Tag Archives: zionist federation

Zionist Federation rocks Wembley Arena for Israel’s 65th.

Ishtar (centre), "Chico" and Alabina at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night.

Ishtar (centre), “Chico” and Alabina at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night.

6,000 British Jews laughed and danced disgracefully at London’s Wembley Arena on Tuesday night as the Zionist Federation put on an evening of comedy and music to celebrate Israel’s 65th birthday.

Stacey Solomon sang, Britain’s Got Talent winners Spelbound dazzled with musical gymnastics, Israeli star Ivri Lider played piano and Mark Maier made everyone laugh with his descriptions of strange Jewish behaviour, for example pensioner Bernie with his bad back “going on security” in synagogue which is hardly going to thwart an attack from Al Qaida.

Finally, Israeli star Ishtar lifted the roof when she joined forces with Gipsy Kings co-founder “Chico” and with Alabina to get the Arena pumping to Arabic and Spanish music, including Gipsy Kings hits Bamboleo and Volare which had them all dancing disgracefully in the aisles.

Some 30 anti-Israel activists protested outside with extremist Jewish sect Neturei Karta taunting concert goers about the Holocaust. Typically, I was quietly taking photos before being moved on by the police under threat of arrest for breaching the peace after Massoud Shadjareh, chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission, complained that I was “provoking them”. Here he is in action:

More photos from the evening inside and outside Wembley Arena:

Brainwashed to hate.

Brainwashed to hate.

Stacey Solomon singing for Israel's 65th.

Stacey Solomon singing for Israel’s 65th.

But she'll be back next year for Israel's 66th.

But she’ll be back next year for Israel’s 66th.

Mark Maier humourously describing strange Jewish behaviour.

Mark Maier humourously describing strange Jewish behaviour.

At least they didn't take your Israel-developed IPhone.

At least they didn’t take your Israel-developed IPhone.

Ivri Lider charming them inside Wembley Arena.

Ivri Lider charming them inside Wembley Arena.

Hug a hoodie anyone?

Hug a hoodie anyone?

Gymnastic troupe Spelbound perform for Israel's 65th.

Gymnastic troupe Spelbound perform for Israel’s 65th.

Has this woman really got nothing better to do?

Has this woman really got nothing better to do?

Ishtar with Jimmy.

Ishtar with Jimmy.

Good luck with that. See you next year.

Good luck with that. See you next year.

Vanessa Feltz dressed down inside Wembley Arena.

Vanessa Feltz dressed down inside Wembley Arena.

Feeding off each other's hate.

Feeding off each other’s hate.

Ishtar.

Ishtar.

The dead baby in the poster being held on the right was killed by a Palestinian rocket.

The dead baby in the poster being held on the right was killed by a Palestinian rocket.

Youth Aliyah Music Ensemble kicking off the evening of celebration

Youth Aliyah Music Ensemble kicking off the evening of celebration

Massoud Shadjareh who complained to police that I was "provoking them".

Massoud Shadjareh who complained to police that I was “provoking them”.

Vanessa watches spoonbender Uri Geller.

Vanessa watches spoonbender Uri Geller.

A charming lot (not).

A charming lot (not).

The cowardice of Peter Oborne.

Peter Oborne loves the Jewish people. He loves us so much he wants to save us from ourselves. It’s a shame Oborne wasn’t around at any of the previous troubled stages of Jewish history to advise us where we were going so wrong, but we can only breathe a sigh of relief that he has taken an interest in our current predicament.

In his recent article for The Daily Telegraph The cowardice at the heart of our relationship with Israel he writes about the “cowardice” of the Conservative Party for not condemning Israel’s settlement policy in stronger terms. He’s concerned the door will soon be closed on the possibility of a two-state solution and that, eventually, Israel will either cease to be Jewish and democratic or will become an apartheid state.

Oborne quotes Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a former British ambassador to Israel, who recently said that “anyone who has a real affection for the Jewish people will want to help them to avoid this looming disaster.”

Alarm bells start ringing when someone critical of Israeli policy then co-opts the “the Jewish people”. Are all “the Jewish people” really responsible for “this looming disaster”? Israel is a democracy and British Jews do not have a vote. And it’s not British Jews who have Hamas to their south and Hezbollah to their north.

It’s a fact that there are far more non-Jewish supporters of Israel in the world, and thank goodness when considering the tiny Jewish world population. So why don’t Cowper-Coles and Oborne think non-Jewish supporters of Israel require such “help”?

Their patronising attitude towards Jews brings to mind Lord Andrew Phillips of Sudbury’s quip that “the Jews aren’t lacking in intelligence”.

Oborne finishes his article by claiming that “Mr Cameron does not want to go down in history as the man upon whose watch all hope of a two-state solution died”. Oborne ignores the fact that the two-state solution died in 1937 when the Arabs rejected 80% of British Mandate Palestine, in 1948 when the Arabs rejected 45% of British Mandate Palestine and 2000 when the Palestinians rejected 22% of, what was, British Mandate Palestine.

Oborne’s allegation that Israel could eventually either cease to be Jewish and democratic or become an apartheid state bears no relation to reality when one looks at the demographics on the ground. A study by Bar Ilan University proves that should Israel ever decide to annex the West Bank then the 1.41 million West Bank Palestinians would, when added to Israel’s existing Arab population, still leave Israel a Jewish majority and democratic state.

Oborne slams David Cameron for devoting just 64 words to the settlement issue at the recent Conservative Friends of Israel lunch. Oborne thinks “This is cowardice”. But Oborne doesn’t criticise Hamas and even blames Israel for the recent conflict. Again Oborne ignores the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza before Israel assassinated Hamas’ Ahmed Jabari.

And Oborne refuses to differentiate between Palestinian terrorists and civilians who were killed, but just repeats the mantra that “the number of Palestinian deaths vastly exceeded those on the Israeli side”.

Oborne ignores Hamas treatment of its own people in forcing them to become human shields. Hamas imports tens of thousands of rockets into Gaza but cannot build even one bomb shelter for the people it was elected by to govern.

Oborne also criticises Britain for not backing the recent Palestinian bid for enhanced statehood at the UN. It is morally reprehensible that Britain only abstained. How could a civilised country like Britain refuse to vote against enhanced statehood when considering that the Hamas Charter calls for the murder of Jews?

In 2009 Oborne made a television documentary called Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby. It opens with the menacing line “Tonight on Dispatches how British policy is influenced by supporters of a foreign power.”

Oborne sets out to investigate financial transactions between Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Conservative Party and to investigate the influence of pro-Israel lobbyists like CFI, BICOM, Zionist Federation, Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. A not insubstantial part was dedicated to CiFWatch, which monitors anti-Semitism in The Guardian and its Comment is Free website.

Oborne investigated the claim that accusations of anti-Semitism by pro-Israel lobby groups are being used to silence criticism of Israeli policy. He put to Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor, an accusation by CiFWatch that the Comment is Free comments’ thread “is full of vile anti-Semitic sentiments”.

Rusbridger replied:

“I think it would be a terribly dangerous thing if the British press were made to feel that they couldn’t criticise Israel because they are going to be held up as anti-Semitic. I think it is a very disreputable argument.”

But since 2009 CiFWatch has proved time and again that some Guardian articles are anti-Semitic. Chris Elliot, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, has admitted as much.

The Guardian’s Deborah Orr was forced to apologise for describing Israel’s prisoner swap of Gilad Shalit in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners as proof “Zionists believe that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbours.” Elliot explained in response that “Historically it has been antisemites, not Jews, who have read ‘chosen’ as code for Jewish supremacism.”

A recent cartoon by The Guardian’s Steve Bell seemed to employ the anti-Semitic trope that Jews control the world. Elliot admitted that Bell’s cartoon could be considered anti-Semitic.

And under a very recent Comment is Free article there’s this and worse:

“The 9/11 WTC attack was done by the pro-slavery Zionist-Jew bankers…”

Despite all his efforts to uncover something sinister Oborne declares at the end of his Dispatches documentary:

“In making this programme we haven’t found even something faintly resembling a conspiracy, but we have found a worrying lack of transparency and the influence of the pro-Israel lobby continues to be felt.”

So, Oborne found the pro-Israel lobbies in Britain guilty of nothing more than…..doing their jobs effectively.

Instead of trying to save “the Jewish people” from ourselves Oborne could do worse than visit Gaza if he really wants to understand why there cannot be peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He could then ask Hamas:

1. Why it summarily executes alleged Palestinian collaborators and drags their bodies through the streets?

2. Why it oppresses Palestinian women, gays and political dissidents?

3. Why it doesn’t build any bomb shelters for its people?

4. Why its Charter calls for the murder of all Jews?

But we know he won’t go and ask such questions and that makes Oborne the only coward around here.

Former Jerusalem Post chief closes successful ZF conference.

Yesterday was the Zionist Federation‘s Israel Advocacy Training Conference where activists learnt skills and discussed the situation both here and in Israel.

After giving a session on blogging I went to Jonathan Hoffman and Keith Fraser’s How to make the most of limited knowledge session, where they performed a mock Press TV show with Jonathan playing an under pressure pro-Israel guest and Keith doing a hilarious impression of Ken Livingstone before transmogrifying into a ranting Islamist who accused the Zionists of, inter alia, “stealing our land”.

Jonathan answered the Islamist’s rants well but, as ever, the much harder questions came from the audience. Some blamed “the settlements” for angering the Palestinians while others were concerned that Israel used white phosphorus during Operation Cast Lead.

Jonathan answered that there were no “settlements” in 1929 when Jews were massacred in Hebron by Arabs and that the use of white phosporus is legal; it being used by Britain and America also.

I then went to see the impressive Lior Student who gave her session Powerful and Persuasive Presentations three times during the conference. She had some sound advice including never to scratch your nose or face when presenting as this is associated with lying; we have itching cells around our nose which are activated when we tell a porky.

In between sessions there was ample time to chat and shed crocodile tears about the anti-Israel lobby’s infighting over the anti-Jewish writings of Gilad Atzmon; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is trying to distance itself from Atzmon while anti-Israel activist Lauren Booth has accused the PSC on her blog of being willing accomplices of the friends of Zionism.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. The more Israel’s enemies continue to tear themselves apart the better.

Few give a better analysis of the current situation in Israel than David Horovitz, who edited the Jerusalem Post for seven years, and he closed the conference with another highly informative talk.

He highlighted how narrow Israel is; go north, he said, from Tel Aviv and turn left near the West Bank town of Tulkarem and it is a mere 15 minute drive across Israel to the coast.

He said no one had predicted the Arab Spring and no one could predict how it will end and that even some of Israel’s military hierarchy had, until recently, been urging Israel to negotiate peace with Syria’s Assad in return for handing back the Golan Heights as this would have weakened Iran.

However, in hindsight, with the Arab Spring in full flow handing back the strategically crucial Golan could have had dangerous consequences for Israel should Islamists accede to power in Syria, which illustrates the problem Israel has in knowing who it can negotiate with.

On the Palestinian front Horovitz quoted last year’s front page Time headline Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace, which he said was ridiculous considering that Israelis put their children on the front line.

He said if you exclude the one-state solutionists on the extreme left and those on the extreme right who think Israel should annex Judea and Samaria there is a middle ground of at least 60% of Israelis who desire a two-state solution.

He said that in 1999 the electorate threw out Netanyahu in favour of Ehud Barak after three years of relative calm on the terrorism front in the hope of a peace deal with Arafat, but Israelis eventually blamed Arafat for wrecking the prospects for peace.

And while he felt that Abbas is more moderate than Arafat Horovitz found it disturbing that Abbas’ Palestinian statehood speech at the UN highlighted Muslim and Christian claims to the Holy Land while denying Jewish ones.

Then Horovitz turned to Iran. He called Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, a “maverick” and he reckoned that the Stuxnet computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear programme and the assassination of crucial Iranian scientists had Barak’s fingerprints on them.

He said that taking out Iran’s nuclear sites would be much harder than the 1981 attack on Osirak in Iraq (has Iran ever thanked Israel for that?), especially as the Iraqis used to turn their radars off when they went for dinner, which is why Israel attacked in the early evening.

But he warned that should Israel need to attack Iran’s nuclear sites to beware western hypocrisy as politicians will condemn Israel, like they did in 1981, while being secretly relieved.

On hearing about Osirak President Raegan responded “boys will be boys” before being forced into an explicit condemnation of Israel.

Not wishing to end downbeat Horovitz mentioned Israel’s successful economy evidenced by its ever-strengthening Shekel as well as its recent Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the third such prize in seven years.

And, finally, he said it is accepted by most of the political establishment on both the left and right in America that President Obama will get re-elected, and while this might not seem good for Israel Obama has vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and America has not reneged on its military commitments.

MPAC chief to me: “You’re a filthy scumbag who thinks Muslim life is less important than other people’s lives.”

Outside Downing Street yesterday.

Outside Downing Street yesterday.

I made a new best friend last night when I got into a conversation with Asghar Bukhari, the founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, outside Downing Street.

He had spent a few minutes politely educating me in the ways of Israel. He thinks Israel uses the Palestinians as slaves, that they are treated like the blacks in apartheid South Africa and that Israel behaves like the Nazis.

When I explained to him that Arabs living in Israel have it better than many of their brothers and sisters in most Arab and Muslim countries he became highly irritated and went for me personally, as you can see (switch browser if viewing problems):

MPAC is a vile organisation. At the last general election it had a hit list headed “Is your MP a Zionist?” One Jewish MP on the list received a death threat.

At the previous general election MPAC helped unseat the non-Jewish Lorna Fitzsimons as an MP by claiming in leaflets “she had done nothing to help the Palestinians because she was a Jewish member of the Labour Friends of Israel”.

What is shocking is the amount of airtime that the likes of the BBC and Sky give to Bukhari. Go on to youtube and you will be amazed.

Apart from that yesterday’s pro-Israel counter-demonstration called by the ZF, British-Israel Coalition and Stand With Us was a success.

It was in response to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign orchestrated anti-Israel protest in light of the upcoming Palestinian UN statehood bid.

While calling for a Palestinian state the PSC mob also called for the destruction of Israel with their usual refrain of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free”:

Hopefully, David Cameron will have heard this so as to leave him in no doubt as to the true hopes of PSC members if a Palestinian state is ever formed.

Meanwhile, someone from Chabad turned up to blow the Shofar, which was lovely:

And there was an excellent pro-Israel turnout:

I also interviewed the Neturei Karta which I will blog about next.

Some photos:

A tenner if you can guess which side she's on.

A tenner if you can guess which side she's on.

I love Hanoar. I went on Israel tour with them and can tell you some stories.

I love Hanoar. I went on Israel tour with them and can tell you some stories.

Good luck with that.

Good luck with that.

Is this really too much to ask?

Is this really too much to ask?

Good luck with that also.

Good luck with that also.

Downing Street.

Downing Street.

The PSC mob shouting their usual sinister slogans.

The PSC mob shouting their usual sinister slogans.

“They should dig Gilad Shalit up and kill him again”

After the previous Saturday’s attack on Ahava’s Covent Garden store the Metropolitan Police upped their presence to guard against further similar disruption during last Saturday’s anti-Israel protest.

There were about 25 officers.

The anti-Israel activists were there in their usual numbers, about 45, while the pro-Israel counter-demonstators numbered about 15.

Despite being outnumbered it wouldn’t be hard to figure out which side was making the more compelling argument to passers-by.

Police were not letting anyone into the store without prior approval.

As I approached the door two officers menacingly blocked me before looking round at Rita, all of 5 ft tall and alone in the shop, who gave them the nod to allow me in.

I wondered whether the heroic men who attacked the shop the previous Saturday would have done the same if there were two burly male members of staff present in the usually unguarded shop instead of just one or two females.

I doubt it very much being cowards to the core.

Still the leading organising activist told me that such violent action against Ahava will continue until the shop has to shut.

He also went on to tell me that Gilad Shalit, the Israel soldier abducted by Hamas four and a half years ago, should be dug up (assuming he is already dead) and killed again because that is what he deserves. Nice, eh?

That, if anything, is a reminder of the hateful ideology behind this specific protest for those who think that this is just a legitimate protest against Ahava’s presence on the West Bank.

The protest went off smoothly for once, albeit loudly due to Deborah Fink turning up to sing her dreadful Boycott Song to the tune of Hava Nagila for the instant, captive audience that the protest provides her.

Don’t forget to come to the Zionist Federation’s Ahava Buycott on 20th and 21st November and get 10% off all goods in time for Chanukah and Christmas and also shop at the other stores on Monmouth Street, which are also under pressure because of the repetitive and disruptive anti-Israel protests.

Ahava is at 39, Monmouth Street, Covent Garden (Leicester Square tube). Alternatively, go to www.ahava.com to order online.

Here are some clips and pics. of the day:

Gaza similar to Haiti?

Republique d'Haiti

Having attended the Stop the Siege of Gaza rally on tuesday night at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London I have an apology to make. In my last post I suggested that Haita might not be high on these people’s minds but i was wrong. It was. Well, sort of.

More than one speaker made the point that if the soldiers could rush out to a disaster like the Haiti earthquake, then why could they not do the same for Gaza?

Anas Altikriti of the British Muslim Institute spoke of “crocodile tears” over the crisis in Haiti and questioned why no troops had been sent to Gaza (at this point I was dying to put my hand up and mention the relief brought to some Haitians by the Israel medical team, outdoing medical teams from all around the world and even the USA, but I thought I could be lynched).

Jeremy Corbyn MP, said that now it was time to call for economic sanctions against Israel. Then a moment of hope. He was concerned with the people of Haiti but ruined it all by saying that the cause of Haiti was an earthquake but the cause of the problems in Gaza is Israel. So the death and destruction in Haiti was mentioned again but mainly in the context of promoting the Palestinian cause.

Joseph Healey of the Green Party spoke. This is the same Green Party that is supposed to be lobbying our politicians to create alternative sources of energy and lobbying industrial companies to stop chopping down the rain forests. But environmental damage takes a backseat when Israel is on the agenda. Mr Healey spoke of the Green Party’s policies of sanctions and divestment from Israel. In all fairness he did denounce Egypt for building its own wall and he said that Caroline Lucas, his supreme leader, also thought Egypt a disgrace.

Then there was Simon Dubbins, the UNITE union’s head of international affairs, who spoke. The aim of UNITE is to “meet the great challenges facing working people in the 21st century”. These workers can be forgotten though when there is an opportunity to denounce Israel. Mr Dubbins called for boycott, sanctions and divestment from Israel to be put into concrete effect (not much care for Israeli workers then). He committed himself to continue his work with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to end the “siege” of Gaza, to bring the Israeli war criminals to trial and, get this, bring justice and peace. Thank the Lord for Mr Dubbins!

Then up popped Ismael Patel, of the Friends of al-Aqsa , who gave a stirring speech. Apparently Operation Cast Lead was all about Israel restoring its deterrent factor which it had, apparently, lost in Lebanon in 2006. He spoke of the friends of Israel who might be powerful but they are few and far between. He screamed his closing paragraph to the delight of his salivating audience: “We will bring down the Zionist state so Christians, Jews and Muslims can live as one people from the river to the sea”.

Then there was Lowkey, a rapper. Lowkey is half-British, half-Iraqi and very, very angry about what is happening to the Palestinian people. He almost rapped his way through his speech. History, or maths, isn’t his strong point though. He spoke of 60 years of military occupation. Seeing that the occupation started in 1967 that just doesn’t add up, Mr Lowkey.

Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Monitor, gave an interesting comparison. He said that Israel had destroyed 45 mosques in Gaza but then asked us to “imagine the reaction in Britain if one synagogue was destroyed”. He then praised Hugo Chavez and signed off by calling Israel a “brutal, totalitarian, racist, apartheid state”. Cue, huge applause.

For me though biggest insult was given by the Chairman for the evening. Hugh Lanning, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Deputy General Secretary, started off by saying that 1400 Palestinians had been killed in Operation Cast Lead but “just 13 Israelis”. Sorry, Mr Lanning, was that not enough for you? I suggest that next time you state that “1400 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis”.

Then it was time for the big denouement. The creme de la creme of Palestinian activists who sat silently throughout as 15 or so speakers came and went, George Galloway.

George mentioned how he is now banned from Egypt while “this dictatorship” is in power which he prayed will not be for very much longer (rather ironically George can freely visit Israel). He also gave Israel some advice: They should not even think of going back into Gaza or it would cost the lives of thousands of Israeli soldiers. He also asked why a “tiny settler state of six million people” can be allowed to repeatedly imperil the security and stability of the world.

Lowkey, left, a rapper.

Charmingly, George then went on to say that Israel has very few supporters outside the “cesspits” of the Zionist Federation, the Centre for Social Cohesion and Harry’s Place (Cesspit: covered pit for liquid waste and sewage). But, he continued, Israel has friends in the British police who committed brutal attacks against supporters of Palestine during last January’s London protests. He failed to mention that a British bobby had been knocked unconscious

Finally, George turned to the situation with Turkey and said that in a couple of months time Turkey will lead a flotilla of ships into Gaza to break the siege. He finished off with pointing out that the borders to Gaza may be locked by Israel and Egypt but the sea is open to those who have the courage to take it, “we do, you’ll see”. Cue, standing ovation.

Fighting talk, George. Yes, we will see.

Alexei Sayle: Ullo John got a new motor?