CiF commenter suggests Tony Blair should be killed: 68 ‘Recommends’ & NOT deleted by CiF Moderators

One of CiF Watch’s signature posts is “Why was this deleted” and, alternately, “Why wasn’t this deleted”?

We spend quite a bit of time monitoring comments beneath the line at ‘Comment is Free’ observing what precisely runs afoul of their “community standards”, and have documented scores of examples of pro-Israel comments being deleted, while some of the most hateful anti-Zionist vitriol remains.

Beyond the narrow issue of deleted comments, however, there are some commenters whose apostasy has rendered them in a state of pre-moderation – where CiF Moderators review, and then release, on a case by case basis, only those comments deemed acceptable.

The last strike for unruly CiF commenters is to have their user privileges permanently suspended due to an especially egregious violation, or pattern of violations, of their norms.

We recently documented two cases in which such a ban was employed – one commenter for merely questioning whether an essay by Sunny Hundal was consistent with Guardian editorial guidelines, and another for simply asking CiF Moderators why his/her comments, noting the Islamist (pro-Muslim Brotherhood) sympathies of CiF contributor, Wajahat Ali, were being deleted.

While the latter example seemingly demonstrates that the Guardian is not about to have their consistent licensing of pro-Islamist voices – who espouse views they evidently deem consistent with “liberal” thought – questioned, the former suggests an institution which is, at the very least, remarkably thin-skinned.

In light of this propensity by CiF Moderators to ban users for content they deem offensive, the following comment, beneath the line of s CiF essay on Dec. 22, “Iraq must divide to survive“, which  has not been deleted, nor resulted in the commenter being banned, is especially curious.

Is there any question this commenter is referring to Tony Blair?  And, further, is there any doubt that the commenter using the moniker “ChanceyGardener” is suggesting that Blair be killed?

Here are a few CiF standards, from their ‘Community standards and guidelinespage, which would seem relevant when assessing comments calling for murder:

We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening.

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. 

…we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others.

So, the suggestion that a former British Prime Minister should be executed: “divisive”, “threatening”, or “toxic”?

You think?! 

Richard Silverstein Gullibility Watch: The anti-Zionist “journalist” gets fooled again.

For those unfamiliar with Richard Silverstein, he’s a commentator and blogger who claims to be a Zionist, and promoter of “social justice”, yet has expressed support for a one-state solution, repeatedly defended Hamas, has described the behavior of IDF soldiers as “bestial” and subhuman“, and has even likened Israel to Nazi Germany.

And, while the work of this blog exposing his hateful rhetoric may have been partially responsible for his absence, since Dec. 2009, as a contributor at ‘Comment is Free’ (a possibility he openly acknowledged on his blog), his notoriety strangely hasn’t prevented him from being taken seriously as a “journalist” by other media outlets.

He has carved out a niche for himself as the blogger willing to expose evidence regarding even the most sensitive American and Israeli state secrets, without regard the national security costs to either state.

More concerning however has been Silverstein’s tendency to publish such information without adequately corroborating the story. 

Yossi Melman, a well-connected security and intelligence reporter for Haaretz, said of Silverstein:

“He spreads rumors without checking them.  He is an ideologue, not a journalist.”

Per a profile of Silverstein in the Jewish Forward:

In December 2010, he identified an unknown person who died in an Israeli prison, where he was referred to as “prisoner X,” as Ali Reza Asgari, Iran’s former deputy defense minister who disappeared a few years earlier and was presumed to have defected to the West. “Through a confidential Israeli source, I have exposed his identity,” Silverstein told his readers, adding that his information “would seem to give the lie to the claim of defection.” The publication led to an Iranian demand that the United Nations investigate Asgari’s alleged abduction by Israel. Despite the time that has passed, no information substantiating Silverstein’s claim has surfaced.

“He created a mini-crisis between Israel and Iran, which is a totally irresponsible thing to do,” said Melman, the Haaretz intelligence reporter. Melman said that he told Silverstein that the information regarding Asgari was wrong, but this did not prevent the blogger from running the story.

Further, Silverstein even believed, and posted about, an obvious faux-story published on the Jewish Holiday of Purim – when Israeli news sites often post nonsensical stories in line with the jovial nature of the day – from Ha’aretz, in which it was “reported” that the Israeli government was set to approve sponsorship adverts on the Western Wall.

The Ha’aretz satirical story included this:

The cabinet is set to approve a plan that would allow for sponsorship messages to be beamed onto the Western Wall, sources in the Prime Minister’s Office told Haaretz Saturday.

If the law is passed by the Knesset, any company will be able to project the image, logo or slogan of its choice on the ancient stones, for a price.

The proposal, drawn up by MK Mordechai Hidud, will take advantage of technology being developed by Kfar Sava-based start-up Kotelad. The company – the brainchild of U.S.-born Joe King – has come up with an innovative laser projector capable of beaming high-quality images onto walls, domes, minarets and steeples.

“After thousands of years of just being there, the Western Wall will finally be able to fulfill its commercial potential,” King said. “The religious and spiritual center of the Jewish people should reflect Jewish heritage – and thus be dedicated to bringing in a healthy profit.”

The Western Wall Heritage Center plans to open an ad sales division, and sell wall space on a per-stone basis. Prices are expected to be upward of NIS 1,000 per stone per day. When no advertising is running, the wall will have the message “What are you waiting for? The Third Temple? Advertise now!” [emphasis mine]

The Ha’aretz parody even concluded with “Happy Purim from Haaretz!”

Undeterred, Silverstein reported it as fact, contextualizing the story as further evidence of a corrupt, greedy Israeli society.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

After finding out about his mistake, Silverstein took down the post, but not without offering a bizarre excuse that he understood it was a Purim joke halfway through writing his post, but “accidentally” hit the “publish” button instead “delete”.

More recently, our friend Aussie Dave, of the blog Israellycool, published the following:

Wednesday evening [Dec. 28] Seattle time…Richard Silverstein went to bed a content man, having just revealed my real name and identity to the world.  

On Thursday morning Seattle time…Richard Silverstein woke up, perhaps brushed his teeth, and learned after going online that he was a laughing-stock. The blogger, who is regularly cited by mainstream publications as a source of secret information about Israel, had been taken in by a couple of mails from an “anonymous source”, an obviously fake Facebook profile, and his desire to do me harm.

 In his post…Richard Silverstein [purported to] expose my real identity, including my address, potentially placing my entire family at risk.

Continues Aussie Dave:

Silverstein’s post is the result of a trap I set to expose him as the unreliable, nasty amateur that he is.

For years, I have been posting about his hatred for Israel and nastiness, which makes a mockery of his blog’s name Tikkun Olam (“Repairing the World”). Recently, he was cited by the mainstream media, due to his posts blaming Israel and the Mossad for explosions in Iran and Lebanon, as well as for leaking online some FBI surveillance transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Although I have demonstrated on numerous occasions the inaccuracies in his posts, I knew I had to step things up a notch to really show how unreliable and careless with the facts he is.

So I set a trap. I asked a friend of the blog to approach Silverstein with “proof” of my real identity, knowing how much he wanted to reveal it to the world.

Aussie Dave continues:

David Loeb is a fake name. The photo in the Facebook profile I set up is of basketball [player] Jordan Farmar, who was in the news in Israel for playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv. I used his photo deliberately since anyone who claims to be knowledgable on the goings on in Israel would know this, yet using it would not necessarily expose the account as being fake. I knew if Silverstein thought the photo was really of me, it would expose the level of his ignorance.

I included in the profile my supposed address (Beit Shemesh was a great choice given how much it has been in the news), as well as the URL of this blog to connect David Loeb to it.

With the trap set, I asked a friend of this blog to send a mail to Silverstein with “proof” of my identity. 

Despite never having met [my friend] before, Silverstein eagerly took the bait, although promising to do “more research” (something he clearly never did).

[Silverstein] went right ahead and supposedly exposed me:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Aussie Dave concludes:

So to summarize what we have here:

  • Despite claiming to want to “repair the world”, Silverstein reveals what he thinks is my name and address, potentially placing my safety and the safety of my family at risk 
  • Silverstein posts this on the basis of an anonymous source he knows nothing about, and a Facebook Profile with my URL and one friend!

I hope this post serves as a warning to all of those who rely on Richard Silverstein as a valid source of information, and place trust in his theories and “anonymous sources.” I hope it also demonstrates to you how he has no compunctions about potentially endangering the life of a fellow Jew, despite his claims of wanting to serve mankind.

This post is ultimately about a blogger who is regularly cited by mainstream publications as a source of secret information about Israel, yet is so gullible and unscrupulous that he got taken in by a couple of emails and an obviously fake Facebook profile. With this in mind, here are some examples of MSM outlets and noteworthy publications that have either relied on Silverstein or otherwise quoted him.

See the latest updates at Israellycool on how Silverstein responded to being so thoroughly duped. 

Medical Misdirection in The Guardian

This was published at HonestReporting by Simon Plosker

As NGO Monitor has extensively detailed, Physicians For Human Rights (Israel) has a radical political agenda far removed from simple medical matters. It’s therefore no surprise that the organization provides the main body of an article in The Guardian that claims:

“Palestinian patients and business people hoping to leave the Gaza Strip are being asked to collaborate with Israel in exchange for an exit permit”.

According to PHR:

172 people, mostly men aged 18 to 40, were called for interrogation by the Shabak, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, last month. Some who attended interviews were granted exit permits.

Putting this figure into perspective, in August 2011 alone, 1522 permits were granted for medical treatment to residents of Gaza (762 patients and 760 for accompanying individuals). In one week in December 2011, 330 patients and accompanying individuals crossed into Israel and the West Bank via the Erez Crossing.

Not to mention that there is nothing to stop Gazans from crossing into Egypt for medical treatment. After all, Israel is under no obligation other than humanitarian concerns, to treat Gazans in Israeli hospitals where Jews and Arabs are treated equally by both Jewish and Arab medical staff based solely on medical and not political concerns.

Israel’s security services would not be doing their jobs properly if extreme caution was not exercised in giving out permits to Gazan patients. While The Guardian is happy to publish a story accusing Israel of abusing the right to healthcare, it would do well to remember the real abuse of medical permits.

For example, Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss (recently released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner deal) was caught attempting to smuggle a suicide bomb belt through Erez taking advantage of her medical permit for hospital treatment at Soroka Hospital in Israel. Indeed, Wafa actually intended to blow herself up in the very hospital that had given her treatment.

Al-Biss caught at the Erez Crossing

The MFA details other examples of Palestinians abusing the medical permit system.

Nobody said that the task of accumulating human intelligence from Gaza is a pleasant business. It is, however, necessary. That this story appears in The Guardian courtesy of PHR-I is merely the result of the unholy and symbiotic relationship between anti-Israel journalists and anti-Israel NGOs.

Thankfully, for every story such as this one, there are many more such as that of Israeli doctors saving the life of a Palestinian baby thanks to open-heart surgery – just the sort of news that you won’t ever see in The Guardian.

To the women of Gaza: You’ve come a long way, baby!

“You’ve come a long way, baby” was an album by British musician Fatboy Slim, released in 1998.

The title was taken was from a slogan for the cigarette brand Virginia Slims, introduced in 1968 and marketed to young professional women and meant to appeal to the themes of feminism and women’s liberation in the 60s and 70s. The ads often featured anecdotes about women in the early 20th century who were punished for being caught smoking, as compared to the time of the ads when more women had more rights.

The Virginia Slims ad came to mind when I came across a brief story from the Malta Times, titled “Fresh Graduates”, which featured this photo from Gaza.

The photo included the following text:

Palestinian women and members of Hamas security forces marching in formation during a graduation ceremony for new recruits in Gaza City, yesterday.

So, I then began imagining a new Virginia Slims ad to appeal to the unique brand of Palestinian Islamist feminism:

I mean, really, who needs such bourgeoisie women’s rights as the freedom to dress as they please, or legal protection from forced underage marriages, wife-beating and honor killings, when you can enjoy the more sublime freedom of marching in a military drill with automatic weapons, while receiving the most up to date training on how best to defeat the Zionist entity?

(Editor’s Note: In 2010 Hamas banned women from smoking water pipes, so the Virginia Slims campaign may have to be tweaked a bit before going into production so as not to run afoul of of Gaza’s “community standards”.)

The Guardian’s Phoebe Greenwood gambles with Palestinian lives.

About 90 minutes before the Guardian put up Phoebe Greenwood’s latest screed on its ‘World News – Gaza’ section on December 28th another barrage of Kassam rockets rudely awoke the sleeping Israeli civilians living in the region surrounding the Gaza Strip. Eight hours later, a second barrage targeted the same area, endangering children setting out to school at that time and bringing the total number of rockets fired from Gaza this month alone to 46 and this year to 682.

Predictably however, dedicated follower of fashion Phoebe Greenwood deftly airbrushed out the decade-long ongoing war crimes against Israeli civilians by the plethora of terror organisations based in Gaza, ignoring the rockets completely and suggesting that suicide bombings are a thing of the past. Her story concentrates purely on hearsay accounts of Palestinian suffering as recounted to her by a representative of a politically motivated NGO and fails even to afford the accused the right of reply.

There is, of course, nothing surprising about that. Greenwood’s polemic would be considerably less effective both as a tear-jerker for Western audiences and a public relations exercise for PHR were she to provide her readers with the context of the challenges of providing humanitarian assistance to the population of a region in which terrorists trying to infiltrate Israel’s borders mingle indistinguishably with civilians and have a history of exploiting  medical permits to facilitate attacks.  

Equally, her objective would not have been served by detailing the process by which patients from Gaza are permitted to enter Israel in order to receive medical treatment – a process in which the Palestinian Authority also takes part.

The website of CoGAT includes information which clearly outlines the criteria for entry to Israel from Gaza for various reasons. On the subject of patients seeking medical care in Israel the guidelines are as follows:

“Medical Treatment- Entry to Israel for the purpose of medical treatment is permitted, as well as for the purpose of passage to Judea & Samaria or abroad [for medical reasons], in accordance with requests from the Palestinian Health Co-ordinator who works within the framework of the Palestinian Civilian Committee and is responsible for the prioritisation of requests, categorisation of their urgency and their referral to the [Israeli] Office of Co-ordination and Communication in order to facilitate the reception of life-saving medical treatment or medical treatment essential for the preservation of quality of life, all on condition that the required treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip.

It is to be stressed that payment for the medical care is transferred from the Palestinian Authority directly to the hospitals in Israel and therefore the Palestinian Authority demands that its permission for the patient’s entry into Israel for treatment is issued in advance. (In many cases the Palestinian Authority prefers to take care of a patient in the Gaza Strip or PA-controlled areas of Judea & Samaria due to the high costs of treatment in Israel). “

With regard to entry to Israel from the Gaza Strip for business purposes, the CoGAT guidelines are as follows:

Entry of merchants and business people – The entry of 70 merchants per day (to Israel, Judea & Samaria and abroad) is permitted. The entry is subject to a request from the Palestinian Civilian Committee and to the applicant being a high-level trader whose entry to Israel would contribute to economic improvement in the Gaza Strip and who deals in the trade of goods permitted for entry into Gaza at the time of the request. 

In other words, it is entirely possible that the reasons for the two cases of refused entry into Israel which Greenwood cites in her article may be a lot more complicated than her default ‘Israel behaving badly’ pastiche would have us believe. It could well be that Ahmad Hamada did not receive the prior consent of the Palestinian Authority to pay for his treatment or that the Palestinian Civilian Committee did not consider his case untreatable in Gaza. It could be that the Palestinian Civilian Committee did not consider Ramez Kaloub to meet the required entry criteria or that either or both men have some sort of security issues on their record.

We will likely never know the full background to these stories because Greenwood did not apparently bother to contact either the Palestinian Civilian Committee or CoGAT as any investigative reporter worth the title would have done. Instead, she merely reproduced second-hand hearsay fed to her by a very interested party: one of many who seem to think that passage from the terrorist-run enclave of the Gaza Strip should be as unrestricted as the crossing of the border between Belgium and France, despite the clear danger that would present to Israeli civilians.

Beyond the shoddy workmanship there is, however, a more sinister side to Greenwood’s self-interested rant. As she casually mentions in passing (apparently seeing no reason to distract her readers by elaborating), “[i]t is Hamas policy to execute collaborators”.  Those executions of course take place in vigilante fashion, without anything resembling a fair trial or due judicial process.

Greenwood’s thoughtless parroting of PHR’s unproven claim to the effect that Gaza Strip residents who agree to become collaborators are more likely to get permission to travel to Israel is therefore potentially lethal and highly irresponsible.

Every year thousands of Palestinians from Gaza and PA-controlled areas find themselves in need of Israeli medical care as anyone who has ever spent time in an Israeli hospital knows. According to the latest figures from CoGAT, 35,000 Palestinians travelled from the Gaza Strip into Israel during 2011. 20,000 of those made the crossing for medical reasons. The other 15,000 entered Israel for reasons of business, sport, art or religion. That’s almost a hundred people a day and does not include Palestinians entering Israel from the PA controlled areas of Judea & Samaria. Almost half of the operations performed every year by the Israeli charity ‘Save a Child’s Heart are on Palestinian children. Palestinian doctors travel to Israel for conferences , conventions and seminars vital to their professional development.

The attempt by a politically motivated NGO in collaboration with an equally politically motivated journalist to suggest that these thousands of patients and other travelers are potentially traitors to their own people is despicable and calls into question both the ‘humanitarian’ credentials of PHR and the ethics of a journalist willing to endanger the lives of others for the sake of a story which fits her personal agenda and that of the paper for which she writes.

It may seem as though it would be difficult for either PHR or Phoebe Greenwood to sink much lower, but with her obvious willingness to gamble with the fate both of Palestinians in need of medical treatment in Israel and Israelis at risk from terrorists seeking to enter Israel under the premise of medical or business visits, Greenwood is clearly capable of plumbing every and any depth, just as long as her story portrays Israel in a bad light.

That, of course, makes her a propagandist rather than a journalist: a fact perhaps recognized by whichever Guardian editor decided that this article would be better without comments and corrections from the public at large.

Update: the figures at the head of this article are no longer accurate due to the fact that whilst it was being written another rocket from Gaza exploded near a rural community in Southern Israel at the time when local children were arriving home from school.

Hamas, Harriet Sherwood and the Guardian Left’s continuing antisemitic sins of omission

In reading the Guardian daily, I’m still often struck by the enormous moral blind spot which seemingly progressive commentators possess when it comes to undeniable evidence of Palestinian hate, intolerance and malice.

No doubt, journalists like Harriet Sherwood and Phoebe Greenwood have no personal animosity towards Jews as such, likely have Jewish friends, and avoid engaging in explicit expressions of antisemitism in their personal lives.

Such souls likely react with requisite horror when reading or viewing films about Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust.  They may even sincerely wonder how Germans could have been so cruel, so blinded by hate and a murderous ideology which viewed Jews as subhuman, and whose mere presence was a threat to human civilization which had to be eradicated.  

They similarly may ask why the world was silent.

How then to understand the seeming lack of corresponding shock and outrage towards modern manifestations of such explicit Jew hatred in the Arab and Muslim world?

Sherwood’s latest, “Israel will launch significant Gaza offensive sooner or later, Dec. 28, isn’t, by any measure, the most egregious example of the Jerusalem correspondent’s bias against the Jewish state, nor the most sympathetic portrayal of Hamas her paper has ever published, but the report’s credulousness in the face of Islamist group’s narrative is still a polemical inversion worthy of scrutiny.

Sherwood begins:

A new Israeli military offensive against Gaza will be launched “sooner or later” and will be “swift and painful”, Israel‘s most senior military officer has warned.

“Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation,” he said. “The IDF knows how to operate in a determined, decisive and offensive manner against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

Then, Sherwood connects Gantz’s belligerence with a recent IDF operation.

Within hours of Gantz’s comments, the Israeli military launched two airstrikes on targets in Gaza, killing one person and injuring around 10, according to local reports.

Though Sherwood includes IDF “claims” that the hits were on two “terrorist squads with global jihad associations” and that “one of the targets was a cell en route to Sinai with the intention of launching an attack on Israel from Egypt”, the Israeli aggression is then contrasted with Hamas’ evident moderation:

Since the end of the Gaza war in January 2009, Hamas has attempted to enforce a ceasefire among militant groups, although sporadic rocket fire has continued. Israel holds Hamas, as the de facto government, responsible for all rocket fire emanating from Gaza. [emphasis mine]

First, the degree to which Hamas has “attempted to enforce a ceasefire” is clearly only motivated by the terrorist groups’ fear of further IDF action. That is, per Gantz, the 2008-09 Gaza war, which was the focus of such obsessively critical Guardian coverage, actually achieved a good deal of its objective – deterring Hamas.

Second, a good deal of the rocket fire has been launched by Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which is funded and supported directly by Hamas.  Think of PRC as Hamas’ terrorist subcontractor.

Further, Sherwood’s characterization of the subsequent rocket fire as sporadic (as AKUS pointed out the last time Sherwood used the term) has absolutely no relation to reality. As our Gaza rocket counter notes, there have been 47 rocket attacks from Gaza in December alone, and 683 for all of 2011.

What country on earth would consider a 683 enemy rocket attacks into its territory, by an enemy committed to its destruction, “sporadic”?

Sherwood’s credulousness as to the claim of Hamas’ benign intentions continues:

There have been suggestions in recent weeks that Hamas is ready to distance itself further from attacks on Israel as part of its reconciliation process with its rival faction Fatah.

“They have accepted popular [non-violent] resistance,” senior Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyer said, adding that Hamas would stop “these fireworks” being launched.

The “fireworks” the Fatah official speaks of have killed 44 Israelis (and injured 1,687) since 2006, according to IDF figures.

Sherwood adds:

However, Hamas officials have also said they reserve the right to self-defence and the prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, pledged to continue “resistance” at a public rally this month.

Of course, the group’s understanding of the term “self-defence” can accurately be understood by viewing the following clip from Al Aqsa TV, on Dec. 14 (during a rally celebrating Hamas’s 24th anniversary).

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh:

We say today, explicitly, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.

This is the same Hamas of course which Tweeted the following on their anniversary:

None of this should surprise anyone who has bothered to read Hamas’s founding charter, which includes the following:

  • Article 13: “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except Jihad. Regarding the international initiatives, suggestions and conferences, they are an empty waste of time and complete nonsense.”
  • Preamble: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
  • Article 7: “The day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.”

It’s challenging at times to continually think of new and more effective ways to reach those who still remain unconvinced of Hamas’ open malevolence towards Jews, and not merely Israelis.

I’m challenged not by the availability of evidence as to the immutably antisemitic nature of Hamas (and related Islamist terror movements) which, in the age of the internet, is abundant – but, rather, by the seemingly limitless capacity of leftist ideologues like Sherwood to deny, or at least ignore, even the most irrefutable evidence of the group’s homicidal intent.

During the Holocaust, before the age of mass communication, decent people could reasonably argue that they didn’t fully understand Nazi ideology, lacked a complete picture of the regime’s genocidal aims, or were otherwise ignorant as to the scope of, and danger caused by, such unimaginable hatred.

However, nobody today with access to the internet can possibly plead ignorance and pretend not to understand that Islamist ideology represents the central address of annihilationist antisemitism in the modern era.

As with the masses of “ordinary men” who turned a blind eye to Nazism, those who today, for whatever reason, fail to resist, or even deny, such insatiable and consuming Jew hatred in the Islamic world (whatever its ultimate result) will similarly not be judged kindly in generations to come.

Applying Deborah Orr’s moral arithmetic to assess the value of ‘chosen’ Jewish apartments

A guest post by AKUS

Israel should never underestimate the guile of the Palestinians and the cunning they exhibit in laying Israel open to new charges of racism.  Their latest effort is worthy of Deborah Orr herself who first claimed to know the racist motives behind Israel’s agreeing to swap one thousand Arab prisoners for Gilad Shalit.

Ever since President Obama made his way to Cairo and torpedoed the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and a good deal more in the Middle East with his outreach speech, the Palestinians have had one immutable demand that they insisted must be met before peace talks could resume. 

This demand was a “red line” that would never be crossed. It was no less than a “sacred issue”: A precondition that, if not met, would mean that no Palestinian leader would ever sit down at the negotiating table with an Israeli leader; A demand  that caused the world to condemn Israel from the halls of the UN to the Parliament of Iceland for its  blind obduracy, deliberate obfuscation, typical Jewish intransigence and Talmudic standing on meaningless principles.

I refer, of course, to the Palestinian refusal to negotiate with Israel unless it agreed to never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, build a single apartment on the holy ground of the non-existent state of “Palestine”. A precondition to resumption of talks that those stiff-necked Israelis absolutely refused to accept.  The result, to the immense satisfaction of the Palestinians, was accusations from Washington to Wellington that Israel was preventing peace from breaking out.

Remember the cries of racism that accompanied Israel’s unwilling agreement to exchange 1,024 Arab prisoners for one Jewish prisoner? Any other nation, it was hinted, would have insisted on parity. One prisoner for one prisoner. Nothing, Deborah Orr made clear in the Guardian, showed the “obscene”, racist nature of Israeli society more clearly than its belief that “the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbours”.

Imagine my shock when reading that the Palestinians have come up with an even more diabolical scheme than agreeing to accept 1,000 prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier.

The Palestinians are now willing (apparently) to stop fussing about Israeli building apartments (which would only take place in a few years for the most part from what I understand) in exchange for freeing 100 prisoners. They are willing to cross the “red line”, surrender a few “sacred grains of sand”, drop their immutable precondition. Yes, they now say – “Israel can build apartments in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and then we will resume negotiations”

So now we have to apply Orr’s math to this new offer to understand its impact. The world – or at least the Guardian and its pro-Palestinian readership – will be asking:

How many Palestinian prisoners are equivalent to one Jewish apartment in the eyes of the racist Zionist entity?

Let’s say Israel has plans for 10,000 apartments on the books. Let’s imagine that Israel would agree to release 100 prisoners as the Palestinians demand.  That might be a ratio that is not too damning to Israel – 1 Palestinian equals 100 apartments. The world might even approve.

But of course we all know that Israel has the PR sensitivity of a bull in a china shop. Suppose Israel thinks it would be a well-received PR move to make a goodwill gesture to its Palestinian neighbors that would satisfy the Quartet, Obama, Hillary, Leon Panetta, the UN and everyone else by going beyond what the Palestinians have asked for. Typically unaware of the PR disaster awaiting it, suppose Israel proposes to raise the ratio to 1:1 and offers to release 1,000 prisoners, not 100,  in exchange for 1,000 apartments, not 10,000? What if Israel also refuses to build any more apartments till the Palestinians agree it can release more prisoners?

Does that mean people like Deborah Orr could claim that the “chosen” think that one Arab life is only worth one Israeli apartment, not 100 apartments? Would the Arabs then refuse to accept their own offer as a shameful slight to their honor?

Where does the Palestinian proposal leave the USA and the Quartet? After all, they blindly bought into the belief that it was those apartments that were the reason the Palestinians could not and would not return to negotiations. Doesn’t the new offer make them look just a little foolish?

President Sadat famously counseled that one should learn the rules of the oriental bazaar before venturing into the arena of Middle Eastern bazaar diplomacy. Will this sudden volte face by the Palestinians do anything to teach the Obama administration and the Europeans how poorly they understand the high-stakes world of Middle East diplomacy and that they should leave the bargaining to the experts on the ground?

Denis MacEeoin’s letter to Archbishop Vincent Nichols, on his criticism of Israel during Christmas sermon

This letter is published with the permission of Denis MacEeoin (editor of Middle East Quarterlyand is a reply to Rev. Nichols’ Christmas sermon which singled out Israel for criticism. 

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols DD

Your Grace,

I hope you will forgive my writing at such a busy time of year, but I have a serious concern that will not wait for expression. I am not a Catholic, but my concern is, in the main, not about your religion, but your politics. To introduce myself briefly, I am a writer and a former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies with a serious interest in Iran and the Middle East in general. Late on Christmas Day my attention was drawn to your Midnight Mass homily. When I found a copy online, I found it well expressed and diligent in its portrayal of the mysteries you set out to expound. But since I am not a religious man, I can make no better comment on the homily and its religious content. It would be inexpressively arrogant of me to challenge you on any of that, nor did I feel compelled to do so.

As you may already have surmised, my problem lies with your departure into political matters in a manner that, I believe, exposes you to real and spontaneous criticism. You wrote a short introduction to this theme in words I find no fault with, but for which I had heartfelt agreement:

‘We are to see clearly the reality of the world around us. As we look at the real circumstances of Christ’s birth so too we look with fresh eyes on the anxieties and insecurity which touch many peoples’ lives. We are to be freshly attentive to the needs of those who, like Jesus himself, are displaced and in discomfort. We are to see more clearly all those things which disfigure our world, the presence of the sins of greed and arrogance, of self-centred ambition and manipulation of others, of the brutal lack of respect for human life in all its vulnerability. While recognizing how complex moral dilemmas can become, we are to name these things for what they are. We too live “in a land of deep shadow”.’

Just last week, I watched a three-part television adaptation of the Nativity story. You may have seen it yourself. It was dramatically balanced, presenting both the religious narrative and the harsh realities of life in first century Judaea: Mary’s fear of being stoned, Joseph’s anxiety about his attachment to a sixteen-year-old girl who has fallen mysteriously pregnant, Herod’s fear of the Romans, the shepherds’ distress under Herod’s rule, and much else. Your connection of the Nativity to contemporary suffering is perfectly balanced; but your later application of that principle leaves much to be desired, almost certainly as a result of your ignorance of the realities of life in the West Bank. Such ignorance is widespread, so I do not single you out for sharing in it. But your calling and stature make it vital for you to get something like this right, otherwise your words will pass on shadows of that ignorance to all who hear and read you and will darken the minds of another generation.

You say that ‘We too live “in a land of deep shadow”,’ and I don’t doubt the veracity of it. What you mean exactly by ‘a land’ is neither here nor there, since most of the world is in some kind of darkness and has always been so. It is the curse of the human race. We are in agreement. But in a moment we are not. You continue by saying:

‘That shadow falls particularly heavily on the town of Bethlehem tonight. At this moment the people of the parish of Beit Jala prepare for their legal battle to protect their land and homes from further expropriation by Israel. Over 50 families face losing their land and their homes as action is taken to complete the separation/security wall across the territory of the district of Bethlehem. We pray for them tonight.’

‘Particularly heavily’?

Can you in all sincerity say that your singling out of events in Beit Jala merits that use of  ‘particularly’? A difficult and misunderstood situation for some people becomes a paradigm for the shadow enveloping mankind?

Of all the people in the world, you single out 50 Christian families in Beit Jala and expect those who hear you to recoil, cut to the heart by the horrors of that situation. You speak as if the world had no greater shadow to offer. Thousands have died and are dying in neighbouring Syria, but that gets no mention from you.

An entire population is repressed and religious minorities are persecuted in Iran and you say nothing. Muslims who convert to Christianity in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere are put to death, yet you are silent.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians are killed and persecuted and their churches are destroyed, yet you cannot find a sentence in which to condemn it.

Christians are not allowed to possess Bibles or to worship or seek converts in Saudi Arabia, yet your voice is not raised.

Christians are murdered and their churches burned to the ground in Nigeria, but I do not hear your voice.

Yet Muslims are free to worship, open schools, have their own courts, and missionize in every Western country, yet you do not point out the anomaly.

Instead, it is the predictable condemnation of one of the world’s most democratic, liberal, and tolerant states that occupies your thoughts. You speak of a ‘separation/security wall’ without irony. Overall, this barrier is not a wall, it is a fence: it will be about 500 miles long when finished, and only about 3 percent of it will be a wall or is a wall now. There are very cogent reasons why some sections are built from concrete and are very high, unlike the rest, which is primarily chain-link fence. When the second intifada erupted in 2000, gunmen belonging to Fatah Tanzim squads went into mainly Christian houses in Beit Jala and used them as strategic points from which to fire into the Jewish civilian enclave of Gilo, a mere 800 meters away. They fired at first with Kalashnikovs and stolen M16s, then with heavy machine guns. The battles fought in Beit Jala, together with the return fire the Fatah shooting provoked, caused great difficulties for the Christians of the town, who wanted to stay apart from the Muslim-centred violence, whereas the Muslims of the Tanzim wanted to attract return fire into Christian properties. Not surprisingly, the Christian residents tried to force these terrorists (many of whom were from outside Beit Jala) outside their homes. In retaliation, the gunmen beat Christians badly. Christian women were harassed by Muslim men from a nearby village, Beit Awwad.

That violence was spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Hundreds were killed by terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, and hundreds more on the Arab side when Israeli troops fired back. It was the second intifada, on top of thousands of similar incidents since 1948, that impelled the Israelis to take hard action against those who wanted to kill them, to attack them specifically as Jews, and to wipe them out or expel them entirely from the Holy Land. Building the barrier was and is harsh to many who live in the West Bank, but it has cut terrorist attacks by over ninety percent. That is an achievement that must be taken into consideration before any condemnation of the wall or the fence. It was never the Israelis who started the violence, nor do they seek to continue it.

Tragically, the barrier did not prevent a hideous massacre in March of this year, when two Palestinian youths entered the Jewish settlement of Itamar, not very many miles from Bethlehem. They took knives and murdered five members of the same family in their sleep, including a five-month-old girl, whom they decapitated. The bodies of her mother, father, two younger brothers and baby sister were found by twelve-year Tamar Fogel, when she stumbled on a scene of such carnage that I flinch to describe it. It is in attacks like this that Israeli toughness begins, in which the plan for a long security barrier was born.

I know that some of the actions that have been taken to build or expand the barrier have resulted in injustice. But I weigh such injustice against several things. I weigh it against the photographs I was sent of the Fogel family massacre and the courage of young Tamar Fogel in facing up to her future as an orphan, yet still committed to her faith and her land. I weigh it against my understanding of how Israel behaves as a country. Israelis have a deep commitment to justice, something achingly evident in the number of times their Supreme Court has ruled against the government, not least in the matter of the security barrier.

In 2004, for example, the Court ruled that ‘The route that the military commander established for the security fence … injures the local inhabitants in a severe and acute way while violating their rights under humanitarian and international law.’ The route was changed. In 2005, the Court issued an injunction against the government and the Israeli Defence Forces against the building of the fence round the village of Iskaka, and in the same year forced a halt to the barrier’s construction near Ramallah. Similar rulings have continued to the present day. If the appropriation of land in Beit Jala is illegal and can be shown to have merit, the case will undoubtedly receive a hearing. It may take time for such a case to pass through the judicial system, but what country can offer instant justice save one that makes no pretence at consideration, due process, or justice?

If justice is your concern – and I see no reason for it not to be – may I please ask you to direct your criticisms to Iran, where sentences of death are passed in minutes, or to Syria, where justice is firmly in the hands of the regime, or to Saudi Arabia, where a misdemeanour may take you after Friday prayers to the main square in Riyadh, where an executioner’s sword will quickly teach you manners.

Israel, by contrast, has always applied its laws fairly and justly. The only person Israel has ever hanged was Adolph Eichmann, one of the planners of the Holocaust. There is no death penalty, even for the most horrendous acts of terror. This year, in return for a single Israeli soldier, who had been kidnapped illegally and kept incommunicado even from the Red Cross for many years, the Israeli state sanctioned the release of over one thousand Palestinian prisoner, many of them with hands stained by the blood of innocents and children.

Israel has well-enforced laws to protect the rights of women, homosexuals, and members of religious minorities.

Although Muslims have at various times destroyed synagogues in Jerusalem and elsewhere, the Israelis have long recognized that control of their own holiest site, the Temple Mount, is vested in the Muslim waqf authority and that control of almost the entirety of the second holiest structure of the Jewish faith, the Ma’arat Ha-Machpelah is also under the authority of the waqf Council. When I visited this shrine – the resting places of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac with other patriarchs – we found ourselves squeezed into a tiny space, while Muslim visitors had full run of the place.  There is a lack of balance between the two.

In Iran, the regime has destroyed all the holy places and cemeteries of its own largest religious minority, the Baha’is. In Israel, the Baha’is practise their faith openly and have established their international centre in a series of dazzling buildings and luscious gardens that are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site of remarkable beauty.

I ask you to judge here whether it is customary for the people of Israel to behave towards non-Jews with contumely, for it is the implication of that deep shadow that hovers over your sermon. If you do indeed mean the Israelis, if you do indeed think of them as bearers of that shadow, I must ask why. Why are Israelis thought to embody the heavy shadow of your accusation when true haters of mankind abound yet are never the targets of your anger. And if it is not the Israelis as Israelis but the Israelis as Jews, I think you will agree with my that that cannot be a helpful road down which to travel.

I write all that as a sort of prelude to a wider discussion. There is much at stake here. That muchness derives from your singular attention to a single place, or two contingent places, Bethlehem and Beit Jala. It would be easy for the uninformed to conclude that the Israelis are bent on the expulsion of Christian families, who are in your sermon portrayed as the victims of an arbitrary Israel ruling. That is not how it seems to me.

After the Palestinian Authority took control of most of the West Bank in 1995, Muslim families from Hebron (where Jews are very badly treated) and elsewhere moved to Beit Jala and illegally seized private land and property. This came on top of a long period when pressure was placed on Arab Christians to migrate from towns like Nazareth, Bethlehem, and elsewhere. 

In 1914, Christians constituted 26.4 percent of the total population in what today is Israel, the Palestinian areas, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, while by 2005 they represented at most 9.2 percent (Phillipe Fargues, “The Arab Christians of the Middle East: A Demographic Perspective,” in Christian Communities in the Arab Middle East, Andrea Pacini, ed, Oxford University Press).

But the same thing is emphatically not true of Israel.

In 1949, one year after Israel was founded, the country’s Christian population numbered 34,000 souls. That figure has grown by 345 percent. It is still growing. Between 1995 and 2007, Israeli Christians grew from 120,600 to 151,600, representing a growth rate of 25 percent. In fact, the Christian growth rate outpaced the Jewish growth in Israel in the same period.

It is not a coincidence that Christians thrive in the only non-Muslim state in the Middle East and diminish in all the Muslim states. This does not surprise me, for Islam has a long history of intolerance towards Jews and Christians, and religious sensitivities take precedence for many, regardless of the nationalist and economic dimensions of the conflict.

Let me cite some relevant statements by the well-known Muslim-Arab journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, who brings a hidden problem into the open. Writing in 2009, he says:

‘Christian families have long been complaining of intimidation and land theft by Muslims, especially those working for the Palestinian Authority.

‘Many Christians in Bethlehem and the nearby [Christian] towns of Bet Sahour and Beit Jalla have repeatedly complained that Muslims have been seizing their lands either by force or through forged documents. . . .

‘Moreover, several Christian women living in these areas have complained about verbal and sexual assaults by Muslim men.

‘Over the past few years, a number of Christian businessmen told me that they were forced to shut down their businesses because they could no longer afford to pay “protection” money to local Muslim gangs.

‘While it is true that the Palestinian Authority does not have an official policy of persecution against Christians, it is also true that this authority has not done enough to provide the Christian population with a sense of security and stability.

‘In addition, Christians continue to complain about discrimination when it comes to employment in the public sector. Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority 15 years ago, not a single Christian was ever appointed to a senior security post. Although Bethlehem has a Christian mayor, the governor, who is more senior than him, remains a Muslim.’

May I recommend you also read this valuable report written by David Raab and published by a very sound think tank, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs? http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp490.htm

A statement by the Palestinian Authority Information Ministry makes it clear that ‘The Palestinian people are also governed by Shari’a law… With regard to issues pertaining to religious matters. According to Shari’a Law, applicable throughout the Muslim world, any Muslim who [converts] or declares becoming an unbeliever is committing a major sin punishable by capital punishment… The [Palestinian Authority] cannot take a different position on this matter.’

Such rulings have a major effect on all Christian churches and make life impossible for potential converts, who are only safe if they seek refuge in Israel or go abroad.

Let me cite a couple more passages from reports that make this same point in fresh ways.

An Israeli government report in 1997 asserted more direct harassment of Christians by the PA.

In August 1997, Palestinian policemen in Beit Sahur opened fire on a crowd of Christian Arabs, wounding six. The Palestinian Authority is attempting to cover up the incident and has warned against publicizing the story. The local commander of the Palestinian police instructed journalists not to report on the incident….

In late June 1997, a Palestinian convert to Christianity in the northern West Bank was arrested by agents of the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Service. He had been regularly attending church and prayer meetings and was distributing Bibles. The Palestinian Authority ordered his arrest….

The pastor of a church in Ramallah was recently warned by Palestinian Authority security agents that they were monitoring his evangelistic activities in the area and wanted him to come in for questioning for spreading Christianity.

A Palestinian convert to Christianity living in a village near Nablus was recently arrested by the Palestinian police. A Muslim preacher was brought in by the police, and he attempted to convince the convert to return to Islam. When the convert refused, he was brought before a Palestinian court and sentenced to prison for insulting the religious leader….

A Palestinian convert to Christianity in Ramallah was recently visited by Palestinian policemen at his home and warned that if he continued to preach Christianity, he would be arrested and charged with being an Israeli spy.

Another report in 2002, based on Israeli intelligence gathered during Israel’s Defensive Shield operation, asserts that ‘The Fatah and Arafat’s intelligence network intimidated and maltreated the Christian population in Bethlehem. They extorted money from them, confiscated land and property and left them to the mercy of street gangs and other criminal activity, with no protection.

Your fifty families – if, indeed, there are fifty families – will, at worst, face a legal battle, knowing they will be vindicated if their claims are valid. Israel will not set their homes alight, nor gun them down, nor desecrate their churches nor violate their priests nor execute their converts. It will not do to them what the Muslims of Egypt have done in a long and systematic persecution. It will not do to them what the Taliban have done to Christians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will not intimidate or hector or torture or kill them. It’s time this was recognized, especially by a leading churchman like yourself.

The Christians of Beit Jala are, I suspect, being used to put pressure on Israel. The protest may well be part of a long and insidious campaign to malign and weaken Israel in the eyes of the world. Thus, Israel has been described as an ‘apartheid’ when it is, in fact, free of all traces of apartheid.

What racism there is is on the same level as that found in the UK.

Israel has been called a ‘Nazi state’ in an attempt to hurt Jews in the most painful way imaginable. It has been termed an ‘intolerant state’ when its reputation for racial, religious, and other forms of tolerance raises it above most nations.

I believe you owe the people of Israel an apology or an explanation. They need to know why you chose to single them out, selecting their actions as particularly examples of the shadows that lie on us. I cannot see Israel as a shadow, though I have seen it as a country surrounded by shadows all its life. It is a country of hope for millions. It has been a safe hand in securing the safety of Christianity’s holiest places, places that would fall into disrepair and be threatened with ruin should Israel be replaced by an Arab state, in direct allegiance to Islamic law, which forbids the repair of Christian churches or synagogues.

I have, I fear, abused your hospitality. I hope you have been able to spare the time to read my little letter. I trust it has given you cause for thought. What may arise from that is entirely up to you. I believe I have played my part, but if you know more, I can point you in other directions. Thank you for troubling to read so far. I have trusted that you would, and I have trusted in your innate goodness to awaken in your conscience new insights into the behaviour of a country that seeks peace when others lust for war.

Yours most sincerely,

Dr. Denis MacEoin

May we please have the moon? A ‘Science Fiction’ tale of Jews and antisemitism

H/T Medusa

(The following was written by  playwright Janet S. Tiger, and is being published at CiF Watch with the author’s explicit permission.)

The Jews settled the moon in 2053, just about five years after the end of the Islamic Wars of the 40s, where the Middle East, and Israel, of course, had been obliterated by nuclear weapons.

The two million Jews remaining throughout the rest of the world – less than 100,000 total in all the Islamic countries- banded together and purchased the dark side of the moon, which no other companies or people wished to colonize. Great transports were arranged via the 62,000 mile space elevator and the Space Shuttle and every Jew on Earth – including anyone who claimed any Jewish heritage whatsoever – left to go to a place where no one could blame them for anything.

The Earth rejoiced – happily rid of all Jews. All friends of the Jews had ‘disappeared’ and there were huge parties throughout all of Sweden and the rest of Europe, Africa, Asia South America, and North America.

After the last Jew entered the elevator, (a David Goldstein, 62, formerly of New York), the Earth was officially declared Judeinfreit by Hans Ibn Hitler, a great, great-grandson of Hitler who had been raised in Brazil and hidden by Nazis until the precious moment. 

It was not an easy move for the Jews, but, in some ways, it was no different than all moves of previous eras. Some former Israelis, (still alive because they were out of Israel when the bombs dropped), claimed that the moon was easier to deal with because there were no Islamist extremists.

Of course, this precipitated a huge argument with some Jews, who felt not having such devout adversaries nearby was not enough challenge. Other Jews argued that taming a wilderness with no atmosphere, plant or animal life and freezing temperatures was enough challenge. 

And yet other Jews argued that arguing was counterproductive. It came as no surprise to anyone that the two million Jews, there were eventually one million synagogues. (With the other million Jew not joining.) 

It was also no surprise that within just three years, the Jews had created a controlled environment that allowed for fantastic plant and animal growth and production. The transports, which had been called the Arks, had also carried two of each animal and plant (remember, Noah), and through the ingenuity of the Jews and cloning, there were now many new species which sped up production of food (cows with six udders, chickens with four legs.) 

The population had rapidly increased, and due to the amazing collection of scientific and medical minds, most diseases and even aging had been reduced to nil. 

There was even a ministry of communication with Earth consisting of the remains of Hollywood producers and moviemakers, who sent back to Earth portraits of life on the moon.  

Of course, it had been decided when the Jews first got to the moon – based on six-thousand-year history of people being jealous of Jewish accomplishment – that all news coverage of the moon’s population would be “movie-ized” to show only horrible things. The film industry, led by Jordan Spielberg, went to great lengths to fabricate news clips to show Jews barely surviving in the harsh lunar habitat. Artists and engineers labored to cover over the vast environmental successes with illusionary domes showing massive areas of wasteland – just in case anyone from Earth ever sent a spaceship with cameras to see what was going on. 

But no one ever did, and the years passed rapidly. One decade, then another. Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, brises, all celebrated under the artificial world that the Jews had created – not only had it not been that bad, but by the end of the century, some Jewish authors were calling the moon colony – Eden 2. Of course other Jews disagreed. In fact, much time was spent on disagreeing.

There were even contest for arguing, but, in general, there was peace.   Anyone who threatened the peace was forced to officiate at a contest with people arguing about why that person was wrong. The contests would go on for days, (sometimes weeks) until the troublemaker begged for forgiveness. (Many penalties on the moon were similar to this, and were extremely effective.) 

Back on Earth, life disintegrated without the Jews. There was a return to Middle Ages thought – only the current religion du jour was valid – all others were kept legislated into poverty until a war erupted and the positions changed for a few years. 

Another amazing anomaly appeared when there were no longer any Jews on Earth – anti-Semitism actually increased to monumental proportions. Famous orators explained this simply by saying; “I don’t have to have a gun to be afraid of having my brains blown out.” 

Additionally, without the presence of the Jew, the world developed incredible evil that had no release. (Previous evil had always focused on the Jews.)  One Rabbi actually said G-d spoke to him and said that he, G-d was about to destroy the Earth because everyone on the Earth was evil. The Rabbi begged him to reconsider, and that if there were 1,000 good people left on Earth, G-d should spare the planet. G-d then told the Rabbi, “Hey, I was through this before with Abraham and Noah and I already know the answer because I’m G-d” 

People laughed at the Rabbi, but then, one day, while all the lunar citizens were going about their business, an enormous series of explosions was seen on the Earth. Everyone on the moon stared at the distant fireballs that seemed to engulf the blue planet that was once their home. 

Although there had been great anger at being forced to leave the Earth, the true spirit of Judaism was always present on the moon, and no one had wished ill onto their former home. As in the tradition of the Seder, (when the wine is spilled because the Egyptians perished and we do not rejoice fully when even an enemy has died), when the Jews saw what was happening, they began to pray, and watch what was to be the final news broadcast from Earth. 

The horror of the apocalypse was videotaped by cameras until all electricity was ionized by the new electron bombs. Entire countries were wiped away in the blink of an ion exploding. And there it was, the final transmission from the nation that had started the entire mess – it was a desperate headline screamed by a hundred dying newscasters. Their rant continued until it was just blackness. What were they saying? As the Jews watched, some gasped, others cried, and a few even laughed. For the last words of the disappearing civilization were a condemnation. “The Jews have caused all our problems – they left us here to face the mess they made”  “If the Jews hadn’t taken all the best scientists and engineers, we could have defeated our enemies” “Our enemies are the Jews!” “Kill all the Jews” It took a little while, but the electronics experts pieced together what had happened on Earth in the last days. Anti-Semitism, which had grown stronger and stronger since the Jews had left, had reached its pinnacle, and all the countries of the world had decided to launch a massive attack on the moon. 

The attack had been coordinated by the United Nations and, although all the missiles had been launched properly, there was some sort of glitch in the targeting system, resulting in all the weapons colliding in the upper atmosphere and showering the Earth with a deadly rain of nuclear fire, electronic destruction and a generally bad day. The mistake triggered the military response of all the nations – (who all had nuclear weapons by then – plus a few other horrid toys) and the result was truly an Armageddon. 

The Jews on the moon went into a period of deep mourning. The Orthodox rent their clothing and there were mass counseling sessions. 

And, then about one week after the BIG DAY, as it was now called, a presence was detected heading towards the moon. Had one of the missiles escaped? Were the Jews doomed after all? The leaders checked with the defense experts – no, this was not a missile, it was an old-style spacecraft, like the ones used in the early 1970s. As it approached, the laser defense was trained on the craft. Debates raged as to whether the craft should be destroyed or allowed to get close enough to communicate with. 

The message from the ship came just in time. It said, “We are the last representatives from Earth – two from each country and we come in peace.” Some Jews rejoiced that there were survivors, others demanded isolation or death of the approaching group. 

The Rabbi who had had the vision told the leaders that G-d wanted them to have a chance so they were allowed to circle the moon. When told they could have a section of land to themselves to farm and repopulate, the Earthlings were upset. They told the Jews that they should be allowed to live with the Jews and have all the same privileges – because, after all, in Judaism, the stranger is given the same rights and privileges as the citizen. 

Upon hearing this, the leaders went to the Rabbi with the visions, and he offered to guide the survivors to their new home. The leaders allowed him to give the instructions for landing. Not trusting the Rabbi, the commander of the ship didn’t listen and crashed into a lunar crater. 

And so we have the final days of the history of the planet Earth, which have been generously shared with us by the Jewish colony of the 453rd Solar System of the XM Galaxy. Although the Earth is currently uninhabitable, the head engineer of the Jewish colony on Mars tells us that Venus will be fully colonized by the year 2120, and with continuous replanting, Earth will once again be ready for Jews returning from other planets in the year 2136. 

An interesting side note – inside the wreckage of the rocket with the survivors from Earth was a specially marked package that had survived which included the following words: 

“Once there was a great planet named the Earth. And there were many peoples on this planet, and they all existed peacefully with each other, except for the Jews. Wherever there were Jews, there was trouble. Jews brought dirt and death and hatred and strife. They were finally banished from our planet, only to take with them many great inventors and scientist and doctors, leaving Earth with nothing. We have decided to destroy the remnants of the Jews, and since the first attempt failed, we are the last chance for Earth. Whoever shall find this will know the truth – It was all the Jews’ fault.” 

This panel has been saved and is on display at the Earth Memorial Museum at Rivka Crater, NW, for all travelers who wish to see the remains of a civilization that did not understand the words – “He who blesses the Jews, is himself blessed, he who curses the Jews, is himself cursed.” 

Shalom

 

Shameless in London: Guardian’s 2011 Highlights include phone hacking cover story they had to retract

A thorough review of the hottest stories covered by the Guardian during 2011, by correspondent Polly Curtis, Dec 28, noted the following:

The News International phone-hacking scandal dominated headlines this year, prompting numerous resignations and the closure of News of the World, 8,260 articles (including 5,820 articles on News of the World, 3,891 articles on Rupert Murdoch, 2,381 articles on Andy Coulson, 2,365 articles on Rebekah Brooks and 1,247 articles on the Leveson Inquiry)

Curtis also included the following sensational Guardian cover story on the NotW scandal (published on July 5) to further highlight the paper’s journalistic prowess.

Curiously omitted by Curtis, however, is the fact that the most sensational details of this cover story were ultimately retracted after police testimony and additional revelations in the Leveson Inquiry contradicted the Guardian’s wildest claim: that voice-mail messages were deleted by News of the World journalists in the first few days after Milly’s disappearance, giving Milly’s family false hope.

Here’s the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications‘ section 8 days ago:

On 13 December the following clarification was published: “An article about the investigation into the abduction and death of Milly Dowler (News of the World hacked Milly Dowler’s phone during police hunt, 5 July, page 1) stated that voicemail ‘messages were deleted by [News of the World] journalists in the first few days after Milly’s disappearance in order to free up space for more messages. As a result friends and relatives of Milly concluded wrongly that she might still be alive.’ Since this story was published new evidence – as reported in the Guardian of 10 December – has led the Metropolitan police to believe that this was unlikely to have been correct and that while the News of the World hacked Milly Dowler’s phone the newspaper is unlikely to have been responsible for the deletion of a set of voicemails from the phone that caused her parents to have false hopes that she was alive, according to a Metropolitan police statement made to the Leveson inquiry on 12 December.” To make this clear we have – since that item appeared on 13 December – appended a footnote to the following 37 stories below that contain either the error or a reference to it.

Missing Milly Dowler’s voicemail was hacked by News of the World, 4 July
Milly Dowler phone hacking: Family shocked by NoW revelations, 4 July
Politics live blog, 5 July
Rebekah Brooks: ‘It’s inconceivable I knew of Milly Dowler phone hacking’, 5 July
Miliband says Brooks must consider her position over phone hacking, 5 July
Milly Dowler phone hacking pressures News of the World to come clean, 5 July
News International: Hacking away at the truth, 5 July
News of the World phone hacking: Police review all child abduction cases, 5 July
Warm glow of BSkyB deal subsides as Brooks feels chill of wind reality, 6 July
News of the World: Murdoch takes the initiative, but will it end the crisis?, 7 July
Over more than three decades, no one dared question the perversion of politics by and for Rupert Murdoch, 10 July
Milly Dowler’s family call for Rebekah Brooks to resign, 11 July
News Corp BskyB U-turn a victory for the public, says Dowler family lawyer, 13 July
Rupert Murdoch gives up BskyB takeover bid, 14 July
Phone hacking fall out: ten days that shook Britain, 15 July
Rupert Murdoch apology to Milly Dowler family was sincere, says lawyer, 15 July
News Corp must now face greater scrutiny in the US, 20 July
Murdochs in line for multimillion dollar bonuses despite phone-hacking crisis, 26 July
News of the World targeted phone of Sarah Payne’s mother, 28 July
Sunday Times bans use of subterfuge, 5 August
Milly Dowler phone hackers ‘used more than one voicemail’, 20 August
Phone hacking: Milly Dowler’s family offered £2m-plus settlement, 19 September
News International offers Milly Dowler’s family £3m settlement, 20 September
Milly Dowler’s family urges Cameron to rethink legal reforms, 22 September
Phone hacking: NI confirms £2m for Dowlers and £1m charity donation, 21 October
Leveson inquiry: Dowlers believe phone hacking intruded into ‘private grief’, 16 November
Leveson inquiry told hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone ‘despicable’, 16 November
Leveson inquiry: Hugh Grant and Dowlers to give evidence, 18 November
Phone hacking: Steve Coogan compares NI to a ‘protection racket’, 18 November
Milly Dowler’s parents to testify at Leveson inquiry, 20 November
Leveson inquiry into phone hacking: first witnesses – profiles, 21 November
Leveson inquiry: phone hacking ‘made Dowlers think Milly was alive’, 21 November
News blog: Leveson inquiry: Hugh Grant and the Dowlers give evidence, 21 November
Hugh Grant accuses Mail on Sunday of phone hacking, 21 November
Phone-hacking victims take chance to tell their own story, 22 November
The Leveson inquiry witnesses are collateral damage, 27 November
Leveson inquiry: why journalists should cry – and visit the prayer room, 28 November

The following Press Association articles on the Guardian’s website have also been footnoted:

Milly Dowler phone hacking claim, 4 July
Dowlers ‘suing paper over hacking’, 5 July
Charity to benefit from Dowler deal, 20 September
Dowlers’ ‘euphoria’ over voicemails, 16 November
Dowlers to give evidence to inquiry, 20 November
Milly’s parents attend press probe, 21 November
Grant’s suspicions over burglary, 21 November
Milly’s parents attend press probe, 21 November
Dowlers to give evidence to inquiry, 21 November
Milly phone hack ‘gave false hope’, 21 November
Hugh Grant: Non-Murdoch tabloid hacked me in 2007, 22 November

So, if you include the Press Association reports, a total of 48 stories had to be amended to reflect the glaring Guardian error.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to CiF Watch readers.

The phone hacking story retraction is classic Guardian.

A furious rush to judgement.

A sensational headline and narrative, to impute maximum guilt to the accused, without arduously attempting to corroborate the claim.

Seemingly remorseless even after all but being forced to revise a story or retract an allegation in light of contradictory evidence.

You don’t have to be a blog dedicated to exposing antisemitism, and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, at the Guardian to acknowledge the institution’s shoddy and ethically irresponsible journalism.

Zionist pencils infiltrate Saudi Arabia!

First, it was a Mossad Vulture which somehow managed to avoid Saudi air defenses and land in the Kingdom’s territory, and now, in what can only be described as a shocking ideological security breach, Israeli manufactured pencils have somehow infiltrated the Saudi market!

Per YNet:

Saudi authorities are investigating how Israeli pencils reached one of the kingdom’s biggest retail chains. The Kravitz chain, which markets the pencils in Israel. 

The Kravitz chain, which markets the pencils in Israel, was surprised to hear about the affair stirring up the Gulf kingdom.

It turns out that Abu Rialin, a Saudi chain which offers all of its items for two riyals, is selling one of Kravitz’s most popular products – a set of 12 pencils with an eraser.

The pencils are sold with the Kravitz logo in Hebrew and without any attempt to conceal the fact that they are made in Israel.

Kravitz learned about the incident following a report published by Saudi website Jaza.

Interestingly, on the same day this Zionist Import Scandal was revealed in YNet, the paper also reported that, despite promises to clean up violent and antisemitic content, recent editions of school textbooks in Saudi Arabia continue teach school children to kill Jews.

The news network, which was able to obtain translated copies of the recently printed books from the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, DC, said that the books teaches ninth graders that the annihilation of Jews is imperative.  

And, to think.  Unsuspecting Saudi educators may one day shockingly discover that various scribbling, doodles, and lesson notes written on the very pages of school textbooks urging Saudi children to kill Jews, may have actually been written by the students’ Zionist pencils!

“A Tale of Two Cities”: Contrasting BBC headlines on Homs and Bet Shemesh

A guest post by AKUS

Although the BBC has since updated its site with additional news from Israel and Syria, this morning I was struck by the way it reported on events in two Middle Eastern cities.

The BBC noted that that Israeli President Shimon Peres is supporting a rally to condemn violence by a small group of extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Israeli town of Bet Shemesh. Simultaneously, it carried a report on the visit by Arab League observers to the battle-scarred town of Homs.

But look at how two events are headlined by the BBC:

On the one hand, Bet Shemesh, where indeed some unpleasant but hardly deadly events have recently occurred, is a hotbed of “extremism”:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16338376

           Shimon Peres urges Israelis to rally against extremism

On the other hand, Homs, where dozens of Syrian citizens are being murdered by government forces, is merely “restive”:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16340299

          Syria unrest: Arab League monitors visit restive Homs

Another example of fair and balanced reporting by the BBC, and the way language is used to keep a firm finger on the scales when dealing with anything in the Middle East.