Tag Archives: The Times

Anti-Israel QC: “Israel is not the most peaceful of nations.”

As soon as you hear that someone is a human rights lawyer you hope that the subject will not move on to Israel because, for many on the left these days, human rights do not apply to Israel.

This was apparent last night when human rights lawyer John Cooper QC (here’s his showbiz blog) appeared on Sky News to review today’s newspapers alongside Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor of The Times.

Haynes and Cooper were reviewing the story on page 4 of today’s Daily MailIsrael planning to attack Iran before U.S. election‘. Haynes was discussing the ramifications of such an attack and the possibility of scud attacks on Israel. She said she had just returned from Israel and felt that no decision had yet been taken by Israel on attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

She tried to stay objective by restating Iran’s claim that its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.

Then Cooper had his say and you got a sense of what the chatter around his dinner table must be like when he and his guests discuss the Middle East. Here is the exchange:

Cooper: “You’re the expert on this obviously but I sometimes think we should take a moment to step back from demonising everytime Iran is mentioned. I’m not going to support or standby the atrocities and appalling behaviour that takes place in Iran, certainly not. But I think we often need to analyse what Israel may say is happening. And just because they are saying it is Iran doesn’t mean to say we should always take it from Israel.”

Haynes: “I think it is Iran that is developing nuclear weapons.”

Cooper: “Yes, but on the other hand Israel is not the most peaceful of nations.”

Haynes: “Well, it has got quite combative neighbours. Iran has said that it wants to wipe Israel off the planet.”

Cooper: “All I will say is we shouldn’t always accept, when it comes to international politics, that Israel is the most peaceful of nations. They can be bellicose and they can, to use a colloquialism, ‘wind people up’ as far as their neighbours are concerned.”

Haynes: “Well, they’re using every tool in their box.”

Cooper: “And they have big friends with the Americans, which some of us dont.”

Haynes: “Well, that’s the big thing; whether they can do it on their own or whether America will have to help them and a lot of people say they wouldn’t be able to actually effectively destroy the nuclear facilities on their own.”

Cooper: “The Israel-American axis is sometimes overpowering.”

So, I am not sure what is more disturbing:

1. Cooper acknowledging that Iran commits “atrocities” against its own people, yet he still seems willing to trust Iran’s word over Israel’s.

2. Cooper acknowledging that Iran is developing nuclear weapons but it doesn’t seem to bother him much because, after all, the nation of Israel does tend to “wind people up”. Is the implication that, because of such behaviour, Israelis deserve to be nuked?

3. Cooper twice referring to Israel as “not the most peaceful of nations“. What other country in the world gets referred to as a “nation” these days? For example, in the above exchange Cooper refers to America, not the American “nation”.

Does “nation” include EVERY Israeli? 18% of Israelis are Arabs. I presume he doesn’t mean to include those Arabs, so he must mean EVERY Jewish Israeli?

Seeing as being Jewish seems to be a defining trait could this definition be extended to Jews not just living in Israel? The history of the Jewish people contains, after all, many people who thought we had a knack of winding them up and our ancestors paid a heavy price for such false sentiments.

Either way, had someone said that, for example, Pakistan, the Palestinians or the French are not peaceful nations would that not be considered to have racist overtones?

Worryingly, Cooper has been named by The Times as one of the top 100 influential lawyers of 2012 in the UK.

I wish Haynes had picked Cooper up on his use of the term “nation”. The next best thing would be to be a fly on the wall at one of¬†Cooper’s dinner parties when the subject of the Middle East comes up.


A bad year for Israel in the UK has also been a bad year for many of those who have briefed so viciously against Israel.

Nick Clegg, who called for Israel to be disarmed during Operation Cast Lead in the wake of thousands of Hamas rockets hitting Israeli towns, became Deputy Prime-Minister in the coalition government but has since had his new found credibility shattered having reneged on a pre-election promise that had won his party the student vote; not to increase tuition fees.

Clegg and his anti-Israel Liberal Democrat party will find it difficult to be taken seriously in future, including on Israel.

Lauren Booth seems to have hit financial rock bottom with her bankruptcy and George Galloway lost his national radio slot on Talksport and was ousted from Parliament at the General Election along with Martin Linton, Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine.

Woe betide those who fall from power. The pro-Arab Lobby will have no use for them and will end up looking elsewhere.

So one man’s loss is another’s gain and the new anti-Israel voice on the block is Andrew Slaughter, who retained his seat in the election.

Although Slaughter is Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister that didn’t stop him recently meeting Hamas; the organisation that likes to send Palestinians into Israeli restaurants and discos primed with bombs to murder as many Jews as possible.

It has been a year where the picket of Ahava in Covent Garden has taken root, with the objective of closing it down.

In a way it has been a sad but fascinating experience to see the type of person that turns up to picket a Jewish owned shop.

Less attention has been paid to the regular thursday evening anti-Israel picket outside Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street whose objective is to stop people shopping there on the basis that M&S was a chief funder of Israel’s creation and growth; proof if it ever was needed that Israel-hate is not premised on concern for international law but on Israel’s existence per se.

It is also interesting to note how many of the Ahava protesters are loathe to be filmed, constantly covering their faces.

One must also question if they are solely concerned about human rights why they don’t picket Iranian, Egyptian, Russian, Chinese and Sudanese businesses.

If Ahava does close even the protesters will be disappointed as they will be forced to find another Israeli outlet to vent their anger against.

Other low points of 2010 were:

1. The EDO case, where a judge somehow found it within himself, during his summing up to the jury, to show admiration for those who had smashed up a British arms-making factory.

2. Phil Woolas losing his Parliamentary seat after his Lib Dem opponent ran crying to the courts accusing Woolas of lying about him, when lying on political leaflets is, sadly, a part of British election culture. There was also MPAC’s sinister intervention against Woolas.

3. Mick Davies, head of UJIA, using “Apartheid” in relation to Israel.

4. The Law Society allowing itself to be taken over for a weekend Israel hatefest in the form of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

5. Hearing “Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz” at Elland Road.

Thank you to those that have given their encouragement over the last year (including Oyvagoy, Jeremy Havardi, MelchettMike, CIFWatch, ModernityBlog, Harry’s Place, ElderofZiyon, The London Jewish News, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jerusalem Post) and many other individuals, including some incredible commenters from whom I have learnt more than I could imagine.

It has also been a year in which England retained the Ashes but lost a World Cup.

Ken Bates, Leeds United’s Chairman, summed up the World Cup debacle perfectly in his recent programme notes for the QPR game:

“FIFA finally lost all credibility when they handed the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. That idiot Blatter said the object was to take football into new territories. The Qatar episode should be fun with the Persian Gulf on one side and (a) million square miles of desert on the other. Don’t make me laugh! Money talks – but to who? If Qatar wanted to make a lasting impact on the world they could help their fellow Muslims in Palestine to end 60 years of misery and enable them to establish a Palestinian state. A few bob to help rebuild Afghanistan wouldn’t go amiss either.”

Finishing on a high note Israel has just struck gas; £61 billion worth of the stuff, which sent the Tel Aviv stock exchange to an all time high. This should give Israel energy independence for 90 years and could allow for exports to Europe.

As James Hider of The Times comments the old joke about Moses leading the Jewish people to the one place in the Middle East that does not have oil is not so funny anymore.

Happy New Year everyone!