Thursday, September 15, 2011

What hope for Israel if this is one of its ‘advocates’?

I went to the first in a series of what are billed ‘Israel Advocacy’ meetings at a Jewish community centre this evening. I understand the meeting was sponsored by BICOM (who I am sending a copy of this report). Indeed the speaker Dr Noam Leshem said at the start of his presentation that he was responsible for writing much of BICOM’s advocacy material. That is deeply troubling, because what we heard from Dr Leshem would not have been out of place at a Palestine Solidarity Committee meeting. The whole point of BICOM is that it is supposed to challenge the anti-Israel narrative that dominates the main stream media. If I had wanted to hear yet another hour about Palestinian victimhood I could have turned on the BBC or Al Jazeera. And while I consider myself knowledgeable enough  to have seen through the propaganda, there were many in the audience, who came there expecting to learn how to speak up for Israel, who would have gone away actually thinking there was no point.

Dr Leshem teaches Geography at Royal Holloway College and has a PhD about the conflicting histories of the Israel/Palestine conflict. He was born in Israel, but has presumably spent most of his academic life in the USA and the UK. He is typical of many left-wing Israelis who sees Israel as being the source of all problems in the Middle East, while Arabs have nothing to answer for.

So we certainly did not get any Israel advocacy but we did get plenty of revisionist history in which he essentially presented the Palestinian narrative of it, and he claimed that the conflict could be resolved if only the Israelis were more aware of Arab sensitivities. His central thesis (and he reminded us arrogantly several times that he had researched this for six years) was that the ‘conflict’ was simply a ‘labour’ struggle in which the Jews forced out Arab labourers from working the scarce agricultural land that was available. He even argued that land bought legally by Jews from Arab owners really belonged to the other Arabs (i.e. the non-owners) who lived on that land.

He claimed that the conflict officially started with the Arab revolt in 1935 (he conveniently ignored the many previous pogroms committed by Arabs against Jews in the 1920s including the massacre of most of the Jewish population of Hebron in 1929, but in his view of the world there was no such thing as Arab terrorism). He claimed the 1935 Arab revolt was evidence that the Arabs – and not the Jews – were the first to assert a national Palestinian identify. To support his argument he actually quoted a claim by Rashid Khalidi that the Palestinian Arabs asserted their national Palestinian identity in the early nineteenth century (failing to inform the audience that Khalidi is an extreme Palestinian propagandist who funded the Gaza flotilla ship that sailed from America). Even more outrageously (and ignoring all the evidence that the British gave the Arabs free reign to murder Jews) he claimed that the British crushed the 1935 Arab revolt with such force that it wiped out the entire (Arab) Palestinian leadership as well as all their infrastucture and funding; and that it was this act by the British which enabled the Jews to establish themselves more effectively and was the reason why the Jews were able to win the War on Independence in 1948.

Leshem spoke a lot about the need to accommodate the Palestinian 'refugees', which prompted one member of the audience to raise the issue of the 800,000 Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab lands.  He  was asked specifically about why the Israeli government did not make more political capital from the Jewish 'naqba'. His response was abrupt and rude. He said something like 'that is a dead subject - there is absolutely nothing to be gained from raising it and I advise people never to bring it up as it can only make the situation worse'.
According to Noam Leshem the Arabs and not the Jews were the first to assert a Palestinian identity. So how would he explain these posters from the 1940s?

In response to a question about why he failed to mention the religious aspect of the conflict (such as Muslim intolerance of Jews) his response was that there were fanatics in every religion and that the biggest threat to Israel came from the Jewish West Bank settlers (he gave the example of his car being petrol bombed in the West Bank while on Army reserve duty).

Most worrying of all is that, if he is telling the truth about his current activities, he has the ear of Israeli and Arab politicians at the highest level and appears to be discussing with them the forthcoming UN vote.

Whoever he is advising it should certainly not be BICOM, but it is indicative of the spinelessness of British Jewry that they can use a guy like this as one of their prominent spokesman on behalf of Israel.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

World Gone Mad

The madness in the world surely cannot be better summed up than today's headlines and the reporting behind them.

The big story is that thousands of Egyptian 'democrats' have stormed and partially destroyed the Israeli embassy in Cairo. All the Israeli staff managed to get our before being killed but it is unlikely that any shall ever return to Egypt. Yet, according to BBC Radio London (the only news I listened to today) the rioters are only 'demonstrating because Israel killed 5 Egyptian policemen last month' (a complete lie and totally irrelevant but so long as it enables the BBC to create the impression that riots in Cairo directed against Jews is the fault of Israel then that is OK).

And what does the world say about it? Nothing - not one single condemnation. We know that Obama has 'spoken with Netanyahu' (probably to warn him not to do anything about it). But Obama has issued a damning condemnation of ... Israel for some kids writing graffiti on a West Bank mosque in revenge for the army destroying a Jewish outpost of three houses at Migron. The US State Departments says "Israel must arrest culprits".

And the madness is completed with this headline: G8 to extend Arab Spring financing pledge to $38 billion.

So we will can all look forward to financing the increasing Islamisation of Egypt and Tunisia (a country where anti-Semitism is also about to get a whole lot worse).

Friday, September 09, 2011

Comparing the response to 9/11 with the response to Pearl Harbour

If aliens came down to earth this week and watched the plethora of 9/11 documentaries that have been showing in the UK (and I believe also in the US), then they would believe that it was some kind of a terrible natural disaster in which the primary victims were Muslims. A brilliant analysis by Sultan Knish explains in full how the important historical lessons have been whitewashed out, primarily so as to not upset Muslim sentiment. As he says this leads to the following kind of ramifications:

The Pew polls show a steady growth in the number those who believe that American wrongdoing led to the attacks-- from a third after the attacks, to 43 percent today. Give the enemy another decade to do its work and those numbers will be in the sixties. And their game is simple enough, remove the actual history and the images of the massacres-- and replace it with an emphasis on foreign policy. Mix in news stories about Islamophobia, stir the pot a little and you're done.
It is especially interesting to compare the 9/11 documentaries with the documentaries about the Pearl Harbour attack. Whereas the level of destruction and cost of human life were very similar, the latter documentaries focus almost entirely on the Japanese attackers and their motives and strategy. For 9/11 there apparently were no attackers with motives. The attacks simply 'happened'.

But the documentaries also reflect the very different responses to the two events. If the response to Pearl Harbour had been the same as that of 9/11, the US would have declared a 'war against fighter aircraft that have the potential to attack ships' with a clear statement that 'this in no way linked to the great nation of Japan which, like Nazi Germany, is a nation of peace'. This might  have been followed by a few sorties against Japanese fighter aircraft (and, as a token to prove there was no bias against the Japanese people, some British spitfires would also have been attacked). This would have been followed by years of appeasement of Japan and Germany, plus massive funding of 'moderate' Japanese and Nazi institutions. The media would have devoted most of its time on identifying what the US had done to invite the attacks. For example, it would no doubt have focused on the US refusal to help Germany invade Britain, thus stopping the natural hegemony of Nazi control of the whole of Europe. Indeed Britain (and Singapore) would have become the focus of hatred for provoking the Nazis (Japs) and daring to protect their right to exist. By 1945 America would have been a Japanese colony, and to this day Europe would still be under Nazi rule.

Conversely, if the response to 9/11 had been similar to the actual response to Pearl Harbour then the US would have declared war on all Islamic fundamentalists and would not have stopped until Islam was totally eradicated throughout the world as a supremacist belief. The first targets would have been Iran and Saudi Arabia. The war would only have finished with a prolonged programme of 'de-Islamification' (the de-Nazification  programme for Germany took many years to work even though the people had only been indoctrinated for 10 years. Islamists have been indoctrinating Muslims for 1300 years).

Anyway, on the subject of anniversaries of terrible events, the Jersualem Post reminds us today of an event I knew nothing about (in fact, I find it shocking that this event has simply been forgotten). In 1941  the Italian Air Force launched a bombing campaign against central Tel Aviv resulting in 137 deaths and widespread damage. Although Palestine, as it then was, was under British control and Britain was at war with Italy, there was no possible military purposes whatsoever for the attack; at the time Tel Aviv had not a single military installation and no air defences at all. There were other parts of Palestine that had British military bases, but of course what Tel Aviv had was a lot Jews trying to build their city and live their lives in peace. So I cannot imagine why that, of all places, would have been specially targeted for death and destruction .....

And finally here is a reminder of what I wrote on a previous anniversay of 9/11. As each year passes the satire looks increasingly like reality.

Postscript: Elder of Ziyon reminds us of the Palestinian celebrations that followed the 9/11 attacks  You will never see these videos again in the UK. This has been officially written out of media history. Instead, the documentaries focus on the handful of Muslim victims of 9/11 or the completely fabricated notion that there was a widespread 'anti-Muslim' reaction; and in the Hollywood films about 9/11 you see scenes of Muslims and Arabs around the world stunned, crying and praying. And Elder also has an article with an eye witness account of the celebrations in Lebanon.

Postscript 2: Although Sultan Knish's analysis suggests a kind of a universal Western strategy of deliberately downplaying the horror of terrorist attacks and ignoring the attackers and their motives this is, of course, only true when the attackers are Muslims (which admittedly they are in 99% of cases). So, for example, in the Norway attacks, the media were completely obsessed in exposing the 'far right' motives of the killer and you can be sure that in years to come the many documentaries about the Norway attack will focus entirely on the killer and not (as in 9/11) on the killer's 'right-wing' victims (who actually include notable anti-Jihadists like Robert Spencer, who the media outrageously accused of inspiring the killer).

Postscript 3: Anybody who doubts that David Cameron is the most dangerously anti-Israel Prime Minister in Britain's history should look at the speech he made today to commemorate the 9/11 attacks. As reported by the Evening Standard
The Prime Minister accepted that America, Britain and other European nations had to address Muslim grievances, including solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Since we know he believes that Israeli 'intransgence' is the only reason for lack of Arab-Israeli peace, it follows that he sees Israel as a primary cause of 9/11.  As Melanie Phillips discusses today
The problem lies at the political level. While many Tory backbenchers support Israel, the government - with some very honourable exceptions -- is hostile.

So much so that a group of Tory MPs and others in the party who are well-disposed to Israel have reportedly formed an informal group to prevent David Cameron from throwing Israel under the bus altogether.

This group has become very alarmed by the government's repeated sniping against Israel, such as Cameron's calculated gesture of hostility in stepping down as patron of the JNF.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Times uses anti-Israel terrorist supporter as Israel's spokesperson

When the Turkel report into the Mavi Marmura incident cleared Israel of any wrongdoing and put the blame firmly on Turkey (which sponsored the terrorists on board who attacked the Israelis) the world either took no notice or, if they did, called it a whitewash. The usual Israel haters demanded a UN enquiry since they know that anything sponsored by the UN has a built-in anti-Israel bias. Well, the UN's own Palmer enquiry has reached almost the same conclusions as Turkel. The Palmer report also backed Israel's legal right to impose a naval blockade on Gaza.  Yet the main-stream media has managed to ignore all of that and has chosen to focus on the one, relatively small, part of the Palmer report which is critical of Israel (it said Israeli commandos used "excessive and unacceptable force"). For example, Sky News which did not spend one second covering the recent barrage of rocket attacks against Israel or the terrorist attack last week in Tel Aviv, suddenly found room on Friday evening to focus as a main item every hour exclusively on this one negative aspect of the Palmer report.  Elder of Ziyon has highlighted that this is also exactly the stance of Amnesty International.

But, by far the worst example of this is the Times on 3 September. Ignoring completely the ongoing massacres in Syria and the current massacres of Kurds being carried out by both Turkey and Iran (which in a sane world would be the focus of international anger) the Times has chosen to dedicate the entire front page of its World News section to an article by James Hider - in Turkey of course - which castigates Israel and casts Turkey as the honourable country for expelling the Israel ambassador. But it is the last paragraph of the report which is the piece de resistance and prompted me to write the following self-explanatory letter to the Times:

Dear Sirs

James Hider's full page article "Israel isolation grows as ambassador thrown out over blockade ship raid" is one of the most ignorant and biased reports ever written in the Times.

The main findings of the Palmer report, which the article is supposed to be about, were that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legal and that Turkey had colluded with a terrorist organisation - the IHH - to breach this legal blockade. Yet the article focuses on the one, relatively small, part of the Palmer report which is critical of Israel (it said Israeli commandos used "excessive and unacceptable force"). Having failed to either present the Israeli case or quote a single Israeli source anywhere else in the article, Hider ends with the following:
The report's finding that the blockade is legitimate was rejected by Hanin Zoabi of the Israeli parliament, who called for "those who sent the army to stop the flotilla [to] be brought before international tribunals"
What Hider fails to inform his readers is that Zoabi is an Arab member of Parliament who is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and who was actually on the Mavi Mamura with the Turkish IHH terrorists - an act which rightly got her suspended from Parliament.

Such malicious and deliberately misleading reporting is unbecoming of the Times. In fact, the article seems to be nothing more than a propaganda piece for the Turkish government.  Hider would be advised to inform readers about what is really going on in Turkey at the moment. I strongly recommend he looks at the writing of a real expert such as Barry Rubin here.

Yours Edgar Davidson
It is also interesting to note that the same edition of the Times has a lead article (page 2) about the disruption of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. The article is promisingly tagged "Disruption of a concert by Israeli musicians was not legitimate protest but bigotry". However, the main argument of the article is that the concert should not have been disrupted because the IPO is not representative of the Israeli Government - it even makes the irrelevant point that it 'was founded in 1936' , i.e. before the State of Israel was born (so we can only assume that Times would support the disruptors if, for example, the members of the IPO declared themselves to be happy with the State of Israel). Moreover, the article ploughs in with the usual caveats like "The Times has criticised Israeli policies on security and the settlements" and it bizarrely reminds readers that the Times "exposed the use of white phosphorus by the Israel Defence Force despite official denials in Gaza in 2009".  Using the white phosphorus issue to demonize Israel with is something that should have been nailed long ago. For a start white phosphorus is not an illegal weapon - it is used to create smoke or illuminate a target and has been used by American and other NATO forces; Israel did not deny its use in Gaza. So the Times is, as usual talking rubbish. But it turns out that only today the claims that had been made by Hamas (and believed by the West) that white phosphorus had caused injuries in Gaza have been proved false in the latest wikileaks material.