August 30, 2014

Oxymoron Corner: Zionists rally against Racism

Remember those notes I posted up about a Zionist Town Hall type meeting where people kept badgering the Board of Deputies of British Jews over what they're doing for plucky little Israel at a time like this.

The BoD were promising to organise a rally for Israel some time next month.  I think I have stumbled on the details of the rally.  I could be wrong because it's not actually next month, it's tomorrow, but I think this is the flyer:



"They openly say "Hitler was right""? Wow!  Who says that?  Oh well, never mind. The Zionists have realised that there is no positive case for the racist war criminals of the State of Israel so it's back to routine negative hasbara by smear.  You don't get many demos at the Royal Courts of Justice but you do get lots of roadworks and traffic bottlenecks so I am guessing since they know they'll get a paltry turnout they're hiding their shame.  I mean they wouldn't be well seen if they met at, say, Trafalgar Square, but at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand the fact that they can't be seen for lack of numbers won't be seen.

UPDATE: I've just seen the Board of Deputies' website on this rally:
This Sunday the Board's Senior Vice President Laura Marks (pictured) will be joining the likes of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, parliamentary candidate  and co-founder and chairman of Quilliam, Maajid Nawaz, and the social commentator Douglas Murray in addressing a communal rally organised by the Campaign Against Anti Semitism. 

The Board is  firmly   behind this vital initiative at a time when reported cases of anti-Jewish incidents are at record highs across the UK and the need for the law to be firmly applied relating to hate crimes is absolutely vital. The rally will also include messages of support from the denominational movements.
Only a couple of days ago the Board was outraging Zionists by issuing a touchy feely statement with the Muslim Council of Britain which ended with the words, "May the God of Abraham grant our World more peace, wisdom and hope."  Well, if the G-d of Abraham can't grant our world more peace, wisdom and hope, he can always call on Douglas Murray to help him.

August 28, 2014

Denis MacShane was too soft on Muslims like Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Cyril Smith

At least I think that's what he told The Daily Telegraph:
Denis MacShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham, has admitted that as a “Guardian reading liberal leftie” he shied away from the issue of the oppression of women in the Muslim community.

Mr MacShane, who resigned in 2012 over an expenses fraud for which he was later jailed, insisted no-one came to him with child abuse allegations during his 18 years in Parliament, but admitted he should have “burrowed into” the issue.

He told the BBC: "I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that.”

Admitting he had been guilty of doing too little, he said he had been aware of the problem of cousin marriage and “the oppression of women within bits of the Muslim community in Britain” but: “Perhaps yes, as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”

He recalled having a “huge row” with another local MP and council grandees because they were complaining about a newspaper investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which unearthed uncomfortable truths they did not want to hear.

He said: “Nobody pursued Jimmy Saville, nobody pursued Rolf Harris, nobody pursued Cyril Smith, nobody pursued Mrs Thatcher’s sidekick we now learn was a depraved predatory monster. 
Now really we should be enforcing the law without fear or favour irrespective of ethnic, national or religious background and irrespective of celebrity status but since MacShane was never known for having a "Guardian liberal leftie" attitude to Muslims anyway, I really don't know how he can hide behind "multiculturism" to explain away his inaction over rampant child abuse in his former consituency of Rotherham.


August 27, 2014

When Dodgy Dave met Uncle Joe

I had a bit of a twitter exchange with David Aaronovitch the other day.  I went into it with some trepidation because I thought some troll might pop up to derail the thread, simply insult Dave's interlocutor or even come out as a zionist sympathiser having been anti-zionist in the past.  I even thought that Dave himself might be on good form but it was not to be.

It all started when I noticed an unremarkable tweet from @ejhchess to @Flying_Rodent:
From David Aaronovitch's "logical" tweet I saw Dave angrily challenging someone called i was id (@iwasid to "Find me a single thing either of us has said or written that supports right-wing racism anywhere. One."

Well as coincidence would have it I noticed something Dave had written only the day before for the Jewish Chronicle that I thought was racist so, with some trepidation (see above) I mentioned it in a tweet:


To which Dave replied:
To which I responded:
And another guy joined in:
 And Dave responded, warming to his subjectivity theme:

 At this point it started to look like he wasn't simply being slippery, he really didn't know what was racist about generalising about whole minority groups so I explained:
Now he did start to get slippery:
 Yes I did know it was about France but how does that change anything?

I also mentioned that his last tweet was a non sequitur but now tetchiness was setting in as a nerve seems to have been struck:

Wow! What was that all about?  How does using "surely" amount to Stalinism?  Reading back I wish I hadn't used the word surely because it should have been clear by then that he really didn't know that his generalisation was racist.  Also I if I didn't say "surely" I could have put the apostrophe in "countrys" making it "country's".  Still never mind, it was worth the bad grammer to see Aaro lose it like a complete idiot.

It must have been while I was tweeting something else that Aaro tweeted to a @rico_hands and me that "You retweeted this earlier: "The Zionist Jews own all the Media the Film Industry and are all Corrupt."  It didn't look like a comment I'd approve of and I said so and Aaro said it wasn't me, it was that Rico chap.  I know some people put all their addressees at the beginning of a tweet but if you're making an accusation you should only put the target of the accusation at the beginning and other addressees at the end.  Just a word on protocol because people can get the wrong idea. Anyway, I asked Aaro for a link and he told me it wasn't me that retweeted it.  So that was nice.

But I still responded to the stalinist thing:

 So now he tried to modify what he actually said:

 Now actually I don't think that's much better but is better in that it's not a generalisation.  But it is a rather bland assertion and it's devoid of any analysis as to what he means by antisemitism or any explanation as to why he thinks it's the case but anyway back I came still focused on the undeniably (though he did deny it) racist  generalisation:

 Noticing that Aaro's reference to antisemitism meant that he was alluding to Jews when he said "old ones", I asked then what he meant by "new minorities" but heard no more from him.

Now all the while this was going on I was surprised that no one came along to help Aaro dig himself out of the hole he had dug.  None came until that Gerasite/Unrepentant Jacobin chap, Jamie Palmer appeared with this little gem:


I just couldn't be bothered with him and I was truly feeling too sorry for Aaro to point that Jacobin's use of the word "also" meant that he was agreeing with me, that what Aaro had written was indeed a racist generalisation (also).  Aaro smartly ignored the "supportive" tweet too and he was promoting the young Gerasite only recently

But what of the statement itself?  "Ethnic hatred has become a basic element in the everyday life of Israeli youth".  Of itself, it isn't making a generalisation.  As it stands it could simply be a reference to the racist environment that Israeli youth inhabits.  I found its origin just now.  It's a Ha'aretz headline.

Of course, Ha'aretz is an Israeli newspaper.  Israelis are not a minority in Israel so the headline wasn't even about a minority.  So a great help Aaro's protégé turned out to be.  He confirmed my own point about Aaro's racist generalisation and lifted a Ha'aretz headline out of context.  I'm sure he'll go far but he and Aaro have to bear in mind that context is all.

Plot Thickens in Tricycle Saga

I only got the chance to give Friday's Jewish Chronicle a good look at today.  In spite of the Tricycle Theatre's boycott (that wasn't a boycott) all being undone some time ago with the Tricycle agreeing to do what it always said it would do anyway Zionists want to make a big issue out of this thing given that BDS victories far outnumber failures to date.  So just as I thought the Tricycle''s non-hosting of the UK Jewish Film Festival was, of itself, no big deal so I thought the "retraction" of the policy was also no big deal.

But Zionists invested a lot into this.  Remember it's the UK, that is UK Jewish Film Festival and yet it receives funding from Israel.  It's not a whole lot of money in the scheme of things, £1,400, but it's enough to taint the whole festival with being more about demonstrating a link between the State of Israel and UK Jews than being simply a Jewish film festival.  The festival's director even said that "Jewish culture....is of course intrinsically connected to the state of Israel".  And of course there is the not insignificant matter of Israel being currently embarked on one of its periodic culls of Palestinians as part of a genocidal campaign that makes Israel's existence illegitimate anyway.

So, where we are right now with Tricycle is that basically it has issued a statement that restates its all along position as one which appears to express regret about ever raising the issue of Israeli state funding in the first place.

But apparently there are Zionists who still want heads to roll.  I did mention in an earlier post that there's a facebook page for the diehards but see what the JC reported on Friday under the headline,  'Sack Tricycle directors' call despite deal
Look:
The Tricycle Theatre should consider sacking directors who planned the boycott of the Jewish Film Festival, a senior figure close to the affair has argued.
And then look:
The Tricycle had demanded that the UKJFF drop its £1,400 sponsorship from the Israeli embassy before allowing it to use the north London theatre as its main venue. But, following talks between the parties, the theatre dropped the demand and said it would welcome the festival back.
And look again:
The deal came after Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid intervened.
Now Sir Trevor Chinn was reported to have withdrawn his "four figure sum" donation to the Tricycle but The Arts Council stumps up about £760 k.  So I don't think private donors withdrawing their funds could explain the Tricycle's turnaround.

Barrister Adam Wagner reckoned that the Tricycle may have fallen foul of discrimination law. His logic is bewilderingly tortuous in that he tries to make support for the racist war criminals of the State of Israel an aspect of belief (thankfully, not specifically Jewish belief) and therefore, a "protected characteristic".  His subsequent post on the Tricycle's backtracking on its original decision verged on the incoherent but in a tweet he applauded, would you believe, Nick Cohen and Hadley Freeman saying that their false allegations of antisemitism had had an impact:

Now anyone and everyone who criticises the State of Israel over anything at all knows that they are in for some false allegations of antisemitism.  It cannot possibly have been the writing of Nick Cohen and Hadley Freeman, nor of any other of the whatabouters on this case.

But Adam Wagner does allude to an interesting fact in his second post:
The Tricycle’s decision was obviously flawed. Its board were under a lot of pressure from funders and the Jewish community to backtrack. However, that board includes very senior arts and legal figures such as Philippe Sands QC who would have only reversed the decision if they had decided it was wrong in principle. Which it was.
So the original Tricycle decision was made with a QC on the board.  Surely this means we can discount any legal consideration in the Tricycle's turnaround.

So if it wasn't the false allegations of antisemitism and it wasn't any legal consideration what was it?

The whole turnaround happened so fast it seems to me that only a threat to withdraw Arts Council support would have caused it.  And to explain that we again have to look at the JC article that prompted this post.  Yes, we may have to think the unthinkable here and that is that the JC got something right.  The Tricycle Theatre buckled to threats made by either the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Taub, the UK Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid or both.  And, given the courage involved in their original stance, what threat would mean anything to them?

My guess is that the Arts Council threatened to close the theatre down by withdrawing its £760+k contribution.  Now should an Israeli ambassador or even a UK culture minister be in a position to influence that for the sake of their own politcs?  I think not but I think that's precisely what happened.

August 25, 2014

In Memoriam: Dr Hajo Meyer

Honoring Dr. Hajo Meyer

Hajo-Meyer-219x300
This past Friday August 22, 2014, Dr. Hayo Meyer, proud member of IJAN and long time anti-Zionist activist passed away. Hajo was unwavering in his conviction and passion that Never Again meant Never Again for Anyone and in his outrage that his experience in Auschwitz is misused by Israel and Zionism to justify the colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 
Dr. Meyer was born in 1924 in Bielefeld, Germany. When he was barred from attending school there after November 1938, he fled to the Netherlands, alone. In I944, after a year in the underground, he was caught and subsequently survived 10 months at Auschwitz. Dr. Meyer dedicated himself to countering the Zionist manipulation of the Nazi genocide to justify the colonization of Palestine. He played a leading role on the Never Again for Anyone tour of Europe in 2010, and of the United States in 2011.
We will miss Hajo. His message will continue and grow stronger as he is joined by survivors of the Nazi genocide, the descendants of its victims and survivors and all people committed to justice. Our hearts go out to those who loved him.

The morning of his death, the following letter from survivors of the Nazi genocide and the descendants of survivors and victims, in response Elie Wiesel's attempt to justify the attacks on Gaza, was published as in the NY Times. Hajo was the first to sign on.

Since being published, this ad has generated media attentionmessages of solidarity, as well as Zionist backlash. Ha’aretz republished the letter and the reposting has generated over 30,000 “likes” on the Ha’aretz Facebook page. 
Please stand with the signers of this letter and against Zionist manipulation of the Nazi genocide, please sign this letter of support.

Below is the ad listed in the New York Times. For the full list of signers, click here


NYTs Ad Letter Photo

Please stand with the signers of this letter and against Zionist manipulation of the Nazi genocide, please sign this letter of support.

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Argentina :: Canada :: England :: Europe :: India :: Israel :: United States
© International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

August 20, 2014

Tricycle Diaries: a Win Win for BDS?

The Tricycle Theatre's rejection of Israeli embassy funding for the UK Jewish Film Festival which then withdrew the whole festival from the theatre was never that clear cut.

Originally the theatre said it wouldn't accept Israeli embassy funding because of the war on Gaza.  The theatre offered to replace the funding but UKJFF paradoxically claimed that the theatre was punishing Jews for the state of Israel's action at the same time as saying that "the state of Israel is intrinsic to Jewish culture."  The theatre also claimed that it wasn't objecting to the festival or to Israeli embassy funding per se and that it would be happy to host the festival in future years as in previous years regardless of where the funding was coming from.  The festival withdrew altogether and that could have been that.

Next up came a series of increasingly shrill false allegations of antisemitism together with false accounts of what had actually taken place between the theatre and the festival.

I noticed a barrister on twitter suggesting that legal action might be in order.  This worried me because it was one of two barristers who berated the complainants in the FUCU case for being so silly as to equate anti-Zionism with racism.  So he had opposed Fraser (et al) in FUCU but seemed to be advocating a FUCU II in the case of the UKJFF.

Next I saw Jewish News trumpet the news that the Tricycle Theatre had performed a U-turn.  The barrister actually tweeted two of the false accusers of antisemitism to commend them for what he saw as their help.  That wasn't just worrying, it was disappointing.  I'm rushing for work at the mo so I'll dig up relevant tags, links, tweets, etc when I get home tonight/tomorrow.

I did find the triumphalist crowing by Zionists to be a bit overblown because according to the theatre and the festival the situation hasn't actually changed.  The festival won't be at the theatre this year but is intended to be next year even with Israeli embassy funding.  The only thing that has changed is that the theatre is saying that it would host the festival this year with the Israeli embassy funding.  Certainly the Tricycle people have been a little humiliated over this but I can't really see what the big turnaround is except in their attitude which is kind of apologetic without actually apologising.

So where are we now?  Well now the Ham and High have published an article on Zionist ranter, Maureen Lipman saying that the festival can never again be at the Tricycle.

The 68-year-old, a star of stage and screen, believes the theatre’s U-turn last week - when it announced it had “withdrawn its objection” to the UK Jewish Film Festival’s sponsorship from the Israeli embassy - will not ease the furore it created anytime soon.

She told the Ham&High: “There is a very large and cogent anti-Israel feeling around that part of the world and they will have made it impossible for the festival to go ahead.

“I don’t think the Kilburn police could have policed it. I don’t think they’ll host it next year. I’m very distressed and haunted by this, I’m worried and baffled.

“It was a stupid and untimely gesture and I’m glad they’ve had the good sense to realise it was badly timed in the face of rising anti-Semitism and I’m very relieved that they can see they are in an impossible position.”

Well I was never that excited by the Tricycle rejection of Israeli embassy funding in the first place since it was by no means full support for BDS.  Equally I wasn't so disappointed by the U-Turn that didn't look much like a U-Turn to me at all.  I say this because I could well be missing something given the excitement/disappointment on both sides over what I saw as two non-events.

By the way, there is also a Facebook page by zionists calling for an on-going boycott of Tricycle.

So all in all it looks to me that BDS is now in a win win situation.  If Maureen Lipman and these Facebook Zionists have their way then the Israeli embassy funded UK "Jewish" Film Festival will no longer be at Tricycle Theatre.  And of course whatever happens, the Tricycle Theatre's statement of retraction looks like the outcome not of discussions but of Zionist bullying.  So whatever happens, it looks like a win win for BDS but then I didn't know what all the fuss was about in the first place.

I added in links etc.  I've a feeling I'll be revisiting this issue in future.

August 16, 2014

Jewish Chronicle apologises to readers for appearing humanitarian

This is as weird as it's disgraceful.  Apparently The Jewish Chronicle has had complainst about an ad in its print edition yesterday (August 15, 2014) for the Disasters Emergency Committee for Gaza.  Stephen Pollard, the JC's editor, addressed those complaints so:
There has been some controversy over the advert for the DEC Gaza appeal in this week’s paper.

I understand why some people are angry and upset and I thought it important to respond.

This is an advert, and not an expression of the JC's view. We keep editorial coverage entirely separate from our commercial operations.

As editor, I am not responsible for any ads which appear in the paper. It is a critical part of our editorial independence that we do not allow advertisers to have any influence at all on the paper.

The ad was approved by the chairman of the JC, who has no involvement in editorial decisions, as an ad for humanitarian aid which nowhere makes political or partisan points.

Both I as editor and the JC are entirely supportive of Operation Protective Edge, as our coverage has demonstrated. Almost alone in the British media the JC has stressed Israel’s right to defend herself and sought to explain why Israel was faced with no choice but to take action in Gaza.

There is, clearly, a humanitarian cost to that action. But I do not accept the figures touted around much of the media about the level of civilian casualties – many are, I am sure, terrorists.

This is not a JC-backed appeal. We have no involvement in it beyond running an ad, which has appeared in most British newspapers.

Even if you profoundly disagree with the ad appearing in the paper, I hope this will go some way to explaining its presence and that it is in no way part of our editorial stance.

So don't worry readers of the Jewish Chronicle, your weekly community newspaper doesn't do humanitarian when the most moral army in the world has created the humanitarian need.

So what's weird?  The apology by Stephen Pollard is dated August 14, 2014.  Now, whilst the JC is dated for the Friday it appears in most shops and arrives at most subscribers' homes it might appear in some shops and arrive in some homes on the Thursday.  It's delivered to my house on Fridays and I never see it on a Thursday.

So who was doing the complaining?  It could only be people from among the small minority of readers who get their copy on a Thursday, if such people exist.

Let's assume they do exist.  How many could have complained?

Ok, let's assume they don't exist and that no one gets their JC before Friday.  How did the complainers know about the ad if they hadn't seen the paper?

Now go see Stephen Pollard's explanation of how the ad, that appears to have appeared the day after he apologised to readers for its appearance, er, appeared at all.
The ad was approved by the chairman of the JC, who has no involvement in editorial decisions, as an ad for humanitarian aid which nowhere makes political or partisan points.
Now people might think the ad was approved for humanitarian reasons but Pollard is simply contrasting humanitarian with political or partisan, he is not saying that the ad was run by the JC for any humanitarian reason.  Higher up the piece he has already said, "We keep editorial coverage entirely separate from our commercial operations."  In other words, this was a commercial decision.

But now look at the Beeb.  Now I'm surprised that the Beeb has run this story at all since it puts the Zionist movement in such an unfavourable light.

First they let the JC lie for itself:
The weekly newspaper said running the advert was "meant as a purely humanitarian gesture".
Then typically it gave Israel's version of events about the attack on Gaza:
 The Israelis launched a military operation on 8 July to stop militant attacks from Gaza.
 But then comes a gem:
After a DEC advert featured in this week's Jewish Chronicle (JC), a Facebook page was set up calling on readers to boycott the title until it issued a "full apology".
A Facebook page?  The plot thickens....

And what do we see on the Facebook page?  Well, there are 182 likes.  Did Pollard really make the Jewish community look so uncaring for the sake of 182 Facebook likes?

Back to the Beeb:
Meanwhile, Israel's embassy in the UK issued a statement in which it said its own concern about the DEC appeal "stems from the fact that the list of charities on the DEC includes Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has been designated in Israel recently as an unlawful association, for providing support and funnelling funds to Hamas, a terror group designated in the UK.
"Surely this must raise cause for concern for the public donating money for children, when one of the donors has been officially declared to be using that money to support a recognized terror group," it said.
I would guess that this brings us closer to why Stephen Pollard has flaunted the sheer cruelty of Zionism.  It cannot possibly have been 182 or whatever many ordinary Joes complaining via Facebook.  Last I heard the JC had a circulation of about 30,000 and I remember reading that advertisers like the JC because it passes through the hands of every literate member of every household to which it is delivered.  182 is a pretty small proportion of its total readership.  But the State of Israel, now that's a different story.  The JC exists to promote the interests of the entity.  I reckon it was a telling off the JC received from the Israeli embassy that had Stephen Pollard suggesting his readers are a bunch of Nazis.  The only other explanation might, just might, be he doesn't like the Chair of the JC and dangerous "humanitarian" was the only putdown he could think of.

August 15, 2014

Tricycle Successfully Bullied by Zionists, but not how you might think

Don't panic!  The Israeli Embassy funded UK Jewish Film Festival will still not be hosted at Tricycle Theatre this year because it refused to ditch the funding it always gets from the Israeli embassy.  The Tricycle did make it clear that this was a once off decision based on the situation between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.  That is the current cull, not the occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza and certainly not Jewish supremacy throughout the whole of Palestine (aka Israel and the occupied territories).

Unfortunately Tricycle has removed its original statement and replaced it with a more Zionist friendly one and that is where the bullies have succeeded. Tricycle is now misleading readers as to the history of what was a boycott of Tricycle by the UK Jewish Film Festival because of the latter's insistence that racist war criminality is part and parcel of Jewish culture.

So where to look for the truth on this?  The case is tricky because even when the truth lurked within the articles, the headlines tended to be misleading, then as now.

Oi gevalt! I forgot about Google cache.  I've rescued the original text:




Tricycle

The Tricycle Theatre and the UK Jewish Film Festival

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Tricycle
We have been contacted by several patrons who have been given misleading information about the Tricycle and the UK Jewish Film Festival. We would like to set down an accurate account.

The Tricycle has always welcomed the Festival and wants it to go ahead. We have proudly hosted the UK Jewish Film Festival for many years. However, given the situation in Israel and Gaza, we do not believe that the festival should accept funding from any party to the current conflict.  For that reason, we asked the UK Jewish Film Festival to reconsider its sponsorship by the Israeli Embassy.  We also offered to replace that funding with money from our own resources. The Tricycle serves many communities and celebrates different cultures and through difficult, emotional times must aim for a place of political neutrality. 

We regret that, following discussions, the chair of the UKJFF told us that he wished to withdraw the festival from the Tricycle.  

To be clear, at this moment, the Tricycle would not accept sponsorship from any government agency involved in the conflict. We hope to find a way to work with the UK Jewish Film Festival to allow the festival to go ahead at the Tricycle as it has done so successfully for the past 8 years.’  Indhu Rubasingham

A comment from Nicholas Hytner:  ’I greatly regret the UKJFF’s decision to leave the Tricycle cinema. Indhu Rubasingham and the Tricycle board could not have made clearer their commitment to Jewish culture or their desire to host a festival that would have included films from all over the world, including Israel. It is entirely understandable that they felt obliged to insist that no government agency should sponsor the festival. The Tricycle serves a diverse community with a notably diverse repertoire and it has a clear responsibility to make no statement about the dispute that is behind the current conflict. It greatly saddens me that the UKJFF have unwisely politicised a celebration of Jewish culture and I deplore any misrepresentation of the Tricycle’s position. I support Indhu Rubasingham and the Tricycle without reservation.’ 

A comment from Dominic Cooke: ‘The Tricycle is a venue with a history of celebrating plural cultures and viewpoints. A central strand of this work is the platform it has given to Jewish artists, a recent example of which was Indhu Rubasingham’s delightful production of Paper Dolls, which was set in Israel. The UK Jewish Film Festival is similarly plural in spirit, giving voice to a diverse range of Jewish talents and viewpoints. As two organisations celebrating diversity, they seem to me to be a perfect match, which is why the UKJFF’s decision to withdraw from the Tricycle is so very sad.

By taking funding from the Israeli government, the UKJFF are coercing the artists, supporters and the venue involved in the festival into a public association with the actions of a government they may not agree with. This runs counter to the values of pluralism which are central to the Tricycle’s identity. That is why I fully support the Tricycle in their effort to encourage the UKJFF to accept their offer of alternative funding and hugely regret the Festival’s decision to force the theatre’s hand by withdrawing.’

A comment from Philip Himberg, Artistic Director, Sundance Theatre Program: ‘I am the Artistic Director of a major American theatre company, and the author of Paper Dolls, a play set in Israel, which looks at the warm and loving relationship between an Israeli citizen and his caretaker. The play’s world premiere was exquisitely produced by the Tricycle Theatre in its world premiere in 2013, and sensitively directed by Indhu Rubasingham. I believe, without a doubt, that as regards the current crisis in the Middle East, the Tricycle must remain neutral by refusing sponsorship from any government directly involved in the conflict. As a great lover of Jewish theatrical culture, (I will soon be supporting the development of a new Yiddish language opera), there was a clear way for the UKJFF’s celebration of diverse Jewish culture to go forward at the Tricycle – but at this particular moment in time, utilizing funds from any of the governments in power in the region would be taking an unfair political stand.’

A comment from David Lan: ‘What matters is not what is happening in Kilburn but what has been happening in Gaza and in Israel. Violence will only produce more violence – theatre has been saying this for 3000 years. The Tricycle have acted morally and with sensitivity. I support Indhu and the Board and hope that all theatre people throughout the world will do the same.’

A comment from Christopher Haydon: ‘It is wrong to describe the Tricycle’s decision as anti-Semitic – their commitment to Jewish people and culture is clear. Any arts organisation has the right to make decisions about who they will or will not accept money from – whether directly or indirectly. Personally, I feel very ambivalent about the whole notion of cultural boycotts – particularly around such a painfully complex issue as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But regardless, the Tricycle in no way tried to boycott the festival. A difference of principle around funding arose between them and the UKJFF. The Tricycle offered an entirely sensible alternative in good faith and have demonstrated a clear commitment to trying to make it happen. They have behaved reasonably and fairly and attempts by some to misrepresent their actions only serves to poison a vital debate. Indhu and her team have my full support.’

A comment from Sean Holmes: ‘Having directed many productions at the Tricycle I am writing to strongly support the Board’s decision regarding the UKJFF. It is important that the Tricycle remains politically neutral. It is a bastion of openness and tolerance and I regret the UKJFF’s decision to politicise the legitimate concerns of the Tricycle and refuse their offer of an eminently sensible compromise.’

A comment from Richard Eyre: ‘I wholeheartedly support the position of Indhu Rubasingham and the Tricycle Theatre and deplore any attempt to misrepresent that position.’

A comment from Dominic Hill: ‘The Tricycle is without doubt one of the most inclusive, multi-cultural, diverse and open-minded arts organisations in the UK. It must be, and be seen to be, politically neutral. I wholeheartedly support Indhu’s position.’

A comment from Dawn Walton: ‘The Tricycle is a space that has always delivered and supported work from a truly diverse community of artists. I support Indhu and the Board of the Tricycle Theatre for a position which seeks to maintain The Tricycle as a place of political neutrality. I support their sensitive approach in a challenging situation.’

That was, according to google, the Tricycle site as at August 11, 2014 but it could change, and how?  Look at the Tricycle site now:
A joint statement from the UKJFF and Tricycle Theatre:
‘Some weeks ago the UKJFF fell out, very publicly, with the Tricycle over a condition imposed by the Tricycle regarding funding. This provoked considerable public upset. Both organisations have come together to end that.
Following lengthy discussions between the Tricycle and UKJFF, the Tricycle has now withdrawn its objection and invited back the UK Jewish Film Festival on the same terms as in previous years with no restrictions on funding from the Embassy of Israel in London.
The UKJFF and the Tricycle have agreed to work together to rebuild their relationship and although the festival is not able to return in 2014, we hope to begin the process of rebuilding trust and confidence with a view to holding events in the future.
We both profoundly hope that those who take differing views on the events of the last few weeks will follow our lead and come together to acknowledge that dialogue, reconciliation and engagement will resolve points of difference and ensure that cultural diversity thrives in all communities.’

That was from the same link for which I got the cache version.  

Many of us were aware from the start that this was not a BDS action.  What the Zionist bullying has achieved is not the reversal of a decision but an announcement of business as usual reworded to humiliate the organisers of Tricycle Theatre.  All very sad but not a disaster.

And I'm sure in the long term BDS will win this thing.

Did Lenin say "useful idiots" and if so who did he mean?

I've just seen this expression "useful idiots" and I know it is most often attributed to Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik revolution establishing the Soviet Union.

People who use the expression these days usually refer to leftist anti-war types or anti-zionists etc.  It suggests that Lenin referred to communists as useful idiots but I reckon if he said it at all and he was referring to people who helped or supported the revolution he can't have meant communists or leftists or he would have been calling himself an idiot.

I think I remember hearing the expression attributed to Lenin back when I was at university. I graduated 1982.  I can't be bothered to research this much  but I saw on Wikipedia that there is no evidence that Lenin said or wrote "useful idiots" anywhere.

Well I think I remember reading that Lenin did indeed say it.  According to what I think I read, there was a famine in the fledgling Soviet Union.  Western charities arranged for food aid.  Philanthropy, according to Lenin, was all about palliative relief for the poor to undermine the long term relief brought by the revolution.  So philanthropists who did their thing to undermine the revolution were alleviating famine in the Soviet Union thereby making themselves useful to the revolution.

Hence, useful idiots.  No? Yes?  Any takers?

Israel: The Community's Response to the atrocities in Gaza

The following are notes taken by Deborah Maccoby at what turned out to be a rally for the State of Israel in its war on the Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere. Comments in bold are by me and those in italics are asides by Deborah. Now read on...
 
NOTES OF BOARD OF DEPUTIES "TOWN HALL" JEWISH COMMUNITY MEETING, 
ISRAEL: THE COMMUNITY'S RESPONSE
13.08.14 HELD IN JFS (Jewish Free School)

SUMMARY OF PANEL SPEECHES

VIVIAN WINEMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DEPUTIES

I am introducing this meeting with mixed feelings.  I am chuffed that so many have come, but sad about the circumstances in which we meet. We all have relatives in Israel and we are all sad about the terror that they are experiencing there [Note: no mention from VW at all of Gaza].  And with the rise of antisemitism in Britain, we are moving into very difficult territory.[We'd better spread the word that support for war criminals is an essentially Jewish thing]  All the communal organisations have worked well together to organise this meeting.

CHIEF RABBI: EPHRAIM MIRVIS

I have to leave soon, as I am very busy; but I had to be here to accompany the meeting in expressing solidarity with Israel. Ever since the three Israeli teenagers were abducted and murdered, we have been going through anxiety on a daily basis. I am saddened by the loss of Israeli soldiers and saddened by the loss of civilian life in both Israel and Gaza. [Note: this and a reference from Gillian Merron, CEO of the BoD, to "loss of life on both sides", were the only references during the entire meeting to civilian deaths in Gaza, apart from a reference by the BICOM speaker to misleading images of dead children in Gaza and comments both from the BICOM speaker and at question time that the casualty figures can't be believed].  We live with a dual existence, as individuals and as part of a people.  We feel totally part of Am Yisrael.  In July, there were over 200 antisemitic incidents in Britain. Tomorrow I am going to Israel, on my fifth visit since the start of the conflict. I hope the meeting will consider how we can all help for the sake of Israel's future.

DERMOT KEHOE, CEO OF BICOM (The Britain-Israel Research Committee, the UK equivalent of AIPAC).

We all stand with Israel; we are not divided [Paid Israel advocates not divided, shock!].  We are united in our support for democracy.  There is a rise in antisemitic attacks and increasing fear within the Jewish community. BICOM exists to give pro-Israel voices a platform [and Jews a bad name].  I wish we had in Britain a fair and balanced media [no you don't].  I wish we had a media that expressed complex ideas in depth [nope, you definitely don't want that]. But Dan Meridor, Uri Dromi etc [a long list of more names] have been interviewed in the British media.  We have taken the argument to Israel's fiercest critics; we have debated in public with Mira Bar-Hillel, Ben White and Mehdi Hasan.  Not one opportunity to put the pro-Israel point of view has been turned down. A third of children in Sderot are likely to grow up with long-term learning disabilities. BICOM has exposed the use on social media of misleading images of dead children in Gaza that were actually of children in Syria or Iraq [Is he saying that hundreds of children were not killed in Gaza by Israel?].  Hamas casualty figures cannot be taken at face value.  Whenever you see or hear anything wrong in the media, complain to the media and seek help from groups such as We Believe in Israel.  Israel still has many friends in the UK[media].

SPEAKER FROM UJIA (the United Jewish-Israel Appeal)

Every year, we send children on summer tours.  When war broke out in July this year, we asked "can we keep them safe?  Can we still give them an educational programme?"  We decided to carry on, and right now approximately 1,225 children have completed their summer tours in Israel.  A large number of parents from the US cancelled the summer tours; but - without wanting to sound anti-American - only 20 parents from Britain cancelled. UJIA has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for relief projects in the south of Israel, including projects for the Bedouin [no mention of relief for Gaza][and this may have been a coded reference to the ethnic cleansing Prawer Plan].  We are running a two-day programme in Israel for British Jews to go there to see these relief projects for themselves. This has been the busiest month in the UJIA's history. Yes, there are critical views of Israel in the Jewish community [Note: this and remarks about Yachad and making peace with the Palestinians were the only references to critical views of Israel in the Jewish community in the whole meeting]; but instinctive, gut love for Israel has never been greater [yup, you need a strong gut to love Israel].

GILLIAN MERRON, CEO OF THE BOARD OF DEPUTIES

This is a high-profile, complex and long drawn out conflict.  We are all deeply saddened by the loss of life on both sides. But Israel's safety and security are paramount.  It has been attacked with rockets and terror tunnels.  I am proud to stand with Israel.  We face a challenging environment in the UK.  Graphic images are beamed into our TVs every night [not faked images from Syria and Iraq then].  There is effective campaigning from PSC and Stop the War.  The British government has acted with integrity. I congratulate our government for pursuing the de-militarisation of Hamas; but it has also reached the decision to restrict the export of weapons that enable Israel to defend itself.  We continue to challenge the Lib Dems over the comments made by David Ward. We have also challenged John Prescott for calling Gaza a "concentration camp".  [did they challenge David Cameron when, presumably at Obama's request, he called Gaza a "prison camp"?]

SPEAKER FROM CST (COMMUNITY SECURITY TRUST)

There were over 200 antisemitic incidents in July,  This is over four times what could be expected.  It is the second highest monthly total since CST started recording antisemitic incidents in 1984 - the first highest monthly total  being in January 2009, under similar circumstances.  There were 374 antisemitic incidents in the first six months of this year.  We have increased security at synagogues and Jewish events. CST is working closely with UJS (the Union of Jewish Students). If you are a victim of an antisemitic incident, please report it to CST.[are they using the working definition of antisemitism? If so, we'll never know how many incidents there have been]

SIMON JOHNSON OF JEWISH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

We are challenging BDS, which means the delegitimisation of Israel [you're damn right geezer, except Israel had no legitimacy in the first place].  The National Union of Students and the TUC Conference have passed boycott motions. Even Tesco might be in the process of boycotting certain products [certain products?].  There are demonstrations outside the Kedem store in Manchester. Labour and the Lib Dems could have plans for boycott.  [Note: the NUS motion included support for a two state solution; and the TUC motion was only against settlement goods; the Kedem demonstrations are against the Occupation, not Israel per se; Tesco, Labour and the Lib Dems would only support boycott of the Occupation][and the good news?].  What are we doing about it?  Our mechanisms include: a) the Fair Play Campaign; b) supporting the TUC Friends of Israel; c) re-organisation of the way we coordinate responses to the delegitimisation of Israel.  We are protesting against local councils that have taken the ludicrous decision to fly Palestinian flags.  We are opposing the Tricycle Theatre's discriminatory decision to force out the UK Jewish Film Festival [Note; the Tricycle asked the UKJFF to drop its funding from the Israel Embassy, in view of the situation in Gaza, so that it would not look as though the Tricycle was supporting the Israeli government, and offered to make up the shortfall itself; the UKJFF chose to keep its Israeli Embassy funding and leave the Tricycle].

LUKE AKEHURST FROM WE BELIEVE IN ISRAEL

I am not Jewish but am proud to support Israel. MPs have been getting thousands of anti-Israel letters. Anti-Israel groups have generated 58,000 letters to MPs. Our side has only sent 5,000.  The government is threatening to suspend licences for the very weapons that Israel needs to defend itself.  What you can do: complain about media bias; visit Israel; attend rallies.  Sussex Friends of Israel are organising a big rally in Brighton this month.  There will be another Israel Solidarity Rally in London next month. 

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS INCLUDED:

1) We all know what "from the river to the sea/Palestine will be free" means.

2) Hamas has links with ISIS.

3) The Gaza casualty figures are all lies.

4) Tirade against Yachad, [the UK equivalent of J-Street], for organising tours in which people from Britain are taken on Breaking the Silence tours of the West Bank.

5) Can we try to get Jon Snow off the air?

6) Why isn't the Zionist Federation up on the platform?

7) Why are we not being led by the Board of Deputies? (loud applause and anger against the BoD).

8) A woman said she had gone with a delegation to Bradford to oppose George Galloway's call to make Bradford an "Israel-free zone" and had brandished her Israeli passport there, but had got no support from the Board of Deputies. (Standing ovation from audience).

9) Question from JfJfP signatory: what perspectives do you have on ways to make peace with the Palestinians?  No-one has mentioned this all evening. [she was hissed apparently]

10) Comments from Chair of UK Jewish Film Festival denouncing the Tricycle.

11) Comments about the Hamas Charter

12) Comments about Yvonne Ridley speaking in Glasgow.  What is the Board of Deputies doing in support of the Glasgow Jewish community?

A few responses from the panel (who seemed overwhelmed by the antagonism and didn't answer all the questions).

a) Re Yachad: we caution everyone in this room against demonising any organisation in the Jewish community that reflects a basic commitment to the Jewish and democratic state.

b) re Jon Snow: BICOM rep said they were going to look into prosecuting him for contravening media standards.

c) In response to question 9 from the JfJfP signatory:  we want to acknowledge the absolute legitimacy of this question., 76 per cent of Israeli Jews would like to see a two state solution, but the same percentage thinks it won't happen in their lifetime.  A majority of Israelis wants to see a peaceful outcome.[well that's alright then]

SINGING OF HATIKVA AND GOD SAVE THE QUEEN [Sounds like a BNP rally]

August 14, 2014

When a man's tired of Geras he's tired of life

We're in one of the periods when many people are thinking thoughts like, just when I thought Zionists couldn't stoop any lower they pull something out of the bag.  That must have crossed a few minds when The Guardian decided to run an ad too racist even for The Times.

Similarly, the generalist Decents (Zionists all but with a few other violent racist staples thrown in) are in apoplectic why oh why mode what with Boko Haram and ISIS threatening democracy and much else besides and the Egyptian coup to defend.  I didn't say being a Decent was easy.

The Decents have mainstreamers like David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen and many others who I hardly ever read because, well, I always think I know what they're going to say without reading them and then looking at various tweets like this Flying Rodent chap's my prejudice is usually confirmed.  To list the Decents out doesn't really do justice to their ideology/political persuasion.  It dominates the discourse in the mainstream media on such things as Israel and foreign interventions/wars but it tends to be more shouty than the run of the mill mainstream media and the card carrying Decent tends to denounce the rest of the mainstream for not being hard enough on leftists who never get a lookin in the mainstream anyway.  The late Decentpedia or Encyclopedia of Decency is very good on er, Decency.

So what's new?  Nothing should be new in Decency, they've said it all before and when matters arise you just know what they're going to say but there is a new blog of Decency with the most ludicrous name ever imagined.  It's called The Gerasites.  Really it's a blog purporting to be followers of the late Norman Geras.  Norman Geras was one of those intellectual marxists who later on in life decided that intellectual and marxist weren't such nice things after all so he ditched both.  In common with a lot of the Decents I don't think he owned up to ditching marxism.  They usually claim that it ditched them.  Something like that.

When I saw the name, The Gerasites, I assumed it couldn't be anything to do with acolytes of Norman Geras because I thought even the worst of them wouldn't be so ridiculous.  It crossed my mind that it could be anti-Gerasites having a laugh at the expense of the er, Gerasites.  It also occurred to me that it looked like the kind of putdown that Enver Hoxha would throw at his enemies, like The Titoites.

Jeez, I'm falling over myself here.  I see that an Artful Hoxha has picked up on this new blog in a Flying Rodent twitter conversation:


Even a guy with the name the Artful Hoxha (UPDATE 01:48 Aug 27, 2014): He's now changed his name but it was Artful Hoxha) can't quite believe there's a supposed group blog called Gerasites!

Of course I could be missing some self-parody here like, yes these people are followers of Norman Geras but since his imperialist turn is pretty common among former leftists in the mainstream media there's no need to sanctify His, I mean, his name.  But it's not self-parody, these people are serious.

I say "these people" though the "about" bit is rather vague as to who they are in fact it doesn't say anything.

The home page is simply the latest article followed by previous ones.  The main person behind it seems to be some Jamie Palmer chap and I noticed Harry's Place's Sarah Annes Brown in the comments hedging her bets about whether to become a full blown Gerasite.

But the bit that makes me think that even Gerasites are tired of Gerasism is the sub-heading.  Take a look:



The Gerasites

Liberal hawks, Eustonites, Anti-Anti-West Left, etc

Really, that's all it says.  Liberal hawks, Eustonites, Anti-Anti-West Left, etc? Etcetera? What's that about?  They put etcetera in place of pro-Israel?   They  couldn't be bothered to say "anti-totalitarian"?  What's going on?  Are the Gerasites tired of Gerasism?  Sure, why wouldn't they be?

August 13, 2014

Guardian fills (un)subscriber with disgust

Here's a letter to the Guardian from my friend Deborah Maccoby to her former friends at The Guardian:
Dear Sir,

As a signatory of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, I am so outraged by your decision to publish the infamous Eli Wiesel/Shmuely Boteach ad that I have decided to make a protest by cancelling my subscription to the Guardian.  I do this with great regret, as I have been a long-standing Guardian reader and subscriber.  I switched many years ago from reading the Times to reading what seemed to me to be the much more interesting and informative pages of the Guardian. But even the Times refused to publish this ad.  

Freedom of speech does have some limits in a newspaper with civilised standards. The ad includes the sentence:  "It is a battle of civilisation versus barbarism".  This ad is barbaric.   After 1,400 Palestinian civilians, including over 400 children, have been massacred in an utterly unnecessary and avoidable onslaught, in what is a war crime and a crime against humanity, it is an outrage to publish an ad that effectively exculpates from responsibility the Israel soldiers who did the killing.  Even the Murdoch press could not stomach this ad, so why did the Guardian publish it?


Deborah Maccoby
Sadly there's a crop of letters in today's Guardian all (most anyway) making the same bogus argument that they wouldn't know what the zionists were saying if the advert hadn't been published.  That's absurd, the reason there were so many complaints before the ad was run was because the ad had been shown elsewhere so its content was known and The Guardian had already reported on it.  Of course, if they want to know broadly what Zionists are saying all they have to do is read Jonathan Freedland.

August 11, 2014

A Guide to the Perplexed Owen Jones

Another day another article purporting to be about antisemitism in The Guardian.  I haven't actually read it yet and I only know about it because I suddenly found myself tagged in a twitter conversation involving Owen Jones, who penned the latest piece.

Without rushing in and reading it there are some immediate problems with the article.   It has come hot on the heels of two bogus allegations of antisemitism in the print edition of The Guardian on Saturday just gone. One was an editorial presumably written by Jonathan Freedland and the other by a Hadley Freeman.  Both falsely claimed that the Tricycle Theatre conflated Jewish identity with the State of Israel and both did exactly that themselves.  Both of those arose over the very limited action by Tricycle Theatre in refusing to accept funding (£1,400) from the Israeli embassy via the UK Jewish Film Festival.  And both of those followed a dubious Guardian article on Thursday just gone, listing a mixture of genuinely antisemitic actions with perfectly innocent anti-Zionist/Israel ones. By way, inadvertently, of an explanation for the sheer panic on Freedland and Freeman's part, The Observer published, Theatre's decision to ban Jewish film festival is 'thin end of wedge'. Hopefully it will be the thin end of the wedge.

Anyway, on top of all this, The Guardian hasn't just seen fit to carry a racist advert from some fanatical American Zionist group in today's print edition, it boasted about it in an article by the usually reasonable (as far as I know) Roy Greenslade.  The advert is so racist it was even rejected by Murdoch's Times newspaper.  By the small hours of yesterday morning I had counted 6 pro-Zionist propaganda Guardian pieces on their site in 5 days only partially redressed by a crop of letters in today's edition.

And now we have Owen Jones in The Guardian with Anti-Jewish hatred is rising – we must see it for what it is.  Now I've got to sort myself for work so I'll read the article on my phone.  But if Owen Jones is perplexed and reads this post he might get some idea of why some people are so suspicious of allegations of antisemitism which appear in the middle of a campaign of abject slaughter in Gaza by the self-styled Jewish State.  Meanwhile. if you're not Owen Jones, you might read the article before slagging it.  That's what I'm going to do.

August 09, 2014

Minor BDS Victory over Gaza has Zionist Lunatics taking over Guardian Asylum

The Guardian is sinking fast under a welter of Zionist penned articles wantonly blurring distinctions between opinion and fact and fact and falsehood.

It all began with a calm factual article about the UK Jewish Film Festival's withdrawal from The Tricycle Theatre because of the latter's objection to the receipt of £1,400 from the Israeli embassy.  There were Zionist reports of how the Tricycle had simply banned this generalist Jewish festival.  In fact the Jewish Chronicle has a front page article now with the headline, Film festival BANNED, in spite of the facts of the case now being well known.

There has been tremendous coverage of this throughout the print media and on-line but the Zionists are in such a panic they are swarming all over The Guardian to smear BDS supporters and the Tricycle people as antisemitic.

The first I noticed was an editorial that could only have been written by Jonathan Freedland who, a friend of mine told me, has considerable editorial influence at The Guardian.  I know The Guardian is often described as anti-Israel by Israel advocates but there are lines it rarely crosses so as to stay on the right side of the Zionist movement.  And of course, without getting into details, how can it be anti-Israel if Jonathan Freedland writes for it and wields editorial influence?

Anyway, the editorial is headed, The Guardian view on Gaza and the rise of antisemitism.*  I just did a word search for Gaza because I just had a feeling he wasn't writing about Gaza at all.  I was right. The word Gaza doesn't appear in the text.  Yup, in an article supposedly about Gaza and antisemitism Freedland has fulfilled an important part of the Zionist dream: he's made Gaza disappear.  Actually, he does nod to the slaughter by reference to the (you guessed it) "conflict between Israel and Hamas". 

He writes mostly about something that wasn't antisemitic at all and that's the Tricycle saga though he also detours to France and Germany where he writes of what would be genuine cases of antisemitism if only they could be verified by a more reliable source than himself.  Apparently it is true that synagogues have been attacked in France but the first report of an attack on a synagogue was actually a counter-attack by Palestine solidarity demonstrators against the openly racist terrorist group, the Jewish Defense League (banned as terrorists in the USA, the UK and even in Israel) who had come from the synagogue to attack the demonstrators, the JDL having the protection of the police.  Richard Seymour aka Lenin is very good on this.

Now, what else does he do?  Ah of course, he gets downright silly over the boycott campaign:
Some have made the argument that, if receiving money from a state implies endorsement of that state’s policy, then the Tricycle ought to return the £725,000 it receives from the taxpayer-funded Arts Council, lest that be read as backing for, say, UK participation in the invasion of Iraq.
This shows the anti-BDSrs' failure to consider what BDS is aimed at achieving and on whose behalf.  Many Palestinian groups have called for a boycott of Israel and that is what the solidarity movement supports.  Israel is a foreign aid junkie and it gets privileged access to EU markets.  The boycott movement is aims to neutralise that.  Who among those oppressed by the war on Iraq is calling for a boycott?  What could it achieve?  Boycotting is not simply a principle, it is a tactic that could work against Israel, a joint colonial project of western powers.

In the same paragraph he comes close to saying that support for colonial settlement, ethnic cleansing and Jewish supremacy is an innate Jewish characteristic.  In fairness he falls just short of that but look at what he does say:
most, not all, Jews feel bound up with Israel, even if that relationship is one of doubt and anxiety. To demand that Jews surrender that connection is to tell Jews how they might – and how they might not – live as Jews. Such demands have an ugly history.
 It's tempting simply to say, "Oh fuck off!" but let's not be nasty to the self-indulgent prick.  He is saying that if most Jews support a political project then the rest of humanity has to accommodate that.  As it happens, it's impossible to know what most Jews want because it's impossible, in the west anyway, to know who most Jews are.  Thankfully, in spite of the ravings of one mad Zionist blogger, we don't have to register as Jews here.

But what if most Jews do support the State of Israel? So what?  Does everyone have to support or tolerate the political persuasion of most Jews?  I've seen Palestinian flags flying around London's East End.  What if most Jews object, should they come down?  No matter where you stand on the question of Palestine, support for a state, any state, is political and there is no reason why everyone should support the politics of a proportion or the entirety of any ethno-religious community, especially if the political persuasion is so clearly racist.

He ends on a totally bogus line:
Nor should [Jews] be required to declare their distance from Israel as a condition for admission into polite society. We opposed such a question being put to all Muslims after 9/11 and, though the cases are not equivalent, the same logic applies here
The logic is not the same.  The UK "Jewish" Film Festival came to the Tricycle declaring their support for and from Israel.  Tricycle said that they could not host Israeli embassy funded events at the present time.  The equivalent for Muslims would be if a Muslim group asked the Tricycle to host an event celebrating 9/11.  Tricycle did not ask the UKJFF where they stand on Palestine.  UKJFF volunteered the information, evidently with some pride.  And that flight from logic was in an editorial in a supposedly serious liberal newspaper of record.

So who's next?  Ah yes, someone I'd never heard of before called Hadley Freeman.  Now if that self-seeking tosh from Freedland wasn't enough, on the same day (yesterday August 8, 2014) we get a lecture from another zionist at The Guardian - two on the same day and both saying the same thing in response to the same thing.  Here goes, but we probably won't need as much detail as the previous one.

It's headed Please don’t tell me what I should think about Israel.  Now I suppose from the heading it could go either way.  Zionists are forever trying to impugn the Jewish identity of those who, like me, think the wrong thoughts on Israel but the sub-heading is an early giveaway:
To a liberal American Jew in Britain, the Gaza crisis reveals some very unsavoury attitudes among those on the left
Uh oh, it's those lefties again, those nasty people who as an article of faith object to colonial settlement and ethnic cleansing.  Right, a quick scan, I promise (myself).

Ah, I think I can use the Gabriel scale on this one.  You know, we rock, they suck, you suck, everything sucks.

Let's see:

Yes, there's a little glimpse of "we rock":
Israel, like America, was a country made from desperate immigrants
Well they certainly had a disproportionate number of refugees but the state was made by a well armed, well trained and well organised army, or armies if you count the minor terror gangs.  In fairness you can't quite tell if Ms Freeman is calling out the myth or promoting it.

How about, they suck?  Well she skipped straight to "you suck" with a false allegation of antisemitism leveled at the pro-Israel Rory Carroll:
This week it was reported in this paper that it’s “unthinkable” in Hollywood to criticise Israel (that pesky Jewish mafia – displease them and they’ll force-feed you matzos until you explode).
The article was actually about how new Israel-critical voices were being heard and support for Israel was rather muted. Needless to say this style guru offered nothing to refute the idea that criticism of Israel used to be ""unthinkable" in Hollywood". And then there came the "everything sucks" whataboutery with a swipe at "India’s not exactly perfect human rights record" and the UK's war on Iraq.

So what happened to "they suck?"  Well they, of course, are the Palestinians and like the Freedland editorial, Gaza gets a mention in the headline (well the sub-heading) but the Gazans are absent from the article. It's all about Jews according to these two articles that appeared in today's print edition of The Guardian.

Now the third hasbara by smear piece I saw on The Guardian website was published the day before the previous two.  Headed, Obsessive Gaza coverage is fanning antisemitism, thankfully it's so ludicrous I can dismiss it out of hand.  It's basically a plea not report on the atrocities committed by a state that's given more privileged access to EU markets than any other non-European state and receives more US aid than any other state.  Oh ok, here's a taste:
The Everyday Antisemitism Project, which I established two weeks into the current round of conflict
As it happens it used to be the case that you could tell when Israel was behaving badly without knowing what it was doing by the number of allegations of antisemitism that flew around.  This guy so realised that Israel was on the PR ropes he went out and formed yet another antisemitism project.  But now the media is reporting more the crimes of Israel.  The Daily Mail has been a bit of a revelation.  The Beeb was pretty dodgy at first but there have been some useful appearances and tweets by Orla Guerin and Jeremy Bowen.  Channel 4 too has been very informative on tv and in tweets.

Even The Times refused to take in an advert containing the nastiest racist hasbara I would ever have seen in a mainstream UK paper.  Israel's sheer ferocity has had the facts of its violent racist nature speaking for themselves and there does seem to have been a new-found openness in the media to reporting stuff that paints Israel in an unfavourable light.

Whatever has happened it has led to some influential hasbarista or other at The Guardian asserting enough control to get 2 articles in today's print edition that falsely allege antisemitism at BDS whilst clumsily coming close to insisting that support for the racist war criminal State of Israel is somehow intrinsic to the Jewish identity.

And hold that thought about The TimesThe Guardian has now, via the blog of Roy Greenslade, announced that it will be running the advert in its Monday edition.  This is particularly dismaying because Times owner Rupert Murdoch is very pro-Israel and The Guardian is supposed to be liberal or even left-leaning.  Let's have a look at what Greenslade is saying:
The Times is under attack for refusing to run an advert about the conflict in Gaza. The paper is accused of being part of a British media "infamously skewed against Israel."
Straight away there is something wrong here.  Greenslade must know that The Times of all papers is not "skewed against Israel".  He is also of course using his blog to announce that The Guardian is joining in this attack on The Times for a rare instance of it doing the decent thing.

Greenslade goes on to quote from the ad and one its makers,  Shmuley Boteach, without any question, criticism or correction of his own:
It [the ad] calls on President Obama and other political leaders across the world "to condemn Hamas's use of children as human shields", which amounts to "child sacrifice".
It's left to me to point out that no evidence at all has been presented to support the "human shields" endless run of repeat stories.  It doesn't point out that it is actually Israel killing this large number of children and even more parents.  Nowhere does Greenslade contradict what the ad or its maker says, so for one racist ad these extreme murderous Zionists get two bouts of publicity one of which is free.

And we get more quotes from Boteach:
At a time when Israel is fighting for its very existence against the genocidal terrorists of Hamas, the British media, already infamously skewed against Israel, refuses a paid ad that every major American outlet... was proud to run as a full page ad
Criticism came there none.

The only partial distancing of The Guardian from the content of the racist ad is Greenslade's parting line:
But the Guardian's acceptance of an advert does not mean, of course, that it endorses the views and claims made within it.
Well it definitely means that The Guardian finds such racism acceptable and it does mean that some Zionist or other at The Guardian wants the ad run because for the past 3 days they have been pulling out all the stops to place The Guardian firmly in the Zionist camp.

Curiously I noticed Roy Greenslade hasn't tweeted his article but he has recently done two tweets supporting demonstrations for Gaza.  It's almost like his heart wasn't in this piece.  I wonder why he wrote it.

Anyway, I have an update on Jonathan Freedland's editorial from reading the print edition.  Don't worry I didn't buy it nor would I.  The title is completely different.  Gone (again) is "Gaza" and instead it's headed, Intolerable Intolerance.  Got that?  Most of the article is about the Tricycle Theatre and after time to think The Guardian is accusing the theatre of intolerable intolerance.  So what, apart from self-indulgent whingeing, are the Zionists going to do?

The Guardian, The Tricycle and Jews in Britain against Genocide

The Tricycle Theatre is coming under enormous pressure from Zionists over the UK Jewish Film Festival's decision to withdraw rather than reject funding from the Israeli embassy.

Jews in Britain against Genocide have written to express their thanks but first here's a reminder of the Tricycle Theatre's statement on the whole affair:

Now the letter to Tricycle:
Dear Indhu Rubasingham,

We write to thank you for refusing to accept Israeli sponsorship of the Jewish Film Festival.   

We particularly appreciate that you distinguish between Jews in Britain and the Israeli State. We could not be further apart from the Israeli state.  The insistence of the organisers of the UK Jewish Film Festival on including sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy, even when you generously offered an alternative, has made their priorities clear: not Jewish people or Jewish film but the hijacking of Jewish culture to disguise Israeli policies and particularly its bloodied image.  Its murder and maiming of Palestinians and others in the Middle East has been going on for many decades.  But its recent unrestrained, sadistic attack on Gaza has reinforced its genocidal intentions against the Palestinians.  


We are particularly appalled as Jews that our suffering as a people is the occasion and the excuse for the genocide of others.  We are aware of the suffering of others, which is why we have said, unlike Zionists: Never again – for anyone.  Including of course Tamils in Sri Lanka, about which you would be familiar.


Those of us said who were part of the demonstration in front of the Tricycle last November against Israeli sponsorship of the JFF, which was led by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, welcome this decision of the Tricycle to respect the multi-racial nature of the community of which it is part, by refusing blood money from apartheid Israel.


We are a group of Jews in Britain including from Israel and are appalled that you have been subjected to false accusations of anti-Semitism. Zionism cynically uses the sufferings of Jews to silence critics of the Israeli genocide of Palestinians. This is an abhorrent attempt to intimidate a local theatre for refusing to be enlisted to serve the Israeli State, in order to camouflage its most recent assault on hospitals, UN schools in which thousands were sheltering, children, and civilians of all ages. 

We take this opportunity to share with you a few examples of how Israel harnesses culture as a propaganda tool.

1) Israeli artists who receive government sponsorship are contractually obligated to promote the state as a condition of their sponsorship, which includes Israeli films that are promoted as being critical; but while they might show some criticism their overall message is to present Israel as a democracy and camouflage its apartheid. 


If they receive funding by the state, Israeli artists who play internationally are expected to be political ambassadors and must sign contracts which declare their cooperation with state marketing aims. The standard Israeli sponsorship contract states:”


The service provider (i.e. artists) undertakes to act faithfully, responsibly and tirelessly to provide the Ministry with the highest professional services. The service provider is aware that the purpose of ordering services from him is to promote the policy interests of the State of Israel via culture and art, including contributing to creating a positive image for Israel.
Source: http://www.haaretz.com/putting-out-a-contract-on-art-1.250388

2) In 2005, Nissim Ben-Sheetrit of Israel’s Foreign Ministry emphasised:
We are seeing culture as a hasbara (i.e. propaganda) tool of the first rank, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/about-face-1.170267?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.225%2C2.239%2C

3) In 2008 the Israeli Foreign Office identified London as one of the hubs it targeted for “Brand Israel”. It stated: "The Jewish community has to be part of it for it to succeed. It's very important for us to convey the message to them that a better image for Israel and a better performance of that image is part and parcel with Israel's national security.”  "But it's mainly it's an attempt to change the mindset of people when it comes to Israel” “”That doesn't mean conducting an advertising campaign, but the execution of a program that will support the brand identity… it could include organizing film festivals” “… the hope-for result is a change in peoples' perception of Israel
Source: http://www.jpost.com/International/Israels-rebranding-efforts-to-focus-on-Toronto

In short, any event accepting sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy or from any other Israeli state bodies is legitimising the Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing and its genocidal attacks on the Palestinians, including the Gaza Strip that Israel turned into a concentration camp.

We value the Tricycle and as your loyal supporters, your audience, we ask that you will not renew your association with Israel, as long as it violates international law, and until the 3 conditions set out in the Palestinian call for boycott demanding Israel meets its obligation and comply with international law (seehttp://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1801).

Yours, 
Jews in Britain Against Genocide
The Zionists are pulling out all the stops with this one and with the war on Gaza in general. The first Guardian report I saw on this was fairly straight forward and factual but then Jonathan Freedland seems to have taken over with this editorial listing the Tricycle affair together with attacks on synagogues in Europe and some absurd fashionista or cultural commentator, Hadley Freeman, doing pretty much the same as Freedland, though unlike Freedland, writing in her own name rather than in the name of The Guardian.

It should be noted here that for all the false allegations of antisemitism being thrown around, the only antisemitic thing I have seen said during the whole affair was this: 
"Jewish culture... is of course intrinsically connected to the state of Israel".
And who said it?  Why the spokesperson for the "apolitical" UK Jewish Film Festival.

Anyway, while this has been going on, an advert by Zionists justifying the slaughter of children by Israel was rejected by The Times newspaper presumably for being too racist even for them.  Remember The Times is owned by the very pro-Israel, born-again Christian, Rupert Murdoch. Well it turns out that one of the more disgusting manifestations of hasbara, the advert, isn't too racist for The Guardian, where their sheer lack of principle was announced by Roy Greenslade.

But, of course, it isn't mere opportunism.  As the facts of Israel's genocidal campaign speak loudly for themselves, Israel needs more propaganda cover than ever.  We've seen the establishment wobbling over this.  Longstanding friends of Israel have been distancing themselves.  Opponents of BDS are becoming supporters.  Latino states have severed relations with Israel.  Hasbara is urgent.  Freedland is always on hand to provide that whether by talking Israel up, pointing people in other directions (whataboutery) or smearing Israel's critics.  But why does the whole of The Guardian have to fall into line.  What has Freedland got that people of integrity haven't got?  Or are the latter just too few or too weak at The Guardian.