June 30, 2008

Zionazi medal II

Look what Lenni Brenner found:

I already posted on the first find of the silver or silver plated medal and the fact that I don't really like that expression "zionazi" but that was the name of the first file I got on this.

Anyway, during discussions about the medal there was puzzlement at the use of the term "nazi" by a, erm, nazi to describe himself. Well here's Lenni Brenner to explain:
There is no doubt about the medal's authenticity, But Zionist fanatics deny the reality of both the medal and Nazi patronage of Zionism. One such fool insists that "Wikipedia says German National Socialists never referred to themselves as 'Nazis' because it was a pejorative term coined by Hitler's opponents. If this is true, why does the inscription on that medal read 'EIN NAZI FAHRT NACH

Except that Ein Nazi farht nach Palestina is also the title of the 1st of von
Mildenstein's articles, in the 9/27/34 Angriff. Whatever the 'National Socialists thought about 'Nazi,' they used it. Anyone doubting this can get a photocopy of his German article from me.
I think I'll email him for a scan right now.

June 29, 2008

Comedian found guilty of Blasphemy

No, not in Saudi Arabia. This happened this week in France, a country where it is OK to publish offensive cartoons of Mohammed hiding a bomb in his hat but not ok to publicly criticize the holocaust industry.

A court of appeal confirmed French Commedian Dieudonné's conviction for "public defamation of of a group of people on account of their race, religion or origin".

Dieudonné is a stand-up comedian who indeed said many an outrageous thing, outrageous in a good way--breaking taboos, insulting to power, etc.. He is also on record with less than deep political commentary; lamentable perhaps, but not something terribly damning for a comedian. But the slander machine that goes into gear the moment a well-known person breaks a political taboo went after him like a velociraptor. The attacks made him radioactive, and the French intellectual kiss-ass demi-monde is not getting near him these days. The manufactured affair even crossed the Atlantic as the New-Yorker Magazine published a smelly hatchet job full of misquotes, innuendos and the wisdom of the great Montmartre poseur Bernard-Henri Levy. Jonathan Miller took The New-Yorker to task for the malpractice. It is worth a read!

So what exactly caused the French magistrates to hyperventilate?

According to the news reports, Dieudonné core offense was that he described the way the holocaust is memorialized as "remembrance porn."

Dieudonné is dead accurate.

Not only have Israel and its supporters used the images of the holocaust to justify decades of human rights abuses committed by Israel.

Not only have the state of Israel and Jewish organizations used the holocaust to blackmail and extort money, enriching themselves while the few true holocaust survivors must take to the streets to pay their grocery bills.

Not only is the political class of the West debasing the memory of victims of the Nazis by invoking them routinely to justify their foul military adventures.

Not only are the Jewish guardians of the holocaust memory often the first to deny and to diminish every other crime against humanity, from the Armenian Genocide to the Nazi murder of homosexuals.

But to top it all, thousands of Israeli students just about to enlist in the Herrenvolk army of Israel are sent every year on a trip to Auschwitz to learn why they should brutalize Palestinians and to celebrate their entrance into manhood with necrophilia, strippers and hooliganism.

The way the holocaust is remembered is indeed pornographic. Like pornography, it is intended to trigger a physical reaction that bypasses the intelligence. The force of imagery is used to make one feel, in a way that makes all reflection superfluous, that Nazis are a unique and unfathomable evil, and Jews eternal victims that can do no wrong and are beyond criticism. The goal is an orgasm of righteousness.

Of course this isn't a point about Jews. Few Jews are responsible for the WW-II porn channel. Public memory is chiefly the work of elite institutions, in this case the state of Israel, Yad Vashem, the various wealthy elite organizations who claim to represent Jews in the West, and very crucially, Western political elites who find the kitsching of the Nazi era a made-to-order smokescreen for modern political realities. But those who take an active role in this pimping of their history and the profiteering commerce in the blood of parents and relatives really scrap the bottom of human existence.

Finally, a bucket of goat manure for the court of knaves that fined a jester for telling it like it is.

June 28, 2008

Not nice but not a nakba?

There was a response on Comment is free yesterday to Lyn Julius's nasty little piece "on" the departure of Jews from Arab states following the establishment of the State of Israel. It's by Rachel Shabi, who the blurb says
is a Guardian contributor. She currently lives in Tel Aviv and has written a book on Israel's Oriental Jews, to be published early next year. She was born in Israel to Iraqi parents, and grew up in the UK.
Anyway, here's what she says:

Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) thinks that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinian refugees should somehow be offset against each other – the rights of one side counterbalancing the rights of the other. It's a neat argument: Jews were forced to abandon material assets and leave Arab countries; Palestinians similarly fled or were expelled from their homes. Ergo, the region witnessed an exchange of populations and if Palestinian refugees are to be compensated by Israel, so too must the Jewish "refugees" from the Middle East, by the Arab nations that expelled them.

Nice try, but there are many reasons why this formula is all wrong. First off (as David Cesarani points out), it's tasteless. There is no need for the fate of these two peoples, Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians, to be so fused materialistically. Middle Eastern Jews may indeed have a claim to lost assets, but those genuinely seeking peace between Israel and its neighbours should know that this is not the way to pursue it.

Second, defining Jews from Arab lands as "refugees" is problematic – and many Middle Eastern Jews would be angered by it. Countless Israelis recount leaving former homes in Arab countries and illegally, dangerously migrating prior to 1948. Such experiences do not include a component of expulsion: they left because they wanted to.

Broadly, you could say that any Middle Eastern Jew ("Oriental" or "Mizrahi" Jew) who defines their migration to Israel as "Zionist" cannot also be a refugee: the former label has agency and involves a desire to live in the Jewish state; the second suggests passivity and a lack of choice. Demanding the refugee label to bloc-define this group denies every other scenario: such as that Jews weren't all driven out of the Arab world; that they didn't all want to leave; or that many actually chose to do so.

What's more, if you take the line that Zionism both caused Palestinians to leave their homes and brought Middle Eastern Jews to Israel, then the refugee offset equation is, as the Israeli professor Yehouda Shenhav puts it, a form of "double-entry accounting".

Jewish Agency officials knew that their activities in Palestine could imperil Jews in the Middle East (see the work of Israeli historian Esther Meir-Glitzenste). They chose to carry on with those actions and committed to "rescuing" those Jews if things did take a turn for the worse. If Zionist officials themselves worried about a backlash in the Arab world, how can Israel then be absolved of responsibility for the Jewish exodus from those countries?

But let's get to the heart of the matter. What JJAC seems keen to establish is that Arab countries treated Jewish citizens with contempt and cruelty, fuelled by antisemitism. This formulation perpetuates the myth of Arabs and Jews as polar opposites, destined to be eternal enemies. It shirks the plain fact that Jews lived in Arab counties for over two millennia, for the most part productively and in peace. Even historians like Bernard Lewis say that. Sure, there were hostile periods, but nothing like the waves of anti-Jewish persecution experienced in Europe. The conflict between Arab nations and nascent Israel made it practically untenable for most Jews in the Middle East to stay put – and both sides of the conflict are to blame for that. In other words, Oriental Jews weren't simply "pushed" out of Arab countries; they were also "pulled" towards Israel.

"Pulled" because by the early 1940s Zionist emissaries were operative in the Middle East. They helped set up underground organisations that sought to inspire Jews to migrate to then Palestine.

Scores of Middle Eastern Jews recall that Jewish Agency officials dazzled them with stories of a better life in Israel. Many of them felt betrayed when they set foot in the new Jewish state – and continue to feel that way today.

But Oriental Jews were equally "pushed" out because, often, Arab governments did little to encourage them to stay. For instance, the Iraqi government passed a series of anti-Zionist laws during the 1948 war with Israel, but it didn't properly define Zionism so the laws were wide open to abuse and often experienced as anti-Jewish. The government, a British puppet and under constant threat amidst Iraqi nationalist calls for independence, used the Palestinian issue to deflect attention – sacrificing its Jewish community to this end.

Middle Eastern Jews were stuck between two opposing currents, Zionism and Arab nationalist anti-colonialism – and squeezed out in a pincer manoeuvre.

But this situation at national level did not always sour relations on the ground. Talking to Middle Eastern Jews now in Israel, there are many positive tales about former days in Arab countries: good lives; full rights; friendly Muslim neighbours. These recollections jar with the picture JJAC paints, of a rampant Arab antisemitism during this period.

Of course, we could only focus on the bad and write what the Jewish historian Salo Baron called a "lachrymose" version of events. But what's the point? The Middle Eastern Jewry comprises many threads and, compared with European Jewry, has a distinct history, heritage and culture. This legacy, in all its dimensions, should not be hijacked to fuel further rage and acrimony in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The comments are pouring in including this one by Professor Geoffrey Alderman:
Dear Ms Shabi

You do however agree (don't you?) that where it can be proved that Jews living in Arab lands were persecuted and/or had their property confiscated, they should be compensated and that this compensation must come from the respective Arab governments?

Geoffrey Alderman
There are a few pats on the back for the professor's perfectly reasonable question but I was a little anxious about what the professor omitted from his question as I see him as quite an extreme zionist who has expressed satisfaction about the holocaust in that, he says, it led to the establishment of the State of Israel. Here's me (Ilan):
Geoffrey Alderman raises half of a very important point. If people have fled persecution or they have been the victims of ethnic cleansing, they should be offered compensation or the right of return. I presume he means where it can be proved in specific cases then compensation will be due in those specific cases. If he doesn't mean that then we could be back to Lyn Julius's grotesque racist idea of "trade-off" in which case how many Anglo-Saxons would give up their homes to incoming settlers on the grounds that Anglo-Saxons have deprived people of their homes abroad?

Where either Arabs or Jews have been forced out of their respective homelands they should of course be entitled to compensation. They should also be offered the right to return to their homeland. It is that latter that doesn't feature in Geoffrey Alderman's question. If Arab states are denying Jews the right of return then that is to be condemned and rectified. Likewise, if Israel is denying Arabs the right of return, that too is to be condemned and rectified.

Now between this article and the one by Lyn Julius, a consensus is emerging. I think all agree that whatever it was that caused Arabs to leave Palestine and Jews to leave Arab countries, the idea of a trade off is a racist obscenity. That leaves us with compensation and the right of return both of which should be offered to both Arabs and Jews.

Let's not forget though, that whilst Arab regimes have been stupid and cruel in their treatment of Jews, Israel's existence as a Jewish state (or more correctly, a state for Jews) is predicated on its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. In fact I think it is the only state today that owes its existence to the combination of on-going colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and racist laws. Put another way, whilst Arab (and other) countries have had boundaries and dictatorships imposed on them, Palestine has had a whole colonial settler population imposed on it and it has had most of its native population removed.

Back to the question of either compensation or return this should be the choice of the victims, not the perpetrators. For example, if Syria was to say that it will compensate members of its former Jewish population where it can be proven that they left under duress this would not do. They must offer the right to return. Similarly, Israel should offer (or be compelled to offer) the victims of its ethnic cleansing either compensation or the right of return, depending on what they, the victims, want, as per UN General Assembly resolution 194.

Finally, like Professor Alderman, I would like to hear Rachel Shabi's views on these two issues of compensation and return.
She hasn't come back yet and nor has the prof. She's either being sensible and waiting to deal with all queries at once or she's being even more sensible and staying away from the open zoo that is the comment section at comment is free.

Still the comments are still open if you want to have a go.

June 25, 2008

Ringworm children, from fact to "theory"

Phew! that was close. I just had a little run-in on Comment is free where Lyn Julius has quite a nasty racist article on the case of Jews from Arab countries. I mentioned the case of the ringworm children where thousands of Jewish children from Arab states with or without ringworm were given massive doses of radiation to "cure" them. Well a chap calling himself Sabraguy came at me with some friendly advice to be careful with my sources:
@ilan [that's me at Cif]
"The way Israel treated new arrivals from Arab states was very different from how they treated Europeans, often spraying the newcomers with DDT and subjecting the so-called "Ringworm children" to medical experiments to rival those of Dr Mengele."
I am sorry to disappoint you because I know you would like to believe this, but it is a lie, throughly debunked here:
The pepetrator, a conspiracy theorist called Barry Chamish is a total fruitcake. One of his delusions is that Yoko Ono was behind the assassination of John Lennon. He also claims to haqve uncovered a Vatican plot to re-establish Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire. (this is why Europe wants Israel out of Jerusalem apparently). You can read these startling revelations on his own Website:
Chamish also thinks hurricane Katrina was a punishment for ISrael's withdrawal from Gaza:
Perhaps the first to publicly connect Katrina to the Gaza evacuation was famed Israeli conspiracy theorist Barry Chamish, who sent a mass e-mail noting, "GUsh is like GUlf, and KATif is like KATrina. If you take 'KAT' from KATif and KATrina, you are left with 'IF' and 'RAIN.' If you support Gush Katif evacuation, it will rain."
I'd be a bit more careful who you quote if I were you.
Well I usually am quite careful, as loose cannons go. I mean I don't just run with the first allegation against Israel that I see. This is a fertile ground for conspiracy theories and there are people who will believe and say anything about Israel as long as it makes Israel look bad. The trouble with people like that is that when they get exposed, it has the ordinarily difficult result of making Israel look good. But this guy had me slightly worried. I say "slightly" because I remembered who had drawn my attention to the ringworm children affair and he's a generally, that is always, reliable source so I was pretty confident but slightly worried.

I started my response while I got a-googling. Oh no! Did you see? Some general stuff about ringworm and children before you get to the ringworm children. There's even a post from Harry's Place that, without checking, is presumably a gloat about the ringworm story being a hoax and there are links to an article by, yes, Barry Chamish, who does indeed have a reputation for promoting wacky conspiracy theories. I was encouraged to find a link to Wikipedia on the affair but one of its links was to Barry Chamish and you'd be surprised what slips through the net at Wikipedia. Another of its links to google video was broken or no longer there. I was getting worried now. Again in Wikipedia I tried a couple more links. How about the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles? Not Found. Ulp! Ok, calm calm calm, what's a little slap down on Comment is free? Most readers must know it's a zionist troll site and that's just the articles. And the comments section is worse even than the articles.

But then I remembered getting hits from people googling "ringworm children" and that when I tracked back to google there were articles in Ha'aretz. I googled ringworm haaretz, just like that, no quotes. The first two were both something I could run with so back I came with among other things a few useful links:

and a quote from one of them:
Twelve years ago, Israel recognized its responsibility for the destructive results of this unwarranted irradiation, including scarring of the scalp, baldness, premature tooth loss, and benign and malignant tumors. The Israel Tinea Capitis Compensation Law states that those who can prove to a Health Ministry committee of experts that they were irradiated as children are entitled to compensation in accordance with the damage to their health
What is truly remarkable is how a matter of such public interest and so publicly documented can be so publicly lied about by zionists. Actually in fairness to this Sabraguy, he may be a dupee rather than a duper but a guy calling himself a sabra, that is a Jew who was born in Israel/Palestine, surely reads the papers there and I am not sure that any reputable source has denied this glaring example of an Israeli atrocity. And ok, the guy was effectively anonymous so he doesn't look silly being so silly, but it does suggest a deep seated culture of dishonesty where people pop up on message boards armed with bogus book and site references that are all time consuming to check or they get away with the lies and smears if you don't.

Anyway, they're still taking comments there and the old GIYUS software is in overdrive as usual so the zionist trolls are out in force.

I just checked the Cif site again and there have been a few responses to my response to sabraguy. My fave is this but I can't post it here, this being a family blog and all. Oh dear, too late (as at 12.04 pm 26/6/08). The Cif mods have deleted the "criticism". I thought the target of the abuse had to complain for that to happen. They're a funny lot at Cif.

No they're not. Now, at 13.17 they've deleted the comment by me that I linked above. Nearly 5,000 characters, no breach of their rules, nothing. And I didn't save it. There's just my name and a note to say "This comment has been removed". That seems to be what usually happens if a comment is removed unless you get banned altogether as happened to me, it seems, many moons ago. But what about my man Sabraguy? His comment, fairly inoccuous if a little condescending, was a response to the comment of mine that got deleted. Whadya know? They've not just deleted his comment, they've deleted his name from the thread as well. Why such different treatment? When that happened to me it signified that I had been banned but this guy hasn't been banned. Not only that, they've left my response to him in tact, possibly not for long, so here it is:


The case of the Ringworm children did not originate with Barry Chamish nor did the case of Israel bombing or attempting to bomb Jewish, American and British owned premises in various Arab cities and nor do the many cases of zionist collaboration with the nazis from Hitler coming to power through to the round-up of Hungarian Jews in 1944. Considering the amount Israel has to hide in terms of the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs and the sheer cruelty visited upon diaspora Jews when it needs more cannon fodder for the "demographic problem" Israel is remarkably open.

The case of the ringworm children has been covered in a prize winning documentary aired on Israeli tv and admitted to in the Knesset, the bombing of Jewish premises in Baghdad by Israeli agents has also been admitted to in the Knesset and the Lavon affair, zionist terrorism against US and UK targets in Egypt, was even owned up to by Ariel Sharon. That latter was one of the only two times that Sharon told the truth about anything. The other time was when he told Yediot Ahranot that the disengagement from Gaza was a
"punishment and not a reward" for the Palestinians. Surprise surprise!! even the liberal Guardian missed that one.

Anyway, Sabraguy, I am grateful for you challenging what I suspect you knew to be the truth. In my checking I discovered that the Knesset actually passed a law to compensate the victims of the medical experiments from which so many Jewish children and succeeding generations (where they weren't sterilised by the experiment) have suffered. Whether the compensation truly compensates or goes the way of holocaust compensation is another story.

Here are some important links on the Ringworm children:




The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has been accused of antisemitism by zionists so you might use that as an excuse to ignore it but Ha'aretz, the Israeli daily, isn't so easy to pin that false charge on:

Here's a quote from one of several Ha'aretz articles:

"Twelve years ago, Israel recognized its responsibility for the destructive results of this unwarranted irradiation, including scarring of the scalp, baldness, premature tooth loss, and benign and malignant tumors. The Israel Tinea Capitis Compensation Law states that those who can prove to a Health Ministry committee of experts that they were irradiated as children are entitled to compensation in accordance with the damage to their health."

Now then Sabraguy, it is true that Israel provides a fertile ground for conspiracy theories but sometimes the conspiracies are facts that the nutty theorists can then use to give credibility to their concocted stories. The ringworm children is one such case that is too well documented by Israeli sources to deny.

There is a conspiracy theory around the ringworm affair that isn't true. It's the idea that zionists are so in denial they have removed stories about it from the internet. That's true of some, but thanks to Ha'aretz, not all.
So there's a comment firming up on my deleted one, addressing a guy, indeed a Sabraguy who has been disappeared from the thread altogether.

But I was still anxious that zionists were desperate to bury this story so I had another pop naming Sabraguy again. It's here. Not my best but I'll post it lest it too disappears:
There is a danger here that one of the more grotesque crimes Israel committed against Jews from Arab countries, ie, the ringworm children affair, is going to be covered up by trolls and bogus websites googlebombing so that when people google words like "ringworm", "children" and "Israel" the troll or zionist smearsites will appear in most of the top ten or twenty. But keep looking and you will find these:



These articles in Ha'aretz are not speculative or theoretical, they are simply hard factual reporting. Goodness! there is even a law in Israel with regard to compensation for these.crimes and still the hasbaristas are in denial..

What Sabraguy inadvertently drew attention to is an accessory (or accessories) after the fact of the radiation poisoning of thousands of Jewish children. If zionists cared as much about Jews as they pretend to, they would protest about the treatment of the ringworm children, not cover it up, not smear its critics.
Anyway, apologies for the self-indulgence but I put a lot into the one that got deleted and I actually got emails from a couple of people I haven't corresponded with for some time now, saying that they had seen and were impressed by what I wrote and the bloody Guardian deleted it, I'm guessing, on someone's say so. And why did they remove Sabraguy's name and comment and only my comment? I've written to ask them but on past performance on not expecting a true answer, in fact I'm not expecting an answer.

By the way, you've seen Sabraguy's comment addressed to me. Here are all his comments to the Guardian. He seems to be a hasbara specialist.

Breaking News: The EXXON VALDEZ case is closed

The U.S. Supreme Court cut the $2.5 billion punitive-damages award in the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill to $500 million.

It's over, and let's figure what it means.

In 1994, a U.S. Jury found that Exxon was so wrong and irresponsible in the actions it took that led to the famous accident that it imposed on it $5 billion dollars in punitive damages. The jury decided this figure as it was Exxon's yearly profit at the time. Punitive damages are subjective. They do not represent any real damage but only what the jury thinks is morally proportional to the culpability as well as a good deterrent. One year worth of profit is certainly a decent deterrent. It is certainly not a insufferable burden. Profits are what is left in your hands after you pay all expenses. To create an analogy that would make sense to someone managing a family budget, this is the rough equivalent of what you save during the year after paying all your day to day bills. So this is like punishing a regular family with a fine of a few thousand dollars, maybe maybe 10 thousand dollars. Painful, but certainly not excessive for egregious recklessness.

The amount went through all the stages of appeals. It was reduced to $4B, then to $2.5B dollars, and now, 14 years later, it was finally reduced by the US Supreme court to $500M.

$500M is the profits Exxon-Mobile makes nowadays in 2.5 days. So, the fine was announced Tuesday, and by Friday noon Exxon Moblie will have finished earning the money needed to pay it!!!!

This is the equivalent of fining a regular family $125.

Four judges were ready to strike down the punitive damages completely. I assume judge Souter (the most "left" on the court) was the one who decided the issue because he wrote the opinion, essentially capping punitive damages at 100% economic damages. That basically kills the punitive in "punitive damages".

But rest assure that Barak Obama, if he wins, will push for more liberal judges like Souter.

Is this relevant to this blog? Well, it is a reminder of what politics is really about, including Middle East politics. Never forget that.

Abraham Foxman defends building settlements and starving children

This is from the 'Dog Bites Man' department: Abraham Foxman defends the indefensible yet again:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the United Nations World Children's Fund (UNICEF) to reconsider its decision to reject donations from a Jewish philanthropist, saying the move "smacks of selective political discrimination." ADL press release

Let me add some needed Talmudic exegesis to the words of this modern Jewish sage.

Selective political discrimination. Why say political?
We talk about an action or statement that singles out a political ideology, tendency or program and condemns it for some wrong that it contains, promotes or engages in. Examples would be, the abolitionist movement in the U.S., the boycott of South African apartheid, and the Nuremberg Trials. One calls this kind of discrimination political, because it targets the politics of the offender. This is different from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc. which is illegitimate. It is also different from normal criminal prosecution, which is also ipso facto discrimination against the class of offenders, in that it targets wrongs that cannot yet, for whatever reason, be righted through the regular legal mechanism. Law, as they say, is frozen politics. And the process of "freezing" politics into new, more progressive law requires indeed political discrimination. Hence, of course, UNICEF's avoidance of Leviev is indeed political discrimination. It discriminates against those whose politics include, among other offenses, building settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Leviev's actions should be illegal. They are illegal according to international law, but not according to the law enforceable in existing courts. Just as slavery was considered illegal under natural law, but was still legal through the mid 19th century.

More difficult is interpreting the qualifying term "selective," since to discriminate is to be ipso facto selective. We could pretend--following Rabbi Akiva's methods--that no word in the text is superfluous. What Foxman condemns is not the discrimination per se, but its selective application. I understand that Foxman means therefore that political discrimination is wrong unless it is directed at every equal wrong in the universe. Let's call it the Foxman Principle. Applying this principal would mean that it was wrong, for example, to condemn slavery in the U.S. while native-American land was still being stolen. It was wrong to hang the Nazis in Nuremberg while the perpetrators of the massacre of Katyn went unpunished. The choice is presumably this: either we make the whole world into a heaven of complete justice in one big swoop, or we accept that every injustice is made just by the existence of other injustices. If this is the principle of Foxman's politics, it is of course the height of hypocrisy. the ADL claims to fight antisemitism while ignoring much worse contemporary injustices (including, for example, the oppression of Palestinians). It is selectively discriminating against those it accuses of bigotry and prejudice.

But I'm no Rabbi Akiva fan. I'd rather adapt Rabbi Ishmael's opposite principle of exegesis here and assume that Foxman speaks like a run-of-the-mill political hack. His terminology isn't intended to clarify a moral principle but, on the contrary, to obfuscate and to neutralize the conscience. If one may bolster Rabbi Ishmael with George Orwell, Foxman's illocutions are intended "to defend the indefensible...and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind". The practical application of the Foxman Principle would be to neutralize all demands for justice. And that is all that the term "selective political discrimination" really means. It uses the term discrimination as a tarring mechanism, as if not taking Leviev's blood money is somehow similar to having separate toilets for people with different skin colors. It calls it "political" as if that was somewhat wrong. As if opposing Nazism for example is not "political." And so forth. Pure wind with the appearance of solidity.

Jewish Philantropist. No doubt Leviev is Jewish. But that is hardly appropriate as a definition. Is he also a "Philantropist"? Leviev is the 210th wealthiest man in the world. His net worth is $6.5 billion, mostly made from the sweat and blood of African miners and child soldiers. His personal yearly financial income can feed and cloth the whole population of Liberia at the level at which they are currently accustomed (thanks to people like Leviev). His most important value, according to his own words quoted in the New York Times, is making money. A trip to google news can ascertain that he is busy increasing is wealth through property swaps and other ventures. Leviev's philanthropy is a minor concern for him at best and most of it should be anyway qualified with "alleged". Indeed he was caught pretending to donate money he did not in fact donate. Furthermore, the bulk of Leviev's "philanthropy" is to the Chabad movement, a messianic Jewish political movement with strong supremacist overtones and promoter of rabid anti-arab racism. Chabad is one of the ideological mainstay of the settlements movement in Israel. Donating money to Chabad is like donating money to the Klan. You can call it philanthropy, but "misanthropy" would be more accurate.

"At a time when children around the world are in desperate need of food, medical care, education and other aid, it is a sad day when UNICEF has to create unnecessary, arbitrary and discriminatory guidelines in a bid to satisfy the demands of an outside group with little vested concern in improving the lives of children," said Mr. Foxman.

Abraham's concern for the world's children is touching. Really. The man's so full of love. But UNICEF is protecting children by disowning Leviev. Because of settlement construction in Zufim that is filling Leviev's coffers, children in nearby Palestinian villages like Jayyous are forced to drop out of school to help their impoverished families. And should I mention Gaza's children? Foxman's concern is somehow, well.....selective. Are Palestinian children children of a lesser god?

In a letter to Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF, the League questioned the decision and its timing, noting that the fund has a history of accepting aid from other questionable partners, including the International Islamic Relief Organization, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2006 because of its links to Al Qaeda.

As is well known, when you're defending Israel, facts do not count (actually they count against you, that is why you can't rely on them). Foxman is a flat out lier. The U.S. treasury DID NOT designate the International Islamic Relief Organization as a terrorist organization. It designated one Saudi official and the Philippines and Indonesia branches "for facilitating fundraising for al Qaida and affiliated terrorist groups."

Some facts:
  1. IIRO is a legal charitable organization.
  2. Some officers of the organization have been accused of links to terrorist groups. The U.S. government uses a meaningless definition of terrorism and has a well known and proven tendency to jump the gun with terrorism accusation as a technique of political repression. Hence, such accusations should be taken with a lump of salt.
  3. IIRO has been accused of promoting extermist wahabism. If that were true, it would be no better and no worse than chabad, Leviev's philanthropy recipient. But given the blowing wind of Islampophobia, I wouldn't take such accusations at face value.
  4. IIRO doesn't give UNICEF money. It is a partner in delivering care to children in Saudi Arabia. IIRO is a charitable organization with some expertise about helping children that UNICEF can use. Leviev is a money bag. There is a difference there. If UNICEF were to partner with Chabad in Israel, that would be an interesting comparison. But comparing Leviev to the IIRO is really comparing apples and oranges.
  5. Foxman doesn't ask UNICEF to disown the IIRO. He merely asks to re-establish Leviev's good standing. This is basically the crux of it. Foxman identifies "wrongs," not out of any desire to right them, but only in so far as they can be used to defend or excuse crimes committed by Jews against Palestinians.

The biggest lie however is the byline:
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

The ADL is today the world's leading organization for the promotion of antisemitism. It promotes it by defining all attempts to defend the human rights of Palestinians as antisemitic and by using its money and influence in the defense of bigotry, hatred, and human rights violations committed by Jews.

A quite revealing touch is this little mention of timing: Foxman "questioned...[UNICEF's] decision and its timing."

Here's an interesting question. When will Abraham Foxman consider it good timing to defend the human rights of Palestinians? When the Messaiah comes? Or when there are no more Palestinians alive?

June 21, 2008

UNICEF to Leviev: take your settlements and shove 'em

It's a tough day for settlement-building Israeli diamond-peddling philanthropists:

UNICEF cuts ties to Israeli billionaire Leviev
Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:31pm EDT

By Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK, June 20 (Reuters) - The U.N. children's fund UNICEF has severed ties with an Israeli billionaire and financial backer due to his suspected involvement in building settlements in the occupied West Bank, UNICEF said on Friday.

Lev Leviev, a real estate and diamond mogul who is one of the richest men in Israel, has supported UNICEF with direct contributions and indirectly by sponsoring at least one UNICEF fund-raiser.

He is chairman of Africa Israel Investments, a conglomerate whose units include Danya Cebus, which the Arab rights advocacy group Adalah-NY charges has carried out settlement construction, considered illegal by the United Nations.

UNICEF decided to review its relationship with Leviev after a campaign by Adalah-NY and found "at least a reasonable grounds for suspecting" that Leviev companies were building settlements in occupied territory, a UNICEF official said.

"I can confirm that UNICEF has advised Adalah in New York that it will not be entering into any partnerships or accepting financial contributions from Lev Leviev or his corporate people," Chris de Bono, a senior adviser to the executive director of UNICEF, told Reuters.

"We are aware of the controversy surrounding Mr. Leviev because of his reported involvement in construction work in the occupied Palestinian territory," de Bono said, adding that it was UNICEF's policy to have partners who were "as non-controversial as possible."

UNICEF could not say how much Leviev had donated as an individual. In his only known partnership with UNICEF, Leviev last year donated jewelry to a fashion event in France that benefited the French national committee for UNICEF, de Bono said.

Representatives of Leviev's jewelry and real estate businesses were not immediately available to comment on Friday, in part because of religious observances after dark in Israel. (Editing by Todd Eastham)

The Reuters piece is a simultaneous headline on Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, and YNet, not to mention MSNBC.

One wonders if all this bad publicity is worth stealing more land. But it doesn't appear to be stopping Leviev's plans to expand his settlement Zufim onto the land the Israeli government is helping the "diamontaire extraordinaire" steal from the beleaguered village of Jayyous, which already can neither feed nor educate its children anymore. Recently the village has reported electrical pylons have been erected to grid a new 1,500 unit outpost for Zufim, and Israel has shown villagers a map that shows only 50% of the village's farmland which it has enclosed behind its wall (which is 70% of its land overall) will be "returned" to the village. And it won't even put a gate in the wall anywhere near the village, so any farmers whose land won't be flattened under "Zufim North" will be screwed anyway.

In Jayyous, as in Bil'in, the Israeli High Court of Justice has shown just how worthless its diktat is -- the army has simply ignored highly-touted decisions to move the wall and give back some of Lev's ill-gotten gains. In Bil'in Israeli forces have lately been bravely shielding Leviev's illegal suburban paradise Mattityahu East with a new multiple-round tear gas machine, a sound weapon that messes with the inner ear and causes protestors to tumble, and shooting an Italian judge in the head with a tear-gas grenade. Not to mention using live fire on unarmed protestors, as seen in this graphic video from last week:

UPDATE: Defense for Children International, which wrote a letter to UNICEF urging it sever ties with Leviev, welcomes the organization's decision.

UPDATE: JTA blogs about this not once, but twice, and not too favorably. The Chronicle of Philanthropy runs the Reuters article and gets good comments. NY Sun invokes UN critic Anne Bayefsky. Al-Jazeera runs a story on Leviev/UNICEF, as does Press TV in Iran, and top trade pub National Jeweler Network runs a favorable piece with the money quote: Diamond mogul facing increasing pressure for human rights violations. It didn't even say they were "alleged" violations! Globes quotes IDF Radio. Palestine Human Rights Commission (PHRC) in Gaza thanks UNICEF.

June 16, 2008

Engage continues smear campaign against Finkelstein

I looked at Engage today to see if they had said anything against Israel banning Arabs from the beach at the Dead Sea so that the settlers could ply their tourist trade. I got distracted by a post in which Dr Hirsh appoints himself the adjudicator of humour. He gets to decide what's funny and what's not and what's serious and what's not. Yes, that Dr Hirsh.

Here's Dr Hirsh on a not so recent Finkelstein post:
Norman Finkelstein has produced a satirical piece of writing. The joke is based on the idea that AIPAC has the power and the will to break and to humiliate anybody seeking to be elected President of the United States. If you didn't know who had written the piece of writing you'd probably think it was antisemitic. If you did know who had written the piece... hmm. I guess I'll stop there.
Here's the joke:
In a move that shocked his AIPAC audience but which his supporters called "brave," Barack Obama dropped his drawers to prove that he was Jewish. John McCain immediately issued a statement alleging that he was circumcised first. (The Republican candidate is 71.) Basing himself on extensive fieldwork, Daniel Pipes, a McCain supporter and noted authority on Muslim culture, observes that "looks can be deceiving -- Muslims are also circumcised." (Pipes' new book is "Turkish Bath Terror Network.") Speaking for the Democratic party, Nancy Pelosi promises to investigate the "particulars" of their candidate. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton announced that although as a feminist she opposed circumcision, she would make an exception if it would get her the nomination. "Speaking as her husband," Bill Clinton said, "I couldn't care less, but if this is what it takes, heck, I'll slice off a piece too." Crackers from Hope refused comment.
Sorry, I should have mentioned the headline. It's Norman Finkelstein is not a serious man - he's not very funny either. Now coming from Hirsh, this is what we call projection.

Actually I thought it was quite funny. What I don't understand is that the Daily Show with Jon Stewart went easily as far and possibly further than Finkelstein in its edition titled Indecision 5768 in suggesting, no, saying, of Obama, Clinton and McCain grovelling to AIPAC, "you can't say anything remotely critical of Israel and still get elected president". It was all there. The title, 5768, the Jewish year this year. Florida became "hebieland", AIPAC became OiPAC and "these elders of Zion".

Where was Engage when ha'am Yisroel came under such an attack? I suppose those elders, Engage that is, were thinking up ways of smearing Finkelstein. They'll have to learn that if other Jews are criticising Israel in much the same language and style that Finkelstein employs, they'll have to busy themselves smearing those others or at least figuring out how to pass off the similar as being different. So how are they going to do that? I'm guessing we'll never know. But playing the antisemitism card has never been such a tricky proposition. Oh, they'll still do it at the drop of a capel but consistency, of necessity, is out the window.

But the big question for me is, why this excessive, indeed obsessive, concentration of Finkelstein? Remember Johann Hari referring to the "loathesome smearing of Israel's critics" and how Finkelstein was smeared in the Jewish Chronicle? Remember how, in defence of Israel, Engage poses as defenders of academic freedom and yet they supported banning him from Israel and lied to do so? Remember how Howard Jacobson ludicrously claimed that zionists "don't hunt in packs" specifically with regard to the hunting and harassing of Finkelstein? Like the Lebanon war of 2006, this is one of those exercises that catches the whole gamut of the zionist movement with its collective hand in the till. Even those, who like Hirsh, call themselves non-zionists.

There are two aspect of this Obama bowing to AIPAC business that seem to undermine a couple of claims that Hirsh makes about his own position on the occupation and on antisemitism. I can't remember if Hirsh claims that Engage is against the occupation or just that he (Hirsh) is. We've seen him saying that Israel has withdrawn from Gaza when it clearly hasn't in the sense of broad military control and legal obligation. But also, he doesn't seem to have criticised Obama at all for supporting the continued occupation of Jerusalem.

Now, clearly, grovelling to AIPAC, as Jon Stewart on the Daily Show says, is a rite of passage to the White House. I think Jews are being used here. The whole of America must wonder why such an exhibition has to be made in front of the biggest of the Israel lobby groups. Are Jews that powerful? Probably not. The American establishment wants to support Israel so it allows, even causes, the Israel lobby to flourish. It suits the establishment to place a buffer between itself and its policies, hence the Israel lobby. And if it all goes pear shaped, who you gonna blame? Why, the Jews of course. Now Hirsh is saying that it is antisemitic to joke that AIPAC is a make or break stop-off for the presidential hopeful. Nope, that's wrong. He thinks it's antisemitic for Finkelstein to joke that it's make or break. It's not when it's the far more seen Daily Show. That's fine. As is Obama's support for the occupation. But when Finkelstein, the Daily Show and many others say that crawling to AIPAC is a must, they are surely only saying what millions, maybe billions, or people are thinking. Hirsh claims that this is antisemitic, not just wrong, antisemitic.

If Hirsh is truly concerned about antisemitism and isn't simply playing the antisemitism card, where is his explanation of what Obama (and Clinton and McCain) were doing prostrating themselves before AIPAC? And why isn't he concerned that if Obama supports the occupation, the occupation is going to continue for at least another 8 years (assuming he either wins a second term or he is defeated from the right)? Why is he more interested in smearing Obama's critics than in criticising Obama for supporting the occupation that Hirsh claims to be against?

Young, Jewish and Angry

‘We see a sick hierarchically organized Jewish community…serving as a smokescreen to allow the ongoing genocide of a people’

David Mandelzys, an anti-Zionist Canadian Jew has recently written these words in a his article ‘Heating Up: The Battle for the Jewish voice and the Jewish soul.’.

While well-written, what’s interesting about the article is the tone it’s written in. Angry, impassioned, even contemptuous towards the existing Zionist ‘community’.

It’s a far cry from the polite and respectful tone with which British anti-Zionists address ‘the community’. This might be simply Mr Mandelzys’s style, or the style of debate in Canada – but it might signify something deeper. A lack of fear/respect might be no bad thing, when trying to create something new.

Remember Sirhan Sirhan?

I know I know, I'm a week late with this one but I didn't read much about this last week. I did hear something on Radio 4 about the Robert Kennedy assassination but that was it. Of course there would have been more coverage in America about the killing of a US presidential hopeful than there was in the UK so let that be my excuse. I actually remember the killing of Bobby Kennedy when it happened. I doubt if I saw it live but I remember seeing it on tv back in 1968. I remember how they described the killer as a "Jordanian". Years later I assumed that they were simply keeping the word "Palestinian" out of the media's and therefore the public's vocabulary.

Anyway, I wouldn't normally be too bothered with this but for
Ben White blogging the Boston Globe seeking a scholars' opinions on what happened those 40 years ago and why. One such scholar was Alan Dershowitz (uh oh!).
"I thought of it as an act of violence motivated by hatred of Israel and of anybody who supported Israel," said Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who had worked on Kennedy's campaign as a volunteer adviser on gun-control policy. "It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn't recognize it at the time."
It is interesting that more wasn't made of the background and the motivation of Sirhan Sirhan and you can look at the rest of the article to see the inaction of for example the ADL over that. But look at these letters to the Globe following Dershowitz's "analysis".

I WAS dismayed that Alan Dershowitz referred to Sirhan Sirhan's assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as the "beginning of Islamic terrorism in America" ("Slaying gave US a first taste of Mideast terror," Page A1, June 5).

Sirhan, a Christian Palestinian immigrant, said he was angry at Kennedy because he supported Israel in the 1967 war over the rights of the Palestinians. This was an instance of one Christian killing another Christian for political, not religious, reasons.

Why does Dershowitz conflate Palestinian with Islamic, other than to spread fear of Muslims? I think it is for a similar reason that he equates Israel with Judaism. Therefore, any criticism of Israel's policies toward Palestinians can be denounced as anti-Semitic.


ATTEMPTS TO spin the tragic assassination of Robert Kennedy as a prelude to today's problems between the United States and the Middle East collapse under the weight of the facts.

Alan Dershowitz's suggestion that a 40-year-old crime committed by a lone gunman - a Christian Arab who moved to the United States at age 12 - could be plausibly counted as "the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America" strains credulity. This is as absurd as Ayman al-Zawahiri's claim that the modern state of Israel is a direct extension of the medieval Crusades. Such illogical readings of the past do nothing to advance the mutual understanding between peoples that is so urgently required in today's world.


What is very strange about Dershowitz's scholarly view on islamist terror by a Christian is that the article mentions that Sirhan Sirhan was a Christian. Why didn't the writer correct Dershowitz? Why did the writer run his quote at all? It's a funny old globe.

I don't fully agree with the second letter. Maybe zionism isn't a direct extension of the crusades but it is a bit of a re-run.

Arabfrei beaches

Another tale of the everyday racism of the State of Israel. This is from Donald Macintyre in Saturday's Independent:
Palestinians are being regularly and illegally barred from reaching Dead Sea beaches in the occupied West Bank, according to a Supreme Court petition filed by Israel's leading civil rights organisation.

The Association of Civil Rights (Acri) in Israel is challenging what it says is the frequently imposed ban by the military on Palestinians seeking to swim or relax at beaches in the northern Dead Sea. The salt-saturated sea is the only open water accessible to Palestinians from the otherwise landlocked West Bank.

The petition says that the Israeli military is using the Beit Ha'arava checkpoint on Route 90 – the only open access route in the occupied West Bank for travel to the Dead Sea – to turn back Palestinians, mainly but not exclusively on weekends and Jewish holidays.

Acri says that the ban is to appease Israeli settlers operating concessions along the Dead Sea's northern shore. They fear losing Jewish customers if there are large numbers of Arabs using the beaches in territory seized by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967.

A Palestinian bus driver, Mohammed Ahmed Nuaga'a, described how he was turned back by the military with a party of children, aged between six and 12, on a school trip from the Hebron district to the Dead Sea last month. The outing had been officially co-ordinated with the Palestinian Authority education ministry and included 10 teachers and 15 parents. He returned a few hours later in the hope that the soldiers would relent but they did not do so. "I tried to explain to them that these are young pupils who came from very far to fulfil a big dream – to see the sea," he said.

"But the soldiers were aggressive, and started shouting at us that Palestinian passage is forbidden, whether children or adults. The pupils begged the soldiers to let them go for even 10 minutes just to see the sea and return, but nothing happened."
Can you imagine? Children pleading with the most powerful army in the middle east. Still, at least they didn't kill them. I suppose that's something. Perhaps they're going soft.

I first saw this on Ben White's site.

June 15, 2008

The Torture of John McCain

The New York Times pretends to criticize John McCain, who once blamed the anti-war movement for weakening the resolve of American POWs held by the Vietnamese.

In the guise of dishing this mild rebuke, the Times engages in a fare amount of disgusting hero worshiping of a war criminal, laced with all the usual drekkish stew of masculinity, war and patriotism.

Here's a sample.

Mr. McCain was as enraged as any of the tough resisters by what they considered the treason of the two officers and enlisted men, his friends said. “He thought this was ‘terrible, terrible, terrible,’ they should all be shot,” said John Dramesi, a fellow prisoner....

But Mr. Schweitzer, who died in a car crash soon after the war, became an example of what Mr. McCain later called “the necessity to forgive.” Confronted by a senior officer, Mr. Schweitzer renounced his participation in the propaganda and resumed his place in the American ranks.
This is of course the New York Times, the paper whose mission is to feed right-wing propaganda to those whose self-image includes being slightly left-of-center. As this piece shows, the Times is at the top of its game.

So let's put it in words simple enough for a Times reader:

John McCain is a war criminal. As he himself admitted. He flew missions against civilian targets. He incinerated, men, women, children and farm animals in their huts. And he did all this in a war of unprovoked aggression against a country half a globe away, a war he fully supported, and that killed three million Vietnamese.

The Vietcong should not have tortured him. For a reason hard to understand, they wanted him to confess that he was a war criminal, as if his word could carry more weight than his actions. But they had every right to soak him in gasoline and burn him alive.

From the same article:

In his memoirs, Mr. McCain addressed only briefly what he called “the camp rats.” During a stint in solitary confinement, he had caught a glimpse of two other American officers acting friendly with their guards and enjoying delicacies like eggs and bananas,

Times journalists should think twice before mentioning something as delicate as sucking up to power. Although I don't think Judith Miller's handlers ever served her humble eggs and bananas...

Jewdas does the solstice - but why?

Another Jewdas event to liven up the summer. Let them explain:

It's time to bring the money-lenders back into the temple; to say to Lord Levy 'come back, all is forgiven'; hard times have arrived and jewdas returns to celebrate the glorious relationship between jews and money.

We're all familiar with credit-crunches (is this a snack bar?), rising oil prices and negative equity and nowthe economic downturn has hit Jewdas Towers. Rabbi Geoffrey Cohen's Stamford Hill property empire is in dire straits. Faced with 'we're too busy studying torah to pay rent' tenants, pressure to allow no more than 3 families per room and a simultaneous drop in the market for his 'Tsnius-friendly bikinis', things are bad.

Unable to keep compete with the lavish budgets of the likes of Jewish Care and the JNF, jewdas finds itself rapidly becoming the northern rock of the Jewish world.

Jewdas is seeking your pound (of flesh ideally, but straight pounds will do) in order to maintain the high cost of running the International Jewish Conspiracy.
But what's actually going to happen?
let us tempt you with a warehouse filled with a range of live music including:

klezmer band, yiddish songs, el shaddai, jen charlton, the infamous Geoff Berner, and Simon Katan (of Halal Kebab Hut)

dj sets featuring 20s yiddish tracks, yidcore and barbara streisand;

a series of films by artisit including Ari Libsker, Tanya Ury, Jes Benstock, Nancy Koan, Charlie Phillips, Giovanna Chesle, Naama W and others;

a bespoke jewish tattooing service;

art installations;

talks on religion, philosophy and tax evasion; by David Rosenberg, Dani Kranz and Deborah Kahn-Harris (not respectively...)

your chance to take rabbi cohen's stamford hill jukebox challenge

sideshows including JC power 100 hoopla and jewish community bingo;

mass conversions; rabbinical lap dances; jewish memorabilia raffle;

and, best of all, the chance to confess to Rabbi Geoffrey Cohen.
Pretty good, huh? But where's it happening?
Unit D, Omega Works, 167 Hermitage Road, Manor House N4 1LZ (map)
Ok, that's the place. How about the time and date?
From 8 pm Saturday June 21st
June 21st? Significant? Not to Jews I don't think. Druids. That's it. It's the summer solstice. The youngers of zion are creating a distraction so the Druids can settle here, ethnically cleanse lots of natives and establish the world's only Druish state. Then they'll try and justify it on the grounds that they were here two thousand years ago.

But where on earth could they have got such a ludicrous yet cunning and despicable idea?

June 14, 2008

Portrait of the zionists as nazis

There are, of course, many of those but this one by Tony Greenstein caught my eye because I know that Tony doesn't use the zionist/nazi analogy lightly. In fact he hardly uses it at all. Anyway, here's a piece of the post he has done titled Gestapo Tactics:
An article on the International Middle East Media Centre, The Israeli army attacks a village near Bethlehem and kidnaps a man and his Jewish wife describes how the Israeli army invaded the village of Hussan located near Bethlehem city in the southern part of the West Bank.During the invasion on Thursday morning the soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian man and his wife, who is Jewish origin. Hamamerh, 25, met his wife Melissa, 23, several months ago when he used to work at the settlement of Bitar Illit, an Israeli settlement built illegally on the land of Hussan village. When the young couple decided to get married, they came to Bethlehem city were Melissa converted to Islam. They were married last month during a large wedding at Hussan village, Hamamerh's family reported.The settlers of Bitar Illit attacked the village of Hussan, demanding that Melissa was kidnapped and forced to get married, which the family of Hamamerh denies.The village told media sources in Bethlehem that the settlers threatened to send the Israeli army to get Melissa out using force, which was done today. Witnesses said that the army surrounded the couple's home and then kidnapped the two, and took them to an unknown location.The Hamamerh family said that the settlers are using the army forces as a tool to force their son to divorce his wife.
And then Tony adds his own comments, starting with:
This is absolutely unbelievable.[is it?] For those who have any sense of historical perspective, then one and only one analogy comes to mind. The repeated attempts of the Gestapo to 'persuade' the 'Aryan' partners of Jews to divorce them in Nazi Germany post the 1935 Nuremburg Laws.
Read the whole thing at Anti-Zionists against Ant-Semitism.

June 13, 2008

Raytheon how many?

Something I haven't understood about the Raytheon case in Derry is why some say the Raytheon 9 and some say that it was 6. Even the Indymedia report has 9 in the headline but 6 in the report. And the Raytheon9.org website is no help either. So answer in the comments please if you know.

Now, because of this I have an excuse for another post on what has been a momentous decision by a court in the north of Ireland.
The Raytheon 9 have been aquitted today in Belfast for their action in decommissioning the Raytheon offices in Derry in August 2006. The prosecution could produce not a shred of evidence to counter our case that we had acted to prevent the commission of war crimes during the Lebanon war by the Israeli armed forces using weapons supplied by Raytheon.

We remain proud of the action we took and only wish that we could have done more to disrupt the ‘kill chain’ that Raytheon controls.

This victory is welcome, for ourselves and our families, but we wish to dedicate it to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30 July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.
The action these people took could have led them to one of the north of Ireland's no jury courts but for some reason it didn't. They were acquitted by a jury of their peers. I wonder what a judge would have done or what the judge in the trial actually thought.

There'll be more actions like these.

Elf wrong yet again, shock!

Well apologies everyone. I thought I remembered David Davis being sympathetic to the Palestinians. I have just been disabused in an email, which makes a nice change from being abused in an email. Here's the link I was sent to a Conservative Friends of Israel questionnaire to David David, hosted on the the UK based Christian zionist site of Anglicans for Israel:

1. Why should Conservatives be friends of Israel?

Because Israel is a stable democratic state in one of the most unstable regions in the World. It is a force for good in the Middle East and wider world. Conservatives recognise this and share many of the same values and outlook as Israel. Quite naturally therefore we should work closely together. There is also a significant Jewish population in the UK which makes a substantial contribution to the Country and the Conservative Party. Conservative Friends of Israel for example is one of the biggest affiliated groups to the Conservative Party with over 80% of MPs as members and over 2000 registered supporters (most of whom are Party members).

Ah well, ho hum, my silly fault for saying nice things about a Tory.

Jews defending themselves in Palestine

Go here or here and you can see these Jews defending themselves on film.

My posts keep getting merged and I'm trying all sorts of things to stop it from happening, like random text which appears a propos nothing in particular. Hmm, hasn't worked yet. How about some more text?

Heil to the Chief!

Just check out the headline and pic, the rest is commentary.

Now this should have stood with no text but without text, the post below intrudes on it. Pity that. Never mind.

Now this is really annoying. I have keep typing inane comments on what I am doing to prevent the post below this, merging with this. Let's see how this has worked.

Not quite but nearly....

Ok, several attempts later, let's see how this works. Yup! it works.

Board to the right, Tories to the left?

The Board of Deputies of British Jews apparently made a submission to whoever you have to make submissions to if you want to influence law making in the UK. The submission suggested that 56 days without charge or trial was appropriate. Now at a guess I would say that 56 days is actually longer than the average prison sentence meted out for the proven commission of an actual crime. This is for people, Muslims let's face it, who are have not been proven to commit any crime. This in spite of the fact that the police appear to have carte blanche to shoot any Muslim or anyone who looks like they might be a Muslim. In the end the government settled on 42 days detention without charge or trial, two weeks less than the Board of Deputies was seeking.

Richard Kuper, of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, wrote to the Jewish Chronicle to protest this and whilst his letter wasn't published they did a report on it.
Richard Kuper, newly elected chair of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and two colleagues, Professor Irene Bruegel and Murray Glickman, have complained about a submission to the Home Office last August by the Board and the Community Security Trust on the Counter Terrorism Bill 2007.
And from the Board of Deputies?
“If we believe we can make a worthwhile contribution we will. Such consultations are open to anyone and it is then for Parliament to debate the issues. The Board is mandated by a large swathe of the community to address all sorts of matters. To ignore that and hold some kind of further public consultation on every issue is both unreasonable and unworkable”.
It's perfectly reasonable then for the Board to assume that the countries Jews are to the right of an extremely right wing measure.

But not all of the community are satisfied with this. For a start there's Richard Kuper and his crew. Then there are two letters in today's JC:
Board should stay quiet on detention law

What do the Board of Deputies think they are up to?

The police are divided, MI5 could not be more ambivalent without actually being opposed, current and former senior law officers have come out against, indeed, virtually the entire British legal establishment rejects extension of the maximum period for pre-charge detention to 42 days.

Even the government has been forced to acknowledge that there has never yet been a case where extension to 42 days was required. It isn’t essential today — but we might need it at some unspecified time in the future.

Yet the Board of Deputies is arguing for the government to take its deranged plans even further and legislate for a maximum of 56 days pre-charge detention (JC, June 6). What do the BoD know that all these experts and luminaries don’t? And what gives the Board, at one fell swoop, the right to trash decades, nay, centuries of Jewish tradition of independent, critical and rigorous Jewish thought and resistance to tyranny?

They make me ashamed.

Naomi Wayne, Belmont Hill, London SE13

Jon Benjamin thinks that “the Board [of Deputies] is mandated by a large swathe of the community to address all sorts of matters”, and therefore that there was no need to consult before making detailed recommendations on the Counter-Terrorism Bill. I find this rather alarming; does it mean that if the Edinburgh Liberal community affiliates to the Board, as we have considered doing, we have to sign up to the officers’ opinions on any “sort of matter” that they decide to comment on?

It’s not an inviting prospect.

Maurice Naftalin, chair@eljc.org
Meanwhile a leading Tory MP, David Davis, is resigning over the 42 days detention that the government settled on. He claims that it is on the civil liberties principle. Now it might surprise some people that a Tory is resigning over an issue that puts him to the left of Labour. Actually, that is partly simply a sign of the times, but also sometimes individual Tories are more principled than Labour. Whatever it is, this issue has put the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the right of both the British government and the right-wing opposition. Is that representative of British Jews? I don't know, I just hope not.

On the matter of the Tories' opposition stance on this, it could be that they opposed the government just to make the government look even sillier than it has been looking since the JNF's Gordon Brown took over. But apparently, the JNF's David Cameron is a little anxious about having Labour look tougher on law and order than he is.

Now, I think David Davis has made sympathetic noises towards the Palestinians. I'm not sure but I think I remember something about that. Looking at the Guardian today, searching "David Davis" in the Guardian, there are several articles suggesting that the Tories themselves might collude with Labour to undermine Davis. And certainly the Guardian seems to be more intent on ridiculing him than defending civil liberty. Now, I'm really not sure about where Davis stands on Palestine, but if he's an aspiring Jimmy Carter, we could well see the Tories pulling the rug from underneath him in preference to defeating the government.

June 12, 2008

Raytheon 9 are free!!!!!!!!!!!!! again?

I enjoyed Mike Cushman's letter in today's Independent so much I clean forgot to take a look at Jews sans frontieres before posting it below this. If had have done so I would have seen the wonderful news brought to JSF readers by one of JSF's contributors, David Landy from Dublin. I'm a little anxious that the passing trade, you know, once off visitors, might not scroll down to the earlier post and a direct action event is a little bit more important than a letter in the press, I'm sure Mike would agree.

So, without further ado, unless I think of something before posting David's post again in full, here's David's post again, in full:

Great news. The Raytheon 9 are free! These are 9 activists who trashed the Raytheon building in Derry because Israel used Raytheon weapons in the Lebanon war. It's a great victory. It gives heart to a lot of people on this island to undertake more direct action, but it should be recalled that it was a british jurisdiction - so on ye go!

On a sombre note, they dedicated their victory 'to the Shaloub and Hasheem families of Qana in Lebanon, who lost 28 of their closest relatives on the 30 July 2006 due to a Raytheon ‘bunker buster’ bomb.'

More here

Lorna Fitzsimons "misstates the position"

The chief executive of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, joint head of the Stop the Boycott campaign, and former Labour MP for Rochdale, Lorna Fitzsimons had an article in last week's Independent's Education section. I didn't see it when it first appeared but I respect Mike Cushman's opinions and trust in his integrity so here's what he had to say in today's Independent Education section:

Lorna Fitzsimons misstates the position of the University and College Union regarding Israeli universities ("The UCU is wasting time and money" EDUCATION & CAREERS, 5 June 2008. There was no boycott motion debated at congress. Linda Newman, outgoing president of UCU, explicitly stated this in seconding the Palestine motion, saying she would not have supported it if it were.

The motion was supported by an overwhelming majority of congress, including boycott supporters, many opposing the boycott and more who are undecided. What united the people voting in favour was their anger at Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories; the constant disruption in the daily lives of Palestinian lecturers and students, making normal university life impossible; and the involvement of many academics in Israeli universities as members of the Israeli army enforcing the occupation and in research contributing to the maintenance of it.

The motion does not refer to nationality: it includes non-Israelis working in Israeli universities and excludes the many Israelis working abroad. That Mr Rammell was similarly misinformed does not strengthen Ms Fitzsimon's case. The motion addressed two main issues: the institutional position of Israeli universities; and Ariel College, set up within an illegal settlement on land criminally expropriated and with an academic mission to support the still-expanding settlement programme.

I have not seen the legal opinion the union received and was calling for its publication long before Fitzsimons asked for this. I have, however, read the Stop the Boycott opinion and, even as a non-lawyer, can see it is riven with weak logic and poor argument: it is not a dispassionate account of the law, it is an advocacy brief making the best of a weak case. It rests on a series of dubious extrapolations of the type: if A is true and A were to lead to B and B to C and C is illegal then A is illegal, but throughout, neither the initial postulate not the chain of causality stand up to scrutiny.

The union is not "sanctioning discrimination and harassment of its own members, based on their passport or affiliations" and no evidence is given for this assertion. If we saw the UK Government applying pressure to the Israeli government to end the occupation it might not be necessary for UCU to take the lead, but we see no such pressure.

Mike Cushman, LSE UCU delegate to congress

Catch that? "Lorna Fitzsimons misstates the position". Now where's that thesaurus. Aha! found it.