Tag Archives: richard kemp

The Guardian’s Donald Macintrye wants his book on Gaza to be read by Israelis.

gaza

Last night at SOAS in London another journalist came to the rescue of Israelis when The Guardian’s Donald Macintyre said he wanted his new book Gaza: Preparing for Dawn to be translated into Hebrew. He said that while Israeli intelligence has a good idea about the situation in Gaza “the Israeli public” didn’t which was made worse by Israeli journalists being banned from Gaza in 2006.

This reminds me of Tariq Ali’s “The end of Israel would benefit all Israelis.” Thank goodness for these wise men who can help the Israeli people!

Maybe Macintyre is unaware that Israelis have access to the internet and even have TV and radio.

He was speaking to the London Middle East Institute as well as the Centre for Palestine Studies, which are both based at SOAS.

He said his book was written to “challenge the myths” about Gaza. For example, that Arafat got a good deal at Camp David and that Israel had left Gaza in 2005 (because it still retains control over Gaza’s airspace and waters).

Another “myth” was that “the settlers’ installations had been destroyed by the Palestinians” after Israel withdrew. Macintrye said that there had been some looting but that it was “quickly brought under control” and there had been a successful harvest that year.

However, he said, only 4% of the harvest was able to leave Gaza with the remainder rotting or being sold on Gaza’s markets “at knock down prices”.

Macintyre said that Hamas were “a relatively pragmatic Islamist regime”. He also said that the conditions imposed on Hamas after their election win in 2005 were impossible for Hamas because they would overturn their “raison d’etre”.

He didn’t tell us what this “raison d’etre” was but judging by the wording in their 1988 Charter Hamas’ “raison d’etre” is to murder Jews and annihilate Israel.

But Macintyre only has sympathy for Hamas. He said that while there was “brutality on both sides” during the civil war between Hamas and Fatah “Hamas thought they were going to become victims of a coup which was a big factor in the ruthless way they took over.”

During the Q&A I asked Macintyre whether he thought Gazans were honest when he interviewed them for his book especially considering the brutality he had just described.

Macintyre replied that “Gaza is not a police state”, “people criticise Hamas like they criticise any local government”, “Hamas are not ISIS”, that the small Christian community is “protected” and Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar meets the Christians there.

As for the Palestinians generally Macintrye said that their building of tunnels was “testament to their hard work and ingenuity” (so “ingenious” that many children die building them, something Macintyre didn’t mention).

Macintyre also took issue with a 2005 apparent change in the IDF’s military ethos which, he claimed, prioritised the lives of Israeli soldiers over Palestinian civilians pursuant to an article by Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin.

During the Q&A Jonathan Hoffman challenged Macintyre on this. Jonathan, citing Colonel Richard Kemp, said that during Operation CastLead in 2008/2009 the ratio of Palestinian civilian to combatant casualties was approximately 1:1 which is “the lowest ever” and that Israel won’t attack if it sees Palestinian civilians in the line of fire.

Macintyre immediately tried to knock this statistic down by claiming that B’Tselem and the UN has different figures, but he showed that he really has no interest in proper discussion about civilian casualties during war when he simply blurted out that 1:1 is “still a hell of a lot of casualties.”

The manner in which Macintyre almost beautifies Hamas is vile and sickening, but one has to ask how his book about Gaza can be trusted when the book’s interviewees know that dissent could lead to Hamas-style justice: summary execution.

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Neturei Karta hurl abuse at C4T’s anti-Iran protest.

Flor, Michelle, Ambrosine, Rachel and Sharon about to deliver the letter to No. 10.

Flor, Michelle, Ambrosine, Rachel and Sharon about to deliver the letter to No. 10.

Campaign For Truth activists went to 10 Downing Street today to protest the nuclear deal recently signed by America, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China with the Iranian regime which basically grants Iran the bomb after 10 years have expired. But that’s only if the mullahs don’t cheat earlier.

Letters of support, one of which was from Colonel Richard Kemp who commanded British forces in Afghanistan, were read out.

Colonel Kemp’s letter started: “I am sorry I am unable to be with you in London to support you in this important event. I thank you and congratulate you for making the effort to come here today to protest this truly ill-judged and dangerous agreement.”

He then described the Iranian regime as a “fascist, imperialist, totalitarian, murderous dictatorship”, criticised the release of funds that will “enable the Ayatollahs to expand their imperialist violence many times over” and said the Iranian mullahs are the “most duplicitous double-dealing and deceitful regime in history”.

Then just as C4T representatives were about to deliver a letter to David Cameron the Neturei Karta extremists suddenly appeared brandishing an Iranian flag and a Palestinian one. They spent 20 minutes yelling “Israelhell” and telling Zionists that they are not Jews.

I asked them why they weren’t in synagogue for Tisha B’av but I was lectured that they didn’t need to be. Fair enough. Eventually the police moved them on for protesting without advanced permission.

Here’s a clip and a chance for you to learn some Yiddish:

Eventually Flor, Michelle, Rachel, Ambrosine and Sharon delivered the letter to Number 10 which signed off urging David Cameron “to dissent from this deal, to be the lion amongst the sheep”.

More photos from today’s protests:

C4T's Paul proudly wearing a T Shirt he bought in St Albans.

C4T’s Paul proudly wearing a T Shirt he bought in St Albans.

An NK member looking with bemusement at Paul.

An NK member looking with bemusement at Paul.

Ok, so these are the true Jews. Just so you know...

Ok, so these are the true Jews. Just so you know…

Other protesters look with curiosity at C4T's protest.

Other protesters look with curiosity at C4T’s protest.

Waving their beloved Iranian flag. The mullahs would be proud!

Waving their beloved Iranian flag. The mullahs would be proud!

C4T merchandise decorating Whitehall.

C4T merchandise decorating Whitehall.

At least hold the Palestinian flag the right way up!

At least hold the Palestinian flag the right way up!

Sharon reads out supportive letter from Colonel Kemp.

Sharon reads out supportive letter from Colonel Kemp.

Neturei Karta finally being moved on for not following procedure.

Neturei Karta finally being moved on for not following procedure.

Colonel Richard Kemp: “British forces have no stronger ally than Israel and the IDF”

Israeli soldiers (synchrospace.com)

Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, addressed the 110th Anniversary Dinner of the British Zionist Federation on sunday night.

He spoke of his admiration for Israel’s support for the British army and the way the Israeli army went about Operation Cast Lead in trying to limit Palestinian civilian casualties.

His speech built on his brief testimony (see footage below) to the United Nations Human Rights Council Emergency Session on 16th October 2009 when he said:

“The IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

On Sunday night Colonel Kemp told his audience of how a Brigadier-General in the IDF, its leading expert on suicide bombings, advised him in detail about suicide bombings when he first arrived in Afghanistan on 2003.

This advice formed the basis of the British army’s doctrine for dealing with suicide bombings.

He drew the comparison of Israel’s fight against Hamas and Hezbollah and that of Britain’s against Jaish al-Mahdi which was “responsible for killing large numbers of American and British soldiers in Iraq”.

He pointed out that Hamas, Hezbollah, Jaish al-Mahdi and the Taliban are all motivated, trained and armed by Iran.

The difference, he said, between British forces and the Israeli army was that British forces do not go into battle knowing they will be condemned by the media and respected international bodies, like the UN, and accused of the most horrific things.

He then went on to describe how Hamas, Hezbollah, Jaish al-Mahdi and the Taliban all fight from amongst their own civilians: “They deliberately sacrifice their own people.”

“Hamas did this in Gaza and the Taliban does it still in Afghanistan to protect themselves and discredit Israel and Britain in the eyes of the media when civilian casualties occur. Also children, some mentally disabled, and women are used to carry out suicide bombings.”

“14-year-old boys are forced to push towards British troops bomb-laden carts which are then detonated remotely leaving the child dead. The Taliban also use old women in battle and booby-trap mosques, store weapons in them and fire from them.”

“There is no depth they will not stoop to in order to protect themselves and discredit our forces, whether they are fighting the Israelis in Gaza or American and British troops in Afghanistan. The same tactics are used without any regard to human life whatsoever.”

Colonel Kemp discussed Operation Cast Lead and the amount of human intelligence recruited to target Hamas specifically: “Palestinians were also recruited despite Hamas reintroducing crucifixion to deal with spies.”

He said that Israeli pilots were allowed to abort a mission if not satisfied that civilians were not at risk. He referred to the three hour unilateral ceasefire during Operation Cast Lead which no other nation would consider knowing that the enemy would use it to rearm.

“Israel delivered aid to to the civilians in Gaza knowing Hamas would confiscate much of it and nearly one million leaflets were dropped warning of where and when a raid was coming while 30,000 phone calls were made warning of coming attacks.”

He mentioned that mistakes are made by American, British and Israeli troops in the middle of a battle: “But these are not the same as war crimes. And just like with the British and American armies, any misdemeanours in the Israeli army are investigated.”

He finished off by saying that while Ahmadinejad was still in power in Iran there would be no peace in the Middle East and that “a lot of the adverse propaganda is based on anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment. Dark forces are at work which are exploiting the media”.

Yuli Edelstein, Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora in the Israeli government, also spoke. There was a small anti-Israel demonstration outside the event.