Tag Archives: Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury

The inimitable Mr McColl.

Councillor Jonathan McColl

Councillor Jonathan McColl

My main reason for blogging is to expose the hypocrisy amongst so many of our elected politicians and the so-called intellectuals in this country.

The talks I attend are so vociferously anti-Israel and, initially, I was curious to find out why.

Was it all really because the speakers at these talks felt such an injustice had been done to the Palestinians, when looking back the Palestinians have wasted so many opportunities to create a thriving country?

Then I started to notice interesting slips by some of the speakers.

One such slip was when academic Ghada Karmi spoke at SOAS and called for “the end of the Jewish state in our region”, only to be reprimanded by the Naturei Karta’s Yisroel Dovid Weiss for referring to “Jewish state”, as opposed to “Zionist state”. Karmi duly apologised and went on to say that she had nothing against Jews or Judaism.

Then there was Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury who said that “Many Jews may be deeply prejudiced” at a Middle East Monitor event.

On each occasion, apart from Weiss, both audiences remained unmoved. Now imagine the uproar had a member of the BNP called for the end of the Muslim state of Pakistan or had that BNP person claimed that “Many Muslims may be deeply prejudiced”. You get the gist.

Add to these slips another one, this time by Councillor Jonathan McColl, the West Dunbartonshire councillor and main proponent of a total boycott of Israel by his council (see my original piece Not so Bonnie Scotland).

On his “Israeli Goods Boycott” blog page McColl states of the boycott:

“This is not an anti-Semitic act. I don’t care whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Agnostic or any other such label you might want to give someone.”

Fair enough.

But, he continues:

“To quote a Jewish woman from Glasgow who telephoned me on this issue, ‘We are brought up in a culture of ‘poor wee us’, automatically thinking that the world is against us and perhaps we should take stock of that before we draw conclusions about other people’s motivations.'”

So Mr McColl doesn’t like using labels for people, except to label them if they are “Jewish”.

Add to this Councillor Jim Bollan’s exculpation of a self-confessed perpetrator of the massacre of five members of the Fogel family when Bollan said in a recent email exchange:

“Have you any idea what may have motivated this man to commit this crime? Could it have been because he may have seen Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF?”

and you start to sense a heartlessness in Scottish politics, a heartlessness that was already there when the Scottish government released the Lockerbie Bomber in August 2009.

Are councillors McColl and Bollan really who the voters of West Dunbartonshire Council want to represent them? Can there really be any justification whatsoever for the slashing of baby Hadas Fogel’s throat?

The Scots are generally lovely people but some of the people they are now voting for are not.

Bollan is a member of the Scottish Socialist Party, while McColl is a member of the Scottish Nationalist Party. The Scottish Nationalists are now, sadly, the ruling government in Scotland.

Bollan and McColl are councillors for Leven ward in West Dunbartonshire Council. Maybe there’s something nasty in the Leven air.

Meanwhile, you can discuss their boycott of Israel, and other issues, with them at:

Councillor Jim Bollan – James.Bollan@west-dunbarton.gov.uk or write to 4 Endrick Way, Alexandria, G83 0UR or telephone 01389 756397 and 07803 668766 or

Councillor Jonathan McColl– jonathan.mccoll@west-dunbarton.gov.uk or write to c/o Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton or telephone 01389 737511 or 07939 002886

Alex Salmond is SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minister. Write to:
Office of the First Minister, St. Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG or FirstMinister@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Advertisements

Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury: “Many Jews may be deeply prejudiced”

Banned! The (blurred) photo of Lord Phillips they didn't want you to see.

Banned! The (blurred) photo of Lord Phillips they didn't want you to see.

“The Jews” were once again singled out by one of our lawmakers last night in the shape of Lord Andrew Phillips. Not Israel, not Israelis, not Israeli Jews, but “the Jews”.

Phillips was chairing a Middle East Monitor event at Senate House; The Palestine Papers: Under the Spotlight.

Lord Phillips has form. He has not denied that he previously said that “America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby”.

Kathleen Christison, former CIA political analyst and author of Palestine in Pieces, told us how Obama is unbelievably craven in the face of the Israel lobby.

The example she gave was last friday’s US veto of the UN resolution on the illegality of settlements when Susan Rice, America’s UN ambassador, told the UN that America thought the settlements are illegal but America couldn’t vote for the resolution because the Israeli lobby and Israel wouldn’t like it. Lord Phillips responded (listen to audio at end):

“Everything I hear from the platform speakers makes me think that the world we are now moving into has been turned upside down and that, er, the Jews aren’t lacking in intelligence, they may be deeply prejudiced, many of them, but they are going to be saying the same sort of thing as you on the panel are saying. It seems to me that it is not at all safe to rely on the past to interprete the future and that American, indeed American Jewry, quite apart from the progressive elements within Israel, who have been overshadowed in recent years, all of this could change quickly and rapidly in the face of a Middle East that suddenly becomes hostile.”

The anti-Israel rhetoric was slightly diluted due to the absence of Clare Short (broken bone) and Seumas Milne (ill). Some might call it divine intervention but Christosen more than made up for their absence.

Christosen told us that everything America does in the Middle East it does to safeguard Israel from its Arab and Muslim neighbours who don’t like Israel’s treatment of its subjects.

She said that the Palestine Papers showed that the Palestinian Authority treated the Palestinians with humiliating derision and that America represents Israel in negotiations despite claiming to be an honesy broker: “The Palestine Papers laid bare the Israel-America relationship in all its obscenity”.

She said that people can’t even mention Israel in America for fear of being called “anti-Semitic”. Lord Phillips agreed. He said it was like McCarthyism and a good way to silence people. “We have a bit of that starting here, I’m afraid,” he said.

In answer to a question on the viablitity of the one state solution Christosen felt it was “the only just solution” and called for the dismantling of Israel as an “exclusivist Jewish state” and for the “Jewish exclusivist government” to be dismantled. But, she said, she had nothing against Jews as individuals.

Even J Street came in for criticism from her because its logo is “Pro Israel, Pro Peace”.

Tim Llewellyn, a former BBC Middle East correspondent, said he supported boycotts. He said that if Israel wants to be accepted as a European state it must be told that it is a pariah state: “The government is uncivilised and Israelis who support it take part in that uncivilisation. Israel is a rogue state in the Middle East,” he said.

Clayton Swisher, an Al Jazeera reporter, felt sanctions won’t work because the EU and America are feckless but the Arabs could make it difficult for Israelis as many travel on Arab airlines and if, after looking at their passports, they find they live in the settlements they should not allow them to travel.

The only conciliatory voice came from Oliver McTernan, director of Forward Thinking, who felt that sanctions were hypocritical as he has worked to remove the sanctions against Gaza. He also felt that the price of the one state solution would be too great, although he thought that Hamas should be brough into the negotiating process.

The story of the photo above was that we were told that there was to be no photography or filming unless authorised. There were about four or five photographers and the event was being filmed. Towards the end, and in light of the comments by Lord Phillips, I thought I would try to sneak a photo after seeing a woman behind me taking one on her IPhone.

But as I snapped away I was surrounded by two men from the World Ju-Jitsu Federation who stopped me, one of whom snatched by audio recorder and wanted my camera also. I managed to grab back the recorder.

So there we were in a British University discussing the leaked Palestine Papers, which have basically killed off any hope of peace in the Middle East for a generation, listening to a rant about Jews from one of our lawmakers, yet I was harassed when wanting to take one lousy photograph of the event (which came out blurred anyway).

Lord Phillips talks about “the Jews” at 12 minutes.

Does Lord Phillips believe there is a well organised “Jewish lobby” at work or not?

Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury

Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury

Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury has made a remarkable intervention on the Jewish Chronicle website.

Last week Lord Phillips spoke at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event at Parliament. The title of the event was Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects

Jonathan Hoffman blogged Lord Phillips’ speech that night.

Lord Phillips has blogged back as follows:

I have just had drawn to my attention a contribution made to The JC.com website on 3rd November by Jonathan Hoffman. It comments on a short speech I made at a PSC meeting last week. It does not report what I said fairly, or accurately (sadly, not for the first time in the JC as far as I am concerned.)

I will not try the patience of the readers of this blog (and my own!) by detailing all his studied distortions. One example, taken from the start of his piece, may serve to give the flavour.

He states that I said “I do believe in the right of Israel to exist”, he adding “Well thanks buddy – and France? Germany? England?”

In fact I emphasised that I believe “passionately” in the right of Israel to exist in freedom and security, adding that I believed in a similar right for Palestine. I did not also say, but could have, that I volunteered to fight for Israel in 1973.
Israel is in my view destroying its long-term security and harmony inter alia and particularly by its military occupation and colonisation of the West Bank (now extending to 42% of that territory, according to the latest Foreign Office estimate).

I will not be deterred from speaking out against that self-defeating, provocative and illegal policy, and its awful impact on the Palestinians.

The only alleged distortion Lord Phillips chooses to go on, so as not to try our patience you understand, is about Israel’s right to exist.

He is silent on Hoffman quoting him as saying, “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby”.

Making suggestions of Jewish power, an anti-Semitic trope, is bad enough but invoking the Holocaust so gratuitously at a meeting which has nothing to do with the Holocaust is a particularly low way of gaining an audience’s attention.

Someone who feels the need to invoke 6,000,000 innocent dead souls at a political rally is totally lacking in moral integrity.

People really don’t care whether Lord Phillips thinks Israel should exist or not or whether he keeps wishing to speak out against Israeli policy. It is his right and no one will try to stop him.

He is a Liberal Democrat after all and it is an unofficial Liberal Democrat policy, and one it definitely won’t renege on, to bash Israel publicly.

But either Lord Phillips really doesn’t want to try our patience, as he claims, and he didn’t speak of a “Jewish lobby” and gratuitously invoke the Holocaust or his deafening silence on these matters is an admission that he did.

If it is the latter then he should make a public apology.

So, Lord Phillips, which is it? Our patience are all yours to try.

It’s the Holocaust, stupid.

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Means Freedom) at the entrance to Auschwitz where 1.1 million people died, 90% of them Jews

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is extremely adept at keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, but, sadly, not for memorialising or academic purposes.

Many a PSC event, or those held by other anti-Israel organisations, seem to start off by invoking the Holocaust.

And why not?

For sure, the very sound of the word “Holocaust” makes an audience’s ears prick up.

The Holocaust. Two simple but emotive words.

You would hope that the memory of 6,000,000 Jews (including 1,000,000 children) and 4,000,000 Communists, gypsies, homosexuals and the physically and mentally disabled would only be invoked when utterly necessary.

Maybe on Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January each year), a visit to Auschwitz or Dachau maybe or maybe an educational class about the Holocaust. This is appropriate.

But a talk presented by the PSC at the House of Commons entitled Ending the siege on Gaza – Eyewitness reports from the Viva Palestina convoy, Parliamentary delegations, and Westminster University Architects is an inappropriate place.

I doubt, somehow, that Gaza, Viva Palestina, Parliamentary delegations and Westminster University Architects have anything to do with Jews being gassed, hanged, shot, burned alive, having medical experiments performed on their genitals and having their corpses bulldozed into mass unmarked graves.

Holocaust denial is sickening enough (and there is plenty of it around in Iran and Arab countries) but gratuitously invoking the Holocaust, as Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury did at the PSC event on tuesday, is sickening in its own way.

Perhaps he should be forgiven as he is a Liberal Democrat peer. As we well know, the Liberal Democrats, wishing to entice the Muslim vote, are not well-disposed to Israel.

But being anti-Israel is no excuse to utilise the Holocaust just to get an audience’s attention. If Lord Phillips thinks he was being intelligent and authoritative, he wasn’t.

According to Jonathan Hoffman Lord Phillips was eager to tell everyone that his first visual memory was of the Holocaust (he was born in 1939) and he suggested that Israel was created only because of the guilt felt by the West after the Holocaust.

Lord Phillips, according to Hoffman, also said, “Europe cannot think straight about Israel because of the Holocaust and America is in the grip of the well-organised Jewish lobby.”

The sub-text to these comments seems to be that if six million Jews hadn’t died at the hands of those blinking Nazis there would be peace in the world today. There would be no need for Al Qaida, Hamas and Hizbollah. It’s all because of that blinking Holocaust, stupid.

Even from the grave Hitler is exerting his presence thanks to the likes of Lord Phillips.

Just for good measure Lord Phillips said he believes that Israel has a right to exist but no one who addresses a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting believes this and certainly wouldn’t be invited to give a talk if they did.

If he was pushed further he would state that Israel has a right to exist but that the Palestinians must have the have a right to return, which would extinguish the Jewish nature of Israel.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign supports Hamas (or, at least, doesn’t denounce it), a banned terrorist organisation. Hamas has sent many suicide bombers into packed Israeli restaurants and would continue to do so if it wasn’t for the security wall built, far too belatedly, by Israel.

Supporting Hamas is bad enough but the PSC and its speakers should leave those who have been tortured and murdered by the Nazis to rest in peace and not have their experiences raised for political point scoring or to grab an audience’s attention, especially when the topic at hand is totally unrelated to the Holocaust.