Tag Archives: Holocaust

Those “disloyal Jews”.

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Matthew Gould: Britain's new Ambassador to Israel

Middle East Monitor (MEMO) is one of those nasty anti-Israel think-tanks which aims to win the ear of the political establishment.

It describes itself as “an independent media research institution founded in the United Kingdom to foster a fair and accurate coverage in the Western media of Middle Eastern issues and in particular the Palestine Question.”

Fair and accurate? Pull the other one.

They won’t even let you into one of their meetings if they disagree with your views.

Now MEMO asks: Is Britain’s new ambassador to Israel really going to be objective?

The question under discussion is: “Can a Jewish ambassador to Israel ever be truly objective when advising his home government on relations with the Jewish state? That is going to be the big question for Britain’s new ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who has just taken up residence in Tel Aviv.

This is not the first time the someone’s Jewish background has been held against them recently in the media. When respected historians Sir Martin Gilbert and Sir Lawrence Freedman were appointed to the panel of the Chilcot Enquiry to investigate the Iraq War Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, wrote in The Independent:

“Both Gilbert and Freedman are Jewish, and Gilbert at least has a record of active support for Zionism. Such facts are not usually mentioned in the mainstream British and American media, but The Jewish Chronicle and the Israeli media have no such inhibitions, and the Arabic media both in London and in the region are usually not far behind. All five members have outstanding reputations and records, but it is a pity that, if and when the inquiry is accused of a whitewash, such handy ammunition will be available. Membership should not only be balanced; it should be seen to be balanced.”

Should being Jewish really disqualify them from all aspects of political life involving Middle Eastern matters?

And yet I wish I had a pound for the amount of times that someone’s Jewish background has been utilised to make a political point when it is to Israel’s detriment.

Richard Goldstone, who in his shabbily investigated report into Operation Cast Lead found Israel guilty of war crimes, has repeatedly had his objectivity placed beyond reproach solely because he is Jewish.

Then people who call for boycotts against Israel and march through London holding Hezbollah and Hamas flags think themselves beyond reproach with regards to anti-Semitism because they have a few communist Jews and the extreme religious Jewish sect of the Neturei Karta marching alongside them.

And now MEMO highlights the new British Ambassador to Israel’s Judaism as being a possible hindrance to his objectivity and raises the age-old issue of Jewish loyalty to the country in which they are citizens.

MEMO writes:

Despite Matthew Gould’s claim to be “a career diplomat”, his previous service as the principal private secretary to Labour’s David Miliband (also a member of North London’s increasingly influential Jewish community) when he was Foreign Secretary suggests that Conservative Mr. Cameron is indeed playing the Jewish card with this appointment. But for whose benefit: Britain’s or Israel’s?

This despite Cameron recently calling Gaza a “prison camp”!

Apparently Gould lost eight close relatives in the Holocaust and the MEMO article continues:

“Without wishing in any way to diminish the significance of the Holocaust on the psyche of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora – and the need to ensure that “never again” will a powerful militarised state be able to commit genocidal acts without being called to account for its actions – it is this “visceral” link which surely calls into doubt Matthew Gould’s ability to be a critical friend of Israel.”

But politicising the deaths of six million Jews in this way does “diminish the significance of the Holocaust”!

This is all despite Matthew Gould being a model British citizen, serving Britain to the best of his abilities and paying his share of taxes to support Britain’s needs.

Now the only apparent problem is that he’s Jewish.

And because he is Jewish MEMO perniciously describes Gould as “in all but name, a person with dual citizenship rights”.

In 1883, with Jews scattered across the globe and vicious pogroms against them the norm in Eastern Europe Moshe Lilienblum wrote in “The Future of Our People” the following prescient piece about smearing Jews:

“The opponents of nationalism see us as uncompromising nationalists, with a nationalist God and a nationalist Torah; the nationalists see us as cosmopolitans, whose homeland is wherever we happen to be well off. Religious Gentiles say that we are devoid of any faith, and the freethinkers among them say that we are Orthodox and believe in all kinds of nonsense; the liberals say that we are conservative and the conservatives call us liberal. Some bureaucrats and writers see us as the root of anarchy, insurrection and revolt; and the anarchists say we are capitalists, the bearers of the biblical civilization, which is, in their view, based on slavery and parasitism. Officialdom accuses us of circumventing the laws of the land – that is, of course, the laws directed specifically against us….Musicians like Richard Wagner charge us with destroying the beauty and purity of music. Even our merits are turned into shortcomings: “Few Jews are murderers,” they say, “because the Jews are cowards.” This, however, does not prevent them from accusing us of murdering Christian children.”
(The Makings of Modern Zionism, Shlomo Avineri, 1981)

In employing someone’s religious background so gratuitously in order to try to smear that person ignorant organisations like MEMO display that, for some, Lilienblum’s thesis is still intact today, 127 years later.

(For more commentary see here and here).

Anti-Jewish jokes and selectivity at SOAS

Last night at SOAS the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network presented a talk by Uri Davis called Stop the JNF: Stop Greenwashing Apartheid. The JNF is the Jewish National Fund.

Davis is an activist author, a member of Fatah and an observer member of the PLO. He is a Muslim of Jewish origin and calls for one democratic state for two peoples on equal footing, the two peoples being the Palestinian Arab people and the Palestinian Jewish people. (Another Palestinian state, basically.)

As you can see from my five minutes of footage above I was one of at least four people in the room recording the talk with a camera when I was asked to switch mine off. Not that Uri Davis or Selma James, who was the Chair, objected or even know me but as you can see at 3 mins 41 seconds Ms James receives a note which she reads.

After I question why I should turn it off when others can continue to film Ms James takes a vote. 95% of the audience in the lecture theatre don’t know me but virtually all of them raise their arms. Ironically, you can see all the other cameras being trained on me while I’m asked to turn mine off. With the atmosphere turning hostile and security called I had to comply, although SOAS is now investigating this selectivity.

The event itself focused on undermining Israel through challenging the JNF in the courts. Davis accused the JNF of “complicity with ethnic cleansing”, for example by planting trees on old Arab villages. He suggested that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair should be similarly challenged for being JNF patrons.

Davis made the allegation that politicians are in the pay of the Zionist lobby:
“The Zionist lobby has been for decades much more powerful than we have been. Its intervention into Parliament has been much more effective because it is easier to intimidate or bribe a politician than it is to intimidate or bribe a justice.”

We then had a presentation from smashEDO made by Pete of International Solidarity Movement and Robin. smashEdo goes into factories it doesn’t like and smashes them up. EDO manufactures parts for Israel.

Pete gave us an update on court proceedings currently taking place against a group of actvists who smashed up an EDO factory in Brighton in January 2009 and he was encouraged that the judge seems to be accepting political arguments like evidence from the Goldstone Report. smashEDO view their own behaviour as non-violent seeing as, according to Pete, they are “preventing further crimes”.

This is what smashEDO does of a day out:

Next, Michael told us about a petition that has been drafted against the JNF for only Jews to sign. They wanted to make it clear through the petition that the JNF was Zionist, not Jewish and that “it wasn’t a fund, it was a fraud. It was a means of covering up decades of ethnic cleansing”.

Then, Ms James expressed satisfaction that Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello had decided to boycott Israel, although they had failed with Joan Armatrading. According to Ms James this was “unsurprising as Joan Armatrading has always been right wing. I believe she’s a ‘black Tory’. They do have them”.

We were told that the Holocaust was not an exception and Ms James stated that “as Israel falls more injustices will be revealed. For example, Sri Lanka has a better chance as Israel goes down. We are fighting Zionisms on many fronts”.

Finally, while a hat was being passed round for financial contributions Uri Davis told a joke:

“A catholic priest, a protestant priest and a rabbi decide to hold a charity day and at the end they have to decide what to do with the money. The Protestant priest thinks they should draw a circle on the floor and throw the money in the air. What lands inside the circle is ‘G-d’s money’ and therefore goes to charity and what lands outside is for us to divide up for ourselves. The Catholic priest thinks that a good idea but the money should be thrown in the air and what lands outside the circle is ‘G-d’s money’ and should go to charity and what lands inside the circle should be for us. The Jewish Rabbi disagrees. He thinks they should throw all the money in the air and what G-d wants He takes and what falls down we take.” Cue laughter and applause.

I cannot see the relevance of this joke in the context of the meeting but I do know that had a similar joke been made about, for example, blacks or Muslims there would have been valid anger, not laughter and applause.

I have to say that, having studied there, SOAS is one of the world’s great universities for both academic study and for the environment that it engenders among people of all faiths and none for open, lively and peaceful debate. SOAS only provided the room and had no say in the proceedings last night but what I heard in that room is not something that should be allowed in to any British University. Davis, James and the audience shamed themselves.

Galloway gone from Talksport.

Tonight really is different from all other nights. After four years of fulminating and proselytising against Israel on Talksport Radio every friday and saturday night, George Galloway’s radio show is no more.

Galloway says:

“After a run of more than four years the highly popular radio show – The Mother of All Talkshows – has been killed off by the TalkSport management. I believe this is a business mistake, but then I don’t run the radio station and such decisions are not mine to take….It is unlikely that the TalkSport management will change their mind and re-instate the show – but you never know.”

George Galloway listening on.

Obviously, George’s listening figures fell short of Talksport’s desires.

Reasoned listeners enjoy a debate but what they tend to get with George is just one-side of the argument.

(Yours truly was “banned” from the show for “deceiving the listeners”.)

Callers had to cough up 10 pence-per-minute to hang on the line while George seems to have earned over £100k a year while working at Talksport.

George is instead launching an internet radio station called Rebel Radio which will be “free speech radio, beyond Ofcom”.

The internet is the best place for George but there will be some television appearances and there is the general election to consider.

In 2005 when George was elected in Bethnal Green and Bow he received 15,801 votes out of the 44,007 votes cast out of, approximately, 87,000 eligible voters.

Incredibly, only some 18% of his constituents actually voted for him!

Approximately 82% of the voters he has represented over the last five years didn’t “vote George”.

Maybe this partially explains why on May 6th George will be standing in neighbouring Poplar and Limehouse instead.

Much more serious are his appearances at our universities.

At Queen Mary, University of London recently he produced this chilling rhetoric about Israel:

“I want to say to those of ill-will, should any of them be present here this evening. We will never be intimidated by you. You can send all the emails you can organise, all the synthetic fury that you like. You can complain to OFCOM, you can complain to the Charity Commission, you can even complain to the Metropolitan Police. We will never be intimidated by you. We intend to speak the truth. We will never put down the banner of truth on this issue. We will not be silenced. You cannot intimidate us. If you kill us, our sons will pick up the banner. If you kills our sons, our daughters will pick up the banner. If you kill our daughters, others will pick up the banner. This idea of the liberation of Palestine is not negotiable and it’s not stoppable. It’s an idea whose time has come and it’s going to win, be sure about that. Be sure that Palestine will be free, that the Palestinian people will return to their homes and that the gangsters running the government of what they call Israel will in the end be defeated, because the essence of their ideology is apartheid.”

He continued: “Never make the mistake of imagining that supporters of Zionism and Israel liked Jews. If you think George Bush liked Jews you never visited his golf club in Texas, where they don’t let them in, at least as members.”

I have still to understand who those of “ill-will” might be and why anyone would want to kill George or his sons or daughters.

So George is gone but not without at least some fun memories as when “Mark” called in to his show. “Mark” accused George of being an “anti-Semite” and George then demanded “Mark’s” name and address live on air so he could send him a writ for libel.

Is George really deluded enough to think someone will reveal their full name and home address on national radio?

I won’t publish the call here but you could possibly go to youtube and search for “george galloway + accusation of anti Semitism = fireworks!”

I don’t think George is anti-Semitic in the slightest but it is a fun listen!

Anyway, coming to a laptop near you soon, George Galloway at Rebel Radio.

Holocaust Denial Day down at Westminster

27th January is the day the death camp, Auschwitz, in southern Poland, was liberated. So the 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day worldwide, excepting, now, the British Parliament.

There are ways to criticise Israel but using Holocaust Memorial Day is not one of them.

Out of all the Holocaust survivors worldwide the shameless pro-Palestine campaign located one who inexplicably hates Israel, and everything it stands for, to the core. His name is Hajo Meyer.

Born in Germany in 1924 Meyer survived 10 months in Auschwitz. Now he tours internationally speaking out against Israel and Zionism, the same Israel which if it had been created soon after the Balfour Declaration 0f 1917, and not 31 years later, would have meant he would not have seen his family and friends gassed to death.

Meyer (centre), Corbyn (left)

So how can a human being like this speak out against what would have saved so many lives?

It is inconceivable, surely, that a man who has witnessed so much death and cruelty can criticise a notion that would have stopped all that suffering.

The pro-Palestinian campaign can have sympathy for the people of Gaza without equating Gaza to Auschwitz. But this equation is nothing more than implied Holocaust denial.

1400 Palestinians, some say much less, died during Operation Cast Lead. 1,500,000 died in Auschwitz. There are no gas chambers in Gaza.

But that is of no concern to pro-Palestine campaign Holocaust deniers.

Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism is on the increase. Yesterday, I had a Palestinian taxi driver who told me he doubted the figure of 6,000,000 dead Jews. He went on tell me how the Jews never integrate in the country they live in and how they all moved to the Middle East from Europe just to control the region.

It was a 30 minute tirade specifically against Jews (not Zionists or Israelis).

Totally ashamed, I had to agree with everything he said. I thought about questioning him but I realised that first, it was a lost cause, and second, he was dropping me home and might see the mezuza on my front door!

But back to Holocaust Denial Day at Parliament. Jonathan Hoffman sums up the gist of Meyer’s talk thus:

“Jewish victims in central Europe had hardly any sympathy for Israel; Zionists picked and chose the best ones to escape to Palestine; Zionists had no sympathy for holocaust victims, they referred to them as “pieces of unusable material”.

Whoever has ever picked up a book about Zionism will know that Zionism was about saving every Jew from discrimination, not seeing fellow Jews as “unusable material”.

After Meyer we had a speech from Haidar Eid via telephone from Gaza who spoke about the “genocidal campaign” of the Israelis against the people of Gaza. There was no mention of the Egyptians who are also building a wall on their side of Gaza to keep Hamas out of Egypt.

In the meantime five pro-Israel supporters had been evicted from the room by the police at the behest of Jeremy Corbyn MP, who had sponsored the event, for making a stand against the despicable speech of Meyer. Here we were in Parliament listening to a speech that paints as total evil anyone that is a supporter of Israel. They were given no platform and had to make their voices heard and anger felt.

Meyer’s biased rhetoric can only darken the view that people have of Israel and people like me, who support Israel and its right to exist. This propaganda is exactly the same type that my taxi driver was brought up on.

To end the meeting the pro-Palestine campaign tried to make itself look reasonable by inviting various other people to speak about their own causes. Armenia, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Ireland and Africa were spoken about but the speakers were allocated a mere two minutes.

The representative of Armenia spoke about the child genocide that was taking place every day in Africa; 3,000 children die each day there. This is surely more important than Gaza but then African children do not walk into cafes and blow themselves up killing innocent people like Hamas do.

27th January 2010 can now be remembered as Holocaust Denial Day in our Parliament.