Deborah Maccoby… yeah, I know, my American friends will question my preoccupation with such minor and generally obscure elements of British society. And I don’t think that next picture will change their opinion significantly:
Deborah Maccoby bills herself on some occasions* as “Executive, Jews for Justice for Palestinians”. Alternatively she presents herself as “a member of the Executive Committee of Just Peace UK, the Israeli-Palestinian peace group and the UK branch of ICAHD (the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions)”. At the same time she is gainfully employed “at the BBC World Service as a Production Assistant and has written book reviews for the Arabic Service”. Which is a significant point, showing a person with access to one of the heaviest propaganda juggernauts out there.
So, if after looking at the pictures, you have conjured in your mind an image of one of these slightly demented aunts that are very good in making their own preserves or jams, overcook the roast and are afraid of spiders – perish the thought. Deborah Maccoby is a very strong anti-Zionist presence on many fronts and, as a prominent member of the British “AssaJew” community, has quite a few ideas to offer on many subjects.
One of such subjects is a solution for antisemitism, which Ms Maccoby hinted about as early as 2009. In this letter that starts with predictable “Sir: I am a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and have participated in every one of the national demonstrations against Israel’s brutal onslaught against Gaza”, she offers the magic recipe in the last sentence:
Trafalgar Square in London was unusually quiet and reflective on Sunday as thousands flocked to stand in sympathy with Paris and those left bereaved this week by an Islamist terror gang there.
Thousands came and held up pens, pencils, crayons, signs and their own hand drawn cartoons. They sang Le Marseillaise and applauded.
As darkness fell they lay down their pens on the floor and lit candles, the National Gallery was lit up in red, white and blue and Trafalgar Square’s famous fountains alternated between those same colours.
Some chose to hold up the offending Charlie Hebdo cartoons, but I have not published those photos. I have however published photos of those brave, brave women who I saw holding up signs stating Je Suis Juif. I hope they stay safe.
I also hope that the likes of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign that pour out hatred and lies to naive minds about Israel will now cease their vile activities.
Many of the anti-Israel events I have attended, and written up on this blog, are either full of support for Hamas and Hezbollah who state publicly their desire to murder Jews or they contain outright anti-Semitic language.
If something similar to Paris happens in London we will know who to blame.
This Saturday saw George Galloway MP and his wife Gayatri interview Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon on their Russia Today TV show, ‘Sputnik’. The significance of Galloway hosting Atzmon, a man whose views regarding Israel, Zionism and Jewish identity are so extreme that he is shunnedbymost of theanti-Israelmovement in this country, should not be underestimated.
GUPS representative, Martin Linton, Dibyesh Anand, Sarah Apps, Murad Qureshi
The panel consisted of Sara Apps, Campaigns Officer for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Martin “tentacles” Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, Murad Qureshi, a Labour Party Member of the London Mayoral Assembly and, finally, a representative from the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS – UK).
The panel was chaired by Dr. Dibyesh Anand, Head of Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster.
As ever there were repeated calls from the panel for a boycott of Israeli “settlements”. When it came to the Q&A I raised my arm and asked one simple question:
“Isn’t it racist to call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank especially when considering that 1.7 million Muslim and Christian Arabs reside fairly happily in Israel ?”
Judaism’s holiest site is the Temple Mount, the site of the first and second Jewish temples which housed the Holy of Holies (the inner sanctuary where the Ark of the Covenant was located). The Western Wall, a retaining wall of the Temple Mount compound, obtained its holy status due to its proximity to the Holy of Holies.
On Tuesday night in Parliament I asked Manuel Hassassian, the unofficial Palestinian ambassador to the UK, why in the speech he had just delivered in which he accused Israel of “war crimes” he made no mention of Palestinian violence, specifically the recent murders by two Palestinians of four Rabbis and a Druze policeman at a west Jerusalem synagogue.
He answered me directly but when he said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had condemned the killings I reminded him, as you can see in the clip below, that Abbas had incited the murders in the first place with his violent rhetoric including imploring Palestinians to use “all means” to stop Jews visiting the Temple Mount.
(This op-ed by Geoffrey Alderman originally appeared in The Journal, a newspaper widely circulating in the north-east of England.)
On Tuesday 18 November two Palestinian-Islamic terrorists entered a synagogue in Jerusalem (the capital of Israel, the Jewish state) and, armed with an assortment of knives, cleavers and a gun began to hack and shoot to death as many Jews as they could. Eventually the murders were themselves gunned down. Whilst Israel buried its dead the evil deeds of the two Palestinians were celebrated by many throughout the Arab world. They were – Palestinian spokespersons declared – “martyrs” – the latest “heroes” in the 66-year-old Arab war against the nation-state of the Jews.
Who is responsible for this state of affairs, and in particular for the mindset that can result in a history of wholly indiscriminate attacks on Jews in Israel and beyond, launched from within the Arab world? On 13 October Graham Morris, the Labour MP for Easington, sought to argue in the House of Commons that the root cause of Palestinian hostility to Israel was that whilst the Jews had a state of their own, the Palestinians did not. He therefore put before the Commons a motion – eventually passed after amendment – calling for British recognition of “the state of Palestine” alongside the state of Israel “as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”
To say that my question “Is this book pro-Hizbollah?” wasn’t well received on Tuesday night at SOAS is an understatement.
I was at the book launch of The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication written by Lina Khatib, Dina Matar and Atef Alshaer.
After I had asked my question Dina Matar said “I knew you were going to ask that” and Lina Khatib waved the book at me and said “Why don’t you read it?”
The book explains how Hizbullah has been successful in staying relevant since its 1982 inception by adapting itself to changing situations and communicating these adaptations through various means such as poetry and social media.
Hizbullah are poets? Who knew.
One can imagine: “To kill a Jew, or not to kill a Jew. That is the question.”
What can I say? The article starts, as is proper for an article written by a writer – a member of the most narcissistic guild (save, probably, that of the Hollywood celebs) – with a highly personal statement:
In 2006, as the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) were undertaking their second major incursion into Lebanon, I resigned as a Jew.
Joel Beinin and John Chalcraft in discussion last Tuesday at LSE.
It must be November because Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, was in town. Last November Beinin was telling a SOAS audience that “Israel is heading into the abyss” and that Israel is putting Bedouin “into what would effectively be concentration camps”.
At LSE last Tuesday when asked during the Q&A after his talk “Why has the world stood by while Israel built the wall when we boycotted South Africa in the 80s?” Beinin replied, inter alia, that:
“The state of Israel is in some measure a response to western guilt for having sat on their hands during the murder of six million Jews. Now the Palestinians had nothing to do with that but, as Edward Said said, they are ‘the victims of the victims’.”
Beinin’s talk was called High Risk Activism and the Popular Struggle Against the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and was chaired by well-known Israel boycotterDr John Chalcraftunder the auspices of LSE’s Middle East Centre.
Amnesty International’s crisis response manager for Syria Kristyan Benedict just can’t help himself. In 2012 after Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence against Hamas Benedict tweeted:
“Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon and Luciana Berger walk into a bar…each orders a round of B52s … #Gaza”.
Ellman, Halfon and Berger all happen to be Jewish.
Amnesty’s subsequent disciplinary investigation found that tweet “ill-advised and had the potential to be offensive and inflammatory but was not racist or antisemitic”. Benedict was merely made to apologise.
A year earlier Amnesty made Benedict apologise for physically threatening me after I questioned Benedict’s guest presenter Abu Dheer who produced to an Amnesty audience the following very possibly fake photo of a young Palestinian boy with a Star of David allegedly carved into his arm by an Israeli soldier using broken glass.
In this interview with Channel 4 News Mosab Hassan Yousef (aka Son of Hamas), after being asked “Are you a traitor?” sets out why he renounced his father, renounced Hamas and became an Israeli agent.
He blames Hamas for dragging Israel into this summer’s war with Hamas and blames Hamas for using their own people as human shields. He says Israel is a democracy and has a constitution under which people of all religions live. It is a fascinating interview and is a prelude to the new film about him called The Green Prince.
There are times when something is so obviously wrong that it shouldn’t even need pointing out. That the Guardian thinks there is no problem promoting someone who wants to “resign” from Judaism shows how little respect its editors have for Judaism.
Last Saturday the Guardian allowed Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv university professor, to writea lengthy piece in its pages about how he has had enough of being Jewish (see above).
With the British Parliament due to take up six hours of precious debating time on Monday over whether to recognise a “state of Palestine” Vincent Fean’s article in The Guardiansums of the ignorance of those who will vote for such recognition.