Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Anti-semitic anti-Israel propaganda delivered to Birmingham homes

"Slaney St Free" - (described on their website as a "Birmingham based democratic news co-operative") is a free monthly newspaper delivered to homes throughout Birmingham. It is not clear who funds it, as the website 'about' link is empty. The September edition - delivered to the home of a friend - has the Palestine flag on its cover and contains some of the most vicious anti-Israel propaganda I have seen outside of Muslim countries - mixed in with good old-fashioned anti-semitism.

As an example, the article below by Robert Brenchley called the "Cleansing of Palestine" repeats all the usual well-known lies and blood libels (including the infamous maps that lie) and inversion of reality (whereby it is the Jews who are apparently racist and terrorists and
"Israel has had opportunity after opportunity to make peace and settle the conflict, and has thrown away every one of them."). But it also contains some fairly novel material such as the spectacularly bizarre notion of Israel's 'demonization of Arab resistance' which presumably means that Israel is committing a crime for trying to stop terrorists killing its civilians. The article misquotes a fringe Israeli politician to conclude that the policy of the Government of Israel is to commit a Nazi-style genocide against the Palestinians. And it claims that the Jewish suffering in the Holocaust was not only not unique, but "was one of many genocides that resulted from the spread of the European empires".  This is the kind of material that is especially being used to target and brainwash students.

Update: Now a request to support Hamas comes through the letter box

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

George Mason University student supports ISIS beheading of Stephen Sotfloff because "he was an Israeli - part of Mossad"

This video of MRCTV’s Dan Joseph trying to get American University students to sign a petition (on 11 September) to support ISIS is currently doing the rounds. Most of those who sign are jerks who know nothing about ISIS and will sign anything that is presented as "anti-war" rhetoric. But, frighteningly, one girl who eagerly signs the petition clearly knows very well who they are. At 1.17 she says (about beheaded Jewish journalist Stephen Sotloff):

"Have you seen the Stephen guy the journalist (who got beheaded) .. he was actually an Israeli and part of the Mossad" ...
At 1.49 (after showing some other people) the video shows the same girl saying
"every religion has their moments ..don't even get me started on what the Christians did to non-believers".

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guess which Israelis and Jews ARE welcome at the LSE's Middle East Centre..

Yesterday I reported about Israelis not being eligible for scholarships at the LSE's Middle East Centre. This does not mean that Israelis and Jews have no place there. In fact, I can report that there are some Israelis and Jews who ARE welcome .... just those who happen to be anti-Zionists who also support the academic boycott of Israel. Indeed, in the next few weeks the Centre is hosting major presentations by two of the worst of such people: Smadar Lavi (on 27 October 2014) and Joel Beinin (on 4 November 2014) who are not just classic "self-hating Jews" but also archetypal examples of the very worst kind of deranged, pompous, self-righteous academics:

Smadar Lavie describes herself as an "Arab Jew residing in Israel" (although she actually works at the University of Berkeley California). You can read about her here (on the well named "Pathetic Assholes Conspiring to Boycott Israel" website). She has managed to create her own special category of extremist ultra-leftist anti-Zionist "Mizrahi" feminism. She is a regular contributor to the anti-Israel blog Electronic Intifada and she uses her Israeli nationality to deligitimize Israel publicly claiming it is an apartheid state. Here is her own report of her presentation last week to the antisemitic Irish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The Jewish anti-Israel (and some claim antisemitic) website Mondoweiss  published a favourable review of her latest book which is the subject of her talk entitled: "Mizrahi Mothers, Wrapped in the Flag: Ultra-Nationalism, Apartheid, and the Divinity of Bureaucracy in Israel".

To give you a feel for the academic pomposity, hatred, and downright lies of Lavie here is a letter she had published in the Guardian in 2005 supporting the academic boycott of Israel. It ends with the assertion
"...Israel's academics perpetrate and benefit from the systematic discrimination against Israel's 70% non-European majority (48% Mizrahim and 22% Palestinian). Israel's Ashkenazi "post-Zionist" professors, brandishing their progressive politics as they use Mizrahim and Palestinians for grantsmanship and as career advancement tools, are just the cynical tip of this apartheid iceberg"

Joel Beinin (a Professor at Stanford University) is a leading figure in the Israel boycott campaign. Here is his recent article on the Mondoweiss blog criticising those who argued against a boycott, but even more revealing is this video interview conducted with him during the recent Gaza conflict where his support for Hamas and contempt for Israel are overwhelming (at 27:37 he calls Israeli teenagers "Nazis"). Richard Millett wrote about a previous talk by Beinin in which he said (of Israel's attempt to improve accommodation for Bedouins in the Negev) that this was “putting them into what would effectively be concentration camps.”  His talk at the LSE is entitled "High-Risk Activism and Popular Struggle against the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank".

Update 8 Nov 2014: Richard Millett reports on the Joel Beinin talk: “Palestinians are the victims of the victims of the Holocaust."

Sky News' increasingly obsessive anti-Israel agenda

As you can see from the report here at Harry's Place, the Deputy News Editor of  Sky News Arabia (Jessy El Murr) refuses to allow any report from the Israeli perspective and believes that the Israelis have surpassed not only the evil of the Nazis but the worst evil in the world by "miles and miles and miles and more miles".

But the author of the article makes the mistake of assuming that Sky News Arabia is not at all representative of the main Sky News franchise.  She clearly has not been following the main Sky News' coverage of Israel since 2005 (when Israel-hating James Murdoch** took over). Here are some examples of stories about Sky News bias that I have written over the years. Their systematic anti-Israel bias is actually worse than the BBC and, unlike the BBC, they normally ignore formal complaints completely.
** See, for example: Murdoch, Son differ sharply over Israel,   Saudi Prince endorses anti-Israel Murdoch son to head FOX News empire.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Israelis barred from applying to the LSE's Middle East Centre Scholarship Programme

In 2010 I reported on how the new Middle East Centre at the prestigious LSE (London School of Economics) eradicated Israel from the map (literally), and how leading members of the Centre's managment team supported an academic boycott of Israel.  Despite many subsequent assurances that the map was an error and that the Centre "provides balanced and informed analysis of the region ...and is committed to rigorous research and scholarship with the scrupulous preservation of its academic independence" the Centre does not allow Israelis to apply for its Masters Scholarship Programme. Indeed the LSE's web page specifies:

Applicants must be nationals of an Arab League member State: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, occupied Palestinian territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria*, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.
* Although Syria’s membership to the Arab League has been suspended, applicants from Syria are still eligible to apply.

So it appears that the 'balance' which the LSE Director spoke about still does not include an Israeli viewpoint, which is curious since most of the Centre's "world-leading research" is about the Arab-Israeli conflict, since academics and researchers at the Centre claim that Israel is central to the 'problems' of the Middle East.

I would be interested to know if the Programme is legal, let alone acceptable within LSE's Charter.

There are other ongoing issues about the Centre's anti-Israel stance that I hope to be covering in the coming weeks. Here are the previous links:

Update: Some Israelis are welcome at the Centre .... 

See also: Murder of Israelis celebrated on Holocaust Memorial Day at LSE

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BBC refuses to address complaint that it failed to cover the killing of Israeli child

On 22 August I made a formal complaint to the BBC (and also Sky News) about their failure to report on the main TV News the Hamas killing of 4-year-old Israeli child Daniel Tragerman (as covered in my story here). Here is the exact text of my complaint to the BBC:
BBC News tonight has failed to cover the very important story of an Israeli child (4-year-old Daniel Tragerman) who was killed in Israel by a Hamas rocket fired from a UN School in Gaza. BBC News has had something of an obsession with (often inaccurate) stories of children "killed from Israeli strikes on UN Schools". Yet now you are no longer interested in dead children and UN Schools associated with Gaza, even on a relatively quiet UK news day - not even in the tickertape headlines. For more details see my report here: http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/so-dead-children-associated-with-un.html
I have now had a response from the BBC (see below). As you can see they have completely ignored my specific complaint and have instead sent a boilerplate response that presumably they send to all people who they classify as 'complaining of anti-Israel bias'. Isn't nice to know that the hundreds of millions of pounds that the BBC receives annually from tax payers is not able to stretch to responding to a serious complaint such as this (although the BBC did manage to find £12 million to send 272 staff to Brazil for the World Cup final). The response is actually a very weak defence anyway of their anti-Israel bias because although they say they have mentioned all the kind of things (such as Hamas use of human shields) which presumably people have accused them of ignoring, they only provide two links to back this up. They do not address the fact that the BBC's entire TV coverage was dominated with the Hamas perspective.

Dear Mr Davidson

Thank you for contacting us about the recent escalation in violence in Gaza and Israel. We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story across our television and radio programmes and the BBC News website. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this response aims to answer the key concerns, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.

BBC News has reported extensively on the series of rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other Palestinian militants into southern and central Israel in recent weeks. We have reported on the civilian injuries and casualties, destruction and disruption caused by the attacks in towns near Gaza, such as Ashkelon and Sderot. We have also reported on the range and capability of Hamas’ arsenal, emphasising that major urban areas like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are also under threat from attacks.

During our coverage of Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza we have reported on efforts made by the Israel Defense Forces seeking to minimise civilian causalities. We have detailed the prior warnings given to Palestinian civilians and have reflected Israel’s claims that Hamas hide weapons in civilian areas and employ non-militants as human shields:



BBC News has also examined the cause of the conflict, as seen by each side, including Hamas’ hostility to the state of Israel. We believe we have reported on these issues in a fair and impartial manner.

Please be assured we raised your concerns with senior editorial staff at BBC News.

Kind Regards

BBC Complaints


Incidentally, Sky News never responded to my complaint other than with an automated  "Thank you for your comment".

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More antisemitic incidents in leafy London suburb

As I pointed out in my article on the irony of the anti-Semitism debate, the blood libels against Israel spouted by supposed 'friends' like Louise Mensch really are having an impact. The following two incidents (told to me by our Neighbourhood Watch rep) happened in the road next to mine last week (a leafy London Suburb). They are of a different range of seriousness, but the same poisonous source (namely the continuous blood libels against Israel):

Incident 1: Jewish family celebrating an event. A neighbour (who is unhappy that so many people are parking near his house) grabs open the car door of one of the visitors and shouts at the driver
 "You f*king Jews think you can do what you want. Well this isn't Palestine. It's a shame Hitler didn't finish the job".  
I understand the neighbour has been charged with racially aggravated assault.

Incident 2: Jewish man I know well (let's call him Joe) chatting with elderly Church-going neighbours (who Joe has known for years) and who have their grand-daughter with them. Elderly couple ask how Joe's daughter is getting on in Israel. Grand-daughter pipes up "Israel? My Mummy says that is a terrible country we must boycott".