Monthly Archives: August 2012

Paralympics are Go: Israeli team receives warm welcome from home crowd.

A simple message from last night.

A simple message from last night.

Londoners have been suffering severe bouts of POD (Post Olympics Depression) this last few weeks, so it was good that the Paralympics have finally arrived and last night was the opening ceremony, which I was lucky to attend.

The theme for the evening was one of exploration, both of ourselves and the universe we inhabit, and the narrator was none other than Professor Stephen Hawking.

After a colourful opening (see below) the teams from the 164 competing nations filed round the track in the usual alphabetical order.

Typically, Iran and Iraq are alphabetically close to Israel but luckily the partying Irish are in the middle to diffuse any underlying tensions.

The Israeli team received a warm welcome when they emerged from the tunnel, as you can see here:

But nothing beats the noise and emotion when the home nation emerges as here with Paralympics Team GB:

I know we aren’t supposed to feel sorry for the athletes. But, as they filed round I couldn’t help feeling upset by the missing limbs on such young people while imagining the hardship this must entail every day of their lives. The organisers didn’t shy away from the issue and surprisingly played a version of Spasticus Autisticus by Ian Dury.

Finally, after three and a half hours we were sent on our way after a very moving rendition of I Am What I Am by Beverley Knight:

From last night also:

Reproduction of Marc Quinn's sculpture of disabled artist Alison Lapper heavily pregnant.

Reproduction of Marc Quinn’s sculpture of disabled artist Alison Lapper heavily pregnant.

The Israelis are in the house.

The Israelis are in the house.

Umbrella lifts to illuminate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Umbrella lifts to illuminate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Marching with the Union Flag before it is raised.

Marching with the Union Flag before it is raised.

A Union Flag coloured eyeball (I think).

A Union Flag coloured eyeball (I think).

Mesmerised by algebraic equations and logarithms.

Mesmerised by algebraic equations and logarithms.

Anti-Israel activist Antony Loewenstein: “Six Million Should Die.”

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian anti-Israel activist who describes himself as “a non-practising atheist Jew”. He has just co-written a book with Ahmed Moor called After Zionism, about the search for a one state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Last night Loewenstein and Moor spoke at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to promote the book.

Loewenstein told the audience of about 150 that “Zionism actually is the issue here. Although it is probably very hard to imagine in 2012 the idea of a Middle East country called Israel that’s not a Zionist state, the truth is that it was impossible equally to imagine a South African country that wasn’t wracked with apartheid.”

Both Loewenstein and Moor are big supporters of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Moor was, incidentally, born in Gaza and is now at Havard doing a Master’s in Public Policy.

Loewenstein said that getting bands and musicians not to go to Israel to perform is “a tool, not an endgame”. It was, he said, a way of telling Israel that “if you choose to behave in this way you’ll not be treated as a normal state.”

Loewenstein described the Israel Lobby in the UK as “very powerful” while Moor said he thinks that American Jews are turning away from Israel, preferring what happens in Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm to what is happening in Jerusalem. He said he thinks Israel is not an important part of their lives anymore.

It was all the usual standard anti-Israel rhetoric.

But, during the Q&A Jonathan Hoffman asked Loewenstein how many people Loewenstein thinks should die for this one-state solution, that Loewenstein wants so much, to come into existence. The idea being that Israelis are not going to vote themselves out of existence, so presumably such a state could come about only by force involving more bloodshed.

As Loewenstein wasn’t quite answering the question he was pressed further by Hoffman as to how many people Loewenstein thinks should die. First, Frank Barat, the Chairman, answered “200,000″ (here is more on Barat). Then Loewenstein answered “Six million. That’s my answer. Write that down.

What sort of individual comes out with such an answer? Mocking the Holocaust seems to be becoming de rigeuer within anti-Israel activism. Here is someone calling herself Jane Green back in October last year.

Maybe “six million” was randomly plucked out of thin air by Loewenstein. That seems doubtful. Hopefully, he will be pressed further on what made him say such a cruel thing when he returns home to Sydney, Australia.

Here’s the audio:

Antony Loewenstein audio – “Six million should die.”

Here is Jonathan Hoffman’s take on last night: How many have to die to achieve ‘One State’?

Anti-Israel QC: “Israel is not the most peaceful of nations.”

As soon as you hear that someone is a human rights lawyer you hope that the subject will not move on to Israel because, for many on the left these days, human rights do not apply to Israel.

This was apparent last night when human rights lawyer John Cooper QC (here’s his showbiz blog) appeared on Sky News to review today’s newspapers alongside Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor of The Times.

Haynes and Cooper were reviewing the story on page 4 of today’s Daily MailIsrael planning to attack Iran before U.S. election‘. Haynes was discussing the ramifications of such an attack and the possibility of scud attacks on Israel. She said she had just returned from Israel and felt that no decision had yet been taken by Israel on attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

She tried to stay objective by restating Iran’s claim that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.

Then Cooper had his say and you got a sense of what the chatter around his dinner table must be like when he and his guests discuss the Middle East. Here is the exchange:

Cooper: “You’re the expert on this obviously but I sometimes think we should take a moment to step back from demonising everytime Iran is mentioned. I’m not going to support or standby the atrocities and appalling behaviour that takes place in Iran, certainly not. But I think we often need to analyse what Israel may say is happening. And just because they are saying it is Iran doesn’t mean to say we should always take it from Israel.”

Haynes: “I think it is Iran that is developing nuclear weapons.”

Cooper: “Yes, but on the other hand Israel is not the most peaceful of nations.”

Haynes: “Well, it has got quite combative neighbours. Iran has said that it wants to wipe Israel off the planet.”

Cooper: “All I will say is we shouldn’t always accept, when it comes to international politics, that Israel is the most peaceful of nations. They can be bellicose and they can, to use a colloquialism, ‘wind people up’ as far as their neighbours are concerned.”

Haynes: “Well, they’re using every tool in their box.”

Cooper: “And they have big friends with the Americans, which some of us dont.”

Haynes: “Well, that’s the big thing; whether they can do it on their own or whether America will have to help them and a lot of people say they wouldn’t be able to actually effectively destroy the nuclear facilities on their own.”

Cooper: “The Israel-American axis is sometimes overpowering.”

So, I am not sure what is more disturbing:

1. Cooper acknowledging that Iran commits “atrocities” against its own people, yet he still seems willing to trust Iran’s word over Israel’s.

2. Cooper acknowledging that Iran is developing nuclear weapons but it doesn’t seem to bother him much because, after all, the nation of Israel does tend to “wind people up”. Is the implication that, because of such behaviour, Israelis deserve to be nuked?

3. Cooper twice referring to Israel as “not the most peaceful of nations“. What other country in the world gets referred to as a “nation” these days? For example, in the above exchange Cooper refers to America, not the American “nation”.

Does “nation” include EVERY Israeli? 18% of Israelis are Arabs. I presume he doesn’t mean to include those Arabs, so he must mean EVERY Jewish Israeli?

Seeing as being Jewish seems to be a defining trait could this definition be extended to Jews not just living in Israel? The history of the Jewish people contains, after all, many people who thought we had a knack of winding them up and our ancestors paid a heavy price for such false sentiments.

Either way, had someone said that, for example, Pakistan, the Palestinians or the French are not peaceful nations would that not be considered to have racist overtones?

Worryingly, Cooper has been named by The Times as one of the top 100 influential lawyers of 2012 in the UK.

I wish Haynes had picked Cooper up on his use of the term “nation”. The next best thing would be to be a fly on the wall at one of Cooper’s dinner parties when the subject of the Middle East comes up.

Hezbollah marches through London again on Al Quds Day.

At Al Quds Day in London today.

At Al Quds Day in London today.

Remember during the Olympics when Britain celebrated how multicultural we are and how we accept people of all cultures and races? Well, it seems, the party is already over.

Britain’s Jews are made to feel especially uncomfortable. Today, yet again, Hezbollah supporters marched through the streets of London for the Khomeini inspired Al Quds Day. Instead of congregating in Trafalgar Square like last year, they assembled outside the American Embassy.

Hezbollah has been involved in a worldwide campaign to murder as many Jews as possible. It started in Argentina in the early 1990s when both the Israeli consulate and a Jewish community centre were bombed by Hezbollah leaving hundreds of Jews and non-Jews dead and disabled. And recently in Bulgaria Hezbollah blew up a bus full of young Israeli tourists leaving many dead and crippled.

This is all fully in line with Hassan Nasrallah’s statements that Jews are descended from pigs and apes and if the world’s Jews gathered in Israel it would save Hezbollah the effort of going after them worldwide.

Last year Hezbollah activists held up signs proclaiming “Death to Israel”, “Israel Your Days Are Numbered” and “For there to be peace Israel must be destroyed”. Today the disingenuously named Islamic Human Rights Commission, a registered charity, was allowed to repeat the exercise.

And this year the march and rally were advertised on the back of some 400 London buses!

I wasn’t there for very long today. Once again I was quietly trying to film proceedings. No one recognised me until an anti-Ahava activist tipped off stewards from the Islamic Human Rights Commission who jostled me and complained to the police who, in turn, ushered me away.

After the assembled crowd was urged to chant “Zionism must go” and “From The River to the Sea Palestine Will be Free” I saw both Reverend Stephen Sizer and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn address it.

Leaflets sponsored by INMINDS.co.uk were handed out. They read, inter alia, “The world ended Nazism and Apartheid, isn’t it time to end the suffering of the Palestinians?” and “Israeli soldiers of the Givati Brigade ordered around 100 people in to the Wa’el Samouni house at gunpoint. They then bombed the house killing 29 people. They then denied emergency crews access to the house for four days, shooting at ambulance drivers if they approached the house. In case anyone mistook the intent of the Givati in this crime, they left a message on one of the remaining walls of the house, daubed in Hebrew it read ‘The Only good Arab is a Dead Arab.’”

One has to ask why does Britain rightly ban groups like Muslims Against Crusades for causing public outrage but not Hezbollah which is actively attempting to murder Jews worldwide. Are Britain’s Jews deemed so dispensable?

I think we know the answer by now.

Clips and photos:

Al Quds Day London 2012. So much for "multi-cultural Britain".

Al Quds Day London 2012. So much for “multi-cultural Britain”.

Someone's in love with Hezbollah.

Someone’s in love with Hezbollah.

The heavies.

The heavies.

Giving me the evils.

Giving me the evils.

More evils.

More evils.

Racism descends on a sunny London.

Racism descends on a sunny London.

The Green Party?

The Green Party?

Neturei Karta at their usual pre-Shabbat hate-fest.

Neturei Karta at their usual pre-Shabbat hate-fest.

"Daddy, daddy can we go to another hate-fest today?"

“Daddy, daddy can we go to another hate-fest today?”

Neturei Karta and Hezbollah; the perfect fit?

Neturei Karta and Hezbollah; the perfect fit?