Last night (shabbat) I was at Amnesty International’s London HQ for the launch of Ben White’s updated Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide. The event was chaired by David Hearst, former chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian.
After White’s talk he had a Q&A with Hearst after which members of the audience were allowed to ask White questions. Well, most of them anyway.
I had my arm raised for half hour while Hearst took questions from those sitting around me, before taking questions from the other side of the room. While my arm was still raised Hearst called an end to questions.
Feeling rather frustrated I asked whether I could put a question to White. Hearst declined my request and replied:
“I know exactly what you’re up to. And who you are. And who you write for.”
Sinister or what! Here’s the exchange:
So, what was I up to? Who am I? Who do I write for? Well, since starting this blog in 2009 I have mainly written for myself. I have occasionally written for the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish News, the Jewish Chronicle and CifWatch, but I never realised writing could get me boycotted.
But here’s the point; I have never had any dealings with Hearst. So, how did he know who I was?
He was obviously primed but why? I have never been disallowed from asking a question at Amnesty before, although I was once threatened at an Amnesty event by Amnesty Campaign Manager Krystian Benedict, who has since been moved to work on Syria and who was present last night.
My question to White was going to be simply this: Seeing that White relies heavily on statements by Israeli politicians to paint Israel as racist (see slides below) I wanted to know whether the same could also be said of White particularly after he once stated that (British Jewish author) Howard Jacobson’s face was “another reason to support a boycott of Habima”, the Israeli theatre company.
I’m sure White would have batted that away quite easily, wouldn’t he? He reads my blog (he mentions it), so he should feel free to leave an answer below.
White started his talk addressing the Israeli Embassy’s apparent attempt to stop last night’s event taking place and went on to dedicate the evening to “all those people, including the Palestinians, who have sacrificed so much for liberation”.
Here’s the clip:
He then proceeded to talk about Israel’s continued “Judaisation”, particularly in the Negev and Galilee, and Israel’s “brutality”, “racism” and “apartheid” (including towards Israel’s own Ethiopian and Mizrahi Jews).
White loves nothing more than portraying Israel and Israelis as child killers. Apparently, Israeli soldiers hide near schools so they can kill Palestinian children (see slides below).
White finished off by telling his love struck audience that “Israel is afraid”.
Meanwhile, if last night is anything to go by I’m sure that Middle East Eye, David Hearst’s new website, will be a beacon of democracy and one of many and varied views…..
Slides used by Ben White last night:
Richard, you didn’t answer the one question we’re all waiting with bated breath to hear answered: How full was the hall???!!!
85% full equating to maybe 130-150 people. Not sold out though. Certainly no queue snaking itself around the building outside.
I think you show great restraint attending such venom-loaded meetings, but you give us insight into the minds of such hate-filled neo-Nazis. Now IDF forces have shot three Palestinians, they can ‘grow’ that number to 30 or 300, to ‘prove’ Israelis are trigger happy. Good job they don’t use rockets. BUT, they now have 40 big ones, confiscated, en route to Gaza.
Why not use them when (not if) a barrage hits Israel?
Because Israel refuses to become another Arab shitehole. That is the beauty of “judaisation”. Long may it continue.
You are incredibly brave to go to these events, personally I am feeling more and more depressed by all these rabid antisemites posing as lovers of the underdog and haters of oppression. And they include David Hare, by the way, whose antisemitism and anti-Israel stance is more subtle, but is just as bad as Caryl Churchill. Toothlight has hit the nail on the head. To me, the only light at the end of the tunnel are Tamar and Leviathan. When Israel can turn off the gas supply to the European Union, as Russia has the power to do, then we shall be as powerful as Qatar and Russia.
You are entirely correct about Hare. In fact, I have been saying this for years, every since his venomous article in the Guardian some 10 years ago, which also displayed amazing ignorance (he was standing in the amphitheatre on Mt Scopus, and said: “This is where the State of Israel was declared in May 1948).
As for a Guardian leader writer not liking those shitty Jews: well, now, there’s a surprise.
I am even more depressed by the antisemitism of Amnesty than by that of Oxfam.
Don’t let’s forget Verso which has just published some more antisemitic nonsense by Shlomo Sand. Verso is owned by Tariq Ali whose claims to left-wing activism are that he was one of the “Salonkommunisten” of the 1960s. His parents owned half of Pakistan so he spends his money on promoting left-wing Nazism. Go to the London Book Fair in April where he will have a stand and you can see the book on display.
Re Hare: the BBC commissioned him to write two films. Both feature Jewish actresses who ought to be ashamed of themselves having anything to do with his nonsense. The first one was about some woman born in Damascus whose brother was allegedly murdered by IDF soldiers because he was in a house on the separation fence. What incredible nonsense! Why would anyone from Damascus be in the West Bank, the Israelis never committed casual murders as Hare implies (unlike the Palestinians who do so all the time), etc. In view of the horrors being perpetrated in Syria, it is lucky that Hare chose Damascus! The film, and the subsequent Turks and Caicos film, were both so boring that I switched them off.
re David Hare and “Page 8” (the first of the plays), we picked up on the house thing too. The Israelis would (a) only bulldoze a house as a punishment because it harboured terrorists – and they’ve stopped doing that anyway); (b) put the Security Wall around a house (not through it) – they might put it the “wrong” side of the house, but that’s a different scenario); and (c) if some idiot lies down in front of a bulldozer with an eight high blade, what do you know: the driver can’t see them! The driver was cleared.
Also, Israel has tried and imprisoned soldiers and Border Police for illegal acts, which is more than other states have done: witness the current furore about bullied British troops committing suicide – where are the court cases?
Yes, he always has been a low-talent, boring polemycist. His success stems entirely from toeing the party line.
What a pity Nibs is so ignorant of the history of the Middle East and is merely blinded by his own prejudices. And what, pray, is Ben’s central thesis, exactly? I suspect it is like a lot of previous historical central theses, all of them doomed to failure. I did not see any ad hominem attacks, by the way as with the rest of Nib’s theories, they are all in the mind.
Ben White wrote: “I was somewhat startled by this, since I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are. There are, in fact, a number of reasons.”
Did he elaborate last night at his pamphlet launch on these “number of reasons” he thinks there are to hate Jewish people?
OyVaGoy’s quotation from Ben White is an interesting one. The neo-antisemite, the antisemite of today, seems to think that if they don’t define themselves as antisemites no one else has the right to do so. As far as I am concerned, it is we Jews who decide who is and who isn’t an antisemite, and Mr. White definitely falls within the category (as does David Hare, he’s just more subtle about it). As for David Hearst, having him as the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent is only because, alas, Josef Goebbels is no longer available.
And Jeremy Bowen is otherwise engaged.
Was the room full?
Sorry: saw the answer.
Well done for bearing witness Richard. Amnesty is beyond the pale for hosting this hatefest.
White’s book (edition 1) was fisked here.
The apartheid smear is exposed here.
Thank you Richard. I decided to spend last night with my Ben who celebrated his 11th birthday. And I didn’t have to listen to the crap spewing out of the mouth of that anti Judaism anti Semite who denies his true affiliations. It is shocking that Amnesty allows him to spread his Goebels propaganda on their premises, but then Amnesty lost its way years ago.
I think there’s a danger in attaching to much importance to White . Last night he addressed some hundred or so fellow zealots . He remains one of the larger fish in an extremely small pond .
He s a polemicist and as such will never gain the ear of government think tanks let alone foreign policy makers . Doubtless he will continue to attract student radicals and far left BDS and other attendant sycophants but really that’s about it . Let him go round in ever decreasing circles talking the same fascist ideology . The reality is that his unhinged fanatascism and overt racism is the single biggest reason for his failure to achieve any breakthrough .
thank you for supporting Israel genesis 12
Just three words describe the refusal to hear your question, Richard: “The Fascist Left”..
I really applaud your tenacity.
But is it so really surprising that Hearst knew who you are?
A few years ago I went along to an Israel-demonising travelling exhibition of kids’ drawings from Gaza, held by the local PSC. The people in the room were all strangers to me. At one point in the proceedings, when we were all gathered round the drawings (having been told to leave our seats to get a closer look) I politely asked the affable (albeit anti-Israel) visiting speaker whether I could ask a question. He said, most amiably, that I could, but that he would prefer that I waited until after we’d all resumed our seats. Once we’d all done so, the chairman invited questions, I raised my hand. I was the only person to do so, and was called upon readily by the chairman. But the speaker’s mood was no longer affable – it was wary and sullen. Careful to appear calm and neutral, I asked what “endgame” did he envisage – did he want two states, or one? He angrily refused to answer me, telling me that my question was “impertinent” . The mood of the chairman and people sitting around me immediately grew similarly hostile. Nothing I had said or done at that meeting had indicated that I supported the Zionist Entity. Yet by the speaker’s tone and reluctance to engage with me I realised I had been identified, somehow, as pro-Israel. (Had the man who I saw talking to him just before they both sat down, when both of them appeared to be looking directly at me, tipped him off to be careful? Since it was a small town, it’s conceivable that the other man knew me by sight and had often seen me in the company of an unmistakable Jew.)
My point is that if I was sussed out, what hope did you have?
I’m sure your fame preceded you.
Keep on keeping on – you’re a star!
This is how Pluto Press promote this liturgy of falsehoods and propaganda
Well I went to this talk and it was excellent. No neo-Nazis that one could identify, though Mr Millett was particularly agitated. I notice none of the above gushing posts attempts to respond to the facts of Ben White’s slides, but all rely on the “anti-semite” slur and other ad hominem. Frankly, Ben central thesis is undeniable. Reading these extreme posts is quite an eye-opener.
What colour is the sky on your planet, Nibs?
thanks for the confirmation.
You just confirmed it: reptilian planet!
I though the Nile was in Egypt.
He’s from a reptilian planet: denial is inborn.
Here is a link to the treatment of Richard Millett and the whole Amnesty horror http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/03/23/jewish-writer-blackballed-at-amnesty-international-event-featuring-anti-israel-activist-ben-white-video/
Yup! Amnesty is competing with HRW to beat the Guiness Book’s record of lowest point of human rights’ morality.
It’s a very crowded field. War on Want is a short nose behind, and coming up fast on the rail.
Umm, Nibs, if “Ben central thesis is undeniable”, how about some proof, rather than just a vacuous claim? We could all do that. Facts seem rather thin from the anti-Zionists.
Wonder why>? You don’t think it’s because they don’t have any, do you?
Lets see now, 135,000+ have died in Syria, Arabs killing Arabs, 1,000 dead from poison gas, a WMD, summary executions in Gaza by fascist hamass and the bodies of the executed dragged behind motorcycles through the streets of Gaza, British soldier Lee Rigby is run down and beheaded IN London, London transport bombed and 52 innocents killed, rape gangs of “Asians” operating in the UK, and the Fascist Left, Fascist Socialists band on about Israel?
I say HAPPY ETERNAL NAKBA to fascist ben white, david hearst, david hare and you too Nibby.
I suggest a Boycott, Divest and Sanction of Amnesty International which has lost its way and now provides platforms for Fascists.
G-d Bless you Richard!
Edward, in your parallel world the murder of Lee Rigby went unreported ? No prosecutions ? And of course, the “fascist” MSM never discusses Syria, only poor little Israel.
Do any of you realize that you come across as obsessed nutters ?
Look at Ben White’s slides here, particularly the quotes from Israeli politicians in power: any comments on those ?
Nibby, Arabs can’t get along with each other, slaughter each other in the tens of thousands, and poor little so called “palestine” is thwarted in its plans for genocide.
Apartheid! Genocide! Nakba! Arabs are doing this? Never mind.
I recommend you take a look at the headlinie picture at this website.
Warning: It has been censored. The original is too awful – and typifies the savagery going on in your Islamist Ummah.
If Arabs and your so-called “palestinians” can’t get along with each other, do you really think they can get along with non-Muslims?:
And yes, ben white and the rest of his circle are FASCISTS.
LOL! Given the history of truncating quotes, distorting them, getting them out of context, or presenting nutters as mainstream opinion (as you do for Ben White on the other side), I would love to see those alleged quotes.
Nibs calls us obsessed nutters? And yet he drools over the very embodiment of obsessive nuttery, Ben White? Wow.
Edward, the stunning success of Muslims in getting along with non-Muslims has been demonstrated amply in wonderful countries such as Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan et al, no? Surely you won’t deny that these are veritable gardens of Eden on earth, and evidence of the superior brand of peace offered for sale in a nice big poke by the likes of Nibs, n’est pas?
Leah has forgotten those poor Chinese people waiting at a train station who were knifed to death by Muslims from Mongolia for no reason at all. Dar Al-Harb! As for Arab on Arab killings….
Not at all, Josephine: that was covered by ‘et al’.
You think I have unlimited time to list all the peaceful activities in that world of peace?
Isn’t it interesting that maybe one of those OHPs has a properly sourced quote? If White (and Nibs) are so sure of their position, how about some proper sourcing, what is, seriously and unlaughingly known as “chapter and verse”, because that is what is needed.
Without such sourcing, there can be no debate, and we are left with the suspicion that these quotes might just be made up/
Might not be, but how do we know?
“Do any of you realize that you come across as obsessed nutters ?”
In fact, supporters of Israel are certainly less nutters than ‘Palestinians’ who did not succeed at creating any state in 66 years. Indeed, Arabs managed to destroy a number of states into failed states, such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya… Not even mentioning what is lurking in Jordan, and in Turkey with Ottomans Muslims.
All clearly nutters. With idiots failing to criticize them and slurring the only stable, humane democracy in the area.
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So are you helping them, or not?
They once said it was best to Ignore the spittle spewing socialist with the Chaplin mustache.
People finishing their carreer as known antisemite is not such a great help. Bad publicity doesn’t get one money. And adoration of bigots is no big deal.
It Waters was so eager for publicity, he could support Israel and all the anti-Israel bigots would howl. And that’s a lot, as there are 100 times more Muslims than Jews.
Only 100? 1,027 Arab criminals were swapped for 1 Jew, Gilad Shalit.
14M Jews, 1.4B Muslims. Do the math!
I was hoping, Richard, what you thought about Chas Newkey-Burden’s assertion in the JC that, in effect, despite your good intentions, you are actually helping the loonies.
Helping the loonies to be known as such!
Isn’t Chas doing in his article what he is accusing others of; publicising Ward and Waters and mentioning “war crimes” etc? Also does this mean the Jewish papers, in which Chas writes, should refrain from reporting on Waters, Ward et al?
Thank you for your response, but no, I don’t think it’s what he’s doing. He has a point, tho, that these loons wouldn’t get any coverage if it weren’t for your blog. Like the IRA in its time, shouldn’t they be denied the oxygen of publicity?
So you didn’t see any publicity made by BDS and other Arab supporters of these publicity-hungry people? You missed something, I guess. The problem is that they congratulate these racists without ever showing them for what they are.
Staying silent hoping the problem will go away is wishful thinking at best. And by the way, Israel tried it already, during these 66 years. And it failed.
Totally agree with Jose. When will the Israelis wake up to the fact that they must do something and that their lack of reaction affects the whole diaspora. For instance, why don’t they ever make representations to government ministers in the countries in which antisemitic and anti-Israel acts have occurred? Despite the stupid remarks by people like Yossi Beilin, Israel has responsibility for all diaspora Jews, especially those who support Israel.
Remember the lack of reaction of Israel in the Al Dura affair and the terrible impact it had more than ten years later, in Toulouse. Remaining silent may be a Miranda right, but the fact is that it is taken as a hint for guilt.
How about denying them the oxygen of oxygen?
My blog is tiny. The Jewish Chronicle is massive in comparison and reported on the Amnesty event the week before it even happened. And in that same issue Chas’ article gave Ward and Waters massive publicity. Are you saying that the Jewish Chronicle should stop reporting on Waters, Ward, Amnesty etc.?
The thing is, the JC reports about the event – it doesn’t go to the event. What’s the point, after all? You won’t exactly change minds.
Oh, and the JC is hardly massive – its circulation is now below 21000, the worst it has ever been.
It didn’t go to this event, but it goes to others. But I thought you were talking about publicity? In addition to the circulation you also have online which is unlimited. I wish I had 21,000 😦
Chas is perhaps not privy to the sterling work that takes place out of sight of what he depicts as questionable confrontational advocacy . It’s a moot point whether BDS would have attained the critical mass it strives to achieve or remained as Finklestein so succinctly put it , ‘ a minority cult with no mainstream political support ‘ if not for those efforts .
Reading through your comments , it would appear you place yourself in the camp that would prefer to go about its business with a clear field ie no resistance . That my friend is wishful thinking .
Actually, Harvey, it is entirely possible to confuse, for example, the Board of Deputies for British Jews plenary sessions (10 or 11 times a year) with its committees and other activities. Some 20 years ago I served for two terms on that body and would agree with the assessment you give of that body: doing very little very noisily and wishing for a quiet life for British Jews and telling them not to get involved with the antisemites.
On the other hand, 1) I also served on the Education Committee for those two terms, and it did much good work, quietly behind the scenes, seeking no publicity; and 2) I have spent the last year as a volunteer at The Wiener Library preparing the Board’s archive of the Defence Committee for use by researchers (to consult it, one has to go to the Board of Deputies to get permission). This Committee – formed in 1936 – (and its local sub-committees, formed wherever there was a sizeable local Jewish community) kept an eye on the fascists, reported them to the police, held counter-demonstrations, offered speakers to any non-Jewish organisation willing to listen to anti-Nazi & anti-fascist speaker, and even successfully infiltrated Mosley’s British Union Movement. It was also prepared to provide a defence for anti-fascists arrested for activities at fascist meetings.
Hardly a passive, don’t make waves, operation. I would suggest, as are doing here, that much of that activity goes on today, some of it on the net, but note also, for example, the actions of the Sussex Friends of Israel, and not them alone.
Chas. Newkey-Burden is entitled to his views which unfortunately jibe with those of the Jewish establishment (Board of Guardians, Leadership Council, etc.) who always want to do nothing. That is how they did not react to Moseley, fortunately there were other people who thought differently. If people do nothing about these antisemites, then they will manage to slither into the mainstream, as they have already done very successfully, in fact. The Israelis continue to do nothing to protect Jews in the Diaspora from Israel hatred which of course eventually turns into Jew-hatred as we saw in France in the attack on the Jewish School, capture and torture of Ilan Halimi, etc.
Your equation of Chas with the BoD etc. is nonsense – Chas is saying defensiveness is an ineffective tactic whereas the BoD barely even try to defend. As for going on the offensive, you do raise a valid point about Mosley – there are other ways of getting one’s message across to those who need to hear it.
The British government and MPs are accountable to British Jews. The democratically elected governments are accountable to the Jews in their countries. I wouldn’t look to Israel for protection. It’s nothing to do with them.
Unfortunately, you’re wrong..Otherwise, a Jewish state wouldn’ t be needed. You missed a long part of modern History, from Dreyfus Affair to Nazism, Communism, Arab antisemitism and the consequences. Lastly, you could see what protection Jews are getting from Ukraine/Russia.
No Zionist should ignore such a long history of failures of European and Arab regimes to protect “their” Jews.
You need to be blocked for that comment . It’s always the same . Scratch the scab of antizionism and the pus of antisemitism oozes out . Richard is always loathe to red card as unlike Hearst / Amnesty / White , he upholds free speech but you need to crawl back under your stone .
In reality it is a shared responsibility however the Israeli part of that responsibility is largely unofficial, such as when it spirits people at risk out of hostile countries. Israel could not officially deploy special forces in Germany in 1972 never mind on the streets of Britain today. Covert operations are another matter though.
Israel’s protection for exiled Jews isn’t about direct intervention teams operating abroad. It is about having a country that will take as many refugees as possible if need be. That is the *purpose* of Israel since the beginning of Zionism. Saying Jews in Britain or elsewhere do not need Israel is precisely denial of Zionism. I means “why don’t Jews return to Germany, Poland…” And why not Spain, Portugal, and Muslim countries? Let’s reset the game and end with Zionism, self-determination and all.
Doesn’t look so good that way, does it?
“Israel’s protection for exiled Jews isn’t about direct intervention teams operating abroad” – Sorry, but that is and clearly has been part of the job. Unofficially, of course.
Of course Israel is also a refuge for those who go there under their own steam.
I don’t understand the rest of your point.
No, Israel only operates undercover to save Jews in hostile countries. Never heard of any life-saving operation in countries having relations, even bad ones, with Israel. But the point is that Israel does that only with the full agreement of the community threatened.
Rescueing Jews and welcoming them in Israel is the “raison d’être” of this country, as a Jewish state. So saying Jews don’t need Israel is saying that Israel has no need to be a Jewish state, or no right to exist at worse.
Any difficulty understanding that?
“Never heard of any life-saving operation in countries having relations, even bad ones, with Israel”
Good – you’re not SUPPOSED to hear about it. :oP
“So saying Jews don’t need Israel is saying that Israel has no need to be a Jewish state, or no right to exist at worse.”
Yeah OK. The whole history of Israel is is about rescuing Jews or providing refuge. Saying it’s not is like saying water isn’t wet. Anyone who took you up on it had an agenda anyway.
How do you know I’m not supposed to know about them? 🙂
Then mosty of the stories transpire after some decades. All those you could hear about were about saving Jews (Yemen, Ethiopia, Uganda, etc.). Not the best friends of Israel.
“How do you know I’m not supposed to know about them? :)”
If you were supposed to know, you’d know. ;o) (Wait a minute…. maybe you are just protecting your cover…. This undercover work is a swine at times….)
Best undercover is to pretend being a spy!
In every parliamentary democracy, of which the UK is one and Israel another, elected politicians are accountable to those who elected them. So, to quote Tony Benn on accountability (about the only thing on which he was correct)
And that goes for all British voters – of all faiths and none, of every ethnicity and social group, gender and sexual orientation.
As for Israel, I have not made aliyah, nor do I have any plans to do so. Therefore, I do not vote in their elections, their elected politicians are not accountable to me and consequently I cannot get rid of them.
That is all I meant. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Of course Israel conducts undercover operations. Do you think Mossad is headed by idiots?
Unfortunately Chas long ago ceased genuine Israel advocacy.
The ‘oxygen of publicity’ argument never worked. It’s really simple: All lies about Israel must be countered and exposed. Richard does a great job.
Blaming advocates for Israel-bashing – which Chas does – is a moral inversion of the most egregious kind. It’s shameful – and shameful of the JC to print it.
Chas would say Tonge’s lies about the ‘footballers’ should not be challenged so as not to give her the ‘oxygen of publicity’
Thank heaven Elder disagrees:
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What is? That Britain and Israel are both parliamentary democracies where the elected politicians are accountable to their voters – OK, in Israel, it’s a bit different because of elections on the basis of party lists, not from constituencies, but the principle is the same.
Or perhaps because neither I nor I am assuming you are Israeli residents or citizens who do not have the vote there, so its politicians are not accountable to either of us – and as a result we can’t take part in the democratic process and get rid of them.
I’m not sure I understand where you have a problem with this.
It’s now March 29 as I write and thus 6 days since Nibs made his assertion that Ben White was the best thing since the invention of sliced bread, but failed to tell us why, and the same amount of time since he(?) was asked to produce evidence of his claims.
And we have…a deafening silence. Guess we have to conclude that Nibs is still searching for that evidence and still failing to find anything that would satisfy anyone who isn’t already a committed anti-Zionist and a BDSer of his claim.
I wonder, could it be that there isn’t any such evidence?
Re Ben White, it reminds of the people who enthusiastically supported Moseley and who somehow crawled into the woodwork during WWII.
Hey, Nibs, this is us, over here, and we’re still waiting for your “evidence”…and waiting…and waiting…