The following is a speech by Jonathan Hoffman to the Israel Support Rally at Downing Street on May 31, 2010
We have all spent today glued to the screens trying to piece together what happened in the seas off the Israeli coast early this morning.
The first point to make is that Israel had every right to board the Mavi Marmara ship. Israel cannot allow unknown goods and people to enter Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist regime that calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy. In the past, Israel has intercepted weapons-laden boats headed for Gaza’s coast. No government allows unidentified people and goods to flout their border regulations and enter their countries freely. If these activists behaved similarly at passport and security control in the U.S. or any other nation’s shores, ignoring their official protocol and violently attacking security personnel, they would also have been stopped and arrested.
The flotilla is organised by the Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”).
In 2006 a Danish research institute called the Danish Institute for International Studies conducted a study which reported that in the past IHH had connections with Al-Qaeda and global jihad operatives. The well-documented study was conducted by Evan Kohlman, an American researcher who specialises in Al-Qaeda and related subjects. It deals with the involvement of Islamic charity funds and foundations in supporting terrorism. The IHH is an extremist Islamist organisation supporting global Jihad, and in this regard is no different from al-Qaeda and Hamas.
In recent years, especially since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, IHH has supported Hamas’ propaganda campaigns by organising public support conferences in Turkey. At those conferences, which featured the participation of senior IHH figures, the heads of IHH expressed their support for Hamas and its strategy (including the armed struggle it espouses), in defiance of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’ rival.
IHH is a member of the Union of Good, an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic funds and foundations around the globe, which channels money into Hamas institutions in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories. As a Union of Good member IHH has connections with other worldwide Islamic funds and foundations which support Hamas.
This is a guest post by AKUS
I know, of course, that this is unlikely to be read by any of the usual suspects in Israel who are responsible for invariably turning a brilliant military action into a PR disaster, but, just in case, here are some ideas for them:
1. Fight the silly “international waters” issue vigorously. The “peace activists” and their supporters are now claiming that this was an unwarranted attack on peaceful ships cruising in international waters.
2. The declared objective of these ships was to get to Gaza. They did not hide their objective, they proclaimed it loudly, frequently, and in every media outlet that could be bothered repeating it.
3. Since Hamas is at war with Israel, they were declaring their intent to aid and abet an enemy of a sovereign state of the United Nations. In fact, they were fellow travelers of Hamas, and Israel is within its rights to defend itself against Hamas and its supporters. Therefore, whether they were in international waters or within the area that Israel had stated is off-limits is immaterial – their declared intention was to reach that area, and the difference between being apprehended where they were and inside the blockaded area is only one of time and distance, not “international law”
4. Since they may well have been carrying weapons for Hamas, and were certainly and deliberately carrying materials Israel has said cannot be delivered to Hamas since Hamas will use them for military purposes, Israel was well within its rights to carry out a search of the ships.
5. Had the “peace activists” not resisted violently, they would have been diverted to Ashdod with no casualties. In fact, they used extreme violence:
While the facts of what actually happened on board the Flotilla are still emerging here’s a Youtube video of the IDF warning the Flotilla:
As reports emerge that the flotilla terrorists violently resisted the Israeli soldiers precipitating the violence, this backgrounder on IHH, among the most prominent organizations behind the Flotilla, is of interest.
The IDF Spokesperson is reporting that:
During the boarding of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs. Additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier. The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose.
Reports from IDF forces on the scene are that it seems as if part of the participants onboard the ships were planning to lynch the forces.
Read the whole thing here.
Read the entire thing here.
For visitors to the site that have not yet viewed our comprehensive debunkings of McGreal’s “revelations” of an Israeli offer to sell nuclear weapons to South Africa, you may view them by clicking on the links below.
Psychedelic Mushroom Clouds at the Guardian
Misquotes and Lies Guardian Style Part I
Misquotes and Lies Guardian Style Part II
Tainting Israel with the Nazi Label at “Comment is Free”
What happens when the Guardian has a What do you want to talk about thread?
The simple answer: more Israel-obsession. This time though with plenty of Holocaust denial and other assorted antisemtism mixed in. At the time of writing each of the posts below remain undeleted, some of which have been up for over two days.
The first “treat” of the thread is this, a comment which sets the tone for the entire thread.
If you click on the link that preemptiveresponse directs readers to, it takes you to this:
As Jacob Gewirtz notes in The Lie of Nazi-Zionist Collaboration, “the odious charge of Zionist-Nazi collaboration is a very significant variation of the “Zionism equals racism” theme. The latter was aimed at convincing the Third World that Israel, was like South Africa, a pariah state that had no right to exist.”
If we take a closer look at the source of this antisemitic publication, http://www.vho.org, an even clearer picture emerges as to the vile nature of what preemptiveresponse posted.
This is a cross post by Uri Goldflam from CIC Scene
The “free Gaza” flotilla has nothing to do with human rights.
Why? The answer is so simple a 5 year old can understand it.
- There is no problem to transfer humanitarian aid into Gaza. Hundred of trucks enter the strip daily. Last week UNRWA set up an entire summer camp facility for the children of Gaza. It was transported with the aid of Israel. The camp was then burned down by Hamas. (Hamas also burned restaurants in Gaza. Restaurants? In starving Gaza? Yes, indeed.)
- If “Human Rights” were the real agenda of the boat people they could have easily transported all the goods through the Israeli border crossings.
- If “Human Rights” were the real agenda, the leaders of the boat people would have agreed to transfer a message and a package to Gilad Shalit – An Israeli soldier who is being held illegally by Hamas without the basic human right to see a doctor or a representative of the Red Cross or a representative of his family.
- If “Human Rights” were the real agenda the boat people would have made it to Gaza already and not have waited and postponed their sailing until favorable media conditions occur.
The action of the boat people is laden with hypocrisy and cowardice. Hypocrisy- because their actions actually support extreme violations of human rights in Gaza. Cowardice- because they are taking on an easy target – Israel, a democracy that will treat them with silk gloves. Will they dare take boats to Sudan and take on the Janjaweed, maybe fly to Tibet and take on the Chinese army, a flotilla of aid to North Korea, a rescue mission to Pakistan to save the Ahmediah sect from massacre…? No. because they are cowards and hypocrites.
The overt agenda if this flotilla is a media circus to de-legitimize Israel, to embarrass Israel in the eyes of the world.
And it’s working.
But that’s not even half the story. There is also a subversive agenda (only if you don’t speak Arabic. For Arabic speakers it is clear as day).
I thought I would see what kind of wordle (word cloud) would be created based on the contents of the Guardian articles dealing with the subject matter of McGreal’s “revelations” that Israel offered nuclear weapons to South Africa. Check this out:
Maurice Ostroff has written a scathing letter to the Guardian in response to Chris McGreal’s “revelations” of a supposed offer by Israel to supply nuclear weapons to South Africa that we systematically debunked here, here, here and here.
Quoting the Guardian’s code of conduct, Ostroff writes:
I will appreciate it if you will please publish my response to the above article in terms of the Guardian’s admirable code of conduct which provides that
i. The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information,
ii. A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and -
where appropriate – an apology published and
iii. The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
The above May 24 article demands a right of reply because it is blatantly misleading, as evidenced by the hero of the story himself, Sasha Polakow-Suransky. He is quoted as having uncovered evidence of an Israeli offer of nuclear arms to South Africa (SA), although he contradicted this claim during a TV interview with Al Jazeera, in which he said categorically that the alleged discussions in SA were not about nuclear arms. They were about the Jericho missile and there was no actual offer mentioned in the documents; South Africans only perceived there was a non-existent nuclear offer on the table.
As Ostroff points out:
In the circumstances the title, “Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons” is glaringly inaccurate. The inference that “the issue of nuclear weapons was broached and that the South Africans believed it was on the table” is nothing more than Mr. Suransky’s opinion, formed, in his words, by” connecting the dots” and presented as factual. But good journalism precludes presenting of opinion as fact and should be accurate and balanced. Accuracy requires not only avoidance of misinformation but also presentation of all relevant facts that assist the reader to understand the topic even when some of them conflict with the writer’s preconceived views. Omitting relevant information distorts the perception of events and misinforms the public. Balance requires the presentation of a perspective, so that the reader can evaluate the event in relation to surrounding circumstances.
Read Ostroff’s entire letter here and to see more of his letters to the Guardian challenging its “accuracy and balance” click here.
Under different circumstances, the notion of sailing across the seas to bring aid to a beleaguered people would be laudable. However, in this latest Gaza Aid convoy we see a bunch of misguided, publicity-seeking foreclosed adolescents who merely wish to make a grand gesture by highlighting the alleged plight of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis.
(We have heard this before, haven’t we? That the people of Gaza are “starving” and lack medical and other supplies, but look at this – note the food and sweets on the market stalls – and this).
Most of Gaza is growing and thriving but CiF and these useful idiots are apparently oblivious to the fact that Hamas is following the example of the Nazis in WWII. The Nazis built a show camp at Theresienstadt (the so-called “model ghetto”), in which Jews lived apparently contentedly and well-fed, because their jailers wished to give the lie to accusations of brutalisation and genocide. Hamas however is deliberately doing the direct opposite: instead of maintaining a model of good living for these Palestinians who elected them into power, Hamas prolongs their misery and parades it to foreign visitors and deliberately encourages them to believe that the rest of Gaza is a wasteland too and that this is all the fault of Israel. Unfortunately, most of the visitors are very easily fooled.
This is a guest post by AKUS
As we await the arrival of the provocative Flotilla of Fools carrying, if past is prolog, exaggerated amounts of unneeded “humanitarian supplies” to Gaza (perhaps Gaza’s “Roots” restaurant – has been running low on trout, sea bass, shrimps and veal scallopine – see the 15-page menu for other entrees) we also await the salvo of articles that the Guardian will use to try to add its weight to this publicity stunt.
In the meantime, Israel TV has been covering the most recent events, and they are certainly interesting, though not, perhaps, in the way the Guardian or the organizer of the flotilla expected. Here are highlights from the IBA broadcast:
1. Cyprus has refused to allow the ships to anchor in Cyprus’ territorial waters. Apparently the organizer forgot that Turkey is not one of Greek Cyprus’ best friends.
2. Moreover, in a slap in the face to the organizers and Hamas, the reason Cyprus has given for not allowing the flotilla into its territorial waters is not due to Israeli pressure but because it was not asked to do so by the Palestinian Authority. Cyprus recognizes the PA as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinians even in Gaza, not Hamas, which it sees as aligned with arch-enemy Turkey
3. Cyprus has refused to allow a group of European politicians wanting to join the flotilla to leave its shores to do so.
Here are some aspects of Israel that you will never see or hear about in “Comment is Free”:
When the Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors began marketing its vehicles in Israel, it came up against a big problem: the pronunciation of its brand name was worryingly similar to the Hebrew word for vomit. Concerned about losing potential customers, the company rebranded its name with an alternative pronunciation, indicating just how much language matters in the world of marketing at even the most basic of levels. So too in the world of politics, where political branding is no less crucial than in the sphere of commerce, although the commodity being sold is ideas rather than goods.
The anti-Israeli BDS movement has for some time now been engaged in some political branding of its own and its main tool is the use of the word apartheid. As Professor Johan van der Vyver of Emory University, Atlanta, is quoted as saying, “[t]here is a political stigma attached to this word comfortably recognized in international law as being a crime against humanity”. Despite the evidence to the contrary, the proponents of sanctions against Israel delude themselves with the rather self-indulgent claim that it was the BDS campaign which brought about the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa, (conveniently ignoring the long struggle of so many South Africans of all colours) and that the same result can and should be achieved in the case of Israel. In order to gain as much tail wind as possible for their campaign, it is therefore in the interest of these anti-Israeli activists to cause as many people as possible among the majority of those undecided on or uninterested in the subject to associate in their minds the word ‘Israel’ with the rightly despised word ‘apartheid’.
Of course any objective observer of Israel would reject such a link on the basis of the evidence freely available regarding the equalities enshrined in Israeli law for all its citizens, Israel’s declared aspirations in its Declaration of Independence and the co-existence evident on a daily basis. Israel, like any other country, has its fair share of problems, but apartheid is not one of them. A dispassionate critic would also have to take into account the aims and methods of the ANC during its years of campaign against apartheid as compared to the aims of Israel’s opponents such as Hamas or Fatah. There is, after all, no Palestinian ‘Freedom Charter’. The failure of the anti-Israeli BDS movement to gain any real momentum in serious quarters since its inception can no doubt be credited to the basic common sense of the majority of ordinary people who know injustice and racism when they see it, but also know when they don’t.
So now, with or without the consent of its author, the new book by Sasha Polakow-Suransky is being cited by writers such as Gary Younge as evidence of Israel’s supposed support for the South African apartheid regime in what can only be interpreted as yet another rebranding campaign designed to attempt to further establish the link in the public psyche between two completely different countries with totally different ideologies and vastly different circumstances, as part of a political campaign espoused by activists with an agenda rooted firmly in ignorance and what Gary Young himself would presumably describe as ‘identity politics’.
This is a guest post by an anonymous CiF Watch reader.
There are some other interesting features of McGreal’s original story, which readers might think give an insight into his methods. In what follows, all emboldened text is added by me.
The story (on the internet at least) begins with a picture of the signature page of an agreement dated 3 April 1975.
As can be seen above, this is described in the caption to the picture as: “The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa.”
The sub-editor who presumably composed that must have gotten the idea from the article itself, which includes these two statements by McGreal:
“The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.
“Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: “It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement… shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party”.
(Notice in passing that the agreement is called “Secment”. Remember that word.)