December 31, 2004

Never again!

I should point out, to avoid disappointment, that the Jewish Chronicle. website is subscription only. Jewish News is free and often covers the same issues.

Anyway, the Jewish Chronicle. ran a headline, "Settlers step up protests", in its last edition of this year today. The article is about the Gaza settlers' protest against Sharon's Gaza evacuation plan. Apparently the settlers have now stopped wearing the stars of David they wore, to compare being withdrawn from occupied territory to being herded into concentration camps, after public protests against them. So the article starts with a climb down rather than a step up. But now they are using posters showing "Jews being shoved into cattle trucks on their way to Auschwitz. "Never again!!!" read a caption in large letters."

Wonderful! I remember when "Never again" was the slogan of
anti -fascists.

Rose tainted review

Here's an interesting review by Jacqueline Rose, in the LRB, of two books on suicide bombing. One is My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing. by Christoph Reuter and the other is Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers. by Barbara Victor.

There's an error in the review that has the Irgun's "Shlomo Ben Yosef........ killing women and children". Actually he failed to kill women and children when his grenade failed to detonate, as a former Betar member was happy to point out in the next edition. And that could have been an end to it but for Avi Shlaim's eye for historical detail:

In the piece she wrote about suicide bombers (LRB, 4 November) Jacqueline Rose applied one standard to all terrorists, Arab and Jewish. Avril Mailer challenges Rose’s facts about Shlomo Ben Yosef, the right-wing Jewish militant who was sentenced to death by the British in Palestine in 1938 (Letters, 16 December). Mailer’s overall agenda is to suggest that the Jews wanted peace and did not condone the killing of Arab civilians. She also claims that Rose’s paragraph about Ben Yosef migrated to websites with an anti-Jewish agenda. ‘In the age of the internet,’ she writes, ‘there is a particular responsibility to set the record straight.’ The purpose of this letter is precisely that – to set the record straight.

Mailer tells us that no one was injured or killed in the incident in question: ‘Guns were fired in the air, and if there was a grenade, it was not detonated.’ The facts are as follows. Shlomo Ben Yosef was a member of Betar, the ultra-nationalist youth movement whose goal was a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan river. On 21 April 1938, after several weeks of planning, he and two of his colleagues from the Irgun (Etzel) ambushed an Arab bus at a bend on a mountain road near Safad. They had a hand-grenade, a gun and a pistol. Their plan was to destroy the engine so that the bus would fall off the side of the road and all the passengers would be killed. When the bus approached, they fired at it (not in the air, as Mailer has it) but the grenade lobbed by Ben Yosef did not detonate. The bus with its screaming and terrified passengers drove on. The three attackers were put on trial and convicted on three main charges. One of them was consigned to a lunatic asylum. Ben Yosef and the other attacker were sentenced to death by hanging. As the verdict was announced, the two men stood up and shouted at the top of their voices: ‘Long live the Kingdom of Israel on both banks of the Jordan!’ In right-wing circles in which the killing of Arabs was glorified, Ben Yosef became a cult figure.

Mailer is right to point out that the context for this incident was the 1936-38 Arab revolt in which a large number of Jews were ambushed and murdered. But the Arab revolt itself was a desperate response to the Zionist takeover of Palestine with British support. In every other respect, her account is selective or wrong. That the operation was botched does not make it any less reprehensible. It is the intention that counts and the intention was to murder a busload of innocent Arab civilians. And this was only one in a long series of terrorist attacks mounted by the Irgun and the Stern Gang on Arab buses and marketplaces.

Avi Shlaim
St Antony’s College, Oxford

Please follow the links above for the full article and all the letters, except this one. Otherwise I get Zionists complaining that I've been economical with the truth. Some Zionists seem to think that they're the only people who know how a mouse and links work.

Archaeology fraud: Now Guardian has a dig

It's not like The Guardian. to bring news to the public a day after The Independent. has. Conal Urquhart's very pro-Israel though so he must have been waiting for some Arab involvement in the scandal:

"Doubts about the artefacts emerged after Israeli police began to hear rumours of an Egyptian craftsman living in Israel who would boast of his part in the forgeries while drinking in Tel Aviv."

So it's Egypt's fault.

December 30, 2004

Sharon, the wealthiest Israeli PM

According to Ha'aretz, Ariel Sharon is the wealthiest Israeli PM in the state's history:

"In sharp contrast to conventional wisdom, Israel's wealthiest prime minister is not one of the has-beens. It's not Ehud Barak who makes millions consulting and running the lecture circuit and who built a luxury home in Kfar Shmariyahu. Nor is it former prime minister, Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close associate of some of the world's wealthiest Jews and who has advised several local technology companies.

Actually, it is the present premier, Ariel Sharon - the farmer from Kfar Malal - who is the wealthiest prime minister to serve Israel ever. According to an appraisal ordered by Haaretz, Sharon's primary asset, Sycamore Ranch, is now worth $11.3 million or a cool NIS 50 million. The value of the farm has risen virtually miraculously since the early 1970s, when he paid only $500,000 for it."

Apparently "people will always pay more for the home where the prime minister used to live." I wonder how much Hitler's bunker is worth.

Fraud rocks Israel

This is a curious tale from Eric Silver in The Independent. Four Israeli antiquities dealers and collecters have been arrested in Israel for forging inscriptions on genuine antiquities to increase their value. They even coated the artefacts with a special paint to imitate the patina that would accumulate over thousands of years. Apparently, they had some of the world's leading experts fooled. Furthermore, they had some people accepting them as proof of biblical stories such as about Solomon's temple and the existence of Jesus. This is like Joan Peters and Alan Dershowitz, only with a shovel and some paint.

December 29, 2004

QUIT: PA's gay bashing aids Israel

The link above is to an impressive statement by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism:

"Recently, the queer and mainstream press have reported on three Palestinian gay men who say that they were severely abused and humiliated by Palestinian police. One of the young men reportedly escaped the police, only to be threatened by his own family. They have been living underground in Israel for the last several years, and now Israel is deporting them back to Palestine, where they fear being killed as suspected collaborators."

Now read on...

Without rhyme or reason

Report from Ha'aretz:

"Protest poet Shmuel Yerushalmi was investigated Sunday evening by the Shin-Bet security service following the publication of his poem "They shall not break Tali down," in support of pro-Palestinian activist Tali Fahima, charged earlier during the day with several security offenses." How insecure is Israel that a poem can threaten its security?

Conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact

Letter in today's Guardian.

" 'Conspiracy theorist' is becoming the stock put-down levelled at anyone who dissents from what the establishment wants the public to believe. Shortly after 9/11, the BBC reported that Bin Laden 'received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian'. John Sheldon (Letters, December 28) has been a bit slow off the mark to scotch this one. Could it be that the 'theory' is actually a fact?

Mark Elf
Dagenham, Essex"

December 28, 2004

Alan Dershowitz Exposed

This is an exposé of Alan Dershowitz by Norman Finkelstein. Amazingly, in spite of being an exposed liar, hoaxer and plagiarist, Dershowitz still has his defenders in the USA and he was on Radio 4 just recently chatting away to John Humphrys as if he was a bona fide. academic. The best thing here, is the comprehensive demolition of Dershowitz by Norman Finkelstein in a chat show hosted by Amy Goodman. The full transcript is available here. At one point it emerges that Dershowitz is offering $10,000 to anyone who can show a bogus sentence in his book. Here's an excerpt:


Morris estimates that between 2,000 and 3,000 Arabs fled their homes during this phase of the Arab initiated fighting.


Can you please read what Mr. Morris wrote?


You're talking about . . .


Please read what he wrote?


If I have the whole book I will find for you if you want to take time.


Can you read the sentence?


I'm looking at page 256 of Benny Morris book, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict.


He is referring to phase two now same one as you. Go ahead.


"Altogether about 200,000 to 300,000 Arabs fled their homes".


There is a big difference between 2,000 and 3,000 and 200,000 and 300,000. You could check this many times, Mr. Dershowitz. But you are really going to have to pay the $10,000. I hope you allow me to earmark it for Jenin. I would like to give it to Jenin."

Anyway, please go read the whole transcript. Trust me, it's hysterical.

Amazingly a Zionist recently told me that there was only one inaccuracy in the book that Finkelstein exposed but Finkelstein goes on to expose more within the same programme. Further, that that error (about the number fleeing) favoured the Palestinian account. Now this is a wild coincidence because Dershowitz says the same. But of course it doesn't favour the Palestinian argument to minimise the number of refugees.

I must say that it saddens me that if you want to be a successful (ie, well paid) lawyer, or even an academic you'd be better advised to emulate Dershowitz. But if it's truth you're after I'd follow Finkelstein.

AIPAC indictment?

This is an interesting article, in the American Jewish newspaper Forward, sent to me by Roland Rance. It details how AIPAC - the America Israel Public Affairs Committee - is under investigation by the FBI for "passing classified information...on to an Israeli diplomat". It also reveals that Israeli agents are active in northern Iraq. This is often said of course, but I haven't seen it mentioned so openly in a Jewish newspaper before.

Forward. clearly takes the view that if AIPAC gets hurt, the entire Jewish community gets hurt. Maybe there will be a lesson ultimately for Jews to be more questioning of Zionism in future.

"With senior officials at America's top pro-Israel organization facing the specter of federal indictments, staffers at other groups are beginning to waver in their support and are warning that the mounting legal scandal could damage the political credibility of the entire Jewish community."

Israeli agents in Iraq

"According to a report in the Jerusalem Post earlier this week, Franklin agreed this summer to cooperate with the FBI in a set-up operation. Citing government sources, the report said Franklin was asked by the FBI to tell Rosen and Weissman a false tale: He had learned that Israeli agents in northern Iraq were being targeted by Iran and that they urged the Aipac officials to ring the alarm bells with the Bush administration.

Instead, according to the Jerusalem Post, Rosen and Weissman relayed the information to their Israeli contacts."

Other Jewish groups

Certain Jewish leaders, such as ADL's Abraham Foxman and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, are urging patience before jumping in with or away from AIPAC.

So, let's be patient and see what happens. On second thoughts, I think I'll stay away from AIPAC.

December 27, 2004

QUIT Palestine

Here's a gay Palestine solidarity site posted from the USA. There has been terrible intolerance towards gays by the Palestinian Authority and this has been used by Zionists and gay opportunists to undermine the Palestine liberation and solidarity movements. Hopefully these QUIT people will go some way to redressing that.

"No surrender"

Eric Silver reporting from occupied Gaza:

"The 50 adults and more than 100 children at Pe'at Sadeh will settle in Mavki'im, an ailing smallholders' co-operative near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. With government assistance, they plan to rebuild their greenhouses and continue growing tomatoes, peppers and other salads for export to Europe." Does this mean that Europe has been colluding in the occupation?

Eric Silver goes on to point out that "Mavki'im was founded half a century ago by Holocaust survivors from Hungary. Most of them are now over 70 and their children have moved away." I'm not sure why he mentions that except to maybe wonder what holocaust survivors will make of being joined by a group of armed fascist activists wearing stars of David to suggest that their removal from Gaza is Nazi policy. Anyway Eric Silver doesn't get into that so I won't.

The Lavon Affair and the fate of Egyptian Jewry

Here's an excerpt from David Hirst's book The Gun and the Olive Branch. (hat tip: Michael L.Brenner)

It clearly illustrates Israel's cavalier approach to the fate of Arab Jewry, it also shows Nasser's penchant for the kind of macho gesture politics that drew him into the war in 1967 that most significant players in the Israeli government of the time have now admitted was yet another of Israel's wars "of choice".

Now read on...

In July 1954 Egypt was plagued by a series of bomb outrages directed mainly against American and British property in Cairo and Alexandria. It was generally assumed that they were the work of the Moslem Brothers, then the most dangerous challenge to the still uncertain authority of Colonel (later President) Nasser and his two-year-old revolution. Nasser was negotiating with Britain over the evacuation of its giant military bases in the Suez Canal Zone, and, the Moslem Brothers, as zealous nationalists, were vigorously opposed to any Egyptian compromises.

It therefore came as a shock to world, and particularly Jewish opinion, when on 5 October the Egyptian Minister of the Interior, Zakaria Muhieddin, announced the break-up of a thirteen-man Israeli sabotage network. An 'anti-Semitic' frame-up was suspected.

Indignation increased when, on 11 December, the group was brought to trial. In the Israeli parliament, Prime Minister Moshe Sharett denounced the 'wicked plot hatched in Alexandria ... the show trial which is being organized there against a group of Jews who have fallen victims to false accusations and from who mit seems attempts are being made to extract confessions of imaginary crimes, by threats and torture ...'49 The trade union newspaper Davar observed that the Egyptian regime 'seems to take its inspiration from the Nazis' and lamented the 'deterioration in the status of Egyptian Jews in general'.50 For Haaretz the trial 'proved that the Egyptian rulers do not hesitate to invent the most fantastic accusations if it suits them'; it added that 'in the present state of affairs in Egypt the junta certainly needs some diversions'.51 And the next day the Jerusalem Post carried this headline: 'Egypt Show Trial Arouses Israel, Sharett Tells House. Sees Inquisition Practices Revived.'

The trial established that the bombings had indeed been carried out by an Israeli espionage and terrorist network. This was headed by Colonel Avraharn Dar --alias John Darling-- and a core of professionals who had set themselves up in Egypt under various guises. They had recruited a number of Egyptian Jews; one of them was a young woman, Marcelle Ninio, who worked in the offices of a British company. Naturally, the eventual exposure of such an organization was not going to improve the lot of the vast majority of Egyptian Jews who wanted no-thing to do with Zionism. There were still at least 50,000 Jews in Egypt; there had been something over 60,000 in 1947, more than half of whom were actually foreign nationals. During the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948, the populace had some times vented its frustration against them, and some were killed in mob violence or by terrorist bombs. In spite of this, and of the revolutionary upheaval which followed four years later, few Jews-including the foreign nationals-left the country, and fewer still went to Israel. A Jewish journalist insisted: 'We, Egyptian Jews, feel secure in our homeland,

The welfare of Oriental Jewry in their various homelands was, as we have seen, Israel's last concern. And in July 1954 it had other worries. It was feeling isolated and insecure. Its Western friends-let alone the rest of the world-were unhappy about its aggressive behaviour. The US Assistant Secretary of State advised it to 'drop the attitude of the conqueror'.53 More alarming was the rapprochement under way between Egypt, on the one hand, and the United States and Britain on the other. President Eisenhower had urged Britain to give up her giant military base in the Suez Canal Zone; Bengurion had failed to dissuade her. It was to sabotage this rapprochement that the head of Israeli intelligence, Colonel Benyamin Givli, ordered his Egyptian intelligence ring to strike.

Givli's boss, Defence Minister Pinhas Lavon, and the Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett, knew nothing of the operation. For Givli was a member of a powerful Defence Ministry clique which often acted independently, or in outright defiance, of the cabinet. They were proteges of Bengurion and, although 'The Old Man' had left the Premiership for Sde Boker, his Negev desert retreat, a few months before, he was able, through them, to perpetuate the hardline 'activist' policies in which he believed. On Givli's instructions, the Egyptian network was to plant bombs in American and British cultural centres, British-owned cinemas and Egyptian public buildings. The Western powers, it was hoped, would conclude that there was fierce internal opposition to the rapprochement and that Nasser's young r6gime,faced with this challenge, was not one in which they could place much confidence.54 Mysterious violence might therefore persuade both London and Washington that British troops should remain astride the Canal; the world had not forgotten Black Saturday, 28 January 1951, in the last year of King Farouk's reign, when mobs rampaged through downtown Cairo, setting fire to foreign-owned hotels and shops, in which scores of people, including thirteen Britons, died.

The first bomb went off, on 2 July, in the Alexandria post office. On 11 July, the Anglo-Egyptian Suez negotiations, which had been blocked for nine months, got under way again. The next day the Israeli embassy in London was assured that, up on the British evacuation from Suez, stock-piled arms would not be handed over to the Egyptians. But the Defence Ministry activists were unconvinced. On 14 July their agents, in clandestine radio contact with Tel Aviv, fire-bombed US Information Service libraries in Cairo and Alexandria. That same day, a phosphorous bomb exploded prematurely in the pocket of one Philip Natanson, nearly burning him alive, as he was about to enter the British-owned Rio cinema in Alexandria. His arrest and subsequent confession led to the break-up of the whole ring-but not before the completion of another cycle of clandestine action and diplomatic failure. On 15 July President Eisenhower assured the Egyptians that 'simultaneously' with the signing of a Suez agreement the United States would enter into 'firm commitments' for economic aid to strengthen their armed forces.55 On 23 July --anniversary of the 1952 revolution-- the Israeli agents still at large had a final fling; they started fires in two Cairo cinemas, in the central post office and the railway station. On the same day, Britain announced that the War Secretary, Antony Head, was going to Cairo. And on 27 July he and the Egyptians initiated the 'Heads of Agreement' on the terms of Britain's evacuation.

The trial lasted from 11 December to 3 January. Not all the culprits were there, because Colonel Dar and an Israeli colleague managed to escape, and the third Israeli, Hungarian-born Max Bennett, committed suicide; but those who were present all pleaded guilty. Most of them, including Marcelle Ninio, were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. But Dr Musa Lieto Marzuk, a Tunisian-born citizen of France who was a surgeon at the Jewish Hospital in Cairo, and Samuel Azar, an engineering professor from Alexandria, were condemned to death. In spite of representations from France, Britain and the United States the two men were hanged. Politically, it would have been very difficult for Nasser to spare them, for only seven weeks before six Moslem Brothers had been executed for complicity in an attempt on his life. Nevertheless Israel reacted with grief and anger. So did some Western Jews. Marzuk and Azar 'died the death of martyrs', said Sharett on the same day in the Knesset, whose members stood in silent tribute. Israel went into official mourning the following day. Beersheba and Ramat Gan named streets after the executed men. Israeli delegates to the Egyptian-Israeli Mixed Armistice Commission refused to attend its meeting, declaring that they would not sit down with representatives of the Cairo junta. In New York there were bomb threats against the Egyptian consulate and a sniper fired four shots into its fourth-floor window.56

This whole episode, which was to poison Israeli political life for a decade and more, came to be known as the 'Lavon Affair', for it had been established in the Cairo trial that Lavon, as Minister of Defence, had approved the campaign of sabotage. At least so the available evidence made it appear. But in Israel, Lavon had asked Moshe Sharett for a secret inquiry into a matter about which the cabinet knew nothing. Benyamin Givli, the intelligence chief, claimed that the so-called 'security operation' had been authorized by Lavon himself. Two other Bengurion proteges, Moshe Dayan and Shimon Peres, testified against Lavon. Lavon denounced Givli's papers as forgeries and demanded the resignation of all three men. Instead, Sharett ordered Lavon himself to resign and invited Bengurion to come out of retirement and take over the Defence Ministry. It was a triumphant comeback for the 'activist' philosophy whose excesses both Sharett and Lavon had tried to modify. It was con-summated, a week later, by an unprovoked raid on Gaza, which left thirty-nine Egyptians dead and led to the Suez War of 1956.57

When the truth about the Lavon Affair came to light, six years after the event, it confirmed that there had been a frame-up-not, however, by the Egyptians, but by Bengurion and his young proteges. Exposure was fortuitous. Giving evidence in a forgery trial in September 1960, a witness divulged on passant that he had seen the faked signature of Lavon on a document relating to a 1954 'security mishap'.58 Bengurion immediately announced that the three-year statute of limitations prohibited the opening of the case. But Lavon, now head of the powerful Histradut Trade Union Federation, seized upon this opportunity to demand an inquiry. Bengurion did everything in his power to stop it, but his cabinet overruled him. The investigation revealed that the security operation' had been planned behind Lavon's back. His signature had been forged, and the bombing had actually begun long before his approval --which he withheld-- had been sought. He was a scapegoat pure and simple. On Christmas Day 1960,the Israeli cabinet unanimously exonerated him of all guilt in the 'disastrous security adventure in Egypt'; the Attorney General had, in the meantime, found 'conclusive evidence of forgeries as well as false testimony in an earlier inquiry'.59 Bengurion was enraged. He issued an ultimatum to the ruling Labour party to remove Lavon, stormed out of a cabinet meeting and resigned. In what one trade unionist described as 'an immoral and unjust submission to dictatorship', his diehard supporters in the Histradut swung the vote in favour i)f accepting Lavon's resignation. Lavon, however, won a moral victory over the man who twice forced him from office. In the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, students demonstrated in his favour. They carried placards reading: 'Bengurion Go to Sde Boker, Take Dayan and Peres with You. We do Not Accept Leaders with Elastic Consciences.'60 The affair rocked the ruling establishment, split public opinion, forced new elections and contributed largely to Bengurion's eventual disappearance from public life.

But Lavon was not the only real victim. There were also those misguided Egyptian Jews who paid with their lives or long terms of imprisonment. It is true that when, in 1968, Marcelle Ninio and her colleagues were exchanged for Egyptian' prisoners in Israel, they received a heroes' welcome. True, too, that when Miss Ninio got married Prime Minister Golda Meir, Defence Minister Dayan and Chief of Staff General Bar Lev all attended the wedding and Dayan told the bride 'the Six-Day War was success enough that it led to your freedom'. However, after spending fourteen years in an Egyptian prison, the former terrorists did not share the leadership's enthusiasm. When Ninio and two of her colleagues appeared on Israel television a few years later, they all expressed the belief that the reason why they were not released earlier was because Israel made little effort to get them out. 'Maybe they didn't want us to come back,' said Robert Dassa. 'There was so much intrigue in Israel. We were instruments in the hands of the Egyptians and of others ... and what is more painful after all that we went through is that this continues to be so.' In Ninio's opinion, 'the government didn't want to spoil its relations with the United States and didn't want the embarrassment of admitting it was behind our action'.

But the real victims were the great mass of Egyptian Jewry. Episodes like the Lavon Affair tended to identify them, in the mind of ordinary Egyptians, with the Zionist movement. When, in 1956, Israeli invaded and occupied Sinai, feeling ran high against them. The government, playing into the Zionist hands, began ordering Jews to leave the country. Belatedly, reluctantly, 21,000 left in the following year; more were expelled later, and others, their livelihood gone, had nothing to stay for. But precious few went to Israel.


49. Jerusalem Post, 12 December 1954.

5O. 13 December 1954.

51. 13 December 1954.

52. Berger, op. cit., p. 14.

53. love, Kennett, Suez: The Twice-Fought War, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1969, P. 71.

54. Ibid., p . 73.

55. Ibid., p. 74.

56. Love, op. cit., P. 77.

57. See p. 198.

58. New York Times, 10 February 1961.

59. Ibid

60. Jewish Chronicle, London, 17 February 1971

Uh-oh, Guardian's Ian Black goes back to Palestine

One of The Guardian's. resident Zionists has turned his attention back to Palestine. Ian Black used to be The Guardian's. man in (or for) Israel. Then they made him Diplomatic Editor. I remember being pleased that they had unleashed him on the world where he could do less mischief. He made some classic references to Israel being the "only democracy in the Middle East", as distinct from Israel being the last of the colonial settler states. And he used to call Palestinian evicted tenant farmers "marauding Arabs". Well now he's singing the praises of Shimon Peres's return to government. He gives a truncated list of Peres's "role in key episodes in Israeli history". For example, the Entebbe raid, the acquisition of nuclear weapons and Grapes of Wrath (without describing what the latter actually was). He even gushes that Peres looks like David Ben Gurion (which he doesn't). Ian Black has obviously been absent from the Israeli scene for so long that he forgot about the Lavon Affair where Peres was implicated in a plot involving the use of Egyptian Jews to bomb British and US civilian targets. The Egyptian conspirators were caught and incarcerated and the consequent backlash led to a wave of emigration of Egyptian Jews, many to Israel. No prizes to Nasser for his witless and cruel response, but how could Ian Black forget such an episode? Also to throw the expression "Grapes of Wrath" into a round-up of Peres's war criminal career doesn't do justice to the victims. Here's a passage from Robert Fisk's description of the offensive against the civilian population of southern Lebanon:

"Israel's slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive - 206 by last night - has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese [barring Phalangists] will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 - the youngest was a four- day-old baby - when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home."

Ian Black should stick to diplomacy, he's certainly very diplomatic where Israel's interests are concerned.

Don't mention the Jihad

Bit of an excuse to paste a letter here, by someone I know, responding to US chargé d'Affaires David Johnson's denial of any US sponsorship of al-Qaida during the cold war. Follow the links to see what, exactly, is being criticised here.

Let's hope that George Monbiot is not going to be too submissive to the spirit of the festive season and turn the other cheek to his critic, the US chargé d'Affaires David Johnson, whose defence of US foreign policy is rhetorical and propagandist (Letters, December 24).

To invoke the September 11 atrocities every time the Bush administration embarks on a new military adventure does not pass the test of reason or credibility. The US administration, with all its resources, has failed to establish a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. And as for the US's dubious liaisons, Johnson's choice of the second-in-command in al-Qaida as a reliable source of information on whether Bin Laden was once an ally of the US or not smacks of irony. While the US's backing of Saddam during the Iraq-Iran war is well documented and can hardly be denied.
Jamal Sheri

David Johnson seems to be ignorant of recent US history. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had been the national security adviser to Jimmy Carter, admitted in 1998 that the US began giving military aid to the mujahideen six months before the Russians moved into Afghanistan, done precisely to entice them in and give "the USSR its Vietnam war".

Johnson also seems to be unaware of the 1994 US Senate report that lists the chemical weapons and military technology that US corporations were given permission (and encouraged) by the US government to sell to Saddam between 1985 and 1990. Maybe he should speak to Donald Rumsfeld, who was then the front man negotiating these deals.
Martin Davidson

Here, Tariq Ali argues a similar point about American support (via Zbigniew Brzezinski) for mujahedeen in Afghanistan.

December 26, 2004

Israel chose escalation: WZO

Here's a fascinating article from the World Zionist Organisation website. It's a review of a biography of Moshe Sharett where it emerges quite clearly that the choice between "moderation and escalation" was Israel's, according to the author, for 22 years until the signing of the treaty with Egypt. Since then, of course, moderation has been out of the window, as Michel Warschawski argues in his zmag,org article here.

Reverend Blair welcomes Falange at prayer

"Ruth Kelly...[t]he new Education Secretary [in the UK] has close links with the society [Opus Dei]." Sadly, no surpises there.

December 25, 2004

Christmas in Bethlehem

"For the first time in three years, Israel allowed Palestinian political leaders to attend the midnight sermon, where appeals for peace were made.

Veteran leader Yasser Arafat, who died in November, had been barred from the event over his alleged terror links." Not through sheer vindictiveness and a desire to humiliate the Palestinian leadership or anything like that. Barring Arafat from Bethlehem really helped reduce the violence after all.

Christmas in Falluja

Coming home to corpses:

"the US forces have cleared the dead people from the streets, but not from inside the homes."

December 24, 2004

Israeli prosecutor on the "Arab mentality"

Just found this on anti-Zionist notes. Apparently a trial, at Haifa District Court, involving the "Islamic Movement" had to be adjourned when the prosecutor's anti-Arab racism became so pronounced he caused an uproar. The defendants are accused of security and financial offences.

These are selected quotes from Ha'aretz.

"The Arab mentality is made of "a sense of being a victim," "pathological anti-Semitism," and "a tendency to live in a world of illusions," said Prof. Rafi Israeli, a lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at Hebrew University [!!!], on the witness stand yesterday, adding that the Arabs neglect sanitation in their communities. "Most of the Arab villages are dirtier, physically - it's a fact," he [the professor]said."

"The defense initially requested that Israeli's testimony be rejected, claiming the professor is identified with the extreme right - but his testimony was heard."

"During cross-examination yesterday, Israeli was asked to respond to questions on a number of issues concerning his viewpoint on the Arabs in Israel, Islam in general, and the sketch he offered of the nature of "the Arab mentality.""

"The Islamic Movement and its defense team expressed shock and outrage at the choice of Israeli as a witness for the prosecution. "It's a shame and a disgrace," said attorney Feldman, noting he would be taking the matter up with the attorney general "to see if he stands behind this testimony.""

Perhaps the good (or nutty) professor was just frustrated at Israel having no partners for peace.

See jazzman's take on this. He turns the whole thing around and asks what the outcry might be if these same things were said about Jews in a trial in an Arab state.

Ha'aretz removes a lot of stuff from it's site after a time so if you can't find the article on Ha'aretz go here.

JC: Anti-semitism "up in the UK"

A report in the Jewish Chronicle. tells us that 34% of people questioned in the UK say that anti-semitism is up. More than twice that ("close to 74%") say that Muslims are "viewed with suspicion". As "one British expert", Dr Paul Iganski, urging caution, asked "Were the respondents reporting their own attitudes?Were they providing their perceptions about the attitudes of their friends or their neighbours or what they read. We simply have no way of knowing". So why was the survey conducted and what do we conclude?

Germany keeping Jews out

Jews from eastern Europe seeking to live in Germany will now have to pass certain tests of usefulness and assimilibility to German society in future. The last time I heard of Jews not being allowed to live in Germany they were Russian Jews who had gone, first to Israel and then to Germany. At Israel's request they were handcuffed and put on a plane for the armed ghetto. The JC. doesn't mention that shameful episode.

Galloway judge to preside over Board of Deputies/Interpal libel case

Judge Eady has allowed the Board of Deputies of British "Jews" to run with "qualified privilege" as a defence against Interpal's libel action on account of the Board accusing Interpal of raising money for terrorist activity. The trial will be by jury. Judge Eady was the judge in the Galloway v Telegraph case. Let's hope he didn't find for Galloway so that he could do a Hutton on a Muslim charity in favour of a Zionist organisation masquerading as a generalist representative Jewish group.

December 23, 2004

Hitchens back on form for a moment

Christopher Hitchens found some of his old form a few days ago in an interview with ancien. -con, Pat Buchanan. In the interview he makes a good case for secularism in America and, indeed, anywhere and everywhere else. It's hard to tell from a transcript what kind of mood he was in but it must embarrass him that he has staked, well demolished, his own reputation on support for Bush and the so-called neo-cons in the war. He has justified that support by way of references to the theocratic nature of the targets of the "war on terror". Now he finds himself having to plead with his new friends to show some moderation in how they run things at home.

Spotlight on Sharon's background

This recently published letter by a Dr.Mike Barnes is a potted history of Israeli PM, Ariel Sharon's career as a racist war criminal. It's well reasoned and well written but it offers no particular surprises except that it was given pride of place in the middle of the letters page of a very pro-Zionist newspaper: Jewish News.

Ken Loach stands up for Perdition

Ken Loach responds to "expert" criticism of Jim Allen's play Perdition. Yesterday The Guardian. used the opportunity presented by the pulling of the play Behzti. after protests from Sikhs, to ask certain experts how they would have dealt with Jim Allen's play Perdition. , about Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. Unfortunately they forgot to point out that the first of their "experts", Anthony Julius, is a Zionist. Here's his contribution:

"It was a crass unhistorical work that purported to be historical. I would not myself have banned it, but I would have asked the Royal Court give the audience a short, truthful account of the relevant historical events [but not like this.]"

Here's Ken Loach's response:

The truth about Perdition

Thursday December 23, 2004
The Guardian

Your so-called experts who attacked Perdition. repeat the lies that were told when the play was first produced and then censored by the Royal Court in 1987 (Can censorship ever be justified? December 22).

As its first director, I can say that the essential story the play tells - of collaboration of some Zionists with the Nazis in Budapest in 1944 - was not challenged and stands as historical fact. Minute details were rigorously pursued. The torrent of misinformation about Jim Allen's play came from those who objected to the political critique of Zionism and the consequent dispossession of the Palestinians. Max Stafford-Clark, then director at the Court and responsible for the play's censorship, now says that the charge of antisemitism was "bandied about" (Theatre community defends 'courageous Birmingham Rep, December 21). He doesn't have the decency to say that this was unfounded.

The writer Eric Fried, many of whose family were murdered by the Nazis, wrote: "I am envious I have not written [this play] myself ... To accuse the play of faking history or anti-Jewish bias is monstrous. Perdition should be staged wherever possible."

The charge of antisemitism is the time-honoured way to deflect anti-Zionist arguments. The play has been successfully produced at least three times since Stafford-Clark's climbdown. The Rep should have stuck to its guns with Behzti. Let's hope another theatre understands the principle at stake.
Ken Loach

December 22, 2004

Playing the victim

"Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip have adopted Star of David badges similar to those which Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis in the 30s." According to The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart, "many....settlers equate the prime minister, Ariel Sharon's plans to evacuate the settlements next year with the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis".

So armed fascist activists are like the victims of fascism. If this gets sympathy from the Israeli public then perhaps the Palestinians should try wearing Stars of David too.

December 21, 2004

Bank profits from war shock!

Well it was a shock for this chap. This is lifted from At Ease, the blog of a US Air Mobility Liaison Officer who has just got home to a bill from Bank of America. Now read on...

"First of all, we have to use the government travel card to get rooms or airline tickets or rental cars. Instead of a convenience for people without the means of paying out of pocket and getting reimbursed, it is a strictly enforced rule. You cannot file your travel voucher without dispersing part of the payment directly to Bank of America unless you have your commander's signature. The kicker is that you are required to pay your bill on time no matter what. You could have used the card in a hotel in Germany on your way to a 6 month tour in a foxhole in Pakistan but if you don't find a way to pay your bill when the Bank of America says you have to pay your bill, they will charge you $29 a month until that bill is paid. It doesn't matter if there is absolutely no possible way for you to pay your bill, you could be a POW and they wouldn't care; if you don't pay the bill, you're getting charged. And keep in mind you don't have the option of not using the card. Moreover, they are absolutely unwilling to waive that $29/month fee and even if it isn't your fault, you'll have to pay it and the government will not reimburse you for that fee. So the government forces you to use the card, the government may put you in a position to not be able to pay the card thus incurring the fee, and the government will not reimburse you for the fee that they made you incur. It's aggrevating. Of course, my philosophy is, screw that, I'm going to use my own credit card if at all possible."

December 20, 2004

Saudi spring?

More likely a long hot summer. The Socialist Worker has an article detailing the trials and tribulations of the Saudi pro-democracy movement, such as it is.

This says it all about what the "Riyadh Triad" (three pro-democracy activists jailed since March for calling for a constitutional monarchy) are up against:

"Several people, including journalists and relatives of the trio, were arrested and detained, and the trial proceeded behind closed doors.

The trio’s lead attorney, Abdulrahman Al-Lahem, was also absent—he had been arrested and jailed a few weeks earlier for his criticism of judicial practices."

Three guys are such a threat to Saudi Arabia, journalists, lawyers and spectators had to be arrested. Truly the Kingdom is built on sand.

"Arabs are worms"

Nice to see that Israel's Parliamentary discourse on Arabs has moved beyond such banal racist epithets as "two legged beasts (Menahem Begin) and drunken cockroaches(Raful Eitan)". Likud MK, Yehiel Hazan, recently said, in a Parliamentary debate "The Arabs are worms. You find them everywhere like worms, underground as well as above." Of course some of those "above" ground worms were killed recently trying to enforce Israel's occupation of Gaza.

December 19, 2004

Restrict Muslims' rights: 44% in USA

Loz at Blah Blah Flowers (don't be like that, whats' in a name?) reports on a survey where 44% of American respondents said that there should be restrictions on the civil rights of Muslims. They don't seem to say what those restrictions should be. Loz notes the approval this news gets from an American anti-Muslim hate site called Little Green Footballs. Presumably she didn't have a strong enough stomach to stick around for the comments where she would have seen that many commenters are disgusted that support for restrictions on Muslims' civil rights is only. 44% of respondents. Thankfully a higher proportion - 48% - responded that there should be no restrictions.

Palestinian textbooks: Where is all that 'incitement'?

From yesterday's International Herald Tribune., an opinion piece from Roger Avenstrup saying that he found no incitement against Jews in Palestinian text books except for ones from Egypt and Jordan: Israel's main "partners for peace" in the Middle East.

"No country's textbooks have been subjected to as much close scrutiny as the Palestinian. The findings? It turns out that the original allegations were based on Egyptian or Jordanian textbooks and incorrect translations. Time and again, independently of each other, researchers find no incitement to hatred in the Palestinian textbooks."

For a contrast with Israeli books for children see Anti-zionist notes.

December 18, 2004

Islam, Muslims and the left by Seumas Milne

This is an excellent article by The Guardian's. Seumas Milne on 16/12/2004. Milne here perhaps places too much emphasis on the liberating capabilities of religious belief but I do agree with his position on the thrust of proposed legislation to protect confessional identity groups. I am not sure that new legislation is required for this though. The Race Relations Act has been extended to protect Jews and Sikhs and there is no reason that I know of as to why it can't be extended to protect Muslims as well. Right now the Zionist movement is trying to have it made illegal to question Israel's right to exist, to compare Israel to a nazi state and to call Israel an apartheid state. This means that while many Zionists pour scorn on the idea of religious protection, an ideology (Zionism) that has been implemented via colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and Jim Crow style segregation gets protection. Is that justice?

Labour in Likud clothing?

Here's an interesting article in Ha'aretz on line. Labour have now agreed to join Likud in government. The differences between them are barely discernable but what caught my eye here was what nearly derailed the deal. Sharon called off the talks when chief Labour negotiator MK Dalia Itzik said, "He's running after us, not we after him," she said. "After 30 years, they [Likud] are seeing how right we were... They are contractors implementing [our policies]." It could have been Michael Howard speaking of Blair. But it was an Israeli Labour politician speaking of Sharon. And why not? Sharon is a Labour Zionist by background and nothing in his career suggests that he has changed. Just what Labour policies, that Likud is implementing, was Itzik referring to? The wall? The rapid expansion of settlements? The Gaza "withdrawal" as, in Sharon's words, "a punishment for the Palestinians"? We shall see.

December 17, 2004

Anti-Zionism on campus brought to the attention of Commons select committee on racism and terror

According to this week's Jewish Chronicle. "a delegation from the Union of Jewish Students told the Commons Home Affairs select committee of a series of incidents, some of them involving physical violence. The committee is gathering evidence on racism and terrorism"....."Of particular concern, said the UJS, was the situation at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, where a motion equated Zionism with racism and Jewish students were "very uncomfortable and feel it is necessary to minimise their appearance on campus"." Now it appears to be the UJS's Danny Stone making these charges and yet last week's JC. reported that he had attended the conference at SOAS titled "Resisting Israeli apartheid: Strategies and principles". Clearly he. didn't feel a need to "minimise" his presence. He was, however, horrified that Tom Paulin had spoken of an Israeli commander who told his troops to read how the Nazis had liquidated the Warsaw Ghetto in order to understand the tasks involved in suppressing the Palestinian refugee camps. I don't know if he castigated Ha'aretz for reporting exactly the same thing only closer to the time it actually happened.

Conspicuous by its absence from any reports of the intimidation of Jews on campus over the question of Palestine, is any evidence. Ultimately, what Danny Stone, the UJS and the JC seem to be saying is that any criticism of Israel is unpleasant for people who support Israel. This, as they all know, is not all Jews and being the butt of political argument is not intimidation.

December 16, 2004

Israelis resist Zionism

A Jewish village within Israel's pre-1967 boundary is resisting plans to join it to an illegal settlement in the West Bank.

"Nicky Blackburn, a freelance journalist......said "I don't agree with settlements. I think they are wrong. I love living here because it is such a warm community. It's a great place to bring up children. But if we had known we were going to find ourselves in a settlement we would never have come." But bulldozers have already began to flatten the land for the new community, named Nof Hasharon." [How appropriate].

December 15, 2004

Blunkett leaves cabinet with "integrity" (sic) in tact

Now who on earth would praise the "integrity" of a minister who has just left the government for using his ministerial influence in his personal life? Who do you think? Stand up Tony Blair.

Rafah kids ramble about blogs

This is lazy blogging by but it's a post at Rafah Pundits that rounds up some of the blogs focusing on Zionism by way of a plug for an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog Directory which I can't figure out how to connect with. The Pundits give a hearty mention to the recently established (actually, now, well established)

Mahmoud Abbas

An article in Anti-Zionist notes explaining "why Zionists love Mahmoud Abbas". I read it, lost it, then found it again and here it is.

December 13, 2004

More on Israel's designs on the Middle East

The headline above is a link to an article by Oded Yinon, late of the Israeli foreign ministry, translated by Israel Shahak and drawn to my attention by Roland Rance. It expands on earlier comments on Israel's possible war aims in Lebanon in the 1980s.

Barghouti out of the race

Marwan Barghouti is out of the race for Palestinian Authority Presidency, leaving the way clear, it seems, for Mahmoud Abbas. See Anti-Zionist notes for why Israel favours Abbas's candidacy.

December 12, 2004

Bedouin model, model Israeli

This is a curious article about the "first Bedouin model in the world". She's Israeli and the article starts on her career and then relates some Israeli Bedouin history and politics:

"Towards the end of the British Mandate and during the 1948 war, some Bedouin joined the Jewish forces, believing that the Jewish state would be generous to them. They were wrong, but after the establishment of Israel many of them continued to volunteer for the Israeli army and serving on the front lines; volunteering is considered by some Bedouin to be part of their "blood-pact" with the State of Israel.

Whereas the Negev Bedouin do not express any identification with Israel, the northern Bedouin identify with it in big numbers. This is manifested, primarily, in the extent of volunteering for the Israeli army. Despite this, the Bedouin in the North (like their brothers in the South) are not rewarded with a much friendly attitude, and continue to suffer from severe economic hardships. Even those who serve in the army suffer face the same discrimination as the other Arabs in Israel.

There are observers who predict a coming Bedouin Intifada. , as Israel's Ha'aretz. newspaper characterized it recently.

Asked if this is possible, Muhammad Zeidan, head of the Arab Human Rights Association said, "The Bedouin are peaceful, but they are human beings. I don't think they have a choice, they are being pushed to do this."

What adds to the complication is the Israeli government's plan for the Gaza Strip withdrawal, a plan that if carried out will likely mean new Jewish settlements in the Negev and the North, adding to development pressures in the Bedouin towns and villages."

Gaza Strip: At least five Israeli soldiers killed in Palestinian attack on military outpost

I just stumbled on this news item on the Angry Arab News Service.

Five soldiers have been killed in a Palestinian attack involving a tunnel bomb and firearms. One Palestinian was killed in the gun battle. The Israelis really seem to believe that their army is invulnerable in spite of many signs to the contrary; the flight from Lebanon being a case in point. So an attack like this is far more shocking than an attack on a civilian target. I don't know why armed Palestinian groups don't confine themselves to attacks like these. Look at the history. According to Israel Shahak, Egypt has killed more Israeli soldiers than any other other state or movement has and Egypt got back what it lost to Israel. Ok, this was a kind of Nazi-Soviet pact from the Israeli viewpoint, securing one flank in order to attack another: Lebanon. But even now Sharon is trying to shmooze Egypt into security co-operation. And look what happened with Lebanon. Israel won the battle there in 1982. Swept in, killed maybe 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and stayed for a further 18 years before being forced to retreat on account of unacceptably high losses to the Israeli army. So we have two examples of Israeli withdrawals from occupied territory both of which involved the killing of many Israeli soldiers before Israel withdrew.

Zionists kid themselves about the life or death security implications of this or that piece of land but they usually come around in the end. When the Brits redrew the map of Palestine, including the establishment of Transjordan and the setting of the current Israel/Lebanon border, Chaim Weizman said that the Zionist movement would never accept a definition of Palestine (he called it Palestine in those days) that didn't include the south of Lebanon up to the Litani River. This was largely forgotten until Moshe Dayan brought it up again in the 1955 thus:

"The only thing that is necessary [in Lebanon] is to find an officer, even just a Major. We should either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the savior of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory, and will create a Christian regime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani [River] southward will be totally annexed to Israel and everything will be all right."

This was also forgotten and I don't recall it being mentioned when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982. Whatever, Israel is now out of Lebanon having accepted what Chaim Weizman could "never accept". Similarly when Israel attacked Egypt in 1956 they said they could never withdraw form Sharm el-Sheik because of their vital security concerns. US President Eisenhower had other ideas telling them that no occupying power could dictate terms. They withdrew until a later US administration gave them the green light to attack Egypt et al. in 1967. Again when they came round to negotiating their Nazi-Soviet style pact with Egypt they tried to hang on to Sharm. They were out of there in time to embark on the Lebanon genocide of 1982 which became a graveyard for Israeli soldiers together with the Palestinian and Lebanese victims of "Operation Peace for Galilee".

My point here is that, as unpleasant as all forms of violence are, Israel only yields to violence against, indeed the killing of, its soldiers; never the killing of its civilians. This Zionist mentality needs more than casual blog treatment but I believe it is connected to their militaristic and inhumane ideology which Ariel Sharon once said is "not about what Israel can do for Jews but what Jews can do for Israel".

Barak's generous offer

It's remarkable that, after four years, people are still repeating the myths surrounding the breakdown of the "peace" talks between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat. Among Zionists, talk of "Ehud Barak's generous offer" is common currency as if it's true. Among anti-Zionists it's a joke. In fact put "Barak's generous offer" into Google and 934 sites come up (today anyway). I haven't checked them all but the first ten are incredulous about the idea that Barak was somehow being generous about the land that isn't his. Just recently I was told by a fellow blogger that he believes AIPAC's Dennis Ross on the question of what was on offer by Barak. In fairness to the "generosity" argument I have linked to Dennis Ross's article in Facts of Israel. Please read it. The problem with it is, it doesn't state any facts; it just makes some bland assertions that any reader of the mainstream media will have seen many times before. The Arab Media Watch article by Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish linked in the headline above states specific verifiable facts.

Here are some quotes from AMW. I can't juxtapose concomitant myths because the Zionists haven't actually gone into any detail, possibly because no-one ever asks them to prove their point.

"It was Israel that broke off the negotiations, and the committee headed by former US Senator George Mitchell found no evidence to back the Israeli claim that the Palestinian Authority had planned or launched the Intifada."

Barak's "generous" offer

* no territorial contiguity for the Palestinian state,
* no control of its external borders,
* limited control of its own water resources, and
* no full Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory as required by international law.

In addition, the Barak plan would have :

* included continued Israeli military control over large segments of the West Bank, including almost all of the Jordan Valley;
* codified the right of Israeli forces to be deployed in the Palestinian state at short notice;
* meant the continued presence of fortified Israeli settlements and Jewish-only roads in the heart of the Palestinian state; and
* required nearly 4 million Palestinian refugees to relinquish their fundamental human rights in exchange for compensation to be paid not by Israel but by the "international community."

Barak himself wrote in a New York Times Op-ed on 24 May 2001 that his vision was for

"a gradual process of establishing secure, defensible borders, demarcated so as to encompass more than 80 percent of the Jewish settlers in several settlement blocs over about 15 percent of Judea and Samaria, and to ensure a wide security zone in the Jordan Valley."

I'm no mathmetician but 100% of the occupied territories less 15% makes, not Dennis Ross's 97% but 85%.

Just an aside here, this is the most irritating thing about people, particularly in the mainstream media, who are so accepting of Zionist mythology when the truth is nearly always in the public domain and often from the mouths or pens of Zionists themselves.

Anyway to continue for people who can't work the arithmetic:

"In other words, if Barak intended to keep 15 percent of "Judea and Samaria" (the West Bank), he could not have offered the Palestinians more than 85 percent.

No one can seriously talk about Israel being willing to end its settlement policy if 80 percent of its settlers would have remained in place.".......

"Robert Malley who was Clinton's special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs, participated in the Camp David negotiations. In an important article entitled "Fictions About the Failure At Camp David " published in the New York Times on July 8, 2001, Malley added his own, insider's challenge to the Camp David myth. Not only did he agree that Barak's offer was far from ideal, but made the additional point that Arafat had made far more concessions than anyone gave him credit for. Malley wrote:

"Many have come to believe that the Palestinians' rejection of the Camp David ideas exposed an underlying rejection of Israel's right to exist. But consider the facts: The Palestinians were arguing for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967, borders, living alongside Israel. They accepted the notion of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory to accommodate settlement blocs. They accepted the principle of Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem -- neighborhoods that were not part of Israel before the Six Day War in 1967. And, while they insisted on recognition of the refugees' right of return, they agreed that it should be implemented in a manner that protected Israel's demographic and security interests by limiting the number of returnees. No other Arab party that has negotiated with Israel -- not Anwar el-Sadat's Egypt, not King Hussein's Jordan, let alone Hafez al-Assad's Syria -- ever came close to even considering such compromises."

Malley rightly concluded that, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Now this is strange. Why on earth did Clinton appoint some people to attend the talks who were not in thrall to Zionist goals? I mean this Malley chap flatly contradicts Dennis Ross. Why did he put Ross and Malley in the same team? I think it was because he needed Dennis Ross to establish what was acceptable from a Zionist point of view and Malley to report back on the actual truth. Since leaving office Clinton has run with the Ross version but then he was prosecuted for perjury so maybe the truth isn't so important to him. Ok the perjury was over sex but what's more important, geopolitics or sex?

Anyway, back on track:

"On 19 December 2000, six months after Camp David, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators returned to Washington and continued with negotiations. These negotiations were based on a set of proposals by President Clinton which went beyond Barak's offer of July 2000, but still fell short of minimum Palestinian expecations. Nevertheless, the Palestinians went on with the talks."...
"In January 2001, the talks moved to Taba, Egypt, where they reportedly continued to make progress. They broke off at the end of January, and were due to resume but Barak canceled a planned meeting with Arafat. Shortly thereafter, Barak lost the election to Ariel Sharon, and the talks have never resumed."

So where is the blow-by-blow refutation of the above in a Zionist source and why would anyone prefer to believe AIPAC's Dennis Ross?

December 11, 2004

Semitic semantics

An etymological and political take on anti-semitism by Joseph Massad. Sorry to copy and paste such large tracts but I really have nothing to comment here except to say that this is a fascinating article in Al-Ahram. (Thanks to Roland Rance)

"The term "Semite" was invented by European philologists in the 18th century to distinguish languages from one another by grouping them into "families" descended from one "mother" tongue to which they are all related....."

"The defensive claim made by some that Arabs cannot be "anti-Semitic" because they are "Semites" is equally erroneous and facile. First, I should state that I do not believe that anyone is a "Semite" any more than I believe anyone is an "Aryan", and I do not believe that Arabs or Jews should proudly declare that they are "Semites" because European racists classified them as such. But if the history of European Christian anti-Semitism is mostly a history targeting Jews as objects of discrimination and exclusion, the history of European Orientalism and colonialism is the one that targeted Arabs and Muslims, among many others. This does not mean that Arabs are not considered Semites by European racialist and philological classifications; they indeed are. Nor does this mean that much of the hatred of Arabs today is not derived from a prior anti- Semitism that targeted Jews. Indeed it is. The history of European Orientalism is one that is fully complicit with anti-Semitism from which it derives many of its representations of ancient and modern Arabs and of ancient Hebrews and modern Jews. As Edward Said demonstrated a quarter of a century ago in his classic Orientalism, "what has not been sufficiently stressed in histories of modern anti-Semitism has been the legitimation of such atavistic designations by Orientalism, and... the way this academic and intellectual legitimation has persisted right through the modern age in discussions of Islam, the Arabs, or the Near Orient." Said added: "The transference of popular anti-Semitic animus from a Jewish to an Arab target was made smoothly, since the figure was essentially the same." In the context of the 1973 War, Said commented that Arabs came to be represented in the West as having "clearly 'Semitic' features: sharply hooked noses, the evil moustachioed leer on their faces, were obvious reminders (to a largely non- Semitic population) that 'Semites' were at the bottom of all 'our' troubles."

"....Zionism, ... adopted wholesale anti-Semitic ideologies, would also call Jews "Semites" and would begin to consider Jews as Semites racially from the late 19th century to the present......"

"....a large and disproportionate number of the purveyors of anti- Arab racism in today's United States and Israel as well as in Western Europe are Jews. But there is also a disproportionate number of Jews among those who defend Arabs and Muslims against Euro- American and Israeli racism and anti-Semitism. The majority, however, of those who hate Arabs and Muslims in the West remain European and American Christians."

"While holocaust denial in the West is indeed one of the strongest manifestations of anti-Semitism, most Arabs who deny the holocaust deny it for political not racist reasons. This point is even conceded by the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim Orientalist Bernard Lewis. Their denial is based on the false Zionist claim that the holocaust justifies Zionist colonialism. The Zionist claim is as follows: Since Jews were the victims of the holocaust, then they have the right to colonise Palestine and establish a Jewish colonial-settler state there. Those Arabs who deny the holocaust accept the Zionist logic as correct. Since these deniers reject the right of Zionists to colonise Palestine, the only argument left to them is to deny that the holocaust ever took place, which, to their thinking, robs Zionism of its allegedly "moral" argument. But the fact that Jews were massacred does not give Zionists the right to steal someone else's homeland and to massacre the Palestinian people. The oppression of a people does not endow it with rights to oppress others. If those Arab deniers refuse to accept the criminal Zionist logic that justifies the murder and oppression of the Palestinians by appealing to the holocaust, then these deniers would no longer need to make such spurious arguments. All those in the Arab world who deny the Jewish holocaust are in my opinion Zionists."

"......While the nakba. and the holocaust are not equivalent in any sense, the logic of denying them is indeed the same....."

"....If anti-Semites posited Jews as the purveyors of corruption, as financier bankers who control the world, as violent communist subversives, and as poisoners of Christian wells, the Arab and the Muslim today are seen as in control of the oil market and therefore of the global financial market, the purveyors of hatred and corruption of civilised Christian and Jewish societies, as violent terrorists, and as possible mass murderers, not with some Semitic Jewish poison but with Semitic Arab nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (which are nowhere to be found). Thus Michael Moore feels vindicated in telling us in his recent film, Fahrenheit 9/11, about the portion of the American economy controlled by Saudi money while neglecting to mention the much, much larger American share of the Saudi economy. Anti- Semitism is alive and well today worldwide and its major victims are Arabs and Muslims and no longer Jews. The fight should indeed be against all anti-Semitism no matter who the object of its oppression is, Arab or Jew."

Joseph Massad teaches modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University in New York. but not for much longer if the Zionists have their way.

One war criminal: bad, two war criminals: good

Perhaps it's just as well that this leader in The Independent. is pay-per-view. If too many people read it they might think that The Indie. is an uncritical supporter of Israel like the rest of our supine media. It is suggesting that Ariel Sharon can make a peace deal with the Palestinians by co-opting fellow war criminal (and personal friend) Shimon Peres into the government. Elsewhere in the paper today there is a report on the Israeli army killing a 7 year old girl by shelling her house in retaliation for a mortar attack on a Jewish settlement in which no-one was killed. The Israelis haven't yet "confirmed the kill" so we don't know Shimon Peres's reaction yet. Not much the butcher of Qana can say about it really though.

Jewish Chronicle lauds "enhancement"

Yesterday's Jewish Chronicle. opened in high spirits in the (probably justified) belief that the BBC will be even more pro-Israel in future than it has been in the past. This follows the completion of Malcolm Balen's (the BBC's Zionism tsar's) report into BBC coverage of the Middle East. The report is secret, that is, it is being kept from the public, but the JC. has been crowing for months about what it clearly sees as a Zionist victory by having the tsar imposed on the Beeb in the first place. The BBC itself has done nothing to distance itself from the Zionist belief that the recruiting of Malcolm Balen has been a victory for Zionism in the UK. For its part, the BBC has announced, somewhat enigmatically, that it is to "enhance" its coverage of Middle East issues. What the JC. has been hoping for is that any Israeli atrocity will either not be reported at all or will be put into "context". What "context"? Well they want any report on Israel to be accompanied by reports on suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Now, there should be a problem here. If they report the suicide bombing, what about the context? If the bomber comes from Jenin will the BBC say that Jenin is a refugee camp? If they say it's a refugee camp, will they say where the refugees came from? The answer to that one is Haifa. Will they say that Haifa was ethnically cleansed in order to give Israel a Jewish majority that it wouldn't have without said ethnic cleansing? Would the JC. be so thrilled with the appointment of Malcolm Balen and the proposed "enhancement" if this was the case? I think not.

Archbishop of Canterbury defends Israel

Inside the paper there is a report from Simon Rocker. that Dr Rowan Williams has warned Christians not to challenge Israel's right to exist. Apparently "the suggestion that Israel does not have a right to exist because it is not good enough is a dangerous one". So what's he saying? Is he saying that Israel is not good enough to exist but Christians must not say so? Is he saying that Israel is not good enough but must continue to exist even though it's not good enough? Or is he saying that Israel, an apartheid state based on colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing, is good enough for him and his fellow Christians? If so what kind of Christians did he have in mind: Christian Phalangists?

JC. in denial

Last week the JC. reported on the conference "Resisting Israeli Apartheid - Strategies and Principles" at SOAS. As I reported, they were far more even handed in their report than The Guardian's. sorry effort. It wasn't to last. This week the JC. reporter Gaby Wine. is aghast that, "the keynote speaker was poet Tom Paulin, who at one point alleged that an Israeli army general has said that military operations in the West Bank should be like those in the Warsaw Ghetto". And that this caused Union of Jewish Students (not an interest group for Jewish students in general but a specifically Zionist group) leader Danny Stone to complain that "I could not believe that in a room of 300 students and academics, no one challenged the comparison with Nazis." Now, as far as the report goes, Tom Paulin was simply saying what the Israeli daily Ha'aretz had reported when covering the re-occupation of the refugee camps. Why didn't the JC. say so? What could anyone challenge here? If Danny Stone was there, why didn't he object to Tom Paulin making a simple statement of fact? I'm sure that even the Jewish Chronicle. reported the Israeli commander's "Warsaw Ghetto" speech at the time (though I could be wrong). So what's happening here? Is the JC. deliberately misleading its readers? Or is it agreeing a party line with a readership it assumes to be overwhelmingly Zionist? Whatever it is, an Israeli commander called on his troops to study the Nazi liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. Yes, this is horrifying, but to express horror, not at the fact that the commander could say such a thing, but the fact that anyone should report on such a thing, represents a state of denial so characteristic of the Zionist movement.

Berlusconi "innocent"

The Independent. (again) providing a counterpoint to those reports suggesting that the arch criminal Berlosconi might actually be innocent of bribing a judge. The Independent., from its headline (Berlusconi proved to have bribed judge but avoids prison) through the whole article, makes it clear that Berlosconi is guilty which is more than can be said for The Guardian. in its headline (Court ruling clears Berlusconi) on the same story.

Welcome back from free Fallujah

The Independent. contrasts the homecoming of the Black Watch soldiers with the homecoming of those they helped to "liberate":

"there are no humanitarian workers working inside the city. When the first of Fallujah's refugees are allowed to return on Christmas Eve, they will be funnelled through five checkpoints. Each will have their fingerprints taken, along with DNA samples and retina scans. Residents will be issued with badges with their home addresses on them, and it will be an offence not to wear it at all times. No civilian vehicles will be allowed in the city in an effort to thwart suicide bombers. One idea floated by the US is for all males in Fallujah be compelled to join work battalions in which they will be paid to clear rubble and rebuild houses."

December 10, 2004

For a one state solution in Palestine

Another day, another blog for a one state solution. Looks like she's been blogging since 14/11/2004 and she's already picked up a Zionist troll called "Fred".

December 08, 2004

So that's a known unknown

Rumsfeld was caught out today by some known unknowns. They were soldiers in the US army complaining that their vehicles needed more armour. At present apparently the soldiers have to scavenge for waste on rubbish tips to find metal to coat their vehicles with. Did Rumsfeld know that? A known. Did he not know that? An unknown. Did he know that he didn't know that? A known unknown.

And what about the soldiers? They should be Rumsfeld's constituency. He knows them. But he didn't know they were "pissed", as they say, at running round the desert in vulnerable vehicles. So, known unknowns again. Two lots of known unknowns for the man who invented the expression specially to describe what America (and the UK) were getting into in Iraq.

David Aaronovitch: Damned by, ain't praise

It's strange this Galloway v Telegraph Group. business. Reports have been unanimous that Galloway won the case. That is, the judge in the case ruled that Galloway had been libelled by The Daily Telegraph. And yet Johann Hari, the BBC and now (well yesterday) David Aaronovitch have persisted in libelling Galloway in pretty much the same way that had The Telegraph coughing up £150,000 in damages and a possible £1.4 million in costs. Perhaps they think that the judge's ruling was on some technicality or that, post- Lord Hutton, a judge with integrity is an abberation. For those who think the former then here is the judgment itself. Sorry it's a pdf and it runs to 60 pages. I wouldn't have read it but I felt compelled to when David Aaronovitch wrote in yesterday's Guardian. , "The account of the finding of the documents by the reporter David Blair was not challenged, he himself was praised by the judge. " Now it struck me as very strange that a journalist might be praised by a judge for running with an article that had the judge describing his employers as "disingenuous", at best. Also for various reasons connected with his tenuous grasp of facts, I just don't trust David Aaronovitch. So let's search for "praise" or "praising" in the judgment. It appears in the following passage:

"There is something faulty about this logic. The documents did not publish themselves and the mode of their presentation was wholly under the control of The Daily Telegraph. The argument may have some superficial attraction. On the other hand, it is a little ironic that while the newspaper was, understandably., praising Mr Blair’s "superlative" detective work, and claiming that its scoop had led the news, it should also be seeking to distance itself from the consequences of the publication to the world at large."

So the closest the judge came to praising David Blair was to say that his "disingenuous" employers "understandably, praise[d] him". In other words he didn't praise him at all. But it gets worse. The judge looks into what the Telegraph. might have done to establish whether or not the documents it published were genuine. And the relevant passage in the judgment:

"Did the Defendant take any steps to verify the contents of the
Baghdad documents, in so far as they related to the Claimant,
by reference to independent sources of information, such as the
governments of the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, Mr
Fawaz Zureikat, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the
Home Office or intelligence sources, before publishing the
articles complained of?"

And it continues (eventually): "No one on the Defendants’ behalf
suggests that they did make such enquiries."

Now given that David Blair found the documents, should it not have fallen to him to at least try to establish their veracity? Anyway, according to Mr Justice Eady this rudimentary check wasn't undertaken and taking the judgment in total it appears that the failure to try to prove whether the documents were genuine was, among other things, an aggravating factor leading to such a high level of damages.

In fairness to David Aaronovitch I should point out that the judge did praise David Blair as a witness:

"Like the other witnesses in the case, Mr Blair seemed to me to be impressive and straightforward in his evidence. I have no doubt that he believed the documents he found were genuine and that they gave rise to legitimate questions – at least requiring the attention of serious investigative journalists."

but, in that, he was, as the judge said "[l]ike the other witnesses in the case".

but, of course, that isn't what David Aaronovitch said.

Another aggravating factor that Aaronovitch doesn't. lie about, because he doesn't mention it, is the fact that The Telegraph's. barrister - James Price QC - falsely attributed a written statement to George Galloway that he had referred to Barbara Amiel as Conrad Black's "Jewish. wife". Here's the relevant passage:

"One aspect of aggravation was the unfortunate attribution in cross-examination of anti-semitism. I am quite prepared to accept that it was a slip, in the heat of the moment, and that it was not intended to be put forward as part of the Defendants' case. It is necessary for me to consider exactly how it came about. Mr Price wished to refer to a fund-raising letter written by Mr Galloway for the purposes of obtaining support in these proceedings. In it he suggested that he had been attacked by The Daily Telegraph. because of his views on the Middle East in general and the Palestinian cause in particular. Wisely or unwisely, he referred to Lord Black (formerly proprietor of The Daily Telegraph) and his wife Barbara Amiel as being among Mr Sharon’s most vociferous supporters. Mr Price wished to put this document to him in the course of cross-examination. Before he did so, and I believe when it was not actually in front of him, he somewhat unguardedly said that Mr Galloway had referred to Barbara Amiel’s hostility towards him being due to the fact that she was Jewish. The document, of course, said no such thing."

Now here I have to say that the judge was being very charitable to James Price QC given the way The Telegraph. hurls bogus allegations of anti-semitism around sometimes.

Anyway, please read the whole judgment. I'm no lawyer and I would welcome any alternative view to my own. Here it is in html.

December 07, 2004

Perdition II - this time it's personal

"ALAN RICKMAN is about to become the latest Hollywood star to light the blue touchpaper on the powderkeg that is Arab-Israeli politics." Or should that say "the latest ex. -Hollywood star" since "he is thought to be sympathetic towards the Palestinian cause". Anyway, Alan Rickman is directing a play titled My Name is Rachel Corrie. which is due to open at the Royal Court in 2005.....but will it open at the Royal Court next year? The last time that I know of the Royal Court planning on showing a play that would embarrass the Zionists it was pulled after pressure from various Zionists including academics and actors. The play was Jim Allen's Perdition. It eventually found a home at the Conway Hall after becoming far more famous for being pulled than it would have been if it had just been shown at the Royal Court in the first place. Zionist collaboration with the Nazis, which was the subject of the play, also received a long overdue airing.

Not all Jews are racists

Here are two letters to the Guardian. in response to a woefully inadequate report by Polly Curtis on the SOAS conference Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles. The first is from a Jewish supremacist who seems to believe that without ethnic cleansing and apartheid laws, we wouldn't have, inter alia., mobile phones, treatment for breast cancer and Pentium chips. The other is a letter from Anne Selden, in the USA, pointing out that not all Jews support Israeli racism as Polly Curtis implies. It doesn't go nearly far enough in rectifying the shortcomings of the article but at least it exposes the anti-Semitic myth that "all Jews endorse Israeli racism".

December 06, 2004

From the belly of the beast

Well, from a. belly of a. beast. This chap was working at the Telegraph. when they libelled George Galloway. He has an interesting analysis of how Galloway could win a crap game in the establishment's in-house casino.

December 05, 2004

More on the fiddle

Yediot Aharonot's. Meir Shalev on the significance of the fiddler at the checkpoint.

December 04, 2004

Naomi Klein proves her point

Naomi Klein presents evidence, to the US ambassador to the UK, that US forces are "eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies" of the dead in Iraq.

"Mr Ambassador, I believe that your government and its Iraqi surrogates are waging two wars in Iraq. One war is against the Iraqi people, and it has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. The other is a war on witnesses."

Guardian's Polly Curtis should read the JC

Apparently there's a conference tomorrow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) titled "Resisting Israeli Apartheid: Strategies and Principles". According to Polly Curtis in The Guardian. , this has led to SOAS being "attacked" by Jewish groups". One such group is the Union of Jewish Students (UJS). Polly Curtis might not know that the UJS has two seats on the World Zionist Congress which makes policy for the World Zionist Organisation which participates in policy-making for Israel. If she does know, she isn't saying. She would prefer, it seems, to have people believe that all Jews want to silence opposition to Israel and its apartheid nature. Similarly, Professors Steven and Hilary Rose are mentioned as attending the conference. Again, maybe Polly Curtis doesn't know that they're Jewish. She certainly doesn't mention it.

Further into the article it is said that Danny Stone of the UJS has "attended a meeting with the university to ask for extra security to ensure the safety of Jewish students on campus".* No mention here of why Jewish. students need extra security just because a conference is taking place. There's a clear implication here, by the UJS and by Polly Curtis, that conferences criticising Israel's apartheid system are a threat to Jews. Now it is not being over-cynical to suggest that if people attending the conference are attacked by members or supporters of the UJS, the UJS will have got it's "concern" in first. Let's face it, Zionists are masters of the pre-emptive strike.

*In a report on the same event, even the Jewish Chronicle. doesn't suggest that it is Jewish students being threatened. On the contrary the JC. reports that it is the SOAS Principal - Professor Colin Bundy - who has been threatened for allowing the conference to go ahead. The JC. hit the streets yesterday. How did Polly Curtis miss this? Did she do it deliberately? Also the JC. refers to Tom Paulin (who should be addressing the conference) "advocating the killing of American settlers whereas Polly Curtis refers to him "saying that Jewish settlers "should be shot dead"". This could, of course, lead readers to the impression that Tom Paulin has a problem with the Jewishness of the settlers and not their priveleged colonial settler status. Of course it's possible that Polly Curtis is ignorant of her subject but it all looks deliberately misleading, particularly when compared to the Jewish Chronicle's. report on the same event.

Resisting occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid

Here's another thing I've, er, borrowed from the Jazzman. He has a post headed Why Zionists love Mahmoud Abbas. A must read except if you're not American you might have to google some names.

Destroying Jewish historical sites

I have nothing to add to this post from the Jazzman. I've even taken his headline. Just to make it easy to follow, here is the Rabbi's post that he links to.

December 03, 2004

Galloway in his own words

While other media try to salvage what's left of the Telegraph's reputation, Galloway puts his own case in today's Media Guardian.

December 02, 2004

Johann Hari: A liar and a fool

A few months ago Lenin (he of the Tomb) did a tremendous demolition job on a review by Johann Hari of a book by George Galloway. In an earlier post of mine I asked: Johann Hari: a liar or a fool?. Now, thanks to Lenin, I have the answer. My question was wrong. Hari is both a liar and a fool. I had thought that Hari tried to be sophisticated but he even accuses Galloway of anti-Semitism. I know that's a standard tactic among Zionist journos but it's so inept without back up. He should leave that sort of smear tactic to Melanie Phillips or Howard Jacobson. They're older, more experienced.

Telegraph lied about Galloway

George Galloway has just won his libel action against the Daily Telegraph. This case has a couple remarkable features. First was the fact that the Telegraph. didn't use the defence that what they had said (that George Galloway had been taking bribes from the Saddam regime) was true. They knew it wasn't true. Instead they argued that their lies were justified in the "public interest". Second, the judge (without a jury) found in Galloway's favour awarding him £150,000 and obscene amounts of costs. This must be very worrying for the war party in the UK. They'll carry on casting slurs on the anti-war movement in general but they might exercise caution over naming names in future.

It's funny I can't find the name of the journalist responsible for the libel anywhere in today's coverage. Let me word associate here. Lies...war....Iraq....more lies....libel....Telegraph.....more lies still.....Blair. That's it. His name was Blair.

Barghouti in the running

Marwan Barghouti has declared his candidacy for the Palestinian presidency. Supporters of Mahmoud Abbas have accused him of splitting the movement, but, of course, if he's that worried, Abbas can always stand down.

December 01, 2004

Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson do Christmas at Cecil's

Yup, it took a while to find on the internet. There's no mention of it on Leon Rosselson's gig list on his site. Folk London didn't think it worth a mention. But it's happening. Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson's non-office party night. It's on 10/12 (that's 12/10 if your flying in from the USA) at Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regents Park Road, London NW1. (Nearest tube Camden). You can get "details" from Luckily a certain Robb Johnson and I are both fans of Leon Rosselson or he'd never get mentioned on the internet. Personally I think he's worth a googlebomb or two. But since Leon Rosselson hates the internet I won't even bother linking to him but I might just get along to what promises to be the gig of the year.

November 30, 2004

Julie Burchill for Israel

A petition is doing the rounds seeking Ariel Sharon's support to suspend Israel's Law of Return whereby only Jews and their descendants and dependants may settle in Israel so that the non-Jewish Julie Burchill can go and live there. I don't get a chance to read Burchill's stuff these days. The last time I saw anything by her she was repeating the infamous lie about Martin Luther King denouncing anti-Zionism. It led to a correction in The Guardian.

Portrait of the peacenik as war criminal

This guy, calling for divestment from Israel's occupation, appears to support the so-called two state solution but apart from that he seems ok. He is Shamai Leibovitz, the grandson of Yeshayahu Leibovitz, winner of the Israel prize and the man, I think, who first coined the term Judeo-Nazi to describe the dominant ideology in the State of Israel following the 1967 war.

Critical but unconditional Pride in Britain

Another blogger beams with pride.

November 29, 2004

Fiddling jeopardises Israel's existence

No, not the kind of fiddling that had Rabin resigning over an illegal dollar bank account back in the 1970s and nearly saw Sharon taking an early bath (yuk) just recently. No this is the kind of fiddling that many a Jewish virtuoso has made a delight to many pairs of ears. Only this time the fiddler was Palestinian and he was forced to play his violin while soldiers at an Israeli checkpoint mocked him. Now certain Israelis are saying that the soldiers responsible should be put on trial "not for abusing Arabs but for disgracing the Holocaust". Eh? That's what Yoram Kaniuk wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth. before going on to say that since Israel uses the holocaust as an excuse to take Arab land, undermining the holocaust undermines Israel's claim to the land. So Israel can do what it likes; it can ethnically cleanse Palestine, it can enforce apartheid laws, it can engage in relentless aggression towards its neighbours, but heaven forbid Israeli soldiers from forcing Palestinians to play the fiddle. This calls into question Israel's right to exist, as if further questions were necessary.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People - 29 November

In the UK this means, among other things, the opening of the Palestinian Trade Fair by London Mayor, Ken Livingstone and Afif Safieh, Palestine's man in London.

Letter to the NYT by Lenni Brenner

Lenni Brenner sets out some of the New York Times's. past misdemeanors (or are they felonies) before taking them to task over their support for Zionism.

November 28, 2004

Pictures of pride

Click on the headline to see the pics that make Britain grate again.

New blog

This guy was an involuntary colonial settler in the West Bank and Jerusalem until he converted to the cause of justice. Good luck with the new blog.

Aaronovitch smarts

Letter in today's Observer.

Valid questioners

What is wrong with John Pilger, Robert Fisk and Naomi Klein questioning the official explanation for something (David Aaronovitch, Comment, last week)? After the despicable manipulation of the public and media in to supporting the war in Iraq, there continue to be urgent questions left unanswered by both the US and UK governments. Is Mr Aaronovitch still smarting from asking the wrong questions before the war?

Matthew Herbert
London SW2

Chase me ladies, I'm in the family

It's not just the hacks at the Daily Mail who worry about New Labour undermining the family. Chase me ladies, etc is another blog googlebombing the Proud of Britain site. The blog also very helpfully lists those family members doing likewise.

Rafael Eitan: a real obituary

If you were sickened by the various whitewashes (like this one) of the career of racist war criminal, Raphael (Raful) Eitan then Ha'aretz's. Gideon Levy has the answer.

November 27, 2004

I'm so proud!

Check out this link to see why "I'm so proud".

Barghouti out of the race

Marwan Barghouti will not be running for the leadership of the so-called Palestinian Authority. This leaves the way clear for the colourless Mahmoud Abbas who is considered more accommodating towards the State of Israel. Sharon has promised to be helpful in the forthcoming Palestinian elections. He'll be more helpful than ever now. The article I've linked to is by The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart, but Eric Silver has run a very similar article except, where Urquhart has Barghouti (aged 43) as being "consistently ..... the second most popular leader in opinion polls, after Mr Arafat and far ahead of Mr Abbas", Silver has "27 per cent of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians choosing Mr Abbas (popularly known as Abu Mazen) as the person most capable of leading the Palestinian Authority, followed by Mr Barghouti [aged 45] with 15.2 per cent." Clearly Marwan Barghouti isn't ageing very well in his Israeli jail.