Tag Archives: ahmadinejad

My appearance on 4ThoughtTV: Are Jews Still Persecuted in Britain Today?

Tonight at 7.55pm on Channel 4 I am in 4ThoughtTV’s slot on whether Jews are still persecuted in Britain today, which is the theme of the week.

There are seven contributions in all. Here is the link to mine and the other six:

http://www.4thought.tv/themes/are-jews-still-persecuted-in-britain-today/richard-millett?autoplay=true

1. I spoke about my experiences of harassment at anti-Israel events when I have merely tried to get Israel’s point of view across.

2. Stephen Sizer is an anti-Israel/anti-Zionist Christian Minister. I once went to hear him speak at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event held in a church. He said, inter alia, that churches that side with Israel have “repudiated Jesus, have repudiated the bible and are an abomination”. On my way out of that meeting I was accosted by an audience member who let out some of the most Holocaust denying anti-Jewish vitriol I have ever heard. She told me, inter alia, that Jews died in the Holocaust from having “had their foreskins chopped off.”

In his 4Thought clip Sizer claims it’s important to be able to criticise certain Israeli policies without being accused of anti-Semitism. Let’s be clear: criticising Israel’s policies is legitimate, just like it is legitimate to criticise the policies of any country.

Sizer and his ilk are accused of anti-Semitism because they want the world’s only Jewish state to disappear. This is completely different to criticising Israel’s policies. Instead, they single out the Jewish state, the collective Jew, for destruction. So, Sizer is being highly disingenuous. If he were truthful he would have admitted he wants the Jewish state removed.

3. Another who wants the Jewish state removed is Ahron Cohen, of the extremist religious Jewish sect the Neturei Karta which believes that Jews should only go to the Holy Land once they have received a direct order from God to do so. The Neturei Karta also embraces Iran’s Holocaust denying President Ahmadinejad who repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has referred to Israel as “the Zionist cancerous tumour in the heart of the Islamic world”.

In his clip, Cohen blames Palestinian terrorism “on the very existence of the sectarian state known as Israel”.

4. Mike Marcus has also fallen for the myth that “The Zionist lobby uses the label of anti-Semitism to silence their critics”.

5. Jose Martin correctly blames the media for whipping up anti-Semitism due to its unfair reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6. Yisrael Abeles, a Holocaust survivor, also blames the media for driving much of what has, these days, become “institutionalised anti-Semitism” as opposed to street anti-Semitism.

7. The most moving clip is by schoolgirl Eden Simones-Jones who says that she still suffers from depression and anxiety due to anti-Semitic harassment. She finishes:

“If people say there is no problem with anti-Semitism, I think they should wake-up, open their eyes and really look about what’s going out there because they’re obviously sheltered in their own little dreamland where everything’s rosy, because anti-Semitism’s everywhere. You’ve just got to know what to look for.”

Sadly, she’s right. Anti-Semitism is everywhere. In Britain today anti-Zionism, an attack on Israel as the collective Jew, is the modern updated version of anti-Semitism, the attack on Jews as individuals. “Anti-Zionism” is a label that has been adopted by many of Britain’s  academics, journalists, politicians, religious leaders and charities to hide their true feelings about Jews. This is the “institutionalised anti-Semitism” referred to by Yisrael Abeles.

Welcome to Lebanon; now part of Iran.

Ahmadinejad and Sheikh Nasrallah (Head of Hizbollah)

Ahmadinejad and Sheikh Nasrallah (Head of Hizbollah)

Imagine your father was murdered and five years later the man that sent his killers pays you a visit.

You let him in because you fear the consequences if you don’t. Additionally, you see tens of thousands of this man’s supporters lining the roads and cheering his arrival.

This was the tragic fate of Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s Prime Minister, last week when President Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon.

As one former Lebanese Sunni MP put it: “This wasn’t a visit to Lebanon but a visit to Hizbollah”.

While there Ahmadinejad called Lebanon a “university of jihad” and said that both Iran and Lebanon have much in common, primarily their war with Israel.

I am sure that Iran and Lebanon have far more to their national identity than enmity torwards Israel, not that Ahmadinejad makes it appear so when he speaks.

But there is no war between Lebanon and Israel. The problem is purely Iran.

The Times reported that before Ahmadinejad’s visit a group of 250 politicians, activists, journalists, doctors and teachers in an open letter called on Ahmadinejad to stop meddling in Lebanese affairs and end the financial and military support for Hezbollah:

“Your talk of ‘changing the face of the region starting with Lebanon’ and wiping Israel off the map through the force of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon gives the impression that your visit is that of a high commander visiting his front line”.

It seems certain that the United Nations is about to hold Hizbollah and Syria responsible for the murder of Lebanon’s then Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 and issue indictments.

Both Hizbollah and Iran have previous including deadly bombings of the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish Community centre in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 respectively. Over 100 dead.

Then there were the 1983 deadly truck bombings that destroyed the American Embassy, the headquarters of the US marines and that of the french paratroopers all in Beirut. Nearly 400 dead.

It was Hizbollah that in 2006 that started the Second Lebanon war when it ambushed Israeli troops inside Israel killing seven and kidnapping two.

The remains of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were later returned in exchange for the freedom of child-killer Samir Kuntar.

Even now Hizbollah still controls the whole of southern Lebanon and has 40,000 rockets at its disposal. It has relatively easy access to Israel’s northern border.

The UN troops are no match for Hizbollah and would never fire on them anyway.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad continues to pour millions of pounds of reconstruction aid into southern Lebanon after that war, money that could be spent on the suffering Iranian economy. Building a nuclear bomb drains the economy even more.

Not that Ahmadinejad cares much for his own people judging by his treatment of many of them.

And it is still a mystery why thousands of Lebanese people would want to line the streets to cheer a deadly and proven misogynist, homophobe and anti-Semite who has helped tear his own country apart.

Car bombs are already exploding in Lebanon on the eve of the UN’s report into the murder of Hariri as the scent of civil war is in the air yet again .

And Syria has issued arrest warrants against those it accuses of complying with the UN investigation.

However much Ahmadinejad paints a picture of harmony between Iran and Lebanon, there is none. Syria and Iran are resuming their old ways and cannot leave Lebanon alone.

Controlling Lebanon is the route to war with Israel and so to distract the Iranian people from their own troubles and the world from Iran’s progression towards the bomb.

King Hussein of Jordan once had a similar problem. The PLO was fighting to take over Jordan but in 1970 he crushed the Palestinian resistance and expelled the PLO to Lebanon.

This time, backed by Iran, Hizbollah is in Lebanon to stay.

Meanwhile, another war between Iran and Israel, via Hizbollah, looms but at least four years on the world knows the true nature of Hizbollah’s main backer.

(the Elder of Ziyon has a funny story about the gun in the above photo – thanks to Silke)

Hezbollah supporters marching through London tomorrow

Hezbollah flag (gun included) - to be paraded through London tomorrow

Hezbollah flag (gun included) - to be paraded through London tomorrow

Ever noticed how many campaigns against the Jewish state commence on Jewish holy days? Examples:

Yom Kippur 1973 - Egypt attacks Israel.

Saturday (Shabbat) 8th May 2008
– Thousands of people marched through the streets of London calling for an end to the siege on Gaza, the right of return for Palestinians and an end to Israel’s occupation.

Every other Saturday 2009/2010 – The now infamous demonstrations outside the Jewish Israeli owned Ahava shop in London’s Covent Garden.

Saturday (Shabbat and Yom Kippur) 18th September 2010 – A new overland convoy, Viva Palestina 5 – a global lifeline to Gaza, is leaving for Gaza from London.

Saturday 4th September 2010 – Al Quds Day
. As the website says: “Every year Muslims and non-Muslims from different walks of life unite under the banner of Quds Day to show their solidarity with the oppressed of the world and in particular the suffering people of Palestine. Founded by the late Imam Khomeini, it is an event that symbolizes the undying spirit to eradicate injustice around the world.”

So, Al Quds Day, brought to you by the Iranian regime that wants to show “solidarity with the oppressed of the world” and “eradicate injustice around the world” while executing thousands of its own citizens every year for such “crimes” as committing adultery (women only though), being gay and, of course, disagreeing with the general policies of the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei regime.

As ever Hezbollah and Hamas flags will be paraded in London along with the now ubiquitous “We are all Hezbollah” and “We are all Hamas” banners and this just a few days after four innocent people, including a pregnant woman, were slaughtered by Hamas near Hebron.

The public statements of Sheikh Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, are well known. Jews are descended from pigs and apes being one while another is if Jews all gathered in Israel it would save the problem of going after them worldwide.

And so go after them worldwide they did.

In 1992 Hezbollah blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires killing 29 people.

And in 1994 Hezbollah blew up the Jewish community centre contained in the AMIA building in the same city killing another 85 people.

Argentina has warrants out for the arrest of the suspects who are all now fully protected in Iran, which instigated both attacks.

So while tomorrow’s Al Quds day march is taking place Londoners should hold their noses tight as the stench of hypocrisy reeks across the capital.

Meanwhile, it would be nice if anti-Israel demonstrations could sometimes take place on a Sunday so Britain’s 280,000 Jews could at least come out en masse for once to tell the protesters what they think of them.

And in case you missed it here for your delectation is a clip of last year’s Hezbollah/Hamas Al Quds Day London love-in:

Colonel Richard Kemp: “British forces have no stronger ally than Israel and the IDF”

Israeli soldiers (synchrospace.com)

Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, addressed the 110th Anniversary Dinner of the British Zionist Federation on sunday night.

He spoke of his admiration for Israel’s support for the British army and the way the Israeli army went about Operation Cast Lead in trying to limit Palestinian civilian casualties.

His speech built on his brief testimony (see footage below) to the United Nations Human Rights Council Emergency Session on 16th October 2009 when he said:

“The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

On Sunday night Colonel Kemp told his audience of how a Brigadier-General in the IDF, its leading expert on suicide bombings, advised him in detail about suicide bombings when he first arrived in Afghanistan on 2003.

This advice formed the basis of the British army’s doctrine for dealing with suicide bombings.

He drew the comparison of Israel’s fight against Hamas and Hezbollah and that of Britain’s against Jaish al-Mahdi which was “responsible for killing large numbers of American and British soldiers in Iraq”.

He pointed out that Hamas, Hezbollah, Jaish al-Mahdi and the Taliban are all motivated, trained and armed by Iran.

The difference, he said, between British forces and the Israeli army was that British forces do not go into battle knowing they will be condemned by the media and respected international bodies, like the UN, and accused of the most horrific things.

He then went on to describe how Hamas, Hezbollah, Jaish al-Mahdi and the Taliban all fight from amongst their own civilians: “They deliberately sacrifice their own people.”

“Hamas did this in Gaza and the Taliban does it still in Afghanistan to protect themselves and discredit Israel and Britain in the eyes of the media when civilian casualties occur. Also children, some mentally disabled, and women are used to carry out suicide bombings.”

“14-year-old boys are forced to push towards British troops bomb-laden carts which are then detonated remotely leaving the child dead. The Taliban also use old women in battle and booby-trap mosques, store weapons in them and fire from them.”

“There is no depth they will not stoop to in order to protect themselves and discredit our forces, whether they are fighting the Israelis in Gaza or American and British troops in Afghanistan. The same tactics are used without any regard to human life whatsoever.”

Colonel Kemp discussed Operation Cast Lead and the amount of human intelligence recruited to target Hamas specifically: “Palestinians were also recruited despite Hamas reintroducing crucifixion to deal with spies.”

He said that Israeli pilots were allowed to abort a mission if not satisfied that civilians were not at risk. He referred to the three hour unilateral ceasefire during Operation Cast Lead which no other nation would consider knowing that the enemy would use it to rearm.

“Israel delivered aid to to the civilians in Gaza knowing Hamas would confiscate much of it and nearly one million leaflets were dropped warning of where and when a raid was coming while 30,000 phone calls were made warning of coming attacks.”

He mentioned that mistakes are made by American, British and Israeli troops in the middle of a battle: “But these are not the same as war crimes. And just like with the British and American armies, any misdemeanours in the Israeli army are investigated.”

He finished off by saying that while Ahmadinejad was still in power in Iran there would be no peace in the Middle East and that “a lot of the adverse propaganda is based on anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment. Dark forces are at work which are exploiting the media”.

Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora in the Israeli government, also spoke. There was a small anti-Israel demonstration outside the event.

Time to stand up for the people of Iran

Last night was a humbling experience. I interviewed two British Iranian men who had fled the brutal theocracy that has been Iran for the past 31 years.

One’s uncle had been executed. The other’s wife was arrested for opposing the regime. He was allowed to visit her in Evin prison and saw how bruised and emaciated her body had become. He encouraged her to stay strong and do what she could to comply with the authorities.

A few weeks later he had a visit from a government official who told him she had been executed.

Ayatollah Khamenei endorsing President Ahmadinejad after the latter's "election win"

The two men both spoke without any bitterness. Instead they have decided to channel their energy into opposing President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei.

They hope one day to be able to participate in a democratic Iran where free elections are normal.

Granted Iran has more elections than we do in the UK but to stand for election for political office you have to be approved by the Guardian Council, which means you have to adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam.

The two men described how 30,000 Iranians were massacred by their own government in 1988 (the official figure was 33,480). In 1996 human rights organisations were thrown out of Iran. 90% of Iranians are opposed to the regime.

They said the only answer was for full economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran.

But surely that would just hurt the people? They responded that the people are already hurt. They are impoverished. 70% live under the poverty line. They reckoned $80 billion to $90 billion has been spent supporting Hamas and Hezbollah.

They reminded us how Iran executes minors and how both women and men are stoned to death. The executions are still continuing at quite a pace.

This is a regime that understands that when the Shah showed contrition in 1979, under pressure from President Carter, he quickly fell. The current regime won’t be cowed into making the same mistake.

Two young men were executed last month for taking part in recent protests. Nine more will follow shortly. All for the “crime” of protesting.

In an ideal world sanctions would work, the regime would fall and then Ms Maryam Rajavi, the head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, would become the President of Iran for six months. This would pave the way for free and fair elections to take place after that time. Ms Rajavi currently resides in France.

Maryam Rajavi could become provisional Iranian President pending elections.

Ordinary Iranians will no doubt suffer terribly under sanctions but they are suffering already.

However, as the Revolutionary Guard controls the economy the scene could be set for its possible fragmentation and weakening. With vastly reduced funds to pay off the Guard both President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei could soon find themselves being led to the same scaffolds they have sent so many innocents.

The Iranians would be free to determine their own lives and they would have increased resources with which to do it. Iran could try to repatriate the $80bn to $90bn that has gone into the coffers of Hamas and Hezbollah for starters.

Another positive effect would be the huge knock taken by political Islam. The end of theocratic Iran would also commence the demise of Hamas and Hezbollah and allow the Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations after a 10 year hiatus.

With no funds from Iran Hamas would lose support as the Gazans realise Hamas is a busted flush.

This all sounds idealistic but then so was the end of the dictatorial Shah in 1979.

Tomorrow from 12.30 to 3pm there is a pro-democracy demonstration at Parliament Square in London.

It is an opportunity to show solidarity and to try to help get this process rolling.