Tag Archives: the independent

The Independent’s New Year’s message to Britain’s Jews: Goodbye Israel.

While Britain’s Jews were last week preparing for Rosh Hashanah Mary Dejevsky, of The Independent newspaper, was thinking about her article Will Israel still exist in 2048?, which was published on Friday, the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

She imagined every doomsday scenario possible which could mean that “Israel, as currently constituted, may not be a permanent feature of the international scene”.

She wished to give the impression of objectivity by telling us that “Israel should continue to exist” because it has “UN recognition”, “has survived more than 60 years in a distinctly hostile neighbourhood”, “has created a thriving economy” and “has a rich cultural life”.

The question for her is whether Israel “can and will survive”.

This sounds distinctly like PLO/Fatah and Hamas rhetoric. Both, like Dejevsky, recognise Israel’s existence as fact. But, neither recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

And nowhere in her article does Dejevsky acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, which might explain her excitement at the possibilities of how Israel’s demise might come about.

Possibility 1: Israel’s borders are too vast and too porous to defend and could be breached by Palestinian civilians from Syria or there could some sort of invasion from Egypt. The Palestinian Authority and Jordan may join in.

Possibility 2: Islamists may come to power in the surrounding countries with the knock on consequences for Israel and the new Arab leaders “will have to be responsive to the wishes of their people”.

Possibility 3: Israel’s suffers a societal split making it less unified and, therefore, less likely to successfully defend itself militarily. This split, she thinks, will be the result of “the Arab, Orthodox Jewish and second-generation Russian populations increasing much faster than other groups”.

She explains that the Holocaust could be “less of a unifying force” and that “the younger, more educated” of the population might leave Israel.

Dejevsky leaves Israel with just two outcomes; it becomes a fortress-like, isolated state protected by nuclear weapeons or “the so-called one-state solution” ensues.

She concludes with the idea that “Next Year in Jerusalem” could be reduced to “a noble ambition overtaken by cruel demographic and geopolitical reality”.

First, she should know that the Holocaust is not needed to unify Israelis. They are unified by their desire to go on living.

Second, none of the three groups she cites as catalysts for a possible societal split would prefer living under Arab rule, judging by the human rights violations ongoing in many of the world’s Arab and Muslim states. That applies to Palestinian Israelis too.

Third, Israel already has 200 nuclear weapons, so what will be the difference in 10 or 20 years time?

And, finally, Israel has a far superior fire-power and will win wars against any Islamist states.

Dejevsky could have written an article about the demise of any country by 2048. Who knows what could have happened to Britain, America or France by then?

And her article would have been a pleasure to read for those who really wish Israel harm, but for it to be published on Rosh Hashanah shows a lack of respect for Britain’s Jews that The Indy is becoming notorious for.

That The Independent hasn’t got a great deal of respect for Britain’s Jews, especially the more religious ones, is evident from the piece by Christina Patterson it published last year in which she tore apart Hasidic Jews living in Stamford Hill in a manner that she wouldn’t dare to do if she was on the receiving end of the same behaviour she attributed to them if they happened to be Blacks, Asians or Muslims living in a certain part of London.

The Independent does have the pro-Israel Howard Jacobson writing for it. However, this only seems to allow other Independent commentators like Dejevsky, Patterson, Johann Hari and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to be even more vitriolic about Israel as any complaints to OFCOM about bias can be countered by The Indy pointing to the presence of Jacobson in its pages.

While Israel lives on the same cannot be said for The Independent. With its ever plummeting sales figures who can say whether it will see 2018, let alone 2048.

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Jody McIntyre gone from the Indy, the HuffPo. and Channel 4.

Jody McIntyre; gone from the Indy, HuffPo. and Channel 4 for possible incitement to riot.

Jody McIntyre; gone from the Indy, HuffPo. and Channel 4 for possible incitement to riot.

It has been a bad two days for Jody “setting London alight” McIntyre. He was sacked as a blogger for The Independent newspaper in the wake of the London riots for tweeting:

“Be inspired by the scenes in #tottenham, and rise up in your own neighbourhood. 100 people in every area = the way we can beat the feds.”

And in an interview with The Huffington Post when asked if Footlocker was a valid target for the rioters he replied:

“On a personal level I think Brixton police station would be a better target than footlocker….I find it very difficult to condemn the looting myself. I feel sympathy when small cornershops and people’s homes are damaged but I don’t feel any sympathy for JD sports or M&S.”

Well, now Lucy Lips at Harry’s place reports that the HuffPo. interview has also been pulled and replaced with:

“Editor’s Note: The Huffington Post’s editorial policy prohibits the promotion of incitement to riot. It has been brought to our attention that some of the comments made by the interviewee in this article could be construed as inciting others to take part in unlawful activity. As such, we have removed this post.”

McIntyre was also due to have his own tv show starting on Channel 4 on August 18th called Bars For Change. Here is a peek from youtube.

It has also just been pulled.

As Lucy Lips says he will still have a home with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which, as we have seen, actually applauds rhetoric calling for London to be burned.

Meanwhile, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s anti-Israel demonstration will be taking place as usual outside Ahava this Saturday dragging even more essential police resources away from emergency situations across London.

Around 20 police officers have to present to stop anarchists from invading Ahava and intimidating its customers.

But if you have any spare Plasma TVs or Nike trainers please bring them down to Ahava and give them to the protesters. It could save an awful lot of London’s shop windows being smashed in.

Police protecting Ahava from Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists.

Police protecting Ahava from Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists.

Is The Independent anti-Semitic?

I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the discussion. After all we have just had to endure a week of radio phone-ins questioning whether England is an anti-Semitic country after Shimon Peres’ less than diplomatic recent interview in which he said that “There is in England a saying that an anti-Semite is someone who hates the Jews more than is necessary.”

That dreadful statement implies that the English dislike the Jews as a matter of course which is not true.

Peres was correct however in pointing to the political advantage for many of being anti-Israel. They’ve done the maths.

Even David Cameron managed to keep tight-lipped about Israel until election-day. He made a point of referring to East Jerusalem as “occupied East Jerusalem” but because he constantly praised British Jews for their contribution to British society they flocked to vote for him and his party.

However, within three months of being elected his true thoughts revealed themselves when he referred to Gaza as being a “prison camp” because of Israel and he called the attack on the Mavi Marmara unreasonable (I doubt Cameron would have allowed an IRA boat to have docked at a British port).

But while England is not an anti-Semitic country there are English people that are anti-Semitic. This anti-Semitism is not merely confined to the BNP but deeply penetrates the far-left of politics also.

The subtle difference is that while the BNP and other far-right groups actively encourage anti-Semitism those on the far-left allow it to flourish unchallenged in order to suit their objectives.

Take the case of the openly and virulently anti-Semitic Hamas. Their Charter talks of jihad and killing Jews but the far-left will never condemn Hamas. Instead they state that although they don’t support Hamas they support the Palestinian people’s elected representatives’ right to govern. This is where the ideology of the far-left and Hamas coincide: the destruction of the Jewish state.

The expressed anti-Semitism of Hamas is left unchallenged by far-left political activists because they see it as having, for them, this benign outcome.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Down the years far-left politics have helped to destroy many a Jewish life, so why should it be any different today.

But getting back to The Independent. While Peres was taken to task over his unhinged statement The Independent got away with publishing an objectionable article by Chistina Patterson disingenuously headlined The limits of multi-culturalism in which she attacks religious Jews for the capital crime of…..being rude. For example:

“I didn’t realise that goyim were about as welcome in the Hasidic Jewish shops as Martin Luther King at a Klu Klux Klan convention.”

She doesn’t like the way religious Jews clog up the pavements with their prams and children, drive while on their mobile phones and drive the wrong way into supermarket car-parks.

To honour political correctness Patterson then goes on to slam the way Muslims dress before arriving at her real gripe; female circumcision and the lack of prosecutions for it.

Now female circumcision is a far more serious crime among ethnic groups than being rude. I am sure that many religious Jews are incredibly rude but then many non-Jews are also guilty of the same charges of rudeness and driving while speaking on a mobile phone.

So Patterson’s attack on this specific group of Jews is totally gratuitous. Not only that but when one ascribes such miserable traits to just one group of people, like Patterson does, people might have the wholly legitimate right to identify this as nothing less than racist rhetoric. This kind of talk is comparable with the notoriously anti-Semitic “Jews are tight with money” jibe.

Patterson’s gratuitous attack on religious Jews seems to be a cover for her not unreasonable attack on the barbaric but very rare British Muslim practice of female circumcision and as a good liberal Patterson probably wanted to show balance.

By now we are used to The Independent being a totally anti-Israel newspaper. Johann Hari, Yasmin Alibai-Brown and Robert Fisk have spent vast amounts of their journalistic years taking Israel to task. Fisk won’t even compare Israel to Hamas. Israel is far, far worse apparently now.

Sadly, The Independent’s views are more far more ideological than factual about Israel and at times the newspaper itself seems to be a mere extension of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the high-profile anti-Israel lobby group.

But this unscientific attack by Patterson on Jews directly is out of place in a British newspaper. I’m surprised it was allowed to run but then maybe The Independent is unfussed these days in appealing to the people Peres meant to refer to in his interview as being anti-Semitic. After all with its vastly declining circulation it needs the readership.

But where were the phone-ins about Patterson’s objectionable views?

Is a book about Jews of “Jewish Interest”?

Waterstone’s in Hampstead has a “Jewish interest” section containing The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand.

The main thesis of the book is that there is no “Jewish people”, just Jews.

Sand claims that Jews have no connection to what is now Israel and so no right to return there.

He states there was no expulsion of Jews by the Romans so the only true descendants of the original Jews are the Palestinians after all those Jews eventually adopted Islam.

So how could there at one stage have been 19 million Jews worldwide (13 million now)?

Easily, according to Sand, as all Jews are converts.

Sand says that eastern European Jews do not originate with the Jews who came from the Middle East via Ashkenaz (Germany) to Poland but with the Khazars, nomadic tribes that built an empire between the Black and Caspian Seas, converted to Judaism in the eighth century, and were scattered when their state was eventually destroyed.

Anita Shapira
does a solid deconstruction of this sorry book and notes how most websites that contain discussions of this subject are either those of White Power members or Islamic extremists:

“White Power members denounce Jews in U.S. government along the lines of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and explain that they are not really Jews but the descendants of the Khazars; they are therefore unworthy of American aid to restore them to the land of Israel.”

Some Jews of the time migrated to other areas in the Roman Empire but whether there was a violent expulsion or not there was a loss of Jewish sovereignty which was catastrophic enough to have been retained in Jewish memory. This loss is what has been passed down through the years by Jewish writers and historians. It was not a recent “Zionist creation”, as Sand implies.

A recent study has shown that Jews from the different regions of the world were found to share many genetic traits that are distinct from other groups and that date back to ancient times.

So The Invention of the Jewish People is just another anti-Zionist tome. The final chapter gives Sand’s real intentions away. In it he accuses Israel of racism and apartheid, he talks of worldwide Jewish power and calls for a bi-national state; all the default positions of your average anti-Zionist/Israel-hater.

That all said my argument is not with Sand. He can write what he likes. My argument is with respectable outlets that actively seek to promote this sort of anti-Jewish diatribe, Waterstone’s being a main culprit.

It is likely that The Satanic Verses would be considered too offensive for a “Muslim interest” section.

I was told that many Jewish customers have bought Sand’s book. Of course they have, just like they buy other books too.

Sand’s book is an attack on long-held Jewish beliefs and traditions. Being offensive to most Jews does not make it of general “Jewish interest” (by that reasoning Waterstone’s could place Mein Kampf there also, as was suggested to me by a Waterstone’s employee).

But Waterstone’s is emboldened by the Jewish Quarterly having nominated Sand’s book for its literary prize, among three other books.

The result of who wins the £4000 is soon to be announced and with anti-Zionist Anne Karpf being a judge Sand stands a decent chance.

The Independent recently published this letter:

No evidence of expulsion of Jews
C Cameron (letters, 27 March) is right to debunk the enduring myth of the “Jewish People”, a tale perpetuated by anti-Semites as well as Zionists. The “Wandering Jew”, expelled from his land, left stateless for centuries and waiting for his return to the promised land of his ancestors, is purely imaginary. There is no historical evidence of forced expulsion of the Judeans, and the overwhelming majority of Jews are descendants of converts.
Israel is a legitimate state because it was sanctioned by the UN in 1947. It should always remain a safe haven for persecuted Jews, but I don’t see why an assimilated European or American Jew should have any right to settle in Israel while denying that right to a poor Palestinian refugee whose grandparents were expelled from their own house 50 years ago.
Philippe Bareille
Stevenage, Hertfordshire

I went to hear Sand speak once and noticed a black woman clutching a signed copy of the book. I asked why she wanted to read it and she said that it is “finally proof of all she has ever been thinking”.

I would never usually mention skin colour but I feel it is relevant here. During the campaign for civil rights American Jewry was at the forefront fighting for all those deprived of such rights.

How short a person’s memory can be.

Fisk/Hari

It was a good old Independent doubly-whammy to nicely finish off International Israel Apartheid Week.

Robert Fisk

Last Friday (12 March) Johann Hari had a piece Palestinians should now declare their independence.

On Saturday (13 March) Fisk recommended books to help you understand the Middle East.

Fisk recommends and quotes from George Antonius’s The Arab Awakening:

“The cure for the eviction of Jews from Germany is not to be sought in the eviction of the Arabs from their homeland …”

Fisk sees this as “the first truly eloquent warning of what was to come”.

He didn’t recommend Benny Morris’ The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem but he mentioned it in passing:

“Benny Morris was the most prominent Israeli researcher to prove that it was indeed Israel’s intention to evict the Palestinians from their homes in their tens of thousands in 1948 – the fact that Morris has since gone completely batty by claiming the Israelis didn’t ethnically cleanse enough of them does not detract from his seminal work.”

But Morris did not prove any such intention!

Morris, for starters, quotes Ze’ev Jabotinsky, leader of a right-wing Zionist movement, who said in 1931: “We don’t want to evict even one Arab from the left or right banks of the Jordan. We want them to prosper economically and culturally.”

If anything it was the 1937 Peel Commission, which was under the auspices of the British government, that first recommended transfer of the Arab population out of areas earmarked for the Jewish population on partition.

Morris’ view is that there was no specific Zionist policy of transfer although there had been unofficial “transfer thinking” that preceded the war. But it was only once the Arabs rejected the 1947 UN partition resolution, civil war between the Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs and then the full-scale Arab invasion of Israel ensued that “Jewish hearts hardened towards the Palestinian Arabs who were seen as mortal enemies, and should they be coopted into a Jewish state, a potential Fifth Column”.

To be fair to Fisk has lived in the heart of Beirut for 30 years and so he is highly biased out of necessity.

Johann Hari does not live in the heart of Beirut and so has no such excuse for his bias (or is it just ignorance?).

Johann Hari

Hari suggests the Palestinians should declare their own state forthwith to concentrate the minds of the West and he narrates his own version of the Arab/Israeli wars including, like Fisk, that of 1948:

“Until 1948, the Palestinians were living in their own homes, on their own land – until they were suddenly driven out in a war to make way for a new state for people fleeing a monstrous European genocide.”

Again there is no mention of the total Arab rejection of UN partition resolution 181, the consequent civil war started by the Palestinian Arabs against the Jews and the Arab invasion after Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948.

For Hari one side is evil while the other side is totally innocent. He continues this theme throughout the piece.

He quotes Golda Meirs’ “there are no Palestinians”. Well to Meir there were no Palestinians 40 years ago just like there were no Palestinians as such to the Jews that came to Palestine 100 years ago because they did not view the Arabs living there as a nation. But that doesn’t mean to say there is no Palestinian nation now. There is and one deserving of a country.

But it is a common anti-Israel tactic to take an ancient quote of an Israeli or Jewish leader and put it in today’s context to make the speaker look evil.

Hari also writes of “some heroic Israelis who argue back”, so painting the rest of Israel’s citizens as weak, ignorant and cowardly.

But Hari thinks he has found the answer to why there are so few “heroic Israelis”:

“It may be that surviving the most horrific atrocities doesn’t make you compassionate, but more often makes you hard, and paranoid. It may make you see the ghost of your murderer even in your victims: Adolf Hitler in a Gazan child.”

For Hari Jews are still so obsessed by the gas chambers that every one of us, apart from his “heroes”, has turned into our own self-contained irrational killing machine.

Not for Hari do Israelis fight back against thousands of deadly Kassam rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza towards Israel’s southern towns or against Katyushas hitting nothern Israel from Hezbollah bases in southern Lebanon.

And Hari thinks that Hamas, “the ugly fundamentalist group”, tacitly accepts a two-state solution but how ignorant can one be.

Accepting a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, as Hamas does, is not the same as accepting the existence of Israel.

But Hari has fallen for Hamas’ rhetoric hook, line and sinker.

Hari finishes off urging the Palestinians:

“They should declare independence. Then it is up to us – the watching billions – to pressure our governments to make it real, rather than a howl in the dark.”

Hari doesn’t understand that Palestinian society is in no state to declare independence. While building consruction is swiftly taking place in West Bank towns the hatred that persists between Hamas and Fatah will mean that civil war, bloodshed and revenge killings would not be far away.

Hari hasn’t thought the consequence of his logic through but, then again, for Israel’s haters the demonisation of Israel and Israelis far outweighs any concern they really have for the Palestinian people.