The Use of Nazi Analogies on CiF – Part 2

This is a guest post from AKUS

Seth Freedman is by his own admission a devout Jew who on May 28th this year shared with the readers of the Guardian’s CiF website in an article headed We must make e-books pirate-proof that he uses his phone to say the traveler’s blessing – Birkat Ha’Derech– when getting on a bus in Israel, presumably to ward off the possibility of being blown up by one of his Palestinian friends.

“On Monday, I said the traveller’s prayer when getting on the bus, as I do every time I go on a journey out of Tel Aviv. Rather than carrying a prayer book with me, I have an e-siddur installed on my phone for just such occasions, allowing me instant access to the necessary text”.

Less than two days ago was Yom Kippur, so, “as-a-Jew”, and an Orthodox one to boot, Freedman had plenty of time to sit in synagogue and think up his next piece for the Guardian – one that would once again compare Israelis (with one exception – himself) to Nazis.

Yes, Israel’s own little Goebbels must have had a brain-wave – perhaps while the Rabbi recited the memorial service for the 6 million dead a little lamp went off in what passes for Freedman’s mind: “Why”, he must have mused to himself, “do I not draw an analogy between Israelis who think that Jewish girls dating Arab guys are like Nazis who supported Hitler’s Nuremberg laws? Why not compare Israel’s policies to those of the Nazis against ‘mischlings’ and to the Nazi laws against mixed marriages – ‘miscegenation’?”

Waiting, one hopes, for the services to end, three stars to appear to signal the end of Yom Kippur, and the havdalah candle to be lit, he must have rushed to his computer. Only a few hours later he came out with the latest addition to his long list of Nazi images to describe Israel and Israelis (see my earlier piece, The Use of Nazi Analogies on CiF ). Israel, like Nazi Germany, practices “miscegenation”.

Thus, the day after Yom Kippur, a day sacred to Jews before which the Guardian published an article by Freedman described correctly on CiF Watch as oozing oleaginous sanctimony, this self-proclaimed expert on all matters Jewish, Israeli, publishing, electronics, and financial claimed:

“Jewish law instructs adherents that… it is first and foremost incumbent on individuals to apologise to their fellow men for any injustices they may have committed during the past year – and only then may they approach God and offer up their prayer for forgiveness from above”.

Well, G-d’s laws – or Jewish laws – do not, apparently apply to this particular Jew.  Instead, we get the latest foul insult hurled by this nasty house Jew at Israelis: an article entitled “Israel’s vile anti-miscegenation squads“.

Here, as one example, is what Wiki has to say about the etymological history:

“… The word was coined in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet published in New York City in December 1863, during the American Civil War. The pamphlet was entitled Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro.

…Laws banning “race-mixing” were enforced in Nazi Germany (the Nuremberg Laws) until 1945, in certain U.S. states from the Colonial era until 1967 and in South Africa during the early part of the Apartheid era. All these laws primarily banned marriage between spouses of different racially or ethnically defined groups, which was termed “amalgamation” or “miscegenation” in the U.S. The laws in Nazi Germany and many of the U.S. states, as well as South Africa, also banned sexual relations between such individuals.”

Now, Freedman may not be smart enough to come up with the word “miscegenation” himself, or perhaps he heard the Rabbi condemn the Nuremberg laws and in a quick visit to Google he found it. Possibly it may have occurred to him and probably it did to the Guardian editors that using the word “mischling” was not quite the thing – it rather gives the game away, and perhaps opens the door to prosecution for hate speech. But miscegenation is close enough – wink, wink – to get the point across.

Clearly, the Wiki contributor is unaware of Freedman’s discovery – the application of the Nuremberg laws inside Israel itself, and the attempt to prevent the creation of “mischlings”. One assumes that Freedman will write up an additional section to drive the point home, and make sure the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany sticks. I am sure there will be a chorus of his anti-Semitic supporters when the thread reopens later today praising him for his “objectivity” – as-a-Jew, his credentials are impeccable, and he provides a most valuable human shield for the inveterate Israel bashers and anti-Semites that flock to the CiF site – not so much, as a variation on one of Freedman’s favorite images, as a “sheriff’s posse” – rather as a group of Cossacks or lynch mob intent in extracting the most Jewish blood out of the latest pogrom.

Is this vile activity opposing “miscegenation” carried out by all Israelis, as Freedman would have us believe? No, it is not, though you would find it hard to gather that from reading the article, replete as it is with Freedman’s usual childish hyperbole, mixed metaphors, and turgid prose.

Freedman’s knowledge of the phenomenon, like so much of his commentary, is based on second hand, recycled news or superficial observation. He makes no attempt to investigate and report actual facts on the extent of the phenomenon he is reporting – perhaps he read about it on his Kindle on the way back from the airport since in this case, his column’s sources are limited to a report in the British Times OnLine, and an article in Ha’aretz.

Freedman chooses to overlook three important points in his racist rant.

First, the current concern about Jewish girls dating, or accompanying, Arab men arises from the brutal and senseless murder of an elderly Jew on the Tel Aviv promenade about a month ago by a group made up of eight Arabs and a couple of Jewish girls:

Tel Baruch beach lynch suspects remain in police custody

… The Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court overnight Sunday extended the remand of eight residents of the Arab local council of Jaljulia who are suspected of being involved in the murder of 59-year-old Leonard (Arik) Karp Friday night at the Tel Baruch beach.

Another suspect, a 17-year-old girl from Kfar Saba was sent to house arrest, but the remand of a 19-year-old woman soldier from Petach Tikva was extended by three days after the court accepted the police’s appeal against its previous decision to send her to house arrest as well.

Not an altogether unreasonable event to create some concern among the Jewish population.

Second, Israelis who know a little more about Arab culture than those who see Arabs as only victims of Jewish Nazi tendencies are well-aware of the way, in Arab culture, young unaccompanied, unmarried girls of any religion, including Islam, are regarded, especially if they engage in sex. Not to put too fine a point on it, they are simply regarded by their Arab boy-friends as whores. Anyone who doubts this need only read Asra Nomani’s fine biography, “Standing Alone”, where she describes how she was jilted by her Pakistani boy-friend as soon as he got her pregnant – there was no way he could marry a woman who had sex before marriage – even with himself!! If further proof is needed, there are the endless cases of “honor killings” that are reported when a Moslem woman has sex before marriage and is found out by her family.

Third – as was pointed out in accompanying thread – this is a typical example of Freedman eagerly searching for the half-full glass:

SantaMoniker

29 Sep 09, 6:25pm (about 11 hours ago)

Umm — even if a few extremists are trying to stop Jews and Arabs dating – isn’t the larger issue the more positive fact that Jews and Arabs are dating?

I suppose the way you view this phenomenon depends on whether you are always looking for the half-empty glass, or are willing to consider whether it might be half full?

Another commentator on the thread asked:

Question to Seth (SHanaTova by the way). Just wondering as an orthodox Jew whether you would prefer a Jewish wife. Do you date non Jewish girlfriends?

An interesting question which leads me to wonder how Freedman’s orthodox family would relate to him if he brought home an Arab woman he intended to marry. So far, there has been no answer to THAT question on the thread.

What puzzles me is why a British Alan Dershowitz – and there must be one among Britain’s lawyers – backed financially by the wealth of the British Jewish Community has not hauled this nasty piece of work into a court somewhere in Britain and used laws that must surely exist, if only at the EU level, against the kind of hate speech that Freedman pours out weekly under the warm protection of Mother Guardian.

It is more than time for some brave British Jews to make a stand.

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

“The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has earned a poor reputation for impartiality when it comes to addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it now has an unprecedented opportunity to begin to shed that reputation by endorsing the entirety of the Goldstone report on the conflict in Gaza and its recommendations.”

So says Abderrahim Sabir on Comment is Free, naturally.

Admittedly, Sabir appears to be impartial – he mentions Palestinian war crimes too, and refers to them as such, unlike Goldstone but given the apparently even handed opening of this article its thrust is woefully wrong-headed. Why on earth, for example, should any reputable international body endorse such a biased account of events which was so ill-researched that it was based upon out-of date Israeli rules of engagement which were updated in 2004,  the updated version of which Goldstone had never read?

Sabir goes on to say that Goldstone

“..only accepted heading the mission after insisting that the mandate be changed to include violations by all parties in the conflict sending a clear message that a fact-finding mission would be credible only if it examined violations against Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike.”

What Sabir most definitely does not say (no doubt because it would detract more than a little from his tendentious line of argument) is that Goldstone was not the first person approached to head up the mission. The focus and remit of it also troubled many distinguished individuals, including former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, who refused invitations to head the Mission and admitted that it was “guided not by human rights but by politics”.

There can be no doubt that the report is biased against Israel, not least in its refusal to acknowledge the terrorist nature and activity of Hamas. Additionally, according to the communiqué from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the day to day conduct of Mission was itself suspect. Throughout its visits to Gaza it was continuously accompanied by Hamas officials. It also refused to recuse members of the mission with clear political views on the issues under investigation. One mission member, Professor Christine Chinkin, signed a letter to the Sunday Times (see Sunday Times letters page, dated 11th January 2009) saying that Israel’s actions against Hamas attacks were acts of “aggression not self-defense”, thereby compromising the neutrality of the investigation before it had even begun.

Given all the foregoing, it should beggar belief that Sabir argues that the woefully biased findings of the Goldstone Report should be adopted by Arab countries rather than consigned to the waste bin of history where they belong. I say “should beggar belief.”  That it appears not to is yet another indictment of Comment is Free’s anti-Israel stance, plus, of course, there is the little matter that Sabir is a former UN Human Rights Monitor in the Sudan and Iraq, so he is hardly impartial himself.

However, it seems that the commentariat is not as easily fooled as it once was. Could this be evidence of the green shoots of a revival of critical thinking on CiF? Sceptic that I am, I captured the following in case they are deleted:

mmmherring
29 Sep 09, 4:01pm

Well yes Athe article is correct
you have to laught at the thought of Arab members of the HRC… It’s like fucking for virginity :)

and

SantaMoniker
29 Sep 09, 4:20pm

“Arab members of the HRC – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Bahrain, and Qatar – can play a pivotal role in assuring such an outcome by stressing the need for accountability for all those responsible for committing war crimes, Palestinians as well as Israelis.”

“The report also calls on the UN to monitor these efforts by Israel and Hamas. If they fail to do so, the report said, UN member states should ensure international prosecutions.”

Is this author serious?

If the “Arab members” of the UNHRC were not setting its agenda, they would be prime candidates for investigation by the HRC if it had a shred of legitimacy. As for expecting them to “monitor” Israel and Hamas — physician, heal thyself!
And imagining them prosecuted if they fail to do so (by whom? Iran?? Libya??)!! – when pigs have wings.

From the author’s bio:
Abderrahim Sabir is a former UN human rights monitor in Sudan and Iraq.

Oh dear, oh dear.

However, lest the reader be tempted too readily to jump for joy here’s a somewhat more grounding contribution from one of the usual more benighted suspects. Note his reminder that Goldstone is writing “asaJew”:

neoc
29 Sep 09, 4:16pm@endofdays:

Are you aware that HAMAS is still launching rockets at Sderot and other Israeli towns?

Are you aware of Israel’s non-stop target-killing of Gazans? Two militants over the weekend. I heard in yesterdays press (Nyt/Ft?) that some Palestinian teens were in their crosshairs. I didnt bother reading @ it

@TheGreatGatsby:

I had to laugh. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Bahrain, and Qatar and Human Rights.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Israeli war crimes – not to be unnecessarily & inequitably compared to those committed by the occupied Palestinians – says the UN report headed by South African Jew Richard Goldstone, a supporter of Israel, whose daughter declared that nothing was more important to her than Israel.

Is that wonderful?

The Israeli hi-tec weapons strike within milicentimetre of their targets against homemade rockets.

With the wonderful record of the UN on human rights in the Sudan and pre-invasion Iraq and his new role as a columnist for El Hayyat, this author’s credentials seem a little hollow and his quaint call for Arab contries to monitor Hamas and each other less than honest and a rather lame attempt to play to the CiF gallery.

Swap the Word “Zionist” for “Jew”

Here are a couple of examples of thinly-veiled antisemitic comments on the World Can’t Trust Iran thread, an article that was written by authors with Jewish sounding names. Two days later, both comments were still alive and kicking, as was the thread.

questionnaire antisemitic comment


KrustytheKlown antisemitic coment

Of course, if you read the bios of Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson here and here, there is nothing to indicate whatsoever that either of them is “Zionist”, and even if they were so what.  The same goes for the Washington Institute of Near East Policy, a highly reputable bipartisan US-based think tank.

And this is the same thread where there was a similar outburst from ShamelessHussy which AKUS recounts here.

When will the penny drop with Guardian management that they have  created an incubator for this kind of antisemitic discourse?

UPDATE

The questionnaire comment has now been removed. The KrustytheKlown comment still remains. Note how the KrustytheKlown comment quotes from the questionnaire comment making the deletion of the questionnaire comment useless.

Pond-dwellers can’t take the moral high ground

Time to catch up with Seth Freedman’s piece about Rowan Laxton, the UK senior Foreign Office official who unleashed a torrent of antisemitic abuse in a health club during Cast Lead and who was prosecuted for it last week – and found guilty.

At times like this Freedman oozes oleaginous sanctimony. It’s as if he is saying “Look at me, I am condemning antisemitism so how can you possibly call me antisemitic?”. Well – we do. This is the man who spoke of the “cancer of Israeli settlements”. The man who wrote:

“but surely if there was no zionism, there’d be no objection to letting the palestinians be part of the future state, and hence they’d not be “the same battered Palestinian population on its doorstep”. once you remove zionism from the equation, the rest of the racist policies currently in place ought to collapse like a house of cards, and the country becomes a democratic state for all its citizens.”

And Freedman has made a number of Nazi analogies, as AKUS documented here on CiFWatch.

Sure enough Freedman slips into this unctuous homily about the Laxton case the Livingstone Formulation (the antisemitic accusation that Jews use the charge of antisemitism as a means of stifling criticism of Israel (‘antisemitic’ because it denies the right of one – and only one – minority to protest about racism)) :

There are those, myself included, who refuse to ascribe to the theory that all anti-Israel sentiment is rooted in antisemitism: to take such a view, as many do, is both disingenuous and dishonest, and is more often than not employed as a means of stifling any honest criticism of Israeli government actions.

And next we get a “dog whistle” word (a device which is Freedman’s speciality):

The fear and paranoia that engulfs much of the Jewish community in England is only fed by actions such as Laxton’s [emphasis added]

The sentence is anyway nonsensical. “Fear” suggests that Freedman recognises a genuine emotion; “Paranoia” suggest that he thinks the fear is unfounded or exaggerated. It can’t be both. “Paranoia?” Antisemitic incidents as measured by the CST were higher in the first six months of 2009 than in any full year since records began in 1984.

What then gives Freedman the right to suggest that fears of Jews in the UK are unfounded or exaggerated? What unbridled arrogance! A statement you will never hear from Seth Freedman (or any Guardian author for that matter): “The fear and paranoia that engulfs much of the Muslim community in England is only fed by actions such as those of the English Defence League”.

Where is Freedman’s  recognition of the appalling fact that in a western democracy where individual safety should be guaranteed by the rule of law, British Jews should be forced to take on the duty of the state and spend millions of their hard earned cash to protect schools, synagogues and communal buildings from the threat posed by the unholy Jihadi/SWP alliance?

And why is it that the Guardian’s stable of one trick ‘as-a-jew’ ponies – Freedman, Lerman and Klug - think they are the bees’ knees when it comes to telling the world about antisemitism?

POSTSCRIPT

Freedman has a new piece on CIF about Yom Kippur. Should he wish to use CiF Watch to apologise to all those he has offended over the past year, we would be delighted to accommodate him.

Guardian World View in Action on the Ben White Thread

A few hours ago I posted examples of antisemitic comments gushing from the Ben White thread.  Some of them have now been deleted, no doubt because of my post (where’s my paycheck?). Anyway, I was going to include in the post this comment below because if I did I knew it would probably not be deleted.

Instead I copied it to see what happens and guess what its gone. Georgina, Matt and Brian pray tell what is wrong with what chasnb said in the thread?

chasnb

27 Sep 09, 10:24am

I don’t know who’s worse: Ben White and his obsessive, tireless, one-sided distortions against Israel, or the odd people who follow up his articles with even more misguided hatred against the Jewish state.

POSTSCRIPT

Here are a couple more deletions from the same thread that clearly do not align with the Guardian World View:

MichaelBournemouth

27 Sep 09, 1:54pm

Ben White and his supporters are unhappy again – which means Israel is again doing the right thing.
I guess every sign that Israel hasn’t disappeared yet, is very annoying to some people.

Sabraguy

28 Sep 09, 10:01am

Ben White writes from a country that was stolen from the natives by the Portugese in 1500 and was a colony for 400 years. Its wealth was built on slavery, the effects of which persist to this day.

His obsession with Israel must seem a little peculiar to those of African ancestry in his own country, who 100 years after slavery was abolished are still generally to be found emptying the bins and cleaning the houses of the white folks.

Let me make it simple. He’s a hypocrite.

Antisemitic Comments Gushing from the Ben White Thread

A new Ben White abomination has just gone up at CiF which is stoking yet more Jew-hatred in the comment threads.

How fitting that in the week we had to endure antisemitic tirades from the likes of Ahmadinejad, we are treated to not one but two articles from Ben White – the man who understands why some are antisemites and defended Ahmadinejad’s previous statements denying the Holocaust.

In the space of just 2 hours in which the thread has been open here are a selection of some of the comments from the creatures that dwell beneath the line – at the time of writing only one has been deleted and what is worse the comments by FalseConsciousness, Expat Amsterdam and Bass46 below appeared approximately 15 minutes after their time stamp which could indicate that they were premoderated – Guardian complicity in action!):

Caspian2

27 Sep 09, 9:23am

Let me just check the advice in my GIYUS handbook on this one … ah yes, here we go:

- Hamas are terrorists
- Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map
- We are the victims here
- The author is an anti-semite

natbankofuganda

27 Sep 09, 10:02am

Is it me or should anyone who stands up for the rights of Palestinians, see that the term ‘anti-semite’ has no value, and and never has. Its now a loaded term of abuse for anyone that doesn’t conform to the Zionist way of thinking. What the Zionists never answer, is that of Israel is ‘a land for the Jews’, why were no non-Western Jews or poorer Jews allowed to settle there? No can’t answer that. Don’t worry, we can figure it out for ourselves why you didn’t.

Cue a Cif Watch troll to report ‘abuse’ to the mods.

FalseConsciousness

27 Sep 09, 9:28am

Recent events have once again exposed the fallacy of the “Two-State Solution.” The Israelis and Palestinians must share all of historic Palestine in a democratic state that grants equal citizenship to all regardless of race or religion.

ExpatAmsterdam

27 Sep 09, 9:30am

This is rather sickening.
For years Israel has (rightly) demanded that all property seized and looted during WWII is returned to its rightful owners – yet here they are actively denying the same right to the Palestinians.

The racism and hypocrisy of this action is incredible and will sow the seeds of future conflict for generations to come.

bass46

27 Sep 09, 9:43am

A Right Wing racist government brings even more misery, as expected.

And there is this one from TheGreatGiginTheSky who is clearly not familiar with the new talk policy at CiF:

TheGreatGigInTheSky

27 Sep 09, 10:47am

I can ***NOT*** really say what I think about Israel’s behaviour without the post being deleted.

If any other country in the world did the stuff Israel (and America) does, the MSM would be screaming on every TV channel and every front page.

Israel gets a free pass, we can’t even post about it here on CiF.

There’s your problem.

Anyway, keep an eye on the thread and post antisemitic comments in the comment thread below.

How the Guardian Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Iranian Bomb

This is a guest post by AKUS

Mark Gardner’s excellent article, Does Ahmadinejad read the Guardian?, revealed once again the Guardian’s deliberate blindness to anti-Semitism, this time exhibited in its response to Ahmadinejad’s UN speech.

It takes a definite agenda for the Guardian to be possibly the only Western newspaper not to “get” what Ahmadinejad was hinting at with his talk of a conspiracy and a small group controlling the world.

The following comment, the worst perhaps of numerous similar ones by various commentators on threads dealing with the Iranian threat, was deleted, but the person writing it, notorious on CiF for her anti-Semitic comments, has never been banned, possibly never even been “pre-moderated” – the fates reserved for those Israel supporters who can be accused of even slightly infringing CiF’s so-called “community standards”:

ShamelessHussy

26 Sep 09, 12:20pm

Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson.
Are you guys Jewish by any chance? Pro-Israeli or even Israeli perhaps?
Your article is really funny.
I hope Iran builds the bomb and points it at Israel.
Israel should always have the threat of massive and disproportionate retaliation for any aggressive action it takes. This means the carpets bombing of Israeli cities and the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Israelis. Maybe Iran can even take pre-emptive strike to forestall Israeli terrorism.
Then your article will be really, really funny.
Israel is a terrorist state and needs to be treated in this way. No more moddlycoddling by westerners with a guilty conscience. If the West is unprepared to tackle to error it made in 1948 then I’ll gladly support the efforts of Iran, Hamas, Hizbollah, AlQaeda or whoever, to rectify this error.
And if you don’t like it then I’m sure the Americans and the Germans will welcome Israelis with open arms. Maybe even set aside a portion of their country for the chosen people to settle in. I’m sure ordinary Americans and Germans will love that prospect, don’t you? You know how wonderful the Germans were towards your own people compared to the likes of Iran and Palestinians, don’t you?
If you go to someone’s back yard and shit in it, prepared to have your backsides kicked and your nose rubbed in your own shit.

Those who have followed the increasing frenzy of Israel bashing on CiF will well recall the constant refrain by Guardian contributors and those commenting on the various threads that it has never been proven that Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons, despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary. Comparisons between Ahmadinejad and Hitler were called “unfair”, or worse. Claims pointing out that Ahmadinejad called for the destruction of Israel were dismissed as mistranslation for propaganda purposes, and still are dismissed in that way:

dissidentstockbroker 25 Sep 09, 8:01pm

…. Now find us the bit that says that Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map.

The veil has fallen from some, but not all eyes. The traditional Israel bashers, who will support anyone attacking Israel, such as orwellwasright and berchmans, are still playing the same game.

Berchmans 25 Sep 09, 7:41pm

##Iran continues to pose a real security challenge##

Only in Bizzarro world. Could someone please explain how this country surrounded by enemies who are armed to the feckin teeth with thousands of nuclear arms should not defend herself ?

B

It seems necessary to remind Berchmans that Iran has actually, through its proxies Hamas and Hizbollah, attacked Israel for a period now spanning over a decade.

So now, in the face of evidence that shows their denials of Iran’s nuclear ambitions are useless, the Guardian and its readers are moving the goal posts yet again. Since absolute denial of Iran’s nuclear ambitions fail, they fall back to two other positions.

Why shouldn’t Iran have nuclear weapons?

When that fails to impress, they are being reduced to “what aboutery” – “what about Israel?” “What about the UK?” “What about the US?”

Suddenly Guardian regular Simon Tisdall, roped in, no doubt, to support the Guardian’s position finds he is unable to do so and instead writes “Iran has been caught red-handed“. Someone called Heather Hurlburt writes about “Iran’s Nuclear Blunder“. But nothing stops the Guardian – they rope in Scott Ritter to explain why things are not what they seem, in an article incongruously titled “Keeping Iran Honest” – a case where the title is worth more than all the rest of his article.

The thrust of Ritter’s article is that an “additional protocol” has not been ratified by the Iranian parliament, and as such is not legally binding. Therefore, it cannot be accused of “breaking the rules”. Like a criminal who never signed an agreement not to commit crime, and therefore cannot be accused of criminal activity.

No matter how the Guardianistas twist and turn, the latest revelations, and the treatment of the Iranians protesting the last election have finally made it clear who the world has to deal with. Sarkozy said it best this week at the UN: “Talks with the Iranians gave us three things – More centrifuges, more enriched uranium, and a threat to wipe a UN member nation off the map.”

There is something nauseatingly familiar about the Guardian’s initial willingness to allow articles critical of Ahmadinejad to appear followed by bringing in “objective contributors” to show that he’s not such a bad chap after all. It reminds me of the loony left’s historical propensity to trim its sails to whatever line seems most propitious at any time, as it did at first when the USSR signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement to dismember Poland. Then they discovered that Hitler was “objectively” a friend of the proletariat. It is probably only a matter of time until the deliberate obtuse, irrational and fundamentally anti-Semitic hatred of Israel puts the Guardian’s editors and some CiF commentators back in bed with Ahmadinejad.

There Must be a Conspiracy

When the news broke on Friday that Iran had concealed the construction of an additional nuclear enrichment facility, CiF was quick to cover the story with an article by Simon Tisdall, who wrote:

Now it seems the Iranian regime has been caught red-handed, and clean out of trumps, by the forced disclosure that it is building, if not already operating, a second, secret uranium processing plant. The revelation will bring a triumphal roar of “told you so!” from Bush era neoconservatives in the US to hawkish rightwingers in Israel. The likes of former vice-president Dick Cheney and UN envoy John Bolton, and the current Israeli leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, have long insisted that Tehran’s word could not be trusted.

Yet the argument about who was right and who was wrong about Iran is hardly important at this juncture. Today’s disclosures have significant, real-time policy-shifting implications for those who must deal with the ever more believable claims that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons capability.

It’s only human that Tisdall wouldn’t like to dwell on the issue of “who was right and who was wrong about Iran”, since he works for a media outlet that has consistently given out the message that there is no reason to worry about Iran’s nuclear program, and that especially Israel’s fears were completely exaggerated, hysterical, paranoid, and, above all, bellicose.

In the parallel universe of the GWV, the threats against the Jewish state that Iran’s rulers have repeated over and over again are mere rhetoric, or mistranslations, and in any case hardly newsworthy – particularly when compared to the always justified concern about the terrible threat posed by Israel

So it was hardly a surprise that a certain colleague of Tisdall was rather unhappy to read on CiF that Iran had been “caught red-handed” and that the revelations about the concealed nuclear facility could “bring a triumphal roar of ‘told you so!’ from Bush era neoconservatives in the US to hawkish rightwingers in Israel.” Heaven forbid – none of this could be truly true!!!

BrianWhit

25 Sep 09, 4:44pm

Staff

This smells of a propaganda stunt by western intelligence agencies. It’s not clear that Iran has actually broken any ruies on disclosure, since the plant is said to be non-operational.

Yeah, there must be a conspiracy…

Damage control was swift, if not outright frantic, and it came in the form of another post on the subject: “Keeping Iran honest”. Any reader who wondered if this title really implied that Iran had been honest while it was concealing the construction of a nuclear facility had all doubts removed by the subheading, which reads: “Iran’s secret nuclear plant will spark a new round of IAEA inspections and lead to a period of even greater transparency.”

Even greater transparency!!! OMG, how transparent can it get???

Once this piece was posted, Tisdall’s unfortunate column was quickly closed for debate. But it didn’t take long before yet another, even more tempting take on the story was posted: “My dinner with Ahmadinejad” gives the “human interest” angle of the story:

Iran is not thinking about specifics.

Instead it seeks something more diffuse: respect, dignity, treatment as an equal member of the world community. This is a country that has been abused, humiliated and looted by foreign powers for 200 years. As Ahmadinejad repeatedly made clear, this has left deep scars.

“We see the world differently from the way prominent politicians in the US see it,” he said at one point. Later he complained about big powers that “really believe they have a right to approach the world from a position of leadership, and insist that others follow them.” Then he said countries “have to recognise each other’s basic rights.”

CiF-readers are unlikely to know that this is the same man speaking who said last year:

“World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and have unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region.”

That came shortly after the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Muhammad Ali Jafari, wrote to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah:

“The cancerous growth Israel will soon disappear… I am convinced that with every passing day Hizbullah’s might is increasing and in the near future, we will witness the disappearance of this cancerous growth Israel by means of the Hizbullah fighters’ radiation [therapy].”

And the chief of the Iranian Armed Forces, Maj.-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, wholeheartedly agreed, writing that:

“Lebanese and Palestinian combatants… [will] continue the struggle until the complete destruction of the Zionist regime and the liberation of the entire land of Palestine.”

But according to the GWV, all Ahmadinejad really wants is a bit of respect, and according to the GWV, he deserves it, never mind what he and his lieutenants say…

In the end, however, the Guardian editors acknowledged in a piece posted early Saturday morning:

“The likelihood that Iran’s nuclear programme is wholly civilian, as its leaders continue to claim, diminishes with each unpleasant surprise.”

“Unpleasant”, indeed; “surprise” – only if you insisted to ignore the obvious about Iran’s regime.

Well, and let’s not forget, one reason why all this is so “unpleasant” is this:

Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with nuclear inspectors hands a propaganda victory on a plate to Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli premier who has made little secret of his air force’s preparations for a long-range air strike.

Right, that’s important to keep in mind: a regime that has repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel is clearly pursuing nuclear weapons, and what is to be deplored is that this “hands a propaganda victory on a plate to Binyamin Netanyahu”. What a Guardianesque thought…


Does Ahmadinejad read the Guardian?

This is a cross-post from the CST blog with thanks to the author, Mark Gardner of the CST

The Guardian is Britain’s leading left of centre opinion maker. In recent years, the British left has displayed an increasing ignorance of what antisemitism is. These are not unrelated phenomena.

The websites of the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph all covered Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 24th September 2009 speech at the United Nations in New York. The Times and the Telegraph both explcitly called Ahmadinejad’s speech anti-Jewish or antisemitic. The Guardian did not.

The Guardian interpreted the world’s most dangerous antisemite as ‘merely’ having attacked Israel in his speech to the UN. Compare what the Guardian wrote with how other newspapers covered the same story (all emphases added by the author):

The Guardian

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s renewed attack on Israel hastens walkout

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faced a series of walkouts at the United Nations general assembly last night after launching a renewed attack on Israel, which he accused of genocide, barbarism and racism.

Within minutes of his criticism of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, delegations from various countries began to rise from their seats and noisily left the chamber.

Many other countries had left before he even began, partly because it was the evening and partly in protest over his brutal crackdown on the Iranian opposition after June’s election and partly over comments last week again questioning whether the Holocaust had taken place.

…The Palestinians had suffered from attacks on defenceless women and children, seen their homes destroyed and faced an economic blockade in Gaza that amounted to genocide. He described Israeli attacks on Gaza as barbaric.

He suggested that Israel could get away with this because of extensive lobbying and political influence in the US and Europe. “It is unacceptable that a small minority should dominate large parts of the world through a complex network in the US and Europe to retain its racist ambitions,” Ahmadinejad said…

The Times

Live: world leaders’ speeches at General Assembly

…Several delegates, including the United States and Costa Rica, walk out of the General Assembly Hall when Mr Ahmadinejad alludes to a supposed worldwide Jewish conspiracy. The offending comment: “It is no longer acceptable that a small minority would dominate the politics, economy and culture of major parts of the world by its complicated networks, and establish a new form of slavery, and harm the reputation of other nations, even European nations and the US, to attain its racist ambitions.”…

The Telegraph

Britain walks out of Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s anti-Semitic speech at UN

Britain walked out of a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran at the United Nations on Wednesday night in protest at anti-Semitic remarks.

…South American delegations also marched from the grand hall at UN headquarters when the controversial leader denounced what he said was a global Jewish conspiracy, amid a long rant against capitalism and Western hypocrisy.

He denounced a “small minority dominating much of the world through a complicated network”, and went on to call Iran a “glorious, democratic nation”.

The United States, Canada and Israel decided earlier to boycott the speech before the annual UN General Assembly, after Mr Ahmadinejad repeated his denial of the Holocaust in a speech in Iran on Monday. He has also regularly called on Jews to leave Israel…

The Independent newspaper (like the Guardian, not exactly pro-Israel) also managed to see the wood for the trees, saying of Ahmadinejad:

He also delivered an oblique tirade against the Jews, condemning the “private networks” that he said largely ran the world.

The headline in The Evening Standard quoted UK diplomats as having walked out over Ahmadinejad’s “anti-Semitic” speech. Nevertheless, the actual article referred to both criticism of Israel, and antisemitism, as the reason for the walkout:

Britain joins walkout after Ahmadinejad’s ‘anti-semitic’ rant

British diplomats walked out during a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over “anti-Semitic” remarks by the Iranian leader.

Mid-ranking UK officials at the UN joined their US counterparts as they left in protest at Mr Ahmadinejad’s comments about Israel in his speech to the UN General Assembly

A spokeswoman for the UK delegation said the walk-out was prompted by “anti-Semitic” rhetoric.

Mr Ahmadinejad condemned Israel for what he said was a “barbaric” attack on the Gaza Strip last winter.

…In his speech, the Iranian President accused Israel of “inhuman policies” in the Palestinian territories.

Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the US Mission to the UN, said: “It is disappointing that Mr Ahmadinejad has once again chosen to espouse hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

The manner in which the Standard slipped from antisemitic, to Israel and back to antisemitism is illustrative of many people’s confusion between the terms anti-Israel and antisemitism.

It also illustrates the genuine differences of opinion that people sincerely hold over when the two terms should be used. For the vast majority of people – especially on the left - this difference of opinion appears rooted in their attitude to Israel. Those who are hostile to Israel regard their own hostility as fair criticism and unconnected to antisemitism. Unfortunately, all too often, they ascribe their own self-image to that of other critics of Israel:  including those who are not merely critics, but those who believe in an anti-Zionist ideology that is rooted not in opposition to real Zionism, but in opposition to the Zionism of the antisemitic imagination.

This Zionism of the antisemitic imagination replaces the word Zionist for the word Jew and then regurgitates age old antisemitic imagery and themes in a contemporary “anti-Zionist” form. The Times, Telegraph, Independent,  Evening Standard, and delegates from many nations (inclduing the UK and US) at the United Nations get it. Sadly, the Guardian does not.

POSTSCRIPT

It is difficult to discern if the Guardian correspondent, Ewan MacAskill, actually heard Ahmadinejad’s speech; or if he knew (and ignored) that the UK and US delegates stated their walkouts were due to antisemitism.

The walkouts followed the previous pattern of what happened when Ahmadinejad addressed the UN anti-racism conference in Geneva on 20th April 2009. This speech followed an earlier diatribe from him at the UN General Assembly in New York on 23rd September 2008 (in which there was no mass walkout) when he said the following:

“The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists.  Although they are miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.  It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support.”

“This means that the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people.  These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and occupations and the threats of the Zionist network against their will.”

It is not known if either Ahmadinejad or his speech writers read the Guardian. There is, however, one sentence in the above section that bore a striking resemblance to a Guardian editorial that had been published only two months earlier during the US Presidential election campaign.

This is the sentence, “It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support.”

And this is the Guardian editorial from 24 July  2008

Obama in Israel

The message that matters

When a presumptive US presidential candidate arrives in Jerusalem, he willingly dons a jacket designed by Israeli tailors. He is compelled to call the country a miracle, to visit the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem and to link the memory of the 6 million Jews who died in Europe to Israeli victims of Palestinian violence today

Now of course the Guardian would never mean it like that – well, not like Ahmadinejad means it anyway. And of course the Guardian would neither threaten another Holocaust, nor deny the last one.

Nevertheless, the Guardian as an institution – and as a consequence much of its constituency – has clearly allowed its hostility against Israel to erode both its understanding of antisemitism; and its vigilance against imagery that evokes deeply rooted antisemitic stereotypes.

This is not so much a conscious decision, or some covert antisemitic conspiracy: it is simply what happens when, over time, basically decent people lose sight of the dividing line between criticism and hatred, and between scathing political comment and racist abuse. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule at both the Guardian and throughout the wider Left, but they are swimming against the tide.

POSTSCRIPT 2

Whilst Ahmadinejad’s readership of the Guardian is unknown, the BBC is certainly an avid reader: and it would appear to have caught the ’see no antisemitism’ bug.

The BBC coverage of another antisemitism-related controversy at the UN this week, over the leadership election to UNESCO, avoids mentioning that the Egyptian culture minister, Farouk Hosny blamed Jews for his failure to get the leadership of the international body. Rather, the BBC choose to report that Hosny said he failed to land the post because of “Zionist pressures”.

The Associated Press coverage shows that this wasn’t all he said:

“It was clear by the end of the competition that there was a conspiracy against me,” Hosny told reporters at the airport upon his return from Paris.

There are a group of the world’s Jews who had a major influence in the elections who were a serious threat to Egypt taking this position,” he said.

The AP coverage was carried in many newspapers, but Egypt’s Daily News was even more explicit:

Hosni said he was a clear winner since he received 22 votes in the first round, and the runner-up received only eight.

Then the Jewish game started by the US and big nations that claim democracy, and transparency. They all conspired against me,” he added.

“It was clear by the end of the competition that there was a conspiracy against me…There are a group of the world’s Jews who had a major influence on the elections and who saw a serious threat in Egypt taking this position,” he said.

Hosni also accused the American ambassador at the UNESCO specifically of working against him.

Hosni also lamented that he had had the Western press and “Zionist pressures against him every day.”

[With thanks to Arieh Kovler for having brought the Guardian's 24.09.09 coverage to CST's notice]

Remember! Whatever you do don’t mention the Hamas Charter

This is a guest post from cityca (who has been placed in pre-moderation – which is tantamount to being banned!)

Ben White doesn’t like what he sees in Salam Fayyad as recounted in his piece yesterday on CiF. Why’s that? Well, firstly, Shimon Peres calls him a Palestinian Ben Gurion. How can that be good? Then he quotes journalist Helena Cobban who believes Fayyad is ‘running for something,’ i.e. political office, as if that automatically makes him suspicious.

Then he sees as a cause for concern, the western media’s ‘love of all things Fayyad’, as another obvious reason to suspect the worst, because if the western media like him, how good can he be?

Coupled with this, Fayyad was paraphrased as saying in CiF a short while back that if you build it the state will come- in which he seemed to set out an eminently sensible way forward for a Palestinian state, so its therefore hardly surprising Ben White and others of his ilk automatically oppose Fayyad. After all, they get their kicks from patronising the poor victimised Palestinians.

It won’t be the same were the Palestinians to start to make something of their lives and not need the charity and pity from their so called friends in the West.

In a nutshell, that seems to typify his support for the Palestinians – not can we improve their lives but how much mud can we sling at the ‘Zionists’. And at this Ben White is a master.

For a man who at one time said that he could understand why some people were antisemitic (not him of course) and who flirted with Holocaust denial, he comes out of his box to denigrate a Palestinian looking for peace with Israel, the same week that Ahmadinejad makes another attack on Israel, the Jews and denies the Holocaust.

White’s sympathy for the Palestinians is looking more suspect with every article. He doesn’t seem to love Palestinians – he simply hates ‘Zionists’.

Diverting slightly, a number of posters on his article have taken exception to the CiFEditor’s dire warning of 10.12am not to mention Hamas as it is off topic! So in a discussion about the Palestinians, Hamas is not to be commented upon. Seems like the CiFEditor needs to get out more.

I imagine the Altikriti article earlier in the week backfired so badly on CiF, with the majority of posters taking exception to his pathetic attempt of making an argument for Hamas, and CiF being castigated for giving him space, that CiF editors are desperate to control what’s being said on their site. The Guardian World View in action!

TUC and Israel: When you need a cause, why let the facts get in the way?

This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman

Benny Weinthal and Eric Lee have an excellent article on CiF today about last week’s UK TUC (British trade union federation) decision to endorse a selective boycott of Israeli goods and a selective divestment from Israeli (and other) companies. They argue that the TUC should have acted against Iran, not Israel.

The one problem with this argument is that it leaves Weinthal and Lee open to the argument that the TUC should have acted against both Iran and Israel.

The truth is that the TUC’s action against Israel should never have happened, since Israel has done nothing to deserve it. It was taken on false premises.

To appreciate this, just look at the one-sidedness of the statement which announced the TUC’s action. There is no reference to the reason why Israel went into Gaza in January – namely, eight years of rocket attacks on its civilian population. I don’t remember the TUC ever objecting when Britain bombed German cities during World War Two in order to defeat the Nazis. What’s the difference?

Au contraire, the TUC refers to “Israeli military aggression and the continuing blockade of Gaza”.  How can acting to defend your citizens be “aggression”?

And if you look at the casualty figures in Gaza, they also put the lie to the charge of “aggression”. While males over age 15 make up approximately 25 percent of the Gaza population, they made up over 74 percent of the fatalities.

And there is no blockade of Gaza. The reason Israel maintains checks on the movement of goods into Gaza is for security, so that materials which can be used by Hamas for terror cannot enter.

Then the TUC calls on the British government to end arms sales to Israel. But if Israel has the right to defend itself, how can an arms embargo be justified?

The TUC calls on the British Government to seek EU agreement to impose a ban on the importing of goods produced in the ‘illegal’ settlements and to support moves to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement.  But there is simply no legal decision on the status of the settlements – so they cannot be termed ‘illegal’. The US government for one does not hold that they are illegal.

And so the TUC’s ignorant rhetoric continues……

To increase the pressure for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, and the removal of the separation wall and the illegal settlements, we will support a boycott  ….. of those goods and agricultural products that originate in illegal settlements – through developing an effective, targeted consumer-led boycott campaign working closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign – and campaign for disinvestment by companies associated with the occupation as well as engaged in building the separation wall.

No recognition by the TUC that successive Israeli governments have shown willingness to trade land (taken in a defensive war) for peace. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and Sinai in 1982. No recognition as to why the separation fence was built and how it has saved lives, because it has prevented suicide bombers entering Israel – would the TUC prefer to have seen more maimed and dead victims?

The truth is that trade union members of Unite, Unison, the Fire Brigade Union and the GMB – some of the unions whose executives were pushing for action against Israel – were never consulted about the matter. The one occasion when a union was forced to consult its members  resulted in overwhelming opposition to a boycott (the Association of University Teachers in 2005, voting on an academic boycott).

In the matter of Israel, the UK trade unions have been hijacked by the hard Left. Since the collapse of communism, the hard Left has been bereft of a cause. In addition it is facing the prospect of a long period of Labour in opposition. Israel – more precisely the false analogy of Israel with apartheid South Africa – gives it a cause.

PS: My comment welcoming the article and pointing out that no union has balloted its members was deleted without trace. But this comment remains – with 62 recommends, so far:

lalibella

23 Sep 09, 2:12pm

 I support whatever action British trade unions can take to oppose the racist, apartheid policies of this disgraceful Israeli government

 

Time for an article by a House Jew

This is a guest post from the omnipresent AKUS

Overheard at the editor’s meeting this morning:

The number of comments on I/P threads is dropping – advertising starting to look weak – people don’t like those articles praising Hamas and other extremists – we need to bring in a house Jew to write another “As-A-Jew” article and get the click rate back up …

Who shall we call?

Freedman?

Lerman?

Klug?

Silverstein?

Gordon?

Dhimmi?

Brian – please get on the blower straight after this meeting. And tell Bunglawhatever that he just wrote his last article for CiF …

While the Cat’s Away the Holocaust Deniers Will Play

So what happens on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) when the guardian.co.uk reports that Ahmedinijad engaged in Holocaust denial in a speech delivered during Quds Day events?

Well you have abbas123 who engages in outright Holocaust denial (hat tip AKUS):

19 Sep 09, 9:05pm

If what German forces did to Jews is Holocaust then what do you say about American bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

We are not sure about the Holocaust since there are many evidences that say Holocaust didn’t took place. [emphasis added]

Even if we assume Holocaust took place it does not justify the Israeli’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Dr. Ahmadinejad is correct to call Israel as Racist because these people have built an apartheid wall which is causing the Palestinians reduced freedoms, road closures, loss of land, increased difficulty in accessing medical services, restricted access to water sources, and economic effects. The UN General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to evaluate the legal status of Israels separation wall. In July 2004, the Court declared the illegality of the wall. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other Human rights groups have protested both the routing of the wall and the means by which the land to build the wall was obtained. In a 2004 report Amnesty International wrote that “The fence/wall, in its present configuration, violates Israels obligations under international humanitarian law.”The Red Cross has declared the barrier in violation of the Geneva Convention. On February 18, 2004, The International Committee of the Red Cross stated that the Israeli barrier “causes serious humanitarian and legal problems” and goes “far beyond what is permissible for an occupying power”. People wake up and stop these Racist Governments (America and Israel).

Although abbas123′s comment is now deleted, according to AKUS, it took between 3-5 hours for the moderators to delete this while comments which do not accord with the Guardian World View are deleted in minutes.

And then there is this from Chapaev, that is now deleted:

19 Sep 09, 6:36pm

Ahmadinejad is accused of being a denier of fascist crimes even there is no evidence that he has indeed done so. He did not say that the fascists did not build concentration camps where millions of people were murdered. Nor did he seek to rehabilitate the fascists by demonizing the allies, as many Anglo-American and eastern European revisionist liars do when they equate Russia to Hitler.

The real holocaust deniers are those hateful zionists who deny the fact that massacres, ethnic cleansing, expulsions against the Palestinians have taken place. In particular, they deny the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled by the marauding Zionists in 1948, but instead blame the victims, whom they accuse of voluntarily leaving. Zionist extremists go as far as to deny the fact that even a Palestinian people

From the school of Ben White (remember his 2006 article that flirted with Holocaust denial), we have this undeleted comment from quadibloc:

18 Sep 09, 5:36pm

The term “myth” can have many meanings, so it’s possible Ahmadinejad is actually choosing his words with more care, and he is merely claiming that the West invests the Holocaust with too much meaning. Just because it actually happened would not make it an excuse for the conquest of lands belonging to Muslims. I think that’s a misreading of history, but the issue is complicated; and I still think regime change is the best option for Iran, but I realize the U.S. has quite a bit on its plate right now.

As well as this undeleted one from guysheard:

19 Sep 09, 9:20am

This strikes me as poor reporting. In America there are many national myths (The Alamo, Little Big Horn, 9/11). To call something a myth is not to say that it didn’t happen. It is to say that it is used as a rallying point to focus feelings of nationalism, partriotism, tribalism etc.

When Ahmedinejad describes the holocaust as a myth he may be trying to say many things. It is difficult to say precisely what as the translation into English may have distorted the meaning. The irony is that Ahmedinejad uses the holocaust to try to build an iranian nationalism and is himself myth building.

I don’t see any reference here from Ahmedinejad saying that millions of jews did not die in the Holocaust. It appears that he is saying that the event of the holocaust was used to justify the establishment of the state of Israel by the west on the basis that jews were not safe in a non-jewish state. It is this claim that is inaccurate by ahmendinejad.

The vast majority of jewish immigration into the land of the british mandate of Palestine occured between the first and second world wars. It was these jewish settlers who established themselves by buying land from arabs and creating socialist agricultural communes. There were factors such as the jewish force of numbers which made indigenous arabs feel less comfortable and therefore prepared to sell land around growing jewish settlements to new jewish settlers (in the same way that cultural ghettos have developed in Britain). There was also racially motivated violence between both jews and arabs which carved out small areas of race defined pockets in palestine. It was the jews of this period of immigration who fought a bloody civil war against the arabs and won large areas of territory. They declared a state of israel. The Holocaust itself would not have changed this reality, therefore Ahmedinejad’s analysis is wide of the mark.

Read ‘One Palestine, Complete’ for a good understanding of Palestine’s pre-Holocaust jewish history

And then we have the MEMRI mistranslation meme from Fozzie (also undeleted):

18 Sep 09, 5:13pm

I have no doubt that the Holocaust happened and do not question the figure of 6 million.

The only thing I would say is that Ahmadinejad has been deliberately mistranslated in the past by Zionist outfits (e.g. MEMRI) purporting to offer “objective” translations of Farsi for the Western media. On subjects as sensitive as the Holocaust, it would be easy for them to cynically distort what he actually says and create the wrong impression. So, I urge caution when reading the above.

An example of mistranslation was Ahmadinejad’s alleged statement about “wiping Israel off the map”. He said no such thing. His actual words were “remove the Israeli REGIME from the pages of time.” Just as the Soviet regime was removed from history.

By the way, did anyone ever bother to count –or commemorate–the number of Slavs, socialists, communists, trades unionists, travellers and gays killed by the Nazis? At least 20 million Russians alone died in the fight against Nazism–dwarfing the numbers killed by the Holocaust.

Never mind that according to the BBC (hardly a Zionist outfit!) Ahmedinijad is quoted as saying at the Quds Day events that the Holocaust was “a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim”. Seems pretty unequivocal to me especially given Ahmdedinijad’s previous outbursts denying the Holocaust, his organization of a Holocaust denial conference and an officially sanctioned Holocaust denying cartoon competition.

At least there is one commenter with some sense. According to Discussant:

Ahmadinejad is a jew-baiter of the highest order, so naturally many Guardian commentators rush to defend his every utterance. He says the holocaust is a myth, they rush to say he meant it is over-sacralized. He says the Holocaust is a lie, they rush to say he meant it was a myth that has been over-sacralized to justify the oppression of the Palestinians.
Ahmadinajad calls for the destruction of Israel, and Guardian commentators rush to assure us that he only means “the regime.” Never mind that his speeches are delivered to crowds chanting “Death to Israel.” Orwell could not have designed a better 2 minutes of hate than that which is the normal day to day fare for the Iranian regime. Airstrip One had its Goldstien and the Islamic Republic (and the Guardian) have Israel.
Some commentators are gracious enough to acknowledge the slaughter of the Jews, but note that Russians, Poles, and other peoples also died in WWII. Never mind that no other people lost 90% of its numbers. Never mind that the goal of the Nazis was to kill every single Jew they could get their hands on.
Some commentators note the timing of this news, 2 days after the UN report about Gaza. Ah yes, the ever present hand of the Jew is evident in controlling even Ahmadinejad’s utterances, and the scheduling of Iran’s Quds day.

But this still begs the question, what is it that attracts this kind of discourse to the pages of what is supposed to be a respectable mainstream news media site?


The Loneliness of the Looney Left

This is a guest post by AKUS

The Guardian has taken quite a beating in its latest attempt to support the Hamas terrorists with its article Hamas is not al-Qaida, published on its ‘Comment is Free’ site.

In the language of American political-speak, they managed to demonstrate how completely they have lost their “base” – those who used to regard the Guardian, as I once did on my visits to the UK, as the paper to read for anyone who believed that there was something noble in the idea of caring for the weak and defenseless in society, and something wrong with fascist, xenophobic, misogynistic religious extremists.

A howl of disapproving comments descended on this article. Even CiF’s usual attempts to deny disapproval of Islamic extremism by ruthless deletion of comments not hewing to the Guardian line could not stand up to the dozens of negative responses, and the hundreds if not thousands of disapproving “recommends” for comments critical of Hamas itself, the article, its author, and the Guardian. The negative comments ran the gamut of those opposing Islamic fundamentalism to those who might not even usually support Israel, but are able to see evil and recognize hypocrisy and spin when it stares at them off the website so blatantly:

whatthethundersaid’s comment 21 Sep 09, 2:52pm

The two are radically different – the position of the democratically elected Hamas is about land, not religion, creed or race

They’re Islamic fundamentalists for Chrissake. Who are you trying to kid?

climatecommunion’s comment 21 Sep 09, 2:52pm

It is unfortunate that Palestinians chose Hamas and I feel sorry for Palestinians. But after 9/11, I saw footage of Palestinians celebrating in the streets, footage which I believed to be authentic. This was when my feelings of support for Palestinians dried up. I feel closer to Israel and refuse to believe that any group that outwardly calls for their annihilation should ever be supported. They arent alQaeda but as long as they praise them I have no problem actively opposing them.

Of course, there are always the usual few who will accept any article provided it meets the criteria of the looney left – an anti-Israeli, anti-Western bias, praise for extremism, terrorism dressed up as “resistance”, a misogynistic and xenophobic religious group to be accepted as equivalent to Western liberalism under the guise of “multiculturalism”. Note the pandering use of Altikriti’s first name:

berchmans’s comment 21 Sep 09, 2:56pm (about 14 hours ago)

Anas

.

Congratulations to you for this sober and carefully written article . Congratulations to the Guardian for commissioning it knowing it would be controversial, This is why some of us have stood by this paper through thick and thin ….even when it was very very thin! :)

B

This time, the Guardian could not even follow its usual policy of deleting references to the Hamas Charter and its references to portions of the Koran calling for the killing of Jews as it would have had to delete even more comments than it actually did, leaving little at all on the thread.

As for the Altikriti’s article, it is one of the most blatant examples of the “big lie” to be published I can ever recall reading in a paper which passes itself off as a major daily. As the string of fiercely negative comments by readers indicate (at least those comments that remain – a rough estimate would put deleted comments at between 30% and 50%), there is hardly a word of truth in it.

Ken Livingstone, well-known for his fierce antagonism to the State of Israel, interviewed Khaled Mishaal, an arch-terrorist, perhaps second only to Osama bin laden, on “the New Statesmen”.

The interview, bad enough in itself for the lies it includes, seems to have passed almost unremarked, and was presumably therefore taken up by the Guardian via this puff piece by Anas Altikriti. Altikriti, according to the bio obligingly provided by the Guardian, has been a “spokesman and then President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)” who “[i]n 2004.. joined George Galloway’s Respect party” – well known for its fierce opposition to Israel.

Despite his established bias and agenda, Altikriti does not hesitate to accuse others of the same, or, in his view, and presumably that of the Guardian, since they published the piece, worse:

Meshal’s interview was denounced by Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis on grounds that would equally exclude the government from talking to Israel were it not for the double standards applied to Palestine and the Middle East. Indeed, the very fact that Ivan Lewis should be made a minister with responsibility for the Middle East, given his clear bias as a former deputy leader of the Labour Friends of Israel, is a sad indication of how little interest it displays in convincing people of any kind of fairness in its approach to this part of the world.

Altikriti’s article attempts to put “space” between the Iranian-funded Hamas and the Iranian funded Taliban, both groups recognized by every civilized country as banned terrorist organizations.

The first paragraph says it all, perhaps not in the way Altikriti intended:

The New Statesman’s interview with Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader, was one of the most significant interviews with the leading figure in a movement that has been demonised and excommunicated by most of the western world and its media.

Its significance is the fact that the New Statesman chose to allow an arch-terrorist to vent his views in a major Western paper, even though this fount of suicide bombings, kidnappings, knee-cappings, murder by throwing opponents of buildings, fiercely determined to install a Taliban-like Islamic theocracy on the helpless backs of those it rules at the point of a gun is rightly “demonised and excommunicated” by decent people around the world.

Perhaps the most fundamental lie in Altikriti’s article is the following:

Arguably, the most important assertion made in the interview, conducted by Ken Livingstone, is that in which Meshal clearly stated that the Palestinian struggle was anything but a conflict between Muslims and the Jewish people.

As has been shown repeatedly, the Hamas Covenant 1988, which has never been repudiated and, on the contrary, is repeatedly referenced in speeches by it leaders, specifically refers to the need to kill Jews wherever they may be found. Hamas, like its sister organization Hezbollah, has issued threats to the effect that it will try to kill Jews everywhere, not just in Israel. The Charter even invokes a second Holocaust in its first paragraph

…..And if they who have received the scriptures had believed, it had surely been the better for them: there are believers among them, but the greater part of them are transgressors. …. They are smitten with vileness wheresoever they are found…Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).”

It continues with references to the Jews, not the Israelis, not the land, or any of the other spin-terms that Meshaal and Altikriti pretend are at issue:

“Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts” [empahsis added]

Altikriti follows Livingstone’s line in trying to show that Hamas is about a struggle for land, not religion:

He [Meshaal] insisted that the Palestinians were fighting against the occupier who had dispossessed them of their homes and lands, regardless of religion, creed or race. He also went on to confirm that the concept of coexistence was largely present in the Palestinian psyche, and that genocide, as suffered by Jews in Europe (and which he described as “horrible and criminal”) was alien not only to the Palestinians but to the inhabitants of the region as a whole.

Unfortunately, these pleasant themes, dressed up for gullible Western ears, do not jibe with Hamas’ Charter, which makes it clear, as if its actions against Christians in Gaza and attacks against Jews have demonstrated, that it is anything but  accepting of others “regardless of religion, creed or race”:

Article One:

The Islamic Resistance Movement: The Movement’s programme is Islam.

Article Two demonstrates Hamas’ allegiance to its elder sibling, the murderous Moslem Brotherhood (responsible for, among others, the assassination of Sadat because he made peace with Israel) and its intention, demonstrated daily in Gaza, to enforce the strictest interpretations of Islamic theology and law on any society it controls:

Article Two:

The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgment, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.

Altikriti’s claims that Meshaal said “the concept of coexistence was largely present in the Palestinian psyche.” In fact, Altikriti puts words into Meshaal’s mouth – if you read the Livingstone article, you will not find the word “coexistence” anywhere in the article. Lest there be any doubt about who is “in” and who is “out”, Article Three makes it clear that only Moslems may apply, giving the lie to Altikriti’s claim

Article Three:

The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Moslems who have given their allegiance to Allah whom they truly worship

One can go on indefinitely, but Livingstone, Meshaal, and Altikriti overlook the most flagrant article of the Charter that clearly is based on, and intended to promulgate, hatred of Jews, using a text from the Koran.

According to Altikriti:

“Meshal was sending a clear message of assurance that the Palestinian struggle was political rather than religious and about real political grievances and not against the Jewish people per se.”

Unfortunately, this message, so pleasant to Western ears, is totally contradicted by the real message contained in the Charter:

Article Seven:

….The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

Finally, as a demonstration of how far out of step with sensible opinion this article is, Altikriti includes the following paragraph:

The British government led the way in proscribing Hamas when the Islamic movement won the majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament in January 2006. More recently it is reported that the British government has been heavily involved in training and supporting the security forces of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which have been accused of imprisoning, torturing and physically abusing members of Hamas and other political factions. While finding time to condemn an interview in a weekly magazine, neither Ivan Lewis nor the British government as a whole has accepted the finding of the authoritative UN report on Gaza authored by a committee led by a South African judge well known for his support for Israel, which condemned Israel for war crimes and possibly even crimes against humanity in Gaza.

Of course the British government proscribes this vile organization – it is the least it can do, and it is aligned with every Western country. We also see the now recurring complaint on the Guardian’s website against the empowerment of the Palestinian Authority as it struggles to prevent Hamas turning the West bank into another Gaza. Finally, Britain’s lack of support for the Goldstone report is completely in line with the lack of support among other Western countries, as they realize that it is nothing more than a pre-ordained, one-sided swipe at Israel, despite a mention of Hamas’ rockets which precipitated Cast Lead, and that supporting Goldstone would lead to a total inability to conduct military action against groups like Hamas, which are using asymmetrical warfare to cause civilian casualties among their own people for blatantly propaganda purposes.

The Guard is out of step with the world. There may be times when marching to the beat of a different drum is a worthy stance, but when the drummers have formed a band that promotes – worships, in fact- suicide bombings, cruelty to women, wholesale murder of Jews and Christians, has actually passed laws supporting crucifixion, and on and on, it is more than time to find a new conductor.

Perhaps the response to Altikriti’s article and the realization of how far they have wandered from their traditional left–wing base may finally “jog” the conscience of those in charge at Manchester Square to find a new beat and return to a realistic, not fantastic, view of the world.

Goldstoned, Matt Seaton joins the fray

The evidence is clear: over at CiF, there is an intense competition for our attention.

CiF-editor Matt Seaton is apparently jealous that we’ve focused so much on Brian Whitaker – and now Seaton has made a bold move to stake his claim to CiF Watch fame. He did so in the form of a longish and presumably well-thought out comment that he posted in response to a piece with the sanctimonious title Israel must now heal itself.

The piece was yet another commentary on the Goldstone report that condemned Israel for exercising its right to self-defense – at least that’s how the vast majority of Israelis have taken the report. But you can count on CiF to spare no effort to show those Israelis just how wrong they are, and so CiF commissioned the multi-tasking think-tanker Daniel Levy (who is also on the advisory board of J-Street) to pontificate about the right way (no pun intended) to respond to Goldstone’s opus: “for the vast majority of non-or only mildly partisan individuals with a capacity for cognitive reflection, the Goldstone report should be treated seriously and even perhaps as a wake-up call.”

Well, who wouldn’t want to be counted among those “with a capacity for cognitive reflection”? CiF-editor Matt Seaton heeded the “wake-up call” and joined the fray by responding to a comment posted by “RufusT”.

So here is first the comment by “RufusT”, and then the response by Matt Seaton:

RufusT

18 Sep 09, 11:23am

If, as seems probable, Israel has committed serious war crimes then of course the country and its leaders should appear in the International Criminal Court, as should those of any country responsible for such crimes, with Bush and Blair first in the dock (and yes, Hamas and others to follow). There is no historical evidence that an Israeli enquiry would be credible or, even if it were, that its findings would lead to appropriate prosecutions. It should also be pointed out that several of Israel’s current and former leaders have been subject to criminal investigation for their personal behaviour (including rape and serious fraud, ongoing in the case of Lieberman) so to imagine that such individuals could initiate any meaningful judicial proceedings is naive to say the least. As the author says, occupation corrupts and the profound corruption of Israeli society since and politics since 1967 is way too far gone to be healed internally.

mattseaton

18 Sep 09, 11:52am

Staff

@ RufusT:

Good comments. You raise a crucial point about the ICC and any prosecution for war crimes. It seems more or less inevitable that, given the realpolitik of the situation, the Goldstone report’s call for a referral to the ICC is largely symbolic and merely lays down a marker, as Levy says. In practice, the ICC is a relatively new institution, still cutting its teeth on prosecutions of minor (if nefarious) former African dictators.

Given the controversy over Moreno Ocampo’s issuing of an indictment against al-Bashir of Sudan, it is fairly clear that the ICC, as yet, lacks the credibility and international consensus to bring a case against a regional superpower like Israel. Sadly, perhaps, for the foreseeable future Hamas leaders and Israeli politicians and generals alike can rest easy knowing that no indictment is likely to emerge from this quarter any time soon. The diplomatic pressure on the ICC not throw any spanner in the works of Middle East diplomacy, with Sen George Mitchell only now really getting engaged, would surely make ICC action unthinkable.

In the meantime, I share your scepticism about whether there will be any furher inquiry by Israel, as Levy suggests there should be – more in moral hop, than hardheaded expectation, one imagines.

Since Matt Seaton chose to frame his own comment as a response to RufusT – whose comment he praises as “good” – it’s worthwhile to examine what exactly it is that RufusT says:

1) RufusT thinks it “seems probable, [that] Israel has committed serious war crimes”. Well, it may seem “probable” to RufusT (and Matt Seaton, apparently), but there are a few people who know a thing or two about the subject and don’t share this assessment.

2) Since RufusT believes that it is “probable that Israel has committed serious war crimes”, he thinks “the country and its leaders should appear in the International Criminal Court”; RufusT adds that this should also be the case for “those of any country responsible for such crimes, with Bush and Blair first in the dock (and yes, Hamas and others to follow)”. Did RufusT (and Matt Seaton) note that Goldstone somehow hasn’t yet gotten around to investigating Bush and Blair, and that indeed nobody at the UN has asked him to do so? And isn’t it interesting that RufusT thinks that in Israel’s case it wouldn’t be quite enough to bring “those responsible” for war crimes to trial, but also “the country”? Well, just a small glitch here, no need to make a fuss…

3) Then RufusT opines: “There is no historical evidence that an Israeli enquiry would be credible” – wow, what competence, no wonder Matt Seaton is impressed!!! Clearly, RufusT must be a historian and knows a whole lot more about the issue than this ignoramus Harvard Law professor who wrote:

“The lowest blow and the worst canard contained in this lie-laden report is that the Israeli judicial system is incapable of conducting investigations and bringing about compliance with international law. It claims that the Israeli judicial system ‘has major structural flaws that make the system inconsistent with international standards,’ and that ‘there is little potential for accountability for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law through domestic institutions in Israel.’ This is a direct attack on the Israeli Supreme Court by a lawyer who knows full well that there is no country in the world that has a judicial system that demands more accountability than the Israeli system does. There is no judicial system in the world-not in the United States, not in Great Britain, not in South Africa, not in France-that takes more seriously its responsibility to bring its military into compliance with international law.”

4) RufusT then comes up with yet another reason to doubt prima facie the validity of any Israeli investigation; he argues: “several of Israel’s current and former leaders have been subject to criminal investigation for their personal behaviour (including rape and serious fraud, ongoing in the case of Lieberman) so to imagine that such individuals could initiate any meaningful judicial proceedings is naive to say the least.” Mhm, so RufusT (and Matt Seaton) somehow worry that it would be up to former President Moshe Katsav – who has been out of office for more than two years and is currently standing trial – to launch an investigation??? That’s a most bizarre notion, but perhaps they are a bit confused because they are simply so shocked, shocked!!! by the various corruption allegations against a number of Israeli politicians – after all, such behavior is unheard of in jolly good old England. Don’t we all know that Westminster is squeaky clean?!? Yeah, there was this major expense scandal that dominated the British media for weeks just a short while ago, in early summer, and lots of MPs resigned or were sacked or sent into early retirement, but so what, the issue here is Israel!!!

5) OK, back to RufusT, who concludes his post by echoing Daniel Levy: “occupation corrupts and the profound corruption of Israeli society […] and politics since 1967 is way too far gone to be healed internally.” Well, yes, if Daniel Levy says that the Jewish state is sick, severely sick, then who is RufusT (or Matt Seaton) to disagree?

Time now to look at what Matt Seaton has to add to this post that he praises so warmly.

Seaton homes in on the “crucial point about the ICC and any prosecution for war crimes” that he thinks RufusT made. He elaborates:

“It seems more or less inevitable that, given the realpolitik of the situation, the Goldstone report’s call for a referral to the ICC is largely symbolic … In practice, the ICC is a relatively new institution, still cutting its teeth on prosecutions of minor (if nefarious) former African dictators. Given the controversy over Moreno Ocampo’s issuing of an indictment against al-Bashir of Sudan, it is fairly clear that the ICC, as yet, lacks the credibility and international consensus to bring a case against a regional superpower like Israel. Sadly, perhaps, for the foreseeable future Hamas leaders and Israeli politicians and generals alike can rest easy knowing that no indictment is likely to emerge from this quarter any time soon. The diplomatic pressure on the ICC not throw any spanner in the works of Middle East diplomacy, with Sen George Mitchell only now really getting engaged, would surely make ICC action unthinkable.”

So Seaton thinks that if the ICC can’t even go after “minor” figures like Sudan’s president, there is – unfortunately – no chance that it will be able “to bring a case against a regional superpower like Israel”.

One wonders if Seaton knows what exactly led to the indictment of al-Bashir – he could even have read about it in The Guardian:

“The ICC spokeswoman, Laurence Blairon, said the indictment, drawn up by three judges, included five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape. The two counts of war crimes were for directing attacks on the civilian population and pillaging. Blairon said Bashir was criminally responsible as the head of state and commander of the Sudanese armed forces for the offences during a five-year counter-insurgency campaign against three armed groups in Darfur.”

The Guardian article on Bashir’s indictment also explains:

“Few independent observers doubt Bashir’s large share of responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. After the uprising in February 2003 by mainly non-Arab rebels, who complained of marginalisation and neglect, his government armed, trained and financed bands of Arab nomads to attack villages across Darfur, killing, raping and looting as they went. The army provided air and ground support. Moreno-Ocampo says the strategy caused 35,000 violent deaths, and alleges that Bashir wanted to eliminate the Fur, Marsalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups, whom he deemed supportive of the rebels. ‘More than 30 witnesses will [testify] how he [Bashir] managed to control everything, and we have strong evidence of his intention,’ Moreno-Ocampo said yesterday.”

It’s quite remarkable that Seaton wouldn’t hesitate to post a comment that suggests that it would be a much greater accomplishment for the ICC to prosecute Israel’s alleged war crimes.

It’s also quite remarkable that Seaton then continues to say:

“Sadly, perhaps, for the foreseeable future Hamas leaders and Israeli politicians and generals alike can rest easy knowing that no indictment is likely to emerge from this quarter any time soon.”

Whatever could be wrong with talking about “Hamas leaders and Israeli politicians and generals alike”? It’s an obvious “alikeness” in the world of CiF – particularly given the fact that Hamas leaders lead a party whose Charter says:

“Ye are the best nation that hath been raised up unto mankind: ye command that which is just, and ye forbid that which is unjust, and ye believe in Allah. … ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it’ … This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. … The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood … the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

It may be debatable if any of the individual points made by RufusT and Matt Seaton can be described as antisemitic, but when you add it all up, the standard “it’s just criticism of Israel”-excuse looks rather flimsy.