George Galloway caught in a Twitter Fautography

If those on the political right wanted to invent a caricature of their far-left political opponents (of the Red-Green Alliance variety), it would look something like George Galloway MP.  

Between his obsessive hatred of Israelis, his embrace of both Islamist extremists (like Hamas and Hezbollah) and secular Arab tyrants (Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad come to mind), and his decidedly anti-feminist stance on sexual assaults, Galloway is a poster child for the pathos which continues to infect sections of the once proud anti-racist, anti-totalitarian, progressive movement in the UK.  

Earlier today, as part of his social media advocacy on behalf of Hamas’s efforts to defeat the ‘Zionist entity’, he re-Tweeted the following from a pro-Palestinian propagandist who – her timeline demonstrates – continually Tweets old images of Palestinians casualties and passes them off as photos taken during the current war.

galloway

The problem of course is that the photo (whatever its origins) appears to be at least 8 years old.

Indeed, though it’s hard to trace the precise origin of the photo (as we were unable to find the image used by a reputable news source), it’s quite tellingly used frequently by anti-Israel extremists online, as indicated by the first three results in our Google search of the image.

2006

In fact, there have been multiple reTweets by Galloway over the last 24 hours (to his 182,000 followers) sold as current, but which go back many years.

Here’s another one he reTweeted earlier, but which dates back to 2012.

2012

Oh, and one more thing: it should be noted that the Bradford West MP continues to have op-eds published at the Guardian.

galloway

David Ward, MP sponsors almost comical anti-Israel motion in House of Commons

The following motion, sponsored by Israel hater Jeremy Corbyn and David Ward (whose animosity towards Jews, and not merely Israelis, is well documented) and signed by 41 other MPs (including George Galloway), in the House of Commons is an almost comical example of the anti-Israel double standards often employed by a vocal minority of British politicians.

David Ward, MP

Here’s the motion:

motion

Here’s the text:

That this House notes that, on a daily basis, Israeli authorities restrict journalists’ movements and there are hundreds of military checkpoints that constrain or forbid journalists’ movements; further notes that despite the long-standing campaigning by journalists and civil rights organisations, the Israeli authorities continue to reject identity cards, accreditation and press cards, including the International Federation of Journalists press card, when carried by Palestinian journalists; condemns the continuous attacks by Israeli soldiers on Palestinian news gatherers, in particular photographers and camera crews, the level of attacks has increased during the first half of 2013, in 2012 the attacks involved rubber coated steel bullets, tear grenades and stun grenades; and reaffirms that freedom of movement is a central tenet of independent professional journalism and, in restricting such a right, Israeli authorities are in breach of international covenants and the right to report.

It seems that Ward and Corbyn woke up in the morning, and shuffled off to Westminster determined to convince their fellow MPs that Israel – which, per Freedom House, “enjoys the freest press in the region” – urgently needed to be condemned for their record on press freedom.

Of note, Freedom House also wrote the following in their latest report on human rights in Israel:

Legal protections for freedom of the press are robust, and the rights of journalists are generally respected in practice. The country’s Basic Law does not specifically address the issue, but the Supreme Court has affirmed that freedom of expression is an essential component of human dignity. The legal standing of press freedom has also been reinforced by court rulings citing principles laid out in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

Additionally, it seems that Ward and Corbyn didn’t bother consulting the Committee to Protect Journalists, whose 2013 report was quite clear on which states were the worst violators of press freedom:

Which state is worst violator, per CPJ?

Turkey headed the list for the second year in a row despite reducing the number of journalists imprisoned in the country from 49 last year to 40. However, of those released, some are awaiting trial and could still find themselves back behind bars.

In addition, other prisoners were released for time served while awaiting trial. In his November acceptance speech for the International Press Freedom Award, Turkish journalist Nedim Sener noted that it is common for journalists to sit in jail for lengthy periods in Turkish prisons without being brought to trial.

Which state is the second worst violator, per CPJ?

Iran was holding 35 journalists in prison at the time of the CPJ survey, compared to 45 in 2012. Some of the prisoners from the year before finished their jail terms, while other were released “on furlough” and could be summoned to finish their terms at any time, according to CPJ, which also noted that Iran had continued making new arrests and handing down “lengthy prison sentences” to reformist journalists even after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, a presumed moderate.

Other violators of note:

Meanwhile in the tumultuous Middle East, the number of journalists officially detained in Syria declined from 15 last year to 12 in 2013, although CPJ noted that it did not take into account the number of journalists who were abducted and are being held by rebel groups. “As of late 2013, 30 journalists are missing in Syria,” it said.

In contrast, CPJ noted that “there are currently three journalists being held in Israeli jails, all three from the West Bank”.

Also absent in the resolution by Ward and Corbyn is any mention that, by and standard, the worst abuse of Palestinians journalists in the region is meted out by the Palestinian government in Gaza and the West Bank.  Reports abound detailing harassment and violence suffered by Palestinian journalists at the hands of Palestinian Authority officials, with journalists and bloggers often arrested, detained and interrogated by PA security forces for the sole “crime” of being critical of Mahmoud Abbas.  Even Facebook users who’ve expressed ideas critical of the government have been arrested by Palestinian police.

Not surprisingly, Freedom House ranks the Palestinian territories as “not free” — the lowest of three possible rankings — with regard to the ability of Palestinian journalists to report on the Palestinian Authority with no restrictions.

jaradat

Mohammed Jaradat

As our coverage of the Guardian consistently demonstrates, the violation of Palestinian human rights by Palestinian leaders is of little concern to those blinded by a malign obsession towards the Jewish State.  

Tripod: CAMERA links in 3 languages, Aug. 29-30: BBC Watch, Presspectiva, In Focus, and Revista

Our regular roundup of posts from CAMERA affiliated sites:

BBC R2 promotes and mainstreams anti-Israel Greenbelt Festival
A BBC live broadcast from the recent ‘Greenbelt Festival’ avoided all mention of its anti-Israel campaigning agenda. (BBC Watch)

BBC presentation of Israeli view on Syria intervention replete with inaccuracies
Saddam Hussein only attacked Tel Aviv; Israelis have to buy gas masks – just two of the inaccuracies in a three paragraph BBC presentation of Israel’s view of intervention in Syria. (BBC Watch)

EFE: impartiality, credibility and immediacy
The Spanish wire agency has difficulties offering a complete account of an event, devoid of opinion. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Reflections on Interning with the CAMERA Campus Department
Life as an intern at CAMERA. (In Focus)

CAMERA Fellow Published in Tulane Paper
Ben Kravis writes that one can be a passionate pro-Israel activist and be pro-Palestinian. (In Focus)

Farewell to Journalism
Spanish news agency Europa Press bids farewell to journalism, and promotes pro-Palestinian activism. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

The lies of George Galloway
British MP George Galloway advanced a bizarre anti-Israel conspiracy theory on Iranian TV regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and then, when challenged on it in the House of Commons, flatly lied about it. (CiF Watch)

The lies of George Galloway

When he’s not engaging in antisemitism, licking the boots of fascist dictators, or contributing to ‘Comment is Free’, George Galloway provides commentary on world events for PressTV Global News.

Recently on the Iranian network, he offered a classic conspiracy theory, alleging that Israel supplied the Syrians with chemical weapons used to murder several hundred civilians last week – a charge which found its way onto the floor of the House of Commons.

Here are a few passages from an entry at 5:18 PM at the Guardian‘s Live Blog of the House of Commons debate on Syria intervention yesterday:

Matthew Offord, a Conservative, asks Galloway if it is true that he said on Iranian TV that the Israelis supplied the Syrians with chemical weapons.

Galloway says Offord should not believe what he gets told in green ink letters from constituents. But the rebels in Syria have been caught with sarin gas, he says. It is relatively easy to produce.

Interestingly, the Guardian didn’t include the rest of what Galloway said, where he flatly denied making such accusations.

Now, here’s a video posted by Trending Central of the House of Commons debate, and Galloway’s comments on PressTV which prompted Offord’s query:

Galloway blatantly lied.

Trending Central suggests the following to hold the MP from Bradford West accountable:

George Galloway boycotts 6 million Jews

To those who don’t believe that BDS and other forms anti-Zionist agitation often lead to racism, here’s a video posted today at the site of the Oxford University Student Union.

The Respect MP (and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor) had just begun to debate Eylon Aslan-Levy, a student at Brasenose, a constituent college of Oxford, on the motion ‘Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank’.

Here’s what transpired next.

 

Galloway had been “misled”.  He wouldn’t have agreed to participate if he knew he was debating an Israeli.  He said:

 “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.

(I guess we can assume his policy of exclusion doesn’t extend to Muslim and Arab citizens of the state.)

So, out of a population of roughly 13.5 million Jews in the world, 6 million live in Israel. 

George Galloway, who has paid homage to Saddam Hussein, “glorified” Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and even praised the Syrian butcher, Bashar al-Assad, doesn’t respect 44% of the world’s Jews.

Whilst there is always the danger of using gratuitous political analogies in even the most sincere attempts to characterize the extreme malevolence of the BDS movement, there is a passage in a book about European Jewish history I read a while back which used a darkly evocative term that seems, at least in this context, historically apt.

The book, ‘The fate of European Jews’, by Leni Yahil, characterized the effects of the Nuremberg Laws and other antisemitic measures enacted by Germany in the 1930s as condemning the nation’s Jews to a “social death” – an idea which resonates at least when contextualizing the political objectives of some of the most extreme anti-Israel activists.

George Galloway, by, in effect, boycotting and refusing to recognize the moral legitimacy of Israelis (and not merely the state or its institutions), is attempting to consign six million Jewish men, women and children to pariah status, and social exclusion from the international community.

This is the hideously racist moral place the malign obsession with the Jewish state – often the sine qua non of the BDS movement – inevitably leads.    

George Galloway Tweets for Israel

Chas Newkey-Burden had a simple request for George Galloway:  ‘Please retweet my post’.

Sure enough, the MP, and ‘Comment is Freestar, complied:

Galloway likely was too busy furiously Tweeting support for brutal dictators to bother reading Chas’s piece, because the post he actually retweeted wasn’t quite consistent with the ‘GazaUnderAttack’ hash tag.

Here’s the post written by Newkey-Burden (at his blog OyVaGoy!), titled ‘Then and Now‘, which 95,179 of George’s followers could see.

Poor George: duped by a passionately philo-Semitic, Zionist blogger into Tweeting support for Israel.  

Will his ‘street cred’ in Bradford West (or, at the Guardian) ever recover?

Former Guardian darling George Galloway “haqs” the Arabs a ‘chainik’

A guest post by AKUS

Arabic: “haq” – the truth (according to British MP George Galloway)

Yiddish: “Hack mir nisht kein chainik” – a polite way of saying “Don’t BS me.”

Well, I never thought that I’d find myself agreeing with the former darling of the Guardian, closet Muslim convert George Galloway.  But in the end, the things some of us have kept on saying for years about the lack of Arab support for the Palestinians and the use made of them as a political tool to defame Israel  have come out into the open from that unlikely source.

For decades we evil Zionists have been pointing out that the Arabs’ love for Palestinians seems to grind to a halt at the borders of Gaza and in the hills of the West Bank of the Jordan. As long as they stay there, or in their townships as UNRWA refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, or as menial laborers in the Gulf States, subject to expulsion at a moment’s notice, support is strong. But to expect the Arab states to do anything meaningful is a waste of time  – for example, to grant the sons, daughters, grandsons and daughters, and great-grandsons and daughters of the original 1948 refugees citizenship or “human rights”.

In his own inimitable way, British MP George Galloway, decided it was time to “haq” about everyone who is against the Syrian regime … and, of course, the world’s greatest sufferers – Palestinians.

MEMRI: British MP Galloway: I Am Against the Enemies of the Syrian Regime

Naturally, as usual, what’s happening in Syria is diverted to be all, all, all about Israel, the evil West,  and the Palestinians ….

You’ll look in vain for the Guardian showing this clip of Galloway lambasting Arabs for not supporting Palestine (or Assad).  MEMRI ‘s reports must not be allowed to conflict with the pristine ignorance about the Middle East of the average Guardian reader. George is now an non-person at the Guardian for his bizarre defense of Juliane Assange – over his indictment for rape – and his support for Assad when the Guardian has decided to support the equally murderous, and jihadi-infiltrated, rebels.

One Arab got tired of Galloway’s claims that he and his other Palestinian supporters are stooges of the Saudis, Qatar, the USA, Britain, Israel, etc., etc.,  regarding Syria and Palestine and the accusation that they are not on the side of “haq”.  He walked out.

Of course, Galloway is in this case correct, even if for all the wrong reasons (he wants the evil-doers he names to “reform” themselves and help destroy Israel instead of ignoring the Palestinians’ “plight”). So rather than walking out, the correct answer to Galloway should have been: “‘Haq’ mir nisht kein chainik – stop the BS – you couldn’t care less about the Syrians or Palestinians as long as they get together to destroy Israel and you get votes in Bradford. You use  the word ‘haq’ in the same way as the Soviets used the word ‘pravda’!”

The use of occasional words in Arabic is an interesting trend among those seeking to get “in” with Muslims for political purposes. Anti-Israeli activists like Galloway and Lauren Booth, who converted to Islam, are sprinkling their English with a few words of Arabic to boost their street cred. I doubt that Galloway or Booth could ask the average Palestinian the time of day in Arabic, but he’s all for “haq” and she’s all for “bismillah”.

If you haven’t seen the Booth clip that this is taken from it’s worth watching:

Unlike Jews who toss in a few words of the mamaloschen they heard from their grandparents, these phonies are desperately playing catch-up with the in-group they are trying to join.  I hope Galloway and Booth keep “haqing” away at the Middle East – they certainly make people think twice about the causes they espouse and the truth behind their diatribes.

See also the 2010 CiF Watch video, ‘The lies of Lauren Booth':

From Burgas to London

The following was written by Hadar Sela, and originally published at Harry’s Place

Kochava Shriki was pregnant with her first child after years of fertility treatments and was on holiday with her husband Yitzhak. Elior Priess and Maor Harush, both from Acco, were childhood friends. Itzik Kolengi became a father four months ago. He and his wife Gilat – who was seriously wounded in the attack – had gone to Burgas for a long weekend with their friends Amir and Natali Menashe. Natali was also wounded.

All these people were targets of terror because of the simple fact that they are Jews.

That is what it boils down to. And – although it ought to be so obvious that it should not need spelling out – that is the bottom line of what people such as Clare Short and George Galloway who visit and collaborate with Hizballah ultimately excuse.

In less than a month’s time – on August 17th – the Iranian-backed, Charity Commission approvedUN recognised, pseudo human-rights organisation known as the IHRC will be holding its annual Al Quds Day festival of hatred in London.

Yet again, we are likely to see Hizballah flags and pro-Iranian regime paraphernalia on the streets of Britain’s capital city, together with incitement from the regime’s usual apologists.

Until the British government stops turning a conciliatory eye to this and the many other terrorism support networks operating openly in the UK, its pro forma condemnations of terror will remain nothing more than empty rhetoric.

It really is that simple.

Perpetrators as victims: Seumas Milne ignores Islamist-inspired antisemitism of Toulouse massacre

Mohammed Merah

As we reported, The Guardian’s two official editorials on the Islamist inspired murders of four innocent Jews in the French city of Toulouse by Mohammed Merah, in over 900 words of text, never once used the word “antisemitism”nor mentioned the names or Jewish identity of the victims, yet employed the phrase “anti-immigrant rhetoric” three times.

The second editorial, published after Merah’s identity, and Jihadist background, was known, warned not of Islamist inspired Jew hatred, but of the danger of French officials “alienating” the French Muslim community.

An analysis of the shootings by the Guardian’s Paris correspondent, , which attempted to locate root causes for Merah’s rampage, similarly never mentioned the word “antisemitism” yet included this possible explanation for his massacre:

 Merah had self-radicalised in prison, where he spent nearly two years as a teenager after stealing a handbag. Merah’s lawyer said he been a polite and tolerant teenager, but resentful about that prison sentence and angry at being rejected by the army.

And, Chrisais added this:

Merah’s background of petty crime and poor schooling on a housing estate in a drab neighbourhood of Toulouse has catapulted the question of social inequalities and the integration of minorities in France back onto centre stage….Some said the social alienation and discrimination felt by second and third generation, ethnic minority French youths must be addressed...

Not to be outdone, the Guardian’s Associate Editor Seumas Milne, in an essay on April 3 praising the dictator-loving George Galloway (whose political infatuations have included Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh) wrote the following:

Since last month’s atrocities in ToulousePresident Nicolas Sarkozy has improved his poll ratings a bit, pandering to xenophobes and Islamophobes and posturing as a security champion

Yes, clearly: The lesson of the Toulouse massacre is the danger of Islamophobia and xenophobia, but certainly NOT Islamist antisemitism!

Three official editorials, and a prominent feature report by their France correspondent, and not even a cursory attempt to address the disturbing dynamics of a malign Islamist ideology which would prompt a 23-year-old man, raised in France, to murder three innocent Jewish children.

In a refreshing bit of political lucidity French Interior Minister Claude Gueant, commenting on the recent arrests of 30 radical Muslims by French police, who were tracked on Islamist forums preparing to travel to areas including Afghanistan, Pakistan and West Africa to wage Jihad, said the following:

“There will be no respite in France’s pursuit of militants…The pressure on radical Islam and the threats it represents will not stop.”

That such an intuitive understanding of the moral and political lessons of the Toulouse massacre – the need to face the threats posed by radical Islam in Europe, and not the problem of Islamophobia, second generation immigrant “alienation”, poverty or poor schooling – is even remotely controversial at the Guardian is another commentary on their editors’ supreme political pathos.

The Guardian group continues to be defined by this morally perverse and intellectually unintelligible understanding of what a modern liberal political sensibility demands.

CiF gives platform to Sarah Colborne to promote terrorist-organized ‘Global March to Jerusalem’

Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled for this Friday, March 30, is an anti-Israel publicity stunt that aims to have a million people marching on Israel’s borders from surrounding countries – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt – with the aim of reaching Jerusalem. Concurrently, demonstrations are planned against Israel’s diplomatic missions in major cities throughout the world.

The organizers of GMJ are made up of members of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, far-left extremist groups and are backed by the Iranian government. Senior organizers include:

  • Zaher Birawi, a prominent Hamas activist in the UK and senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood linked Palestinian Return Center.
  • Abdul Maqri, head of the Algerian delegation aboard the Mavi Marmara who in 2010 said “all our blood is Palestine” and declared that “Israel will be annihilated soon”.

Advisory board members include George Galloway, Mahathir Mohammed and Sheikh Raed Salah.

Official statements of the organizers of GMJ attempt to portray the movement as a peaceful protest aimed at highlighting the so-called “Judaization of Jerusalem”.

In 2011, GMJ general coordinator, Ribhi  Halloum stated “[t]he protest aims to move the right of return possessed by Palestinian refugees from theory to practice”.

In practice, the right of return is subterfuge for the destruction of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Coupled with that, employment of the term “Judaization of Jerusalem” is hateful rhetoric designed to negate thousands of years of Jewish history and incite the Muslim world.

Combined with the terror groups behind GMJ and the rallying cry of “saving Al Aqsa (Jerusalem) from the Jews”, it seems likely that sufficient numbers the organizers will seek violent confrontation with Israeli forces with the aim of sparking another Intifada.

The Guardian, undeterred by such quotidian concerns as the possibly deadly results of such a terrorist provocation on Israel’s borders, provided a platform to Palestinian Solidarity Campaign’s Sarah Colborne, “Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian struggle“, CiF, March 27.

Sarah Colborne is both a member of the GMJ International Executive Committee, its International Central Committee, and is also the GMJ national co-ordinator for the UK.

Colborne’s Lie #1, in CiF essay

“Jerusalem is a city that embodies the cultural heritage of three religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Yet Palestinians – both Christian and Muslim – are being driven out of Jerusalem….Just one example of this ethnic cleansing”

Since 1967, when Israel united Jerusalem, (based on the Israel Central bureau of Statistics) there were:

Jews: 195,700

Muslims: 54,963

Christians: 12,646

Then, by 2009:

Jews: 479,756

Muslims: 278,568

Christians: 15,476

So, far from being driven out of Jerusalem, the Muslim population of the city has increased roughly 5 fold, while the Jewish population has increased roughly by a factor of 2.8.  So, the Muslim population has grown dramatically faster than the Jewish population.

Obviously, there is nothing resembling ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.

Colborne’s Lie #2

“Jerusalem, the traditional centre of Palestinian social, religious and economic life , is increasingly being isolated and restricted by Israeli policies.”

Such a moral inversion, suggesting that religious life in Jerusalem for Palestinians is increasingly restricted, represents the nadir of anti-Zionist propaganda.  Jerusalem, since 1967 – in stark contrast to Jordanian control of the city from 1949 to 1967, when Jews were forbidden from visiting Judaism’s most holy sites – has never been more free for citizens of all faiths to worship.

Muslim rights on the Temple Mount, the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque, have not been infringed, and the holy places are actually under the supervision of  the Muslim Waqf. Although it is Judaism’s holiest site, Israel has left the Temple Mount itself under the control of Muslim religious authorities.

Colborne Lie #3

“The Global March to Jerusalem is bringing together an impressive coalition of Palestinian voices and organisations, with supporters from dozens of countries around the world travelling to Jerusalem, and to the border countries, to participate in the peaceful actions.”

“The struggle for Palestinian rights is at the core of the global movement for social and economic justice.”

As our research has demonstrated (which can be seen at our site, Exposing the truth about the Global March to Jerusalem), this coalition is led by  members of proscribed Islamist terror organizations with backing from the Iranian regime. 

Here are the real goals of GMJ, contrary to Colborne’s supremely dishonest polemic at ‘Comment is Free’.

  • Destroying the “Zionist edifice”: Some idea of the mindset of the event’s organizers can be gleaned from statements made in the following e-mail exchange between two of them regarding a previous identical project. 

“Imagine a situation where we have more than a million people streaming in from four borders & Israel fails to stop the human tide…next time we will have 5 million who will be marching…This is exactly the nightmare situation for Israel…Thus will undermine the Israeli state, like no other strategy & then it will all begin to unravel & the Zionist edifice which is unraveling as we speak, will soon fall. 

  • Using GMJ as a catalyst to begin a 3rd Intifada: Feroze Mithiborwala is a member of both the GMJ International Executive Committee and its International Central Committee was even more explicit regarding the movement’s aims, writing:

“..the Arab Revolution presents new possibilities & the epic 94-year-old struggle of the Palestinian people, a proud & ancient nation, which has inspired the world for generations, will finally see a new awakening & with it, a new hope, a new Intifada, the Third Intifada!!”

  • Rejection of a two-state solution, seeking the elimination of Israel from the “river to the sea. GMJ promotional material refers to the 1948 occupation and supports the so-called “right of return” of Palestinian refugees, both euphemisms for the destruction of the State of Israel.
  • Legitimizing Antisemitic ideology in the name of human rights: Organizers of GMJ have engaged in vile antisemitic discourse, such as Ahmed Abo Halabiya, a GMJ organizer and Hamas member, who gave a sermon which included“Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them.”

Here’s an image on the official GMJ Facebook Page, portraying Jews as rats (a popular Nazi antisemitic motif) undermining the al-Aqsa Mosque:

Jews portrayed as rats, infiltrating the Al Aqsa Mosque

Finally, equally as absurd as characterizing the GMJ as an endeavor consistent with peace, liberalism and human rights is the suggestion that Colborne embodies anything resembling such progressive values.

Her organization, PSC, has demonstrated, at best, a tepid approach to Holocaust denial and racism among its members.  And, Colborne has shared a platform with the homophobic and racist leader of the Northern Islamic Movement Raed Salah, and leapt to his defence when he was apprehended by the British authorities.

Colborne and Salah also sailed together on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ in 2010 as part of the ‘Freedom flotilla’, during which Islamist incitement to violence was documented in , in which Salah can be seen in the first row, wearing a white skull-cap.

The Guardian’s decision to provide a platform to the organizer of a violent provocation – an organized act of incitement – led by terrorists with the explicit aim of destroying Israel represents a further erosion of the media group’s increasingly absurd veneer of liberalism.

The Islamists, terrorists, and their apologists who have planned and are behind the March to Jerusalem can only be described politically (based on their broader ideological orientation) as representing the antisemitic extreme right.

As such, Guardian Left politics is increasingly defined by this tendency to allow nearly anyone willing to mouth platitudes about “Palestinian rights” moral impunity for their reactionary, malign, racist agendas.

‘Trigger’ from BBC’s ‘Only Fools and Horses’ says “Don’t attack Iran” in Guardian letter

Trigger - "intellect has rapidly diminished over the years until it reached its current level of hilarious stupidity"

Roger Lloyd Pack - "intellect has rapidly diminished over the years until it reached its current level of hilarious stupidity"

Cross posted by Richard Millett

It’s a shame when one of Britain’s best-loved comedy actors joins with the forces of darkness to come to the defence of one of the world’s most reviled regimes, but such is the fate of Roger Lloyd Pack who played Trigger in BBC’s Only Fools and Horses.

Lloyd Pack is a seasoned anti-Israel activist and so it is no surprise to find his signature among the usual suspects in a letter to yesterday’s Guardian supporting Stop The War Coalition’s Don’t Attack Iran Campaign.

Ironically, the BBC website even gives the following description of Trigger:

“Although initially a (relatively speaking) sharp-minded villain Trigger’s intellect has rapidly diminished over the years until it reached its current level of hilarious stupidity.”

Who said art doesn’t sometimes mirror life?

The Guardian website even generously links the letter to the Don’t Attack Iran Campaign website. Why take out an expensive ad in a national newspaper, hire an expensive London venue or print millions of leaflets when all you need do nowadays is write a letter to The Guardian who will give you free advertising space if you’re anti-Israel.

The familiarity of these hardcore anti-Israel signatories is positive in as much as it shows how so alone they are in their support for such an oppressive ideology:

Tony Benn,
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Brian Eno
Lindsey German
George Galloway
Kate Hudson,
Jemima Khan
Ken Loach
Roger Lloyd Pack
Lowkey
Len McCluskey
John McDonnell MP
John Pilger
Michael Rosen
Jenny Tonge

You’d have thought that after her forced resignation from her party after wishing away Israel’s existence they might have left Jenny Tonge off for once but, then again, her recent statements that “Israel is not going to be there forever” and “then they will reap what they have sown” ties in nicely with Ahmadinejad’s genocidal desire to wipe Israel off the map.

Some say Ahmadinejad was mistranslated and that he merely wanted to eradicate Zionism. It’s the same weak defence that commentators like The Guardian’s Michael White and The New Statesman’s Mehdi Hasan put up for Tonge.

Let’s forget that Israel and Zionism are not mutually exclusive and gloss over Ahmadinejad’s “mistranslation” and listen to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei who, as reported by Press TV, “described Israel as a cancerous tumor that must be removed”. It doesn’t get more unambiguous than that and straight from the fool’s and horse’s mouth.

And calling it an attack on Iran is like calling Operation Cast Lead an attack on Gaza or on the Palestinians when, in actual fact, it was a legitimate attack on the terrorist group Hamas in self-defence. Attacking Iran’s nuclear sites will also be a legitimate act of self-defence unless Iran opens itself up to a full nuclear inspection in accordance with its non-proliferation treaty obligations, something that it has so far proved suspiciously unwilling to do.

And calling itself Stop The War Coalition is as equally disingenuous. Let Them Die Coalition would be far more accurate judging by their calls for non-intervention in Libya and, now, Syria.

The Guardian letter compares the build up to a possible war with Iran to that with Iraq. But Stop The War Coalition’s approach is itself reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of another evil regime.

Galloway and German say they aren’t pacifists and Galloway has said that World War Two was a just war, but how can he, and we, be so sure he would have called it that at the time.

Stop The War Coalition is, basically, an organisation that supports non-intervention against regimes that are anti-American and/or anti-Israel. They were ecstatic when pro-American/pro-Israel Mubarak fell in Egypt but have criticised NATO’s ousting of anti-American/anti-Israel Gaddafi and will no way want Assad to fall with the negative impact that would have on Iran and, ultimately, Hezbollah and Hamas.

The hypocrisy of the signatories to The Guardian letter is fully exposed when Stop The War Coalition feels comfortable standing back watching Libyans and Syrians slaughtered in their droves while defending the vile Iranian regime and staying silent about the continued oppression of Iran’s women, gays, Jews (the 25,000 strong community is limited to one MP), Bahais, Kurds and anyone wanting to live a life in Iran as free as those signatories themselves can do in the west.

CiF Watch Special Report: Extremists & terror supporters organizing ‘Global March to Jerusalem’

A guest post by Hadar Sela, an Anglo-Israeli freelance writer

Introduction:

As spring approaches, so the annual season for publicity stunts aimed at undermining Israel’s legitimacy begins once more. This year several high-profile events are planned and, building on the success of last year’s thwarting of the Freedom Flotilla 2′ by means of pre-emptive dissemination of information, this report (and those which will follow) aims to provide essential background about the aims and allegiances of the organisers  which will be useful to those engaged in combatting the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, particularly in the media and social networks.  

‘Global March to Jerusalem':

The first large-scale event planned this year is a ‘Global March to Jerusalem’ scheduled for March 30th 2012 – Land Day. The concept behind it is to have a million people marching on Israel’s borders from all the surrounding countries – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The aims, according to the project’s official website, are as follows:

“The march will demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people and to put an end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation policies affecting the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem.”

“The march will confirm that the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.”

“The march will unite the efforts of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all citizens of conscience in the world to put an end to Israel’s disregard for international law through the continuing occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian land.

We aim to make this march a turning point in the nature of the confrontation, with the occupation having to face millions of protesters and demonstrators demanding Freedom for Palestine and its capitol (sic) Jerusalem.”

Obviously Israel, like any other sovereign country, cannot permit mass infiltration of its borders, especially by people who identify with terrorist organisations and enemy nations dedicated to its destruction. The results are therefore likely to be grave and perhaps similar to the consequences of attempted infiltrations of Israel’s northern borders in June 2011. The march’s organisers are undoubtedly very much aware of those facts.

They will also be aware that the current turmoil and uncertainty throughout the Middle East means that the ability of the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian or Lebanese governments to intervene in order to prevent such a dangerous scenario is now considerably reduced. Some idea of the mindset of the event’s organisers can be gleaned from statements made in the following e-mail exchange between two of them regarding a previous identical project. (All errors in the original text)

As I have written out in the report, the liberation of Jerusalem, of Palestine are at the core of all that we have done & will do. The point is that how do we build a movement that compells the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon & Syria to let us in (which is easy) & then let us march across the borders into Palestine, challenging the Israeli army (which is difficult). Thus the idea is to keep the idea simple – We are going to pray at the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre & the Masjid-i-Aqsa & the Qubattus Sakhra. We will not apply for visas or permissions from the Israeli’s obviously not, for reasons known to us all. But imagine a situation where we have more than a million people streaming in from four borders & israel fails to stop the human tide. Once we have broken this mental barrier, then its all over. next time we will have 5 million who will be marching in & it will ony grow from there. This is exactly the nightmare situation for Israel. How do you handle a million ordinary non-violent people who want to go back Home? – how do you handle a million non-violent people who just wish to pray in their Masjid in Jerusalem, which is under our Occupation? Thius will undermine the Israeli state, like no other strategy & then it will all begin to unravel & the Zionist edifice which is unraveeling as we speak, will soon fall. It’s a matter of time now, as we well know.

Revealingly, the following statement appears in the FAQ section of the website of the American chapter of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ-NA):

Q: Why is there a separate GMJ-NA organization? 

A: Because of the laws governing citizens of the U.S. and Canada, legal advisers in these countries have determined that it is better for them to operate separately and not to participate in the decision-making of the international movement, but rather as an autonomous coalition. This is because some of the groups in the international coalition are subject to legal reprisals in these countries, and there is some risk that any joint decision-making might place citizens of those countries in legal jeopardy. The risk may be small, but this is an extra measure of safety for those concerned.

In other words, the leaders of GMJ-NA are very much aware of the march’s links to proscribed terrorist groups, and yet its endorsers include a rather predictable list of organisations and US and other nationals, including a UN employee and a former British MP.

Ann Wright, former United States Army colonel

Clayborne Carson, Professor & Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

David Hartsough, Co-founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce

Edward Peck, Retired US Ambassador and career US Diplomat

George Galloway, British Member of Parliament   

Dr. Ghada Karmi, Co-Director, Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter

Dr. Hatem Bazian, Senior Lecturer in Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Izzet Sahin, International Affairs Secretary, IHH

Joe Meadors, Veteran and Survivor of the 1967 Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

Lauren Booth, English broadcaster, journalist and pro-Palestinian activist

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, American rabbi in the Jewish Renewal movement

Mairead Maguire, , Nobel Peace Laureate

Marcy Winograd, Los Angeles teacher, peace activist and former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives

Medea Benjiman, Anti-war organizer and activist

Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian democracy activist and former presidential candidate

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

Roger Leisner, Radio Free Maine

Ronnie Kasrils, South African ANC leader and cabinet minister

Samuel F. Hart, U.S. Ambassador, ret.

Susan Abulhawa, Palestinian-American author and Founder of Playgrounds for Palestine

Tariq Ali, British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator

GMJ International Advisory Committee:

Some of the GMJ endorsers also sit on its ‘International Advisory Committee’.

INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THE GMJ
Maan Bashour (Lebanon), Dr. Ribhi Halloum (Jordan), Prof Paul Larudee (USA), George Galloway (UK), Khaled Soufiyani (Morocco), M K Sawalha (UK), Saud Abu Mahfouz (Jordan), Prof. Mohsen Saleh (Lebanon), Mazin Qumsiyeh (Palestine), Dr. Ghada Karmi (UK), Sheikhul Islam (Iran), Huseiyn Oruc (Turkey), Huwaida Arraf (Palestine-USA), Abdul Ghaffar Aziz (Pakistan), Sandeep Pandey (India),

Maan Bashour is the General Co-ordinator for the Muslim Brotherhood centre in Beirut, head of the preparatory committee for the ‘right of return forum’ and General Coordinator of the National Initiative Committee to Break the Blockade of Gaza (NICBBG). 

Maan Bashour

Dr Ribhi Halloum joined the PLO in 1966 and was its regional underground organizer in the UAE until 1971. He was a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and the PNC until resigning in 1993 over opposition to the Oslo Accords. He heads the Jordanian preparatory committee for the march and according to an interview he gave in December 2011 prior to the recent  GMJ conference in that country, “[t]he protest aims to move the right of return possessed by Palestinian refugees from theory to practice”

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the ‘Free Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ movements as well as the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) with which he was active during the second Intifada. He took part in the 2008 and 2010 flotillas, was deported from Israel in 2006 for trying to enter the country under a false identity and allegedly volunteered as a ‘human shield’ for Hizballah during the second Lebanon war. He was also one of the organisers of last year’s ‘flytilla’. Here he is meeting Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza in 2008 (from whom he also received an award the following year) – second from the left on the front row. 

George Galloway is of course a well-known figure on the anti-Israel activism scene, his activities ranging from ‘Viva Palestina’ in its various incarnations, to working with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War Coalition and being employed by the Iranian regime’s  Press TV. Galloway believes that “Hizbollah is not and has never been a terrorist organization” and that Israel is responsible for the assassination of Rafik Hariri. Here he is handing over cash to the Hamas Economy Minister at the culmination of one of his ‘Viva Palestina’ convoys. 

Galloway also promoted the Global March to Jerusalem on Press TV prior to the latter being closed down by the UK authorities.

Khaled Soufiyani is a former chair of the Arab National Congress and co-ordinator of the Moroccan organization the ‘National Action Group (sometimes ‘Task Force’) for Solidarity with Palestine and Iraq’. In 2010 he called on a Moroccan Jewish advisor to the king to leave the country as a result of the former’s suggestion that the Holocaust should be part of the curriculum in Moroccan universities. He is strongly opposed to any normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco, and in particular to the establishment of the Amazigh-Israel Friendship Association, and has made several attempts to use ‘lawfare’ against Israelis visiting the country. 

Khaled Soufiyani

Mohammed Kassem Sawalha is also a well-known figure on the British anti-Israel circuit and a former Hamas commander who, since his arrival in the UK in the 1990s, has been instrumental in the founding of a series of organisations linked to the Muslim Brotherhood including the Muslim Association of Britain and the British Muslim Initiative. Sawalha is involved in the organization of the various flotillas and convoys to Gaza through a variety of roles in organisations and charities linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and in collaboration with the Turkish IHH. Here he is at an IHH press conference last year (front row, far right):

Saud Abu Mahfouz is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in Jordan, the Islamic Action Front. He was a participant in the 2010 flotilla, along with several other Muslim Brotherhood members from Jordan, the former leader of which is on record as having stated:

“We in the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan see Palestine as part of the Islamic and Arab land that must not be relinquished – on the contrary, defending it is a national and jurisprudential obligation… We see Hamas movement in Palestine as standing at the head of the project of the Arab and Islamic liberation for which the Muslim Brotherhood calls… The Muslim Brotherhood supports Hamas and every Arab resistance movement in the region that works for liberation.” (memri.org report 4265)

Mohsen Saleh is a professor at the Lebanese University in Beirut who takes a consistently pro-Iranian line, opposes the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (accusing it of being a US-engineered attempt to destabilize Lebanon and weaken the ‘resistance’ against Israel) and defends Bashar Assad’s actions against the uprising in Syria.  

Mazin Qumsiyeh is a well-known Palestinian political activist. He heads the ISM-linked ‘Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People’ (which was involved in the organization of the 2011 ‘flytilla’), is a co-ordinator for the ‘Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements’ in Beit Sahour and was a co-founder of Al Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) in the US. Qumseiyeh spoke at the 2010 Stuttgart conference which produced the Stuttgart Declaration – a call for opposition to a negotiated two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Ghada Karmi of Exeter University in the UK is also a signatory of the Stuttgart Declaration. A member of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) and a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Karmi has called for “the end of a Jewish state in our region”.

Sheikhul Islam is an ambiguous title in that it can be given to any high-ranking Shiite religious leader, but obviously the man concerned holds some prominence within the Iranian regime. The listing may possibly refer to Hossein Sheikh-ul-Islam; Senior Advisor to the Parliament Speaker for International Affairs of Iran.  

Huseyin Oruc is a member of the board of trustees of the ‘Union of Good’ linked Turkish organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), its deputy chairman and heads its public relations department. He was a participant in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla and was involved in the planning of the failed 2011 flotilla.

Huseyin Oruc

Huweida Arraf is of course the American-born co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who also chairs the ‘Free Gaza’ movement which is behind the organization of the flotillas. She has taken part in several flotillas herself, including that of 2010.

Arraf is perhaps best remembered for her provision of support to Yasser Arafat in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 when the Israeli army sought to put an end to the campaign of suicide bombings in Israel orchestrated by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, and for her part in the ISM’s collaboration with the terrorists who took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem the same year.  One of the more recent publicity stunts in which Arraf took part was the so-called Freedom Ride in November 2011 when she, together with Mazin Qumsiyeh and four others, attempted to enter Jerusalem without permits.

Abdul Ghaffar Aziz is a member of – and spokesman for – Jamaat e Islami – the Pakistani Islamist movement which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and was founded by Abul Ala Maududi.

Sandeep Pandey heads the National Alliance (sometimes ‘Association’) of People’s Movements in India. He was one of the organisers of the Asia to Gaza Caravan, in which he took part and reported on extensively. The convoy included a variety of Islamist and human rights organisations and received considerable en-route support from Iran, including an official reception with Ahmedinijad.  Pandey is currently involved in promotion and organisation of the Asian chapter of the GMJ, describing it as an attempt to “counter the Judaisation of Jerusalem”.

GMJ International Executive Committee:

The ‘International Executive Committee’ for the Global March on Jerusalem also includes both familiar and lesser-known figures.

INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR THE GMJ
Feroze Mithiborwala (India), Nabil Hallak (Lebanon), Bashir Zmaili (Jordan), Izzet Sahin (Turkey), Zaher Birawi, Kevin Ovenden (UK), Ali Mallah (Canada), George Rishmawi (Palestine), Salim Ghafouri (Iran), Shaheen Kattiparambil (India), Ramy Zurayk (Lebanon), Mustapa Mansour (Malaysia), Roohulla Rezvi (Iran), Gauhar Iqbal (India), Irman Abdurahman (Indonesia)

Feroze Mithiborwala was a co-organiser of the 2010 Asia to Gaza Convoy and is a member of Awami Bharat – an Indian political group which describes itself as being involved in an “international struggle against imperialism, Zionism, and Brahmanism”. He is also a member of the Muslim Intellectual Forum of India and the South Asian Solidarity Initiative and is the ‘Free Gaza’ national coordinator in India. Unsurprisingly for someone who relies upon ‘Israel Shamir‘ for information, Mithiborwala seems to be rather fond of conspiracy theories: the Moscow subway terror attacks were, according to him, deliberately timed to deflect attention from the BDS movement and Osama Bin Laden died in 2001. He is also of the opinion that:

..the Arab Revolution presents new possibilities & the epic 94-year-old struggle of the Palestinian people, a proud & ancient nation, which has inspired the world for generations, will finally see a new awakening & with it, a new hope, a new Intifada, the Third Intifada!!

It is only the resistance on the ground, within Palestine, across the Palestine diaspora, across the Arab nations & then across the entire world, will we finally witness the rebirth of a nation.

Feroze Mithiborwala presenting Khalid Masha'al with a gift in Damascus whilst en route with the Asian convoy in 2010


Mithiborwala meeting Mahmoud al Zahar in Gaza, 2010


Mithiborwala and other GMJ organisers at a conference of the Asian People’s Solidarity for Palestine in Karachi, 2-3 February 2012. Representatives from Palestinian organisations were also present.  

Nabil Hallak is an Irish-Lebanese citizen who took part in the 2010 flotilla and acted or acts as co-ordinator for the National Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza. Here he is being welcomed upon his return to Lebanon after his deportation from Israel in the wake of the flotilla. 

Nabil Hallak (top left, being carried)

Izzet Sahin is an employee of the IHH. He was deported from Israel in May 2010 after having been found working for that organization which has been banned in Israel since 2008 due to its ties to the Union of Good which channels funding to Hamas.

Izzet Sahin

Zaher Birawi is a well-known Hamas operative resident in the UK. He is connected to the Palestinian Return Centre which is banned by Israel, ‘Viva Palestina’, the Palestinian Forum of Britain and the ‘Union of Good’-linked charity ‘Education Aid for Palestinians’. Birawi’s connections will be further expanded upon in part two of this report.  Here he is (far left) in Gaza along with Kevin Ovenden and Mohammed Sawalha receiving an award from Ahmad Bahar of Hamas.

Kevin Ovenden (pictured above, second from the left) was Parliamentary aide to the former British MP George Galloway. He is a former trustee of Galloway’s ‘Viva Palestina’ and very active in the organization and leadership of its various projects. He was aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010 and has received repeated recognition for his services to Hamas. Here he is in Syria, addressing a welcoming party for one of the Viva Palestina convoys whilst standing under the flags of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party.

Ali Mallah is Vice-President of the Canadian Arab Federation which supports the removal of Hamas and Hizballah from the list of proscribed terrorist organisations and an academic boycott of Israel. He is also a leader of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and a member of the ‘Gaza Freedom March Liaison Committee’.

George Rishmawi could be either of two well-known Palestinian activists – cousins – both of whom have connections to the ISM and – like Mazin Qumseiyeh above – the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement (PCR).

Salim Ghafouri from Iran acted as spokesman for the Asia to Gaza convoy. According to him, the “war with the Zionists” is not only an “Islamic-Zionist war,” but the showdown between the “truth,” represented by “the freedom-loving people of the world,” and the “lie,” represented by Israel and its supporters. Ghafouri also appears to be involved in advancing Iranian interests in Kashmir and has represented the ‘Iranian House of Latin America’ on visits to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Shaheen Kattiparambil was another Indian participant in the Asia to Gaza Convoy, and together with Pandey and Mithiborwala, issued this statement on behalf of of the Indian chapter of GMJ following its meeting on January 23rd 2012. All three, along with the Student Islamic Organisation of India of which Kattiparambil is a member, are endorsers of the statement by the ‘India Lifeline to Gaza’ according to which:

The Palestinian people must have the freedom to exercise their right to self-determination including their right to establish on all the territories that Israel has occupied, an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital. The structure of Zionist apartheid, based on ethno-religious discrimination that Israel has established, must be dismantled and it must grant equal rights to all its citizens, including the “Right of Return” to the Palestinians refugees.

Rami Zurayk is a Lebanese agronomist at the American University of Beirut who has taken part in ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ and is currently promoting this year’s events on Twitter, where his profile picture is of terrorist Leila Khaled, and on his blog.

Roohulla Rezvi from Iran is cited by Feroze Mithiborwala as having been instrumental (along with Salim Ghafouri) in securing Iranian support for the 2010 Asia to Gaza convoy.

Gauhar Iqbal is a functionary of the ‘Human Welfare Trust’ which is included in the social service wing of the Indian Jamat al Islami. He also took part in the Asai to Gaza Convoy and is pictured here first from the left.

Irman Abdurahman is also a graduate of the Asia to Gaza Convoy and is a member of the board of executives of the Indonesian Society for Palestine Freedom (aka the Voice of Palestine) which states on its website that “[n]ative inhabitants of historical Palestine are people that are expelled and dispossessed from their lands and houses by force. Since 100 years to date the ultra-nationalist Zionist movement with support of some colonial powers has been doing this brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.” The Indonesian chapter of GMJ has a Facebook group featuring a book by Gilad Atzmon, a speech by Khamenei at the ‘Islamic Awakening and Youth’ conference and this graphic:

Part two of this report will focus on the European chapter of the Global March to Jerusalem.

Andy Newman’s racist left: And, how I became a “right wing troll”

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I was labelled as such yesterday by Andy Newman and his comrades at Socialist Unity by merely posting the following message beneath their cross-post of Newman’s CiF essay on Gilad Atzmon.

Adam Levick

The blog I manage, CiF Watch, just posted an essay on your recent critique of Gilad Atzmon.

If you’re interested in reading it, here it is.

http://cifwatch.com/2011/10/03/andy-newmans-socialism-of-fools-the-remarkable-staying-power-of-leftist-antisemitism/

The post I linked to, by Hadar Sela, “Andy Newman’s Socialism of Fools: The remarkable staying power of leftist antisemitism“, called out Newman for the inherent hypocrisy of his criticism of Atzmon’s antisemitism in the context of Newman’s own associations with Islamist, and Islamist friendly, groups which oppose Israel’s very existence, and advance unambiguously antisemitic agendas.  

Sela also observed the cynicism of Newman’s agenda, as not informed by a sincere opposition towards antisemites, per se, but only those, like Gilad Atzmon, whose anti-Jewish rhetoric is so extreme as to hurt the Palestinian cause.   

I later checked my comment at Newman’s site for any feedback and saw this:

Apparently, the word “inflammatory” for the socialist clique which Newman associates includes any commentary which goes against established anti-Zionist leftist orthodoxy.  Such views are clearly counter-revolutionary and therefore outside the realm of acceptable debate. 

My comment, however, did elicit the following from Newman, who posted this below my deleted post.

You need to be a special type of idiot to think that my article is evidence that I am equivalent of Nick Griffin.

You also concentrate on the words “far right” that I have already explained was inserted by the Guardian editors.

And clearly in your book ALL solidarity with the Palestinians or political disagreement with Zionism is anti-semitic; making you a zealot of the most extremist stripe

Comment by Andy Newman — 3 October, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

So, just how zealous is CiF Watch?

Well a clue can be found in a recent piece at Socialist Unity criticizing both our friends at Harry’s Place – a blog which exposes totalitarian, pro-Islamist and antisemitic tendencies on the left (such as Socialist Unity) – and CiF Watch.

They wrote:

“Harry’s Place also served as a catalyst for the launch of CiF Watch, a website allegedly dedicated ‘to monitoring and exposing antisemitism on the Guardian newspaper’s ‘Comment is Free’ blog’. However, as with Harry’s Place, its main task appears to be to be the smearing of anti-Zionists and voices critical of Israel.”

The post – after condemning Harry’s Place as “Islamophobic” for “smearing” the honorable  George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, Jenny Tonge, Medhi Hassan, and Seumas Milne – added:

“It [Harry's Place] is a sewer of racism and reaction that is committed to providing unfailing support to a state, Israel, which is engaged in apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.”

In the exquisite moral inversion which informs Andy Newman’s politics, those who call for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state, and consistently espouse Judeophobic narratives, are progressives in good standing, while those who oppose such dangerous bigotry are reactionary and racist.

As Hadar Sela observed:

 [Zionism] is the (still, for some) ‘radical’ notion that Jews are equals and that as such they are, like any other nation, entitled to dictate their own destiny through self-determination. A Left which is anti-Zionist is a Left which denies the right of Jews to that equality, and therefore racist. 

This is undeniably the racist left which Andy Newman inhabits. 

Meet The Telegraph’s Josie Ensor, who, “as a Jew” finds CiF Watch’s posts on antisemitism “funny”

Josie Ensor is a reporter at The Daily Telegraph, who used to work for the English-language Daily Star in Beirut, and periodically contributes to the The Huffington Post. Her CV notes also that she has contributed to the Guardian, but I was unable to find any such contributions by Ensor on the Guardian’s website.

Ensor came to our attention today when she evidently came across our blog and Tweeted the following.

Then, after we Tweeted a response asking her why she evidently doesn’t take our blog’s commentary on antisemitism seriously, she responded with this:

Oh, yes. “As a Jew…”

While most of Ensor’s work is not polemical, an indication of her politics can be found in a 2009 essay she wrote for Huffington Post (cross-posted at her personal blog), where she, in a story about Gaza aid convoys, sought the sage advice of Hamas and Hezbollah supporter, George Galloway – introducing the story with the clear suggestion that Galloway’s views, that “Israel was a liability, a leech on the blood supply of the US and all countries that support it” have indeed been vindicated.  

But an even more accurate barometer of just how seriously Ensor takes antisemitism can be found on her personal blog – specifically, her review of Caryl Churchill’s play, Seven Jewish Children.

In the review, Ensor breezily dismissed charges that the play was antisemitic, as an argument only coming form “pockets of critics and academics”, and indeed reverently treats the anti-Jewish agitprop as a serious meditation on Palestinian subjugation.

As Anthony Julius noted recently in a letter to the Guardian about the play:

In Trials of the Diaspora, I argue that Caryl Churchills play Seven Jewish Children is antisemitic. Churchill (Letters, 4 March) denies this characterisation, writing that I rely on the line “tell her there’s dead babies, did she see babies?”.

I had in mind the following lines, among others. “Tell her we killed the babies by mistake / Don’t tell her anything about the army.” “Tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? Tell her all I feel is happy it’s not her.” “Tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out.” “Tell her I don’t care if the world hates us, tell her we’re better haters, tell her we’re chosen people.”

Ensor’s review concludes thusly:

A patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Churchill says she intended her play to be a political event, and LAU’s cast and director see the vision through with more than a little verve. The audience was handed slips of paper at the end of the performance with the message: “Dear Europe, Sorry about that cloud of ash over your heads and that you can’t travel anywhere. We feel just the same. Sincerely, Gaza.” “Seven Jewish Children” shows that fog may work to quieten [sic] the people of Gaza, but they will not be silenced. [emphasis mine]

In the closing passage of Julius’s Guardian letter, he writes:

“In this play, Jews confess to lying to their own children and killing Palestinian children. They also confess to something close to a project of genocide. And they freely acknowledge the source of their misanthropy to be Judaism itself.

None of this seems to bother Churchill”

Nor, as a Jew, does it seem to bother Josie Ensor. 

A decade on, the Guardian Hadith remains…

10 years have passed since the greatest terrorist atrocity in history. A decade is a long time. In a decade our kids look different, they pass from one stage of life to another.

In a decade, we become experienced in whatever we do professionally. We garner credibility and experience which grants us wisdom and we even may reconsider some our our past follies in light of the new experiences. We grow, we enlighten.  The alternative is aging bitterly, succumbing to dogmatic entropy where self reflection is absent and the blame game is ever growing according to the new Democratic Party
 
The Guardian didn’t grow, didn’t evolve. 
 
 The Guardian re-asserted its defense of Islamic grievances, its dislike of any effort made by America to counter the terror and the ideology which produces the terror, Islamism. 
 
As the anniversary approached they rolled out their worse offenders. Seumas Milne was back defending his post 911 essay which blamed the attacks on the West. 
 
They also invited Inayat Bunglawala to contribute to an anniversary piece. This guy called Osama a “good Muslim” not long before the attacks and has been representing an organization which not only defended terrorists but also supplied the ideological indoctrination to British Muslims, the MCB. 
 
Mehdi Hasan was also staged once more, lecturing us about tolerance despite a dozen videos outing him as a hateful fanatic and bigot who calls non Muslims dogs and cattle.

Or George Galloway who is nothing more than the 21 Century version of Oswald Mosley, being the propaganda agent of a hostile regime, one, like the one Mosley promoted, planning another (or as they would say the first and only) final solution to the Jewish problem. 

 

I stumbled upon a post in CIF by  Edward Said which appeared on Sept 16th 2001. Edward Said is the guru of the so called progressive left when it comes to dealing with the affairs of the Middle East, Islam and the supposedly American / Western/ Zionist inspired clash of civilizations. 

Said was a great influence on Barack Obama and he embodies the Guardian World View where Israel, its lobbies and American capitalism are the causes of terrorism emanating from an “oppressed” Muslim street which is a victim of imperialism, Zionism and American capitalism. 

 Obama removed references to terrorism and radical Islam from the 911 ceremonies.  

 Said wrote in 2001: 

You’d think that ‘America’ was a sleeping giant rather than a superpower almost constantly at war, or in some sort of conflict, all over the Islamic domains. Osama bin Laden’s name and face have become so numbingly familiar to Americans as in effect to obliterate any his tory he and his shadowy followers might have had before they became stock symbols of everything loathsome and hateful to the collective imagination. Inevitably, then, collective passions are being funnelled into a drive for war that uncannily resembles Captain Ahab in pursuit of Moby Dick, rather than what is going on, an imperial power injured at home for the first time, pursuing its interests systematically in what has become a suddenly reconfigured geography of conflict, without clear borders, or visible actors. Manichaean symbols and apocalyptic scenarios are bandied about with future consequences and rhetorical restraint thrown to the winds.

Rational understanding of the situation is what is needed now, not more drum-beating. George Bush and his team clearly want the latter, not the former. Yet to most people in the Islamic and Arab worlds the official US is synonymous with arrogant power, known for its sanctimoniously munificent support not only of Israel but of numerous repressive Arab regimes, and its inattentiveness even to the possibility of dialogue with secular movements and people who have real grievances. Anti-Americanism in this context is not based on a hatred of modernity or technology-envy: it is based on a narrative of concrete interventions, specific depredations and, in the cases of the Iraqi people’s suffering under US-imposed sanctions and US support for the 34-year-old Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Israel is now cynically exploiting the American catastrophe by intensifying its military occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. Political rhetoric in the US has overridden these things by flinging about words like ‘terrorism’ and ‘freedom’ whereas, of course, such large abstractions have mostly hidden sordid material interests, the influence of the oil, defence and Zionist lobbies now consolidating their hold on the entire Middle East, and an age-old religious hostility to (and ignorance of) ‘Islam’ that takes new forms every day.

These paragraphs say it all. As if no other creative writer ever existed at the Guardian. Said is the prophet and the rest of the contributors must only repeat versions of his visions. 

Most writings on this conflict are, in one way or another versions of this narrative. This is the Hadith the Guardinistas quote day after day. Like Pakistani children sitting on the floors of Madrassas, they chant these passages only changing the order by which lines follow each other. 

America, arrogant, Zionism, lobbies, oil, Palestine, children of Iraq, children of Afghanistan (no mention of these children under Saddam and the Taliban), imperialism, colonialism, capitalism. The next day its Israel, America, imperialism, arrogant, Palestine, lobbies, Iraq, Afghanistan….you get the idea…

As if in a trance or in some Pavlovian experiment, these ideas and theories persist despite the world turning over to new chapters of history. 

A decade has passed, yet no maturity, no self reflection, no remorse, no rethinking. The text and its dogma are sacred. Like the Koran which cannot be amended, re-interpreted as that would be sacrilege. The Guardian is like the Muslim street. Never would it re-assess its views or its mistakes or see things even in a slightly different light. It merely re-asserts its demands and view which blame everything on the civilization under attack by its co-religionists.  

In this decade we saw more terror attacks. London, Madrid, Bali, Fort Hood, the attacks on Synagogues in Turkey, the attempts at more mayhem in the skies using liquid bombs and plots against the NY subway and the Frankfurt airport. We saw more “militants” in their videos calling for the world wide caliphate, sharia and the re-conquest of Spain and Palestine under the Ummah. Yet at the Guardian the attackers are us. We are the colonizers, we are the zionists and oppressors. No facts, no history will change that.

A religious dogma is defined as an unchangeable set of ideas transcending the tracks of time. They survive despite and not because of the changes in time. At the Guardian we are dealing with a religious dogma. A dogma which infused the Saidian version of history with the sour grapes hatred of capitalism in light of the fall of the communist block. The total rejection of the totalitarian imposed righteousness was the year 1989. The Guardian still didn’t acknowledge that. It still tries to depict the yearning for freedom by Eastern Europeans as a result of imperialist plots drawn up in the back rooms of MI5 or the CIA.  In Islamism they found another righteous totalitarianism. Another totalitarianism which claims to fight for the oppressed. Though just like the USSR in its days, it is the most imperialist of ideologies around today. The Guardian is the place where atheists can become Islamists.

Just like during the Cold War when Anglo Saxons have proudly allied with the nastiest Russian Pan Slavic nationalism (Stalinism as others may know it) at the Guardian today we see Anglo Saxon Islamists. People who are not Muslims but subscribe to the ideological goals and myths of Islamism. Ignorant of the texts upon which their new allies founded their hateful vision, the Guardinistas fight on for their cause like the loyal little Communists under the pay of Moscow during the Cold War, attacking the institutions and ideas of liberty and freedom. 
They merely see it through their own selfish prisms which have been formulated during the Cold War or during their spoiled middle class childhoods where disappointment in a selfish demand resulted in a nihilistic hatred of the one denying the demands. 
“What I cannot have I will destroy” is the real motivation behind the “modern leftist”.
A decade has passed since 911. There are soldiers today in Iraq and Afghanistan who were children on that day. They played with toys, watched cartoons and wondered why their parents were glued to the TV for so many days following that evil morning. Today they are fighting the war which was launched by these attacks. They have grown, they have matured and they are aware of what we are facing.
Yet at the Guardian – 
We saw more hate, more obfuscation and lies. Some blatantly repeated like Simon Jenkinswho claimed Palestinian solidarity with America on 911 despite decades of video evidence showing Palestinians handing out sweets and chanting in euphoria learning of the fall of the WTC.  We see the same dogma not rejected or even questioned, but alive and well, ready to poison the intellectual space for another decade. In that decade kids born in 2001 will be adults. Those who lived through it will be even more wiser.
I fear that the Guardian staff will still be like those Pakistani children chanting on the floors of Madrassas repeating the same passages: America, Arrogant, Zionism, Lobbies, Capitalism, Imperialism, racism and Palestine…