Ben White

Ben White is a freelance writer and journalist and author of “Justice is Mission” and “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide” who now lives in the UK. White writes extensively about what he terms “Palestine/Israel” to the point of near obsession and is was a regular contributor to ‘Comment is Free’ and the virulently anti-Israel ‘Electronic Intifada’.

An open supporter of the one-state solution, White regularly accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, attributes the malicious slurs of colonisation, racism and apartheid to Israel, acts as an apologist for Islamist violence against the Jewish state, draws parallels between Nazi Germany and Zionism, has a problem with the police arresting those involved in plots to bomb synagogues, and has even gone as far as to flirt with Holocaust denial, or more accurately Holocaust revisionism.

In an article entitled Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’?, White stated that “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”. This after linking the rise of antisemitism with “the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media”.  As astutely observed by Seismic Shock, “White here jumps straight into transitional bog-standard antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion language”.

Previously,  White was embroiled in a controversy which began following his scathing review on Fulcrum  of Patrick Sookhdeo’s book “Global Jihad”. In a strange twist of events, White apparently contacted a radical Muslim blogger named “Indigo Jo” to tip him off about Sookdheo’s book, whom  Indigo Jo lovingly refers to as “Sookhdevil”. Subsequently, Indigo Jo’s attack on Sookhdeo was reproduced on other Islamist websites resulting in Sookhdeo receiving a death threat. See here and here and for White’s version of the events here.

White has recently been the subject of further controversy with the release of his book “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”. In a thorough review of the book entitled Lies, Damn Lies and the Apartheid Analogy, Jonathan Hoffman took White to task for writing a book about the Apartheid analogy lie. White feebly responded to Hoffman’s excellent expose to which Hoffman counter-responded further exposing the spurious nature of White’s writings.

Even more recently White, in an attempt to distance himself from his articles defending Ahmedinijad’s Holocaust denial and “understanding” antisemitism, stated “[b]ased on short extracts, or even a single sentence, from two out of the 100 plus articles I’ve published, I have been accused of ‘understanding anti-semitism’ and ‘defending’ Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial.” While both Seismic Shock and Modernity point out the inconsistency and disingenousness in White’s “explanation”, we’ll just let Ben White speak for himself from the numerous other articles that he wrote.

Below is a selection of statements made by Ben White “in his own words”:

“There is, in fact, already a de facto “one state”, albeit one of apartheid control that assigns particular rights to different groups of people. An Israeli who lives in Tel Aviv detects no great difference should he or she drive to the illegal Israeli colony of Ariel for example, inside the West Bank. There is a greater Israeli military presence, but there is no sense that one is crossing a frontier or going anywhere other than to a continuation of Israeli territory.” Obama Needs to Tell it Like it isNewmatilda.com, June 2, 2009

“Thus to engage Hamas is to acknowledge that the movement is not integral to the conflict, but neither is it peripheral nor ignorable. It has grown into a powerful social and political force, with a tendency toward prioritizing the pragmatism of political power. The oft-cited Charter – rightly condemned as anti-Semitic, but penned in 1988 by one person – has become increasingly insignificant; the discourse of ceasefires, truces, and national liberation typically trumps inflexible religious doctrine.” What it means to talk with Hamas Christian Science Monitor, March 31, 2009

“In fact, the Palestinians have indeed long been practitioners of civil disobedience, from the Revolt in 1936, to the First Intifada in the late 1980s, and right up to the present day. Palestinians are, in fact, proud of their tradition of nonviolent resistance.

Tellingly, Israel has responded to nonviolent resistance with dismissive repression – after all, it’s the resistance itself that’s the problem, not its violent/nonviolent nature. Israel has deported those who led nonviolence movements, besieged and assaulted entire villages to – in the words of famous ‘dove’ Yitzhak Rabin – “teach them there is a price for refusing the laws of Israel”, and met nonviolent demonstrations with lethal force.” What about the Palestinian right to self-defence? Liberal Conspiracy, February 10, 2009

“Finally, interwoven with the idea of a Jewish “return” and a denial of relevant international law is a deep anti-Arab racism. This year is the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Hebron settlement Kiryat Arba, a religious colony that is notorious for graffiti like “Death to the Arabs” or “Arabs to the gas chambers.”” An American President and the outposts of Zion Electronic Intifada, January 9, 2008

“Many Jews fleeing Europe did not go as colonists but they certainly arrived as ones, their plight a gift to the Zionist leadership who had long been seeking to create a Jewish majority state in Palestine. Anti-Jewish persecution certainly helps to explain how Zionism emerged, but hardly justifies the treatment meted out to Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants. Pity the Palestinians, who, in the name of a ‘social-democratic experiment’, had to endure massacres, death-marches, and ethnic cleansing.” Boycott: the backlash Palestine News, Autumn/Winter 2007

“To say that the “one-state solution” is impractical or equals the “destruction” of Israel is poorly concealed code for defending the indefensible and a recipe for continual conflict in a land it is impossible to partition. It is to maintain, against the odds, the Zionist fiction that Palestine was a land without a people for a people without a land. It is to entertain the fantasy that the occupied territories so comprehensively colonized by Israel can become a “Palestinian state” which isn’t apartheid in name only.” The one-state reality Electronic Intifada, November 13, 2007

“The problem has never been a Palestinian failure to meet the demands set by the US or international community, a display of colonial arrogance that repeats itself in every successive “negotiation.” Popular struggle, like violent resistance, is not an end in and of itself; it is a method, a strategy. It is the end goal, decolonization and liberation from occupation and Zionist apartheid, that is ferociously opposed by the self-declared international guardians of the “peace process” and their friends in the Palestinian elite. The rest is just smoke and mirrors.” Nonviolence resistance, a means not the end Electronic Intifada, October 12, 2007

“‘Pure’ Zionism, that is Zionism at its theoretical roots that expressed itself at various moments in pre- and post-state history, differs from standard definitions of colonialism in that it seeks not the exploitation of the indigenous population but their removal or extermination.” Some uncomfortable questions Palestine Chronicle, January 29, 2007

“The second, highly publicized, remarks came in mid-December, when Ahmadinejad was reported as denying the Holocaust. The President’s remarks, as detailed on the official Iranian news agency website, did not actually denote a disbelief in the genocide perpetrated against the Jews during World War II.

Note also that the President said, “some have created a myth on holocaust”. While most people immediately equate a ‘myth’ with a fabricated fairy-tale, this is not necessarily the case. A quick consultation of dictionary definitions confirms that “many historians consider that myths can also be accounts of actual events that have become highly imbued with symbolic meaning.” (Wikipedia). The entry continues, “This process occurs in part because the events described become detached from their original context and new context is substituted, often through analogy with current or recent events”.

Even more relevantly, given the use of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism as a propaganda tool of Zionist apologists, historian Richard Slotkin has described the process whereby historical events become ‘myth’ thus:

Stories drawn from a society’s history that have acquired through persistent usage the power of symbolizing that society’s ideology and of dramatizing its moral consciousness- with all the complexities and contradictions that consciousness may contain.

This is extremely pertinent to the use of the Holocaust, not only in terms of the Western consciousness and relations with Israel, but also in relation to Israel’s national identity. The Holocaust comes to symbolize the intrinsic anti-Jewish racism of ‘Gentile’ societies, and therefore proving the need for a Jewish state. More disturbingly perhaps, the Holocaust acts as a standard for human depravity set so high, that any treatment of the Palestinians is justifiable, as long as it falls short of what was experienced by the Jews in Nazi Europe.” History, Myths, and All the News That’s Fit to Print January 11, 2006

“I was somewhat startled by this, since I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are. There are, in fact, a number of reasons. One is the state of Israel, its ideology of racial supremacy and its subsequent crimes committed against the Palestinians. It is because Zionists have always sought to equate their colonial project with Judaism that some misguidedly respond to what they see on their televisions with attacks on Jews or Jewish property.

Secondly, and related to the first point, is the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media. Once again, due to the (theologically false) mergence of Zionism with Judaism, unconditional support for the state of Israel in the media can lead some to misguidedly respond with charges of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’. Thirdly, European culture has a history of anti-Semitism (as it has also been guilty of racism to other peoples) that has been, and probably still is, embedded in collective consciousness. Its roots can be traced, at least to some extent, to the shameful teachings of many in the Church.” Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’? Counterpunch June 18, 2002

Below is a selection of statements made by Ben White in ‘Comment is Free’ “in his own words”:

“In 1994, the then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin said that “we have to decide on separation as a philosophy”. However, this is not separation on equal terms – the following year Rabin also made it clear that the Palestinian “entity” would be “less than a state”. There is a term for unequal separation in international law – apartheid (I will talk about this tonight). The wall urgently needs dismantling; but it is only one part of a bigger whole.” Israel’s wall still deepening the divide July 9, 2009

“Unfortunately, it is likely that the enormous disparity between the peace process and the facts on the ground in the occupied territories will live on in any new initiative. The Palestinian people continue to seek basic political and human rights, rather than gestures and Jericho casinos. The two-state solution may be the only game in town, but there is no evidence that Obama can – or wants to – prevent it being a slogan masking apartheid.” Peace in our time? May 9, 2009

“Hamas is not the beginning or the end of this conflict, a movement that has been around for just the last third of Israel’s 60 years. The Hamas Charter is not a Palestinian national manifesto, and nor is it even particularly central to today’s organisation. Before Hamas existed, Israel was colonising the occupied territories, and maintaining an ethnic exclusivist regime; if Hamas disappeared tomorrow, Israeli colonisation certainly would not.” The real Israel-Palestine story is in the West Bank February 20, 2009

“Israel broke the ceasefire on 4 November, with an attack in the Gaza Strip that killed six Hamas members, and the following day severely tightened its siege of the territory. Imports were reduced to 16 trucks a day, down from 123 daily just the previous month (and 475 in May 2007). Following the unsurprising surge in Palestinian attacks, Israeli officials claimed that an all-out war was unavoidable; without mentioning that an operation had been planned for some months already.” Israel wanted a humanitarian crisis January 20, 2009

“Using brute force to “sear” certain truths into the consciousness of Arabs of varying descriptions has a certain heritage in Israeli and Zionist thought, going all the way back to Jabotinsky’s theory of the “iron wall”. In the 1920s he wrote candidly that “every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement”. The need then was for an “iron wall” of force to bring the Palestinians to the point of giving up “all hope”.” Israel: wedded to war? October 7, 2008

“The ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine 1948 that made it possible to create a Zionist state are not simply history. Israel continues its efforts to erase Palestine from the map; like in the occupied territories, where an apartheid regime of privileges separates Israelis from the stateless Palestinians.” Ben White v Alex Stein. Should Paul McCartney play Israel? September 24, 2008

“Even if a Palestinian leadership is able to jump through the hoops, what can they expect to gain in return? A rump statelet, the crumbs thrown from the table after Israel has annexed its major colonies and ringed off major Palestinian population centres into ghettoes.” Reality check June 4, 2008

With the creation of Israel 60 years ago, four-fifths of the Palestinians inside the new state’s borders were expelled; the others remained (albeit with a quarter becoming “internally displaced”). The interior diaspora February 4, 2008

“While in Jerusalem, the US president outlined his two-state vision that unites everyone from the Israeli political establishment and Abbas’s clique, to Blair and western liberals. Broadly speaking, it means recognition of Israeli West Bank colonisation, the preservation of Israel’s right to discriminate against non-Jews, and the creation of more sealed-off, “autonomous” Palestinian homelands.” West Bank bantustan January 18, 2008