Tag Archives: Jonathan Hoffman

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’?

Jenny Tonge rants about the Holocaust and idolises Ismail Haniyeh.

Mads Gilbert and Jenny Tonge last night in Parliament.

Mads Gilbert and Jenny Tonge last night in Parliament.

Last night yet another hate-meeting took place in Parliament with the Palestine Return Centre holding an event “to commemorate the memory of Palestinian victims over the past six decades especially the last war in Gaza”. (Here is what the PRC is all about. It makes unpleasant reading for Jews).

Jenny Tonge was there ranting about how the Palestinians weren’t responsible for the Holocaust and asking “how can the Israelis treat the Palestinians the way they do after what happened in the Holocaust”.

She criticised the power of the “Israel lobby” and held up a magazine with Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh on the front cover and proceeded to idolise him.

She told us about a Palestinian fishing-boat which was boarded by the Israeli navy off Gaza. She said the Palestinian fishermen had their hands bound behind their backs and were forced to swim to the Israeli boat.

And she spoke about why she thinks she comes in for such heavy criticism and put this down to the fact that she stands up for the Palestinians and criticises Israel. The latter, she thinks, is viewed as being anti-Semitic.

When challenged by Jonathan Hoffman to give an example of when criticism of Israel has been called anti-Semitic she said she could give “many examples”, but failed to come through with even one. Here’s the action:

We also heard from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian anesthesiologist, who gave us the names of Palestinian children who had been killed or who had horrendous injuries. He spent most of last night trying to flog his book about it all called Eyes on Gaza. Available from all good retailers.

We heard from Manal Timraz. Manal lost 15 members of her family during Operation Cast Lead, 11 of which were aged between twelve and two, and has lost another four since. After asking us to stand for a minute’s silence she emotionally outlined how the only way forward is a one-state-solution.

She lives in England next to a Jewish woman who “didn’t steal my land and I didn’t steal her’s”.

Gilbert had called for an academic boycott of Israel and during the Q&A I asked him how he could propose such an obviously racist policy and whether he used any Israeli products himself.

He said that the accusation that he was “a racist” was “absolutely preposterous” (I didn’t call him “a racist”) and said that he used computers without Intel chips. He then accused me of “smiling and laughing arrogantly” while Manal was speaking. I was smiling, but only at Manal’s suggestion that Jonathan go to the West Bank with her to drink tea “like a Palestinian”.

Gilbert further rejected accusations of anti-Semitism, eventhough none were made, with:

“If you want to look for anti-Semitism don’t look among us because we are profoundly anti-racist”.

He’s even friends with a Canadian Jew!

But how can anyone seriously claim to be “profoundly anti-racist” while hero-worshipping a self-confessed Jew hater (see Hamas Charter) like Ismail Haniyeh?

Here is the Q&A footage. First you hear PRC’s Sameh Habeeb, then Manal Timraz, then Mads Gilbert (from 4 mins. 15 secs.) and, finally, Jenny Tonge again, who, sadly, wasn’t impressed with me or Jonathan:

Additional photo:

British Palestinian Manal Timraz speaking last night.

British Palestinian Manal Timraz speaking last night.

Former Jerusalem Post chief closes successful ZF conference.

Yesterday was the Zionist Federation‘s Israel Advocacy Training Conference where activists learnt skills and discussed the situation both here and in Israel.

After giving a session on blogging I went to Jonathan Hoffman and Keith Fraser’s How to make the most of limited knowledge session, where they performed a mock Press TV show with Jonathan playing an under pressure pro-Israel guest and Keith doing a hilarious impression of Ken Livingstone before transmogrifying into a ranting Islamist who accused the Zionists of, inter alia, “stealing our land”.

Jonathan answered the Islamist’s rants well but, as ever, the much harder questions came from the audience. Some blamed “the settlements” for angering the Palestinians while others were concerned that Israel used white phosphorus during Operation Cast Lead.

Jonathan answered that there were no “settlements” in 1929 when Jews were massacred in Hebron by Arabs and that the use of white phosporus is legal; it being used by Britain and America also.

I then went to see the impressive Lior Student who gave her session Powerful and Persuasive Presentations three times during the conference. She had some sound advice including never to scratch your nose or face when presenting as this is associated with lying; we have itching cells around our nose which are activated when we tell a porky.

In between sessions there was ample time to chat and shed crocodile tears about the anti-Israel lobby’s infighting over the anti-Jewish writings of Gilad Atzmon; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is trying to distance itself from Atzmon while anti-Israel activist Lauren Booth has accused the PSC on her blog of being willing accomplices of the friends of Zionism.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. The more Israel’s enemies continue to tear themselves apart the better.

Few give a better analysis of the current situation in Israel than David Horovitz, who edited the Jerusalem Post for seven years, and he closed the conference with another highly informative talk.

He highlighted how narrow Israel is; go north, he said, from Tel Aviv and turn left near the West Bank town of Tulkarem and it is a mere 15 minute drive across Israel to the coast.

He said no one had predicted the Arab Spring and no one could predict how it will end and that even some of Israel’s military hierarchy had, until recently, been urging Israel to negotiate peace with Syria’s Assad in return for handing back the Golan Heights as this would have weakened Iran.

However, in hindsight, with the Arab Spring in full flow handing back the strategically crucial Golan could have had dangerous consequences for Israel should Islamists accede to power in Syria, which illustrates the problem Israel has in knowing who it can negotiate with.

On the Palestinian front Horovitz quoted last year’s front page Time headline Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace, which he said was ridiculous considering that Israelis put their children on the front line.

He said if you exclude the one-state solutionists on the extreme left and those on the extreme right who think Israel should annex Judea and Samaria there is a middle ground of at least 60% of Israelis who desire a two-state solution.

He said that in 1999 the electorate threw out Netanyahu in favour of Ehud Barak after three years of relative calm on the terrorism front in the hope of a peace deal with Arafat, but Israelis eventually blamed Arafat for wrecking the prospects for peace.

And while he felt that Abbas is more moderate than Arafat Horovitz found it disturbing that Abbas’ Palestinian statehood speech at the UN highlighted Muslim and Christian claims to the Holy Land while denying Jewish ones.

Then Horovitz turned to Iran. He called Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, a “maverick” and he reckoned that the Stuxnet computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear programme and the assassination of crucial Iranian scientists had Barak’s fingerprints on them.

He said that taking out Iran’s nuclear sites would be much harder than the 1981 attack on Osirak in Iraq (has Iran ever thanked Israel for that?), especially as the Iraqis used to turn their radars off when they went for dinner, which is why Israel attacked in the early evening.

But he warned that should Israel need to attack Iran’s nuclear sites to beware western hypocrisy as politicians will condemn Israel, like they did in 1981, while being secretly relieved.

On hearing about Osirak President Raegan responded “boys will be boys” before being forced into an explicit condemnation of Israel.

Not wishing to end downbeat Horovitz mentioned Israel’s successful economy evidenced by its ever-strengthening Shekel as well as its recent Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the third such prize in seven years.

And, finally, he said it is accepted by most of the political establishment on both the left and right in America that President Obama will get re-elected, and while this might not seem good for Israel Obama has vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and America has not reneged on its military commitments.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign defends Holocaust denier.

Here is the transcript and much clearer audio of a remarkable exchange between myself, Jonathan Hoffman and someone calling herself Jane Green outside Rivercourt Methodist Church on Thursday 6th October after a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event. I also include the PSC’s response. (Warning: Extreme language)

Audio:

Jane Green – Holocaust Denier

Transcript:

Hoffman: You’re a Holocaust denier.
Me: You said there were no showers.
Green: Fuck off, fuck off.
Hoffman: Did you say there were no showers, did you say there were no gas chambers?
Me: How did the Jews die, how did the Jews die in the Holocaust?
Hoffman: How did the Jews die in the Holocaust, Madam?
Green: They had their foreskins chopped off.
Hoffman: And were there any gas chambers, Madam?
Green: I don’t know, I wasn’t there, darling.
Hoffman: What about the historical evidence?
Me: You said there were showers beforehand.
Green: They had showers there, too.
Me: And how did the Jews die in the Holocaust?
Green: I have no idea, I wasn’t there.
Me and Hoffman: How many Jews died in the Holocaust?
Me: How many Jews died in the Holocaust?
Green: I think a few hundred thousand did.
Me and Hoffman: But not six million?
Green: I didn’t count them, no.
Me: And do you care?
Hoffman: Was there a Holocaust?
Green: I have Jews in my family, and I’ve fucked enough Jews to tell you about circumsized.
Hoffman: Did the Holocaust exist?
Me: What’s your name, Madam?
Green: Course the Holocaust existed, I’ve seen the fucking photos. My name, Jane Green. Nice Jewish name.
Me and Hoffman: How many Jews died in the Holocaust, Jane Green?
Green: Six million and one.
Me: You said a hundred thousand before.
Green: Six million and one if it makes you happy.
Hoffman: Were there any gas chambers in the Holocaust?
Green: I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
Hoffman: But before you said there weren’t any, so say that again.
Green: I didn’t say that.
Hoffman: Say there were no gas chambers.
Green: Stop harassing me.
Hoffman: Say there were no gas chambers in the Holocaust again.
Green: I’ve no idea, I wasn’t there.
Me: Do you deny the Holocaust?
Hoffman: Do you deny the Holocaust, Madam?
Unknown woman: Course I don’t deny the Holocaust.
Green: Nobody does. No one of any intelligence denies the Holocaust.
Unknown woman: I do not deny the Holocaust.
Green: But you’re using it to fucking kill the Palestinians. You are using it.
Hoffman: Sorry, nobody is using it.
Green: You are using it to commit genocide against another people, yes you are.
Hoffman: You know that calling it a Holocaust (against the Palestinians) is anti-Semitic?
Green: I don’t call it a Holocaust, the Jews call it a Holocaust. It’s meaningless to me. The Jews call it a Holocaust. A Holocaust is a general term for a conflagration. Look in your dictionary.
Hoffman: Do you know comparing Israel’s policy to Nazi policy is anti-Semitic? Do you know that, Jane?
Green: No.
Hoffman: You don’t know that?
Green: I see them as Nazis. I see the Jews in Israel as total Nazis.
Hoffman: You know that’s an anti-Semitic remark, Jane?
Green: I don’t give a fuck.
Hoffman: Jane Green, right?
Green: Jane Green.
Hoffman: Jane Green.
Green: Nice Jewish name.

PSC response:

START
Statement Following Public Meeting In Hammersmith On 6 October 2011

We unequivocally condemn the views recorded by Richard Millett of a person on the public pavement in Hammersmith on 6 October 2011. Even though the recording suggests that the person appeared to have been harangued by the interviewers, the sentiments expressed have no place in the campaign for Palestinian rights and justice. Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has a very clear policy opposing all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Jewish prejudice. Moreover, PSC has issued a further statement opposing attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust.

It is important to remember that the recorded remarks were made outside,and not inside, a meeting organised by West London PSC which was widely advertised and open to all members of the public. The meeting itself drew upon a panel of speakers of different faiths – Jewish, Muslim and Christian – who all focused on the necessity for Jerusalem to be a city for all its residents, irrespective of faith or ethnicity.

West London Palestine Solidarity Campaign
pscwestlondon@googlemail.com
END

Eventhough PSC condemns Green’s “views” and “sentiments” it actually defends her by suggesting that she might have said what she did because she was being “harangued”. In any event she wasn’t harangued at all but took great pleasure in taunting us about the Holocaust, as you can clearly hear.

PSC also makes a weak attempt to distance itself from Green by emphasising that her remarks took place outside the meeting and that the meeting was focused on Jerusalem.

Green actually took inspiration from the meeting, at least for her accusation that Jews are using the Holocaust to kill the Palestinians. Not long before this exchange she had heard the Reverend Stephen Sizer in the meeting give “guilt for the Holocaust” in response to a question asking why more church leaders do not speak out about Israel’s allegedly inhuman treatment of the Palestinians:

Jane Green is not a one-off. Remarks similar to hers are whispered at the many anti-Israel events up and down the country. You just don’t get an opportunity to record them, so they are easily denied.

Hacked by Yachad.

New organisation Yachad describes itself as a “a pro-Israel pro-peace grassroots movement that aims to harness the energy of large numbers of British Jews through education, debate and advocacy in support of the steps needed to create peace and long-term security for Israel”.

They have just written a letter to Daniel Taub, the new Israeli Ambassador to the UK, and launched an Ipetition to gain signatures to the letter (see text of letter below).

Last night I noticed an automated email thanking me for signing this petition.

I couldn’t recall signing it and presumed I must have somehow done it by mistake. Then this morning I got an automated follow-up email from Hannah Weisfeld, a Yachad director, thanking me for signing and asking me to get my friends to sign it and also asking me for money.

Looking through the other signatures I noticed Jonathan Hoffman’s name. But he told me that he hadn’t signed it either!

I have nothing against Yachad and wish them well in their search for “long-term security for Israel”, but their letter basically amounts to a call for Israel “to end the occupation”.

It’s a nice idea in fantasy, but in reality ending “the occupation” would lead to Hamas, with the help of Syria and Iran, unleashing destruction on Tel Aviv, and Israel in general, on a scale unseen for many years.

Yachad means well but following their cause won’t achieve anything worthwhile soon.

Oh, and please will someone remove my signature from the petition. Thanks.

Text of Yachad’s letter to the new Israeli Ambassador to the UK:

Dear Mr Ambassador,

We welcome you to the UK and the British Jewish community.

The British Jewish community has a long and proud connection to Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people and we care deeply about its future. Each day without a peace agreement makes this future less secure.

We stand behind the cross section of voices inside Israel – including former chiefs of staff, major generals, leading academics and intellectuals – who have spoken in support of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps. We believe the need to create a Palestinian state is urgent, and the best way to safeguard Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and internationally recognised borders.

We urge the Israeli government to do everything in its power to make this vision more, not less likely, through taking steps to end the occupation and heeding the calls to return to the negotiating table.

We look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you throughout your term of office here and hope you will ensure our message of support is passed to the government of Israel.

Yours Sincerely,

Judge Bathurst-Norman: The Opera

Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious Operetta Trial by Jury, first performed in 1875, mocks the pompous english legal system.

It is about Edwin who goes on trial in front of a jury for breaking off his engagement to Angelina. She has sued him from breach of promise of marriage after he went off with another woman.

The court usher advises the jury to set aside any “vulgar prejudice” they may have but then tells them to “observe the features of her (Angelina’s) face, the broken hearted bride”. He then refers to Edwin as the “ruffianly defendant”.

The jury duly takes an instant dislike to Edwin while Angelina looks sweet wearing her wedding dress.

The judge falls for Angelina instantly: “Oh, never, never, never, since I joined the human race, saw I so exquisitely fair a face.”

The jury also falls in love with Angelina: “We love you fondly, and would make you ours!”

The trial proceeds and Edwin puts his case succinctly saying that “it’s not in the range of belief, to look upon him as a glutton, who, when he is tired of beef, determines to tackle the mutton.”

Nevertheless, Edwin agrees to marry both his current lover and Angelina to atone for his sins.

The judge thinks this reasonable but when advised of its illegality he offers to marry Angelina himself.

His offer is accepted and everyone is happy.

The fun of this operetta is that it is so illogical because such bias would obviously never occur in a British court. Or would it?

Well, 135 years later it did.

In a recent court case seven defendants were put on trial for causing £180,000 of damage when they attacked the EDO arms factory in Brighton during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. They believed the factory supplied Israel.

They were acquitted when Judge Bathurst-Norman similarly fell for the charm of the defendants and also compared Israel to the Nazis. Here is the full transcript.

He said: “I am going to start with the background relating to Israel and Palestine and to the evidence which points to the war crimes being committed by Israel in Gaza, an area over which Israel has imposed a blockade. Now you have to look at the evidence coldly and dispassionately. It may be as you went through what I can only describe as horrific scenes, scenes of devastation to civilian population, scenes which one would rather have hoped to have disappeared with the Nazi regimes of the last war, you may have felt anger and appalled by them, but you must put that emotion aside.”

War crimes? Says who apart from the ill-informed Goldstone Panel that took evidence from residents of Gaza in open court with all the deadly repercussions that could entail if they told what Hamas didn’t like to hear.

Yes, there was dreadful loss of life during the fighting against Hamas but to compare this to the Nazis is crass.

And after this horrifically biased direction the judge then has the gall to tell the jury to “put that emotion aside”.

Bathurst-Norman would have done better to have saved the huge amounts of pubic time and expense of all the public bodies involved in this case and declared the defendants not guilty right at the beginning of the case.

For what it counts, Judge Bathurst-Norman has now been censured for his comments.

Although this will have little overall effect on the judge, and no effect on the defendants, it should stop this case being used as a precedent in future cases when other valid businesses have violence used against them.

Up until this reprimand there was the prospect of one’s political ideology being used as a successful defence in court.

Not so now.

Either you are guilty of aggravated trespass or conspiracy to commit criminal damage or you are not.

There is no room for political ideology in a court of law, unless, of course, you are in Iran.

But, hopefully, Iran we are not.

However, as a modicum of success as this might be, and full credit to Jonathan Hoffman and others who brought this case to the Lord Chancellor’s attention, there will be more legal battles to fight against those who choose to use violence in Britain to achieve political ends.

In the meantime we can all enjoy Judge Bathurst-Norman: The Opera.

The Judge (Leo Sheffield) in Trial By Jury (1926)

The Judge (Leo Sheffield) in Trial By Jury (1926)

Judge Bathurst-Norman in Trial By Jury (2010) (Daily Mail)

Judge Bathurst-Norman in Trial By Jury (2010) (Daily Mail)