Thursday, April 29, 2010

What the media is not telling you

The relentless campaign to deligitimize Israel is massively helped by the refusal of the main stream media to publish any stories that cast Palestinians and their supporters in a negative light. The classic case of this was the massive self-censorship in Jan 2009 which suppressed almost all the news of the riots by anti-Israel demonstrators on the streets of London. Those stories do not fit with the media's prevailing 'vision' of the demonstrators being 'anti-war' luvvies who simply feel the 'pain of an oppressed people'. The results of such sensorship is that, without any irony at all, the handful of violent demonstrators who were actually jailed recently at Isleworth Crown Court, have become cause-celebres among the Leftist-Islamist alliance, who proclaim that they are political prisoners jailed merely because they are Muslims.

One of the continuing stories ignored by the main stream media is the campaign (often accompanied by violence) to stop any speakers who are not anti-Israel from speaking at public events. Hence not one British media outlet felt it newsworthy that an Israeli female diplomat was attacked at Manchester University this week. Nor was it newsworthy that the event (which had previously been cancelled because of threats of violence) was only able to go ahead at all because of a complete lockdown of the building, a high-level security presence, ID checks at the door and ticket-only arrangements.

And here is another story which, mysteriously, did not get a mention anywhere:

Hamas claims Egyptians kill 4 Palestinians by gassing them in a tunnel.

If Hamas had accused Israel of doing that, the story would have been blasted all over the UK media, even ahead of the election coverage.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ahava protest (24 April 2010) and the ISM link

Richard Millett has reported previously on the bi-weekly protests against the Ahava store in Covent Garden. Some photos of yesterday's protest, including a counter-protest are here.

It is important to note that one of the main organisations involved in this protest is the International Solidarity Movement, which supports the destruction of Israel but claims it wishes to achieve this by 'non-violent' means. It is difficult to find a more hypocritical organisation than this. There is overwhelming evidence that the organisation supports terrorism against Israel (see here, here, here, here for example). Moreover, the organisation played a significant role in the suicide bombing of Mike's Place in Tel Aviv in 2003 by the British terrorists Asif Muhammad Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif. Israel's General Security Service (GSS) reported "The two terrorists were careful to base their presence in Judea and Samaria by forging links with members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) ".

So while the ISM tells unsuspecting British shoppers in Covent Garden about mythically disposessed Palestinian farmers, it is worth remembering REAL victims and the role ISM played in their deaths. Three young talented people Dominique Hass, 29, Ran Baron, 23, and Yanai Weiss, 46, were killed in the Mikes Place bombing and over 50 more were seriously injured.

Update 2015:Confessions of an ISM member

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hypocrites: The ASA and its ban on Israel advertising its holiest sites (it's worse than what you may have read elsewhere)

In one of the most bizarre anti-Israel moves yet in the UK, the Government's Advertising Standards Authority (the ASA) has banned the Israel Government Tourist Office from advertising sites in East Jersualem including, of course, the holiest sites in Judaism such as the Wailing Wall and Temple Mount. A good report and analysis of this story is here and also here.

Some people are talking about a Facebook campaign to protest this ruling and about writing to the ASA and their MPs etc. But what I discovered when looking at the ASA website was something truly unbelievable and which may be easier to get some action on than a whole reverse of the ban. Basically, I believe the ASA has clearly breached its own (i.e. the ASA) guidelines in the way it is promoting the story. It is guilty of the very behaviour it was set up to protect the British public from, namely misleading and offensive promotion. To see what I mean I have done a screen capture of one of the rolling headlines promoting "ASA in the media" from the ASA home page (click to enlarge):

As you can see the gloating banner for "ASA in the media" says:

"Israel under fire for advertising dream holidays ... to Palestine"

Although these headlines are feeds from external News agencies, it is still the ASA's responsibility to ensure that any such material conforms to its own guidelines (since they are using only those that promote the ASA itself). So what I have done is submit an advertising complaint to ASA using its own online procedure for complaining about adverts. That's OK because you can select the category which includes "Internet" then the subcategory "Promotions & Offers" (since the ASA is using the banner headlines to promote its own work). Once you have done that there is a text field where you fill in the details of your complaint. Here is what I submitted:

The claim saying "Israel under fire for advertising dream holidays ... to Palestine" is itself grossly misleading and should never have appeared on the ASA website.

This claim presumably relates to the ASA's decision to ban the Israel Government Tourist Office from advertising sites in Jersusalem such as the holiest site in the Jewish world (the Temple Mount and Wailing Wall). Notwithstanding the idiocy of that decision (which will be the subject of a separate complaint) the specific complaint here is that the headline implies that these sites in the old city of Jerusalem are not part of Israel but are part of 'Palestine'. There are a number of reasons why this is incorrect:

  1. Most obviously, there is no country called Palestine.
  2. Even prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, the old city of Jerusalem was never envisaged as being part of a future (Arab) state of Palestine (the UN plan was for the old city to be under 'international' jurisdiction).
  3. The old city has only ever been under Arab control during the period 1948-1967 when Jordan illegally annexed it after its army drove out or killed every single Jew. During that period not a single Jew was allowed into the old city to visit their holiest sites. Moreover the Jordanians destroyed every synagogue (numbering hundreds ) and all the Jewish cemetries.
  4. Irrespective of the legal claims to the city, the city itself and all access to it, is controlled completely by Israel (and has been for the last 43 years) and only Israel can therefore meaningfully advertise tourism to the old city.

For a compehensive summary of the necessary historical context of Jerusalem see:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Difference Between Israelis and Palestinians

Came across the following great quote

"In Israeli fairy tales the story ends with peace between natural enemies while in Palestinian fairy tales the story ends with the death of the Jews and Israel wiped off the map."

Worth reading the whole article.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Israel alone

In case anybody was thinking that Israel's isolation in the world (and the world's irrational hostility toward it) is anything new the following article (forwarded by a friend) was published a year after the six-day war by German-American writer Eric Hoffer. Replace Nasser with Ahmedinejhad and everything rings just as true now (even the disgusting behaviour of Sweden).

ISRAEL'S PECULIAR Eric Hoffer –Los Angeles Times May 26, 1968.

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel , the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.
Other nations, when they are defeated, survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967], he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.
No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia. But, when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one demonstrated against him. The Swedes, who were ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we did in Vietnam , did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troops in Norway. The Jews are alone in the world.
If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment, Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally.
We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer [1967] had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war, to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general. I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.

The man who Obama should be talking to

If you only read one article in the next week I recommend it should be Michael Totten's interview with a man who knows the Iranian regime better than anybody in Obama's White House (he worked inside the regime for many years). This man explains not only why the Iranians cannot be allowed to go nuclear but also how surprisingly easily (and with little bloodshed) the regime could be stopped if America showed even the smallest resolve. The tragedy is that Obama has now made it very clear that he will not lift a finger. This means it will be left to Israel sooner rather than later and that is going to be a whole lot messier (as the Iranian clearly explains).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Expansionist Israel?

Following on from my post yesterday about the Art exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery and the infamous maps showing 'Israel's expansionist occupation' I decided that the best way to counter these maps is to show the following alternatives (I could not find anything like the first on the web so I developed it myself - the second is a a variant of maps that do exist out there). The first demonstrates, in contrast to the Arab propagandists, the extent to which Israel is shrinking - as well as the extent to which Israel will go for peace (click to enlarge):

The next shows Israel in context with its Muslim neighbours:

When I have time I also plan to do one that shows the uprooting of Jews from Arab lands.

I plan to get some of these printed to hand out at the Serpentine Gallery.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Anti-Israel propaganda portraying as art and funded by us (the UK taxpayer)

When I first started writing this blog in the summer of 2005 it was as a result of going to see a play which, instead of the pleasant evening out I was expecting, turned out to be a barely disguised piece of anti-Israel propaganda.
I have lost count of the number of times since when trips to the centre of London have been spoilt by either anti-Israel demonstrators trying to stop cultural events with Israeli connections or anti-Israel propaganda disguised as art. I have blogged about this on numerous occasions such as an exhibition at the Saatchi gallery last year. The extent to which the demonisation and deligitimisation of Israel has infiltrated British consciousness has now reached epidemic proportions and I was confonted by an especially pernicious example today at the Serpentine Gallery, a small gallery in the centre of Hyde Park.
First of all it is important to note that entrance to the Serpentine Gallery is free because it is funded by you and me the UK taxpayer. Indeed, the Arts Council Website confirms the following information about funding:
Serpentine Gallery will receive £904,499 in 2008/2009, £928,920 in 2009/2010 and £954,001 in 2010/2011.
The current exhibition at the gallery is the work of the veteren British artist Richard Hamilton. To give you an idea of what it contained, here is the centre-piece:

Yes, that's a map (more on this later) that is intended to highlight 'Israeli occupation'; and to give a feel for the extent to which routine anti-Israel sentiment is accepted and promulgated by the intellectual elite, here is the glowing description of the work in The Times:
As if to prove how pertinent he remains, the new works at the beginning are concerned with the outrageous behaviour of Mossad, the Israeli secret service. In 1986, Mossad kidnapped the Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu in Rome, after he had revealed in this newspaper that Israel had developed an independent nuclear deterrent and was sitting on a stockpile of 100 nuclear warheads. Tried by a secret Israeli court, Vanunu managed to write the details of his kidnapping on the palm of his hand and thrust it against a car window in front of passing photographers. This is the image that Hamilton, for some weirdly prescient reason, has chosen to repeat, just as we Brits are feverishly checking our passports to see if we too have been to Dubai.
Hamilton doesn’t lecture or rant or orate. Instead, he identifies a telling image, then lets it ripple through your thoughts of its own accord. The fuzzy picture of Vanunu is accompanied by a pair of maps, one showing the boundaries of the state of Israel as fixed by the UN partition of 1947, the other showing them as they are today. Stan Laurel has turned into Oliver Hardy.
For those of you who have witnessed any of the Hamas/Hezbollah love fests masquerading as 'pro-Palestinian' demonstrations in the last few years you will see straight away that the above 'artwork' is in fact simply the map used by these groups to deligitimize Israel. Here it is as advertised on one of many anti-Israel websites:

The map is a lie and/or misleading in several respects, which are laid out in the appendix below.
To present it as 'art' demands some answers from the Serpentine Gallery and the Arts Council, especially as we the taxpayers are paying for it and visitors at the gallery are not given either relevant information about the context or reasons why the map is wrong/misleading.
In the broader context I'd like to know why, with everything going on in the world, only tiny Israel's existence seems to inspire the rage of the artistic and cultural elite. Islamists are massacring Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews but most of all fellow Muslims, on a daily basis all over the world but especially in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, India, Somalia, Yemen, Thailand, Indonesia, Philipines, Lebanon, Egypt, Kenya, Russia - to date over 15,000 deadly terrorist attacks by Islamists just since September 11, 2001 (see Religion of Peace website for a complete listing of them all). Countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran have ruthlessly used massive force to crush internal rebellions and external enemies usually killing more people in a single operation than Israel has killed defending itself in all its wars put together. All of those countries (along with the rest of the Muslim world) also indoctrinate their population with anti-semitic hatred and practice openly apartheid policies (even in Jordan, which actually has a peace treaty with Israel, it is illegal for a Jew to be a citizen). Only last week the President of Turkey threatened to expel the entire Armenian population as a reprisal for the Americans finally recognising the Turkish (i.e. Islamist) massacre of Armenians in 1915. None of that stirs the feelings of the artistic elite. Only Israel's attempts to do defend itself from relentless terrorist bombardments and threats to its existence inspire their anger.
To give another flavour of this same argument, I found something very illuminating in the latest issue of the Jewish Chronicle magazine. There is an interview there with the Jewish comedian David Baddiel about his new film "The Infidel" (about a Muslim who discovers that he is Jewish). One question asks:
What can the film teach audiences?
Baddiel answers: "The main Muslim characters in the film are not suicide bombers or fundamentalists, they are just ordinary people and the film tries to show them as such".
OK, but the very next question is:
What does being Jewish mean to you religiously and culturally?
Baddiel answers: "Probably the key speech in the film is when the rabbi, played by Matt Lucas, doesn't let Mahmud in to see his father, who is dying, because he can't say the Shema. That is the definition of Judaism."
Obviously Baddiel does not see the irony of his determination to portray Muslims as 'just like us', but to portray Jews as religious fanatics. In his own naive way he is no better than Richard Hamilton.

Appendix: Why the map is a lie and/or misleading
  • Above all the map suggests that, prior to 1947 there was an Arab state of Palestine. There was not. In fact the Palestine that was promised to the Jews as part of the Balfour declaration was the British mandate territory that includes what later become the state of Jordan:

The most accurate sequence of maps showing Israel's changing size is not the one in the Hamilton/Hamas propaganda but rather the following that shows a somewhat different narrative:

(see more here about this map)
  • Only the Jews of Palestine considered themselves Palestinian before 1948. The Arabs - most of whom had come to Palestine from Egypt and Syria because of the economic opportunities opened up by the Jews - considered themselves to be Syrian.
  • Despite the fact that 80% of mandate Palestine (not shown at all on the exhibition map) had already been granted to the Arabs exclusively to become the new state of Jordan, the Jews of Palestine accepted the UN partition plan of 1947. The surrounding Arabs states did not accept it and launched a war of annihilation against the Jews (during and after which some 1 million Jews from Arab countries were forced to leave - most of them came to Israel).
  • The result of the war that was intended to murder every single Jew in Palestine was that the invading Arab armies were defeated and the Jews controlled slightly more territory overall than was part of the 1947 plan; however, they also lost some territory such as the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem (including Judaisms's holiest sites such as the Wailing Wall) and Gush Etzion that even the 1947 plan had not considered to be under Arab control.
  • The UN accepted the 1949 armistice line as defining the borders of Israel, while calling for East Jerusalem (now under Jordanian occupation) to be 'internationalised'.
  • The Arab states refused to recognise the State of Israel and have continued to this day to try to destroy it. The Jordanians who occupied East Jerusalem in 1948 expelled every Jew and destroyed every synagogue in the old city. Not a single Jew was allowed to enter Judaism's holiest sites until 1967 when, after the Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians launched another attempted war of annhiliation, Israel regained control over the old city and other areas.
  • Israel offered to withdraw from all the newly gained territories in return for peace but the offer was rejected by the Arab countries. With the exception of Jewish East Jerusalem Israel has essentially made the same offer over and again ever since but it has always been rejected. Despite this Israel has returned the whole of Gaza and most of the West Bank to Palestinian control. But the Arabs continue to demand the destruction of all of Israel.
  • The map that would have truly shown the context necessary is the one that shows Israel in the context of the Arab and Muslim world (click to enlarge):

  • The tiny strip of land that is Israel is less than the size of Wales; just counting the 22 Arab Muslim countries that surround it (i.e. ignoring the 36 other Muslim countries in the world) the land mass of the Arab countries is about 700 times as great.

Friday, April 02, 2010


  • A useful summary of how Obama's radical Marxist background was covered up. And here's information about him cosying up to Hamas. When is the media going to wake up to what this guy is about?
  • The sheer hypocrisy of Israel's supposed insult to the US over housing in Jerusalem.
  • The stupidity of US engagement with Syria.
  • A frightening insight into the thinking of supposedly 'ultra moderate' Muslim MP Shahid Malik (a Government Minister even). Watch the video (to a Muslim audience) - it's very short; he praises charities which have now been linked to Hamas and he boasts of over billion pounds of Government money given to (failed) Muslim countries (including £250 million to 'Palestine') which we known inevitably ends up in the hnads of the Islamists. But he also talks about a day when the whole of the British Parliament will be filled with Muslims. Imagine if this was a Jewish MP (the cries of 'dual loyalty' would be deafening).