February 19, 2009

Hasbara-niks wiped out in the liberal dailies

David Toube and Howard Jacobson have taken quite a beating yesterday and today over their ridiculous hasbara efforts at Comment is free and the Independent respectively. Both pieces won fulsome praise at Engage (hasbara central) which should be enough to signify their stupidness and dishonesty but just to hammer it home let's have a look at one comment from Toube's Cif piece and the letters burying Jacobson in his own nonsense.

This one's from Calvin Tucker:
CalvinTucker's profile picture CalvinTucker

19 Feb 09, 2:22am (about 5 hours ago)

This piece isn't really about *the Jews*, they are just the cover for Harry's Place increasingly shrill personal attacks against anyone on the left, and particularly Muslims. In the worst traditions of McCarthyism, individuals are identified, singled out, and then publicly denounced by the Witchhunter-in-Chief, David Toube. After the dog whistle is blown, a lynch mob of frothing-at-the-mouth Zionist fanatics is then unleashed on the unfortunate victim in the comments that follow.

In one particularly disgusting episode, Mr Toube, who is a middle aged corporate lawyer by trade, vented his bile on a 17 year old girl who had been appointed by Hazel Blears and Ed Balls to a Young Muslims Advisory Group. A press release from the Communities and Local Government department contained the biographies of the 22 young appointees:

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.

If my daughter (or any of her friends) had got engaged with the local community, did anti-racist work and helped out at a charity shop, I would be extremely proud of her, as I am sure were her parents.

But not David Toube.

He spotted that this young lady also happened to a member of the SWP, and saw red. She was then publicly denounced by Toube on his hate-site and equated her to a member of the BNP. Toube went on to demand her dismissal from the youth advisory group.

David Toube's *exclusive* was then picked up by the tabloids, and the following morning the Daily Mail, a vile rag which openly backed the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, ran with the story.

This is but one of hundreds of similar unprovoked vendettas organised by David Toube against anti-racist and anti-war activists, with no thought for the personal distress caused to his victims, or worse, to their jobs and careers.

This is the track record of this fraud who has the audacity to come here and pose as an anti-racist campaigner.

The BNP, which offered full support to Israel's war on Gaza, already run a website called Redwatch, where *reds* are outed, their photos and personal details posted online. Why doesn't David Toube stop the pretence and join forces?

Readers who have the stomach for it, can click below to see this nasty puffed up little bully at work:


[To pre-empt the inevitable smears, I should point out that I am Jewish and not a supporter of the SWP.]
Must be a bit of a newbie if he thinks he can pre-empt smears by zionists.

So, to continue. There's quite a crop of letters in today's Independent and I don't recognise any of the names so we're on the move now, like an idea whose time has come:
Shoddy defence of Israel’s policies

Once again Howard Jacobson parades his repetitive and intellectually lazy fare. His “argument” is predicated on his tedious belief that he is, by definition, cleverer, more intellectually discerning and more morally subtle than anyone who disagrees with him.

In the past few weeks alone, he has used a variety of adolescent tactics. Street protesters against Israel were dismissed as those who “wear their consciences on their sleeves because they do not know where else to wear them”, signatories of a letter to The Guardian were derided as media studies lecturers (beneath contempt presumably) and “professionally asham-ed Jews” who do not understand that signing a letter does not make (them) humanitarian.

In his latest piece, “they” are damned by association; “”they” sing “anti-Zionist carols with Ken Livingstone and George Galloway”. And, of course, underpinning all this is the cheapest trick in his wide repertoire, his assertion that criticism of Israel equals anti-Semitism.

The truth is that no criticism of Israel could be decorous or sophisticated enough for Mr Jacobson. He hides behind his veil of sophistry, apparently unable to acknowledge the legitimate, widespread and entirely sincere revulsion generated by the viciously indiscriminate Israeli campaign in, and blockade of, Gaza.

He really should grow up or else leave the floor to more reasoned commentators, such as Bruce Anderson who, so far as I know, does not align himself George Galloway or Hamas, but whose article about Israel in your Monday paper was bracing and balanced, such a welcome change from Mr Jacobson’s single perspective, sneering self-indulgence.

Gillian Bargery

St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

If there is a renewed outbreak of anti-Semitism it is due to the confusion between the Zionist state of Israel and Jewry. Zionism is a political movement within Judaism and does not represent the interests of those who categorise themselves as Jews. It has been one of the triumphs of Zionist propaganda that it has successfully convinced the world that Zionism and the state of Israel is the same thing as Jews everywhere.

In 1948, as an idealist young man, I told my Jewish fiancée, who had survived the German occupation of France, (unlike most of her family), that I wanted to join Haganah. She told me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to join the reactionary Zionists then I could say goodbye to her. I got my first lesson in the politics of Judaism.

Israel, governed by political Zionism, is a reactionary state in spite of its propaganda. It is exclusive and expansionist. I cannot think of any other country where to become a citizen it is necessary to demonstrate purity in the form of descent through the mother or to convert to one specified religion. It is the success of Zionist propaganda which accounts for the renewal of anti-Semitism.

Kim James

Wollaston, Northamptonshire

Then there's one from Israel commending Jacobson's effort. Good old British balance. The zionists dominate the mainstream media but in the interests of balance, any complaints have to be balanced by commendations. The letters get a bit wishy washy after that until we get to this punchy little one:
I think what riles Jacobson is that the Holocaust, “anti-Semitism”, and “vilification of Israel” are not the trump cards they once were. Even Jewish critics are fed up with this tired chant every time the Israeli army decides to indulge in a massacre.

The fighting in Gaza, which Jacobson argues is a more just description, presumes that both sides are more or less equal in terms of strength. Anyone with a scant understanding of the conflict will see that a gross imbalance of power exists in Israeli-Palestinian relations. If Israeli refuseniks can see this, why can’t anyone else?

Nu’man El-Bakri


Don't be fooled Nu'man, anyone else can see this imbalance of power. The zionists are taking a few last gasps I'm sure. So any more for any more? Well there is one and it does expose Jacobson's technique and motive but.,...well. I know, I'll just show you the bits that suit me.
Howard Jacobson’s article is symptomatic of the blinkered attitude that prevents this debate from progressing. He extrapolates from a few carefully chosen examples to disgrace all opposition to Israel’s actions in Palestine, and by labelling all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism he shuts down the debate

Hang on. This is tricky this. I have to weed out another bit:
he fills a double-page spread with an assault on the actions of certain protesters and news outlets (as well as one ignorant playwright) without paying one iota of attention to the numerous ways in which wholly un-anti-Semitic campaigners legitimately criticise Israel.
I should have dotted out the playwright bit. That would be the Seven Jewish Children thing, A play for Gaza, and it sounded quite good to me. In fact it's on tonight and tomorrow night but may never be seen again after that.

Anyway, what's holding us back now? Time and time again we see that the game is up for the hasbara parrots. You might say it's all over bar the shooting...and crying.


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