Tag Archives: Israel

Avi Shlaim goes to St James’s Church to slam Israel’s creation and anti-Semitism “allegations”.

Rt Rev Michael Langrish appealing for money for Palestinians in northern Israel's

Rt Rev Michael Langrish appealing for money for Palestinians in northern Israel’s “refugee camps”.

Historian Avi Shlaim was invited to speak on Balfour and Palestine: From Balfour to May on Tuesday night at St James’s Church in central London.

St James’s is a church hostile to Israel and no expense is spared. In 2013 St James’s dedicated its entire Christmas to demonising Israel’s security wall at a cost of £30,000.

St James’s knows how to harness extremists’ hatred for Israel and on the way out on Tuesday The Rev Lucy Winkett was beaming with pride at seeing 300 people in her church. One can only imagine the usual turnout on Sunday mornings.

Su McClellan, of Embrace the Middle East (see below), set the dire tone for the evening when she described Shlaim’s family as simply having “left Iraq for Israel for various reasons”.

Those “various reasons” might have included the Farhud massacre visited on Baghdad’s Jewish community in 1941 which was followed up with continued oppression and confiscation of property by the Iraqi government. Shlaim’s father lost everything it seems. None of this was mentioned.

Farhud and Hamas were the main words totally absent from Shlaim’s talk. He blamed the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians solely on Israel. He claimed “settlements only are continuing the conflict.”

Shlaim seems proud to be a part of the British establishment. Throughout the evening he repeated that he married the great-grand-daughter of David Lloyd George and said that although “his wife was proud of her great-grand-father she was ashamed of the role he played in Palestine”. Palestine, he said, had been “wiped off the map”.

Lloyd George was Britain’s PM at the time of the Balfour Declaration which promised a national home to the Jewish people “in Palestine”. Shlaim ascribed the Declaration to Lloyd George’s “anti-semitic view that the Jews were uniquely influential.”

Meanwhile, Shlaim repeated Christian metaphors to appeal to his audience. He condemned Winston Churchill as a “dog in a manger” for overly praising Jews during the 1936 Peel Commission and he criticised the “old historians who stick to Israel’s beginning as one of immaculate conception”.

Quite incredibly Shlaim then praised Ilan Pappe as his inspiration. Pappe has been described by Benny Morris as “one of the world’s sloppiest historians”. Pappe has also been caught on film agreeing propaganda may be more important than facts.

Shlaim then claimed the Balfour Declaration meant Palestine had been “twice promised”, having already been promised by the British to the leader of the Arab world, via an exchange of letters, in return for Arabs fighting the Muslim Ottomans during World War One.

Shlaim continued that the “intrusion of a foreign entity in the shape of the Zionist movement showed a total disregard (by the British) for the indigenous population”.

He concluded by praising the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC dedicates itself to the demonisation and eradication of Israel) and saying that only recognition of a Palestinian state as a UN member can “save Israel from itself”.

During the Q&A Shlaim defended the Labour Party against “alleged anti-semitism within the Labour Party” and praised Jeremy Corbyn (warning: this kicks off a bit):

Shlaim should watch the film Whitewashed: Anti Semitism in the Labour Party.

At the end Rt Rev Michael Langrish gave a fundraising appeal for the church’s Embrace the Middle East charity to raise money for the Palestinians (this despite the Palestinian Authority having paid out $1bn to Palestinian terrorists over the last four years).

Last year the appeal was for Gaza. This year it was for Palestinians in the “occupied West Bank” and….Israel.

According to Langrish “In Israel, many Palestinian girls living in the northern city of Acre, families who lost their homes in that 1948 war, live in a cramped neighbourhood that resembles a refugee camp in all but name…Many of them have been abused in various ways. They battle mental illness. They face pressure to drop out of school and marry young.”

Here he is:

If only St James’s Church gave such thought and money to those really struggling in Britain or, dare one suggest, Syria.

Physically attacked at SOAS after anti-Israel event with Roger Waters.

A scene from the film shown at SOAS.

A scene from the film shown at SOAS.

It’s with great sadness I have to write this piece. Having attended hundreds of anti-Israel events throughout London and beyond for 10 years I have never been hit. I have been threatened repeatedly but never thought someone would follow through. Last night that changed at SOAS, where I’m also an alumnus.

Last night Prof. Gilbert Achcar hosted a film narrated by Roger Waters. About 275 people were in the auditorium, few of whom were students let alone students from SOAS. It was a publicly advertised event so anyone can just walk in off the streets; a security nightmare itself in these times.

The film lasts 80 minutes and contains multiple scenes of dead and mutilated Palestinian and Lebanese men, women and children. There is also footage and stills of Israeli soldiers who are shown to be committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Interspersed with these scenes were interviews with the usual anti-Israel protagonists: Finkelstein, Chomsky, Blumenthal, Greenwald, Walt to name but a few.

Their message was that “the Israel lobby” spends millions of dollars in America to reverse the narrative that “Israel is the aggressor” into one of “Israel is under attack”. The film claims that the American public is being duped into supporting Israel.

Waters also states that the Hamas Charter was “written by a few ideologues” but had been disowned by Hamas long ago and that UNSCR 242 simply called for Israeli soldiers to withdraw from the West Bank. And let’s not even go into Water’s potted history of the build up to 1948.

After the film Waters was skyped in live and I had my hand up throughout but Achcar managed to circumvent my outstretched arm. I wanted to ask Waters how a Star of David emblazoned on a pig at one of his concerts could be considered anything other than anti-Jewish.

Then there was a Q&A to a panel consisting of John Pilger, Dina Matar and Sut Jhally. At one stage they raised the propaganda of Goebbels and the Nazis, presumably by comparison to Israel’s “Hasbarah”.

Jonathan Hoffman asked a question and he also interjected when SOAS lecturer Matar claimed outrageously that “anyone who is pro-Palestinian is instantly labelled anti-Semitic”.

When the event finished I met up with Jonathan inside the auditorium and he was being quickly surrounded by those wanting to speak to him. I jokingly castigated him for asking an “unbiased question”.

A male next to Jonathan then turned to me and asked if I was with him (Jonathan) and I said “yes” presuming he wanted to chat about the film. But he was immediately face-to-face with me and I noticed he was totally drunk. He was a white male, much taller than me and much younger, probably in his mid to late twenties.

I tried to get away but had nowhere to go as the room was very crowded. There was no security around whatsoever. He was facing me very close telling me I was going to be “fucking mugged off”. I asked him to calm down and back off or I’d call the police and that I just wanted a relaxing evening to which he responded (here’s the audio):

“I’ll give you a relaxing exit. Would you like a relaxing exit? I’ll tell you what, you’ll get a fucking pasting. You’ll get a fucking pasting.”

I dialled 999 but he had walked away so I stopped. However, he then immediately returned, tried to slam my phone out of my hand and also punched me on the side of my head.

I had never seen the attacker before at any event. All he knew about me was that I was connected to Jonathan who had, during the Q&A, tried to put forward Israel’s narrative. This attacker, who had just watched a film with multiple scenes of dead and mutilated men, women and children wanted to find someone to take it out on.

Maybe he was just a fan of Waters. All I know is these meetings are now not safe to attend.

Hezbollah humiliated on streets of London as their Al Quds Day protest is blocked by pro-Israel activists.

Hezbollah terror flag at front of Al Quds Day parade.

Hezbollah terror flag at front of Al Quds Day parade.

We came we saw we conquered! While the Hezbollah Al Quds Day terror parade was allowed to take place on Sunday 18th June in the heart of London’s West End a group of 20 to 30 pro-Israel activists stepped out into the road to block the march no sooner than after it had just started.

The 300 or so Hezbollah supporters looked frustrated and bemused after expecting their usual easy ride shouting their slogans calling for Israel’s destruction.

Anti-semites will continue to block us from their anti-Israel meetings and have us thrown out of their anti-Israel events by making up accusations that we “disrupt” but they can’t stop us taking it to them on the streets of London.

As soon as the Iranian-regime inspired terror parade had set off down Portland Place from the BBC we stepped out in front of the Hezbollah supporters and for the next hour all they could do was watch as we chanted at them “TERRORISTS, OFF OUR STREETS!” while we walked slowly and danced to Israeli tunes down Portland Place and Oxford Street to the old American Embassy where Hezbollah held their terror rally accusing “Zionists”, inter alia, of causing the tragic Grenfell fire.

How in 2017 is a terror organisation like Hezbollah with a rifle emblazoned on its flag allowed to parade through London?

Is the British Jewish community so ill-considered, so small that we are so easily sacrificed? Would the authorities allow Al Qaiada or ISIS parades?

There is no political wing of Hezbollah. It is impossible. The movement has targeted and murdered so many Jews throughout the years that it is incredible that in 2017 our mayor and government allows a terror group with blood on its hands to parade through London.

Lets hope this is the last year this parade of hate is allowed. If not then we need everyone out next year to oppose this terror movement.

With thanks to Israel Advocacy Group and Yochy who put their heart and soul into today and to Kay Wilson who survived a terror attack in Israel, eventhough her friend didn’t, and who spoke at today’s pro-Israel rally while bravely having to confront, once again, the same terror mindset which targeted her and her friend in Israel.

Photos and footage:

This is just after we step out in front of them:

You’re blocked.

Al Quds Day paraders are clueless as we step out in front of them.

Al Quds Day paraders are clueless as we step out in front of them.

Al Quds Day paraders on their way as we walk slowly in front.

Al Quds Day paraders on their way as we walk slowly in front.

Al Quds Day paraders were stopped for about 15 minutes here as they turned into Oxford Street.

Al Quds Day paraders were stopped for about 15 minutes here as they turned into Oxford Street.

It becomes our march, not theirs.

It becomes our march, not theirs.

The Guardian and Hamas: The love story continues.

Peter Hain's letter in Saturday's Guardian.

Peter Hain’s letter in Saturday’s Guardian.

Love is in the air at the Guardian. With summer approaching in the UK, down at Guardian towers (soon to be moving out of London to try to cut their dreadful financial losses) they continue wooing one of the most anti-Jewish outfits since the Nazis: Hamas.

One of the most effective ways to offend Jewish people is to show sympathy to Hamas, an organisation who, by their own admission in their 1988 founding Charter, want to murder every single Jewish person on the planet; man, woman and child.

In a Guardian opinion piece in May 2017 headlined Why now is the time to talk to Hamas Tareq Baconi asked us to do just that.

And now Sarah Helm does similar in friday’s Guardian with a piece headlined If we cared about peace we would be talking to Hamas. 

Like Baconi, Helm is in rapture about the Hamas’ recently published Document of General Principles and Policies. Helm falls head over heels in love with Article 20 in which Hamas calls for “a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along 1967 lines”.

Helm assumes this shows Hamas’ “commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

It shows no such commitment. It merely commits to a Palestinian state on the so-called West Bank. Article 20 even expressly states “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” This ultimately means the total removal of the Jewish state. Helm chooses to overlook this.

Baconi did admit that “Hamas’s leaders have denied that this document replaces the movement’s founding charter”. As I have stated that 1988 Charter asks “Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”.

Helm admits no such thing but maybe “killing the Jews” isn’t such a biggie.

Helm is far more interested in Hamas’ parlous financial situation and Gaza’s lack of electricity. The latter was brought on by Hamas’ dispute with Fatah. Even vicious anti-Israel websites admit this.

The former was brought on by Hamas being more concerned spending its international aid on rockets and tunnels with which to attack Israel’s civilian population than spending it on the population it was elected to govern. And Hamas’ tunnels are built by the children of Gaza, many of whom have died while building them.

And since it was elected Hamas has fought three wars with Israel but has not built one shelter for its own people so leading to many of their deaths while their own cowardly leadership hid in safety under the Shifa hospital.

This is the vileness that Helm thinks can be rationalised with.

Helm even accuses Israel of having built an “apartheid wall” around Gaza. How, in any rational sense, can it be “apartheid” to build a wall that stops Hamas entering nearby Israeli towns like Sderot to murder innocent Jewish Israelis?

The very minimum Helm does is acknowledge that Gaza also has a border with Egypt. But for Helm it’s “Israel’s siege of the territory” that is to blame. She writes that “Two million Gazans, mostly refugees, are today locked behind walls and fences and deprived of bare essentials”.

Bare essentials? Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) details the huge amounts Israel supplies to Gaza in terms on food, fuel, healthcare etc. There is no boycott of “bare essentials”.

These sick Guardian pieces by Baconi and Helm won’t have any impact beyond riling and offending the British Jews who read them.

Meanwhile, the Guardian published a letter (see photo above) on Saturday from ex-Labour Minister Peter Hain who refers to Hamas’ recently published document as a “new olive branch”.

If a far-right Nazi group attempted to moderate its stance towards Jews most reasonable people would never take the bait. But when Hamas attempts it the likes of Baconi, Helm and Hain not only take the bait they are also so easily reeled in!

(This is also posted at UKMediaWatch)

Meet the new cuddlier Hamas…according to our media.

Also posted on UKMediaWatch
hamas

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) wants to rebrand itself as a group which doesn’t want to annihilate Jews worldwide (Hamas’ 1988 charter states: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)) to a group wanting to kill those Jews only living in Israel whom Hamas’ latest document, apparently, refers to as “the Zionist occupiers aggressors”.

Their latest document, published yesterday, doesn’t surplant their previous 1988 document so we can presume that they are both now in force; the tactic probably being the 1988 racist document being for Hamas’ local audience and the 2017 racist document for western consumption.

And to an extent the western media has fallen for the Hamas’ sweet-talking.

The Guardian headlines it:

Hamas presents new charter accepting a Palestine based on 1967 borders.

The Independent goes with:

Hamas to drop call for Israel’s destruction in new policy document. The terrorist organisation says it will agree to a Palestinian state along borders agreed in 1967.

And The Times:

Hamas softens view on Israel’s total destruction.

The Daily Mail:

Hamas announces it no longer seeks the destruction of Israel and does not hate the Jewish people as it seeks to soften its image

The Daily Telegraph:

Hamas unveils new, seemingly more pragmatic political programme.

The problem with these headlines is that nothing about Hamas has changed whatsoever, especially when considering its 1988 genocide-approving document is still in force anyway.

Predictably, Patrick Wintour, of the Guardian, gets overexcited at what he thinks is Hamas’ “biggest concession” which conists of, according to Wintour, “the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital along the lines of 4 June 1967, with the return of the refugees”.

Even more incredibly Wintour continues:

“By implication, the document accepts that there will be another state entity outside these borders, even if it does not mention Israel.”

Really, the document implies no such thing. It merely accepts a Palestinian state on those pre-Six Day War ceasefire lines. It does not accept “another state entity outside these borders”. Only the Guardian could fall for such a charade.

Basically, Hamas are accepting a Palestinian state on the pre-Six Day War ceasefire lines with the intent of then destroying the Jewish state and incorporating it into what will inevitably become an Islamist Palestinian state ruled in the same brutal way Hamas currently controls Gazans. But the sycophantic Guardian doesn’t wish to go there.

Neither does Wintour wish to notice that calling for “the return of the refugees” is another code for the destruction of the Jewish state, albeit demographic destruction as opposed to Hamas’s usual method of murdering innocent Jewish people.

The equally sycophantic Independent goes along with this theme writing that Hamas has “drop(ped) its call for Israel’s destruction”.

The Independent piece is beyond idiotic. It wants to push the Palestinian cause so much that Niamh McIntyre gratuitously introduces the old worn theme of Israel building “illegal settlements”. The Independent doesn’t use inverted commas though. For those great lawyer-turned-journalists at the Independent they are, simply, illegal.

And there’s more. Niamh McIntyre continues:

“Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, although a number of  illegal settlements have since been built in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.”

So Israel withdrew from Gaza but Israelis are now living back in Gaza? When did that happen? Of course, it hasn’t happened. This just symbolises the atrocious level of journalism when reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gregg Calstrom at the Times also seems to have fallen for Hamas’ ploy. He simply thinks Hamas “would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem.” And Carlstrom naively thinks this new document is simply meant by Hamas to improve relations with Egypt, the Gulf States and the west.

David Burke, of the Daily Mail, quite remarkably writes “In a dramatic twist, however, the group said it is willing to accept 1967 borders – before Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

Burke will be the toast of Hamas tonight!

Burke, like Calstrom, McIntyre and Wintour, is unable or unwilling to see that Hamas’ 2017 document is just another tactic in Hamas’ overall aim of destroying the Jewish state by setting up a Palestinian one as a precursor to destroying Israel.

At least the Daily Telegraph is not so taken in. It reports that Hamas “retains the goal of eventually “liberating” all of historic Palestine, which includes what is now Israel.”

Finally, a piece of journalism that isn’t willing to simply push Hamas’ desired narrative. To that, at least, we say Hallelujah!

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.