January 31, 2013

The Meaning of Yair Lapid

My article on the elections in Israel in Jadaliyya:

The social protests, the shrinking of the traditional parties, the widespread sense of revulsion at the political class, the loss of faith in politics, and the very repetition of the seventies’ pattern raise the question: have we entered the twilight of the Great Likud Pact, that combination of neo-liberalism for the upper classes and rampant colonization in the occupied Palestinian Territories for the Israeli-Jewish masses that has defined hegemony in Israel for over thirty years?
Continue reading (actually, go to the beginning)...

Zionists still playing their joker: the antisemitism card

I don't know if I'm imagining it but zionists seem to be playing faster and looser with the antisemitism card lately.  Maybe it's a Holocaust Memorial Day thing.  Maybe the bogus allegations of antisemitism are always cranked up at this time of year.

Anyway, The Daily Beast OPEN ZION blog has a timely reminder of what is and what is not antisemitic:
17-Point Guide To Anti-Semitism And Its Abuse

1. This is an Anti-Semitic image.

Image from 'Les 100 plus belles Images de l'Affaire Dreyfus' by Raymond Bachollet

2. This is an Anti-Semitic image.
Scan from 'The Way Jews Lived: Five Hundred Years of Printed Words and Images,' by Constance Harris

3. This is an Anti-Semitic Image.

Image from 'Les 100 plus belles Images de l'Affaire Dreyfus' by Raymond Bachollet

4. This is an image critical of Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies in the West Bank.

Gerald Scarfe, Sunday Times

5. This is Jewish historical trauma.

Scan from 'The Way Jews Lived: Five Hundred Years of Printed Words and Images,' by Constance Harris

6. This is an exploitation of Jewish historical trauma.


7. This image will not lead to Anti-Semitism.

Gerald Scarfe, Sunday Times

8. This image might lead to Anti-Semitism.

Eli Valley

9. This is excruciatingly painful Jewish memory.

AP Photo

10. This is abuse of excruciatingly painful Jewish memory.


11. This is a bewildering tweet.


12. This is an Anti-Semitic tweet.


13. This is what the leader of the ADL said about the image criticizing Israeli policies in the West Bank.

Ariel Jerozolimski, modified by Eli Valley

14. This is what the leader of the ADL said about an Oscar-nominated Israeli film criticizing Israeli policies in the West Bank.

Ariel Jerozolimski, modified by Eli Valley

15. This is Jewish horror.

AP Photo

16.  This is Jewish comedy.


17.  Meanwhile, this remains.

Eli Valley
He did well to restrict it to seventeen.

January 29, 2013

UEFA hears case against Israel hosting European games

From the Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods website:


See also Ali Abunimah’s report on Electronic Intifada
(Pictures courtesy of Euro-Palestine)
Michel Platini obliged to share the limelight with a Palestinian football shirt held by French campaigner Olivia Zemor
Michel Platini obliged to share the limelight with a Palestinian football shirt held by French campaigner Olivia Zemor
Campaigners occupy the reception area at the headquarters of European football's governing body UEFA
Campaigners occupy the reception area at the headquarters of
European football’s governing body UEFA
A protester's poster highlights Israel's detention of football players
A protester’s poster highlights Israel’s detention of football players
  • Pro-Palestinian campaigners occupy entrance to UEFA’s Swiss HQ
  • Platini says he will “think about” Israel hosting Euro 2013
  • 6,000 signature petition handed over, more protests planned
Dozens of pro-Palestinian campaigners brought growing anger over Israel hosting this year’s European under-21 football finals right to UEFA’s door on Friday (January 25), forcing the organisation’s president Michel Platini to grant them a hearing at his headquarters in Nyon , Switzerland.
Platini had previously spurned calls from sources as diverse as the president of the Palestinian Football Association, internationally renowned film-maker Ken Loach and a list of more than 50 football stars including Frederic Kanoute and Didier Drogba, not to reward Israel for its flouting of Palestinian human rights.
On Friday he gave the first hint that he was listening to the protests, saying in a televised news conference after a meeting of UEFA’s Executive Committee  that he would “think about it and take a decision in the current year”.
Olivia Zemor of French campaign group Euro-Palestine, leading the activists who crowded into UEFA’s reception area in Nyon, charged Platini with ignoring Israel ’s active discrimination against Palestinians – not only restrictions on movement but destruction of facilities, detention without trial of players and the killing of young boys playing football.
Campaigners also noted that of the grounds likely to be used for the men’s junior tournament on June 5-18, one is on land seized from two Palestinian villages, one is beside a largely destroyed village and a third is a stadium from which a Palestinian club was expelled in 1948.
The protests shamed Platini into pledging to “see what he could do” about the detention for almost a year of Palestinian Olympic squad goalkeeper Omar Abu Rois and Ramallah player Mohammed Nimr.
Last May, as a mounting international campaign forced Israel to release hunger striking Palestinian national team player Mahmoud Sarsak after three years in detention, Platini rebuffed calls to relocate Euro 2013 claiming Israel would host a “beautiful games”.
Since then support has grown around Europe for the Red Card Israeli Racism campaign which is calling on football enthusiasts who care about human rights to take the following actions in the months leading up to the June finals.

  • Continue adding signatures to the almost 6000 names already on the Red Card petitiion
  • Join protests at the next ExCom meeting in March (venue to be announced)
  • Mobilise for protests at UEFA’s Congress in London on May 24
  • Organise anti-racist football tournaments to draw attention to the plight of the game in Palestine
Contact:  info@rcir.org.uk
1. Full report of Nyon protests including still photos
 2.Video from Nyon plus links to media reports.
3.   Israel ’s U-21 championship venues:
a)  Bloomfield  – before Israeli forces occupied  Jaffa  in 1948, the ground was known as Basa (swamp) Stadium, home to local  Jaffa  team Shabab el-Arab. They were expelled and later formed Shabab el-Nassera in  Nazareth . In January 1949 the Basa stadium was given to the Hapoel Tel Aviv team by the Israeli “custodian of absentee property”.
b) Teddy Stadium, named after former  Jerusalem  mayor Teddy Kollek, is beside an almost entirely destroyed village, al-Maliha.
c) Reserve stadium at  Ramat Gan  was built on land seized under the Absentee Property Owners Law of 1950 from the Palestinian villages of Jarisha and al-Jammasin al-Sharqi.

Conference in London - Palestine Solidarity and Jewish Opposition to Zionism

From Boycott Israel Network

J-BIG Conference March 2 – Palestine Solidarity and Jewish Opposition to Zionism

J-Big Banner 600SATURDAY MARCH 2
1 – 7 PM
VENUE -     24 Greencoat Place,     London SW1P 1RD  (Near Victoria station)
This is a half-day conference offering  everyone working for Palestinian rights a chance to reinforce their knowledge of Zionism, its rejection of Jewish radical traditions, its conflation of antisemitism with criticism of Israel and its attempts to undermine Palestinian solidarity work – in particular the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
Proceedings will start with BUNDA’IM, a short film introducing the last comrades of the Bund mass movement. Exterminated in Europe and ignored in Israel, its ideas live on.
Discussions will be lead by speakers including:
Sue Blackwell – British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)
Michael Deas – Palestinian BDS National Committee coordinator in Europe
Antony Lerman – author of The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist
John Rose – author of The Myths of Zionism
David Rosenberg – Editorial Committee, Jewish Socialist magazine
Followed by entertainment from Deborah Fink (“The Diva with a Difference”), Leon Rosselson and others.
Email: Jews4big@gmail.com to book your place.
£10 waged, £5 unwaged/concessions (includes refreshments)
The J-BIG conference is part of “A Weekend of Two Conferences” – events put together by two separate organisations which have cooperated due to a clash of dates and venue. You can book both days for £25/concessions £20 via either email address.

Murdoch owns Sunday Times and its staff

Rupert Murdoch has managed to undermine both the Sunday Times's acting editor, Martin Ivens, and its cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, over the latter's cartoon of Netanyahu published on Sunday just gone.  Here's the cartoon from The Commentator website:

Critics - the usual suspects - have said the cartoon involves antisemitic imagery and they made much of the fact that it was published on Holocaust Memorial Day. See this from The Guardian:

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, an elected group representing Jewish people in the UK, said it had complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the cartoon published on Sunday.
In the cartoon, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, was depicted building a wall using what appeared to be the blood of Palestinians. It carried the strapline: "Will cementing peace continue?"
It was described by Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as "appalling" and "shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently antisemitic Arab press".
Benjamin said that cartoon was "all the more disgusting" because it was printed on Holocaust Memorial Day, when millions of Jews and others killed in the Holocaust were being remembered in services across the UK.
Scarfe has said that he regrets the timing of the publication of the cartoon.  Here's the Jewish Chronicle:

Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe says that he "very much regrets" the timing of his controversial depiction of Benjamin Netanyahu in this weekend's Sunday Times.
Mr Scarfe, in a message to the JC denying permission to reproduce the cartoon, said that he had not been aware it was Holocaust Memorial Day.

Actually, it's interesting that he didn't know it was HMD on Sunday. I wouldn't know either if it wasn't for the now ritual condemnation of whichever criticism of Israel is being howled about at the same time of year, it seems, every year.

And the Sunday Times denied any antisemitic content to the cartoon:
the Sunday Times denied that the cartoon was antisemitic. In a statement, the News International title described Scarfe's imagery as "typically robust", and added: "It is aimed squarely at Mr Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appeared yesterday because Mr Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week.
Well now Rupert Murdoch has tweeted against his acting editor and the cartoonist.
Now Murdoch wasn't always so sensitive to antisemitism.  In fact he did a tweet that was unambiguously antisemitic only a couple of months ago:
He apologised on the same day but didn't understand what he had said that was antisemitic:

So where's this going to go now that the acting editor and the cartoonist have denied any wrong-doing on their part and the owner of the paper has basically denounced both?  I'm guessing the acting editor won't last but that Gerald Scarfe will remain in post but let's see.

January 28, 2013

Birthright Israel but not for Ethiopian women

It has long been reported that the Israeli government has been using a long-term contraceptive, Depro-Provera on Ethiopian women, presumably because, like Palestinians, they are seen by the Israeli government as a "demographic threat".  Now, according to Ha'aretz the government has admitted to the practice:
A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.
I wonder if any doctors spoke out against this because it appears to be only the women themselves who spoke out:
About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community. According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”
Just another everyday tale of zionist folk.

Israeli football fans celebrated the holocaust this week

Well, yes. This weekend fans of the football club Beitar Jerusalem had a very appropriate way of celebrating the international holocaust memorial day--with a proud display of their affinity with the perpetrators: a protest against hiring Muslim players, and a big sign that reads "Beitar pure for ever."

Zionist theology?

There's a theological discussion going on at Harry's Place. It's been initiated by a post by HP's resident Christian zionist, Joseph W where he jumps through hoops to show how a Palestinian expressing sympathy with Jews over Auschwitz is actually antisemitic.  The post is fairly typical of Joseph W except he usually lists lots of past misdemeanors by his subject whilst linking back to, er, Harry's Place posts.  This time the subject doesn't appear to have past form so he lets the following words speak for themselves:
He writes:
“We are called to love our enemies. No matter what we think or feel, no matter how much anger we have in us, we are called to love our enemies. And for me, my biggest challenge has been to understand exactly who my enemy is, in order for me to love them. As a Palestinian, as a Christian, the most transformative experience for me has been going to places like Auschwitz and Birkenau and understanding who my enemy is. To understand the Holocaust, to understand the suffering, the pain, and the fear that exists within the Jewish community. The only thing that you can do after that experience is to love them more, to have real compassion for them and real understanding of where they came from and where they are now—and what is needed for us, as Christians, to follow the healer of all healers.”
“Them” are clearly the Jews.
Awad seems very proud of himself, for choosing to understand his enemy the Jews, and now trying to love them. His understanding of his trip to Auschwitz, seems to relate mainly to his own personal, spiritual journey and his overall mission.
But surely someone who as an adult considers the Jews to be his enemy, is by definition an anti-Semite.
There follows a load of HP type expertise in the comments including this crass generalisation by Zachary Esterson:
If he wants to understand his enemy he needs to understand himself, and his own experience of exile and dispossession, which Palestinian Christians said was Jews' just fate for near 2000 years.
To which Stephen Marks replied:
' exile and dispossession, which Palestinian Christians said was Jews' just fate for near 2000 years'.
Well now, wherever would they have got that idea from? Well, from the Jews actually. When God makes his covenant with the Children of Israel, they are promised the land of Canaan in return for accepting the Torah and keeping its commandments. But the small print says that if they don't keep the commandments, they will lose the land.
The Prophets warn them that they will bring God's wrath down on them if they persist in their disobedience by whoring after strange gods, grinding the faces of the poor, oppressing the widows and the fatherless, seething a calf in its mothers milk, lying with beasts of the field, breaking the sabbath, mixing different fibres and various other of the 613, but they don't listen and they suffer the consequences, to live in exile till the Messiah comes etc etc.
Now personally I find this a bit implausible but the fact is its all in the Tanach/'Old Testament' and that's where the idea comes from.
As for Justin Martyr if you're going to dig up what Christians and Jews were saying about each other in the 2nd century CE, what about the Toldot Yeshu, the bit of the Talmud with the lowdown on Jesus. Apparently his mother was a whore who conceived him by fucking a Roman centurion during her period, and he will spend all eternity being boiled alive in a tubful of shit..
All of which has buggerall to do with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Actually when you consider what's been done to them by Zionist Jews in the name of all Jews and, at least till recently, with the support of most Jews, it is greatly to the credit of the Palestinians that they don't all hate Jews. If you don't like it tell Israel to stop calling itself the 'Jewish state' and to take the Maged David off its planes and tanks the next time it bombs the shit out of Gaza.
The comment has survived for a few hours so far without deletion or counter-comment. Let's see how it goes...

Another post on HP takes the Sunday Times to task over publishing an anti-Netanyahu cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day, of all days.  Here's HP's Sarah Annes Brown:
Given that there have been no widely reported significant moves relating to the peace process, or its absence, in recent days it seems slightly odd that Gerald Scarfe chose this issue, of all others, as the focus of today’s cartoon.
More or less odd than Sarah focusing on a cartoon about Netanyahu? She doesn't say.

January 26, 2013

No 2 Veolia and the £4.7 billion victory

Bringing the Palestinian struggle to North London:

How the No to Veolia Action Group
won a £4.7 billion victory

Monday 4 February, 7:30pm
Crossroads Women’s Centre
25 Wolsey Mews, NW5 2AD

(nearest tube & train, Kentish Town, wheelchair accessible)
20121221-062324-pm (1).jpg

Following a two-year campaign by the No to Veolia Action Group(No2VAG), the multinational Veolia which profits from and supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine lost a £4.7 billion contract with the North London Waste Authority (NWLA) which represents seven north London boroughs.
The No2VAG campaign won in spite of opposition, sabotage and interference, first of all from Zionist organisations: ironically, local anger at their gross manipulation generated much publicity which contributed to pressure on Veolia and the NWLA.  After spending millions to secure the contract Veolia was forced to withdraw.
We need to know how this campaign, inspired by the Palestinian struggle, won this massive victory.  Already it has encouraged similar campaigns in South Wales and Davis, California (which won a $325 million victory). Come and hear how we can kick out Veolia from every corner of the UK and the world.
Telling us how it was done:
Yael Kahn
, Chair, No2VAG 
Irfan Akhtar
, Spokesperson, Waltham Forest Council of Mosques
Caroline Day, Spokesperson, No2VAG
Ann Dyas, Vice Chair, No2VAG
Izzat Ismail, Internet Comms, No2VAG
Rob Langlands, Engineer & Secretary, No2VAG
No to Veolia Action Group http://no2vag.wordpress.com

January 24, 2013

Israel elections: the predictions were correct

Before the elections in Israel were held there were predictions that Netanyahu would win but with an enlarged opposition to his right or with his inclusion of more right wing forces than even his own in Likud and Yisrael Beteinu.  Those predictions were largely correct if we ignore party labels and focus on policy and ideology.

Here's Azmi Bishara:
There is an ill-conceived and widespread view that the latest Israeli Knesset elections have created a new balance of powers, with the seats being divided 60-60, and that this stands in the way of a new governing coalition. Yet Yaer Lapid’s new party, which secured 19 seats, is neither leftist nor centrist but a right-wing party, albeit one which is secular, hence the confusion. Lapid is willing to join Netanyahu in a coalition with a few minor conditions, namely the limitation of the religious parties’ power and increased influence for middle class Israelis in dictating domestic and economic policies. The Palestinian cause is of no great consequence to Lapid and he is not a novelty in Israeli politics.

I'm gratified that his response is similar to my own in a comment yesterday:
I think calling him a centrist has been one of those sleights of hand we see whenever Israeli politics is discussed in the MSM. His big thing is secularism, insofar as zionism can be secular. He's still a great believer in Jewish supremacy, as you see from his "I am a Zionist" piece in YNET.
Did the Knesset move to the right or did it stay where it was?  It's literally impossible to tell given the Orwellian way in which these racist parties are labelled and described. The question is why are so many commentators to keen to portray any of these racist ethnic cleansing parties as being on the left?

January 22, 2013

Fundamentalist going on a summer holiday in Israel...

Ah let him go.  If Cliff Richard wants to go to Israel I see no role for BDS here.

Here's YNET:
Cliff Richard is on his way to Israel : The veteran British singer will perform at Tel Aviv's Nokia Arena on July 11.

Sir Cliff Richard, 72, is one of the greatest music stars to come out of Britain, selling more than 260 million copies of his many albums so far.

Richard first performed in Israel in September 1963. Then, as a teen idol, he was greeted at Ben-Gurion Airport by some 2,000 fans. He returned to the Jewish state in the late 1960s, when he filmed the musical documentary "His Land," and again in 1988 as part of Israel's 40th anniversary celebrations.
He must see Israel as a full time occupation:
Richard's arrival in Israel in the 1960s was discussed later on in a Yedioth Ahronoth article written by Emanuel Bar Kadma in 1976, which claimed that legendary producer and impresario Giora Godik chose to bring Richard to Israel over the Beatles.

"British talent agent Leslie Grade suggested that Godik choose between two concerts for next to nothing – Cliff Richard, who was at the height of his fame at the time, and a young band called the Beatles. In that year, 1963, Godik enthusiastically signed a concert contract with Cliff Richard, but rejected the Beatles."
Hmm, imagine....

January 19, 2013

Atzmon declares SWP's Martin Smith a "rape victim"

Ah bless Atzmon's little cotton booties. Yeah sure he can be provocative but...but what?  When a group of Palestinians declared him persona non grata I thought he was toast.  His only remaining friends were a ragbag of homophobes and racists at deLiberation.info and VeteransToday.com.  Now even the brazen doyens of Harry's Place, David Toube and Michael Ezra, wouldn't be seen drinking with him.  Not only has he declared the SWP's Martin Smith innocent of rape he has claimed that: 
If anything, it is Martin who is the rape victim in this saga
Wow! I tracked a hit today (well, yesterday) from Atzmon's site so I went there and saw the post which that quote comes from. He's gone into overdrive. He claims that Martin Smith is being picked on for promoting Atzmon. It's a good enough reason and I wish it was the reason but the reason appears to be far worse, objectively worse. A failure and refusal to adequately deal with rape allegations is worse than promoting antisemitism. For Atzmon, the idea that even the small world of the SWP might not revolve round him is a fate worse than anything.

So let's have the full quote so you see the context within which Atzmon declares Martin Smith the rape victim:
it didn’t take long to realise that Martin Smith was not being pursued because he is a ‘sex offender’ – he surely isn’t – no, our so-called ‘progressive’ tribals chase Smith because he is a Jazz lover and an enthusiastic fan of my music. They harass him because he gave me a platform in spite of the Jewish demand to ban me. They want to bring Martin Smith down simply because he didn’t obey his tribal masters. So If anything, it is Martin who is the rape victim in this saga – he is punished because he refused to bow down to the tribal junta.
Atzmon's evidence for this tribal conspiracy against him and Martin Smith is that the racist hypocrites at Harry's Place are so enjoying Martin Smith and the SWP's discomfiture at this whole business enveloping the SWP at present they have done several posts on it and devoted their latest banner head to it.  

I notice that Harry's Place seem to find the whole thing, especially the rape allegations, funny. Their banner heading depicts Martin Smith with a Jimmy Savile hairdo.  It must be hilarious for the alleged victims of both Jimmy Savile and Martin Smith to see their alleged predators being depicted as one composite figure of fun but then HPrs often seem to miss the huge chunk of wood in their own eyes.

Anyway, Atzmon's not best pleased with me either and he lumps me in with HP.  HP's David Toube (Lucy Lips) has done a post on Atzmon's defence of Smith today but he seems to have missed the most sexist bit.  I have done a post pointing out that Atzmon lost the SWP money on his SWP gigs:
As one would expect, our oh-so ‘progressive’ but oh-so vindictive Jews were mighty quick to celebrate their symptoms. Notorious AZZ Mark Elf today asked to see the SWP’s accounts - he really wants to know how much it cost ‘for the SWP to listen to Atzmon’. Isn’t it this just what you’d expect from this ‘Jew Sans Frontiers’?
Actually I don't care what it cost. I just want everyone to know that Atzmon lost the SWP money. 

Back when the SWP was promoting Atzmon and saying he wasn't a racist we warned that he would cost them politically.  We never imagined that it would cost them financially. But it turns out that Atzmon is unpopular with Palestinians, Jews and even members of the SWP who are being three line whipped into pretending to like him. So I don't need to see their accounts. The mere fact that Atzmon has dodged the point I was making confirms all I wanted to know. 

Atzmon lost the SWP money and that happened because of a kind of personality cult around Martin Smith and the lack of party democracy that allowed that situation to happen.

There is just one more thing that Atzmon said in his post that I want to address.

See this:
The exact same Judeocentric tribal coalition that, a year and a half ago, was formed to wreck my career (and failed) 
According to Atzmon's former friend, Mary Rizzo, Atzmon has a property portfolio. I don't know if he's a landlord or a speculator or what. Now many of us who oppose the various forms of racism he promotes are on the left. It's true we want to end the misery of landlordism and property speculation but he really shouldn't take it so personally.

It's late here now and I'm not sure which links to provide.  I'll sleep on it and put some links in tomorrow.  UPDATE - links done, some are cache some are not.