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.
Last week I posted about David Thring, considered a “neo-Nazi”, who spoke at a Max Blumenthal event in the British Parliament about Israel. The event was sponsored by Jeremy Corbyn MP.
Thring’s past behaviour probably needed more of an explanation so here is a clip of some of his past activities. In the beginning is audio of one of the organisers of the event warmly inviting Thring up to the stage to speak.
Pertinent questions that the clip asks is why was a “neo-Nazi” invited by the organisers to speak at an anti-Israel event in Parliament and when will opposition to the Jewish state be seen for what it really is.
I didn’t name Menzies Campbell MP in my last postas one of those Liberal Democrat politicians who has made comments likely to help fuel anti-Semitism in the UK, but then right on cue he goes and makes such a statement.
The Rev Stephen Sizer is a Church of England vicar with a long record of anti-Israel activity. In 2012 the Board of Deputies made a formal complaint to the Church of England about allegations that Sizer had used his website to link to antisemitic material from other websites. This complaint was resolved through mediation and a Conciliation Agreement was accepted by both parties, which included Sizer accepting that “on occasions his use of language has caused offence to some and agrees that he should have reflected on his choice of words more carefully.” Sizer also stated:
I care passionately about the safety of the Jewish people and the right of Israel to exist within internationally agreed borders. I have always opposed racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial as well as Islamophobia and the denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and will continue to do so.
Sizer’s presence at an antisemitic conference in Iran this week brings into question whether he is honouring the spirit of this Conciliation Agreement in good faith.
It is party conference season. There are only seven months to go to the general election and while the National Health Service, the economy and immigration will be important to most parties “Palestine” will be more important to the Liberal Democrats as they try to win votes at the expense of Israel and, more specifically, British Jews.
They will soon be planning their Mezuzah leaflets. There is no political party that fights an election more viciously than the Lib Dems., and Mezuzah leaflets are widely used by them to ensure that no Jewish house gets one of their “pro-Palestinian” leaflets which is full of anti-Israel propaganda.
This is the party that produced Chris Davies MEP whotold a Jewish voter that he hoped she enjoyed “wallowing in her own filth”.
Dedicated anti-Israel polemicist Max Blumenthal came to Britain’s parliament on Thursday and claimed that Israeli society was dominated by neo-Nazi mobs and Israeli politics by racist politicians. The irony being that, unless I was mistaken, one of the speeches just before Blumenthal’s talk was delivered by James Thring (see photos below).