a city like ra'ananna, Kfar Saba and Haifa, whose Jewish identity one needs to preserve. I don't think there is any controversy. Akko is the capital of the Galil, thousands of years of Jewish history. We are here to preserve Jewish identity, to strengthen the spirit and to pass the national test with honor. (Rabbi Yossi Stern, head of the Akka military Yeshiva)
[the goal of the assaults is]: to kick us out of our neighborhood, and to make the Arabs leave Akka. But we will stay in the Akka of our birth, despite the violence against us." (Runza Ramaal, who fled Akka after being attacked by the mob, cited by the Committee of Activists for Akka)

Background for the Pogrom that is completely absent from the media. Akka is the site of an on-going ethnic cleansing campaign, spearheaded by settlers from Hebron and other settlements who decided to settle in the middle of the Palestinian Akka and to repeat the technique they used to destroy Hebron. One of their motivation is to prove that there is no real difference between Akka and Hebron. And in this at least they are right. According to 'Ala khalikhal from the committee of activists for Akka, there are 200 Rabbinical students and about a thousand Jewish settlers in Akka. Their operation is part of a recent settlement activity within mixed cities like Akka, Ramla and Lydda, and is coordinated with and supported by the local authorities and religious foundations. These settlements are part of a capmaign of ethic cleansing that begins with making life miserable to the local resident through discrimination and defunding, and follows through the destruction of the city's Palestinian heritage, the takeover of public spaces by Jewish institutions and gentrification through the real estate market.

The Yom Kippur Pogrom against the Palestinian residents of Akka takes place on this background. The Jewish mob that "took offense" at the Arab driver sees the wink-wink-nod-nod of the authorities and feels it is serving a national cause. The police stands aside or sides with the mob. Jewish rioters are released on bail while Palestinians are held in custody. The police even plans to charge the driver who was assaulted with recklessness! Yet the same police refuses to guarantee the safety of the Palestinian families whose homes have been vandalized. And many are still away huddles with relatives. It is not inconceivable that they will not be able to return.

The Nakba continues.

Yitzhak Laor on the Yom Kippur Pogrom in Akka
It is time to face facts: Israel forsakes the blood of its Arab citizens each time the Jewish collective is pitted against the Arabs. It doesn't matter if these are Arabs from without (in the territories) or from within. The right of the Jewish collective to protect its identity is self-evident. We have already found a sociologist who espouses this ideology, just as we have found jurists, all of whom have succeeded in providing a philosophical basis for these privileges, in addition to other rights we claim for every area of our lives. It is always about "defense of the identity."

The events of October 2000 have been swept under the rug. The killers have not been brought to justice. Alik Ron was dismissed from
the police force, but he did not answer for what happened. In fact, he was the recipient of compassion. Let us try to imagine that Wadi 'Ara was being blocked off by Jews (let us assume they were settlers): Would those events have ended in the deaths of 13 rioters?


Once again, the pogroms repeat themselves, those that we hear about and those that "only" involve humiliation or harassment that we do not hear about. The incident is always turned into a case of deeds carried out on behalf of the collective against those outside the collective who pose a threat.

This is the logic that the average Israeli needs to digest on a daily basis: This place belongs to the Jews. The Arabs are foreign. Some think that we need to behave nicely toward foreigners. Some think we need to oust them. Here is the pus. (Haaretz, Oct. 17 2208)

As the fine military Rebbe Yossi Stern says, this is what Jewish identity today amounts too. And the Jewish communities around the world that fund this abomination and give it succor and political cover are guilty of it as much, if not more, of the hoodlums who perpetrated it.

(Pictures provided by the committee of Activists for Akka)

Jews have no problem having an Arab neighbor when this is the result of ethnic cleansing. So it's O.K. to build Yeshivas in Lydda and Akka. But they'd rather not have Palestinans come to "their cities". Here is the enlightened Mayor of Carmiel explaining Apartheid in a way that even Western journalists can understand.

"Carmiel," she says, "is different from Acre, which has always been defined as an ethnically mixed city. There is no need for Carmiel to become a mixed city. We can have harmonious relations with the Arabs, but the Arab and Jewish communities must live separately." (Haaretz, Oct. 17 2008)

October 14, 2008

Toube or not Toube? That is the question

You might remember a few posts back, David Toube of Harry's Place bragging about his role in the dismissal of Soraya Tehrani, he claimed, for "racism" - read, criticising Israel. He even posted an email from the Comment is free editor, Matt Seaton, thanking him for his role in the business.

Here's Matt Seaton's obsequious email to Mr Toube:
Dear David

Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

On the main issue – of whether someone posting below the line in this manner should be allowed to post above the line – you are completely right. And our response is that we cannot have a comment contributor whose posting in threads has been subjected to moderation for antisemitism. We were not aware that this was an issue with Soraya Tehrani and we should have checked her commenting record much more carefully with the community management team, which is a separate department (physically, as well as administratively).

If we had been aware of Tehrankid77’s record of posting, we would never have accepted her as a contributor. We won’t be using her again.

Clearly, this raises an issue of vetting for us. While we like, on principle, to promote interesting posters to comment under a proper byline above the line (and there are many positive examples of this), we cannot afford to be naïve or careless about who this privilege is extended to. So, your complaint about this user has highlighted a weakness in our procedures and, in future, there will be closer coordination between the editorial and moderation team on the vetting of users’ posting records before accepting comment articles from them.

I hope this answers your points satisfactorily.

With best wishes,


(reproduced with Matt’s permission)

Well I wrote to complain about Toube's undue influence in this case, I'll post my emails into the comments so as not to clutter up the post (too late, I know), and here's what Matt Seaton wrote to me:
Dear Mark

The judgment about whether those comments were antisemitic was not mine, but our moderators', who had taken that judgment long prior to any complaint from David Toube or anyone else about Soraya Tehrani being a contributor. Given that fact, I had no choice but to act as I did. I would do the same if a different form of abuse report was involved (eg, anti-Islamic). The comments that were deleted were relatively borderline, I grant; and not evidence that Soraya is any sort of 'committed' antisemite; I don't know her personally, but I think this is very unlikely. However, their content cannot be dismissed so easily as merely shrill: there is a strong whiff of the 'world zionist conspiracy' trope, of undue Jewish political influence over the US, etc. Our moderation team receive training and education on such issues, because it is not unknown for 'committed' antisemites precisely to introduce in disguised form antisemitic tropes. I think it likely that Soraya has in part fallen foul of being insufficiently attuned to the historically-accreted subtleties of antisemitic discourse.

I take no self-righteous pleasure in any of this; whichever way you look at it, there is much to regret. But I would strongly maintain that there is no question of the Guardian bowing to 'organised bullying', as some are advertising it. We had made an inadvertent error in this case, and there was no course of action open to us but to admit that, terminate Soraya's contributor status and improve our editorial vetting procedures.

Yours sincerely,


PS I regard all of the above as personal correspondence between us on the subject, and I would not wish to be quoted in any forum without permission.
Note how Matt Seaton gives permission to Toube to post his email thanking him for helping him ditch Tehrani but he doesn't permit me to post his denial of the idea that Toube had anything to do with it.

The good news is that the Guardian seems to be finding Toube a bit of an embarrassment. Poor Mr Seaton should have read Harry's Place before he wrote to Toube instead of after. Hopefully he'll know next time.

UPDATE: Matt Seaton has correctly pointed out to me that I "should have noted that [he] did not at any stage say that that permission [to post his email to me] would have been refused if asked for." That's true, I did not ask for permission. He simply said I did not have permission. He also said that in this instance David Toube behaved more ethically than I did in that he did seek permission. That's the bit that hurt! Roll on the next Cif editor.

October 12, 2008

Murder: Israel's UK supported policy in Gaza

According to this Guardian article by Kate Kellaway, Channel 4 is to show a drama tomorrow night (13/10/2008) dealing with the murder of Tom Hurndall by the Israeli state together with its aftermath. It only took one soldier one bullet to kill Hurndall but the way the State of Israel handled the murder suggested that murder, the premeditated killing of innocent people, is Israeli state policy in Gaza. And the way the UK government handled the case suggests that the UK is in cahoots with these racist war criminals.

Here's Tom Hurndall's dad's take on the C4 film, the killing of Tom Hurndall itself and the UK government's attitude to it:
what matters most to him is that audiences should understand that what happened was 'not a freak accident, but a product of a policy that the Israeli armed forces were adopting in Gaza'. There is barely suppressed outrage in his voice as he remembers the British government's failure to protest when Tom was shot: 'The government viewed Israel as a close ally who they did not want to put out in any way.'

It was only when a Tel Aviv bar was bombed by two British Muslims three weeks after the shooting of Tom in 2003 that Anthony became aware of how skewed the British government's attitude could be. 'Jack Straw expressed deep sympathy to the Israelis and promised to put all the resources of the British government at their disposal. This was our government taking responsibility for two people who were not employees of the British government, merely two citizens of Britain who happened to be in Israel.'

But when their own British citizens (Tom, along with Iain Hook, a UN worker shot by an Israeli sniper in November 2002, and James Miller, a documentary-maker shot by an IDF patrol in May 2003) were attacked by Israeli soldiers, there was no outcry (no ministerial interest at all, beyond a standard request, from a junior level, for a proper inquiry). 'They were shot not by people for whom the Israeli government had no responsibility but by their own soldiers. That, for me, was outrageous.'
Let's not forget that Tom Hurndall was shot whilst sheilding one of Israel's favourite targets: Palestinian children.

So that's The Shooting of Tom Hurndall on the UK's Channel 4, Monday 13 October 2008 at 9 pm.

October 11, 2008

Israel's Jewish Cossacks

Check out Seth Freedman as he continues his journey leftwards, this leg of the tour being his take on "pogroms" in the truest sense, officially supported racist mob violence. I'm in a hurry so I'll skip to the conclusion.
There is much to be said for respecting others' religions and customs, but at the same time "your freedom ends where my nose begins" cannot – and must not – be allowed to extend to a national scale. When that happens, and when the state apparatus fails to condemn such behaviour, then the game is well and truly up. And all the screams of "pogrom" in the world won't cover up who the true Cossacks are in such a case.
I hope I've understood him correctly but I can always correct later.

October 09, 2008

If Israel can do it Harry's Place can do it

What's that then? The targeting of minors. Yes David Toube, following his success in getting a contributor sacked from the Guardian is trying to get a 17 year old dropped from a government project for Muslims because she is a member of the Socialist Workers Party.

The project is the Young Muslim Advisory Group which Toube heartily approves of:

But what is this woman doing amongst them:

Sabiha Iqbal, 17 from Heaton, Bradford.
Currently studying at Leeds University she is from Heaton in Bradford. A member of the Bradford Youth Service she set up her own not for profit organisation how to drum and perform poetry. She is a member of the Bradford Socialist Workers Party and of the organisation Love Music Hate Racism. She also volunteers part time at the Barnados Charity shop and writes on a freelance basis for a number of magazines.

She looks quite impressive but again there's a but:
Drumming and performing poetry is splendid stuff.

Being an activist with the Socialist Workers’ Party is not.

The Socialist Workers’ Party is a small, fringe political party. It participates in elections, from time to time, behind various front organisations. However, it is a Trotskyite organisation, which aspires to overthrown the elected government, and replace it with a dictatorship. Fortunately, it is tiny, and most of its members are extremely weedy.

Surely the Government could do better than appoint a member of an extremist party to advise it? Can you imagine what would happen if the Government appointed a member of the BNP to an advisory quango on “white people”? Given that the SWP has been active in promoting Islamist extremist groups - Jamaat e Islami, Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah - as well as touring the militant anti-semite, Gilad Atzmon around, the parallel with the BNP is a strong one.
Yes, the SWP makes mistakes and doesn't own up to them. It's opportunistic whilst pretending to be principled. It's touting of Atzmon was wrong but there was no ideological meeting of minds there. In fact it was rumoured that when he was invited simply to play his sax, Martin Smith personally intervened to shut him up if he ever tried to speak. There is nothing in common between the SWP's ideology and Atzmon's antisemitic worldview. And the SWP's making contact and alliances with various Muslim groups was commendable and certainly gives them nothing in common with the islamophobic BNP. On the contrary, the BNP, described by a Board of Deputies spokewoman as having "the most zionist [website] on the net", surely has a lot more in common with Harry's Place.

But let's not forget that when he was a lot older than 17, David Toube signed the Return statement demanding a the abolition of Israel's Law of Return as well as demanding the Palestinians' right of return, demands that Toube now describes as antisemitic. He is yet to explain his signing of that laudable statement, even to dismiss it as youthful indiscretion but surely he has absented himself from the right to bully people younger than he was when he did signed up for something he has since turned 180 degrees from.

I'm not linking to the BNP but the witch-hunter general has to jump through quite a few hoops to liken the SWP to the BNP. I'm not that happy linking to Harry's Place but if I don't people won't see that it is HP, not the SWP, that bears the easiest comparison to the main fascist grouping in the UK.

I've just checked the comments and he is now acting like his assertion that the SWP is like the BNP is a proven point. It's unbelievable that one so narcissistic doesn't actually see himself. He is also feigning concern that a 17 year old armed with a "totalitarian" ideology might be in a position to influence the government of the UK. I am yet to see a scenario of what might transpire if totalitarian influence crept into the government

Incidentally, the Guardian is now denying that Toube had anything to do with the dismissal of Soraya Tehrani. It's a pity that the grovelling gratitude that they expressed to him seems to have encouraged him to believe that all he has to do is make a false statement and it will be believed and that heads will roll. "Totalitarian influence" anyone?

October 08, 2008

Death of Irene Bruegel

Below is a sombre message from Jews for Justice for Palestinians about the death of their founder, Professor Irene Bruegel.

Dear friends,

We are very sorry to have to write with such bad news but Irene Bruegel, founder and long time Secretary of JfJfP, has died. Her immediate family was with her and she died peacefully.

Irene had long ago been diagnosed with a degenerative auto-immune liver disease for which the only treatment was a transplant. To be considered for this she needed to have an ovarian cyst removed - an operation from which she never recovered because her liver was already so severely depleted.

Irene's energy, commitment and creativity and that of her partner Richard Kuper, were central to the establishment and spectacular growth of JfJfP. She returned from a trip to the West Bank at the end of 2001, determined to do something, and when she was determined, something usually got done. From a meeting of fifteen of Irene and Richard's friends in a pub near Kings Cross, JfJfP has grown into one of the biggest and most influential Jewish organisations campaigning for the end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the negotiation of a just and peaceful settlement in Israel/Palestine. Irene was brimful of ideas about extending JfJfP's work. She avoided sloganizing, ever aware of the importance of reaching people who might join in a campaign for justice, if they were only prompted in a constructive way. She was usually the one who picked up the pieces if one of us dropped them.

For several years Irene also chaired JfJfP's charitable offshoot - the British Shalom Salaam Trust. Her loyalty, determination and tenacity ensured that BSST became a hugely important lifeline for dozens of grassroots education, health, peace and cultural projects on both sides of the Green Line.

In this year, the sixtieth anniversary of Israel's foundation, Irene had two priorities - that the sixtieth anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba be remembered, and that we celebrate the courage of all those Israelis whose lives are committed to combating the occupation. The 'Another Israel' exhibition, which she organized, oversaw, and which continues to be dispatched all over Britain, is a memorial to her imagination and enthusiasm.

Irene was many things - a feminist, an internationalist, a writer and a teacher. Above all, she was an activist, who thought the point of her academic writing and her other work was to effect progressive change. We hope to establish a fund to commemorate her work and will let you know as soon as this has been agreed.

Our thoughts are with Richard and the children, Martin, David, Dan & Jo and the other members of her family.

Messages of condolence should be sent to jfjfp@aol.com

Jews for Justice for Palestinians Executive
(Sylvia Cohen, Arthur Goodman, Dan Judelson, Vivien Lichtenstein, Diana Neslen, Naomi Wayne)

P O Box 46081, London W9 2ZF

Speaking personally, even though I didn’t know Irene well, from what I knew of her I can concur with how important and how justifiably respected she was. All groups need a kind of dynamo to get them started, and Irene was that dynamo for JfJfP. Apart from her political energy, what I saw was a women who enjoyed the world around her, who was thoughtful, intelligent, questioning. My condolences to her family and friends, and may we all live such a rich and full life.

October 07, 2008

They say Jews are quick learners, don't they?

Compare and Contrast:

This is from David Nirenberg's book, Communities of Violence, describing Christian violence against Jews on Holy Thursday.

And this is from Haaretz, today:

"[MK Abbas Zakor] claims that on every Day of Atonement, jewish youth gathers at the entrance of towns and "hunt" passing Arab drivers. Without distinguishing between man and woman,elderly or child, they, he says, stone the passing cars. "Despite repeated complaint received by the different police stations, police never sends a single policeman to disperse the racist youth" (Haaretz, October 7 2008)

News from Occupied Egypt

While the Egyptian army is using new high tech U.S. devices to discover and close tunnels that break through the siege of Gaza, The Egyptian police is rounding up and roughing up Egyptian solidarity activists who are trying to travel to Gaza through the Rafah crossing.

Check out The Arabway Blog: In particular :

Gaza solidarity activist detained

Gaza solidarity activists abused in custody

Prosecutor to interrogate Gaza solidarity activist

There would be no siege of Gaza without the active and engaged support of the government of Egypt.

Reading these my train of thought turned to a conversation I had a year ago with an Israeli writer, a bohemian guy, progressive as can be, leftist, the whole nine yards. He told me that Egypt was on the verge on an explosion, (which I know) and the only hope for Israelis is Omar Suleiman (which made my jaw drop). For the sake of humanity, if Omar Suleiman is your "hope" maybe you need to ask yourself some real hard questions. Questions like, 'how did I sink so low?"

Below is the picture of the U.S. and Israel chief agent in Egypt, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, and the man in charge of keeping Egypt in the leash of the U.S. and Israel.
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman Suleiman gets a lot of love from Westerners. Jeffrey Fleishman from the LA Times practically had an orgasm while writing about him. See for yourself!

He appears briefly on TV, not saying much, if anything at all, and then fades into the secrecy and quiet diplomacy that men like him prefer. One day he’s in Jerusalem, the next in Gaza, then back to Egypt to whisper in the ear of his boss, President Hosni Mubarak. ( LA Times July 16 2008)
Wow! What a man! notice how he "fades into secrecy." Perhaps straight into his batmobil. But then Fleishman also wrote that "Egypt is a democracy." Sure, of course, after all, if Israel is a democracy, anything can be a democracy.

Unfortunately, apart from being in the figurehead of Egypt's repression (a manly job, for sure) Suleiman gets so much love because he's a puppy of the U.S.

And Western journalists, bless their heart, just love that kind of puppies, even the torturing kind, because...

The gifted military strategist (is he Egypt's champion in Grand Theft Auto? what war did he win?) has years of diplomatic relations with the U.S., Israel and the Arab world, and he’s regarded as a pragmatist likely to carry on Egypt’s privatization (which made Egypt such a rich country) and economic reform. (comments in red are obviously mine)

For comparison, this is what a real puppy looks like:

October 06, 2008

Unarmed Palestinian fishermen attack Israeli navy again - again

Fortunately, as can be seen in this video, the navy was able to defend itself with live ammo, shells, and a high-powered water cannon:

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Oct. 5, one fisherman was shot in the leg. Interestingly, Xinhua has put the article in their sports section. Perhaps they're taking their cue from former New York Times bureau chief Chris Hedges, who in an interview with NPR on Oct 30, 2001 noted the sportsmanlike conduct of Israeli forces in Gaza:

And it was--I mean, I've seen kids shot in Sarajevo. I mean, snipers would shoot kids in Sarajevo. I've seen death squads kill families in Algeria or El Salvador. But I'd never seen soldiers bait or taunt kids like this and then shoot them for sport. It was--I just--even now, I find it almost inconceivable. And I went back every day, and every day it was the same.
Note from Mark Elf - every so often I post a post just above a post by a fellow poster, in this case Nedster. Apologies for the previous post that has necessitated the repeat of this post for those who don't read further than the latest post. Got that? Good!

Writing on the wall for Palestine

the writing on the wall for Israel

By jet set graffiti

and nakba60.org.uk

Unarmed Palestinian fishermen attack Israeli navy again

Fortunately, as can be seen in this video, the navy was able to defend itself with live ammo, shells, and a high-powered water cannon:

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Oct. 5, one fisherman was shot in the leg. Interestingly, Xinhua has put the article in their sports section. Perhaps they're taking their cue from former New York Times bureau chief Chris Hedges, who in an interview with NPR on Oct 30, 2001 noted the sportsmanlike conduct of Israeli forces in Gaza:

And it was--I mean, I've seen kids shot in Sarajevo. I mean, snipers would shoot kids in Sarajevo. I've seen death squads kill families in Algeria or El Salvador. But I'd never seen soldiers bait or taunt kids like this and then shoot them for sport. It was--I just--even now, I find it almost inconceivable. And I went back every day, and every day it was the same.

UPDATE: ISM Rafah has the story behind the video.

October 05, 2008

Beyond Beyond Chutzpah

This is a coincidence coming hot on the heels of a post about a wannabe A-list Israel lobbyist. Just browsing the Guardian site and what did I see? Norman Finkelstein's Beyond Chutzpah has been updated to take into account how it was received first time round back in 2005. Goodness, was it that long ago?
Can Israel be criticised? Jewish American academic Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry, argues that legitimate criticism of Israeli policy is possible, although, as he discovered, it may mean losing your job and being labelled a "Jewish anti-Semite". Finkelstein rejects the view that the Israel-Palestine conflict is impossibly complex as a mystification, insists that the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948, and exposes Israel's damning human rights record. But most of all Beyond Chutzpah is a sustained attack on Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz's bestselling The Case for Israel, which Finkelstein calls one of "the most spectacular academic frauds ever published on the Israel-Palestine conflict". First published in 2005, this revised edition has a lengthy preface detailing the book's reception, while an epilogue by Frank J Menetrez concludes that Dershowitz destroyed Finkelstein's career. It's an academic spat of epic proportions, but while Finkelstein wins the moral argument, his combative tone, born of exasperation, is unlikely to calm the debate.
Short but sweet, that was the whole review by Ian Pindar and you can buy the book here.

David Toube of Harry's Place, liar, racist, buffoon and turncoat

I know I used a similar headline to accurately describe Gilad Atzmon and I know it's an unabashed ad hominem attack on the dear leader - or one of them - of Harry's Place. But I'm finding myself increasingly incensed at this David t (Toube) character's propensity for hounding named individuals and his increasingly cavalier use of the antisemitism/racism slur. He is also becoming more successful at undermining the standing of his victims, jeopardising their employment and having them silenced on various forums. I was also shocked more recently at some of the people who fell for his ludicrous victim act over the Jenna Delich case.

And all the while, from posts and comments on his own blog and from his occasional sorties here I'm noticing that he is dishonest, racist (and not just against Muslims and Arabs) and stupid.

Anyway, here's a picture of the man himself while I gather my thoughts:

He works for a firm of solicitors up town, Cleary Gottleib, where he counts beans and makes sure they're kosher. When you read some of his "reasoning" on HP you'll see why he specialises in financial law and nothing too adversarial/intellectual. You can't take legions of trolls into court with you. You have to argue based on facts and against a backdrop of law unless your client's Jeremy Thorpe or some such. The photo is copyrighted by a Martin Turnbull who will invoice for its use so if the pic disappears you'll know he charges more than fifty pence.

I suppose the mob thuggery Toube unleashed against Jenna Delich was the last straw for me as far as Toube goes. Well not entirely just that but the fact that people who ought to have known better fell for his victim act over his blog being pulled for a vicious libel against an Israel critic who had apologised for her honest mistake of posting a link to the David Duke website. I ran into another misguided defence of Harry's Place over that saga just recently where the blogger thought that HP had simply posted that Jenna Delich had linked to the site. Toube created the impression that that was indeed all that happened. But it wasn't what happened. Following Delich's apology to the site, David Toube was tipped off about what had happened and he decided to make an example of this critic of Israel. He ran the post calling her a David Duke fan and he captioned a picture of her (what difference did the picture make to the post?) captioned "Sheffield-based academic, Jenna Delich - links to far right websites associated with the Ku Klux Klan". So he called her a "David Duke fan" and created a clear (to most people anyway) impression that she had links with websites associated with the Klan. Sorry, I know I'm going over old ground here but Toube is getting away with too many lies too often. Then, since she had apologised and it was not true that she is a David Duke fan or that she has links to Klan associated websites, she contacted HP's hosts who pulled the blog pending the removal of the libellous material. The openly libellous stuff was removed but Toube pretended that all he had done was run a post on the fact that she had linked to the David Duke site and that she had had his blog removed as a result. This is a lie. He lied, removed the more outrageous of the lies, lied again and had various bloggers who, as I said, ought to have known better, supporting him, seemingly oblivious to his lies. It's just possible that the lies were so outrageous that the more credulous assumed that they couldn't be made up. Thankfully, the blog I mentioned has since done a correction and removed a link it had to a sock puppet blog of Harry's Place's post.

I've been looking at HP more since that all happened and I can't quite believe David Toube's combination of deviousness, viciousness and stupidness. I've also had a little correspondence with him, the most recent of which was when I was copied into a complaint to Toube by Deborah Fink because of libellous remarks about her in the comments to his blog. Tony Greenstein too was copied in. She seemed to be trying to appeal to Toube's better nature, which he doesn't have, or to make him think professionally as a lawyer about the implications of libelling someone or, most foolishly of all, to make him consider his credibility as an aspiring journalist...with the Jewish Chronicle (arf arf). Here's Toube's response:
Dear Deborah

I don't think you can have taken legal advice. I recommend that you do.
Then Tony Greenstein popped in. I was determined not to get involved.
This is the normal unpleasant stuff you expect from Harry's Place. Being unable to attack the message they try to shoot the messenger. Par for the course.

However most of this is not libellous, merely obnoxious and unpleasant. The
suggestion that Debbie has a personality disorder may well be defamatory since it would tend to lower her reputation in the eyes of most reasonable people Likewise any suggestion that she is anti-Semitic or tolerates or accepts anti-Semitism will be defamatory, unless proved, as was the case when Aaronovitch allowed similar comments on to his blog.
Toube warms to this rough and tumble:
Thanks Tony

This is precisely the point. Robust political debate operates better
when not conducted by proxy through lawyers.

As you will all know, I am the subject of a remarkable degree of abuse. [priceless!] Those who have gone into print to attack me include a Milosovic groupie, a few trotskyites, the British branch of Hamas, a leading neo-Nazi, and other similar fringe types. So what?

The fact is: we wouldn't and shouldn't be doing this if we can't taker it.

Know what I mean?
Well Deborah must have felt encouraged by Tony's support and she was still naive enough to see a shred of decency in Mr Toube. Actually she did show some insight by recognising his quest for respectability. What she didn't take on board is just how indecent respectability has become in our post-modern age:
Yes, the comments on Harry's Place can hardly count as political debate, and really, they show themselves up.

For me, it is not a case of how thick my skin is as I do not get personally
wounded by people who I don't know or for whom I have little respect. The
point is, some of it is defamatory and you should not be allowing it on your

Now David, why don't you do the reasonable thing, and remove those comments
with a note saying they have been removed? If you want your blog to be
respectable you should warn commentators that personal abuse will not be
tolerated ­ and not tolerate it!

Now she is saying that if you want debate, debate, but these legions of trolls are detracting from debate. But honest debate isn't Toube's thing so in his third response in the correspondence he has this to say:

The thing is: you're absolutely welcome to come into the comments box of HP. You won't be deleted, because we don't delete. We think that the remedy for bad speech is more speech, not hopeless attempts to suppress expression.

I'm also very happy to aid and abet you in your never ending quest to draw attention to yourself. Sing in public, film it, whatever: we'll happily cover it and you can turn up and wind people up.

However I am not going to take part in a charade of this nature, dressed up as a discussion of English libel law.
Well unable to resist, I contributed this:
You already did, you fucking idiot!
Now this is where it gets weird. In a post headed An apology to Seth Freedman, David t gets round to mentioning the correspondence that I summarised above.
A few months ago, a semi-professional exhibitionist called Deborah Fink copied me into a round robin, with Greenstein, Machover, and a few others. In this email carousel, she demanded I remove certain posts, which she did not identify, but which she claimed were libellous. It turned out that what she regarded as defamatory, was a comment by a poster who speculated that she was mentally ill. As the comment was on a post in which Ms Fink was singing loudly through a megaphone about being a ’self hating Jew’, before being bundled off by the police while screaming ‘fascist’ at them, I decided that there was no cause to delete the observation. I did not mention these events at the time, because I got the impression that Deborah Fink wanted me to give her the opportunity to engage in public hystrionics, and I wanted no part in that. I’m kind of sorry that I have mentioned it now.

I don't recall Machover (Daniel or Moshe) or any others being copied in. They certainly didn't respond to the loop. I did. I called the fucking idiot a fucking idiot. How did he forget? Why did he airbrush me from that little piece of history? I was pleased with my contribution. He really does know how to hurt a person.

I'm getting bored with this and I'm sure others must be too but I must point to some more of Toube's writings to show what a dodgy character he is. Where was I? I said he was a liar and a buffoon. What about the racism that he so casually, carelessly and dishonestly accuses others of? Well for some of that we have to return to his persistence in hounding Jenna Delich. In HP's comeback post Toube denies having slandered Delich. Technically that's true of course but a half truth is worse than a lie, as the Talmud says. They libelled her. Here's the libellous post on a sock puppet blog that Toube seems to have created - the courage of the man, phew! - and here's the cleaned up one. The clue to his sheer dishonesty is in the url to the cleaned up version. The plot sickens as he shares his dishonesty with his following. But he still can't let go over the honest mistake so he had to apply his own lack of intellect to the article itself.

The article was full of facts demonstrating that Israel has committed a disproportionate number of atrocities against Palestinians when compared to the number of Israelis killed. It asks how Israel gets away with this and answering its own question says that it is because the State of Israel controls western media. Conflating Jews with Israel, Israeli oligarchs and the State of Israel, Toube carries on clutching at straws to prove his point that Jenna Delich is indeed an antisemite. See this comment on one of several posts on the same affair. It's directed at someone called TheIrie:

Tell us what you think of Quinn’s article, as a whole.

Do you think that Quinn is a racist, who has just ascribed to ‘Israel’, ‘Israeli oligarchs’ and ‘their sort’, standard conspiracies about control of Washington and global media which have been ascribed to Jews since the Protocols.


What do you think?

Is this anti-semitism or not?
Now he's badgering a defender of Jenna Delich over the article itself and I don't think the guy succumbed to that but clearly it is Toube who is being antisemitic here. There is nothing of itself antisemitic in railing against Israeli oligarchs, Israel or "their sort". You have to be the kind of person who conflates Israel with Jews. Only antisemites and zionists do that. There is no evidence to support the idea that Jenna Delich was praising the "analysis". It was the facts she claims she was referring to. I would guess as it happens that this Quinn may be antisemitic or some conspiracy nut but in the absence of any explanations of how Israel gets away with its persistent war crimes, what are people supposed to think? The powers that be go to great lengths to make Israel look like the lead agent in western/Israeli relations and Harry's Place certainly isn't offering any explanations. But within the constraints of the quote, Toube has not shown this Quinn guy to be antisemitic. Toube has made himself look more antisemitic but more still, stupid.

So I think I've demonstrated the liar and buffoon and the fact that his defence of Jewish supremacy, albeit by pretending that others are white supremacists or antisemites actually draws him into the antisemitic position of conflating Jews with the state he is so keen to defend, in spite of his ludicrous claim that he disapproves of its "ethnic definition" - lovely turn of phrase for uniquely racist state structure.

Toube has detection problems with other forms of racism too. It's not just his condemnations of anyone who criticises Israel that mark him out as a Jewish supremacist in denial, and his conflation of Jews and Israel that is grist to the mill of the Jew-hater but his intervention in a dispute between two Asians has him lecturing on what language non-whites can use when they insult each other. Toube accuses Faisal Bodi of racism for calling another Asian a "coconut". Here's Toube:
What finally caused his sacking was that he made the mistake of calling Sunny from Pickled Politics a “coconut”. That’s right, a racist comment directed at a “brown person”, and the Guardian finally recognised as the mark of a bigot and a loon.
Hold up. A "brown person" calling a "brown person" a coconut is racist? Against which community? the coconut community? Again it's Toube being a racist and a fool and one who glories in someone with whom he disagrees losing their job. A "coconut" is a put-down that non-whites call non-whites who are believed to have sold out to whites or internalised too much in the way of white or western establishment values. I don't know the context in which the "coconut" jibe was used and, typically Toube doesn't say, but of itself it's not racist unless he is as precious about whites as he is about some Jews, armed ethnic cleansing ones. But he claimed that Bodi, a "brown person" was being racist against a "brown person". I'm filing this under the racist and buffoon heading but who knows? it could be the liar thing, it's so hard to tell.

The coconut thing was incidental to the main target of the post. Toube himself claims that he got this Iranian blogger sacked from Comment is free for saying that the Israeli flag has flown in Downing Street since Thatcher's day, that Israel effectively occupies Iraq and that American policy is directed from Tel Aviv. She's shrill, aggressive and silly but and she might be racist but again unless you do as pro and anti-Jewish racists do and conflate Israel with Jews, she hasn't actually posted anything that is racist. All Toube had to do here is write to the Cif editor and the woman was sacked and the editor thanked Toube. As it happens I'm surprised that such a silly person could get to post articles at Cif but they've had Hirsh and Atzmon, they may have even had Toube under his pseudonym, David t, so they're not proud.

I could go on and on, in fact I have gone on and on but I want to deal with the turncoat bit of the headline. Now anyone might change their mind about things over the years but Toube bullies and harasses people with whom he used to be in complete agreement. Tony Greenstein posted a copy of the slip that David Toube signed many years ago to support the following statement:
We, entitled to the privileges accorded under the Israeli Law of Return to Jews and their close relatives, declare our opposition to the state of Israel as a Jewish state and to the Zionist movement. We call on our fellow Jews and their close relatives to join us in making the following statement:

* the Palestinian people, at whose expense the state of Israel was established and continues to exist, have the right to return, to self-determination and to their independent state on Palestinian soil;

* the Palestine Liberation Organisation is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people;

* the state of Israel does not represent all Jewish people, neither legally, morally nor in any other way;

* the Zionist structure of the state of Israel is at the heart of the racism and oppression against the Palestinian people, and should be dismantled.
Ah the PLO, those were the days. But back to the lying, racist, buffoonish, bullying turncoat. Obviously Toube was lying when he described himself as anti-zionist recently on the Socialist Unity blog. What else are we to make of this:
In the past, far Left anti-Zionism was a mix of Stalinist anti-semitism and class analysis. You also got the identity crisis of Greenstein-types thrown in, for good measure.
So which was Toube? A stalinist or an identity crisis type? If we have to choose between just those two, it would have to be the latter. But it is just possible that he was an earnest young man who found not just the "ethnic definition" of statehood offensive but also "how they got there" what with the imperial umbrella thrown up over a campaign of colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing. The racist laws too, that Toube has tried to pass off as being like the UK's laws, might have offended him so much that he joined a call for Israel's dismantlement.

He's contemptible now but it might just be the case that he was quite a nice chap when he was young. But he crosses a line when he tells despicable lies to try to lose people their jobs, particularly when he has asked people who know his true id not to reveal it in case it causes him problems in his work.