The link here is to a submission by a Jonathan Turner to the BBC Charter Review. It wouldn't ordinarily be a big deal but the Jewish Chronicle is extremely pleased that this guy has just won the right to get a response to any complaint he makes about the Beeb's Israel coverage. Fine with me. Out of several complaints to the Beeb I have only ever received one reply from Richard Sambrook. The worrying things about this victory are that it was won by the complainant writing to Michael Grade threatening judicial review and that the JC is so pleased. Now, did the Beeb buckle because judicial review was threatened or was it because Michael Grade was involved? Also, why is the JC so chuffed? They seem not to consider the possibility that the complaints might be rejected. To be continued....
aka the Board of Deputies of Deputies of British Jews Yes it's Neville Nagler again dragging the good name of the Jewish people through the blood of the Palestinian people. Why does the Guardian give him space? Why do them let him sign off as representing the Board of Deputies of British Jews ? Especially when only yesterday they had a letter from Irene Bruegel of Jews for Justice for Palestinians condemning the so-called Jewish National Fund as colonial settlers. Is there not a Trade Descriptions Act for "representive" groups? And if there was what would the Board of Deputies be forced to describe itself as?
"Aid workers who remained in Afghanistan throughout the years of Soviet occupation, tribal anarchy and Taliban rule are preparing to flee the country because US military tactics have made it too dangerous to operate there." No comment required.
Just as the UN gave the Zionist movement the green light for an ethnic cleansing campaign back in 1947 so it seem to be blessing the efforts of Israel's main beneficiary of the ethnic cleansing the so-called Jewish National Fund.
The Jewish National Fund, which has just achieved UN recognition as an NGO, can't possibly be involved in the illegal expansion of settlements (Report, July 27).[what report?) - it is a charity whose aim is 'to relieve poverty in the territory of the state of Israel'! Irene Bruegel Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Samson's suicide Sir: Both Jonathan Smilansky and Mark Elf (letters, 27 July, etc) are wrong. The first recorded suicide 'bombing' in the Middle East was Samson's destruction of the Temple.
That Simon Kellner* geezer must be some kind of self-hater**.
"Sir: Jonathan Smilansky is wrong to say that Yasser Arafat introduced suicide bombing to the Middle East. The first such bombing that I know of in the Middle East was by Hizbollah against American troops, killing 241, in 1983. Hamas, not under Arafat's control, carried out the first Palestinian suicide bombing in 1994 after an American Zionist, Dr Baruch Goldstein, carried out a suicidal attack on a mosque in Hebron killing 29 Palestinians.
* The Independent's editor and the only Jewish editor of a mainstream UK newspaper.
** Self-hater - What Zionists call a Jew who criticises Israel
In a ludicrous puff piece for good old. Zionism, you know, the ethnic cleansing, segregationist one of yesteryear, as distinct from the..er...ethnic cleansing, segregationist one of this year and next, Will Hutton tells us about the lofty egalitarian ideals of the kibbutz movement. Here's a sample:
"The kibbutz movement was a living example of how to build a new society based on genuine equality of opportunity and mutuality of respect in collective democratic communes that actually worked." Actually the kibbutzim were usually founded on land bought from absentee landlords for Jewish settlement only. As they developed they came to rely on Arab labour but it was a rare kibbutz that allowed any Arabs to joins as equals.
It gets worse:
"That was then.Today, Israel's kibbutz movement is in crisis as a succession of right-wing governments has redirected subsidies to support settling the West Bank, where settler numbers are now double those working on kibbutzim. [this ignores the fact that kibbutzim were established in the occupied territories almost as soon as Israel had conquered them so in 1967 as in 1947/8, the kibbutzniks were the shock troops of the Zionist conquest of Palestine.]
The movement is paying the price for clinging to outdated nostrums, like belief in caring, equality and collective action, building Israel within its pre-1967 borders while recognising a Palestinian state and valuing the endless possibility of human development." [the Labour Zionists never recognised the idea of a Palestinian state until quite recently and when you consider how they define Palestinian "statehood" it appears they still haven't come to terms with it. And if it is paying a price it is for its outrageous hypocrisy]
Early in the article Hutton refers to his young "friends who had spent their gap year working on them eulogising about the experience". Did they really not notice the way Arabs were treated? How did they think whole tracts of "Israel" became Arabrein?
I thought BlahBlahFlowers' owner Loz's comment from below deserved more prominence:
"In what crazy world does an article by two people who, by their own biographies, might be considered to have an interest in Israel be called independent?"
And my response:
"I don't know if the JC sees itself as briefing the Zionist movement as to a "party line" or if it sees itself as deceiving its readership. Probably a bit of both."
Now I know the JC's editor Ned Temko is an avid visitor here so perhaps he could tell us. Is he lying with. his readers or to. them? Also he might want to explain why no url was given for www.bbcwatch.com. My suspicion is that had people have been able to click or otherwise go straight to the BBC watch site they would have known immediately that it was a Zionist site and therefore not independent at all. So what does that make Ned Temko? A deliberate liar? Well yes actually....unless he can refute it. Still at least it means he sees himself as pulling the wool over the eyes of his readers. If he wanted them to share in this latest "big lie" he would have posted a url.
This seems to have come hot on the heels of the report by Greg Philo and Mike Berry - Bad news from Israel - saying that the BBC has a clear bias in favour of Israel. The Jewish Chronicle response led to it having to publish two letters two weeks running by Greg Philo. The Jewish Chronicle is far more satisfied with this "report".
Just a day before The Guardian. Review section published an absurd article denouncing The Guardian's. anti-Israel bias, Seumas Milne, the Comment Editor of The Guardian, had a letter published in The Jewish Chronicle. pointing out just how pro -Israel The Guardian. has been.
Colin Schindler is surely wrong to claim that "rejectionists" of Israel are "disproportionately promoted" on the Guardian's comment pages or that we have had a "plethora of rejectionist articles".
All staff columnists and a large majority of outside contributors who write on the Israel-Palestine conflict support a two-state solution. The only article I recall explicitly rejecting Israel's right to exist was by British Muslim writer Faisal Bodi three-and-a-half years ago (before my time as comment editor). We've had occasional pieces that might be regarded by some as rejectionist: for example an anti-Zionist article by British Palestinian Ghada Karmi and a handful by longtime Palestinian two-state supporters who question whether two states are still viable, wondering instead whether to campaign for equal rights in a single state.
But the weight of comment in the Guardian could not by any stretch of the imagination be regarded as rejectionist. In fact some critics have argued that the case for a single-state solution is under-represented on our pages given the number of, say, British Muslims who support it.
The Guardian's comment pages try to provide the broadest spectrum of opinion in any English-language newspaper with its centre of gravity on the centre-left.
Some JC readers might be surprised to know that in the past year we have, by my tally, had 13 pieces by Israeli writers and six by Palestinians on the comment pages.
Among the Israelis have been the settlers' leader, Israel Harel; Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom; Foreign Ministry legal adviser Arthur Lenk; former Sharon government adviser Jonathan Spyer; and Emanuele Ottolenghi - as well as Meron Benvenisti; Uri Dromi; Avraham Burg; Avi Shlaim; Sharon Sadeh; Roman Bronfman; and Yossi Sarid.
Seumas Milne COMMENT EDITOR,
FARRINGDON ROAD, LONDON EC1
Bryan Cheyette (a Zionist professor from the University of Southampton) condemns The Guardian's. anti-Israel bias and suggests that reserving 78% of Palestine for the world's Jews and 22% for Palestine's Arabs represents "evenhandedness". He also says that: "Sensationalist headlines - "Israel simply has no right to exist" - help to sell papers". Now consider this. People go into the newsagent, pick up a newspaper, look all the way through it (since the "offending article" didn't appear on the front page), then, in the unlikely event of finding an article that calls Israel's "right" to exist into question, they buy the paper rather than put it back down. Has that ever happened? And why on earth does The Guardian. give space to such nonsense?
My comments facility is still down. I am working on restoring it. In the meantime feel free to email me at email@example.com and if you ask me to I will post the email as a comment to the post to which it relates when I'm back up and running.
The Guardian took less than a day to miss the point of the UN General Assembly's vote and therefore the ICJ ruling, for Israel to dismantle its apartheid wall. Here's the first paragraph:
"Britain last night joined with all 25 nations of the EU in calling on Israel to dismantle its barrier dividing the country from the occupied West Bank". The whole point of the UN vote and the ICJ ruling is that the wall doesn't divide the country from the occupied West Bank. It cuts through the West Bank.
The Guardian. newspaper today whipped American racists into a frenzy today when it accused the whole of Arab womanhood of raping African womanhood. Well the Zionists weren't at all surprised at such "racist" behaviour by Muslims. Thanks again to The Guardian's. "liberalism" for keeping humanity on the anti-racist path.
Sharon has told a group of Americans that French Jews should flee France and head for the safety of Palestine. Now I presume he told an American Zionist audience because they will believe anything. And now the wags can define Zionism as American Jews paying for French Jews to go to Palestine where they'll be safe!
An array of right-wing websites are cock-a-hoop about Christopher Hitchens's conversion to their corner. This "critique" of Michael Moore's "mockumentary" ((c) Counterpunch - I think) has Hitchens surpassing even himself for lies, innuendo and pure pandering to rightist notions. It's worth reading as it must surely be the final nail in the coffin of Hitchens's credibility. I've seen F911 and it indicts Bush in a way that wouldn't particularly upset, say, Kerry. So why the apoplexy from Hitchens? Is the hard right Hitchens's pension plan? Was he so shell shocked by the other 9/11?* And why do rightists carry on calling him "liberal" and "contrarian"?**
and give ethnic cleansers the boot The Scottish Parliament is being petitioned to take the charitable status away from the Jewish National Fund because of it (the JNF) being a benficiary of ethnic cleansing and apartheid laws.
In the Evening Standard (not on line) today, a response to Norman Lebrecht who claims to be a recent convert to Zionism.
How very clever of Norman Lebrecht to find an example of Theodor Herzl in 1898 expressing magnanimity towards the natives of the country he intended to conquer. Only three years earlier the same Theodor Herzl was confiding (he thought) to his diary that the Zionist movement would "spirit the penniless [Arab] population across the frontier" and that "both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly" Now, I suppose it's possible that Herzl mellowed over the years but unfortunately Zionism didn't. The state of Israel was established by way of the first ethnic cleansing campaign of the post holocaust era and nothing since the inception of the state suggests that Israel will ever compensate the victims voluntarily.
Will her retraction be given same prominence as her allegation? Google's always a good barometer for these things. Punch "swastikas drawn on woman" into the search bar and 38 sites come up. Then punch in "anti-Semitic attack hoax". Just one site comes up. Even the words "she made it up" only return 6 sites and only one of those refers to the Paris non-incident. Why oh why do the media want us to believe that anti-Semitism is so widespread? Do you think it's to terrorise Jews into the Zionist camp and emotionally blackmail non-Jews out of any criticism of Zionism?
Lynndie England is facing more charges for her misbehaviour in Abu Ghraib. Look how News 14 from Charlotte Carolina reported the new development: "An Army private accused of abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison faces more charges -- this time for participating in sexually explicit photos, none involving Iraqis." It's not quite clear whether the offence was the sexually explicit nature of the photos or the fact that none of them involved Iraqis.
The Zionist movement has moved an Islamic cleric from obscurity in the West to the front pages of Britain's newspapers. Apparently, Sheikh al-Qaradawi is none too keen on gays, has not condemned wife beating strenuously enough and supports armed resistance against Israel even if this results in children being killed. Am I giving my age away if I say that I remember the late UK Chief Rabbi Emmanuel Jakobovitz suggesting that genetic engineering should be used to eradicate homosexuality? I don't remember the Board of Deputies trying to get him arrested over it. The Chief Rabbi now, Jonothan Sacks holds that anyone who doesn't believe in the literal truth of the old testament has "broken with the faith of their ancestors". This being the book where it is written "he who lies with a man as with a woman shall surely be put to death". Did any newspaper condemn Sacks for that? And what about Jewish clerical support for the racist war criminals of Israel? Any calls for prosecution, expulsion or banning? I don't think so. But hey, here's a tenner for anyone who can find a mainstream UK media outlet openly calling for the prosecution, expulsion or banning of a Zionist murderer or advocate or apologist for murder.
Azmi Bishara, an Arab member of Israel's parliament is on hunger strike to protest against and draw attention to the hardship caused by Israel's apartheid wall. The hunger strike is being ignored by most mainstream media in the west, in fact a google search for "Azmi Bishara" "hunger strike" yields only 123 sites, none of which are mainstream UK or US outlets.
Funny how Zionism lurches to its extremes. The so-called binational Zionists happily participated in the ethnic cleansing of the late 1940s and we now know that there were joint Haganah/Irgun operations. I remember Greville Janner and other "Labour" Zionists taking out full page adverts in the Israeli press to try to persuade Israelis to ditch Likud. Just last year Janner was on the platform for a pro-Sharon rally. Now the "far right" are threatening to kill the leader of the far right. We shouldn't be surprised.
The Daily Mail's. Alex Brummer has a weekly slot in the Jewish Chronicle. which he uses to smear people, and sometimes whole peoples, he doesn't like. This means, actually, that the Daily Mail. has two Melanie Phillipss. Scary. Anyway, last weeks victim was Professor Greg Philo who Brummer accused of using "flawed methodology". This was refuted by Greg Philo in yesterday's JC thus:
ALEX BRUMMER (JC, June 25) accuses us of using "flawed methodology" in our study of news coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He notes that words such as "lynching" and "brutal murder" are appropriate for the deaths of two Israeli soldiers killed and eviscerated by a "mob" in Ramallah.
Yet it is apparently acceptable that the deaths of 13 Arabs killed two days before should not merit such a description.
He makes the familiar division of the partisan observer between "their" victims and "our" victims. We also showed that the deaths of the two Israeli soldiers received over five times as much coverage as those of the 13 Arabs.
He also says that in Jenin "almost as many Israeli troops perished as Palestinians." The UN report of August 1, 2002 gave the number of confirmed Palestinians deaths as 52, while the number of Israeli deaths was 23.
He also shamefully attacks Professor Avi Shlaim, accusing him of "propagating his ideas from the comfort of an Oxford college." Does he say this because he does not like the conclusions of this Israeli professor or because the dangers of working in the Daily Mail give Mr Brummer a special insight.
In point of fact, we also refer in our work to a very wide range of historical accounts and include the very extensive political and cultural debates which have existed on these issues within Israel. We did this in the hope that it would open a more constructive debate about the origins of this conflict and possible ways of resolving it.
(PROFESSOR) GREG PHILO GLASGOW UNIVERSITY MEDIA GROUP
So Brummer's a liar and the JC was forced to admit it. Anything else in the news? Oh yeah, Brando died.
Here's an indictment of Michael Moore. He's an enemy of many enemies of mine but that doesn't make him a friend. Stupid white men. was ok in parts and made a useful gift to the politically uncommitted but he is. weak on Ireland and downright non-existent on Palestine. I can't actually comment on the film because I'm not going to see it until Sunday I just wanted to post this to show that Michael Moore has detractors on the left as well as on the right.
Israel talks the talk Ariel Sharon was said to be terrified today as the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that his malnutrition inducing wall is not nice. The last time the Supreme Court made a ruling on anything to do with Sharon it was over his culpability for the massacres at Shatila and Sabra and it set back his career by, er, minutes, at least.