Tag Archives: Britain

As Jews are murdered why is War On Want handing out fake guns to British students?

Protesting this morning outside War On Want's London HQ.

Protesting this morning outside War On Want’s London HQ.

With Jews being murdered in France, Belgium and Denmark there’s an ominous feeling that British Jews are awaiting their own round. With that in mind a group of concerned British Jews from Jewish Human Rights Watch protested this morning outside the offices of War On Want in central London (see above).

War On Want is one of Britain’s most respected charities but it is, sadly, now being run by people determined to import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict onto the streets of Britain.

Quite unbelievably, after what has happened this weekend and in Belgium and Paris, War On Want’s current campaign includes handing out fake guns to students to help mark what is sickeningly termed “Israeli Apartheid Week” which begins next week on British university campuses. See the last line from WOW’s website below:

waronwant2

Many British Jews are feeling insecure and accuse WOW of helping to spread propaganda and hate against the Jewish State which could well lead to the events of Paris, Belgium and Denmark being repeated in the UK. They are asking: Is War on Want helping to promote a War On Jews?

I questioned John Hilary (see below), WOW’s executive director, about this and other issues as he approached his offices. As you can see Hilary refused to answer my questions about WOW handing out guns to British students, a two-state solution, Israel’s future or the bombing of innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas.

Instead he had the nerve to accuse me of “using the current attacks on Jews in Europe for political purposes to support the Zionist dream”.

Admittedly, my interviews skills need brushing up but it is infuriating when someone refuses to answer very simple questions when there is so much at stake:

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The blood of Israelis and Palestinians will be on the hands of our politicians.

Cross-posted at CiFWatch.

With the British Parliament due to take up six hours of precious debating time on Monday over whether to recognise a “state of Palestine” Vincent Fean’s article in The Guardian sums of the ignorance of those who will vote for such recognition.

Fean uses Sweden, which recently recognised “Palestine”, as a precedent for Monday’s vote. But as Amotz Asa-El points out in the Jerusalem Post this move says more about Sweden than anything else. Asa-El writes of the Swedish government’s social and economic failures:

“Unable to affect the domestic scene, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven fled to a foreign affair where talk is cheap and responsibility is everyone else’s except his.”

And so with British politicians. With May’s general election starting to loom large on the horizon and UKIP continuing to take votes off all the main parties (they have just won their first ever Member of Parliament) many of our Parliamentarians would rather flee to a foreign issue which is certain to win them votes due to the vehemence of many voters where Israel is concerned.

Fean thinks the debate, and subsequent vote, is important because we, Britain, have a “bigger share of responsibility than all the 135 (countries that already recognise “Palestine”) put together.” But do we really?

Britain operated the Mandate which ended in a 1947 UN vote to partition the land, a vote which was rejected by all Arab leaders. Britain’s responsibility ended then.

Fean also obliges the Israel-haters with the usual “The illegality of settlements, the separation barrier, and the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank is incontestable.” Really? Incontestable? Who said? A court? An international court, maybe? Of course not! There has never been such a decision.

The ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on such “illegality” is just that, an Advisory Opinion. It wasn’t a proper court case.

In fact the only case I know that relates directly to the issue of “illegality” is the recent British Supreme Court case Richardson and another v DPP in which, because it could not be proved that Israeli-owned Ahava’s London shop was selling illegal products, those who occupied the shop forcing it to close down for some three hours were found guilty of aggravated trespass. Therefore, Ahava’s factory on the West Bank is, in fact, legal.

As for home demolitions once again they turn on the legalities of each individual case. Illegal Jewish homes are also demolished.

Perhaps the most risible part of Fean’s article is this:

“The United States should guarantee the safety of both peoples with US or Nato troops during the full, phased withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestine, endorsed in a unanimous security council resolution.”

Really? Fean must have not been near a radio or television for the last three years and so not seen what Assad and Islamic State have been doing to their own people while the US, UN and NATO all watched on. Never again? Don’t believe it.

If Monday’s debate ends with a vote in favour of recognising the “state of Palestine” there will be no change on the ground. Israel won’t suddenly give up its security requirements because of our Parliament. That would be suicide.

The recognition will only ratchet up the expectation of the Palestinians and lead to more bloodshed and violence on both sides. This blood will be on the hands of the likes of Fean and our politicians who vote in favour on Monday.

Our politicians should get back to representing their own constituents instead of desperately trying to buy votes by fleeing to foreign fields.

Those cringe-making New Year wishes from our political leaders.

It’s that time of year when our political leaders, in their Rosh Hashanah messages, tell Britain’s Jewish community how wonderful they all are and what a wonderful contribution they have all made to British society.

But the test of whether a political leader is being sincere, or whether just going through the motions, is whether he has been brave enough to show any sort of concern for Israel’s well-being in his message.

All British Jews are obviously concerned for Britain, and particularly our soldiers out in Afghanistan, but they are also concerned for Israel and their relatives and friends who live there under a constant threat of attack from Palestinian terrorists.

This year has been no exception with the cowardly slaughter of five members of the Fogel family as they lay in their beds, the direct hit on a school bus by a rocket from Gaza which killed a 16 year-old boy and the recent multiple attacks near Eilat that killed eight Israelis.

Then there was a Scottish Christian evangelical woman who was killed by a bomb blast in Jerusalem and the more recent deaths of an Israeli father and his baby when stone throwing by Palestinians caused the man to crash his car.

And, of course, this was Gilad Shalit’s sixth Rosh Hashanah away from his family after being kidnapped by Hamas.

Living in the UK is relatively safe. The worst it gets is a bunch of hate-filled anti-Israel activists trying to close Ahava or interrupting the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. It hardly compares to living in Sderot in southern Israel where there is a constant barrage of deadly rockets being sent over by Hamas from Gaza.

Many Palestinians have also been killed over the last year, but none has been specifically targeted because he is Palestinian, unlike the Israelis who have been targeted because they are Jewish. The Palestinians have been killed in self-defence in IDF actions that needn’t have happened if the Palestinians had been able to control their terrorist elements.

So it wouldn’t take a lot for our political leaders to acknowledge that worry and concern of British Jews for Israel and Israelis would it?

First, let’s take Nick Clegg, our deputy Prime Minister and the Liberal Democrat leader. Does he mention Israel? Yes, but only once and only in passing. He speaks of how “For the High Holy days Jews from across the world, from countries as diverse as Israel, India, Ethiopia, and, of course Britain, are united.”

There is also the cringe-making end where Clegg tries to out-Catholic the Pope, by using Hebrew to wish British Jews an easy Yom Kippur fast.

A simple “Shana Tova and well over the fast” would have sufficed (message to Liberal Democrats Friends of Israel: Keep it simple next year please).

As for Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, all I have been able to find is a report in the Jewish Chronicle in which there is no mention of Israel, but lots of talk of a “fantastic community”.

The bravest of Britain’s political leaders, by far, was the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron who, as well as speaking of British Jews’ “tremendous contribution”, spoke of his belief in Israel being “unshakeable” and how Britain “will always stand up for Israel against those who wish her harm”.

The government has come along way since Cameron’s silly “Gaza is a prison” comment in front of Turkey’s President Erdogan. It has repealed the iniquitous law on Universal Jurisdiction and it pulled out of Durban 3, the anti-Semitic festival that was held at the UN in New York last week. Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Greece didn’t pull out.

Maybe British Jews can finally relax a bit with Cameron in charge. Now he just needs to follow through on his pledge to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir.

But when it comes to wishing Jews a Shana Tova no one does it better than Barack Obama. There is no cheesy chat, no awkward wishes in Hebrew but a few simple acknowledgments that “many of our closest allies, including the state of Israel, face the uncertainties of an unpredictable age” and that the bond between America and Israel is “unshakeable”.

The War You Don’t See

Did you see The War You Don’t See on Tuesday night on ITV1?

This John Pilger film is the finest example of how the left has truly lost its way.

It was also an opportunity for journalists like Dan Rather and Rageh Omaar to admit that they failed to do a proper job of scrutinising events in the build up to the invasion of Iraq; proof that some journalists like to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Pilger hardly bothers with sources which, for a self-proclaimed “world-renowned journalist”, is pretty poor.

For example, he tells us that 90% of those killed in Iraq are civilians. No sources are given.

And he doesn’t mention the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians massacred by Sadaam.

On to Israel.

Pilger starts off by comparing the proposed Palestinian state’s 1948 borders to an extreme version of what they look like now under a “military occupation that defies international law and is backed by one of the world’s most sophisticated propaganda machines”.

No mention is made of the incessant Palestinian terrorism against Israel since Israel’s creation.

Pilger then claims that ten journalists have been killed by Israel since 1992 and many more injured. Yet again no sources are given.

He puts it to Fran Unsworth, BBC Head of Newsgathering, that the newsroom at BBC television centre is “intimidated” into not telling the truth about Israel’s “military occupation”.

Unsworth denies this but then she would wouldn’t she if she was being “intimidated”.

Greg Philo, author of More Bad News From Israel, then claims that a senior news journalist told him:

“We wait in fear of the telephone call from the Israelis.”

As ever this source is not named.

But ITV wasn’t so “in fear” that it wouldn’t show this two hour hatefest about America, Britain and Israel and BBC Radio 5 wasn’t so “in fear” that it wouldn’t allow Pilger to advertise the film on Tuesday morning and two major London cinemas aren’t so “in fear” that they refuse to currently show the film.

Pilger then moves on to the deaths on the Mavi Marmara. He didn’t like the way Mark Regev, who he describes as the “Chief Israeli propagandist”, was given prime billing in the BBC 10 O’clock News’ headlines on June 1st.

Unsworth replies that Regev is a government spokesman who is entitled to put his government’s point of view and that the BBC has a duty to report that view.

But Pilger just inanely complains that that view wouldn’t be accepted by the relatives of the nine dead on the Mavi Marmara.

Pilger then asks where is the Palestinian equivalent of Mark Regev who can speak so articulately in the headlines of the BBC News.

Unsworth agrees but explains that it isn’t her job to go out and appoint a Palestinian spokesperson equivalent to Regev, but that the BBC still allowed all views to be expressed across their range of output. Pilger disagrees that the BBC did do this.

Next Pilger criticises ITV for its coverage of the Mavi Marmara. He claims that the Israelis supplied ITV with “doctored film, even with captions, which was widely used across ITV and BBC” and that the Israeli “propaganda” of their soldiers being attacked as they landed on the boat dominated the news.

Again, Pilger offers zero evidence that the Israeli footage was “doctored”.

David Mannion, Editor-in-Chief of ITV News, disagreed that Israel’s version dominated but, incredibly, goes on to say that “the Israeli propaganda machine, as you well know, is very, very sophisticated”.

Mannion then explains that newsrooms do sometimes fall in to traps laid for them and that it is only after the event that one can look back and write a definitive history, but that the newsrooms have to report the news as it happens.

Pilger complained that the Palestinians have no time for a definitive history to be written.

Pilger then goes on to show “independent” footage of events on the Mavi Marmara, which, although consisting of images of lots of bloodied passengers, proves nothing.

But blood is what Pilger and his cohorts on the left do so well.

In The War You Don’t See you do see lots of dead children. He uses them very effectively.

All sides have dead children but America, Britain and Israel don’t use them as propaganda tools. We bury them and let them rest in peace instead of parading their tragically broken bodies.

The War You Don’t See is one man’s biased view of the world and is a rehash of old news, old footage and old lies.

But then what do you expect from someone who equates “the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity”.