May 31, 2004

SSP, unlike BBC, free to call Blair a liar

BBC climbdown on SSP broadcast ban leaves STV isolated

I got this from The Hoops e-group late Saturday night. The BBC and Scottish TV both tried to ban a Scottish Socialist Party election broadcast for calling Tony Blair a liar. The BBC has now relented and the Socialists in Scotland (and beyond) are waiting for STV to follow. I have searched STV's website for reports on this sorry business by punching the word "Socialist" into their search bar but nothing doing. I mean nothing. The word "Socialist" does not register in a database search of a major news outlet in Scotland. So try "SSP" and see how you go. Ok don't even go there. Here's the result: "Factual
Scottish Passport offers viewers the chance to sample, from their armchair, all kinds of holidays in..." Go on then, highlight the sentence and go to Edit, Find and key in SSP. The cursor will go to the "ssp" in passport. STV's boycott of the SSP goes beyond election broadcasts.

May 29, 2004

Radio Free Palestine

A request live and direct from a Palestine solidarity activist in the USA. And please see the top two links to the right of here.

"I'm writing because the Independent Middle East Media Center ( in Bethlehem has launched a weekly 5 minute newscast in English. This broadcast has 2 weeks available for streaming and in transcript form at The latest is up to date for broadcast immediately. Please take a listen and consider whether you know of radio shows, on broadcast or online, in the English speaking world that could use this show.

In solidarity


May 28, 2004

Is buffoonery a terrorist offence?

James of Dead men left made an interesting comment on the post below this one. He suggests that Abu Hamza's outspokenness makes him an unlikely terrorist. I would agree that his controversy-courting brand of extremist buffoonery means that you wouldn't want to associate with him if you were up to some serious illegality. But this isn't the only point. Why should the UK be extraditing someone to the USA over alleged offences connected with Yemen? If his alleged offences aren't offences here then how can we extradite him? If they are offences here then why should we extradite him? Ok he is also alleged to have set up terrorist training camps in Oregon though this looks like an after thought, and how do you tell an ordinary household from a terrorist training camp in a country with a deep seated gun culture? Anyway, the other problem is the fact that America has the death penalty and has even tricked foreign defendants into receiving it. How do we know that they will honour any assurances they might offer regarding sentencing policy?

May 27, 2004

Hook, line and sinker

Abu Hamza arrested on US extradition warrant
If Britain extradites Abu Hamza to the US on terrorism charges he could face the death penalty. Are we not in deep enough with the USA without extraditing our own subjects to face possible execution?

May 26, 2004

If it wasn't Campbell whodunnit, whodunnit?

Look at this "correction" (or is it a clarification?) in The Guardian. today:

"A sentence in a comment piece (Poor Comical Ali, page 24, May 13) may have been read by some to imply that Alastair Campbell had played a role in leaking the conclusions of the Hutton report to the Sun. We did not intend to suggest that Mr Campbell played any part in this leak, and apologise if the contrary impression was conveyed."

So has Campbell been eliminated from the inquiry that I have been assured is on-going? I'm not for a moment suggesting he shouldn't be eliminated from the inquiry but if they have eliminated a suspect from the on-going. inquiry shouldn't they be closer to a result?

May 25, 2004

A premonition

Great letter in The Independent. tomorrow. I can just sense it somehow.

Arabs and Israel
Sir: Peter Janikoun (letter, 25 May) repeats one of the most enduring Zionist myths when he claims that the Arab states attacked Israel as soon as the state was declared in May 1948.

The UN's partition plan and Britain's departure from Palestine were both announced in November 1947. The Zionist militias immediately began attacking and ethnically cleansing Arab villages and seizing land beyond that allocated to the Jewish state by the UN. The British left Palestine in May 1948 and then the Arab states mobilised to prevent the ethnic cleansing.

By May 1948 there were already hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and by the end of that war there were nearly a million.

Dagenham, Essex"

So that's why he keeps digging

"When the news emerged of the US bombing of a gathering on the Syrian border last week, (that's the wedding massacre to you and me) I wanted to drop down a hole and pull it in after me," writes David Aaronovitch. There's more: "Nor have I accepted that the Abu Ghraib torture and abuse pictures represent simply an aberration." And yet he believes that around 600 dead in Fallujah was an accident and that America invaded Iraq for the good of the Iraqi people. Still he and I do agree on one thing. I want him to drop down a hole as well.

May 24, 2004

Israeli Minister just a poor misunderstood grandchild

Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid claims that he was misunderstood when he compared an elderly woman searching for her medication amongst the rubble of her demolished house to his grandmother who was murdered by the Nazis. "I'm not referring to the Germans. I'm not referring to the Holocaust. When you see an old woman, you think of your grandmother," he said.

May 23, 2004

Don't mention the war crimes

Not in print anyway. Can't find anything in the print edition of The Observer. about Israel's latest round of war crimes against the Palestinians. Punch the word "Rafah" into The Observer. on-line search bar and two articles come up. One of the articles, by Mary Riddell, did appear in print but Rafah only gets a passing mention. This is all that was said in the whole of The Observer. today about Rafah, "Children are gunned down by Israeli forces in Rafah". The other article, by Sandra Jordan appears on line only. It's a very moving piece about a three year old being killed as she popped out because she was fed up with being cooped up in the house. Elsewhere in the paper David Aaronovitch gets a hammering from correspondents angry that he claims that the massacres in Fallujah were "accidental" and therefore morally superior to beheading someone deliberately and on camera. I'd give the latter a slight moral edge on the grounds of honesty. As has happened before, when he gets caught with his hand in the till, Aaronovitch goes domestic. This week he gives us the benefit of his knowledge of family law. Elsewhere in the news, well on ITV's teletext to be precise, Israeli Justice Minister, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid has compared the Israeli army in Rafah to the Nazis. I have to copy and paste the whole article because I couldn't find anything about on Google and I fear the report will disappear from the link soon:

An Israeli Cabinet minister has said images of the army's demolition of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip reminded him of scenes from Nazi rule.

Justice minister Yosef Lapid said an old Palestinian woman searching through the rubble of her home for her medicine "reminded me of my grandmother".

Mr Lapid's statement has outraged hard-line Likud Party ministers, who have called for him to retract it.

RECEIVED: 23/05/2004 18:46:26

May 22, 2004

Meron Benvenisti: An old refrain that stabs the heart

Fascinating comment by a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem which calls into question the whole Zionist project of establishing a state based on ethnic cleansing. He even mentions Emmaus.

May 21, 2004

But which half?

A letter in today's Guardian. says that The Guardian. yesterday reported 33 Palestinian demonstrators. being killed in Rafah and that half of them were armed. Search The Guardian's. articles from yesterday and find the one that refers to 33 demonstrators being killed. See if it names the sixteen and a half demonstrators who were armed. Since you will only find an article about ten demonstrators being killed, none of whom were armed you will have to give up on this exercise in futility and then wonder why The Guardian. publishes such nonsense as a letter lying about a Guardian. report.

May 20, 2004

The Jenin mantra

On the BBC news I am hearing Israeli officials chanting the "Jenin mantra" with regard to reports on Rafah. "You are committing war crimes" say the interviewers. "Ah but you said "hundreds killed in Jenin" say the Israeli spokespersons. Now follow this link. It was actually Israeli army chief of staff Shaul Mofaz who said that more than 200 Palestinians have been killed and 1,500 injured since the offensive was launched on 29 March (2002). Elswhere on the internet, a google search as follows - "Ron Kitrey" Jenin - calls up many sites, most of which quote Israeli Brigadier-General Ron Kitrey as saying that "hundreds of Palestinians" were killed in Jenin. Now why don't BBC interviewers delve into their own archives about these issues? To be continued.

Tories emerge as anti-war party

Well almost. Howard actually says that Blair should tell Bush when he disagrees with him. He doesn't get into specifics so we don't know what it is that Michael Howard disagrees with. So we can take this as pure opportunism in the run up to the polls on June 10. It might be too little too late to get the Muslim vote out for the Tories. The deafening silence on Rafah doesn't help either.

May 19, 2004

Deadline goes whooshing by

Thanks! Douglas Adams.
Well the deadline for The Guardian. "slaughter" ten pound challenge passed yesterday and there were no winners despite valiant attempts by Lenin from Ireland, Hannah from the USA and even the readers' editor of the Guardian. It would appear that Guardian. reporters do not use the word "slaughter" to describe the killings of Palestinians by the Israeli army. They have used it to describe the killing of Israelis by Palestinians. When I complained to the readers' editor he said that my complaint was "unfounded". And this is the man responsible for "Corrections and clarifications".

Geneva loophole

Apologies to Groucho Marx
Jewish peaceniks get their answer.
Israeli embassy spokeswoman suggests that if only Israel had committed war crimes in Rafah a few weeks ago a settler and her daughters would still be alive. It's far more likely that they would still be alive if they hadn't been illegally settled in occupied territory. And a Dr A Landy demonstrates his expertise in finding loopholes in the Geneva Convention thus, "Article 27 ends as follows: "However, the parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons (ie civilians) as may be necessary as a result of the war." Article 28 continues: "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.""

Meanwhile the carnage in Rafah continues.

May 18, 2004

Click here and go to Rafah

There is nothing I can add to the Rafah Kid's Rambles on Palestine right now.

Welcome intervention by Jewish Socialist Group and Jews for Justice

War crimes in the Middle East
JSG and JFJP call on the Jewish communities of the UK to condemn Israel's war crimes. The problem here is, of course, that without war crimes, Israel wouldn't exist so let's see what response there is.

May 17, 2004

Melanie Phillips joins Indymedia

Well that's how it looks to me anyway.

After an introduction from Peter Tatchell, Melanie Phillips now writes for Indymedia. According to her first report a gay group was attacked by every non-gay person and group, except me and the people I was with, at a rally for Palestine on Saturday May, 15. Normally the homophobic Phillips wouldn't worry about the fate, real or imagined, of a gay group but Melanie will do anything to help the Zionist cause and embarrass Arabs, Muslims and the left. Here's an extract from her article:

"As soon as they arrived in Trafalgar Square to join the demonstration, the gay protesters were surrounded by an angry, screaming mob of Islamic fundamentalists, Anglican clergymen, members of the Socialist Workers Party, the Stop the War Coalition, and officials from the protest organisers, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). They variously attacked the gay activists as “racists”, “Zionists”, “CIA and MI5 agents”, “supporters of the Sharon government” and “dividing the Free Palestine movement”.

Owing to her renowned modesty she didn't actually put her name to the article but by accusing groups who never act together of, er, acting together she left her characteristic hallmark: bullshit.

May 16, 2004

Hutton owns up and only Ingrams notices

The bizarre admission by Lord Hutton that he prevented Blair from being exposed as a liar to save him from embarrassment has been picked up on by that cantankerous old git* Richard Ingrams and no-one else. This is the same Lord Hutton who The Guardian. reported to be "dismayed at accusations of whitewash" only a couple of months ago.

* git = anti-Semite and homophobe OED**

** OED = Old Elf Dictionary

Aaronovitch cleans and greens

Not only does David Aaronovitch clean up the more embarrassing of his pro-war articles, he gets the chance to recycle them as well. Two weeks ago he told us that Arab and Muslim killers, torturers etc are worse than American ones. This week he's telling us the same again.

May 15, 2004

Israeli troops do something nasty, shock

Guardian. readers and writers were horrifed today when a headline inadvertently gave a passing impression that Israeli soldiers might have done something a bit naughty to Palestinians by destroying their homes. Chris McGreal, who wrote the article, spared readers further distress by withholding information about Israeli troops killing. "at least 30" Palestinians until he got to the main body of his article. Conal Urquhart, who also writes "on" Palestine for The Guardian. was reported to be "shocked and stunned" by his colleague's unprofessional disregard for the propaganda requirements of this colonial settler state: Israel.

Fake photos: no-one killed

"A pity the photos presented to the UN purporting to show mobile weapons labs were not subjected to such rigorous analysis. Their exposure as fakes could have saved thousands of innocent lives.
Janet Oddy
Yarm, Cleveland "

May 14, 2004

Brits and Yanks are as bad as Israelis but not as bad as Arabs: Jewish Chronicle editorial

The JC editorial finds it morally repugnant that people might "equate" resistance by Palestinians and Iraqis to brutality by British, American and Zionist invaders and occupiers. Actually a lot of people say there is no equivalence between resistance and oppression; oppression is worse. There's another quirky thing in the JC's editorial today. It describes Israel, an ethnocracy, as a liberal democratic state. Which other liberal democratic state is as obsessed with maintaining a certain ethnic ratio as Israel?

Elsewhere in the paper, Zionists are starting to use the "L" word when referring to concentration camp Gaza. A commentator in Ma'ariv was reported as saying "what looks like Lebanon, smells like Lebanon". Interestingly, Ma'ariv. has reported the killing of 16 Palestinians in its headline and it's not considered particularly liberal. The Guardian's. headlines here tend to refer only to the Israeli soldiers killed lately.

May 13, 2004

The war party in print

Nearly missed this. Many thanks to Matthew Norman for naming names on 11/5/04.

" Meanwhile, which of the pro-war pundits will go longest without the hint of a mea culpa? Yesterday, the Mirror's Tony Parsons had the grace to admit dropping an orchestra, to borrow a racetrack term, while Boris 'The Jackal' Johnson came close when forced to adopt the hilarious Barbara Amiel line that at least when we torture people, we can debate it openly. Barbara isn't about to hold her hands up (and with all those cuffs about, can you blame her?), and nor is the Mail's Mad Mel Phillips, Mystic Mogg of the Times, Crazy Janet Daley of the Telegraph, our own David Aaronovitch [even he's starting to back pedal - see below]and several others. Champagne for any still explaining why it all makes sense come June 30. "

Yet more Israeli soldiers killed

Oh yes and still more Palestinians. In fairness to The Guardian. Israel killing Palestinians isn't exactly news. Palestinians are killed by Israeli soldiers every day.

May 12, 2004

Six Israeli soldiers killed

Oh and seven Palestinians killed too. No doubt the Readers' Editor of The Guardian. can find hundreds of examples of reports where the killing of Israelis is a mere afterthought in an article focusing mostly on Palestinians being killed.

May 11, 2004

Miracle in the Holy Land

An Israeli soldier goes on trial for killing somebody. A bit of a first this. When you consider all the Palestinians who have been murdered by the Israeli army you have to wonder what was so different about this case. The victim Tom Hurndall was British so perhaps that's it. No it can't because the UN's Iain Hook and Channel 4's James Miller were both British and both were murdered by Israeli soldiers. And what about the American, Rachel Corrie? She was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer driver and nothing happened, but then look at the amazing case of the USS Liberty. Well, a google search finds what a read of The Guardian. article didn't. According to the article in The Daily Telegraph. the accused is a Bedouin in a special Bedouin unit in the Israeli army. Oh, and another thing: the charge isn't murder; it's manslaughter.

British troops David Aaronovitch

He couldn't stay out of the fray for long. David Aaronovitch is back supporting the continued occupation that most of the British public now opposes and most of the world always opposed. Thankfully he can't possibly be influential. Still his articles can be quite funny, particularly when you compare one to another and highlight the contradictions. For example it seems like only yesterday (it was last week) that he was praising the "remarkable restraint" of American troops. Now he's accusing them (and just them) of causing a "disaster" in Iraq...though he wants the disaster to continue.

May 10, 2004

UK public isolated from Blair

Independent. /MOP poll
Should British troops pull out of Iraq by 30th June?
55 per cent: YES
28 per cent: NO
17 per cent: DON'T KNOW

May 09, 2004

Exposed Aaronovitch plays it safe

In a letter to The Observer Kevin Downey of Derry shows he is wise to Aaronovitch's shenanigans:

David Aaronovitch attempts to plant the seeds of exoneration for what took place in Abu Ghraib prison (Comment, last week). In Northern Ireland this twisted logic used to be called 'whataboutery' (yes, the Loyalist murders are horrific but what about the Provo bombings?).

We must dwell on the vile incidents in Iraq precisely because they were perpetuated by the 'representatives of justice'. This evil cannot be forgiven on the back of other evil. The existence of the photos is a blessing. We already know about the Saddams, Pinochets, Suhartos and Sharons of this world. Evil is evil.

Kevin Downey

Thank you Kevin Downey for introducing me to that word. I'd never heard it before and yet a Google search for it yields 217 results - only a few less than "Jews sans frontieres" gets today. Poor old Aaronovitch has had a tough 8 days though. In last week's Observer he had to tell a bit of a porky, revising his statement that "the Americans... in many ways, have acted in Iraq with extraordinary restraint" to "the restraint [he] had witnessed on the part of US troops in Baghdad". And in The Guardian he had to be corrected from falsely attributing quite serious errors of fact to Naomi Klein. He's playing it safe this week by filing an article on the American cult TV show: Friends. I wish him every success in his new career as a TV critic. Politics clearly isn't his forté.

May 08, 2004

Hutton answers

Well Hutton himself doesn't actually answer but I wrote to the inquiry website on 19/4/2004 and they replied just the other day. Now read on....

Dear Sir/Madam

Lord Hutton (aka "Hutton") said that he would investigate the leaking of the Hutton Report (aka "Hutton") to a newspaper. I haven't heard anything about the "Hutton" investigation into "Hutton". I wonder, has "Hutton" done a "Hutton" on "Hutton"? Or was he serious about an investigation?

Yours faithfully

Mark Elf

Here's the reply [name deleted to protect the innocent]

Thank you for your email of 19th April 2004 and I apologise for the delay in replying.

The investigation is still continuing into the disclosure by "The Sun" newspaper of some of the conclusions of Lord Hutton's report before its publication. In the light of the outcome, Lord Hutton will review what further steps he wishes to take.

I hope that this is helpful. [helpful? hmmm, not sure, what do you think?]

[Name here]

Inquiries Policy Division
Department for Constitutional Affairs
Selborne House
54-60 Victoria Street
London, SW1E 6QW

I'll see how people get on with The Guardian. slaughter saga and maybe run another £10 competition like guess when Hutton delivers his verdict on the leak. I'll think about that one. Hutton could tip someone off or pass himself off as someone else, take a guess, announce the findings and pocket my tenner. Hmmm, too risky. I'm gonna save my tenner.

Jewish Chronicle update

Obviously there's a fair bit about Sharon "losing" the referendum on "withdrawal" from concentration camp Gaza, leaving no Zionist presence but the army and the watchtowers. There's a quirky piece about a Professor Gideon Shimoni publishing a book that warns that Israel is in danger of becoming. an apartheid state. Of course, if it does, he says it will be the fault of the Arabs and "national religious right" in Israel, and nothing to do with Israel's ethnic cleansing, segregationist land laws or its malnutrition-causing barrier around the Palestinian ghettoes.
Don't go, there's more. There was a holocaust memorial event at the House of Commons on Tuesday. Now these events don't bother me but this one was organised by the so-called Holocaust Education Trust, Chaired by Lord Janner. They established their name by campaigning against. holocaust education in the form of the late Jim Allen's play: Perdition. Finally, as racist a letter as you will find in a community newspaper. In last week's JC it was said that a Palestinian woman became a suicide bomber to purge her "guilt" over not being able to have children. This, according to the letter writer was an "indictment of Palestinian. thinking and demonstrates the sheer impossibility of reaching "a settlement with such a morally corrupt society". No one in the JC seems to want to ask why the suicide bombings only began in 1994. It's almost as if they don't want their readers to know.

Suzanne Goldenberg does U-turn on Palestine

I have this unfortunate tendency to skim over the "factual" reports on Palestine in the mainstream media. I go for the comment, Op-Ed and so on. So I didn't notice until quite recently how pro-Israel The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart is. Also, whilst I've had some doubts (ok only one doubt that I can recall now) about Suzanne Goldenberg before, I don't know when she performed the U-turn that has her describing the armed fascist activists of Israel's illegal settlers in occupied territory as a "Jewish presence" as if the Jewish presence. is the problem and not the exclusivity of that presence, or the fact that the presence is armed, dangerous and extremely anti-Arab, or the fact that it overuses water and other resources while Palestinians suffer water shortages and third world rates of malnutrition. She is also suggesting that Bush is somehow making a concession to the Arabs by having this or that diplomat or government official, or even his very own house slave - Colin Powell - talk to this or that Palestinian as long as its not a real live Palestinian leader. Inexplicably they can talk to Arafat appointees but not to the elected Arafat himself.

Letter in The Independent

Democratic Palestine

"Sir: Peter Salomon's solution for Palestine (letter, 5 May) is for both sides not to look back, which is fine for the Israeli occupiers who have now annexed 90 per cent of the country, a no-go area for the indigenous Palestinians. Hopefully, he really means to see the demolition of the Apartheid Wall, the opening of roads to all, the reconstruction of Palestinian towns and villages, an end to 'targeted killings' and the repatriation of Palestinian refugees. The country could then call itself 'the only democracy in the Middle East'."

Martlesham Heath, Suffolk

May 07, 2004

Aaronovitch wrong: official

Get this. This is Corrections and clarifications in The Guardian. today: "In David Aaronovitch's report from Iraq, headlined So this is free Baghdad (G2, page 2, April 9), he said: "There are six, maybe 700 people outside the hotel ... where Saddam's statue was brought down ... This same demonstration that I witnessed was, according to Naomi Klein, composed of several thousand people, who were fired on by Iraqi army units, who killed four." In fact, Naomi Klein did not say that fire from Iraqi army units had killed four people. She said that there were reports of three demonstrators killed at a protest that took place the day before." So let's take stock of this. David Aaronovitch managed to get the number of the dead and the day they were killed wrong. These things happen. But this happened in a report about a recent report published in The Guardian. and this from a man who poured scorn on, the admittedly scornable, Michael Moore, for owning up to inaccuracy thus "How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?" Seemed fair enough to me especially when you consider the factual inaccuracies in Aaronovitch's writing. I don't have time for many now but my personal favourite was Aaronovitch using the death of an ANC stalwart to condemn a suicide bomber so: "Meanwhile, in South Africa, they mourned the death of Walter Sisulu, who lived a long life, showed a distinct lack of enthusiasm for violence, and was one of the greatest revolutionaries of the past 100 years. It's a shame that Sharif [the bomber] never met him." Shame Aaronovitch didn't either. Walter Sisulu was the founder the military wing of the African National Congress: Umkonto we Sizwe. (Spear of the Nation). The liberal Guardian. keeps Aaronovitch as an illiberal irritant. Surely they could get a more accurate one. Perhaps Richard Littlejohn's too expensive.

May 06, 2004

Guardian readers' editor goes for the £10 challenge

I wrote to The Guardian's. readers' editor yesterday to complain at what I said was Conal Urquhart's pro-Israel bias and to offer my reward if he could locate any reports. in The Guardian. describing killings by Israel as "slaughter". Well he enthusiastically rose to the challenge; in fact a bit too enthusiastically. He suggests that there are hundreds of articles in his database when you punch the words "slaughter", "Israel" and "Palestine" into the search bar. Well he obviously didn't grasp the rules of the challenge. I didn't say that The Guardian. never uses the word "slaughter" when reporting on Palestine; I said that they only use that word to describe the killing of Israelis. Also even if all 360 articles did describe Israeli killings of Palestinians as "slaughter" entrants have to give the link to a specific report doing this. Must try harder. Still he is saying that such reports exist so keep trying out there.

Still no takers

I know ten pounds sterling isn't a princely sum but all you have to do is look for balanced reporting in a "liberal" newspaper. I have received one attempt at finding the word "slaughter", used in The Guardian. newspaper, to describe the killing of Palestinians by Israel. That turned out to be a description of a Palestinian attack on Israelis. So until 18/5/2004 (or 5/18/2004 if you're American) the tenner is still on offer to the first. person to find an emotive report in The Guardian. describing dead Palestinians as the victims of "slaughter".

May 05, 2004

£10, €15 or $15 challenge

Yesterday The Guardian's. Conal Urquhart described a Palestinian attack on a settler family in Gaza as "slaughter". I am offering £10 sterling or the non-sterling equivalent to anyone who can find a report in The Guardian. describing the Israeli killing of Palestinians as "slaughter". It has to be in a "report" and not Op-Ed as they say. The report has to be from between when Ehud Barak made his "generous offer" ie September 2000 and now. It should be easy to win this tenner. The ratio of the dead is 3 Palestinians to every 1 Israeli. The Guardian. has two reports on the "slaughter" of Israelis. So there must surely be a report in a liberal newspaper like The Guardian. describing the killing of Palestinian civilians, women and children as "slaughter". Go on it's easy. Go to The Guardian. website and punch the word "slaughter" into their search bar. Then when you find the article describing an Israeli massacre as "slaughter", email me with your name and address and I'll send you the tenner. Simple or what? I've even sent The Guardian's. Jonathan Freedland an invitation to place a bet. He obviously doesn't need the money.

Jonathan Freedland carefully picks up the wrong end of the stick

Hard to pin down Jonathan Freedland sometimes. Here he argues that Israel was held to account over Jenin and that therefore Britain and America should be held to account over Falluja. He also says that the US and Britain are occupiers too. Two problems here. First, Israel has never been held to account over Jenin. Second, Israel is not just an occupier; it is an apartheid state based on ethnic cleansing. Further, he subscribes to the "blow to Sharon" school referring to the Likud's rejection of his "disengagement plan" but Zionism always deploys its hard right to make any offer to the Palestinians look like a concession. I remember when Rabin won an election quite narrowly on a "peace ticket", the late Chaim Bermant said that "Rabin did not do as well as he feared"! Nothing has gone badly for Sharon so far and this Likud vote is no exception.

May 04, 2004

Guardian thanked for sympathy with armed fascist activists

An American, Alan Kolnik, has written to The Guardian. to thank them for Conal Urquhart's openly siding with the war criminals. Mr Kolnik's flattery has clearly paid off. In the same issue Urquhart describes the killings of a settler woman and her daughters as "slaughter". I'm offering a reward for anyone who can find a mainstream report in The Guardian. that refers to the Israeli army "slaughtering" Palestinian women and children since September 2000. The condition for the reward is that it must be in a report, not a comment or opinion. It must be by a Guardian. man or woman in Palestine. It must be between September 2000 and today. So the reward is UK£10 to the first person who emails me a link to a Guardian. report where the word "slaughter" is used to describe Palestinians being killed by Israelis. Offer closes midnight 18/5/2004, that's 5/18/2004 if you're in the US.

May 03, 2004

Ariel Sharon writes for The Guardian

Blow [what blow?] for Sharon as Gaza plan rejected
Consider the following paragraphs from Conal Urquhart's report on the Likud party membership's rejection of Sharon's partial annexation of the occupied territories.

CONAL URQUHART: But the prime minister hinted he would not take no for an answer, promising merely to "examine" the result before proceeding with a plan to deliver peace and security. [my italics].

ARIEL SHARON: One thing is clear to me - the Israeli people did not elect me to sit on my hands for four years. I was elected to find a way to bring the peace and security. [my italics] that (Israelis) so deserve.

Then consider the headline: "Blow for Sharon" What blow would that be? The fact that the Likud membership has made Sharon's plan look like the "painful. concessions" he has said he is willing to make? Is that a "blow for Sharon"? I'm thinking about this. Aha! the penny's dropped. The Likud movement has struck a "blow for Sharon", hence Urquhart's celebratory headline.

Why doesn't The Guardian just cut out the middle man and let Ariel Sharon write up his own reports?

May 02, 2004

Aaronovitch still can't let go

Aaronovitch admits he was wrong! Not really. He's just slightly rewritten an article from 11/4/2004. In today's Observer
he says that he attracted criticism over "talking about the restraint [he] had witnessed on the part of US troops in Baghdad. ". What he actually said was "the many ways, have acted in Iraq with extraordinary restraint". [note: not just Baghdad - Iraq. ] Not quite the same as US troops watching their manners in front of the world's press in Baghdad.

May 01, 2004

Howard Jacobson: Only Jew haters love Arabs

Check out Howard Jacobson in The Independent. today. He has two basic arguments here that are so Judeocentric they should be laughable. The problem, as with so much Zionist apologia and polemics, it's being published in a serious newspaper. Anyway, in a nutshell, people compare the ethnic cleansing, expansionist war criminals of the State of Israel to the Nazis to upset Jews because when you mention the Nazis you "remind Jews of their greatest loss" and you suggest that all Jews deserved the Holocaust. Impeccable logic! The other point is that the only reason people like, sympathise with or have (in Jacobson's words) "romantic feelings" towards non-Jews in the Middle East is because they hate Jews. Really, that's it. This quote is given specific prominence in the print version of the article: "It chills my heart, this entertaining of romantic. (my italics) feelings towards non-Jewish inhabitants of the Middle East". In other words hate Arabs as Jacobson and the Zionist movement do lest you chill the heart of these media savvy polemicists and smear merchants.