#anti-racism: 27 years ago, 8,000 Ethiopian Jews were welcomed as new Israeli citizens.

Per the IDF website:

On this date, 27 years ago, a historic operation was conducted that brought over 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, to the place that had been the subject of their longing for so many years.

In the 1970’s, the Israeli government made the decision to authorize the use of the IDF to enable the immigration of thousands of Jews who were living in Ethiopia, a country that at the time prohibited its citizens from emigrating to Israel. The operation was particularly challenging and risky especially since Ethiopia and Israel did not then have diplomatic relations. The operation consisted of Ethiopian Jews first reaching Sudan, then being transported by sea from there to Israel with help from the Israel Navy. Between 1977 and 1984, about 5,000 Ethiopian Jews reached Israel this way, until the IDF command decided that the transport posed too much of a risk for the new immigrants.

In a secret cabinet meeting held on November 1984, it was decided to conduct a secret operation, held far from the public’s view, using an IDF airlift to bring Ethiopia’s Jews to Israel in a mission came to be known as Operation Moses. During the operation, over 8,000 Ethiopians Jews were safely brought to Israel, until its existence leaked to the international media, precipitating a political crisis in northeastern Africa.

The thousands of Jews left in Ethiopia and Sudan found their way to Israel in subsequent operations such as the “Operation Joshua” and “Operation Solomon”.  As of 2010, over 110,000 people of Ethiopian descent were living in Israel, with thousands of them joining the IDF every year. 

These soldiers serve in combat positions in every division of the IDF and many are selected for the prestigious officer’s course, after which they return to their units as commanders.

CiF Watch @ ‘Big Tent for Israel’ conference in Manchester, Nov. 27th

The aim of The Big Tent for Israel conference, in Manchester on Nov. 27, is to mobilize more grass roots activists who are willing to take on the challenge of combating the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, and to ensure Israel’s image is honestly projected to those continually exposed to anti-Israel propaganda and media bias.

The event has the backing of Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Zionist Federation, Manchester Zionist Central Council, UJIA, StandWithUs UK and the political Friends of Israel Groups, as well as many Christian groups who passionately stand up for Israel.

report by the Reut Institute identified London as the international “Hub of Hubs” of the campaign of Boycotts, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) whose express purpose is to challenge and undermine the legitimacy and existence of the State of Israel. This report identifies the five areas of public life in the UK where this campaign is focused: politics, trade unions, churches, academia and the media.

I’ll proudly be representing CiF Watch at the event, and hope to provide insight, gathered in conjunction with my fellow CiF Watchers, into the Guardian’s disproportionate role in providing intellectual succor to those who assault Israel’s legitimacy.

Per the Big Tent Press Release:

The Big Tent is now really taking off, with registrations growing daily, and an impressive list of invited speakers including  Eran Shayshon of the Reut Institute, Itamar Marcus of Palestine Media Watch, Yakov Triptou’s, Histadrut Chairman, Chief of Staff, Lorna Fitzsimons, CEO of BICOM, Adam Levick of CIF Watch, and Andrew White of Beyond Images.

Israel’s new Ambassador, Daniel Taub, will be the main keynote speaker.

Also confirmed is Marcus Sheff of the Israel Project, top advocacy trainers, a strong representation of Christian supporters of Israel including well known activist Dr. Denis MacEoin, MPs, trade unionists, academics, student leaders  and media personalities.

I will be participating on two panel discussions:

  • Media Delegitimization: Fact or Paranoia?
  • Countering Delegitimization: Strategies and Tactics

As the organizes of the conference wrote: EVERYONE who believes in Israel is welcome inside “The Big Tent for Israel”.  

If you believe in Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and the absolute and unqualified right of all Israelis to live in peace with their neighbors, you will be most welcome.

Registration information is here.

Oh, Mehdi Hasan, feel free to tell us to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

This is cross posted by Richard Millett

New Statesman Editor, and CiF commentator, Mehdi Hasan

Last Friday Luke Bozier, a Labour blogger, said of Mehdi Hasan, the embattled Senior Editor (politics) at the New Statesman magazine:

“Wouldn’t it be good if he just buggered off to Tehran.”

It was in response to Hasan’s ['Comment is Free'] article the previous day If you lived in Iran, wouldn’t you want the nuclear bomb? which some commentators have interpreted as a call by Hasan for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.

Yesterday Hasan posted a response to the criticism of his article and made the following curious remark about Bozier:

Can you imagine the media reaction if a British Jew wrote a column about Israel which prompted the response of “bugger off to Tel Aviv”?

I can’t see the parallel myself. Hasan isn’t Iranian and neither does Bozier’s remark seem to be an attack on Hasan’s Muslim identity.

It might be in dispute as to whether Hasan’s article amounts to a call for an Iranian nuclear bomb, but what is not in dispute is his coming to the defence of the vile Iranian regime, describing it as “surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies” and he doubts whether Iran is looking to create a nuclear bomb when he gives credence to the regime’s rhetoric that its “goal is only to develop a civilian nuclear programme, not atomic bombs”.

And so Bozier’s comment is not so different from those by people who tell apologists for Hamas to move to Gaza if they love Hamas so much. It’s the same with telling Hasan to go to Tehran. It isn’t a racist slur.

And in reality, and Hasan must know this, the equivalent far-left racial slur against British Jews is for us to bugger off to Russia. I, myself, was once told to go back to Poland at an anti-Israel event in London.

So what a nice change it would be for British Jews to be told to “bugger off to Tel Aviv”.

Implicit in such a suggestion would at least be a recognition of the Jewish connection to Israel, a connection which both the Palestinian leadership and the far-left refuse to make.

But it wasn’t like that before 1948 when the common refrain of racists in the UK was for Jews to go back to Palestine. After 1948 it became politically inconvenient for the racists to suggest Jews go back to Israel, so Poland and Russia are now the new hot spots designated for us by the far-left, irrespective of the fact that Jews got slaughtered there in their millions by the Nazis.

And how ironic that Hasan now chooses to employ British Jews in his defence when he has previously shown us such disregard with his casual attitude to anti-Semitism.

In an echo of Ben White’s article in 2002 Is It Possible to Understand the Rise in Anti-Semitism? in which White wrote “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are” Hasan wrote in his article Does Israel “cause” anti-Semitism?:

“Nothing justifies anti-Semitism…But I do find it both tragic and ironic that the state of Israel…through its actions today…provokes such awful anti-Semitic attacks against diaspora Jews who have nothing to do with the actions of the IDF or the policies of Netanyahu, Olmert and Sharon.”

As The CST‘s Dave Rich wrote in the comment section of that post:

“The people who are primarily responsible for racist hate crimes are the racists who perpetrate them; the “cause” is their bigotry and hatred for a chosen ‘other’…You would not write an article lamenting that fact that Muslim immigration “caused” the recent arson attack on the Luton Islamic Centre…Don’t make excuses for racists, and don’t use racism as an excuse to score political points.”

And anyway, Hasan and President Ahmadinejad do have similar ideas which suggests that Hasan might actually feel at home in Tehran. For example, they both wish for Israel to be wiped off the map. In his article I’ve changed my mind about a two-state solution Hasan describes his own solution as being:

“a single, secular and binational state for Israelis and Palestinians. No longer ‘two states for two peoples’, but ‘one person, one vote’.”

And in mid-July 2009 he wrote of the Iranian regime’s Press TV that “not a single critic so far has claimed that his or her views were ever censored”.

However, two weeks earlier Press TV interviewed Hossein Mousavi in his prison cell in Iran asking him questions prepared by the Iranian regime with Mousavi reading his answers from a script also prepared by the regime. (OFCOM recently upheld the complaint of unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in making the programme containing Mousavi’s interview.)

So, Mehdi, by all means hate Israel, excuse anti-Semitism and support the Iranian regime if you are that way inclined but please don’t try to use British Jews in your defence when it suits you politically.

And if anyone does tell me to “bugger off to Tel Aviv” I will be happy that, finally, they will have stopped trying to force me back to Poland.

What the Guardian won’t report: FBI Hate Crime Stats again disprove claims of rising Islamophobia

To be clear, anti-Muslim hate crimes, as with such crimes against any group, are always indefensible, but it’s important to note that claims made by many at The Guardian of a “rising tide of American Islamophobia” have no basis in fact.

Contrary to the popular narrative, Muslims are not under siege in the U.S., and indeed enjoy economic prosperity, religious and civil rights which would be unimaginable in most other countries.  

Indeed, a 2007 Pew Study determined that “Muslim Americans generally mirror the U.S. public in education and income levels, with immigrant Muslims slightly more affluent and better educated than native-born Muslims”, and that are there is a “concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.”

A 40 page report by the Center for Security Policy, which looked at, among other factors, FBI Hate Crime Statistics over the past 9 years, demonstrated that Jews are far more likely to be victims of hate crimes in the US than Muslims.

Yet, the mere dearth of evidence has never been a barrier for the Guardian and CiF columnists in advancing a narrative of a Muslim community in the U.S. under siege.

Here’s an essay by CiF’s Sarah Wildman on July 28, 2011.

And, here’s the headline from a CiF essay on Aug. 26, by .

The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, in an essay on the 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, wrote that he was more worried about the “rampant Islamophobia” which was “on the rise” in the U.S. than the threat of Islamist terrorism.

Well, adding to the realm of data disproving the argument that there’s anything approaching a rise in Islamophobia in the U.S. is the latest FBI Hate Crime Data for 2010, which shows, once again, that hate crimes against Muslims remain rare and are far outnumbered by attacks on Jews.

In 2010, only 13.2 percent of religion-based attacks were directed at Muslims. By comparison, 65.4 percent of such crimes were directed at Jews.

Moreover, the far greater number of attacks on Jews is, by no means, evidence that the United States is a country dangerously antisemitic.  By any reasonable standard or observation, Jews enjoy more freedom and prosperity in the U.S. than anywhere else in the diaspora.   

So, how can anyone rationally argue that the far fewer number of assaults on Muslims prove that Islamophobia is rampant?

If the question of whether there was a rising tide of Islamophobia in the U.S. was dictated by facts, reason, and data – that is, if it wasn’t driven by ideology – the debate would have ended long ago.

As such, you can certainly expect more intellectually unserious charges of rampant anti-Muslim racism in the U.S. by commentators at the Guardian. 

The latest CiF Watch newsletter has hit the stands!

Message from Managing Editor, Adam Levick

Friends,

The recent admission by Guardian Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott, “On averting accusations of antisemitism, Nov. 6, was quite astonishing, and stands as a clear vindication of CiF Watch’s efforts.

Elliott’s post, which received a considerable amount of press coverage (including reports and commentary at Ha’aretzThe Commentator, Harry’s Place, and The Jewish Chronicle) sought to address “complaints that [the Guardian] is carrying material that… lapses into language resonant of antisemitism or is antisemitic”, citing “organisations monitoring their coverage”.

While the post didn’t go nearly far enough in acknowledging the degree of antisemitism found at the Guardian, the fact that they evidently felt the need to respond to the criticisms which our blog, and many other concerned parties, have leveled demonstrates that they take our critiques seriously.

Moreover, Elliott specifically addressed Guardian “reporters, writers and editors”, imploring them to be “more vigilant to ensure our voice in the debate is not diminished because our reputation has been tarnished.”

Acknowledging the important role of CiF Watch in shining a spotlight on The Guardian, political commentator Robin Shepherd commented that “with the alarming increase of anti-Jewish racism and bigotry emanating from The Guardian, a newspaper which styles itself as the world’s leading liberal voice, the work of media monitors like CiF Watch becomes all the more invaluable to hold The Guardian to account.”

However, as I noted in a CiF Watch post on Elliott’s admission, our work monitoring the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ for antisemitism, dedicated to the proposition that hatred against Jews is never justified, (and is inherently inconsistent with genuine liberal thought) continues unabated.

Featured posts

The Guardian vindicates CiF Watch
While the Guardian media group is a long way from taking the steps necessary to truly change a culture which tolerates outright antisemitism, and is viscerally and disproportionately hostile to the Jewish state, their Readers’ Editor’s recent admission that their reporters, editors and writers need to be more careful about employing Judeophobic narratives represents a remarkable mea culpa from an institution which has shown itself to be remarkably thin skinned, and resistant to true introspection.

Guardian contributor Gail Simmons’s tweets about the Nazism of Zionism
In researching the background of a new Guardian contributor, writing about her experiences in the Palestinian Territories, we came across Simmons’s tweets, one of which leveled the odious charge that Zionism was morally similar to Nazism. It says a lot about the politics of the Guardian Left that a commentator possessing such malevolence would even be considered for a position writing for “the world’s leading liberal voice”. CiF Watch’s post on Simmons’s tweet was noted in a report by the UK Jewish Chronicle.

The empathy-evil continuum and Hamas’ treatment of Gilad Shalit
A guest post by Medusa explores the appalling lack of basic human empathy which informed Hamas’s abduction and appalling treatment of Gilad Shalit.

Harriet Sherwood’s latest report on rocket attacks from Gaza redefines the word “sporadic”.
A guest post by Akus comments on Guardian Jerusalem Correspondent Harriet Sherwood’s Orwellian use of the word “sporadic” to characterize Gaza rocket fire – which, in the month of August alone, included 170 deadly projectiles fired at Israeli communities.

Jonathan Freedland’s intifada delusions
Israelinurse adeptly dissects the erroneous characterization, by the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, of the mythical “non-violent” first Intifada.

CiF Watch in the news

CiF Watch post wins political essay contest at popular political website, The Propagandist.

The post, ‘Better Jews. The Moral Vanity of Israel’s Leftist Jewish Critics, won first prize at The Propagandist’s 2nd Annual Political Essay contest.

Adam Levick’s essay on the Guardian’s admission regarding antisemitism was published by the UK Jewish Chronicle.

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The Arab Spring, ‘double-think’, and Palestinian Statehood

This is cross posted by Benjamin Lazarus at The Commentator

A rare sight in Palestine: Elections

In George Orwell’s, 1984, he coined the term‘double-think’, which refers to the idea that an individual can hold ‘two contradictory beliefs’, whilst simultaneously accepting and believing both opposing convictions.

Despite the dismay of much of the new liberal establishment, the likely failure of the Palestinian bid to become the 194th member state of the United Nations would be wholly correct. Quite simply, to support the birth of a Palestinian state as it stands politically today, and to simultaneously support the Arab spring would be to commit the action of ‘double-think’.

The Arab Spring is essentially the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East; allowing the populations of each oppressive regime to overthrow their autocratic rulers, and to attain the very basic principle of the vote.

Thus, if one is to support this movement how can one then possibly justify supporting the official birth of an un-democratic regime in the very same region?

Mahmoud Abbas, the man presented as a supposed moderate to the Western world, has no democratic right to his position.

He was elected in 2005 for a four year term but this expired in January 2009. He then decided to extend his reign for a further year – until January 2010. This extension has now quite clearly expired – and yet Abbas still refuses to leave his post, despite his actions being in sheer disregard to the Palestinian constitution.

Indeed, Article 65: ‘The Basic Law’, grants presidential legitimacy to the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Therefore, under the Palestinian constitution, Hamas’s Deputy, Abdel Aziz Dweik has been robbed of his democratic position by Mahmoud Abbas.

Furthermore, the imaginary nation presented to the UN general Assembly did not have the aptitude to hold either presidential or legislative elections as required by Article 47 of its Basic Law. This is because competing Palestinian rulers will not permit it.

Whilst Abbas’s term has expired, the PLC legislatures are also over-due an election, since their period of legality expired on the 25thJanuary 2010. Indeed, Article two of The Palestinian Elections Law no.9, which is recognized by Hamas as legally binding requiresan election – so where are the ballot boxes?

A government also needs to have the capacity to function – to legislate. But this unfortunately is not the case in the Palestinian territories today.

Since January 2006, the PLC has not legislated once, neither has it conducted any meetings in the last four years, nor passed on any ministers. It is essentially an impotent, undemocratic and constitutionally corrupt administration, and one that surely no serious person could advocate was actually ready for statehood (In this sense, it is actually similar to the Arab spring states – there is simply not enough civil life to make it ready for democracy).

Those who advocate hacking away at the UN – Palestine umbilical cord would do well to think twice about why democracy should be starved from the Palestinians, but not their Arab brothers and sisters across the region.

Unfortunately, one suspects the liberal-left’s anti-Israel hysteria plays a prominent role here; the overthrowing of Mubarak’s pro-American government, with the seemingly inevitable replacement of the Muslim Brotherhood will create a rabidly visceral anti-Israel government in Egypt.

The likelihood of the Arab spring resulting in several more Islamist anti-Israel regimes is very great (as already seen in Tunisia with the recent electoral success of Ennahda).

Perhaps, this is actually what the liberal-left wish to see. A Palestinian state, whether democratic or not, will be a serious threat to the existence of the state of Israel, and thus, such an action of ‘double-think’ may not actually be ‘double-think’ after all.

Benjamin Lazarus is a political analyst with a particular interest in the Middle East and Islamic extremism.

The Tweets +972’s Joseph Dana didn’t want you to see

A pretty sure way of determining if you win a Twitter war is when one of the parties finds it necessary to delete a series of Tweets in the exchange.

The row began in reaction to a CW post on an anti-Zionist blogger named Joseph Dana, and his recent appearance at a SOAS event (“Palestine: Resistance and Occupation), as reported by Richard Millett, which we titled, +972’s Joseph Dana successfully freed himself from the “Zionist Indoctrination Program”.

No, the title wasn’t at all an exaggeration, as it represented Dana’s precise words at the conference, and seems to accurately reflect the activist’s understanding of Zionism – per professor Jacqueline Rose – as something approaching a mental disorder.

Though declining to directly respond, during the Q&A, to the pressing question posed by an audience member as to whether Zionism is, indeed, “the work of the devil”, Dana did clearly suggest, following a query from Millett, a moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel.

This was the basis of the Twitter conversation between Dana, CiF Watch, Richard Millett, and myself.

And:

Here, Dana’s referring to a passage from our post, in which we cited his comments regarding Hamas, which can be heard clearly in this audio, and this video, which Millett provided.

“Almost everything we can accuse Hamas of we can find the equal and sometimes worse situation inside of Israel.”

“The racism of Israel is on an equal platform [with Hamas]“

I then Tweeted the following:

Dana’s reply, while completely ignoring my challenge to his reference to the “Zionist Indoctrination Program”, which he claimed to have boldly broken free from, was as follows:

Actually, regarding the first Tweet above, Dana never used the word “absurd” in response to a questioner who seriously asked him if Zionism was the work of the devil.  Rather, Dana casually noted (again per this video provided by Millett), that Zionism should be relegated to the 20th century’s other failed ideologies, should be “left aside like an old coat”, but that he simply was “not going to comment on [that] terminology.”  

He didn’t laugh at the absurdity of the question, nor express anything approaching anger or disdain for the explicit suggestion that Zionism represented some sort of supernatural evil, but simply refused to comment on the “terminology”.

We again challenged Dana to listen to the audio and video, at which he point, clearly frustrated, he descended into name calling.

But, clearly still perturbed, Dana added:

Then, finally:

Oh, that’s why he deleted his Tweets!  

It couldn’t possibly have been because every claim we made regarding Dana’s comments on Israel, Zionism, and Hamas was substantiated by a video or audio clip, now could it?

Oh well, back to paid trolling. 

Fight or flight? CiF Watch, David Yehuda Stern & Ben White

David Yehuda Stern

I have no doubt that David Yehuda Stern is a decent, honorable, committed activist and proponent of social justice.  

Nor, based on his resume and a quick search of his writing, is there any question that he’s passionate about both his Jewish identity and Israel.

However, though I’ve only just come across Stern’s blog (Cartoon Kippah: The voice of animated British Jewry), there’s something in the title of his latest post alone which gets to the heart of the skewed political reasoning which informs the views of many well-intended leftist Jews regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Here’s the title of Stern’s latest blog entry.

Words that destroy, words that build: CiF Watch and Ben White

Stern opens his post thusly:

For those of you not familiar, CIF Watch is an online blog, “Combating the assault on Israel’s legitimacy in the UK Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog.”

On an altogether different mission is writer and activist Ben White, who has dedicated his professional life to advancing the rights of Palestinians.

Both CIF Watch and Ben White have admirable goals but it is their aggressive, often intimidating rhetoric, that disengages the majority of the public from their important messages leaving all but the bitter taste of hate in the mouths of many who come into contact with their work.

So, immediately, there’s a suggestion that  CiF Watch and Ben White are both pursuing admirable goals but are compromised by hyperbolic rhetoric.

Perhaps Stern can be forgiven for such a comparison, as he’s evidently not aware of White’s record

So, here’s a snapshot.

White is the author of the book “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”, an obsessive anti-Zionist and supporter of the one-state solution. He also routinely accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, and has even used language suggesting parallels between Nazi Germany and Zionism.

White also recommended an essay by a prominent Holocaust denier.

Further, in an article entitled Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’?, for the radical anti-Zionist site CounterPunch, White stated, “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”.

He then linked the rise of antisemitism with “the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media”.

Stern, in his blog post, writes:

Ben White’s attitude to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict may be the mirror opposite to that of CiF Watch but his tone is practically identical. Like CiF Watch his tweets present only one side of a very complicated situation, resulting in the dehumanization of Israeli citizens and Israel’s supporters.

He then concludes:

Legitimate frustration seems to fuel both CiF Watch and Ben White’s aggressive tones and they certainly have the freedom to tweet as they see fit. But will their current approach best serve their causes? I think not.

And, herein lies the heart of the matter.

While Stern admirably condemns White’s dehumanizing vitriol towards Israelis, he suggests that employing passionate, uncompromising rhetoric to combat such moral assaults on Jews is out-of-bounds.

As an Israeli citizen, I’d really like to know how I’m supposed to civilly respond to those, like White, who don’t think my nation deserves the right to exist under any circumstances – within any borders.

And, similarly, I’m at a lost to understand how to calmly, respectfully exchange views with those who find antisemtism an understandable reaction to Israeli behavior.

The degree to which CiF Watch aggressively refutes anti-Zionist and antisemitic commentary – both by posts on our blog, and within the necessarily less expansive rhetorical parameters of social media such as Twitter – is informed by a quite sober understanding of Jewish history, and an intimate familiarity with the limits of reasonableness and the assumption of good intentions.

This blog certainly believes in what’s known as “Big Tent Zionism”, and we’ll certainly continue to civilly debate those who don’t necessarily share our views on how best to defend against the assaults on Israel’s legitimacy – and, similarly, how most effectively to fight antisemitism – but, of course, the key word in the phrase “Big Tent Zionism” is, “Zionism”.

I won’t engage in a calm tête-à-tête with those who defend, rationalize or excuse antisemitism, nor those who find my nation’s existence morally abhorrent, not worth fighting for, or in any way expendable.

In psychology there’s a phrase called “fight or flight response”, which refers to the human capacity, or lack thereof, to accurately identify threats and respond accordingly.

There is a time for compromise and a time to fight.

Jewish history – indeed world history – is replete with the injurious effects of the failure of just, sensitive souls to discern the former from the latter.

Jews – especially Israeli Jews – simply do not have the luxury of making such mistakes again.

Amazon.com customers praise truths of ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’

Evidently, there’s a new edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious antisemitic forgery which warns of a secret plot by Jews to take over the world, and is available at Amazon.com for under $15 (and may be eligible for super-saving free shipping).

While, in fairness, Amazon.com is a mega online shop which sells political books ranging from the extreme left to the extreme right, and is further protected by the U.S. First Amendment to continue doing so, some of the reviews (and publisher book description) are worth noting.

First, look at how the book cover incorporates Zionism into the equation, though the book was first translated into Russian, in its current form, in 1872, 25 years before the First Zionist Congress.

 

Amazon does includes, just below the product image, this message from the Anti-Defamation League:

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, circulated by the Czarist secret police at the turn of the 20th century, is plainly and simply a plagiarized forgery. “The Protocols” has been a major weapon in the arsenals of anti-Semites around the world, republished and circulated by individuals, hate groups and governments to convince the gullible as well as the bigoted that Jews have schemed and plotted to take over the world.

But, following the ADL quote, there is this publisher synopsis:

When the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were first discovered, Freemasons and Zionist Jews everywhere screamed and complained that these 24 Protocols are a hoax, a forgery, even a blood taint against the Jews. But then came the brutal and barbaric Communist Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and its captive republics, led by covert Masonic Jews Lenin, Trotsky, Kaganovich, and others. The cruel and sinister crimes of the crypto-Jew revolutionaries seemed to have jumped off the pages of the Protocols. The Red Terror, with its torturous massacres of innocent people, its monstrous gulag concentration camps, and the setting up of a Jewish dictatorship, also followed the agenda of the Protocols as did the persecution everywhere of Christians and churches. The entire world witnessed horrors that were a direct result of the heinous prescriptions laid out earlier in the Protocols. Find out how the Protocols are still being worked in our day and how our freedoms, even our very lives, are in jeopardy.

Then we get to the reader reviews, such as these contrasting view points. Note which one garners more favorable reviews.

First, there’s this comment which 10 of 13 people found helpful.

Click on image to read full review

This comment was critical of the book, and only garnered one positive remark.

As the positive reviews are thus far leading considerably over the negative reviews, we ask that you consider visiting this Amazon page and offering a negative review of the book.

Guardian provides free PR to Interpal, a “charity” widely known as terrorist front group

The Guardian’s Global Development page, Nov. 17, contained a new post with this header:

The subheading reads:

The British charity Interpal is working to regenerate and rebuild Gaza after the Israeli attacks in 2008 and 2009. The charity has worked with other international NGOs to open up a humanitarian corridor from Egypt that has allowed six convoys to cross the border. Supplies brought in include medicine and medical resources. The organisation also provides funds to buy medical and computer equipment, generators, fuel and seeds.

The photo post includes  pictures such as these:

The caption notes:

Interpal is helping with the rehabilitation of the farm, which is owned by the Palestinian Society of Development Training and Family Rehabilitation. The charity also buys meat, poultry and vegetables from the farm, which it distributes to families struggling to make ends meet.

And, there’s this:

The caption:

Part of the destroyed laboratory buildings of the Islamic University in Gaza. Two university buildings, which contained the science and engineering labs, were destroyed during the Israeli attacks. Interpal has implemented a $500,000 programme to re-equip the labs.

So, the poetic truth of the story is simple enough: A humanitarian NGO assisting Gazans in need after the brutal Israeli assaults during Operation Cast Lead. 

However, for some reason, the Guardian failed to inform their readers of a tiny little detail about the British “charity”, Interpal.

In 2003, the U.S. Treasury published a list of charities it alleged to have links to terrorism.  This list included Interpal, which was defined as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist” that aids Hamas. Specifically, Interpal was included in US Executive Order 13224, which froze the assets of five charitable societies that sponsored Hamas, following evidence which implicated the group in financing the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of the No.2 Egged bus in Jerusalem, which killed 23 and wounded 130.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya pictured with Essam Yousef, vice-chairman of Interpal, to his left

It has also been reported that senior officials in Interpal, an organization associated with the umbrella group, Union of the Good, continues to transfer funds to the Hamas regime, and has been heavily involved in the coordination of recent “aid” ships to Gaza.

The Union of Good was proscribed by Israel in 2002 and designated as a terrorist organisation by the US in 2008 because it provides financial and material support for Hamas.  The group is headed by Yusuf al Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombings and has explicitly praised Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.

Further, a BBC Panorama report titled Faith, Hate and Charity”, (aired in July 2006), exposed Interpal as a political instrument that assists Hamas’ civilian infrastructureThe program showed that Interpal funds were transferred to Hamas-managed “charitable societies” in the PA-administered territories, used for inculcating Hamas’ radical Islamist ideology in the younger generation of Palestinians and nurturing the ethos of jihad and the cult of martyrdom.

Ibrahim Brian Hewitta British citizen who converted to Islam, is the chairman of Interpal and also the senior editor of the Middle East Monitor (MEMO). The director of MEMO is Dr. Daud Abdullah, a senior figure in the London-based Palestinian Return Center (PRC)an anti-Israeli propaganda group affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Abdullah is a contributor at ‘Comment is Free’.

The report, cited above, by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, concluded that In addition to providing assistance to the Hamas administration, activists belonging to Interpal hold meetings with Hamas’s Ismail Haniya (and other Hamas activists) aimed to support the political and propaganda efforts exerted by Hamas and its institutions in Gaza to obtain legitimacy in Western countries and thus whitewash its terrorist image.

As such, the Guardian’s Interpal “Global Development” photo shoot served to legitimize the proscribed organization, and whitewash their terrorist image, beyond Interpal leaders’ wildest dreams.

‘War on Want’ at Russell Tribunal on Palestine: “More direct action coming.”

This is cross posted by Richard Millett

Rafeef Ziadeh, Asa Winstanley, John Hilary, Joseph Dana, Frank Barat at Amnesty.

War on Want’s John Hilary spoke of more direct action against firms complicit in Israel’s “breaches of international law”.

He was on a panel at Amnesty International on thursday night for the launch of a book about last year’s London session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

In response to a question from Eva Jaciewicz, a member of the Polish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and who last year daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” at the Warsaw Ghetto, about the possibility of occupying the workplaces of companies doing business with Israel Hilary endorsed the targeting of security company G4S, especially in light of its security role in next year’s London Olympics.

Here’s a short audio of the discussion. Frank Barat speaks first followed by Rafeef Ziadeh and Hilary:

Audio: Barat, Ziadeh, Hilary at Amnesty on G4S.

Hilary also spoke about anti-Israel activists going into shoe shops and trying on Caterpillar boots and then staging anti-Israel protests. Staff were unable to ask them to leave while they were wearing the boots.

Here’s the relevant clip which includes a short discussion on whether Hamas was invited to the Russell Tribunal:

Frank Barat, who coordinated the London RTOP, had initially started off the evening telling us how clearly international law is on the side of the Palestinians and how little Israel can do about this.

He said the word “Apartheid” scared Israel and its supporters, especially when people like Desmond Tutu are saying what is happening on the West Bank is far worse than what happened in apartheid South Africa.

This, Barat thought, was a good way to attack RTOP’s detractors and he reiterated RTOP’s call for:

1. Israel to dismantle its system of Apartheid.
2. All states to consider putting pressure on Israel to do this including severing diplomatic relations.
3. The prosecutor of the ICC to accept jurisdiction over Palestine.
4. Global civil society to replicate the spirit of solidarity that contributed to the end of apartheid South Africa and to support BDS.

There were only 43 people in the audience at Amnesty; not a good sign of global solidarity.

Asa Winstanley, who edited the book briefly ran us through its content and Rafeef Ziadeh, a Canadian Palestinian “refugee” now living in the UK, called the “Nakba” an “ongoing process” and reiterated the BDS movement’s call for Israel to:

1. End the occupation of all Arab lands.
2. Create equality for Palestinians everywhere, including in Israel.
3. Allow Palestinian “refugees” to return to their homes in Israel.

She said she couldn’t believe that Israel could consider someone like her to be such a threat.

Joseph Dana, an American Jewish blogger with +972 Magazine and living in Ramallah, referred to the Palestinians in Bil’in, where he covers the weekly protests, as offering “Ghandian-like unarmed resistance” and he encouraged the use of Twitter and Facebook to combat the Jerusalem PostAssociated Pressand Thomas Friedman, who is calling for the Palestinians to adopt non-violent resistance while, according to Dana, he is ignoring just that.

Dana predicted that there will be a “new unarmed Intifada” and he holds every Israeli responsible for Israel’s “transgressions” and spoke of the non-violent protests in Bil’in as being what “drives Israelis insane”. He said:

“Artists don’t come to Israel anymore. Israeli society wants to be considered a normal western country…The boycott pinpoints that issue of normality and says ‘no, you are not a normal society. You have to be held accountable for the transgressions that you are committing on a regular basis. Even if you are not directly committing them you are part of the society that’s doing that.’”

If that’s true then Dana, who lives in Ramallah, is indirectly accountable for the massacre of five members of the Fogel family by a Palestinian, including three month old Hadas who was decapitated while she slept.

Here’s the relevant clip:

Guardian Left comic moral equivalence watch: CiF’s Medhi Hasan shills for Iran

One of the most defining features of the far (Guardian-style) left is a refusal to discriminate between liberal democratic states and backwards totalitarian regimes.

During the Cold War, such dupes were seen shilling for the Soviet Union, or their client states in Europe and Central America.

Today, this dynamic is at play in the moral equivalence posited between Islamists and the West.

Even so, you really have to try hard to defend the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran, though economically stagnant, does lead the world in one notable category: the export of terrorism.

Their President also has the nasty little habit of denying the Nazi Holocaust, while inciting for another one.

No matter, in the post-colonial world which Medhi Hasan occupies, the theocratic regime is the victim of the arrogance of imperialist Western powers.

Medhi Hassan’s recent CiF post, “If you lived in Iran, wouldn’t you want the nuclear bomb?“, Nov. 17, isn’t surprising to anyone familiar with the New Statesman (and Channel 4) editor’s politics.  

Hasan opposes a two-state solution because such a formula would recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state.

He’s also excused antisemitism – in the polemical spirit of Ben White – as the natural reaction to Israeli policy.

Further, Hasan is a religious extremist who literally likened those who don’t accept the teachings of Islam to cattle.

So, Hasan’s apologia for the mullahs in Iran flows naturally from his Guardian-style politics.

In his latest polemical tale, Hasan asks us to empathize with the plucky Iranian underdog “surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies and regional rivals, both nuclear and non-nuclear.”

And, though Hasan, as with the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, sows doubt on the “question” of whether Iran is indeed attempting to build a nuclear weapon – contradicting the findings of the latest IAEA report – he nonetheless asks:

“If you were our mullah in Tehran, wouldn’t you want Iran to have the bomb?”

Adds Hasan:

“[When it comes to Iran] Empathy is in short supply… the Islamic Republic is dismissed as irrational and megalomaniacal.”

And, herein lies the quintessential post-modern moral equivalence. 

It takes a lot of ideological conditioning to see the reactionary, theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran as the protagonist. 

Freedom House’s survey of Iran ranked the county as among the worst human rights violators in the world.

Per Freedom House’s 2011 report on Iran:

Opposition politicians and party groupings have faced especially harsh repression since the 2009 presidential election, with many leaders—including former lawmakers and cabinet ministers—facing arrest, prison sentences, and lengthy bans on political activity.

Freedom of expression is severely limited. The government directly controls all television and radio broadcasting. Satellite dishes are illegal…Even the purchase of satellite images from abroad is illegal. The Ministry of Culture must approve publication of all books and inspects foreign books prior to domestic distribution.

The Press Court has extensive power to prosecute journalists for such vaguely worded offenses as “insulting Islam” 

Iran leads the world in the number of jailed journalists

Key international social-media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked

Religious freedom is limited in Iran, whose population is largely Shiite Muslim but includes Sunni Muslim, Baha’i, Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian minorities. The Special Court for the Clergy investigates religious figures for alleged crimes and has generally been used to persecute clerics who stray from the official interpretation of Islam. Ayatollah Seyd Hussain Kazemeini Boroujerdi, a cleric who advocates the separation of religion and politics, is currently serving 11 years in prison for his beliefs

Conversion by Muslims to a non-Muslim religion is punishable by death.

Some 300,000 Baha’is, Iran’s largest non-Muslim minority, are not recognized in the constitution, enjoy virtually no rights under the law, and are banned from practicing their faith…Hundreds of Baha’is have been executed since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and at least 60 were in prison in 2010 because of their beliefs.

Academic freedom is limited. Scholars are frequently detained, threatened, and forced to retire for expressing political views, and students involved in organizing protests face suspension or expulsion in addition to criminal punishments

The constitution prohibits public demonstrations that “violate the principles of Islam,”

security services routinely arrest and harass secular activists as part of a wider effort to control nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Iranian law does not allow independent labor unions

The country’s penal code is based on Sharia and provides for flogging, amputation, and execution by stoning or hanging for a range of social and political offenses; these punishments are carried out in practice.

Suspected [political] dissidents are frequently held in unofficial, illegal detention centers. Prison conditions in general are notoriously poor, and there are regular allegations of abuse, torture, and death in custody. Male and female detainees alleged rape by security forces in the second half of 2009;

Women do not enjoy equal rights under Sharia-based statutes governing divorce, inheritance, and child custody…A woman’s testimony in court is given only half the weight of a man’s,

It would certainly seem difficult for a genuine progressive – even those who are strangely unmoved by the Iranian President’s frequent call for the annihilation of the Jewish state – to empathize with the nuclear aspirations of a regime which rules in manner so fundamentally at odds with even the broadest understanding of progressive values.

Iran may severely oppress women, gays, religious minorities and political dissidents, but, as this blog continues to demonstrates, Guardian left values continue to be defined by this reflexive and comically facile ideology which posits that the enemy of the United States, Israel and the West is necessarily worthy of our sympathy.

Medhi Hasan’s latest commentary demonstrates that those predisposed to shilling for enemies of the democratic West didn’t disappear following the fall of the Soviet Union.  

They merely adapted to the new political environment, and found new, creative ways to defend the morally indefensible. 

Guardian Travel publishes article by Sarah Irving, former ISM activist

It’s getting near that time of year when people in the UK, fed up of their dank, grey winter, begin flicking through holiday brochures and the travel supplements in their weekend newspapers, dreaming of a warm and exciting destination for their summer break.

Sarah Irving - Former ISM activist

As may be expected, the Guardian’s travel section also contains articles on a variety of tempting destinations. Las Vegas, Spain, Turkey and the Red Sea to to name but a few, and this week there’s also an article by the author of the newly published Bradt Guide to Palestine, Sarah Irving, on its top 10 attractions.

The vast majority of readers of the article will of course be unfamiliar with the region and may therefore not pick up onIrving’s distinctly partisan style or the inaccuracies in her article and, one can only assume, her book.

Already in her introduction,Irving makes much of potential travel difficulties visited on the unsuspecting voyager by the Israeli authorities. Of course she makes no mention of why inconveniences such as checkpoints or airport security checks may be necessary in order to protect the lives of tourists just as much as Israelis.

Irving then proceeds to give her recommendations for places to visit. Sebastia becomes a site of Hellenic watchtowers, ruined Samaritan palaces and crumbling Byzantine churches” along with “Islamic shrines”: no mention of the history before the relatively late naming of the town Sebastia after Augustus Caesar, which includes the archeological excavations of the royal citadel and kings of Israel, including Ahab, between 880 and 721 BCE.

Next, Irving moves on to the Dome of the Rock which, despite this being a guide to Palestine, is of course situated in Israel. The only clue the reader might get about that fact is her claim that the site is “[u]sually closed for Islamic holidays, Jewish holidays, Fri/Sat (except Muslim worshippers), and whenever the Israeli authorities consider there to be a security risk.”  Ah, those unpredictable and hysterical Israelis again!

Northwards to Jenin and Irving cannot resist yet another context-free remark: “this bustling town, sadly better known for the Israeli army’s massive 2002 attack on the refugee camp.” Of course one does have to admit that Jenin’s other title as terror capital of the Palestinian Territories is somewhat less likely to draw in the crowds.

Next Irving manages to turn Abraham, after whom a hiking trail is named, into “the Prophet Abraham”, and to skip meticulously over any Jewish history in Taibeh or Jericholiable to distract the reader, before arriving in Hevron. The tomb of Abraham and the other patriarchs at Machpela is not recommended to visitors – presumably because that would not fit into the narrative – but she does manage the by now obligatory mention of wicked Israelis. “Many [shops] have closed, shut by Israeli military order to protect the settlers who have occupied parts of the city, or because the settler threat makes business unviable.”  In fact, rather than having ‘occupied’ it, the Jews living in Hevron do so under the terms of the Oslo Accords signed by the representatives of the Palestinian people.

Irving’s attention turns next to Acco – or as she for some reason calls it ‘Akka’. Acco is of course situated in Israel, but Irving gets round this by informing her readers that “The new Bradt guide also covers areas of Israel that are home to large numbers of Palestinians and where their culture survives. The Arabs living in Acco are Israeli Arabs – who chose not to leave Israel during the War of Independence in 1948.

It is clear that far from being a ‘travel guide’, Irving’s book is actually a political polemic.

Why Bradt should have selected such an obviously biased author to write a guide which appears to attempt to erase Jewish history from Judea and Samaria (unless in the form of context-free references to contemporary security issues) is a mystery.

A quick Google search would have shown Bradt’s editors that Sarah Irving has a very rich history of her own.

In 2002 she visited the Palestinian territories as a member of the International Solidarity Movement. She writes forElectronic Intifada‘  (among others) and also maintains her own fiercely anti-Israel blog. She has co-written a book (promoted by the ISM) about Operation Cast Lead which she describes as “the massive Israeli invasion in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,400 people were killed, mainly children and other civilians.”

As is well known, Hamas itself has admitted that over half the casualties were members of its own terrorist organization which had fired rockets at Israeli civilians for years before the Israeli military operation.

Currently Irving is writing a biography of the hijacker and terrorist Leila Khaled, also to be published by the same Pluto Press which includes Gilad Atzmon in its stable of reviewers, and runs a blog dedicated to Leila Khaled. 

Irving’s ‘understanding’ and ‘expertise’ on the Middle Eastis summed up here in her own wors:

“On a wider political scale, it’s impossible to disconnect the West’s support for Israel and our governments’ apparent blindness to Israeli human rights abuses and also to the massive theft of land for settlements, the discrimination meted out to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel, from issues like control of the Middle East and its oil, racism and anti-Islamism, and global hatred and hostility which feed religious fundamentalism – Christian and Jewish as well as Islamic.”

Obviously, this article byIrving calls into question the reliability of this particular Bradt travel guide as far as genuine tourists are concerned but it also prompts one to wonder if their previous publications also cater exclusively to the terror-chic market.

That the Guardian’s travel editor apparently saw nothing unprofessional in publishing an article and promoting so blatantly faulted a book by a terrorist-supporting writer indicates that readers need to regard its travel recommendations with considerable caution.

(h/t Infinity)

The Guardian and Brian: The end of the affair

This was written by Brian Goldfarb and cross posted at the blog, Simply Jews 

The heading is not meant as a reference to the Graham Greene novel, just a useful, jokey title. Anyway, Snoopy urged me to write this, so here goes!

Back in 2006, on the last day of a great holiday in Canada, I read an article in a Canadian paper. It was an article by Timothy Garton Ash, writer and commentator, entitled “The Place of Europe in the Rise of antisemitism in the 20th Century.”

The article was interesting, but that’s not what this is all about.

Arriving back home, I found out, via the Engage online website, that The Guardian (which also printed the original article) had illustrated the letters responding to Garton Ash with a “pocket cartoon” size map of western Europe overlaid with a Star of David. 

Not surprisingly, I tackled the paper about this, and before long found myself in an email exchange with the Letters Editor. Their starting position was that the letters weren’t just about the actual subject matter of the original article, but widened the area to include “Europe’s role in the rise of Zionism…” Given The Guardian’s take on the middle east, I supposed I shouldn’t have been surprised that (a) the readers wrote letters off the topic but on their favourite subject, and (b) the Letters Editor would print them.

Despite this, I soldiered on, arguing that their use of the Magen David echoed the New Statesman’s “A Kosher Conspiracy?” cover (a Magen David piercing a Union Flag – bet they wouldn’t have dared shown a red crescent moon piercing the same flag, heading it “An Islamist Conspiracy?”) and The Independent’s Stars and Stripes, with the stars replaced with 50 Magen Davids, which was how I’d perceived the illustration in the first place: as, frankly, an allusion to the “Lobby”. To my lack of astonishment (although I was hopeful for a different response), this line or reasoning wasn’t accepted.

The focus switched to the Readers’ Editor, one (at the time) Ian Mayes. Unsurprisingly, he, too, failed to take my arguments on board. He even argued that the paper’s intent was benign and carried an innocent meaning, so that was alright.

Then I brought out what I expected to be my heaviest weapon: logic and intellectual argument. I should have known better. I argued that, as a sociologist, I knew very well that the meaning people attached to the symbols that they used, the words that they used and the evidence they deployed in an (intellectual) argument could well have other meanings than those they intended; I suggested, quite strongly, that this was the case here, with the Magen David on the map of western Europe. I, of course, reiterated that my initial reaction had been as stated before: it was a coded reference to “The Lobby”. His response was that (implicitly allowing that mine was a possible, if in his view an unlikely, one) as they (the paper) hadn’t meant it like that, so that was alright.

It was at this point, after something like a month or more, I emailed back to say that we had just become ex-Guardian readers. Ian Mayes response was to regret our leaving them. I couldn’t resist the obvious counter, to which he failed to reply, that far from it, The Guardian had left me. It was no longer the genuinely liberal paper I had first started reading 40 years earlier.

You know something?

I don’t miss it one little bit, and every time I log onto CiF Watch, I know why I don’t miss it.

+972’s Joseph Dana successfully freed himself from the “Zionist Indoctrination Program” (Updated)

I’m sad to say that, like most Jews who were once enrolled in the “Zionist Indoctrination Program” (ZIP), I have no recollection of the sessions.  

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of ZIP is that it evidently includes a memory erasing procedure which renders the subject unable to recall even a broad outline of what the experience was like.  

I mention this in the context of an event last night, sponsored by the Palestine Society of the University of London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), called “Palestine: Resistance and Occupation”, which included Joseph Dana, an anti-Israel blogger for +972 Magazine.

Dana characterizes himself as an American Israeli Jew who was brought up in America in a Zionist Indoctrination Programme but who was able to free himself.

Per Richard Millet:

After completing a degree in Israel, also in Jewish history, [Dana] found that the “predominant nationalist rhetoric in Israel was at odds with the secular Judaism” he was trying to explore, specifically the idea of “life on the periphery, marginality and dispossesion”.

Instead, he said, he opened up to the Palestinian narrative and started to visit the West Bank and “observed the protests around the wall and settler violence”. To deal with the “emotional discharge” he started his blog.

He now lives and works in Ramallah reporting and tweeting full-time on the protests.

Of course there is no “predominant nationalist rhetoric” in Ramallah where they name streets after suicide bombers, where children are taught in school to hate Israel and where two Israeli soldiers were lynched, but Dana obviously feels more comfortable there than in Israel for some mystifying reason.

In the Q&A Dana was asked whether Zionism is “the work of the devil

So, Dana, the secular Jew, evidently nonplussed by such a pathological query predicated on the most intolerant, and religiously extreme, understanding of the world, answered as follows:

Dana, unlike me and countless other wretched souls, was able to free himself from Zionist Indoctrination Program, and develop his Jewish identity in an evidently philosemitic Palestinian culture which, to the untrained (ZIP graduate) eye, only seems pathologically antisemitic

Palestinian "Judeophiles" lynch Israeli Jews

When asked by Richard Millett about the Hamas charter which calls for the killing of Jews, and cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world, Dana responded:

“Almost everything we can accuse Hamas of we can find the equal and sometimes worse situation inside of Israel.”

So, in summary, in the world according to +972’s Joseph Dana, a true free-thinker and liberal multiculturalist, unburden by the malevolent Zionist grip:

Most Jews are victims of a stealth community re-education program to indoctrinate them with Zionist values.

Palestinian culture is uniquely hospitable to those seeking to develop their Jewish identity.

Hamas Islamist ideology is morally equivalent, or superior, to Jewish nationalism. 

In fairness, though, the sober, thoughtful Dana is not yet prepared to characterize Zionism as “the work of the devil”.

UPDATE on Nov. 20: Dana questioned the veracity of Millett’s account of his answer about Hamas, during the Q&A at the SOAS event, (during a Twitter exchange today) so, here is a link to the audio proving the accuracy of Millett’s post.)