Tag Archives: gaza

Guardian highlights film in which Palestinians play Anne Frank.

Henry Barnes, site editor of theguardian.com/film, recently wrote about Anne Frank: Then and Now “starring Palestinian girls reading from the German-born Jew’s diary” which, quoting Deadline.com, Barnes described as a “clandestine cultural breakthrough” because it was secretly shown in Iran.

According to Barnes it “was filmed during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. The film is split between an educational documentary about Frank’s time hiding from the Nazis in occupied Holland and excerpts from the diary acted by two Israelis and eight Palestinian girls, one of whom performs in front of the rubble from an Israeli airstrike.”

The main aim of Croatian director Jakov Sedlar seems to be to “help spread information about the events of the Holocaust in Iran” and Arab countries.

This is a noble aim but why use Palestinian actors in Gaza? Why not just show, for example, Son of Saul which is the most explicit portrayal of the Holocaust imaginable.

Anyone viewing Anne Frank: Then and Now without any knowledge of the Holocaust will be left with the strong impression that the Palestinians are going through the same as the Jews did under the Nazis. The title of the film strongly implies that also.

My experience is that for anti-Israel activists one of their main planks of activism is comparing the Palestinians to the Jews in Nazi Germany and invoking Anne Frank. This tactic is, sadly, ubiquitous.

One of the worst examples was at an event attended by now Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP and the then Labour shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter MP where Love Letters to Gaza were read out on stage by actors. Here is a verse from one poem and here’s my clip of it:

“It is not now the Nazi state but Israel that blocks the seas.
It is not Auschwitz that stops the ship that carries hope and messages,
But those that might have died there.”

Then there is Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children that portrays the Jewish people slowly metamorphosing from victims under the Nazis into oppressors of the Palestinians. The play was staged by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign at the Polish Centre in London.

And here is my clip of an activist in parliament saying that Palestinian children are suffering worse than Anne Frank did.

This is par for the course of anti-Israel activism and I have witnessed many more examples of which this film seems to be, sadly, another.

I would like to be proved wrong about Anne Frank: Then and Now. I have not seen it in full. We have been provided with just one clip which the Guardian imbeds into Barnes’ piece. No other British newspaper seems to be highlighting this film, although the Israeli media is writing about its having been shown secretly in Iran.

But, for me, the biggest alarm bells about the film’s veracity are in Deadline.com which Barnes links to:

deadline guardian then and now

So David Robb of Deadline.com writes that as a Gazan actor speaks her lines “two men in gas masks run behind her”.

Maybe Robb, or Barnes for that matter, could explain to us the following: how could the cast and crew carry on filming if there was a need for gas masks to be worn by others in their immediate vicinity?

(also published at UKMediaWatch)

Possible diversion of charitable funds to Hamas but Guardian writer slams Israel.

guardian halabi

(Also published at UKMediaWatch)

If something bad happens to Jews or the Jewish state there are some, inexplicably, in British media or politics who cannot pass up the opportunity to use it against the former.

Ex-Liberal Democrat MP felt that the Jews hadn’t learned from the Holocaust. When an Egyptian judoka lost to his Israeli opponent in Rio and promptly refused to shake his hand The Economist used the opportunity to attack Israel as being an “apartheid” state.

Now, after the arrest of World Vision’s Gaza director Mohammad Halabi on allegations of diverting tens of millions of dollars to Hamas Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, secretary general and CEO of CIVICAS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, uses the arrest as an opportunity to attack Israel’s new transparency law.

This new law obligates NGOs that receive more than 50% of their funding from foreign governments or organisations to report where the funding derives from. It doesn’t restrict their activities at all.

In an age of calls for more transparency this can hardly be classed as controversial especially when there are NGOs whose main objective for operating within the Jewish state is merely to destroy it.

But for Sriskandarajah it seems it is controversial. He sees the recent arrests of Halabi and Waheed al Borsh, a UN worker accused of diverting aid resources to help building a jetty for Hamas, as part “of systematic efforts by Israeli authorities to intimidate and undermine civil society”.

As you can see the link Sriskandarajah provides as evidence of such “systematic efforts” is to an article for Al Jazeera by arch anti-Zionist activist Ben White who once wrote “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”.

One would think that Sriskandarajah would welcome the investigation into and possible long-term incarceration of anyone convicted of such a heinous crime as diverting funds away from mentally ill and physically disabled patients in Gaza to help the Hamas terror organisation build tunnels into Israel from which to murder innocent Jewish Israelis.

Instead, Sriskandarajah merely sees it as “yet another example of states cracking down on civic space.”

World Vision is one of the DEC charities. DEC advertised widely in the UK for aid for Gazans after Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas. Therefore, the British public has possibly been inadvertently duped out of their hard-earned money in to supporting a terror group instead.

However, The Guardian’s headline to Sriskandarajah’s article “Human rights activists are being portrayed as terrorists and foreign puppets” and using a photo of activists claiming Halabi is “a man of humanity” (see above) suggests total innocence on Halabi’s part.

It is, however, very noble of Sriskandarajah to state that “Israeli government has the right to hold to account any individual or organisation found guilty of corruption.” Halabi and al Borsh will have a chance to state their cases and employ lawyers to defend themselves against the allegations.

We await the outcome of these important criminal investigations, and any more that might arise, with interest and so should Sriskandarajah.

A Nice destruction of the Jewish state.

Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC (credit: Gresham College)

Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC (credit: Gresham College)

On Wednesday I went to the legal heart of London to hear a talk given by Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC. The talk Gaza-Israel: The Legal Military View was at Gresham College.

It was due to start at 6pm but I arrived at 5.50pm and by then every seat was taken including those in the overflow room. Latecomers were turned away with a copy of the talk, all 22 pages, Professor Nice  was about to deliver.

On the tube home I read the Professor’s fantasyland; let’s call it Niceland.

In Niceland everyone is nice, except all Israelis (P.17):

“Widespread discrimination against the Arabs in Israel is revealed by Rabbis, Israeli politicians and pro-Zionist activists. Such unsanctioned/uncontrolled racism and religious intolerance creates an environment that can encourage sectarian violence as well as inspire ‘morale’ of IDF soldiers during military campaigns such as Protective Edge.”

Nice quotes Major General Giora Eiland who, apparently, compared the Palestinians who voted for Hamas to the Germans who voted for Hitler and then Nice continues:

“…these extreme views are widely shared by the defence establishment and by the Israeli public at large”.

But in Niceland Hamas are nice. In Niceland Hamas doesn’t really wish to put Palestinian civilians in danger or use them as human shields. It’s just that they have no choice because Gaza is so small (Page 13):

“…in Gaza, the whole area is a battle zone. In these circumstances, where this is so little tactical depth, the mixing of civilians and fighters means that it is almost impossible for Hamas not to appear to use civilians as a shield.”

Meanwhile, Google’s satellite map shows vast empty spaces in Gaza where Hamas could have taken on the IDF. That’s if Hamas were brave enough.

And in Niceland history can be whatever you want it to be (P. 3):

“Israel as a state was thus imposed on and within Palestine in 1948…an as yet unfinished state project because the territorial ambitions of Israel were not satisfied. Thereafter, claiming to fight for the security of their people and preservation of their land, Israel fought their Arab neighbours, expanding Israel’s borders.”

And in Niceland those fantastical disappearing maps of Palestine used by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are accurate (P. 5).

And in Niceland Israel never handed back the Sinai and made peace with Jordan (P.6):

“The 1967 war encouraged a revival of the “Greater Israel”, envisaged by the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, as extending “from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates””. 

In Niceland (P.7) Israeli government policy is “the accelerated Judaization of East Jerusalem“.

In Niceland (P.8) 83% of Gaza’s casualties during Operation Cast Lead were civilians. (B’Tselem puts that figure nearer to 55% while the IDF claims 60% were terrorists)

In Niceland (P.9)  “The Israeli authorities knew that the teenagers were killed soon after their abduction but they did not announce the death (sic) until eighteen days later.” So in Niceland there was no possibility last year that those three abducted Israeli teenagers may have been still alive after those shots, which were only heard down a mobile phone, were fired.

In Niceland (P.10) when Israel searched for those Israeli teenagers and “350 Palestinians were arrested…Reluctantly rising up to the challenge, Hamas responded with rockets.”

In Niceland (P.13) “there is no credible tactical, territorial military threat to Israel from Gaza”.

In Niceland (P.12) Sderot is merely a “settlement” which “shows that the Government encourages its people to live under the threat of rockets”.

In Niceland (P.12) “the population density of Gaza City is rated as the fifth highest in the world“. In Wikipedia Gaza City doesn’t even appear in the top 38.

At a war crimes trial in Niceland (P.19) Hamas could defend itself by arguing it fired inaccurate rockets because Gaza is “an imprisoned state/entity…there is other way to defend and advance its citizens’ interest”.

And, finally, in Niceland there’s no Jewish state at all (P.20):

“Should all the walls…be dismantled and the entire land of Palestine administered by outsiders until a single state of equal citizens can exist on the basis that there may yet be scope for true democracy of those peoples in a land they all claim to call home?”

Here is the talk for you to peruse in your own time.

You can complain to the provost of Gresham that such anti-Israel propaganda has no place at Gresham College. His name is Sir Richard Evans rje36@cam.ac.uk

Or you can go straight to the author himself geoffreynice@hotmail.com and enquiries@gresham.ac.uk

Alternatively you can politely protest such discourse when Professor Nice gives his next lecture which is on November 4th at Gresham College and which will be discussing the Mavi Marmara: Does The Citizen Have The Right To Protest On The High Seas?

It is at 6pm but to be sure of getting a seat you need to be in the queue by 5pm!

Forced to turn off my camera at Jenny Tonge/David Ward event in Parliament while Al Jazeera films.

Last night I went to Parliament for an event staged by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK. The event Gaza: Life in an occupied and besieged strip was obviously only concerned with the human rights of one group of Arabs.

It was chaired by the Liberal Democrat David Ward MP and the main attraction was Baroness Jenny Tonge who once said “Israel won’t be here forever”.

Tonge complained that “the Palestinians had been denied democracy because the wrong side (Hamas) won” and that Israel defies international law by denying the right of return to anyone who is not a Jew.

Her main complaint was about “the Israel lobby” which, she said, “has its claws in this country” and she claimed nothing was being done about Israel out of fear of being called anti-Semitic.

She called for a total boycott of Israel, said that Jews had led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and finished off with:

“Let us show Israel; we love you very much but not in these circumstances”.

Here is the clip:

We were then addressed by “International Law Specialist” Toby Cadman. Cadman claimed he was not a political activist but went on to accuse Israel of “collective punishment and unlawful occupation” and having a “classic system of apartheid”.

He said that there was “No situation quite like Palestine” and he also blamed the “Powerful lobby movement” for ensuring injustices weren’t addressed.

Then came the Q&A. An audience member rose and said “Disease in Gaza is like in the concentration camps under the Nazis”.

Then directly behind me someone wanted to know more about “the Israel lobby” so he could boycott them too! He wanted the panel to expand on who exactly they were.

I felt compelled to turn my camera back on at this point.

During her talk Tonge had pointed me out to everyone. She described me as a “great blogger and contributor to the Jewish Chronicle”. And Sara Apps, of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, had already been over to me twice; to ask if I was registered for the event and then to see if my camera was turned off.

So, while Tonge was describing “the Israel lobby” as being both BICOM and the various political Friends of Israel groupings Mohammed Jamil, the organiser of the event, was bearing down on me.

He ordered me to switch my camera off and, which you don’t see, tried to snatch it.

Meanwhile, the cameras of Al Jazeera, who were there covering the event, continued to roll. Here’s the clip and I’m glad to say my little camera has survived yet another battering:

The viciousness of Sir Vincent Fean, a retired British diplomat.

Last Tuesday I attended yet another anti-Israel event at the London Middle East Institute based at SOAS. The last LMEI event I attended beautified Hizbollah. And last Tuesday I had another anti-Jewish insult hurled at me, to add to the long list, for merely asking a question during a Q&A.

The guest speaker last Tuesday was retired British Diplomat Sir Vincent Fean, a man who has served as a diplomat in Paris, Brussels, Libya, Damascus, Baghdad and amongst the Palestinians.

Fean said he wanted to “speak about how peace could come about in the Holy Land” and he said that he believed in “the two state solution”.

However, after his 40 minute talk I realised that Fean did not believe in Israel’s safety or its existence at all. He wanted Israel emasculated and indefensible.

Fean demanded that the “settlements” be disbanded and called the “illegal settlement enterprise” the “single most significant threat to the two state solution”.

As proof of “illegality” he invoked the Geneva Convention claiming that Israel gives inducements for Israelis to move to the West Bank. That is hardly “transfer” but it is enough for the likes of Fean to conclude that Israel is committing a breach of international law.

Fean called for Israel to dismantle its security wall, for Israel’s forces to be withdrawn from “Palestinian soil” and for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

After all that he had the gall to say that Israel has the right to defend itself. He said Israel could rely for its security on the UN, USA, NATO, Egypt and Jordan and that Israel “will not find them wanting”. If Fean thinks the UN, let alone Egypt and Jordan, will defend Israel then he’s delusional.

Fean made only a passing reference to Palestinian “incitement to violence” so during the Q&A I  asked why he hadn’t mentioned Hamas’ firing of thousands of rockets into Israel and their Charter that calls for the murder of Jews everywhere which included those four Jewish men recently murdered at a kosher shop in Paris.

That was met by an audible collective moan from the LMEI audience after which a white British middle-aged man turned around and asked me “Are you a fifth columnist or something?”

Meanwhile, Fean only answered that he “was not here to recognise Hamas”.

But Fean left the most vicious part of his rhetoric for the finale.

Fean has been very-well fed on Arab hospitality and very well remunerated by the British taxpayer. However, when he addressed the upcoming British general election he told the LMEI audience to confront their MPs about recognition of “Palestine” as a state and “tell them that your vote depends on it”.

So for Fean struggling British taxpayers who have paid his salary and now fund his pension are of no consequence. He’s more concerned about events thousands of miles away from home.

Fean has been knighted, which is an indictment of the British honours system.

Why the “Sir”? He has been a diplomat in Paris and Brussels where Jews are now regular targets for the bullets and knives of Islamist terrorists. And in Libya, Baghdad and Damascus he has left behind bloodshed on a monumental scale.

And he now thinks people should trust his views on how to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace?

“Neo-Nazi” does warm up act for anti-Israel author Max Blumenthal.

Dedicated anti-Israel polemicist Max Blumenthal came to Britain’s parliament  on Thursday and claimed that Israeli society was dominated by neo-Nazi mobs and Israeli politics by racist politicians. The irony being that, unless I was mistaken, one of the speeches just before Blumenthal’s talk was delivered by James Thring (see photos below).

According to the CST Thring is a “veteran far right activist”. According to Stand For Peace Thring is a “neo-Nazi”. And according to the Jewish Chronicle, quoting anti-fascist campaigners Searchlight, Thring “has been vocally supported by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke”.

Blumenthal then gave a 40 minute talk (see clips below) full of conspiracy theory in which he held Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu solely responsible for the tragic events of the summer.

Here is Blumenthal’s conspiracy theory:

Israel is a racist society in which non-Jewish African refugees and businesses have been attacked by right-wing mobs in scenes reminiscent of Kristallnacht and most Israelis agreed with an Israeli politician’s statement that Africans “were a cancer in Israel’s body”.

Netanyahu, under pressure from Naftali Bennet MK and Avigdor Lieberman MK, refused a third agreed Palestinian prisoner swap.

As a result Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government. Netanyahu was concerned by the international dynamics that favoured this unity government.

Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped by Hamas activists but without direct Hamas authorisation. However, those kidnappings were probably only meant to spur on the third prisoner swap.

The Israeli public was not told what Netanyahu and Israel’s intelligence agencies knew; the Israeli teenagers had been immediately killed by their kidnappers. Netanyahu knew that gunshots had been heard during the mobile phone call to the Israeli police from one of the teenagers just after their capture.

Netanyahu launched Operation Brother’s Keeper with the declared aim of rescuing them, but with the real aim of rounding up as many of Hamas as possible.

Israelis started calling for revenge via social media. One of the teenager’s mothers was cynically sent to the UN to plead for her son’s safe return.

The bodies of the teenagers were found. Hamas is held responsible, despite Hamas being located in Gaza.

Mohammed Khdeir was burned alive by a group of Israelis. This murder was encouraged by Netanyahu’s original deception that the Israeli teenagers were still alive so allowing Israelis to be whipped up in a racist frenzy.

For example, Ayalet Shaked MK declared “we should slaughter Palestinian mothers to prevent them giving birth to little snakes” and a Bnei Akiva rabbi called for “300 Palestinians to be killed and their foreskins returned as proof”.

The stage was set for war.

Splinter factions, not controlled by Hamas, started firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. On July 7th Israel strikes the Hamas leadership in Gaza. On July 8th Hamas fired its “first official rockets” into Israel.

On July 9th Operation Protective Edge begins. Israeli teenagers via social media called for “the gas chambers for Palestinians” and complained that their summer plans had been ruined.

The ground invasion resulted in scenes worse than the 1948 “Nakba”: bodies of dead Palestinian children had to be stored in ice-cream coolers, a 60-year-old epileptic patient was blown out of their wheelchair, a man was shot in the leg and then left tied to a tree, a man was asked to take five steps forward before being shot in the back.

Israeli critics of Operation Protective Edge were attacked by right-wing mobs with neo-Nazi emblems on their T-shirts and dozens of these critics were forced out of their jobs.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz pays for a 24/7 bodyguard for their war critic columnist Gideon Levy.

Despite Blumenthal’s many distortions of the truth, and there are too many to go into, the main question that totally undermines his conspiracy theory is: How did Netanyahu know the three Israeli teenagers were already dead just because gunshots were heard during the phone call from one of them?

Meanwhile, here is my photo of James Thring at an anti-Israel rally during the summer:

And here he is the other night doing a warm up act at Blumenthal’s talk:

Below is Blumenthal’s talk in full (the volume increases soon after the beginning):

Guardian writer George Monbiot: “Time for an air war against Israel.”

Cross-posted at CiFWatch.

In a deeply ironic article The Guardian’s George Monbiot asks why, in light of NATO’s current air war against Islamic State, the west doesn’t “bomb the Muslim world – all of it” and possibly “flatten the entire Middle East and West Asia” his thesis being that with there being so many human rights abusers in the region why concentrate solely on Islamic State/ISIS.

No article like this for The Guardian would be complete unless it contained a totally unjustified attack on Israel. Soon into his piece Monbiot writes:

“In Gaza this year, 2,100 Palestinians were massacred: including people taking shelter in schools and hospitals. Surely these atrocities demand an air war against Israel?”

Monbiot adopts the usual hard-left line of Israel having committed a “massacre” in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. He is doing the work of Hamas’ propaganda arm for them. Civilians were the main victims of Operation Protective Edge, as they are in any war. Civilians are already being killed by NATO in Syria.

But a significant proportion of those 2,100 dead in Gaza are likely to have been the Hamas fighters who had fired rockets at Israeli citizens from nearby to those schools and hospitals, who had dug attack-tunnels under Israel and who came out of those tunnels with the aim of killing as many Israelis as possible.

Monbiot goes on to suggest air attacks against Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Shia militias in Iraq due to the horrendous treatment of many citizens in those countries by their governments.

By citing Israel alongside such oppressive oppressive regimes Monbiot puts Israel on a par with with some of the worst human rights abusers when in fact Israel is not only the most liberal country in the region but on a par with the west when it comes to, inter alia, freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion and freedom to express one’s sexuality.

But Monbiot’s biggest crime in this article is to underplay what is happening to religious minorities at the hands of Islamic State.

Monbiot cites individual cases of human rights abuses by the corrupt dictatorships in Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but is this really on the same level as lining up hundreds of innocent civilians and shooting them in the head before pushing their lifeless bodies into a river or shooting them dead in mass pits, burying them alive or crucifying them like Islamic State terrorists have done to Christians, Yazidis, Shia Muslims and others?

No reasonable person could approve of what has been happening on a daily basis in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq. But the regimes that head these countries are not Islamic State.

Neither is the west ignorant of these countries and has been attempting “political solutions” that Monbiot calls for in the penultimate paragraph of his piece. A change of leadership was recently forced through in Iraq and short-lived democracy movements sprung up in Iran, Bahrain and Syria. Although the latter were brutally oppressed they are waiting to rise again. Courageous women continue to attempt to demonstrate for more freedoms in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Islamic State is far worse than these corrupt dictatorships. Roger Boyes in the London Times (behind paywall) sums up the war against Islamic State:

“The mission would be easier if we were pitted against a corrupt dictatorship since no amount of brainwashing can stop conscript soldiers making the calculation: is it worth dying to defend this man’s palaces? Splitting Isis is infinitely more complex.”

There are no calculations for Islamic State’s brainwashed terrorists to make. Defending, propagating and dying for their extreme interpretation of Islam is their only objective. All obstacles are liquidated.

Monbiot fails to fully grasp this.

His piece does justice neither to Israel, expected from him, nor to those suffering under the brutality of Islamic State, unexpected from him.