An appeal to Owen Jones: don’t associate with anti-Semites

This is cross posted from the blog of The CST, and was originally titled ‘Opposing antisemitism: an appeal to put words into action’.

owen jones

Owen Jones

The past two months have seen the number of antisemitic incidents in Britain approach record levels Much of this has been due to extreme reactions to the conflict between Israel and Gaza that reached its latest ceasefire yesterday. This problem, and its link to extreme manifestations of anti-Israel sentiment, has been covered extensively in the British media.

Some pro-Palestinian activists have recognised this problem and spoken out against it. 

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has said that antisemitism has no place in its activities, and Owen Jones wrote a column for the Guardian in which he warned of the need to take antisemitism seriously. In particular, he wrote:

Antisemitic themes are depressingly constant: of Jews being aliens, lacking loyalty to their countries, acting as parasites, wielding disproportionate influence. Sometimes this hatred is overt, other times more subtle and pernicious.

We welcome these statements from supporters of the Palestinian cause, just as we previously welcomed PSC’s rejection of the equation of Israel with Nazi Germany. And because we consider these statements to be important and necessary, we hope and expect that the people who made them will live up to their words and the sentiments behind them.

It is for this reason that we appeal to PSC and to Owen Jones to reconsider the inclusion of Tim Llewellyn as a speaker at a PSC meeting tomorrow evening, 28th August, on “Gaza: let down by the BBC and mainstream media?” We appeal to PSC as the organiser of the meeting and to Jones as one of the other speakers.

Our objection is not to the meeting itself. We do not oppose your right to hold public meetings in support of the Palestinians, or to criticise Israel, or to critique media coverage of the conflict between the two.

Our objection is specifically to the inclusion of Llewellyn as a guest speaker on this topic because he has a record of statements that illustrate exactly what Jones warns against: themes “of Jews being aliens, lacking loyalty to their countries, acting as parasites, wielding disproportionate influence.”

For example, last year at a meeting in London that was also about media coverage of Israel, Llewellyn claimed that the BBC is intimidated by the “Jewish lobby”. When he was challenged on this by the chair of the meeting, he resisted criticism of his choice of phrase. The full exchange ran as follows and can be viewed here on the CST Blog:

Llewellyn: “Is it because… I can see it in the BBC. They’re frighten’, these people are quite aggressive, right. The Jewish Lobby is not much fun. They come at you from every direction.”

Off camera, another speaker says “no”, then, “its the pro-Israel lobby”. It is not exactly clear who says what after this, but it includes the chair Mark McDonald talking over Llewellyn, stating:

“I mean that’s a very important thing to say, that it’s not a Jewish lobby. Can I interrupt a second. It’s not a Jewish lobby. It might be a Zionist lobby. It may be a pro-Israel lobby.”

Llewellyn replies: “Yes, but they use Jewish connections to get you.”

This statement by Llewellyn was not a one-off. It fitted a long record of statements and writings that mix “Jewish” with “Zionist” while alleging that both hold undue and nefarious influence in British public life. For example, in 2006, Llewellyn wrote the following in the Foreword to a new edition of Publish It Not: The Middle East Cover-Up by Michael Adams and Christopher Mayhew:

No alien polity has so successfully penetrated the British government and British institutions during the past ninety years as the Zionist movement and its manifestation as the state of Israel…the Zionists have manipulated British systems as expertly as maestros, here a massive major chord, there a minor refrain, the audience, for the most part, spellbound.

…this cuckoo in the nest of British politics…

… Israel had worked its spells well, with a lot of help from its friends: these lined the benches of parliament, wrote the news stories and editorials, framed the way we saw and heard almost everything about the Middle East on TV, radio and in the press. History, the Bible, Nazi Germany’s slaughter of the Jews, Russian pogroms, the Jewish narrative relayed and parlayed through a thousand books, films, TV plays and series, radio programmes, the skills of Jewish writers, diarists, memoirists, artists and musicians, people like us and among us, all had played their part.

…the fervent Zionist Labour MPs, some of them little better than bully-boys, Richard Crossman (not a Jew), Ian Mikardo, Maurice Edelman, Emmanuel “Manny” Shinwell, Sidney Silverman, Konni Zilliacus et al, are, mercifully, not only no longer with us but have not been replaced, not in such virulent form.

… the Union of Jewish Students, which elbows and induces Zionistically inclined undergraduates towards influential positions in British public life, especially the media, the banking sector and information technology.

Llewellyn mixes “Zionist” with “Jewish”, describing both as “alien” to Britain; and alleges undue and negative influence and manipulation of the media, politics and “the banking sector”. These allegations all have clear antecedents in antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Another example: in 2004, Llewellyn was quoted in the Jewish Chronicle as describing former US ambassador Dennis Ross in these terms:

He also denounced broadcasters who invited the “insidious” former US ambassador to the Middle East Denis Ross, without fully identifying him.

Mr Llewellyn said: “What a lovely Anglo-Saxon name! But Denis Ross is not just a Jew, he is a Zionist, a long-time Zionist… and now directs an Israeli-funded think tank in Washington. He is a Zionist propagandist.”

The suggestion that broadcasters should identify an interviewee as “a Jew”, lest their viewers be fooled by an “Anglo-Saxon name”, is scurrilous and prejudiced.

In 2012, Llewellyn wrote of

massive media distortion, and … Zionist penetration and manipulation of our institutions – the media, universities, local education, political parties…

He went on to describe as Britain’s

real enemies… the ambitious and greedy British politicians and insidious political influence, in this case spawned by an alien state and strengthened by its friends in our midst, people who put Israel’s interests above that of their own nation.

(From The Battle for Public Opinion in Europe: Changing Perceptions of the Palestine-Israel Conflict, eds. Daud Abdullah & Ibrahim Hewitt, not online). Again, this echoes the classical antisemitic allegation of ‘dual loyalty’, whereby British Jews are accused of lacking loyalty to the country of their birth.

If the important and welcome statements by PSC, Owen Jones and others about their opposition to antisemitism and determination to exclude it from pro-Palestinian activism have real meaning, then there should be no place for Tim Llewellyn at a PSC meeting. This is not an abstract argument: the sharp increase in antisemitism in Britain in recent weeks demonstrates that fact. Words lead to actions, good and bad. We now invite PSC and Owen Jones to put their valuable and worthy statements and principles into practice. A discussion of media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict must not give room to those who believe that there is a Zionist conspiracy to control, manipulate or influence the British media, politics, banking and education, as Tim Llewellyn has suggested. Nor should pro-Palestinian activism be a home for those who believe that Jews are an alien presence, disloyal to Britain, who change their names to disguise their true loyalties.

Put your words into action, and remove Tim Llewellyn from your platform.

Read Adam Levick’s latest article at The Jewish Chronicle

Here are the first few paragraphs of Adam Levick’s latest article at The Jewish Chronicle:

On Monday night, Israel formally accepted the Egyptian proposed ceasefire calling for an end to “all hostilities” between Hamas and Israel from the following morning.

Though the IDF halted its military operations, Hamas rejected calls to stop attacks and fired dozens of rockets at Israeli cities during the declared truce. After six hours of continued attacks, Israel announced it would resume its military operation and began attacking Hamas targets.

Despite this straightforward series of events, some media outlets found a way to obscure Hamas’s culpability, with the Guardian leading the pack. Even when the paper acknowledged that Hamas was still firing rockets, they somehow concluded that the “ceasefire was holding” and later managed to blame Israel’s eventual retaliation for causing it to collapse.

After the paper was criticised on Twitter, Guardian deputy editor Phoebe Greenwood defended the coverage, arguing in one Tweet that since Hamas never agreed to the ceasefire, their rocket attacks did not represent a violation of its terms.

Read the rest of the article here.

London protesters compare Gaza to Auschwitz outside Israeli Embassy

Cross posted by Richard Millett

Yes, that really does say Auschwitz, Iraq, Dachau, Palestine.

Yes, that really does say Auschwitz, Iraq, Dachau, Palestine.

Some mocked the Holocaust, others disfigured the Israeli flag, a few screamed “Allahu Akbar”, they all called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

That was the scene outside London’s Israeli Embassy yesterday afternoon as many thousands thronged to hear blood-curdling speeches calling for the end of Israel.

Kensington High Street was closed off to traffic leaving London buses stranded by the protesters who requisitioned them and covered them with anti-Israel slogans.

The protest against Israel’s latest attack on Hamas in Gaza was a toxic mix of Islamists, trade unions like Unison, charities like War On Want, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and, of course, the extreme religious Jewish sect Neturei Karta.

I knew I had outstayed my welcome when a protester grabbed me and shouted “A Zionist!”. I shook him off and made for the relative safety of the tube station.

Here’s a clip for you to savour some of yesterday’s toxicity and some photos:

Disfiguring Israel's flag. At least they didn't burn it.

Disfiguring Israel’s flag. At least they didn’t burn it.

"Cheap Jewish settlements" because Jews are tight money grabbers of course!

“Cheap Jewish settlements” because Jews are tight money grabbers of course!

War On Want's Executive Director John Hilary.

War On Want’s Executive Director John Hilary.

Agreed! Palestinians should be freed from their Hamas oppressors.

Agreed! Palestinians should be freed from their Hamas oppressors.

Is that because Israel builds bomb shelters but Hamas doesn't bother, possibly?

Is that because Israel builds bomb shelters but Hamas doesn’t bother, possibly?

Courageous guy climbs a traffic light.

Courageous guy climbs a traffic light.

They're the stars of the show at these hate events.

They’re the stars of the show at these hate events.

Will she be off to protest against Assad, Iran, ISIS and Boko Haram now?

Will she be off to protest against Assad, Iran, ISIS and Boko Haram now?

Police under pressure and looking under-numbered for once.

Police under pressure and looking under-numbered for once.

Libyan support despite things not looking too rosy in Libya either.

Libyan support despite things not looking too rosy in Libya either.

One of our buses gets occupied. Tell Boris!

One of our buses gets occupied. Tell Boris!

Remind me to invite him over for Friday night dinner soon.

Remind me to invite him over for Friday night dinner soon.

War On Want flags. WOW to be renamed War On Israel anyone?

War On Want flags. WOW to be renamed War On Israel anyone?

Not too sure what to say about this, so I think I'll leave it at that.

Not too sure what to say about this, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

Hmm, they mean Iran, Saudi, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq don't they? Oh wait...

Hmm, they mean Iran, Saudi, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq don’t they? Oh wait…

Can we have our bus back now please?

Can we have our bus back now please?

Errr, the problem is not Gaza, the problem is Hamas.

Errr, the problem is not Gaza, the problem is Hamas.

Ask them to ring back, you're at an anti-Israel protest!

Ask them to ring back, you’re at an anti-Israel protest!

War On Want No! Who can argue with that?

War On Want No! Who can argue with that?

Oh really. Now where does it say such a silly thing like that?

Oh really. Now where does it say such a silly thing like that?

"Cover up, sweety, it's getting a bit chilly". Aw.

“Cover up, sweety, it’s getting a bit chilly”. Aw.

(I dedicate this blog to the memory of my recently deceased mum whom I loved and miss and who, before she lost the ability to speak due to her terminal illness, always gave me one piece of treasured advice when she knew I was going to an anti-Israel event: “Be careful.”)

Israel haters arrested outside Sodastream-owned shop in Brighton.

Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

As many as eight anti-Israel activists were arrested yesterday outside Israeli-owned Ecostream in Brighton, on England’s south coast. Ecostream belongs to Sodastream, which has a factory on the West Bank. Although Sodastream employs many Palestinians the anti-Israel lobby prefers to see the factory shut down, thus imperiling the livelihoods of Sodastream’s Israeli and Palestinian workforce.

Every Saturday anti-Israel activists flock to Ecostream to call for its boycott. They are always met by the stoical counter-protesting of Sussex Friends of Israel. Yesterday, however, the anti-Israel activists were swelled by the presence of Palestine Solidarity Campaign affiliated trade unionists from the NHS, NUT, GMB, NUJ and the University of Brighton.

But tempers rose and not before long the number of anti-Israel activists was depleted as protester after protester was led away to the back of a police van. A heartbreaking sight, indeed.

Then the police issued a “section 14″ meaning both sides were kept apart and liable to arrest should anyone step outside their own zone. The remaining anti-Israel activists were restricted to the other side of the busy road opposite Ecostream and could, therefore, hardly be heard or seen for the remainder of the protest. Ecostream’s supporters stayed close to the shop.

Ecostream itself is a magical store. You can buy products that allow you to make your own carbonated drinks and you can refill your own bottles there with anything from honey, to olive oil to washing up liquid. Basically, cut down on your use of bottles and help the environment. Refilling is also vastly cheaper when there is no bottle to pay for.

Those of us who journeyed from London and other parts of England were very warmly received by Sussex Friends of Israel. Thanks to Harvey for driving a car load of us from London. It was good to see friends and meet new people and I also bought some lovely Palestinian olive oil from Ecostream.

Meanwhile, here are photos and footage of the action and photos from inside the Ecostream shop itself.

The first clip shows two of the alleged arrests and the second shows two trade unionists explaining how the presence of so many different trade unions protesting against Israel should make those supporting Israel “question themselves”. Well, that’s certainly an unbeatable argument if ever there was one:

Trendy jacket by Reiss.

Trendy jacket by Reiss.

Jessica Nero (left) was arrested inside Ahava’s London shop 3 years ago

Jessica Nero (left) was arrested inside Ahava’s London shop 3 years ago

Some dashing anti-Israel trade unionists.

Some dashing anti-Israel trade unionists.

Journalists wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli livelihoods.

Journalists wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli livelihoods.

GMB and NHS members wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

GMB and NHS members wanting to destroy Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

Outside Ecostream before a section 14 was imposed by police.

Outside Ecostream before a section 14 was imposed by police.

Across the road after the section 14 was imposed.

Across the road after the section 14 was imposed.

University of Brighton wanting to shut down Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

University of Brighton wanting to shut down Palestinian and Israeli jobs.

What a motley crew.

What a motley crew.

More of the motley crew.

More of the motley crew.

Coat on ground while being spoken to by the police.

Coat on ground while being spoken to by the police.

Self explanatory.

Self explanatory.

The stoical counter-protest.

The stoical counter-protest.

He makes a good point.

He makes a good point.

Who would you say she supports?

Who would you say she supports?

The shop.

The shop.

Refill your bottle of olive oil in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of olive oil in Ecostream.

Extra yummy.

Extra yummy.

Refill your bottle of honey in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of honey in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of detergent in Ecostream.

Refill your bottle of detergent in Ecostream.

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Palestine Solidarity Campaign holds anti-Israel hate event at P21 Gallery.

Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

PSC at P21 Gallery, London last night.

PSC at P21 Gallery, London last night.

“Boycott, Boycott, Boycott. Boycott Israeli products and settlement products. Put pressure on Israel economically. It’s the language THEY understand,” Mahmoud Doughlas implored his audience last night.

Doughlas wasn’t pressed on what he meant by “they”, but the language certainly seemed to contain a racist undercurrent.

Doughlas was speaking, via Skype from Nablus, at a PSC event hosted by P21 Gallery. The event was Education under Occupation – stories from West Bank and Gaza students.

Doughlas, an electrical engineering student at Birzeit University, was speaking from Nablus because, he said, Britain had refused him an entry visa.

He began by telling the audience that when he was in 7th grade Israeli soldiers entered his school “randomly injuring people” and throwing teargas into the classrooms. He couldn’t breathe for 15 minutes and ended up in hospital.

He claimed that one of his friends had been imprisoned for 18 months for writing graffiti on a settlement wall and, if I heard correctly, he said Palestinians have even “been arrested for dreaming about doing something”.

Meanwhile, Jehan al Farra, an alumnus of the Islamic University in Gaza, definitely was in London. She had been in the UK since September studying for a Masters in Computer Studies.

Her main preoccupation last night was describing the problems of studying in Gaza, especially getting to and from academic institutions there due to fuel shortages.

During the Q&A an audience member pointed out that she is highly articulate and very confident, which is a tribute to her teachers and the syllabus. This was a difficult point for her to address without admitting that, just maybe, the situation isn’t as bad as her and her colleagues were attempting to portray.

But she did address another point when an audience member claimed that “Israel had worked hard to destroy Palestinian heritage”. Al Farra said that Israel had even “occupied Palestinian culture”. An example she gave was the Israeli keffiyeh.

Maybe al Farra should read this interesting statement on the Israeli keffiyeh:

“Jews indigenous to the Middle East, such as my family is, have worn some variation of the “kefyah” (cap/kippah) and keffiyeh (head/neck scarves) for thousands of years.”

Here is al Farra last night describing how Palestinians sometimes get killed in accidents when using electricity generators:

 

Last night the PSC was sporting its brand new logo (see top photo – top left of screen). However, on the PSC website and their leaflets the logo is still the map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, which is far more honest about their intentions for Israel:

psclogo

And PSC’s Ameena Saleem, who was chairing last night’s event, wasted no opportunity to call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This, as we know, is merely code for calling for the Jewish state’s destruction.

P21 Gallery, itself, has a fairly large space at 21 Chalton Street. It supported St James’s Church’s Bethlehemfest over the Christmas period when St James’s Church ran a number of anti-Israel events while also erecting a copy of Israel’s security wall outside its premises in central London.

St James’s Church called for the real wall, which saves lives, to be dismantled. An astonishing £30,000 was spent building the copy wall.

Meanwhile, the charitable objectives of P21 Gallery (registered number 1153141) are:

“TO WORK IN COLLABORATION WITH BRITISH AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, ORGANISATIONS, ARTISTS, CURATORS AND DESIGNERS TO PROMOTE, DOCUMENT AND FACILITATE PUBLIC ACCESS TO ARAB ART AND CULTURE IN BRITAIN BY ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING AN ART GALLERY AND CULTURAL CENTRE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC.”

But the website of P21 Gallery states:

“The P21 Gallery is a London-based non-profit organisation promoting contemporary Middle Eastern and Arab art and culture with distinct focus on Palestine.”

Judging by last night’s event I think that the charitable objectives could possibly be more clearly defined as: Facilitating the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state.

But then that wouldn’t have sounded too charitable to the Charity Commissioners.

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CAMERA monitors media coverage of Israel, Jan 28-Feb 25: Guardian, BBC, NYT, Ha’aretz

English Posts

UMass Amherst Chancellor Condemns Academic Boycotts of Israel (in Focus) 

A Tough Legacy for a Tougher Man
Setting the record straight on Ariel Sharon, written by Alisa Rudy and first published in Baruch College’s paper: The Ticker. Alisa is a junior majoring in Middle East Studies and is the current President of the CCAP group Youth Organization For Israel, Baruch’s student pro-Israel club. (in Focus)

Inciting Violence Through Inaccuracy
A look at the Arab world inciting violence in the land of Israel, from the Hebron riots 80 years ago to today, by Boston University student Lindsey Cohen. (in Focus)

Learn How to Table From These Guys
Our pro-Israel CAMERA supported group at McNeese University tables about Israel and CAMERA at their campus center. (in Focus)

Jon Haber Relaunches His Blog
Jon of “Divest This” has restarted his fantastic blog debunking myths about the Boycott Divest Sanctions movement. (in Focus)

Chloé Valdary Speaks on Canada’s Sun News on how CAMERA Helps
Watch: CAMERA helps students access accurate information about Israel on their campuses. (in Focus)

Correction in Weekly Portuguese Paper Thanks to CAMERA Israel Trip Participant
Major Portuguese paper falsely claims Israel is building 1400 new settlements. Former CAMERA Israel Trip participant Romeu Monteiro helps set the record straight. (in Focus)

Erasing the Jewish Connection to Israel
A common strategy in delegitimizing Israel is to erase the historic connection between the Jewish people to the land of Israel. (in Focus)

CAMERA Visits California and Boston University
Two campus staff members visited with students at USC who had just returned from Birthright, and spoke to them about inaccuracies in the media. (in Focus)

A Realistic Approach to the Israeli-Arab Conflict
Our Fellow at Washington University is published in her campus paper as she sheds some light on the current conflict and international law. (in Focus)

A Stand Against Boycotts

Our CAMERA Intern explores how some Israelis are taking a pro-active step in the fight against boycotts. (in Focus)

Speakers Discredit SJP

Students for Justice in Palestine bring in a former Israeli soldier to defame Israel and spread inaccurate information about the conflict. Our CAMERA Fellow writes a letter to the editor to set the record straight. (in Focus)

BBC’s ‘Today’ programme ‘should know better’ than to engage in covert promotion of the PSC’s agenda
Despite a recent recommitment to summarizing the standpoint of interviewees, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview with an unidentified member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. (BBC Watch)

In which BBC News abandons all pretence of fact checking
Fact checking has apparently become too much of a bother for BBC website journalists. (BBC Watch)

Guardian caves to anti-Israel bigots, revises SodaStream article to please Ben White
The power of the pro-BDS lobby at the Guardian was revealed when editors at the London-based newspaper caved to pressure from Ben White, and revised an article which originally referred to anti-SodaStream activists as “anti-Israel” – opting instead fro the more benign term “anti-settlement”. (CiF Watch)

A Harriet Sherwood tale of Palestinian love and Israeli darkness
A nearly 4,000 word story on Israeli ‘villainy’ by Harriet Sherwood reached new lows, even in the context of the Jerusalem correspondent’s three and a half-year pattern of filing such tendentious and egregiously biased reports from the region. (CiF Watch)

Hebrew Posts

Ynet puts Gaza under siege
Is it accurate to refer to Gaza as “under siege?” (Presspectiva)

Are these celebrities really boycotting Israel?
Dustin Hoffman, Meg Ryan and others are listed by Israeli media as celebrities boycotting Israel. However the evidence shows otherwise. (Presspectiva)

The New York Times repeats Palestinian propaganda
Last week we chastised Ha’aretz for repeating without any examination the claim that President Truman intentionally erased the words “The Jewish State” from his recognition of Israel. Now the New York Times does it as well. (Presspectiva)

What is incitement?
An op-ed writer in Ha’aretz displays a fine sense of irony, when accusing others of inciting hatred, but bases her argument on completely false charges. (Presspectiva)

The return of the Palestinian Children in Cages story
Presspectiva continues to correct papers accusing Israel of holding Palestinian children in cages. (Presspectiva)

Wikipedia’s “Lion of God” bites Journalists
Did various respectable news organizations (and Al-Jazeera) base their obituary of Ariel Sharon on Wikipedia? (Presspectiva)

Spanish Posts

Is Israel really isolated, as some media outlets portray?
Israel holds diplomatic relations with over 150 countries and has recently joined the Pacific Alliance as an observer. Is the country really “internationally isolated”? (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Excelsior, from Mexico, corrects mistaken information about Israel
In an article about Tel Aviv as a technological hub, the Mexican paper said that city was Israel’s capital. ReVista questioned the paper and the editors corrected the mistake. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Europa Press unmasked
We highlight possible financial and political reasons behind the biased information about Israel in the Spanish-speaking news agency. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Russia Today claims Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital
Not only does the RT claim that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, it also falsely suggests that Globes, an Israeli media outlet, is the source of the information. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Bethlehem celebrates Palestinian terrorism
Political and religious leaders honoured two suicide bombers and promoted violence against Israel, while the Spanish press didn’t consider the event as news. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Middle East headlines in the Spanish-speaking press
Read the Israel and Middle East related headlines of the main newspapers and news agencies in Latin America and Spain. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Télam adopted an anti-Israel ideological stance
The Argentinian news agency chose to quote only those sources that were critical of the Government of Israel and blamed the Jewish State for threatening the peace negotiations and presented opinions as facts. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

Johanssen and El País (the country) of shame 

The effort of the Spanish newspaper to become a professional and reference media is of no use if they allow crude ideology to pop into its pages. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

EFE forgets the Israeli version of the facts again
One of the main premises of journalism is to contrast the information. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

EFE, please, check the information
The Spanish news agency is wrong when informing about the Oslo accords. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

EFE and sex change
Ariel Zilber is not a woman! (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

EFE: the Israelis also exist
Maybe, the Spanish news agency EFE doesn’t like the Israeli version, but readers have the right to learn about it and judge for themselves. (ReVista de Medio Oriente)

 

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Guardian caves to anti-Israel bigots, revises SodaStream article to please Ben White

Yesterday, CiF Watch prompted a correction to a false claim by Guardian Middle East editor Ian Black that the SodaStream main office was located in Ma’ale Adumim, when in fact that industrial park in greater Ma’ale Adumim (known as Mishor Adumim) is simply the location of one of their 20 factories. Their headquarters, as we noted, is in Lod, near Ben Gurion Airport.  (CiF Watch prompted a previous correction to the same error, by another Guardian contributor, in Oct.)

However, upon reviewing the language of the correction we prompted on the Guardian’s Correction page, we noticed an additional editor’s note relating to another SodaStream related story:

correction

According to (occasional) ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Ben White, per his following post at Electronic Intifada, he was the activist who prompted the revision:

Responding to my correspondence, The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor has amended an article written last week by Matthew Kalman.

Kalman’s article reported on the controversy over Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson ditching her role as humanitarian ambassador for the charity Oxfam, which objected to her endorsement deal with SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

The piece, “Oxfam under pressure to cut ties with Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream ad,” now appears with the following appended text:

“In a sub-heading and in the body of the text campaigners seeking to pressure Oxfam to sever ties with Scarlett Johansson were described as “anti-Israel.” To clarify: the campaigners are opposed to settlements”

Remarkably, the Guardian Readers’ Editor upheld the objections to Kalman’s original characterization of the anti-SodaStream activists as “anti-Israel”, and bought the argument that they are only opposed to ‘the settlements’.  

To give you a sense of how extraordinarily misleading such a benign characterization is, here’s a brief summary of the ideological background of some of the more prominent BDS activists and groups involved in the anti-SodaStream campaign:

Ben White: White, who evidently prompted the Guardian correction and is one of the most vocal activists campaigning against SodaStream, opposes the existence of a Jewish State within any borders, and is even on record expressing sympathy towards anti-Semites:

Ali Abunimah: Abunimah is the co-founder of Electronic Intifada, has expressed sympathy towards Hamas, rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State within any borders, has likened Zionism with Nazism and has explicitly called for the start of a 3rd deadly Palestinian intifada.

Here are additional anti-SodaStream campaigners – that is, those who would prefer that 500 Palestinians workers get laid-off, rather than there be any Jewish presence at all across the green line:

Palestinian BDS National Committee, a radical movement which opposes all forms of normalization between Palestinians and Israelis, and supports the unlimited ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants, a tactic designed to erase Israel’s Jewish identity.  

Palestine Solidarity Campaign: a marginal, radical movement based in the UK, which supports the cultural, academic and economic boycott against Israel, and opposes the existence of a Jewish State within any borders. Further, PSC members have taken  part in convoysflotillasflytillas, and various demonstrations and events organized by supporters and members of terrorist organisations. 

Code Pink: A radical left group whichworks with the pro-Hamas Free Gaza Movement, and signed the so-called Cairo Declaration to End Israeli Apartheid, a document which opposes Zionism and calls for the unlimited right of return for millions of Palestinian ‘refugees’. (See this clip of Hamas welcoming a Code Pink delegation to Gaza in 2009)

To recap: Most of the activists aligned against SodaStream have either expressed sympathy or outright support for Islamist terror groups, support the boycott and complete isolation of Israel, oppose any cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, and reject the very right of Israel to exist as a Jewish State. 

Only in the mind of Guardian editors would such hateful views – some which are indistinguishable from the ideologies of violent extremist groups – not qualify as “anti-Israel”.

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Guardian publishes letter by Jenny Tonge on the issue of antisemitism

Guardian editors recently decided that Jenny Tonge’s views on the topic of anti-Jewish bigotry were especially thought-provoking and worthy of publication.

Baroness Jenny Tonge EditedAmong the letters published at the Guardian on Oct. 8 in response to news regarding the Daily Mail, Ralph Miliband and charges of antisemitism – and Jonathan Freedland’s thoughtful response to the row at ‘Comment is Free’ – was the following by Tonge:

Jonathan Freedland’s article (Antisemitism does not always come doing a Nazi salute, 5 October) rightly pointed out how Jewish people and other ethnic and religious groups are discriminated against and criticised in many subtle ways. It is always deplorable. Whether or not the Daily Mail intended to be antisemitic we shall probably never know, but I wholeheartedly condemn that newspaper for its story about Ralph Miliband and its insensitivity towards his family.

What Freedland and many other commentators refuse to accept, however, is that criticism of Israel and Zionists who support that country is not antisemitism. It is anti-Israeli government, pure and simple. When I refer to Israel and the Israel lobby I mean just that. For me it has nothing to do with Jewish people in general. We are drawing attention to Israel’s disregard of international law and its apartheid system at home, causing huge suffering to the Palestinians and danger to the wider Middle East.

Freedland does no favours to Jewish people worldwide to look for antisemitism where none exists. Many of them deplore the policies of the Israeli government as much as I do. To accuse people of antisemitism in these circumstances does a disservice to Jewish people and protects Israel from the condemnation it deserves.
Jenny Tonge
House of Lords

For those unfamiliar with the ideological persuasion of the disgraced Baroness (and Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron), here are a few of her more notorious comments:

  • In 2004, at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting, Tonge said that if she was a Palestinian, she would consider becoming a suicide bomber herself.
  • In 2006 Tonge blamed Israel for suicide bombings…in Iraq!
  • In 2006, Tonge said: “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 [The Liberal Democrat] party”.
  • In 2009, at an anti-Israel rally in London during the Gaza war, Tonge said: “The way Israel behaves is just not kosher. Jewish people should be totally ashamed of themselves that they are not doing more to stop them. It’s absolutely disgusting.”
  • In 2010, during a speech in the House of Lords, she said the West’s treatment of Muslims was due to the power of the pro-Israel lobby and “Holocaust guilt”. 
  • In 2010, she said that Israel should set up “an inquiry” over allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.
  • In 2011 Tonge helped bring Islamist cleric Raed Salahpromoter of the antisemitic charge that Jews use the blood of non-Jews to bake their “sabbath bread” – into Parliament.
  • In 2012, at a meeting which took place in Parliament with the Palestine Return Centre, she asked: “How can the Israelis treat the Palestinians the way they do after what happened in the Holocaust?”
  • In 2012, Tonge (at an anti-Israel event at Middlesex University) said that “Israel is not going to be there forever” and warned that eventually Israel “will lose its support and then they will reap what they have sown”. She also sat silently by at the same event while Ken O’Keefe claimed the Mossad was “directly involved” in 9/11, and compared Jews to Nazis.

Tonge has clearly demonstrated a malign obsession with Jews and the alleged power of the ‘Israel lobby’, and the decision by the Guardian to provide her a forum to weigh on the extremely serious issue anti-Jewish racism is, in a word, “deplorable”.

CiF Watch prompts correction to false Guardian claim about SodaStream

We sometimes notice that headlines, or strap lines, used to illustrate Israel related stories at the Guardian or ‘Comment is Free’ are not supported by the subsequent text, and often serve, intentionally or otherwise, to sensationalize or even distort news items which are already critical of the Jewish state.  

A case in point is a Sept. 29th Guardian report by , titled ‘SodaStream: the Israeli-run shop dividing Brighton‘, about a small number of Palestine Solidarity Campaign protesters outside of an environmentally friendly Ecostream refill store – a division of the Israeli company SodaStream – which opened recently in the UK.

eco

Ecostream story in Brighton

As Guardian reports on fledgling BDS efforts against Israel go, Benedictus’s article isn’t too bad. However, the strap line falsely claimed that SodaStream’s company headquarters was in “the occupied West Bank”, when in fact only one of their factories (in Mishor Adumim) is in the disputed territory.  The company’s corporate headquarters is located in Airport City, adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport and not on the “wrong side” of the green line.

After contacting Guardian editors the strap line was corrected, and the false claim about SodaStream’s company headquarters was removed. 

Additionally, whilst the Guardian report on BDS efforts did include a quote by SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, here’s an extended response to the boycott question by Birnbaum which a colleague and I recorded when we visited the company’s offices in July and interviewed both Birnbaum and one of the Mishor Adumim plant managers. 

Abu Qatada: a lesson for British Jews

Cross posted by Mark Gardner at the CST

Finally, Abu Qatada is back in Jordan, facing questioning about terrorism. The extradition has been a lengthy legal saga, summarised by headlines such as “hate preacher” and “send him back”.

The Guardian Comment is Free website has two articles on Britain’s handling of Abu Qatada. The first of these, by Victoria Brittain, is simply a blanket defence of him. The second, by Simon Jenkins, is far more ambiguous. Neither article details Abu Qatada’s actual UK activities in the 1990s and early 2000s, such as his links to British Muslims who later became terrorists, or his links and financing with overseas “mujahideen”: despite these facts being well-known and having appeared in Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) judgements.

The SIAC evidence is extensive. The 2007 judgement reads like a 1990′s and early 2000′s who’s who of the global jihad movement. Section 84 is one of its more succinct paragraphs:

In short, his views are to be found linked to many terrorist groups and their actions, providing the religious cover they seek; he propagates radicalising views, and his fund-raising is aimed at advancing the Islamist extremist cause.

The SIAC judgements also reference Abu Qatada’s incitement for the murdering of British Jews (from 2007, section 28):

…even in December 1996, the Appellant was already proclaiming that it was acceptable to fight Jews within the UK.

Similarly, section 31, but now with Jewish children clarified as legitimate targets. Britons and Americans are also added (presumably this also includes British and American children):

In October 1999, the Appellant made a speech at the Four Feathers mosque [in Marylebone, London] in which he effectively issued a fatwa authorising the killing of Jews, including Jewish children.  He told the congregation that Americans should be attacked wherever they were, that in his view they were no better than Jews and that there was no difference between English, Jews and Americans.

The Guardian coverage is important because it shows how some liberal-left opinion makers and activists are blinding themselves (and others) to the realities of extremism. British Jews have long despaired at the failure of such people to acknowledge antisemitism when it comes from Arab or Muslim sources, but this coverage of Abu Qatada shows that selective blindness to antisemitism is only part of a wider failing.

For British Jews, the lesson is obvious. If these people are even soft on Abu Qatada, then we should expect absolutely nothing from them regarding any overseas hatred or incitement: whether that is Hizbollah terrorism against Diaspora Jews, Hamas terrorism against Israel, the appalling overall levels of antisemitic attitudes and hate speech, or visits by overseas preachers to the UK.

To return specifically to these two Guardian articles, Victoria Brittain’s is by far the more obviously ridiculous. It’s title is a classic of the genre:

I know Abu Qatada – he’s no terrorist

Usually, it is the Guardian sub-editors who choose how to entitle articles, based upon their reading of them. So, Victoria Brittain may not have actually called it this. Her article lauds Abu Qatada as “a scholar with wide intellectual and cultural interests. He wrote books while in prison”. He phones his kids from prison to encourage their homework etc, but Brittain does not explicitly say that Abu Qatada is no terrorist. Instead, it is Qatada’s family that is “innocent” and:

No one suggests Othman [ie Qatada] is physically dangerous himself.

Which may even be true, but it completely ducks the central allegation that he encourages many others whom we might describe as “physically dangerous”. 

Brittain also says, “no one has pointed to anything controversial that he is alleged to have said since the mid-1990s”. Perhaps Brittain does not regard the 1999 example of incitement to killing Jews (including their children and Britons and Americans) as controversial. She also says that the security services should have followed her lead:

If instead they had chosen to talk to him, as I have many times, they would have found that the man behind the myth is a scholar…I believe that, rather than being scapegaoted, his moral standards could have been useful in engaging Muslim youth.

British Jews should be deeply thankful that Muslim youth are no longer exposed to Abu Qatada’s “moral standards”. Besides, the security services did, repeatedly, speak to Abu Qatada. SIAC states (2007, section 29) that he:

…warned his congregation to be wary of MI5’s approaches and provided them with physical descriptions and names of MI5 officers approaching Muslims.

So much for Victoria Brittain, but is such a person really someone whom British Jews (and others) should take seriously? Sadly, almost unbelievably, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Brittain was associate foreign editor of the Guardian, is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and offered £10,000 surety money for Sheikh Ra’ed Salah.

CST believed Sheikh Salah had preached a sermon in Jerusalem that included a blood libel, alleging that Jews need the blood of non-Jews for “holy bread”. CST supported the Home Secretary’s ban on him. The ban was condemned by the Guardian, which also misrepresented Jewish and Home Office concerns and actions. Salah eventually won his appeal, despite being found to have made the blood libel speech (see ruling pdf here, section 59). The Guardian’s defence of him never relented and they never did acknowledge the blood libel ruling (see CST pdf here, p.18-22).

If Brittain defends Abu Qatada, then is it any wonder she defended the far less clear-cut case of Salah? Ditto the comments pages of the Guardian.

The Guardian’s other comment piece on Abu Qatada is by one of its senior regular writers, Simon Jenkins. Chairman of the National Trust, former editor of the Times and Evening Standard, he is somewhat more establishment than Victoria Brittain.

Jenkins’ article differs markedly from Brittain’s piece, but is another important marker in how Qatada is viewed, and what we can therefore expect regarding all those other cases that are far less clear-cut. His position starts out promisingly enough:

The state is entitled to deport people it considers a threat…I have no problem in sending home people in the category of Abu Qatada, who arrived on false documents, became an ally and counsellor to terrorists and then cited fear of torture as a reason for not being deported…

However, it then turns very lazy:

That said, Abu Qatada by all accounts does not fall into the ranting cleric category of his contemporary, Abu Hamza. He is closer to the vagrant revolutionary tradition to which London has offered refuge throughout history. The city should be big enough to encompass him, even if his activities merited watching…

Jenkins knows enough to realise that the charges against Abu Qatada are extensive, but ultimately he seems to be simply failing to take Abu Qatada seriously. Whatever the cause of this ambivalence, it is yet another reason why British Jews can have no confidence in such circles to safeguard their wellbeing; and the rest of society ought to feel exactly the same.

Finally, for light relief, compare Victoria Brittain’s “He’s no terrorist” schtick with this brief Simpson’s excerpt below.

The Guardian and a tale of two hooded ‘Palestinian prisoners’

A CiF Watch post on June 7 focused on a report by the Guardian about questions raised by some board members at the annual meeting of G4S – a British multinational security services company – regarding their business operations in Israel.

The Guardian story by Jennifer Rankin featured the following photo from an anti-G4S protest, organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), outside the meeting.

hooded

The hooded prisoner represented in this display of political street theater was meant to draw attention to what anti-Zionist groups allege is the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails. Indeed, PSC, parroting the narrative of the Palestinian Authority, characterizes the prisoners in question as “political prisoners”, a term, as CAMERA has demonstrated, which is a euphemism for all Palestinians in Israeli custody, even those convicted of lethal terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

Moreover, the sincerity of the “pro-Palestinian” sentiment of activist groups, and the Guardian editors who continually grant their cause a forum, seems quite questionable given their silence thus far in response to the disturbing sight of the following real hooded Palestinian – one of several photos released by the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza recently.

execution

The imagery above does not represent leftist theatrical agitprop, but a genuine photo of one of two Palestinians just before they were hanged to death on Saturday on charges of ‘collaborating’ with Israel – two of at least 16 Palestinians who have been executed in Gaza for spying since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

There is no mention of the execution on the site of PSC.  Additionally, the Guardian’s correspondent in the region, Harriet Sherwood, though finding time recently to publish 3 stories about a Palestinian from Gaza who was a contestant on an Arab reality show, has thus far not covered the story.  Moreover, this lapse in journalistic scrutiny of an extremely pressing issue relating to the human rights of Palestinians in Palestinian custody is not a one-off for Sherwood.  She has also failed to cover the death of a Palestinian named Ayman Samara while in a Jericho jail, as well the broader disturbing story, reported elsewhere, involving the abuse and torture of Palestinian prisoners in PA run prisons.

In reading the Guardian’s coverage of the region, it’s impossible not to conclude that their reporters’ activist journalism on behalf of the human rights of Palestinians is necessarily subservient to the broader ideological aim of vilifying Israelis. 

Guardian highlights solidarity with Palestinian prisoners outside G4S meeting

A story in the Guardian by Jennifer Rankin on June 6th, titled ‘Israeli prison contracts take centre stage at G4S shareholder meeting, highlighted questions raised by some at the annual meeting of G4S – a British multinational security services company – regarding their business in Israel.  G4S, Rankin notes, employs 620,000 people in 125 countries, including some in Israel, but that they recently announced they were pulling out of providing services in the West Bank beginning 2015.  The company, however, will continue to run prisons inside of the green line.

Rankin quoted one wild accusation about the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons by one unnamed shareholder and provided an additional quote from shareholder John Hilary, executive director of the radical anti-Israel NGO War on Want.  The story also featured the following photo from an anti-G4S protest outside the meeting.

Protesters demonstrate in front of G4S's AGM, June 2013

However, the portrayal of a hooded inmate was only one part of this London street theater agitprop – a show which was organized by one of the Guardian’s favorite fringe anti-Zionist groups, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as well as Hilary’s ‘War on Want’.  Here’s an additional photo from the demonstration not published at the Guardian:

1

Note the reference to Mahmoud Sarsak on the sign to the far right.  

Sarsak is a Palestinian ‘hunger striking’ (football playing) prisoner who has become a cause celebre among activist journalists (at the BBC, the Guardian and elsewhere) despite the fact that he has admitted being a member of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

War on Want not only helped publicize the event, but issued a June 4th press release about G4S by senior campaigner Rafeef Ziadah, which included the following :

“G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including child prisoners, are detained and tortured illegally inside Israel.”

As CAMERA recently documented, radical NGOs and Palestinian Authority sites often use the euphemism “political prisoners” to refer to even those Palestinians convicted of violent acts, including lethal terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians – an egregious distortion of a term which is widely understood as referring to those imprisoned merely for their political beliefs.

Evidently, for these G4S protesters, other pro-Palestinian activists and the media outlets which regularly champion their cause, the ‘human rights’ of Israeli victims of Palestinian violence never quite seem to inspire such displays of “liberal” sympathy.   

Extremists fail to disrupt ‘Closer To Israel 65′ in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Cross posted by London-based blogger Richard Millett

A group of 30 extremists failed to dampen spirits as some 3,000 Jewish and non-Jewish pro-Israel supporters came out to show their support and appreciation for the Jewish state at the Closer to Israel 65 event in London’s Trafalgar Square today. Even the sun finally shone!

The 30 extremists were from the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), the tiny Jewish religious sect the Neturei Karta, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jews For Justice For Palestinians.

A favourite racist chant of those from the IHRC was “Judaism yes, Zionism no, the State of Israel must Go”. How awfully nice of Islamic Human Rights Commission members to allow Judaism to be practiced. Now, all one needs to know is how much tax British Jews must pay to be allowed to continue practicing their Judaism.

Here are some IHRC members allowing Jews to practice Judaism in the UK in 2013. We can only thank them:

The hate of the extremists was drowned out by the words of Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks who declared that if the Jewish people had to choose between world criticism of or sympathy for Israel they would choose world criticism rather than be homeless and defenceless with the sympathy of the world:

Here are the photos of the day with some commentary. First, the good people:

The coolest person at Closer To Israel 65. Dig the glasses.

The coolest person at Closer To Israel 65. Dig the glasses.

A Spurs "Yiddo" at CTI65. It's not racist, it's an affectionate nickname!

A Spurs “Yiddo” at CTI65. It’s not racist, it’s an affectionate nickname!

Harif's lovely Michelle Huberman doing what she does best at CTI65. Bellydance!

Harif’s lovely Michelle Huberman doing what she does best at CTI65. Bellydance!

The brilliant and handsome Kasim Hafeez at CTI65.

The brilliant and handsome Kasim Hafeez at CTI65.

Yours truly and superb political commentator and author Carol Could at CTI65.

Yours truly and superb political commentator and author Carol Gould at CTI65.

This cool lady was spotted just dancing to the extremists' racist chanting.

This cool lady was spotted just dancing to the extremists’ racist chanting.

A packed and sunny Trafalgar Square for CTI65 listening to the Chief Rabbi.

A packed and sunny Trafalgar Square for CTI65 listening to the Chief Rabbi.

Taking a break from CTI65 to face down the extremists.

Taking a break from CTI65 to face down the extremists.

Israel supporters come face to face with extremism on the streets of London.

Israel supporters come face to face with extremism on the streets of London.

An Israel supporter defiant in the face of hate and lies.

An Israel supporter defiant in the face of hate and lies.

The extremists:

Praying for the Jewish people to experience more bloodshed just because Israel wasn't directly created by the Messiah?

Praying for the Jewish people to experience more bloodshed just because Israel wasn’t directly created by the Messiah?

I agree with this placard. But the Palestinian children are being murdered by the Hamas government.

I agree with this placard. But the Palestinian children are being murdered by the Hamas government.

As I was saying this Palestinian father's grief (see placard) was finally proven by the UN to have been caused by a stray Hamas rocket that killed his young son.

As I was saying this Palestinian father’s grief (see placard) was finally proven by the UN to have been caused by a stray Hamas rocket that killed his young son.

I wonder if this lady is standing up against real evil currently taking place in Syria.

I wonder if this lady is standing up against real evil currently taking place in Syria.

I actually felt sorry for this poor kid. He looks unhappy being pushed to do the vile bidding of his elders.

I actually felt sorry for this poor kid. He looks unhappy being pushed to do the vile bidding of his elders.

Thanks for coming. I hope you all managed to fit into the minivan for the trip home.

Thanks for coming. I hope you all managed to fit into the minivan for the trip home.

An anti-Israel agitator pointing out yours truly to a new recruit.

An anti-Israel agitator pointing out yours truly to a new recruit.

Yes! We've also had enough of Jews For Justice For Palestinians!

Yes! We’ve also had enough of Jews For Justice For Palestinians!

From the Warsaw Ghetto to John Lewis for Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Ewa Jaciewicz.

Cross posted by Richard Millett

PSC's Salim Alam handing out anti-Israel leaflets inside John Lewis.

PSC’s Salim Alam handing out anti-Israel leaflets inside John Lewis.

Ewa Jaciewicz is an activist. That’s what she does. She was last seen hanging around inside a chimney in Nottingham for which she was “rigorously trained”. She writes about her activism in great detail for The Guardian.

On Saturday she helped orchestrate an anti-Israel protest inside John Lewis on London’s Oxford Street. About 50 anti-Israel activists followed her in and unfurled banners accusing Israel of apartheid and urging shoppers not to shop in John Lewis because it sells products made by Sodastream, an Israeli company with a factory on the West Bank that produces items enabling consumers to live greener lives.

Jaciewicz, a campaigner against climate change, should be sympathetic to Sodastream except her desire to see the Jewish state disappear obviously trumps all the good that Israeli companies do for the world.

Now, that’s hypocrisy for you.

Meanwhile, you can buy Sodastream products online from John Lewis here.

One of the signs unfurled by the activists read: “John Lewis…ethical policy? You profit from war and apartheid. Stop selling stolen goods.”

There is nothing illegal about Sodastream, and international law fully supports Israel’s presence in the West Bank. Anyone would have a very hard time disproving this.

But what Jaciewicz, a member of the Polish Campaign of Solidarity with Palestine, never wrote about for The Guardian was her trip a few years ago to the Warsaw Ghetto.

Now, what would a reasonable human being do if they visited a site where some 400,000 Jewish people (or people of any religion for that matter) lost their lives? Say a prayer, lay a flower, place a simple stone in remembrance?

Jaciewicz helped daub the words “Free Gaza and Palestine” on one of the nearby walls. What did any of those 400,000 innocent lost souls ever do to her?

Jaciewicz on the left near Warsaw Ghetto.

Jaciewicz on the left near Warsaw Ghetto.

One of Jaciewicz’s accomplices inside John Lewis was Salim Alam, one of the head honchos at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Alam once chaired a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting which was so horrific that afterwards one of the audience members let rip with a long Holocaust denial rant.

So these are just two of the characters that dominate the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s activism against Israel.

If only the shoppers at John Lewis who heard the accusations of apartheid against Israel and the calls for Israel’s destruction knew these back stories then they might understand what this sort of activism against Israel is truly about.

After about 45 minutes the police turned up and the activists removed themselves from John Lewis after being warned by the police that they could otherwise be arrested for aggravated trespass.

And as thousands continue to be gassed and murdered in Syria by Assad where are the protests against that and where are Jaciewicz’s articles on Syria?

More photos/footage from Saturday:

Jaciewicz appears in this clip: blond and in a black top and on her phone.

anti-Israel activists inside John Lewis.

anti-Israel activists inside John Lewis.

Thanks to Harvey for his footage and photos above and for the others that braved the onslaught on Saturday of this continuous vile campaign against the Jewish state.

The Guardian’s continuing obsession with Mordechai Vanunu

v

In 1985 Mordechai Vanunu left his job as a technician at Israel’s nuclear installation in Dimona.  Before leaving, however, he stole several rolls of film about the facility, which he then used to help the UK Sunday Times write a story that purported to expose Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Vanunu was convicted of treason and espionage in 1988, and was released after serving 18 years in prison.  After his release, he exclaimed that he was proud of what he did.

Vanunu is still subject to travel restrictions (and other limitations) as he continues to be considered a serious danger to Israeli security - owing to the fact that he holds state secrets that have not yet been published, and which he reportedly said he would reveal.  Israeli courts have upheld the legitimacy of the state’s concerns, ruling that Vanunu has not changed his ways and has “repeatedly violated their injunctions” by maintaining ties and contact with the media and other parties.

Naturally, Vanunu is something of a cause celeb at the Guardian, which has published no less than 75 separate pieces (reports and commentary) on the convicted Israeli felon, including an official editorial lauding him, entitled “In Praise of…Mordechai Vanunu.

The latest Guardian entry is a boilerplate pro-Vanunu letter-to-the-editor entitled ‘Mordechai Vanunu’s Suffering‘, April 19, and is signed by the usual cast of UK anti-Zionists, including several Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) ‘Patrons': Tony Benn (PSC Patron), Ben Birnberg (War on Want), Julie Christie (PSC Patron), Jeremy Corbyn MP (PSC Patron), Kate Hudson (Stop the War Coalition), Bruce Kent (PSC Patron), and Roger Lloyd-Pack (who played Trigger in BBC’s ‘Only Fools and Horses’). 

In a 2004 interview with Amy Goodman, published at the extremist site CounterPunch, Vanunu accused the Israeli government not only of unjustly imprisoning one man, but of “betraying all of humanity and the world”.

Is there really any mystery as to why Vanunu is so admired by the Guardian?