Indy publishes letter (whose signatures include Desmond Tutu) with lie about ‘maimed’ Palestinian ‘footballers’

Here are the signatories to a letter published at The Independent on April 30, titled ‘Leave Jerusalem off Euro 2020 host city list‘:

John Austin, Victoria Brittain, Rodney Bickerstaffe, Breyten Breytenbach, Caryl Churchill, William Dalrymple, The Rev Garth Hewitt, Dr Ghada Karmi, Bruce Kent, Paul Laverty, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Miriam Margolyes, Mairead Maguire, Kika Markham, Professor Nur Masalha, Karma Nabulsi, Professor Steven Rose, Professor Hilary Rose, Salman Abu Sitta, Ahdaf Souief, Baroness Jenny TongeArchbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker and Roger Waters

The letter (whose signatures include Tutu and several Guardian contributors) opens with the following:

During the next five months Uefa will select 13 host cities for its Euro 2020 football competition. We appeal to Uefa to exclude Jerusalem from this list of hosts.

Here’s one of the reasons these serial Israel haters provide for opposing Jerusalem’s possible hosting of the UEFA football competition:

In February this year, Amnesty International published a report entitled Trigger Happy which documents the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. The report describes this treatment as “unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal”.

You can see NGO Monitor’s take on the Amnesty ‘trigger happy’ report here.

The letter continues:

Just one example of this was seen earlier this year when Israeli soldiers shot repeatedly at the legs and feet of two talented teenage Palestinian footballers at a checkpoint, maiming them for life.

However, the charges about the alleged attack on the ‘talented teenage Palestinian footballers’, which was first published in the Arab media and then by Dave Zirin at The Nation, were proven to be a lie in a superb fisking at Elder of Ziyon.

First, the two Palestinians were not ‘targeted’ because they were “football players”, but because they were allegedly seen throwing bombs.

The incident, which occurred in late January near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, reportedly began when a group of Palestinians (including the two “footballers”) threw bombs at Israeli security forces. The security forces evidently only opened fire when  the group attempted to run away and tried again to toss explosives at them. 

Additionally, both of the Palestinian ‘victims’,  Joher Naser and Adam Johar, are evidently supporters of the terror group, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Here’s a photo of Joher Naser from his own Facebook page:

Joher

Here’s a photo from the Facebook page of the other ‘footballer’, Adam Johar, who evidently didn’t get the memo from Mahmoud Abbas:

adam

Additionally, though Arab media sites (and The Nation) claimed that the two suspects were shot repeatedly in their feet, there are quite a few photos online documenting their injuries in detail but none which show a foot injury.  (By the way, the ‘footballers’ were initially treated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.)

football knees

Joher Naser (left) and Adam Johar (right)

football walk 3

Joher Naser (left) and Adam Johar (right)

Do these footballers-cum-terror supporters seem “maimed for life” to you?

Perhaps editors at the Indy should be more careful before legitimizing wild, libelous anti-Israel allegations which have little if any relationship to reality. 

(See more on this story in a post published by my colleague Tamar Sternthal

 

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The Guardian once again disguises the reality of unrecognized Bedouin “villages”

A guest post by AKUS

On Nov. 28th the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Harriett Sherwood ‘reported‘ on a letter (published at the Guardian on the same day) signed by 50 public figures such as “Antony Gormley, the actor Julie Christie, the film director Mike Leigh and the musician Brian Eno” (and Jenny Tonge) opposing an Israeli plan to remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from ‘their historic desert land’.

letters

Sherwood quotes the letter thus:

The eviction and destruction of about 35 “unrecognised” villages in the Negev desert will, the letter says, “mean the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation.”

Leaving aside the absurd idea that people who had till quite recent times led itinerant lives moving across vast distances of the Middle East with no fixed national identity can be now labeled “Palestinian Bedouin” like politically correct produce in an organic food co-op, the article (and letter) conjure up visions of camel-riding nomads being forced to fold their goat-skin tents and leave from vast stretches of Sahara-like dunes. 

The Guardian once again is trying to promote the idea that these are Bedouin living in little villages that are the equivalent of the quaint villages one sees in reruns of “Midsommer Murders”. The reality, however, is far different.

Had Sherwood and the signatories ever bothered to take a drive down Route 40 from Beersheva, they may have found that they rather approved of the idea of relocating Bedouin from ramshackle tin huts in slum-like groups that have no running water to planned communities which provide the modern conveniences and sanitary conditions that they themselves expect and enjoy.

The photo below (which I took myself last year) depicts one “unrecognized village” a few miles south of Beersheva seen from Route 40.

one

It is “unrecognized” because it is simply an ad hoc assembly of tin and cardboard huts. The bales of hay are to feed the camels you can see in the foreground, the only reminder of this family’s nomadic past. There are dozens of these encampments strung out along the highway, and the issues of pollution, environmental destruction and sheer unsightliness are immediately evident.

So here’s the question for the 50 public figures in the UK:  

If you left Hampstead for a trip into the country, and found “unrecognized villages” like this (and there are dozens like it) strung out along the M-1, would you be protesting against the idea of moving people to better housing with modern facilities, or protesting against the British government for leaving them there?

David Ward MP : I merely said that ‘Israel should never have been created’.

Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

Baroness Tonge and Manuel Hassassian last night.

Baroness Tonge and Manuel Hassassian last night.

Last night in Parliament (ex-Liberal Democrat) Baroness Jenny Tonge said “If they had only obeyed their own Ten Commandments and half the stuff in the Old Testament…Israel could have been a force for good in the world” (see clip here from 8 mins. 35 secs.)

Tonge was speaking at the Palestine Return Centre event Britain, It’s Time To Apologize for the Balfour Declaration.

Also speaking was Bradford East MP David Ward who in January condemned Jews who “could within a few years of liberation from the death camps, be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza”.

In July he tweeted that “the Zionists are losing the battle – how long can the apartheid State of Israel last?”. He was temporarily suspended from the Liberal Democrats.

But, last night, he claimed he had been suspended for something he didn’t say:

“I didn’t say Israel shouldn’t exist but that it should never have been created. I said it was an apartheid state. If Israel isn’t an apartheid state then find me one that is.”

And last night he said “Israel are winning. We are losing hands down”. His main concern was that there is no proper plan to counteract this. But it’s certainly quite a change from his July claim “the Zionists are losing”!

Also speaking was Lord Ahmed Nazir who was jailed in 2009 for dangerous driving where another road user died. Nazir then blamed his imprisonment on a Jewish conspiracy.

Last night he claimed that “we have a great moral responsibility” and “a huge burden on our conscience” in light of the Balfour Declaration.

“East Jerusalem is being evacuated slowly, there is ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people. Whether they are Christian or they are Muslim they are being thrown out of their own country,” he continued. (see clip here)

Jenny Tonge added Israel has the right to exist but “it must start behaving properly and treat people in the Middle East the way they want to be treated”. She said Israel is a “threat to world peace and a threat to itself” and continued:

“We must take on the pro-Israel lobby. We will not be silenced. We are not anti-Semitic, we are anti-injustice. What happened to the Palestinians is the greatest injustice in the last 100 years.

They are clever. They call it the Jewish state of Israel so if you criticise the Jewish state they say you are criticising Jews and that you are anti-Semitic. But it is directed against the Israeli government, not the Jewish people. Many Jews join us.

We must boycott Israeli goods. The Israel lobby puts so much pressure on politicians. We must do the same.”

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic representative in the UK, condemned the Balfour Declaration. He said the Palestinians had been denied the right to self-determination and their basic human rights “due to the pledge by Great Britain to the Zionists”.

He said the Palestinian “right of return” was a “sacred right” and that the “non-Judaisation of the state of Israel is our red line”.

Hassassian continued by saying that Israel is acting as a “pariah state” and “let the Israelis go to hell” and that he would only negotiate with the Israelis when they had first drawn Israel’s borders for him.

He finished by saying “together we can march to Jerusalem” where there should be “no monopoly of one religion at the expense of others. Israel’s Jerusalem is a slap in the face of humanity.”

Meanwhile, if I was living in the Bradford East parliamentary constituency I would be flummoxed to see my MP David Ward spending a disproportionate amount of his time attacking Israel. Have the people of Bradford East had all their problems solved?

The 2015 general election is not too far away and Ward has a tiny majority. Maybe it’s time for the people of Bradford East to elect someone who focuses more on them.

Guardian provides PR for failing BDS campaign against EU football championship in Israel

The 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship (UEFA U-21) - hosted by Israel from June 5th through the 18th – represents the 19th staging of the event.  National football teams from all over Europe will compete, with England, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and Norway, alongside Israel, all vying for the title of champion.

Anti-Israel boycott campaigners (branded as “Red Card Israeli Racism”) are campaigning for the tournament not to be held in Israel as part of a sporting boycott of the Jewish state. And, though their BDS efforts will certainly fail, the Guardian has begun providing these anti-Israel campaigners with the publicity they desire. 

Indeed, the latest two Guardian reports on their site’s Israel page are a letter calling on the UEF (Union of European Football) to reverse their decision to choose Israel as a venue (Uefa insensitivity to Palestinians plight’, May 27), and a story, in the sports section, reporting on the publication of the very same letter the Guardian had just published (‘Uefa accused of ignoring anti-Palestinian bias‘, David Feeny, May 28).

uefa

Here’s the text of the May 27 Guardian letter:

On Friday, delegates from European football associations gathered in a London hotel for Uefa‘s annual congress (Report, 24 May). They agreed new, strict guidelines to deal with racism, suggesting a commendable determination to combat discrimination in the sport.

We find it shocking that this same organisation shows total insensitivity to the blatant and entrenched discrimination inflicted on Palestinian sportsmen and women by Israel.

Despite direct appeals from representatives of the sport in Palestine and from anti-racist human rights campaigners across Europe, Uefa is rewarding Israel’s cruel and lawless behaviour by granting it the honour of hosting the European Under-21 finals next month.

Uefa should not allow Israel to use a prestigious football occasion to whitewash its racist denial of Palestinian rights and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

We urge Uefa to follow the brave example of world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking who, on advice from Palestinian colleagues, declined to take part in an international conference in Israel. We call on Uefa, even at this late stage, to reverse the choice of Israel as a venue.

Here are the signatories to the BDS call in the Guardian. As you’ll note by reading our brief bios, the group is dominated by ‘Patrons’ from the fringe group, Palestine Solidarity Campaign:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu:  Former civil rights leader in South Africa with an apparent blind spot when it comes to Jews.  Tutu, for instance, has evoked classic antisemitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish “arrogance”, “power” and money.

Frédéric Kanouté: A footballer who, we revealed in early December, had falsely claimed that several other footballers had called on European football’s governing body to cancel Israel’s hosting of the Under-21 Finals.

John Austin MP: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Former Labour MP for Woolwich.

Rodney Bickerstaffe: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Bob Crow: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Victoria Brittain: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and former Guardian associate foreign editor, who once chaired an event at the pro-Hamas group, MEMO.

Jeremy Corbyn MP: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and an obsessively anti-Israel campaigner who had participated in a meeting organized by the openly pro-Hamas group MEMO, and has actually opined quite explicitly in defense of both Hamas and Hezbollah.

Caryl Churchill: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and author of the antisemitic play Seven Jewish Children’.

Rev Garth Hewitt: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, and singer/songwriter.

Dr Ghada Karmi: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, one-state promoter and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor.

Bruce Kent: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron.

Ken Loach: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, and a film-maker who has participated in countless anti-Israel campaigns, and has even participated in the kangaroo court known as the Russell Tribunal on Palestine where he accused the Jewish state of adopting a policy of ‘racial purity’.

Michael Mansfield QC: A British lawyer and Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter, who has endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood-led ‘Free Gaza’ campaign – and also has participated in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Kika Markham: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron, Actor, and supporter of Viva Palestina

Luisa Morgantini: Former vice-president, European parliament. 

Prof Hilary Rose, Prof Steven Rose: Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patrons, and among the founding members of British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). Their obsessive criticism of Jews, and of the Jewish state, inspired Anthony Julius to observe that they seem “proud to be ashamed to be Jews”. 

Alexei Sayle: Author and comedian, Palestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Marxist.

Jenny Tonge: Most notable for her remarks that she might have been a suicide bomber had she been born a Palestinian, as well as her claim that “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips [and] a certain grip on [the Labor] party”. Tonge also is infamous for calling on Israel to “investigate” the IDF in light of charges they were stealing organs in Haiti. 

Dr Antoine ZahlanPalestine Solidarity Campaign Patron and Arab academic.

Geoffrey Lee: Affiliated with the group leading efforts to boycott Israeli football, ‘Red Card Israeli Racism‘ 

Tomas Perez: According to the Guardian, he’s affiliated with the group Football Beyond Borders

John McHugo: Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, board member of CAABU, the Council for Arab-British Understanding. He has also contributed essays for the website of the pro-Hamas group MEMO.

Roger Lloyd Pack: Actor best known for his role as ‘Trigger’ in the BBC series ‘Only Fools and Horses’

Whilst this campaign, like so many other abysmal attempts to isolate Israel by the anti-Zionist left, will certainly fail, it’s important to contextualize BDS in all of its manifestations as the political derivative of various Arab (and Soviet) led boycotts which have been used for many decades as weapons in the war against Israel.  In its modern incarnation BDS represents the main component of the “Durban strategy” – adopted by the NGO Forum of the UN’s Durban Conference (2001) – adopted by pro-Palestinian groups to completely isolate Israel by promoting economic, academic, cultural and even (as in this case) sporting boycotts of Israel.

As NGO monitor summed up the BDS movement:

  • Boycotts are the antithesis of dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Ali Abunimah, major BDS speaker and head of “Electronic Intifada,” labels Palestinian leaders who negotiate with Israel “collaborators.”
  • BDS activists promote “one-state” solutions, meaning the elimination of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish nation. (A political goal which is codified as antisemitic by the EU.)

Further, this particular boycott movement – targeting Israel by attempting to politicize European football – has garnered almost no traction beyond marginal figures and a few extreme anti-Israel movements.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said after Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell asked why the government was supporting the tournament: “I do not believe that sporting fixtures should be an obstacle to political progress of any form”. Responding to the president of the Palestinian Football Association, FIFA President Platini said that UEFA did not believe in “punishing people and isolating them”.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the Israeli U21 squad comes from a range of backgrounds, and includes Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis and foreign football players.

We’ll leave you with a video featuring two outstanding Israeli players – Captain Eyal Golasa, a Netanya native who plays for Maccabi Haifa, and Moanes Dabur, an Arab-Israeli player for Maccabi Tel Aviv – talking about the Israeli national under-21 team and showing off their skills.

Richard Millett interviewed for Israeli documentary about antisemitism

H/T NGO Monitor

The following 40-minute documentary about antisemitism, which aired on Israeli Channel 2 on the eve of Yom HaShoah, April 7, features interviews with Richard Millett, Abe Foxman, Howard Jacobson, and Alan Dershowitz – and includes clips of several figures who will be familiar to CiF Watch readers, including Lauren Booth, Jenny Tonge, and Ken O’Keefe.

Much of the show is in Hebrew, but many of the interviews are in English.  You can jump to Millett’s segment by forwarding to the 17:15 mark.  The other commentators noted above follow Millett.

Former BBC MidEast reporter Llewellyn: ‘Zionists scattered at strategic points in UK business’

Cross posted by Richard Millett

Milne, Alibhai-Brown, Llewellyn, Rowland listening to Jenny Tonge’s rant last nigh

The reputation of the Jewish community was dragged through the gutter at last night’s book launch of The Battle for Public Opinion in Europe: Changing Perceptions of the Palestine-Israel Conflict. The event was staged by anti-Israel pressure group Middle East Monitor at the University of London’s Senate House.

The panelists were Tim Llewellyn (former BBC Middle East correspondent and now adviser to Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding), Jackie Rowland (Al Jazeera correspondent) and Seumas Milne (The Guardian associate editor). Yasmin Alibhai-Browne (The Independent) chaired the event.

Seumas Milne

Llewellyn and Rowland described a persistent manipulation of the British broadcast media by a well-moneyed pro-Jewish lobby. Llewellyn said, inter alia, that:

“The BBC is very sparing in the amount of delegations or visitors it allows from the Palestinian side. Whereas from remarks that have been heard from the head of BBC News, Helen Boaden, the British Board of Deputies (of British Jews), for example, practically lives at the BBC. They’re there all the time.”

And:

“I was there (at the BBC) when we weren’t interfered with. But the last 10-12 years, since the beginning of the second Intifada, has coincided with Israel’s decision  to mount a tremendously well organised, careful, assiduous and extremely well-financed propaganda campaign in this country, especially in Britain.

The BBC has completely and utterly become feeble and has misreported, in my view; misrepresenting the situation in Israel-Palestine. It has done this maybe because of intense Israeli and pro-Israeli pressure from within this country, from political elements like the Friends of Israel of our three main political parties.

Also through the higher level of pro-Israel Zionists who are scattered at strategic points throughout the British establishment, throughout British business and among the people whose voices are respected.

The propaganda can sometimes be extremely intense, it can be bitter, it can be angry, it could be violent, it can be other forms of coercion. But it’s something the suits at the BBC find very hard to resist. So what has developed over the past 10 years at the BBC, and at other broadcasting institutions like ITN, not so much Channel 4, is a kind of self-censorship.

It is known now by the reporters if they are reporting on an atrocity by the Israelis, in the occupied territories or elsewhere, that they have to add-on to the end of their story some kind of appeasing story of how terrible the Palestinians are or how the Israelis have suffered.”

And:

“The pressure of this Israeli campaign has had a tremendous effect, especially at the institutional level of the BBC and inside the political parties. These people are extremely tough, tough-minded. I have just read a book by Anthony Lerman called The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist. If you studied the internecine warfare that goes on inside the Jewish community between the different groups; the anti-Zionists, the Zionists, the liberal Zionists, the non-Zionists, it is vitriolic, it is dreadful, I mean what chance have we got outside that community.”

Llewellyn even described Jews as “an alien people”. He said:

“The situation in Palestine now is the direct result of British deviousness, betrayal…dividing Syria in at least three parts; Lebanon, Syria as it is now, and Palestine, and setting the stage for the imposition and the implanting of an alien country, an alien people in that region.”

Rowland described how the BBC’s obligation for accountability, because it is publicly funded, has been “used and exploited by very well organised pro-Israeli, pro-Jewish lobby groups.”

She said that she knew someone who worked in the complaints department of the BBC who told her “that 85% of the complaints he dealt with were complaints by pro-Israeli, pro-Jewish lobby groups complaining about the perceived bias of the BBC’s Middle East coverage.”

She said this gives an idea of “how well organised, well-funded people use the idea of public accountability to tie up a lot of BBC resources on one very narrow focus.”

Alibhai-Browne told of how she had been given a rent free home in England by Professor Hugh Blaschko for seven years after she fled Uganda and how he had said to her that “Israel will bring the worst out in us Jewish people”.

Alibahi-Browne also compared Israel to apartheid South Africa.

Milne said “there are well-funded and well organised organisations that campaign in support of Israel. If you’re editing in these area you will find pressure and campaigning constantly by those groups.”

During the Q&A I couldn’t resist mentioning, seeing she was in the audience, that I took the footage that contributed to Jenny Tonge’s exit from the Liberal Democrats. In a bizarre outburst right at the end she took to the microphone to announce:

“I’d like to say, I hope he hasn’t gone, a big, big ‘thank you’ to Richard Millett, the Jewish Chronicle, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the entire pro-Israel lobby who have relentlessly attacked me for eight years but making sure that the Palestinian cause gets heard.”

I have no problem at all with the Palestinian cause getting heard. The main problem for the Palestinians is that it is heard via the likes of Tonge, Milne, Rowland, Alibhai-Browne and Llewellyn.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to clarify exactly what Helen Boaden did say that led to Llewellyn’s accusation that the Board of Deputies of British Jews “practically lives at the BBC”.

Click HERE for Jonathan Hoffman’s view of last night.

Click HERE for MEMO’s version with photos.

Is there really any difference between Jenny Tonge and Salma Yaqoob?

A couple of months ago Jenny Tonge caused a firestorm after she publicly stated during an anti-Israel diatribe “Israel is not going to be there forever in its present performance”.  Rejecting an ultimatum from Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, to apologize for her remarks Tonge was forced to resign from the Liberal Democrats and give up the party whip.

Commenting on Tonge’s remarks, Robert Halfon, MP opined

“Baroness Tonge has an appalling record of strong anti-Israel rhetoric. Too often, these remarks carry an offensive anti-Semitic tone. The Liberal Democrat whip should be withdrawn immediately, and she should withdraw her remarks.”

Enter Salma Yaqoob, hailed by the Guardian as “the most prominent Muslim woman in British public life”.

Yaqoob, leader of the Respect Party and former Birmingham city councilor, is known for her Islamist leanings having called the 7/7 London bombings “reprisal attacks”. According to Harry’s Place:

[H]er connections with Islamist extremism go back far further than her association with RESPECT. She was part of the campaign team which supported the family of Abu Hamza, who were caught while taking part in jihadist training in Yemen. Most disgracefully, she wrote an article in Inayat Bunglawala’s “Trends” magazine, which imagined Britain becoming an Islamic Republic, from which Salman Rushdie was depicted fleeing for his life.

Salma Yaqoob (right) endorsing Ben "I can understand why some are antisemitic" White's book Israel Apartheid for Beginners

It should come as no surprise then that Yaqoob holds a special place in her heart for Israel. She attended a protest together with Richard Burden, MP, in which the Israeli flag was burnt. On her personal blog, she lovingly refers to the IHH terrorists on board the Mavi Marmara as martyrs, campaigned for the release of Sheikh Raed Salah, endorsed the closure of the Israeli embassy in London, and supported the pro-Hamas Viva Palestina convoy while on Twitter she participated in the campaign to release Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson, Khader Adnan.

In the spirit of Norman Finkelstein, in an article published in the Guardian (but where else!) she accused “Zionists [of abusing] the memory of the Holocaust to bolster support for today’s Israeli state.” And as can be seen from this article she is a staunch supporter of the BDS movement and the antisemitic Israel apartheid trope.

Which is all by way of introduction to this video filmed in 2010 that places everything neatly in context.

Around the 1 minute mark you can hear Yaqoob saying the following:

“[J]ust as South Africa now is liberated. Just as the bankrupt apartheid regime was exposed, was exposed to a world of the solidarity of world citizens [sic] was dismantled, so too the days of this racist apartheid regime are numbered.” [emphasis added]

Calling into question the existence of and willing the end of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is abhorrent, offensive and yes antisemitic.

So I ask the question: is there really any difference between what Jenny Tonge  and Salma Yaqoob said?

Perhaps Yaqoob should ponder this next time she openly threatens CiF Watch on twitter for expressing our First Amendment rights of free speech.

Update 1

On Twitter, Yaqoob is claiming that she referred to the fact that 7/7 bomber claimed it as a reprisal attack and that she condemned the bombings unreservedly.

Update 2

On Twitter, Yaqoob claims that the Trends article was a satirical parody. She’s strangely silent about the substance of the post – namely the similarity of her statement to that of Jenny Tonge!

Update 3

More hate speech from Salma Yaqoob, this time on Twitter:

Salma Yaqoob Hate Speech Tweet

Update 4

Yaqoob is resolute about standing behind her comments a la Jenny Tonge as evidenced by this retweet:

 

Update 5

This retweet from Salma Yaqoob is priceless:

Update 6

Note how Salma Yaqoob accuses us of trolling and smearing in the following two tweets:

And then she retweets this:

Jenny Tonge & the Hamas Lobby

A guest post by Hadar Sela, a freelance Anglo Israeli writer

Jenny Tonge (far left) with Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh (third from left)

The recent tirade by Baroness Jenny Tonge – which resulted in her removal from the Liberal Democrats Party – included one of her more recurrent themes; the so-called ‘Israel lobby’.

Tonge said that Americans would tell “the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough” and accounts by those present at the event report that:

“Tonge, who describes herself as an “ethnic Christian” started by telling the audience to beware of the Israel lobby because “once they have decided to go for you, they will go for you. I bear the scars”. She cited the notorious writings of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, which have been widely discredited for effectively alleging a Jewish conspiracy – a charge that the authors have strenuously denied.”

This, of course, is not a new theme for Jenny Tonge. In 2006 she opined:

“The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western World, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a certain grip on our party”.

It is therefore interesting to note that on Baroness Tonge’s newly updated profile page on the House of Lords website she declares two overseas trips within the last few months, both paid for by the Council for European Palestinian Relations.

Visit to Cairo and Gaza, 20-25 November 2011; travel expenses and accommodation paid by Council for European Palestinian Relations (based in Brussels)

Visit to Qatar, 8-10 January 2012, for discussions with Crown Prince; cost of accommodation and travel met by Council for European/Palestine Relations (based in Brussels)

The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) declares itself to be an “independent non-profit and non-partisan” organization registered in Belgium (BE 0828.629.725) and with an office in London.

It appears on the Transparency Register of the Joint Secretariat of the European Parliament and European Commission (no. 60576433-83). According to that register we see that in the financial year 2010/2011 the CEPR had a total budget of 155,000 Euros, all of which came from donations, although no information is available as to the identity of the donors.

The CEPR declares on the register and on its website that:

“The CEPR is funded by individual donations from around the world in compliance with Belgian and UK legal requirements. It does not accept funds from any individuals or bodies whose objectives are inimical to the interests of peace and justice.”

So far, the CEPR perhaps sounds like any other lobbyist body, but the interesting aspects of this organization begin to come to light when one takes a look at the personalities behind it.

The Director of CEPR is Dr. Arafat Shoukri (aka Arafat Madi Mahmoud Shukri).  Shoukri is also Operational Director with the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) – a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organization based in London which is outlawed in Israel due to its clear links to Hamas.

Several of the PRC’s senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in the UK. Founded by Salman Abu Sitta in 1996, the PRC was born out of rejection of the Oslo Accords, denial of Israel’s right to exist and the agenda of ‘right of return’ for millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel, effectively annihilating the Jewish state. Its funding is not transparent.

Other PRC board members are connected to charities linked to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Union of Good’ umbrella organization – illegal in Israel and the United States due to its fundraising activities for Hamas. Several prominent PRC activists took part in the infamous ‘Durban Conference’ in 2001.

Since 2003 the PRC has organized an annual ‘Conference of Palestinians in Europe’ which is attended by figures from Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood along with representatives of their supporting organisations. Ismail Haniyeh – unable to travel to the conferences in person due to a European travel ban – has on several occasions addressed the conference by video link.

Arafat Shoukri is also chair of the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) which was established by the Muslim Brotherhood’s European arm – the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) in 2007 and shares the same London offices as the PRC. The ECESG is one of the coalition of groups which organizes the various flotillas aimed at breaking Israel’s maritime embargo on Gaza which was established in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons to Hamas. Jenny Tonge is a “supporting VIP” of the ECESG.

Here is Shoukri being interviewed in his ECESG capacity prior to the tragic 2010 flotilla:

The CEPR website is registered to ‘Save Gaza’, which was the address of the apparently now defunct ECESG website still promoted on the ECESG Facebook account.

Arafat Shoukri attended the recent ‘Conference for the Defence of Al Quds’ in Qatar, (also attended by Yusuf Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood) which came to the conclusion that “the Israelis have no heritage in Al-Quds”.

Assistant to the Director at CEPR is Ramy Abdu (aka Rami Salah Ismail Abdo) who at least until 2011 was (and may still be) also the ECESG spokesman. In 2009 Abdu left his native Gaza (where he acted as spokesman for the pro-Hamas ‘Popular Committee Against the Siege’) and moved to Manchester to study at MMU. He also became an ECESG co-ordinator. Here is Abdu being interviewed in his previous role with the PCAS. 

James Tuite is the Parliamentary Officer of the CEPR and as such is active at the European Parliament in Brussels and presumably in initiatives such as this.

Dimitris Bouris is the CEPR Research Assistant. Examples of his writing and research can be seen here and here.

Stuart Reigeluth is Communications Officer for the CEPR. He holds a Master’s degree in Palestinian poetry from the American University in Beirut and also writes for several outlets including the Gulf News, the Daily Star, the Palestine-Israel Journal and Electronic Intifada.

 Unsurprisingly, Reigeluth has also contributed articles to the antisemitic ‘Palestine Telegraph which is run by Sameh Habeeb (aka Sameh Akram Subhi Habib – also originally from Gaza) who is also connected to both the Palestinian Return Centre and the ECESG, having acted as the latter’s spokesman during its 2009 aid convoy. Jenny Tonge was patron of the Palestine Telegraph until she resigned after it posted a David Duke video.

Julian Memetaj is listed as Communications Assistant on the CEPR website. In this recent article (written together with Reigeluth) he states that “Jewish Israelis are xenophobic towards Arabs”.

Ayman Abuawwad (also Abu Awad) is not listed on the website, but is sometimes described as Information Officer in press releases and articles put out on behalf of the CEPR. He is also apparently connected to the ECESG.

Further indication of the close level of co-operation between the CEPR and the other organisations with which so many of its staff are involved can be seen in their joint projects.

In 2011 the CEPR and the PRC together took a group of Parliamentarians from Britain and Europe – lead by Sir Gerald Kaufman – to Lebanon where they met representatives of the PFLP-GC and Osama Hamdan of Hamas. (Both these organisations are proscribed terror groups in the EU). Majid al Zeer of the PRC (a known Hamas operative) and Arafat Shoukri of the CEPR were also present in the delegation.

Also in 2011 a joint CEPR/ECESG project took a group of 50 Parliamentarians to Gaza, where they met with Ismail Haniyeh among others.

Whilst it is unsurprising to say the least that Jenny Tonge would collaborate with such a thinly veiled Hamas lobby as the Council for European Palestinian Relations, some of the many other members of both Houses of Parliament who have taken part in CEPR trips might care to ask themselves exactly where the money for their travel expenses originated and whether or not their allowing themselves to be lobbied by an organisation with such clear links to a terrorist organisation their own government has proscribed is appropriate.

The European and British Parliaments – which allow the CEPR to lobby on their premises – would also be wise to verify that organisation’s claim that it “does not accept funds from any individuals or bodies whose objectives are inimical to the interests of peace and justice”.

‘Global March to Jerusalem’ Update: Quarrels within anti-Zionist ‘Sunni-Shia/Red-Green’ Alliance?

A guest post by Hadar Sela

Since the publication of the two-part report on the Global March on Jerusalem scheduled for March 30th, further information and several new developments have come to light thanks to the work of some wonderful people.

 Aaron took a look at the subject of the registration and hosting of the various GMJ websites and found that they share an IP address with the website of the AhlulBayt Islamic Mission – the Islamic Republic of Iran aligned Shia missionary organisation in the United Kingdom. The server hosting both the AhlulBayt site and the GMJ sites is registered to a Leicester resident named Shabbir Hassanally. Read all the details here.

Mr Hassanally appears to be quite a fan of Hizbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah. In fact he puts considerable effort into making English language sub-titles for Nasrallah’s frequent speeches which he then posts on his own blog – apparently unconcerned by the fact that Hizbollah’s military wing is proscribed by his own government and that the glorification of terrorism is a criminal offence in the UK.  

Hassanally has also acted as roving reporter in Lebanon for the Palestine Telegraph – founded and edited by Sameh Habib (aka Sameh Akram Subhi Habeeb) who is also spokesman for the flotilla-organising ‘European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza’ which was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood’s European arm – the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) – in 2007. The Palestine Telegraph proved to be too extreme even for its former patron Jenny Tonge and it and its editor have been involved in multiple scandals.

Here is Shabbir Hassanally celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the Iranian regime last year. Note his apparent subscription to the messianic Mahdi concept and his description of Israel as “the cancer occupying our beloved Palestine“.

If UK readers are now pondering the efficacy of their government’s ‘Prevent‘ counter-terrorism policy upon which so much of their taxes have been spent, they will certainly not be reassured by the fact that Hassanally has also been given a platform at the Muslim Shia Welfare Foundation in Leicester, which is – of course – a registered charity.

A variety of interested parties are making intense efforts to bring Jerusalem to the top of the publicity agenda ahead of the planned march next month, including a conference in Qatar earlier this week (for some reason apparently attended by UN representative Robert Serry), an incendiary press release  by the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual mentor Yusuf al Qaradawi and publicity on the websites of Hamas and ‘Unified Umma’.

However, it would appear that all is not rosy in the world of joint Sunni-Shia/Red-Green alliance project management.

From the Facebook account of ‘Viva Palestina Australia  (h/t to F.) we learn that initial enthusiasm for the GMJ project has been somewhat dampened due to apparent differences of opinion with co-ordinator Zaher al Birawi.

Feb 19

 Feb 21

Feb 21/22

Feb 22

 Feb 21

 

 Feb 21

Feb 22

 

Meanwhile, over at ISM California, Paul Larudee is chastising his fellow activists for not getting behind the GMJ in sufficient numbers.

Well well; it seems as though some people even within the ‘pro-Palestinian’ movements are waking up to the extremist nature of the GMJ venture and its leaders and organisers and the fact that such publicity stunts do nothing to help the Palestinian people.

About time.  

 

Jenny Tonge rants about the Holocaust and idolises Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

This is cross posted by Richard Millett

Mads Gilbert and Jenny Tonge last night in Parliament.

Last night yet another hate-meeting took place in Parliament with the Palestine Return Centre holding an event “to commemorate the memory of Palestinian victims over the past six decades especially the last war in Gaza”. (Here is what the PRC is all about. It makes unpleasant reading for Jews).

Jenny Tonge was there ranting about how the Palestinians weren’t responsible for the Holocaust and asking “how can the Israelis treat the Palestinians the way they do after what happened in the Holocaust”.

She criticised the power of the “Israel lobby” and held up a magazine with Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh on the front cover and proceeded to idolise him.

She told us about a Palestinian fishing-boat which was boarded by the Israeli navy off Gaza. She said the Palestinian fishermen had their hands bound behind their backs and were forced to swim to the Israeli boat.

And she spoke about why she thinks she comes in for such heavy criticism and put this down to the fact that she stands up for the Palestinians and criticises Israel. The latter, she thinks, is viewed as being anti-Semitic.

When challenged by Jonathan Hoffman to give an example of when criticism of Israel has been called anti-Semitic she said she could give “many examples”, but failed to come through with even one. Here’s the action:

We also heard from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian anesthesiologist, who gave us the names of Palestinian children who had been killed or who had horrendous injuries. He spent most of last night trying to flog his book about it all called Eyes on Gaza. Available from all good retailers.

We heard from Manal Timraz. Manal lost 15 members of her family during Operation Cast Lead, 11 of which were aged between twelve and two, and has lost another four since. After asking us to stand for a minute’s silence she emotionally outlined how the only way forward is a one-state-solution.

She lives in England next to a Jewish woman who “didn’t steal my land and I didn’t steal her’s”.

Gilbert had called for an academic boycott of Israel and during the Q&A I asked him how he could propose such an obviously racist policy and whether he used any Israeli products himself.

He said that the accusation that he was “a racist” was “absolutely preposterous” (I didn’t call him “a racist”) and said that he used computers without Intel chips. He then accused me of “smiling and laughing arrogantly” while Manal was speaking. I was smiling, but only at Manal’s suggestion that Jonathan go to the West Bank with her to drink tea “like a Palestinian”.

Gilbert further rejected accusations of anti-Semitism, eventhough none were made, with:

“If you want to look for anti-Semitism don’t look among us because we are profoundly anti-racist”.

He’s even friends with a Canadian Jew!

But how can anyone seriously claim to be “profoundly anti-racist” while hero-worshipping a self-confessed Jew hater (see Hamas Charter) like Ismail Haniyeh?

Here is the Q&A footage. First you hear PRC’s Sameh Habeeb, then Manal Timraz, then Mads Gilbert (from 4 mins. 15 secs.) and, finally, Jenny Tonge again, who, sadly, wasn’t impressed with me or Jonathan:

Additional photo:

British Palestinian Manal Timraz speaking last night.

Behind the scenes of the next “freedom” flotilla

The ever watchful Robin Shepherd informed us last week of a new flotilla being organised by ‘European Jews for a Just Peace’ so, as Robin suggests, it is time to take a look at who and what lies behind these latest ships of fools.

In common with the previous attempts to break Israel’s partial blockade of Gaza the organisers of this flotilla claim the moral and legal right to do so on the basis of their interpretation of the situation on the ground – an interpretation sadly lacking anchorage in facts. They claim that the blockade is ‘illegal’, ‘morally wrong’ and ‘indefensible’.  They also claim that their actions are necessary due to the ‘humanitarian crisis ’ in Gaza. There is, of course, no truth in either of these oft-repeated claims and never has been – they are merely a smoke screen for political activism.

Israel continues to transport thousands of tons of humanitarian aid of all kinds into the Gaza Strip every day  and details of the amounts and nature of the aid entering Gaza are openly publicized on the internet for all to see. Three months ago restrictions on the types of goods entering Gaza were eased even further  and there is no truth whatsoever in the claims made by various flotilla organizers of shortages or even starvation. Not only is Israel’s economic blockade on Gaza entirely in line with international law, the fact that flotilla organisers have consistently reserved their indignation for Israeli actions whilst conveniently ignoring very similar ones on the part of Egypt indicates clearly that their motives are political rather than humanitarian.

Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza is also entirely legal under international law, as Professor of international law Ruth Lapidoth points out

“When Is a Blockade Legal?

In order to be legal, several conditions have to be fulfilled. The first is the requirement to give widespread notice when a blockade is applied and to make sure that any ship that is stopped knows that there is a blockade. Nowadays the problem of notification is much easier than in the past because of the great improvement in communications.

Another condition for the legality of a sea blockade is effectiveness. It is not enough simply to declare a blockade. It has to be enforced, otherwise it is not valid and legal.

According to a further condition, a blockade should not cut off an unrelated foreign state from access to the sea. In the case of Gaza, the blockade does not prevent Egypt from reaching the sea.

Furthermore, a blockade has to be based on equality: It must apply to everybody. Of course there is always the possibility that the blockading party may give special permission to certain neutral ships to go through, but these are exceptions.

A blockade has to permit the passage of humanitarian assistance if needed. However, the San Remo Manual includes two conditions (in Article 103): first, the blockading party may decide where and when and through which port the assistance should reach the coast. In addition, the state may require that a neutral organization on the coast should control the distribution of the items. For instance, in Gaza, does it reach the civilians or Hamas?

Finally, there is the condition that a state may not starve the civilian population (San Remo, Article 102). This conforms also to the general principles of the laws on armed conflict.

What If a Ship Disobeys the Blockade?

What may be done to a ship that disobeys the blockade? Here, there may be a distinction between merchant ships and warships. A merchant ship may be visited, searched, or captured; and if the ship resists, it may be attacked. The situation of neutral warships is not quite clear: Warships may also be searched and captured, but opinions are divided on whether they may be attacked. An attack is certainly permitted in a situation of self-defense.

A ship that clearly intends to breach the blockade can be dealt with while it is still on the high seas. Stopping the flotilla in international waters 100 kilometers from Israel was legal: In time of armed conflict, ships breaching the blockade may be searched even on the high seas.”

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Guardian readers respond to CiF essay by Israeli Ambassador: Defend Hamas, Demonize Israel

Ron Prosor’s essay in CiF“Before We Talk to Hamas: No missiles means no blockade. When Israelis feel secure, concessions will follow. It’s that simple” – proposed that for real peace to occur, Israel has to feel secure that any territorial withdrawal, and other such concessions, wont’ be met by more missiles, terrorism, and incitement.  He noted, what should be obvious:

“[Hamas] must renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Prosor (Israel’s Ambassador to the UK) then pointed out that:

“At no point has Hamas satisfied these conditions – or indicated any intention to do so.”

Prosor noted:

“The Hamas charter advocates the destruction of the state of Israel, the genocidal slaughter of Jews and the imposition of an Islamic state governed by sharia law. When an organisation’s constitution venerates your murder, it is difficult to know how negotiations should begin – perhaps with a discussion of the flowers for one’s funeral.”

He continued:

“This week marks the fifth anniversary of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. We withdrew every Israeli soldier and citizen, gambling on the formula of land for peace. Instead of peace and progress we received missiles and misery.”

He then observed:

“Our experience following the Gaza pull-out has scarred the Israeli public. Hamas’s missiles wounded the concept of land for peace, increasing Israeli fears and skepticism.”

He concluded:

“When Israelis feel secure concessions follow. Last weekend Israel dismantled the security barrier in Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb that came under heavy Palestinian sniper fire during the second intifada. If in Gilo no sniper fire means no wall, so in Gaza no missiles would mean no blockade. It is that simple.”

Yes, it really is that simple – except, that is, for the Guardian’s fellow travelers.  The Guardian printed several letters in response to Prosor’s reasonable argument.  They are really a sight to be seen.

Richard Horton

First, was a letter by Dr. Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet – a highly politicized medical journal.  Lancet, it was noted, in a devastating expose by Honest Reporting,  reported on Lancet’s multi-article series on Palestinian health written by Israel boycotters that went way beyond accepted medical norms.

His letter contains passages, attempting to refute Prosor’s essay, that are simply breathtaking.  He says, apparently with a straight face (and I’m quoting him exactly and in context):

“Gaza is NOT a terrorist enclave”

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The Nightmare Shidduch

This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman

So the Guardian is backing the Liberal Democrats (“LibDems”) for the UK election on Thursday, as the Party that offers the best chance of achieving change from a ‘First Past The Post’ electoral system to a ‘proportional representation’ one.

But how convenient for Rusbridger et al that the LibDems are by far the closest in ideology to CIF’s Israel bashers. Indeed there are several crossovers. It was the LibDem’s leader, Nick Clegg, who voiced support for an arms embargo on Israel. Moreover he chose CIF as his platform to announce it. That speaks volumes.

And what a coincidence that Clegg has been advised by Nicholas Blincoe, a former ISM activist, who writes for the Guardian and was a staffer for a time. Blincoe’s insights about Israel include this one:

Israeli archaeologists are like the fireman in the novel Fahrenheit 451; their job is to erase the traces of non-Jewish civilizations, not to investigate them.

And look how Nadhmi Auchi, an anti-Israel Iraqui billionaire, is close to Clegg and organised a fundraising dinner for a LibDem candidate.

Then there is Jenny Tonge, famous for saying “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.” Until very recently she was a Patron of the viciously antisemitic Palestine Telegraph. Only when it posted a David Duke video did she resign. But she has not been thrown out of the LibDem Party – as she surely should be.

You can see here what Tonge and a LibDem MP Sarah Teather say about Israel.

Here you can see the LibDems’ response to the questionnaire sent to candidates by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (the only party – as opposed to individual candidates – to respond). (The response has been taken off the PSC site). They call for a ban on settlement goods, suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and an arms embargo on Israel).

33 LibDem candidates have so far put their name to this. A further 25 LibDem candidates signed the PSC’s pledges.

One LibDem candidate said that the only reason that there was not an arms embargo on Israel was “the power of the Jewish lobbies in Washington and Britain”.  She also echoed Tonge’s call for an inquiry to disprove allegations that Israeli army medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims.

And the LibDems’ spokesman on foreign policy, Shadow Foreign Secretary Ed Davey MP, thinks the Goldstone Report is “balanced” and wants the UN to act on it.

More still: Over 80% of the LibDem MPs in the Parliament which has just been dissolved are happy to see Israelis arrested in the UK on politically motivated false “War Crimes” charges.

Finally …….. remember Chris Davies? He was the LibDem MEP who told a constituent that he hoped she enjoyedwallowing in her own filthafter she wrote to disagree with his views on Israel. He remains a LibDem MEP though he was forced to resign as the Party’s Leader in the European Parliament.

Voluminous though this catalogue is, I’m sure that diligent CIF readers can add to it. Like the way the LibDems’ message on Israel changes according to whether the listener is mezzuzah or muezzin.

I certainly will not be voting for the LibDems on Thursday. No Jew or supporter of Israel should vote for them. They and the Guardian deserve each other. It is a nightmare shidduch.

In fact I have already voted (by post) for the Conservatives. I want a Conservative government because of the previous government’s hostility to Israel. Of course there will be Conservative policies towards Israel with which one disgrees but on the basics – closing the Universal Jurisdiction loophole, opposing the Goldstone Report/Islamic extremism/Iran/Hamas/Hisbolla – they can be trusted.

Postscript:

Not all LibDems are endemically hostile to Israel. Baroness Sarah Ludford has been a great supporter in the European Parliament. There is a LibDem “Friends of Israel” organisation (Vice Chair Matthew Harris, the candidate in Hendon) which especially at Party Conferences has done a good job in stopping some of the extreme hostility being ratified in Resolutions. Chris Huhne – the Home Affairs spokesman who should be Party Leader (he ran against Clegg and reportedly a sack of votes which arrived late would have swung it for Huhne, but he generously said that they should not be counted when this was offered) certainly does not go along with the extreme hostility and neither does Vince Cable (the Shadow Finance Minister). But I believe these people are in a small minority in the Party. If the LibDems entered the Cabinet in a hung Parliament, they certainly would not form the majority voice in the Party’s foreign policy.

Explanatory Note: A “Shidduch” (Hebrew: שִׁידּוּךְ‎) is a match made between two Orthodox Jewish singles.

Disclaimer: The above are personal views and should not be attributed to the UK Zionist Federation of which I am (honorary) Co-Vice Chair.

The Curious Case of Beautiful Burnout

This is a guest post by Sherlock AKUS

Sometimes, Dr. Watson, some people try to be so fair-minded they trip over themselves. For example, take the curious case of “BeautifulBurnout ”, a CiF contributor, self-styled “Beautiful bubbly burntout buddhist barrister” and, it appears, one of the most prolific of CiF commenters (roughly one comment every three minutes on a huge variety of threads), commenting on Uri Dromi’s article about the Tonge affair, A Lib Dem and a blood libel.

“beautifulburnout” nurtured a belief that the Jewish media was responsible for the Baroness Tonge scandal …

But, to be as fair-minded as she would like to be, let’s start from the last of her comments (or, at time of writing, most recent – it’s hard to keep up).

“beautifulburnout”makes a sort of back-handed, rueful apology that manages at the same time once again to cast doubt on Uri Dromi’s impartiality regarding what, Dr. Watson, certainly seems to this investigator as an open and shut case – as “beautifulburnout” reluctantly admits:


Let’s follow the long and winding road that led “beautifulburnout” to this reluctant admission of guilt (I am going to cut ‘n paste rather than paste a screen shot of every comment from this point on but if you care to go through the dozens of comments this poster makes every day you’ll find them at here (although by the time you read this, if she stays on pace, you’ll need to get to page 6 or 7 or 10 of her comments). I have occasionally bolded significant comments I wish to admit in evidence.

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“Of course, in Israel they do [all sorts of bad things] a great deal”

This is a guest post from AKUS

A new variation on an old age tactic of antisemites is now surfacing. I refer, of course, to the demand that Israel be required to form commissions of inquiry to refute any accusation, no matter how vile and unfounded that is hurled against it. Similar to the well-known accusation: “Have you stopped beating your wife?” thrown at someone not even married, Israel now is being asked to clear its name for any number of deeds it never committed.

We have four recent examples to choose from, but, in the spirit of painting Israel as badly as possible, why choose at all? Three at least have become part of the accepted anti-Israel dialog, and the Tonge affair fits right in:

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