Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP) members were quite possibly among those who inspired Howard Jacobson’s award-winning novel, The Finkler Question, as they resemble UK Jews he refers to as “Ashamed Jews,” Jews who are proud to be ashamed of their Israel-supporting fellow Jews.
Maccoby, in her Guardian letter, not only asserts that Jews need to learn from their Muslim counterparts’ putative condemnations of jihadist violence “and say loud and clear in response to Israeli atrocities ‘not in my name‘”, but suggests that Jews’ failure to distance themselves from Israeli “atrocities” renders them culpable for subsequent antisemitic violence:
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.
(See two important updates at the end of this post)
Earlier this month, the publishing house HarperCollins was the object of much negative publicity when it was revealed that they omitted Israel from maps in atlases sold to schools in the Middle East.
A spokesman for the HarperCollins subsidiary that specializes in maps told the British Christian newspaper, The Tablet, that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amended map incorporated “local preferences.” However, following the embarrassing row that ensued, HarperCollins expressed regret for the omission, and assured concerned parties that the product had been removed from sale, and all the remaining stock pulped.
More recently, The Economist (in a Jan. 10thstory in their print edition about shifting economic power and political influence in the Gulf) published this “amended” map of the region.
Tariq Ramadan is a renowned Muslim intellectual born in Geneva, and currently serves as Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al Banna, one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Beaumont’s report begins with these opening paragraphs, which lead to a passage blaming Israel for the breakdown:
This was a year that tested – largely to destruction – the notion you can have stability and quiet in the absence of a Middle East peace process. Instead, 2014 in Israel and the Palestinian territories was marked by a return to conflict in Gaza, which claimed over 2,200 lives, by increasing violence and tension on both sides, continued Israeli settlement building, and the introduction of a worrying religious aspect to the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
The fulcrum around which all this turned was the breakdown of renewed US-brokered attempts to move towards a final settlement of the conflict, which collapsed in April amid mutual recriminations after Israel reneged on an agreement to release a third batch of long-term Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
However, as Peter Beaumont acknowledged in a Guardianreport published on April 29th, the circumstances surrounding Israel’s reluctance to release the final prisoners were much more complicated, and can’t reasonably be framed as an Israeli failure to abide by its commitments.
Yesterday, three Alluah-Akhbar shouting gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during an editorial meeting and, armed with Kalashnikovs, brutally murdered twelve people – ten journalists and, moments later, two police officers.
Jihadist executes a French policeman outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo
The terrorists were undoubtably taking ‘revenge’ for the cartoonists’ previous depictions of Muhammed, as the staff at Charlie Hebdo received numerous death threats by Islamists over the years due to their refusal to submit to demands they cease in their criticisms of Islam.
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.
Last week, we posted about an article at The Independent reporting on a recent Delta flight from New York to Tel Aviv which was delayed after some ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women. The story, by Jon Stone, included the following passages:
Of course, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not (as the passage suggests) Tel Aviv.
(As we noted previously, other UK media outlets, including the Guardian and Times of London, have made that same mistake over the years.)
On Dec. 6th the Guardian published a profile of Leila Sansour, the Bethlehem born, British director of the documentary Open Bethlehem.
The article, by Nick McGrath, included some background on the Christian holy city, as well as a paragraph describing the director’s return home.
Leila first returned to Bethlehem in 2002 to direct her debut feature film, Jeremy Hardy Versus the Israeli Army, which was set against the backdrop of the Israeli siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity in 2002. By the time she returned in 2004, 180km of concrete wall, eight-metres high, built by the Israelis to “protect” increasing numbers of Jewish settlers from Palestinian attacks, now dominated the landscape and Leila’s cousin Carol was the only family member still in the city.
First, note the bizarre use of quotes around the word “protect“.
“A former member of the Palestinian national football team remains on hunger strike over his imprisonment by Israel without charge…
“Mahmoud Sarsak, 25, has refused food for 80 days, since 19 March. He began his hunger strike after his “administrative detention” order was renewed for the sixth time.”
“He was arrested in July 2009 while on his way from his home in Gaza to a national contest in the West Bank.”
“Sarsak’s family deny that he is a member of any militant organisation.”
However, as we noted at the time, the Guardian failed to inform readers that Sarsak – when he wasn’t playing football – was allegedly an active member of the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and that the Israeli Supreme Court had upheld his detention out of concerns he would rejoin the terror organization if released.
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 ?”
We don’t know much about UK-based journalist Jon Stone, other than the fact he used to work for BuzzFeed and now contributes to publications such as the Independent, where he published astory on Dec. 30th.
The article, about a recent Delta flight from New York to Tel Aviv which was slightly delayed after a few ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women, included the following passages:
A Jan. 1 article published in the Guardian’sGlobal Development section by Liz Ford started off promising enough, with a rare look into the culture of misogyny, rape, spousal abuse and honor killings in Palestinian society.
The article begins thusly:
A comedy series and a ‘Judge Judy’-style show will be among the programmes aired across the Palestinian territories in 2015, as part of a multimedia project to raise awareness of, and seek to prevent, violence against women and girls.
The Ma’an Network, an independent, non-profit media organisation that broadcasts across the West Bank and Gaza….will air shows that tackle often taboo subjects, such as marital rape, over the next three years.
The programmes will be supported by a series of workshops in more remote, conservative areas to discuss violence prevention.
The Guardian then provided some background:
Violence against women in my country is still widespread,” said Raed Othman, founder and general director of the network. “Women are still killed because of ‘honour’… if families think they have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Still in my country there is significant violence against women – economic violence against women, social violence, verbal violence against women.
In studying and posting about UK media coverage of the summer war between Israel and Hamas, we concluded that the Independent arguably surpassed the Guardian in the level of malice and vitriol directed towards Israel and its ‘Zionist’ supporters in articles and op-eds.
Over a the course of a few days in mid-July, the Indy publishedan article by Adam Withnall seemingly characterizing a few dozen Sderot residents applauding attacks on Hamas targets as an act of almost unparalleled human cruelty; one op-ed by Robert Fisk which actually blamed the Western media for being too soft on Israeli “blood-letting”, and another op-ed by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown which accused Israel of engaging in a policy of ethnic cleansing.
But, perhaps the most egregious example of unrestrained anti-Zionist malice during that period was provided by Mira Bar-Hillel, in an op-ed on July 11th titled ‘Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport‘, which suggested that the views towards Palestinians by some Israeli leaders were arguably on par with the genocidal rhetoric espoused by the Nazis.